Tag: Journal

Blog Withdrawal

Blog Withdrawal

I’ve been going through withdrawal lately (always thought it was spelled “withdrawl” until spell check corrected me). I’m not talking the chemical kind of withdraw’a’l, I’m referring to the emotional and intellectual kind. The blog withdrawal kind. I need a fix.

I try to write but my words seem perfunctory. I blather on, spitting words on the screen like a wet-mouthed close-talker. See, here I go again. I feel like I’ve lost my edge. I want it back, if I ever really had it.

I began this blog to talk about my experiences with depression, hence the sub-title “Then, til Now”. While I suspect one never beats depression, nor is ‘cured’ of it, I do think we adapt and it becomes part of who we are. Anyway I digress.

I was out for a walk today and passed through a tunnel on the way. I took a photo and it’s posted as the feature image above. It made me think my life is sort of like that, in a dramatic sort of way. Part of my life was in a tunnel. Over time I came to the exit and saw a future ahead. The meds help that. They assisted in my exit from the tunnel and perhaps they help me still. I guess I won’t know until, or when, I stop taking them.

I will admit one of the reasons I began writing here was to help vent out some the the thoughts I had, to ‘spill my guts’ as it were. A journal was suggested by my then counselor Gloria but given my geekiness I thought an online blog may be appropriate too. I wrote a bit about that in a previous post Ennui, Now there’s a word.

One of my followers on this blog was a lady named Mary. She had created a number of blogs herself, and had lived an amazing life, one filled with blessing and much pain. I miss Mary. I never knew her in the sense one might be acquainted but we chatted via email a few times and she expressed some of the challenges she had experienced in her life. I won’t cover it here but needless to say she lost her husband, the love of her life, and 2 of her sons, both boys to suicide. I think of Mary and wonder what became of her. I’ve found a number of her blogs but few of them have anything current. She frequently used the name “oldsunbird’ in her blogs, My PoetryMy Journey Through Old AgeOldSunBird are a few I’ve found. I’d dearly like to know what’s become of Mary.

Well I think it’s time for me to go. I’ve rambled enough and responsibilities command. In reality it’s taken me 2 days to write this post and even now I’m not sure it’s completely satisfactory (to me). Mind you I don’t know that they ever have. That my be another symptom of my withdrawal.

Pay Attention, To the Attention

Pay Attention, To the Attention

Pay attention, to the attention. A catchy phrase if I do say so myself.

I’ve taken to journalling for/to each of my grandkids, an idea that came up from a YouTube video I inadvertently came across one night. In the video, which was oriented toward journals, the creator mentioned he has kept journals for each of his grandkids and I thought it was a great idea! Nuf said, I’ve done it.

As I wrote to my grand-daughter Ivy today I was reminiscing over the many times she has run lovingly into my arms, or spontaneously yelled out (literally) Poppa!, as she charges towards me. It melts me, as it should, and the challenge for me is to recognize and appreciate it. I have to ‘pay attention’ to it. I must Pay Attention to HER Attention. Paying attention, or acknowledging the attention paid to me, must be a priority. The kids need to know that I am appreciative of their love. And really it should apply to everyone.

 

7 Reasons My Underwear Feels Too Tight

7 Reasons My Underwear Feels Too Tight

Ever have one of those days where you seem to be just a little out of phase with the rest of humanity, where the best laid plans seem to go astray?  A day where after breakfast you put the milk in the cupboard and the cereal in the fridge. I’m experiencing that today. It’s seems as if everything I touch, anything I do, falls just short of being ‘right’.

morning pages, journal, journaling, writing
Morning pages

Today is a Dad’s day, a day where I take him out and we go to the doctor, optometrist, or in this case to the lab for blood work, and then we go out for lunch. I had planned to leave home a little early so that before I picked him up I could go to Walmart or one of the many electronics type stores to look for a phone case for my new iPhone 5 (and that’s a whole ‘nuther story).

Prior to leaving I was doing my morning pages, you know, that’s ‘writing’ in a book with paper pages and using a pen or pencil. These days I’m not sure how many people still do that…, but I was and before I completed one of my sentences part way through the exercise I became distracted. Well, not distracted at that time really, I put the journal down to check on something I was writing about and that’s when I got distracted. My wife had a question about her ‘new’ iPhone 4s (my hand-me down). There I went, off task, and so far today I’ve not made it back to the journal.

Well that put me behind schedule, not only did I not get to finish the sentence or entry in my journal I never made it away in time to go look at iPhone covers before picking Dad up.

So off on my way I went. I picked up Dad on time (amazingly) and we went to the lab. Fortunately the handicapped parking right in front of the lab was available so we slipped right in, and interestingly enough the lab wasn’t too busy so we waited no more than 5 – 10 minutes to get called. Seems like my day wasn’t a right-off after all, so far things were going well. Lunch was next.

Now that I’m recounting the days events it’s seems like maybe things weren’t so bad after all, lunch went well and Dad paid so life is good and things were looking up. We had a nice visit, he was feeling pretty good and I got him back to his home without further ado. It didn’t stay that way however, or didn’t feel like it anyway.

After dropping Dad off I hit the stores to look for my case, and if I learned anything during that exercise it’s that nothing is cheap, particularly quality iPhone cases. To get the case I wanted, an Otter Commuter, was going to cost between $44 – $50 bucks depending on the store. That’s in addition to any screen protector I bought. My stress was in a holding pattern. A quick look at Amazon (on my phone of course) made me realize that online is where I’ll get them, way cheaper.

As I think about that experience it dawns on me perhaps one of the reasons I feel so stressed and out of sorts is that I am so worried about dropping my phone, and have been ever since I picked it up. Perhaps that is the underlying cause, the reason for my ‘out of sorts’. Whatever the cause….. I feel how I feel and it continued through the day, that ‘skin don’t fit’ kinda feeling.

After arriving back at my home I had to turn around and go back out to run a couple more errands, one of which was to pick up quilt batting for my wife at the local fabric store. I’m afraid I scared the lady in the store, I feel like I went in there with a chip on my shoulder and although I don’t think it’s true I felt like I was surly and abrupt. Damn underwear starting to crawl again.

Next stop was an auto parts store to try and replace one of my malfunctioning wiper blades, that I paid $40 bucks for no less. I went in through the door and must’ve looked like I was ready for bear as the attendant approached my apprehensively and quickly passed me off the reps at the service counter. I suspect he wanted nothing to do with me, if he could see how I felt he was probably wise to defer me. The counterman listened somewhat sympathetically to my plight. I explained the driver’s side wiper leaves a streak in front of my eyes and when I just paid $40 bucks for 1 blade I had hoped it would last longer than 3 months. He murmured back “Well, I guess I could replace it”. Well, thank you very much. Perhaps he could see I was itching for a fight too.

So that sounds like another win doesn’t it? Hang on, not so soon.

Unfortunately when I went outside to swap the bad blade for the good I must’ve touched the fender of the car with my jacket. As I pulled back after installing the blade I noticed a nice brown smudge of dirt/mud on my nice clean black jacket. Argggh, %$”*”&#*, use your imagination to translate. Now I’m fussed and I’m dirty, and if you know me you know I don’t like to get dirty. Especially on tight underwear day.

All I can do is wipe the mud off my jacket and try to wipe my mood clean at the same time. I was relatively successful, nothing damaged and nobody hurt in the process, and proceeded to the next stop. Fill up with gas.

Things went relatively smoothly after that, although getting out of the car prior to filling I noticed yet another blotch of mud, this time on my pant leg. Will it never end I thought (how about wash the car dummy). I exited the car and holding it together somehow inserted my credit card into the gas pump. Perhaps I was too fast, perhaps too forceful, the pump would not accept my card. Another ARGGGH.

Take a deep breath, try again, success this time. The gassing up exercise completed with few casualties, only my spirit.

Two Slurpees in a car cupholder.
Two Slurpees in a car cupholder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Home I went. But wait, I had to get my wife a Slurpee (Slushy). I don’t understand her penchant for ice cold ice based drinks on a cold winter day but hey, who am I to argue with the light of my life. She wants a Slurpee, a Slurpee she shall have.

Knowing that this stop would be part of my day I came prepared, I had her refillable Slurpee cup at hand. The Slurpee machine operated flawlessly and I proceeded to check out. It was when I went to pay that I was met with a surprise.

Now it’s not like I’ve never used the plastic refillable cup before but when I paid and found the tab higher than expected I gasped.

“Are you sure”, I asked? “How can it be that a Slurpy with a re-usable cup can be more expensive than if I’d used one of the disposable cups?”

“Well”, she said. You never told me it was YOU’RE cup”.

I guess she had me there. And mentioning to her that I ‘assumed’ she knew it was my cup did NOT help the situation. She only replied “when you assume you make an ass out of you and an ass out of me.” She sighed heavily, refunded my money and then charged me a more appropriate, smaller, amount. Personally I think her underwear didn’t fit either, or maybe it’s the moon.

With my chores pretty much completed I forged home, stewing all the while about how I was out of phase, how my skin didn’t fit, how my knickers were too tight, and in my mind plotting what I would write here. It’s a good thing an animal didn’t bolt or a car pull out in front of me, my attention was not all there. I was too busy thinking of what I’d say here.

I did arrive at my home safely though, I don’t think I maimed anyone in transit, at least as far as I know.

After backing into my driveway I did notice a couple beer cans laying on the snowbank in front of my hedge (not mine, I have enough decency to toss mine in the neighbours yard). Here I go again, I feel that familiar tugging sensation near my private parts.

Knowing it’d be futile to pick up the beer cans and carry all my acquisitions (quilt batting, Slurpy) and Dads’ medical history file (that I try to take every time I see him), along with my camera bag and sweater etc., I choose the smart avenue. Pick up the cans, drop them in the recycle, and make not 1 but 2 trips back and forth to the car for the rest of the stuff. That way I can be sure not to f*** up and either drop half the stuff or wipe my clothes OR the new quilt batting on the side of the muddy car. Mission accomplished, all goods arrived in the house unscathed.

Once inside I dropped everything (not literally) and quickly logged on to my WordPress account to quickly disgorge my thoughts into a post, to try and enlighten you to my day and what made it ‘special’. I hope I didn’t bore you too badly and you arrived, like I did at the end of my afternoon, with underclothes that fit. I know the constricting feelings were all just fleeting experiences, tomorrow will be another day and hopefully one where I am in alignment with the universe. Until that time, if your underwear doesn’t fit go without.

Cheers

I’m Having Flashbacks

I’m Having Flashbacks

I began writing in my paper journal again, if 2 days in a row constitutes ‘again’. Like this blog, and my entries into it, I have been writing somewhat sporadically in my journal(s) of late. Don’t know why particularly, just have. Todays journal entry brought me here.

What sparked this particular blog post was the sun, that beautiful yellow orb that rises most days and brightens our lives. I say most days because although it certainly comes up every day (wouldn’t that be a bummer if it didn’t) we here in the beautiful Kootenays of southern BC don’t necessarily get to see it. We don’t always get to witness awe inspiring sunrises and feel the warmth on our faces. Today is such a day, the sun has shown it’s face.

20130129-092249.jpgI’m sitting here on the couch, beside the east facing windows. That yellow thing is shining through the glass, brightly now as its fully crested the mountains opposite us. The warmth is striking not only my face but is soaking into my spirit, melting away some of those doldrums that so often take hold of us. It inspires me, it takes me away and back to earlier times where I could sit outside on the deck and bask in it’s glory. It’s giving me flashbacks.

It was only months ago mind you but that time will soon be here again, Spring, a time of rebirth and freshening, not only of the land but of our spirits. A time of new beginnings.

But hey, I don’t want to rush away from this time, the present. To do so would be unfair and not keeping with good practice. I have learned that I must enjoy the present, be in the moment, this time happens only once.

“You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future”
– Unknown

I’m not sure who wrote that but it pretty well sums it up.

So I will enjoy the sun now, I will appreciate the day and what it brings while remembering the good times. Those good times will come again. I will be back outside, perhaps lamenting the heat, but taking solace in the shade with a cool drink. I may have flashbacks then too, but for now I will enjoy now. The past is gone and the future will be here soon enough.

Why DO We Camp?

Why DO We Camp?

20120730-162440.jpgWhy do we camp, emphasis on DO as in why DO we camp?  I thought I knew the answer but like so many things now I’m doubting what I do and don’t know.

I think I’m in a funk, I’m “funking”, and while it’s not a terminal condition it is one that is nevertheless somewhat debilitating.  I’m not really in a bad mood as such, it’s not that my knickers are too tight, it’s more that I just feel tired and somewhat out of sorts.  Is it because I’ve f***ed with my meds? (that will be another post).

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First One Word, then Another, One Step, and Again

First One Word, then Another, One Step, and Again

I have heard that when struggling for words, when laboring for a topic, it can be helpful to first put down one word on the page.  After that initial beginning place a second word, then another, and again until your first sentence is complete. Follow the same pattern to compose your second sentence, then move onto your third, and before you know it the words will spring from the page and your post or writings will take shape.  Seems like sage advice.

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Coming out of the Closet , Is it Time?

Coming out of the Closet , Is it Time?

Open book

I’ve been posting for about a year now and I wonder…Is it time to come out of the closet, to be an open book?  Before you jump to conclusions I should elaborate.

This morning before writing in my journal, after checking emails and having breakfast etc., etc., I watched one of the Ted Talks called Mena Trott on Blogs, where she discusses her perspective on blogging.  In her presentation she comments particularly on how blogging is a means for those who want to know you to learn about who you are, not only biographically but what kind of person you are and how you think.  This made me think, will those I know and love ever know that about me?

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I’m Grateful, that I’m Grateful

I’m Grateful, that I’m Grateful

Although the title suggests a certain redundant thinking it actually captures exactly what I am thinking, I am Grateful….that I can be grateful.

Writing my morning pages this morning I finished by jotting down the things in my life I am grateful for.  I do this frequently and where the items on the list are often the same  it doesn’t minimize their value or importance to me.  Things like “I’m grateful for my family, who love and support me”, or “I’m grateful for the affluence of my life, we have so much when others have so little”.  Acknowledging this gratitude is integral to appreciating it, we take so much for granted in our lives that to think of the good things we have and to be aware of and appreciate them is to ensure they will remain.  Perhaps Karma has a factor, perhaps it’s God or whatever spiritual power you believe in, perhaps it’s only a mind game, but whatever the reason gratitude is a force that has affects our lives.

Working through my moods, my ups and downs, is a frequent challenge.  When I’m “up” life is good, nothing is bad and my glasses are rose colored.  If I’m “down” then all I can see around me are the things in life that could be better.  I’m seldom in such a poor state where everything is bad or I think my life sucks the big one but my energy is depleted and the things around me I should be enjoying are somehow greyed out, out of focus and difficult to see.

Call it depression, tag it with whatever label works best, but this cycle of moods can be debilitating and my heart goes out to those who suffer strongly from it.  I am not so adversely affected but suffer at times I do, and my thinking about the good things in my life brings hope and light to my being.  Being grateful recharges me, being grateful that I have the ability to be grateful inspires me.  There is hope.

Maddy and Mom

Maddy and Mom

Not being as organized as I could be perhaps I did not make it to my journal this morning. I may write in it later but for now this will have to suffice.

After a quick breakfast and some endearing words to my wife I loaded up the truck and went off to help a friend disassemble an old tin shed. After taking it to it’s new location at the dump I returned home for lunch and to pack a couple days worth of clothes for a short trip to Kelowna. This is one of the blessings that an early retirement can afford you, spontaneous trips to see grandchildren.

Photo 2012-04-26 10 25 43 PM
Madden and Mom

We are off to see our new grandson, his Mommy and Daddy too of course, and I can’t wait to hold him in my arms. It’s amazing what kind of an impact a new baby can have on you, especially a grandchild. The yearning you feel for them when they are away from you is difficult to describe. I’ve often heard that exact thing said but until the occasion occurs in your family, and to your daughter, it doesn’t really sink in. He has just attached himself to our hearts and the pull that he generates over us is indescribable.

We will take over most of the night feedings while we are there, giving both parents an opportunity to catch up on their sleep. Until he sleeps a little longer during the night the frequent feedings will take their toll on Mom and Dad. It’s something we have all gone through but we want to be as supportive as possible and take as much of the strain off them as we can. They will also be able to go out on a date night, another experience that will take place less frequently and will be more appreciated. We are not doing this only for them as we have our ulterior motives as well. Any time we can spend with the baby will be time well spent.

“Time spent laughing is time well spent.”
J.C. Phillipps, Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to be Noticed

Morning Pages – in the Afternoon

Morning Pages – in the Afternoon

I have been quite faithful in maintaining my journal, or morning pages, and most days quite look forward to it.  Today was no exception, however the day started off at a pace faster than I first appreciated and I missed that first crucial step, relax and write.

Perhaps there are no “good excuses” but the tasks that took me off my schedule were dealing with some of Dad’s taxes, taking the car in for service, and then once I returned home just generally procrastinating and fussing about.  I think my biggest mistake was having the 3 or more cups of coffee during all of the above.  Caffeine and relaxing are not known to be synonymous, at least not in my book.  How someone can go to a coffee shop, drink coffee and write is beyond me.  Don’t get me wrong, you have all my admiration if you are able but the ability escapes me.  If I stay away from the 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee perhaps, otherwise forget it.

What works better for me is where I am now, sitting on my deck listening to the subtle tune of wind chimes and gurgling water.  The weather has turned for the better with the sun coming out and a mild breeze at my back.  My yard is coming to life with buds on the Magnolia tree and the shrubbery greening up.  Every so often the fragrance of spring wafts through the air and I feel so happy.  Life is good, this is what retirement means to me.

I came out to the deck after the above described procrastinating and finally sat down to complete my morning pages, in the afternoon.  My morning journal has been something quite helpful to me, beginning initially as a means to diarize my “feelin’s and emotions” and then later progressing to what it has now become, more a hardcover chat with myself.  It’s where I can record anything and everything, no topics left unturned, but primarily just a method to let some of my thoughts out.  It’s amazing how the process of writing down something, anything, can establish a flow of thought, of ideas, and feelings.  It was these thoughts and feelings that I want to capture here, so here I am.  I don’t want to neglect my paper pages but as I started to chat with myself in them I realized that here was where I wanted to be, not only on my deck but writing here on this blog.  Why?  Can’t say exactly, other than my hope is to inspire some thought within someone else, perhaps inspire them to step onto their deck or into their yard, and let the beauty of life surround them.

As you can likely discern I am in a relative good place right now, such has not always been the case.  If you’ve read any of the other drivel on this site you can attest to that.  It has been a journey, a trip through time, place, and mood.  Much of it good, some of it not so.  I don’t believe it’s over and should you choose to follow you will some day see the great reveal.  You will know…..who I am.  Not only the technical details of who I am, like name, address, and social insurance number, but who I am inside.  The complex thing they call Dwayne.  I often waver in my desire to come out of the blog closet, to post the address to this site on Facebook, or to Twitter my thoughts and provide a link back to this blog.  Even my closest family is not aware (that I know) of this secret location of my darkest thoughts.  If they do they have certainly not shared that knowledge with me.  And that’s fine.  When the time is right I will do that, it’s just not right yet.

In the meantime it’s just you and I.  I’m not sure who “you” is but even if I’m writing to myself I’m opening up a channel in my existence to a higher power.  Some say “God” and some say just creativity.  Whatever it is I feel more alive, and somehow more at peace.

As always any comments are most welcome,

Signing off,

me