Friday, December 30, 2022

Time Management

 Do others find this far more challenging as we age? I know I certainly do. I'm a former multi-tasker (and yes, I know, the jury is still out on whether this actually works or not) so I have to really, really prioritize and manipulate my time carefully. I can't be rushed anymore as the befuddling starts. That feeling of being overwhelmed.

One task at a time is important. Don't move me off my plan. I was adverse to being firm about this but now, yes, I am. No more galloping off spontaneously in gay abandon, on to the next adventure, no thought to the unfinished left behind.

I am careful with my time, careful with my energy. I saw this recently and it resonated with me:

So much doesn't feed the soul spirit. The news, all dreadful, with tiny exceptions, energy vampires, pessimists, I could add to the list. I'm not a believer in new year's resolutions I am more into subtracting that which doesn't enhance my life and there is much of that kicking around. 

We had a lovely holiday season apart from one dear family member who had a positive Covid test the day after we left which stressed us out a bit for the five days clearance time. She didn't infect any of us.

A second holiday dinner on Boxing Day had our host with a diagnosis of returning terminal cancer and it was bitter sweet for all concerned as we made the best of it and shed tears where he couldn't see us. So very poignant.

I am hoping everyone had a better emotional time of it than that and all was peaceful and jolly in your worlds.

Apologies for not being on top of your blogs but it's been hectic here with the revolving door of guests staying, leaving, bed linens, towels, food planning and general and enjoyable hopping around with cars borrowed, returned, pickups. Quite a whirl but I wouldn't change it and all respected my need for peaceful time management. So yes, I did slow down and just enjoy the company and the love.

What I did notice in the two fairly large gatherings we were at was that there was no drinking of alcohol. At all. So all was peaceful. I find alcohol at these gatherings raises the voices and often the temperature - if you catch the drift.

Happy, happy New Year 2023 to all. 

May it see us all, if nothing else, contented.

Saturday, December 17, 2022


I have little chats with myself. Today the topic was adaptation to life's quirks and tumbles, to the curve balls.

Is that the secret to a contented life? Being adaptable to circumstances? Like when life doesn't go your way, when you think others are having the time of their lives as you sit alone, mulling over your pathetic life? 

And speaking of "your way" what way is that exactly?

Like the song said : "I never promised you a rose garden."

My way was having it all. The house, the dog, the piano, the big important job, the kids, the devoted husband, two cars, all the appliances I would ever need. And space. Lots of space. 

And guess what? I had the "all" that I thought would give me the best life. Plus a nanny too for good measure.

And guess what? I wasn't happy. I could point to my mother dying young, my husband not being what I thought he should be, my busy career (there was no time for piano-playing and music). Stress. Emigration. Not enough something, something. Not knowing then, as I do now, that happiness is an inside job. Nothing whatsoever to with others or possessions or your kids or your partner. Nothing.

And we're not aware of our own adaptations to circumstances. And sometimes it takes time to adapt. It sure doesn't happen overnight.

And self-blame walks into a lot of situations which we have no control over, like our health, like an estranged child, like a death of a beloved ("I should have done more.")

And one day I woke up and did not memorialize my estranged child's birthday last week. I let go. I adapted. I was done. Adapted to her choice, adapted to my reaction. Adapted to moving on after twenty years of grief and worry and chest beating.

And I realized that adaptation has been part of my life now for a long time. And I've never been happier, sick, not sick, struggling, not struggling.

I've been three years in lockdown as I have been told that catching any of the three pandemics circling the drain of the globe right now, I will die. Maybe I'll be in lockdown until I toss off this mortal coil. I have many things to entertain me. Including blogs, books, writing, knitting, some tax work. My music. Correspondence. Big etc.

It's the way of the world right now.

I have adapted.

Thursday, December 08, 2022

Forever and Todo.

 An enormous word, isn't it? I was having a deep think today which involved old age, death, priorities and gripes, groans and geezerdoms.

Mainly though, there is never enough time to do all I set out to do in a day. My todo (pronounced toe-dough) lists are lengthy and spill over to the next week and beyond. What part of a todo do I kick to the curb when I want to complete all of it?

I reflect on my bestie Helen, whose wake was held at her house and her last unfinished book was propped up beside her - we shared a voracious habit of reading and exchanged books all the time, even though I was in Canada and she was in Ireland.

I think this is a great idea for readers who eventually die, the bookcase converts into your casket:

The point is, the unfinished business of what we leave behind, and how poignant is it?

I envision my own forever unfinished business: several novels, a memoir, three pieces of knitting with promises attached, a large piece of red felt awaiting embroidery, the relics of my once enormous collection of old movies (5,000?) - most now given away, but....journals - most now destroyed, books of ideas waiting for actualization.... For who's to tell when the Grim Reaper comes calling? 

So it all ends up in the dump. Forever. And that's not a good thought, not from a vanity point of view but because of pollution and our cast away lives winding up in the oceans, etc. Never more of a crisis than now. Or if one burns the lot of it then, boy, green house gases and plastic crap in the air.

I try staying awake and trying to fulfil all my todos. But being a geezer, as I am, I nod off in the most unflattering of ways. If you are old and honest, you know what I'm saying. Chin drool, startling awake in an odd place, orienting oneself, looking at a clock and wondering where the last 2 hours went. My father in his time denied he was asleep mid-afternoon but told me, snottily, he was "giving his eyes a rest."

So my eyes need a rest most days. Unless I am over-caffeinated, then watch out.

Saturday, December 03, 2022

Catch Up

 I've been writing and editing and meeting with writers and neglected the blog. I apologise. I need to catch up with you all too.

I went for a walk yesterday. This would mean nothing to most of you but I'm telling you, this was a very major thing for me.

I went without George, my cane, scoped the area (it was a path around a lake - called ponds here no matter the size - I'm very fond of as it was one of Ansa's favourites) to check for resty spots and headed off. It wasn't much of a walk but boy after so very long being so very immobilized it was enormous to me. I was so happy I cried.

I had missed the cheerful greetings of strangers on little hikes, genuine good mornings and how are you doings. I had missed the winter birds bombing around, missed the myriads of dogs being walked ready to greet me. Missed the mittens and wee hat and a goodly scarf around my neck. Like a winter-walking human being.

Yesterday, in total, I had completed 2,000 steps in my day. Unimaginable even a couple of months ago while I was still, in the dark hours of the night, sleeping napping, curled up like a pretzel in pain in my recliner for months thinking a bed would never be in my future again.

But life is strange and wonderful and full of surprises. 

And I'm packing a lot of it in at the moment. I've been playing this. A favourite from the seventies and always relevant to my life for some reason.

And my Christmas cactus is right on time with her blooms with a bit of competition from the African violet.

A powerful lesson in embracing just the moments. As life can change in a heartbeat.