NOVEMBER – A New Month of Challenges

November 1, end of October and a new beginning. Though the October Ultimate Blog Challenge is over, challenges are not over for me. I’m the type of person who finds everything hard. At one point in my life I vowed not to let that word enter my vocabulary. It’s hard, too hard. I know I’m weak with vows. Now I am using the word with abandon. Life is just too flipping hard and if using the word makes me feel better, why not, eh?

I’m not like most women. I hate shopping. I have to gear up to go to Costco. Thinking about it fills me with yuck but it’s time and it’s hard. I need stuff and they have it all there and at a good price. I know having intentions doesn’t mean anything unless I follow through. So I made my list, got into the car and drove. Funny it wasn’t hard after that. I went up and down the aisles with my cart and list. An hour later I was through the checkout with $500 less in my bank account. The next challenge was to load everything in the car and get home.

I have to file the memory that it wasn’t hard after I get into the car. The trick was not to pay attention to my feelings but the need to do. That was my focus, too, on getting everything into the house. I was grateful for my workouts at the gym, that I have the strength and the know how. I thought on posture – hip hinge and squat, no bending over. I did pretty well though I worked up a sweat. Most things are put away though a few are still looking for a home. They might as well hang out until I reorganize and clean out some cupboard space. No point in stuffing them in wherever and then having to pull everything out again.

I am pretty pleased with myself for accomplishing this shopping trip today. I did not skip out on my afternoon walk even though the weather was grey and breezy. I brought out my toque and away I went. The fresh air and steps will help me get a good night’s sleep. Now it is almost 6 pm and it is quite dark already and raining a little. I have long complained about the darkness beginning at this time of the year. But I am noticing that it no longer bothers me as much or in the same way. I am learning to embrace, celebrate and use this time to rest and rejuvenate so that I am ready for the spring and the growing season.


Some mornings I just feel like throwing up. That’s how enthused I am. It’s not about who I am or is it? I have many mornings like this. When I was still working, I often start the day by telling people I am grouchy. I want to let them know that it’s not personal. It was how I was feeling (my physicality and my brain chemistry) at the time. Mornings can be tough when you have to get up at the crack of dawn, walk the dog and be at work for 7:30. Most of the time I feel like a sleepy grumpy bear.

I’m lumbering around this morning, heavy and slow footed. There’s not an ounce of joie de vivre in me. I could lay on the couch all day. I see the crumbs and dog hair on the floor. They seem magnified and multiplying. I like to turn a blind eye but they irk the hell out of me. I sigh and take the big bic of a vacuum stick off its charger. I would just like to make a cursory round on the floor. But I know about all the dog hair under the legs of the chairs and stools. I heave another big sigh and painfully pulled them off. Then there’s the kitchen mat to shake out.

The kitchen and dining room are done. I even took a damp mop to give the hardwood a shine. It wasn’t that difficult now that it’s done. It’s a distant memory. I have to keep that in mind for the next time and forever. Difficult is however difficult you want to make it. I remember my mother telling me, don’t include difficult or hard in your vocabulary. Mothers have a way of always being right.

Now that the difficulties are out of the way, I can make something of my day. I’ve gotten up and shown up but haven’t dressed up. Guess what I am going to do next?


I’ve let go of some of my routine and habits. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I thought I would relax a little and ‘let go’. I’ve let go too much. I’m having trouble getting my discipline back. It’s time to walk my furry baby but I don’t want to do that either. I must. It’s her birthday. She got her birthday chew. I can’t deprive her of her walk. Guilt will get me going – after I finish my tea. Heavy big sigh.

How did I get to this spot? It’s like pulling teeth getting things done. The arthritis in my left hand is not helping. It’s almost 4 months now. Some days it is not bad. Then it’s not good the last 2 days. My ring finger is swollen and bent. I spend moments straightening and massaging it. Otherwise, it would seize up and I would have to snap it open. Ouch! Ah, I better take a tylenol. Time to take Sheba out.

I tanked out after Sheba’s birthday walk yesterday. My discipline has gone to the dogs. Not a good thing. Real life happens. I don’t want it to go on for much longer. It doesn’t feel good, this lethargy. I feel as if I’ve lost all ambition and resolve. I feel as if I’ve lost purpose. I want to say, What is the point? The world is on the brink of destruction. The fires burn on. Violence continues. We are a selfish specie. We only care about the me, I and myself. We only care about money and stuff.

Clearly one thing I need to change is my self talk and my vocabulary. I am thinking and talking myself into a blue streak. I have to keep some blinds open and let natural light in. Maybe I can paint some blue skies to counter the clouds and smoke. Real life sucks sometimes but that’s life. I must be doing some things right. I am not behind with life. My bills are paid up. My car is serviced. Doctor and dental checkups done. I have family and a few friends. I have some junk cluttering my surfaces but nothing that would shock your socks off if you pay me an unexpected visit.

By my own accounts, I must be doing okay. I went to my exercise class this morning. I can still talk and interact with people. Somebody gave me some rhubarb muffins. Another some cucumbers. I harvested 2 more spaghetti squash from the raised garden bed. I already have 5 in the basement. I made lunch. Dishes are not done but soaking. I think I’m just going through a life bump. I’ll be back to ‘normal’ in a bit. No worries.



Life never stops happening. I might as well keep my seat belt on. It’s a good thing, I suppose. I’ve been listening to Caroline Myss this morning on the importance of words. I’m watching my vocabulary – how I talk. I do anyways, especially here. I don’t like to talk about ‘problems’ or ‘trouble’, not without countering it with solutions and hope. I love Alice in Wonderland but I don’t want to fall down that rabbit hole without an escape route.

I’m darn tired now, spending the morning baking bread. Now, I’m sitting with my tea. Relief! I’ve just down two gingersnaps. Cookies help with everything. The furnace man has just left a little while ago. We have heat again. There are things we never learn to do even when we know better – like changing the furnace filter regularly. Why did we think our house was so clean with a dog that SHEDS. So we pay the price of a new motor for the fan. Good thing it’s warm today. -9 C instead of – 30+C of last week. Good thing we have another furnace for the downstairs, plus a fireplace. But it was still cool.

It made me think of how spoiled we are. We were cold with an inside room temperature of 60 degrees F. I can remember winters in China when I was a child. There was no heating, never mind central. We wore layers of clothes and then a jacket over top. That’s one reason I have a very big bad scar on my left arm. I had hot syrup spilled on it when I was little. I had so many layers of clothes on, it was difficult to extricate me from the hot sticky mess. Another reason was doctors were not a commonality. They were a last resort of which I did need and got.  I am scarred but I’m here. Both my arms are functional. No mobility issues.

I have learned to mourn and let go my losses, but celebrate what I have. No use crying over spilt milk. So much wisdom in those old sayings, eh? My tea is done. I feel so much better. I think I will have another cup. My aches and pains are less today. My oven is on steam clean. I don’t want to leave the house yet. Sheba will have to wait for her walk. All in good time. Talking about which – making bread is about all I’ve got done today. Well, the dishes, pots, pans and all the other goodies, too. Now that I got the oven going, there’s those racks. No panic though. There’s time. Now there’s heat. Smile. One. Thing. At. A. Time.

But first another cup of tea.