#48

pexels-photo-259200.jpegWhat’s this? Posting two days in a row?  What the.  .  .?

Purging will be simple today – it’s just venting.

Vent # 1- aquafit/aquasize/water aerobics – whatever you want to call it last night. It was my second class. Because last Friday’s got cancelled. I had rushed to get there all enthusiastic and everything (and a little late, too) only to be told it was cancelled due to the Alberta Winter Games.

Well.

I knew the games were on but the instructor never said anything when she was telling us that our next class was to be held in a different pool because the one we were in needed some maintenance.

You know what they say about assuming things.  .  .?

Anyway, I made plans to go with someone to a class last night. (Double checked that the class was running, first.) We arrived and stood around looking lost because we had no idea where the class was being held – no signs to indicate which pool, no milling crowd of excited participants – just us shivering on the edge feeling conspicuous in front of the row of men sitting outside the steam room and the sauna. (We come to watch!)

Finally, I asked where the class was taking place. The instructor shows up and we get in to the water. The cold water. The deep, cold water. We were standing on our toes, water lapping at our chins.  Ever tried doing a skiers lunge in water that’s nearly over your head? Ha ha ha ha. We toughed it out, but were pretty chilled by the end of the hour.

This is what was great about the class – I got out for the evening, I spent a lot of time laughing, I got to spend a bit more time with a new friend, I got some exercise and I got to sit in a hot tub afterwards.

Vent #2 – Rewards programs.

Like 99% of the population I like rewards. I like the feeling that I’m getting a little something extra for my loyalty as a consumer.

Hence, we collect Airmiles. At the rate of about 10 a year. We have 2 travel points credit cards – which get used quite regularly, and which have been extremely beneficial. We also have a PC/Optimum card for groceries and whatever.

Generally, I don’t complain about these programs because I figure, hey,  it’s a bonus and it’s better than getting nothing. Right?

Riiiight.

In the last year our travel VISA through TD has changed the way you earn and redeem points. These were tagged as ‘new’ and ‘important’ changes.  Essentially what it means is that we earn fewer points per purchase but it costs us more points when we want to redeem.

I did the irate consumer thing and called to voice my dissatisfaction. All that got me was a “We value your opinion and we’ll be sure to pass along your comments” platitude. Despite my threat to cut the card up I’ve still got it, because, well, you know, something is always better than nothing. Right?

Recently, I’ve been forced into the PC Optimum program. This is an amalgamation of the President’s Choice family of companies and Shoppers Drug Mart.

I shopped at Shoppers quite a lot, and had earned a swack of points. I didn’t really shop at Superstore that much, just occasionally, even though I had a PC points card. So I really didn’t earn many points there.

When the switcheroo came my points transferred over and I thought nothing of it. Other than – now that the two programs are joined I might as well shop more often at Superstore, and any other stores affiliated with the PC Optimum program.

And that’s how they get you. Because you think there’s a benefit in it for you.  Well, not so much.

Now I no longer earn points on every dollar I spend. I only earn points on those items they choose to send me offers for. And most of those offers are for things I’d never purchase.

It’s an ingenious marketing strategy, and one I’m sure many producers are paying handsomely to be part of. Because now they can directly target consumers and entice them to buy their products through the promise of points that they can redeem for more of their products.

So many people use these points programs to enhance the quality of their lives. It allows them to put more food on their tables, take vacations, buy gifts they might not otherwise be able to afford.

When I consider this I can’t help wondering: if, instead of spending trillions of dollars creating these ‘loyalty’ programs, companies simply lowered their prices so that consumers could actually afford to purchase what they needed and wanted – wouldn’t that in itself create loyalty?

It’s a long one today – glad I got it all out.

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47 rhymes with heaven. . . But not purging.

Well, that was just silly. But it made me smile. So.

Four days since my last post. I had a bit of a stomach thing going on this weekend. Did not feel like doing a damned thing. Seems, though, I have managed to purge myself of whatever it was, ’cause I’m feeling fine now.

Fine enough that I went grocery shopping.

I’m not one of those people who hates grocery shopping. In fact, I kind of enjoy it. I like checking out what’s fresh, what’s on sale and discovering new foods to try.

But today was a trial.

I swear every dough-head in town was in Superstore this afternoon. They parked their carts in the middle of every aisle I went down – and looked peeved when they were asked to move.

They stood smack-dab in front of the dairy coolers, doors open while they chatted on the phone, completely mindless that other shoppers wanted in.

They blocked the aisle ends so no one could get past while they stood there, gazing skyward in search of God only knows what.

They man-handled the produce to the point of obscenity. Seriously.

What I had set out upon thinking it would be a leisurely afternoon of browsing for groceries turned into an exercise in frustration.

Some days.

Glad I purged that out of my system!

Day 13 and Day 14 — Purging along

I didn′t get around to blogging yesterday about my purging efforts. Not that there was much to write about, though.

We were supposed to leave yesterday morning to get home early so that we could do some packing and errands prior to us leaving on our cruise. (I am sooo excited for this cruise!) However, there was a power outage in our building and we wound up having to stick around much longer than we planned. Tim even got stuck in the elevator once!

When we did finally get on the road it was 4:30 which put us in BA around 8:30. We went straight to the hotel where my DIL had planned a surprise birthday party for our son. We stayed til about 11 o`clock and when we got home I was so tired the last thing on my mind was to sit down and try to write.

This is what I purged yesterday: some face care product samples that I`d got at The Body Shop a while ago. I didn′t care for them, but I was forcing myself to use them because they were free and well, I felt obligated. Which is a little crazy, I know. So, yesterday when I was packing to come home I saw them and I thought throw these out! For a millisecond I considered not doing it, but then I walked over to the garbage can and let ′em go.

I also tossed my poinsettia. Every year I buy one and every year I say this year this thing is going to live. And every year it dies. I try to nurse them along, but it never works. I keep them around usually until Spring and then I plant them out in the garden and hope like hell that they`ll make a miraculous recovery. It′s never worked. So, I spared myself all that watering and agony and just dropped the poor thing in the trash. At least it will turn into compost.

Today, which is day 14 was a busy day. A birthday dinner for my son and his family. Shopping, dealing with a shattered patio window and problems with my brand new front door.

We spent a good chunk of our day getting things ready to go on our cruise. The purging involved in that has been weeding out what not to pack. I tend to pack light, but I′ve never cruised before and I`m a bit nervous about exactly what I need to take.

I began with just about every item of summer clothing I own, plus a few new things that I′ve bought in anticipation of our adventure. I plan well, and know that I`ll be doing some hand washing, but, holy crap does it ever seem like a lot! My stomach is in knots and will be until we are on our way.

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On the twelfth day of purging

The purge was pretty minimal today.

A pair of dollar store insoles. That’s what I get for trying to save a couple of bucks. I wasted them instead.

Something I know I need to purge myself of is weight. I am about 30 lbs overweight right now. I’ve gained this weight over the last couple of years. Somehow it just seemed to creep up on me and now, regardless of my efforts, I can’t get rid of it.

Wait a minute! Regardless of my efforts? My efforts have been pretty feeble if I’m going to be perfectly honest. Sure, I go out for a walk everyday – except today – it stayed around -33 all day and I just couldn’t convince myself that it was a good idea to go out in that kind of cold.

But I did do push-ups.  Five really hard push-ups. Tomorrow I’m aiming for six.

I’ve decided to add another 100 day challenge to my list. Push-ups. I think they’re like doing mini planks. Planks are good, so push-ups must be even better.

I really need to figure out a strategy for losing this weight, though. I know what I need to do to lose it. I need to find my will power again, and, I need to let go of this self- defeating notion that, just because I’m a few months away from being 60, I can eat what ever I want and exercise as little as I want.  Afterall, who’s gonna care?

Well, a bunch of people, I hope, but, most importantly, me.

 

Day 11

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Photo courtesy Google free gallery

Once again, today was basically a non-purge day. There’s just nothing physical here I can throw out. We haven’t lived here long enough to accumulate enough crap that I have to get rid of it.

On an emotional level I’m doing pretty good, though. My daily walks are certainly helping with that.

One thing I have noticed about my personal well-being since starting my purging goal is that I’m feeling more secure about how I feel and how I react to situations that tend to cause me anxiety. I hope that makes sense.

What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that I’m not worrying so much about what other people might think about what I say or do, or, not do.

All my life I’ve been a worrier. I like to joke and say “if I don’t have something to worry about I’m not happy.” On the one hand I am great at saying how much I don’t care what people think of me, or the things I do, but secretly I worry about it all the time.

By performing small, easily managed tasks like tossing out magazines and old hair care products, and letting go of anger and guilt for things from my past, both distant and recent, I’ve made myself feel like I’m in control.

The very idea of being in control is such an illusory ideal, but it’s something we all long to achieve.

By focusing every day on one thing that is important to me for that day, regardless of how trivial it might seem, I am letting go of so much unnecessary worry and the self-recrimination that comes along with it.

 

Purge – Day 10 or, I’m one tenth of the way to making my goal!

20171209_204647.jpgWow.  Ten days. In a row. I haven’t written this much, or this steadily in a long, long time.

For my tenth day of purging, let’s just say I thought about it. If you consider housework – vacuuming, washing floors and dusting – purging, then that’s what I did today.

I did manage to get outside for a short walk. In the -28 degree weather. It was a SHORT walk. Fifteen minutes. But it counts. I figure I must burn twice as many calories walking when it’s this cold because of all the extra layers I put on and the speedy pace I set.

Tim came with me. He complained most of the time. “I thought this was supposed to be a short walk?” “My nose is frozen. I think I’ve got frostbite” “Where are you going!? That way is longer!” “I can’t feel my legs.”

Honestly.  I took him by the hand and told him we’d be okay.

I told dad that Tim was being a whiner. I’m sure he had a good chuckle. But I’m glad he came all the same. It was nice to hold his hand as we trudged through the dark and the cold.

Purge 9 of 100

Nothing physical purged today.  All mental and emotional.

I rid myself of these three things today: sadness, lethargy and malaise.

I’ll start with lethargy and malaise. It was -24, windy and snowing today. I could have easily chosen to stay inside and not go for my walk today. A couple of weeks ago I probably would have done just that.

But today I set a goal of leaving the apartment after 2 pm (that’s when the mail is delivered) and I didn’t hesitate once when it came time to go. I bundled up and away we (Dad and I) went.

And you know what? It wasn’t that bad. Sure, it was cold and the wind blowing in my face took my breath away once or twice, but honestly, it wasn’t bad. I talked to dad as I trudged through the drifting snow, glad I had him to keep me company. I walked up to the little shopping centre a few blocks from our building, completed my few errands and was home again by 3:30. A nice hot cup of tea and I was comfy, cozy and content.

Now for sadness. Despite feeling incrementally better these past couple of weeks I still find myself dealing with moments of incredible sadness. Writing this blog is helping with that, as are my daily walks and conversations with my father.

As I walked today I told dad that I wished I’d had it in me to talk to him the way I do now when he was alive. The wind was blowing really hard, so if he answered me, I didn’t hear him. Instead of feeling sad I actually felt a sense of joy.

There’s a story in our family of how my father once walked through a blizzard carrying my younger sister and I after his car got stuck in a snow drift. We lived out in the country and there was no traffic and no where for him to find shelter to wait out the storm. He knew we’d likely freeze if he didn’t get us home, so he bundled us up inside his big green army coat – one on his back, one in front and he set out in the direction of our home.

I wish I could remember that experience. I wish I could remember feeling his heart beating against mine as he struggled to get us to safety. I wish I could remember if he talked to us, told us stories to help us stay awake and calm. But, as with so much of my early life, I remember nothing. I know this story, and that he probably saved our lives only because my younger sister remembers and so did my dad and its been told numerous times.

I used to feel so sad because I couldn’t remember. And that there must be something wrong with me because I didn’t. Today, I felt that sadness and guilt lifted up and out of me on the blowing wind and swirling snow.

Thanks again dad.

100 Days of. . .

So. I’m going to try blogging again. This time my goal is to chart my progress over the next 100 days, or series of 100 days as this year (2018) progresses.

I’ve been inspired lately by a lot of posts I’ve seen on Facebook of people who have made changes in their lives and who have accomplished some pretty great things, all in 100 days.

100. It’s such a nice, compact number. Not too big, not too small. A reasonable goal to strive for. Whether it be 100 days of push-ups, 100 days of gratitude, 100 days of drinking a glass of water or 100 days of conquering fear. If you can do anything for 100 days, then you can probably do that thing for the rest of your days.

My aim is to document my progress daily. 100 days of recounting how I’m fulfilling my 100-day goals. I’ve been in a sort of limbo for a few years. Not accomplishing much. Abandoning hope, abandoning faith, abandoning happiness. It’s time to reach out, to hold on and to live. REALLY live.

I am turning 60 this year. In a few short months I will be, officially, a senior. Sigh. Sigh. and SIGH. I’ve been feeling that there is no point in trying to accomplish anything, anymore for so long that I’ve come to believe it. I don’t want to believe that anymore. I want to believe that in the time I have left I can make some real and lasting change in my life.

My first 100 day goal is to purge at least one thing everyday.  Something that weighs me down either physically or emotionally or both.

My second 100 day goal is to go for a walk. Breathe. Enjoy air and sun and wind on my skin. (This will be hard, I have to admit, when the temperature is in the -30’s, but we’re into the upswing towards Spring now. Ha, ha, ha.)

I hope my journey(s) inspire others as I have been inspired by others.

Hello, again.

I took a little — well, more than a little — break from blogging, but I think I’m back.  

I’ve been thinking more and more about how good it sometimes felt to write and share on this platform and that maybe it’s time to give it another shot.

Instead of trying to ACCOMPLISH something with my space, I’m simply going to write what I feel like writing — good, bad, mundane, maudlin, pointless, fraught with emotion, full of despair — whatever it is at the moment is what will make it onto my cyber-page. 

It’s not going to be about how many hits I’ve got, or who’s checking in on me.  It’s just going to be about me and my need for words. 

So, there it is in black and white.  

Word.

LOL

May 29th – June 3rd

Day 150 – 155 — Holy crap!  155 days!  Can’t lay claim to blogging for each and every one of them — which was my intended goal — but I am at least recounting them.

As you can no doubt tell by the sporadic way I’ve been posting, this is my REALLY busy time of the year.  It has been just insane lately, but the end is in sight.  I am counting the days, the hours, the minutes. . .

I think we’re finally going to get a break in our rainy, cloudy, cool weather.  I sure hope so, because I’ve got a pail of deck stain just burning a hole through the floor in my front hallway.  There are so many jobs I’m behind on right now that it gives me fits if I start thinking about them.  So, I don’t.  I just shelve them in the back of my mind and tell myself — you’ll get to it, don’t worry.  It’s not worth stressing about.

And, in truth, it’s not.  But I want things to get done so that I can just mellow out and relax.  Spend more than one night a week cooking a meal.  Sit on my deck and read a book with a cool beer beside me.

So, I haven’t really recounted what I did over the last 5 days.  It wasn’t much, believe me.  Just travel and meetings and getting ready for meetings.  But last night, I attended the retirement party for a dear friend and colleague.  Charlotte is truly one of a kind and she will be greatly missed.  The kids she loved and mentored and helped to educate owe her so much, but all she ever asked for was a smile and a desire to try.  I learned much from her over my ten years working together and I knew I could always count on her for a shoulder to lean on and a friendly face to talk to.  I miss my old school still, and seeing Charlotte retire brought that home again.  It also reaffirmed that times change, people move on and we all have to seek our own path.  I wish her well on wherever hers takes her.

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