|Favorite book:||Sooner ask me to pick a favourite star|
|Member Since:||Oct 27, 2012|
Apr 1, 2015
So proud. So so proud when I hear/see good things in the world. Giving one's time for a good cause builds so many things - a community, a sense of knowing one has made a difference however small in the lives of others. Will sleep well tonight, long few days of soul searching, yoga and running, emails about missing child support, chats with a parent who was in urgent care today and is now home being treated for bronchitis... So much going on, and yet, my pillow calls me and down I go. The wind is howling outside my window as the much loved spring weather is chased away by the fickle winter wind. How I long for camping season, next year I must do more cross country skiing / snow shoeing... I am not the expert on chasing away doubts. I frequently doubt myself, doubt my husband, question my profession, my boss, my ethics. It's constant - this ... searching. Sometimes it's searching that is good and necessary. Sometimes it's simply that I think too much and need to will my mind to stillness and focus on things that are real until I am calm and centered and therefore know where I am and where I'm headed. If something doesn't add up, it may not have an outcome that one will be pleased with, but really, it's the not knowing that makes it hard. Sometimes it doesn't add up because there's a piece missing that if located will make all the difference. Take my recent run-in with the case of the unclaimed women's reading glasses... we called everyone who had been at our house recently to no avail. Upon further reflection (and neurotic over-analyzing on my part) we discovered that they belonged to Pat's mother all along, but she'd forgotten about them (which is who we suspected in the first place!). But if the more you find out the more holes there are in the story, then chances are things don't add up because they don't add up. Then you need to decide if you can live with not knowing, and balance that with everything else that makes up that person (not to mention an acknowledgement of ones own neurosis). And if one can't live with the situation without making the puzzle pieces fit, they likely already know the end outcome but are taking their time getting there because they're not ready to let go, and that's ok too. **EDIT**My blog post on reuse has been posted! Here it is: http://fortheloveofwaste.blogspot.ca/2015/04/raised-garden-beds-for-5-eachplus.html
Mar 31, 2015
**EDITS* We do fail, we all do from time to time which is why forgiveness is so important - in forgiving others we can forgive ourselves - especially recognizing that we ourselves have committed acts that are no better, no worse. The article I posted on Twitter talks about polygamy and monogamish, I actually don't know what they mean by that second term, but I recognize that while I would likely be unable to be in a polygamous relationship, they have existed for ages and have supposedly provided the additional support a family sometimes needs when there are children involved. When I used to read about polygamy it used to really upset me, and in reviewing my reaction, it's because I I judged it to be wrong period. Now I do not judge that for others, I truly don't feel outrage that it [polygamy] exists. It would be so nice to have a sister-friendship like the one in the Wheel of Time series, though incredibly unlikely for me, I am too jealous, I can see the appeal. More so that article spoke to me in terms of acknowledging how common infidelity is and people who are unfaithful are vilified and I feel that vilification is wrong (and if a person is otherwise uncommitted, they have the right to explore their options, especially if it means that they come back and realize how great the thing they had was, and shouldn't be penalized for being honest). My parents for example survived infidelity, and they managed to work through that and are still together. I used to judge my Mom for staying after what Dad did, but reading that article helped me to see that it took strength to stay and forgive, not weakness. I don't think I would leave someone for an infidelity- but not being able to connect emotionally, sexually, that I could see. What is better? Going through the turmoil and emotional distress of a failed marriage (and dragging kids through that) or finding a way to keep yourself in the marriage even though you've reached the stage where you are no longer sexually or emotionally engaged? Sometimes the emotion comes back after time ... Like the relationship is being reborn. Life is not as black and white as we were all lead to believe, and principles and rigidity and an inability to forgive are not going to lead to greater understanding in life. One must be flexible to be strong, no? Also, fighting human nature means fighting that jealous streak that threatens to tear apart the people we love, not just fight animalistic sexual urges. Chances are there will be other humans that a person will find sexually appealing besides the one person they've committed to. One cannot hold someone else to a standard that they themselves have not lived up to - and if a person is worth being friends with, they are worth being with - if there is sufficient attraction, chemistry and common ground. In my humble opinion. Holding someone in the highest regard also sets them up for failure in the eyes of the beholder. It's so nice to be held in high regard, especially when so often we tear ourselves down - having someone believe in you is truly inspiring. But what happens when your imperfections show? Does the person that held you up look at you with a different look in their eyes? And how devastating is it that the person who held you in that highest regard now sees you as you see yourself, unworthy. It would be devastating. There is no magical person who will come along and fufill you on every level, who will always bring out the best in you, but there is probably someone, or a few someones, who will do that better than most, but they must be allowed to be human and make mistakes. And if one can't forgive another person, then they should be strong enough to let them go for good.
Mar 30, 2015
**EDIT EDIT** I should also say something about Pat and when he experienced having 'someone' cheat on him, someone he loved, very much. Different than being broken up with - this someone explored other waters during the relationship. How he got through it is after initially being very very harsh, he stopped bringing it up altogether and though it continued to bother him and it occasionally came up during a terrible fight, it was something he chose to get through. It IS a choice. It's ok to choose either to forgive or to know that the 'trespass' or betrayal is too big to let go, but there is a growing body of evidence to support the idea that humans aren't really meant to be monogamous, and though it usually takes a long time, infidelity is actually really common, and shouldn't be vilified the way that it is. I posted on my twitter a very interesting article about this topic just today. It also says that infidelity doesn't have to be the end of a relationship. I think the key to any long term relationship is a lot of forgiveness, but one does need to weigh each situation individually as some are worth forgiving, and some, even though worth it, are just too hard to get past - depends on the people involved and the betrayal, and probably several other factors**** Sharing a lot of news-feeds lately, but I think this is needed. I need to sort out and think through the things I'm avoiding. And I probably also need to dial it down and find an outlet like this with impartial advice. I am so looking forward to taking the kids to Calgary to visit my family for Easter (Pat forgot to take the time off work, of course, but as always, if I really pushed for it, he would find a way to come and make me happy - but I don't want to push him anymore). I want him to make it happen on his own. I recently set my sights on travel during the time my ex has the kids for his upcoming wedding. I am thinking about going to Hawaii on my own - doing a snorkel/scuba tour, maybe some hiking, or maybe just some hours spent by the ocean. There's something about being near water that is like a salve to all the things that are wrong. Same with looking up into the sky - the vastness of what I'm seeing seems to shrink my problems by comparison. Couples counselling is probably a must - but I asked about that about a year ago and he said no - not the least of which is that he doesn't want to talk about our problems in front of a stranger, nor does he want to acknowledge problems, but it's also the cost. It's $180/hour and up and right now things are so tight that groceries are getting tough (I can't even describe how upsetting that is). There is a program at work I can use (up to a point) and family members can too - I found out from Steffi recently about how to access those services. Apparently I can sign up anonymously and talk to someone to see if I really need to see someone in person. Now I actually just need to click on the link and see what happens next... I don't wanna. And yet, despite financial woes I'm looking into travel options... but that's because that's like therapy all on its own...*Edits* And stress at this time in the semester is likely a big factor as to how well a person will deal with any problems that arise - this is not the time to add stress to a stressed plate. I believe that things happen for a reason, truly, and it's what I told a friend of mine who was struggling with a recent break up and why she didn't leave the guy sooner (abusive) - and I told her (with compassion and honesty) "You weren't ready yet, that's why you didn't leave" - and the extra time wasn't time "wasted" with the wrong person, it was time you needed to be ready so that you can leave the situation behind with no regrets. So even if after years I realize that Pat and I are not right anymore, my life took the turns it needed to to bring me success and things I may not have had otherwise and needed at the time. Things I have prayed for - such as a real career with prospects for growth, a community / network of friends I trust and who have similar interests and values. Realizing the importance of, and discovering the support of, a peer group with similar values has been so good for me. I don't know if I would've moved to Edmonton had I not stayed with Pat. I have also changed since I met him. I have healed from my marriage ending and the aftermath of being with such an oppressive and disgusting human being. And I've also realized how my actions became self fulfilling in that situation. I take responsibility and know that there is nothing else I could have done to make that situation work. And is this the time to focus less on the relationship and focus more on myself and what I want out of life for myself and my kids? But some would say that those are conversations I should be having with a life partner - except he is not in the same place in his life as me. I am at the point where big picture things are important, career, retirement, family, making a difference in the world and his focus is his next assignment, deadline, and the annoyances of group work partners. We are out of sync. Maybe we always have been, but it used to work because? I believed he would catch up. Why is it any different now? Maybe I'm out of patience. Maybe I'm tired of waiting. Maybe I have unrealistic expectations. Maybe I just need to let things happen and let go trying to guide their outcome. Ohm. Peace. Peace is always a good thing for our souls. Find it and let it have you wherever you can, unrest will find it's way back and drive the course of your life soon enough. No different than enjoying the moment in bed - sometimes you have to rest on the raft that bears you down life's river... until you're ready to jump back in.
Mar 29, 2015
Today was fine. We didn't talk about yesterday or anything uncomfortable and things gradually became... More comfortable? Just easier. I do of course love him, i hate hurting him. maybe I just need to play the longevity game. Maybe this too shall pass and 20 years will go by and I will have found what's missing in myself. I am not giving up travelling - I will go on my own if I must. I also played the piano a little tonight - it felt so good. Spoke to my heart, somehow I felt less heavy after. Does that make any sense? I hope students everywhere aren't too stressed out, Pat is working towards a deadline.
Mar 29, 2015
So taking a step towards communication, I tried to communicate some of what I hold back. It didn't go well. He said some pretty intuitive things, I wish I had a record/replay button so I could re-hear them. Basically about disappointment and how I deal with that. He also said some pretty self-deprecating, some passive aggressive and even some hurtful things. What I said hurt his feelings - and I probably did it wrong. Best time to talk is pillow talk, right? Well apparently not when you're very gently talking to someone about deeply hidden fears. One that's easy to understand why he was upset with me was in my asking him if he may actually be bisexual. He says he is not, but some of the behaviours I've noticed were better explained (which helps me understand), though he said he was deeply hurt by being asked that question - which I also get, since he was continuously called "fag" when he was younger and still living up north. It's essentially like an "Et-tu, Brute?" moment. I should know him better. Got it. Anyway, on to even more difficult topics, wanting to explore my pleasure more, and he said he's a willing partner, but then immediately "what specifically do you want me to do?" - well if I knew that there would be no need to EXPLORE. Right? I mean, I want him to dive in - but pay attention to my body language to know when to pull back or really go for it. He can't seem to read me at all. Doesn't a person's body temperature increase with heightened sensitivity? Doesn't the breathing increase? When you know a person can't you sense when you're on the right or wrong track? It's such a turn off to have to describe or dictate every step of the way. His reaction was basically that it's up to me to tell him what I want, but GORRAMIT I have never had to spell things out so much to a person. He has never been the aggressor in bed with anyone until me, and to equate him with sexual aggression is to equate a feather with a sword. They are similarly shaped, but infinitely different. He is hurt, and frustrated up to his eyeballs with me and says he can't possibly spend more time with me (quality or otherwise) because his whole life is school or me, and he has "no life" otherwise. I don't want him to have no life- I encourage him to go out but he never does. He literally NEVER leaves the house except to go get groceries, go to school or go to work - or when I plan a camping trip/other trip and we leave as a family. I nearly jumped for joy when he went camping with his friend Kloburn last year. It was so nice to have the house to myself (the kids were gone too) - I was lonely, but it was a good loneliness, the kind where you can anticipate the return. I want him to enjoy his life and I don't think he is, and I think he feels like that's my fault. Something that truly bothers me is that he never makes things happen for himself. The only reason he's in school is because I pushed him into it, everything from his application to his registration for courses. He missed registration for classes and I reminded him and he got in by the skin of his teeth. He applied for student loans because I told him to and how to do it. He got his job because I wrote his resume and cover letter and told him what to apply for based on his experience / interests. When I do nothing / tell him nothing he just coasts. The only reason we're married right now is because I pushed for it. ME. WTF. The only reason I have any ring on my finger is because I insisted that we needed a ring to get married with. Does the fact that he changes his direction for me show that he loves me? Or does it show something else? Maybe I should plan his play dates for him so he gets out of the house! Sorry... I don't want to be that way. He says how much I have changed him - he wonders where he would be if he hadn't met me - and I truthfully wonder the same. He said I don't care about the things he is passionate about - and he's right - because the only thing he is passionate about is having an encyclopedic knowledge of music history. I like music, but I don't feel like talking about it at length every day. He is a very suggestible person, and along I come with my ideals, values, vision, and he buys into it and makes a part of it his own. And I love to save the bird with a broken wing, so it made me happy to help guide a life that I thought I was making better - but is it truly better? Is it better for him? Does that make him happy, or is he just trying to make me happy? Why doesn't this sit right with me? ... I want him to know who he is, what he stands for, I don't want to be responsible for what he does with his life, meaning if at the end of his days he realizes he was never happy, it will be my fault because I influenced so much of what he decided to pursue. I am probably very hard to be with. Go to school, get a career... then.... you listened to me too carefully and did exactly what I said and now I feel like you don't even know what you want... lol - sigh. I feel pretty terrible for having told him how I was feeling, it basically hurt him (he said emasculated) and he immediately said he thinks this is me trying to rid myself of him. Am I? I don't think I am, I feel like this is me trying to reconnect, to fill a void I feel is missing in our relationship - which may truly be something missing in myself and I am just projecting this general sense of lack onto him. ... I obviously don't have all the answers - though we fall back into step easily enough when it's time to get dinner on the table. Relationships SUCK. Especially long term ones. No one ever really wants to get to the point where the lust is gone, things are boring and per functionary, and the best part of your relationship is the lie you tell yourself and your "friends" about how great things are. But this is what our society is built upon - this need to have a monogamous companion, because any other type isn't the real-deal. Right? I don't believe there is only 'one' right person out there for each of us, but instead many tendrils of possibility and some wrap themselves around you so naturally it's like they were missing before they were there - I think those are the ones to hold on to. But we all do foolish things for love, or something like love, don't we? Ugh. Thank you for listening world. I should probably sound these things out with my girlfriends, but writing down my thoughts like this really helps me to think and rethink and get clear in my head what it is that looking for, especially when I find hints from the universe about what direction to search in... thank you universe. Thank you for always being there in spirit.
Mar 27, 2015
I don't know how often Pat checks my blog here, if he does at all, but it's so much easier to write unguarded when I don't feel like it's being read by him. I stopped keeping a diary years ago, and I miss it, but I just don't trust that it won't be read. I have been so bottled up - I don't tell anyone anything. It's all 'good roads, good weather' as I stay positive and try not to impact anyone else's life. The truth is, sometimes I look at my relationship with Pat and I am so proud of him, how far he's come, and proud that I helped set him on this path. At other times ... I don't. Ugh. I can't write what I want to for fear of hurt feelings or misunderstood hints - gawd I am pent up. I so desperately need the girls' weekend coming up in June - I think I will finally confide in them all that I have been holding in. I can trust Robyn to love me despite my sins and ugliness. We've been friends for 10 years. She's seen me at my worst and stayed my friend rather than Gary's when we split, even though her husband and Gary had become friends. I am angry at myself, disappointed in myself, and I am keeping the pieces of my sweet and innocent veneer held together by patches of the good soul I still have. I am not whole. I feel stifled by my life, and I resent that I am as poor now as I was when I was in school. *Edits* Obviously, some significant edits... always editing. Maybe I need to speak with a counselor. Communication is key to any relationship. We don't do enough communicating, and I know that's not just one person's fault. I do occasionally bring up hard topics, but it's really difficult. Now I need to examine why I feel it's so hard to bring things up. Why can't I talk to Pat? And why does he never talk about anything? Do I respect him? Telling someone what you want and need - it's kind of hard when they anatomically don't have the ability to do what you need (hard to explain) and there's a years-long pattern to things that while still good, has set a precedent and has never been about me, because I have issues with accepting. I helped create that and I don't know how to uncreate it. Fine spell check, "uncreate" is not a word, and a better way to put it is I don't know how to change course. Change inter-course. haha. Funny enough, I've never been more confident. I've never felt more willing to explore sex and what I want, but how do I get through the years and years of doing things a certain way? The only way through it is through it - I hear myself say. Yeah, well with how often I sleep alone it's pretty fuckin' hard to find time to express and explore that because if he isn't staying up all night watching TV/youtube, he's up all night or out all night doing homework, or working at the pool. He piddles with his phone when he should be doing school work, then complains how he doesn't have enough time to get his work done - basically terrible time management which is irresponsible - and irresponsibility is truly unattractive and makes me feel like I can't rely on him - something I've spoke to him at length about - he said "What do you want from me? If there was one thing I could do better, do for you, what would it be?" So I told him "to manage your time better, so that you are doing more work at school and leaving more of your non-work time for us (the kids and I)". There's no time for us. And, it's not all his fault, I'm busy too, but busy taking care of the girls, cleaning the house, volunteering, working, counselling my little sister, so many competing priorities. He's a willing partner. And the truth is we're out of sync because he's in a different place in his life than I am, and I think that's why we rushed to get married - thinking that a vow would make it easier to get through what is going to be a very hard four years. I'm so happy to hear that some people are brave enough to seek counselling. Maybe I should. I am going to start playing piano again. I am also going to travel more, with or without him. Frankly kind of want to travel on my own. I am tired of trying to force him to do things because I want them.
Mar 26, 2015
I got my permanent position, ironically on the same day I decided I've had enough of this job and applied for another position. Stood up to my boss this week - not disrespectfully, but honestly. She was coming down on me for the third time about how the technology didn't work at the conference - the computers we brought were too old to be compatible with the HDTVs at the tradeshow. And something inside had just had enough. I told her that the only thing she was focusing on was how this one thing went wrong, I do not have a technology background, I found a solution at the time, and really for a person like me who tries as hard as I do, to have that be the only thing she sees is incredibly demeaning. I also said that every other person involved in the tradeshow told me what a great job I'd done EXCEPT HER. She re-iterated her point, of course, but I could tell by her expression that she would go back to her desk and consider what I said. It felt really good to stand up for myself. I wrote a blog for the City of Edmonton's Waste Management news, and plan to write another tonight. When it's published I will post a link to them here. There are a few community league positions open for my community I just received notice for, and I am thinking about applying for one - like I need MORE work/time commitments, but I need to do something meaningful.
Mar 24, 2015
Today as I was leaving work there were two occurances that caught my attention. One, as I left the office for a coffee I heard the familiar "cheese burger" song of the chickadee chirruping away as I walked to get my capuccino from Starbucks (my current favourite drink). The second was even more magical as I came outside and I saw the feather of a bird, (magpie?) swirling in the air right in front of me, like one of those helicopter seed pods I used to play with as a child. The feather danced on the current playfully, swooping upwards and downwards. I calmly walked over to where it eventually rested and collected it into my backpack. I was truly grateful for that moment - its simple beauty lifted my spirits and I wondered who was putting on that impressive show for me, and why I was so honoured.
Mar 22, 2015
Montreal was pretty incredible. Wandered old montreal quite a bit, visited the Notre Dame Basilica, ate at delicious restaurants, tried to stay warm - though I definitely under-dressed. I used the train system to get around on my sight-seeing day, and went to a small neighbourhood of Mile End as per the recommendation of a local. beautiful rounded staircases up the outsides of the buildings. So much history in architecture. I am exhausted. Also saw the biodome, though admittedly, not really into tourist traps.
Mar 14, 2015
Wow, but the anxiety I feel right now over this trip and this trade booth, if anything goes wrong it will be on my head - and it's been so nice having a boss that is actually nice to me and is impressed by my work. Egads. What is the point eh? lol Not sure there is one, but that's life for you. Who really knows why any of us do anything, really. Never made any sense from the beginning, but that never stops anything - the lack of sense, does it? Saw my first motorcycle just now, just this second as it roared past my house. The pavement has just cleared enough and it is warm today, it smells like spring and I love it. Unfortunately the weather in Montreal isn't quite as good as here right now, but c'est la vie. Amazingly there are tiny little shoots of green (grass or weeds) coming in on my raised garden bed that the snow only just melted off of on Thursday. It amazes me the tenacity of new growth. Youth. Dern Kids! A mini holiday in Montreal might be just what the doctor ordered. Oh crap oh crap oh crap ... Oh boy oh boy oh boy... can't my manic moods make up their minds? Excited? Scared? Pick one! I'm out of calming chamomile tea, I wonder if I have any St. John's Wort. ... *deep breaths*
Mar 12, 2015
I fly out this Sunday to Montreal. I decided to take a couple extra days in Montreal after the conference to explore the city because the kids will be out of town with their Dad, Pat didn't take the time off work because he really didn't want to miss that part of his pay cheque, and he couldn't justify the expense of travelling out to join me for the weekend in Montreal. I really wish he were coming with me though. I was looking into shared accommodations in Montreal via AirBnB and found a few cute private rooms - but ended up connecting with a colleague from work who is also staying the weekend and he offered to share the place he rented through airbnb and split the cost. Since I'm sharing space either way I figured I may as well share with someone I know, and it keeps costs really low. I've heard of Swartzy's THE Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich place that I "must" try. Meh. And I am looking forward to exploring the city and especially the farmers market near old Montreal where I'm staying. A little anxiety has crept in now that I'm so close to leaving, but I'm almost ready to go. Pat's working on final projects and it's funny to hear him talking about the people who are essentially his peers, but who he feels slightly too old to fit in with, with the exception of one or two. Katherine is the only other Industrial Design stream student - a pretty brunette who is 27. And the other named Chelsea, 31, who is already a graphic designer but wanted the credentials she needs to move up in pay scale. Then there's "Peaches" a young gal from China who Pat's helped a few times with various projects. Or this other girl (I can't remember her name) who does things like tape her eyelids closed or the time she made "hobo" shoes out of paper and masking tape because her socks/shoes got wet... Did I mention that in Pat's program there are only 3 guys, and Pat's one of them? One of the remaining two is cheerleader (and most definitely bats for the other team) and the other one is an over-weight bottle-thick-glasses wearing fellow who is very much a hipster. Pat's becoming a leader, and even his teacher, as part of Pat's review, noted that he is. When Pat said he didn't see himself as a "leader" the teacher told him "the whole class follows your lead" and that there are different kinds of leadership (which I echoed before I even knew what his teacher said). He has also quit smoking, at last. He's using a vaporizer, and gradually reducing the nicotine every couple weeks. He smells SO much better. Back to Montreal - I put together the presentation that will be playing in the background of the GOA's booth at Americana - and showed it to everyone who has helped with planning the booth - it was very well received. I was actually a little bit proud of how well it turned out. Several other ministries have asked for copies of it so they can use it at other trade shows. Kind of gratifying. I just found out that there will be a new section in our branch for aboriginal relations. I'm trying not to get excited about that possibility, but the position I just learned about is an internal information and education position pertaining to raising awareness of aboriginal issues, relationships etc. It's not consulting work, it's building relationships with elders/leaders, learning about the issues / challenges they face, and sharing that with an internal audience to raise awareness throughout the department. I don't know if I'm really qualified as I am not fully immersed in those issues, but my heart is in the right place, and I always say (when faced with a huge problem / dilemma) "what can I do to make this situation better?" - anyway, that's all my news for now. Perhaps more from Montreal.
Mar 7, 2015
Today I volunteered for Edmonton Area Land Trust, a local group that works to preserve land for future generations keeping it as close to "in-tact" as possible, giving people a chance to enjoy the outdoors before we spread over the whole of the land covering everything with pavement and "development". They do this by accepting land donations to be held in trust for future generations, essentially making free-to-access greenspaces, and not considering it a luxury, but something free and open to all. It's entirely volunteer run (with the exception of 3 staff) and is a truly wonderful group, and I admire the work that they do a lot. What made the protection of the land possible is the conservation easement - this was brought in as part of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act in Alberta - without which it wouldn't be possible, this conservation of the land, which in turn protects biodiversity, water quality and general value to the ecosystem and human/animal enjoyment. There's a growing trend with the supreme court making judgements that are guiding policy in the absence of political leadership. Without working law systems there is no justice, and without justice, the inherent value of in-tact eco-systems will not be protected. Fighting for something like this ... = being an environmental superhero.
Mar 3, 2015
Is it really Mar 3rd?! I feel a little ill for some reason, no matter - this foolish ickiness must pass. Less than two weeks until Montreal, seriously getting excited to go, and at the same time a little anxious. I have coordinated so many details, I feel really good about all the work that has gone into this. Swimming last week was so wonderful, definitely need to do more, once a week maybe, and more as the triathalon approaches. I haven't had any moments or real "experience" lately to share - nothing that stands out. I have been negligent in my writing, but have been doing a lot - helping plan my sister's bridal shower and bachelorette party, planning this GOA booth, planning our travels for both weddings this summer, our next camping trip- haven't had any moments of connection in nature - am really ready for camping season. Lol - maybe I should just plan some cross country skiing before this winter leaves. Hmm, is it time to start gardening yet?
Feb 28, 2015
Today IS heavy. I don't know why, or how, or what. I watched a movie called Detached on Netflix that affected me. I became irritable with my children, with Pat, just this weight came over me as I felt that tug - you know the one. The one that says oblivion may be the "best" answer, or possibly the only one. I am not in that place, so I immediately pulled back and rejected that thought - but wow how it croons sometimes, beckoning like it is the ultimate answer, the inevitable answer. It laughs softly as I struggle against her spider's web. "You are already caught" she says, "you are doomed and it's cute that you struggle - it's your struggling that tells me you're in my web" - and I stare into her many eyes, that pierce the blackness in my soul and I see myself reflected. There is no hiding from that piece of me, and I could fall down - right then. Right now. Why bother? Why struggle against the inevitable? "Everything's going to be ok"... whispers the other part. "There are things worth working for", "I love you", "You have friends and family who would be so profoundly hurt - the ripple effects of that would echo through decades of your family". I figure, there are days like today when things are heaviest - but next week or the week after, the oppressive feeling that threatens to overwhelm will have subsided to the point where it's bearable again, and then, because I must, I will get up and keep going - toward some inexorable future - some potential in the world I must live up to, and live to breathe that fresh morning air, the hints of spring all around as that glow that halos the tree tops and branches shines and I wonder if the pale purple or white shimmer I see is real, or simply a product of eye fatigue - yet why is that light easier to see in the spring? I am here, and I am not. I wrote on twitter the other day about squirrels in forests and I had an image in my mind so strong I felt like I was in that forest - imagining it - and I could see a moment as clearly as if I'd been there. The imagination is such an amazing gift of being human - it is why I love to read (and am desperate for book 4, though I haven't made time to go to the library to find it, or onto Amazon to own it, perhaps that is my task for tomorrow - though Jada made the basketball team and I have to take her to a tournament tomorrow). There are never enough hours in the day, I feel like each day blends into the next and I'm ever running out of time.
Feb 26, 2015
Today my office is sunny and overlooks the grounds of the Alberta Legislature. It's highly distracting, not to mention misleading. It looks beautiful and sunny, but it is cold, cold, cold! I want to work on work but my brain won't comply. I am soooo tired today. Pat stayed on campus over night last night as his portfolio was due today - along with many other art/design students. His last deadline is in 10 minutes and I think he's using every last minute. He's been at the University since 9am yesterday. As a result I didn't sleep well, couldn't fall asleep until well after midnight, and woke at 5:30 am startled that he wasn't next to me (he had said he was going to come home to work on some things after he finished the design stuff that he needed the studio for). Anyway, I'm sure he will sleep well tonight and tomorrow. I am gearing up for Montreal in March - very excited to be going. Something I've been learning a lot about is how Alberta's price on carbon is contributing to some pretty innovative projects. Sometimes when I feel like I need a boost I just focus on the good stuff rather than how sometimes these "good" things don't really address the larger issue e.g. over consumption of everything from fossil fuels, to food, to all other resources and the lack of conservation of precious in-tact landscapes that make this world beautiful, healthy and the right habitat for humans and all other animals to live in - not to mention the fact that in our pursuit of these dirty fossil fuels we're destroying wetlands that are miraculously perched directly over geothermal energy sources that go unnoticed / untouched arg... anyhoo, the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (ccemc.org) has so many cool projects going it makes me feel like at least some things are going right, though it still misses the broader picture (note my rant above). Have been thinking about taking stories I've written, and writing new ones, and participating in Edmonton's community of short-story writers - once/month they get together and recite their works in public, almost like a performance. Have also been thinking about starting to take the knowledge I have and sharing it with people I work with by going into their homes and helping them create meal plans, grocery lists, putting together recipes to make life easier, and potentially branching that into a consulting business once I do it for free for colleagues and incorporate feedback and figure out how much to charge (and hopefully get some referrals!) It would be only on evenings and weekends, so maybe one or two days a week (when I'm not running the kids to and from extra curriculars, or volunteering, or actually taking some time to read or lay on the couch day-dreaming. That is seriously a favourite past time right now - just processing, while laying on the couch after a long day, but before dinner otherwise it turns into nap time... Zzzzz ok, rambly ramblerton. back to work...) - I wonder what the thought bubble above my head would look like if I were in cartoon...
Feb 23, 2015
Tonight I went for a swim - it was an intense 45 min swim with very few breaks. I doubt I will be able to move my arms tomorrow... Speaking of, it's Belgian Waffle Day at work tomorrow and I was voluntold to bring our waffle iron and waffle mix. Not fair I tell you. What music helps soothe the soul? What activities? My brother is currently going through the nastiest divorce I've ever seen. My friend with stage 3 cancer is suffering thru chemo. It's midterms. Seems so many people I love are suffering right now, but I have faith that things will get better in a couple months. I will pray for them and have gently suggested that if they ever need to talk, and friends aren't doing the trick, that they should seek professional advice, and if that's not happening, at least keep a journal where thoughts can be let loose... Actually I've heard an old wives tale that if you tell your problems to the toilet and then flush, your problems will go away! (Or at least you can laugh at how silly you look doing it) ... Other nuggets of wisdom? Forgiveness - not for the person or people who have wronged you, but forgive them for yourself, for the benefit of not holding onto anger can bring.. Mmmm sweepy... Oh, finally finished book three, now I need book 4 of the death gate series... Zzzzzz
Feb 21, 2015
I guess, much later... anyway, right now the sun is setting a pot of hamburger soup is simmering away in the dutch oven on the stove. The house smells delicious as the savoury scents waft by. I also made a fruit salad that I'm planning to give to the kids with vanilla yogurt for dessert. Then later I will make popcorn for them and watch a movie. Did I mention the girls are having a sleep over tonight? Two little girls that are sisters and the same age - we took them bowling first and then to the "arcade" - a very old-fashioned one where most games were still only 25 cents.
Feb 20, 2015
Sometimes a person gets a hair cut to "start fresh", or, to try something new. Today I cut my hair to above my shoulders from half way down my back. I feel as though this hair do is long over-due. This better represents who I am somehow. It's a little sassy, can be sultry, and really, less work than before. It's not that I don't work hard, I do, but I like to simplify, to live simply. I purchased an antique teacher's desk from Jonathan as part of the furniture he left behind. I got it for $25 and finally moved it into the house last weekend. It was so heavy that I was absolutely at my physical limit by the time we got it through the door. I was sore for 2 days afterward. It looks wonderful in the dining room and now Pat has a proper work station to create his designs and prototypes. He really has found his calling as an industrial designer, or as we like to say, an "inventor". lol. I have been helping my sister's maid of honour to plan both the bridal shower and the bachelorette party this week. Work has been so much better. I'm about to get a permanent position at last. I will feel so much safer once I do. More later.
Feb 14, 2015
Yesterday was so incredibly beautiful. How is some of the worst weather so amazing? I guess because I was at home, safe and warm. The sun shines this morning on fresh white snow (that started as freezing rain) making it nearly painful to look outside. I love saturday mornings. I used to think it was the cartoons, but now I know that the vibe of saturday morning is one of care-free joy - you still have the buffer of Sunday before the start of the next week, and if it's sunny, all the better to sip your morning coffee by. I swear this is what makes me the happiest. So simple. Almost silly. My parents are looking for ways to retire soon. My Dad turns 65 this year and I can tell he really doesn't want to keep up the same schedule he's had. He has worked hard all his life, my Mom too, and I want him to be able to have the life that he wants. They're talking about asking my Dad's cousin if they can live in a vacant 2 bedroom house on some land the family has owned since .. I don't know when. My Dad was entitled to a plot of land, but the land that was to be his was "sold" to a neighbour with a verbal agreement that they would buy it back - but when that time came, the neighbour said too bad. So. Anyway, all that is to say, I feel sick about my parents having to go and beg a cousin to live with on their property. I want to be able to provide them with a place to live, how many times have they helped us kids out? They have always been there for us, no matter what. (So long as we tucked tail and came home at least lol) I must buy that land for our sustainable off-grid house so Mom and Dad can go live there while I keep working until I'm ready to go off-grid.
Feb 11, 2015
I have become fascinated with hydroponics. As I look into it more seriously, it is dangerously close to becoming a goal in my mind, and if it does, then I MUST follow through and do it. The promise of year-round greens is too delightful, let alone that one mature adult fish can be harvested every two days (aka: protein source), that combined with us potentially doing backyard chickens has my head spinning with possibilities of self-sufficiency. All these technologies and ideas are being tucked away for our off-grid lifestyle Pat and I are working toward. Writing about it in a blog is another thing I've been considering - and found out Robyn has a blog on "Body Talk" and wellness, she wanted me to post my new year's resolution story on her blog. I also have the lasagna gardening blog I want to write (layering compost into new raised beds to see if the yield is any different). I have so many competing priorities!
Feb 8, 2015
The death gate cycle was merely a trilogy! The thought. I have been slack in my reading and sadly become a slight couch potato as I discovered an old TV series I had never seen the final season of. Now that I have finished binge watching the final season, there's this empty sense of accomplishment. Yah... I finished something. You hear the enthusiasm, no? Well wisdom is sometimes found in foolish sit-coms or hard hitting political intrigues. Right? Yoga 3 times a week is amazing. Wow I am sore 3 days later from Thursday's class. With all the warrior poses my thighs were shaking so hard you'd think there was an earthquake. I haven't reached that level of muscle fatigue in... you know I don't know that I've ever reached that level of fatigue. If there'd been a fire drill at work I would've closed my office door and hoped for the best because I could barely walk! There is something so ... satisfying about bringing ones body to its absolute limits in an act that is both healthy and challenging. I was chatting with a work colleague on Friday (he loaned me the Bob Dylan children's book that he bought for his eldest daughter) and gave me some advice about how not to be socially awkward at a networking event - "have a line, something that is your go to, that grabs people's attention" - I had told him about living in California when I was a teenager. He told me to use that: "When I lived in California, I always said..." "When I lived in California, i learned that..." He says that having lived in a different country or experienced (via travelling) somewhere culturally different, it changes a person. Expands their horizons. I had a lot of fun with the girls today - we went to the "Weaving Willow Baskets" workshop at the Resiliency Fair, and then they went skating afterwards. It was so nice to spend time with them, even though they got a little unruly (bored) at times with the basket weaving, and even though they can seem kind of ungrateful ("Did you have fun girls?" "Sort of, I was kind of bored making the basket, and Chelsea got to have that decorative feather that I wanted to have and it wasn't fair. And skating was cold") but then once we get home "That was so fun Mom, can we go again tomorrow????" Meanwhile I packed us a lunch with lots of snacks and made sure we used all reusable containers and had a no-waste lunch, brought our water bottles, packed kleenex, packed skates, made sure they brought gloves, tookes, paid for our attendance, brought us to the fair... it all seems thankless until those very brief moments where they are carefree and letting loose to have some fun - their cheeks are rosy and their eyes sparkling. The volunteer skating coach teaches them to skate backwards and then does a very cool ninja roll on the ice when (while showing them) he tripped on his own skate and managed to very quickly end up back on his feet. Gawd life is weird. You never know where life will take you if you turn left instead of right, right instead of left. Instead of seeing the roads missed or closed, to know that there are infinite roads ahead and merely need to be walked, be braved, that we make the path we walk on, and our enjoyment (or lack) of this life can be 100% up to ourselves and how we choose to see the world. I told Jada that today - when she was complaining - that it's as fun as you make it. Life I mean. Hmmm, late night rambles are the best rambles. I wish I knew for sure, about Pat, because when things are good, they are really good. Like at the cabin, I really felt his love, and mine in turn. He re-proposed - it was a beautiful moment - and a promise to renew our vows in front of our friends in 5 years when he's finished school and established. But he is so moody and he takes it out on me (and sometimes the kids) and it's so hard because I have to protect/defend them when he gets too dramatic (which causes us to get into it), but sometimes he's justified - though still too emotional, but nobody is perfect. No relationship is perfect, and all relationships are work. The choice to stay and work is what means the difference between lasting and not lasting, and that decision can only be made when a person feels that the good outweighs the bad, when their heart is truly in it. And if it doesn't, it takes a certain strength to see when things aren't working and to walk away rather than try to maintain the status quo - not talking about Pat and I here - but thinking instead of past relationships, seeing so many friends go through break ups recently. Actually very happy that Jonathan and Lisa may work things out - those two are great together - but Jonathan needs to get his head out of his ass and start to compromise and give more. Lisa is a catch, and (I hate to say this about my friend) but he is a fool if he lets her get away. But if things don't work out, then I will have faith that he knows what he's doing and do my best not to be disappointed. (I really like her). I pray that I find the owner of these ladies glasses that I found under our couch and I hope to feel like a complete fool for ever having let that sinister little thought snake it's way into my insecure little head. It's hard to even admit to feeling it, but maybe that will help me put it to rest.
Feb 6, 2015
Guess I am chatty this week... communicative... dare I say bubbly? No.. Not that. The snow that has fallen in droves since yesterday has been blown into the strangest formations and drifts. I saw Mount Everest...'s tiny baby cousin... inside the bus stop shelter this morning! I should've taken a picture. I will be posting some pictures to facebook or twitter or maybe even that old Tumblr account soon that will show the cabin trip, and all that good stuff. I am over-due in getting Summer 2014's pictures up somewhere too. Perhaps too much of our lives are lived online? hummmms Bob Dylan's "blowin in the wind"
Feb 5, 2015
Brrrr. It's frosty today. Ponderings and musings. Musings and ponderings. I think if one is striving for a state of peace, it allows them to focus, enables them to see what really matters. It's true that this world we all live in has many problems, so many in fact that certain thoughts threaten to make me give way to despair for my own species. However, despite this, happiness can still be found in small pockets, and this happiness is what can fill one's soul with hope and lend strength to keep going. Not that the "pursuit of happiness" is the ultimate goal, as no, given all that's in the world, how can one with any depth at all, truly "be happy" in this life? No, we're not meant to simply "be happy", and perhaps happiness is a state of mind that can only be achieved by contrast to another state of being that is less desirable. Basically, I say that it's not ok to shun happiness when it's rays of sunshine are there to be basked in, but neither is it ok to seek it out to the oblivion of the rest of the world. Just enjoy those moments, hold onto to them during the dark times, and through peace, determine what is truly the best use of time on this planet. I'm reading a very interesting book on "Consciousness after death". I'm also still working on finishing book 3 of the death gate cycle. So many small irons in the fire and no large commitments. I am choosy in how I spend my leisure time, whether I waste it kijiji window shopping, watching a TV program, or devoting my spare time to things of a higher calling (volunteering, family, side-projects). I find things to look forward to and latch on to the "next time" I get to enjoy them. In the meantime, I survive, and sometimes I even enjoy the survival a little because I have a lot to be thankful for. If I search, I can find things in my life to be thankful for, no matter how small.
Jan 14, 2015
So it's been a while, and so far 2015 has become a promising year (minus world events like Hebdo and falling oil prices - but now the solar market can move in, and millions have rallied behind the victims of Hebdo, so there is hope). I have all-but eliminated sugar from my diet. (I am trying to do a candida cleanse without guidance, and am learning that not only is that incredibly difficult, and I crave sugar like any addict, but I've been finding that my body is adjusting slowly, but still compensating for the loss of sugar by being thirstier, and craving things that have high carbs to replace the simple sugars I have abandonned (temporarily) - not even maple syrup, no sweeteners what-so-ever! - to make up the loss. (e.g. beans, lentils, chips, popcorn) The 2nd day I was Jones'ing - so edgy, intense, that little voice in my head telling me "Ahhhh, camman. Just one cookie. It won't hurt anybody". Nooooooo! Combine that with a renewed excersize regime of yoga and jogging and eventually swimming and cycling, and I will hopefully be in top shape for the next triathalon, if I choose to do that, which I think I may. It really pushed me, but it also gave me something to work towards, and having a goal and accomplishing it is life's sweetest sugar. Anyway, in other news, my new year's resolution, since my focus is on reducing waste, was to create a meal plan with Pat, and I am now ordering groceries online from a company called SPUD - that supplies organic, locally grown foods (as local as possible) to your doorstep. They deliver once/week, so now that I have a meal plan, I know what we'll need, and the over-arching goal is to reduce my family's food waste. So far it's been going really well. We've stuck to the meal plan and almost time to write up a new one. School is a struggle for Pat already with 5 courses, and I can tell he's really worried about not being top of his class, but the phrase "C's get degrees" exists for a reason. I just have to get him to relax. Recently a friend of ours (Kevin) and his girlfriend split, I think it was so she could get back with her ex, but it was also because Kevin is an alcoholic. As long as Kevin gets all the furniture and things he bought for "their place" that he no longer lives in, I will feel everything is ok, people can change their minds, but I don't want him to be taken advantage of. The best thing for him to do is to forgive her and let it go, holding onto the hurt will eventually become self-fulfilling and will really only hurt him in the long run. It's only 9.5 weeks until "Seedy Sunday" seed exchange, and then I can start my seedlings in anticipation of the growing season!!!! (Not that I'm excited about that...)
Dec 29, 2014
The fam left today, house is so quiet and empty by comparison, and truth be told, I'm enjoying the peace and quiet that brings. I miss them at the same time and could've kept sharing space with them for a while. Mostly what I found frustrating was not being allowed my non-kid time to myself to just read, write, veg, watch tv - things one does on one's own. I definitely am a quiet person in comparison with my family... which isn't saying much. Researched business opportunities in BC and it got my day-dreaming juices going. I really really would love to live somewhere more peaceful. I want a different lifestyle - I want to own my own days and I want the hours I put in to count towards myself. In contrast, it's that often feel that all the "work" I do is pointless. I want a salary, I want security, I want to be able to afford to buy food for my family and share my values with my children, I don't need a lot of stuff, but I really enjoy gear - I would love a road bike for commuting to work (and if I enter that triathlon again), I would love snow shoes, I would love cross-country skiis, better snow pants... in the summer I know the "I want a canoe" bug will bite again... basically I want to be enabled to enjoy nature as much as possible. I am not sure what my current degree is good for as I've had so little luck finding work - so maybe I need to beef that up as well somehow. I think I want to be in residential waste management, specifically in how people waste water, food, and resources without knowing it and teach them how to change their consumption habits, process their wastes (compost, sorting recyclables, recycling old materials into new ones and reusing things that can be reused). I also want to write. Somehow I feel that this sense of desire returning is a positive sign - it's a heck of a lot better than the bleh way I was feeling a couple days ago. Stars.
Dec 23, 2014
It's a very grey day as I prepare my house for the onslaught of family. They are both a blessing and a bit tiresome at times - especially when we all have different ways of living. Tolerance - that's all I can strive toward. No, the dishes don't need to be done while people are still eating dinner, but while my Mom is here I will strive to make sure that they are so she can relax. No, it is not necessary to see how many words you can fill in a 3 minute time span, but I am certain that my sister will try. There will also be 8 people in a house with only one shower - do the math. Finally started reading "Dragon Wing" by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman... somehow it seems familiar, like I've read this before, a long time ago, but I can't be sure. Anyway, back to work getting the house spic and span and everything organized for tomorrow :)
Dec 4, 2014
So I was rear-ended on Tuesday morning - nice bit of whiplash and more than $5000 damage to my car. It was almost humourous as my head whipped back and forth I actually thought "I guess your head really does go backwards and forwards in a collision like those dummies on one of those collision commercials" .. ha. It hurts us preciousssss.
Nov 27, 2014
Bifurcated - divide into two branches or forks. Next time I have a choice, I am totally using this word.
Apr 17, 2014
Sometimes me think, 'What is friend?' and then me say, 'Friend is someone to share last cookie with' ~ Cookie Monster. - this. THIS is the quote that I took from all the ones I've been sifting through. I saw a few I really liked, including ones about how success is not final, failure won't kill you, it's those who keep trying who succeed. And others about facing life's demons with quiet resilience - acknowledging that those forces that make a person want to give up are ever-present in life, but you need to keep facing them anyway etc etc. But somehow the only one that made me smile was the very simple cookie monster quote. And I believe that smiling, laughter, those little moments of joy, make life worth while. Moments - they can have perfect clarity in memory, lend strength when you recall them, but they can also sap strength when you long to return to them. The past always has this allure of safety to it - like when we had more hair, less body fat, fewer wrinkles, fewer responsibilities - but often we forget the pressures and stress of what we were living with in those aware moments (because we'd pushed worries to the back of our minds when we had those moments, that and time past is always seen through a rosy lens) - making the memory seem ideallic and therefore unachievable ever again. That is not the case - one simply must be open to receiving new moments and when the opportunity comes again, as it always does, we can find perfect joy in new moments without the burden of comparing them to the past. Granted, there are those moments in time that are a little brighter than others, but just because they stand out doesn't mean they become the measuring stick for everything else. That would be an exercise in futility - because as long as you hold that memory in the highest esteem, keeping the memory bright, no new memory can be as bright. You have to let time fade those memories a little so by contrast the new memories shine all the brighter. I read another quote today, "only in the darkness can you see the stars", seems fitting.
What do you do when you dream a scene, a picture so clear it feels like you're there? You write. You become absorbed in a world of your own creation. If you're very very lucky, you have patient friends, and encouraging spouses. You beg for proof reads and the indulgence of those who love you the most. In the end, you revise revise revise until you must stop yourself from stripping the moment of truth from your message. I've kept a journal since I could write. Now leary of who may happen upon my exposed and very odd inner self, I instead find myself writing in a sort of code. I hint at what's behind my words, like bread crumbs, it will lead me back again.
I beg the indulgence of the wide web with its outlets of creation, and an easier means of sharing unfinished works, where I will mercilessly send any willing reader and save a few trees along the way. God bless the written word, it has started wars (but don't bless it for that), won hearts, and bound untouchables to law - it's a medium that takes new turn on a road of cyber sets. How many untold places will it reach? What is the ultimate question? The answer is 42.
Unassuming, naively hopeful, mildly synical, faithfully optimistic, I have known love, I have known love's keen losses, and now I strive for a certain balance and peace that comes from years of taking the long road home. Home ...I dream of one day.