The Regrets Of Grief…

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No regrets.

It’s something I’ve said often to myself. I’ve always tried to live with no regrets.  Honestly, for the most part, I truly don’t.  I know that if X had not happened, most likely, Y wouldn’t have either. 

Yet, somehow as looming dates move in closer, I find myself navigating through grief (again)! It feels like a never ending story. 

What has come up this time around is what I consider regret.  The regret in two conversations – the one I had and the one I never had.

I feel haunted by the conversation I did have and feel guilty that it even happened.  My ego stood in the way of a particular conversation.  I know I need to work on forgiving myself for this.  Perhaps the guilt sits easier than the forgiveness does, perhaps I’m using the guilt as punishment or the most likely answer is both.  I guess this is one more thing to work through with my counselor (she says with a chuckle & a bit of a head shake)!

Then there’s the conversation I wish I had done. I’m sure it was avoidance and denial leading me down that road.  This one is a bit harder to reconcile – though in time, I know I will.   

How does one work through this and get to the other side?  I’m not sure however, when I do, I’ll let you know. I sense letter writing and burning coming my way!  I know this feeling serves no one.  I can’t change what did or didn’t happen.  I can only be gentle on myself.  I’ll work on that forgiveness.  Maybe it will lessen the hurt or ache I often feel.  Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to look back and say, “No regrets” once again.

So, until next time, may you be filled with love and kindness.  May you be able to confidently live with no regrets.  And, as always, may you discover your 2.0.

As The Forty-ninth Year Turns…

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As my forty-eighth turn around the sun comes to a close, I’m baffled that I am not contemplating the past year more.  I usually get a little soulful around now –for some reason, not so much this time.

Maybe it’s because 2020 was what is was or that 2021 doesn’t really seem that much better.  Either way, maybe that’s the lament. 

When I think back nine years ago, I had a lot of hopes and dreams for my fortieth decade.  What’s strange is that I don’t think I’ve done that much.  Don’t get me wrong, a lot has happened, mum died, Cassius died, closed a business, went to Nicaragua, moved three times, hosted international students, mourned the loss of two truly amazing friends, and found my really great “for right now job.”  Yeah, so nothing much in the last nine years.

So, how do I want to complete this final year of a decade?  To be honest, I have no effing clue! I’d like to say that I’ll make some amazing memories, cherish moments with my two guys, and maybe one or two things that make me say “wow!”  That last one would be really nice. 

If the last year and half has taught me anything, it’s this: no matter what my intention board says, no matter what I smudge away and no matter what I dream, the universe has her own plan and my job is to simply embrace it and to be grateful of every day that is gifted to me.

So, whether or not I embrace it, curse it, welcome it or want to toss something at it, I am giving my best and really, that’s all any of us can do.

Here’s to year forty-nine – may it be more than I can imagine!

Five Years

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”And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.” – Maya Angelou

5 years

60 months

260.887 weeks

1,826.2125 days

43,829.1 hours

2,629,746 minutes

157,784,760 seconds

Over the years, I have always found it interesting what pops up for me as I approach the anniversary of my mum’s death.  The firsts, the seconds, the sugar spill, the drive to try and get there on time. This year, it was the numbers.  I had been wondering how many months, weeks and so on – I’m not gonna lie, my math sucks – thank goodness for Google!

However, you count it, five years has flown by.  I’ve been thinking of all the “things” I’m hoping she’s watched from wherever she might be hanging out – two moves (soon to be three), a dog named Ronan, laughs with friends, tears with friends, the loss of friends (which I certainly hope she’s been able to give them giant hugs), the closing of a business, three jobs, a trip to Nica, many celebrations which somehow, I have managed to bring some of her traditions to and so much more.  All these “things” prove life still wants me to keep moving forward – no matter how hard or how much I’d rather not carry on some days, or how much I miss her.

So, this year, as Tuesday comes, I’m going to honour her with the words below by Merrit Malloy.  And one day (hopefully sooner rather than later) when it’s acceptable to let hands touch hands and bodies touch bodies, be forewarned my friends, the hugging and loving may get really awkward!

Epitaph
By Merrit Malloy
 
When I die
Give what’s left of me away
To children
And old men that wait to die.
 
And if you need to cry,
Cry for your brother
Walking the street beside you.
And when you need me,
Put your arms
Around anyone
And give them
What you need to give to me.
 
I want to leave you something,
Something better
Than words
Or sounds.
 
Look for me
In the people I’ve known
Or loved,
And if you cannot give me away,
At least let me live on in your eyes
And not your mind.
 
You can love me most
By letting
Hands touch hands,
By letting bodies touch bodies,
And by letting go
Of children
That need to be free.
 
Love doesn’t die,
People do.
So, when all that’s left of me
Is love,
Give me away.

So, with that in mind, I give you simply love.

A Note To My Friends…

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“Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who walked into your life, said ‘I’m here for you’ and proved it.” ~ Unknown

The last little while has certainly brought some heart aches in this household.  The loss of two great friends in as many months has been very tough.  Processing this loss along with everything else going on around me certainly makes me feel overwhelmed.

Where am I going with this?  It was two conversations with two different friends (and my counselor) that got me thinking.  Why do we feel that we can’t “bug” our friends when we need a little supporting?  Don’t get me wrong, I do it too.  The conversation inside my head goes something like this:

Me: “I really could use some support from this friend.”

Brain: “But they’re busy with their own stuff, don’t burden them with your stuff.”

Me: “Yeah, you’re right” 

And with that, I carry on without reaching out for the support I truly needed.

So my dear friends this note’s for you…

I want you to know, that I will always hold space for you – no matter what might be happening around me at the time.  You are an important part of my world and I am honoured you reached out for support. 

As I learned once in a workshop: I see you.  I hear you. I love you.  You matter and you are worthy of having all the support you might need.

I will strive not offer any advice, opinions or suggestions unless you specifically ask me for some.  I will do my best to support you in any way I can – whether that be a listening ear or food and treats dropped at your door.  I will not put you off for tomorrow or another day, for those might not come.  I will be honest and loving in the best way I know how.

We might not talk every day We may only cross paths once in a while and maybe we just like each other’s posts on social media, however, I will always be here for you – no matter what – because that’s what friends do!

Until next time, may you joy, love, peace and comfort knowing you have this friend’s support ready, willing and able.

Goodbye 2020!

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What will you remember about 2020?  Will it be the toilet paper hoarders, masks as fashion statements or will it be the wild fires, the protests or murder hornets?  For me, it will be all of the above and then some!

It’s sure been one hell of a year hasn’t it? 

I don’t know about you but I certainly did not envision 2020 ending up the way it has.  I really expected a lot more than what I ended up with.  The possibilities of a new decade seemed so exciting. The start of the year brought me great hope.  I chose my word for the year – THRIVE and I intended to thrive to the fullest!

Then… the world changed in a heartbeat…

Don’t get me wrong, there were some great moments of 2020, however, they tend to be overshadowed by the other moments.

2020 brought love, grief and a lot of heartache and not just because of a pandemic.

We went into lockdown, we saw no one unless it was six feet away or virtually.  We did a lot of baking, eating and I’m not gonna lie – a lot of drinking!  The girl who thrived on her connections started to fade.

I grieved hard for the life I had enjoyed so carefree.  I never thought I took my life for granted –  I sure did. I miss everything from hugs to our international students to hosting dinners with those I care about so much.  Fuck, my love language is acts of service and I can’t even do that! So many meals I couldn’t host or cook or enjoy with the friends I choose as family. 

Throughout all this, I landed a new job.  Thank goodness, I would have lost my other due to the pandemic.  Hubs kept his job – luckily, people need to eat and his company had food to deliver to the stores!  Each night, we still ended the day with something to be grateful for.  It has been hard some nights to stop and find that gratitude – it doesn’t have to be mind blowing, it can be simply that we made it through the day.  Some days, even that was a challenge. I stopped sharing my five things to be grateful for posts.

The pandemic kept going.  It stopped us again in our tracks.  Another lockdown, more time away from friends.

2020 seemed to take so much away from everyone, not just us.  This is where I struggle.  I know that hubs and I are lucky compared to some, however, we struggle too and somehow we get lost in all this because “we have it better than others.”

Still, I grieve.

I grieve because I couldn’t be the friend I wanted to be.  The pandemic kept me away.  You see, this year (recently), I lost one of my dearest friends.  I couldn’t see her the way I would have liked to.  I couldn’t spend time with her like I would have in a “normal” time.  I am unable to push past the time that others got to spend with her because they lost their jobs and I didn’t.  They got to be in her bubble, I wasn’t.  I feel guilty that I wasn’t there for her more.  I couldn’t speak with her the way I would have liked.  I couldn’t offer my ear or even hug her or offer comfort. Hell, she drove me to Vancouver the day my mum died.  She was there for me when I need her most yet somehow, I don’t feel like I did the same for her.  That chance got taken away from me.

So, as this year winds up, I am desperately trying to find my word of the year for 2021, struggle with setting an intention board and clearing the old for the new…

And still, I grieve.

I can only end with saying this:  Love deeply, love hard, never take anything for granted no matter how small, how trivial or how insignificant it might be.  That’s the lesson I learned this year.

I wish you health, safety and abundance as we welcome 2021.  May it offer each of us exactly what we need when we need it.  And somehow, some way, we’ll survive.   We’ll find our strength and we’ll hug friends again, host dinners and honour those we lost in person once again.

Until next time, may you find love, peace, joy, gratitude, health and so much more.

The Comfort of Traditions…

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TRADITION!!!! 

As I write that word, I hear Topol singing this in Fiddler On The Roof.

Tradition, for me, it’s a word steeped in memories.  Why do we do this or why do we do that?  Honestly, I don’t even know how some of the traditions I’ve carried through into my adult life started.  Yet, here I am continuing them.  Why?  Because it’s tradition!

As I decorated the house and baked my annual Christmas cookies, I looked over at hubs and asked, “Seriously, why bother this year?”   His answer, “Because it’s tradition.”  So there’s that.

Honestly, this year has been one shit storm after another.  Every single thing seems to have been taken this year.  No hugs, Greek Easter, regular Easter, limited birthday celebrations and so on… and now, no Christmas.

For me, it’s really not about the gifts (although I really like giving and receiving), it’s about having my chosen family around the dinner table, eating turkey legs, pulling Christmas crackers then sprawling on the couch with the dog in a slumber because we ate too much.  That’s what I’m really going to miss this year. 

Sure, we could FaceTime or Zoom our group during dinner, but fuck, that’s just not the same thing…

“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people” ~ Nicolas Sparks

Well, I’ve come to realize there’s comfort in tradition.  Knowing that I can still drop off a gift, share cookies or other fine treats and yes, still cook a turkey (although this one’s a little smaller than usual).   It makes those I love feel close even though they are a distance away.  It’s comfort that will sooth my heartbroken soul.

So, this year when I ask, “why bother?”  The answer still is, “Because there is comfort in tradition.”

My wish to you as we begin to close this messed up year, is to find comfort in traditions. May you find some joy, peace, love and maybe you even start a new tradition or toss an old one.  Until next time, may you also find time to discover your 2.0!

You’re Not Atlas!

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“I tried holding the weight of the world. But I only have two hands.”

Things have felt heavy lately – you know, the heavy that weighs on your shoulders.

What’s been weighing me down?

Well, seven fucking months of a pandemic that will never go away (or so it feels), finances, stress at work – trying to find the balance of getting things done, being a good manager, dealing with staff issues (the list goes on there), finding some balance at home to do all I want to do, worrying about friends and trying to be there for them in the best way I can… I’m sure there’s a lot more I could add.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that no one but me has put that weight there.  There is so much on that list that I CAN NOT control.

So really, it is all on me to let roll off…

Recently, I read an article while scrolling on social media. As the universe would have it, it caught my eye.  There’s one line I keep repeating from that article: “You’re not Atlas, you don’t need to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.”

For those of you who don’t know Greek Mythology, Atlas was given the task of holding up the heavens as punishment from Zeus for leading the Titans in their battle with the Olympian Gods for control of the heavens.

WHOA! What a HUGE punishment huh!

Why would I put that on myself? 

So, time to put the world down.  It’s not for me to hold it up.  What is for me is to remember that I am one human being, responsible for me.  I can only control how I show up and how I filter through the worries and uncontrollables. 

The rest is just simply not for me…

Until next time, may you find love, joy, let the shit that doesn’t serve you go and of course, a chance to discover YOUR 2.0!

The Art Of Doing Nothing…

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I dated a guy a million years ago that once told me “Even if you’re doing nothing, you’re still doing something.”  I used to roll my eyes at this and tell him he was nuts.  Was he though?  Not really with this particular statement.

Today, I gifted myself some time to do nothing!

No projects. No shoulds.  No have tos. No to do lists. It’s a glorious feeling!

I’m working myself up to a full day.  See, I get the guilty feeling – totally “shoulding” on myself! I have a “to do” list of projects and so little time to complete them.

M rolls his eyes at me and “begs” me to have days off with nothing to do.  I constantly “argue” that I have all these projects I want to do and only two days off work! The thing is, he’s right (don’t tell him though), none of the “to do” lists are really that important.  They are not going anywhere.  The projects, the really important ones, they really do get done.

I rarely give myself time to do nothing. Perhaps it stems from the days of being an event planner and always having to do something or be somewhere. Or perhaps it comes from my mother’s thought that if you’re doing nothing, you’re being lazy. I always feel that we need to keep busy.  Hubs tells me different – a lot!

The thought of doing nothing often scares me.  My brain begins the list of tasks, or tells me it’s something I’ve wanted to do. It gives me all the reasons why I should do that errand or project.  I often end up guilting myself into doing something – that project, that errand, or cleaning that needs doing.  I have to work really hard to tell my brain to “STOP!”  It’s totally okay to slow down, do nothing and totally replenish.

It’s like a restart, reset and a restore.  It’s a way for the body just to relax and hopefully the brain follows.

If you hear yourself say, “I just want a day to do nothing.”  Stop.  Listen.  You probably need it.  I know I  sure do.

One of my favorite cartoons from The Akward Yeti!

Until next time, my you find love, peace, joy, may you make time for nothing and of course, may you discover YOUR 2.0!

The Forty-Eighth Edition

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As I come to the end of my forty-seventh and get ready to begin my forty-eighth trip around the sun, it’s got me thinking about the seniors I work with.  See, a few of them are centurions and I am IN AWE of them.

All the seniors I work with inspire me daily to enjoy life and despite whatever is going on in the world, life is pretty darn good!

I wonder what it’s like being a hundred plus years young.  The things they’ve seen, experienced and done is amazing.  Two world wars, as well as the invention of the automobile, the first flights, and for one of the centurions, they have now seen two pandemics.  SO. MUCH. HISTORY!!!

As I start my approach to half a century, I too realize, I’ve been witness to many amazing historical events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War, Dessert Storm, a new century, Barak Obama for president just to name a few (if I listed everything, we’d be here all day lol).  I’m old enough to remember the first television remote control, a dial phone (attached to and detached from the wall), a dial payphone that cost ten cents and the birth of the internet! 

I’m blessed to have lived a darn good life so far.  It hasn’t always been rainbows, coffee and unicorns but I really have no right to complain.  I don’t have to go hungry and I have roof over my head.  The love of a guy that’s amazing, a dog that’s super awesome and some pretty great friends.  So, yeah, life is pretty sweet.

It’s funny though how sometimes you forget this and you need a little reminder to stop and enjoy the flowers, the sunset, the sun rise, quality time with those you love and express gratitude for all of it!

So as I prepare to venture into year forty-eight – during a pandemic – I promise myself one thing this year…

Enjoy EVERY SINGLE MOMENT!!!!!

Until next time, may you find joy, love and peace. May you find gratitude in all things and enjoy life. And, above all, take time to discover YOUR 2.0!

The Meltdown

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Last week I had a meltdown.  A real doozie!  Every self defense mechanism, saboteur, and gremlin you can think of joined my pity party!  It was brutal! 

After a weekend of listening to them say what they said, I decided it was time to take control of the bus once more and start driving again and move the gang to the back of the bus!

Life lately has been overwhelming between work (yes, I know I’m lucky to be working), worrying about finances (yes, again, I know we’ve got it better than others), lack of connection and toss in one hundred forty-two days of a pandemic and voila, you’ve got one hell of a cocktail!

Did you read that number right? Yup, one hundred forty-two days since we’ve really been living in a pandemic world.  I had a moment there – I had to let that number soak in.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m super grateful that both M and I have continued working throughout this.  We’ve continued to remain healthy, we can pay the bills, feed us and the dog. Is there anything left over after the essentials?  Nope, not much, and that weighs on me too.  AND, breathe! 

I think I speak for many of us that by now we have pandemic fatigue!  It’s a real life thing. Search it and you’ll find a series of articles and links to back the phrase up.   (Please note that the link is to one of many and I am not paid to link it. I found it an interesting read).

That’s totally the back bone, in my opinion, to this meltdown.  I’m just freaking tired!  I’ve got pandemic fatigue. I long for life to find normality again.  I long to be mask free at work so the seniors I work with know who they’re talking to.  I long to just have a larger group of friends over.  I long to go to a concert again or a play or see some sort of festival. Better still, I long to travel again!

I know I will enjoy all those activities again – one day.  One day our new normal will feel normal.  Masks may be the way of the future for many things and maybe we ditch handshaking (personally, I’m good with a “Namaste”).  Who knows, I certainly don’t.  My crystal ball is a little cloudy right now lol.  One day life won’t feel as restricted as it does right now.

So what does one do to re-energize themselves?  Well, I had some of my bubble peeps over. Those I trust, knowing they too have been doing everything they can to stay safe.  We shared a meal together, laughed, played games, drank and really enjoyed the connection of being together. 

And that, my friends is one sure way to battle this damn fatigue!

Until next time, my you find joy, peace, love, connection and of course, a chance to discover YOUR 2.0!