Goodbye 2020: A Sunset Delightful + A Secret Disclosed

A trippy sunset in late autumn. Doesn’t it remind you of tie-dye?

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Would you like to know a secret? One that has to do with my word of the year, simplify, and with the plans I made in the beginning of 2020?

Well here it is: On the first day of spring I was planning to go on an extended hiatus from this blog.

Yes, I was all set to say *hasta la vista* to this blog and take spring + summer off, living simply as it were. Then I was going to come back to the blogosphere in the fall, with more bounce in my pounce.

With a new sense of purpose and direction.

A whole new me.

BUT THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN, DID IT?

Instead, as you may remember, the country shut down the week before my intended *see ‘ya later* meaning that Z-D began working from home [8 months now!] and I realized that personal blogging was going to be a good thing to do in the upcoming months.

Something positive to do.

Something normal and reassuring.

So, stating the obvious here, I kept this blog going and have continued to show up with my usual flapdoodle and twaddle, interspersed with helpful hints [I guess], and augmented with a modicum of snark.

Because I can.

And because I wanted to.

However, 2020 has exhausted me both mentally and spiritually. I will not lie.

And because I sense this upcoming holiday season is going to be stressful, zapping my energy in new ways while testing my patience with ill-mannered people, I’ve decided to call it a year, a few weeks early.

Thus I’m out of here until 2021, intending to return with a new word of the year and with a renewed sense of focus. Or maybe it’ll be the *same old same old* word and the *same old same old* focus. I don’t know yet for sure. Who’s to say?

I just know I’m tired, in need of a break from writing.

Stay safe, everyone. Please be here when I get back.

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When Holiday and Pandemic Stress Collide via Psychology Today

How to fight ‘Covid fatigue’ as America heads for a deadly winter via The Guardian

Do you have coronavirus ‘caution fatigue’? via Fox News

What To Say To People Who Say You’re Being ‘Too Safe’ Amid COVID-19 via HuffPost

COVID-19 is not tired of us, says WHO chief via Yahoo! News

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In Which Ms. Bean Hurts Herself While Doing Good, Of Course

This is going to be a rambling blog post. ‘Tis time to tell a story, one that answers why I briefly stopped commenting on blogs, in case you were wondering. And even if you weren’t wondering, here’s the story.

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FACT #1 – About 10 years ago I was in a car accident.  A 17 y.o. neighbor girl child rear ended me as I turned into our driveway.  She was texting instead of paying attention to driving.

As a result of the accident I suffered a rotator cuff injury that, after drugs and a few months of physical therapy, healed with no lasting damage, until two weeks ago.

FACT #2 – Over the years because I didn’t know how to say “NO” I’ve inherited more stuff than you can imagine.  Among said stuff is furniture that is old, usable, but not really worthy of an auction.  More like vintage, slightly distressed furniture that you’d find at a flea market.

FACT #3 –  In August Zen-Den and I decided to contact St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store to see if they still offered free furniture pickup for donations.

The answer was a qualified “YES” in that they’ll pick up furniture that you’ve managed to wrestle to the garage, but they’ll no longer come into your house to carry the furniture out.

FACT #4 – We live in a house on a wooded ravine lot with a walkout basement.  This means that to get furniture from the basement, where it is stored, to the garage, where St. V de P will pick it up, is literally an uphill challenge.

• ❤️ •

In a moment of middle-aged bravado…

Z-D and I said to ourselves WE CAN MOVE THE FURNITURE from the basement, up the side of the hill, to the garage.  And thus we convinced ourselves that we, and by we I mean me, weren’t weak and pathetic and pre-old.

While many pieces of furniture were easily managed because they were small, think end tables or mirrors, other pieces of furniture were awkward to carry.  For instance, there was a large old oak rocking chair, but most notably THERE WAS AN OLD 5’x2’x1.5′ CEDAR CHEST that had been my mother’s hope chest as a girl.

Amazingly we got the rocker up the hill without incident, but THE CEDAR CHEST WAS ALMOST NIGH-ON IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO BALANCE as we trudged up the hill.  It is while carrying this cedar chest and not dropping it that I slipped on the grass on the hill and wrenched my previously injured shoulder.

I instantly knew what had happened, but continued to carry my end of the cedar chest into the garage BECAUSE DAGNABBIT I WAS GOING TO HELP.

• ❤️ •

Well, the rest of this story…

is exactly what you’d expect.  MY SHOULDER HURT LIKE HELL for a few days;  I started alternating ice and heat on it while taking Advil.  I stopped using my arm as much as possible, including reaching out to type on a keyboard.

And now, after about 10 days of TLC, I’m almost back to normal.  There are twinges, but no shooting pain.

As for our donation to the St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store, it went smoothly.  The men arrived as scheduled, were pleasant, took all that we offered them, and ultimately OUR BASEMENT IS MUCH EMPTIER/BETTER because of it.

I’ll heal, but being charmingly cynical by nature I cannot help but think of the old saying: no act of kindness goes unpunished.  I’m glad we donated the furniture, but did I have to get hurt in the process?

Apparently the answer is YES.

• ❤️ •

FYI: Yesterday morning I found this informative + fun article on NPR: Lift Your Head and Lower Your Arms– You Might Just Feel Better

I’ve done what it suggests and today I’m grooving on proper posture, finding it less painful/easier to type. When the student is ready the teacher arrives, eh?

Self-awareness 101: If I Tell You I’m Doing Nothing, This Is What I Mean

…or maybe you won’t. Who’s to say?

OH MY. Cognitive dissonance. I got it.

The other day I realized that I’ve been saying something that’s not necessarily true.

Yes, that would be me, the one known for telling the truth no matter what.

You see, I keep saying that during these last few months of low-key blogging, aka my Summer Hours, I’ve been doing nothing.

That I’ve been a slug, first class, with honors.

That’s what I tell everyone.

BUT the reality is I’ve been doing many, many things behind the scene here in Chez Bean.  Things that are decidedly not interesting or exciting or worthy of a blog post.

And that last point, I realized in a moment of self-awareness, is how I divide my life now.

After all these years of writing a personal blog.

For the heck of it.

TO WIT, there are personal stories, or topics, that go into this blog and there are personal stories, or topics, that aren’t worth the time to muse upon, let alone type onto this virtual page.

I wish I could tell you that I knew when I started to divide the events in my life thusly, but I cannot.

I just know that’s how I do things.

Now.

And that when I say I’m doing nothing I mean: I’m doing nothing that would interest you so I won’t even mention it.

Ally Try Again: Re-evaluating My Rules Of Life, As One Does

As you may recall The Spectacled Bean is on Summer Hours.  

This means I continue to show up here every few weeks. I write about anything that isn’t current events, instead leaning into my penchant for flapdoodle and twaddle.  

Thus I give you the following.  

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Deconstructing What Was

SORTING through old paper files I found the above.  I published it 13 years + 6 months + 21 days ago on January 01, 2007.  I wrote it, complete with disclaimers, in the context of a New Year’s Resolution + my guidelines for how I wanted to live my life.

For many years this is how I approached my life.

However thinking on my rules of life in light of today’s world I find the above useful, but not in step with how I conduct myself now. And that’s where I want to be, not stuck in the past, like some lost soul who longs for what was.

So I sat down with myself and analyzed what I’d written before.  I decided that when it comes to rules of life I liked short action statements that get to the point.

I also decided that I didn’t want my new rules of life to include pithy sayings [like the watermelon seeds one in the example above].  I say pithy things, but those are personal mantras or succinct commentaries on a particular situation rather than actual rules of life.

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Creating What Will Be

PONDERING what my new rules of life might be, I deleted the ones from before that no longer served me.  Then I made the following list of potential rules adding ones that I believe might be helpful now.  In the bracket behind each rule I wrote what core value I was thinking about when I chose this rule.

Do your best [trustworthiness]

Less is more [simplify]

Maximize your options [creativity]

Pay attention, life is in the details [knowledge]

Ditch the mean people [self-respect]

Keep moving forward [growth]

Say thank you often [gratitude]

Follow your muse [authenticity]

Do no harm [kindness]

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Questions Of The Day

Comments, anyone?

Do you have rules of life you follow? If so do you rethink them, then update them from time to time?

This list is not definitive, it’s in process. What am I missing here?

While Spring Rain Falls, Musing On How I Feel Now

A prismatic spectrum of colors resulting from last weekend’s sun shining through beveled glass onto neutral chair fabric. Cool huh?

What a wet week it has been so far.

After a lovely sunny weekend that suggested Summer was here, we’ve been inundated with rain.  Constantly.  The kind of rain that brings flash floods.

Spring is back and says *HA!* fooled you, sucker.

My gardening projects are on hold because I don’t do mud.

Plus I’m a mellow woman so I’ll get to weeding + planting + trimming in due time.  It’s not like the flower beds are going anywhere.  Even with the threat of flash floods I think our yard is safe.  It won’t be washed away.

Thus instead of being outside in the garden I’ve been sitting inside our screened-in porch observing the weather, watching the gray sky above, noticing the monotony of falling rain. This has put me into a contemplative mood about these last few months.

The great pause, as many are calling it.

These long days during which many of us are not doing what we thought we would be doing this Spring.

I find it trippy to realize that everything in society is being transformed around me while I sit at home waiting to see how these changes will affect me and my relationships and my lifestyle.

This colorful and smart graphic clearly demonstrates all the feelings I’ve gone through in these last few months. You too? [Click on graphic to go to source.]

On the one hand I feel completely insignificant.  Passive, even.  Just waiting, twiddling my thumbs.

However on the other hand I feel *hell to the yes* I’m doing something.  I’m actively holding it together in the middle of a pandemic.  I’m demonstrating a bit of grace + tact + cooperation while feeling wistful about, but not dwelling on, what was normal.

A normal we’ll never see again.

I accept that life is different now, but what I think it means for me, how I feel about it?  Well, my feelings are all over the place while the hours pass and I muse a little more.

Waiting to get into the garden, and my life, again.

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

How are you feeling about these last few months? 

Do you find yourself going back and forth, up and down, hither and yon with your feelings?

How do you hope to feel in the future?

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