P is for *Protest. A-Z Challenge.

I started going white, just in the front, when I was 21. I dyed my hair at first even though I really liked my white streak. Why? Peer pressure mostly. I didn’t want to look “old” because old was something that was frowned upon. Grey hair on a younger person meant I had given up on myself somehow. Dying the grey out meant I was “fighting” growing old.

This idea is HILARIOUS to me! Like dying my hair somehow hid me from the Grim Reaper. Like dying my hair showed I was doing my best to stay alive or something. Like dying my hair made me immortal.

I eventually decided to stop and embrace my grey and now I’m grey on purpose.

Seriously. I’m not grey enough to have a full head of it yet, so I put in light streaks and my hairdresser and I have been toning the shit out of my hair to get it match the natural tinsel that’s growing in.

It’s glorious and very freeing. I LOVE my hair, the greyer and whiter it gets, the better. My work kids tease me and say “You look like a Grandma!” which makes me laugh as I say ” I AM a Grandma! And Grandmas are the BEST kind of people!” We gotta teach these little ones young.

It wasn’t easy to get to this age positive, grey positive place. There was pushback from friends, hairdressers, society of course. My husband even, in not so many words of course. I wield a mean frying pan plus.. divorce.

But I was angry and I was defiant so I pushed through that NONSESNE fueled by one little experience that shaped a whole portion of my life.

My father in law, in one of the few times he ever made me angry, said this of an elderly neighbour lady:

” Have you seen Wilma’s hair?! It’s so long and scraggly. Grey too. She needs to cut and dye it. She looks like an old sea hag!”

A nasty comment, right? Usually I was able to let his misogynistic B.S. float in one ear and out the other, but there was something about this time, or maybe it was something about me at that time , that didn’t allow that happen.

That comment circulated in my brain as I watched this lady out in her garden enoying life and hurting nobody. How DARE he judge her like that? What gave HIM the right to decide what she did with her f8cking hair? Hadnt she earned the right at her age to do whatever the f8ck she wanted?! And why was it ok for him to be OLD and have GREY hair but not her? Dad wasn’t that much younger than Wilma, did he forget that fact or was this a judgement only reserved for women?

Oooooh, I was mad!

I turned to him, eyes blazing I’m sure and said ” I think it’s beautiful! It’s HER hair and she wasn’t placed on earth to please you. ”

Silence. Dad was known for being an asshole when challenged and not many were brave enough to do it.

He raised an eyebrow and I forged on, my mind made up in an instant ” I HOPE I look like her when I’m that age. You may call ME a Sea WITCH!”

And that was that.

I would have my grey hair. I would wear it proudly in PROTEST of all our stupid cultural beliefs and expectations. And f8ck anyone who tries to tell me differently.

I told you I was mad.

I’ve been a greyling ever since.

Protest hair. It’s a thing!





O is for * Old. A-Z Challenge.

When does one get old? Is there a certain age? A cut off date?

I know people commonly retire around 65. Is that when a human gets old?

The closer I get to 65, the less OLD, people of 65 look to me.

Strikingly they look like peers! We all look so young still.

I remember reading about a woman who was discussing end of life care with her doctors. She stunned them when she requested that everything be done to save her, in the case of an emergency. ” I’m too young to die!” she stated emphatically.

She was 92.

Now as I sit here in my mid forties, 92 seems like it might be an age when one is old, but clearly this lady didn’t think so!

Will I think I’m old if I’m lucky enough to reach the age of 92?

I suspect once I hit my 70s, those 90 year olds are gonna start looking younger too 😉

So what age is old? Who gets to decide what that age is? Is it a thing that can only be measured in the body? Or is it measured in the mind, heart and the soul?

How do you measure age? When do you feel you’ll be old?


N is for * Neighbourhood Nonsense. A-Z Challenge.

As a child in poverty, I have lived in a lot of interesting places.

As a young home schooling mother of two, in a one income home, I have rented in a lot of interesting places.

And as a late bloomer first time home buyer, I am currently living in an interesting place!

I’ve seem some crazy stuff, some awful stuff too but I’ve also seen a lot of nonsense. I don’t know about you but I LOVE nonsense!

It’s not really scary, at worst it’s just…frustrating and there is usually an element of humour in it, somewhere! That’s the best part .

My favourite community for nonsense was Williams Lake, BC.

A mill town, in the interior of the province, it’s a kind of backwards place. They have some social problems and some race problems and some housing problems and some…lets just say they have some problems!

Most places do, right? It’s just that in a place with a population of just under 11,000 people, those problems are like RIGHT THERE!

It wasn’t a horrible place to live and nothing majorly bad happened to us. Williams Lake has the honour of being the place where I met my very first circle of ladies. The ladies who loved and accepted me so generously and in doing so taught me so much! So, the city has it’s place in my heart for sure.

But the nonsense! Oh my!

The rental rate was at .1% vacancy. We were living in a crappy trailer, in an even crappier trailer park when our lives took a turn!

  1. Frequent drunk male visitors to our neighbour, Elsie who was the neighbourhood bootlegger. Her customers would make their way down the hill from a visit with her, fall and then just roll to the bottom. It was awful to watch at first because… human dignity…but after a while, I’m ashamed to say we’d usually just laugh and call the cops to get the guy off the road and safely into the drunk tank for the night. This happened more than a couple of times a week!
  2. The old man and woman across the “street” who’d have rip roaring fights about ???, who the hell knows! But they were mad and they were loud and they were outside and it usually ended with Kay yelling “Oh go to bed!” at Dolphus, while the rest of us giggled and took that particular phrase as our own. I even say it unironically these days, ha ha.
  3. Peeing! Everywhere there was peeing! During Stampede Week, I saw a rather large lady drop her drawers behind a very thin sapling, in the middle of town and just let loose. The next day, some dude in the trailer park walked behind an empty trailer and took a leak all the while yelling at me ” I wasn’t pissing, Lady!” when I freaked out at because he was RIGHT there by my freaking window! And he WAS SO pissing! But the last straw and the thing to make me laugh was the next day when I looked out that same window again and saw some thing else relieving itself. A deer. A bloody deer, just squatting there all casual like, peeing on the grass. Even in my pissed off -ha!- state, I could see the joke in that. A Universal joke.
  4. Stampede Week again, middle of town, again and this time we see a commotion in the bushes. Someone is struggling to stay upright. They lose the battle and a MOON appears. The whole town is mooned by some drunk guy falling down, pants around his knees, bare bum hanging out, in the bushes. I still think of that and laugh. Bare bums are just funny and I don’t know, I just felt such affection for the guy. This is how you know I was acclimatized to all the nonsense!
  5. Speaking of drunk people- are you noticing the trend?- The kids and I were having a quiet night at home when “BOOOM!!” the whole house shakes and rolls on its wheels, my 15 year old cat flies ( like literally flies) out of the bay window and we watch one of Elsie’s clients, maneuver himself out of her parking spot in a 1000 point turn. This was really helpful because it gave me time to call the 5-0. They caught him at the bottom of trailer park hill and he was so drunk, they weren’t sure how he was even alive. His blood level was so crazy high that the cops came back to tell me what it was in amazement, lol. Of course I don’t remember the number but it must have something really high! Now there is nothing funny about drunk driving BUT there is something funny about his slow getaway that enabled him to get caught.
  6. Elsie loved my daughter and my daughter loved her. I was totally OK with this relationship because Elsie was always appropriate. Well, usually appropriate. There was one night when she came creeping onto our porch with a bag of candy for her at 3am and when she didn’t get an answer, tried her very best to break in by jimmying the lock! My 15 year old son had to tell her he’d send Jig over in the morning and she went away. (After suggesting that maybe an afternoon visit might be better)
  7. Elsie was a sweetheart but a tough lady and she had exacting standards of behavior that she expected her many boyfriends to uphold. Elsie had boundaries like nobody else and when one of her boy toys crossed them, well we’d all be in for a treat. I cannot count how many times we watched Elsie running out of her house screaming with fury while she beat some dude with a mug. Or a broom. Or his very own bicycle..Elsie was tough! I really admired her for that. Don’t worry, we always watched, phone at the ready in case the situation turned murderous but honestly, we were cheering her on.

So there you have, some neighbourhood nonsense. Thinking about this all kinda makes me miss the “dub”. There were some issues yes, but those people were still human beings who treated us well and accepted us for who we were. They taught me a lot and really helped define my sense of justice, integrity and powers of empathy. I became a better person for living amongst them, that’s for damn sure. They made me laugh, they tested my patience and inner compass and they showed themselves, warts and all so authentically to me. What a beautiful gift ❤

M is for *Melatonin For S.A.D. A-Z Challenge.

Have any of you read the Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson? There’s Netflix series of the same name…???

In the book, a group of people hole up in a haunted house and aim to do an investigation of sorts and all kinds of weird shit goes down. The brilliance of the story is that one never really knows if the hauntings of place and people are true hauntings or the results of a mental disorder. It’s creepy, thought provoking stuff.

When I read it I was shook! It reminded me of something that happens to ME, every Autumn.

DO I live in a Haunted House…..???? !!!

Ha. I wish I was so lucky!

No.

As the Summer light fades to a brilliant Fall, a change comes over me. I know its coming and try my best to stop it but somehow how it always gets me! S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder, known usually as Seasonal Depression.

Even with the typical treatment you hear about, light therapy, vitamins, diet and exercise, cognitive therapy…I turn from my normal cheery, positive self to a hate filled monster. The physical symptoms are bad enough, aches and pains. Low energy. Sleep issues. What bothers me the most is the change to ME. I fixate on people and things in a hateful way. I decide that they are JUST THE WORST and spend all of September and October despising everything and everyone, until I pop up again for air in mid November and realize I’ve been overtaken again.

It all feels so normal when I’m in it. I really believe the things I’m thinking are true and valid. Thank Goddess for self control and clarity. And to all of you suffering with a year long depression disorder. High Five for making it through the everyday.

BUT when I came up for air this past November, I found something very helpful. I don’t even remember where I heard about it … Micro dosing with melatonin. One takes a wee amount, in the late afternoon, like 1mg and carries on like usual. It doesn’t make you sleepy but it does help with
circadian misalignment which is a major part of SAD.

I haven’t tried it through the worst of my seasonal depression but I did notice a positive change when I did in November. I felt better over all, both physically and mentally. I felt lighter and brighter and the usual “last hurrah” of illness that strikes me in February, didn’t make an appearance. That’s pretty amazing since I’ve been dealing with this since I was a child. The true test will be this Autumn and I am ever hopeful! I’m going to take when I notice Summer fade to Fall in addition to all my other treatments. Check back with me here, around mid November for an update!

Now, I’m a nut. Not a doctor. So PLEASE, if you suffer so and think this all sounds very interesting do your own research. Here is a link to get you started.

Untreated S.A.D can turn into something a lot more invasive so I urge you to seek help from your doctor too.

Do any of you suffer with S.A.D in the Winter? What have you found helpful?

L is for *Lists(4) A-Z Challenge.

Everyone should keep a list of all the little things they love.https://laelheart.ca/2018/08/08/everyone-should-keep-a-list/

  1. Sunny days.
  2. Mist in the trees.
  3. Wee tiny mice.
  4. Purry cats.
  5. Happy dogs.
  6. Crawling babies.
  7. Sassy 4 year olds.
  8. Salty ham.
  9. Asparagus.
  10. Slip on shoes.
  11. Peace of mind.
  12. People laughing with no malice.
  13. Orange cats.
  14. Dogs that look like coyotes.
  15. Warm feet.
  16. Clipped toenails.
  17. Hot Cross Buns.
  18. Returning into a warm house from the cold.
  19. Sparkles.
  20. Those short periods of time when one has all their shit together.
  21. A big pile of books.
  22. Painted fingernails.
  23. Comfort in self.
  24. Magpies.
  25. A plush blanket that doesn’t smell like dog.

What would you include on your list?

K is for *Knowledge. A-Z Challenge.

I came across the coolest post this year, on a blog I follow. Art by Wildflower

She had written about all the things she’d learned thus far this year and I just thought that was the neatest thing. Both her post and the idea.

It got me thinking about knowledge and how we sell ourselves short sometimes. Especially when we can’t see something that others might be able to. I really do think that if we sat down and had a bit of a think, we would find that we’d gained some knowledge, and learned a thing or two!

So that’s what I’ve done. Had myself a sit with a cup of tea and the wonderful world around me and just let it come…

  1. January is the longest month. February is not all that much better. I’m not talking about actual number of days. I’m talking about how those days feel. They seem to drag on forever! I’ve always known this but I’ve never known this. Once I get through those first two months of the year I seem to develop amnesia and am suddenly surprised and horrified again, once the new year comes. GAH!
  2. Sometimes, even when you don’t want to, especially when you don’t want to, a person has to do some things they might not like, in order to live a better life. For me, its going outside during the Winter months. I think had I not holed up in my house, snug as a bug in a rug, I might not have felt January/ February were so long and awful! Watch for a new me next year, ha ha.
  3. I need way more human contact than I think or want! According to science we’re social animals. I’ve always scoffed at this because humaning is exhausting to me. BUT, without human interaction I seem to go a wee bit squirrely, and me thinks I need to up my interaction throughout Winter from once a month to more than that! This was easy when I was working as I was forced too, ha! Perhaps science is right on this one….
  4. Here’s some with a broader view. No one person is all bad. No one person is all good either. Same goes for situations and circumstances. The world is both ugly and beautiful.
  5. A person can influence and affect change just by being themselves.
  6. The sky looks different from season to season.
  7. It’s better to get right to a task and do it rather than sit around complaining about it. The work is the same but the latter takes way longer and is super stressful.

And that’s that for me. A small collection of the things I’ve learned since January. I know I often rush through my life and never stop to think about what’s really happening. It feels good to realize that I have been picking up some new things as I go.

How about you? What new knowledge have you gained this year?

J is for *Joypop. A-Z Challenge.

There are a lot of interesting “J” words. So many ones to choose from. Journal. Jocoseness. JUSTICE. That’s a good one. Everyone loves justice.

Then there’s Joypop!

Joypop sounds so … cheery, doesn’t it? So cute. So tame.

Well.

Imagine my surprise to read this:

: to use habit-forming drugs occasionally or irregularly without becoming addicted

Not so cute now, ha!

And it’s not some new thing, brought into being by KIDS THESE DAYS, “joypop” has been around since 1953.

1953!

Dr. Gabor Mate does say lots of people use drugs and don’t become addicted…

Clearly, they are joypopping.

Hmmm.

What do you think about all of that?