September 30th – Aging Gratefully

My aging Mother with her aging familyπŸ’ž

Today is the final day of September. I cannot allow this month to end without sharing a ‘piece of my mind’ on the subject of aging. Fortunately, I have some firsthand experience on this topic to draw from. So, let us begin!

Memory – Quantity wise, as we age we have more memories, so we can be more selective about which ones we dwell on. 😏 Quality wise, our memory is not as reliable as it once was. This can be good or bad depending on the situation. It is frustrating as we search for our glasses every single morning! It can be a blessing as we can forget people, places, and events that we did not care for in the first place – or even when we forget what we had for supper yesterday. Who cares? That just gives us the option of enjoying the same meal three days in a row. πŸ‘

Finances – There is one financial term that is typically referred to in retirement that drives me batty! ‘Fixed Income’. I am fortunate that my husband still works, we live a very modest lifestyle, and we live in a country that has financial programs to help the aged. I know that there are those who are worse or better off than me in retirement. But seriously, how many people are not living on a ‘Fixed Income’? In all of my years of working, never once did I have the opportunity to demand a pay increase because my utility bills, my cost of food, or because any of my costs increased. Very few employers have an automatic ‘cost of living’ increase built into their wage package. Those that do rarely, if ever, cover the actual increased costs of living, nor do these increases kick in every time a cost increase comes into effect. Many seniors struggle financially, but so do many younger people – many singles, many young people starting out in adulthood, many in low paying positions, many parents providing for families. These people cannot afford to have their taxes hiked to support raising pensions every time there is a cost increase. They, like seniors, are on ‘fixed incomes’ and are struggling to make the same cutbacks that we all are to meet their financial obligations.

Harvest – Yesterday, I posted a quote by Robert Louis Stevenson on my blog. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” I used to think that retirement was the time to reap the rewards of life. I still do, to a point. Going into retirement, many of us have much to show for our working years. Our home is paid off, our relationships are solid, our family is self sufficient, our retirement income is secure. But, there was one thing that I discovered when I retired. I planted a lot of seeds (time, money, effort, love) in my life before retirement – in my kids, my marriage, my grandkids, my career, my home, etc. But, I did not plant a lot of seeds in myself – not in my health, not in my skills or my hobbies, not in considering, much less developing, my own interests. I do not regret any of the seeds that I did plant but when I retired and my family was grown and self-sufficient, I was so excited to be be free! And I was free, sometimes painfully so. It has taken two years – two years of walking, thinking, starting and stopping, but I am finally planting seeds in me. I am so grateful that retirement has given me the time and inclination to do this! It will be interesting to see what I harvest as these next years unfold.

That is about it for my thoughts on retirement. I personally recommend aging and retirement! It is great, even when the struggle is real.

Take care and have a great dayπŸ’ž

September 29th – Brilliant Advice

In every “piece of my mind” I believe in going to the experts when the need arises. Today I turned to the experts for their most brilliant advice.

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.”

John Wooden

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”

Babe Ruth

“How wonderful that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

Anne Frank

“When everything is going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

Henry Ford

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” (This is my absolute favourite todayπŸ’ž)

Robert Louis Stevenson

“Whatever the mind of a man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Napoleon Hill

“If you look at what you have in life, you will always have more. If you look at what you do not have, you will never have enough.”

–Β  Oprah Winfrey

“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes, because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.

Rumi

That is it for today! Have a brilliant day and see you tomorrow.πŸ’ž

September 28th – Empath

My sister Lorraine shared another post with me on the weekend.  This one was relative to ‘Empaths’ and it got me thinking about sharing ‘a piece of my mind’ on the subject. 

The term empath was originally coined byΒ  Scottish sci-fi writer JT McIntosh.Β  In his 1956 story ‘The Empath’ McIntosh writes of paranormal empathetic beings who are used by the government to oppress workers.Β Β  By the 1990’s science fiction writers regularlyΒ  used the term ’empath’ to denote a highly sensitive person.Β Β  In the 2000’s the term went mainstream with psychologists, spiritualists, and self-help and lifestyle authors.Β Β Β  Everyday people took to self-identifying as empaths.

There are a number of traits common to ’empaths’ as we know them today.

  • Strong empathy
  • Easily overwhelmed
  • Dislike of crowds
  • Easily overloaded
  • Love of nature
  • Need for rest
  • Solitude
  • Trouble fitting in
  • Aversion to conflict
  • Deep caring
  • Problem solving
  • Boundary issues
  • High sensitivity
  • Unique view
  • Strong intuition

When I first became familiar with the term ’empath’, it resonated with me. I could relate to virtually every trait commonly listed.

I sense the emotions of others. I assume all people do to some degree. On a one to one basis, I notice it more with negative emotions – particularly strong negative emotions such as anger, fear, or grief. I have had a couple of experiences with random people where I felt their grief so strongly that it was gut wrenching. People I barely knew and yet they knew that I felt their grief. It was the strangest, deepest, most intimate of ‘shared’ moments.

I am intensely uncomfortable in large crowds – especially crowds of ‘excited’ people. The worst for me is parades. When the band strikes up or the airplanes do their fly-over, I am overwhelmed by emotion to the point of struggling not to burst into tears. I have a friend who once told me that for her, the most overwhelming moment was hearing the first ‘batter-up’ at a baseball game. No worse than parades I guess. πŸ˜‚

Needless to say, any prolonged or overwhelming contact with people is exhausting for me. I want to flee to a solitary refuge, preferably in nature, where I can rest and recoup. I am so fortunate to be at a place in my life where much of my time can be spent just being alone, in nature.

High sensitivity, aversion to conflict, boundary issues, deep caring, problem solving are all enter-twined for me. Being sensitive to the emotions (especially negative emotions) of others tends to make one overly vested in their problems. It is difficult not to want to push boundaries and meddle to relieve the emotional tensions. It doesn’t make it right or particularly helpful but it does help to know why one does what one does!

I am not sure about the unique view. Dan does tell me that I am ‘so wierd’ on a regular basis, so possibly.

I do have strong intuition. I feel serious discomfort when someone close to me, typically family, is having a major emotional experience. I don’t necessarily know who it is, or what it is – I just feel it. I have learned (somewhat learned) to send up a quick prayer and then ‘let go and let God’ protect my loved one in such situations. I usually get a call after such events and the situation is typically resolved or at least emotionally uncharged.

In some ways, considering myself an ’empath’ has been somewhat helpful in understanding myself and learning to modify my experiences and reactions to them. In that way I think it is a good thing.

Where I have trouble with the concept of empaths, is when I read certain social media post. Many of them seem to make ‘highly sensitive empaths’ out to be superior or special beings. I think we all have emotional traits as individual as our physical characteristics. I don’t think it is so much which traits we possess but how we use them that matter.

One of the things about empaths that is often noted, is that as an empath one must distance one’s self from others – especially energy vampires or those who bombard us with negative feelings and emotions. I get that to a point. Over the years, I have come in close contact with some people who gave me seriously creepy vibes. (They may have been men and it may have been their tendency to stand way to close to me, look down my shirt or up my skirt. 😳) Those people, I do believe in distancing myself from.

But the other people, those that seem to suck the energy out of us or bombard us with negative emotions – fear or anger or grief, aren’t those the people who need us? Aren’t we given this gift of empathy so that we recognize these people who need us, so we can offer our support and caring and kindness? Obviously we need to understand what is going on in a situation like this and we need to take care of ourselves and replenish our strength and energy, but if we push away anyone who needs us, how does having the power of being an empath make us better than anyone? If we were physically powerful, wouldn’t we be inclined to help someone struggling with a heavy load? If we were wealthy, would we not think it right to help those less fortunate? If we were intelligent, wouldn’t we be expected to assist anyone struggling to read or write or understand a concept?

Personally, if I do possess any magical empath powers, I am more than willing to use them to help others. If I can absorb anyone’s grief or anger or fear, if I can share peace or light or hope, I am more than happy to do so. In my mind, I wouldn’t possess such powers if they were not meant to be used.

That is it for today. Those are my thoughts on being an empath.

No idea what Kat’s magical power is, but she does have a unique ability to sniff out the peanuts that the squirrels hide in our garden planters.

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž

September 27th – Mental Health

Since I have been sharing a ‘piece of my mind’ on various topics this month, I thought this would be a good time to share my thoughts on mental health.

I have always believed that mental health was every bit as important to one’s wellbeing as physical health. I strongly urge anyone, who is struggling with any aspect of their mental health to seek professional help – and I do hope that such help is available to anyone who needs it.

I am not a health professional – physical or mental. My thoughts on this subject are mine and mine alone. For what they are worth, here they are.

1. Let’s talk about it – By all means, if one is having issues with their mental well-being ‘Talk About It‘. Talk to a family member, friend, confidant or professional. Talk to Oprah or Dr. Phil or whoever – but talk about your issues, what you have done to cope, how you struggle to cope, what helps, what doesn’t. What doesn’t help is going on national television or running around anywhere and everywhere, talking about who caused your mental issues, how they caused them, or why they should be publicly flogged.

2. Deal with it! – In this day and age this is frowned upon – especially in regards to mental health but just like physical exercise, mental exercise is not a bad thing. Everyone struggles mentally/emotionally at times. It is okay, and it is okay to work one’s self through these times. The strongest, happiest, most well adjusted people I have known are people who had been through hell and back, mentally and emotionally – over and over! They learned to overcome. The weakest people I have ever known were either coddled through life or simply plodded through life, never trying to overcome their issues. Whether it is seeking out the help and guidance of professionals, reading self help books, physical activity, taking a break, or meditation – just do something. No one should have to live with depression or stress or anxiety or anger issues or any other debilitating mental health issue without at least trying to deal with it.

3. Covid and mental health – First off, not everyone has struggled mentally and/or emotionally through this pandemic. For some people it has been an opportunity to reset their lifestyle, their priorities, and heal from all of the stress and anxiety of their typical day to day life. The media, politicians, and ubiquitous ‘experts’ have beaten this Covid mental health thing like a drum for the past two years. If one is seriously struggling they know by now, if their children are struggling they know by now, if their pets are struggling they know by now. Make literature and resources available to those who need it. But quit with the depressing ‘everyone is struggling mantra’. Quit trying to make anyone feel guilty and miserable for being happy, peaceful, and content. It does not make any of us less caring and compassionate. Maybe the world needs those who are happy, peaceful and content to keep hope alive for those who are struggling.

4. There is no excuse – There are many who suffer from mental/emotional health issues. I believe we all do at different points in our lives. Attention has been given to making it okay to seek help and to speak out about our mental health. That is all well and good, but recently I have seen more and more people who use mental health issues as an excuse for bad behaviour or avoiding responsibility. I am not judging anyone specifically. But I see it a lot and what I particularly dislike is when people use self-diagnosed mental health disorders (like OCD) to bully others. First off, it is totally disrespectful to anyone who actually suffers from such disorders. Secondly, people with OCD do not go around using it to get everything they want, when they want it, done exactly as they want it. If it is not yours, leave it alone. If you do not like how someone else does something, keep quiet or do it yourself. No excuses.

That is it for today and my thoughts on mental health. As always, thank you for listening and feel free to comment.

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž

September 26th – More Advice

My sister Lorraine sent me this post yesterday. I am not sure it is (all) advice that I would take but I think it is cool that someone came up with it – and it has a strong ending. πŸ‘

I don’t know how well I would do, living right off the grid. I do enjoy watching the survival shows on tv. I am not a fan of ‘Survivor’ as it is too contrived for me. I prefer ‘Alone’ or ‘Naked and Afraid’, especially the latter. I think they should do a senior season. Put a bunch of wrinkly, droopy, naked, old folks like us on there and everybody would be afraid.

I could probably survive living off the grid here. πŸ€—

That is it for today. I don’t have any particular ‘piece of my mind’ to share today. We had young Dom last night. He was well behaved for the most part, but woke up several times during the night. He was inclined to share those moments so I didn’t get a lot of sleep. 😴

Middle of nowhere πŸ™‚

Take care and have a great dayπŸ’ž

September 25th – Success

Today I am delving into the ‘piece of my mind’ that has been pondering success.

According to dictionary.com there are multiple definitions for success.

the favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors ; the accomplishment of one’s goals’

‘the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like’

‘a performance or achievements that is marked by success, as the attainment of honors:

A person or thing that has success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.

I have issues with these definitions – or issues with success as it is defined. I think there should be a word dedicated to worthy POSITIVE success.

There is nothing admirable in achieving one’s goals, if one’s goal is to be miserable and cause as much misery and grief as one can in a lifetime. Wealth, position, and honors mean nothing if they are ill-gained or used to abuse others. A performance or achievement is meaningless if it destroys peace and harmony. And finally, a person or thing that has success as measured by the attainment of goals or wealth at the detriment of others is no success in my mind.

This morning I browsed through our local paper, as I typically do. There were articles and editorials regarding the latest mis-information and deflection by our miserable Premier. There were the articles and editorials regarding those who refuse and refute any and all health measures to control Covid. And of course… There are the mobs (miserable old bastards) who have to add their miserable comments to each and every article or editorial. None of which defines success as I believe it should be – Not our hapless Premier. Not our ongoing spread of what should be an easily controllable disease in a province where we could easily drive a tractor (sideways) between our residents. Not our miserable bullies who relentlessly push their miserable agenda in every comment section running.

But our paper did have a couple of amazing articles highlighting the admirable achievements of two amazing people. These articles, were in fact death notices, in today’s obituary section.

The first obituary of note was a woman who passed away at the age of 86. (I dealt with her son and daughter during my years in the construction industry – they are good people). She was a devoted wife and dedicated mother. She worked at the local tuberculosis sanitarium and was a strong advocate for her community. She served two terms as a counsellor and two terms as town mayor. She was a founder of the local dance association, President of the Rotary Club, and was an avid bridge player. She loved owls, Canadian thistles, and Liberals. She will be missed by her family and her many friends.

The second obituary of note was a man who passed after a brief and unexpected illness at the age of 97. Over the course of his lifetime he worked for and with his father, served in the RCAF in WWII, operated a successful automobile dealership in Regina and then one in Victoria B.C. He was active with the Shriners. He became a private pilot and a competitive trap shooter. After the passing of his first wife, he remarried and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona where he lived joyfully with his second wife until his passing. He is remembered by his family and by all who knew him as an astute businessman, a long-time Harley rider who rode until he was 93, and an old school gentleman who had a kind word for everyone he met.

These people – they epitomize success for me. They lived good lives serving others. They spread love and goodwill. They celebrated life. They paid the price of hard work and dedication and they reaped the rewards of lives well lived. This is what success should be – or we should have a word for what this is!

That is my ‘piece of mind’ for the day. As always, thank you for listening and feel free to comment in the section below.

Take care and have a great day!πŸ’ž

September 24th – Unstuck!

All of the ‘pieces of my mind’ are focussed on the good life today!Β  Better things are starting to happen for us and ours. πŸ’ž That is the way things are – for better or worse, things can change in the blink of an eye. Fortunately, our changes are for the better today. 😁

Genie & Brook – a few years ago πŸ˜‚

I talked to both of these little girls – Genie is happily settled in her new home and her new job.Β Β Β  Brook is back in Regina and happy to announce that her up and coming little one is a GIRL!Β  Our first great granddaughter is due on or about Genie’s birthday. (Because we need another Christmas Eve angelπŸ’ž).Β Β Β  So good to know both of these girls are happy and loving life.Β  😊

My surgeon called last night!!!Β  Yay! Everything is good with my catscan and I am officially on his hernia surgery list.Β Β Β  He has no idea when the surgery will actually happen as our hospitals are overwhelmed with Covid patients but that’s a story for tomorrow’s blog.Β Β  Today I am just excited that all is good on the scan. 😁

And… Dan has been on days-off this week.Β  He goes back to work Monday – at the pipe mill!Β Β  As much as the steel plant was a fascinating experience for him, I will sleep better knowing he is back on the pipe side.Β  😴

Somewhere in Ontario…

I found this photo when I was looking for an early picture of Genie and Brook. It was taken during our visit to Ontario years ago. I think it was taken near Niagra Falls. So pretty I had to share. πŸ’—

I found this one for you Lorraine!Β  Lol – who needed a dishwasher back in the day? Sadly, I do not have any videos of our accompanying dance moves. 🀣

That’s it for today! Just a few positive, happy moments to share.

Take care and have a great day!πŸ’ž

September 23rd – Quality of Life

A large ‘piece of my mind’ has been busy struggling to get in and stay in a good place lately. I could go into any number of situations that have been driving this recent funk.

  • Federal Canadian politics
  • Saskatchewan provincial politics
  • City of Regina politics
  • People who whine about taxes
  • People who whine about everything they want the government to pay for (with taxes)
  • Covid – Version 4.0
  • Cranky Facebook people who whine about everything
  • Family issues
  • Health issues
  • FALL – dreary, dusty, chilly, FALL
  • Upcoming holidays πŸŽ„πŸŽƒπŸŽ‰πŸ¦ƒ

So many reasons to be funked! But the bottom line is LIFE is PRECIOUS! Too precious to be wasted being funked out for any reason. Nothing on the list is worth more than the quality of my life.

So once again, I am just going to focus on LIFE! and the things that matter. Because life is too precious to let it slip away unappreciated. πŸ’ž

That is it for today folks!

Take care and have a great rest of the day!πŸ’ž

September 22nd – still TryingπŸ‘

Still working at getting this wee piece of my mind’ to get perked up and past the fall funk I have been in. To this end, I have put together a few of our better moments from the past couple of days. 😁

We had Mark and Dom over for supper last night. That definitely brought some life to our evening. πŸ’ž
We took Kat to the groomers today. She came home looking and smelling fall fresh!
Dan went out and bought a new fire extinguisher for the kitchen. Nothin’ says lovin’ like up to date fire protection. πŸ’—

I forgot to take a photo but Dan and I went to the Canadian Brew Pub for lunch today while Kat was at the groomers. We both had the Buffalo Chicken sandwich special with fresh hot fries and slightly wierd gravy. Not Brandon gravy wierd, but it did taste quite sagey. πŸ€” The sandwich and fries were amazing!

Our flowers are few and far between but there are a few blossoms left to appreciate.
These petunias are such a dark, rich color. 😊

I feel better just looking at these photos! I hope you enjoy them as well. That is all I have for today!

Take care and have a great rest of the day! πŸ’ž

September 21st – Sharing is Caring

I am pressed for time today, so once again I am just sharing a few random ‘pieces of my mind’.

This one needs no explanation as to what was going through my mind when I brought in the mail this morning. 🀨 (In case you can’t tell, the city found four coffee cups when they called our recycling).
I invited Mark and Dom over for an early birthday supper for Mark tonight.  We still had leftover carrot cake so I baked them each a cookie for desert.  πŸ˜‚
Full Moon last night
What is that little blue bean?
And where did it go? 😳

Those last three photos were all taken one after another and I was almost in the same place. (I was a bit closer to the fence for the middle shot). We see those little blue beans often – sometimes alone, sometimes in groups. No idea what they are. Sometimes there are some behind our house, sometimes beside our house, sometimes on the power poles. Wierd. πŸ€”

That is all I have for today! Take care and have a good rest of the dayπŸ’ž