Here it is, after six, and I have no words or thoughts on the page. They’re all in my head. I have conversations and tell stories there all day long. They keep me company. I’m never lonely. It is a good thing. It is tough enough to have SAD but at least I can entertain myself and not to fight loneliness as well.
I don’t want to leave you with an impression that I am having a bad time all the time. I am not. There’s some positive things about having seasonal affective disorder. Honest, there is. For sure I struggle with sleepiness, sluggishness, moodiness, forgetfulness, anxiety and depression. But what and who would I be without those struggles? I am one who does not/cannot stay in the undesirable and unsustainable. My instinct for survival always makes me reach up and out for the light.
I can say that this life of mine is exciting and full. My life is my canvass and palette. I am the artist. I can choose what I want to create. I can choose the colours. Is it gold or blue? Does it have to be black and white? Can I make a rainbow? Would I be able to paint those colours if I have not experienced them all? So I do not mind being in the blues or the darkest of the blacks. I have also felt the goldens and tangerines. I’m always learning. I am always open to the way. I try not to question too much. I don’t have to understand how things work. I can just do it.
When the spirit doesn’t move me, I have to work hard at everything. I worked hard to get here, in the chair, in front of the keyboard and onto the page. I feel ravaged by inertia and sleeping sickness. I have often wondered at this condition. Why is it so difficult? Through this fog, I do have awareness of wants and ambitions. But why is it so hard to even bend down and pick up a piece of paper off the floor? There are no logical answers to this malady. I’m trying to suck it up and tell myself JUST DO IT. Sometimes it works.
Ah, the sun has decided to come out. Can you believe it is cold today? I turned on the furnace this morning even if it is still August. No point in shivering and suffering. I know, it was only a couple of weeks ago, it was 38 degrees Celsius. I didn’t turn on the AC. Sheba and I kept cool in the basement. I saved then so I can splurge today. I set the thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Hardly overheating. Just enough to keep my teeth from chattering.
I’m probably being hard on myself again. After all, didn’t I go to my morning exercise class yesterday? Only 3 of us showed up. I really didn’t feel like going. I put on my gear right after breakfast to make it more likely. Then there’s my motto, I don’t have to like it. It’s the time I most need exercise. I was happy that I showed up. I put in a concerted effort to make up for my absent classmates. I worked up a good sweat and hopefully burnt off lots of calories.
I’ve been experiencing a few heebie jeebies lately. Do you get them? It feels as if someone is walking over my grave. I haven’t had them for quite awhile. I’ve forgotten about them. They’re a reminder that it is late August. They days are getting shorter. The light is changing. I’m a very weather sensitive person. Even if it is a cloudy day, I do feel better outside. It is as if something is lifted off me when I step out the door. Even though it wasn’t an inviting thought, I took Sheba to the off-leash dog park yesterday. I knew exercise and outdoor light would sooth away the heebie jeebies.
Now I must go and attend to my bills. I have been negligent this month. The result was $40 interest on my charge card. It’s enough incentive for me to buckle up and pull up my socks and do what I have to do. HBS – Heavy big sigh.
Strange times. I have to sit and chew on it for a bit. Sheba and I have just returned from our walk. It is WARM out there all of a sudden. Most of the snow are gone. I’m hot and sweaty, tapping a few words waiting for the water to boil for a cuppa of decaf. I’m cutting back on my tea consumption. Too much of a good thing was making my bladder crazy. I wonder why I have this addiction to Orange Pekoe tea. The more I drink, the more I crave it. Limiting myself to two cups a day seem to be helping – the bladder and the craving.
This feeling of craving is such a curious thing. The more I give in to it, the worse it gets. It’s a good thing that it’s only Orange Pekoe tea. Imagine the consequences if it is something else, like sugar. Maybe that was part of it, too. I like my tea sweetened with honey. So far, so good. I’ve kept to the 2-cup limit for a week now. No more craving. This principle probably applies to other things as well. It is wise to practice balance in all things. I will pay more attention from now on. I am sure I have the addict archetype in me.
It’s the next day, Saturday. My tap ran dry yesterday. I’m back to finish though today I’ve been taken over by sleepiness and idleness. I hope I can find a few interesting words and ideas. I could just do my usual mutterings. I am cured of the need ‘to do and accomplish’ for the time being. But it’s not good either to give in to languishing. I’m feeling as if I’ve grown roots into the loveseat. I’m still in my pjs though it is almost 3 pm. Soon I have to get dressed for a walk with Sheba. In the meantime let me enjoy my decaf and tap out a few more words.
It’s been a long while since I’ve felt this ease and peace within. Everything is working. I’m not fighting anyone or anything. I see all my ducks lined up in a row. How is it that life seems so easy in this moment? It could be that I took some care to clear, clean and organize my living surroundings. Cleanliness is next to holiness. It’s not that I can eat off the floors yet. But soon! And that what needs to be dealt with are, and not hidden beneath the piles. That never worked anyways. Things may be hidden from physical sight but they were just festering beneath the skin. So how could I have peace of mind when they were worming within?
Now that I have learned a few lessons, I hope I won’t slide back to my old ways of ‘later’. It’s much easier to JUST DO IT now. I’ll just sit back and breathe in this new feeling. It will help to keep me on track.
The trick with getting anything done is making a beginning. Elementary, my dear, you say. It is at that but a very important elementary point. So we’ve begun, Sheba and I. It is 2:59, not quite 3:00 pm. She rises and whimpers. I said no. Down. She does. We are both sitting, she on all fours, me on the chair. We will wait it out. The minute passes. She rises on her fours. I continue to sit and tap. Patience is a virtue. So is discipline.
I could easily become a hermit given my disposition and inclinations. I know very well it is not healthy to isolate myself socially. I was also brought up and trained to to live properly. Those things have saved me from myself. I always try to do the right thing or else it would nag at me. Even having bad improper thoughts gnaw at my conscience. I could never be a thief but I have sinned.
Sheba passed her test. 3:10 and I reward her with her supper. She is getting it. Obedience and Patience = food. I’m getting it, too. Consistency and Patience = success. Our successes comes slowly and in increments, sometimes sliding back and forth. The furry princess tries and does get on my nerve in the afternoons. At 11 years old she is still full of vim and vinegar. After eating, she energetically humps her bed. Then she wants to play, insisting that I play toss her squeaky toys with her. What a mad house! I lose my patience.
That’s how it is at our house. Most mornings I’m not geared up or look forward to doing anything. Today is a Wednesday, an exercise day. I have breakfast, pack my gym bag, vacuum a room or two and head off to the YWCA. I’m trained by habit and routine. It’s not a big deal or painful as in the beginning. Some ruts are healthy. It get things done. I repeat this every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Sometimes I bored myself writing every day. What could I possibly have to say – every day. It’s a discipline I want to keep up – within reason, of course. It gives me clarity and direction. I hope I am not boring you. I write mostly for myself but I do appreciate the support and readership. I’m now pushing and struggling to increase the length and the quality of my writing. I’m doing the best I can. Today is not a day when words flow. They come slowly after much thought.
Another daily practice I’m doing is my art. It has been dormant many, many years. It came alive last year much to my own surprise. It has been mostly talk on my part. You know how it goes. It’s my passion but I was too this and that – all the usual excuses. It takes very little time to pick up a pencil or a paint brush and art. So that’s what I do every day, a little practice. It takes minutes sometimes, an hour another day. The thing is to begin and do it. I admit starting can be difficult. I just do it.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
The words of William Wordsworth published in 1807. They very much describe what we are experiencing today. How strange that Wordsworth felt much the same – way back then!
The world is too much with me. It follows me wherever I go – all the news, good and bad. They seem to find me, no matter where I am, from every corner of the globe. I have no time or space to rest from all the restlessness of the world. I am connected all the time. I hear the good, bad and the ugly. I hear truths and I hear lies. I like to turn it off but I am addicted. I want to be in the real world, to be grounded and rooted like the big tree across the street.
But I am hooked, addicted to my little gizmo that glows in the dark. It vibrates though I thought I had shut it up. It wants to tell me everything. The world is too much with me. My brain is on fire with too much information. I see and hear all evil. I want it to stop. How do I start? What gods do I call up to give me strength and the will? Can I beseech the moon and the stars above or do I JUST DO IT?
I love Saturdays. This morning was especially beautiful. The streets were still wet from the rain of last night. The rain clouds were lingering while the sun shone between them. The trees were in their dress of gold and orange. I felt awed as I drove towards YWCA for my swim.
Strange that I feel more tired after getting back my sleep. I almost didn’t go for my swim except that Saturday mornings was the time I mostly likely will get a lane to myself. So I gave myself a mental push, got the get up and went. Glad that I did. I had a lane to myself. I had a great swim. I had one of those aha-break through moments.
I felt I was gliding with my backstroke instead of my usual struggling to get to the other end. It felt effortless. It was blissful. I was happy that I came. Later back at home, I learned that I have been using Mel Robbins’ 5 second rule. Even though I didn’t feel like swimming, I did it anyways. I got up and went just as I have been getting up, dressing up and showing up regardless every day. I didn’t consciously count backwards – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – go. Our brain is not wired wanting to change. We never feel like exercising or wanting to do. We just have to do it. So hurray for me for stumbling onto something that works.
Day 176, January 18, 2017 @5:21 pm
January is moving slowly for me. It’s been a harsh month of fluctuating temperatures. Can you believe that it was -45 degrees C with the windchill just a week or two ago. Today, the high is 7 degrees C. Right now it is still a balmy 6 degrees. It is melting. No point in complaining because someone is sure to tell me that nothing makes me happy.
They would be right! This weather is draining my energy. My legs feel like giant heavy logs. My feet like I’m wearing weighty steel-toed shoes as I drag through the slush with Sheba in toe. Every day in January it seems I’m moaning and groaning about something. I can’t talk, meditate or kick myself out of it. I bitch and complain but life still has to be lived. So I just do it. Sheba and I have to walk. We just do it.
We are back from our walk. I take the garbage bin to the front curb. It is garbage day tomorrow. The snow is melting. The backyard is a mess with Sheba’s poop littered here and there. I sigh a great big sigh. I feel exhausted, disgusted and not at all inclined to do it. BUT it does not pick itself. Sheba is not trained to pick up after herself. It’s NOT going away. I might as well JUST DO IT! Okay. It’s DONE – two bags of it! Ugh!