I was writing my morning pages today when I thought about an experience I had coming through a major South Indian airport. My husband being an ERCP- ist had ordered radiation protection glasses to be shipped to my Indian address. The glasses arrived duly and were packed among other things in my check in baggage. Emigration and check in went on like clockwork. I was in the airport hoping to have a good shopping experience having saved some spending money during the trip. I was in the Duty Free shop when I heard my name being called the public announcement system. As is usual for me, I thought they were calling someone else until something about the name sounded familiar and it clicked in my brain that they were actually calling me. So I hurried towards the airlines counter, from where a girl accompanied me to the innards of the airport. I say innards because she led me far below the airport in its underground places. I hadn’t known such places existed. It was a long walk. The girl told me I was likely to lose my iPad which I had packed into my check in luggage, not wanting it on the flight.
Soon the girl guided me to the place and left me alone to deal with a security person or police woman there, who stood guarding my open suitcase. Heart beating I approached her. She asked me if I had packed any hard stuff in my suitcase- I couldn’t recall having done so. She said there seemed to be something in my stuff which was in the shape of spectacles. Suddenly it struck me- it was my husband’s radiation glasses that were causing the issue. It was not seen properly on the security cameras as it was made of lead. I explained why I carried it and she let me go. Since we had gotten pally by then, I told her I was worried she was going to throw my iPad away as it had to necessarily come through the check in luggage. Reassured by her, I walked the long journey back to the upper echelons of the airport. Needless to mention, I lost my appetite for shopping by then.
On my recent trip to California, in the US domestic flight security check ins, I was separated out to be pat checked. It happened on two domestic flights and I wondered what the camera could not see in my innards that needed me to be patted fondly by hand. It seemed there looked like something was hidden in my groin. Every time I was given the green chit. Perhaps they thought I was smuggling drugs or currency or even a small weapon- who knows ?
I really appreciate airport officials for doing their jobs thoroughly though for the time involved, I did go through some moments of anxiety. Have you had any airport security experiences ?
Last month, my husband and I visited family in Chicago. Three normal days and the last night of our stay there, it snowed. I was surprised my phone weather forecast was accurate. It started around 1 am- I was watching for it- it had been an exciting day, what with a visit to neighboring Wisconsin to see a professor of my husband’s just across the border from Illinois. And an outlet mall visit to buy a lot of things( which I actually didn’t need) and a few books for my onward trip.
So, it snowed and snowed and kept snowing till the morning, when we could see the whole place covered in the whitest of snow. So exciting!
The infinity cross ropes arrived today with an additional payment of 35 monies above and over the Fedex charges. I have the 1/4 and 1/2 pound ropes now. And I started jumping. It is difficult to use these ropes. It is like doing a workout on the run with a load in your hands. I started 5 minutes of jumping rope( broken up into bits and pieces) for the past 9 days. I have increased my jumps from 10-25 without tripping 90% of the time and it seems I might be getting a few, well, at least 2 lines on my abdomen. Hope it is not my eyes playing tricks on me. This is in addition to the left knee pain and quadriceps hurts. I can see why they say jump rope is effective. But it has yet to become the fun it used to be when I was a child
An unexpected holiday for the observance of the passing of a gentle past president. Really don’t know what to do with myself.
Consistently having written the morning pages for 11 days in a row now, starting November 26. Julia mentioned that writing the morning pages is the first step towards “creative recovery”. I am doing the best I can but to be truthful, I haven’t felt it as an ” active meditation”yet or that I have changed in any way positive.
Yes, I have lost that “people pleasing”, ” not hurting people if possible by being blunt” thing I surprisingly seem to have had. I can absolutely speak frankly, openly and pretty bluntly now of course, without being rude. I was rude just once this last week. I gave a co worker a piece of my mind and it was totally unwarranted. There is an excuse- I had some stresses at home and I didn’t care what I let out of my mouth. And the best part is a week after, I still am not sorry. I am glad I had that outburst. Is this one of the effects of the morning pages ?
I am exercising pretty consistently now- even jumping rope. I can do only the bounce step and only about a 25 jumps at a go but even that is a change. I do the Fitness Blender workouts for “cool downs” every day. And also my version of a 100 squats a day- I know they are not the perfect squat but they are the best I can do with my weight and my knee.
Some children( read that adolescents) take on too much. My younger daughter, recently admitted to med school seems to be on a job spree. She wants to do everything. She tells me,” I don’t want to feel later that I have missed out something”. When she was just a year old, I remember her pottering around our house just looking for “naughtiness”. Its the same now- 18 years later. She used to avoid going to bed to not miss out on anything going on at home and would only sleep if her body absolutely refused to keep up. Somethings never change, it seems.
In college, she auditioned for a dance and she was selected for the main event. She did well and a lot of people praised her dance moves. ( she is not a trained dancer but has always loved dancing, so she used to learn dance looking at the youtube). Ever since she has been selected for every dance in the college. The dance practices go on till late at night, so much that she has no time to read her books. She is tired most of the time. Today she is in a dance that accompanies a carol- what child is this ? It seems carols have to have dances accompanying them in their college.
And then she is house captain for the Cochrane house. The job of the house captain is to gather people to come watch the various matches and even substitute as a player should there be a deficit in the number of players. This takes up a lot of her evening time. She tells me she has no time to do her laundry.
Finally, two days back all the stress got to her and she broke down while sitting on the sides cheering her Cochrane team during a volleyball match. The seniors sent her to to her room and advised her not to show up at the field for any match as she was doing too much. She got a good night’s rest that day.
Where she studies is my alma mater too and I knew how things work there but children being what they are never listen to their mother’s-that is the rule of nature. So I kept quiet and let her learn to prioritise her duties and work on her own. Seems like she is learning a hard lesson.
Per Julia Cameron’s book ” Its never too late to begin again”, I started writing the morning pages 6 days ago. The second item recommended by her in the process of knowing oneself is to have an artistic date with oneself. Take off on something that brings out the child inside a person. Its easy to wish an artist date and think about things I did as a child but have not been doing for a long time now.
Smiling, feeling free, no burdens or very few, jumping for joy when a happy something happened( I find it very difficult to jump now with my creaking knees) and so many more things.
Feeling overwhelmed with the artist date, I decide to google it and look for ideas and there are so many sites that give out ideas- most of them doable.
Started the clock at 12:15 pm yesterday and decided to stop at 1:15 pm- one hour. I took off to my office garden where I keep a few plants on the balcony of the third floor which is the only outdoor space on the floor. Cut off a few withered rose flowers, trimmed some plants and cleaned up some flower pots. This is a date without social media or a phone- so I went without any electronic media to document my date. Fifteen minutes later, I was done.
What would I do for the other 45 minutes ? I thought of the stacks of yarn sitting under my office desk and decided to start a crochet project. I have not been able to crochet for more than a year now- I can’t think of starting a project with an unhappy frame of mind. So I took up the book which I got a couple of years back – All American crochet Afghans- edited by Laura Scott and started off on a beginner project- by the time two rows were done, my 45 minutes had passed and without a care in my mind.
Our office won the best research office award- again- 6 times in 7 years. It is a record. The sponsors don’t know what to do with our office. The standards we set are too high.:)
As a sort of Thanksgiving for the office, we are set to go to lunch to a Mall about 20 kms away. Many of us don’t want to go- the long drive, the purposelessness of the venture, the lack of communication and true team spirit all boggles us down. Despite contrary opinions, most opted to go, to avoid confrontation with supervisors. I am too far gone to even care.
I brought my lunch from home and decided to sit put at my desk till I go home. This is who I am- this is who I have become. There is no pleasure in social gatherings any more. And the sheer guts I have in defying standards is surprising. There comes a time in everyone’s life when one cannot take things lying down and do things others expect them to do for society’s sake.