A Truth


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Sunset in Steveston

I sit before this screen thinking about the things I’d like to talk about.  The rush of ideas come fast and furious.  I could surely wax poetic on any number of things; I could rant on any number of issues as well.  There are injustices a plenty that I could champion.

The screen remains empty.

I make my breakfast and pour another cup of coffee.  I gaze out the window at a frozen world.  It’s beautiful.

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The view from my home on Dec 26, 2016

I’m wrapping up a challenging year that was preceded by a few tough years.  I was asked a question at dinner with friends last night ‘What did you take from those experiences, what did you learn?’

Now this was in reference to my bout with cancer and the treatment provided.  It could well apply to the vehicle accident that followed as well.

I responded that we need to ask questions and be kind to ourselves.  And indeed we do. The question remains though.  ‘What did I learn from this?’

And the screen, while I’ve jotted down these thoughts, no answer is readily coming.

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Vancouver from the Ferry in September 2016

I entered 2016 in the metaphorical darkness of depression.  I had felt the all too familiar slide begin.  In truth, I’d been fighting this for quite some time.  2015 had begun with promise.

I was working out with a trainer and running with my group again wanting to take back my health after the cancer thing .  The vehicle accident kibosh-ed my progress.  The pipes in my building flat lined and the building had to be re-piped. For 3 months no hot water. I was attending physiotherapy and the bills began to mount.

My job was stressful yet I kept at it.  Despite the pain, despite the overwhelming cost to fix our building I was beginning to slip.  I’ve never experienced a back injury before and physically my condition was not improving.  I would try to do things, but just walking was an agonizing thing at times.

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A moon to remember

I was living with pain daily.  I wasn’t sleeping.  And I was still recovering from the effects of chemo and radiation.

‘What did I learn from all of this?’

Still an empty screen to this question.

Fear crept in.  Was I going to lose everything I’d worked so hard for?  In many ways I felt completely impotent regarding the direction my life was going.

Did I talk about any of this with anybody?  No.

In my mind, to give it voice would give these feelings validity.  I was in denial.  My financial safety net was gone to the renovations in my building.

I then lost my job.

The quicksand I call depression was pulling me, enveloping me…my strength was gone.

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Sunset December 2016 in Steveston

All of the avenues I’d been exploring…meditation, energy healing, etc. were no longer viable options for me. My head and heart weren’t there.  I was in that all too familiar dark place.

In 2016 I sold my place and recovered some of my costs, though I still have debt, it is now manageable.

I found a condo that is now more of a home than my previous place.  I found another job which I really like.

And a few months back I emerged from the mantle of depression.

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What have I learned from all this?

Perhaps this is an ongoing lesson.  Perhaps the answer has many layers to it.

One thing though, despite the darkness I appreciated and admired every morning that I’ve been graced with.

I still stop and stand in awe of a luminous moon rise and always let those who I’ve been so blessed to have in my life know it.

And I will never give up on myself.  I will never give in to the pain of the past.

There is a balance between the dark and the light that must be found and met.

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I will focus on wellness in 2017.  I will ask for the help that I do in fact need and look to heal and strength my person.

Happy New Year to everyone.

Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Pledge


 

Sunset, November 28, 2016 in Richmond , BC

I have not written much in the last six months.  In fact, I’ve not been writing much at all in any capacity.

Understand that it is not a lack of ideas.  This head of mine never turns off, and there are times where I dearly wish it would take a break.

No, the ideas just pile up.  When I slip into bed they fight for position and I promise to commit them all to the page so that I can get some much needed rest.  At some point I will.

Been a tough year and half though.  And at some point I had to finally accept that I am human after all.  And I’ve been far too human for the majority of my life.  What do I mean by this?

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The pain of being incomplete…at least in my head.  The pain of rejection, of not being loved by those who would impact my life directly (i.e. family), and the desire to just be whole.

So the quest was taken on and in 2010 such a major breakthrough!

I was soaring.  Finding aspects of myself I’d never known and growing in every way imaginable.  I was tearing down walls and breaking chains that had confined for a lifetime and I was scared shitless at all the emotions and moods that were enveloping me.

I produced my first book, was running 1/2 marathons and taking control of my life in a way I’d never done before.  I liked who I was becoming…loved the direction I was moving in.

Then physical ailments hit me.  Heart issues…a stent was inserted and then uterine cancer.

But I took these on the chin.  I wasn’t prepared to let them take me down.

In January 2015 I had been working with a trainer for 3 months and had started back with my running group when the car accident happened.

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‘I can never do anything with my hair phobia.’

But it wasn’t just that.  It was being let go from a position I’d held for 5 1/2 years because chemo had messed up my focus.  It was taking on a job that was far too stressful considering my physical issues…it was the a back injury that compounded  all the issues and then the condo I owned having no hot water and a serious special assessment needing to be paid out.

I’ve never had a back injury.  Finding myself in a position where just going for a walk left me in agony was so tough to deal with.  I was trying desperately to hang onto what…I wasn’t too sure.

2015 was such a bad year for me.  I toughed it out though. I had to.  In typical fashion I figured I could do everything myself.  HA!

Oh yes, I kept records for ICBC.  I tried to get back my health only find I was worse off.  Then depression hit.  I was sinking.  I was let go from the stressful job unceremoniously and without cause.  My confidence was non-existent.

Between Cancer treatment and my pity parties I had put on 80 lbs.  I felt and looked awful.  I was in pain constantly and started to wonder if it all the shit was worth it.  I was spending money irresponsibly.

I found another job after a few months but I was scared. My old place was sinking me and I was drowning in debt.

In the New Year I saw my place fixed up and sold it by mid-April.  Paid down a big chunk of my debt and got set up in my new home, which I love!

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Still, I was moving a frenetic pace.  A new program at work…a reunion,..getting back on track with my health and trying to deal with behaviours that had reared their heads once again.

And now I’m sitting here hoping that my tenacious attitude to try and deal and resolve all this will succeed this time.  And I pledge that I will never give up on whatever it is I am supposed to give back to this world.

Peace out!

 

Moving On…A New Chapter Somewhere in the Middle


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I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has followed me over the years. This is my fifth year of blogging.  I began this venture to develop better writing skills.  For the first four years I pretty much powered through posting  as many as 3 to 4 per week.

I began posting on this site the day after having a heart procedure.  I’ve since run several 10 KM races, a few 14 KM ones and a 1/2 marathon. I was part of Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion  25th Anniversary Relay.  Upon believing that I’d in fact truly found myself I somehow managed to scatter myself to the four winds and am once again gathering the pieces of my person.

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Time to forge ahead.  I muscled through the cancer thing and am now grappling with the results from the car accident last year.

I moved last week.  I sold my condo to pay down a large portion of my debt that had accrued.  Last year was a tough one.  The accident combined with the building needing an emergency re-piping proved to be a costly year for me.

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I have found a new place, however, possession won’t happen until August 1, 2016…so….I’m bunking over at my daughter’s place in North Vancouver for the interim.

Friday was Canada Day.  At 8:00 pm I walked over to the Quay which is a few blocks away.  They have a night market on Friday evenings during the summer months.  That it was also Canada Day made it that much better.  Food trucks and kiosks were set up everywhere.

I opted for the Cabbage Roll & Pergoies.  Very tasty.  Wandering through the market place I stopped to admire many of the items on sale.  When I accidently popped a maple leaf balloon I purchased a little flag and bandana displaying our colours to make up for it.

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A band was playing music from the 1970’s so I wandered over to get my groove on.  As the sun began its imminent decent I made my way over to the pier to watch the fireworks happening across the pond.

They were awesome! The display went on for over 20 minutes.  It was closing in on 11:00 pm as the masses, myself included, took our leave.  At the end of the pier a small group of four began to sing ‘O Canada’.

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The result was that everyone joined in!  There we were , hundreds of us, singing our national anthem in unison.  Upon finishing we all broke out in applause.

Walking back to my daughter’s I ruminated on the events as of late. I need to get my health back on track and there is such a strong desire to find my focus and balance once more.

And I will.

Thanks again to all of you!

 

An Epiphany…of Sorts


 

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Dyke Rd. in Richmond, BC  Feb. 16, 2016

 

I’ve been absent from this forum.  I know.

Yet surely you’ve experienced those moments when a thousand words fought for a voice within you.  Thoughts and ideas raced at break-neck speed wanting to take shape yet you kept them in the shadows.

I’ve been in that mind set as of late.

Writing projects, good ones, halted.  Why?  I don’t know.

I’m filling up my schedule.  More demands.  More commitments.  More challenges.  Why?  I don’t know.

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I stare at the screen and type a few words then question their meaning.  Why?  I don’t know.

Direction and balance are the things that I’m seeking.  And while I understand, to some degree why, I can say I really am not certain where to go from here.

A year ago I released my book.  And I am so proud and humbled by this achievement.  The last year was a tough one though.  An vehicle accident messed up my back and a work situation became intolerable as a result.

Agony.  It is nothing new.

Why then did I simply accept it as fact?

Change came as it must.

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Am I trying to organize my life too much?  Perhaps.

What I must distinguish is the things that I can influence and the things that I can only pray and hope will change.  Then I need to point myself in the right direction.

And that, my friends, is the $64,000 dollar question. Which way?

The rain is falling.  Been raining a lot as of late.

And I want, I need…

So many things, so many patches have covered this makeshift heart of mine that simply loves and expands.

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Mornings find me buying Tom (our local schizophrenic) his coffee then searching for the sunrise.

I drive past absurd estates in Richmond on my way to work then find myself driving along the rivers edge.

Herons, Eagles, Seagulls, Crows, etc. fly in uniform.

And always I’m treated to and blessed by the differences that each day offers.

Photographs are taken as I take in the beauty and challenge of each day.

And I wish…God knows, I wish…

Never say ‘what if?’

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Every once in a while though, I say just that.

I’m still here.  Still looking at this world each day with wonder, still wanting, still needing, still hoping…

 

 

 

MILESTONES AND MILES TO GO!


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600TH POST!!!!!

I am celebrating today.  Celebrating a few things actually but for the most part I am celebrating life and the fact that I’m still here!

This is my 600th Post!

Woo Hoo!

I thought of developing an in depth piece to mark this moment.  Instead I’ve decided to just keep it simple.

December 6th, 2015 marks the 4th year of this blog.

It also marks 4 years since I had the heart procedure done.

And…drum roll please!

It has now been 2 years since Cancer treatment ended.

I stopped radiation treatment on December 6, 2013.  My body had had enough!

Over the last four years I’ve written and published my first book ‘WITH THIS IN MIND’.
I’ve run a ½ Marathon, been part of Rick Hansen’s 25th Anniversary Relay celebration and been asked to make a difference in this world.

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I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and moved toward public speaking with Toastmasters and the Royal City Literary Arts Society.

And I’ve met some absolutely extraordinary people that I now happily call friends.

There are also those who’ve been in my life for such a long time now.  To them I say “I could not have gotten to this point in my life without your love and support.  Thank you.”

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I am blessed.

 

These last four years have not been easy.  They have been remarkably rewarding, however, in oh so many ways.

And so I am moving forward, to where only time will tell.

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To everyone who has followed me on my blog, I thank you.

Cheers and Peace Out!

 

 

 

Looking for Direction


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For those of you who have followed this blog, you’ll note I’ve not been very active lately on this forum.

I am feeling scattered these days.

I’m once again unemployed and it happened rather suddenly and unexpectedly.

And I find myself once again looking for direction.  I’ve traversed this path a time or two.  I’m missing something , for example, the kazillion red flags that seem to go up a few months in.

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Do I pay them mind?  No.  I buckle down and get to work.

And as the quick sand swallows me,  do I admit that perhaps my choice may have been marred by echoes from my past?

No.  I sink ever deeper fighting all the way dammit.

And even as I can see the writing on the wall…after all it’s now flashing neon at me…do I admit that I may have erred on this?

It is usually at this point when I begin to reconcile all the red flags that have come prior to this moment as I accept that my days are numbered and the madness I’ve been entrenched in must surely come to an end.

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I was at a Toastmaster meeting this evening and one of our members mentioned the necessity of a ‘F-IT’ list.

Quite simply, write down all the things that you don’t want in your life.

And at this moment I’m conflicted like never before.   Should I start my own business? Should I take something else?  Should I focus more on my writing?

The thing that has been lacking with the three places I’ve worked at over the last 10 years has been communication.  I’ve been tossed a mess and I’ve cleaned it up with virtually no direction from those who hired me.

And while these relationships seem to begin  on a good enough note, they start to go south when I begin to realize the depth of the problems and try to discuss it.

In truth this is when I should be walking out the door…no, make that running, as at this point there have been a few substantial problems that have already cropped up prior to this.

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And while I’ve always honoured the job and left the position in excellent shape for whomever follows in my stead, at times it has a hollow resonance to it.

I can’t go back though and I don’t want to.  Now I just gotta figure out what I’m doing moving forward.

Even my blog, for example.

It began as a way to become a better writer.  I believe I’ve achieved this in a big way.  It was never a popularity contest even though I felt quite neglected a time or two.  I’ve voiced this point of view a few times.

And I accepted that I’m not good at the marketing side of this whole blog thing and I’m still abysmal at it.

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This blog has become, to some degree, an online journal.  I’ve simply shared and recorded the last 3 1/2 years of my life much the way I’ve recorded the previous 54 years which is through the written word.

 

I really  need to focus on my writing in a big way.  I need to focus on my physical and emotional well being in a big way.

I’ve been out of work four weeks and it occurred to me that I could have written a first draft in that time.

Instead, I’ve been curled up on my sofa.  I have not been feeling very good…some weird cold thing.

Dr. Phil is pissing me off, Ellen is too bloody happy, Dr. Oz is driving me to madness and they just keep yelling at each on The View.

And why the hell am watching this stuff anyway?  I could be penning the next bestseller!

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Actually I’ve already penned and published a bestseller…just that no one knows this yet!  I need to change that.

It’s back to the lab.  Time to reinvent the wheel…again.  Perhaps I’ll actually get it to work this time out. And by this, metaphorically I am the wheel.  I was really close this last time out so I’ll go back…tweak it and get back out there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Babies and Birth: The Birth of People, Ideas and a Book


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Last Saturday I attended Claire’s baby shower.  I am so very excited for her!  She is totally warming to the idea of motherhood now and getting rather giddy to boot.

I could see that there was a little fear in there too.  I wanted to tell her that this is a very normal response.

When the idea of a new life being born to this world hits a new mother, it can be a very powerful experience mixed with every emotion imaginable and a boatload of hormones to boot.

Claire will be just fine.

I then got to thinking of all the wonderful people I’ve met since I began writing in earnest, Claire being one of them.

She is one of the first people to have read any of my work.

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I had joined up with the New Westminster Writers Group in early February 2011 which was a critique group.  I hunted about now wanting to find another group that would provide additional information on the whole writing thing.  I found the Vancouver Writers Social Group and joined in March of 2011.  They would get together and discuss various topics.  I liked this and found it was the balance I was looking for.

While I had written all my life I can say in all honesty I really didn’t know anything about it.  When terms such as ‘steam punk, fan fiction’ and the like were bandied about I had no clue what these were.  So I listened.  Claire offered to give me some feed back on the memoir I had begun so I sent her the first chapter then met with her a week later at a coffee house near her home.

I was prepared to be critiqued.  After all this would provide additional guidance on this project I’d begun.  She looked at me rather resolutely and stated “I really like how you write.  You could possibly have a best seller here.”

I was absolutely stunned by her comments.

And it occurred to me then that perhaps I was good at this writing thing after all.

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The year of 2011 was a year of major breakthroughs on so many levels.

What I’d previously considered impossible now held merit and plausibility.  I needed to explore this further.

2011 was also a tough year emotionally.  I was stepping up to own those painful truths that I had denied for the better part of my adult life.  I was taking chances and stepping out of my comfort zone in a big way.  I discovered that my ‘comfort zone’ is simply what I’m used to, what I know and what I come to expect.  It can be a very stifling place to remain in.

Stepping outside of this mindset was the best thing I could have done to assist in my personal growth at that time.

I had to break down a few walls along the way though.

There were opportunities aplenty to change my mind and return the mediocrity of what I had known.  I teetered on this point several times.

But finally it was time to find out what was indeed on the other side of the mountain and my curiosity pushed me over the edge.

2011 was the ‘All or Nothing’ year.

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I just wanted to feel again.  I didn’t want to over analyze or question…I just wanted to experience this life fully and without inhibitions.

And I remember the night I started to write the book in true sincerity and with vision.

I’d chatted for years about penning a book.  There were many starts of fictional novels.  I started a journal back in 2004.  In a light blue duo tang folder I put a package of 200 line sheets in it.

On the over I wrote “Welcome to the Human Race:  With This In Mind”.

It took me seven years to write 100 pages of longhand.

On that January night in 2011 I reached a serious crossroad.   I’d been out with my friend Kathy and we’d had a conversation that would ultimately resonate so deeply that it propel me to change how I was living my life.  That evening I sat in the corner of my bedroom where the computer was originally set up and with a glass of red wine in had and pile of notebooks and such decided it was time.

By July 2012 I’d finished the first draft.

And it was meeting so many other writers, Keith, , John, Gareth, Amber, Jonanne, Perry, Peter, Sonya, Issac….just to name a few that propelled me forward wanting to improve my skill set.

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Claire’s initial affirmation was a major boost for my confidence and to continue on.

In the last five years I’ve finished and published my first book.  I’ve posted about 540 articles on this blog of mine and am developing six other writing projects.  A trilogy of the fantasy fiction variety exploring the evolution of the Written Word; an erotica fictional novel with the exploration of how we arrive at our sexual preferences at the core; a murder mystery and of course a romance.

This should keep me busy for a couple of years.  I also started my own publishing company and do hope to work with other writers as well.

Like all newborn’s there will be few slips and stumbles along the way.  That’s how we learn and grow.

I’m looking forward to meeting Claire and Denis’ little one.  Soon…

Peace.