Sunday, September 22, 2019

Was I on Sesame Street?

Hi Y'all!  (I guess I've been watching "Big Brother" a little too much and picked up on the y'all, could be worst... I think?!)

Been feeling the need to write/vent or whatever it is I do on here, for a while, and after spending an evening and a full day with relatives (you know, those folks you see at either weddings or funerals?), the need was felt once again. I don't know if it is simply because I am getting, but I'm realizing that there are things I do care less about.  At one point, last Saturday, I was sitting among cousins and this realization hit me, I felt out of place, or beyond what was being said around me.  It is not that I was not understanding or empathizing with what was being said, no, it was more like a complete detachment and also this desire to refrain from standing up and telling them to shut the fuck up, to let go of the past and to move the fuck on. (Excuse the language, I've also been watching "The Ranch"). 

My father's side of the family is/was... let's say... hmmm... somewhat crazy... not the most tender, demonstrative, loving people.  All of them were to some extend abusive, both physically and verbally.  I know first hand the power of words, and how they can affect us.  I also know the power of a good whooping.  No matter what anyone can say, I do think there are times when one is deserved, and when done in a reasonable fashion (read: not with a hammer, or a whip) a good wack on the bum will straighten you (You don't believe me, ask Ana in Fifty Shades! - joking!).  That being said, I don't think that when it comes to bedroom games, unlike Ana and Christian.  

We all have horror stories, things we remember that were done or said to us growing up.  While listening to the conversations around me it was obvious that some of us never got over the "abuse".  For whatever reason they got stuck on "my father hit me" and "my mother said".  True, I've been hurt too.  But at some point in time, I made the conscious decision to move on, for whatever reason and as hard as it has been, because it was/is not always easy, I did manage to move on.  At times I asked for professional help, tried different things, read many self-help books, whatever could help me to move on, because I did not want to be a victim of how I was brought up.  I knew, deep down, that whatever happened or was happening at the time, was not determining who I would be in the future or make me a victim, I was more than a kid whose father was rough with.  Granted there are some things that were/are harder to get over, feelings hurt so deep that I was/am not completely ready to let go yet.  Those are mine to work on.  And I do.  Or at least I try.

We all portray ourselves a certain way, to hide our insecurities or whatever, but to hear a cousin who is a good ten+ years older than me talk about how she was always being compared to her older sister growing up and how her mom disapprove of her , etc. was sad.  It was sad to see this woman who I always thought of as a carefree person who did what she wanted, to be so vulnerable and full of self doubts and even bitterness towards her mother was something else.  I know that aunt was tough, like the rest of the family.  I'm not trying to excuse their behaviors, far from it.  I'm only trying to grasp how someone can choose to hang on to such resentment for that long.  I chose to break free.  I'm also choosing to remain free.  I think it would be easy to fall back to being the victim, the "poor" kid who endured such horrible pains and/or words.

People often think of me as harsh, I am. I have lots of mordant... I guess that between the way I was raised, the area where I grew up and twenty+ years of martial arts, I've developed this thick skin. It could have some prickles here and there, protective measures?!   I'm sarcastic and I can also be pleasant, if I choose to.  I believe it is all a question of choice: to choose how we hang on or let go and move on, all the while enjoying the moment...  Life would be/is so much lighter this way.  Who needs all that baggage, really?  Because deep down, in the long run, nobody gets out alive, so might as well make the most of it daily and live for the present, 'cause it is a gift! ;-)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Catching up some...

I guess it is time for me to catch up some.  Life has been real, you know, daily routine, ups and downs, and everything is between, you know, life.

Summer took its sweet time to get to us, but then it hit us with such a heat wave, and oh so much humidity!  Thanks to all engineering gods for the A/C - wouldn't want to be stuck without that luxury.  In weather like this I'd say it is more a necessity than luxury, for me at least!

Still addicted to postcards, yep, that hasn't changed the slightest.  Even managed to drag Hubby for a road trip to Halifax for me to attend a meet-up!  Three thousand five hundred and one km later (or 2175 miles) we went to Halifax, did the Cabot Trail and drove...  You can read about it here, through Likki's Adventures.
Halifax Meet-up Participants - 10 of us from Toronto (2), Montréal (4) and Halifax (4)
It is always fun to meet people in real life after having chatted and written with/to them for a few years and actually click when you do meet them.  We, both Hubby and I, made new friends while visiting and that is always fun.

What else is new?  Oh!  I'm no longer member of the Executive for our condo association.  Gave that up after three years of being on.  Actually found out this week that we won our case against the Insurance company/builder for some of the issues that we were asking to be fixed under the warranty coverage which they had declined.  So I had opened a claim against them, built up a big file and called in a mediator who decided in our favor.  Had to testify and all.  Happy with the results of that, now time will tell how they will address the rest of it. I'm not holding my breath on this one!

The more I live here, in Pleasantville, I feel at home, this is a good place.  I love our home, we made it ours, and we enjoy the area, even if it is full of kids.  In all honesty, I would much prefer to live in a stand alone house, someplace where we wouldn't have to deal with moronic neighbors who throw their trash around the bins rather than inside.  At times, when I sit down and look at what is going on around us, I wonder how long the world has left, before it collapses on itself, really.  We, as humanity, are not improving, far from it. 

We have a whole new generation of phone zombies.
At first I thought it was aged based, but realizing, sadly, that it is not the case.  For example, Sunday we went to do a quick grocery run and ended up behind this lady (older than me, I'm thinking - at least she looked it!) who was playing with her phone.  I could not pass her on either side, we were in a grocery store, after all.  Ridiculous that she was so clueless of her environment and wasn't at all looking at what she was doing and where she was walking.  I expected that type of zombie-like behavior from a kid or young adult.  I just can't understand what is so important that they can't lift their nose from their phone.

People have less and less manners.  Watching people eat at the restaurant will confirm any doubt you may have about that.  From not knowing how to hold the knife and fork, to simply properly sit at the table and let's not get into the eating portion of this.  Man!  I swear, I've seen pets with more class than many in restaurants, no joke!  And don't get me started on couples sitting at a table together and both on their phone.  Whatever happened to people talking to each other?!

We did improve our lives with technology, science and such, but the people as such, and the way we treat others... not so sure.  One of my friend often says we are too many people and thus breaking the planet... when I think about it, he might be right... Something has to change, and since men (in general) won't, then the planet will, of that I'm sure.  It wouldn't be the first time, if we think of the Ice Age and such events, it is Earth's way to protect itself...

Few weekends ago, we made our way to a friend's place, he lives in the woods, really, by a late, really remote area.  While we were catching up, somehow the subject of weather changes came about (no big surprise there, since Spring was yucky and then we were hit with very high humidity, etc) and we all agreed that times were changing.  We all remembered when driving in the summer implied, without any doubts, bug splats. It was my job, whenever I went somewhere with my father, to clean the windshield when he would stop for gas.  In the summer, I remember having to use some elbow grease to get rib of all the dead bugs splat on the lights and windshield.  We we drove to visit that friend, we barely had any.  We we drove to and from Halifax we had some, but nothing like in the past. Granted, it also rained part of the drive, but still.  Times are changing, things are changing, we are too, but I'm just not sure it is all for the better...

OK enough venting for now.  Catch you around somewhere!  Enjoy what is left of Summer, be safe and enjoy each day.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Twenty Years Already...

Twenty years ago the world as I knew it changed.  It was a somewhat expected change, but even then it was a surprise, not a welcome one that is for certain.

Twenty years later not a day goes by without me thinking of that day, of him.  I still miss him.  It saddens me when I realize that I've forgotten how his voice sounded or how he smelled...

Twenty years and I still think that he did what was right for him.  I have not change my mind about that.  He saw no other way to feel better, and I (still) respect his decision.  I believe it was his to make.

On this date, twenty years ago my only regret is not having told you how much I loved you.  I truly hope you knew that, Dad, and wherever you may have ended up my wish for you is that you have found the peace you were so seeking.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Life is so fragile...

When you're young you don't think much about life and death. At least, you shouldn't... Kids should be busy enjoying life. As we grow older, we become a little more aware... Some of us are luckier than others and don't have to face or even think about death until way later in life.  Not all of us are so lucky.  I've had to face the fact that people died at quite a young age.  The first dead person I remember seeing in a coffin, was a neighbor of ours, Clifford.  I was five years old or so.  Then it was my grand father, on my mother's side.  I held him as he took his last breath... I was twelve or so...  and then there were too many to enumerate... Yep, death has been quite present in my life.  Some death affected or marked me more than others, for whatever reasons from how unexpected it was to how much pain was present, the violence of it all, but no matter, death always has this effect of disturbing us.  The sudden ones are never really welcome, unlike the ones which comes almost as a relief.  When a person is suffering, death can be a consolation, not only for the person in pain but for those around them.  When it happens quickly, I find it shakes our foundation more, it's forcing us to face the fact that life is so fragile, and can flip in a moment.

The first time I realized that was on 9-11, as I watched that second plane hit that tower, I remember thinking : "Life as we know it is gone..."  I knew deep in me that things were going to change and not really for the best.  (OK on that one I never thought things were going to get so fucked up as having Trump as President but I was afraid of Bush and expected the worst...)  Then a few years back, one of my karate instructor and friend, died suddenly and it shook me up.  I, once again, was faced with the fact that I, too, could die like this.  We often hear or read about living in the moment, enjoying the moment, to put our fucking phones down and to pay attention to the people around us, etc.  Many of us don't do it.  We're too busy, too important, or worst we think we'll have time later!  That's our biggest mistake I think.

This is not the first time I'm learning of a friend's passing through Bacefook.  This afternoon, it was a post from the daughter of a friend that caught me off guard.  It actually blew my mind away when I first read her post, and when I followed her link to the obituary it did me in.  Our friend, her father, had passed away the night before... He was 56... One year older than Hubby...  As I'm writing this parts of me still can't wrap my head around the fact that just before Christmas his wife and I were texting that famous ''Let's get together soon''.  Of course life got the better of us and we didn't... and now I'll be seeing him, in a coffin, on Sunday.  How fucked up is that?

Life is beautiful, but it is also short and goes by so very fast.  Life is fragile and we don't have time, so enjoy it. Now.  Life has one certainty: death.  And death has no prejudice, preference or anything of the sort.  That is the one justice in this world.  No matter your color, faith, sex, poor or rich, death does not discriminate, we're all the same.

I've lost a friend today.  He was a good man, and I liked him, and this even if we didn't get together that often.  I knew he was there. 

He's not there anymore...

May you rest in peace, Michael.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Eight Posts This Year! Woohoo!

Would you look at this, it looks like I went all out this past year with eight posts.  Man, we are a long way from me writing a post almost daily to now writing a post every now and then.  Thinking back to my blogging days I will say this, I sure had fun and met some pretty cool people through those years.  I was even lucky enough to actually meet with one IRL.

Things did get messed up by the arrival of Bacefook and company.  A bunch of bloggers went on to Bacefook and that was the beginning of the end.  I will admit to getting hooked on Bacefook.  I started slow but when I created that Postcrossing group and became more active with Postcrossing that was my turning point.  Like I did in blogging, I did meet some interesting folks and many more than through blogging, but because of the group I've also seen the ugliness of little cliques. 

People in groups can be mean, to say the least.  There were cliques too in blogging, but I never felt that it was personal really. It was more like you'd prefer the writing style of this person, the humor of that one, but it didn't feel personal.  On Bacefook, it often feels personal.  It actually reminds me of high school.  I would lie to say I had it easy in high school; some parts were pretty rough, but I always managed to make a few friends and plow through.  I find that on Bacefook,  if someone doesn't like you or if they assume you're this way or that way, and they want to foul things up for you, they can.  It is (almost) scary at times.  I've told a few people they could leave the group (I manage) if they didn't like me; some did and others I took out myself.  Managing it all can be stressful at times, but I do enjoy it.   I think I have a good bunch.  Some, like on here, are only lurkers.  That's fine I respect that.  Not everyone cares to be out in the open, to express themselves or to share.  For some it is simply due to the fact that they are technically challenge; for others they might be too shy.  Whatever, it's all good!  It's been going good for the last few months, and I'm happy about it.

Can you believe 2018 is coming to an end? I can't! It feels like not that long ago I was celebrating its arrival in beautiful Hawai'i and now we're about to close it but this time from our home... 2018 has been a somewhat challenging year.  Health wise, both Hubby and I were good.  We had colds, pains, Hubby even had a little bout of Shingles, but overall we were good.  Work wise,  Hubby had to make some decisions and only time will tell how those turn out.  I, in this new year, will have to make some as well.  Time for me to review and decide what I want to do and how to pursue it. Friendship wise I've faced some disappointments.  I've been hurt but someone I thought of as a friend.  I've worked on forgetting about it all, and concentrate on others who are there and have been there for many years.  Not always easy to deal with unknowns, and for me this is I think the hardest:  the "not knowing" part, the reason why.  I'm learning to let go.  I'm growing up (or old!) I guess.  Family wise well... that is something on itself.  As time goes by, I'm more and more convince that blood is not thicker than water.  Family is what we decide it to be. 

For this new year coming I don't have many expectations.  I don't watch the news, so I have no clue what Trump and cie are messing up, how bad the climate is (other than when I can see around it, and let's be honest, it IS fucked up!), or how things are going in general.  I keep to myself as much as possible, trying to fly under the radar - yes, that is very selfish of me, and I assume it completely! - I do my things, try to avoid conflicts, and find refuge in our comfortable home.  I haven't done New Year's Resolutions in years, and I'm not about to start again.  I'm resolute in trying to do my best daily, how's that?

In closing, here's my wish for you:

May this new year ahead be filled with 
less stress,
genuine friendships,
more laughter,
no drama,
lots of health, 
time to enjoy it all!

All the best xox

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Post Christmas Blues

Ok, so, Christmas is over.  Already.  All this preparation for one day.  Each year, despite me loving this holiday, I can't help but think it is crazy to put out all these decorations, spend all this money not only on gifts, but on food, clothing, etc. for one day!  It's crazy when you really think about it.

We celebrated Christmas' Eve with Hubby's side of the family, at a cousin's.  It was a pleasant evening; good food, good talks, good company, the kids seemed happy with the gifts, so overall a pleasant evening. Today we (Hubby and I) did sweet nothing but watched TV (finished watching "Bad Blood" - watch it if you can, a series about local (as in Montréal) Mafia), also watched a few movies; we took it easy and enjoyed our time alone.  Spoke with my mom, she called from Florida.  Christmas isn't what it used to be... I have very fond memories of past Christmas, as a kid, and even older.  It used to be a fun (but stressful) time.  We got to see relatives that often we only saw at that time of year.  Now that my mom does the Snow Bird thing, we don't really do anything with on her side of the family.  It's a shame really but since they all live far away (as in six+ hours from here) we don't visit often and we all have our families, so it is what it is.

This year again, I kept true to myself and sent many Christmas cards, and got many back as well.  Between the cards I got through Postcrossing and those from friends and relatives I almost filled up both my doors, check it out!

I will be sad to take down the lights... I love how everything looks with Christmas lights, not only indoor but outside too.  It makes everything prettier...

We've had a few parties leading to Christmas, starting with my birthday one month before.  Had invited a bunch of friends over, played games and spent a few hours together which was nice.   One of the parties we had was for my meditation group.  That is always a fun night.  We do a big pot luck and a gifts exchange.  It is not really a dance party or anything of the sort, but more a fun night among people sharing an activity together and getting together for Christmas.  This year, I had made thirty of these Santa sleighs, as a gift for each member.  They came out really nice and were well received.

I think the worst party this year, was Hubby's company.  After being there a few hours I left him there and went back to our room.  He had reserved a room at a hotel nearby (thankfully!)  and that was great; I could escape and he didn't have to drive back so he could party on...  Corporate parties are often a bore for the spouses, and that one sure was!  For me at least!

I've been thinking about this past year overall, and I won't be too sad to see it end... it's been an interesting year to say the least.  A few things have changed, hopefully for the better (time will tell!), some friendships were lost, new ones were created, and who knows what the future holds... One thing for sure, time is flying by and before I know it I will be taking down my Christmas decorations and feel a little sad... I'm most likely to have the Post-Christmas Blues... not because of what I've spent, but because the most wonderful time of the year is now over...


Monday, October 08, 2018

Argh! Turkey. Elections. Did I say Argh?

I can't believe we are already in October; that today is our (as in, us, Canadians) Thanksgiving. 

I don't know about you, or if it is a French vs English thing, but Thanksgiving was never a big thing for us.  It was basically a day off.  We didn't do the turkey (that is a Christmas thing for me), we didn't give thanks, and we didn't even really get together as such...  It was more like the last day off before the Christmas break.  Since I've been exposed more to the English side of things, I've come to realize that more people might celebrate that day.  Nothing like our neighbors the Americans though., but still.

I will give thanks for what I've got.  I'm thankful for my health in general, for my good husband, for the family I chose, i.e. my friends.  I have a good life and for that I am thankful, and not just today but most days of the year.  I write most because I know some days I do forget...

This time of year my favorite "holiday" would be Halloween.  That I celebrate!  As I kid I used to dress up and go trick or tricking.  I just loved it.  I remember wearing my snow suit under my costume because it was so cold, or wearing a big garbage bag over my costume because it was raining.  The joy of living here, you never know the type of night you'll get.  All my goodies for the little monsters are ready.  I started assembling my little bags and realized that I had done them all.  I have one hundred and twenty of them, and I'm hoping it will be enough.  As long as the weather is cooperating, it should be good.

Things have happened here and there, and at times I feel like I should be a fucking recluse, with no neighbor, no screeching kids, no hyper sensitive people, no relatives, just myself. And maybe Hubby (depending on the day, ah!)

I've been trying to get things together for Canada Posts to issue an official Postcrossing stamp.  I've asked Canadian members to help me in this.  The response rate is low.  Oh, I guess I should be happy that some did answer my request, because after all, we are Canadians - we are great at asking for things, but when comes time to actually do something or to get involve we go roach (as in we disappear as soon as the light in on us).  We're are great for wanting, but to actually act, that is a whole other story.  And when you are one (of the rares) who do actually do something, you are judge for being a shit disturber or someone who's disturbing and even a bully because you are pressuring people to do something.  No matter what you are fucked.  Damned if you do and damned of you don't.

We've had Provincial elections, and for the first time in a long time, people actually elected a majority government that wasn't Liberal or Québécois, a first since 1966! Oh, by the way, if there is anybody from any of the political parties, the elections are now over, so please do remove all those big card boards.  We've seen them all, please take them down.  Last elections I had to send an actual email to a party to ask them to actually stop littering the neighborhood with their signs. As I was reading a news feed earlier I came across an article stating that the 'new' government was racist, because the Premier didn't want any religious signs (that old debate, again), and the Muslims, etc. were up arguing about it all.  Why are we supposed to remove any religious signs (as in crosses) from City Halls, Parliament, schools, etc. even if we are (mostly) a Christian nation and yet it would be allowed for women to wear a hijab or men/kids to wear a kirpan?  I don't get this not good for one, and yet the others do it.  If we are a lay-society,  then everybody is the same and shows nothing... but then that would be too easy.

We live in one crazy world that is for damn sure!