It’s 10:30 in the morning. Already my mind is frazzled, splintered into little pieces here and there. My thoughts are darting everywhere, trying to synchronize my day, my life. Many what ifs are popping into my awareness. I recogize that I’m catastrophizing. I’m tapping to put a stop to the I’m not giving it space to grow.

The sun is casting its cool weak beams over the dreariness of our landscape. A scatter of fine snow made a brief appearance. It is a late spring. I’m slowly tending to my seedlings. The rest of the kohlrabi are transplanted. I’m starting on the broccoli. The tomatoes, peppers, cukes, squash and the petunias are growing like weeds. They don’t make too much demands – just a little water and maybe a touch of 20-20-20 fertilizer now and then. As to what kind of spring and summer we will have, it is out of my control. I will adjust as best as I can. There is no point in hoping. Hoping without doing is useless.

My mind is less chaotic, slowing down with each tap and a sip of tea in between. I breathe, sip, and tap. I will stop my flow of thoughts now and listen to a bit of Caroline Myss. I’ll let her whip me into shape. She’ll tell me to stop and put my head in the toilet for 7 minutes. That’ll cool it off.

Hooray, I’m back, calmer and cooler! I’ve had lunch, too. That helps alot, especially since it’s leftover turkey. Turkey is supposed to contains lots of tryptophan which in turn boosts your serotonin level to make you happy. I hear that it’s a myth, but I still like to believe it. I have my present mood as a proof. Doing things one at a time also slows my frenetic brain. I’m learning to respect my body and mind. I can’t take on many tasks, issues, activities, people. The list goes on and on. I’m made to live a small life, a life on an index card,  in a one-inch frame, a life in the present moment. I am happy with that. It fills my plate.


IMG_0515Once upon a time, not so long ago,I aspired to be Wonder Woman with her golden tiara, bracelets and lasso.   I even doodled her on my iPhone app.  I was going to make a poster of it and hang it in my office.  It would inspire me to fly through the air, scale walls and rescue guys in distress.  Have no fear, Wonder Woman is here! would be my chant.

That enchantment has faded and I have come to my senses. There are better models for me to emulate and they don’t look like Linda Carter.  They’re more beautiful.  They’re strong and real.  They’re vulnerable with no protective suits.  I am speaking of Anne Lamott, who wrote the little book on writing and life, Bird by Bird. She speaks of life in all its rawness and beauty. Her language is real and offers no apologies.  I don’t know how many comments she received on her last post, but there was 53,000+ shares. She resonates with many besides me.

Am I gushing?  I do love her.  I learn to write in that one square inch of hers.  That’s how you make a start.  Write as far as you can see ahead of you.  That is all.  You will get there to the end.  Our stories are important.  My story is important – to me.  My super power is to tell it, starting within the one inch frame, going to the end.  This is for #aprillove2015. It’s not super but it is part of my story.


I feel this morning’s darkness in me.  I stretch to receive all that is good out there.  I make my cup of Chai.  Do you know that today is October 6 – 10/6?  It is Mad Hatter Day.  To celebrate I leave my morning bed head alone.  I am such a lucky girl.  I have at least 3 cowlicks.  My head of hair looks quite like the mad guy’s hat every morning.  I will spare you a picture.

Inhaling and exhaling a few times has ushered in a breath of joie de vivre.  The darkness is gone.  I’m myself again.  Rituals and habits of quigong and a rich cup of Chai gets me moving.  I’ve discovered through trial and error,  I work best in 15 minute stretches.

IMG_1505It makes a lot of sense for me.  I am impatient and have a short attention span and fuse.  I interrupt people a lot.  Details drive me mad.  I live life in a whoosh, what is also known as The Big Gulp.  Remember those?  I don’t think we’ve recovered from that.  We are still in the BIG of things, the more of stuff, the faster the better all the time.  If I click enter and nothing happens, I get pissed off PDQ.  I get rude.

When I lived like that, there was no savouring, no discerning of nuances.  Everything  struck me with full force – right smack in the face.  I reacted and bounced off walls.  Then it was over.  I scratched my head, wondering what the hell had happened.  It was too late.  I had done myself harm.

I’m trying to do different now.  I’m stretching and exercising my left brain.  Calmness and orderliness would be a good change of pace.  I don’t want to live by emotions alone.  What Lola wants, Lola gets.  That’s how the song goes, right?  I’m having some success.  Let me see if I can lay it out for you.

It’s not the sort of thing that I’m good at.  I’m not skilled at articulating a process.  I’m not good at teaching or giving instructions.  I’ve never mentored nor asked to mentor a student or a novice nurse in my 30 plus years as a nurse.  It’s not that I’m not a team player. It’s that I’ve never been asked.

IMG_1506Is my nose a little disjointed over the fact?  No, but it is a little sore.  I have the belief that I’m lacking.  I’m not good enough. There’s a bit of shame, too in not being an elder.   Let me not wait any longer for someone to ask  tell me to do something. Let me do it, practice a weakness/a want – working in 15 minutes or as Anne Lamott says in her book BIRD BY BIRD, writing down as much as she can see through a one-inch picture frame.

I’m finding life and writing much easier and palatable in small bites.  I put my focus in that 15 minute/one-inch frame. There is no room or time for me to get irritated and frustrated.  My energy is contained and directed.  I am safe, creating in my sacred space.  I let go of all else for that time.  There’s time enough after for all else.

I keep the promises to myself, staying committed to the 15 minutes, writing at least 500 words/day.  If things are flowing the minutes stretch a bit, of course.  Practice does make better.  Thoughts, ideas, or pictures that come in smoky vapours are jotted down because I know what happens if I trust that to my memory.

A caught word, a phrase, a sentence or two work magic for me.  They have prompted me to write a couple of hundred words upon rising the next morning.  When I’m stuck, I get up and do something else.  There’s no sense in wasting time pushing myself and getting frustrated.  I use those frustration times to stretch, do a load of laundry, tidy up my desk… Little things add up to a lot of housework done, leaving me more free time and feeling mellow.

This morning after I had written 300 some words, I had breakfast.  Then I put the makings of chicken soup – carving the carcass, washing and chopping up vegetables  – on the stove to simmer while Sheba and I went for our walk.

IMG_1507We’re back and I am putting the finishing touches on my instructions.  Not great, but I’m trying and practicing on thinking logically.  I hope there’s sense and order in the directions.

The chicken soup is ready.  Do you find this helpful in any way?