My Daily Calm

Empty Bed

Last night was rough, sleep-wise. My 62-year-old bladder got me out of bed twice, then I was rousted out of bed in the early morning to move my car. We’re having insulation blown into our house from the outside and they needed the driveway. Of course, nobody told me this the day before. If I’d known, I’d have moved the car the night before.

I became aware of an impending migraine once I got back into bed. I was exhausted and strung out from multiple awakenings. My regular morning alarm came and went. All I wanted to do was to stay in bed where it was safe and warm. I didn’t want to do anything. I had client work to do, but didn’t want to touch it. I was tired and angry due to the multiple disruptions to my sleep. My head was starting to hurt even more. Then the fucking doorbell rang. I knew who it was: the insulation people said they’d  need to get into my basement and would ring my bell once they needed to do that. So, up and out of bed I went – cold, tired, headachey and very irritable. I threw a sweatshirt over my pajamas, stumbled downstairs and opened the basement door.

I needed something to get me out of the funk I was in. How about a start-the-day meditation over a cup of coffee or tea? That idea sounded appealing, so I went downstairs, scooped some tea into a tea pot and finished getting dressed while the kettle heated up. Then I poured the tea, portioned out some almonds and then cut up a ripe pear. I took out my cell phone, pulled up my meditation app and sat back to breathe and, eventually, relax. The wounds of the morning faded into the distance as I noted my breathing: in-out, in-out, in-out. I felt my body relax and  my outlook improve. Yes, I could do a little work and do it well. I could also write about my morning (a great way for me to get things out of my system), browse some articles I heard about the day before and enjoy the day.

So, here I am. The migraine aspirin is just now starting to kick in. My chest has unclenched and I’m breathing comfortably. I’m giving myself permission to write and relax, read a little bit and start my day, even though half of it is already gone. I’m munching on almonds and a pear. I think I’ll be okay.

Drawing…at Last!


My First Free hand Drawing

Okay, it’s not a Picasso, but it’s mine. I did the drawing, based on a children’s drawing book of ancient Egyptian art. I drew it following a step-by-step guide, then colored it using a variety of color blending techniques.

I’ve been trying to get the hang of this, and I’m finding the easiest path forward is through the children’s section. I think it’s because the writers/editors aren’t making any assumptions about what a person already knows. If you’re eight years old, you haven’t had a lot of experience other than your own imagination. I find adult level beginners drawing books and videos to be much more frustrating. I have a feeling they don’t realize how much they’re unconsciously assuming about skill levels.

I find that true of all teaching, actually. I’m a very good teacher, because I take considerable pains to edit my own brain before starting out. I can use WordPress, but someone taking my Introduction to WordPress class probably has no clue. I start from that assumption and find that extremely helpful. I love that “oh, now I get it!” look from students who really hadn’t “gotten” it before, despite attempts to understand and use the tool. I may just have to break down and take an art class – but I’ll go through the ancient Egyptian art book first, using my eight-year-old eyes.

Enter Life as it was Before

Weeks have passed and I’ve returned to my kitchen life as normal, except prettier and with more room. Half of the kitchen is still in boxes throughout the living room, dining room, pantry and back hall. Now that I have a totally new layout it’s a challenge to figure out where to put everything.

I feel proud of myself today. I actually completely updated a website of mine that’s languished for years. I run a social media consulting business on the side (the side of what? Dunno.) and it’s been out of date forever. I finally decided to tear the thing apart and put the relevant bits back while dumping the rest. I suddenly realized I had a sell-able product that was sitting there, ready to go. I was working so hard on integrating this product (WordPress tutorial videos) somewhere else that it didn’t even occur to me to add it to this second site as well. I blame it on age. and the kitchen. Yes, definitely the kitchen. Its fault entirely. After $45,000, it’s got to be responsible for something!

K-Day Countdown

Well, we’re getting close! Counter tops should be (I’ve learned to never say “will be”) installed tomorrow. On Tuesday the plumber will return to hook up water to our sink and dishwasher. Then, the kitchen will be done.


Be Still, My Beating Heart

As you can tell from the dirty dishes, we’re already using the kitchen, sans counter tops and running water. Food gets cooked upstairs. Water gets drawn from the basement, where the dirty dishes are also washed. Up and down, up and down, up and down. No wonder my knees are killing me! One consolation so far, though: I now have places to put stuff away. The cabinets are all in and they all work.

Will she have a functioning kitchen on Tuesday? Tune in Tuesday at 2 to find out!!

A Matter of Perspective

I think I’m getting the hang of drawing stairs. I’ve been playing around with doors that are either open or closed, although at this point you can’t really tell which direction. Is the door open? Is it closed? Go upstairs if you dare and find out!

At this point I’m doing a combination of reading books, watching videos and then just winging it, as in “what will happen if I do this?” I am getting better, although I’m still a pretty miserable scrawler.

A woman at the art supply store asked me why I was trying to teach myself to draw and I told her that I write fiction, with fully developed characters and environments in my head. I want to see what those characters and places look like on paper. I want to see them, not just imagine them. I realize it’s also just something new and interesting, a skill that will take time to master, as did my writing and my musical instruments. And, my left brain really needs a break.

So, when I feel like it I color and, in the process, learn about wet and dry media, psychology and color pencil blending techniques. It’s fun, on one level and a difficult challenge on the other. I want to to draw the lines and then color them in. So, with graphite, charcoal, markers and lots of colored pencils I am venturing forth into the visual world.