FLYDAY, THE 13TH

It’s Friday, Chinese AirForce Day, as someone once called it. I took the bait and asked why. He said, It’s F-l-y-day. Would you call that a racial slur? Anyways, I chuckled like a good agreeable Chinese woman. I wasn’t offended, honest. I’m a little sleep deprived. I couldn’t sleep past 3 this morning. I hate it when that happens. And it does occasionally, especially when the weather shifts. I whine about the weather alot. Not only it disrupts my sleep but also my moods.

There’s alot I could whine about but I’m too tired. My edginess have worn off and I’m pretty mellow. My AM Energizer class certainly helped. My serotonin level was further elevated by lunch with the “YWCA” girls, our first in 2 years at the Parktown. We had a good time but we do miss the buffet which is no more. So many changes in 2 years. The diningroom was mostly empty except for us. It was a good and bad thing at the same time.

I am just poking along here, keeping up with my routines. I have just finished reading Naomi Judd’s book, River of Time and watched Ashley Judd speaking to Diane Sawyer about her mother’s suicide by a firearm. So sad! I have to be careful that I don’t dwell on all this too much. I am not emotionally fragile but vulnerable. Having experienced depression myself, I admire and have great respect for Naomi and her two daughters. Life is hard and messy and their lives certainly were. Wyona described it perfectly when she said they literally went from the shit house to the White House. What a journey and what an adjustment. Now they have more to adjust to. River of Time is a worthwhile read.

I am happy to say that I have a handle on my moods. Knock on wood. I have worked very hard every day to maintain good mental health. I have read countless books on the subject. I’ve put what I’ve learned to practice. One of those was getting Sheba. She took me out of the house and out of my bad moods. I got a heavy dose of nature and exercise. We went out rain, snow or sunshine. We were more regular than the mailman. Now she’s gone but she’s prepared me well. She certainly had earned her keep. I love her forever – then and now.

WEDNESDAY WHINING – Overthinking

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I hate it when my mind is stuck in overthoughts. I bet you’re thinking, why don’t you stop but it is not that easy to get my mind out of my head. I know. I’m whining again but I’m leaving it just on the page. You don’t have to listen/read. It helps me to splash it out and not let things swirl around in my head. It can be very exhausting. It takes all my energy and I get nothing done. I haven’t been meditating the last while. Let this time here be my morning meditation.

The morning has progressed into afternoon. My overthinking would not let the words flow. I moved on to the next best thing – doing my draw/watercolour for #the100dayproject. It worked. My pen and paint brush flowed effortlessly. I felt soothed and smoothed with a painting to show. When one thing doesn’t work, don’t stay stuck. Don’t try think it out, move on and try something different.

Now if only I can heed my own advice. Habits are hard to overcome. I must persevere and not give up because of a few failings. I must adopt the 1000 hour rule of practicing a new activity till it becomes a habit. Life is easier with good habits in tow. Life would be easier, too, if I don’t overthink and overdo. When I find myself pursuing everything and anything, to get to the bottom of things, to understand everything, anything and everyone…. it’s time to STOP. There’s nothing to figure out, to understand. There’s no answer to the whys of my thoughts.

MONDAY WHINING – Mother’s Day

It is Monday morning, another first day of the rest of my life. It is time to fulfill one of my do-it-list of showing up here Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It is not a hard thing. I can do it now that I’ve made it as an intention. My new motto is not to make intentions that I’m not going to keep. Words are important. They matter. If you don’t live up to them, no one will believe you ever after. They would guffaw and say, Oh, she’s just talking. Don’t pay any attention. She doesn’t mean it.

Another Mother’s Day is over. Have I told you that I have fallen out with all these occasions – birthdays, Christmas and Easter, too? I am exhausted by the idea that we are obligated to feel celebratory, joyful and all that jazz. I feel guilty and bad for saying all this, but not bad enough because I am saying it. Anne Lamott says it much better in a piece she wrote about Mother’s Day in 2015. Needless to say, she received not a small amount of flak. I suppose I will, too, even though and more so because my voice is small. It does not carry much weight.

It’s not that I have anything against joy and celebrations. It is not that I don’t love my mother and motherhood. I feel uncomfortable. I have adopted all these occasions and traditions because it is ‘the right thing to do.’ When in Rome do as the Romans. But when you are not Roman, you can’t quite pull it off authentically. Everything felt fake and not as good, especially when I was young. It left me feeling less of everything. Things have changed over the years and now we seem to have a monoculture. The whole wide world is celebrating Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day. You would think that would make me feel better. But it has left me feeling that things are more meaningless.

So what to do? I do not like feeling like this. I don’t want to be a badass. I’m a bit of a rebel but I’m not great at it. The thing to do is to adopt those wanted warm fuzzy good feelings and fake them till they become real. Enough said but one thing more. I tried to do all that stuff regularly if not every day, in my own ways. I love and care for my mother every day and not just on the official Mother’s Day. I used to buy her presents. Now I give her my time and attention. Still, at times it is hard to quiet the voice that say’s buy her something. So I do Chinese take-out to feed us both.

MY CLAIM TO SUCCESS

This winter never will never end. It snowed again this morning. I see fine flakes floating around. I wonder if spring will come this year. The snow, the melt, the ice and water is wearing me down. They are all the things that I have no control. I better buckle up, give my buttercup self and pep talk and march on.

I’m marching one letter, then another across this page. I’m stringing them into words, sentences and thoughts. It gives me comfort to bend and tap my fingers on the keyboard. I am being proactive. I’m brainstorming and problem solving. I am not sitting inert in my gloom and misery. I am not stuck in myself. I’m sitting in my therapy chair, the therapist and patient, all in one. It’s very cost and otherwise effective. I don’t have very far to go and I’m not boring some stranger with my whining.

Since I have no one to impress but myself, I tend to stay with the facts. It cuts down the feeling sorry for myself blues. I have been paying attention to my conversations with other people. I find no satisfaction in reiterating past events and past wrongs. Rather, the opposite happens. It leaves me feeling worse. The best course of action for me is to leave it here on the page. I can censor, edit, add and delete here. In the physical world, once the cat is out of the bag, you can’t get it back in. Sometimes I would suffer the claw wounds if that was possible. It isn’t – POSSIBLE.

I’m just back from my afternoon walk with Sheba. Had thoughts of skipping today as it looked HARD with more wet snow. I had a talk with myself and buckled up my resolve. Don’t think. Put the leash on Sheba, shoes on me and GO. It worked and was easier than yesterday. Another difficult task done. I find so many things difficult. I am such a whiner. I whine but I do them. I almost said, let’s go out for lunch, too. The thought of bringing out and banging the pans around felt HARD. I was groaning inside. But once I started chopping the onions, the rest was history. The secret of any success is the START. It really isn’t such a secret but it feels good to claim the discovery of it.

 

UNBECOMING MYSELF

Beginning anything is hard until I make a start. Do you find it so? Well, here I am. I’ve tapped out the first line, starting the second. Really it would be so easy to stay in my comfy loveseat and sink into Tami Hoag’s Cold, Cold Heart, a thriller. I’m captured after a few pages and so surprised to see it got lots of bad reviews. I have dropped Ali Smith’s Winter for now. It’s beginning is depressing as everything was dead! “God was dead: to begin with. And romance was dead. Chivalry was dead. Poetry, the novel, painting, they were all dead, and art was dead. Theatre and cinema were both dead. Literature was dead. ” I’m having trouble getting into it. I will persist a bit longer. It got alot of good reviews. Go figure!

My week got off to a good start this morning. I made it to my exercise class after a 2-week absence. I was relieved to learn that someone else had the same malady I did of extreme fatigue. Even though we had no cough, etc. it was a flu of some sort. I was feeling a bit of a fake, doubting my own physiology. Was I just depressed, wanting to avoid/escape things? Good to know I was not. So I didn’t push myself too hard. As long as I was moving my body, it was good enough. I have to remember that I am no spring chicken. Moderation in everything.

Winter is still under my skin. Two more days left in February. I’m trying to get past everything. But I am sick of listening to myself whine and whine. How can I stop? How can I unbecome myself? What don’t I like about myself? Those are hard questions to answer right now. Right now I am envious of everybody else. Seems like ‘they’ are much ‘better’ than me. I know, I’m seeing through wintry late-afternoon sunglasses. My outlook can change any time soon – maybe tomorrow. But in the meantime I can give some thoughts as to how I would like to see myself. What parts do I want to rid? What do I want to incorporate? How can I become undone? Where is Tinker Bell when I need a transformation?

READY, SET, GO

IMG_3116It’s another day.  I still have a million and one things to do.  For now, let me rest in this space if I can, but difficult neighbours seem to be my cross to bear – especially the obsessive compulsive type.  Right now I can hear the constant whine of her leaf blower. It’s like hearing fingernails scratching on a blackboard over and over.  I don’t mean to be unkind but I wish she would disappear. It’s my evil twin speaking.

It stops and starts again, this never ending stream of irritation.  I will breathe and sip my cuppa and tap away on my keyboard.  There!  It has stopped.  Praise the Lord!  I close my eyes, unfurl my eyebrows and let my shoulders drop.  I am tired but it is a good day. The car is back from the shop with a set of brand new Michlin tires.  Have tread, will travel far.  No worries.  I am ready, set and can almost go.  It feels heady not to procrastinate.

IMG_3120Now if I can get to my tomatoes.  There’s no end to them.  Seems like I pick bushels of tomatoes and sunberries every day.  I’m complaining a little now.  Come winter I will be happy to have tomatoes for soups and spaghetti sauce.  And those little berries will be delicious in muffins.  Suffer now.  Enjoy later.  Oh, that whine has started again. It’s like being at the dentist’s.

LIFE WITH ROCKS AND EDGES

It’s been a little while since we’ve talked.  It feels like forever.  I worry that I might not find my voice again.

Life is hard.  That is how M. Scott Peck started his book The Road Less Travelled.  It is true.  Life indeed is very hard.  Though I have vowed not to use words like ‘hard’, ‘overwhelmed’ and such, I have succumbed and failed yet again.  I have found everything so hard and I have been overwhelmed by all of life.

I have given up on the National Novel Month in November before it started and without even a whimper.  I have not written anything for a week or more, not even 100 words for Friday Fictioneers.  My imagination seems to have vanished along with my drive and stick- with-it attitude.  What can one do?

When the going gets tough and the wind is against you, it’s hard climbing that mountain.  You slip and slide and tumble down the mountain side.  You get up and fall again a few more times.  You get tire.  You throw in the towel. The hell with it!  I’m going to rest.  After all, isn’t there a song about these are the best years of my life?  I can cry quit if I want to. can’t I?

This is where I am.  I’ve finally caught my breath.  It’s been a tough grind.  I am wondering what happened to the HAPPY RETIREMENT adventures, dreams, free to do as you please, etc. etc.  I’ve just been through 3 days without running water – water main break.  I know, small thing.  Half the world probably still doesn’t have flushing water and taps on demand. But if you have it and they take that away, 3 days is a long time.  So I’m a cry baby.  Shoot me.

I really don’t like complaining, but I’ve been sick for over 2 weeks since coming home from France.  Now I’m really whining.  Why not?  Might as well give it good go.  Though I’m much better, I’m still coughing up my stomach occasionally.  It gets to you after a while.

To top it off, my financial planner put all my RRSPs into a RRIF without a meeting, without talking to me and without my signature.  How is that possible?  How scary is that? Then she tells me she shouldn’t have done it, but I have to sign.  I said, no thank you.  I will not!  So many frigging times, I have been told someone pushed the wrong button. Oops but I can’t get it back.  Bullshit!

That is correct.  Buttons can be unpushed.  Mistakes can be corrected.  Don’t let people bull doze you.  There are laws and regulations.  Stand firm. Believe in yourself.  Push back. Be polite and respectful though.  There’s no need to cuss.  Do so when you are alone.