Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday

I should be in bed. It is after my bedtime and I always lie in bed flip-flopping for a while before falling asleep. I suspect that I am beginning to dread slipping in between the sheets for that unsuspecting enemy to pounce (my brain!). All the things I avoid by doing fun things like vacuuming, laundry, canning and coffee surface when I try to turn off for the night.

"what am I going to do tomorrow?"
"What am I going to be when I grow up?"
"When am I not going to be lonely all the time and be happy with my own company?"

That is a hard one. They are all hard actually, but the last one seems to dictate how the other ones will go. I had a good conversation over my coffee today with a sage man who has entered my life. Ron has been married for almost 40 years and has seen much good and bad in his life. He has had many doubts and battles, victories and stalemates. He is another person who believes in me. I have people in my life that are my champions. They think I am a wonderful person and wonder why I don't too. Why don't I? I am kind and generous to those around me. I seem to even have my kids fooled into thinking that. I view the world as a good place, where the potential to learn surrounds us. I try to think generously of most people. Our faults are a product of our environment and history and do not make us bad people. Everyone has redeeming features. Even me. I am a beautiful person. Yes, I am. This is me testing the waters to see if I believe this. I think there is merit in my praise, but am just not comfortable with loving kindness. This is my stumbling block that I need to work on. When I can offer myself loving kindness, the world will open to me. I know it. Really, the only one that matters out there is me. Once I love me, then I will be comfortable with all the love that the world has to offer. I can accomplish much with that love.

So the problem? I am scared. I am stuck behind a habit of not loving me. It comes with grief, but I suspect there is more there. Time is offering me insights.

Tonight, I need to sleep. That will help me be kind to me tomorrow. The sigh ends the day...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Autumn


Autumn can be a beautiful time of year. The falling leaves are pretty and litter my house, due to another lover of nature in my midst. Last year, T's cubby at daycare had no bottom, for the leaves that accumulated there. I can spy two pretty red, yellow and green maple leaves tucked under a toddler chair from where I sit. Goodbye summer!

The weather has changed. Fall has definitely arrived. Time for the shorts to say goodbye for another season. The sweaters and dreaded socks must be pulled on. All the canning I have done this fall should have been an indicator, but the wind and clouds have blown away my smiles. I am going into hibernation. Inaction seems to be creeping in. A few more batches of canned treats to make, just to fill the hours.

How come I cannot just wake up when my life returns to spring? So much work. I do not feel like I have the strength or will to make it happen today. Maybe another day.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Credo

This is taken from something offered to me at a favourite place of mine; Wellspring. They have been a centre of love and healing for me. I have leaned on them in time of need. They give back with smiles and hugs. They let me know I am not alone and I am worthy. That resonates with me today. Here is the credo:

CREDO
I believe grief is a process that involves a lot of time, energy and determination. I won't get over "it" in a hurry, so don't rush me!

I believe grief is intensely personal. This is my grief. Don't tell me how I should be doing it. Don't tell me what's right or what's wrong. I'm doing it my way, in my time.

I believe grief is affecting me in many ways. I am being affected spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially and mentally. If I'm not acting like my old self, it's because I'm not my old self and some days even I don't understand myself.

I believe I will be affected in some way by this loss for the rest of my life. As I get older, I will have new insights into what this death means to me. My loved one will continue to be part of my life and influence me until the day I die.

I believe I am being changed by this process. I see life differently. Some things that were once important to me aren't. Some things I used to pay little or no attention to, are now important. I think a new "ME" is emerging, so don't be surprised - and don't stand in the way.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Letting Go

*Ok Laura, this one's for you! I think you have slipped in there too Corrie.

Change is hard. People often offer platitudes of "it will be okay" or "you'll adjust". When it comes right down to it though, it isn't okay and you often do not want to adjust. Sometimes we seek change, but often change happens. Change can be the loss of a spouse, child or friend, moving to a new home, starting a new job/career/school or even waking up in the morning. Change happens every day.

Why is change often so scary? It is something new. It may offer brilliant new opportunities and wonderful new people. Or it may challenge our concept of who we are and who we want to be seen as. It can bring unknown experiences that may be good or bad. Sometimes change brings pain. We are leaving the old me behind. Life will not be as it was before and there is security in the familiar. It does not always matter if that familiarity is positive or negative. It is familiar.

Alas, we cannot avoid life and the inevitable steps forward it brings. It is okay to mourn what we have had. I feel we respect ourselves and that time to offer it a sad goodbye. Change is hard and we need to allow that it is hard. Life is a never ending challenge and we are all warriors for getting up and facing that change every day. However much we may want or not want it, life happens. Lean on me and we will get by.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Glory days of Fall

As you may be able to guess from my last post, I have been keeping busy the last little while with some canning. I am absolutely tickled by my activities in the kitchen. Today I made strawberry jam. It was made from berries picked yesterday by my children, niece, sister and me. I also have salsa bubbling on the stove as we speak, again from tomatoes selected from the field by myself. Last week, my endeavours were pickled beets and dill pickles. I had never made either, so we shall find out in a few months how my first attempt at pickling went. It is all a very earthy and satisfying process that I am glorying in.

And to top it all off, I have laundry blowing on the line. I am so crunchy granola it is silly. I love it!

Recipe for Homemade Tomato Salsa | Salsa Recipe | Cookingnook.com

Recipe for Homemade Tomato Salsa | Salsa Recipe | Cookingnook.com: "Salsa
8 cups tomatoes, chopped finely
1½ cups onions, coarsely chopped
½ cup green pepper, coarsely chopped
½ cup red pepper, coarsely chopped
6 -7 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup coriander, finely chopped
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon white (or black) pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium once it comes to a boil.
Simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and ladle into hot, sterilized jars. Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes if the salsa is to be stored for a while.
If you do not process the salsa in the boiling water bath it must be eaten within a few days.
This tomato salsa recipe makes 6 - 2 cup jars.
Enjoy all year round. This recipe also makes a great 'from the kitchen' gift.



Variation:

Add chopped hot peppers or hot sauce to your taste to up the heat content.
Add 1 cup of sour cream to 1 cup of salsa for a delicious creamy dip."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Loving Kindness


I suppose that some day my sensitive edge will be worn down a little. I am not always sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Sad movies, sensitive comments and poignant recollections can all bring me to tears or at least the brink of. I think that is just who I am.

Today I was praised for my efforts to help another soul at a time when they have need. I am doing some gardening for a woman who is dying of lymphoma. I reflected on where this woman and her husband are in their life and how it felt when I was there (tears in memory and the back of my throat). Nothing can change where she is, but sometimes kindnesses can make it better. I have been shown kindnesses from extraordinary and surprising people. Giving to Michelle in some ways is giving back to me. While in my weekly yoga class, I was reminded to be kind to myself, as well as others in our world. While a general thought put out there in class, I felt like it could have been directed solely at myself. I have a hard time being kind to myself, but am trying to work on that. First step is recognition that I am harder on myself than I deserve.

I was also touched by an old friend's step out of her comfort bounds (feeling like it had a teensy wee bit to do with me). Life hands everyone challenges. I do not have the hardest or saddest story out there. We all have our stories to tell and crosses to bear. Do I truly know this? For a long time after Brad died, I honestly did not care about other people's miseries and trials. I have been told that is typical of grief and normal. In beating myself up and challenging my confidences, am I just fooling myself that I have that saddest, worst story to tell? Poor me? I want to let it go, but that is the cross I have chosen to bear at present. If others can see my worthiness and strengths, perhaps some day the shackles of my biggest enemy, mine own self, will fall off and be set free. Perhaps I do not need to share these deepest darkest demons, but I know we all have our demons. I believe that speaking them and exposing them takes some of their ultimate power away. At least that is a hope and faith that I carry.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sunny days


I had the generous pleasure of working in someone's garden today. I have been given the opportunity to take someone's personal space that they love and make it a little better. The woman is very ill and is allowing me to putter in her corner of the world. She has a beautiful garden and I get to freshen it up. It makes the earth smile, her and her husband smile and myself smile right back. It feels wonderful and the smile that it put on my face was reflected back at me from several other people over the rest of the day. I thrive on those smiles and hugs. They mean as much from strangers as from old friends and they all equate to a better world. Hopefully tomorrow someone will share a smile with me that will shine through the rest of my day. Maybe my own genuine smile will brighten someone else's day and that will touch you too ...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Trying to go through life looking for new meaning is just plain old hard work. I get up in the morning and think "Maybe today is the day that inspiration will reach out and hand me a new life path to tread on". I keep hoping that divine inspiration will find me and graciously lead me to where I ought to be. I tentatively peek through newspapers and in new web sites I come across. It has happened in the past. Maybe it will happen again.

Or maybe I will have to sit down and work at it. Perhaps I will actually have to contact a career counsellor and figure out the path in front of me. I might have to actually dig the path and pave it with more than just wishes and dreams. Watch out resume! I might just brush you off and creak open the closet to find work apparel. Anyone need a helper? I can garden, and run errands, and am flexible ...

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