Settle down….or not

Fred and Bodhi sleeping

Yesterday was a day that I couldn’t quite get comfortable in my own skin.  I had been looking forward to catching up on emails, phone calls and reading . I sat down at my computer and then thought that I had better take the sheets off the line before it rained. I got them inside, but they didn’t make it out of the living room. I piled them on the chair and figured I’d bring them upstairs when I went up to shut the windows. I sat back at my computer and remembered a book that I had been meaning to buy on Amazon. As I read the reviews, I had to check out the dish towels with the fish pattern. They would make a perfect house-warming present. A half hour later, I realized the thunder had gotten louder so I went upstairs to close the windows. I left the sheets downstairs.

I meditated and must have fallen asleep because I “woke up” when my chime played. I picked up a novel that was OK. The inn-keeper was serving tea to guests and that sounded perfect….the peaceful scene: pot of fragrant tea steeping, breathing deeply, sitting calmly on the couch while the tea brewed, watching the rain. I made the tea and drank it in 5 minutes. “OK…what do we do now?” …my mind was like being stuck in the car, on a long trip, with a bored 10-year-old.

About 2pm I decided to take a nap. I went back upstairs, without the sheets, and stretched out across the bed. I wasn’t really tired. I just wanted a break from me.  I started to say, “What is wrong with you Mary?!” but I know better. Never ask a question that your ego is waiting to answer in the voice of your angry 5th grade teacher, because it will sound like this:  “I’ll tell you what is wrong with you missy…You are lazy, you are unfocused, you drink too much caffeine….” Some days are just like this. So what? Today is a new day….I put the sheets away before I sat down to write!

29 thoughts on “Settle down….or not”

  1. Someone else actually still hangs their laundry outside! I thought we were the only ones…on another note, sometimes it’s just our hormones going “away” that make us unfocused! A little extra natural estrogen worked wonders for me!
    Have a blessed day.

  2. Thank you for sharing that very human story with everyone Mary. I have days like that too and have learned to listen to my body if I don’t feel energetic and focused. If I feel grumpy my remedy is to take a brisk walk along the beach. I’m so lucky to live by the sea.

    1. Ditto on lucky to live by the sea—those marvelous negative ions are a bounty of blessings!

      1. Hi Cheryl,

        My sea is on the south coast of England, at Shoreham-by-Sea. I’ve been there this afternoon and I thought of Mary as I walked. I find her thoughts so in touch with my own feelings.
        Where is your sea?

      2. Carol, I live on the Monterey Bay of central California, just a little over an hour south of San Francisco; technically that makes it the Pacific ocean. The water is always cold but the weather is incredible!

      3. Talk about friends thinking of each other from sea to shining sea. And I sandwiched in between with my morning guest the Gila Monster 🙂

  3. I am laughing out loud reading your flight of ideas, Mary. This scenario sounds so very familiar! I just love that you are forever loving yourself and giving yourself such permission to be human on a regular basis vs a guilt trip for not being super-human. God love you and all of us that get to learn from your genuine wisdom.

  4. Oh my…we must be related! Off to get a beautiful cup of Equal Exchange Midnight Sun coffee on this after the storm morning!!

  5. Sounds like the wonderful world of ADD – me, not you, Mary. Everybody has those days, but this is my life if I don’t use all my tools to manage it. Structure, planning and sticking to a schedule are really my friends, although I do let myself off the leash at times, like right now when I’m enjoying a favorite blog instead of what I’m supposed to be doing… oh yeah, well, see ya later and back to work…:-)

  6. Thanks for your honesty and your clarity. You put into words the discomfort with self, and subsequent ego-fueled self-judgment, that I am too familiar with. Next time I have a day like that, I’m going to think of you, make a pot of tea, and remind myself that tomorrow will be a better day.

  7. Oh, Mary. Thank you so, so much for the permission to be human and have “those days.” My husband had to leave town very suddenly on family business, will be gone just over a week, and while I am enjoying the freedom to come and go and can handle being alone, I find that when I’m on my own my eating is out of control. I’m brining all kinds of treats home as if to say, “poor me. I’m all alone. I get to have these treats,” or maybe it’s “Hey, nobody’s watching, let’s party!”

    Trying to get a handle on it before I do too much damage (I am already overweight and battling the mid-50’s tire around the middle). If any readers have suggestions, I would love to hear them. Your message today reminded me to be kind to myself. And breathe. Thanks.

  8. It seems we can all relate to days like this ,Mary. I my self left towels in the dryer all day yesterday, just kept walking past the laundry room on my way to….something else. There is just something about Sundays that says, “relax” to me, so I read, baked cookies and took them to the new neighbors, all in all a very successful day!

  9. Thank you for that post, Mary… it made me feel better about MY day yesterday… I was overly sensitive… everyone seemed to be “mean”, and I, too, was in 5th grade… just with the mean kids, not the teacher!! Maybe it was a moon cycle???

  10. After looking at the comments above, I’m glad to see I wasn’t the only one with that problem yesterday. I finally went to the botanical gardens for a slow walk and to take some pictures, worked in the garden for a while (mostly killing squash bugs & their eggs), read for a while and then took a hard nap.

    After supper, my husband and I watched British people killing each other (Midsomer Murder DVD’s) and went to bed early. I am thankfully much more energetic today at work.


  11. it’s on days like these that i remind myself that i still have clay feet. oh the humanity of it all!

  12. Mary, you have just described so many of my days!!! My new attitude is that some days will be very productive while others won’t be. It’s on those “unproductive” days that I find myself doing things for me…work on some genealogy, read a book, catch up on TV that I’ve missed, and I no longer feel guilty about it.
    Hope you are enjoying your day today xoxo

  13. Mary! you’ve done it again! 15 responses so early in the morning – this really hit home to a lot of us. I laughed out loud thinking of the mean 5th grade teacher, the wanting to get away from ‘me’ – oh Mary. For me, it’s the vacuum. I can always think of a gazillion things I’d rather or even should be doing than waltzing around the room with the Hoover. Maybe unproductive days really do recharge our batteries though, and that’s good. And even God himself declared a day of rest, but we forget that it’s not only ok, we need it. So one and all, take a stroll, brew a pot of tea, pet your animals, revel in the goodness of the ordinary. And no apologies! I saw a baby gila monster today – talk about something out of the ordinary, on my walk with the dogs at 5 a.m. Being almost dark out still, I wasn’t sure what ‘it’ was in the middle of the path, brilliant stripes, tiny little claws, and how it finally scampered away. They have the funniest wiggle. Here’s a pic:
    Ooh, poisonous too! Good thing I spotted it and steered my dogs away. Happy Monday Morning to all!

    1. Ohhhhhhh Susan…just took a look at your gila monster! It is a bit scary looking! ! So glad what you encountered was a ‘baby’…but now that you saw it and it scampered away with no harm to anyone, it must have been very neat to see! Cool!

  14. I love the fragrance of sheets that have danced with the wind…
    Mary, thank you for sharing your laundry tale with us…allowing myself to
    accept all of “me” continues to be a place for gratitude of this lifelong
    learning process, especially on those days when the spin cycle
    seems EXTRA long…
    thank you for creating this safe place to “air one’s (dirty) laundry” …

  15. Forgot to mention, looking again at Fred and Bodhi – They’ve got it right! We can take a lesson from those happy little monkeys! And, they were making good use of Mary’s neglected sheets!

  16. Great post as always Mary. I love to see your kitties all curled up taking their little naps. I was out walking my dog at 7 am yesterday and saw a black bear in the road. He got up on his hind legs to get a better look at us when my dog decided he needed to chase him. Thank goodness I had him on a leash and held on tight; the bear took off into the woods. Which would I rather see on a walk, a bear or Susan’s Gila Monster. Hmmmmmmmmmm, not sure I like either one. I also love to hang my sheets on my clothes line and have a laid back day.

  17. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes! Oh those days! And sometimes the smallest task, making a phone call even, seems like a mountain to climb! I (too) often, turn to my friends, Ben and Jerry…their banana split flavor puts a smile on my face and gives me the breather to get focused again…or not. I’d really like to say I take a walk up the mountain…I do think about it…

    I laughed out loud too at all of our responses…we can’t be turning into “the Golden Girls” yet…can we???!!!

    1. Kathye! I am cracking up because when the Golden Girls were in their actual prime time running years, I think all of us were anything but even approaching golden! And now, man, I look at them all and think, whoa, where did the years go? At sixty, I’m older than they were I think anyway, when the show started. Their best legacy? Keep laughing, keep feeling and being young in spirit, cuz Father Time walks hand in hand with us all. Ben and Jerry, your best buds? Priceless!

  18. Mary, your kitties make a lovely yin-yang-symbol-shaped image; beautiful!

    I was surprised how “unsettled” today’s message was after that image, but ended up chuckling in recognition; in the Pacific NW, this describes the mind of long gray winters. Like Barbara C-M, there are many remedies for handling it, and I also give myself extra permission for extra rest and reading (my version of “R&R”) in the winters here. Old-movie-on-TV Saturday afternoons: priceless!

    Fortunately, right now is my MOST productive time of year, with nice long days, sun most of the time, and the gardening season going strong. I get up earlier more easily and stay on track better than in the winter. The downside? My “things to do list” is at least 3 times longer, as my ambitions go up along with my energy level, and this is the time of year to do outside work on the house and yard, plus summers are filled with more concerts in the park and around town, more opportunity to go for longer walks & hikes, more old friends and relatives passing through town; you get the drift.

    My point? There’s always more to do and sometimes we are more energetic and organized than other times, but the list isn’t going away no matter what. So the happiest reality is to do the best-quality-of-life and most-essential-to-peace-of-mind stuff first and foremost. After all, those sheets aren’t walking away, right? You’ll get to them eventually. As I will the weeds in my garden . . . .

    Love the blog! Hooray for being human! and for the new day today!

  19. My lightbulb moment today:
    Reading the latest comments this morning I remembered that in yoga, while going through the poses, we are frequently reminded that our bodies and minds, in terms of balance, strength, focus, are very different from day to day, and that the most important thing is self-compassion, and just go with it!

    I have accepted this with no problem, for YEARS, when it comes to yoga anyway. So perhaps now I could apply that to my days outside the yoga studio as well, realizing that every day is different, in terms of balance, strength, focus (!), and the most important thing is self-compassion, and to just go with it!

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