It is that time of the year when everyone writes about the coming of Spring but I want to write about something different. Lots of rambling thoughts have been going through my head this week and I hope they have sorted themselves out to make this an interesting blog.
Although time seems to be speeding up and the weeks rush by, there are some days when time seems to go very slowly. I remember saying to my son one day while talking on the phone, that I had been bored for some of the day. He could not understand this as I have plenty of hobbies. I write, I research family and local history, I craft, sewing, some knitting and macrame or weaving, I read a lot and I love adult colouring books so why would I be bored. I am sure you all know about the times when you really do not feel like doing any of those things. I do listen to music, mainly on the radio and I meditate at times. But the days can be very long if you get up early and do not have the means to get out. I did not go out for at least 4 days last week and the only contact with others was via the computer and the phone.
So how do I deal with this? Well, I don’t deal with it really. Sometimes I go and have a nap which often helps. If the weather is good I will stand on the doorstep and look at the clouds and the little bit of garden that I have. In the summer I can sit outside and enjoy nature more but it is winter now and too cold to sit out and definitely too wet! I try to take these days as they come and I know that the next day might be much better and the muse will appear so I can write or do something else creative. I am not a fan of the TV as I prefer to do things myself not watch others doing them although occasionally there can be some good programmes to watch. So how would you, my readers, deal with days like these? If you are young these kind of days may be a long way off but if like me you are retired or almost retired then these days may soon be upon you.
I have spent a few days away during this last week and they gave me a lot to think about. I found out how easily my stress levels rose when my booked transport did not arrive and had to be reminded which in turn meant that the coach had to wait for me. There is nothing more embarrassing than being late for something and everyone else is sitting there waiting for you. It took me until the next afternoon before I could really relax. On the way we had a lunch stop in a shopping village I know quite well. Luckily the developers had left alone many of the old trees so I was able to take some photos of them and talk to them as I passed by.
Last week I wrote about solitude, being lonely and being alone. I think I experienced all of these during my four days away. But I also experienced companionship with an old friend who visited me there. I sometimes wonder why I go on these holidays as they are not really what I enjoy but it does get me out of the house and somewhere different. Previous similar holidays have always been good as the hotel has always had wonderful landscaped grounds around them so there have been many trees to hug. This year the landscaping was far too new and not exciting at all. Plastic rocks in a man made narrow lake said it all.
It was good to see the landscape that I love as we travelled and it made me want to go back there to live. Although the landscape is industrial there are many wide open spaces and views of the open moorland to the north, something I really miss. After all it is home and I am thankful for the time spent with my friend.
Solitude – the state or situation of being alone. Is this what solitude means to you? For me it implies being somewhere away from others and sitting in peace and quiet. According to the various definitions I have seen it is also about being alone and/or feeling lonely. So this could mean for me that I live in solitude, I am lonely and I am alone if you look at all the definitions. So what does it actually mean to me? Well, I live alone and have done so for most of the last twenty years. I spent some time living with my son but that was not for very long. Certainly the last seven years I have lived alone.
But am I lonely? At times I am. But you can be in a crowd of people and still feel lonely. I suppose that what I miss most about living alone is the companionship of others, the chat and the sparking of new ideas that comes from talking to others. However I do see people; I run two groups where people come to my house and we learn different things. I also attend a couple of groups. But one of the things I miss is having someone around to share the load as it were.
But I am lucky compared to many. Although I live in a complex of bungalows where we are all pensioners, in the winter I do not see any of the others very often. We all stay inside but we do look out for each other in that we check if a person has got up that morning and we tell each other when we are going away. So I have solitude and I am sometimes lonely as well as being alone. Being alone and being lonely are two different things. Perhaps you could think about these differences and see if you can help those who may be feeling lonely this wintertime.
My photo this morning was taken earlier on looking at the snow on the shrubs. A beautiful sight but cold.
Living where I do in a complex of bungalows for old people, there are always many who pass on to the next world. Over the last couple of weeks there have been three of these plus a couple of others I know so a sad time for many.
Loss of a loved one is often very hard to deal with although life does go on in some form or other. You never forget the loved ones but your life does change. I am old enough to have lost both my parents and my husband so I do know how it feels. The hardest parts are the daily living when there is no one else there with you but you do get used to it although that feeling of being alone never goes away however much friends and other family are around.
But loss is not just about those passing over as we lose friends for unknown reasons. They may decide they don’t want to be friends any more and more on to other pastures. This can happen in partnerships too as one partner decides to move on and away from their partner of sometimes, many years. I’ve also been divorced and this form of loss is also when grieving is needed. We have to learn to cherish the good memories and let the bad ones go.
I try even now to take each day as it comes and I am trying very hard to be positive about each day and in turn, not exactly ignoring the bad stuff, but letting it go so only the good stuff stays in my mind. I am finding this a very useful way of ‘working’ and it is changing my outlook on life when the days are dark. I now see them as a short passage in a longer brighter time. This positive outlook is helping me with my mobility problems and I am starting to feel better about my life. There are still bad days as there always were but I am coping with them better. Remember the good things not the bad ones.
A new year has begun. I am not one for making New Year Resolutions but I do look back at the previous year and see what I need to do to make this coming year a better one. I have always given thanks at the end of the day for five things that I have, have done, or have experienced. Now I am adding to this. I purchased a Mindfulness Colouring Diary and as well as the colouring I am using the diary sections to write down five positive words to describe that day. If I have meditated I can put Contemplation, if I have been writing I can add the word Creative and so on. I am finding this very good as it makes me think about the good parts of the day not the bad bits.
One other thing I thought about was Random Acts of Kindness. I have known about this for a long time and try to do these little things. It can be very easy as doing something like holding the door open for some one or saying good morning to someone and smiling can all be called random acts of kindness. This is much harder for me now as I am not very mobile but I do manage to get to the village shop every so often. I go when there are people around, going to catch the bus into town or walking their dogs. I always speak to them wishing them Good Morning and smile and they always answer me and smile too. This is a way of connecting with people and you never know where it may lead. Also they may then speak to others and smile, passing it on in effect.
So these are two things which I find important as a part of my druid way of living. There are others but they will do for now. How are you starting this new year? Do you do random acts of kindness? Or do you help in other ways?
My photo is one I love, the petals of the flower reaching upwards and out towards the sun and sky and to others around them.