December 20. We’re a day away from the shortest day and longest night of the year. There’s light in the tunnel now. I can start emerging from the cocoon of my mind and claw my way out into the sunshine. I have to admit that I’ve spent more time in the valley of the shadow this December. It wasn’t that bad since I did not put up a fierce fight. I greeted it with gentle acceptance. That made the difference.
I’m working at this conversation. It would be easier if I came at an earlier hour when I’m more up. But I needed that energy to do the ADL (the activities of daily living). Being so cold and dark this morning, I did not go out with my skis. I was content to stay put, read and make soup. I was not content long, disturbed by the noisy snow blowing from next door. I was irritated and unsettled. John Grisham’s The Rooster Bar was not engaging me either. It got rather monotonous and boring. Looks like it’s just not mine opinion only according to ratings on Goodreads. I might just dump it. Why waste my time, eh?
Irritated, I pounded on the piano for awhile, getting out my frustrations. By then the sun had come out, shining full and bright. The sky was so blue and the snow so white. It was a totally inviting picture. I made up my mind that I was going skiing after lunch no matter the cold temperature. Besides there was no wind. It was my kind of day.
I was not disappointed. I had the guy drop me off at the park on his way to his boat building workshop. The park was a picture of perfect white beauty. School must be out for Christmas. No children around. Not a soul was seen. Just me, bundled up like an eskimo, walking on sticks. After making once around the park, I was limbered and faster, almost gliding along the track. You might think I knew how to ski. I was pumped coming off my skis at the end. Ok, I was panting a little, too. It was a little harder breathing through a mask, but it kept out the cold air.
Now, it is day’s end. I am content with no angst or anxiety. The dining room table is still clear. I’m looking forward to the morning and another day.
I’m consoling myself this morning with a cup of rooibos tea. I’m staring at another blank morning, another blank page. I despise this feeling of blandness and emptiness. But how to make a mark, to scratch the surface? Will it bleed? I resort to mopping up Sheba’s hair to get a start. She has never failed to give me a supply. At least the ice is broken now. We have a start of a conversation.
Lately, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have interstial cystitis. It’s not deadly but at the same time, there’s no cure. Oh joy! However, let me look at the bright side. It can be treated by dietary changes. I’ve decided to take up the challenge. I’m tired of continuous treks to the bathroom, not to mention getting up 3 times during the night and the water bill. At the same time giving up my favourite drinks and food is enough to spiral my mood downward. I feel a huge depression coming on.
On the list of foods to avoid are: tea and coffee, regular or decaf, carbonated drinks, chocolates, spicy and acidic food, wine….Just when I’ve discovered the wonders of ferments, kimchi and kombucha might be on the no list. Booo! Surprisingly, sourdough bread is ok. I will just have to experiment. I know for so wine is a trigger. It is not a hardship to give it up. On the other hand my Orange Pekoe is. I’ve already caved in and had a diluted cuppa after my walk with Sheba. I am so weak but I haven’t thrown in the towel yet.
I’m still showing up, tapping out each letter, word, sentence, urging myself onward. I felt so low after lunch, it was hard to keep my eyes open, to clean up and get the dishes done. It was one dish, one utensil at a time. Then there was the frying pan. Man, that was tough to get that beast washed. But I did it. I took Sheba for a long walk after. I felt the sun and exercise would be good for stimulating the production of serotonin.
My self talk/tap, urging myself onward worked. I mobilized myself enough to get six tomatoes planted in the raised bed. after our walk. They’re caged and under cover. Let the cold nights come. As for my bladder, I think I’m on the right track. I’m able to increase my holding time to 2 hours and sometimes 3 hours. It is on my mind alot. You know what happens with that! I feel the urge almost instantly the moment it pops into mind. I can talk myself out of it by relaxing a little. I put it off for 10 minutes at a time. Then another. And so on. I’m having some success. I got up only twice for the last couple of nights. Small victories.
It is Saturday. The sun rises and shines through the windows. The shadows dance on the wall. I am summoned by the day to rise and shine my best, however much I can. I have been tried and challenged this last while. It is no drama, though dramatic. The details are stowed away in the recesses of my mind – to be examined at a better time.
For now I bask in the warmth of a sunny May morning, happy to find my words and to feel the tap, tap of the keyboard. Each click is soothing beneath my fingertips. Each click is unlocking the fetters and releasing the angst from my body. I am recovering the ME of me. I am feeling the sweet melody of life in my body. I can surely rise and shine with the sun.
I can feel the pull of sewing that sail cover for Rod. The bedding plants are clamouring to be out in the sun. Life is calling.
It is still April. The morning is mighty fine. I love how the sun comes through the windows and dances on the walls of the sun room and dining room at this hour. Everything is bathed in soft buttery light. I bask in its glow, appreciating the moment, knowing it will be gone soon. This is what makes me feel lucky, knowing and appreciating the now.
Yes, I am sitting and holding this space from Kat McNally’s #AprilMoon. I’m tap, tapping out the words from my fingertips. I feel lucky, too, that I am able to do this – to breathe through my nose all the way down to my fingertips. The words come out, one by one. They march across the screen, forming words and sentences. They give me life and sustenance. They help me live in the moment. They anchor me in the now.
Sometimes I drift away, carried off by my thoughts, of course. They are devious and intrusive – full of trickery. I am mindful of them. They can deceive you with their false truths. I try not to spend time in that space of wondering – ‘if I will ever’. Thoughts cannot do the deed. Thinking is just thinking but it sure can burn up the energy.
I try to stay in the here and now, not examining the past nor wondering about the future. I like it here, tap, tapping and watching the sun dance on the walls. It is peaceful. It is healing.
I am waiting for it still. The sky is overcast. I am thinking that it’s a no show. I head out for my walk with Sheba without a hat. Of course, the sun comes out and beats down on us. I regret my decision immediately. Why do things always happen like that?
I’ve become fond of hats walking Sheba. In winter, it keeps out the wind and the cold. They say you lose most of your body heat through your head. In summer it keeps out the heat. When it rains, a hat can keep your head dry and your mascara from running.
Hats have become my friends. Besides being protection, they add a bit of fashion and character. I don’t worry about hat heads like I used to in my younger days. Rather they come in handy, hiding my bed head in the morning.
I’m no Princess Di nor the Queen. Sheba is queen enough for both of us. But I am glad that I have a little more hat flair than Elizabeth.
The sky is threatening. I hear a rumble. Is it thunder? No rain yet. It’s not 5 yet. Time enough to have a beer to cool off. Wouldn’t hurt to loosen up either.
I woke up this morning and it was still -3 C. I opened my eyes and the sun was shining through the window. I got out of bed and found Sheba laying in a pool of sunlight, so content with herself.
The dining room table was a feast of green, full of bedding plants coming in for the night. It was a great way to greet the day – sunlight, greens and a happy dog.
The light danced off the walls, highlighting and casting shadows, reminding me of life – light and shadows, good and bad, the yin and the yang. And I moved and flowed through my morning qigong routine.
The sun greeted me this morning. No more Groundhog Days! Yipee!
It goes to show that there are beginnings and endings. ‘This, too, shall pass’ is true. I can believe it now and will again and again. I will hug it to my heart for future reference for difficult days ahead.
I’m looking ahead to beautiful days in spring and a hot growing summer. But I’m also looking back at the month of April to see how far I’ve come and what I have learned. Each day is a step forward for me. That is what a challenge and a commitment did for me.
I HAD TO GET UP, DRESS UP AND SHOW UP.
Now, I am reaping my rewards. I have 30 posts, one for each day of the month. It is very satisfying! And it really isn’t THAT difficult. Each day I just put one foot in front of the other. When you make a start, something always follow. It is no rocket science. I sit at the keyboard and the words come – somehow.
And just so comes my doodles. I see the picture in my mind and somehow they come out of my fingertips onto my iPhone screen. How amazing is that! I have to thank my FB friend Janet Riehl for telling me about the doodle apps on smart phones. I’ve been doodling ever since. When I am surrounded by greyness, rain or sleet, I can surround myself with my own light and colours. We can choose and create how we want to live our lives.
Perhaps that is the biggest lesson I have learned in these 30 days of April. I can choose how to be in each and every moment. Some days the choices are harder and fewer but I am still the captain at the helm. I get to steer. Of course the sailing is much easier if I know where I am going. That is another challenge!
Sunday evening and I’m sitting here with a glass of wine, not one thought in my head, no idea at all for this post. Some days can be like that and it’s all good. Today after all is a day of rest.
It started out so full of promise and sunshine. I rejoiced and smiled. I settled myself in the love seat in the sunroom. I read a couple of chapters from a new romance. Oh, such luxury and indulgence, reading for just pure leisure. I sipped my tea. Life is good.
Sheba and I headed out for our gentle jog. We stopped at my mother’s along the way. Sheba thought that was great because she knows that she will get lots of attention and treats. We always had a good time at mom’s.
It started snowing on the way home – big fluffy flakes. The sun disappeared. It was not what we want but it was a pretty scene.
Life can be like that – unpredictable and disappointing at times. But still there is beauty and goodness in it. You have to roll along with the clouds and be ready to shine when the sun comes out.