Letting go of the summer that wasn’t

Pathways

This summer has to have been the worst summer of my entire life. Spent most of it oscillating from a numb stupor to a poorly contained raging anger.

Filled my days with mind emptying “TV series ” on Prime, with little bursts of attempts to catch up, clean up, get up.

Happiest memory a trip with my husband and son where we broke down twice in about 25 kms, spending probably between 3 to 4 hours waiting for tow trucks on the side of the road. Some how it was fun!

The last few hours of summer 2022. I feel a sense of guilt for wishing it away, hoping somehow fall will usher in some sort of change, and not just dreary rainy days.

The Sky Is Still Blue

Calm beauty

Loss, sorrow, disappointment, numbness, drowning in grief, not fighting in the waves but under the sea, running around, getting no where, clutter and messes undone/ undealt with everywhere, what’s up, what’s down, what even do you feel.

Pulled up from the depth by a pause and a friend, splashing in water, shoes full of sand, the heat of the earth radiating up on the back watching clouds floating and changing, trees waving to and fro, children laughing, sun blinding bright, July humid heat.

Moment, thought, sight, clarity, feeling.

The sky is still blue and it is beautiful!

Magical dancing light

Just about 630pm on a warm spring evening in June. It has been a pretty good day so far, although the peaceful joy did not quite reach into my unrestful soul. I had arrived home from a friend’s house and debated on my self-soothing options. Finally I climbed out of the van and strolled through the garden noticing new life appearing from the earth.

Not really much to show yet, but exciting none the less as I await the day to eat the first meal of fresh tender green beans, or snack on sweet peas right out of the pod in the garden.

The colours of my flowers gave me a little splash of joy.

I walked into the house and faced another choice: do nothing, clean up, or go for a walk which would certainly help on my path to “feeling better ” again.

The first steps are always the hardest but I changed my clothes, tide up my sneakers, grabbed a water bottle and off I went.

Quiet except for the nature sounds. The lowering sun danced through the trees creating a magical stage of spotlit points and shadows, illuminating new shades of green in the fresh undergrowth. I felt like I had stepped into another deminsion and that fairies should be fluttering around through the trees,but only a yellow butterfly danced about, pretty and graceful.

I wished I could capture the beauty of the scene, but between the limit of the camera and the reality of the swarms of mosquitoes that drove me home, the spectacular scene will remain mainly in my memory the fodder of magical dreams when I lay down my head.

Six Months Into 2022 : chewed up & spit out, which way is up, now what?

window to the soul

I really did want to believe I am okay, that it’s all right I got this. After all I am a blogger and how in the world do you help others when you can’t even get yourself together. The reality is this year has been HARD! So many changes, so much loss, and just when you think you can adjust to a certain level of grief more comes.

Our family has lost to death this year two friends, my grandma, two uncles, two aunts, and a young person of someone I care deeply for even if we are no longer closely in touch. My world as I knew it has forever been changed and some of the pillars of stability have been lost.

I am struggling with who I am. I find it hard to find joy in some areas that were so simple and sure before. My school work holds my interest for mere seconds till I am irritated and fill my head with mind-numbing you tube videos of “getting it all together” instead. Keeping up with healthy choices daily is hit or miss. Many days I would like to just lay about in bed.

I am grieving! It is real and it is very difficult.

After all that has happened my aunt died yesterday (she is one of the two), it has only been two months since her husband passed away.

Is this unusual to have so many losses in such a short time, or is this what this season holds in life? I am after all getting older. Do I just have to “get used to it”?

The only sure thing about life is that death follows. When we are young we do not realize how fleeting time is. As we age it is like time speeds up, like a vapor in the wind, the day is gone.

I will keep seeking those moments of joy and ah in this life. Maybe the victories we choose to celebrate can be more minuscule, because life is full of tiny pleasures and time is too brief to wait for the big moments.

Running, rushing, chasing! Does it really matter? This is the moment we have got, right here, right now, and then it is gone, if we are lucky we have another moment.

I do believe in heaven, but I really like living on this beautiful earth. I morn the fact I have not always lived like I was alive but have walked along oblivious to the passing of time and the moments that have been lost. Never having enough time to spend with all the people that I love.

As I face saying another goodbye, I need to know how to live this moment, this minute, this day, never to come again. Grief comes in waves. I am usually so good at pretending everything is okay. Today, this moment. it is not, will the next be better.

Running off, responsibility awaits, busy with life, grief has to wait.

Goodbye Grandma, generations.

On being a mom: lessons of life

I think the most surprising thing I learned when I became a mom is that as you raise your children, your children are raising you. Life lessons are never a one way street.

I have learned to never try to guess the end of the story, life is like a map being drawn as you put your foot out to step, and not every path leads to where you think it will.

The kids have shown me that no matter how hard you try to avoid education, it happens anyway.

Being silly sometimes makes life worth living. Laughter is a great way to defuse stress.

Trying/retrying something you never thought you could do or like can open up adventures and abilities that bring joy and relaxation. You might be surprised what you ‘can’ do.

Surprise! The same DNA/family culture does not equal sameness in children! Everyone is unique.

Always ask, “will this matter tomorrow?”. Don’t sweat the small stuff, as the quote goes, it is all small stuff.

Most importantly, no matter how bad you think you have screwed up, LOVE is ALWAYS the answer. If you do nothing else, love your kids fully and they will be alright.

Thanks kiddos for helping to mold me into me!

P.S. As the kids get older the size of your family may grow.

Embracing a healthy lifestyle: letting go of the “diet mentality”

Big boy! (Or girl) Garden friend.

I was disappointed with myself at the end of the day yesterday. I had reinstalled another “step counter” on my phone to track my activity and I was no-where close to my goal of steps taken when I went to bed. Crazy thing was my body was screaming at me. Why?

I started cleaning up my gardens yesterday and my two hours I had alloted before I chained myself to my desk for a few hours, turned into five hours of joyous work in the sunshine. Doing hundreds of squats, digging, pulling and activating muscles that have laid dormant since last year.

I worked HARD, so why was I so disappointed about a stupid number on my phone?

The conversation my mind was having with my soul, was not very nice! Instead of saying good job today, it was talking down telling me, “I would never reveal the skinny (healthy)person inside that is disguised in an excess layer of fluff(fat).”

The problem with a mindset of diet is it is equal to scarcity and want vs a mindset of health and well-being which is a mindset of delicious fresh abundance and ability.

Ironically like many other lessons in my life, the most impactful person to give me this lesson about diet vs lifestyle, was my daughter Stephanie. One day I was talking about preparing lunch and said the word “diet”. She spoke up and said,”no mom, not a diet, it’s your lifestyle now.”

A lifestyle is about daily sustained choices for the long-run, as apposed to a short term denial for “quick, unlasting results”.

A lifestyle is about making choices and taking action on a daily bases to bring self closer to your own type of beautiful and joy.

Maybe I should have slipped away yesterday for a power walk, to boost some calorie burning. That would only have worked on one area of my lifestyle dream.

I chose instead, muscle building, weight-lifting, beautifying, garden building, weeding: with the hope that someday soon, my body will be fit AND my gardens will be beautiful. Not to mention the fresh, healthy, local abundance of home-grown food. Payoff for this lifestyle choice!

Where in your life do you need to make a mental shift from lack (diet) to abundance (lifestyle)? What can you do today to level-up the impact of your actions?