Cleaning and clearing your mind need to be done everyday at the least. One way is to take up a hobby that will take up all your attention for detail and physical movement. I have vacuumed my home incessantly that I went through a fancy vacuum cleaner in two years. My house still isn’t clean enough.
I’ve painted with my girls four rooms during the lockdown. It was cathartic and life-changing. The new rooms are brighter and emit positive energies, with minimal cost and optimum physical results. We all seemed energized by the color and work.
I’ve picked up knitting (didn’t go well) and sewing, the latter more successfully. I made at least a hundred face masks, although the first batch (maybe 80%) weren’t so pretty. But I’ve got my pattern down,and they’re good enough to wear out.
I tried gardening, but that’s an ongoing sordid affair. I’ve kept alive most of the plants we received during Allie’s passing. The ones that didn’t survive are the orchids. Orchids supposedly can’t be killed. Well, I’m a butcher and serial killer of orchids.
So, now I’m trying painting. I worked on three pumpkins, inspired by Riley Sheehey (see above). Her chintz and chinoiserie works are inspirational and always have been my favorites since childhood. It must be my youthful inclinations to all things British – Enid Blyton books, language, history, gardens and fabrics. My sisters and I always imagined ourselves as old spinsters living in the cotswolds, gossiping and having afternoon teas in the garden.
That dream doesn’t sound so good, in circumspect. I’m grateful for where I am, where I came from, what I’ve done, and what I can still do. I obviously have regrets and longings. I can only regret and be sad for so long, and I have to keep moving or else sink in despair.
It’s easier to sit and be quiet. It is ok to do that.
Everyone needs balance. Pain and painless. Sad and happy. It’s ok to be happy after someone is lost. It’s ok to take care of yourself if you also take care of those around you. It doesn’t take much, and it shouldn’t take much. Every word and gesture counts. If we make each word and gesture to others be good, then we balance with a good word and gesture for our selves.
I wouldn’t recommend adding to your shopping cart as a good gesture too often. It feels good but the outcome isn’t good for you. I know. But I’ve added to my cart small things that I can do to help make me feel better and make me better. Sure, I’ve purchased way too many dresses I may never have an event to wear, but I will do something that will create an event that I have to wear those dresses. I will try a good thing, like meet with someone who needs help or volunteer to help a food pantry, so that I can wear those items I added to my cart.
See, it’s all a balance. Call it what you will. Just take care of yourself so that you can be there for someone.