Okay. Deep breath.
I just spent 10 minutes looking for the pictures I just took off of my camera. Technology + me = bad news. I know some days are just not going to go as planned and I accept that. This morning I planned a nice walk out in Flaming Geyser Park. It’s a beautiful drive through farms in the Auburn valley along Green Valley Road. As I drove, the fog was lifting and blue skies prevailed. Perfect !
The park was closed for construction. Construction. A park.
I drove past one barrier only to be greeted by a more stern warning at the next. Okay, so Flaming Geyser was not happening today. I can live with that. It was a beautiful morning and I know there are other places I could go. The Arboretum sounded perfect until I thought of how late in the afternoon I would return home. I have two wiggly dogs expecting to get their walk on, so I drove to Tiger Mountain. It’s really just about getting outside. I chose the summit trail which is the launch spot for most mountain bikers. I don’t mind sharing the trail with bikers. I marvel at how they navigate the terrain. It was quiet up there and I really only saw a handful of people. I’m not much for venturing out on my own mostly because I have a terrible sense of direction. If I go off alone, it has to be a fairly well marked trail or one I have done before. I don’t trust myself not to get lost. Today was unfamiliar territory but easy to follow. I like having my own pace. I enjoy company but sometimes I just want to clear my head and take a few pictures. I walked until the sound of cars faded and the sound of birds permeated the space I was in.
Last week was hard. Actually, the past few months have been hard. I tried picking up a journal mid- summer but I haven’t kept to it. My last entry was over a month ago and I wrote about how unfamiliar everything seemed. Mostly my body. I was starting to not recognize myself in the mirror. I’ve been roughly the same size and weight since my twenties but this year has been a wake-up call. Softening muscles, sagging belly and boobs and none of my clothes fit. I don’t consider myself vain or overly concerned with body image, but mid-life hit in mid-summer and I felt awkward in my own skin. Combined with a growing restlessness, it is not a good combination for me.
Last week a friend lost her Mom and has been struggling with the wave of feelings that it has brought. Mostly I just listen. I think that’s probably what I would want. A friend to listen. I also heard from a friend about the return of her cancer. The doctor said they could not cure it but they hoped they could slow it down. What the fuck is that ? Slow it down ? Make her sick with six more rounds of chemo ? And for what ? I know she is reeling from the news. I consider how it hasn’t left my mind and it isn’t even happening to me. I cannot imagine how it must be. It makes me sick inside to think about. There is little I can do. Times like these are very unsettling for me. Life is really so short …
What swirls in my head are all the questions . Am I honoring what I see as the gift in my life ? Am I living how I want to live ? Am I saying YES to all the things I want to say YES to ? Am I being true to myself ? That’s the big one. Am I honoring and staying true to who I am. Am I blaming others if I’m not ? Am I asking permission of others to pursue the things that feed my soul ? Swirl, swirl, swirl …
I am a whirling dervish … in my mind.
Today I am doing the small things that bring me back to center. For the last month I’ve been eating better and I’ve lost 6 pounds in my belly and I’m not hating everything I put on. I’m playing more music instead of listening to the news. I’m considering new art projects and attending a retirement seminar this month. I don’t care that I’ll never be rich. I’m trying to make a conscious effort to get rid of things I don’t need. Mostly though I am trying to connect with people again. Sometimes that means mail or technology. Sometimes it means sharing company in real space and time. Other times it is as simple as just being more present in my own life. Trying to focus on listening. Trying to reach out to those that feed my soul right now. And remembering that it’s ok to have whatever feelings I have. Life is short.
” The trouble is, you think you have time …” Buddha
And today it meant getting outside. Focusing on that.
Clearing my head and snapping a few pictures.