Friday, June 21, 2013
Yes, you've read that right. I'm thinking about starting a movement. Creative lawn mowing. This is my story - you can thank me for my brilliance later.
I hate mowing the lawn. I have spent the last 10 (post divorce) years avoiding it. I've either lived in apartments or homes with sand dunes for lawns, minus the view of the golf course. I have also had child labor, for which I'm very proud. Alas, said children now have outgrown the $10 per week for completing 10 chores thing. Now they have jobs that allow them to pay to put gas in the car (mine), so they can go to the mall and buy things they don't need. New hubby works full time and allows me to stay home and pursue my dreams. Cool, but I have to mow the lawn while I'm dreaming. Ugh.
So this morning I was out there, bright and early, to get the job done and out of the way. I was mowing along, when I noticed my neighbors beautifully cut grass. Those nice clean strips of lawn, mowed in perfect lines. Yeah. My lawn doesn't look like that. When I'm finished with mowing, my lawn looks more like aliens landed in the middle of the night and created crop circles. I can't mow straight to save my life. It's not in my skill set.
So, and here's the brilliant part, I thought "What if I mow my lawn artfully. Create flowers, birds, that sort of thing?" That way, my haphazard mowing style can become art. People will be drawn to the inspired, completely green, lawn art. The press will show up at my door -- I'll be famous! I can patent the idea and become rich! "How innovative," I think.
Now, if I can just convince my diagonally-mowing neighbors that "different" doesn't equal zoning law violation...
Friday, June 7, 2013
Thursday, June 6, 2013
I thought of putting up a "Gone Fishing" sign on my blog this week, as I had made a promise to myself that I would post happy, inspiring things here. I am breaking that promise to myself and my readers (badly), in the hope that my openness will help others who are hurting.
This week sucked. In fact, the past couple of weeks have pretty much sucked. You see, we have a loved one who suffers from addiction. Addiction sucks. Anyway, our family member's latest fall came the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. We received a call that he had been found in pretty rough shape in a motel room 500 miles away from home and was taken to the local hospital for emergency care. We dropped everything and drove, praying the whole time that we would find him alive when we got there. By the Grace of God he survived, but it was several hours before we could find appropriate care for him. We left to drive home at 3 a.m. Saturday morning, having gone more than 30 hours straight without sleep. It was trying, to say the least.
Although I handled the immediate crisis quite well, once home I began to crumble. I was worried, anxious, exhausted and depressed. I was completely worn down from living the past several years in constant crisis mode, and sadly, I know some of you can relate.
Yesterday I listened to an interview with Dr. Judith Orloff on the Hay House World Summit. I felt as if she were speaking directly to me. She described Empaths as those of us who are more than just empathetic, we actually absorb other's emotions into our bodies. In short, we are emotional sponges. We can be among strangers and sense that someone is angry or having a hard time, and that will affect us for the rest of our day. We can't seem to shake things off the way others can. This is not a healthy way to live (well, it can be if everyone around you is happy and positive, but seriously, how often does THAT happen?).
So how do we cope with sadness, with pain, with negative energy? The answer is boundaries. In my case, it's telling my loved one, "Look, I'm here for you and will support you on your journey to wellness. But please know, if you continue to make poor choices, you will have to face the consequences alone. I cannot save you." Not an easy thing to do when you care for someone deeply, at least not without some degree of guilt.
The best advice comes from the airline industry: In case of emergency, put your oxygen mask on first. Because really, you will be of help to no one if you, yourself, cannot breathe.
Monday, June 3, 2013
Lately I have been completely overwhelmed by my never-ending to-do list: housework, laundry, meal planning and preparation, lawn care, family care, repeat. In addition, I'm trying to nurture my creative practice of art-making and writing, with the goal of starting a small business. There are never enough hours in the day and I've been feeling frustrated by the lack of time available to do the work that needs to be done in order for me to reach my goals.
See, here's the problem: I love to learn. Thanks to the plethora of courses offered on the Internet, I've been to indulge in my passion without so much as getting out of my pj's. In the past year alone, I've learned about Buddhism, mindfulness and meditation. I've read English novels, American novels, learned how to look at and appreciate fine art and learned the basics of composition theory. I have also learned to paint and have greatly expanded my repertoire of mixed-media techniques.
Is it any wonder I feel overwhelmed?
What I've discovered is this: While self-growth and development is a grand and noble pursuit, it can also serve as a distraction, a form of procrastination, and a cover for fear.
"I will start my next painting as soon as I learn this one more technique..."
"I know I can write my blog/article/book just as soon as I take that course offered by a published writer and read those three books..."
Anyone with me here?
So this is what I propose, and feel free to join me:
Instead of enjoying my morning coffee in front of the computer, I will do my morning pages and work on my own stuff for a set amount of time (I'm thinking 2 hours to start). This is kind of like setting a toddler in front of a candy store and telling him that he can't go in, but I am strong. I can do this.
And, like a toddler who has dutifully obeyed his parents and been "good", I will then reward myself with computer time, email time, reading time, and fun project time.
Oh, and housework? That will have its proscribed time too. It will be done at 3 pm, one hour before hubby gets home from work. There's nothing more motivating than a deadline!
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Today I am:
Watching: Storm clouds rolling over the mountain, the leaves on the trees turning their silvery backs in warning.
Listening: To wise and gifted teachers on The Hay House Summit.
Reading: Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter.
Making: Chocolate chip cookies for my son and his friends.
Thinking: How blessed I am to have so many wonderful people in my life.
Feeling: Blissfully relaxed.