When I think of June, the Monarch butterfly pops into my mind’s eye. I wonder if that’s when they get back to Canada from Mexico. Upon googling them, I learn that it takes 4 generations for them to get back. Meaning the ones that left are not the same ones that came back. Their life cycle and metamorphosis are fascinating.
I am considering using the month of June as a time to go through my own metamorphosis. I am not satisfied nor content with my present self. It make no sense in staying in an undesirable state. So slowly I have begun to observe all of myself and life critically without judgement. It’s not like me to be silent and non reactionary but I think it is necessary for me to be so in this process. It’s going to be very difficult, no doubt about that. I’m game though. Wish me lots of luck.
I’m at the chrysalis stage. I’ve been studying, gathering and preparing a long time. I have a lot of knowledge and tools, so far not put to use. So I’m still locked in my cocoon, waiting.
There’s not much of May left. I thought I better make time for some thoughts and reflections. My heart and mind are not co-operating. They are not peaceful or restful. Hurry up, hurry up is reverberating through my head. This heart of mine is on a fast beat. I feel restless and unsettled. I did the 18 movements of my Quigong routine to soothe it. Perhaps I should have drank chamomile instead of ginseng tea. Ginseng seemed like a good idea at the time. I thought it would give me more energy and concentration and I do have a lot of ginseng.
No matter. I need to get on with the program. The rhythmic tapping of the keyboard seems to be helping. It’s like acupressure for my fingertips. Do whatever works is my motto. The simpler the better. And don’t overthink everything. I am good at thinking up solutions but it’s another to follow through. Isn’t that true for most of us? We know what we’re suppose to be doing for our own good and the good of others and the world. Knowing and doing are two different things. I’m working on bringing the two together.
It’s no easy task. And today it is especially difficult as my brain is all over the place. It is hard to focus, to pay attention to the now. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t try, put in an effort and get some results. It’s much like trying to rid of those troublesome bluebells that’s overtaken my front yard. Last summer I spent hard labour covering them over with newspaper and cardboard and mulching them with grass clippings and sawdust. After the recent rain, their roots have crept through any cracks and holes and my nicely mulched area is dotted with their green leaves. I felt very defeated and overwhelmed but not enough to let my hard work go to naught. I spent an hour peeling back the covers and pulling them out by the roots. That’s what I would have to do – be regular and persistent.
The day is overcast. I’m feeling the clouds and pessimism. I can’t help it and don’t fight it. Feelings are real and not real. I can still move and do no matter my emotion. I’m exhausted but not frozen in. I can still breathe. I’m not thinking very well at the moment but I’ve made a list of solutions for a problem. I’m craving for something sweet. It feels like an impossible task but I think I will hoist myself up and make some muffins.
I survived yesterday. I was able to hoist myself upright and made those muffins. What felt impossible was possible when I decided to start – one step at a time until the task was done. I did not think the whole picture – how many steps and how much time was involved. I surprised myself with success – 17 pumpkin muffins and everything cleaned up after. I even made soya sauce chicken in the Instant Pot for supper. It felt good to overcome my mental and physical fatigue. I will store that feeling of success for future use.
It is 7:30 on a Sunday evening. The day has been mostly cloudy with short spurts of sun. I’m not quite as exhausted as yesterday. I had a good rest having succumbed to sleep before 10 pm. I should not doubt myself or feel so defective because I am so sensitive to the weather. It is a very real physical thing. It is ok not to be on top of the world all the time. Last night it felt so delicious to hit the bed, close my eyes and sleep.
Finding peace in a restless world is like wishing for the moon. I’m like the wolf baying at the moon. But I’m learning that it’s a myth that wolves howl at the moon. The howling is not directed at the moon. It is used as a social rally call, a hail to hunt or as a territorial expression. They have different howls that can be heard by other wolves 6-7 mile away. A howl can help a lost wolf find its way home. I like that idea. I have to practice my howling. It might help get me home. I do feel lost in these times.
I never thought I would be in this spot. I’m sure there’s a lot of us here but all the same, it is a lonely place. I’m afraid to speak of it. I’m afraid to even think of it – that I might be coming unhinged. And so we sit, alone or together like stone statues gazing unseeingly into space. Howling feels like a better alternative. And so I am here again, at my keyboard. I’m letting my fingers do the baying. It’s a little less obtrusive and more soothing to my already irritated nerves.
Yesterday while I was picking up my prescription, I walked through the mall. I thought I should get re-acquainted with it and life in general after 3 years of Covid. I had deceived myself that the 3 years had not affected me much. After all, my life style was not that much different before Covid. Even so, life after feels greatly changed on the inside. That counts even more. I feel that in the energies of others strolling through/shopping in the mall. I feel the slowness/heaviness, the acceptance of our new reality.
It is a cool 10℃ morning after a blistering hot 31℃ day of yesterday. It is windy. The sky is more cleared of smoke from Alberta’s forest fires. But the air is still thick with the smell. It’s difficult to feel up and optimistic about our world. It’s on fire and it seems we’re still sleeping through it. I hope I’m wrong.
I’m not overly fond of summer heat. Not that it is summer yet. It’s only May 15th. The official date for summer is June 21, over a month away. But we have the heat. The house is warm. There’s beads of perspiration on my forehead and lips. And I feel like the shits. The day started out fine. I was mostly my normal self. I was getting up, dressing up and showing up and doing my stuff. Things haven’t been easy but I was handling it. Look – it isn’t even the 21st of May. The greenhouse is in full production, the 6 raised beds are planted and the home garden is mostly planted. I would call that handling it, wouldn’t you?
So what the hell happened? Did I finally lose it? All I know is I feel bad – sometimes after lunch. In the past, writing has been my tool of investigation and soothing. I could write through anything and everything. Now I’m not so sure. I’ve lost the rhythm. The words have lost their magic. It’s still worth a try to get it back. Not doing anything is not good for me. At least I’ll be moving. Fingers count. I’m tapping it out with no outside interference. No one knows my ‘bad’. They don’t know what it is like. I hate advice like: Did you remember to take your Prozac? Be happy. As if I wouldn’t if I could.
I’ve decided not to fight my feelings/moods too much. There must be a reason that they’re pestering me. All things do passed. That much I have learned. And there are things that we must accept and endure. It is also true that I can run but there’s no place to hide. I might as well stay and face the music. Knowing that also brings a bit of ease. A bit is all I need. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel.
No matter the kind of day, I like to start it with a visit to the greenhouse and a walk around the garden and yard. It’s gets me off on the right foot. And if I trip and fall during the day, it softens the landing. I’ve been stumbling and tripping more lately. This is a difficult leg of the journey of life. I’m trying to prepare, strengthen and wise up a bit.
The garden is a good place to start according to this article from the Saskatchewan Blue Cross. I heartedly agree. The garden is never a sure thing. There are so many variables – the weather, pests, diseases and other things. They all try a gardener’s patience. You learn to roll with it all, learning acceptance and that you do not call all the shots. When something works and I have more salad greens than you can eat, I get such a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. The garden is my place to go to when I want to quiet my busy, buzzing mind. When I weed the garden beds, I’m also weeding my mind. It’s peaceful restoring order within and without.
I don’t feel guilty when I don’t go to my exercise class because I’m mucking in the soil. I’m moving all my body parts. I’m restoring my equilibrium. Sometimes it is good to be with just myself in the garden. There’s always a host of feathered friends close by.
A cloudy windy day after a short burst of morning sunshine. I am happy to be out and about in the greenhouse and garden early this morning. Moving my body and getting things done is good therapy for a restless body and mind. I think I fell into a deep dark well of despair and helplessness the other day. Life is full of surprises. So many quirks, obstacles and unplanned detours. I thought I had a good grasp of the threads of life. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. They crumble into many pieces. I grieve for all past losses and the ones yet to come.
The grief I felt was so deep and emcompassing because in those moments I saw the truth of what is really important in our lives. I grieve because I saw the mistakes I/all of us have made and still making. I wonder why we couldn’t have/still can’t do better. Why are we so damn human? The knowing is such a deep pain with nowhere to go. I felt breathless with it. I could feel myself curling into fetal position in my mind’s eye. I did not want to be so physically and mentally locked in by my thoughts and emotions. So I started moving, just moving, doing my mobility routine and stretches.
You wouldn’t think that it would be much help. It wasn’t at first except to relieve some of the muscle tension caused by holding myself in so tight. Movement begats movement and I went on to bigger ones. It’s surprising how much I got done once I started moving. Yesterday I gathered some of my old shoes that was hanging around a long time but not worn. They’re in a garbage bag along with some other similiar items. I’m weeding my physical space, pulling out the obnoxious and clearing space so I can breathe. Feeling good from the inside out. What is outside is also on the inside.
I’m feeling better today despite the wind and clouds. But I have to wonder whether the weather change had precipitated and increased my moodiness. I have always felt I’m super sensitive to the weather. But then I also wonder if I’m using it as an excuse for my shortcomings. I should have more faith and trust in myself. I do have that sensitivity. It is not a bad thing. I suffer some but I also gain some insight from these occasions. What I’ve learned this time is that ruminating thoughts are the worse thing. Being able to stop them is the best. The best tool for that is movement.
It’s the jolly month of May. The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. Everything is greening. Yet instead of jolly, I feel the beginning of a moody blue, a sense of foreboding, a dull ache behind my eyes. I like to close my eyes and dive into bed and hide beneath the covers. But I do not. My head is filled with swirling debris of useless thoughts going nowhere.
Unable to clear and dust my inner space, I started to do so to my outer world. I gathered up my ski pants, mitts, gloves, scarves, hats and headband. They’re washed and hanging up to dry and another load of various items are swirling in the washer. The kitchen floor is swept. The makings of a stirfry are prepped, waiting for me to throw them into the frying pan. I’m sipping a cuppa decaf. I crave a cuppa of anything when thus. I’m trying to stay on the narrow low caffeine path. I might stray today.
I did not stray too badly yesterday, having only an extra cup of decaf. I can rationalize that I’ve earned it, having taken my 90 plus mother for another medical appointment. It seems we’ve travelled a long and rocky medical path. Now we are on the last stage. I should be grateful that it is a much smoother and pleasant experience. I am and yet I can’t help but wondered why it wasn’t so before. I thought I had reconciled that I/we did the best I could. And whatever happened, I/we did alright. My mother will be turning 92 this July. She and my father are still living in their house on their own with minimal help from us.
I should have stayed with those thoughts but I’m not always in control. Bad thoughts and questions filtered through. Could I have done better as an advocate for my mother? Why didn’t I insist on this and that? Why didn’t I do this or that? If I had, maybe their health would be better today. So those thoughts go round and round inside. They immobilized my being. I’ve felt responsible for my parents’ lives most of my life. That’s what happened when I’m an immigrant child of immigrant parents. They do not understand or speak English well. I’m been their appointment taker and translator. It’s hard to be objective and not feel guilt.
So this is where I’m at in this jolly month of May. It’s 6:30 in my morning. I’ve been up since 5:15, unable to sleep more despite a little sleep aid last night. I’ve had my cuppa Orange Pekoe. I do want another but I’ll try a dandelion tea instead. I’m making a concerted effort not to let my strong emotions control me. I can. I can. The sun is beaming in agreement. I’ve tapped out my stored stagnant energy. I can breathe and move again to live another day.
The last day of April. The last day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I have to show up to wrap up though I don’t know where or how to begin. I am feeling the overwhelm of too many loose threads. My mind is far from being a clean slate, a blank canvas upon which I can paint/write the life I want. Instead it is a muddy eddy of scattered thoughts and memories. What are/were my goals, my wants and loves? They are not necessaily the same things.
I’m always eager and engaged at the beginning of any new endeavor. I feel focused and pumped. However, it doesn’t take long before my burst of enthusiasm develops a slow leak. I lose sight of the whole enchilada. I tread water, don’t show up, and/or write the same damn thing day in and day out. Sometimes I pride myself in just showing up/trying. I guess you can say I am beating myself up. That’s not it though. I’m giving myself a pep talk.
April and any given month is a hard month. And so are any given day. If I am being repetitive, so is life. There is a tediousness to almost everything. I/everyone have to work through that part. No one is exempt. How do you work through that? I heave and sigh alot. I make a cup of tea. Lately I had to change up on my cup size and kind of tea. I was getting too much caffeine. My heart was skipping a little too much and my lymph nodes swelling up. The change has been good but I still get cravings of my endless cup of Orange Pekoe tea. Listening to Caroline Myss on the Addict Archtype and Tara Brach on Letting Go helped alot. Writing about the tedium opens up the way out of it, too.
I’m not as morose as I sound. Really, I am not. It’s my way of working through hard spots and hard times. I’m not protesting too much. A friend reading my posts once offered me help and sanctuary because she thought I needed help. It was such a lovely and generous gesture. It’s a beautiful memory I have of her. Both she and her father were such a help to us when we first came to Canada. She walked me to school every morning and took me to Sunday school till I outgrew the need. I hope she still keeps an eye on me from Heaven.
These days I feel as unsettled as the weather. Maybe it is the stage in my life. Everything feels uncertain. The ground is ever shifting. No firm foundation underfoot. But at least I am feeling some peace in the quiet of the night. I’m tapping out a few words before I head off to bed. They will escape me if I don’t. It is soothing and comforting to tidy up a few things at the end of the day. Somehow that brings order and peace in my mind.
The humidifier has been soaking for a day or two, waiting for me to clean and put away till next winter. There’s never a better time than the present. It’s cleaned and to be put away tomorrow. Now I’m ready to get ready for bed. If I do too much, I will get too alert for sleep. Till the morning, then.
That was a few nights ago. The weather is still unsettled. What started out as a sunny warm day didn’t stay. It became cool and cloudy. No weather for a picnic. However, it didn’t prevent me from planting 3 more Roma tomatoes under Kozy Coats in the raised bed. I still 3 more to do but that will have to wait until I get more Kozy Coats. Things being what there are, it could still snow. But here’s hoping it will only rain from now on.
I am a little more settled, feeling safe in my sking. But it’s still touch and go. It’s a job keeping my mind and head clear. Debris have a habit of creeping in. Today I got distracted by a new toy – an iPad and games you can play. I’ve only uploaded solitaire but it’s bad enough. I spent too much time on a hard hand. It grabbed me and wouldn’t easily let go. I haven’t solved it yet but I did finally unhook myself to come to this space to finish what I had started.
Life is like that, you know. I have to say I’ve been doing pretty well. Not perfect but I am getting things done and all that. I’m not a machine. Being human, I can be led down a few stray paths. I have to cut myself some slack and just enjoy what comes along, even the weeds along the way. I have not a show every day for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. And I am not participating in the usual sense. This month of writing is mostly for myself – a workbook of a sort.
I’m not so successful clearing my mind this morning so I did a little clearing of my table. What is without is within. I’m heading out to my exercise class in a few minutes. I’m making a few marks here to get the words and thoughts flowing for later. Mark making is an important step in getting started. Later, baby, as they say.
This is the later I spoke of this morning. I’m afraid this is one of those time that the words will not flow. I will have to work for them. Talking about making marks, I don’t think I’ve made even a dent, never mind a mark in the world. I feel a bit sad and inadequate. I don’t really want to be a big splash but I like to think that I’ve made a difference, that I matter. It’s what we all want. I hate being human and vulnerable, don’t you?
The day has sped by. It is not a warm one. I’m warming up with a cuppa Ovaltine. I’m learning to change up my drinks as not to get addicted to any one. Ovaltine was a favourite when I was a child in Hong Kong. My mother and I had moved there from mainland China when I was 6. That was also when we were introduced to Red Rose Orange Pekoe Tea and toast. It was all so new and tasted so good. That’s what I have to remember – to change up often. Not only with drinks and food but with everything in life. I remember the delight of discovering and learning new things and tastes. Too much of one thing deadens and dulls the senses. It’s my lightbulb moment from my thoughts for the 24th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.