There is something to be said about the simplicity found in nature. Don’t get me wrong; nature is complex and intricate at times. However, at other times things are simple and beautiful all the same.
While walking with the four-footed one, I couldn’t help but marvel at the lush green carpet of grass beneath my feet, dotted randomly with colorful patches of yellow and red from fallen blossoms. These blossoms were like jewels shining in the mid-morning sun. Adding to the beauty was how the sun caused the dew to glitter on the flowers, turning them into stunning artworks.
How many other times has nature presented me with such overwhelming and straightforward beauty, which I’ve missed because I’ve been too busy rushing around? How many times have my thoughts intruded on my ability to see my surroundings truly?
Even the way the four-footed one’s fur captured some of the dew seemed to make her sparkle as she raced headlong down the path. Whether this beauty was appreciated by her or not, I couldn’t tell you. But I know she enjoyed her walk and inhaling all the lovely smells nature provides. She isn’t picky about the scents either. Each one holds the promise of something to be explored, even if only for a few minutes. Perhaps it is her way of marveling at the simplicity and complexity that nature provides.
These days it seems everyone has an app for something or another. Need to find the closest laundry place? There is an app for that. Need to know the distance to the moon? There is an app for that too!
Someone told me there is an app in development that allows us to understand our dogs and cats. The lady who shared this with me was so excited about having meaningful conversations with her pets, and I didn’t have the heart to tell that there is no way to ensure we get the information correct.
Heck, there are apps out there for positivity and others for optimism. Apps designed to enhance moods and others designed to ensure better sleep. We will have apps for life and death at this rate, and it will all be tracked and checked on our devices.
When that moment comes, when all the mysteries of our lives have vanished, I will be the person with no apps used because I don’t need to know everything down to the second or the precise location of everything.
What I do need are mysteries and strange things. I need space to explore and ponder. I need to find my meanings and adventures. Part of that, I suppose, will be not knowing how or when things change for me.
Time keeps on passing me by, taking opportunities and dreams with it as it whips by. I know it happens to everyone, at someplace, we lose track of time, caught up in the mundane stuff of daily life.
The key to this is to try and grab ahold of what you can when you can and carve out space for your hopes, dreams, and opportunities. None of this is easy, of course, but nothing worth having is ever all that easy either.
I’ve started to take stock of things, pushing back on what other people see as urgent to make space for my chances and opportunities. This feels unnatural to me and is shocking to people who usually “count” on me for doing other stuff. With time (pun perhaps intended), it will become easy. At least, this is my hope!
The other thing that I am working through right now is why someone, somewhere, made me feel that taking time for myself and working for myself would be wrong. The guilt and everything associated me doing things for myself, taking time for myself, is so intense I know that someone told me and taught me this behavior was selfish and should be avoided. This process also takes time, and I’m okay with it.
My arms and hands look like I’ve done battle with a wild cat. Rest assured, I haven’t. If it had happened, you better believe I would share it with you.
Nope, my scratches and nicks are all thanks to a hair-brained idea I got that involved collecting various flora. It was the first time I had attempted to do the gathering on my own, and I forgot the most crucial part of the event. Long sleeves, gloves, and dressings to wrap around my arms if the thorns would be too sharp for my long sleeves were part of the kit I had when I did this before.
Of course, before I went with a wise elder who warned me to have proper “gear” to wear. He also provided me with the dressings to go around my arms. However, I missed most in understanding where to place one’s hands and where not to place one’s hands.
You see, the elder told me where to pick things and where to stay far away. Naturally, I did not pay close enough attention, and so I look like I’ve fought with a wild cat now.
The elder laughed heartily at the sight of my arms. He told me the intent was good, the knowledge was so-so, and the execution required work. But mostly, he was delighted that I had attempted the work on my own.
He told me all of this as he bathed my arms, placed ointment on them, and then wrapped them in clean gauze. His words of wisdom were to look with my brain and my eyes when I try next time.
My neighbor got a new cellphone. She proudly brought it over for us to inspect. Of course, the real motive was probably for us to help show her how to use the new phone.
As I was in the middle of lessons, Beloved was left to the task. Don’t worry, he is more than up to it. It sounded like the showing and telling were going along swimmingly well with giggles and “oops” from where I was working.
Besides, I wasn’t missing much, well I mean, I was missing her learning how to do things, but at the same time, I knew she’d be over a few more times as she tried to get the hang of things.
The truth is, no matter how much you think you know how to use a new phone or other pieces of technology, there is still something to learn. That’s not a bad thing, the learning of something new. It just always seems to come at a time when there are more things on the go already. (Or is that just me?)
I’m sure the neighbor will get the hang of her phone as time goes by and she becomes used to it. And I’m sure we shall enjoy helping her learn how to use it.
The four-footed one claimed a blanket for herself today. This behavior isn’t necessarily unusual for her. If Beloved or I bring home a blanket or something similar, and we put it down, she will roll all over it and promptly fall asleep on it if she wants to claim it.
What was unusual about today’s staking of her claim was that the blanket wasn’t something I brought home. Beloved didn’t get it home either. The blanket was in the neighbor’s yard. A yard she happily walks into whenever the mood strikes her. The blanket had blown off the line where it was drying. Little Miss Four-Feet decided to ensure the blanket couldn’t blow away anywhere else by becoming a custom blanket weight.
My neighbor called the resting dog to my attention. She wasn’t angry about the dog on her cleaned blanket. She thought it was cute and asked if she could visit more once she woke up. Who was I to deny the dog or the lovely lady a visit?
Now neither my neighbor nor I am a fool. We know better than to wake a resting dog, which is why the four-footed one was gone for three hours today. Once she woke up, she visited for forty-five minutes before coming home for a snack. She has a challenging life, doesn’t she, this dog of mine.
I love listening to jazz music. You can get caught up in the improve emotions so quickly just to find yourself moving in a different direction. When you have jazz on, anything goes, from drinking fancy cocktails to a dark roast cup of coffee.
Jazz goes with any time of day, any season, and for any reason. You can’t say the same about all other music. For me, the blues must be played at night, one of those chilly autumn or winter nights when the notes can cut you to the core the way the bitting wind cuts into your cheeks.
Classical music is best for warm, sunshine-filled afternoons, like the ones that happen in late spring or early summer.
Jazz fits chilly autumn days as well as a warm summer afternoon. Jazz can take you anywhere or nowhere at all, depending upon the music and your mood.
Today was a perfect day for jazz from the early morning coffee with a side of light reading to the closing of dusk with a glass of something smooth to go with the conversation freely flowing between two friends.
I dare you to find a day, just one day, where jazz doesn’t fit into it at all, provided you aren’t a jazz hater.
When you have chronic illnesses, you have a whole side gig to manage on top of the everyday stuff that happens in life. You manage medications, rest, doctor appointments, lab work, diaries of your day, etc.
It can be exhausting just managing your illness and trying to have an ordinary life. Heck, even when you are healthy, it can be hard to have a normal life. Whatever normal or ordinary even means when it comes to lives.
With some diseases, you never know what you will get from one minute to the next. I can wake up feeling full of energy and have low levels of pain. By the time my morning coffee has kicked in, I may have lost all my energy and dreaded pain. That makes maintaining plans and such a whole other pile of strange negotiations.
It is safe to say that life is anything but boring when you live with these types of conditions. Not that I would recommend getting a chronic disease just to add some extra excitement into your life or fill up your calendar with all sorts of fun things! Again against my recommendations, if you go out and get one of these diseases, be prepared to be overwhelmed at times, and just maybe, underwhelmed at other times.
Some days there are holes in the bucket you use to carry the water from the well. It just happens that way, probably because you’ve used the bucket too many times. Or maybe, one time, you were a bit rough with the bucket and ended up with a hole.
It doesn’t matter how the hole happened. The fact is if you are going to use it, you need to fix it. (If not fix it, then I suggest you get a new bucket unless you have a different way of getting the water.)
Today the bucket I needed to use was full of holes. Holes that were made by people demanding my time and attention when I didn’t have any to spare. Of course, in a day when you can least afford to have your bucket get holes, that’s when everything goes sideways as well, and suddenly you have even more holes in your bucket.
I lost my temper with my hole-filled bucket, mostly because by the time I got to the well to get the water, it was already late. And that, my friends, is when I noticed the holes in my bucket. Why couldn’t my bucket be free of holes when I needed it most? Of course, the reality is, why didn’t I take the time to check the bucket before I left? Why didn’t I check the bucket more regularly?
The answer is because of time and complacency. I was short of time, and I became far too complacent with things. The bucket wasn’t to blame. It never was. I was my own worst enemy. The worst part is, this isn’t the first time I’ve been to the well to find my bucket full of holes. Naturally, I promised myself I wouldn’t let my bucket get like that again, and then, of course, it did. Shame that my temper bucket doesn’t have holes to leak out the contents, so I don’t lose it, but there you have it.
I’m not the kind of girl who gives up just like that. I have this in common with Blondie’s lead singer. That’s about all I have in common with her, but it’s enough.
Determination, stubbornness, stick-with-it, and can-do attitude all fit together in their way, letting me be true to who I am. It also means I don’t let go of ideas or debates all that easily, either. Beloved isn’t necessarily found of my ability to hand on to things far beyond what he sees as the point. Between you and me, it’s because he does give up, just like that, when he isn’t in the mood to see something through.
Take books, for example. If Beloved gets bored with a book, is poorly written, or misses the plotline, he simply stops reading it. He will stop reading a book partway through, which to me, is just wrong. Regardless of how much I dislike the book, I will see it to the end if I have invested any time into reading it. This way, I can honestly say I read the whole thing, and thus provide a more rounded opinion about the book. Same with a television program, although I won’t watch more than the one episode. I figure you need to see it through, at least to that point. You have enough information after that to say it’s bunk and stop watching any more. It’s not fair to give up before that point, at least how I see it.