September 26, 2008

wish list, while i remember

i'm at that point (again!) where i'm feeling overwhelmed by the day to day. it's amazing, really. i know so many people who "do" so much more than i. yet i find the balance that brings about peace compromised so easily. invariably, i decide i either work too much, have too many friends or really shouldn't be in love. awesome. glad we've solved that one.

i just wish i had one of those days coming up where there was nothing going on. where i could allow my good friend to finally fix the dreads that have been forming, unguided, in my hair for months. where i could hack away at my mending box, filled to the brim with clothes i have forgotten. where i could vacuum under my bed. whatever. attend to the things that aren't screeching in my life, just waiting.

what do i do with my days? get up, let cat out, have shower, make coffee, make breakfast, make lunch, go to work. work work work. use lunch to catch up on email, especially volunteer-related email. walk home. lie down, do yoga or engage in some kind of "relaxing" activity. make supper (or don't). engage in one or more of the following activities: read, listen to music, give childcare, do house chores, go grocery-shopping, run errands, play with cat, write or entertain.

weekends: go to market, go to meetings, get saturday's globe and mail, have dates, make food, catch up on errands and house chores, entertain, sit or do yoga. but rarely do i do any of those things as much as i want to. often the globe is only partially read, the yoga is cut short because of obligations, or the market gets postponed until next week. sometimes i sleep in and stare at the wall, but even those have pretty much been cut out. these days, sleeping in lasts until 9.

i wish my job was only four days a week. the other activities give me more joy or care, relative to the amount of time i put forward for each of them. but part-time jobs are rarely as engaging as the full-time jobs that are available. i wish i could run a b&b in the woods while raising some tiny little zen kid. imagine; occasionally writing, building eco-friendly cabins in the woods with my hunky partner, and the little zen kid being home-schooled by ourselves and the friends that would drop by to recover from their hectic city lives in our beautiful mountain retreat. i mean, if we're going to make a wishlist, that's on mine. too bad no one can afford to drive there!

second choice, go to school. at least it's a change. and i can spend more time at home in bed with the cat. "doing my readings". yeah. sounds like an appropriate second choice. that whole "change is as good as a rest" idea that i occasionally think was made up by workaholics. actually, in light of that, let's drop school to third choice, b&b to second choice and introduce number one as: society recovers from stress-induced, high speed, one-winner-only competition to be the world's biggest, "smartest", "most powerful and respected" greedy idiot. there we go. that would be great. then we could all relax, instead of just the lucky folks who own b&bs.

am i whiny? spoiled? should i be thankful that i don't have to run from bombs, eat bugs to stay alive or attend to my arranged-marriage-husband's every 'need'? yes, definitely yes. and i am glad of all those things. until i forget.

September 22, 2008

brilliant and beauty-filled

the grass got greener, on my side of the fence! wait, did the fence actually just come down? maybe i wandered away from the fence and toward the field over yonder. where we can't be bothered to measure how green it is.

the greenest solutions seem to pop up when i stop aiming for the highest profit. and although that sounds painfully simple (especially when applied to capitalism), it's the painfully simple things that often go unnoticed by the personal ego-on-a-rampage-for-something-better. "oh, those laws apply to my life too?"

returning from an intentional gathering this past weekend, i had a great homeward-bound conversation. we chatted about how many people attracted to the alternative lifestyle and alternative communities, whether they be blissful zippies or passionate activists, have had traumatizing or difficult pasts. who would be attracted to something different but the people the status quo is failing? i've thought about this before, but it shed new light on the increasing friction and dissension i have noticed running amuck through the communication pathways. it reinforces the need to educate myself on as many perspectives of a disagreement within the community as i can, before forming an opinion. because people tend to leave things out. and in the heat of the moment, it's hard to notice how we ourselves are contributing to the trauma/drama. but we are. oh, are we ever.

and as much as i feel concern over the disagreements, i am also impressed and excited over the growth. this weekend, i saw old wounds healing, i saw once-awkward people way more relaxed and natural, i saw those who once had a tendency to overdo it sitting serenely, having contributed their gift and now witnessing others do the same. it was incredible.

i also participated in a great workshop that actually inspired me to eat food again! who knew gorillas were vegan? and how awesome parsley is? wow. As soon as it's available in canada, i'll be purchasing this book. i feel energized and motivated to eat more raw food. who knew it was going to be easy? i love it when i feel uninspired to cook beans all day and then it turns out i don't have to.

September 19, 2008

rolling out the dough

it's that spot where the emergencies seem to be over but normalcy has not returned, and systems are still on yellow alert.

decisions are on the table. and i cannot shelve them. things like "how does forgiveness work in a relationship that has taken a major blow but still has strong roots?" and "when a friend screws another friend over, or when friends gang up on a friend without taking the time to investigate the full story, who are my friends and do i get involved?" (yeah, that's about forty questions) or even the simple "what do i sacrifice when i can't have it all?" which i wonder why i don't put into practice when the answer is so obvious. sacrifice my lazy habits. not my rewards, my lazy habits. eating out three times a week because i can't be bothered to pack a lunch ends up being far more expensive than a once-a-month camping trip.

okay. solve the simple ones and work backwards. from finances, we move on to love and self-care. uhhh, maybe go back to finances. can i solve someone else's problems? so much easier... (i am willing to trade: email me! just kidding - it's like peeing for someone else. the logistics get all messy. okay, i'll get off the couch and move the cat)

i guess my uncertainty and self-doubt is broken down into two sets. one, the "haven't done this before" set. i tend to walk away when people suck. but when someone acknowledges they sucked, apologizes, doesn't attempt to justify, takes away the means that enabled their suckiness, commits to working on the source of the trouble AND i still care for them and value the relationship, then i'm all for a second chance. it's just that people don't tend to go for that option. but someone has! which makes them pretty freaking fabulous for an erring human, i think.

this leads into the second set of self-doubt. i call this the "yeah, but i tend to talk myself into repeating the same lousy judgment patterns over again" set. the counter-argument notes that i have stated facts, not judgments. except for the word "commit". how have they committed to seeking the source(s) of their behaviour? how long until i am certain of their commitment? it's good that i have identified my own need for safety, but can i really rely on someone else's priorities being the same as mine? this is the question i come back to. i don't want eternal proof (mostly since it would take an eternity to get, and somewhat because i continue to believe i am not that anal). but i need to decide when to trust the process and that person. sounds like my brain has taken me pretty far, and time to check in with my heart.

friends. no. brain resists. another day. the gossip-mill will continue to find fodder, and more victims will likely fall before we, as a community, realize how obnoxious and poisonous it can be to listen to one version and not the other before forming an opinion. if my peer group was late teens, i would be more sympathetic. kwan yin gets displaced by grandma shocked-and-appalled.

September 18, 2008

blogger confused me

i feel old; i'm resisting change. i don't even remember what i wanted to blog about, because when i tried to sign in, blogger had a new, far more confusing method to sign me in, involving obtuse passwords. i mean, i am sober, and i've had coffee. why was that so hard?

taking a short break at work, intending to blog about... it's floating off in the distance of my brain, i know i can catch it, have some chana masala and ruminate for a moment. being grumpy? resisting change seems to be the theme. oh wait! i remember now: it was about letting the daily grind wear me down.

as autumn persists, my days get shorter mentally as well. i stop earlier, give up sooner, do less. and to some degree, that's lovely. take a break! rest! north americans have a shortage of rest vibes floating around. i do my best work when i do less of it.

but! that's not the same as letting the day float away from my good things. writing, keeping things tidy, flossing; these bring me peace, a sense of being present and taking care of myself. and judging from the skirts of previous days piled up (on my bed by day, on the floor by night), dishes on the table (not fly-worthy yet, but soon), empty pages and zonked out me, it isn't joyful nothing. it's drained nothing.

my roommate purchased some liquid vitamins, and i think i might go the same way. liquid is absorbed more easily by our bodies than solids, and it just feels right to dose myself with B goodness and all such. it's not like i've been very inspired to eat. (thinking guiltily about too-soft avocado in my fruit bowl right now) i could use an external boost.

September 15, 2008

expectations killed the cat, but PR hid the fact

everyday things are sometimes nicer than the special events. this weekend, we held a free sale in our front yard. it was quite lovely, many lovely people came by. but in the end, my roommate and i felt a bit drained, and that we really didn't want to spend the whole weekend sitting on the lawn saying "no really - it's free" to the doubters. although now that it's done, i'm quite proud of us.

between the free sale, the board meeting (the first time the board had met since spring; eek) and the regular household required activities (where did those dishes come from? i mean, they must multiply, but only when they're dirty. it's some kind of science issue, where the sink allows for high-energy transactions that let the dishes temporarily break the "do not create or destroy" law. as soon as they're washed, the universe notices the exception to the rule and *poof!* they opt out of existence, leaving us once again with only six butter knives.) i feel like the coming full-time workweek is going to be more relaxing than my weekend was. though i engaged in what, in retrospect, turned out to be a date. that was lovely.

however, the influx of lovely folks to the free sale re-inspired me to try and get to the equinox event. i wasn't previously very excited about it. i feel like i've had enough of groups that are trying to organize but keep getting pulled into ego and drama. but the visitors this weekend reminded me that the level of enjoyment is directly related to my expectations for the event. i have previously set the bar higher than i intend to set it this time. i think i have wanted an environment where everyone respects the space of others. a bit tricky to manage when definitions of 'respect' vary wildly. this time, i just want to go to see what they've been up to.

curiosity. so much more fun than expectations. hey, that's been applied to my love interest lately too!

September 12, 2008

kwan yin rides again

i've been remembering grace. you know, when someone's a total turd to you, and you opt to let it go? i've definitely forgotten that, and been locked up in ideas of Justice (ie revenge) and Properness (ie treating me the way i think i deserve). kids are great at reminding me of the importance of compassion. many people rise to the challenge when quietly given the opportunity to do so, and besides, i'm not interested in focusing on the shortcomings of others.

previously, i'd expressed an interest in full disclosure, but i'm learning that it can be a sign of respect to not drag someone out into the limelight when they eff up. most of us, if we're honest with ourselves, know when we've errred. feedback is important, but is there really a need to go on and on about it, blow it out of proportion, or make a person feel worse? i think not. unless it's a big fucking deal, like hate crimes, genocide, repeated assault, etc.

i've definitely experienced some randomly crappy behaviour directed my way. and certainly i've been the giver of smarmy judgment masked by an attitude of pretentious "well-meaning" or "constructive feedback". being judged is a lousy feeling. when i've effed up, i know it. and you know it. and we know each other knows it. so either we move on or we part ways and move on. do i really need to "let them know" my opinion so they can agree with me and i can feel good about knowing How To Behave?

fuck that. i don't need to change the behaviour of drivers, record store clerks, exes or other people's teenagers. i don't have to be "on record" as vehemently opposing someone's attitude.

i don't need to right every wrong. whew. that was a biggie.

September 8, 2008

more beginnings

too long since last post. but many activities have been pulling me away. not to mention (okay this is really it) that i can't seem to connect to the wireless at my new house. i blame pc set-ups.

however, the moving out, moving in, trying to get a passport and all such have probably been sucking up my willingness to leave the house for internet capabilities. and the new creative writing book my friend dumpstered is probably meeting my creative writing needs right now. back to the morning pages i have been. and they actually help. i am tentatively renewing my opinion of myself as a clever conveyor of ideas through words.

mostly, i feel upset that i am doing too many "bad" things and not enough "good" things for myself. ah, the judgment place, usually leading right into a shame-motivated increase of "bad" things. repeat until rendered useless. check self into treatment program.

no really though, it's that time again: self-checks. the lungs have been wheezing unnecessarily after bike ride to work. the yoga mat has been threatening to leave the relationship. the brain has been asking "why am i so slow?" about five times a week.

and i've had way too much fun on silly but awesome websites.

the new digs are super amazing. it's one of those things where you don't notice how increasingly unsuitable was the old until the new comes along and fits like a glove. the new bedroom allows for different activities, such as writing and yoga, without having to "do it all from the bed". my gosh was that old room ever tiny. new roommates are fewer in number, which makes any communication easier. rent is cheaper, vibe is flowing, i shaved two minutes off my commute and am closer to my favourite organic foodstore. even the cat seems to be acclimatizing.

now pray i get my passport. pray, atheists, pray.