My passport expired 4 years ago. I didn’t renew it before it happened. Pure laziness on my part. A few rules had changed in the intervening time which made it more work if not difficulty for me. I had to gather up all my documents, get a guarantor to sign my photos and my application form. After all that, I went off to the nearest Service Canada center which was only minutes away. I was attended to quickly. The only trouble was my name on the citizenship paper was Har Fong Leung. All my other ID documents (driver’s, health card, SIN) was issued to Lily. The woman tending to me was not sure that it would go through. She didn’t want to waste my $160 which was fee for a 10 year passport.So off to the Passport Office I went.
I wasn’t happy to go downtown. Traffic and parking could be a problem. But I took it in stride. I’ve come thus far. I might as well get on and through with it. I have 2 hours before they close. It would be practice navigating through difficulties. Happily, I found parking a block away. The Passport Office accepted my citizenship certicate. Har Fong is the name I entered the country with. Lily is an assumed name and since all my other documents are in that name, including past passports, it will continue so. In order to have all my documents the same, I would first have to change my legal name to Lily and then to change my citizenship document to Lily. It would cost a bunch of money. I’m happy to continue to assume.
Besides my name issue, there’s my birthplace. They are no longer happy with Canton, China. They want an exact place name – a very small village in China. So, I came out with it phonetically as best as I could – San Eng. Of course the woman could not find it on her Google search. I ask if that meant I’ll be denied, for I don’t have a birth certificate. There is no record of my birth at all. Oh no, she assured me that they put the trust on my word. So then, I wonder at all the fuss. I better write down how I spelled it for next time if I was asked for my birth place. I’ve done well today considering. I didn’t get snagged nor discouraged with all this rigmarole.
So that was yesterday, Friday. Good that I could get it done because it is a long weekend. I wouldn’t be able to do anything until Tuesday otherwise. I was mulling about which is my legal name. I think they both are. Har Fong is the name I entered this country with and it is on my citizenship certificate. All other records list me as Lily – school, church, voter’s list, health card, driver’s, etc. I shall phone Vital Statistics to get the real story. It should not cost me hundreds of dollars to have both my names on my citizenship certificate, should it?
What a bunch of confusion. It’s doing my brain in. I can’t bear to proof read my writing. Hope it is in English and understandable.
I’m on a 7 hour countdown with WordPress. I’ve decided to end my personal plan and go back to the free one. Nothing much changes except I’m not paying now. My handle is still athousandandtwo with a .wordpress added after and before the .com. Of course my media storage space is cut back to 3GB from 6. I wasn’t using much of the extra space these 2 years that I’ve had the plan. So what’s the point?
I know, a picture is worth a thousand words and they do speak to me. There’s whole conversations in a photo. Not everyone can hear them though. Words can speak just as well if not louder. I’m making a choice now. I’m choosing the written word. It’s not as if I’m giving up the whole picture. I still have 3 GBs of them at my disposal. But perhaps now that I have chosen the word, I can work on getting one thousand of them. It’s a worthy goal.
I can see the benefits of reaching beyond myself. It will boost my self esteem to prove that I’m not just a one or two liner girl. I can write more than just Hallmark greeting cards. That’s nothing to sneeze at either, if I can sell them. Secondly, working on more words could help slow down and organize my attention deficit brain. Having the goal would give me purpose in coming to this space. I’ve been mostly sighing and whining about this and that. Who wants to listen to that? I tire and bore myself.
So now I’m down to 5 hours before I’m booted back to the not so professional version of WordPress. My words will stay the same. I still give them equal and careful thought before hitting the PUBLISH button. My proof reading is not superb. Having an attention deficit brain, my eyes run ahead before the words can register. My thoughts skip all over the place, too. I work on pulling eyes and attention back to this page, to this moment, to this purpose.
I’ve been sitting every morning in meditation with Mark Williams on Youtube. I’ve been doing it since July. Sometimes I hear myself thinking with his British accent ..”and if you should find yourself…” It works. When I do find myself wondering off, I bring myself back to the breath, to the moment. Deliberate practice does make for better. It’s enough to encourage me to continue my practice. My moods and thoughts are getting healthier. Whenever I find my thoughts veering off in the wrong direction, I try to picture them as clouds passing in the sky. I let go of the emotions they stir in me though I do feel the resistence. I tell myself it is the right thing to do. I send them back into the clouds passing in the sky. I feel the turnaround, the resistence melting away, the letting go of bad thoughts and feelings.
Now, WordPress tells me I have 4 hours left. I can still renew by paying. No, I’m keeping it simple and free. Hopefully I will still be here, in this my special tapping space.
I am still here after all these years, since May 2012. I haven’t come a long ways though. I need to change my ways. Things happen for a reason. Time for me to wake and listen up. I need to change my goals along with the times. Writing a thousand words a day was not realistic for me. I have not reached it once. Maintaining my writing space here is do-able and helpful. I am sure a goal of 10 years is attainable. I’ve already done 7.
Yesterday the guy had a run in with our neighbour from Mars. She was busy digging a trench in our yard to run off rainwater from her driveway. When asked what she was doing, she went on a rampage again about how she has to clean up our messy, weedy yard all the time. What this meant for us is that she has had the Weedman spray pesticide onto our property along our raised vegetable beds. I put a stop to it by phoning the company each spring that this is not what we want and it is not legal. She has also had someone cart off boards and other objects we put aside by our garage on our side of the fence.
My list of things to complain about her is long. It started with her moving next door. Not only does she shovel her snow off her driveway onto my yard. She shovels it over the fence. She claims that it was the first time she lived in a house and didn’t know that wasn’t proper. She complains about my dog’s barking. They couldn’t hear the birds sing. Yet she and her partner at the time fought, yelled and slammed doors. My beans can’t climb over the fence. She cuts them off if they do. She complained about the mulch in our front yard. It’s a fire hazard. And so on and on.
I’ve lived beside her for over 10 years now. I’ve learned that to have peace, I had to ignore her totally. Not to look at her. Not to talk to her. I had to let her ‘own’ my little strip of space by her driveway to do as she please. Let her dig, plant little spruce seedlings, guard it 24/7 if she wants. I have better things to do. Once in awhile I would get caught by her ‘friendliness’ and engage somewhat. But then I would end up paying for it. That last time a few summers ago, I got so upset and angry. To find relief, I went for a ride on my tricycle. Maybe it was because of my distress that I lost control riding over a bumpy stretch. I ended up with the trike on top of me. I was in pain. It was heavy. I was lucky that my injuries were not severe. I was able to get up and ride home.
I have lived in equanimity beside her since, not responding to her at all. But the guy’s run in with her and the racist eposide in Richmond, B. C. caught on social media, brought back the memories and bad feelings. Though the neighbour has never slung any racist slurs at me, the hurt’s still feel the same. Though the woman in Richmond didn’t say those words to me, but to another Chinese woman, they hurt just the same. Her ‘Chinky, Chinky China Lady are the echo of ‘Chinky, Chinky China man from my childhood. The hurt I feel are from all the wounds from past hurts I could not understand.
It is good for me to keep this space to tap out my grievances, my sob stories. I can soothe and smooth myself. It is difficult and unfair to expect understanding from others. Only I can walk in my shoes. I can only expect change in myself – in what I do and what I say.
I’m trying to make life simple again. I can’t believe how complicated and cluttered it could get. Everything starts out simple enough but everyone wants you to upgrade to the executive membership, to the premier plan, to the delux model. I could go on and on. Well, I have had enough. I will give up my Costco executive membership. I will go back to my free WordPress plan. So if I should disappear, you will know what happened. I’ve been getting reminders and notices that if I don’t renew my domain and personal plan, you might not find me again!
It is all very frightening when it is coming at me like that – to lose my word space. When I really think about it, it is not such a big deal. I hang onto things too much and too tightly. It will be good to lose the fear and live a little. If my onethousandandtwo.com disappears, I can always create a new space. It will be an adventure, creating a new space. What will I call it? What will be different? I have 6 days left to think about it. But I suspect this space will still be here somehow.
I’m enjoying a small spell of energy and flow lately. It’s wonderful to feel the flow of life, as if it is moving, going somewhere. I haven’t had the feeling for a long, long time. I will try to keep it going. I’ve been putting in an extra effort, reining myself in when I feel myself reverting to reacting in the same ineffectual manners of old. I take that pause in my head to talk to myself. You don’t want to do the same old, same old, I tell myself. You can do better even if you don’t like it. And I could. One victory at a time. One breath at a time. One day at a time.
And here I am at the end of another day. I am still in a midst of clutter but I am working at it. I’ve decluttered my head. It’s thinking clearly again. I’ve peeled off layers and layers of useless thinking. I’ve deleted a lot of useless photos and videos from my phone. They’ve done their job. Time to let them go. And it is time for me to go, too.
I think I need to try a little harder to keep my things and myself together. It’s all very well to say ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ and ‘It’s all small stuff.’ Even though that is true, all the small stuff add up and you end up with a BIG pile. I have a wee bit more energy today but it’s still a HUGE struggle for me. I am really feeling autumn’s shadow looming over me this year.
But not to despair. I am doing well though it doesn’t feel like it. I still get up, dress up and show up every day for my life if not here. Sometimes I like to take a breather, relax and not work so hard keeping myself together. It’s okay to fall apart. I can put back the parts together again. It doesn’t have to be put back the same way.
Both our vinyl patio chairs chose to break and collapse on the same day. I already have these 2 pieces of wicker but they weren’t being sat on. So why not bring them out? They look like they belong. Things falling apart in this case was a good thing. It made me look for alternatives in furnishings. Instead of going out to buy more of the same, I made use of things I already had.
So I’m struggling. So big fat deal. I will have to fake it till I make it. They tell me make believe is magic. I’ll pretend I have my very own fairy godmother who will look out for me. Who’s to say I don’t already have an angel sitting on my shoulder? I’ve come thus far on my journey. No big bad wolf have gotten me. I haven’t fallen down any deep dark hole that I couldn’t have climbed out of.
I took a sabbatical and almost lost my way back to this space. I’ve gotten rusty with my words. You will have to forgive my starts, stops and stutters. The good news is my ‘bad feelings’ have passed and I do have much more energy. I surprised myself at how I got things done yesterday. I filled all 6 of our raised vegetable beds with water. I watered the garden. The tomatoes and beans were drunk with happiness. I picked beans and raspberries. Then I cleaned and prep the beans, freezing 2 bags and fermenting 2 jars. Amazing! When I feel the flow, I move with it because it might not happen again for a long time.
I am content in this moment. That’s all I ask. I will take it moment by moment. I will try to keep my mind here. Often I make myself unhappy escaping into the past or jumping into the future. That’s making believe, too and that’s not the good kind. They are bad stories that can destroy my soul. I will stick to Tinker Bell and fairy dust.
Surprisingly, I had a whiff of energy last evening. Not to waste it, even though it was not my time of doing things, I took the vacuum stick and sucked up the dog hair on the floor. It did not take all that long to do the kitchen, dining, living and the sun room. Next, I tackled the dirty screened window in the sunroom. I’ve been looking at it all summer and haven’t made any move on it. My energy is like that. I know it and learning to work with it.
My brain is such that it gets overwhelmed easily. I have to work in the one-inch frame that Anne Lamott speaks of and E.L. Doctorow’s ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ They’re referring to writing but I apply it to everything. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life is a book full of such wisdom.
I am happy that I started this conversation in the morning. I am happy I paid the house insurance this morning. The afternoon has been a bit of a struggle. I am feeling the seasonal bad, but not sad. I can’t think at all. Doing a simple sewing project is difficult. Trying to figure how to measure and cut on the bias felt like doing brain surgery. Having the right equipment and tools helped alot. In the end, I got my bias strips cut and sewn to specification. But somehow one end ended up in my cup of coffee. So now it’s rinsed off and hung up to dry.
Sheba and I have been out and back from our walk. Nothing exciting except I did dropped the roll of doggy bags and didn’t even know it. It was lying on the sidewalk, waiting for me on our return. I think I should call it a day. I should make a cuppa, put up my feet and read my murder mystery. It’s always good therapy for my foggy brain.
I’m struggling with the clouds and my own darkness today. Nobody is winning. We’re even-steven. I’m trying to stay on top of the day, not letting ‘nature’ get the best of me. I’m feeling autumn’s effects on me though it doesn’t officially start till September 23.
As you can see, my time here was short here yesterday.
Saturday, my swim day but my swim cap had ripped last week and I haven’t bought another. My brain fog continues. The other day, I thought I had fed Sheba her supper but according to the way she was after me, I hadn’t. She did settled down after. Small forgetfulness. No harm done. Just annoyed with myself. Still I’m happy and yet not happy I didn’t swim today. I’m feeling the hibernation response this week. If I was a bear, I could crawl into my log and sleep without guilt.
But I am not a bear, so I am trying my best to stay awake. I’m sleepy though I got my 8 hours last night. Perhaps tapping on the keyboard will help. So many things are looking at me for attention. They weigh on me, making me all the more sleepy. I wish I could just close my eyes and snore away the day. Why must I feel I have to soldier on? I put so many silly obligations on my shoulders. I suppose it’s my upbringing and all those slogans slung in my face through the years.
Slogans have served me well through difficult times though I’m critical of them now. I’m just going through a phase. Let me just keep soldiering on with the help of wisdom from some very wise people.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”– Martin Luther King
A problem is a chance for you to do your best.”–Duke Ellington
“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt
f you are going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott
“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” – Lao Tzu
“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”– Albert Einstein
So I’ve soldiered on well into the day and life. Looking back on it all, I’m happy and satisfied with how they both have gone. I wouldn’t change anything since I can’t. Library and coffee days with my mother are precious. I am grateful that our library carries Chinese books. My mother loves books. The best conversations I have are with my mother. She is the wisest woman that I know. I love what she has to say of letting go of feelings, people and things. That if we don’t, we make ourselves miserable and guilty even though the guilt is not ours to own. I’m going to work on that one. I’m mulling it over as I sip my green tea. I’m calling it a day.
It’s a hot one today – 33 degrees Celsius at present. It seems like a good day to do laundry to hang outside. The mattress protector I hung a short while ago seemed almost dry so I put in a load of sheets. I’m sure the protector will be dried to a crisp by the time the load is done. Sheba is underfoot, fussing for her walk, but it is hot, hot, hot. It is not a good idea. We will be burnt to a crisp. I hope no one has to work outside in the heat.
I’m watching the cars whizzing by on Preston Avenue. Sheba finally settle on her pillow. We are fairly comfortable with the furnace fan on. I have my glass of water nearby. After a cool beer, I’m feeling mellow. I’m conserving energy, not working up a sweat. Everything not an emergency can just be. They can keep for a rainy day.
Today is that rainy day, though it was a short one this morning. It was not a wise decision to keep everything for a rainy day. My head has been in a fine kettle today. The clouds and dark skies gave me the willies. Clearly it was not a day for brain surgery. I found some solace in the light from the kitchen window and the fluorescent light above the sink. It was also soothing folding towels though the pile of it was daunting at first. It’s the taking of one at a time, smoothing and folding it that helped clear a bit of the mess in my head.
Now it’s almost at the end of the day. Seems like it took me all day to do very little. I still have a whole mess on the diningroom table. When didn’t I have one, eh? Having the fridge go on us didn’t help. Finding one to fit the same space was impossible. That meant making the space fit a new fridge. Things had to come out of a cupboard in order to shorten it. The dining room table is always handy for that. Everything seems to find their way there. It’s probably not that bad but my head can’t deal with sorting or looking at it.
I have paid the bills though and made the 2 must-make phone calls. It was a struggle, making myself sit still at the desk to do all that. Needless to say, my desk area is still a flipping jungle. I’m not saying that’s who I am, but it is how I am now. I’m trying. I’ve slipped. I will again and again. I will try and try again to get back on track. I will work on it tomorrow. In the chaos and brain thing, I still was able to create a little bit of art today. Hurray for me.
Some habits are good to keep. Though the Ultimate Blog Challenge is over, the commitments of the month are sticking. I do my 4-7-8 breathing exercise in the morning waiting for the kettle to boil. It is relaxing. I have my one fried egg for breakfast. I’m not ready to add the toast back. After breakfast, I had this urge to have another cup of tea and just while away the morning.
I didn’t. I could but I know that whiling away is not all that satisfactory at the end of the day. It is not when you end up with a messy house, untended business nagging at you and a stiff achy body begging to be moved. So I unplug the kettle, got out the vacuum stick and did the places full of Sheba’s hair. The furnace filter and motor will be happier as well as my pocket book.
Funny how dog hair and garbage odour can mar my days. Nothing glorious about dealing such things but it is necessary. They don’t do themselves. There is some pleasure when you see the dog hair get sucked up by the Dyson stick. Not so much washing the garbage bin. It comes later after the muck is washed away. It’s looking so clean drying in the sun. I hope it will kill the odour.
I am so glad that I keep showing up here like a bad shiny penny. It’s a springboard into the day for me if I can show up early. Now it is almost 8 pm. The afternoon and the evening is hot – still 31 degrees Celsius. Sheba and I are just back from our walk. I am soaked with perspiration. So happy I did some weeding in the morning. The weeds looked formidable at first but just pulling them one by one, it was not bad at all. I harvested some rhubarb and put down the leaves as a mulch helps to keep them down. Everything looks pretty good despite our strange summer. I am happy.