Sunday, 4 September 2016

Beneath the surface

One of the surprises blogging has brought me is the realisation that good things happen when not expected. Over the last few months of ill health I've been taking it easy, doing only what needed to be done. For a time when I sometimes did nothing more than watch TV, it is surprising how life rolls forward, more productive than ever. 

I think I knew that rich growth comes out of crisis but I don't think I appreciated how much life keeps giving us even during humdrum periods of nothingness.

A little like Spring.  After weeks of dreariness, unpleasant coldness and wintry neglect, Spring sees the most beautiful specimens appear out of nowhere. Colour, scent and beauty rise triumphant. 

Winter: seemingly dormant and yet significant work is happening beneath the surface. We just can't see it. We have to trust it is happening, if we recognise it at all.

I usually have a list of goals, or at the very least, a to-do list. But I didn't while I was sick, except for a few jottings here and there.  And surprisingly, I've managed to tick off a goal or two from my list.

I have managed to:
  • stop taking sugar in my tea (a step towards healthier eating)
  • start making 'rock cakes' ( eating healthier foods by cooking from scratch, less sugar than recipes for biscuits etc)
  • cut back on time on the internet (certainly not always, but trying to be more intentional about using it of an evening)
  • persevere with letting the colour grow out of my hair, though it looks like it'll take forever   (living greener and simpler)
  • buy a couple of hats!  I only buy hats for the sun. I don't buy hats 'for fashion' but this time I was glad to have an excuse. I desperately needed something to hide the contrasting hair colours which, to be honest, is not so easy on the eye! I think the socially anxious me wanted to wear hats but was always too reluctant to take the plunge. 

So there you have it. Things that didn't happen when I was 'fighting fit' and life was 'normal'. Theses are  the obvious things. What's exciting is that a lot more has probably happened beneath the surface. It's just that I don't realise it!

It's good.

It's good to be getting out in the fresh air.
... in the sunshine
... experiencing warmth
... as busy neighbours tending their yards
... and young ones run around the park

It's great to be getting out in the garden,
... bearing witness to Spring's emerging glory
... in the dirt
... as flowers blossom
... and new ones take root

It's grand to be waking up early again
... getting things done
... beyond the bare necessities
... finding comfort in work
... making plans
... making plans happen

Friday, 8 July 2016


The sun is out again. Hooray! It’s been so cold and wet so many days that I think I may have fallen into a trap of doing very little these last couple of weeks. It was just too miserable to get out of bed before 10 o’clock. As I look out the window, I've decided that a walk around the lake is definitely on today's list.
As I write, the Australian leadership is up in the air, is difficult to define and is something of an enigma. Or, at least, it seems that way. Really, all is well. I know of no fellow citizens whose lives are in turmoil because of the recent election and its yet-to-be-decided outcome. Procedures are in place. Final votes are being counted as is prescribed when there is no clear majority.
Like my life. I still have my job, my partner, family and friends. I still have my home. Hospital visits are part of my weekly routine. For now. Really, all is well and I have no difficulties. The usual procedures are in place. Not that I’m always following them. But they are there to pick up when I am ready.
Like the Australian government, life is operating a little differently for the moment.

I compiled a list of what is important to guide me through this time, to be used until life settles, to refer to when my mind wants to switch off. I formulated it at a time when I didn’t realise I was adjusting to all that was happening, when I had been feeling rather anxious. It had to be a simple list. A list of priorities.
  1. Rest. Priority number one.
  2. Reflect and relax. Do things which bring joy. Even if it is just for ten minutes. Take time out.
  3. Drink water.
  4. Eat well.
  5. Exercise. Walk. Perhaps one day run.
  6. Love and acceptance. Because sometimes my patience runs short and I need to know what to say, what to do, how to react in a split second when life is challenging.
  7. Listen. I think this will be on all of my lists for ever and ever. I aspire to be a good listener. A reminder, too,  that life is is not all about me!
  8. Do jobs. Sometimes I do not want to do the dishes. Sometimes I do not want to do my paid work. I need to keep my focus. I need to do some jobs.
  9. Organise. I am absent-minded. Truly. I need to keep lists and write things down.

The hospital visits are important. I am no longer anxious as I approach all things medical. I am becoming comfortable with the hospital routine. It’s more my day-to-day routine at home and work which are often up in the air. Hence the list.

I sit in the waiting room and watch other people and I see that some of them are dealing with some heavy stuff. I get perspective on my own situation.

Like the Australian government, I know what the result will be. It will be OK. While things are a little unusual at the moment, they are sure to settle in the ensuing months, albeit with a few adjustments here and there.