Taking it easy

Taking a breakWhat do you do to unwind? Or not even full blown relax — but just to slow down and catch your breath.. Sometimes we take it forgranted that we need to take care of ourselves, too. Or that we need to hit the pause button once in a while.

Stop whatever you’re doing and just sit still. I know it can take a lot to not panic about work piling up, emails coming one after the other or of thinking of deadlines– but I try not to get to that point when I fall apart. So when I fill like the pressure is mounting, I push back from my desk, put my hands on my lap, close my eyes and take a deep breath.

Scribble your thoughts on a piece of paper. I don’t know about you but that, to me, is like speaking out what’s bottled up inside me. Sometimes I write one sentence, sometimes two.. sometimes just a word.

Have a drink at the end of the day. Whether it’s out with a friend or two or by yourself at home, a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail or even a cup of tea can actually help to calm the tension out of your system.

I like quiet conversations and just being able laugh.. to tell my stories without fear of being judged. To vent and complain without editing myself. The conversations may be nonsensical and might not make sense to anyone– and then the laughter comes and I know everything will be fine. I get up and leave to begin my journey home– with a lighter burden and a quieter heart.

And yes there are times when I can’t have that drink or those conversations that make me feel lighter, and at that point, I just say I’ll get to that drink.. sometime soon.

#10DayWritingChallenge Day7

Autumn Monday

Monday musings in paper and inkIf you have been following my 10 Day Writing Challenge, you will see that I’ve been on a roll. This is Day 6 and I haven’t missed a post and have been writing as I had hoped to, and it looks like the personal deadline worked!

I am already planning a longer iteration after I finish with this one. (Uh-oh)

How can I miss out on my Monday Musings? It has always been a go to writing tool for me when the inspiration to write was running low. I would pick 3-5 random topics to write a short blurb on — no theme, no rhyme, no reason. And sometimes the topics became full posts at a later time.

Autumn, I feel you. It seemed like summer was having a hard time deciding on whether or not to stay or go– we were having some rather temperate weather when it should’ve gotten much colder already. Well today, I think autumn officially gave summer the boot as we woke up to lower 60s weather topping out at 69. I think I walked out the door underdressed in a thick long cardigan sweater over my dress , but I can always pin it closed later. The good news is, I brought the proper scarf.

Crochet break. I have been crocheting like there’s no tomorrow, although working on three pieces simultaneously has left me without a finished piece— yet. I tried to work with my current yarn stash for the first two, and I am venturing on working with a multicolor ombré yarn for the third. I ran out of yarn for the first two and I’m picking up new skiens to work with, and I’m running short on the third and have decided to wait for the next skiens. I am actually relieved to have been forced to take a break because my hands were beginning to feel the strain. I am very excited with this project and will write more about it in the craft blog. Soon.

To write or not to write about my Keto experience. I have been on the fence about this, but it has been on my mind. As someone who has tried several diets which have worked and some of which did not make a dent, I’m hoping my personal experience with it will help someone thinking of doing the keto diet or someone who might have a parallel experience with mine. So yes, I lost the weight, and yes, I gained some of it back. And finally, yes, I’m off of Keto. (To be continued..)

Getting ready for the holidays. I’m actually seriously thinking of sending Christmas cards again– something I haven’t done in ages. Every year, I try.. and every year, I have failed. I think for starters, I need to update my address book. Then I have to decide (1) if I will make my Christmas card or (2) if I will buy a boxed set or (3) order a printed one for the boy and I. Decisions, decisions. Let’s put it this way, if I don’t get this all decided and done by the end of October, I think I will skip this year again.

And we are searching for another Christmas tree. I bought one last year but it was practically the same as the one I was hoping to replace. I will write about that later but I need one of those hopelessly artificial looking plastic ones because I can’t do the real thing. Allergies, asthma.. so Christmas tree hunting we will go.

Celebrating you. I’m one person who’s very big on birthdays. Most people my age would rather not celebrate and just chalk up another year to just another one of those things that come to pass. But I like setting up parties, getting the cake, doing decor, wrapping presents and picking the birthday card and writing a dedication in it. There were a couple of birthdays the last couple of days that were special.. I tried my best. I always wish I could do more..

I’m trying to remain positive about the week ahead. I have a lot to do, that, I know. Here’s to a productive one for us all.

#10DayWritingChallenge Day6

Getting back up on your feet again

There are times when I start a blog post with a title. I don’t have one yet for this one but hope to have one before I hit “publish”.

You know how sometimes a jolt comes from out of the blue and just unsettles you on an otherwise uneventful day? I used to be unaffected — or not so much as unfazed as quick to stand back up. These days, bouncing back isn’t always as quick like it used to be for me. I find myself questioning things beyond what happened.. sometimes even doubting myself. When mistakes happen, I used to just apologize — now it sticks. I ask why.. how did that happen.. should I try to explain my way out of it? Or just cop to it?

Is it just me getting older? Or am I just not as good as I used to be.. or maybe, the odds are just stacked against me.

I’ve always been prompted by a belief in a higher being. That, to me, is God. Others call it the Universe. I just know I am but a speck in this universe and there are bigger things that are beyond me. I’ve learned to go with the flow. If I forget something at home, I go back. To me, that is a sign that I should not forge on. There is a reason beyond my forgetfulness or carelessness and I should pay heed.

Sometimes, the disappointment creeps up on me and I ask if perhaps it’s time to change course. I pause and listen. I don’t always pay heed, but I listen.

Every morning, I pray. Not just for myself but for my family, my friends who have passed, and that I be good person. That I choose kindness. That I choose what’s right. I don’t always succeed. I’m not always the nicest or most helpful person around. That’s why I pray for it.

I’d like to believe I am a strong person. That doesn’t mean I am unmoved. It just means I keep going, no matter how slow it may be getting back up on my feet again.

I try to look towards the future and remain hopeful. A dear friend always tells me that hope dies last. So I cling to hope even when I feel at my lowest. And that helps me to regain my footing– even if it takes just a little while longer than it used to.

#10dayWritingChallenge Day6

Slow Saturday

I have been taking it easy today. Wonder of wonders, I actually woke up at past 9am which was a real treat. I fixed myself some pancakes for breakfast and then picked up my crochet hook and yarn and continued my current obsession: crocheting triangle scarves. I have three scarves in different stages of production. I am in no hurry. Two of the three are using my existing stash of yarn, so I have to pause in between to look for additional spools to use. I only stopped (briefly) to cook lunch and do some cleaning. And I put the hook and the yarn down for my post today. (The clock is ticking.)

Saturdays are my “me” day. While most people will make plans for the weekend and do something exciting, I’m more inclined to just plan to stay indoors and chill and get some chores done.

I washed my make up brushes, hand washed some scarves, and before I sleep,, I’m preparing to do a cursory sorting of clothes I can give away to make my closet “breathe” a little. I was watching one of the series in one of my streaming subscriptions and was kind of surprised by the minimalist wardrobe of the lead character. Of course, she was kind of obsessive compulsive and had every little thing in neat order and almost numbered, and she stuck to a very basic corporate style for her work attire. Totally not me. But, it makes me want to continue culling my wardrobe.

And there are the take out containers that I almost always end up washing and reusing. They do tend to accumulate and every so often, I just throw them away. I figure I will find a disposable container if and when I need it– there’s always this nagging feeling something reusable will eventually become useful and then it doesn’t. So I’ve started throwing them in a garbage bag to be put in the plastic bin.

Tomorrow is laundry day.. or maybe not. New York City public schools are off until Tuesday because of the Jewish New Year, so I am seriously contemplating working from home on Tuesday and maybe getting that done then. In which case, I chill tomorrow.

I like to be able to enjoy a leisurely day even when it means cleaning the house — I do it at my own pace and in my own time. I get to accomplish something and yet not feel pressured to go out unless I have to, and I feel myself re-energized even after all the chores.

Maybe I’m just getting older. Short of taking time to nap, I’m often taking the time to just stop for a break and breathe. That’s my slow Saturday. I hope you had a good one, too.

#10daywritingchallenge Day 5

This post is Day 5 of the #10DayWritingChallenge. Below are related links to this blogging list.

10 Day Writing Challenge

Out of Focus

One Day Soon

Sewing Decisions

Fridays be like

Getting back up on your feet again

Autumn Monday

Taking it easy

When you fail again

Self love

Paying closer attention

Fridays be like..

I literally have a half hour to write here, edit and post– in keeping with my #10DayWritingChallenge, or I am going to break a 3-day streak.

I put my crochet hook down. I know, I said this weekend was about sewing, but I had some yarn arrive with the sundries I ordered from Walmart. I couldn’t resist.

I’ve started a third winter scarf, realizing I had used the wrong smaller crochet hook with the first 2, and not quite ready with the suggested bigger hook but hitting it in the middle. I think I like how this third piece is working out, and id rather write about that in my craft blog.

So how was your Friday?

Mine started off with such beautiful shadows in Grand Central. I would’ve stayed to take more pictures, but work was waiting. It was a busy day but I was too happy about Friday moving into the weekend that I didn’t mind.

Shadows on Friday

Friday’s are a happy thought for me any day of the week. And there are all those other happy thoughts which make for a hearty hug. I am sleepy but happy. Here’s to a productive and restful weekend!

#10daywritingchallenge Day 4

This post is Day 4 of the #10DayWritingChallenge. Below are related links to this blogging list.

10 Day Writing Challenge

Out of Focus

One Day Soon

Sewing Decisions

Slow Saturday

Getting back up on your feet again

Autumn Monday

Taking it easy

When you fail again

Self love

Paying closer attention

Sewing decisions(

We’re in that moment in between seasons when we start switching wardrobes and start getting ready for colder days. I know I have started getting the jackets and light coats ready. There are days when we can still get away with just a sweater or wrap, but we’ve been having cooler mornings and even colder nights.

The coats have started appearing in the shop windows and in the online stores — and I’m on the fence about getting new coats because I have quite the fabric stash to make the coats I’ve been dreaming about since last year. My goal is to actually work on at least one coat or jacket and actually finish it.

Sewing awayI am a novice sewist. I went to school to relearn the basics of sewing in two progressive classes, and I’d go for the third class but I don’t think I have the Saturdays to spare. Besides, I’d like to give sewing a go so I can see how I am with the sewing after those classes I took..

For a time, I found myself postponing the projects I had lined up because I wanted to lose enough weight to a certain size and then create pieces from there. After all, one of the reasons I wanted to learn to sew my own clothes was because I wanted good fitting ones that would be made by me for my not so normal body measurements. I’m one size at the shoulders, another at the bustline and another at the hips. If I had to buy a dress that had no “give” or stretch, I usually end up a size bigger than what my shoulders would be which makes for a sometimes awkward fit at the top. More so with coats and jackets– hence, the effort to come up with a bespoke piece.

With autumn here, I’ve decided there’s no avoiding sewing the pieces now. I have two skirts waiting to be sewn together — and at least two coat patterns to cut and sew.

My crochet hook and yarn stash have actually kept me busy. I am working on a triangle scarf from a pattern I bought online, and I have so far managed to keep working the rows — and this after finishing 3 winter hats or beanies. I have to put the hook down if I’m going to get any sewing done.

I’m going to try and at least get started on one sewing project this weekend.. fingers crossed.

<#10daywritingchallenge Day 3

This post is Day 3 of the #10DayWritingChallenge. Below are related links to this blogging list.

10 Day Writing Challenge

Out of Focus

One Day Soon

Fridays be like

Slow Saturday

Getting back up on your feet again

Autumn Monday

Taking it easy

When you fail again

Self love

 

One day soon

Life has been pretty hectic of late. Or maybe it just feels that way because we let ourselves indulge in the imagined bliss of summer when the days are longer, and we get this feeling of things moving just a bit slower. Now that that’s over, the pace seems to have picked up again.

I find myself looking forward to weekends not for any plans of partying or of doing something exciting– but rather because weekends mean being able to sleep in. That simple a luxury I crave!

Sleep. I miss you so much during the week, so much so that you are the highlight of my weekends. But Saturdays and Sundays are supposed to be so much more. So I find myself browsing shows to watch, places to visit. Exhibitions to see. Or simply chilling in a corner enjoying a leisurely lunch. Alone. One day soon.

For the longest time, I felt like I had lost out on many options because I don’t drive. Oh, I do know how to. My dad had sent me to driving school when I turned 18 and I was ripe to apply for a driver’s license — and it was during those driving lessons when I realized that driving was not my thing. I would need my own highway because I scare too easily and would swerve automatically in the opposite direction if another driver cut me. I didn’t want to endanger others, so I politely said no to driving and the car that went with it.

Here in New York, more so in the city, everything is accessible via public transportation. I have dared to go to places and parts of the city I have never been to before, armed with just the instructions of which buses or trains to take. But when it comes to places that need driving, i have found that Uber or Lyft is not always a choice.

But I refuse to let go of the idea that I can still go to places I would otherwise have been driven to, on my own.

Traveling alone is suddenly appealing for the adventure it offers a golden girl like me. I don’t really go on vacation trips except the annual trip to Manila and a side trip to another place or country along the way. My son usually travels with his dad, and he’s not too keen about traveling with Mom without a car. That doesn’t mean I can’t do it on my own.

Planning a tripI’m already planning a day trip in the coming weeks. There are places I’ve been to that I want to visit again, and new places where I want to explore and try new things. Traveling alone appeals to me because I need not worry about where to eat where my boy’s picky palette will find something agreeable. I wouldn’t be constantly thinking of things to do that would make a destination exciting and thrilling for a teenager like I usually do when he and I are out on the town. I can focus on what I want to do.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy going out with my son. It’s just that “him and I” takes a bit more planning than just “me”. I do relish the conversations and the laughter and how he would put my arm around his waist as he puts his arm on my shoulder. As he is almost a full head taller than me now, I fit rather snugly under his arms with room to rest my head on his shoulder if needed. He has grown. I used to hold his hand and lead him around. Now he takes me and leads the way. We are quite the pair.

But then there are times when it’s just me. A consequence of the uncoupling that happened not too long ago. And just as I carved out an identity for myself as I shook myself free of that matrimonial bond, it has become clear to me that there is more to me than the mother I am to this boy.

I pause and let that sink in. He is 15 and soon will be 25 and then 30. I cannot wait until after he has chosen the life he will live for me to learn to live mine. One day, I will see him less and less. He will have his own family. And while I will always be here for him, and without a doubt, he will be there for me– I need to carve out my world beginning now that I can choose how I want it to be.

I don’t want to be that old lady who makes do with what she has. I want to be that woman who chose to build her world into what she wanted it to be. And I want to go and see places. I want to make new memories, even if they bring me back to where I had been before.

No matter how near or far you’ve come. there’s a sense of exhilaration when you’ve reached your destination. I crave that excitement of knowing I have arrived and can do what I came here to do. Shopping in the mall, or exploring a town or revisiting an old favorite place.

That thought brings a smile to my face.

I know where I want to go. There’s a place I’ve been longing to return to even if I’ve been there three times before. I am curious to see how revisiting these places I went to would feel now that I’m a different person and I see the world with a different lens. I’ve been researching how to get there and plotting my day. What do I with the few hours I get to roam.. what do I bring? Where do I go?

I am not quite there where I can explore on my own and stay the night or the weekends just yet. A day trip seems adventurous enough for starters. I will get there. I hope to one day do a cross country journey by train .. or maybe hop from state to state by bus. Not quite there yet– but I’m going to get there.

For now, I will do that day trip and maybe take you with me on my one day adventure. Soon.

#10daywritingchallenge Day 2

This post is Day 2 of the #10DayWritingChallenge. Below are related links to this blogging list.

10 Day Writing Challenge

Out of Focus

Sewing Decisions

Fridays be like

Slow Saturday

Getting back up on your feet again

Autumn Monday

Taking it easy

When you fail again

Self love