Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ordinary Day

Today was a busy day.  I think busy days are ordinary days for most of us.  We live lives packs pretty full from rising to bed.

Mine began at 6:00AM and included working both of my jobs, working on an email newsletter, a nap, feeding myself, teaching a dance class, an episode of RHONY and being interviewed on a radio program to help promote  the 2017 Pagan Unity Day.

I'm tired.  And I have a bit of headache.

I've another ordinary day tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Ordinary Emotions

I awoke this morning feeling...

...a little sad
...self doubt

The anxiety is in part due to a very full plate in the coming weeks and I'm definitely worried about getting things done (and done well).  I'm also anxious about a close friendship that has hit some bumps and I'm not totally clear where things stand with this person. The sadness and self doubt are leftovers from the reemergence some old pain and hurts that I'm still healing from.  The hope is because unlike many other days, today I can identify what it is that I'm feeling and why.

When I went to bed last night I was feeling pretty good.  My day had a bumpy start but I managed to stay focused on work.  I had lunch with a friend, taught a dance class and hung out with other friends after.  I went to bed feeling fairly content and grateful for the people in my life.   I feel like I slept fairly well.  I don't recall my dreams from last night.

I got up, wiped sleepy bits from my eyes, fed the cats (dealt with a momentary hissing match - they are still adjusting), said good morning to my housemate, made coffee and, yes, took a moment to write my thoughts in my journal - which definitely helped with the hopeful part.

And now I'll go on with my day, feeling what I'm feeling.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ordinary Morning

I have a fantasy morning routine in which I wake up with the sun feeling alert and rested.  I have a glass of water before putting on my walking shoes and heading out of the house for a morning stroll.  My walk takes me past some beautiful place by the sea, or through a field of blooming wildflowers.

When I arrive home I meditate, after which I brew a fresh cup of some fantastic roast of coffee.  I sit and write in my journal, noting the flowers I saw on my walk or thoughts that came to me during my meditation.  I'll probably make a few lists of things I want to do that day.  I'll check the time and to my delight, I've a few minutes to spare for a bit of yoga.

The key word here is FANTASY.

My mornings do start early; I try to get up two hours before I have to start work (today that means 6:00AM as I'll log into work at 8:00).  I feed the cats, and then peruse Facebook on my phone while waiting for the kettle to boil.  The coffee part is mostly right as I do buy at least decent coffee and I make it by the cup in a small french press. At some point I'll realize I've become lost down an internet rabbit hole and I've only 15 minutes left to get dressed and make a second cup of coffee.  If I'm lucky, and I plan ahead, I may find time to write in my journal.

Lately there is about a 50/50 chance that after I feed the cats, I'll go back to bed, forget to set the alarm and find myself waking up ten minutes before work begins.

Every once in a while, when the stars align properly or I'm in the midst of a period of dedicated self improvement,  I'll have my coffee, read the news, write in my journal, get dressed and upon looking at the clock realize that I actually do have ten or so minutes to spare for meditation.  

After which I of course pat myself on the back for having such a well organized morning routine.

What is your ordinary morning?

Monday, July 31, 2017

30 Days of Ordinary

Ordinary Feet




1.  with no special or distinctive features; normal. (courtesy of

It could be an act of resistance against the sort of life society says I should be living these days.

Maybe it is a reaction to the "just-so tousled hair, profile facing a horizon of ocean/mountains/trees, tagged with a quote about living an authentic life" photos that seem to fill my Instagram and Facebook feed lately.

Perhaps it is in response to comments that have come my way recently that lead me to recognize that the way others perceive my life to be is so wildly different from what it actually is (thank you social media). 

(I really, really hope it is not some subconscious, sideways humble brag...OMGoodness, look how damn NORMAL I am!!!)'s just assume your motives are 99% noble and actually get to the point.

I have long been an advocate for honesty in social media. If you are having a shitty day you should feel absolutely free to say just that. If you really put a lot of work into accomplishing a long desired goal, brag away! And people do. In fact my social media feeds seem to be exercises in extremes that waver between "the world is falling apart" and "I LOOOOOOOOOVE my friends!!! MUAH!"

And I'm just as guilty. When I post at all these days, what I have I put out there has become a carefully cultivated garden of outrage, how I keep my shit together, and hey, hope y'all have a happy, happy day - thankful to be alive, with long, long periods of silence and cat pictures.

If it isn't carefully thought out, edited, and filtered it isn't shared. I find myself, despite my best efforts, creating a very careful presentation of my life...even when talking about the not so great stuff. Even my sad days have to be perfectly sad or I don't share them!

What it is missing is the day to day.

What is missing is the ordinary.

So here is where I announce my idea, my project, 30 Days of Ordinary. Each day I am going to write about or share a photo of something ordinary from my life. I'm not totally sure what that means yet, but I've a few rules I'm setting for myself.

1. Photos must be unedited (not filters, or color changes, etc) and when I take them I'm allowed two attempts.

2. Ordinary does not mean boring. I can write about said above extremes or something that I find exciting, but it has to be honest. I'm not allowed to embellish or edit to make things look 'not so bad' or 'not so good.'

3. Performance photos are not allowed unless it's process oriented. Performance is a step outside of the ordinary and I tend to do myself up to hide imperfections, but practice photos are fine.

So here we go. Thirty days of ordinary...

NOTE: I lay no claim to 30 Days of Ordinary. If you wish to do your own 30 Days of Ordinary feel free! I'll be sharing photos on Instagram (@spinsterjane) with the hashtag #30daysofordinary. I'd love to see more!

Monday, July 3, 2017's been how long???

Five months (almost).  This has to be the longest pause in blogging that I've taken since starting Spinster Jane six years ago. It wasn't an intentional break.  There was no, "Time to focus on other things for a bit.  See you in six months!"

I've logged in several times.  I've even started a few posts, but nothing came together enough to be completed and published. I would stare at the screen, hands hovering above the keyboard, hoping something would come.  I even made a few posts to the SJ Facebook page promising some sort of post...soon....soon...soon.

Soon...five months soon.

My greatest creative nemesis has always been my own head.  Most often it gets in the way by questioning the validity of my talent or slipping in a bit of self doubt (who are YOU to call yourself an artist???)  There are also those long stretches of ruminative, navel gazing; wrapping myself up in my own shadows.  And crazy making obsessive thoughts that simmer beneath the surface of my thoughts, just waiting for the right cue to take over my mental stage where they derail my creative efforts for days.

This was deeper though.  There were events this past winter that brought me face to face with one of my deepest fears - that of abandonment.  It shook me, leaving my emotional foundation cracked.  I turned inward...and stayed there.

Months have passed, work has been done.  I'm turning outward more; it's time to look to come back to life...

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Aggressive Body Love

Like many women I struggle with body image.  I have times I look in the mirror and I don't like that I see silver hairs on my head and tiny lines at the corner of my eyes.  I don't like the soft spots that have appeared or the cellulite that dimples my thighs.

I look in the mirror and my emotions can run from resignation to sadness to outright disgust.  It does not take long for my mind to start berating me on how I should have used more sunscreen, quit smoking sooner, had fewer sips of wine and worked out more.  Because the fact that I don't look 20 at 45 must somehow be my fault.

I have spent more than one evening researching Botox, calculating how many treatments I could afford to get in one year and, with my limited budget, just what spots would I have done.  The answer is always my forehead because those worry lines between my eyes age me more than anything.

And then I get angry.  I become angry first at myself for succumbing to the idea the my self-worth is somehow directly related to how youthful I look.  And then I add a bit of shame because as a woman facing the prospect of being "of a certain age" I should be trying my best to model the behavior of self acceptance for those young women soon to face that same mirror.  And then I become angry that we live in a culture in which women over 40 are practically invisible; where we are ignored into silence.

Unless of course by some chance we manage, by knife, needle, luck or circumstance, to look "good for our age."  Those of us who escape the adjective of old are rewarded with praise for not falling prey to time and our DNA, as though youth is an accomplishment.

And aging, a failing of character.

I once again walk to the mirror where my eyes see nothing different, but my heart, my gut screams at me to not accept this vision of myself that my culture has laid upon me.

I look in the mirror and my eyes see nothing different, but I refuse to let that matter.

I will look in the mirror and eyes see nothing different, but I will love what I see if only to be contrary to the rules you have placed upon me.   I will set my own standard just to spite you.

I look in the mirror and my eyes see nothing different but I swear to myself that I will choose my own measurement for beautiful.

And I will tell everyone woman I meet that she is beautiful too.  And it will be the truth.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Happy Birthday

"I'd be happy to live till 80 as long as I was comfortable and in good health. Mind you, ask me again on the eve of my 80th birthday. Even so, I hope we don't all start living to be 120. I'm not sure I'd cope with another 60 years." -  Bonnie Tyler

Today marks 45 years of my riding Earth around the sun.  The most recent circuit  has been a tough one; for me and my country.  At times it felt as though the entire planet was shaking.

I've no idea what lays ahead for any of us but I am grateful that whatever happens, I am not facing it alone.

So today on my birthday I want to express to all of my friends that I am thankful that our particular meandering life paths have brought us together and I am glad to be walking with you.