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Musings of a lowly pilgrim
Life lessons | Mental Health | Travel | Travelling with my cat

Tantrums to Tranquility

August 4, 2018
Johnston Canyon

I had this vision the other day of God observing me, like a parent observing a child, and thinking, “There she goes again, having a little tantrum because things aren’t going her way.”

Yup, that’s me, screaming away, stamping my feet, because things aren’t falling into my lap and I might just have to work at getting my life on back on track. Anything worth having requires work. I know that. I have worked hard all of my life until now. I just have to believe that I am worth the effort.

Sunnyside, Calgary
Sunnyside, Calgary

I have absolutely no problem doing things for others. That is how I have lived my life. I’m not trying to sound like a martyr, I’m definitely not that, but I have worked for my family, and that always gave me such joy. I was where I was supposed to be, doing what I was created to do. When I cared for my family I was caring for my own soul. Now I am left with me and I just don’t care that much about me……..except for when I do. Then I start dragging up all my faults, weaknesses and disappointments. My question is this:

What does a mother do with no children to care for and what does a wife do with no husband? I once had this idea that, in my later years, I would be able to relax and enjoy the fruits of my labour. I’m still floundering, racking my brain to find a way to survive the next thirty years of my life, should I live that long.

I am exhausted. I don’t sleep well. Regardless, I just have to get things together. I did actually consider becoming a nun because then I wouldn’t have to worry about my future. Go ahead, laugh. I do have some pretty crazy ideas at times.

I have a growing respect for those who live alone. Frankly, I don’t know how you do it. Coming home to where my brain is on a rollercoaster, the drop of doom and dodgem cars all at the same time doesn’t make for a tranquil existence. And then there is the motivation. I think I’m basically a supremely lazy person. Never did I have trouble with motivation with a house full of children. There was always something to do and I had no difficulty in getting it done. Now, though my to-do list is ever growing, if I didn’t need to get up to eat or go to the bathroom, some days I’d much rather stay tucked away in my bed. Pretty disgraceful, I know.

Things are looking up, though. I have lots to do this month with several trips just around the corner. Some of my children are making the trip to Saskatoon with me this month to listen to Jordan Peterson give a talk on his latest book, “12 Rules for Life”. I have barely begun this book, but I sure have heard a lot of conflicting opinions about this man. My curiosity is piqued.

After that, I will be driving to Grand Forks, B.C. for a wedding. I’m really looking forward to that drive. I won’t be driving my motorhome as it is in the shop for repairs, but Nerah will be coming with me. I’m sure she will enjoy getting out of our tiny apartment. And, then there is the BIG trip at the end of the month to Costa Rica. I think, more than anything, I will enjoy spending time with another human, my brother, who is joining me from Scotland.

Sweet Nerah

I’m still struggling with meditation. I’m not able to focus. My mind just doesn’t stop. But I keep doing it in the hope that eventually I’ll get the hang of it. My eyes leak every time, but I think that’s a good thing. If that’s the way my anguish exits my body, then keep on leaking.

I can’t say that I’m feeling a whole lot better physically from this diet change, but I have lost some weight. Only 12 more days to go! The idea is that after 30 days I won’t want to go back to eating sugar or French fries. I don’t see that happening, but I have learned a lot of new recipes that I enjoy. This is a sugar-free, gluten-free diet. I have made it dairy-free as well, and, of course, meat-free. I’m probably going to eat a chocolate bar when I’m done! That’s what I usually do when I come to the end of a fast or cleanse. And then I’ll have a glass of wine to toast my success. But I will try to keep eating healthy at 2-3 hour intervals instead of starving myself all day and bingeing at night. It seems to work for weight loss and keeping cravings at bay. I don’t miss any of the things I usually eat or drink, not even English tea. I just know I would still like to eat some fun things, like Skor bars and kettle chips, toast and ginger marmalade, bran muffins, sorbet, Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, caramel corn………I better stop that now!

Statues in Fish Creek Park
Statues in Fish Creek Park

I took my little boy, Keaton, to Fish Creek Park this week. We really have a lot to be grateful for, living in Calgary. While I’m not crazy about living in such a large city, there are so many lovely parks to visit and spend the day in. A person can lose themselves in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, right in the centre of the city. (Just had to run and get myself a little snack, hummus and veggies. All that food talk got my gastric juices flowing.) One day this week, to my amazement, I spotted a shepherd on his/her mount, herding some goats, just off Deerfoot Trail, one of the busiest highways through our fair city. I had to stop and snap a few pictures. While I was stopped, there before me were two deer. It is at times like these that my heart takes flight. (Unfortunately, I have misplaced the SD card with the pictures on it.)

Squirrel in Fish Creek Park
Squirrel in Fish Creek Park

Most of my family came over last weekend for a little get-together because my youngest, Hannah, is off to the coast with her boyfriend. They are both continuing their studies at UVic (University of Victoria). I’m going to miss them. My daughter, Bethany, lives out there with her husband, who is also attending UVic in the fall. It was nice to have everyone over, but a little cramped in my wee apartment.

Sweet Sabella and her daddy
Sweet Sabella and her daddy








I had an appointment this week to have my legs sugared at SugarMe Body Sugaring. I haven’t had that done since I left last year, but decided to go for it. The practitioner/owner, Heather, is a wonderful lady. Although she has more business than she needs, I would highly recommend her for all your body sugaring needs. Anyway, being somewhat starved for conversation, I managed to share a good deal of my journey in the time I was there. That lady should be a therapist. She analyzed my dilemma and sent me on my way, encouraged and feeling so much better about myself. Though I have never held much stock in others’ opinions of me, (if I don’t feel it myself, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else says) I felt valued because she actually offered to train me to work for her. I had to think there must be something about me she found worthy of investing in. Maybe I should have paid her the $160 an hour rate that therapists typically charge here in Calgary!  She definitely earned it.

Which brings me to something else, self-worth in connection with who I am as opposed to what I do. But I will leave that for another day. No tranquility yet, but I am hopeful. Floating down the Bow River on a raft today with my bestie should conjure up some.

  1. Tina, we were raised to be servants for our mother, who neglected us, which is why we are good at looking after other people but don’t know how to look after ourselves. We were never given any positive feedback so we don’t know how to accept it to this day, and don’t believe we are valuable unless we are working for others, not ourselves. We were raised by two pretty screwed-up people (who both had abusive parents) so it’s no wonder we are having so much trouble dealing with life (and death). But we’re still alive and kicking ………………..

  2. lol I can see where the nun idea would be tempting.
    You know, I totally get the motivation thing, Tina. I always felt like I was a very motivated person and I was, while I was working and had to squeeze everything else in around it. Since I retired I’ve had a heck of a time getting motivated. I’m STILL struggling with it. I do know that if I have morning activities or errands planned it gets me going and then the rest of the day just follows along from there without me having to force myself. I know you mentioned that you have difficulty with meditation (me too) but what about early morning yoga classes to both get you going and provide you with meditation-like time? I see you mentioned naked yoga in your next blog so I guess it is something you have thought about.

    1. Yes, morning activities get me on track as well, even if only for a few hours until I have used up what little energy I have after a night of disrupted sleep. Then I need a nap. I plan on becoming more involved with activities that will get me up and moving once I am back from Costa Rica. At present, I have plenty happening that is forcing me to make good use of my time, so that is definitely a positive. The more I do, the less time I have to feel sorry for myself, though I still manage to make time for that! Glad to know I’m not alone in my struggles. I do believe there is a whole generation of people facing these same difficulties.

  3. Tina, thank you for the kind words. It is always such a pleasure to see you and catch up when you come in for sugaring. You have so many gifts and talents to offer, it would be my privilege if I ever got the opportunity to work with you. You are a sweet and kind soul.
    Here’s to hope and gratitude ❤️

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