Be a weed- bloom where you land


Today, I started a chore I had been dreading: weeding behind my shed.

Generally, I enjoy putzing with plants, but I have this little plot of land that enjoys sprouting really giant weeds. It also gets a kick out of harboring feelers from my neighbor’s Virginia Creeper.

It’s really a do-nothing slug of a plot of land. Largely, that’s my fault for not paying attention to it.

Given that this is the year of “Decrappify and Spiff”, I’ve decided to try to rehab this little 10×12 piece of land. Time to get out what I don’t want or need, and make it a productive, satisfying, happy place.

I was surprised at how quickly I was able to get most of it pulled up. I was a little sad though, because there were some happy little bees harvesting pollen from a bunch of the flowering “weeds”. Seeing that, I left some of it to do for tomorrow. Let the bees have their lunch.

I pulled out a whole lot of thistle, which has the prettiest flower. I’m a huge fan of weeds and their flowers, but these do need to go in order to make way for progress. Not quite paving paradise and putting up a parking lot, but I’m aware of the irony of it. I hope to make this space as functional for the bees as for me.

So, what to do with this space? I think I’m going to take my time, and step terrace the little hill behind the house. My plan is to make my yard a fully functioning space, loaded with gardens. It needs to be an oasis that feeds me, physically and spiritually.

Wow. Sounds like a tall order, right?

Maybe, but chunked up into baby steps, each one is a doable achievement. It’s my hope that just the physical labor of doing the activities associated with what I’m calling the Back Yard Metamorphosis, will be one satisfying aspect all by itself.

In short, I’m trying to enjoy the journey of blooming where I’ve landed.

For so long, I’ve felt intimidated by all the work it will take to get this yard into shape. Now, I just want to putz with one little project at a time. It’s my hope that one day I will look up from whatever I’m planting, or harvesting, and have the sensation of having arrived. At that point, I’ll need a new project. Lol…

Now I’m off to visit a cousin I haven’t seen in person since I was 16. It will be a nice visit.

Here’s hoping you all find ways to bloom where you have landed, in whatever capacity. Beautiful flowers come in all shapes and sizes. Blessings all!

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Giving yourself permission to take baby steps


It’s been a long week. Not a terrible week, just long and slow.

At first I couldn’t understand what the reason for this was, because everything went better than anticipated. I had expected a couple of hard days at work, and it turns out that the anticipation was much harder on me than the actual events.

Note to self: Don’tover think things.

I was able to finally get my living room painted and mostly put back together. It’s a lovely shade of blue/gray which (depending on the time of day and the light in the room) can be seen as gray, various shades of blue, or purple. It’s quite a change from the cool mocha that has been on the walls since a few years before my ex left. It was just the change this room needed. Paint is a really cheap way to make a big impact in a space.

You, my Faithful Readers, will notice I mentioned my living room was mostly put back together.

My intention was to take everything out while painting, and only put back in the things I absolutely wanted in this space. For the most part, I feel I’ve been successful in doing just that. However, there are a few items I’m just not sure what to do with yet. I also don’t have any pictures back up on the walls.

It’s functional for now, and that’s what’s needed most.

I’m trying really hard not to over think it, and to give myself the time and space to just let things happen. I keep reminding myself that I get to take baby steps, and that I don’t have to be in a hurry.

This morning I will continue to sit in my lovely new space, slurp coffee with slow, wild abandon, and peruse blogs I didn’t get a chance to read yet this week.

Here’s wishing you all give yourselves the space to take all the time you need. When you feel rushed, take a big deep breath and ask yourself how it serves you to be in a hurry. Blessings all!

Depression sucks the life out of you like a mosquito.


I’ve been struggling recently. A lot.

I didn’t realize I was experiencing depression because it sneaked up on me like a mosquito looking for a meal. I keep absentmindedly swatting it away, but it finally found a place to land, dig in, and began suck the life out of me.

What could I possibly have to be depressed about? I just kicked someone to the curb, who I love very much. I just couldn’t take what he was dishing out any more. My mom is losing her mind, slowly. It’s become apparent to me that Dad knew a long time ago but didn’t say anything, and he is struggling in dealing with Mom’s issues, and what I strongly feel is depression. I still need to have a chat with him, and I’m not looking forward to it.

Feeling depressed is often mocked and made light of. I have never been in favor of just “laying down and taking it”, rather I always tell myself to get the hell up and get moving. The familiar tape plays through my head…No more feeling sorry for yourself, there are too many people counting on you so get your shit together and take care of your responsibilities. This isn’t the healthiest thing to say to one’s self, or anyone else for that matter.

These days, my perspective has changed, along with my circumstances.

Being an empty nester, I don’t have the daily need to make things happen for my kids every day. In large part, they saved my life when my ex husband left. Just the fact that I was needed made the difference, and I was able to suck it up for them. It’s different when there’s nobody at home to suck it up for.

A lot of people are able to go the route of medication as a means of feeling better. I went down that road from 2000-2008, and it was a giant medicated disaster. Most of the many anti-depression or anti-anxiety meds I gobbled either didn’t help, or had such horrendous side effects that I felt like killing myself or just slept all the time. Others have success with medication, but I’ll never go down that road again.

The only thing that does help is extreme exercise and better eating. When I was in the process of getting divorced, I walked, and walked, and walked. I spent much time and many miles just walking and thinking.

A nice unintended side effect of that was that I lost 50 pounds, and felt stronger. It gave me the space to think and work through problems. It was a like playing a long rambling game of chess with myself, working through all of the contingencies of whatever problem cropped up.

It’s probably the solution I need now. I have a tendency to eat my way through my problems, and I have gained back all of the weight I lost since joining Curves in February, plus some. Some people drink or do drugs to try to feel better. My favorite poison of choice is carbohydrates…it’s like consuming anesthesia.

Enough.

I see it now, and it’s to time to kill it like I would any other blood sucker.

I’m in the middle trying to paint my living room, and it’s been hard slogging. I have painted this same room twice before, and have done it in less time. That’s ok. It will get done this week, and that will have to be good enough. No more beating myself up because I’m not moving fast enough. It’s just me living here, and I don’t have to worry about anyone else being inconvenienced.

It’s time to clean out my fridge and only stock it with things that aren’t junk. The less carbs I eat, the better off I will be. More Whole Foods, less processed pretend food.

Time to get started. Daylight’s burning.

Here’s wishing you are all finding a way to practice self care, however that looks like in your world. Taking care of yourself is a good thing. Blessings all!

Changing priorities


I sit here slurping coffee, while I stare at my living room ceiling and try to gather up the energy to finish painting it.

Last night I tore up my living room, and moved a bunch of stuff out so I would have the room to get my step ladder around the room. My ceiling has needed painting for so many years, and I’m just now getting around to doing it. It will be lovely and fresh when it’s done, but it sure is a disaster now. My spare room and my kitchen are full of stuff from the living room, and my little house is quite a wreck.

Today, I’ll finish painting the living room ceiling. I’m tempted to paint the walls while everything is pulled apart. It would be the smart thing to do, and I guess I should just go get the paint and do it. I have the paint for the kitchen, and I have been so looking forward to getting that done, but it doesn’t make any sense to put the living room back together only to have it be pulled apart again later.

The original plan was to paint all of the ceilings, and then do the kitchen. I see now that flexibility is key, and I need to just roll with what makes sense in the moment. More on that as it progresses.

In other news, it looks like I will be going to see the fireworks show with The Flirt tonight. We haven’t spoken in person for a couple of weeks, since we had “the talk”. It was a difficult discussion, and I had expected to come away from it single and going forward just concerning myself with me, and my family’s needs.

It never, ever, occurred to me that he would try to change my mind. Huh.

Well, I came away with a compromise. I at least wanted a break, and we agreed on a month just to see how things would settle. It’s been weird, but I’ve enjoyed the time alone. It was sorely needed, and I’ve been glad for it.

I have missed him, but I know I don’t want to go back to the way things were. If he wants me back, things will have to change. A lot.

So we when he asked me if I wanted to go watch the fireworks with him, I was of two minds. This is only a couple of weeks into my month long break, but my curiosity is overwhelming. No lie, it’s going to be awkward. I am not entirely sure what my motivation here is, but I’m interested to see what happens, so I’ll go watch the fireworks with him and see how things play out.

Right now, my coffee is almost gone and the ceiling isn’t going to paint itself. Time get started.

Here’s wishing you all the motivation to get up and do whatever needs doing, especially when it comes to priorities that change as you go. Blessings all!

Shredding my way to a happier space


As discussed yesterday, I have a very long “to-do” list. There is so much to do that it’s difficult to know even where to start.

This weekend was supposed to be about getting my ceilings painted with a nice fresh coat of bright white paint. I also need to get a start on painting my basement floor in preparation to re-engineer what used to be the Man Cave, into my personal craft/project space.

I’m starting to understand that my “to-do” list needs to be more like my bucket list.

My bucket list is populated by some long term ideas, but also has plenty of space for things which appear in the moment. It’s very flexible, though for the moment somewhat dormant.

Yesterday, I began to move some things around in the basement, and discovered I have quite a lot of old paperwork stored, some of it going back to 2001. Good grief… there’s at least two large totes full, plus some other smaller containers. This is in the basement, on top of the tote I have stored in my living room.

<sigh>

So. I guess it’s time to shred. Not only does it free up space, but it frees up totes I can use to store other things.

I also found that in order to move things around to paint, I need to downsize. “Less is more” will be my mantra going forward. Getting rid of anything that doesn’t serve me comes first, and I feel like it will make the difference for all that comes later.

I so badly wanted to get the painting done, but decided to be flexible and put dealing with these needs before everything else. I cleared out a bunch of books and craft supplies, which I will donate to a local charity tomorrow. When Older Son was here yesterday, I was happy to gift him with several items I don’t use that he will find handy in his new apartment. He also helped me move some cupboards from the kitchen to the basement. Better storage downstairs, more room upstairs.

I’m not just making more room for things to be rearranged. I’m eliminating a whole lot of what I call pots of poison… old paperwork with my ex’s name on it. Just a lot of dusty old stuff from sadder days that no one needs anymore.

I’m making more room for me. I want to remake myself and expand into my newly rejuvenated space, at whatever pace I feel like.

As for the shredding, no time like the present. Last night I shredded until one tote was completely empty. One down, several more to go. It’s agonizingly slow, as I need to go through everything in case there might be something I need to keep. I’ve run into a few things, and thankfully they are just a few.

Baby steps… I’ll get there eventually, but it’s so hard to be patient.

Here’s hoping you all find ways to reorganize, and expand into your space, in whatever time you choose. It’s very cathartic, and highly recommended. Blessings all!

Slow changes jump out and cause revelations


Recently, I have become most enamored of the color blue. I was really struck while washing dishes just now, how the color of my coffee cup, glistening with suds in the sunshine, just caused my blood pressure to drop. It’s just a color, right?

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Well, maybe it’s more than just the perception of a color. Perhaps it’s an awakening to change that’s been happening under the surface.

That does sound a little melodramatic, but what I’m getting at is that I have been aware for some time that I crave peace more than anything right now. While I’ve known that for some time, what I haven’t realized is that my likes and dislikes have shifted a little, and seem to fall in line with that need.

It may not have been so striking to me except that I used to really hate blue. In one home I lived in as a high schooler had a kitchen that was decorated in what can only be described as a cacophony of blue; all different shades of blue everywhere. I remember thinking to myself that if I were ever to have my own house, the one color I would never have in it would be blue.

Fast forward to today, 30 years later, and in thinking about how I am going to paint my kitchen, and I keep coming back to blue. I always feel a little resistance to that as I’ve never wanted blue, but yet I find it so soothing as of late.

Hmmmm….maybe it’s time to start listening, rather than resisting.

Here’s hoping you all have a lovely weekend, surrounded by people, things, and colors which bring you peace and calm. Blessings all!!

The peace of home


Sunday mornings have become one of those times in the week where I get to have a little peace and quiet. I think the most important part of that is that I get to spend time in my house. I’m not home a lot, but that’s slowly changing, as I have been on the run with life for so long, it’s become apparent that I just really need to spend more time keeping the place up.

Line dried towelsThis morning, I managed to get two loads of laundry washed and on the line. In between, I sealed my front porch, which was so very, VERY dry. I even managed to get the bills paid. All in all, it was a very productive morning.

While waiting for my last load of wash to get finished so I could get it on the line to dry, I sat in my living room for a few minutes, sipping a fresh cup of coffee. Those few moments of peace and quiet were so awesome. It’s rare that there isn’t a radio, or Ipod playing, or sometimes the tv is running. Even the traffic was quiet. Just about the only thing I could hear was the laundry sloshing around in the washer, and the clock ticking.

Quiet, steady ticking sounds, like a clock, are so comforting to me. That, and traffic out in front of the house, is something I strongly associate with my childhood. My grandparents’ house is not too far from where I live now, and you could say I grew up there. No matter where we lived, their house was always a constant in my life. They had a cuckoo clock my dad got them before I was born, and it had the requisite little bird that would pop out on the hour. I always loved to watch my Grandpa wind up the clock with the long, delicate chains that hung down from the bottom. They lived on a very busy street, and traffic sounds were a constant.

Sometimes, if I close my eyes and just sit still and listen, it’s almost like I am sitting in their living room again.

So now it’s night-time, and I am lying in bed with my laptop, and the radio is running because I just don’t sleep well without talk radio. I have it turned down really soft, and all I can hear besides that is the sound of the computer and whatever random traffic out front. The irony is not lost on me that it drove me nuts when Grandma listened to talk radio at night, and it kept me up. Now I can’t sleep without it!

Something that is missing in my home is the solid feeling of my grandparents’ house. They had this really solidly build home, with heavy oak doorways that were darkly stained. The front door was so big and heavy that I couldn’t open it by myself when I was small. It always had this big heavy feeling like laying under layers of warm blankets on a cold night. It was a comfortable, homey, safe place, and I miss it every single day.

That home was sold in ’96 after Grandma died, and the folks who bought it take really good care of it. It got wet during the Flood of 2011, but they restored it and it looks wonderful. It broke my heart to see it under water, but I am so grateful they have taken pride in it and have made it their home for so long.

So, I wonder how it is that I can create that same feeling when I walk into the home I live in now? That’s a mystery. Perhaps it is just my perception because it’s a different house, or perhaps it’s because I have never really liked this house. I respect it because it has kept my family dry and warm all these years. It was my world during my divorce because I only left it to go to work, or shuttle the boys around, for a good two years. This crappy little fixer-upper has its charms, but it won’t hurt my feelings to leave it. I wonder how I will feel when the day comes to move? I’ve lived here 16 years, and there are a lot of memories here, good and bad.

Maybe the answer is to just spend more time at home, and stop being on the run so much? I guess I will just keep inching along, making repairs and upgrades as I go, until it feels like home. It never really has, even though I’ve lived here a long time. I’m betting that I can overcome that feeling if I try hard enough.

Here’s hoping you find peace in your home, and that it makes you feel safe and comforted in that space. Blessings all πŸ™‚