It’s February 8, 2021. Almost 5:30. Yet the sun is still present in the livingroom. It will vanish in a minute or two but I love this almost perfect beautiful golden moment. Everything, including myself, is in alignment from head to toe. I am so happy we went out for our ski, despite the frigid temperature. The sun was brilliant. It is the kind of weather that agrees with me the most. I feel energized, without my aches and pains. The snow was the best, too. It didn’t stick to the bottom of my skis and I felt the glide. The mask was perfect keeping my lungs from the cold air. I didn’t have to taste the wool of a scarf.
Chinese New Year will arrive on February 12. It is the year of the ox. I don’t know what it means. I take it that we all must be strong, like the ox, and do our best to keep safe and do the utmost not to spread the Coronavirus. We must, like good citizens of the earth, do our part to help regreen the planet. This is my hope for this year of the ox. February is also heart month. The heart needs exercise as much as the rest of our body.
I like to stretch my heart muscles by being kinder, more loving and understanding of others. I know that sometimes I think I am all of those things. I know I over estimate and give myself too much credit. It is hard to take myself out of me and look at things and others dispassionately, without prejudice and preconceived ideas. It is a good thing to remember. I would like to spend time to observe and explore how I can change and be more heartful through this Ultimate Blog Challenge.
So yesterday was Valentines Day, the day of hearts and flowers. As with all other special occasions, I’m slightly out of step. Perhaps I’ve been looking at my half empty glass instead of the half full one. Let’s face it, no matter how you look at it, the glass is only half of what it could be. No matter how many cute quotes you come up with or how positive you are, there must have been times when you’ve felt half empty, haven’t there?
Oh, I know. I had an intention of changing my voice for this heart month of February. I still have that intention but I want to rid the narratives in my head and the questions in my heart. It is really hard to be not who I am. Maybe I should give up trying to sound like someone else. I am who I am, of Asian flavour – the sum total of my heritage, upbringing and western influence. I should examine how all these influences have affected who I am and how I have felt about myself.
So it is three days post Valentines Day. I’m more out of step than I realize but I want to finish my conversation here. Life happens as they say. It’s gotten the best of me for now. I’m tired and lacking energy and drive. The well is dry. All I want to do the last couple of days is curl up with my blanket and watch Downton Abby on Netflix. Right now I want to fall asleep. I’ve lost heart in February. Ah! Sometimes the best laid plans do not work. I will throw up my hands and say, oh well and go to bed. Tomorrow is another day.
I’m repeating myself, but February is heart month. To have heart is to have courage. Sometimes Many times I feel such a lacking in myself. I have not taken the helm. I’m blown hither and thither in the winds of life. I have been so disengaged, living in my head mostly. I haven’t even noticed. I’ve said so many “it doesn’t matter” and “good enough”. Suddenly I woke up today to find that it does matter. I matter and I won’t settle for good enough. Things have to be better or I will not be able to move forward. I shall be forever walking down the same f**ing street in Portia Nelson’s poem.
“I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost… I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place. But, it isn’t my fault. It still takes me a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in. It’s a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
I walk down another street.”
I am very disappointed and angry with myself. I have been lazy. There’s no other reason. It’s hard work to have a life. I have gotten up, dressed up and shown up every day. But I have not put in the effort to do the hard work. I thought I have but I hadn’t. How the view changes as I wake up from my sleep. I have found some courage on the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City. I have to work and strengthen my heart and keep my brain clear not to regress and fall into the same frigging hole. I will avoid those 2 idiot phrases from my speech as much as possible. No, I must delete them completely.
Now if I was to fall into the rabbit hole with Alice, it might be more fun, revealing and helpful.
February – you are the heart month but you are also the coldest month so far. How am I suppose to keep heart? My fingertips are cracked and bleeding from the chill. That will teach me to take my gloves off to capture your icy beauty with my camera. I wince with each tap on the keyboard. It is worth it though. It all helps to give me heart, to keep it beating, to perfuse me with a creative force. It helps to have added purpose for Sheba’s and mine daily walks.
Keeping heart is sometimes hard for me. I feel things deeply – the highs and the lows. I bounce around like a rubber ball. I can run hot and cold at the same time. You might call me a HSP, a highly sensitive person. I fit the descriptions very well. I have all the 21 signs, most notably the need for alone time and absorbing other people’s feelings. Hell, all 21 points are strong in me.
I’ve never really checked into it before now. Maybe understanding myself better will help me to navigate life better. I hope it will lead to having an easier time relating to others and managing my emotions. Dang, life is frigging hard! There’s still things to learn no matter how old I am. I’m all for it. Bring it on.
I wonder why I have such a hard time. I guess it’s that HSP part in me. I feel too much. Why must I? I don’t like it one bit. Too bad, says the big guy in the sky. That’s who you are. Live with it. And so I must. Everything, no matter how small, that I can do for myself will help. At the end of it, they will be monumental, the very things that can tip an iceberg. So I gotta have heart, keep plugging away and put one foot in front of the other. I’m on the Yellow Brick Road. I want to find the Land of Oz and the Emerald City. I will follow Dorothy and her motley crew- the Scarecrow, The Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. Onward ho!
January is over. I’ve finished posting for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Now I like to write for the Heart Month of February. Writing, photography and posting them are my therapy. I am not a good or professional writer and photographer but I love the practices. I hope I am improving in both as I go along. Like my Bernina sewing machine, I’m made to create. I rid my stress and distress through these expressions. It is better than exploding and imploding.
I woke up last night with a mini panic attack. I had this feeling of breathlessness. My mouth was so dry and my throat tight. I could not take a deep breath. I tried to shrug and laugh it off, rolled over and tried to get back to sleep. It didn’t work. Fear started to creep in. Thoughts of all my COPD patients flashed instantly through my mind. I wondered if I was an empathetic nurse to them. I know that I offered treatment – inhalers, nebulizers, more oxygen. I would call the doctor if all failed. But was I understanding? Was I kind?
Now the shoe is on my foot. I am the patient panicking in the night. I had experienced it once before. It was much worse then. Experience does help. I comforted myself, got up and walked to the kitchen. I put the kettle on for some hot water. I wondered if it could be my sinuses. I looked for my saline mist and my nasonex. I am a patient and a nurse all in one. I slowly walked my kitchen, drinking my hot water. It was calming.
I knew better than trying to go back to sleep right away. I sat up in bed with two pillows behind my back and read. It was a journal from years past. I was always thinking and scribbling, especially when I’m not feeling good. Whether those scribblings of feelings were true or not is debatable. It tells me 2006 was really a hard, hard year. I was coming off celexa and using natural remedies. I’ve forgotten about the St. John’s Worts and 5-HTP.
I can understand why I had stopped reading my journals. I wrote mostly when I was feeling bad. Reading it now, I would say I must have been damned depressed all the time. That is if I didn’t know me. But I do. What I know for sure is that yes, I fucking sure struggled alot. It was worth my while. I remember remarking to a counsellor that every time I filled one of those psychological assessment forms, I feel that I don’t need counselling. I have never felt hopeless. Her observation was it’s a good thing.
It is a good thing, all my struggles. I don’t regret anything. I do feel like a failure at time. Failing is not a bad thing. It gives me a chance to do better. I’ve never been ashamed of my depression. I’ve never hid it. I do talk about it. I’m not being brave. I’m seeking a solution. For the month of February, I’m writing for my heart and brain. I can see from the now vantage point, I have come a long way. I have been off all medications prescribed and natural for depression since 2006. Instead I got Sheba. She is good medicine. But she was hard to raise from 2 months. It took years. Now she is perfect.
It’s wise of me to set up goals and challenges. My dyslexic brain need specific guidelines and time frames. In January I did Gentle January with Susannah Conway and the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I was able to fulfill both of them except for two days. I still have the 365 Somethings 2018 which is a year long project. To keep myself in line and on track, I’ve set up goals for the month of February. I’m apt to meander and get lost without a GPS.
February is heart month. It is my hearth month, a time to foster feel good stuff.
It is the time to curl up with a good romance, murder mystery, adventure, whatever.
There’s the knitting of the scarf and the cross stitch of Jesus I want to complete.
My Bernina sewing machine waits for me to master it. I’ve reviewed some videos this morning and feeling more confident than yesterday.
Seeding bedding plants. It is time for the petunias. It takes a long time to bring them to bloom.
I think my to-do list is long enough for this month. I am still showing up here daily to tap out my joy and grumpies. This is my best GPS, showing my trial runs and test results. It points a better route for me so that I’m not circling the wagon the whole night long and never making camp. I have to run now and hang up the wash. The fur baby is also calling for attention. It’s a short chat today. Keep well.