Tag Archives: mindfulness

Turning

night time highway

At best I’m a scattered mess.

I’m reasonably comfortable admitting this now.

I’m not even sure what this post is really about, but woke up this morning feeling that it was time to get back to writing…any writing…even if it is just a rambling blog post.  I pulled out a stack of old journals, sifted through snippets of poems, giggled, and traced through a rather mixed up geography of thoughts.  

13 moves in 6 years.  21 moves in total.  Do I have just a terrible case of wanderlust?  Not really.  The moving and constant uprooting does little to satisfy my urge to explore and rather counter-productively destroys all funds and time for real adventure.  It is to the point now where I can barely tell the difference between an old familiar place and a new one.  

2009.  The year I turned 30.  The months leading up to my 30th birthday I was a madhouse of writing.  (and perhaps even an actual madwoman…but why dwell!).   Journals that I had failed to fill for years suddenly ran out of room.  I house sat a big old place on a hill with a 180 acre view and something about that space, two summers of being a caretaker at a cabin (and a decision to not simply jump at the first urge to flee) allowed me the space to write.  But my inability to secure long term employment and housing meant everything (including emotions) remained in boxes.  Labelled, but contents still vague and mysterious.

I feel I am starting to unpack now.  Figuratively.  Literally, I am still living in a rental which smells of stale cigarette smoke from the previous tenant and is punctuated daily with arguments and bad language from the other side of our paper thin walls.  But figuratively i am starting to pull out the necessary tools for some much delayed goal setting.  (and yes, top of that list is still ‘buy a house’ and ‘consider vacations instead of moving’).

Here is what appeared in my ‘year of turning 30’ journal titled:  30

a decade of knitting
gnawing at memories
picking nails

fidgeting from one foot to the other

passing time at being suspicious

or questioning
anything that doesn’t bite back

and even some things that do.

 

 

Things That Can Break

vintage typewriter suitcase

moving boxes

Wondering if I can wear a goiter with style.

These days I’m forced to recognize that ‘control’ may be more illusion or perspective than reality.  That my body (despite being properly fed, nurtured, treated delicately and exercised appropriately) might still do its own thing.

I am edgy today.  Irritated at the bags under my eyes, the ease of exhaustion, the swelling in my throat and the persistent pain in my back….my hips…my feet…my hands.

Moving forward…movement in general…is what is best.  The quiet numbing slosh of the water at the pool as I go from one end of the lane to the other.  The scrape of the skate blades on the freshly cleared ice.  If I sit for too long I may stay that way, suspended.

This morning I started to pack the boxes.  Started the process of putting everything temporarily on hold until we unpack again.  A familiar, but now completely uninteresting process.    I have moved enough times now that there is no longer any excitement in it for me, but luckily also no hesitation.  No longer that sense of sitting on the edge of something new…some unknown potential…some brief glimpse of opportunity.

There is always the uncertainty.  But even that I have gotten used to.  I don’t know where I’ll work…if I’ll make new friends…if I’ll find old or new patterns to follow….if this place will be better or worse than the last.  For now I will simply not know.  You have to sit with that.  There is no other choice.  No prediction.  No way of reading the future.

I am a master now at address changes.  All of our worldly belongings can be unloaded by two of us in under an hour.  I panicked briefly about labeling boxes and than quickly realized it’s not as necessary as it seems.

Next friday, a pizza box…perhaps a bottle or two of beer…and that strange hollow echo of a place not yet your own.

telling the truth

Burning Bridges

telling the truthTruth.

It is not always easy to tell and even harder at times to just sit back and watch it.  But there comes a time when there is no other choice but to let your heart be honest and hope that the act of truth telling will make you lighter.  Hope that when it is heard it will do what it needs to do.

You can’t control it once it is out.  Everyone will own it in their own way (regardless of your intentions).  That is the hardest part of truth.  Acceptance is not a given.

It is even harder to make peace with the fact that some bridges have to be burned.

Today I turned towards truth.  I let it out to start the healing.  And I am confident that this honesty will meet someone who needed to know.  And after today, she will know I love her.

And while I rebuilt one bridge I let another burn.

Although I’ve felt it in my heart for a long time it was still not easy.

In my mind always thinking I could bring back a wholeness to my family that has perhaps never existed.  But to continue trying would be to waste energy better spent loving those who have truly been my family.

I am blessed with a wonderful loving and supportive mother and father.  We’ve gone through so much and have still not lost our laughter.  But today, I quietly let go of my sister.

 

 

stretch jersey dress diy

Acceptance

stretch jersey dress diytoday, acceptance.

instead of burying my head in the blankets for another hour…another half hour…another fifteen minutes…just a few more minutes…up early to walk the dog with the sun rising.  dew fresh on the grass.  a rabbit crossed our path.  a mama turkey and five babies.  the fields in the horse paddocks freshly cut.  the apple trees all lined up in a row.

now coffee.  resting in my favourite chair.  crickets outside the window.  a basket of knitting and fresh new patterns.

tomatoes to be canned.  bread to be baked.
the hum of the washing machine.
pots to the scrubbed.
floors to be swept.

but first…perhaps a hike on the Bruce Trail.
it’ll all still be here when i get back.

this is a dress i recently finished making.  super simple.  dead easy to make.  traced one of my favourite skirts.  cut from some stretchy jersey fabric from a Fabricland sale that’s been sitting in my stash for years.  sewn up the two sides.  created a tube for the top.  attached top to bottom.  quick serge around the bottom edge.

from start to finish…only about 15 minutes.  likely took me longer to thread the serger.  i took an extra half hour to add in a built-in bra…but i’m going to tear that part out today.  it’s way more comfortable without it.  the tube part of the top just snug enough to stay put.  layers well.  and my hatred of bras applies apparently even to built-ins.

Three cheers to Saturday!

the great clothing purge

The Great Clothing Purge

the great clothing purgeMost of my clothes fall into one of three categories:  too tight, too loose, stained and/or covered in holes.  And armed with this ill-fitting wardrobe, to get dressed each day seems to require entirely too much energy.  For starters, the ill-fitting clothes seem to have multiplied.  My dresser drawers no longer close properly, each hanger in the closet struggles to hold more than one item, and the shelves are stuffed to the brim in a mass of fabric chaos.  Yet, I continue to keep.

There are very few items of clothing in this tangle that actually make me feel good or comfortable.  In the great clothing purgefact, most of what I own causes me to fidget and shift and squirm.  Most things with a fitted waistband seem to make me angry.  Anything with a collar makes me irate.  and pants that have to be hemmed…well, don’t get me started.

This mess of clothing happened for a few reasons.  One, my weight has shifted over the years like a yo-yo back and forth between 3 different dress sizes.  As a result, even if something doesn’t fit me anymore, I tend to keep things just in case.  You know we all have those pants or that skirt or dress that we keep…just in case I drop an extra few pounds one day and can finally close up the top button.  I have a thyroid that seems to change its mind a lot.  Some months it doesn’t want to function so well and other times, it picks itself back up, dusts itself off and revs up the metabolism.  So, despite having lost the weight I gained in college beer parties and late night burgers…I keep all the clothes that are also too loose on me in case my thyroid decides to shut er down and I find myself needing to go up a size.  It is like, at times, that there is clothing in my closet for three people.

The second reason:  I like to thrift.  No, correction…I love to thrift!  And I have a terrible habit of picking something up, noticing that it’s not quite perfect, but buying it anyways because my crafty brain says:  oh, we can take that in or out, we can hem those pants, we can fix those rips, we can turn that giant old lady dress into a trendy new skirt, we can felt that sweater into a pair of mitts…etc. etc.  Every piece of clothing is a potential craft project.  I go to a second hand shop.  I try on a piece of clothing.  I recognize that it doesn’t fit.  It still makes it to the cash register….because…oh, but the fabric is just so so pretty.

the great clothing purgeThe other day I decided…enough.  Even though i’ve purged a thousand times as a result of what feels like a thousand moves…I still feel overwhelmed by stuff.  Stuff that takes up space in my life and in my home…yet, no longer seems to serve any kind of practical purpose.  I have this vision of sliding open my dresser drawer and actually having the drawers be capable of opening and closing smoothly.  I have this vision of opening up the closet and not having a single thing fall off the shelf.  I want to rescue my hangers from a lifetime of sagging under the weight of too much fabric.

But mostly, I want to only own clothing that makes me feel good or at minimum fits properly and is comfortable.  And i’ve decided, if this means giving almost everything away and being left with only two t-shirts and a skirt…so be it!

So I started today.  I’ve photographed the mess and in a few days I’ll share with you the results of the great purge.  Goodbye giant pants,  goodbye pinches me in the stomach skirt, goodbye shirt with only one button that can be done up, goodbye t-shirt with the stain that is not so noticeable if I cover it with a scarf, goodbye collection of blue sweatshirts (why do I have 4 or 5 blue sweatshirts?  why?), goodbye too tight jeans, goodbye too loose cat hair magnet brown cords.  It’s time to say hello to opening the dresser drawer and finding only the right clothes.