The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for realism

Poppies and such…

I’ve decided not to read in bed anymore. It was disturbing my night’s sleep and upsetting my schedule because I got too caught up in the book and didn’t go to sleep when I was supposed to. So now I only read during the day in my armchair whenever I have a spare moment and I do have enough of them. I don’t read non stop because I don’t completely want to lose myself in the book to the exclusion of everything else. It is so easy to lose track of everything and time and forget the world around me. So I do put a limit on how much time I spend reading at one stretch. Every once in a while I have to put down the book and do something completely different.

It’s not like it was in the olden days when I could let myself go and spend a whole afternoon doing nothing but read and completely shut out the world around me. I don’t feel comfortable doing that anymore. I would feel too disconnected. I do feel that I regularly have to stay in touch with reality and be reminded of it and even take part in it. I also have to do the ordinary things like the dishes and walk the dog and watch the news on TV. The last is especially important because it makes me feel connected to the here and now and that’s very important to me.

I suppose that’s why I like listening to the radio so much when I lie in bed at night. The programs deal with current events and I always feel up to date and I hear a lot of the news on the radio. I hear more of the details that I don’t hear on the news on TV.  There are a lot of background stories and interesting guests on the talk shows. The same goes for when I take my nap in the afternoon because I go to sleep listening to political discussions about some current issue. I’m better informed now that I listen to the radio than I was before and all sorts of points of view are represented, though they all are sensible ones and well thought out. There’s no idiotic shouting just to make noise and intimidate. Everything is very civilized.

The fields have been mowed and the wildflowers have been cut down. Except for in the flowerbeds, there are no poppies left. All the chamomile has been cut down too. Now I’ll have to wait a while and see what comes up next. It’s still raining regularly, so hopefully that will help with whatever is going to decide to grow. It’s a shame to see everything gone, but it can’t be helped. Beside the street, on the stretches of grass that have not been mowed, there is wild yarrow growing and I hope to see more of it. There’s always hope for new plants.

Today is going to be a peaceful day. The Exfactor will be here to do the groceries, thank goodness, because I’m almost out of milk. I don’t have any appointments. I didn’t think it was necessary to make one with my psychiatrist and my SPN is on holiday until the 27th.  I will see her next week but I don’t have any pressing problems. I don’t consider the issue of the ‘Black Dog’ serious enough. He is slowly slinking away. I do have to have some amount of self sufficiency and to be able to get myself through these spells. It’s good for my ego if I do. I do have to show some amount of inner strength.

It’s going to rain again today and it will be for the rest of the week. I don’t mind it too much as long as I get the chance to take out the dog regularly. It’s quite cozy inside when it’s raining. I still have the bedroom windows open and it’s not cold inside, though outside it isn’t all that warm. I just have to make sure that I wear enough clothes. My black leather jacket is coming in real handy, although it’s getting a little big on me.

I haven’t been on the bathroom scale, but I think I’m losing weight because my latest skirt is getting a bit big on me, even after I washed it. I’ll have to try and remember to get on the scale when I get up again this morning and I’m in my underwear. That’s always when I weigh the least and that’s the weight I go by. I do want to weigh myself at the most opportune moment.

I’m going back to bed. It will be nice and warm in there under the duvet.

Have a good morning when you get up.

Ciao,

Nora

A new book…

I’ve been laying in bed for a couple of hours reading a new novel (The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving) but I was not able to fall asleep. I got very caught up in the story and was unable to put the book down. It’s another one I’ve read before, but this time it’s long enough ago that I’ve forgotten a lot about it and it’s like reading a brand new book in a lot of ways. I do remember certain events as I read them, but not in great detail. It must be at least 25 years ago since I read this novel first.

As a result, I have to pay attention better and it’s taking me longer to read it. I can’t very smoothly get through it. The sometimes shocking things that happen in it do trip me up. It maybe is not such a good idea to read it in bed before going to sleep because it keeps me awake. I’m too unaware of what’s going to happen next and expect the worst. In John Irving’s novels the worst does happen.  I finally put the book away, but I was too wide awake to go to sleep. I’m hoping that sitting here for awhile will make me sleepy so I can go back to bed. I think that will happen sooner rather than later.

I’ve had one cup of coffee and am now drinking milk. A tall cool glass of it. I had the coffee to straighten out my head, it was so filled with images of that novel. It was like I had been immersed in a film and disconnected from reality. That’s the hard part about reading novels. You do need to reattach yourself to the real world around you. I always feel separated from it. I suppose I dislike that. I don’t like to be out of touch with reality and lost in make believe. Some books really do that to you.

It’s not been a bad day when you consider that ‘The Black Dog’ is still lurking in the background. He’s keeping a bit quiet, but he is there and growling occasionally to remind me of his presence. I’m doing much better than I was two days ago, so whatever I’m doing is the right thing.  That’s treating myself as kindly as I possibly can and not letting myself get pulled down by negative thinking. I don’t analyze myself or my situation. I find distraction helps the best.

I’m going back to bed. I hope you’re all having a good night.

Ciao,

Nora

 

>A repeat performance…

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It’s in the middle of the night of Thursday going on Friday. Actually, it’s officially Friday already, so I will stick to that. It’s a much more optimistic point of view. The fact is that I like it being Friday instead of Thursday because it’s almost the weekend. I will do a few chores in the morning before the domestic help gets here and then I will be home free. And then, ha ha (laughing wickedly), I will have the weekend all to myself to do with as I please. 
No doubt I’ll fill it with all sorts of interesting things to do such as take naps and watch TV and walk the dog and sit and meditate in my armchair. That is if everything goes well. If I can sustain the mood I’m in. That’s the crucial ingredient. I must be well tempered. That means keeping my mood as balanced as I can get.
At least I can treat myself to a pleasant night sat behind the computer with a nice cup of coffee. That’s one way to get into a good mood. Nobody can take that away from me. I will have the agreeable experience of it and I’m enjoying that a lot. 
There’s no real reason why I should enjoy it this night more than others, because I do enjoy them regularly anyway. Except last night when I was in a minor mood and nothing came of writing a post, but there have to be exceptions to the rule.
There’s no need to over analyze this. Everybody has their ups and downs and I’m no different. Some nights you are full of goodwill and some nights you had better go back to bed, even if it means having a somewhat sleepless night until the morning when you properly fall asleep. 
It’s with some amount of contentment that I sit here now and write down whatever enters my head, although I do try to make rhyme and reason of it. I don’t want to sound completely like a ship set adrift. I do want to make some sense. 
No doubt the coffee is keeping me on the straight and narrow. It does have the tendency to keep my mind focused. At least it prevents me from drifting away from the subject at hand too much. 
But what was the subject at hand? It seems to me that I had not quite chosen one. I think I was just rambling on in a general sort of way and was not really focused on anything in specific. Maybe it’s impossible for me to do that right now. There’s nothing really pressing on my mind.

All I know is that I have to do the dishes this morning and do a load of laundry and dry it outside on the clothes lines. That will give me a good reason to change the bed again tonight and I can’t do that often enough for my taste. The weather is going to be beautiful today and there will be no excuse not to hang the laundry outside. It should be dry in no time because it will be most pleasant out there.
Those are the calls of duty which I’m at liberty to ignore right now because it’s not the right time to give heed to them. I’ve got some sleeping left to do first. It’s with some reluctance that I’m going to go back to bed because I’m not nearly ready to. 
It’s too bad that reality always creeps into your middle of the night musings. It’s that sense of responsibility that calls you back to order. It’s too bad that it’s so exaggerated. I wish I had a little less of it. 
If you’re still up, I hope you’re having a good evening. If you’re asleep, I hope you’ll have a good morning. 
Ciao,
Nora

>Being perfectly normal early in the morning…

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Being perfectly normal doesn’t happen very often anymore, so I do have to give it a special mention. Besides, I don’t know how long the feeling is going to last. It may be very fleeting, but I hope it is solidly settled into my psyche for the rest of the day. I certainly welcome it and am very happy with it. It’s been a long time since I have felt this way. 
I never know what ingredients make up the feeling and I hope to keep getting them right as I guess at them. I’m drinking coffee and have read other people’s blog posts. They were for the most part cheerful, even the ones that were more introspective. Maybe that was just the take I had on them from my own point of view which is more rose colored. 
I’ve had at least 5 hours of sleep, that’s pretty good by my standards. I had a very nice phone conversation with my daughter last night. I think that put some weight into the balance. It was about a positive subject and one I could advise her on using all my maternal instincts which are intact and alive and well. You never do stop being good at that, do you? It doesn’t matter what age you are or what age your daughter is.
I’m seeing my psychiatrist today for the second time this week and I’m going to set something straight which has been bothering me very much. It’s a problem I had which I’ve since resolved and I want to help it out of this world and never talk about it again. It’s an embarrassment to me now to even think about it. I will make short shrift of it. It’s a reflection of how low I can get and had gotten. 
Being sound of mind has improved my point of view of life in general and my life in specific and suddenly everything looks a lot brighter than it did. All the little details that seemed so complicated now all look resolvable. I can’t say that the world’s problems seem less big by comparison, but I’m less burdened by them, if only in the smallest degree. Maybe my shoulders have become a bit stronger. 
I’ve always remained a realist about them anyway and never did think there was an easy solution or a solution at all. It’s easier to look at my own life and take care of the details there. All I can do is manage my own life well. 
It’s with some amount of relief that I start the day. Feeling unburdened for the most part has improved the way I’ll enter the fray. It’s not much of a fray anyway. At least, I don’t look at it that way. Except for some minor complications, it all seems rather simple. All I have to do is stay as honest and as upfront as I can be and do my best. With a little bit of goodwill and a continuing good outlook, I ought to be able to do that.
And I still say, thank god it’s Friday. The week has lasted long enough and it has been intense enough with lots of conflicting emotions that I’m more than ready for two days of nothingness. Of only watching cultural television and walking the dog and taking naps. And worrying about nothing else but which clothes I’m going to wear depending on the weather. That’s as complicated as it’s going to get. That’s just about the level of excitement I’m willing to handle. 
No doubt I’ll find some interesting elements to add to the mixture as I go along. One thing I have thought is that maybe I’m not really enjoying the book I’m reading and that I ought to start reading a different one, although I’m always loathe to leave a book unfinished. This one is not grabbing me, though. I don’t really care enough about how it’s going to end and I have been uninterested in reading it. I’m two thirds of the way through it and, although I like the characters, I don’t care what happens to them. So I may be looking for a different book. 
I’ve got to take my medicines and check my emails. It’s not quite time to get the day started. It is rather early still. I’ll have to do some chores because the domestic help is going to be here today and I don’t want her to walk into a messy apartment. I do still have my housewifely pride. 
I hope you’ll all have a good day.
Ciao,
Nora

>Late in the evening…

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I’ve already dozed in bed, really planning on going to sleep early, but it didn’t quite work out that way. I guess I wasn’t tired enough. I was  toasty warm, though. I had on my flannel pajamas and my socks, so no part of me was cold, because it was cool in the bedroom and beneath the duvet. The warmth of the near summer weather hasn’t penetrated the bedroom yet and it is still a very cool location in the apartment.
I listened to the birds twitter their evening song and thought about having a CD of that and listening to it at will and how cheerful that would make me. Or their morning song, of course. I would listen to it at whatever time in the morning I woke up and start my day that way. I think that would be mighty pleasant. Of course, if I didn’t sleep so soundly and turned off the radio, I might hear them for real, especially now that I have the bedroom window open again. 
The best place to hear them would be in the middle of a forest. That would be a joy. You forsake a lot by living in suburbia, except that there’s the convenience of living close to the services you need. I don’t feel that I’m in touch with nature, though. I feel far removed from it here in my stone and cement and asphalt world. The gardens and the greenery only provide some relief. I often wish I lived in the countryside, but because I have no car, it would be problematic for me. It would be hard to get around. 
You must accept your fate in life and accept the situation you’re in and make the best of it. Especially if your means to change it are very limited. You can’t have all sorts of fantasies that you can’t make come true and frustrate yourself with them. You have to find a form of acceptance and the peace inside yourself to live with it. It means you have to face up to a huge amount of realism and come to grips with it. Maybe that’s a lesson I should have learned earlier in my life, although I thought at one time that I had, but circumstances change beyond your control and you become undone. 
I don’t want anything to come along to upset my equilibrium and maybe that’s what the presence of my ex-husband did. That’s why it’s taking me such a long time to settle back into my normal life. Slowly but surely I am and I want to be left alone now. I don’t want any more disturbance and upset. I have to fit back into my life like I did before and I don’t want anyone to come along to make me doubt my choices or my satisfaction with them. It’s all very tender and fragile and made up of gossamer threads.
It’s time for me to be thinking about going back to bed. Hopefully I will sleep well this time and not merely doze. At least I got some things off my mind, that’s a relief. 
I hope you all had a good evening. 
Ciao,
Nora

>It’s that time of the morning again…

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It’s very early in the morning. If I had chickens, they would still be roosting and the rooster wouldn’t have crowed yet. If he had, he would have done so prematurely and I would have wrung his neck. Of course, if I had chickens, that would mean I lived out in the countryside and it wouldn’t matter if the rooster crowed prematurely. I wouldn’t have to worry about my neighbors.
That must be the place where I’m supposed to live then. On a farm with a couple of acres of ground where the dog could bark whenever he felt like it. That would be a major relief. I would feel like I could make noise and not quietly move around the apartment. There’s a lot of stress that goes into living on top of each other in town along with the loss of privacy. I crave more space. Emotional as well as physical. 
I have to call myself back to order because in my mind I was all ready having big thoughts about living in the countryside and imagining a house there with a big garden and a meadow for the dog to romp around in. It’s not going to happen and I have to accept my situation the way it is now, unless I win mega bucks in the lottery and that’s a big daydream also. You must always stay in touch with reality and make the best of it. 
It is Sunday and the day to do the dishes. That’s one of the jobs I have to do today. I have enough not to ignore them any longer. I have completely run out of spoons and soup bowls and there are enough glasses to wash also. At least part of the laundry will be dry and I’ll take it down and fold it and try to hang up as much as I can of the next load. 
I can’t dry the laundry outside because it’s supposed to rain today, even though the laundry smells best when it’s dried outside on the line. I slept on some pillow cases that had been dried outside and they sure smelled nice. They helped me fall asleep quickly. With a little bit of luck, I’ll be able to dry the laundry outside a lot in the near future.
I think I will sit down in my armchair for a while and read my book before I go back to bed for some more sleep. It’s the early hours in the morning that are the coziest and when I feel most like reading. 
Ciao,
Nora

>Exist only here…

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I’m existing in a dream state because I just woke up from an hour long nap and I’m really not properly awake. I’ve decided to remain like this as long as I possibly can because I feel untouchable, as if reality has nothing to do with me. It is very pleasant and I don’t want anything to come along and burst my bubble.
In order to make this feeling last, I’ve just taken a tranquilizer and I hope that I will transition slowly from the sleep induced state of mind into the medicinal induced state of mind. I don’t want there to be the least amount of upset. I want to feel as tranquil as I feel now for the rest of the day. Whatever it takes to get there… So help me God. 
My first ex-husband, the American, is going to be in town the weekend of the 15th. He hadn’t told me about this, but contacted my sister whose house he will stay at. I haven’t had contact with him in quite a few years and have been satisfied with that. As far as it has been possible, I have dealt with the past and I thought that he was a closed chapter in my book.
When my sister let me know that he was going to be here, I at first reacted like she did and thought it might be a fun thing, but soon after that I began to change my mind. I realized that in fact I had all sorts of unfinished business with him, but that the only way to deal with that would be in a therapeutic environment guided by a good psychologist. I could not just casually meet him at my sister’s house and have a cup of coffee and dinner and a glass of wine and talk about the weather and other unimportant issues like we were bound to. 
I let my sister know last night that I didn’t want to meet my ex because of this and she was full of understanding. A weight fell off my shoulders and I’m so glad that I made this decision. I would have had to play act and that would have been against my own principles. It wouldn’t have served any purpose other than to again give him the sense that everything was great as usual, which is something that I’ve always done. I’ve never had ‘the’ confrontation with him or let him know any of my grievances. I just left

On top of everything, the 16th is our late son’s birthday and that is always a bit of a tough day. I certainly don’t need any extra stress on top of it.
Well, that will get you out of your bubble of tranquility, won’t it? I will move right back into it again. I will smoke a cigarette and contemplate my navel for a while.
Have a good day.
Ciao,
Nora