make sure …

Sometimes the first line of a book, a chapter, or a blog resonates and remains. Such is this.

thekitchensgarden

.. this life you have arranged for yourself is how you want your life to be. Because if what you are doing is not what you want to do -there will be troubles. Though to be fair there is tons of stuff we don’t want to do that we HAVE to do, dishes, and dusting for instance.  But these are a means to an end. zip line

Lucky for me – I am doing what I want to do. Of course I always wanted to fly over the creek that is really a ditch to test the tension again and again and again – so I am good!  The tension of the wire is a work in progress so John attached a piece of clothesline string to me so he could pull me back if necessary. (And it was)  The work in progress continues.  But to tell you the truth, I could have…

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Emotional Bankruptcy

Emotional Bankruptcy

emotions-globe-with-different-association-terms-wordcloud-vector-illustration

This is a difficult subject for me to address for one main reason. I fear I do not have the words to adequately address it and worry that I may trivialize it.

Now this is NOT earth shaking life changing. It is merely an observation and was triggered by something I saw in passing the other day.

I was reading on line about the celebrity deaths publicized in headlines in the last couple of weeks. You know, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Rene Angelil, Kitty Kallen. Some names more familiar than others. Any way I glimpsed a quote from some actor – no I don’t know who, it all happened as I was clicking to another page, a quote that said something about our displaying emotion or something like that. I cannot remember the quote but it did trigger a remembrance of back thoughts. Those thoughts that pass through our brain, not staying, but not going so far away that they cannot be recalled in an instant.

I have always been impressed by the British, and not because fifty percent of my heritage hails from Scotland. I have always viewed them as being strong in character. I remember watching a film when I was a child. In the scene were three men, one of whom left the room suddenly. The second fellow looked at the other who said, “Personal problems.”

“Oh, I see.”

Nothing more needed to be said. There was just an understanding. No further explanation needed. No sobbing dragging out of the innards for all the world to see.

You see, a few decades ago, when it became acceptable, nay, desirable, to give expression to personal feelings something changed forever in our society.

There is something strong about the whole ‘stiff upper lip’ thing. There is strength of character.

Now please do not get me wrong and assume I mean that we should never discuss that which is very personal. What I mean is that the discussion takes place between two people. The object of our sharing is very selective. I guess a lot has to do with media – this very public sharing of every aspect of every emotion.

Secretly I have this fear that by baring it all to everyone that we are creating emotional bankruptcy although how is very difficult to explain. There is, I think, an inner secret part of us that is strengthened when we stiffen that upper lip.

VERY IMPORTANT! I am in no way suggesting that everyone does this. I personally know a lot of folk that share a bit with us and carry on. And I would never suggest keeping it all in when it would be detrimental to our health.

Not at all, but I think society as a whole is poorer. As I write this I think I may appear way off base on this. Maybe this is one of those times when I should suck it up and stiffen that upper lip. Which by the way I think many still do.

But I have to ask: is it necessary to bare all to have some understanding or kindness for another? Is it possible to support someone, with personal problems without knowing every painful iota of that person’s suffering?

I like to think it is. I fear I have missed the point I wanted to make.

Heads up! two important topics for discussion.

  1. COMING ATTRACTIONS  TWO ISSUES
  2. Are we sharing too much emotion, angst, or thoughts with everyone? Have we become too sloppy in our emotions and personal sharing?
  3. who knew reverting to ‘the nee’, you know your birth name a female is born with, could possibly result in confusion and the fear of illicit activity?

Friday Toppers 12/366

Above is a photo of my last two hats and one pair of mittens.  I made them for my grandsons, both of whom love them. (I wasn’t sure but yes they loved them.)

Before I start my next project I thought I would use the rest of my blue yarn and make a few more hats.  Generally I do these kind of things in the summer to have them ready to donate to charity in the fall.  For some reason I feel the need to make more so will continue on.  Following my feelings always pays off.

I saw Auntie this morning and we talked about what it was like sailing across the ocean on a liner.  I am not much for boats so am in awe of those folk who traverse the water to reach a destination.    Her mind comes and goes, wandering off now and then, so conversation is patient and interesting.  She did talk about the joys of having a wonderful partner for over thirty years but the pain of the big goodbye.

It is hard to believe it is finally the middle of the month.  The first week seemed to drag on endlessly until the second week found it’s roller skates and sped up.

I finished a few books; Clive Cussler’s Ghost Ship, Sue Grafton’s Undertow ( a reread), an Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot short story.  Books and stories are my comfort blanket.  Lost a dear friend of the family this past week, my age, so have a funeral to attend Monday morning.

It is important I think to find joy and humor is each day.  It is there.

OH almost forgot! Judith at growingyoungereachday and Donna at Scatter Kindness and I are starting a fiction writing course on Monday.  The course is from Future Learn at https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/start-writing-fiction/

The course is  FREE! Check it out and hopefully join us!

Have a good weekend all!

Feeling Bad about Missing a Midnight Deadline Until You Realize it Might Not Be Missed 11/366

 

I missed the midnight deadline, a post, which by the way was about the reliability of midnight deadlines. Had it all planned. It was the execution that proved problematic.

See, in the world of daily blogging I have fallen a little behind. Advanced to the Rear as they say, except it was not an aggressive advancement which should count for something I think.

If you take note of the date you will see it is the thirteenth of the month. Really, here we are almost halfway through the first month of 2016.

I have accepted the reality of this being after midnight, though I suppose of could call dibs on the midnight next to come, say in Manitoba, or British Columbia. I could just date it the 12th, then I am just a wee bit behind. But no I will stand tall and loudly proclaim my allegiance to midnight in Southern Ontario. And let the chips fall where they may. Hmmm wish I had some chips here to snack on. I am not usually up this late, but I have things weighing on my mind so this happens occasionally. You know the staying up late part.

Any commentary up to this month relating to El Nino and the lack of snow in my part of the world can now be put to bed with the bears.   Winter has arrived!

Yesterday morning I did not brave the trek to my usual Café O to meet with my peeps. By midday it was over cast and damp so I made the 12 km run to The Home to see our favorite Aunt. The plows had been out so the roads weren’t too bad as long as one drove slowly leaving lots of distance between cars.

We had a nice visit, tea and chatter. Frannie was able to tell me about someone who had come to see her earlier that day, she spoke of Jack but knew he had died a long time ago. The only thing she was unable to do? She had no idea who I was. Oh she was pleased to see me, she knew she must know me. And she was very socially polite but I could see her trying to figure out exactly who I was. She just could not remember.

It leads to anxiety and more confusion. Then in a blink that part of the picture clears though another piece of the puzzle fogs.

‘I only believe in statistics that I doctored myself.’Winston Churchill 10/366

Statistics are like Play-Doh. They can be molded and shaped to give us what we want or what we want others to believe.  It’s a funny thing but it seems that whenever people hear ‘Statistics say…’ they automatically believe.

Decades ago I was part of a community council of sorts and we wanted the public to agree to let us spend a large amount of money.  To stop any nay sayers from grabbing a foot hold, the public was reassured that to prove we needed to achieve what we wanted, we would hire an independent research company at great cost and they would prove or disprove our goal.

Well you know, if we pay somebody a LOT of money they must be worthy of our belief.  We met with the company to describe the parameters of the research then at the end of the discussion they were told exactly the results we wanted.  Oh my, surprise surprise.  The results completely supported and justified what we were doing. Amazing huh?

You see the numbers are accurate and can be proven and depend entirely on what area or section you do your research.  They can be skewed.  Skewed is such an appropriate word.  One needs to be knowledgeable enough about a situation to ask the right questions.  That is the hard part.  But I cringe at the thought of people believing because they believe the numbers are impartial.

So what is this about anyway?

Yesterday I became most agitated because I suddenly had a high cholesterol that the doctor said could not be controlled by diet and medication was the only route.  Oh and that I currently had a one in three chance of having a stroke. (see there is the statistic).  I was told in the beginning this was a possibility but of course it took a back seat to the business at hand.

So I spent a few hours muttering to myself about the side effect of medication I must take being more deadly than the disease, and that stats that say cancer is more survivable than previous (certain types) don’t count deaths from side effects of treatment.  So if I expire from a stroke, no one is going to say cancer killed me.  But technically it will have.

And it annoys me that say statistics predict say nine percent of this particular population will develop something resulting in death.  Or that there is a one in fourteen million chance you will win the lottery.

I am telling you that for those people who die, or win the lottery the chances are not nine percent or one in fourteen million, they are one hundred percent.

Then I had a moment of reality.  How dare I complain about my situation?  It takes some nerve to bitch about something relatively small.  I thought about someone dear to me who has never smoked in his life but is now tied to oxygen tanks to survive.  I thought about my mini me cousin who went through exactly the same as I but much worse and is suffering from constantly painful side effects.  I think about a dear one who at thirty eight is just beginning that long road with the Big C.  I think of so many close to me who are suffering with things out of their control.  When I think of those we loved and lost from cancer and they had no choice.

And I think to myself, “How dare you, who can walk, laugh and sing, moan when you want and truly live, having to accommodate one small pill, How Dare You?

So properly scolded, I apologized to the universe and to all whose own suffering I belittled in my own self pity.

I go off shortly to see our Auntie.

 

 

 

WAAAAAAA WAAAAAAA 9/366

I need just a moment to shout out a primal scream.*MEN OR LADIES IN DANGER  of BEING BORED OR GROSSED OUT CAN SKIP THIS ONE.

so being a conscientious sort I have been checking out proper diets. Then I decide to search for answers in what can cause sudden cholesterol elevations in a relatively healthy female who had cancer, surgery, radiation a year before and who has been taking a daily dose ofcArimidex.

WELL it seems the Arimidex I am supposed TO TAKE  for the next 5 Years can cause high cholesterol.

Now it makes sense why she said dietary changes would Not Help.

I did not sign up for this.   I agreed to highly recommended surgery, radiation and medications for 5 years. Now it seems the effect of the cure could in fact kill me. Or force me to take statins. GRRRRRR

I see my doc in 6 weeks.

do I decline anymore cancer meds. I guess I will have to check and see what the rate of cancer reoccurrence if get off them. Then will my cholesterol automatically return to normal or is the damage permanent?

Were  I given to profanity we all might have learned some new words. ADVICE PLEASE!

Six Word Saturday: Puff, You Said This Would Happen 8/366

Peter, Paul & Mary – Puff, The Magic Dragon Lyrics

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Little Jackie paper loved that rascal puff,
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff. ohPuff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on puffs gigantic tail,
Noble kings and princes would bow whene’r they came,
Pirate ships would lower their flag when puff roared out his name. oh!

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

Dragons live forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant strings make way for other toys.
One sad night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his life-long friend, puff could not be brave,
So puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave. oh!

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

G2 who has been by my side every day almost since he was three is growing up. He turns eight in March so I knew it was coming.  He still loves his grandma but his world is larger now.
I went to Hamilton for an overnight visit Wednesday evening.  Everything was almost the same.  He still wanted to go for our penny walk, which netted no pennies but lots of information and camaraderie.  But later I noticed he was not at my side.
G2, I called where are you?
In my room playing Grandma.
Do you want me to  play too?
No, its okay Grandma.
G2, you aren’t playing with me the way you usually do.
Oh Grandma, I am more like (G1) now.  I am growing up.
Sigh.
On the Auntie Fran side of things I thought I would show you what we have been up to. Above is a sample of our art work compiled while we have tea and chat each day. ( I have no idea how to position photos with this site.)
Most often Fran sorts through her coloring pencils then will color a bit but spends most of the time chatting and watching me.
When we left our love bird story we had Fran who felt she was down to earth and realistic about her own unattractiveness and Uncle Jack who felt he could charm the world.
Fran had agreed finally to go out to dinner with him.  She says now she wasn’t particularly impressed at that first date but he was pleasant enough.  She politely declined the suggestion of another date and went on her merry way.  But he did persist.  I am not sure what the second date was but it was interesting enough that it caught her interest.  And that was enough to get her to the all important stage – meeting the family.
I mentioned previously that the group of nurses who traveled the world together stayed together.  When they arrived at a new place they all shared apartments.
Fran told me years ago how sometimes one of them would ‘bring home a man’ and then she felt compelled to launch into her lecture on such activities.  She told them that if they must engage in such activity then so be it, they were adults, but please make sure you do it on his territory.”
“You never soil your own nest.” A saying she would repeat again and again.  It was the sixties but ‘free love’ did not exist everywhere no matter what you hear.

Why Aging is Exactly Like a Leaky Roof 7/366

I think of myself as a healthy person.  Oh sure I am not without ‘condition’ as it were.  But I think that as long as the affliction is manageable then it means I am in good health.

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I went for a ‘follow up appointment’

Doc says, How are you?

I reply, I am great!  I feel good.

Doc says, Well there are a couple of things I want to discuss with you regarding your bloodwork.

Now keep in mind that when I was terribly ill for over a year every bit of blood work came back perfectly normal.

Well it appears my cholesterol is high.  I have been eternally proud of my cholesterol and my bone density.  They were what convinced me I am far younger than anyone knows.

I resisted but the fact is I had to go on a statin.  But I said could I not spend a couple of months making dietary adjustment?

Doc says no.  This is absolutely necessary right now.

I say, But that is an old person’s drug and you are on it for life.

Doc looks at me like perhaps I have an age defying problem.  Me? Never!  I just don’t think I am truly  as old as the people I grew up with.

Anyway, must head off to see our favorite aunt.

Oh the point is, as we age, we cannot be fixed so easily. No new roof to prevent the leaks, so all we can do is scatter pails, buckets (medications) to address each no leak as it happens.

6/366 When It’s Short It’s Probably Busy

 

I am in Hamilton staying overnight as I have an appointment in the morning here.

Saw my fave Aunt this morning, then it was off to my first Tai Chi class, which I loved, then motored to Hamilton.

Visiting with my newly returned from Hawaii family.  It’s only been four days so they are still sporting nice tans. The time zone adjustments took a bit of time but everyone seems back to normal.

Frannie gets a little confused sometimes and will think Jack is still alive (he has been gone more than a decade) and then when she remembers she grieves anew.  These days she is pretty good so all conversation is just nice memories.  We were talking about Jack’s fave hobby which was fishing.  Now Fran cannot abide anything that comes from the sea, especially if it was once alive and is now dead in preparation for consumption.

She never belittled his passion and would properly ooooo and ahhhh over the catch of the day. They respected each other’s feelings. Thank goodness Jack was an A1 cook and we would feast mightily.

There are no facts, only interpretations. – Friedrich Nietzsche. The truth I think that validates everything you have to say.

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