Thanks for your friendship along the way

When I moved over to WordPress from Blogger, due to technical problems, I was afraid I would loose so many readers and it would be hard to get going again but I am pleased to report since the day I moved Dec. 7 to Dec.31, I have had 2315 people who have stopped by. Some have stayed and commented and I know many will have clicked on, but I am getting the word out about the blog.

Without doubt Stumbleupon is the place to promote your blog. I have never used it much until recently when I read that it was alright to Stumble your own posts. So I have done that with some of the posts and the response has been remarkable. Also I would recommend Blogging Zoom and Zimbio. I don’t know if getting my own domain name has helped but I am still undecided about using hosting. I had actually gone ahead and bought a year’s hosting package and have been told the other day that they would host my WordPress blog for me, which would give me a lot more freedom than staying at but I am a bit reluctant, probably self-doubt that I could handle looking after it on my own. Maybe as the NewYear progresses I will feel more up to the challenge.

I have made many blogging friends since I started blogging in January 2006, some have drifted off, one has died, and many keep in touch. I don’t know what my emphasis will be in the coming year. I was given a day planner for Christmas by a friend in the village, and while it includes all the usual things it also has a question each day that is designed to stir ones thinking. In fact the last two posts have been created because of the questions asked in the day planner which started on Sunday 30th.

I will just share with you the thought for the day and leave it with you:

This is the last day of the year. One day it will be the last day of your life. How does the prospect of your own death put all of life into proper focus?

I have nothing to write myself on this, but I will paraphrase something I read recently in ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ by Mitch Albom.

There was a little wave in the ocean, bobbing along happily and without any concerns until it saw the waves in front of him crashing against the rocks. The wave is horrified because it sees its fate is inevitable. Another wave asks it why it looks so disturbed and the little wave replies, “We are all going to end up like those waves and be nothing, I can’t bear it”. The other wave answers, “You don’t understand, you are not just a wave you are part of an ocean”.

So I would like to end this year by wishing you all the best in the new year and many blessings on the way.

Stand firm and don’t be shaken

Every time we turn on the TV news there is always more devastation, sorrow, chaos, injury, war and famine. Some say that humankind is evolving to be better than our predecessors. I don’t believe that, I think humans are carrying on very much as they always have done. Of course this insanity isn’t everywhere but it tends to break out like acne on society’s face. Where and when least expected evil strikes and, if we are honest, we are relieved that it has happened out there to the other guy, not to us. Or should we be the ones impacted we are amazed that it has happened to us, but why should it not?

I know that if I dwell on all the horrors that could happen, I could become fearful but fear will stifle any plans I may have and dreams I wish to fulfill. Even the mundane acts of life are part of the future, changing diapers, wiping noses or just going to work each day in a job that for now is just paying the bills is part of the future. Nothing we do is in vain, even sitting here at the computer typing hopefully reaches out to someone, I don’t know its effect but I don’t think it is time wasted. Although as I get older, now nearly sixty-one, I wonder if I could be using my time more effectively rather than in the little tasks that I undertake each day, but life is really one little mundane task built on another with great opportunities interspersed at irregular intervals and generally spaced far apart, don’t you think? Consistency in the little things is what character is built upon.

How does the fear of war, disease and sorrow or lack, influence the plans you will make for the coming year? Will you be scared to try anything new, move to a new location or free your child grow up and face the world for themselves. Or are you determined to stand firm, whatever is thrown your way and not be shaken. I have a tendency to worry about things, but that is non-productive and has never changed a thing, so I must choose to put worry aside and meet each day with a challenge. What about you?

You are not a failure for trying

It seems that at the end of every year we tend to look at what we consider our failures and make resolutions to do better in the New Year. We have got ourselves caught in a performance trap, we have believed a lie. “I must meet certain standards to feel good about myself”. Because of past failures to meet our expectations of ourselves, or those others have burdened us with, we label ourselves as a failure. Fearing more failure we often stop trying or we take the other extreme and become almost addicted to our day timers. Goal accomplishment and using our time efficiently becomes an intolerable burden, with always the fear of failing dogging our rush through life.

Fear of failure can effect us in many ways. We tend to fall into perfectionism, which is basically a barricade we put up to prevent us failing, but perfectionism tends to suffocate creativity and stifles the joy of living. Perfectionists can appear to others to have it all together, but really their compulsion comes for a desperate desire to avoid the low self-esteem they experience when they fail.

Some people who tasted failure persisted and ultimately succeeded. Walt Disney faced financial disaster several times and had a nervous breakdown before he succeeded. Enrico Caruso, one of the world’s greatest tenors, was advised by his voice teacher to quit singing because he failed to hit the high notes. Thomas Edison failed more than 6,000 times before he could get an electric light bulb to work, and when a child was labeled as stupid. Abraham Lincoln had many failures but became one of America’s most beloved presidents. Winston Churchill did not do well in school but became Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Closer to home one of my sons was labeled as retarded by his Grade 2 teacher, I remember the day he came home from school and asked me “Am I stupid Mom”. I had to intervene and remove him from that environment. l I took over his education myself and he is now highly successful in his chosen career. If we believe the lies that we have been told we need to face them straight on and refuse to believe them. When I was growing up I lived with an aunt for five years who believed criticism was the way to motivate, and would tell me how I was not as smart as her grand-daughter, or anyone else for that matter, how I would not succeed at anything. I survived that onslaught, and even as a young child would tell myself that she was wrong, I would not believe what she said. The fact that I could not read until I was almost 9 years old was not the defining factor of who I was, just a circumstance that could be overcome.

The only real failure is not to get up one more time when we get knocked down. In every failure there is always something to learn and sometimes failure can even open a door to something better.

So this year if you must make a resolution for the new year don’t base it on what you perceive as your failures of 2007 but on your dreams of success for the new year.

Looking back at 2007

I was tagged by Beth & Cory’s Mom  to take a look back at 2007, taking the first post of each month but I changed that a bit and just selected some posts.

January – Moose hair on the carpet

Februrary – Memories of Fort St. John, BC

March – Ice fishing and Dog Speak

April – To those born between 1930 and 1970’s

May –  Star Treck to Dragonflies

June – My trusty aniti-bug hat

July – What a pong

August – You are never to old

September – What is abuse?

October – From bust to boom, its happening fast

November – Eighteen in France

December – The Jesse Tree

So Cariboo Ponderer tags Jeni at Down River Drivel, Danielle at The BiPolar Diaries, and Misty Dawn at My dogs keep me sane

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Watery Crisis

I went into the laundry room this morning and could hear this rushing water underneath me. We had a burst or broken pipe. So the day has been fraught with anxiety and pulling out pipes and trying to trace the problem. It was our hot water that was pouring away. We had the water off for most of the day and hubby and friend have been poking about trying to solve it. We pulled out the electric water heater and decided it should be replace anyway but that isn’t really the problem. So they will have to search some more tomorrow as it is too dark now. At least they got the cold water running again but I have a very tired and frustrated husband worrying about how to fix it tomorrow. Calling a plumber in is a last resort as they charge for travelling out here, as they have to, but it works out very expensive. I am sure they will fix it but it is that much harder in the snow and ice.

This has been a bad week for my husband, as lots of little things needed fixing and they were things that just could not be left. Living out here is a battle sometimes but he, especially, does not want to live in a city, or in an apartment and anyway we could not afford to do so. The cost of real estate or renting is prohibitive anywhere in Canada.

I canned the last of our turkey today and was going to make turkey soup from the carcass but decided to wait until I have my kitchen running smoothly again. I did not want to make too much mess in there. I don’t want a lot of dishes as I will have to wash them by hand, since I can’t use the dishwasher and that is a desperation measure. I guess I will use my electric wok as that is easy to clean and I can cook everything in one pot.

We had a pleasant quiet Christmas, some company on Christmas Day and one on Boxing Day who didn’t leave until 4 a.m. so we were both tired the next day but had to get up and go into town anyway. I think we are having company over New Year’s also, they have to call us, but if the water is not on I will put them off. Then I can get back to usual and get back into proper blogging mode, it is sometimes easier when someone else comes up with a topic rather than having to think up one for myself.

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Still busy

Not forgotten about blogging just been a little busy. We had company for dinner yesterday so spent day preparing and I thought I should stay off the computer a bit since its Christmas. Today we went to the village pancake breakfast and socialized a bit and I have company again for supper. I am doing a ham this evening with scalloped potatoes, and left overs from yesterday.

Tomorrow we have to go into town so I won’t be back to my usual ways until Friday. Although this weekend I have to go down to the village library and finish the year-end bookkeeping chores and do payroll. I have given my volunteering notice to the library, as I often feel over my head with the bookkeeping, tax returns, financial statements, budget projections and meetings with the village exec to explain why we need money, etc.etc.  They probably will have a hard time finding someone else but if they approach them the same way as they got me roped in they will be alright. They told me that there would be just a few cheques to write each month, I could manage that couldn’t I.  I nearly wept when I saw how much I would be responsible for. I have done it now for four years it is someone else’s turn.

Anyway we have just been discussing visiting my husband’s sister this coming year in London Ontario, as she is well into her seventies. We plan to take about six weeks to drive across and back and maybe taking a month next winter and do the snow-bird thing and go to Mexico. So that gives me a good reason to get out of the library. although it might be hard on the blogging.

What would I need do you think to stay in touch with you all?  More gadgets, that’s what, I can hear my husband cringing as I even think about it, but actually what would I need if anything, or just lots of visits to internet cafes might do it, but not half the fun as a new gadget and do they have internet cafes in Mexico. I have been to Mexico three times and I am not that keen to go, as it is hot and dirty, as far as I am concerned, and you have to be so careful with your belongings. That sounds very prejudiced doesn’t it, but that is what I think. However hubby has never been and neither has his friend so I will have to be a good sport.

Well the potatoes are yelling at me to scallop them, and the leftovers need attention so I will catch you later. Thank you for all who sent a Christmas greeting. I so enjoy getting to know you all.

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Christmas Depression

Christmas time is the most likely time of the year to experience depression. The suicide rate is higher during December than any other month, which tells us that Christmas depression should be taken quite seriously. Depression at Christmas time can be triggered by a multitude of things, such as losses, failures, and loneliness. These elements are exacerbated this time of year. People who have had deaths in the family or have experienced divorce or the loss of a child are more prone to depression, especially during the holiday season.

Not all holiday depression has anything to do with loss or failure or death, or even anything obvious. Sometimes people tend to just get depressed around the holidays. Yet those without an obvious “reason” feel that they really shouldn’t be depressed and are least likely to reach out for help. It’s as though people who have experienced trauma have more of a “right” to experience holiday depression than those who appear to have everything that could need or want.The onset of Christmas depression can sneak up on you in numerous forms. You may simply start to feel more tired than normal or start sleeping through the alarm. You may procrastinate on holiday shopping, even when those events that require your participation are only a few days away.You may start to feel randomly irritable, or snap at people without provocation. You may start to feel disconnected with the world and withdraw from those around you, even children. These are all signs that you are experiencing at least some form of holiday depression, and warning signs that you may need help in dealing with whatever is making you feel this way.

Christmas Depression

I know I have experienced depression at Christmas, although it was not sadness, rather irritation and anger about all things Christmassy. It would start around mid November and not really end until a few days into the New Year. It made me feel such a grinch and even seemed unchristian. After all Christmas is when I was supposed to be celebrating God’s greatest gift to mankind, so there was a certain amount of guilt attached to my feelings as well.

I have always viewed depression as a self-indulgence and would give myself a good talking to and went and cleaned out a cupboard or washed the floor of did something so that I would have a feeling of accomplishment afterwards and it did help a little. So far this Christmas season has been the best I have experienced in a long time although I am starting to miss my sons and could get a bit tearful as the holiday progresses, although I know I will speak to them via telephone on Christmas day. It is just not feasible due to distance and weather to get together as a family at this time of year, so I see them in the summer.

I hope that I will be sensitive enough to reach out to someone who may be depressed during this season, if you are that person reading this, contact me or some other blogging friend, or call someone, don’t think that no one else will understand.

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