Speaking about adversity…

pexels-photo-1448055 dogSince we have our west coast trail hike coming up, I decided to do a bit of real practical training. Up at the cottage I took the dogs, maguire and seamus, for a walk and I also took one of the backpacks and loaded it up with one of the 20 litre carboys we have there. (I did fill it with water.)

 

High school has been a while, and I sort of forgot that one litre equals one kilogram. In my defense, we actually only took imperial training back then in school. ( Back in those days, once we etched an answer in our tablets, you really didn’t want to change it afer that. And I mean those stone tablets)

 

I put this on my back and we wandered around for a while. Fortunately, the road was flat, and I only had to stop and do my shoelaces once. Also fortunately the cap on the water carboy was quite tight. Yes, it was heavy and sloshed.

 

I might try slinging one of the dogs across my back, but they wouldn’t like it, and they would slosh more than the water did. One hopes that with increasing adversity comes greater abilities to deal with the new adversity in the future!

 

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photo by Pexel

Adversity

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 The great psychiatrist Dr. Lucy tells the hapless Charlie Brown that “Adversity prepares one for the things of life.” Charlie Brown quizzically asks “What things?” and the good Dr. says “More adversity.”
A little non-sensical, but this has remained with me for several decades. We can even bring in The Princess Bride when Wesley says that “life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
One writer lists over 6 different types of adversity such as mental, physical, spritual, financial, social and emotional. To think that we could be hit by 6 different planes of existence all at once can be overwhelming.
Ultimately one hopes that can there can be more than simply pain for pain’s sake. But everything we read says that adversity can be a force for good since it can bring out the best in you.
But I leave you with Albert Einstein who said that adversity introduces a man to himself. We are not what our problems are, but how we react to them that counts.

When did that happen?

woman-holding-surfboard-1822745I was on a small boat cruise during the winter in the galapagos islands. We were getting ready to do a bit of snorkling. I scuba dived for a years and worked as a diver for a field season. Back in those days, I only had a wet suit. A bit tight, but I didn’t replace it as I grew somewhat.

Flash forward a few decades on the galapagos tour and the outfitters gave me an extra large wetsuit. And I’m trying to squeeze 11 pounds of sausage into a 10 pound casing. This was one of the suits that zipped up in the back. It had one of those long langards so that you do the zipping up by yourself.

I was always careful not to get hair caught in my front zipper wetsuit. I had to stop zipping up the rear zippered wet suit owing to the sudden sharp pain. It never occurred to me that I might now have the same amount of hair on my back that I had on my chest.

Just one of those aging things I know, but when the hell did that happen?

Seasonal Affective Disorder

solar-flare-sun-eruption-energy-39561Winter brings the onset of seasonal affective disorder. Where does one go for a sunny day in Canada? Calgary takes the spot as a major centre with the most sunny days. Considering the oil market, they appear to need it. Vancouver with 154 rain days ranks just behind Prince Rupert as the cloudiest part of Canada. But at least when you live in Vancouver, at least you are in Vancouver.

Those of us in other parts of the country must turn to the Amazon. Not the river, the shopping platform. Here you can purchase your own light therapy box. Light therapy impacts brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep and eases SAD symptoms.

We have the Northern Light Technologies 10,000 lux desk light. Minimal UV radiation since you don’t want to fix one problem and cause an even greater melanoma problem.

Ignore the pictures showing people sitting in a chair enjoying a coffee. Read the brochure, but generally the light box should be within 18 inches of your face for maximum effectiveness. The exact distance that your mother always warned you about when you watched TV.

Perhaps 15 minutes a day in the morning ought to do it. Just keep a consistent schedule and do all those other things that your mother told you to do. Get outside and play.

 

#sad #motivation

Over the hill but picking up speed

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We met up with a couple of long-time friends. Not old friends. Not in their minds. She had retired last year and a work acquaintance asked her what it like going from 60 to 0? I am surprised my friend did not give the person a bit of smack upside of the head. She only did that figuratively.

When we retire, we still go the speed limit, or perhaps a bit faster. We are just on a nicer, less crowded highway.

Triskelion Tattoo

IMG_4408This was a piece from a couple of years ago that was published in the Globe.

 

I finally reached that age when it was time to get a tattoo. There is a fine balance between the years you can appreciate your tattoo and the years that you finally regret it. Turning 60, my years of tattoo appreciation seemed likely to exceed the years of tattoo regret. Only 10% of my age bracket, the baby boomers have a tattoo. Moving from the middle of the pig in the python, I was on the verge of being an outlier.

My spouse got her own tattoo as a 50th birthday present. A nice Celtic knot on the side of calf. I have admired her determination to show who she was and an insight into her heritage. The only thing that people could tell about my heritage was that I came from nice hair.

Getting a tattoo would reveal my inner rebel. Getting a tattoo, and a motorbike, would go hand-in-hand. My spouse did point out the error of that logic, and a tattoo was a stand-alone rebel stance and would not require a motorbike. My rebel was appropriately schooled.

What tattoo could do this, without the motorbike? Latin phrases such as carpe diem have been done to death. The best approach would be a symbol. I was looking for something that spoke to me and represented what being human was all about. No easy task since people search all their lives for personal meaning, and I was looking for something like that that could fit on my slightly increasing, soon to be decreasing body size.

In the time that it would have taken to gestate five consecutive baby elephants, I finally set upon a design. A triskelion. A three part symbol that even predates the Celts. The interesting aspect is that you can apply any meaning you want to a trinity. Past present future, mind body spirit, grande decaf latte. The last is a bit of stretch, but the symbol is multipurpose. I wanted to include my wife’s initials in between the spokes of the triskelion. My spouse smiled. My adult children mildly rolled their eyes. PDAs, parental displays of affection, are to be avoided.

The placement of a tattoo also makes a statement. Men prefer arms while woman prefer upper back and legs. Each placement makes a different statement. A facial location would make the statement that I was not happy with my present employment. A deltoid shoulder placement was more in keeping. Not too shy, not obvious at work, and would integrate well with the yoga crowd when I wore my lululemon tank top.

This was the way to show my free spirit. I copied out varioustattoo sizes and taped them to various body locations. Apparently my free spirit likes to be guided like a slow moving trolley on tracks.

After contacting my local tattoo parlor, and checking out needle safety, I had my consultation. I veered away somewhat from the artists that would otherwise have been comfortable providing prison tattoos, while in prison. I settled for a more artistic looking artist.

The fateful day arrived and I was feeling flushed and decided to walk to the tattoo parlor instead of driving. I loaded up on ibuprofen. Upon arriving, I signed the necessary forms. There was no legal jargon to pour through. A good sign. I sat down in the dental looking chair, not a good sign, and my artist explained the process. He applied the stencil and I checked the mirror. This was the one last chance to bail, but I smiled and said ‘hey, it’s exactly what I was thinking of’. This may have been true at some point, but my mind was blank. I leaned back and closed my eyes. I can just about fall asleep when getting my teeth cleaned. I decided that I should try to stay awake and become more ‘fully engaged’ in the moment. But I was more concerned about my tattoo artist. If he nodded off and didn’t move from a certain spot after a minute, I wondered if I would be left with a large black splotch. And if so, what would this very unhappy looking death balloon symbolize?

The entire process took less than 90 minutes. I had been warned that getting a tattoo was like getting scratched by a cat. My previous scratching experience was rescuing a friend’s cat from a tree. The cat was terrified, but I coaxed it to leap into my arms. Yes, mistake, scratch wise. Fortunately getting the tattoo was way less painful.

When my artist was finished I paid the balance of my account. I gave him a nice tip. Even though the experience is almost the same, countless small punctures, I don’t usually tip my lawyer or my accountant.

Afterwards, I did feel different. After thinking about the meaning of the design, I understood how people can feel that their totem, crystals and the like are channeling another power. We all like to be attached to something greater. The triskelion reminds me to work on all aspects of myself continuously, a permanent conscious guide.

I like how they worked my spouse’s Celtic initials into the design which shows how our past, present and futures are intertwined.  I have committed to things that are important and to leave aside things that are not. There is no time like the present. Why wait?

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Labyrinthine Tattoo

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My first, and perhaps only tattoo, used a triskillion labryrinthine type of design. I liked the notion of the three legged concept as a methaphor for life. Three basics being mind, body, spirit. Sort of a secular trinty type of approach.

I have some Irish celtic background, so this nicely captured my entire approach to life.

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/your-daily-word-prompt-labyrinthine-march-30-2019/