So here is the thing. Life is full of distractions. My attention span is getting shorter and shorter. I often don’t follow up on my plans and practices. It’s part of my humanness. But here I am, showing up again. This must be part of the practice. I’ve given up on perfection. It’s hard to maintain. It is not possible. There is a flaw in me, everybody and everything else. It is part of the universal struggle. Life and nature happens. That is the law. There is no blame.
I am struggling these August days. Mornings are darker and cooler. I miss the light and warmth of those summer days when the sun rises by 5:00 am. Then, my sunroom was bathed in bright light and warmth. I was infused with its warmth and brightness. My unease is a response, a signal that autumn is on the heels of summer. No need to worry or panic. It is my nature’s response to the shortening of the days and lengthening of the nights. I’ve been this way forever and a day.
It is time for me to accept and come to terms with this part of me. I have. I’m doing so much better after having Sheba in my life. Her physical leaving was difficult but it is nature’s cycle of life and death. Nothing can change that. And so I grieve and miss her. Some days more than others. Then the grief changes. It grows softer and I’m left with those tender precious memory of her spirit and our time together. I sift through the lessons learned and strength gained.
I raised her from scratch at 2 months old – with just one book from the library and a largest dog crate from PetSmart. Boy, it was a tough go for quite awhile. I expected a puppy to have breakfast and walk together with. I did have that but it took years instead of days. There were so many days that I would moan and groan. There were many days that I almost gave up. Her beauty and brain were her saving grace.
She was so pretty. She would shake a paw and then the other paw. She could crawl and roll over in no time. But she did jumped alot and was scared of everything. I knew nothing of dogs. I knew nothing of a Border Collie Lab mix. Sheba was that EverReady Bunny. We did alot of walking. We went to off leash parks. We got into trouble here and there. I lost 20 pounds with all that exercise. In the end, she and I were a perfect pair, soul mates. She taught me the rewards of patience and stick-with-it-ness.
I’ve come full circle. I am dogless, Sheba-less. I’m not quite the same though. I am stronger and more accepting of how things are. I am more accepting of how I am. I cannot force myself or others to be other than what we are. But I can change the way I think and see. I can choose to see my glass half full instead of half empty. I can accept my vulnerabilities and work with them instead of fighting against my natural tendencies. It’s sticking with me now. I now longer run away from my shadow self.
Someone once said, Life doesn’t get any better than this. Now, in this very minute, I’m saying it, too. It’s summer time and the living is easy. I’m sitting in front of the herb spiral, sipping tea, eating cherries and tapping on the keyboard. Soon the sun will chase me into another shady spot. Let me see if I can set up my old patio umbrella. It’s been mostly sitting in the garage gathering dust all these years. I’ve only used it to give Sheba some shade in her dog run when she was a puppy, the run she’s hardly used. It’s been converted into the guy’s bicycle shed long since.
It didn’t take long to find the umbrella and the base. Took a bit of sweat to set up. I filled the base with water to give it some weight. It didn’t work. It needed to be in the center of a table to prevent it from tipping over. My table does not have a hole anywhere. What and how to do? I lugged the set up behind the bench. It tipped and leaned against the bench. Perfect! Except I didn’t expect it to tip sideways. Good thing I wasn’t sitting underneath it at the time. So much for my effort. Just dust and sweat but nothing ventured, nothing gained. I will have to wait till the sailor gets home to figure something out.
I’m chased indoors. The sun kept playing peekaboo. It was too exasperating.
Afternoons are not my best. Everything goes south. I am tired and disorganized. It’s when the cluttering happens. I’m incapable of putting things away. I throw and toss things in where they fit. I pay for it eventually – like last evening. The ice cream was calling me earlier than usual. A good thing because the fridge freezer was covered in hoar frost. I had my ice cream first before I could tackle the icy mess. It had occurred to me that I could be creating disaster for myself by my mindless tossing things in, cramming when necessary.
No harm done except loss of time and energy. I have learned from it. Mornings are my best times when my mind is more quiet and I can think clearer. Best to use it to plan, prioritize and make lists of what and when to do them. So today is the first day of the rest of my life. It’s morning again. I’m sitting in the morning shade, in front of my little monk again. There’s a lovely breeze blowing. There’s children’s laughter from the daycare. There’s the sound of traffic.
Things almost feel normal again but would I want that normal back? I don’t think so, even if it is possible. I’m learning to be peaceful with things as they evolve and as they are. Though I still shed tears over Sheba, I am at peace with her passing. I am comfortable with her physical absence. She is with me in my heart. As for the woman next door, I am learning to disengage from her energy. She has a disorder, I don’t. It isn’t about me.
So ends another post for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I haven’t shown up every day though I try. I try not to be rigid and fixated on being perfect. That’s something I learned from the woman next door – her fixation on a weedless yard and perfectly clean driveway. Yesterday she was out with her leaf blower, blowing whatever she has on her driveway, sidewalk and even the sidewalk of the next house. There were some workmen tearing down the old siding. She even blew under their truck parked on their driveway. What I felt was sadness for her.
Some dreary November days, I feel a pang of depression passing through me. It’s akin to someone walking over my grave. I paid it due attention. I don’t like it. I feel my lips curling up with contempt. How dare it come to disturb me? I let it register itself in my body for a moment. I hate it. I will not let it take residence in me. It has to leave. I show it the door.
Some days I am the master of my mansion. There have been days when I have not. I have not always been the captain of my life. I have been adrift upon the open sea without an anchor. It’s taken me this long to see it but it IS better late than never. Now I can invest in some anchors, a compass to find the true north, a GPS to show me routes to my desired destination. It’s not too late. It’s not over till it’s over.
Getting lost is not the worse thing, the end of the world. I have learned many lessons in my years of floundering in the wilderness. For one thing, I would get lost less often if I had a map and a plan of how I was to get to point A or B. For another, letting lost was exactly the thing for me to do. There was a pot of gold waiting for me along the wrong round about. Maybe all roads do lead to Rome.
To tell the truth, I’ve never been bothered much being lost. I was comfortable and at home with it because I am lost all the time. In the same way, I am not bothered much by regrets. For sure, I moan alot like everybody else, that I wish I had done things differently. But now, here, in this moment, I know that if I could have done something else, I WOULD have. I have done the best I could in every moment of my life. I know that. I am happy with myself and my life. It doesn’t get any better than this.
My two pairs of pants are shortened and hemmed. Hallelujah! Miracles do happen. It was not so difficult after all. I need not have waited 20 years to do it. Lesson learned. Nothing happens when I am frozen with overwhelmed and indecision. They hung in the closet, gathering dust. So any action, even if it is not the best or perfect, is better than none. Now that I’ve tried them on, I think they’re a tad too short. They’re tighter than when I tried them on last week. Ah, the waxing and waning of the waist line! They might have to go into the donation bag after all. But I will see. I can still let the hem down a bit on each. Maybe I can suck in my tummy. More work but that’s what I get for not trying them on after pinning. Another lesson learned. So many damn lessons!
That was a few days ago. I ran out of steam and words after that short conversation. That’s how it is. Now I’m back to continue. That is the secret – to keep coming back. Life is not smooth sailing. It’s full of starts, delays, holdups, detours, rerouting, restarting, etc. My garden is the same this year. We had hardly any rain till these last weeks in June. Even the weeds were not growing. There was the cool temperatures. Everything was slow. Then there were the birds and bugs that ate what did come up. I lost half a bed of broccoli and 2 rows of beans never showed. Peas and carrots are seeded in the empty spaces. But my bed of greens is excellent. We had plenty of spinach and lettuce. The spinach is done and new seeds put in for a second crop. The onions are standing straight and tall. The kale is coming up.
So that’s how things are. Some things thrive. Some don’t. There’s evil in the world but there’s also alot of good. Just when I’m really down and despondent about our humanity, I learn of people with huge loving hearts and great courage. Trevor Green’s story moved me to tears. Then there’s Melissa Fung’s speaking On What We Owe. That made me put away my small troubles, for a little while at least, and think about the larger world. And I think again about what can I do to help.
April Fools’ Day and first day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. The participants are called upon to write a post a day for the month. I am still on standby mode, having difficulty to move boldly forward. I am hoping the challenge will snap me to attention and breathe some life into me. I have such difficulties with all of life on any given day. But I do try my best on most days.
I do not always succeed to rise above myself. Therefore I’ve learned to accept my failings as well. I do not stay down though. I do rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of my failures. I take the lessons learned and apply them to my new endeavours. Each day is a new beginning, a new slate. A failure is an experience, gained knowledge and wisdom. Nothing is wasted. Every effort is rewarded somehow. I am never hopeless.
What are some of my lessons learned?
I am not a high energy person. I cannot multi task. I cannot take on too much on any given day. It is wasted time and energy if I do.
I have an ADHD brain. It is just a great
big mess. I have problems with executive function – especially in managing paperwork and finances, creating schedules and meeting deadlines, checking details and tracking progress, ensuring consistent, steady, uniform output.
I know what I’m suppose to do. I just can’t do it. I need to sit down and write out a plan. I just haven’t done it yet. I need to start small to get going.
I’ve probably said all this last month. I’ve said it again this month. There’s no better time to actually do it than the present time. April is the hardest and cruelest month, a month of challenges, goal setting and doing what I said I would.