WHY DO WE WAIT FOR THE RIGHT CONDITIONS?

WHEN THE WRONG ONES WILL DO

WHY DO WE WAIT FOR THE RIGHT CONDITIONS?

GROWING AND MAKING STUFF

MAKES ME HAPPY

GROWING AND MAKING STUFF

AWARENESS...

STAYING AWAKE TO THE REMARKABLE IN THE ROUTINE

AWARENESS...

Hi. I’m Maery, a writer in the Twin Cities. Although I no longer have the body for extreme adventures, I love to bicycle, go horse trail riding and take hikes with my dogs.  

One thing you should know before you join me on my quest -- I don’t have a map. And I’ve been known to wander off course and stop to listen to birds and look for agates. I also have a few issues with fear and anxiety. In other words, I’m not a good role model or adventure guide. But in this time of uncertainty and polarization, I'm not sure anyone has a reliable map. We'll just figure it out as we go.

dog by Mississippi River

dog by Mississippi River

“Ooh, she may be weary
Young girls they do get weary
Wearing that same old funky dress
But, ooh, while she gets weary weary
Won’t you try some tenderness

You know she’s there waitin’
And anticipatin’
For the thing she’ll never, never have
Oh, no no
Ooh, while she gets weary
Won’t you try, oh, try some tenderness

“Try a Little Tenderness”  – Three Dog Night

Weary… Is someone out there fortunate enough to not feel such a thing? If so, I want to know the secret. Is it youth that has energy? Three Dog Night sings that young girls do get weary, so maybe not.

Or perhaps retirees that get to follow natural sleep patterns and go to bed and wake up when it feels right aren’t tired. But with age, well, comes age and interrupted sleep patterns, so maybe they aren’t energized either.

Perhaps it is people who follow some suppliment or health regimen or do yoga and/or meditation that feel rested. I’m giving all of those things a try, plus massage, and I do think they are helping a bit. It hasn’t been long enough to know for sure or give up on them yet, which would be my usual pattern. I’ve vowed to give these practices a year’s trial.

untitled-31

This tired I’m feeling is like a deep in the bone marrow kind of fatigue. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say it is soul-exhaustion. Or more accurate yet perhaps, that it is coming-out-of-winter weariness.

My body and brain resists taking in anything more. Facebook and Twitter depress me with the volume to scroll through. Emails fill my inbox unread. Blog posts I bookmark to read are replaced with more recent blogposts until I have a stack of about one hundred “intentions.” I myself write blog posts and take photos that sit, unshared.

My thoughts feel tender-footed. They want to soak in a pan of warm water, with epsom salts preferably, waiting for tendons to relax and let go.

Is this all just me? Tell me it’s not, even if you have to lie.

dog on Mississippi River

Not to sound morose or overly dramatic, but there are some moments that it seems I can literally feel myself dying. Of course, we all are dying in a way as we age. But generally, we don’t FEEL it — the body going cell by cell. Oops! There goes another one!

bicycling

Maybe I’m just not used to being so limited by my body. It has generally felt strong and capable. But the creaking and groaning have escalated to a volume recently that I find difficult to ignore.

horseback riding

Neck and shoulder pain are old news, although there are days now where I can’t manage to even turn my head. And now hip pain has joined the chorus, creating a clamor of the sort of decibel that is rocking my world. It’s not even pain in the hip joint but at the top of the hip bone and sometimes the ribs. What the hell is that?

I have gone from “I can do okay with this pain” to “This is bullshit!” followed by “I just want to go back to bed.”

dog in the woods

And yet, I remain on my feet, moving, because there’s that dying feeling, which is followed by thoughts that there’s not much time left, and I don’t want to waste what remains by sleeping and babying my aching body. And in reality, movement is the only thing that brings relief.

Walking the dogs. Bike riding. Horseback riding. Anything that takes me away from a chair, a desk, a screen.

dog walking in the woods

I don’t have any great answers to this dilemma of what seems to be two undeniable and unchangeable facts: 1.) I support myself and my animals with a desk job. 2.) My desk job is causing me pain and weariness.

For now, I’ll keep trying to give myself a little tenderness.

horseback riding

dog walk on Kings Island

dog walk on Kings Island

I started writing a very different blog post about a week ago but couldn’t get it to say what I wanted it to say, lost interest in it, and began writing this. I’m not sure this is any better but since it’s going straight from head to page, there will be less analysis involved.

And maybe that’s best.

GLBTQ Youth Summit

The Youth Summit I volunteered at on March 10th looked like it was a great experience for the youth, which is what matters. Less significant is that I was hoping to hear kids talk about what they are going through in their schools and communities. I was hoping to use that climate reading to know where, perhaps, would be the best place to focus my energies with volunteer work and activism. I didn’t come away with a clear answer but was just happy to be around so much youthful energy.

As a room monitor, I was told to be enthusiastically welcoming. I tried. Introvert enthusiastically-welcoming is probably not as bubbly and obvious as they were looking for.

I was in a session called “Activism Through Art” that was led by two high schoolers who were confident, fun, and amazing. They presented examples of activist artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Zanele Muholi, Kara Walker, Keith Haring, Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and drew attendees into small group discussions about topics like how they saw art and activism working together and what types of symbolism they saw in the art they’d been shown. The session ended with attendees using the art supplies the young women brought to create their own art.

So I still don’t know exactly what schools today are like for GLBTQ youth, but from the number of kids attending, who ended the day by talking to their legislators about their concerns, I take it that legalizing gay marriage and new school policies against bullying have not solved everything.

One Day of Spring Teaser Weather

On a lighter note, last weekend (March 12-13, definitely not the more recent March 19-20) the weather was gorgeous, with a high on the 12th in the 70s. I spent almost that entire day outside. First riding Luke…

horseback riding horseback riding

Then going on a bike ride with a friend (unfortunately no photos, but do have photos of a Friday night bike ride)…

bicycle ride in Anoka bicycle ride in Anoka bicycle ride in Anoka

The weather worship extravaganza ended with a dog walk…

dog walk on Kings Island dog walk on Kings Island Writing

I’m struggling to get back to some SOLID writing after sending my 260 page manuscript off to my son for his input. The book includes some things he wrote and things I’ve written about events we went through together so I need his viewpoint before I go any further.

So I’m trying to get started on a new project. I have an idea for a shorter piece – a simple ebook – but it appears getting started on a new project is not simple, no matter how short and light-hearted I imagine the finished product being.

I also have another book’s worth of writing that didn’t make the cut for the first book. That actually might be easier for me to start working on than the ebook, as the idea is a bit more concrete.

I did have a solid writing routine going. I had daily time set aside, and I didn’t allow myself to think about other options for filling that time. I need to get back to that.

That means pushing past how wiped out I feel (perhaps caused by the usual “it’s been winter for five months and I’m tired of being cold” feeling).

I need to push past that.

And put my Java face on…

dog walk on Kings Island

dog walk by river

Brainerd, MN

I am writing this after just coming home from having a one hour, full body, hot stone massage. This wholly relaxed feeling is so foreign that some warped part of me  wants to do battle with the Peaceable Kingdom to return to my high strung, whacko, anxious feeling world. Obviously, I need to continue with my meditation practice.

Next Thursday, I will be at the 2016 Youth Summit. It’s an event that brings LGBTQ youth and allies together for leadership development, networking, and the chance to speak directly with legislators. The theme this year is Courage. Volunteering as a Room Monitor and Presenter Supporter at the event means taking time off from work. Deciding to do that required some back and forth thinking as I’m swamped at work and concerned that I’ve been and will be taking a lot of time off already for classes and travel.

The voice in my head that argues with such worries reminded me that so many times in my life I’ve put my job first, afraid of what might happen if I didn’t, since I rely on my job for health care and income – a pretty common dilemma. And yet, over and over I regret having chosen work over other things. I kick myself continually for the important things I’ve missed out on – like spending more time with my son.

So lately, when these choices come up, I ask myself how important the thing taking me away from work is to me. Is it very important to me as far as supporting my values? Does it mean helping or caring for people who are important to me? Do I see it as possibly changing the world for the better – improving the quality of life for someone?

I always feel silly or arrogant asking that last question. How important could any of my actions be in the bigger scheme of things? But then, isn’t that part of the problem we have in the world? We don’t realize our own power to make change. Or to do harm.

At this latter point of my life, more so than at any other point, I want to make good choices that are going to result in good things. I wish I would have made better choices sooner, but I’ll settle for doing so now.

This determination of what is REALLY important and what daily actions feed and fuel and grow that ‘thing’ is not as easy as one would think it would be. But living the life you want to live is a practice (like my meditation) that continues as long as you are living. There is no ‘arrival’ or completion except death. And I’m not sure that will be the end either.

dog walk by river

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