Tired and thoughtful

“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.” ~ Katie Reed

abstract blur bright christmas

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I don’t know how to even describe it.  As if my bones ache from the inside out.  Perhaps it’s the weather, or the stress of the holidays or random inflammation of SLE.  The cause is insignificant at this point — taking care of myself is the important part.

I think people are so accustomed to seeing me as busy and energetic, they don’t realize the level of strength it sometimes takes to get through a normal, ordinary day.  It is frustrating to feel the expectations others seem to have of how I should look or act or what I should do —

Hey! I’m just trying to get through today.

A co-worker asked me today if I’d feel up to doing something I’m scheduled to do tomorrow.  I laughed.  My reply may seem simplistic, but it was truthful, “I don’t know — tomorrow is a different day.”

Tomorrow may be a better day, it may be a worse day.  But regardless, I will feel the way I feel despite what I am scheduled or have to do.  I just do it.  I cannot and will not sit about waiting until I feel “good” — those days lately are few and far between.  I will accomplish what I accomplish and anyone with any further expectations of me can just check them at the door.

As I ate my dinner tonight, I was considering friendship.  I tell my friends often, “I love you.”  It seems that folks forget that it’s okay to love in a friendly way, versus a romantic manner.  Especially when we are going through circumstances that may result in people distancing themselves, or turning their backs on us, or seeming to forget we exist . . . a true friend that sticks through thick and thin is a wonderful thing to have.  I have had a few of those and they are wonderful friends indeed.  As I was considering this, I came across something I wrote two years ago, and I will share it here.

“I love you.”

A simple phrase that is fully capable of standing alone.  Too often, we feel we must qualify it with “because. . . .”

“I love you because . . . “

To be loved, simply because you ARE, because you exist, is the greatest gift.  Not because of your accomplishments, what you do, your earnings potential, or how you make someone feel.

When we add qualifiers, we detract from the statement.  We detract from the meaning of someone’s existence.  Essentially we are saying, “you, in and of yourself, are not enough reason to be loved.”

We have this need to fill life with fluff.  With noise.  With fillers.

“I love you.”

Period.

And with that thought, I leave you.

We Interrupt this Comedy . . .

“I need to learn to keep a quiet heart.  To trust that if God has allowed an interruption in my day, it serves a purpose.” — Karen Ehman

scenic view of mountains during dawn

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Pondering the subject of this post, I was going to convey with photographic evidence the absurd comedy of the past few days; unplanned mishaps that lend an air of silliness and make me laugh.  I drove home from work, passing the mountains in their various shadowy tints of grey with the clouds hanging low.  The windshield wipers were making a steady rhythm and I mentioned to someone on the phone that even with the rainy weather, the views of the mountains and the clouds STILL make me ridiculously happy with my relocation.

I stopped at the library for a few moments and then headed to the post office so that when I arrived home, I would have no need to leave again.  Driving is the best time for thinking, I believe.  True to form, as I drove I thought of a situation that saddens me at its base unfairness and disgusts me at the behavior of people who will destroy a person’s life for seemingly no reason.  Turning onto the road where the post office is located, there was a momentary break — just a sliver — in the clouds.  Far above the low hanging drifts of grey and white was a spot of clear and serene pale blue sky.  It was then I realized how often we get so caught up in the situation surrounding us that we (or at least “I”) forget that beyond the immediate lies the eternal.  The clouds surrounding us are the trials we face in life, but beyond that is something so clean, simple, and beautiful it provides hope.

The comedy can wait a day or so.

This has been niggling at me all night, so I am sharing it for whomever needs to see it.

Adjusting my Sails

“You can’t change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust your sails.” ~ Unknown

love romantic bath candlelight

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Pacing myself is a new phenomena, but then being 52 is a fairly new phenomena as well.  Not that age as anything to do with anything, but I am feeling it in my bones.

I am not OLD by any means!  With age comes wisdom, and I need not be hell-bent to accomplish everything at a breakneck pace.  For years, I pushed myself to be everything and do everything for everyone, now it’s my turn.  I was exhausted, physically and mentally.  Moving was the first step to mental healing, learning to take time to relax has been a bit slower in coming.

There are things I would like to accomplish here at home.  And I will.  Just not overnight.

Today was an awesome day.  I taught a group of enthusiastic students on a subject near and dear to me.  I was asked this morning if I were excited about teaching today, and I feel bad that my response may have dampened the enthusiasm of my dear one.  I tried to explain as best I could — I am excited about the content, I love sharing knowledge, but the thought of being “on” in front of a group of people is not exciting in and of itself.  I pull a lot of energy from deep within to be able to do so, and when I am done I feel as though I have been hit by a Mack truck.  It is exhausting.  We had fun, there was a good rapport between myself and the students, they were interested and involved in the discussion, and all I wanted to do when I was finished was lay down and sleep.

Actually, when I got home this evening, I changed clothes, and promptly laid down for a short nap.  Dinner was leftovers easily heated in the microwave, and then a movie on Amazon Prime, a nice hot bath with a combination of eucalyptus and peppermint oils, a cup of hot chocolate and this post prior to closing my eyes in sleep.

Pacing myself is not slowing down, it is choosing my battles between what needs to be done and what I am capable of performing each day.  Sails, for today, are adjusted and closed, it’s time to drift with the current for the evening.

Weekend reads

“You only get one life.  It’s actually your duty to live it, as fully as possible.”

black and brown stairs beside window

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Living life fully isn’t always about being on the go.  There are times that it is more important to slow down, and relish those things around us . . .loved ones we don’t see often, memories we’ll cherish, sights we’ll only see once.  Life is meant to be enjoyed, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone.

Much like pouring a fresh cup of coffee, we savor the aroma, feel the warmth as we bring the cup to our lips and let the delicious flavor swirl around our tongue as we take that first sip.  THAT is how life is to be enjoyed.

I was actually intending to make this blog post last night, but after the rush of the holiday dinner, shopping on Black Friday, visiting family and then getting the children back to their father . . . nah.  I got back to my cherished home-away-from-home and it was quiet.  Just me.  The wind was blowing outside, the furnace was running, and inside it was warm and snug.  I made a bowl of oatmeal for my dinner and snuggled in the loveseat silently watching a movie via closed captions.  And it was good.

Living life fully also means recognizing the need to rest and recharge.  Peace and quiet.  Alone.

I took a few moments to check in on three of my favorite blogs which I’ll share here:

  •  If you LOVE old houses and have longed to restore one, but don’t have the means, you can live vicariously through Ross’s adventures in Emporia at Restoring Ross.
  •  I have followed her blog for years, since Sam was a wee one and he’s 12, and Rhonda Jean Hetzel lives what she shares.  She and her husband Hanno share their simple methods to being frugal and having more at Down To Earth.
  •  I first followed her mother, Jewel, whose blog is now private.  Unfortunately, she passed away this last year, but her wisdom shines thru in her daughter’s blog, Rosie’s Ramblings.

Now, it’s time for me to leave and head home to Alabama.  While I will be traveling alone, I will have my books on CD, my Spotify playlist and phone calls from loved ones to break the monotony.  Until next time . . .