Another One Comes to and End – A Look Back at 2014


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2014 has been a good year, a challenging year and one with many subtle and not so subtle transitions.

A year ago I was emerging from the cloud of chemo and recovering from the brutality of radiation.  My hair was like peach fuzz on me wee noggin’ and I think I stayed in for New Years last year.   My memory is still a bit spotty surrounding that time.

I can tell you what I did for New Year’s Eve two years ago in detail.  It’s just the later part of 2013 and the first few months of 2014 that have left some areas in the shade.

I was feeling rather defeated at the beginning of the year though.  This I do recall.  My feet were still a little numb and I was just a tad stuck in a job that gave me no joy.  I questioned my own intelligence at times and felt useless and insignificant.

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The shift came when I had the absolute joy of going on a cruise with a group of fabulous women that I went to school with.  It has been an absolute pleasure and delight getting to know these gals again.

Life can pull us in many directions.  Sometimes it pulls us apart.  Sometimes we find ourselves isolated and alone and wonder how it is we came to be in such a state.

I do know that at the end of every path taken that there was a starting point or perhaps it was a breaking point?

Choices are made.  Sometimes we desperately want to believe the dysfunction as it worms its way in.  It will dilute and fracture the ideas we first had though.  And they always begin with such sincerity and honest passion, don’t they?

Believing in a lie then recognizing this is a tough pill to swallow.

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When that nagging little whisper becomes a scream, best you listen to it else you’ll become deaf and indifferent to the common sense and reason that is desperately trying to intervene and prevail.

And no one likes to admit they’ve been had or taken.

God knows I shrank back from this world for a time, suspicious, hurt and wallowed in a pity pool.

I’ve met many people who’ve stayed in that state.

As I watched the ‘Grinch Who Stole Christmas’ for the millionth time, it actually made me tear up a wee bit this year.  The simplicity and beauty in the ending of the tale of how the Grinch’s heart grew ’10 times that day’.  That four letter word again…LOVE.

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Yup!  It’s a balm that will heal any and everything.

I could well have lounged once more in the pity pool considering some of the health issues that I’ve been faced with but you know, I am so over that.

There was a time when misery parties were my thing. Oh yes!  You think your life sucks?  Pull up a chair.  Let me tell you a tale of my time in hell….oooh and ahhh!

And then there was that moment of reflection when I saw the ugliness in my behavior and what it was doing to me.  That naked truth when I had to make a decision.  Either change or bury my head even further into the bed of lies I’d accepted as truth.

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Peeling off that mantle of delusion has taken some time.  Each lesson learned along the way I’ve appreciated more than you will know.  And yes, sometimes those lessons come packaged in sweet disguise.

And this year began coming out of a very dark place.  I had refused to consider Cancer’s taunt.  Yet still, for a time, the mantle of warrior was too much.  Fear crept in and the tendrils of depression stroked my ego as would a gentle lover.

Having experienced this a time or two I was able to cut it off at the pass with guns a blazing.

Oh come on!  We all love a good western, don’t we?

And now this year is coming to a close.  I’m feeling even stronger having reached a few new pinnacles.

And I’m on the cusp now.  The dreams and efforts  that I’ve been working on are about to come to fruition.

The book will be out soon.   I’ve got an idea of where I want to take this company that I’ve been forming just a few technicalities remain.

And it’s not about me.

This has and will always be about the written word and celebrating the freedom and expression that it provides.

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And as this brain of mine continues to formulate thoughts and ideas, I accept now that it never shuts down.  Sometimes I don’t like the thoughts and ideas that come to me.  But what I’ve learned is that I need to acknowledge those filaments of thought.  Sometimes they take hold and more often than not they sink back in amongst the vortex of neurons and protons that are firing away.  Those filaments will dance with ambitious delight in offering up an idea that I just may want to entertain and process further, even if it is dark in nature.

And with every night there comes a dawn and vice versa.  it is the way of the world.   Those erstwhile opposites that actually compliment each other and always have.

I was standing beside the river the other night spellbound by the beauty before me.  That moment when night kisses day good-bye.  I had that sensation wash through me of being so connected to this world that I inhabit.

I am coming to love these moments.  I feel small and yet so vital.  The mountains that stood before me have taken hundreds if not thousands of years to form.  They will remain long after my time on this earthly plain is done.

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For the moment, however, they are stuck with me.

For all of you that have followed my ramblings, I thank you and may the New Year bring your heart’s desire.

Many blessings.

 

Peace!

Good-bye 2014 and thank you!

Happy New Year to all!

 

 

 

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Another Year Passes….


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The Lions peeking over the ridge taken Dec 7, 2014

Reflections and musings.  A quick look back.

This year is quickly coming to a close. It has been a year that has offered many insights and challenges.

Depression kicked in earlier in the year. That old devil of mine whispered all my shortcomings to me. The fear that I had pushed back during treatment washed over me threatening to pull me under.

I’ve always had a hard time expressing these emotions,  never wanting to give them voice.

I wasn’t happy.

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The life I’d been building was put on hold while I turned my attention to managing my health.

And now the battle was done and it was time to pick up the pieces.

The work place felt like a lead weight around my neck. I was treading water and sinking fast. And I knew it.

They wanted me gone and I wanted to go. Decidedly the architects pushed the envelope coming up with a lame excuse about getting rid of my position all together.

Oh, I could’ve sued and won. Of this I have no doubt. But I found a better place, a rewarding place and moved on.

Some will say I should have held the architects to task. The abuse over the last five years I was there was substantial. The reward would have been a monetary one as that is the only way I could have hurt them. It’s in their DNA.

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But you know at the end of the day I really believe in karma. I thought of the people that are involved on a daily basis with the partners at the Architectural firm.  I’d met many of them.  I pondered how my rage may have affected them. Everything has a trickle down effect, the good and the bad. It has been my objective over the last few years to move through this life with a forgiving and loving heart.

So I ended things with this particular employer with an air of dignity and appreciation.

The partner, who had tormented me, particularly over the last year, was offered a hug and a handshake with a ‘thank you for the opportunity that you’ve afforded me.  I have learned a great deal.’

And the surprise and astonishment that was written on his face.  He wasn’t expecting my generosity of spirit. I caught completely off guard.

Oh, I knew they would hire someone else. They had to and they did a week after I was gone.

The thing I’ve always done is honour the job, I always have and always will.

And I left with a quiet dignity, not with spite and loathing.

Should I have waltzed into court bearing the mantle of a maligned and mistreated employee?

I did consider this option but quickly dismissed it.

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I’m not a victim. I can and have survived more than most. I knew for several years prior that I was working for an asshole.

And in my stubborn optimism I tried to convert the prick.

My suffering was prolonged due to other circumstances as well. I was seeking another job, a better job prior to the cancer diagnosis.

When that sentence was given to me well, I kind of had to just set the rest of this life I’d been chasing off to the side for a time.

And then I got to thinking too of those we lost this year.

Robin Williams.

A man whose desire to make everyone laugh almost seemed manic at times. What a beautiful soul! And he was weighed down by demons that I can’t even begin to imagine in their brutality.

Yet Robin still wanted to make us laugh even though his own despair was swallowing him in that slow death we know as mental illness.

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That phrase is frightening to many isn’t it?

I know this first hand. I’ve dealt with depression for a lifetime. Denied it for at least half of this journey and it was only when I acknowledged it, said it out loud, and accepted it that I truly began to heal and manage it.

In this I gained an understanding of how to deflate the power this thing had over me.

For all of us that do suffer with mental illness the degree of its savagery is hard to calculate.

I believe also that for Robin the weight of his fame was just one more aspect that he had to deal with.

Yes, I want to be a writer and put it out to the masses. You’ll either like it or not.

And I’m cool with that.

There will always be those who criticize. They’ll nit pick and put down every effort made. Hell, I do this as well at times.

Could someone tell me why the Kardashians are famous for example?

But I don’t know what it’s like to be under a magnifying glass. I don’t know what it’s like to have a demanding public. I don’t know if that would be of importance to me really.

Does it become a drug, something that is craved?

The adoration of the masses? The race to keep them happy?

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What I do know is that a beautiful and troubled soul lost the battle. His family will miss him. His friends will miss him.

They knew a very different Robin. They knew him when he stepped off the stage and turned off the performance. They probably knew the pain he felt, the torment and like him, they didn’t know what to do about it.

And Robin managed to keep the severity of his illness from many and so the torment was experienced in a silent hell.  I’ve visited that room a time or two.

As Christmas draws ever closer, I want to just hang my hinges onto the beauty of the human race and run with it.

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I don’t want to try to imagine why terrorists would walk into a Pakistan school and kill all the children. I don’t want to wrap my head the ideology of a woman who killed her eight year old daughter then stuffed her in the trunk of car.

I do know these acts are the result of a malfunctioning brain and/or brains. There is a disconnect, a mental breakdown.

We are fed a litany of violent images. Sexuality has become this monstrosity that young people now equate with the phone they hold in their hand that dictates their life.

The flash of breasts and other body parts finds young girls forever shamed and some to a point where death becomes preferable.

And what would I tell these girls?

Love who you are. Love your body and delight in the sensations it gives you.

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NEVER BE ASHAMED OF WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU FEEL!

And love this life!  My god, the beauty I’ve witnessed, the rush in the simplest of things.

And if someone tries to convince you that you are less than, that you are a slut, a whore…

Smile and know that you all woman.  I’ve got to tell you as well that all those nuances that are yours hold them close.  They are what makes you the person you are.  Build on them…they are your authenticity.

Labels have been around since the dawn of mankind.

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The understanding of power has been misunderstood as well.  If you are wanting to look like the Photoshopped model in Glamour or Cosmopolitan magazine ask yourself why.

True beauty has so much depth. It is an energy.

So as this year closes I am thankful for the lessons this life has handed me.  And I am so thankful for all of those who have touched my life.  From all of them  I’ve learned and tried to be just that much better.

I will continue on this path.

And thanks to all of you who’ve continued to read my ramblings. The New Year will see the book publication take place and I will continue to continue on this path of mine.

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Peace out!

A Look Back


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Today I read a few of my past blogs.

I had posted about the Sun Run earlier today.  I had commented on my appearance a year ago.  How I knew – deep down – that something wasn’t right.

I then I checked out my entry post for May 9th, 2013.

There were two entries that day.  The day began with me on a high.  I was still coming off of running the 1/2 Marathon and was recovering.

And I was so damned focused before, during and after that race.

When I began training I was shooting for optimal health.  That was the challenge and I was committed.  It was a challenge to myself, my well being.  Nothing more.

And when things started to go sideways, well I just pushed through.

I am dogged in my determination. I know that.  The hope of who and what I would be at the finish line was very different from the reality of the situation.

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Training requires commitment and dedication.

I learned an awful lot about myself in the fifteen week period that I trained and I am certain that ever body does.

You learn your strengths, your weakness’, your endurance, your faith…

Most of all you learn about humility, about suffering, and of perseverance..

Going into this, I saw myself attaining a super healthy body, mind, etc.  I saw an uber buff woman kickin’ it and on a mission to challenge herself to be her very best.

What I was at the finish line a year ago was a woman who had, despite a life threatening illness, finished this thing.  And don’t let the looks fool you.  She was always at her best.

I was a woman who recognized  her vulnerabitly, her humanity and her existence and prayed that it would be extended.  I understood so completely the gift of life and my appreciation for it evolved that much more.

And perhaps the training I did for the 1/2 Marathon prepared me for what was to follow.

Just four days later the words that were uttered sent me into a tailspin whether I want to admit it or not.

“You’ve got cancer.” was uttered.

And I inhaled…

And do you know that I will be doing on May 9th, 2014?

Mama’s going to be boarding a boat…a big, fucking ship…the Star Princess in fact…and we are going to sail to San Francisco.

I’m heading down the coast with some school friends.  A little more than that though.  All of them mean so much to me.

Cheryl was my first friend,,,ever.

Arlene and I connected in high school.  Her mother turned me onto coffee.  How it should be made…how it should taste.  Damn! You could smell the coffee brewing a block away!

Marie and I, while we were aware of each in high school, we really connected and bonded just a few years ago.

Sharon put the trip together and I hope that over the next few years I become more acquainted with her free spirit.

So in two weeks from today…Bon Voyage will have been uttered…and we will be heading out to sea.

No Gilligan’s Island reruns for this crew!

And I need this.  Good God, I need this so much.

I just want to let the mind wander, let go, have fun and not worry.

No more ‘What if’s…?”

No more surprises.  Just let me create the things I see for my future.

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I have been experiencing a restless energy as of late.  I don’t know why either.  I feel as if this shift is about to occur and I am not too sure how this will manifest itself but this feels like it is going to be a big one.  And I don’t even know in what context.  Is this just a major personal shift that is about to occur or is it bigger than that?  Will it affect others?

The other night I was laying in bed and sleep was really taking its time in claiming my conscious state.  I started to think about all of the astrological events that have been occurring.  Last month we had a partial eclipse of the moon.  A few days ago we had the Transit of Venus which we will never see again in this lifetime.  I wondered if this was the reason I was feeling this way. These events certainly create a very unique and powerful energy.

Here I am standing still and there is this part of me that is saying, ‘No, you are not standing still.  You are never really standing still.’  This of course, is very true.  We never truly are still and there really is no such thing as complete silence.  But for this one moment I feel suspended.  Frozen in time. It is this odd sensation that I need to mark this moment.  Capture it and commit it to memory.

Will this moment look the same years later when I dust it off or will it have becoming something else entirely?

I suppose my point in all of this is I want to be moving, but toward what I don’t know.  I suppose I am feeling a bit directionally challenged at the moment.  There is this excited sense of anticipation that is welling up inside of me.    I think this is where the restlessness may be coming into play.  I just want to open myself to everything and experience everything.  I just want all of this to wash over me and allow me to soak it all up and drown in it.

My mind is just programming a ton of stuff these days.  I feel a bit like someone slipped into the night and implanted a new mega processor into this brain of mine.  So the head is moving a at this ridiculous pace with thoughts and ideas forming constantly then reconstructing them as they are forming.  Unfortunately the rest of me hasn’t quite caught up to all of this so I am just a bit off centre.

I am realizing that there are no limits.  None.  Potential is a bottomless pit and I want to just dive in.  Then I got to wondering if I was strong enough to bite off  some of the things I have been deliberating.

Because they are good things then the answer has to be ‘Yes’.  Whatever shift is about to occur I hope that I depart from it with the same sense of wonder and excitement that I have going into it.

Have a great day everyone!

Mother’s Day


She slipped into my room yesterday morning at just before 8:00 AM.  I was awake.  I was just laying in bed on a Sunday morning thinking about any number of random things.  Funny what filters into the mind upon awakening.

She brushed my brow then kissed my forehead and said ‘Happy Mother’s Day…I meant to tell you that last night before I went to bed.  I love you’

I smiled at her.  ‘Thank-you’ I replied and we smiled at each other, ‘I love you too.’

‘Why are you all wet?’ she asked.

‘You need to ask?’ I chuckled. “I’m just flashing’.  (For those not familiar with menopausal terminology…it is a hot flash…and basically I turn into a puddle for a few minutes then regain solid form once more)

She smiled and shook her head then slipped back out of my room and closed the door.

I laid in bed for a little while longer.  I would be taking my sister to breakfast this morning as it was her birthday a few days ago.  My daughter would be treating me to dinner.

I got to thinking about when she was born.  I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing.  Emotionally, financially, intellectually I was quite a mess at that time in my life.

What I did know is that I had been given this beautiful gift to raise and I have always tried to honour the commitment I made to her upon birth.  The promise was a simple one…to always let her know that she is loved and to try and become an example of a woman that she could be proud of.  The writings in the card that she gave indicate that I have been successful on both fronts.  Like everything in this life though, it is an experience that I continue to grow and learn from.

I am at times deeply humbled by the woman she has become.  Such beauty and grace and such depth of character.  Yes, I love this girl very deeply.  I think sometimes she might well have saved me.  She provided direction where before there was none.  She made me take a long look at myself and while at that time I didn’t like what I saw, I resolved to change for her benefit and in so doing…I reaped the rewards as well.

I am not one who reads books on ‘how to…’  become a better parent, wife, mother, lover, investor, person, etc.   I am someone who tries to really work from the heart.  While there have been many times when my fears got in the way I really think I am finally starting to figure it all out.  As I like to say, I muddle through.  That is not to say that ‘how to’ is not a useful tool…they just tend to be a bit too regimented for me in their telling.

Upon reflecting on the lovely evening we spent and the true enjoyment of each others company I do feel so very blessed.

 

To all the Moms out there…I hope you are enjoyed a good one!