The Green Study Takes a Rest

The Green Study will return on September 1, 2016.

Please note: I’ve received emails regarding phone calls from a Green Study Survey Company. This entity is entirely unrelated to me or my blog and from minimal research, seems to be a nuisance robo-caller reported on several spam tracking websites.

canstockphoto15476528My time away from this blog over the last few weeks was unintentional. I’ve been losing myself for hours in the silence and solitude of gardening. In addition, I’ve been spending an increasing amount of resources towards changing habits that will help me reach some personal goals. Digging in on all fronts, as it were. It’s made me mute, as if opening my mouth or typing words will drain away much needed energy.

Life online has become unpalatable, as we lose each other in the maelstrom of ugly politics. We’re neighbors, fellow citizens, and human beings. Most of us don’t have the “real” story about these candidates and we’re all myopic about the course of history. Regardless of who our next president is, we’ve seen the underbelly of our citizenry – all the blaming and the racism and the misogyny, ever present, ever corrosive.

My angry post drafts remain unpublished, relics of confirmation bias and infinite regression. Hate begets hate. So, I step back from my computer, knowing that I’ll learn nothing relevant before the fall, knowing that I owe my country my vote, but not my mental health.

The novel that never seems to get finished, even though I wrote the first draft 4 years ago, is getting a hard look these days. I’m re-writing most of it, learning how to craft and not just spew. It may never be published, but it means something to me and how I view myself. No investment in the outcome, only in the process.

I’ve been working on changing some personal habits, which seem to require a lot of energy and focus.  I’ve started with small changes – less time on the computer, longhand writing, getting back into painfully regular workouts, decaffeinating and changing my evening routine so that I sleep better. One small shift at a time, adding a new step every few weeks.

It weighs on me that in a year or so, I’ll turn 50. It weighs on me not because of numbers or wrinkles or irrelevancy. It weighs on me because I’ve waited so long to let myself be happy. To let myself just be. I live my life like an apology, never reveling in the happier moments, always downplaying successes and never allowing myself to rest. I need rest.

I suspect many of us do. I read an article about busyness being beneficial to your brain as you age. Between that one and the one about breakfast, I’m doing it all wrong. I want a life that isn’t busy and if I don’t eat breakfast, I’m homicidal by 10am. It tends to make it a rather important meal for me.

Sometimes, too, we get stuck in a loop without even realizing it. I’ve been going around in circles for the last few years. It’s Groundhog Day. I’ve spent a lot of time getting better with each loop – learning how to get up, brush myself off more quickly and calling bullshit when my mind does its little depressive dance.

A few weeks ago, during yet another sleepless night, a thought plunked itself down in my brain and it has stayed with me ever since. I’m ready. While that phrase could be subject to wildly inaccurate interpretation, I figure it means one of several things: I’m ready to be happy, I’m ready to let go of old ideas or, just when I finally get the point of things, I will get hit by a bus. While I’m still upright, I’m going with the more positive and less bus-flattening of the interpretations.

I’m ready for what is to come next. I’ll put down my guard. I’ll stop justifying why I do what I do. I’ll shorten my to-do list. I’ll not make excuses for happiness or success (I’m sure it won’t last. It was just luck. I don’t deserve this.).

But for now, I’ll just rest.

I wish you a wonderful summer and all the joy you can muster!

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The Green Study will return on September 1, 2016.

49 Comments on “The Green Study Takes a Rest

  1. Have a wonderful summer Michelle. See you in the Fall.

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  2. yes, give yourself the best gift of all! remember how as children, we sang with the birds, and ran with the wind; no cares, or at least, our cares were few and put away until later. at sixty-seven, I am still untangling the mind of useless memories, regrets,wishes. Letting go takes work, and I’m tired of working; so I’ll let that go too! This summer is all yours, take it and return if and when you’re ready.

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    • You’re right that letting go takes work – it does. I find so much of it is ground in habits – habitual actions and thoughts. I feel somewhat exhilarated learning how to live a little differently. I like that time slows down when I do – that moments stretch and that they have substance when I’m not “busy” or distracted. Thanks for the good wishes. I wish the best to you as well!

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  3. Ready, set, rest. Peace be with you, and in you, and of you. Be well – and enjoy!

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  4. I wish you a wonderful summer with as much rest as you like, with beautiful summerdays and -nights, some icecream (maybe) und so much fun. I hope you get inspriated to start again in September.

    P.S. Hope, my english isn´t that bad, because I´m german.

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    • Thank you, Katja. You described a lovely summer and I do imagine ice cream will be involved. It doesn’t take much for me to be inspired – there’s so much to see and do in this world – I’ll be back.

      P. S. Ihr Englisch ist sehr schön. Mein Deutsch ist nicht gut!

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  5. Michelle, thanks for sharing your thoughts about life and what’s going on in yours. Your insightful post gives us all plenty to think about regarding our own lives. Hope the summer is rich with exactly what you need, and that you can peacefully move at the pace of your own guidance.

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    • I think slowing down and taking a few things off the list will do the trick. I’m also looking forward to some traveling – a change in environment does a lot for the synapses. Thanks for the good wishes, Donna. I wish the same for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Have a summer like the ones in books, where the characters can let go of all their worries and just enjoy it… I wish it’ll be everything you need.

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  7. Busyness is beneficial to your brain as you age? I bet that article was written by an extrovert who can’t stand to be alone or to think about how they’ve lived their life, so they distract themselves with busyness. Pish posh, I say. Go enjoy your summer, do as little or as much as you want, and return to blogging a new, improved version of yourself. I’ll see you in September.

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    • While I don’t want to cast aspersions on extroverts, there is something to be said for facing stillness and quiet that freaks people out a bit. I think of what happens when you sit down at the end of a long day and finally realize how tired you are. Surely the same thing happens for us mentally. Thanks for the good wishes, Ally. I may not return improved, but I’ll at least be rested!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Best wishes, Friend; I’m glad you’re listening to your gut. Take good care of yourself.

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    • Thanks, Cate. It’s an odd thing, learning better self-care (without the denigrating translation of ‘selfishness’) and honoring that impulse. Have a lovely summer!

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  9. These “milestone” birthdays seem to give us reason to pause and reassess … my big 5-0 coming up later this year! And an empty nest! Invigorating to perform that assessment, and step back and just be mindful of living. Enjoy MN’s glorious summer months — they are all too fleeting. Look forward to having a little more time to follow along and even perhaps post again more regularly in the months to come! Cheers and enjoy this next phase of the journey we call life!

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    • Since I’ve been a chronic late bloomer, I’ve got another 6 years before an empty (which I’m just fine with – time is flying!). Still, 50 years seems like a long time to be alive!

      Thanks for the good wishes, Kat. I hope you have a lovely summer as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I turned 41 this year and I remember when I was 39 and my doctor told me my blood pressure was a little high. That was a motivator! I got busy moving and feel a lot better now. Enjoy your break! We will eagerly await your return. In the meantime, if you like to check out what I’m doing these days, It’s all here for you to see…https://upwardspiral213.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/double-ride/
    Hope it inspires you a little;)

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    • I finally made myself go to the doctor this year for a checkup (after 6 years of successfully avoiding it). Fortunately, still healthy, so motivation in the form of having the bejeezus scared out of me is not forthcoming. I am, however, motivated to get this novel wrapped up. Time to move onto something new!
      Thanks for the good wishes. Have a great summer!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Enjoy your R&R time and time spent prioritizing and reordering your life. Good luck!

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  12. My first comment to your blog …. You spoke so much to my heart! I feel what you feel and I am currently doing the same and enjoying it so much. I wish you a happy time – enjoy yourself!!!! Best wishes 👍🏻

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    • Thank you for taking then time to read and comment. I’m still unraveling my ‘to-do’ list but feel, at least, that I’m moving in the right direction. Thanks for the good wishes and enjoy your summer as well!

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  13. Michelle I know that any wise thoughts or revelations I’ve ever had, and they have been too few and far between, have been born out of times of solitude, often while resting on a shovel or rake. Have a wonderful summer and I hope you realize all the desires of your heart for a life lived well and with intention and JOY! Hope you will be back sometime on your blog. Your posts have always been thought provoking and worthwhile reads.

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    • Thank, Ilona. I will be back in the fall, but feel compelled to make a little more room in my life this summer. Hopefully, too, I can get this novel finished and move onto some new projects. Thanks, too, for the kind words and well wishes. I hope that you have a good summer as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. My sister would describe this break of yours as a time to re-pot yourself, which is apt considering you’re into gardening. Good for you — you DESERVE it.

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  15. Hi, Michelle. It looks like you are checking your comments so I’ll leave a note. I haven’t visited your blog in ages but for some reason popped over here today. You really are a wonderful writer, even with your goodbyes.

    I hope all goes well with you and your garden and family this summer. We just got some new chickens. I have two gardens this year as I manage one at the community center at which I’m coordinator. Oh gosh, maybe I should just send a letter…

    Anyway, sending a “hello.” Maybe I’ll backread a bit and see what you’ve been up to. 🙂

    S.

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  16. Hi Michelle! I just started following you and this blog resonates with me. I turned 50 this year, I have quit my job and I am writing full time. It’s scary but I am finally giving myself permission to be happy. I hope you have a great summer and I look forward to reading more of your work.

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    • Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I’m back and ready to dive back into writing. You are doing what I’ve been attempting to do for years – give myself permission to be happy, to be creative, to be more than what I’ve been. It’s a struggle, but worth it. Best wishes to you and to your writing!

      Liked by 1 person

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