Lying on a beach, under the shade of a palm tree, cold one within reach … now that’s calm-inducing, stress-alleviating & the best kind of meditation, & medication, I can think of. Can’t do that, in Canada, during the Canadian winter, without some serious risk of frostbite!
But there must be an app for that, right?
I tried a few meditation apps & they just didn’t work for me. Worse, I actually found them stressful to listen to. First one I tried starts out counting a breath in on one, out on two, in on three & then this soothing voice tells me to carry on doing that up to twenty. On my own! Is she kidding me or what? Am I going at the right pace? Maybe she counts more quickly than I do? Will I get all my breaths in before she’s back with the next activity? What if she’s slower? Do I have to hold my breath ’til she catches up? OMG, I’m hyperventilating, this is driving me nuts!
I was a trembling wreck by the time I got to twenty. Enough of that nonsense, let’s try another one.
This time it’s a guy. Great voice. Calm, soothing, very relaxed & reassuring. We’re going to do this body thing, a routine that goes from the head to the toes. With some pretty peculiar internal organ stops along the way, I might add! But this turns out to be even more excruciating. First, he tells me to get comfortable & relax. Next he’s telling me it’s okay to move uncomfortable body parts. Pick one for cryin’ out loud! I know it’s really not okay though, & I’m just screwing up, am I not? And he’s just saying all that to make me feel better about it. Right out of the gate, he knows that I’m no Zen master & that I’ll almost certainly have to move. Maybe even all the time. That’s exactly what I did, of course. I just kept squirming. And I hated every second of that little medication exercise. Next!
Then I tried this one with an irritating little bell chime thing. I’m sure if you had a real bell, while sitting cross-legged in the Himalayas, it would work far better. You know what I mean, you’d have the right atmosphere for meditation all the way up there. With the monks & robes & whatnot. But the mind-numbing consistency of a mathematically accurate & repeatable digital ding just did my head in.
I know, I know … I’m probably doing it incorrectly. I know I should probably chill out & just try it again. But my heart rate is up, I’m sure my blood pressure is too, so I’m going to resort to something I have more practice with. Something I know works.
A slice of deep dish cheesecake. With a big blob of whipped cream.
And afterwards, when I’m cheesecake-calm, maybe I’ll try that meditation thing with the sound of the waves lapping on the beach. 😜😁
PS … Happy International Women’s Day to all the ladies out there. And to the National ladies too! 🤪😁
This is a bit of a diversion from my usual dietary woes but I thought I’d share a little something that could have turned into an even bigger regret than it already was. About thirty odd years ago, I was paralysed by my inability to decide between learning French, Spanish, German, Japanese or Chinese. So I didn’t start learning any of them. Inertia is a powerful thing!
Since Canada is a bilingual country, & I already had the English bit, I thought I should probably try French. Finally! After all, it would be easier to find francophones to practice with. We have plenty of local language resources. And we have French TV channels & radio that I could learn from. Logical, eh!
After 30 years of deliberations, I then did what everyone with an engineering background does … I did another comparative evaluation exercise on which French language course might be more useful for me. I lost another year doing that. But I finally picked one & splashed the cash. It was my 2017 Christmas gift from me to myself!
I did the first lesson the day I purchased the course. And then I did nothing. Again!
It wasn’t ’til after a family trip to Québec that I was reminded of some things I’d forgotten. Seeing things through another’s eyes, those of my daughter, was an eye opener! She loved Montréal &, no surprise this, the stunning beauty of Québec City too. She began learning French. Towards the end of last year I blew the digital dust off off my French course & got stuck in. But this time, so far & fingers crossed that it continues, I’m staying the course.
I’m lucky enough to have to travel to the francophone regions of Canada for work &, finally, I overcame my reluctance to speak my first few words of French in public. In a restaurant, of course! I had diligently practiced my opening lines. Those that warn people that I’m just learning French & to please have patience with me! They worked. People took their time, they spoke slowly & clearly, & they helped me. And I managed to get breakfast to boot!
There is a quote, a touch inaccurately portrayed as something said by Nelson Mandela, that says … If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.
That is one of the true joys of speaking, no matter how poorly, another’s language. I am awed by the tolerance, the patience, & the kindness elicited by my early efforts to speak French. I hope that, one day, I’ll be able to make it sound like the beautiful language it is. Meantime, my fingers are hurting from being crossed so that I might sustain the effort.
You know that I like to beat up on myself from time to time, so I’m just a tad annoyed that I didn’t start sooner. But I’m also kinda quietly proud of my progress so far.
I wonder if I shouldn’t think about doing a little Spanish on the side too? I really like the food in all the Spanish speaking countries I’ve been to too. And, who knows, maybe it’s not too late to give up on the notion that I might aspire to, one day, play that old dusty guitar like Carlos Santana!
Hope you’re all having a great weekend! 😜😁
PS … If you’d like to try something a little different for your next vacation, I highly recommend a visit to Canada’s French-speaking regions. It’s like a little touch of Europe, right here in North America. And give it a try, test drive your few words of French! And wait ’til you try the food, I’m going to do a post later on the fast food in Québec. Mmmmm! ! 🤪
It’s that time of year when we renew our commitment to doing all those things that we failed to do in the previous year. I’m testing the theory that putting my list out there will improve my adherence. Should I fail on any resolution, I will strike through it. But I will leave it on the list to remind me to give it another shot during the year.
Here’s my to-do list for this year …
New Year’s Resolutions 2020
Hit the weight-loss diet hard
Go for a walk first thing in the morning
Sleep more & don’t get up so early
In the new year, don’t eat any leftover chocolate from December 31st, 2019.
Don’t try to eat all the remaining Christmas chocolate & candy on December 31st, 2020, in anticipation of starting a diet on New Year’s day, 2021. Again!
Drink my coffee black
Try to be nicer to everyone. Except that person who lets the dog poop in my garden & then doesn’t scoop. Your days are numbered, I’ve got a new webcam trained on the front yard now!
Stop watching CNN & Fox News so much &, instead, watch TV5. I don’t speak much French yet but it’ll probably still be better for me!
Win the lottery. Hey, if you don’t ask!
New year’s resolutions are both inspiring & daunting. We like to think that a new year brings with it a whole new mindset & a brand new approach to living the life we’re really supposed to be living. Of course, for me at least, it rarely works that way. I usually fare miserably with my list of resolutions. However, that’s no reason for despair. Most of us are perpetual works in progress & we’ve got to screw up enough new year’s resolutions to become accepting of that. That, in & of itself, is a developmental achievement. It’s like when you get a new car & the elation of driving off the lot is quickly replaced by a constant worry of it getting dinged. You know what I mean … you park it at the empty end of the parking lot & walk to the mall entrance, in a blizzard, knowing you’ve done the right thing to protect your baby. When we finally buy a new car & park it as close to to the entrance as possible, we feel liberated. Resolutions work pretty much the same way. When everything doesn’t fall into place, it doesn’t mean that we are useless human beings. It just means that we are not ready to take the next big step yet.
Or am I just making excuses already!?!
Let me wish you all the very best for the New Year. I hope it’s a great one for you & for all those you hold dear.
Let me know if you’ve made any resolutions & let me know how they work out as the year progresses.
Thank you for reading my stuff throughout the past year, I appreciate your comments & your encouragement along the way. It really helps. If you want to exchange thoughts, ideas & comments, please follow The Wry Eye Facebook page, just click the Facebook icon. It’s a little easier to chat on Facebook.