Monday, 18 November 2013

Recovery Weekend

Hi there!  How was your weekend? 

We had a different kind of weekend at the country estate this past weekend.  I was there completely unexpectedly.  I was supposed to be at my choir retreat, but then my back was suffering all week long and I knew that it would only worsen unless I took the time to treat it right AND Chuckles hand got all infected and he ended up requiring daily hospital visits for intravenous antibiotics AND my sister and her husband were still at the country estate, days past when they had expected to have gone home, because my brother-in-law had some setbacks following a surgery and wasn't up to the 10 hour drive home to Prince George.  SO... there we all were, each dealing with our own stuff, but being together in support of one another. 

Day 15 of the Blog Challenge - The Challenge Today is Relax!

First thing in the morning, before the rest of the household was awake I went out for a long walk and enjoyed an hour of early morning solitude.  It was chilly and threatening to rain, but I bundled up and walked to the end of our country road.  When I got back to our driveway, I wasn't quite ready to go back indoors, so I headed off in the other direction.  My walk took me up a side road, where I watched some ducks float lazily on their pond, and goats in a field, each one hiding in it's little shelter, watching me as I passed by.  I spoke to the two horses I found in the pasture at the end of the road as they eyed me with interest, their ears twitching as they processed my voice.
Two scenes from my morning walk

Later I raked leaves with my sister's help.  The pond area was inches deep in leaves that had come off the walnut, alder and red maple trees in that section of the yard.  She raked and I gathered the piles into a wheeled bin, and pulled them into the pasture where the big compost pile is and dumped them. Happily, my back was improved a lot just from sleeping in my own bed!   We worked for some time despite the drizzle as it was pleasant to visit and work together and we only stopped when the rain became heavy.
A sea of leaves
In the afternoon, I had the house to myself for several hours, so I played my guitar and prepped the dinner.  Relaxing to me is engaging in activities you enjoy, without feeling pressure to be doing something else.  By that definition, I had a very relaxing day!

Day 16 Blog Challenge is What are Three Things You Do Well?
This challenge was particularly interesting to me, as I like many people, have that inner voice that constantly tells me where I have failed, or come up short, or neglected to do something. 
While that inner voice doesn't get my attention as much as it used to, this challenge is a good reminder to me that it is important to tell myself what I am doing well.  Why is it we feel okay about beating ourselves up, but feel a bit silly giving ourselves praise and compassion? 
I was drinking my morning coffee with my sister as I opened my emails to see what the challenge for today was, and as soon as I read it out to her, she said "Three things you do well? Oh that's easy!" 
Here is my list for today:
Prepare healthy meals
Exercise regularly
Maintain a positive outlook 
From doing this challenge, I realize that this list could change daily, or even hourly.  The important thing is that when the little voice comes calling with it's laundry list of negatives, there will always be positive things I am doing in my life that I can remind myself about.
In the afternoon Jennifer and I went out to the Co-op.  This used to be nothing but a feed mill with a small store attached, but it has morphed into a bustling and trendy grocery store with a general store component boasting clothing, footwear, hardware, tack and just about anything else you might need.  Except fine-tipped Sharpies which we looked for but couldn't find.  They do have this funky horse outside, however.
My sister has begun a new hobby, based on her abiding enjoyment of doodling.  When watching TV to keep her hands busy, she creates these most intricate and beautiful doodles with nothing but a fist full of fine tipped Sharpies.  She gave me two pieces she did this weekend and every time I look at one of them I see new things that I didn't notice before.
Day 17 Blog Challenge is What Robs You of Your Joy?
The pressures of life - needing to be someplace else or doing something else, and feeling that there is more to be done than there is time to do it - are the things that rob me of my joy.  Wanting to savour a moment or an event, but feeling the need to rush headlong into the next activity. 
Also, getting negative energy from other people can really affect my mood.  This was pretty apparent this weekend, between all the good stuff.  Chuckles isn't good at sitting around doing nothing, which was all he was able to do, sit and keep that hand elevated.  That put him in a bad mood, and it was challenging for me to be empathetic without being dragged down into his misery.  However, employing some of the mindful living tools I have been learning about, and getting him out for a walk in the fresh air on Saturday morning definitely helped both of our spirits! 
This really speaks to the crux of mindful living.  Appreciating what is happening right now, without letting what just happened or what's about to happen get in the way of that.

Despite that the weekend was not the one I had scheduled or planned, it turned out to be a lovely weekend spending time with my sister.    As my only sibling she is a very important person in my life, and with the distance between us, we don't always get to spend a lot of time together.  So this weekend was a very special one.   Even though she beat me at Scrabble several times....

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