What I know for sure is life feel strange and eery these days. Our spring feels cold and wintry one day and hot and summery the next. The nights are still in minus temperatures. We are in the third wave of Covid-19 and variants. The news is not good across our country. In India people are dying in the streets. It’s hard not to feel disheartened, depressed and anxious. I’ve come to accept that I feel things deeply. I’ve become familiar with how my body reacts and have learned how to sit with it all. After all, I’ve been sitting in meditation, listening to the soothing voice of Mark Williams for many years now.
What I know for sure is I can’t do everything. I shouldn’t try but I do sometimes. And I end up being overtired and overwhelmed. Then I get forgetful. I forgot my online class Monday morning. And I forgot to pay a bill. I expect I will be penalized for late payment. What I know for sure is shit happens. I try not to sweat the small stuff. I get up. I move around. I try to do something constructive to break up sweaty thoughts and feelings. These strategies does help to break up bad thoughts and vibes. I try to learn and not repeat my mistakes.
What I know for sure is I’m hard on myself. I’m learning to give myself a break and not overloading what I can handle. It’s okay not to fulfill everything I set out to do at any given time. I have to prioritize and do the important stuff first and not fret over small items. What I know for sure is life is hard. It always has been. We are now on the road less travelled. Are you up for it?
I like the idea that life doesn’t have to be hard. I wonder if I’ve made it difficult for myself by thinking that it is. In The Road Less Travelled, M. Scott Peck begins with “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.” I know that it is true, but is there more to it than that naked statement. I will have to reread the book to see what else he has to say. Oh boy, another book to the list! I’m up for it. It will make the winter interesting and go fast. No time to complain about the cold.
The radio said it was – 34 C this morning. It is now sitting up a balmy -29 at 4 pm. It will go down again tonight and tomorrow morning the forecast is -36 C. If you don’t like winter or the cold, it could be hard. There’s that extra clothes and paraphernalia to put on before going out. Everything slows down. It takes longer to get anywhere and do anything. There’s snow to shovel. It’s cold out. There’s the dog to walk. It’s cold out. Water mains break. Then there’s no water. There’s snow and it’s cold out.
I look at this as a blessing, a gift in disguise. I can slow down and relax. I can move to the rhythm of the season. Mornings, I can snuggle just a little bit longer in the warmth of the bed, sip an extra cup of tea, not get out of my pjs if I don’t want to. I can do that. I’m retired. We had a water main break and no water on Sunday. I was in the middle of making sourdough bread. Oh boy! was what went through my mind. I was thinking of kneading dough and icky hands. We had some water in a couple of kettles for immediate use. My brother is a couple of blocks away. We got enough from him. It was fixed the same day and we got water again by 5 pm.
I discovered that I could make do with little water. I am resourceful but how often do I turn the tap on without thinking? A disruption of life as usual need not be a hardship. It’s a good wake up call to live differently – maybe even to live in a more easeful fashion. Sometimes I fuss and fret over nothing. The cold is good for stopping all that in their tracks. I like to live in the slow lane. The car is going as fast and safely as it can at this temperature. Don’t push it. And to be wise and safe, Sheba and I just trotted a few blocks around the ‘hood. We are old gals. No point in trying to prove we’re not.
So ends my mumblings for day 14 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Sorry if it is a bit disjointed and jarring. Though I’m thriving in this cold, it is a little numbing in the head. I had been out for lunch with my fellow retired and still working nurses. I had just come back from galavanting with Sheba.
Sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself. That is so with me. Before that, I never knew how cocooned and protected – how lucky I was. I was in a fool’s paradise. You can just imagine my distress when I lost myself – adrift in the universe.
I’ve been lost all my life without my knowing it. I’ve been navigating at life’s wheel without a map, compass or a GPS. I thought I could just guess, estimate and give it stab and get there. Well, guess what? Big surprise – I CAN’T.
At least I know THAT much now – a step in the right direction as they say. I’m awake and aware, my feet planted solidly on the ground like my sunflowers. I’m standing tall and erect. I know where the sun rises. Look east, young woman, look east. See which way those yellow heads are facing. Take heed. Now that you know, do not keep on trucking down the same wrong road. Try a different path. Remember to do that for the rest of your life. It’s a hard task, I know. But it’s worth your effort.
It’s all very well to espouse truisms when you are in elation, floating on a cloud. But when you have your feet firmly planted or mired in the mud of life, then it is another thing. I’m talking about this asinine statement, “You can’t control what others do. You can only control what you do.”
Try to control yourself in the heat of the moment, or should I say, the heat of days, weeks or even months. Not so easy, in the face of what the other person does. It is damn hard when you have no control over what he will do.
Life is hard, as M. Scott Peck said in The Road Less Travelled. And so, I put my head down, breathe to gather up muster and put one foot in front of the other. I see myself at least. Recognition can be a start. Now, I just have to take a few more breaths and another step. I am doing the best I can.