February 24th – Words of Wisdom

Last June, I dedicated my entire month of blogging to ‘Accentuating the Positive’. Lately with everything happening in Canada and so much of it originating in Saskatchewan, I have been struggling to stay positive. So… I thought this would be a great post to review and focus on today…

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2021/06/22/day-22-words-of-wisdom/

More uplifting words of wisdom from brilliant minds throughout the ages…

“Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.” – Harold S. Kushner

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” – Kahlil Gibran

“When you have come to the edge, faith is knowing you will be taught to fly.” – Anonymous

“Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.” – Jonas Salk

“Love is a choice you make from moment to moment.” – Barbara De Angelis

“Be happy, not because everything is good but because you can see the good in everything. Unknown

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day. 💞

February 22nd – Daily Reminders

Not every day is the the best, but I try to make the best of every day. One way I do this is to have positive little messages around our house and yard. I shared a few of these messages in this blog post…

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2021/04/19/daily-reminders/

My sister Lorraine regularly does her part to make my days better by sending me a little humour. Today, I thought I would share a bit of it. If nothing else, these should give you a glimpse into how our minds work and how little it takes to amuse us. 🤗

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day! 💞

February 20th – Another Week of Retirement

I never get tired of appreciating my relatively recent retirement. It has been almost two years now but I don’t think it will ever get old! A year ago I was celebrating my first year of retirement, when I wrote this blog post…

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2021/03/04/another-week-of-retirement/

Amazingly, there is still not a day that I am not thrilled to be reminded (several times) how fortunate I am to be retired.

  • When I get up in the morning, pour my first cup of coffee, I am reminded that I have nowhere to be but home. 😊
  • When I look out the window and see the snow and ice. “Sorry all you people heading to work!” Not me. 😊
  • When I turn on my computer, go to Facebook and see on Messenger that my ‘workmate’ is signed on – at work. “Have a good day, Kori!”. I will not be in the office today – or ever. 😊
  • When I vacuum or dust or do the laundry or clean the kitchen or the bathroom. Yay! So nice to have the time and energy to keep our home neat and tidy. 😊
  • When I get up feeling sick or exhausted because I had a tough night with little sleep. Yay! I do not have to drag my weary old butt to work. 😊
  • When my husband has days off – on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. YAY I am home to spend time with him. 😊
  • When I make a special meal or bake cookies or a cake. Yay! I have time to be a homemaker. 😊
  • When I have an appointment to see my doctor or dentist or hairdresser or Kat’s vet. Yay! I have time to take care of myself (and my little dog) 😊.
  • When I am getting ready for bed. Yay! I do not have to get up in the morning to go to work. I can just look forward to another day of retirement. 😊

I have so many reasons to be grateful, and it comes so easily! That is one of the best things for me in retirement. I have the time and the mindset to appreciate all of the blessings in my life – versus being crushed by all of the responsibilities and stresses and drama of being gainfully employed. (I loved the work that I did. I just didn’t love everything it took out of me – especially for the last couple of years that I worked.)

Spending time with Kat – today and everyday 💞😊💞

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day!

February 19th – Rumi

There are people who possess brilliant minds. There are also people who possess the ability to express themselves simply and comprehensively. I find it fascinating when these people are one and the same – when brilliant minded people have the ability to share their wisdom in a simple and comprehensive manner.

One such fascinating person was Rumi, a thirteenth century Persian poet, who is still sharing his wisdom with us today. (Amazingly, his wisdom is as relevant now as it was in the thirteenth century.)

A year ago, I shared a few of my favourite Rumi quotes in this blog post. Simply brilliant words of wisdom.

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2021/02/16/rumi/

There was one quote that has stayed with me for the past year and has had a profound effect on me and my life.

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

My first thought was ‘obviously’. We are all responsible for our own lives. We are responsible for the choices we make and we are responsible for the consequences of those choices. Others can walk with us, but it is our life and inevitably we have to ‘own it’.

But then…. I had this realization. Everyone has their own road. Not just me…. 🙄

Everyone has their own road, even the people I care about – even my sons and my daughter and my grandchildren. They have to walk their own road. Even on those occasions when I can walk it with them, I cannot walk it for them. I cannot choose the paths they take and I cannot save them from the wrong turns they will inevitably make. They have the right to walk their own roads and the responsibility to deal with the consequences – for better or worse.

It has been a few difficult years for me (parenting wise), but Rumi’s words have helped me to put things into perspective and it has made all the difference. I am on my road and have faith that those I love are on the roads that they need to be on, to ultimately get them where they need to go.

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day!💞

February 18th – First Days of Beauty….

For the past few, I have begun each year by choosing one ideal to focus on. In previous years I have chosen the likes of peace and happiness. In 2021, I chose to focus on beauty as I discussed in this post from last January.

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2021/01/20/first-days-of-beauty/

This year, I have not committed myself to one particular ideal. I have been struggling with so many areas of my life – and life in general. It has been taking all of my mental, emotional, and physical strength to just keep searching for a little flicker of light at the end of this long dark tunnel I am in.

This morning I realized what I have been focussing on in 2022. I have been focussing on FAITH.

I have been searching for the light at the end of the tunnel – not because I want it to be there, or because I hope that it will there, but because I know that it is there. I have faith that it is there.

I am not angry. I am not depressed. I am not frustrated. I am just taking one day at a time, one step at a time, towards a light that I know is there.

Faith is so important! It is a great ideal to focus on. There is an old saying ‘use it or lose it‘ . I think people are generally thinking along different lines when they say that 🙄, but it is a good saying when one is discussing faith. It is easy to lose one’s faith if one does not recognize and remember the value of it. We allow doubts to creep in. We give up and stop trying, and the doubts becomes self prophecizing. It is critical to stay focussed on faith, to keep feeding our faith, and to encourage others to have faith. So for 2022, FAITH is my focus.

Faith 2022

That is it for today. Take care and have a great year!

February 17th – Meditation

The blog post that I chose to review/update today is one from December of 2020.   Meditation has been an ongoing part in my process of going from employment to retirement.   This post is one of a number of posts that I have written on my experiences with meditation in the past couple of years.

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2020/12/08/meditation/

My current thoughts on meditation are beautifully expressed by these words spoken by Thich Nhat Hanh…. “Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.”

That is all I have for today. Take care and have a great day!💞

February 16th – Chronic Illness

Chronic illness is no stranger to me – I have suffered from respiratory issues for the better part of my life. It affects me every day and there are cases of bronchitis and pneumonia that are debilitating. Since early 2020, my respiratory issues have been acute and ongoing. I have gone from asthma to COPD to bronchiectasis as I discussed in this blog post from November of 2020.

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2020/11/26/chronic-illness/

As much as my lung issues are frustrating, there are definitely things that I can do to make them less detrimental to my overall wellbeing. Keeping physically active is important, as is managing my weight

Being physically active is pretty doable – especially since I retired and am no longer tied to a desk nine hours a day. It is just a matter of getting up and getting active. It’s not always what I want to do – but it is something I should and can do.

Managing my weight is a different story. I have two basic weights – underweight and overweight. I was my ideal weight for fifteen minutes in 1986. 😉

When I am underweight, I feel terrible and it is a battle to do anything. Taking out a bag of garbage, shoveling snow, or pushing a lawn mower are herculean tasks. When I am underweight, nothing I do, or eat, adds bulk to my scrawny frame.

More often than not, I am OVERWEIGHT. When one is 5′-1″, it takes very little extra weight to make a big difference. Thirty or forty extra pounds makes a huge difference and when I am carrying it around – it is not going anywhere. I walk, I exercise, I live for weeks on lettuce and lean meat and nothing! Well not nothing – the last time I went on a mission to lose weight I gave myself a hernia and gained five pounds. 🙄

Right now, and as has been the case for a number of years, I am overweight. Being a little stubborn and not one to back down from a challenge, I am once again on a mission to rid myself of the extra poundage.

As incentive, I started by purchasing a neoprene work out body suit. I have had it for a couple of days now. If nothing else, I should lose a few pounds getting it on and off. Any other activity I engage in should be a bonus. 👍

This is not me…

As an incentive to eating healthier (ie lettuce and lean meat), I have been washing down my supper with a glass of red wine. For entertainment, I have been using the silicone wine glass that came with this bottle of wine Dan bought. I can’t imagine who would have thought a silicone wine glass would be practical, but it is definitely amusing. (It bounces – much like I would if I fell over in my neoprene body suit).

So, that is my update on my journey with chronic illness. Having recovered from my hernia surgery, I am back on track to do what I can to manage my respiratory issues. 🙂

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day!💞

February 15th – More Lessons (finally) Learned 🤦

This month, I have been working to review and update some of my previous blog posts. I have added new thoughts and revised my thinking completely in some areas. Life changes – we change.

Last night, I came upon this post from October of 2020. Like many of my posts from that year, it focussed on my thoughts on peace

Peace is something I have been struggling with lately. Despite my best efforts, it has been hard to keep from dwelling on people and events that have been disturbing my peace of mind. It is my peace of mind, I should have more of a handle on it. Right?

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2020/10/15/more-lessons-finally-learned-%f0%9f%a4%a6/

Except, that is not the conclusion that I came to in 2020 – after struggling and giving it much thought. So for my update today, I need to look back and learn from the past.

The thing I realized back in 2020 is that peace isn’t something that we can just hoard for ourselves or share with those who are in our good graces. Peace has to be shared with everyone – especially those disruptive influences in our lives.

I don’t know if the peaceful thoughts and prayers that I devoted to those who were stressing me out back in 2020 changed them in any way. I do know they changed me. They made me more peaceful, tolerant, and compassionate. I know, I have to get back on track with this, because with all of the chaos in the world these days – contributing more chaos is not an option. 🙄

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day! 💞

February 14th – Parenting 101 version 2.0

Like most parents, I thought I had a pretty decent concept of parenting while my kids were ‘kids’. The one area where I really struggled was my tendency to worry about them, much like my Mother worried about my siblings and I, and her Mother worried about her and her siblings. It is a Mother thing that is harder to overcome than most mother things, as I mentioned in a September 2020 blog post.

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2020/09/19/parenting-101/

My ‘little ones’
Mark, Jen & Dan with Grandma
In recenter years

My sons and my daughter are now in their fabulous forties and amazingly I have my maternal worrying somewhat under control.

It is funny how young parents worry about the terrible two’s and the terrifying teen’s. Those were too easy. Toddlers are adorable – regardless of where they are stuffing the marachino cherries and grilled cheese sandwiches. Teens are a hoot – a constant source of amusement and delightful drama.

I won’t deny it. The forties are ugly. (My mother definitely worried as I approached mine!)

I have one son who seems to be dealing fairly well – he keeps busy and has an amazing wife and family. His twenties were seriously trying, but he seems to be handling the forties.

The other son is well into his forties. He has made a lot of changes in his life in the past few years. It remains to be seen how they will go for him.

I manage to forgo the worrying for both of my sons these days, and just send them warm and fuzzy feelings on a regular basis.

I still tend to worry about my daughter (and her family). I know that is not good. Just as Jennifer is responsible for her family, for the decisions she has made and for the consequences of her decisions, I am responsible for my own mental health and well being. I am responsible for creating a happy, peaceful home for myself and my husband. I am responsible for living my best life. I raised all of my kids to the best of my abilities. There comes a time to let go and trust that they have whatever it takes to live their own best lives.

So, there you have it. As a mother, I still worry – but I am gradually getting better and I am getting better about holding myself accountable.

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day!💞

February 13th – My Path is Peace

When I retired, I started to walk – a lot. I started walking in an effort to improve my health, but I found other benefits. One of the best of these benefits was that I found it particularly calming. As I walked my favourite path in Patricia Park, I thought of it as my path to peace. After months and miles of walking, I was at a place where I felt that wherever I was, peace was my path.

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2020/08/08/my-path-is-peace/

  • Update 2022
  • I have found the path of peace quite easy and pleasant and have managed to generally stay my course.
  • I have drifted over to and even straddled the paths of love, happiness, hope and faith. That was nice.
  • I have occasionally zigged left, when I should have zagged right and have found myself on the paths of fear, resentment, anger, or the like. They were unpleasant, so I returned to my path of peace.
  • I have been drawn to a sparkly path, alit with party lights, and decorated with balloons and streamers. I soon realized that this festive path was a meandering pity party filled with blame games and that it would take me nowhere. I returned to the path of peace.
  • I have stumbled on the horrific paths of hate and righteousness. I did not last long on those paths. They were too exhausting!
  • I have learned that life is filled with paths, some hard, some easy, some better, some worse. You have to pick your paths carefully and you have stay alert – because as simple as it is to get sidetracked, getting back on track is seldom as easy as it seemed it would be.
My path of peace 🕊️
That’s an ugly one 😳
That one could lead to something sketchy 🥴
Dead end ☃️
Confidentially walking the straight and narrow 🙂

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day!