Another gorgeous sunny day to end the month of September. It is a bit breezy. My hanging mandevillas are dancing in the wind. It is 10:08 am. I am a little lazy this morning, sipping on my second cup of tea. I’m exercising and building my discipline muscles of showing up here every day for the month of October. I will take it a month at a time. I’m not trying to win any Pulitzer prizes. I want to just show up and put in a good effort. It is good for my brain and mental health. It is an opportunity and a good outlet to chart on my challenges and results. I have many projects I’m working on. I have never made an effort of charting my progress, results and lessons learned. Now I can and will.
Have you seen the movie Blonde on Netflix? I totally agree with the critics’ reviews that it is “So Sexist,” “Cruel” and “One of the Most Detestable Movies” Ever Made. I felt abused, exploited and traumatized as if I was Marilyn herself. I do not know whether to advise to watch or not. You have to decide for yourself. It was educational in seeing the kind of world we have lived in then and the world of today. Marilyn Monroe died on August 5, 1962. JFK died November 22, 1963. It’s been 60 years and she is still being abused and exploited. I thought it was a very disrespectful way JFK was portrayed even though he was an outrageous womanizer. We live in a very vulgar world.
Though a painful watch, it was educational for me. It brought back memories of those years when times were lean and women didn’t have much recognition or opportunities to work outside the home. It was hard to be independent without a husband. It was hard to be heard and get help. If you were having a difficult time, suffering poor health, you’re apt to get a valium, librium or a hysterectomy if an immediate/obvious cause was found. I’m feeling grateful some things have improved even though there’s probably still Harvey Weinsteins out there.
Truths and facts can be ugly. The news is ugly. It is wise not to watch it before bedtime but it happens. I felt overwhelmed by our post pandemic and climate changed world – Hurricane Fiona, Hurricane Ian, flooding in Pakistan. The healthcare segment finally did me in. I had to turn it off. It was too late. My body and mind have already absorbed the sounds, images and energy. They disrupted my already disruptive autumnal sleep. While I did sleep and got up my usual 3 times, I could not get back to sleep the last time. Each time I woke with the same ‘sad‘ emotion. I call it sad for lack of a better word.
So beware of how and what you take to bed with. They will come back to haunt you. I’ve been clearly aware of it now. It’s a little too late but it’s better never recognizing it. I am suffering a little from my poor sleep but I put in lots of effort and my best foot forward. My day was pretty good. I accomplished the impossible by clearing my cluttered diningroom table. When company is coming, I can move mountains. If I was more social, I would do it more often. But I am not so I should just respect the person that I am and not strive for the impossible.
Our company, a member of our community garden, was delightful. We shared a glass of chokecherry wine the guy made. I brought out my zucchini muffins. We shared much conversation and stories. She played a few tunes on my piano and inspired me to practice again. It was a delightful afternoon. Though she is 90 and had recently lost her husband, she is still interested in being part of the community garden. And we would gladly help if she needed some. After all, we are about community.
September 28th. The morning is dark as can be at 6. It’s hard to bounce out of bed with enthusiasm and start the day. I linger awhile in the warmth of my dark cocoon. We have had a good stretch of summer and sunshine. The memory of early sunrises is still fresh on my mind. Now it is time for nature, myself included, to slow down and rest. It is the time to have and savour a second cup of tea.
The sun is out now at almost 8 am, flooding my space with its cool autumny light. Summer is not willing to go yet. The forecast promises a day of sunshine and a high of 28℃. I shall use today to clear and put the garden to bed. No need or use to hang on to every little squash or whatever until the cold bitter frost. I can learn to use the word enough instead of more. I need to gather, clean and put away my gardening tools. Then there’s all the plant pots, trays and crop covers strewn here and there. I have never been good at picking up and putting things away. It’s never too late to learn. It’s much more conducive to work and clean up in sunshine and warmth.
That is my plan for the day. I have a two hour online class after lunch from the University of Saskatchewan on our post pandemic world. It is enough. From experience I work best in small and enough instead of big, more and better. This is enough, too.
Beginnings are hard and uncomfortable. Even though I want to start, I do all kinds of evasions, mental and physical. I second guess and doubt myself. Is it a good time to start? I put it off to tomorrow what I can start today. And by now everyone must know the saying, Tomorrow never comes. It is also true that what you don’t use, you lose. I have lost some of my writing muscle. It’s been 7 days since I’ve come to this space. Where once it had been easy to show up every day, now it is difficult to show up even weekly. It is the reason I’ve decided to join in the Ultimate Blog Challenge for October. I want to develop and maintain my discipline muscle. I know it is not October yet. I’m not putting off what I can start today. I’m doing my warmups and stretching for the days ahead.
I’ve always love the sounds and nuances of words. They paint pictures the same way photos paint words for me. Putting the two together in a post is art for me. I love the process. I have not been nurturing the process this past year. Somehow it got lost in this new and bewildering climate I find myself in. I’ve become mindless and lazy. It has been so easy to lose myself in technology and the digital and not think for myself. But I am a curious person by nature and could not stay in my robotic mode. Perhaps September and the autumn colours are the stimulus. Once again I am excited by new things to see and learn. I am back in the school of life.
I have days when I fall into foul and dark moods for no explicable reasons. I’ve never questioned the validity of my feelings till lately. When I asked myself, Why do I feel so angry and pissed off? I could find no good reason. A poor sleep aggravates my dourness greatly. Faced with that knowledge, I had to ask myself a more important question. How do I get myself out of this fix?
It’s not good to sit with these feelings. They tend to mushroom and grow bigger and darker. One of the ways that works for me is coming to this writing space to air my angst, known and unknown ones. The rhythmic tapping on the keyboard soothes and smooths the wrinkles in my brain. I’m flossing my nervous system. If flossing works for sciatica and other conditions, it should work for my brain angst, too. Of course the exercise technique is different for each malady. It’s up to me to pay attention to what works for me.
I’m able to come out of myself a bit tapping for a solution to a problem. My attention, thoughts and feelings are redirected to a different direction. I’m not locked in. It’s not just about me. The world is a big place. There is the whole universe. The Queen has died. While I am not a royal follower, I enjoyed watching her committal service on YouTube. I was fascinated by the colours and pageantry and it’s happened in my life time. It’s quite remarkable. It really brought me out of the doldrums. How could I stay immuned to life and joy watching it all? I might sound paradoxical since it was a funeral. But to me it was a joyful celebration of a life well lived.
I do not have to understand why I fall into my moods. Usually I blame the weather and how it changes. It’s better than blaming myself. The important thing is being aware of : 1)When do they happen? 2)Can I avert them? 3)What can I learn from them? 4)Are they all bad? I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have my moods. How boring life would be if there was no ups and downs, with just one flat line. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a fan of bungee jumping or skydiving.
I’ve been feeling bitchy and grouchy as hell of late. I haven’t been my old positive I can conquer the world self for a long time. Instead, I am quite critical, pessimistic and cynical. I don’t like this version of myself at all. I rather liked my old Pollyanna-ish, I believe in everything and everybody self. But Polly doesn’t live here anymore. There is no way of getting her back. I try not to act out on my inner feelings but to dissipate them on the keyboard. I don’t want to infect my immediate environment with my negativity. If turning off a malfunctioning device works, might it not work for me? In the words of Ann Lamott:
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
I shall unplug my overworking brain and sympathetic system or is it the parasympathetic system as best I can. Just like I can’t handle too many people in my life, I can’t handle alot of activity. I would like to be a party girl because party girls seem to have so much more fun. Alas, I am not built that way. However much I envy all their popularity, glammer and glitter, I hate it. I love alone, quiet and seemingly boring stuff. I love the time here, rhymically tapping out the keys, finding the words and sentences. It has been a long time since I fell in love with a new word though. The last one was copacetic a million years ago. I haven’t used it for the same amount of time. What has happened to me?
I guess Covid hasn’t helped but I can’t lay the whole blame on it. It brought many changes. Well, it stopped us/me in our tracks. It is certainly making me think of the global world and how we have been living. It’s too big a topic to discuss right here, right now. Maybe I can post some thoughts after I have finished my online course on “Imagining a Post Pandemic World” from the University of Saskatchewan. It’s wonderful how much technology has advanced that I have the option of taking this class without having to catch a bus or find parking if I drive. On the other hand, I believe technology has helped to decrease my attention span. I want things to happen faster and faster. Now I have little patience in sitting through and watching a long instructional/educational video. It’s a Catch-22.
For now I am appreciating the positives of technology. It gives me the ability to sit here and have this conversation. My tapping soothes my brain and I am able to unplug parts of it that are fussing and fretting over the small bugs in my life. I am able to suspend critiquing and passing judgement on myself. Instead my thoughts have been otherwise engaged, even if just for a short while. It’s a good rest.
Old habits are hard to change. Even though I value time and am so often time crunched, I still waste so much of it in indecision. Because of the discomfort of the malady I procrastinate starting by scrolling through FB and the Internet, checking this and that for no good reason. I should have gone to my exercise class. It would be almost over by now. It would be time better spent. But I didn’t go. No use regretting. It’s neither a wrong or right. Just a better decision. No point in regretting.
I am here again before my keyboard with time alone. It is a good time. I will sit quietly and savour it, feel each moment as they come. I have just lately learned how to sit and pay attention to my feelings. When I feel irked, I ask myself why and at whom. Is it with myself or someone else? When I have identified the thought/feeling, I ask myself how I would feel if I didn’t have it. Most times I am able to let go of them and avert punishing myself. My emotions cleared and I am able to look and feel objectively, looking at every side. It’s self talking in my head. It’s taking me this long to see. I am a slow learner.
The sun has come out and I am happy to be here to witness it. I see my hanging mandevillas and the petunias on the deck swaying in the morning breeze. I look out another window and I see the kids and their caretakers from the daycare walking down the back alley. Happy sights. It’s a good enough reason to stay home.
Yesterday I vowed to do better. I’m going to do it, starting today. Right now is always the best time because if not now, when? When I put off something, it’s a good bet I will forget and it never happen. So here I am showing up on the first day of the rest of my life. It feels good to show up for myself. I have just paid all my bills. I am not as late as I had thought. When something feels good, I tend to repeat it. Being here, writing out my thoughts and feelings feel good. The rhythm of tapping on the keyboard soothes and smooths my brain and helps organize my thoughts. I don’t know how I fell off my writing wagon. But I am back.
Today is another hot day, probably summer’s last hurrah. We took the opportunity to harvest some of our potatoes in our allotment garden. I haven’t always been a fan of hot summer days but we’ve had plenty of them this year. It’s either adjust, adapt and acclimatize or suffer. My body took over and acclimatized. Who wants to suffer, eh? Much to my own surprise, I find now that I am happier to work in sun and heat than in cool, cloudy and windy weather. Of course I would prefer a sunny day that’s not too hot or windy. But who can order a perfect day?
We went early in the morning before it got hot. It was perfect. We got 3 rows harvested, filling 4½ buckets. We have 2 more rows to harvest another day. It was a hard morning’s work. I don’t think I could pick up any more potatoes. My exercise classes at the YWCA helped alot. I could deadlift the buckets of potatoes up to the back of the truck. I took a little break to quench my thirst with my homemade apple juice and to do a few stretches to loosen up my muscles and joints. It’s always good to stop, have a rest, stand back and assesse one’s progress in everything that we do.
It’s a cool cloudy foggy/smoky August 23rd. Yikes! Summer is almost over. It certainly feels like autumn this morning. My body and mind are certainly confused by our sudden dips and climbs in temperature. It was only 2 days ago that we had been having blistering hot 30+℃ temperatures. I was at our community garden watering our plot in the heat of the afternoon. I was careful to don my big brim hat and long sleeved work shirt. I harvested a few tomatoes, a cabbage and my Georgian Candy squash. The Georgian Candy was new to me. I was attracted by the description as ‘heirloom’ in the seed catalogue. There was no picture of it. I had expected it to look like a squash. I was pleasantly surprised by its unusual appearance.
August 31. It seems like a long while since I was here but it was only 8 days ago. I left without finishing the conversation. I don’t know if I can pick up where I left off. I feel bereft of words, desire and ambition of late. I don’t know how to get them back. Nothing seems important any more. I feel somewhat jaded. I’m kept afloat by good habits I’ve developed over the years. I guess I do have some cares yet. I’m just tired by the heat. Today is hot as hell.
Sept. 8. Darn, another 8 days have passed. Much has happened in my silence. The Queen died today. I can’t say that I am emotional about it but I have to say she was a great dame. She worked and performed well right to the end. It is really quite remarkable. And now Charles will get to be king. He is the King. And Camilla is named Queen Consort with Elizabeth’s blessings. How wonderful is that? Meanwhile in the Commonwealth of Canada and in our province of Saskatchewan, all have not been well. We are reeling from a Labour Day weekend of violence and deaths. True, it did not happen to me or many personally but I am sure we all are affected. ‘What is in one is in the whole.’ Words by Caroline Myss.
Sept. 9th. I think I am losing my memory and a lot of my mojos. I’ve been late paying my bills the last couple of months and finding my words and the love of them are a bit difficult. I hope what we all fear the most is not on the horizon – dementia. There! I’ve said it out loud. I will have to pay more attention and be more present. I’ve been distracted in many directions.
Sept. 10th. My mind and memory are not any sharper today. I’m one day ahead of myself, thinking today is the 11th until I was alerted otherwise by Facebook. Egad! I am in a muddle, having just come back picking up my prescription from a new pharmacy. Even with Googles map and been there once, I got lost. We don’t have too many roundabouts in Saskatoon. I don’t have to navigate one too often. When I do, I get into a dither about exits. As a result, I keep exiting from the wrong one. Thus I’m directed back by Google and spent many minutes driving round and round. I’m trying hard not to waste more time and energy distressing about it. It is what it is.
I still haven’t got all my bills straightened straightened out but have set up a monthly alert to pay them. My big ones are taken care of so late fees on remaining ones will be minimal. I am at least prioritizing. I was hoping to do some tomato saucing today but it took me longer to vacuum the floors than I had planned. I will close out here, get the dishes out of the way and head outside to harvest more tomatoes and cleared up some of the beds. It will give me a sense of accomplishment. I will do better tomorrow and tomorrow after that. I need to pull myself up by the bootstrap. My inner and outer chaos is driving me crazy.