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

7 Reasons My Underwear Feels Too Tight

blogging, blog, journal, writing

Ever have one of those days where you seem to be just a little out of phase with the rest of humanity, where the best laid plans seem to go astray?  A day where after breakfast you put the milk in the cupboard and the cereal in the fridge. I’m experiencing that today. It’s seems as if everything I touch, anything I do, falls just short of being ‘right’.

morning pages, journal, journaling, writing
Morning pages

Today is a Dad’s day, a day where I take him out and we go to the doctor, optometrist, or in this case to the lab for blood work, and then we go out for lunch. I had planned to leave home a little early so that before I picked him up I could go to Walmart or one of the many electronics type stores to look for a phone case for my new iPhone 5 (and that’s a whole ‘nuther story).

Prior to leaving I was doing my morning pages, you know, that’s ‘writing’ in a book with paper pages and using a pen or pencil. These days I’m not sure how many people still do that…, but I was and before I completed one of my sentences part way through the exercise I became distracted. Well, not distracted at that time really, I put the journal down to check on something I was writing about and that’s when I got distracted. My wife had a question about her ‘new’ iPhone 4s (my hand-me down). There I went, off task, and so far today I’ve not made it back to the journal.

Well that put me behind schedule, not only did I not get to finish the sentence or entry in my journal I never made it away in time to go look at iPhone covers before picking Dad up.

So off on my way I went. I picked up Dad on time (amazingly) and we went to the lab. Fortunately the handicapped parking right in front of the lab was available so we slipped right in, and interestingly enough the lab wasn’t too busy so we waited no more than 5 – 10 minutes to get called. Seems like my day wasn’t a right-off after all, so far things were going well. Lunch was next .

Now that I’m recounting the days events it’s seems like maybe things weren’t so bad after all, lunch went well and Dad paid so life is good and things were looking up. We had a nice visit, he was feeling pretty good and I got him back to his home without further ado. It didn’t stay that way however, or didn’t feel like it anyway.

After dropping Dad off I hit the stores to look for my case, and if I learned anything during that exercise it’s that nothing is cheap, particularly quality iPhone cases. To get the case I wanted, an Otter Commuter, was going to cost between $44 – $50 bucks depending on the store. That’s in addition to any screen protector I bought. My stress was in a holding pattern. A quick look at Amazon (on my phone of course) made me realize that online is where I’ll get them, way cheaper.

As I think about that experience it dawns on me perhaps one of the reasons I feel so stressed and out of sorts is that I am so worried about dropping my phone, and have been ever since I picked it up. Perhaps that is the underlying cause, the reason for my ‘out of sorts’. Whatever the cause….. I feel how I feel and it continued through the day, that ‘skin don’t fit’ kinda feeling.

After arriving back at my home I had to turn around and go back out to run a couple more errands, one of which was to pick up quilt batting for my wife at the local fabric store. I’m afraid I scared the lady in the store, I feel like I went in there with a chip on my shoulder and although I don’t think it’s true I felt like I was surly and abrupt. Damn underwear starting to crawl again.

Next stop was an auto parts store to try and replace one of my malfunctioning wiper blades, that I paid $40 bucks for no less. I went in through the door and must’ve looked like I was ready for bear as the attendant approached my apprehensively and quickly passed me off the reps at the service counter. I suspect he wanted nothing to do with me, if he could see how I felt he was probably wise to defer me. The counterman listened somewhat sympathetically to my plight. I explained the driver’s side wiper leaves a streak in front of my eyes and when I just paid $40 bucks for 1 blade I had hoped it would last longer than 3 months. He murmured back “Well, I guess I could replace it”. Well, thank you very much. Perhaps he could see I was itching for a fight too.

So that sounds like another win doesn’t it? Hang on, not so soon.

Unfortunately when I went outside to swap the bad blade for the good I must’ve touched the fender of the car with my jacket. As I pulled back after installing the blade I noticed a nice brown smudge of dirt/mud on my nice clean black jacket. Argggh, %$”*”&#*, use your imagination to translate. Now I’m fussed and I’m dirty, and if you know me you know I don’t like to get dirty. Especially on tight underwear day.

All I can do is wipe the mud off my jacket and try to wipe my mood clean at the same time. I was relatively successful, nothing damaged and nobody hurt in the process, and proceeded to the next stop. Fill up with gas.

Things went relatively smoothly after that, although getting out of the car prior to filling I noticed yet another blotch of mud, this time on my pant leg. Will it never end I thought (how about wash the car dummy). I exited the car and holding it together somehow inserted my credit card into the gas pump. Perhaps I was too fast, perhaps too forceful, the pump would not accept my card. Another ARGGGH.

Take a deep breath, try again, success this time. The gassing up exercise completed with few casualties, only my spirit.

Two Slurpees in a car cupholder.
Two Slurpees in a car cupholder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Home I went. But wait, I had to get my wife a Slurpee (Slushy). I don’t understand her penchant for ice cold ice based drinks on a cold winter day but hey, who am I to argue with the light of my life. She wants a Slurpee, a Slurpee she shall have.

Knowing that this stop would be part of my day I came prepared, I had her refillable Slurpee cup at hand. The Slurpee machine operated flawlessly and I proceeded to check out. It was when I went to pay that I was met with a surprise.

Now it’s not like I’ve never used the plastic refillable cup before but when I paid and found the tab higher than expected I gasped.

“Are you sure”, I asked? “How can it be that a Slurpy with a re-usable cup can be more expensive than if I’d used one of the disposable cups?”

“Well”, she said. You never told me it was YOU’RE cup”.

I guess she had me there. And mentioning to her that I ‘assumed’ she knew it was my cup did NOT help the situation. She only replied “when you assume you make an ass out of you and an ass out of me.” She sighed heavily, refunded my money and then charged me a more appropriate, smaller, amount. Personally I think her underwear didn’t fit either, or maybe it’s the moon.

With my chores pretty much completed I forged home, stewing all the while about how I was out of phase, how my skin didn’t fit, how my knickers were too tight, and in my mind plotting what I would write here. It’s a good thing an animal didn’t bolt or a car pull out in front of me, my attention was not all there. I was too busy thinking of what I’d say here.

I did arrive at my home safely though, I don’t think I maimed anyone in transit, at least as far as I know.

After backing into my driveway I did notice a couple beer cans laying on the snowbank in front of my hedge (not mine, I have enough decency to toss mine in the neighbours yard). Here I go again, I feel that familiar tugging sensation near my private parts.

Knowing it’d be futile to pick up the beer cans and carry all my acquisitions (quilt batting, Slurpy) and Dads’ medical history file (that I try to take every time I see him), along with my camera bag and sweater etc., I choose the smart avenue. Pick up the cans, drop them in the recycle, and make not 1 but 2 trips back and forth to the car for the rest of the stuff. That way I can be sure not to f*** up and either drop half the stuff or wipe my clothes OR the new quilt batting on the side of the muddy car. Mission accomplished, all goods arrived in the house unscathed.

Once inside I dropped everything (not literally) and quickly logged on to my WordPress account to quickly disgorge my thoughts into a post, to try and enlighten you to my day and what made it ‘special’. I hope I didn’t bore you too badly and you arrived, like I did at the end of my afternoon, with underclothes that fit. I know the constricting feelings were all just fleeting experiences, tomorrow will be another day and hopefully one where I am in alignment with the universe. Until that time, if your underwear doesn’t fit go without.

Cheers

I’ve Done Some Naval Gazing, Guess What I Discovered

Old Truck DSC_0728-74-copy

I’ve tried to do some navel-gazing lately, unfortunately all I’ve come up with is ……. lint, and if I have to explain that I’ve missed the mark.

The website Answers.com defines “navel-gazing” as:

na·vel-gaz·ing (nā’vəl-gā’zĭng)
n. Slang
Excessive introspection, self-absorption, or concentration on a single issue.

According to Wikipedia it’s also known as Omphaloskepsis.

“Omphaloskepsis”, is contemplation of one’s navel as an aid to meditation.

Now while I would love to be able to accomplish this in part, the ‘introspection, or contemplation’, it has so far eluded me. I typically have any number of things running through my mind, but many of them are not fit for mixed audiences or small children. They often seem to bolt through my thoughts like a streaker across the infield at the top of the 9th. I wish I could hang onto those thoughts long enough to digest them fully but they frequently elude my attempts, they are in … and back out again just as quickly.

What made me think of this topic today is a tv series I’ve been watching with my wife, “Sons of Anarchy“, about a motorcycle ‘club’ and it’s evolution. One of the main characters has found a journal written by his late father, one of the original founding members of the club chapter. In it the father commented on the path the motorcycle club had taken during his involvement, and the decline or stepping away from original goals (in his mind). The father philosophized over the causes and his perceived resolutions, the whys and what to do’s.

It was this dialogue he had with himself in the journal that sparked this most recent introspection of mine. I thought how important that would be, to leave a commentary on one’s life for your children, a blueprint of your thoughts and feelings on life’s events. A capturing of your life’s perceptions, an inside look into your head. That is in part what I had hoped to accomplish here, in this blog.

This blog was/is my journal but it does not have nearly the introspection I had hoped it would, it isn’t deep nor as philosophical and that may have to be ok. However if it is to be a record of my thoughts and dreams, my opinions and perceptions, I’m going to have to step it up a bit.

This may be a challenge for me. My thoughts, while sometimes deep, are also occasionally erratic and perhaps superficial. I have been known to hedge my bets, to sit on the fence, and to be non-committal. None of these lend well to a thought provoking internal dialogue, never mind a journal that would hold much interest. I can be self-deprecating and perhaps even to a degree self loathing, the latter certainly not admirable nor helpful.

I chalk up my fence sitting and similar traits to my ability to see multiple sides to any given situation. In my experience things are seldom what they seem.  There are generally at least 3 sided to any story, yours, mine, and the truth.  This belief, and likely some fear on my part of putting my personal opinions out there, holds me back.  Also connected to that string of thought is that by my expressing strong opinions and perceptions here I may hurt someone, even unintentionally.  I don’t want that.  So I’m stuck.

That all being said perhaps I am able to be open, is that not what I just did, even a little?  Perhaps there’s more in my navel yet to discover.

Old Truck DSC_0728-74-copy
Old Dump Truck, put out to pasture

ps The attached photo has nothing to do with the topic, I just thought it was cool.

“Joe”ing Again….

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Well I’m at it again, I stopped again during my morning walk for a cup of Starbucks coffee, I’m ‘joe’ing again.

Whether this will become a regular stop of mine, part of my routine, is yet to be seen.  I can say it’s a nice break but at $3 bucks a pop for a grande Americano I need to give it some serious thought.  Being that I’m a man of leisure now, a retired person, it begs the question as to if this is where I should be spending my “hard” earned cash.  I tell myself when I reach the Starbucks Gold status I’ll stop.  After all isn’t that what all addicts say?

It also provides me some socialization which is another good thing for those of us that are aged and perhaps infirm.  While I don’t really consider myself aged OR infirm I believe the socialization aspect applies equally to anyone who by their circumstances may not get out much.

That could apply to me, the not getting out much.  I have many interests, perhaps too many as my ongoing challenge is to equally divide my time among them.  Maybe not even equally, just apportioning “some” time to each.  This is part of my ongoing effort to find balance.

20121018-125055.jpgOne thing the morning walk (not the coffee) does give me is an opportunity to see what’s going around me, the beauty of nature and life’s goings on.  I’ve commented on this before and it’s no less true now, we are surrounded by beauty and awesomeness.  I am so grateful, perhaps I need to comment on what I’m grateful in my posts, much like I did in my “Morning pages”.

That’s another thing on my “list”, get back to writing in my journal.  So many things, so little time.  Help me please.

Coffee, With a Capital C

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20120810-091635.jpgWhen I saw the results of this photo’s manipulation I thought Coffee, but not really coffee as the drink, although that what it is, but the stimulating results of Coffee.  Perhaps it’s the result of too much coffee, the edginess you might get, the effect you might see where Colors are Heightened and your Perceptions only appear Sharper.  That kind of Coffee.  The too much Caffeine capital C Coffee.

I don’t necessarily see or feel that this morning.  My morning brew today is conjured up using decaf grounds so I wouldn’t experience such things.  I have found the capital C Coffee to be counterproductive.  It does NOT help my mood.  Necessary at times but not today.

I struggle still this morning with the doldrums of past days.  I question whether to even write or journal about it as it sounds like so much whining.  I consider posting to another blog of mine, one that is private and not for public consumption.  I consider not writing at all.  None of these options bears fruit at this time.

I come back to my original intent of this venue.  It was to communicate how I was feeling, what progress if any I have been making along my journey.  It might mean something to someone, or help them along their way.  Isn’t that what we all want, to help someone else?

I must admit in some cases that journey may have been obscured by fancy writing or stories of humor and light heartedness.  There have been stories of Dad or perhaps family tribulations with other members.  All along though it should reflect where I am on my path, on a road where the way is marked by colors and light or one where the ruts along the way are bouncing me from side to side.  One where my full attention is spent solely maneuvering my way through the myriad of obstacles, trying to stay on the road.

So I don’t know where the road will end.  This particular section of the trip seems to be more challenging but as always I will survive, and along the way try to learn something.  Maybe you can learn something too.

I Think I’m Feelin’ Better

I think I’m over the mood hump, I hope so, pretty sure I’m feeling better.

The days have cooled down a touch to the mid 30’s, that Celsius folks, and while it is still pretty hot outside we have gained control over the temperature inside the house.  At least somewhat anyway.  Most of this is accomplished by the judicious use of window blinds (outside of the windows preferably), and the opening and closing of doors and windows at the optimum times (temperature and direction dependent).  Doing that we can keep the inside of the house at the mid to high 20’s.  Still not “cool” but certainly cooler than outside.

We’ve never had an air conditioner and I’m beginning to think one would be a good investment.  It would be one of those things you wouldn’t use often but when you want it you REALLY want it.  Still something we are pondering.

Whether the weather (cool play on words huh) was the key to my slump or just one of many factors I don’t know but realizing my past experiences (read that as moody bastard) I would suspect it wasn’t the only one.  Why I seem to experience this swing of moods might be something a team of doctors could look into but my team isn’t available right now and they aren’t returning calls.

I shouldn’t have to look far for the answer to this quandary as the more I think about it, the more I go back in time to the earlier stages of my diagnosis, the more clear the answer to the question becomes.  Could it really be…….just the depression?

If I look back in my handwritten journal, even perhaps some of my earlier posts, I would clearly see one of the benefits I noticed after beginning the meds was the “even-ness” of my moods, a more level experience of life without the ups and downs of good days and bad.  In short I felt better.  It’s just that I don’t want to be on ANY meds, the taking of drugs itself or the having to take drugs is what I think I rally against.  Dumb perhaps, but it’s how I feel.  I think nothing of medicating myself with a drink or two, that is somehow ok, but having to be on medication to be normal?  That hurts me.  What fickle beings we are.

As I sit here in the shade on my deck, the cool breeze wafting through and tickling the wind chimes, I become sad.  This is one of my happy places and yet I feel low, depressed in mood and energy, lacking the full enjoyment of my place or lot in life.  An unfortunate state of affairs.

But I can do something about it, and I will.  If nothing else I will get up and go for a walk.  Exercise is something that’s been lacking in my routine lately.  I’ll do it, here I go, I’m feelin’ better already.

Why DO We Camp?

20120730-162440.jpgWhy do we camp, emphasis on DO as in why DO we camp?  I thought I knew the answer but like so many things now I’m doubting what I do and don’t know.

I think I’m in a funk, I’m “funking”, and while it’s not a terminal condition it is one that is nevertheless somewhat debilitating.  I’m not really in a bad mood as such, it’s not that my knickers are too tight, it’s more that I just feel tired and somewhat out of sorts.  Is it because I’ve f***ed with my meds? (that will be another post). Continue reading Why DO We Camp?

First One Word, then Another, One Step, and Again

I have heard that when struggling for words, when laboring for a topic, it can be helpful to first put down one word on the page.  After that initial beginning place a second word, then another, and again until your first sentence is complete. Follow the same pattern to compose your second sentence, then move onto your third, and before you know it the words will spring from the page and your post or writings will take shape.  Seems like sage advice.

Continue reading First One Word, then Another, One Step, and Again

Coming out of the Closet , Is it Time?

Open book

I’ve been posting for about a year now and I wonder…Is it time to come out of the closet, to be an open book?  Before you jump to conclusions I should elaborate.

This morning before writing in my journal, after checking emails and having breakfast etc., etc., I watched one of the Ted Talks called Mena Trott on Blogs, where she discusses her perspective on blogging.  In her presentation she comments particularly on how blogging is a means for those who want to know you to learn about who you are, not only biographically but what kind of person you are and how you think.  This made me think, will those I know and love ever know that about me?

More to read