Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What Have I Been Doing?

You might have noticed a real dearth (I love that word... dearth) of posting lately. And when I do post, it tends to be just a picture. I've really been laxing in my 2011 intention to post three times per week. I don't have any good excuses except that it's been a bit of a rough time lately - work stress, family woes, increased anxiety, etc. I've kind of felt like a slug slowly sliming my way across planet Earth - not particularly motivated to do much of anything.

Oddly enough, it was when my A/C busted today that I started to unfurl from the seed where I'd been hibernating... or, to be more specific, it was in the joy of my A/C returning to me (thanks, Enrique!) that I welcomed a state of pure, unadulterated, freon-chilled enjoyment. So, in order to pep myself up and pull myself out of this July funk* here's a chronicle of some of the things I've been doing that have been making me smile lately (thanks to Shell, who provides inspiration with her Things That Make You Go :D )

1) Pretending that I'm in Spain.
Tonight I ate baguette with quince jam and goat cheese (queso de cabra!). Yesterday I drank some Spanish wine. Last week I ate tapas. Bringing Spain, with its plazas and afternoon resting, back into my life, is a pretty sweet way to perk up a smile.

2) Listening to music.
Music is my happy place. Creating playlists to evoke certain stories or moods, discovering new songs, talking about guitar solos -- all things I love. Luckily, the internet has helped me find like-minded friends who feed my musical passions. My latest obsession? This song (and what a beautiful video accompaniment):

3) Drinking coffee
I was raised in the Northwest. Coffee is like blood to me. Someday, I'll write a post about my quest for coffee that is both fair-trade and organic (to satisfy my motto of "good for people, good for the planet.") That day is not today. I just leave you with this yumminess:

If you travel a lot for work, a cat is the best pet in the world. Cats are independent, but oh-so-loving when you're home. My little guy can certainly take care of himself, but he's also a total "love" who likes to cuddle and be petted. Basically, the best pet ever.

5) Watching TV
People who say "I don't watch TV; there's nothing good on" make me sad.
Why love TV? you might ask Isn't TV just a crass entertainment?
Au contraire (I learned that from TV).
Our human inheritance is stories. Sometimes, I think that stories are all we have: stories that begin remember that one time, stories of despair-then-triumph and vice versa, stories of drill bits* in toes and stories of frogs who become princes, stories of the black night that becomes the starry moment before dawn. And TV is our current campfire, the place where we collectively come to spin our stories. Summer, with True Blood and Torchwood and So You Think You Can Dance is full of television stories that lift me up when I need it.

6) Doing Yoga
I was raised with yoga. When yoga started to become popular, I remember thinking to myself: what's the fuss? didn't everyone do this when they were kids? Oh wait ... not everyone was a woods-elf-hippie-child. My mom used to teach exercise classes in the town hall where the moms did sun salutations and the kids played in the communal kitchen, joining into the exercise when we felt like it. Yoga has always been a pillar of my life. While I'm not always faithful with my practice, I can always come back to it. My therapist suggested the book Full Catastrophe Living to increase mindfulness in daily life, a totally yoga concept, and while I haven't quite mastered the art of mindfully washing dishes, I am comforted by the attempt to fully inhabit every moment.

What are you doing to bring joy to your life right now?

*Usually I'm injured in July (sprained hand, drill bit lodged in toe, etc.) or sick (violent stomach flu, summer strep); perhaps my body just sent me into a funk due to the tradition of spending July in bed.


Ren said...

Hi Cat!

I love your list - particularly numbers 1, 4 and 6. I do love Spain as well - I haven't been for a few years and I'd love to go back!

'Summers' here in Britain leave a lot to be desired. It's graaaay and rainy almost every day at the moment. It feels like the beginning of autumn!

Enjoy your summer :)

Catfish said...

Thanks, Renee! In Texas the summer is hot, hot, hot. Usually we get an afternoon thunderstorm every day, but this year we're having a drought. Kind of a bummer.

Tori said...

Gardening! Granted, I am at the point in my summer where the garden is somewhat self-sufficient, but I still go out every day to talk to my plants, make sure they have enough to drink, and check on the produce. I will be harvesting more flowers, cucumbers, and my first summer squash this week.

Anonymous said...

My main objection with TV is the commercials.

Oh, and shows like "Operation Repo".

But I do love a good tv SHOW. Can you get tv shows with Netflix?

I love movies. PH and I don't watch them any more because Screamy vonScreamsalot always interrupts and it takes four hours to watch Fried Green Tomatoes.

Swimming is a big summer thing for me. If summer ever arrives, I'll be doing it. So far it's still 12 degrees and raining.

Catfish said...

@ifbyyes: I hate commercials too, but I watch all shows on the DVR so I don't have to see any commercials. There are lots of TV shows on Netflix too.
@Tori, I wish I liked gardening. I'm so jealous of great gardens! But I hate dirt, which is a problem.