Update time

Change, in it's many forms

It appears I’ve been remiss and forgotten to provide an update to my last post.  Probably my most concise (and appropriate) sentiment is ‘Oh Baby, I’m Sooo Tired’.

If I ever decide to move again, of my own free will (ie without a court appointed incarceration), please remind me of this particular event. If we make it through this and the upcoming months it will be a miracle. That is if we make it without killing each other, or being killed. We could just pass away from exhaustion too I guess.

Now I say that with a bit of jest, and a tinge of exaggeration, but the moving out of our ‘old’ house portion of this exercise was something I’d care NOT to do again at least in the foreseeable future. Again, if it’s ‘of my free will’. If old age and senility takes over then all bets are off. It will be up to family to take up the challenge and put us somewhere safe.

We never in a million years would have believed that we have that much crap. And that’s after giving, dumping, and selling a bunch of non essentials. And it just seems to keep multiplying, like prolific rabbits.

At this point we have moved into our new home and have been here for about 10 weeks. I had begun writing this post at that time but you know, life got in the way.

Back to the junk……about 3 weeks after we took possession of the house we went back to Castlegar to pick up the rest of our belongings. We had moved in originally on May 3 with just the basics. Most of our worldly goods had been put into storage, into one of the 3 storage units we rented. Can you believe it, 3 stalls! In order to get it to our new place I rented a 26′ moving van in Kelowna and thought that would be enough to transport my sh**. WRONG! After all the van was advertised as being big enough for a 4 bedroom house. WRONG again, not my 4 bedroom house anyway. And that was without any appliances.

So the day came and we drove from Kelowna to Castlegar, went to the storage units and jammed everything from them into the van. You might think ‘jammed’ is an exaggeration but you’d be wrong, and I have pictures to prove it.

So long story short we loaded the balance of our worldly possessions and travelled uneventfully to our new home, arriving sometime around midnight. The next morning friends and family arrived to help us unload. We disgorged the contents of the truck into what was my empty 2 car garage, winced and started drinking. Unfortunately that only dulled the pain temporarily.

We have now had about 3 or 4 more weeks to digest our predicament. The house is full of all the knick knacks one can fit and the garage is still half full of boxes, and some furniture. There is hope for the future however. Within the near future I should be able to park at least one car back in there. When that day comes one of my dreams will be realized. At this time I have simple needs.

I’ve Left (still), And Am in the Process of Moving

While I’m still ‘gone’ from our town, at least from the emotional standpoint, I have not yet physically left. Our home here has sold and just before Easter we went to babysit our grandkids in Kelowna. While there we looked for a new home and within a day we found the one we wanted. After some tenuous, but brief, negotiations we settled on a price. The heavy lifting had been done.

Much of our worldly possessions have either been packed or sold, and what’s left will be packaged shortly or taken to the trash. The new owners of our present home will take possession Apr.29th, we will take possession of our new place May 3rd.

We are of course excited. Plans are being developed for the logistics of the move and we have already renovated the new place in our minds. It’s a tiring endeavour.

We are surviving though, in fact we (as a couple) seem to be thriving. My wife has also put in her retirement papers and that just throws another stress builder into the mix. Taking it all together I often wonder how we manage to remain sane. Perhaps I’m not, maybe that’s the clue.

I chalk a lot of my patience up to my recent efforts to calm my soul. As I mentioned before I went back on an anti-depressant some months ago. In addition I have been seeing a counsellor for that same period, and because I felt I was having some anger issues I also began going to a group counselling session. It included not only the ‘anger’ component but also a ‘dealing with stress’ and ‘self-worth’ elements.

Of all these support mechanisms the personal counselling helped the most. While I like working with my previous counsellor Gloria I really enjoyed this one, Elly. We connected and I felt she really listened and helped me understand more of what and who I was trying to be. The Coles Notes version of my sessions were that I can be, and feel, whatever I choose. The key there is that I ‘feel’, and recognize and appreciate exactly what I’m ‘feeling’. Accept and embrace it, it/they (feelings) are me and to deny them is to deny who I am.

Explaining the benefits of the sessions through a few lines in a blog is difficult, needless to say I am sad I have to stop.

And so we will be moving on, and moving forward toward another chapter in our lives. I am excited, I am optimistic, I am happy I will be closer to my daughter and grandkids. I feel all good things.

I’ve Left But Not Moved

Our move is underway, at least the portion of it involving packing. We have a tentative sale on our home and the only real impediment is waiting for the buyers to sell their house in Port Coquitlam. As I understand it that should not be a problem, many homes there are selling for over asking.

Perhaps I should clarify. After my last post my wife came home from work saying that one of her co-workers had expressed significant interest in our house. This girl’s boyfriend’s parents were in fact looking for a house like ours, a newer executive type home in the neighbourhood we are in. She and her future sister-in-law came to see the house that night. The girl called her folks and they were very intrigued. To make a long story short the parents flew in, yes flew, the next day and came to see the house. They really liked it, and emphasis on really. An offer was made and we accepted. Now the waiting, and packing, begins.

So far the stress has been well within limits and whether that is due to fact we haven’t gotten so far into the deal or that my time in Counselling and group sessions is paying off. Only time will show which is correct. I’m sure the meds have an additional benefit as well.

The whole process of moving from the initial decision to do so up to and including the actual move is interesting to me. The dynamics of the individuals involved and the whole process is becoming somewhat of a study for me, and perhaps that is partially why I’m not as stressed. Maybe it helps to take my mind off the fact that it actually us that are involved. Stay tuned.

Make a Move

While life events are currently fairly stable the potential for that to change is high. The disruption on the horizon is likely a move away from our home for over 55 years to a city where our daughter and her family live. To say this will contribute to an increased stress level in our lives is probably an understatement.

At this point in time we are just in the preliminary stages of the transition. I’ve met a couple times with a realtor and the ball is now back in our court to determine when to list. Our initial thought was that listing the house in early April would provide the best balance of time on the market and shortest delay for possession should the house sell quickly. We anticipated a move in early summer, after Maureen’s school year is over at the end of June. The realtor feels that waiting until April may cause an unnecessary loss of potential sales, that listing now would be the prudent approach.

This of course means that should the house sell quickly, which I think it will, that we will need to decide what to do next. It’s of little concern to me really, other than the effort of packing up the house. The real challenge is whether Maureen would stay in town until the school year ends, and where, or if she should just pull the pin and either quit or retire.Those are the hard questions.

Some thoughts…

As if it hasn’t been said enough “Time flies while you’re having fun”, or something like that. And time has flown.

I believe it’s a function of aging, that time flies. I read somewhere that the perception of time passing faster as we age is due to the lack of originality in our lives. And by originality I mean that there are seldom any new experiences in our lives as time goes on. As a rule we continue to do the same things month over month and year after year and so our perception of time flattens, it compresses and it becomes more difficult to differentiate one year over another. Time becomes all the same and in doing so it ‘flies’.

So, this theory being correct it would only stand to reason that one way to slow time down would be to do different things, to have new experiences, to make each week, month, and year different. Not a new theory but important nonetheless.

Now I don’t profess to have all the answers but it’s clear I have opinions, lots of them. Perhaps too many.

Life has been generally good to me over the last number of months. Being that it’s so long since I’ve updated this site I may repeat myself in what I say here so I will apologize in advance.

My health, both emotional and physical, has been good. Aside from the usual colds and one episode with the flu I am doing well. I have gone back on the meds  with my Doctor’s blessing and only at a half dose (10 mg Citalopram). I feel much better. Prior to that (about Dec.) I was once again back-sliding and feeling depressed. I had little motivation, was easily angered and frustrated, my emotions were all over the place and I just plain felt emotionally shitty.

I’ve tried to explain it away saying it was the weather or some other such excuse but the facts and history just don’t support that. I just have to accept it and resolve myself to the possibility that I may have to use meds to support my habit, that of feeling well.

The positive in the whole thing is that after my Doctor’s visit he suggested I start off with a lower dosage than before. This was a newer Doctor mind you, an international Doctor in training in my clinic, but he was/is very interested in my health and his suggestion had merit. As such I gave it a shot and haven’t really looked back.

This was done in concert with a new counselor as well. I began seeing her just before my first appointment with the Doctor and as time has gone on I’ve appreciated her more and more.

Her name is Elly. I decided to try her instead of going back for a 3rd time with Gloria. Elly is going for her Masters in Counselling and is doing her practicum in that clinic. So far I like her a lot, she is open and approachable, has fresh ideas and a perception that is refreshing.

She is a proponent of Art Therapy and has offered me the option of trying it. Art therapy sounded/sounds strange and while I am generally resistant to change I thought I owed it to myself to try something different. It was different for sure and some aspects of it were not comfortable for me. As an example she asked me to draw something, anything, on a paper covered table. All manner of pencils, felt pens, crayons, and paint were available to me, in all colours, so the options of media were essentially unlimited. It was all up to me as to what I chose to draw, and how to draw it. Once complete she asked how I ‘felt’ about the drawing, both in topic and substance.

The next session she again asked me if I wished to draw and this time she suggested I draw a Mandala. She gave me a 10″ circle of paper to draw on and again I could choose any media. In this context I must clarify that what she was asking me to draw was not a Mandala by it’s true definition. There was no religious significance to the drawing, more what she was asking was for me to draw a free form design on the circle of paper. Again, once the drawing was complete we chatted about the how and why of the sketch, and how I felt.

Part II

Because I seem to be long winded, and due to the fact my welcome wore out at Bagel’s and Brew (not really) I’ve had to complete this post the next day. I started writing Monday morning and here we are Tuesday, same coffee shop but different table, completing the saga.

At any rate my drawing experience was/is very interesting with it reinforcing some things I probably already knew about myself. In my first sketches, particularly the Mandala format I strived to be organized, symmetrical, accurate and somewhat precise. When I created a new drawing being more carefree, unorganized, non-symmetrical, in a word MESSY, I felt more free, more relaxed. In short it felt good.

That feeling was one that I was, and am, trying to replicate. I asked Elly if perhaps that was a state that I could develop through writing or photography. If I could bring my artistic and feeling side (less structured and rigid) more to the forefront by focussing on my artistic side, more right brained activities. She wasn’t sure but suggested I try by using my photography in an ‘out of the box’ fashion, taking photos in ways and of things that I normally might not. In fact she suggested this just before we went to Hawaii. I’ve tried and would have to say it’s not as easy to accomplish as I thought it might.

Some of the appropriate photos, and any drawings I completed while there were brought to my next session where we discussed my goal and any progress I made. Again, this was more difficult than I first thought.

So to be blunt one of the purposes of going to counselling was to get the stick out of my ass. This wasn’t necessarily the original reason, nor the only reason, but in talking with here I’ve come to realize that it was one of my personality traits that I desired to change. In effect I want to loosen up and have more fun, be more relaxed about things on a day to day basis.

This has been a long and likely boring post however it has also been done as an effort to begin writing again. I have been journalling fairly consistently but that method has become repetitive it was time to mix it up. Elly has suggested if I do journal that rather than the wordiness of it that I should use only descriptor words about how I feel at the time, no structured sentences. I would still like to sketch and may incorporate that as well.

So, ‘nuf said, Too much perhaps. See you on the flip side.

Home, Again

family, loved ones, children, grandchildren

I am Home again, and while catching up on some communications I received a ‘pingback’ from another blogsite called Beyond The Baby Book. For those that don’t know a pingback is a notification that someone else has posted a link back to your website or blog on their site. In this case it happened to be a previous post of mine for a Photo Challenge of “Home”. The post is below:
————

home, hearth, fire, chair, reading
Home is Where the Hearth Is

Home….., home is where the hearth is. That’s my take on a popular quote:

Home is Where the Heart Is
 - Pliny the Elder

Now I honestly have no idea who Pliny the Elder is but I’m sure a quick search on Google or Wikipedia would answer that question. Home, is where you are most comfortable, perhaps the happiest. It can be in your own home or somewhere else with a loved one. It’s where you feel content, no false front required or desired. Hopefully home is with those you love most, your family, a wife, your children or your grandchildren.

family, loved ones, children, grandchildren
Family, Loved Ones

Home, where the cares of the world ease, where you can be at peace and problems outside your world evaporate.  It’s a place to care, and be cared for, to love and be loved. Home ….. is Home.

I also feel at home outside, in my yard. I can be in my garden or just sitting under the maple tree with a book, perhaps a beer or coffee at my side and thoughts of relaxation and calmness washing over me. Not a care, nor a concern, a oneness with life and nature ….. hold on, maybe that’s the beer talking. Better take it easy……

adirondack, chair, peaceful, relaxation
Holy Place

I call that place under the maple tree and surrounded by cedars my ‘Holy Place’, and I look forward to visiting it again soon, when the spring sun comes and the warmth takes the snow away. It will be one of my outside homes.

Another area I like to call home is sitting on the deck. It’s a place to catch the morning rays of sun and perhaps the cool breezes as they wash over the space. I’ll likely hear the wind chimes playing their rich tones, like so many church bells tolling their virtues. I’ll be reading there too, or perhaps posting to the blog, or journaling my morning pages. I’ll feel the peace, the warmth of the sun and the calmness. I will be ok there, in any of those places I call home. I can recognize my fortune and acknowledge my gratitude. It’s good to be home.

Many Things Have Changed

Last Kamloops sunset

Well, I find myself at point that is, shall we say, disconcerting. That itself may not be the right word but it’s the best I can come up with right now. My intent was just to post a quick update and move on, but when I ventured into this site I was both confused and surprised. It appears the formatting has changed from what I remember and I was a tad ‘lost’.

Not to digress though, my update is that all is well for the most part, and while my home situation is somewhat discombobulated (read that the house is in disarray) I don’t feel too bad.

We’ve been visiting with our 3 year old grandson, rather he with us, and for the most part is has been enjoyable. Tiring, but enjoyable. Makes me glad I did it, raising kids when I was 20 not 58.

I just returned him to sender a few hours ago and upon my return home witnessed the partial dis-assembly of our house, thus part of the “disarray”. Some of the walls have been cut away, as have portions of the basement ceilings and the main floor hardwood. This is all due to water damage as a result of plumbing lines/drains being plugged. It seems our washing machine discharge was too much for the pipes to handle in their diminished capacity.

The other part of the disarray is that my crap is everywhere. I just moved back home after an 11 month stint away, working in Kamloops BC. It’s amazing how much sh** a person can accumulate/transfer in such a short period of time. It was/is a learning experience though and one I may or may not repeat.

So, ‘nuf said, I’ll fix this website and move on. I’ll fix the house and move on, I’ll just fix what needs fixin’ and…….move on.

Away But Not Gone

I’ve been away, not gone, just absent from here, and there. I’ve fallen so far off the proverbial blogging wagon it’s almost as if I’ve never been. Kinda disturbing to me really.

I’ve still in relatively good health and still working.My 3 – 6 month stint has turned into 7 months to date. Again I’ve been asked if I’m willing to stay but I’ve always declined. Somewhere along the road I decided if I’m to make an informed decision I need to be informed. To that end I asked for a formal offer. It was good, and I struggled for many days with the decision, which ultimately was no. While the job would have benefits, both financial and to some degree emotional, I felt the negative components of the ’emotional’ aspect outweighed the positive of the ’emotional’. Stress has been building and once again I’ve re-realized that working in the pulp and paper industry in a supervisory capacity is not my bag. I do have some skills in that area but I have not real reason to develop them further, in fact I tend to pull away from those opportunities.

“I yam what I yam and tha’s all what I yam.” — Popeye the Sailor Man”

I ain’t Popeye but I yam still what I yam, good bad or indifferent. I continue to work at believing that.

The Adventure Continues

If there’s one thing I’d have to say lately it’s that my horizons have been broadened. Coming out of retirement and taking another job , the resulting move to another town and getting another place to live, it’s all totally out of my experience. It’s an adventure, and it continues.

The original plan is for me to be here 3 – 6 months. We are at the 3 month mark now and the interviews for the permanent replacement for the position I’m filling are barely underway. I’ve been asked numerous times if I’d consider staying on full time, if I’m interested in working a little longer, but I have to decline. Up to this point I’ve been a little vague in my replies but my last couple responses have been more definitive. I was happy in my retirement and I look forward to returning.

It’s not without reservation mind you, I enjoy doing most of what I’m doing in my new role. In it I realize I’m a more desk oriented person and the managing of people has always presented some issues.The position I’m filling is more like the position I thought I wanted. My last job was glaringly short in this respect and now in this role I can see what it should have been like. There are some challenges to my adapting but I’m working through them. I guess this is a prime example to the adage “be careful what you ask for”. This is what I asked for, except it was in my previous career.

This just adds to my dilemma. I see the opportunity(s) and I also see the resulting stresses. I understand where others can get drawn into the spiral of adventure, challenge and reward. I’m intrigued myself, but am I intrigued enough however?

Until the adventure is over I will continue to live it and enjoy. It may never come again. A somber thought.

My view
My view

I do have some perks mind you, and that’s my suite. this is the view I wake up to every day. It’s not the mountains of home but I’ve grown to love it. To every story there’s an up side.

Where Has the Time Gone?

Time is flying by, to where I know not.

We’ve been away from our house/home for over 2 months now of a potential 6 month gig. I have been asked more than a few times if I would consider staying on permanently but up until now I’ve been non-committal, vague even. I imply more money might sway me, or perhaps I should say the same money. As I’m a contractor/consultant my salary is higher than the norm for that position but bear in mind I get no benefits of any kind, except maybe some free clothes or boots.

Bottom line really is that I don’t care to work. I enjoy some of the tasks thrown my way but the longer I do this job the more I remember what it was like the first time around. My early retirement was for a reason.

I do feel validated however, in demand, wanted shall I say. All feelings that were missing before. I want to write more but I’m tired, another thing I don’t miss.

Cheers.