Binge watching “This is Us” on Netflix with a bowl of ice-cream and a box of kleenex next to me is not conducive to getting on with the task of living, but I allow myself these moments as long as I move on to something a little more productive at some point. I classify these times as mental health days. Some folks may breeze through life never stopping long enough to consider whether or not they have any issues (if you are one of those people, please leave a comment below and tell me your secret) but I suspect everyone has, at the very least, a few of these interludes in their lifetime.
Living alone makes it very easy to wake up and decide to stay right where you are instead of jumping out of bed and facing the day. I know I put my best foot forward when people are around. Celebrating Thanksgiving (Canadian) with my kids was wonderful, reminiscent of happier times. Baking pies and preparing food was like a cosy blanket over my soul. I doubt I will ever achieve the same sense of satisfaction doing anything else in my life. Each of my adult children is so different, but they come together and share the day. I sincerely hope they do it because they enjoy it and not just out of a sense of duty. I know I relish each moment we are all in the same room, and, believe me, in my tiny apartment, we are. Ryan, Kaylee, Keith, Rebekah, Matthew, Sabella, Mark, Hope, Scott, Hannah and I all squeezed into this little place. No upstairs or basement, just my living room/dining room. Well, I guess you could hang out in my bedroom if you wanted to.
Unfortunately, Bethany and Devon couldn’t make it out from Victoria, but Hannah and Scott did. Bethany and Devon will be here at Christmas, along with Scott and Hannah. Family is so important to me. Growing up, it didn’t mean that much due to how I was raised, but I’m so grateful for what it has become.
Travelling to Costa Rica with my brother was interesting. I’m pretty sure he is the only one who could have managed to get me dancing in the street to a reggae band. The rest of the crowd was about forty years younger than us, but they just stood around. Their loss! It may have had a bit to do with the bottle of wine we shared at dinner and the mojito I had after, but it really was liberating. I have not danced much in the past four decades though, in my youth, I was always up dancing, even if it meant dancing alone. In fact, I might even dance today! It is such an uplifting, positive thing to do. I wonder if there is a dance club for old folks in Calgary……
I got my underwater photos from the coral reef in Costa Rica back this week. Yeah, I don’t think I’ll bother with one of those disposable cameras for underwater photography again. Of course, it was likely more to do with my inability to operate it properly underwater than the camera itself. My son, Matthew, used one in Hawaii and had some great shots. Alas, I didn’t.
I told you I would let you know how I liked the Ocean Reef Aria Full Face Snorkel Mask for snorkelling. It was so much easier to snorkel with than a separate mask and snorkel. No chance of me losing my dentures! The coral reef around Puerto Viejo was old and so there wasn’t much live coral, but I did see several colourful fish. My brother, however, has snorkelled at the Great Barrier Reef, so he was a bit underwhelmed. I get such a kick out of seeing what is below the surface, even if it isn’t much.
The lens I took with me, my new Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD, has been my go-to lens in most instances, but I do feel that the images I get are not quite as sharp as with my 18-55mm or 55-200mm Nikkor lenses. I would have missed a lot of shots without it, so I do love the versatility of it, but there is a bit of a sacrifice in quality, in my humble opinion.
I spent the weekend with my best friend. She came into town to visit and stayed overnight. I do definitely need to be around people more. Kathy is very kind. She has to be, she has put up with me for almost forty years. And even now, she remains true despite my shameful descent into the slough of despond. I think I would be embarrassed to have a friend like me. Reflecting on the past year, regurgitating my visceral pain for all to see, I’m somewhat mortified. Time to pick myself up and put all those shattered emotions back into Pandora’s box. I did know if I opened it I was in for a roller coaster ride. Focussing on oneself for too long is not healthy. I have faced my demons. I don’t like them. They can leave me now.
I look forward to diving into learning how to help others and putting that into practice. There is nothing wrong with wanting to serve others. I served my family well but they no longer need me. I may be a poor example of an independent woman but I am who I am. I am a woman and a nurturer and content to be so.