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.

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Elusive

It’s the word you can almost remember, the rare bird a watcher is longing to see or for some it’s a word of praise.

I have conquered tasks most of my life with my simple method. Break a job down into steps. I’ve used this method over and over, and it works. Mostly. Big projects and small projects can be broken down into steps, and it’s easy to see results, which usually inspires me to keep working.

How do you eat an elephant, is the age-old question–one bite at a time. Then there’s my back up plan, persistence. And doggone determination.

Being a type A person makes me believe if something didn’t happen, I must take action and fix it. And my conflict lies with my elusive projects which I’ve repetitively set aside time to complete.

I’m finding some of them are taking longer to chew. Are my methods broken? Or am I trying too hard? The latter is becoming my belief.

In time management, the belief seems to be that all goals can be achieved, we can make our dreams real if we apply ourselves. The current trend is to get up an hour earlier than usual. For me this would be 4:30 A.M. The realistic version of my life, the body which requires sleep, the person who has a mentally challenging job, and the pain from disabling migraines, these are challenges adding to my obstacle course. Everyone has something.

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. Alan Watts

I did the caffeinated, early morning, get up one-hour earlier challenge. I spent more energy concentrating on getting up an hour before than on doing what I wanted to do.

Next, I worked on my projects during lunch breaks, a time hack I’ve read about over and over again. It’s good. Did I mention that I have a mentally challenging job? And that people come to my coworker and me often with questions?

Lately, I feel my the finish is elusive, like the word I can’t quite remember. My advice to myself, Chill out sister. Let it come.

Everything in life is elusive. Gloria Vanderbilt

Check out Londonlozi.com regarding the elusive half-collared kingfisher sighting in the picture.

Motivation

“I keep asking why he did that.” Yeah, I hear this a lot. I say it a lot. We are a little naive about the behavior of others.

From my eyes, I see opportunities for learning. The world in front of me is a vast library with armloads of books to grab. All of that information, every word excites me, makes me want to blab all of it to someone else, but there’s usually too much to unload onto one person. I wouldn’t dream of torturing another in that way. And each day is another chance to learn.

When I had my kids, it seemed obvious how I’d raise them. Parents do this to their kids without thinking. Athletic parents prioritize sports and fitness. Being physical is natural and encouraging this in their children is a given.

As an adult with adult children, I know I got lucky. My children and I have similar enough personalities, and my craze for teaching them didn’t warp their brains. There are some inconsistent families with parents who are baffled by their children. They wonder why their child doesn’t play football or refuses to hike all day in the mountains. As I said, I was lucky.

Don’t think I feel the same as you, even if I’m wearing the same brand of clothing. It’s the common thing, the easy slip, to assume we believe the same way.

Not everyone has the same viewpoint. We’ve had different experiences. Learned lessons the other hasn’t. The most significant differences I notice are in our motives. What excites me, learning and teaching, is nothing to most. Doesn’t register. But we’re familiar with people who work tirelessly at a singing contest or those scientists who cure fatal diseases. They are motivated more than if they were offered money.

We are all human and need a reason to wake up in the morning, but that reason might be so different than mine I can’t understand it. Ah, but there’s the beauty of life.

Stumbling Around

Fear of Failure. Atychiphobia. Anxiety.

It’s sometimes the reason old people sit in their recliner too long. And why the snappiness gets lost from their step. Not on their sixtieth birthday or even in their seventy-fifth year. Just one day it’s easier not to try. Not push. Effort and achievement cause expectations.

The unknown is difficult to face. The young stare it down. Every job interview, each new friend, the new 10-page application they fill out for renting the house, new schools, and moving. But somewhere after the home and the kids and the third new job, life settles. It changes less. By the time the kids grow up, life has rolled on—around and over us.

As we age, we expect to know more. Be smarter. Shouldn’t we be advising our children? We feel we shouldn’t need to improve ourselves anymore. We did that in our twenties.

This is a new time to live. And I refuse to rust, whether it’s by sitting in a recliner or refusing to learn a new language.

We can do this. Don’t turn off your curiosity.

Is it possible, that some of us are afraid of diving, of jumping into the deep end? What’s the worst that could happen if we lived?

How To Conquer The Fear of Failure

Solving My Unhappiness Factor

Why am I so unhappy? Sometimes I don’t understand the why’s. I feel failure, a vague discomfort similar to when I’ve forgotten to apply my antiperspirant. That awkward moment when the sweat beads under my armpits. Ick. But this moment was different. I knew why.

It’s been a rough month. A rough year. I’ve tried to convince Life to do things the way I wanted. She’s freakin’ ignored me. My air conditioner is broken. And I’m trying to sell my condominium. It seems as if there’s been a conspiracy against repairing my vintage piece of cooling equipment. Somehow they keep forgetting to follow up on my work order. Maybe my phone number is written in invisible ink. I’ve nearly given up hope on selling my place in the near 100-degree heat.

Well, weary shoulders or not, I keep trying. I can’t quit. For my happiness though, I have to move my finish line. Change my perspective. I need a different goal line because I can’t control the weather or the buyers. I can’t make my realtor do a smashing job of marketing my place. My neighbors are hoarders, and their junk keeps overflowing onto the staircase. But, these are not my problem.

I must create goals within my reach and reset my mental experience. This will release my tension level. Kaboom! Instant happiness. So, I made a fun goal, an easy task, a natural thing to make me laugh. Want to hear it?

Smile three times today in the mirror. Everything else is extra. Now, have an awesome day!

I learned some of this from listening to Richard Grannon from The Spartan Life Coach He has excellent training courses.

Awaken Your Integrity

Being yourself sounds easy. It’s the current advice. It will solve all of your problems from dating to your life’s work, but what does it mean?

Recently, we’ve watched society reject men doing their thing. Vulgar stuff. Alpha men have gone their ways for centuries and getting by with it. Is that the answer? Gawd, I hope not. Oppression is not me. I’m uncomfortable in that world.

Society and the current work environment makes it almost impossible to be yourself. Even your day and night cycles are timed to fit someone else.

So, what are the solutions? Claim as much of your life as you can. Take assertiveness courses. Learn your style and use the information to your advantage.

Is there an area in your life that bugs you? Can you take action? Even if it’s a small change, it can help. Tell yourself ‘yes’ and others ‘no.’ Read, learn, and find like-minded people.

Regarding integrity, I believe Anthony Bodine lived his truths. Hello Darkness, My Old Friend by Mike Rowe

check out one of my posts, To Love Yourself

Weather Patterns

Try not to take it to heart. It’s a day. Or something a person said, and it was meant to cause you pain, but it doesn’t have to.

Earthquakes shake the ground, leaving rubble and chaos. People react differently to Mother Nature. One person’s bad day might be another’s exhilarating ride.

I love a rainy day, but I know some who won’t leave their house if there’s a mist in the air. A sudden downpour will cause a crowd to scatter. We can panic, or we can let it happen, let the rain pour down our backs. We could also choose to go inside out of the storm.

There will always be storms. Prepare for them. Your house, if it has a strong foundation will weather any storm. #moods

This Is Where I Live

This body, life has left some marks. These last few weeks I’ve been poked and tested but, it is the only one I have. It’s my living space. I have to treat it in the way that helps it work best. If I overstress it with high expectations or overwhelm it with too many activities, it will start throwing alarm switches until I listen.

This last week my body has started reminding me that while frugality is admirable, stinginess is cruel. Pushing myself again past my limits for my job and staying up too late, this creates pain in my muscles, and a massive headache.

A couple of years ago my washing machine quit so I had been “making do” until I could save enough to buy a new washer. While that sounds admirable, I wasn’t frugal for a purely financial reason. There was a massive chunk of ego that wanted to boast of how worthy I was! Quite a laughable thing once I realized what a tricky thing our psyche is. After taking a step back and looking at the situation, I went to a local home improvement store and financed a washing machine. Yes, I could have waited, but it was stressing me unnecessarily.

Have you ever tried to push a shopping cart with a broken wheel? That’s how it felt. I kept going, kept working because that’s what I do. I keep pushing because I know I can. I’m active and capable, right? But, when I took care of my needs, I realized how tired my enduring had made me. When I stopped trying to push the broken cart down the aisle, I could release the burden I was carrying.

Real

I have unrealistic expectations of myself, and I frequently don’t allow myself to live in the moment.

  • I choose not to kill my soul with harsh criticism and unrealistic expectations.
  • I choose to let joy and life flow through me so that when the time comes, I can also bring joy to others.
  • I choose to be a part of life in the now and not above it. The future is sometimes frightening, and I don’t want to face it, but there is always a way. There is still a simple step. It’s not always the boastful, shiny, impressive way, but there is a solution.
  • I choose to glean the joys of yesterday, and like seeds in the garden, I will sprinkle them with honor and watch them blossom.
  • I choose to honor myself, as I am, even all the jiggly parts.

Dare To Be Great

One of the tendencies I find most troubling in contemporary culture is that of mistaking cynicism for critical thinking. – brainpickings.org

It takes effort to be strong. Conscious thought and awareness are needed to bring out the good in others, but if you can do it some of the time, most of the time, try. Because not trying, not even bothering to show up, is inexcusable. And turning bitter is usually the result.

Anger, resentment, sadness, grief are the leftovers of loves unfulfilled. Unplayable songs, words we held inside a moment too long.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat… Roosevelt’s Writings

Scarred But Not Dead

I loved frogs and toads when I was growing up. I’d capture them and hold them in my chubby hands. I loved their exotic skin and long legs, but mostly it was their soft underbelly where I could feel the beat of their tiny hearts.

We’re drawn to babies. Kittens, puppies, and youngsters of all varieties. Kittens pounce and attack, batting at fluff. Their playfulness can make even an old crank of a person smile. Because somewhere inside that cranky person there’s still a child. Life wore him down, and he forgot how to play.

accept yourself

as you were designed

– rupi kaur, Milk and Honey

I was driving home today and stopped at a red light, my hand automatically went to rub my neck. Tight muscles. When my fingers touched my pulse, I jolted with a thought. I’m alive. Corny. But the thrill was the same as touching the tiny animals, the frog’s pulse. I rubbed it again, and yes my response was the same. I’m thrilled to be alive. And to feel my pulse. Is this crazy?

Life is a strange and fragile moment. You can take machines apart and put them back together without causing much damage. Tinker with it until you get it running. But people and critters are not as easy to piece together again. We do surgeries, but we are hesitant because if the life goes out, we haven’t learned how to retrieve it. So, no, I don’t think I’m crazy for being overjoyed or even ecstatic about being alive. Being alive is fantastic and beautiful. And I don’t want to forget about the beating of life in all of us.

You have scars, wounds, and bruises. Don’t let them keep you from living. It’s possible you might need help or therapy, don’t give up on yourself. Don’t let anyone else bring you down. Be your best. Live.

image from Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur