My Task for May

I decided not to complain. Could I go a week without complaining? How about a month? Why not try a month.

Not just verbal complaining either, but complaining thoughts and written complaints.

I started my new journal with a title page, Only the Good.

What will I do, then, with complaints that pop into my head? I’ll observe them and let them go.

What about the ones that spill out of my mouth before I catch them? I’ll forget them and not beat myself up for having them. I don’t have to be perfect. I just have to keep trying.

And the written ones that masquerade as frustration or resentment or impatience or confusion or anger or even fear or anxiety? How about those? Will they be more difficult to stop, after years of writing down such thoughts in order to feel “heard” or to articulate my experience? Maybe by imposing this no-complaint parameter, I’ll be forced to transform useless whines into something more effective, more creative, more worthwhile, more meaningful, more haiku.

Now, simply to remember.


A pair of yellow-rumped warblers, myrtle variety, has been in our yard for a week. They are small, about the same size as the black-capped chickadees that are the largest population here all winter.

The male: WARBLER

And the female:

There is also a pair of merlins nesting in our spruce trees for the second summer in a row. They’re making a lot of noise. They kill and eat small birds, but Birds of Saskatchewan says they don’t hunt in their nesting ground. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

The bird life going on outside our door — and there is a lot of it, with ducks and coots delineating their territories in the dugout and sloughs around the yard, and huge flocks of snow geese still in migration — is one of my greatest pleasures.


Karen dropped in yesterday for about an hour. I was to give her lunch. She got bran muffins with butter, oranges cut in wedges, chocolate chip cookies, and tea. We talked non-stop. I fall more in love with my sisters each time I see them. Joan, when you move back home my life will be complete.

This afternoon I’m expecting Bev, who is bringing along a friend. They may stay till the weekend. The friend is here to consult with a local healer.

“You’re my hero,” said Bev, for putting them up. I’m not a hero, though; I’m going to love having them here. Today I’ll be washing sheets, changing bedding, picking up the dog-draggings around the yard (goddamn dog), and making “porcupine” meatballs for supper.

Guess I should get moving.




6 thoughts on “My Task for May

  1. Some complaints are obvious. Others, well, are they a description of reality, thorough observation… I am never sure. I have to admit, I do like “(goddamn dog)”, I hope that isn’t a complaint that gets the ax!!


  2. That’s a tough one – I admire your effort!

    I wish I had a sister living near me. I’m holding out hope that the job one of my brother-in-laws has applied for will bring them here.


  3. Secret Agent Woman,
    When I moved back here in 2002, I thought one of the best parts about living near my hometown again would be the ease of seeing family frequently. It didn’t happen that way, though, except that I made a point of taking my boys to visit my grandmother every week. But my sister, though she’s one of my favourite people to spend time with, well we don’t see each other nearly often enough. I think proximity breeds lackadaisical habits of the visiting type, i.e. no actual habit because you think you’ll just drop in often but you don’t, therefore months go by before you realize how long it’s been. If your sister moves closer (fingers crossed!), plan a regular get-together, which is something my sister and I have never managed to organize. – Kate


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