Placeholder

The Master Cat by h.koppdelaney from Flickr Creative Commons

The Master Cat by h.koppdelaney from Flickr Creative Commons

Creativity and inspiration, like many things in life, arrives in waves and cycles. Seeing that truth as a problem when the wave is out or the cycle is quiet has never been helpful to my peace of mind. This week, there hasn’t been any inner urging to post about a particular subject and I was tempted to skip a week. It happens to bloggers all the time. Who would ever notice?

Different thoughts went through my mind like butterflies. Blogging once a week is a practice that is serving me well; if I skipped a week would I ever return? Doing things mindlessly, like an automaton, isn’t so good–yet, it didn’t seem as though my habit is quite that bad. There’s no need to compare any of my posts with any other, whether mine or another bloggers.

I decided to take extra care with brunch and not think about it. It can be pleasant to rest and not have something calling to be expressed. Showing up here is a healthy practice and contributes to my feeling that all is well and it doesn’t have to be a bigger deal than it actually is.

I found a great picture that demonstrates how I’m choosing to approach this lull in what I wish to blog about. And like a cat, I might spring into action when there is something to spark my interest again.

Advertisements

January Evenings and Indulgences

Highclere Castle ~ photo from flickr creative commons.

Highclere Castle ~ photo from flickr creative commons.

The third season of Downton Abbey is finally here. (The photo of Highclere Castle, where it’s filmed, is by Jonathan Rieke.)

Sometimes I almost feel as though I’m part of the family. Maggie Smith’s character is a delight to watch, although I wouldn’t want to deal with her in real life. There’s an online quiz, “Which Downton Abbey Job is Right for You”, and I scored Isobel Crawley.

It’s been unusually cold here and the sidewalks are icy or slippery in many places, depending on what has or hasn’t been done. Some people are boring with their struggles regarding New Year’s Resolutions and I’m as interested and supportive as I can be, depending on my energy level among other things. It’s been years since I’ve made resolutions, although I have goals and choose several areas of focus.

I’ve done well with having a “word of the year”. This year my word is “refresh”. I didn’t pick it; it persistently and insistently made itself noticed and while I’m not up for explaining what it might mean, the word seems appropriate and I’ve accepted it.

With new dietary restrictions at this time–because health is very important to me–my treat of choice now is having a glass or two of red wine some evenings, even though I don’t bother obtaining wine without sulfites. We all have our little escapes and soft addictions; I’ve eliminated some and upgraded others.

Freshly grated ginger for tea in the afternoon is another treat I’ve been looking forward to lately. It isn’t about what I’ve chosen; it’s about my paying attention and making the time and effort to follow through instead of telling myself I’m too busy and that “maybe tomorrow” I’ll take care of myself in this way.

By next month the energies and themes of my life will be different and something else will be available to add a little sparkle and pleasure to my daily existence. Taking responsibility is valued by me and when this life is over I don’t want to look back and see a pattern of self-denial when it came down to appreciating life.

What are you making the time to enjoy these days?

2013

photo by RLHyde from Flickr Creative Commons

photo by RLHyde from Flickr Creative Commons

It’s a new year. I didn’t post very often in 2012 and I think I can do once a week this year. Mondays will be a good day to do so.

What inspired me to blog when I started had something to do with the Misty Look Theme photo. I loved the stone bridge over the water of the quiet stream with the autumn colors and willow trees nearby and the gentle path. It is similar to the landscape in my interior world. When I see the new earth in my mind’s eye, it isn’t pastel and bubblegum colors with cartoon unicorns, rainbows and butterflies. Instead it’s a more grounded, classic beauty.

When I logged in last week with the intention of taking up blogging today, I was informed that Misty Look had an updated theme. It was now Misty Lake and I did not like it at all. It was the photo that disappointed. If I were more tech-inclined and patient there might have been a way to use the previous bridge photo with the Misty Lake theme.

The old theme can still be used but in the future the code will be unsupported. I’m not sure what that means but it didn’t sound like anything I wanted to be surprised with so I looked for another theme, chose this one and then spent time on Flickr searching for a festive photo that I would be allowed to use.

It isn’t a big deal but I could have easily just given up. Not bothered. I’m not sure what I’ll learn or who I’ll meet because of my new re-commitment to blogging. This will likely be a more sane and calm year than last although it has it’s challenges as well. Right now the snow is steadily falling here and I’ve managed to complete the first of my blog posts of the year.

Directions

The Co-op was really busy today, just like a weekend. I walked over to get some organic produce and got the heck out of there rather than looking for replacements for the items on my list I couldn’t find. I have refined my diet so well this past year that there is no need for me to make resolutions in that area.

The past year turned out to be better than I ever expected and I did achieve some of my goals but no way in the linear steps I’d planned. One of the best improvements was my abilities with the specialized diet I need because of a health situation. Another improvement is finally coming up with a budget I can work with, something that has eluded me for decades. The organization of my living space is another long-standing challenge that has become easier this year. I can’t quite say how I got here but it feels good.

However I did it, I’m intending for the same grace to happen this year regarding organizing the information I need to run my life. Yeah, I have a fancy, expensive day-planner but I don’t really use it. I waste a lot of time looking for passwords and other things because I simply don’t take the time to write things down in a manner that I can retrieve later. That sort of information isn’t really meant for the mind to file away when we have all this high and low tech help.

The other two things on my list for decades–once again–exercise and drawing. I will begin with the information organizing first. This past year, it worked better for me to go deep into improving one thing at a time. In fact, overall, uni-tasking is more conducive for my success than multi-tasking.

I know what directions I want to go in and for me it’s enough that I’m accountable to myself.

Suddenly Lighter

Two of the most challenging things about blogging for me is my password and thinking of titles for my posts. When it comes to the actual writing, I just ramble like I talk. I don’t have to look at anyone’s blank expression or rolling eyes or smirking face here either.

After weeks of feeling like I was moving through molasses, things seemed to open up today and be a lot easier. I guess I could do some research to see if there was any planetary activity going on. Just kidding.

First of all, it has felt like Friday all day instead of Thursday. Out of nowhere I got up early and while waiting on laundry to cycle, I planned a budget for the next eight months. That is a miracle. Never have I been able to figure out a budget that I could stick to or that made any sense. You can scoff all you like that I’m not even into it for 24 hours, but the thing is that I have never found any software or templates that made any sense for my particular weird situation. (And I’m not going into that now.)

I have the Quicken starter edition. I got it less than two months ago and it doesn’t do what I was looking for. Likely when it comes time to need a new one, I’ll let it go.

After looking over free planners and software yesterday evening and this morning, not too far into the quest I found something that works for me. Nothing to download and I could customize it to my own unique needs. It’s a simple spreadsheet and didn’t take too long to fill out.

Basically what I have to work with is the money to live on for the next eight months. So I divided that up in a way that seemed beyond my abilities before. It simply doesn’t work anymore to not keep track of things but really, I have trouble with organization and it was all too overwhelming. Until this morning. So while it may be simple for you, I am feeling like an accomplished genius right now. Now my mind can rest until I need it for something else.

Other things were easier for me today too but this is major for me. Something that has seemed so complicated for decades just fell into place.

I’m sure it happens for other people too. WooHoo!

Summer

This year I am really enjoying the dry heat of summer where I’m living. Spring came late and much of my productivity from that time is paying off now as I drift a bit enjoying summer.

Many of my ambitions and intentions of being productive that I wrote down last winter are forgotten. I am enjoying my life though. Knowing myself, I will become all fired up about something again eventually and when the energy is there for it, I’ll make up for any time I feel I’m losing now.

Actually, I don’t feel like I’m losing time at all. When I stay in the present moment, time seems to expand, like a portable eternity. I get done what feels important for the day and what is aligned with my values. Without thinking too much about it. My mind is finally getting breaks from the hamster-wheel it has often been on during the past. The past I barely recall most of the time.

It has been good for my health. It has been good for my happiness. And I am still a responsible, caring, contributing member of the human race.

Often I have words to go with the enjoyable feelings and experiences..words that arrive easily…sometimes processing kinds of words as I emotionally or spiritually heal from this or that. They seem to be pertaining to me only and when I think about making my way to the computer–this one that has my WordPress password saved, since I don’t recall where I wrote it down–well, I just don’t arrive at this point to write.

It feels like two weeks or so since I’ve been here and I see it has been two months. Today I showed up to approve a comment that was offered on a previous post. But I am well and enjoying summer. Of course I have challenges and issues but I no longer am feeling that I’m hanging on by my fingernails. Or that I need to record my days as though I might be taking a scary journey through a weird landscape. I am simply enjoying the scenery. Or observing with interest the fun-house mirror weirdness.

When I speak, my words often still go in one ear and out the other, if that, to the one I am speaking too. But I mind less because I make sense to myself.

Priorities

Every day I choose between different activities and lately the computer hasn’t been attractive to me. There’s been more time spent outdoors and other days I want to sleep for an hour here or there during the day. There’s been engaging projects that I haven’t wanted to walk away from and I’ve noticed a feeling of distraction and annoyance when I log on and check things online.

This year so far has been about creating a new life for myself after my health challenges and other losses during the past several years. Often a journey like that has unexpected unfolding and it’s tempting to look the other way–to pretend certain awareness isn’t really important.

In this situation, it is the strong realization that while my current city has served me well for the last five years, considering the events and challenges, it is not where I want to spend the rest of my life. I admit that to myself with dismay and relief and I’ll just live with it a little while until its time to take the next step, whatever that may be.

Ditching the Postaday

There are other things I want to do than force myself to keep a commitment I made last winter when I was tired and it was too cold to go out limping around on the ice. It has been with careful thought that I am changing my mine and frankly I almost forget to post sometimes because I am engaged in something else and then remember late in the evening.

When I have something I need to say, I will post. Otherwise I think I will go for three times a week—Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I am limiting my television watching and other internet time also. Unless I feel morose and crappy and want to check out for awhile. What I am talking about here are daily habits. Going into default mode.

Words cannot describe how fatigued I used to get and wanting to have as much a life as possible, the interwebs was about all I could manage other than the basics. It isn’t the life I aspire to though. So I will give this an experimental try.

See you on Wednesday.

Clarity

My life, as life is for many other people, is reorganizing organically into some model I never imagined decades ago. Of course some of it’s by design, some experimentation, some reaction and then there’s the blindsiding stuff.

Many times it’s darkest before the dawn and other cliches. My filtering has not been my strongest asset and priorities end up being different than I think they are going to be. Everyone’s on a different part of the spectrum on this one.

Clarity is so important in living a successful life when things aren’t cut out for you any longer. Using myself as an example–I have many interests and it’s my health that is the most important focus for me. The art, writing (and obscure, energetic talent that has been more of a curse than a blessing until I gain some skills) are important for me to develop. They get worked in after the health thing that is on my plate right now, even though I don’t always accept it as cool and worthy.

I realized today that it’s my mindset I need to work with first for the biggest bang for my energy, time and effort and developing my skill set is secondary at this point. This is very useful for me to know as I go about my day and something I didn’t see clearly a few days ago. It used to be that I was overwhelmed with demands and reacting so these are things I’m learning now while my life is unstructured.

I’ve been dealing with my blog by writing about things like ice cream and television shows and birds because this has all been swirling around me in a confusing way. Now I feel all is right again and I make a point of moving through the panic phases as quickly as I can.

There continues to be events and situations in the world that moves other people into fresh panic as well as the underlying anxiety. That’s why I often find it a relief that some people are doing very well. On some level we are all one and we really need a balance of some people having ease to offset the truly crappy times that other people are going through.

Well, what I’m attempting to get at here is that sometimes it feels like the struggle will never end but in a little while things become more clear and then there is an order of a higher level to work with. If you were in the same room with me you could probably hear the wheels in my head creaking and grinding, with steam coming off my skull as I learn these new things. For some reason, what people TELL me is often not accurate for my situation–or maybe the timing is off. It sneaks up on me while I’m puttering.

I’ve committed to blogging everyday which makes my posts all over the place through these cycles I suppose.

Habit of Weekly Planning

In my previous life, my schedule was mostly dictated by the needs of other people and the necessary maintenance and putting out the fires of my daily existence.

Then after my personal apocalypse, life was dictated by what was physically and mentally possible in the moment and what was called for to keep body and soul together. As I began stretching into a new life, it was disappointing when I temporarily was unable to keep up the new pace. I understood about work expanding to the time available to complete it. It became increasingly important to tune into the nuances of not pushing myself and burning out but also to not slack-off more than was necessary. It developed new qualities in me that I wasn’t taught and I’m all for every silver lining I can get.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been doing something new–writing plans in my fancy day-planner for the week. I review the past week and give myself credit and validation for my accomplishments–important and easily overlooked when they aren’t much in comparison to my past self and to other people.

Then I note what is necessary to get done the following week. Then it’s the few things that by doing them would make me feel accomplished, competent and engaged in my life. There are other tiers listed that are flexible as to which day they get done in the possibility that I’ll have gains in energy, motivation and alertness. These gains can’t be counted on but they do happen more often and I like to be prepared.

So goes the rhythm of my life. I’m being responsible, grounded, authentic, appreciative and awake–all great qualities to have developed and also hard won.

There are many other folks in the world with similar paths to mine, something that might be forgotten when we’re being presented by clown-like, freakish personalities by the media on a daily basis.

« Older entries