April 20th. Another new dawn. Another new day. The sun is gracing us with its presence. We are joyous. I’ve been in the greenhouse, raised the shade and removed the cardboards from the windows. The nights are still cool, dipping into the minus. Every little bit of heat I can help retain is worth the effort. I harvested some brokali greens for a stir fry for lunch and did a little weeding. They don’t need much sun or heat to thrive. If I don’t take care, they will take over. That’s what happened with my garden within. I haven’t paid attention and the weeds have invaded my head space. Now comes the painful but needed task of weeding within.
The important thing is to create a clean canvass each morning. Put up boundaries so overwhelm cannot come in. In this case, I’m fencing out intrusive and negative thoughts, trashy tidbits from the world wide web and any distractions clamoring for my attention. It is important that I think of only the thing I’m doing/working on at the moment. When I’m writing, I should be thinking only of what I am writing. It is a hard task since I’ve set my brain on autopilot for so long. Now I have to work to take back control. It can be done. First, I need to have a plan. I need to know where the trouble plots are in the garden of my mind. I need to know what weeds are growing in each plot and then to find the right solution.
It’s late afternoon. I’ve come back to this plot to work on the weeds. I have just a little more to do and then I will call it quits for today. I must not bite off too much all at once. Working in small squares add up. I’m staying on track with set goals and intentions. I have not over indulged on my cuppas, having one Orange Pekoe in the morning and a decaf in the afternoon. I noticed that I really would like another after the decaf. I think it’s the sugar and cream calling me. The pumpkin chocolate chip muffin added its voice. I resisted their calls. A good ending for this 22nd day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I am pleased.
December 9. It is 11:30 am and we’re at a balmy -6℃. I’m sipping a black decaf., hoping to curb my addiction to cream and sugar. I would like to drop a few pounds and an extra chin. I tend to sip quite a few cups of tea and coffee in a day. They’re like the cigarette I gave up a long time ago.
Every day is a new day. I like to start each one with new energy and a new out look. Not everything has to be hard, bad and sad. I can curve my droopy lips up into a smile. No one has to know it is fake. Fake it till you make it. It does make me feel more cheery. It is ok, too, if I can’t do it. There’s nothing more annoying to me than fake smiling lips pasted on someone’s face 24/7. Maybe we can be that cheerful all that time but it looks so unnatural to me.
My chili is warming up on the stove. The salads are made. Waiting for the mister to come home from his boat building garage. I hear his footsteps. Time to heat up some rice.
December 10. Intentions don’t mean beans when I don’t follow up with action. I had intentions of coming back to the page yesterday. I didn’t. Now it is another day. Almost supper time – 5:30 in the afternoon. It is -13℃. It’s been mostly sunny today. I chart the weather conditions so that I can analyze my moods and energy level to see if there is a link between the two. Knowing that, maybe I can offset or side step some of the dangers and hazards that may befall me.
For sure this morning’s ski gave me a boost in every department. I really wasn’t super keen in going to the Wildwood ski trail at the golf course. I ended last season feeling confident and pumped but it’s been over 9 months. Confidence has waned and doubts crawling in. The easier outside track is 2.2 km around with hills and valleys. Memories of struggling up one hill and falling down another invaded my thoughts. My stomach did little flip-flops enroute. It goes to show how strong our thoughts are and how they can affect our physiology.
To make a long story short, my apprehension was unwarranted. I scaled all the hills and fell down none. I had to work hard getting up one. If I had used the herringbone technique, it would have been a snap. Next time. At any rate, I’m developing strong arm muscles. I really had to dig in. I was determined not to slide down backwards and fall on my tootsie. It helped that I was the only one on the trail. I relaxed, took my time and a few photos. It was really ecstasy – the crisp morning air and the rising sun. I’ll let the photos paint the scene.
I’m wrapping it up here. I have no more words and thoughts except to say faking it through the darkness of December works for me. I’m taking it easier on myself, remembering that this is the slumber month. I can be a little bear like and crawl into my quilt for a few minutes or an hour. I can fake it till I make it.
I am most happy when I am working on a project or challenge. Right now my challenge/project is writing this post and baking bread. I’m in between risings. I have a few minutes to tap out some first words/thoughts. I’ve been away for awhile. It might take some time for my fingers to limber up and my brain to gear up. Thank God the heat wave is over. The 30+- 40℃ have chilled. I don’t function well in heat but I did remarkedly well through it this time. And that is because I’ve learned to work smarter, not harder. I owe my thanks to Chris Baily of the Productivity Project.
I’ve finished baking my bread. The loaves are out, cooled, bagged and put away. The mixing bowl, tools and all the pans are washed and dried. After everything is said and done, I know that I’ve worked hard. I’m not sure about the smart part. But it is at the end of the day. I am tired. Though it is only 22℃ now, I feel hot. I am sure I am still processing the past week of heat. I do not bounce back like the EverReady Bunny. I’m more like the tortoise. I am slow but I try to be steady and committed.
I’m intent on writing this post as I had set out to do this morning. It’s a good thing that I chose only 2 things for today. I’m not sure I have enough energy for more. Oh, I’ve done more than just baking bread and writing this post. I’m talking about commitments- things I MUST do from start to finish. I have a bad habit of starting something and not following through. I hope to change that by working smarter, not wasting energy and time on the wrong things. Coming back to this writing space will help me chart my way. I’ve been away for too many days.
Beginnings of anythings are hard. Mornings are the best for me. It’s that time before trivia creeps in and fills all the recesses of my mind. They block the flow of oxygen and ideas to my being. But it is so tempting to linger over that cup of tea/coffee and scroll one more page and read another article, then another post. Before I know it, an hour or two have passed. The good/bright ideas/intentions have disappeared. All I’m left is lethargy and annoyance with myself.
I have to be stern with my lagging, sagging self. Nip it in the bud or it could run rampant, like an infection. So here I am, showing up before I get feverish and succumb to another lazy day. Movement begats more movement and energy. I go back to things that work for me, working in small blocks. If I get stuck, I stop and do something else. I’m learning not to sabotage myself. It’s been a long journey of many slow steps. But I am seeing more clearly as I am walking this, my very own Camino Road of enlightenment. No need to go to Spain. I have Sheba to keep me company here on the road.
Now it is 3:30 in the afternoon. I’m pecking/tapping away at my day. An index card painted for 365 Somethings 2018, a photo for April Love , Sheba’s afternoon walk done – these are the sign posts that guide me. They add order and rhythm to my day. In between these projects, the bedding plants are placed onto the deck, getting some natural light, readying for permanent residence out of doors. The deck chairs are rid of their dust and grime. Corners of the deck cleared of last year’s dirt. Screens wiped. Not all finished but a good start. That’s all that is needed. A start and the rest will follow. Repeat this every day.
The wind is still blowing. It rattles things on the deck as if someone is out there. The howling tires me, draining my vitality. The dishes spread before me. It is habit that saves me and moves me on. Now they are clean and draining on the counter. I get to sit before my keyboard with my cup of tea. I am pondering my feelings and words. How do I describe them? How am I going to deal with them? The wind carries on. A crow caws. I sip my tea.
I discovered yesterday that laundry baskets are not easy to deal with. Even though I was intent in emptying it once and for all, it was still difficult to do. After fiddling around with a few articles, I had to lay it aside again for another time. No use wasting energy when the timing was wrong. Instead I turned to the wall unit and bookshelves in the basement. They are full of stuff and dust as well. Here was a starting point, an opening for a beginning. That’s what most is needed – a beginning.
It is evening. How the day sped by, though I felt slow as molasses in winter. Supper is done and so is my glass of wine. I am tapping the last words to this post. The wind hasn’t stopped its lament. It’s crying still. It was wicked walking Sheba in it but it is done. I am, too, but in a good way. I just had to put one foot in front of the other. Somehow things have a way of taking care of themselves.
Oh happy day! I slept last night, not as well as I wished but I was not tossing and turning. The sun is shining. The neighbour’s sunflowers are smiling over the fence. It’s 9 am. The day is before me to do as I please. There is nothing hanging over my head. No deadlines. No must do’s. Nothing. But that does not mean that I should just lull the day away. There are certain habits and routines to follow for a healthy life.
I have gotten up, dressed up and showed up, setting my intentions and goals for the day. I am one who does well with rather than without a program. I like to feel and hear the tap, tap of my keyboard. I like to see the letters and words march across my screen. It makes it real for me, this sitting here, talking to myself and you if you are listening. It’s a great compliment to me if you are.
What’s my plan for the day? First, my qigong routine to loosen and limber up. My shoulders are feeling it from my swim yesterday. Then onward to give the house a quick sweep of Sheba’s hair, harvest the grapes and clean them to make fruit rolls. Those are the important items for today. I’ve been doing my little art projects for awhile now. It’s a habit. I can fit them in easily. They are my dessert of the day.
These are truly the glory days of August. My garden is flushed with delicious vegetables. Let me not squander the days away with stinking thinking, bad attitude, foul mood or low blood sugar. Afternoons can be treacherous. A cup of tea and a couple of chocolates to make me more agreeable. It does not help that Sheba is dogging in my footsteps wherever I go. Possibly she is also seeking sugar replacement.
Mornings are the best for setting intentions. And so I sat with Melli O’Brien and Tami Simon of Sounds True and learned about total body breathing. It is an episode from the Mindfulness Summit, October 2015. Today I am focused on learning to enjoy the process of sewing a blouse – being patient and deliberate with each step. In the past, I have rushed through to the end product, missing the beginning and the middle – missing the joy, missing a lot.
Now I see it is really not my stinking thinking or low blood sugar. It is really a storm brewing in my head. It has just burst open. I’m tap, tapping to the rhythm of pounding rain on the aluminum roof of the deck. It is very strange and beautiful. The rain came raging out of nowhere. I am very fortunate to have this wonderful space to sit and watch, surrounded by it all.
The rain have passed. I can show you the glory in the garden. Come, let me show you. It is my rainbow after the rain.
It it almost 4 pm again. Day 5. 360 days left. I shouldn’t count but one likes to cross/tick things off. I’m not doing well in that department but I am working on it. There will be no baking again today. The floor is good enough from yesterday’s vacuum. One must prioritize or I could be circling and circling like a gerbil in a cage.
What I like to do right now is lay on the couch with a book or just nap. Serves me right for lunching on a burger, fries and root beer. The root beer is what did me in. All that sugar. It was good after an outing with Sheba at the dog park. It was cool, sweet and went down nice. Now I’m struggling to keep my eyes open.
I did sort my paper piles, called City Hall about the light bill. Have you heard of anyone eager to get their light bill? Well, I am – excited to see the first bill on solar electricity. I might have to wait another day or two. I can wait. Practicing patience. Damn hard! I better put that down on my list.
The insurance company was next on the list. Don’t you just hate that time every year when it comes for renewal? Ugly, ugly! Goes up every year. The agent was friendly and understanding. We had a chuckle or two before getting down to business. I’m her first client with solar panels. They are not on her list. She will call me back after she makes some phone calls.
I think I did pretty well considering I was not positively positive in the morning. I got up anyways, dressed up, made up and showed up. Thank God for people like Regina Brett for their sunshiny outlooks and mantras. I didn’t put on earrings though. Couldn’t find the perfect ones. When I did, my right earlobe wouldn’t cooperated.
Life can be hard sometimes. You have all these intentions. BUT habits and wounds go deep. They have their knives down to the hilt in you. They don’t like letting go. I battle every day to do/react different. So every day I will get up and put makeup on. Every day I will stand naked in front of the mirror and say, I love you. That would be a selfie. LOL I’m more comfortable in shades or doing my feet. Somehow, feet are not as vulnerable.
Enough mumbling for today. Tomorrow is another new beginning, another new page. What is on your page today?
I HAD so many good intentions of doing this morning. It’s like that every morning. And no surprise, the day is gone and so are my intentions. Not that I’ve been sitting on my ass all day. I always feel this sense of procrastination. It feels as if I’m waiting for disaster to hit but I’m a deer in headlights – unable to move. I’m at a standstill. This is the usual place where the desire for another cup of tea is paramount. Instead, let me rise and put my immediate space in order.
It is the next morning, Easter Sunday. I am here with my tea. I’m still that deer in headlights. I am angry with myself. I feel the toxic fumes of those feelings. I don’t like it so I’m releasing my anger valve much like opening the vent on the pressure cooker. Hissss. Take another sip of your tea. Tap a little more on the keyboard. Be a little more mindful. Be a spark in the dark. You are doing the best you can.
I will rise from my discomfort. I will let go of my self judgement. I will sip my tea and tap out the words. I will pass STOP.
The mornings are still dark as night and my urge to rise and shine is low. Even so I try to put my head and heart in their right space. It’s 2014, a new year full of blank pages to be filled as I desire. Sure, there are unforseen things and circumstances ahead but it is I who has to set the intentions of where I wish to go.
So let me look forward to 2014 and set my intentions for health, happiness and prosperity. I KNOW that if I have my health, it will lead to the other two. And what better time to renew my intention to practice the 4 Agreements than now?
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.
Four seemingly simple statements but they are so powerful. They can set me free. So let me remember and return to them again and again. I am but human and will falter again and again. But I will always do my best.