Brighter Days Ahead. Hopefully.

Almost there. And wow has this month flown by. And even though our own family Solstice gathering was waylaid by our nemesis The Evil Vid (…um, Covid 19) I still spent copious hours in my kitchen baking stuff. Much of that has been sent to my son and his family, my daughter is a baker so she doesn’t need any goodies- she’s well stocked, and some I’d given as goody bags to neighbours. But I did get a little carried away. Biscottis anyone?

Almond Biscotti, one of many trays
Shortbread

And aside from the fact that I sent out all my Happy Solstice cards spelled with Happy Soltice, this isolated winter season went without a hitch. You would think I would’ve caught the mistake after the first card, but no half measures for me, all in or nothing. Apparently.

The book of short stories came out, ( ahem, thank heaven for spell check) the one with two of my submissions. It’s satisfying to see it in print, somehow feels validating. The neighbours that launched the project managed to raise about five hundred dollars so far towards our Beacon House renovations, not a bad start.

I will include both stories in my next two posts. As for any other writing – I haven’t done any. Nor have I set foot in my studio. Baking seems to have filled my creative needs rather well over these weeks. And my waist line. The biggest threat to my risk of expansion is the fudge I make each year. But I was clever this time, only making what I was sending away as gifts…no wait, there was the first test batch that, well, had to be checked for smooth, creamy texture. Can’t be gifting grainy fudge and a mis-spelled card.

The cards I sent were photos, mounted on card stock, that I had taken. Some from my poppy series; the year my otherwise dormant front veg garden sprung up in an amazing swell of vibrant flowers, and then also some I took while walking on Newcastle, a large provincial park island adjacent to our island.

Now I find myself in that Netherland between Solstice and New Year. That fuzzy zone where the day of the week is inconsequential. Do I eat, sleep, or learn a new language. It feels like a holding pattern, waiting for the starting gun, my feet against the running block…tick, tick, tick. But when the ball drops at the stroke of 2021 (2021! Can you believe it?) what am I expecting? And why put too much expectations on that stroke of midnight; which I don’t normally, but somehow this year’s end feels deserving of a fresh start in every sense of the meaning. Here’s to brighter days ahead ~

Own Worst Enemy

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Everybody falls prey to this once in a while, we beat ourselves up for acting foolishly or for not doing something that later we regret and wish we had. We can be hard on ourselves and tell ourselves to smarten up, to get it together, even to not be so stupid! And if we’re not diligent before we know it we’re on a slippery slope of negative self talk, turning a back on ourselves, to be abandoned to the wolves.

Last week I fell into that trap; it insidiously got a choke hold and squeezed out my level-headed, glass half full nature all together. As the day progressed I began to berate ALL my life choices, and all the things I had set out to accomplish but didn’t quite complete; the things I could have been and done had I not lacked courage and confidence.

Then I scolded myself for lacking courage and confidence!

I was so disgusted in my credulity. I was disappointed in thinking myself not  intelligent, clever, talented, socially cool enough, not achieving enough. I even compared myself to other women friends going back over 30 years ago and reprimanded myself for not being the Wonder Woman like they had been, juggling child/home/relationships while pursuing career with focus, tenacity and…oh yeah, COURAGE and CONFIDENCE!

OMG, it was like being on a waterside except I wasn’t squealing in glee towards a lovely warm pool but more into a frigid abyss of self-deprecation and feelings of inferiority!

In a sense I took myself to a back alley and beat the stuffing out of myself.

I don’t know how I had let myself succumb to such low blows, and I wasn’t wallowing in self-pity, I was pissed off at myself! I reprimanded myself for all the things I didn’t fight hard enough for, then once more with twice the passion for not fighting even harder for myself and what I wanted to fulfill in my life. I railed against every misstep, character flaw, and opportunity lost through my entire life up to now!  Sure I’ve confronted these same self doubts before but this time it was so much more. Hey, I’ve done some grand and yes courageous things that I’m proud of and I’ve shown confidence many, many times too. Why would I discount that then? Why was this so intense this time, why discredit myself so harshly? I wasn’t making any attempt to rescue myself from myself!

After a few days and having regained my composure I had to acknowledge the real fault was in my perspective and attitude when I lambasted my perceived shortcomings. We all want to be the best of ourselves at all times, to make precisely correct fitting choices, to always take the right roads in our lives. To be confident and courageous in all our decisions and conduct. What we want is perfection.

So instead of harsh self-criticism perhaps self compassion is the key here. To acknowledge the journey was and will continue to be  bumpy in places, to know there will be gaps and holes in the pursuit of goals and expectations. The message for me here is to forgive myself for being imperfect, recognize the good stuff  I do do (haha) and get realigned with my core values and celebrate my brilliant imperfection!

Ok, this is good, now it’s getting exciting, I like this water slide much better!

self esteem