Plums on the Beach

“Plums defy.” – Stephen King, On Writing

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Plastic and my mother

My 89 year old mom is single handedly undoing everything you are doing for the planet.  I’m kidding of course but here’s why I say this…

This morning was trash day.

I watched my mom, for the last week, diligently sort and tear paper products and place them in a separate receptacle …cracker boxes, toilet paper tubes, the many notes she takes- nothing was spared.

Come garbage day, my mom puts all these little bits of torn paper and cardboard in a plastic bag, ties it in a double knot and places it in the ‘blue’ box with the newspapers.  Yes seriously.

Then she turns her attention to the ‘grey’ container with all her plastics and styrofoam and bottles and cans.  Same regiment…she collapses what she can, cuts up what she can and places them in the ‘grey’ box (made that mistake before) to be placed on the curb.

The third step is the actual garbage.  My mom empties the freezer with all her little plastic bags full of compostable matter (she refuses to compost) and puts them in a bigger plastic bag.  This one is also double tied and it goes into the next bigger size plastic bag with all the other bags of garbage.

Then this big bag is quadruple tied so it’s secure and can then be placed with the other stuff on the curb.

As we all know plastic is basically indestructible but the way my mom packs it, it is impenetrable.  I’ve never seen anything like it.

Like I said she’s 89 and not about to change her ways anytime soon but still I tried gently.  Know what she said? “They like it this way” and that’s the end of that discussion.

I have to remember to be grateful for what she does.  My mom at almost 90 still lives alone, runs an efficient home, cooks for herself and is in great health.  She creates a lot of garbage but she disposes of it as she knows how.

It’s not her fault, it’s her generation.  She really does think she is doing it the way it is suppose to be done. She doesn’t think about the environment.  She never has. She feels it’s not her job and a few plastic bags here and there won’t make a bit of difference.

I know to make changes I’d like to see in the world, I have to start with myself.  My reward for all the plastic that I’ve managed not to add to the landfill, for all the plastic bags I’ve refused at the grocery store, for all the fresh produce that I’ve put in my own mesh bags and for all the products I refuse to buy because of over packaging, is that maybe, just maybe, I’ve off set my mother’s consumption.  🙂  LOL

It is easily deduced that there are others who do like my mom or worse.  My children’s generation wouldn’t think of not composting or recycling and they are making a difference.  At a recent one year old’s party, no plastic was written on the invitation.  We are making the changes we want to see.

Plastic is a substance the earth cannot digest.  It’s that simple.

Thank you to my mom for what she does and thank you to you for what you do.

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The start of Lent

I am not a good catholic.  In fact I practice Buddhism these days.

BUT I went to church with my mom last weekend and found out that Lent was starting soon.

To be honest I did not remember what Lent was all about except as a child I had to give up candy.

My friend Heather, who practices no religion, gave me the 40 days and 40 nights lo down.  (She knows a lot of stuff)

So last Saturday I made a commitment to give up bread for Lent but this was BEFORE I found out about the 40 days and 40 nights.  Eek!

Well a commitment is a commitment so I’m going for it and frankly it feels really good.  I don’t know why but it does.

Perhaps it’s nostalgic; perhaps it’s the memory cells telling me that I can have chocolate Easter Sunday; perhaps it just feels good to make a decision for my well being.  Who knows?

I’ve had big successes giving up unwanted habits for a determined number of days.  For instance, I’ve not had added sugar for 167 days and it feels really good.  My body, even though I am still overweight, bends better and generally feels better.

I can honestly say that I don’t miss sugar today.  I may still long for the occasional bite of chocolate or the ice cream cone but it passes quickly and I happily move on.  Perhaps this will happen with bread as well. 🙂

So for all you Catholics, non-Catholics, atheist, or human beings out there…why not take this opportunity to give up something for 40 days?

Keep it realistic and small or go big! It’s up to you.

Are you inspired to give something up?

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Last night I couldn’t sleep or rather I couldn’t fall asleep.  I was unmistakably tired as my yawns were wide and long yet sleep did not come.

This is unusual for me. Generally I hit the pillow and before I know it I am visiting the land of dreams.

It wasn’t as if I was fitful, or thoughtful, or in turmoil. I simply could not fall asleep.

I’ve been taught to sit and just be.  I’ve been taught that whatever I am feeling is merely emotions and will pass.  I’ve been taught not to avoid and run away but to stay and learn.

So I got out of bed and sat crossed legged on the sofa and closed my eyes.  As I sat there, a smile made its way up to my face, my heart filled with love and I was at ease simply sitting with myself.

It came to me, suddenly and unexpectedly, that I was happy.  I was truly comfortable in my skin and delighted to be in my own company.

This past year has been an emotional brawl.  I was torn apart and put back together several times.  My heart bounced confusedly around like a basketball looking for a hoop and several brick walls fell on my head.  I was often in the extremes.  I was giddy or depressed; kind or brutal; ecstatic or miserable.

Yet this morning, at 1am, I found myself in a place I’ve not been before.  I was in joy.  It felt as if all of me, every part of me, was having a good day!

I recognize it now as peace.  Is this what peace feels like?  It’s not at all like I imagined.  It’s not like flatlining or becoming balanced or experiencing nothingness but rather joyful bliss.  It felt as if I had arrived to a place where everything is smooth and right…a place of truth.

As I slowly try on 2017 for size, I am encouraged and inspired.

I love the woman I have become.  I like spending time with her.  She makes me laugh and she makes me proud.  She has transformed into my best friend and I trust her.

I finally know that I am enough…at this moment, at this age and at this size.

I AM beautiful.  I just didn’t know it.

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Quotes while looking at a super moon

“Begin with where you are with what you have.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ~Pema Chodron

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” ~Joseph Campbell

“Besides the noble art of getting things done; there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” ~Lin Yutang

“You are most beautiful undone, in the morning.” ~Annabelle Blythe

“You cannot do a kindness too soon for you never know how soon it will be too late.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When in doubt, come back to yourself.” ~unknown

“The only person you should be comparing yourself to – is yesterday’s you.” ~Daniele Brooks

“If you want to be happy, be.” ~Leo Tolstoy

And last…

“Life truly lived is a risky business, and if one puts up too many fences against risk one ends by shutting out life itself.” ~Kenneth S Davis

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Coming out of a fog

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve been waiting for a story to write and nothing came.

I was at sea and even though I could hear the foghorns in the distance, the haze was too thick.

You see, I’ve been in a relationship for the last 6 months and it’s taken over my head and left nothing for creativity…until today.

My life as a single woman has been very satisfying.  I’ve climbed many ‘self-made’ mountains and gotten to the other side.  Of course I know that I created those mountains from pellets but nonetheless I have grown.

I’ve been alone for a long time and have built quite a nice life for myself.  I retired last year, bought a car, and life has been as close to perfect as I’ve experienced.

I abrasively realized that I’m a bit rusty in the relationship department and suddenly found myself under a ton of teaching bricks hanging on to my many ‘unmet’ expectations with all my power.

My life suddenly got heavy.  I was buried alive under all my re-found fears and pulled by my feet into the blackness of uncertainty.

In the last few months, a recurring dream/nightmare has shown up in my sleep.  I am clutching at the walls while wrenched from reality into a black hole.  Perhaps I should pay heed to these warnings when they occur.  Hmm…

My friend Kai said ‘that nothing exposes your old defects of character like a relationship’.   He is SO right.

Turns out that I had a lot of shit that I hadn’t dealt with, though in my delusion, I thought I had.

I can see the light above me now as I optimistically climb out of the fog.

I can deal with today’s pain and accept it.  I remember where I was all those yesterdays ago.  The memory of all that dark silence is purposely still stored in my hard drive.

As I walk towards the light, the heaviness falls away like old paint peeling from my childhood walls.

Will I have to revisit this place again?  Probably.  But each time I remember that it won’t kill me and I will be stronger.  Yes sometimes old clichés still apply. J

“As you resolve and clear away the old, you will experience a release from tension and uncertainty.” ~ The Book of Runes

So on this beautiful, non-rainy, almost sunny day in Vancouver, I am grateful for the experience and for the love and patience tenderly given.

Gracias mi amore.

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I’m in the mood for quotes

“Your business is not to get somewhere – it is to be here.” ~Dan Millman

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” ~Gloria Steinham

“The presence of fear means only that fear is present.” ~Suzanne Segal

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” ~Leonard Cohen

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end.” ~Unknown

“Don’t ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and go to that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman

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Sometimes a quote changes everything

“Some damage is too severe, some harm endures.  And what you have to do is accept it.  And by accept it I mean, don’t be the paralyzed person in the bed who is waiting to walk again.  Realize, it’s never gonna happen.  And find some other way to get around-swing from a vine, get a Mad Maxx wheelchair.  Anything but…wait.” ~Augusten Burroughs

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness” ~James Thurber

“Life is hard-not because we’re doing it wrong, just because it’s hard.” ~Glennon Doyle Melton

“I have just 3 things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion.  These 3 are your greatest treasures.” ~ Lao-Tze

“Love is the bridge between you and everything.” ~ Rumi

“Nothing is the same as last time.” ~Suzie

And my all time favourite:

“Today you are you!  That is truer than true!  There is no one alive who is you-er than you!  ~Dr Seuss