Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stormy weather...


I made myself a weak pot of coffee because I was too lazy to open a new package of ground filter coffee. I made do with what was left over in the glass jars and it really wasn't enough. I could tell by the way the coffee smelled when it was done that it was weak, but I prepared for the worst and drank it anyway. Much to my relief, it wasn't as bad as I had feared and it is drinkable. It just doesn't carry the usual punch. An American would find this quite acceptable coffee.

Having completely run out of clean forks and plates and bowls, I finally got around to doing the dishes which I had been putting of. I knew I would get around to them today and had given myself that deadline. I let them soak in very hot soapy water first so I could mentally prepare myself to get ready to do them. I usually do need to warm up to the idea a bit. I can't suddenly do them out of the blue. I have to mentally picture myself doing them and talk myself into it. Then the job gets done easily because I'm less intimidated.

I also changed the bed and found a felt tipped pen under the fleece blanket that the dog had chewed to pieces. Needless to say, the ink had leaked all over the place and I hope it washes out in the laundry. The dog does secretly steal things during the night and isn't over the worst of his puppy behavior yet. When it comes to chewing on foreign objects, he's up there with the rest of them, even if he does have a rawhide bone. He'll simply ignore that if he can find something more interesting and forbidden. He knows that felt tipped pens are off limits. He does look guilty when I find him out. 

I enjoy changing the bed because it's so nice to sleep between clean sheets and it makes me look forward to going to bed at night. I do have my favorite duvet cover and it's being washed now. I think I need to go and buy some new ones and will have to go into town one of these days. Because I don't want to go alone, I will have to talk someone into going with me.  It's more fun to go shopping in someone else's company and to also go sit on a terrace and have a cup of coffee. There's nothing as awful as walking around downtown by yourself with your soul under your arm.

I've done two loads of laundry and feel very virtuous. The bathroom smells very good because of the washing powder and it's a pleasure to walk in there with the laundry drying on the clothing rack. I can't hang it outside because of the showers we are having today. It would smell even better if I had been able to do that. There's a stiff wind blowing and the laundry would have been dry quickly, but every once in a while it rains. It's not cold out and in the living room it is warm. I'm sitting here in a summer top and am not in the least chilled. 

I hope you're all having a good day.

Ciao,
Irene


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A bright and shiny moment...


It is with some amount of pleasure that I sit here at the end of the afternoon and enjoy the sunlight that is shining into the living room windows. It does make everything look bright and cheerful and it does wonders for the state of my mind. For a while I will thoroughly enjoy this time behind the computer and not worry about a single thing. Not that I really have that much to worry about anyway. My mind is pretty much empty of things that I could get overly stressed about. 

Besides, now is not the time of day to worry about anything. I do that best the first thing in the morning before I've had my cup of coffee and before my medicines have started to work. But because I know that the lack of these things causes me to feel stress, I don't pay it too much mind and simply wait for them to take effect. I try to ignore what goes on in my head for the first hour after I get up. I know I will be my usual normal self n the shortest amount of time. 

We've had some rain and cloudy weather and although I didn't mind it too much, I was glad when the sun came out again. It did actually affect my mood a little bit when the sky was so gloomy.  I pretend that it doesn't get to me, but really it does. I notice that when the sun starts shining again and my whole attitude changes. I'm a lot more cheerful because of it. We're supposed to have more rain tomorrow, but I guess I shouldn't complain about it too much because Mother Nature does need it. Some rain on a regular basis can only do it good. 

I saw my relaxation therapist today and learned a new exercise. I know so many different ones now that I could keep busy all day long doing them. They do seem to work because the pain I had walked around with in one shoulder is gone now and it had been a very stubborn pain that I thought I was going to need painkillers for.  Today's exercise really worked well on my belly and stomach and I literally felt the knots there untie.

I've got to go because the dog is waiting for me to take him for a walk. It's that time of the day again. At least the sun is shining and the temperature is nice. It will be great to be out there. 

Ciao,
Irene




Monday, May 28, 2012

Reading again...


With a great deal of pleasure, I finished reading "The Stone Diaries" by Carol Shileds. It didn't matter one bit that I had read it before because I had forgotten enough about it to enjoy it all over again. There were so many interesting details in it that grabbed my attention, and the story was so well written, that I was not bored for one moment. It is no wonder that it got a Pulitzer Prize.

Once I started reading it, it was hard to put down and today I read for a long time until I had a sore rear end from sitting in my armchair. I can recommend this novel to anyone, but I have to warn you that it will spoil you for any novel you will try to read afterwards. I tried to start reading another author, but found it impossible. I was too struck down by reading the beautiful prose of Carol Shields.

I'm going to read "Dressing Up For The Cranival" next. She wrote that also and it is a collection of short stories. I'm happy to read anything by her and have to look on my bookcasereally well and find other work by her. I've gotten so used to her voice that nothing else will do at the moment.

What I found very encouraging is how much I enjoyed the act of reading and how lost I got in the novel to the exclusion of everything else. That hasn't happened in a long time. As a rule, I've become distracted and I have been unable to concentrate for any length of time. I used to be a great reader and I thought I had lost the ability forever

I'm very happy that my ability to get lost in a book has returned although I do have to add that I can't indiscriminately read anything. I am critical of what I read and the voice it's written in. I have to, in a way, hear it spoken in my head as if it's telling me the story. And there has to be a cadence to it with a rhythm and a natural flow. As if it's a song that's being sung set to music. Carol Shileds can do that.

I've got to go now. I've got to read. I don't have time to blog.

Ciao,
Irene


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Behaving myself...


I'm to the point now that I can't imagine living with other people. I'm so set in my ways and so used to solitude and silence that it would bother me to give it up. I find the greatest peace and quiet in my own company and I can only stand to share my space with the animals. Having other people around for any length of time would definitely cramp my style.

This maybe makes me sound like a misanthrope, but I'm not an unkind person. I'm easy to get along with as long as I don't have to have a real close relationship with anybody. I do keep a certain amount of distance always. I don't want anyone to sit on top of me emotionally. I'm uncomfortable if a relationship becomes too close. I need lots of breathing space and to feel free. 

Time by myself is what I treasure most. If I fill that with nothing but sitting in my armchair and enjoying the sound of silence, then that's all the better. It's what gives me the peaceful feeling. I realize now that I can't live with anyone else. It's my own company that I enjoy the most. 

I've had a most pleasant day, but I can't say that I've done anything specific with it. What I do know is that the overall feeling was one of peacefulness and that's the most important thing. At not one point did I feel stressed. If I can achieve that, I feel very lucky indeed and whatever the magic formula is, I want to keep applying it. I want to repeat this kind of a day as many times as I can.

I don't think I want another person in my life to complicate that. It's much easier to work out the magic ingredients if you are on your own. It's fairly smple to calculate in a dog and a cat. That's not a problem. Besides, they provide the necessary humor and love. And I do know that another person would bring out the worst in me, at least the person I would end up with. I haven't been able to pick the right one yet. 

So it's with a feeling of satisfaction that I look forward to the end of the day. I can rest easily and be content. It was a day to be happy about. Not all days go that well, but it's what I strive for and I'm very glad when I succeed. 

Ciao,
Irene

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Assumptions...


I've started to read again but I've picked a book that I've already read before and that I enjoyed very much. I think that will make it easier to get back into the habit of reading. I think it will be easier to concentrate on the story and keep my attention focused on it and I won't have to worry about remembering who all the characters are. I know the book is pretty straight forward and doesn't mess around with a lot of plot lines. I'm sympathetic to the main character and care about what happens to her without losing sight of the plight of the whole cast.

I've got some women's magazines to read also that I got from my sister, but they are so optimistic in nature that I almost can't read them. The stories all have happy endings and are not very realistic, but of course they are wriiten to make the readers feel good. They are not for the liberated, feministic woman at all. More than anything they are written with the purpose of keeping women believing that they should be happy no matter what. In a way they still have the morals of the 1950's behind them.

I really hope that this attempt at reading is going to be successful. I tried it before and enjoyed the book, but it didn't lead to anything else. I didn't suddenly turn into a reader again. Maybe I should just reread many novels and not try to start on a brand new one. Reading familiar ones may be the way to go for now.

I won't have to order any books for a while. I have enough old ones that are interesting enough to read over again and when I get ready, there will be enough new ones to read. There's always the temptation to order new books that I hear about, and there's still some room on the bookcase, but it would be a waste of money right now, so I better wait. I do like owning books and I like to look at them. To me they are a treasure.

Ciao,
Irene


Friday, May 25, 2012

Thank goodness it's Friday again...


I'm sitting here very cozily with a glass of milk and the dog by my feet. It is already evening but the sun is still shining through the living room windows and it's nice and warm in here. I'm wearing my most summery clothes so I'm properly dressed.

I hope to get a bit of a tan every time I go out with the dog but I don't think I'm succeeding much. I won't look like a very sun kissed person anyway. I'll have to go sit outside for a real sun bath and I don't know if I have the patience for that. I think the only opportunity I'll get for it is when I sit in my sister's garden so I'll always have to be scantily dressed when I go there. 

The weather is supposed to stay good for the whole three day long weekend. It's Pentecost and we have Monday off also. It's about time that the weather turned nice because we've been very impatiently waiting for it to happen. People had been wanting to do their summer shopping but it just wasn't the right kind of weather for it. There's certainly been a change in that now and downtown is filled with shoppers wanting to spend their vacation allowances. 

I've been looking at which films play at the film theater and there's one I may be interested in that's been playing for quite a while. It's called "The best exotic Marigold Hotel." It got good reviews so I may try to go see it. I first am going to ask the Exfactor if he wants to go and then I'll ask my sister. She usually falls asleep halfway through a film so that's not much fun. The Exfactor is a better companion to go see a film with so I hope he'll come. 

The dog has been most adorable today from the moment I woke up and opened my eyes. He was there immediately to greet me as if he had been waiting for me to wake up. I guess he really wanted to start the day. Or he was just happy to see me and get a good cuddle. He's been very affectionate all day long and has spent much time sitting on my lap as if that's the most natural place to be. I guess if you still barely fit, it is not a bad place to sit. 

I have to go take him for his walk now and then watch the eight o'clock news. Those politicians are roughly manhandling all sorts of important issues and it does frustrate me. I have to stay well informed but I wonder how unbiased the news is. You must always stay critical.

Ciao,
Irene




Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In the early evening...


In spite of the two cups of coffee I've had, I'm sitting here yawning as if I need to go to bed and take a nap. It is true that I didn't take one this afternoon, but I thought the caffeine took care of that. I just took a walk with the dog in the warm summery feeling air and I thought it was enough to wake me up. Instead it has half put me to sleep. 

I refuse to believe that I really can't do without my afternoon nap. I'm not quite that old yet, although it must be that some habits die hard and I have gotten used to this one. It does feel good to be a little sleepy and I'm not really complaining. At least the coffee hasn't made me wiry and jumpy, but then it seldom does. I probably wouldn't drink it if it did. 

Being in a mellow mood is just fine. It allows me to reflect on life without getting too excited about it. Of course, I saw my relaxation therapist today, so I'm bound to be more mellow because we did new exercises together. After I did a series of them lying down very comfortably, I could have gone to sleep on the spot and it took me some effort to get up again and start riding my bike home. 

By the time I got home, I was somewhat refreshed again and could finish doing the laundry which had to be hung up. It was my second load of the day and I did it with pleasure because it smelled so good thanks to the washing powder. I do like to get some rewards for my efforts and good smelling laundry is one of them. Especially if they are clothes I'm going to wear. They smell bad soon enough because I smoke. 

I've been talking to the dog a lot and it amazes me how much he understands. I don't know if he understands a complete sentence, but enough words anyway to know what I mean and to anticipate what is going to happen. He doesn't forget what I've told him and just waits patiently for me to get around to it. I think he's smarter than he lets me believe. He does hide his light under a bushel and pretends he's dumb sometimes. I think that's when it's convenient to him. 

Oh, I've got to watch the news.  Time to go.

Ciao,
Irene

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's always something...


It's a beautiful day out. The sky is blue and the sun is shining and the temperatures are great. It feels like a summer day and the weatherman was right. He predicted it. It will stay this way for the rest of the week and I am totally agreeable to it. I just walked the dog and it was a pure pleasure to be out there. The bees were buzzing amongst the wildflowers and the birds were twittering in the trees. All that was missing were the butterflies.

I could not walk quickly because I think I have broken my toe. I did it this morning when I walked into the edge of a metal sign that the Exfactor had temporarily placed against my bike that was parked in the hallway. I noticed it on the way to the toilet, but forgot about it on the way back. It was quite a bang and I used a swear word because it hurt so much.The sign was big and heavy and did not move an inch.

As the day wore on, my toe got worse and I hobble a bit when I walk. Even when I sit still it hurts. It is the middle toe of my left foot and I know nothing can be done about it, so I've put a sock on it and I'm wearing my sneakers for comfort. That gives me some idea of support, but to tell you the truth, I think it isn't helping one bit and I may as well take them off. I have taken a paracetamol and I hope that will do.

Other than that, it's been a nice day. I think that's mostly due to the amount of sunshine that's coming in through the living room windows. It does cheer me up. It makes me a better person. I'm much more agreeable when the sun shines, although I'm always kind. At least I try to be in spite of myself. I do get grumpy at times. 

That's not something a cup of coffee can't take care of and I've had mine. I'm all caffeinated now. I did take a small nap earlier because I got up on time this morning. I was expecting the Exfactor but I had no idea what time he was getting here because he is hard to pin down. When he got here, he asked me to iron two long sleeved shirts for him, but since he always does the groceries, it was a pleasure for me to be able to do that. 

I hadn't ironed any men's shirts in a long time and had forgotten how much work they are if you want to do a good job. It seems that every time you run the iron over them, you iron a new wrinkle into them. It is frustrating.

I've got to watch the news and eat dinner. It's that time of the day again.

Ciao,
Irene

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Becoming whole...


I would like to sit on top of a hill in a colorful meadow and watch the sun come up right now. The moment is perfect for it. At least, that's how it is with my mood. The weather might not quite co-operate because it is overcast. It would be hard to see a pretty dawn. The sun might be a bit obscured. 

The thought of sitting on a colorful hill is appealing, though. I mean for it to be covered with wildflowers that I would not pick because they would not last long in a vase. Years ago I might have tried that but I've since grown wiser. I'd  leave them where they belong now. 

It is still early in the morning and I've been up for a while. I have no reason to be up already except that I think I'm done sleeping. It's not as if I've got an exciting day ahead of me. I could cry at the thought of the emptiness of it. I will instead try to think of the potential it carries. 

I've got to remember to see the glass half full. 

I can always talk myself into counting my blessings and geting excited about the least little detail in my life that will add some color to it. I'm very good at self delusion, you could say. That is a blessing in itself. I learned to do this as a child when there was a lot of strive around me from which I had to emotionally escape. It wasn't the presence of good experiences that created happiness. It was the absence of bad ones that did it.

I think I will go back to bed and try to sleep some more. The animals are still in a sleepy mode so I may as well also be. 

Have a good Sunday.

Ciao,
Irene


Friday, May 18, 2012

In charge again...


Whatever was bothering me, has stopped doing so. It has stopped making me feel stressed and anxious and left me feeling relaxed and happier. It stopped this afternoon and I've been much pleased ever since. I've celebrated that with several cups of coffee and they in turn made me feel much better too, so it was a double joyful happening. I don't feel that anything can go wrong now. 

I'm enjoying this time as much as I can and am relishing the easiness of it. Hardly anything seems complicated anymore. Things I worried about before seem so benign in nature now. I laugh at the fact that I was intimidated by them earlier. I've certainly found my courage again. I guess you have to hit the bottom a bit before you bounce back up. Luckily, I didn't hit it too hard. 

It goes to show you that you mustn't get too caught up in your temporary moods. They may only be of short nature but you can spend a lot of that time worrying about things when all you need to do is wait for the mood to change. Unfortunately, a person is never smart enough to realize that or maybe some people are very even natured and they don't go through these ups and downs so much. When attacked by stress, I do. 

It usually takes a good dose of realism to get me on the path of the straight and narrow again and that is where I am now. There aren't many bends in the road anymore. Before there were many twists and turns and the whole situation was unforeseeable. I felt I might miss a curve and get a fatal accident. Now I'm cruising along merrily and in charge again and I'm going along at the right speed. 

All this speaking in metaphores does not become me and I'll stop right now and get to reality on all fronts. 

I've just peeled an apple for the dog and he is very happily chowing down on it. Actually, he does eat it very delicately for a dog. He takes rather small bites as if he wants to make it last. He's always very disappointed when he's eaten it all and looks all over the place for bits and pieces. He eats to efficiently for there to be any.

The apartment is  clean and the dishes have been done. I'm ready for the weekend. All I have to do is change the bed and walk the dog. 

Have a good one.

Ciao,
Irene


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Some thoughts...


I have just woken up from a nap and for the first time today hardly feel any stress. That nap must have helped me get over it. Maybe I needed the sleep to reset my mind. Maybe I wasn't ready this morning to get up out of bed yet. I may have gotten up prematurely. 

Whatever it was, I'm doing a lot better now and am much more relaxed. It is possible too that I am because the day is almost over and it isn't looming ahead of me anymore with all its responsibilities. Not that I have that many but I'm always accutely aware of the role I play in my own life and that of the animals and I never do feel quite in charge. 

That is until I have taken a nap in the afternoon and get up again. For some reason everything seems much simpler then and I can face life as it is with whatever comes with it. I do count my blessings at the end of the day. 

I felt too much stress earlier to do the relaxation exercises that I learned yesterday although they doubtlessly would have helped me very much. I kept waiting for the right moment to do them but it never came. I suppose that I'm going to have to create the right moment myself. I keep reaching for old methods while new ones should work now. I just have to try and get into the habit. 

In another life, I used to do a lot of gardening and my mind has been going back to that time. I'm thinking about the things I would have done differently knowing what I do now and how I would create a garden if I had the opportunity to do so again.

More than anything, gardening was a very relaxing activity. It was something I got lost in and could spend hours doing. When I was not actually gardening, I spent much time looking at the garden while I enjoyed drinking a cup of coffee and smoked my cigarettes. It was a great pleasure to watch things grow and you do have to have patience for that. 

I would enjoy that kind of activity again and I dream about having another garden in California. Maybe some day my wish will come true. 

Ciao,
Irene

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

So far, so good...


I have temporarily misplaced the dog and have no idea where he is in the apartment. I greeted him this morning when I woke up but when I got back from going to the toilet, he was nowhere to be found. I'm sure he'll show up again but this is a new one to me. He must be gaining his independence as he never is far away from me. 

I slept well in spite of not having taken that tranquilizer. I was up for a while during the night but I did go back to sleep and get enough rest. I don't feel any sort of withdrawal effect. I think I was taking so little that it hardly makes a difference.

This afternoon I've got an appointment with the relaxation therapist. This time we will really get down to the actual work. I'm a little bit nervous about it. I do admit that. I don't know how well I will do this. I suppose I can be a total failure at it and learn it from scratch. I don't have to be perfect at it from the start. 

I suppose that is still my problem. I want to be perfect at everything I do and set my standards too high. I have to go in there today with a different attitude. I have to act like I don't know how to relax and that I have to learn it from the beginning. That will be a lot better than acting as if I've already got the thing down pat. 

I've got to go and get dressed and find the dog. It's time to take him for a walk. It looks like it's going to rain and I want to go out there before it does. 

I hope you'll all have a good day. 

Ciao,
Irene

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Early on a Tuesday morning...


I am all out of tranquilizers so I didn't take one last night before I went to sleep. As a result, I didn't sleep as much as I usually do. I was a little bit off balance this morning when I got up but a cup of coffee soon fixed that. I was up very early but I can always take a nap later in the day if I feel like it. Today is not going to be a busy day at all so there will be lots of opportunity for it.

That one tranquilizer at night was the only one I took anymore. I knew I was running out and purposely didn't get a refill. I wanted to get off them because I realized I was under the influence of them when I got up in the middle of the night and sat behind the computer. I do want my mind to be as clear as it can be at all times and that was not the case. I was always a little bit high when I wrote my blog posts. 

I also take a sleeping pill. It's more a "fall asleep" pill and is only supposed to work for a few hours. I take the lowest dose but I'm sure I'm hooked on it too and it would be nice if I got off that one also. I must try that in the near future, although my psychiatrist said once that it is not a high priority. I will first see how well I do without the tranquilizers and then see about that sleeping pill. There's no rush, of course. 

Maybe I will be like a newborn woman and get lots of energy without the tranquilizer. It is nice to fantasize about. It would be great to have a little more get up and go. Sometimes I feel lazy but I wonder if I'm just not drugged. Time will tell. 

The dog is still asleep on the sofa. He won't be ready to start the day for a while. It's much too early for him. I'm ready to get the day started but I wouldn't know what to do with it right away. I have nothing pressing on my agenda. That's the problem. I don't have a busy enough schedule when I feel good. My schedule is fine when things don't go so well amd I need lots of time and energy to take care of myself. But now? 

I hope you'll all have a great day.

Ciao,
Irene


Monday, May 14, 2012

A thrill a minute...


That's not really true. I'm not having a thrill a minute at all but I wish I did, I'm ceratinly in the mood for it but since it's in the middle of the night, I wouldn't know how to get one. It felt like I was going to when the first cup of coffee worked its magic on me and the caffeine hit my system. I got a bit of a high out of it but I've since calmed down again. I'm back to business as usual and that's much more boring. I'm the only person I know who gets calmed down from a cup of coffee. 

The return to my regular dose of medication has left me very "normal" again and I do embrace that. My days and my moods have become predictable again and I feel good for the most part. There are no big surprises in how I will feel. On the scale of craziness, I'm not crazy anymore. I fall completely within the acceptable norms. This can be a little dull but it is less painful. Being on an emotional rollercoaster is a thrill but scary, especially when it isn't caused by outside events but simply because of your own state of mind. 

There's nothing like having the dull roar of peacefulness settle in your head so you can sit n silence and not be bothered by obtrusive and painfully penetrating thoughts that all vie for attention at the same time which all make you feel that you're a train wreck that's about to happen. You could actually become the causalty of your own thoughts and god forbid the very notion. You could end your life simply to prevent the onslaught of negative input that never seems to end and causes so much confusion.

The occasional highs you have are simply islands in the sea of turmoil that you land on for a brief time out. They are not very safe either because they give a fals impression of your reality. They don't reflect anything accurately. You feel that you've landed in a "normal" place but it is anything but. You can't really make any sort of sensible decision in this state of mind. You are just as deluded. Somehow you have to try and find the middle ground and decide on a course of action then. That's what will help you out of the mess. 

Those are my observations for the last few weeks. I can speak with hindsight now. Wisdom comes after the fact when everything has been said and done. Luckliy there were no casualties. Nobody was harmed in the gaining of this knowledge. Well, I did get metally beat up a little bit but it left no scars. 

I hope you're all having a good night.

Ciao,
Irene






Saturday, May 12, 2012

Back to the future...


I've stopped reducing my anti-psychotic medication and have gone back to the original dose.I figured there was no need to go through all that stress and anxiety and near craziness because I had it in my head to get along on a lesser dose. I consider the reduction to be a failed experiment and I will let my psychiatrist know on Monday. 

I do have to tell you that since increasing the dose, I feel a lot better, but that maybe because of the sedative qualities of the medication. I will have to be on this dose for a couple of days to really be able to tell the difference. I do feel a lot of relief and am glad that the reality of the situation dawned on me. 

It did take a while but in the end common sense prevailed. I was short of that for some time and could not think straight very well. It was especially bad in the morning when I was run over by an avalanche of anxiety. That was a tough way to start the day and I don't recommend it to anyone. 

It's better to sit in peacefulness and solitude and drink your coffee quietly when you first get up. The most you want to do is pet your dog or cat. That's how it should be. A person should always have a gentle start. 

I've had some coffee just now and walked the dog so I am in near perfect shape. I've had my caffeine and some fresh air which were just what I needed. I'm no health nut but I do know that I have to get out of the apartment every once in a while and stretch my limbs. Thank goodness that I have the dog to take me. 

It wouldn't quite work out with the cat unless I was willing to jump over fences and garden gates. That would be one way to get a work out but I'm afraid I'm not that limber or strong. I probably couldn't pull up my own weight to clamber over a fence. I would have had to have long years of practice. 

I hope you're all having a good day. 

Ciao,
Irene








Friday, May 11, 2012

Chilled to the bone...


It's with some amount of pleasure that I sit here with my cup of coffee and my cigarettes at the end of the afternoon. I thought initially that I was going to need a nap but once I had some caffeine in me, I quite perked up and now I feel like a million dollars. I haven't been in such a good mood for quite a while and it is very welcome. I won't analyze it because it's too precious for that. I will just accept it for what it is and enjoy it. 

The coffee tastes very good and I think with this cheap little coffeemaker I can't make a bad cup. It's really a primitive little thing and I really should get a much better one but it does turn out good coffee. I really think it's because of the measuring spoon that it came with. I'm finally getting the amount of ground coffee right. I was putting in way too much before and made coffee that knocked my socks off. 

The domestic help has been here and I can now look forward to the weekend which in my eyes has already started. I have the rest of this day off and I can do with it as I please. I will take advantage of that and totally indulge myself. I do feel I deserve it after a long suffering week of many moods and much stress. I sure as heck don't want to repeat that any time soon. Whose idea was that anyway.? 

The day went by quickly but it always does when you're in a good mood. The time flies by and I didn't get up all that late either. It rained in the morning but I paid it no mind and took the dog out between showers. The grass had been cut and all the buttercups and daisies in the fields were gone. I do dislike that because they looked so cheerful. I thought the buttercups especially looked very nice. 

The sun has come out and it is shining into the living room making it a little bit warmer in here. That does make a difference and I wish it would come out earlier in the day. When it gets chilly, I feel like putting on all my winter clothes and I´m sure it´s the wrong time of the year for that. You want to stay optimistic because it´s May, regardless of what the weather does. You dare the sun to come out and show itself. 

If I were downtown now, I would sit on a cafĂ© terrace under an umbrella and have a hot chocolate. Then I would participate in our favorite sport and watch the people go by. That reminds me that I haven´t been to the movies in a while and I have no idea what´s showing. I must look on the film theater´s website and see what the latest movies are. 

It´s time to eat. I must feed my body too. I can´t live on coffee alone. 

I hope you´ll all have a good evening.

Ciao,
Irene

I'm just lucky...


I suppose it's a good thing that I get up in the middle of the night also when I am in a more "normal" mood than I  have been during the day. You wouldn't think there was anything wrong with me now compared to yesterday when I had such a struggle with myself. I do seem like a totally different person now, except by all appearances I still look the same. I just don't have that crazed look in my eyes. 

I don't know why I had such a hard time yesterday and it seems very odd now looking back on it. It was a little bit like being stuck in a bad dream. Looking back on it now it feels like I was a little bit crazy for a while and I wonder if I'm going to be it again today. At least I will have this post to look back on to remind me that I can also be perfectly normal. Whatever that's supposed to be but you get my drift.

I wonder if part of the problem was that I had slept through the night and didn't at all get up to sit behind the computer and have my usual cups of coffee. I slept through the night and woke up at a decent time in the morning and from that point on never did get the day right. That's a complete departure from my usual schedule and it may have upset my equilibrium. I'm that easily disturbed. 

I don't do well with change and as a rule like everything to be the same and predictable. I normally don't like changes in my schedule and do like to plan everything ahead of time. That's why I don't like to make long airplane flights because the differences in time upset me. I generally like to stay put. 

I didn't always used to be this way but I have gotten so as I got older and more set in my ways. I guess I'm less flexible now and don't adapt as quickly. 

It's with some amount of pleasure that I sit here now and realize that I can enjoy these quiet hours of the night before I have to go back to bed. I don't have to get up at a particular time in the morning, although I do have a couple of chores to do before the domestic help gets here early in the afternoon. I won't worry about that too much and assume those will get done and she'd be the first to forgive me if they weren't. I will make the effort however.

I have many dishes to wash because I have used every plate that was in the cupboard. That's never happened before but it's what happens when you don't get around to your usual jobs. I've also only got one tall glass left to drink milk from. So you see, that's a high priority chore. The more I put it off, the less I felt like doing it. I will plunge head deep into it in the morning. I will be up to my elbows into the suds. 

I hope you're all having a good night and that you're either sleeping or otherwise amusing yourselves. 

Ciao,
Irene

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Another cup of coffee...


I realize that I've got to make some more coffee if I want to feel at all better than I do now. It will be a last ditch effort. It is the only thing I know to do that I think will help. It is either that, or crawl back into bed. I'm not exactly in the mood for that because it is too early in the day for a nap. I've got to find another way to cheer up.

I woke up this morning with a headache and pain in my neck and shoulders, so that was not a good beginning to the day. I also felt very stressed and my thoughts raced through my mind almost from the minute I got up. They jumped from one subject to the other at amazing speeds. I don't know what to blame that on.

I seemed to do a bit better after I took my medicines but that may have all been in my magination. I don't think I have really improved that much. I'm a bit calmer now maybe. 

I have to try and find the magic formula to peacefulness. I know that I am capable of this because I have felt it in the past. It may have been quite by chance that I felt it but I know it exists. If I do everything just right, maybe I will feel it again. Writing these thoughts down helps a lot too. 

Sometimes I find it very difficult to be me, especially when I can't find my peace and quiet. When they are so elusive that I'm left with nothing but free floating anxiety. 

I've had my first cup of coffee and I feel somwhat better now. I suppose that was a good choice then. It's straightening out my head to some extend. 

I was supposed to do some paperwork today that I have been putting off and have not yet found the right moment for. It's not very complicated but does require me to pay attention and it is a responsible job. I can't do it when I'm stressed. It literally makes me sick just thinking about it. I will put it off until this weekend when I will feel less pressure on me. 

Yesterday, as if by some miracle, I started reading a book. It is one I got for Christmas on the workings of the brain. I hope it keeps continuing to capture me and that I will finish it. So far it is interesting but I won't be able to concentrate on it if I feel this amount of stress. I will make myself sit down and try to read it again today for about an hour. Anything to do with the brain is fascinating to me. 

First I will find some other relaxing activities to do behind the computer. The dog has stopped bothering me and has gone to sleep. I was waiting for that to happen. He's a little spoiled sometimes and won't eat his kibbles. 

I hope you're all having a good day.

Ciao,
Irene


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The proper mood...


I've been sitting here for a while trying to get in the right mood to write a post. I was feeling very grumpy and could not think of a nice thing to write. I knew I would have to change my attitude because I didn't want this to tunr into one great lament. I had to do a bit of self analysis and drink a glass of ice cold milk. I think I've got the attitude problem sorted out and the milk has made me feel a lot better too.

Just as easily as I can get very optimistic, I can also get into a total funk. It is usually short lived but intense. There is usually a reason for it because it's about something that's bothering me a lot and something that I really need to rant about. Since I don't have that possibility, I have to work it out on my own. I have a mini storm rage inside of me but at a certain point it boils down to a mild simmer and then I don't feel so bad anymore. 

After wrestling with this particular issue, I'm left feeling very tired and I really want to go back to bed and sleep. I will postpone that a little while and finish this post.I don't have an appointment until 1:30 pm and I have enough time to sleep. This appoinment is to practice relaxation and breathing techniques and it's something completely new for me.

Well, that's not true. I do know relaxation techniques and do apply them but not on a regular enough basis. I do know how to get back in the moment very well but there are crucial times when I forget. It has to become second nature. 

I will be a perfect human being yet.

I need to go back to bed. I'm so tired. 

Have a good night you all.

Ciao,
Irene




Monday, May 07, 2012

After all's been said and done.


I'm drinking coffee because it's the most agreeable beverage I can drink (even better than ice cold milk) and it's putting me in a very good mood. Now, if you had your choice, wouldn't you do the same thing and fill yourself with some caffeine? 

I know it's only a semi-permanent effect and that it will wear off again and that it will not prevent me from sleeping tonight. As soon as I quit drinking the coffee and switch to something else, I will start mellowing out again and I will be yawning by the time it is bedtime. 

I'm almost always an optimist and today I most certainly am.

It must be because today the sun has been shining, except for the occasional cloud, and it cast its light into the living room for most of the afternoon, making it nice and warm in here.  It does make me feel more cheerful but I already was anyway. 

I was from the moment I got up this morning and was merrily greeted by the dog. What a way to start the day. I drank my coffee and smoked my cigarettes in all peacefulness and silence. I had given myself an hour to get myself together and that was enough. Then I was ready to get the show on the road and the first thing I did was take the dog for a walk in the crispy morning air. 

I've done all the things that I planned to do today and I consider it successful. I hope I will repeat myself tomorrow when it will be a little less hectic. I will still have to accomplish things but they will all have to be done at home which will simplify the process.

I've ordered another denim jacket on line which will be delivered in the afternoon. It's a gray one with little pink flowers. It will match the clothes that my blue denim one doesn't. I live in my blue denim jacket, except for when it needs to be washed and then I miss it sorely. It's become an inseperable part of me.

I've started to pay attention more to the way I look. I had neglected that a little bit lately and put my clothes on without much care to the details. Today I've got a scraf draped around my neck that I haven't worn in a long time and I'm pleased with the effect. I picked it up instinctively, not knowing how it would look. It was the right choice. 

One of my rings has fallen off my finger and I don't know when it happened so I don't know where to look for it. It could be anywhere. It's a shame because it's one I liked a lot, although it was not an expensive one. That's how skinny my fingers have become and I wish my stomach would follow suit.

Thank goodness that I can see clearly now because the domestic help has washed the windows.

Ciao,
Irene

Sunday, May 06, 2012

A rainy Sunday.


It's only 7 degrees Celsius outside and it's been raining on and off all day. I haven't seen the blue sky yet, let alone any sunshine. I know there was a super moon during the night but it was not visible here because of the overcast sky. I missed that spectacle completely. I have to say that I don't feel especially energized or rebirthed or anything because of the close proximity of the moon to the earth. I guess that effect didn't work on me.

I'm doing jobs around the apartment. Now that I've struggled with and overcome my depression, it's time to take care of the things that were left undone for a while. Not all of them will get done today but that's not my intention. Whatever I don't get to today will get done later this week. I will have a clean bed to get into tonight anyway. I made darn sure of that. 

The dog thinks it's great fun to strip the bed and put the clean sheets on. He's always right in the middle of things, not realizing that he's actually very much in the way. I have to calculate his presence in with every move I make and that is after I've removed the cat from the bed much to her displeasure. The job does get done and the dog helps me put the dirty sheets in the washing machine too. He thinks that's very interesting. Heck, he thinks he has to be present at and on top of everything I do. 

I've put the red fleece blanket on top of the duvet because the dog was a little cold at night. Now I can tell that he's a bit more comfortable and the cat seems to like it too. I can throw it in the washing machine easily and it is dry in no time at all. I should have a couple of them in different colors and replace one with the other to change the scenery. I hope to go to Ikea again soon and see what's available. Maybe I can get my sister in the mood for a trip over there. 

I had a big load of dishes to do that I hadn't gotten around to doing for a couple of days. I wasn't in the proper mood before and that hasn't happened in a long time. First I set most of them to soak in very hot soapy water. As many of them as I could get to fit into the basin. When I could stand the temperature of the water, I scrubbed them clean and was done before I knew it. It turned out not to be such a bad job after all. These things always look worse than they are. 

The apartment is pretty much organized now and ready for the domestic help tomorrow. I'm going to have a busy day because my personal helper is going to be here in the morning and I also have an appointment with my therapist in between. After the fact, it's not really necessary but we didn't know that when we planned it. I'm doing ever so much better than I was two days ago. There's a world of difference and you wouldn't even think I was the same person. 

Tomorrow it's going to be 16 degrees Celsius, so that's quite a difference. Have a great day!

Ciao,
Irene

Friday, May 04, 2012

I've got my shoes...


...and I think that I will be wearing them a lot as long as I'm not wearing a dress on a regular basis. I don't seem to do that very much anymore hooked as I am on skinny jeans. I'll have to wait and see what the weather is going to do in the near future. If it is going to get any warmer and make it necessary for me to wear different clothes or if it's going to stay chilly and rainy like it has been.

Anyway, the walking shoes arrived and I put them on and they fit perfectly. Thank goodness that I'm such an average size by Dutch standards. Usually things fit me just fine. These shoes are great. It is like walking on air cushions. The only problem with them is that my feet do get very warm in them and my feet aren't used to being warm. They are usually on the cold side and that's more comfortable for me.

It may have to do with the fact that these shoes are weather proof and contain a special lining. This means they will be very nice to wear in the wintertime but I wonder how they will be when the weather is hot? I probably won't wear any socks. Maybe that will help.

On another subject, this depression I am fighting is a mean sun of a gun. I have to literally struggle it to the ground and arm wrestle it for position. This one is so evil that I can't give it any space and I don't want to give it any ground to move around on. I will defeat it and I'm not going to give it an inch. I will be more stubborn than it.

At least I got a good start to the day. I woke up early but the sun was already shining in a bright blue sky so the first few hours of my day were pleasant. The first thing I did when I got up was to open the curtains in the living room so I wouldn't have to turn on any lights. Things cheered up immediately and my first cup of coffee tasted good too. The dog slept late so I didn't have to take him out right away.

I can face the first few hours of the day. It's the hours between the morning and the evening that are the hardest. They are when I struggle and I have to try and get through them in the best possible way. Sometimes that is very difficult. Today the Exfactor and the domestic help were here so that helped some.

Now it's almost evening and the day is coming to an end. I am no longer discouraged but see the sense of being alive again for just a little while. It will last long enough until it's time to go to bed. I just imagine my soul standing up very straight and being very powerful and resilient. It's bending in the storm, not breaking. It has to be strong  and flexible enough to withstand any kind of force.

If there was ever a time to believe in myself, then this is it. I hope I have the faith to do that.

Ciao,
Irene

Thursday, May 03, 2012

I'll not give it a thought...


The other day, when the Exfactor did the groceries for me, I forgot to have him buy the ground coffee and now I am almost out of it. Luckily, I still had some of the good brand of instant coffee left and I have been drinking that. It hasn't been as awful as you think. I make sure I get the water really hot before I spoon more than enough instant coffee in it and then add a generous amount of milk. 

This way I have an almost perfect cup of coffee and it doesn't taste bad at all. I don't make funny faces when I take the first sip and it doesn't make me shudder when I swallow it. I can actually say that I look forward to drinking it and that I sometimes even have a second cup, although the first cup usually suffices. I certainly make it strong enough and it carries a punch. 

I just had a cup and now I'm bright eyed and bushy tailed. I had to have some coffee because I was somewhat discombobulated by the unofficial nap that I took on top of the duvet but under the red fleece blanket in the company of the dog. Since it is a cold day, I had also turned on the heater so the apartment was nice and warm and consequently my nap lasted longer than I had intended. 

For a change, I'm very comfortable and not at all chilled. Even my hands are warm which doesn't happen very often. I think it must be because of my low blood pressure that they are always so cold, just like the tip of my nose. It usually feels like an ice cube but that is not a problem right now. 

I'm waiting for a package to arrive. In it will be my new and, hopefully, comfortable walking shoes. I hope they are everything I expect them to be because my feet really need them. I haven't had a pair of sensible shoes since I left the States and have always walked on shoes or boots that were meant to be pretty but not necessarily good to walk in. 

Now that I'm getting older, I'm becoming less vain and more concerned about my feet. And I do want to walk longer distances with the dog without getting sore feet and a backache. That much became clear to me when I had to take him to the trim salon. I can walk that distance but I do need good footwear. 

I'm completely trying to ignore my depression. I'm pretending that I don't have it and that everything is great. I think that's the best way to deal with it. That's one subject matter less to talk about. 

I hope you're all having a good day. 

Ciao,
Irene



Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The black dog...


I didn't really want to mention it but the depression that I talked about some time ago never did leave me. It simmered beneath the surface all along and in the last few days it has become more active again. I find it very difficult to be cheerful and to have hope and my thoughts are mostly rather morose.

It's to the point now that I'm not happy to be alive and that I wish for a way out. Unfortunately, I don't know of an easy way to do that. I have tried not to be alive in the past numerous times and failed. I won't be so foolish as to try those methods again. All I can hope is that the depression will leave me and that I will see the sense of living again. 

I did see my therapist this afternoon and was able to unload some of my mind but it did not feel like a relief. I felt like I could have sat there for hours and cried uncontrollably for all of them. That's how much of a load I'm carrying with me. It's all old grief and contrary to what I claimed yesterday, it seems that I do walk around with a lot of sadness from the past. I have many regrets and feel much guilt. 

It was three weeks since I saw my therapist and that was too much time. I walked around with these feelings on my own and did not try to contact her or my psychiatrist. It's as though I have to grit my teeth and bear them. As if it is my fate in life that I have them. It doesn't dawn on me to reach out for help. It's like I have to relearn that every time. 

I'm sitting here now with my second cup of coffee and my cigarettes and I feel like I've got a hangover. Or like I've done something really bad. Like I've betrayed the cause. The cause is keeping up appearances and not letting anyone know how bad life has been. Or how bad it still is. 

I suppose everybody involved has their excuses and that's how we keep the chain intact. Nobody is willing or able to accept the responsibility. I take it all on myself. I'm tired of playing my role and I'm not going to do it anymore. I'll not be the black sheep and the sacrificial lamb. 

Ciao,
Irene


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Moving on from here...


I'm fortunate enough to be able to put the past behind me and to move forward or at least to live in the moment and to not get lost in thoughts of what has been. Now that I think about it, I think I very much live in the moment and that I spend not much time thinking about the future while I maybe really should. I'm always so concerned with feeling good right now at this moment that I don't spend much time looking ahead. Maybe I should do a little more of that. Sometimes it is necessary to make plans.

I have to write things down in my agenda in order for them to get done. If I don't do that, they will go unnoticed and stay left undone past their due date. It's because I'm oblivious of their importance and don't remember that I have to take care of them. I even have to put taking out the trash in my agenda or else I'll forget.

When I say that I can put the past behind me, I don't mean that I don't draw any lessons from it. I do ponder on it a bit but I don't get stuck in it. I don't beat myself up over it. There is closure and I try not to let it play a too important role in the rest of my life. I don't want there to be too much of an onslaught on my mind about what has been unless it involves pleasant memories and I do treasure them.

Not many pleasant things happen in my life which is mostly just a long and boring journey. I must say though that I'm the one who wished it to be like that. After having had a very eventful life with many ups and downs it seemed like a good alternative. I would like for my life to be more exciting but excitement covers a lot of ground and it could go either way. You don't always choose the events that take place in it. Sometimes things can go seriously wrong.

I suppose that's all I have to say today. The dog wants to go for a walk and I have to take him and then watch the news.

Ciao,
Irene