The Pristine Page


Goodbye 2016….hello WEEK 45!

I cannot recall if I shared aloud my intention to slow things down for the month of December.  I think hubby and a few select insiders heard this declaration….and it was sincere, especially since November was so unusually full.  I counted the days left before being able to breathe….rest.  I imagined the sudden cool air that would fill my anxious lungs with refreshing waves of calm, compared to the hot, hurried gulps of oxygen being desperately shuttled to my run off feet and weary arms.

In my best, self-aware analysis, I knew what was needed.


The kind of balance my previous 44 Weeks of concentrated reflection has revealed to be essential to living a great life.

Yet balance, is escaping me.

No center.

I shake and wobble my way through objectives and deadlines, spewing out more results than initially planned, all under a massive mission of YES….

….that magical, powerful word….taking ordinary skills and abilities to their brink.  Its natural nemesis….NO….waiting to pull the proverbial pin, if given a small window of opportunity that never comes….historically overshadowed by a hammed up crowd pleaser….that superstar….YES.

This is not the first time I have been in this arena.  In fact, I might be considered a professional YES girl, born to do what others put off, eager to achieve more than a regular bear, convinced all hours of each 24, must be compacted with productivity.

Little research has been conducted into the quality of this productivity, but I am quite sure it has a direct link on how I gauge my personal worth.  However, knowing this, does not prevent the imbalance from happening.

What am I missing?

Swing after swing, I am striking out on finding life balance.

This will be my mantra for 2017….and Week 45, as I figure out….how to build Generosity With ME.

My initial thought on this new topic was that it would be easy.  Well timed during the holiday season….potentially aligning with multiple benevolent themes….it promised to be effortless and perfect for my overextended brain and body.

As soon as December rolled in, it hit.  A tsunami wave of sparkling ideas.

Who can I bless?

How would I do it?

What would it take?

When will it happen?

I would like to say I rode this gigantic wave with poise, agilely maneuvering through schedules and details to obtain the ultimate outcome….everything perfectly wrapped and ready….bows, ribbons, lights, tree, treats, photos, cards, decorations, calendars, handmade gifts, letters, postage….all while staying within a carefully considered budget.  Happily, I stayed within the predetermined amount of spending, however, many other things were neglected.  I flung items and tasks around as if they might magically come together on their own.

Here are the casualties….

Candles still in bubble wrap, cookie tins empty (except the gifted one on top), randomly placed peanut tin and a neglected Santa….

Started this 4 weeks ago….

Letters unwritten….poinsettia demolished….

Rouge family photos….and probably worst of all….

…an unwrapped baby under the Christmas tree!

Did I mention staying on budget this year? 🙂

What if I had a time budget?  What if I could triage people and priorities….

Maybe train myself to deploy strategies to decline requests, even when they come from my own brain….something to trigger alarms for when an allotted time is coming to an end….

Perhaps I could track statistics for how I use time, increasing my accuracy for predicting future amounts necessary….

This would be a huge shift of perspective!

Instead of recklessly squishing as much into time as possible, time would be carved out with care and efficiency.  Sounds great in theory, but does not sound like ME.

Fact about AJ….there needs to be a very good reason for me to change.  It might be a stubborn streak….or on the spectrum of lazy….perhaps it borders that fine line of quirky, but whatever the cause, there is usually a significant lag in time between knowing I need to make a change, and making it.

Even when the consequences are dire….it is a tough road to initiate a change.

When I was young, a Grade 2 teacher made a note in my report card saying, I often forgot my shoes and came back late from recess….and….nothing has changed.  I chronically forget items I set my mind to remember and still come back from recess late.  Always.  My busy-fun is too distracting, which I sort of like, so probably see no reason to change.  Sorry family.  Still waiting for mama, I guess.

In a 14 year marriage….13 of those being violent….it took me 5 years to realize I needed to leave and the other 9 to actually do it….WOWSA….what kind of timelag is that….seems to be a good reason for change….survival….yet it was a slow, reticent process

Last year, I began a healthier eating program that I am still on today, keeping off weight that took many months to lose….my physical body proving to be slow to change as well….but all due to a photo hubby took of my backside….YIKES….that photo was a very good reason to change.  In reflection, losing weight was one of the most Generous things I did for myself last year.

So my abysmal failure to slow things down this month must stem from not having a good enough reason to do it.  Which leads me back to Generosity….

I am fully prepared to say, that after a month of feeling out of whack, out of steam and out of breath….I am officially the biggest Scrooge when it comes to being Generous with myself.

My judgements….brutally harsh and ignore any positive actions.

My expectations….unrealistic with stingy deadlines.

My demands….exclude the overall wellness of their singular, primary subject….ME.

Sadly, I have not yet found an antidote to this dis-ease of my life….this chronic ailment that absorbs all granules of time not nailed down, already committed to something.  Does this mean I have given up on finding a way to remedy this plight….that I am destined to afford myself a Scrooge-like life?

Although it is tempting to give in….excuse it away, accept the fact that this is me….and I am not likely to change; Not in a spirit of defeat, but rather, as a decision to tolerate my suffering….

Ahhhh….now this is familiar terrain….enduring insufferable emotional conditions for the sake of the bed.  Yes, THE bed, that people say is made and now must be laid in….quite possibly the worst advice to rattle through the hallways of my mind while wondering if I should be looking for an escape door….or perhaps a window….even a handy airshaft for those tunnel like moments; Anything, except pretending to be strong, staying in the messes, and accepting punishment for being there in the first place.

Where did this faulty philosophy land me, besides almost as a psychiatric patient ?  Learning that it did not serve….or save ME.  It certainly did not restore or grow ME.

So what advice do I have for ME as I plunge into a new year….a pristine page….a fresh start toward achieving balance?

Stop lying in that bed of busy that leads to exhaustion, afraid of appearing to be anything less than a Superwoman, relentlessy pushing to achieve more….be more. 

Instead of budgeting time, I have created goals that require positive, healthy chunks of my energy, which I am determined to use as a strategy to limit my urges to randomly fill every space.  I also commit to Patiently observing any doubts or obstacles my slow to change mind brings up, trusting there are many ways to achieve success….and to forgive myself for not wearing pants everyday….

I have Generously given myself these goals:

#1 – 30 Days of Yoga….quiet and focussed….it is simple breathing with movement and stretch….for 30 consecutive days.  Easy, right?  I had to drag myself out of the door on Day 1!  I am 3 for 3 and heading out the door soon for Day 4….

#2 – Another Nutritional Cleanse….purging toxins, processing clean foods, regenerating tired cells….last year it restored my fitness level to normal, so I cannot wait to see where it goes from here….

#3 – Run….specifically, a half marathon.  Which has now morphed into 3 half marathons, a side effect of challenging others to join you….they challenge you back!

Breathe and Bend.

Fuel for Fitness.

Burn Rubber….and Blog.