Well, Autumn has officially arrived, and in my neck of the woods I am happy to see the back of a Summer that never really got past Spring.
It wasn’t all bad, certainly nothing like other parts of Godzone. No torrential rain, no huge land slides, the ground never shook and indoors, behind glass, you could feel the heat of a summer sun. But the wind was relentless, it just never gave up and scuttled all our plans for the great outdoors.
We live on top of a small mountain and wind velocity determines which exterior doors we can prise open on any given day. This summer we had trouble prising open any door every day with wind swirling into every nook and cranny. Ordinarily, being housebound doesn’t really bother us. We are well used to bunkering indoors for weeks on end. The extensive glass windows offer very spectacular all-round views so we can always enjoy the outside from within.
But, the family was visiting and our house is very cosy and quite communal, with all the rooms opening into the living area. And our one bathroom can be quite tricky for privacy with an external glass door.
So, after the Christmas festivities were done, the board games exhausted, and the weather starting to impact on happy family relations, the parents packed up and headed home, leaving the grandchildren behind. We love having the grandchildren to stay. It’s actually easier without the parents. You can feed them food they will eat, skip baths and showers – no point indoors all day – and the tellie can run all day long. And that’s when I started spiralling downwards into my habit of worrying.
You see, while the kids were playing board games or raiding the fridge I was locked into Trump and Brexit. It was compelling tellie, but at the same time I found it quite disturbing and worrisome. And when the Queen came down with a very nasty cold and couldn’t attend a special church service, I spiralled a little more.
My husband could see I was struggling again, trying to solve the unsolvable, and suggested we get out for a drive. We rounded up the grandchildren, packed the car, and headed off to the beach. I was sure we could find a nice sheltered spot somewhere, tucked away from the sandy wind. Well, we were back home within the hour, sand and wind battered with everyone in need of a hot shower.
A couple more days of tellie and board games and I felt the need to get out again. But this time the boys chose to stay home, so it was just me and like-minded granddaughter.
We decided a bush walk would be a great way to escape the wind and after checking the billboard options we headed for the “short” loop. Four hours later we trudged back into the carpark. I’m not sure where we went wrong. I didn’t really get a chance to ask tramp leader as she was usually well ahead or waiting for me to catch up, and talk was more about the present view than what lay ahead. We admired waterfalls, trekked through beautiful native bush, listened to bird life and, amazingly, my mind had stopped thinking, beyond the next incline.
After tucking into a promised steak and cheese pie we headed home, very pleased with ourselves, in a nice sort of weary way.
Now, this will read as a sales pitch, but I always have a pair of magnetic insoles in my walking shoes. They are such a simple accessory and I tend to forget they are there and how much they help. I can walk for hours at a time, day in day out, and very rarely does it result in sore aching feet. And this prolonged trek was no different.
The next morning we headed south, their parents were finding their home too quiet and wanted their babies back again.
Our “middle” daughter lives down that way so I continued on to her place for a couple of nights. She is our “holistic, new age, just eat real food” daughter and often has a new solution to my worry wort problems. As she helped me unpack, and I swapped her pillows for mine, I mentioned that all-night sleep had become a problem, and not to be concerned if my bedroom light was on at odd hours. I actually have no problem going to sleep it’s just staying asleep, and often find myself wide awake around 2am.
I use a Mulberry Silk Pillow, it’s a good shape and I find it cool and soft on my face. I also use a small magnetic pad and feel they both help a lot. Staying asleep is the problem.
Our “middle” daughter is like me in many ways. We both have a tendancy to over-think things and at times, when a little crisis occurs, we go to the “worst case” scenario. Anyhow, she told she had started this “amazing” self-help routine called “Mindfulness” and she thought it could help me too. So that night she tucked me in and plugged me to her “Mindfulness” tape.
Mindfulness – “A mental state focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings and bodily sensations.”
The gentle holisitic music was very calming and a soothing voice-over eased me into a sleep routine. You just focus on your inner body, starting at the extremeties and working upwards, breathing in and out, deeply and slowly, feeling the rise and fall of each breathe.
If you get distracted, like I did, the voice-over lady reassures you that this is OK and you can just continue from where you have left off. Each time I started to drift into worry thoughts her gentle reminder put me back on track. In a while I drifted away and the next thing it was morning.
I am still a work in progress, but I am slowly changing old habits and trying to breath deeper and slower, not just at night, but during the day as well.
Autumn is my favourite season, the hurricane wind has gone, there is a nice nip in the morning air, and the days are glorious, warm and sunny.
But, I am a little concerned about the tanks, they are getting a bit low and I don’t see any rain on the radar…
CURRENT BONUS SPECIALS BELOW: