Stepping Up ~ Act of Kindness #39

It’s been almost a year since I last wrote about an act of kindness in my neighbourhood.

I know there must have been loads of kind acts all over in the interim but, with the lockdowns and stay home orders, these acts remained unobserved.

Well, I was out today and this is what I saw:

An elderly lady was sitting on some steps outside a shopping centre entrance. She was sipping out of a water bottle, and there was a cane and two shopping bags beside her.

I was inside a shop and, as I
watched, she tucked her bottle
away and reached for her cane to stand. She appeared to have difficulty getting to her feet; sheΒ  struggled to balance her weight on her cane while trying to pull herself up using the railing.

Even as I prepared to head out to offer to help, a man and woman stopped. There was a brief conversation then the man bent over at his waist to her height – he’d offered his back for her to push herself up. The woman picked up the cane and the bags. A second man stopped and supported the elderly lady as she rose.

It took several minutes before the elderly lady was on her feet. The two men helped her down the steps to the road level. The woman handed her her belongings and the four of them went their separate ways.


Me? I felt too much.


First of all, the elderly lady could have been my mother – the one I cannot be in the same room with. Despite my issues with her, I hope she gets help when she needs it.


Second, the elderly lady was alone. I don’t know her story but I can’t help wondering and worrying what might have happened if the three people hadn’t stopped to help her.


Third, it warmed my heart that total strangers helped someone in need, never mind the Covid restrictions.


Fourth, I regret not hurrying forth to help. Just as I regret so many things I could have done in my life that may, or may not, have mattered to someone else.

Realistically, the others would have reached her before I arrived. I tell myself my instinct was to help. That will have to be enough.


Thank you to the three heroes. You helped a stranger but you showed this stranger that there is still kindness out there.

Decluttering And Marching Forward

There have been some adjustments to life since my last post.

To begin with, I have opted not to return to work for now. Why?

Mostly because I had a medical calamity last year (which I’ve written about as The Event); while I’ve completed my rehab and been certified fit to resume normal activities, within reason, the thought of the usual busy-ness of work is now daunting. And since the local library has restricted its opening hours and limited the facilities available to users, there is no need for volunteers at the moment.

Staying at home and using the time to take stock of life After The Event seemed a timely thing to do.

So, here is a spread I made in my bullet journal that reflects my plan. My January theme was Alice In Wonderland.

This is my vision and my mission for 2021. I have the word ‘Declutter’ on every daily entry, and a space to fill in what I did.

Know what I found around the home? Expired food items, forgotten coupons, and 62 pens, of which 22 no longer worked!

Why did we keep these pens? Because they were gifts? Because they represented memorable hotel stays? Yes, some of the labels conjured up wonderful family holiday recollections but the point is, the memories have been there all along. We didn’t need to hold on to a stationery item.

Know what else I found? Decluttering takes time and more than a little courage. It isn’t easy to let go of some things: it feels like cutting loose a part of your past. But letting go can also be therapeutic precisely because it is cutting loose that which might have caused pain, damage or which simply no longer work. And that includes relationships.

Medication and rehab may have physically started the healing process. But emotionally healing a broken heart takes longer, and the process causes as much pain as it seeks to heal.

I have a long way to go in healing myself. But I am marching forward, one decluttering act at a time. And, yes, I am OK if there is a day where no decluttering took place.

BULLET JOURNALING ~ JANUARY 2021

Hello, everyone.

The words “Happy New Year” are quite, quite poignant for 2021, aren’t they? 2021 has so much on its shoulders because the world, and humanity, has placed such  expectations on it, like employment, joy, peace, safety and happiness.

2020 was a challenging year for me. And I’m not sure if I should regard 2021 with suspicion or hope; hence, my coverpages for my journal this year:


To make this year a meaningful one, I’m committing to some mindful changes. I’ll write about them soon.

Meanwhile, have a safe, peaceful and happy 2021, everyone.


——————RDP ~ GOODBYE/HELLO

BULLET JOURNALING ~ DECEMBER 2020

Here are some pages from my December bullet journal.

I cannot overstate how helpful bullet journaling has been in the daily business of living.

Yes, I could attain the same kind of management benefits from store bought diaries and journals; but creating my own pages allows me to include the sort of content I want (tracking pages, calendar, gratitude pages, etc) without the need for others (addresses, world map, world time).

It also allows me to adjust how much space I might need for my calendar or scheduler on a monthly or even weekly basis. I’ve always ended up with loads of wasted pages during holiday periods and not enough when it’s work plan or meeting seasons!

Having said that, I used to fuss over how hideous my bullet journal spreads were. And stress over the theme, the colours … and this was before I even dared to share my spreads online.

Pinterest, Instagram, WordPress and YouTube host so many gorgeous spreads that the intimidation is real. But these sources have also taught me that it really doesn’t matter if my spreads look good or not.

Nobody has any business judging anyone else’s spreads because the point of bullet journaling is creating something for yourself.

Bullet journaling has been therapeutic and eye opening. Planning for and using the journal pages have helped to anchor the chaos of daily living, and instilled discipline and focus. Sharing my spreads online is a step up confidence building.

I’m glad I … ahem! … bit the bullet.

Woven

The word “weaves” made me think of Louisa May Alcott and every other writer who has successfully woven people, places and plots into stories that have captured our imaginations for centuries.

I am in no position to critique anyone’s writing; I only know that there are books I enjoy and happily reread, and there are those I scratch my head over, and go “huh?”.

I read Alcott’s books as a teen, and nearly had Little Women as my English Literature text. It was changed to another book and we were never told why. Perhaps this was a good thing so my connection with the March girls was not influenced by any class discussions or dissections. On the other hand, there might have been much more depth and understanding to be gained.

Regardless, I do have two questions: Do you think a contemporary book called Little Women would go down well with readers today? How would you respond to being called a “little woman”?


—————-

RDP ~ Weaves

BULLET JOURNALING ~ NOVEMBER 2020

It was quite difficult to settle on my November bullet journal theme.

There was so much uncertainty, pain, even nastiness each time I tried to watch the news that it became difficult to sit through it. I questioned humanity, or the lack of it. I wondered for the umpteenth time why it was so problematic to accept wearing a mask – if those working at the ice cream shop have always worn masks because it was hygienic to do so, why couldn’t we when there was a pandemic?

Anyway, I digress. This post is about my trusty bullet journal and the theme I settled on.

coverpage

It is my tribute to Louisa May Alcott, writer of the series that made me wish I had sisters, a Marmee and time for make believe dressups, writing, messy relationships and all the ingredients for a memorable growing up period. Alcott was born in November.

diary page with a quote that resonated
tracker page

But, with today’s backdrop in mind, I wonder what the reactions might be to a title like Little Women.