When was the last time you washed your hair?
For me, actually, I’ve just got out of the shower and washed my hair a while ago with Misha assisting me in the bathroom.
When was the last time you washed your hair?
For me, actually, I’ve just got out of the shower and washed my hair a while ago with Misha assisting me in the bathroom.
It’s week #12 of Working On Us, a mental health prompts series hosted by Beckie of
and the topic of this week is self care. Gonna be tricky, but let’s try. I’m going to participate in prompt #1. Here goes.
I’ve shared with you all another song of this young, Norwegian singer last autumn, it was
But today, I’d like to share with you something newer of hers. I actually really like this song, I think it’s one of my current favourites, if I’d have something like a list of my monthly favourites I’d put it on there. This is a song that Iselin wrote intending to promote self-care. I’m in my lower than usual, depressed and self-loathing phase right now so at such times self-care is always difficult. So I thought I’d share this song as a bit of a boost, both for myself and those of you who may also struggle with it currently. And somehow it even goes in hand with my current questions of the day topic in a way. Hope you enjoy it. 🙂
What simple/common things fill you with joy?
Lots of things, and to a varying degree, depending on what it is and also on my mood and how much filled with joy I actually can feel at a certain moment. First and foremost, Misha. Though… well it was probably thoughtless of me to call him a simple and common thing. He’s one of the most complex beings that I know and I’m sure there is no other like him, and above all he’s certainly not a thing. OK, so, once again. Music (even though the music I listen to can rarely be called common as it’s rarely popular but never mind), reading interesting books, yummy food, sometimes playing with Zofijka, being by the sea, feeling the ice, having a hot bubble bath as long as it’s once in a while, lots and lots of nice/soothing/interesting sounds and on top of it the sounds of my languages or doing something with them, although again, not many of them are common, or even simple, so sometimes if they don’t feel very simple it can be also a challenge, but then I do love a good language challenge too. And there are probably other things that I can’t think of now too.
How about you? 🙂
After a week break I’m back to Music Monday Care & Love at Bee’s.
Actually, I participated last week too, but was too unsettled and chaotic to make a post and sum things up.
If you follow Bee’s blog, or have read my previous Music Monday Care & Love post, you know that right now Bee is using Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way” as a resource for self care exercises, and now we’re in week 2 of it.
There have been a lot of tasks to do in both chapters in the book that we’ve gone through so far, but I think I’ve acomplished most of them, those that I could do at the time and that seemed most relevant to me at the moment at least.
I’ve been doing most of these tasks in my journal, as I put a lot of things in there, much more than just how was my day and such, and I think it will be a great sort of documentation of my self care and artistic recovery.
Similarly to Bee, and a bit surprisingly to me, I found the whole process more personal than I thought it’d be, so I won’t share things very in depth.
Anyway, I’ve discovered some quite surprising things about myself, my way of thinking, being, my beliefs… That was quite hard, the more that I am having generally a bit of a hard time lately with all the memories that have come back rushing to me together with my friend emerging from the past, and other things, but I also found it interesting.
What particularly resonated with me were affirmations and negative beliefs, about which Bee wrote last week HERE.
That was all quite powerful and gave me a lot of stuff to think about.
I had some trouble listing my “hall of horrors”, so the three people who have said something negative about my art. I realised that in my case it is more circumstances and events than just particular people, but I did manage to write a horror story basing on those circumstances and events anyway. Listing my champions of creativity was much easier.
Writing a thank you letter to myself was another hard thing, I don’t think it’s particularly good, but I still did it.
I just loved the idea of imaginatively lives.
And I did go for a walk too, last week, with my Mum.
As for journaling, or as Julia Cameron refers to it “morning pages” I am usually pretty consistent with it, which helps me a lot. I may not write on all days, but I always catch up on everything and generally write quite a lot when I write. Last week I journalled 5 days out of 7.
I had my artist’s date last week – which as you may remember for me is horse riding – and enjoyed it thoroughly. This week, unfortunately, it wasn’t possible, as my instructor was too busy.
I still have the list of 20 things I enjoy doing to make, and I look forward to doing it as maybe then I’ll come up with some new ideas for artist’s dates for weeks like this when I don’t have my horse riding.
ONe of my imaginatively lives is to be a writer, and, indeed, I’ve been writing almost all the time this week – apart from journaling, blogging etc. I decided to write some more of one of my books, that I’d stopped working on for a while, I don’t have any particular ambitions with it but I feel that writing it has always helped me to distract and feel better. This book is called “Jack Hamilton” and it’s about… well it’s about Jack Hamilton, Jack Hamilton is my imaginary friend, and I write about his life successively since many years and just can’t quit. I leave Jack alone for months, but can never quit writing about him. So that made my week in a way.
Actually, as I think about it now, I could make it another idea for my artist’s date hahaha.
Another task in 2nd chapter of “The Artist’s Way” is to write a list of 10 small changes we would like to make in our lives and pick two to and do them. So, one of my changes is “I would like to be more consistent with my creative writing”. And what I decided to do with it is – I will try to write at least three pages of one of three books I started per week. This week, it was time for Jack Hamilton, next it might be my viking book, and then, I don’t know yet whether my potential harlequin, or whether I’d rather want to focus o translating Vreeswijk, I’m rather leaning towards the latter as that seems more interesting, but also way more hard. And then again, Jack Hamilton, vikings, Vreeswijk/harlequin, every three weeks. I have a week for writing just 3 pages, and a week is actually a lot of time, so I’ll probably end up writing more if I’m not in a crisis or something haha. I’ve written 5 pages of Jack this week. I’m not going to stress myself out with it, just to be a bit more consistent and organised and really notice any progress with my writing.
My another change has to do with my thinking patterns, namely I’m trying to think less critically about myself, though, that seems to be much harder, and acually not such a small change as it may seem at first.
So that would be a little idea for you as for my self care and artistic recovery, now let’s get to the music.
As we’re going through “The Artist’s Way”, Bee suggests to make a playlist of songs that are encouraging for uus. I have two private playlists so far that are encouraging or helpful for me. One is entirely instrumental, with some relaxing music of different kinds, not always objectively relaxing like for meditation, but also folk or classical or electronic or chillout or soundtrack, it’s all just calm and instrumental. Another one is with all the music of my crushes. My all musical crushes are sort of antidotes for pain for me, and so is their music. It is actually quite amazing how it can lift me up at times or at least distract. I wouldn’t like to be boring and monothematic though, because I’ve shared two of my crushes’ music in last two Music MOnday posts.
But there’s also plenty of other kinds of music and songs that I find more or less encouraging. I decided that today’s song will be something that’s rather new to me. I like interesting new discoveries, the mere idea of interesting new music discoveries is always very encouraging and making such discoveries is a part of my weekly self care routine 😀 so I decided to go through my new discoveries of the last few months or even weeks and pick something.
And I found something that feels perfect in a way. It is “Gold” by a Swedish synth pop musician Frida Sundemo.
Just the sounds of this song are so light and delicate and a bit magical and make you feel relaxed and your mindset more cheerful. And I love the lyrics. They’re soothing, but encouraging. There is an ocean. Ocean can be gentle. Comforting. Beautiful. Ocean is smooth and its waves can rock you to sleep. You can swim peacefully in it. But ocean is also big, for me it feels like a challenge. So it’s not just soothing. It’s gently motivating too. And that’s what encouragement is all about in my opinion.
Hi guys. 🙂
So today again I’m participating in Bee’s Music Monday Care & Love.
Since this week, Bee is following Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way” as a prompt for Music Monday Care & Love. In this book Julia Cameron writes about creativity, how many of us don’t use their creative potential and don’t have enough space for creativity in their lives, as there are so many important things we have to do in life and not everyone finds the time to be creative. It seems like her idea of creativity or being an artist is pretty similar to mine – I talked about it in the past in one of my question of the day posts where I asked you whether you consider yourselves artistic. I think that art is generally quite a narrow idea – the way that many people look at it – so that it only includes those generally accepted so to say creative arts, or even just visual arts. For me though, art is something aesthetic, beautiful. Creative or artistic people are those who are sensitive to beauty, and in general. They don’t have to do any of the common creative arts, they can do anything – but in their own way, with a lot of enthusiasm, and wholeheartedly, withh a lot of dedication. That’s an artist to me.
And I also agree with what THE Bee said, that being creative, doing creative things, can be a way of self care, a very good and helpful one in my opinion.
Because it helps us to find some point in our life, because being creative we can do what we love, and because via our creative activities we can let out emotions, so it’s generally therapeutic. And it simply gives us something to do and focus on.
I like Julia Cameron’s ideas of “morning PAGES” and “artist’s date” – I send you to Bee’s blog if you’d like to read more about those things.
I always liked journaling and writing and it was always greatly helpful to me in understanding, figuring and letting out my emotions, which, particularly that last thing, can be often very tricky for me, therefore Julia cameron’s idea of writing 3 pages as first thing every morning and letting out spontaneously what’s on your mind without any editing kind of spoke to me. I can’t do it this way, because morning is usually part of the day when there’s the most hassle around and I have the most to do, and it was always hard for me to establish some consistent, more sophisticated morning routine, plus sometimes with my messed up sleep cycle it is hard to figure out when morning actually is, as I can wake up pracctically any time. 😀 And of course handwriting isn’t doable as I’m blind.
Still though, I do journal every day, or even if not, I always catch up on my journal if I miss a day or two, and my diary is incredibly important for me. And who knows, maybe if I counted it, many of my entries would turn out to be 3 pages long or even longer. 😀
And I love the conception of artist date, to do something you’ve never allowed yourself doing, but always wanted to, and that sounds fun. Something that will awake your creativity and allow your inner creative child to play.
At first, I had some difficulty though to choose something that I could do as an artist’s date. There are many things that are really fun and that I love and that I’ve always dreamed about doing, but they’re not always manageable to do just whenever you want.
And then I thought – but hey, there are so many creative and fun things you already do, about which you dreamed for so long and finally you can do them!
And that’s true. There are so many things. If you told me like four years ago, or earlier, that I’ll be doing them, I’d probably just laugh in your face and think you’re foolish and unhealthily optimistic or something. But now I do them.
I can learn my languages. I can horse ride. I can write how much I want and no one can tell me I can’t. Moreover, as for my languages, I’m learning those that I’d almost accepted that are out of my reach because of accessibility – or lack of it – like Welsh!
SO I decided I won’t be trying to come up with something new, at least not this week. I’ll rather try to appreciate those things thaT I can do, and that are creative, even more, and have fun doing them, so that they would be even more pleasurable and not just a part of my routine.
So both yesterday and today, I was doing my Welsh, and was having A LOT of fun with it – with learning new words, with all my small successes and all – and I hope I’m gonna do some of it every day.
And a special thing this week – which I’m gonna treat as my artist’s date – will be tomorrow, because tomorrow at 10 AM I’m going horse riding. I just hope I’m gonna feel good afterwards, and not as crappy as last week hahaha. Then all will be great!
So that’s my self care plan for this week.
The milkshake about which I was writing in last week MusIC Monday post, didn’t work out, but I still have tons of kefir in the house to comfort myself with. 😀 I think overall, on a daily basis, kefir is much better than milk shakes hahaha.
OK, so as for the music, Bee suggests us to choose some music from the year we were born.
I was born in 1997. Most of my music is either on my Spotify, or on my SD cards, and if I’m honest – apart from my music crushes – I’m not always oriented from which album which song comes and when it was released (as numbers have little to no value for me), so I wondered for quite a while as for what to choose. Enya has released a compillation in 1997, but it’s just a compillation, so… I wasn’t really sure. I filtered my whole Spotify library to find all the stuff in it that has been released in 1997, meanwhile making lots of interesting discoveries as I didn’t know that many songs that I listened to and loved and had in my Spotify library were released in the same year when I was born, but I still hesitated, and then I realised that this Enya’s compilation that I mentioned, it has two tracks that haven’t been released before. One is “Only If”, and another is just as the compillation’s title “Paint The Sky With Stars”.
I think many many people may know “Only If”, as this song has been quite popular, and if I’m honest, although Enya is my music crush and I like almost everything from her, in my opinion “Only If” isn’t as haunting and beautiful as most of her pieces, though it’s still beautiful and very positive overall.
So I thought “Paint The Sky With Stars” would be a perfect choice. This is such a beautiful song, isn’t it?And again, like last week, I’m sharing with you something from one of my music crushes. As some of you may remember, Enya is my very first one.
It’s definitely not a beginning of the week now, but despite it I decided that nevertheless I’m gonna participate in Music Monday Care & Love
I haven’t participated in it for a while due to my laptop being fixed and now I’m happy to get back to celebrating my achievements and doing some self care together with Bee and all other participants, though I was afraid I may not do it this week too as I’ve been a little disorganised lately, mostly due to feeling a bit unwell physically. But now I hope I’m back on track and things will be getting better.
So here’s my very rambly post.
This week, Bee suggests us to go back to basics and simply celebrate ourselves with a mug of our favourite beverage, and she also encourages us to journaling.
As journaling is a part of my routine and helps me a lot with figuring out my feelings and other things, it wasn’t difficult to do this. And hopefully I’ll be having one of my favourite beverages tomorrow.
Recently, my Mum is crazy about protein shakes – she has some natural protein supplements and she makes drinks of almond milk, lots of fruit, a little honey and coconut oil and melts that protein in it. I also tried it, and it’s cool, but it made me think of shakes at KFC. 😀
I had a shake from KFC only once in my life, I guess I was in my early teens, I was at the boarding school at the time, and I was in touch with a girl who was studying typhlopedagogy and writing a dissertation on the blind in integration schools, basing it on my case. So we were seeing each other every now and then and talked about my experiences but also other unrelated stuff and one day she suggested to me that we could go out to the city and have a real treat. She was a big eater – herself working in a fastfood restaurant, and she told me we could go to a few of such places and eat whatever we wanted. That sounded cool and of course I was always happy to leave the boarding school with someone I liked and do something nice, so we did it, and I can remember that we visited really quite a few fastfood locals, and I was quite amazed at how much she can eat, while I felt stuffed already after we left the first one haha. At the end of our fast food trip, we went to KFC and I remember that I had a shake, and it was soooo yummy, but so terribly sweet and as I said I was way too stuffed, so I wasn’t able to drink much of it. I really regretted though haha.
Overall I am not a big fast food eater, I do like a lot of junk foods, but I can’t remember when was the last time I was at MCDonald’s or KFC, it’s not a regular thing for me. And although after that big fast food trip I remember I even had dreams involving vanilla and chocolate shakes, I never actually thought about that whenever I was at KFC after that.
But now my Mum’s shakes reminded me of that and I thought to myself that finally I have to get myself a shake at KFC. And tomorrow Zofijka wil be getting a takeaway for us all, because when I mentioned shakes she said she got very hungry and wants to KFC now, so finally we decided we can wait one day longer. 😀
I’m curious to see whether I’ll stil be so impressed with this shake and whether there was really something to regret or was I just idealising it because I was happy to be free from the boarding school atmosphere for a while and simply have nice memories of that time. 😀
So yeah, that’s gonna be my very healthy self activity of the week, lol – drinking a chocolate shake from KFC.
Oh, and there was another self-care activity that was very important to me this week, and much more healthy.
I finally went horse riding! I was a bit hesitant, because of that skin infection on my leg I’m having and about which I was writing earlier, how I was frustrated with it and that it won’t let me ride. I’m still dealing with it, though it’s not as painful now, I’ve been having also quite low blood pressure this week for some reason which makes me feel a bit crappy and groggy, so I was worried whether it would actually make sense to go riding in such state, but I just couldn’t resist and say my instructor that again I can’t go. I told her about my issues and so she told me that we will cut it to only half an hour for now, the more that I wasn’t riding in months, so we should have an easy start.
I didn’t regret that I went, even though it was rather intense and we were repeating all we’ve done before. It wasn’t only a big restart for me, but also for my instructor, as she wasn’t riding or doing anything at the stud for months as well, due to her other duties and issues.
The ride was great. I was happy to see Rudy – my horse, and my instructor too. I was doing very well despite my leg not being in the best condition and was feeling great at the time I was riding though.
Afterwards though, I felt yucky again and like my bp was dropping, but luckily my Mum already was there so we left quickly. I was a bit scared by that episode as I felt really shitty and weak for some time and whenever I was standing I felt like I was going to pass out or something, which luckily didn’t happen, I was afraid I maybe did too much or that it wasn’t wise to go riding when I wasn’t feeling too good.
I went to bed for a while and then I felt much better after some rest, so I guess it wasn’t that bad in the end, though my Mum was rather worried too. We both think now that it was just that I did too much at the start.
I hope next week is gonna be much better for me and I can’t wait for Friday to go ride again. 🙂
OK< so that would be about my self care, now let’s get to the music.
Bee asks us to share some music that reminds us about our successes. That also wasn’t hard for me to think about such piece of music.
One of the successes I treasure the most in my life, is thatI translated some of Cornelis Vreeswijk’s poems and songs.
This one I’m going to show you, is particularly important to me because it was the first one I translated, and funnily enough, with not very big knowledge about Swedish language. I started to learn Swedish when I was 10 and was learning it for about two years, at the time when I was in the integration school, but then had to leave both the integration school and Swedish for a long time, there was no possibility for me to learn it at the school for the blind. When I translated this song, I guess I was about 16, still going to the school for the blind, my crush on Vreeswijk was very fresh and I was even more determined than before that I am going to learn Swedish again, whatever it takes. But all that I had at that time was some bits and pieces of Swedish that I learned as a child and still remembered, some other bits and pieces that I forgot but that came back to my memory with Cornelis’ music, and some new vocabulary that I tried to learn just of curiosity of Cornelis and his songs and poems. So that wasn’t much.
When I first heard this song, the little bits of its lyrics that I understood made me very curious what it’s all about. So when I came home next time I tried to deciffer the lyrics, not without a difficulty. Finally I understood them more or less though and was in awe, because it is a really beautiful song!
I scrolled through the lyrics over and over and over again, and at some point I started to a bit unconsciously translate it to Polish so that the lines would be equally long as those in the original. How surprised I was to see that that little mishmash of words in my brain was actually becoming a logical construction that was even rhyming! I was so excited and very spontaneously decided to write a translation of it. Just for fun, but I wanted it to have the same rhythm as the original.
In all that excitement I felt, it went really quickly once I started, or so it felt. HOnestly it felt kinda as I was on drugs or something, I never felt that way before hahaha. When I was reviewing it years after writing it, I always saw some shortcomings, some pretty significant, and I still feel like I could improve a few lines but just don’t know how. Though, as such an early thing, with such a low level of Swedish I had at that time, I think it was great! And I am so extremely proud of it. I was elated for weeks after I did it. And my Mum hung it over her bed in our previous house. 😀
OK, but I guess I should now tell you a bit about the song itself. I tried to translate it to English, at least very literally, or find a translation, but there doesn’t seem to be any and I found it a bit too difficult to translate such a thing to a language that I’m not completely fluent in. So I’ll just tell you a bit aboutit.
It is a beautiful lullaby, one of Vreeswijk’s lighter poems and in my opinion one of more beautiful ones. It is dedicated for Bim – this nickname belongs to Birgitta Gunvor Linnea Warne who was his second wife, I love this nickname by the way – Cornelis – yeah, how cool is that, to dedicate your own works to yourself 😀 – and, how thoughtfully, all other people on Earth (I feel so honoured to be included! 😀 )
In each verse, we can see different people and other beings sleeping.
In the first verse, we see Staffan and Stina asleep. I’ve always imagined this couple as bee-keepers, because straight after that we get to know that the hive is asleep, and the bees in it. The dachshund is sleeping in its basket, and even the joy and sadness are asleep. Only darkness is awake, painting the roof black.
In the second verse Kenneth and Marit are sleeping, who, as I understand it, are factory workers, and during their sleep are away from the stress and the economy, rent and hysteria, away from worries about children…
Then we see Lasse and Pia, who are free, because the sleep, or dreams, are free. And then Greta and Ellis are mentioned, though we only know that they are dreaming, and finally Bim and Cornelis, also dreaming…
The refrain says, as I understand it, because it is hard to translate literally for me, that although we have many troubles and limitations of all kinds, we sleep in freedom, “so sleep, sleep”.
That’s an interesting point of view in my opinion, that only during sleep we can be fully free.
I could argue now, and talk in length about my sleep paralysis and other rubbish, but overall it’s so true! Plus it’s Cornelis, so I feel like I shouldn’t argue with him, even if my views are often dramatically different than his were, hahahaha.
OK, so I’ll leave you with this song, and… sleep well, at leastif you’re in my time zone or similar, and I wish you peaceful dreams full of freedom.