“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it…Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I don’t have anything to add to that. I have only to mutter around it in order to fix it into my brain.
THIS TIME, LIKE ALL TIMES, IS A VERY GOOD ONE
I am incubating a perfect little mystery.
It is cold and there are opportunities to stay in and be cozy.
There are opportunities for wearing warm clothes (and boots!). For taking brisk walks in sunshine that isn’t warm but is still cheery.
I am resting my body and letting it heal from sickness.
There are opportunities to stay in bed longer: to read (le temps du sommeil, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, The Beaufort Diaries, The New Frugality!) and to watch movies, documentaries, and television (Good Night and Good Luck, 30 Rock, Breaking Bad, The Invention of Lying, Cave of Forgotten Dreams!)
This is a time for input.
Grateful that frost does its job at killing annoying bugs and fleas.
We get to hear Christmas music (Roger Whitaker!) and see Christmas lights.
There are opportunities to make gifts for people (Pinterest!).
Working out and the YMCA feels luxurious (hot showers!).
IF WE BUT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT
For me, this is the hard part. But I am learning. I am learning to trust beyond understanding, to follow the love and the joy, to live in the season and to let each day take me by the hand.
But what does this actually look like?
My approach is to organize my time to reflect the important parts of this season. My structure has three categories:
Comfort Measures- warmth, cozy reading and watching, hot tea
(Only recently, and thanks in large part to birth preparation, I am learning that comfort is important to relaxation and relaxation is important for allowing myself to simply exist and be receptive to the abundance of life. Without realizing it, I’ve been on a life-long journey of putting myself through boot camp. I’ve pulled away from comfort for the sake of getting or staying tough. I’m just now learning that life is difficult enough and there is no need to inflict suffering on myself.)
Priorities- opening up to creativity, getting exercise and fresh air, writing and processing, eating well
Tasks- maintaining a clean and organized home, working on commissioned art projects, varied to do list
These are the guides that dictate the ways I spend my time, but I am also trying to be flexible and receptive: to listen and respond to each moment and to allow myself to pause and reconsider my schedule whenever it becomes necessary. Balance not stability.
FINISH EACH DAY AND BE DONE WITH IT
In the last few weeks there have been many nights that I’ve felt an awful, tense, and anxious energy around me. I feel like I hate everything and I can’t console my mind or body to lay down and sleep. I’m in the process of figuring out the causes and how to cope.
YOU HAVE DONE WHAT YOU COULD
And that is enough. Now rest.
SOME BLUNDERS AND ABSURDITIES NO DOUBT CREPT IN
Let’s not dwell on details here; I am well aware of the many blunders and absurdities.
FORGET THEM AS SOON AS YOU CAN
Ah, see? Emerson agrees.
TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY
Today is a new day. Welcome to December! Today is a new day. Today is a new day. Glory! Today is a new day.
BEGIN IT WELL AND SERENELY AND WITH TOO HIGH A SPIRIT TO BE ENCUMBERED WITH YOUR OLD NONSENSE
So far so good. Today, I’ve allowed myself to wake up gently, nurtured my body with a little space heater warmth and my brain with some reading. I’ve eaten well and warmed up with two cups of chamomile. I’ve sat at the table and talked with my dear and handsome Levon and now I sit here writing; getting it into my very core that “this time, like all times, is a very good one”.
[ from ashley who is listening to Roger Whitaker (Christmas Collection) ]