I Am Not Behind

I am alot of things like being angry, sad, bad, depressed… But I am seldom bored. There’s no time. I find that there’s endless things that need doing and wanting doing. I’m always in a muddle of some thing or other. I have stashes of unfinished projects hidden here and there. I’ve always been thus.

I hadn’t worried about nothing to do in retirement. I have been retired for seven years now and haven’t ran out of things to do yet. I don’t miss work at all. I never felt defined by my job. I don’t think of myself as always a nurse. I don’t feel like a nurse at all. I’ve been a babysitter, waitress, cashier and secretary. I don’t feel like any of those either. I guess I’m a Jill of all trades and a mistress of none.

I like to write. That’s how I got into this blogging thing. That’s why I am in this Ultimate Blog Challenge. I get to push the PUBLISH button, tweet and share. It’s a small taste of being a writer with a small readership. It’s enough for me. I like the small sweetness of things. I can read a bit of music and play the piano. I probably could bring the house down but not in a good way. I can play the guitar, too. I can tell when it’s out of tune but I can’t tune it. I can’t play well or by ear either. It still brings me pleasure.

I like to draw and paint, too. I can. We all can. I had some training when I was young by some excellent teachers. I didn’t know it then. I dropped out because I thought if I was really talented, I could just create master pieces just like that. I couldn’t. I gave up on my artistry for over 30 some years. I talked about it alot but didn’t do anything till a few years ago. Then I surprised myself by seeing that I am creative and artsy fartsy. I am enjoying it now.

I don’t think I’m behind or that it’s too late. I am exactly where I am suppose to be. It is a little late in the day though. I’ve worked hard today, immersed in my puddle of muddle. I like to sew, too. I designed and sewed my dress for my Grade 12 grad. In fact, I used to sew a lot of my own clothes. Then that fell off my wagon. Life is like that. There’s a season for everything. Now, sewing has come back to me. I’m not making clothes. I’ve moved on to other stuff. It’s never too late to pick up something again. But it is getting late. I’m finished.


Here it is, after six, and I have no words or thoughts on the page. They’re all in my head. I have conversations and tell stories there all day long. They keep me company. I’m never lonely. It is a good thing. It is tough enough to have SAD but at least I can entertain myself and not to fight loneliness as well.

I don’t want to leave you with an impression that I am having a bad time all the time. I am not. There’s some positive things about having seasonal affective disorder. Honest, there is. For sure I struggle with sleepiness, sluggishness, moodiness, forgetfulness, anxiety and depression. But what and who would I be without those struggles? I am one who does not/cannot stay in the undesirable and unsustainable. My instinct for survival always makes me reach up and out for the light.

I can say that this life of mine is exciting and full. My life is my canvass and palette. I am the artist. I can choose what I want to create. I can choose the colours. Is it gold or blue? Does it have to be black and white? Can I make a rainbow? Would I be able to paint those colours if I have not experienced them all?  So I do not mind being in the blues or the darkest of the blacks. I have also felt the goldens and tangerines. I’m always learning. I am always open to the way. I try not to question too much. I don’t have to understand how things work. I can just do it.

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.




I feel like I’ve been munching through the month of January. And I have. It’s not a serious problem yet. I can still get into my clothes and the month is almost over. This January has been HARD. I hear other testimonies to that fact. It is not just me. I’m fortunate that at least I’ve been physically well. I do take care that I am. Despite however and whatever my mood may be, I’m out walking Sheba every day. Thank God for our fur babies. I’m not at all sure that I would walk on my own even in nice weather.

It’s a true wintry windy January today. The snow cling along the edges of the windows in the sunroom.  It’s nice weather to wear those warm hand knit sweaters. Good to curl up with a book. I’ve curled too long. It’s hard to let go of a murder detective story. I’m bad again, skipping ahead. I have no patience. I can’t seem to help myself but it was just a few pages. I didn’t skip to the end. But my head is messed up. My tapping is not rhythmic. I feel another snack urge coming up. I better make a cup of decaf.

I’m back with my coffee, toast and jam. I’m lacking in resolve and determination. Once an idea/urge comes, I can’t resist. My coffee is black and just a smear of butter and jam on my toast. I do things sparingly. It’s my natural tendency. Maybe it’s to compensate my lack of will. Will, resolve, determination – those words are so harsh for January. That’s why New Year Resolutions mostly fail. They should be allocated to a month that is more gentle and conducive to success.


I’m not completely spineless though I felt so this morning. It was so wind swept ( 50mph with gust 61mph) and dull. I gave into my feelings of lassitude. I experienced and luxuriated in all the sensations that came with it. There, I got it out of the way! Funny how my feelings can deceive me. Though I was moving at the speed of a wet noodle, I did not fall behind. I put in a new zipper in the guy’s jacket, saving him $40 if done professionally. And I used my new Bernina. First I had to google how to sew a zipper on a Bermina. Then I consulted my manual. I had forgotten how to turn it on. I am pretty damn pleased with the result. And I had lunch ready on the table at the regular time. Pretty amazing to me!

I have to say along with my virtual spiritual counsellor, Caroline Myss, that this is the happiness time of my life. That’s big considering I haven’t felt such a difficult January as this one. I’ve felt more bad and moody this last month than previously. The difference this time is that I have access to a pause button. In that pause I choose my reaction. Some pauses are longer than others. Sometimes I have to chew on things for awhile.

I am thriving in my now. I have the ability to choose. I love Wayne Dyer’s quote: If you change the way you look at things, the things you look change. It took me a long time to experience that change. The change has loosen me up to be more creative and objective. I am not as judgemental. I am excitingly experimenting with creative mediums – paints, words, fabrics, yarn, cooking, silence, habits. Good habits are great substitutes for will, resolve and determination. The worn path developed is not such a struggle to travel in the month of January.



A little while ago, I was thinking that I’ve been feeling and doing quite well. I haven’t had my usual miseries of sinus problems, aches and pains and the blues for a long time. Be careful of what you think! Lo and behold, my said maladies paid me a visit. Maybe it’s not my thoughts that brought them forth. Rather, I was receiving advance warnings of their imminence. I like to think it was that.

It’s so cloudy today and oh my gosh, I’m so tired! Complaining again. It makes me feel better just to let it all out. It’s only here, in my own space. Who else would give a care? I’m sure they’re probably feeling the same. It serves me right taking 2 weeks off, sitting on duff – well, not entirely the whole time. Sheba and I still had our daily walks. Goes to show a daily walk with the dog is not much exercise even in freezing rain. It’s good we’ve gone and come. I’m warming up with my tea. She’s laid out on her bed quiet as can be. Shhh!

I’m trying to organize my thoughts. I didn’t think  a swim on Sunday and an hour of aerobics yesterday would cause me such fatigue. But it has. The clouds adds to it. But that is my life, like it or not. I’m trying to make it work better. How can I make my life smoother and more productive with my energy level? I’m listening to some of my own ideas. Re-scheduling activities to different time slots and see how that works. Someone wrote a post on recyling old content for a fresh and new article. I could use the idea for other things besides writing.

Day 7 – Feeling some purple and red and off colour anger. Unable to make a picture today

Daisy Yellow has pointers on the 365 Something Projects. I am on my Day 8 of the project. Doing something creative every day does lead to more creativity. Things get easier and flow starts. I will have to apply that ‘do something every day’ to organizing my desk, the dining table where I do my 365 Somethings Project, my painting studio, my sewing space – in other words, the whole house! Maybe I could chart my progress here. That would make me accountable. I shall do it! I am already trying to pick up and put away as I go along today. Does that get points for me?



IMG_2952It’s the weekend again.  I am enjoying the slow ambience, sipping my morning tea, tapping away at the keyboard.  I am trying to get over my inertia and get that creative juice flowing again.  Once upon a time, I could sit here and write something every day.  They might not have been masterpieces but they were something.  People read them.

I have always been under the illusion that if you are talented, you would have no trouble in whipping up something with a snap of your fingers – be it a painting, book, meal or what not.  I think maybe I’m just a lazy person, making excuses.  Nothing comes easy.  Not even a simple meal – unless someone else cooks it.  It’s easy then to say, I could have done it.  But it’s (cooking, writing, painting…) is really not my thing.

IMG_4700The truth is we can do anything if only we would start.  That is the thing with procrastination.  We sit and squirm with its discomfort but it’s damn hard to make the first move.  It’s difficult to understand the mechanics of it.  Maybe it’s just a habit.  Accept that answer and let’s get a move on.  Can you hang on a minute?  I have to make another cup of tea.

I’m back.  I was procrastinating again if you haven’t noticed.  At least I’m not having coffee and a cigarette before I start/carry on with everything that I do.  I did before.  I have much healthier bad habits now.  Perhaps I should not beat myself up for the things I have or haven’t done.  Maybe it would be more productive to give credit to my accomplishments.  That’s a new thought!

YJCE0476My little seedlings are thriving under the grow lights this morning.  I started them a few weeks ago in brighter moods. Still I was able to seed all my tomatoes and onions when dark clouds crowded my mind.  Just keep moving at whatever speed you’re capable of.  You are not as slow as you think.  You are not your thoughts.  I do have some good habits.

Okay, I’m done my cup of tea.  I better rise and do something else.  I hope to be back here tomorrow for another cup or two of tea.



Routines can be so tedious at times.  Ugh!  That is what I am feeling at this moment.  I am here, nevertheless, with my morning Chai.  I am feeling more myself.  It’s good to be able to sleep again laying down – two nights in a row now.

I had been sleeping in my recliner, being breathless and panicky laying down.  I was feeling attached to my Lazy Boy.  I was afraid of letting it go, but I survived.  How quickly habits and attachments set in.  It reminded me of a patient I had.  Her hospital stay was longer than expected.  She had one complication after another.  She finally went home after a lengthy stay.

She dropped by with a box of chocolates and thank you card after being home for a week. She was teary talking about being home.  She was anxious and missed the side rails on her bed and having curtains around.  She worried about being crazy.  I reassured her that she was not.  She had been so sick and having people around her, checking on her 24 hours/day for weeks.  It was a natural thing to feel a bit insecure, even if her husband and children were in the house.  She breathed a big sigh of relieve.  It mattered to her that I understood how she felt.  She left with a smile amid her tears.  I was happy to be able to do that.

Yesterday was a wordless day. It was a time to catch up with family.  It was time for lunch with my mother and sister.  I hadn’t seen them for awhile.  It was time to get reconnected. It was a time for my sister and I to give our mother some time, to listen to her stories and reminiscences.

And today is a picture-less day.  It’s not a day of creativity so I worked – at paying my bills and other necessities of life.  When you can’t create, you can work.  I can work at putting things in order.  I am tired.  I am worn out.  I am feeling life.  This is the best I can do today.  Tomorrow is another day.




I am ignited by Anne Lamott’s post on perfectionism this morning.

” There’s a whole chapter on perfectionism in Bird by Bird, because it is the great enemy of the writer, and of life, our sweet messy beautiful screwed up human lives. It is the voice of the oppressor. It will keep you very scared and restless your entire life if you do not awaken, and fight back, and if you’re an artist, it will destroy you.”

I am fighting back.  Her words stir so much emotion in me.

” Do you mind even a little that you are still addicted to people-pleasing, and are still putting everyone else’s needs and laundry and career ahead of your creative, spiritual life? Giving all your life force away, to “help” and impress. Well, your help is not helpful, and falls short. “

I do mind – a lot.   Years of anger and resentment are boiling inside my deep cauldron.  There’s threat of it spilling over and scalding me.  I breathe deep and slow.  The boiling subsides, the lid closes. The danger passes and I am safe, again.  No use letting my self-anger hurt me more.

My pastor said last Sunday that if you don’t change directions, you are going to end up where you are headed. Is that okay with you, to end up still desperately trying to achieve more, and to get the world to validate your parking ticket, and to get your possibly dead parents to see how amazing you always were? “

IMG_0515Be smarter!  Do not fall back into your old patterns.  Do not beat yourself about yourself.  So I go into my Wonder Woman persona to lasso in my anger and to turn it into energy to work for me.

Who needs all this anger?  But when it comes, you have to let it in, acknowledge it, feel it, use it, turn it around and then send it on its way.

Thanks to anger’s angst and Wonder Woman’s magic, I have moved a few a little mountains in my world this morning.  It is not that I have to work harder.  I have to be a little smarter and a little more flexible but most of all, a little kinder to myself.  It is important that kindness starts at home.

But being a woman, daughter and a nurse, I’ve been taught it is holy to be out there for others.  I’m seldom home for me.  Thank you Anne Lamott for all your words.  I love you.



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.