Zero to sixty — the finish line is in sight!

As with everything I do, procrastination plays a HUGE part. I’ve been thinking about finishing this list off and on over the last couple of weeks. Today just might be the day I do it.

51.  Seeing Bruce Springsteen in concert — twice! The first time was a birthday present from Tim. (He always gives the best presents!) I was so excited and didn’t even care that our seats were in the nosebleeds at Coliseum Stadium in Edmonton. When we got there though, we were redirected to the box office where our nose-bleed seats were exchanged for second row seats on the sidelines right next to the stage. I nearly died. Being that close to the Boss and his E Street band was amazing. The second time was a trip to Toronto for his Wrecking Ball tour. 63,000 people in Rogers Stadium, and Tim, me, my sister Lori, her husband Ted and my sister Tracy were part of the magic. I didn’t sit throughout that marathon of a concert and I belted out every song. Have I mentioned that I LOVE Bruce Springsteen?

52.  Teaching myself to crochet. I love handmade things. Anything that someone puts themselves into to create is wonderful in my books. I’m drawn to things like needlepoint, knitting, crochet, sewing — anything tactile. So, years ago I tried knitting and it didn’t go well. I can do a lovely stocking stitch, but that’s about it. When I got pregnant all those years ago I wanted to make a blanket that I could bring our baby home from the hospital in. I turned to crochet. It took me nearly the entire nine months to make it and it was a little lopsided, but I did wrap our son in it for his trip home. That blanket is stored away in a box along with other treasures from Landon’s childhood. Where it, and they will wind up is a mystery. I just like taking them out from time to time and holding them. I unfold that blanket and smile.

53.  Bungee jumping. Another birthday present from Tim. This one was for my 40th birthday. I was petrified when I was standing up there on that tiny platform, but then I told myself “if you can jump out of a plane, you can jump off this” and I did. It was incredible. I highly recommend it.

54.  Learning the hard way that pyramid schemes are nothing but a scam. A friend and I, back in the days when money was a bigger issue than it is now, decided to risk investing in what was a ‘sure thing’. The only thing ‘sure’ about it was that we were going to lose the money we invested. Some things you’ve just got to learn firsthand.

55.  Losing friends and learning that sometimes it just happens. Then realizing that friendships give you so much to be grateful and thankful for, that, even when they are over, they’re still part of who you are.

56.  Sharing my love of theatre with my granddaughter and my love of gardening and cooking with all my grandchildren. The opportunities get fewer each year they grow older, but for the times that I have been able to share with them I hope it’s made an impression.

57.  Being able to go to the last Black Family Reunion in  2017 and having my grandchildren meet all my crazy-wonderful family. We had realized by this time that my dad was terminal and that it would be his last reunion, also it was just after his 80th birthday and a few months before his and mom’s 60th anniversary. There were other milestones celebrated at that reunion as well, and I’m so glad we were there to share in them all.

58.  Eating New York style pizza for the first time at Grimaldi’s under the Brooklyn Bridge. That experience explained to me why I had always loved and revered Gondola pizza from Manitoba! And it has inspired me to try making my own Neapolitan style pizza. It’s a work in progress.

59.  Learning to like myself — it’s been a long, hard road, and there are times when I still don’t like myself that much, but mostly, I think I’m okay. If I could undo all the wrong I’ve done, I would, but then, who would I be?

60.  Embarking on a new life story at the age of 60. And the journey begins. . .

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April 11th — Spring has sprung

The road to . . . everywhere

I think, Amy, that you sent me a very strong message today.  Thank you.

I had sought some advice from Amy, aka SoulDipper, about why meditation was so difficult for me.  In her answer she replied that it was hard and then offered this:   “The reason it’s hard? You need to practice it and do it faithfully. It is so worth it!”

I heard something else in her answer, something I desperately needed to hear.

Lately, well, actually it’s been for a long while now, I’ve been struggling with what it is I’m actually doing with my life.  I’ve been doing a lot of running away —  from myself, my goals, my dreams, my expectations.  It’s like I got to this point where I said I can’t do this anymore, I just want to do nothing.  And that is exactly what I’ve been doing.

I’ve had some tear-filled moments of desperate self-pity and soul-wracking self-doubt; nothing I’m proud of, believe me.  It got me nowhere.  Only more confused, really.

So, I picked up a few books and read.  I dabbled in my personal journal, cleaned my house, started cooking again, and planned a vacation.  All of it about running away.  Avoidance.

Last night I decided to check in on some friends and see what was up in their lives (their blog-lives, anyway) and I was wonderfully surprised at how everything was pretty much the same as when I last checked in nearly a month ago.  They’ve been living their lives, posting their posts and sharing their pictures, thoughts, humour and wisdom.  I felt immediately comforted.  And sorry that I had let myself slip away.

Then, while reading Amy’s post I felt moved by what she had written about loving and forgiveness.  As I read on I was struck by her words about the importance of meditation and the peace it can bring to one’s life.  I wondered why it was that I couldn’t meditate.  And the next thought I had was about how this was just one more thing I had failed at.

So, feeling sorry for myself — again — I added ‘can’t meditate’ to my list of things tried but not accomplished.  Then I posted a reply and asked Amy if it was my own fear preventing me from being successful at meditation.  My answer was right there in my question, but I failed to heed it, if I had I probably would have hit delete.  Thankfully, Amy said exactly what needed saying.

I fail because I don’t practice and am not faithful.  It’s got nothing to do with anything but me and my efforts.  For years I’ve been saying how I’m going to achieve success as a writer, and for years I’ve been failing.  But, instead of doing something about it, I hid behind excuses.

I know I get overwhelmed with other problems, with the expectations I have of myself and others (those can be SOOO unrealistic, believe you me!), with my job, my Union responsibilities, my family, my yard, my house, my spare time or lack of it, with impending retirement (HA!), and the list goes on, and on, and on. . .  but the truth is if that I want to be the success I wish to be then it is all up to me.  I must practice daily and do it faithfully.

Thank you, Amy, for your wisdom and your kindness.  I’m so glad I chose last night to ‘visit’.

2,781 Views — all time

Just out of curiosity I decided to check how many hits I’ve received on this blog since I started it last October.  The magic number is 2,781.  I’m not quite sure what to make of it.

On the one hand I’m immensely pleased — because that number means I’ve written stuff that people have actually read, and that’s a pretty good feeling.  On the other hand, when I play the dreaded comparison game, it means I’m not getting the amount of traffic some other blogs do.

Should I be upset about this?  Should I be trying harder to generate more traffic? Should I change what I write about to give my blog more of a mass appeal factor?

Funny thing, while I sit here typing away — I don’t think I should be or do any of those things.  I’m quite happy with my little blog space, and I have to say I am genuinely fond of the ‘regulars’ who check in on me and post their comments.  I look forward to checking in on them and seeing what is going on in their worlds and leaving my comments for them.

Some might say it’s a funny way to have a friendship, or even that it is a cop-out on friendship, but I would disagree.  I didn’t start out writing a blog to make more friends; I’ve never been one of those who gathers friends easily.  In fact, I can count the number of GOOD friends I’ve had in my life on one hand.  And for me, that is more than enough.

That said, I am so very grateful for the connections I’ve made through my writing and blogging and I value each one of them as if they were a friend.  So, I feel I owe a great big thank you to everyone who has dropped by for a visit and stuck with me throughout the past year.  Your interest has contributed to that number — 2,781 hits — and I am truly honoured.

Will I ever be featured on Freshly Pressed?  That thought has been bothering me a bit lately.  And then, I sat down to think about it, which led to me checking on my all-time hits, which led to this little rumination.  I don’t care if I’m ever ‘Freshly Pressed’, I do care that people I care about have checked me out 2,781 times.

My day is made — thanks everyone!