I have seen many memes posted on Facebook the last while, that reinforce the idea that ”I am busy and so are you, so if you don’t hear from me for while, it isn’t important. We are still close friends.”
Not! Since when did our personal lives and busyness take over from nurturing close relationships?
In what universe do you live, that you believe that you can just remove yourself from an acquantantices life, and then pop back in whenever it is convenient for you and expect that you will be welcomed with joy and acceptantance?
Do you believe that a relationship deserves that kind of ignoring?
Does a husband and wife, or wife and wife or husband and husband accept that sort of ignoring?
Of course not!
And what makes anyone think that a friendship is any different?
Because – it isn’t.
If you aren’t prepared to spend time and energy on working on a relationship – whether it be a couple situation, a relative situation or a friendship, how can you be so self absorbed as to expect that person will be there for you, will be willing to wait for you, until you are ready to get around to contacting them?
No. Any relationship requires commitment, empathy, and involvement.
If you can’t offer that to another, in a relationship of any kind, then you are too selfish to deserve the caring and loyalty and friendship of another human being.
I was in a very bad place in late 1971, and this song was so very appropriate. And still is today.
Isn’t this what you really feel, isn’t this the real feelings that you have? It’s time to stop hiding our feelings and be honest.
HOW PLEASANT it is that always There’s somebody older than you— Someone to pet and caress you, Someone to scold you, too!
Someone to call you a baby, To laugh at you when you’re wise; Someone to care when you’re sorry, To kiss the tears from your eyes;
When life has begun to be weary, And youth to melt like the dew, To know, like the little children Somebody’s older than you.
The path cannot be so lonely, For someone has trod it before; The golden gates are the nearer, That someone stands at the door.
I can think of nothing sadder Than to feel, when days are few, There’s nobody left to lean on, Nobody older than you!
The younger ones may be tender To the feeble steps and slow; But they can’t talk the old times over— Alas, how should they know!
‘Tis a romance to them—a wonder You were ever a child at play; But the dear ones waiting in heaven Know it is all as you say.
I know that the great All-Father Loves us, and the little ones too; Keep only childlike-hearted— Heaven is older than you!
Confused as to where this post is heading? Ha ha. So am I!
I suppose what I really want to say is that as we grow older, I think that most of us tend to become a little more accepting of others – of our differences and the things that we used to vehemently disagree about don’t matter so much.
I like to believe that as we move towards aging and the loss of our faculties -because for many of us it does happen, and stop trying to pretend it isn’t so – we also become less likely to judge others and to find fault.
I chose the photos of lily pads for a reason. As a child, of four or five, I lived in a beautiful and remote part of northern British Columbia, Canada. The farm where I lived had a pond complete with lily pads and frogs.
In those days, I had no idea that people could be cruel, uncaring, or prejudiced. I spend hours at that pond, catching tiny toads, and listening to the frogs and the birds.
The few kids and adults who came and saw that pond liked it. There was never a hint that I might learn about loneliness or hate then.
Perhaps we all have a special place, or at least a special memory of a time, or a person or a place, that made us happy.
As I grow older, I think of that place, and today, all this time past, it makes me happy.
If you feel depressed, or alone, misunderstood, try to think of that place – yes, to risk being trite – of your ”happy place” because so many of us do have them.
If you lack such a special place, take my memories of that beautiful, quiet secluded pond, and make it your own.
Listen to the sounds of the birds chirping in the trees. Hear the croaks of the frogs as they hop from one lily pad to another. Hear the gentle lapping of the nearly still water. Smell the water. There is no algae here, just the soft scent of water and the forest.
There is a fate that awaits us all, hopefully not too soon for most.
But we need our memories and our happy times to get through the years.
Serenity….the hidden pond in an otherwise hectic and often sad world.
I confess to having taken a break from the daily news the last while. I am tired of the coronavirus talk. No, I do not think the virus is a hoax, and yes, I believe it is a threat to us all.
I am tired of the constant reports, though, and just for a bit, I will think of other things.
I stopped watching about the time Black Lives Matter protests began.
In Canada, we have not only had BLM demonstrations, but here we also have an ongoing problem with the way our indigenous people view the current citizens and the way the indigenous people have been treated over the years, since the first fur traders came, and since the explorers arrived.
In this country, the wrongs and injustices are paid for, by the government, in the form of money distributed to our indigenous people, for things like land claims and the treatment they say they received in the government run residential schools.
I believe – I hope – that our black population has been respected more here, than elsewhere in the world.
I know that there is a lot of animosity towards the immigrants of today, and the refugees arriving in Canada.
I wonder, though, when does the hate and the resentment and the anger at the ”new people” arriving in the country, stop?
So, I have a couple of things I want to say.
First, for the indigenous population, the people who live in Canada today have nothing to do with the explorers, fur traders and settlers that came here and became a part of the country.
So, isn’t it time we, the descendants, can stop having to pay for the ”sins” of our fathers?
Throughout history, the urge to explore has been a fact.
How far back are we supposed to go, before the ”real” people of this country can say that ”they” are the rightful inhabitants?
I think it is very easy to fall into the trap of blaming others for everything that one dislikes about life today.
That doesn’t make it right.
We hear a very one sided story, when it comes to the way Canadians settled in this land.
There were many martyrs, thanks to the indigenous people attacking and torturing the priests who came to spread the message of God’s love.
We don’t ever talk about or hear about that today.
Injustice towards anyone, towards any group of people breaks my heart.
The things that have been reported in the USA about the treatment of black people, is horrendous.
It is wrong. No question.
I think it is time to do this.
Stop expecting money to solve the problems of history.
Stop asking for apologies for things our long dead ancestors did in Canada.
How about this?
Instead of expecting money to solve injustice, we begin a new approach.
Let’s learn to live together. Let’s respect each other.
Let’s – dare I say it – let’s Forgive.
Psychiatrists and psychologists will tell you that an important step in gaining freedom from the past is to accept and to forgive.
It is a concept that seems to have been forgotten today.
We – all of us – need to strive for inner peace. Money and possessions won’t do it.
Let’s all try to stop hating and blaming others.
We need to learn how to live in this world, in harmony with others.
Instead of placing blame, calling names and trying to rewrite the past by destroying history – defacing and tearing down statues – let’s all face the future, together, in a spirit of brotherhood.
Forgiveness does not mean anyone has to stop working for change.
It is a freeing of the spirit, so that great things may be dreamed of and accomplished.
We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
I hope you have all weathered through the past several months, since the quarantine and the coronavirus issue. I really did mean to post sooner!
I will tell you that I have cleaned, and sorted and got rid of a lot of unnecessary things, all because I had the time to do it.
If you haven’t done so, don’t feel bad. We all needed to take our own time to get through this change in our lives.
Are you doing okay? I hope so.
We will get through this. Because, we have no choice, do we?
I hope that you will wear a mask when you are in places that require you to be closer to others than the requisite six feet. Think of our vulnerable – the elderly, the immuno-compromised.
My concern today is not with coronavirus only, but with the very frightening – to me at least – apparent change in society of late.
There appears to be a rise in the idea that ”experts” no matter whether in the health field, science or governing organizations, are held in contempt and not respected. We have lost our respect for all of those, including those first responders, that used to be held in such high regard – and now it is the individual, the self, the personal beliefs and opinions that are apparently the only one that counts.
How did this happen? I wish I knew.
Since when did you, as a citizen, become more knowledgeable about things than those who have dedicated their lives to learning and developing expertise in a given area?
What made this world view change so drastically?
Since when do naturopaths and chiropractors deserve the respect and honour that medical doctors with years of training used to have?
Has anyone ever researched where these so called health professionals have learned their trade?
Since when did ”your gut feelings” mean a darn thing?
Is a gut feeling some sort of magic, that appears out of nowhere, because you are suddenly enlightened?
Belief in magic, in pseudoscience, in some wild conspiracy that is bent on removing our basic freedoms is mentally deranged.
Yes, I said it.
I long for the days when science and reason was paramount. When people respected our police, our emergency workers, our health care personnel and science.
I wish that I had a magic answer for the craziness that has taken over the world of late.
I do not.
I plead for our future, for our children and for our way of life, that you, as an individual will stop putting yourself in such a egotistical frame of mind, that you think you know better than the experts.
So if you must, go ahead and fly and go right ahead and take over the controls of the plane – see the photo at the beginning of this post – but don’t think that I will fly with you.
All the world is in the throes of coronavirus right now.
We have had to withdraw from the world in many ways – from the workplace, from shopping malls, and from friends and family members.
I know that it is hard for many of you. I understand that.
As an introvert, and a widow, I cannot say that my life has changed all that much – some, but not completely.
I plan to offer some suggestions of things that you can do, to alleviate stress and boredom in the next post.
For now, though, I want to remind you of the blessings of having to be at home.
You don’t have to get dressed in the morning! You don’t need to put on make up and face another day, of presenting a front to others, in order to get through the day.
You may have children at home, and yes, they do require time and lots of energy – but don’t expect that you have to fill every minute of the day with activity. Let them be! Whether they play with toys, watch some TV or use a computer or game machine, let them be kids.
You can take the time to make a dinner. Whether you are an experienced cook, or not, you can find plenty of recipes online and create foods that the family will love. Maybe not everyday – but sometimes.
If you are part of a couple – you have time now, to really get to know each other. Share your hopes and your dreams. Watch a movie together.
And – if you feel hemmed in, claustrophobic, want to just have life again the way it used to be – think of this –
You are helping to save lives. You are helping our health care workers. Do your part.
Finally, it could be WORSE.
The photos at the top of this page are from the area west of Innisfail, Alberta, Canada.
Those buildings are on land where my mother, born in 1914, grew up.
The significance of this is that when she was four years old, there was a pandemic. It became known as the Spanish flu.
”… Lasting from January 1918 to December 1920, it infected 500 million people – about a quarter of the world’s population at the time….The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million… to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history”… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu
Just think of this: when she was four years old, with an older sister and two younger sisters, she and her Finnish mother and Danish father were cut off from everything while living on this farm.
There was no internet. No telephone. No television. Not even a radio. No electricity. No running water.
Looks like someone could be drowning. Maybe not. Might just be swimming. Hard to say. Don’t really know.
Thing is, there might be a lifeguard somewhere, just out of this scene. He/she might be, even now, swimming towards this person, to rescue them. Maybe. Maybe not.
Today, each of us has an opportunity to be a lifeguard. Oh, not in the usual way. I don’t mean that we can all go to a beach somewhere and save lives.
Instead, we can *stay home*. Either, in some countries, right this minute, because we aren’t allowed to go anywhere else, or because we are encouraged to stay at home.
Away from crowds, away from other people – six feet – 2 meters – apart.
You don’t want to be the water that drowns someone, now do you?
Of course you don’t.
For that reason, you and everybody else, is going to listen to the leaders, to the news on television and do what is best for the neighbourhood, for the country – for others in this world. You will do it for the front line workers. Medical staff, truckers bringing our necessary supplies, postal workers delivering our mail and packages, food service and delivery people.
For the elderly, for those at risk due to health issues, for the vulnerable among us.
All of them.
Because we live in a society that tells us we matter. Not just each of us as individuals, but as part of a community, part of the earth.
Valentine’s Day. Is it celebrated where you live? What did you do today in honor of this day?
It’s really a day for lovers, I suppose, at least traditionally.
A significant other is not necessary, though, so if you are a singleton, you can still have a part in the sentiments of the day.
Love is many things. It can indeed mean the romantic kind of love between two people. It can also be the love a mother feels for her child. The love of a pet owner for a pet. Even the love of family or the love of a special activity or a treasured item. It can be the love someone feels for their Creator and God.
Don’t feel left out, if you are alone today.
Think about the loves in your life and feel blessed, because you probably are, in one way or another.
I have been MIA for a very long time! That might change in the new year.
I got stalled while writing my life story, and just never had the impetus to get back to it. Perhaps, with a new year dawning, and a more removed perspective, I can continue. I will try. It is not easy, but then, little of any value often is.
I have chosen a title, “Make That Loaf” for a reason. When my husband died, in 2017, I decided that I would dispose of my bread maker. After all, it was he who loved bread, and what did I need with a whole loaf, ever?
Times change. I have begun eating more bread, granted the kind bought in stores, that has all the extra good ingredients like whole grains and seeds.
I have rethought my choices, and maybe – just maybe – I will make a loaf of bread now and then. I can always freeze some or give some to my neighbour.
So, I suppose my message is, don’t make a decision too quickly – and
be willing to be open to change.
Second of all, don’t put off the things that matter.
If my husband and I had not gone to the USA, to Idaho and to Washington State, in the late 1990’s, if we had not travelled to Denmark and Germany in 2007, if we had not gone to England and Wales in 2011, we would not have *had time*. My husband became ill, and travel was out of the question by 2015.
So, like the meme I have seen on Facebook, eat that cake, buy the shoes, go on that trip.
Because…you just never know…..
Blessings and good wishes to any of you who have read this, and may the new year bring all your dreams to fruition.