What I learned in my 40’s….

In September I officially hit my last birthday while I was in my 40’s.  In celebration of starting my 50th year on this planet, I decided I would blog monthly on what I learned while I while i went through the last decade. 

The first thing I’ve learned is that I have earned the gray hair I have.  

I’m really lucky because I don’t have a lot of it yet…..   and Mother Nature thinks I deserved to have a distinctive patch of grey.  It’s kind of funny that people pay to have the kind of unique grey highlight that I have not exchanged money for. 

I likely have exchanged time, stress, challenges, sadness, happiness and joy for this feature.  But I have learned other things about this grey hair. 

It’s coarse.  It has a mind of its own. It is very white. It stands out against the rest of my natural hair colour. 

I own it.  It represents a badge of honour for making it this far and I’m proud of it.  The coarseness is similar to the sharpness of some of the experiences which I am assuming have contributed to its presence.  

The wildness and inability to be tamed with conventional methods reminds me of the enthusiasm and freedom of my 20’s.  The colour or clearness of the colour is symbolic of some of the clarity I have gained through my life.  Clarity I did not have about who I was 20+ years ago that I have now. (White is all colours combined.  It’s like a culmination of all of my experiences thus far expressed in colour.  Those who know me know I love colour and celebrate it at any opportunity. )

So even though my unruliness of my grey hair can be a bit vexing, I’m embracing it. My 40’s have been good to me.  I’m excited to see what is ahead of me. 


Anxiety and its place with us all

I was reminded about the topic of anxiety today when I was driving home from work and was listening to the radio host discuss a study which mentioned many people (particularly millenials) who now don’t like use a phone or a doorbell.  

One subject even mentioned that he didn’t even know if his friends had a doorbell. Instead of ringing a doorbell to announce you have arrived at someone’s house, this person texts their friends to tell them they are just around the corner, encouraging the friend to open the door and let them in, avoiding the anxiety of ringing a doorbell. 

It made me think about anxiety,  as I definitely have experienced my share of this at one time or another, and I began to think that this behaviour further distances the portion of the population that do not have smart phones or text.  I also think that this technology and being plugged in actually encourages anxiety.  The need to answer a text back immediately. The need to know who is at the door or who is calling.  Our smart phones and other technology provides us with the information that we know who is calling us, and further distances us from human contact. 

I really question that this behaviour encourages social interaction. It feels like we are protecting ourselves further from the world and doesn’t support the learning of how to deal with those situations and become comfortable dealing with the unknown.  

This is just a point of conversation. But I know for myself, I feel the need to keep up with technology creates its own anxiety.  It’s own feeling of not belonging.  What are we doing to ourselves?   

Anyways, my thoughts on a rainy evening.  Typing on my iPad.  Ironic isn’t it?  😬. 

Podcasting the drive away

I always find that some of the podcasts I chose to listen to are what I need to hear at that moment. 

I drove for over 4 hours on Sunday to be able to meet up with my family at an annual event – Pioneer Days at Doubletree Village Museum. It is located just west of Spruceview and I would urge you to check it out next year!  Or connect with the owners, Ray and Anna Stanton, and they can coordinate a private event.  Doubletree Village Museum.  

I chose to use my drive to listen to podcasts.  I follow the School of Greatness – with Lewis Howes.  School of Greatness I always find one of the podcasts that strikes a chord with me. The one I heard today was when Lewis interviewed Mel Robbins. She is a force to be reckoned with and I really appreciated her discussion on the 5 Second Rule to Change Your Life. Mel Robbins

Something to reprogram ambition and thoughts.  Whenever you have moments where you think “I should do this…..” and then say but I don’t feel like it, and then in turn you don’t do that “this” that you had thought about you are letting your feelings overrule your thinking.  (Keep in mind I am paraphrasing and Mel has published a book on this – I want to read it). 

Mel suggests reprogramming that moment by counting backwards from 5.   So 5 4 3 2 1. This allows your brain to keep thinking versus feelings taking over.  

It is a tool to use in my “mind over comfy bed” moments when I think I should get out of bed but instead think I don’t feel like it.  This doesn’t mean I can’t still have those moments but it is a tool to help my brain counteract that propensity to sloth.  

I have been finding lately that I am not getting some of the things accomplished in my spare time that I would like.  This nugget of synapse gold came to me when I needed it.  

Don’t you find that sometimes the answer you are seeking is right there waiting for you to notice it?   Or you stumble upon it and it comes just at the right time.  That is how I find a lot of the podcasts I listen to.  They share great things that I just happened to require that message.  Now will I listen?   Maybe that’s another lesson I still need to learn.  This is one that I think I will.  

I’m sharing a few pics from the time spent visiting Pioneer Days.  Beautiful weather.  Perfect day.  So glad I went. 

Chasing peacocks is a reality. 

Mothers Day inevitably means a trip to see my parents and my grandmother. Especially since I moved back to Alberta, it has meant the annual pilgrimage. It coincides with enjoying spring on the farm, my fathers birthday, and my nieces birthday.  

This past trip also involved a jaunt around the farm yard looking for an elusive juvenile male peacock who had ran away during earlier attempts by my parents to corral him back into a safe pen. I heard all about the bursts of speed by both parental units in the quest to save this bird from what could be an unlikely demise. 

My father asked me if I could take some time wandering around looking for this bird during a cool spring evening.  During my travels I got to traipse through my mothers budding garden, around old fences, and really get some fresh air. 

No peacock was found. I guess he made an appearance the next morning, much to the chagrin of a hungry coyote, but the relief of my mom. 

I did enjoy the emergence of spring and wanted to share some of those sights. 

Hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day weekend!

Colours of Easter 

My Easter has constituted of being able to spend some time playing with fabric.   And, doing a bit of quilting.  

I got the top of the frog quilt together.  And decided it needed a border or two.

I went to a local quilt store (big mistake for my pocket book), and I found this delightful frog fabric, which I will use in conjunction with this adjacent fabric as borders.  I think I will cut the frogs so that way they are lining  up all in the same direction.  

I also made some more of these blocks.  Figuring out what I would like to do, as I think I would like to do more of the same blocks, but having the colours go in the other direction.  

The colour is coming together bit by bit at the sewing machine

So my Easter weekend has felt pretty productive.  a the weather here has been sketchy at times, so it was nice to spend some time at home getting a few things done.  

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend.  Revelling in the colour like I did!

Groundhog Day in March…..

Have you ever had those kinds of days where everything you attempt to do or work on will not be completed at that moment of focus?  Where no matter how much time you spend on a particular issue, or task, it will either have to be redone, can’t be completed, or just plain is determined to thwart your most concerted efforts to get one thing done.  Kind of like the movie “Groundhog Day”. Groundhog Day

I had at least 2 of those types of days this week.

I was lucky enough to acknowledge it early enough in the day to actually find it humourous, as well as find some patience about the whole thing.  It was enough to make me thankful when I am able to get something checked off the “list”.  It really did remind me of the movie and I found the movie pretty funny.

Then I went to a movie with my niece yesterday.  B – thanks so much for the great suggestion – “Before I Fall” was a great movie.  It kept getting more and more interesting, and I found the ending of the movie to be really moving.  Before I Fall

It really made me think about what I would do if I was stuck in the endless loop of a day.  How would I change my actions or reactions?  What would I do to make the day better?  Would I lose my filter for the day, and say exactly what I thought?  Would I try to change the outcomes for those I was affecting?  I will try not to spoil the movie’s ending; I found it to be a bittersweet “feel good” ending.  And, it made me think.  

What would you do if you were challenged with having to relive the same day over and over until the outcome was as the universe intended?  

I think that many things we allow into our lives, actually are there to teach us something, and until we have learned that particular lesson, it keeps being presented again and again.  (Actually, this happens in quilting, as if you don’t get something right, you will keep getting opportunities to “Unsew”, “reverse sew” or “rip out” until we get it right.  

So we all have our own versions of “Groundhog Day”.  I hope you are able to make it through with humour and grace.  

Irish Blessings

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I hope everyone is enjoying this celebration of the Feast of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

I have a special place in my heart for Ireland.  My grandmother’s maiden name is Murphy.  Not much more Irish than that. I participated in a cycling tour of parts of Ireland almost 8 years ago.  It was an amazing trip, and I really appreciated being totally immersed in the environment, as well as enjoying the authenticity of the Irish.

Even through the rain showers (the trip was during September – most days had showers), it was amazing.  I really enjoyed the fresh air, the quaint little towns we passed through, and the welcoming nature that everyone had.  It is a spectacular place, and the landscape is breathtaking.  THe 40 shades of green – well – I think I saw them.  It was beautiful.  

This has brought me thinking about Irish Blessings.  One of my favourites:

Wherever you go and whatever you do,

May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

And here is a wonderful IRish toast for this day often accompanying some adult beverage indulgence:

Here’s to you and yours,

And to mine and ours,

And if mine and ours ever come

Across you and yours,

I hope you and yours will do

As much for mine and ours,

As mine and ours have done

For you and yours!

I do not now the authors of either.  

What blessings do you bestow on your friends and family on this celebration of Saint Patrick?  Happy St. Paddy’s Day!