My Priority is Peace

I have lived a stressful life.   There have been countless ‘situations’ in my life.  Through good, bad or ugly, especially the ugly, my response has been to stress out. 

I am turning sixty five years old next month.  I cannot handle the stress any longer – not physically, not mentally, and not emotionally.   I am done.  

As so often happens when one decides to give up an unhealthy lifestyle, the universe seems hell bent on dragging me back to the darkside. Currently there a number of potentially stressful events affecting my life and the world in general.

1. Family issues. My daughter got upset with me last August.  Typically, I have been labelled toxic and she has cut me out of her life.  Except she doesn’t cut anyone out of her life. She keeps the anger and the hurt and the hate going.  She cuts her entire family out of the life of anyone she has turned against, hurting them as well as herself and those she has shunned. Presently she has cut out her father and his wife, her ex-husband, her ex-husband’s family, her stepdaughter, her brother and his wife and their five year old son, most of her inlaws, Dan and I, friends too numerous to mention, and a few distant relatives.   As far as her problem with me, the truth is she cannot cut me out of her life – she is a part of me.  She cannot stop me from loving her and her family, she cannot erase the  memories that I have of her and her family – all of the good times we have shared and the difficult times we have survived, she cannot erase all that Dan and I have done for her and her family nor the things that her and her family have done for us.  We are a part of her life and she and her family will always be a part of ours.

2.  Finances. I am recently retired.  The plan is for Dan to work for another four years and retire with his full pension.   Lately the plan isn’t looking good.  Dan works making pipe for the oil industry – at a time when the oil industry is struggling and a time when big companies are working to destroy the unions that protect their employees.   Our finances could potentially be adversely affected.   Dealing with financial problems at this point in our life could be serious.  As tempting as it is to start stressing out over this situation, I realize that will not protect us nor in any way improve the quality of our lives.

3. Global Pandemic.   Everything is at stake.  The global economy, personal finances, health, lives around the globe,  lives of loved ones, the viability of the food chain – the potential fallout is endless and astronomical.   There are countless reasons to stress over this situation but far more reasons to keep a level head and potentially become a part of the recovery.

4.  The murder of Floyd George and subsequent civil uprising. I can’t even.  At first this was shocking. At first the peaceful protests and the support by so many were powerful and moving.  At first there was a glimmer of hope that we could overcome the invasive bigotry that courses through humanity.   Now this movement is slowly being crushed by those who believe violence is the answer and more insideously by those who prefer the status quo – those who feel threatened when others desire the rights and privileges that they have always enjoyed. That is all sad, painful, and potentially stressful and I have no answers.

5. Social Media. I have been on Facebook for years. I joined to share pictures with family, keep up with friends, read the jokes, and play the games. Now it is a source of animosity, ‘alternate facts’, disrespect, insults, and those trying desperately to justify hate and ignorance. Instagram is almost as bad but that is due to its ‘Look at me I am Better’ format. People want to be ‘influencers’ in a race to want more. It is a race all will ultimately lose. There are still good, human, beautiful posts on both Facebook and Instagram, but one has to expose oneself to so much negativity to find them.

I could stress out for countless reasons – but stress is not an option. I have done enough stressing. There is enough stress in our world – it is a violent and destructive force that helps and heals no one. Going forward, peace is my priority. Peace is the healing, constructive power that I need. Peace is what our world needs.

Peace is Possible 💗

Local News in a Pandemic

I generally avoid watching televised news, particularly our local televised news. The quality is less than impressive, the content is questionable, and on a slow day, which is most days, they repeat it to fill time.

For the past few days, our local news providers have been on a new kick. I do not know if this is only here, but lately our local news seems obligated to include a ‘news’ clip of some parent who hosted a drive by birthday party for their poor child, who has been forced to sit out their birthday alone – in their +/- million dollar home.

Rather than calling reporters to take in this spectacular effort to convince your darling child that, even in the midst of a global crisis, they are the centre of the universe, I thought I might throw out a few alternate suggestions – for a birthday celebration or any other day during this difficult time.

1. Teach your child that over seventy thousand people have lost their lives to the corona virus and that by staying home, and forgoing a birthday party, they are doing their part to protect themselves and others from a deadly disease.

2. Teach your child that any parades should be reserved for heroes – ie doctors, nurses, medical support staff, truck drivers, supermarket and pharmacy staff, those serving free meals to those in need – all who are out there risking their own lives, to serve others

3. Teach your child to be grateful that their isolation is being spent in a beautiful home, with food on their table and family to care for them – unlike those who are in crowded makeshift medical facilities, sick and alone except for busy and exhausted care givers.

4. Teach them to do something for someone else – make a meal for the family, call a grandparent, help entertain and care for younger siblings. Even very young children can be taught to contribute in their own age appropriate way.

5. Teach them to become politically active by writing a note to a politician asking them to save lives by closing down non-essential business like non-emergency construction projects and factories and plants that are not producing essential products. Teach them to stand up to those who put money and power before lives.

There is no reason, why families cannot celebrate a birthday – even during a pandemic. They can still have presents and cake, phone calls or face time from extended families and friends, special family time together. However, I do not think anyone needs a birthday parade, I think that in our current situation it is in poor taste, and I for one definitely do not need to see it on a newscast – local or otherwise.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day a Few Years Ago

People are going to have to get creative when it comes to celebrating holidays this year. My effort for St. Patrick’s Day so far has been to send some stickers and temporary tattoos over to four year old grandson, Dominic. Apparently, they now have shiny green and gold stickers everywhere and the cats are hiding from the little tattoo artist.

On a side note, Happy Birthday Dad! You would be a young 111 years old today. As pure French as you were, you always made the leprechauns proud!

Love You Dad❤️