A slight bump in the road occurs, occasionally, when I go off the deep end and slide into sugar and wine oblivion. Sometimes it is just a slight curve and I put my hands on the wheel and do a quick course correction. Then there are the times when I head straight down the bank and end up in a ditch hoping someone will find me before it is too late.
This sounds dire. I sound like there is a cause for an intervention. It is not that bad. Really. Because the one thing I know about me better than anyone is my own slippery slope. I used to blame it on PMS, but I can’t do that anymore since there is no more of that. There is definitely a time limit on using the C word too, coming up on two and half years already, I think I have used that excuse for going off the deep end enough. “Enough already,” I can hear my grandmother’s voice in my head say.
So what is it? Why do I have this constant yo-yo where I can feel so incredible and unstoppable, not drinking any wine or eating any sugar that it causes me to almost self-sabotage, like there is some force greater than me saying, “Oh yeah? You feel this good? We’ll fix that.” I know every time I break my flow with “just one glass of wine” or “just one brownie,” I am off and running. Before I know it, I have eaten like an entire cake and drank way too many bottles of wine on the front porch.
Why does this happen? A normal person (if there is such a thing) would say, “Well, Alayne, if you know this is your pattern, then why must you incessantly rewind, repeat?” Sounds so simple. I am a smart successful and generous entrepreneur. I “live life to the fullest” following my brother’s instructions from his death bed like there is no tomorrow. I know better. But yet, I slide.
I have worked incessantly on myself for years trying to understand this pattern of mine.
The funny thing about twists and turns is that I only realize the ‘why’ part after the deep dive. During the dive, when it would be most advantageous to catch myself, is too late. I am ALL in. Whipping up blueberry cake, chocolate babka and cheese-ladened Mexican lasagna filled with dairy that surely would make my breast cancer doctor wince with estrogenic pain.
What I have realized with this last wild ride is that this happens when I am stressed. It is not some self sabotage at all. In fact, I like myself, I am happy with my world, why the hell would I need to sabotage this life I have made with my own two hands? But yet here I am. The weekend after too much wine and too much babka.
High stress=High Cortisol levels.
High cortisol levels=constant fight or flight mode. But there is no fight and there is no flight except to the refrigerator and thus the fatigue subsides as soon as the first sip of wine or the first bite of cake.
It is immediate. And it is satisfying- this temporary fix that no amount of self talk can persuade otherwise. Cortisol is pure power. It is what has made humanity sustain itself. But humanity, these days, is not the same as it was when survival was literal. Survival these days is dealing with the stressors that our bodies and minds could never be prepared for. On top of this, there is the constant brain workings of my mind with thousands of ideas and trying to execute many at the same time.
My mind holds the ideas, but what I lack is the reality of how much time each idea is really going to take. This is where my stressors are. So much work, SO little time. I am convinced that as much as we talk about nutrition as being a precursor to cancer, my gut tells me it is cortisol’s constant production in my system. This is why I exercise and meditate- to attempt to create tools to wind down this overactive brain of mine. And it really helps.
But sometimes I just need to eat cake and drink wine. This really helps too. Except that after a few days of it, my heart starts to race and my head starts to think negative thoughts that were definitely not there before I did my deep dive. The effects of meditation and exercise and healthy eating are cumulative. The effects of wine and cake are immediate and sometimes I just need immediate.
Now off to right my wrongs with a bike ride, and a protein shake. Day one. Monday. Again.
(If you want a good article on cortisol, I enjoyed this one.)
I am getting closer to my mid-fifties by the minute and I thought it would be fun to start a #lovelybadass manifesto. I want more loving and kind manifestos in this wacky world of hate and violence I have found myself in. If you want to add anything, send along, maybe we will end up with something so powerful we will rule the world with our badass goodness. I would like to add that my heroine, Doreen Wiggins, the loveliest bad ass ass I know is the one who bestowed this phrase upon me. THANK YOU D.
I will as often as possible lean into the good parts of myself. My shape, my skin, my wrinkles and age spots, right down to the hairs sprouting from every orifice EXCEPT my brows and eyelashes, the only hairs sprouting there are the grey wiry ones.
I will drink the fucking glass of wine or two or three or the whole damn bottle and enjoy it. I will cease and desist the perpetual blithering that happens before and after said glass of wine and just enjoy the need for some release.
I will as often as possible commit to loving my health by nurturing it with goodness. Good food, good thoughts, and good silence. And when I don’t do this perfectly as I know this is absolutely impossible to keep up, I will have a blast taking the deep dive down the rabbit hole and trusting that maybe this is just what my body and mind needs at the time.
I will continue to celebrate my life the way I want despite what every blog post screams at me from my unsolicited algorithms telling the algorithms to spew back on a daily basis. 10 WAYS TO SAVE MORE MONEY, 7 WAYS TO GET FIT IN 7 DAYS, 8 STEPS TO BE A HEALTHIER YOU can go fuck themselves. I going forward and sometimes backwards will make my own lists and follow them the way I want.
I will buy more typewriters with abandon no matter how crazy it is, I will celebrate my own crazy and people can come for the wild ride or not.
I will live and over commit to everything and either make it all happen or none of it because life feels urgent and messy and glorious to be in the muck. I will celebrate that this is just who I am no matter how many times I hear words like, Slow down, just say no and all of the other rules and regs from outside forces.
I will continue to have a love hate relationship with technology knowing that like football, I will never understand it because I don’t want to. THAT SIMPLE.
I will continue to surround myself with only people, places and things that bring me joy. This is something I have complete control over and I will move into my mid fifties knowing it is my right to choose each time, every time.
I will look affectionately at every tight assed gorgeous twenty year old who has the confidence of a young #lovelybadass. I will smile at them and not wish their age on anyone because no matter how tight their ass is in a thong at the beach, no matter how smooth their youthful glowing skin is, if they are lucky to make it to my age and beyond, they too will be me on the beach looking at them. Admiration is a lovely gesture and I bestow it on them with happiness thinking also, this too will pass.
I will smile at everyone. Strangers and babies and dogs. Even if I don’t get a smile in return. Even if they are not smiling at me first. I will do this because I enjoy smiling at people.
I will cut flowers and give them to random people because I have a killer garden and why not share some of it with strangers and friends. Like a thank you note, flowers spread love.
I will come up with a billion ideas and likely only execute less than 1% of them. This is just how my brain works. I accept this despite how many of my friends likely roll their eyes every time I share a new idea.
I will talk to anyone and everyone, who wants me to, about my mastectomy, my breast implants from my mastectomy, and all of the boob conversation that happens. Because what lies in front of me in the mirror every day is my luck that it was caught early, that I have a sense of perpetual urgency to live with wild abandon that at times gets me in trouble, and an upright and almost perfect set of tatas that deserves low cut dresses. (Thank you Dr. Michaud).
I will always work out. Of all the healthy lifestyle choices I make, exercising is the most important for my mental health and my physical health. And if I don’t get to the gym, I will go outside and walk even if it is around the block. Nature is youth and happiness serum. No question it is what has rebounded my body into the speedy recovery from three breast cancer surgeries, surgical menopause and crazy brain.
I will blow off working out too.
While I am working out with loud music and my lovely trainer telling me to squat and then jump to a burpee and do a bicep curl like this is something normal, I will stop critiquing my hips and my flabby arms as I do this with the mirror staring me back. I will blame my flabby arms on breast cancer surgery. Why not? Free pass, right?
I will offer with wild and joyous abandon my help to anyone starting their own businesses. Pay it forward helps propel success. Success helps people pay it forward. Simple pleasures.
I will continue to say the word, fuck, because there is nothing like this word to get a point across. And there is nothing like fucking. And yes I will say this too.
I will say I love you to friends and family often. Maybe too much. Why not? I will continue to work on my five favorite relationship words, THE FIVE A’S from the incredible David Richo, who wrote a book that could easily be the only wedding gift for a new couple or anyone for that matter. This book changed my life, How to Be An Adult in a Relationship. ATTENTION. ACCEPTANCE. APPRECIATION. AFFECTION. ALLOWING.
If I start to go negative about something, I will do my best to change the conversation to gratitude. It never fails me. Not always easy when my brain starts spinning into the oblivion of negative thinking, but when I remember to go to what I am grateful for there is an immediate shift. EVERY TIME.
I will speak my mind when I see both subtle and loud patriarchy. It is the silent killer of feminine energy and I will no longer be silent.
I will say the words vaginal dryness.
I will continue to connect with people and create connections. Supportive, kind connection is what gives me pleasure and I want pleasure.
I will try my hardest to rest, to read in the middle of a day even when there is so much on my to do list it is making my head spin. I will stop. I will stop. I will stop. Clearly, this is not easy.
I will type on my typewriter collection and, snail mail, send more thank you notes I will do this often because typing on a real old school typewriter and writing with an actual pen and paper gives me a sense of calmness, it is almost like meditation. And it is sending kindness and light through the real air waves. No social media can ever replace receiving a real typewritten or hand written thank you note.
I am sure I will think of many more once I hit the send and publish button. Manifestos, when used for goodness, are like this; they invoke more goodness. We need more goodness. We need more kindness. We need more connection. And goodness knows we need more women speaking their truths ALOUD AND LOUD.
I will not talk about food and the consumption of it as good or bad. I’ve been good will no longer exist as a description of my previous day’s history.
I will offer help if I see a stranger struggling with putting groceries in the car. They can say no, but I will offer to help.
I will eat the mother fucking ice cream whenever I want. And if Ben and Jerry’s continues to call their pints, three servings, I will start a boycott because it is not normal to think that a pint should not be eaten in at the most 2 sittings, (ie within an hour of each other)
I will continue to bang and bop my head when Robert Plant sings, “When the juice runs down my leg” Or when ACDC screams some misogynist song realizing completely that this goes against everything I have ever fought for because the beat and the headbanging sounds and the singing at the top of my lungs overrules every modern era #metoo movement. I grew up in the most misogynistic era listening to ads that say things like “boys don’t make passes at girls that wear glasses.” I am confident in my ability to separate. So: For those about to rock, we salute you.
I love not having to ever wear a bra again. #Goreconstructionafteramastectomygo
Ditto for never having to buy tampons or maxi pads again where I had previously never considered that the tax that has been charged on these as a luxury item shocks me more that I never questioned it all of those years. I shudder to think about how much that adds up to. Shameful. Misogynistic. Way more than ACDC if you ask me.
When I was first married, my in laws, my husband at the time, and I decided to head down to New Jersey to Six Flags on a family trip. This was one of those old fashioned trips- close enough to home, but just enough to need an overnight, stopping for pee breaks and lunch along the way as we made our way towards an adventure.
The thought of going to any amusement park these days makes my skin crawl, but in my late twenties, this was an exciting trip that I looked forward to. This was in the land of BEFORE. Before we had our son, before my brother was diagnosed with cancer, before my father died. Life was that time ahead, in front; AFTER hadn’t happened yet.
When we got to the park, it went as planned. Roller coaster after roller coaster, screaming and more screaming. There was a distinct moment on the Batman roller coaster as I found myself upside down in a spiral twist when I realized what an incredible stress reliever roller coasters were. Screaming at the top of my lungs with the noise and the sounds of the whooshing, staring at the feet of my fellow passengers and thinking, This is way better than therapy.
Children have it made. When they need to express themselves they have an unwritten permission slip to scream, shout and stomp their feet. Unless one wants to end up in a mental institution, adulthood eliminates this from our backpack of life tools and at some point in our young lives, we stop the stomping and screaming. We figure out other ways to relieve our frustrations and stress. Sometimes grown up ways, like therapy, yoga or talking about our feelings, sometimes drinking or drugging, but seldom screaming and shouting.
Roller coasters partnered with the age of fifty four are no longer a good match. I could basically vomit looking at a roller coaster. I get dizzy way too easily and unfortunately have to leave the roller coasters to my viewing pleasure if I were to find myself at a theme park. This is highly unlikely and the next time there will be a theme park in my viewfinder, would probably be when I ever have the privilege of a grandchild. Thankfully, this is a long way off. So what is a closet screamer chick to do? Where else could a grown woman stand up and scream her brains out for a few hours of glorious stress relief that no downward dogs and tree poses could ever compete with?
How about an outdoor concert with three thousand people on a lake in the middle of Massachusetts watching a Led Zeppelin tribute band for the second time, GET THE LED OUT? The name alone commands screaming. And screaming we did. In a little town called Webster lies a campground with a lake and an outdoor concert venue called Indian Ranch. And it was here last night that my friends and I made our second annual pilgrimage to tailgate, to eat grinders and chips, and pump our fists and scream like we were kids again.
My partner, who is seventy two, is not a Led Zeppelin fan. Music shows our age difference for sure. When he was seventeen the top songs were I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles and Hello Dolly by Louis Armstrong. A little different then The Lemon Song and Robert Plant screaming, “When the juice runs down my leg..” When my boyfriend was seventeen I wasn’t even born yet. This cracks me up. But he is a cool cat and has no problem with me calling up my childhood friend, Joe, to be my fake date at the fake Zeppelin concert last night. Get the Led Out is one of my favorite evenings out. It is a blast from the funnest side of my past and I love going to see them.
When Led Zeppelin first hit our ear waves, we were in grammar school so basically, we were raised on Led Zeppelin. Stairway to Heaven came out when we were six and when All My Love came out in 1979, we had just started going to middle school dances. This was definitely the go to song for slow dancing. I know every single word as did every single attendee at the concert last night.
My friend bought us all Led Zeppelin t shirts and we along with the crowd danced and sang and not a single person there was in 2019. We were transported in a magical time machine back to THEN. Then. The times that we can easily say were easier just like our parents and our grandparents say when they reflect back. Looking back is fun because like a bad relationship, it is so easy to have any of the bad magically disappear. The good seems to reengineer and become sensationalized in the reflections and it is a lovely respite from our busy brains.
I looked to my friend, Joe, who I have been friends with since sixth grade and I said, “Everyone here is so old. Is this how we look to everyone here?” The air guitarring and drumming, the pot smoking, legal now, and the rock and roll clothes of yesteryear found their way to every fifty something soul screaming our brains out to lyrics from songs like Dazed and Confused, that would have the metoo movement shudder. “Soul of a woman was created below…” and every sex dripping lyric brought me to my knees (seriously no pun intended), as I danced and sang and rocked out old school with one of my dearest friends by my side.
I can’t speak for every person in attendance last night, but besides the cell phones and their inordinate amount of use, I wouldn’t have been able to tell that is was the year 2019. We were definitely living last night in the past. And it was so fucking fun, I didn’t want it to end. I got my led out, but as my old Led Zeppelin loving boyfriend from yesteryear said last year when I sent him some pictures from the concert, “Alayne, no one ever truly gets the led out.”
“Are you drinking or not drinking today?” my friend, Morgan, asks me, on a regular basis, partly in jest, partly serious. This alone should be a message. She is that enviable person who can just have “a drink” without making a big deal out of it. In our almost ten years of friendship I have never seen her out of control after having too much to drink. I am guessing she would not likely say the same thing about me. I am fairly confident that if she is reading this piece today, she is actually laughing at the non stop alayne drinking a little too much memories.
Truth be told, though, I have always been party girl. Going as far back as junior high school parties, my personality has been gathering the troops and enjoying the moment. Here’s the problem for me, though, like a bag of potato chips, I can’t just eat one. I struggle with just one of anything, frankly.
I wish I was the type of person who could just have one glass of wine and call it a day. My grandmother was that type of person. “Everything in moderation, Alayne,” she would say with such conviction. If she only knew that I inherited my father’s genes in that department. And he probably inherited his grandfather’s genes.
I had it coming to me from both sides. My mother’s father, my grandfather, Bill and my father’s grandfather, Joe, both enjoyed their moments with the bottle. Scotch (or was it vodka?) for my old great grandfather, an immigrant from “the old country,” Russia. Drinking during the day while at work was the norm back in “those days”when salesmen and police officers indulged in a quick drink as they stopped by the textile mill my grandfather owned to say hello to the old man.
My grandfather, Bill, was quite the handsome man, engineer + artist, Irish + Scottish, a winning combination. He apparently loved his cocktails too, but he had stopped around the time that I came along. I never saw the drinking side of him. But I heard about it and its vestiges have showed up in our family dynamic for my entire life. And here those vestiges are- still. My aunt and I are constantly discussing whether we are drinking or not, what we drank when we do, what we drink when we don’t. People who have normal relationships with alcohol don’t have these types of conversations.
I don’t consider myself an alcoholic, but I am fairly confident that my many sober friends would beg to differ. Drinking is so fun, it lets my hair down and loosens up my dance shoes, gives me a nice jolt of calm as that first sip travels down my throat and makes its way into my capillary walls. Meditation, exercise, a bike ride, a great walk or run also does this for me, but it is just not the same experience as sitting and allowing the drink to take over and do the work. Sometimes I need something else to do that for this busy chick who is so often already moving and going.
Most recently, I went five months straight with no drinking. It was phenomenal. All of a sudden, I had so much time on my hands. This reminded me how much time is sucked up while I am taking in the gorgeous glasses of biodynamic wine on my front porch.
I have heard this same thing happens when people quit smoking cigarettes. Though I have never smoked in my life, I can see the symmetry between the two. Thinking about them, going to the store and buying the bottle, thinking, “When will it be 5:00?” Coordinating parties and gatherings on my front porch or in my back garden, opening the bottle, creating gorgeous appetizer platters all under the pretense of get togethers. The ritual of pouring the first glass and toasting my friends or my partner as I look forward to the first sip.
I have had my own wacky relationship with drinking, never so much that I have found my way to an AA meeting, but I likely would have benefitted from its teachings. I just can’t bring myself to one though because that feels like I have to make a decision to NOT drink Ever. I love drinking, but I equally love not drinking and here lies the conundrum.
I know not drinking, like it seems everything these days, has become a thing. The question I routinely ask myself is what draws me to this mode of immediate gratification relaxation and why can’t I be the type of person who can just stop my washing machine spin cycle head from having to over think every thing I do. Maybe this is just the cross creative types have to bear. The non stop blithering of a high on life brain.
What I do know is that I am actively working on my all or nothing personality. Not drinking, drinking, sugar, no sugar, shopping, no shopping, saving money, spending money, as I write this list out, I chuckle kindly to myself. This list, the contents of this specific list, are exactly the things that connect me with my mother.
This is fascinating. I have thought about this before, but writing it this way reminds me of the on again and off again connection we have had over the last five years. Despite this, though, the connection between mother and daughter, mother and child, is probably the deepest more connected. Knowing the struggles and the movement of emotion between the two of us and writing it ALOUD is definitely an AHA moment. Maybe there is an ease between the all or nothing. Maybe it is in that ease where the the lessons lie.
I like this self therapy. It gives me comfort and feelings of forgiveness. This is a lovely end to this piece for me today reminding me again that writing is as much therapy as actual therapy. I am guessing it was no accident that I dreamed about both of my grandmothers last night sleeping over my house. I have never had a dream like that before and it felt like they were on either side of me helping me along my way. Doesn’t get better than this.
These days when I see a group of women at an outdoor event in nice summer dresses talking to each other, I can’t help but think of Margaret Atwood’s book that has become the creepy Hulu series, The Handmaid’s Tale. Once I shake that nightmare of a dystopian visual, that feels closer to reality every day, off, I am quickly brought back to reality. Thankfully, this was not the case yesterday because I was a guest at a very lovely non-dystopian chick event, sponsored by a new Women’s Collaborative called Siren.
I made my way through this book launch and signing event held at Blithewold Mansions and Gardens in Bristol, RI. It was well attended and many of the sixty women in attendance were not on their phones trying to capture every waking minute. They were engaging, listening, looking towards each other and enjoying the brilliant company of other like minded women. Despite the heat, this alone was refreshing.
“Do you have a card?” I had asked a few women, fully realizing that I had forgotten my own. A few women had cards and a few did not. I will not look at Facebook. I will not look at Facebook, I found myself mumbling to myself when I got home afterwards. Meeting some of these great women, I didn’t want to forget their names and I wanted to continue our connection post event so I had to look them up.
Innocent enough, but many of us likely know now what happens when we attempt a ‘quick’ look at social media. These days between friend requests, comments, new photo uploads, page likes and all of the other mumbo jumbo that happens between people thinking they are connecting with each other, I find myself getting sucked into the vortex of incredible time wasting. Or is it? I don’t know. As I made my way into the search bar so I could friend request them or message them, that little gremlin of a voice murmured, just check the feed, alayne….. Real quick.
Yeah, right. There is nothing quick about social media. Part of the draw is staying connected, not missing something, keeping communication lines flowing so that the very lines of this communication seem like they are doing something. But are they?
Yesterday at this Siren event, we were more connected than any Facebook post or Instagram photo could ever be. We stood together in the scorching, unusually hot morning, sipping our sparkling water in our lovely summer dresses and we connected. Eye to eye, person to person. What struck me between the photos being taken was that of all the women there, it seemed most were not there to tag themselves on Instagram and make it a social media extravaganza, but rather to just simply BE together.
Sixty or so women in a beautiful setting on a record breaking heat wave day should have made us all refer to the day, instead, as Hotter Than Ever. We were a force to be reckoned with and not because we were protesting or speaking out against something. We do plenty of that, but instead we were just together, being women. Celebrating our potency, our hearts and minds without even having to say it aloud.
This vapor we share between us was what makes us have that potential bond of pure power when we allow and accept our strengths as a collaborative group. Siren has created this. I immediately fell in love with the intention and its stunning group consciousness yesterday. I was able to, first hand, witness female stories from their own real voices, person to person, chick to chick. I was able to be part of their body language and their core essence. I got to smell their perfume, see their hair color, their makeup or their choice to wear none. I was part of their story just by being in the same space.
I connected with a woman who used to be a therapist and one day, she thought to herself, I can’t do this anymore because I just wanted to say to the woman I was counseling, ‘When are you going to leave the asshole? He is never going to change.’ So as any good therapist would do, she left her career and figured out a different one. Realizing a business opportunity of cleaning vacation homes instead, she is now a successful business owner and had contributed a South African fish recipe to the book being featured. I would have never known this if we hadn’t had the eye to eye contact, the handshake, the conversation.
This quick story that tumbled out of her mouth over recipe sharing would have been lost on social media. She probably would not have even shared the story because it was something that came organically between two women speaking with each other. In person. Live.
I also heard a young woman yesterday who figured out her own compass through the worried eyes of her children and managed to get out of an abusive relationship. She shared her life story giving us the gift of realizing our own vulnerabilities in the throws of power and abusive relationships. She was able to get out and she lived to speak of it with a softness in her voice, an inner strength in her heart and an authentic depth to her story that made us weep. For her. For her children. For the women who never get out right along with the pieces of the puzzles of our own twists and turns.
Siren. Sound the alarm. Code Red. Firetrucks, police cars and ambulances. Women being women with women. In person. It was a morning of surprise for me and I was so grateful to have landed there.
We are in a fragile space right now. We have a deep need for connection and are getting further and further away from the very part of who we are as women who need acceleration in true human connection, not distance from it. I don’t think I even spend that much time on my phone or on social media, but then Apple in all of its wisdom reminds me of how much time I am truly spending by sending me little text updates.
The irony is hard to grapple with. The ease of finding some of these ladies I had the pleasure of meeting yesterday was easier because of social media. But I grapple with this being the easiest way to further my dialogue. Here I am writing this piece, knowing full well that many people will only be able to read it because of social media. In the old days, it would have needed to be published old school somehow in order for it to be received. I am appreciative of what social media has offered me as a former closet writer.
When women are together in these types of female centric events, the word “balance” often comes up. These days there is so much to be balanced I often wonder if there is enough time left for us to figure out what it even means. Balance is bullshit, in my opinion. Social media is a space that takes us from what we need to be doing so we stay healthy in mind, body and spirit. How does social media allow touch and smell? It doesn’t. How do we know if who we are speaking to on it are who they say they are? We don’t. Or with artificial intelligence these days if they even look like they really are.
Yesterday was a wake up call. Sound the alarm to remind us loud and clear that between our busy lives, our running, our texting, our scrolling and time away from authenticity, we need each other. I don’t have any science to proclaim what I say to be true. All I have is the feeling I left with yesterday in being in the presence of sixty women in our own heat. We didn’t need the heat of the sun to make us hot. We had each other and this was just the beginning.
I have an unstoppable amount of energy that propels me, daily, into a whirlwind of activity. This energy is a forceI have always had, one that when I lasso it, I can have such joy from the satisfaction it brings me. At times it can also cause an intense feeling of failure and fragmentation in my soul.
Today I woke up after a week of incredible accomplishment, finishing a to do list of cleaning and organizing that would make Marie Kando smile. I finally straightened up a basement filled with enough frames and glassware that I could probably open my own IKEA. This cleaning of the basement was nagging at me for months as I had done this already once before when I began my love affair with J’s Junk. This time, though, these things I had accumulated were from another basement, my Providence business location, that I had cleaned out over two years ago.
Rather than throw perfectly good reusable items away, I had decided to bring them to my basement and reorganize them for a yard sale or reuse some other time. Two years later, there they sat, gnawing atme like an old scab on a wound that would never heal until I left it alone. Not a pretty sight, but kind of the last hurrah of many years of over purchasing along with disarray from having two businesses and everything that happens between them over time.
I love the feeling of saying to myself, “Let me just move this one thing.” And before I knew it, like Samantha twitching her nose on an episode of Bewitched, the entire basement was pulled apart and reorganized. I am not finished yet, but it is almost there. This caused me to redo a spare room in my business that had become a catch all for anything needing to be out of sight from clients. This ledme to clean a shelf removing my Wonder Woman collection from my living room and placing it neatly away in a storage bin.
Checking things off of my list, cleaning, organizing, moving and shifting energy, learning, reading, writing, growing, changing, this is who I have always been and I seldom tire from it, except when I do. Then it is that time. To stop. To stare. To sit.
So this is where I found myself today when I woke up. No plans, no to do lists, just me, my garden and my book and laptop. In the garden, under the umbrella, a plentiful array of birds at the feeder, butterflies and hummingbirds, cardinals and bunnies. A virtual gorgeous symphony of sound and a simply lovely environment to do nothing.
I watch an ant carry a dead ant on its back. As I get up to inspect this, I accidentally sweep them with a honeysuckle branch and split their funeral walk interrupting what may have very well been some type of ant ceremony. I scold myself and apologize to them knowing that I have disrupted a simple but likely complex natural life cycle of two little ants. I watch for the alive ant, who rushed off from the disruption, to return to pick up the dead one who was left behind from my insensitive curiosity to no avail. And I think, this is life too. I think, “When was the last time I watched ants?”
When my son was about four and I was opening my first business, I was moving things in and out of the space. He was sitting outside the stairwell using a stick to playing with dirt and an anthill. He was ensconced in the present momentas only little ones can offer to us busy moms when we actuallyjust stop and notice. There was an annoying fly buzzing around his eye and he kept swatting it away. Frustrated and taking big sigh, he yelled out to the fly, “Fly! What do you think, my eye is your home?!” Truth serum out of the mouths of babes. I will never forget that tender moment all these years later. It was the reminder of the moment. To be in the moment for that actual moment that has stuck with me and one that I sometimes forget even when I am in my relaxed zen state.
There is always something to do. But sometimes it is important to listen to my brain and not do something. The not doing is doing and doing it is difficult. I am sure this is something that Winnie The Pooh must have said at some point. I watch nature, I wait for the ant to return and I check my phone. This causes me to lose sight of my intention to be in the moment and wait for the ant to return.Instead I talk to my aunt on the phone for a bit and wander as I speak.
When we hang up, about twenty minutes later, I look down and notice that the dead ant is no longer there. I missed its departure and will never be sure if it was a fly that picked it up, or if the ant came back to continue its walk with it humbly on its back.
I sigh, thankful that I even noticed this and remember that I must slow down sometimes to notice. This is not something that comes easily, but rather than berate myself, I find myself just simply noticing the simple act of noticing. And the in between of not. Maybe the ant today needed to grieve the loss of its comrade privately without the prying eyes of a human giant. Perhaps this is nature at its truest core.
Meanwhile I work on my time alone with myself and nothing to do, trying to stay here in the nothing and not make my beautiful nothing into a busy something. Only time will tell.
After a ridiculously fun night out on the town with live music, lots of dancing and three gigantic scoops of ice cream to top it off, the morning followed. And it wasn’t as fun as the night before because the night before also included wine. Needless to say, “Not Drinking Today,” is taking a brief hiatus. Only for a few weeks, though, as the town I call home is July fourth festive almost 24/7 and wine is once again part of my nightly party.
Part of the morning after of the night before, is the morning bathroom. Without getting too detailed, (even I have my standards), I headed in for a much needed bodily function. On the way, I passed by my phone that I had made a conscious effort to leave face down since I woke up, and unconsciously grabbed it to take in with me. I’m guessing here- for the purpose of multi tasking. I can’t even believe I am saying this aloud. Multi tasking in the bathroom? Have I lost my fucking mind? Part of the routine of a night before is to load up on fat and carbs with a fervor. I hopped on my bike to get to the bagel shop at the speed of light and as I was waiting for my order found myself standing next to a woman also waiting for her order. She had her phone on the counter and was scrolling through messages missing the order taker’s repeat question of “What size did you want your coffee?” I finally answered for her, “Medium,” I stated because my waitressing skills from thirty years ago never seem to disappear.
My answering, “Medium,” caused the distracted woman to actually look up and quickly apologize confirming her request for a medium sized coffee. The young girl getting the coffee for this lady barely looked concerned as I am sure this is a regular occurrence at the counter in the morning with all of the sleepy customers ordering bagels coffee with barely a glance up from their phones for eye contact. Have we all lost our minds?
I recently heard a statistic that people are spending more time on their smartphones than television and this number is supposed to keep rising. Besides phones being phones, phones are now our cameras, video recorders, computers, radios, education, movies and television all wrapped in one small little, carry with us all the time even to the bathroom, package of convenience.
People are looking down at a rate that frightens me. From a physical perspective, our heads are perpetually down without moving our heads up and back for the counter balance of our poor necks, and from an emotional perspective, the lack of eye contact and smiling at one another. We are capturing every waking moment of every waking thing as part of our daily routines that is unprecedented in any human experience we have seen in our lifetimes.
What I notice about my own use is how sidetracked I can become in a nanosecond. I am a typically sidetracked person anyway, so clicking and moving around a screen is probably not helpful to my very sensitive brain. I wonder how much all of this bluescreen is negatively affecting my body. When I pay attention to the way I feel, it is usually a bit fragmented and staticky after a run with the screen for too long. Physically, mentally, spiritually, these elements of who I am, are hyper challenged when I am on the screen too much, not to mention the disconnect I feel in this false sense of connection.
I was at the beach yesterday and watched, between the parade of non stop thong wearing booty, hundreds of young people from middle school to college, looking down at their phones as they walked together. It used to be that we just walked the beach with a Dels Lemonade in one hand and the other hand free. Now every single hand has a phone, mostly iPhones, easily each one a minimum of a thousand dollars.
As I left the beach, I walked by adults on this packed hot pre July 4th weekday also on their phones, reading, texting, scrolling, trolling and some outright personal phone conversations like their beach spot was their own private phone booth. It is not. Everyone can hear the one sided conversations. Everyone can hear the bings, the swirls, the dings, tings, pings and every other distracting and inconsiderate noise polluting sound these tiny three by six inch lifelines make. Without so much of a deeply considered thought, we seem to have adopted these machines as an additional member of our families. Phones have taken the place of our time away to be with our thoughts alone.
Daydreaming used to be this pause in our busy lives. Now I find that when I do give myself over to daydreaming, as a thought enters my mind, instead of allowing it to move around the way day dreaming does so magically, I often interrupt its flow with the need to Google an idea.
Here is an example. I was sitting looking at my garden and watching the birds and bunnies forage for food, peaceful and quiet as I nursed my subtle hangover waiting for the bagel carbs to kick in. A question popped into my head. “If I could make a radical change in my life, what would it be?” The desire to sell everything and have a minimal life is always nagging at me. I like the extremity of this thinking. As I begin to consider the small rv I would need to get, I think about my friend’s little van she just reconstructed with a bed and some shelves and how handy she is. This thought leads me to thinking about if I could possibly figure out how to set up my own little space in a van and that lead me to thinking about where I might find someone who could do this for me. My brain immediately thinks, “Google it, Alayne.” And I have to fight the temptation. But like a pint of ice cream in my freezer, the call to Google beckons and I have to work at resisting. This would have never happened ten years ago. I would have just thought about the idea and let it flow the way ideas are supposed to. Then later, when I made my way to my office, maybe if I remembered, I would look up the how’s on the computer somewhere.
Phones have changed our human condition. Humanity has changed and simple day dreaming has become melded with technology where every click, snap, and search feeds the illustrious algorithms of big tech information about us so they can make our lives “easier.”
“Easier” seems to be the go to tagline to get humans to perform like circus animals. I remember when I was a little girl and TV dinners came out right along the time where kids were getting mini black and white televisions for their rooms and their own phones. Getting my gourmet cooking mother to buy a TV dinner for my brother and me took a lot of convincing. She had her standards, thank goodness, in retrospect. I also remember begging my parents for my own phone. It was a big deal when I got one and my father limited the amount of time I could spend talking on it because back then there was no call waiting in the seventies. If my father tried to call, there would be a busy signal and he would not be able to get through. This would not make my father very happy causing the threat of complete disconnection from my new phone. Leverage was what he had and most times I obliged the rules.
As I watch more and more people, especially our young people, with their heads down in their phones rather than a book, as I think about the future of actual television sets and going to the movies as a possible relic in the future, I feel worried about humanity. Will people actually stop trying to capture every moment when they realize they are actually missing every moment?
Humanity and technology is an awkward dance. Like the invention of the washing machine and dryer to make the washing of clothes much easier, we cannot imagine living without them. We have become dependent on their convenience and the thought of going back to using a washboard and a tub to clean our clothing seems ludicrous to our modern American way of life. This is the same with technology now; there seems to be no going back. Our entire lives are on our phones and I am afraid because of this, we must figure out how to co exist and still have human connection beyond a text.
Human connection feeds my sense of well being. I love a good deep hug, a serious sensual kiss, dinner in the garden, a dance on the front porch, spontaneity. I enjoy a beautiful book from the library trying to give my busy mind over to it on a breezy afternoon without looking at my phone for at least an hour. I am finding more and more that this break from technology must be a new habit I have to work on.
I know I do not need a phone by my side at every waking minute. I have to sometimes force myself to remember this as Apple would not want us to ever be away from our phones. I need to remember to look up, put my head all the way back in the opposite direction that it has has evolved into, downward like the pictures of the evolution of humans over time- head bent forward looking for food.
This time though, instead of feeding us for survival, we are looking for the human connection, but what we seem to have forgotten is that it is right in front of us if we would just remember to look up at the person standing right next to us.
definitely need to workout in nature outside, often,” my dear and
beloved fitness trainer, Kathy M., said to me after we finished an ass
kicking workout yesterday.
were speaking of menopause. Again. This is the hot, (pun totally
intended), topic these days. It seems like every woman I know is talking
about menopause. Maybe this is such a hot button issue because we are
seeing the benefits of women entering the medical profession over the
last twenty years. Finally, we are seeing the results of their
are talking about menopause like it is, in fact, something. No kidding.
Something indeed. We are actually saying the words, vaginal dryness, out-fucking-loud in daily conversations with other women. Hallelujah!
is my solace for my post menopausal brain. No matter what is happening
in my spinning washing machine cycle head, as soon as I go outside and
smell the air, I am better. Going through menopause is one thing, but
like a mastectomy and reconstruction, it is what happens after the dust
settles where the real psycho body and mind shit starts kicking in. This
is when we need to be talking and walking. Now.
I don’t mean to keep repeating the obvious, but since my grandmother never said the word, vagina
aloud ever, I do so for any woman who lived before me in hot and dry
silence. Vaginal dryness, belly bloat, weird crepey, saggy skin that is
starting to creep in, cellulite and flab, no matter how many protein
shakes and push ups. Seriously, when I smile now, my upper lip seems to
stay back before it bounces back. My hair is on speed dial causing a
full time date with the morning light and the magnifying mirror I
previously vowed complete celibacy to, never mind looking in the rear
view car mirror. Wouldn’t matter anyway since I can’t see anymore. I
envy when women say, “hair barely grows on my legs anymore.” In my
I now need a magnifying mirror, this comes with its own set of
warnings, like the magnification of every brown spot and line that
seemed to appear out of nowhere. I just noticed the other day in that
unfortunate light that my eye lid is starting to head south, like over
my eyeball. Thankfully I have stopped wearing makeup so at least the
mascara won’t land on my cheek. My mother taught me good skin care early
on, and I actually listened, since moisturizing regularly has certainly
paid off. I have pretty good skin, but since this has been my
profession, I suppose it better be good.
there is the sitting in my beach chair and looking down at my stomach
that belongs to some other woman. Where did the rolls come from? And I
am not talking rolls because I am overweight. I am just speaking of my
skin that now just rolls. How and when did they arrive? I swear, five
minutes ago I was strutting around in a bikini, a real bikini, not a
tankini, not a skirt, and now I am here at the beach thinking maybe my
two piece life is actually really over for good.
wake up in the middle of the night sometimes with a foot or a leg cramp
that jolts me out of bed reminding me that I need to be more regular
with the magnesium. Then there are the conversations about all of this
happening like we chicks are the first ones to ever experience any of
this, (of course writing about all of this doesn’t warrant talk about
flowers and shopping, I get that). Well, we are surely not the first,
but we may just be the first to actually say it loud and proud, like it
is some badge of honor instead of some hysterical Freudian
look at the young mamas with their babies and fifteen hundred dollar
strollers prancing around with their latte in the cup holders that now
come with said strollers. They walk with their phone in one hand adorned
with their athletic wear like having a baby these days is some type of
fashion show. I am so happy I am past that point of no return. Way too
much technology these days distracting these parents from the present
moment. My friends and I can’t help but live in the present moment of
hot flashes and night sweats that came without warning taking over our
bodies. And our minds.
I don’t even know how my brain works each day. I am thankful for
nature, meditation, working out, and connection. Connection is what
keeps me sane these days. Connection with myself, my body’s new reality,
and my friends and family. (And wine, but more on this later.) This is
all we have. And we, in our circle of fifty something chicks, seem to be
realizing this wholeheartedly.
is the good part of menopause, it reminds me with each and every flash
to wake up, pay attention, that time is moving along and I might want to
start that bucket list or project I have on my endless to do list. (To
do lists becoming more necessary because of the memory lapsing that I
will add here as another end result of menopause.) Better yet, as
Arianna Huffington said in a great interview, “You can also just simply
take the to do off of the to do list and call it a day.” Amen. Just
saying that feels liberating.
of calling it menopause, maybe we should call it, Man, do I pause.
Because if menopause has taught me anything, it is to pause. It is to
take notice and realize that these hot flashes, that have finally slowed
down, are to remind me that I am ready for the next phase. No more
babies, no more adolescents, college graduation looms large this
upcoming year for my only child and I am realizing that have my whole
life ahead of me.
do I pause, because the only person left standing is me. I get to
choose the next part. I have my man, sure, but I am solo by choice in
the sense of decision making, life ahead and wonder and creativity
abounds. This is a great time to pause. I am done here, but not there.
The there is next. Let’s just hope for a little moisture in the there,
is that too much to ask?
I will not look at my phone. I will not look at Facebook,” I said to
myself on this early morning. I use my phone to listen to podcasts
before I go to bed and for the clock when I arise. It seems as if
everywhere I look these days word is out that keeping a phone charging
by the bed or anywhere in the bedroom should be off limits as it impedes
sleep is seldom impeded unless there is a full moon or I have a crazy
dream. The phone is always turned over so there is no blinking blue
light getting into my pattern. I also never have my phone on for sound,
so consequently, I never hear a ring, a bing, or a swish or any other
cell phone sound that is part of what seems to be a fully accepted
surround sound wherever we are.
though, I woke up with a circling brain- scattered thoughts, hard time
concentrating. Maybe the phone by my bed is causing this and I should
buy an old school clock. Maybe I don’t even need a clock anymore since I
wake up with a, no pun intended, alarming regularity. Five, five
thirty, sometimes four, occasionally six, seldom seven. For my whole
life, since I was in ninth grade, I have never been a late sleeper.
The morning is my magic hour.
my morning time, I lose my balance. As a matter of fact, now that I
think about this, I have unconsciously designed my entire life around
keeping my mornings sacred. I am fortunate- lucky, some people would
say, that I have this glorious option when I wake up.
I work out, go for a bike ride, write, tinker in the garden, sit, or
listen and stare at the world? This is not luck, this is choice. I have
built a business to support my life and my lifestyle. Owning my own
company for almost twenty years has given me this ability to control my
own way I spend my time.
is ironic in some ways because being a business owner usually means
that work is 24/7. No question. I am always working. At least my brain
is- there is no luxury of locking up at the end of a day, walking away
and not thinking about the job. But even when I had “a job” I thought
about work. I always had owner brain which is why I likely turned into a
this writing today is not about work; it is about the morning, that
magic hour of five — seven am. When sounds are just nature, not traffic,
only car doors opening and the truck engine of my neighbor starting so
he can leave for work. The morning is the routine of my day which is
about the only stable routine I follow. Wake up, take some slow deep
breaths, open the curtains to take a peek at the weather, head to the
bathroom for some teeth brushing, face splashing and moisturizing, throw
on my old lady clothes consisting of a gardening dress, a Life is Good
tee shirt, socks and Ugg clogs, no fashion show here, but pure fifty
four year old, live alone comfort. I then make my way to the kitchen to
start the coffee. Most mornings these days I make myself sit on the
pillow and meditate while the coffee perks, but today, the sounds of my
yard were calling me.
poured my coffee in my new favorite mug given to me by a new favorite
friend and made my way to my garden to greet the new blooms with a big
happy “Welcome!” I talk to my entire garden. “Hello!” I joyfully exclaim
to each of the plants that are my old friends. “Good Morning!” to any
plant that decided to bloom for my personal pleasure. I walk around the
garden noting what is in need of some assistance. Some of the lavender
and thyme I planted last year is struggling. “I must trim the dead
wood,” I say to myself, always having a checklist popping like rice
crispies. Owning a magic kingdom from 1865 commands a perpetual
checklist. Worth every bother most days, though, when I am able to allow
patience to prevail, a constant source of work and pleasure.
fragrance of the morning blossoming honeysuckle puts me in a trance.
The rose bush each year that, according to my eight four year old
neighbor, was planted over sixty years ago, is blooming like it is
coming of age and just discovered its own beauty. My forty packets of
zinnias and cosmos I threw cares to the wind and sprinkled like fairy
dust are popping up everywhere. No systemic gardening design now, just
wild color everywhere is my hope for August if all goes as planned.
goes as planned…. What does that even mean? Planning is all I have ever
done. I never tire of planning and crafting ideas and parties in my
head. But nature is the counter balance for this busy spirit. Without
it, I would be way off the rails instead of just partially a little
stand in my gravel driveway after inspecting my pots of zinnia sprouting
like magic. I look up to find the song sparrow singing to me again as
she does every single day like clockwork, happy to have her serenading
me. I listen for my familiar cardinals and as I look up, I see five or
six seagulls headed towards the sound of a motor boat on the bay likely a
quahoger out on the water at his job, hoping for some free breakfast.
(Not the quahog, the seagulls). I look towards my bright fiery pink
roses starting to wind down, wishing I had planted more, and notice out
of the corner of my eye, one of the two baby bunnies that now reside on
stand as still as a mannequin. I watch, thinking for a brief moment
that if anyone saw me at this moment, they may think I have lost my
marbles in the get up I have the balls to stand outside in. I notice the
petals of the roses that have fallen to the ground and watch the bunny
sniffing them. She then takes one in her mouth where I am sure she will
realize it is not the food she was looking for and spit it out, but to
my luscious surprise, she eats the entire petal. Then another and
another. My thoughts are this. “She likes the taste of rose as much as I
do!” followed by, “I am so happy I didn’t let Mike, my landscaper to
spray round up in my driveway.”
watched for a few more minutes appreciating the stillness of this magic
moment and thought how happy I am that the honeysuckle’s aroma this
morning traveled like the swirl of a magic Genie coming out of her
bottle the way Barbara Eden used to in I Dream of Jeannie back in what
seemed like a simpler time in life.
in the morning is gift that so many pass by and take for granted. Just a
brief stop to smell a rose blooming or taste the smallest drop of the
sweet honeysuckle on the way to the car to work can be a day changer. We
are running and running. Nature is our excuse to stop and smell the
roses. Let’s do this. #Timetolookupindeed.
decided to head out for a walk on Friday morning instead of the gym
because I was reminded while reading information by a new practitioner I
just met. She wrote about the equal importance of outdoor fitness-
connecting with nature and your body- along with gym workouts. I know
this to be true because there is nothing like nature to settle my
overactive brain. Working out at the gym does this too, but in a much
harder way. The vigorous pounding and accelerated heart rate, literally,
beats it out of me.
is the opposite; it is settling, calming and acts more like a slow,
steady paddle on a calm morning. It is the yin to my souped up yang.
Souped up yang as my heart lately has been racing, my brain has been in
overdrive and all of this leaves me with feelings of inadequacies and
not good enough thinking that makes me feel super shitty.
it the full moon? (yes), the approaching intensity of the glorious
summer solstice? (yes), is it the fast approaching seventeen year
anniversary of being in business? (I hadn’t thought about that, but
YES). Yes to all because I can feel a big, bad ass shift happening, but I
haven’t figured the ‘it’ out yet. Me and not figuring ‘it’ out is an
awkward dance that creates undo stress. I don’t like not knowing. Which
is exactly why I am here. Not knowing is where I am supposed to be and
this is something I definitely know.
My grandmother would say, “Alayne, sometimes no decision is the best
decision.” I don’t know why this gives me an immediate sense of comfort,
but it does. I bring the need to make decisions on in a way that causes
pressure on this overachieving mind of mine. This is the challenge of a
creative soul, for sure. Always moving and shaking and if things are
not moving and shaking, well, then I must move and shake them.
the counter balance is to cease and desist, not completely, but to use
nature as my guiding light as the opposing force to settle my ass down
in a chair and stare. To walk on a path by the water with no phone and
no companion except my beating heart and my Serena strong legs to propel
me along the beauty I get to call my place on this earth.
first step is usually the one that causes me procrastination for no
apparent reason other than the call of my house. Writing, cooking,
typing, organizing, working, are all little parts of the why I may not
always make time to go for that casual stroll alone, but I did anyway.
I didn’t, I wouldn’t have seen an elegant shimmery white egret fly over
me, full spread wings, headed for his landing pad of the harbor. The
sound of his movement was what caused me to look up and stop in awe to
watch. While I was looking up, I heard the familiar sound of the Osprey
who has the prime real estate address of Poppasquash Rd. in Bristol,
Rhode Island with his family and saw him carrying a fish. What a sight!
Like the sounds of cardinals, I can always recognize the Osprey’s high
pitched whistling sound. This is a rewarding lesson that keeps giving as
their majestic wing span soaring over my house is a sight to behold.
I didn’t take that walk, I wouldn’t have noticed the baby bunnies
foraging for food, looking so vulnerable as they learn the ropes of
finding nourishment. I wouldn’t have had the conversations with my
friend, Greg down at the harbormaster’s office as I passed by on my way
towards the path along the water about the new ferry service from
Bristol to Newport to Providence. I wouldn’t have picked up the schedule
to learn the times that it runs and subsequently made plans yesterday
to head into Providence on the new ferry service. This led me to be part
of the all inclusive and heart warming welcoming to all who come in
peace, Pride Fest. I found my way to a brand new vegan, but you would
never know it, restaurant called Plant City.
my walk, I saw people out doing the same, business owners getting their
storefronts ready for business. I enjoyed the rich aromas of the
glorious seaside town I get to call home and feel and hear my heart
beating because of my pace. I felt the bay air and wind through my hair
and on my skin as I got a nice sweat going from the speed in which I am
privileged to keep my legs moving forward with. My olfactory system
would have not smelled the beginnings of the summer roses opening,
coupled with the aromas of flowers, herbs and freshly cut grass as the
good people of Bristol are in their happy place, getting their homes
ready for July 4th.
wouldn’t have noticed the bird with the bright red breast and the grey
head on the top of the pillar on my front porch after my walk was
complete as I took the time to sit there with a nice cup of coffee. I
had never seen a bird like this and though it pained me to break from my
trance of just simply admiring without having to take a picture, I went
in to my house and got my phone to capture him or her. It wasn’t for
posterity as much as curiosity and being able to remember the
description so I could find out what bird this was. She let me take a
picture almost posing and we had a lovely connection before she flew
brief encounter caused me to open up an Audubon bird book collecting
dust on my shelf that some dear friends of my grandmother had sent as a
gift to my son. I spent a half hour looking for a picture of this bird
to no avail. a few days later, I walked next door to ask my bird loving
friend, Dottie, and she didn’t know either. This caused me to head
yesterday on my quest to find out the name of this bird to a new
favorite spot, The Redwood Library in Newport, RI to look for some bird
books and see if I could get to the bottom of this little sweet bird’s
name. I couldn’t find a picture that fit the exact description, but
while perusing the shelves, I come across a paper thin book of poetry by
Audrey Silcox, a poet who lived from 1890–1944, she died at the age I
am now. This was next to another book by Ruth Whitman called The Testing
of Hannah Senesh. Hannah Senesh was a famous heroine of WWII who was
captured after parachuting into Yugoslavia because an informant turned
her in. She was executed after spending nine months in a concentration
camp at 23 for trying to save her Hungarian Jewish friends and family.
book of poetry captured my attention and I became so ensconced in the
writing that I ended up sitting there for two hours to finish it.
Yesterday at the library was like a live version of internet surfing
except I was sitting in the sunlight at my back in a comfy old dark
green leather chair with the only sounds being the crinkling of the
opening and closing of library books instead of the tapping of the keys
and the bings of text messages at every second.
know that the actual reading of a real book of poetry, a real walk in
the rain on the way home with my umbrella that my partner reminded me to
take and the time it gave me to be myself was significant for my
health. I don’t know the science of why, I am sure there is science, but
I don’t really need this because I go with the feeling. Surfing the
internet vs being in nature gives me two completely different feelings,
the latter always soothes, awakens me from my slumber and calms that
nothing else can compete or compare with.
I didn’t go outside for that forty minute or so walk a few days ago, I
wouldn’t have known what I might have missed, but I didn’t miss anything
because I said yes to me. I walked and glided along and kept the
promise to myself to get outside and enjoy the day. All of this nature
took me on a weekend journey I hadn’t anticipated, but I allowed its
never disappoints and it always rewards me. I don’t know why I would
even procrastinate ever again. Though I didn’t find out the name of the
bird until I texted the picture to my friend, Julie, who knows all
things birds. I realize the irony of this and what humbles me is that,
perhaps, I can allow room for both. Nature and technology. There are
some time saving aspects to the brilliance of the Google search, for
sure. I just have to make sure that I am in the drivers seat instead of
letting it take me for the ride of incredible time wasting- looking
down, missing what’s up.
cardinals were with me on almost the entire walk this past Friday,
egging me on, telling me that this is always the best remedy for a busy
mind. My life and my brain is calmed, my world feels better and I am
ready for my day. All because I did instead of didn’t. And by the way,
the bird according to Julie is a house finch. “Yep, that’s a lovely
little house finch,” she texted back. “They’re beautiful color and have
the best song. They’re common, but really special.” #luckyindeed.