Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Return of the Duck

I’ve been busy. I work full time, I’m a mom, wife, daughter and sister. I practice my archery skills at our local range, I go on power walks rain or shine, I’m an amateur photographer and I knit. I live in a place where I am fortunate to have the freedom and the means to do what I want, when I want. I live in a beautiful part of the world where the wonders of nature never cease to amaze me. I truly don’t take what Mother Nature has given me for granted and I know our weather is what draws many to live here. On the West Coast of British Columbia, specifically Vancouver Island, we live in what is considered a tropical rainforest.

Yes, rainforest. The word alone sounds so....remote and tropical. So ‘Amazon’ – the place, not the online never-ending shopping experience. True we don’t have monkeys swinging from vines, and we don’t have snakes, lizards and creatures more colourful and fascinating than anything a west coast girl like me could ever imagine. Sure we have flowers, but nothing big and grand like what you would find deep in the Amazonian jungle. Our flowers have their own beauty and uniqueness – size doesn’t matter. And sure we have birds not found anywhere else – every country has their own unique animals, after all. Parrots and other birds with colours beyond imagine are kept in cages here – in the jungles afar they fly free by the dozens.

And now that summer is over and fall is upon us, the rains have started. But up until this point, we haven’t had a lot of rain. In fact, even a week ago I was outside in a t-shirt at the archery range, and I was wishing I had on shorts. Some of the local ponds had yet to fill, and we knew that it wouldn’t be long until they DID fill with water to overflowing, bringing joy and home to many local creatures.


Mallard ducks.

The females are brown and considered ‘boring’ while the males are in dark blues and greens - again, seemingly boring – or so as compared to those vibrantly coloured parrots and flowers in the jungles far away.

But they are OUR tropical birds we so greatly love. The rains that come for what feels like 40 days and 40 nights bring the ducks in rafts. Yes, a group of ducks paddling around in a pond is called a raft, where when in flight the group is called a flock.

But no rafts are needed for these guys. Their little webbed feet keep them going. They mate for life, and support each other. They return every year to the same place to nest and breed, and the spring heralds fuzzy little chicks that we humans happily protect. A busy highway will come to a standstill to let a little family cross, and firemen and police will go to great lengths to save a little waddler trapped down a drain. People flock to the ponds armed with duck food (bread is bad, dontcha know!) and cameras click faster than the ducks can eat.

And I’m one of them.

I will never tire of the little beings of our own rainforest. They quack, waddle, flap and paddle all day – sometimes I feel as if only for my entertainment and enjoyment. Like I said, I've been busy - I always AM busy - but these guys force me to slow down and take a moment to just be. I never tire of them, and I have countless photos of them. Some might think of the ducks ‘Heck – you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, right?’ Na – not for me. I love the little guys – and gals.
So as the heavy autumn rains have finally come back to us – non-stop for the last 24 hours as I write this – I know it means one thing. Ducks. The pond at the nature conservatory near my house has been rather dry these last months. I saw a poor excuse of a muddy puddle that had formed there the other day with two ducks mucking about. Were they desperate to make it more than it really was or happy with what they had? I think the later. Because they didn’t care – they still mucked about, happy with what they had.

As the forecast calls for more and more rain over the next while – and the forecasters sure weren’t wrong this time – all I can think about is ‘FINALLY, the ducks will be back for a good while!’ I am currently charging my camera batteries so my camera is ready for the next break in the clouds. I have spent countless hours at the pond taking photo after photo of our rainforest birds. To anyone else it’s ‘just another duck photo.’ To me, the photos are a treasure – a keepsake – a reminder of what to remember. The ducks are a never-ending source of joy and entertainment. They are MY parrots of MY rainforest.

They remind me to find and keep the joy in the little things, no matter how small - how seemingly insignificant. Sure the ducks aren’t grand parrots of colour and variety aplenty. And sure around here the ducks are a dime a dozen. But I can lie in bed listening to the rain, and hear the ducks at the pond down the street singing their swan song (that likely doesn’t make sense, but I don’t care) and know how lucky I am to have these little creatures within arm’s reach to entertain me. I don’t have to travel to jungles afar to enjoy these unique and special little creatures who waddle down the path making me laugh.

And I remember that a silly little mud puddle to one person means the world to another. We are all just ducks in this great big pond. We have to keep swimming, we have to keep waddling, and eventually we’ll get there simply by being ourselves and enjoying what we have.


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Bats, Elephants and Nuts - Oh My!

I have a deep love, passion and obsession of good luck charms and tokens. I love them all – religious and otherwise - but I know there are many I'm unaware of. Which is just as well because if given half the chance I'd be dragging a travel suitcase with me everywhere for all the good luck charms sure to cast spells of good fortune over every reason, need and circumstance.

So when a friend was preparing to compete in a very big archery tournament overseas – archers are BIG on good luck charms, mantras and routines – I set about researching for what would be best good luck charm I could give. I needed something appropriate to the person and the situation. I honestly didn’t know if my intentions would be well received, so I kept it simple, light and not too ‘woo-woo’.

So I switched on The Google and my fingers flew over the keyboard determined to help me on my quest. What could POSSIBLY be appropriate? St. Sebastian is the patron saint of archers, but given I was unsure of religious views I opted to stay away from any charms bearing poor St. Sebastian. Plus, despite being the patron saint to archer’s, St. Sebastian's story is very sad so I didn’t want to do the reverse and jinx my friend (yes, I was superstitiously reverse-overthinking). You can read about poor St. Sebastian’s story here.

I continued wading through The Google. How about a rabbit’s foot? Nope - very politically incorrect. A red bat? Chinese culture believes them to ward-off evil. Nope - too gothic-looking, plus what if he got bit by one and got rabies?

I typed on…

An egg wouldn’t do. Carrying a raw egg around the world would be a bit tricky, plus given the egg is a sign of fertility and rebirth I don’t think my young friend is in the market for having kids at 50-something years-old. AH! An elephant! That’s it! Elephants are symbols of wisdom and longevity, are removers of obstacles and bringers of luck! But alas no, that wouldn’t work either; too big to carry in a suitcase.

And then I found it - a tiny, easy-to-tuck-in-a-pocket lucky charm.

An acorn.

In English tradition, an acorn is thought to bring luck, prosperity, youthfulness and power. The history and lore behind this tiny gem had me intrigued. From witches to magic to myths and lore, I instantly fell in love with the potential of luck this tiny little nut possesses! Great things DO come in small packages! This article pretty much sums it up.)

I turned off The Google and was on an immediate quest to find an acorn. We live in a part of the world rich in oak trees so I knew they wouldn’t be hard to find. But as I suspected it was a tad early in the season for them to be in ‘season’ so I was a bit worried I wouldn't find one….

BUT as luck would have it, I found one. Sure it was a bit on the tiny side – autumn in the next few months would yield a greater harvest of the little gems - but I needed one NOW and the small-ish one I found would have to do.

A week later I presented the lucky nut to my friend, along with my lucky penny and a rock from our archery range intended to be a token of support from home. I know my friend's vast archery skills and experience will go farther in the tournament than any luck a nut can give, but I figure we all need every little bit of help we can get.

So this autumn when you sweep your sidewalk of those little brown nuts with their cute looking beret-like hats, think twice and slip one in your pocket. You never know where it will take you. I know of one little nut that’s gonna go far and (hopefully) do someone a world of good.

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Another Writing Self-help Story

I recently took a needed hiatus from my writing – self-induced yet situational. I couldn’t write and I needed to step back. Other things took my focus away – family, life stress, etc – and what I needed to do was turn my attention to something completely different and out of the norm for me.


Writing is and has never been far from my soul, but given that various personal factors were consuming my mind and heart, nothing was making sense. Nothing worked. Words jumbled. Emotions blurred. Fingers froze. I wanted to write. I needed to write. I knew that if I simply wrote something, ANYTHING, that that would be the answer. Sure occasionally I had a few moments of clarity and inspiration, and a first chapter would be written, a few plots fleshed out, and a few ideas entertained and written down.

But I never got further than those false starts, idea jotting, plot scheming. But, I kept telling myself, at least I still have the desire, the passion, and the want.

It just wasn’t the right time for me.

But still guilt consumed my soul; self-doubt made me nauseous. Was I now a has-been? Was I washed up? Was the writer I was before a total sham? Was I a fraud? Was that life I had over?

Yet, the desire, passion and want – never mind all the plot scheming, idea generating, and false starts – never left me. All that guilt, self-doubt and nausea was a mere second to the passion, desire and want that I knew was still there. I just needed to NOT write for a while. I had to give myself permission to NOT write. I had to allow myself to let go of the guilt, ignore the self-doubt, and simply take a Gravol for the nausea.

Because deep down I knew I was a writer and always would be a writer. Maybe I was in a writer’s mid-life crisis, I don’t know. And I know even as I write this, I’m still not there, and I have to keep pushing away the guilt-laden mantra ‘you’re only a ‘writer’ if you’re writing.’
Well – screw the mantra.

I would write when the time was right, and when I was ready. When I had sorted through my SELF and when I knew it would feel right. I kept pushing myself – flogging a dead horse, as it were – and trying for something that wasn’t meant to be AT THAT TIME. And the more I pushed for something that wasn’t there – that wasn’t meant to be – the worse it got.

I didn’t need anyone else’s idea of what a writer is ‘supposed to be’ to define who I know I am.

A writer.

So back to the archery.

With all that was going on in my life, I had a focus – something bigger than me, something different than me, and something beyond me – and that was archery. It could have been pickle ball, curling, bowling, or cricket – I don’t think it would have mattered. But archery has become something bigger than I had ever imagined for myself. It has been something that has kept me active and moving. Something that has kept me moving forward and not back. You HAVE to erase all that is bugging you at the time in the moment of each shot. The sport has had me toughening up mentally – it truly IS a game of mental strength – and has had me learning how to deal with highs, lows, competition and intimidation. But most of all, I have had to learn to get out of my own head - get out of my own way. Because recently I learned I was my own worst enemy. No snotty competitor, no ‘big shot’ who would try to cut me down because I’m a girl (happens everywhere), and no injury could truly bring me down. Only allowing any of those to get into my head would bring me down, and that would be my fault if I let them in, not theirs. I had to learn that I was responsible for letting people or situations get in my own way. I had to get stronger and tougher. I had to remember that during times of weakness that I was so much more than the guy or girl who could try to knock me down - and most of the time that girl was me.

And that doesn’t just apply to archery.

I realized recently that I was responsible for letting things get to me. People or situations, stress or sadness, could not rule me. I had accomplished so much – in life, in my writing, in my little archery ‘career’ that was only in its infancy – so why would I let little things get into my head?

As I write this – see? I AM writing – my archery club has started a 13-week tournament were registrants from across Canada sign up and each week your score is submitted and tallied against others in your respective category. At the end of the 13 weeks, your top 6 scores get averaged, and a winner in each category is announced.

I won gold last year.

I won gold despite during the whole 13 weeks I was a stressed out wreck. Truly. But I get like that. I overthink, I over-do, I over-worry. It’s supposed to be fun! It’s supposed to be engaging! Why was I acting and feeling like a freak?

But of course, I got in my own way.

Back-track for a moment to the Spring where I went to a national championship in Maple Ridge. It was my goal to go – just to know, for ME, that I had done that. I had no hopes of winning anything – I was up against big shots – but I wanted to know for MYSELF that I had done that. And despite sitting in the parking lot of the range crying after practice the first day there – I was overwhelmed, felt like a fool and felt like I was way beyond in-over-my-head – I forged on in 32degree temperatures with non-existent mascara that had melted away in the heat and came in fourth.

And I sang the whole way home in the car knowing I had done that. I. HAD. DONE. THAT.

Little old me.

So fast forward to the beginning of January and that 13-week tournament. I’m not cocky, nor over-confident, but I was secure in the knowledge that I could do this – look at all I had accomplished! – and I had the experience both technically and mentally to do things like this.
The first day I was calm. No problem. I can do this. I was prepared for a few false starts, which is natural, and the slate was clean – last year’s gold meant nothing now. I had to just do what I could do NOW.

And of course, I lost it. I stressed, shook, sweated and near-barfed. I got myself so psyched out for no reason. I let other competitors get into my head. My equipment went wonky. I had cramps. Outside life stresses weighed me down.

And my first scores were horrid.

And my second scores were horrid.

I lost sleep.

My heart raced.

I couldn’t shake it off the panicking, all-consuming feelings that made my heart race and my spit dry up.

I had to get my mental game on and I couldn’t.


But then........

I fell back on what I knew how to do, and what WOULD help.


I didn’t write about this immediate tournament, I wrote about that national championship that I had done.

Chicken Soup for the Soul recently had a call for submissions for an upcoming book ‘The Empowered Woman.’ True, I hadn’t been ‘writing’ lately, but as I said above writing was never far from my mind. I knew I wanted to do a story for this book, but was hesitant – how could I empower others if I, frankly, wasn’t exactly feeling very empowered? What kind of a sham would I be even entertaining writing a story for them on this topic give my constant state of self-doubt?

But I knew – or at least hoped – that maybe my perseverance and accomplishment of my goal of competing in that national championship MIGHT hopefully inspire someone. I hoped that my own sense of empowerment, independence and confidence gained from competing in that tournament might help someone to do something beyond their insecurities.

I knew the deadline was sometime in January, so I had to be quick. I knew I had write about what I had done during that national competition to not only help someone else (if they published it), but mostly I had to write about it to for myself. I had to remember what I CAN do, would I COULD do, and what I HAD achieved. If I was going to get through these 13 weeks, I had to get out of my way and remember a mantra I had come up with after that national tournament – ‘If I can do THAT, I can do anything!’

So I wrote about the experience – and finished it in a day. I wrote SOMETHING and FINISHED it! Writing gave me perspective. It was cathartic.

It was empowering.

It was timely.

And it was only after I finished and patted myself on the back did I think ‘gee, I better go check on the deadline for that.’

I wrote it on January 9.

The deadline was January 10th.


Well if that wasn’t meant to be, I don’t know what was....

The act of writing my accomplishment – which was both self-serving and hopefully an inspiration to someone else – along with other mental strengthening tactics I acquired, I settled myself down and have, as of today, competed twice more in the 13-week tournament CALMLY and without self-doubt. Without negative thought. I refuse to feel that stress again – this is supposed to be fun! – and I refuse to let anyone get into my head – especially if that someone is me. My last two scores were better than I had ever imagined – but it wasn’t about the scores. It was about me getting out of my own way – out of my own head.

All I had to do was write.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Since I've Been Gone...

Kelly Clarkson has a fabulous toe-tapping, in-the-car-singing tune - "Since U Been Gone!" I take it from the words - and I haven't asked her myself - that it's about how a girl has grown and changed since being away from her guy. Distance, time, and life events all have us growing and changing - we wouldn't be human if we didn't.

So since I'VE been gone from this blog and the wonderful world of wordsmithing I love so much, I've been growing. Life events have consumed my heart and time - a blank page to fill with meaningful and entertaining words has not been the escape I needed. I have found calm and healing outside in nature's finest - when I'm not pounding the pavement in a healthy/hearty powerwalk with Kelly Clarkson's songs urging my every step faster through my ipod, I've been at the archery range slinging arrow after arrow. In writing, word by word you get somewhere, those thoughts, ideas and creations taking you down paths you didn't know you'd be going. With archery I have found that with every arrow, and all those steps needed to go retrieve those arrows - some on the target and some, sadly, in the 'green ring' (grass) - I have found order and a sense of knowing where I was going. You can only go forward or back on an archery range with only the wind blowing things off course. But wind is just wind - it eventually goes away and you got a bit stronger from having to brace yourself against it. You can't control wind, but you know you can get back on course. Words on the page have eluded me - arrows have kept me going forward. Writing won't ever leave me - just the wind of life.

None of this likely makes any sense - but that's okay. Since I've been gone the act of putting pen to paper hasn't truly left me - the itch to write is always deep down - but you get rusty, you see. Just like archery, word-spinning takes and needs practice. It's just good to know I can always come back to it - when the time is right and the wind shifts accordingly.

So for now I will savor this moment of writing and I'll think of tomorrow when I'll be back on the archery range. And when I come back from where I've been gone, I'll be a different version of who I am, with that much more to share - and write.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Life Lessons With the 5-Second Rule

I dropped half of my toasted English muffin on the floor of the kitchen at work.

And then I ate it.

It was only there for five seconds.

It hadn’t yet been slathered with the inch-thick glob of peanut butter I usually apply, so surely nothing would stick to it. I dusted it off just in case, glanced over my shoulder to make sure no one was around, then slathered on the peanut butter and chowed down like it was nobody’s business.

And I didn’t die.

The muffin was barely on the ground five seconds before I snatched it up. For a brief second I wondered if the ‘open’ side of the muffin – the side one would typically spread something delicious – being face down on the floor would be worse than if it had been the ‘wrong’ side, or the outside of the muffin. But the ‘side’ of the food touching the ground truly wouldn’t matter.

The food that had been on the floor that hadn’t been washed since God knows when.

And I didn’t care.

And again, I didn’t die.

And as I ate my now likely plague-riddled muffin, I thought about ‘five seconds’ and all that can happen in that seemingly short amount of time - aside from food being near-infected by dirty kitchen infestations.

The five second rule – when it comes to food, that is – has long been argued, proven/disproven/proven, de-bunked, tested/re-tested, agreed/disagreed and gagged over. Scientists and doctors and myth-busters alike have long queried the probability of bacteria clinging to food in a short amount of time. Many refuse to eat ANYTHING that has fallen on the floor, yet many scream FIVE SECOND RULE at the top of their lungs when something delicious like a brownie hits the floor – as if screaming it will scare the germs away and ward-off disgusted looks from others in the room. But I contradict myself - I often think twice about WHAT the food item is before pleading the rule of 5 seconds before devouring. If it’s a glomb of oatmeal I’m not going to lick it off the floor. If it’s a piece of $20 steak? Well you can bet your barbeque sauce I’ll be snatching that tasty little morsel off the floor faster than the cat can come charging over!

My peanut buttery, plague-riddled muffin nearly gone, and my body still intact and no worse for wear, I further contemplated those infamous and highly controversial ‘five seconds’ so many equate to food and germs. A lot of GOOD things can happen in 5 seconds. Yes, a lot of BAD things can happen as well, but in the spirit of speaking and acting positive this new year where I’m sure science will, once again, take a turn and discover a new reason not to eat food off the floor, here’s a list of GOOD things we can do in five seconds – to make this world a better place – if only for a second:

1. Smile. Yep. Just smile. Try it. You won’t break a sweat. You have time – just do it.
2. Say ‘Good morning’ (and fake it if you must). Two words. That’s it.
3. Say ‘Good morning’ AND smile – that’s a double whammy there, but it’s worth it.
4. Say ‘I love you’ and mean it.
5. Hug someone. SQUEEZE them. Squish the snot right out of them.
6. Think a happy thought – but then if you’re like me where one thought leads to the next, then the next, then next, then the next, then the next, then the next, then the next, and then suddenly a whole hour has gone by and you have done nothing but stare out a window and think and then for the life of you you can’t figure how you got to thinking about why the worm you saw that morning on your walk was so big – what DID that guy eat for breakfast? – and you can’t remember what your original happy thought was and then……*deep breath*….you’re exhausted. Just a QUICK happy thought then. One that will only take five seconds.
7. Wipe the crumbs off the counter into the sink. You don’t even have to use a cloth. Just a quick swipe and they’re GONE! (*this is a hint to my family, but it’s a good reminder for all)
8. Stop and admire a tree. Yep – just a tree. Any tree. Walking somewhere with your head down and feeling in a funk? Look up for five seconds and admire that tree standing there waiting for you to admire. It’ll be thankful you paid attention to it for once, and doing so will give you pause out of your funk. Go on – try it. Give BACK to that tree.
9. See some litter? You know what to do….
10. And last but not least – blow your nose (but privately). It’s healthy and socially needed – nobody likes someone who always sniffs.

Yes, these have gone from the obvious to the absurd, but every little bit counts, I say. But in this world where we are neurotic germaphobes - gloves for this, sprays for that, antibacterial gels strong enough to near-peel the skin off our hands - eating a few germs off the floor will likely do us a world of good (build up our immunity), do the WORLD a load of good by not wasting food, and those POSITIVE five seconds will remind us there truly IS so much good we CAN do – for ourselves AND each other.

Remember to make the most of every second, and doing great things always happens in little increments – either eating something off the floor laden with germs before five seconds is over, or doing something little like smiling at someone to make their day – it’s what you DO with your time is what matters. Make every second count.

So drop that steak, brush it off, pop it in your mouth and smile at that tree. You won’t get sick and you’ll be happier for it - and full!

(Disclaimer - I'm no scientist and have no medical or scientific knowledge or background to support or argue the hygenic/non-hygenic merits of eating food off the floor. It's not for everyone, and to each their own and all that. So like I tell my kids - 'if something doesn't feel right, don't do it!')

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Pineapple Express to Polar Express: Getting in the Spirit of Things

And just like that – Christmas is here.

People say it every year that ‘Christmas just snuck up’ on us – as if we didn’t know it was coming for the last 364 days of the year. One minute it’s summer, then it’s back to school, then Thanksgiving, Halloween and Remembrance Day (in that order if you’re in Canada), then WHAM! It’s deck the halls, untangle the lights, and start panicking!

And this year, for me, it simply DID sneak up on me – and I think the weather played a big part in what feels like Christmas’ sudden appearance. Because it truly feels – as cliché as it is – that just yesterday was summer. I spent the summer on the archery range, and even up until the middle of October I was out there with just a t-shirt and shorts. I was still swimming in the lake at the end of September, the trees with their changing leaves reflecting on the waters’ surface. Aside from one FREAK snowstorm one Thursday night merely a few weeks ago, we truly haven’t had much of a winter – yet. They say it’s coming and will hit us hard when it does, but until then we will enjoy all the rain and above normal temperatures we have been getting. A Pineapple Express weather system courtesy of Hawaii has been soaking our Christmas wrapping paper along my beloved west coast – or should I say ‘wet’ coast. There have been clouds, clouds and more clouds, bringing rain, rain, and more rain. But what is specific to this Pineapple Express is the temperature - warm, warm, and more warm - with temperatures being up around 15 degrees Celsius (59 for those in Fahrenheit). Yes, the buckets of rain we have been getting make playing outside a tad challenging, however not totally impossible, and the warm breeze that comes through when the rain DOES decide to take a break is rather....alarming. I hope Santa brings his bathing suit.

But Hawaii we are not, and Christmas is coming no matter what the weather. Today (as I write this) the sun is shining for a mere few hours before the rain hits again. No frost, no runny noses, no brisk mornings and chilly fireplace-needing nights. Yet, Christmas is supposed to be a feeling – a season – a way of being of spreading goodwill to all men, no matter what day or time of year it is and no matter what the weather is ‘supposed’ to be. I think it feels like it ‘snuck’ up on us in part because our weather had been so nice for so long that we haven’t had ‘winter’ yet to put us in the mood. But even if we WERE in Hawaii, where when it rains it pours but is gone faster than you can grab your surf board, Christmas would still come and all the lights and baubles would still twinkle and sparkle. Just like here, but hotter.
Most stores were politically correct in waiting until after Remembrance Day to allow ‘Christmas’ to explode all over their aisles and shelves, and I’m so very, very thankful they have finally started waiting until an appropriate time (it didn’t always used to be like that). But I don’t blame ‘lack of decorations’ on my lack of Christmas enthusiasm. I think it’s because I have been in a blur these last few months, changes and transitions making me pensive and reflective and therefore sabotaging my creative spirit. So it’s only been recently when I’ve run into a store and the silver, gold, holy and ivy have smacked me in the face that have I sort of ‘come to’ and realized how much time has passed while I was grey.

I needed my bells jingled.

I needed a little sparkle.

And despite the rain and dark clouds in the sky and in my head, Christmas decorations are still going up on every street corner while strings of lights are just about all untangled.

So where I had been in a foggy cloud of pensive self-reflection, I now realize that the Hawaiian Christmas we are seemingly having, along with the materialistic glitz and glam that has thrown-up in the stores and on the streets, is maybe just what the doctor ordered. Maybe seasons, celebrations and annual events are needed to stop and think and assess all that we have, no matter the weather, no matter the tradition, no matter the ebb and flow of the polar express of change. Maybe, after all, it wasn’t the lack of traditional Christmasy winter weather that didn’t get me in the mood, but maybe it was ME that prevented me from getting into the spirit of it all. It’s been a weird year, personally and globally, and despite all the great things I have done this year, despite the most important being that my family is safe and healthy, I let clouds get in the way of seeing the sparkle that is there year round. I think I let the rain we have so recently been deluged with water-down my already non-Christmas cheer.

But I also realize that Christmas suddenly appearing all over the place actually put me in my place; it woke me up enough to get me out of my pensive cloud. Sure the clouds have ACTUALLY been around for a while – all those pineapples whamming up against the windows and whatnot – but who says I have to keep MY head in the clouds? Who says I have stay in the grey? Yes, things change – transition is always upon us no matter what – but we have to keep going. We have to keep watching for the bright and shiny around every corner, no matter what time of year and no matter the weather. Deep down I know things could be so much worse. Perspective bops me on the head every so often, and right now I guess I needed that candy cane to whack me over the head. Heck, I'm lucky I even get to HAVE 'Christmas' with all it's festivities, glam and glitz, and indulgences. A season is what you make of it - excitement, joy and love are there for the taking no matter one's beliefs.

I have to keep looking up, and not down at the puddles. Puddles DO eventually go away, and before we know it Christmas will be gone, a new year will be here, and spring will be making an appearance. It’s time to get out of my funk, get creative and get DOING, and get in the Christmas spirit - because time keeps flying by. And I intend on enjoying every moment of the Pineapple Express while I wait for the Polar Express that always comes our way no matter what, no matter the weather.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Here's to October the 13th, My Chiropractor and Whatever Else is Out There....

It’s Friday the 13th, the most ominous day for the superstitious!

And to make matters worse it’s in October, the most frightfully haunted superstitious month of the year!

And of course, as always, the day and its ‘meaning’ is on my mind. What will happen today? Should I be afraid? Many pessimists and realists will say, ‘It’s just a date. We are the masters of our own destiny. You are just ‘looking’ for things to happen.’ I believe anything is possible – I also believe in the possibility OF things – so for me, anything and everything is possible. And can happen. And is real.

True or not, stuff happens, not just on this day, but on any day. And of course, it’s an ominous kind of day out there, the grey clouds overhead reflective of what may or may not happen. A sign, perhaps?

A few weeks ago after my chiropractic treatment, the doctor and I were looking at the calendar and planning when would be my next regularly-scheduled three-week visit. He flipped the calendar pages – it was still September at that time – and the quiet, soft-spoken man that he is looked up me with a hint of a smirk and said, “Three weeks from today will bring you in on Friday, October 13th. Are you sure you want to do that?”

I swear I saw devil-like horns coming out of his head.

I gulped and made the appointment. He wrote down my time on a card and then handed it to me with that same demure, devil-like smirk. He’s a quiet one, but man oh man, it was then that I realized gotta watch him.

(Note: I have been seeing him for a year and I very much like him, his bedside manner, and the results I have had from his care.)

So today as I anticipate my chiropractor visit with the joke of it being on Friday the 13th, I contemplate: is anything truly cracked up to be what we think it is? Many folks don’t agree with, or are afraid of, chiropractors. And despite their skepticism some folks have tried that practice of medicine, but without no success. Then there are the folks who don’t ‘buy in to’ the omen-filled Friday the 13th. Those same folks don’t believe that things happen for a reason, citing that our destinies are solely within our control.

‘What works for one might not work for the other.’

I believe in the practice of chiropractic medicine – it works for me. I believe in the spookiness of Friday the 13th, and this one being in October is a double-whammy. The practice of chiropractic medicine has been around since the late 1800’s, and October the 13th has been considered a most unlucky day since what seems like forever – depending on who you ask, of course.

So is it a matter of IF we believe in something hard enough then - in our minds at least – it’s true? Is anything really real? They say our minds are more powerful than what we really realise – so powerful that we can out think reality and what is true? But who’s to know WHAT is true? And who has the final say in the matter? Is anything we experience really REAL, or just an over thought figments of our imagination; if we believe it to be real, then it is real.

Wow, Friday the 13th is making me very philosophical! But I’m no philosopher and have never had a philosophy class. I’m just a girl who thinks a lot and feels a need to write about her thoughts, whether they make sense, are contradictory of each other, or erratic.

Some people that had previously sworn off ‘this or that’ were made a ‘believer’ simply through experiencing it themselves. Then there are those who believed in ‘this or that’ and automatically became NON-believers when something didn’t go their way. Did that mean they still actually believe in it, even if it means believing against its’ possibility?

Again, the heavy thoughts today….

I go to the chiropractor because I believe in the practice. I keep my wits about me as I venture outside on this Friday, October 13th. I know what I believe, and I’m content.

So today as I wish I was still curled up in bed, and the rain comes down, and the clouds stay grey, and I anticipate my much-need chiropractor visit, and I throw salt over my shoulder and avoid black cats like the plague, and wish those same clouds would clear tonight so I could wish on a falling star because one WILL appear right when I want it to if I believe hard enough, I also know….

…given that I can write about any of this tells me I’m upright, alive, thinking, being, hurting, healing, fearing, believing, contradicting and existing, and that I’m pretty lucky I get to experience all that, and more. And that’s a fact.

Believe it or not.

Authors note:

The often-considered controversial practice of chiropractic medicine has been around since 1890.

The history of the unlucky belief of Friday the 13th is also controversial in its origin