It’s hard to believe that my two months here in the desert is winding down. I had so many creative projects on the list. So many journal entries that entered my mind, yet my accomplishments didn’t come anywhere close to my desires. The time just flew by.
Looking back, I know many hours were consumed by our backyard redo. I could write volumes on “how to manage a project” with emphasis on “how to read a landscape plan.” But, I’d rather let go of those negative thoughts. I’ve also spent hours and hours picking up hundreds and hundreds of bits and pieces of leftover concrete left by the construction project because I’m very anal when it comes to unnatural things in our yard and desert. We know what happens when you do mind numbing tasks like weeding or picking up concrete bits…your mind wanders.
During many of those mind wandering hours I thought a lot about about stress. Specifically how to reduce it. And I know what people are thinking…what kind of stress could she possibly have…”she has the life!” And I couldn’t agree more. I do have the life! But, I have a mom in hospice who wants to stay in her house as long as possible, yet is quickly running out of money because of around the clock companion care. I’m also beyond nervous waiting on the outcome of obtaining a reverse mortgage on her home in order to keep her there and pay the bills. If that doesn’t come through the farm goes on the market immediately and things will change rapidly. It won’t be fun. As much as I’ve limited myself to reading the news, we have an idiot running our country who wants to take from the elderly of all people! Medicare/ Medicaid reductions that my mom (and many others!) will ultimately need if she continues to live a year or so more. It all weighs heavily on my shoulders.
Honestly, I had no idea how much stress can impact one’s health. Over the past six months to a year, I’ve had ongoing nauseousness, hair loss and the inability to get quality sleep at night. Miraculously the nauseousness has eased up a bit over the past 30 days, but the rest of my issues…not so much. Thus my reason for being consumed with how to let go of some of this shit before it does a bigger number on me.
So I’ve been doing some of the usual…some meditation, some yoga, some exercise, and squeezing in some creative activities. But, admittedly there’s so much room for doing more. After talking with my primary care physician this past week about trying to get more quality sleep, she basically said “leave your thoughts at the bedroom door.” Huh? Really? Who can do that? She made it sound so simple! But, I’ve tried that and when I wake up several times throughout the night I immediately push these thoughts out of my mind and concentrate on the practice of metta. (A practice that I’ve learned from my guiding teacher in at the Meditation Center in NYC.) It’s working. It seems I’m back to sleep within no time. Now, I’d rather not wake up several times a night, but I’ll take any small victories as they come. (I’m really not sure that the practice of metta is supposed to be helpful in this scenario…but like I said it’s working.)
I’ve also decided to add positive journal writing right before I go to sleep and first thing when I wake up. So I’m going to try the Five Minute Journal. If I consistently do this for six months, it’ll be an accomplishment. I can’t tell you how many journaling commitments that I’ve tried over my lifetime and never followed through. Supposedly if you write positive thoughts before sleeping, you’ll sleep a bit better than you would have otherwise. Hey, I’m willing to try anything and especially if a $20 book and five minutes of my time writing will help the situation. So stay tuned.
The secret of health is not to mourn the past or worry about the future, but to live in the present moment wisely.
Easier said than done Buddha, but I’m trying.