Might be for you, too. Let’s talk.
It’s raining here in Oregon, which is just one reason I moved here. Fifty years of high and dry in Denver and my face and body looked like alligator skin. Okay, okay, they still do but at least the humidity makes it softer.
That said. The very first thing I did this morning, Christmas morning, was strip the tree, the house and all the shelves of decorations. All but the tree are all downstairs ready to be packed up.
WHAT? It’s Christmas! We just got here!
Because of a shoulder surgery, I decorated early in November, realizing that many things wouldn’t be available one-armed. So the house has been twinkling away for nearly two months. The days are lengthening already and I am eager to heal and be on my way back to the gym.
Someone just accused me of being impatient.
Ya think? Spot on!
I’m also done with so much false happy-dappy being pushed in our faces from August onward about the upcoming holiday season. Pumpkins hit the end caps in July, which means that by the time those times actually arrive I’m tired of the enforced joy. Joy I don’t feel about a divided and very sick country. No amount of imposed holiday cheer will steer us in a new direction. That is much deeper work.
That Grinch part of me now over, however, this much I will say. The decorations were lovely, the smallish tree made my living room sweet at night and I was delighted.
Now I’m done with it. Part of what I’m done with is that even while the manufactured holidays still show up on the calendar, every single thing is different, and the sooner I deal with that, the better.
My move up here has created openings for a lot of new ways of being, about which I’ve been writing lately. It’s one thing to write about it. It’s another to bloody well get out and DO it.
I made a promise.
To that then. Yesterday for my first Hump Day, which due to prior engagements I had to take on a Friday, I pried my complaining butt out of my office, away from my writing habit and headed west in the heavy rain to Florence, and wandered on the windy, grey beach.
The beach I moved here to explore, and somehow just couldn’t find the time to visit in nearly 18 months. The beach I love so much I somehow couldn’t pull myself away from all that work I just gotta do. Well, that’s over with. I made a promise and I kept it. That was the greatest gift.
I kept my promise. Proof:
I froze my face, froze my nose, and hiked the dunes til I warmed up. Explored wind art:
Talked to folks running their pups on the beach. Not many. It was cold, grey, rainy. MY kind of beach. And I’m a Floridian. I swear, I was just born in the wrong state. This is my kinda beach. My kinda weather. Blowy, moody, drifty.
I kept my promise. I swore I’d give myself a Hump Day every week. I did it yesterday. My hands hurt, my shoulder hurt, I made excuses, then threw a jug of coffee in the car, loaded up for cold weather and drove right into the driving rain.
The drive west on 126 takes you through forest where the moss covers the trunks and branches. My kind of forest. My kind of place. Moody, misty, magical and full of portents. I always belonged here.
I kept my promise:
The wind was scudding bubbles and foam like fast-moving cumulus clouds on the watery beach. Where it built up, the wind wiggled its peaks like a freshly-whipped cappuccino. This beach, because of the way the black sand mixes with the blond, provides unbelievable art during the year, always changing. Never the same canvas twice.
I am tired of saying that I’ll get to doing local exploring someday. I am magnificent at creating the HUGE adventure trip, promising myself when I get back that I will do the same thing for myself in my own state, then letting my dictatorial to-do list dominate my existence until the next HUGE adventure.
I kept my promise.
One of my commenters wrote this the other day on a story about how so many things are breaking in my life:
For 3 years, I have been living alone in a small town I dislike, waiting to meet a male companion , or better yet, a single female friend to go to said “local events or beach excursions with, well no more waiting, I just booked a hotel on the beach for next weekend! I can’t wait!
This nails it for me. We can wait, we can wail, we can wander online and be sucked into the forever vortex of systems that only work when we fail. We’ve done that. We’ve failed.
What works is keeping our promises.
I have done a good job of that when it comes to my physical health. I’ve done a good job of that when it comes to giving myself the big adventures.
I have failed at doing that when it comes to giving myself permission to take time off every week to explore and play.
Like my commenter, I booked a cottage on the bluff looking over the Pacific Ocean. From Friday to Sunday morning New Year’s weekend I am going to watch the King Tides and whales, read, and just BE.
Permission to Just Bloody Well Be.
The world is changing around us. So much doesn’t work and never did. What are you going to change about those things over which you have direct control, such as how you eat, how you treat your sacred self, how you exercise, and how you spend your time?
This isn’t about resolutions. Screw resolutions (I’m with Cindy Heath,please see her article here:
This is deep. This is important. Because I am running out of tomorrows. As many of us have already seen, has happened for far too many. I don’t know about you, but I’ve already started keeping some of the new ones. Others will follow when I am fully healed from my shoulder surgery.
I am keeping my promises.
With love and thanks to
JC Spears, for the push, for the cottage suggestion and the example. Leave it to a Millennial. I did, and I owe him.