WHAT SURPRISED ME IN 2021

It’s day 3 of the new year and the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’m feeling tired and not the least bit eager, wanting to show up here. I’m doing it anyways. In the same manner, I did #2 assignment for the 30-Day Positivity Challenge. It helps to have a plan and goals for the day/month. It’s my to-do list for difficult to navigate times. I’m up and down with the fluctuating temperatures. I’m temperamental and over sensitive to noise and clutter. Everything sounds loud and like fingernails on chalk board. Everything looks messy.

Perhaps it is a good day to do some clearing – of things and thoughts. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. I do not have to do super feats. I can do/write in what Anne Lamott calls ‘bird by bird‘ or in one minute picture frames. I like to use the log cabin quilt square as a reference. I built it log by log. It’s not intimidating at all when you look at it that way. Now I just have to put the 100 squares I built together, block by block to make a quilt. I am a person who cannot see/do the whole picture at once. If I try, I get overwhelmed and discouraged to make even a start.

I now have picked up and rid a few things off the dining room table. I have found homes for them. Next – to work on a question or two in Unravel My Year workbook. They are not easy. The answers don’t jump out of me. What surprised me in 2021? Hmmm, let me see. Nothing obvious at first, but I suppose the fact that I could plant tomatoes, scarlet runner beans and cucumbers in the greenhouse in early March was a feat. Some died but most lived to give us an abundance of food. I had a large harvest of pumpkins in the fall. I was surprised that I love them as a vegetable to stir fry, stew, curry and soup with, besides making them in pies, muffins and cookies. Trying new things bring the best surprises. I am surprised, too, that I am enjoying these cold months relaxing, not thinking of gardening at all.

Some surprises are subtle and startling at the same time. They are like blows because they come out of nowhere and yet they’ve been there all the time. It’s just me, not seeing how I don’t value myself in so many small and big ways. That is till one day I woke up and saw how I was abusing myself and therefore, allowing others to do the same. I never set any boundaries or made any demands of others how I want to be treated. I forfeited myself to please others. My waking up was the biggest surprise of 2021. I’m still reeling and sitting with it, digesting and feeling into how I will change with the knowledge.

It has started to blow and snow outside – a bit of winter wonderland when you’re not out in it. I am glad we had our ski this morning. That is another surprise. I am not at all athletic but I love the activity so much. Who would have thought? So even if you don’t think you like something and don’t feel like trying it out, do it anyways. You might get a very nice surprise.

MAKING AND TAKING TIME

January 10, 2019  9:53 am

I’ve made very good time this morning. I set my timer to do my Morning Pages for 30 minutes and wrote long hand on whatever came into my mind. I got my 3 pages within that time. Problems and angsts are not a bad thing. They are fuel for thought and words on the page. The exercise is the DustBuster for my brain. It clears up all the nagging guilt, shoulds and coulds. Want to give it a try?

I have a chicken carcass souping in the Instant Pot. I’ve been feeling like hell in the mornings lately. Every inch of my body is stiff and hurting. I am taking time to resume my long abandoned qigong routine. Movement helps the aches. I’m just lazy and stupid not doing the practice. I have a couple of  Francesco Garripoli and Daisy Lee quigong DVDs. They’re beautifully done and easy to follow. 40 minutes is time well spent. Too bad they are no longer a couple.

6:37 pm

I’ve chipped away at my day. Doing in little blocks of time works best for me. The floors are vacuumed, the dishes done, the laundry washed and hung. I still feel hellish but if I give in to my aches and pain, the dog hairs will irk me and get into my head instead of staying on the floor. If the laundry is not done, someone will be missing their longjohns. It’s difficult and easy to throw them into the machine and push some buttons. I concentrate on the easy part. I think of how nice it is when we get home after our walk to a hot cuppa and a snack. And the walk was over and done. We got some exercise and alot of fresh air.

Now it’s time to say goodnight on this 10th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’m not pleased with my writing but it’s the best I could do today. And I’m still here.

 

BAKING THE GREMLINS AWAY

For Reverb14Reverb BB

It’s December 18th, a week before Christmas.  It is a season of joy and sorrow.  Life has no time boundaries and neither has death.  You cannot have one without the other.  It happens when it happens.  I’m not behind and I’m not catching up.  I’m writing in this moment on these two prompts – 2 in 1.  What a bargain, heh?

Today’s prompt from Sophie Appleby aka Her Library Adventures.  Sophie writes:

In the busyness of the everyday, taking time to nourish the soul doesn’t reach the top of the ‘to do’ list as often as it should.  What nourishes your soul? How would you like to incorporate more of this into your life in 2015? 

Day 15 prompt from Kat McNally:

I’ve learnt over the years that the only way to get anywhere in life is just to notice what other people are doing, hear the gremlins, feel the fear and do it anyway. It never gets any easier but to keep on doing it is the point.  What are you really proud that you made happen in 2014, despite the gremlins? And what will you do anyway in 2015

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The gremlins are having their go at me the last few days.  I feel them buzzing and biting at me with their little mouths.  I am ignoring them.  I’m not wasting energy swatting them off.  I am letting them be.  Long ago I have learned to let the shoe drop.  I am not Humpty Dumpty.  I will not fall and break.

It has been a week of dishwater coloured days. The mornings are black as night.  I am full of lethargy.  It is hard to get out of bed.  But I do it anyways.  I get up, dress up and show up, albeit slower and later.  That’s what I do to respect and nurture my body and spirit.  I listen to them instead of fighting and conquering.

IMG_0515I take special care at these vulnerable times.  I do not have to be Wonder Woman and do it all.  Let her rest awhile.  No one needs rescuing at the moment.  I don’t have to be the hero.  I don’t need to have it all.  I don’t even want it.  I am happy in the smallness of my life.  I am happy here, tap, tapping out my words to you, sipping my tea.  Sheba is nearby. Voices and laughter come from children playing outside.

Perhaps this is not a good time to be reading Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller.  The story contains the horrors of the Holocaust but also about our humanity.  It’s appropriate for our present time and the horrors we are still seeing.  We can run but we can’t hide from the truth.  I need to bear witness and to acknowledge all that is happening.  It is paying honour to those who have died.  They matter.

imageI’m reading on into the book, into Sage’s story and how baking becomes her therapy.  It is also mine.  You might call me a born again baker for I didn’t know how to until a couple of years ago.  Now I’m happy when there’s flour flying in the kitchen.   How can you not rejoice when you see it rise?  It is so comforting to knead and punch down the dough. Take this! And this! My fist sinks into the soft mound.  Then I’m forming it into separate loaves, to rise again and be ready for the oven.

The house is filled with the aroma of bread baking. It is a smell of home, welcome and nourishment.  Come in and sit down.  Won’t you have a cup of tea and a slice of fresh baked bread?

This is what I do to chase the gremlins and other demons and gobblins away.  It also nourishes my soul.  It works so I will continue on into the new year.