January 23, day 23 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I like to think I’m back in the saddle again, ready to take control, ready to get on with everything. I think it might be wishful thinking. It is almost 8 in the evening. I’m feeling a little melancholic, a little despondent. It’s nothing serious. It’s just the evening blues, the end of the day fatigue. I am thinking and that is always a dangerous thing. I’m wondering where we’re at as a society, as a world.
My corner of the world is small here on Preston Avenue. It is a busy street with lots of traffic. I don’t mind it. I’m right in the middle of everything, within short distances of shopping centers and things that are convenient. My street, being a main thoroughfare, is almost always cleared of snow. What it lacks is the warmth of a friendly neighbourhood. Perhaps it is only my perception. I am not surrounded by those who I can share a cheery greeting, a casual cup of coffee/conversation or a small helping hand. I have encountered wrath and ire over boundary lines and yard/garden maintenance differences and preferences. I’ve had an earful of tragic stories and ugly divorces. Not one invite for a friendly cuppa or glass of. But I have invited. I feel the disconnect and loneliness more acutely on this winter Covid evening.
January 24, day 24 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It is true what they say about things looking better in the morning. I also decided that I would make it better. I don’t like wallowing and sitting with those low heavy feelings. Instead I used them to move me through the day. I’m ok with slow. It’s faster than not moving at all. We’re early risers, so we were out in the park by 9:30. By then I already had Roomba cleaned up 2 rooms downstairs. The sun had not shown itself yet but the sky was a magnificent palette of soft greys and pinks, followed by the yellow.
I would push the replay button for this morning every morning if I could. I certainly got rebooted. I took the time to relax and enjoy my ski. I finally felt the sweet of the glide. I felt the whole body joy of it. I did took a tumble at the bottom of the hill though. I got up with my skis on after a struggle, but then before I knew what happened, I’m down again. This time I took my skis off to get up. Heck with it. Much easier and my new skis are a snap to put on. I made another run up, around and down the hill without a mishap. It was a good ski with 2 rounds, almost 4 km. Now I’m sitting pretty and content, doing my tap dance on the keyboard. No thinking of where we are or how we got here.
It’s June the 2nd. I’ve been missing in action for most of the 2nd half of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Life gets busy. I want time to rest. I can’t do/have it all. I gave some thought as to what matters the most in what I am doing. Taking some time off to breathe, rest and regenerate is top of the list for me. Not that I have that much time to sit idle for long. There’s always something calling me. When you have a greenhouse, a garden, 6 raised garden beds, community garden plot and a city allotment, it keeps us quite busy. It is a very worthwhile busy though, growing our own food. I just have to work smarter and plan better.
It’s beastly hot out today. Heat is not my best friend but the weather is not something I can control. I have to suck it up and deal with it, like it or not. It’s also involves planning and working smarter. It’s probably not the best day to do any transplanting but my red leaf amaranth is getting to a decent size in the greenhouse. I had seeded them for my mother. It’s now or never. I gave them a good watering and scooped them out onto a plastic tray. They’re all planted now in my mother’s garden bed. I hope they take and do well.
The thinking about doing something is more difficult than the task. I’m home now, sweaty but happy I could do something for my mother. I enjoyed the planting and visit with her. I’m learning that it is never a good time to do anything but it is the best time to do something. I just have to work past the thinking into doing.
Surprisingly, I had a whiff of energy last evening. Not to waste it, even though it was not my time of doing things, I took the vacuum stick and sucked up the dog hair on the floor. It did not take all that long to do the kitchen, dining, living and the sun room. Next, I tackled the dirty screened window in the sunroom. I’ve been looking at it all summer and haven’t made any move on it. My energy is like that. I know it and learning to work with it.
My brain is such that it gets overwhelmed easily. I have to work in the one-inch frame that Anne Lamott speaks of and E.L. Doctorow’s ‘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.’ They’re referring to writing but I apply it to everything. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life is a book full of such wisdom.
I am happy that I started this conversation in the morning. I am happy I paid the house insurance this morning. The afternoon has been a bit of a struggle. I am feeling the seasonal bad, but not sad. I can’t think at all. Doing a simple sewing project is difficult. Trying to figure how to measure and cut on the bias felt like doing brain surgery. Having the right equipment and tools helped alot. In the end, I got my bias strips cut and sewn to specification. But somehow one end ended up in my cup of coffee. So now it’s rinsed off and hung up to dry.
Sheba and I have been out and back from our walk. Nothing exciting except I did dropped the roll of doggy bags and didn’t even know it. It was lying on the sidewalk, waiting for me on our return. I think I should call it a day. I should make a cuppa, put up my feet and read my murder mystery. It’s always good therapy for my foggy brain.
There’s anxiety and fear in going forward. But there is boredom and frustrations waking up to the same old, same old every day. So I ask myself, Are you a woman or a mouse? I choose the first. I don’t have to roar like Helen Redding. I don’t have to say anything at all but stand in my own two shoes, taking responsibility for my own words and actions. That’s all it takes.
Nevertheless I fuss and fret over what ifs and all the rest. I haven’t really totally accepted myself, the whole package of me. There will always be parts of myself, habits and all, that I will never get over. Understanding that helps. These are some of the things that I find difficult under the best of circumstances. Other people have other difficult things. Different strokes for different folks. Everyone have their forte.
The thing is I’ve never understood that my difficulties are not bad in themselves. They do not make me a bad person. It means I have struggles. I am being human. Now I can stop punishing myself and work towards how best to resolve them. Letting go of feelings are hard. Letting go of thinking tougher yet. History is the most difficult to let go of. To help me, I think of the time when a crow flew by Sheba’s nose. She reared up and charged. Well, I HAD to let go of the leash. I hate to think of the consequences if I hadn’t.
It’s another hot day. I’m sweating, drinking hot decaf. I must be trying to sweat out my toxic thoughts. I have many that are still ticking away in my lizard brain. I’m trying to chill a little, slowing it down. Sometimes it’s not easy. I have a frenzy inside of me. I’m pulled in all directions, not focused on anything. It’s best I come here to have a slow conversation with myself. Best not to do any brain surgery if there is no emergency.
It’s past Sheba’s supper time. She is quiet upstairs cooling herself on the bare floor. She has never been downstairs. There’s no way to coax her either. Maybe it is just as well. No need for her hair to be everywhere though they still float down.
Lassitude is painful and difficult to overcome, especially if the dog is barking incessantly at you. My brain is already foggy and spongy like a swamp. Her noise adds another layer of mud to it. I had to bribe her with a chew.
I am trying to get back to my words. Not trying to recover lost ground but to start from where I am. Today is day 261 of my year of doing different. I have been absent here for 21 days. Life happens. I’ve been busy. I’m trying to be flexible. I have so many reasons and excuses. The thing is I haven’t shown up here though I’ve been marking my journey on Instagram. If you are still following my year, you can still find me here on the Instagram sidebar.
My year has been full of ruts and repetitive errors. Change is difficult, even in thinking. It is most difficult in thinking because if we could think different, we could do different. With 100 days in the year, I’m paying more attention, putting a little more oomph into the push. I know I am changing, getting stronger bit by bit. I’ve pushed through some of my lassitude today, finishing some started projects. The trick is to set the intention and to do it now. That was what I did this morning. Instead of sitting and brooding, feeling my fatigue, I descended the stairs to my workspace. And here she is, my Petite Fille, almost finished.
A small success can give me a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. It can give me some momentum to take the laundry down, fold and put them away. And now to do the dishes.
I love the time and space when I first wake up and open my eyes in the warmth of my bed. The winter morning is still dark and all is silent. There is such a richness in this moment – like hot chocolate mousse. Feel the smoothness and depth in the layers. Mmmmmmmm! I luxuriate in the moment. All thoughts and feelings are suspended and I am in Nirvana for that time and space.
Eventually I do get out of bed. I padded out to the kitchen. I make my tea and breakfast. I try to keep thoughts from entering my head – a clear head and mind will a wonderful day be made. I take my poached eggs on toast and tea out to the sun room, Sheba trailing after me. By now the sun is out and I am once again cocooned in warmth….and sunshine. Can life get better than this?
So really I have not done a lot this day. It is a challenge I threw out to myself – not to feel the ‘time’ and the things I MUST do. I know that I need to show up at work tonight. That is the contract between my employer and me, that I fulfill my contract in exchange for a salary.
Aside from the one MUST, the rest is soft and negotiable. Too long I have been rigid in my thinking. I have been thinking too much, too long, too uselessly…! It is time for me to come to my senses – see with eyes wide open, feel with my skin, smell the wonders of nature, hear the music in the air. Life, my dear, is way too short to be spent thinking. It is better to BE.