Compassion

Compassion by Miller Williams

Have compassion for everyone you meet,
even if they don’t want it. What seems conceit,
bad manners, or cynicism is always a sign
of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen.
You do not know what wars are going on
down there where the spirit meets the bone.

From The Ways We Touch: Poems. Copyright 1997 by Miller Williams.

I came across this poem a couple of months back when dealing with some people in the office who were particularly abrasive towards me.  Mostly in the sense of “I’m hurting a lot here about things not related to what I’m taking it out on you, but you’re here at the moment so you get all my angry shit.”

I know I shouldn’t have to put up with bullshit.  But I also understand that there are some times when you just have to shut your mouth and take it, and take it gracefully.  Never mind that you’re in a similar scary place.  Complain to a trusted friend about how much it sucks, but smile and show the person love and respect next time you see them.  Despite the fact that it really fucking hurts at the moment.

Because the stuff that they’re saying to you is stuff that you don’t take personally.  It’s not you.  It’s not even them.  It’s a reaction to the pain they’re feeling on such a deep level that they don’t know realize that what they’re saying sucks.

There will be remorse expressed later, and apologies.  But there’s trust as well, and years of friendship.  And a return of compassion when I’m in such a place as well.  And I would rather they say these things to me than to their superiors and end up fired.

Is this thing on?

Or, as alternatively titled: On coming to terms with the fact that I’m technically a “retired” blogger.

I used to be a writer.

Or, well perhaps more appropriately, I used to feel like I was a writer.  I would write such a wide variety of things – stupid, funny, stupidly funny, cutesy romantic, achingly raw and honest… and I would put them on display for other people to read.  Mostly in the time of LiveJournal and early blogging.  I found an audience, mostly in the form of a game, and I was inspired, happy and creative.  I wrote for the audience, and the feedback was fairly instantaneous and I loved every second of it.

Then something happened that devastated that world for me – my journal ended up suspended. While I was able to get most of my writings back… I lost the interactions that I cherished, and most of the community. While it wasn’t my fault it felt like it was for the longest of times.  And I had a really hard time with it.  It took a long time to lose the last piece of the community, and it was just as raw and devastating as the first time it happened.  A piece of me perished with it.

I’ve still tried to work on writing.  I’ve done some NaNoWriMo’s – some more successful than others.  I’ve elaborated on the complicated and extremely detailed dreams that I have. I’ve even taken an Expressive Writing class that I aced.  I was seriously proud of that – it’s not often that I’ll see a 100 on anything class/learning related.

I have had a great amount of events in my life to write about, both positive and negative, big and small.

I had a great experience in January in Dallas, with meeting Marianas Trench twice (three times? Technically….) in one day.  I did a weekendish of 3 more Marianas Trench trips around home.  I’ve had disasters at work that it’s likely best I didn’t talk about anyway.  What about my trips to Cuba with people I’d never met.  Or attending a wedding in Honduras?  Or I’ve got one of those bucket-list trips – an Alaskan Cruise – coming up shortly*.  I’ve got a list of 101 things in 1001 days I’m working on.  Or my apartment where I’ve been making great strides at tackling my hording or not.  Or my parents.  Or the fact that I now regularly attend yoga with a great group of girls.  With dating attempts with this one guy who thought he’d be brutally honest and say that the reason I don’t date much/get asked out a lot is because I’m ugly but that doesn’t bother him, who went full on obsessed I’m-going-to-marry-you never mind that we hadn’t met… Now there’s a story and a half on its own.

And I haven’t written them.

Mind you.  Now I have a list of topics to write about?

Part of it, admittedly, is laziness.  I don’t find the time to do it even though the time is still there.  I find other useless things to do. Like browse Buzzfeed for 2 hours.  Or watch a movie I’ve seen likely 6 times.  find twitter helpful – the 150 characters aren’t a lot but it’s a fun challenge to be creative within them.  And at least I document things that way.

I’d be lying, though, if I said I didn’t miss it.  I do.  I miss spilling my thoughts and feelings onto this virtual paper.

A musician on twitter (who I’d like to be friends with – he’s just a sweet guy who gives me random bits of attention) recently finished a tour where he did a vlog.  He posted a question to his followers that asked if he should continue vlogging.  My response was simple, but it triggered this, so I guess it wasn’t really.

Maybe I haven’t really retired.  Maybe I’ve just been in a period of silence.

I guess we’ll find out.

*note.  By time I get off my ass and actually post this the cruise’ll likely be over.  But hey, what else is new?

Better late than never

  1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

Traveled with Lee-Anne to Roatan, Honduras. Attended a beach wedding for a bride and groom I’d just met a few days before. Swam off the deep end (lol) also known as crossed the barrier reef into the real ocean, and watched a school of blue fish swim off. Installed a series of computers at work with no help from Tech Support. Laid bricks/ did concrete work with my father. Attended a VIP concert for Matt Good and loved it. Traveled with my parents for the first time in a long time. Drove the boat while towing the dock all by myself (my uncle being in the boat doesn’t count).

 

  1. Did you keep your New Years’ Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did not have any New Years’ Resolutions, except to make it to the New Year. I’m working on a new list of 101 things in 1001 days, and others, but it’s not “Resolutions”.

 

  1. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Amanda gave birth to a little girl. If there was anyone else… I’m drawing a blank.

 

  1. Did anyone close to you die?

Not to my knowledge.

 

  1. What countries did you visit?

In 2014 I finally ventured out of my Canada/USA box and visited Cuba. This year it was Roatan, in Honduras. Otherwise I traveled mostly just in Canada… I don’t think I even made it to the USA this year.

 

  1. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

Health/family health. A better love life, job and home. But if I can’t have all those, it’s okay.

 

  1. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Christmas was pretty awesome this year. No one was sick, the food was delicious, and there was lots of good company. Presents were pretty nice too.

Hmm… because I’m thinking about it right now, October 27 cause that’s when Keiran bought Marianas Trench tickets for January.

 

  1. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Surviving work without causing bodily harm? I would say graduating from college but when the diploma arrived in mid January it was dated December. Eh, what the hell. Graduating from College.

 

  1. What was your biggest failure?

Not finishing part two of my college program. Still not holding a G2 drivers license. Not finding the right house to buy. Not finding a better work/life balance. Letting people get to me and not saying “no” when I wanted to. Wait, there was only supposed to be one, wasn’t there?

 

  1. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Don’t I always? I can’t recall any specifics, however.

 

  1. What was the best thing you bought?

Isn’t this a loaded question. Also very commercialized. I suspect the best thing I purchased would have been the Writing Class I did. Other good things I’ve bought would be gifts I’ve given away.

 

  1. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Sometimes mine, sometimes not. Canadians in general for finally electing out Harper.

 

  1. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The boss, once in a while. Same with some other coworkers. Americans who are against gun regulation.

 

  1. Where did most of your money go?

Rent. Savings. Food. Video games.

 

  1. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The trip to Roatan. The Matt Good tickets. The Marianas Trench tickets for next year. Spending time with my family.

 

  1. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Astoria was released end of 2015.  That’s what’ll remind me of 2015.

 

  1. Compared to this time last year, are you:
  2. a) happier or sadder? Cautiously happier
  3. b) thinner or fatter? About the same
  4. c) richer or poorer? About the same

 

  1. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Been confident in my self.

 

  1. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Given in to my fear.

 

  1. How will you be spending Christmas?

I spent Christmas at home with my parents and my sister. Christmas Eve My Aunt Jane, Uncle Horst, Laura and Oma came over for dinner. Christmas Day Aunt Sylvia, Uncle Tom and Katie came over. Boxing Day Aunt Liz and Uncle Paul came over and the day after Jen from high school/university and her family came over.

 

  1. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

My mom, on calls.  Texting likely Keiran and Isabelle.

 

  1. Did you fall in love in 2015?

No.

 

  1. How many one-night stands?

Not a one.

 

  1. What was your favorite TV program?

Murdoch Mysteries.  Still Standing.  Both brilliant TV shows, and both staring Jonny Harris.  I like a lot of Canadian TV as well.

 

  1. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate is a very strong term.  Strong dislike… now that I can get behind.

 

  1. What was the best book you read?

Almost all of them.

 

  1. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Hmm…. I don’t know.  I like what I like and I like it because it’s awesome.  I’ve fallen that much more in love with Marianas Trench and Matt Good.

 

  1. What did you want and get?

A lot of things.

 

  1. What did you want and not get?

A new home.  A drivers license.  A boyfriend. A new job.

 

  1. What was your favorite film of this year?

Couldn’t tell you.  I saw a lot of movies and a lot of them were good, but there’s not one that screams FAVOURITE.  Although I really enjoyed being able to watch the FULL Hunger Games Saga.

 

  1. What did you do on your birthday, and how old?

I had cake with my family, then went to Ikea with Lee-Anne.  I turned 33.

 

  1. What would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I don’t know.

 

  1. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

Casual alternative.  Love me some ripped jeans and sarcastic t-shirts.

 

  1. What kept you sane?

The kitty.  My friends.

 

  1. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Erm….  Josh Ramsay.  Jonny Harris.   Just to start a long long list…

 

  1. What political issue stirred you the most?

The election that got us a new PM.  Horray for Justin Trudeau.

 

  1. Who did you miss?

I don’t know.

 

  1. Who was the best new person you met?

I met a bunch of girls in 2014 when I started taking yoga classes, but I didn’t really get to know them until 2015.  Those would be the best new people I met last year.

 

  1. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015:

It really, truly, is okay to say no to something you don’t want to do.

 

  1. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

Apologies, I’m not myself but I can guarantee
That when I get back, you won’t believe
That you knew me well
Don’t want to think about it
I’m fuckin’ tired of getting sick about it
Now stand back up and be a man about it
And fight for something, fight for something, fight for something, oh

~ Marianas Trench “Ever After”

 

 

The old 101 in 1001 list from 2008

Way back in 2008 I made a list of 101 things I was going to do in 1001 days. Since then I’ve pretty much abandoned this blog a few times now. No guarantee that it won’t happen again, but what the hey. Recently I’ve decided to kick things up a notch and re-start blogging about my world. This stemmed from trying to locate something in my 2001 and realizing how much I missed writing about my world.

Anyway, one of the things I’ve also decided to do is a new 101 things in 1001 days list. But before doing so I’ve also decided that I’m going to do a re-cap on the old one, that ended on December 31, 2010. So just about 5 years late and I won’t be able to recall most of the part whether it ended before or after, but I feel like I learned a lot. So onward and upward. Updates are in blue.

Financial:
1. Keep a detailed list of all spending for one month (0/30) – Joined Mint.ca to help keep track of my budget and determine what my savings and spendings are.
2. Get my savings account up to $15,000 by the end of the challenge (/15000) – IN PROGRESS – although I’m not saying how much heh while I’m not sure if I made the goal in the time, I did cross this goal in my savings for purchasing a house.
3. Save all loose change (with the exception of Jeans day for work) and cash it in at the end of the challenge This one I did complete. I cashed in all my change in one outing (thank god for counting machines) and walked away with a nice chunk of cash.
4. Go one week without spending any money (0/7) – I now regularly do this. I also regularly don’t.
5. Buy a new laptopCOMPLETED – Ordered (04.07.08), finally arrived 04.19.08
6. Research into the details of buying my own home instead of renting – I’ve done extensive research in this and have been working on purchasing my own home for two or three years now. I can’t remember how long.

Health and Fitness:
7. Go one month without eating fast food for lunch at work (0/30) – I’ve likely done this, but I don’t do it frequently. I should do it more frequently.
8. Do yoga every morning for one week (0/7) – I’ve discovered this frequency doesn’t really work for me, but I did do yoga twice a day for a week while in Cuba on a yoga retreat…okay okay I lied. I missed a single morning, but damnit, close enough.
9. Go two weeks without eating out (0/14) –eh, see #7.
10. Drink 8 glasses of water every day for one month. (0/30) – Carrying around a water bottle greatly helped achieving this one.
11. Go one month without pop (0/30) – I gave up pop for quite a while. Now I don’t stress out about it, unless I’m drinking it all the time.
12. Eat a healthy breakfast every day for one month (0/30) I’ve gotten significantly better at eating a regular breakfast and I feel better for it. I just also get lazy.
13. No chocolate for one month. (0/30) – Yeah, let’s be honest. This is never going to happen
14. Keep an accurate food journal for two months. (0/60) – I’ve done this a few times, especially when I’ve been doing Weight Watchers.  I need to get back into the habit. 
15. Lose 25 pounds. (0/25) – This one happened, but it didn’t stay happened. I lost them, then I found them again.
16. Brush and floss every day for a month (0/30) –  So I’ve never been good at teeth.  Although I’ve worked hard to get the brush every day in place.
17. Swim for 30 minutes 3 times a week for one month (0/12) – This one always seemed to fall short cause of female time.
18. Do an aerobic video three times a week for one month (0/12) – Nope.  Hasn’t happened.  Joined yoga instead.
19. Plan a weekly menu and follow it for each week for a month (0/4) – I tried this.  It worked well.  I need to get back on it. 
20. Learn to prepare 10 healthy new meals (0/10) – I’ve found many new healthy meals and I love them all.  I need to stop being lazy. 

Beauty
21. Moisturize in the morning for a month (0/30) – Moisturizer doesn’t help in the morning.  And it made my skin kinda… ew.  After the shower helps though, especially in the winter.
22. Shower in the morning daily for a month (0/30) – I’ve found that this is great, but, I still feel gross by the end of day, and having two showers a day seems like such a waste on so many levels.
23. Have a pedicure done This was fun.  And I like shiney toes. 
24. Get eyebrows waxed once – Eh, I ended up deciding that I like my eyebrows the way they are and that waxing sounds incredibly painful.
25. Get highlights done professionally once – I keep meaning to get this done, but it’s not a high priority thing.  More of a … if I have extra money and time thing.
26. Wear makeup every day for a week (0/7) – Insecurities about my skin, and it’s blotchy-ness, have made this a daily occurance.
27. Wear a skirt to work 10 times (0/10) – Oh please.  Finding out that I can wear wide-calf high boots has meant plenty of days in skirts and dresses.  Love those boots.
28. Stop biting / picking nails for one week (0/7) – So I do really really well at this…. until the stress level escalates.
29. Get my upper ear pierced – Check!  Much after the end date (had it done earlier this year) but I love it SO MUCH. 

Creativity
30. Complete the first draft of my Nano novel – IN PROGRESS… kinda… – I’ve re-written and written about 4 Nano novels by now.  I have no idea what one this is refering to so we’re going to make an assumption that I’ve covered this.
31. Make 3 Scrapbooks (0/3) – I let this one fall by the way side.
32. Complete another draft novel (during NaNoWriMo or otherwise) – See #30
33. Blog at least once a week or equivalent can include updates on 101 in 1001 – Nah. 
34. Write for 15 minutes every day for two weeks (0/14) – Nah
35. Write 20 new poems (0/20) – I’ve scribed a few, but I don’t think I’ve hit 20.
36. Edit and compile a poetry book with new and old poems – Did not happen.
37. Paint at least 10 canvases (0/10) – Fairly certain this did happen.  But I could not provide proof as I’ve given almost all of them away.
38. Finish Eiffel Tower canvas for Hannah (not to be included in 10 canvases) –  She has it on her desk at work, so I finished it.  I hated it SO MUCH but I finished it.
39. Sew something using my sewing machine – About that… so I set up the sewing machine on the table and it promptly caused the table to fall over and almost killed the sewing machine.  I’ve sewed a few things on my mom’s sewing machine at their place, but I have not chanced setting mine up again.  Although she got a new sewing machine and gave me the old one so technically…
40. Fill a sketchbook with doodles, poetry and sketches – IN PROGRESS – So I have about 10 sketch books, and if we were to put them all together… lol
41. Write 20 short stories (minimum of two pages) (0/20) – Technically I completed this one when I did the creative writing class.
42. Create a dream journal and document 10 random dreams (0/10) – Wow I really don’t do well with numbered assignments.
43. Take a photograph every day for one month (0/30) – Ditto #42
44. Make a baby blanket for Karen and Mike’s little one – COMPLETED (05.23.08)
45. Print out all stories that I’ve written and assemble in a binder. – I know I started doing this when I was actually legitemately doing this.  And I did print out everything I had written and put it in a binder.  Now it would be considered no, but at that point it was a yes.
46. Submit a piece to a printed publication – I’m still working on the courage to do this one. 

Arts and Entertainment
47. Clean out my mp3 collection at least once. – IN PROGRESS – might as well do it when transferring to new laptop – I did this!
48. Read 250 books – books must be documented (here), re-reading is okay. (?/250) – While I cannot confirm that I did this, I did read a hell of a lot of books. Goodreads can confirm that.
49. Go to three museums/galleries (1/3) – I’ve completed this but I’m sure it wasn’t within the challenge timeframe.
50. Visit the library once a month (5/33) – I love the library.  I don’t love the overdue fees I get by forgetting to return to the library.
51. Expand my music collection by 30 CDs & can included downloaded ones (0/30) – ODG for real?  My music collection has grown exponentially via mp3s.
52. Learn to play scales on the guitar – If Guitar Hero or RockBand counts, then I am golden.
53. Watch 100 movies – documented here (?/100) – Haha no.  I haven’t documented anything. But I did watch a lot of great movies.
54. Buy a copy of book I like, write comments in it and leave it in a random place for someone to find (0/5) – I’ve done this in the sense of given away random books I’ve liked by leaving them in random places but I’ve never written anything in them.
55. Go to a free summer event each summer (ie concert, street fest, etc)
 I’ve been to enough free places and seen enough things to have completed this.

Social
56. Write/email friends I don’t speak to 33 times. (1/33) –I am not good at mail.  Or email.  Mostly because I see so many emails at work.
57. Send out 10 “just because” cards/letters (0/10) – See above.
58. Join a dating service and go on a date – So I did, and I did, and I even had a boyfriend for a few months that turned into a massive clusterfuck that terrified me from committed relationships for quite a while.  But I’m back on the dating sites and attempting the dating thing again.
59. See 6 movies without being dragged (2/6) I like movies.  I just don’t like the act of going out.  But I’ve been getting better at it.
60. Take two classes online or otherwise, personal or career related (0/2) – Kinda took this one a lot further than I anticipated and I ended up graduating from college last year.  And I’m halfway doing it again.
61. Have a picnic with my Mom and sister – With the two of them being hospital bound for quite some time this has not happened in the official sense.
62. Have two small parties with friends/family in my apartment (0/2) – Each time I’ve tried this I’ve gotten horribly sick.  So I don’t try anymore.
63. Bake goodies for co-workers 6 times (1/6) Nah, never finished.
(04.22.08) – buttertart squares
64. Host a baking party for friends from work – Hahah no.
65. Grab a buddy and go on a photo-tour – I don’t even understand what this is. Get a friend and take a bunch of pictures while walking around?  If that’s the case, done lots of times.
66. Treat a friend to a movie
 – More frequently they seem to treat me to a movie, but it’s happened. 

Travel
67. Walk down a beach as the sun sets/risesCompleted – Sunset – (08.03.08) Third Beach, Stanley Park, Vancover.  Sunset – (08.06.08) Comox.
68. Visit a different provinceCOMPLETED – BC (08.03.08 to 08.10.08)
69. Visit somewhere I’ve never been before – Outside of the challenge, I’ve visited Cuba and Hondouras.  Well beyond my comfort zones.
70. Visit a waterfall  – COMPLETED – Shannon Falls, Squamish, BC and Nymph Falls, Comox, BC
71. Spend an afternoon in the kayak – I did this with the then boyfriend, who was terrified of water.  That was likely mean.
72. Collect a complete set of US state quarters – IN PROGRESS
– I still have a jar of them.  Is a complete set? Who knows.

Home
73. Take out garbage/recycling weekly to prevent clutter – Hahaha no.  Another “to work on” point.  Although having to have regular garbage collection would assist with this.
74. Create an emergency preparedness kit and an emergency plan (http://getprepared.ca/index_e.asp) – I had one.  Then I used a bunch of stuff from it.  So now I need one again. 
75. Clean all dishes and counters after using them – So this is another thing I really need to work on.
76. Empty out all the moving boxes – IN PROGRESS – only 6 boxes left… (04.07.08)… Emptied out 3 boxes (07.19.08) now only ones are the mystery boxes in the closet
77. Put up photos and posters – decorate! – I did this to a degree.  Then I took some down.  Then I put some back up.  And now it’s in a place of half done.
78. Shred old bills – Yup
79. Set up and organise an “art” station. – So I cleaned the old art corner, and then determined that I did not have enough space to set up a full art station.  Which I desperately want. So I guess I need to get working on the whole moving thing…
80. De-clutter the entire apartment Many many times I have tried this.  Many. 
81. Go through my clothes and donate everything that doesn’t fit / wouldn’t wear – IN PROGRESS – just have the closet and PJ drawer left (06.23.08) – COMPLETED (08.15.08) Clothes have been given to parents to donate
82. Clean the bathroom thoroughly once a month (3/33) – So, I don’t have dates, but the bathroom is the one place I clean thoroughly at least monthly now. 
(04.20.08), (05.25.08), (06.21.08), (07.19.08), (08.23.08)
83. Keep the apartment in a state where it’s company-presentable for 6 months (ie anyone can drop by any time and it wouldn’t be messy) (0/6) – This is something I really really really need to work on.  Perhaps this will be easier in a bigger space?  Or if I really just got rid of a lot of junk.
84. Purchase a double or queen bed – mattress and frame, sheets – Well… I bought the sheets?  But I guess that doesn’t count.
85. Make needed repairs to dining table (or replace) – Fixed the table.  But it still needs to be replaced.
86. Create slip-covers for dining chairs (or replace)
Ha, no.  Did not happen.  On either account.

Miscellaneous
87. Spend a full day in silence (no talking/televisions/radio).
88. Have a computer-free weekend – COMPLETED (05.15.08 til 05.19.08)
89. Have a cell phone-free weekend – If the battery dies overnight friday and you’ve forgotten your charger, does that count?
90. Go skinny-dipping under the stars each summer (07.26.08) – Due to unplanned circumstances out of our control, we pretty much abandoned the cottage for a while.  But last summer we finally made it back up there, and while this goal was not completed, there’s still hope for naked swimming in the future.
91. Handwrite a blog entry and scan it to the blog – Fairly certain I did complete this, although all the old blog posts are almost all private now.  Let me check…. yup. I did.
92. Watch the sunrise – This has happened a few times now when I’m traveling. I don’t think that really qualifies as it’s not “official”.
93. Compose a “If something ever happens to me” letter – So as much as I want to do this, every time I try I spiral down into a bad bad place.  But I’ve done a few things to address some of the issues, so that’s helpful.
94. Take a day-long vacation from the world. – Yeah, I took a few of these, actually. 
95. Take a First Aid Course – I became First Aid Certified two years ago. Which reminds me that I need to re-certify this coming year.
96. Write a fan letter and send it – I hand delivered it. Does that count?
97. Plant two gardens – one indoor and one outdoor (1/2) – IN PROGRESS – planted a mini planter garden this summer… didn’t manage to keep the plants alive, however my indoor plants are flourishing. – So I had a couple of summer gardens. I had some success with them, but not a whole lot. I haven’t been able to keep plants alive in the apartment (the cat helps there) but I’ve got 3 spider plants, a money tree, another plant, a baby pine tree, and a mini garden flourishing at work.
98. Brush up on my French and learn to speak more French – Nope, did not happen.
99. Learn basic Braille and ASL – I did learn basic braille, but it’s something I need to work on more. It’s fascinating.
100. Spoil the cat by ensuring that he gets 30 minutes of undivided attention a day for a month (0/30) – Sadly I’m not sure I did this. I have tried, however, to ensure that he does get undivided attention each day when I’m with him.
101. Create a list of 100 things that make me happy and post it in a visible place in the apartment
– Yeah, never did this.  However I’m working on a new list now.