Sometimes magic happens when you just start – anything. And contrary to popular belief, don’t look at the whole picture. When I do, I’m often overwhelmed with the impossibility of it and I don’t start. I was pushed forward by the fact that every time I look out my sunroom, my view was obscured by dusty windows. I felt disgusted and shameful. I thought I could wash some if not all of them. I ended washing all but 3. Motivated I did the bedroom and bathroom windows the next day. The following day after that, I did the kitchen ones. Each time I marvelled that I can see and smell clean and it felt wonderful.
Now I have just the livingroom left and all the windows in the basement. There’s LOTS of windows down there. That’s why it’s best not to think of the big picture. But it did lead me to think about my mother and her house. My 90 year old parents are still living on their own. We help with the grocery shopping, the lawn and snow shovelling in winter. She didn’t want help with the house. Seeing how much hard it was for myself, I asked her if she needed help with washing the windows and the dusting. Oh, I washed all the windows already, she told me. I do one a day. It takes me a couple of months but they’re done. I use a stick with a cloth to dust those hard to reach things so I’m good.
I’ve always admired my mother but now even more. She has always been my source of inspiration. While I’m still on this motivation high, I tackled putting all the garden stuff away in the garage today. I tried to do it properly by finding a place for everything. It’s a bit of a job but I made a start. It’s been a long time since I worked in the garage. 9 years exactly, the number of years since I’ve retired. I cleared a few shelves of dust, dirt and cobwebs for my plant trays. A few pots were broken that got accidentally knocked down. I pulled out totes to see what they held. I found 2 of Sheba’s beds in one. Even though they had been washed before being stored, they stank. I was ready to let them go now. She has been gone for 2½ years. It is time.
I’m feeling surprised by my get up and go. I have been so languid for so long. I felt as if I have just woke from a deep slumber. I think it is my 90 year old mother jolting me awake. If she can still keep her house spic and span, I could at least try for just spic to start. Being able to still keep her house clean gives her so much pleasure along with walking in her garden and seeing her flowers. I can learn alot from her. I have a long way to go and lots to do. I am ready.
I’ve recently recognized myself as having ADHD when I was listening to The Current on CBC Radio. Since then I’ve been listening to many lectures by Dr. Russell Barkley, an internationally recognized authority on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) in children and adults. You can find them on his website or on YouTube. Rick Green is a Canadian comedian, satirist, actor, writer, and advocate for awareness of adult ADD. He is most well-known as co-creator of The Red Green Show. His website totallyadd.com contains a wealth of information.
So what have I done since I became aware of it in myself besides gathering all this information? I’ve been proactive in putting them into use since executing is my huge problem. Starting and stopping is also difficult for me. To stop overwhelm, I break things into small parts. To make a start in this space, I tap out a word, then a sentence. Sometimes it works. When it doesn’t, I get up and make myself a cuppa to settle the aggitation in my head.
I’m especially having trouble today. Not feeling super. I have so many f***king disorders. I’m not liking this sudden change to warmer temperatures. What a thing to complain about, eh? It’s a reality with me so I am learning to somehow thrive despite everything. I’m writing in that one inch picture frame that Anne Lamott talks about in Bird by Bird. It’s a very good book on writing and living. She writes:
“E.L. Doctorow said once said that ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard.”
I agree! It is the best dang advice for me, too. On many days I can’t see the whole picture, not the whole enchilada. I have to take a small bite at a time or else I could end up in a screaming malfunction. It’s not a pretty picture. I’m getting close to that point now. But before I stop, let me tell you that I’ve taken apart my Dyson Stick vacuum and cleaned all the parts and put them back together. A few days ago I phoned the company for a replacement part that was not working. I was delighted to find that I still have 7 months left on my warranty. The call took only minutes. In the past, I would not or could not have gotten there. Progress! But I have to keep at it.
We had some sun today. It was a nice relief from the grey and dark. Now the sunlight is weak and watery like tepid tea. It gives me an insipid melancholia. Is there another kind? I should really stop talking about my moods but that’s what’s foremost on my kinds’ minds. It’s what we brood on as if we could or hope to hatch it into joy. Joy to the world and Falalalala.
Don’t take me too seriously though. I am not despairing or crying into my soup. Not yet anyways. I’ve baked up a storm the last few days – bread, cookies, cinnamon buns and Sheba’s doggy biscuits. Today I’m stitching up a couple more motifs on my tablecloth. Busy hands are happy hands. I’ve had my troubled times but I’ve never at a stage I’m wringing them.
December 25, 2018 10:47 am
John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s lyrics are running through my head this morning
And so this is Christmas And what have we done? Another year over And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas I hope you have fun The near and the dear one The old and the young
Yes, this is Christmas and what have I done? I think I’ve found the peace I needed. I’m feeling it for today at least. I had to let go of the ‘wanting, working on, fixing, making things right, doing the right thing’ mentally. I had to let go of everything and just be as best as I could. It has been a hard lesson for me. It’s difficult to learn that I’m not that powerful or that I have a say in everything. It’s wonderful to let go of all that assumed responsibility, all that weight. I’m feeling almost as light as a feather today.
December 26, 2018 @2:15 pm
So this is Boxing Day. Lunch is over and I’m feeling ever so lazy. I thought I have a whole bunch of good words to impart but what I really want to do is just nap. I will struggle here a bit. Then it’s time to feed Sheba and go for our walk. Not really looking forward to it but we must. It’s like cleaning that oven this morning after the day of spatchcocked turkey. It was a mess! Opening the oven door, I want to slam it shut again. BUT – the impossible to clean was possible. A lot of elbow grease and persistence. It’s almost sparkling clean, racks and all.
That is what I have to remember. The whole picture is really ugly till you break it into do-able little segments. I wondered afterwards how I did it. Another thing to remember is don’t think, just do it. And it will be done. AND the turkey turned out moist, delicious with crunchy skin. Worth it!
I’ve broken through the first 100 days of trying to doing/seeing things differently. I’m aiming for the next 100. Any breakthroughs/lightbulb moments? Yes and no. The first thing I realize is how habitual I am. I sit in the same chair. I drink from the same cup. I wear the same kind of clothes. I have attachments. I drive the same route. I go to the same exercise class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I have the same routines. Habits and routines are not bad. In fact they are healthy, saving us time and energy.
Change is also healthy but it is hard. I discover that I do feel uncomfortable when I change where I sit, drinking out of a different cup. I feel the discomfort thinking about it before I even make the change. It sounds silly and I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t experienced it. I use the same locker at the YWCA every time I go. I’m quite put out if someone else claims it before me. So I’m also territorial! I will try for a different locker on Friday and get out of my comfort zone.
These 100 days have been a slow go, weary at times. Each day seem a drip into the bucket from a slow leaky tap. That’s what real life is like. It is real life. But at least I’m breaking out of the grey days of October. I’ve been whining, complaining and writing about it the whole month long. I’m hearing myself and I’m not proud. I’m making a turn though.
I’m seeing more of the whole picture now, not just the repetition of me, I and myself. I’m not the only one suffering and struggling. I’m just more vocal. And it’s okay. It’s how I find release. Some of us are more quiet than others. There’s promise of sunshine tomorrow into next week . Hallelujah! Praise the Lord.