Feeds:
Posts
Comments

outsideBurn out – it’s a thing.

Turns out burn out is in. It’s here, and it’s happening right now. To a lot of us. Especially the women in my life. We are expected to be givers, and are still judged not only on how we care for our families and homes, but also how financially successful we are. And don’t forget of course, we have to be beautiful while we’re accomplishing the impossible.

If you have not yet read Lean In, read it. You need to.

It’s taken me over three months to let the fact that I’m completely and utterly burnt out, sink in.

This morning I sat in my jeans and a sweatshirt on the patio and just absorbed the still quiet of the morning before putting on my suit and heading in for another 12 hour day. I now understand the stereotype of old sanitoriums where patients sat outside like zombies tucked in Adirondack chairs,staring at the trees and sky. It’s incredibly healing and powerful, and if I could, I’d take six months to do just that.

But that’s unrealistic.

With just a little quiet and alone time, I find that I’m coming back to myself. The spark of my creative spirit is still there, even if it’s just a tiny flicker. Ironically, it is in the deepest dark that you’re able to see the tiny spark that’s left after you’ve given your fire over to the grind of daily living.

I am vowing to take some time for stillness, quiet, and the peace of being alone in order to heal, rejuvenate and look forward to what comes next.

I hope that you are able to commit to doing the same for your own tired, gentle soul.

 

fall wineFor the past couple of years I’ve created seasonal ‘To-Do’ lists, and frankly, they leave me feeling like a bit of a twit and a loser.

I mean, after all, how hard is it to plan some ‘me’ time ladies? Yah, ha-ha, very funny. Me-time? When you’re a mother and full-time professional, and someone’s lover…pul-eaze.  Making these damn lists seem to motivate me as much as leave me disappointed by all of the fun, social crap that I  don’t accomplish.  For instance, for three years running, I have successfully missed the CanStage productions in High Park. You’d think that I could eak out enough time to drag myself there with a bottle of wine to stretch out and enjoy some theatre. But no. I’ve frittered away my time doing everything else but.

Having said that, I have done a lot (like a  lot) of fun stuff. It’s just stuff I didnt’ really think of, and just said, ‘Yes’ too.

So as much as I’m tempted to put together a fall list of things I’d like to do such as; Fall camping, harvest wine tours, decorating for Thanksgiving and Hallowe’en, a weekend of fall colour smooching and hiking the Bruce Trail, and hosting a wine tasting….I will NOT put together this list.

Instead I will keep on saying, ‘Yes’.

As difficult as it may be, I will just try to go with whatever opportunities  the season presents.

But I may refer back to my list. You know, just in case I need inspiration.

Wishing you the splendor of fall in all that you do.

postmanWay past the hour when I should have been asleep, I rummaged through my bedside table looking for a grey and red package that only I know exists.

It belongs to me and no one else. It’s a part of my past that I reflect back upon now and then, and one that I treasure when I feel listless and alone.

Reading, ” I Almost Forgot About You” by Terry McMillan, reminded me of a few people in my past that I have not almost forgotten about, but had completely forgotten about. Thank gawd.

As I rummaged through old love letters and cards, I found myself deliberately searching for that grey and red package. The one that I found a few years ago and read again. Every time I go through it, I cry. These are bittersweet tears.

Decades ago I threw away all of the love letters that my high school sweetie penned. We were grand letter writers back then, and they were special. Alas, they long ago became part of the ecosystem, and hopefully are helping to sprout wildflowers somewhere for a young lover to pick for his beloved.

I still believe in the art of letter writing despite the instant and efficient technology we favour today. I believe in the value of quiet reflection while taking in the written word. It’s a lost art, but I try to tend to it faithfully.

As we stumble through life learning about ourselves, falling in and out of what we often mistake for love, once in a while we catch ourselves caught up right in the middle of it. Once in a while we reflect upon where we are, and we realize then, and only then, the little things that make us feel loved.

This is how I felt snuggled under my fluffy, white duvet. In the stillness of the night, I found the grey and red package and  reread the letters contained within it. Somehow they bring clarity to my life. They put my needs in perspective and remind me not to settle for someone who makes me feel less than…Love can be fleeting if you do not tend it. Like a garden it either grows roots or it withers like tender blossoms after the summer sun tucks itself away for another season.

Love letters can be grand reminders of what you really have to offer in relationship and what you really need. If you have nothing left after a relationship, no letters to remind you of what it felt like to be adored and cherished, I have to wonder if it was really love at all.

A wise woman once told me to pay attention to how a relationship started. If it did not start with affection, romance, and caring, it was bound to end with even less.

Love letters remind us what we love about the person we’re writing to. They remind the recipient that you think of them when they are not there, that they are cherished, and that love, despite distance, remains a true and trustworthy bond.

My little grey and red package reminds me that it’s out there somewhere.

 

coffeeinnature

How did it get so late so soon?          It’s night before it’s afternoon.              December is here before it’s June.       My goodness how the time has flewn! How did it get so late so soon?                ~Dr. Seuss~           

…and we do spend them…

More valuable, and even more volatile than the markets, my awareness of the preciousness of time becomes more acute as I age.

Today I woke feeling less than rested. Actually I felt like I’d been not only hit by a truck, but dragged along a wet, dark gravel road for twenty miles. My body actually ached from relaxing. Relaxing! 

The past month has focussed a spotlight on how I’m actually spending my days, and how much energy goes into caring for and worrying about the comfort of other people. It’s a fine balance when you are a nurturer who needs nurturing.

So this morning, perched in my Adirondack chair on the patio feeling like my body weighed ten thousand pounds, I  made a decision to spend the day creating; writing, learning how to play my new sparkle-purple ukulele and then tending to the few things I must do; an appointment and  groceries for dinner.

Staring up at the sunshine gently streaming through the September evergreens, I gave myself permission to spend the day wisely. The energy I expend today will bring me  joy  in abundance.

How we choose to spend our days is how we choose to give our energy to the universe. In such a fast-paced world, with so many temptations, it’s easy to skim the surface of life keeping busy without time to satiate the gentle yearnings of our spiritual selves; waking up quietly in the fresh air with a cup of steaming coffee, keeping the slow quiet company of loved ones so we can share our thoughts and feelings  without agenda, letting the poetry in our hearts find its way onto the page, and taking pleasure in the mundane tasks like cooking that maintain our homes as safe havens of love and support.

Today I will spend my time wisely, like the precious gift that it is. My wish for you is that you get to do the same.

 

storm cloudsThere is something to be said for stillness.The way that the long, close days of August build up in the atmosphere, slowly unwrapping the ribbons on a parcel of thundering rain.

The trees look up, waiting on behalf of the parched land below. The sky, in slow-motion turmoil does not look down. It only simmers and rolls until finally it splits open. The trees and tired earth receiving their blessing in torrents, gusts and rivers, flooding the cracked earth.

coffeetalkI haven’t been myself lately. Burned out and under the weather as it were, I’ve taken to keeping my own company and dreading anything other than sleep or a hot bath. I know I’m not alone when I say that sometimes I feel like I’m at my limit.

 

I’ve been making more of an effort to reach out to my friends. Most of these phone calls and texts look like a casual ‘how are you’, but they are way more than that. I learned long ago that winding conversations often create a safe place to explore what’s going on emotionally . It allows your mind to wrap its limited matter around the vast open parallel universe where our emotions dwell. I have often said that we are nothing, if not the stories we share.

I have long held the belief that you can argue logic, but not emotion; hence the great wars and repeated debates about God-talk and creationism. At some point it comes down to faith, and faith is not logical, faith is emotional. Love is not logical – love is emotional.  Day-to-day functioning is logical. Passion is not logical – passion is emotional, and in my opinion, passion gets things done.

Now don’t get your pants wet. Logic is no greater a reality than emotion. None at all. The goober of it all is that our culture, our world, and everything we base our economy, ethics and livelihoods on assumes that logic has a higher value. It may be so.

It also may be so that our emotions, our subconscious and our intuition are more powerful, more accurate and way more authentic to our spiritual selves than logic. And that, for me at least, holds a hell of a lot of value.

That’s where idle chatter comes in. I’ve been reaching out for conversation, contact and exchange with my friends lately for many reasons; mostly just to try and stay calm and not live in my own head for so long. That shit can make you crazy.

Slow conversation that meanders through a garden of subjects often is the best conversation. It connects us with others, and it reacquaints us with our own thoughts, values and priorities.

If you have friends who can carry a conversation about life, art, faith, politics and relationships, count yourself very lucky. These are the people who buoy us up when it feels like we’re drowning in the tumultuous sea of every-day demands.

Allow space and time for symposiumesque conversations, I believe this helps heal all of us.

 

 

 

creative mindsWith a machine gun pointed at me, I suddenly realized that my idea of art was akin to the local authority’s idea of a great place to smuggle cocaine. And so ended my love affair with foreign sculpture as souvenir

I switched to anything on paper or canvas that I could roll into a small cardboard tube and carry in my suitcase.

Art is the expression of the human spirit, so I try to support that. The more oppressed the person, the more vibrant the art; or at least that’s the way it seems to me.

Admittedly I haven’t even joined the ranks of amateur visual artists. Unless you count how creative I can get with lingerie and feathers.

I’ve tried my hand at watercolour, acrylic, and yes, even coffee stains. I stitch, I write poetry and novels and essays. Music mystifies me, but I am going to get my hands on a ukulele as soon as humanly possible. After all, how sad can you be strumming away on one of those little creatures? Creativity has always seeped through my pores and when I don’t have time for it, it tangles up my patience and wrings out  frustration.

Thus I have invited the wonderful weirdos in my life to a night of creative sharing meant to ignite that spark of brilliant madness we poo-poo as fodder for preschoolers and the institutionalized insane.

I will be working on a piece about storytelling. After all, I have always believed that we exist as the stories we tell ourselves.

wildthingLately I have been wrestling with the dark side, for no apparent reason other than everything is ok. Seriously. I have a healthy kiddo, a stable job, a roof over my head, and a man just as sweet and sexy as they come. He could use a lesson in romance, shiny things and dirty talk, but over all, he’s more than wonderful.

The only thing that doesn’t add up is the time that I need to write, to paint, to walk around half cut on champagne listening to Janis or Willie or Bob or Leonard, wearing nothing but a kurta and smile.Perhaps I feel my creative side stifled as my friends and I age; tempered by life,  less willing to play and be playful. My creative friends are as close to the silliness that I crave in relationship as possible

My only hope right now is  sunshine, someone to do all of the menial shit that I get caught up in, and an endless supply of Fruli.

Later this month I will be spending an evening with the wild, gentle and secret parts of the souls of my creative mentors. This, I hope, will help inspire me to let the laundry and the cooking sink further into hell and let my creative pursuits rise. Let there be lightness, let there be dark, let there be an artist’s spiritual revival.

%d bloggers like this: