I should listen to my own advice about starting. It’s not that I don’t want to. Sometimes I have to go through the period of being stalled, being hung in limbo, midair, not wanting to commit. Call it what you will. Maybe it’s my ritual of some sort. It’s good to have rest periods. I do feel an obligation not to waste time, to fill every moment of useful doings.
I’ve been caught in the limbo of not doing for days now. Every evening I catch myself saying, I will start in the morning. In the morning I find it is so much easier to sink into tomorrow is another day. It’s not that I’ve been a couch potato. On the contrary I’ve been on the ‘busy routine’ of living every day, doing the famous ‘busy stuff’ that everyone does.
It’s not that I have so many important things to do or to contribute. It’s that I’ve been stuck in the cul-de-sac of lassitude, of not caring, of not having meaning, of not being important, of not being present. Perhaps it is called feeling sorry for myself or being in a depressive mood. My favourite excuse is that summer is not my favourite season. It brings out not so good memories of growing up in small town Saskatchewan. Everyone in town goes away to the lake or wherever on holidays, except the Chinese people who has the cafe. Oh, I remember those hot summer days of watching flies drone against the window screen and looking out at the empty dusty streets.
It’s strange how memories live in the very marrow of me. They are hidden deep inside and seep out on hot summer days. No need to worry about me. It’s just the way I talk/write. It’s healthy to be curious and investigate my feelings. It’s good to lay them down on the page in black and white. These ebb and flow of feelings are part of being alive. Feelings come and go like the tide. It’s like breathing in and out. Some are good and some not so. I’m still learning to accept them all, to sit with them as I must.
I’ve been reading Pema Chodron’s The Places That Scare You. I’m learning about Bodhichitta, being a warrior and staying in those scary places. It’s helping me to finally relax into life and not take things so seriously. Life is serious but things are not. I’m seeing the light now. Times when I don’t will come again. I have the words now. They could go away tomorrow. It’s all a cyle, the yin and the yan. That’s what I know for sure.
I feel like I’ve been munching through the month of January. And I have. It’s not a serious problem yet. I can still get into my clothes and the month is almost over. This January has been HARD. I hear other testimonies to that fact. It is not just me. I’m fortunate that at least I’ve been physically well. I do take care that I am. Despite however and whatever my mood may be, I’m out walking Sheba every day. Thank God for our fur babies. I’m not at all sure that I would walk on my own even in nice weather.
It’s a true wintry windy January today. The snow cling along the edges of the windows in the sunroom. It’s nice weather to wear those warm hand knit sweaters. Good to curl up with a book. I’ve curled too long. It’s hard to let go of a murder detective story. I’m bad again, skipping ahead. I have no patience. I can’t seem to help myself but it was just a few pages. I didn’t skip to the end. But my head is messed up. My tapping is not rhythmic. I feel another snack urge coming up. I better make a cup of decaf.
I’m back with my coffee, toast and jam. I’m lacking in resolve and determination. Once an idea/urge comes, I can’t resist. My coffee is black and just a smear of butter and jam on my toast. I do things sparingly. It’s my natural tendency. Maybe it’s to compensate my lack of will. Will, resolve, determination – those words are so harsh for January. That’s why New Year Resolutions mostly fail. They should be allocated to a month that is more gentle and conducive to success.
I’m not completely spineless though I felt so this morning. It was so wind swept ( 50mph with gust 61mph) and dull. I gave into my feelings of lassitude. I experienced and luxuriated in all the sensations that came with it. There, I got it out of the way! Funny how my feelings can deceive me. Though I was moving at the speed of a wet noodle, I did not fall behind. I put in a new zipper in the guy’s jacket, saving him $40 if done professionally. And I used my new Bernina. First I had to google how to sew a zipper on a Bermina. Then I consulted my manual. I had forgotten how to turn it on. I am pretty damn pleased with the result. And I had lunch ready on the table at the regular time. Pretty amazing to me!
I have to say along with my virtual spiritual counsellor, Caroline Myss, that this is the happiness time of my life. That’s big considering I haven’t felt such a difficult January as this one. I’ve felt more bad and moody this last month than previously. The difference this time is that I have access to a pause button. In that pause I choose my reaction. Some pauses are longer than others. Sometimes I have to chew on things for awhile.
I am thriving in my now. I have the ability to choose. I love Wayne Dyer’s quote: If you change the way you look at things, the things you look change. It took me a long time to experience that change. The change has loosen me up to be more creative and objective. I am not as judgemental. I am excitingly experimenting with creative mediums – paints, words, fabrics, yarn, cooking, silence, habits. Good habits are great substitutes for will, resolve and determination. The worn path developed is not such a struggle to travel in the month of January.
Lassitude is painful and difficult to overcome, especially if the dog is barking incessantly at you. My brain is already foggy and spongy like a swamp. Her noise adds another layer of mud to it. I had to bribe her with a chew.
I am trying to get back to my words. Not trying to recover lost ground but to start from where I am. Today is day 261 of my year of doing different. I have been absent here for 21 days. Life happens. I’ve been busy. I’m trying to be flexible. I have so many reasons and excuses. The thing is I haven’t shown up here though I’ve been marking my journey on Instagram. If you are still following my year, you can still find me here on the Instagram sidebar.
My year has been full of ruts and repetitive errors. Change is difficult, even in thinking. It is most difficult in thinking because if we could think different, we could do different. With 100 days in the year, I’m paying more attention, putting a little more oomph into the push. I know I am changing, getting stronger bit by bit. I’ve pushed through some of my lassitude today, finishing some started projects. The trick is to set the intention and to do it now. That was what I did this morning. Instead of sitting and brooding, feeling my fatigue, I descended the stairs to my workspace. And here she is, my Petite Fille, almost finished.
A small success can give me a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. It can give me some momentum to take the laundry down, fold and put them away. And now to do the dishes.
It’s been such a long while since I’ve flexed these fingers over the keyboard. The movements have become awkward and unfamiliar. It’s like losing touch with one’s close friends. After awhile you find you have nothing to say to each other. You look at each other and wonder how it happened – this strange awkwardness. And so, I am sitting down with my old friend.
Can we get re-acquainted? Can I get the Midas touch and let the letters and words flow from my fingertips again? I hope so. It’s been lonely without words and pictures and stories they tell. There’s no reverberation. I only hear the sound of one hand clapping. It echoes in the canyon of my mind. You can hear a pin drop in its grey emptiness.
I rouse myself from the lassitude that I have fallen in. How I got here, I do not know. But it has lasted long enough. Time to get up, get dress and show up. Time for the words to march across the page to tell the stories. Time to show a little colour and life. There’s a person living on Preston Avenue. See how her vegetables and flowers overflow their beds and pots? See the brilliance of the greens, pinks, blues and purples? Then there is the orange of the lilies, blooming in defiance of the drought. We are having a very dry summer. Forest fires are raging up north and the military have stepped in to help.
The morning is beautiful. The smoke has cleared and the sun is coming through. Won’t you step around to the back and see what I have growing there? There’s peas in the pod, grapes on the vine, the scarlet runners climbing the tower, green tomatoes and little cucumbers. The broccoli is flowering and cabbages forming under cover. The petunias are nodding their approval from above.
Oh, there’s the Bing Cherry bush, too. It’s covered with fruit. Sheba has discovered she likes sleeping outdoors and made her bed beneath it. I wonder what else she has discovered as she sleeps with nature in the night. Maybe if I can quiet my mind and open my heart, they will come to me.
I’ve finally made the call! It does relieve those ugly feelings that accompany procrastination. They don’t feel like butterflies but bricks in the stomach, weighing me down. It’s hard to unload them. I do not understand the whys and wherefores of it but I do recognize the feelings of lassitude that encompasses me when I am putting things off.
Procrastination is one of those things like New Year’s resolutions that can’t be conquered or kept. And like love, there ain’t no cure. In my mind, it’s senseless to waste energy trying to understand and conquer. It’s better to use my energy in a way that will get results.
I have to prioritize things that need doing. Then I have to break it down into steps to accomplish the deed.
My car’s tailgate is corroded and needs a paint job. The recall letter from Honda came last April.
My car has already been in to the dealer. Tailgate photographed.
It takes 4 days to do the job. I need to phone to make an appointment.
Pick up phone to make appointment
It’s really pretty easy to pick up the phone and dial, and yet it was not. I had to fight back those feelings of “I don’t want to’s” and an uncomfortable feeling of unidentifiable origin. I stretched and stretched and finally did it.
The appointed day is June 23rd. It is marked in my calendar. It is a small victory. I might even read my book on procrastination. I’ve had it long enough!