Archive | January 2016

My mum’s life in boxes

Went through my mum’s storage again with my husband today.  The last of the many boxes that had to be sorted through. A mailbox, license plates, wrapping paper, broken glass, kitchen utensils and on and on.   I came across a notebook and what I read broke my heart.  She was writing to God:  “I am black and oppressed…..I am so far from my dreams, if I were white….I pray for strength to go on… my age, this is reality.”  I cried.  But I had to stop and get the job done.   It was just written down among pages of random notes, phone numbers.  I had to go through boxes and boxes of old junk, trying to sort through everything and put stuff aside to be taken away by a junk truck.  I put it aside.  I did not keep the page. Too painful.  There were other pages written here and there like that, all writing to God for strength, for a friend, in pain, betrayed.

There was also a box full of music sheets, her handwriting  on white paper as she was memorizing songs.  I even stumbled across one songsheet of His Eyes on the Sparrow – which we had  performed at her funeral.  I just couldn’t put it off to the junk side.  I just couldn’t, so we packed it in a suitcase and brought it home.

It was tough.  Some stuff pertained to my younger sister so I immediately boxed it and mailed it to her.  At the 7-11 where the post office is, I broke down and bought 2 licorice sticks.  I’ve been trying to stay away from candy lately.  But I had to wait til some woman had her boxes taped up.  Thanks post office for being in a freaking 7-11.

Grief. Anger. Candy. Naturally.




Some things stay the same

There’s been a lot of conversation amongst some of my peers about the lack of diversity in the theatre scene in Vancouver…. and now it’s the lack of diversity is the Oscar nominations.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe in 2016, but it is……Happy Martin Luther King Day.  In so many ways, you’d still be dreaming, Martin….

Microblog Mondays – Some things just don’t go away

Microblog_MondaysI was catching up with a friend Saturday night and relating the sister drama that unfolded after my mother’s death.  I told her that I wanted to go to Toronto in the spring or summer and try to reconnect with my eldest sister.  She asked me why I would even bother considering what happened and related some of her family drama.  Considering that my eldest sister and I have only been alone together (during a car ride about a decade ago), chances of us having a private conversation are slim to none.  I am not so interested in changing her as much as I am about getting clear with her.  I think I understand the source of her unhappiness but am not clear as to what role I personally play in it, if it all.  When someone yells at you and hangs up on you, not once, but twice and then acts as if everything is just peachy, that’s just weird.  She doesn’t want to be understood, she just wants to be obeyed.

Of course, I haven’t heard boo from her since the funeral.  Typical.  And I haven’t called her either, though I did get a  Merry Christmas text from one of her daughters.  I don’t get her and her family at all.   I really hate it when people throw out religious vernacular when it suits them and then behave in a hypocritical manner.  And getting a hold of her via telephone has always been difficult, even my younger sister just waits til she calls her.

It may not happen at all, who knows, but it’s been my experience that if I avoid dealing with things, things just keep repeating themselves.


Microblog Mondays – I hate January

Microblog_MondaysWell, I’ve already forgotten my first Buddhist meeting of the year – DOH! – totally forgot to put it down in my calendar and it went right out of my head!  Does this happen to anybody else?  Even my husband asked if I had any meetings coming up.  I usually attend about 4 – 6 meetings a month (I’m an assistant coordinator), but I have to admit I was feeling pretty burnt out at the beginning of the year.  I love my meetings but perhaps it is the post holiday letdown that has dulled my enthusiasm.  It’s been non stop since my mum died, all the funeral arrangements, the holidays, getting Boo and I back into the school groove.   The cold freezing, sideways rain has returned after a brilliant weekend and I’m trying to stay strong.  I also forgot to order Subway lunch for my kid on Friday (but I can buy that on Thursday myself) .  There’s work, walking the dog, cleaning, arranging, sorting, and NOW on to dealing with a lawyer regarding the probate of my mum’s estate.    I still haven’t finished cleaning out her storage locker, and now of course, I may have to get certain things appraised.  Had I done that before she died, I’d have nothing left to catalogue.  As it is, most of it is junk.  There’s a stand up piano which I’d like to keep (but where? I have no room),some really bad art (including my own framed in 80’s pink and blue Peggy Hopper prints) and a couple pieces of plastic covered furniture.

I’ve been sleeping like shit lately.  Well for months.  When I wake up, I think of my mum.  Or what I have to do.  Or what I haven’t done.  Or my belly.   I hate going to bed and I loathe waking up in the dark.  I do get going after I take Boo to school but I have so many loose ends, it’s like I don’t know where to start.  So I chanted and cleaned up a shelf on the bookcase.  Walked the dog for an hour.  Congrats to me.  I’m terrified of getting an audition, I just don’t feel ready.  I need a pedicure so bad my toenails hurt, my hair looks like a rat’s nest, my hip muscle hurts (chiro visit in a couple of days), hubby’s back at work and because of some money my mum left we’re okay for now.  I want to go back to working out which means I actually have to go to the  gym and join ($$) and start eating better.  I want to start doing the things I know will raise my life condition  (bye by wine, oh, sweet wine) and yet there’s this huge to do estate checklist to get through staring at me in my face. And I have a Buddhist exam in 2 weeks and I haven’t cracked the study guide.  Oh, yeah and I have to learn a song for my acting class.  Did I mention I have to do my taxes for last year?

And instead of multitasking, I just want to stop and lie down in a spa for 24 hours with no cell phone.  Or my bed.  But I’d feel horribly guilty.

Don’t worry, I won’t lay down.  I’ll get organized, hubby will help.  I’ll get through this month, I promise. Sort of.

Microblog Mondays – The year that didn’t break me

Microblog_MondaysHappy New Year everyone!  Yes, it is indeed 2016.  I can’t say I’d like to repeat 2015; it was a tough one. But I wore it well.

Our income dwindled and there were a few months where rent was a question mark.  Yet the universe always came through for us and we made it.  I know that financial stress is a huge part of why couples divorce and I can’t say that thought didn’t flit around my brain for a bit but once my husband and I were able to communicate better, life became a lot easier. I was grateful to be able to make more money and contribute more.

I enjoyed being a parent more.  I loved to watch my son laugh and play and develop as his own person.  He has a great sense of humour and he is kind and generous.  I looked forward to hearing his stories about his day (though I usually had to pry it out of him).  I had to answer a lot of tough questions from him.  His ears heard everything and I kept forgetting that. He’s like a sponge at this age and watches our behaviour like a hawk and is quite quick to point out hypocritical behaviour.

I had a lot of hormonal upheaval – at least that’s my excuse for my cranky disposition this year.  Everything below the waist was doing its own thing without my permission and boy did that bring up that infertility trauma  again. The edge part of came out in full force.

I am not a pushover but  I hate confrontation with the people closest to me in my life.  I also hate saying no to people’s requests.  The downside is that people step all over your boundaries and in 2015, I flexed my referee muscles and blew the whistle so to speak, particularly with my family.  On a surprising note, I learned to care less if people thought I was “nice” or not.

Of course, the biggest thing for me was was that my mum died.  I haven’t really talked about it much because I spent most of the time just dealing with my sisters and planning mum’s service.  I think I’ve dealt with it by pushing it out of my head.  Enforced amnesia.  And then my husband’s uncle was diagnosed with a debilitating disease and my next mission became hosting a Christmas gathering full of joy and happiness.  It was a great benefit really to  cook for 12 people in my home at holiday time.  It kept me busy and living in the moment and I so enjoy  having people over.  I didn’t have time to get down.  Also, having some money (thanks mum for leaving me some) took the pressure off so I could spoil hubby and the kid for Christmas and not stress out over the cost of feeding people for a week.

I felt I was always putting off things last year because of lack of funds.  (And I do mean lack of funds in the first world way bourgeois way.  Using credit when I shouldn’t, always buying on sale,  forgoing dining out with friends as much but never actually suffering hunger.) No gym, no extended health care unless absolutely necessary, limited acting classes, no new coat or shoes for myself, etc.  But I paid off some debt and bought a few things I always wanted.  However, I learned there is very little I actually need.

Here’s to 2016 – may it bring you all peace of mind, prosperity and good health.