I’ve taken 3 days off from the challenge. It was time for a break/rest. Now let me see if I can hop back on again. We’ve had a long, long stretch of grey and foggy weather. Though it had created some beautiful photographic opportunties, it was wearing on me. Then on Friday the sun returned in all its glory. It was welcomed but it was rather abrupt and bright. My physical body did not like it at all but we limped through it. I felt better the next day and got to enjoy sunny morning ski.
The sun disappeared again after the two days. I think that’s how things will be in our new normal – change, fluctuation and uncertainty. I’m being more mindful so that I can live my best possibel life. It helps if I can identify what makes me feel bad and what makes me feel good. I used to take many things for granted. I never planned much. I never thought much about what I want and didn’t want. I allow things to just happen. Life seemed more stable and secure back then. It was always an illusion. It was comforting.
Now, I can no longer believe in the illusion. Nor do I want to. It would make me more vulnerable and unable to handle life’s little and big problems. I want to develop strength and resilience. I want a life that is meaningful even if it is difficult. Perhaps dealing with all the difficulties gives life meaning. Even though the clouds have returned, I’m finding the silver lining. My mantra borrowed from Regina Brett – No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up – still works for me.
And so that is what I do. No matter how I feel, I get up, dress up and show up and do the best I can. Today I got up, dress up and went to my exercise class even though I did not feel like it. I left the class feeling more energetic and alive than when I arrived. I felt content this afternoon cooking up my pumpkins to make puree. Their orange-ness made me feel good. I was totally engaged reading John Grisham’s The Client. My whole being was in the book. I took no notice of the greyness outside. I think I can make my own endorphins.
I think it is what I need to do to stay well and happy. There’s always something that I can do to make things a little better. When I was feeling tough on Friday, I was still able to go to my drawing class. I was able to forget how I was feeling for two hours. I even had fun. It was like playing and I felt well. Play is a valuable tool and it comes in many forms. It’s up to me to discover what they are and have fun at it.
I’m still here, wrapped in another day of grey. I’m taking my own advice, not fighting it and just going along with the ride. I haven’t been actively seeking ‘fun’. Didn’t do any stretches. Didn’t ski so I guess stretching wasn’t necessary. I thought I would just relax and wallow in what is just me. I think it is good to stay put. There’s always chores, you know, those shitty boring stuff that everyone hates, puts off and runaway from. But they are necessary for our well being and happiness. Good examples are brushing our teeth, cleaning our body, preparing food, doing dishes, doing the laundry. Pretty tedious stuff, eh?
You could say that I was disturbed into ease and silence by the band Disturbed and their rendition of Paul Simon’s The Sound of Silence. It was a bit different from Simon and Garfunkel’s version. I thought the guy was a bit off at first. I fell in love with it when he started growling. Here he is, live on Conan. The video is 6 years old. I wonder where I have been. I’ve just discovered him accidently as the soundtrack on a skate competition.
Grey days are not all bad. There’s always a silver lining. The weather app said there was a bit of sun today. I must have blinked and missed it. Let’s see what tomorrow and the weekend brings. There’s snow forecast for Sunday. I will have a break in my routine tomorrow. I start an in person drawing class in the afternoon. I am ready. My bad is packed with my supplies. I have a couple of samples to show the teacher.
November 24. Good morning/afternoon. It’s another new day, another blank page. The day is not quite so new or clean any more. It is almost noon. I’m having my second cup of tea after my morning exercise class. I’m trying to reset and clear my mind of negative thoughts and feelings that have crept in. I wonder how that happened when nothing has happened at all. I wonder if I can dust and sweep them out. They are not strangers to me. I am not so frighten of them any more. I have accepted and made peace with them. They are all parts of me – the good, bad and ugly. Rumi’s poem, The Guest House says it well.
This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
Today I am working on Pages in my iCloud on iMac. I had lost it along with Numbers and Keynotes when I did an update of my IOS. It was very upsetting at the time but after much wasted energy and needless stress, I somehow got them on iCloud. Lesson learned – things don’t stay broken. When things break or fall apart, it forces me to change, to search for different/better ways of being/doing. I can look at it as the silver lining of a bad situation.
I’m reminded of Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times. We are deep in those difficult times now. It should not be a surprise that I have some anxiety and other bad feelings. I have the book. I should read it. It does me no good sitting on the shelf. And on this note, I shall close up with my gratitude list.
I am grateful I have the love of words and books.
I am grateful I have rediscovered my love of music and spending time each day to listen to my library.
I am grateful to have found Jodie Picoult’s Sing You Home in the library. It’s about music therapy, hence leading me to my music collection.
Not every morning, day and anything are equal. I wouldn’t want it to be, would you? Where would the challenge be then? It would be like Bill Murray waking up to the same day, every day in Groundhog Day. A person could go bonkers! Change is good for us. Having said that, it doesn’t stop me wishing for the comfort of the endless sun shiny days. It’s our human default mode. We hate change. We hate discomfort and inconvenience. We hate interruption of a good thing.
You might have guessed it. Today is a cloudy and windy morning. We’ve had a light shower. It’s not conducive for productivity or joy. I should amend that. It can and does lead to creativity. Clouds sometimes give us pause make us reach deeper into ourselves. They can be an impetus for writing poetry, making music and other pursuits. I think we call them silver linings. Without clouds where would we get the rain for our rose gardens?
It’s getting towards the end of the day. I’m feeling a bit challenged on finishing this post. The day did not stay cloudy. The afternoon was lovely, warm and filled with sunshine. My persons came for afternoon tea and snacks. I was excused from my duty of ladder holding and fetching bandaids. It was a lovely visit. I am not high maintenance. I need only a person or two, good conversation and caring. I don’t need travel or shopping. I am a happy homebody.
A few days have lapsed since day 2002. My needs are still the same. I am still a clutterbug. The difference is I feel empowered. No longer quite as helpless. No longer a victim. I can help myself. I can work my way out of a wet paper bag if need to. I am learning and progressing in my year of doing different.
Sometimes you just have to stare fear right in the eye. It’s better than being trapped in helplessness, shaking like a leaf in the wind. Some things you cannot change or avoid. That’s all there is to it. You might as well face the music and do the things you most dread – taking/being responsible. You might find it the most freeing thing. The shackles open and fall off. You can move, think and have a plan of action. You find yourself smiling and feeling pliant, moving to your heart’s demands.
On days like these, the sun is always shining. Life is clear as crystal. You can see and feel through all sides of your life. You feel blessed and wondered why you have fought against all of this so hard. This moment is so peaceful. You see all the smiles and kindness bestowed without asking.
It is fleeting. You accept it, knowing it will come again and again. It is the nature of the universe. Our days on earth are short and breathtakingly beautiful as well as painful. Storm clouds gather at the horizon. But there’s always a silver lining. Look for it.
I’m sitting here tap, tapping away on my keyboard. The words are spilling from my fingertips. I hope they will be good words. I hope the words are healing words. I am not always sure what will come out. I am only sure that it is better they come out than fester inside of me. We know that splinters hurt. It is best that they are dug out than left to infect.
I am not saying that all bad things hurt. Sometimes they are guidance from above. They are examples of where we have erred. It is hard to face our own mistakes until it glaringly shows up in others. It hits you in the belly and you feel the air go out. Ahhhh! The famous light bulb moment. Oh, THAT is me. So, THAT is what I have been doing. You are ever so grateful that now you see.
So do not ever despair of bad days or cloudy days. They, too, will pass and under every cloud, there IS a silver lining. All you have to do is look.
So it is Saturday morning. It is the morning after the morning after. I wake with no boundless joy. It is perhaps the after taste of my night shifts and last night’s wine. And yes, the weather is __ ! Let it snow. Let it snow. Sometimes life feels nauseating.
But I know that these are just the physical symptoms, my body’s reactions to the environment, both the physical and psychological. And it is a good thing. It is an alert for me to waken up, to pay attention, and to restore my homeostasis.
I spent a great part of yesterday on my couch, interrupted by one medium walk with Sheba. No amount of will power nor self pep talk could budge my body. After all these years, I’ve learned to listen to my body. I was glad that I had swept the water from the garage and cleaned the yard the day before. I had heard my little inner voice telling me that the sun is out and you can move today. Tomorrow might be a different thing.
My body is a pretty accurate barometer, for it did snow…pretty soft flakes the morning long. It is really not what most of us want…more snow. But…we do live in Canada and there is nothing we can do to stop the snow when it comes. And that is the truth. It does legitimize being a sloth and I took advantage. Tomorrow is another day.
Today is yesterday’s tomorrow. I do not feel like tap dancing. It is not my nature but I am up and dressed. I am tap, tapping away on my keyboard. I am drawn not so much as to how much I can ‘accomplished’ but to how aware and conscious I am. It is cloudy again but they say under every cloud, there’s a silver lining. It is for me to decide what that is.