I have struggled for years to overcome stress and anxiety. In the past couple of years, I have turned things around and have learned to focus on living a life of inner peace. This has made all the difference in the world. My life has become so much easier and better in so many ways!
I have, for the most part, learned to appreciate the NOW. This present moment. I have released the pain and grief of the the past. I have released the fear of the future. I do my best to make each day, hour, each moment a peaceful oasis.
One of the aspects of this new lifestyle is a tendency to be far more positive and hopeful than I have ever been. Now is good, so I know that there are even better days to come!
With this positivity, a new devil is spawned. My patience is being sorely tested as never before! One cannot be truly at peace NOW when one is totally focussed on the future – regardless of how bright and beautiful that future may be.
Today I awoke to a new cactus blossom. It is spectacular, if only for today. I checked on my little seedlings and they are growing larger and stronger by the day. I watched Kat bounce out to the yard to chase the birds and harrass the squirrels.
It is a good day! It is a great day! But wait…. Soon the the grass will turn green, the trees will leaf out, our garden will thrive, flowers will bloom and temperatures will soar. We will spend countless hours outside. Days will be spent walking Kat along meandering paths and floating in our pool. Evenings will be spent barbecuing on our patio and sipping wine as we relax on our deck chairs.
But we have to wait. 🤦 We have to appreciate today. And we have to be patient. Summer will get here – eventually!
Even the easiest winter in Saskatchewan finds me missing the natural lush, green beauty of summer. Regardless of how small our house may be, I will always find space for a few houseplants to see me through the season
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. 🙄
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‘😋. I clearly remember the universe tossing me many, many opportunities to be crushed by overwhelming sadness ☹️. 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 🙄. Nuff said🤦.
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 💩 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!
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.
It is finally here!! – a brand new year with bright new hopes and dreams. 🥂🎉
Back in the day, I would be spending this day making my list of New Year’s resolutions. Most of them would be long forgotten by mid-March. A few years ago, I changed gears and chose a new ‘focus’ for each new year. Last year my focus was on peace and I have to admit that will be a hard one to beat. Going forward, I will definitely keep ‘peace’ a priority but for this year of 2021, I have decided to make ‘BEAUTY’ my focus.
During the summer of 2020, I spent a LOT of time outside – enjoying nature as I hadn’t for decades. On the days when the sun was shining, the grass was green, the flowers were blooming, the sky was blue and the birds were singing, the beauty of our world was easy to immerse oneself in. What really surprised me was that, on the gloomy and dreary days, it was even more heartlifting to find a tiny beautiful treasure to appreciate – be it a wildflower, a leaf, a perfect raindrop, or a baby’s smile. That is what convinced me that a year focussed on beauty, would make for a memorable year.
Today, I am fortunate to be able to share a family moment to kick off my year of beauty – and beautiful it was.
Yesterday afternoon, son Dan married Amanda, the love of his life – the woman of his dreams. More than a basic joining two hearts, it was the official joining of two families – a yours, mine, and ours celebration💞 Even in the midst of a pandemic, with a very limited ‘live’ attendance this group made it an amazing event, while family and friends joined them via technology.
This group does nothing half-way. They feed off of each other’s abundant, positive energy to make everyday a celebration. I was concerned about how well they would make out in a slowed down pandemic year like 2020, but they made the most of it – as always!
To the happy couple, the beautiful family and to all – Happy New Year!
In North America, the general consensus is that being younger is synonymous with being better. We are conditioned to believe that the young have the advantage of being smarter, stronger, more attractive, and all around more capable and valuable than those who are elderly.
I bought into this theory when I was younger. I felt that I was smarter and sharper than my elders. In some ways, I was. I was quick to learn academically. I could read by the time I was three, absorbing the ability by listening to my older siblings doing their homework at the kitchen table. I memorized letters and numbers, poetry and prayers. I stayed at the top of my class, or close to it, throughout my school years. Once I became a mother, I quickly learned that I could multi-task, which I felt was a good sign of higher intellect and a great survival skill. Throughout my working years, I was capable of easily learning whatever was required to do my job competently. I did learn a lot of my knowledge from my elders, but I felt that my younger, quicker mind helped me to utilize that knowledge more efficiently.
Physically, I used to be stronger than I am now. I had the dexterity to perform tasks that I now struggle with (since when did it become such a struggle to do up the zippers on my winter boots?). I possessed the physical strength to shop for groceries, while carrying an infant, dragging a toddler and herding a pre-schooler. I had my own chainsaw and the ability to operate it. (We had a wood stove up north – the ability petered out when we moved back south. I once almost took out our neighbour with an electric knife. Live and learn – one should not cut a frozen ice cream cake with an electric knife. 😔). Even a year ago, my job included physical aspects such as hauling around heavy cartons of files, moving around product for inventory, and helping to load and unload trucks on the loading dock. Tasks that I would definitely struggle with now.
There is something to be said for youthful physical attraction. My babies were adorable and are still an attractive lot. My grandchildren are gorgeous. I was no slouch in my younger days. I had great legs. Total strangers would comment on my legs – in bizarre situations – it was kind of wierd. The thing is, younger people can tend to be dramatic, demanding, noisy, messy and embody any number of traits that are less than attractive. If it wasn’t for the bright smiles, thick hair and nice legs, a lot of them would be lonely.
As far as being overall capable and valuable – I think as a society, we are misguided. I have not been ‘elderly’ for very long. I am sixty-five and have been retired for a few months. These months, I have been slower and less productive than I have ever been. My priorities have changed – so much for the better and (not to brag.. but) I find that I am becoming wiser than ever. I understand things that I have learned and ‘known’ over the course of my lifetime. Even the things that I understood – I understand on a deeper level.
Since growing older, or possibly growing up, I have realized that…
1) Peace of mind is the most important thing in life. There is absolutely nothing that is worth sacrificing one’s peace of mind for. It is when things are at their worst, that we need our peace of mind the most. We are at our best to deal with life (especially the rocky periods) when we have peace of mind… 2) Infinity can only be found within. We can stare at the skies, we can gaze at the mountains and the oceans and the forests, we can look out over acres of prairie grasses and wildflowers, but we cannot comprehend the vast infiniteness of the universe and beyond until we look within ourselves and experience our subconscious minds and souls. 3) Aging is a gift. As we go through life – we live, we learn, we experience joy and grief, pain and pleasure. As seniors, we continue our physical lives, but we have such a precious opportunity to dig deeper. One of my blogging friends, likes to remind us of Wayne Dyer’s famous quote “You are an infinite spiritual being having a temporary human experience.” I always knew I was body, mind and soul. I think I always knew that of the three, the soul was the foundation of my existence. I was just too busy dealing physically and mentally, to live from my spiritual place. Now I am there and I would never go back, I could never go back, to that place where I stumbled and struggled to live my life as an intelligent physical being.
My concept of retirement continues to evolve…. When I was still working, I thought of retirement as the release from responsibility, doing always for others, and putting up with the constant BS and pressure that is the working world. As retirement came closer, I saw it as an opportunity to live life on my terms – and I was determined to keep it busy and fulfilling. After I retired, I gradually mellowed out and decided that retirement was an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to just ‘be’ – truly living my life each day on my own terms. For the past few weeks, with health problems becoming more and more of an issue despite my best efforts, I was floundering a bit – not sure where retirement was taking me.
Now, I am back on track and feel that I have, for probably the first time in my life, found my true calling. Regardless of all else happening in my life, going forward I am totally committed to channeling peace and hope and love and beauty. I think that is what the world needs right now that it is the best way that I can make the most of my retirement.
This mission of mine takes little effort. I can do it regardless of how I am feeling or what I am doing. I can do it when I am walking, cooking, cleaning, reading, shopping, driving, meditating – anything! It is that easy. It takes nothing out of me, I feel good doing it and I feel I am doing something truly worthwhile with my life.
I have never understood why some people deliberately channel so much hate, anger, greed and fear into the world. That takes so much effort and it makes the world so ugly and miserable. I cannot imagine what it does to people who do it on a regular basis.
So, yes that is my plan for retirement going forward – peace, hope, love, and beauty.
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.
And then I saw IT!
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. 🤗
There is so much to appreciate about summer in Canada. Sunshine, rain, trees, green grass and flowers – summer is nature’s most glorious season. I just love a Canadian summer!
I love being able to walk out the door in the clothes I am in. No jacket, scarf, snow boots or gloves. I can just walk out the door. When I have young children in my care, it is even more of a blessing as I do not have to wrestle them into winter outdoor wear.
I love summer clothes in general – shorts, t-shirts and sandals versus bulky sweaters, heavy pants, socks and solid footwear. Life is so much easier.
I love being able to jump in a vehicle and go wherever I want to be, whenever I want to go there. No heating the Jeep for fifteen minutes, no scraping the windows, no climbing over snowbanks to get into the Jeep and NO icy roads.
I love the hours and hours of daylight. I get up in the sunlight and it is practically light until I go to bed. Darkness is highly over rated in my mind. A bit of time to admire the stars and the moon is fine – but I do not need to see them at nine o’clock in the morning or five o’clock in the afternoon.
I love the wildlife. I love watching and hearing the birds and the bees, the squirrels and the occasional moose or deer by the side of the highway. There is very little wildlife to be seen in Saskatchewan during the winter months.
Everything is easier in the summer. Our cost of living is lower. Our meals are simpler. Recreation and exercise, as basic as taking a walk, is easier. Living is just easier!
I wouldn’t want to live in any country other than Canada, but summer is definitely the best season to be Canadian.