I continue to work on my word and focus of the year which is CALM. May has been a good month! I continue to learn to create calm, in my head and elsewhere, react to events calmly and not worry about things unnecessarily.
It’s been a busy month, but a good busy. We’ve continued to play music with other people in pubs, prepared for our gigs, we spent a weekend in Dingle, and I’ve come back into the flow with my design work and I finally manage to move forward with my graphic design plans.
During May I also attended a Zoom workshop to study the guitar style of Doc Watson. So, a good busy!
Calm despite what media feeds you
I continue to focus on enjoying the good things in life as much as I can. I’ve learned to stop my overthinking quite a bit – I notice when my brain starts spinning too much, and I steer my thoughts in a different direction.
But that isn’t easy. Media and today’s society are doing their best to make people miserable – bad news and negativity are being shoved down everyone’s throat through all kinds of channels. Maybe because upsetting people is profitable on social media? But I ignore the noise, I refuse to let it get to me. I close the browser, move on, go with the flow and do the things that make me happy. As for bad news and things happening in the world, I stay updated to know what’s going on, and that’s it.
Calm with music
We’re having our first gig in about a week. And I haven’t been able to prepare a lot because I’ve had problems with my voice and have been busy with work, Doc Watson tunes and other things. But I’m ok with it. The songs we do well are good, and we have a good variety of songs and fiddle tunes. I hope to learn bits of lyrics for other songs I don’t know 100% by memory yet and will work on them during the week. When I don’t actively practise, I’ll keep a playlist with those songs going while I work.
Also, we’ve been playing in other pubs such as O’Neill’s during the spring and some people have come back week after week to hear us, so we can’t be too bad! The most important thing we can do is to have fun, enjoy ourselves playing music, and see it as a nice jam session. We’ll be fine and while I’m going to practise as much as I can during the week, I’m not going to worry about it. I’m simply done with worrying, and I’m going to have fun despite not being the most fabulous guitar player.
A friend told me that at her first gig, people told her to stop! And it hasn’t happened to us yet, so I guess that’s a good sign… 😁
Calm in the garden
Last autumn the weather was quite wet for a long time which made it impossible to cut the grass, but while the grass was still growing…. I did a few attempts but was unable to do it properly. This meant that in the spring, the grass grew in thick chunks and the entire lawn at the back was a total nightmare to cut. I called it “grass hell”. 😂 This is the disadvantage of the mild Irish climate – the grass starts growing again in early March or so but you normally can’t cut it for (at least) another few weeks because it’s too wet. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, last summer I left an area uncut and let wildflowers grow. The insects need it more than we do. But with too rich soil, grass will be happier than wildflowers and this spring, the usual wildflowers never showed up in that area and there was mostly rough grass. I’ve done a lot of reading on this topic and realised that if I want a meadow, even with the no-mow method, there’s quite some work involved and considering that particular area is even under normal circumstances awful to cut, it probably isn’t the best place to create a meadow because the maintenance will be too hard. So I had to cut the grass and make another plan. There are two options – either get sheep or remove the lawn!
After some hard work, now the area is cut and we have a plan.
We’re going to build a nice patio in the middle of this area with shrubs all around it. We’ll sit there with a good drink, or read a book, while enjoying the scenery. At the bottom part, there will be some other planted areas – we’ll build this one bit at a time and it will take some work, but it will be good in the end. At the top part (closest to the camera) I hope to make another large garden bed for smaller flowering shrubs and perennials. It will be a lot prettier with more colour instead of all the green, and we need more pollinators in this area where we’ll also grow vegetables – to the left in the white boxes you can see our tomato plants.
Gardening is one of my most important feel-good activities, so all this planning and work gives calm and enjoyment because we’re creating something that will be beautiful, and better for wildlife than the ugly lawn will ever be.
Enjoying the season
May is a wonderful month in this part of the world. Flowers start to bloom, the weather is usually mild and you can see the summer coming. We’ve had very windy weather here but still mild, and I’ve been out quite often for walks down the lane or to Ballinglanna by the sea. The little lane down the hill is stunning with all the wildflowers and blooming trees! This week’s walks offered a variety of wonderful scents and colours.
The weather is supposed to be less windy and very nice over the weekend, so I’ll enjoy it to the fullest! If you have a word, concept or goal of the year I hope you are doing well with it, and I hope things are as good as they can be where you are.