Monday Musings: Cold New York Monday

MondayMusingsLogoI started drafting a post Saturday morning while having breakfast, but that didn’t seem to go in any particular direction so I let it go.  Sometimes it is best to leave things unsaid if you are unable to say it the right way.  It’ll come when it comes.  Meanwhile, Monday is here again.

I imagine some people feel like giving me a bop in the head when I come in all bright and cheerful greeting them with a happy Monday and sarcastically saying “Another day in paradise!”.  I say it with a smile, and there are days when I really feel it and other days when I am just being mean spirited.  Everyone is entitled to take it the way they wish — I just don’t like starting my week,  or any day for that matter, on a bad note.  And sometimes I can’t help but think that even faking it will get you to a high note somehow.  Better that than start the day with your head bowed down low.  (Wrinkle magnet!)

Keeping warm.  I refused to don a coat today even if the temperatures were not going to go up to 60.  I layered instead.  Cami, blouse, turtleneck pullover, open sweater coat.  I tied a ‘tubao’ around my neck just for good measure — I had a silk scarf in my tote but that was to wear as an accessory indoors, more than to keep warm.  Sock and booties on, and off I went.  The temperatures these days have been rather unpredictable and going in every direction with no discernible pattern.  The best thing to do is just leave an extra sweater in the office, or lug around a warmer scarf to keep cozy.  It may be warm as you walk out the house and freezing cold when you start heading back.

I used to just pile on the sweaters, but these days, you can’t even do that because you’d end up cooking underneath all that if the sun decides to come out like today.  It has become fashionable to wear pull overs which can be anything from sleeveless turtlenecks, tunics, or something similar.  There are even cropped short sleeve sweaters available now.  I’ve been more adventurous with the seasonal wear, too, because now I can wear something less frumpier, and I no longer feel a need to hide my curves.  It’s all about owning your look and being proud of and happy with who you are!

Speaking of which, Halloween is just around the corner.

How about a costume this year?  No, I am not going to buy one and be one of those characters.. I actually hit upon this idea of making a paper costume but I’m not too sure I’m going to be able to make the deadline.  As always, it’s a last minute creative idea that may or may not come to fruition.  First, I have to fish out my petticoat from the attic.. Stay tuned!  Meanwhile, here’s to a good week ahead..

 

Wandering

Monday was one of those days when I wished I could just stay in the park and sit, close my eyes and pull up my face to the sun and feel it warm me naturally.  Unfortunately, it was a bit cold and I was still under medication for what might be a mild asthma attack. I just couldn’t risk getting any sicker because I was practically good as new.  So I sat on my perch watching the glorious sunshine out the window and wishing.

My mind just wasn’t  here.  It’s thinking about questions left unanswered, plans that are on hold, places I want to be, people I want to spend time with.  I’m thinking about conversations I have to have, and more wishes.  I’m thinking of things I need to do — like photograph the earrings I’ve finished (Yay!), and thinking up more designs to bring the shop back up.   I’m thinking of the crocheting that’s been put on hold after the doctor warned me to keep away from any and all triggers so my asthma can go away.  Even keeping away from dairy, so there goes the diet.  I have to wing it with portioning  from here on.  And there are the people I must deal with.

Focus, I tell myself.  It’s just not that easy when I feel like I’m being pulled from all directions.  I’m thinking a slice of cake might help, but Dieting Dinna immediately pops up behind me asking if that would be worth the cheat.  Maybe.  (Uh-oh.. Lol).   There are certain pleasures in life I’ve learned to avoid for the sake of a healthier me.  Yes, even when the emotional pull of my sweet tooth craving literally tugs at my tummy.  (Shush!). I remind myself of my changing wardrobe and I reach for another glass of warm water.  (Per BFF Donna’s advice..)

There are just days when you can’t find your groove.  I was having one of those days Monday.

Then from out of the blue I find myself being invited to lunch, and that one deviation from an otherwise insignificant and blah day turns things around.  And no one had a clue about my state of mind (and state of heart) so it was purely coincidence.    Maybe the universe heard and decided to thrown me a break.

The earrings got photographed, and I took care of something “me” related.  I found my groove again.

Blog

 

By midweek, I found myself at the start of what promised to be a beautiful day.  The worries haven’t disappeared and there are still the unanswered questions and unfinished plans, conversations to be had and maybe a salted caramel cookie with my name on it.  I focus on the sunshine and tell myself if it comes, it comes.

Sometimes it’s easier to just accept that there are things beyond your control.  The sunshine outside is inviting me to sit in the park once more but there is no rest for the weary as they say.  I have things that need to be said which must be said.  Questions?  I’ll save that for another day.

Decluttering

I am reorganizing my life by starting to reorganize my closet.  The last two weekends saw me going through my things, sorting by size, and getting rid of the bigger items.  I ended up with a huge pile of slacks– in the bigger size I kissed goodbye a few months ago —  some barely used, and some still with tags.  I set them aside to give away.  Even now as I think about it, there’s a little voice saying maybe I can just have them repaired.  I am almost sure I wouldn’t want to solve the problem by simply wearing a belt, because I’ve moved away from looking “frumpy”.  While that would make the pants wearable, I wouldn’t be too happy with the look.  Decision made — off they will go to my “to give away” bin — in the balikbayan box heading home to Manila sometime in the next couple of weeks.

I already gave away a quarter of my closet during my last trip home.  I even managed to hand out some pocketbooks I had sworn never to part with.  Yet in simplifying my life the last few months, I have learned to detach my emotions from things that I know I will never use again.  Instead of throwing them away, though, I think of others who might find a good use for them.

I bought new sweater hangers to take care of my fall and winter wear during these sweater-weather months.  I am getting rid of the suits that may fit me now in my new size but which are definitely no longer fashionable to wear.  I have a few old reliables which were tailored in the classic cut, so those, I will keep.  My cardigans are now folded neatly to make the design visible and easier to pick through when pairing with my outfit of the day.

I have some memorabilia stashed away in the higher shelves of my closet which will need some thinking about.  I’m a sucker for nostalgia, but reminiscing these days does not always bring me down the giddy happy moments of the past.  Some of those moments are now wrapped in not-so-happy and even heart-rending discoveries and realizations better left untouched.  And I need space for other things that I need to make room for.

We always think of decluttering in the physical sense, but decluttering our mind and our heart are just as important.  How often do we find ourselves clinging to old memories or emotions which contradict what we have or not have now in the present?  I used to be guilty of that.   But when you go through an emotional upheaval that turns your world upside down, you find yourself picking up the pieces again.  It is then that you get the chance to sort through the things that haunt you unnecessarily.  In sorting through all that emotional rubble, you find yourself defining the things worth hanging on to for the lessons they have taught you.  There are memories and feelings that you anchor yourself on to stay focused on the positive.  You see the world in a different light once the dust settles.

It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t overnight.  But it can be done.

I was once at that point that I clung for dear life to what I thought I had– churning out evil plans and being constantly deluged with angry and hateful thoughts.  And then the realization hit me that I didn’t have what I thought was mine.  That no matter how I clung to what I thought could be mine again, it just wasn’t happening.  So I let go.  First, loosening the grip, then before I knew it, my hand had let go.  Had I known that doing that would also find me letting go of the anger and the pain — or releasing most if not all of it — I would have done it sooner.  But it wasn’t easy, and it still takes some effort to stay on track, but I’m in a better place.

So I’ve started getting rid of the useless pieces that hold some form of once happy memory, but which no longer give me that warm and fuzzy feeling when I look at it now.  Just as I look at a piece of clothing and ask myself if it is part of the “happier me look”, I look at the thoughts and worries that keep bumping around the walls of my mind and heart,  and ask myself if this is really something I can actually work on or am I worrying myself to oblivion without even any power over how that thing goes.

It’s all about letting go.  Whether it’s that favorite t-shirt you wore when your bra size was two cups smaller — and which won’t accommodate your voluptuous beauty now.. Or just trying to shut out the negative even when the temptation to let anger and hate in again is so strong.  You make room in your closet for the things that matter and are relevant and make you look good — those are the pieces you keep.    The same should hold true for your mind and heart and your life in general.  I know, easier said than done.  But like most things, it gets better with some practice and focus.  You just need to want to let go.  You need to tell yourself that shirt has to go because it’s occupying precious space in your closet.

Let go of the people who bring you down.  Stop going back to what used to be and focus on the now and tomorrow.

These days, I focus on the “happy”.  I look at my little guy and I know I’m set.  I think of dessert and that’s a happy thought I can smile about all day.  I think of a happy song and smile.  I am getting there a day at a time.
 

Grey Saturday

I started writing this midday Saturday at almost 1pm, in my PJs and I have gone from shoring up my village (yes, PinayNewYorker/GothamChick plays Clash of Clans! — as GothamChick), watched an episode of The Brink (my HBOnow subscription has been dormant the last 4 weeks!  Wasted money!)  and I’m trying to decide on how big that afghan I’ve been working on should be.  (Note to self: This part of a handmade project should be determined/decided before I start the first row of stitches.)  I’m also trying to see how much yarn a pullover I’m making for myself will need (something I failed to do with the afghan), and I’m trying to figure out if I will brave the chilly temperatures outside to get some “taking care of me” stuff done.  No trips to the city for me this weekend — that much, I’ve decided.  Not with this kind of weather.

But — I am here, and I am happy to be tapping away on the keyboard.. Writing has proven to be quite the best outlet for me, be it longhand, via art or through this little corner of the blogsphere.  And I’m trying to catch all the bits and pieces racing through my mind before I completely forget about them.  Little thoughts.. big ideas.  Don’t you hate hitting a eureka moment and then losing it midstream?  It hits you in the quiet moments how you should have taken the time to stop and ponder.  And maybe the thought would’ve developed into something bigger.

Week in brief.  This one’s a mixed bag.  It’s been rather challenging and not without its surprises.  (My 11-year-old locked himself out the other day, leaving his keys IN the house — so Mom rushes home.  Thank God for understanding bosses.)  It’s also been a time of reflection.  (Need to do an entry for my “What do I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want?” journal.)  Sometimes I feel I need a reality check when I get carried away.  (Someone always reminds me about reality by texting me his version of “News Flash, Sister” bits..)  Disappointment and frustration have a way of bringing us down to earth.  This ship has touched the ground.

But it’s a week with its gems.  One thing I have learned in the recent past is that you really have to focus on the positive and bask in that — and like another friend said, we make the most of what we have.  And we did.  And I am happy.  I tell myself I should be so lucky.  It may seem most days that I could be surrounded by better people, but I count the ones who make me smile and I think I’m in more than just a very good place.  I’ve always been that person who won’t stop herself from getting a treat.. I get dessert when I want to — I am not deprived.

I look at the pictures I take these days, and the sadness and anger are no longer evident. (Either I hide them better or maybe they no longer dominate my psyche.) And I’m happy to be back to Medium — and these PJs I’m wearing had languished in my closet for ages because I bought it before I had my boy, and I couldn’t fit into it the last 11 years or so.  Well, sometimes, I did.. that’s why it stayed in the closet.  But it had been tucked into a far away corner and I just rediscovered it recently — and am wearing it again.  Reason indeed to be happy! I count my blessings and I think about the things that are weighing me down — and maybe it’s the age or just experience, but I can let go much easier now.

Weekend plans.  I’m in the thick of trying to put some order into my world.  So more organizing, more crafting, and again, laundry.  (I would rather do one big load every other weekend than do it every week.)  I need to get moving with the letter writing, although I think I wrote some fabulous birthday messages this past week.  I am trying to get ahead of some important dates coming up.  I would like to think that receiving something in writing other than an email or text message greeting still counts for something.

I’ve managed to repair some jewelry / accessories that had broken through time, and while Saturday has come and gone with nary a new piece created, I’m still hoping Sunday will be the day for me.  I’m seriously working on reopening the shop again, but I think I need a new header piece.  I am continuing to work with my crocheting and am getting on with the projects.  But that’s for the other blog where I discuss my crafts.

It has gotten chilly in New York and it’s that time of the year again when we have to wear layers.  I’ve dug into my closet to bring out the sweaters — and my summer clothes will have to be tucked away higher or deeper inside until it gets warmer.  We’ve started wearing coats again… still on the lighter side, but we can hardly go out now dressed in summer clothes.  Chilly!!

Weekend thoughts.  I am looking forward to Monday but I wish the weekend was longer this time around.  (A real pause followed that sentence.)  And yet on second thought, I think I would want it to end so that the things that keep bouncing around in my brain can fall silent in the din of work and being busy again.

I have a half dozen wishes in my head.  A friend who just celebrated a birthday made a wish after blowing the candle on his birthday cupcake.  I always wish birthday celebrants whatever it is their heart desires.  Rather than zeroing in on something specific I wish for them, I think that to wish that they get that which they wish for is the better gift.  If you want another piece of cake, I wish you that.  If you wish success, I wish you that.  If you wish to have more “me time”, I wish you that.  If you want dessert this time around even if you don’t like sweets, you get it this time because it’s your birthday.

I’ve always been big on birthdays, and those who have known me a long time know that I make a big production of greeting friends and family, even if it is a belated greeting.  It is always a good reason to celebrate the day someone came into this world — even if the celebrant is not big on birthdays.  WE celebrate them!  And I’ve always said that birthdays have no do-overs.   Milestones or not, we should make it a point to celebrate the occasion.

I greeted a friend a week late on FB and she responded back.  At least I didn’t get lost in the flood of greetings that came her way last week.  Even a short greeting is good.. the point is — as we say in the vernacular — you remembered.

Speaking of which, I keep hearing this piece playing in my head — “Remembering.”  A friend had introduced me to Avishai Cohen not too long ago, and it’s a very relaxing yet dramatic tune that I keep hearing in a loop.  The last time I listened to this, I found myself in a different kind of blissful heaven, and after listening to it, I’m sure you’ll agree and find yourself there, too.