V is for *Vulnerability. A-Z Challenge.

Gah! Just typing the word skeeves me out.

Vulnerability.

You might not be able to tell at this present time but I have used to have a hard lacquered shell over my heart.

I grew it myself over the years in response to:

A. Being born a highly sensitive person.

B. Experiencing both ongoing and sudden trauma.

My hard shell has served me well. ( POETRY!) It was a necessary tool I used to protect myself. It gave me a feeling of power, control, comfort and safety.

It helped me as I built resilience and courage. It helped me as I cultivated my fierce sense of honesty, authenticity and integrity.

And then it started working against me and cut me off from intimacy and truth , truth. Connection and freedom.

It be like that sometimes.

Lucky for me, my hard shell was actually a fragile thing. It was smashed to the ground and shattered a few years ago.

That event left me shocked and reeling. Unable to hide. Exposed.

Completely vulnerable.

It was awful.

But it was also awesome because I kind of “levelled up” if you will. I grew exponentially within myself. Something that would have never happened had I been wearing that really tight and limiting shell.

I was forced to finally admit that I while, yes, I am still a bad ass. I am not all that tough. I actually do have feelings. LOTS OF THEM.

I have a very squishy heart. My insides are full of marshmallow fluff.

YES!!!

Most people saw through my tough act anyhow. I wasn’t really hiding anything. Mostly I just made a fool out of myself, ha ha.

I was as human as anybody else!

So, I’ve had to learn how to allow myself to be vulnerable. I’ve had to learn how to show my heart, how to live through my heart and how to protect myself as needed, by other means. (Boundary setting and lots of self love)

This whole blog is an expression of living through my heart!

Being vulnerable still scares me of course and it still takes lots of work to stick with. That’s where really where my strength lies. That’s really where my toughness is. Because while my heart is soft and marshmellowy, while it’s squishy and silly, it is also stubborn and fierce and brave.

My hero!

What are your thoughts on vulnerability? Is it easy for you? Do you cringe too? What does vulnerability mean to you?


Q is for *Queen. A-Z Challenge.

When I was going through a very bad thing a few years ago, it became very apparent to me and ALL OTHERS that I really needed to do some work on my self worth. Realizing I had it, cultivating more of it, and nurturing it every day, forever more.

People tried to explain it to me and for lots of reasons I just couldn’t get it. It wasn’t sinking in. The problem I believe is that I was looking at it from a logical view point and logic while nice, is not my usual go to method of existing in the world. I need magic and whimsy. I need metaphors and stories. I need imagery and symbolism.

So I struggled and struggled but I kept on trying. In my trying I had many conversations with the people in my life about the subject and one of them was life changing.

“It’s like this” my supervisor said to me. This supervisor being a very strong, confident person of imposing bearing ” I know that no matter what’s happening, I AM the BOSS.” Stretching her bulk up straighter and throwing her shoulders back she continued ” I am the Queen!” She laughed, tossing her hair back as she strutted around the room. ” And I treat myself as such! Always. Without exception. I also don’t allow others to treat me badly because I know that I.Am.The.Boss in my life”

This woman really identified with being a boss. So much so that she went a little overboard and could be extremely overbearing. But there was wisdom in her words. I would never be comfortable with calling myself “boss” even though that’s an apt description but queen…queen was something I could definitely use!

And use it I did. It took awhile and there were many more conversations about self worth and self love, many more discoveries, lessons and realizations but I finally GOT IT and now the word Queen has great meaning to me. It spawned the huge realization in me that I really do LOVE MYSELF. I really do TRUST MYSELF.

I am a dignified Queen. That became my core mantra and soothing balm for all things. I bought myself a crown ring …

See the source image

and charm for my bracelet..

See the source image

so I would never forget.

There’s a tattoo in the works to literally drill it into me, ha ha.

I have to tell you, the day my husband bought me this:

I felt like the lesson I learned and the progress I’d made was visible to others too. Yahoo!

Self love/worth is an on going thing. It’s the continuing relationship between you and you. It’s your most important relationship and I’m so grateful for the lessons I learned, even if they did come late, because…wow, I feel so much lighter in this world and very queenly 😉

Do you have a word that signifies your own self worth? Please share! And if you’re struggling please know that you really are a person of worth, no matter what, simply by being alive! ❤


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!





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?

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?

G is for *Grandparenting A-Z Challenge.

This one taught me about ferocious protectiveness, expectations versus reality, loss, insecurity, Oneness, acceptance and renewal. She showed me my mortality. She showed me myself perfectly reflected in her. She showed me love.

A headstrong, goofball wild-child blessing. My Miss Sassafras.

This one taught me to relax into comfort and ease. To love wholeheartedly with security, to watch and admire all with wonder and awe and, that good things come to those who wait, even after a loss.

My bulldozer baby, Mr. OV.


Being a Grandmother is the best role I’ve ever been in. It’s not perfect. Please don’t misunderstand me, its nowhere close to being a perfect experience but it is RICH in all things and FULL of LIFE. I am so grateful to have experienced this stage, as it is. I feel like the Skin Horse in The Velveteen Rabbit, REAL.

I hope you all get the chance to be come REAL too.

Love & Squishy Hugs.

E Is For *Everything. A-Z Challenge.

Me to Me during one of my daily check ins: ” What are you grateful for?”

“Everything”

I feel like I need to acknowledge it all, because there are so many things to be grateful for and I’m afraid that if I don’t acknowledge it, I’ll take it for granted.

You can see how this could turn into an obsessive thought.

Ha! It might even BE an obsessive thought NOW!

Whatevs. Normal is just a setting on the dryer.

I just know when I’m nearing my end, its going to be all those little things that fill my heart with love, light and longing. It feels important to me to recognize them. The good and the bad.

Everything.