Canada Day πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

Dan and Molly and I are just hanging out, doing our own thing, being Canadian – ’cause that’s what we are, that’s what we do.

Happy Canada Day for all of those celebrating today. πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

For everyone out there, Take care and have a great day!πŸ’ž

Harmony

Harmony – “The quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole.” – Oxford Dictionary

One of the flower boxes our daughter in law Amanda and I filled when we were there mid May. πŸ’ž

“He who lives in harmony with himself, lives in harmony with the universe.” – Marcus Aurelius

“When we create peace, and harmony, and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives.” – Louise Hay

“You are only afraid if you are not in harmony with yourself.” – Herman Hesse

“Music is the expression of harmony in sound. Love is the expression of harmony in life.” – Stephen Gaskin

“Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.” – Sallust

“Nature reminds us how to be in harmony with life itself.” – Harold Baker

Have a great and harmonious day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

Power

I begin every day with a cup of coffee and a quick browse through our local paper.  I scan the news (while trying to ignore the comments), skip the sports, check the obituaries, and read the horoscopes.  Honestly, the most interesting find of my morning paper time is often the general horoscope introduction for the day. Today was no exception.

Holiday Mathis our resident astrologer, began the horoscopes of the day with this profound line “True power is the ability to command oneself.” The obvious wisdom of this line is so simply perfect, or perfectly simple, and yet so often ignored.

Throughout my almost sixty seven years, I have seen every extreme of those who are obsessed with having and holding the power to command or control others. I have seen the screamers, the physical threateners, the manipulators, the whiners and complainers, the reactors, the ultra organizers, the bullies, the victims, and the blamers. I have seen it all and at times in my life – I have been it all.

The thing about creating our best life is in knowing that the only real power we have is in the ability to command ourselves.

This is true throughout our lives and in each and every situation in our lives. Currently, one of the most challenging situations in my life is in dealing with our new furbaby, Molly.

As a puppy – a Pyrenees puppy, Molly can be a challenge at times – a BIG challenge. I had some idea of what I was doing going in, and what was important to having a content, well behaved dog in our home. Having a BIG dog, is something I am rather new to and having responsibility for training said BIG dog is something I was not totally prepared for. So… yesterday I turned to Google and You Tube.

I went through a fair amount of advice on training dogs to be well mannered and responsive. The best advice that I found, focussed on training myself to best react to Molly’s good, and not so good, behaviour. I found ways to encourage her good behaviour and ways to discourage her unacceptable behaviour – without turning our lives into a power struggle. πŸ˜‰

One ‘trick’ I found that works amazingly well with Molly is avoiding eye contact and crossing my arms if she is doing anything unacceptable (like trying to chew on me or jump on me) to get attention. It works like magic almost every time. If she is super wound up, a two minute timeout in the porch and she comes back calm and settled. Another ‘trick’ deals with her propensity to steal and chew on shoes, clothing, furniture and the like. I still say NO and take away what she is chewing on – but then I offer her a choice of something more acceptable (like one of a growing number of her own chew toys). I am fortunate that I am home with Molly all day, so I can praise her when she is doing well and guide her in another direction when she does misbehave.

The bottom line for both Molly and I – and for all of us regardless of circumstances is to remember “True power is the ability to command oneself.”

And… Nobody’s perfect. πŸ™„

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

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 πŸ’žπŸ˜ŠπŸ’ž

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

February 17th – Meditation

The blog post that I chose to review/update today is one from December of 2020.Β Β  Meditation has been an ongoing part in my process of going from employment to retirement.Β Β  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!πŸ’ž

February 15th – More Lessons (finally) Learned πŸ€¦

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. πŸ™„

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

February 12th – Note to Self…

Back in July of 2020, there were difficult situations in my life. My fractured family, my failing health, issues with our house, concerns of a global pandemic, living in a province where I strongly disagree with the politics and the attitudes of much of the population … All things that really matter deeply to me. In response, I put together this blog post – filled with butterfly photos and reminding myself that regardless of how difficult life can be, there is always hope and peace and beauty to appreciate and to carry one through the difficulties, disappointments, and the disasters in our lives.

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2020/07/09/note-to-self/

Nearly two years later, it is time for an update!

My mother used to say. “Cheer up, things could be worse! So I cheered up and sure as hell, things got worse.

That pretty much sums things up, with a couple of notable exceptions. Our weather is considerably worse this February than it was in July back then. AND… our country has gone to hell in a hand basket thanks to those who have decided that their rights are more important than anyone else’s right to live in a peaceful, functional, law abiding country … and the politicians who relate to and support their lawlessness … and the politicians who do not step up and deal with this nonsense.

One thing has not changed – my belief that hope and peace and beauty will carry me through. Sometimes we do not get to control situations that affect us. Sometimes we can only control how we react.

So…. Here is me reacting with hope and peace and beauty. πŸŒΏπŸ•ŠοΈπŸŒΉ

Hope 😊
Beauty πŸ€—
Peace 😌

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day. πŸ’ž

February 7th – Freedom

Today I chose a lengthy post entitled ‘Freedom’ to update.   The first thing I wanted to address was the reasoning behind the title.  I have no idea! I was going through a difficult time in virtually every area of my life.  I was exhausted.  I honestly can not imagine what I was thinking.  While ‘Freedom’  would make for a worthy subject for a blog, it makes little sense as a title for this blog which was totally about  ‘Peace’.

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2020/02/19/freedom/

Update on my journey to peace – I spent the first five decades of my life struggling with stress and anxiety.Β  In my fifties, I started make some winning progress in my ongoingΒ  battle, but struggled on.Β  Finally in 2020, I changed my focus from ‘fighting stress and anxiety’ to ’embracing peace’.Β Β  This change has made all of the difference. πŸ•ŠοΈπŸ•ŠοΈπŸ•ŠοΈ

Since my original plan was to focus on the subject of ‘Freedom‘ I thought I should at least touch on this topic in my update. In a few words from the masters that I think are worth consideration….

  • “Responsibility is the price every man must pay for freedom.”. – Edith Hamilton
  • “Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If in out heart we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, possessions – we cannot be free. ” – Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right. ” – Peter Marshall
  • For to be free is not to merely cast off ones chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandel

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

November 28th – Sunday

This month on my blog I have endeavored to share ‘words of wisdom’. On Sundays, I have tried to keep those words as positive as possible. For this last Sunday of the month, I have sourced out ‘words of wisdom’ on what else, but SUNDAY!

“Sunday is a day to clear the mind of all that has transpired the week before.” – Byron Pulsifier

Have a blessed and beautiful Sunday.”

A Sunday well spent will bring a week of content.”

“Let this Sunday be a day to reflect, a day of respect for all you have been blessed, let your joy be expressed.” – Catherine Pulsifier

Sunday is the perfect day to refuel your soul and be grateful for each and every one of your blessings.

Don’t let thoughts of Monday steal your Sunday.”

Sunday – Take it slow and give your soul a chance to catch up with your body.”

May your Sunday be blessed with love, joy, peace, and happiness.”

That’s it for today folks. Take care and have a wonderful Sunday! πŸ’ž