Haters Gonna Hate

I’ve been really bothered lately by how much hate I am seeing spewed in social media.  Whether its Starbuck and their red cups for the holidays (but but Jesus!) or immigrants “descending on Canada” (but but Canada first!) or our new Prime Minister (but Socialism!).  I have admit, its really wearing me down, to the point that I don’t want to engage anyone on social media on most topics.

First of all, if you are upset about the red cups not having snowflakes or snowmen or your Lord and Saviour on them, just give your head a shake.  Frankly if the lack of symbolism on your paper coffee cup offends you as a Christian, your priorities are ALL FUCKED UP.  Like seriously. This Reverend puts it best in her story on HuffPost – direct quote “And maybe this year we can stop yelling at others to “Keep Christ in Christmas” and instead focus on being Christlike ourselves”.  I’m not religious at all but even I know that this is a good idea!  If you are that bummed about not having snowflakes and shit on your red cup, I’ll loan you.  No, I will GIVE you a silver sharpie with which to draw your own. In the meantime, worry more about being a good person and stuff.

Ok, so now the issues of refugees and immigrants coming to Canada – specifically the many desperate and homeless Syrian refugees that our new Liberal government has pledged to help.  A local eatery hosted a fundraiser to sponsor a refugee family, as outlined in this article.  While many of the commenters on this story were supported, I was stunned at how many people were LOSING THEIR SHIT over this.  I mean, HOW DARE these people use their OWN FUCKING MONEY to help a family from SOMEWHERE ELSE.  I shit you not.  These folks couldn’t understand why this restaurant (and their generous staff and patrons) would want to help someone in another country instead of their local homeless, hungry etc.  Well first of all – its their money.  They can do whatever the fuck they want with it. Secondly, there’s nothing that says you can’t give to those near and FAR.  If you can afford it, you can donate food to the food bank, clothing to the homeless, baby supplies to the local woman’s shelter and still help sponsor a refugee family.  The thing that really pisses me off is that most of these people who say BUT WHAT ABOUT CANADA have never donated a single item of clothes, food or even money to any local cause.  And don’t even get me started about the racism.  Yikes.  It’s funny how most of us “old stock Canadians” (terrible term) have forgotten that most of our ancestors were either immigrants or refugees whether it was 10 years ago, a generation or 100 years ago.  We are ALL Canadians and I hope that all of us will welcome the new refugees with open arms when they finally do get here.  They are not here to steal your jobs or start a war or try to impose “sharia law” on your ass. Canada is a country that can help the people already living in Canada and those who are coming.

AND lastly, our new Prime Minister. I’m pretty excited about him and his shiny new cabinet.  Image that, a cabinet that actually reflects the actual demographics of Canada.  We have a kick ass Minister of National Defence who is a decorated war hero.  AND he’s also Sikh, which is pretty cool.  We have an astronaut responsible for Transportation, a former bus driver in charge of Infrastructure and the list goes on!  All these people seem so qualified and well suited to their new roles. I’m very optimistic about Canada’s future! Of course the haters are already hating this but you know what?  Haters are going to hate, because that’s what they do.

So I am not going to engage with these petty/angry/hating people on social media any longer.  It’s not worth the effort to try to enlighten them!  So go on hating because you are only bringing yourselves down.

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Be the change

“Be the change you want to see in the world”, words that are usually attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.  While these are wise and thoughtful words, they were not uttered by Gandhi. What he said was more along these lines: 

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

Or, put even more simply,

“You can choose to step up and shine, or sit back and whine”

Deep stuff, I know. I came up with that one. We can sit on our comfy couches with our social media and big screen tv’s and talk about the things that we want to see changed, like homelessness in our cities, the working poor and the plight of refugees. Or criticize the efforts of others to bring hope to the world. Even closer to home, we talk about our own health and fitness.

Or. We could get off those comfy couches, and put down our devices and get out there and do something.  We can help those who cannot help themselves. Offer comfort to the grieving, feed the hungry and bring hope to those without hope. Less talking about giving and more contributing to the world around us. 

Closer to home, the thing that I can most easily change is my own outlook on life. My own attitude and my own behaviors. Then, by doing so, maybe I can be a positive influence on others while improving the quality of my own existence and giving to others. Seems like a good to place to start. 

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Catching Up

I renewed my word press subscription today. And also note that it’s been several months since my last posting. There isn’t much point having a domain of my own, if I never post anything on it. So I am determined to make an attempt to be more verbose.

I have been trying to figure out why I stopped blogging on a regular basis after once being somewhat prolific, and I think it’s because I’m worried that some people who read it might not like what I have to say. At the end of the day that doesn’t really matter, my blog is for me. My blog is for me to talk about what’s bothering me, making me happy, or just on my mind.
This week, what is on my mind is our new Liberal government. Our new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, seems to be very optimistic and full of hope for our country’s future. I’m really delighted with the cabinet ministers he has appointed, not just because of his commitment to a full balance of both men and women, but because the people appointed to the cabinet seem to be well-qualified for their new roles.

This change in government has filled me with Hope for our nation. I am optimistic that our new PM, and his vibrant and diverse cabinet, will help Canada continue to grow and be the country that is always been in my mind. A nation where all peoples, whether they be indigenous, refugees, immigrants, or (to quote our former PM) old stock Canadians, live together in peace and harmony.  Because to me we are all Canadians, whether we have been here five years, 10 years, one generation or 100 years.

Here is a picture from our recent Cruise to Alaska. This experience was fantastic, and the kind of thing I hope to do again in the future.  This photo makes me feel peaceful because I remember the fresh clean air, The cool breeze on my face, and the beautiful scenery that surrounded us. And it should come as a surprise to no one who knows me,  that I am very much suited to cruising. I think holiday by boat has become my new favorite past time. More on this later.

Blog post one, over and out

  

  

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Squish goes my heart

I am going to break my long absence from this blog, by commenting on an event that happened just last week.

On a Sunday two weeks ago, when looking at a Facebook site for owners of local dragons, I read a post from a girl who was looking for a home in very short order for a bearded dragon. There had been a family tragedy, this girls cousin had passed away unexpectedly and the family left behind did not know what to do with her bearded dragon.

I looked at my husband, and told him what I had read.  Within seconds it was agreed that we would adopt this dragon, sight unseen and without knowing really anything of the circumstances. After a few text messages back-and-forth, we agreed to pick up the dragon.  Within an hour, this dragon, named “Jubs”,  was in our home.

The circumstances of this womans passing were quite tragic but they are not for me to comment on here. Needless to say, they left me feeling very sad, but also grateful that we were able to help the family in one small way by taking on Jubs. She was very much loved and treasured by her owner, and we pledged that we would do the same.

She is a sweet dragon, and the biggest, chubbiest dragon we have ever seen. She seemed sad, but also settled in quite well. But she was also reserved, she wasn’t really comfortable with snuggling, and always looked nervous when we came near her. 

  
And then one night last week, we lay with her on the floor for a visit. She looked at me, she looked at my husband, and when I thought she was going to run away across the floor (again) she ran up to me, across my folded arms nuzzled her head in the crook of my arm, and promptly fell asleep. I lay there with her on my arm for at least 15 minutes, until my arm started to fall asleep. Like I said, she’s a very chubby girl.

I have to admit, I cried a little. This creature, who had lost a beloved owner, and been brought into a new home with lots of other dragons, finally trusted me enough to fall asleep in my arms.   She is perfectly content to cuddle now, and happily eats everything we give her.

It is for these moments of joy that we bring these unknown dragons into our home. So that we can offer them a safe and happy home, and hopefully give them the love that they so richly deserve.  We give them love, and we get just as much back in return. and because of this, our door will always be open to these unknown dragons.

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A New High, of sorts

Today I went to the doctor for my annual checkup. It’s been a few years, and I was long overdue. My family doctor is wonderful, a very honest and kind lady. When she asked if I had any special concerns about my health today, I commented about my weight. I have really been struggling with it. She looked at me and she said “today is the highest we have ever seen you, and we need to do something about that”.

I have always been honest with her about my weigh concerns, (I have been struggling for a long time) but today was the first time she actually expressed a concern about my weight. And that’s really got me thinking. 

Although this week has been uncommonly good, in so far as me being focused on my goals and healthy eating, the discussion with my doctor has renewed my commitment to my health.

At this point, my weight has not affected my blood pressure, in fact it is low. (114/77). But I do notice other things, things that really bother me. Things like not being able to do everything I want to do in life, like running. Although I am definitely not the biggest person out there, I still feel like so many things would be easier in life if there were less of me. Like squeezing into a booth at a restaurant, or an airline seat.

This week I have said no to a lot of things, that I would normally be all over. Like cake , cookies, donuts and all the other crap that was in the office this week. At first it was hard to say no to it, but the more I say no, the easier it gets.

I struggle with the social aspects of being overweight. That is, not wanting to see people who last saw me at a smaller size. Although the people that matter, the people I love the most, will never judge me for my size. In fact I’m pretty sure that I am the hardest of anyone on myself. I need to learn how to be compassionate with myself.

There are those who will say that people like me, who struggle with our wait on a daily basis, simply need more willpower, or we are simply lazy. 

 It’s not a matter of willpower, I have that in spades. Food is a real addiction, one that is so hard to kick because it’s something you still need and you cannot give it up completely. Our relationship with food is something that is created moment we are born, and is a product of every thing that is happening in your lives up to this point. As for being lazy, those who know me, know that simply not true.

So tonight, is the point of this blog is to just put it out there, to be accountable, to put in writing the commitment that I am making to myself, here and now. From tonight onwards, I will think about the food that I put in my mouth. Is it worth eating? Does it nourish and bless my body? Is it really food or was it manufactured in a factory?

Note I found this in my draft list from October 2014. As I read through it, I realize that everything I said is still true. I am still struggling. But every day I make slightly better choices. I make a decision not to eat something that will not nourish me in anyway. I make a decision to have a healthy breakfast, or go for a longer walk. Every day and in every way I get a little bit stronger. So I’m not really sure why I didn’t post the six months ago when I originally posted, but I’m going to post it today. Because I believe being completely honest with myself, and my blog, as part of the healing journey that I am on.  

 

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Hello, is it me you are looking for?

Well hello WWW.  It’s been so long since I’ve posted a single darn word to my beloved blog.  I’ve certainly had lots to say but for some reason or other I have not blogged my thoughts.  I know what the MAIN reason is, and while I am not going to share it, I have decided that it’s not enough of a reason to stop me from blogging.

There have been a few things that have made for a less than stellar few months… My summer started out with me getting concussed by bonking my head on bottom of the garage door. So hard that I saw stars – I was off work for a week, missed the Lady GaGa concert and didn’t ride my motorcycle for a whole precious month! I’m still not feeling 100% more than 5 months later and I have a real appreciation now for the struggles that those with brain injury face every day.

My grandfather passed away from Alzheimer’s on my birthday, which was very sad and also ensured that I will never forget the anniversary of his passing.  He had been ill for years, and the last time we saw him in October of last year, that which made him HIM was gone. Alzheimer’s sucks. It’s a horrible life stealing disease and I hope a cure is found soon.  The funeral was a SHIT show with my grandfather’s wife completely leaving us out of the remembrance of my grandfather’s life.  Why do people have to be such DICKS to each other in these circumstances? I think that in times of sorrow we should be kind to one another but sadly, that’s not always the case.

Now that my knees seem to be slowly recovering, thanks in large part to strength training, I have started going back to Zumba.  I have REALLY missed Zumba – the music, the dancing, the camaraderie and the serious calorie burning.   While I still have to be careful, and apply large amounts of tape to my knee in order to participate in a Zumba class, its good to be back.  Because frankly, the treadmill is OK, but that shit gets boring quickly!

ANNNDDD after a summer of accomplishing nothing with my weight loss journey, I am back to Weight Watchers meetings.  Will this be the time that I finally get my shit together and commit to lasting weight loss?  Who knows, I hope so but I definitely won’t accomplish anything if I don’t try.  It seems very sad to me that while so many people go hungry every day, I struggle with weight LOSS.

I don’t really have a point this time, no grand AHA moment, no words of wisdom or funny quip.  I just wanted to reach out and touch base with my blog, and its 4 readers.  If I have to stretch my brain (which still hurts) and find a more to this tale it’s that other people’s opinions should NOT keep a person from blogging.  If folks don’t like what I have to say, they don’t have to read it.  If they don’t like who I am, they don’t have to feel me.  TO quote Lady GaGa:

Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way, born this way

also,

SOYLENT GREEN IS MADE OF PEOPLE.

um I mean.

NO MORE FUCKING ABBA!

well,

close enough.

and a turtle for good measure.

Neutral Buoyancy Turtle

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The Black Dog

It seems like a long time since I’ve sat down and put my thoughts into my blog. I’ve had plenty of things that I wanted to say and lots going on in my brain but they never made it into the written word.

And it’s because I’ve been struggling. Struggling with my self-esteem. Struggling with my weight and my health. Struggling with… just everything. Some days it just seemed like all I could do was get to work on time and then make it home and crash on the couch. While it’s true that I’ve had a bad cold, and it’s really hard to work out when your lungs can barely cope with regular breathing, I also recognize that more was going on. I was sad, I was beat down, everything hurt. I was …. depressed. There, I said it.

Depression! The black dog of depression that weighs so heavy on one’s heart, mind and soul that can be such a heavy burden. It sucks the joy out of everything and makes every day just so difficult to get through. I remember being horribly depressed after 9/11 – not exactly sure why it hit me so hard, but it did and it took a very long time to get through it. I have recognized my current state of mind and am working to get past it. And because I was only a little bit depressed, I have been able to start getting back to where I need to be in order to life a fulfilled life. It will take time to get through, and lots of patience with myself but I will get there! I know that there are different levels of depression – some people (like me) just need a little help, a little nudge to bring back the sun. But many others need counseling and/or medical intervention and there should be no shame or stigma associated with that.

I saw a terrific meme about depression on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and it really made me think. Depression is a disease, much like any other but because it’s a mental health issue, it often isn’t taken as seriously as it should be. WHAT IF WE TREATED PHYSICAL AILMENTS THE WAY WE DO MENTAL ILLNESS?

I read two really wonderful blog/articles in the last week that helped me lift my spirits and start putting my health and well-being back in perspective. One, was this one from my favorite yogini –

Almost Killed My Spirit

This one line I just could NOT get out of my head “I wasn’t the typical overweight, inactive, low-immune-system woman that usually has this type of pain. They couldn’t just tell me to lose weight or to change my diet.” Well I am that person! While I am somewhat active, I am overweight and my immune system sucks. And THESE ARE THINGS I CAN FIX! I struggle with IBS and asthma, but I know there are things that I can do to improve my quality of life and minimize symptoms. I CAN FIX THIS! Ps. Becca, the writer of the aforementioned blog is a brave and amazing woman and I’m blessed to know her.

Another article I read was called “30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself (Right NOW!)

It’s an insightful article and I wish I could point out just ONE of these things that I need to work on but in truth, almost every single one of those things I have struggled with at one point, and most of them I continue to struggle with. There’s only one thing that I learned early in life and it’s something I do each and every day.

#22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

I can find the beauty in almost any person, place or thing. I can and do frequently stop and smell the flowers – literally. I go out on my deck every single clear night (cold or not) to look for the aurora borealis. I stop to admire the colours and smells of my evening meal (sesame oil!). I marvel at the swirling patterns in the scales on my pet lizards. I see the beauty in a person who thinks that they have none. I adore the spirit of my friends and the light in their eyes when they are doing the things they love to do. I couldn’t make it through the day without giggling at something silly or sharing a moving moment with my wonderful husband.

Perhaps they are just little things, but to me, they are one of the things that make life beautiful. I’m already feeling better – more like myself, more like the person I want to be. And being able to find the beauty, and relishing it the small things, helps me find my way out of the fog.

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