I was reading back over my summer journal. I have been really down recently.  I know the primary medicine for this problem is walking.

I have been walking at a local track. It sits beside a busy highway. It is a track.  Round and round.  Not much changes in the view.  Even over the course of weeks, there isn’t much new to notice.  I had become dependent on my iPod for music and checking Facebook or Instagram to battle the boredom and battle the distraction of the cars on the road.

I sometimes astound myself at how stupid I can behave.

Even closer than the track is my park. I always think of it as my park.  I grew up in it along the lake. My grandmother named it.  So much of my childhood and early adulthood was spent there.  I used to always walk there.  I don’t know why I stopped.  I don’t know why I decided the track would be a better choice.

The park has an ever changing view. The park has the lake to see.  That lake reflects light like no other I have ever experienced. There is a chance to see wildlife. There are always memories to meet me.

Today was my third consecutive day to walk it. Already my severe hip pain has lessened.  It is related to my lower back issue.  My inner turmoil seems lessened.  I am feeling centered.

I included a photo on my very first blog post of this circle of trees. I have spent about one minute on each of my three walks standing in the circle and lifting up a prayer to Him.  Standing in the circle, centering.


Blue Winter

Silly of me to feel this way.  I have had a blue winter day.  The sunshine of the island and the false spring days we have had lately didn’t stick with me today.  The gray sky and cold rain got me.   At least for part of the day.  I let myself get blue for a while.

I seem to have turned the mood around.  I switched to the 70’s music station on the television and actually did a little dancing.  Ironically, in front of the same mirror I danced before when it was the early 80s. I didn’t like dancing alone so I always danced in front of my mirror.  Tried it today to see if it would work on my blue mood.  Yes. It did.  Thank goodness.

Every time I have a down time, I fear the return of the black depression that has plagued me on and off through the years.

Lately, I have had some down days.  But, my thoughts haven’t really been down.  I feel more like I am bored.  I am busy, but not at anything very engaging or interesting.  I am slightly embarrassed to admit this.  I believe intelligence should overcome boredom.

Perhaps, I am reacting to job stress.  Maybe I have my thought processes zoned out to keep from stressing about the upcoming audit and the needs of my current position.  Not enough hours in the work week to do all that needs doing.  No overtime allowed at all.  Period.  This will be my third such audit that comes along every three years.  I always lose sleep over it.  We have always had great outcomes.  Nevertheless, I fret.  May is forever away and just around the corner.

Perhaps, I am unwilling to do things at home to make myself feel better.  I have been reading for pleasure.  I have a simple crocheted scarf almost completed.  I have a few crafting projects awaiting.  Even better than all this I have a wedding to help put together for our daughter.  Only parents and siblings and his daughter on the guest list, but still I want the event to be special and memorable for her.

Still, I have a gap in my attention.  I pass time piddling on Facebook or Pinterest, puttering around the house trying to keep up with the housekeeping, occasionally doing something in the yard.  Mindless things.  I need something to hold my attention and get my mind focused on the task at hand.

A hobby?  Yes.  I suppose a hobby other than reading and writing.  I hesitate to delve into something.  I can’t recall how many projects for which I have bought supplies and tools yet not completed or even started.   The tools and supplies are usually passed on to other crafters.  As I stated, I have a few projects I could do but not enough enthusiasm for them to drag stuff out and begin.

Frustrated.  That is it for me right now.  I was busier with projects when the children were young and Mother and Daddy needed my help than now when I have hours I could spend creatively.

What is the problem?  What do I really want to do with my time and creative energy?  Am I overreaching the issue?  Probably.  Break down the problem.  What do I really want to do this week with my time and energy?  Do I want to work out patterns to cut felt pieces for ornaments?  Do I want to get a darker washable ink to draw on the fabric I have been trying to embroider with my own design?  Do I want to try again to smear paint on a piece of canvas?  Would I rather write a draft of a new poem?  Should I work on the painted finish of the stool in the bathroom?

I have a friend or two I need to make time to call.  I have a cousin I need to call and hopefully be able to assist.  I have a birthday party to attend.

And always, I have him…..he needs attention.  I love giving him attention.  Sometimes, he lets me.  Sometimes, he is busy with his own projects.  When my blue winter days come, he gives me attention.  He turns the blue to silver and the gleam of delight returns to my heart.  I am ever mindful of him and what he might need from me.  After all, he is my favorite hobby.  And definitely never boring!


Bearing Fruit

My life is sometimes too simple. Translate: boring. With no one left to take care of anymore except him, I end up with a lot of time on my hands. I still have plenty to do. My nine-to-five takes up most of Monday through Friday. I cook a meal most evenings. There are dogs and fish and a cat to see about. Housekeeping and gardening and washing take place. But none of that takes all my time. The weekends are usually busy, but not overly. I have time I could spend doing rather than piddling.

But what do I do? What do I want to do? I have some ideas. But, giving myself permission to do what I want to do appears to be the hurdle. I have trouble letting myself do certain things. Things I consider self-indulgent. Somehow, sitting in the chair playing on my laptop surfing Facebook or Pinterest seems okay. Sitting in the backroom trying to work out a problem with paint on canvas or with thread and trinkets does not.

Why? The first action requires little concentration. It is something that doesn’t produce an end product that must be dispositioned. It does not require continued acquisition of materials and supplies. It does not need to be explained. The second action does all of that. Further, the second action forces me to take risks with my skill and ability to bring into reality something I have imagined.

Frivolity in creative pursuit is not something I was encouraged to do. Sewing should produce wearable clothes. Quilting should produce useable quilts. Cooking should feed as many as possible with as little waste as possible. Trimming the crusts from bread was sacrilege. Painting on canvas was an indulgence for wealthier people. Mama did not mean it the way it worked out in my mind. But, it is there.

I put my life on hold a long time ago. I have kept it there in that safe place longer than needed. Getting the children grown, bidding too many loved ones goodbye, trying to figure out and adjust to my physical illness have required a holding pattern for me. No longer on the front lines of life, I would like to play a little. I would like to explore some creative work. I have always written. I have always taken photos. But, I want something more. Dare I take the risk to bear fruit?

Yaupons bear fruit in the dead of winter. Bright red berries on bushes that are as varied in shape as snowflakes. Tenacious. Prolific. Beautiful. Life-giving to feathered creatures. Perhaps, I should hear the lesson. Bear fruit even in winter. Accept my unique sense of the world. Be tenacious. Be prolific. Give life to the feathered beauty of my imagination.