Two More Months

I ran up to the store a little while ago and in conversation with the girl at the check-out, I mentioned it being August 31st and that meaning we have only two more months of heat.  It may be a little cooler over the next few weeks, but fall is two months away.  Around Hallowe’en we should get a cool front.  Meanwhile, cabin fever continues.

I want to go outside and do something.  It’s one o’clock in the afternoon.  It would not be even remotely pleasant.  Later, this afternoon, I have an outdoor project to work on.  I know that with my age and condition, I need to be careful.  I intend to try anyway.

A former co-worker has just retired.  I went to her retirement luncheon.  She has a retired husband.  They like to travel and already have a trip planned for the coming weeks.  I have been retired a year now.  I haven’t made a dent in any of my retirement plans.  I hear retired people say they are so busy they don’t know how they had time to work before.  I have managed to avoid that issue.

I have a few days each week to spend doing whatever I want here at the house.  And yet, several projects sit waiting.  Am I not really interested in getting them done?  Are they simply “should do” projects?  I was skimming through a book yesterday and came across a phrase:  rapt attention.  The rapt attention could lead to the feeling of childlike joy.  Or something like that.  I am looking for that something that can capture my rapt attention and evoke the feeling of childlike joy.

My mother had a gift for always being busy.  She had a sewing project, quilt project, crochet project or something going. In the fall or winter, she was often outside with a few hand tools clearing back the woods around the house a bit more.  Spring meant a vegetable garden to be put in.  Canning of green beans and shelling and freezing purple hull peas came around in the calendar. My brother was the muscle in the outfit.  Sometimes we would be joined by others just for the time together working on something.  As her physical ability waned, she focused on cooking for whoever showed up to fix this or paint that or watch the Cowboys play football on Sunday afternoons. 

I want to be busy, too.  I wrote last week of digging deep.  Looking for that something on all the lists that might be just the thing. 

Did I confess about my Pinterest boards?  A few weeks ago, I went through all the 4000+ pins I have on various boards.  I created a board of things that still seem to resonate with me.  Home décor, garden ideas, clothes, colors.  A variety of topics.  The other day I listened to a TED talk by someone whose opinion I respect.  He talked about vision boards being effective.  He doesn’t try to explain why.  He indicated he doesn’t know why they seem to work.  So, I made a vision board. I actually printed pictures from Pinterest and got a piece of poster board and put the board on the back side of the bedroom door.  I will let you know how things go. 

None of the things on the board are items for my rapt attention.  I will need to work on that direction some more.  I have some vague ideas, but I need some time and some resources to pursue the possibilities.  Time, I have.  Resources, not so much.  If Hobby Lobby and JoAnn’s weren’t so far away, I would be able to move along more quickly.  I could at least see if anything is available to develop my ideas further. 

I am not really discouraged.  Just stalled.  If I am anything, I am persistent in this venture.  For more than 40 years, I have persisted in seeking a way to express my creativity.  I want to be bolder.  Take more risks.  Be willing to fail on a grander scale.  Out of those grander failures, I might just find something to get my rapt attention and give me childlike joy. 

The pursuit continues for me.  I take a tiny step or two each day.  Some days I even move a good bit along the path.  Today, I moved a good bit along.  My idea isn’t working. And so, a failure toward success.  Simply being able to classify today’s flop as such is success all on its own.  Let me stop here and go try to get through some more failures on the way to success.  Will keep you posted. 

Trending

I have been noticing and reading about hygge.  It is trending in my web orbit on various sites.  As I read about it, I am not finding anything new to me.  The Danes are crediting with creating a way to survive the long, cold winters by doing certain things.

Here in Southeast Texas, long cold winters don’t happen.  However, we do have days strung together of damp, grey rain.  This morning is one.  Yesterday was one.

As long as I can remember, I have set myself to enjoy such days.  I have the curtain drawn back and the window open to hear the rain.  The lights are low.  A candle flickers.  My pillows are propping me up as I snuggle under my coverlets.  A cup of tea is steaming on the nightstand.  I have my journal at hand to scribble my thoughts.

I have spent time this morning thinking and planning.  Pondering where I want to go with the projects I am working through this month.  As an update, over the past week, I have hauled off some odds and ends to the charity shop.  I have added things to the costume box for our daughter’s theater.  I have dumped some projects.  I will be continuing to haul off the junk associated with those projects.

Additionally, I have determined to dump the mindset that tells me I must have everything on our place clean and orderly before I can actually feel happy, content or satisfied.  Several years ago, in an effort to fight off this very mindset, I wrote an exhaustive list of all the things necessary to achieve such a situation.  I actually included: no fire ants anywhere on the place.  We live on seven acres in Southeast Texas.  I included no fire ants.  Of course, it was one of those extreme exercises designed to show me how ridiculous are my thought processes.  In the quiet of this morning, I recalled that and laughed all over again.

What does that have to do with now?  I have some items on that very list that are not so ridiculous still holding sway over me.  I am determined to rewrite the tape that plays in my head.  “If this, then that” goes round and round.  If I could get this done, I could have that.  But, I am like the mule at the millstone going round in circles chasing the carrot that dangles on the line out in front of me.

Already I have significantly reduced the incoming flow of stuff.  I have unloaded things.  I am focusing on the things I really want to pursue.  Not pursuing them, yet. I am thinking about those things rather than the carrot dangling out there.

I am allowing myself to truly enjoy the art of doing nothing.  I am giving myself permission to be happy with being imperfect.  I am granting myself leave to embrace my oddities.  I was once described by a friend as one who marches to the beat of her own drummer.  I have tried so hard to seem normal.  To be less strange.  To not distance people with my weirdness.  I am giving myself permission to let it all go and see what stays.  See who stays.

This is a good trend to follow.  “To thine own self be true.”  What year did W.S. write that?  After 400 years, it is still a good trend to follow.

candle