At long last, a warm Saturday morning! I am basking in the sunshine, sipping my tea and tapping on my laptop. Sheba is laying at my feet. I feel like tap dancing and breaking out in song. If only I can dance and sing! Never mind, music is playing in my head again. I have to sit and listen to Roger Miller sing before I can go on tapping.
I’m obviously feeling better, eh? It’s good to know that I’m not always down in the dumps, no fun to be around. It’s also important for me to document it as proof. Sometimes I don’t remember or believe myself. It feels absolutely wonderful that I am doing this Ultimate Blog Challenge. This time around, I have a clearer vision of what I want to accomplish using the challenge as a tool. Let me put it down here again.
- Be mindful and in the present moment.
- Getting up, dressing up and showing up here every day.
- Work on content, construction, proof reading of posts.
- Striving for improving mental and physical health – eg. losing a few pounds.
What works for me is to do the small of everything. A few words to get an idea to form. I do not have or work in concrete ideas/forms. I’m one whose head is in the clouds and whose thoughts are as nebulous as the mist. It’s only when I tap on the keyboard, when I see the words march across the screen that I can see my way out of the woods. It’s a big ahah moment. Until I can see and understand my handicap, I can’t make a correction or make an improvement.
Ad libbing, off the cuff will not work for me. I need to put my thoughts into words on a page. I need to brainstorm onto the page. I need to break things into small steps. My brain goes into a soupy fog even thinking of doing the lunch dishes. I want to dump everything and run away. It’s only after I slowly and mindfully start scraping off the plates, loading them into the sink/dishwasher, putting in soap, turning on the water…that my brain starts to relax. My hands and mind connect, gets into a rhythm and somehow the dishes are done. I go, “Well, that wasn’t bad!” I go through this every day.
I can also say that this wasn’t at all bad for the 6th day of this challenge. I get to do this all over again tomorrow.
It is a cold winter day – minus 37 degrees Celsius with the windchill. Brrr! I survived and live to tell about it. I braved the chill and dark of the morning to the YWCA, swam my 20+ lengths. I am quite proud of myself. I felt an obligation to show up every Saturday morning. So far I’ve been the lone swimmer for many a week now. I dare not do a no show. They might cancel that swim time if no one shows up. I dearly love having the pool to myself. I wouldn’t mind sharing since there are 3 other lanes opened.
I felt I could afford a few extra calories after my swim. I’ll be burning more off to keep warm. I love Saturday breakfast time at A&W. The place is bright and cheerful. Coffee is on. Staff and clientele are friendly, cheerful and bubbly. The atmosphere has that cozy small town feel. You would know what I mean if you’ve ever lived in one. I had a Classic Breakfast. It was a sweet deal. It was only $5 and some with coffee! I had a coupon.
After, I thought I better gas up the car. I was on my last 3 notches on the gas gauge. That wind was cold and wicked. I was stupid to do the self serve station. I had a difficult time putting the lid of the gas tank back on. It wouldn’t do the click. I had to take off my gloves and really worked at it to click 3 times. Then the pump wouldn’t print my receipt. I had to go into the station. The young man at the cash register called me a brave woman for filling up myself. I couldn’t help but beamed a wee bit. Flattery will get you everywhere with me today. Man, my hands were so cold! Another day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Keep warm everyone.
This I what life does. It wakes me. It is as dark as can be. It is 7 and I get up though I didn’t want to. I swim on Saturday mornings. I don’t really feel like it today. It’s dark and cool. It’s nice and warm in bed. But I know that I really do enjoy it once I get there. Saturday morning is the only time that I have a chance of a lane to myself.
It is a little after 8 when I find myself at a red light on 8th Street. I can still go back home, I thought. I will be really late when I get to the pool and there’ll be lots of people. I could do a bunch of stuff at home. Then the light turned green. I kept going. This is what life is. You have to keep going though the going gets tough.
I find myself at funerals more often nowadays. Is this the new outing for us now? Is this the message finally or is this just another day in the life of the newly arrived seniors? I try not to think too much upon things. I keep on driving. But things and conversations have a habit of popping into my head. “No, I don’t remember you. You probably don’t remember me either. ” I try not to mind the dismissive tone of someone from a long time ago. “Yes, I do”. I replied quickly without thought. And I did. Why would I pretend otherwise? For feeling the rebuff of dismissal?
Naw, I said to myself. It has been a long time. Some people have better memory than others. Besides, I had the satisfaction of seeing that she was a little hunchbacked. Oh, the bitchiness of a female! I am honest if nothing else. No more thoughts. I keep driving. I arrive, change and into the warmth of the pool. I have the last empty lane.
Another most beautiful Autumn morning. Yet, I feel the discomfiture of the season, or is it just me? I am a bit obsessed with sleep or rather the inability to sleep. It’s a bit of a vicious circle of chasing one’s tail. I’m trying to ‘chill’. That in itself is a bit of a tail chaser, if you know what I mean. I’ve decided my best course of action is to do what I do on a normal day – before all this tail chasing.
I’m not completely sleepless. I have been falling asleep. The trouble now lies in when nature calls. I wake up and tend to business. Coming back to bed I start to worry about getting back to sleep again. Sometimes I can still my thoughts of worrying and fall back to sleep. Last night I couldn’t. But I still got 5 hours. Good enough. That’s what I lived on mostly through 30 plus years of shift work. Tonight I will have my hot chocolate with nutmeg.
It was breakfast at 5 am with a bit of reading. Sheba came and nudged me for hers at 6. Soon enough it was time to head to the pool for my Saturday morning swim. In the pool, I’m reminded of how much progress I’ve made. I’m slicing through the water with my back crawl. So what it’s taken this many years? Malcolm Gladwell said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at a skill. I’ve spent only a fraction of that. I have time and room to improve.
Practice does make for better. I’ve spent the past year striving consciously to do something different every day to change – to see and feel differently, in a better way. It seems such a struggle and it never ceases. I guess it will one day but until then I drawn to struggle for the excellence of living. I wonder how many hours there are in a lifetime. How many areas of expertise can I achieve?
It was Gene Siskel along with his colleague, Roger Ebert who asks the question, What do you know for sure? at the end of each show. I think it’s a good question to ask to start each day. What do I know for sure? It is Saturday morning. The air is fresh. It’s sunny and warm. The yard is lush with green foliage and the blues and purples of blooming petunias. I hear birds singing. I see them fly here and there.
I’m sitting on the deck with Sheba, drinking tea and tapping on the keyboard. I’m thinking about what is true and what is not. I’m thinking about where do I want to go for lunch. I’m thinking of how to be more flamboyant, what is fun and what makes me feel good.
What makes me feel good is getting an immediate ping back from the Universe. I am somewhat of a human laboratory. I am experimenting on the HOWS of pursuing excellence in living. Silence is a good tool. I still my brain from thinking, from forming an opinion, a judgement. Secrets reveal themselves. The answers are there for me to see. I silence my lips and let others speak. I hear everyone’s wisdom. I hear my own heart beat.
There are many things that I cannot control. Let me not waste time there. Let me not moan about what cannot be changed. Let me use my energy in the things I can. I can chart the course of my day, how I feel. I am captain of my ship. I can choose the direction I want to sail. I can choose from my own menu – the appetizer, the main course, dessert, the condiments. I do not have to stay in the storm. I can head for friendly waters and a safe haven.
Life is good. I have choices and options. This is what I know for sure today.