Who Am I?

…these thoughts progressed from previous post Future Fear.

If my thoughts and feelings don’t define me
Who am I then?

Decades spent living within my head,
To not be caught up in that
To not be entangled by inner monologue
Is as foreign a concept as living on an alien planet
Who am I then?

Perhaps the question is irrelevant
Who will I be then?

Perhaps I will be able to find myself
Able to consider and explore options
Discover parts of myself that were cowering,
Fearful of the snarling future
Who will I be then?

I will be
Who I am now
Deep down inside
All that which makes me
All the humanness will survive
How will I be then?

I will let go of the confusion
And the distracting static
All of the sticky,
Brain path clogging,
Muddiness.

I will find myself
In others
In my choices of relationship
In my clear thoughts
In the little decisions I make,
Every moment choosing,
Who I want to be.

20140929-213141.jpg
[ image from Facebook, original source unknown ]

Hidden Restriction.

The trouble with long term illness,
hidden illness,
is that you start to doubt yourself.
Continuous exposure to exhaustion
and loss of concentration,
makes being non-functional
become the norm.
Then when thinking about the future,
becoming particularly cautious
about what is manageable.
Underselling myself.
Setting me up
to under-perform
and later feel bad about
my level of accomplishment.

(28 June 2015)

Silver Linings – Day 31.


“Riding free”

Just one more post before I consider where next to take this journal blogging – suggestions gratefully accepted.

Because today was a special day for me. I got out on my bike and rode about 26km. With some breaks, but mostly with a group of over 60 other cyclists. And we were helmet-less!

You see Australia has some terribly discouraging mandatory helmet laws for cyclists. It has reduced cycling participation significantly in the 30 or so years since they were introduced.

And the worst part of it is that in some cities here, the police are too busy dealing with real crime to bother about whether or not a cyclist has their mandatory helmet on or not. But in my home city, you will most likely get stopped and fined if you ride without. Up north they have had the sense to relax the laws so that people riding on shared paths and other non-traffic areas may choose to ride without a helmet. It works and there has been no increase in cycling injuries as a result. While getting the laws fully repealed would be nice, that seems unlikely to happen. We should at least be given the choice, as responsible adults, when riding in low speed areas or away from traffic, to make up our own minds about head coverings. All the scientific data is there to show that it will not increase the risk of injury. And the scientific data that the original decision was based upon has been showed to be severely flawed. In other words, the researchers made a mistake, made bad conclusions, and now we are still living with the result of that even though science says otherwise now. It’s a complicated topic, but it can be simplified by letting responsible adults make responsible choices.

Back to the positives of today. As it was an organised protest ride, we had bicycle police escorts front and rear, which meant (by some technicality) that we were not breaking the law by choosing to ride without helmets. I think that having most of the ride along shared pathways helped with this.

So I could finally feel the wind in my hair without any guilt or fear, as I rode this lovely sunny winters day. In normal clothes. On my own bike. I’ve ridden hire bikes in Europe and enjoyed the freedom, but it’s a little different being able to do so in your home town along paths you know well.

I just felt sorry for all the tourists we passed as they had their helmets on with their public hire bikes, they must have been terribly confused to see us ride past, especially if they have come from one of the majority countries where cycling is encouraged and not restricted.

Today I am grateful for winter sunshine, enthusiastic bicycle advocates, and opportunities to ride sans helmet – the way I grew up riding bikes.

===

I want to maintain this positive focus for my blog. It is an action that really helps me personally. I’m just unsure how to proceed. I want to do something a little different in the way I approach this positivity.

I may need a little time to sort out my thoughts. So feel free to share your own thoughts with me, any and all suggestions appreciated.

Silver Linings – Day 30.

“Lego Buggy”

And here we are, thirty days of silver linings. Not quite consecutive as I missed one or two nights due to tiredness, but even those days I did make a mental note of positives for the day.

Tonight was a visit to close friends for dinner. We are like family to each other. And I am a favourite uncle to their two boys, who are five and three. In fact they were bribed by my visiting to have had dinner, bathed and in their pyjamas ready for bed when we arrived.

Of course first thing was they wanted to play Lego with me, so the sheet filled with all manner of bricks and blocks was placed on the floor and the three of us settled down for 15 minutes or so of play, until dinner was served.

After dinner and their play it was definitely time for the younger one to get to bed. He asked for me to carry him to bed. This is a first! So we said goodnight to everyone and I got to tuck him into his small bed (with a little assistance from mum).

Then there was some testing of colouring pens and watercolour paper (adult colouring books and brush tip pens). So the older boy wanted to join in and did a reasonable job of staying within the lines. I grabbed his drawing book and pens and asked him to select colours for me. So colour by colour I made a little drawing and put my name on it.

I love kids. Especially love these two. They are as close to having my own as I’ll ever get. I love the innocence and openness that they have. It reminds me as an adult, a lot about living and having fun. The older one has a learning developmental difficulty. Mild Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, hope that is spelled correctly thanks google for the spell check. But the love they both show is a beautiful reminder of life in a simpler way.

Grateful for sunny pleasant weather to ride my bike in today, people who are so close as to be family, and movie fun with a friend.

What significance does Lego have in your life?

Silver Linings – Day 29.

“Feeling smart”

Following some motivation from a friend this morning to wear something enjoyable for Friday, I decided to dress sharp to feel smart. It worked, giving me the energy of a positive self image to take through the day. Which led to…

“Cabinetmaker repairs”

This afternoon I took it upon myself to fix the microwave cupboard door. Ever since it was removed from the house and put into the office about 4 years ago, I noticed that the stays to hold the door up haven’t worked properly, leaving the door to drop down continually.

With more people regularly using this space besides myself, it was time to end their unnecessary inconvenience.

I saw a name on the side of the stays and googled it. With a minute I was downloading the manufacturer’s installation instructions. And straight away I could see that it had never been installed correctly.

So making do with some rough tools from the workshop, I measured and predrilled the correct hole positions and screwed it into position. A little bit of tension adjustment and working perfectly now. The door will stay up and wait to be pulled down, whereupon it will gently glide into place.

I enjoy being a handyman. I enjoy fixing things. I enjoy the feeling of a job well done.

Silver Linings – Day 28.

“Sleep”

My first silver lining reached me this morning. I felt the night’s sleep had been terrible, taking a long time to settle, restlessness and with frequent waking up. It took a half hour of persistence through sleepiness to get my eyes to stay open this morning. So after I eventually got myself up out of bed I logged my activity band into my phone to check on my supposedly terrible sleep and saw this chart above which told me a few things.

The first point I noted was that my “sound sleep” was 2:15, which is actually just above average for me, and there were 2 decent blocks of it.

Next, despite waking 5 times during the night, total sleep was 8:12 which is above my original target of 8 per night. Currently I’m aiming for 9 hours sleep per night to try and get over this exhaustion.

So overall, not too bad compared to how I thought sleep had been. A good positive reflection of the situation.

“Winners are Grinners”

My second silver lining today was going out to the weekly pub quiz night that some friends have been attending for over a year. No matter how well or badly we do, its always good for a few laughs. There is a core 2 or 3 who are the regulars and then different people turn up each week depending on who is available. Some I know, some are new to me. Always happy to make new friends.

Well tonight we won first place! That’s a $100 bar tab for us next week. Probably equals a few bottles of wine and some jugs of cider.

So today I am grateful for helpful sleep monitoring, yummy leftovers for lunch, warm tea drinks, and quizzing with friends.

What’s your experience with quiz nights?

Seeing Too Much.

I see a house extension that needs completion
More draft-proofing of the old house
A list of fix-up and repairs that seems to grow endlessly
Things that just don’t work because other jobs are incomplete
An outside deck and paving to finish off
A rear garden that needs to be kept under control
Neighbour’s bamboo reaching over the fence
Caring for pet bunnies, keeping them entertained and comfortable
Trying to declutter the house
Wanting to sell off items to clear space and gather needed funds
Required bicycle maintenance, my preferred form of transport
An old computer that is currently inoperative
A new computer that is not yet operational
A month’s worth of laundry waiting to be put away
The list I see goes on and on and on
And lost in there somewhere, is self care
Blurred into dealing with hidden illness, mental and physical
And this current exhaustion and emotional overwhelming
Missed work hours, missed income,
Clients relying on me despite my fatigue
How do I keep my head straight through all this?
It tries to overwhelm me
But mostly I just let it go, it’s all I can do
Fumble through trying to work this day out
To survive just a little longer
For what, where am I headed like this?
It doesn’t feel like living, not what I want life to be.
And yet, I can manage to say to myself
Today I am coping with, that which previously chained me down in bed
It seems the only hope I have, but I don’t know what it means

Silver Linings – Day 27.

“Miss Nigella”

A simple silver lining today. Picking up this girl and giving her a cuddle before I left for work.

She is a rather cheeky bunny and loves attention but loves to run away from you too. I think with the house getting colder, she is warming to the idea of closer time together. So for the first time in years I just picked her up and gave her a cuddle for a few minutes, before putting her down again. Just so she knows it doesn’t have to be too long.

The photo is from picking her up again tonight. But the disapproving bunny look is because I was fiddling around with my phone trying to take the photo, rather than dedicate my attention to her.

A second silver lining was received a package in the post today. Alright it was only replacement shaver heads that I ordered last week, but a bright-coloured package is always exciting.

Another exhausted day and evening. I want to get through this week though. Thinking today that in the past I have let this level of tiredness knock me down. Maybe its the office work that has fallen behind or maybe I am just pushing myself more.

Grateful for getting through the day, for getting a good night’s sleep, and for persistence with the early to beds (9pm).

What was in the last package you received?

Silver Linings – Day 26.

“Novel Evening”

Exhausting day. Feeling rundown, tired, unfocused, and overwhelmed by life, work and myself.

So I managed some essential chores when I got home from work. Helped with dinner. Helped with bunny attention. Then got into bed and read this novel for a while. A great way to relax after such a day.

Today I am grateful for easy, satisfying dinners. For pets that behave themselves. For a warm house and bed during this chilling winter weather. For people that show they care by helping me through a difficult day. For enjoyable novels that let me laugh and make me think at the same time.

How do you like to relax in the evening after an especially tiring day?

Silver Linings – Day 25.

20150629-222623.jpg
“Mindfulness”

This afternoon I attended a booster class for the mindfulness course that I completed earlier this year. A great chance to connect with three other of the course attendees I knew and about twenty others who had previously completed the course in recent years.

It was a great reminder of the mindfulness practices that I have struggled to keep a regular habit. But even better was gaining a clearer understanding of setting my intention for what I want to achieve and letting that guide me to the how.

20150629-224404.jpg

This morning started with a small boost of mindfulness, when a friend messaged me their intention for the day. This gave me the motivation to overcome my exhaustion and set my own goal to get the day started.

So today I am grateful for mindfulness teachers and their commitment to helping others, and for friends who’s smallest communications with me can make a world of difference.

How do you manage with being wholly in the present moment?

Silver Linings – Day 24.

“Chainmail Crafternoon”

An afternoon of being crafty. Chainmail creations in linked anodised aluminium rings. Learning a new pattern today in the progress of making an owlet.

The photo shows a display on the table around which 10 of us worked. Bracelets, necklaces, earrings and pendants all handmade in sterling silver and other metals.

Relaxing and chatting using one side of the brain, while the other side focuses on the method and pattern of linking the rings. Snack food, wine and tea. A beautiful silver lining to an otherwise tired weekend.

What creativity do you engage in besides writing?