Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Making ToDo Lists

I love lists and learned long ago that I am okay with not getting everything done on my To-Do list and that as long as I create one, I typically get much done.

Today's list looks likes this:

- finish posters
- place ads
- clean bathrooms
- laundry
- roast and freeze beets
- make popcorn cake for Award's Night tonight
- clean up veranda flower pots
- make hair appointments for Max and Brent
- run
- write
- meditate
- read
- finish presentation
- be at school at 3:30 to set up for tonight

Although I meditate in the shower and before sleep, I also schedule in a specific one to do because otherwise I may get wrapped up in the todos of my day and neglect to take that time especially for me. I feel the same way about reading and exercise knowing that I function at a high level of gratefulness, if I make time for these.

Are you a list maker?


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Being at Sixes and Nines

I am at 6’s & 9’s today. At least that is what my mama would say, if she were here. I guess she is here, just in a different way. For those not familiar with the saying, it means being undecided. But undecided about what? I can’t quite be sure.
Sixes and Nines actually referred to long or short cigars, back in the wagon wheel days of our early pioneer life. For me, it captures exactly how I am feeling but really does not allow me to delve into what it is that I am so mixed up about. That is what my pen is for.
Today as I sit and write, my mama will have been gone from this earth for seven years now. Even though she left quickly, there was time enough to say good-bye, and for this I am grateful. She had just returned home from a wonderful trip to Ireland with a friend, where she had sat on the flight home for nine hours, with her skinny little legs crossed, reading a book. Upon arriving home, she had a sore leg - deep vein thrombosis had set in and she shot a clot to her brain, through her heart causing her to stroke. But it was the incidental finding of advanced liver cancer that took her life. I say took when in actuality, she gave her life on this earth up. She had many internal struggles and she knew that it was time to be at peace.
However, this is only one part of my mixed up being today – the other part sits in the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton in the form of my very good friend who begins chemotherapy treatment. She has actually won the battle to rid her body of the cancer cells that were invading. The treatment now is to ascertain that it will not return, and I am confident that it will not.
How do you comfort and support a person who has always comforted and supported others? She is not used to having anyone do anything for her, let alone ask them. There are times that I know she feels as if I am treating her like an invalid but that is not my intent nor why I have done, and want to do more, for her. It is because, there was a time when she saved my soul… a time when I was unraveling.  
And so, I will go to the ends of this earth to do anything for her.
Nola, Monica, Me and Kaye

A Letter to My Mama

I miss you.


Friday, October 7, 2011

A Little Gratefulness For Living This Rural Life

There are some drawbacks to living on a country road far from basic services as grocery stores and gas stations, but the benefits cause me to breathe deeply in gratefulness.
Parcels do not arrive easily to this community and businesses usually require a street address before they will take an order. The village is still in the process of developing addresses in this 100-year-old community and so we kind of make them up. I always put my street address as #1 Railway Avenue because there used to be a railway in town with a commercial grain elevator on the street. Couriers could easily spot this landmark and would drop a parcel off there. The arriving whistle of the railway trains are but a memory now and the elevator is a privately used one. However, I continue to use this address name. Sometimes parcels are dropped off at the Snack Shack or the bar but if they are dropped off at the school, the secretary calls me to make sure it is okay to send it home with one of my kidlets, as she certainly would not want to spoil a surprise if it was a gift for one of them.
The school is the heart of our community and it is run like a family, with the older students having to take responsibility for helping the younger ones. All of these young people have the opportunity to learn to be “in-community” early in life.
Yesterday was my daughter Jillian’s last day of school before Thanksgiving weekend and with utmost appreciation and awe, she told me not to make her a lunch that day because the teachers were preparing a Thanksgiving dinner for the students. She told me how excited the teachers were when they told the students about the menu and how much they appreciate these youngsters.
I think that I will take the shortcomings of this wee village, because the advantages overflow in abundance.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Madly Off in All Directions

This Stephen Leacock quote resonates deep within today as I work at sitting down to write. My family and I were away for the weekend and besides laundry, yard work, organizing a new calendar, meditating, running and daily chores, I have my daily writing work to do.
Although I love writing and know that I am a writer, it is hard work for me, always. Like my friend Annie says, “This has nothing to do with any kind of the fictitious creation commonly referred to as writer’s block—there is always a floodgate of thoughts…but simply the effort and discipline required” that can be daunting.
I am a disciplined person in most everything that I do, which causes me to schedule in my writing and at fifty years of age, presently am fortunate to be able to treat writing as a full-time job. I value the friends and relatives that understand this about me, not disturbing me during the day when I am at work. There are some people who have been told and they completely respect this time of mine and yet others who still phone me during my time at work, drop by my home or ask me to run errands for them, because after all, I am at home. One friend suggested that I lock the doors. I smiled warmly because the entryway that houses my cathedral style windows and keeps me bathed in sunlight, where I sit to write, has a front door with windows as well as a back door. I would not be able to hide. And the thing is, I don’t want to hide. I want to be honoured and respected for the work that I am doing. And so I pause to think… why have I invited this in? Am I not honouring someone’s work? I invite you to enter in to this discussion with me about your work be it writing or otherwise.