Walking the Dog

And somehow we managed to go 6.67 km this morning (-4 celcius). Happy trails🙄

Still Walking🌬️

Kat and I went for our regular walk this morning. We did 5km in 66 minutes. That included three stops to pick up Kat poo, one stop to visit with a guy who was cutting through the park with his Giant Tiger purchases, one stop to chat with Gaylene and Absinthe (her black lab), and about half a km for Kat to search for berries and/or squirrels along the path. It was minus 8 celcius, snow flurries, and a brutal northwest wind.

Granted, I was wearing several layers of heavy fall clothing, including two pairs of socks and two pairs of gloves, but I was still pretty proud of myself and my little dog. I don’t know how we will make out through the winter, but we do not have any heavy snowfalls forecast for this month so we aren’t ready to give up our walk yet.

Have a great weekend and KEEP WARM🌞

More Lessons (finally) Learned 🤦

It is so strange that we can hear the same truth repeated over and over in our lives and never really understand the meaning or importance of the message.

I was raised in a relatively loving home. The Catholic Church and her teaching were a foundation of our lives. I have read countless books on self improvement. Through all of my life, the concept of forgiveness and unconditional love has been brought forth time and time again. I thought I ‘got it’.

I have tried to be a good, caring person. I have tried to not be angry or hateful towards others. I have tried to not be vengeful or judgemental. I honestly thought I had a fairly good grasp on living a ‘good’ life.

Early this spring, I developed health issues that seriously impaired my life. I was driven to retire from my job (a few months earlier than planned) and to start living a healthier life. As part of my healing, I began walking – a lot! – on a regular basis. My walks gave me time to think and many of my thoughts focussed on peace. (Which coincidentally was the subject I had chosen to focus on in 2020).

Walking in itself did wonders for easing my stress level. Spending time in nature on a regular basis was relaxing and beneficial. I walked for my peace. I walked for my family’s peace. I walked for peace for friends and neighbours and strangers. While my health was my initial reason for walking, peace was the driving force that kept me going.

These past few days, while I still walked every day and enjoyed my time in nature, I have started to struggle to stay focussed on peace. There have been a number of things happening that I have been dealing with – ongoing issues with my daughter, my son’s upcoming wedding (which will involve spending a couple of days socializing with my ex-husband and his family), politics – specifically a provincial election which will once again result in a landslide win for a party led by people who have caused serious grief and pain to many – including my family, and with colder weather moving in, a return to having my husband watching his television programs in the livingroom. (I love my husband and I certainly want him to be comfortable on his days off, but personally I am uncomfortable with television programs the likes of Jerry Springer in our house).

All of these situations have cost me a lot of peace. I ‘block’ one disturbing thing out of my consciousness and three more things gnaw at me. It has become increasingly frustrating.

FINALLY I get it!

Peace is one of those things that you cannot just have and hoard. You cannot have peace and choose to share it with some, while withholding it from others. You do not get to decide who is worthy of peace.

For the last couple of days, I have been walking for peace – for myself, for my family, for friends and neighbours and strangers – but including and specifically for those who I had been previously trying to block from my peaceful consciousness.

I feel so much better. The more I walk for peace for myself and others, including walking for those who challenge my peace, the more peaceful I become. Seriously – how simple is that? 🤷

Wayne Dyer

Last night I read ‘Staying On The Path’ by Dr. Wayne Dyer. It is a collection of some of his popular observations and quotes. One that I had not come across before (despite being a huge Wayne Dyer fan) was “How old would you be, if you didn’t know how old you are?”

My first thought, if I was not looking in a mirror or considering how old my children are, was forties – maybe fifties. In reality, I am sixty-five but I was thinking more in line with what I have learned and done in life and what I have left to learn and do.

Then I just closed my eyes and just went by how I felt – no thought for my history or my potential future. When I thought along those lines, I felt timeless – age seemed totally irrelevant.

It is a really good question. “How old would you be, if you didn’t know how old you are?”

Windy Wednesday

It’s a chilly day in paradise today.

Kat and I took our usual walk this morning.  The cold wind was doing a good job of blowing the leaves off of the trees.
Dominic arrived to spend a few hours with Kat and I.    After lunch, we will venture out to the playhouse for some Play-Doh creativity.
I will try to finish my latest read later this afternoon.  This is a great book.  I just finished a chapter on the importance of walking for one’s mental and emotional health.   I could not agree more.

Time to put together some lunch for Dom.  I made an Apple Crisp yesterday, so at least desert is ready.

Dan was serving desert last night 🙄. I swear I peeled lots of apples for this. Either they really cooked down or I tossed Kat way more slices than I thought I had. 🤦

Keep safe – and warm!

Lessons Learned

I Walk for Peace

This year, my focus has been on peace.  As things go, my choice of focus for this year has been spot on.  2020 has been a stressful year for many people and for my own reasons, it has definitely been challenging for myself as well.

Challenges aside, I have enjoyed my quest for peace and have learned a few things in the process.

1.  I have spent sixty-four years battling anxiety and one year focusing on peace.    I have learned that I  should have started focussing on peace sixty-five years ago. 🤦

2.  I have learned to make MY peace my priority.   For the better part of my life, my priority has been trying to maintain a peaceful, pleasant cushion around others to try to keep them happy and peaceful.  My reasoning being, if they were happy and peaceful, they were not making my life difficult and stressful.  In my defense,  I had a very high-strung mother.  My first husband was difficult (such an understatement🤣🤣🤣).  My current husband is a really good man but, after number one, complete trust in any man has been difficult for me.   My children were typical, difficult at times children.  Finally,  as an administrative assistant for the better part of my career, it was my job to keep things running smoothly in my work environment.  I drove myself to be the peacekeeper.  Except, my peace was way down the list of my priorities.    I have come to realize that to enable or encourage peace in any situation, one must first be at peace themselves. 🙄

3.  I have learned that peace makes all of  the best things in life possible.   Health and well-being is difficult to impossible when one is constantly stressed.  With peace, health and well-being come naturally.  Happiness is next to impossible when one is stressed and anxious.  With peace, happiness is natural.   Love is difficult to impossible when one is constantly stressed and anxious.  With peace, one is easily more loving and more loveable.  Relationships are healthier and easier.   Prosperity is possible when one is stressed out and anxious – feeling prosperous is difficult at best.  One never feels financially secure when one is anxious and stressed.  You feel you need more and you worry about losing what you have.  You develop poor financial habits or addictions that undermine your efforts to be financially secure.   Peace brings a feeling of security to all aspects of one’s life – including financially.   

4.  Peace is the gift that keeps on giving.  I could, and I intend to,  make my peace my priority going forward in my life.  I believe we are born into this world to evolve – to become better, stronger, and wiser –  as individuals and as a whole.  I  believe peace is the key to evolution – at least to my evolution. 

Beauty 2021

Every year I choose one special focus for the year – something I want to strive for. I have been doing this for several years now and have worked my way through love, happiness, and peace to name a few.

I find positive affirmations that are relevant to my focus for the year and I copy them into a journal every morning. Throughout the day, during the ups and downs, I try to stay on ‘focus’. At night, when I go to bed, I try to relax and keep my focus in mind as I drift off to sleep. (That doesn’t always work for me – I am usually asleep before I hit the pillow.🙄)

Typically, I pick a focus for the upcoming year later in the current year and I generally have to spend some time contemplating my choices before I decide on THE one. Last week, it just came to me. 💡 I decided that for 2021 my focus would be on BEAUTY. I knew that would make the perfect focus for next year. As a bonus, I thought it would be especially fun to find moments of beauty to share on my blog.

Yesterday, as luck would have it, my son Dan called. Apparently, we will be kicking off 2021 with the perfect event to celebrate beauty.

Dan & Amanda – Gabby, Lucas and Cason

On December 31st, we will be celebrating the long awaited marriage of Dan and Amanda. It will no doubt be a beautiful ceremony – which Gabby, Lucas and Cason are naturally to be a part of.

It has been four years since Dan and his daughter Gabby and Amanda and her son Lucas joined forces to become one family. Two years later, they were blessed by the arrival of Cason. It has been a long wait for them to be able to make it official but their time has finally arrived!

There could not be a better way to end 2020 and begin 2021, year of BEAUTY, than by celebrating this beautiful occasion.

Happy Birthday Mark

Happy Birthday to my firstborn – Mark Benjamin. I remember bringing you home from the hospital like it was yesterday. You were so very tiny. Now, poof – forty three years later!

So much has happened in those years. I remember the little boy who refused to walk through puddles. How did you become the man who works construction, camps out with Erin and Dom every chance you get, crawls through the bushes with airsoft guns blazing and spends your spare time on one home improvement project after another? All the never, evers I heard for years and yet here you are. 🤣

It truly makes me wonder where the next forty three years will take you?

Happy Birthday, son. I will love you forever, I will like you for always!

Changing Seasons

The struggle is real. Moving from summer to autumn, in Saskatchewan, just doesn’t work for me.

Trading the summer heat for the autumn chill does not work. Trading bright sunny skies for dull, overcast ones does not work. Trading green grass, thick lush trees and colorful summer flowers for the depressing dying plant life of autumn definitely does not work!

This morning Kat and I headed out for our morning walk. We took a route that we do not usually follow. We trod along four or five kilometres of city sidewalks. It was ok. The weather was warmish. The people we crossed paths with were friendly.

Finally we reached our neighbourhood park. I started to take more notice of the nature around us.

The grass was pretty sad looking.
Some of the trees were looking downright depressing.

And then I saw IT!

A perfect golden leafed tree framed by brilliant blue sky.

It is amazing how one can find so much peace and joy and hope and beauty in one glance. I could have been looking in the wrong direction and missed it. I could have been shuffling along staring at the ground and feeling miserable and I could have missed it. But there I was, walking through my favourite little park, looking for peace and hope and joy and beauty and BAM there it was.

Wishing all a great day – or at least one perfect moment. 🤗

Parenting 101

My Parents’ 50th Anniversary (1989)

On January 1st, I made a commitment to make PEACE my priority this year. I have made a strong and consistent effort to stay true to my commitment. In many ways, I have made significant progress in becoming less anxious and in making my life more peaceful.

There is one area of my life where I continue to struggle on a regular basis . My problem area is parenting – and grandparenting – and when the time comes (if I do not pull myself together) – it will be great-grandparenting. 👵

The problem (for me) started with my Mother. She taught me, that if you love someone you care about them. If you care about someone you WORRY about them. I am sure that is what her Mother taught her and, God forbid, that is what I taught my children. 🤦

I love my children and I adore their children. I care immensely about them all. So, when my children or grandchildren face any challenge whatsoever, I worry. If they face a serious challenge, I go into a full-blown anxious meltdown.

I know in my mind that I am over reacting. I have faced challenges in my life. I have made bad choices and I have had to deal with the consequences. I have had my heart broken. I have tried and failed. I have struggled with health and finances and grief. I have survived and, more often than not, I have come through each challenge stronger and better for having been through it.

I know my children and grandchildren are smart and capable and resilient and everything else that they need to be to survive every challenge that they will face in life. I want to stop worrying about them and start showing them that I believe in them. Regardless of the situation, I want to be a strong and calm presence in their life.

I have long believed that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. This quotation has been repeated by many strong men throughout history. It is true and so extremely important! It is the basis of my commitment to making peace my priority this year.

There is nothing more debilitating than fear. Fear makes any challenge – physical, mental, or emotional – all the more difficult to conquer. Fear makes any dream or goal all the more difficult to achieve. I know because I have too often allowed fear to rule me. I do not want it to rule me or my family going forward!

There is no form of fear that is productive or helpful. Worrying about those you love, even your precious children and grandchildren is not productive or helpful. If anything, it undermines their confidence and that is unhelpful and detrimental to their well being! Worse yet, it teaches them to perpetuate this unhealthy form of love when then become parents and grandparents.

Going forward this year, I will continue to make peace my focus – for myself, my children, and my grandchildren. 🕊️