March On!

We have moved into March and life gets better every day!

Sunshine and warmer temps!

Dan and I are starting a new month of workouts. I lost a grand total of 1 1/2 pounds in February.

This month we are going to get seriously focussed on our eating habits.

No more brownies with cream cheese icing๐Ÿ˜ข

My little seedlings are breaking ground. I can hardly wait until I can get them out in our garden. ๐ŸŒฑ

Have a great month! & Stay safe๐Ÿ’ž

Annoyed!

I take pride in being capable of handling difficult situations in a calm and reasonable manner. Grace under pressure๐Ÿ™ That is me – in a medical emergency, a project crisis, or a natural disaster. I suck it up and do what must be done. ๐Ÿ‘

What I can take no pride in, is my absolute fail in the face of life’s ‘little’ snafus.

Struggling to tear off a section of plastic wrap, parchment paper, toilet paper – I come unhinged. Sticky tape and velcro are my nemesis. I hate paper cuts!!! I once got a staple stuck in the end of my finger and practically beat my boss with a phonebook because he was laughing too hard to pull it out. Rediculous of course, I know, but that is how I roll.

So here is the thing… In 2012 I was in hospital for a month with pneumonia and empyema. I was sent home none the worse for wear (I returned to work the day after I was released). Except for one thing. Since my time in hospital, my sinuses have been pooched. My nose has been plugged for nine years. ๐Ÿ˜ข

This year, I have had one thing after another go wrong with my lungs – which aggravates my sinuses. Yay! I have used a neti pot, a steamer, and my specialist put me on a long-term steroid nasal spray. That helped for a couple of weeks before making matters worse.

For the past few weeks, my sinuses seem to deflate every time I close my mouth – which causes an immediate airlock in my head. I cannot eat, I cannot sleep, I exercise every day – it is more of a workout to breathe than it is to actually work out, and I cannot concentrate on anything except for the fact that I cannot breathe. I struggle to meditate. Virtually every meditation starts with “relax and breathe naturally”. Pffffttt! Like that is going to happen!

I decided to stop using the nasal spray but my husband thought I should run it by my doctor first. I called – he is on holidays for the next two weeks. I called my specialist’s office. His reception promised to run it past him and get back to me. (Still waiting…..) So… I tossed the spray. Things are quite a bit better, but – my sinuses are still stuffy to an annoying degree.

Thank you for reading through my rant and whine. All sympathy gratefully accepted. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž

Rumi

When I sat down to meditate this morning, I ran across a meditation by Brian Scott ‘The Divine Wisdom of Rumi’.

I have always been fascinated by those unique individuals who prove their brilliance by simply stating the obvious truths of life. Rumi, a Persian poet who lived in the thirteenth century, was one such individual. His wisdom is so timeless and genuine that it is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago.

The following Rumi quotes particularly spoke to me this morning:

“Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

“It’s your road and yours alone, others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.”

“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

“If you are looking for a friend who is faultless, you will be friendless.”

“One of the marvels of the world: The sight of a soul sitting in prison with the key in its hand.”

“A candle never loses any of its light while lighting up another candle.”

Take care & stay safe. ๐Ÿ’ž

Surviving the Hard Times

These are hard times, dark days for many. There is our ongoing pandemic, political problems, economic and environmental issues, countless global issues – all above and beyond the inevitable struggles of our own personal, individual lives.

I am fortunate and grateful that I am in a good place right now – better than most and better than many places I have been. I may not share the pain of those who are struggling right now but I can and do empathize.

When one is going through a really difficult time one can easily feel abandoned, attacked, hopeless and helpless. Life can be draining and devastating – mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is easy to feel like giving up.

Many years ago I experienced a life altering moment. My life in general was bad – really bad. I left the hospital where my father lay dying, to drive home to take care of my family. It was typically a two hour drive on a good day. This day was not a good day. My father was dying, my marriage was in shreds, my husband had become a raging miserable bastard, my kids needed me, my parents needed me, I needed to be at work – and I was driving home in a blizzard. I could barely see beyond the front of my car (which was a worn out little sedan with no heater). I was terrified, I was heartbroken, I was sobbing and my tears made it even more difficult to see the road ahead. The stretch of road I was on is a series of hills and valleys. This day, as the snow fell and the wind blew , the valleys filled with snow drifts which I had to step on the gas to power through. Every drift that I pushed through brought me to a stretch of sheer ice at the top of a hill. My hands were frozen and my arms were limp. When I reached the point of believing this trip was going to end very badly, I noticed a sign a few car lengths away from me. I thought, okay. I may not make it home but I can get that far. I did. Then I saw a utility post – and I made it that far. This went on and on and on, until I made it home. I was frozen, I was exhausted, I was stronger, and I had learned an important lesson on how to navigate through life’s hard times. (Which I, unfortunately, had to use a few times since!)

For anyone struggling right now, take care of yourself, be kind to yourself, and do whatever you can to to help yourself feel empowered – even it just for a day, an hour or a moment. Know that you can, and that you will, make it through this – as long as you keep moving forward.

Also, If you must walk through hell, walk through like you own place!

I hope you enjoy my own unofficial theme song from Rodney Atkins.

Eight Days In!

Dan and I have been working out together every day – for eight days straight now!ย  It is still a lot of fun and somehow we are managing to get in a pretty good workout despite our limited space. My sister (Lorraine) thinks I should do a blog on how to workout in a small house without destroying the wall mount television and/or the kitchen sink. It is in the works! ๐Ÿ˜‰

We are also starting to put more health conciousness into our meals.  It’s not that hard when Dan is here to peel and chop.  Our snacks still need work. ๐Ÿ™„

Dinner salad – Lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, radishes, green onions, broccoli, spicy air frier pork, homemade croutons and sesame seeds.. mmmm!)
Bran, molasses, coconut & walnut muffins.  The molasses, coconut, and walnuts almost mask the taste of the bran. ๐Ÿ‘
Chilli with plenty of fresh vegetables – peppers, celery, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and canned tomatoes and kidney beans!

Between the workouts, the improved diet, the meditating, and the new mattress that we bought lately (to ensure a better night’s sleep), ย  it is looking like a healthier, happier life for both of us.ย  ๐Ÿ’ช

Keep well and stay safe๐Ÿ’ž

Living at the Speed of Life

There have been a lot of changes in my life since I retired a few months ago.ย  The majority of those changes have been within me – changes in attitude, changes in personality, changes in relationships.

One of the relationships that has changed most drastically is my relationship with time.ย ย  Time is still a significant, relevant part of my life.ย  I still have clocks in my house and, as much as my daily regular schedule has changed, it has changed to a new regular schedule.ย ย 

The thing is, before retirement time was one of my main sources of stress and frustration.ย ย  Hours in a classroom lasted longer than days during summer break.ย ย  Nine months of pregnancy lasted forever!ย  Years of infants, toddlers, tots,ย  and teens wereย  over way too soon.ย  A week at the office was interminable.ย  A weekend home was never long enough. The terrible years were endless and the good ones flew by.ย  There was no consistently to time – ever – and I never had time when I needed it most!

In retirement, time flows easily and smoothly.ย ย  I never feel suspended in time, nor do I feel pressured to do more than time allows.ย  Time passes –ย  the hours, the days, the weeks, the months – regularly and consistently and reassuringly.ย ย  Regardless of all that is or is not happening, time passes.ย ย  No longer a sources of stress or frustration, time is now a comforting measure of life.

First Days of Beauty

Every year, I choose one main positive value in life to focus on. This year my focus is on beauty. So far, I have not really been struggling with this effort, so much as building a base to grow it on.

I have started a major home beautifying project – cleaning our basement. I haven’t reached any Kodak moments yet, but every time I go downstairs I am excited by how much better things are looking than when I first began. ๐Ÿ˜Š

My husband has been home on a work layoff – the first in many years! It is nice having him home. It is very nice having him available to do the shopping and run errands. It is especially nice when he run out to do errands and comes home with a special little gift for me. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Dan came home with this beautiful glass baby elephant. He seems happy sitting beside the adorable stuffed elephant that granddaughter Genie gave me for Christmas.

I have not been spending much time outside this month. Occasionally, I do catch a beautiful moment in nature when I glance out a window.

Our backyard is a haven for squirrels and birds this winter.

I continue to spend time searching out and experiencing the meditations I find on You Tube – especially those related to sending healing, loving energy to others. They seem to be such a beautiful way to connect with family and loved ones – so much better than worrying and fretting about the people I care for!

Lately, I have finally realized, the rationale of sending healing, loving energy to those who would not have typically made my prayer list in the past. I am talking about people who have caused major grief to myself and my family, any people who I see as being arrogant or hateful or cruel. I know one is supposed to extend love and caring to those people – but that is seriously difficult to do – no matter how many times I read that they are the ones who need it the most.

Through meditation, I have found a way to send loving, healing energy to anyone, everyone, and especially to those who are the most difficult to. In my mind, projecting hate and anger to these people does not help them or me. However, sending them love and healing energy does make me feel much better. I can only hope that these people are touched by the love I send them. ๐Ÿ’—

This is one of the healing meditations that I have found to be particularly moving. I hope that if you are inclined to try it, you will enjoy the experience.

Stay safe and have a beautiful day๐Ÿฅ€

And So It Begins ๐Ÿ˜‚

Every time I resolve to do anything that I feel I really need to do, the universe kicks in to say “OH NO YOU DON’T” – or maybe the universe, like an old friend of mine, just thinks I enjoy a challenge. ๐Ÿ™„

At the beginning of every new year, I resolve to focus on something that I feel I should prioritize in my life. One year, I chose to focus on ‘happiness‘๐Ÿ˜‹. I clearly remember the universe tossing me many, many opportunities to be crushed by overwhelming sadness โ˜น๏ธ. Another year, I chose to focus on ‘kindness’. The universe promptly sent me every asshat on the planet. In 2020, I chose ‘peace‘ as my focus ๐Ÿ™„. Nuff said๐Ÿคฆ.

This year, for the entirety of 2021, I decided to focus on ‘beauty‘. What could go wrong? I climbed into bed last night, mellowed out with a couple of beautiful, relaxing, guided meditations, and gently drifted off to sleep. The universe blasted into my sleeping conciousness and brought me a solid seven hours of the ugliest nightmares that I have experienced in decades. WTF???

I crawled out of bed this morning, feeling beaten and bedraggled. I dragged myself to the kitchen to let Kat outside to ๐Ÿ’ฉ on the sidewalk at the foot of the back steps. Meanwhile, I got her breakfast ready and poured Dan and I each a cup of lukewarm coffee. (Yes we need a new coffee pot – tomorrow’s mission).

The rest of the morning passed well enough – I got dressed and pulled myself together, straightened up our room, made a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs. Finally, I straightened up the kitchen and started to wash the dishes. And – there it was!

A tiny sparkle of beauty to warm my heart and cheer my day.

I do not typically buy myself jewellery – if I was to buy jewellery, I probably would not buy it on sale – at Walmart. But I loved this little ring and I always love seeing it sit on my kitchen windowsill, just sparkling and shining and making my day a little more beautiful.

Universe 0 – me 1.

Have a beautiful day๐ŸŒป

Goodbye 2020

This year is winding down. For all of the challenges of 2020, people are excited for all of the possibilities of 2021. I guess that is human nature!

In 2020, I made peace my priority. In a difficult year, this priority served me amazingly well. It brought me into retirement. It allowed me time for walking miles and miles around our neighbourhood with our little dog, Kat. It brought me hours of relaxing in our yard this summer. It led me to a new and inspirational journey within, through meditation. It provided me with countless hours spent with my husband – a luxury after years of Monday thru Friday/ eight to four-thirty while Dan worked twenty-four/seven shifts. In half an hour, it will see us relaxing in the comfort of our own livingroom while we watch son Dan and his soon to be wife Amanda marry in their own home – hours away from us. Once again, in this year of pandemic, we are grateful for technology!

My path to peace in 2020 ๐Ÿ’ž

All the best as you ring out the old and wishing you a beautiful 2021! ๐Ÿฅ‚

Why???

It takes a bit of effort to get there and stay there, but living peacefully is nice. In my mind, it is the easiest, happiest, most fulfilling, and most productive way to live. All good things come through peace. ๐Ÿ™‚

So… Why are so many people in the world today hellbent on being miserable, confrontational, and angry? This isn’t just a one situation thing, it appears to be the norm in so many situations.

1. Politics – Someone devotes years and fortunes to becoming a political ‘leader’. They make it to the top, are given the reigns of power to do good for a city, province, or country. What do they do? They waste their time and power fighting the ‘next’ election and attacking other political leaders. They are angry, miserable and unproductive and they encourage their supporters to be angry, miserable, and unproductive. Why? Is that what they were elected to office for? Should it get them re-elected? ๐Ÿคท

2. Corporations and their employees – Most people spend countless hours of their lives working. A lot of these people spend way too much time battling with co-workers. Even the professional associations (unions, small business associations, large business groups) spend more time creating and encouraging problems between company departments and the people in them, than they do working to resolve problems. Why? Corporations cannot possibly thrive if no one is willing to work together, and yet it is a problem in virtually every corporation. ๐Ÿคท

3. Families – There was a time when families stuck together. Most families – most of the time. Now days it takes nothing to shatter and destroy a family. Even families that are relatively unbroken can be made miserable by those members who are incapable of being reasonable and pleasant. There are so many people who go through life so busy looking for a battle that they cannot even get along with those who they should be closest to. Why? Your family should be your support system. You should be supportive of those in your family. ๐Ÿคท

4. Society in General – In this day and age, why are there so many people who cannot seem to co-exist peacefully with others? There is a new protest every day. There are new radical groups every day, pushing for their rights and only their rights. There are groups formed for the sole purpose of being miserable. We had one guy here who started a Facebook page dedicated to posting photos of poor parking, to shame the ‘offending parkers’. He wanted people to get up every day and deliberately look for something that would annoy them. ๐Ÿคฆ. Another group, I encounter frequently on social media lately, are those who demand the right to be offensive and they attack anyone who is offended by them. ๐Ÿ˜‚. Why? Why do so many people want to be so miserable, for the sake of being miserable?

I cannot imagine why so many people invest so much time and effort into being angry, indignant, bitter and the like. I cannot imagine what they get out of it. I cannot imagine what they think the payoff is for them – happiness, love, prosperity, health? Peace? ๐Ÿ™„