Day of Hearts

Today I am honouring my heart by writing about how I am really feeling.

Valentine’s Day has never been a day I’ve understood. None of the men, that I have lived with, have been romantic, but for a rare moment. I don’t really know what all the fuss is about with Valentine’s Day, the whole thing is beyond my experience.

This particular Valentine’s Day is one where I am not anyone’s “special person”, and I’ve been here before. It seems a bit of a harsh way to live out the rest of my life, but there it is, being what it is, reality doing its thing. It seems to me that it is no accident that this day of hearts falls close to mid-winter. The seemingly endless cold and dark, slowly giving way to longer days of light, and warmth. One more day to come this first year of singleness, that will resonate with loss, and that is the wedding anniversary, I will be glad when that has come and gone!

Today the fellow from the window company is coming to take detailed measurements for the new windows. They will all be custom made for the house, will be energy efficient, and they will all open. Attila has cleared a work space around each of the windows in the basement, which was a big job. This day of measurement will be the first of three significant intrusions here at Mist Cottage. The next will be the installation of insulation, which in theory will take place next week. The third will be the work crew to install all of the new windows, which is theoretically going to take place in late April. I find it challenging to have all these strange males in the house, and all of the people doing the sales, estimates, and installations will be male, I have no doubt about that. I will be very glad to have all of the work done and these experiences behind me. And I will be very glad to have the insulation keeping the house warm, and the lovely new windows, that will also be keeping the house warm, and allow me to open them on beautiful mild days!

I have been looking at trips I would like to make, and nothing is jumping out at me. I have a few parameters that limit the field of choices. First, I have no familiar place, or people, to visit. Another is anaphylaxis. Any type of travel that involves prepaid meals, or destinations with arranged meals, is out of the question. This means that cruises, tours, hotel packages, and the like, not drawn to any of these anyway, will just not work for me. Sure, I could put in a lot of time and effort trying to work around the food issue, but by the time I get through all of that I am worn out, singled out, separated out, and completely put off the whole thing. That leaves creating a custom experience, which is something I have done when travelling with Attila, and with friends, but not when travelling alone. A woman travelling alone is a completely different kettle of fish, than a woman travelling with a companion, or with friends. The whole idea is rather daunting. I continue to ponder solo travelling!

On Monday evening I attended a Tai Chi class, and found myself very unhappy. I hadn’t been out of the house since last Thursday, so that all of the steam I had managed to build, re facing the world of strangers, had dissipated, and I had to start over again from scratch. It was painful. The weather and roads were good, but the drive is long, ranging from 40 minutes to over an hour, depending on road conditions and traffic. I don’t like the drive, and I don’t particularly dislike driving all the way home in the dark. I was very frustrated during the class, not really catching on to what was being demonstrated, and feeling overwhelmed by the 99 remaining moves that I know will be taught over the next four months. By the time I arrived home, I never wanted to go back! I often feel this discouraged about learning new physical activities, I have a lot of basic physical challenges to overcome from the get go, my arm, my arthritic knees, my dyslexia… those things make learning physical skills challenging. Few instructors have the patience, or skill, to gracefully accept the degree of difference that my physicality presents in a class of able bodied people. It is I who have to maintain tolerance and patience for myself, when I am singled out in the crowd, even in a pleasant way, which happens ALL the time.

On Tuesday morning I got myself dressed, jumped into Tank, and headed out the door to another Tai Chi class! Back on the horse, as they say. I am very glad that the opportunity to attend another class presented itself so soon after my low point. On Tuesday I was singled out about my arm, yet again, and had to explain that is how my arm works, it is normal for my arm, which I did in a friendly and firm manner, accepting that this is the price I have to pay for participating in group activities. This occurred in front of the entire gym full of people. She assured me that Tai Chi would rectify the issue with my arm… baloney, she doesn’t have a clue what is going on with my arm. I just smiled at her, and replied that if Tai Chi fixed my arm it would be a wonderful thing. Perseverance pays off with this issue, eventually all the different instructors will come to terms with my difference, and either ignore it, or work with it. Luckily the person teaching the beginners yesterday was one capable of working with my arm, something for which I am always grateful. During the beginners lesson, I found that I could remember some of the things I have learned. The approach that I have decided to take in class, is that when I become confused, I will stop moving, look around at what others are doing, pick it up again when something looks doable, then keep going from there. I left Tuesday’s class feeling a lot better about Tai Chi, and about myself.

I am going to try to attend all of the Tai Chi classes that are held within driving distance, to get the initial “arm shock” over with for the various instructors, allowing me to attend without having to brace myself for that particular type of encounter. The “arm shock” reaction is something that I know will occur, and that knowledge can act as a deterrent for me, dampening my initiative to attend activities.

Well, I’ve written this entry, which feels very good. I’ve enjoyed my morning cup of coffee, contemplating life, the universe, and everything. Now, I am off to the kitchen to fix myself a lovely breakfast!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

2°C
Date: 7:00 AM EST Wednesday 14 February 2018
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 1.9°C
Dew point: -2.2°C
Humidity: 74%
Wind: SW 28 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”
Albert Camus
1913 – 1960

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12 Responses to Day of Hearts

  1. Bex Crowell says:

    My arm (right) has been doing strange things lately. It’s happened twice, two nights in a row, at around the same time – suppertime. It just starts to have a mind of its own and goes all funny (no pain) and floats around like it’s not mine.

  2. Bex, that is very strange! Perhaps it is looking for hook and yarn for a hat? Good that there is no pain!!! A mystery!

  3. Sandy says:

    Maggie good for you in getting on the horse again and going to another Tai Chi class. Eventually all of the instructors will know you and will stop singling you out. As far as the trip ~ how about a meditation or yoga or tai chi week in some warmer climate? I was thinking Arizona in the States. But I’m not sure if you want to go that far. Or a spa week where they basically pamper you all week?(((Hugs)))

  4. Sandy, thank you again for the encouragement! I am so glad I went to Tuesday’s class. A Tai Chi vacation… something to research! Warmer climates sound wonderful, but I don’t have a passport, so it would take some planning. Lots to think about!

  5. I still don’t know what the story is with your arm — I thought I asked, but must’ve missed your reply — but speaking of arms, one of mine has been acting weird for the past month. It’s so strange when the body does unexpected things for no apparent reason! You try not to worry that it’s something serious, but …
    -Kate

  6. Kate, my arm has limited range of motion, permanently, and has been the same since early childhood. I can live with it, without even thinking about it, until someone else has a problem with it. That is weird that your arm has been acting strangely!! You and Bex!

  7. WendyNC says:

    Maggie, might it be possible to take a pro-active approach with the arm and the Tai Chi by addressing the instructor before class begins? “I have permanent damage to my right arm which cannot be repaired. I have worked around it my whole life and will do so in this class as well.”

    I know that that type of social interaction does not come naturally to you. My way of confrontation avoidance–beating them to the punch–may not work for you.

  8. Wendy, it is worth a try, I’ll keep an eye out for a likely candidate to try it out on, the leader in each group isn’t really obvious before the class begins, but I could ask others, most people are very friendly.

    I have mixed results with the direct approach, it works really well with some people, but weak people take it as my throwing down the gauntlet, questioning their ability to assess and lead, and target me as a whiner, a troublemaker, someone out for special attention. That is my experience with it at times, there is a risk of offense involved, and with the indirect approach there is the risk of being singled out…

  9. Thinking of you on this difficult day. I hope each day gets easier. I’m glad the Tai Chi class is proving doable. *hugs*

  10. Thanks Joan ((hugs)) It was a difficult day. The Tail Chi class gives me somewhere to focus my energy, I am hopeful that eventually I will enjoy it!

  11. WendyNC says:

    Maggie, I’m also guilty of failing to appreciate that there may be cultural differences and of showing my ignorance. What works for me as a damned Yankee* may not be at all the right answer in your world.

    *damned Yankee is a term of art. It’s the way the true locals refer to people from the northeastern USA who came to the southern USA and stayed. I’m still an alien–I’ve only been here 44 years.

  12. Wendy, you share your experiences so kindly and generously that hearing your perspective is always beneficial.

    I had not heard that term, “damned Yankee”! Very interesting, and I can see that it would add multiple layers to social navigation!