Subdued

“Stay low key. Not everyone needs to know everything about you.” ~ Unknown

Photo by Mathias P.R. Reding on Pexels.com

I’ve been rather quiet lately. Not that I have nothing to say, there is plenty . . . there are just no words to say it. No one with whom I particularly need to share it.

I’m not mad, not sad, not unhappy. Just busy. I have a lot on my mind; there are many year-end things that need to be done. The holidays are coming up quickly. I have many things occurring that require my attention and time.

Once again, because my personal life is private, I have no need to delve into the particulars of all the things weighing on my mind. There is probably no one single person that is aware of everything going on in my life at this time. There are several who know many and different things, but no one who knows all. That is as it should be. There is no one that needs to know everything about me.

With the barrage of reality television shows, and programs that have tell-all guests, it seems people believe you should spill your guts and air all your thoughts, grievances, or disturbances.

Yes, I share a lot of what I think in this forum.

Yes, I have point blank aired disturbances that affect my family and attracted the interest of the FBI (due to the naming of my minor daughter and the crossing of state lines). This is an arena that I know the offender monitors and was the only available venue I had of reaching her.

However . . .

I reserve the right to take time away when I have things that arise that I must tend to personally. I have jobs that require meetings, and educational outreach as well as the daily business of living.

I also reserve the right to monitor and address my health. I detest drama. My daughter once told her husband, “You know . . . if my Mom had two weeks to live, she wouldn’t tell anyone until just a few days before the two weeks was up and then it would be very nonchalant . . . ‘hey, not to bother you, but if you’re not busy next Thursday we’re going to have my funeral. No pressure. Not a big deal. If you’re busy, I understand.” And she’s exactly correct!!**

When I am busy thinking or overwhelmed with events, I turn inward. Much like my zodiac sign, the crab, I tend to become quiet and introspective. Focused on what needs to be done or the goals that need to be reached, I spend less time on things that don’t relate to those goals. It may be a few days, it may be a few weeks.

I’ve had three people in the last few days ask if I’m upset with them. I’ve talked to each one of them daily. For the love of the Christ child and all the saints, I haven’t felt well and I have multiple things going on that require my attention — I don’t have time to be mad at anyone. Not to mention, if I’m upset with someone, they will know it in no uncertain terms.

** Amendment ** — I usually write my posts and schedule them to be published the next day. This gives me time to rethink and add or subtract from what I’ve written. After thinking about my daughter’s comment – she is right but not because I’m hiding anything. Because I can straight up tell people something without excessive emotion, they are disbelieving, or they aren’t listening or they think I’m joking. Just because I’m not all weepy and dramatic or non-stop talking about something doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Being subdued is just an effort to conserve energy. It was pointed out to me that I have a very logical and analytical mind (it happens with Asperger’s). There are things I’ve been dealing with for 10 years, some for 6 years, some for even longer . . . it is what it is. My MO isn’t to be emotional about events or occurrences, it is to take it in, spin it around and over and up and down in my mind, assess the pros and cons of the situation and figure out a plan of action. If talking about the problem or situation isn’t going to help it or will just create emotional angst . . . I’m out. I’ll be over here dealing with my shit. Call it subdued, assume I’m angry . . . whatever.

Motivation

“Some people will never become who they want to be, because they’re too comfortable being who they are today. How’s that working for you?” ~ Lisa Nichols

Photo by KristopherK on Pexels.com

The comment was made to me the other day, “You’re just more motivated than I am.”

Hmmmmm . . . that made me stop and think.

And then, this evening, I was watching a video on which Lisa Nichols was speaking (and I’ll share it again here): “Some people will never become who they want to be, because they’re too comfortable being who they are today.”

I have so many things that interest me. Books I want to read, movies I want to see, projects I want to do, and interests I want to pursue. If I don’t push myself to accomplish those things . . . they’ll never happen.

No one . . . NO ONE . . . is going to hand out engraved invitations to change your life. If you aspire to be someone different than you are today, or learn something or achieve a goal — you have to put in the work.

It may be hard.

It may be boring.

It may be uncomfortable.

It all depends on how bad you want to effect the change.

Les Brown says, “Live full, die empty.” I like that. A few days ago, I made a post – 10 minutes. I mentioned that we all have the same amount of minutes and hours in each day. While we don’t all have the same guarantee as to the number of years we will live, for the most part we have the same amount of time each day to get things done.

I don’t want to end up on my deathbed, wishing I’d done more. Experienced more. Tried more. Accomplished more. Someone once said that I live life out loud. I dunno ’bout all that. It’s just my life.

In my search for motivation prior to writing this post, I found an article here about the 12 Habits of Extraordinarily Motivated People. I hope you enjoy it.

10 minutes

“You can do so much in 10 minutes time. Ten minutes, once gone, are gone for good.” ~ Ingvar Kamprad

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Time is something we all have in common, every single one of us. 365 days a year. 52 weeks in a year. 24 hours in a day. 7 days in a week. Even scarier . . . 1,440 minutes in a day, 10,080 minutes in a week, and 524, 160 minutes in a year.

I compartmentalize quite a bit. It’s easiest to “do the things” in timed increments rather than open-ended, mindless, drag-it-out episodes. Having a set idea of how much time I can spend on something seems to enhance my productivity. If the event is something I don’t enjoy, having a time limit encourages recognition that although something may be an unpleasant experience; it will not last forever.

Sometimes, things that we procrastinate doing actually take 10 minutes or less to finish. Such as:

  • Vacuuming or sweeping the floor
  • Doing dishes
  • Cleaning out the refrigerator
  • Taking out the trash
  • Putting on my make-up
  • making the bed
  • Putting away clean laundry
  • Folding laundry
  • Scrubbing the tub
  • Mopping the floor

There are multiple things than can be done in 10 minutes or less. I plan to work in the yard for 10 minutes because I feel like I’m too busy or have other things I need to do. Those 10 minutes will stretch into 30 or 40. The key is being flexible and loose in the planning.

Tonight, even though I had worked all day and was exhausted (both physically and emotionally), I took about 10 minutes to work on cleaning my Franklin treadle sewing machine. Returning it back to it’s lustrous beauty will be a long process requiring patience.

Tomorrow will be a electronic device-free day for the majority here. I will probably check it in the morning and then again later in the afternoon and evening. I need that time away from meaningless drivel to focus on some things needing to be finished here at home.

What things do you avoid that could be completed in less than 10 minutes time?

Hashbrown Casserole

“Casseroles are those intensely comforting foods, prepared and baked in the same dish, that inspire fond memories or dark recollections.” ~ Karen Steele

Photo by Anna Guerrero on Pexels.com

Per my usual, I forgot to take a photo of the actual casserole whose recipe follows below.

It had been a long day. The offspring had been to the orthodontist’s office to have her braces tightened and bands placed. I was tired. Her mouth was sore.

This was a night that called for easy to bite into and chew . . . comfort food!

Hashbrown Casserole

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

1# ground beef

1/2 a small onion, chopped

1-2 T. minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

3 cups frozen hashbrowns, slightly thawed

1 c. chicken broth

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

1 c. cottage cheese

1/2 – 1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350. In a skillet**, combine the hamburger, onion and garlic. Cook until ground beef is no longer pink. Stir in 1 c. of chicken broth, the can of Cream of Mushroom soup, the hashbrowns and cottage cheese. Stir until well combined. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

**I use a cast iron skillet so I can brown the meat and stir everything else in yet still slide it in the oven when it’s ready.

Navigating the taste preferences of a teenager can vary from day to day. At the risk of receiving a snappy response, I suggested this meal and was rewarded with a “that sounds really, REALLY good!” Yes! Success!! I was quite pleased that she had two servings at dinner.

Leftovers were consumed the next day and were just as tasty as when it was first made!

What are some of the comfort food casseroles that you remember from YOUR childhood?

Putting Myself in Time Out

“It’s not selfish, but selfless to be first, to be as good as possible to you, to take care of you, to keep you whole and healthy, that doesn’t mean you disregard everything and everyone, but you gotta keep your cup full.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

I post a lot about self care and with good reason.

I cannot be the best ME if I don’t take care of me. If I am so tired from meeting the needs of everyone around me, except mine, I am soon useless to anyone. I’ve compared self-care to the pre-flight safety speech about the oxygen masks — place your own mask on before assisting anyone else, even a child.

I’ve read stories or posts or meme’s about Mom’s who took their children to a Mother’s Day out program or took them to daycare, even when they were off for the day, so they could go have a looky-loo at the shops, or a cup of coffee, or what have you . . . ALONE! I love my family, I adore them to pieces but I cannot constantly be on the phone, or messaging, or texting.

I have three types of things in my life: wants, needs, requirements.

Wants — those hobbies or interests I’d like to pursue when i have a moment. Reading, sewing, crocheting, crafting.

Needs — sometimes a want can become a need depending on the reason behind it. Taking a class — I need to read to study. Making a specific garment for someone — I need to sew to complete it. Renovation items for the house — need to be done to make the house a comfortable haven for myself and my family.

Requirements — Grocery shopping which leads to cooking which leads to eating. If I don’t eat regularly. . . well, let’s just say it’s not pretty. Sleep, especially when my SLE is acting up is a must. Frequent naps become a thing. Work is how I pay the bills to do the things — I have to work my scheduled hours. Sometimes those working hours increase my need for sleep.

Sometimes, I am in need of quiet solitude and I just don’t want to talk. I have personal things going on that I don’t feel like sharing with anyone and that’s okay. If and when I’m ready to talk, I will. Otherwise I will take my time and space to rest and build up the energy needed to deal with everyone else’s needs.

Pork Neckbones & Sauerkraut

“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.” ~ Dorothy Day

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

After a hellacious week, we finally made it back home. Back to work. Back to school. Back to our regularly scheduled lives. The angst is still there — wondering about the outcome of the van repairs, whether the rental car will be reimbursed, and on and on and on.

So what makes a stressful situation better? Comfort Food!!!

Neckbones are readily available (if you know where to look) depending on your geographical location. Down here in Alabama, they are available smoked or non-smoked at almost every grocery store or Walmart. In other locations you may have to look under the “flavoring meats” or “soul food” and failing that . . . ask the butcher in the meat department.

Pork Neckbones & Sauerkraut

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

2.5 – 3# pork neckbones (non-smoked)

1 large jar of sauerkraut

1 small yellow onion, sliced

4-5 potatoes, diced

1 c. vegetable or chicken broth

1 T. minced garlic

Salt, Pepper, Creole Seasoning

Directions

Rinse and clean the neckbones. In a 5-quart crockpot, layer the potatoes and onions, seasoning each layer lightly with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning to taste. Place the neckbones on top of the vegetables. Cover with sauerkraut and season lightly with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. Sprinkle with the minced garlic. Cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 6 hours.

Serve with warm cornbread.

It’s warm . . . it’s filling . . .it makes everything feel right with the world.

Budget friendly — this is a meal that will feed many at a low cost. Here’s the breakdown:

Neckbones – $1.25/lb – I paid $2.52

Sauerkraut @ Aldi’s – 1.69

Minced Garlic @ Aldi – 0.89 for the jar, you need 1 Tablespoon (about .08)

4-5 potatoes – $1.29 for 10# bag at Aldi (about 0.25)

yellow onion @ .69/lb – it weighed about 1/2 lb. – so 0.35

Chicken broth @ Aldi – $1.89 for 32 oz, so 0.27 for this recipe.

Total cost = $5.16 divided by 8 servings comes to 0.65 per serving.

You cannot feed 8 people at any fast food restaurant for that price. Nor is the food as nutritious (or delicious).

My next post will cover some of the most common complaints I hear about why people don’t have “time” to cook at home. I can usually combat those excuses (and that’s what they are) with some simple planning tips.

What foods bring you comfort?

Be Still . . .and Know

“He says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~ Psalm 46:10, ESV

Photo by Mat Reding on Pexels.com

Ever have one of those days where anything that could go wrong, does? What if it extends into a week? Longer?

You fight to remain calm and upbeat, confident that God will provide for the need at hand. However, situations continue to build and mount and pile until you reach your limit and your frustrations spill over in tears and anger.

It’s been one of those weeks for me. Last night it all came to a head, I was overwhelmed with circumstances beyond my control. I was wracking my brain as to how I could afford the needs. Now . . .the anger is resolved because I chose to jot down those things for which I’m thankful. I can at least express my thoughts. Earlier, it would have been impossible.

First, I had taken the car to the shop – it was “wubbling” badly when it got up to high speeds — shuddering, shaking and making the distinct “wubble” noise. Worried that it might be a CV joint after hitting a racoon or a bent wheel, I was told that it needed all new tires. Breathe . . .

Second, we headed to Missouri to see the new grandbaby — leaving in a van that had over 200,000 miles and a newly repaired transmission. The first attempt to do so did not go well a few weeks back. We got 36 miles from home and had to nurse it along back roads and return it to the shop, under warranty for an auxiliary cooling unit to be added. This time, with a gut feeling of wary nerves, we made it 93 miles from home before it started shifting in fits and starts. We googled the nearest dealership and made it another 17 miles where we traded it in on a newer minivan with less miles – safer and more reliable. Or so we thought.

Throw in two phone calls from the mortgage company on two different days. One assured me that the process is being reviewed and the title came back clear so there was no need for additional documentation. (yay!) Two days later, a call from the same mortgage company stated that they needed additional documentation including quit claim deeds, etc to determine that the title was clear. (yada!) I figure, I’ll call back on Monday (because the third time’s a charm) and get a completely different answer on what they require.

Arriving in Missouri, there was the requisite dealing with the ex- whose inability to be reasonable as to sharing driving distance and time goes beyond the absurd. His insistence that I drive an additional 1.5 hours one way to spend time with a child that I was able to spend less than 24 hours with just sticks in my craw. But we chose to put on a happy face, enjoy the time we had together and hope it goes better next time. (Karma . . .baby. Karma)

It was on the way home from the drop-off that I reached my limit of exasperation and patience. The new van, with less than 70,000 miles, started revving and shifting down, revving and speeding up. We ended up pulling over several times, shutting the engine off and then re-starting it to roll a few hundred feet farther down a 2-lane highway until we could get to a populated parking lot. From there we called the warranty issuer and finagled with them to get a wrecker to come tow it to the nearest dealership. Of course, having only owned the car for four days, they didn’t have a record of my purchase and argued that they didn’t have to cover the expense. It then took an additional hour for the tow truck to arrive, and my older daughter graciously came to pick us up and drive us to the Oak Grove home (along with her newborn daughter).

By the time we arrived at the Oak Grove home at nearly 1 am, I was nauseous from motion sickness (sitting in the back seat), had a horrendous headache, was worried about how I am going to get back to the Alabama home, needing to contact my supervisor, trying to reserve a rental car online, and on and on and on. I ended up going for a long walk along the side of the road to cool off before I said some things I might regret later. It all felt so unfair.

This morning we got up to get a rental car and before leaving the house, the rental agency called to let us know they had no cars available. *sigh*

I messaged my supervisor to explain the situation and was told to just relax and do what I needed to do.

I contacted the dealership from which I purchased the car via email so they will be aware of the situation in the morning when they open.

So now I am left with nothing to do but sit, rest and enjoy my present company (which is a complete pleasure). In all things, God’s hand is present. While I do not know the reasoning, or the plan, I simply must trust that there is a greater plan at work.

Have you ever been in a situation or situations where you could not act but could only be still and rely on God to provide?

What Are Your Dreams

” . . .we have the power to make our greatest dreams come true. We just have to be purposeful, every day, in seeking them . . . ” ~ Big Spoon, Mile 445: Hitched in Her Hiking Boots

Photo by Spencer Gurley on Pexels.com

There’s a scene from the beginning of the movie “Pretty Woman” — a man is crossing the street and asking everyone passing him, “What’s your dream? What’s YOUR dream?” Everyone has dreams — hopes and ideas of things they’d like to do, goals to accomplish, or travel destinations. Dreams are different for different people.

We get so tied down with life sometimes, that we forget to dream. Disenfranchised with the sameness of everyday occurrences, we push our dreams to the side, or pack them away, deciding they will never happen. It may be finances. Perhaps it’s illness (either physical or mental). We may have taken the chance to share our dreams with someone only to be told we are silly or illogical or fanciful but not realistic.

I like things that push me to my limits. To have tried and failed (in my book) is much better than never having tried at all. I watched my mother work, work, work with the oft-repeated phrase, “when I retire I’m going to . . . ” Sadly, by the time my mother was able to retire, it was not by choice, it was because she was dying of metastatic breast cancer. All the plans she had to do this and that, and go here and there, never materialized. She sparked my first endurance event – a 3-day 60-mile walk to raise funding for breast cancer research. That was 2000.

In 2010, while at the fire academy, I started my bucket list. First and foremost was to finish the fire academy . . . which I did. When I was packing up things to move to Alabama, I came across the notebook I had used in my fire academy classes and sure enough, there was my bucket list in the back where I had first written it. As I glanced over that initial list, I realized I had completed everything on it.

Every.

Single.

Thing.

I also realized that since writing my first bucket list, it was not finite. While I may not have always written down my dreams and goals, I had a pretty good grasp of them in my head and had accomplished so much more than what was on that list. Not only had I done the “things” but I had also gained wisdom, a deeper appreciation for life and hard work and my faith had grown as well.

Chasing your dreams can be downright scary. People close to you may not understand your passion or motivation. Your family, friends, and co-workers may laugh, thinking it’s a passing fancy. You have to do a lot of research to see how to make it happen on your budget. There are options galore for travel – hotels, hostels, campgrounds, Airbnb, domestic help options (working for a family while living abroad) — some may require a work visa if international travel is your thing. If it is a sports related dream – training options, equipment costs, locations, fees. Doing the research can keep the dream alive and feed the passion.

Here are a few of my dreams – some of which have had to change:

  • A full triathlon – 120 mile combination of swim, bike and run. I was on track to accomplish this when my knee had to be replaced. Now with a shoulder injury, this may have to be whittled down to smaller distances or changed to duathlons or single events.
  • Hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) or Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). While I would love to hike one of them as a thru-hiker, done entirely in one 5-month stint . . . the reality at this point is that I would have to do some day or weekend hikes and pick up where I left off or just hit sections.
  • Midwifery – while I started studying and getting my prerequisites out of the way to become a certified midwife, I got sidetracked and ended up at the fire academy. I still have a deep interest in women’s care and childbirth, but I’m not sure I have the passion to go back to school and find clinical locations and hours. An alternative would be to become a certified Doula to help with births.

What are your dreams? What’s holding you back from reaching your dreams?

Mindfulness

“Mindfulness isn’t difficult. We just need to remember to do it.” ~ Sharon Saltzberg

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I’ve spoken in previous posts about stretching to relax. I combine these periods of stretching with the practice of mindfulness. At times, I use my own choice of soft music, other times I will use either a Fitbit app with a soothing speaker or a YouTube video. Some of my favorite YouTube channels are Daily Calm, The Mindful Movement or The Honest Guys.

Depending on the time I have available this may take as little as 2-3 minutes or up to 30 minutes. It seems to help with my ability to take on the day in addition to pain relief. Especially after I’ve worked a 12-hour nursing shift or driven for long periods of time – my body needs this time to relax and get the creaky old joints back into a natural (or should I say, neutral) position.

While I would prefer to get a massage each day, that is financially impossible and/or never going to happen. But when it does happen . . .what bliss!! When lying on the massage table, my therapist uses a heated mattress pad on low to help the body relax. Generally the lighting is low, there is soft music playing and depending on my mood we either talk or we don’t. I can sink into the sensation of her hands moving my body, kneading the muscles, feeling them at first tense and then relax under the repeated pressure. There are moments, generally when she gets to my IT bands that I don’t sink, it takes everything I have not to scream because they are so tight, but eventually they too, loosen up and I can again relax. The first moment that grabs me is right at the beginning when she places her hands under my shoulders and then runs her fingers and thumbs up my neck, flexing my head up and off the table and holding it.

Much like that massage, my combination of mindfulness and stretching works in the same manner. Usually done with low lighting, on a yoga mat on the floor with my choice of background sound, choice oils in the diffuser — it can be done in three easy steps:

  1. The “I” step – how am I feeling, how is my body feeling in connection to lying flat. What hurts? What feels tight? How do I need to move to relax it? Because of my scoliosis, I almost always start with my knees bent, feet flat on the floor and bring my arms up over my head, pressing my spine into the mat.
  2. The “Here” step – I begin this by taking three deep breaths, letting my abdomen rise with each one. As I continue my deep breathing, I notice that each breath gets slightly deeper as my body starts to relax even more. While I don’t consciously choose specific yoga poses, I do stretch and hold for a few seconds up to several minutes – breathing and holding the stretch until I feel my body relax and the stretch becomes less and less painful. It never fails, when I take my first few breaths with my arms up over my head, I slowly roll back and forth sideways on the mat until my back relaxes and my spine can make contact without tension – about three rocks both ways. I slowly move my arms down and out, flexing and releasing the scapula. At times, I may bend a knee and place the foot on the opposite knee for a greater stretch in the lower back. I may bend both knees and bring them to the same side while leaving my arms outstretched. Between stretches, I just breathe and notice how my body feels to determine which way to stretch next, never planning it but going with the way my body feels. No two days are ever the same.
  3. The “Now” step – what am I feeling right now. Not thinking about my plans for the day, or the discussion I had the night before, or even what I need at the grocery store. Part of mindfulness is being present in the here and now — right now. Distractions are blocked. In addition to the feel of my body, I also use my senses to feel the softness of the mat, the firmness of the hardwood floor, the smell of oils in the diffuser with it’s slight hum, the soft lighting in the room as the sunlight filters thru the room darkening shades, the background sounds in my chosen video or app, the soothing sound of the speaker’s voice.

Mindfulness doesn’t simply apply to meditation. It applies to the rest of my day as well. When in discussion with someone, I am able to determine how I am feeling during the discussion such as emotional reactions. The “here” helps me focus on the person(s) I am with and the situation at hand. The “now” helps me survey my surroundings and stay focused rather than being distracted by other thoughts such as “what will I fix for dinner” or “don’t forget to start the laundry” or “did I write the check for the utility bill.”

When choosing oils for the diffuser, I have several blends I prefer –

Rosemary, Lavender, Orange and Peppermint

Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint

or Copaiba, Lavender and Lime.

If you would like to purchase Young Living oils, feel free to use the link HERE.

How do you practice mindfulness? Has it changed your life? If so, how? Please feel free to share in the comments!

Quiet Times

“Touch the earth and let it touch you.” ~ Barefoot Mama

Photo by Akshaya Premjith on Pexels.com

I’ve been quiet because I haven’t felt well lately. And when I don’t feel well, I tend to turn inwards. I put my energy into healing and feeling better.

Somebody mentioned that I must be very in tune with my body.

Well . . . yes. I spend at least a few minutes, every day, stretching and breathing and relaxing my body bit by bit. I get massages when I can. I started lifting weights when I was in my late teens/early twenties so I learned to isolate muscle groups to be able to flex and release them at will.

I remember clearly with my first pregnancy: we were at our childbirth class and the instructor was having us lie on our sides and flex and release different muscle groups to be able to help labor progress more smoothly. We were to practice these exercises in the ensuing weeks. The instructor encouraged us to flex our calf muscle. One of the other expectant mama’s asked, “How do you flex your calf muscle.” I remember thinking to myself, “how do you not know HOW to do that?!?!?!?”

In December of 2018, I wrote a post The Sensual Life. In it I talked about using all the senses to fully adapt to the surroundings. It isn’t difficult – it does take practice. Society has become so dependent on electronic devices that we are losing the ability to connect on a natural level with our surroundings.

This evening as we walked the dog, I noticed several things:

  • The scent of rain on the air
  • The puddles on the road and sidewalk reflecting the street lights
  • the difference in textures between the sidewalk, the gravel and the mud
  • the sound of the dog’s nails as she walked
  • the lights coming from home windows we walked past
  • the sounds of the leaves skipping across the trail as the wind blew
  • the coolness of the wind against my skin with a hint of moisture
  • her excitement at getting closer to home and subtle pulling at the lead

I have to be in tune with my body. Systemic Lupus flares can come on suddenly, but they can also come on gradually and noticing the changes and catching them before they blossom from flares into fires can be tricky. Because I still have to do the things (after I drink the coffee), prioritizing my activities is absolute. Social media, blogging, renovation activities – anything that expends unnecessary energy is curtailed. The replacement activities are frequent naps, periods of rest and meditation. more stretching than usual, muscle rubs with liniment, warm baths and audible books (becomes sometimes just holding the book is tiring or looking at the screen makes my eyes hurt). I try to get out and walk each day, but then I lay down for a wee bit when we get home.

I do know being barefoot in the grass or having my hands in the dirt or on the plants, does have the effect of making me feel more connected. There’s something calming about being in contact with the earth — a soothing quality of well-being. And here . . . The Benefits of Earthing . . . is an article discussing the benefits of coming into contact with the earth either barefoot or with the use of our hands (such as in gardening).

So, perhaps I’m not crazy that I feel more rested when I spend some of my Quiet Times outside, barefoot, talking to the tomatoes.

Go.

Outside.