March 17th, Wednesday morning. It’s almost 9 am. The sun is weak like tepid tea. I am, too. No get up and go. I sit, sip and tap. There’s no need to rush off to anything. I used to like to sew my quilt blocks in the early morning. It was still in the winter dark. I would turn on my feel good bright lamp, the radio and the fireplace. It was cosy and comforting, stitching up, cutting and ironing. All the while I’m listening to what is happening in Saskatchewan.

Now that the sun is rising earlier I rather sit and bask in its bright or not so bright light. I’ve had my fill of listening to the radio, especially the news. It’s all about the Covid, the vaccines and side effects. Have you noticed that all conversations are about that? It is all so very heavy and fatiguing. And yet we can’t seem to talk about anything else. Our National news is the same. The whole hour mostly focused on that, night after night for a whole year now. Oh, Donald Trump and the U. S. election did break through. But what about the rest of the world, the rest of life?

I am getting rather comfortable in my little bubble. I am happy with sewing my quilt squares, starting seedlings and messing and checking up in the greenhouse. I am reluctant to venture out. A trip to Costco was a major deal in my head. I had to take the guy with me. When we got there, it was no big deal. He was handy in pushing the cart and unloading things into the car. I feel I always struggled with bulky and weighty packages. Even visits with my parents feels big and problematic. I would have to do some head and mind clearing first. What a sad sack I am, heh?

My first vaccine shot is about 2 weeks away. I think I will head back to the gym and pool a couple of weeks after that. I miss the challenge of physical activity. It is the best medicine for my physical and mental health. It’s a-get-out-of-the-house prod. Being dour by nature, I have to work very hard to be in a good mental space. It’s a good thing. I have something to do all the time. I could not very well stay in a puddle or down the rabbit hole. I’m a very slow learner. I’m slow at everything but like the tortoise I can win some races.

Here’s my autobiography by Portia Nelson:

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I still don’t see it. I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
It isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there, I still fall in.
It’s habit. It’s my fault. I know where I am.
I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down a different street.


Building Resiliency

I’m later than ever. It is almost 8 pm. I hope my American friends are having a safe Thanksgiving. Today we have 299 new Covid cases in the province, with 72 at the Correctional Centre in Saskatoon. It’s nothing to celebrate or be grateful for. I’m starting to feel like a reporter. I have to snap out of watching the numbers. We all need to step up to the plate and do the right thing. It frightens me to listen to those people who are anti-masks. Do they really believe what they’re saying or do they have another agenda? Either way, they are dangerous, stirring up vulnerable people to create havoc. Be careful of stories you tell. If they are not your story, do not repeat.

Now that I got my rant out of the way, let me tell you about my main concern. I feel much more settled and comfortable having decided to stop going to the gym. I don’t have to second guess whether I’m putting myself, family and friends at risk. I can put my efforts into keeping and building resiliency. I am also one of those vulnerable people. I am easily affected by the weather and mood of others. I am easily affected by everything. It is important for me to keep physically, emotionally and mentally fit. I want to be kind and empathic but I don’t want to feel everyone’s pain. I’m not good at either one though I am improving. Sometimes I just have to grit and bear the pain.

I am learning that I have to be kind to myself first. I’ve had a hard time of it. I think that’s the reason for the anger I’ve felt and held so often in the past. It’s been a long while since I’ve felt it. Hooray for me! Free at last. It’s not so easy ‘getting it’. It takes a life time. It really have given me a mental boost in these times. I’ve learned to get up, dress up and show up no matter how I feel. That’s thanks to Regina Brett. These are the things that you still have to/can do even if you feel lousy. You might not be able to do them as well on any given day. If you try your best, you can forgive yourself.

Get up, dress up and show up is etched in my brain. It gives me that boost/resiliency on especially difficult days. And these are those days. Even so, I still find great joy and satisfaction – of getting up, dressing up and showing up – to make a soup from all my garden veggies for lunch, making kimchi and then going for another ski in the park. They were not all masterpieces but they were my honest efforts. I feel proud of them.

If you are interested in the recipe for my kimchi, here’s the link. I throw in different ingredients sometimes. Today I put in Jerusalem artichokes instead of radishes. Making food is very healing – for whatever ails you.


How Sweet/Sweat It Is

This morning I was folding laundry and noticed the Calvin Klein label on the guy’s undershirt. It reminds me of Christmas shopping my sister and I did with my mother years ago. How sweet the memory of when things were more carefree and my mother was younger and stronger. In those days, I still believe in some of the Christmas story. I believed in the warmth, kindness, giving and generosity of the season, if not the birth in the manger. I still believe in those sentiments but I’ve lost the warmth that came with it all. Humbug! is what I feel.

I am not really happy with the way I am. I feel hard and brittle like peanut brittle instead of marshmallows. Illusions once lost are gone forever. They are not what I really want. The God up in the sky no longer works. So why should Christmas still be the same. I didn’t start out in life with the Christ story. It was adopted when we immigrated to Canada. I have never been quite comfortable with it. Now is a logical time to give up all my pretense and come out of the closet. There, I’ve done it! I’ve said it. And what I really want for Christmas is good physical and mental health. They can come as they are. No need for a ribbon or bow.

Gifts don’t come free. I’ve been working on both. I’m still frequenting the gym using good hygience and social distancing practices. Our classes are small. I trust the staff and other members. I figure the exercise and socializing in small groups beneficial to my mental health. It feels exhilarating to work up a sweat. It carries me through part of the day. I hope the Covid numbers will come down. Otherwise, the gyms might get closed down. In that event, I still have my daily walks. Having walked daily, rain, snow or shine for 14 years with Sheba, it stays with me. Sheba would be proud of me. She’s probably walking with me in spirit.

It is almost the end of another day. I’ve kept up with doing at least one difficult thing a day. It helps lift my mood and gives me more energy. It’s cloudy all day today. No sun at all. The highest temperature in the greenhouse was 0 Celsius. While I’m waiting for the sun and spring, I’ve been researching on how to grow ginger and tumeric. It’s pretty interesting and exciting. There’s numerous videos on YouTube on how to grow both using roots from grocery stores. I might pot some up as soon as I get some ginger and tumeric. Why wait for spring? I can do it now.