The Evolution of Things

Here I am again, at the end of the day, trying to find a few words, thoughts worthy of a post for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. There’s a few things I could talk about that could raise some controversy. They could generate interest, heat and possibly more traffic to this site. But that has never been my goal for writing. I don’t have a business, product or service to sell. I write for the beauty of the word. I write as a form of therapy. I write in the hope I can help another having similar experiences, interests and problems. So I won’t talk about the elections, Canadian or American. And I won’t talk about whether we should or shouldn’t celebrate Halloween.

I had a good start to the day, sleeping in to almost 8:45 am. My first reaction was, Oh God! I have to cancel my exercise class. Then I thought, How stupid. I don’t have to be there till 9:30. I even have time for breakfast. I was really glad that I showed up because exercise is the best medicine. It cleared my brain fog after retirement. A couple of weeks after I started the AM Energizer class at the YWCA, I felt so much better. I was so excited, I talked about it alot. I talked about it so much, the guy decided he wanted to go, too. I am sure it’s the reason why we are as healthy and active as we are.

It certainly helped resetting my mood and circadian rhythm. I am sure they are interrelated. I know I have my days, but overall I have a pretty grip on life. I am optimissic and happy even in this Covid time. That is not saying I haven’t had my difficult days – seeing my mother through her shingles and losing Sheba. They occurred during the pandemic but not because of it. I cannot really say I suffered. I was still able to move about freely. I was still able to take my mother to her medical appointments. I was still taking Sheba to the dog park and let her run. The pandemic made it a little harder going to the medical appointments. It made it not possible to be with her at the moment of Sheba’s passing. But the vetinary people were kind. They brought her out so that we could say goodbye.

Those two experiences were life changing and helpful for me. I would say that this pandemic is life changing and could be helpful for all of us. We have to be open to change. And when it is forced upon us, we should be grateful that there is in time for us to make the changes. We don’t have to cry and lament about what we have lost. We could look at what we could gain. I’m speaking from a very safe space. I am retired. I haven’t lost employment or income. I don’t have children or other dependents. I do feel very grateful and privileged. I am in this very moment very happy. It’s a light bulb moment for me.


My daily practices have become my joy and salvation. Seeing the letters and words march across the screen, hearing the tap, tap of the keys, pushing the paint on the canvas with my brush – they all bring me incredible joy. The feelings are so subtle at first. Now I’m infused with them. In this moment with the sun beaming into my room, I can say I am happy. It is enough.

I’ve never wanted much – for myself. Maybe that is why I’ve never felt poor even though we were. My sister felt it and my mother testified to it. Dried anchovies were mostly what we had to accompany the rice. But we were never hungry, except maybe on Sunday mornings. That was the one day the cafe closed. Everybody slept in, even if you were 8 years old and itching to get up, with tummy rumbling for food. We had a roof over our heads though it was an old one. We lived in a little house behind the cafe and near the town’s public bathrooms. Sometimes our house was mistaken for it.

Our next house was along the highway. It was bigger though not newer. My foot crashed through the floorboards of my bedroom the first day. It wasn’t my bedroom long, for our grandparents came to live with us. My sister and I had bunkbeds in the livingroom and our little brother slept with mom. Dad slept at the cafe because he had to open it early. The livingroom was great in the winter. It had an oil furnace. I would undress and dress next to it. Sometimes I got too close and ouch!

Recounting our early days in Canada, I see that we WERE poor. It mattered less to me maybe because I was warm, fed and nourished. Everything was new. I was learning a different language. I had school and friends. The Grey Hound Bus bought me books from the provincial libraby in Regina regularly. I always had a voracious appetite for the written word. The teachers told my father at the Grade One parent/teacher meeting that I have a talent for drawing. In my teens, I drew portraits of teen idols – Elvis, Fabian, etc. I only did trees in art class. My affinity for faces and people started young.

I’ve never made any money with my two loves. They were stuff of dreams. Who doesn’t dream of making it big, writing that novel or creating that painting? I didn’t work at making the dreams come true. I earned my living and money the hard way. I waitressed, worked in an office and slung bedpans as a registered nurse in a teaching hospital. Oh, glory days! Now in the aftermath of my youth, I have lived, am seasoned and have suffered. I have something to say and perhaps the fire to say it.

I was not a child genius, who upon falling out of my mother’s womb, can pick a brush and create a masterpiece. But that’s what it feels like in my senior years. It happened once I decided to pick up my brush after talking about my passion for decades. I push these blobs of paint on the canvas. Somehow a picture emerges. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it is even great. It keeps me showing up for my daily practices, my daily bread. It feeds and nourishes me. God I saved the best for the golden years.



Tuesday started out bright and sunny, though a little cool.  I woke up feeling wonderful, grateful for a perfect day at work yesterday.  When was the last time I felt so great about work?

I have to savor and remember what it was that made me appreciate the day.  It helps to work with someone in your own generation, who has lived as long as you have.  Life experiences matter.  There is music and rhythm to the day when you can rel.ate and compliment each other.  But that is not saying that I don’t appreciate the younger generation.  I do, but it is different.  That is all, just as every individual and relationship is different.

And then there’s our patient, a young woman 0f 23, who has Down’s Syndrome.  She is her own person and has her own schedule.  The challenge is how to work with her so that we both have a win, win situation.  I learn that somethings are not as important as I once thought.  Just do your best.  Do things in a different way.  I learn from this young lady that it is very easy to be happy.  It is not a complicated process.  Just smile and be happy!   The things that made her smile and laugh are:

  1. Visiting with her family – playing cards with her dad
  2.  Justin Bieber.  She had a large poster of him on the wall beside her bed.
  3.  Her Justin Bieber pillow
  4.  Her Glee pillow
  5.  Music
  6. People

The day is getting grey and windy.  I fell my good feelings slipping, a familiar sense of someone walking across my grave.  I know that it is just a feeling so I hang on to the memory of good things.  Today is 911, but it is also my very good friend’s birthday.  So happy birthday, dear friend!  It is eleven years since 911.  It is also eleven years since my mother was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm.  I remember that I was watching on TV the news  of the Twin Towers in a waiting room at St. Paul’s Hospital.  My mother is healthy, vibrant and still going to the Casino today.

The wind is still howling.  The evening is here.  I am sitting here, tap, tapping on the keyboard.  I am adding my blessings.  I am grateful for my life.  I am happy.  I am sipping wine.