It’s harder to stare at a blank screen than a blank canvas. With a painting, one can always throw some paint onto the paper or canvas. If it does not look at anything, you can call it abstract. But how do you do an abstract post? Maybe I can just mumble away and hope for the best. I’ve been absent from the keyboard too long. Words and thoughts are hard to come by. I can blame it on Convid and the restrictions restricting me from having experiences. Therefore I have nothing to write about. While I’m at it I like to blame Justin Trudeau, the CBC and the Star Phoenix, too. I hate to take responsibility for my own actions of doing or non-doing.
The Ultimate Blog Challenge is coming up in a week. I have to write a post a day for the month. I better smarten up and get with the program. Tax Return is also due in a month. I haven’t opened all my mail for my T4s or 5s or what-have-you. I keep saying I will do it tomorrow. Of course tomorrow never comes. I don’t know why it feels so hard to get going. I wonder if that’s what spring fever is. Sometimes I do feel all afrenzied but I can’t do anything. Why does it always happen to me. Poor me!
The only thing I can do is have another cuppa and snack. You know what will happen eventually. I will get big as a house. I will throw up my hands and say, How the hell did this happen? I better snap out of this PDQ. I better get a program. I better get a routine. I better make a list every day. All I have to do is show up here every day and write something. It doesn’t have to be cerebral. It doesn’t have to be long. It does have to be engaging though because otherwise what is the point. As for my Tax Return, I can find and open a few pieces of mail a day. There’s still 7 days left in March. It is possible to gather them all together by April. That will leave me 30 days to work on it.
There, I have a plan/program! I will start or I should say I have started. This post is almost written. It is not abstract. I have defined 2 concrete actions. I remember reading something about how to get things done. You have to figure out what you want done. Then you have to outline how you are going to get it done. This post won’t win any awards but I think it’s dang good. It got me unstuck and going.
It’s the Fourth of July. Happy Indepence Day to my American friends and relatives! It’s also the 4th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge where I have commited to show up every day to write a post. It’s too early for me to crow about my success but so far, so good. It was a challenge yesterday to have the inspiration, the content and the fluidity to satisfy myself. I was left feeling dissatisfied and a bit down in the mouth. Then I received a very nice and kind comment from Bing, a content writer and blogger. I am buoyed again.
Breakfast is ate, the kitchen and dining room floors are vacummed. I am here to start my words. It is good to have a routine, a few rituals before I sit myself before the keyboard. A few ideas are percolating in my head while little bits of housework are done. A win win activity. Life works best for me in little bites and blocks. I cannot handle the whole enchilada. I am envious of those who can. I am a small splash in my little pond.
I am inspired and motivated by Karen Sammer, a health coach and fellow blogger on the Challenge to lose 10 pounds. I am sure I would feel better for it. I am not a big person with a lot of weight to lose, but I feel every extra pound because of my height. It has nowhere to go except horizontally. Though I do attend an aerobics class three times a week and walk the dog daily, it is not enough. I need to do more. I need to be mindful of the way I eat. So many things to be mindful of!
It goes to show of how not in the moment I am. It is true that I worry excessively of things not done or mistakes I’ve made. I ponder too much on options and make no decisions at all. I let things decide themselves or others do for me. Today is another wake up moment. I can start with the food I eat. I haven’t done this exercise in mindfulness, thinking it is not a big deal. It is a big deal, to chew and taste the food in my mouth – the flavour and texture before swallowing. After all, I am not Sheba, who wolfs down her kibbles before I had a chance to stand up and turn around.
Just practicing it at breakfast and lunch, I feel more relaxed, losing this sense of rushing. I have time to chew, taste and enjoy. Meals are a time to rejoice and give thanks for the food on our plates. For this month I will give up my toast at breakfast. I will have one fried egg with hemp seeds and a piece of fruit. It’s good so far these 2 days. I’ve experienced no sugar lows before lunch, even on an exercise class morning. For my other meals, I will cut down my portion sizes. I’ve been adding ferments for gut health. I will allow myself a bit of snacking. Being too strict and limiting will cause me to obsesse too much on things I can’t have. I know that about myself.
Now I have a plan. I am pumped again. To tomorrow and the food on our plates!
We’re steadily heading towards the shortest day of the year. It’s no surprise that it’s dark out and the house lights are on. I know I’m harping on the darkness. It’s my brain. It’s better I ventilate and let out the darkness. Hoarding it inside would only make it grow.
I can’t say that the day was a success or that it went badly. It was heavy and sluggish. I just put one foot in front of the other and proceeded forward ho. It helps to have a routine. I move according to program. I vacuumed as much as I had time before leaving for my exercise class this morning. I’m finding it very therapeutic, doing something that is needed instead of squandering the time away. It’s surprising how much one can do in minutes. It gives me structure and time later to work on something or languish as desired.
I struggled through the step aerobics even with an instructor shouting out instructions. My brain is malfunctioning and I am not feeling exactly gleeful and lightfooted. I did the best I could. Sometimes I adjusted my speed, repeat times 2 instead of 3. What the hell. I was moving and that’s what counts. I don’t have to enjoy it. My brain is not cooperating. It is not my fault. I still sweated. Does that count? I still walked Sheba in the afternoon. I kept thinking of taking a shorter walk the whole time. But I didn’t.
Today hasn’t been a ton of fun but I’m not crying either. It is what it is. This, too, shall pass. I’m still upright, looking normal and doing what I normally do. I’m reading a thriller, The Girl From Home. It’s exactly what my brain needs, something easy to grab onto. I tinkered a bit with my free motion embroidery after lunch. After working on machine embroidery for awhile, it is harder to go back to. I have to reset how I see and make a picture. I have to wing it on my own. No computerized motiff, no perfect programmed stitches. I am the computer, one without a program and a defective hard drive.
I’ve let go of some of my routine and habits. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I thought I would relax a little and ‘let go’. I’ve let go too much. I’m having trouble getting my discipline back. It’s time to walk my furry baby but I don’t want to do that either. I must. It’s her birthday. She got her birthday chew. I can’t deprive her of her walk. Guilt will get me going – after I finish my tea. Heavy big sigh.
How did I get to this spot? It’s like pulling teeth getting things done. The arthritis in my left hand is not helping. It’s almost 4 months now. Some days it is not bad. Then it’s not good the last 2 days. My ring finger is swollen and bent. I spend moments straightening and massaging it. Otherwise, it would seize up and I would have to snap it open. Ouch! Ah, I better take a tylenol. Time to take Sheba out.
I tanked out after Sheba’s birthday walk yesterday. My discipline has gone to the dogs. Not a good thing. Real life happens. I don’t want it to go on for much longer. It doesn’t feel good, this lethargy. I feel as if I’ve lost all ambition and resolve. I feel as if I’ve lost purpose. I want to say, What is the point? The world is on the brink of destruction. The fires burn on. Violence continues. We are a selfish specie. We only care about the me, I and myself. We only care about money and stuff.
Clearly one thing I need to change is my self talk and my vocabulary. I am thinking and talking myself into a blue streak. I have to keep some blinds open and let natural light in. Maybe I can paint some blue skies to counter the clouds and smoke. Real life sucks sometimes but that’s life. I must be doing some things right. I am not behind with life. My bills are paid up. My car is serviced. Doctor and dental checkups done. I have family and a few friends. I have some junk cluttering my surfaces but nothing that would shock your socks off if you pay me an unexpected visit.
By my own accounts, I must be doing okay. I went to my exercise class this morning. I can still talk and interact with people. Somebody gave me some rhubarb muffins. Another some cucumbers. I harvested 2 more spaghetti squash from the raised garden bed. I already have 5 in the basement. I made lunch. Dishes are not done but soaking. I think I’m just going through a life bump. I’ll be back to ‘normal’ in a bit. No worries.
I am slowly getting over my physical indisposition. At any rate, I’m not allowing it to affect my pyschological outlook. It was hard work though. I had to concentrate, talked to myself alot. You can choose, my inner voice lectured in my head. I gave it some thought and went down the optimist’s path. Better a high road than a low one. Isn’t that everyone’s advice?
At the end of the day, yesterday, my head was such a tangled nightmare. My hair felt electrofied, standing on end. All my work stations were jumbled messes. I felt nauseous. I would puke if I could. In the morning, things didn’t look quite as bad. So now, it’s my measuring stick for feeling sick or tired or both. It helped me to decide to stay home from my exercise class and not feel guilty about it. I’m a good example of someone being hard on herself. I wonder when I will feel grownup. I have nobody to answer to, not even a boss.
Somehow I do feel more grownup, having made that decision and some other choices. Today and now is always the first day of any change. Some routine makes for efficiency. Too much makes ruts. I need to work on my ‘mess piles’ since they do aggravate my well-being and hinder creativity. I’m always having to dig through to find things. I try not to let the thought of clearing and cleaning overwhelm me. I cleared my head, took a breath. I decided I would clear a spot/deal with a chore, one at a time. There would be no multi-tasking. I will have to put things away from now on. That is my plan.
To set things in motion, I renewed my library stuff online to avoid late fees. I had a due back soon email yesterday. I changed the bedding, laundered, dried, fold and put it all away. I did the dishes after lunch before taking Sheba to the park. We did the 2 laps around and no more, though we were asked to do another by 2 ladies. The good company was tempting but I stuck to my plan. Overdoing had worn me out.
It is a little after 5 pm. The sun is still out. Looks like spring is here. My ‘work’ is done. Time to let go of the day. This is enough.
Here I am again – tap, tapping away on the keyboard. I hope the rhythm will propel words and ideas along. I like to make it all in one go. Aiming high, I know. No point in aiming for less. I would be programming myself for failure that way. God! I’m weary. My spirit is in my slippers. You would think that I’ll be dancing the jig. Our temperature is -3C. The sun is out. It feels like March. My body doesn’t work that way. It likes January to be like January. I’m only bitching here. It is my space. My valve release.
I made it to my aerobics class this morning. I didn’t really feel like it. But I packed my gym bag. Put it near the door. When the time came, I put on my coat and shoes and out the door I went. No thinking. No hesitation. That’s the way I have to do it. Come Wednesday and Friday, it will be easier. My routine is re-established. I always feel better after. I’ve made that effort to live, not just exist. Life is a complicated project. There are many components to figure out. Sometimes the user manual is not particularly clear or helpful. You have to fiddle and jiggle things around to make it work. It makes for interest and challenge. It keeps me going. There are some hiccoughs and stalls. That’s to be expected.
I jiggle Sheba’s time today, making it earlier. It’s nicer to walk in daylight and sunlight when possible. It gets dark anytime after 4 pm. My energy sags even further. So we try for 3 pm. It’s her most naughty time – barking and raising a fuss for her supper. Now we walk at 3. She has to earn her supper first. It’s a good working plan. We’ve done our walk. She’s fed and quiet on her cushion. I can sit here, drink my cups of tea and tap my heart out. Life can be easier just by rescheduling. It’s somewhere in beginning of the user manual. It just takes awhile for me to find it. Most of the time I don’t read directions. Winging it doesn’t work as well.
The trick with getting anything done is making a beginning. Elementary, my dear, you say. It is at that but a very important elementary point. So we’ve begun, Sheba and I. It is 2:59, not quite 3:00 pm. She rises and whimpers. I said no. Down. She does. We are both sitting, she on all fours, me on the chair. We will wait it out. The minute passes. She rises on her fours. I continue to sit and tap. Patience is a virtue. So is discipline.
I could easily become a hermit given my disposition and inclinations. I know very well it is not healthy to isolate myself socially. I was also brought up and trained to to live properly. Those things have saved me from myself. I always try to do the right thing or else it would nag at me. Even having bad improper thoughts gnaw at my conscience. I could never be a thief but I have sinned.
Sheba passed her test. 3:10 and I reward her with her supper. She is getting it. Obedience and Patience = food. I’m getting it, too. Consistency and Patience = success. Our successes comes slowly and in increments, sometimes sliding back and forth. The furry princess tries and does get on my nerve in the afternoons. At 11 years old she is still full of vim and vinegar. After eating, she energetically humps her bed. Then she wants to play, insisting that I play toss her squeaky toys with her. What a mad house! I lose my patience.
That’s how it is at our house. Most mornings I’m not geared up or look forward to doing anything. Today is a Wednesday, an exercise day. I have breakfast, pack my gym bag, vacuum a room or two and head off to the YWCA. I’m trained by habit and routine. It’s not a big deal or painful as in the beginning. Some ruts are healthy. It get things done. I repeat this every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Sometimes I bored myself writing every day. What could I possibly have to say – every day. It’s a discipline I want to keep up – within reason, of course. It gives me clarity and direction. I hope I am not boring you. I write mostly for myself but I do appreciate the support and readership. I’m now pushing and struggling to increase the length and the quality of my writing. I’m doing the best I can. Today is not a day when words flow. They come slowly after much thought.
Another daily practice I’m doing is my art. It has been dormant many, many years. It came alive last year much to my own surprise. It has been mostly talk on my part. You know how it goes. It’s my passion but I was too this and that – all the usual excuses. It takes very little time to pick up a pencil or a paint brush and art. So that’s what I do every day, a little practice. It takes minutes sometimes, an hour another day. The thing is to begin and do it. I admit starting can be difficult. I just do it.
This morning the sun was a little brighter and the temperature a little warmer. Still it took some recalled oomph to get out of bed. I guess by now you’ve guessed that I’m not a bouncy morning type of gal.
I always need that little extra push to get going – anywhere. Are there really people who bounces out of bed, whistling and ready to wrestle a tiger and bring it home? Well, good for them, whoever they are! I’m just going to mosey along like the tortoise that I am, one slow step at a time.
I stretch and I breathe in the qi of life. I flow through the motions of qigong, feeling stronger and more awakened with each movement of the routine. My inertia and languidness are vanishing with the breath. It is necessary to bite the bullet – get up, dress up and show up to face the day. No matter what, we have to greet it.
So I am not Speedy Gonzales and I don’t have a tiger in my tank. I am living life at my own speed. I am not in a hurry. I have time to smell the coffee. I will see the flowers growing along the road. I will not miss their sweet scent in the air. I will not miss the extras in the ordinaire. How wonderful is that?