The Truth of the Matter

You’re probably not surprised to hear that I’ve had writer’s block for the last couple of months. I’ve given this problem a lot of thought lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve got too many thoughts in my head, thus, making it difficult to neatly compartmentalize them and write cohesively. BUT Spring is upon us and I’m a big fan of Spring cleaning, so why not clear the cobwebs from my brain and get on with the writing already?

Six years ago, I embarked on a journey that was largely fueled by a need to reprogram my mind and body so that stress would no longer be a source of torment for me, both physically and mentally. I’d reached the point where my body was reacting very, very strongly against the amount of stress that I was imposing upon it and something had to give. When you find yourself (seriously) thinking that you’re going to be the cause of your own heart attack at the early age of 32, you know you’ve got to get off your ass and change the things in your life that are negatively impacting you.  The problem was that I spent a lot of time inside my own head – so while much of my stress was caused by a third party, a shit load came from my own self.  I found myself wishing for an OFF switch on numerous occasions, but sadly no such thing existed. Damn it! Do I have to solve all of the world’s problems myself?!  Anyway, being unsuccessful in finding the much sought after OFF switch, and not really knowing what might help alleviate all my stress and unnecessary over-thinking, I opted to try yoga. Now, I should tell you that the mere thought of yoga stressed me out. Why? Err… well I’m more of the kick-boxer type and I was seriously convinced that the act of yoga itself would stress me the hell out . When I first tried it, I hated it. It was way too slow and I saw no value in it whatsoever. I was still stressed out, still thinking too much and still assuming I’d have a heart attack ‘any day now.’  Eventually I discovered two yogis whose style spoke to me, and I decided to try yoga again. It took a while (OK, a few years) but thankfully, I  began feeling the benefits of maintaining a regular yoga practice, and I  eventually grasped the concept of letting go. It took a LONG time for me to get there – I like to be in control so ‘letting go’ was a foreign concept to me. At some point on the road to enlightenment, I learned that my need to be in control was fueled by my ego. That bastard!

Two years ago, my yogic efforts came to fruition, when my yoga practice became more about the spiritual journey and less about the pursuit of physical perfection. It’s true – while I started doing yoga to help me relieve stress, I was also (mainly) doing it to lose weight/be fit. But the more I practiced, the more I realized that yoga grounds me. It helps to de-clutter my mind and offers  me a form of clarity that I haven’t experienced before. It allows me to turn inward and reflect upon myself – whether it’s a shituation I’ve found myself in, an energy boost that I need or simply some quiet time to help me refocus.  Yoga makes me feel amazing, and as a result, my spirit is much calmer and my stress is almost non-existent (I said ALMOST people). I am grateful for discovering something that yields benefits in so many different ways – and it’s definitely more sane then a drug addiction, right!? =-D

Funny where my yoga practice has led me…. In 2011, I met a local yoga teacher that I’d heard a lot about via Lululemon. Coincidentally, we ‘met’ via the blogosphere, when I randomly came across his web site. A light went off when I saw his name – what were the odds that I’d find this guy via a Google search?  Now, I don’t believe in coincidences, so I knew that our paths crossing had to mean something.’ And so I reached out to him; Bram (who I’ve mentioned here before) has been giving me private yoga classes every couple of months for the last year or so. I’ve been learning a lot from him both on and off the mat, so when I decided that 2012 was going to be my year of change, I asked him to mentor me. I have changed a lot in the last two years; my focus is very much on the positive, on letting go of my shit and not sweating the small stuff. Essentially, if I have no control over ‘it’ then ‘it’ isn’t worth stressing over.  I am seeking enlightenment. Joy. Wholeness. So it was important to me to work with someone who had positive energy, whose vibe I felt and who could relate to where I was and where I want to go. I am in the process of examining various areas of my life – some of which will lead me to specific goals, while others involve a closer look at myself. One of the areas that has been on my mind a lot is relationships. Or specifically, my relationships.

For some time now, I have felt unsatisfied with many of my friendships (not all, but a lot). When I think about how much time and effort I have invested in people who don’t seem to reciprocate or even give a shit, it makes me tired. I’m tired of making efforts to keep friendships going, tired of doing all the reaching out, of being the event coordinator (otherwise we never each each other), tired of being understanding when they don’t have time to see me, tired of listening to one-side conversations about other peoples’ lives/problems/whatever, tired of getting little if any support for things that are important to me but not important to them. Am I the perfect friend? No, of course not.  I can be self-absorbed or negative or cranky just like anyone else. But I am PRESENT in my relationships, and I am loyal to my friends. I very much believe that relationships are two-way streets and that both parties must make an effort to nurture the friendship if it is to evolve, otherwise it will disintegrate. That said, I’m not the same person I was two years ago – but the people of which I speak have no idea because they haven’t been present. So perhaps that’s the answer; I realized a while ago that it might be time to move on from certain relationships. It looks like now is that time.

Goal #1 = Accomplished!

 

What’s your take on relationships? How do you make yours work?

 

Peace out,

A

 

 

A Moment in Time

Ladies and gents, it is high time that I sat myself down and wrote something before I lose all 22 of my readers and Jill withdraws that Stylish Blogger Award. So, let me talk about something I really wasn’t sure I wanted to write about.

For those of you who know me personally, you already know that my mum suffered a stroke on Sunday morning. When the phone rang, I was sat on the couch finishing up breakfast and giving myself a motivational speech about getting my ass to the gym that morning. The talk was going very well and I was about to get dressed when I heard the phone. As most of you know, I am severely allergic to the telephone; so much so, that I never actually answer it. I prefer to let my voicemail do all the work, mostly because I’m sick and tired of telemarketers harassing me. So when I picked up the phone and heard my dad on the other end, I was somewhat perplexed – it was only 10:30 a.m. Dad sounded abnormally calm, which was my first clue that something was off. I could hear the dog in the background, and dad trying to calm her down. Then he said “Your mom’s not feeling well and the First Respondents are on their way.” At that moment, I think my heart skipped a beat and panic set in. Dad had time to tell me that mom was experiencing facial paralysis – and that was about it. He had no time to say anything else except “Don’t panic” because the FRs were knocking at the door.  Well, too late for that.

I paced from one end of the condo to the other until dad called me back. To sum it up, mom was having a stroke and the FRs  immediately called for an ambulance. Mom was graced with two instances of good fortune right then and there: first, the FRs had been less then five minutes away when they were called to the scene (hmm, that sounds like they’re going to investigate a homicide, doesn’t it?) so they arrived very quickly. Second, the ambulance wasted no time getting to my parents’ place and whisking mom off to the hospital. Oh, and let’s not forget dad’s quick thinking – he gave mom an Aspirin before the FRs even arrived.  While dad was in hot pursuit of the ambulance, I was in the process of getting my crap together and going home (as in mom & dad’s). Let me just say that my drive home involved a lot of cursing and fist banging on the steering wheel. My mind was in overdrive and I kept sporadically shouting things like “Fuck! She’s not even 60!” and “Grandma – you better fucking take care of her!” Yes, I surely looked like a nut case, shouting and gesticulating as I barreled down the 15N. This was in-between weeping fits too, so I hope that none of the traffic cameras caught me on film because there might be a warrant out for my arrest.

At some point in time, we all think about losing a parent; it’s not something that any of us want to think about despite knowing that this is a normal fact of life. I’ve given my mom shit on numerous occasions for bringing up the subject of what will happen “when.” She always laughs it off and agrees that these conversations are a little on the morbid side. Anyway, if I’m being honest, even though I’ve briefly thought about this, I don’t think I’ve ever taken the possibility of losing one or both parents seriously before. Tell me, who does? They’re our parents – they’re like super-heroes aren’t they? They’re going to live forever! Bad shit doesn’t happen to our parents. But on Sunday, as I drove along life’s crazy highway, cursing and gesticulating, I felt scared. I mean, truly scared for the first time, at the possibility of losing my mum.  This would be bad shit indeed.  As luck would have it, this was not her time.  Mom has been in hospital all week, under observation and she’s undergone a slew of tests. Thus far, all of them are coming back negative (To clarify: by ‘negative’ I mean that the MDs have found nothing wrong so far. I have to clarify this because when my brother read dad’s email, he freaked out, panicked and called home in the middle of the night. He thought ‘negative’ meant that mom was on the brink of death!). Anyway, at this stage, the MDs are very intent on determining whether or not she has a clot floating around in her body. Two scans have shown nothing, and she is now waiting for an MRI and an ultrasound of her heart. It is necessary for the MD to determine where the clot stems from. We don’t know when she will be released from the hospital.

True to form, the stroke hasn’t phased mom. First, she called me on Monday morning and told me she wanted to take a shower but couldn’t. When I arrived at the hospital, the first thing she told me was that she was bored. This was followed by a complaint about her hair not being washed, which she informed me, was what she was just about to do that when she had the stroke. Alrighty then. She then looked at me and smiled – to demonstrate that only the left side of her face could move, while the right side remained frozen in place. She made a few faces to demonstrate this as well (where’s the camera when you need it?). In addition to the facial paralysis, she cannot feel her right eye at all. This is very strange to see – because when she blinks, it’s only with her left eye. Her right eye is sort of frozen in a wide-eyed expression. It almost looks like she’s got a bionic glass eyeball instead. Mom has informed me of two things since the stroke: first, she’s decided that treadmills suck and there’s no point in using them. I quickly informed her that had it not been for her walks on said treadmill, things could have been a lot worse! This probably helped diminish the effects of the stroke. So, knowing that mom can be a little stubborn, I told her to check with her doctor to see if he had any concerns about her using the treadmill. I am pleased to report that he does not – Thank you!  Mom then informed me that if she’d had her bag of chips on Saturday night, she probably would’ve avoid the stroke altogether. Well, at least she’s got a sense of humor.


As cliché as this will sound, it’s at times like these that you discover who your real friends are. Your true friends will reach out to you and be there for you, even if it’s only to check in to ask how you’re doing. They’ll be there for you when you need to unload your anger and frustration or when you just need a shoulder to lean on.  However, this is also a time when people will show you their true colors by demonstrating indifference as well as their lack of compassion. So, to all of my friends who have been there  for me this week, and who continue to be here – thank you – you guys rock!  And to the ass-trotting prick that I dated very briefly, and who hasn’t contacted me since I told him that my mother had a stroke: please look up the definition of the word ‘Asshole‘ in the Webster dictionary, because you will surely find a picture of yourself right below it. Thank you, and have a NICE day!

Off the Top of My Head

This is about as random as it gets. For this week anyway.

Fridays seem to bring an influx of absolutely no inspiration, so perhaps I should swap Wordless Wednesday for Wordless Friday. The only problem is that I might have something to say on a Friday or on a Wednesday. This past week I had to forgo Wordless Wednesday, because as it turned out, I had plenty to say. In light of this (i.e. the pointless airing of my thoughts about which day should be wordless), I’m going to rename Wordless Wednesday to Wordless. Problem solved. Now I won’t be confined to being wordless on Wednesdays or Fridays.

Last night I treated myself to a long overdue pedicure. As luck would have it, the spa charged me twice and I only realized it this morning when looking at my online banking details. I called them at 9 a.m. and am still waiting for the manager to call me back. One way or another, these people are giving me my money. The pedicure was good but it wasn’t that good. I did appreciate the free wine and chocolate-covered strawberries though. Of course, if you consider the fact that I’ve paid for the service twice, it’s not so free.

Out of nowhere, my hip has been causing me some problems. Last night, I could barely walk, it hurt that much. I’m noticing an interesting trend here – when I have ‘lazy’ weeks and don’t work out, I somehow manage to injure myself doing…. well, nothing. This is not the first time this has happened to me. And of course, the injury always seems to be sustained the day before I plan to get back to it, which then leads me to feel stressed out about the fact that I can’t work out because you know, I’ve got to make up for one week’s worth of laziness. I’m sure there is some kind of strange karma involved here.

Martha Stewart really irritates me. She strikes me as being full of sh*t. I sense no sincerity from that woman.

People who always feel the need to talk about themselves without ever asking you how you are, or showing interest in what you’re doing, annoy me. Everyone is self-involved at one time or another, but there needs to be a mutual level of self-involvement, no? Also, people who never initiate anything. But perhaps that can be interpreted as “I don’t want to see you/hang out with you/talk to you.” Whatever. Seems like friendships these days are often a one-way street or friendships of convenience.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Facebook is quite possibly a socially acceptable form of voyeurism, which, coincidentally, feeds many peoples’ narcissistic side.

The perv next door is still living with his mother, and he’s been here since the end of May. When the hell is he going to leave already? Wasn’t being yelled at by the neighbor and being told this wasn’t his home clear enough? His latest activity involves sitting on the balcony in the dark, and saying ‘hello’, consequently scaring the shit out of me because I’d never notice he was there otherwise. I don’t know, but if I was in my 40s and living with my mother, and all I did was ride shirtless on my bicycle, I think my ego would take a hit.  Not to mention that I would go stir-crazy. I wonder if coughing is still his mating call.

Aren’t soap opera people supposed to be hot? If so, why is it that there are unattractive people on daytime television? I’m just wondering. Seems like they fall into one of two categories: too good-looking and perfect or ugly. I wonder how an actor feels when they are specifically hired to play the role of someone who is overweight. On one hand, it’s great that they are hired (‘they’ meaning actors in general) – I hear it’s tough to make it in the acting world.  And on the other well, I suppose it really comes down to how you feel about yourself. People can be beautiful regardless of shape or size. This reminds me of Hugo. Everybody loves Hugo.

I thank God every day for the creation of ear plugs. Those bright pink ones that look like they should glow in the dark.

And lastly, I have no idea what half the stuff on this blog does; what the hell are Trackbacks and Pingbacks? And what am I supposed to link them to? Live and learn I guess. I suppose I should be proud that I successfully got my widgets sorted out and linked my Twitter account to my blog all on my own. Amazing!

And this concludes my random thoughts for today. I’m going to hope that the hip is all good tomorrow so I can get to the gym and also do some hot yoga. That would be fabulous.

Have a great weekend!

A