Category Archives: Lazy Tuesdays

What the Salmon Taught Me

So, where were we? Right. The salmon steaks were sizzling away and I was gagging on the smell.

Fortunately the gagging stopped pretty quickly. I guess my brain got used to the odor and tuned it out. Steaks cooked, Raul transferred them on to plates and put a jar of tartar sauce on the table (because we all know the real reason fish exists as food is for tartar sauce – or wasabe for sushi).

"Careful," he said (in Spanish, of course), "there are a lot of bones."

Damn! So much for wolfing it down in three unchewed bites! (Or would that be sharking it down since it’s fish?)

Tentatively, I peeled off a piece of salmon, dipped it in the tartar sauce and popped it into my mouth. As my tongue searched for bones, I noticed a distinct lack of nausea-inducing fish oils. I tried another piece, this time without tartar sauce. Hey, not bad!

Small piece by small piece I ate the whole steak, taking an unheard-of fifteen minutes to eat it. As a child, a neighbour had died on a chicken bone and small bones in food have freaked me out a bit ever since. I then realized I was doing something my naturopath had tried to get me to understand years ago. I was using food to live in the moment. My thoughts were wholly on the salmon. I was not just eating it, but savouring the texture, the way each flake melted off the morsel in my mouth, sometimes to reveal a thin sharp spine, other times to reveal just more salmon.

I’ve purposefully focused on living in the moment before but rarely do I come to it spontaneously. I was therefore totally thrilled that I was doing so and that it had been something I’d normally reject out of hand that got me there.

Someday Lessons:

  • If you’re not open to trying (and retrying) experiences, you’ll miss out on a lot of great moments.
  • Sometimes understanding comes sneaking up on you, revealing itself when you least expect it.

P.S. It took a day and a half to clear the apartment of the smell of fish.

Vacation Notice

My friend Cate visits this week for my 39th birthday (this coming Sunday). We’re starting in Madrid today, then returning to San Sebastian on Friday.

I’ll be back blogging mid-next week.

In the meantime, feel free to browse the archives and review some previous Someday Lessons.

Playing Make-Believe

As a child I had romanticized dreams of being a butler. It seemed like such a cool job – until I learned that having a life of your own as a butler is difficult. Although I don’t actively want to be one anymore, I still enjoy the idea of being in charge of making someone’s life super smooth.

While in Madrid this past weekend, I indulged this fantasy with Raul. When packing for the trip on Thursday, we’d discussed his various outfits so I knew what he was going to wear for each stage of the weekend. Therefore whenever we stopped by our friends’ apartment to change, I prepared his clothes for him, gathered together the accessories, laid out the towel and hinted at Raul when he needed to get ready.

And Raul triumphed in the role I’d cast him. Without knowing the game of pretend I was playing, he would thank me, but in an off-hand manner, as if it were my job, and not a favour. What might normally be a source of resentment became an essential part of the make-believe.

(Of course he knew how much I was doing for him, and gave me many un-butler like kisses in appreciation, but they existed outside the pretending.)

Someday Lessons:

  • With a little bit of imagination, take a trip outside your normal life and explore something new.
  • Use a different point of reference to view the people in your life – you’ll learn a lot about them, and yourself.

Alex the Househubby

My sister (who has started her own highly entertaining blog) recently told me that she only does things because she 100% wants to. She doesn’t do anything because she should or because she believes others expect her to. And although she’s not totally thrilled with her job, it serves her long term goals, so she puts up with it.

I, on the other hand, spent a lot of time with resentment creating acid that bubbles out of my stomach into my throat because of the unfairness of life – specifically around housework. I work mostly from home, for much fewer hours than Raul, doing a much less physically demanding job. I therefore end up doing almost all the dishes, most of the laundry, and keep the bed made and the house tidy on a daily basis.

Taking my sister’s advice, I looked at what I do around the house and realized that I actually enjoy it – including the dishes! Take last Sunday for example. We’d had friends over for dinner Saturday night which meant on Sunday we had a mound of dishes to do. Before going to bed on Saturday I swore to myself that I was not going to touch a single plate – I’d done enough dishes for the week. Raul could do them for once. Sunday morning came and after I’d watched the latest Doctor Who episode, I got up and started washing the dishes, because it made me happy to do so.

As I was washing them, I realized that I also enjoy laundry, making the bed and keeping the apartment tidy. I can let go of my ego-driven "It’s not fair!" attitude and fulfill yet another of my childhood dreams – being a househubby, taking care of my man.

Someday Lessons:

  • Only do things that you choose to do – delegate or outsource the rest.
  • When you choose to do something, do it fully with love and your complete attention.

Someday I’ll Be Rich

In a fit of procrastination (this being Tuesday), I wrote down my "Somedays." I included only things about which I was passionate and came up with ten. In looking at them more carefully, I discovered that I had repeated myself five times. Of the five that remained, numbers two and three were a subset of number one, giving me in reality only three "Somedays" that I have not yet realized.

My relationships are awesome (romantic, family and friends – including a one year anniversary with Raul as of yesterday). I love where I live (even if it’s only 225sq ft) and although my health isn’t perfect, I know how to manage it and am content with that. "Someday" number two (learning Spanish and Basque) is well underway and number three is very personal but also moving forward. I don’t have to actively pursue these – they will happen with patience and time.

"Someday" number one, however, is totally up in the air – and it’s one many people worry/dream about: money. Someday my fiction and non-fiction writing will create enough income to support me at my chosen level of lifestyle through retirement. I work on this "Someday" daily, but I have little or no guarantee that anything will come from the effort I put in.

I can only continue to plug away at it, learn all that I can about writing and the publishing world, and maintain patience and perseverance.

Someday Lessons:

  • How many areas of your life (relationships, finance, romance and health) have "Somedays" hanging over them?
  • What are you doing to actively remove the word Someday from these areas of your life?

Trying Something New

As part of my goal to put more focus on the details in my writing, I’m using Tina Su’s blog post on profound and lasting changes as my method of change.

The first step is to articulate a reality, that is to state the thing I would like to change, to describe it with nuances and details, what the Law of Attraction types refer to as the first half of the clarity through contrast process.

I call it unproductive.

Being a talker (and a bit of a Drama Queen), when I start describing a situation I want to change, I blow it completely out of proportion. And then I wallow in it, reveling in the concentrated negativity.

I would much rather paint the current and future realities in wide brush strokes and keep my energy for the actual change – the fine brush strokes needed to turn a rough sketch into a masterpiece.

I have, however, committed to this process, so will do every step as written.

Someday Lessons:

  • Don’t dismiss advice out of hand – there’s a slight chance you might be wrong.
  • When you commit to something, commit to it wholly.

My articulated reality follows after the jump…

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Recommitting to All of You

I wasn’t going to post today, and not just because it’s Lazy Tuesday. This week I’m marathon editing my novel, as well as working on another project. I had thought that blogging would divert my creativity from my other projects but then I read a post on the Problogger site about The Dip – the posting-fatigue every blogger experiences.

I set up my weekday themes specifically to avoid the The Dip. If I take a break for a few days to write other projects then I’m setting up a bad habit of giving up the blog whenever I want to increase my productivity in other areas.

So, no unplanned breaks (except for the occasional Friday) and no Dip. I have some thoughts on how to spice things up and I’ll be rolling out these new ideas over the summer.

Stay tuned!

Someday Lessons:

  • Habits of inactivity are easier to create than habits of action.
  • Periodically reexamine your reasons for and approach to doing something to confirm your continued passion.