UNPUGGLING

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I’ve been feeling bitchy and grouchy as hell of late. I haven’t been my old positive I can conquer the world self for a long time. Instead, I am quite critical, pessimistic and cynical. I don’t like this version of myself at all. I rather liked my old Pollyanna-ish, I believe in everything and everybody self. But Polly doesn’t live here anymore. There is no way of getting her back. I try not to act out on my inner feelings but to dissipate them on the keyboard. I don’t want to infect my immediate environment with my negativity. If turning off a malfunctioning device works, might it not work for me? In the words of Ann Lamott:

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

I shall unplug my overworking brain and sympathetic system or is it the parasympathetic system as best I can. Just like I can’t handle too many people in my life, I can’t handle alot of activity. I would like to be a party girl because party girls seem to have so much more fun. Alas, I am not built that way. However much I envy all their popularity, glammer and glitter, I hate it. I love alone, quiet and seemingly boring stuff. I love the time here, rhymically tapping out the keys, finding the words and sentences. It has been a long time since I fell in love with a new word though. The last one was copacetic a million years ago. I haven’t used it for the same amount of time. What has happened to me?

I guess Covid hasn’t helped but I can’t lay the whole blame on it. It brought many changes. Well, it stopped us/me in our tracks. It is certainly making me think of the global world and how we have been living. It’s too big a topic to discuss right here, right now. Maybe I can post some thoughts after I have finished my online course on “Imagining a Post Pandemic World” from the University of Saskatchewan. It’s wonderful how much technology has advanced that I have the option of taking this class without having to catch a bus or find parking if I drive. On the other hand, I believe technology has helped to decrease my attention span. I want things to happen faster and faster. Now I have little patience in sitting through and watching a long instructional/educational video. It’s a Catch-22.

For now I am appreciating the positives of technology. It gives me the ability to sit here and have this conversation. My tapping soothes my brain and I am able to unplug parts of it that are fussing and fretting over the small bugs in my life. I am able to suspend critiquing and passing judgement on myself. Instead my thoughts have been otherwise engaged, even if just for a short while. It’s a good rest.

THE HEART OF THE MATTER

One of my problems is that I have to get to the root of everything. I’m obsessive about it. I dig and dig, trying to get to the heart of the matter. Sometimes it does me in. I’m worse off. There’s such a thing as knowing too much. I go into overwhelm. Another problem is it takes a long time for me to overcome an every day illness like a cold. These two are not a good combination. It comes as a no surprise now that it’s a huge battle for me. They take away much of my time and energy. Quite often I feel I’m robbed of huge chunks of life.

I see some of the error of my ways. I don’t have to get to the root of everything. They will be revealed to me in time. AND I do have a lot of knowledge already. I have to accept how my body heals. I cannot hurry it along. It goes into more stress and I into more distress. Everything gets worse and I go beserk. Not a good scenerio. Now I have learned to chill, just be in my usual mode of moping along, laying in the sun, sipping my tea, watching my navel, do a little of this, a little of that, and not trying to get anywhere. In essence, be the tortoise.

On the other hand, it is always good to rise to the challenge. I should not so readily accept my bodily’s inability or my mind’s disability without question. I should at least give it a good go without pushing too hard. There’s the rub, to have good judgement and to have balance. Upon rising in the morning, I drink my little cup of hot water with freshly squeezed lemon juice. I meditate to the voice of Mark Williams on Youtube. Then I listen/watch something educational and uplifting. This morning it was a lecture on Immunology 101 from the University of California. I have a passion for learning. I just need to keep in mind not to pursue it to the nth degree AND to put the knowledge into practice.

I’m coming out of my body and mind funk. The other night I gave up fretting, took a pain killer, laid on the couch and watched two episodes of Grace and Frankie. Comedy can be healing. Then I popped a sleeping pill and went to bed. Uninterrupted sleep is very healing. I’m not advocating medication but sometimes it is what I need to get over the hurdles. When all else fails, it is how I get over my over obsessive mind so that I can heal. Now that I’m unchained, I’m in a better place. I’m soaking up the sun in my space, tapping out my melody. Meanwhile it is cold out, baby. I don’t feel it, only the warm healing sun though the windows.

LET THE CLOCK TICK

January 3, 2019  1:04 pm

Rats! I’m losing this beautiful warm sunny day to a sleepless night. I have a few of them a year when I cannot catch even 30 minutes of sleep. I always struggle through half the night, trekking back and forth between bed, bathroom and couch. I gave up after 2 am and stayed on the couch, put on my earbuds and listened to Marci Shimoff’s Happy For No Reason. I was able to relax anyways, drifting in and out. I should have done it sooner. It’s always the hindsight of the should have.

By 6 am, the furry alarm clock was fussing, nudging me with her cold nose. I could ignore her for only a little while. It’s up and feeding her. Then she wants out to do her business and her impatient bark to come in when she was good and ready. It is one of those sleepless days when I’m too tired to stay awake but too wired to fall asleep. Talk about wasted days and wasted nights. I know exactly what that means.

I’m a little wiser, from experience, on what to and what not to do. Though I have a difficult time say no, I turned down my mother’s invitation to dim sum with the family. I couldn’t do it right away. I had to phone back. It wouldn’t be a good idea to be driving in my condition, especially with her and dad riding with me. Could my brother pick them up? I shouldn’t be surprised that he delivered some take out for me later. My mum cannot leave anybody out. She knows I love egg tarts and chicken feet.

I do feel most wretched but not enough to sleep. I’m feeling a bit sweaty and distraught. There’s no use in crying over spilt sleep. I will just have to sit/lay it out and not do anything stupid like driving or operating my Bernina. I will only create more trouble and havoc. I will be sorry like the time I tried to interview roofers for my parents’ damaged roof. I thought it would be harmless but I didn’t count on being so vulnerable. I could not be pressured to sign on the dotted line. I was wrong. I was lucky. I got out of it that time.

When I got a call from a funeral home this morning, I said no, there’s no chance even tomorrow that we could get together to talk about wills and estate planning. It’s tacky soliciting so soon in the new year. I already know I’m a procrastinator but I do have a will. I said I will call you if the need comes up.

I am tapping and sipping away here. I hope I still have a bit of judgement left. I hope I won’t saying anything inappropriate. My problem is I hate to waste time. My clock is ticking. I think I will let it tick. This is my wake up call. I have a headache and pain behind my left eye. I received this subscribed email from Jennifer Louden in my mailbox this morning. It’s a bit eery. The woman sounds just like me. I think I will take the fur baby for a short walk and fresh air.

  • Once upon a time, there was a woman who stood on the cusp of the new year and grinned.

    She grinned at all her past selves stretching behind her. Where once she would have judged those selves for their choices, now she bowed to them. They had brought her to this moment. Who would she be without them?

    She grinned too at all the Januarys of years past when she had started a diet or a written a long list of Big Hairy Goals or felt her heart contract with a hectic fantasy of needed achievement.

    She grinned at all the years she believed she had to do something, become something, fix something or someone.

    She grinned too at the ways she had once compared herself to others, forgetting the wholeness at the root of life and instead believing it mattered who made what and who got credit.

    She makes herself a cup of tea and curls up on the couch.

    Ah, how adorable she was.

    What is different now?

    She still desires to create, to write books, to make art, to earn money, to visit far-flung places, to work for social justice, to soften the parts of herself that clench and hide. Of course, she does.

    The difference, she realizes, is now she trusts herself to relax into the ever-present flow of life.

    She trusts herself to remember, again and again and then again, to open to love, to let life live her.

    She trusts life to carry her on a river of desire to ever greater intimacy with itself.

    She giggles. It all sounds rather silly and over-blown.

    But she feels the truth in her cells, this hard to put into words truth that life is something far bigger and richer and infinite than her plans and her thoughts and her funny story she has to do anything to be worthy.

    And with another grin, she lets life carry her out for a walk.

    Here’s to letting life animate, inspire, and carry you this year and every year.

    Love,
    Jen

    PS. My FREE Get Back to Creating Challenge: 5 Days to Find your Confident Flow is happening later this month! Sign up here to make sure you don’t miss out!


    twitter    •    pinterest    •    facebook
    PO Box 275, Niwot, CO 80504-9997


Send

IT IS GOOD ENOUGH

The sun came as ordered today. My bedding plants and I breathed a sigh of relief. Our world looks bright and hopeful once more. I don’t like change very much but nothing is constant. Even though I can try to hang onto things with tooth and nail, changes are happening all around me and to me. So I am learning to lean towards it rather than running away. Life is easier and better that way. I breathe easier and deeper accepting that which I cannot change.

What took me so long, eh? I don’t like to acknowledge that I could be wrong or that there is another way. There is always another way/side to everything. I see through so many shades and filters of my lens depending on what I want to see. I can use so many justifications to make everything sit copacitic with my heart and soul. I didn’t even know it until now.

Knowing that, I’m slower voicing my thoughts and opinions. I take longer to observe and reflect. There’s no hurry to form a judgement, is there? I’m going to blame my nursing profession again for some of my lacks. When you work in a hospital setting of life and death, there’s a crisis around every hallway. It’s STAT this, STAT that. You have to make quick decisions. It’s action and reaction, a snap of the fingers. I take all the stuff home. I treated everything like a crisis. Have to fix it right away. Right now, STAT!

Most of life is not a crisis. Many things and decisions can wait. Many decisions are not life and death. They don’t have to be THE perfect decison. I have to use my best judgement and pick one. Then I need to let go and not agonize over whether if it was THE best. Most of the time it does turn out to be the best.

I’m sitting in glory and ease, tap, tapping out gleefully in my moment. I’m experiencing the sweetness of a success. I had talked about my father losing all his PC Optimum points on his card yesterday. It took me quite a few phone calls and emails to straighten it out. It would have been much easier for me to give him the $20 and lie about recovering it from the company. I decided to follow through with one more phone call and one more email. Low and behold, I looked at his account online. It said, Welcome Sam. Your point balance is 9,146. It is short 5,000 points from what he thought. It is good enough. Better than 0.

It is a good enough day, too. It was 2 degrees Celsius this morning. Now it is 20 degrees. All the bedding plants are airing and sunning on the deck. I have seeded one raise bed with spinach, lettuce and kale. Crossing my fingers and toes they will germinate. The seeds had sat all winter on the deck. Life is like that. Not perfect. Not bad. Some sunshine. Some rain and lots of snow at times.

ANOTHER CUP OF TEA – STALLING AGGRAVATION

I would love another cup of tea. To get up and put on the kettle gives me a break from what ever I am doing. My pains are still with me. Tylenol Extra Strength does work but it takes only some of the edges off. So I can only work at one thing in short spurts. Staying too long, concentrating too much makes my body want to scream. So another cup of tea, a few brush strokes, a few sentences here and there and getting up, breathing in between.

It was a long in-be-tween! Another cup of tea and dim sim with my family and I’m back, sitting here again. But I think I will have to pause for that cuppa again and a Tylenol 3. Strange weather we are having. Right now it is -8 C. The sun is shining. It does not feel like January but more like March. I should not complain but I am. Nothing is like it used to be. I don’t like it. I am having a tantrum. I better go make that cup of tea.

I’m more wary and conscious what aggravates and what eases my discomfort. Tantrums certainly aggravates and stalls me. I am learning to note its presence and let it go. Sheba’s loud barking makes me crazy. We go for an earlier walk. It’s saves both our lives. Walking in sunshine is much pleasanter. I will adopt this new time. Messy floor with dog hair intensifies everything. Having the Dyson stick makes life much easier. Clutter makes me want to pull my hair out. It will be my physiotherapy to find homes and put things away. There is a reason for everything that happens. It’s one way of looking at it besides letting it bring me down.

The pain has its attributes. It slows everything down for me. In a way it makes me more observant and deliberate.  It keeps me quiet, blocks out judgement and keeps the critical eye at bay. I save all my observations for later, when I am in a better frame of mind. It is safer, too. Pain can colour perceptions. I don’t want to make any decisions or voice any judgements under its cloud. Be safe. Clearly my mind is not at its best today. I’ve lost focus and direction of where this is going. But no matter. I am showing up as best as I can. I’m

 

 

WHAT DOES IT MATTER?

 

I’m so irritated with others and myself lately. I wonder why it matters to me when someone is frequently late for a class. I’m not the one that is losing out. If the instructor is not voicing any objections, what does it matter – to me? Who am I to criticize? Am I so perfect? The question gave me reason to pause. I find myself applying that question to other situations and other people. It’s giving me great discomfort and dissatisfaction with myself.

Having asked the question, I am now conscious as they say. I’m trying to be less judgemental about situations and people. The problem is, it is having the opposite effect. I’m getting more and more judgemental instead. I am also getting a tad angry. It’s a good thing that I like talking on the keyboard. It’s soothing to see my thoughts march across the page without interruption from the sidelines. If there are other voices more valid than my own, I’m not hearing it. Ha! Take that, goody two shoes. I own up to my shortcomings. Do you?

There, I do feel better. It’s good to get things off my chest, not that I have a lot there. The dog is behaving better. It is 2:39 pm and she ‘s sleeping peacely on her bed. I am happy some of my efforts are working. She is not fussing for her supper yet. Consistency does matter in this case. I’ve been disciplining her to wait and not push the clock ahead for her supper. I used to give in to her demands frequently. She has been training us. Now it is time to take it back.

Yup, it is time to take it back – the control of my thoughts. In this world everything, big or small matters. The tiniest pebble can cause huge ripples that reverberates to the other side of the world. What anyone does affects the whole. Yet in the grand scheme of things, nothing really matters. Your life can be gone in an instant. So what does it matter if … and if….?

So, I shall sweat it no more. Some questions have no answers and some problems have no solutions. I have to give up my demands for them. Better that I spend the time pursuing excellence in living. It seems to my cynical and pessimistic view that the world has gone to hell in a handbasket. I don’t think I’m the only one. Here’s an interesting article about the future of humanity. I’ve only glanced through it. I’m too scared to read the whole thing.

I’m not above hiding my head in the sand, putting off bad news for awhile if not forever. These days I have my head in John Irving’s Last Night in Twisted River. I love getting lost in thick books with strong, memorable characters. I love stories of times before emails and text messages, Facebook and other social media. Things seem more real back then. Perception is everything when everything and nothing matters.

Don’t get me wrong. I like my electronics and am as addicted to them as the next person. They can be wonderful tools. I’ve learned how to cook through Google. Social Media is wonderful for socializing and making friends. Sometimes I am confused when I see complaints about them. Don’t people know it is really we who decides how we use them, how much or how little? Ok, enough. I’m tired of my voice.

PS: Sheba was right on the money. She woke at 3 pm on the dot and said supper time!

MY NEIGHBOUR’S KEEPER

IMG_5013

Be the change you want to see.  -Mahatma Gandhi

I am once again struggling to be better than what I am.  I am trying hard, to rise above myself, not to go where I have gone before….in judgement, righteousness, anger.  This being Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, I am setting on a new course, a new way of behaving.  I am being the light I want to see.

I see the snow from my neighbour’s garage heaped upon my garden.  Already I know that there will be flooding under my deck this spring without the extra helping.  I do feel a sense of resignation.  How many times have I already asked her not to help me out with her snow, even though she thinks she is doing me a favour?  But I see her hanyman on the roof and call out to him.  He would not acknowledge me till my second attempt, stating he will clean it up.

I was happy to hear that.  Sounded too easy.  It was too easy.  The cleanup was this.

IMG_5049

What to do?  I refuse to go to anger.  I have been there too many times already.  Each time I go there, I hurt myself more.  I poison myself more.  I reach into myself, remembering the first lesson from a Course in Miracles, and I say:

This pile of snow does not mean anything.  That house next door does not mean anything.  That person does not mean anything.  All these things does not mean anything.

My feelings of helplessness and resignation dissipate.  I see my neighbour’s face from my kitchen window.  She sees me.  Our eyes meet.  Her face is full of darkness.  I do not want to add to her darkness.  I do not want to feel her darkness.  I am not her keeper.

The snow will melt.  Maybe there will be flooding.  Maybe my foundation and basement flooring will get damaged again.  Those can be repaired.  Darkness in the soul cannot be so easily remedied.  Let me walk in light.