A Bruised Ego

After my morning shower Thursday, I grabbed the hamper and headed downstairs to do a load of wash. Nothing exciting there, right? But that would soon change.

While making my morning latte, I decided to check my email but I couldn’t find my iPhone. Then I remembered where it was when I saw it last. And then, seconds later, I knew where I’d find it now.

iphone

Before I’d headed downstairs, I’d placed my cell phone on top of the towels in the hamper in order to carry everything at once. My phone cover happens to be a beige cat that blended perfectly with the beige towel at the top of the hamper.

phone-cover

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Searching for Clarity, Peace and Perspective

I have a busy brain.

That’s a polite way of saying I’m a bit scatterbrained. Maybe more than a bit. How about somewhat? That’s slightly more than a bit but not quite a lot. So now that we’ve established the degree of my scatterbrainedness, let me explain.

busy-brain

Life is busy. You’d think the older we get the less busy we are but I find it to be the opposite. Retirement is supposed to be a time of relaxation (I hear), being free to do whatever you want…or nothing at all, if that’s your thing. I don’t know what nothing at all feels like. Running a nonprofit in my supposed retirement years pretty much seals the fact that the word rest is not in my vocabulary.

Besides being on call every day, my 8 animals keep me hopping. And I always have a To-Do list for my house. My ex used to call me Mrs. Winchester because I never seem to finish working on the place.

winchester-mystery-house

The Winchester Mystery House — 160 rooms built over 38 years

Adding to my activities, there’s family I need to see and tennis to be played. And I can’t forget time spent with my besties — having them over for dinner, going to movies and out to lunch, shopping and traveling. Who has time for rest? I’ll do that when I’m dead. In the meantime, I need to find a way to quiet my mind because the rest of me isn’t cooperating.

So I decided to practice meditating. As in sitting still for an exorbitant period of time, thereby removing all thought from my mind in order to gain clarity, peace and perspective. At least I think this is what meditation entails. Maybe I should look that up.

brain-breaks

aka meditation

I have to say I don’t have high hopes I’ll succeed at this endeavor. The idea of me actually sitting still for more than 30 seconds and clearing my head of the multitudes of random thought constantly permeating my gray matter is like expecting Trump to go a day without tweeting. But hey, I’m willing to give it a try.

So last week I looked the part — sat alone upstairs in cross-legged fashion, the back of my hands on my knees, palms turned upward, thumbs touching middle fingers in the traditional meditation pose.

meditation-pose

Then I realized I had no mantra. So I got up and Googled the only chant that came to mind: Tina Turner’s mantra in her movie, What’s Love Got To Do With It.

tina-turner-chant

2 hours???

Back upstairs and anxious to reach that trance-like state, I began chanting. But my busy brain resisted. It went something like this:

Is that the gardener blowing leaves in the rain? Why doesn’t he take the day off?

Relax, Janet. Calm your mind.

Hum, maybe I’ll make some minestrone tonight. Wonder if I have enough veggies?

Breathe, Janet, breathe.

Don’t forget to buy batteries. Who are you fooling? You’ll never remember the batteries. Better write it down when you’re done meditating.

quiet-mind

That’s how it went for what felt like 20 minutes but in reality was 120 seconds. Just two minutes in and I knew this meditation stuff would be one of the more difficult things I’ve tried. Parachuting from a plane was way easier than attempting to keep my body still and mind quiet.

On second thought, maybe gaining clarity, peace and perspective isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. I, for one, will probably never know.

inner-peace

New Year’s Resolutions Worth Keeping

No time to write this week so here’s an encore posting from 2014. Happy New Year to ya!

mark twain quoteI hate New Year’s resolutions.

Why? Because they’re like diets; just about impossible to follow through with. Who do you know who has ever stayed true to their resolutions past February? Therefore, you begin the year with a bunch of lies. Right out of the gate you’re a liar. I prefer to begin the new year with truths I know to be self evident. These are mine:

1) I will not go to the gym every other day and work out with 87 other people who promised themselves the very same thing. These resolution-makers flood the gym the first month of the year, making it nearly impossible to find an open machine or unoccupied weights.crowded gym

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Oh, Rats!

Well, this is embarrassing.

I have rats. As in the kind that are disgusting, not the cute domestic rats my associate Donna has as pets. Her rats actually have personalities, like you and me. They don’t talk and they can’t shop or go to a movie with you but overall they’re pretty entertaining.

donnas-rats-izzy-and-simon

Izzy and Simon

I don’t know why we find domestic rats cuter than sewer rats, which are considered vermin, but there you go. My guess is the moniker, sewer, doesn’t enhance their image. But the thought of vermin taking up residence in my walls gives me the Creeps with a capital C. Unfortunately, I’ve had the Creeps a lot lately.

rat

A not-so-cute sewer rat

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The Innocence of Youth

In honor of Christmas, here’s an encore posting from December, 2012:

I still remember that fateful afternoon. I was 8-years-old, walking home from school with my 10-year-old sister, when I learned there was no Easter bunny. She divulged it as if Easter-Bunnysimply commenting on the weather.

In disbelief, I ran crying all the way home, anxious for my mother to dispel that awful lie. She tried, but to no avail. Once I allowed myself to reason, doubt crept in.      Continue reading