Pay Attention, To the Attention

Pay attention, to the attention. A catchy phrase if I do say so myself.

I’ve taken to journalling for/to each of my grandkids, an idea that came up from a YouTube video I inadvertently came across one night. In the video, which was oriented toward journals, the creator mentioned he has kept journals for each of his grandkids and I thought it was a great idea! Nuf said, I’ve done it.

Read the complete post here: http://wp.me/p8mDx0-rx

Update time

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.

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.

Testosterone, Breakfast of Champions

You could feel it as you entered the building. You could smell it, it permeated the air and imbued the arena with it’s power. The ‘it’ in question was testosterone, and lots of it. I was at the ice rink with my brother-in-law to watch my niece play hockey, and operate the clock for the score and penalties.

Now it could have been just sweat I smelled, but the feeling I encountered was more than just from the aroma, it was oozing from all those men, women and children milling about in the lobby and public areas of the Community Complex. You could see it in the body language of those congregating and moving about, and hear it in the snippets of conversation I could overhear. It was, in a word, ubiquitous (I love that word).

I would expect to see it in many athletic and macho men, and some not so athletic nor macho, but I was also surprised to observe similar characteristics from some of the women and children. The aura and feeling of warrior was everywhere. Frankly it concerned me, maybe scared me.

Now I’m not against hockey or any sport in general, but I’m not particularly supportive of some of the characteristics of that particular sport. The fighting and hard hitting, the aggression and macho bullshit I could personally do without but if that’s what floats your boat then go for it. What I don’t really get is the carryover aggression that seems to continue after the games. Even some of the women and kids did not appear to be immune to this drug. Their strutting and posturing was obvious to me as well.

To me, in a nutshell, this is scary. To see this cloak of power exhibited in this way, then (hopefully) dispensed with once they left for home made a statement to me. It told me we are not far from our caveman roots. It told me that all of us are capable of being somewhat duplicitous. We can change our spots at will, put on a front for each occasion, act whatever part was required. The part that concerns me the most is that the ‘real’ us is one that carries this testosterone openly and it’s control is always just below the surface, ready to erupt.

I hope I’m wrong, I doubt I am. Testosterone, the breakfast of champions.

Build It, They will Come

I can’t explain it, and maybe it’s foolhardy to try. Can it be so simple as to ‘Build it and they will come’?

The quote is a derivation of the famous quote from the movie “Field of Dreams” and in the show the “it” they are referring to is a baseball field. Kevin Costner, as the central character, builds a baseball diamond in the middle of a corn field, in order that dead baseball heroes come back from the hereafter to play.

Field of my dreams
Field of my dreams

The quote used here, in this context, doesn’t relate to any out of world sport. What I’m thinking of here is this blog, these posts. The same posts and blog that often surprise me with readership, and followers. Now not to look a gift horse in the mouth as it were, but I wonder ‘why’?

Call me a cynic but I’m surprised if it’s my exhilarating wordsmithing, or the subject matter. I would like to think (optimistically) that it’s my writing, my style or patter. The whole exercise just makes me go ‘hmmm’ that’s all.

Again being the cynic, the perpetual doubter, I’m drawn to the theory that a number of these followers have a somewhat ulterior motive, perhaps that of drawing attention to their own posts. This technique is oft touted as one to be used to garner more traffic. You know, I will ‘like’ your posts if you ‘like’ mine. Sort of a digital ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’.

And this may often work, just not generally for me. Not at this time anyway. I’m quite sure there are tons of great, even superb, posts out there, many written by my followers, but it’s unlikely I’ll see them as I’m so wrapped up in my own sh** that I have no time nor little energy to read them. Just look at my posting frequency. That’s likely my loss.

So I’ll continue to build my field and if the readers come out of the corn to read and follow then I count my lucky stars. If I build it, will they will come?

Grand Central Station

It’s like Central Station here. I came for a coffee and some quiet but so far only the java has been found.

My car is in for repair, or rather my wife’s car, and to kill some time I walked to our local plaza to spend the hour or so the repair should take. I had a couple errands to run as well but my goal was to find a subdued atmosphere to sit and ponder life, and my role in it. I chose here, a coffee shop called ‘Common Grounds’.

I certainly don’t begrudge them the business, it’s good for them, and us in the long run. It’s just a bit too active for my taste (today). It makes my pondering, and writing, and more pondering a bit more challenging.

Oh well I got this far, Grand Central Station or not.

Wow! MIA again

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder but I’m pretty sure that only applies to a few situations. Perhaps that only pertains to loving relationships, not errant bloggers. Lately I feel like one of those bloggers. I’m MIA, “missing in action”.

Certainly it does not apply to those who profess to love the art of expression though blogging, and yet in their absence from the ‘net show a position which could be construed as indifferent at best. I hope that’s not me.

What can I say that I haven’t said before, life gets in the way. Didn’t a wise man once say that?

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
John Lennon

Enough of that, it’s been said here too much before.

I’ve been a nomad of late, travelling here and there, mostly back and forth to Kelowna where my daughter and family live/work. Let’s face it, that’s where my grandson Madden is too.

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At any rate I’m frequently mobile, not lots of time at home. And when my needs for grandson attention call you can bet I’ll respond.

He’s a big one for electronics as you can see from the photo above. I think that’s a genetic thing as both his mother and father, and me of course, are addicted to e-devices of one sort or another. Not something to be proud of necessarily, just an observation. I for one can’t seem to shake ‘the beast’. They are addictive, so even if I’m not around, if I’m MIA, I can still likely be found on my device

The Update is ……, No Updates

No updates, Ha, that’s an understatement. I’ve not posted to any of my blogs, nor put up any photos for at least a couple weeks. I almost feel like I’m going through withdrawal. I have shared a bit on “MurielsKids” but even that has been spotty. I don’t know why, just lazy I guess.

It has been hot, damn hot, and that tucker’s me out but even a quick blurb would suffice. Just haven’t been on the computer much.

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I will endeavour to improve however. Cut me some slack eh. Like my buddy the Terminator said, “I’ll be back”.

Back in the Saddle

I’m back in the saddle, or at least on the horse. The saddle may have to come later.

It was my intent to post something much sooner. I said at the outset of creating this blog that it was my goal to post daily, or close to it. It seems I lied. My post frequency has been closer to weekly, or certainly that’s what it seems anyway. ‘Things’ just get in the way. Poor reason/excuse I know. I haven’t even posted photos for the Weekly Photo Challenge lately (to be honest I’m not even sure what the topic is.

The summer has been proceeding at a pace unforeseen or unexpected to me. In many ways it’s just been a spring and summer that has taken on a schedule that I don’t like. I’ve done numerous trips, by car and within 1000 km (~600 mi.). Some have been for pleasure and a few have been to see or support loved ones in need. That being said, I appreciate that I shouldn’t lament the reasons, and I don’t, it’s the time away from my castle and my ‘stuff’ that I lament. That and my apparent inability to manage my time effectively when I am at home.

One thing you do get is to see a bunch of interesting stuff when you’re on the road. This gent was operating the espresso machine at a coffee shop on the road called “Deadwood Junction and Tarnished Turkey Cappuccino Bar”, one of my favourite haunts while en route to Kelowna or back home from a visit to my grandson.

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You can see it hasn’t been all bad. It’s just that since I retired last year I often feel overwhelmed and under capable to handle my various stresses, most or all self inflicted. Plain and simple I see my world as full of these opportunities and things I want do, and certainly there’s no shortage of things I should do. There’s always cutting the lawn, doing dishes or the laundry, shopping, cooking, washing or maintaining vehicles etc. etc.. Never mind the fun stuff like camping or seeing my grandson.

Woe is me, my life is sooo tough isn’t it. Just smack me upside the head.

Like camping was such a hardship. While I didn’t post much I did do some journaling, and what a view. The photo doesn’t do it justice, albeit this was with my phone.

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Early retirement has provided me with challenges I didn’t see coming. Many people have asked me since I retired “What do you do?”, or “How do you stay busy?”. I just laugh. Life is so full, how do I get to do everything I want to, that’s the question.

So if you have any time management tips, or ways you think may help me in my time of need please let me know. I’d love to hear. In the meantime I’ll mount up and ride into the sunset of my golden years……