By the way . . .

I have been cheered to see comments on this blog. It means that I have visitors despite posting so infrequently. I have probably said it before; I would really love to spend each day blogging. I find it immensely stimulating and challenging. It allows me to live in my head, where I have spent most of my life. I confess that hours and hours can go by when I am writing, thinking, planning, designing and imagining. I have had spectacular success in my life I believe with translating the stuff of my dreaming into practical realities. I love the first snatches of an idea that keep popping into thoughts, then radiating into little connections with the world around me. These connections come with images, conversations, emails, news and old memories resurfacing. This is a delightfully serendipitous period when an idea or notion is on the mental equivalent of a back burner.

Sometimes I get carried away and grab the seed of dream and put it through an analytical regimen too soon. I create spreadsheets with outlines, variables and yes/no, what if and other arguments with myself. I can throw things at a timeline in a heartbeat. Yes, I can ruin something by doing this before the time is right. I did that at the end of this last year with my idea of 10:10 or 10 projects in 2010. It was mapped and articulated beautifully, but it was too soon.

See, another thing is my one-track nature. Since I was a kid I have had this approach of concentrating on ‘one big thing’ at a time. I don’t start dozens of things and move from one thing to another. When I commit to something, that is what I am doing. This reminds me. I celebrated my 7th anniversary this week of not smoking. I am proud of this and bring it up because I quit with this kind of intensity of focus. Quitting smoking was the most important thing on the planet for me in February 2003. That said, I also made starting the habit in 1964 a lifelong commitment it seems. I’m amazed at the more than 30 years of commitment to that vile habit. My self-disgust fueled the decision in 2003. My sister was quitting and I gave myself two weeks (why waste the cigarette cartons I had on hand) before going cold turkey.

I firmly believe it is important to develop the ability to dream and then to move back and forth from vision to reality and back again. Then, it is critical to stop designing and start doing too. Once the idea’s time has come, it is time to move on it and make it real. For me it is a reason for excitement and for getting up to greet the day. My last decade has shown me the flip side of my life spent primarily in my head. I am not as fit and strong as I want to be. In order to do all that I want to do in my life’s last chapter, I must be in better shape. Turning off the computer and getting outside was the theme all last year. I had to make myself NOT get into blogging mode. 2009, let the sun shine was only nominally successful. I am definitely stronger, fitter than I was a year ago. But, damn it, I wanted to be my 40 year old level of strength and fitness. Hell I wanted the great energy bounce I felt just 7 years ago after quitting smoking when I worked with a personal trainer for 6 months. I felt over the moon then and I want that level of energy, strength back.

It is going to be a longer than I’d planned on the spreadsheet or in the daydreams. Some life patterns are resistant as hell it seems. And let’s not forget for one instant how multinational forces spend billions to keep Americans in front of our television/computer screens, behind the wheel, in the shopping malls, at the supermarket or watching sports. I am not alone in my behavioral decisions of sloth. Along with the rest of the developed world, I have been systematically stripped of my identity as a responsible citizen in exchange for the designated role as ‘independent’ consumer that leaves the physical work to others.

Stepping out of my comfort zone takes some real will. As of today I am officially retired. My first social security check hit the bank. This long awaited day brings such peace of mind. Now, I just need to remain healthy. Back to the move away from the comfort zone, I look at my simple life and realize I don’t have anything that demands I push myself past my limits to gain physical health. I wish I enjoyed recreational pursuits. I never have – except maybe camping/canoeing as a girl. I don’t think I really enjoyed my bike in any memorable way. It is just what we all did as kids. I’ve been known to say I was born without a recreation gene. As a kid at the swimming pool I was most constantly absorbed in seeing if I could swim the width of the pool under water. Always the goal, the mission, the task at the forefront it seems.

Losing self consciousness and just being is a process I am aiming for now and have been for awhile. I want to move out into the world each day with my own two feet and do things with my body, my hands. Physical engagement as pleasure is an idea I have. Along the way I regress. I am sick this week and exhausted. I am eating easy food like sandwiches while indulging myself with chips and dip (yogurt and fresh onions anyway). I need lots of nutrients instead – but I balk because my kitchen is in my living room and meals are a pain in the ass.

The fun is the musing, the dreaming, the planning and the writing. Welcome back my friends. Let’s hang out for awhile.


Chile said...

I could easily spend all day writing, reading other blogs, and commenting. I have to force myself to stay away from the computer in order to live the rest of my life.

I, too, am suffering from not keeping the body active enough. Although I do enjoy recreation, I much prefer getting exercise by doing something useful - walking to the store instead of around a track, biking to visit friends on the other side of town instead of driving, etc.

It seems I'll get my wish now that I've sold my washing machine. My biceps and triceps are getting quite a work-out using the plunger to hand-wash most of the clothes.

Looking forward to hanging out with you. :)

PS: How great is it that the word to verify my comment is "muser"?

katecontinued said...

Muser is too perfect. I saw that you sold your washer. Manual washing, now that is a serious upper body workout. Thanks for dropping a comment, Chile.

Anonymous said...

kate, first, i hope you are feeling better. i wish we didn't have a country between us..i'd be so happy to bring you warming soups in a crockpot and soothing teas in a thermos.
i spend way too much time reading on the internet and writing comments in the far too many blogs i check in with on a regular basis. i keep saying i need to go cold turkey,(like you did on smoking, congratulations on that success btw!) it keeps sucking up more and more of my time and while i'm learning things, finding support and even a sense of friendship, it keeps me from that more active life that i know my body needs. all that is just to say, i hear you and i seem to be on the same page in many ways. i've been doing some stretches and weight lifting (3 lb weights) inside on the days i don't ride or walk but it's not a true substitute. i felt best last summer when i was doing all three, each day. that's usually when i'm accomplishing projects too. perhaps, it's just another rhythm and that more active (in all ways) phase will roll around again. anyway, i'm glad you took a week off to rest and whenever you have time to write my day always seems the better for it.

katecontinued said...

becky, isn't it amazing how in sync we can be with beings all around the world we don't even know? Oh how I wish we could visit face to face this week.

I just got up from a nap thinking that I should do more weight training and use elastic bands in house each day along with walking. Today I am still so bone weary I am not sure I'm going to make it to a free movie tonight - Tapped. I will lie down again, then shower. That should help.

Chile said...

Kate, your comment about having a "one-track nature" has been bouncing around in my head all day. I think this is why I have never successfully stuck with a plan that would get me to my goal weight. To do so, it would have to be THE primary thing in my life...and for quite a while to dump the weight that needs to go. I don't want to stay focused on just one thing for that long.

Thanks for making me think!

katecontinued said...

I myself believe that my weight issue is something I have been told it simply my failure to eat properly or move enough. I think that is the overly simplistic line we have been given for 40 years. In fact, I think it is clear that there is no real scientific understanding of why people weigh what they do. When more than 95% (or there about) people regain all and more weight after being on a diet, I believe we all have been mislead.

But, I will say that this one track thing is pretty important to me. It is one reason my voluntary simplicity, my minimalist lifestyle appeals to me. I had a friend once who described things as you have. She had to have a lot of different things going on all the time. We were funny as room mates for a brief period.

Beany said...

First off, congratulations on "officially" being retired.

Second, I've been much of a perfectionist in many traditional ways, but I have been in some other manners. Such as how low can my riot4austerity numbers get, how little garbage can I generate? how little non local food can I eat. I just became depressed and judgmental and completely unfun for me to be around. I've been actively working on being balanced for over a year now. It does take work, but I feel that I am actually getting somewhere.

katecontinued said...

You hit on the dark side of simple, beany. It is one of my favorite themes - for the inner muse. I believe that balance you work so hard to achieve in your life is one I recognize as one of my lifetime challenges. Think I may have to think about a post.

I am re-reading your comment and I believe you meant to say [ ... ] I've not been much of a perfectionist in many traditional ways [...]. (I left out the not in my response to Chile - weight not simply [...] It's catching.)

Oh, and beany, I failed to give credit. I think your post last week about blogging more worked on my subconscious. This post became my version of what my intentions were, are in my blog. So many blogs inform my daily thoughts. I forget . . .