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

The Fix

I have to say I’m writing this sorely aware of pretty much every muscle in my body. I say sorely because I believe I feel pain in just about every fiber of all 640 muscles. Did you know we have that many? Me neither. I had to look it up. But my point is, I feel pain in all of them.

Let me explain…remember when I juiced for 10 days to help cleanse my system of the baked Cheetos and taffy I keep stashed in the console between the front seats of my SUV? You don’t?! Well then you need to read my post: Welcome To My Detox.

cheetos

Turns out I spend an inordinate amount of time in my vehicle traveling to trap feral cats for spay/neuter. A gal gets hungry you know. Nothing worse than trapping at Dillon Beach miles from a grocery store when a hankerin’ for cheese and crackers hits. So I keep a stash of edibles in my console. Sometimes they aren’t what one would call healthy snacks. Hence the cleanse. Continue reading

Something Is Wrong With Me

I’ve been playing competitive team tennis for 30 years now. Whew…that’s an awful long time, isn’t it? But here’s the thing; something is wrong with me.what's wrong with meNow don’t get me wrong. I’m not dying. At least I don’t think so. I am behind on scheduling my annual checkup though, so until that happens, I can’t say definitively that I’m not dying.get my checkupAnyway, I digress…for those of you who know me, you won’t argue that something is wrong with me. I don’t mean I see dead people or anything. But wouldn’t that be awesome? I’d love to visit with my family who’ve passed on, maybe even meet Mark Twain, Jane Goodall or Einstein. Scratch that last one; I probably wouldn’t understand a word he’s saying. There I go digressing again…

Say what?!

Say what?!

Continue reading

Steady as She Goes

Every muscle in my body is screaming. They’re not at all happy with me today. That’s because I started running again after a long lay-off from a knee injury and general laziness. Actually, running is too strong a word for what I actually do. It’s more like a slow jog. Some might even consider it meandering.

I’ve always been a slow runner. Even when I was training for a couple sprint triathlons with my bionic friends, Pam and Margo, I never became faster over the months. They assured me if I kept it up and did interval training I’d get quicker. Didn’t happen. A million years ago I was a miler on my high school track team. But I wasn’t fast then either. I think I’m programmed for endurance. Except for now, when my endurance is on hiatus.

Anyway, in school I had absolutely no talent for running and never practiced except when the team did. And even then I spent more time gabbing with friends than actually doing any running. It was more a social event for me than anything. Still, I could keep up with the pack for the first half mile but that’s where they lost me. I think my fastest time was a dismal 7.5 minute mile. Talk about embarrassing.

Continue reading

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger (Yeah, Right)

Due to the holiday, and a tiny little problem (which is that I didn’t get around to writing my Sunday blog), I’m re-posting this one from last year. If you already read it, but are anything like yours truly and have a bad memory, just pretend it’s a new one. It works for me…

As promised in last week’s blog, I have now included Pilates classes in my mission to get into shape, whatever that may mean.

Just kill me now

Just kill me now

In my case, it means getting rid of my Kangaroo pouch, developing long-lost muscles and eliminating about a million cellulite cells. (They don’t call me thunder thighs for nothin’, you know.) I think I may have a shot at the first two, but I’m not too optimistic about that last one. Continue reading