Routinely

We humans are creatures of habits.  We like consistency or at least routine.  Even those of us who claim we don’t, we do.  Want the proof, simply take away a standard routine in your day and see what happens.

Allow me to share, every Monday I receive a motivating and/or uplifting practice to try.  Yep believe it or I do try to add positivity and motivation into my life; having an unrelenting chronic illness can leave you feeling negative and unmotivated.  Anyway every Monday I get one of these emails in my inbox. I look forward to these emails even if all I do sometimes is just read the email.

Yesterday I received an email stating that author of these wonderful things is taking a break for four months.  Of course she is entitled to a break, but suddenly I’m unhappy.  Not because she is taking a break and not because I am applying everything in each email.  Nope that is not what makes me unhappy, instead it is this sense of being set adrift with no directions to follow.

My routine, those moments I spend reading the email and contemplating applying the information, is suddenly been messed with.  It’s not a big deal and I’m already over it, but let’s face it, when someone takes our usual parking spot, it darkens our day a little.  You have a favorite spot for your yoga mat and someone else takes it, well even if you won’t admit it to anyone else, it sucks.  Why because your routine, those moments of consistency and dependable results are somehow soothing.

Advertisements

The Usual Problem

A fiend invited me out for coffee to a place she had “just” found.  Not a chain coffee place either, just an honest to goodness local cafe which happened to serve French style pastries as well.  Who can resist?  Certainly not I, and since I was feeling decent-ish there really was no reason not to go.

As we don’t live in the same neighbourhood, my friend and I agreed to meet at the cafe’s parking area so we could do some catching up while walking in.  (You might say we have a lot to catch up on!)

An interesting thing happened upon our stepping through the door.  The two women working behind the counter called out my friend’s name and said “the usual?” as a cup was already being pulled off the shelf.  Interesting in that my friend had just found the place so how could she have a usual?  I didn’t say anything, but I raised my eyebrow as my friend said she might in fact be changing up her order.  This declaration created a bit of confusion for one of the ladies working behind the counter because she had already grabbed a pastry and put it on a plate.

There is nothing wrong with having a usual.  It’s nice to go into places where people know exactly how you like things and see you as more than just an order of coffee.  The problem arises when you suddenly want to change up the usual.  It alters the easy routine, and can affect the relationship as well.

I’m not sure how many times my friend had been to the cafe to have a usual, but the minute she altered her order it was as if she was a new customer to one of the employees.  The light and causal conversation became a little awkward, as if by changing her order my friend had created some type of insult.  In the end my friend had her usual to go because she couldn’t resist the pastry or the coffee.

Being a city girl, I have found very few places that I go to frequently enough to even know e names of the employees let alone have a usual.  While I relish the relationship my friend seems to have with the employees, I don’t relish the idea of only being a specific order all the time.  After all part of the fun is changing things up, which is hard when you have a set usual everyone knows and expects.

Purple May or Lupus Awareness Post

May is a month of mixed emotions for me.  Not that the month itself gives me mixed emotions, rather what it represents is what creates the odd mix.  You see I adore the way Spring comes so fully to life in an exuberant way.  May  is pops of colour from flowers and leaves unfurling.  Nd now we come to the mixed emotional part, the color purple.

You see friends purple to me is lupus and May is Lupus Awareness month.  This is a big deal to me,  it’s a chance to take an invisible illness and turn the spotlight on it.  It’s a way to take the hidden struggles and put a face to them.  And yes, it’s a chance to put my face to some of the struggles that I hide most of the time.  The thing is, I’m not a spotlight kind of girl, but it’s so important to find a way to cure this illness that I push myself into the light.

Lupus may be the color purple, but just as there are a million shades of purple, there are a million different ways lupus impacts your life.  Sometimes lupus is a mild lavender resting while I carry on having a typical day.  Other times lupus is a deep, dark purple full of hot passion and my typical day is lost to the turmoil.  The thing is, dear friends, lupus is not the color black.  It is not death, it is a change though.

So the next time you see a splash of purple in May please stop and consider that someone you know has lupus, including me.  And if you have questions about the illness, ask because the answer to the mystery that is lupus may be hiding within your mind.

Slow Fun

I woke up this morning to a feeling of heaviness.  heaviness that seeped down into my bones and I was sure that if I could stand on a scale my weight would show as more than double what it normally is.  Of course that’s just a sense, not reality.  In reality, if I could stand on the scale m weight would be in its normal range.

These kind of days lead to more slow lifestyle.  And my four-footed companion seems to sense is as well.  So instead of being the puppy who is just a bundle of energy from when she wakes up to bed time (minus a few naps) she slows down for a more gentle day.  One where we snuggle down and just enjoy each other’s company.

Well we enjoy each other’s company until she gets a bit antsy and needs to find a toy to chew on.  Or flip pages in my book that I don’t exactly need flipped just yet.  And sometimes she feel some the need to change channels on the television just because she can.

Because despite the heaviness in my limbs, she cannot be fully contained.  Her enthusiasm for life, her curiosity about everything simply can not be fully held in check for a full 24 hour period.  Because in these days it would be easy to sink into the heaviness of my limbs and simply sit, she knows this and knows there is still fun to be had.  A different, slower form of fun!

Sleeping On Change

You can do anything for five days, someone once told me.  You can a mange anything for ten days the same person told me.  And yes I can do most things for five days, but is five days enough time to truly make a change?  What about ten days?  Is that enough time to make a lasting change?

A different person told me that if you are trying to change something it takes a minimum of thirty days.

Still another person told me that if you really want to make a change it is simple and can be done overnight.  The key, this person told me, is knowing why you want to change.  Provided that it’s for yourself, anything is possible.

But what about when you want to change something that is beyond your control?  The only thing you can realistically change is your response to that what isn’t how you want it. Which again is not always the easiest thing to do.  And when it comes to wanting someone else to change, well that’s just waiting for a huge fight isn’t it?

I know there are things done Beloved wishes would change about me.  Just as there are things I wish were different with him.  But asking someone to change just because I want him to, because it fits my ideals more, is not only silly, but down right wrong.  I’ve no right to ask for these changes.  So we compromise on most things.  But we now have hit an area we cannot ignore any longer.

First let me say this, I adore my four-footed companions.  I just don’t adore sharing  my bed with them.  As in they are in bed sleeping now it has else.  Their furry heads on my clean pillow.  Their sandy feet in my clean sheets.  Beloved sees nothing wrong with this.  He doesn’t mind and can’t understand how I’m okay with them sleeping on the foot the of the bed, but nothing higher.

So when the four-food wonders are with me alone, they sleep on the foot of the bed and when they are alone with Beloved, they sleep in bed.  Clearly this isn’t fair to them.   And we haven’t worked out how to compromise on this.  So whether its five days, ten days, thirty days or overnight, I don’t see the change happening yet.  Because we aren’t sure what to change.  Crazy yes?

Letter Power or A Small Change With A Big Impact

There is something magical about the English language. Like how you can completely alter things by changing just one letter in a word.  Interestingly children seem to have the most innocent interactions with this lovely feature of the English language.

One of these interactions making the rounds on the Internet is a set of sentences written by a very young child using the word deck.  Only the child replace the letter “E”  with the letter “I”.   The sentences talk about the child having a large deck, which is hard like would that his friends like to sit on.  Only the word d.e.c.k is spelled d.i.c.k, which changes the meaning of his sentences.  Chances are the child isn’t aware of this minor change in letters creating a whole new set of ideas for some adults.

There is also the young child who used the word shot in a set of sentences.  Again there is a single letter change with the “O” becoming an “I”.  There was a loud shot.  I like it when I make the shot.  Making the shot can be hard to do.  Only s.h.o.t becomes s.h.i.t and again it can change things to a whole new level.

I’m not saying you can’t do the same with another language, but I must confess as an educator I’m rather tickled by how these changes can take place.  And yes I know there are far less amusing changes that can be made, but kids certainly do say or write the darnedest thing!

Here, There And Lists In Between

 

Beloved’s niece has decided to create her bucket list now, just in case she should become ill with something like the cooties from touching a boy (she is six after all). This is her response to learning her aunt is dying.

Beloved, upon hearing about the bucket list of such a young child, wondered out loud if it was the right thing to do. To tell a young child about death, and to do it in such a way that the young child feels the need to create a list of things she dreams of doing before she dies.

The thing is, we all face death in our own way, just as we grieve in our own way. What we want from life varies too. These ideas and concepts can very within the person as s/he ages. So the list that says eat an ice cream while on the top of the world may be altered to eating an ice cream with someone important in your life every chance you get.

Society, most certainly western society, has done a good job of making death something less than part of the life cycle. There was a time when people were closer to death. It happened, bodies laid in rest in people’s houses for visitations and so on. We didn’t hide it, pretty it up or anything of that nature. Now death is something to be feared as we have moved it from the world of knowing to being a mystery.

We have also created a whole industry around defying death, through various attempts at immortality or at least longer lives. It’s the norm now to not look your age. We see fifty year olds with vibrant, glowing, tight skin. They have brilliant hair and a body in the shape of a younger person. The fifty year old who decides to go the natural route, allow hair to grey, skin to get wrinkled, a body to soften with experience is suddenly the one on the outside. And we say things such as “boy s/he looks old”. We forget that the person doesn’t look old, rather the person has simply taken on the biological appearance combined with the life experiences of someone who is of a certain chronological age.

I don’t have a bucket list. I figure if I have a list of things to attend to before I die I’m not necessarily living in the present and making the most out of the moments I have. But that’s just my way of thinking. Do I have a list of thing I’d like to do during my life? Sort of. But if they don’t happen that’s fine and I’m not about to chase after them just to get the filled either.

Do I have an issue with a young child (or anyone else for that matter) having a list? Nope not at all. As I said we each face life, death and all the living in between as best we can as individuals. We have our own meanings to a full life, a purpose filled life, a meaningful life, what we want out of life. And we must acknowledge that death is another thing that will have different ideas and desires when it comes to each of us. There is no real right or wrong way to approach these things, provided we aren’t harming anyone else.