Money is still, somehow, one of those weirdly “taboo” subjects.
This horror movie we’re living in, which so far has no credits, just keeps rolling on, but perhaps it can have a tiny silver lining. It can teach us to discuss everything. To be transparent, honest, to see all sides, all possibilities. We need to stop going to “check out that noise” or “check the basement” or “go to the attic”. If we learn nothing else from this nightmare, we should learn to be honest.
Too many people think honesty is scary. It’s the same when it comes to money. They think discussing money is: “scary”, “embarrassing”, “frightening”, “crass”, or “inappropriate”. We all need money, unfortunately (it’s the main reason the world is a mess, simplistic, maybe, but it doesn’t make it untrue).
Money controls our lives. It’s the true reason for most of the world’s problems, yet too many people refuse to talk about it, learn about it, and try to figure out why money’s too tight to mention. Politics, religion, food, vaccines, masks, money, “The Great Pumpkin”…geez, what can we talk about these days without a brawl?
Times are tough, or not, depending which politicians are trying to score which point.
Most people have at least a rudimentary knowledge of budgeting, oh no, I said a dirty word, the “b” word, “budget”. Who knows what I’ll say next? “Economize”. “Reduce”. Or the big “F”, “frugal”. Gasp!
Why are people ashamed of being poor? Or nowadays, using words like “reduced circumstances” (what if you were never, er, “duced”?). Being “poor” isn’t a financially transmitted disease you’ll catch by using coupons, price-matching, or shopping at thrift stores! It’s not an austere version of COVID-19 (but for actual viruses, please wear a mask, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, physical distance, don’t hoard toilet paper, stay home as much as possible and stay connected).
Some folks are the same way about frugality. They seem to think trying to save money, trying not to spend so much, trying not to go into debt is somehow “embarrassing”. That somehow you should be ashamed of: shopping the sales, couponing, getting freebies, price-matching, buying secondhand (gently loved), or just generally living below your means. Yet personally, I love, love, love the Depression Era slogan,
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without.”
I’m proud of being able to pinch a penny (for those who still have any) till it screams!!! Why? I don’t believe that being “poor” is “bad” just like I don’t believe being “rich” is “good”. It’s not noble to be poor or to be rich. Money should never be a measure of success. Character should be a measure of success. On The Orville they have a system of no money (gasp!), everyone has what they need and what they want – it’s their reputation, their character that counts. Imagine turning our crazy world upset down and finally using “common” sense/no cents?
Until then, here’s some ways to save…
1… Stay connected. Stay safe. Zoom meetings help you stay connected and a Zoom account is free (40 min time limit/unlimited on holidays). Also, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Discord, etc.
Other ways to save?
2…Love streaming, but not the cost of streaming? There are some “Free” alternatives, when it comes to streaming (but don’t be fooled and keep an eye out, some become decidedly less free and others more free!). Though we don’t have as many options here in Canada as larger population countries, but times are achangin’, so stay tuned. Here are few, including but not limited to:
- Tubi (free and fantastic).
- MUCH – more than music.
- Food Network
- Pluto TV
- TVO Kids
- APTN lumi
- Driving Television
- The Weather Network
- Food Network
- Classic Cinema Online
- Knowledge: KIds (even has “Paw Patrol”)
- Roku channel (if you stream on Roku)
- CTV (timed/limited)
- Global (timed/limited)
- and/or you can buy an indoor digital TV antenna or an outdoor antenna…there are so many ways to save and see!
Plus, look for Free Trials (many streaming services are, sadly, removing their “free” trials, for example, Netflix and Disney Plus) of streaming/music/reading services. Again, though we don’t have as many options here in Canada as larger population countries, but times are achangin’, so stay tuned. Here’s a few available now, including but not limited to:
- Acorn TV
- Kindle Unlimited
- Apple Music
- Amazon Music
- YouTube Premium
- Sirius Canada
- Sundance Now
- Discovery Channel
- Amazon Prime Video
- Apple TV
- and more!
Watch and see if they’re right for you. Note the start date of your free trial and cancel if you don’t like them. Cancel a few days before, you’ll still have the preview to the end of the trial. Easy-“stay home”-“stay safe”-“stay connected”-free-peasy-lemon-squeezy.
3… The “C” word, no, not Coronavirus, or cancer, in this case, a good “c” word, coupons! We used to clip these, now, they’re printed, or digital, or sometimes still mailed to us. I save a lot of money with coupons, sometimes even getting items free (what a lovely word, I never get tired of hearing or seeing it). If you’re into it, there’s also lots of free samples, contests, and surveys out there. Savealoonie, Samplesource, Websaver, Save.ca, Lifepoints, Smartcanucks, Pinecone Research, Asking Canadians, Swagbucks, and so, so many more. Sometimes, I get freebies, coupons, samples for items I don’t want or use, but get them anyway so I give them to others. Find more ways to save and places to find savings online through frugality blogs and other websites. If you have suggestions for ways to save, please leave them in the comment box below. I love to learn. I love to save.
4… Get paid to shop! Music to our ears and our wallets (virtual or otherwise). That’s exactly what some apps do, like: Rakuten Canada (formerly Ebates), Caddle, Checkout 51, Airmiles, PC Optimum, Petro-Points, Shopper Army, Swagbucks, Plum Rewards (the free version), The Mission Store, David’s Tea, The Body Shop, and so, so many more – look them up! And don’t forget to add the Honey, an app that checks for online coupons and can save you even more!
5… Happy Birthday! Lots of places give birthday “treats” – free stuff or discounts, etc. Don’t feel comfortable giving your “real” date of birth, make yourself a few years younger. But remember, sometimes age does matters! Specifically with Student Discounts and Senior Discounts (some start as low as 55 – the new 45?). Discounts at stores, restaurants, education, pharmacies, thrift stores, travel, car rentals, banking, hotels, entertainment, museums and so many more! Don’t be afraid to ask, you have nothing to lose and so much to win!
6… Groupon. Make sure you read the fine print (always good advice, for every single thing in life). I’ve found some great deals there, including but not limited to: Costco memberships with Shop cards/products that negate the amount of your membership (really!); pizza (anyone who says money can’t buy happiness, has never paid for a pizza or the makings of a pizza, yes, you can make pizza at home!). Oh, and I paid $4 for a movie w/ popcorn and a drink – I went and saw that movie in a theater, remember those? Back in the good old days when we went to a place, went inside the building, with other people, sat in seats, beside other people, and watched a movie.
8…Price/Ad Matching – you can bring a flyer (not so much now, but “BC” – “Before Covid”, or show an app on a smartphone (ie. Flipp, Reebee, etc.) from one store to another, just show it to clerk and get items cheaper (yahoo!!!). Of course, an easy, amazing way to save is sales. Shop sales!
But wait, there’s more…
9…It doesn’t have to be complicated, look close to home. Look around your place. If you have the time and energy, cooking, canning, preserving, and baking are shockingly easy ways to save money. Find ways to do so that make life easier.
10… Sewing, mending, knitting, DIY, gardening, and so much more. Decluttering. Repurposing – for example, my Mom magically changes T-shirts, pajamas, etc. into fun pillow art/pillow covers.
11…Sort through your “treasures”, you know the ones: collecting dust; being used to hang clothes on; stored; just-in-case; might-fit-me-someday; what-if-I-need-it?; whatever — sell them, donate them, give them away, swap them.
12…Why buy new?
Why pay more? Buy gently loved. Buy previously loved. Buy brand spanking new but never used and given away. In this wildly consumer-driven culture, we too often “Dumpit to Crumpit”. But many people also generously donate. There are treasures to be found at: thrift stores, secondhand stores, mission stores, Salvation Army, Goodwill, eBay, Etsy (some new stuff, handmade) many of these places now are online as well! Don’t let perfectly lovely things go to the trash heap when you can give them new life. I’ve found Alfred Sung, Doc Marten, Derek Alexander and so much more, often w/ tags still on. A quirky wooden box that says library (it’s where I keep library books, how original). I don’t know the fate of “thrift” stores in a new world order, but for now, if you’re careful, we have hope.
13… Look for free things to see and do in your community. Take walks on your streets (actually use the sidewalks, safer and if no sidewalks, remember, walk facing oncoming traffic and pay attention, stay safe). Go for lovely walks in your parks. Parks are an amazing resource, they’re ready for anything: Cycling. Picnics. Tai Chi. Yoga. Boating. Fishing. Photography. Martial arts. Playing. Pausing. I love walking through our Ponds – though I live in a large, very busy city, when I step in here, I’m in the woods…
Get out there and discover!
14… Speaking of local, how about your local library? Libraries aren’t just buildings with books (but seriously, books are awesome!!!). And now many libraries are going fine free which is fabulous, but seriously, return the books, DVDs, CDs, magazines and more. Many library resources are online, especially now. You can check out ebooks, e-audio books and they’re returned automatically. You can learn languages, look up your ancestry, and stream movies. Read/enjoy thousands of free magazines and newspapers. Learn from free online courses. Get creative with hundreds of crafts. And so much more!!! Also, most cities allow you to get a non-resident card for a small fee. Go online, check it out, what do you have to lose? Hours and hours of fun and who knows what you’ll learn? Look around your neighbourhood for “Little Free Libraries” or “Swap Boxes” – take a book, leave a book. In these tough times, people also leave: food, household items, coupons, etc. Truly a community spirit exercise. Sharing is caring, in so many ways.
15…Online is filled with free (yes, free, why pay?) courses
These are just a small sampling. Before you throw money at courses, check out some free ones!
16… Of course, YouTube – the vast universe of stuff at your fingertips!!!
Travel the world (who knew I’d become a
travel blogger during a pandemic?).
Watch “SNL” (especially vintage).
Watch “Graham Norton”.
“Jimmy Fallon”. Cooking. Baking.
Gaming. Knitting. Sewing. Quilting.
Coding. Household repairs.
Shoe repairs. Car repairs.
Learn languages including:
“Dothraki”, “Klingon”, “Elvish”,
“Nadsat”, “Minionese”, “Na’vi”,
“Parseltongue”, “Huttese” and
even some “real” languages.
Want to know how to
cut an onion without crying? Decluttering. Organizing.
Tips and tricks. Life hacks.
Health videos (beware).
Magic tricks. CPR.
exercise videos (personal fav for Fibromyalgia folks, https://cocolimefitness.com/ ).
Chess. Poker. Meditation.
How to budget
(oh no, the “b” word again).
Live performance and concerts.
Music videos and events.
Lip Sync Battles. Movies.
How to make masks.
How to sell on eBay.
How to fight a shark.Find any fix. Find news…from anywhere in the world (galaxy?).
Watch a NASA launch.
Find things that make you snooze –
am I the only adult that enjoys
listening to celebs reading
bedtime stories to me?
Thank you, Dolly Parton,
Jeff Goldblum (stories, umm, umm, umm, find a way), Tom Hardy, Sean Astin (I made a promise to read, Mr. Frodo), Ray Romano, Jude Law,
Josh Gad (do you wanna read a story?), Jennifer Garner, Helen Mirren, Stephen Fry, Lupita Nyong’o, Justin Theroux, Glenn Close, Viola Davis, Chrissy Metz, Betty White (thank you for being a friend),
Melissa Gilbert (Little Library on the Prairie?), David Harbour (Stranger Reads?), Kristen Bell, Allison Janney, Oprah (And you get a story! And you get a story! And you get a story!), Barbara Bain, Michelle Yeoh, Jake Gyllenhaal (I don’t know how to quit you), Chris Pine, Dule Hill, David Schwimmer (I’ll be there for you!), Chris Evans (er, just don’t read from Instagram, Cap),
Kiernan Shipka, Christian Slater (Pump up the Reading Volume), Amy Adams, Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Firth, Lily James, Jeff Bridges, James Earl Jones, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Silverman, Rashida Jones, Chris O’Dowd, Mac Conley, Jimmy Fallon, David Byrne, Billie Piper, David Tennant,Josh Brolin (his reading is inevitable), Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Costner, Julie Walters, Eddie Redmayne, Eva Longoria,
Natalie Portman, Iggy Pop, Rami Malek (we are the reading champions), Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Emma Thompson,
and more, thank you for promoting reading!!! Most are children’s books, some YA and adult books, but whatever they are, thank you for reading to relax me, er, for the children and for charity. Also, free guided mediation on YouTube (Calm, limited; PureGym; Tara Brach UCLA Reasearch; BoHo beautiful; City of Surry; well, you get the idea, the sky’s the limit or beyond). Thank you Chris Hemsworth for the guided meditation. Thank you to the late, great Maya Angelou for leaving us recordings of her gifts; Neil Gaiman for reading us Dickens and Dr. Suess; Christopher Walken for sharing the horror of Edgar Allan Poe as only Walken can, and so many more. Get online and explore. Of course, for Shakespeare lovers and general sonnet lovers alike: Vincent D’Onofrio, Rufus Sewell, William Sadler, Michael Gaston, Lindy Booth, Sir Patrick Stewart (and more) – thank you for reading me stirring sonnets everyday (make it so).
17... Seasons change, but fun stays all the year long. There are many free or frugal activities for each and every season. Here are just a few.
- Walking – free.
- Loyalty – free.
- Quiet – free.
- Integrity – free.
- Common sense – free.
- Snuggling (the snuggle is real) – free.
- Do you wanna build a snowman? – free.
- Gratitude – free.
- Courage – free.
- Dancing – free.
- Talking (words matter) – free.
- Generosity – free.
- Comfort – free.
- Joy – free.
- Forgiveness – free.
- Compassion – free.
- Snow angels – free.
- Hope – free.
- Imagination – free.
- Smiling – free.
- Games, so many games online, free. Puzzles, card games, board games, video games and so much more – free.
- Friendship – free.
- Sunlight – free.
- Sincerity – free.
- Perseverance – free.
- Respect – free.
- Empathy – free.
- Moonlight – free.
- Laughing – free.
- Truth (not just your truth, the truth) – free.
- Singing – free.
- Love – free.
- Understanding – free.
- Ambition – free.
- Fairness – free.
- Cheer – free.
- Art – free.
- Literature (see library information above) – free.
- Music (your brain is full of it, let it flow) – free.
- Cookies – rarely free sadly (we need a weather machine that makes it rain cookies, who’s with me?), but you can buy the ingredients on sale or with price matching, etc., frugal.
The Grinch learned that Christmas doesn’t have to come from a store, that Christmas can mean just a little bit more. A timeless and free life lesson. And the same goes for birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, every day. How much you spend doesn’t show how much you care. Caring is free.
Kindness is free! So spread it around. Sprinkle that kindness anywhere and everywhere. Fill the world with it…Kindness is the key, and lucky for us, the free key.
So no one told you life was gonna be this way…(you know you have to clap now, do it, just do it!).
Your job’s (bet Guaranteed Basic Income doesn’t look so “Commie” now huh?) now a stay-at-home-joke, you’re more-or-less broke…
Your love life’s “virtually” D.O.A.
It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear (if you remember how to drive).
When it hasn’t been your minute, your hour, your day, your week, your month
Or even your year (Any 2020 hindsight advice?).
But I’ll be here for you (in my home)
When the rain starts to pour
I’ll be here for you (in my home)
Even if we weren’t “FRIENDS” before
I’ll be here for you (in my home)
‘Cause you’re probably here for me too (in your home)
You’re still in bed, or the tub, or the tub is now your bed, at ten (AM, PM, who knows these days?).
And for many, “essential” work (less work if people could listen/read/try) never seems to stop…
Your breakfast might be lunch or dinner (those can all be chocolate during a pandemic, right?), then again, who the Hell knows or cares?
Things are going great, if you’re counting the number of swears…
Your mother (Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, especially my Mom https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/05/09/happy-mothers-day-i-just-ate-your-gift/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/05/13/the-mother-of-all-blogs/ ) warned you there’d be days like these (not weeks or months), but she didn’t tell you all this could really happen, seriously, this is for real…
it seems surreal, but yup, happening:
We’d be streaming incessantly (beyond Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime). I’ve been testing all the “Free Trials” of streaming services, I’ve tried: “Acorn TV”, “Disney+”, “Crave/HBO/TMN”, “Britbox”, and heading toward “Apple TV”, “National Geographic”, “Smithsonian”, and “Shudder” – who knows how far I’ll get, drinking my tea, watching me some “free”…
Who knew people would be fighting over and hoarding: hand sanitizer and yes, toilet paper (Seinfeld once again predicts the future).
We’d be trying to not gain something called, “COVID-19”, the virus or lbs.
Thanking our essential workers (literally not enough “Thank Yous” in the universe for that), even though many people and politicians didn’t even think they were worth giving decent pay, or really caring about them at all, until they needed them (newsflash geniuses, you/we always needed them).
Trying to learn languages. For me, I’m trying to learn the important stuff first, for example: “Spero tu stia passando una bella giornata miei adorati lettori, avete pasta per me? “(“I hope you are having a nice day my beloved readers, do you have pasta for me?”); “ Ich brauche Kuchen” (“I need cake”); “¿Donde estan las galletas?” (“Where are the cookies?”); “Je veux de la pizza” (“I want pizza”)…just some essential phrases.
Traveling on YouTube (who knew it would take a pandemic to turn me into a travel blogger?).
We’d be learning (some of us) all kinds of new terms, like the ones below (how many did you know?):
Flattening/flatten the curve
Planking/plank the curve
Bending/bend the curve (I feel like these will also be diet names soon)
Data models (or as I call them, data stick insects)
Vector (what’s your vector, Victor?)
Essential workers (again, thank you just doesn’t seem to cover it)
Oropharyngeal swabs (updates from Dr. Fauci, Dr. Tam, Dr. Birx and others are like watching police dramas, they all talk about swabs a lot, “Did you get the swabs?”, “I got the swabs”, “Did you need another swab?”, “What do ya mean we’re out of swabs? Get more swabs!”, “We need billions of swabs!”. Police shows and pandemics, brought to you by Johnson & Johnson, but that’s a whole other story https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/)
PPE (personal protective equipment)
Vaccines https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/04/sharks-do-get-cancer/ (RNA) – I’ve seen/read enough sci-fi/apocalypse stuff to know this can lead to bad things including but not limited to: zombies, rabid living people, mutations, bad breath, bad acting, and bad Kharma…
ACE-2 is a gateway receptor (who knows what it will lead to?).
Be comforted by bedtime stories from: Dolly Parton, David Tennant, Oprah, Stephen Fry, Betty White, Rami Malek, James McAvoy, Sarah Silverman, Chris Pine, Kristen Bell, Tom Hardy – ooooh, can he read them in Bane (he was so ahead of his time, he worse a mask, quarantined a city and cancelled all events, including sports) or Venom voices too, please?
And James Earl Jones – seriously, Darth Vader reads me to sleep, “May The Fourth Be With You” and Beware the “Revenge of the Fifth/Sixth” and too much spicy food on Cinco de Mayo could cause Revenge of the Shi…well, you know, moderation, ok?.
Worrying about Murder Hornets, really, who came up with that name, at least make it alliterative, how about “Homicide Hornets” or “Horror Hornets”? Like this: “Slaughter Slugs”, “Maiming Moths”, “Assassin Ants”, “Snuff Snails”…
Getting slightly ever so bored with: baking (getting too warm now anyway); is there enough testing, not enough testing (it’s making me testy);
Zoomfail hashtags (don’t you wish you’d bought shares in Zoom?); “Baby Shark Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo”, kidding, who could ever get tired of that?,
people arguing about “Mandela Effect” online, hmmm, or maybe that never happened.
Making masks, cleaning masks, remembering to bring your masks, remembering not to wear a hockey mask to the grocery store…so many things to remember, what was I talking about again?
Being on video, seriously, before all this I hated going on camera or video, now it’s, “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. Zoom, no, no, not that close!”.
People actually listening to someone that lies incessantly, slurs their words, and suggests we could kill COVID-19 by injecting disinfectant into the body and/or UV light, no buddy, why are you like this, why are you the way you are?
That we’d be staying so much: “Stay Home”, “Stay Safe”, “Stay Connected”, “Stay At Home”, “Stay Healthy”, Sit/”Stay”/Roll Over, “Stay in place”, “Stay trippy dude”, “Stay the course”, “Stay fresh” (seriously, you need to shower even if you’re isolated alone)…
I can easily imagine self-isolation has lead to re-enacting musicals with Star Wars action figures, Muppets and/or hand shadows, I’m sure someone somewhere is doing this (please, please, please send me links).
That our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau (Canada rules!) would tell us the things, the things he knows that stop you from “speaking moistly”?!?
I’ll be here for you
When the someone knocks on your door (gasp!)
I’ll be here for you
When you’re dreaming Obama is still POTUS
I’ll be here for you
‘Cause you’re here for me too (on Zoom?)
No one could ever know me (cause I’m wearing a mask)
No one could ever see me (cause I’m doing a
flask task at home)
Seems now more people know
What it’s like to be…chronically me?
Someone to Facetime (Skype/Zoom/Messenger, text, call, whatever) the day with.
Make it through Quarantine Life (only going out for necessities of life, I don’t know about toilet paper, but donuts count, right?) with…
Someone I’ll always laugh with
Even at my worst, I’m best with you, yeah
I’ll be here for you
When the sun starts to shine
I’ll be here for you
When for the great outdoors we pine…
I’ll be here for you
‘Cause we’re (patiently?) waiting for a sign
I’ll be here for you (speaking moistly)
I’ll be here for you (singing: Andrea Bocelli; Ultravox; Ramones; Ed Sheeran; Elton John; Cher (if we could turn back time); Green Day – don’t wannabe an, well, you-know-what;
Foo Fighters; Nivana; The Beatles – “Don’t Come Together”, “We All Live in Self-Quarantine”;
U2, The Police “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/09/14/dont-stand-so-close-to-me/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/03/25/welcome-to-your-life/, and so many more, all totally, totally, totally in tune).
I’ll be here for you (sissying my quarantine fashion, picture me rocking Mickey Mouse leggings, Guardians of the Galaxy T-shirt, Paddington coat, and Nirvana baseball cap https://yadadarcyyada.com/2020/03/17/im-still-standing-yeah-yeah-yeah/, strangely enough, no pictures, that I know of, while putting red ribbons on the trees to say “Thank You – no thanks are ever ever ever going to be enough for our essential workers, but you could start with simple steps: Be Kind, Stay Home, Wash Your Hands).
Hope you’re here for me too (but like, not here here, like, there but emotionally here, together but apart, but connected, so non-contagious virtual hugs and chats and tweets, comments, Zoom, Skype, Messenger, and all that, but over there while I’m over here, but we’ll both be there, well, here for each other…I’m confused. I need more simplicity https://yadadarcyyada.com/2020/01/26/aggressive-simplification/ What about you?).
The holiday season stresses out most everyone, but for those who are ill, the holidays can be a nightmare (before and during Christmas); it’s stressful for even those who don’t celebrate Christmas (or try not to celebrate).
The roads are busier.
Malls overrun by zombies (We are The Walking Dead, but with brightly-wrapped gifts).
Christmas songs drone on, but peace on Earth, really, there’s barely a pretense of civility.
So many Santas, ringing and ho-ho-hoing for money to buy toys – I thought there was a workshop and elves for that…
Too much food (First World Problem).
Ugly Christmas sweaters (no longer ironic),
now ironically iconic?
Gifts/gift cards/e-gift cards,
“the perfect gift” for the “perfect” Christmas –
that’s where stress-relievers come in.
First, take a deep breath. Christmas is one day. One. 24 hours. 1440 minutes. Let’s also enjoy the other 364 days in the year. Relax.
Second, the holidays should be about: giving, helping, hoping, kindness, compassion, and dreams; not pushing, whining, complaining, stressing and screams…Relax.
Third, you need to find out what works for you, what makes you happy, what brings you comfort and joy. If you don’t know that, how can you share it with others? Relax.
Here are some usual ways (and unusual, whatever that means) ways to relieve stress during the holidays (and all the year through)? There are more than 12 so you decide which is which.
If I’ve left some out and I’m sure I did, please comment to tell me what I missed and then share the post on social media so others can tell me what I missed as well…
- Read books/ebooks (This is a safe space, no “books vs ebooks” arguments here; all books are welcome and accepted!).
- Progressively relax.
- Dog/Cat/Fish/Pig/ Pony/Ferret/Bird/Horse/Frog therapy.
- Volunteer (I once knew someone who said more people would volunteer if they were paid, ummm, that’s a job).
- Write a blog/journal/novels/poems.
- Manicure/Pedicure (at home works too).
- Bake (me a cake?).
- Aromatherpy (Don’t limit yourself to the usual scents, whatever smells good to you, smell away).
- Look for the Fibonacci symbol in nature or fractals, so fun on snowy days.
- Design clothes. Wear clothes. Buy New-To-You clothes (Goodwill, Talize, Salvation Army, Value Village, Mission Store, and other Love-Them-Again stores are awesome).
- Go see a play, be in a play, write a play, direct a play.
- Golf/Mini Golf.
- Look at the stars (the ones in the sky).
- Plant yourself near a plant to reduce your blood pressure.
- Karate (relaxed and ready to defend yourself, probably not against Ninjas or aliens, but maybe zombies or vampires).
- Visit an art gallery/museum.
- Do chores/Clean.
- Stream (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV, Disney Plus, Acorn TV, Crave, HBO, TMN, SlingTV, BritBox, and many more; with more popping up every day).
- Play board games.
- Play video games.
- Play card games.
- Learn something…anything.
- Stay and enjoy.
- Do puzzles – crossword, boxed puzzles, puzzle boxes, find-a-word (Have you heard? The bird is the word), sudoku, logic, trivia and if you can figure out people, wow, you’ve solved the biggest puzzle ever.
- Apply gentle pressure to the spot between your 2nd and 3rd knuckle, between your fingers, where your finger and hand meet to reduce stress.
- Cheer someone up with a fun surprise (Do not break into their home and draw a happy face on the wall or anything in red lipstick on their mirror, apparently that’s considered “creepy”).
- Wine/Beer tasting tour (Don’t taste and drive).
- Learn some magic tricks (Be nice to rabbits).
- Get/give a facial.
- Watch the clouds (the ones in the sky).
- Jump (jump jump jump around) on a trampoline (safety first).
- Smile (I just like to smile, smiling’s my favourite).
- Drink water (don’t waste it).
- Create the next big fad! i.e. Lint kittens and puppies. Easy to keep – no walks, no food, soft and cuddly, and easy to house-train. Do not expose to water.
- Be mindful.
- Plant trees.
- Join a team (fantasy or real).
- Pet sit (don’t actually sit on a pet).
- Tear paper (then recycle then tear again).
- Visualize (guided or unguided, just remember to leave some breadcrumbs to find your way back).
- Pay it forward.
- Be kind (random or deliberate).
- Fix stuff (fix something for someone: TV, car, fridge, cellphone, alarm system, computer, appliances, sewing machine, etc. Even it wasn’t broken, er, at the time, they’ll probably understand you were trying to give them a gift…probably).
- Give your time.
- Offer your knowledge.
- Give your full attention.
- When a child hands you a toy phone or a banana, answer it and have a conversation (best time with a phone/actually smart).
- Take a shower (not at the Bates Motel).
- Take a bath (not in a horror movie).
- Enjoy social media for what it is not what you want it to be (because the internet).
- Take some photographs (not just of your food and selfies with duck lips).
- Mentor someone.
- Review something.
- Ski-doo (not on thin ice…it’s all going to be thin ice soon).
- Watch a sunset.
- Watch a sunrise.
- Cook (Combine food and fashion ie. Forget Lululemon, how about lasagna leggings? Pizza pants. Taco ties. Chocolate crop top. Wine wedding dress. Turkey tux. Beer boots. Hamburger hat. Curry coat. Steak scarf. Bacon blouse. This food fashion can be consumed at any time – hopefully not when you’re out in public).
- Join a club (not a gang).
- Drink green/white tea.
- Be inspired.
- Walk in a park or the woods (not at night on a full moon, just in case).
- Climb a wall, so you don’t climb the walls.
- Laugh some more.
- Make someone laugh.
- Spend time with nature and animals (don’t pet grizzly bears, badgers, or snakes, start slow with cats, dogs, rabbits…then move up).
- Build a snowman (do you wanna?).
- Remember to forget.
- Smash stuff (smash plates, bowls, walls, pumpkins,etc., and if you can’t go to one of the places where you pay to smash stuff, I’m sure family and friends will understand you need stress relief, especially during the holidays).
- Make soap not dope.
- Pop corn.
- String popcorn (the eat, the popcorn not the string).
- Visit (real or virtual as long as you’re there, in the moment).
- Watch TV (question what you watch).
- Listen to someone.
- Breathe deeply.
- Be grateful.
- Chop wood.
- ‘Tis the season, cut down a Christmas tree for a busy family member or friend. Cautionary note, unlike in the Hallmark and other Christmas movies, cartoons, etc., apparently it’s “frowned upon”, some might even say “illegal”, to just randomly cut trees down. Who knew?
One of the best ways to relieve stress, being honest, with yourself and others; we/they/me/whoever may not appreciate it at first, but it could be the best gift ever, someday.
Chocolate. Enough said.
If you know me and/or you’re a reader of my blog (https://yadadarcyyada.com) you know, I think laughter is the best medicine and it certainly qualifies as a stress reliever. Laughing, even if it hurts sometimes, still makes me feel better. I go to a happy place, including but not limited to: Psych, George Carlin, Seinfeld, Community, Friends, Rick and Morty, The Office, Marx Brothers, Flight of the Conchords, and more.
I love to share the laughter. If I can make someone smile, laugh, giggle, chortle, spew liquid from their nose, then hey, I feel better. Get silly. Adulting is tough, who says we can’t be a kid at heart?
Finding ways to help others is a great stress reliever. It’s hard to think about your problems when you’re helping others with theirs.
There are an endless amount of causes out there, try to support those who really need it. Those who are hungry, scared, without shelter, without hope, being abused, ill, falling through so many cracks.
Donate to a cause in someone’s name instead of handing them another gift they may or may not need or want, or better yet, start a foundation in their name, I’m sure it won’t affect their taxes…much. Help yourself by helping others.
Knitting? Did I mention knitting? What I want to knit…a black cable knit sweater and a Doctor-Who-vintage-Tom-Baker-as-The-Doctor scarf. I’ve been talked down to scarf of one colour and even that’s not going well. The holes are there to let hopes and dreams in, yeah, that’s it. They’re a design feature.
Turns out knitting can be a “knotty” stress reliever.
Exercise is suggested for stress relief, but with pain and fatigue, exercise can be challenging. Years ago, someone suggested Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia/relaxation/arthritis/exercise, I thought, how would flailing my arms around, slowly, help with any of those things? I’ll just look weirder than I usually do.
I reluctantly tried it. It saved my life, at least, my quality of life. Tai Chi, a few times per day; in the morning to relax from sleeping – Fibromyalgia patients will understand https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/11/22/99-problems-and-fibromyalgia-is-all-of-them/
Lifting weights? I’m no Schwarzenegger, but Hasta la Vista, babyweight (my son is in his 20s). I like Yoga (and Baby Yoda), but it can be painful. Walking helps, but my dogs start barking and the rest of my body growls at me.
I love swimming (not so much Aquafit), but getting there and back, dressing, undressing, showering, etc. is exhausting; I sometimes feel worse, certainly less relaxed (and it’s pricey). And of course these days, we’re not sharing any pools. Thanks COVID.
What else? For seniors, VON offers free programs twice a week, (SMART) Seniors Maintaining Active Roles Together; there’s Ageless Grace (more like Graceless Aging for me). I’ve tried the gym. Belly-dancing (don’t try to picture it). Dancing (Frankie says Relax).
Yet I stick like glue to Tai Chi because it unsticks me. Relaxes. Soothes. Feeling sore? Tai Chi won’t magically fix everything, but it helps ease some aches and gets you moving.
To learn Tai Chi I borrowed items from the library (having fun isn’t hard if you’ve got a library card). Later bought VHS tapes (yes, that long ago, I fought off a saber-tooth tiger to get home), then DVDs (now on YouTube and streaming services, soon to be uploaded into our brains).
Now I have fun with it, I pretend I’m carrying an invisible jar containing invisible chocolate, so I must guard it with my life. But seriously, once I opened my mind, body and heart to Tai Chi, it gave me a priceless gift – some pain and stress relief so I could have quality of life. I can dance again. Well, sort of. My version of it.
Remember, getting through one day (for example, Christmas Day) isn’t the same as finding and giving joy each day. What about you dear readers? What are some of the usual or unusual ways you know to relieve stress during the holidays and all the year through (remember this is a more or less family-friendly blog).
Wishing everyone a safe, happy and stress-free (ok, low stress/reduced stress) holiday season: Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! ¡Felices Fiestas! Jie Ri Yu Kuai! Laethanta saoire sona! Happy Hanukkah! Joyous Kwanzaa! Yuletide Greetings! Best wishes for 2020! Joyeux Noël! Let it snow…somewhere else! Feliz Navidad! Seasons Greetings! Happy New Year Joy! Celebrate! Be merry! Shiawasena kyūjitsu! Boas Festas! Li holide eximnandi! Happy Christmas! Happy New Year! Wishing you a latke fun this Hanukkah! Hau’oli Lanui! मेरी क्रिसमस ! Forhe Feiertage! Selamat Hari Raya! Happy Channukah! Joyeuses Fêtes! Prettige Feestdagen! Buone Feste! Trevlig Helg! Jingle All The Way! Happy Holidays from owl of us! Tis the Season! Warmest greetings! Happy Holidays, Mate! It doesn’t matter how you say it as long as it’s said with kindness.
Lazy. Crazy. Whiner.
All in your head.
“Fibromyalgia is just another word for lazy.” yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/31/fibromylagia-is-just-another-word-for-lazy/
And the classic, “But you don’t look sick”.
Feel free to add more.
I think I’ve heard them all…but you never know.
99 Problems and Fibromyalgia (Fibromialgia) is all of them…or at least it makes any problem much much much much worse.
I won’t bore you with all the symptoms:
Extreme, endless fatigue (I’ve never heard, “everyone gets tired”…sigh).
Extreme, endless all-over-body-pain 24/7/365 (“everyone has pain, especially as they get older” – how do you presume to know my pain or anyone else’s pain but yours?).
IBS (Oh joy, love nothing more than talking about my bowels to doctors/family/friends/strangers/readers…”What did you want to be when you grow up?” “Constipated.”).
Depression (tough not to be depressed by all this).
Sleep issues (screw off Alpha waves, no one wants you here).
Mood disorders (maybe my many, many moods are just as ordered as they should be).
Restless leg syndrome.
Anxiety (pick a kind, any kind).
Tender points (misnomer, not tender, excruciating, but trigger points make sense).
Fibrofog (what was I saying?).
Memory and learning problems, like, aah, like, well, there’s Fibrofog (what was I saying?).
Scattered thoughts (dust in the wind, all my thoughts are dust in the wind).
Tingling (not the good kind).
Shakiness (not the good kind).
TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome).
Painful and frequent urination.
You may notice a pattern here, #Pain!
Sharp pain, stabbing pain, dull aching pain, burning pain, throbbing pain (Beavis and Butthead laugh for 5 minutes now about “throbbing”).
Extreme sensitivity to: light, noise, sounds, smells, temperatures, humidity, dryness, changes in the weather (especially extreme heat or cold, fun in Canada, eh).
Also, to tastes, textures (Princess and the Pea was written about someone with Fibromyalia, for sure).
Stiffness (not the fun kind).;
Especially morning stiffness (not the fun kind).
Let’s not forget Allodynia.
Itching (like, bugs-under-your-skin-when-jonesing-kind-of-itching, er, for chocolate, my drug of choice).
Waking up feeling like you’ve been run over by a truck or attacked by a Terminator or zombie (brains?) – We are The Walking Dead.
And don’t even get me started on surviving the Holidaze, er, holidays – Christmas, New Year’s Eve, birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Black Friday (it’s counted as a holiday now, right?), actually I can do CyberMonday, and they’re lined up to take me out for Valentine’s Day…
I could go on and on (really), but you get the point.
What can anyone do to try to help chronic suckage?
Pills/medications (anti this, anti that, pro this, pro that, SSRIs, SNRIs, NSAIDs, PB&J – checking if you were still paying attention, lotions, notions, rubs, gels – not the fun kind – vitamins, supplements, opioids, snake oil, gargoyle oil, and on and on).
Deep breathing (keep breathing).
Tai Chi (saved my life).
Change of diet (I do FODMAP, look it up, you’ll hate it).
Massage (no happy endings).
CBT, CBD, CBC, CBA, COD…
It’s all just fleeting moments of feeling almost human.
And if all wasn’t bad enough, many people assume this invisible disability is and let’s see if I have this right, a conspiracy wherein the medical profession has effectively implemented a fake syndrome just to cater to lazy people (wasn’t that nice of them?). Perfectly reasonable, it’s not as if doctors have anything better to do. Or have reputations and licenses to protect. Or have ethics. What exactly would their motivation be? Why make up an illness, aren’t there already enough? Cancer alone should keep them hopping.
There are many health issues that can not be found through standardized testing, for example: Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s, Autism, Lupus, ADD/ADHD, wheat or gluten ‘sensitivity’, acute back pain, as well as many mental health issues. So they don’t suffer, don’t feel – it’s all some magical conspiracy…
People like to mock. I get that. It’s become a past-time, even a job for some people, especially in the internet age. I also get those same people would want/expect doctors and people to believe them if they were ill, even if there was no standardized testing for their illness.
To the best of my knowledge, there’s no standardized testing for ignorance or stupidity yet either, but I’d buy stocks for that booming business.
I didn’t ask to be ill. Given the choice I’d be “normal”. I certainly didn’t ask to be mocked and harassed because I’m ill. Even if it was just ‘in my head’, shouldn’t anyone with a health issue be treated with dignity and respect? Maybe we need a standardized test for intolerance.
So how do I cope with ongoing agonizing pain, debilitating fatigue and all the other heaping piles of steaming sh*t that comes with Fibromyalgia aka chronic suckage? If you’re a reader of my blog you know, I think laughter is the best medicine. Laughing even if it hurts sometimes still makes me feel better. I go to a happy place like Psych or George Carlin, Seinfeld, Friends, The Office and more. Tons of laughter a day doesn’t keep the doctor away, but it gives me some quality of life.
For example, this was one of my Tweets last week, “When I see a thong in a store all I think is, how would I explain to #EMTs all my multiple injuries were caused by just trying on a thong. Huh. #ThatsHot #thongs“. @yadadarcyyada
I love to share the laughter. If I can make someone smile, laugh, giggle, chortle, spew liquid from their nose, then hey, I feel better. Treatments, medications, family, friends and finding a community that gets you, that understands when you have to cancel plans (again)…
Or you can’t remember, ummm, can’t remember, er, huh…and the only good thing you can say about your day is you’re “above ground”, well, anyway.
Reunited with a fantastic friend from college (we’d lost touch when the dinosaurs died), and get this, we started going to the same Fibro group on the same day, from different cities. I don’t know what they call that, fate, destiny, providence, kismet, but I call it cool and lucky.
Finding ways to help myself by helping others.
The thing is, people are just people – no matter how rich or poor; sick (this is an equal opportunity destroyer) or well; all sizes, shapes and shades; known or unknown – you don’t know what you’re missing if you don’t give people a chance. Some will let you down, disappoint, hurt your brain, your heart, your body, but they’re oddly beneficial, they help us appreciate the good ones even more.
Get out there, in person, online, by phone, text, email, do stuff, I don’t know, play cards, smile, knit, donate (give what you can, including your time and talents), bowl, cuddle, talk, sign, sing, walk, dance, embrace your crapathy https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/05/25/crapathy/ ,
swim, skate, scuba (gate?), especially smile at children, jog, blog, snog (probably not at the same time unless you’re uber talented), ignore, don’t keep score it’s a bore, read, write, compose, doodle, paint, play, bike, hike, “Like”, bake (me a cake? https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/09/16/you-had-me-at-cake/),
listen, learn, love, add to the world, be part of the solution, go out with friends, care, share, spend time with family, get to know people, smile some more (and more and more and more)!!!
Be kind, be thoughtful, be compassionate https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/20/compassion-never-goes-out-of-style/
Consider others, let your mind soar. I can’t say you won’t ever be sorry, some folks are baffling, but on a whole, you’ll be better for it (and they will be too).
Not asking anyone to feel sorry for me (although compassion and empathy are always welcome), just a reminder that everyone has problems, 99 or less, 99 or more, just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there…so don’t be one of those problems.
“You don’t stop
you grow old,
you grow old
when you stop
There isn’t as much laughter as there used to be,
no, I’m completely wrong, there’s just as much, if not more laughter, it just seems less jovial, less fun, more jeering, sneering, mocking; less of a tonic, more of a poison.
We’re in the middle of a Civil War, without the cool uniforms, just about as many guns, more antibiotics and opioids, but with the same unfortunate emphasis on uncivil. I don’t think this will change anytime soon. But in the whimsical winsome wisdom of the surprisingly philosophical show, Blossom:
“Don’t know about the future, that’s anybody’s guess
Ain’t no good reason for getting all depressed
Buy up your pad and pencil, I’ll give you a piece of my mind
In my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine”
(make sure you have sunglasses).
“Opinionation” is right on – nations fueled by opinion and connected by the internet. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/05/19/the-internet-has-spoken/ Many feel out of control (without even the illusion of control), and have inaccurately begun to believe our opinions are truth, that feelings are facts while desperately trying to process more information in a day than we used to get in 10 years…is it any wonder we’re clinging to numbers, theories, gossip, polls, conjunction, speculation, sensationalism.The song, “Murder by Numbers” by The Police keeps popping into my head; or Suicide By Numbers, we’re letting demographics kill our sense of self and poor common sense on a slab somewhere, waiting for the autopsy. Statistical characteristics of human populations, such as age or income, could be used to find out who needs shelter, food, medical attention, instead it’s used mostly to identify markets to sell sell sell (did I mention to sell?). It adds to the distraction and the ‘us versus them’ mentality that is tearing us apart.Death By Demographics is also the title of the final episode of Murder She Wrote, not unironically was cancelled in 1996, due in part to demographics and Angela Lansbury’s boredom after 12 years of playing Jessica Fletcher, either the smartest woman ever or a serial killer who pins crimes on others. It was a time of strange, supernatural, and youth: Friends (How you doin’?) https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/, The X-Files (The Truth Is Out There? https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/10/26/my-big-fat-supernatural-life/), 7th Heaven, The Unabomber was captured, so many were doing the Macarena (and badly), there were heroes and zeroes, Independence Day, Spice Girls (oh no, now I’m humming “Wannabe”), 3rd Rock From The Sun, Tupac died (or did he?), ER, talking about the Superbowl (so much has changed…), Tickle Me Elmo – good thing Fifty Shades (ummm, Happy Valentine’s Day???) wasn’t out then, folks would have lined up to buy Tie Me Up and Tickle Me Elmo https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/12/fifteen-shades-of-valentines-day/ , Seinfeld (What is the deal with that?)…
Demographics feed our fear and anger. Our fear of missing out (FOMO https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/11/08/is-everyone-hanging-out-without-me/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/01/06/im-not-inclined-to-resign-to-maturity/), and our fear/anger of not getting enough or what we “deserve”. Social media is the master class of demographics, people mindlessly drooling over videos, pictures, stories – a viral version of gossip and tabloids, oozing out of your laptop, tablet, desktop, and/or phone.Numbers are definitely the ruling class. The nobles send out the knights to hack our brains, find out what scares us, what tempts us and there it is, ready to by.Even blogging has become all about the numbers, instead of connection. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/02/02/theres-no-crying-in-blogging/Numbers are important, but letting them dictate who we are, what we are, what we do, you have to show some caution. Choices should be made with information, knowledge, facts…anyone remember those?Maybe I’m just looking for answers where there are more questions, I shouldn’t blame numbers, they’re just hanging around, building the universe, what we do with them isn’t their fault; maybe they could even help us remember we’re all in this life together. We’re all in this life together (oops, there goes my Groundhog Day again https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/02/02/groundhog-day/). So stay warm, eat some pancakes https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/17/well-always-have-pancakes/, find out how many weeks of winter are left, love, and keep laughing, but not at each other.
some are living…
In my life I loved them all.
Why do we love when it hurts so much to lose those we love?
How would you answer this question, dear readers?
My answer is as simple and as complex as love itself.
I don’t know for sure, but I think because it feels so amazing to love and be loved, also, we need each other and love connects in a way that nothing else can.
Love and loss haunt me these days.
I decided reading would offer it’s usual distraction.
As I read Love, Rosie aka Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern (Hachette Books), I felt like I was watching a long Friends episode.
Beyond wanting to swat the characters for being such annoying goofs, I was left with a nagging feeling about love and communication and their places in the modern world.
This book and movie adaptation wouldn’t have happened if the two main characters even once had a simple, honest conversation. There, end of book and they lived more or less happily ever after.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it? We can communicate each moment of every day in multiple ways, yet our communication skills seem to be deteriorating. Does non-stop communication help if we’re not telling each other what we really need to know?
Ahern also wrote P.S. I Love You, a funny and poignant book, with the beautiful lesson of going on when you’re ready to go on, how you’re ready to go on, after any kind of loss, but I still liked the movie better – I blame Harry Connick Jr.
I’m sorry, baby, I didn’t mean it. There’s also: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Gerard Butler, and James Marsters. Oops, I’m sorry book, probably should have read you before I saw the movie. The characters didn’t give me what I wanted, I didn’t feel a sincerity or connection, or maybe I was expecting too much.
Love comes into our lives in many ways, family, friends, lovers, partners; to fill, enrich, challenge, sustain, nurture, embrace, excite, thrill, comfort, cherish, and support us.
It also leaves in many ways.
How can love continue to breathe when it’s viciously torn away, crushed, betrayed, taken for granted, withdrawn, or ignored?
Because it once was and in some way, somewhere, will always be.
I lost someone I love very much yesterday.
I really can’t imagine a world without…but I must.
Gone from this world, but forever in my heart.
Which weirdly leads me to Week 4 of my Changes/Happiness Project. I wanted to fall in love again with life, and despite the loss life has repeatedly pummeled me with, I want to keep loving. Here are the first 3 weeks of challenges, if you wish to follow along, or just read about it.
Week 4 (has it really been that long?):
1. Decide on 5 things I’d love to do today and just do them (within the limits of time, budget, circumstances, etc.)
2. New bedtime routine: think of 5 things that went well or I was grateful for today and 5 things to hope for, in days ahead.
3. Write down 10 things I want to change, but think I can’t…try to change them.
4. Avoid the cake stalking me. You give cake a bad name. It’s the power of cake. You’d think that people would have had enough of silly cake songs… Don’t know how much longer I can hold out.
5. Reduce stimuli (mental and physical).
6. Remove a 100 calories per day (chocolate, I still love you, but there’s going to be a shortage of you soon and we have to get used to being apart…ok, that’s long enough.)
7. Construction begins on our street. Allow some time each day to admire the
So why do we love when it hurts so much to lose people?
You don’t turn down the greatest gift in the world just because you can’t keep it forever.
The worst part
about growing old,
Wrinkles – although watching your face
become a road map to your final destination isn’t pleasant;
Creaking joints/aches and pains –
maybe shouldn’t have done that.
Learning more than you ever wanted
to learn about some people – sigh.
Losing your nouns, keys, and even memories –
The worst part is loss.
Some experience loss early and often through life,
others face the inevitable and unenviable state of loss
After losing someone you start thinking about your life
and like most people, I have some regrets.
I regret not seeing a friend was really an enemy
And an enemy was really a friend
I regret harsh words spoken
Cuts that will never mend
I regret not doing what I wanted to do
And doing what I did not want
I regret not being stronger
For being frail when I should have fought
I regret worrying about little things
That only mattered in my head
I regret thinking I knew it all
Using sarcasm to cover pain
I regret turning away from love found
Not recognizing love given
Doing too much
Doing too little
But these are backwards
And do not overwhelm
The smiles I was given
The smiles I received
The love that I treasure
Hope lost and recovered
Yesterday I woke up to different world.
That happens every day, but some days,
some days the changes are horrible.
My best friend of almost 30 years passed away two nights ago.
Rose was sweet, funny, kind, brave, beautiful,
stubborn, strong, talented,
just a wonderful person.
She was always cool, not just cool,
but never judging or cruel.
Here are some pictures of Rose (in the pink she’s dressed for Halloween giving me the what, more pictures look – as much as Rose loved taking pictures she didn’t like having them taken of her; I feel the same).
The others are of her and I in photo booths (remember those, the original selfies). We were young and always did the same pose, I’m in the front, trying to look sophisticated and she’s trying to hide from the camera…I think, who knows, it was a long time ago.
We had some wild times together.
We had long talks and laughs.
We shared our love of music and fun.
She was Godmother to my son.
Always there, always wonderful.
I can’t imagine a world without Rose.
Though my heart is aching,
she will remain there
because she’ll always be my best friend.
I was very lucky to have known her, as was anyone who knew her.
Those who touch our hearts, stay in them forever. Goodbye Rose, sister-in-my-heart,
I hope you’ve gone to rock’n’roll heaven!
I woke up this morning thinking it had all been a bad dream. Then the pain hit me hard enough to almost knock me off my feet.
These are the days I wish I had a time machine to go back,
to change things, to just have more time with those I’ve lost.
Death seems pointless, but it brings things into sharp focus for those left behind. Or it should. It shows clearly what is important and even more so, what isn’t important. We shouldn’t spend time on petty things, narcissism, fear, worry, and hate. We should be loving, giving, caring, and worry less about the material things, they can all be replaced…people cannot.
“Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.”
~Adam Lindsay Gordon
As I age (totally gracefully, of course), I notice an ever-growing Pros and Cons List accumulating in my brain.
I’ve also notice one side of the list is getting much longer than the other.
The Pros (or what we gain as we get older):
More candles on your birthday cake
The Cons (or what we lose as we get older):
Keys and other stuff – although I prefer to think of them as ‘in a safe place’, er, somewhere
Hair – it’s ok, it just migrates to your nose, ears and chin
Ability to ignore distractions
Cells and stem cells lose their luster
The battle with gravity
Nouns – this one is mysterious, you find yourself able to describe the noun in great detail – the thing you wear, in the winter, to keep warm, two sleeves, zippers up…yet somehow in all that, the word ‘coat’ eludes you. It works somewhat better in writing.
Some things make both lists.
Is there anything some of my more ‘age-enabled’ readers have noticed they’ve gained or lost?
To me, age is just a number, one that we should be proud of as it gets higher, hint, hint, it means we’re still living.
Is it sad that society worships youth? Definitely, age has so much to offer, even more if you can enjoy the distinctive and sometimes amusing parts of aging.
The truth is, we’re all happier or sadder at different points in our lives for different reasons. Enjoy each moment, as many as there are.
I’ve got to go, to watch that show, where the guy asks the questions. You know, you have to answer in a question form. It’s been on a long time. I’m sure I’ll do really well, answering the, you know, thingies.
You ruined my life!
My life is ruined!
They’re ruining my life!
People use the word ruin a lot,
I do not think it means
what they think it means.
Your life can be altered,
sometimes in extremely
screwed up royally,
but your life
can’t be ruined…
So what if you:
1. Shared a picture, tweet, post, status update etc. that has offended, disturbed, cost you a job, relationship, friendship, and/or caused massive backlash? Learn from it. People are complex, multidimensional, social media tends to be flat, a moment frozen in time which you have no idea how people are viewing or why, what their filter is, what their life experiences are, etc. It’s so easy to offend on social media, if I haven’t done so already, keep reading, odds are someone will be offended by this.
2. Stayed too long and put too much into trying to save a toxic relationship, whether with a partner, friend, family member? ‘Bad’ relationships can lead to low self-esteem, depression, resentment, fatigue – a waste of time and energy. You’ve got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em, that isn’t just in poker.
3. Ate too much over the holidays? Spent too much over the holidays? Exercised too little? No use beating yourself up, accept responsibility and change.
4. Fell in love and fell hard…with stuff. It’s easy to do, shopping in stores, online, it’s exciting, it’s cool, it’s fun, everyone praises and envies your stuff; like any addiction you can choose what you feed it. Is the gratification worth the consequences?
5. Believed things you heard or read or watched. We’ve all done it, but there’s a lot of bad or just plain wrong information, especially on the internet. Take things with a hefty truckload of salt.
6. Been complacent. You hoped governments and corporations had your best interests at heart. They don’t. They should. But they don’t.
7. Forgot gratitude and took things for granted. I’m sure we’ve all done this, you get comfortable with people, things and you forget – they can all disappear. It’s so easy to accept, expect, and forget to be thankful. Broken record here, but learn from it.
8. Worried too much about what you say or do. Being yourself is so last year and what if you offend someone or they don’t like something you said or did? You can’t please everyone, so unless you’re hurting someone, this too shall pass. If they don’t like you when you’re really you, move on.
9. Gave up on dreams, decided to settle? It may not be too late, at least to have a modified version of those dreams. Keep trying.
10. You’ve fallen and you stayed there…There’s no time limit on getting back up. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, get up, dust off, you’re back!
Here in Canada we have Thanksgiving in October, weeks before Halloween…go figure.
A few things I know and things I’m thankful for, including but not limited to:
1. Happiness can be…a smile, a furry friend, snowflakes dancing against the darkness, absorbing books, family, friends, a movie that makes you laugh and cry, a TV show where you can’t wait for the next episode, a cozy bed, chocolate melting on your tongue, a slow dance, walking in the Fall and more.
2. Those who believe in fate or faith should never look both ways or check an expiry date.
3. Fear is more contagious than any disease and stronger than an army.
4. People make choices. How you feel about those choices or the consequences has little or no bearing. Really.
5. The Earth will still be here in one form or another after we’re gone.6. Everyone has their own window on the world, with it’s own screen. You can’t make someone see through your screen and it’s impossible to see through theirs.
7. You can’t walk away from yourself the way you walk away from other people. If you’re going to stay, play nice.
8. Truth can be painful and can take you places you may not wish to go. Go anyway.
9. Even the most basic beliefs about reality aren’t true alone, our thinking makes them true in our experience. Hopefully this isn’t true about zombies.
10. We forget. Our mind is designed to remember and to forget, but too often we forget when someone has been there for us or not. Don’t forget.
I’m thankful my son makes me laugh and vice versa.
Thankful for family, friends, and virtual friends.
Thankful for things that keep my weary mind amused.
Thankful for what I’ve had, what I’ve lost, what I might have.
Thankful I know enough to be thankful.