Just like that our heat wave is over. Not only that, it’s now cool. I woke up to 12℃ this morning, whereas only a couple of days ago I went to bed with 30℃. Life is like that now, swinging from one extreme to the other. Sometimes there is a short almost normal in between. Now is the time to pay attention and try to live the best rest of my life. I do need alot of help. My attention span is the size of a gnat. Can you believe that I paid my property tax twice this year? How inattentive can I be, especially when I do make written entries of paid bills. If I had only glanced up a few lines….
But not to worry. The city will probably send me a refund cheque or I won’t have to worry about paying next year. Do you know how hard it is to speak to a real person on the phone these days? I was lucky the first time I called the city when I was alerted that I had made another payment. It was first thing in the morning and a person came on the line after a few prompts. He told me to call the bank to have them stop payment because it hasn’t shown up on his end yet. But he could see that I’ve already paid up. I wasn’t so lucky calling the bank. No real person came on the line. No luck for me either at the bank in person. They could not stop payment. It had already gone through and because I had paid online, they can’t do anything.
All of this had cost me some time. It’s my own fault really for not paying attention to what I was doing. It cost me more time phoning the city back. Now all I can get is a recording about their high volume of calls and to visit their website. On emailing them, I was informed that they are experiencing a high volume of mail and not to expect an answer for 5 business days. If it is urgent call the telephone line! Round and round we go. It’s almost 5 business days since I’ve emailed the city. I have not heard from them yet.
It is helpful to pay attention where and when we lose time and energy. Most of us spend too much time and energy online and scrolling on our phones. The last few days, it’s cost me both, trying to fix my Fitness app. I still can’t log onto it doing everything I’m suppose to – even enlisting help from my fitness center. I’ve decided not to phone the helpline. I’m sure I will get a recording prompting me to press this and that. So while technology can help us, it also can do the opposite. It’s up to us to be mindful of how we use our gizmos.
I am glad to have stumble onto Chris Baily’s The Productivity Project. It came at a good time. The thing is I’m just reading it and not doing the assignments as he recommends. So I’m backtracking to make the lessons stick. Here are 4 tips from the project:
Consume caffeine strategically, not habitually.
Work on your hardest, highest return tasks at your peak energy time of day.
Focus on one task at a time. Multitasking is simply less productive.
Compartmentalize email and social media to specific times during the day.
I know these tips are really helpful. I did a caffeine fast for a week. I felt more relaxed and things tasted a lot better after. No. 2 is what everyone recommends. The hardest task requires more energy and focus. Multitasking screws up my mind and I make more mistakes. Limiting time on social media and online makes me feel more restful and peaceful. I’m not exactly that at the moment. I have been very busy during the heat wave to keep all our gardens and greenhouse watered. It didn’t leave me much spare time. Now is my unwinding time.
My friend thinks I have tenacity. That is true and good in some cases but not so in others. I really love the challenge of developing a physical skill that I don’t have a natural ability for. I feel such an envy and yearning when I see how easefully someone can hop on a bicycle and ride off, even a young child. Meanwhile, I had to struggle and struggle to master the confidence and skill to be at ease. Perhaps the struggle is the draw. I do not like easy, not even crossword puzzles.
Today I felt I was actually skiing and not just shuffling along. It’s a glorious feeling to finally feel the flow. Just to be clear, I’m not flying along by any means, but I have the feel of being comfortable on two sticks. I was pushing and gliding some at a good pace for me. I made it around the loop and back 2 times. I am making progress. Practice makes for better.
So that was yesterday. My thoughts do not flow so easily or smoothly sometimes. My fingers hesitate and stutter on the keyboard. I’m okay with it. I’m being more mindful, paying more attention. I’m not running off at the mouth without thinking and feeling. I’m taking the time to know the whys and wherefores of my feelings and actions/inactions. I learn that it is what self care means. I have to clear my inner clutter before I can clear my outer one. I have to quiet my outer chatter before I can quiet my inner one. I’m working hard on all fronts but not too hard. And that is called self compassion.
I am still very much a novice at self care. I get easily distracted by anything. I’ve just come back to the keyboard from a wild goose, time wasting chase. The important thing is I came back. I’m going into week 4 of Stephanie Bennett Vogt’s A Year to Clear. I’m still with it, a day/one paperclip at a time. Slow is good. It gives me time for the habit to take hold. I’m still reading Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, page by page, chapter by chapter. I am resisting the urge to skim, to read ahead. I’m practicing savouring, experiencing and feeling it all. So far, so good. I have this impatience, to race ahead to the heart of the matter, paying little heed to all the details leading up to it. I don’t like to take the time to cross my t’s and dot my i’s. I don’t bother to savour my coffee/tea/wine.
I’m taking time to bother now. I will make a grand adventure of it. I have made a start. It feels good to have space and order to work in. It is relaxing not to have to dig through piles to find something. I feel wonderful and in control when I clean up and put things away after I’m finished working on a project. I can. I can. I have the tenacity. My heart wants spaciousness.
I’m late coming to the keyboard. It’s an exercise day. Sometimes it feels like going to work because it is a must commitment. Today we had Fred instead of our regular instructor. He is always a welcomed and good change, introducing us to a different workout. His warmup focuses on the four joints at the shoulders and hips. It is surprising and amazing how good it feels after. They didn’t seem like such deal deal exercises.
It reminds me to change my train of thoughts. No big deals can bring big results. Change your thoughts, change your life. I think I have that book by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I haven’t read it but I will now. I will get it up from the basement so I won’t forget. I can read a few pages a day. I’m the train that can, remember?
I know I’ve got quite a few things on my plate now. I’m not sweating it. I’m mindfully trying not to rush or multi task. I’m trying not to have catastrophic thoughts of can’t do, no time, etc. I’m doing one thing at a time, putting one foot in front of the other. I think, there is time. I can do it.
I’m moving through my day. Sat with Mark Williams on YouTube for 20 minutes of sitting meditation in the morning. Then I spent 10 minutes free writing for Write Your Journey before heading off to my exercise class. Sheba and I made 2 rounds at the dog park this afternoon. In between things I managed to make 3 jars of kimchi. And now I’m rounding up this post for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It’s not Pulitzer writing but it’s a serious effort to stay on track.
I’m tap, tapping from prompts offered by Kat McNally’s #AprilMoon and Susannah Conway’s aprillove2015. I’m careful of my words. They can send powerful messages to the mind. We know what tricks the mind can play on us. So pay heed what you say and think. I’m often guilty of not paying attention and let every wisp of smoke get in. That smoke smoulders and flares into flames. Before you know it, there is a raging fire.
Let me take care and form my thoughts carefully.
Good morning, self. It’s a beautiful morning. See how the light dances on the wall. Feel it kissing your sweet face. It is blessing you with its healing warmth. Bask and luxuriate in its arms. The morning will pass fast enough. In the meantime, enjoy the peace and quietness.
You are the child of the Universe. You are loved and cherished. Be happy for you are as you should be. Feel blessed by the love and goodness in your life. Be grateful for your riches. Be strong in your faith. Be forgiving in your heart. Be generous of the spirit. Above all else, love yourself – no matter what.
Now I lay myself down to sleep. Goodnight self. Close your eyes. Empty your thoughts and smooth your brow of care. You have worked hard and done your best today. Now it is time to rest. Let the sandman sprinkle magical dust onto your eyes. Sweet dreams, my dear.