THE DOG, THE PARK AND EVERTHING

Beautiful sunny October and I’m feeling oh so fine! Coming from this elevated level, it’s hard even for me to believe that I can crash and burn. It’s all a part of living this human journey. Are you tired of hearing it, even if it’s true? I’m tired of saying it but it’s such a good line. How can I resist? I’m tap, tapping merrily along here. The words are bouncing off my fingertips. My endorphins are at a record high. I’m making use of them. Who knows. Tomorrow the clouds could crowd my horizons. I might not be able to elbow them out of my way. I’m making hay while the sun shines.

Taking advantage of my energy I rounded up Sheba for the dog park. She’s also in her best form for a 12 year old. She could still bounce up into the back of my Honda CRV with a little coaxing and a treat. Coming back was another matter. She looked up at the car and shook her head. I can’t do it, she told me. A treat couldn’t convince her. Maybe it was all the romping with the youngsters that did her in. I had to carry her up and in. Goes to show how strong I am. I’m sure she will sleep well tonight. Maybe we’ll get to sleep in tomorrow. She usually wakes up at 6 am, almost on the dot.

It’s good for me to show up here on my good days as well as bad days. It’s proof for me on bad days that I can feel awesome. I’m not down in the dumps, a wet blanket, raining on all the parades. I do miss one or two. Some days I even shine.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DESIDERATA

I didn’t wake up with a Yippee! on my lips this morning. Neither did I wake up with dread. Everything was copacetic. I was in that neutral state of the morning. I gave some thoughts on how I want to feel and how I want my day to go. My goal has always been the sentiments expressed in the poem Desiderata. I should read it every morning to keep heart.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann.

It is difficult to go placidly amid the noise and haste now. There’s so many voices and distractions. Who to listen to? Which direction should I go? It must be difficult in all times since Max Ehrmannt wrote the poem in 1927, a time which we think now as much quieter and slower. Some day in the future, someone will think of this time as being slower and quieter, too.

Mornings before the world is fully awake are the best for me. I’m grounded in the quiet.  I’m  a blank page, a new canvas to be filled/painted with optimism, dreams, fantasies. In the mornings I am hopeful that I can make changes. They are possible in the newness of the day. As the day ticks along, I can feel my head fill with thoughts and imagined conversations. Most of them are not true but made up in my busy mind. By noon I am consumed by idle chitchat, paranoia and negative self talk in my head. They drain me. And they are not necessarily true.

Knowing this, I will dedicate mornings pursuing all those things that gladdens and opens my heart. I hope being engaged thus will shut up those negative self talk and paranoid thoughts. In time maybe I can rid them at will, no matter time of day.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

ON BLOCKS AND BEING STUCK

It’s Monday, sunny and bright for most of the day. I should have taken advantage of the energy boost it gave me. But I didn’t exactly bust my ass. I had good intentions. They don’t mean squat if I didn’t follow through. I should not trash myself too badly because I did show up for the aerobics class this morning. Now I’m showing up here.

It’s almost the supper hour. The sun has set. There is a bit of wind but it was relatively pleasant walking Sheba. I was bundled up – too much. I was in a sweat when we got home. The back gate is locked for the evening. The recycle bin at the front curb. I’ve collected my summer sandals off the deck. They’re in a box. Haven’t figured out where to put the box yet. So I guess the sandals are still on the deck.

Pretty boring mutterings, eh? That’s how I’m feeling these days – blasé about life in general. Have you ever been in that condition? I have, many times. I guess it comes from having a short attention span and easily bored.  That’s my theory. I do get over them though this one is hanging on. There’s nothing to do but hang on, keep getting up, dressing up and showing  up. I know one morning I will wake up feeling ‘yippee!’

I get help wherever I can. Daisy Yellow (Tammy Garcia) provides lots of inspiration. She founded the annual Index-Card-a-Day Challenge of which I participates. Her post about dealing with creative blocks works for my life blocks. After all, life is a creative process and a work of art. I try to paint a little index card, cut/sew a quilt square or two, write in that one-inch picture frame that Anne Lamott talks about in her Bird by Bird. Now, I have a whole swack of index card art. Some awesome, some good and some just so so. I’m on my way to building a quilt. It’s slow going but I have a start. I try to come to this space daily. Sometimes I don’t make it. Sometimes I do. My self -talks help to unlock blocks. To date I have 1,004 blog posts.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BEING MY OWN INSPIRING PERSON AND HERO

Sunny Sunday morning. It’s a welcome sight. I don’t mind that it’s -7 Celsius. I’m always surprised every year how dark October can be. Seems like summer just drops off a cliff and the sunrise at 6 am with it. I’m left grappling for my clothes in the dark of the morning. Seeing the sun bright and shiny before 9 is a balm to my spirit. As always, Sheba is near my feet, crowding my space.

I’ve been on a reading jag, not a bad thing on cloudy October days. It keeps my mind from wandering and dwelling in dark places. I’ve just finished The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. It’s about post Vietnam War, PTSD, survival in Alaska and a love story. I found it hard to put down. It made me cry. I didn’t get much else done. It was a very appropriate and maybe helpful read. It tweaked something in my brain about winter, darkness and how to survive.

It was wet and oh so dreary yesterday. It felt a bit like being in Alaska. It was not an inviting day to be out and about. Waking up in the night for bathroom duties, my brain was working on excuses why I shouldn’t go swimming in the morning. I wondered how I made it to work for all those morning shifts at 7:30. I remembered those ‘phone in sick’ messages playing in my head. Though rarely, I did succumbed some mornings. Now that I’m retired, I don’t have to fear those checkup and sometimes threatening phone calls.

Despite my moans and groans and loud bitching, I get up, dress up and show up most mornings. So upon rising yesterday, I packed my gym bag with my swimming paraphenalia. I was good to go after breakfast at 7:45. I love that time of morning once out the door. The city is still quiet. Light traffic even on my busy street. I was the first one at the pool. It was beautiful to see the four empty lanes. The water was blue and ever so still. No worries about being too slow and people grabbing my toes from behind. That’s the feeling that pushed me to keep my Saturday morning date. I am capable of inspiring myself and being Wonder Woman. We all can do that for ourselves.

To keep up the momentum, we went art gallery hopping after lunch. Our first stop was at Boheme Gallery and Denyse Klette Art Studio for her Gnomes in the Neighbourhood Book Launch. Her colourful and whimsical art is just what I need on a wet cloudy day. And by luck we came across the Artists’ Workshop Exhibition Reception at Hues Gallery. It opened my eyes further about our very own local talents and small galleries. And the events were free with refreshments. I sorely miss the Mendal Art Gallery on Spadina Crescent. It was perfectly located by the river with good parking. It was easily accessible with ample free parking. Admission was also free to all. It was replaced by Remai Modern. I guess I’m not a fan. It is much bigger in the heart of downtown amid other businesses and paid parking and paid admission. I’m happy to discover other alternatives.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

ANOTHER WALK, ANOTHER DAY

It’s a very dreary, dreary day. I’m not looking forward to taking Sheba out for her walk but I will. If I give in to my rathers, I am sure I will come apart like a house of cards. I was thinking how difficult everything is this morning on the way to my appointment with my gynecologist. Getting out the door to anywhere feels stressful. Having to be on time. Having to find parking. I circle and circle. Then I’m in the examining room. I’m staring up at the bright lights in the ceiling, trying not to fall off the slanting chair. Then I see all those glistening metal instruments sitting on the cart next to me. Hmmm.

It all turned out. I’m good till next year. The medical resident working with him asked me, Aren’t you happy? I replied, I’m happy. She laughed because my face doesn’t show it. She’s one of those really bright, cheery and beautiful women you would love to hate. You can’t because she is so darn nice. So I mumbled something about it being morning. There was no need to explain or expand. I couldn’t. It is what it is.

So here I am, trying to tap out a few words, trying to do something. I have to try even if I don’t feel like it. It took me the longest time to get the lunch dishes done. I moaned and groaned. Everything felt twice as bad when it shouldn’t at all. I cannot understand it. I don’t try. I just do. I got the Roomba going while I was doing the dishes. Sheba is dropping clumps of hair and tracking in dirt. They magnify in my mind’s eye when I’m feeling thus.

I’m not complaining, just talking myself into moving and doing. We’ve just come back from our walk in a light drizzle. We did it. We didn’t melt in the rain. Our paws our wiped clean and dry. Another walk. Another day. I wish I have something more profound to say but this is it.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THE WHY AND WHEREFORE

It would be bliss if I could stop my thoughts at will. As it is, they go round and round chasing each other in my head. I feel as if I’m regurgitating the same ones over and over. You would think I was a cow chewing my cud. My thoughts of late: Why am I am doing this? What is the point? What is the use?

It’s my bored, SAD, disillusioned, morose, tired voices speaking the last few days. The news last night about the genocide in Myanmar gave me second thoughts. It made me think about the plight of the Rohingya refugees. What gives them purpose I wonder? I felt ashamed of my despondency. Here I was, sitting in front of the TV in the warmth and comfort of my own home. I can have light at a flick of a switch, water by turning on the tap. What right do I have to be despondent? What right do I have to moan about my ‘feelings’? I should be doing something useful instead.

There was a time when I felt that we should eliminate ‘shoulds’ from our vocabulary. It was or still is a popular cry. I am easily influenced. It seemed to make sense at the time. How ridiculous is that? As if eliminating would absolve us from our responsibilities. Because really there are so many things that we should and shouldn’t do. I can’t really give good examples at the moment. I’ve been with wine. One glass with supper can do that to me. So more on that at another time. I shouldn’t drink at all.

So what’s the point of what I’ve been doing? Why do I go on and on with my tap, tapping, my paintings, my sewing and all that? What’s the meaning of it all? As I’ve said, I’ve pondered that endlessly during times like this. I feel the drudergy and the dullness of it all. I bore even myself.  I’ve done them almost every day for quite awhile so I can do it even when I’ve lost my luster. These times do pass and the light comes on again. Then I find meaning and beauty in the things I’m doing and have created. And I feel proud that I still can create and tap out some words while moaning and complaining in my head. Sometimes my thoughts are faulty. I try not to believe them all.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

FAILED FENCES – POST MORTEM

Yesterday, I talked about how difficult if not impossible it is to mend old fences. Today I’m thinking about how to build new ones. I have to understand first why my fences failed. I don’t want to repeat the same mistakes. They do a post mortem of failed Code Blues to find the cause. I should do the same for my failed fences.

I have been living here in peace with my neighbours for many years. The house on one side used to be a rental. There were a variety over the years. There were attractive girls who liked to sunbathe in skimpy bikinis. I remember seeing the kids from the daycare next door peeking over the fence. They were cute and quiet. There was no angry commotion. Then there was a family with 2 cute puppies. They liked to wiggle under the fence into my yard. The only thing was they always left presents behind. I had a talk with their owners. They were very pleasant and apologetic and the puppies went back to their farm.

Then there was an end to the renters. The owner of the house moved in. He had been living in a small town with his wife. She had passed away. Peter was in his 80’s and had 2 white poodles. They were barkers like Sheba. I didn’t have a dog back then. They would bark and bark at the sight of me. It didn’t matter if I tried to be friends with them. I didn’t mind them as I knew they were Peter’s companions. We got along. We greeted each other. Peter helped shovel part of my snow in winter.

I had peace with the neighbours over the same time period on the other side of me. They sprayed my trees one summer when the worms were really bad. When I told one that I couldn’t open my basement window because of the snow from his driveway was piled against it, he apologized, explaining his father comes over and does the shovelling for him. There was no animosity or paid backs for my complaints.

It’s strange how things changed at about the same time on both sides. They changed with different sets of neighbours. It really isn’t the fences that is the problem. It’s the people who lives behind them. I’m sad to say that we’ve discovered that the ‘fence’ that I erected to cover a small open space in the yard was tampered with. Part of it was bent over so that it was possible for Sheba to escape easily onto our busy heavy traffic. Lucky that we’ve spotted it before that happened. I felt the maliciousness of that intent.

I’m not sure if I have a conclusion or solutions to this investigation. I have not done well at all in the past. I let myself be bullied. I always acquiesced, not wanting to cause trouble. Pershaps that’s my problem. When there’s a fence involved, there’s always 2 sides. No one side decides. Everything needs to be put on the table to be clearly examined, discussed, negotiated and agreed upon. It is easier said than done, especially when one voice is louder than the other. It always command more force. It sounds more right. I’ve never been strong in my stance. I mostly back down, give up and say I don’t care. I’ve never demanded for anything. If I had, I never got. I need more work to make recommendations.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments