TO DO THINGS WELL

Here I sit before my keyboard on this second day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’m thinking of what useful lesson I have learned to my readers. I have all these thoughts and ideas in my head. What I haven’t learned is how to plan ahead, to make a list of things to talk about. I do almost everything off the cuff on the spur of the moment. I build from the moment that I begin an action. I’m doing just that now. I write a word, as sentence and it builds from there. I haven’t learn another way of doing things.

I did just that with my yard last month. The guy was re-doing our front walk. I watched him breaking up the old cement walk. I saw my perennial beds overgrown with irises and daylilies. I got this itch to dig. It had rained recently and the ground was soft. The call to dig became very strong. Soon, I had all the irises dug up. I started hauling the broken cement around to build new beds. I was successful in this incidence. One thing led to another and I dug up all the daylilies in the other bed. I hauled more broken cement blocks around to create another bed.

Like magic, things fell into order. The irises and lilies were divided. They found new places. I found fruit trees and other perennials on sale. They found homes in the ground before the snow fell on the weekend. I am lucky in this incidence. I couldn’t have done better even if I had planned everything ahead of time. But here on this writing challenge, I am not so fortunate. I am struggling against fatigue, dull thinking and the late hour. This is the lesson I need to learn. To give time in thinking and preparation ahead of time. I believe everything we set out to do is important. If I am going to do something, I should try to do it well.

The hour is late. My eyes are fighting to stay open. Tomorrow, tomorrow is another day. I will try to do better tomorrow.

 

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.

LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE AND LIFE

Here it is, 5 pm already. I’m sitting here with my cup of tea and a large serving of rhubarb crisp. I won’t be a slim Jim Jean any time soon. I guess it is not that important to me. I rather stay reasonably calm and sane with food than a starving screaming Barbie Doll. I have been screaming some. But somehow a screaming chubby woman seems more attractive than a screeching skinny Minny. Of course, I’m justifying, trying to make myself feel better.  There’s something to be said for self control and courage. I really admire Lexi Reed of FatGirlFedUp for having lost 300 pounds on her own. She has a very inspiring story.

Things are not as dire as I sound. Today I awoke with no pain in my left hand. I did not have to pry and snap my ring finger straight as I have been the last couple of months. No pain is good. One less thing to rag about. It does not make me an attractive woman at all. Another good thing is the temperature is normal. No extreme heat to fire me up, then wear me down. Life is good as they say. Any yay! No more summer cold or bad cough.

My brain and temperament are cooled to optimum. Going to Mass yesterday gave me peace. Today I am able to put aside everything that is unnecessary and focus on the necessary. My pile of life have been waiting patiently on my desk to be delt with. It’s surprising how much energy it takes to sort, scrutinize, answer, write out the cheques, put them in envelopes and file away the records. Then there are items that needed tending online – downloading and filing into folders, changing my charge card number and notifying the appropriate payees. This part of life is not romantic at all. But at the end of it, I feel a sense of satisfaction. I care enough about myself to tend to the matters. There have been times when I haven’t. I just let things to happen to me. I was lazy.

I’ve turned over a new leaf. I expect I will slip now and again. I won’t promise I won’t ever scream again. I would if I could be guaranteed not to be ever sick or stressed again. I have been sorry too many times already. I want to cut down those numbers. Whoever wrote that “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” must know what he’s talking about. Maybe it only applies in movies, to Ryan O’neal and Ali MacGraw. What do you think about that line? You’re probably too young to know the movie Love Story. It is kind of sappy.

MESSAGE TO LILY

How intrusive the world! So many phone calls on things I do not need nor asked for. Those poor Call Center employees. I am not much of a consumer. They will not get much business from me. They do not listen. They keep calling back. I hang up. I am not in a ‘good mood’ or a peaceful frame of mind. My head is in a dither. The conversation within is like a ticker tape going on endlessly.

There’s no stopping it so I just watch it in my mind’s eye. I’m tapping here to slow down the ticking in my head and the fluttering in my heart. It’s working. My mind and hands are engaged in another activity. I’ve done my qigong routine. A batch of yogurt is under the yogurt machine’s hood. I’m finishing the last of the strawberries before they go bad. The bills are paid except for my property tax. I still have till the end of June to deal with it. I’ve gathered my papers to meet with my banker this afternoon. Even retired, there’s stuff to deal with. It’s not a vacation. I’m not in a hammock by the beach. Some days I want to run away from home.

My garden is a bit half assed this year. I’ve started a few bedding plants, enough petunias and snapdragons for my mother’s flower beds. She doesn’t ask for much. In fact she doesn’t ask for anything. But it is nice that I could do this much for her. I hope she will let me plant them for her. Her strength has declined but she is fiercely independent. She is very good at compensating and finding alternative ways of doing everything. My mother is awe-inspiring.

I have seeded one raised bed with lettuce, spinach and kale. They are all rising above the earth. The other 4 beds sit empty, waiting for me to get my shit together. I have cleared and worked the garden area. The strawberries I transplanted last fall have survived. The rhubarb is looking good. The peas and a few beans are planted. I am a bit lost but not idle.

It is late afternoon. I am hot and tired. I have met with my banker. We did some planning. All is well but I have not kept up with records and paperwork. It is not anything new but it is quite distressing to me. There is no point in tackling the problem now, though I did try. It resulted in more hair-on-end kind of frustration. I have to sort it out as I had with the basement, a little at a time.

I am learning a lesson here. No matter how we I try to ignore or hide a problem, whatever it is, it never goes away. It will surface sooner or later. You I will have to face it or maybe trip over it. There’s no where to hide. It demands resolution. I think I’ve finally got the message now. Really I have.

MY HAPPY SPACES

It’s a hot, hot day! I have laundry hanging outside. The blinds are drawn. It’s warm and stuffy upstairs. I turn the furnace fan on. I make my way to the cool of the basement. It’s a lovely happy space to have my decaf and toasted baguette. I sink back against the leather couch enjoying the cool quiet of being alone. It is worth all the effort I’ve put into cleaning and clearing. It fills me with joy to see there’s a space for everything. And everything are in their places.

It’s taken me a long while to get to this stage. Gaining some confidence from the process, I’m moving onto cleaning and clearing the deck. I want to make every space into a creative living breathing place and not a storage area for all the stuff I don’t know what to do with. It’s time to be clear about what our lives are about. It’s not about collecting and hoarding.

Let me be bothered enough to take the time to care, to organize, clear and clean. Let my mind work behind the scene and figure out what gives life meaning, what I need to keep and what I need to discard. I have lived too long haphazardly, by gosh and by darn. I’ve been lazy, just wishing and hoping for the best. Now I want to plan and be decisive and do what is the best for me and what makes my heart sing.

 

PING! GOES MY HEAD

I’m feeling somewhat euphoric. I’ve double checked my tax return and pushed the SEND button and made my payment electronically. I made a new folder (Taxes) on my Mac desktop, downloaded a copy of the return and dropped it into the folder. PING! I’m finally getting the hang of letting go, emptying and organizing. I was so excited that I did more cleanup of my Mac desktop. It’s still needs some work, but I’ve organized items into folders. I hope it will be easier to find things now. At least it looks neater and not so cluttered. Enough for now. Time to take a break and take Sheba for her walk.

It’s another windy day in Saskatoon. Good to see the city crew doing street cleaning, ridding some of the dust. I cleaned the yard of Sheba’s poop after our walk. Now I am pooped. I had to resusatate myself with a decaf and half a toasted baguette. I’m practicing restraint, hoping to look svelte for summer. I won’t be aiming for bikini thin, but something short of that is okay at this stage in my life. I think I’m starting to talk like Kinsey Millhone, a character in Sue Grafton’s alphabet series. I was indulging myself with a few pages of I is for Innocent with my decaf and baguette. Now I’m sleepy as all get out.

I’m probably a little overwhelmed by my progress. Such a great feeling! Everything working out. I feel like singing, At last, at last. Life is indeed like a song, Miss Etta.

 

CONSTANT CRAVING

Strange times. I have to sit and chew on it for a bit. Sheba and I have just returned from our walk. It is WARM out there all of a sudden. Most of the snow are gone. I’m hot and sweaty, tapping a few words waiting for the water to boil for a cuppa of decaf. I’m cutting back on my tea consumption. Too much of a good thing was making my bladder crazy. I wonder why I have this addiction to Orange Pekoe tea. The more I drink, the more I crave it. Limiting myself to two cups a day seem to be helping – the bladder and the craving.

This feeling of craving is such a curious thing. The more I give in to it, the worse it gets. It’s a good thing that it’s only Orange Pekoe tea. Imagine the consequences if it is something else, like sugar. Maybe that was part of it, too. I like my tea sweetened with honey. So far, so good. I’ve kept to the 2-cup limit for a week now. No more craving. This principle probably applies to other things as well. It is wise to practice balance in all things. I will pay more attention from now on. I am sure I have the addict archetype in me.


It’s the next day, Saturday. My tap ran dry yesterday. I’m back to finish though today I’ve been taken over by sleepiness and idleness. I hope I can find a few interesting words and ideas. I could just do my usual mutterings. I am cured of the need ‘to do and accomplish’ for the time being. But it’s not good either to give in to languishing. I’m feeling as if I’ve grown roots into the loveseat. I’m still in my pjs though it is almost 3 pm. Soon I have to get dressed for a walk with Sheba. In the meantime let me enjoy my decaf and tap out a few more words.

It’s been a long while since I’ve felt this ease and peace within. Everything is working. I’m not fighting anyone or anything. I see all my ducks lined up in a row. How is it that life seems so easy in this moment? It could be that I took some care to clear, clean and organize my living surroundings. Cleanliness is next to holiness. It’s not that I can eat off the floors yet. But soon! And that what needs to be dealt with are, and not hidden beneath the piles. That never worked anyways. Things may be hidden from physical sight but they were just festering beneath the skin. So how could I have peace of mind when they were worming within?

Now that I have learned a few lessons, I hope I won’t slide back to my old ways of ‘later’. It’s much easier to JUST DO IT now. I’ll just sit back and breathe in this new feeling. It will help to keep me on track.

 

 

TUMBLING DOWN ALL MY PILE UPS

It was a struggle, but the lunch dishes are done. The stovetop is wiped off. There’s nothing that aggravates my unease more than dirty dishes and greasy stovetop. Today is not what I call a great day though I am trying in my usual way. I’m not quite as efficient or productive. I’m feeling the malaise caused by the flare up of my Lichen planus. I’m chilling but maybe it’s too much. I need to move just a little more.

I cuddled up too long this morning with Sue Grafton’s D is for Deadbeat. But I did tear myself away and worked at organizing a work station for tranplanting my seedlings. It’s easier if I have everything close at hand. Then I don’t have to trip over things and rummage around to find all the necessary stuff. I’m trying to understand why I couldn’t take the time to do this before. I’m concentrating hard on untangling all my mess. Maybe in the process I will find the answers. It would be good if I didn’t have to struggle so much with everything.

It’s come to me as I’m tapping here that my struggles could be a result of avoiding and dreading unpleasant things. Avoidance tend to cause alot of pile ups. It’s never a solution for anything but I did it.  Maybe avoidance eroded my immune system and caused the lichen planus. I’m swearing off it now. I’ve been sweating facing up to everything but I’m standing up to it all – one issue at a time. Now I have to face up to taking Sheba out for her walk. I don’t feel like it, but I’ll do it anyways.

It’s sunny out but it’s dang unpleasant. It’s cold with a nasty biting wind. We’re glad the walk is over and we’re home, warm and snug. I’m brewing some dandelion tea. I hope it will give me a pick up. Meanwhile I’m thinking of starting a mood blanket. I got the idea from Instagram. There was a bunch of creative people knitting and crocheting temperature blankets. Curious, I asked. The blankets are made of colours according to the temperature of each day. Each colour represents a range of temperature. I thought it would be interesting to assign moods to colours. A Granny square a day would not be too much. It would keep my mind on creating instead of my discomfort. What colour would you give to tire?

 

NO SHAME AND BLAME

I feel very tired and cross after my second day of excavating the rubble in the basement. I am making progress but it is always a bigger job than I envision. It always is. And I would abandon the project time and time again. I should have been listening to Benjamin Franklin when he said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” I haven’t done any maintenance work in the basement for two years. I take things down but nothing comes up – not even dust. Now I’m paying the price. I’ll probably be a few pounds heavier after I’m done. It’s hard and stressful. I’m snacking.

I’m trying to be more efficient and tough with the stuff – recycle or throw out. No saving in case of it might come in handy later. Some things are difficult to recycle because frankly people rather get new stuff. I hate cluttering up the landfill with my stuff, so for now the rowing machine, exercise bike, mini stepper and slant board are in the garage. Maybe in summer I will bring them out as free grabs. Then what do you do with all those cutesy baskets and containers? I blame them for my accumulation of stuff. Then there’s my very old computer. How do you get all the data off the hard drive – smash it? And how do you get the hard drive out of the tower? I suppose I should ask at a computer store.

I’m feeling better, not so cross or tired. I just ate a bowl of chips. They help rid the dust in my throat. Yes, it is a little dusty down there with a few cobwebs. I should be ashamed of myself but what good would that do? I’m feeling bogged down as it is. Shame would add to the load. So no thanks to shame or blame. Life happens as they say. Tomorrow I will do a little more and a little better.

MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THESE

I feel like I’m always mired in my stuff. Once upon a time I had an excuse of working and shiftwork at that. That excuse is wearing thin now that I am retired. AND I have more stuff. Not that I am a shopaholic. Quite the contrary, but I did purchased a new sewing machine just before Christmas. It is quite big with an embroidery module and accessories. I haven’t bought fabric either. I don’t need to since I’ve been stashing them away over the years from – sales, projects, closing out sales, etc. I have the equivalent of 3 big totes. Overwhelming – yes!

Now I am in the process of organizing and making space. It’s difficult to see what I have or don’t have. Everything crammed together. No space to walk, never mind spread the stuff out. This morning I bit the dust (literally) and finished tackling my sewing stuff. At least now there’s room to move – and to create. I can see why sorting and clearing is such a difficult task. Memories are evoked from handling some of the items. Cleaning and sorting the contents of my sewing basket, I remembered my mom gave it to me when I bought my Kenmore. She stocked it with scissors and a few more items.

She taught me how to sew and knit. She must have been a good teacher because usually I’m not good at learning from verbal instructions. I have to read the directions. I have been sewing since high school. I designed and made my graduation gown. I never thought much of it then. It looks pretty good to me now. It gives me pleasure seeing it. I wonder if my mother still has it. I made my sister’s high school grad dress, too. I took special care finishing all the raw seams. I remembered she was recovering from a concussion that spring. She was struck by a car at a pedestrian crosswalk.

These are all good memories. They make me nostalgic, yearning for those bygone days. I didn’t know then how sweet everything was, even the tough times. I feel a tad sad with some regrets. It comes with being human. Who doesn’t have regrets, wanting things that aren’t and can’t be in retrospect? It’s really not a bad thing. It can inspire me towards reaching outward, upward and all around me to make dreams come true. Now for a spot of tea. Sheba and I have made a run to the dog park. We stopped at Sarcan and dropped off some old phones, bottles and cans. We made $8.00. We made space. We are proud.