I’m on my second cup of tea, awaiting the snow storm. Perhaps it is a little early yet but the sky is steely grey. The sun is trying, a brisk breeze is stirring up the beautiful dead growth on the living roof of the shed. I flunked all 6 tries on Wordle. Now to make something of the day. Some days are easier than others. I’m hitting the not easier days. That’s how the cookie crumbles.
I know that this, too, will pass but what can I do in the meantime? There are many things that I could do. I just don’t feel like doing them. I don’t feel motivated, excited. Nothing grabs me. Nothing is wrong but everything feels bland and grey like cold, dirty dishwater and today’s sky. I guess I can pout and have a tantrum but what will that do? I can also do nothing and become more sodden. I’m sure that will lead to more boredom and misery. Better that I do a Suck it up, Buttercup and go through the motions -even if I don’t feel like it. That’s the penalty of being an adult.
I find it helpful to ask myself How does it feel? now and again. It is a good way of working through and out of my stresses and blahs. I’m not feeling so grey now, finding a hook to hang on to. It’s soothing tapping on the keys, making words and sentences. It builds me up as I find ways out of my blandness. I don’t need to hurry. I can take time, linger and savour these moments sitting here. It is rewarding to work and find a purpose, a reason to be.
This morning we went and got our fourth Covid vaccine. It was something we could do to help maintain our health. We made a couple of stops on the way home. One was to a mall to mail some letters and to buy mousse for my hair. I made a trip to the washroom while I was at it. It has been a long time, 2 years since I made a walk through the mall. I couldn’t remember where things were, having to follow the signs at first. There’s much change. Seems a bit silly but I was so happy to see the food court. The washrooms were just a hallway down. A flood of memories came rushing back – coffee with my mom and dad at the mall after our visits to the library. Such simple things can make me happy.
Our second stop was the library to return read books for different ones. It is snowing and the wind is howling. I am hunkered down snug as a bug with books to read, drawings to be drawn and splashed with paint. Oh, I have Hong Kong milk tea and barbecued pork buns from the Chinese store for treats. I am at ease. I am no longer stressed or feeling bland. Perhaps I was feeling the approach of the storm. I am such a weather vane.
It’s day 19 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I am not sure I’m up to it. Life is heavy. So many weighty things. On the Covid front, the death of a 36 year old woman from Yorkton at home. The whole family tested positive – 41 year old husband and 6 kids. How could that be that they didn’t know they could go to the hospital? A strange and troubling story. The state of emergency caused by flooding in British Columbia. No climate change, eh? Then to top it off, I read the story of Kyle Rittenhouse’s not guilty verdict. This is the world we’re living in today. Is there hope? What can I do?
I can not give in to despair. I can not add to the negativity. What I did was taking time out. I did not finish this post yesterday. I left and emptied my head and mind of more news and thoughts. Sometimes I have to do that for self preservation. The movie Downton Abbey, while it wasn’t as good as the series, was a good distraction. I had thoughts of returning to this space after the movie but decided it was not a good idea. Sometimes space is the best remedy.
Now, I’m back to pick up the words. I have no favourite blogs that I follow except Suddenly Mad . It’s Minna Packer’s journey through early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She’s an artist and had taught art in a New York university. We haven’t met but communicated through her blog. I stumbled upon her blog in her later stages of the disease. We both wished we had known each other sooner. Her posts became fewer and further apart. Her last one being on May 22, 2021. I still check her site regularly to see if… I do not know what to hope for her. I’m selfish. I do want to read another post. I’ve learned much from her writing.
What I follow more are YouTube Channels for sustainability living, gardening, permaculture – everything that can improve and help us live better lives. My favourite channel has to be Kirsten Dirksen. Her videos have shown me that there are so many gifted people out there doing amazing things. We have the talent and the know how. Now if we can get a collective desire. One of my favourite is about a homeless man by choice. But perhaps this one I watched this morning is more applicable in showing how we can change our thinking.
My two pairs of pants are shortened and hemmed. Hallelujah! Miracles do happen. It was not so difficult after all. I need not have waited 20 years to do it. Lesson learned. Nothing happens when I am frozen with overwhelmed and indecision. They hung in the closet, gathering dust. So any action, even if it is not the best or perfect, is better than none. Now that I’ve tried them on, I think they’re a tad too short. They’re tighter than when I tried them on last week. Ah, the waxing and waning of the waist line! They might have to go into the donation bag after all. But I will see. I can still let the hem down a bit on each. Maybe I can suck in my tummy. More work but that’s what I get for not trying them on after pinning. Another lesson learned. So many damn lessons!
That was a few days ago. I ran out of steam and words after that short conversation. That’s how it is. Now I’m back to continue. That is the secret – to keep coming back. Life is not smooth sailing. It’s full of starts, delays, holdups, detours, rerouting, restarting, etc. My garden is the same this year. We had hardly any rain till these last weeks in June. Even the weeds were not growing. There was the cool temperatures. Everything was slow. Then there were the birds and bugs that ate what did come up. I lost half a bed of broccoli and 2 rows of beans never showed. Peas and carrots are seeded in the empty spaces. But my bed of greens is excellent. We had plenty of spinach and lettuce. The spinach is done and new seeds put in for a second crop. The onions are standing straight and tall. The kale is coming up.
So that’s how things are. Some things thrive. Some don’t. There’s evil in the world but there’s also alot of good. Just when I’m really down and despondent about our humanity, I learn of people with huge loving hearts and great courage. Trevor Green’s story moved me to tears. Then there’s Melissa Fung’s speaking On What We Owe. That made me put away my small troubles, for a little while at least, and think about the larger world. And I think again about what can I do to help.
I’ve never ever found an optimum time for doing anything or an easy time for starting something. Truth be told, I’m a daydreamer, a doodler, lounger, wistful thinker. In short I’m a procrastinator, trying to hold life at bay. What is this fear of starting and living?, I ask myself. I have no clue, no inkling of an idea but just this physical discomfort of not wanting to commit. Laugh if you will but we all know that he who laughs first, laughs last. I am sure you have that procrastinator in you, too. Only you haven’t recognized yourself in the mirror.
I see myself as molasses in winter mode. It is cool this morning. I see my little cucumber plants shivering in the raised bed in the front yard. First the heat. Now the chill. I hope they make it. I’ve never had much luck with them except for one year. Now that’s something to aim for. Something to get my juices flowing and off my butt. It takes patience and persistence to succeed at anything. My cyclamen is such a testament. I gave it the attention it needed. I don’t have a steady supply of that either. It comes in sporatic spurts. I’m not good when the going gets tough. Sometimes I abandon ship. Now that’s another thing to work on.
It’s another morning. I’ve clearly abandoned ship yesterday before finishing this conversation. I’m going through a spell. I’m lacking motivation. Nothing turns me on but I’m working on it. I feel as if I can’t even get myself out of a wet paper bag. Sometimes I just have to put in the effort as if I do love it, whether I feel it or not. That’s life. What is it that gets you up and going? What are your secrets for joie de vivre? What keeps you on the job till it’s finished?
I’m sipping on my cuppa, my favourite diversion for not doing. I’m glued to my chair but at least I am flexing my fingers, tapping on the keyboard. I’m trying to stay awake, thinking of how to overcome my inertia, how not to feel overwhelmed about our climate crisis. What else can I do not to contribute to the carbon footprint? How can I get outside of myself to help the world I live in. These are some of my thoughts on this sunny cool June morning. Perhaps I can bake some rhubarb crisp to warm up. I’ve been making rhubarb sour cream muffins the last 2 days but I’ve run out of sour cream.
What can I do? What have I done? I use these 2 questions when I am stuck and I’m stuck often. So I’ve just finished the dishes from lunch. I’m sitting here with my cuppa green tea. Thought I would try something new besides my usual Orange Pekoe, especially when I have a cupboard full of all sorts. Some of them are from Sri Lanka. I see that Orange Pekoe is not a bad choice. It has many health benefits. But I am going to shake up my taste buds and experiment with different teas as well as food. Green tea is even better than black tea because it is not as processed.
I’ve been reading the ebook, Ketotarian by Will Cole from the library. I found it very informative and useful so I ordered my own copy from Amazon. It has many recipes that I want to try out. I was going through my closet the other day and was dismayed to find that my waist line has increased many inches this past year. My belly fat is out of control and is hanging over the waist band. It is not helping my blue mood. It is another thing I can do to help myself. I do not need to let everything hang out. I hope the book will help me to keep some things in.
Life continues to be hard. It is the next morning. I have problems finishing things as well. I am trying my best. What I can do is make a list of what I have done.
I’ve gotten up, dressed up and shown up here today.
I do my qigong routine most mornings. I have done it today.
I’ve folded and put away yesterday’s laundry.
Sorted out my pants in the closet. Experienced items that did not give me joy. Those have been taken to Value Village.
Struggled with sorting, cleaning and putting away seeds,pots and trays for starting the bedding plants.
Struggled to be in the present moment every day.
Taken Sheba to the dog park more often. It’s good for her and myself as well to mingle with other dogs and people.
Do blocks of art. Mostly it’s been embroidery on the machine lately.
Questions and lists can prod me from being stuck. I have to make physical evidence of them. Having them in my head does no good. They would be fuel for rumination. I do that too much already. I have to get off my fat ass and work it! But what would be good to chew on is the 4 mantras that I’ve learned from Thick Nhat Hanh this morning.
Sometimes if we ask ourselves the right questions, they can propel us forward instead of sinking in our personal mud holes. I asked myself this morning what can I do. What can I do not to slide backwards? What can I do to become the person I will like? What can I do to be a positive instead of a negative? What can I do? What can I do?
What can I do? was my echoing cry. Not much really. I am not capable of gigantic leaps or heroic deeds. I am helpless and hopeless amidst the shakers and movers of the world. I am but an inchworm inching along life’s path. I am unseen among the shining stars on the world’s stage. So I pound my chest and ask, What can I do to matter?
I hear no answers. There is but dead air. So I scratch my head and think for myself. I have to matter to myself. The next question is what matters to me? What brings a smile to my lips? What makes me feel generous? What makes me want to give of myself? What makes me feel soft and kind inside? What makes me cry? The questions bring more questions. They are stirring the pot within. I feel the broom going round and round inside. Answers swirl within, some articulate and some not. I am not yet prepare to see and acknowledge them.
I have always felt so urgent at fixing things – as if I must. As if my life depends on it. Now I am questioning myself. Does anything need fixing? And is it my job to do so? Can I just leave things alone? I can. I can let the pot full of questions sit and simmer for awhile. Let them answer for themselves. That is what I can do.