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The evening sun is still filtering brightly through the open blinds in our bedroom, yet my head is about to split from yawning and all I can think of is sleep.
Of course, it helps that the bed is ready and that everything - crisp sheets, cool pillowcases, soft comforter - is freshly washed and smells sweetly of vanilla. It helps that the room has been dusted and vacuumed, a place for everything and everything in its place. It helps that I see a sweet black cat napping in a sunbeam and long to join her.
Another yawn. Good night!
These thoughts have of late crossed my mind...
...that the kindness and unselfconscious generosity of others can humble and move you, surprising you nearly to tears with gratitude for your place in their life.
...that if by some chance you say the right words to the right person at the right time, everything...
... could change.
...that the radiant energy of a positive spirit can overpower negativity with goodness and light.
...that one unexpected decision... one step away from the familiar, the comfortable... just might lead to a world of unrelated and unbelievable possibilities.
...that life is so worth it.
I enjoy the daily discipline of participating in these exercises, yet much of the time I approach the task with a hint of panic, knowing all too well my limitations and lack of brilliance. Sometimes I come with nothing, empty, yet wind up with a neat little package of words and phrases. Interestingly enough, whenever I am most pleased with the outcome of my efforts, I get the feeling that I was not actually the true creator, but merely used by the words as their channel of expression. Then I think, can I… should I… feel good about such results?
Friday evenings are my favourite evenings of the week… and Friday evenings prior to Saturdays with no morning plans or commitments are my favourites of the favourites… because I love, love, love sleeping in. Well, let me clarify: the actual sleeping is secondary… though of course a good long rest is delicious. Rather, what makes such Fridays so wonderful is that there is no obligation for me to set an alarm, to get up and get going, because no one expects anything of me. That knowledge of freedom and choice deeply satisfies my rebellious soul. I do love my Fridays!
Our home life is so different now that we no longer reside in a downtown condo. Yes, we are still surrounded by neighbours, but when sitting in the right place looking through our new living room window, you would never know it. Our yard is surrounded by a high wooden fence and mature landscaping, and outside the bounds of our property are at least ten different varieties of foliage within range of view. At the moment a strong wind is blowing through the screen door and soughing through the trees. Downtown had its advantages, but I am glad we moved.
I have discovered that weekends with no firm plans in place are my downfall. At such times I feel I am not actually
, but merely existing, putting in time. During the week with its specific schedule, this is not an issue. But as much as I think I am looking forward to a free weekend, it is then that the sheer depth of my inertia, sluggishness, and lack of motivation becomes painfully obvious, and fairly depressing.
As ever, I need to learn balance: to schedule
downtime with no plans, interspersed with things to do and places to be.
Once upon a time, I had a dream. All my life I longed for it... did everything I could to make it come true... but apart from momentary flickers of hope, it remained unfulfilled.
Then one day I realized things had changed, and my dream was coming true at last! Words cannot express how overjoyed I felt, and how wonderful I thought the rest of my life would be now that my fondest wish was finally being satisfied.
Sadly, though, it turned out to be the same as every other time... just another illusion.
No happily ever after, after all.
My, but that bus driver was cranky! Most greet passengers with a smile as they embark, but he turned the other way with what appeared to be a look of disgust on his face. At first I wondered, surprised, was it me? Did I do something wrong? Despite the fact that I take the bus twice every day and understand basic etiquette, did I somehow miss a critical step in the expected routine?
But no... as we progressed, his consistent behaviour and abrupt driving style indicated that it was
I wonder what happened to make him so miserable.
I am a responsible adult.
I have a good job, which enables me to earn money to pay my bills and put food on the table.
I have a mortgage, which provides me with the opportunity to own a lovely home.
I have a new, fuel efficient vehicle, which allows me to get from Point A to Point B and places in between.
I am a responsible adult.
I support myself and those in my care.
I fulfill my responsibilities and am accountable for my actions.
I am a responsible adult.
So... when will I start feeling like a grownup?
I am weary.
Though I was able to sleep in a little this morning, last night was not as restful as it could have been… another one of those “wake up in the wee hours and stress about things over which I have no control at that particular moment” nights.
Today I took my husband to the hospital for surgery, did lots of sitting and waiting, rushed to the office to accomplish things that could not wait, then went back to the hospital to visit with my husband, post surgery.
Now I am home, but too tired to be creative.
I have been watching too much Friday evening reality television.
want to get a makeover. I want someone to hand
five thousand dollars and help
shop for a brand new flattering wardrobe, and give
a pretty haircut and makeup. I want to be taught how to buy clothes that make the most of my body type so I feel confident and attractive. I want someone to squeal with surprise and delight when I emerge as a new person.
Of course, I have no desire whatsoever to be humiliated on national television!
But a transformation? How wonderful...
So who are we?
Others’ of me (occasionally, rather startling)
Mine of others (often, wholly unexpressed)
Mine of myself (surprisingly, more gentle)
Heads or tails… which side of the coin?
Is the glass half full, or perhaps half empty?
Black, white, grey, or something in between?
An asset to be valued, or a liability to be scorned?
We take wild guesses (really, it is all we can do)
We assume (which makes an ass of you and me)
We have preconceived notions (and hang on oh, so tightly)
No one truly knows
When one decides to lie down for what is
to be a restorative Sunday afternoon nap, one’s rest should be peaceful and
plagued with nightmares. That. Is. Not. Fair.
I think car alarms are a ridiculous invention. Have they ever actually prevented any car from being stolen? Or is their sole effect the aggravation of everyone within a vast radius of the vehicle?
The depths the networks will plumb, and the lengths to which people are willing to go to expose the ugly side of their lives, astounds me. Ah, reality television.
That is all.
I often struggle against a tendency to give up if my attempts are less than perfect. As a result, instead of seeing success over the long run by doing my best and pressing on even in less than ideal situations, my need for faultless perfection makes success an unattainable goal.
Realizing that this is not a constructive attitude, I have been working on teaching myself a new mantra:
“You do not have to be perfect. You only have to make wise choices.”
Not surprisingly, moving away from harsh perfectionism and towards wise balance has brought success!
So, I will continue.
The whole house smells warm and brown from the golden sesame seeds I toasted to sprinkle on my salad of leafy organic spring greens. To this I will add ruby red grape tomatoes, fresh green onions and slices of yellow peppers, then maybe some crisp bean sprouts, sliced mushrooms and crunchy sweet snow peas. Oh, and what about some shredded grilled chicken... or perhaps little round chick peas, or snowy crab meat? So many choices! The entire combination will be drizzled with flavourful balsamic vinegar and rich extra virgin olive oil and enjoyed as a healthy lunch. So very delicious!
Is it that everything happens for a reason... that all the pieces of the puzzle are designed to click nicely into place, with the end result a beautiful, complete picture?
Or is it that everything happens, and it is up to each of us to take those neutral happenings and decide what we will make of them?
Part of me wants to believe in deeper meanings, magic, fate.
Another part feels much more secure with the idea that we have choices and are in control of the picture to be painted.
But honestly, I do not know.
To build momentum, start with one positive thought, backed up by one positive action. Take time to stop and notice how good it feels. Then, remind yourself that you are strong and capable. Prove it every day by choosing wisely, even in small things, while remaining steadfast in the face of struggles. When you slip or fall (because, being human, you will), do not let it set you back; instead, stand up and move forward with determination, knowing that every step in the right direction brings you closer to your goal.
This, this is what I am trying to do.
Today as I left work I grabbed my jacket, bags, and water bottle and, as I glanced down, was startled by the sheer repetitiveness of my wardrobe. I was wearing a black top with silver snaps, charcoal grey trousers, and black shoes with silver buckles. My earrings were silver, as were all six of my rings. My computer bag was black and charcoal grey with silver buckles and zippers. My purse was… you guessed it… black with silver accessories. Even my water bottle was brushed stainless steel with a black lid and silver carabiner.
Happily, my iPod case is scarlet.
Right now, I should be cleaning our messy house or working in our unkempt yard. Right now, I should be sorting out a basket full of receipts and bills and things to be filed. Right now, I should be doing some kind of workout or going for a walk on this lovely summer evening.
Right now, I could be out enjoying dinner and a movie with my husband. Right now, I could be chatting over a coffee with a good friend. Right now, I could be reading a great book.
Right now, I am glued to the computer, completely addicted.
If I won a lottery, I know exactly what I would do. I dream of taking several months off (maybe even a year) and travelling around the world to see places of which I have only dreamed. Countries, cities, sights… everything that is new to me would be fair game in my adventures away from home. Along the way I would seek out and meet my “imaginary” friends… those dear people who I know only through their words on my computer screen. New places, face time with friends… my idea of heaven! Guess I should start buying lottery tickets, hm?!
You know what? The two of them are strangers to me, apart from what they (and their producers) choose to share with the world… and yet my heart aches for them and for the future of their marriage and family. There seems to have been a progression in their relationship from happiness and joking around to harshness and cutting words, and the resentments are palpable. I tell myself that it is ridiculous to care about two characters on a television show, but then I remember that this is real, and that they are not just characters. And so I worry.
We found one! Actually, I should say that my husband found one. (Thing is, if it had been me driving, I probably would have flown right past it, but he is far more observant than I. His eagle eye spotted it during one of his exploratory drives... otherwise known as "getting lost"... in our new neighbourhood.) Yes, out here in the land of strip malls, fast food joints and chain restaurants, tucked away on a side street behind the Dairy Queen, is a lovely little gem of a Japanese restaurant. Sushi, delightful sushi, in our neck of the woods! Brilliant!
At the start, routine... swipe your card, find a seat, settle in, start reading. Just another morning commute.
Then... it happens.
What is it that, no matter how enthralling your book, makes the words blur out of focus until they seem to be swimming on the page?
What is it that, no matter how satisfying your rest the previous night, makes your head bob and loll as you fight to remain awake?
Is it the gentle rocking motion, or the warmth of the crush of bodies? Or, perhaps, knowing that there are forty minutes left before your destination?
A note to my "imaginary" friends... some things I want you to know:
I appreciate you for your kindness, your caring... for the way you step up and give and share and love with such willing generosity.
I appreciate you for your sense of humour, your openness to fun... for sharing laughs and silliness and seeing the comical side of things, even (particularly?) in the midst of tension.
I appreciate you for your opinions, your perspective... for encouraging me to think outside the parameters of my reality.
I appreciate you, so much more than you can know. You are loved.
I sometimes wonder how much of my fashion sense (or lack thereof) is dictated or influenced by factors such as budget and size. How many of the items of clothing currently residing in my closet and drawers would I actually choose to purchase if I had unlimited funds, and everything came in my size? If I could walk into a store knowing that there were no limits, how would I look when I left? Would I be the same as I am now? Would I be more fun, or more edgy? Maybe more conservative? Who on earth would I be?
This evening we went to the Luminara Lantern Festival in the park. We normally attend the festival every year, and find it to be a beautiful and magical experience. In fact, I assumed it would be the same for me this year, and that I would have plenty of fodder for today’s hundred words… you know, all the lights and sparkle and wonder.
I mean, we had a good time hanging out together. And things looked pretty and all. But something was missing for me this year, and I am unclear as to what it might have been.
The theme of the day is Aggravation. No, wait. The theme of the day is Bad Temper and Peevishness. In fact, the theme of the day is Aggravation Leading to Bad Temper and Peevishness. Yes. (Of course, the relentlessly pounding headache is a massive contributor to this regrettable state of affairs. Whatever.) Even the very simplest, most innocuous of words and actions at best irritate, at worst seem infused with ill intent. Family, friends, strangers… makes no matter: all are implicated, each is an equal opportunity offender, a provoker of this oversensitive rawness. An escape is needed... time to nap.
I glanced down at my hands today and was taken by surprise at just how very
they appeared, almost as if they belonged to someone else (because even though truthfully I am now past the age of forty, I think that my brain has not actually registered that fact, and still somehow believes that I am in my twenties, or at the very least my thirties). It was rather alarming and unpleasant, and made me wonder how half my life had managed to flash by so quickly... how I had blinked and suddenly found myself with middle aged hands.
Note to colleague:
I understand that sometimes one needs to gripe, and in fact do so myself on occasion. I appreciate that it can be enjoyable, even therapeutic, to indulge in a good long rant, and certainly do not begrudge you your right to cleanse yourself in this way.
But you know, at some point in time your moaning and complaining about the Same Damn Things all the damn time loses potency and sounds like a whole lot of meaningless hot air from the mouth of an overblown idiot.
So for your own sake, shut up already.
No love, me.
When I was a kid, it felt as though time passed by excruciatingly slowly. I was forever looking forward with great anticipation to something or other... Christmas, birthdays, summer vacation, growing up... and to me, these events were an agonizing lifetime away.
Now, as an adult, I wish I still had that perception. Though time actually passes at the same speed as it always did, it feels as though my days, weeks, months, and even years fairly race past in a frenzied blur of happenings and changes.
As a child, I longed for the future. Now, the future can wait.
I am continually astounded by the freedom some people seem to feel while hiding behind the safe anonymity of an internet screen name... the freedom to be rude, unkind, even downright cruel to their fellow human beings. I have a difficult time understanding what on earth possesses them to treat others with such disrespect, as if they had forgotten that they were speaking to an actual person, and not just a collection of typed words on a screen.
Then again, perhaps these people are like this in their everyday lives when meeting others face to face?
A frightening prospect indeed...
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