Tuesday, September 26, 2023

A Morning In My Life (or: NoticingTransitions)

 Ovidia--every other Tuesday

See the green shoots? This is the transition I'm happiest about right now--those little green spikes are signs there may be a transition from death to life for my bonsai citrus!

This poor little bonsai tree looked dead when I got back to Singapore. But I trimmed (branches and roots) and repotted it because I have nothing to lose if it was already dead, but if it isn't--

And after a couple of dormant days, these green shoots just appeared--so I think we have a chance! It's still touch and go, though.

I've been thinking about Transitions because of a talk at the Yoga Shala last Sunday. Most of us (well, me) expected it to be about not skipping vinyasas, but it turned out to be something much more profound.

I always thought of vinyasas as unnecessarily tiring transitions from one seated pose to another. What I just learned is that 'used' correctly, they are a time/space to recentre yourself and your breathing and let go of any frustrations attached to the previous pose or any fears connected to the next one. And you don't need to Do anything. Just pausing and deciding "I'm going to be in this moment" can make it easier to get on with the next pose or next project of your day. 

So I decided to try it this morning: instead of reading or listening to a podcast, I would try to be mindful and document my morning "transition" times.

5:30am: Getting Up

Out of bed and on to the computer to do my Morning Pages (I started after reading the Artist's Way and now I use a site called 750words.com. It helps clear my head and figure out what the day's tasks and goals will be. This is where I work through ideas for my WIPs or sort out solutions to plot tangles. After brain dumping here, it's easy to transfer everything to Scrivener for cleaning up.

Then I print out my day's "bingo card" (everything from laundry and arranging for the carpet cleaner to come to word count targets--because sometimes when I'm really tired, completing something just so I can tick off a box is the only motivation I can get my brain around). 

Then I make our breakfast oatmeal...

This is what we have every day: rolled oats, wheat germ, flax seeds, chia seeds, salt, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, raisins and blueberries. All the ingredients are in pull out punnets so I can fix it on autopilot. It's what I miss most when traveling, no matter how fancy hotel breakfasts are!

Served with greek yoghurt mine on the left with soy milk. Beloved's on the right with cow milk goes into the fridge till he gets up at 7, but I eat mine at the computer while clearing my emails. If there's anything to be discussed on Zoom (I really HATE Zooming) this is usually when it happens. 

If there's time I'll visit Facebook and look in on blogs I follow... but not today.

7:30am: Heading Out

Gateway to the park and the bus stop just across the road.

Usually I'll be listening to a podcast or audiobook, but today I'm trying to 'be aware' and enjoy the transition. Met a friendly dog in the park, which was very nice. I still miss my two so much, though!

Since our darling doglets departed, we've given up the second car so I'm heading out on public transport--and so grateful for our nearby bus stops!

This is the one that starts me on my journey to yoga:

Any bus from here gets me to the station. Today a lovely lady bus driver was wishing every passenger 'Good morning' and 'How are you?' as we boarded, despite how crowded it was!

And I got to help an old man off the bus, which made me feel a) younger than I'd felt when I got on, and b) useful--like maybe there was a point to me being alive and on that spot in that moment.

I was so carried away by my good works that I forgot to tap out getting off the bus (if you forget to tap out you can get charged the maximum fare for the route!) I called out to the lady driver and she said, 'No problem, I do for you'. 

And I discovered she'd cancelled my fare--meaning I've just cheated the bus company of 61 cents! 

This is the walk from the bus stop to Beauty World Station--very pleasant in the early morning when it's still cool and even a little chilly.

And then down into the bowels of the MRT...

Beauty World station is on the East-West Line (EW: Green on the map) and I change at Stevens to the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL: Brown on the map) 

The connection involves quite a bit of walking--I'm so impressed by whoever designed and built all this underground without overly discombobulating the built up areas above ground!

And there's art work too, when I finally arrive at Outram Station.

But I'm very very glad to get back above ground and walking the rest of the way to the shala.

The trip usually takes me about an hour. If I take a bus all the way there it takes over an hour, but then that's an hour of reading time. Whereas today's route is a little faster and got me over 4,000 steps on my Fitbit, just from walking between connections, so that's good too.

 8:30am: Arrive at the Shala

I'm not one of the early birds--they get in at 6:30am and are leaving by the time I get in between 8:30am and 9am.

Practice for me usually takes between an hour and 75 min. I'm still very much a beginner, but I'm coming to realise that turning up here, like doing my morning pages, is a practice that anchors the rest of my day.

Plus, since coming back to yoga here I haven't had any petit mals or full blown seizures (touch wood--maybe the wooden floor here helps!). I don't know if it's correlation or causation, but I love it!

And yes (because people always ask) there's plenty of showers with hot water here for after! About six units, but this is my favourite 2-in-1.

10:30am: Homeward Bound

I retrace my route home, but I'm picking up my lunch and our dinner on my way back to the MRT station.

Today's lunch is coming out of a vending machine--

I'm having a bibim salad and fruit cup, paid for with my Senior Citizen Concession Card.

This is what it looks like on the plate--and it came with this cute little folding fork!

And dinner is going to be 'zi char'; literally 'cook fry' it's a versatile and cheap Singapore fast food that's usually rice or noodles and whatever you pick or ask to have prepped.

This is what we'll be having tonight:

11:30am: Arrive home after retracing the outward journey.

I'm going to do a couple of DuoLingo lessons then write this up and get back to editing The Angsana Tree Mystery. Right now it feels like it could be a great book, but also that I'm never ever going to finish it, it's moving so slowly and I keep going back and reworking things that seem right one day and ridiculous the next...

But all I can do is put in the time and focus, so that's what I'll do. Wish me luck! 



  1. This is such an inspiring "blow by blow" or "step by step" of a day. Thank you so much for posting and reminding me to start back on my morning pages.

    1. Thank you Wendall! I love my morning pages! Have you seen the 750 words site? It's free and it really helps having outside accountability!

  2. From AA:Delightful, Ovidia! Your beginning and ending completely echo my life these days. In fact, I read it while I was eating my daily oatmeal, which has fewer ingredients, but is as habitual for me, as yours seems to be for you! And your ending description of your work in progress is exactly where I am with

    1. …mine. I m at 50+K and stuck in reworking/rethinking. So here we are, dear friend, walking quite similar paths with the big ball we call Earth between our feet.

    2. Dear AA/Patricia, thank you very much for making me feel close to you though so far away! You are such a special person and I miss you, hope you are well!