Aggravations

Sometimes I get really aggravated. Not about anything in particular.  Just everything in general.  The garbage service didn’t pick up my trash again.  I don’t know why and he isn’t answering the phone.  The rain storm caught me by surprise today and I got damp and chilled.  I watched the weather and the storm that came was not predicted by the weather man I was watching.  My shoulder is hurting for unknown reasons.  Hurting a lot.  My honey is going to be away for a few days coming up and I am going to miss him terribly.  I still have too many unresolved projects cluttering up my house and yard and life.  I can’t find a new pair of shoes that won’t hurt my foot and will look dressy enough for my taste.

See. Nothing major.  Just a lot of little things piled up.  When I see my list of complaints in black and white, they seem even more trivial.  I have loved ones going through very serious health problems.  I have friends in various personal crises.  There are terrible things happening out in the world at large.

But, sometimes I still have to stop and acknowledge that I have aggravations piling up and getting in the way of joy and thanksgiving. Just because my problems aren’t huge and not really problems at all, I still have to deal with them.  They are like the dripping faucet.  Something that needs to be fixed.  And next week will have another round of problems to deal with.  It is called life.

The up side of things today includes the following: I have steaks marinating and potatoes baking.  Yes, for Monday supper.  I have a great porch to sit on and rest my achy body.  I had a lot of hot water to take a shower and warm up and relieve some of my shoulder ache.  My honey is home.  He is going to help with the trash problem.  I got to visit with my daughter and her feller yesterday.  We had shrimp gumbo.   I have a crochet project I am enjoying.  I have an embroidery project I am enjoying.  I have a book to read I am enjoying.  I just heard that a dear friend got a cancer free report today.

So, I will be joyful and thankful and glad with life and the blessings generously given to me. The orchids are still raining down even when I am aggravated.  All I have to do is stop grumbling long enough to notice.  Out of the darkness of my thoughts and into the light…………………

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Do NOT Give Up.

That is what I keep telling myself.  Do not give up the fight or give in to the darkness.  I have intentions.  I have desires.  I have wishes.  I am trying to make myself let go of the side of the pool and swim across the deep end.

What does that involve?  Letting some things go and focusing on the main things.  Focus.  That is the struggle.  If I focus on this thing, what happens to that thing?  I care about it, too.  I like too many things.  I want too many things.

I have for years read about simplifying and de-cluttering.  I have done a ton of work doing just that.  Even to look into my closets, most would be surprised at how little I really have in them.  None of my closets are packed.  They are fairly organized and tidy.  I have spent ages eliminating all sorts of things in my life.

The problem, as I said recently, may lie in the goals.  I have too many goals.  Too many things to distract me.  How do I get to the point of letting go of ideas?  I don’t have too much trouble letting go of things.  But, letting go of creative ideas is another struggle.

Even this weekend, I found some items for a project.  Spent a whole dollar at a yard sale on them.  It will take five or ten more dollars to have supplies to do the project.  How in the world do I get around to doing it?

Basic living seems to take up all of my time and energy.  And still I have not found a spot to allow myself to actually do some messy work.  I don’t have a work space.  I will set out some things and work a few hours.  Then, other things have to be done.  The work doesn’t continue.  The mess is in the way.  Back to the bins and closets it will go.

I am at a standstill.  No progress since last week.  I don’t know what to do or how to get through this block.  The basic steps would be get off the computer.  Get out the tools and supplies for one project.  Set up on the dining table.  Sit down and work.  Whoops.  My mind just raced off to worry about not getting the project completed and having to leave the mess out for a day or two.

I do believe I am ridiculous in my way of thinking.  I do believe there is a deeper issue.  I do believe I may break through to the real issue someday.  Therein lies the fear.  What if the real issue is something I cannot deal with?  What if it is too deep and too painful to deal with?  What if I go over the edge?  Into that black chasm?

My aunt asked me what I do to overcome the depression.  Riding it out.  Knowing it will pass.  It always does.  He holds on to me until I can hold on again.  I write a lot that is never read by others.  The darkest goes into the fire.  The darkness is less dark than in years past.  I do not use medication.

I do not lose touch with reality.  I know that is the greatest fear.  I have looked insanity in the eyes and called him Daddy.  He could not be reached in that dark place.  I associate creative pursuit with an unstable mind.  If I don’t get carried away with creativity, I won’t get carried away.

Understanding this behemoth does not slay the dragon.  I have not yet found the sword that will do the task.  It takes more than identifying and understanding and defining the problem to solve it.  A plan of action, resources to implement the plan, a time line to follow for the plan are not enough either.

There is another element needed.  Courage.  Daring.  Audacity. What it is called doesn’t matter.  Guts to jump off the high dive.  Guts to jump off the river bank.  What is the worst thing that could happen?  Yes, all of those things.  Look them in the eye and jump.  Plunge into the icy cold unknown.  Someone is waiting to reach out and pull me back in if the struggle is too much.  He has been doing so for more than thirty years.  When I am in too deep, he calls upon his Friend to help.

Maybe this week, I will have the audacity…………………….

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Things to Do

What really important thing am I forgetting to do?

I have that question written on the icebox. There are so many levels to the answers for it. From simple chores to life purpose fulfilling goals.

The forgetting part is the tough one.  I feel I can’t quite remember what I am supposed to do or I haven’t quite found the answer. It seems like I am looking through a veil. That if I could ever get the veil open or if the fog would lift I could see clearly.

If I could ever get to the top of that magnolia tree, I could see the answer:  What really important thing am I supposed to be doing? When I was a kid, there was a huge magnolia in the edge of the woods near the top of the hill overlooking the river valley. I never was big enough, strong enough, or brave enough to climb further than the lowest limb. I always believed that if I could get to the top and look out, I would have the answer. I am not even sure of the question. It may not be what am I supposed to be doing. Maybe it is something completely different. Maybe there isn’t really a question, just a clear vision.

I am not talking about finding a cure for cancer or making a major discovery of some sort. I am talking about my life here in my world of Town Bluff. Right here at this place I call home. Maybe I’m not really forgetting. Maybe I am doing most of it. Maybe there is no clear vision to be had, but rather a learning to seek without fear and without reservation.

Gardening, canning, cooking, reading, writing, growing houseplants, painting, coloring, cleaning, mowing, raking, tending flower beds, making a pretty garden, raising cows, tending to dogs, cats, fish. Spending time with my family and friends. Entertaining. Movies, games, fishing, hunting, swimming. These things are my life, now.

The magnolia tree is gone. There is no longer a place to climb to see the answer. I will have to keep seeking the answer from right here on the ground. What am I supposed to be doing? Am I doing today what will grow me rather than crush me? Am I creating today the life I want to lead? And then tomorrow, I will have to create it again, building on today. One beautiful present time. One beautiful moment connected to the next. Living is what I am supposed to be doing.

Living, loving, giving.

Orchiding

He came in from fishing and over supper asked if I had been “orchiding”.  I was puzzled for a moment.  Then, I remembered that is what he has dubbed my pursuit of personal growth and creativity.  He asked if I had painted and I replied no.  I was still feeling stalled.  I reflected on my day.  I made some discoveries.

What had I done all day?  I cried some.  I wrote down some questions.  I identified some of the myths I believe.  For me they are truths right now, but I want to strike down the myths because they are harmful rather than examples for which to aspire.  Remember that whatever one believes is the truth for them.

I had also spent time scrubbing the stove top.  It was long overdue.  Yes.  Even cleaning house can be considered “orchiding” when it relieves my tension and improves my immediate environment.

I rearranged the clothes in my closet in anticipation of warmer weather.  I recently explained to a friend that I no longer complain about the weather.  The weather is the business of God.  Who am I to complain about His business?  But, I still must prepare to dress for it.  I have tried to get my clothes situated to make easier dressing.  I wear jeans and boots or sandals to work.  I have collected men’s shirts from a resale shop that I enjoy wearing.  I like to add scarves and necklaces to soften my appearance.  Getting ready for spring counts for me, too, as “orchiding”.

I ironed embroidery stencils onto two of those shirts.

I worked out the next part of my flower trio paintings.  I figured out the next step, but I have not yet applied the paint.

I stopped at the cemetery and captured some images of the camellia and its blooms.

So, the answer is yes.  I did do some “orchiding”.  It is not always just about being at the easel or desk working directly on arts and crafts.  It is also taking time to think and to feel and to dream.   I will continually need to remind myself of this.  I appreciate his asking the question.

One of my favorite things:

This is the gravesite of my great grandparents.  Her name was Camilla.  Hence, the camellia over her resting place.