Embracing the mess

We all start a new year with good intentions. I’m not silly enough to make resolutions as such, but if I’m being honest I was kind of keeping a quiet internal list; as if silent wishes would make me less cranky, slimmer, more focused….

I’ve kept it all on the down low, as if speaking them out loud would jinx it.

Shoot. Now I’ve gone and let it out, and ruined it.

Actually, I haven’t. Because that’s silly.

In moments of sloppy thinking, I do tend to think that wishes will indeed make it so, and I forget that change is hard. That it takes work.  It’s not as simple as wishing, is it? I was taking stock of my past year the other day and realized that my first order of  business is to

Am I empty or full? Depends on the day.

move away from stock-taking and move toward, um, stock-making.

All this past year I’ve been trying to hold myself so still; to hold my life… still, just long enough for me to catch a breath and see what I’ve got. It was a veiled attempt at control, I think.

Total control would mean no anxiety, right? Control would mean that everything is where and how I need it to be, right?

But control isn’t the point. Control isn’t good, not the way I seem to be leaning, anyway. That way lies more  anxiety, more  useless joylessness. I forgot that stock-taking wasn’t actually ever the point, right? The point is to create more stock – to have something to see when I look.

So, it’s not a resolution, but I do have a plan: I want to stop trying to keep everything still. What’s the point in that? I want to learn to move with the flow of it all, to just get on with it instead of treating my self and my life as if they are anything other than mutable, shifting and gorgeously complex.

Here, then, is to messiness and a tiny bit of drama. To not taking it all so seriously, and to having some big laughs, some tears, and to falling down and getting back up. Here’s to love and shiny things and yes, to deep quiet moments when I can look at it and think:  I made that.

Happy New Year, all.

(credit where it’s due: the fabulous after-party image courtesy of one of my new fave new blogs: http://www.peiphoneography.wordpress.com)

just… breathe.

What’s so much better? I am.

Not sure if you recall my previous post about my withdrawal efforts, but I’m getting there. Pharmaceuticals are a bitch, and I’m staying away from the damn things from now on. I’ve been doing some reading on Paxil, and although I really appreciated the almost immediate relief it gave me, I wonder now if it was worth it (and wonder if my relief would’ve been effected just as well with a sugar pill. Who knows?).

If there’s one thing I should’ve learned by now, it’s that no matter how crappy things are, they will always get better. Always.  Time will take care of it, usually. Not the inevitable counting of minutes, days, hours but some applied effort, some time to take a deep breath, some time to see the arc of the story unfold. Usually, things become clearer, right?

Breathing is the key for me these days. I mean, how many times have I counselled my daughter – take a deep breath, relax – while she was in the midst of a spasm? How many times have I seen that breath turn into instant and an almost magical soothing of those tortured muscles? How many times do I have to see that until I take my own good advice and take a few deep breaths myself?

I don’t doubt that there is better living through pharmaceuticals. Not at all. For me, though, I’m starting to have a sick feeling that the drugs are worse than the condition for which they were prescribed. For me, I think that maybe a more holistic approach will work. I don’t have a condition that has to be treated with medication; it got me through a bad time, and then it caused a bad time. This is a common story, and I’m lucky that I’m not dependent on these drugs in order to function in the world.

So, no. I’m not saying that breathing, or warm baths, or a walk around the block are solutions entirely. What I can say for myself, though, is that all three of those things seem to be helping me. They’re helping me a lot. One reason they’re helping is that I finally decided that I needed the help, if that makes any sense.

These days I’m not pretending to work at relaxing. I’m really putting in the time, and it’s making a difference.

Imagine that. Just… breathe.


And now for something completely different…. Mr. 761 and I are leaving for  two weeks tramping around Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Montenegro. We’ve planned some of it, but are leaving much of the Montenegro leg of the trip to our whims. It’s a little wee country so we’re going to wander about and stop where something grabs our fancy.  So far, what we have planned is to fly into Sarajevo and spend several days there. We’ve arranged for a room in a pension right in the old town – not grand, but will serve our purposes. I plan on being out and exploring most of the day.

After a few days in Sarajevo, we’ll be  travelling down the coast to Dubrovnik, Croatia. I’m

Dubrovnik: a walled city. A gorgeous Adriatic coast line, and no cars. Such loveliness!

especially excited about this one. We can’t rent a car and drive through three different countries, really, so we’re going to bus/train it down to Dubrovnik.

After Dubrovnik, we’ll wander over to Montenegro (train?) and then rent a car and really explore. We’ll have about a week there and then Mr. 761 goes back to KAF from there, and I fly home to Canada and the breathtaking autumn in Nova Scotia.


More Montenegro

MORE Montenegro!

Now, I have to admit that while breathing is helping, the planning and anticipation of this holiday is also helping. I can’t lie to you about that….

This will be the second trip that Mr. 761 and I have ever taken together (I do not count driving to Disney in Florida with the kids, as much um… fun as that was. Sorry kids!). We decided on these places because they are new to both of us – it’s so much fun to explore and discover these new places together, I think. Mr. 761 will keep up a running dialogue with regard to food and atheism and toilets; I will do my best to wax on about the history and beauty and food and romance. Between us, we’ll be able to give you all a fairly complete (if quirky) view of this part of the world…. stay tuned.

He will, alas, go back to this:

while I return to thislifted from the internet

Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Some articles of interest: