PATIENCE….

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Patience is not a word that I can use to describe myself.  I would like to say that I am patient but if you talk to my husband he will tell you that I’m bloody crazy.  If I decide I want a room painted,  I want it  painted yesterday.  I will focus all of my energy to get that room painted and if it takes me 24 hours of non-stop painting, I’ll do it.  My husband on the other hand can do one wall one week, another wall another week and another wall two weeks later.  Consequently, we would be painting all year round at his pace.  Do we butt heads about work and how it’s done – yup you better believe it.  However, as I get older something is happening to me; I have grown more appreciative of my husband’s patient nature.  As I look around the house and all the work that has to be done; cleaning out the garage, fixing the wall in our bathroom, painting the living room, fixing and touching up the walls in other areas, fixing or replacing our kitchen cabinets, the garden work and so on and so on, I’ve become more tolerant of waiting to get things done and not everything has to be done at once.  

I’m not sure if the real culprit of this  new feeling is that I’m overwhelmed and I’ve given up or I’m just getting smarter as I grow older, but lately I’ve started to say to myself, “if we don’t get this kitchen done until a year or more from now how is this going to affect my life?  The answer is “it won’t affect my life at all.”  I will still be busy running here and there, still trying to find the time to balance work, play and family, I’ll still be making dinner every night in my kitchen and even though it would be nice to be looking at a new kitchen it won’t make any difference to my life whatsoever.  Breathing is my latest thing, the simple act of stopping and breathing.  Sometimes at work when it’s especially busy and everybody needs something now, I sit at my desk and move away from my computer, drop my head into a relaxed stance and focus on my breath, meditate a little  and think of positive thoughts.  It’s amazing how two minutes of breathing and positive thoughts can help me feel less drained and empowered to tackle the work that just a second ago was stressing me out. 

Wish I had this attitude the other day as I was cleaning the house.  I decided during my cleaning that I would change some of the furniture from one room to another.   No one was home so I found myself looking at a big arm-chair and decided I wanted it out of the family room and into the  office located on the top floor of our house.  The chair wasn’t especially heavy but awkward.  Having no patience at that moment, I dragged the chair all the way up the stairs by myself and carried it down the hallway to the office, all the while sweating up a storm because it took way too much manoeuvering to get the chair to the door of the office.  Once at the office doorway I realized that the chair was a little too big for the doorway.  Not being one to take no for an answer, I proceeded to twist and turn the chair  through the doorway, when it didn’t work from the hallway I put myself in the office and tried to twist and turn the chair from inside the office.  It came through alright but I managed to wedge the bloody chair in the doorway.  It was stuck, really stuck and I was stuck on the other side and couldn’t get out of the office.    No longer was I impatient I was furious beyond belief, plus I had to be out the door in an hour to go to the rink to play hockey.  I tried the breathing thing, didn’t work because I was too sweaty and worked up, so I did what I do best, I grabbed that damn chair and pulled and pushed and twisted and turned all the while cursing and swearing and sweating my butt off.   Finally, after a half an hour and one too many turns the chair gave and it came through the door.

I made it out of the house to join my hockey team and when I got home later that day my husband noticed the furniture changes and wanted to know how I got the chair up the stairs by myself.  I told him the story and he asked me why  I didn’t wait?  I said “I can’t, it’s not in my nature.”  I believe you can teach an old dog a new trick but every now and then that old dog does what she does best and resorts back to being herself.   I’m learning and I might get to the place of calm, peace and patience one day, until then I have a lot more yoga and breathing to do to reach the realm of yoga and meditation.    Pray my house remains in one piece in the interim!

SMELLING THE FLOWERS..

a bed of dandelions

Lately I’ve been sad, there has been bad news all around me.  Cancer in my family, cancer in my friend’s family, possible Alzheimer’s there as well and the list goes on and on.  The feeling of helplessness can be depressing as all you can do is reach out and be there the best you can.  No magic wand to make it all better.  Right now everything is good in our lives, the boys and my husband are well and I don’t want to spend time thinking the sky is going to fall and being generally negative.  The truth of the matter is that there are good times and bad times in life.  Everyday I pray for everyone I know who is suffering and I thank God for all the blessings I have in my life right now, I also pray for strength when things go wrong.  I’ve decided to start a new ritual that helps me cope with some of the sadness that I’m feeling, every day I find something that makes me laugh and smile.  I find a funny video, read a funny comic, laugh with the kids and my husband.  Laughter is a healer, a wonderful healer that we all take for granted.  I think for so many of us right now life is on a fast track and I feel that this fast track lifestyle disconnects us from our authentic selves.  We have to take a quiet moment and reflect on what we are thankful for and then add some laughter in there as well.  Our family has started an exercise program, we all workout together three days a week.  Last night my husband was too tired from working his shift work and my youngest decided to skip the running part of our workout.  I joined my oldest son on a mother – son jog and when we got home we did some stretching and yoga.  My youngest decided to join us for the yoga session.    All three of us side by side practising downward dog and just as I’m focusing on my breath and feeling the stretch throughout my body, my youngest son reaches over and tickles my stomach.  At first I was really annoyed because I was trying to focus on my breath and he was making it impossible for me to focus.  He then reaches over and tickles me again, this time I started to giggle and then I remembered a time when he was just a little wee toddler.  Ever since the boys have been very young, I’ve always incorporated exercise into my daily routine.  When they were really young I often did yoga at home and the two of them would stack their toys near where I practiced my positions so they could be beside me while I exercised.  Whenever I did the “cat stretch” or “downward dog” my youngest would giggle and crawl over to go under the “bridge”.  Once under the “bridge” he would reach up and tickle me and then laugh himself silly.  I had forgotten that memory until last night and listening to him giggle brought me right back to that special moment.  This very small wonderful act connected me to my authentic self and brought a moment of tranquility just when I needed it the most.  It’s important that we all take the time to smell the flowers, smell them every day by really listening to your loved ones and find a reason every day to smile and laugh.

“Walk in the rain,
smell flowers,
stop along the way,
build sandcastles,
go on field trips,
find out how things work,
tell stories,
say the magic words,
trust the universe.”

― Bruce Williamson

Below –  I call this baby yoga – picture taken  many moons ago.baby yoga