Kickin’ it Old Skool – Time Capsule

This month I’m…

Old Skool Badge Rounded with stars 250 x 250

with Jamie Ridler and Suzie Ridler.

Today’s prompt is to create a Time Capsule and we’re capturing this moment in time for each of us:

1.  What are you reading?

Right now I’m reading a couple of books, which is normal for me having lots of projects on the go.  You can see what I’m reading by checking out my Goodreads link on the right  hand of the page.  In addition to those books, I’m also reading Creative Journal Writing by Stephanie Dowrick.  I’m really trying to get in the swing of journaling and going inward to paying attention to my intuition.

2. What are you watching?

I’ve recently gotten into some HBO-type shows lately.  Specifically “Masters of Sex”, a tv show about Masters and Johnson.  I also have a guilty-pleasure tv show of Sons of Anarchy.  I’m not sure what really draws me to it, I am a very peaceful person and fast-forward past any violence–I think it takes me back to my previous life of “bad-ass” living.  I also really love some of the music shows such as The Voice and dancing shows such as Dancing with the Stars.

3. What are you listening to?

I’m currently listening to previous contestants of The Voice–their versions of songs that I really liked.  I also really love 60’s rock music.  There’s a part of me that is very definitely a hippie even though it happened just before my time.  I also love very unique-sounding artists like Macy Gray who are not so very main-stream.

4.  What are you loving?

I am loving a great cup of tea.  My puppy, Ruby (see picture on right side bar).  A great pair of stretchy jeans that are very comfortable.  The emotional support of family and friends while I heal from a leg injury.

I am loving that size acceptance/body diversity/body acceptance is becoming more main-stream and us women can learn to accept ourselves the way we are and not feel we have to apologize in subtle or overt ways for the way we look–knowing that comparing ourselves in any way to what the media portrays is real (us) vs fake (media–air-brushed, etc.).  Oh, and Pinterest.  Absolutely LOVE Pinterest–actually a bit addicted…

5. What are you wearing?

Lately, I’ve only been wearing comfortable clothes, pj’s, sweat’s, or above stretchy jeans.  With the leg injury it’s been a lot of lying on my back with my leg propped up on pillows.  I’ve been off work for a month and will probably be off a month more but will be starting to move more this next month to get prepared for returning to work in the new year.

6.  What are you creating?

With being laid up I’ve really had time and the desire to want to be creating as much as possible.  I always have creative projects of one type or another going.  I love to knit and crochet, but do a bit of sewing, collaging, etc.  With living in two different places and my leg injury I’ve been “stuck” at one place which does not have a lot of my wool or tools–I had a knitting needle care package sent to me though.

Anyways, in the last month, I’ve hand sewn three sets of small curtains for the windows upstairs in my domain at my mom’s.  I finished a shawl I had been working on for myself and am working on a pair of fiddlehead mittens from the same colors of wool.

Shawl

I’ve also been playing a lot with nail polish.  My nails are growing quite a bit without having the daily trashing they normally would get.  Pinterest has a lot of great ideas…this is the latest…not really in love with it, but am having fun with the trying.

Nails

And I found my cross-stitch box in the very back of a cubbie and started working on a kit I had forgotten I had.

Cross Stitch

I’m trying to create a personalized daytimer–it’s hard to find one that has everything I want without lots that I don’t.  I use electronic reminders, but I still love the old school writing things down…planning.

And…lastly, I have been doing a bit of experimenting with meals to help my mom out a bit with the cooking.

7.  What are you looking forward to?

I’m sooo looking forward to being pain-free from my leg injury.  To working on walking and increasing my fitness level.

I’m looking forward to Christmas, seeing my extended family of cousins.  To see my friends that I haven’t seen in the last month…

A reunion planned for next summer with my uncles and cousins (and their grandbabies!) in the east  most of whom I haven’t seen in 20+ years and to meet the newest generation.

And so much more…

c.

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Kickin’ It Old Skool – #Selfie

This month I’m participating in a Blog-a-thon with Jamie and Suzie Ridler.  If you want to participate or find more information here, check it out here Kickin’ It Old School Blog-a-thon.

Here is a current selfie, taken December 1, 2013.

Selfie Dec 1/13

And here is picture, from “back in the day”…I thought I’d provide a high-school picture…yes, that was the 80’s, just before the big hair phase…

scan0010-2

A bit about me…I am 48 years old (almost 49) and currently going through a phase of deciding what I want to be when I grow up.  LOL.  I think I’ve been in that phase for most of my life, lately I find myself  more frustrated with how my life has turned out to date and wanting things to be different.   I’ve made some radical changes in the last year…sold my house, moved all my belonging to the country and am living with my mother on the weekends.  She’s 81 years old and starting to get to the point of needing more help.  I believe she deserves to stay in her house for as long as possible and I want to help make that happen.

My hope is that this move will allow me some freedom of spending more time in nature, helping with diy at her house so that it can regain its former glory and also to rebuild our family cabin which is 15 minutes away.  I hope to move my job here within the next several months (I’m still living in the city during the week with a good friend) which will help with the income needed.

Then I hope to help the cabin become some form of sanctuary for creative pursuits…

Great to meet you all!

Wishcast Wednesday – What nourishment do you wish for?

I feel empty

My life is sliding by so fast these days and I feel like I’m missing out on soooo much.  I’m still recovering from my emotional breakdown of over a year ago.  I am back at work, and it’s still a struggle to get to work every day.  I’ve been attending a group session regarding eating disorders–knowing that is a part of my long-standing issue of trying to “fill a hole”–how I always described it.

And then today I had an epiphany of sorts due to a blog post by Rachel Cole.  So I find it fascinating and love  Jamie’s Wishcast prompt, What nourishment do you wish for?.   Bear with me (this post is very scattered and flight of ideas as I’m still working this out) and I’ll share my epiphany with you…which I’m still needing to journal about…

When I read Rachel’s post, the thought came to me about how the internal “feeling” (vs emotional “feeling”–although emotions come to play too) of “empty” is what I’m trying to fill with my eating too much, or shopping/spending, or excessive reading (self-help/improvement), excessive tv watching.  Maybe even why I’m always “exhausted”–that I’m trying to fill “empty”.  I had always described it, having heard it many times elsewhere, that I was trying to fill a hole–but could not tell you what the “hole” was.  This morning when I read Rachel’s post, within the first few lines, I had that “aha” or epiphany moment.  “THAT’s what I’m trying to fill, erase, eradicate, etc.–e-m-p-t-y!”

I reach for those things that are only “fillers” – like overly processed food – part food, but part ingredients that the body and soul don’t really need or can’t use effectively.  I’m constantly reaching for those things because they do fill, in the short term…but I’m also continually going back for more and more because they don’t really work, but kinda do.  Does that make sense?? 

Especially, by the end of the week, I’m E-M-P-T-Y.  I’m exhausted, feeling like I need to curl up into myself and do nothing but watch tv, eat, sleep as much as possible, crafting (while I watch tv though), etc.  I feel like I NEED at least one day on a weekend to do nothing but the above or I’m worse the next week–and therefore will usually miss a workday because I feel depleted.  I have been blaming this on my current situation of healing from my breakdown, and that is definitely part of it, but maybe the healing can take some other forms too…

Let alone that we are constantly being bombarded with advertising that tells us “buy thing A and your life will be wonderful”, “is your life not like you want it to be?”  “well, then, you need thing B”., etc.  I’ve totally bought into “needing” to buy something (food, books, “things”) to “fill myself up” in trying to make my life “meaningful” and wonderful.  It hasn’t worked at all, of course.  I recently heard someone say “you will never possess or own any “thing” that will make you happy”.  I “get” that, I have things that I love to look at, love to have in my life, but have they made my life a happy one–no.

So now the question, “What nourishment do you wish for?”  Well…that’s the BIG question, and that’s what I need to journal about to really “get” it.  I need to really go inside and listen to my heart, my soul, my self and find that answer.

Some things that I know will nourish me:

  • my new term for “exercise” – Joyful Movement
  • contact with others who “get” me and can help me to heal
  • journaling (I have been saying this over and over and over…)
  • reading in peace (no tv)
  • crafting in peace (no tv)
  • a small amount of volunteering (to start)
  • connection with my “self”, my spirit, my soul

And…Tea (lots of tea), and laughter (lots of that too!)

I think the big goal is to not try to fill that emptiness with “busyness” because I really believe that is just another form of trying to fill emptiness.  I need real, mindful, peaceful, connection…small “tweaks” of my life, not rushing into huge change.  Trusting myself to know…

Thanks so much for reading this, as I have mentioned above, I’m still working through the thinking on this.  I have more work to do on this.  It’s not that it’s a completely new idea–it’s just the idea of filling the “emptiness” I feel inside that is a new way of looking at this.

PS. As I am researching quotes and pictures to add to this post, I am reminded that “empty” is actually very soulful…perhaps I also need to embrace that empty feeling and see what it has to say…

And I realize the question(s) I need to ask myself constantly throughout my days is (are) “Does this nourish me, my soul?”  “Does this fill me?”  “Will this help the emptiness recede?”  “What next action will help to satisfy the taste that emptiness causes?”

As you all wish for yourself, I truly wish for each and every one of you!!

All these things you have said of beauty.
Yet, in truth, you spoke not of her, but of needs unsatisfied,
and beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
but rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
but rather an image you see though you close your eyes
and a song you hear though you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark,
nor a wing attached to a claw,
but rather a garden forever in bloom
and flock of angels forever in flight.
…beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
You are eternity and you are the mirror.
– Kahlil Gibran

I LOVE me some Kahlil Gibran!!!

 c

Wishcast Wednesday: What change do you wish for?

ahhh….wednesdays…I continually look at the Wishcast prompts but am often too busy to take part.  I decided to join in today…

This week, Jamie Ridler, asks…

What change do you wish for?

A great question that has my thoughts reaching many corners of my mind wondering about my wishes of “change”.  Change for myself? Others? My community?  The world???

I will go with the seemingly natural wish of “Peace”!  This encompasses peace within ourselves, but peace with our family, our peers, our community…there is so much judgement (yes, I’m judging the judgers, ironic, I know), too much finger-pointing, negative talk, bullying, slander, gossiping…I really wish that we, as the human species, would just “get” it that if we want peace everywhere we need to start it with ourselves, which means checking the kind of things that come out of our mouth or even our aura.  Sigh…a HUGE request, I know, but one I truly, truly wish for.

And…that peace includes peace inside my own body, less negative self-talk, more self-love–fewer thoughts of “can’t” and more thoughts of “YES!”

As you all wish for yourself, I truly wish for each and every one of you!!

Wishcast Wednesday: What do you wish to do one day?

One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song,
read a good poem, see a fine picture and,
if possible, speak a few reasonable words. 

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Jamie Ridler asks us this week, “What do you wish to do one day?”

This is a question that has actually been skirting around my head for a while, the reason it hasn’t been at the forefront of my thoughts is due to the massive change I have been going through in my life.  I had put the thoughts of what I wish to do in my future to the side so that I could focus on the here and now…as much as possible, anyways.

A big part of the massive change is having to sell my house…A few posts back I had mentioned that I had been off work due to emotional disability for six months.  Unfortunately, the time off work and lack of income had left me unable to keep up with all of the debts I had so have had to sell my house in order to pay everything off.  At first, this was a horrible thought, but the more I considered, the more I realized this was a chance to start over again…the right way…

I left my house just last Friday and have moved in with a wonderful, giving, and supportive friend who has allowed me to come to her house with my pets (two cats and a dog) until I get the proceeds from my house and am able to pay for and find an apartment where I can live with ease (and my pets too).

I don’t think I’m ready to consider too far into the future  right now as the change is still so fresh, but a few things I would like to wish about one day are:

  • Living easily, gratefully, and successfully with my income
  • Having a home, in an area of the city (or country), that reflects my authentic self, supports me in my life, filled with love, light, and space
  • Love, accept, and nourish my body for the great vessel it is–to easily support me living my authentic life of creativity, love, spirituality, lightness, and laughter (I am currently taking a course at a local Women’s Health Clinic which is based on Health At Every Size (HAES) and I am hopeful will help me to learn this)
  • Be able to pay my lovely friend forward (instead of “back”) for all of the love, support, and personal space she is providing me
  • And…of course, find that special romantic love that loves me as me

To all who wish, I wish for you as well!!

Each day silently affirm that you are the type of person
with whom you would want to spend the rest of your life. 

– Bob Moawad

 

 

 

Wishcast Wednesday: Who do you wish to give (or send) a hug?


I have a present for you, but I need to borrow your arms for wrapping paper.  ~Author Unknown

Another Wednesday and another beautiful wish from Jamie Ridler

Who do you wish to give (or send) a hug?

Like most people (I think), I LOVE hugs and don’t get (or give, unfortunately, nearly enough of them!

The list of hugs I’d love to give (or send) is long and this list is not complete, but I’ll try (this is not necessarily in order of importance–if I could hug all at once I would):

  • My mom!
  • My dad (who has passed on)
  • My best friends Lee and Audrey
  • My close friends Robbin, Andrea, Michelle, Sharon, Leah, Lindsay (I hope I’m not forgetting anyone–if your name is not here, please do consider yourself hugged!)  And their spouses and children
  • My brothers Kent and Scott
  • My uncles and aunts Ray (Marg), Gerry (Sally) and my Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Lynn who have passed
  • My cousins Brad (Bev), Darcy (Nic), Kathy (John), Paul, Kevin (Heather), Andrea, Greg (Janice), Amanda (Oh…can’t remember her name right now!)…(and their spouses/children/grandchildren).  And my cousins who have already passed from Earth, Michael and Drew
  • Especially my “nieces and nephew” Heather (Ryan), Sam, Michael (Krysta), and Katie who I’ve seen grow up from babies
  • My grandparents who have already passed
  • My animals: Ruby, Sasha, Molly (Misty and Ceilidh)
  • My coworkers
  • And, of course, Jamie and all the other Wishcasters!

 Okay…I’ve realized, I want to send a hug to everyone!  Everyone can certainly use one…

 I love hugging.  I wish I was an octopus, so I could hug ten people at a time.  ~Drew Barrymore 

Wishcast Wednesday: What do you wish to experience?

Yes, it’s been a long while since I’ve posted here…again.  I AM doing much better but my life and brain are busy, busy, busy so haven’t had much time to post here.  I hope to catch up to the weekly Wishcast and more regular posts again very soon.

Experience is not what happens to you. 
It is what you do with what happens to you. 
– Aldous Huxley

This week, Jamie Ridler asks, What do you wish to experience?

I wish to experience:

  • a great, enduring, and easy romantic love!
  • motherhood
  • financial stability, clarity, and health
  • contentment with who I am
  • a full life
  • daily joy
  • getting back to a healthy weight (I’m getting there!)
  • less struggle, more–this is interesting, I tried to google the opposite of struggle and it is…letting go, giving in, yielding..I find that very interesting!  Okay, so more…surrendering to the process, trusting the Universe, and going with the flow!
  • more spiritual practice!

As always, thanks for “listening”, and to all of my fellow Wishcasters, and everyone else…as you wish for yourself, I also wish for you!

The soul should always stand ajar. 
Ready to welcome the ecstatic experience. 
– Emily Dickinson

C.

Wishcast Wednesday – How do you wish to grow?

Growth begins when we begin to accept our weaknesses. – Jean Vanier

It’s been a looooong while since I’ve posted for Wishcast Wednesday and I’m very happy to be answering Jamie Ridler’s Wishcast question this week.

How do you wish to grow?

I have barely posted on my blog over the last several months as I’ve been having a very difficult emotional time due to an emotional breakdown at the end of last year. The last several months have been difficult and I have not wanted to share my doubts, fears, and how badly I was really doing. I still have a far way to go, but am slowly getting a bit better and will finally be returning to work in the next several weeks. This brings with it new fears and anxieties but also potential for more personal and career growth.

So how I wish to grow is…

– emotional strength
– knowing that all is well, as I heard Alannis Morrisette say on tv once – “your boat is safe, you will not sink”
– spiritually, in faith, trusting
– in learning about my new job and being the best I can be in it
– in having a full, productive, lovely life that energizes me to continue to live my full, productive, lovely life!

All the very best fellow Wishcasters – as you each wish for yourself, I also wish for you!

Change and growth take place when a person has risked [himself] and dares to become involved and experimenting with [his] own life. – Herbert A. Otto

A little rain fall…

I’ve been debating updating my blog for many, many months.  And…of course the story to be told is my recent and current journey with mental illness, which is what has stopped me from sharing.  I don’t want to be thought of or even think of myself as mentally unwell.

But I think the time has come to open up a bit and let some people into my story…so here goes…

On a normal day near the end of December of last year, I came home from work for lunch and my life completely changed.  For several years and months stress had been accumulating in my mind and body and I guess I just didn’t have a way to dissipate it.  I had what I consider (and my specialists too) an emotional breakdown.  For a period of a few hours I could not stop crying, could barely talk except for a few words (“I don’t know what to do” and “I need help”).  I managed to contact one of my best friends and she came over and got a crisis phone line to assist me to calm me down.  I felt done in, I felt my body and my mind had let me down (or I had let them down…).  I was exhausted, so very cold, and my mind would not stop racing (“What am I going to do?” “What is happening to me?”).  The next day I got in to see my physician who put me of work for at least 3 months–5 months later I’m still off work (but more about that later).

I was terrified because I had no idea what would happen during this time away from my regular schedule.  At first, I slept–long nights of sleep (medically aided at first) for 10 to 12 hours each night for about a month and a half before I felt any kind of refreshment when I woke up.  I stopped myself from thinking anything scary — which helped me live in a bubble for a while that everything was okay — and I filled my days with doing work around my house (painted my living room, painted my china cabinet, painted my kitchen, cleaned, etc.)  I also spent a lot of days without the energy to do anything at all–wake up, crawl down to the lazy girl chair, turn on tv, veg, crawl back upstairs, go to bed.  My energy was lower than it had been in a long, long time.  And that is even after losing 75lbs.  Things that would previously taken me a day or two (like painting my living room) took over a week–I did it one wall at a time, with days off to rest in between.

I had to fill out more forms than I can ever remember filling out for anything before–work insurance, loan and mortgage insurance, claim forms, EI insurance, etc.

I was referred to a psychiatrist who, in my opinion, is the worst doctor of any kind I have ever seen.  The fact that he’s a psychiatrist and deals with mentally unwell people is scary as he did not want to hear anything but yes and no answers to his questions and anytime I tried to elaborate he’d respond with “whatever” or “I didn’t ask you that” or “I don’t need to know that”.  At one point he told me, “I’m not here to deal with feelings, I’m just here for prescriptions and paperwork”.  I’ve asked for a new referral and am just waiting to hear from them.  I would have stopped going completely but the insurance companies needed their paperwork done.  I left his office feeling worse than I did when I came in and would cry all the way home.

My work insurance provided a “work health solution expert” which also managed to cause me great anxiety by underlying threats of losing my job or being cut off from my insurance.

And my loan and mortgage insurance was denied because they felt I wasn’t totally disabled and could work somewhere else even though my doctor had put me off work…still appealing that one.

So there has been a lot of stress already added onto my situation by the very people and companies who I expected support from.

It hasn’t all been bad though.

I’m lucky to have some wonderful friends nd family who check in with me often with phone calls, e-mails, and texts.  I’ve had people provide me with money or gift cards for groceries, gas, some bills.  Some I am paying back, some were gifts that I am so grateful for.

I have a union representative that is so much on my side it can be scary with the letters she writes to people requesting better care.

My mom has been a blessing, she has either come to my city or helped me go to her house when I really, really needed her.  And she calls me constantly with words of love and support or just to listen to me cry about how scared I am about the future and how I don’t know what to expect.

One of my best friends has helped me find a fabulous therapist who is helping me holistically (physically, emotionally, spiritually) which is what I really feel I need.  I have felt so disconnected.

My dog–what can I say…anyone who has a dog just knows what I mean without saying anything.  She cheers me up just to look at her, she looks at me with love and she is great at licking away the tears.  I also have cats which love to be hugged and cuddled.

This post is going on longer than I originally thought…

So…to present(ish) day…the depression seems to be lifting, but I have been having a very, very hard time with anxiety and panic the last few weeks.  I realize it’s because there is now a definite time frame of when I’m heading back to work (gradually), which is about a month from now.  I’m going to be working at a completely new building, in a completely new area of town from where I have been working (which means commuting time and cost I haven’t had for a very long time), a completely new job (at my same level of pay), new coworkers, new boss, etc., etc.  When I think about it I start to panic, but I’m trying to reframe my internal words to positive–I’ll have new opportunities for personal and career growth that I haven’t had in a long time, I’ll be able to meet new people, gain new friends, be a different part of town and experience new things, if I commute the whole way I may be able to take the time to listen to more books on tape than I used to/or read, etc.

I have also been panicking about my financial situation (the first three months were at less than 50% take home, and it’s just this month that I received my first full work insurance cheque), all of my household bills were waaaayyy behind and I was starting to be very concerned about losing my home.  The other day I received a call from the company that holds my mortgage, it seems the bank I deal with contacted them to let them know about my financial situation and dealing with the loan and mortgage insurance being denied.  The company offered me what works out to an approximate 5 month reprieve on my mortgage payments to help me get back on my feet.  The gratitude and relief I felt was overwhelming and I cried for many hours afterwards…

So…here’s where I’m at today.  Still scared, still on the edge of panic, but taking deep breaths to calm down.  When I wake up in the morning I feel like I’m free-falling (I don’t know what to do first).  I try to keep myself busy.  I’m trying to keep optimistic about the future.  I’m making small plans here and there to meet with friends, learning to quilt, book club, working on crafts that I’m selling through a mommy’s website that a friend found for me, getting outside a bit (not enough yet), and going to my appointments.

I know that I’m slowly healing.  I also know I have no idea what the future holds, and I never will.  I’m working on realizing that I can only think about today and the choices that I’m making today (positive and negative) will affect my future.  I’m working on “trusting the process”, in this I’m thinking the Divine process–God’s got a plan for me, I’m sure of it.

And taking a LOT of deep breaths…

Movement Practice

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk.  Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness.  I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.  ~Soren Kierkegaard

This month, I’m joining Jamie Ridler and others to start a “movement practice” whereby I’m committing to consciously move my body at least 10 minutes a day.  I know…this sounds like so little time.  But I’m going from unconsciously AND consciously moving my body next to zero minutes.  I also know that once I start moving each day, it’ll be more than 10 minutes.  It’s a way I use to “bribe” myself to get moving, “it’s ONLY ten minutes–you can do THAT!”  And I find that once I’ve started moving it feels SO good (the body IS MEANT/BUILT to move!) and I just want to keep going…and going…  I’ll tweet each day how many minutes I moved, as well I will log it onto myfitnesspal.com newsfeed. 

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.  Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.  – Raymond Inmon