Sunday, August 15

Within these walls

As mentioned a few posts ago, I'm working on living a more gentle life. I'm still not getting up early every day but I certainly do it more often than I used to. I get up early when I feel as though it isn't a chore to do so. Mostly I've gotten up to feed some birds then write in a journal. Today I got up and did some weeding. I'm sorry to say that I have never done that before. I'm sorry because it was incredibly therapeutic. It was a little before 7:00 am when I stepped foot outside. I spent a tranquil 20 minutes tidying up the rose beds. It looks much better now. I'll be tackling another flower bed tomorrow morning. I think this helps me feel closer to Dad. He was always an early riser and I'm beginning to understand why.

We've been receiving such wonderful cards from his friends and colleagues. One nice man, who met Dad a few months ago on a job site, wrote that Dad was able to quietly observe things in a way nobody else could. Dad somehow saw things in the middle of construction sites that nobody else would ever catch. I often saw him sit quietly observing the natural world around him. He seemed to draw his energy from the outdoors. I've never seen anyone else get still like Dad could. He could block out all of the chaos and noise and observe the peace around him. It was a skill that I'm hoping to achieve one of these days.

My natural skill is to block out the noise of the world while I'm reading. Although I was raised in a household of only 4 people it could often get very noisy. As a result, I learned to block out noise and focus on a book. As an adult I'm still able to block out noise, to a fault, when I'm focusing on something. Now my trouble is reading while stressed out. I find that my mind wanders when stress is present. If I can read for long stretches of time it's a sign that I'm feeling well. After and couple of months not reading so much I'm getting back to it but in small doses. Most recently I had been reading The Forgotten Garden. It suddenly seemed very appealing again so I picked up where I left and I'm really enjoying it.

After a very long day, let's just say that I helped out with a Mexican Booze Cruise Baby Shower (umm, yeah... more on that later), I was exhausted. I came home, took a shower and plopped down on the couch to watch the original film adaptation of The Secret Garden. It really is an oldie but a goodie. A dear friend gave me that book when I was about 8 years old. Ever since I first read it it's been my dream to live in a little cottage within the walls of a secret garden. *sigh* Maybe some day.

Seinfeld remains somehow soothing to me these days. I've also discovered some surprise airings of Barney Miller on WGN that make me very happy. My Tivo never seems to be able to locate these airings in advance but they seem to show up occasionally on Sunday evenings. I'd forgotten how much I like that show. They are genuinely funny and sweet and don't even get me started on that phenomenal theme song. They are also, mercifully, available on Hulu. I've Netflix'd the 30 year old episodes of Upstairs, Downstairs. I remember my parents and their best friends obsessing over that show when I was very young. It moves at a deceptively slow pace but there is scandal galore. I like watching it right before bed. I hear that PBS and The BBC have teamed up to produce an Upstairs, Downstairs sequel set to air in 2011. Yea! Mad Men remains the highlight of my television week. It's still so much fun.

I've been catching helpful hints on slowing down and living a more simple life on some good blogs. A new favorite is ZenHabits. SlowDownNow is also becoming a good resource.

If you have any suggestions for living a more tranquil life please let me know. I'd love your suggestions.

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