Being grateful for first world problems.

It is spring, do you do a walkthrough in your home to make a list of things that need need to be done? Are you like me and see the dust in the air or smudges on the windows and want to scream, “I really do clean my home often, not just once a year!”

Photo by ritesh arya from Pexels

This year I noted the tap in the bathroom has a drip. This made me think how lucky we are to have clean running city water to use as we need. I don’t take clean running water for granted. I lived in an area where we took 2 water jugs strapped to a dirt bike heading quite far collect water. If you wanted a shower in the middle of summer you could go to the campgrounds and use their shower or go to the river. If you’re inspired you can fix your faucet. Mine is being a challenge as the under the sink shut off valves are stuck. I’m a bit of a handy human, but there are limits.  If you think you can do your own tap please remember to turn off the valves before starting or call a plumber.  It is hard to think that having taps with clean running water is blessing so many live with out.

Decluttering, maybe you have never thought about this a privilege. We have stuff, more than we need. We value our stuff. It is a challenge decluttering. When I want to get things done I set a 15 min timer. Because I have a hard time stopping when I set timer, I do a self check and mental body scan. If I’m still okay, I reset my timer. It is amazing what in 15 mins you can get through. I highly recommend this method if you have health problems, 15 mins can feel short but if you’re dealing with chronic pain or health stuff it can feel like a lifetime. I will do a blog in the future of how to break down decluttering. There are many emotions that can be brought up.

We are so blessed to have homes with stuff. I worry a lot about getting rid of things. Things that fill my mind, what if I end up needing said thing… What if someone in my family needs something? How will I give it if I let go.

Painting the walls, I have paint but have not finished painting. The things we are privileged to have… Paint brushes, rollers, paint trays and paint. There are places in the world that use old beverage containers as walls.

Take out old electronics..

Yes many of us have that old something that plugs in. We have electronics recycling places to take many of our old un-wanted things. Some places in the world old things just get tossed on the road.

Photo by vivek from Pexels

The dust that builds up in my home in a week makes me frustrated. A dear friend of mine grew up in India, she said that they had to broom every day, they have dry air that blows the dirt right in. So I guess my week of dust is a blessing.

Take time to care for yourself and the planet. Remember to be thankful for dust and dirty dishes. They are a blessing you may not recognize. I look forward to seeing your note, please share what blessings you have or challenges you have over come.

Taken by me

Coping with seasonal allergies

Spring is here, so happy Spring! If you have allergies spring may not be your best time of year. If it buds, flowers or spills pollen it becomes a hazard zone. All the molds from the decay of winter suddenly seem to stand at attention like an army. 

So if you go out in the woods today or anywhere else that is a zone that might affect you, here are tips to pull you through.

Carry a tissue or hanky. 

Cropped shot of a young woman blowing her nose with a tissue at home

Have eyedrops handy Sometimes our eyes will get dry or runny. If your eyes keep running you might need a prescription. 

Drink more water. It helps to flush out toxins and replenish what we might lose during complications of medications we might need to take or from the symptoms of our allergies themselves.

Allergy shots This is a medical process that is used to build up an immunity to the thing that is triggering your body to become a snot or allergy factory. If you are not ok with needles this might not be an option for you.

Bee pollen from your area can help build a tolerance to the things in your environment that could affect you. If you travel to a different area you might not have built the same resistance to the growth in that area.

Neti pots, this is a type of nose wash, I in my years have not found it pleasant. The trade off is not being so congested that I can’t breath well. So I boil and cool the water I use, this will kill of nasty parasites or other harmful pathogens that could be hanging out in your water. You can also use distilled water, most pharmacies and many other grocery stores carry it. 

I have a good quality ceramic neti pot, I clean it well after every use. There are plastic ones on the market, I’m not as happy about them. If you disinfect your pot more than one family member can use the same one, it must be disinfected and air dried between people. If more than one person needs to use it in a short time please buy more than one.

Homeopathic is a more holistic approach to helping your allergies, some see practitioners specifically trained in homeopathic treatments. You can buy over the counter brands from health food stores. Please if you have other health conditions or if you are on any other medications, see someone professional. Medical doctors like your General practitioner often don’t have the training to know if this would have adverse effects on other medical problems. I have asked my pharmacist and they had very little knowledge on what contraindications could happen. When taking homeopathic medication take them before putting other things in your mouth,  food, medications, smoking even toothpaste can change the way the medicine works.

Warm face cloth: They have been a blessing in my life. I use them to relieve pressure on my sinuses. They are amazing at relaxing the whole face or to put over the crusty sore morning eyes. I often put a drop of essential oil on the cloth when it is still very wet and then wring it out and put it on my face. Please be mindful when you are dealing with essential oils and you have seasonal allergies not to use one that will trigger the reaction. You also want to make sure it is not a skin irritant or phototoxic ( means don’t go out in the sun or under UV lighting.)

Clean out your Air Filter: If you have forced a forced air system you could benefit from professional duct cleaning. Having this done can reduce the pollutants in your air. Some use cameras in the vents and can show foreign objects, damage and other blockages. This option can run you hundreds of dollars. You can type in your browser ‘Duct cleaning services’. Often they will give a free quote, they often can tell you right on the phone if you know how many vents your whole home has. Things to prepare for having your ducts cleaned. Tuck clutter away. Give access to all the vents, have a safe place to have your pets/ children when they come in to clean. Doing this will cut down on dust. Air vents hold molds bacteria and other irritants that can irritate the respiratory system, and can put our immune defenses down.

Air purifiers need cleaning too, if they have hepa filters you will need to read the instructions of your make and model for care and also to find out if it is a filter that can be washed.

Run a humidifier if you have one, clean it once a month. I use warm soapy water and a bit of peroxide to clean the ones at our home. When your symptoms are dry eye, nose or throat it can be a benefit. If you have runny eyes or nose they can get very crusty when you’re sleeping so having one near your bed can help you feel a bit better.

Allergy medications; Not all allergy medications are built alike. Benadryl is one that will often make most sleepy. What will be best for you will depend on your symptoms. Please chat with your doctor about what will benefit you.

Avoid touching your mouth and nose. When we play out in the wilderness we can have pollen get on our hands and faces This can invite many of the unwanted iratents right into our eyes or nose. Not so much fun when you get a sneezing fit.

If you are not already wearing a mask with the pandemic you can try using one with a carbon filter.

Foods that can trigger seasonal allergies. This can be called a cross reaction, it doesn’t happen to everyone but be noted that environmental and seasonal allergies can be triggered by what we eat. Many foods have similar genetic properties as things like trees, grasses, dust and pollens.

I hope you are able to reduce your symptoms this year. If you have any tips to share about how you combated allergies I look forward to reading them.

Emotions of a Pandemic

Have you been feeling the drain of this pandemic? Some are worried about coming in contact with someone that might be holding the virus. Some worry their rights are being taken away.  Others have it set that it is not so bad. There are people with all kinds of emotions and worries. I’m concerned about the long term emotional state people will be in with reduced contact and  people being on alert all the time. Ways to help you manage with pandemic fatigue.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

We are dealing with less structure and more formalities. Many of us have pandemic fatigue and burn out. I see it in the elderly and in the young, I see it in the rebels and conformists. We all are tired. The people that have been out of work or modified work settings. Working from home, zoom calls the constant state of being ‘on’. For all teachers and students that do online studies, learning new technologies or dealing with the emotional and fundamental challenges.

My family had many work changes. One lost a job at a restaurant, one had changed and reduced hours, some are working from home and my career changed all together!

Photo by Sam Lion from Pexels

People have not been able to do recreational things like swimming or vacations. Even things like medical appointments and rehabilitation have been changed. Always needing to wash our hands or use hand sanitizer. If you are going anywhere remembering your mask. 

Then the people that almost shun any that need to not wear a mask. The emotions and anger build. I have noted that people are way more frustrated 

How we once dealt with stress has changed, now we are having a very hard time coping. We miss our friends and our outings, we miss how life was.

One of the things I’m finding no matter how you view this pandemic we all have a point that we see it from. We have it splashed all over our social media, if you’re in public, you see the signs, you see the billboard, at the middle of the pandemic in Canada, even our parks/playground were not accessible. Much of the world was confined to their homes, not even allowed to go to the market to buy groceries. It is affecting places of worship and clubs. People feel lonely. Any with borderline functioning mental health challenges are falling in harder and the in person help that was a massive outlet for many is now a phone or video appointment. 

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

So for those that would like to take in some of the physical things, There are many pools and gyms that are booking times with people. Just phone your local places and ask what the protocol is for whatever you would like to be part of. I was surprised that so many things were still able to accommodate. In The summer of 2020 we were even able to meet our family from a different household at a restaurant, we called the restaurant ahead of time and asked if we could have tables that allowed us to social distance and still see each other, they made that happen. We had a safer meal out, thank you to Denny’s!

What can you do to ease the blahs of the pandemic?

Find new music

Cook a new recipe

Treat yourself to a ordered in meal or do take out

Call someone/send a card or a letter

Watch a funny movie or show or a virtual play

Online puzzles

Try an online tour of something that interests you.

Get rid of 5 things you no longer use.

Photo by Tatiana from Pexels

Be kind to yourself, we sadly don’t know when this will end, we are in this world together lets be kind to yourself and others. If you’re having a hard time please seek help. You are valuable.

Little Libraries

Have you ever passed a homemade casing with books and wondered “why is there books in there out on the street?” Well someone had put up a little Free library. This project has grabbed my attention for years. It makes my heart happy, I love to read, and sharing. If I was in an area that I could put up my own Little Free library I would do it in a heartbeat. 

https://observer-reporter.com/news/localnews/the-little-library-on-the-corner-little-free-libraries-popping-up-in-washington-greene-counties/article_12bee780-12a1-5331-9da8-faed2c9a4f0c.html

They where started officially in 2009 by Todd H Bol in Wisconsin. His inspiring project ended up in 88 countries Mr. Bol lived to be 62

I saw my first little library on a trip to the USA. We traveled about two hours south of the Canadian border. I insisted we pull over and see this little house on the side of the road filled with books. I was so excited I took a photo. Not sure where that photo is at this time. It was just so cool!

It took me seeing a few more years later to look it up to see what it was all about. I’m not sure that I myself have taken a book but of how I would love too. 

If you would like to find one in your area, type into your web browser “Little Free Libraries” (with your areas name)

Tree https://parkviewdc.com/2015/06/25/new-little-free-library-on-park-road/

Some of the things I love about the little libraries is that anyone can take or leave a book. If someone has no affixed address sometimes they can’t obtain a public library card. If people are like myself and take a long time reading the book there is no time limit, no renewing the book or contending with fines or late fees. Some families don’t live near a public library or have extra money to share books. 

I read about a person in their 40’s learning to read and being inspired by a little free library 

If you ever are inspired to do a Little Free library in your area please learn about your bylaws. If you need some ideas on making there is a lot of good resources on the Little free library web page under the build tab

Here are some blueprints and step by step instructions  

As I was reading about what it takes to be part of this amazing project I learned that in my own country that more people have been getting involved during covid. Not in my area but on Vancouver Island in greater Victoria in Jan 2021 are 400 recorded little free libraries

Could not find the exact link it was somewhere on https://littlefreelibrary.org

If you are in to a traditional look or a geek of sorts. If you are creative or someone that loves books Little Free Libraries could be in your area with a little planning. I would love to read if you have a favorite book have seen or build a little library.

Motivation Struggles and Strategies.

When a blogger is racking their brain on topics, it looks a bit like an overpass traffic jam on the highway or interstate. Things like Love that aches, in the last months I did a topic on What is Love. Where does recycling go and how to clean your appliances are some of the topics that bang around in my head. Sitting in my vehicle I thought  “What motivates us as humans?” Then I thought  “What is motivation?” So I went to Google, this is what a broad search showed me. “The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.” 

Photo by Alex Powell from Pexels

How do we start

  1. Have a general desire or willingness.
  2. Set goals, small steps will get you somewhere.
  3. Don’t give up or lose sight of what you want.

One thing I was motivated to do is learn to play guitar. I have a membership to Great Courses. I’m trying to make a goal to do more lessons than I’m getting done. Staying motivated is not an easy task. I found a class on beginners guitars. The class is called Learning to Play Guitar: Chords, Scales and Solos. I told myself, I will start with just watching the class and not take out the guitar. I have watched one class. I’m really trying to be inspired to finish it. I’m not getting any alone time in the home, and I’m a bit self conscious about trying and having others hear me. I will need to work very hard on myself to get past my worries.

Photo by Nothing Ahead from Pexels

I think a lot of us become stumped by self-images and fears. Past disappointments can change our heart’s abilities to stay motivated.

I often think  “what if someone dislikes something about it?” This mindset will not let us move forward.

Watching people in jobs or relations that are unhappy. Why.. We humans sometimes struggle with changes. Sometimes the cons don’t outweigh the pros. If there is a risk it puts a little red alert light in our thoughts. Sometimes even good changes still alert out brains. 

Motivation doesn’t always look smooth. Sometimes it is like clearing all the stones away from around the mountain just to climb it.

If you are feeling low or depressed, the struggle to stay motivated is much harder. You are worth it please keep trying. Ask a trusted person in your life to please ask you how you are doing with your motivation. Encouragement can help people feel less alone. Not always better.

You might need a short distraction as you recharge your motivation. Found a little game. Please if you are going to use a distraction, set a short 5 to 10 min timer and then regroup to the task at hand.

Being a blogger is not as easy as one who has not blogged might think. Somedays the thought of giving up writing my blog would be better. The self doubt that crawls out of it’s dark space pokes out like a whack a mole game. My worries are people might not be interested, maybe no one will benefit from my ideas.

Here is what keeps me going.

  • People reflecting they read the blog, sharing if they liked or found a spark that inspired them. 
  • My positive self talk must be brighter than my self doubt. 
  • I remind myself research feeds my soul. 
  • Finding amazing pictures that enhance the words that I write makes me feel good. 
  • Being able to share the art and other talented writers in my blog. I love to lift others.
  • It is a brain challenge, I believe so strongly in use it or it deteriorates. Yes it is hard.

 I’m thankful for any that read what I share. Thank you for being motivated. I would like to hear your struggles and strengths with modification in your life.

Unexpected pet stuff

Lately, our home is running into pets with many different unexpected things.  Two of our pets are aging, the other is a scaly guy that is not enjoying the temperature changes. So he is not eating and is a bit grumpy. It is normal for some animals to slow down and rest in the cold. It is so hard to know what to do. If you have a warm-blooded pet like a hedgehog look up hybernations if your pet is cold-blooded like bearded dragons and other scales brumation. 

In my life,  I have been around different animals, I have owned at least 11 different types of animals, I also volunteered at a small animal refuge, I’m always learning about dealing with animals. Each comes with its own unique challenges. 

Stressed pets can show many signs. Reduced/changes with eating, needing more attention, hiding, aggression, sulking (yes pets sulk.) Odd bathroom behaviors including going places like  in the house, being over-energized, sleeping more and destroying things.

Photo by Stanisław Skotnicki from Pexels

What can you do to hold your sanity when you are around an animal that is not being themselves?

  • Create a routine for yourself and the pets you see often.

Some think pets don’t care about a schedule. Tell that to a dog that is up every day at 6:00 am. Or a cat that is certain that 5 mins before they are fed, they are going to starve to death. Maybe convince a horse that at treat time you have nothing, good luck at them not nibbling at your pocket..

  • Even if your pet is sick or off their normal routine try to offer food at the same time every day. Even if it is just a small amount. This dose not apply to pet in hibernation or brumation.
  • Have a sickness plan and end of life plan. As sad as that is to think about sometimes planning can help us and them transition. 
Photo by Pranidchakan Boonrom from Pexels
  • Don’t be too relaxed or too harsh on them, keep it as noramal as you can.
  • Reduce the house/environment noise or have a quiet spot to retreat to. Even larger animals need many of the things mentioned. 
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite from Pexels
  • Talk calmly and firmly to them. 
  • If they have loss of a senses like hearing use hand gestures or if they are blind gently tap them.
  • Try not to leave pets with anxiety alone, they can do a lot of damage to the things around them as well as really hurt themselves. 
  • Try reading things from reliable sources about what is going on with the animal.
  • Start a savings account for pet health. Even if you put $20 dollars a month away. You might need it to aid a pet through their health. Big or small, regular or exotic. You will at some point need something for your pet.
  • Find a vet you trust that is equipped and knowledgeable of your pets individual needs. Warn your vet on behaviors that could put them at risk of being bitten, kicked, clawed or injured in any way. 
  • Put thing that they can get into out of reach. I can’t telling you the joy of coming home to them getting into packets of oatmeal..
  • Have some disinfected handy to clean unexpected messes. Vomit and poo and other body fluids.
  • Give yourself extra time and patience.

If you are visiting someone with a pet, inquire if the pet has undesirable traits, like chewing up people’s stuff, peeing on it, rubbing everything, hiding or other stranger behaviors. I recommend  people bring plastic bags and put their personal belongings in them and tie them off. I have had upset pets pee on my stuff.

If you are going to be a regular person that spends time around a pet. Might be better to do many short visits to start, so the animal can get used to you. This doesn’t mean they will be completely  ok with this, might reduce their response.  Then again an animal is going to do what it will. 

When something is off with your pet like when my little chinchilla got a foot infection, I did not realize what was going on till it was bad. Don’t beat yourself up, you can’t know what you don’t know. Don’t assume that it is just a normal aging thing, Call the vet she was so helpful, she was willing to learn about this condition with us, when I when to the appointment I had research from vet writing including the best medications and doses for a chinchilla. Can be the line between saving a foot and amputation. This has been 6 weeks of medicine and medical care twice daily. It is very hard dealing with the unexpected.

Not sure who took this. I know this looks cute, animals often don’t look cute when they have medical problems. they bite, swarm, hide from you in the towel when you try to give them medicine.

If you need more places to learn more about your animals, there are some good online groups and community clubs you can become members of. Sometimes the people can have useful information other times they can be critical and hurtful. If you feel uncomfortable or betrayed, that might not be the right place for you. Feeling safe is key to learning.

Please share your pet stories! I would love to see how you got through your unexpected animal stuff.

Bee butts or fly’s eyes

Have you ever thought about the small details you can capture with a camera? Have you ever wanted to try to take a photo? This week hopefully will give you a place to start.

You don’t need to be a pro to take a photo. Just interest will help you learn. When I look around at the world, I think about what catches my eye. Bugs, flowers, scenery, living things and more. 

If you are new to taking a photo I will share a bit. Don’t compare your talents. You are your own eyes they have a sense of what you like. Maybe one day you will strive to be a professional photographer. In the meantime, have fun and enjoy. 

I have a Samsung phone that is often with me so I use the camera on it, because I love to take photos of flowers. Sometimes I catch a bee’s butt or other cool bug. To get the photo I want, it takes a lot of patience and staying in one place in odd positions for a long time.

Taken by myself with my mobile phone

Steps in using your phone to get a close-up photo of something small. You will have a camera icon, you might need to look through your apps to find it. Once you do click on it and the view will show up. You will need to look for photo mode. Most are on this setting by default. Mine has a macro setting. Some others have a zoom-in function that you use your fingers on the screen to bring things closer and into focus.

Taken by myself, little Jasmin flowers on my couch

If you want to try macro photos with your mobile phone search the Make and model of the phone you have with how to take a macro (close up)  picture. If after you take a few photos you want better equipment you can buy lenses for mobile phone or upgrade to a camera. If you are ready for those steps maybe talk to your local camera store or perhaps join a community camera club.

Taken by myself in a local park I’m fairly certain this is a bay laurel

I have many friends that are professional photographers. I’ll do another blog in the future hoping to share more of their talents. Here is some of Kevin’s macro-photos

I look forward to reading about what you like to take photos of. If you venture out to try the camera on your phone please tell me how it went and what you go a photo of.

First photo by Thijs van der Weide from Pexels

Laid back or solo Valentine’s

Does Valentine’s day make you feel a bit out of sorts…I have some ideas. 

I got a bit bent out of shape with all the ads on the radio that suggest that proposing to the special people in your life was the thing. Media gives us all kinds of false ideas, money dose not define love, giving a ring is a thing. I was like why? Just so you know I’m not poo-pooing romance. I think sometimes we need to mention that not all people get married and some don’t have elaborate proposals with fancy rings. Some people even have more than one love in their life.

If you are a complete hater of Valentine’s Celebrations might be a great time to enjoy a different blog topic.

If you are not involved with someone, some solo things you could enjoy. Read your favorite book with a beverage of choice. Have a candlelight bath. Cuddle with a pet or borrow a pet to share love with. You could do some foot care. The dollar stores have basins for less than $3 and then often have epsom salts. So for less than $10 you do some self-care.

Plan an adventure, pick out a new recipe and have a nice meal. You can even bring out your nice dishes and set it up formally. Enjoy some online gaming with yourself or meet others on an MMO or other game. You could buy a treat for yourself or your pet.

 I share little gifts, sometimes homemade cards with family and people I care about.

Have you thought about where Valentine’s traditions started? Did you know many parts of the world have interesting happenings and ideas around Valentine’s Day around the world. Some parts of the world It is for lovers, in other places it is a time for all. In China, they have The Sister’s of Meal Festival

Great Britain started the traditional cards.

The history of St. Valentine is not one that is sweet and kind, in fact, there were several mentioned St. Valentines, martyred on Feb 14 one of them was beheaded.

Cuddle up in a blanket this year. It is quite cold in my area, pick a show or movie to enjoy.  At my house, we just rented The Greatest Showman from Google play

I made some muffins this week that I thought might be a nice thing to have on Valentine’s day. For people that know me I change recipes all the time. I was thinking I don’t just want banana  muffins, maybe gluten free banana blueberry, looked in the freezer  I just had a few sliced strawberries so tossed them in. I skim through recipes and take them in like Dory from Finding Nemo.. Something about tentacles. Put the baking soda in with the squished bananas and strawberries. Then added the wet stuff to which I used olive oil and maple syrup. I substituted the lemon peels for grated orange peel. I also leave out the salt cinnamon and vanilla. No refined sugar and healthier fats. To get to the recipe you have to scroll a a lot. Such a pet peeve.

Photo of my muffins taken by me

Whatever you do for Valentine’s day I hope you can relax and take time for yourself or people you care about.

Heart bear photo taken by me

Managing after loss

This week was going to be bumblebee butt or fly’s eyes. (Future blog post) Real-life stepped in the way. Another young person has been taken from this world. I have met many beautiful charismatic souls in my journey. Some leave artwork in your heart.

How do you say so long my friend?

  • Write a letter, to them, their family or just a letter that is only for you. (If your emotional or holding negative feelings, it is ok to write that to yourself)
  • Find a song that reminds you of them or one you loved together
  • Put up a reminder or memorial (Creating a scrapbook or memory book)
  • Post on their social media if it is still up.

If you’ve had to face grief head-on you may know grieving has many emotions. Learning about grief can ease your passing through the dark path. We have had friends, loved ones and people in the community’s lives cut short due to suicide, drug-related, sudden accident, violence, terminal illness and old age. No matter what ended a human’s life we need to help each other and learn ways to cope with each of our losses. Takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to deal with the loss of someone.

As children, we are dependent on our parents, and as aging adults at the end of our lives we are often dependent on our children. Conversely, the chapter between those two phases is characterized by independence. And yet adulthood is actually the time in our lives when we experience the most hardship, the most intellectual challenges, the most loss, and the most mental anguish.
For a large majority of us, we were never prepared to deal with these situations. No one teaches us how to go through divorce, handle depression, support a family member through addiction, bury our parents or worse, a child and keep on living through the grief.
During adulthood we need our “village” more than ever, and yet it’s drilled into us that we must bootstrap our way through life, going it alone. Many of us find our people, our village through work. (I used this from below link, the words summed up my feelings.)
https://anglefullofgrace.com/2018/02/07/it-takes-a-village-to-raise-an-adult/

The brain and body go through so much when we are dealing with grief. We release stress hormones into the bloodstream. The hormones can be there for a long time, many months can pass when our hearts are broken. This is a time to be mindful of your own health and wellness. Things that might give you clues into your own coping and well-being: are you getting headaches (or more headaches) gut changes (diarrhea, nausea) energy levels, sleeping changes, weight changes and mood are so important when you are feeling grief, anxiety or sadness. If you are struggling with any long term stress, please get help. You might need to talk to your doctor or a therapist. This kind of pain is often hidden from the world, it is ok to not be ok. Being a quiet martyr might not benefit your long term health and healing. When a Loved One is Dying: The Unspoken Emotions & Impact

Please have water, light snacks every 4 hours, light exercise like a walk or stretching, resting, watching funny shows, you might think oh I’m too sad to watch anything that makes you laugh ( laughter is medicine) Laughing even smiling starts to change the sad chemicals in the brain. 

What can you say to someone that had a sudden tragedy? 

  • I care about you
  • I’m sorry this is hard
  • I hope you find peace
  • May the day have some light
  • Can I make you tea or a meal (with the pandemic you can offer to drop off or have a meal/tea sent to them)
  • Are you able to do something kind for yourself.

What makes some of us shut down?

  • Coping mechanism
  • Defense mechanisms
  • Fears
  • Anxiety
  • To much thinking. Our heart and brain become overwhelmed.
  • Not having or knowing the words to say.

Sometimes we just need something to hold on to a memorial. Sometimes we don’t have a picture or an item. Perhaps you could make your own special thing to remember the living.. Planting a plant or making art. Write them a letter. Maybe set a day and feed something or someone. In our wedding ceremony, we had photos of the people we had lost. I really have a value of honoring the people that are not with us still. Not everyone shares my openness of talking about death, I believe death is part of life. The western cultures around dealing with death are sad. Death is sad, loss of any kind is not something we enjoy. 

A friend of mine writes notes, attaches them on balloons and let’s go, remember the loved ones that have left. I type or write notes to the ones that touched my heart. Please live life like you are a value! You might not know it, someone might be here because of your smile.

Photo by Snapwire from Pexels

lady with candles Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels

What is love?

When I was thinking about what is love.. first thought was “What is love, oh baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me no more” Love could be a Haddaway song from 1993. Love can be so many things to so many people

Love can be someone making food or drinks for others. It could be giving someone the space they need to sort things out. Maybe love is physical touch, kissing someone’s cheek or patting their hand. Maybe giving a massage when someone is hurting. Kind words go a long way for many. You could be the person who sits down for a movie or tea brings food to someone Your thing might be sharing a gift with someone

I’m a trained aromatherapist, I understand body mechanics, I understand pain. For me sometimes I show love in strange ways. My live-in family will tell it like a horror story. “She jabbed me in the shoulder as I wither in pain and then has the nerve  to ask “does this hurt?” Catching their breath to say yes that hurt, I move on to a plan of fixing the problem.  All the while they shoot daggers at me..Does this pain I cause mean I don’t love and care for them? I love them so much I want to help them.. 

For any that have seen the movie Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. Even if you have not seen it I will share. The son in the movie is a scientist, with good computer skills and invention minded. His dad is a Fisherman that runs a fish shop. Fishing is all he knows. He is always giving fishing metaphors, the son never understood till the end when they put a translator device on him.. all the fishing talk was a way to tell his son he loved him.. In my home, I used garden metaphors we all have our ways of saying, you are cared for and loved

Anyone that has read the Five Languages Of Love knows there are so many ways of sharing love. Sometimes our ways of showing and receiving love don’t match. 

During the pandemic, I have had to find different ways to express my love. I’m one that shows love through touch, time and service. I have not been able to see some of the people I love through the lockdown. I have sent gifts, made phone calls, drive-by meals at the door and online movie dates. Spending time with my pets is also a way I’m showing love.

Some of us have had to shut out feelings of love for one reason or another, love is not always easy. If someone is open to sharing a loving gesture with you, know they are likely trying to bring light to your world. It is ok not to feel love the way others feel love, it is ok to not say I love you with words. Sometimes that is something we need to work through as people that have had hurt. Learning to accept love after trauma, can be a hard step, move at a pace that works for your mind and heart.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Something I have learned, love is abundant, It is ok to love more than one person. For many years I had this thought that loving more than one person was wrong. Then I  thought about it differently thinking you have friends and family you care for, it is ok to own that feeling.

Looking forward to reading about your ways of receiving and sharing love with others.

Love songs Photo by Jacek Skorupski from Pexels