Sunday, April 07, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Tea

The look of late winter remains outside my window with just the slightest greening of grass and none of the trees or bushes budding.  Although the pollen count is high for some trees so that indicates buds... somewhere.

However, what I have noticed is not only the brighter sun that comes with Spring but the arrival of aromas in the air.  Each season brings with it an aroma to my senses... the fallen leaves and woodsmoke of Autumn, the scent of veggies and hot soil in my Summer garden, and even the crisp air of Winter has its' own non-scent.

But only in Spring are my senses overcome with the many aromas arriving from new life springing forth (literally) everywhere.  Perhaps I notice them more after months of cold crisp air where the only outside aromas come from my neighbor's wood burning stove.

I started walking on the trail again this week with the usual beginning exercise... fifteen minutes out and fifteen minutes back.  One of my health care providers (a very long time ago) recommended this way of walking where time and not distance is of importance. 

By the third day I was already twenty minutes out and twenty minutes back of very slow walking.  I was also sore and out of breath upon the return walk.  But within a few weeks I will look forward to feeling so much better and truly loving the walk itself.

Listening to my favorite walking music once again (especially John Denver and Indelible Grace) seems to override aching muscles and makes my heart sing.  I have read that people who listen to music while exercising have a much higher percentage of staying with "the program", a statistic I understand completely.

Just as I have been out walking "a little at a time", I have been tackling the garage project "just a little at a time".  Once it is finished the same principal will help with lawn and garden projects.

We had planned to extend the garden this year but for various reasons, finances will not allow it.  Instead I'm looking at ways to best utilize the raised beds that are in place.  I so look forward to new veggies and flowers in the garden!

When I look out my deck door at all the work ahead, I am tempted to return to my sofa with a book and a hot beverage (for it is still on the cool side of the thermometer here for awhile). 

However, I must remember that small actions done consistently can bring about very large results.  :)

Stephanie and I were chatting about homeschooling a couple weeks ago and I reminded her the same principal when applied to schooling at home... most often we need to only make small changes instead of huge transformations to achieve our goal.

Just a little tweaking here, and finding a new way to do something there, and changing about when and where we do our work... so often can add up to a result even better than what we would have accomplished with a huge change.

I believe it is human nature to think we have to always do great things and make life changing decisions if we feel we're not succeeding at what we want to do.  Oh, don't get me wrong... sometimes the only decision is life changing (as one who has lived in numerous states can attest to).  But such changes are... or at least should be... infrequent.

I need to make a few more small changes to my life as the seasons are changing.  I've been sleeping in later than usual in the cold, dark months of winter.  My cell phone alarm is now set to an hour earlier each day to (hopefully) provide a cocoon of quiet for Bible reading and pondering before my day begins.

In my part of the world, it is not unusual to skip mid-to-late Spring and jump straight into the heat of Summer.  When this happens, the extra hour each morning will make it possible to walk before the heat of the day.

Soon my favorite soups and stews will be replaced by lighter meals so I'm already pulling well worn recipe cards out for warmer weather menus as well as perusing cookbooks for new ideas.  Just a lunch here and a dinner there...

I'm also making a small "bucket list" of enjoyable things I want to do that take little time, money, or energy.   They must be written and kept in a place where I can see them regularly or I have found they will be forgotten in the midst of everyday busy-ness.

For instance, already on the list is using the small vintage picnic basket (which is actually a pie carrier) purchased during the Winter for a few picnics at the park in town; making a one day trip to our favorite amusement park by a lake; and enjoying a couple free concerts which take place Downtown when the weather is nice.

So... my days and weeks ahead look incredibly full but I will manage them in spite of limitations by doing "just a little at a time".  :)


Keri said...

I'm glad you're able to get back to walking, even if it is on a slow and limited basis at this time. It must feel so good to you to get out there again, despite the current lack of buds and spring beauty.

I need to think of the "a little at a time" approach every time I look at my bare backyard and feel the nudge to start gardening. It's not something that's in my blood, so-to-speak, not something I was raised with, or have any experience with, and so the thought of it -- while appealing on many levels -- is quite daunting to me. But if, as you say, I just commit to doing a little at a time, then at least I could make progress. Preparing just a small plot of land (using step-by-step directions from a Gardening for Dummies guide, perhaps?), and planting just a few seeds of SOMEthing this year, would likely go far in encouraging me to do more. We'll see...

terricheney said...

My husband switched to night shift in August, then began a series of vacation weeks through Sept, Oct, Nov, and Dec. Come Jan, I felt as though I should have a routine working for me already but when I examined the facts, I'd only had about 4 weeks of night shift life over those months. The majority of my time was spent having my husband at home!

So this month I decided to go back to basics. I have had three months now of night shift work under my belt. I am returning to just basic house keeping goals (daily and weekly routines), basic meal plans and even basic goals for my life this month. Everytime I'm tempted to beat myself up over not having done this or that I remind myself that this month it doesn't matter. I'm just sticking to the basics until I'm used to doing those tasks on a regular basis once more. So far, the lack of stress I've felt this month has actually allowed me to accomplish more. Just that one small change made all the difference in the world.

Anonymous said...

I have set up a bare minimum work schedule for around the house. With hubby retired now, even after 3 years it is hard to have any uninterrupted time to work. So chores have to be broken down to small amounts of time. So as I go to the clothes line I weed for 5 minutes on the way back into the house! If the bare minimum gets done daily life goes more smoothly. The rest I want to do too I usually get some or all done. I also work slower and arthritis has take its tole but life is so good and we can only do the best each of us can. I make sure if at all possible I get some reading or something that I find joyous added too. As you know baking is a joyous adventure too! :) Right now I am getting back to Bible study. I am realizing clutter is adding to the work load here so you know what that means! ... ...I was wondering if you can use your garden fence to grow say cucumbers up? I forget though if you put the fence up to keep animals out so if you did they would Eat the cucumbers! Yikes!! I put a trellis up at the end of one of my narrower raised bed ends to let squash and such go up. I have to tie some of them to it but it sure helps keep the ground space less so we can grow more. Sarah

cairncottage said...

Hi, Brenda. I recently started following you and love your post for today! I do so much better working on tasks and meeting goals slowly. If I try to do everything at once, I easily get overwhelmed, unless it's something I LOVE doing. Then I'll keep at it till it's done. Making a small bucket list is a cool idea, too. A picnic by a lake sounds so nice!(don't forget the tea :)
In His love, ❤Ann @ Christ in the Clouds

Angela said...

You are so encouraging! I think of how you keep on keeping on, and that encourages me not to give up either!

Deb said...

Brenda, I think I've had the same realization as you with seeing how much there is to be done outside! Each year it gets harder and harder with knee/feet problems. I have to remember a little at a time, and this year I may forego the mulch. :(