End of July. End of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. This is my last post for it. It is after 4:30 in the afternoon. I’m sitting in the kitchen. There’s a nice cool draft from the two opened windows. I was relaxed but not anymore. Intrusive thoughts, phone calls, Sheba panting at my feet and the sound of traffic through the window. I’m feeling annoyed. I do my 4-7-8 breathing exercise.

Not much better. I lose count of my counting. Sheba is whining at me. The traffic is still so loud and distracting. We head outside. I kick Sheba off the deck with a rawhide chew. It is warm but not too bad. I can hear Sheba chewing her rawhide. At least one of us is settled. I do another round of 4-7-8 breathing. I listen to the traffic. I listen to the kids play at the daycare one house over. I don’t wish or fight for quiet. I accept what is.

I’m a slow learner in life but I can still learn. This month has been all about  learning the things that will make life easier for myself. I’ve been doing the same things over and over, expecting different results. I hadn’t known before that was what I was doing. I really worked on being mindful and seeing things objectively. It has changed how I see and think. It has removed the personal and emotional from many situations. For the first time, I see many things as they really are.

I was very proud of myself earlier in the day. I felt intrusive thoughts working their way into my mind. I saw what they were. I willingly and easily changed my thoughts. I felt smug about it, thinking I’m some kind of saint. But then, later, they came again. I took them personally and emotionally. I became irritated and annoyed with myself. So here I sit now, telling you about it. I think I must accept all my feelings, the good and bad. Otherwise, the bad will cause self-hatred. And no one is a saint.

Now it is almost 8 in the evening. I’m trying to finish my thoughts. July has been a good month. The weather has been volatile, changing day to day and within the day. Maybe we need that to remind us how precious our earth is. It reminds me how precious life is. It is not to be taken for granted. I have to take care and tend to it like my garden. The month and the challenge is over, but I will still come to this space to sort out the weeds in my thoughts. I will continue to learn and discern what is nurturing from what is noxious.



Tomorrow is Canada’s birthday. There will be a lot of celebrating and singing of this native land, the true north strong and free. I see in my mind’s eye how we stand tall, straight and on guard as we sing our national athem. Even though the maple leaf is our emblem, it is the magestic spruce trees I see standing tall on guard.

It’s a reminder for me to stand on my own guard, take responsibility for the things that I do and say. My life is my own. It is my own garden to tend. I know all its terrain, how much watering and fertilizing it needs. It’s my job to weed and till the soil. Come harvest, I can take pleasure to share my bounty if I can. Sometimes you put more in than you get back. It’s how life is. There are no equalized payments.

It is late in the evening. I am listening to the swish slosh of the dishwater. My mind is a bit unsettled. No point in trying to get a good night’s sleep just yet. It won’t work. It’s good to be here tapping rhythmically, relaxing my body and my mind and coaxing my brain into alpha waves. I hate to struggle. I’ve been struggling too much. It’s time to change my pattern. I’m letting go of things I can’t change. I’m letting go of things that are not mine.

I think I’m getting sleepy. Wishing all a happy Canada Day for tomorrow. Good night and good sleep.