FILLING MY BUCKET

No two days and mornings are the same. I’m not the same any two days. I want to be full of vim and vinegar every day. I want to bounce out of bed every morning with joie de vivre. It’s not that I got out on the wrong side this morning. Not at all. I felt quite alright but then felt stuck after breakfast. I was very annoyed but somehow there was no flow. I felt the stagnancy and meaningless of things. Is it a by product of Covid-19? I’m tired of all the related news of numbers, cases, deaths, vaccines, anti-maskers, conspiracy theories. Round and round in endless circles.

Forgive me. I am just ranting, letting off steam. My brain got into a glitch. It got a little derailed. I was thinking too much. Nothing and everything changes at the same time. I wonder why that is. Enough thinking already. When there is no flow, I have to work to create it. Instead of sinking into despondency, I can make a gratitude list. Instead of thinking of what I don’t have, I can think of what I have. I can make a list of what I have done instead of feeling lazy and useless. I can fill my bucket with happy thoughts and moments. I can change my thoughts, therefore my feelings.

I can make it simple. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s a practice of pushing forward and onward for this 4th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

Today I am grateful for:

  • a sunny warmer day
  • I had a good night’s sleep
  • that I am healthy
  • I have a nice home
  • I have a greenhouse
  • I have food on the table

This is what I have done today:

  • clean and dusted everything in the bedroom
  • did a load of laundry
  • made lunch and wash the dishes
  • transplanted kohlrabi seedlings into bigger pots
  • seeded a tray of peas
  • Water all the plants in the greenhouse and beds
  • read a few pages in With God in Russia
  • did my exercise routine with hula hoop
  • writing this post

NOTHINGNESS AND LISTS

I played hookey today and enjoyed a bit of nothing. It’s quite hard to do – this nothingness. Have you ever tried? I used to be quite good at languishing but now I have to work at it. I have to think about it, make a conscious effort just to relax and idle. I planned it last night. I decided that I was going to skip the exercise class in the morning and rest. I feel something, perhaps a cold, coming on. The guy has a sore throat. I have a bit of the shivers, perhaps in sympathy.

I can’t call today  a total success. Rest and nothing are hard to do. Perhaps I sat and read my murder mystery an hour at the most. I used to be able to sit and read for hours. Now, my concentration and attention are fractured and splintered into minutes and seconds. Try sitting in silence for 5 minutes. It’s long. I have no trouble with a 20 minute sitting meditation because I am guided by Mark Williams’ voice. Even then, my mind wanders off in many directions. I am comforted by the fact that it’s called a practice.

As for making lists like I said yesterday, my lists are in my head. 1)I tended to my most pressing thing in the morning. I should get points for that. 2)I cleared off my dining room table. I feel better even if I put everything that was on it in a basket. 3)I sorted one file and shredded the outdated material. I think that’s enough for one day. My hair was standing on end after that one. Ugh! I’m letting Sheba take us out again on this 20th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Tomorrow is another day.

 

WHAT HAVE I DONE

What can I do? What have I done?  I use these 2 questions when I am stuck and I’m stuck often. So I’ve just finished the dishes from lunch. I’m sitting here with my cuppa green tea. Thought I would try something new besides my usual Orange Pekoe, especially when I have a cupboard full of all sorts. Some of them are from Sri Lanka. I see that Orange Pekoe is not a bad choice. It has many health benefits. But I am going to shake up my taste buds and experiment with different teas as well as food. Green tea is even better than black tea because it is not as processed.

I’ve been reading the ebook, Ketotarian by Will Cole from the library. I found it very informative and useful so I ordered my own copy from Amazon. It has many recipes that I want to try out. I was going through my closet the other day and was dismayed to find that my waist line has increased many inches this past year. My belly fat is out of control and is hanging over the waist band. It is not helping my blue mood. It is another thing I can do to help myself. I do not need to let everything hang out. I hope the book will help me to keep some things in.

Life continues to be hard. It is the next morning. I have problems finishing things as well. I am trying my best. What I can do is make a list of what I have done.

  • I’ve gotten up, dressed up and shown up here today.
  • I do my qigong routine most mornings. I have done it today.
  • I’ve folded and put away yesterday’s laundry.
  • Sorted out my pants in the closet. Experienced items that did not give me joy. Those have been taken to Value Village.
  • Struggled with sorting, cleaning and putting away seeds,pots and trays for starting the bedding plants.
  • Struggled to be in the present moment every day.
  • Taken Sheba to the dog park more often. It’s good for her and myself as well to mingle with other dogs and people.
  • Do blocks of art. Mostly it’s been embroidery on the machine lately.

Questions and lists can prod me from being stuck. I have to make physical evidence of them. Having them in my head does no good. They would be fuel for rumination. I do that too much already. I have to get off my fat ass and work it! But what would be good to chew on is the 4 mantras that I’ve learned from Thick Nhat Hanh this morning.

  1. Darling, I’m here for you.
  2. Darling, I know you are there.
  3. Darling, I know you suffer. I’m here for you.
  4. Darling, I suffer. Please help me.

YESTERDAY’S TOMORROW IS TODAY

It’s not true that tomorrow never comes. It has. It is today. I am proud to say that I’ve pulled myself up by the bootstraps. I live in the moment each moment – for the morning at least. I had wondered how I was going to get my head out of the clouds into clear sailing. I could not give into my natural state of “I’ll do it tomorrow”. Too many tomorrows have passed. I’ve wound up like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, waking up to the same tune, day after day. I’m sick of it.

I am the most energized, optimistic and happy in the morning. That being, it would be the best time to tackle what I deemed difficult and unpleasant tasks like bills and other paper crap. I dragged out my container and bag full of receipts. I circled the dates on each one, the easier to match my monthly Master Card statements. It seems like an arduous task but I did finished 7 statements. Of course, there’s a good possibility of more receipts showing up. I do not have the habit of keeping things in one place – yet. And I’ve started a notebook to jot down things I need to do and dates to keep track of. I have 3 items on it.

I decided that was enough for today. Trying to straighten out everything in one day would invite disaster. I’m keeping in mind to find logical homes for things so that I’m not forever taking the house apart searching. It is now time to give things a rest. It is now 5:35 pm. Time to let go, relax and have a glass of wine. There’s a time for everything.

BE THE CHANGE – Day 69 in a year of…

Day 69, September 29, 2016 @9:17

img_7828Some mornings are harder than others.  This is one of them. I’m here. I’m prepared to sit and stay.  I’ve made my cup of tea before hand.  I will not have that excuse to flee.  I can sit, stay and sip through the discomforts.  I’m beginning to understand this phenomenon of procrastination – at least for me.  My brain is lazy.  It wants to do the same old, same old. It’s easier to stay in well travelled ruts.  It does not want new pathways.  It does not want a new circuitry.  I  DO.  I’m fighting my brain right now to stay awake.  Sleepiness is another way for it to flee.

img_7831The sun just came out to lend me a hand.  Thank you, Mr. Sun!  I need a little help today.  My tea is done but I’m not finished here.  What do I have to say? What do I want to say?  The going is tough. I feel like a gerbil on a treadmill. I’m moving but not advancing. My great deduction today is that if I want changes, I must be the change.  I must be the instrument.  I must DO.  I must make goals and lists.  Writing them down is concrete.  I cannot rely on goals and lists in my head.  It makes it easier to forget and disregard.

img_7821I made a move yesterday to reward myself $1 for showing up each day.  It’s tangible.  It’s working.  I will have $2 in my teapot today. I am working on making my basement a nice living space.  I will clean/clear a small area each day. I threw out 2 old humidifiers and a CD rack yesterday. I worked a little on the sweater I started this summer.  The secret I believe is starting and working small but steady.  Do not lose heart.

What is your goal today?

 

 

Day 7 in a year of….

Day 7, July 29, 2016 @4:48

IMG_6747Doing something new every day is not a hard nor easy task.  If there are 50 ways of leaving your lover, there must be equal number of ways of doing anything, including selfies.  Today, I’m trying for glee.  Inside I feel scowlful, if there is such a word.  And grumpy, though I’ve been told that I’m funny.  Anyways, I’m out for the many faces of joy and exuberance.

The hard part is my brain is hardwired to the same old and familiar.  It takes a short time to develop a rut. Some ruts are healthier than others.  For instance, putting on makeup every day is now easy after 7 days. It’s become a routine along with the trouble of choosing a pair a of earrings to wear.  I have a bad attitude of thinking everything is trouble.  Maybe it is wording.  Another new thing to put on my list.  Speak and think with impeccability, even if it’s to myself.  We become our thoughts.

IMG_6761Doing this project has made me more discerning of things, people and opportunities.  When I saw a shelf of beautiful orchids at SuperStore,  I said YES! to a gift for myself.   When I think of gifting, it’s usually for other people and the expense is not an issue.  When I do buy for myself, I have to do all this dickering in my head.  You can see that the orchid is a good buy – only $22.  No dickering.  I just grabbed.

IMG_6760Familiar has its own value.  Saves time and energy.  I am fond of the store’s barbecue chicken.  When I’m by myself, I get one and it’s good for a number of lunches and suppers.  I don’t have to slave over a hot stove or hurt my head deciding what to cook.  I dress it up with a salad or different veggies.  I’ve never noticed that they had different flavoured ones till quite recent – regular and smoking something.  Well, today I espy yet another – Portuguese!  This project can be exciting – for me.

IMG_6764I’m still plugging away at my lists.  I like to keep the new things that work.  I am crossing off more items.  As you can see – no baking bread or Sheba’s biscuits.  Too hot and humid.  I’m sapped but I’ve turned on the AC.  I’m learning to be good to myself. Have you been good to yourself today?  Tell me how.

Day 6 in a year of…

Day 6, July 28, 2016 @3:43.

IMG_6738Summer afternoons are delicious for drinking beer and taking naps.  I’ve had my little nap but I better wait till I’ve tapped out some words before I crack a can.  Otherwise, I might fall over my keyboard.  Asian women cannot hold their liquor.  At least not this one.  It isn’t fair.  So many things in life aren’t.  But at least, I’m getting better at doing selfies.  Oh, no, not another! You say.  Sorry but yes, another.  It’s never too much to say, I love you to myself.  I’ve waited all these years to start.  I’m not stopping now – or ever.  I will stop the selfie one day when I really feel love and acceptance residing in my core.

These days of getting up, making up and showing up have given me structure.  When I am not feeling my best, I’m looking my best.  I take note, sit/stand a little taller.  I don’t feel as if I had fallen off a vegetable truck – even if I feel it. When I look in the mirror, I’m surprised and delighted.  I can push on to another day in the year of choosing something different.

I’m glad I took up this project.  There’s really no right or wrong time to do anything. When an idea captures your imagination, you have to act on it.  Otherwise, nothing will happen. Nothing.  There is so much dead air in that word.  Nothing.  Say it again.  It has the sound of a heavy metal door closing.  Nobody has the key.  You are trapped in that nothingness.IMG_6736

That is not where I want to be.  I want to move ahead.  I’ve crossed off two items on my list today.  Working on another and maybe another.  I will add to it each day, too.  There’s movement.  There’s trying and doing.  There’s life.  

Now I will crack open that beer and grab a plate of snacks. Want to tour my front yard and see what is new?  My petunias are still in full bloom.  I have planted a honey suckle and clematis by the water tank.  I hope they will thrive and grow and climb up its sides to add aesthetics to it.  In the raised beds, the hot chilli peppers are numerous, carrots  in various stage of growth, green and bulb onions, Romaine lettuce, kale, and cucumber.  Not a bad yield at all.  How is your garden doing

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Day 5 in a year of…

IMG_6691It it almost 4 pm again.  Day 5.  360 days left.  I shouldn’t count but one likes to cross/tick things off.  I’m not doing well  in that department but I am working on it. There will be no baking again today.  The floor is good enough from yesterday’s vacuum.  One must prioritize or I could be circling and circling like a gerbil in a cage.

What I like to do right now is lay on the couch  with a book or just nap.  Serves me right for lunching on a burger, fries and root beer.  The root beer is what did me in.  All that sugar. It was good after an outing with Sheba at the dog park.  It was cool, sweet and went down nice.  Now I’m struggling to keep my eyes open.

IMG_6302I did sort my paper piles, called City Hall about the light bill.  Have you heard of anyone eager to get their light bill?  Well, I am – excited to see the first bill on solar electricity.  I might have to wait another day or two.  I can wait.  Practicing patience.  Damn hard!  I better put that down on my list.

The insurance company was next on the list.  Don’t you just hate that time every year when it comes for renewal?  Ugly, ugly!  Goes up every year.  The agent was friendly and understanding.  We had a chuckle or two before getting down to business.  I’m her first client with solar panels.  They are not on her list.  She will call me back after she makes some phone calls.

IMG_6702I think I did pretty well considering I was not positively positive in the morning.  I got up anyways, dressed up, made up and showed up.  Thank God for people like Regina Brett for their sunshiny outlooks and mantras.  I didn’t put on earrings though.  Couldn’t find the perfect ones.  When I did, my right earlobe wouldn’t cooperated.

Life can be hard sometimes.  You have all these intentions.  BUT habits and wounds go deep.  They have their knives down to the hilt in you.  They don’t like letting go.  I battle every day to do/react different. So every day I will get up and put makeup on.  Every day I will stand naked in front of the mirror and say, I love you. That IMG_6704would be a selfie. LOL  I’m more comfortable in shades or doing my feet. Somehow, feet are not as vulnerable.

Enough mumbling for today.  Tomorrow is another new beginning, another new page. What is on your page today?

 

Day 4 in a year of choosing something different

IMG_6661I love these salad days of summer when the grass is green and love oh so mellow.  Oh, I’m stealing words from the song, Try to Remember.  I’m feeling melancholy and nostalgic.  No worries, though.  Melancholia and nostalgia have always been part of me.  I’m glad to have them aboard.  They are restful companions.  They help me when I’m tired and need to slow down.  But I’m still here, dressed, made up, and different earrings on.  Sorry, another selfie.  I’m practicing saying I love you to myself – baggy eyes and all.

It’s 4 in the afternoon and I haven’t crossed off a thing on my to-do list.  Usually the list is all in my head.  But I’m choosing to make hard copies to see if it makes a difference.  It has only 4 things on it.  Pay bills. Bake bread and Sheba’s biscuit. Vacuum.  I have turned on the Roomba.  Thank God for robotic vacuums for these hard days!  At least I made a list.  I  still have time to do and cross off a couple of things.  But forget the bread and biscuits!

IMG_6674I am done in by summer heat, humidity and long walk with Sheba this morning.  And making a detour at our plot at the Community Garden.  I harvested a huge turnip, some beets and a few carrots.  It was a heavy load to carry home as is.  Next time I shall take a veggie bag besides doggy bags. I had to have a snack and a nap before I could clean and prepare the veggies and lunch.  But it is all done.  I sauteed the turnip greens. They were delicious if a bit tough.  Next time I will blanch them a little longer.  This was another first.

The Queen is barking.  She is out of water.  Must go and fill her bowl and then pay some bills.  Hope you are having a good day.  I like my accident with my header photo (feature image) yesterday.  I decided to do it again.

I leave you with the music of Try to Remember.

DOLDRUMS AND LISTS

Doldrums are painful. They seep into you unawares and rob you of joie de vivre. They’re like vampires sucking the very juice of you, leaving behind a wet dishcloth, a soggy noodle, Linus without his blanket or a Snoopy on top of his doghouse. I DON’T like doldrums but what to do?  Snoopy has the right idea. When in doubt and all else fails, sleep it off.  Maybe I can dream up some solutions.  Maybe I can borrow Linus’ blanket.  Why don’t I make a list.

I wonder if this is what they call brainstorming.  Can I be a team of one?  It’s working at easing my doldrums.  I’m coming alive – without the doghouse and the blanket.  Oh, happy day! pops into my head.  Singing seems to help even if it’s in my head.  I can hear and see Whoopi Goldberg and the kids whooping it up in Sister Act.  Oh happy day!

IMG_4143I’m well out of the wet noodle phase now.  Apparently doing something, anything can disturb the doldrum mindset.  I’m not a list maker but it’s another thing I can do to shake things loose.  I can learn to take an inventory of the things I need/like/want to do for future episodes.  Might as well be practical, productive, imaginative and have fun at the same time.  Oh, happy day it is when I can get inspired!