019 // Permission to Rest

I got to spend the day on my own doing all the nothing I wanted. Last week I read a post from Eclectic Alli where she mentioned giving herself a much needed whole day of rest per week to help cope with her chronic illness. I was inspired.

So, I finished my book and started another one. I watched a few shows and wrote a few words on this draft and that, and when I was ready I got up, reorganized some cabinets in the kitchen and showered. That was it and that was enough.

I’ve had plenty of lazy days before but this was the first time I didn’t feel guilty about it. This was the first time I gave myself permission and acknowledged the reason. I too have a chronic illness, and chronic pain and chronic fatigue have been kicking my ass lately.

It’s good for my body and for my piece of mind to make room to recuperate regularly. I just wish it was easier to allow.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

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018//365

It’s finally here, the weekend, a nice long three-day one too.

No one expected it to snow as much as it did today and we didn’t expect it to melt away this fast either. I normally loathe to be out in the snow, but today I was relieved to see it. It’s been a very dry winter here and what little snow we’ve had has been more like what we see in March or April. I keep thinking it’s climate change and I worry about the heat and the water levels come summer.

We went home for lunch together in the snow, a rare treat. I miss the days when we both had hours and hours off between shifts and we’d have time to nap. I miss most those long hours at home, in the summer.

Everything about us has always been better in the summer. Today, as we got home I felt great mourning for warm nights on restaurant patios drinking white wine and eating oysters together. I realized that in the winter we go out for events, but in the summer we go out for the air and the night alone. I miss the night. I miss the warmth.

I miss us in the summer.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

017//365

It was a bad writing day, but it’s okay. Tomorrow is Friday and this weekend will be three days long and knowing that makes everything a little bit brighter.

I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to this long weekend from work. The days since we’ve been back from Christmas break have been so long and as time slows, the stress grows, or maybe it’s the other way around?

We have an appointment to tour a wedding venue and I plan to catch up on some reading and finish up the drafts I started this week. We might try to find a project to do around the house, or maybe run some long neglected errands but I sincerely hope not.

I don’t want to do anything but settle into my “creativity room” for a few days and force myself focus long enough to finally feel like I’ve gotten somewhere this month.

I’ve just got one more day to go. One last day to do it right, and then plenty of time to make up for failing.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

016//365

I finished The Iliad today. I’ve been reading it for months and as excited as was to get through the tome, I felt right away like something in my life was missing after I finally turned the last page.

It’s like I had made a friend, an interesting and beautiful friend that frustrated me to no end but taught me so much. And now, suddenly, after all we had been through, and just as we had really begun to find our groove and understand one another, that friend has to go away.

We’ve come to the end of our time together though when I am ready I may walk the same path with them again and look and learn again with them if I choose. Sadly, though our time was certainly eye-opening and moving, I know I will not be able to put myself through the great task of loving them again for a long time.

I am grieving for sure, but I’m more anxious than ever to make a new friend of another tale. I had planned to pick up The Alchemist tonight, but I remembered I had 100 or so pages left of Nietzsche’s On the Geneology of Morals. Better to finish it and leave all my reading failures firmly behind.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

015//365

I woke up this morning feeling sure that it was Wednesday and that I had already worked two days this week. I was incredibly disappointed to realize it was only Tuesday when I arrived at my workplace. It sucks to be so far away from the weekend still, but part of me is also happy to have more time to make some progress since yesterday was such a bad writing day.

I’m still struggling to find my writing groove, but it’s getting easier. I’ve started two drafts for Zen and Pi this week, though I’m not sure either fit into my narrower—but somehow still hard to define—niche there. I’m trying not to worry too much about that though. The goal is only to overcome my doubts and unrealistic expectations and learn how to feel good while writing again. For that, all I have to do is write and publish, write and publish, write and publish, again and again.

It’s getting easier but it needs to start getting better if I’m going to get anywhere in 2019.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

014//365

This morning was a rough one. I made a few little mistakes and my anxiety magnified them until I was crushed to tears under the weight of my guilt.

You know, it’s bad enough to obsess and overthink so much of your own life and actions but having anxiety plus a significant other, and friends, and coworkers, and family to obsess and overthink about too is almost too much to bear. It’s bad enough when I let myself down, but it’s god damn catastrophic when I let the people I love and care about down.

Of course, I didn’t really let anyone down. Not the way my mind is convinced I did. I ran a little late in one instance and didn’t pay close enough in another. Both actions are probably long forgiven and forgotten by the people they affected, but I’ll lay awake an extra hour or two tonight thinking of all the ways I can stop myself from ever making such stupid mistakes again.

As if there weren’t a million more ways for me to screw it up again. As if I even needed to try so hard to be perfect.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

013//365

My little brother called me today. He called to tell me about his plans and big dreams and to ask me if I thought they were at all possible. Of course, I told him yes, and, of course, I meant it, and I was surprised to find that all the while I felt like I was saying it too myself too.

I admit, even though he’s younger than me I wish I could be more like him. I wish I had his ambition, his energy, and his positive outlook. I think sometimes I need to hear from him as much as he needs reassurance from me.

(It’s nice to know he still needs me but being the oldest can make you a little bitter too. It’s hard not to have someone to give you the guidance that you are called on to give again and again. Life isn’t fair, but every side of the fence is green in its own way I suppose.)

Maybe as we age it helps to keep the younger generation close, to keep us hoping and dreaming with them. Maybe there is value in youth we lose sight of as we progressively value experience more and more. Maybe there really is something in each of use to respect, admire, and look up to, regardless of age, wisdom, life experience, or lack thereof.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

If We Were Having Coffee // The Longest Short Week

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday and welcome. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

I apologize for my lateness but I’m feeling a little under the weather today. I woke up with a pounding headache and unexplained nausea. So, I made some ginger tea, took a dose of ibuprofen, and put myself back to bed for the rest of the morning. I woke up the second time feeling much better, but not quite 100%. I have no appetite and there is still pressure in my head.

I’m a little reluctant on the coffee and worried it’ll make me feel worse but I know a headache of another kind will come on if I don’t have a cup or two. Caffiene withdrawl is nothing nice.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. I’m using the Moka pot and experimenting with using half blond and half medium roast for something a with a little more caffeine that’s a little richer in flavor. Let’s talk about last week.

“The worst coffee I had ever tasted, but it was hot. I drank three cups and sat there an hour, until I was completely dry.”

Charles Bukowski, Post Office

If we were having coffee I would tell you that our first week back to work was very long and quite stressful, and we only had to be there for four days, not five.

All around me there were talks of budget overages, overtime cuts, and management shake-ups, all while we deal with a continued staff shortage. I did my best to avoid the circles of gossip and negativity. I did my best maintain perspective. I reminded myself that these problems were well above my pay grade and that as long as I showed up, ready to work and show these kids positivity and compassion, I was doing all that I could and all that was being asked of me.

I’m proud of myself for getting back to my morning routine so well…mostly. I wish I had stuck to my usual sleep schedule while I was on break so it wouldn’t have been so hard, but I managed to wake up on time every day and to make it to work on time despite the sudden change. I’m still struggling to go to bed on time, though, but it’s getting better.


If we were having coffee I would tell you that while it wasn’t a particularly good writing week, it was definitely a good reading week.

I am very close to finishing The Iliad and I love it more and more the more I read. It’s so sad, so full of death, and pain, and grief but being a good book doesn’t mean being a happy story. I feel all that pain and grief, and fear and bloodlust myself and that is what makes it so good. This week I was even brought to tears while reading and I don’t know exactly how any other book in the future will make me feel this much again.

At the same time, I’m ready to move on from Troy and the Greeks and read something new. I have about half of On the Genealogy of Morals by Nietzsche to get through and Emily Dickenson’s poems have been waiting patiently for months on my nightstand next to The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery. Today my girlfriend brought home The Alchemist to cheer me up and I’m two more Saga volumes behind!


If we were having coffee I would tell you that Dry January is getting easier and easier every day. I don’t feel so bummed out by not drinking and my first thought when I come home from work is no longer on a glass of wine or bottle of hard cider. It’s getting easier to handle bad days and to imagine having fun and being social without alcohol.

I’m a little hurt that my friends have postponed most of our get-togethers until February. What if I decide to continue not drinking through February and beyond too? It seems that I don’t just have to change my own thinking around alcohol, but drag my friends along too.

This weekend I was particularly worried about sobriety cutting into my fun after I got tickets to an “M. Night Shyamalan-athon” at our favorite movie theater. We were going to be sitting through three movies—Unbreakable, Split, and his latest to round out the trilogy, Glass. We usually drink at these kinds of film events and sitting through three movies without a celebratory cocktail sounded like a real drag.

We did good though! and we had a lot of fun. I was a little jealous watching the table next to me order round after round of mimosas and beers so I ordered a peach Italian soda and a Mexican milkshake to feel a little fancy. We had a great time and didn’t go home disappointed in ourselves.


If we were having coffee I would tell you that the movie marathon was absolutely amazing!

Unbreakable has always been one of our favorites and watching Split again but this time on the big screen made me realize that it was also quite the masterpiece. Glass brought me to tears and it ended the only way it could have.

What I mean is, if these characters belong to some other writer and director beside M. Night Shyamalan, then maybe it could have been different, but these characters are part of his universe and story and if you have seen many of his movies you will understand that this is the way the story has to be told.

The reviews were harsh, but I am encouraging everyone to ignore them, see the film, and let it sit with you before you make up your mind.


If we were having coffee I would tell you that the sun has sunk below the horizon and the smell of delicious eggplant parmesan coming from the kitchen let me know it’s time to get going.

I hope that you had a good week and that the new year continues to find you well. I hope that your resolutions are still going strong. If they aren’t, I hope you know they were not failures. You simply weren’t ready and the time simply wasn’t right. I hope you know you can start again.

Until next time.


Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

012//365

Spent a whole day at the movie theater for an M. Night Shyamalan marathon! They showed Unbreakable, Split, and his newest film, Glass. Unbreakable is an absolute masterpiece, and I walked away with a greater appreciation for Split. Glass was amazing and I cannot for the life of me understand the harsh reviews. Ignore them and go see it.

Before the films, there was a Q and A with the big man himself live streamed in the theater. It was a great session where he talked a lot about his own mistakes and lack of courage with his art. There was one answer he gave that really struck me.

He was asked about how much of him is in his characters. He said he couldn’t be sure. There was maybe some but being a part of your characters, and them being part of you wasn’t the important part at all.

He said, as a writer (or as an actor) you have to be ready not just to understand your characters and their actions, but you have to be ready to defend them. You have to tell the world why and not from a place of neutrality, but a place of pure emotion and bias, even the bad stuff. We have to stand firmly on their side and shout to the world their reasoning and defense.

I don’t write fiction—I don’t write much of anything at all at the moment—but I have always wished I did. Coming up with characters and their stories always felt like impossible tasks but maybe I am not doing enough looking and defending?

P.S. I was good and stuck to my promise not to drink. I’m very proud of myself and I have a feeling that it’s only going to keep getting easier.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

011//365

The snow fell all day. It’s still falling and the hourly forecast says it’ll be falling through the early morning. The inches we shoveled from the driveway have already been replenished by the storm.

Tomorrow we are going to a movie marathon at our favorite movie theater. So that means an early night for us. The marathon begins just after 10:00AM and the roads will be worse than they were today. We’ll have to go to bed early, on a Friday night. I’m excited but bummed too. I like staying up

Dry January is going well so far but tomorrow will be a challenge. We’re going to watch 6+ hours of movies in one sitting in a place we always order a drink in and I don’t know if I can not drink. I know it can be fun without alcohol and I honestly can’t come up with a better reason to be so weak except that things are more fun with alcohol.

Knowing (admitting) this weakness only makes me want to be stronger. I don’t want to let myself down. There will be plenty of opportunities after January for alcohol. If I still want it.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren