Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's Time

I've known for a while that it's time for me to step away from blogging, be it for a time or permanently. I haven't wanted to heed that nudge so I let it sit until I could feel peaceful about it. Peaceful and a bit sad. You have no idea how your comments and readership have influenced my life for the better these past six plus years.

I started blogging to prove to myself I could write. Blogging regularly has improved my writing, there's no doubt about that. I learned to delete whole sentences, paragraphs and posts. Before blogging I used to fall in love with every single sentence I wrote. Not so much anymore.

Today I celebrated with my home group 23 years of sobriety. Technically my sobriety date is another 5 days away but my home group celebrates birthdays on the last Saturday of the month so today was the day. The picture with this post is a reflection of some gifts I received today. I feel blessed to be loved so much. And not just because people buy me stuff! But because they continue to walk with me in the fullness of my humanity. Like you folk have. I am grateful.

For now, I have other writing that I want to focus on. Maybe in time that will bring me back here. Part of me wonders if I have it in me to shut my mouth or the ability to stop looking at the world around me outside the realm of whether or not it's bloggable. If I can't then I might reappear tomorrow. Or next week. Or next year.

Whatever it turns out to be I'll catch ya on the flip side.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Oh, Spring Where Art Thou?

You'd think that after seven and a half feet of snow we could be done with it now. Apparently not. Oh, Spring, where art thou?

I drove home in a blizzard yesterday. Thankfully there were stretches of no snow, no ice. It was a long 600 kms. For quite a ways a big truck followed me and I chose to see it as a big angel. Which made me chuckle at how we humans need to assign divine identities to inaminate objects. However, it made me feel better to do so especially when the trucker waited until the roads were bare and wet to pass me even though he had the chance to do it over the course of 100kms and didn't. I was gripping the steering wheel so tight there for a while that I thought I was going to get blisters.

Last week I was reminded, again, of the truth of the saying,
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Reminded after the fact, of course. It's been haunting me ever since in a slapped up the side of the head kind of way. I realize not everyone has a God of their understanding who slaps up the side of the head but mine does. He hugs fiercely, too.

This past weekend I took my best self to some service work instead of my dragging my butt self and the difference in the experience was enormous in a humbling kind of way. And in a Godincidence happening I crossed paths with someone from a very long time ago. There we were 600 kms from our home that is 1000kms from our original home. It was pretty cool.

The way the tires sound when they are driving over ice? Not the most pleasant sound. I turned up my music a little loud yesterday on the drive home so I could pretend I was driving on anything else.

Tomorrow I'm not driving anywhere. I'm pretty pleased about that. There's this most pungent smell that wafts like a fart under blankets coming from my fridge every time I open the door so I'm guessing getting rid of that is on my to do list tomorrow.

Photo Credit

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fluff and Depth In One Package

Holding a baby is a very healing pastime. Dearest one and I took turns on Sunday doing just that. Couple that with good, deep conversation with our guests and it was a great way to spend our time. They were unexpected company to have. In God's good humourous way and timing because I'd just left Mass where I had bemoaned my self centeredness to God only to came home to a baby and her mom waiting to visit the day away. Later we were joined by another couple and the conversation went deep and there's nothing I quite like so much as deep conversation about the guts of life.

Even if we continue to get snow at least when the sun shines it is warm and comforting and a very hopeful thing. I lay on the couch the other day reading a book enjoying the sun tickling my feet with kisses as I lazed away the afternoon. I used to read 100+ books a year and since I've gone back to work that number has dwindled to a handful. I didn't realize how much I missed it until I requested a passel of books from the library and began devouring them. I do have time to read after all. I've read half a dozen books in the past 10 days. I have always been the type that really couldn't care less about the state of the house around me if there was a good book waiting to be read.

One of those books was this one. I ordered it in to read because a writing teacher had recommended it as a great example of writing. It is a purely fun read that left me with great admiration for the author and how she ramped it up all the way through and made me laugh, too. The kind of laughing that begs you to go find someone and read a little bit to so that they can enjoy a belly laugh,too.

A "fluff" book as I used to declare derisively to my kids when they were growing up. A stage I went through where fluff was the enemy. Now it is fun. Oh, Lordy - when I looked it up to give you a link I found there is a whole series of books about Miss Julia. I have my fluff reading in order for years to come now. I am thrilled! (Only daughter is alternately feeling vindicated and horrified I bet!) HA!

Another book I read was this one. I remember a friend sending me her essay in the New York Time the summer I was going through the very same marriage journey. Laura Munson and I handled it in the same way so reading her book was both painful and affirming. I guess the point is that I went through it and came out the other side with a much deeper and satisfying marriage. Enough said.

And here I thought I had nothing left to blog about, that it was time to close up shop and put my energy into other things. For today I'm content to write and read although the only fluff I will encounter are the growing piles of dust bunnies.

Photo Credit

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Easy, Peasy. Not

This week I was given multiple opportunities to once again acknowledge that I am not God and don't know what's best for anyone else. How easy it is to think that I do! And how easy it is to forget that I can't see the whole picture. Even the most put together people can be fighting battles that are invisible to the casual observer or even friend. I got reminded of that this week. It was humbling.

And then I spent time with someone whose praise and applause I so desperately want and who I often feel judgement from. Someone that made me want to bang the table and shriek, "Change already, you thick headed fool."

I hashed it all out with my sponsor last night who knows everyone in the story and she gave me good direction in seeing my part in it. There's always a my part of it in any situation. I'd really be screwed wouldn't I if there wasn't? I mean trying to do something about someone else's part in it could be very frustrating. Just ask me. I know.

Photo Credit

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Even When It's Frozen

It was -45C before factoring in windchill here the other day. Dearest One figures it was -55C with the wind. That's -67F for my American friends. We live in a bit of a valley and are often colder than other places. We were 10 degrees colder than town. At any rate too darn cold to be outside that's for sure. Today was snowy with -35C windchill. People are starting to make tongue in cheek comments on how warm it is because, hey, -35C is better than it was! At least we are driving to and from work in near total daylight now. That is a bonus. And, and, it can be too cold to be outside and yet the sun is high enough in the sky to melt snow while the air is cold enough to freeze pee at the same time. Just sayin'.

It's a luxury to be able to blog about the weather. Serious shit is happening to people every day and all I have to whine about is the cold and snow. This does not mean I am happy being cold and driving in blowing snow. I'm not. I am surrounded by people who are so totally sick of winter they want to boycott it. I do, too, some days. But in the whole scheme of life, it's not that big of deal. I can say that because I'm warm and dry and fed tonight. Which is a luxury, too.

Tonight when I got home from work there was a message on my phone from someone that got my blood boiling. You'd think in cold weather that would be a good thing. I spent some time stewing it over in my mind before I called them back. I toldl myself to keep an open mind while convicting them of such and such a thing before giving them a chance. And after a long while I picked up the phone and found out that all my blood boiling, convicting without proof was a total waste of time and energy. I picked up the phone again and called my sponsor to tell her the whole spiel. We laughed. Then I told her how I hadn't felt good today, nausea and not exactly dizziness, just well, you know, not quite feeling right in the head. She laughed long and loudly before telling me she wasn't touching that statement with a ten foot pole and if dearest one knew what was good for him he wouldn't either. And then we both laughed.

Yep, not quite right in the head sums up how sick we can get in our thinking. I'd blame it on the weather but I am perfectly capable of having a case sewn up against a person sun or rain or wind or snow. It's not a luxury to realize that, it's a life and death thing, really. My head is truly out to get my ass. Even if it's frozen.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Whine And A Prayer

All I want to do is gripe about the weather. Wouldn't you if it was -50F at your house. That's what it was here last weekend and it's gone up and down all week. Bah Humbug.

Other than that not much is happening. Well, that's not entirely true but nothing bloggable. The brightest spot in my week has been the discovery on a bookshelf of a book I bought for Lent last year and never even opened its covers. I picked it up this week and have felt nourished by its contents. Here is a snippet:
A Blessing Prayer

What is a blessing but a rain of grace
falling generously into the lives of those in need;
and who among us is without need?

May the Spirit touch your spirit in this midmorning pause.
May this day be a pathway strewn with blessings.
May your work this day be your love made visible.
May you breathe upon the wounds of those with whom you work.
May you open yourself to God's breathing.
May you honor the flame of love that burns inside you.
May your voice this day be a voice of encouragement.
May your life be an answer to someone's prayer.
May you own a grateful heart.
May you have enough joy to give you hope,
enough pain to make you wise.
May there be no room in your heart for hatred.
May you be free from violent thoughts.

When you look into the window of your soul may you see the face of God.
May the lamp of your life shine upon all you meet this day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

At What Age?

"What age were they when they became so matter of fact about what their children were doing?

I used to wonder about that when I gathered with a group of elderly grandmas for Bible Study when my kids were all pre teens. I'd listen to them share the latest news about what this daughter or that son was doing and be unable to identify at all with their matter of factness. I know now they had the ability to see themselves as separate beings from their children and I could not. Every action of my kids was always about me in my mind. I really believed that. They were a reflection of me. It was a painful and thank God, necessary, process for me to learn to detach and see my kids as separate from me. I cannot imagine being in relationship with them today had I not been given that gift. They'd want nothing to do with me, I'm sure.

The other day I was observing my mother-in-law walk across her kitchen floor. Her movements seemed a little stiff like she was the Tin Man getting her joints oiled with every step. For the first time I realized she's frail. Not uncommon for someone who is over 80 years old.

So it seems like an oxymoron to be 80 something and still wishing you could lose those last 10 pounds. I've heard my MIL talk about it my whole married life. Dearest one heard her kvetching with one of her daughters about it not too long ago.

Later that day I wondered what age a woman has to get to before she stops talking about the need to lose weight, to reach that magical number in her head that will never be hers again except by default of getting an insidious disease.

There's a scene in one of Anne Lamott's books that has stuck with me:
When my best friend Pammy was dying, I asked her if I looked fat in a certain dress, and she—from a wheelchair—said, “Annie, you really don’t have that kind of time.” I live by that.
I look at pictures of me when I am the mother of a one year old and remember how proud I was to come home eight days after having gall bladder surgery and the number, THE NUMBER! on the scale, I hadn't seen since before pregnancy.

In those photos I dont' look like I have any extra skin on me at all. A few years and another baby later I went on a weight loss binge and in those pictures I look anorexic. I remember the powerful feeling of losing weight and telling dearest one to please keep an eye on me because I didn't think I could stop losing weight, it felt so good. THAT NUMBER on the scale I hadn't seen since 9th grade. I only came to my senses after I slipped on a pair of 28 inch waist jeans and realized that size of jeans and fat couldn`t belong in the same sentence. I`m embarrassed at how much of a jolt it was when that realization hit me.

Twenty five years later I`m about being at home in my skin. It's taken that long to reach this place. I could write reams about the journey to get here. Being at home in my skin has nothing to do with the number on a scale. My younger self would never have believed that. A few years ago my cardiologist was raggin on me to lose weight. She wanted 20 pounds gone before she saw me again in a few months.

I looked at her and the part of me that is competitive, that has the I'll show you mantra threw down a glove and said, "Game on." The other part of me, the side I've worked harder to nurture, looked at her and thought to myself, "I will never do that crazy making dance again. Not even for you."

The other day, as part of my job, I had to weigh someone and record their weight for a contest. She can't be any older than I was when I was in my near anorexic days. She was excited for the contest and was off to the gym to exercise. I encouraged her in her desire to be healthier but I felt a real sadness as I watched her walk away, pining for a number on the scale. Wondering what age she will be when that pining goes away.

Photo Credit

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Gambling On The Life Span of A Motor

"Have you heard the expression the truth will set you free?" The elderly man thinks a bit and says, yes, it does sound familiar.
The mechanic wipes his hands clean and replies, "Well that's what we believe around here." He said this in response to the man's comment on his good work, not charging more than was necessary for mechanical work.

Dearest one overheard this conversation yesterday at our mechanic's shop. My car had lost its heater and there's no driving a car here without a heater. Last night it was -33C and I can't imagine trying to go anywhere without heat, let alone having to then scrape the windshield from the inside just to see where I'd be going!

Dearest one has always done all the mechanic work on our vehicles for the past nearly 30 years. From rebuilding motors and transmissions to changing tires and oil he's done it all. Last year we decided that the bigger stuff could be handed over to someone else now. We'd heard about this mechanic through word of mouth, from a single friend who told me the guy didn't try to take advantage of her lack of mechanical knowledge by charging her for stuff that didn't need fixing.

A quick phone call to the shop from the grocery store parking lot was answered with a "bring it right down and we'll take a look at it." And that sweet, honest, upright man who looked under the hood, diagnosed a broken heater motor. He pulled it out, thumped it a good one and oiled it then put it back in and it worked.

He ducked his head out from under the hood and told dearest one that it might last a month or a year, who knew. At least we could be on our way. Then he checked around for prices on a new motor and left the decision up to us. If we didn't live so far north we might have gambled on the life span of the heater motor.

When dearest one went to pay for the thump and oil trick, the man said there was no paperwork, it was free. Dearest one asked him to order in a new heater motor and told him to call when it came in so we could bring my car back and get it fixed. The guy doesn't know us from Adam. It's only the second time we've been to his shop. This was no reward for being long time customers, it was just his way.

Which gave me a lot to think about.

Photo Credit

Sunday, February 06, 2011


"I think these things happen as a way for God to prepare us to be willing to leave this world."

He sighs as he says it and turns his hands palms up in a "what are you going to do?" kind of way. He's referring to his loss of hearing, his unsteadiness on his feet, the headaches that sometimes last for days. Even though I'm sitting a few feet across from him his voice is so loud that the people in the next unit probably hear his commentary on life as well.

Bit by bit his faculties are dimming. It's a miracle he's still with us after 3 open heart surgeries and many mini strokes. As he talks I am reminded of his own father who longed to go "home" many years before he did. I feel a little taken aback by his statement though. I don't think I agree with his belief, almost certain it would take a punitive God to believe it.

The last time we were together he had uncharacteristically taken my face in both his hands as he said goodbye and dished out some good natured ribbing his eyes sparkling all the while. It was one of those moments I will treasure forever because it came from the heart.

I've long thought growing old was a privilege. Maybe that's easier to think because I'm not there yet. Sometimes I wonder if the litany of ill health that sometimes peppers the conversations of older folks is really a way of grieving what was and never will be again. I wonder what it would look like if we could honour that process instead of getting irritated by those in the midst of it. Dearest one's Pa has the same litany day in and day out. I wonder if he felt like he had been heard his conversation could expand to other things. Or if it's me who needs expanding.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Colour of Humility

"I want a medal for today."
I'm standing at the photocopier trying to fix a paper jam
when I say this to someone waiting
to see one of my coworkers.
It's been one of those days.
Brutal. Well, not really.
It just feels that way.

The person looks at me and says,
"Just go home and have a drink."
When I tell her I don't drink she says,
"Then go home and have some chocolate."
I don't eat chocolate either but I don't tell her that.
Which is a funny commentary if you think about it.
It's easier to tell people you don't drink than
that you don't eat chocolate.
I could just imagine her face contorting as she says,
"You don't eat chocolate?!"

Instead I finish fixing the photocopier in silence,
wipe the black spots of ink off my finger and go back to my desk.
Where I turn up my Christian music a little louder.
If you only knew my motives for that some days
you would puke.

Funnily enough. Or not as it turns out, one of my bigger frustrations today concerned someone who I was absolutely convinced thought was pulling a get-me-to- the-front-of-the-line sob story. So convinced was I that I let someone higher up the food chain know that I was on to that person in a who does she think she is kind of way.

Which led me to a getting a proverbial smack up the side of the head by reality. Yep, that happened when higher up the food chain person shut my office door and told me little miss front of the line's rest of the story. The real one. Not the ego driven, motive certain one I had made up all in my own little mind. The story I would have bet money on. And lost. She told me the one I could have only known if I had been God.

Humility. I can always use more of it.

When my oldest son was a toddler I used to wake up to him sitting under the kitchen table with the ketchup bottle in one hand and an arc of little red splotches holding court around him. Today it felt like God made the beginning of yet another arc right where I could see it. The red matches the colour of my face rather well.

Pretty soon I'm going to be surrounded by a sea of ketchup as all those arcs of humility/slaps up the side of the head that have been given to me over the years become one big blob.

Photo Credit

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

No Matching Required

I was in bed by 8:30 last night. I was ready to drift off to sleep when dearest one came in to get his work clothes ready for today. I watched in the shadowy lamp light as he opened the drawer of his childhood dresser and pulled out socks and underwear and a clean white t shirt. I had one of those moments of overwhelming gratitude for the simple things in life. The stuff we take for granted. Like a drawer full of matching socks.

As I watched I was taken back to a moment when I was six years old. I remember swinging my feet under the breakfast table on the kind of warm June morning that called for a dress or shorts. I had on a pair of knee high mismatched socks because that's what had been in my sock drawer that morning. Who knows what other stresses my mother was under that morning. It must have been something because she got really mad when she noticed I had on two not so white socks with mismatched patterns. She angrily sent me back to my room to get a matched pair. I didn't feel safe to tell her there weren't any. So I obediently went back to my room and stayed there a while feeling utter panic.

And there my memory ends. Sometimes I think if I squint hard enough I can see in my mind what happened after that. I doubt I missed the bus. I doubt I had on a pair of matching socks.

My mom bought groceries every Thursday of my growing up years. When I was a teenager sometimes I'd come home on a Thursday after school to find a new pair of white tube socks on the stair railing for me along with a pack of gum.

Compassion runs both ways today for me. Most likely my mom felt shame at sending me to school in a pair of mismatched socks. She couldn't do anything about it, either. There probably wasn't any money for new socks. I wish she'd had the tools to handle the situation differently but she didn't. When we know better, we do better.

Photo Credit

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

That Mysterious Wedding

"Oh, good. If you're working from home, you'll clean your desk."

That was last week. The roads were too icy to travel so I'd brought data entry stuff to do from home just in case. Dearest one has a hard time reconciling my spotless desk at work with my messy one at home. I don't.

At work my desk is the first one the public sees when they walk into our building. I'm the first person they come in contact with. It's important to me to represent our company well. Plus I'd be very inefficient at work if I didn't keep track of paperwork in a timely manner. And most likely fired as well. Although I have to admit that last week, when I was doing data entry, the disappearing information, hidden in yet another screen, felt like looking under piles of paper on my desk, saying "It was here just a second ago!" Five hours of that made me realize I prefer going to the office to work.

The truth be told, I did have cleaning off my desk on my to do list last week.
Today I am finally making it happen.

Amid the three catalogues, 4 magazines, and 5 books I've unearthed so far there have been dozens of little pieces of paper, too. About half can be tossed. Christmas lists of things to do are behind me for another year. Every once in a while I scrunch up my face and wonder why I wrote down a name I can't recognize or some words that make absolutely no sense. And then there are the scraps of paper holding information I need transfer before I can let them go. The one in the photo above grabbed my attention as I was sorting. I have no idea where it came from. Most likely from somewhere on the web.

There was a time when I would have used that quote to measure myself, beat myself up, be discouraged with who I am. Told myself that I was not good enough, had to try harder.

Today I'm pondering it, wondering what it has to say to me, if anything.
If I can't accept that who I am in this minute is enough then there's a good chance that my striving to do better is ego driven.
I can do better, but not on my own strength.
Change is that mysterious wedding between my willingness and God's grace.
I really believe that even my willingness is a grace, too.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cabin Fever Sunset

Late in the afternoon yesterday the sun came out and perspective was mine once again. Even though it started to set withing a few minutes of its arrival, for once it didn't fizz me a bit that it was setting at five in the afternoon. It was just glorious to see it after a week of grey. It's a rather beautiful sunset if I do say so myself.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Raking Snow

That's one of the Puglies outside before we got another dump of snow. We've had another foot of it since I last posted. Oh, joys. Dearest one and I are snowed in today. There sure is a difference between having the option of seeing other human beings and not. I'm tempted to go to work tomorrow for the human contact even though it's my regular day off.

A few days ago I was able to participate in a AA Phone Meeting due to the good fortune of the folks who provide such a service. There was something calming about hearing other people share their experience, strength and hope. It's a great resource if you are getting a little cabin fever like I am and can't get to a meeting.

I am grateful to have a warm house, whose roof I hope holds under the snow load until we can get it cleaned off. I had no idea until a few days ago there was such a thing as a snow rake. We just got up on the roof and shovelled. Physical limitations mean that's not an option for either of us so a snow rake it will be.

Today the temperature finally broke the -30C mark. Perspective. I tell you it's all about perspective. Rah, rah, rah. I think mine's buried beneath the snow. I wonder if there's a rake for that?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Through Gritted Teeth

Despite it being between minus 30C and minus 40C for days on end, plus snowing (over a foot and counting), well, I'll take that over flooding any day. When my spiritual director said that this afternoon I had to agree. So much for my planned communal whine fest on who in their right mind signs up for this after they've experienced it one winter, never mind decades of them.

But I restrained myself.

It was good, however, to touch base with him and get his feedback even if it had to be via phone due to the weather. And in the vein of my post the other day I was honest with him which meant my side of the conversation was peppered with a lot of "I don't give a shit" comments. It's been many, many weeks since I've been to church or a meeting and the longer it gets the harder it is to be motivated to care.

Part of me wants to remind you, especially if you've never experienced it, that it's January in the north, Spring feels like it is buried far beneath the horizon and we still get less than 8 hours of daylight (although it feels like the never appearing sun has to shine to get even that!) I haven't felt well physically. You get the drift. All that is code for don't rain on my pity party. Like a good friend used to tell me ~
"Enjoy that there pity pot while you're sitting on it because you won't sit there forever."
Then he'd throw his head back and laugh stopping only to take a drag on his smoke, when I'd shoot him a fuck you look, which only made him laugh all the harder. Because he was right, dammit. And we both knew it.

Some days I resist wanting to remember that no matter what, my attitude is mine to choose.

I told Fr. Charlie that I had decided that when my spoon supply, the weather or the road conditions were not a factor, my place was to be both at Mass and meetings because I have a responsibility to myself and to the communities I am a part of.

But I don't feel any joy about it; more a begrudgingly doing the right thing despite myself, knowing eventually I will care again. I have been surprised by what can happen when one simply shows up anyway. Many times I have told God, through gritted teeth, that I am here out of obligation, wherever here happens to be only to have that split moment happenstance where Grace reduces to me tears reminding me that I'm right where I'm meant to be.

There have been positive things I've been doing in the meantime including nearly daily contact with my sponsor and a regular period of meditation, but there really is no substitute for flesh and blood meetings on both fronts.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where Are Your Feet?

At one point today with windchill, it was hovering around -40C. Too cold to go for a walk. It's been too cold since I last wrote. We're getting another dump of snow, too. I have been selectively using spoons the past two days, taking time off work because I haven't been feeling too good. Tomorrow it will be back to normal, snowfall and all.

I feel like whining and moaning but who wants to read that? Even I don't. Sure, I want to know someone is human, and I rarely trust someone who is happy, happy all the day; you know that false niceness that seems too good to be true? I guarantee there is a wack of anger buried beneath it. I speak that from personal experience of having people tell me I had so much patience with my kids when they were little only to go behind closed doors and fly into uncontrollable rages with bruises to show for it. (That haunt me still.)

Someone I admire said not too long ago that he'd rather be honest than positive. I will take honest over anything else any day. There's no guess work with honest. I love this story of honesty. Love it.

I don't know where this post is going, if anywhere, so you'll have to bear with me and see.

Last week the topic came up with a group of friends about times when God made a way clear or not for us. I used to think that the goal was a straight line from here to heaven called Doing God's Will. I spent some time thinking, Oh, this must be God's will, it's exactly what I would do! to thinking "this must be God's will because there's not a snowball's chance in hell I'd choose it for myself."

Today I just try to do my best to hear God and go about my day. I don't trust my own motives because I can make just about anything sound like God, or not, when I want it to. Or as my sponsor says, sometimes you have to call bullshit on yourself.

A friend gets a chuckle when people ask her how they can tell if they are on the right path. She tells them to look at their feet.

Yesterday I spent the day in solitude, in quiet, on purpose. Dearest one was gone for 24 hours and it was just me and the Puglies. They must have sensed I was sick because they stuck to me like glue and were a real comfort.

Having one day of intentional silence a week is something I'm experimenting with this year. I spent it reading and writing and puttering. I had bigger plans than that but when I woke up feeling wretched I had to gear down my plans. I am grateful to be comfortable with silence and my own company.

It hasn't always been that way.

Addiction is all about looking to be anywhere except where one's feet are. I have relatives who live every day with intentional silence, their homes devoid of radio, tv, computer. I thought about them this week and realized it's really that internal silence that I'm seeking. Although being where my feet are without external distractions, is a good place to start.

Photo Credit(taken by someone doing my dream trip)

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Trade Offs

I traded my morning Internet time for meditation this week. Spending twenty minutes in centering prayer is one of the best things I can do for my overall health. I've been resisting it for a long while because my ego tends to take a shit kicking whenever I maintain it as a regular practice.

Getting back into a routine this week after several weeks off for the holidays has felt like a brutal adjustment. It doesn't escape me that it's also the luxury of having a job with paid vacation. I feel like I have a tenuous hold on my spoon supply at the moment so my bedtime this week was the same as it was 40 years ago. You know you're tired when the evening news comes on and you feel as tired as if it was the late night news.

I'm doing what I can these days to maintain my equilibrium. There was a bit there before Christmas when my spoon supply was so depleted I questioned whether I'd be able to keep working. All my energy at the moment is going into staying well.

I work with a bunch of keen eyed health professionals. One of which told me this week that before Christmas I looked dreadful. Another who said that even if I still looked tired at least I looked rested. Which is the same as saying yes, they are still deep circles under my eyes but the rest of my body doesn't appear to be dragging as well.

I've made a few small adjustments this week to help. As tired as I am it still is a real benefit to me to go for a walk every day. Doing so meant paying no heed to the whining and moaning going on in my head as we pulled into the yard every day after work about how tired I was. I can do a mean immitation of a tired, cranky six year old on demand.

Instead I changed into warmer clothes and headed out on my walking trail, flashlight in hand and walked. It did me good. Seeing all those tracks of moose, deer, mice and birds sharing my trail made me smile.

Once, seveal years ago, after my health had rebounded for the better, dearest one looked at me with a puzzled look on his face and asked, "Why are you doing this?" I was all bundled up on a -25C day to go for a walk and I looked at him and said, "because I can. I do it because I'm grateful I have the ability to go for a walk. I don't want to take it for granted."

I didn't have to say anymore. We both could remember, rather vividly, the days when lifting one foot off the ground took more energy than I could muster. I had a few scary days there before Christmas when it felt like I was headed right back to those days.

So today the trade off is a bit of a walk for a few spoons. I'm grateful it's even an option.

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