Activities

I am humbled. Tai Chi is hard! I learned the first three moves, sort of, and then zoned out on the subsequent moves. Two challenges, overcoming my self-consciousness about my arm, which was the object of some curiosity by the instructors, which was not verbalized, and some curiosity by other participants, again not verbalized. This is my issue, this self-consciousness about a visible difference, there is no intolerance at the class. The other challenge is my knee, one of the moves hurts, at least the way I was doing it hurt. The lesson moved too fast for me to concentrate on how to perform the move without hurting my knee, so that was when I lost concentration on learning. I will have to go slowly, and focus on protecting my knee, above following the moves. I am determined to attend regularly, and to focus on doing my pain free best. I feel that eventually I will become comfortable with exposing the way my arm functions, in a group, no one really cares about it but me, and comfortable with slowing myself down to do only what I can do comfortably, without risking injury to my bad knee.

I think Tai Chi is a go for me. The group is pleasant, friendly, and large enough that the small cliques of familiars do not dominate the context. Most people seem to be there as individuals.

Luckily the skies were clear, and the roads bare, for my journey. It is quite an evening out, one hour to drive there, two hours at the class, then one hour to drive home, a four hour adventure. It was getting dark when I started out, it was pitch black as I returned home. It will be interesting to see how the light changes during my travels back and forth to the class.

For now, I think, my activity schedule is full enough. I need some time for the people, times, and places of these activities to become familiar. Although I will push myself to enter into new and unfamiliar social settings, it isn’t something I enjoy. I will let the dust settle on these all-new activities before considering extending my reach. I have meditation and Tai Chi, and the women’s group… and once I am more emotionally balanced I will return to the group where I cried, and see how I feel about it. All of these activities are an hour’s journey by highway, one way. At this point in my life, this is a viable situation, at least when the weather is reasonable and the roads are clear, which is much of the time.

It is becoming obvious to me that the extreme isolation, that I experienced while living at the country house, has had a quite an effect on how I feel about social situations, and not in a good way. I have work to do here!

After I arrived home last night, sitting in my easy chair relaxing, I detected a burning smell. Attila smelled it too. We went through the house, looking at everything that was plugged into an electrical outlet, investigated the refrigerator, the range, everything we could think of that involved electricity. I felt the smell was coming from the heating duct work, so Attila checked the furnace, and sure enough, something was awry with the furnace.

Attila turned off the heat. I made a telephone call to Lares, who is an HVAC person, and he talked Attila through a quick fix. That was at 11:00 p.m. last night. At 3:30 a.m. there was a definite problem with the furnace, the sound it was making was worrying. Attila got up and turned off the heat, then went back to bed. Thinking he had taken care of the issue, I went back to sleep. When I awoke at 4:30 the house had chilled to 16C and falling. When Attila arose he headed to the basement to try again, no joy. I sent a message to Lares, unwilling to telephone him at such an early hour, to let him know we were without heat. About fifteen minutes before he had to leave for work, Attila got the furnace running again. He found our two small electric heaters, and showed me how to shut down the furnace in case it malfunctioned again.

AT 7:00 a.m. the furnace was still functioning, but by 7:05 a.m. it was malfunctioning again, so I had to shut it down. Lares wrote a message to say he would drop in here on his way to work, which he did, and in about 30 minutes he had the furnace up and running! What a relief!

The plow went by and dumped a huge load of snow at the end of the driveway, about 20 minutes before Lares arrived. I was out there with my shovel, and I got it cleaned up so that Lares could park comfortably. I am a little sore now! Time for a little rest and an anti-inflammatory.

I wonder what else this day will bring!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10°C
Date: 5:00 AM EST Tuesday 30 January 2018
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -9.6°C
Dew point: -11.8°C
Humidity: 84%
Wind: N 20 gust 30 km/h
Wind Chill: -17

Quote

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
Unknown

Oh My!

I have been experiencing a whole range of emotions for the last month or so, none of them pleasant. I have wondered why I wasn’t feeling angry. That question has not been answered, and may not be, as it has now lost its relevance. Oh my! This morning I am not feeling anger, that would be too mild a descriptor for this red hot burning emotion that is now front and center. I think rage would be a more appropriate word to use, red hot, yet controlled, rage.

The thing about rage, at least my rage, is that it burns very bright, and what it burns are the ragged edges of the pain that has ripped my life apart, leaving the core of it open and vulnerable. Such pain! And such rage!

I won’t be sharing any of this rage with Attila. This is my rage, my tool to move forward. I own it, and I want it in my life. I know exactly where the rage comes from, what (and who) has caused it, why it is legitimate, why it is healthy, why it is crucial.

I have been here before, with lesser bouts of rage. This particular rage is about trust, and breach of trust. It is about betrayal. It is also about cowardice and self-interest in people I have trusted, weakness of character, the unwillingness to own that weakness, to feel humility when that weakness has negatively impacted another human being, and the unwillingness to grow through the experience.

This is a rage that does not need, nor does it seek, revenge, justice, or any kind of redress. It is a rage that rails against the vagaries of fate, of human character, of living in a world where injustices abound, for all of us.

Of course, it is Attila that has brought this rage to my door, his choices are the focus of my rage.

It serves no purpose in my life to let this rage randomly lash out, to rampage through the slender threads of the new life I am weaving for myself. That would be self-destructive. Perhaps, at some future date, I will feel it appropriate to share these feelings with Attila, perhaps. Perhaps not.

Attila has stuck around to witness the devastation he has created. In part, he is owning his choices, and the impact they have on another human being, me, and the other people in our lives who have come to love and trust him.

Right now I will be moving slowly forward, experiencing this rage as fully as I am able. The new tools that this rage will provide for me will help me build the new life, that I am being forced to create.

Clunkity, clunkity, clunk goes my life.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-6°C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Monday 29 January 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -5.7°C
Dew point: -11.5°C
Humidity: 64%
Wind: NNE 15 km/h
Wind Chill: -11
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The price of greatness is responsibility.”
Sir Winston Churchill
1874 – 1965

Tai Chi

I am going to try Tai Chi, as Sandra suggested in her comment on my last post. I’ve tried it before. Once, twenty years ago, with Attila, at a community centre. I didn’t care for it, as the instructor was obviously disturbed by the limitations of my arm, and he centred me out in front of the class. It was not a good fit. I also tried to attend a year or so ago, and was given inaccurate information that saw me sitting in an empty parking lot of a church, wondering where everybody was, I was in the wrong place and never did figure out where it was held. I am determined this time though, to ignore the less than diplomatic reactions of those who find difference unsettling, to get to the right place at the right time, and to take my time and learn Tai Chi as I can do it. I can take beginner’s classes three time a week, if I so choose, but I probably won’t go that often. I won’t be good at it, but that really doesn’t matter to me at all. There is pleasure in excellence, and there is pleasure in participation, both or either are fine with me.

I missed the open house yesterday, so I wrote the Tai Chi organization an email and received a response this morning. I can register at the first class, a flat rate that allows me to attend any class offered, whenever I choose to attend, which is perfect, particularly with the vagaries of winter driving. I will attend my first class tomorrow, as long as the roads are OK. The forecast is good.

All of these activities are more than 40 km away, so there will be a lot of travelling, and some expense for fuel and vehicle. Thank goodness I have a vehicle, and so far, the funds to pay for transportation. I will do what I can, when I can, for as long as I can.

Today I took it upon myself to rearrange the furniture in the living room, to suit my own flow. Attila does not use the living room much, so really, my own flow is all that needs to be accommodated. Luckily most of the furniture is easy to move around, and I like the new arrangement very much. My easy chair still catches the morning sun, and provides me with a view of tree branches, sky and cloud. My Hoya now sits in the corner by the windows, catching more light than it is used to, it sat there once before and loved it. The iMac now occupies a high shelf, it is so streamlined that it fits easily, the keyboard and mouse on the shelf below, just the right height to be used standing. It is still quite a challenge to place the elliptical machine gracefully in this tiny room, it is worth the space it takes up though, as I use it regularly. Sometimes an outward change is needed to represent all the inward changes that are going on, an externalization of process.

The day is sunny and mild. Terra and Lares stopped by with Sunny and Sky, just for a ten minute visit, we stayed out in the front yard where the kids could wander and explore. My new neighbour’s dog was quite excited by the kids, so the neighbours, who moved in yesterday, came out to see to the puppy, and introductions were made. They seems like a nice young couple, very young, but polite and personable. Their puppy is very rambunctious, and seems very friendly. I am glad someone is in the house again. The former owners, with the two little boys, almost gutted the place to renovate, and then left it undone. The new owners are under a timeline to finish the renovations for the mortgage and insurance people, I am rooting for them!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

3°C
Date: 12:00 PM EST Sunday 28 January 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 2.8°C
Dew point: -1.1°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: WSW 14 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“All things are difficult before they are easy.”
Dr. Thomas Fuller
1654 – 1734

A Good List

It has been four weeks today, since Attila announced the end of our marriage, the emotional aspect of our marriage, but not the legal, not yet, that is in a holding pattern.

What a ride.

So far a fairly workable holding pattern has been established, where we live separate lives, interacting with increasingly few of our old routines. Civility and consideration prevail. This has its pros and cons. There is no good choice as to how this marriage deconstructs, so I am making a series of small controlled decisions, choosing among the hard and sad choices as they come up. They are coming up a lot, life is hard.

I cycle through all the stages of grief, to varying degrees, in various orders, depending on the particular circumstance of a given day.

I am getting through this.

Next week I have two of my own activities planned, and one outing with Attila planned. I am an outsider everywhere, in this place of small towns and tiny cities, and it takes a long time for an outsider to be inside anything, so patience and fortitude are required. Eventually something will take root, somewhere, probably in an unexpected circumstance. I have to keep going so that I run into that unexpected circumstance.

So that is the state of my life at present.

I had some kind of bug, and my gastrointestinal system was in rebellion. It was an uncomfortable night, but I did manage to get about five hours sleep, so really it wasn’t so bad. I am feeling better this morning.

Terra stopped by with Sunny and Sky for a short but delightful visit yesterday evening. Her pregnancy appears to be going well, the Grandbaby is due in July. Luna called this morning for a chat while en route to Elf’s diving lessons, Tink’s gymnastics lessons, all three, Imp, Elf, and Tink, in the car chatting up a storm on speaker phone. All six Grandbabies are well and happy.

Today I washed and dried a set of sheets, after having changed out the bedding. I’ve read a bit, crocheted a bit, puttered a bit around the house. Attila and I went grocery shopping.

This afternoon I will work on genealogy, my web site update, read for a bit, and write in my paper journal. This evening Attila and I will watch a movie over dinner. Attila has begun cooking a weekly Saturday feast for himself, foods I cannot and/or would not eat, full of sodium and sugar and cholesterol, although he continues to avoid my allergen. I treat myself to a slice of pizza, and plan the whole day’s menu around it, reducing sodium, sugar and cholesterol, so that I can eat my slice without concern for having overdone things.

The vacant house next door has sold. We saw two vehicles in the driveway last night, and observed a millennial couple arrive back in one of the vehicles this morning, Tim Hortons paper coffee cups in hand. Attila says that where he works many people show up in the morning with two paper cups of Tim Hortons coffee, around $4 worth, that is $20 a week for morning coffee, and about $1000 a year. The last millennial couple who lived next door and who lost the house to the bank, there have been two such couples since we bought Mist Cottage, didn’t make their mortgage payments, but they did find the funds for Tim Hortons coffee, daily. Their priorities are much different than mine. I find it odd what some people regard as a necessity of life. Coffee above shelter… something is wrong there.

What cheerful note can I end my visit here with? I am healthy. I have food, and shelter. I am loved. I am making fewer spelling mistakes as I write these entries. A good list!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

3°C
Date: 11:00 AM EST Saturday 27 January 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 3.4°C
Dew point: -1.6°C
Humidity: 70%
Wind: SSW 20 gust 29 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“When one can hear people moving, one does not so much mind, about one’s fears.”
Ann Radcliffe
1764 – 1823

Paper Journal

January seems to be passing unnoticed, by me. In less than a week I will herald in February, the shortest month on the calendar, and often the longest month of experience, for those of us who live in the parts of the northern hemisphere, where winter demands all of our strict attention.

I am settling into a kind of routine now, the days are getting a bit easier, and my bouts of intense grief are fewer and fewer as the days go by. I am still on the lookout for new activities, and volunteer work that might be a good fit.

It has been a busy day. I worked a bit on genealogy, a bit on the web site upgrade, and did a bit of reading. I have puttered around the house, switched mattresses around, vacuumed, washed laundry, dried laundry, put away laundry, sorted through linens, and swept floors. I have done a lot of filing, and even sat down to write in my new paper journal. I decided to write a paper journal, in addition to all my online writing, because it reminds me of my youth. There was a time in my life when I always had a pencil or pen in my hand, and carried pen and paper with me wherever I went. I write differently with pen and paper, although it is hard to describe just how. Still, I am enjoying the paper journal, and it feels good to practise cursive writing and printing again.

By my estimation it is about five weeks until March arrives. I disliked March intensely when we lived at the country house, because it was a month of full-on winter weather, with few signs of spring. Not so at Mist Cottage! March here brings milder temperatures, a lot less snow, and a lot of the snow melts away during the month of March. There are bouts of blustery, snowy days in March, but the severity and duration are not what they are in December, January, and February, or in March at the country house.

It has been sunny all day! I have been sitting in my easy chair, soaking in the sunshine. The wind is blowing out there, so I think it might be chilly to be out and walking around, but it is cozy here in Mist Cottage.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-1°C
Date: 2:00 PM EST Friday 26 January 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 103.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -1.0°C
Dew point: -8.6°C
Humidity: 56%
Wind: SSE 13 km/h
Wind Chill: -5
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The best time to plant an oak tree was twenty-five years ago. The second best time is today.”
James Carville