I did, I really did and I also thought that I would do it much more gracefully than I have been so far. Oh magnanimous me. I was not going to be one of those people who go out to dinner and spend the entire evening talking about aches, pains, surgeries and medications. Well Ha! Don’t I just catch myself doing that all the time? Lately I’ve taken to doing the Mona Lisa smile routine. I am not going to monopolize an evening cataloguing my aches and pains. Unfortunately sometimes there is nothing else going on in my brain. I can’t think of anything else to say. So I say nothing.
I do love to babble on about painting. But, it hasn’t taken long to learn just enough technique and theory to where the eyes of the casual observer starts to glaze over and I know I’ve talked myself off into the weeds. So I yank myself back to earth and ask them about their day.
Recently, I’ve taken to asking people about their day and actually paid attention to their answer. Most talk about work which takes up the majority of a working person’s time, of course. Then they switch to some generic topic like the news, or what’s on prime time TV. Maybe I need to rephrase the question and ask “what went on in your head today?”
The painting class I’m taking is helping put this aging thing into perspective for me. I’m one of the babies in my class. It’s been great and encouraging to see these women in their 60s and 70s just rocking on having a great life. There is hope for me yet.
My writing has been lagging behind to the point of not getting done the last month or two. Interestingly, this began right about the time I started painting classes and yoga classes. For a while there I was worried that maybe I’d reached the limit of my brain capacity. But I don’t think that’s what is going on.
Painting sends me off into a non-verbal almost buzzed frame of mind. In everything around me colors, textures and patterns jump out and say “pick me, pick me.” I get quiet being so caught up in the light show that I don’t say or write anything. Mr. Husband got worried at first and would ask me if something was bothering me because I got really quiet and wasn’t making blog posts. I laughed and teased him saying something to the effect of “hey, take advantage of this quiet time! When the words come back you’re in for it.” He’s getting used to it now. I find that it helps if I wear my painting apron as a signal to him that I’m heading off to La La Land.
This painting above is a work in progress. It’s after Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arlais.
The yoga is also putting me in a totally different head space. My neck has been bothering me a lot lately. Unfortunately I think it’s about time for my annual steroid shot in the neck. Bleh! But one has to do what one has to do. In the meantime, the yoga classes are helping a lot with my posture and achieving a peaceful state of mind. In this class the teacher has us pick an intention at the beginning of the month and breath in thinking “I am” and breathing out <insert intention here.> I chose clarity.
Contemplating clarity has been really interesting. I’m discovering that when I’m not clear on something going on it’s not so much that I don’t have the capacity to understand and follow the subject, rather it’s because I wasn’t paying attention. I’ve been listening with half an ear, thinking about other things and nodding “uh huh” from time to time. So before I allow myself to wander off to mental fuzz land I make a conscious choice: “Do I want to understand and retain this info, or just disregard it completely?” It’s helping a lot. Before I was blaming my fugue on my meds or just being a generalized air head. Not so good for the ole self-esteem.
Now that I’m working on being in the present I’m enjoying the freedom to either accept or reject the constant stream of info coming my way. Oh, I still have major meltdowns from information or sensory overload from time to time. But I’m getting better at it every day, and that’s a good thing.