Beginnings are hard and uncomfortable. Even though I want to start, I do all kinds of evasions, mental and physical. I second guess and doubt myself. Is it a good time to start? I put it off to tomorrow what I can start today. And by now everyone must know the saying, Tomorrow never comes. It is also true that what you don’t use, you lose. I have lost some of my writing muscle. It’s been 7 days since I’ve come to this space. Where once it had been easy to show up every day, now it is difficult to show up even weekly. It is the reason I’ve decided to join in the Ultimate Blog Challenge for October. I want to develop and maintain my discipline muscle. I know it is not October yet. I’m not putting off what I can start today. I’m doing my warmups and stretching for the days ahead.
I’ve always love the sounds and nuances of words. They paint pictures the same way photos paint words for me. Putting the two together in a post is art for me. I love the process. I have not been nurturing the process this past year. Somehow it got lost in this new and bewildering climate I find myself in. I’ve become mindless and lazy. It has been so easy to lose myself in technology and the digital and not think for myself. But I am a curious person by nature and could not stay in my robotic mode. Perhaps September and the autumn colours are the stimulus. Once again I am excited by new things to see and learn. I am back in the school of life.
Curiosity may have killed the cat but if not for curiosity, I would forever be stuck in the doldrums. I’m already a bit of a hermit except the ‘cat’ or Sheba gets the best of me and lures me out of myself. Then there’s those shoulds and ought tos. I should get out in the world more. I ought to do this and that. What I am is happy that I listen to those shoulds and ought tos. If not for them I would have missed alot of good outings, opportunities and a well rounded life.
If I was to give in to my rathers and do as I please, I would probably languish on the couch all the livelong day. But I was brought up with discipline. I hear those shoulds loud and clear though no one said a word. SometimesOften it is wretched difficult to even bat my eye lashes but I got to do it. Nobody else can do it for me. I sigh alot. It seems to help, especially if I give it a great big heave-ho. It’s like a push off.
My push off was phoning my mother this morning. I asked if she and my father want to go to the library. It’s my regular outing with them. It’s something I can do for them but sometimes it is hard. Making that phone call makes it easier. Then I’m committed, no ifs and buts. So fortunate our library has Chinese books. After we get our books, we would go to the mall for coffee. We were lucky today. We ran into a couple of their friends. It was a nice time. I listen to their gossip and their talk about their aches and pains. I am no longer a working nurse so I offer no remedies. Besides, my mother never listens to me, a professional nurse. She would take her friends’ advice over mine. I’ve learned that now. I keep quiet. I’m a good daughter.
Writing this post is not a picnic either. I’m still in the stutter mode. I feel no flow today so it’s hard work. It’s a lot of sighing, muttering and sweating to find the words. I’m not aiming for a literary award. I’m trying to impart just a wee bit of a reason why you’ll want to read me. So ends another day and my mutterings. Better luck to me tomorrow.
I’m in a slacking off mood today. I feel I deserve/have earned it. I indulge myself in that feeling in small bits. I must have developed some backbone and discipline through these 9 days of the challenge. I’ve been able to rein myself in, rise up and out of the chair and deal with the day. Oh, I do give myself a short block of time to read my mystery novel and to sip my tea. I know that if I give into an all morning or afternoon lounging marathon, I will not get much else done.
To be open and accountable, I have not made any move towards my paperwork from yesterday. They’re still waiting but the urgent parts are dealt with. Today was an exercise morning. I took care to do a bit of housekeeping in the 30 spare minutes I had. Regular maintenance is efficient and time saving. I also took time after our exercise class to check on a travel plan. Timely information is helpful in making timely decisions. And I haven’t always been very proactive. You know how it is – the wish for something magical without having to do anything. I know that it’s an impossibility but I still want it.
Being a somewhat odd ball, I have to confess that I quite enjoyed cleaning up the lunch dishes today. It was such a pleasant experience after my previous feelings towards them. It was easy. There was no struggle in doing them. It was like finding my way out of the forest after being lost for so long. Laugh if you must but I feel so good. I’m not worried if I don’t get to the paperwork today. Tomorrow will do just as well. I have plans of making a kale, cabbage and radish kimchi. And Sheba still needs to be walked.
I’m glad that I didn’t caved in to my reading jag. I’m happy I could put down Heartbreak Hotel. It’s getting very interesting but I haven’t jumped ahead and read the ending yet. I used to do that alot but I’ve stopped. I’ve been practicing being mindful and read page by page in order. I think it is quieting my frenzied brain.
It is now after seven. Sheba’s been walked. Supper is over. The kimchi will have to wait till tomorrow along with the paperwork. The garden had called, demanding attention. It wanted water and the kohlrabi seedlings wanting more space in between. Some things couldn’t wait. So here I am, tired after all that. I’m tapping my last words, bringing an end to my day.
Good morning and Happy Canada Day! It’s July 1, the first day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I am going to show up here daily for the next 31 days with my chatterings. I enjoy challenges. They offer me an opportunity to be disciplined and accountable. It’s also a chance to meet and interact with other bloggers. I have a few rules for this space of mine. These are that I be:
What I hope for this month is to get up, dress up and show up each morning. It will be my mindfulness practice of being present and alert before my keyboard, breathing in and out with each tap of on the keyboard. It does take away my thoughts of my morning physical discomforts. I am in the moment of forming thoughts and ideas. I am stretching and reaching with each finger. I am a proper typist. No pecking away with two fingers. I had graduated from Saskatoon Business College way back in the ’70s. I’ve had a class in typing using an IBM Selectric Typewriter. It does not have a moving carriage. The little ball travels back and forth.
It is late in the afternoon. I’ve had a good start in the morning. Making a commitment to write every day gives me structure. Having structure helps my disorganized brain focus and get with the program. Thoughts just get lost, rattling around in my brain. But if I tap them out here, I can see them in physical form. Then I can act upon them. And act I did. I put some sweat in the garden this morning before it got too hot. Now without the weeds I can clearly see the 2 rows of peas. Much more pleasing to the eye than before. I timed it right as the rains came in the afternoon. This is how I can get things done.
I’ve mentioned more than once or twice about my disorderly moods. This space and challenge has provided me with a purpose to show up and do. I don’t have a business to build or promote. I am not interesting in making money but I am in having a purpose. I can get engaged in constructing hopefully an interesting and informative post. I can converse about what is important and helpful to me. I like to think that I can motivate a reader or two. I will strive for better construction and proof reading. I will work for it. Happy blogging to my fellow bloggers.
It’s another Saturday morning, grey and misty. I am starting where I am. My desktop is cluttered with my cross stitching of Jesus. I have puddles of socks, slippers and Sheba’s toys at my feet. Yes, I am a messy disorganized lass. I’m working on it, ok? I’ve been tired and overwhelmed the last few days. I’m picking myself up, trying to dust myself off and start again where I left off. If I was to ‘fix’ everything before I start anything, I would still be in my mother’s womb. I’m doing the best I can. I’m obsessive, persistent and slow as a tortoise. We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare. We slowpokes can win.
I’m not winning today though. It’s difficult to get past go. I’m leaving the race for another day. It’s no point in fighting, going upstream. I haven’t lost ground but maintaining my stand. I am still starting each day with meditation. It’s good to begin with a clean slate/mind. Some days my slate is cleaner than others. I’m reading my books page by page in order, not skipping ahead. It requires a lot of discipline from me.
Patience is not my virtue but I am sitting with my discomforts, breathing in and out, watching my thoughts float by like clouds in the sky. Yes, I’m easily addicted, watching too many episodes of Longmire and Call the Midwife on my iMac. It is soothing for my aggitated mind but I’m not wasteful with my time. I am stitching Jesus while I’m watching, making good progress. Yes, I’m multi-tasking but it is relaxing. It does not make me fret. Finishing Jesus is one of my goals. I’m killing several birds with one stone, sorta speak.
So here I am, almost at the end of the day. I’m glad to be back in this space, tapping out this post word by word. I’m finding rhythm tapping on the keyboard. The exercise grounds me. Documenting my days, charting my progress enables me to see my way ahead as well as where I have erred in the past.
I’m a little late in getting up and dressing up today. I lingered a little longer over Sue Grafton’s G is for Gumshoe this morning. I had trouble putting it down. I love the book cover. I love the character, Kinsey Millhone. I fewl happy and secure in tagging along with her. I’m practicing discipline so I put it down. I went downstairs and hung up the laundry. Then I painted my index card for the 365 Something 2018 Challenge. I was in danger of abandoning it. I had given up on it for a little while. It’s that discipline thing. I completed day 179 this morning.
Then I had trouble wanting to fold up the dried linen. I stood there looking at it. There’s no use trying to understanding it. There’s no need in understanding it. I just have to do it and put it all away. And so I did. I know I am not the only person with such feelings. I can hear different conversations in my memory.
“I don’t know why I don’t do it. I have the things for it. But I don’t do it. I don’t know why. I know I should do it but I don’t.”
I can hear myself offering advice and suggestions of “Why don’t you try this? Why don’t you try that?” I was never successful. Nobody ever took my advice/suggestions. I was left feeling pissed off most of the time. Now I’m seeing I’m as guilty as they are but I DO try. I have trouble with keeping it up.
Yesterday, I talked about metamorphosis. It’s only later that I realize it is kind of retarded for me to talk about it at my age. Do I have time left to morph? I am no spring chicken as they say. I am on a pension for crying out loud. I must be somewhat retarded. My head is still stuck in youth. I’m still thinking about when I grow up. I guess it is not a bad thing. I still have optimism. I have hope. I am still looking forward.
Today I am not quite as sleepy. The sun is out. Most of my ‘must dos’ are done. The rest of the day is just gravy/groovy.
The trick with getting anything done is making a beginning. Elementary, my dear, you say. It is at that but a very important elementary point. So we’ve begun, Sheba and I. It is 2:59, not quite 3:00 pm. She rises and whimpers. I said no. Down. She does. We are both sitting, she on all fours, me on the chair. We will wait it out. The minute passes. She rises on her fours. I continue to sit and tap. Patience is a virtue. So is discipline.
I could easily become a hermit given my disposition and inclinations. I know very well it is not healthy to isolate myself socially. I was also brought up and trained to to live properly. Those things have saved me from myself. I always try to do the right thing or else it would nag at me. Even having bad improper thoughts gnaw at my conscience. I could never be a thief but I have sinned.
Sheba passed her test. 3:10 and I reward her with her supper. She is getting it. Obedience and Patience = food. I’m getting it, too. Consistency and Patience = success. Our successes comes slowly and in increments, sometimes sliding back and forth. The furry princess tries and does get on my nerve in the afternoons. At 11 years old she is still full of vim and vinegar. After eating, she energetically humps her bed. Then she wants to play, insisting that I play toss her squeaky toys with her. What a mad house! I lose my patience.
That’s how it is at our house. Most mornings I’m not geared up or look forward to doing anything. Today is a Wednesday, an exercise day. I have breakfast, pack my gym bag, vacuum a room or two and head off to the YWCA. I’m trained by habit and routine. It’s not a big deal or painful as in the beginning. Some ruts are healthy. It get things done. I repeat this every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Sometimes I bored myself writing every day. What could I possibly have to say – every day. It’s a discipline I want to keep up – within reason, of course. It gives me clarity and direction. I hope I am not boring you. I write mostly for myself but I do appreciate the support and readership. I’m now pushing and struggling to increase the length and the quality of my writing. I’m doing the best I can. Today is not a day when words flow. They come slowly after much thought.
Another daily practice I’m doing is my art. It has been dormant many, many years. It came alive last year much to my own surprise. It has been mostly talk on my part. You know how it goes. It’s my passion but I was too this and that – all the usual excuses. It takes very little time to pick up a pencil or a paint brush and art. So that’s what I do every day, a little practice. It takes minutes sometimes, an hour another day. The thing is to begin and do it. I admit starting can be difficult. I just do it.
Life, at times, seems to be made up of many necessary but tedious tasks – like cleaning and tidying up. Here she goes again! I can hear you say but it is so true. It is 2:27 pm and I’ve just sat down after preparing lunch, eating it and then what I detest the most, cleaning up. Now I’m writing about it. Ha! The tedium. I really want to have a nap now.
But I know the value of order and discipline. My nature is that I don’t really have a driving desire to do anything. If I have my druthers, I would probably be singing Freddy Fender’s, wasted days and wasted nights. I’m one of those people who needs inspiration, challenges and goals. I seldom plan. I might be in a neater, if not better place if I did. It is never too late. That’s what they tell me. I’m inspired to go that route now.
My plan is to have a plan for the day. I’ve been operating on it for a few weeks now. I’m doing the obvious, the hardest and most hated stuff. What is difficult for me is cleaning up and putting stuff away in a timely as well as neatly fashion. When I was in Grade 1 in Hong Kong, one of our assignment was to get a note from our parents. The note was to identify what they thought our worse trait was. Well, my mother thought mine was paper clutter. I dropped them wherever. It was like a show and tell. I was reprimanded by my teacher – very severely I felt at the time.
Obviously, it hadn’t helped me. I am still that clutterbug. I’m changing my ways though. I’m working on the dishes. After washing and drying, I’m painstakingly putting them away where they belong or finding a better place for them. You’re wondering, What’s so painful about that? Well, for me it is! It feels like I’m going against the grain or my nature. It’s like torture. I wonder if I have some kind of disorder.
Things are getting a little easier though. You can see some surface on the dining room table and my desk. I’m ridding my junk mail (hard copies and emails) faster. I’ve lived many days feeling as if I have something needed doing but don’t know what. FINALLY that dreaded feeling is gone. I’m feeling more at ease.
Hmm. I’m feeling more alert and focused. It helps to identify my problem areas. It is nice to see progress. That is why I come here each day to tap on the keyboard. Some days I have great thoughts, exciting news and projects. Some days I am sad or angry. Then there are the doldrums. There is a lot of it in life. When they are taken away from you, that is the time when you see what treasures they really are. So I don’t mind them so much. They are restful. Maybe it is what mindfulness is – learning to sit and stay in the mundane and tedious until they are no longer so. Until you see what jewels they are.
Today, I’m reading a new book called INTENTIONS, picked out at the library last week. I’m quite pleased with the appropriateness of the title for this time of the year. It is quite an interesting little book that I couldn’t put it down without finding out the outcome. And so, as usual, I skipped to the end. And now, I am reading the middle.
Well, I had set no intentions on changing my reading habits and I am still enjoying the story. I am also reading another book called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I am still reading it in the order, page by page. It is a very interesting account of how habits function, how they can make or break us. I will put the information to good use. I will be my own guinea pig. And we will see if I have enough discipline to follow through and adopt new, healthier habits.
So far, so good! I was able to put down my book and sit at this keyboard. It would have been so easy to stay curled under my quilt and just read. I’m still fighting my sinusitis. My energy comes and goes and I have to fight inertia constantly. It would be heavenly if I didn’t have to do anything ever again!
As you can see, I am feeling a little discouraged so that I have to set my intentions early in the day on what I MUST do. The one thing that is a must is to keep the floors reasonably free of Sheba’s dog hair. So after breakfast, she gets a rawhide chew while I brush her tail, undersides and butt. Then, it’s out with the vacuum. I’m making progress. It’s not so hard to get on it. It’s becoming a habit. Soon I will be able to do it without thinking and fighting it.
I haven’t done much besides that, though I did load up the dishwasher and push the start button. I was going to take Sheba to the park, but my body wouldn’t comply. So when Rod offered to take her out, I let him. Always accept help when it comes your way. And having accomplished my most important intention, I feel a sense of success.
HURRAY FOR ME! Tomorrow is another day, another new beginning.