The nights are so long now, the sun setting early and rising late.

I was having a dream when I was waken with a very wet nose and tongue in my face.  SHEBA!  It was still pitch black.  I rolled away from her and covered my face, not getting up since I have to work tonight.  I thought about my dream.  It was about mending a coat.

Funny how things get on your mind and come in your dreams, as reminders to take care of your life.  Sure, the winter can be difficult….dark and heavy sometimes.  You feel this inertia, the slowness of limbs and mind.  It is tough sometimes even to break out of a wet paper bag.  So you need these dreams of mending coats and Sheba’s wet nose and tongue to wake you from the dark, even if it is only 5:40 am.   Apparently the dark is messing up her internal clock, too.  Maybe she needs a bedtime snack to tide her over.

I do have two coats in need of mending.  So they are on my mental list of things to do.  It is good to make lists, to have plans, to move, to do…instead of dwelling on my mind.  It  is cold and grey, that I cannot feel joy.  The only feeling I have is like cold, grey dishwater.  Ugh!

So this morning I have had my hearty breakfast of eggs and toast and pedaled for 25 minutes on my exercise bike.  I read for pleasure those 25 minutes while pedaling in the glow of my SAD lamp.  I haven’t mended my coats yet, but I did change my furnace filter and it needed changing!  I vacuumed and tidied a little.   When I was done, the sun was out!

And here I am again bathed in sunlight and happiness.  Another victory!


Yesterday the sun did not come out at all.  My world was bathed in grey.  But despite it, I got out of bed, dressed, ate, lived.

After being on this earth for a few years, I have learned a few tools.  I know, or should know what to do.  There is no point in complaining about the weather, pouting, procrastinating and being difficult to those around me.  My brain knows that and I say that to myself frequently through the day.  Do the right thing.  Don’t revert to your bad habits.  Just put one foot in front of the other and MOVE!

Even if it is cloudy outside, I always feel a relief when I step outdoors.  My body heaves this big sigh and I can breathe and relax again.  So off to the dog park Sheba and I go in the afternoon.  I feel the physical discomfort of those oppressing clouds.  And we are stopped on the way by a train passing.  And so there we are, waiting….It has many cars.   So we wait and I am conscious of my physical yukkiness.  But that is just what it was…some kind of yuk, nausea, ugh!  But I do not die.  I watch and count the cars as the train speeds along.  I am distracted out of my discomfort.

Distraction is the biggest tool I have learned in these last few days.  I am a slow learner, but better late than never.  Maybe I have always been in too much of a hurry before, busy collecting information and things… . too busy collecting and never making use.  Have you been there?

I am feeling as if I have just been waken up from a deep slumber.  I feel like Sleeping Beauty, being kissed by her Prince, only I have been kissed by LIFE.  I am awed by life.  Now I see even when the skies are grey, there are the colours of the rainbow all around me…in what we wear,

in what we eat,

in the things we surround ourselves with.

Today I am surrounded by sunlight in my room.  I am soaking it up and storing the memory of its warmth and glow for those not so sunny days.  But having been conscious of our own powers of making sunshine, I will always know how to walk in sunshine.



Can you believe it?  Christmas is only a month away!  And can you believe that I have been lost for words for the last while.  How can that be?  Where have they gone?

Well, no matter.  Some of them have returned.  I’m back, sitting in the brightness and warmth of my sun room.  I am tap, tapping at my keyboard again…feeling and human once more.  I suppose by now you might have deduced that I crave sunlight, brightness and open space.  It is no secret that grey, cloudy days do me in.  Sometimes the greyness creeps inside my heart and mind and renders me . . . I don’t know what.  I just know that I feel BAD.

But life goes on.  I still breathe, eat, drink and have all the bodily functions that goes with living.  I still work and they still pay me.  I still have obligations to fulfill even though I have this CONDITION…Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I also has this disorder that I HAVE  to understand people’s behavior, why do they do what they do.  Why? Why? Why?  That has caused me and those around me, I’m sure,  great angst.  But in this case, that trait has been invaluable.

Over the years, I have read a great deal about SAD and depression.  I am tenacious in my quest for bliss.  I am like a dog with a dog.  I don’t let go.  It is one thing to read and learn, but it is another to apply the knowledge.  It has taken me many years to stop thirsting over new information and to actually do the work.  Knowledge is useless without action.

I have stopped running away from my winter blues.  I am embracing it as it IS  a part of me.  It has taught me that the act and aromas of baking lifts me up.  I have perfected baking bread and cinnamon buns.  I am looking for another baking challenge to lift me on my grey days.  Any suggestions?

I am staying with myself on those grey, grey days.  I am taking time to care for myself.  I am discovering that I like cooking and that I am not a bad cook.  I am enjoying the process of preparing, chopping, stirring…..You know what?  Roots make very good winter fare, as well as squashes and pumpkins.  They are so warm and comforting and their deep colours can boost your serotonin to the sky.  Look at the richness of this butternut squash!

So you can see that my words are rushing back to me, eager and excited.  The sun is also out.  The words help me to capture what works on those days when I feel grey and frozen.  It’s okay to get a little extra help on those days to thaw out.  And just because you are frozen doesn’t mean you can’t party.  Sometimes it is exactly what the doctor would order.


Yesterday I had my one year post cataract surgery checkup.  All is well and I am still seeing better than I have ever, with or without glasses.  What a miracle!

I had trouble throwing out my contact lenses for awhile, not quite trusting that my vision would last.  Those tiny plastic orbs were my lifeline.  Since my 20’s I lived in fear that there will come the day when my optometrist would no longer be able to fit me and I will have to make do with the thick heavy ugly glasses.  Even the high indexed ones were thick and heavy, causing discomfort if I wear them all the time.

The checkup is a reminder of what a gift I’ve received.  It’s a reminder to take care of myself.  There’s so much of life yet to be lived and enjoyed.  So today I am taking time to consciously take care of myself again.  I’m trying to find the balance that I had lost the last while.  I am resuming my exercise program.  I am taking up the challenge of living an engaged life.

I was sorely disappointed to hear from the City of Saskatoon that there is no bylaw in regards to disposing snow on adjoining properties.  Situations like that were left to neighbours to deal with between themselves.  The news deflated me until I remembered that I wasn’t having the City deal with the situation anyways.  I just wanted some ammunition to help me.

My anger and disappointment have dissipated.  It is really not good karma to harbour such negative feelings.  It is true what they say about what goes around comes around.  Life will take care of things if you live in a correct way.  Do unto other as you would want them do unto you.  And so, I am at ease again.  I am at peace.


Sometimes I am like Sheba with a bone.  I hang onto to my ‘bad’ feelings with all my might, not letting go.  That is my perception.  That is how I feel inside.  When you live alone, life is much easier in a sense.  You don’t have to worry about these feelings bubbling through.  You are alone.  You have no witnesses and dogs can’t tattle on you.

There is always two sides to everything.  On the flip side, it is nice to have someone around to make you a cup of tea, to give you a hug, to do all those things you are not capable of in those moments.  He does not have to agree with you on everything or anything.  But acceptance and acknowledgement of  your feelings are necessary.  It is called respect.

I have the misfortune of being surrounded by ‘difficult’ neighbours in the last few years.  I do not feel that I have done anything to attract these people.  I think it is my lot in life to help these unfortunate people.  I am not happy about it , but it is where I am.  I might as well recognize and acknowledge it, unwilling as I am for the role.

It is winter again and we have had a couple of heavy snowfalls.  And my neighbour is happily shoveling ALL the snow off her driveway onto my yard, even after all the times I’ve asked her not to.  The first year she moved in, she was throwing the snow over the fence into my back yard.  What kind of person does that kind of thing?  This year she is saying that she is doing me a favour by watering my grass with her snow!  My grass is crappy, she says.  But I don’t want all the extra snow besides my own in my yard.  The spring melt causes moisture to seep through my foundation and I’ve had to replace rotten floor boards in my basement.

But how do you talk to a person like my neighbour, who insists that the snow will be gone in two days and she is doing me a favour?  It reminds me of times when one of my managers phoned to deny my request for vacation.  After she denies me, she proceeded to tell me that I have so much vacation time and that I need to use some.  But, but…..! And yet I had to take the vacations which I am denied.  Huh?

In the end, I yelled at my neighbour.  I called her a f’ing b___.  That was what she was…a user, putting on the ritz,  the wiggle and the tears when she wants something from you.   I told her that we will no longer be taking out her garbage and bringing it back when she is away.  She can no longer come to borrow things.  I reminded her that I’ve watched her house when she was away.  I had overlooked her past bad behaviour and had embraced her with loving kindness.  And she showed no respect for me.

Helping people does not mean you have to let them bully you.  That has been my mistake.  I do feel people’s pain and that is not always a good thing.  That is another one of my mistakes.  I have allowed people to make me feel that unless I do this or that, then I am not a good person, a kind person, a generous person…And who can do all those things without anger building, simmering and finally exploding?  So perhaps these neighbours are put here to help me recognize that I’ve been a doormat for people to clean their dirty shoes on.  Well, they better get their own doormats from now on.

So I’ve written to the City of Saskatoon to inquire what the bylaws are for snow removal and my rights.  I have attached photos of my neighbour’s driveway and her lawn and my lawn.  I have not asked them to do anything about the situation, just wanting to know my rights for the time being.  I am open and willing to accept positive changes without coercion.  I am willing still to extend loving kindness to this neighbour.  I am willing to let go and forgive.

But I will not be a doormat.


I’m learning about equanimity today.  According to Wikipedia, it is:

Equanimity (Latin: æquanimitas having an even mind; aequus even animus mind/soul) is a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind. The virtue and value of equanimity is extolled and advocated by a number of major religions and ancient philosophies.

What does that all mean anyways?  For me, it is almost impossible to retain a balance of mind regardless of what is going around me.  I am like a ship lost at sea most of the time.  I am being tossed here and there by the tides of emotion.  I have yet to find my safe harbour.

Equanimity for me, then, is starting or being where I am in this moment.  I am ‘equanimed’ – restful and at peace at this moment.  I am sitting here, in my lovely sun room, sipping tea.  Sheba is laying on her bed, licking her paws.  The sky is that steely grey with hints of sun shining through.  It doesn’t look friendly.  The morning’s feel reminds me that it was this time of year that my father had his quintuple bypass a few years ago.

What a time that was!  When you are faced with a serious illness, whether it is yours or someone in your family, your whole life does flash through your mind….the good, bad and the ugly, the real and unreal…..all the undealt issues.  I thought I was going to die from it all.  But I didn’t.

My mother was a perfect picture of equanimity through it all.  The only telltale sign of her stress was this flush of her cheeks.  She was the stalwart for my father.  Though her English was what she considered poor, she watched and understood the education video for his surgery.  She was the one who helped him before and after the surgery.  It was my fascination to watch my mother through all this.

I can still see her in CCU after my father came out of surgery.  I could see her amid the machinery and monitors.  I see her so still, taking everything in with her eyes, looking at her husband,  taking account and asking questions.  She still had very much presence of mind even at that moment. When I think equanimity, I think of my mother.


I am shifting through a kaleidoscope of moods and feelings, wishing that I could say that they are all good, all awesome.  Unfortunately that is not the case.  But the one good thing that I can say is I am enjoying the sunshine and the warmth of my sun room.

It is no doubt that this shifting is caused partly by my shift work.  It is not natural to reverse our sleeping patterns.  It is not natural to submerged oneself in such a work atmosphere without consequences.  I am taking note and acknowledging these things so that I do not beat myself up too badly.

I am also what you would call ‘sensitive’.  I do not handle changes in the weather well.  Does that sound like an excuse?  Maybe, but it is my truth.  It causes me physical discomfort, so I have to give it credence and acceptance.

It is good that I am able to give all these things credence and acceptance.  These are mine truths and realities, difficult for those who do not share them to understand.  You have to walk in the same shoes to have a knowing.  And I am lucky this morning to find three brave women blogging about similar issues.  Thank you girls!

Today is election day in the United States of America.  I am hoping that people are exercising their right to choose..even though there are only two choices.  It also reminds me that in life we can also elect to choose – on how it is we respond in all circumstances.

Though I am not feeling my best at any moment, I am learning to live in the moment.  I am learning how to do my best at that moment.  I am learning to pause in the moment, and not do the knee-jerk thing.  Often I do fail.  The knee is faster in the jerking than the pausing.

My positive pause today was the mailman.  We had a nice visit at the door.  I learned that Alice doesn’t live here anymore and he’s married to my mother’s friend’s daughter.  His visit gave me a pause, a desired rest from my negative stream of thoughts and bad feelings.

Then I saw my neighbour’s visitor backed his truck over my low growing Junipers, not once but twice.  It would have been more forgivable if he was a woman, but a man who can’t back up a truck onto a wide driveway?  But in the end, I did forgive him.  Maybe he was angry with my neighbour!

I can understand that.  You see in all things,  forgiveness can be possible.  Sometimes we have to give ourselves a little more time, a little more space and some passion for ourselves.  Sometimes it is not all our faults.

In my house of moods, I have learned to use them to my own advantage.  Instead of feeling the anger, I use that energy to clean, tidy, dust, etc.  I put on my dancing shoes and set the timer for 5 minute intervals.  I sway and bob to the tune of ‘Stayin’ Alive as I do my stuff.  The timer going off at 5 minutes keeps me moving fast and on the job.



I am home after another 12 hour night.  The morning is grey and wet with rain….not the kind that gives you an extra kick to start the day.

I am tired, feeling deflated and dissatisfied and dis-centered.  It is not the best time to do any deep analysis of these feelings, how the night went and certainly the complexities of life!  Perhaps I should just acknowledge these feelings that are gnawing at the edge of my consciousness and let them be.  I am certain that after some sleep they will dissipate.

I am enjoying hot chocolate this morning.  The grey calls for something a little richer than tea, soothing as it can be.  I need the rich full taste of chocolate to warm, comfort and fill me up.  I need its sweetness to dispel this sense of lacking in me….this sense of I should have’s….worked more, been sweeter, been softer, been more this, more that…..

I wonder if men talk like we do.  I wonder if they find more faults in themselves than in others.  Probably not.  That’s probably something they can teach us – not to beat ourselves up with assumed and misguided shortcomings.  I need to stand tall, even though I’m short, hold my head up, square my shoulders and yell:  COWABUNGA!  Here I come, ready or not.

Okay, it’s time to give up the battle and get some sleep.


Sometimes I am slow to rouse, but lately I’ve been listening more closely and I am hearing those wake up calls.

They are telling me that this is enough.   I am enough in this moment.  I am good enough, kind enough, generous enough.  They are saying stop with the self criticism, the self abuse, the self hatred.

When I hear the call, I PAUSE.  I listen to myself.  What is my intention?  I stop being stuck in my deadbeat rut of habitual thoughts.  I breathe….. knowing that the bell is tolling for me.


Even though people have told me that I am funny, I don’t consider myself a fun time girl.  I am very solemn inside my head since I was born.

This might serve as a caution to parents and other adults.  Children absorb everything they hear and who knows how much of it goes into their development as adults.  I believe that a large part of our memories are false, but I mostly remember that I was not an easy child.  I believe myself to be ill-tempered, stubborn, not friendly, non-communicative, shy.  I do not believe nor feel that I was ever fun-loving, carefree, out-going, loveable.

I still feel like that some days, a lot of days sometimes, especially on grey days.  Now I know that we can have false feelings and I try not to stay in those feelings.  How?  Well, since so many people tell me I am funny, I am going to believe I know how to have fun. I am dedicating a part of each day to having fun.

Fun is finding photos to go with my words.  So….creativity is fun.  Baking bread is fun.  I love kneading the dough.  It gives me such a sense of accomplishment that I’ve finally learned the art this year.  Sometimes I give the dough an extra spank just for the satisfaction of it.

One thing for sure is that I am not a party girl.  That is probably more false memories from past parties.  Well that gives me pause for thought and something to work on.  And I’m starting tonight.  I am going to a party, a small one with close friends…the best kind.