Firday Five: Free at Last

  1. What’s the most recent pleasant item you received for free?
    That’s a tricky one, because Christmas was just a month ago, and that means that pretty much everything that was under the tree for me free because they were gifts, and because my family are awesome they were all beyond pleasant.  There were new outfits, slippers, cookbooks, and all of it was wonderful. The Husband got me tickets to see Cats before it left town (the musical, not the movie and it makes me sad that I feel the need to make that distinction). I’d been dying to see Cats since I was 13 years old and it was a wonderful experience.
  2. What do you wish to be free of?
    Depression. Anxiety. Panic Attacks. I have no control over these things, and they wash over me like a giant wave, that pulls me down in the under tow. I had a panic attack the other night, I woke up gasping, feeling like I couldn’t breathe and I don’t even have any idea what triggered it, because I was fast asleep.
  3. What do you wish to be freed from?
    Fear and doubt.
  4. What’s a song you like with the word (or some form of the word) “free” in it?
  5. What’s something you could do so you’d have more free time?
    Well that’s the rub in my life right now. I’m not lacking in free time. I’m home with my son all the time since his graduation. I spend time doing some stuff with him during the day but by the evening he’s done with me. He wants to just chill and have some quiet time, relaxing and watching TV.
    That leaves me alone, with free time once my housework is done.
    I guess the real question for me is how would I add more quality to my free time?
    I have been reading a lot, but I think I need to actually do something with myself.
    I’m thinking that I need to go back to some of my hobbies that I abandoned. Art. I used to draw and the past few months I haven’t even picked up a pencil to doodle, let alone draw and I can’t remember the last time I held a paintbrush in my hand.
    I’ve also been thinking of returning to my crochet again, but my problem there is that the projects I want to do, need the purchase of yarn and I just can’t justify spending the money on that when there is other things to spend our money on that’s way more important.
    I’ve also been thinking of taking up the piano again, my son got a keyboard for his birthday and I’m sure he won’t get mad at Mom if she starts to teach herself again. I took lessons as a kid, and then I was fooling around about 10 years ago. I’ve been listening to a lot of classical music lately and it reminded me how much joy I had playing my violin as a kid, maybe the piano can bring that happiness to me.
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The Friday Five Writes Again

Back in the old days of online journaling in a place on the internet called Diaryland, there was a thing that happened every Friday, at least in the journals, what would become known as blogs, that I read and commented on almost daily.
Back in those days we wrote about our lives, most were open and honest and wrote about things happening in our lives or the world around us. We sometimes posted to vent, sometimes seeking advice. Sometimes we posted memes and quizzes to help you discover which Lord of the Rings Character you were?

But back in the early part of the new millennium there was a prompt to help you with your writing topics, perhaps reveal personal, but not to private information and sometimes it was just silly stuff that you ended up sharing. It was the Friday Five.
I’d forgotten all about it, until a few weeks ago I was scrolling through my old posts, laughing at how horrible my writing was, I marvel at those that read it and didn’t tell me to piss off because my writing was shit.
Suddenly there it was before me, a Friday Five and it got me thinking. Does something like that exist today, guess what? It does!
The Friday Five

Now, it’s too late to participate in this weeks Friday Five, but dammit come the 24th I am going to be hitting that site and writing about what ever the prompt gods or goddesses come up with.

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Stepping Away from the Social Media Drama Machine

I got a new phone, and with it came a sparkly new camera. Ok, it doesn’t sparkle so much, but it sure takes pretty pictures, much better than the crappy camera on my cheap little phone that we got as an emergency when my phone died. It was a bottom of the line phone, so of course the camera was bottom of the line too.

But, this new phone is not bottom of the line, it may very well be mid-line or even slightly above mid-line, but the point is that my photo taking game could very well take off, which will give me a very large happy.

My thinking about taking better pictures, which will inevitably lead  to me posting these better photos has me thinking about social media, mostly the amount of and the quality of time that I am spending there lately.

Over the years I have been able to minimize my contact with people that are the kind that bring a certain element of drama to almost every single aspect and moment of their life, the kind of drama that doesn’t just come to them and so they have no control over, but the kind of drama that they are the manufacturers of. Like when they spread gossip about others that ends up in arguements and fights that suck in all the other people in the universe around them. The kind of people that are catty and quick to cut others down, the kind of people that seem to thrive on the chaos that either surrounds them or is created by them.
My life is stressful enough without having friends that do nothing more for me than to light up the sky with turmoil.
And my life is much easier to live ever since.

Except now my special needs son has graduated from school, he’s home with me now, all the time, and every other adult in the house leaves for work in the evenings (my husband and son work night shift and my daughter is on afternoons in retail, so she’s usually home later in the night). This leaves me alone with little man who has now spent the day playing and being entertained and is starting to feel a tad groggy and wants to just sit and chill and watch the TV. Kids shows on the TV. Shows that make my brain start to become jell-o in my skull.
So, I turned to reading in the evenings to spend the time once I had all my cleaning up and other work done. Only thanks to my ADD (attention deficit disorder)  I tend to hyperfocus on the book that I’m reading, which isn’t good when you are the only responsible adult in the home and are supposed to be supervising 1 cranky boy and 4 troublesome pooches. Mayhem can ensue, and that’s not good.

So, I’ve started spending a lot of time on social media, the problem there is that I’m being sucked into the drama there, which some of it actually seeps into my every day life, so that I rant and rave at my family because I can’t believe how brain dead or the controversy surrounding something that really amounts to a hill of beans, but dammit it’s social media so everybody has to voice their opinions and get worked up about something that really doesn’t affect them in their every day lives, except that it’s now the norm to be offended or to gate keep or signal virtue and pass the drama and misery along.
So, here is me, deciding to find some kind of hobby that I can drop in an instant if the little man or the dogs demand my immediate attention, but that will encompass my brain and drag me away from the uselessness that is social media.

Why did I ever get involved in social media in the first place, well when I started it wasn’t mainstream, there were pockets of geeks out there, all from different places in the world, and I’d managed to befriend some in Australia, Ireland, England and a whole whack of them lived down in the United States, and we all kept in touch through our online journals (precursor of blogging) and email, then ICQ.
But then this thing called Facebook and Twitter came along and these international friends and I felt that this would be a handy way for us to stay in touch without having to actually put much effort into it.
And it worked, for a time, but then it all started to become a ceasepool of ineptness, and a soap box for every person with an opinion, and little by little they all moved away, or passed away.
Now, I’m not moving away from the friend aspect of social media, I have some good, fun friends on there that are wonderful and supportive and I don’t want to leave them. But the groups, oh those groups that are filled with trolls and morons and people that I know if I knew them in real life, I would cross the street, hell maybe even move to the opposite side of the city to get away from them and all the drama that comes along with them.

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Cuddley Casey

The Hubby is off on vacation this week, and this is how Casey has been keeping him company.

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More of Casey the Muppet Faced Dog

Things are going well with Casey, she’s settling in well. She is enjoying hanging out with Mal and she loves to play with all of the dogs, they all get along pretty nicely. Frigga does have her moments of crankiness, but nothing to much. She just barks and tries to push Casey around, sort of reminding her that she’s the top bitch that was here first.

Using my son’s toy bin as a pillow. A few seconds after this photo was taken, she was fast asleep.

When it gets too quiet and I worry where the Muppet Face has gone, this is what I find 8 out of 10 times.

Guarding the front door or stopping the draft, either way it’s where they like to lie.

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Dreams Do Come True

The first Monday of the New Year/Month, and it feels like a holiday still. This the first time in 21 years that there was no rush to get the kids ready for the return to school after the Christmas Break. Even last night, we had a pretty good snowfall and it didn’t stress me out. Instead I got all dressed in my winter coat, boots, hats and mitts and the husband and I went out for a walk, to enjoy the snow and a little quiet time, just he and I together. I didn’t have to think about getting my son’s wheel chair out to the bus, pushing it through all that snow, and I didn’t have to worry about shoveling the walk, since the maintenance guys for our  complex take care of all of that, plowing the sidewalk and shoveling our walkways, right to the front door of our town house. We just strolled among the snowflakes, enjoying the beauty of the snow accumulating on the branches of the trees, and covering all the world in a blanket of white, under a glowing sky that would normally be black as pitch at that time of night.
Normally at night he’s off to work, but not this week. This week he is home on vacation, he booked it off because he had something special planned for this weekend, and he was owed a week of vacation from last year still.

On Saturday he took me to see Cats-The Musical (not the movie) to fulfill a dream I’d had since it opened at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto in 1982 when I was in my pre-teen years.  Every time Cats came to Toronto, I’d beg my Mom to take me, but it was never in the cards. It was just never a good time. It’s a gag in the family that I get all worked up and pretend that I’m terribly hurt or offended that I never got to see it live, but the truth is that I understand that sometimes you just can’t make it work for what ever reason. I mean ask my oldest son about his birthday at Medieval Times that he so desperately wanted when he was 11, oh wait you can’t because the husband and I just couldn’t get the money in order.
But, my husband got tickets for this production of Cats, and he gave them to me for Christmas, and on January 4th he, my daughter and I headed off to the Princess of Wales theatre and watched those spandex clad performers dance, skitter and pounce across the stage, all well singing and I mean they really belted out those songs. It was awesome. I was so moved, that I actually teared up a few times, and of course when Grizzabella the Glamour Cat made her way out onto that stage to perform Memories, it was a single perfect moment of pure beauty. I cried. I really and honestly cried at how wonderful it was.


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My Boy is Actually a Little Man Now

This month my youngest turned 21, and I wonder where the time went. I look at photos of him as a youngster and I can’t believe how I am overwhelmed with emotions.
My older two do not bring out this response in me, and it’s not because I don’t have that crazy amount of maternal love for them, because I do.
It’s just that those two children are grown.  They are out in the world, living their own separate lives from me. We are not entwined with each other. Don’t get me wrong, we are close, we see each other daily, we talk and we hang out together.  They just don’t need me anymore. I feel like they have graduated from that phase in life where your Mom has to help you out in a daily manner, we are now in a more adult phase of our relationship, one where I only dole out advice to them when requested and where we can be more friendly and less parental.
My youngest is special needs, he has cerebral palsy and he and I are joined at the hip since his graduation from school last June. At times I can’t seem to tell where my emotional responses and needs begin and his end. It’s very difficult to not get sucked into him, my sense of self, relying on him.

He is very demanding, as he needs assistance for almost every aspect of his life, toileting, feeding, dressing, playing, reading, and communicating. The only thing he really can do on his own is watch TV, and even then he enjoys me to sit with him and run a commentary on what’s happening on the screen. “Ooh, look, he’s going into that cave. I don’t know if that’s a good idea. It looks pretty scary in there. I’m not brave enough to go into that cave. Are you brave enough?”
He’ll smile or frown to let me know his answer. Frown if he doesn’t think he’d be brave enough, smile if he thinks I’m silly and of course it’s no big deal to go into that cave. Of course that’s not the exact dialogue that goes on while we watch TV together, but I use it so that you get the idea of what’s going on.

While my boy, or I mean Little Man, needs me for everything, he gives me so much love. His smile lights up my day. Of course, his tears can send me plummeting to the depths of despair, trying to figure out what is wrong, and how I can fix it for him.
Sure, I get frustrated, it’s hard to be this needed, to be loved this much, to be needed all the time. But he’s a great kid, he really makes me fill up with motherly love and I’m so glad that he’s been my kid for the past 21 years.

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