It’s Simple

We wish for the good old days when times were simple. Snapping green beans on the front porch or eating homemade ice cream. What I desire the most is the idle time to spend daydreaming.

I feel bad about the struggles on the other side of the world, but I’m limited to what I can do. I can listen to Beatles music. Maybe say a few lines of Rumi. It’s not by any means stopping the skirmishes of fighting tribes. I don’t wish for the old days, not really. They had their issues. Days were devoted to food preparation and lives cut short by disease. What I want is simplicity—living with this moment—making the most of what I have now. I don’t want to be always thinking about the fun of tomorrow or worrying about the issues that are not in my control.

This We Have Now

This we have now
is not imagination.

This is not
grief or joy.

Not a judging state,
or an elation,
or sadness.

Those come and go.
This is the presence that doesn’t.

From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks

The next time you’re watching the news and paying your bills while trying to phone your mom and pet your cat, stop. Do one thing. Only one. Choose your activity wisely and give it your full attention.
Save your sanity and realize your limitations. It’s okay if you can’t fix everything. It’s okay if you can’t save the world. We can put on our tie dyed shirts and chant OM.

Recommendation: The No Impact Man by Colin Beavan

The New Rule by Rumi

It’s the old rule that drunks have to argue and get into fights.

The lover is just as bad. He falls into a hole.

But down in the hole he finds something shining,

worth more than any amount of money or power.

Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street.

I took it as a sign to start singing,

falling up into the bowl of sky.

The bowl breaks. Everywhere is falling everywhere.

Nothing else to do.

Here’s the new rule: break the wineglass, and fall toward the glassblower’s breath.

translated by Coleman Barks
This writing is an updated version of a previous post, The Simple Life. Thank you for reading.

Don’t Speak

Helen Sinclair:
No, no, don’t speak. Don’t speak. Please don’t speak. Please don’t speak. No. No. No. Go. Go, gentle Scorpio, go. Your Pisces wishes you every happy return.
From Bullets Over Broadway

It’s time to hunker down, to stay inside, to do the opposite of what Americans do best. We do not do idle. And even when we rest, it’s not a quiet thing. We fidget. We plan. We vacation.

Today was the first weekend after Oklahoma Governor Stitt ordered nonessential businesses closed and people to remain home.

KFOR News – As part of the new restrictions, Stitt said that all non-essential businesses located in the counties affected by COVID-19 are being ordered to close at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25 until April 14.

So what happens when you’re home sheltering in place, and the electricity shuts off? No lights or television or computers. Netflix is unavailable. No binge-watching the latest show. Well, earlier, I swept the floor but couldn’t do the laundry. The WiFi was off, so I wasn’t able to edit, not even from my phone.

We took a walk. Thankfully the electricity was turned on by the time we had made the trek around the neighborhood. I had work to do: writing, laundry, and other busy stuff.

This week I will try to rest. Really.

I Want A Nap

Sleep. It’s the thing I am obsessed with lately. I want more than my share. I’m jealous of your easy rest. Why does something I need seem so elusive?

Sleep. It’s the thing I am obsessed with lately. I want more than my share. I’m jealous of your easy rest. Why does something I need seem so elusive?


I visited France a few years back and was surprised that Europeans are unmistakably more relaxed than Americans. If only I lived in France. My morning would start at 9:00 o’clock instead of 7:00 AM. I would have a long break mid-day when the town I lived in slowed to a crawl. Currently, this is the hours from noonday on when there is little respite.

I could change professions and have a lighter load, maybe. But in the states, the belief is in hard work. We have faith in the busy working day. Cram in more if there is empty space. Our vacations need activities to prove their merit. Worth, badges, honor, and glory are comfy pillows. We fluff them and tidy the trophies as we smooth our souls. So what if we gave up our vacation days. We clawed our way to the top of the ladder. Pats on the back for our commitment was our rest.

Nikita Gill

Once, I mentioned to my ex-husband that I wanted to spend a summer relaxing on the porch and watch the world go by. I love the breeze. Loitering. Doing nothing in particular. Quiet.

I do believe the thought fried his mind. He is a real go-getter. And when we were married, things were never still. He tried. As did I. Eventually, we had to part ways. No wrongdoing other than our pace didn’t match. As I’ve aged, it seems to be even more important that I pause. There’s time for breezes on the front porch.

Going back to work after my surgery recently was agonizing. It has taken sheer willpower. I hear the voices of people saying, “take as much time as you need,” or “if you hate your job, do something different,” or “get back in there.” Here I am at my desk. There’s a little more light each day. Hope. Friends. Love. Family. I’m not crying as often. That’s positive.

“Don’t rush your healing, don’t pretend to be okay when you’re not and don’t apologize for being broken.”

Lizelle Gutierrez

This has been a real struggle for me. I say these things, so others feel understood. Life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. No. I’ve had dark clouds and caves. I crave light. And I need to set my own speed. In the States, in modern times, I am continually working against the expectations of others.

I am learning to take short naps instead of working through lunch. I use my time off days. I’m going to extend my doctor’s appointment and take the day off. It’s approved. Couch time with the cats. And of course, I have prioritized my health. It is far more important than my vanity. If you took a glance at my nails right now, you would know. Sleep is more important than doing my cuticles.

Inside of you and inside of me is where the treasure is held. Nurture it. Guard it. Heal.

Adding Pleasure

Benefits

In my years of recovery from abuse, I’ve learned that a victim’s coping methods are smart. List making and stocking up on supplies are virtues we admire in others, but we can use them to hide also. It’s like procrastinating until it’s too late. I’m the same way, there are many healthy habits we can develop.

Creation

Creating small memories throughout your day is a great way to build a beautiful life. Totems can be made to honor your life. It’s an easy way to remind yourself of your values. You can have unique traditions or days of your own. My two girlfriends and I created our winter holiday in which we exchange socks. The holiday is our day. And it is sacred.

Socks

Only you are in charge of your life. Yes, others cause things to happen around you, but you are the ultimate chooser. Be well in your life today.

“Simply asking yourself the question, ‘How am I doing right now?’ is a gentle reminder to take care of yourself,” Hill Kooienga said. – HuffPost

Thanks for your patience while I am recovering from my surgery. Healing is slow but sure.

I Am Well

There’s a time for work and for me, that’s not today. My surgery went smoothly, and now after a day in the hospital, I am at home on the mend.

Many thanks belong to the incredible nursing staff, doctors, technical people,I had a terrific care group with a vast array of knowledge. Kindness exists. I’ve felt it in action. It didn’t flow accidentally. Even in the of best souls, love must be encouraged. It must be guided.

While no worker was there by force, their influence wasn’t only a paycheck. There was further action, and I received the benefits.

Thanks to my friends and family. I appreciate your love!

www.facebook.com/246744282041030/posts/2573826115999490/

Disappointment

The holidays can leave me feeling like an abused spouse. I never think I meet the hidden expectations and wonder if I’m a failure.

How was your family time? Or aloneness?

Tyler Knott Gregson

Traditional holiday seasons are triggering. I cling to unfulfilled desires even though they will never be mine. I need the light of grace to see past the fog.

Joy in connecting

Today was a day for recovery. My guy and I walked around downtown. There’s a bookstore, Magic City Books, and we’ve wanted to go. I purchased a couple of books (below) after allowing myself a lengthy browse. We had coffee at the shop next door, and afterward, we went home. It was refreshing. No rush. Like the slow stretch you do when you exit the car after a long drive.

Maybe you do well through the holidays. If so, I’m glad. Let me know either way. I’d love to know.

Don’t Quit

It’s not politically correct, but I didn’t follow all of the Mueller testimony. Not all of the six or so hours. I’m not sure I made it through one hour. I think it was the pretend outrage that made my nervous system feel like copper wires frayed from overuse. I switched to comedy. Yeah, me, the news junky switched off.

While I’m confessing, I put dirty dishes in my sink. They sometimes will stay there awhile. Laundry will sit in piles. Horrors! Currently, the two newest members of my household, female kittens, are sleeping beside me. I have a couple of projects on my to-do list. There’s a good feeling growing inside me about this weekend.

“If you can’t even clean up your (own) room, who the hell are you to give advice to the world?” Posted by u/Bebo_Bags

Jordan Peterson

Remember the basics. I can’t be everyone’s savior. Nor can I be the savior of the world. Sometimes I do well to clean my own room as Jordan Peterson says, “If you can’t even clean up your own room, who the hell are you to give advice to the world?”

Get up. Sunning on the sand is comfortable, but if the tide is rising, move your butt. And we can tell the tide is rising if we look around. I hate politics. It sets my teeth on edge, but I vote for improvement. I’ve been a voter since I was young, updating my party line when I felt my beliefs no longer were the same.

I live from my beliefs. One of them is humanitarianism. There’s more, but that’s for another post. Are You the Choices You Make? It’s important to know yourself and live your values. We lose our way otherwise. It drains us. Let’s live our lives, clean our room, and then we can find our joy.

To everything there is a season, so for today, I’m doing laundry.

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Other posts to read: Lost, Forgotten, Ignored? Does anyone care? and How to Be Strong

Survive Today

You only have to make it today! For some, that’s good news.

I grew up in the positive thinking days, the Name It and Claim It generation. Thinking made it so. The reason Aunt Marge had cancer was she was a negative thinking person. Our counterbalance was to cross stitch positivity and frame it. With that much potential to fail it’s almost impossible to get out of bed in the morning. I’m gonna fuck something up today.

Well here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it
Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you got a free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you

I want you to have it all – Songwriters: Becky Gebhardt / Mai Bloomfield / Mona Tavakoli / Chaska Potter / Jacob Kasher / David Hodges / Jason Mraz Have It All lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.- Jason Mraz

Survive Today: Take it in small bites such as thirty minute or 1-hour time slots. I can make it for thirty minutes by enjoying the sunshine. Sometimes I survive until Lunch approaching my work with a Zen energy, ignoring everyone for 2 hours. Or if I look past today, overlook the present time entirely, and peer into the evening, I can plan a good meal, pick a movie. I forget my sucky day.

Ways of making yourself smile: Watch some comedy clips on YouTube or Comedy Central. Make funny faces in the mirror. Read funny stories or comic strips. Listen to music. Walk in nature. Pet something fuzzy. Take a silly selfie. Be goofy. Rest. Take a day to lay around.

Help Another Person: Listen. Listen. Listen. Care about them. Be who you are around them. Show your true self. Be there when you can. Don’t be phony. Let them help you. Most important, be honest. If you are with them, be there. If not, quit pretending.

Accept Your Life: Stop changing. You’re complete. It’s time to get to know who you are. There’s an old phrase which states we should love ourselves as we are, broken pieces, scars, and bruises. Some of us got hung up on the damaged part and forgot the love. Forget that you need to be fixed. Stop running, stop hiding, and stop fighting life. It’s better to have ruthless acceptance. This is me at this moment. Overweight or underweight. Whether I love the me I perceive as I stare in the mirror each morning, or I hate my image, it is the bare truth.

If you hate the way you look, so what? Brush your teeth and go to work anyway. Your job will still pay you. Someone in Hollywood remarked that we must love our looks. Honey, we don’t all drive beautiful cars. I might have decent looks, and I’m happy enough with them. It’s good enough. Move forward and Survive. Thrive.

Check out: What If I Thrive?

Check out: The Flip Side of Failure

Check out: You Win

The Fallow Time

Nothing lasts forever whether it’s my favorite socks or my longed for weekends. I’ve been studying ghost towns recently. Those once booming-with-life places that either suddenly or slowly settled down to rest.

The fire truck was questionable with a flat tire, but one township still had a hundred or so people living there, enough to keep active a post office and a fire station.

I’ve noticed in the ghost towns where no one is left, all you can see is the foundation of buildings. You try to guess if it was a house, a church or a merchant. An almost impossible task. Bring a psychic, maybe?

Nature reclaims the land eventually. Grass grows up from the ground where the model-Ts drove. Where beautiful dancers might have once swayed, their long legs moving to a rhythmic beat, now a tree is growing. We can be sad, or we can say it’s another season. The ground is resting.

Fallow years, similar to crop rotation is a technique which farmers have used for centuries to keep the soil active. Overstressed earth is empty.

We use the word to talk about any unused resource, and it started as a work about land. Fallow comes from the old English word for plowing and refers to the practice of leaving fields unplowed in rotation — when a field lie fallow, the soil regains nutrients that are sucked up by over-planting. Definitions of fallow.

Should we rest?

I think we push ourselves to produce when we are empty when our reserve is low. Is it possible to find time to draw in more nutrients and wait with the bodies we have instead of wanting a perfect body?

“I am the rest between two notes which are somehow always in discord.” R.M. Rilke | Poetry & Random Thoughts 

Primal instincts drive us. In cold weather, we long for comfort and sleep. We enjoy spending more time with our family. Physical tasks seem like drudgery. Our energy is low. We crave more food and alcohol than usual. People tend toward depression. It’s seasonal. Yes, Spring is around the corner.

Winter is the season for rest.