Salix's Shiny Things

A magpie blog.

Some (hopefully) keepable resolutions. January 7, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — LP @ 9:59 am
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I haven’t really thought about making New Year’s resolutions for a very, very long time, but this year, I’ve been inspired to actually set some doable goals linked to “Big Intentions”, in a formal, thoughtful fashion.

Big Intention #1: Become a Better Community Member/Citizen

Doable Goals: Volunteer at events like the Rotating Winter Homeless Shelter.  Get involved in meetups/classes.

Big Intention #2: Become a Kinder Person (to myself & others)

Doable Goals: Meditate every day.  Exercise at least 3 times a week.  Do at least one thing every day to make my habitat more habitable.  Do at least one creative thing a day (crochet for a bit, paint, draw, make a dessert, write).  Commit to doing a hour’s worth of resume revision/CV revision/application stuff every business day.  Commit to doing an hour’s worth of bookkeeping and budgeting every business day.

Big Intention #3: Be In and Connect With the World More

Doable goals: learn to drive stick-shift. Make new friends and connect more with old friends. Practice self-metta – making new friends will not be as easy as it was when I was a kid, but people need friends like me who are loyal and kind.  Be careful not to let Jerkbrain derail attempts at connecting with others.  I may not be able to give people rides or meet them at distant locations for a while, but there is a lot that I can do, like listen and lend emotional support.  I am a damn good listener, if I do say so myself.

Big Intention #4: Beat Back the Jerkbrain

Doable goals: Meditate every day for at least 5 minutes, doing whatever style of meditation feels right at that moment.  Ask for help sometimes.  Be habitual about checking the accounts, entering receipts, and invoicing. Find and keep up a good to do list app. Spend more time in the garden. Be conscious about social media use, and limit it to certain times of the day.  Journal more. Write poetry. Read a bit of fiction every day. Give love. Watch Star Trek when necessary.  Go on walks/hikes with C.

Here’s to a wonderful 2016!

 

 

 

Liminality. October 29, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — LP @ 4:44 pm
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Liminality is a concept from anthropology, and refers to the intermediate state during a rite of passage where the participant temporarily lacks social status or rank.  They’re at the whims of their elders, and must demonstrate obedience and humility in addition to performing all sorts of rituals.  The term comes from the Latin word for threshold.

Neither here nor there, but in between.

Not quite one, nor the other.

I tend to have difficulty with liminal states.  I typically enjoy the safety of being definitely something.  Like married.  I really liked the concept of marriage, the social status of being married, the recognition of a particular kind of relationship, of a family.  I found it very frustrating to be “the girlfriend” or “the fiancee” when I was seriously dating my then husband.

I’m finding it similarly frustrating now.

Part of me want it all, right now.  To be done with, one way or the other, to trade liminality for status.

But the larger part of me, the older and wiser and experienced part of me, tells me that this part of the relationship will never happen again, and I should just slow down and enjoy the ride.

Enjoy the moment, enjoy those little discoveries that will never be new again.  Appreciate the fact that the newness will be gone one day, but don’t dwell in mourning its passing.

The shyness, the uncertainty of when and how to touch, or kiss, or hold hands – this will be gone one day.  Shyness is a sweet hesitation, born of respect, and a little fear of the new and untested.  It’s beautiful.

Whispers, lover’s secrets.  The painful hunger for his body when sleeping alone in my bed.  The incandescence of yearning, and of joy when we come back together.

It will all change.  I won’t dwell in mourning the passing of the newness, and I won’t dwell in the frustration of this liminal state.  I will live these moments with gratitude, so grateful am I to be here, at this moment, having these experiences.

 

Summer blues. July 9, 2014

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I’m not a fan of summer here in central California.  The Mediterranean climate includes months of dryness, from about May-ish to about October-ish.  Months of mostly sunshine, and temps in the 90’s to 100’s. 

Sunny days.  So. Many. Sunny. Days.  They hurt.

I find the high pressure dome that sits over CA every summer oppressive.  There’s just something unnerving about weather that refuses to change for weeks and weeks on end.

I didn’t grow up here.  I grew up where there was real weather:  hot and humid days would gather thunderclouds in the evenings.  Other seasons would see sleet, snow, ice, rain, sun, rainbows, thunderstorms, hail. 

So I have to struggle to tolerate the lack of weather here.  And the heat.  I mean, who likes 100+ degrees, even if it is a “dry heat”? 

Enjoying the weather?  Even more of a struggle.

So I get the summer blues here, big time. 

pc-140225-almondtrees-cannon_c31b8a8d2aca0cf8bc4059e43f712953.nbcnews-ux-1080-700

Drought in California: this farmer lost 1000 acres of almond trees over the winter.

pic credit: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/farmer-loses-1-000-acres-almond-trees-california-drought-n38601

And this summer’s going to be a doozy, even by California standards.  We’re in a severe drought, and the fire season is ramping up.  Just a couple dozen miles from here 7000+ acres were burning.  The smoke from it gave me headaches for days.  

How does one deal with this?  How does one not succumb to depression?  (well, not any more than I already have, that is.)

1.  Mindfulness.  Yeah, gotta get back into doing this.  Reading Thich Nhat Hanh is always good, but sometimes depression just means I don’t have the energy to read.  Then not reading Thich makes me feel more depressed, which means less energy, which means… ugh.  Yeah.  Doom spiral of doom is yuck.

2.  Writing.  It helps to write, of course it does.  It also takes energy, but now that I seem to have gotten back some of my activation energy, writing is good.  Like another step on the upward spiral towards non-depression.

3.  Being in the world.  I’ve actually been not so bad on this front, but the little bits I’ve been doing have kind of wiped me out.  It’s good, but gotta take it to the next level.  Like calling friends to go hang out and sew and stuff. 

4.  Gratitude/Beauty Challenge.  Find something out there in the world to like.  Even just for a moment.  Like grass.  Grass is nice.  Green, has an smooth, springy, texture.  Cool to the touch.  Go sit in it.  Nice, isn’t it?  Thank you, grass!  (better enjoy it now, while there’s still enough water for the parks to keep it green!)

Desert_de_Retz_Grass

pic credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/11/Desert_de_Retz_Grass.jpg

5.  Clean the dang house, already.  Habitat is important.  Today, the floordrobe.  Tomorrow, the world!

 

 

 

Serene Sunday. And hello! (again!) April 6, 2014

 

pointing-the-way-570x527

pic credit:  http://www.fakebuddhaquotes.com/you-yourself-must-strive-the-buddhas-only-point-the-way/

Hello again, world!  I’ve been inspired to blog more in the last few weeks over at zisforzener and then, out of the blue, this blog got some attention.  I’d been ignoring this one because it’s a bit more painful.  It was a useful way at the time to write about things to help me get through the emotional and mental abuse I was experiencing with my partner, but it also reminded me too much of that dark time in my life.  But it has been a year exactly since I left her, and I have been wanting to write more about my journey towards self acceptance and lovingkindness, and this is the perfect way to do so.  I want zisforzener  to remain primarily about parenting, of course, and so this blog will be my everything-else blog, my “magpie” blog.  Expect ramblings about buddhism, mindfulness, recovery from abuse, mental illness (depression and social anxiety, mainly), and an occasional poem or short fictional story.  Like I said, “magpie” – all the shiny things, collected here!