Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Where are you LIVING? In yesterday, tomorrow, or NOW?


LIVING NOW 
a rather simple concept 
but near IMPOSSIBLE to do - for many!


In light of tomorrow I thought I'd share this today…


If you are DEPRESSED you are probably living in YESTERDAY.

If you are ANXIOUS you are probably living in TOMORROW.

If you are AT PEACE you are probably living in the PRESENT. 

Where are you LIVING?


That's it in a nutshell - but, if you've got a moment, NOW, let's go a little deeper, shall we.

Okay, here goes…

Often when we think about the past we conjure up sadness, regret, should-haves, and sorrow. 

We struggle with what we should have, or could have, done in a situation that is now long gone.  

Yet, we rehash, revisit, and often replay a scene with no hope of changing a thing… if only.

Then, we fast forward and head into the future where we further analyze and wonder about the what ifs - if I do it this way what will happen? If only… and so it continues.

In the meantime, here we are nicely planted in the PRESENT, well, at least our body is, while our mind is busy touring the past and lining up to get into the future. 

We fail to enjoy the ride we are on right NOW.

…………………………...

I'm going to play out a little scenario…

Two woman head out to a Garden Show. It's a last minute invite for one of them - the younger. She's happy to be invited and really wants to go… but, she's anxious, doesn't do so well in crowds, or in new situations - so she thinks. 

The young woman is busy thinking about all that will happen at the Garden Show. She’s conjuring up all sorts of stuff that hasn't even happened, that might never happen, but there it is, all running through her head like wild horses not willing to be wrangled; her anxiety mounts.

The older woman listens, while en route to the show, and wonders what would happen if her friend stopped thinking about the future and enjoyed the NOW: the view out the window, the music in the car, starting up a chat that would keep their collective thoughts in the PRESENT.

Once inside the Garden Show what is noticeable, to the older woman, is that the younger is now animated and happy. What she further notices is how the younger gal is busy enjoying all that is going on around her because she is PRESENT and engaged in the NOW. All anxiousness is gone as it does not exist when living in the NOW.

LIVING NOW takes practice.

Given the complexity of our brain we often think by revisiting the past or jumping ahead to the future we will somehow impact the PRESENT. Sadly, this is true - the impact is profound and when the day is over the regret begins, again.

The way to impact the PRESENT is by LIVING NOW. 
RIGHT NOW.

…………………….

As you reach for that coffee, stop and savour it, smell the full body - have you let it go cold because of distractions. Are they present distractions? Or have you drifted to another time - one gone; one yet to come.

My coffee is cold, but that’s because writing this post was occupying my NOW… and NOW, I’ll pour a fresh one. I’ll savour it.



And then, I’ll head out the door and get organized for tomorrow!
(Tomorrow’s a special day… SIWC starts, and I’m going)

Yes - we can get excited about tomorrow, so long as we don’t live there before it arrives! 


Do you LIVE NOW, or are you stuck in another time?

Cheers, Jenny

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

This FACELIFT is a WORK in PROGRESS…

Okay, I did haul out a slightly used frock for my blog’s transitional look before I get all gussied up with bobbles for the upcoming holidays.

I have featured other previously worn blog rags HERE.

BUT - ah, the BIG BUT - how I do love it!

This post is about my FACELIFT…

the one I’m giving my house 

or

more to the point

the one I’m still giving my house…


Here are a few teasers:

So, this is the front - as it is right now. I'm waiting for railings, and for that front downspout to be changed.  All of the wood used on this house, except for the Hardie Plank siding is Western Red Cedar - the gable, stairs and deck facia are painted with a Natural Cedar stain.

The railings, which were measured on Saturday and being made now, are aluminum, but will look like wooden railings from the 30's. I'm pretty stoked about them - I'll post them when they are finished. (little happy dance going on over here)

I am working within certain Heritage guidelines to meet City requirements. So far, so good!

This is how the house looked before painting. The Hardie Plank was primed a neutral colour and I really wanted a gray house even though my neighbours liked the look of this colour (yuck). I had to live without stairs for about a week while the front deck was being rebuilt and the stairs custom made. Each step is 3" high, 45" wide and 12" deep - they are EPIC stairs!




 This is the house way back in early 2002, when I bought it… yup, seriously in need of a facelift. It was build in 1910 - the front seven feet and back eight feet were added in 1930. Those later additions required major work. Suffice it to say, that really delayed this project big time. 




Here is the back of the house as of a couple of days ago. Railings and back deck cover are coming shortly. I had a concrete pad added under the stairs, both in the back and front.



Here is the back of the house before starting the renovations - WOW - it's been a long haul, but as it finally comes to an end (well, at least the outside bit) I am really starting to get excited.



Thanks for taking a look at my FACELIFT - see, it's a good one! I'm just thankful my face, the one attached to the front of my head, doesn't need this much work - YET!  

Have you been busy tighten and adjusting something in your life - maybe you've been going through a LIFT and a TUCK too!! 

Well… have you?


Cheers, Jenny

Monday, September 22, 2014

It’s a BLOGFEST - an Alex J Cavanaugh HOP no less!



It’s been a while since I stepped out and participated in a HOP.


Alex wants to know…

as all enquiring minds do…

if I have any UNDERRATED TREASURES (in the way of a Book, TV Show, Music or Movie) to share with you... 

… and I do!



BOOK 
Crazy Ladies, by Michael Lee West, 1990

Source and reviews

This book was given to me by my daughter, for Mother’s Day, way back when she was about nine years old (she’s now twenty-seven). She was helping her after-school daycare with a Saturday garage sale and as Mother’s Day was the next day she took her little bit of saved up nickels and dimes and bought this book for me.
It was a great read! I highly recommend it. In fact, I’ve pulled it off my book shelf several times; each read shedding different light on the characters that make up the cast of Crazy Ladies.



MOVIE
Dreamscape, 1984

Cast: Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Eddie Albert, David Patrick Kelly, Kate Capshaw.

Source and movie trivia


This is my all-time favourite movie. If you haven’t see this flick you really are missing out. The cast is great, particularly David Patrick Kelly (The Warriors - a second fav) and the storyline is strong.

The premise of mind linking and participating in someone’s dreams is fascinating… and, at one point, in the early days of raising my daughter I actually used the principles from this movie to help my little girl deal with a scary nightmare with amazing results.


SO…

I’ve shared two of the four, as I don’t really have a TV Show or Music preference that would fall into the “underrated” category.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN.

Join the Linky List (at the bottom of Alex’s post) and share your Underrated Treasures… I am curious!



Cheers, Jenny

Saturday, August 23, 2014

FREE WRITE exercise on ROBIN WILLIAMS exposes ME.


IN LIGHT OF THE UPCOMING SIWC

I joined a writers group - GRIND WRITERS.

Through this group I have learned how to FREE WRITE.


it is quite liberating

and very helpful if I’m feeling stuck with my writing.


Below is the free write photo prompt... 

and my piece for it.

It’s 647 words long. (about 3 1/2 minutes of reading)


POUR A COFFEE, TEA, OR SOMETHING STRONGER, AND DIG IN!





This free write photo prompt came with the following questions:

Robin Williams' death: how has it affected you? 

What sort of issues has his suicide caused you to think about?

_________________________________


I remember exactly where I was sitting when I heard the news about Robin Williams. 

I had just toiled for six and a half hours helping my friend dig up the side of his house. He’s building a lane house out back of his existing house, and since he had given up his free time last summer to help me with my house renovations I wanted to be there for him.

Why is this info important? It isn’t, except to let you know life was still moving along after Robin’s death.

My first reaction to this news was NO WAY, not him. He’s too funny to kill himself. Why it is I thought funny equals happy I don’t know. 

In light of my own heaviness these last few months I wondered about funny and happy and laughter; words I would use to describe me under normal circumstances. 

But, I hadn’t been happy, funny, or even laughing lately, in fact I had been quite down.

When my friend’s wife told me this bit of news she’d gleaned earlier in the day, as Gerry and I were huffing and puffing under 30 degree heat, I got annoyed. And angry. And miffed. 

I’m a parent, so was Robin. How do you do this to your kids? What was so bad in his life that this was his only option  - I wanted answers damn it. From him. 

It took me a while before compassion and empathy sprang to the forefront.

For the following three days, after hearing this news at my friend’s house just prior to eating a much anticipated meal after a day of hard labour, I was quite blue. I didn’t initially attribute it to more than the Super Moon influence. (Yes, yes, I buy into all that - I’m Pisces and we are all about planetary alignment.)

But as the days drifted on, and I slowly found my inner smile, I realized his death hit me harder than I was consciously aware. I had been teetering on the very ledge he jumped from. 

In light of some overwhelming health news, back in March, and my sense of loneliness amongst friends and family, I can see how it could be, for some, the only option.

I’m not cut of that cloth,  and in all my fifty-six years on the planet taking my life has never been a pressing thought. Now, that being said, there are a few lives I’d like to see snuffed out, but mine is not one of them. 

I’m saddened, not because we lost a comic genius, or a great actor, but because no one could reach him, no one was there for him - and that is something I get; it’s something I totally relate to. 

At what point will my stoic veneer finally crack letting my soul slip away and my life spark flicker out in the soft evening wind. 

I wonder.

Do any of us really know what’s going on inside the head sitting, standing, lying next to us… well, do we? Maybe for a very select few the answer might be, “yes, I do know what’s going on around me”. 

But for the masses I would say we are no better then those ostriches with their collective heads in the sand - we really see only one life and that’s our own… how are you affecting me, how is the weather affecting me, how is my job affecting me…. me, me, me, me, me.  

Well, what about me… do you know anything about me?

Oh sure, my hair is blond, eyes blue, as you’ve vaguely observed. 

But what about behind the blue - look closely what do you see… do you see the wall I’ve built? The one that’s so high you will never get over it, nor will I be free from behind it. Do you see the decay, the neglect?

Well, do you?  (647 word count)

__________________________________________

So now… the questions:


DO YOU FEEL WELL CONNECTED, AND UNDERSTOOD, BY THOSE CLOSE TO YOU?

DO YOU SEE LIFE AS A HARD, UPHILL STRUGGLE?

HOW DO YOU SEE SUICIDE - IS IT A COPOUT, OR A SOLUTION?

Cheers, Jenny

Footnote: for an overview of what "free writing" entails please read THIS