Sunday, May 08, 2016

Human Recall

Cats Have it Right - Princess Napping
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2014

I'm not talking about remembering. I'm talking, you know, faulty product recall and how I wish I could just be recalled to the manufacturer and repaired or have a system reset to remove glitches and damage and simply start over. 

Is that too much to ask?

I'm sure I've picked up some useful knowledge over the past 54 years, but, whatever, I could just hit reset and pick it all up again. The only thing is, when we go back out into the world, we immediately become susceptible to new problems, viruses and glitches of mental, physical and spiritual impact. 

Great, Gillian. Super-helpful article ....not. Not so far, anyway. 

What to do? What to do?

Lately, I think, okay, I'll just surrender to the chaos. I can't control any of it anyway so I might as well let go, but what does that mean exactly? It sure sounds very dramatic. Does it mean that we just react to things in the instant they happen and deal with the fallout - good or bad? Does it mean we think, then act with our best guess? Does it mean we relinquish choice because the choices we have are unappealing and freefall through our lives at the hands of others? I sure as hell hope not. Do we simply nod and grin and get on with our lives appearing to have acquiesced?

None of these sounds particularly empowering, so, is there a solution to making it through life as contentedly as possible?

I think at some time in our lives, it is valuable to set yourself down with a pen and paper (I know, old school, right?!). Draw a vertical line down the centre of the page and make two columns. On the left, write the things you want to do. On the right, list the things that you need to do. 

By example, here is a section of mine fit for human consumption:

Want to Do:
Need to Do:
  •             Write

  •            Work

  •            Write

  •           Keep house

  •            Write

  •            Exercise

  •            Draw

  •            Grocery shop

  •            Travel

  •            Be nicer to people

Okay, now let's pretend, just for fun, that we get to choose (guess what, we kind of do!). I'm not saying we abdicate all of the necessary life sustaining duties, but by looking at what we need and want, clearly on paper in front of us, perhaps we can find ways of accomplishing both. 

For instance, when I lived a bit further away from my place of work, every morning and evening during my transit, I would work on writing my novel. That meant I had a minimum of 30 minutes per day to write. On its own, that doesn't seem like much; however, the great thing was, I'd usually be inspired by this practice sufficiently to engage in more of it during my lunch hour and when I returned home in the evening. Please be careful, enjoyment can become habit forming....

I am limited in the housework I can do because of spinal injuries and bad knees so I have a lovely someone who comes in to clean for me. It is not very expensive. I am not wealthy. Having someone do this for me is a gift to myself because I have realized that I don't deserve to be in pain and the time that I have where I am not doing this work, is more time for me to write on the weekends and in the evenings. 

As for grocery shopping, if I have a great deal to buy, I go with my girlfriend in her car. Often, I will walk to the shops for a few things and walk home again and this provides me with a modicum of cardio and weight-bearing exercise. 

As for being nicer to people, ..... ooooh, menopause - how you betray my body and mind. I'm really pissed off about menopause. I never had any use for all of that gear in the first place and now it is torturing my body and mind as much as I imagine would be the case had I been abducted by aliens and placed under some horrific sequence of experiments. I am not me. It is not my fault. I do not like it. I feel like I am losing my mind. Let's stir that up with my current employment / lack of employment situation, shovel in some PTSD from the most recent and ALL of the previous trauma I have experienced and then, yes, let's go be nicer to people.... I'm working on it, but I am seriously considering a giant, air-conditioned hamster ball within which I can perambulate through life until things ease up (Please God, let that be soon). 

Travel - by bus, on foot, air (if you can afford it or afford the debt), boat, anything. What I am saying is that there are small ways to explore while you save for the bigger ways. On Friday, I took the wee harbour ferry back from an appointment so I had a twenty minute ocean voyage in the middle of running around completing errands. It cost 10$ CDN. That's like 60 cents/pence US or British pounds right now (kidding).

Victoria Harbour Ferry
Gillian Cornwall, c. May 6, 2016

Anyway, I think it is about determining how we want and need to spend time and whipping that up into a daily menu for ourselves. The key part of it all is INTENT. We must create our own maps for our own paths and be willing to adjust our direction as wanted and needed. It is your life. I say this with recognition that there are people around the world, reading this, who may have a level of hardship that makes it exceedingly difficult to do what they want. For you, I suggest the smallest of ways, which are sometimes the largest. No-one can ever take your imagination, your mind, within which you have the capacity to create a peaceful place, a land and way of being that brings joy and peace. It takes energy, when your eyes see horror regularly, but every moment of joy and peace you can create will spark neuro-processors into feeding your well-being.

So, surprise, surprise. This is your life. As my darling says to me, "Stop 'shoulding' all over yourself." 

It's never going to be perfect (whatever the blazes perfect looks like), but it can be yours for the most part. Don't use your kids, spouse, parents or job as an excuse for not doing what you want and need because if you are happier, most of the time they will be happier and if they are not, well they will just have to adjust. You, being you, doing your things, makes you bigger, brighter, healthier and more real. I am saying this just as much to me as I am to you. 

Choose yourself. Sometimes put the drawing before the laundry and the dishes. There are no special forces units that will burst through your walls and arrest you for it.

Be. Breathe. Live. Love yourself. I love you and I am very smart so you should love you too. 

I'm off to go do something in the sunshine with the people I love. The dishes can wait until this evening when it is not sunny. 

-Gillian Cornwall, c. May 8, 2016

The Olympic Range as seen from Rockland Ave, Victoria BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2012

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