Thanks

Hey, thanks for checking out my blog. Although I’ve enjoyed writing over the years, I have never had the time to do a lot of it. Retirement has allowed me the time to reflect and write.

I am excited about this new hobby but also a little nervous and apprehensive. Please give me your thoughts, comments and suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Rather than give you a long opening intro about my life, I’m hoping you will get to know me through my posts – if I can keep your attention that long!

Thanks again.

Debbie

When you begin to care more

I’ve written about many residents of our community and have mentioned on how each of them have touched me in some way. As time passes, I of course see more of these folks during my daily routine. Well, perhaps, I don’t see them but I see aspects of their life often.

For instance, when I walk by Bert and Hilda’s home (their names are on a sign on their mailbox) I see Bert but never Hilda now. I have seen the Medicine Shoppe van in the driveway and various professional looking visitors, but only Bert in his yard. Is Hilda okay? Is she still here?

I pass a lovely home every day on my walks. They have a beautiful garden and during the Spring and Summer months I see them tending to it. Lately I’ve noticed a large amount of dietary supplements cans in their recycling and no sign of either of them. I hope they are okay.

It has been a very long time since I’ve seen the gentlemen that sits daily on his veranda in a wheelchair. There was an ambulance in his driveway today.

If I don’t see the man sitting on his walker on the corner with his big dog every time I go to the park, I wonder where he is. He usually sits there no matter what the weather and always the same time of day.

Our city apparently has the second largest elderly population, per capita, in Canada and therefore what I am describing shouldn’t be unusual. I guess my point of this post is that to me they aren’t just people I see during my day – even though I don’t know them, I care for them. I hope they’re well and okay.

I guess I should apologize for another melancholy post but there is positive side of this too. If these people hadn’t impacted me in a happy, content manner, I wouldn’t have given them another thought. They’ve helped me to be more compassionate I think and once again, more grateful that I have the time to ‘notice’.

Dogs

I enjoy going to our dog park and needless to say so does Porsha. Sometimes it’s all the socialization I need in a day, sometimes it’s too much. It has been so good for me on many levels. Many regulars at the park are who I may never have associated with or had a conversation with, had it not been for the love of a dog. I know that doesn’t sound kind but I think it’s probably how we all feel. I’m grateful to have met each of them. We strike up conversations naturally, just watching our pups at play. We learn helpful hints about dog obedience and health from each other. We start to care for family members mentioned during the time we’re there. We share recipes, talk about the weather, have some laughs, some disagreements and some tears. Most of all, over time, we love each dog as our own.

I’m loving the park here in CA as well. Such interesting individuals – the healing psychic who brings 5 rescues, the young man who has cancer, the man who claims he lies to airlines saying his dog is a service dog so that he doesn’t have to pay a fee 😡, Brad the chihuahua’s elderly dad whose eyes shine with pride, Daisy’s folks who rescued her from under a trailer…..

The love of a dog is such a blessing in our lives. They help us to become better humans – of this I’m convinced.

Listen…

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I have written about some of the lovely residents of our neighbourhood in a previous post but I feel the need to add more.

I often run into a very elegant elderly lady on my way to town.  She is always wearing a skirt, pantyhose, starched blouse and a broach or scarf.  She walks her little dog or they ride together in her motor cart.  I’m always greeted with such a beautiful smile and a cheerful ‘good morning’.  One day when I was walking to the beach, I gave her one of my bookmarks that had a photo of dog prints in the sand with the caption ‘love walks on four paws’.  She was so happy to receive it – gave me a big hug thanked me profusely.  We have little chats on the street when we meet now and I find myself being disappointed if I don’t see her when I’m out.  If I am privileged to reach her age, I would love to possess even some of her grace.

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We have a new puppy whom we love to bits but at times can be challenging – that’s another post!  When I walked her yesterday, I was not in a good frame of mind.  Just wanted to spend the rainy afternoon painting (or trying to practice my painting) with my music playing and a nice cup of tea.  Porsha was not of the same thinking.  Playing with my slippers, chewing on the area rug and my legs seemed like far more fun.  I relented and thought it best to take her for a walk, although I was not happy about having to forego ‘me time’.

An elderly lady was walking across the street.  As soon as Porsha saw her, she started barking.  As it appeared that the lady was going to cross the street toward us, I picked up my pup.  After greeting the woman and her offering Porsha her hand, she said that she was going to pick up her dog at the nearby house.  She’d been at a memorial that afternoon and her friends kindly looked after her dog.  She said that she’d gone to the memorial to support her daughter – the deceased was her former mother in law.  Then she just started talking non-stop.  She lost her husband a year ago to Alzheimer’s disease and had been relieved in a way when he passed, knowing that he was not suffering anymore but this past little while, she’s been sadder than ever.  I offered that grief does that and that there are no set timelines – it surfaces uncontrollably.  She said she should be stronger.  I emphatically said that she shouldn’t feel that way.  There is no right or wrong.  By this time she is crying.  I gave her a hug and said I was sorry for her loss and that I hoped her day got better.  She thanked me, put her head down and walked into her neighbour’s driveway.

I believe there are no coincidences.  She needed someone to talk to and perhaps I needed to be reminded how blessed I am to have Mark, and that our time together is so precious.  That lovely lady would have given anything to go home to her husband.

I stood behind another lady in the lineup at the post office the other day.  Her daughter was with her and told me that her mom was 96 years young.  I told her that she sure didn’t look 96.  She said ‘even the back of my hair? I had a hard time with it this morning’.  I laughed and said no, it was perfect.  She smiled and said ‘well, the secret to living this long is to just keep breathing and oh, have the odd glass of wine!’.  I love her!

When I worked, I didn’t have these kind of interactions with strangers.  I was too busy working and trying to squeeze in a purposeful life outside of the office.   My family, friends and coworkers were all important to me and it seems that that’s all I had time for.  I am so grateful that retirement has allowed me to gain an interest in others in my community.   The lessons and reminders they give me are priceless – not to mention just the pure joy of their company.

 

 

Just breathe…

After getting kind of used to retirement life I was anxious to start some new activities – or perhaps I was thinking that I should start some new activities. I picked up the area’s recreation program booklet and quickly found a few that would interest me. Yoga was one of them. I had taken Yoga when I was about 30 and in good shape. I thought ‘how hard could it be’ and what a great way to break into a more physical lifestyle.

I purchased a mat, dug out my semi acceptable yoga type workout clothes and showed up for my first class entitled Gentle Yoga. Perfect! Everyone looked really nice and oh so calm. The class started out with the winding down onto your mat type thing. Perfect! However, after about the first 15 minutes I was thinking to myself how much harder Gentle Yoga was than when I was 30. They must have really changed it. I found the instructor kind of curt and impatient which puzzled me cause I thought this was a beginner’s class. 50 minutes into the class, the lady next to me said ‘don’t feel you have to do this pose, just do what you can’. Oh, ok, thanks, wished the instructor agreed! The only ‘light’ part of the 75 minutes was when someone’s cell phone rang. The poor person ran out of the class with it. The instructor snarked ‘that’s a first’. Two things occurred to me here – the instructor is a B and I like the other presumably new person! As I was rolling up my mat at the end of the class, the kind lady next to me told me not to give up and suggested a few other instructors/classes I may enjoy more.

When I was finally able to raise my leg into a car, I went to my second class. Phew, obviously this instructor had been informed of newbees in her class and it really was a much more pleasant experience. I started to look forward to my twice weekly sessions. Yoga made me feel better. Everything you read about it was (kind of) happening to me. I have become good friends with the naughty cell phone yogi. We have our chuckles over some of the mutual hilarious moments during class:

  • her cell phone rang in another class (thankfully not same instructor)
  • when I got home from a class I realized that there were holes in the crotch of my leggings which would have made ‘happy baby’ pose pretty yucky for the poor instructor facing me at the front of the class
  • an instructor had lit candles in the middle of the studio floor prior to class.  A male yogi walked across the floor, not seeing the candles and accidentally kicked them onto my mat and legs.  Wax flew and I felt a bit of heat before the candles went out.   The instructor was great, while trying not to grin she said ‘it happens’.  We never saw the poor yogi again.
  • a lovely instructor that speaks through the whole class – whether you want to hear her voice or not.  Our fave line of hers is ‘peace to the plants’.  Huh?
  • the time I’m in so need of emptying my bladder and the instructor tells us to find peace in the pose.  That’s not how I’m translating it during my time of need and I get the giggles.  Did she say ‘pees in the pose’?

Unfortunately, it appears the studio owner has had some financial difficulties so it has closed in our city. But, we were happy to hear that one of our fave instructors is opening up her own studio in July. I look forward to continuing then. I enjoy everything that Yoga is supposed to do for you and does for me when I attend regularly – relaxation, me time, attention to my body, spirituality, strength in all it’s forms, and camaraderie. Some days the most important thing it brings to me is laughter. How great is that!

Namasté

yoga is the space between

Music

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Music has always played an important part in my life. My mother was a very gifted pianist and her love for all types of music carried over to her children. She too inherited the love of it through family. Her father taught her to play the piano by drawing out the keyboard on paper placed on the kitchen table.  He hummed every key she played, even the wrong notes.   When they finally could afford a piano, mom just sat down at it and played.   Music was a constant in my childhood home – whether it be mom on the piano or records stacked on the turntable.

I took piano lessons and played clarinet in the high school band. Although I was okay at both, neither was a passion. Listening to and appreciating all genres of music is my passion, per se.   When I’m alone at home or in my car, unequivocally my music is playing.

“With the right music you either forget everything or you remember everything”.

Yep! A song can allow me to remember a special time, person or situation in my life. It can have me crying with sadness or happiness. It can make me bend over in a belly laugh, smile at the heavens, smirk, dance, sing at the top of my lungs. It’s great therapy too.  If I’m stressed or out of sorts, my music takes me away from the negative thoughts.  I know I’m not alone when I say that I honestly can’t imagine my life without it.

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In the genes?

Whenever I walk and can see my shadow, I think to myself this could be Mom, either of my sisters, my niece, or me walking. Our gaits are the same. I have many memories of recognizing a family member walking toward me, even if they are blocks away, simply by their gait. I can never wrap my head around how this similarity occurs in families. Is it in the genes? I can appreciate how facial and body likenesses, even voice tones can be attributed to genes. I can even understand our shared quirky sense of humour, given the wit both my parents possessed. But gait?? Don’t know why it puzzles me or actually, why I even care. I do know though that I’m somehow comforted and reassured when I notice it.

 

 

 

 

Worry is a total waste of the imagination

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I’m sure this will sound melancholy and dramatic but I felt the need to write it anyway.  We took down our Christmas decorations this past Sunday.  Reminiscent of me, every year, I get sad when I am taking the ornaments off the tree.  There is sentimental value to many of the ornaments – gifts from friends, personalized ones for the kids, a picture of Jessie in a frame, etc.  It’s not really that so much that makes me sad, it’s my thinking when I put them away.  The next time I’m standing here, placing them back on our tree, what will have transpired over the year?  Will my loved ones and friends still be ok?  Will I?  Will we still be happy here in our home/community?  What will be happening in the world.  See, I told you, it’d be a ‘dark’ post!

I remember when I was younger not really liking New Year’s Eve because I was afraid of what the New Year would bring.  Would this be the year I lost my parents – the people I loved most in the world.  I eventually got over that although I’m still not really into a big celebration on the last day of the year.

I guess the good thing is that I know I shouldn’t be so worried about what the future will bring.  I am working hard at living in the moment and just being grateful for the blessings I have in my life.

here Yes, worry is a total waste of the  buy prednisone 10mg online imagination.

What a great statement.  Won’t take the credit for writing it (don’t know who did) but it’s something I’ve got to remind myself of more often.

Tadalafil Tastylia orally disintegrating strips I genuinely wish you who are reading this a very Healthy, Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re welcome

Good manners were always an important part of my growing up. Well, not just important, required. Please, thank you, you’re welcome, excuse me, sorry (even if we really didn’t do anything wrong – ok, we’re Canadian!),  were part of my vocabulary from a very early age. If I happened to miss one of them and my parents were listening, I was corrected sternly.

I think I do a pretty good job of maintaining this requirement of my upbringing. Probably another obsession of mine but I sure notice when people aren’t as focused on manners as I am, and yes, it irks me.

At the risk of sounding like a rant, when I thank a store cashier, after I have paid for my purchase and they reply with just a ‘you’re welcome’, not combined with a ‘thank you’, I wanna scream. What? I bought something from YOUR store, I gave you MY money and it’s like you are implying that you did ME a favour. Grrrr.

Phew, thanks for listening. Sorry, I know I should pick my battles!!

The little things….

I saw an elderly(ish) Salvation Army Kettle volunteer outside in the wind and the rain. I commented that it was a pretty miserable day to be out. He shook his head and said ‘ah no, the people keep me warm – Merry Christmas ma’am’. He warmed my heart and made my day.

Since retiring, I find that little things like the above touch me.  Okay, perhaps it’s also my age and I’m realizing now more than ever that time goes by quickly and that I should savour as many moments as I can.  When I worked it seemed there was always a rush to get what I was doing done.   I rarely took the time to just notice and appreciate brief encounters and interactions throughout my day.  I think in the end, a reflection of our life’s happiest and most appreciative memories will include little things like this.   As cliche as it sounds, an abundant life is filled with love, in all of its forms.