GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life


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Adventures in Cycling

I am now almost into a month of cycling.  I’ve had my 1st dropped chain (had to walk the bike back home to fix it but now I have some techniques for a fix on the fly).  I’ve hit a few minor distance goals and a few major ones.  Well, major to me at any rate. I still have some goals to go (ride a total of 10 miles, save for a road bike, get a proper hitch and bike rack)  but I see progress and that’s encouraging.

I also had my first attack the other day.  By a bird. A Mississippi Kite to be exact.   I was riding on a lake trail, a short 6-mile ride.   There’s a small hill coming back from my turn-around point, and I’m all over achy.  I’m repeating my mantra “You don’t have to go fast, you just have to keep going” as I’m pushing all I can to get up this very tiny incline.

Then…  WHAP!!   I thought “WHAT THE HELL, SOMEONE THREW A FRISBEE AT ME.”  Then I think “but there’s not a disc golf course nearby…” WHAP!!  Hit number 2. I see the bird as it’s flying upwards on my left and perches at the top of a nearby tree.   He/She is glaring at me. I’m pedalling as fast as I can to get out of this bird’s area while bracing for attack #3.   Luckily, there were only 2 flybys (and not the Strava kind) but I’m not sure I’ll ride that area of trails until I am faster and manage inclines better.

Today is a rest day.  I’ll stay off the bike and mow the back yard instead.  Hopefully, I won’t draw the ire of any more birds.


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It’s too early to think of a title

I just finished my morning coffee and I’m thinking about things I have planned this weekend.  The writing group is meeting and another group is starting to work through The Artist’s Way.   My mind wandered to morning pages, blog posts and why do I write.  Do I really want to write?  I used to keep journals until I read through some of my mom’s when she passed.  I don’t want to leave daily rantings and bitching behind for my family to read and think “Wow, was she really this unhappy?”   I systematically started shredding mine, although there may still be a few left in my closet.  I need to shred those as well.

I guess I need to remember I’m NOT my mom.  But I’m probably more like her than I want to admit.

As I was pondering journals and posts, I realized I have 30 mins before I need to get ready for work – why not just write a blog post.   I grab my little Chromebook that is drying to bleed cyan and here I am.   I’m not sure where my train of thought was going.  It seemed like a good substantial post until I started typing.  Now I’m not sure what my point was.

I need more coffee but I’m out of creamer.  I haven’t yet developed a taste for black coffee.

I guess I can count this as a stream of thought writing, although it’s not in longhand in a spiral notebook.  I did have a point to make before I sat down to write. I should really work on drafts in Word before posting.

 


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My Mind is Numb

I want to be consistent with this writing thing, but when I sit down with my laptop, I don’t have any ideas.  A lot has happened in the last 3 days.  Worried mama type things. Spontaneous crying.  My son had an incident at work. A fall causing a seizure, or a seizure causing a fall.  No one saw what happened. A phone call from the paramedics asking what hospital I wanted him to go to will haunt me.  I arrived at the ER expecting to see him unconscious, hooked up to machinery. He was standing, putting his shirt back on. One side of his face was covered in dried blood.   A cut on the side of his head. I know head wounds bleed a lot. A fractured vertebra we found out about later.  They took him for a scan.  I heard on the intercom “Code Blue in CT Room 1”  I knew it was him.   He doesn’t remember much from the hospital, and virtually nothing after the second seizure and was medicated.

Luckily, he’s back to himself now, despite random bouts of nausea and vomiting. (I honestly don’t need to hear your explanation of concussion symptoms. I’ve been given more advice on concussions (which he was NOT diagnosed with) than a pregnant woman gets on childrearing.)

The coming week will be busy.  The next few months my routine will be disrupted.  I don’t care about any of that, as long as he’s okay.  I’m trying to not hover like a mama hawk. Technically, he IS an adult.  I’ve hugged him more the last 3 days than I have in the past 3 months.  He knows I’m worried.  Luckily, he tolerates me.   I hated when my mom treated me like a child even when I was in my 30s and 40s.  I honestly don’t think she ever saw me as a functioning adult.  I’m working on giving him space but being available if needed.

I know moms who have lost children. I can’t even begin to imagine what they have gone through.  I feel like my worry is, insignificant? compared to their experiences.  And I feel guilty.

I’m focusing on catching up housework, and laundry.  I went out for a while and sketched.  I’ve mowed.   I decided to write although I feel this is more of a rambling stream of consciousness.   Maybe getting it all out of my head will help.  Or I’ll just go clean out the fridge.

 


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Facing Fear

I turned 50 recently, and with that, thinking about what I miss out on because I’m afraid.

  • Afraid of what people may think
  • Afraid it will be too difficult
  • Afraid of being uncomfortable

I’ve seen 2 rabbits in less than 24 hours.  One last night in a yard as I was riding my bike (facing a fear) and one this morning while driving to work.  The one this morning was laying in the grass easement next to a busy divided highway.

A quick search on the metaphysical meaning of Rabbit mentioned facing & flushing out fear.  Wow… that’s exactly what I’ve been contemplating lately.

I had taken some Soulodge courses with Pixie Lighthorse 6 years ago or so, and I’m certain Rabbit was one of them.  I’m sure I have the lessons saved on my external hard drive at home.

This past weekend, I put my fear aside.  I went alone to a knitting group for the 1st time.  I wasn’t sure what to expect. I figured if worse came to worst, I can sit in a corner and focus on my knitting.   I really had a great time. It was a small group and everyone was friendly.  I managed to get a good chunk done on a sock (now finished).  I’m planning on what I want to start for the meeting next month.

Then in the afternoon, I went to a writing group.  I know I’m a sporadic blogger and would like to change that.  This group was very inspirational and I had a lot of ideas brewing for upcoming topics.  Maybe I’ll adventure more and try my hand at poetry.

In the evening – still the same day – I went to a wine tasting for cyclists.  I’m not actually a cyclist, but I do plan on getting there.  The women I met were very encouraging, which instigated my 1st ride last evening, where I saw Rabbit.  Facing my fears after stories of falls and crashes.

Everything comes back full circle.


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Spring ahead

Monday after I got back from South Carolina, I finally caught the respiratory infection / bronchitis that has been going around the office,  I spent 2 days mostly sleeping, then another 4 days sleeping as often as I could.    I’m starting to feel more like myself and now I get to play catch up with office work and house work.

It also means everything is back to a normal routine, I haven’t sketched much so I’ve been listening to creative podcasts for inspiration and maybe some challenges to participate in.  The weather is getting warmer, albeit rainy, so I’d like to get out to geocache. I’ve been reading a lot, one for a book club that meets in a few weeks and the other because it was mentioned in a podcast and once I started it, I was hooked.  I may do reviews on them.  I don’t feel educated enough to do book reviews, so maybe not.

I want to dig my bike out of the garage.  I want to start taking the dogs on walks in the evenings.  I want to start doing yoga again (I don’t know what happened after January). I want to clean up the flowerbeds.

But right at this very moment, I need to get ready for work.

 


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There and Back Again

I am back home after my trip to South Carolina.  It was a whirlwind of activity and now I’m playing catch up at home and work.

The flight out of Oklahoma was delayed slightly but there were no problems making the connection in Houston.  I had come to accept the fact that there’s nothing I can do to control flights, lay overs, delays or cancellations so there wasn’t any point in getting worked up about it.   I resolved to go with the flow, and fortunately everything went smoothly.

I had forgotten how much I love the sensation of take off in a plane.   Taxing to speed and then that little lurch in your stomach as the plane achieves lift.   The turns where you’re looking straight down out the window…. I may be claustrophobic but I’m not afraid of heights!20190304_095514_002

Then I had a “Headspace” moment (Headspace is a meditation app) where it’s often commented that regardless of the weather and clouds we experience in our minds, the sun is still shining above the clouds.    Flying above the clouds with the sun shining off the wing although I had just 15 mins earlier had been on an icy, cold, grey ground was very poignant.

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I don’t usually have a problem sketching in public but I wasn’t comfortable sketching in such close conditions as on a plane. I forced myself to get my sketchbook though, because I knew this was a rare opportunity.

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Monday evening I had a chance to meet up with an Art Friend I had met online a few years back.  I participated in her Travel Art Journal round robin and it was great to finally meet IRL.  Danni showed me the waterfalls in the downtown Greenville area and we stopped at Spill The Beans for coffee and chatted for quite a while.

 

Tuesday was all day training, and dinner with the training group but I did get to meet a local geocacher, The Scout Master and his wife for an hour of geocaching.  It was late when the dinner group got back to the hotel and I’m not a night owl anyway. I did get my South Carolina state souvenir and signed 3 puzzle caches I had solved.

Wednesday was another day of training, and then we left straight for the airport.  No delays this time, although when I checked in my kiosk printed ticket read “SEE AGENT” for my seat from Houston to OKC.  I started to get anxious I was going to be bumped but my seat was assigned at the gate.

It was great being back home and kind of weird to drive again after being shuttled around for 3 days.  I had 2 days back in the office to play catch up before next week and this weekend is time to play catch up at home.

I’m not sure I would want to travel regularly for work.  It is completely exhausting but once in a while would be okay.

 

 


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In 24 hours

Tomorrow morning, I’ll get ready and head to the airport.  At this point,  I just want to get it over with.

I was excited about meeting up with geocachers in the area, and I am still excited at the idea of my 1st out-of-state geocache.   But when I told some coworkers, their reaction was less than supportive.   I meeting and going into a car with someone I didn’t know?  That’s how you get murdered.  For the past week I’ve been regaled with stories from Forensic Files, interviews with psychiatric patients and documentaries on serial killers.   Because dealing with my travel anxiety wasn’t enough, let’s throw some general anxiety into the mix.

I’m tired of living in fear of things that don’t come to pass.  What if I’m involved in a fatality collision driving to or from work?  I live near an airport, what if a plane crashes into the house?    What if someone throws a cigarette out when driving pass and catches the house on fire?

How much have I missed out on?

What if…  I meet some new people and have a great time.

What if… I explore a new city and discover some cool local hot spots.

What if…  I get to go back and now have IN REAL LIFE friends to geocache with.

and as my husband has suggested,  What If… this trip inspires more travel and weekend road trips to new places.

I guess we’ll see what happens if I get back from my trip.