One key element must exist in a procrastinator’s character and its the never ending pursuit of the perfect day. Tomorrow always seems better then now as the piles of  what we should have done today starts tipping into yesterday. I used to be that way. I still am in some ways, except I take action more then I used to (could still use some work in that department). And, I know that instead of waiting for the perfect day to arrive any day will do. What I mean is… I know the perfect day doesn’t exist, at least not in the future.

One of the most striking examples of this came to me in a conversation with my father. This was six years ago (almost impossible to comprehend the time) after he had been diagnosed with lung cancer which would eventually (and too quickly) claim his life. He still felt okay at this point – but not great. I asked him if he planned on going back to his place of birth to see his family. It had been a while since his last visit and he said, without missing a beat, “As soon as I’m feeling better I’m on he next plane.” Unfortunately, he never made that particular flight.

That conversation pops into my mind every once in a while. With all the things I want to do (there’s this list plus some) I wonder what am I waiting for? Even though at this particular moment, I’m a bit foggy and my neck’s a bit tight (blah blah blah), I still feel pretty good. I’m healthy, have my wits about me and supportive relationships in my life. I’m not saying I feel on top of it at all times. I don’t.  But who knows what tomorrow will bring? I’m in a position to make most of what I want happen. Now. And I pray I feel this way for as long as possible. I’m truly grateful to be where I’m sitting – Right here. Right now. Today. And I should take full advantage of that (with the French book dangling over my head and the swimming pool beckoning- etc etc etc….)

I know I’ve said it before but sometimes I just need to remind myself .

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I feel all blurry and blotchy and scratchy this morning. I think its a combination of weather, diet and lack of sleep (although last night’s sleep wasn’t too bad). Not sure which so I’ll blame them all.

I’m going keep the post short today. I think it would serve me well to clear up a few things (my head included) before heading out the door.

I took this photo at Osgoode Subway Station the other day. I tried to include the word “good” in the shot but my train was busting into the station so I had to take what I could get. With my fogged up and mushy state this morning I think this is actually more appropriate.

Once again I’m off to the library to work on a project for a couple of hours. The last time I sat down to work on it my brain seemed a bit more sluggishly that I might have liked. Maybe it just felt that way. I didn’t have a lot of work to show for it when I stood up, but I think my brain was actually reshaping itself by taking some of the new ideas I have about the project and trying to figure out how to make them fit.

Interesting… Writing this I notice a similarity to what I wrote about the other day. Removing what I don’t need (another task involved with my project) and refitting it with elements that will hopefully make it better. It takes my mind some time to wrap itself around a new idea, or at least figure out the best way for me to pull the new one off. That makes sense to me.

I’ll admit to feeling a bit discouraged at my last sit down, like I hadn’t accomplished much. But throughout the week little flecks of light kept poking through the shadows. I hope I can reach out and grab onto a few of those shining morsels today. I’ll keep you posted.

Apparently the strike in Toronto has ended. I say “apparently” because until my g bins are emptied I’m not going to get my hopes up. I checked out the situation on line this morning at one of the newspaper’s websites, but after reading about a paragraph my eyes started to cross. Looks like the city workers are getting a lot of what they asked for. But, since I  just skimmed the details that might be only half the story. I don’t think its a done deal. I know I should inform myself more with what’s going on out there but whenever I read the paper (other than the arts section and even sometimes then…) I’m often struck with an overwhelming sense of dread and boredom. I read enough to get by and manage to stay in the loop by asking questions of people whose opinions I trust, but I could definitely improve in this department. It’s a matter of finding a  source of information that speaks to me. I haven’t found it yet. For what it’s worth, if I need to read one of the city’s newspapers I’d say, with the options I have, I prefer the Globe and Mail.

Anyway, soon I expect the teetering piles of trash will be removed from the drop off site closest to where I live which happens to be a stone’s throw away from where I enter my beloved trail on Taylor Creek. It’s been strange having to briefly hold my nose against the gagging stench in order to get some fresh air. But I’ll be honest with you, considering the strike has gone on for over a month it could have been worse. At least there aren’t any buzzards circling overhead.

The sun came out yesterday (thank you…) so I took the opportunity to stretch my back and legs by laying some tracks on the somewhat puddle ridden path. It was great to be outside after such a cool and soggy weekend. Everything looks so green and overgrown. I love this time of year. I know it can get steamy but I prefer it to the seasonal flip side which I won’t even mention. I will, however, quietly gasp at the fact it will be August by the end of this week. (What?!!!) Does that mean the summer is half over? Maybe I’ll try to think of it as the summer’s only half way begun.

(yeah… whatever works).

(Day 10) Best Before…

July 27, 2009

Wouldn’t it be interesting to take the parts of us that no longer fit into the image of how we’d like to see ourselves and toss them into the air.  We could hurl those useless traits into the sky like a dove and watch them fly away. I guess people do it all the time. But I have a way of hanging onto things passed their due. If you opened my refrigerator you’d be hard pressed to find a container of eggs, yogurt or soy milk past its prime, but old wounds or character flaws I stock pile by the dozen. Maybe not dozen but I hold on to more then I should.

The concept itself seems so obvious and simple. This bit’s no longer working… buh-bye. Stop picking at the scab or its never gonna heal. Pass the antiseptic and a bandage and soon all I’ll have is a new growth of skin with a faint scar. What is the benefit to hanging on, anyway? I mean, what is the point? I think it can get tricky because we’re so wound up in ourselves. Useful or not there are places inside of us buried so deep we don’t even know they exist. It’s difficult to see where certain patterns stem from.

I think it would be great to take a good look at myself at this precise moment. Scan the inventory of my characteristics and toss out those passed their best before date. I could clear up some much needed space on the shelf. Forget about what brought me here. Just decide what I really want now and what I need to make it happen. No untangling of messy anxieties, unrealistic doubts or imagined opinions of others. I’d hang on to most of myself but those hindering flaws would be floating in the wind. I just clearly define what I’m after and start gathering what I need to fill in the open spaces.

(Day 9) Elephant

July 26, 2009

I dreamed I was being chased by an elephant last night. Yeah… I fed her (not sure of the gender but I think it was a she) which either pissed her off or stirred her into action. Whenever I had to pass by (which seemed to be an awful lot) I had to break into a sprint with this gigantic but beautiful beast galloping behind me in hot pursuit.

Of course, as soon as I woke up I checked the internet to see what symbolism I could find on the elephant dream theme. More than one site used words like “wisdom”, “inner strength”, “power”, “faithfulness”  and “intellect”. I thought so. I also confirmed my belief about the connection between elephants and memory. If you toss in the chase element from my dream, the general consensus on the web was there’s a big problem from my past I’m worrying about which I need to confront and overcome. I can buy that. I guess its all this reminiscing with my old journals that’s kicking up a bit of dust. Kinda like me feeding the elephantine memories by all this page turning and tearing and now those unresolved recollections are nipping at my heels.

Great…

I hope I can stop running soon. Too tiring. And, you know, I rather like elephants. Maybe the next time one comes after me in my sleep (or when I’m awake) I’ll be have enough courage to stop in my tracks, gaze into her eyes then gently send her away  (it is my dream after all). Or, I’ll hold out my hand to make friends with it.

(By the way… I happened to find this little elephant a couple of weeks ago. Perfect for this morning’s backyard photo shoot. Who knew it would come in so handy.)

(Day 8) The Battle

July 25, 2009

I wonder why we (and I know I’m not alone here) do things we know are bad for us? Whether it’s chanting, “one more won’t hurt” over and over again until the entire bag of chips (a large one) has been devoured, or topping up the wine glass one more time (might as well since there’s only one pour left in the bottle) after vowing that night to stay dry. It seemed like a good idea at the time… But shortly after the deed is done regret starts seeping through the cracks in the armour you donned to ward off temptation at the beginning of the day.

I don’t get it… When this happens to me I feel as if I’m fighting against myself. When I wage an internal war, though, doesn’t one side of me have to lose? Talk about a useless battle.

It’s difficult to tell sometimes exactly where this internal scrimmage is happening. Is it body vs. brain, or, mind over desire? Is it our spirit (the essence of ourselves that only knows what’s best for us) scrapping with our un-supportive belief systems (those warn out survival techniques we’ve been fine tuning since childhood, that over time, do nothing but stand in our way)? This should or shouldn’t I struggle can seriously knock a person down and leave them feeling wiped out.

Check out this example of a recent conversation I had with myself and tell me if you don’t want to take a nap:

You really ought to pick up that French book.

Later.

But isn’t speaking French at the very top of the list of things you want to accomplish?

Look… I’m just in the middle of something here.

I don’t want to be pushy but didn’t you say, about 2 years ago, you wanted to go back to Paris in 2010 but this time speaking French fluently?

Yeah, what of it?

That’s less than a year away.

Maybe if I just crank the volume up… Where did I put the remote?

So you’re just going to sit there and watch another movie? Don’t you walk away from me!

Think I’ll grab some more chips when I’m refilling my wine glass.

Kim! The French book! Let’s go!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ShutupLalalalalalI’mnotlisteningI’mnotlisteninglalaI’mnotlisteningI’mnotlistening…

Later: Ugh… I feel so groggy. Hm, I wonder how to say that in French? I’ll figure it out tomorrow. I promise.


Okay, maybe only one side of me ends up the winner or looser in these situations. I better keep that in mind when decided how and where to spend my time. Because when the gloves come off I know the side I want to be standing on.

Didn’t sleep so well last night. Actually, I slept okay it’s the awake part that’s the problem. I opened my eyes at about 4:30 this morning and after winding myself up in my blankets for a couple of hours I decided to just get out of bed. I can’t remember the last time I slept 8 hours straight, or broken for that matter. If my memory serves me correctly, 8 hours is the perfect amount of sleep I need to have me feeling refreshed. Lately, if I can get 6 I’m happy and if it’s a straight 6, I’m ecstatic. Or, I think I would be.

This is how it usually goes: I fall asleep at about 11:30 – 12 just fine. Ah, whew… smooth sailing. On a good night (or early morning) I wake up at about 5:30 then fall back to sleep for another hour or so. But often, I fall asleep as usual, then wake up at 3. I toss on turn for 2 hours, tell myself that if I’m still awake at 6 I’ll get out of bed. By at 5:55 I’m out and when I wake up two hours later, I feel as if I’ve banged my head against the wall for the last couple of hours. Not so good. The worst case scenario has me opening my eyes at 1am…  wide awake. But it’s only my brain that’s peaking, my body feels wiped out and drained and the thought of getting up seems like way more effort than I’m willing to make. I fall asleep for an hour than wake up again and continue the process for most of the night. I don’t want to read. I don’t want to watch television. I don’t want to write. What I want is to sleep and dream and feel rested when I get up in the morning.

I’m not sure what’s  interfering with a my ability to get a solid night’s sleep. I know because I do have a problem sleeping, when my eyes pop open at some unreasonable hour, there’s a mildly panicked sense of… oh no… that can skip the heart to beat just a little to quickly to allow me to slip back into a peaceful slumber. I try to stay calm by regulating my breathing. I inhale slowly and exhale even slower. But after a couple of cycles of breathing the thoughts start dancing in my head. It begins with a slow waltz and keeps building until I’m doing the Twist. I feel too hot. I feel too cold. I want to go under the cover then I want them off. The pillow’s too thick, too thin. And I don’t want to move too much because someone’s in bed next to me trying to maintain a half decent sleep of their own.

Anyway… I’m tired. This dark circled look under my eyes is not the fresh faced effect I care to achieve. But what can I do? Keep breathing, I guess, or find myself a good concealer and see what tomorrow brings.

(Day 6) About Time…

July 23, 2009

Don’t let the blue sky in today’s photo fool you, it raining by the bucket loads out there. In weather conditions such as they are my curls tend to look less cork screwy and more just… screwed. But that’s another story to tell which I’m sure you can’t wait to hear about.  Some other time…

Today I recommence working on a project I started a while ago but had put down for a month in order to gain some perspective. At this point I might find myself walking away from an endeavour this size but I think it’s about time to see one through.

I need to shush all the mumbling distractions in my head, untie the bundle of knots in my gut and try not to panic at the task ahead of me. Focus… focus… focus…

I have a pretty full day today. My eye’s on the clock and I’m already over an hour behind schedule.

And the clock keeps ticking…

(Day 5) The Road Ahead

July 22, 2009

The process of sloughing off my past continues albeit more slowly then I thought. It takes time scouring the pages of my bygone years. I need to be in the right head space. Flipping through those pages can be enlightening, amusing or downright depressing. I’m not naive enough to believe that by simply tearing a few hundred (maybe thousand?) pages will automatically alleviate the burdens I’ve hauled around for all these years. But I will say, after going over certain events (then ripping them into smithereens), I’ve heard a sigh of relief escape from me as if to say, “Ah… that one’s finally over. Done. Let go of. Finis.”

Ho… ho… hold on there. Put on the breaks. Not so fast.

Life can be so funny (ha… ha… hilarious?) The moment you think you’ve dealt with something (laid it to rest) life gives you another little taste to see if you’re really as over it as you’ve lead yourself to believe. This has happened to me more times then I can count and I’m sure I’m not the only one. You know… there’s that friend from grade school who stole your best friend who you haven’t seen for 20 years. You’ve barely thought about them in over a decade and when the childhood tiff does pop into your head it makes you smile at the memory of how young and vulnerable you were. But, when you suddenly bump you into that person, smack dab in the middle of your wisened adulthood, you feel your blood boil like water in one of those whistling kettles on a raging, hot stove. Not quite as done with it as you thought.

I made up that scenario but you know what I mean. I still have fresh paper cuts on my fingertips from the tearing apart of a particular past event and, seriously, I turn around and – boom – it’s staring me down. And, I’m mildly reacting to it. I’m not ripping my hair out over it but I’m feeling it. The real question is; do I need to make a stop at this particular curve? I think when life dangles a trigger inducing tidbit in front of us we have no option but to take notice. But I think there are those curves we need to take a closer look at and those whose time has come for us to let go. I also think that sometimes we/ I know the difference between to two although we/ I may not want to admit it.

I guess I have three options: I can take the high road (the road paved with what it takes to move forward), the low road (a cracked and over trodden surface I’ve walked over enough times to know that instead of taking one step forward it will push me three steps back). Or, I can just lie down in the middle of it and close my eyes to the on coming traffic. Hm…  Each one of those scenarios seems to have a certain amount of charm.

I guess when navigating the winding roads of life I must keep this in mind: When looking at what’s approaching from behind me, objects may seem bigger then they actually are.