Blog, rainy day, windy

Lazy Sunday

Day 179

The Morning View Down My Driveway – Azaleas and Dogwoods in Bloom

The rain woke me at 3:00 a.m. and again at 5:15 a.m. I could not go back to sleep so I was in a quandary about how to spend my unexpected early morning hours. I decided to meditate. Unlike prior mornings there was a lot going on in my head. It was all quite clear to me this morning, but now I cannot recall much except I think it was an exercise in learning to forgive myself.

I am always so calm when I meditate. I am finally reaching that sleep-like but not sleeping state. It is peaceful there even if the things my mind presents to me are sometimes chaotic. There was a time in my life when these thoughts might have been painful, but now they are just thoughts. Byron Katie would say perhaps I am learning to love what is.

It was a windy, rainy, and rather cool morning. I decided to forgo my walk and instead spent the day catching up on MasterClass. I finished Judy Blume’s class and started Neil Gaiman’s class.

Judy Blume strikes me as a very compassionate and feeling person. It was nice to learn she and her husband run a bookstore in Key West. It would be fun to visit — sure wish I had known that when I lived in Florida.

Her discussion on censorship was interesting. A few of her books were banned from public schools through the years. I appreciated how much time she spent on what happens after you decide the book is finished. It was very enlightening.

Her demeanor was quite a contrast to Margaret Atwood. I got the sense Margaret Atwood was a determined feminist. This is what I love about the MasterClass series – such diverse writers.

I decided to take an afternoon nap which is rare for me. It always leaves me a little disoriented when I only sleep for an hour or so. I like long naps, but that was not meant to be — not today anyway.

I had a quick video chat with my granddaughter which consisted of me watching her walk around the patio eating frozen yogurt. You never know what you will get with little ones.

Now, a quick reheat of some leftovers and then it will be time to bring some plants inside — we have a freeze warning tonight.

Blog, SoCS

SoCS – Poppin’ Fresh

Day 178


Today, the glorious Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS) prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “dough/d’oh.” Use one, use both, use ’em any way you like. Enjoy!


The first thing that came to mind yesterday was the term doughboy, which I quickly decided I knew nothing of its origin so that was out. Then I received a video call from my family in Florida so I could chat with my granddaughter. She pulled out a box of purposely unopened play dough to show me. That made me think about time I spent at my cousin’s house when we made homemade play dough of some flour/salt concoction.

My mind them roamed to Poppin’Fresh — the Pillsbury Doughboy. I remember the commercials fondly as he was a jovial little marketing guru which made the thought of baking partially prepped baking goods fun. Now I will need to find out who was behind the creation of Poppin’ Fresh. I wonder if he was chubby to warn of the dangers of overeating carbs and sweets. Doubtful. My guess he created to appear fun and jovial. I remember a friend who had a Pillsbury Doughboy cookie jar on her kitchen counter.

As I pulled this video I saw this character was also featured on an episode of Family Guy and The Simpson’s where Mr. Burns mistook Homer Simpson for the Pillsbury Doughboy. D’oh!

I just thought about whether or not I should post a link to my blog from my Facebook page. D’oh — I think I forgot to tell you I am now out of Facebook jail. And now I care less about that than I ever did.


If you would like to play along with the SoCS crowd, check out Linda G. Hill’s blog to find the rules and to read some of today’s offerings.

Blog, hiking, nature

Today Was a 10

Day 177

I started the day with my hour of meditation. Nothing much came up for me, except that I was hungry and thought “Great. Now my stomach will growl for an hour”. After that declaration, my mind quieted down and I enjoyed an hour of peaceful quiet. I think I released so much the first three days I am having a few days of clarity.

Kyle Cease asks how much of our time we spend doing the things that are 10’s in our life. Today I was determined to make it a 10 day all around.

Hubby and I started the day by hiking a short 1/4 mile trail to Pearson Falls. I really wanted to see what wildflowers were blooming and, of course, seeing a waterfall is always delightful. There were not as many wildflowers as I had hoped, but it was still a gorgeous day to be outside.

This environment reminded me so much of how I spent my life as a child. Weaving in and out of mottled light along the creek bank. I just breathe deeper and feel alive in this environment. It feels like home.

IMG_9216Leaving the falls, we were fortunate to see a great blue heron just hanging out looking for food I imagine. I haven’t seen one since I left Florida so it was neat to see it in this environment.

IMG_9207 2Afterward, we had lunch at The Purple Onion, a local restaurant in Saluda, NC. It was such a great day we sat outside on the patio and enjoyed our lunch. I had a wonderful salad and half of a turkey and avocado sandwich on bread made at the local bakery. It was amazing.

From there, we journeyed up to Arden, NC to visit B. B. Barns — a larger plant nursery. It was fun enjoying spring and thinking about buying some new plant material for the yard. I was so excited to find organic cilantro and dill for my raised garden. Yum!

We decided to splurge and have a small steak tonight. The first red meat in 4 months. A few sautéed peppers and some asparagus made a perfect dinner and a rare treat.

I wrapped up the day having a short video call with my 18-month-old granddaughter and then a nice chat with a dear friend.

The day was a 10 all the way around and I feel it in my heart. We should do more 10’s. It is way cheaper than therapy or medication.

meditation, retirement

How I Got Stuck in a Retirement Rut

Day 176

Image by David Cardinez from Pixabay

I have never regretted retiring early. Not one day. I was ready to leave the rat race long before. No, no regrets.

What I did fall into was a bit of a retirement rut. It was the first time in years hubby and I could relax away the morning together with no demands and no expectations. We took our time unpacking and we took our time evaluating what needed to be done in the house we bought.

The problem with relaxing is it is easy to do it too much. It’s just like eating. It is so enjoyable and releases those endorphins. It became so pleasurable that I lost my way a bit.

It takes an effort to recenter. We have changed our lifestyle. Now we enjoy our morning walk as well as our morning coffee. We spend more time cooking together and reducing all those too pleasurable sugar and fat laden desserts with healthier alternatives. Neither of us feels like we have sacrificed and we have lost weight as an unexpected outcome, so it was a win win situation.

I took some art classes soon after I retired. Unfortunately, I also had some close family members who were ill and as a result some difficult losses to contend with. Then when the work on the house started, it was all too much and too chaotic. I gave them up.

There is a leveling out now. It did not come for me without seeking it out. I have become very aware of my inner critic and my ego and am learning to hush their voices in my head. I am writing and have returned to taking classes. I am finding inspiration everywhere.

Retirement can be the most wonderful time of life. As I sit here writing this, I have the doors open. The birds and the wind-chimes in the background are very relaxing in their melodious harmony. I enjoyed my walk and my breakfast and look forward to my day.

The addition of morning meditation really seems to be helping me. I do not always understand what comes up. Some days it seems to just be chatter. No matter what happens during that hour, at the end I am fully awake and engaged — ready to start my day. What a welcome change!

As nice as it is, retirement does not come without ruts. They can be small or deep and mucky. It’s up to us to steer clear of them or find our way out of them.

Blog, Journey, meditation

Meditation – A First for Me

Day 175

IMG_9115

Meditation is something I have always felt I could not do. I’m not sure why. I have many friends who meditate religiously and they find it centers them and clears their heart, mind, and soul.

I have my time for prayer and I guess maybe I did not really understand the difference. What could clearing my thoughts do for me? How would it benefit me? I had a very lengthy exchange with a good friend several years ago about meditation. Still, I did not take that first step. Until yesterday.

I am trying to take the steps recommended by Kyle Cease in his “Love Rising” videos. I cannot tell you why, but at the end of the 4th video, I knew I was in.

Yesterday afternoon I tried meditating for the very first time. I found myself in tears for most of the time (I only managed 45 minutes.) This is when I realized I had been living my life with a constant sense of loss.

This morning I set my clock for an hour earlier than my normal wake-up time. I sat up in my bed and meditated for a full hour. I cannot adequately explain what happened in that time other than to say I felt my brain was testing me. I went through almost every friend I’d ever had since grade school and struggled to remember their names. My mind kept saying, “what’s her name” and eventually, the names all came to me.

I do not know how this is going to serve me, but there must be a reason. Today I had more energy than I have had of late. I accomplished so much and even managed to clean the weeds from all my flower beds and my raised garden. Perhaps it’s a coincidence — we will see.

I am tired now and ready for bed. My clock will be set and I will meditate again. I do not know what to expect, but I am going to keep showing up.

Goodnight all.

 

 

Blog, Journey, loss

The Beginning of the End — Saying Goodbye to my Old Story

Day 174

I had a revelation today.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been watching videos from Kyle Cease’s series entitled “Love Rising”. Today I finished the 4th of 8 videos which is equivalent to one day at one of his events.

I am not an over-eater at the Self Help buffet, but I do partake from time to time. I learned about Kyle Cease from a friend who has attended his events and as a result has continued to work with him over the last year or so. Her growth has been amazing and I was always happy for her, but never considered taking part myself.

A few weeks ago, a dear friend gifted me access to Kyle’s “Love Rising” videos. I am here to honestly say this gift has impacted me in a way I never thought possible.

Today was a breakthrough for me. I was living my old story and its name was loss.

As a result, today I am starting the process of shedding my old story. I am no longer living a life of loss. Yes, I have had a great deal of many types of loss in my life, but I was letting it define me. I was living in this space of loss and never fully present in the now. How could I possibly achieve my goals and dreams of tomorrow if I could not free myself from the losses of my past?

I actually had a lot of happiness and joy in my life but it was always punctuated with loss. I have carried all those losses with me for my entire life. The feelings are complex, so I will just share my takeaways.

  • Releasing does not mean forgetting.
  • Love is always here.
  • I am more than the losses I have experienced.
  • I do not want to grieve because that means I am acknowledging the loss is permanent.
  • If I let go and say goodbye, I am afraid I will be alone, even though I am surrounded by people who love me.
  • It is okay to live my life and be happy.
  • Will I feel guilty if I pursue my dreams?
  • Is the fear of failing greater than the joy of succeeding?

I wanted to share this as a way to keep myself accountable. Life is full of hurdles and for me, they have been much easier to cross than what it has taken for others. How can I possibly live small when everything in me wants to live large?

It takes faith and trust and vulnerability. And good music.