Thankful Thursday – Cold Gratitude

thoughtfulSometimes one can become hyper-focused on something bad. The thing begins to consume from within until one has difficulty doing the most basic things such as eating and sleeping.

It’s at times like that when I find it helpful to freeze.

Then I switch my thinking to what is wonderful in my life. Close friends who support me and my writing. A delightful little boy who makes me remember my purpose of helping others. Clients who love my work. New friends. Acquaintances who might be becoming more. Realizing I may not be as far from becoming bilingual as I thought. New hobbies.

My life is full of so much potentially awesome things right now.

It can be hard to realize one is spiraling downward though. Hard to get to that point where one knows they need to put the brakes on. Hard to stop the negative momentum from carrying one further down.

The only way I’ve found that works is to breathe. When everything around me seems to be exploding, I stop and take a breath. I talk to loved ones. I take a walk and contemplate where I’m at and where I want to be. I think about whether or not the path I’m on is leading me in a different direction than my goals.

Being thankful for what I have helps me get through the bad times and find my way back.

Today is the last day of my graduate studies and I’m thankful for all the people I’ve met this year. Even the bad ones taught me lessons that will surely benefit me in some way in the future if only to make me properly cautious of everything I do and who I do it with.

It’s been quite the ride. At the start, I was scared I wouldn’t make any friends because I’m a little older than most in the program and a lot older than others. The bus also terrified me as I had nothing but terrible experiences with it before. And I was so scared I wouldn’t be able to keep up on the workload.

But I got used to the bus. I made friends. And I not only handed nearly everything in on time or early, but I received a letter from the dean telling me I had made the Honour’s list.

I’ve even come to embrace that I’m part of the millennial generation, which is something I wasn’t particularly grateful for before. Being born in 1981 makes me an odd millennial as my life began more like a Gen Xer’s rather than always having the Internet and computers around. Yesterday, I actually had a conversation about remembering when CDs became a thing and how awesome it was when anti-skip technology came out after.

All this to say that a year that started off cold and full of fear has ended so differently than it began. It wasn’t easy. That whole strike thing was an extra bit of stress that no one needed, but I made it and I’m ready to tackle whatever comes next.

My plan for the summer includes getting a job and refreshing my French because I’m getting closer to being able to at least speak it. I feel like that will open a lot of doors for me and I’m excited to continue working on my writing. And I definitely want to make time for loved ones too because they make all the challenges worth pushing through.

R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Chin Up

This post is very helpful right now.

If you are the praying type, please pray for those who feel the need to hurt others to find their way to healing the damaged parts of themselves.

R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Super Grateful

thoughtfulI’ve had a pretty amazing week.

Also a very emotional one per my other posts this week.

It has also been the kind where I discovered things about my relationships with certain people. I’m sad to say I lost someone I thought was a friend, but several other friendships have been strengthened and I’m immensely grateful for them.

Two have been helping me try to get a job at a company I’ve been wanting to work at for several years now. The first time, I applied to a job that I wasn’t qualified for. The second, the position was canceled. I’m truly hoping that the third time is a match.

To the super friends that have listened to me rant this week about the one that turned out to be different than I thought, thanks for listening.

I have a lot of wonderful people in my life that I’m super thankful for.

And I’m sorry to anyone who was looking for this post yesterday. Thank you for your patience with me as I near the completion of a year of school that was heavier than I thought it would be. You’ve been super too.

R~

Fortifying Friday – Sad

candle-1239891_640I haven’t forgotten about Frisky Friday.

I just haven’t felt up to it for quite some time and my life has been very busy between work placement and traveling for martial arts.

The world is so reactive right now and it makes me sad.

People want to address problems by ignoring the root cause. Again. I don’t know how many times they need to see the same thing happen before they realize their emotions are clouding their judgment on what actually works.

What I’ve been saying for days now is the same as what the experts, who have been working to make things better since Columbine, have been saying.

And I’ve seen it in action.

There was a kid in my school that made a hit list. Many of the people I know were on it. So many have forgotten this incident for some reason. Or maybe they’re just ashamed for making him feel so bad he wanted to kill people. I wasn’t on the list because I wasn’t mean to him. It really wasn’t hard not to be.

What happened with it?

When the list was discovered, the boy was immediately removed from our school and sent away to get help. Eventually, he finished his education in a different city. Instead of ignoring the issue, corrective action was taken immediately and everyone was kept safe. The boy grew into a man and never killed anyone.

Today, he’s a relatively normal geeky guy.

This whole thing is killing me inside because I want everyone to have their rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness protected and so many want to take away rights to put things in place that have proven time and again not to solve the problems. How can you propose solutions that ignore so many of the facts?

Those of us that see beyond one element of this problem are treated as if we are heartless monsters for suggesting the tool is just a symptom. My heart hurts so much right now. I just want these people to stop falling through the cracks. I want everyone to live their lives fully and freely. I don’t want to hear about more children dying because some kid had mental health issues, no father, no friends, etc.

It’s not my country. I can’t do anything about policy. All I can do is help people see the broader picture. When you give up a right, you don’t get it back. Many gun laws are in place and the people hired to enforce them didn’t do their jobs.

I’m just a woman who has noticed the pattern repeat time and again, so I can understand you may think little of my opinion on this matter. But how about the opinion of an expert who does this for a living, Clint Fiore?

Sorry for being a downer tonight.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

Warrior Wednesday – Reactivity

sword

Image created using Bitmoji

The martial arts community that I’m part of is truly wonderful. I mean, there are a lot of us in the sword arts that have a different way of looking at the world. Perhaps it is because we practice a more spiritual art than one that is more focused on sport or hurting others. We know sharp swords can cause great harm and I think that makes us think more before we decide to take an action that may be irreversible.

We’re told to win without ever drawing the sword.

That’s not to say we’re all the same. Some of us are less reactive about the things we see in the news than others. Some are just as prone to reacting from an emotional place no matter how much training they undertake to stay calm in moments of distress. I don’t know why that is, but I find it interesting.

I’m one of the calm ones. Why? Because the same patterns have continued to repeat throughout my lifetime. I’ve seen it so many times that I’m not shocked when anything happens anymore. I see people get upset and in a couple of months they forget again until the next time. They share memes to that effect, yet they still do it anyway.

What do I do? How am I able to stay calm? I ask myself what I can personally do to effect positive change. If I can’t do anything to make a good change happen, I go do something where I can effect change and leave that other thing up to the people who are better suited than I am to bring about a solution.

I can’t stop other countries from waging war on each other or get the US to seriously consider a change to its gun laws without quashing any citizen’s right to protect itself against the threat of government tyranny. I can write stories that might empower someone else who is in a better position to develop a solution to those problems.

I can also clean up my home, so that I may live in a better environment that will help ensure I can pay attention to my studies and my loved ones in order to be my best self.

In October, I lost a friend to a fentanyl overdose. Instead of wasting my time on social media fighting with people who refuse to understand the issue, I wrote a short play that features a hockey mom who gets hurt and finds herself turning to street drugs after the medical system lets her down no matter how many times she asks for help. It’s going to be performed later this year and who knows where it may go after that. It may go nowhere or it may help someone. The point is that I’m using the skill I have spent a lot of time honing to try and make a difference.

What are you uniquely skilled at? Maybe you make jewelery? Why not come up with a special line that raises funds for a cause you’re passionate about? You’re pissed off about a government policy? Join a political party to try and change it. You’re concerned about the environment? Be like that kid who developed a system to take trash out of the ocean.

As martial artists, we aren’t supposed to react. We’re supposed to see multiple possibilities and choose the best option for the situation that we already saw coming.

Get off Facebook and take action where you can. You’ll feel better and may actually help someone. Otherwise, you’re just annoying your friends who probably already agree there’s a problem that needs solving.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Burnt

I’m feeling a little burnt out this week. The recommended treatment for that is human connection, according to the internet.

It’s a good thing next week is reading week and I’m off to hang with friends and engross myself in martial arts.

I need a breather.

First, I need to see if I have any laundry that needs to be done. I also need to clean out my car, pack, and charge my booster pack.

I should also try to get some homework done, but I asked for an extension. It’s not something I do ever, but I really need to have a moment. I worked my butt off throughout the strike, but I’m just having trouble this week.

Maybe I’ll be okay once I get some sleep.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.

R~

Warrior Wednesday – Love

Love is a complicated thing that often seems as though it should be far simpler.

Tonight, I saw a play whose main theme was love. It’s called Little Boxes and it’s playing at Arts Court as part of The Undercurrents Festival. We were fortunate to see the actors afterwards and learn about the writing of it.

For me, it was cathartic. The play features a co-dependent and abusive relationship. I’m glad I read about it before I saw it because there were some parts that hit a little close to home.

So why was it cathartic? Well, in my teen years, I was a theatre kid. In fact, I was working as stage crew in my spare time when I wasn’t acting or crewing a school production. I even did summer theatre. Then it wasn’t long before I stopped doing theatre altogether and busied myself with a boyfriend who later became my husband.

Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of my divorce. Sitting in that theatre tonight, I realized just how much I’ve missed it. I also realized that I’ve come full circle and am finally living the life I was always meant to live.

I’m looking forward to my short play being performed later this year. I’m excited to see what happens with my longer play as well.

I’m enjoying writing my film and have a couple of leads on where to send it when it’s done.

I also got over my fear of The Rideau Centre tonight!

This weekend, I’m off to visit friends and train hard at a 2-day iaido seminar. I’m really looking forward to it and it’s reading week when I return.

I’m feeling pretty blessed right now ‚̧

And that’s how life’s river flows today.

R~