Slowing down, easing up

The beautiful weather we’ve been gifted with here in the Bogs is now giving way to rain.  The rain, so they say, will be with us until Wednesday when it might turn cold enough to become snow showers.  The sun will return on Thursday, but the warm temperatures will leave with the rain.  I’m sorry to have missed out on the beautiful-weather activities I could have been engaged in over the past few days.  A hike in at a nearby state park.  A last bike ride until next spring.  The never-ending garden chores.  That’s life.  Sometimes rest and taking care of oneself is the order of the day.  Or days in this case.

I’m still suffering from the plague (heh), but things seem to be loosening up.  I decided to follow my body’s needs.  I made (and ate) some chicken soup.  It did exactly what I hoped it would do, breaking up the concrete that has been settling into my sinuses.  Other soups (vegetarian) did not work nearly as well.  The soup I made was almost as good as Corky and Lenny’s Mish Mash soup.  All that was missing was the Matzah ball.  Oh, and the rice.  And the pieces of chicken (some of which the cats feasted on, the rest went to M who made a chicken salad with it).  So maybe it wasn’t so much like Mish Mash soup after all, but it sure did remind me of it.

The title of this post is the title of a post I wrote last year around this time but never published.  It was a post about the almost manic energy that comes with the beginning of a commitment, and how this can sometimes lead me to take on too much.

I read a couple of blog posts yesterday that reminded me that sometimes it’s okay to let go.  To slow down.  To ease up.  The first post was I Am Grateful For… over at redRavine, one of my all-time favorite blogs.  I’ve been following redRavine almost since the beginning of my blogging days.  Welcome back, QuoinMonkey.

The second post was Every exit is an entry somewhere posted at The Incredible Lightness of Seeing, another favorite of mine.  Thank you, Teresita.

Exposed in the woods

I’ve taken on a lot lately.  My recent illness has forced me to slow down and reevaluate.  There are things I need to let go of for now.  I can always pick them up again later.  For now, other things have to take priority and one of those things is taking care of myself.  I have been distracting myself with projects.  A form of denial, perhaps.  A recent visit to the doc (just prior to getting sick) made it clear to me that it’s time to stop fooling around with those numbers associated with my health and well-being.

A fungi in the woods. (Reminds me of turkey tail feathers.)

So.  What to keep?  What to relinquish?

Looking out from in

I’ve been pondering those questions since very early this morning, and have a few answers.  The first thing I need to let go of is the amount of time spent on the internet and the computer.  I will continue with NaBloPoMo since it’s become a tradition for me.  Besides, it’s almost over.  November 30th is the last day.  I didn’t participate as much as I usually do, by going around and visiting other bloggers who signed up.  It’s more enjoyable that way, and can sometimes lead to finding a good friend or two.

A softer gaze

WordPress’s PostADay2011 has been fun.  I’ve met a lot of new (to me, at any rate) and wonderful bloggers throughout the year.  I don’t know if I will continue to post on a daily basis.  That’s a wait-and-see.  But I do know I cannot continue to try to follow everyone, especially not on a daily basis.  It’s impossible.  Even when I get caught up, I fall behind somewhere.  Today I sat down and went through all of the email, got caught up with a few of you, and then started to pare things down a little.  I’m not sure yet how I’ll work this all out.  Lots of experimentation will be occurring for the next week or two.  Eventually I’ll figure out a system that works for me.

There are other things that will need to be reevaluated, but blogging (and the time and effort it involves) seemed a good place to start.  With winter approaching, it’s time to slow down, ease up.  The holidays, of course, do not make that an easy task.  I’m going to give it a try, though, one small step at a time.  I’ll be around to visit when I can, and suspect I will start to enjoy blogging more now that I am not pressuring myself to keep up.

Day 63/365:  The yoga and food commitments will continue as they are an important part of my new priority of taking care of my health.  The most important part will be listening to my body, and giving myself what I need to be healthy.

Tree pose

My father once told me of a trick question he used in a college class on forest fire control.  If there was a fire coming from a certain direction and wind was coming from another, what was the best thing to do?  The right answer was, ‘Run like hell and pray for rain,” but few students ever got it.  So allow yourself the freedom of knowing there are times to bail out, quit, run, leave the struggle, and have more time for joy.

~ Charlotte Davis Kasl

I’m ready to have more time for joy.  How about you?  🙂

37 Comments on “Slowing down, easing up”

  1. I have similar challenges of taking on too much….all wonderful, but sometimes adding up to too much. I find there is continual need for rebalancing.
    I’m happy to hear you’re feeling better ..I think the body sometimes has a way of asserting itself when the mind doesn’t slow down on the activities….I hope you’ll find a better balance and, as you wrote, “have more time for joy.” : )

  2. nigel says:

    The lighting in these is wonderful.

  3. bearyweather says:

    Robin, I totally understand what you are dealing with. As you know, I was very sick for months. It changes you, your priorities, and your life. Some of the changes that occurred in my case were things that I need to hang on to… like time for me .. writing, thinking, relaxation. Slowing down was tough, but what I needed the most … I am struggling with getting back to life but not taking on everything I walked away from for awhile … I am trying to be very picky and saying no is not easy for me. My life was unbalanced (work and sleep) and I am sure it was part of my declining health.
    Being sick, I missed getting outside for most of the summer and Fall, but it made me appreciate it more and I look forward to it in 2012 very much.

    As for blogging … I struggle with PostAWeek. And, keeping up with all my favorite bloggers (like you) that post everyday is really tough for me … I am amazed that you can do it. I find I enjoy blogging the most when I do not put any restrictions or requirements on myself. It is the most fun when I have time, when I have an idea in my head, and when a favorite blog posts something fun and interesting … I try to keep my blogging life free of everything … I do what I enjoy. When it starts feeling like work, it is no longer fun for me.

    Listen to your body and your mind … and you will find the balance.

  4. Bo Mackison says:

    Sounds like many are slowing down. I think it’s a good thing. When we drove to Arizona from Wisconsin I did not take one photo with my big camera. Instead I used my iPhone camera and had FUN! I even posted IMPERFECTphotos on my blog –how freeing was THAT!!!

    I’m not posting every day, 3-4 times a week is manageable. And I try to get around to other blog-friends a few times a week, but not daily like I once did.

    My other life, the one off the computer, has blossomed–a great thing–and so I need to live the real life more and the virtual life less. Not that I’m quitting — I love too much about blogging and the community to quit. But I really really love being a working artist too.

  5. I give you a lot of credit for your daily commitment to post. I had to let that go for me for many reasons. Your photos are awesome.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Martina. I think I’ll be letting it go soon. NaBloPoMo ends today and after that, well, I will post as and when I feel like it. 🙂

  6. mimo khair says:

    beautiful images of nature. I love the way you see things!

  7. You are on the right track of making your health priority and slowing down, easing up. it’s the journey – always – the destination takes care of itself. Blessings to you.

  8. I know how blogging can overwhelm–how life in general can overwhelm me, at times. Relax, ease up, do what you can, when you can.

  9. sweetopiagirl says:

    Reblogged this on inspiredweightloss.

  10. TBM says:

    Glad you are starting to feel better. It is good to step back and to reevaluate things every once in awhile. Good luck with making your life more manageable.

  11. afrankangle says:

    Starting to feel better is step 1 … so stay the course. In terms of posting, just do what you have to do – that is doing what you feel is best to fit your needs. Meanwhile, Exposed in the Woods is my fav. Thanks for sharing the beauty.

  12. tedgriffith says:

    Good for you, Robin! The hardest thing that I find is setting priorities and sticking with them. Taking care of myself has always seemed to suffer for other things. Like you, I am cutting back on the blogging because of the time it takes and the pressure (self inflicted) that I feel about commenting and posting. I hope that your rest renew and refresh you and spupply you with the insights to the “needfull” things. 🙂

  13. ladyfi says:

    Our health is precious. And we need to make time for joy! Love that first shot.

  14. I admire that you’re taking the time reevaluate things, Robin. Being sick makes you look at things differently, and in life, change is so necessary. I need to follow your example. And blogging does take a lot of time when you do it consciously, like you do. I’m finding that out, and it is a struggle to keep it up. I wish you all the best, and I hope this change in seasons lets you discover what you need for yourself and that when Spring finally rolls around, you will find yourself renewed. Take care of yourself, Robin.

  15. It’s impossible to keep up with everything that we want to do AND everything that we need to do – there just aren’t enough hours in the day for that! I am slowly coming to that realization…. some days I do more “have to”, and other days it’s more “want to” things – it’s a trade off! Being sick is the worst one, it doesn’t really seem to fit into either category (we always feel like there are other things we “need to” be doing). I’m glad you’re taking good care of yourself, keep resting and get back to normal life slowly!

  16. Kathy says:

    Oh yes, it can be so easy to take on too much, to let our creative outward-sides take precedence over the sides that need space, time, quiet, emptiness. It sounds like you are listening to your inner nudging voice and following its song. The “Middle Way” is indeed wisdom, if we can find its rhythm. Blessings, Robin.

  17. Dana says:

    I can’t let my mother in law read the part about there being no substitute for chicken soup! She’s always trying to get me to make it when M or I are sick…

    Good luck resorting your commitments and feeling better physically. The first step is always becoming aware that changes need to be made, so you’re already on your way. My thoughts are with you! 🙂

  18. QuoinMonkey says:

    Robin, I appreciate this post. I feel happy to have met you at the beginning of my blogging days on red Ravine. I remember how much energy I had when blogging was new — hours and hours and hours on the computer. I went spelunking for blogging friends who had something in common and were dedicated to blogging. And checked in with them often. I find these days that if I take the necessary time to do my photography and art and keep writing for red Ravine, it’s hard to dedicate the kind of energy I once did to commenting on other blogs. But I know my friends are still there. And knowing that, helps to keep me going.

    I think it’s good to take a break when we need it. To let go of things that aren’t working. And hold those that are. Sometimes it’s hard to know the difference without stepping away. I’m glad you are taking the time you need. And I hope that you feel better. I have watched your photography blossom and grow over the years. And always look forward to your compelling images. Thanks for your honesty and support. Sending some light your way, over the darkness of the approaching Winter Solstice.

  19. eof737 says:

    Love all the textures

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