How do I honour myself? These are the words that rippled through my mind during the course of my day, as I went from one activity to the next. I like to think I move organically from doing one thing to doing another thing, usually based on visual stimuli, and also a little bit intuition….what needs to be done today? So many things need doing, and most things need time, attention, and yes, love.
I made banana pancakes this morning. It may seem like a mundane thing for someone who has made pancakes often enough in life, but I did it differently this time. I didn’t use any measuring cups! A small shift seemingly, but for someone who follows recipes to a T and wastes a lot of time trying to be precise and perfectionist, this was huge. I felt so liberated as I mashed the bananas and whipped in the eggs and the oat flour, using just instinct to get the right consistency. This shift didn’t happen all by itself of course, it happened because I watched a guy on Youtube the day before, effortlessly whipping up a batter, all free and easy and playful, and I LOVED that, and so I channeled some of his spirit into me. Amu wandered into the kitchen as I was in the process of being playful and looked askance at my winging of the pancake recipe. Of late, she has been crowned the pancake queen of the household, or rather, the breakfast queen (that being her favorite time and meal of the day) She interrogated me about my ingredients and urged me to squeeze in some lemon juice, sprinkle in some salt and some cinnamon, use baking soda instead of baking powder, and lastly, would it be nice to add some cocoa powder? Yes, I said, not just because she looked like she needed cheering up after having beaten herself up mercilessly for all the ‘wrong’ decisions she has made over the course of the last four years of her life, but also because chocolate and bananas always taste great, and also because collaboration is the name of my game now that I’m all grown up and wise and realize my-way-or-the-highway isn’t the best way to win friends and influence people. She did look skeptical as I embedded grapes instead of non-native blueberries into the pancakes before flipping them, but the juicy fruitiness tasted wonderful to me.
The next thing was to tackle the daily accumulation of clutter in my room, which often makes me feel a bit like that guy who was cursed with the task of rolling a huge boulder up a mountain, only to watch it go tumbling back down. What was his name now? I recall Camus assigning him with a certain joie de vivre. Certainly not with defeatism!
It’s not that I’m lazy, I’m just not always very efficient about putting things away after I’ve used them, perhaps because I need to use those things every day, and honestly, who am I trying to be neat for? I know the answer, it’s me of course, I do appreciate tidy rooms, with a perfectly made bed, everything in its place, no visual clutter in sight, dust-free surfaces, clothes neatly hung or folded and kept in the cupboards.
It feels nice to tend to my clothes I think as I sort my wardrobe and fold things Kondo style, making separate piles for various items. I had not been paying attention since a few months, allowing everything to get mixed up and so I ended up wearing the same things over and over while other good things stayed hidden and unused. I took time over the task and by the time I was done, I felt nothing short of joyous! The prospect of being able to discern exactly where everything was… felt like pure magic.
Energized by this expansiveness, I wandered over to Amu’s cupboard to create some more magic. Some unworn musty outfits needed freshening, so I rinsed them out in soapy water and hung them out to drip dry gently in the yard. There’s a flow to my day now, and everything I do, it’s happening with ease, the mountain is not insurmountable after all.
Love languages, I thought, as I chopped the lettuce, washed the bokchoy, sliced the spring onions, grated the carrots, marinated the chicken, sauteed the green bell peppers and made a sauce for the wraps I wanted to have for lunch. Lately I have been noticing how my body seems to crave fresh food, literally rejecting anything it doesn’t agree with anymore and in a variety of alarming ways. Post-thyroidectomy me is learning to listen, and the message is loud and clear. Eat more plants, it says.
My windows face west, so I cannot witness the rising of the sun, but I sometimes get up to look out and see the tops of the trees across my window catch the first beautiful, golden rays. I’m grateful for this, and also for the resilience of Jimmy the unfortunate cat, who sits in the sun when he is struggling with a respiratory infection, soaking in all that solar medicine when there is nothing to do but try and breathe as well as he can, and also for the guidance that appears when I surrender control, when I unburden myself from the responsibility of keeping a creature alive and allow the Mystery to come into play, to recognize that in the world of magic, things happen when I am quiet and still. Jimmy lives!
Sisyphus, that was the name.