Tag: Journaling

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.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

home, hearth, fire, chair, reading
Home is Where the Hearth Is

Home….., home is where the hearth is.

That’s my take on a popular quote:

Home is Where the Heart Is
Pliny the Elder

Now I honestly have no idea who Pliny the Elder is but I’m sure a quick search on Google or Wikipedia would answer that question.

Home, is where you are most comfortable, perhaps the happiest. It can be in your own home or somewhere else with a loved one. It’s where you feel content, no false front required or desired. Hopefully home is with those you love most, your family, a wife, your children or your grandchildren.

family, loved ones, children, grandchildren
Family, Loved Ones

Home, where the cares of the world ease, where you can be at peace and problems outside your world evaporate.  It’s a place to care, and be cared for, to love and be loved.

Home ….. is Home.

I also feel at home outside, in my yard. I can be in my garden or just sitting under the maple tree with a book, perhaps a beer at my side and thoughts of relaxation and calmness washing over me. Not a care, nor a concern, a oneness with life and nature ….. hold on, maybe that’s the beer talking. Better take it easy……

adirondack, chair, peaceful, relaxation
Holy Place

I call that place under the maple tree and surrounded by cedars my ‘Holy Place’, and I look forward to visiting it again soon, when the spring sun comes and the warmth takes the snow away. It will be one of my outside homes.

Another area I like to call home is sitting on the deck. It’s a place to catch the morning rays of sun and perhaps the cool breezes as they wash over the space. I’ll likely hear the wind chimes playing their rich tones, like so many church bells tolling their virtues. I’ll be reading there too, or perhaps posting to the blog, or journaling my morning pages. I’ll feel the peace, the warmth of the sun and the calmness.

I will be ok there, in any of those places I call home. I can recognize my fortune and acknowledge my gratitude. It’s good to be home.

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

July 12 Camping

July 12 Camping

Time is flying by, and I know not where it’s gone. I only wish I could recapture it, experience it again.

We have been camping or on the road now since July 6th and I haven’t journaled or blogged since then.  Actually that is not totally correct, I blogged about Madden on the 7th.  Shows what my memory is like, good but short.  Or as a friend said to me, “my memory is good, it’s my recall that’s the shits”.

My back/ lower side has been bothering me the last few nights and the first night it chose to rear its ugly pain ridden head it reached such a crescendo of discomfort I was unable to get to sleep.  I thought perhaps the cause was the bag-type chair I’ve been using so I switched to either standing up or sitting in a different lawn chair since then.  This is the first day I’ve tried sitting in my chair since then and as I sit here, on my lawn chair/throne, surveying my campsite domain, I pulled out my iPhone and will pen some thoughts.

Writing anything here is a challenge for me. I am easily distracted, I already have a short attention span, and I am also easily lead astray. A prime senior ADD candidate Not a good combo for someone endeavoring to maintain their blog. Oh I wish I were stronger of will and not so wishy washy. We are so often critical of ourselves aren’t we?

My other current excuse is the lack of cell service, read that as Internet. Since my posting is done either via phone or laptop I’m somewhat hooped on both counts. In reality that’s a bunch of bunk, and if I had the appropriate amount of willpower it wouldn’t be an issue. I can get a cell connection down at the beach, should I choose to avail myself of it. I can also journal anytime and anywhere as all I need is my journal and a pen or pencil. Hell, a piece of charcoal and a deerskin would work. They’ve been used for centuries.

Whatever the reasons for not posting there’s far too many distractions now. I’ll have to finish later.
Caio

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.2

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.2

In my previous post I was giving a bit of an update on how I see things have gone for me lately, how I’m feeling better and generally less angry and frustrated.  I think I’m coming out of this tunnel called Depression. I believe I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not an oncoming train (I hope).

I discussed some of my symptoms, the treatments and path I took to deal with it, the meds and my visits with a counselor.  I left off with the discussion about if the death of my sons had any role in my depression.

More to the saga – read here

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.1

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.1

I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, not at all angry and as unhappy as I was before.  My depression, if that what it is, seems to have diminished or become depressed itself.  I was never 100% sure it was depression but as I understand there is a broad spectrum of symptoms and I had a number of them.  In some ways it’s hard to remember really what it was like during the bad times but I think some mental health issues are like that, in that when you start feeling good you forget a bit about what feeling bad was like.  I have a sense I didn’t like it much.  Being as I’m in a good space now I thought I could update things a bit.  Have a seat with me and let’s roll.

Intrigued? Read more

My Holy Place

My Holy Place

The rain has continued now for the past two days and while it brings much needed moisture to the grounds it dampens any enthusiasm for one to go outside (pun intended).  I’m ok with it at this time though as it supports my choice to get something accomplished indoors, chores around the house being one option.  It also supports me spending some time blogging, which is getting sadly neglected and in dire need of a boost.

I’ve managed to keep up my journal, the morning pages, and even though the weather is wet and cool I have stepped out of the house onto the deck to write.  It is in the shelter of the house and is close enough to being outside at this time. I wrapped myself in a lap blanket and have persevered, relishing the freshness of the air and listening to the birds sing their spring songs.  Our wind chimes play their tunes occasionally as well, and when the breeze picks up their rich notes bring a church-like quality to the atmosphere.

Chairs in the Holy placeWhat I’ve been waiting for however is the opportunity to sit in the area of our front yard where I feel at most at peace, the spot I’ve recently christened my “Holy place”.  The descriptor came to me days ago when I was sitting in my recliner looking longingly out the window at that area, thinking the time will soon come when I can be out there, when both the weather and temperature will support my visit.  First, or best I should say, would be when my Adirondack chairs will be finished and placed in their special place under the boughs of the maple, where I can sit in the dappled shade and relish in the beauty of the moment.  The fountain will be gurgling in the background and sweet fragrance of flowers will be in the air.  The temperature will be perfect and my mind will temper it’s exuberance to take me into outside chores, there will be time a plenty for those.

In addition to the peacefulness of the area it’s a spot that provides me a glimpse of my toys, a truck or two, and the camping trailer that’s about to be used. It’s a comfortable area and I feel enclosed in it’s graces.  It saves me, I am at peace in my Holy place.

Do you have a holy place, and if so where is it?

Wake up and Smell the Roses

Wake up and Smell the Roses

The title for this post is a mis-quote by a chap I used to work with, we called them Tommy’isms and there were a few. This one is a cross between “Wake up and smell the coffee” and “Stop and smell the roses” and it came to mind after reading a post by RCGale called “Writers seem to be writing about the things they feel they ought to be writing about, and not the things that obsess them”. The post resonated with me because that particular challenge is one I currently face and struggle with almost every time I post. It seems to be so prevalent in my blogging life I’ve posted about it before.

The original intent for me was to record what I was thinking and feeling on any given day and somehow make some sense of it. By journalling I wanted to provide something to others, to show readers (if there were any) that they were not alone, there was at least one other person out there who thought the same as them or was experiencing the same or similar things. Somehow, in some subtle way, it morphed into being more about the writing and less about the “why”.

I still have the challenges and I have taken Ross’s post as reminder that the writing should be from “the heart”, with the purpose of expressing ones thoughts and feelings, and not for the sole reason to collect readership and in many cases increase sales. That’s not to say that books written for that purpose are somehow wrong or mis-guided, the author need only be clear in their own mind what their intent is.

So in order to accommodate both purposes (because I’m all about pleasing everyone) I will try to remember my original goal and write from my gut, but do it in a pleasing and palatable way that makes it a “good read”. After all, if it’s not easy to read and enjoyable what’s the point, right? Please let me know what you think.

Subversive Writing

Subversive Writing

For some time now I’ve been maintaining a daily journal, mostly of just this’n that with no real topics or orientation.  I’ve done it for a couple reasons, originally because my therapist suggested I do it to keep a record of how I feel on any given day and can then see improvement or changes over time.  The second reason came about later after reading a book about writing, and how it’s important to write regularly in order to keep the juices flowing (my words).

So while the act of writing is both therapeutic and motivational it can sometimes feel subversive, particularly if I’m doing it with others in the room.  Why the hell is that?  It seems to occur mostly when doing my morning journal, like somehow whatever I’m writing is wrong or perhaps speaking against whoever is in the room.  Too weird.  I suspect it is just an indication of a personal hang up, and one that I’ll beat down, you can count on that.  I am getting better at writing at any time, and will continue to journal regardless of location.  The only subversion that’s taking place is if I stop.