Vernal Equinox: Balance in a Time of Imbalance

 

 

I found a post from exactly one year ago and, unfortunately, I’m in a similar place. I thought this year would be different but, alas, I’m here…in this post about a day not working out the way I wanted it to.

I’m exhausted and overwhelmed. I’ve taken on too much and have fallen way behind online and in real life. Looking back at this post from last year tells me something: I need to change. I accept that.

Easier said than done, as they say. I’ve got to agree. They are right.

I’ve never liked the term “balance” because, as I’ve stated numerous times, it’s unattainable. But today is the first day of spring. The Vernal Equinox.

This is a time of balance.

On the equinox, day and night are of equal length as the sun crosses the equator. Today, we experience the same amount of darkness and light—outside and within ourselves. Take a moment to meditate, to reset. Adjust any imbalances you feel.

I wrote that just two years ago. I’m going with it. Though it seems contrary to what I’m saying here, it’s not. Adjusting imbalances is not quite the same as trying to achieve balance.

While I won’t be chasing my tail in a futile attempt to attain complete balance in my life, I will be sitting. Just that. Sitting. Breathing. That’s nice, too. And paying attention. To the things I’m neglecting that need more attention and the things I’m spending too much energy on that are draining me. I will try harder to listen to my inner self.

I found this, too:

This is a time of beginnings.

We are being offered a fresh start. Spring cleaning removes dust, dirt, and clutter from our homes. The debris that has accumulated over the cold months can be swept away, leaving an inviting space. Our external environment affects our internal one. In this way, we are helping clear our minds as well.

I needed to see that. To reread those words. To remind myself what I believe to be true. And to do something about it.

 

The Vernal Equinox is a time of balance and beginnings. It’s a perfect time to take stock of your life and press the reset button. It’s also a great time to start new projects or dust off an old project and breathe life back into it. Mother Nature is backing you up right now. What will you do with this gift?

 

Happy Spring! 🌼 (And, to my friends in Australia, Happy Autumn!)

 

How I Found Joy in Negativity

 

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In the midst of some recent turmoil, there was one blessed day of balance.

The Autumnal Equinox.

I thought there was no way I would be able to share in the wonder of this day.

During an equinox, when the sun passes directly over the equator, day and night are of equal length—we have the same amount of light and dark. It is a time of balance.

That elusive balance.

I don’t actively seek it because, as I’ve said before, I believe it’s unattainable—a recipe for frustration and resentment. But I do look for it in small quantities, for certain situations.

And every autumn, I have welcomed balance when it arrives on my doorstep, asking politely, with the light of the harvest moon, to be let inside.

September 22nd was smack in the middle of a mess, and I knew that day would go just as badly as the rest of the week had gone. I knew. No matter what I planned or how hard I tried, it was going to be bad. Horrible.

I also knew I was being extremely negative but I couldn’t muster any optimism.

At the time, my attitude seemed reasonable and the terrible outcome more than a little likely.

But the world keeps spinning, seasons change, time moves on. No matter what’s happening in your life, there is always something larger than you.

Taking a simple walk or standing under a tree often gives me this much-needed shift in my thinking.

The equinox provides me perspective. The Earth turns, continuing its cycle whether I’m prepared for it or not.

I tend to get highly disappointed when my grand plans go awry but am delightfully surprised when I anticipate trouble and don’t find it. Negativity in general? Not something I’d recommend. But, once in a while, it’s helpful.

There are two things I need to keep in mind.

The first is that forcing a good day rarely, if ever, works. Often, it backfires. The second is that acknowledging my day will not be as wonderful as I want it to be allows me to let go of all expectations.

And that, gentle readers, is how I stumbled over the roots of a genuinely good day, finding balance and joy in the midst of chaos.

 

Happy Autumn!

Yes, you’re now officially allowed to break out the pumpkin spiced beer, muffins, coffee, scones, etc. (And, as always, Happy Spring to my friends in the southern hemisphere.)

 

Can you force yourself to have a good day with positive thinking? Do your positive thoughts keep you going even if things aren’t perfect? Or do you find that your expectations are impossible to meet? If you expect the worst, are you pleasantly surprised or do you dwell in that negativity?

 

* Apologies for all the post questions. I’m having a yin/yang, light/dark, positivity/negativity bit of a time here and wondering how others deal.

 

Where Do You Write?

 

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I may get an opportunity to have a few hours to myself each week.

Time to myself, people! Every. Week.

I’m ecstatic.

Because I’m going to use this time to write.

Here’s the catch. (You knew there was a catch, right?)

If I do the whole “drop-off, drive home, drive back, pick-up” thing, I’ll lose an hour.

So, I need to stay put. I need to be out of my house while I’m writing. I’ve never done this. Correction. I’ve never successfully done this.

I’ve tried coffee shops, tea shops, shoe shops, sweet shops. (No, really, not a sweet shop. In those, I just annoy my kids with how I used to buy Raisinets and Nerds in regular sized packages not the sugar-rush, vomit-inducing size they sell now.)

I don’t understand how people can write in coffee shops or whatnot. I can barely write my name never mind a scene or chapter in those places.

I’m so distracted by the noise and commotion, I can’t concentrate long enough to read the sugar packet I just dumped in my coffee.

I could use some advice. Or an alternative. I’m open to anything. Mostly. Let’s not get crazy.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Can you write outside your house? Where do you go? How do you concentrate? Do you have any other ideas? I’m willing to sit in my car if need be.

 

 

Being in the Moment

 

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It’s funny to me how many people write about being in the moment.

Writers are never truly in the moment because, when we have a moment, we’re thinking about writing that moment.

Take my Pause and Smell the Roses post. I was thoroughly enjoying that morning but then I came in and wrote about it. Ideas were floating around my head even as I sipped my coffee and watched the chipmunks.

Actually, I kind of felt like a chipmunk—savoring birdseed and suet while darting back and forth and running in circles. Because, really, that’s what I was doing—mentally running from the outdoors to the notebook in my head and back again.

It’s a crazy writer thing. It is.

Yet here I am, again, about to describe a lovely afternoon I experienced. Blue sky, butterflies, shapes in clouds, the whole nine yards. It was gorgeous and relaxing. Of course…I’m writing about it now.

I’m not exactly sure how this works, but, while I was appreciating sunshine and flowers, thoughts and words were buzzing in my brain.

Was I writing the entire time or did I actually get to pause and smell the roses?

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

 

ThoughtBubble

Are you able to truly be in the moment? (Think about this for a minute…) And, if you are, do you write about it after?


 

 

Deflecting Compliments (Like a Ninja)

 

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Why do I apologize for myself?

This goes so far beyond not being able to take a compliment, I can’t even see the coastline anymore. I’m floating out there in the vast sea of self-deprecation. Clinging desperately to a belittlement buoy.

I actually get defensive when someone says something nice.

It’s ludicrous.

Last week, I was minding my own business, milling around a store, when a clerk grabbed my hand (because girls can do that—it’s weird) and said, “Oh! I love your nails!”

Weapons at the ready, I started my self-defense.

“Oh! I only did that for the summer solstice, I mean…my kids…it’s like a fairy thing, sort of…it’s a fun…” By then, she had let go of my hand and was backing away nodding. And no wonder.

I have an inability to accept compliments. But this need to make excuses for pretty much everything I am—from my clothes to my hair to my voice to, apparently, my fingernail polish—this has got to stop.

It’s a seemingly simple fix because, really, all I need to do is smile and say “Thank you”.

But when I bring out my sparring swords, we have a problem.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

It’s bad enough to become self-deprecating when someone insults you but, when given a compliment, it’s truly bizarre. How do you react when someone gives you a compliment? Have you ever gone so far as to make excuses for yourself?

Can you take a compliment? (If so, is this something you developed later in life or something you’ve always been able to do? I’m wicked curious about this.)

 

Full Moon & Fairies (Summer Solstice)

 

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There is magic in the air.

Fairies flutter about enjoying the day, preparing for their feast, and, perhaps, causing a bit of mischief. And, this year, they have even more to celebrate. A full moon accompanies the solstice.

This weekend, I’m celebrating with them.

Wine will flow, my friends. And I will run barefoot in the grass like when I was a child. I’ll breathe deeply, inhaling the heady scents of blossoms that, weeks ago, were tiny buds.

At twilight, I’ll light candles and search for blinking fireflies.

Of course, after this longest day of the year, the days will become shorter. But I will bask in the sun and light and magic then welcome the dark half of the year.

When the sun decides to set after its long journey, I will marvel at the pinks and purples of dusk. I will fill my glass and toast the twinkling stars who, in my wine-induced bliss, will merrily wink back at me. I will refill it to toast the bright, full moon who will smile her light on me. I will soak up the night and all its beauty.

Because, if it wasn’t for the darkness, I could not appreciate the light.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

What will you do with your extra hours of sunlight? I’m toasting you, my tweeps. Know that.

 

As always, I think of my friends in Australia during these times of year. Happy Winter Solstice to you!

 

(The summer solstice is officially tomorrow, Monday, June 20. Enjoy!)

 

What Ditching My Phone Did for Me

 

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In light of my recent technology fail, I’ve taken a major break from many of my devices.

While I was out this weekend, something was missing.

What was missing?

Glad you asked. My phone. It was zipped up inside my handbag.

Sure, I got the thing out to take a few photos but then it went right back inside the deep, dark, depths of my cluttered bag.

I didn’t have my phone in my hand the way I usually do. Like an extension of my arm. (Creepy…)

And my days were better for it.

I was appreciating my kid’s drawing at the school art show, watching him run after a ball with some sort of net on a field, listening to my other one play music at his piano recital.

Throughout these events, I’d normally be snapping photos, texting those to family and friends, getting caught up in a text convo about how it was going, and, inevitably, becoming distracted by a reminder about a dentist appointment on Monday.

You can guess what I wouldn’t be doing.

But, it so happens, without the blasted phone, I was actually paying attention to my life.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

Are you able to “be” where you are? Are you seeing it through your camera lens or looking down, missing something, because you’re texting or checking your calendar?


 

The Dinosaur Ate My Smartphone

 

When did I become so dependent on technology?

 

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After I got erased and abandoned my electronic devices to a heap on the floor, I had to call people. On a landline. Told them I was goin’ old school.

A few days later, when I got the nerve to pick up my cell phone again, I realized that not only was my email still messed up, my texts weren’t working. I felt disoriented and isolated.

Which is completely ridiculous.

Let me give you a snapshot of my childhood.

No microwave. No CDs. No DVDs. A rotary dial house phone attached to the wall. Yeah, that’s right. You heard me. Attached to the wall. Do NOT get me started on apps and social media because there were no computers let alone cell phones. We had a pet Brontosaurus.

Point is, I grew up without technology. I didn’t even get a smartphone until I was 40 years old and I’ve become so attached to the stupid thing that if I lost it, I’d be crushed. Crushed, people.

After spending four decades without one, I’m utterly, hopelessly reliant on a device I received only two years ago.

How did this happen?

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

Do you feel like you’re too dependent on technology? Are you too attached to your smartphone, iPad, or tablet? (Just out of curiosity…did you grow up with or without technology?)

 

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I have a love/hate relationship with technology.

 

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And here’s one of the reasons why. (Just one of them, mind you.)

My email isn’t working. Poor me, right? And when I say “not working”, what I mean is that one minute my emails were there and, the next, they were gone. Every. Single. One.

Wiped clean.

Every email I have ever sent, received, saved, or flagged…erased. Every folder…empty.

Although I’ve gotten better about deleting unnecessary emails, there were well over 3,000 of them. Years’ worth.

Gone.

I use my email as a file folder. That thing was chock full of writing, receipts, ideas, blog posts, gift lists, links, photos, videos, personal correspondences, business emails, contacts, submissions, rejections, invoices…

Yes, I know. You shouldn’t keep that kind of info in your email. (Also, I rely solely on email notifications for blogs so, if I haven’t been to visit you, this is why.)

I’m embarrassed to admit it but I went through a sort of grieving process. Shock, denial, anger, upset, acceptance.

Or as close to “acceptance” as I could get: I unplugged.

Not out of need for a break but out of sheer, unadulterated anger. Which, I suppose, means I didn’t actually “accept” anything. Whatever. I piled every last device (including my phone) on the floor and threw a sheet over it. I couldn’t even look at the stuff.

There was some fear below the surface of that anger.

I’m still wary of touching any technology. I approach my laptop like it’s a time bomb.

Tick, tick, tick…

It’s unnerving. I’m paranoid about every “update” that pops up on any device. This whole thing really took me down. Set me back. Put me on edge. Brought me up short. (What other cliché can I fit in here?) I want to get into my regular online routine but I’m so damn nervous.

I’m afraid of what else could go missing. I have notes of all sorts just sitting on my phone and laptop. And now I’m waiting for something to go wrong. Waiting for technology to fail me again.

I looked around for my notepads, planners, and calendars and found they were incomplete at best. I had some appointments, meetings, dates, and deadlines written down but, really, not many. The pages were pretty bare. And I honestly couldn’t remember when I stopped writing in them regularly.

This has me seriously thinking about how much I store on electronic devices. And how much I need to distance myself from them.

 

Have you ever lost important documents, emails, or contact info? What did you do? (Dare I ask…how did you react?)

 

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Just an F.Y.I. to all of my lovely bloggy friends: I’m working on this. Will I get my “Happily Ever After”? I’ve never been a huge fan of those but, in this case, I’m hoping for it. Or at least a “Good Enough Ever After”.

 

Blog Happy

 

Misery loves company? Perhaps.

 

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Does company love it back? Not sure.

I don’t think blog visitors do.

So, when hit with a prolonged period of illness or an unfortunate series of events, what’s a blogger to do?

When you are miserable, do you put that aside and smile for the keyboard or do you discuss what’s going on?

I suppose this depends on what type of blog you have.

I’ve hinted at my health issues, talked about writing crises, and touched on the fact that life isn’t so swell at the moment. But dwell? Meh. That’s boring. Maybe annoying.

Should I talk about spring? I suppose.

I don’t want to be Miss Doom and Gloom (and not just because it’s a silly name) but I’m also sort of irritated by Shiny Happy People. So I will write this:

Start climbing.

As the saying goes, when you are at the bottom, or damn near it, there are only two ways to go—sideways and up. Okay, the saying doesn’t go like that but it’s funny. Unless you’re in something so narrow you can’t possibly move sideways. Then it’s mean.

I guess the best idea is to mention and move on.

 

Thanks to my childhood collection of Mr. Men books, I know that, when life is messy, you can grumble a bit but then you’ve got to be cheerful and not grumpy then blog happy. I know. That’s totally weird. But that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Do you write about real-life issues on your blog? Or do you pretend all is well and just publish your next post?