What keeps you up at night

It’s midnight, and while I would usually be tucked away in bed, dreaming of tomorrow, I am instead sitting on this couch; the glare of my laptop is in stark contrast to the darkness that has settled on the rest of the house.

I find myself restless. Tossing and turning after another Colbert monologue that expectedly delivers whatever sensational, ridiculous news Trump has made that day. It has become part of my nightly routine, in between washing my face and staring at the dark ceiling for an hour.

Although my neighbours to the south certainly don’t have it easy at the moment, my thoughts of late have been inward, and it has caused me to dive deeper into my own politics. Years ago, perhaps too recently, I didn’t give much thought to social issues. Sure, I voted, but if you had asked me about systemic racism, or how I thought city hall should be directing their funds, I most certainly wouldn’t have had an opinion on the topic.

Then, I did some soul searching.

I read the news. I took some classes. I discovered the vicious reality of biases. I witnessed the effects of racism. I saw people being unfair. I realized how ugly greed is. I learned how fear can cause the masses to follow blindly. I saw hurt. I saw people get kicked when they were down. I read of mob mentality. I learned that the fight for equality, one that I thought was long over, is so far behind that it may as well be one hundred years ago. I learned that ignorance really is bliss, and that knowing these things leaves a heavy weight on your chest.

I discovered things about myself, and they are opinions that I may not have had in the past, simply because I didn’t care to look; simply because life was okay for me, in my small, comfortable Albertan town.

The thing about having strong opinions on matters, whether it be about systematic racism, the trans community, or the roots of homelessness, is that if you speak loudly, without having gained any knowledge on the subject, you are speaking from a place of ignorance. You are speaking from your own narrow view on the matter, without giving thought to the perspective of anyone else.

We pick up biases as we navigate life. Whether they stem from personal experiences or learned experiences does not matter. To let go of ignorance, you have to come to term with your biases. When it comes to social issues, approach it as a blank canvas. Educate yourself on the issue. Find out why you feel the way that you do.

Humility is a gift. And it is a gift that will allow you to take pride in knowing that to change your views on social issues should not to be seen as weakness, but as a celebration of growth. If we are not fighting for equal rights, for everyone to have the same opportunities as others, and for freedom in it’s truest form, then what are we fighting for?

I’ll admit, I slept easier when I thought the world was a fair, happy place.

But,

Change doesn’t stem from comfort.

 

Goodnight,

Diane

 

Remember

I remember the tall sunflowers, towering over me while I ran through the fields

I remember squinting into the sunlight, looking up at the big blue sky

I remember the scent of sweet tobacco, as Papa carefully rolled it between papers

I remember running down country roads as fast as I could, until my lungs felt like they’d explode

I remember sitting by the wood stove, the quiet glow of the fire warming me

I remember the sound of a sizzling pan, as Mama made another Hungarian dinner

I remember laying down in the grass, watching the trees sway and counting the stars

I remember sitting on the swing, soaring as high as the rooftop

I remember walking Buddy down gravel roads, or rather, I remember Buddy walking me

I remember the long goodbyes, filled with I love you more, more, more, more, more, more

I remember waving goodbye to my grandparents from the back seat, in the cold of January

I remember how excited they were to go on vacation

I remember that morning

I remember Mom telling me it was okay to cry

I remember Mama coming back

I remember Papa didn’t

I remember the for sale sign

I remember hugging Buddy goodbye

I remember Mama’s new apartment

I remember she smiled again

I remember there was something missing

I remember when she left

And now

I remember them together

Happy

And smiling

And free

 

 

 

People like Hannah

I scrolled through the news on my phone, with one eye still shut from sleep. This is how I begin my daily routine; alarm goes off, responsible fiancé kisses me on the forehead and jumps out of bed to feed the animals, and I lie quietly in denial for a few moments, hoping that the five minute snooze button on my phone will somehow cause me to feel as though I’ve slept an extra two hours.

This morning, like most mornings, was no different in the news department. The main headline on CBC seldom related to happenings in Canada, but rather to whatever shocking statement the president of the country just south of me had proudly spewed from his lips the day before. This morning’s news was just as upsetting as any other, with Trump openly mocking the #Metoo movement at a rally in Montana.

I rubbed my closed eye, managing to open both of them, and let out a sigh as I swung my feet out of bed.

I should have been shocked, given that a world leader had mocked a movement that supported women coming out against years of oppression and sexual assault, but what was most disturbing, was that this had become so everyday; so terrifyingly normal that there was little to say about it.

Since before the 2016 election, the world was well aware of the sexism that Trump so proudly displayed. When the “grab ’em by the pussy” video leaked, many people were sure that a man who displayed such a callous attitude towards respect for women would surely lose the election. The results of that fateful night would prove to be not only disturbing for women, but for anyone who Trump didn’t see as a loyal, white, bow-down-to-me-and-follow-me-blindly-American.

And perhaps this is the biggest problem. In my lifetime, I have never seen the world so divided. Trump supporters will seemingly defend their leader to the death, regardless of whatever sexist, racist statements he makes. As women, we are still fighting for equality; to dismantle the expectations thrust upon us from birth based on our gender, and to be seen for who we are as people and not what our genitals dictate we must be. Yet now, in 2018, looking at a picture of a woman at a Trump rally proudly wearing a shirt that states “Trump can grab my (arrow pointing to her genitals)”, I wonder how equality will ever come to fruition when so many women happily support a man who sees them as nothing more than mindless objects.

That is why, while scrolling through Netflix on a lazy afternoon, I am eternally grateful that I stumbled upon Hannah Gadsby’s stand-up special, “Nanette“. What starts off as comedy turns into something that can only be described as relentlessly empowering. Hannah is raw as she delivers the most honest and compelling monologue I have ever seen, and what began with chuckling out loud, finished with me standing on my feet, eagerly hoping that the delivery of her words wouldn’t come to an end. As she walked off stage to the sound of thunderous applause, I stood there, mystified, and I did the only logical thing I could think of; I watched it again.

Hannah gave me hope. Here was a women who laid everything on the table, some of it deeply personal; and where others may have hid meekly, here was Hannah, shouting from the rooftop. She delivered powerful examples of sexism that still very much exist today; examples that no one could argue were the result of simply “being too sensitive”.

In this world of seemingly voluntary submissiveness, we need people like Hannah. We need people like Hannah to remind us to get angry, to speak up, to not sit there and smile as a world leader excitedly shakes hands with murderous dictators and treats women as though they are nothing more than silent beings, existing only for his pleasure.

I don’t care if you identify as Democrat or Republican. I don’t care if you have one God, ten God’s, or no God’s at all. I don’t care if you live in the United States, Canada, or anywhere else in the world. I care that by blindly supporting the Republican Party, you are in turn, supporting the oppression of an entire sex; and if you don’t think the leader of the U.S.A. and his policies will have an effect on the entire world – then you haven’t done your due diligence.

Hannah, after watching Nanette, I experienced something that I haven’t felt in a long time, the hope that the world will continue forward in the fight for equality, and not plummet backwards in these trying times.

I am quite sure, Hannah, that given the strength and clarity you displayed during your Netflix special, that you do not need us.

But please know that we need you.

We need so many more people like you.

 

Diane

Break up with your phone

I caught a reflection of myself in the window. There I was, sitting hunched over, right hand grasping the tiny computer that had seemingly become an extension of my arm, eyes squinting as I held the contraption mere inches from my face.

What a sorry sight.

This was a daily, or rather hourly occurrence, and it didn’t seem to matter if I was out for a walk, on the bus, or sitting down to watch a movie – my cellphone was utterly captivating, and the stimulation it provided from otherwise mundane scenery was apparently enough to provide constant motivation to visit the same websites, social media apps, and games that caused my eyes to gloss over.

With this realization (one which I’ve come to many, many times before) I promptly deleted my Instagram. This was perhaps the biggest time waster on my phone, causing me to scroll through endless photographs, least I miss out on a picture of a half eaten meal that one of my friends had consumed. This deletion, of which I had also done before, provided a sort of instant relief. Almost as if I had been in a room with blaring music, unable to escape but finally managing to squeeze out a window and slam it shut behind me.

The next day, while catching the bus to my downtown office, I found a seat and noticed my phone was securely in my hand. After glancing at the news, I remembered the apps I had relied on to keep my eyesight strictly five inches in front of me were now gone. As of now, I was a girl with a phone and nothing to look at. So with that, I did something unconscionable: I put my phone in my backpack, and closed the zipper.

Looking up, I felt like someone who had just emerged from a cave, squinting from the sunlight and cautiously taking in my new surroundings. It was cloudy out today; something I hadn’t noticed with my neck hunched over during the walk from my car to the bus stop. And there……..there were other people on the bus! Yes, it turns out it’s not just a larger car for one person, but rather a service to get a bunch of people to different destinations.

What stuck me most however, was that no one had joined me in my newfound two minute phone freedom. As I looked around the full bus, every single person was fixated on their glowing screens, slowing scrolling through apps with an eerie lack of expression on their faces. I had heard the expression that we are slaves to these devices, but for reasons unknown, it hit me hardest today.

There is the outside world. One that is full of colour, movement, and the things that make us feel alive as humans. But there is also the digital world, and as technology advances, I fear that we are falling farther down this technological hole – one that appears to steal the energy an individual needs to get back to reality.

As best I can, I will make choices to live among the living – the people that are here and now, the ones that I cannot make disappear with a swipe of my finger. Technology is causing us to grow accustomed to a world in which there is always something to stimulate our brains, while our bodies lie dormant. No matter how magnificent a picture or a conversation on our phones may be, we have to remember that it does not come anywhere close to the real thing.

Peace,

Diane

P.S. I glanced at my phone three times while I was writing this.

The last piece

I walked into the vehicle registry office and made eye contact with a woman I had seen many times before. It was about my tenth time visiting Autopac, and I was at the end of a long journey to switch my license over from Alberta to Manitoba. Because I am a full time student, I was able to keep my Alberta license for longer than usual, but now that I fully knew that Manitoba was going to be home again, it was time to make the switch. I finally had everything I needed, it seemed, which was a laundry list of different forms, vehicles inspections, and concrete proof that I was who I said I was.

I sat down in front of the same woman who I had seen many times before, and enthusiastically presented her with about 8 different pieces of information that had taken enough time and money for me to be happy not to have to go through this process again. She looked at them, and made a face I was all too familiar with.

“Ok, it’s almost perfect, but they’re not going to take this one.”

I let out a sigh, walked back to the bank to retrieve something different, and filed myself into the pre-weekend line. As I stood behind a line of people with their heads tilted down, staring at their phones, I began to remember the process of switching over my license when I moved to Alberta.

It was a hot day in Calgary, and 20 year old Diane was skipping around downtown. Alberta was prosperous in 2007, and I felt a sense of adventure when I packed up and left the comfort of home, even if it was only a days’ drive.

I open the doors to the registry, and there was only one person behind the counter. I was still quite chipper everywhere I went at this point, and I walked up the counter, smiling as I pulled out my Manitoba license. With a very straight face, the man looked at me and tapped a sign that said “Please take a number”.

I chuckled, thinking he was joking. There wasn’t another customer in there other than me. I began talking again, and with no words, he once again tapped the sign. I made a face, pulled a number, and began to walk towards the seating area. Just as I sat down, he leaned close into a microphone.

“Number 6”

I appreciated his commitment.

Now, chuckling to myself in line at the bank, I grabbed the last piece of paper I would need to become a Manitoba resident. After another two hours at the registry, and telling the woman I really thought we should get best friend necklaces at this point, I walked out with a new license and plates.

Sitting in my car, I stared at the license plates. I realized, this was it, this was the last part of me that was tied to Alberta. When I came back to Winnipeg, I was headstrong on the belief that I would return to Alberta after I was done university. I had loved the mountains so much, and I had carved out a life there.

But things change. Plans change. Feelings change. Life changes. Alberta had my twenties. I spent them laughing, meeting people, figuring out what I liked, climbing mountains, camping, and falling down. I spent them looking forward to visits home to Winnipeg, and growing increasingly sadder through the years when I had to leave my hometown. In my later twenties, I began to realize that home wasn’t necessarily a place, as hard as I tried to make it one, and that the community I was raised in had more of a hold on me than I once believed.

Now, settled back here, I couldn’t imagine leaving this place. There is a comfort in this city that I cannot get anywhere else, and while I am thankful for the adventure and growth that Alberta gave to me, I cannot hide the smile when I walk to my car and the phrase “Friendly Manitoba” meets my eye.

Thank you, Alberta. Thank you for the life you gave me for 10 years and the priceless friendships that I hold close to my heart. Thank you for teaching me that distance cannot break the bonds of love, nor soften them. Thank you for everything.

Thank you, but I’ll take it from here.

 

Have a lovely weekend,

Diane

 

Medium coffee, room for cream and discomfort

We hurried down the sidewalk, fixated on the front door of the coffee shop. Our pace was quickened on what would have normally been a leisurely Saturday; it’s difficult to linger outside when it feels as though the cold air is causing icicles to form in your lungs.

The wonderful smell of coffee greeted us, and patrons were sitting down, most of whom had shed their many layers of defence from this bitter winter.

I ordered a coffee – my usual brewed “whatever is available”, and I asked my partner if he wanted anything.

“No, I’m alright,” he said as he browsed the desserts on display. “Ooo but hey, you should make brownies later.”

The woman behind the counter, without skipping a beat, raised an eyebrow while intently staring at Brent and stated “YOU should make brownies later.”

Discomfort quickly set in, Brent replied about me saying how I had been talking about baking muffins tonight and that he was simply asking if I could make those instead, and we were back out on the icy sidewalk, coffee in hand, in a matter of minutes.

I awkwardly laughed it off in the coffee shop, but as with most interactions throughout my day, I played the conversation over in my head, and the uncomfortable feeling quickly turned into annoyance.

I thought about the environment, her expression, and the tone she used. Had she said that because Brent (a man) made a comment about me (a woman) in regards to me baking him something? If I was with a female and that comment was said, would the same words have left her mouth? Or rather, if I had said that to him? Would she have still injected herself into the private conversation that took place after I had paid?

I thought about the state of the present world and the fight for gender equality. As a sociology student and feminist, I have given a lot of thought over the years as to how society shapes us into gender roles, and the ensuing battles that women face and are very much still fighting today. I thought about every time I’ve experienced sexism, whether it was in the workplace (too many to count over the years) or in my personal life. I thought about how some people don’t believe sexism exists at all, and the number of times I’ve faced-palmed when I’ve heard feminism spoken of like it’s a dirty word. I thought about how entirely exasperated I felt at the thought of once again having to explain that yes, we are much closer at equality than we once were, but my god, do we have aways to go, and no, just because you don’t experience it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Then I thought about Brent. I thought about how I feel as though I have found a partner; an equal. I thought about first meeting him, learning his viewpoints and realizing that I had found someone both caring and respectful. I thought about the talks we’ve had on sexism and racism (which have been plentiful, thanks to the horrendous leader of the country just below us.) I thought about the dinner he had made me the night before – or the night before that – or before that. I thought about how if I were to think of someone sexist, someone who believed gender roles should be upheld, that he would be the farthest person from that.

In this world, where we are still fighting to be heard, where we one day envision a society where kindness is valued over looks; where we could not only give our children the same opportunities, but the same tools to get there; where we could see a woman in charge as a beacon of strength, without the impression of her “being a bitch”; where we dream of everyone being viewed as complete and utter equals, regardless of the genitals or skin colour they happen to be born with; in this world, I understand the quick judgement we experienced today.

But also, in this world, I have learned to not always take things at face value. A comment, a glance, an act between two people – it may be something, it may mean something, but it also may certainly mean nothing. Sometimes, the only way to know, is to see the whole picture.

So, please remember, that as we fight this good fight, yes, we are all in this together, and yes, I do appreciate the help, but sometimes, as in today……

He really did just want a brownie.

One Year

My phone lit up as an email appeared on the screen, “Happy one year anniversary from WordPress!”

I smiled. As someone who gets excited for the beginning of every month, if only for the feeling of a fresh start, I also love anniversaries. There’s something comforting about reflecting on the past year, taking the bad with the good and knowing that you got through it all.

I remember this time, last year. I was sitting on my bed, wholly ready to say goodbye to 2016. It was a rough year, and I believed starting a blog to put all my thoughts onto a screen might be a therapeutic way to communicate with the rest of the world.

In comparison, 2017 was a wonderful year. Future plans took a turn when I was accepted into a school program, and I was fortunate to meet a lot of new friends. The summer was a little rocky, especially after a deer tried to hitch a ride in Alberta and
I was left to start a new semester at school and juggle venturing back west to retrieve my (almost) fixed car. I said goodbye to my twenties, and welcomed another decade that I could only hope would provide me with as much growth as the last one did. I discovered a different way to look at myself, one which lead to rethinking what I needed to do to feel good about myself. The beginning of autumn showed me someone new, someone that I would meet for the first time at my favourite place, someone who I could laugh with, someone who felt like home.

It was also a busy year. Juggling school, work, yoga, and something as close to a social life as I could squeeze in didn’t leave me much time to sleep, but every morning that I opened my eyes to the jarring sound of my phone alarm, I still smiled. If this year has taught me anything, it was that patience and acceptance are wildly underrated in today’s world. The accident taught me that sometimes things are out of my hands, and while I can do as much groaning and fixating on things as I want, it isn’t going to change anything.

And that’s where acceptance comes in.

For all the worrying, all the internal angst, all the walls that I put up to protect myself, they were all for naught. I’ve read countless books, had endless conversations with friends, and have done enough research in the pursuit of true happiness to last a year, while the gracious, simplistic answer sat patiently in front of me, waiting.

I have heard “let it go” a thousand times, I’ve read and have been reminded by friends about observing your thoughts instead of trying to push them away, and accepting everything, even the bad stuff.

It is, as most things are, a work in progress. Sometimes I feel like I’m zipping along a highway, making great time and sailing along seamlessly. Other days it’s like I’ve hit a bump, and I might stop by the side of the road to catch my breath a bit. But I suppose that’s all part of figuring it out.

I’ve also learned, from this year filled with new adventures, to be grateful every day. The good stuff, the bad stuff, all the stuff in between, it lead me to right now. And as I sit here, a little tired, a little broke, but still happy, I wouldn’t change a thing that happened in the past year. Not because it wouldn’t make things easier, or even a little less stressful, but because it got me to this exact spot, this exact moment in time; because it got me to right now.

And I wouldn’t trade now for anything.

 

Have a wonderful New Year,

Diane

 

Chicken Little

I glanced at the schedule on my laptop one more time. The morning yoga class I wanted to take was staring back at me, but every time the mouse got close to it, I moved it away.

You see, this wasn’t the yoga class I was used to. Normally I grab a mat, find a spot at the very back of the class, and try to blend into the background so both the instructor and other students don’t see me doing the poses terribly, terribly wrong.

This was different. This was Mysore. In this class, the instructor teaches you a sequence of poses, and then assists you as you flow at your own pace. Slowly, week after week, you add more on, but you take as long as you need to move through the sequence.

The thought of being with a smaller group of people and the one-on-one instruction was intimidating, but with most new things in my life lately, I had a little push from a friend.

“Come on, chicken little! It won’t be scary, I promise!”

I had used almost every excuse known to mankind already, “I have to get up too early! The weather’s bad outside! North Korea’s doing something iffy! I can’t find my pants! I accidentally sang a rousing rendition of ‘My Heart Will Go On’ for 4 hours until 3 a.m. using a spatula as a microphone and now I need sleep!”

Alright, alright, I’ll go.

I opened the door and peered around the corner, as if putting only my head inside the building first would somehow calm my nerves. After managing to clearly communicate my name to the nice woman at the front desk, despite it being very early and having no caffeine pumping through my body, I walked over to the room.

Ok, ok. So there’s some people doing yoga, and they all most definitely look like they know what they’re doing. Oh boy. But, at least I’m in yoga pants. And not just *any* yoga pants, but frightfully expensive ones that I paid way too much for. That’s got to give me some credibility, right?

Alright, it wasn’t so bad. In fact, after the instructor introduced herself and gave me a rundown of what I would experience this first class, I genuinely enjoyed myself. I was so happy to have thorough instruction, especially in areas I had been practicing for years, but couldn’t quite figure out. By the end of it, I laid on my mat, blissfully in savasana, grateful that I knew someone who had the good sense to get me to that class.

Life is a state of constant change. Sometimes the steps you take are big, sometimes they’re little. But it’s just that first step, or in my case, making the rest of my body join my head in the yoga studio, that makes all the other steps seem a little easier.

I hope you’ve got people in your life that give you little pushes when you need them, and if not, I hope you find them.

Have a great week,

Diane

 

Oh boy, I’m rich! (Not really)

I caught myself, off in a daze, staring off into the distance. All around me were people, just like myself, zombies looking nowhere, except at the back of human heads.

I was in the Tim’s line, and it was too early in the morning.

As always, once it was actually my turn to order, my expression quickly changed from a look of despair to someone who had just found water in the desert.

“Good morning! I will have one large, regular, please. No wait, make that an extra large. Oh you know what? Just give me that pot. Actually would you just mind……HOOKING IT TO ME VEINS?”

Settle down, Diane, settle down.

I performed this ritual about four times a week. Get up, shower, make myself semi-presentable for the outside world, walk past the coffee maker in my kitchen, get in my car, and then pay five times the price for the same kind of coffee I could have brewed at home.

Why didn’t I just bring my own? Was it the ritual? Did I just feel better buying my coffee in the morning? Do I feel I have too much money? I can most certainly assure you, this is not the case.

Whatever the reason, it got me started on a dark path that I will now call “actually looking at how much I spend on eating out every month and hiding under my desk.”

Dear Lord, make it stop.

I took a quick look at my last bank statement and wondered if my bank thought I was feeding a family of five. Besides the foolish food spending, there were other areas I appeared to lack any sense in, including paying for parking and the very real, very stupid need to buy new clothes when I had a closet bursting at the seam.

Something’s got to give, I thought as I sipped my coffee and ate my $4 bagel.

But what?

Alright, here it is. Since I quit eating meat a whopping week ago (thank you, thank you, I AM a better person) I’ve began to look at what else I can cut out of my life. So, in no particular order, I am writing down a plan to follow for a year. Yes, a year! That’s insane, right? F*%&in’ nuts! I start Monday (give a girl some time to adjust, alright?)

  1. No new clothes for a year. Those are big words coming from a girl who has used Instagram direct message to ask a store to put items on hold for her, but with all of the clothes I already own, a year should be easy.
  2. Lunch out only once per week. Yes, I was going to make myself bring lunch from home 5 days per week, but let’s get real for a moment – it might be asking for failure to go from lunch out everyday to none at all. Plus, TREAT YO-SELF.
  3. Farewell, my morning cup of incredibly expensive coffee. I have a coffeemaker. I have a coffee cup. I have a desire to stop spending $45 on coffee every month.
  4. Hair dye. Whoaaaaaaaa whoa whoa. Back up. My hair? MY HAIR? I was going to make an appointment the other day when I told my partner I was going to get it dyed. “Oh, what colour?” “Brown.” “So….the same colour it is now?” “yes….I…..have to cover up the 12 grey hairs I have. It will cost me $170.” Ya. Time to stop that and accept the fact I might be *gasp* not 18 anymore.
  5. Speaking of covering up, as I’ve previously written about, I am on this new “feel good, looking how I want to look” natural skincare kick. And honestly, it’s changing my life quite a bit. So, while I’ve already saved tons of money by switching over to local stuff, I am also going to continue to use a fraction of the makeup I used to, which should save me some serious dough.
  6. Get on the bus! Paying for parking downtown is ridiculous, and I’m even more ridiculous for continuing to do it. It’s one bus from my partner’s place to work, so minus once per week, I am going to start hoping on the big yellow vehicle of fun.

Alright, that should do it for now. I imagine my blog posts for the next little while should be full of side-effects from this plan, so please be patient as I navigate life without swiping my debit card six times a day.

Have a wonderful rest of your week,

Diane

 

 

Well, well, well

We meet again, blog that I said I would write on every Wednesday.

It is crunch time at the university. And by crunch time, I mean I am currently wearing sweatpants that probably should have been laundered days ago and just had dessert and tears for breakfast. It is 1:50 in the afternoon.

I adore the people out there who appear to handle everything with ease. The ones who wake before the rest of the city, do fifty things with their day, and look like they’re ready for a photoshoot while they stand in the supermarket, deciding which avocado has the right amount of firmness. They make dinner from scratch and have everything cleaned and ready for the morning, just in time to sit down and watch Jimmy Fallon laugh outrageously at his own jokes, before they settle into bed for their allotted eight hours of sleep. They wake in the morning relaxed and refreshed, ready to take on the next day.

I fell asleep last night covered in a cocoon of books, paper, and clean laundry I had been too tired to put away, waking from a nightmare at 3 a.m. with thoughts of everything on my To-Do list for the next few weeks. My mind was a mess, constantly sorting tasks into categories, from which they seemed to crawl out and pile themselves on top of one another in a heap on the floor, causing me to mentally try to separate them again.

Furthering the stress were the gentle relentless reminders of a year quickly coming to an end. Lately every regular website I visited online featured the same prodding question, “What have you accomplished from your New Years resolutions for 2017?”

I looked at my resolution list, which, because I have this blog, can be found here, and had myself a good, long laugh.

The first one, and perhaps the most ambitious, was failed within record time. Giving up alcohol? Seriously, Diane. In fact I’m staring at an empty wine glass as I type this. Well I rarely overdo it, the glass of wine after a long day policy is still strictly in place.

The workout goal wasn’t completely lost. I certainly don’t exercise as much as I used to, but I don’t let more than a few days go by without getting my heart rate up. Even if it’s only attributed to checking my bank account.

Cheese. Cheese? I wanted to give up cheese? Oh right. Yes, I did. I believe it was dairy in general. This is going to be very hard to explain to my new pet cow, Tonya. “It’s not you, Tonya, it’s me! I didn’t know what I was talking about! Don’t walk away, Tonya! Moooooo!” Alright, it’s still bad for my skin, and I still need to say goodbye to it.

Yes, I did pretty good with the meditation part and being present. I still catch my mind running laps (like this morning) but at least I’ve found some tools to help myself get grounded a little quicker than before.

As for the rest of them, it’s a work in progress, or rather, I’m a work in progress. And, as I look at the calendar, I notice there’s still a solid six weeks of 2017 left.

Just enough time to stop drinking alcohol, give up dairy, donate everything I don’t really need, and reintroduce my body to vegetables.

Ya, I’ll get back to you on that.

Have a great weekend,

Diane