What is it like when the day begins with no plans? Every day the same. Nothing going on. The sameness creates ennui…nothing creates the desire to do nothing. We have to learn a new way to live.
That is how I was feeling when I got up this morning. Then the light bulb lit up. It is nice outside. Why not have my knit group meet on my porch where we can distance ourselves?
We can talk and knit and discover what has been going on with each other. I am sure we all have stories to tell. So I called them and that is what we are going to do tomorrow morning. We will meet, have lunch, learn the news from each other and feel like life is somewhat normal.
Just sitting in the boredom was definitely not the answer. It was time to do something about it. We just have to do it ourselves and in a safe way because this is how we have to continue. Life goes on.
Yesterday was an interesting day. It was my husband’s 82nd birthday. I spent most of the day preparing his favorite meal. We were having our son and family and my best friend to sit in the yard and eat while social distancing. I worked all afternoon on the perfect meal and it was good.
It was a good idea. At least that’s what I thought. My husband is hard of hearing and it is getting worse. He will need to get hearing aids and soon. Sitting far away from people made it almost impossible for him to hear any conversation and really the whole thing was too tiring for him. It was nice but I won’t plan anything like that again soon.
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy! Robert Burns from To a Mouse
Things don’t always work out the way we thought but we have to make the best of it. It’s best not to dwell on it but to just move on to the next thing.
Like most of us these days I am concerned about Corona Virus. You would have to have your head stuck in the sad to not be aware of the danger around us. Since my husband and I are in the vulnerable group we do have to be careful.
I think this is the first time in my life where I have felt anxious about being at risk. When we are young we think nothing can hurt us. As we grow older we can see the pit falls that could harm us but to some degree feel they happen to other people.
The thought of being quarantined in the house for weeks is daunting. I am an extrovert and enjoy people. I will miss my interactions with others but I will manage. When I think about it I can feel my anxiety pulling at me and I am holding fast to my ways to avoid any problems. If one of us get the virus then I will be panicked so we will hold the fort at home as much as possible.
I have written about this happening before so I am not surprised that it is happening. After the two other viruses (Mers and Sars) it was like waiting for the other shoe to drop. Thank God, although serious enough, it is not more serious than it is. I pray we don’t have another anytime soon.
We procrastinate. I think we all do. We put off things. Those of us who have anxiety would rather suffer being anxious than tackle the thing that is causing the problem. We would rather obsess about it and keep putting it off. This make the anxiety blossom and nothing has gotten better.
I am better at doing things than I used to be. Somewhere along the line I discovered that doing the thing I dreaded got it our of the way and then I felt better. Sometimes the list has to be scrapped until the next day. Sometimes I fall back into the trap of putting things off and then I suffer for it.
One of the things that got me started was some advice a number of years ago. The person suggested making a list of the things that needed doing and then prioritize them. You may not get to the end of the list each day but you will be able to cross some things off. Seeing those cross outs makes you feel better. It also tackle the things that I obsess about first.
It doesn’t work for everything but is does help with some things.
It is amazing to me that things can be going along perfectly and the something throws the whole thing out of whack. This week has been like that so far. It is time to regroup and rethink.
Life is never boring. There is always something that brings excitement whether it is good or bad. The trick is learning to back up, accept the changes and move forward again. Even the good things can move you off track. As someone who like routine I am always surprised by changes. It is as if my brain doesn’t even put it in as a possibility. My husband used to go to work at 6:30 in the morning when he wasn’t due until eight. He said he got lots of work done before everything started to fall apart. He planned for changes.
Maybe leaving room for changes would help to keep me from being stressed by them. Just plan a space for things to be different than I planned. Even if that space is not on paper but only in my mind. Those of us who like order and lists resent changes. I think I will put “change” down on my list for each day.
Today I was knitting a top for my adult granddaughter. The yarn I’m using is very tricky to work with and gets tangled up easily. It did! I realized that I had done something wrong and had to back up several rows. No way did that work. The yarn became so tangled that I ended up cutting it and pulling it all out. Now I will start over. To say that I was frustrated is an understatement.
I thought about the saying “oh what a tangled web we weave.” I didn’t practise to deceive anyone but I sure wove a tangled web and had to fight my way out.
We can get ourselves into messes from time to time and some of them are more complicated to get out of than others. Sometimes we volunteer to do something and discover that it not only it too much but also that we don’t like it. The getting out gracefully may not be possible.
When I got married 57 years ago the only advice that my mother gave me was “start out the way you intend to go on.” I asked her exactly what she meant and she said: “if you plan on getting up at 4 am every morning to fix breakfast just be aware that it will set the pattern for the rest of your marriage.” I have found this advice to fit so many situations. Take a good look at anything you are getting into and see if you want it in your life before you are stuck with it.
When my mother died and then my aunt a year later I was tasked with cleaning out their homes. This was not an easy task. Not only were there things that hadn’t been seen in many years but also things that brought back memories and tears. This was back around 2003-2004. I still remember the agony of that job.
For this reason I am trying, little by little, to make cleaning out my things easier on my family. I have written about getting rid of things but this is the underlying reason. I am moving slowly but making progress. This is another thing that strangely enough is on my bucket list. I know, this is not a fun thing but it matters to me.
Little by little, bit by bit I am going through papers and personal items. Many things can be discarded but others need to have a place, with explanations, where they are kept. I hope I don’t die soon as this may take me until my death to do. For my children’s sake I hope not. For me this is not a macabre task but a loving one.
It seems that we spend the first half of live accumulating things, the next quarter enjoying them and the last quarter letting them go.
Each part of life has its demands. Too many people leave a huge disaster for others to clean up. I hope I can do better than that.
Sometimes there is nothing that you can do and it is frustrating. My great grandson is supposed to come here for his baptism. That is the plan since this is where my granddaughter was baptized. We wanted to do this before my husband’s knee surgery in September but you all know about the best laid plans. The biggest problem is the great grandmother (me). I want someone special to do the baptism but everyone I want is gone until after the surgery date. I don’t take this well. Why can’t my plans work? Is it me? Phooey!
Now I have to rethink everything and just look at what is possible. I am fighting myself since this is not what I want to do but whatever. It is always said if you want to make God laugh tell him your plans. Well…I did.
For someone who likes things to fall into place this is making me sad, frustrated and anxious. So silly but there it is. I know that there will be a plan that works and that I need to give in and make an new plan. One that I hope doesn’t make God laugh.
In the meantime I will sulk and fight my feelings but life will go on. Knowing that life is about change and that it will work out once I let go and let God.
Sometimes I feel like an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand. I have written recently how it seemed that I was being of little use/help to anyone and wondered if there was something else I should be doing. That was Monday or Tuesday. On Wednesday I wrote about my day with the death of a friend and my other friend’s husband having a set back.
Yesterday I spent the day helping the first friend make plans for a funeral and after arriving home the other friend called that her husband needed a procedure done and could I come. I got home last night so tired I could hardly move. I am still tired today and am shaking my head over my stupidity. God does have a sense of humor. I complained and I got what was coming to me. Not that I wanted any of this to happen to two dear friends but God certainly showed me in no uncertain terms what I need to be doing.
It is so amazing that we can’t see clearly and know that we are where we are supposed to be. God is very good about putting us in the right place at the right time. If I had things planned that couldn’t be changed I would not have been available to help where I was needed. We all need to learn that God knows best and has it all in hand.
This has been an odd day. Today I was asked by a friend to drive her to pick up her car from the shop. I was glad to take this on. We had fun talking in the car. I dropped her off about 11:45 and tried to decide how to manage the rest of the day. I was due to mediate a law suit at 1:30 and if I tried to go home I would arrive just in time to turn around and go back. I decided to just find a coffee shop where I could sit and read for a short while.
Good idea. Not so easy to execute. I wanted to find some place near the mediation center so that it would be easy to be there at 1:00 as we usually arrive 1/2 hour early to prepare. This neighborhood is near two hospital. Since it is an area where I don’t know about coffee shops or hangout places I started to drive around….and around.. and around. There were plenty of restaurants, fast food places, gas stations but no place to sit and chill for an hour. After going around in circles I finally found a great coffee shop. (They must do well since they are the only one.) Got myself a coffee and a scone and sat down to relax. I had been there about 15 minutes when my phone rang and the mediation center let me know that one of the parties wasn’t going to show up and it was cancelled.
In the midst of all of this I had spoken with my husband twice to re-schedule our afternoon plans and now had to call again. I went home.
Was the day wasted? I really don’t know. The time with my friend was well spent. I loved the coffee and scone and our afternoon worked out.
Have you had days like this where nothing went as planned and you spent the day revamping your life? For me this was a microscopic example of how all of life proceeds. Just when we think we have it all worked out we have to start over. It may look like things are going to be a mess but in the long run they end up working out.
It reminded me to take things as they come. To not obsess about the changes but just roll with it all. I was able to do that today. Yea!