more miles to the road (7)

Humanity is the spice of life! But honestly, guys! Where did all the genuine human beans get to? I’d like to meet a few, carry on a real conversation, have some fun, be in the same room, for more than 20 minutes every few months.

~

I mean, all of this wonderful, terrible and everything-inbetween stuff happens all the time, and I have almost nobody to share it with. Everyone seems too busy, or too tired, or just not interested in stuff I find captivating: dogs, books, food, people watching, movies/music, housing, voting, common sense/life-skills, exploration/adventure, mindfulness, mental health, science/climate change, current events, community & friendship.

>Had a great conversation with a friend about life in general, books, movies and food last week. (And also a movie and sushi with Forrest and Rube 🙂 ❤ )

>I went to the Passport Office recently and was anxious enough that I got nauseaous and gave myself a real, live, headache. I wanted to cry and disappear, but instead I problem-solved, tried my hardest to be grown up and sensible and spent a good 3 hours recharging at the library. (Fill out the application, drop it off, it’s that simple; well, it is and it isn’t! I did it, but it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns).

>The fire alarm went off at 4am on Monday, and boy was that an adrenaline rush! Was not impressed with the collective response, though I thought I was decently prepared myself: dressed at least, all the essentials, timely evacuation and communication with others. Recharged by star-gazing and eating peanut butter toast, watching Beasts of the Southern Wild, followed by a very early breakfast at the Waffle House and off to work by 9am.

>Listening to an elderly couple ordering breakfast was hilarious:

wife: “I’ll have the Special, and he will have the same thing but without the bacon. No bacon.”
husband: “I’ll have the one with the bacon.”
wife: (muttering)
husband: (adjusts hearing aid) “What?! No bacon? I want the one with the bacon!”

>Ironically, that evening, I conversed with a fellow transit traveler for a good 30 minutes about the neighbourhood and conversations with strangers, emergency response observations and shared experiences around vanishing shared spaces and meaningful connections. It was wonderful! 🙂

>Usually, it turns out that people I meet out in the world turn a blind eye, or are really excellent at making me really uncomfortable so that I end things and go home. Right now, there’s a highly intoxicated, talkative, possibly homeless, mentally ill person muttering and wandering the library, who everyone including me is pretending is invisible. They aren’t hurting anyone, but they are disruptive and nobody has any good ideas. This library has a security person, and he did just now engage with the individual appropriately and ask them to lower their voice, which is better than nothing. But what other options are there? People are people, not hot potatoes to be passed from place to place and resource to resource without ever finding the right supports.

So often I want very much to trade stories of the day with friends/family, get so that each of us feels connected and supported. But so often I feel so far removed. Sometimes I write it down instead (today) and sometimes I engage and use the space and speak with people in person or via phone. However, the library vibe is no longer conducive to writing at the present moment and I’ve come to the end of my retelling, so I am packing it in.

Looking back, it’s been a bumpy week, but overall a good one — though it is only Tuesday!

Make time for the people you love. Take care of yourself. Be well. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

–Sam

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where is here?

The world… It is sometimes overwhelming and can all make my brain very fuzzy. A clear head would be fantastic. And having a timeline that behaves itself would be great — seems like either it’s monitoring the tectonic plates, or capturing a lightening strike. I need to create more opportunities to let my mind and feet wander free and fearless, and for eating ice-cream for breakfast and medicinal purposes — also, tea!

Thought this was a quirky little reminder 🙂 Thriving is not easy these days.

You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in — Dr Seuss

Good things (9)

agriculture animal black and white bull
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com
  • fixed my work computer
    made a dent in the work faxes
    got work kudos
    ate good food
    played cello for hours
    slept for hours
    self-care IRL
    talked with mom
    saw the new lion king movie!!!
    sunday+monday = unremarkable + remarkably good
    feeling once more like a human being in the land of the living
    teamwork with people who understand what that means = YES!!! ❤

>AND, trying to reframe my busy mind from looking at things with a mechanical metaphoric lens (cars, roads, streets, cogs) to one of teamwork (herds, flocks, ecosystem) instead. I think this should help me take some of the pressure off, all around.

MOO!

 

 

Good things (8)

silhouette photography of birds in flight and perched on electricity line
Photo by Elizabeth Tr. Armstrong on Pexels.com

AKA: Warts and All

I am still here, scarred, but still here. I feel that jubilant is a possibility — but still a ways off at the moment.

~

I realize how much I carry around in my head, how much worry is bubbling just below the surface. Still, I have a few key things I’d like support on, so hopefully, I don’t make a fool of myself and create a bloody tidal wave.

~

Some changes coming to the team next month and I am looking forward to the chance to look at the work we do with fresh eyes. #mentalhealthatwork

(I wrote that in April or March of this year, and now we are coming up on August with nothing to show for it but more Worry and Stress)*

>Don’t fret, I debriefed with my team, I’ve documented the details, I’ve penned a fantastic letter and maybe, just maybe, the proverbial bullet-hole will finally get more than a proverbial bandaid.

~

And, laugh if you can, cry if you must — because the body of this was sketched around 4 months ago, and reality hasn’t shifted much — maybe I’m getting more resilient, and then again, sometimes I wonder why we now shoulder the expectation that we SHOULD be more resilient– like everyone is supposed to aspire to be bullet-proof, instead of just a decent, healthy, happy, human being. We shouldn’t have to be 110% perfect, 110% of the time.

Breakfast rules!

pancakes with blueberries on black plae
Photo by NastyaSensei Sens on Pexels.com

The general sentiment seems to be that the generation of today spends too much time absorbed in their screens, posting about breakfast and avocado toast. However, I did take a significant hiatus from the web, and now that I’ve reappeared here, I just have to tell you about the best part of the past few days which includes…. PANCAKES FOR BREAKFAST, and AVOCADO TOAST!

I did manage to work a few regular hours, do some laundry, find some new tunes, do a bit of banking, exploring, and ice-cream eating over the past few weeks. This is all excellent, but if I told you I wasn’t exhausted, I would be lying. The avocado toast Friday afternoon is all that kept me from descending into complete incoherence 🙂

Thus, when I woke up after 9am this morning, made a pile of blueberry super pancakes, had a fresh nectarine and a cup of chia for breakfast before chatting with Mom on the phone, I was ecstatic.

Enjoy the weekend, friends.

floodtide

How do you get through to people? How do you let them know that you care, without feeding the frenzy and fantasy that makes people ache to become the centre of the universe? To vent, and shout and curse and cry and give heartrending accounts of their days and struggles?

Life is unscripted. I realize this. Absolutely. You can prepare, you can plan. And still life comes at you in infinite variety, full-speed ahead. This goes for me, and for the people I meet over the phone. I would hope generally, that we can come together somewhere in the middle.

However, I’m feeling despite the best of intentions, practice, planning and preparation on my part, people are just not prepared to listen to what I have to say. A call that could take 3 minutes, now bursts at the seams as people barge right on through the door that opens once I answer the line.

Victoria BB

Early May last year, our team took a few Pro-D days and headed to Victoria, BC. My memories of this time are good ones. 3 days of sunshine, walks by the ocean, bouncing around on a big bed in the hotel room I had all to myself.

We heard some excellent presentations from the professional members of our team, Dr. Chris Williams who pioneered the Bounce Back program, and clinical consultants, learning about the youth of today and their struggles with anxiety and depression in this 24/7 world we now live in…

The food was superb: breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks and snacks ready to eat every time you even considered that you might possibly be a smidge hungry.

I learned so much and enjoyed so much and loved the chance to get to see everyone in person and engage in real conversation in real time instead of the usual chats over phone or email.

This year, the gathering is proposed for sometime in the fall, and I hope it meets with the same kind of success as the one held in Victoria, 2018 🙂

the other side (2)

I was given homework and the assignment was this: Make it a ‘Be Kind to Sam’ week! 🙂

So, I visited with friends, played some cello and fiddle, wore my stretchy pants, slept in, enjoyed some good books and movies. I hung out at the library, paid my bills, had a spa day and made some awesome stir-fry.

And yet, I still can’t shake the feeling that I’m coming apart, that I’ve regressed, that I’m a stranger surrounded by strangers. I feel I’m struggling and that somehow I’ve managed to be too hard and too soft on myself at the same time. I’m not sure what it means or where to go from here.

I hope I can trust the process and the person guiding me through it all, because I really feel I need it. I need something solid to hold on to.

breathing room

The gratitude I feel for this extended weekend is bone-deep.

In as much as I can have no agenda, I’ve managed to make it this far into the day without beating myself up. It’s also sunny and I have the whole day to enjoy it and soak up some light and vitamin D which is super and a nice alternative to deprivation and desperation that I seem to be taking rather hard lately. As gatekeeper/Admin. it’s an occupational hazard.

As I’ve noticed and shared recently (at its most intense, nearly a month to the day), people are not doing so well; they are seeking appropriate help, which is good, admirable, and so important. But holding space for each person and practicing my own self-care has proven to be a challenge.

I took myself out this afternoon, had an omelette, a coffee, a change of scenery.

Remembering to eat, tidying up, reading, yoga, tunes and most especially laundry, these are the items on my to do list for Good Friday, Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

I’m taking it one step at a time and that’s all I can do and all I can say.

–Sam

 

 

 

 

miles to the road (7)

Current Events:

Harder to walk these days than run (The Fretless). I very much relate to this song right now. The world is very loud.

Future Plans:

Bread and Butter* Self-care. Be present. Do laundry. Create happiness. Worry less.

On account of I’m pretty sure I made sure everyone had a piece of my pie, except me. And that made me cry.

Don’t let’s throw ourselves to the wolves.