My friend thinks I have tenacity. That is true and good in some cases but not so in others. I really love the challenge of developing a physical skill that I don’t have a natural ability for. I feel such an envy and yearning when I see how easefully someone can hop on a bicycle and ride off, even a young child. Meanwhile, I had to struggle and struggle to master the confidence and skill to be at ease. Perhaps the struggle is the draw. I do not like easy, not even crossword puzzles.
Today I felt I was actually skiing and not just shuffling along. It’s a glorious feeling to finally feel the flow. Just to be clear, I’m not flying along by any means, but I have the feel of being comfortable on two sticks. I was pushing and gliding some at a good pace for me. I made it around the loop and back 2 times. I am making progress. Practice makes for better.
So that was yesterday. My thoughts do not flow so easily or smoothly sometimes. My fingers hesitate and stutter on the keyboard. I’m okay with it. I’m being more mindful, paying more attention. I’m not running off at the mouth without thinking and feeling. I’m taking the time to know the whys and wherefores of my feelings and actions/inactions. I learn that it is what self care means. I have to clear my inner clutter before I can clear my outer one. I have to quiet my outer chatter before I can quiet my inner one. I’m working hard on all fronts but not too hard. And that is called self compassion.
I am still very much a novice at self care. I get easily distracted by anything. I’ve just come back to the keyboard from a wild goose, time wasting chase. The important thing is I came back. I’m going into week 4 of Stephanie Bennett Vogt’s A Year to Clear. I’m still with it, a day/one paperclip at a time. Slow is good. It gives me time for the habit to take hold. I’m still reading Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, page by page, chapter by chapter. I am resisting the urge to skim, to read ahead. I’m practicing savouring, experiencing and feeling it all. So far, so good. I have this impatience, to race ahead to the heart of the matter, paying little heed to all the details leading up to it. I don’t like to take the time to cross my t’s and dot my i’s. I don’t bother to savour my coffee/tea/wine.
I’m taking time to bother now. I will make a grand adventure of it. I have made a start. It feels good to have space and order to work in. It is relaxing not to have to dig through piles to find something. I feel wonderful and in control when I clean up and put things away after I’m finished working on a project. I can. I can. I have the tenacity. My heart wants spaciousness.
So here I am, in the late of the evening. I’ve wined and dined. I haven’t come up with the secret to eternal wisdom nor happiness. Needless to say, it has been a tough day, a day of clouds and cool temperatures for July. But I did the best I could. Despite the clouds, my yard and garden glowed in the early morning light. It cheered me, standing on the top step. The path led straight to the garage door. Lao Tzu and the Chinese maiden are standing on duty on each side. I’m waiting for Sheba to finish her morning business. My passion for a well lived life remains unabated.
Nothing was really wrong except for my chemistry. My mood is like the weather. The good, bad and ugly played hide and seek with each other. I let them be, but stepped in as a referee when needed. It was tough and painful at times, almost bringing tears to my eyes. But I got through the tough stretch. The bills were paid and recorded. I thought I would leave sorting and filing for another day. I rewarded my efforts with a hot chocolate and a few pages of my crime novel, Moon Music. Faye Kellerman is my new favourite mystery writer. I find mystery/crime novels soothing and calming because they engage me.
Engagement is the key for me on difficult days. I tell myself, I can, I can. I can change my thoughts and how I speak to myself. I can make lunch. I can make a rhubarb crisp. I can do my art projects. And so I did. The rhubarb crisp wasn’t quite up to par. That was because I decided to make it in a smaller pan with same amount of rhubarb. But after I popped it back into the oven for another 20 minutes, it was okay. My indexcard collage and watercolour turned out superb – in my opinion. I experimented with pureeing steamed lettuce for freezing. I put the puree into an ice cube tray. After they are frozen, I will pop them out and store in a freezer bag. I might be going overboard in preserving veggies, but I hate waste. And we have lots of lettuce. I will see how they will work out in soups and chili.
After that being done, there’s the dog to walk. It’s a pleasure after we get going. A sniff here, a sniff there. I like admiring other people’s yards, their efforts. I am sure they struggle, too. We are all trying. We all have our passions. We are all the same. We are connected by our humanity. Thus I feel comforted in my own struggles along with them .
Day 135 – 137, December 9, 2016 @9:01 pm
It feels like an eon since I was here. How strange to find that it was only a couple of days ago. I can’t even remember what kept me away but it felt huge. That’s what short days and long nights does to me. Extra stress with the cold, especially when the furnace is not working properly. It felt like a monumental problem. But it’s solved. Weight lifted. I am just tired now.
I am learning to value myself. I’m learning self care in this year of doing different. I’ve brought out my earrings. Now I’m bringing out my fine china. I’m sipping tea in my Blue Siam teacup. Why was it just sitting in cabinet all these years? I love the pattern and colour so much. It reminds me of Arabian Nights, The King and I, and all those things exotic like Leonard Cohen’s ‘tea and oranges from China.’
My tea is finished. I’m feeling less tired, my neck and shoulders not so stiff and achy. It’s a magic cup. I wonder if I rub it, would Aladdin appear? I pray and a host of angels are hovering over me. No, I’m not mad nor hallucinating. I believe in the divine. I believe in the spirit of truth and goodness. I believe in me. I can. I can.
Day 124 and 125, November 27, 2016 @8:21 pm
Make hay while the sun shines. I love proverbs, don’t you? Life could be easier and better if we heed them. I was glad that I did yesterday. I made hay while the sun shone. I basked in the warmth of my sunroom, letting everything fall off my shoulders.
Today is another story. No sun and no warmth from the greyness surrounding me. I was not happy, needing the sun to stimulate my feel good cells. But I faked it and carried on. I made my own sunshine.
I remembered my nephew used to phone and leave messages for me when he was very little. One time I came home from a 12 hour work shift and found his message. ” You are my sunshine, My only sunshine…” I thought of him today. I remembered going to my sister’s one day and found him doing his chore – washing the stairs. That was when he was a little older, of course. I thought that it was something I could do today. It would be one step closer to having a clean and neat house for the new year. Since I am bigger than a little boy, I washed the upstair and downstair bathrooms as well.
I am feeling proud having fooled my gloomy cells and rising above them. I keep telling myself, I CAN, I CAN. With bold steps, Sheba and I strode into the grey. We found that it was not as grey once out from our shackled thinking and feelings. The world exploded into colours that widened our lenses and opened our hearts.
So good to have this space to come to at the end of the day and unload. Good night and God bless.