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Sunday Solitude

My pieces from the workshop – still to be polished

Day 294

I woke earlier than my normal time this morning. It felt cool. I tried to lie down and go back to sleep, but morning was calling me out of my bed. Morning has always been my time of day, although it seems to be a later morning as I grow older. I find myself fighting sleep at night, too, trying to take advantage of every hour.

This past week flew by. I know partially because of my two-day workshop. I am glad to be blogging because it serves as a reference to those days that otherwise escape my memory. I am hoping for a slower paced week this week.

Introverts In Extroverted Activities

My workshop was great. Molly is a wonderful teacher and requires each student to do their own work. I have been in classes before where the instructor had no patience and would snatch a student’s work and finish just to move everything along. Molly has the ability to teach, demonstrate and keep things moving at a pace that fits everyone’s ability. It was a great day.

As I have stated before, I am an introvert. Attending functions, classes, etc., is not a friend-making activity for me. I get so immersed in the task at hand, I tend to block everything on the periphery out. This class was no different. I was labeled ‘the quiet one‘. It’s funny how first impressions lead to labeling. The woman seated to my left had an outgoing personality. She made a comment the last day of class that she was working at ‘shutting up and not talking so much‘. Another woman chuckled and said her husband told her ‘try not to act so much like yourself‘. Why must people feel the need to dilute who they are?

Just observations and food for thought.

Back to the Car Search

Tomorrow we are taking my car in for service and we must leave it overnight. That is never ideal because that means one vehicle for us to share, and let’s just say I am not proficient in driving a stick. Our mechanic is an hour south of us see we will continue our car shopping after we drop my car off for service. After the issue with the A/C (which has mysteriously corrected itself) we are thinking we need to focus on finding a car sooner rather than later.

Two weeks ago, we went back to a dealership where we were evaluating a Subaru and a Volvo. This was our second trip to this particular dealership. We worked with the same young salesman. On our prior visit, the sales manager came to talk to us — very old school techniques. He offered to let us take a car home overnight and talked about the wonderful discounts and incentives they had to offer.

We had narrowed our choices down to two vehicles that we wanted to test drive then bring home overnight. Fast-forward past the test drives. We had decided on a vehicle, but when it came time to run the numbers, everything changed. We were really low-balled on the trade-in which was perhaps to be expected. When the numbers came up, it was above the sticker price. We both said, no, this would not work, we had a budget after all. The salesman asked what we were thinking in terms of a budget so we told him. Then he went back to the sales manager. That’s when things went south.

A few minutes later, the sales manager came back to the table with the salesman. He did not say hello or good day or nice to see you again. Instead he started raising his voice at us in the middle of the showroom. He asked us why we thought they should discount this vehicle so much. My husband and I just looked at each other in total disbelief. The behavior did not subside. I told hm he was being very aggressive and I did not know why. He continued with his tirade when hubby said give me my keys, we are done here.

I could see the salesman cringing and trying to insert himself, but it was too late. I told him we would not ever buy a car from them, that he was very aggressive and we did not deserve his behavior. He then spit out the phrase I hate to hear. “I am sorry you feel this way.” Not, I was an ass, not I am sorry for my own behavior…just that he was sorry we could not tolerate his BS behavior.

Lessons learned. Paying cash for a car hurts you. They have no place to hide the non-existent discounts. There are lots of deals if you finance a car, but not if you pay cash. They love that interest and hope you will finance through their corporate machine.

Nature Goings On

The gold finches have completely de-seeded all but one of our three sunflowers. Makes me happy they can find food in what we provide.

This morning I cleaned the hummingbird feeder and made fresh food. The hummingbirds have been hovering at the window to inform us we were quite slack in our bird feeding duties.

We have been inundated with millipedes and centipedes this year. Thousands of them. We have lived here three years and have never seen them like this. Some are making their way into the house which is annoying because they cannot survive without water. We find them scattered about the house dead. The only recourse is the remove leaf clutter and food sources which is our environment. Not much possibility in getting rid of all of their food sources.

The neighbors’s cat visits several times a day. He gets shooed off when he hangs out under the bird feeders. At 7:00 a.m. this morning, he was drinking out of a puddle of fresh rainwater in the driveway. I am not sure his family cares for him the way they should.

Now to Relax

I am headed over to Teagan’s place to read all about the crossroads in one sitting. I got behind a few weeks ago and decided to wait and read it all at one time. Yay for coffee and reading. Then I will saunter over to Beetley Pete’s blog to read some of his short stories he is reposting for his new readers.

After that it will be time to catch up and respond to comments on my own blog. Seems like a perfect way to spend a cloudy Sunday afternoon.

Later tonight I hope to resume my Sunday video call with friends. Nice way to wind up the weekend, I think..

attitude, Blog, Stressed

Breathing

Day 14

There are days that seem perfect and there are days that seem horrible. In actuality, most days are simply peppered with moments — good or bad — that alter our moods.

Breathable Moments

Today has had some less than perfect moments. It is easy to let stress take residence in those moments but it is important to find a way out.

I know that sounds easy but can be a hard step for some people. It’s hard for me sometimes.

I try to look for breathable moments. Things that snap me back to a sense of calm and clarity.

GowensvilleIt might be a cloud formation, a flower blooming, or a child lost in play. Today it was the sky and an image I saw of space.

Both remind me of how small we are in this world. And if we are small then our stresses and problems must be relatively small as well.

But sometimes they seem huge.

Breathing

It’s important to recenter. Look around and take in your surroundings. There is so much to observe and take in and appreciate. We are small and while our problems seem insurmountable, they can be small as well. Especially the moments in the day when someone says the wrong thing or treats you unkindly.

Let It Go

My mom used to tell me to “just let it roll off your back”. Sounds good on the surface but sometimes things hurt or sometimes they make you angry. That’s the human condition. We are not perfect and we should not expect perfection in others.

Sometimes we do not live up to our own expectations.

I learned a long time ago that anxiety and stress have a threshold. If you imagine a scale from one to ten, with ten being the worst, you realize that once you hit that peak things will move from a boil to a simmer and eventually, everything will be normal again. It’s learning to recognize when you hit ten and understanding that the worst has passed.

If you’ve had a hard day, try to be easy on yourself. Look around you. Find a peaceful moment.

Then…

Just Breathe.

“Life is the most elegant, beautiful, amazing, and magical thing that you will ever have. Why then do you feel anxious, stressed or hurried? Slow down. Enjoy the magnificence of life by touching a flower, listening to songs, singing with a bird, and dancing with dancing leaves.”
Debasish Mridha

Blog, nature, Relaxation

Morning Has Broken

Day 9

IMG_7172Morning is my favorite time of day, especially on a day when the sun presents itself in such a magnificent way. I stepped outside on the deck and saw the sun starting to peek through the trees. A new day. A new decision about how to spend my time.

The birds are up well before the sun makes its appearance, clamoring to be fed. It has always amazed me how quickly they are out scurrying for food. This morning it was the house finch and the cardinals. The cardinals tend to arrive early and come back late in the afternoon.

The overnight temperature was cooler last night and I have not seen many of the migrating birds today. Maybe they decided it was time to move on.

Sometimes days start with plans and intentions that melt away into something totally different. Today was to be one of those days. Good intentions of things to be done, but opting instead for writing or reading or good conversation. We worry a lot about this thing called productivity – of always being ‘on’ – of always producing something. It is something I have battled for much of my life.

I remember my son getting upset when I would sweep up his drinking glass and wash it immediately as he placed it on the counter. ‘Mom, I can use that glass again.’ Always picking up and moving from room to room, wiping the kitchen counter, doing laundry and needing to be busy. I am like the birds.

Then I Remembered the Sun

Slowly and magnificently climbing above the trees. Gently spreading warmth to everything in its path. It makes a slow and deliberate path across the sky – taking a full day to do what it needs to do.

IMG_7092Yesterday at the Arboretum, I saw a beautiful quilt hung in celebration of the handcrafts of the Appalachian mountains. It was stunning.

Suddenly I was whisked back to my childhood watching the women in my life spending countless hours piecing quilts. It was only after the pieces were laboriously pieced together that the quilting could begin.

A handmade quilt is exquisite in its form, design and function , but it does not happen quickly.

Exercising Patience

IMG_7173So today, I spent a lot of time talking to my mother-in-law and just thinking. I watched the sun move across the room – slowly and methodically.

It has taken a full day, but the sun is now dropping below the trees and eventually it will dip below the mountains.

But those birds – they are still at it.

I am learning to exercise patience. To work but also relax. I don’t think every day must be about accomplishing some huge undertaking. I think some days can simply be about relaxing and enjoying this place we call home.

I’m learning to be more like the sun.

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” 
David G. Allen