Glory Hallelujah!

Yes, I am happy.  Very happy.  Jumping for joy happy.  Nope, I did not win a lottery.  This is better, actually.  Yeah, better than winning a lottery.  I may actually breakthroughhave talked about this before.  Doesn’t matter.  I’m gonna talk about it again.  It’s different this time anyhow.

For at least the last twenty years I’ve wanted to write a book.  Nothing to do with ego, I have just always thought there was one in me.  God knows I tried.  I gave myself headaches trying to come up with topics.  I’d write a few sentences, maybe a paragraph or two, only to end up ripping the sheet of paper off the pad, crumpling it up in a ball and tossing it.  I even took a book writing course, which I really enjoyed.  Not that

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Will the real (name) please stand up?

Who do you see when you look in the mirror?  No, I’m not trying to be a smart ass; and it’s not a trick question.  I’m being serious.  Because it doesn’t necessarilyfaceless mean it’s your own true self you’re staring at.  In my experience, at one time or another, we’ve all created a persona we’ve sent out there into the world.

Sometimes it’s who, or what, others — like our parents or spouses or teachers — want us to be.  How many young men and women have become doctors or lawyers or firefighters or teachers or have gotten married or had children in an effort to please their folks — only to end up miserable because they wanted to do something else with their lives?

Sometimes it’s us.  We wish we were like a character we enjoyed in a book or a film.  Or more like a friend or colleague.  Someone we think is more interesting or more intelligent or more successful or more admired or more charming or more memorable.  Someone who seems to have a more exciting, more fulfilling life.  Someone who’s braver than we are.  More daring.  More adventurous.  Naughtier.  Funnier.  More

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A life less encumbered …

In last week’s post I compared walking the Camino Trail to our life’s journey. less

Both require endurance. Both often necessitate we divest ourselves of the unnecessarily heavy loads we carry. For those walking the Camino it usually means emptying their knapsacks and even leaving sleeping bags behind. In life it can mean getting rid of possessions, walking away from relationships, moving to smaller homes or relocating to different cities. Both also provide us with the opportunity to unload the emotional baggage that tends to bog us down.

I’ve spent the week thinking, on and off, about the changes I’ve made in my life over the years. What I’ve

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Keep on keepin’ on …

I saw a terrific movie last Sunday, a documentary — “Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago”. Don’t know if you’re familiar with the Camino Trail — it’s a boots700+ km pilgrimage route you can walk from various points in Europe to the city of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain.

Yeah, you heard right. You walk it. Seven hundred plus kilometres. About 434.96 miles, give or take a couple of dozen blisters. Callouses. Cases of tendonitis. Bum knees. Tears. Exhaustion.

Everyone has their own reason for doing it. For some it’s simply to know they can. For others it’s to overcome an illness or fear, to find the answer to a question they may not have even yet asked, to find themselves, to come to terms with a loss, to celebrate an event or a milestone, or simply for the sheer fun

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On a very short leash …

If you’ve got any four-legged family members living at your house you know very well I’m not talking about me keeping my animals on a tight rein. Absolutely myboysnot. Au contraire. In fact it is my two furry little beasts who have me on the leash. And a short one at that. Over a barrel. At their mercy. At their beck and call.

Yes. These two. Bartlett, on the left. Dark grey with the interesting white markings. And Sundance. Ginger and the more svelte of the two. I’m being kind. Bartlett is the size of an adult racoon. He weighs in at more than thirty pounds. Probably much more, but I can’t pick him up to put him on the scale. He’s way too heavy. And much as he loves to cuddle, he does not — I repeat NOT — like being picked up. By anyone. Even me.

I know, they look like butter would melt in their mouths. In all fairness, sometimes it would. “Some” being

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A reflective state of mind …

I seem to be doing a lot of thinking lately.  Pondering.  Soul-searching.  Reviewing.  Evaluating.  Looking back.  Reflecting.  Not entirely sure why, to be honest.  Maybe it’s Man Sitting In Valleyin preparation for a change.  I wouldn’t mind.  I like change.  I crave change.

Life would be awfully boring if we just stayed the same, don’t you think?  Frankly, I’m probably due for a biggie.  I think it’s been in the works for a while, you know.  I’ve had that ‘unsettled’ feeling.  In a good way, not a bad way.  Not scary at all.  Sort of like when you know you’re going to sneeze.  It starts suddenly, with a little tickle.  It builds, and builds until it becomes strong.  Uncontrollable.

And then, ready or not, here it comes!  And what a relief it is.

Exciting, actually.  Changes and transitions, not sneezing.

So if anything, I’m impatient for it.

But ‘change’ isn’t what I want to talk about. Regrets are what’s on my mind at the moment.  It’s only natural Continue reading

Despite all the gloom and doom …

Last week I wrote about the sorry state of the world. Ironically, at around the same time I was feeling overwhelmed by it all, a ‘gratitude’ challenge was making Sunrise1the rounds on Facebook. It was really interesting, and inspiring, to see what people were sharing.

I’ve been thinking about it ever since — and about the coincidence of the timing — and realize it’s for an important reason; and it carries an important message: No matter how bad or challenging life may seem we must acknowledge the good, what is working, what’s right, what’s positive.

Which doesn’t mean to say we should stop questioning, or paying attention or ignore what’s wrong or never feel sad or turn our backs on those who need our compassion and help. But we do have to learn to be grateful, to thank our lucky stars.

In my case, there’s a lot to be thankful for. Starting with the fact I woke up today. I know that sounds cliche, Continue reading

Hanging on for dear life …

Me. The poster child for looking on the bright side. Positive thinking. Seeing the glass half full. A true believer in everything working out in the end. Me. drowningThat one. That girl. That woman.

Not so much at the moment, though. I’ve got to admit I’m struggling. So much bad news. Everywhere you turn. It’s absolutely unavoidable. We are just in one helluva mess. The whole world. All of us.

So much hatred. So much prejudice. So much anger. So much violence. So much bloodshed. So much death. So much destruction. So much rubble. So much despair. So much unrest. So much imbalance. So much poverty. So much hunger. So much misery. So much suffering. So much fear. So much grief. So many tears. So many scars. So much injustice.

So little hope.

So little respect. For each other. For life. For human rights. For freedom. Maybe even for ourselves.

Such a crisis.

There has to be something we can do. Why aren’t we?

Why aren’t we marching on our Nations’ capitals? Why aren’t we more selective about who we elect? Why don’t we demand more from them? Why don’t we hold

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Glug, glug …

Well, this recent WordPress Daily Post certainly got me thinking:  “Captain Picard was into Earl Grey Tea: mention the Dude and we think:  White Russians.  drinksWhat’s your signature beverage — and how did it achieve that status?”

Fact is, I don’t have a signature beverage.  Never did.  I’m an equal opportunity drinker.

Although having said that, if I was going to have a signature drink it would be Lillet.

It’s a French aperitif and it’s delicious — at least I think so.  It’s wonderful on the rocks, with a twist of lemon.  I was introduced to it back in Montreal, at a French restaurant (Chez Georges) I used to frequent.  It’s Continue reading

Ninety-two years ago tomorrow …

Tomorrow’s my mother’s birthday.  She loved celebrating her birthday.  Even when she got older.  Especially when she got older.  She delighted in telling people chocolateher age; and loved their reactions.

Because no one ever believed it.

She looked considerably younger, but I think the main reason everyone stared at her in disbelief was her ‘spirit’, which was probably about thirty years younger than she was.  At least.  Her zest for life, her curiosity, her willingness to try new things, her open mind, her determination, her sense of humour, her giggle, the twinkle in her eye, her energy, her positive attitude all kept her young.

One of her greatest pleasures was eating chocolate.  You could see the look of rapture on her face the minute she bit into one.  And to her, it didn’t matter — it could have been a handful of chocolate chips or a candy Continue reading