Sunday, March 10, 2013

Making the Bed

My friend Reya sometimes talks about people having their own internal weather. I've been thinking about that concept lately. My internal weather seems to have taken a turn for the better, from tempestuous seas  and storminess of the soul to a much more placid calm.

Why that is, I'm not sure. Maybe it's the sense that the long darkness of winter is coming to an end. (In that case, I shouldn't get ahead of myself -- we're supposed to have freezing temperatures again this week, and flurries today.) It is encouraging to see crocuses and daffodils blooming and to have more sunlight, even when it's filtered to a flat gray by clouds. It's better than pitch darkness.

I'm also trying to take a little better care of myself. Not that I'd been letting myself go -- that implies that I spent hours kicked back in a recliner eating Cheetos, which is hardly the case. But as I've said before, when you work at home, it's easy to delay taking a shower and then spend all day in your pajamas. Not to mention shaving -- I hate shaving, so skipping it seems like a no-brainer. It's easy to skip my exercises, eat too much of Dave's yummy but rich French cooking and drink too much wine.

I'm taking care to get cleaned up and dressed each day, to shave daily or almost daily, to do my sit-ups and push-ups as well as continue my walking and photography. I'm also trying to be a bit more conscientious about eating well and drinking less. It just makes me feel better -- and calmer, and more like myself. (Fortunately I don't have a body type that easily gains weight, and as you know I walk a lot so I get plenty of cardio exercise. My weight hasn't changed at all, as far as I can tell. Not that we own a scale.)

And you know what's funny -- I am very fastidious about making the bed. It seems like a little thing, but to me, that small act creates an orderly atmosphere that permeates the rest of the house. If I make the bed, I feel like I am in control of my day. I am continuing to make the bed.

So, anyway, that's what's going on with my internal weather.

Olga has been a bit of a nut the past few days. I took her for a very long walk yesterday, all the way to Norfolk Square near Paddington, the neighborhood where I stayed when I visited London as a tourist in 2000 and 2003. Never did I dream then that 10 years later I would be living nearby with a partner, and walking past the same hotel with our dog! You'd think such an excursion would wear her out, but exercise seems to have an inverse effect on her energy levels. The more I walk her, the nuttier she gets. As I type this, however, she is sound asleep on my feet.

I went on an iTunes spending binge last night, which felt great. I needed to liven up my iPod with some fresh tunes. (Fresh to me, anyway. The tunes themselves are all oldies, because this is my iPod we're talking about.) I bought three early Moody Blues albums that I didn't own ("In Search of the Lost Chord", "A Question of Balance" and "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour"). I also bought some beloved Led Zeppelin tunes ("Ramble On," "Over the Hills and Far Away," "All of My Love") and additional stuff ranging from Everything but the Girl and Belle and Sebastian to Aerosmith. Hours of listening pleasure!

(Photo: Off Barking Road near Plaistow, last weekend.)


  1. I also feel better when I exercise regularly but I've been having a hard time getting to the gym. Being in the city three days a week and the travel day to get there and working in the antique store on Saturdays only gives me 2 days when I can really go. But those days I have to get a certain amount of work done, at least right now. I like to walk but out here in the country there's not a whole lot to look at besides plowed fields and people drive very fast on the county roads.

  2. I agree about making the bed -- if I don't make mine, I feel at loose ends, grungy and just not right. I love your analogy and believe it fits my life as well! I do need to exercise more, though --

  3. A good Sunday afternoon read, thanks Steve. Some fine gap-plugging from iTunes too.

  4. I hear you on making the bed - if the bed isn't made then it seems to have a negative effect on the rest of the day. Unfortunately for me, Adam has turned the bed into some kind of department store display with what seems like hundreds of scatter cushions. It can take a while...

    & I am LOVING the sound of your iPod - exactly the type of stuff I like!

  5. I think the sun has a lot to do with your lightness of heart. I know it does with mine. Rituals help too! ;)

    Ah, memories ... I had "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour" on my 8-track, and Led Zeppelin too. I loved the Moody Blues. And Everything But the Girl reminds me of living in Europe. Great music, all!

  6. I'm glad sunnier skies (both internal and external) are heading your way.

  7. I'm proud to be your friend, Steve.

    I love London but the pervasive overcast would get to me, too, I'm sure of it. I'm so glad you're getting some Vitamin D. Oh yeah.

    I'm fastidious about making my bed, too. I love getting into a well made bed.

    I see that your friends also make their beds. I'm in good company here.

  8. I'm glad to hear others feel the same about the bed. Good on you about the I-tunes...Your kitchen looks peaceful and your puppy will calm down eventually. Ditto what Reya said.

  9. If the bed is made, there is at least one place in the house of tranquility. That's how I feel about it, anyway.