Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Letters - Poem

My head has been stuffed with clouds and airy things
They float around in there, not weighing me down as much as making it difficult to see.

I try to wave it away, to shoo it out like a deadly wasp, or maybe a drunken bee.

I’ve tried to capture them, like sucking them up into a vacuum and disposing them into a safer place in my mind.  I’ve placed them in the back somewhere.

Yet the wind has it’s way of breathing it all into yet another mess.  It’s all scrapes and papers floating around the air, becoming stealth vessels on their own, independent missions.

It all scatters, kicked up when I lay my head down.  In different ways I’ve looked for an equalizer. I thick layer of alcohol would do the trick.  But my eyes get sleepy after 3, and my bladder lets me know this isn’t what I thought it would be.

I’ve tried to build a bridge through the mist, to escape.  But the project was never completed.  It stands there, jutting out from my mind, with boards and drawings strewn about the site.

The harvest was plentiful, but the workers were few.  Some tried hard.  They really did.  Others were too distracted by the liquor store down at the bottom of the hill.

It still stands.
Like a half assembled dinosaur skeleton, from a billion years ago.
When things were different.
When I was writing you letters.


Yesterday, while holding my little guy River, I realized another amazing thing about babies.  They are like little sponges, soaking up information left and right.  It's all brand new, and you can almost see their "live action" processors holding new details.

I held a toy in front of him, and when it got his attention he focused in.  His eyes glared into the stuffy, his brain, no doubt, cranking the gears, trying to make sense of this new thing.  What I realized that day is that when he interacts with another person, and not just a toy, things are completely different.

The really neat thing is that babies have an immediate sense of how to interact with us.  They don't look at our mouths or are hands.  They're not aimlessly searching for clues.

They go straight to the eyes.

River makes contact with my eyes, looking for what's in there.  When I smile, he recognizes it, and smiles back, assured that he is experiencing a familiar and safe face.  The neurotransmitters are humming away, digging into the groove that will turn out to be the "dad is a safe person" pathway.

It's all so neat because it seems innate.  They don't learn to look in your eyes.  Once  their eyes grow enough to work, they immediately start focusing in on everything around them.  And again, when there is a person in their space, they go directly for their eyes.  It's really neat.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Simple ways to simplify my life

Today I found out that the little stickers on fruit are not compostable.

They are non toxic and do not harm the process, but they remain as foreign plastics that disrupt the beautiful process.  Most large operations have standards that would reject a giant truck of rotting pears because of those little stickers.  It's very sad.

Read more about it here.

This little tidbit comes at a time when I have been trying to seriously rethink the way that I impact my environment.  Not only that, but I will also say that I am searching for ways from trying to limit the ways my environment impacts me.

Here's what I've been able to do thus far:

TV Toss

Our family have flushed $68 a month into Satellite tv for the last several years.  We used that to mostly watch home renovation shows and the Oilers lose.  After the Super Bowl, we said goodbye to that burden.  Will I miss watching sports?  For sure.  However, there were so many little things about it (money, time, lame sports teams, too much tv) that completely outweigh my love for the Oilers.

To be clearer, those little things outweigh my Oiler love by a country mile!  And I've always known it, and only now do I face it and do something about it.  $68 was a waste in so many ways, and now the tough decision has been made and peace can move in.

Bring on a moderate amount of Netflix and DVD viewing!

Clothing Snob

I made a decision a while back to stop purchasing new clothing.  The world is overrun with too much clothing.  There are storehouses being built to hold unused clothing, yet factories continue to pump it all out.  Clothing is being sold and shipped to other countries, only to be tossed or burned.  Again, it's all such a waste.

So what that means is, first of all, I already have a lot of clothes.  I don't need to buy too many items, and since my workplace is casual, I don't have to worry about snazzing myself up too often.

Secondly, when I buy clothes, I go to second hand stores.  They have so much.  It's all better than any eco-friendly made clothing because it's already been made!

Note: I will still buy new shoes because used ones are often too used and really sketchy to put on my feet.

Facebook and Twitter Trash

I'm off of both Facebook and Twitter.  The Irony is that both of those platforms would help me promote this blog.

Twitter was eating me alive.  Too much scrolling.  Too much information about Trump or Fake news or Police brutality.  Too much Oiler negativity.  It was addicting and it drove my anxiety over the edge a few times.  

Now I try to purposely read the news.  Intentionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes every other day, I'll read the headlines.  My go to is  

I think everyone I know should drop a social platform.  Cut it off at the root and see how you feel for a while after.  If you really need it, just sign up again.  

For me, it's been a big help in helping me control what I am viewing online.  That power is underrated, and very rare these days.

I'm still on Facebook for my work account, and it is a trash show on there, for sure.  Yet, I don't know most of the people on there, so it has less of an impact on my soul.

Other areas that I'd love to put a dent in:

  • Computer Screen impact on my eyes. (I use it a lot for work)
  • Peanut butter (I eat it every morning.  I've got the natural stuff, but I think every morning is too much).
  • Coffee (I drink way too much coffee even though I don't really enjoy it beyond the second or third cup).

It's easier to take things away when you have something to replace it with.  Here are a few practical ways I have filled some of the empty space.

  • Meditation.  Even emptier space! I used the Centering Prayer App and go for anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes 2 or 3 times a week.  It is really hard, but I love the challenge.
  • Reading.  My goal this year is to read 50 books.  That includes a whole pile of graphic novels.  So far I have read 7 books.  I get all of these books from mainly the Barrhead Public Library or from a thrift store.  Saving money left and right!
  • Drawing.  I started drawing in December.  A little bit every day.  It is super fun.
I plan on adding a lot more once the weather gets nicer.  This spring is when I get to put my garden together.  I am really looking forward to that.

I will run with my dog way more often.  It's one of my favourite things to do when it's not so dark and cold outside.

I also am working hard on connecting with people.  As an extreme introvert, I love being at home.  I could just stay there forever.  Yet, I need to connect with people to show them that they mean a lot to me.  So I am planning lots of ways to be present in social gatherings and not just wish I was out of there.

Life is flying by at the same pace for all of us.  Some of us are a little older than others, and for me, I really feel that this is the time to be thinking about what really matters to me, my people, and my environment.  These rhythms are so important to me and the person I want to be.  

I encourage you to find a pace that works for you.  Find space that fills you up more than it drains you out.  Little by little, the changes will come, the people around you will be blessed, and your life will begin to glow a little brighter.

This drawing is called "Chap"