Whose Love Do You Need?

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Merry Christmas everyone! May your holiday season be merry and bright, and not because you polished off half a bottle of Aunty Edna’s raspberry wine, or have sampled Uncle Louie’s homegrown left handed cigarettes.  But I hope you are bursting with bubbly joyfulness because you know you are loved and cherished, not just by your family and friends but more so that you are loved and cherished by you—By the person, you see looking back at you each morning in the mirror.

I hope with all the hope I have that you experience a healthy dose of self-love this upcoming year and all the way into your future. Not only that but I hope all the self-love you cultivate sticks to you like tree sap on a Sasquatch. (And to all my perverted friends out there, the self-love I’m writing about comes from the heart— not from the hand.)

Maybe you are one of those people who has already discovered how to love themselves despite our judgemental society, or uninspired upbringing. If this is you, then you have unlocked life’s most valuable lesson. You know you are irreplaceable.  You have realized that when you dance to the rhythm of your own song you are vivacious. You have the knowledge that you are responsible for your own happiness, and you need to be your own personal hero because nobody is coming to save you.

Make no mistake, finding self-love isn’t a splendid stroll in the park. It’s a frightening walk in the deep dark forest of your mind. It’s the place inside you where your internal sneering self-talk is the sharp-fanged monster ready to tear your aspirations into shreds. Knowing you need to ignore that voice and being able to do it are two different things.

For instance, I get it. I know I’m supposed to love myself. I can totally appreciate that I would be further ahead in life if I could practice self-acceptance in each and every moment in my day. Yet, so far I haven’t been able to do that.  The blatant voice of self-judgement is insidious. Lately, it’s been whispering, and sometimes even screaming, ‘underachiever’ into my subconscious at every pause in my thoughts. It’s slightly depressing. Perhaps it’s because there is a twinkling of the truth.

Alas, we all have our own fiends to slay. And by the Gods of Oden (I’ve always wanted to write that), it’s not easy to nurture the love for oneself. So, in the spirit of the upcoming New Year that is wide open with possibilities, I am here to remind you, and me, that a steady stream of love and compassion towards oneself will vanquish our demons in the end.

I am honoured to be your friend, your family, and your companion on this journey of life. I wish you many blessing today and for the rest of the days to come.

In Dire Straights

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A cry for help can come from the oddest places. We all need a little help at one time or another throughout our lives. I’m not just talking about people needing help, but I’m referring to dogs and cats and horses and all those creatures who sometimes can’t pull themselves of the circumstances they find themselves locked into. It might even be a pigeon needing assistance. And that pigeon might even return the favor of you saving its ass by shitting on your car. However, we don’t go out of our way to assist others for a reward or for the appreciation from another being. We do it because we see a fellow creature in desperate need. The award is the uplifting feeling that arises within when individuals act together or alone towards a selfless goal.

Last spring I worked a shutdown at a pulp mill, I wasn’t involved in welding fractured metal or replacing worn pipes or cracking on wrenches to fine-tune a motor. I was a tank watch person. I was assigned each morning to watch the door of a vessel that may or may not have previously contained chemicals and caustic substances. I was responsible for ensuring the gas test was kept current for the people that would be working inside, and I was responsible for signing people in and out of the tank as they came and went to ensure everyone got out of the vessel safely.

One unusually warm spring day when the upper levels of the plant hovered near thirty-two degree’s, I was posted on the eleventh floor of the recovery boiler. My morning was passing as slowly as an ice cube melts in a chilled drink. The vessel I watched contained only one welder creating the odd burst of fireworks. The steady rumble of engines below vibrated through my feet on the steel grating. A shadow flickered by in my peripheral vision. I turned my head to the disturbance of light. Nothing existed there. I refocused my attention on the hatchway mesmerized by the reflection of the tradesman’s sparks dancing on the shiny metal. Again a shadow swept into the edge of my sight. I twisted around in time to witness a pigeon land on a pipe suspended from the ceiling. I sighed. Its outcome wasn’t promising. A few hours earlier, Marty, the gas tester had pointed out a couple of dehydrated pigeon husks at the top of an elevated section on the eleventh floor. I felt terrible. What an awful way to die. Trapped up here in a manmade dust bowl hearing nothing but the roar of machinery in the absence of sun and water.

Over the next forty-five minutes, the bird renewed its cycle of fluttering around and then landing intermittently. If a bird could pant, I would have thought it was panting. At one point it settled on the steel grating twenty feet away from me. The pigeon was noticeably distressed.

When the welder went downstairs to the camp trailer for his coffee break, I marked my vessel closed and tried to steer the bird towards a fenced off open shaft leading down to the bottom floor of the building. Maybe I could get it to dive down to freedom. It was going  well, the bird hopped up onto the cement border surrounding the shaft and cocked its head eyeing me up. Maybe it sensed the cooler fresh air wafting up the shaft. Perhaps it would escape the fate of its fleshless relatives on the eleventh floor. I hoped with all the hope I had that the bird would soon be liberated. I watched the pigeon spread its broad wings and leap off the cement curb. I held my breath— It dropped down and then quickly flew upwards and landed on the nearest metal platform.  I shook my head. Of course, it wouldn’t go down, pigeons aren’t diving birds.

I heaved out an exasperated sigh and spoke to the bird. “You know, I said tipping my head to the side, “If you would frickin co-operate with me I could pick you up and carry you outside?” The greyish blue pigeon tilted its head and eyed me with a curious stare. It blinked, and then I blinked. Now we were communicating. I crept up the stairs on the metal platform towards it. It side-stepped around to watch me. I spoke in a soothing tone, “That’s right, ohhh, you’re such a pretty bird. Good job, you’re doing wonderfully.” I continued approaching with sneaky movements. My hand was four inches away from the creature. I saw the thin layer of dust on its plumage, and the way it puffed in and out with stressful breathes. It looked nervous. It was going to fly. I made my move. I snatched at the bird, and my fingers brushed past its feathers as it flew away. I wrinkled my nose and growled— So close.

I glanced at my white-banded wrist watch. The welder wouldn’t be back for another twenty minutes. That would give me enough time to go down and use the bathroom and go to the tank watch trailer to refill my water. I pressed the button for the elevator. I waited a minute, and then I decided to take the stairs. If I stayed I’d be delayed forever because the elevator was always backed up at coffee time. As I trotted down the cement stairs, I poked around in my brain trying to stir up an idea how to trap the pigeon. After I had emptied my bladder and filled up my water, I headed back to my post. I lucked out, there was no line-up at the elevator. I pressed the button and abracadabra the doors opened.

I stepped inside, “Hi Mike, the eleventh floor please.”

“Sure thing,” he answered merrily, Mike always seemed to be in a good mood. He did this shut-down work as a part-time gig to supplement his retirement income and add a bit of diversity to his life. He usually had a tank watching assignment like myself, but today he was giving the elevator lady a break from her tedious job.

He pressed the button, and asked, “How’s it going up there?”

“Pretty good,” I said straightening my hard hat. “A bit boring though with only one welder working in the tank . How about you? Good times in the elevator?”

He chuckled, and then leaned back on his stool regarding me with a curious expression, “Actually,” he drawled. “You wouldn’t believe it? When I went up to the eleventh floor earlier and the door opened there was no one there— And then—a bloody pigeon walked right into the elevator.

My mouth dropped open and relief flooded into my body, the little pigeon was rescued from his prison of heat and dust. “That’s great,” I exclaimed, ”Did you give him a ride down?”

He frowned and scratched his gray head, “Well no— I shooed him away.”

“Oh,” I said as my face lost all enthusiasm for life.

Mike couldn’t help but notice, “Well, maybe he’ll still be there?”

“Yeah, maybe, I replied glumly.

We arrive on the eleventh floor, and the door slid open.

Mike leaned forward and the jabbed a finger towards the opening, “There it is.”

My excitement returned, and my eyes shimmered with glee, “Ok,” I whispered to Mike. “You hold the door open. I’ll herd it in, and then you take it to the ground floor and shush it out. The big door to the outside is right there, I’m sure it’ll find it’s way out from there.”

I moved stealthily out of the elevator while Mike kept the door open. I crouched down so I wouldn’t be as intimidating to the bird. Then I gently waved the pigeon in the direction of the elevator. The worn out fowl strutted right into the confined space like a well-trained trooper. Mike pushed the button to close the door as the pigeon hovered against the far wall. I grinned widely at my accomplice, “Good luck Mike, it’s all yours now.”

He smiled hesitantly, “See you later.”

The door shut and I couldn’t help but wonder if Mike would have pigeon shit in his hair the next time I saw him. Or even worse, what if the bird freaked out with claws extended frantic to escape the tight space? My co-worker might have bleeding gashes on top of his silver-haired head the next time I saw him. What have I instigated now?

On my lunch break, I actively searched for Mike. I exhaled a weighty sigh of relief when I found him. There was no bloody rips in his skin or bird shit in his hair. I plopped down on the chair beside him and asked, “How did the pigeon transport go?”

He giggled a bit and then went on with breathy expression, “Well, it started out alright.  The bird was as calm and as cool as could be. Even when the elevator started moving it simply looked around like it was no big deal. But then when we stopped on the fourth floor and  people got on—” Mike sucked in a deep breath of air and puffed it out shaking his head,  “It went crazy. The bird started flapping all over the place, and people were ducking and squealing.” He chuckled and leaned in close to me, “I closed the door anyhow. Then the pigeon really went bonkers— I thought, oh no— but then out of the blue a welder reached up and plucked the bird right out of the air. He tucked it under his arm, and when we arrived at ground level, he walked the little critter outside and set him free.” Mike shook his head with amazement, “I just couldn’t believe how quickly that guy snatched the bird out of the air.”

“That’s awesome,” I laughed. Big bubbles joy rose up inside me. One less husk on the eleventh floor. I slapped Mike enthusiastically on the shoulder, “Good job man, but I have to say after the door closed upstairs, I was worried about you, I had visions of you being covered in bird shit and claw marks.”

He chuckled, “Nope, no pigeon poop. But it wasn’t all me, you coaxed the bird into the elevator. I couldn’t believe how you ushered it in. Boop, boop, boop.”

“That part was easy, I had plenty of practice shepherding chickens when I was younger.” I paused. “But that welder you mentioned? That was cool.” I pause trying to find the words to describe what we had done, “What’s that saying? It takes a village to raise a child? Well, apparently it takes a work crew to free a pigeon.”

That was a good day. It was such a brilliant feeling to help a creature that was in dire straits. I hope you have a pigeon rescuing kind of day.

Farewell Valentines Day

September 2009 to March 2010-18

It’s one day after the love fest of February 14. My better half was away at work this week. It was for the best. My peri-menopausal hell decided to torture me with a wakeful sleep, so I was up at 4:00 am making heart-shaped gingerbread cookies. Later that morning I dropped off cookie care packages for the neighbors, and my sister and her family. My last stop was my daughter’s house to see the grand-girls. It was the highlight of my day. Kids can always make a person feel special. It’s the way their faces light up when they see you. It’s how their little legs sprint forward to greet you. It’s the best moment in the world when they complete their connection to you and leap into your arms squeezing so tight. Wow! That moment in time is an exploding firecracker of joy in the heart.

After partaking in a great deal of playing horsey and talking figurines, I went home. The rest of my Valentines Day was an orgy of leftovers by the light of my computer watching a romantic movie. I trusted the movie’s rating of 71% inspiring to view by rotten tomatoes. It was a 99-cent movie. I didn’t want to rent a full priced movie for only one set of eyes. My tendency to be frugal has recently been intensified due to the tax burden. After watching it, I decided 99 cents is how much it cost to produce it. The show was a total dud. I found myself wishing for a spring house fly to hatch, so I had something more entertaining to watch. There was more drama in my morning bowel movement than there was in the entire movie. I know, I shouldn’t complain. At least I have a computer. I could have shut it off. But I spent a whole .99 cents on that movie and I needed to see it through. IT’s money. I could have bought a can of vegetables, or can of tomato paste with those 99 cents. I suppose I could have purchased something else at the dollar store, but since I boycotted China, I don’t shop there anymore.

Anyway, I hope your Valentines Day consisted of at least one exploding firecracker moment in the heart. And I trust it wasn’t a heart attack, and it’s love.

Fresh Start

September 2009 to March 2010-76

Welcome 2018

Screech! I hope this isn’t a sound you hear this year, with the exception of driving of course. You want to hear a healthy screech when you slam on the brakes to avoid hitting a pet, or a child, or three adolescent lynxes running across the road. Oh, and maybe an adult human, I guess you might want to brake for an adult  human too. Unless you’re an asshole, and then all bets are off. What I am trying to say in a rambling sort of way is stop hitting the brake pedal on your dreams. Ignore the hesitation within yourself. Smash the desire to toss those bright and shiny dreams in the garbage just because they might be hard to accomplish.

Seriously though, this is your fresh start. Begin. Make your wishes a priority. Do you want to travel? Maybe you can’t do it today, but you can start by planning for it today. Is it the cost of travelling which is stopping you? Begin by budgeting your money, read blogs and articles on how to save money, buy stuff at a second hand store, shop the deals in a grocery flyer, and cook your own meals. There are infinite ways to tighten ye ole purse strings.

Maybe this year is the year to lose the extra jiggle on your middle? It’s probably the number one New Years promise (lie). And do you know why people fail? It’s because they cut out everything they enjoy doing and eating on January 1 and replace it with gut wrenching gym programs, and tasteless food you need to chew for an hour before swallowing. The reason people can’t make it past week three of the program is because they are pure misery and still have the jiggle. Not only that, but they are feeling unsupported because their significant other is MIA. What they don’t realize is their significant other is probably hiding in the closet or under the couch. They are avoiding the swoosh of the fun Dracula which sweeps in when you enter the room. Please, for the happiness of those people around you, go slowly into the big life changes. The only thing shock starts are good for, are for jolting your heart when it stops beating. Begin your get fit program with a fifteen minute work out and build up to an hour. Change your diet a little at a time. Wean yourself slowly off the sugars, fats, and breads and gently incorporate healthier food choices. Have one food cheat day, and one exercise free day once a week. Be nice to yourself, changing your body takes time, tiny steps evolve into going the distance with less discomfort. And lets be honest, most people don’t enjoy discomfort.

Maybe this year you are dreaming of a gershnoskel upgrade? Maybe you have one of those snot collectors which have begun to look a little lumpy in a mushroomy sort of way, or it sweeps everything off a shelf when you turn around. If it bothers you fix it. There are people who are trained to deal with the genetic whoopsies in our personal form. Maybe this is the year of the nose job?

As you endeavour to change yourself this year don’t forget you have the ability to change the world as well. Recycle, buy local when you can, and if you can’t purchase something you need locally then please consider what type of country you are supporting with your money. Continuing to purchase “Made in China” products supports human rights violations, suppression of human expression, and death sentences for those people who dare to challenge the injustices in their country. I am so grateful to live in a country where I am free.

Whatever you choose for yourself in 2018, I wish you the most honest effort. I wish you foot off the brakes oodles of dedication. I wish you the simplicity of kindness towards yourself and then towards others. It is an important practice as you’ll soon discover travelling to your dream destination. On the plane they will inform you it is necessary to put on your own oxygen mask first before you are able to help others. This is often the case in life. Your dreams are personal. If you are focused — Anything is possible. All you have to do is to commit.

Have a blow your mind, bloody amazing New Year!

Best Road Ever

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Right or Left?

Fasten your seatbelts and take a moment to tumble into this line from Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken’,

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—“

In the past I have finished this sentence by cavorting along the path of life tossing confetti into the air and watching it fall around me. I confess to chasing small forest creatures into the bush and losing my way. Today I realize I am at a fork in my road. And I really hope I don’t fork this up. This year I decided to forgo flitting down the trail and becoming distracted by things such as the light filtering through the trees. I decided I am picking my path with purpose. No more darting off into the trees to chase squirrels for me. I think I may have been a Canadian cur in a previous life.

How about you? Do you have insight as to why you choose the road you’re currently on? Do you stay focused on your route ahead? Do you believe the choices before you are vast and open? I hope you can recognize your potential and brilliance.

You are unlimited.

Continue moving forward, one foot in front of the other, pause to catch your breath, do a little cha cha cha, and keep going. A sure fire strategy to fulfilling your aspirations is to keep travelling. Maybe there will be more forks in your road? No worries take a break consider your options and go. Refuse to halt your progress, balk at becoming a stagnant pool of decomposing sludge. Sometimes fear will whisper in your ear, “Stop, you’re making a fool of yourself. The only thing ahead of you is ridicule and failure. Don’t listen, return your focus to your goals. Move! Dance along the road of existence with a smile on your face. You know where you are going. Simply wrap yourself in the clothing of possibility for the journey. As you continue forward, you will soon find the momentum of your decision will carry you into your future with ease.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—”

Purchase With Your Heart

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It’s stunning; a human being has such a grand capacity to love, and yet a grand capacity to turn a blind eye when it’s uncomfortable. Human organ trafficking in China is one of those things. Despite all of our world’s brilliant technological advances it has done little to foster love and respect for our fellow mankind. In China, it seems supplying organs for a price is a convenient way to get rid of troublemakers and make a quick buck on the side. Maybe it sounds like I’m taking this lightly, but believe me I am physically ill and emotionally beside myself with disgust and sadness. How can this happen?

When this issue first came to light years ago, China denied it happened, and then when an overwhelming amount of facts supporting the claims surfaced they admitted it does happen, and then China quickly promised it would be handled. Recently more evidence has come to light that nothing has changed. The answers from China flow from yes to no depending on the amount of corroboration that exists to prove the organ transplants from unwilling donors continue. For all intensive purposes, bloody money isn’t something the Chinese government would voluntarily announce to the world. They are a savvy business people. They have their fingers in the business pies of most every country in the world.

When I first read the article The Reality Of Organ Harvesting in China , I felt nauseated. How can slaughtering people for their organs go on in this day and age? Most of the organs are harvested from prisoners of conscience, the Falun Gong , Tibetan, Uyghur, and select House Christians. Can you imagine being slaughtered for body parts simply because you hold different religious and political views than your government? I’d be dead by now. This sounds like something out of a science fiction horror novel. Yet it is happening.

Maybe you’re asking yourself, but what can we do? Well, I finally decided to stop buying products made in China. I’d seen the boycott China logo elsewhere, and I had already been humming and hawing about no longer purchasing from China due to their low quality items with the big ticket pollution tag. Did you know China tops WHO list for deadly outdoor air pollution, and 70% of their own companies break their own environmental standards. It’s not a place I want to support, but I’ll tell you, it’s tough not to buy from China. They have their fingerprint on almost everything. However, I will persist and find alternatives, learning of the forced organ donations is enough of an incentive for me to give China the middle finger. You get no more money from me— Sorry kids no more toys for you.

Let your dollars speak for you, pay for quality, pay to ensure people are treated with respect, and pay for the knowledge that factories are up to environmental standards regarding industrial waste and emissions. Don’t you want to know your product came from a country that had the Earths and peoples best interests at heart? We cannot regulate factories owned by another country halfway across the world but we can at home.

At this point I ask — Where are all these wealthy people who were protesting North American pollution? Why don’t they put their money where their mouth is and invest in caring for people with positive, well-paid work environments, and Earth friendly factories instead of protesting? You have the financial means to really make a difference. You will never be remembered by the amount of money you have— You will be remembered by what you did. Go make a difference, and then you can have verbal diarrhea about dirty polluting North American companies.

North Americans are magnificently practiced at having dramatic rant and raves about injustice. Now is a great time to put your money where your mouth is, and I’m not asking you to give it away. I am simply asking you to consider where your money is going. Is it going to a country which abuses it’s people, or empowers people? We can be the difference. Just think, one voice is a whisper, but many are a scream. Our voice is our purchasing power—Boycott made in China.

Dealing With Depression

September 2009 to March 2010-18

The heaviness is daunting; your body weighs more than it should, even if you’re the size of a twig. The effort to accomplish anything in your day is like wading through chest deep water to get it done. You pretend to be fine but your emotions range from sad to numb. Hope is far from your heart, you think it is a magical feeling at the end of someone else’s rainbow. You wonder why you can’t rise up out of this dark funk. There must be something seriously wrong with you. Some fatal flaw, and if anyone sees it— they will walk away, and you will be even more alone than you already feel.

I’ve been there, on the edge of actually living, in the deep depths of personal anguish. It’s not something easily shared. It can be hidden from everyone who loves you. It’s both frightening and amazing that even as you toy with the idea of ending it all— no one knows.

Addiction and mental illness runs strongly through my bloodlines on both sides. So I am a well-bred pony for running the distance with alcoholism, depression, and bi-polar. I experienced depression on and off in my life. Thankfully I am well now and throughout my years of struggle with this very private affliction I discovered essential practices that hastened my healing dramatically.

Step one is to seek professional help. If you are reluctant to do so because you fear the stigma or other reasons, then try the steps I have listed below, they can be effective for mild depression. However, if you commit to the following steps and they do not help please, please, seek professional guidance.

Step two is by far the most important self-help step; this is like making sure you put on a seatbelt before you go on a roller coaster ride. Practice appreciation; find the time to feel reverence for life each and everyday. I understand the walls you have built up inside yourself might not allow the feeling of appreciation to get through at first, so practice on small things. Maybe a dazzling butterfly that landed in your garden? Or the sunlight shining down through the grey clouds? Maybe observe the perfection of the tiny fingernails on a baby’s hand? Or become mesmerized by the soft curved eyelashes on a sleeping toddlers face? The point here, is to try and find love and appreciation for something that opens your heart. If you begin to feel the positive flow of love and appreciation extend it to yourself. Then expand it to include other people, moments, and things. It can be a two-minute practice a few times a day. Or a longer practice once a day. The trick is to get your mind moving out of the negative thought patterns that inundate you when you are depressed. I came across a video on you tube quite a few years ago and if you are having troubles opening your heart to appreciation it may bring aid. You might need a Kleenex box beside you when you watch it, A good day with Brother David Steindl-Rast. (click on A good day and Shazam you’re at the video)

Step three is to withdraw from the news, and any sort of TV shows encouraging judgement of others. When we are depressed all we hear is our own negative judgement on ourselves and on our lives. Hearing judgement of others and seeing it on TV just reinforces our dark side if you will.

Step four is to engage in some type of exercise. Again, I realize this isn’t an easy task because the last thing you feel like doing when you are walking through water chest deep everyday is to exercise. Trust me and do it anyway, maybe go swimming; you’re in the water anyway. It will help. I promise. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym. Start slowly— ten minutes a day, five minutes? Whatever? Just do something and then increase the time you do it every few days.

Step five is to buy a herbal cleanse, of course check with your health care provider to ensure it is compatible with anything else you might be taking. They might pooh pooh the whole idea but poop, pooping can be very good for you. Think about it this way, our intestines are like long lines of curved pipes, over our life they accumulate sludge and chemicals from the food we eat. Just like the pipes in the house, depending on what you put in them, the sludge will build up to the point of affecting the septic system. It’s the same with your body. A cleanse will loosen up the sludge and clear it out. The chemicals in the sludge could be contributing to the way you feel. I have one word of caution for you if you begin a cleanse— toilet. Stay close to a toilet during the first few days.

Step six is to watch your diet. I know– now you’re thinking this blog sucks, not only does she want me to exercise, quit watching TV and destroy my bathroom with a ridiculous amounts of pooping, now she wants me to diet! What a bitch! Yes, I can accept that. I actually want you to call me every rotten stinking name you have stored away in your hostile little heart. Get it all out. You can even call me the C word, and I hate that word more than Donald Trump himself. I just want you to feel better. I want you to find that spark inside your heart and tend to it until you have a roaring blaze of life inside you. So back to diet, it’s pretty basic, eat vegetables, fruit, protein, whole grains, healthy oils and fats like avocado oil, olive oil, grape seed oil and butter, limit your sugars, use NON-GMO when possible, and go ahead and cheat occasionally. However, when you cheat be prepared for the addictive nature of sugar, once you have the chocolate bar your going to want more, same with salty snacks. Being forewarned is forearmed against food craving attacks.

Step seven is to limit your contact with people who push you into the spiralling dark hole of hopelessness. If you are in a close relationship with them they will notice your absence. That means you might have to take a couple puffs of a big gagger and give it to them straight. If you can do it without the puffs, all the better, but it doesn’t mean you get to be nasty and accusatory. Just be firm, this is your life. Tell them like it is, you are working on getting well and you need some distance. Anyone who truly cares for you will support your decision.

Step eight is to keep a journal and write whatever you want in it, and then burn the pages when you are done. It is an emotionally purifying exercise where you can vent and then release the emotions by turning them to ash.

Step nine is to meditate, or practice Reiki, or Qui Gong, these practices allow for a positive frame of mind. They all aid in letting go of damaging beliefs. Research each and see which one appeals to you. I practice Reiki myself because I can easily access love and acceptance for myself within the practice. Meditation and Qui Gong are excellent as well, and there are many free practices to be found on YouTube.

Step ten is to unplug from technology period. No social media, no checking status or messages. Who’s more important to your survival? Other people or you? Go for a walk without your phone, listen to music, have an epsom salt bath, whatever, just please, find out how good it feels to unplug. It’ll be difficult at first but I know you can do this. People had no technology for hundreds of years and they were much happier for it. An hour a day away from electronics will not kill you. That’s my mama talking.

So go ahead and kick depressions butt, it doesn’t have to rule your world. You can change your outcome. You can find joy again. The only thing you have control of in this entire world is you. So get hopeful, and practice the steps which make you strong. You’ve got this lovely person.

Mind Your Own Bees Wax

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Well, let me just say, “I take offense to your offense, and I am super offended because you think I offended you. When really it’s you that offends me because you’ve taken offence to some perceived insult.”

The definition of perceived is to interpret something or someone in a certain way.

If everyone would just mind their own bee’s wax we’d have plenty of bees, and wax, and the world would continue to spin in the appropriate way.

I think we should operate on every single person and take out their offense button, and while we’re at it we should take out the perceived button so they can simply see the facts instead of interpreting people and things a certain way. It’ll make Deputy Dog’s job easier, “Just the fact Ma’am, I only need to know the facts.

I despise feeling offended. I want to be all peace, and love, and Zen. I want to sit in my mellow space with my diffuser spewing out the scent of lemongrass and bergamot. I’d like to keep my, everything will work out fine attitude. It seems I can’t.

I have unwittingly joined the ranks of other Canadians becoming a wee bit hypersensitive these days. Not only have I felt offended, now I’ve become on edge about opening my mouth, I might say the wrong thing. I might behave… God forbid, politically incorrect. Knowing this, I’ve come to believe that sometimes people lie about what they actually believe in order to prevent offending anyone else. This is a tragedy. Pressuring people to think a certain way promotes a bunch of phonies running around not truly supporting anything.

I would rather meet an honest person who displays their true colors with disagreement, than meet the one who is pretending to follow todays latest politically correct agenda. Lets be honest, you can only have an engaging and enlightening discussion with someone if they are offering you an accurate view they have of the world. Arguing different viewpoints doesn’t necessarily mean anybody’s wrong or right. It generally means the truth lies somewhere in the middle. A difference of opinion does not mean one person is bad and the other is good. The gray areas in life are far more profuse than black and white. I’ve taken to adding more gray clothing to my wardrobe in support of that very point.

Truth be known, it’s the politics in the country that really jabs the button on my feeling offended. Every time I look at the news headlines it jolts my Feeling Offended button just like a pre-schooler hitting the crosswalk button a hundred times.

I’ve come to the conclusion I should start wearing a paper bag on my head.

If you saw me, you might ask, “Why are you wearing a paper bag on your head?”

I might shrug brushing the bottom of the bag with my shoulders and answer, “It’s because I’ve taken offense to my own offense. I am so tired of being offended. It’s utterly exhausting.”

“I still don’t understand?” you would ask, “Why would you wear a paper bag on your head just because you’re offended?”

“It’s a corrective action, it stops me from looking around for more things to be offended about.” I said. “It forces me to mind my own bee’s wax.”

You might make a face, “But then you’ll miss all the other wonderful things going on in the world.”

I’d shake my head and the bag might shift slightly, “Not really, I miss them anyways by always searching for things to be offended about. This way, if I mind my own bees wax for a while, I’ll have enough wax to do my own Bikini line.”

Golly Gee Wilikers, Is That You Superman?

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I love fun. I adore Halloween. I’m a teeny bit disappointed my Hubby and I didn’t dress up and attend the local Halloween bash this year. However, Rick’s been working long days, his sixty-hour week drags him down, so he was too taxed to Tango, literally. He’s been wondering if all his hard work is worth it, when half his wages go to paying taxes.

I know, here I go again. I keep telling myself I’m done, I will not write about Justin Trudeau anymore. I will not destroy my peaceful existence with another rant. But… Did you see the latest? And this comment is not because I am a stick in the Halloween goo, because I love it when people wear costumes at work on the spooktacular day.  However, when I saw Trudeau dressed up as Clark Kent, A.K.A Superman, I couldn’t help but do a tremendous eye-roll. I’m talking freaky pupils gone eye-roll, I actually lost vision in both eyes for a few seconds, and I admit to being grateful for it, because then I didn’t have to see Justin’s self-satisfied smirk any longer.

So now our egomaniacal Prime Minister thinks he’s slugging it out in the trenches and defeating evil at every turn like Superman. The audacity of him, you know, he could have reached for the joke. He could have disarmed his critics and haters with something fun. He could have dressed up like a beaver, or a polar bear, or a pair of socks? But no, he chose Superman. Once again he demonstrates his ego on a large scale. He see’s himself as the most powerful being on planet Earth. He chooses a Superhero created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, high school students living in Cleveland Ohio. Why didn’t he choose a Canadian Superhero like Wolverine, created in Cold Lake, Alberta, or Captain Canuck, created by Richard Comely, out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Or is that all too domestic, and too Canadian for our worldly Prime Minister?

I am not a fan of a counterfeit smile.

I am a fan of an honest demeanour. I believe in humanitarian efforts, I believe in legalizing marijuana, and yes I would even champion a carbon tax if all that money were going directly towards supporting clean energy options. I believe Quebec, and any other province which dumps sewage into our waterways should be held accountable.  I believe Canada should manufacture more products at home. I believe we should be actively recruiting and developing inventive minds. I believe in creating positive trading relations with countries who have the same fundamental beliefs as our own country, freedom of expression, freedom to protest, freedom of religion unless it causes harm to others, (no devil worship please, sacrifices are generally not voluntary ) freedom of sexual orientation, and strong child protection laws.

What I am not a fan of however, is a hypocrite. On that note, I do not agree with all of Trudeau’s renovations, expensive holidays, and costly meals when he is away from the country, which seems to be a great deal of the time. I do not agree with the whopping deficit his government is incurring for the Canadian people. I especially do not agree with Trudeau’s deal with China. If the Trudeau government is so concerned about the welfare and rights of people, why is he striking trade agreements with countries like China? Do you want to  support an authoritarian regime by doing business with them? Have a look at these articles. This is Trudeau’s choice of trade partner—  the Amnesty report on China for 2016/2017China’s deadly secret, and last, but not least Trudeau urges Canadian companies to do business with China.

This is why I’m not sailing along on the Trudeaumania love boat. Justin can’t possibly represent Superman, because Superman would never deal with a country which denies their people creative freedoms, and silences outspoken human rights activists through harassment, imprisonment, and torture.

Looking forward to next Halloween. God? Is that you?

Becoming A Wisengeezer

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If I were in the twilight years of life.

So the other day I asked my step-mom, Gil to give me a topic for my blog. “Anything,” I said. “It can be anything at all.”

She suggested I let my imagination zip into the future and write a profile of myself as a senior. At first I though, Ack! Kill me now! I don’t want to think about sagging body bits, bowel dysfunctions or misfires, failing eyesight, hearing loss, thinning hair, or extra pounds sneaking onto my meat suit. It’s not funny. I’m too close, it’s a freakin horror show. However, frightening or not, it’s a fact of life. It’s one most of us will have to face— if we’re lucky enough to make it to the coons age.

I trampled my resistance to the topic of aging, and after allowing the idea to ruminate in my mind. I came to the conclusion writing this would be more fun than putting Capri’s on a camel.

I believe old age is a state of mind, you’re only old and defunct, if you believe you are old and defunct. Bing bang boom, I arrive in my mid sixties with a face more like a prune than a raisin, but a sassy looking prune with a smile. My eyes droop at the corners, and my eyelids hang like a Bassett hounds. My super duper elastic reinforced bra keeps my boobies in line, as I never believed in letting them hang down and swing to and fro. My hair is far too thin for a lady, I’ve taken to wearing a wig with dreadlocks, I always wanted dreads. The skin on my body has the appearance of crepe paper but underneath my muscles are toned by exercising to rap music, every time I hear an explicit lyric I lift weights, or do an abdominal hold, or complete a series of leg raises.

In an effort to avoid a hum drum existence I would most likely take a few classes, a scrapbooking class, using pictures and phrases to capture the dastardly deeds I had done, or wished I had done in my life, scratch and sniff stickers included but not advised. In keeping with my creative side, I give birth to my own You Tube Channel featuring shows with local talent like Batwing Granny, Nightmare on Forgetful Street, Grandpas Gone Wild, Gummy Gummy Grandma, and Dr. Who?

Maybe I’ll finally learn to play an instrument with expertise, cello, piano, or fellatio? If my Hubby is still with me we could go out to political rallies and take turns heckling the politicians.

I could take up home brewing tequila, and have a ring around the rosie party with shots. Ring around the rosie, glasses full of boozy, cheers, cheers, we all fall down.

If my hubby is no longer with me I could go fishing on the weekend. I would catch and release. I know all the good ones are already dead or taken.

In the summer I’d plan a holiday in a recreational vehicle as a stowaway.

I’ll become an active participant in organizations similar to The Red Hat Society, but with more grit. I could join The Association of Gravestone Studies for future reference? Or maybe I would sit on the board of The National Association for Self-Esteem, but only if I’m good enough.

If my kids are sick of me and send me to a seniors living residence I’d become the local bookie, I’d take bets on the date of death for the oldest residents, no cheating allowed. The odds would go up or down according to physical ailments. In that atmosphere I could see myself enjoying some of the handicraft courses they might offer, instead of Build-A- Bear, it would be Build-A-Dildo, satisfaction guaranteed. Or I could take a pottery class. I would get my fingers in the clay and design my own urn.

If I needed some extra pocket money I’d get a phone sales job, where my husky voice, clear phone connection, and thorough knowledge of Fifty Shades Of Grey will really pay off. On a slow evening I could sell some irrelevant things on line, like the neighbours stuff. Or, I could hang out on the fringes of someone else’s busy garage sale and collect the money. Nothing says honest like saggy skin, silver hair, and age spots.

If I’m fortunate enough to live in my home as a senior I might get a pet, maybe a bird, a macaw, Id teach it an altered idea from Shakespeare, “To be or not to be? Soon it will no longer be a question.”

Seriously though, when I really do become a senior— I hope the attention I have given to eating healthy, being physically active, mentally exercised, and being emotionally aware will bring me into old age with a positive attitude. If not? Well then, roll me a giddy stick of the devil’s cabbage kiddo’s, with the new medicinal marijuana laws coming into play, there is no way life is gonna bring me down. That’s deaths job.

I dedicate this spontaneous blogarrhea to my most wonderful step-mom, Gil. She’s a good step-mom, her demons were exorcized long ago.