Mixed feelings

The restrictions on movement are beginning to take a toll on my mental health. For the first few weeks I decided to treat them as a retreat and did a lot of meditation and inner work. After that I decided to do more work on spiritual things and more Reiki going on to teach others as much as I could during this situation. I then took on other projects to keep me busy.

But what I miss most of all is the time out with friends, walking, talking and eating out. These have come to a full stop. I do get out with my son once a week and we go to nature reserves or areas where there is a lot of insect life as we both love insects of all kinds. One of the bonuses of being out with friends is the way the conversation stimulates. I have found a distinctive lack of creative ability recently and a lack of motivation to create. I have material, and thread, I have paints, pencils and sketch books but I don’t seem to have the motivation to create.

I have been reading lots of books on different subjects though and adding to my knowledge. However I really want to move house to somewhere with a few more adaptations which help me with my daily life like grab rails in various places and a walk in shower. These cannot be placed in my current home for various reasons so I have been trying to move things around to make life easier while I wait for more suitable accommodation. Falling over in the garden brings home how much help I do need although I am fiercely independent generally. I always have been and want to stay that way but I have to be sensible.

I found an article on pain this morning and how it is related to emotional states. I shall read this carefully and see if it helps. Although I have been told my pain is from the collective if that makes sense to you. Our world is in pain and many of its inhabitants are in pain so if I am carrying pain for the collective then I can see why I have so much pain. But is it that easy? However I shall carry on doing my best, staying hopeful and positive believing that there is a much better world ahead, maybe not in my lifetime but hopefully in yours.

Pacing yourself

In the past when I was working as a teacher there was no chance of pacing myself. Everything seemed rushed and very hectic as I tried to get everything done that needed doing. There was no chance to sit back and think about the best way to do something. I see others now in similar situations. Things needed to be done ‘yesterday’ was the buzz word not today. Every person was rushing around trying to do things. Of course this can lead to burn out so be careful how you work.

Nowadays I am busy but my own boss as it were and can choose when and how to do things. But I still have to pace myself. My ‘illness’ flares up and then it is time to rest and recover not carry on as normal. If I do too much as I often find myself doing, then a flare up arrives to slow me down. It is easy to get carried away on projects when you have a lot of interest in what you are doing and the days get away from you quickly until your body says stop. I know I am not alone in this but there are many younger people who are not aware of how their bodies work and carry on until their last breath failing to understand that we are not here just to work but to enjoy the world around us.

We are here also to take time to appreciate that world especially the natural world and the insects and animals that live in it as well as the plants. There is so much out there and it is good for mental health to have time outdoors and relax. We also need to understand how the species are interconnected and that includes us too. Too many of one species can make a difference to how many there are of other species and so on. There seems to be a lack of general understanding of how we and other species work together and how important it is that we recognise this.

So why are we rushing around trying to do everything as quick as we can? Is what we are doing important to us or to someone else? Why are we not spreading out the workload so it gets done quicker and easier? Pacing yourself is important if you want to stay healthy and enjoy your life.

Minor accidents

Accidents are of course unplanned but can have catastrophic issues. Luckily for me my accident was a minor one but the injuries are still causing me pain. I always believed that things happened for a reason even if the reason was unknown. Mine was carelessness but maybe there was another reason. I have found in the past that when I am trying to do something or rushing around then something happens to slow me down or stop me. But I cannot think whay this would happen now.

However the ‘damage’ to my hands and knees as well as other bruised bits has stopped me from doing things I love like writing, sewing, crafting and cooking. So I have had plenty of time to think and reflect on my life at the current point in time. I know that the pandemic has stopped me from rushing around and I am much slower now so doing too much is no longer an option. I was trying to do too much in the garden when I feel up the steps though even though I delegate most of the garden work to someone else.

I have had accidents in my life before but nothing serious but I do know what it feels like when a part of your body doesn’t work right for a period time. I remember having my foot in plaster for 6 weeks and that curtailed a lot of activity. But when a hand is not working right then it opens up a new type of scenario. You don’t realise how much you use your hands until one doesn’t work right. In my case it was both hands but one was worse than the other. So everything thing you do as normal each day, washing, cooking, even cleaning my teeth took on a new dimension. Getting out and about came to a halt as I could not use my crutch to help me walk. But things are improving and I have spent time thinking and planning and watching the Tour de France on the TV.

But I have still not decided whether there was anything else behind this accident apart from my own carelessness. I knew when I moved here that the garden steps could be a problem but for two and half years I have been OK until now. I suppose it is easy to get complacent about things and take less care when doing something. There is a lot of complacency around at the moment with the pandemic and I wonder where that will take us. We have to learn from mistakes and minor accidents too.

August ramblings

Today is the first time for many months that I have sat down to write my weekly blog and did not know what theme I would have. Normally during the week before, something happens that triggers my writing but this week there was nothing. However I do have lots of rambling thoughts I can write down, so here goes.

I live about 1/2 mile from the town centre and have always walked down the hill into town and caught the bus back, a little 18 seater bus that can cope with the streets of the various housing estates it travels through. But since March when restrictions came into being, I had not ventured into town at all. I have walked in the local park or around the streets but not gone into town. I knew I could walk down the hill but did not want to use the little bus to come back. Social distancing is impossible in such a small bus and most of us that use it are in the vulnerable class of being over 60.

I needed to go to the bank this week so my son took me down in his car. It was the first time for around 5 months and I was quite apprehensive. However all went well and I did some shopping as well. But this leads me to another few rambling thoughts.

I belong to several groups , photography, discussion and nature groups. None of these can be attended at the moment. I run the nature group and don’t have a car so the group has closed. Car sharing is not allowed unless with a member of your household or bubble. Some groups have gone online like the discussion groups but I don’t fancy sitting at my computer for an hour or two using Zoom. So while many others can go out with their groups because they have a car, there are many others who don’t have a car and so cannot get back to doing the things they used to do. I find it quite difficult to listen and see on social media just what my friends have been up to just because they have a car. Yet on the other hand I don’t like the idea of single occupancy cars because of the carbon footprint. We were supposed to be getting rid of cars and making the environment better for us all yet we are encouraged to use cars now and not public transport.

A final rambling thought is about the seasons. I wrote last week about the spring flowers blooming in my garden. This week the RHS stated that autumn had arrived and looking around the garden I can see that this is so. Many plants are already dying down and some are yet to bloom. I went for a short walk early this morning. It felt like October out there and I noticed that the trees in the park were starting to turn orange and fall onto the ground. Global warming?

Confusion in the garden world

Confusion is understandable when their is a lot of uncertainty around. This is so at the current time of changing guidelines and restrictions. They change so often it is hard to keep up with them and know what you can and can’t do. I find it quite hard to deal with and tend to stay home instead of going out each day. But this is our human world.

In the garden the other day I was very surprised to find one of my spring flowers blooming again. I really was struck by this so went around the rest of the garden to see what else was happening. And there next to the autumn Michaelmas daisies were cowslips and primroses coming into flower. Maybe they do flower twice a year like some other plants but I have never seen them do this before. I know the weather has been very unpredictable at times going from very hot to cold and wet in a short period of time. I did notice that the autumn flowers are a bit early too as were the Victoria plums which are now all gone.

I’ve always felt that I could follow the seasons through my garden but this is now a bit of a problem when the plants flower at what I feel is the wrong time. Maybe some of you reading this will be able to tell me more about the flowering habits of spring flowers. I mean it has felt like autumn for a few days now. There is that definite smell in the mornings of autumn mists and fruitfulness. But the butterflies and bees are still busy and on a good day there are lots of them around.

I suppose that if we are going through climate change then we can expect more things like this to happen but it will make life difficult for the flowering plants. What are your thoughts on what is happening with my spring flowering plants?

Changes in our lives

Restrictions in our lives over the last few months have enabled us to look deep inside ourselves. We have been able to spend time looking at the way we live and start to make changes. We have slowed down and are able to enjoy our days much more and in better ways. Rushing around has come to a halt. There is no pressure to do things quickly and decisions have not been rushed. Some of us have found new hobbies and leisure activities and many of us have also found a different purpose to our lives.

So how has my life changed during these last few months? First of all I have been able to finish several projects which have been hanging around for up to a few years so that is a very good thing. This has enabled me to start new projects like making a scrapbook of the changes in my garden through the seasons. I have taken photos of each plant as it came into bloom, noted the visitors, the birds, bees and butterflies. This has been absorbing and has given me a lot of joy.

I have worked with Reiki and other healing modalities much more and have got back into a daily session of meditation with Reiki. I have also started to train others to Level 3 which is something I have always enjoyed. The sharing of knowledge gained over the last 40 years or more is something I want to share so that others can also find out more about who they really are.

This is a time of regeneration if you like to call it that. Chaos comes first as structure falls but then rebuilding starts in a new way with more consideration for how we live. That is what I hope and am doing my part to help. What changes to your lives have happened during the last few months?

Complacency

I am sure I have written about complacency in the past but it seems very relevant in the current time. So what is complacency about? It is about accepting that things are non changing, it is an uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements. It is a feeling of smugness. So are you complacent? Are you one of those who say ‘I’m alright Jack!’, ‘it won’t happen to me’, it’s nothing to do with me’?

Do you question things or just accept everything you are told or read about? Do you ever think that something is wrong but do nothing about it? Do you protest at the things that are going on in the lives of others or do you just ignore it?

Lots of questions here for you to think about. I often get told off for having an input into what I think is wrong and told to just let it be. But if we all do this then where is the world going to end up?There is a lot of injustice around and a lot of people who say that it won’t happen to them especially during this pandemic. There are guidelines for us to follow, many of which make sense. Remember that in school, one child gets chicken pox and then all the others get it.Viruses spread just the same so it is good to be sensible and follow guidelines when necessary.

But there are other instances when being complacent can be wrong. There is a problem locally with teenagers on bikes damaging trees and abusing people. Should they get away with this or should they be found and spoken to. I did not say punished as that can often be the wrong thing to do but most children will respond to being told why what they are doing is wrong. Things triggers another subject, the subject of education. Here in the UK children have not been at school since March or at least most children. Some have been at school for part of the time but most have been home schooling.

So back to complacency, should we all be doing more to change things by getting involved and not just sitting back and letting everything go by without comment or action?

Nature just carries on

It doesn’t matter what is going on in the world we are currently living in, the natural world around us, at least around me, is just carrying on as normal.

The birds are still producing young, some sparrows are on their second brood while I have young starlings, blackbirds, blue tits and goldfinches as well in my garden. They are emptying the bird feeders very rapidly and demolishing fatballs at a steady pace. The plants are still growing and producing flowers and seed heads while the butterflies are still busy as are the bees. Despite the changes in the weather every few days from very hot to cooler to rain and gales, the birds and insects continue as normal.

Meanwhile, the’ normal’ world is not any kind of normal. The changes in guidelines and rules change so often that they become confusing. There are many who have made plans yet again only to have to put them on one side until the right kind of change is made for the plans to be effective.

I am just carrying on, taking each day as it comes and doing what I would normally do apart from the shopping which is now done online. Today’s deliveryman stated that his employer, Tesco, would be taking back used carrier bags from next week and recycling them or at least disposing of them safely. So some good things are happening.

I go out once a week with my son and we have been visiting some local nature reserves. Three of these were quite similar in habitat and all had wonderful beautiful meadows, full of wild flowers, butterflies and many other insects. It seemed as if I was in a different world when standing on the path through the meadow with it’s knee high and sometimes higher, flowers and grasses. There was so much to see and so much to feel with the energy of everything growing there. It was a really amazing experience. So I wonder where we will go next week? Maybe a woodland walk instead to hug some beautiful trees.

When things go wrong

There are a lot of things going wrong in the world today. Some are small while others are life changing. I always wonder why something has gone wrong when it does that. Is it something I forgot to do? Is it something I should have thought about a bit more before doing it? And so on.

Our world is rather chaotic at the moment while the pandemic goes on and our thoughts and perceptions change. One of the things to think about when something goes wrong for you is why it has happened. Did your mail order not arrive or was it the wrong item? Did you order something you needed or just order something you fancied?

Did you travel somewhere and then find yourself unable to get back because of some kind of failure in transport or because of quarantine? Was the urge to travel stronger than your urge to stay safe?

All these things that go wrong are there to make you think about what you are doing with your life. We all know that changes are around and we need to look at these changes and decide which ones are for the better for everyone not just yourself. If we want a world where people consider each other and respect each other then we have to look at how we behave and change our behaviour if necessary.

One thing which has horrified me during the pandemic is the huge use of plastics. Where are these plastic bags and masks going to end up? I have my groceries delivered because I am unable to carry them and always stated no bags. Now I have no choice and I have collected a box full of plastic carrier bags during the lockdown. I shall reuse as many as possible. The lesson here is that although I made a good choice, the current state of our country means I am unable to keep that choice.

There is so much to think about and when things go wrong we need to be aware of the why’s of this and how we can possibly make the right choices in future.

When you feel down

I don’t normally write about myself as such because I write to inform, provoke thought or try to inspire. So this weeks blog is a bit different. My week has had an up and down feel to it with more downs than ups. So what do I do about the down parts? Mainly I try to get outside in the fresh air which generally gives me some energy back and I can get on with doing things I want to do. This does not always work though.

During the pandemic, things have gradually improved and we are able to go out but I don’t have a car so can only go where I can walk unless I use public transport which in my case is an 18-seater bus where social distancing would be quite difficult. I can’t share a car with someone else unless they are in my bubble. So I can go out with my son in his car as we are in what is termed a bubble, but he lives 40 miles away so visits once a week. That is good though and we went out earlier this week to a local nature reserve which I enjoyed. But this brings in another problem as my mobility is rather bad at the moment and walking even a short distance can be too painful. I have a mobility scooter but that won’t go in his car so if I use the scooter I am limited to local areas and the amount of time my hands will work on the controls.

I can sketch, paint, sew, knit, play the piano if I wish but these are all subject to the amount of pain in my hands. And I also have to feel motivated to do any of these things. One thing I have found that influences whether I feel down or not, is the weather. Today and several days this week, the sky is grey, cloudy and looking like rain. I shall feel much better when the sun comes out. I find the small things important, like seeing a butterfly or bee on a flower or watching the young birds squabble over the food on the bird table or in the feeders. These little things can help to brighten the day.

So I feel sympathy with those in similar situations and try to help others with my words when I can. So if you are like me and reading this please know that you are not alone. Let us look forward to a new world where we will have the help we need to enable us to fulfil our lives in a better way.