canada

Welcomed Alone Time

I don’t usually do well when I’m alone for extended periods. A lot of that can be contributed to my childhood and the fact that I never used to be comfortable being alone. I always used to feel like if I was alone, especially if I wasn’t doing anything, then I was somehow failing at life.

Lo and behold on this fine day, I find myself alone. My children had been sent off to their grandparents for the night and after a wonderful date-day with my husband, he had to work today.

That meant when I woke up, there was no one in the house but myself and the dog. In the past, that would have sent me into a panic. I would have aggressively done some chores or purged my closet or something else. I would have done everything in my power to keep myself busy. I sort of did that today, but at the same time I went at my own pace and took my time.

I lazily got up, wrote a book review that was due, puttered around my house. I collected the laundry, threw on some clothes and pulled my hair up, and went to the mall.

Sometimes I really like shopping by myself. I can dither wherever I want, go to whatever store I want and take as much, or as little, time as I want. Today I did that. I went to the mall I like (because it’s not usually as busy and it’s clean and bright) and I went into stores I don’t normally go into. In the first store I bought my kids so many things! Mostly t-shirts with fun pictures. I really like getting them things like that so it can help show their personalities. I ended up wandering and buying enough to make my arms and back hurt from carrying the bags! That makes me laugh a lot as I usually talk myself out of buying, especially for myself. I grabbed my favourite Starbucks and came home.

It’s a bit harder to relax at home. I’ve already got a load of laundry going with what feels like a million more waiting. I’m sitting here, writing this, and trying to think of other things to do. I might have a bath, give myself some much needed TLC for my skin. I might also just sit on the couch and binge my latest drama.

The thing is, I can do whatever I want. It’s weird to have that kind of freedom because I have spent so much time struggling to survive.

But I don’t have to survive today. I can live.

I don’t have to worry about not accomplishing something or that someone is going to be mad at me when they get home. I don’t have to worry about ensuring that someone else is fed, happy and comfortable.

I can tune out the world outside my home. I can ignore the malicious comments that needle their way onto my blog. I can dismiss the troubled times my country is going through. I can focus on myself and my needs. I can blast Journey and Rick Astley with a little bit of Korean and Japanese pop/rock music as loud as I want and sing as loud (and probably badly) as I want.

Today is about me. It’s about enjoying my peace and enjoying myself.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there is a rum and coke calling my name along with a piping hot bath.

Take care of yourself, friends, whenever you can.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Mindful Musings #215

mindful-musings

It’s that dangerous time of year

When the ice thaws

And the snow melts.

What dangers lurk beneath the not-so-pristine blanket

That has covered us for 6 long months?

Careful, careful

Look where you step.

Beware the warmer temperatures

That taunt you on the forecast.

Half of them might be lies

Or wishful thinking.

Here in the Great White North

Mother Nature teases us with sunshine

Framed in by blizzards.

Think twice before you leave your house.

Bring a scarf, toque and gloves

Just in case. 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Musings, 0 comments

Mindful Musings #211

mindful-musings

Can you breathe?

The icy air constricts your lungs.

Every breath is raw.

Can you breathe?

Nostrils freeze closed only to be forced open by oxygen.

Cheeks flush red as the wind whips harshly across them.

Can you breathe?

This frozen winter air begets a winter wonderland

As the season stretches on and on.

Can you breathe?

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Musings, 0 comments

Fort McMurray

Many of you know that I live in Canada. I lived for some years in Edmonton, Alberta which isn’t close to Fort McMurray, but it’s close enough.

I am not currently affected by the flames that are razing the town.

I am not, but my best friends are.

These people are my family. Not like my family, they are my family.

A woman/girl/nerd/pantron that I have known for almost 8 years lives in Fort McMurray. She lives there with her husband and their three cats. Would I be where I am today without her? Would I be who I am without her?

No.

Of course not.

I want to do something so badly. I am in Manitoba; two provinces away. I know she’s stressed out. Her husband is stressed out. How could they not be? I’m trying to give them space. I have to stop looking at Facebook because I just keep seeing information which is almost giving me an anxiety attack.

All five of them (cats included) are in Edmonton staying in their condo. They couldn’t be safer.

But their lives are upended now. Things will change.

I was hoping to visit this summer, but I’m not even going to think about that right now.

They don’t need me meddling. They don’t need me in their way while they rebuild. Even if their house survives this their lives will be forever changed. It’s taking everything in me to resist hopping into my car and driving the 12 hours out there to see them. To behold with my own eyes that they are okay.

If you could take the time to check out May The Fort Be With You. It’s a Facebook page right now but it looks like they’re planning on selling t-shirts as a fundraiser. I want to get one. It’s the least I can do.

But know this; if my PanTron calls me and says she wants to see me, I will hop in my goddamn car and drive out there without a question. She is my PanTron. My only PanTron.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Snow, Snow, Snow!

Here in Manitoba, Canada we laugh when Spring starts to appear. Like most places in Canada March seems to herald in a new season. Snow starts to melt, the sun shines and temperatures rise. Lots of people discard their parkas or other winter coats in favour of lighter Spring jackets and sweaters. There are even people who start wearing shorts! I know 10°C is warm, but come on!

But in Manitoba, we know better. We know this is just a ruse, a trick. It’s not actually Spring yet. We’ve gotten a dumping of snow in May for crying out loud! When I lived in Alberta, it was much the same. I haven’t lived in Saskatchewan before, but since it’s sandwiched between the two, I imagine it’s similar.

So it was no surprise when a fresh, crisp blanket of white greeted me this morning. Flakes were falling gently in the air. Ah, snow. It’s snowing again and we’re liable to get another 2-4cm today.

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My eldest son was less than impressed. He wanted the green grass and the puddles to come back. Driving to work this morning had us going through 2 intersections. Such is life here.

On a good note, do you all remember that money issue I’ve been bitching about for the last seven months? Of course you do! If there’s anything I do well, it’s complain.

Yesterday afternoon the bank called my husband to inform him that the cheque had been received. Within an hour, it was showing in our account. FINALLY! FINALLY! The money has been received. I no longer have to worry about buying groceries this weekend. I don’t have to worry about paying my mortgage. I don’t have to worry about being able to afford the new socks my kid so desperately needs.

I have been offered lots of support in terms of money to fill the gaps while we were waiting for this goddamn payout. Friends, family, friends that are basically family. While I appreciate it all, I have an extreme aversion to borrowing money. I do not like owing people money. I don’t like owing even a dollar to someone. Being indebted to someone makes me go into extreme anxiety-mode.

I’ve associated owing money to someone as basically giving that person rights  to your life. Like blood money. My rational brain thinks this thought-process is ridiculous. My irrational brain tends to be a bit louder and is like “whaaaaa? NO!”

Other good news is that we are now able to afford those tiny extras we’ve been waiting on. I can paint the office and purchase one of the last pieces of furniture. We paid off my student loan, I paid off the credit card, I repaid my in-laws (they bought us the desk for the office. I’ve been in agony ever since). My husband was able to order the new toy he wanted. Once the credit card recovers from its workout I’ll pay it off again and put the rest of  the money in savings like I planned.

Things are finally looking up. The last seven months have been hell and stress. Things have been tense and no one was happy. Now we can focus on being a family again. My husband and I can afford to go on a date. It is better now. Much better.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

My Head is Pounding

I know a lot of people who suffer from migraines. I don’t know that I’ve ever had massive migraines per se, but today I definitely have a bastard of a headache. I didn’t even drink last night or something!

Coupled with that is this condition that’s plagued me since I was 18. It only got ‘diagnosed’ when I was in my early twenties. The muscles in my ribs are too close together, so during times of stress, lack of sleep, or just because, they will spasm violently in what I imagine feels like being stabbed repeatedly. Today is one of those days. The knock-off Advil I’ve taken has dulled it, but not removed it. Generally on days like today I curl up in my bed and don’t move.

The spasms don’t happen as often as they used to, but they still happen. It’s been a while since it was this bad though. Normally I can work through it. I’m writing about it today so that I can stop thinking about it. If I explain it enough I can ignore it and function throughout my work day.

On another note, I’ve been using Google Docs for TAK,. Sometimes there feels to be a bit of a delay, but it’s actually pretty good. The problem is trying to write it only during lunch periods at work and not throughout the day. It’s been a bit slow at the Day Job so I don’t want to fall into a bad habit of working on TAK when I should be doing other things. You know how it is: you get a really good scene in your head and you can’t do anything else until you write that sucker down. That level of distraction isn’t good for my work ethic hahaha.

It’s been quite warm here in Canada. Even where I live, in Manitoba, it’s been warm. Aside from the territories and Newfoundland and Labrador, I’m certain Manitoba is the coldest province. It’s flat. It’s windy. The windchill is a bastard. I’ve lived in Alberta, which is pretty cold but Manitoba takes the cake. I even live in the south of Manitoba! So damn flat.

Because of this, the weather is kind of a jerk. We had temperatures of 17°C on Sunday. Now it’s -2°C and there are threats of snow. That’s how you know it’s warm here. When it snows.

I just want to crawl back in my bed, assume the fetal position and not move. Maybe sleep. Maybe read. But most of all, pretend that adulting doesn’t exist.

For now, I will give myself an adulting participation ribbon and be on with my day!

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Both of these are applicable today

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 2 comments