Monday, Monday

 

 

A week ago, I started Monday with a carryover of Sunday’s blues. It wasn’t the best.

 

But today is a new Monday, a new week. And I feel new as well. I didn’t do anything extraordinary over the weekend. It was what some might call boring. I stayed home all weekend, spent time with Mister (who had a summer cold), watched the wrap-up of the Rio Olympics games and chilled. And it couldn’t have been lovelier.

 

One gift of age, for me, is recognizing who I truly am and honoring her. I don’t always succeed on those fronts, but when I do, I experience true happiness, right down to my core. Those moments are beautiful and I love them. Not to imply that I’m completely content in life, because that isn’t true. I still want to scale mountains and achieve personal goals. It’s just that I’m not unhappy in the meantime. And I attribute my relative joy in life to knowing myself. It has made a tremendous difference for me, and I kind of feel like I’ve only just begun. Considering I could be dreading my age and all it entails, I feel pretty darned grateful for being so positive and smiley about the whole scene.

 

So here’s to Monday and this blank canvas of a week. I can see a few hills before me. Mountains, maybe. No time like the present to start climbing…

Never Too Late

 

 

Yesterday I came across an excerpt from a new book, Getting There: A Book of Mentors. The piece was written by Matthew Weiner, creator of the fab show “Mad Men.” (Here’s the link to the piece.)

 

I loved this bit of advice from Mr. Weiner. I’m no spring chicken, friends. And while I don’t feel limited in what I can accomplish in life, no matter what my age may be, I do occasionally come across a peer who feels as if her options are limited – based solely on her age. With very few exceptions, that sort of thinking is bullshit. I mean, sure, a gal of a certain age certainly cannot become Miss Teen USA. I’ll grant you that one. But come on! Do we really need to shut down our own dreams and aspirations, just because of trips around the sun?

 

Anyhoo, I plan to get the aforementioned book. The Matthew Weiner piece is good enough to get me to read the whole danged thang. Right now – I’m just enjoying the glow from the excerpt.

Fakin’ It

 

 

Earlier in the week at painting class, one of the regulars said something about my being smiley. He said I was always smiley. The smiliest! My response was, “Really?” I was legitimately surprised. I mean, I certainly want to be a smiley gal. I want to be happy, for cry-eye.

 

Lately I seem to be battling the blahs. I think some of it has to do with my lingering physical junk. Maybe most of it, in fact. And until I get that situation all healed -up, there’s not much to be done. So I’m tolerating these here blahs, y’all, but make no mistake. I don’t like it.

 

I remember listening to an old Beauty and Da Beast podcast. I’m sorry to say I don’t recall the name of the person being interviewed, but something he said has stuck with me. He was talking about a low point in his life and how he felt unable to pull himself out from beneath the weight of it all. He told how at night, he would try to think of 3 things he wanted to accomplish the next day. Some nights one of the things he listed for himself was to simply get out of bed the following morning. And he gave himself reasonable (for him) goals, so that he could feel some sense of accomplishment. As he began to feel better about himself and more in control of his life, he ramped up the goals. At the time of that interview, he was doing okay.

 

With that dude’s experience in mind, each night I try to tally 3 things I accomplished during the day. I do this silently, as it’s only for me. I’m not gonna lie to you. Some days my list is made up of things like “I washed the fruit” or “I remembered to put the trash cans on the street.” And as mundane as those tasks sound, I count those little victories. In the face of the blahs, getting through some days is quite an accomplishment, in and of itself.

 

I don’t know if you’ve ever dealt with your own version of depression or not, so I have no idea if you can relate to any of this. I suppose the blahs don’t look the same for any of us. I also suppose that unless your name is Pollyanna, you can relate – on some level. For that, I am sincerely sorry. Depression is ugly. And I don’t wish it upon anyone.

 

In the meantime, I’m fakin’ it. I’m going through the motions of my life and doing the best I can. I’m either doing a damn good job, or I’m not as blah-ed out as I think, because a very lovely gentleman told me I’m smiley. The smiliest, in fact. And I’ll take that.

JFT

 

 

I hope I don’t get in trouble for this post, as I didn’t ask permission…

 

Someone I adore recently told me about a temporary tattoo she sometimes gives herself. She draws it on with a Sharpie and it serves no public purpose. I’m guessing it isn’t seen by anyone other than herself. Creative soul that she is, the temp tat is her own design, and within it she includes the letters J-F-T. They stand for “Just For Today.” As it was explained to me, that notion can apply to anything, such as Just For Today – I won’t eat sugar; or Just For Today – I won’t look ahead. She didn’t tell me the origins of the tattoo or how long she’s been using it as a tool.

 

After this dear soul shared her practice with me, I sort of filed it away. I didn’t think I’d come back to it, but I did. And the more I’ve turned it over in my head, the more I like it. There’s something about focusing on the here and now – and not on the faraway – that appeals to me. Truth is, I can’t really see beyond a few steps ahead. Yet keeping my eyes trained on the immediate is a gift I rarely give myself. Like a lot of people, I aim toward The Big Picture (whatever that is). Unfortunately, that means the details of any given day are often neglected. And friends, Life is made up entirely of Details.

 

So I’m thinking of stealing my dear sweet’s idea. I probably won’t apply any ink to my person, temporary or otherwise. But I’m thinking if I can remember – and that’s a big if – to look at the short 24 hours before me, I may be able to pull off a goal or two. Or not. But at least I’ll be more present in my life. At least I’ll be more mindful. At least…

Lollygagging

 

 

I can’t help it. It’s the end of the year, and I can’t seem to do much of anything but lollygag. And I like it, dammit!

 

Maybe this is a time to stop trying to help it. I mean, the New Year will be upon us soon enough, and there will be work, goals, resolutions and general life to contend with. Maybe a little lollygagging now is okay. I vote for yes!

Olympic Spirit, Don’t Fail Me Now

 

 

So it’s all over.

 

The Olympics came and went so fast, I hardly had time to take it all in. And yet I tried. I watched as much as possible and read about the rest. I laughed, I cried. I cheered, I marveled. I absorbed the stories and backgrounds of those profiled. I ached to learn more. I was entertained, again and again.

 

And I was inspired. The spirit of competition was healthy and honest (for the most part – badminton anyone?). The dedication and work were tangible. The focus was obvious. As I watched athletes from around the globe compete in their respective sports, I felt myself wanting to be stronger. Not in sport, but in life.

 

Here’s the deal, folks: we are all competing each and every day. But not necessarily with others. Instead, we are competing with ourselves to excel in our own lives. I don’t have to beat out another person in pursuit of my own joy. I just have to beat out the side of myself that holds me back, for whatever reasons.

 

To accomplish goals, to achieve dreams – that is my gold. And I pray I can hold on to this Olympic spirit for as long as possible. There’s a lot of life change going on – for all of us. To quote something I heard during these summer games, “Trust your training.” I’ve been training my whole life, for my life. No time like the present to jump off the cliff.

 

Olympic spirit, don’t fail me now.