I come from a French Canadian family but one of the biggest days of the year in our house was March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day. My mother loved to celebrate and she never met a holiday she didn’t love. March 17th was a double hitter in our home – a day to celebrate the life of a great Catholic saint and my father’s birthday.
With the physique of a leprechaun, a twinkle in his eye, and a spring in his step, it was totally fitting that my Dad was allowed to be Irish one day of the year.
This year to celebrate this special spring holiday, I started the day by tending to my little seedlings. The first seeds I planted are coming along nicely. I hope they do not get too big before our garden is ready for planting.
I have to start with my bouquet because this is just too good. Big bouquet going to my hubby! We had our once a week day off from working out yesterday. (Six weeks and counting!) Dan helped me make supper to celebrate. I made the salad and pasta. Dan cooked the shrimp and it was amazing!!! He even opened a bottle of Pinot Noir to go with it despite having an open bottle of Merlot in the cupboard. 🥳
Now for the beef! Actually, it is my own fault so I shouldn’t beef about it but here goes. 😒 I have a BAD habit – and it is driving me nuts.
Every morning I get up and read the local paper online while I have my coffee. It is not the news that makes me nuts. For the most part our news is more non-news than anything. There are great things that happen here. There are terrible things that happen here. Our media reports the news that doesn’t happen here. On tv they report the news that doesn’t happen at 5 pm and then repeat it at 6pm. (IE They air an interview with a golfer who did not get hit by lightning at 5 – and then they repeat it at 6. If said golfer is super excited about not getting hit by lightning they will repeat the interview twice a day for two or three days in a row). 🤦
The bulk of our newspaper focusses on sports (which I don’t read), obituaries (which I do read. So far they haven’t mentioned me 👍), advertisements and politics. I scan the politics. I can deal with the political ‘news’.
What I cannot handle, and can’t seem to stop myself from doing, is reading the reader comments. The majority of the comments are posted by the MOB club. (miserable old bastards). OMG!!! Same thing, day in and day out. These pathetic old souls are so hard done by! They can’t even agree with themselves from one day to the next but God forbid if anyone disagrees with them!
I need to stop reading these stupid comments. They are not a positive start to my day. I could care less what these miserable, self-centred, arrogant, bullies think. But I cannot help myself. Good grief, I am starting to sound as pathetic as they are. 😟.
I take pride in being capable of handling difficult situations in a calm and reasonable manner. Grace under pressure🙏 That is me – in a medical emergency, a project crisis, or a natural disaster. I suck it up and do what must be done. 👍
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, Iknow, 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. 😢
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. 😊
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.”
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.
Dan and I have been working out together every day – for eight days straight now! 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!😉
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. 🙄
Between the workouts, the improved diet, the meditating, and the new mattress that we bought lately (to ensure a better night’s sleep), it is looking like a healthier, happier life for both of us. 💪
There have been a lot of changes in my life since I retired a few months ago. 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. Time is still a significant, relevant part of my life. 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.
The thing is, before retirement time was one of my main sources of stress and frustration. Hours in a classroom lasted longer than days during summer break. Nine months of pregnancy lasted forever! Years of infants, toddlers, tots, and teens were over way too soon. A week at the office was interminable. A weekend home was never long enough. The terrible years were endless and the good ones flew by. There was no consistently to time – ever – and I never had time when I needed it most!
In retirement, time flows easily and smoothly. I never feel suspended in time, nor do I feel pressured to do more than time allows. Time passes – the hours, the days, the weeks, the months – regularly and consistently and reassuringly. Regardless of all that is or is not happening, time passes. No longer a sources of stress or frustration, time is now a comforting measure of life.
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. 😊
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. 😊
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.
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. 💗
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.