Sunday, June 7, 2015

Life is What Happens while I Think of Interesting Things to Post - The Non-Weaving Part

I've been going through the cyclical "Should I or shouldn't I (continue to blog)" thing, mainly because I've not had an interesting thought in a while, (more in the next post,) yet suspecting I'll continue one way or another because this is good therapy and the only way I will know in the future how I spent my life.

I knew I needed a week or two to recover from visitor-receiving and I had scheduled hibernation/regrouping, but it's taken me a bit longer. I had a day and a half of the old mild-to-moderate depression following three days of rational/considered diagnosis, when I was physically off-the-scale tired but not depressed, because I continued to plan my near-future projects and didn't have insomnia. Besides, I'd not had episodes since 2011-ish so I thought I was over and done with it.

I had other symptoms; any light was too bright, I startled even more easily at the slightest noise, I slept a lot, and I either had no appetite or binged on junk food. Came a week ago Wednesday, I think, when I lied down in front of the fire mid-morning and waited for time to pass.

Tic toc.

Tic.

Toc.

I had a few good books and pretty magazines within reach and opened none.

Luckily it was gone by Thursday morning, so I've been back to my prematurely-aging-sloth self. It hasn't helped that the weather has been sucky; we've had a bit of rain where some days were as dark as early evenings inside; sunny-cold-and-windy ones when I dressed like the Good Year Blimp only to last half an hour outside; and a handful of perfect days when I happened to want to continue what I'd started the previous day, i.e. work, which I thought was sensible, all things considered. I haven't cooked well, I didn't think of collages, and wasn't going anywhere near drawing.

I was happy to discover work was the one thing I could stick with even if/when I'm in a bad shape; if this is my coping mechanism, bring it on.

What else. I thought about people and socializing with no conclusion nor new resolve.

I thought about aging, health and my weight, and have contemplated taking herbal pills to kick start but reached no conclusion; my gardening is no exercise, at least no cardio is involved, so I need to walk more.

I turned 57 eight weeks ago but I keep seeing myself as "almost 60", which in term invites aging-related woes, I suspect. I try not to listen so attentively to my mother's and her friends'/acquaintances' health problems but she is incessant and my body, not my head, appears to empathize/align with her. I remember coming home with new ailments after my trips to Japan.

Come to think of it, when she was pregnant with my brother and I was twelve, I had her symptoms for a month, though I couldn't tell anyone because it was a particularly busy period for my parents.  But what kind of a kid experiences phantom pregnancy at age 12, right?

I look at the mirror often enough, or so I thought, but it's when I see myself through Ben's eyes, or his photographs of me, that I'm truly taken aback and burst out laughing, although that's not his intent. This one's from last night; I call it, "A Whale Resting by Two Wool Swatches." Ben gave me a nice haircut today, though.
The garden continues to overwhelm me as I look for more permanent solutions. I learned from a BBC garden show the phrase, "controlled chaos"; I like this but don't know what it means in the garden and the examples they show are anything but chaotic. Cottage-y at best. Just not in straight lines.

In fact, I'm learning that optimal methods of propagation is different between the UK and Nelson; ours are more basic and easier. Which suits me. And then garden show hosts of course have multiple buildings, material and tools galore, which I don't want, and don't always need in Nelson, so I have to be selective in following advice. There hasn't been a good/permanent NZ garden shows for about a decade now, so I watch UK and Australian shows and go for the middle ground in terms of climate.

One disappointment I discovered only a month or two ago is that in Nelson we are not supposed to have negative spaces; every bit of ground needs to be planted to deprive the weeds of sun and space, or paved/concreted. Over time we've tried some expensive alternatives using newspapers, plastics, rocks/pebbles, tree barks and of course mulching in the past, but they don't stay in a good shape for long. Last weekend we ripped up one such small area to discard the plastic and Ben dug 50cm to get out convolvulus bulbs the size of a small child's head. The weeds went deeper, grew under the worked/covered area, and resurfaced 2 and 3 meters away, so we have to dig up a wide area next.

Yikes.

4 comments:

  1. I can relate to your reflections on blogging. Mine was always just to keep a journal for myself, but life gets super-busy sometimes. There's a definite ebb and flow, but it all has a value.

    I look at your photo, and I see a beautiful artist contemplating the potential of fibers. Don't be so hard on your self-- it hurts my heart to think of you thinking uncharitable thoughts of yourself. Celebrate your moments of creativity and working in your garden, and time with lovely Ben. I can relate to the weight issue, and I struggle not to think of myself in mean terms, but I realized not long ago that if I live to be 80, my 49 of today will seem quite spry and vigorous. Why not make the most of it? I'd like to see you less down on yourself and more sassy. You're a beautiful artist, Meg, and you're going to be beautiful at every age.

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  2. Hi, Rita. Mom was here recently, and on her own for the first time as my dad died two years ago. Her visit was a very different from the ones in the past, even though she'd been here plenty of times by herself, as well as with Dad. I hope your Mom is doing well.

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  3. I'm so delighted to be back in touch with you, Meg. You have my condolences on the death of your father-- loss of parents is one of the worst things about getting older. Thank you for your well wishes for my mom. Did the loss of your father make your mother more reflective? How was her visit different, if you don't mind my asking?

    She's mending from her surgery and seems in better form all the time - it was a gall bladder problem that I suspect had been putting a hitch in her "gitalong" for a long time.

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  4. Likewise, Rita.

    I've been thinking of what's changed ever since Mom left NZ. My mom was always an athletic, active, social person. She could make friends with just about anybody and she seldom read, she just did things. After 80, though, she's become very negative and paranoid about a lot of things. This sort of coincided with Dad getting weaker and both of their lives got smaller in a rather short time.

    The last 2.5 years of Dad's life he was on a severely restricted diet and Mom's world got even smaller. She's been living alone for the first time in her life for about a year, and though she's back to being very social again, her thinking/outlook appears to have stayed the same, i.e. small, disengaged/disinterested, seeing the world through her prejudices/first impression and not thinking/observing the world. For about three years, the thing I said to her most often was, "But that's not really you." But I'd like to think this has changed a bit since she's gone home; I feel she's a little bit like the way she always was, making friends, meeting people.

    Dad was a man with a very strong personality, and the rest of us circled around him like his moons. Having been stuck at home with him, just the two of them, changed her personality; that's my take. And Dad was very angry at his ill health so she bore the brunt of it. That in addition to having a previously terribly busy man at home full time. Dad didn't retire until well into his 70's.

    Mom's health thing; I realized last week that she's been complaining about her health all MY life. She's not a hypochondriac, she didn't run to the doctors, but she's always talked about the details of her well-being or not-so-well-being in detail. But now it's non-stop, and that really wore me out while she was here. I, too, am getting old, so I sympathize and it's almost interesting to know HOW I'm going to age physically. But we Skype every week and some weeks I get nearly three hours of it. We didn't have much of a common interest when I was a kid. Now we have weaving and my sibling's kids. I wished we could talk about those things more.

    Mind you, some weeks when I get in first, we have a great time talking about weaving for, yup, three and four hours.

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