The little things.

9 10 2017

I’ve been immersed in gratitude this weekend. Like most people I know, we have more than enough to be thankful for. And this weekend is ripe for expressing it, showing our deep thanks and recognizing the blessed lives we lead. For many, we were surrounded by family and friends and copious amounts of food. As the autumn sunlight streamed through windows, lighting up the tables set to celebrate our abundance, it made me think about the little things, the not-so-easy things to be thankful for.

I am thankful for this gentle appreciation I have for my aging. While I joke about the crinkles and eyebags and my deep fear of a neck wattle with my dearest of friends, fantasizing about Botox and mini-lifts, I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. While my skin folds in on itself, and the age that I am¬† is reflected in the face I present to the world, I find myself discovering a beauty I wouldn’t have dreamed of admiring a mere ten years ago. I breathe my age in and exhale my thanks out. For this only means that I am still fortunate enough to be here, to live and find joy and have arguments and walk my dog along a forest path.

I give thanks for my restless mind, who prowls about at 2 am. Who fosters self-doubt and worry and strife, but who also reigns in senseless fretting and whispers gentle realities to myself. Don’t worry so much I tell myself and I agree. I listen and it says: You are loved. You are loved.

I am deeply grateful for my decades of dealing with depression and chronic pain and the dark dance I shared with thoughts of suicide so many times. It was indeed as scary as it sounds but in a lovely way, it afforded me more self-knowledge that I could have ever imagined. My cognizance of my frailty has made me stronger. And letting go of my fear of talking about it has gifted me the strength of being there for others. Raw honesty is as healing as honey drizzled in a cup of tea. One sip and you feel it cascading into your body, spreading it’s warmth and love to every cell.

I am indebted to experiencing hate and jealousy. In allowing myself to mirror the beauty of love and kindness through contempt and resentment, I think that I’ve only become more appreciative of my own bounty. And learning how these two distasteful emotions can be used to guide me towards a better understanding and a deeper compassion is seeing that light turned onto me. How bitter I was and relieved my soul was when I found I could let it go. My life certainly isn’t perfect. And by no means will I be able to stop coveting entirely. But learning to step back and trying to see the foolishness of my insecurities is akin to peeling off layers of wet and uncomfortable clothing. Discarded on the floor, I stand bare and tender, more willing to let the negative dissipate.

I am thankful for so much. Today, though, my gratitude is for the little life lessons we are gifted every day, these hidden jewels around us, offering us ways to better our own true selves and walk a sweeter path.

Many blessings to you all, this Thanksgiving weekend.

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What I meant to say….

3 10 2017

So I saw a fat bear today, if you saw my facebook post.

I caught a glimpse of the rolliest-poliest black bear I ever saw. She was standing at the foot of someone’s driveway, just after the “thrill hill” at 9 Mile. (Nelson peeps, you know where I mean…) Just standing there, all podgy and chubby, with a complacent look on her face. A contented look, belly full of fish and apples, I’d suppose. Her legs ridiculously small in comparison to her girthy roundness.

Just the sight of that bear made me feel all good and shit. I just laughed and held that odd joy in my heart for a good portion of my drive home.

After dinner tonight, I caught an interview with the daughter and husband of one of the human lives lost in Vegas. Married between my tears and grief for their loss was my confusion, admiration and (admittedly) a wee bit of astonished revulsion that they were able, capable and brave enough to speak on world wide TV about their experience, their heart-stopping loss. I was left feeling obviously bereft. Silent. Just utterly stooped in my inability to absorb such a tragedy.

Then that fat old bear popped into my head.

I thought of her pale muzzle, so like any old bear I’ve seen. Sniffing the air, her eyes too dim to catch anything far away. Belly almost grazing the ground. Her rear end, comical with that odd tuft of a tail sticking out. Front paws slightly turned in.

That chubby ursus americanus didn’t care about guns and loss of life and mind-fucking rage of the horrific nature of humans. That fuzzy-wuzzy ball of GRRRRRRRR gave zero shits about Trump and his heart-aching lack of human compassion and even less shits about how much we all hate him.

And amidst our grief and sadness these last couple days, I realized why that damn bear made me so happy. That lucky shit is completely oblivious of the utter terrible-ness that is going on in the world. Why, that bear has a belly full of yummmmmm and is almost ready to sleep on and off for the next six months. That lucky asshole. So yes, I smiled when I thought of her. And I realized why… There’s a part of me that wishes I could just be that bear. To learn how to be. To only just be.

And to let others just be as well.

 

 





Acceptance

7 12 2014

Well, it was almost a year ago that I chose my New Year’s word. Rather than go through the silliness of a resolution which literately ends up being thrown to the wayside, I took a friend’s advice and chose my Word for the year.

As soon as I saw her facebook post about choosing a word, Acceptance popped into my brain out of nowhere. I pondered it for days, wondering if any others would rear their literary and karmic head, guiding me onto a more compassionate level of human understanding. But no, Acceptance was the only one that clanged and resonated for me. At the time I thought it would be accepting others…. Acceptance of my boss’s moods, that cranky cashier, the kid who teases my daughter. Or that I was feeling left out of some of my friends’ lives, with me working almost full time and not being in their immediate circle. Or any of the other external sources of worry and fret.

No. I wasn’t prepared for the truest meaning of Acceptance; to be drawn inward like a long slow inhale. As I ventured through this year, I was met with several hurdles to cross. Mostly physical within my own body and mind. I realized as I navigated pain and a desperate feeling of being let down by my own body that I was to accept what was. It never meant that it was the way it was to be forever, and even now as I mumble my way through chronic pain and this ongoing irritation of what SHOULD be rather than what IS, I humbly realize that I must accept.

Accept it, rest and acknowledge. Accept and allow. Accept and move forward. Accept and respect. Accept and honour.

It has been a year that I met with several instances of physical issues, mostly my lower back and stomach. Throw in chronic migraines and other odd and sometimes alarming symptoms are usually met with me panicking and imagining the absolute worst. But there was that word… It just kept popping up for me, time and time again.

I accept that I will never deadlift.

I accept that my body is starting its aging process in a way that threw me for a loop.

I accept I need to nurture my self and give in to rest.

I accept I have a hard time listening to advice.

I accept that I will always have pain.

I accept that I can and will continue on with my healing.

I accept that I am still strong, just in a different way. I will never have the washboard stomach of a 20 year old, and I accept that maybe, I just don’t really need to.

I am now starting to wonder what word will blast and burrow into my mind for this upcoming year. I am anticipating it with a child’s wonder. What will my innermost self tell me what I need to know? And how will that guide me?

 

 





Girl Power.

1 03 2014

Recently I was tagged by a friend to post a selfie, wearing no makeup. The idea behind this is to promote acceptance and self-esteem among our young women and girls who constantly struggle with being OK with who they are.

I really liked this idea and even being sick, I felt the need to post my No Makeup Selfie this morning…. I have a daughter who will turn 13 this summer and I am constantly aware of my influence¬† on her and her friends. She is lucky as she has a full range of Other Mothers to take cues from, to learn and grow from.

But still, even being adamant that I wouldn’t EVER talk about feeling fat in front of her, or put myself down or bemoan my jiggly ass or chunky thighs, she is still hard on herself. I hear her talk about how she hates her face, she’s too tall, her legs are fat, she’s ugly. It tears my heart out. Not because she is the exact opposite of all this, but because despite me doing all the right things like talking about media influence and self-worth and how truly hard it is to be a girl sometimes and promoting her wit and empathy and intelligence above her looks, she STILL does what I did, what we all did.

I wonder, is it an inherent girl thing? Is it something we all go through on some level regardless of our upbringing? I deflected it as much as I could and here she is, still on a journey of self-hate and personal degradation.

We talk, her and I. I believe there is a little tiny jelly bean of hope in her heart that truly listens to my words. I say to her that she is kind and fun. That her mind is strong and smart. Her body can run and swim and kick a soccer ball and she can ski 90 k/hour with a lackadaisical manner that defies logic. I say she is loyal and sweet, but with a touch of stubbornness and temper that can be pruned and urged into a powerful force, which means she will never ever be pushed around. And lastly, I do tell her she is beautiful. That her eyes are the colour of the lake on a summer’s day and her smile brightens rooms, but that is never her most important attribute. I think that she does hear me, and while there is more powerful influences in her life right now, she knows she can always believe her Mama.