I AM A USER, NOT A HOARDER

January 20, 2019  2:01 pm

Eleven more days till the end of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I haven’t fallen off the wagon though there are days. It would not be such a terrible thing if I do if there is a good reason. It would be if it’s due to lack of motivation and conviction. I have adopted this mantra from Regina Brett’s 50 life lessions in God Never Blinks.  Lesson 46 –No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. This is one of my ways of showing up.

I was wrong in my self assessment. I am not a hoarder. I do use what I’ve gathered over time. Life is a long journey. Learning never ends. My ears are always open for tidbits of wisdom, however they come. This morning I caught a bit of Shauna Niequest’s interview with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday. It was on her new book, Present Over Perfect. I have not read it so I can’t give an opinion. One thing she said caught my ear though. “Listen to your own life.” I took her advice because the more she talked, the more she lost me. She rambled on and on about how much she had and how busy she was. She smacked of privilege. I agreed with many of the readers on Goodsreads who gave her a one star.

The one thing she said was worth the listen. Do listen to your own life. I’ve already heard the message when I looking at my spruce trees in the winter light of the morning. I saw how magestic they were, the top reaching higher than the windows, the snow resting on top of the branches. The Buddhas sitting peacefully at their base out of the wind. How beautiful it all is, the winter, the cold and the snow. I can see the slowness and restfulness of it all. It’s the season of rest, recovery and restoration for the body and spirit. There is no need to hustle and bustle. There is no need to escape, to haul ass and snowbird to the south – for me.

 

 

 

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BRAVING THE ELEMENTS

It is a cold winter day – minus 37 degrees Celsius with the windchill. Brrr! I survived and live to tell about it. I braved the chill and dark of the morning to the YWCA, swam my 20+ lengths. I am quite proud of myself. I felt an obligation to show up every Saturday morning. So far I’ve been the lone swimmer for many a week now. I dare not do a no show. They might cancel that swim time if no one shows up. I dearly love having the pool to myself. I wouldn’t mind sharing since there are 3 other lanes opened.

I felt I could afford a few extra calories after my swim. I’ll be burning more off to keep warm. I love Saturday breakfast time at A&W. The place is bright and cheerful. Coffee is on. Staff and clientele are friendly, cheerful and bubbly. The atmosphere has that cozy small town feel. You would know what I mean if you’ve ever lived in one. I had a Classic Breakfast. It was a sweet deal. It was only $5 and some with coffee! I had a coupon.

After, I thought I better gas up the car. I was on my last 3 notches on the gas gauge. That wind was cold and wicked. I was stupid to do the self serve station. I had a difficult time putting the lid of the gas tank back on. It wouldn’t do the click. I had to take off my gloves and really worked at it to click 3 times. Then the pump wouldn’t print my receipt. I had to go into the station. The young man at the cash register called me a brave woman for filling up myself. I couldn’t help but beamed a wee bit. Flattery will get you everywhere with me today. Man, my hands were so cold! Another day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Keep warm everyone.

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TURNING ON A DIME

January 18, 2019  2:01 pm

When I bought my Honda CRV, one of the sales pitch used was that it can turn on a dime. Apparently it, or some other pitch worked. The truth is it was the hatch back and large cargo area with its rubber liner that sold me. It was perfect for Sheba. See what I mean? She has plenty of room to stand up or lay down and windows to look out of on all sides. It was her bedroom in summer when we went camping.

I haven’t thought of the dime feature for a long time. It’s just popped into my head the other day. Funny how thoughts happen. It was thoughts that triggered the memory. If you know me, you would know I’m a gatherer of information on how to do anything/be/live better. I collect but haven’t used much of what I’ve gathered. You can call me a hoarder. That is changing – I think. It HAS – really. Already, I’ve changed the header image and font of this blog. It’s looking sleeker, don’t you think?

Ok, back to the dime turning thought. I was feeling sick and tired of my thoughts, feelings, my whole f’ing life. Perhaps it’s the January blues, a new year after the old year thing. It’s not how I want to feel. I felt sorely disappointed in myself. I remembered all the things I’ve done, all the books I’ve read. To what avail? I ask myself. I’m sick of my attitude, too.

I have to change my thoughts or I’m going to be unhappy forever. Those words  popped into my head. Thank you Wayne Dyer for Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. Yes, my thinking changed just like that – on a dime. But let me tell you, it can change back just as quick. I have to keep turning them around. In my mind I’m tossing coins. Sometimes I’m tossing flapjacks. It works. It shakes up my thought patterns. I can’t keep driving ahead. I’m going to end up in the ditch. I have to change directions, left or right? Any change is right to get out of the rut. I can change again when I’m out.

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A CALL TO ACTION

January 17, 2019  5:03 pm

I finally heard my call to action this morning. Repotting my plants has been on my to do list for many a days. It finally got crossed off. There never seems to be enough time to fit that in. I’ve never made time, as if one could manufacture it. It’s something I would like to do and hold that precious thing in my hands. Precious as it is, I’ve let it slither through my fingers like a sieve. Here today, gone tomorrow.

It’s been said a few times that I have a very green thumb. Even so, my plants have been crying for attention to deaf ears. Some were beyond help, like the dead potted rose on my desk. The leaves and blooms were clinging desperately to the dried branches. Likewise the little magnolia I grew from seed. It was long past its best due date. They’re in the compost now. But I managed to revamp the Spider Plant, trimming some of the wilty leaves and baby spiders. It needed a haircut. One baby spider is in its own little pot. Will it thrive? We will see.

It took most of the morning to care for these neglected plants. Maybe that was why I couldn’t get my ass off the couch. Besides, I know it was going to get messy. Life is messy, too. I hate cleanups, don’t you? It’s no reason to avoid everything because of a little dirt. It all sweeps up. I rolled up my sleeves and ditched a few more pots. Really, how many Peace Lilies do I need? They grow pretty fast. By summer I am sure it will be big enough to be divided again.

 

I resuscitated some of the geranium cuttings from fall. Some were done, dried up or rotted.  The once ever blooming African Violet is in a pot of new dirt. Maybe it needs a bit of fertilizer to bloom. The Cyclamen found a home in a mug.  The succulent will do better in  a smaller pot. They’re all now sitting prettily under the grow light. It’s time well spent. I wonder why I thought it was so hard. I should put hands on more often. It’s tender loving care not only for my plants but for myself.

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MY SECRET WEAPONS

I’ve come to look at negative emotions in a different light. Instead of working so damn hard not to have them, I’m taking them in stride and using them to my benefit. How can that be? you ask. Well let me tell you. First and most important of all, I’ve been a total failure at squishing myself to keep all those bad feelings inside. Inevitably, they leak out. Worse, they sometimes explode, causing irreparable damage. People will not say much. They will just have THAT look. All the judgements and blame are there. I know IT.

What do I do now? I have tried to be cool as a cucumber many times. You know that NEVER works for me. I’m more like a chili pepper. I am a Hot Head. If you’re really my friend, you would know that. You would be a little forgiving. You would know that I’m a little forgiving of your mishaps also. If we’re friends I would tell you my newly acquired secret weapons, what I do when the devil tries to make me do/say stuff that I wouldn’t say/do when I’m in my right mind. The thing that works the least is trying to keep my lips sealed. I’m a talker, just like my dog, Sheba. Our bark is worse than our bite. We don’t bite – much.

The thing that works the best is putting all that fire into action. I like to WORK IT, whatever is at hand. Just now, I put it into washing the bathroom floor. I can’t stand scrubbing that little patch of linoleum. I put all my mire and muscle into it. Take this! Pow! And that! Another pow. Amazing how fast I can when I’m feeling pissed, blue or both. Sometimes I feel pissed at feeling blue. Now both moods are cleaned/scrubbed out. No danger of an explosion. I get to tell you about it. But if you were my friend, I wouldn’t have to tell you. You would know.

I have a few other secret weapons but they’re the real ones, the ones I don’t tell. If we get to be real friends, maybe you can work my lips loose. I really don’t want to spill out because then their effectiveness will be lost.

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TO HEAR MYSELF

January 15, 2019  7:01 pm

January can be such a hard month. I probably can say that of every month. I am sure that I have. How else can you open a conversation? One needs a handle and that’s as good as any. That will teach me to wait till evening to do it. I walk around all day with so many ideas and thoughts in my head. They slowly disappear one by one. They’re all gone now.

If we’re sitting together around the fireplace, what would we talk about? It depends on who you are, of course. If we are good friends, very good friends, what would you tell me? How would we spend our time together? Would you just tell me what you think I want to hear? Would I do the same? No, if we’re very, very good friends, we would not have to worry. The conversation would just flow. We would not have to try. We would speak as one heart. We have that much trust in one another. There’ll be no worry.

I’m sitting alone here, sipping on my glass of wine. There is no fire. And so, I’m having this conversation with myself. I’m not talking to please myself. I’m talking so that I can hear myself. Sometimes it is hard. No, it is impossible to hear that one hand clapping. I tap to hear myself. Do you do that sometimes?

I hope that someday we could sit around the fire and have that conversation. I will not wait with bated breath though. I do not believe in fairy tales nor daydreams. Besides, I have to breathe and live in the real world. I will continue to do my tap dance on the keyboard.

Good night on this 15th night of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

 

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BRAINS, THOUGHTS, WORDS

It’s very strange. I’ve accidentally stumbled onto Suddenly Mad someone’s blog/journey through early-onset alzheimer’s. Her writing and artwork is phenomenal. It’s punctuated with many photographs. You would not know she has the disease except for the fact that’s what she talks about and how it has affected her. It took a little while for me to recognize that my writing is similar. I’m documenting my days and feelings. I’m trying to find solutions through writing. I also like to use a lot of photographs. I identified with her feelings of anxiety. And I wondered if I…

Today I read another woman’s blog, Which me am I today. She also has early-onset alzheimer’s. She has a book published. She was interviewed on CBC Listen. You would not know from her writing that she has alzheimers except that’s what she writes about – coherently and intelligently. Her relationship with typing sounds very much like mine. Her fingers can talk quite well. She also finds taking photos comforting. These give me another reason for pause.  Do I have the big A?

“When I type it’s a one way process; thoughts to fingers – often no noise, not having to be questioned and then type an answer…..just my fingers translating my thoughts into words.”

I could just laugh all this off BUT it sees so many people have some kind of dementia now. It’s enough incentive for me to be extra viligant and proactive about my brain health. The Cleveland Clinic Six Pillars of Brain Health looks like a good resource to check out. I’m sure there are many others. It is a start. I am ok in the physical and medical health department. Pretty good with  food and nutrition. I’m doing better with sleep and relaxation. I need to work on my mental fitness and social interaction.

 

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