Category: Journal

Chatter and Prattle

Chatter and Prattle

I came to the pub today, Brandt’s to be exact, and filled in my obligatory journal (paper). It’s not so obligatory really, it was just something I started some years ago and want to continue. I enjoy it really and except for the commitment of time I find it therapeutic.

During the process of writing I commented on the ‘sound’ level here in the pub. Between the music, the background chatter, and the prattle (perceived) from patrons I’ve become a bit stressed. That’s probably a good thing for the pub, likely causes guests to drink more.

It does cause me to drink more, hell almost anything causes me to drink more. That’s a joke really, I don’t think I drink that much, but the auditory stimulation does increase my stress.

So, back to the chatter and prattle. To combat the levels of stimulation I’m getting from sound I thought I’d try something a little different today, I brought ear plugs. They’re custom fit units I brought from a previous employer, and are unobtrusive for the most part, but they are visible and as a result I feel a bit like one of those ‘old guys’, you know the ones that complain about music, noise, and almost anything that younger folk like. I’ve become that guy.

I’m probably that guy in any number of ways. I probably don’t even recognize most of the ‘that guy’ symptoms. That’s ok, I’ll live in my own little oblivious life.

So now my own prattle has taken over so it’s likely time to stop. Quit while the going’s good.

Lookee here…

Lookee here…

Well, obviously I’m back in, if you’re sure it’s me that is. Now my dilemma, the question of the day is whether to continue using this site or move my (sporadic) posting to my own domain, skidaddy.ca. In the meantime I’ll just link to my recent post here.

http://skidaddy.ca/?p=1663

Back in the saddle, so to Speak..

Back in the saddle, so to Speak..

Well, I am back in, got my 2 factor figured out. Actually the WordPress people were very accommodating so I can’t say anything against my experience there. I am of course referring to the site at skidaddy.wordpress.com.

For now though I am going to post here, more from a ‘shits’n giggles’ point of view than anything else. It was sorta what I’d envisioned all along anyway.

So to the point. My life is proceeding along nicely. I feel no worse for wear, my depression is manageable and other than a recent cold/flu I feel physically well. I did however just have a colonoscopy and while the procedure went well they did find an unacceptable number of polyps. Some were removed at the time but one large one will require surgery to remove. All removed samples are being examined for signs of the big ‘C’.

Interestingly enough I feel rather disconnected from the experience, and the outcome. Perhaps it’s a coping mechanism, maybe just another example of a disconnect from my feelings. I don’t know why that is, if I could talk to Elly, or someone, about it then some conclusion might be reached. I don’t recall ever going down that road with her. Elly was my most recent Counsellor (or Counselor, depending on country).

I very much miss my chats with her. She brought a certain amount of clarity to things in my life. I often suspected however that while I may have been an interesting diversion, or client for her, that my needs were not what she considered her most life altering. I’m perfectly ok with that, if it’s true. She was still important to me. I will contact her to update my life.

Otherwise my life here is pretty mundane. I’m not an excitement junky, hanging around the house doing genealogy, some photography, perhaps the odd ‘honey-do’ project, keeps me busy. I’m seldom bored. If I feel the need I take a walk, like today, and maybe frequent one of the local establishments. You never know I might even write.

 

Fear of the Unknown

Fear of the Unknown

Just recently I attempted to update some info on this blog and found I was locked out of the account settings and security features. Not a good thing! I am obviously still able to post, but not sure for how long. Fear of the unknown.

The reason is largely of my own doing. In actual fact I guess it’s ALL my own doing, by neglecting to remember/follow clear admonitions by WordPress about generating and keeping ‘restore codes’ to access my account should this exact situation occur.

What created this problem was that I changed my phone and my phone number when we moved. When doing that I lost the ability to authenticate my ownership of this blog. This only applies if you have 2 factor authentication set up, and if you fail to prepare for this eventuality.

So, the long and short of it is that I’m in discussion with the WordPress “Happiness Engineers” to possibly resolve this situation and re-establish my authenticity. If I am unable to regain my full access and control of this site I will be forced to begin posting on skidaddy.ca. I have tried to move/copy my posts to skidaddy.ca but at this time only some of them have transferred. That new site is also a bit of a mess visually/organizationally at this time but hey, you do whats u gotsa do.

Wish me luck!

I’ve Left (still), And Am in the Process of Moving

I’ve Left (still), And Am in the Process of Moving

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While I’m still ‘gone’ from our town, at least from the emotional standpoint, I have not yet physically left. Our home here has sold and just before Easter we went to babysit our grandkids in Kelowna. While there we looked for a new home and within a day we found the one we wanted. After some tenuous, but brief, negotiations we settled on a price. The heavy lifting had been done.

Much of our worldly possessions have either been packed or sold, and what’s left will be packaged shortly or taken to the trash. The new owners of our present home will take possession Apr.29th, we will take possession of our new place May 3rd.

We are of course excited. Plans are being developed for the logistics of the move and we have already renovated the new place in our minds. It’s a tiring endeavour.

We are surviving though, in fact we (as a couple) seem to be thriving. My wife has also put in her retirement papers and that just throws another stress builder into the mix. Taking it all together I often wonder how we manage to remain sane. Perhaps I’m not, maybe that’s the clue.

I chalk a lot of my patience up to my recent efforts to calm my soul. As I mentioned before I went back on an anti-depressant some months ago. In addition I have been seeing a counsellor for that same period, and because I felt I was having some anger issues I also began going to a group counselling session. It included not only the ‘anger’ component but also a ‘dealing with stress’ and ‘self-worth’ elements.

Of all these support mechanisms the personal counselling helped the most. While I like working with my previous counsellor Gloria I really enjoyed this one, Elly. We connected and I felt she really listened and helped me understand more of what and who I was trying to be. The Coles Notes version of my sessions were that I can be, and feel, whatever I choose. The key there is that I ‘feel’, and recognize and appreciate exactly what I’m ‘feeling’. Accept and embrace it, it/they (feelings) are me and to deny them is to deny who I am.

Explaining the benefits of the sessions through a few lines in a blog is difficult, needless to say I am sad I have to stop.

And so we will be moving on, and moving forward toward another chapter in our lives. I am excited, I am optimistic, I am happy I will be closer to my daughter and grandkids. I feel all good things.

I’ve Left But Not Moved

I’ve Left But Not Moved

Our move is underway, at least the portion of it involving packing. We have a tentative sale on our home and the only real impediment is waiting for the buyers to sell their house in Port Coquitlam. As I understand it that should not be a problem, many homes there are selling for over asking.

Perhaps I should clarify. After my last post my wife came home from work saying that one of her co-workers had expressed significant interest in our house. This girl’s boyfriend’s parents were in fact looking for a house like ours, a newer executive type home in the neighbourhood we are in. She and her future sister-in-law came to see the house that night. The girl called her folks and they were very intrigued. To make a long story short the parents flew in, yes flew, the next day and came to see the house. They really liked it, and emphasis on really. An offer was made and we accepted. Now the waiting, and packing, begins.

So far the stress has been well within limits and whether that is due to fact we haven’t gotten so far into the deal or that my time in Counselling and group sessions is paying off. Only time will show which is correct. I’m sure the meds have an additional benefit as well.

The whole process of moving from the initial decision to do so up to and including the actual move is interesting to me. The dynamics of the individuals involved and the whole process is becoming somewhat of a study for me, and perhaps that is partially why I’m not as stressed. Maybe it helps to take my mind off the fact that it actually us that are involved. Stay tuned.

I’ve Left But Not Moved

I’ve Left But Not Moved

Our move is underway, at least the portion of it involving packing. We have a tentative sale on our home and the only real impediment is waiting for the buyers to sell their house in Port Coquitlam. As I understand it that should not be a problem, many homes there are selling for over asking.

Perhaps I should clarify. After my last post my wife came home from work saying that one of her co-workers had expressed significant interest in our house. This girl’s boyfriend’s parents were in fact looking for a house like ours, a newer executive type home in the neighbourhood we are in. She and her future sister-in-law came to see the house that night. The girl called her folks and they were very intrigued. To make a long story short the parents flew in, yes flew, the next day and came to see the house. They really liked it, and emphasis on really. An offer was made and we accepted. Now the waiting, and packing, begins.

So far the stress has been well within limits and whether that is due to fact we haven’t gotten so far into the deal or that my time in Counselling and group sessions is paying off. Only time will show which is correct. I’m sure the meds have an additional benefit as well.

The whole process of moving from the initial decision to do so up to and including the actual move is interesting to me. The dynamics of the individuals involved and the whole process is becoming somewhat of a study for me, and perhaps that is partially why I’m not as stressed. Maybe it helps to take my mind off the fact that it actually us that are involved. Stay tuned.

Make a Move

Make a Move

While life events are currently fairly stable the potential for that to change is high. The disruption on the horizon is likely a move away from our home for over 55 years to a city where our daughter and her family live. To say this will contribute to an increased stress level in our lives is probably an understatement.

At this point in time we are just in the preliminary stages of the transition. I’ve met a couple times with a realtor and the ball is now back in our court to determine when to list. Our initial thought was that listing the house in early April would provide the best balance of time on the market and shortest delay for possession should the house sell quickly. We anticipated a move in early summer, after Maureen’s school year is over at the end of June. The realtor feels that waiting until April may cause an unnecessary loss of potential sales, that listing now would be the prudent approach.

This of course means that should the house sell quickly, which I think it will, that we will need to decide what to do next. It’s of little concern to me really, other than the effort of packing up the house. The real challenge is whether Maureen would stay in town until the school year ends, and where, or if she should just pull the pin and either quit or retire.Those are the hard questions.

Some thoughts…

Some thoughts…

As if it hasn’t been said enough “Time flies while you’re having fun”, or something like that. And time has flown.

I believe it’s a function of aging, that time flies. I read somewhere that the perception of time passing faster as we age is due to the lack of originality in our lives. And by originality I mean that there are seldom any new experiences in our lives as time goes on. As a rule we continue to do the same things month over month and year after year and so our perception of time flattens, it compresses and it becomes more difficult to differentiate one year over another. Time becomes all the same and in doing so it ‘flies’.

So, this theory being correct it would only stand to reason that one way to slow time down would be to do different things, to have new experiences, to make each week, month, and year different. Not a new theory but important nonetheless.

Now I don’t profess to have all the answers but it’s clear I have opinions, lots of them. Perhaps too many.

Life has been generally good to me over the last number of months. Being that it’s so long since I’ve updated this site I may repeat myself in what I say here so I will apologize in advance.

My health, both emotional and physical, has been good. Aside from the usual colds and one episode with the flu I am doing well. I have gone back on the meds with my Doctor’s blessing and only at a half dose (10 mg Citalopram). I feel much better. Prior to that (about Dec.) I was once again back-sliding and feeling depressed. I had little motivation, was easily angered and frustrated, my emotions were all over the place and I just plain felt emotionally shitty.

I’ve tried to explain it away saying it was the weather or some other such excuse but the facts and history just don’t support that. I just have to accept it and resolve myself to the possibility that I may have to use meds to support my habit, that of feeling well.

The positive in the whole thing is that after my Doctor’s visit he suggested I start off with a lower dosage than before. This was a newer Doctor mind you, an international Doctor in training in my clinic, but he was/is very interested in my health and his suggestion had merit. As such I gave it a shot and haven’t really looked back.

This was done in concert with a new counselor as well. I began seeing her just before my first appointment with the Doctor and as time has gone on I’ve appreciated her more and more.

Her name is Elly. I decided to try her instead of going back for a 3rd time with Gloria. Elly is going for her Masters in Counselling and is doing her practicum in that clinic. So far I like her a lot, she is open and approachable, has fresh ideas and a perception that is refreshing.

She is a proponent of Art Therapy and has offered me the option of trying it. Art therapy sounded/sounds strange and while I am generally resistant to change I thought I owed it to myself to try something different. It was different for sure and some aspects of it were not comfortable for me. As an example she asked me to draw something, anything, on a paper covered table. All manner of pencils, felt pens, crayons, and paint were available to me, in all colours, so the options of media were essentially unlimited. It was all up to me as to what I chose to draw, and how to draw it. Once complete she asked how I ‘felt’ about the drawing, both in topic and substance.

The next session she again asked me if I wished to draw and this time she suggested I draw a Mandala. She gave me a 10″ circle of paper to draw on and again I could choose any media. In this context I must clarify that what she was asking me to draw was not a Mandala by it’s true definition. There was no religious significance to the drawing, more what she was asking was for me to draw a free form design on the circle of paper. Again, once the drawing was complete we chatted about the how and why of the sketch, and how I felt.

Part II

Because I seem to be long winded, and due to the fact my welcome wore out at Bagel’s and Brew (not really) I’ve had to complete this post the next day. I started writing Monday morning and here we are Tuesday, same coffee shop but different table, completing the saga.

At any rate my drawing experience was/is very interesting with it reinforcing some things I probably already knew about myself. In my first sketches, particularly the Mandala format I strived to be organized, symmetrical, accurate and somewhat precise. When I created a new drawing being more carefree, unorganized, non-symmetrical, in a word MESSY, I felt more free, more relaxed. In short it felt good.

That feeling was one that I was, and am, trying to replicate. I asked Elly if perhaps that was a state that I could develop through writing or photography. If I could bring my artistic and feeling side (less structured and rigid) more to the forefront by focussing on my artistic side, more right brained activities. She wasn’t sure but suggested I try by using my photography in an ‘out of the box’ fashion, taking photos in ways and of things that I normally might not. In fact she suggested this just before we went to Hawaii. I’ve tried and would have to say it’s not as easy to accomplish as I thought it might.

Some of the appropriate photos, and any drawings I completed while there were brought to my next session where we discussed my goal and any progress I made. Again, this was more difficult than I first thought.

So to be blunt one of the purposes of going to counselling was to get the stick out of my ass. This wasn’t necessarily the original reason, nor the only reason, but in talking with here I’ve come to realize that it was one of my personality traits that I desired to change. In effect I want to loosen up and have more fun, be more relaxed about things on a day to day basis.

This has been a long and likely boring post however it has also been done as an effort to begin writing again. I have been journalling fairly consistently but that method has become repetitive it was time to mix it up. Elly has suggested if I do journal that rather than the wordiness of it that I should use only descriptor words about how I feel at the time, no structured sentences. I would still like to sketch and may incorporate that as well.

So, ‘nuf said, Too much perhaps. See you on the flip side.