Gratitude

Lately, I’ve realized that despite feeling quite alone and unsupported, actually my various friends have given me quite a lot of support. One gave me a big monitor, bigger than the one I have. It’s nice, makes work easier and play a little richer. Two others let me stay at their homes while I travelled to a conference. They appreciated talking to me. They fed me. Thay had time for me! Even my ex wanted to help me.

One of them even dumped out three days of my urine and toilet paper from a chemical toilet in the camper. Now, that’s a true friend, no? Last time I made sure to empty that toilet myself. I had to ask for help how to do it. I bet usually she does it for everyone, but I felt like I should take care of my own bodily fluids, ya know?

And then today I got a chunk of good luck, a bit of freedom. My divorce papers came through. There was some technical glitch with the format, so they were refused last month, but the kind registry clerk took pity on me and resubmitted it to another judge, who ended up approving it. Whew! I’ve been hoping and hoping for that all month, because my ex got into blaming mode and didn’t want to redo the papers, even though it was all by consent. Even though I redid the papers and printed it for him. But now it’s done, and I feel numb. I never wanted to be divorced, but since that’s what he wanted, I’m glad it’s finished.

So what about gratitude? Yes, I’m grateful for the luck today and when the clerk took pity on me, but I’ve talked to people who say gratitude changed their lives. I need my life to change! I don’t want my life the way it’s been. I tried to practice gratitude, but it didn’t do much for me. I read a lot about it. I tried the exercises repeatedly. So… anyone of the very few rarified people reading here have the solution? I don’t know. Life ain’t worth living, and I’m trying to change that.

 

 

Take time to enjoy life?

That’s what the guy at the job centre said. For me, the problem isn’t time. It’s capacity to enjoy. There’s not much I really enjoy. Oh, sure, a movie is an escape. Food is great while eating it and alcohol makes the worries fade away, but both of those things are extra calories, especially the second one which has no nutritional value. At my age, I don’t need to eat much, so most every bite should be a nutritious one.

So suddenly I got the bright idea to go get a massage at the massage therapy school.  Something I’ve been planning to do for over a year. It’s only $30 for over an hour of therapeutic massage. I checked their online schedule – only one booking left for today, in 15 minutes. I had to dash down there after leaving them a phone message.

It felt great though I feel oddly stiff now as if things were stretched and I should take a hot bath and then ice my sore foot that got killed with all the activity over the past week. I had some strenuous forest hiking that overdid it for me and triggered old injuries and weak points.

So I did something nice for me that felt good. Hurrah for me!

Pizza and Marijuana

Gotta say that marijuana is all over the place up here in the Vancouver area. When I used to live on an upper floor and have my windows open all the time, I’d wake up half choking to death with a cotton mouth from the stuff coming in the windows. I’m not a smoker. I’ve smelled it when I’m driving, coming from the car in front of me. The reek blows down the street quite often. And I’ve definitely seen people smoking it at a bus stop numerous times. Pretty sure people do it at work.

So tonight I got a pizza from the grocery store. I don’t do this often, so I have to read the directions. After doing that, I’m thinking people are smoking marijuana in the pizza factory office where they make the label. It says right on there, at the bottom, “Refrigerate or discard unused portion.” Discard unused portion? Sounds like an instruction for canning liquid or epoxy resin. Who the heck ever threw out unused pizza? Okay, probably not a pothead, and maybe they were using something heavier in that office. Something that kills your appetite. Perhaps meth or crack.

 

Late start, just like spring this year

“Well, it’s not impossible,” my physiotherapist said.  I’m over 50, with a recent BSC, and I’m looking for a new career, one that is actually gratifying beyond just a paycheque. It’s not likely or easy, I realize, far from it, and I’m going to have to seriously kick butt to make it happen. It’s too bad I kinda wasted the last year and a half since I graduated, flailing in emotional turmoil waiting for my soon-to-be-ex to see the light about how wrong he was and how wonderful I am. I’m a living punchline.

I’m not ready to “retire,” neither emotionally nor financially. I’ve met a lot of retired people lately. They dote on their grandkids and otherwise spend much time socializing at coffee meets and potlucks, playing board games, walking in the park, at least on the superficial level that I know them. I’ve met them because I needed to meet new people after my much-younger husband dumped me. These people retired from satisfying careers – 28 years in the RCMP, 30 years in accounting, decades as a professional geologist. Sure, I’ve had two jobs that lasted 8 years or more, but they never felt like careers to me. They were dead ends, and not particularly gratifying. One of them I still hang onto as part-time work to support myself. But now I want a career. Most people my age are retiring, but I’m at the starting gate, career-wise.

I wish I had had a clue that my marriage was about to implode. I would have gone for a program that almost certainly leads to a job – some two-year tech thing at BCIT. Instead of a four-year science thing at a university. I went with my heart, just like in my marriage. I went with what I love, to learn about it and improve my mind, and try to connect with people researching in the field, or at least my classmates up at the university. Well, now I’m trying to nnect more than ever, on LinkedIn, because my former classmates have the jobs I now need.

I thought I was gonna be supported in exploring intellectual ideas, after I supported him and planned my life around his education for more than 5 years. I thought it was my turn. No, suddenly he’s all about what’s in it for him. Oh, wait, that’s what he was always about, I now see. Using people for what you can get from them and walking when you’re not getting what you want. I thought our marriage was more than that.

So… I am going to a conference in a few weeks, with professionals that may have started with a similar education to mine. Environmental science. I am pretty good at GIS and remote sensing, which connects to environmental science as it’s all about processes extended across the land. Just need to find my niche. Wish me good luck. Would be nice to have some good luck, first time in my life.

Wait, that’s not fair. I am healthy and born in Canada, not the third world, so I’m luckier than many. But beyond that, please, I’d like some good luck! And I’m doing what I can to make that happen – networking, learning, taking the smartest approaches I can to job hunting.

Just let me work! Someone told me recently that 70 is the new 50. Okay, then 55 is the new 35. So hire me, okay? I’m smart and reliable! Yes, I’m a fucking weirdo, but that shouldn’t affect my work, right?

Glorious sunny days

I’m not getting work done, because the sun is out. The first shirt-sleeve warm and pleasant day after an unusually long and cold winter. We had numerous snowfalls, into March, even. Usually we get maybe one significant snowfall where the one or two inches of snow brings traffic to a standstill. Summer tires.

I walked out to my errands, luxuriating in the warmth on my skin. Even now, I used the heavy-duty sunscreen on my hands and face. Even in winter I’ll often use it. But my arms and all can afford exposure, and I love it. Popped into several dollar stores and eventually found some red lettuce seeds at the new Walmart. No other place had red lettuce, and it seems crazy to drive half an hour each way to go to the good garden shop for just a few seeds. I wanted to plant in the warmth, and threw in some lettuce as well as onion sets for green onions. Tastes so much better than any store product.

I live in an apartment, and I’m lucky to have a garden plot freely given by the building manager. There are only three plots. How did I get one? I’m not even sure. I didn’t pay. I guess it’s just that I’m a good gardener, and very responsible. Not with crying, but with weeding and cleaning up so the plot isn’t unsightly. (Unlike crying. Clearly unsightly. Lost a friend over it, even.)

I’m lucky to have this garden plot because it is a place to be in the sun. It’s not as good as my own yard, not as likely to be smoke-free, but it’s better than public parks and seating areas. “But aren’t New Westminster parks smoke free? They are in Vancouver,” asked my friend from Vancouver last week. Well, yeah, there are “This area is smoke free” signs all over the time, but 80 percent of the time those signs lie. So I infer 80 percent of smokers are jerks, give or take.

And even if there is no sight of any smoker, quite often the litter of butts is enough to ruin the seating area. There’s a lovely sunny one right outside our library. I’ve never sat there. I gag, just walking by. Reminds me of Paul McCartney in an ashtray, in the movie, “Help!” Help, indeed! When I saw that movie as a kid, it was funny the way he started scrubbing and bathing once some liquid flew into the ashtray, but of course that wasn’t Smell-o-vision, unlike when I worked as a busser after highschool. Big trays full of food, spilled coffee, and cigarette butts. Not somewhere I want to sit, even on a sunny day. It’s foul.