Friday, September 26, 2014

Around the Garden (and my Mind)

Even though our garden starts looking tired right around the end of August into September, there is still plenty of flowering going on.
Yesterday, in an ongoing effort to notice what's beautiful around me, I grabbed the camera in search of flowers and pretty color.
I was not disappointed. Not only was it fun, but relaxing as well.
Lately, I have noticed something interesting. It has probably been there for a long time, but I'm now aware of it, which means there's the potential for change.
Every night when I get ready to go to bed, I feel as though I have not done my homework. You know that feeling from when you were in school? That important project you suddenly remember?!?
That feeling is still with me and it gives me an insight into how I approach my days. Sort of like I'm in college and working and studying toward some fictitious final exam.
Only I have no syllabus and I don't know exactly what to study or when that dreaded exam is scheduled for. I have no idea where that comes from.
No wonder I always feel I'm not doing enough, that I've fallen behind, that I've somehow missed an important assignment and that the final exam could be any minute now and I'm not prepared. (I actually have had dreams like that - where I suddenly have to take an exam in a class I didn't even know I was taking.)
Talk about creating stress in my own life. And why? I have no clue. Somehow at some point I picked up the message that I needed to measure up to some mysterious standard.  And in my mind - probably because I have no clue what this standard is - I never do measure up.
Last night, while doing the dishes (such great time for big thinking), I thought about this. And here's what occurred to me. Life is not a college class. It's just life. Every day is meant to be lived the best way we know how.  Some days are better than others, but any day we live to completion is a good one! And if we are able to find a little sacredness in everyday stuff, even better!
The goal is not someone else's idea of what we should achieve or how we should live our lives, how much money we should or should not have, the career path we should follow, etc. The goal is the happiness we feel. And I'm talking deep happiness here. The kind that isn't swayed by day-to-day occurrences and little aggravations.
And that happiness is deeply personal to each of us. Nobody else can determine what makes us happy. For some people that's art or music or books, for others it's having a large family, skydiving, traveling the world, staying close to home, knitting a sweater, or being a farmer. The possibilities are endless!
And me trying to measure up to some unseen outside standard is just silly and self-defeating.  My days are not about my to-do-lists or how much I've got to show for my efforts of the day. They are about how much I love every minute, every hour, the other beings around me, and (gulp!) myself, the messiness of life, and every darn thing I get to do every day. It's about messing up and laughing about it. It's about forgiving myself for my shortcomings. It's about being kind, always kind to others and self.
So, right now it's 9 a.m. and I'm feeling an inner worry that I haven't gotten enough done yet and it's "already" 9 o'clock. This is deep-seated in me through years of practice (good girl that I am...), but that's not important. Awareness is! And now that I am aware, I can already feel the pattern shifting.
So, Friday, here I come. I have no agenda, no list, no plan. I have one goal: to do what brings me joy. And then to spread that joy around wherever I go! And to have a good giggle or two... And to be kind to myself when I mess up that one goal. Which I most certainly will.

In that spirit may you feel loved and cherished, and may the universe tickle your funny bone today!

P.S. I foresee a little art, some sewing, some reading, playing with Winslow, spending time with Daniel when he gets home from work and cooking some excellent food. I think today (another glorious, overcast, almost rainy fall day) calls for comfort food.

P.P.S. I've always loved the postscripts. Way back when, when I was much younger and still writing real letters (ah, the dark ages before the internet!), they always had one or two or three P.S.

P.P.P.S. Just because... 


  1. Yes, what's that saying? "We are human be-ings, not do-ings."

  2. Liebe Silke,

    das ist sehr eindrucksvoll.
    Ich freue mich über deine schönen
    Alles Liebe

  3. So schön, liebe Silke! Ich wünschte mir, hier wäre auch noch so eine Blütenpracht. Ein paar Einsame blinzeln in den Herbst, aber die große Mehrheit macht sich auf in Richtung Herbst :)
    Ich schicke dir viele liebe Grüße und wünsche dir ein schönes Wochenende!

  4. When I read this Subject Line, I smiled. Feeling I would be in for a _gooood_ post. And I was.

    Gorgeous photos of late summer flowers... Just as beautiful as the first blooms.

    Wonderful discussion, of inner thoughts and feelings. (You know, I love this!!!)

    Oh if only we all, would "notice"! If only we all, would "pay attention" when some thought goes flying by, in our monkey minds. Grab it. Hold it. Look more deeply, at it. And of course, then we will learn from it.

    Thank you!

    Happy Autumn,
    "Here there be musing" blog

  5. Wonderful pictures from your garden, dear Silke!
    What you say about finding happiness in your life only the way YOU can, because it is YOUR life and not somebody else's (and you certainly don't have to meet anybody else's standards - except for, of course, taking your husband's needs into consideration as much as your own) is pretty much along the lines of the "Human Machine" book I was talking about on my blog.

  6. Wonderful flowers! I had to laugh at the dark ages comment. When I tell my girls we didn't have mobile phones or lap tops when I was little, they always say it was because it was before the dinosaurs. I wish you a happy weekend, Silke!

  7. Enjoyed reading your thoughts.... The nights I go to sleep feeling unsettled are only when I am in the midst of a painting and I wonder and wonder about it... might even check the photo I have taken of it on my iPhone. (Several times!) It seems hard to let it go when I feel it is unfinished. Beautiful flowers! You must have a lovely garden.