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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The Next Chapter


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Today marks the third anniversary of this blog.  I’ve stayed pretty much true to the purpose of its existence and over the course of time and I have written some pretty good stuff.  I have offered up some rather deep and profound insights on my posts. Some have been funny, others have expressed anger.  Poetry has been spewed forth and I have indeed babbled a lot on this forum. While some posts have been well written,  other posts have been a little on the mediocre side.  Errors abound throughout many of them. Oye!

I read my first post for example that does indeed have a number of grammatical errors in it.

I thought of going back and making corrections but decided against this.

Why?

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One of the reasons I started this blog was to exercise my chops as a wordsmith.  If I can go back now and see where a post could have potentially been great then I’ll leave the lesson in tack.

December 6th, 2011 I went in for my heart procedure.  The following day I began this blog and one year ago today I finished up cancer treatment.  At this time a year ago I was violently sick as a result of the radiation treatments.

As 2014 began, the idea that the memory loss which I had incurred as a result of chemotherapy could possibly be permanent, brought to life a fear like none I’ve ever known.  Would I be able to continue with all the plans that I’d had in place prior to this interruption in my life?

And no one knew this fear that I had.  I could not give it voice as then it would be much too real.

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I slipped into denial so easily refusing to accept what was happening to my physical body.  And of course, by doing this the rest of my being suffered the impact as well.  It really has just been in the last few months that I’ve actually come to terms with everything and thankfully my memory has returned full force as well.

It was strange emerging from the fog cancer patients affectionately call ‘chemo brain’.  Stranger yet, was reviewing some of the work I’d done in that state.  Things that normally don’t even require any thought at all, things that are so ingrained they are done habitually were challenged.  And somewhere in that fog I tried desperately to connect the dots of reason.

I’ve corrected the majority of the work but there are a couple of entries at the engineer’s office where I’ve just offered up a simple fix as I’ve no idea what my line of thinking was at that time.  It’s not a big deal. I am only $283.47 out.  I think I know what happened but at this point it’s not worth the time and effort to try to uncover this mystery and again I only think I know.  When the year wraps I’ll send a note to the accounting firm that provides the audit every year.

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Sometimes we need to look back to see how far we’ve come.  There is a benefit too in that if similar behaviours still exist how are they masking themselves?

I’ve a lot to do in the next month.  I’ve a book to release and a campaign to put together.

Christmas is fast approaching and I really need to buckle down and get this put together.  As we speak, the tree is up but the place is a mess. I’ve decorations littering the living room and kitchen.  My office has gift ideas spread throughout as they are in their infancy at this point.  Cards await my attention and I’ve got two events this weekend that are in the spirit of the season.

On Thursday evening some friends of mine met a restaurant known as the Libra Room on Commercial Drive.  Marco, who is my girlfriend’s son, bought the restaurant earlier in the year.  We had a great time.  The food was fabulous and the company even better!  Great way to kick off the Christmas season!

Yesterday we had out Christmas lunch at work.  Later I hit the gym on my way home from work.  The plan had been to tackle the Christmas cards in earnest but a gentle exhaustion enveloped me so I curled on the sofa to watch a few shows deciding to take a bit of break.

I’ve been having issues with the signal on my TV as it keeps cutting out.  So I made the call and an hour and a half later after having a lovely fellow in Guatemala trying to program my TV, I resolved that the cards would have to be done today.  Oh, and the TV is still losing the signal.  Probably needs a new modem.  I’ll have to call again but this will have to wait.

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I will be meeting with my trainer shortly. I’ve had a good week.  I’m really starting to feel tight again.  One of my co-workers mentioned yesterday that she definitely could see a difference.  So I shall endeavor.

Over the last five years I’ve changed how I live this life that I’ve been afforded.  Having lived the majority of my life in a manner that I thought I deserved, I challenged that notion and decided to go after the life I wanted.
We are conditioned from the cradle on what we should want from this life and I accepted that for a long time.

Now its time to move forward in a big way.

Enjoy your day!  Peace.

 

 

 

The Back-up Plan


??????????????Okay, so I said that ‘unofficially’ I was going to take a shot at NaNoWriMo.  The idea, of course, is to write 50,000 words of a novel in the course of a month and see where it leads to.

I sat down dutifully on Tuesday evening at the computer to get a few hours of writing in.  So I began Chapter Six of the new book tentatively titled ‘Insomnia’s Dream’.  Just over an hour later I stared at three paragraphs and decided I didn’t like them. I was at a loss for words.

I AM NEVER AT A LOSS FOR WORDS!

Then an odd little thought crept in and panic hit.  I don’t have, dare I say it….’Writer’s Block’ do I?!

I’ll just whip up a post on my blog I decided.  Sure shootin’ I was indeed at a loss for words.  There has been any number of topics that had presented themselves to chat about.  Thoughts were certainly tumbling about in my grey matter, and yet, I could not quite articulate what I wanted to say.

On Tuesday night, feeling defeated, I crawled into bed thinking about the hang-up I had with the chapter.

Last night was very much the same exercise but when I went to bed, I had something of an epiphany.  I discovered something about myself as a writer.  I can’t really get the flow going unless I have the scene I am writing about worked out in my head.  Typically I have the entire chapter figured out then purge it onto the page.

Chapter six will begin with a really hot sex scene that involves food.  I have not been satisfied with the presentations I have thought up.  The preparation for the sex scene was coming off far too laborious. I really had to think about my characters and who they were and how I had presented them thus far.

Sex scenes shouldn’t be tedious.  First, I was going to have the couple ‘do it’ on an ornate dining table.  The male, Craig, who is a chef and few other things by trade, prepares the table with a rubber sleeve made specifically for the table.

Upon reading it back I screamed ‘No!’

Hell, if you’re going to have sex on a table top, you wouldn’t be concerned about getting food and other fluids on the table, now would you?  And if the table is really that valuable…then you wouldn’t bother at all, would you?

I went through a few different scenarios before I found the sex play I wanted to explore.  One that is fun, exciting and hopefully, a delight to read.

I thought back to a conversation I had at my writer’s group meeting last Friday.  We were discussing NaNoWriMo and the idea of just pouring everything onto the page without stopping, without review.  The idea is to just get the first draft out.  Don’t worry about punctuation, don’t worry grammar, don’t worry about structure.  Just get the idea, the bones of the story, out onto the page.

Reflecting on my style of writing, it occurred to me then that I have to have more than just the bones of the story in order to write.  I need to see it, visualize it and then attempt to convey this vision to the reading public.

This will be the first fictional novel that I’ve written.  Oh, I have had many ideas and begun various projects over the years that have found their way to the shelf. One day I will dust them off and breathe new life into them.

On this particular writing, however,  I am losing my fictional virginity.  What better way than to explore the complexities of how we become the sexual being that we do?

I am really enjoying this process of developing the characters. I want them to have depth and definition.  I also want the reader to develop a relationship with the characters.  My hope is that the reader will experience a variety of emotions as the story unfolds.

So I decided that I will indeed just write and total up the number of words at the end of the month and see where I end up.  I won’t compromise the style by which I write.  I looked at the average number of words in each chapter thus far and it ranges between 2,500 and 4,000 words.  So I would have to write between 15 to 17 chapters in order to meet the 50,000 word goal.

Can’t say that’s going to happen but I will let you know how many words I managed to exhale in the telling of this tale over the month of November.  That’s the back up plan.

It’s funny the pressure we put on ourselves, yes?  I am glad that I opted to do this, albeit unofficially.  I have already learned an important lesson and that is how I write.  I need to develop the vision and the words will come.

As of today I’ve written 946 words…just 49,054 to go!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choices


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This is an anniversary of sorts for me today.  One year ago on this date I was admitted into hospital where an angiogram was performed and later an angioplasty.  Which means, for those of you not familiar with the terminology, I had a heart blockage that was investigated then had a stent inserted to open up the artery which we discovered was 95% blocked.

And the thing of it is, I had virtually no symptoms.  We  kind of stumbled upon this through some other tests.  A year ago I was feeling far too human and far too fragile by the day’s end.  But what I realized in that moment as I laid in the operating chamber, very much awake and watching as the doctor moved his instruments inside my heart, was how little time on this planet we actually have and how much we take it for granted.  It was the day after this event while I sat curled up on my sofa, ruminating about all of the things that I had been through in my life time that I began this blog.

I have always wanted to write and I want to be a good at it.  Don’t get me wrong, I have always written,  not always in a particularly coherent manner, mind you.  At this time last year no one had ever read any of my writings.  I had been working on a memoir, which last year was still a compilation of emotional writes in several notebooks.  I embraced the New Year with a vim and vigor never quite experienced before.

I found a writer’s group that focused on offering positive critiques for ongoing novels and/or short stories. My first meeting with them was rather intimidating.  I can recall thinking ‘What if I’ve just been kidding myself all these years and can’t really write very well at all?’  To this little offering of doubt that presented itself, I smiled and decided that I best learn the craft then if I want to write, yes?  And so began the exploration of learning to become a decent wordsmith.

I joined yet a second writing group which tackled different issues regarding the world of publishing and all the little intricacies and nuances and gave me insight into a world I really knew nothing about.  I have been a sponge, wanting to take in as much as possible.

Sanctuary Photowalk 087This is my 219th post over the course of this past year.  I have had emotional highs and lows.  I have challenged self consistently and have moved forward steadily.  To where, I can’t say just yet.  What I’ve been doing, I realized today,  is that I have been laying down a foundation of sorts.  I have become far more disciplined in the task of writing on a daily basis.  The appetite to read, to explore, to research is at times voracious and difficult to satisfy as there are only 24 hours in the day.  In that mix I work two jobs, run, workout, do Yoga, write, cook clean, socialize.  I punched it up into high gear and just ran with it.

Over a four and half month period I put the book together.  And other ideas began to blossom in this fertile head of mine.  I participated in Rick Hansen’s 25th Anniversary of the Man in Motion Tour.  And now not only do I want to write, but I want to contribute in a positive way to this world that I belong to. And I guess that has been one of the most exceptional realizations is that I do belong and that I matter right along with all my other beings on this beautiful planet.

For so many years I looked out at this world from a carefully constructed shelf.  As this year began I jumped into the fray and woke to this world of so much splendor.  I wondered why I had not done this previously, but then decided no point dwelling on a point that was now moot.  I run now into a presence that encourages as much as it challenges.  I no longer have the attitude that I can’t do something.  Now the neurons are firing and assembling thoughts and ideas at a pace that I sometimes can’t keep up with.  And so I sit, meditate and slow the thing down.

It’s not about me, the individual any longer.  It is about me, the participant.  What can offer to the grand design?  How can I be used by this life source that feeds me and give back?  Those are the questions that dance through the head now.

flowerI do consider myself a writer now, not just a person who likes to write.  I have made several choices in my life…some not so good…some not so bad.  But the best choice I made over this last year was to live and live well.

For those of you that have followed my journey over this past year,  I thank you and hope that you will continue on with this evolution of mine.

Time to get jiggy with it…


Okay…I have been a bit remiss and not really started the 12 week cycle that I had intended…but now it it time to get down to the business at hand.

I ran through a mental checklist this morning while doing my workout.  Sort of a preview of areas that I need to focus on a bit more.  So this is what I came up with.

The good stuff:

1.  I have come to really like myself.  (There will be no ‘buts’ attached to this)

2.  I am an attractive and warm hearted individual.

3.  I am smart and have  great sense of humour.

4.  I have a ton of energy.

5.  I am childlike in many ways.

6.  I have a deep appreciation for this world and everything in it.

7.  I want to share all the love I have in my heart with this world.

8.  I am a good and loyal friend.

9.  I am passionate.

10.  I am a sensual and sexual being.

10. I see the importance of embracing my perceived imperfections.

11. I have worth and I matter.

 

The stuff that can be improved upon

1.  I can definitely continue to improve on my diet.

2.  I could drink less beer.  🙂  (I might not be as much fun, though!)

3.  I can work harder at the projects that I have initiated and see them through to completion.

4.  I can learn to accept more fully who I am each day.

5.  I can learn to love myself without attaching ‘conditions’.

6.  I have worth and I matter.

7.  No fear.

8.  No shame.

9.  No expectations of self.

10.  Accept myself as a sexual being more fully.

11.  Achieve fitness goals.

I just want to be.  I want to feel that ‘enoughness’.

I have heard this phase quite a bit over this last year.  To get to a state where you have enough of everything.  There is nothing that you need or require.  You just are.  And this is not a material thing.  Not at all.  I have spoken with people and met people who have this aura of such content around them.  This attracts me.  I want to feel that.  I want to get to place where each day is just another gift…where I am just happy and content with who I am and how I conduct myself.  This sounds incredibly difficult.  But a year ago if you had told me I would be where I am now…

There is evolution and there is existence.  I have chosen evolution.  There is this excitement as well.  To know that I am opening up doors that I did not know were even available to me and now I am walking through them.

‘Don’t look back!’

I will continue on.  So now I gotta get jiggy with it…recognize and attain my fitness goals.  Recognize and attain my health goals.  Those are the first two things that I will tackle…and so, let the games begin!  I find as I tackle one area of my life the rest all falls into place as well.  No matter where I focus on, I grow in all areas of my life.  So I will keep on keepin’ on.

Enjoy your day!

 

The 11th Week…..


I am almost at the end of the 11th week of my original optimum health plan….and I will just continue on.  I will likely hit the 15 lb. mark in terms of weight loss.  Not bad.  It truly does take longer to lose it when you get older,. For the record, I have not been the delightful little hermit I had intended to be over this time frame and I have socialized a wee bit more than I had anticipated but that’s okay.   And you know something, I am certainly appreciating the body that houses me a hell of a lot more than when I was younger.   I will keep whittling away until I achieve my goal weight which is a healthy weight.  Ultimately I will be in the 145-150 range which is perfect.

I have not worked out at my usual level of intensity this week.  The flu bug that ran through me last weekend really sucked a lot of energy out me.  I am a stubborn one.  I don’t like being sick and I foolishly expect my body to just bounce right back.  Doesn’t work that way.  Yesterday I did hit the gym.  My workout was okay but I just found the energy waning considerably.  So I did not run this morning.  I will run my long run tomorrow morning.

In one week I will be doing my first race of the year and I want to ensure that my energy levels are back to normal.  I have a tendency to NOT listen to my body in these cases so I am now making a concerted effort to really pay attention.

I have had an inordinately busy week and the one to follow will be just as intense.  That’s okay. I like to be busy but I know too, I need to slow down just a bit.  I feel like a sponge these days.  I just want to soak up every little bit of knowledge and stimuli that I can.  I am exploring so many things these days and there is this part of me that fears if I don’t absorb it all now, then I won’t have the opportunity again.  It is a strange sensation really.

Kind of like waking up one day after a lifetime and realizing you have never really lived and then trying to jam all missed moments and opportunities from that lifetime into one single day.  I need to slow it down and really enjoy each new thing I expose myself to, otherwise I will miss everything.  That said, the awakening has been extraordinary.  To feel the vibrancy and vitality of this life force that surrounds and embodies me, bringing me to full awareness has been fantastic and I want that connection all the more.  It excites me now.  I feel like I have discovered this secret that was right there before me all this time and I just never noticed it.  Now I want to tell everyone about it on one hand but at the same time….I don’t know…

I must embrace my fears and accept them.  We tend to reject and try to move away from them.  I have spent a lifetime trying to separate myself from all my fears only to realize, and just recently at that, by embracing them and accepting them I diminish their ability to halt my progress and my growth and they don’t seem quite so scary anymore. It is an interesting realization.

I have  a busy weekend coming up.  I hope all of you enjoy yours as well.  Let’s go play, shall we?