Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Anxiety Disorder

I haven't had it in a while but today I'm suffering from my own made-up anxiety disorder. Perhaps you have it, too.   You wake up in the morning and everything seems okay. You get the coffee going and you know you've got a few chores to do that will eat some time. The skies are a gray that cannot be described and everything is dead. The trees look dead. The grass looks dead. Even people at the store look half-dead. Your world is void of color.
You get home from the store and make a fabulous breakfast for the hubby and stick a frozen peach pie in the oven because you know it will make the house warm and the peach color will do you good. The dishes are done and you still have chores left to do but then it hits you ... it's noon already and there are only so many hours left in this little two-day mini vacation that most call the weekend
As much as I try to stay on the positive side of life, this anxiety hits me occasionally and although I've found ways to cope with it, they are not working very well today, so I write.  And, I take more dumb pictures of the fruit bowl. And, I try to relax and enjoy what's left of the day.
I say it out loud to my hubby, who has been retired since shortly after we met. He knows exactly what I'm talking about and it helps ease the un-ease in the pit of my stomach. I am not alone. Other people suffer from weekend anxiety.
Last weekend, I finished up a book, one of many stragglers that I had started reading long ago and left unfinished. There on page 234 of Walking Home,  Lynn Schooler (most excellent author!) writes, "Again there was an odd moment of clarity in my senses, a surge of calm that made note of a single sandpiper running on toothpick legs along the edge of the surf, its head bobbing as it needled the sand. A raven called kla-hook from the trees. It is a hard thing to describe, but somewhere inside of me I heard my own voice say, "Use a meteor. Save the smoke."  He was describing his thought process as he was being stalked by an injured bear in the middle of nowhere, trying to figure out how to use the limited tools he had to escape his unfortunate situation. He had, against his own good judgment, left behind a gun he normally took with him on his sojourns.  
I loved this paragraph in the book because I believe writers and artists learn to listen to that voice.  
Earlier today, while I was standing in the kitchen on the edge of the abyss, fighting off an imaginary injured bear, I had a moment of clarity, heard that voice and I knew what to do. Sit down and write. Take a break. Read a little. Nap a little. Watch an episode of Sons of Anarchy. Go outside and pick up dog poop. Make chili. Listen to that webinar I missed last week. Make a week's worth of lunches. Stop looking at the clock.  I don't feel so paralyzed by it now.  Thank goodness.
Do you suffer from weekend anxiety?
love, susan

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I Will Be Your Witness

"We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."  ~ Mrs. Clark to Mr. Clark from the movie Shall We Dance

Every year around this time, I stare at the calendar and I swear there is something I am supposed to remember. Is it somebody's birthday? Does one of us have a doctor's appointment?  Was I supposed to line up a dog sitter for a weekend getaway? 


Oh geez, it's our anniversary. How could I forget, again? This year, I had to go to the files and look at our marriage certificate to get the date right. It was one week later than I thought it was. Whew, I haven't totally lost it yet.  I had the right month. 


Let me tell you something. Since long before the day we stood on the banks of the Colorado River in Laughlin, Nevada, saying our 3 minute vows before a woman and the witness we hired the previous day, I already knew I had hopped onto a runaway train. It was rolling fast down a fun route I had never taken before, and stopping to tidy up the legal part of it was like a quick stop on the milk run of my life! (Check that off the "to do" list.) That day was much like the day before and very smiliar to the 4,015 days since then. Fun, exciting, carefree, joyous, and full of laughter. Getting married to my best friend was, for lack of a better word: awesome, but it was not the best part of that particular day. That, my friends, is a whole 'nother story
We laughed about it again this year. It has become an annual joke now for 11 years; us trying to remember this elusive date. I should add it to my his smart phone calendar this year. Or not. It does not matter. I'm married to a once-in-a-lifetime dance partner who gets it. (You should watch "Shall We Dance"!)  He gets it that the date and time  we became each other's witnesses was one of literally hundreds of thousands of fine moments in our relationship; and, although it may be Hallmark to remember, there are so many more to be celebrated. So I celebrate every day ... being witness to another person's life and my own.  
How about you?  Have you ever forgotten an important date?  Did you laugh about it? Did you send a card later?  Were you in the doghouse? Have you ever been on a runaway train? Do you celebrate an anniversary? Do you love to dance?  Have you ever been to Laughlin, Nevada?  Have you ever seen "Shall We Dance"?   Do you have  a witness?  Are you a witness?  Tell me!
love, susan

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 ~ CREATE

Here we go! A change in gear for me as the new year starts today. I like it. For some, it may be just another day but for me it is a starting point for trying on new ideas and thinking in a slightly different way.
This is my fourth year of reflecting and choosing a theme word for the new year. My previous words have been FOCUS, MINIMIZE and most recently DEVELOP
While thinking about what I'd like to accomplish in 2015, the other words that came to mind were read, write and photograph. I didn't want to choose just one so I wondered what action word I could adopt that would encompass all three?
CREATE: to cause (something) to happen
as a result of one's actions.
  • Make time for reading. I want to read 52 books this year and write short reviews on each one. A lofty goal.
  • Continue writing my memoir and take a writing course or two.
  • Keep stretching in my photography skills. I have a lot to learn and there are so many resources to choose from.
  • Try new recipes
I mentioned earlier my previous action words have served me well. I've learned to focus on the tasks at hand, minimizing the things I can remove from my life that clutter it up, whether it is material junk or time-sucks. Developing new habits will remain a constant in my plan to create the time and space I need to read, write and photograph.

That, my friends, is how it's done. I'm excited about my future. Got ideas? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear from you!

love, susan

Catching Up: A July Life List

It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks. We were in Alaska last week for 8 days and before that I can't even tell you what happened.  T...