A-Z Challenge – Reflections.

The A-Z Challenge felt really low key for me this year.

It was my second year with this blog so I think that played a role. Less first time jitters, less “have a thing or two to prove” mindset 🙂 NOt only that…we’re in the middle of a pandemic! There is a certain fog that comes with that too.

Instead of making a point to visit participating blogs starting April 1, this year I visited blogs as they signed up on the main list, a little bit at a time in the month beforehand! Last year, visiting the blogs and commenting on every single one grew to be most stressful. This year was much more relaxed and enjoyable.

I did follow Blogger blogs but rarely went to visit. I feel bad about that but as a person with a lot going on, the incompatibility of the two blog platforms grew to be too great a hinderance . If it wasn’t right in front of my face, it got lost in the swirl of all the other things I had going on.

I ended up visiting all blogs on the list, up to April 1, and at my last count that number was a whopping 430 blogs! Wow. There were over 500 blogs to join by the end of sign up. Out of those 430 blogs I followed 18 new blogs that interested me. As other people visited me, I popped in to visit them and followed a few more too. I also stopped following a few blogs as time went on. Last year, I found it so cringey to go to a blog and comment for the sake of commenting. SO I made sure the blogs I followed met my personal criteria so that I’d be better able to interact in an authentic manner. I’m not a good faker 🙂

My intention going into this challenge was to go easy on myself and be genuine. I wrote my posts ahead of time so I could really focus on my comments and the blogs I followed. I was kind to myself if I couldnt think of something to say or if I just didn’t feel like reading anything that day too.

My theme was ” I don’t know” and that was fun to write. I really enjoy the thrill of the unknown and of course I LOVE learning new things. Even if that new thing is simply- I still don’t know. My theme allowed me to write about a variety of subjects, which is totally my jam too!

The people I met were lovely and kind and fun to engage with too. I found a lot of smart,funny,creative and interesting new blogs to read and the experience was overwhelmingly positive. Something that was especially appreciated during these weird times we find ourselves in.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for being your authentic self and thank you for seeing me, too.

Love and Squishy Hugs!

Hearts heart art GIF on GIFER - by Vojin

A- Z Challenge – Zooty

I did not know Zooty was a word! I like it!

It means: flashy in manner or style. Think zoot suit. (Duh, Lael) Which has a very interesting history itself! Go have a read. I fell into the worm hole for a bit myself.

http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8b14443 by:John Ferrell

I think I’m going to start using Zooty in my regular every day.

I use Ginchy which is also outdated so why not!

I do this thing…where I take an old term that I LOVE, use it without irony and then wait and see if others around me pick it up and take it for a run…they usually do, heh. The secret is to act like it’s a normal every day word and drop it regularly into run of the mill sentences.

In recent years I’ve been successful with : “Rad” and “That’s my jam.”

And not so successful with : “Choice.”.

I like to do this with words in other languages too! But that’s more for my own educational purposes.

Let’s see where I get with Zooty!

I’ll keep you updated.

A – Z Challenge – Youth

I don’t know why our culture is so obsessed with youth.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the young. I’m not one of those people who’s always shaking their fist and raging “Kids these days!” I think today’s youth are smarter and kinder and more motivated than ever before. Young people and I get on great because I’m a kid at heart and because they really are MY people! I feel I have way more in common with the under 30 set than with my peers.

But would I trade in my wrinkles and loose parts to go back in time and be young again?

Not, and I can’t stress this enough, a chance in hell!

Back in the day, everything seemed to be a struggle. My brain hadn’t fully developed yet. I had no clue about anything and was in a constant state of confusion, angst and dread. We all know the teen years are rough but so are all the other years!

Why would anyone ever want to go back to that?!

I’ll take my hard earned lessons, peace of mind and my wrinkles gladly, thankyouverymuch.

Smooth skin and a tight ass mean nothing to me in comparison! I’ve earned these lines and grey hairs. And I’ve earned the peace, calm, wisdom and clarity that come with them.

Now to be fair and honest I must add an aside.

Just week last I uttered these words to myself as I was hobbling around the house after a long walk ” How the fuck, did it only take 20 years to age this much?!” Which was followed by this: ” Will I age as much in the next 20 too?!”

Ha Ha Ha!

So OK you youngsters, you can still keep your smooth skin and your tight asses but I wouldn’t mind some of your ease of movement 😛

A-Z Challenge- Xyster

I did not know that a xyster is a surgical instrument used to scrape bones.

Gah! How? Why?

These are things I STILL don’t know. So frustrating! Surgeons? Can you fill me in?

The word Xyster brings to mind one of my favourite funeral practices: Sky Burials. IN Tibetan – བྱ་གཏོར་- and in Wyliebya gtor, lit. “bird-scattered” ( I just love that!)

Bodies of the dead are given to vultures to eat. When only the bones remain, they are ground up using a variety of tools, mixed with tsampa and fed to hawks and crows and other birds too, I’m sure.

There are variations of course, but that’s the general idea and I think it’s the coolest thing! I would love for my body to go to the birds like that. ❤

Maybe one day!

Xyster, for scraping bones. Hmm. Who knew?!

A-Z Challenge – Worms.

I don’t know what worms feel like.

I know what I feel like when I come across them *shudder* .

If I see worms in large numbers I run away and cry in a panic so…yeah. Unless held down and forced to touch one, this is something I’ll always not know!

It started when this highly sensitive person pulled a handful of fake fishing worms out of her dad’s pocket -his attempt to stop me from stealing his gum as a two year old- and I’ve been perpetually icked out by them, ever since!

I wear gloves in the garden at all times. And when I see one, I cover it up with dirt or move it with my shovel. I like worms…like I like any small creature. I realize and appreciate their importance…it’s just…ew!

So, I imagine they feel something like the sticky gummy lips of an old dog with droopy jowls.

The Hubs says they are slimy. I’ll take his word on that, ha!

He’s the resident worm saver. I finally worked up the nerve to save one myself last year – I’m 46- using two very long sticks! I was SO proud! And I once called out a very grateful “thank you!” to a stranger on the street for saving a worm the size of a freaking snake, trapped on the sidewalk. I’d been crying and fighting my revulsion for 5 mins because I wanted to save it…I just couldn’t. Not even with gloves. So that stranger was a hero twice over! ❤ Those wiggly things might gross me out but I don’t wish them any harm.

They seem pretty friendly though:

Ha Ha!

Gross. 😉

A – Z Challenge – Verb.

I grew up thinking Love was a feeling. A magic feeling, with powers all of its own!

I thought Love conquered all.

I thought when you loved someone, that love would endure through the ages with no help from anything. Love would wipe away faults and problems and every other thing a person could imagine.

Once you had Love, you were set for life.

Yeah….the fall from that mistaken belief was a hard one!

Life got infinitely better for everyone in my life, when I realized what I did not know:

Love is a VERB.

A-Z Challenge – Ugly

Who decided that an ugly appearance was a bad thing?

I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t put on this earth to be pretty for ANYONE. If someone finds me unattractive… well, that’s a them problem.

Why are we, as a society so bloody OBSESSED with beauty? I get the whole biology thing but seriously, aren’t we supposed to be better than that? We’ve got these big brains! Cant we use them to override some of that evolutionary nonsense?

And WHY do we think that if one person or another isn’t pleasing to us, then that person shouldn’t be pleasing to any other? There are SEVEN PLUS BILLION human beings on this planet and I’m expected to please them all?!

F8ck that!

Why is my worth dependant on my appearance?

It’s not. Nor is yours.

I don’t know…the whole idea of this just seems so stupid to me. This is something I truly don’t understand. It boggles my mind.

A-Z Challenge- Toxicity

When I went no contact with my dysfunctional family 12+ years ago I was hoping that at some point, my sister and I would eventually be able to have a healthy relationship.

I imagined we’d come together effortlessly. Our relationship would be one born of growth and healthy behaviors. It would be “normal”.

My issue wasn’t with her so much as it was with the woman who gave birth to me. And even though there were problems between us, I chalked it up to her level of maturity. I thought she’d grow and gain clarity and do her best to unlearn the negative behaviors and coping skills we both had. Armed with our new skills we’d live happily ever after.

Ha Ha Ha!

I’m such a dreamer.

What I did not know was how deep the level of toxicity would be for a person continuing to live within that dysfunction.

I haven’t lived within it for years. I’ve been able to untangle things, to heal, to grow and develop a beautiful healthy life.

She has not.

It’s strange because she never seemed bothered by any of the mess. She was way better at letting things slide off her back.

The years and toxicity take their toll and do their damage anyway. Just because a person seems to be doing well doesn’t meant they are.

Every so often she messages me – drunk- and tries to start things up again but I just can’t. I’ve worked too hard to create the life and maintain the positive mental state that I have.

When I dreamed my little sisterly dream so many years ago, I did not know that I’d choose the opposite. And it would feel right for me. I did not know that I’d choose peace, with firmness and love.

A-Z Challenge- Sneeze

Before COVID 19 came to town a sneeze was just a sneeze.

Photo by Brandon Nickerson on Pexels.com

I’d “achoo!” and think nothing of it. Mostly my sneezes were a sign of allergies. I’m allergic to my cats. Snow mold. Pollen…blah blah blah. Lots of little irritants. So sneezing was just a normal part of my life.

Sometimes a sneeze could mean the start of a cold. So I’d up my elderberry syrup and wait for something to develop..or not..and continue on with my life.

I did not know that in the future a sneeze would come to mean so much more.

” Achoo!” Is this allergies or COVID 19?

“Achoo!” Is this a cold or COVID 19?

“Achoo!” Am I a carrier? I don’t have any symptoms…if I go out will I accidently kill someone?

“Achoo!” Should I order my groceries instead of going out to get them?

“Achoo!” Will this prove to be nothing and go away? Or will I die?

“Achoo!” Is this really just a sneeze?

I don’t know. Better play it safe and stay inside.

Photo by Cleyder Duque on Pexels.com

A-Z Challenge – Remember

My husband swears up and down that he’s never been in a hot tub.

Don’tbe too surprised. This is the same man who’d never owned a pair of flip flops until his late 30s! (who knew walking in flip flops had a hilarious learning curve!?)

I distinctly remember being in a hot tub with him, our friends Ivan and Michelle. Michelle’s daughter Bianca and Ivan’s brother Chris!

We were at Canada Games pool in New West. And we used to go there quite a bit! Hubs wasn’t a swimmer but he often joined us poolside and I swear, I SWEAR IT, he came into the hot tub with us this one time.

What I don’t know is whether this was a reality or a dream I turned into reality!

Hubs says I was dreaming. I’m convinced it happened in real life.

As time marches on I’m starting to lose faith in my conviction. Knowing Hubs, the man I can rarely get into water of any kind, its highly unlikely he got into a hot tub full of people. Hot tubs full of people are in his words ” a gross stew of disgusting humans” It’s highly unlikely he got into shorts never mind water. Le sigh. I don’t know for sure but I think what I remember as real, really was a dream!

But this is a fight we’ve been having for 20 years! so I cant really give up on it now, can I? Ha! I’d never hear the end of it.

Shhh, don’t tell him!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com