Friday, April 1, 2016
Five (No-Fooling) Things Friday
When I shared my passing sadness with you last post, Ceri thoughtfully wondered whether the cause might be a "loss of moorings" and the accompanying "inability to plan" while not knowing where or what our next home would be. It's a comment worth reading in full if you've ever moved or will someday, but for me that recognition of this in-between space I'm caught in was what I needed. I especially loved hearing from someone else that "No amount of counting blessings helped." I mean, of course, I know I'm lucky overall, but some of this is tough for the duration. For me, at least, and for now.
2. Not nearly as attractive this next photo, but this is inarguably productive. I can feel good about using this process of moving to clarify what matters to me. This photo represents the files I'm sorting, whose contents you have similar versions of, perhaps. I was able to put together a file of purchase dates and warranties for the next owners: hot water tanks, septic pump, roof, skylight seal warranties. I shredded a few years' worth of financial statements, dental receipts, receipts and warranties for electrical appliances long gone, and today I'm moving on to consider what travel memorabilia we still want to hang on to. Maybe someday I'll regret the opera playbills I chucked into recycling, but somehow I doubt it. And even if I do, it is only likely to be a fleeting regret...
3. Yoga. Right now, the studio we love has a 30-day challenge on, beginning today. I'm thinking this might provide a decent temporary mooring, at least one rope... We're off to a Rise'n'Shine class this morning. How lucky am I that Pater likes to join me for a yoga workout!
But. Only so much whining a reader can tolerate, so today I'll count five blessings. More precisely, these are Five Activities I can feel productive about even while I can't plan for bigger stuff.
1. Depends how we define "productive," granted, but I can take advantage of the view each morning we have left here. I've begun using the Panorama feature on my iPhone for pretty great results, imho, achieved very easily. I may not know where I'm going, but I can remind myself each morning to sit in the beautiful Now.
4. Books! I can read anywhere, of course, and although I haven't been good about updating my reading blog, I've just finished what will be a contender for my year's favourite. Yes, it's only April, but Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life is an astonishingly engaging and moving book, beautiful and poignant. And I do know that "poignant" is a sadly overused word but this book will puncture you, it will hurt you, and you will nonetheless find it redemptive (which, I concede, is another overused word that can't be avoided in this case). It's a huge book, too, so not for everyone. My daughter and my Parisan friend Jennifer, both discerning readers, recommended it to me, but with the proviso that I "consider myself warned" that it would stick with me (they might have even said it would haunt me) for weeks. As it will...Get yourself a copy. Consider yourselves warned.
5. Languages! Another mooring bollard I can throw a rope around is my gradual acquisition of Italian. I've been using Babbel for months now, but have decided to be more focussed and try to push myself into Intermediate over the next weeks. It's a comforting and rewarding way of giving this rather amorphous time a productive shape. I've also added Duolingo (which wouldn't have been as good to start from scratch with, I don't think, but is a fun complement now. I've also added French Duolingo, as an experiment in how well I can manage keeping the two straight. I'd love to revive my Spanish eventually as well.
So I do have a few blessings to count, and today I think it did help to do that. I suspect I'm going to hit a few days again, before we're home. You will undoubtedly have to read some whingeing here again. But today? Sunrise, Some paper-sorting and shredding, yoga, language practice, and reading. And you? I'd love to hear your thoughts on those unmoored times when your ability to plan ahead was seriously curtailed by moving or other circumstances. Activities you have used to give productive shape to seemingly amorphous times. Or keep it simple and tell me what you're up to today or over the weekend. A simple Hello is welcome too, and I'll Hello you back. Happy Friday! Happy April!