2021-06-03 Coming to a Few Conclusions

I’ve tried a few times so far this week to write something. It’s just not there, you know, and I’m not inclined to fight it. 

The rest of our KC road trip came and went and I began to write about that, but got distracted by life and stuff needing attention. 

I’ve wanted to write about my former father-in-law and how I felt a dull ache in my heart for days and angst over whether or not I should go to the funeral. I gave blood last week and began crying on the “table” during the donation and had to wave off the concerned Red Cross staff, letting them know it was something else entirely and I was fine.

The funeral is today and I’m going. I asked a few people if I should or not and wasn’t satisfied with any of the answers I received. Not because they didn’t make logical sense or because they were contrary to what I actually wanted, but because I was looking for someone else to tell me what to do and I suppose in the end I didn’t really want advice. I wanted to want advice, if that makes sense, but in my heart I already knew what I wanted, which was to go and grieve for myself and support my children. Isn’t that what funerals are for? 

Like much of life, it can be whatever you want, you just need to figure out what you want. The lucky among us figure that out with enough time left to actually act on our wants and desires. 

My mom is going to the funeral with me. I asked her yesterday and at the risk of sounding shady and cold, she owes me. A person should not have to go to a funeral alone. In my life I’ve often felt that it was better to face grief in a solitary fashion—work out me feelings for myself, but I’ve learned over the years that this is backward thinking. I’m not too proud to admit I was wrong. People need people. 

I won’t get to sit with my children, of course, as they will be with their dad up front. I just hope they don’t make my son cut his hair for this. I have a feeling his dad might. 

Sometimes waiting for a funeral is like holding your breath and I’m really looking forward to it being over so I can exhale. 

I’d like to write more about all of this, but the words are just not there. Such is life. 

Peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-05-25 What’s In the News… 🗞

Happy mask mandate expiry day! It’s been a while since I’ve walked/written/had time to think about the world at large. Life is that way sometimes I guess. 

The last time I checked in I was pouring over my stabilizing good mood and trying to decide what, exactly, it was that made the tide turn in my favor. I’m happy to report that my happy has continued to be consistent and I’m still waking up most days looking forward to the day. 

I’ve continued to not over-commit myself and have not volunteered to do anymore talks or workshops. I’m minimizing meet-ups and really digging in for quality time with those I have had. 

Last Friday I had a 4 hour happy hour session with my friend M and that was fabulous. This week I have two or three meetups mixed in with my deep dive into reading for the GLR contest (which I’m very behind on for nonfiction). It’s my priority this week and I have a LOT to read! 

I’ve finished a first pass at poetry and also scripts and am ready to discuss with other editors. The only category I’m not reading is fiction. It’s just too much. 

Anyhow, that’s what’s on the agenda today after this much needed walk. I’ve tried to get back into the cardio thing but finding it hard to get motivated. I think part of that is that something in me is still recovering from that stomach virus I had last week. Was that just last week? It’s already blurry (my memory). 

In any case, my stomach is still off and my energy is low. But.. the low energy thing has been chronic so I can hardly blame that virus. It may still be a contributing factor though. 

Good gravy!… I haven’t written for days and THIS is still all I have?!?! I guess that’s a good thing as no news is good news. Right?!!

What about the world at large??

Locally, our mask mandate expired today and I’m very curious how businesses around town will react. Since the mask thing became so political, it will be a statement when the business owners either continue to require masks or not. I think most locally owned places will quickly and happily remove the signs from their doors whereas many major chains such as wal-mart or Costco might continue to expect customers to comply with the company policy. 

Not that it will stop ass-hats from refusing to comply. Those folks will do what they want no matter what someone else says. I saw a lady rudely refuse to put on a mask going into a Walmart grocery last week. I wanted to follow her into the store and give her a piece of my mind. Why is it some people think the rules don’t apply to them?! Cwazy! 

Nationally? I heard a statistic that the last few months has been the worst in history for “personal” shootings and gun violence. Has this become so common place that each incident isn’t even enough to make the daily news? Or am I so desensitized that I don’t hear it? And how much do “we” have to endure before new laws can be passed. Then again, my position in this has not changed. 

No law can undo what’s already been done. And I’m not talking about the past shootings, I’m talking about the sale of semi-automatic weapons or lack of background checks attached to gun sales. No.. if you’re a criminal or have mental health problems, homicidal tendencies, or anger issues, you probably already have the guns you want. 

Rights to bear arms means you can have a gun, it shouldn’t mean you can have one that can kill dozens of people with one pass through a crowded room. That’s my stance and that has not changed. 

Today is the anniversary of George Floyd’s death and while the fire of that still burns in the heart of many Americans, America as a whole is now doing what it does best… sweep history into the archives without doing anything to change things for the better. What will happen to the BLM movement? It will smolder until another event sparks the flame anew. And round and round we go, decade after decade. 

The global news feels very much the same (as in, hot topics coming and going as fast as people change their underwear). Not a squeak about Gaza or the Middle East; not an ounce about the Coronavirus, except that America is urging folks not to travel to Japan for the Olympics as Japan is way behind on vaccinations. The summer olympics? Is that still happening? Who the hell would want to go to that anyway on the heels of a global pandemic?! Good gravy!!

OK folks, that is probably enough for today. I’ve got to get on the productivity train. 

Peace, Love, and BBQ Lays,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-05-17 Back in the Game… ✍🏻💕✍🏻✍🏻

Last year I went on a submission spree, submitting my poetry to all levels and types of publishers, from the very brand new organizations to the big-name long shots—print, online, anthology, full manuscript, chapbook, daily, monthly, quarterly journals and reviews. I think I maxed out at 80-something open submissions sometime in November or December. Oh, and I spent some coin too as most of those journals operate much like my Good Life Review in that they rely on the submission fee to cover the cost of operations. 

In January I started fresh but vowed to only submit to free places that month. Then I sort of lost my motivation and promised myself I would wait out for what was currently open to be declined (or accepted).. until my open number dwindled to around 50. I told myself I would pick it back up then and maintain that 50, as a goal. 

50 came and went, I don’t know when, and then 40, then 35, and 30. About that time I decided I would try to maintain 25, when I got there. With the last decline  I received I think the open count was down around 22 so I was clearly lying to myself. Among all the declines have been a few acceptances, of which only one is set for future release—summer 2021. 

Of course I still have that chapbook that’s going to be published later this year. Sort of anti-climactic to have that come through and literally wait almost a whole year to announce anything about it. Though I’ve thought about making it public anyhow, just to boost my writer spirits. 

Anyhow.. not sure what my lack of motivation was from. I tried to look early last week for potential places to submit but quickly lost interest. Maybe it has something to do with my lack of new material. 

I read my standard two poems a day and that’s been uninspiring. I’m reading all the poetry submissions for my lit mag’s contest and am also uninspired by most of it. I think I’m just not in the mood to write anything new. I ask myself if that is ok or if it’s a problem to be solved.

Hmmm. 🤔 

***

Recently I wrote about how my mood has taken a turn for the better lately and that I think the lack of obligations has something to do with that. I wondered briefly if setting an expectation that I continue to press hard on the publishing thing wasn’t a contributing factor in the grand equation of expectations and a feeling of self-worth, or purpose. 

Last Friday I dipped my toe into submittable and confirmed what I thought to be true. Sure enough I was sitting at 22 open. I resolved myself to bringing that number up to 25. But oh my, am I sick of looking at the same poems (especially the ones that have been rejected over and over). So I opened some fresher material and got to work on revising and polishing them. 

And wouldn’t you know what happened next is like magic. I got lost in it. I was putting these newer poems through a series of tests—syntax, form, vocabulary choices, passive voice, cutting unnecessary words, lines, rewriting others conpletely, etc., etc. It felt glorious. With each pass, I felt better and better about each poem and, in general, I felt better too. 

I continued to edit and felt good enough about a couple to submit. Then I thoughtfully toggled between research, more revision, and submitting again until my count was up to 25. That was only 3 new submissions, but it was 3 more than I had had that morning and hitting my goal was satisfying. 

Wouldn’t you know, I woke up Saturday to a new decline in my email and I shrugged an got out my laptop to work some more. This time, exceeding my goal. Now I’m up to about 27. Maybe my new goal should be 30? 

This is how it starts. 😉

I suppose the point of all of this is that I had to force myself to do something I enjoy, but once I did, it was extremely satisfying and now I’m back in the game. 

Now… maybe THAT has more to do with my improved mood than anything. It could be that the spell of depression and unmotivated mood I had been going through had to do with BOTH external obligations and the lack of nourishment of my soul. The part of me that needs poetry and that thrill of producing art that I feel is beautiful and full of love. 

Love IS the right word. 

Today is Monday and I’m steadily making my way through my house chores—dishes, cleaning the kitchen (after a weekend with a houseful of teenagers), litter boxes, grocery shopping, and laundry. So far so good. And I’m not even bent about it. I feel great about it actually. What a flip!! 

My mom is coming over this afternoon and bringing her dog. We are actively trying to find a new home for her as my mom can’t handle her with her current health issues. It’s just not feasible. I’m hoping today’s meet-up will yield a positive outcome. It would be one less thing she has to worry about (and by proxy, one less thing I have to worry about). 

I think that’s it for today. 

Cheers to Being Back in the Game, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-05-10 A Kindfull Kind of Mindfulness

Even in low moments when we feel useless or of no value, thoughts of kindness can give us strength. It takes less than 5 minutes to think of an episode of kindness, either that someone has shown to us or that we have shown to someone else. It doesn’t have to be an epic act… it can be as simple as offering a kind word or smile. Remembering these moments and how they make us feel in detail and then filing them away in our mental wallet to recall at a future down moment, can be useful. 

My husband and I were recently at a store buying a barbecue grill. We had decided to try and load the grill in his vehicle and we’re in the parking lot with the employee helping us. It was pretty clear it was going to be a tight fit, and likely not even possible without potentially damaging either the grill or the inside of his vehicle or both. 

At that moment a stranger walked up and offered to load it on his pickup truck and follow us back to our house. Just like that.. an offer to help with no expectation for anything in return. We happily accepted help and we’re just amazed with such selfless kindness.. from a complete stranger. 

After the grill was unloaded my husband tried to give the guy some cash, but he refused. They shook hands and my husband said he would “pay it forward.” 

If everyone paid it forward a little more, the world would certainly be a better place. 

I told my friend Rebecca about this just after it happened and she recalled a story of a complete stranger that helped her unload her cart full of groceries at Costco when she was 8 months pregnant. 

It’s these little instances we should try to remember. 

I’ve had some up and down days lately and frankly have been feeling a little selfish with my time and energy. I’ve been shying away from commitments and letting planned conversations go. This may be contributing to my mood. 

This week I’m going make an effort to practice what I’m preaching and see how that affects my mood. One day, one smile, one helpful act at a time. We’ll see. 

That’s it for today. Time to take on Monday and make something out of it! 

Peace, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-05-03 Thinking About What’s Got Me Down is Like Having Bronchitis

It may not be the same for everyone, but the struggle is real. It’s a popular saying for a reason. 

I’m constantly having internal conversations with myself that I can’t seem to quit having. There’s no resolution that I can see or feel and it puts my brain on spin cycle and it’s wearing me down. Like a rock in a rock tumblr. 

In a way I wish I could just turn it off. But there’s no off button for that except the ultimate off button and I’m not ready for that. I’m thinking of a Cake song.. “End of the Movie”. 

***

People you love

Will turn their backs on you

You’ll lose your hair

Your teeth

Your knife will fall out of its sheath

But you still don’t like to leave before the end of the movie

People you hate will get their hooks into you

They’ll pull you down

You’ll frown

They’ll tar you and drag you through town

But you still don’t like to leave before the end of the movie

No, you still don’t like to leave before the end of the show

People you hate will get their hooks into you

They’ll pull you down

You’ll frown

They’ll tar you and drag you through town

But you still don’t like to leave before the end of the movie

No, you still don’t like to leave before the end of the show

***

I recognize I’m responsible for my own happiness, and my own sorrow but I don’t know how to handle myself. I’ve been self medicating with certain indulgences—eating and drinking mostly. These temporarily soothe but once the moment has passed, I’m left with regret and deciding to “start new tomorrow,” with a cleaner way of living. 

I don’t find joy in the the things I like to do or in trying new things. My tried and true go-to set list is not working. Music, exercise, planning future activities, gardening. Typically writing all about how I’m feeling, here and now, from my beloved treadmill would improve my mood or at least help me get to the point where something makes sense. 

When do I write the lines that spark the lightbulb above my head and I get the answers I’m searching for? I guess not yet. 

Repeating lines inside my head:

  • It’s just a funk and I’ll snap out of it naturally. 
  • It’s just hormones and I’ll snap out of it naturally. 
  • Tomorrow will be different. 
  • If I get better sleep I’ll feel better. 
  • I should cut out alcohol.
  • Remember last year at this time when I was working full time and miserable and had a problem taking lorazepam and was feeling really horrible? Life is way better now so what gives? 
  • I’m being too hard on myself. 
  • I’m not doing enough with my life. 
  • I’m a failure parenting my kids. 
  • I’m a bad wife. 
  • I just want to lose 10 pounds. 
  • I’m struggling with my dependence on another person. 
  • Why can’t I just enjoy my life? 
  • I’ve got everything I ever wanted.. why aren’t I happy? 
  • I should talk to my husband about how I’m feeling. But he’s got more important things to attend to. 
  • Who else can I talk to? Maybe I need a counselor or therapist. 
  • What should I do now?

I wrote a poem last week, the first I’ve written in a while. I had to go to an accountant to sign my taxes. Maybe my problem today (and all damn weekend) has to do with a tangentially related happenstance. Probably. Everything is related. Here’s a link to the poem: https://shyspark.com/2021/04/30/before-i-sign-my-2020-taxes/

I have a ton of stuff to get done today and can’t simmer on any of this anymore. Ain’t nobody got time for that. 

Until tomorrow,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-04-30 When they Ask What Superpower You Want, Don’t Be Too Hasty

I daydream sometimes about what it would be like if I could control time. That’s not exactly right. It’s not a daydream of control. It’s not a daydream at all actually. It’s a longing for time to slow down enough for me to enjoy things at my own pace. My own pace is apparently slow.. like a desert cactus growing a new arm. 

Returning from vacation I found myself feverishly rushing to write all about it, remember all the details, sort through pictures to pick my favorites and document it all. And for what? So I can never look at any of it ever again? To forget it as the reality of daily life comes back into focus and the “next thing” screams for my attention. 

It’s predictable. I have two more blog posts I wanted to write about vacation but that’s so five days ago. A world of experiences has occurred since then and now trying to return to those final moments of vacation feels like a pipe dream. 

Then there’s the conundrum of chronology to contend with. I have this unhealthy desire for trying to create order in the chaos. It’s unacceptable for me to write this, and stick it in the middle of a lovely flow of wonderful posts about vacation, and then somehow unnaturally return to finish out that series.

Years from now I won’t look back at these days at all and it will not matter, yet I can’t seem to figure out how to just do it. Except to maybe just do it and try to forget it. It’s like a puzzle with no solution but to burn the puzzle beyond recognition. 

I have so much to say. 

And I don’t have enough time to explore it all. Not in the way I would prefer anyway. 

Tell me again when I will arrive at the place where I can enjoy the life that’s been handed to me? This semi-charmed life? 

I’ve been working on a PowerPoint presentation for a workshop I’ve agreed to facilitate, which is happening tomorrow. I’m a little nervous about it, as these things go, my social and presentation anxiety get the better of me. But I seem to be getting better at just not thinking about it too much and focusing on other details. 

I admitted to the woman who teaches the body pump and body flow classes at the fitness center I’m now going to that I was terrified of presenting. It’s true. It’s definitely not in my wheelhouse but as these things go, I agreed to do it because it’s an opportunity to promote my lit mag and make some human connections. So, selfishly I agreed to lead a workshop. 

The teacher of these exercise classes said that if you are scared, it’s a good thing because it means you are pushing yourself and it’s an opportinity to learn and grow. That’s such a positive way to look at the situation and I appreciate that. She’s a good person. 

As I write this, I still have one big toe that is grounded in that vacation space and won’t let go. The rest of me has moved on. The rest of me is looking forward. The rest of me doesn’t seem to even have enough time to brain dump about every damn big thing that happened this week. 

My moms first chemo treatment. Our household finally being fully vaccinated. The drug interaction that caused me to feel as if I was at death’s door (not related to the vaccine).The visit I had with my dad yesterday. The Johnny Carson scholarship that my daughter earned that she didn’t even apply for. The old friend (30 years have passed since we were friends) that called me out of the blue. The other old friend that texted me out of the blue, who I haven’t seen since my wedding. So much is happening yet there is not enough time for me to mentally process it all.

I just want time to slow down. When asked what superpower I wanted, I should have paused. Thought about it a little longer before blurting out, “invisibility.” If only I had a time machine to go back and fix that. 😜

I may not be able to control time, but I do have complete authority of the chronology of my words. Which is why this might not get posted until I’m damn satisfied with my vacation series. 

Take THAT Universe! 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-04-12 The Clandestine Miss SugarCookie Surprisingly Secures Seven Hundred Followers… 💃💃💃

Sometime in the last few weeks, the number of followers for my WordPress blogs tip-toed over the threshold of 700. It only took like 4 years. 😜 (Technically 10.5 years since I started my first WordPress blog in 2010.)

It’s actually pretty good for a random human simply musing day-in-and-day-out about the same 12 topics. Over time I’ve had many thoughts about what I could do to make this blog into a more helpful, marketable, informative, or entertaining place to visit. And each time I get an idea about that, it feels like more work than it’s worth. Plus I can’t seriously commit to rating cheeseburgers, being a travel blogger, or trying to give advice about ANYTHING as a self-proclaimed expert.

To be fair, there are literally thousands of folks out there just like me trying to utilize WordPress to build their name or establish a brand for what they are interested in “selling” or what they are passionate about. So the world doesn’t really need or want any more of that. Or maybe we do, because every human connection is valuable to someone. But it’s not what I’m about here. 

So what am I about? Why do I keep doing this week after week?

Well, the tag line for this blog has not changed since its inception four years ago. It’s my attempt to put focus, each and every day on living a healthy and more fulfilling life. I’ve lost my way in life a few times, and part of that comes from coasting and not really paying attention to time passing. How can a person lose 5 years of their life and not realize that is happening? The answer is pretty freaking easily if said person goes about their business every day working for someone else without thoughts for what they really want to get out of life for themselves. 

My life has changed drastically over the last four years and I can honestly say I feel like I have the secret to living the life I want to live figured out. However, it doesn’t matter how sweet things have become, the daily struggles in life persist.

I may think I have it all figured out but I still have days (sometimes weeks) where I’m in a funk and just can’t seem to snap out of the rotten mood I’ve found myself in. Kind of like yesterday.

I’ve been told to keep my personal melodrama out of my poetry for my own good, but this blog is a different beast and so I have zero issues confessing that I broke into tears like 5 times yesterday. Maybe more. 

My emotional swells were exacerbated by the random watching of the movie 2012 with Jim and Z yesterday afternoon. When I saw that is what they were watching, I was all like “oh this is the one where they all almost die like 50 times. Not an exaggeration.

In fact, if you count all the “near misses” of buildings and bridges crashing down, the ground opening, and last second getaways, it might be in the hundreds. I knew this when I started watching and it still…. STILL got to me. Each emotional moment of the “families” journey made me cry. What the hell.??!!

At least that was sort of heart-wrenching. What’s not heart-wrenching is a rando episode of bachelor in paradise which also made me cry. That’s when I know it’s hormones or some other bullshit causing me grief and not actual sad stuff. My poor daughter looks at me and says “oh mama.” She reaches over from the adjacent couch, touches my arm, and smiles. She gets me.

I say with a weak smile and tears welling up in my eyes, “yeah, it’s that time.” 

“That time” being any given day where I’m emotional for no reason. About 10 days ago I had my period, a whole week early, and now I’m spotting again which is not typical. So I’m definitely going to tag hormones as the cause. And they are probably also responsible for my persistent headache and upset stomach. 

Anyway, so yesterday was one of those strange funk days I struggled getting through, which is exactly why I can’t just declare I’ve got life figured out and drop the mic. 🎤

It’s why I need this blog. It’s my way to write through what’s ailing me and figure stuff out. It’s my therapy and the jumping-off point of all my crazy ideas, dreams, and personal experiments. It’s my version of therapy. And oh, by the way, it’s way cheaper than an actual therapist! 

Today the clandestine Miss SugarCookie has 706 followers and at least 4 actual humans reading on a regular basis. And I’m extremely grateful for each and every one!! 🥰

That’s it for Monday. Time to start climbing through the week. 

Peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-04-07 Dirt Therapy and Other Vaccination Day Musings…

I haven’t written much for a few days. But there’s not much to write about. 🤷‍♀️

Spring is in the air and I’m slowly getting into the groove of garden work. This is going to be my year for enjoying one of my favorite activities. This year I don’t have to balance a job with parenting and household responsibilities. This year I’m done with school and can prioritize myself and my health.

A big part of that is mental health. And one of the activities that has done wonders for my mood and outlook on life is digging in the dirt. Literally.

There’s something extremely satisfying about digging deep and turning the soil in the garden. Something soothing about putting a root-ball into the ground and pressing the dirt around it with my fingers and palms. 

Sure it’s wonderful to watch the plants flower and grow veg, but nothing beats the labor of love it takes to get to that point. I even enjoy pulling weeds (within reason). It is for this reason that Spring is my favorite season. 

I mean, something about the air in Spring even smells better than the rest of the year. The temps start to climb but are not unbearable yet and it’s either just rained or it’s about to. 

This week we bought a new hammock and have already enjoyed laying out two evenings. Last night was a little chilly but it was still wonderful to snuggle together and chat about everything and nothing. 

Today I have quite a bit of non-outside work to do around the house and that will keep me busy as the rain showers come and go. I’ve also got lit mag stuff to do, which is never ending, but I’m gonna try not to stress about that. 

And ohhhh…. I almost forgot!! Big news this week with our country opening vaccines for 16 and older, so today is the day we have appointments for everyone in our household that has not yet been vaccinated. I suppose subconsciously that’s another reason I’m in a pretty good mood today. 

Hopefully I can just keep riding this wave and nothing happens to bring me down.

No.. Universe.. that’s not an invitation. Be good! 👀 

That’s it. Time for me to get my cardio on. 

Cheers to Spring and Beginning Again, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-03-30 Woe is the Melancholy Way

Today is the first day in 3 weeks I haven’t had to either go to the ER, the hospital, or my moms house. My sister is driving from Denver as I type this and I feel a weight lifting. 

Last night everyone at my house was otherwise occupied doing their own thing and I took the opportunity to drive out to Flannigan Lake to watch the sunset alone. No talking, walking, music, or writing. Just me and the sounds of nature as the sun slid behind the hill on the opposite side of the lake. 

The sunset was entirely unremarkable, but the moment was still emotional. It could have been a hormone surge or the release after holding my breath for three damn weeks or just a general sadness listening to the prairie birds’ song light up like a signal fire, one after the other, all around me. 

Their coded message traveled from across the lake through the grass field I was sitting criss-cross-applesauce on to the unplowed soybean and corn fields to the north. A trill tale that ended with the start of a response elsewhere. 

I watched one land on a tall reed shooting out of the lake. The reed swayed with the weight of the bird as it gripped the vertical stem. The silhouette of the scene stark with the setting sun behind it. At that moment I thought I should write a poem about it. 

One second later I thought myself out of the idea. Who cares anyway. What’s the point. It’s all just meaningless. That might be what made me want to cry. 

Later that night I had a talk with Jim. I didn’t mention the birds or have the sky looked after the sun had set or the meaningless feelings but I did tell him I felt sad and couldn’t explain why. He just said he understood, and that it made sense to him. 

I’m glad it makes sense to someone. 

I’m not sure where the last 90 minutes have gone. I’ve barely written anything and haven’t yet achieved my daily step goal. But it’s past 10am and I’ve got lots to catch up on so this is gonna be it today. 

Peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-03-29 All Time Can Be “Me Time”… 🧘‍♀️

Our days are filled with responsibilities and tasks and it is common to feel that we don’t have enough time for ourselves in our over scheduled lives. We can cultivate “me time” by establishing mindfulness in our bodies through a steady awareness of our breath or our posture. This gives us the super power of making all time “me” time. No matter what we’re doing, if we are able to stay connected to some aspects of our physical experience, we can be present around the clock.

***

I constantly struggle to balance and rebalance my life and all the things I’ve got going on.

One of the goals I set for myself a few months ago was to meditate daily. I’ve tried again and again to reboot this desire and each time I’ve failed. Each time I find myself failing, I’m quick to blame time. It just slips away and I’m unable to prioritize the meditation over whatever else it is in that moment that’s squeaking louder. 

I’ve evaluated this predicament and asked myself why it is I can be so successful with getting my daily steps in but not meditation. The conclusion again points to time. I already have carved out a dedicated time each day to walking and most days, at six or seven or 8 AM, I don’t yet have anything else that is so pressing that it would prevent me from hitting the treadmill. 

I tried setting a time in the afternoon to meditate, but every damn day, when that time arrived, I was right in the middle of something else or rushing somewhere in the car. I know if I was more adept at meditation, I could do it anywhere, even at a stoplight in the car for 30 seconds. But I’m not that good. I kind of need a quiet space and also to be alone. 

I could probably try first thing after Jim leaves for work in the morning. Or… I can try to reframe my attempts at mindful “me time” with the approach described above. 

Several weeks ago I tried a new exercise venue with different group classes and one of those classes was a “body flow” which is a hybrid yoga, Pilates, and tai chi. I absolutely love the instructor and one of the things she said is that at least once a day she pauses in whatever eyes doing just to take a few really deep breaths. 

She has an alarm for 12:15 each day and that’s her reminder. She said that all the rushing and “short” breaths we utilize all day long are invoking the “fight or flight” instinct and taking the deep breaths gets us out of that stressful state of mind. Doing that exercise, just the deep breathing, is enough to feel better and more relaxed. And unlike my issue with meditation, I can do it anywhere. 

I can also focus on my posture, or do a quick stretch anywhere. Both of those make me feel so good so why wouldn’t I want to just fit little moments in all day long?

Then I ask myself, how different is this from meditation anyway? Focusing on the breath and how the body feels are the key tenets I’ve learned about meditation thus far, so the only difference is the amount of time and my preconceived notions about when and where. 

What better time a there than right now to start treating myself to all sorts of “me time” throughout the day?? There’s not. 

It’s Monday again. I’m ready. Let’s go! 

Cheers to Today, 

~Miss SugarCookie