I was cooking dinner this evening – Tuna Mornay – an old favourite. Now, over time I have been careful about particular food items and sensitivities. The mornay starts with cooking the onion in butter. Next is to add flour to make a roux (butter and flour mixed together to make a paste). I used gluten-free flour. All good so far.
Next item to add was the milk – soy milk of course. Then I added the tuna, cheese, spices, corn and peas.
An then I laughed at myself. Why did I bother with the gluten-free flour and the soy milk when I had already included a whole onion?
Then I got philosophical. We take so much care in looking after very specific aspects of our lives while we cannot see the bit that really needs attention (the equivalent of the onion) in our lives.
I guess this is how most of us manage day-to-day life. We are not always attentive to the bigger picture – especially if our thoughts are busy with a million distractions. We keep hearing about the importance of being mindful of the present moment but it often alludes me still.
This is my 1000th post!
It has taken me a seven years to get here. It has become part of my day-to-day life. I don’t write all that often now but love to read other bloggers’ adventures and do the Photo Challenge most weeks.
On 8 May I will be leading (as a volunteer) a University of the Third Age class of eight people (seniors) in Blogging for Beginners. I hope to be able to share in eight hours (two hours a week for four weeks) what I have found out over the past seven years.
I have done my homework on the technical side but the actual writing side of things is not so straightforward. I have meandered over a wide range of topics over that time. I guess my blog is really about my life, thoughts, ideas etc. I have got more into including photos in the past year or so. I love doing that but wonder if I am a bit lazy with the writing!
I would really value any ideas or tips you have for new bloggers that I can pass on to those in my group. Thanks in anticipation 🙂
My old workplace
I gave up full time work six years ago and I am still adjusting to the changes brought about by that decision.
Many, many times I dreamed I was back at work – usually late and a bit lost – people had moved around and I couldn’t find them.
This week I dreamed my old boss fired me! I was actually pleased, especially when he gave me a cheque for $14,000 (only in my dream)! I thought this might signal an end to my dreaming about work.
Not so! Last night I dreamed we had a work reunion and I woke up with the idea of setting up a Facebook page for my former colleagues. That idea wore off by breakfast time!
I hadn’t realised how much hold the workplace had on me. Hopefully I am ready to let go of the life I had in the workforce and enjoy in the life I have now.
There are 168 hours in one week. Do you know what you do with them all? Does it match what you would like to be doing? Even when we can see a mismatch it is hard to change our habits.
On another level, how much time do we have (in total)? Unless we have an appointment for voluntary euthanasia we would have to admit that we don’t know. We also don’t know how much time we have with our families, friends and acquaintances.
I started thinking about this after someone I know passed away last week. It is sad, but we were not close – however it made me consider whether I give enough thought and care to those I am close to.
It is so easy to put off telling people how much I care or asking questions about how others are really dealing with life. There is a sense that we have all the time in the world to do that. We don’t! At least I don’t.
Once again I am reminded to be awake to the present moment and not to get caught up in thoughts about the past or fears about the future.
The present moment needs my full attention.
I was taken by a reading in my online philosophy class. It is as follows:
I have now reigned about fifty years in victory or peace, beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honours, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting for my felicity. In this situation, I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have befallen to my lot. They amount to fourteen: O man! Place not thy confidence in this present world.
Abd Er-Rahman III, who ruled Cordoba in Spain in the 10th Century
Now what do you make of that?
Today I was looking for information about having a life purpose and there are many lofty ideas out there. I like this post by cheskablogs.wordpress.com as it is something we can all relate to :-).
No doubt you will know what I mean when I talk about my inner critic. It is that ever present voice in my head that tells me I should …
- do better
- say or not say something
- lose weight and exercise more
- work harder
- achieve more
- be happier
- help others more
- and so forth
I am aware of my inner critic some of the time and at other times it has full rein.
This is where Donal Trump plays a role! I dreamt last night that I was working for him and no matter what I did it wasn’t good enough. I was nearly fired every time I encoutered him in my daily work. When I reflected on my dream this morning I interpreted it to mean that my inner critic has a lot of Mr Trump’s characteristics. I am basing this on his reality TV show The Apprentice.
So now I will have no hesitation in naming this inner critic, Donald, and showing him the door and saying ” You are fired!”
I have heard the following expression at various times in my life. Are you familiar with it?
” Whatever or whoever is in front of you is your teacher.”
It is not always easy to remember this when I am in an uncomfortable or awkward situation. Sometimes I might get caught with someone talking about things I don’t believe in. I try to stay silent and listen – after all, they may have some greater insight into the issue than I do.
Or maybe someone doesn’t turn up on time when I am on a tight schedule. Maybe I need to learn patience or that some things are more important than punctuality.
What about when it is a really tough situation and I don’t feel like learning? The word compassion (for myself and the other person/s) comes to mind plus the ability to distance myself from the situation and try to be objective.
Not an easy thing to do, however I acknowledge there are still plenty of lessons for me to learn in life and I try to remain open to them. Just because I am in my sixth decade doesn’t mean I can put my feet up and relax! And yes, sometimes I get it wrong.
I had an aha! moment today.
Ever since giving up full time work I have tried out volunteering with the idea that I am offering a service to my community (will all the feel-good stuff that goes along with it).
I have experienced many false starts and have been a little puzzled as to why it didn’t turn out as I hoped it would.
Just recently I have offered my services to another group and gave them a copy of my resume to demonstrate what areas I could be of use.
I received a request to do a job and was very conscious about doing it well. It was then that I realised that I am not truly offering them a service. I am asking them to provide a service to me where I can feel skilled and capable.
I saw it more as a transaction with the emphasis more on what was in it for me!
As I said before, Ouch! But at least I can be honest with myself about it now and hopefully the community group will benefit as well.
How can I recapture the enthusiasm I once had to make a difference in the world? Have I changed and become complacent with my good fortune. I remember times when I was younger when I really believed in something – I put all my energies towards making a difference. Perhaps I was idealistic.
Today I have the time and the resources to do something worthwhile but cannot seem to capture the passion I used to have. I seem to have an excuse for every idea I come up with. A lot of it has to do with my lack of trust that my effort will meet its desired outcome.
There is no less need in the world today than when I was younger. I find it hard to trust charities and fear that my contributions may evaporate in keeping the Western administration afloat.
I have a strong belief that literacy is important in achieving equality in our society. I have trained as a tutor however there hasn’t been any demand of late for my tutoring.
I am supportive of the rights of Indigenous Australians but what can I do there to make a difference? The issues are very complex and I risk being a white ‘do-gooder’.
The current refugee crisis calls out for our help. How can we be of help without just contributing financially? (and considering my lack of trust in charities …). I can sign online petitions and I do that when I can.
I also see many people in our community at, or around retirement age, with many skills and lifetime experience who would welcome the opportunity to do something constructive with their time and skills. How can we harness this resource for the better of our community?
Lots of questions but not many answers. Maybe I kid myself and just think of these issues but am really complacent in my comfortable space. If only I could reignite some passion to make a difference in our world!