Posts Tagged With: unpredictability

Ain’t No Sunshine

It’s Gratituesday! Variety and consistency. Yup. That’s what I’m grateful for today. I know those two things seem to contradict each other but you’ll get over it and so will I.

I love knowing that if I get myself out the door before sunrise everything else will work out somehow.

I keep telling myself I’ll change where I go walking, but I crave the solitude and the surroundings. I take different paths, from different directions, I change it up in small ways and that’s all it takes.

sunshineThe predictability of the sun coming up each day keeps the world on track. The unpredictability of the colors, the clouds, the angle of light, the shift in shadow all make each morning a pallet of infinite variety. A paradox of consistency and change all in one for you to ponder every twenty-four hours.

Studies show that predictability and consistency contribute to productivity and contentment. But we also know that such things contribute to boredom and dissatisfaction.

And then other studies show that happiness more often manifests itself when change is a constant. What? Not major change, just variety, tiny differences make all the difference in happiness levels.

Some days, weeks and months in my life at least, it feels as if nothing is consistent or predictable except change. I can tell you from my own completely unscientific experience that such situations lead to feelings of high anxiety and unhealthy levels of stress.

I’m trying to embrace the variety and unpredictable state of my life. I’ve worked at that for a while now. Hence my daily gratitude journaling and weekly Gratituesday posts.

I’m also rather desperately trying to incorporate consistency and a regular schedule and other nice things like that into a chaotic life.

I’m having more luck embracing change than instilling predictability.

Balance seems the key word. And the most elusive quality. Gratitude sounds elusive today as well.

Let me take a different angle.

cloudy

Cloudy.

The sun shines here a zillion days a year. Okay, something like 287 days out of 365. That, my friends, adds up to a heckuva lotta sunlight. A glorious thing in the winter if you don’t like the cold. An unending series of boredom and heat in the summer if you don’t find some variety.

Sure we desert dwellers love the rain for its moisture and life-giving sustenance, but we also love it for the sheer difference in weather. Not sunny equals a nice change.

I’ve also lived in the Northwest where clouds and rain sang the same song every single day. Or so it seemed. Unending blue sky and sunlight, when it rarely occurred, felt heavenly for the sheer change in melody.

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and ordered the same thing you got last time because you know you’ll like it? Of course! But that can get so boring! Try something new next time and appreciate the difference even if you like the same old thing better.

A PBJ for lunch every single day might give you a sense of security, of all’s right with the world, but that, dear reader, is an illusion.

Or maybe that’s just my life.

Maybe your life consists of predictable, on time, on schedule, knowing what’s ahead for the next year wonderfulness. I’m incredibly jealous happy for you. If that’s the case this whole post must come off as the strangest bunch of rambling you’ve ever read in your life and it’s a wonder that you’re even still reading. The following statement won’t even register on your reality meter.

Change is inevitable.

Change is the only constant. We’ve had this conversation before, I’m sure of it.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

I’m glad and grateful for differences, variety, something new, unpredictability, the wonder of what’s around the corner. Really I am. Really.

I’m also ready for some stability, some unmoving earth beneath my feet, a calendar with a schedule I can count on, a checkbook with reasonable numbers, a sun I know will rise in the east every single morning.

I just got done texting my cousin the following message: “Variety is the spice of life, or so I’ve heard. Unless variety is all you ever have.”

I’m just aiming for a little balance. Call me crazy. Call me nuts. Call me weird. I don’t care.

I’m still grateful for the whole mixed up mess of it all.

Not buying it huh? Well, then just listen to this song. Enjoy a classic.

~~~~~

Here’s Bill Withers from way back in 1971 totally getting it and giving it. His song says more in two minutes than anything I’ve managed to write today.

 

“Variety may be the spice of life, but consistency pays the bills.” ~ Doug Cooper

 

 

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Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, Happiness | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crazy Going Slowly Am I

I think I have all the makings for becoming a crazy cat lady.

I used to love cats! As a kid I almost always owned a stray cat of one stripe or another.  Zorro had a black mask around his eyes that made him seem mysterious and sneaky.  He’s the only one whose name I remember of six or eight little fur balls that I loved.

A photograph of a stray cat I have adopted.

A stray cat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was this Tom cat with bald patches, a short crooked tail, huge clumps of white matted fur and two different eye colors. That was on a good day.  He would disappear for weeks at a time and return with injuries, sores, greasy fur and skinnier than when I’d last seen him.

I’d get him washed up, fed and snuggled into a blanket on my bed and then rub his ears to reassure him that all was well.  He’d stick around for a month or two and then disappear again for a few weeks.  On his return we’d repeat the cleaning ritual. After a few years he simply never returned from one of his forays. I like to think that scraggly Tom went out with a wild cat fight that matched his obviously wild life.

We adopted another scruffy stray when I had a toddler at home.  This one I didn’t let in the house, but it got fed and watered and loved by my toddler.  She was the one who came up with a name for it, “Suffer.”  Seemed like a really appropriate name for a mangy stray who attacked the birds from my feeder and looked like he lived a rough life.  Years later that toddler told me she got the name from cat in the Disney movie “Cinderella.” That cat’s name: “Lucifer.”  Apparently to a toddler’s ears the name sounded like “Suffer.”

We don’t own or feed any cats anymore. MSH is allergic to the critters and I don’t have time or patience for one. Lately I just chase cats away from the yard.  The overfed orange tabby I refer to is usually lying in wait for some hapless bird to get complacent and comfortable.

English: Orange tabby cat

English: Orange tabby cat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So why do I think I’m ripe for becoming a crazy cat lady?  Maybe the emphasis needs to focus more on the “crazy” and less on the “cat.”

Cats are only predictable in their unpredictability. You can’t count on them to snuggle you when you need snuggling, not like a dog, who senses a need and fills it. No cats are all about spontaneity and whimsy and fluffiness.

I’m unpredictable, spontaneous, whimsical and all too often focused on the fluffiness.  I’m a dreamer with little follow through, a planner lacking energy. Stacks of papers fill surfaces like a litter box and things sit around half-finished, waiting for inspiration or desire to strike, like a cat waiting for motivation.  It isn’t gonna happen.

At this stage in my life am I capable of scaling back or ramping up or finding balance, chi, inner peace, feng shui, enlightenment, reason, order or balance? Or am I one quickly becoming of those people everyone will want to avoid for her eccentricities?

“Crazy  Aunt Kami, man was she ever weird, let me tell you about the time she…” they’ll say and I’ll roll over in my grave to listen to yet another story of my non-exploits.

Maybe if I got a cat, I’d be a little less “Crazy” and more “cat.”  Sassy and content, carefree and clueless, living in the moment. Oh, and lots and lots of naps.

Actually, I think I’m already doing that, and that’s the problem.  What circular thinking I have.

Maybe I’ll just be crazy. I think it’s unavoidable.

Categories: Humor, Mental Health | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Bridges on the Path

Another photo from a shared walk with my cousin last year.  A month later I actually crossed this bridge and took the less traveled rocky ledge of a path.  So glad I did.

bridge over Queen Creek“The most precipitous chapter of life always begins before we quite know it is under way.”

-Morrie Morgan, from Ivan Doig‘s “Work Song

Funny how life doesn’t give us any road signs, warnings, ominous theme music, or any other clues that some big change is waiting around the corner. Life is not like a movie at all. It’s simply putting one foot in front of the other, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.

Sometimes we have a choice to take one path or another, never knowing the outcome of what the other path might have brought us to.  That’s all probably for the best.

I am glad my path has taken me here to where I am right now. What bridges lay ahead of me? Don’t think I want to know.  Whatever maps I might create or use to plan the road ahead will be rendered useless by life’s fickle sense of humor, fate’s sense of irony and God’s will for me.

I breath in. I breath out. I enjoy what I can and love as much as possible. I give my best.

I keep walking.

Enjoy your journey.

Categories: Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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