Wednesday, June 7, 2023

June 7--Walmart Mission Accomplished

In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.  --Thich Nhat Hanh

    I survived Walmart. One has to be alert and awake there. 😉 It was busy, but not overcrowded. My brother is 83. While he did buy a few healthy food items, 3/4 of his purchases were "goodies." I made no comment, because I figure given his age and health issues, he can eat whatever pleases him. No amount of Brussels sprouts are going to cure his ills, so why bug him to eat stuff he doesn't like?!?!!!? 
    We also had an adventure to southern Akron to get his hearing aids serviced. That was smooth, quick and successful. 
    I braved the chilly water for a lap swim at the nearby Wellness Center. Their boiler is not working, and the water keeps getting chillier. I was desperate to swim, so I did it in what they claimed to be 77 degree water. It really wasn't too bad, but the staff at the desk told me that temperature is considerably colder than usual. Therefore, most regulars are not interested in the too-cold water, so I had the entire pool to myself the whole time.  
    I enjoyed driving my niece's lovely Lexus SUV while she was at work. 😎
    No more Walmart for me for many months, I hope!

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

June 6-Adventures with my Brother

Taking in the good, whenever and wherever we find it, gives us new eyes for seeing and living.  --Krista Tippett

    My niece and I lazed through the day after the wedding of her son. We were tired and mostly took it easy, but we did manage a two-mile walk. In the evening, I got her hooked on the TV series "Ted Lasso." 
    This week, while my niece finishes up her year of teaching high school math (she's a saint!), I am hanging with my brother for assorted errands and appointments. He's had health issues, and age has not been kind to him. He likes to tell LOTS of stories. He LOVES Walmart, which I generally avoid like the plague. But as I told him yesterday, "I love you so much, I'll even take you to Walmart." Finding the good--with his health concerns, I always know that this time when I get to be with my brother could be the last one. It's a frightening but true reality. He and I are the only two remaining from our family of origin. He may annoy me, but I want to keep my "new eyes" open to see and live with love, to be patient and kind, and soak in this precious opportunity filled with good. 
    What's the rush?!?!
Glorious peonies in my niece's neighborhood

Monday, June 5, 2023

June 5--Mission Accomplished, They Are Married

And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.  --Kurt Vonnegut

    The "present" right now is post-celebration letdown and tiredness. The wedding and reception were wonderful. The setting was a country estate with a pond with swans right behind the spot where the couple and minister were standing. The reception, meal, speeches and dance were all great. 
    This morning family members are heading for home, but I'm staying with my niece, and we've got the post-chaos home to tidy up. We have discussed the possibility of both morning and afternoon naps. To our credit, we also talked about a walk at a park. We'll see. 
The trail near my niece's home

Sunday, June 4, 2023

June 4--Love for Self & Mother Earth; Wedding Day!

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.  --Rachel Carson

    This applies both to the planet and to our individual bodies. I believe one of the results of 12-step recovery is learning to value oneself, and as that becomes more integrated into one's psyche, there is less desire to abuse oneself with a substance or addictive practice. 
    Likewise, the appreciation of our magnificent Mother Earth--"the wonders and realities of the universe about us"--should, and I believe is, leading us to take more loving care of the place we call home. It's a slow process, turning around our dominating, destructive patterns. 
    Back to my adventure... yesterday folks arrived from parts distant, and we had a lot of hang time to catch up and enjoy being together once again. Necessary pre-wedding tasks were completed. 
    Today is the big day!

Saturday, June 3, 2023

June 3--OHIO!

Love isn't something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn't a feeling, it is a practice. 
--Erich Fromm

    I'm thinking this is referring to being in a love relationship. That does take work. I do, however, believe that love IS natural, otherwise we would not be so determined to find someone to love. I also think it is likely that we all have a bit of a narcissist in us. 
    Speaking of love relationships, I am in Ohio for my great-nephew's wedding. What a joy it is to see extended family members and friends after many months apart.
    I had the most delightful encounter on my trip to Ohio yesterday. I was wearing my Wichita State University hoodie, and I stopped for an iced coffee at a surprisingly unbusy Starbucks in the Dallas airport. A young man was waiting for his order, and he said, "A Shocker, huh? I went to WSU." Thus began a lovely conversation and a two-mile walk, because both of us had long layovers. His name is Marcus and he was on the WSU mens' bowling team that won the national championship in 2015. He came from Sweden to WSU for bowling, leaving his whole family behind. He admitted it was quite a "culture shock." He has since earned his PhD in an area of neurological science that studies the brain and aging. He was headed to Seattle to start his first job in the field. We talked about bowling, other sports, why he elected not to go on the pro bowlers' tour. I am not one to start up conversations with strangers very often. My WSU hoodie did the job for me, and this reminds me how interesting people are. It pays for this introvert to come out of her shell now and then!
    Double bonus... I was wearing my 30 t-shirt (see May 17 post), and a young woman walking past me said, "Way to wear your age on your t-shirt!" LOL. Thanks, made my day!!
    More fun to come!

Friday, June 2, 2023

June 2--The Little Table

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.  --Henry Miller

    We needed a small table for our new deck. I found a folding one at an estate sale (divine treasure hunts) a couple years ago. It was bare wood, so I sprayed a few coats of clear acrylic on it to preserve it. That failed. One section broke off due to weathering. Nevertheless, it was the perfect size to hold two beer glasses during happy hour. So last week, I checked my paint leftovers from barn-quilt-painting days, and there was enough to make the table colorful. With several coats of Kilz, paint and polycrylic sealer, it should last a while. 
    The point of this story... I am a much happier human when I am creating something. It is a bonus if it involves lots of color, such as painting. Refinishing the table made me think of a painting I'd like to do. I haven't felt this creative urge in months, and it feels so good. 
    Below is the much-improved little table... I like straight lines 😀

Thursday, June 1, 2023

June 1--In the NOW, In the KNOW

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.  --Oscar Wilde

    Welcome to June where our theme is mindfulness. We can either be operating on auto-pilot or living mindfully, and I'd say for most folks that it is typically a combination. The key is to have mindfulness be the larger part of living. 
    What is mindfulness? Greater Good Magazine offers this definition: 

Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.

      There's our challenge for the month. Let's do June mindfully!