I am writing this post while on a break in union training, which followed a series a meetings this morning, and while also trying to make some progress on responding to emails for the new community land trust I’m on the interim board of. The whole week has been like this – a pileup of every important thing at once – so I’m just going with it in the knowledge that next week will be a whole lot easier.
Food: This week has been a good one for dinners. We made pizza, smoked sablefish on our stovetop, made chicken pot pies out of canned filling I put up in the spring, and had a mushroom pasta that was pretty tasty. I’ve also managed to cut off the mid-day sugar that was trending last week – so things feel more energetically normal. This is the time of year when having a larder full of preserved foods pleases me so much, and I start to think about pressure canning soups, baked beans, and other warming things.
And although I’m not entertaining at the moment, and already have far too much china as it is, I couldn’t help but procure this lovely Japanese vintage china set (via contactless pick-up) this week. It came with 8 full place settings, the tea service, and four serving pieces (including a covered dish) – all in exceptional condition. Even if it’s just Brian and me for Christmas, I plan to use it for whatever special dinner we do.
Textiles: I’m working on a second oversized shirt and hoped to have it done to show off today, but I am buttonholes away from the finish! Next week. My studio is a mess and I plan to work on that this weekend. Also, I’ve been knitting a toque, but no pictures.
Fitness: After working out four times at my local gym with the new mask rules in effect, I decided that I just can’t do it right now. Strangely, our local gym has gotten more busy, I guess because people feel safer? But I feel much less safe because the virus is really present in BC, and people with masks tend to act like it’s all they need to do to be safe. Also, the mask gets really sweaty and my glasses fog up.
So last weekend, Brian and I bought a second-hand gym set up that was on the local bulletin board. It wasn’t cheap, because it’s one of those really sturdy rack systems – but so much safer than the power rack we built out of lumber in the summer and now we really have as much weight and cage as we need to lift safely. Since this photo was taken we have put more black floor tiles down so we have a really good space for both lifting and floor work. Brian also ordered some sticky “mirror” tiles for the wall – so it will be like the full gym experience once we get those.
Brian was already exclusively working from home due to his schedule, so this is a real power up for the equipment he’s been using.
Work: My staffing interviews start next week, finally! After to much work to prep for them. Fingers crossed they all go well (multiple people are helping with the interviews so there has been a lot of prep in the hopes I can make it easier for them). Also, I am nearing the end of two days of union training which I organized for people who want to become stewards in my local. I’m not giving the training, just participating and getting to know folks, but I feel really good about facilitating people’s participation. I need more shop stewards or I’m going to die from the caseload. The last month of work/union has been really exhausting, and I am looking forward to things letting up prior to the holiday and a bit of downtime directly afterwards (I’m taking the week off in between Christmas and new years). It’s also been a rewarding time as several things I’m working on are moving or completing in the next few weeks.
Notable: I am finding this round of the pandemic really depressing and exhausting. It’s not like anything has changed much, but I’m ready for it to be over, and the numbers going up and up have me worried. Also, it’s looking less likely that we will see Mica or anyone over the holidays, and that’s really dreary. So let’s just say that even though I have been steady in my routines, returned to morning meditation, and introduced singing back into my life, that I’m still struggling to find my purpose right now. I can’t tell if this is different from other early Decembers though, because this is not my favourite time of the year anyway.
This morning I was sitting in the zendo and thinking about something that Jon Kabat Zinn said in some meditation instructional (and he probably isn’t the only one, but he came to mind). It was in answer to a question about losing focus when meditating, and that returning to the breath (and thus the present moment) over and over (no matter how many times you have to) *is* the practice. I’ve been so out of my spiritual practice in the last couple of months, but I realized that like Zinn’s instruction, returning to the cushion and the teachings *is* part of the tradition. No matter how many times we wander away, what matters is that we wander back. So I’m working with that right now, in spiritual practice and in life more generally.