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Diversions Health

Reflecting on a Daily Trip

I was listening to today’s Daily Trip (I love the name) on the calm app. The title is “To love the unlovable.” Jeff Warren is the “tour guide” of the trip I guess.

…“Daily Trip” meditations – short practices that attempt to communicate the exploratory joy and pleasure and richness of meditation, but also, in an honest way, some of the challenges…

Jeff Warren’s description of Daily Trip from his website

I’m quite fond of the Daily Trips – Jeff Warren is engaging and seems to care about the listener. All really reassuring actually.

So, back to today’s daily trip: about loving the unlovable. He clearly sets out that this is gonna be hard for some people; some people will feel pull back etc and just to feel it all and note it and see what happens.

Me, on the other hand, have no difficulty it seems in seeing the humanity in others, of being able to send out love to all. Then the trip moves to thinking about who you consider unlovable. All I get is those who don’t recognize the humanity in others – that whole I see the humanity in everyone so my mind goes to people who fail to recognize that trans women are women; or who seek to impose laws restricting a women’s ability to control her own body; or people running corporations single-mindedly focusing on increasing profits and caring nothing about the environment or their employees or customers etc

I can still love those people.

When I turned my mind to actual people who are in groups like those I described above, or who support those groups, I still felt love but even more so I felt a deep, almost devastating, disappointment. It took me a while to move past that feeling; in fact it’s already after 5:10 p.m. and I’m still a bit heart-broken in writing all this.

I tried to pick a calming picture – so here are the lilacs from our garden
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Health

Bloodletting

I don’t remember the last time I gave blood. My donor card from Canadian Blood Services says it was 2014. I know I tried a couple of times after that but I’m always borderline on the hemoglobin scale (apparently you need 125 g/L and I’ve been refused at 120 and 123 so I guess they’re pretty strict about it; don’t worry though 120 g/L is the low end of “normal” – just not enough for them to let me donate). Anyway, the last time I tried to give I had a rather matronly reception nurse try and give me all sorts of rules to bring my iron up – as if I had never heard it all before and I was definitely made to feel as though I were wasting her time for even bothering to show up. I was off by a point or two! Sigh.

So I stopped going. And then, with all the hospitalizations going on right now I realised that was nothing but selfish of me really. So I tried to make an appointment online. It turns out the King St West clinic in Toronto just shut down because they couldn’t keep people the appropriate physical distance apart. So I made an appointment to go to the College St. location. Still close enough that I can walk and avoid public transit – I don’t need to take it so I will leave the space for the people who can.

Appropriately enough for me, my appointment was on April 1, 2020. Yep, April Fools’ Day.

 April Fools Day by Clipart.info is licensed under CC BY 4.0

I did my best – I ate broccoli, we had steak on Sunday, I had smoked oysters. And on the flip side, my period started Monday. So, what happened yesterday?

I drank lots of water all day yesterday and today and made sure to leave enough time to take a slow walk to the clinic. Everything was taped out as to where to stand and wait and there was hand sanitizer to use at multiple points.

The College St clinic is housed in the Victoria Hospital for Sick Children. It’s got such a great history – It was built in 1892 and was where Pablum was invented, and incorporated x-rays in 1896.

I was about 10 minutes early so I had to wait until my time. Apparently they have a capacity of 82 donations and they almost hit 90 today! I have O+ blood – which I think is helpful for all + blood types. But whatever you have you should donate.

Anyway, my hemoglobin was a whopping 141 g/L! Woohoo!

Next time I will not plan on walking 2.5 km home again. I was wiped out and I even made sure to walk home slowly. My folks ordered pizza for dinner so I had a couple of large glasses of water and a couple slices of pizza and headed to bed!

Categories
Diversions Get Crafty Health Reading

Trying to focus

How do you pick what you want to focus on? I mean, seriously – there are so many things I want to do, and help Q with, and I have no idea how to fit it all in.

Right now I’m trying to fit in – in addition to working-from-home-mostly-full-time:

  1. improving my French – mostly this involves the Duolingo app. My French is pretty abysmal for someone who took it for 13 or so years through elementary and high school;
  2. reading more – like actual books. I’m doing the Toronto Public Library’s reading challenge again this year and while I’m doing okay, I’d like to be more consistent with it. For example, I haven’t read anything not work related in the last two weeks. I’d like to work it in;
  3. cross-stitching – it’s fun and calming. Mostly it’s calming. I found an awesome group on facebook to stitch with and they have little games and competitions and while that helps me stitch more it also sometimes ups my anxiety. Thankfully they’re pretty laid back and chill and if I have to drop out of something there is no problem. I’m also VERY careful to follow through on the ones that actually require preparation and participation though;
  4. helping Q learn Morse Code – I’m not sure how much he wants to do this but we’ve worked our way up to E (and also SOS and the letter T);
  5. 2 x 10 minutes of my mindfulness app a day – why twice a day? The app is Calm and it has a “daily calm” of about 10 minutes on a different topic each day. Then it has different series that you can work through – right now I’m listening to a series called “relationship with self.”
  6. moving more – hard to do when we’re in a state of emergency I think; but we’ll try.

One of the benefits of not being at home right now is I can at least ignore most of the “housekeeping” stuff – no cleaning, no yard work etc. I am still doing laundry but less really. Also no piano to make me feel guilty for not practising!

So let’s see:

  • 10-20 minutes for Duolingo;
  • 20-30 minutes for Calm;
  • 30-60 minutes for reading;
  • 30-60 minutes of cross-stitching;
  • 30-60 minutes of moving more;
  • 30-60 minutes of helping Q with school, games, Morse Code etc
  • 6.5 hours of work (M – F)
  • 7 hours of sleep (ideally)

At the high end of everything and assuming some buffer for changing activities and that equals 19 hours. Plus eating and showering. I’m gonna try this schedule for this week or two. It has the decided benefit of being easily marked down as “yes or no” – isn’t that the hallmark of a “SMART” goal?

  • Specific – yes
  • Measurable – yes  
  • Attainable – not sure
  • Relevant – well, relevant to me
  • Time-bound – trying for a week, hopefully two and then I’ll see how I’m feeling about it all.

Wish me luck!

What are you choosing to focus on? One or two things or 50bazillion like I’m trying to do?

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Diversions Get Baked Health

5 days of being deliberate

I mentioned earlier that I wanted to try and be more deliberate, or at least not so rudderless.

  • I’ll stop and think before I eat or drink anything.
  • I’ll focus on work at work and on home at home

I’ve been good with the big picture stuff this week: I may not always have eaten ‘well’ but when I did it was a conscious decision and not just mindless eating. And I’ve been far more productive at work this week, although it is a bit stressful right now.

  • Buy new LED lightbulbs and replace all the old outdoor light bulbs with the new LED ones; ✅
  • Send a note to someone;
  • One load of laundry – this is a never-ending chore but sometimes it gets away from me so I’m keeping it on the list for now; ✅
  • Practice piano every day;
  • Wednesday or Thursday I want to do some baking for work as a treat for a co-worker who is going on leave; ✅
  • Wednesday – take Q swimming! ✅

pool hair

  • Thursday – after-work drinks with co-workers. I am almost never able to go thanks to a busy family schedule so I am not bailing out on the one that I can get to!
  • Also a bigger goal is to declutter so – post at least 2 items for sale on facebook or kijiji (or both). Does anyone ever do well selling stuff on ebay anymore?

Mortgage renewals and leaving the baking for my co-worker to the last minute meant I couldn’t go out for after-work drinks on Thursday, so that’s a bit sad.

Kugelhopf (will be another post about this soon)

And while I did get the new LED light bulbs, I haven’t yet replaced them all. I got rid of a giant bin of duplo and some knickknacks I’ve had since highschool – think about that for a second. I’ve had those things for roughly 25 years years. Why am I holding on to things for 25 years!?!

And yea, practising just hasn’t seemed to happen this week. I really gotta get on that!

What’s gonna happen on the weekend?

I think I can stop writing out the big picture goals until either (a) they change or (b) I’ve started to ignore them.

More practical / everyday things:

  • send a note to someone
  • replace the light bulbs & figure out how to properly dispose of the old ones
  • clean 2 random things
  • pick Robin up from the airport
  • spend time with family on Sunday 🙂 this is a little out of the ordinary as we all get together at my grandmother’s house for mother’s day. It’s not a holiday our little family of three make a big deal out of but my mom loves it and her family like the tradition of getting together.

tulips at Osgoode Hall in Toronto

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Categories
Diversions Health

Wednesday’s update – getting back into the swing of things

So here was Monday’s plan:

  • I’ll stop and think before I eat or drink anything
  • I’ll focus on work at work and on home at home

Both of these were pretty good actually. I had a hungry day on Tuesday – where I just seemed hungry all day. And that’s fine. That’s gonna happen. The important part is that I stuck to eating what I wanted to eat and didn’t use it as an excuse to eat a carton of ice cream.

  • Toby and I will hang the maps Monday or Tuesday – will [take] before and after pictures
  • I’ll write notes to two friends just to remind them they’re important to me
  • One load of laundry on Monday
  • One condo viewing on Tuesday
  • Practice piano both days

Hung the maps but forgot to take before pictures! Sent a couple of e-mails which could cover the second task but I also went out and got some note cards for sending actual mail. It bothers me a little that I won’t really remember what I wrote – I just can never seem to remember what I said. In fact, I should do up a spreadsheet so I remember who I sent things to!

Laundry ✅

Condo viewing ✅

Now, except for the piano practising that was all pretty good. But the lack of practising at all is pretty bad. I am 31 days away from my first piano exam in about 35 years….

It’s starting to look a lot like spring…finally!

So I’m going to add a day and now here’s

Wednesday to Friday, May 10 to 12

Big picture stuff stays the same for now:

  • I’ll stop and think before I eat or drink anything
  • I’ll focus on work at work and on home at home

Everyday things:

  • Buy new LED lightbulbs and replace all the old outdoor light bulbs with the new LED ones;
  • Send a note to someone;
  • One load of laundry – this is a never-ending chore but sometimes it gets away from me so I’m keeping it on the list for now;
  • Practice piano every day;
  • Wednesday or Thursday I want to do some baking for work as a treat for a co-worker who is going on leave;
  • Wednesday – take Q swimming!
  • Thursday – after-work drinks with co-workers. I am almost never able to go thanks to a busy family schedule so I am not bailing out on the one that I can get to!
  • Also a bigger goal is to declutter so – post at least 2 items for sale on facebook or kijiji (or both). Does anyone ever do well selling stuff on ebay anymore?

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