How intrusive the world! So many phone calls on things I do not need nor asked for. Those poor Call Center employees. I am not much of a consumer. They will not get much business from me. They do not listen. They keep calling back. I hang up. I am not in a ‘good mood’ or a peaceful frame of mind. My head is in a dither. The conversation within is like a ticker tape going on endlessly.

There’s no stopping it so I just watch it in my mind’s eye. I’m tapping here to slow down the ticking in my head and the fluttering in my heart. It’s working. My mind and hands are engaged in another activity. I’ve done my qigong routine. A batch of yogurt is under the yogurt machine’s hood. I’m finishing the last of the strawberries before they go bad. The bills are paid except for my property tax. I still have till the end of June to deal with it. I’ve gathered my papers to meet with my banker this afternoon. Even retired, there’s stuff to deal with. It’s not a vacation. I’m not in a hammock by the beach. Some days I want to run away from home.

My garden is a bit half assed this year. I’ve started a few bedding plants, enough petunias and snapdragons for my mother’s flower beds. She doesn’t ask for much. In fact she doesn’t ask for anything. But it is nice that I could do this much for her. I hope she will let me plant them for her. Her strength has declined but she is fiercely independent. She is very good at compensating and finding alternative ways of doing everything. My mother is awe-inspiring.

I have seeded one raised bed with lettuce, spinach and kale. They are all rising above the earth. The other 4 beds sit empty, waiting for me to get my shit together. I have cleared and worked the garden area. The strawberries I transplanted last fall have survived. The rhubarb is looking good. The peas and a few beans are planted. I am a bit lost but not idle.

It is late afternoon. I am hot and tired. I have met with my banker. We did some planning. All is well but I have not kept up with records and paperwork. It is not anything new but it is quite distressing to me. There is no point in tackling the problem now, though I did try. It resulted in more hair-on-end kind of frustration. I have to sort it out as I had with the basement, a little at a time.

I am learning a lesson here. No matter how we I try to ignore or hide a problem, whatever it is, it never goes away. It will surface sooner or later. You I will have to face it or maybe trip over it. There’s no where to hide. It demands resolution. I think I’ve finally got the message now. Really I have.

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It’s a hot, hot day! I have laundry hanging outside. The blinds are drawn. It’s warm and stuffy upstairs. I turn the furnace fan on. I make my way to the cool of the basement. It’s a lovely happy space to have my decaf and toasted baguette. I sink back against the leather couch enjoying the cool quiet of being alone. It is worth all the effort I’ve put into cleaning and clearing. It fills me with joy to see there’s a space for everything. And everything are in their places.

It’s taken me a long while to get to this stage. Gaining some confidence from the process, I’m moving onto cleaning and clearing the deck. I want to make every space into a creative living breathing place and not a storage area for all the stuff I don’t know what to do with. It’s time to be clear about what our lives are about. It’s not about collecting and hoarding.

Let me be bothered enough to take the time to care, to organize, clear and clean. Let my mind work behind the scene and figure out what gives life meaning, what I need to keep and what I need to discard. I have lived too long haphazardly, by gosh and by darn. I’ve been lazy, just wishing and hoping for the best. Now I want to plan and be decisive and do what is the best for me and what makes my heart sing.


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A Cowardly but Respectful Lion

Yesterday I talked about being brave. But I am still like Dorothy’s cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz. I’m not quite up to snuff, not up to confrontations. Never have and maybe never will. There’s something not quite kosher with the word, ‘confront’. It does not sit well with me. It implies hostility. It’s not the way I want to interact or behave. The word itself already brings with it anger and other mean spirited feelings. It is the word I am eliminating from my vocabulary right now.

Call me cowardly if you will but I cannot behave contrary to the way I was raised. That is my rock and a hard place. I do not want to absorb all the negativity it generates into my being. It is really not good for my well being. With a little creativity, luck and serendipity, I’ve turned into an alchemist. All my angst, from whichever source and direction they came from are very good fodder. They’ve fuel my painting, sewing, crocheting, knitting and my tap, tap, tapping here. All the frustrations, disappointments, saddness and anger are good compost. They give rise to ideas and visions and hope for a better (my)self. Being a queen of self-help, I always aim for a better version of me. Sometimes I succeed. Lately I’ve been failing. I’m picking myself up, brushing off self pity and getting ready to rise above the dust.

Having tapped out these words, my heart feels lighter if not braver. I will not tiptoe around my own sacred garden/yard/the world. But neither will I stomp around in anger and malice. I will treat my boundary and hers as well with due respect as always. If my beans or other climbing vines climb over the fence, well they are trespressing in the technical term. It matters not that they are not invasive or harming nothing. She has a right to nip the trespasser in the bud. I’ve already informed the weed company she uses that we do not want any spray on our property. That is fair, respecting my property.

The day is almost gone. I’ve spent the afternoon and my excess angst cleaning out my car. All the rubber mats and carpets are taken out, washed and dusted. The insides are vacuumed and wiped down. What took me so long? Why have I been so neglectful? It’s the first time I’ve cleaned the inside since I bought the car in 2009. Sometimes you start one thing, it can lead to another. Life can be wonderful this way. I’m stuck between that rock and a hard place. I’m chipping my way out, throwing out the dirt and pebbles. Now there’s room for Sheba.

What better way to rid the dust after a hard day’s work than a swim. None that I could think of. Though I had only a short time, I made my way to the pool. Twenty minutes was exactly what the doctor had ordered. It was cheered considerably by a thoughtful young man who was the life guard. He still looked wet behind the ears but was wise as Solomon in human relationships. I left with a softer heart than when I came. Thank you ___ . He told me his name but of course, I’ve forgotten already.



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Being A Scarecrow and a Scarity Cat

The noise in my head has subsided. My heart has chilled and slowed as if taken over by a bypass machine. I need the extra oxygen. I need the help and rest. I can let every care go now. Otherwise I will get overtaxed and become ill. The leftover pizzas from yesterday helped. There’s the chocolate chip cookies yet. Thank God for all the carbohydrates! Now I will go and make myself a pot of tea.

I am declaring today my resurrection and independence day. It has been difficult living on tip toes, worried about stepping on others’ toes. In reality it is mine that are being squashed. Being my mother’s daughter, it is just ridiculous to worry about intruding and encroaching on another’s rights/property. I’ve been brought up to bend over backwards to be a good and virtuous person. I’m shedding the scarecrow’s outfit and putting on my righteous outfit.

I’ve not really lived in fear of my sociopath neighbour, but rather in dread. She behaves as she has the right to dictate how and what should or should not be in my yard. She feels no qualm ‘weeding’ or spraying my yard. She has planted a row of young spruce trees on my property next to her driveway. She has taken away things we stored in our yard next to our garage and fence. She thinks it detracts from the beauty of her lawn. Then she thinks it’s alright to put her heavey crates on my property when she has a huge yard and driveway. What harm would they do? She asks. They would scratch her driveway and not good for her lawn though.

If you think I’m sounding petty, maybe I am. I am tired of being pushed emotionally and otherwise by this woman. I’ve been letting her do it for at least 8 years, since she’s moved next door. Things like this tends to spread to other areas of my life. I doubt myself. I wonder if it is me that is being difficult and unfair so I don’t  stand up for myself. I let myself be pushed and manipulated into feeling guilty everywhere.

Well, enough is enough. A straw coat is a fire hazard. I better put on a suit of armour or thicker skin. I don’t really want to fight but I have to stand my ground at some point. I’ve pulled out some of the little spruce trees she’s planted. It’s really a ridiculous situation. I’ve been a scarity cat with no back bone. The other little trees will come out soon. I will call 911 if she gets abusive or/and violent.

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You wonder how and why a 17 year old male could open fire at a high school in Sante Fe today. He killed 10 people and injured another 10. You wonder how this could happen so soon after the Florida high school shooting where 17 people were killed. Of course mental health plays into it. But without weapons of mass destruction, there would be less young lives lost. What would it take to stop all this? Some of the answers are quite simple but why are the lawmakers so unwilling?

It’s politics, I know but it’s not something I can understand. I’ve listened and heard all the rhetorics on how all life is sacred, even the unborn fetus. There’s interest groups that abhors abortion and would protest vigorously and violently against it. But what about the lives that are already born?

It’s late, I know for such musings and questions. I’ve just watched the news. No, it is not a good idea to watch it just before bedtime. There’s really  no good time to watch such news. But it is a waker upper, making me feel totally bizarre. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH US? As Caroline Myss would say, STOP IT. Go put your head in the toilet for 7 minutes. Chill or take a pill. It’s too late for therapy when a 17 or however old person has a gun/guns in his hands.

Sorry, just a bit late night ranting. Trying to find a bit of sanity in a mad, mad world. Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to scream. I’ve done my share. My throat is a bit sore from it all. I will say good night now.

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After a hot day yesterday, it is cool, cloudy and raining. Nothing remains the same. It’s good to remember that. Fear not, if you are between a rock and a hard place. That hard place will shift if ever slightly. There is room to maneuver and breathe. I’m developing navigation skills. I’m not a homing pigeon yet but my sense of direction is better. Maybe it is that I’m taking the time to think first of where I am going before dashing off helter skelter. I think I’m going to let go of that panic in me. It is time and it is no fun any longer. Not that it ever was.

So here I am, tap, tapping in my space in the dusk of early evening. I’m drinking hot water, the drink of Chinese people and mature women like me. It’s a drink I never tire of and it’s good for me. I’ve been listening to Carolyn Myss’ lecture on The Power of Your Words. I never tire of listening to her wisdom. Wisdom comes ever so slowly, even slower than a dripping tap. It will take a long time to fill my bucket. Could be the bucket has a hole in it.

Time has a way of speeding when you want it to stay. Now it is almost bedtime. I hope sleep time will come easy. I do need a good night of it to shed the day’s wear and tear.  I do so like to start each day with a blank page, no left over from the day before. I’m looking forward to the morning, to slipping into the warm of the pool and swim back and forth the length of my own lane. No thoughts, no plans, no worries.

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Here I am, tap. tapping from the library. I was balancing my laptop on my knees for awhile. Luckily, a cubicle opened up and now I have my own private space and desk. No further need for balancing acts. My knees are not at all reliable as with many of my aging body parts. I must not take things for granted. I must take care of myself. No one else will. It’s not their responsibility.

I finally got back to swimming after many long weeks. The sun comes up early. It’s daylight by 5:30. Why not get moving? Why lounge till noon, not that I ever do. I’ve already had my breakfast. I pack my gym bag and I’m off. It’s 8:30. It will give me plenty of time to get there and change. With luck maybe I will have a lane to myself.

My body sighed as I slid into the warmth of the whirlpool. The aqua fitness class was still in progress. I can enjoy the whirlpool jets and watch the group finish their workout. Next time, I will come earlier and participate in the class for the last 20 -30 minutes before my lane swim. I am sure it will help keep me supple, mellow and maybe sweeter. Every little bit helps. I am feeling a little stale with my aerobics class and need something new. I need invigorating.

The swim was divine. I almost had a lane to myself. More people came so I had to share with another woman. She was very kind and considerate. She told me I could keep my lane and she would share with the gentleman. That was after witnessing me swimming almost over top of him. I was doing my backstroke and couldn’t see behind me. He was slower than I thought. I was faster than I realized. I felt this kick with the legs on my back. I did a quick flip over to my stomach to maneuver out of his way. Then I flip back and carried on with my backstroke. I was not brave enough to flip before but necessity pushed my button. I’m not a good nor confident swimmer. I did this in the deep end. Bravo for me!

I’m learning not to panic when I’m way over my head in everything. I’m letting go of the fear. I’m learning to untangle myself when I run into the ropes. There’s always someone watching for my safety. I need not to be in a wild panic. Panic can drown me. Calmness is my life saver. I have time to breathe in and out, lift one arm up and over my head. Then I can do the same with the other, smoothly and rhythmically if possible. At the same time my legs are trying to do the flutter kick from the hips and with toes pointed. I’m always afraid at first – that I will sink. I start kicking ferociously. I don’t get very far or fast. I get nowhere except dizzy.

So I’ve learned to stop all that. I’ve learned to be still. I’m surprised that I don’t sink but remain afloat. I take a slow breath and slowly swing my arms overhead, one at a time. It can be done. I can be slow. I feel myself pulling forward. I add my kicks, trying to remember to do it from my hips and to point my toes. I’m taking this lesson learned and apply it to whatever over the head situation I find myself in. Stop thrashing/fretting. Be still. Breathe in and out. Swing one arm. Then the other. Kick from the hips. Point my toes. I’m pulling towards shore. No life raft needed.


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