Just Another Day

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9 a.m.
No banana for my smoothie this morning, and I’ve had to make it with Granny Smith apples. It’s too tart and thin for my liking: two apples, a handful of frozen blueberries or saskatoons (not sure which they are), plain yogurt, and soy-almond milk frozen into cubes. It’s going down, slowly and without my usual ecstatic moaning. Hope Beau remembers to stop at the store and pick up some fruit before coming home.

I’ve got dishes soaking in boiling water in the sink, and bread dough being worked in the kneading machine, and laundry in the washer. Must get the dishes out of the way but don’t feel like it quite yet. Didn’t walk yesterday so can’t skip it today. Have to get five hours of work in, and would like to make a thick soup for supper. It’ll be a full day.

Not exciting —unless I see a moose— but full.

A Wee Bit o’ Ramblin’

This month I have already had to “take a pill” four times; yesterday I laid down around 1:30 and slept till 4. And today I awoke with my neck out again. WTF? I don’t know how people who live with chronic pain do it—I mean, remain optimistic and happy to be alive. I have trouble ignoring my discomfort enough to enjoy the day. It becomes a hard slog till the vise on my neck releases.

Number One Son sure didn’t want to go back to town last night after supper. Driving him was no fun, either. The roads have been graded after the storm, but there are still icy ruts, and although I drove slowly there was still one time I squealed as the slippery road threw the vehicle toward an icy slough and I thought we just might go into it. After that I drove home at 20 miles per hour instead of the 40 I’d been speeding along at. Yikes.

We were snowed in for one day on the weekend. Beau had our bed (I have moved back into it as a gesture of goodwill and because I am tired of sleeping on a hard mattress on a floor) covered with papers while he sat at the kitchen table, organizing his stuff for the tax man. I should get mine in order too; there’s only a few minutes of organizing for me though.

When Beau first started he thought he’d heap a little blame on me: “Thanks to you I can’t find anything.” I nipped that in the bud pretty quick. “You had plenty of time to put it all away yourself,” I reminded him, “and it is exactly as you had it, only in binders so it could be taken off the dresser and floor and put away.” He bit his tongue, which hurt, I imagine, because he has such a habit of lashing out at others the moment he gets a bit frustrated. He doesn’t like spending time doing his books, as evidenced by his avoiding it by wasting many hours watching TV this weekend or reading page after page of ads on the internet rather than taking care of overdue business.

One night this week as he lay asleep beside me I remembered an incident in the early years of our relationship, when we argued about something while driving on a highway in the next province, on our way to load up the rest of my stuff to bring out here, and he pulled the truck over and told me to get the hell out. I refused because I wasn’t about to be dumped off on the side of a road at night, and it all blew over fairly quickly as our tiffs usually do, but as I recalled it I thought “How did I ever get past that? Why wasn’t it a dealbreaker?”

I am still wondering.

Daughter Without Dad

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Mom’s best friend’s youngest daughter, the divorced single parent of two teenaged girls, told her parents in the fall that she was pregnant, that she was keeping the baby, and that there was “no father in the picture.”

I wonder how she plans to manage that when the little girl (born last month) starts asking questions. It makes sense that she can, without involving the father, avoid a lot of headaches that come with sharing a child with another household, as divorced parents must do.

On the other hand, most fatherless kids dream of having a dad or at least want to know who their biological father is. Since she hasn’t told the father she was pregnant, how will she answer her youngest child’s inevitable question, “Who is my dad?”

Because it seems every kid wants one, whether they’re fathers worth having or not.

Whoops — Email Habit Change Required

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I learned a lesson today about being more careful.

I received an email from a film director’s assistant, who just (after being asked a month ago for it) forwarded the very busy director’s permission to include her in a project I have been working on. She asked to see the text and the image that is to be published. I sent that email on to my project editor and requested the text and image, but added “with demands!!!!” to the existing subject line, because time is an issue right now — the stuff is ready to go to press, so we need to do this immediately. The editor sent the text and arranged for me to get the chosen image. I forwarded her email with the text to the director’s assistant, not looking at the subject line. The assistant got snooty: she wasn’t being demanding, she insisted; she was only asking for professional courtesy!

Lesson learned: never forward any email. Always start from a new email, copy and paste in the text I want to forward, and put in a new subject line. Don’t risk not noticing something that could offend the new recipient.

PS and no, it was not the director of the film Loyalties! That was Anne Wheeler, who is a joy to deal with.

Guide

Maybe one way of making change in effective doses is not to bring up a discomfort at the first available oppportunity. It requires self-control but it’d be helpful if I could be sure my silence on a subject would lead to eventual adjustments. Otherwise being quiet feels somewhat like spinning my wheels, and weak, unwilling to take action.

“Pivoting.” Removing focus from the unwanted to the wanted in a moment of negativity is called pivoting, and is supposed to change one’s experience of reality.

It is really difficult to do when I am pissed off.

“It was only once I vowed to stop criticizing and carping that I realized the strength of my instinct to criticize and carp.” – The Happiness Project

Psychic Reading

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 During the reading with Her Glowyness, Mom did not make an appearance. Glowy didn’t ask her to, mind you, though I had been asking Mom to show up. I wanted to see if she could or would respond to a direct request.

At the beginning of the reading, Glowy asked what I hoped it would address.

I said – my troubles, my work, and my desire to communicate with Mom.

Glowy said that maybe Mom doesn’t often “come here,” which would explain why we don’t feel her presence. She may be busy elsewhere and not necessarily needed here.

We wish she would make herself known sometimes.

My sister’s several times been seriously distressed (her baby’s epileptic seizures and her husband’s near-fatal heart attack) and not felt Mom around, when these are the times she’d most expect Mom to visit her.

Maybe she can’t, L’il Sis and I think.

Glowy asked how I communicate with Mom now.

I visualize meeting Mom on my favourite beach, and that Mom comes to the “beach in my mind” and she is light and beautiful and happy.

There is a validity to these experiences that makes the visualizations well worth doing. They are reassuring; they make me feel good. Nothing earth-shattering has been related by “Mom in my mind.” You should come here more often, she has said.

It’s imagining meeting her in space, imagining hugging her, and so on; except it takes on a life of its own. The imagination can take off from here if you let it, and when you do, that is when you open to your inner knowing, a kind of recognition that supports insight and simple affirmation. Your inner knowing may appear as a message from your dead mother, whether she really lives on or not; but the message remains valid.

Glowy said that my “night work” this coming year would involve Africa and Greece, and that there is “alien activity” around me— have there been any sightings in our area? she wondered.

There were several crop circles in recent years, but I didn’t see them.

(Petra: maybe Greece is that beachside retreat I have always imagined us living in for the winters; maybe it’s not Italy at all. What do you think?)

 

Thoughtless Thoughts

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Some years ago while at a perogie-making bee at my sister’s, I made a remark along the lines of  “I do most of the housework and cooking and shopping and other essential errands, so my partner can damn well share his income with me or pay more of our expenses than I do. It’s only fair.” Not sure what we were talking about, but her sister-in-law, busy pinching dough like a pro, responded “No wonder your relationships don’t last.”

This comment seemed to lay the blame for the breakup of my past relationships squarely upon me. While this may be true — I am certainly not laying sole responsibility at anyone else’s feet — it also jumped to the pretty quick conclusion that I was too demanding and that this was the cause of my relationship problems. Perhaps I was even a “user,” it seemed to say, and I overvalued my time and effort, which most women (good women? women who keep their man?) give for free and with no expectation of a stepping-up-to-the-plate in some way on the part of another adult who benefits daily from my labour. 

Because I was shocked, I didn’t really address the subject further with her. I could almost hear my sister holding her breath, expecting me to tell the gal that she was full of shit. Instead I took her words home to think about, and am still carrying them with me – with a little bit of anger for the ungenerous summing-up of my character in such a way, and for her chauvinistic assumptions about what the role of a woman should be in this society, and at myself for not thinking fast enough to set her straight.

And That’s That for That

11:31a.m. Mon

Breakfast down, dishes done, body washed and dressed, and … living room swept. Which means … furniture has been moved, and my poor Fella’s equilibrium is going to be shaken up when he gets home, and he will (if the past repeats itself) attempt to browbeat me, and that will piss me off, and our happy-getting-alongness of the past few days will disappear. Sadly, that is the price of changing anything around here without okaying it with him first. Which I refuse to do. It’s not as if I’m making any irreversible changes or as if I have no right to.

Besides, it’s worth it. I need change, even if it’s only in small ways every once in a while. Fella will be forced to adjust, and although it’s uncomfortable for him, perhaps he will find the new arrangement an improvement once he gets used to it. I think so. (Of course, I will just change it again. Poor laddie!)

Tues6March2012   9:47a.m.

My sis called my guru and made an appointment for psychic readings while I’m visiting her city. I have been saying to Mom: Please come and talk to me. If you can, this is your perfect opportunity to be heard.

11:34a.m.

I’ve worked an hour, eaten a bagel, washed and dressed, and gone out to fill the birdfeeders. It is snowing heavily; we’ve had several inches overnight. I’m trying not to worry about Fella making it safely home from a town and hour-and-a-half away where he went early this morning for an 8:30 appointment. As usual he doesn’t have his friggin’ cellphone turned on, so I can’t put my mind at ease one way or another. He’s probably back in the area and hard at work already, safe and sound.

Fella managed not to get upset with the moved furniture. Surprise surprise! Good for him. Only one comment: “There’s nothing under the couch now.” He worries about the legs making dints in the cork flooring.

Either he’s getting used to the frequent changes, or he’s learning to hold his tongue about them.

Hm. Hm Hm Hm.

I have burned the top of my mouth somehow and now everything hot that touches it hurts.

We had a nice supper last night at the home of our friends. Another couple was there, and we sat at the kitchen table the whole time. When talk of how I am getting to the city came up and I said I might take the bus, all four of them said I should “make” Fella drive me. I said, “That’s funny, that’s what my other friends say, too.”

I thought, how come I haven’t felt that it’s natural to ask Fella to drive me to the city, since I don’t have my vehicle licensed, and yet all the other men and women I talk to think it’s THE natural thing to do? I mentioned it to him this morning, saying (only a little bit tongue in cheek) that apparently I need to expect more of him than I do; that I will try to be more demanding.

He said that didn’t make sense; I have my own vehicle and driver’s license, and besides, none of those women in those couples ever go anywhere without their husbands, unlike me. What I’d been thinking was that I’m going on what is a work day for him, and can get there on my own steam, so why inconvenience him? Taking a day off costs him money, and time because he has plenty to do. And he doesn’t owe me anything.

What I did ask Fella before now was Have you got anything you need in the city, to make a trip in worth your while? No, he’d said; till last night in response to prodding from the group at the kitchen table, when he said he needs paint or primer that he can’t get out here for some reason. So there  you go. He is taking me in. Easy. And I’m happy about that. I don’t have to ride the bus four hours for what is a two-hour trip in a private vehicle, and I don’t have to license my van yet or worry about buying or repairing tires to get ready for the trip. Petra doesn’t need to book off an hour or two of her Thursday afternoon, during her clinic hours, to take me to the airport. (Not that I couldn’t or wouldn’t take a cab, but she generously insists on driving me from her house and I selfishly let her.)

9:57a.m.

I am a person who is irritated because the water does not come out of the tap fast enough. I have to find things to do while I wait for the cold water to get warm or for the sink to fill.

I am a person who continues to turn on the wrong burner sometimes even after, well aware of this, looking at the control button and considering carefully.

Double Whammy Update

Thurs1March2012  10:58a.m.  Out and around early today, since Fella got me up to drive him to the other farm for his dad’s truck so I could take our (I insist) half-ton to town for an oil change. Unfortunately I neglected to dig the camera out of my walking-jacket pocket, and couldn’t snap a photo when on my way home I saw a cow moose with a white patch on her shoulder strolling through a farmyard near town.

I went over to a mainstreet café for breakfast while I waited, and a lady in the next booth turned around to chat with me and introduce herself: her husband works for one of my childhood classmates so I know who he is. There are a lot of First Nations people around here because there’s a reserve close by, and even though the reserve kids come to school in town, and quite a few First Nations people live in town, and they shop in town, I don’t see the adults at the community functions and don’t know any of them, and have wondered why that is. Now I know Delores and perhaps will see her again. I paid for her coffee when I anted up for my breakfast, and stopped at her table long enough to tell her before leaving that I enjoyed talking with her.

I made a quick stop at the drugstore in hopes of picking up a notebook to write in; no luck, or at least they didn’t have what I want. Then to the laundromat to pick up my hand-me-down mink coat, which I left there in early January for repairs to the torn lining. And finally a visit to the Co-op, where I purchased another $95 worth of groceries.

It’s good to be home. Yesterday was a wasted day, as I woke up migrainey and spent much of the afternoon lying down after taking a pill. I had worked so many hours ahead in the past two weeks, though, that I could afford to invoice for a full day’s work and still bank 17 hours for time off. Last night I sat on the couch for a while, feeling like maybe I should put in an hour or two at the computer, and telling myself to relax and not worry about it: I was already being paid for the day and well ahead of the game.

Today I’ll be working on a time-sensitive project so had best get to it. Have to do some phoning though, so am waiting for the chiropractor’s office to call back with appointments for Fella and his cousin. They must be pretty sore because Fella says they’ll even leave their jobs and go today if they can get in.

Fri2March2012  8:11a.m.

Another shitty-feeling day yesterday; thought for sure I’d have to take a pill to get through the night, but decided to go to bed without one and see what would happen. It was an uncomfortable first couple hours, but I managed to sleep, and woke this morning feeling normal. Let’s hope the day progresses the same way.

I haven’t gone for a walk for three days or so; must go today, even though it’s cold out as I poke my nose out the door this morning. The last thing I feel like doing is walking when my neck’s not right; all I feel like doing is lying down. Managed to work five hours anyway and I’m told they’re thinking of training me to take over for a certain someone when she needs time off. She is the person who is the gatekeeper for all our work; she’s essential as the only one who knows how to do that job. They’ve figured out it’s foolish not to have someone else know what to do. She takes holidays in July, and has an elderly mother overseas so we need to be prepared for any eventuality.

According to the gal who has recently trained me over the phone to work with another aspect of our business, our boss is impressed with my work ethic and efficiency. So I’m getting some positive ego strokes lately. Perhaps it has been noticed that I never turn down a request for help and always volunteer when a call for workers on extra projects is put out. I’m keen and I’m fast and I’m thorough. Or that’s what they think. Either I’ve got them fooled, or everyone else on the team is a lazy slacker.

So there you go. I guess it’s true when it comes to my work: I’m fussy.