Searching for Paradise

Incessantly seeking. Endlessly restless. Always planning and scheming. What for?

I am forever trying to manipulate my house and my personal behaviors to make less housework to keep. I am forever trying to let go of expectations and self-created problems.  I am forever asking “is this necessary?” when I look over my lists.  Seemingly my desire is to have very little “must do” and a lot of “spare time”. Searching for my paradise.

When is it all enough?

I am reading a travelogue of a fellow who went off to a very remote island in the South Pacific. It is a second such I have gotten my hands on written in the past few years. It echoes so much of what I have read by Michener and Mytinger.  James Michener wrote of the less than romantic islands riddled with death and disease and insanity.  Mytinger wrote of the natives of Melanesia between the world wars.  It too echoes Michener’s tales of despair and adventure.  I read over again the Trader Vic Cookbook that covers the Pacific, Mexico and Texas.  I love Texas being included in the exotic text of cookery.

The Hawai’ian Islands and French Polynesia are certainly lovely and have the possibilities of evoking the feeling of having found paradise. Hawaii is beyond lovely and the climate is divine.  These are not really included in the materials I gravitate toward.

What is so appealing to me about these tales of the tougher parts of the Pacific? Perhaps the definite challenge of survival and tales of adventure.  Perhaps the stripped down lifestyle. Perhaps the freedom from societal restraints.  Perhaps only the vivid blues I envision when reading them.  Who knows for sure?  Do I even need a reason?  Always trying to figure out why I think or feel whatever it is going round in my head.

I certainly over-examine many issues. Remunerate. Chew the cud.  Stew. I do get a lot done sometimes just to get past thinking about it.  Then, I find some new topic on which to stew.

If I lived on one of the islands I read about, I would probably go stir crazy. He has helped me create a little haven like one I might erect were I to be cast adrift in the Pacific. Sitting out here writing with the wind and the bird song, I am in my own paradise.  My jungle plants provide visual texture.  The bright aqua bench evokes the tropical waters.  I will add images to this haven to increase the mood of escape.

I do enjoy escape from the nine to five, the television blaring, the claustrophobic feeling of central air living with the drawn drapes and darkened rooms. And yet another part of my paradise is a bathtub full of clean, hot water to soak chin deep. A room cooled by that very same central air with a comfortable, dry, bug free bed in which to snuggle.  Satellite services bringing my television and internet connection to the rest of the world at my fingertips.  Too much food available to eat at any moment. Him somewhere on the acreage or piled up in his chair.

I don’t have ocean waves rolling and crashing outside my window. I don’t have the smell of salt air or the scream of seagulls assailing my senses. I don’t have sores festering from the bacteria that thrive in the equatorial band around the globe. Tsunamis and storm surges don’t threaten my world.  Yes. I would certainly love to visit the tropical places of my dreams.  I have seen some of it.  But, I will continue to appreciate my little bit of paradise he has helped me create right here in my own back yard.  For today, it is enough.  No need to search beyond the front gate, today.

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Some Mondays

Some Mondays, I have trouble getting going writing. Like tonight.  I think tonight has been the worst so far.

So what shall I write about? I have had to make a change to improve my health.  It is a change in more than my diet.  I am a coffee lover. I drink copious amounts of coffee each day.  I buy decaf coffee so I can drink coffee late in the day if I want.  It was killing my stomach.

Last Monday, I stopped drinking all day coffee. I have had about eight ounces of coffee each morning.  But, it is a lifestyle change and a change of habit and a detox from caffeine.  I have been drinking water all day now.  My stomach was better the same day I stopped drinking all that coffee.

Till today……I cooked spaghetti for his supper. I ate some as well.  There went my stomach again.  I don’t really like spaghetti all that much, so I doubt I will miss it.  But, I am not certain if it was the tomatoes, the Italian sausage or what that upset my tummy.

Nevertheless, I was aggravated about it. I had been enjoying not having all those problems this past week.

What else do I need to give up to improve my well-being? Self-criticism.  I abuse myself the way I talk to myself.  That voice in my head is vicious.  But, I have been getting that under control, too.  That shift I mentioned last week would certainly include a gentler observer voice in my mind.

I have continued to retrain my thoughts to be compassionate with my own self. I write it all out in my journal.  I identify a thought or thought process and write the sequence.  Then, I rewrite it like a friend talking to me.  Advising me on what is true and what is assumed.  Digging into the cause of the thought, rewriting scripts to give a positive outcome.  I am not really sure how to describe the method.  Positive imagining.  Whatever it is, it has allowed me to put many dragons to death and get many more chained up.

My dragons range in size and color. Things from indecision, over-sentimentality, laziness, to severe depression and a deep sense of unworthiness, and survivor’s guilt.  I am getting better able to battle them.   Writing Raining Orchids is good medicine.

His letting me go to the deer stand and sit is also good medicine. Sitting in those woods, hours of solitude, pen and paper in hand.  I appreciate getting to spend time in that part of his world.  I appreciate his spending time, money and energy to get me in a warm, dry spot to wait and listen.  I appreciate his patience with my efforts at becoming a hunter and fisherwoman.  I appreciate him.

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