Sunday, 29 September 2013


Random thoughts on a Sunday morning.

I had a patient last week, in her late thirties, early forties.  She had a brain tumor that was just discovered last month.  She had felt sick for a month and then had a massive headache.  When she had a CT scan they found a brain tumor and emergency surgery.  She says people tell her "how awful" and she tells them, "No, I woke up.  Everyday is amazing."

I miss Miss KT, miss seeing her sleeping at night, miss sitting with her before she goes to bed, her head in my lap which she eats a bowl of popcorn.  I miss listening to her sing, a strange sound that she makes when she is contented and happy.

I don't miss everyday starting with her feet hitting the floor of her bedroom and me having to be "on".  I don't miss having to be constantly vigilant while she is awake.  I don't miss being assaulted by my beautiful, anxious daughter.

I know Miss KT is safe and happy enough where she is but I still worry.

I am beyond tired of dealing with a passive-aggressive co-worker.  She makes work miserable, all the time.  When she starts work I can feel a dark cloud descend upon the department and it's not just me, we all feel it.

My son and is girlfriend are coming over for supper tonight, they won't be here for Thanksgiving so I'm making a big meal tonight.  My son is growing up and I'm so proud of him.  He's going to school and doing well.  He's supporting himself, taking care of himself, he's clean and straight and he has the love of a good woman.  I got pregnant with my son when I was only twenty years old, far too young to be a mother, especially me.  We survived though, he and I.

And the photo above, Tangle Creek Falls on the Parkway Highway between Jasper and Banff.  It's one of my favourite waterfalls.  We always stop here.  The big guy watches as I scramble around on the hill.  I love climbing this hill and one day want to make it all the way to the top.  I feel like a kid again as I climb.  I think he knows this and that's why we always stop there. 


Tuesday, 24 September 2013


We ran away to the mountains this past weekend.  I like to imagine living here, where this photo was taken.  It's an old homestead and it's so peaceful there.  Except life is never really peaceful for long.

I work with a woman who is passive-aggressive.  She drives me crazy because I am like her in some  ways.  I cannot change her, I cannot even reason with her.  Dealing with her terrifies me, my heart pounds, my palms sweat.  She does not like me and anything I do will not make this any worse than it already is, so what's the problem?

The real problem is that I dislike her because of what she represents to me, my own worst nasty bits.  The judging, critical, dogmatic, passive-aggressive bits that I would like to pretend don't exist.  Except they do and because she makes me look at myself and see these nasty bits within, I dislike her.  I feel like a bitch around her and I probably am to her.  

But there is another side to this.  She is passive-aggressive and by working with her daily I can see how destructive passive-aggressive behavior is.  She is a chance for me to change how I behave.  She is a constant reminder to do better, to practice speaking up assertively, to tell others what I need and what I want.  

Change is so hard.  It's scary and I hate scary.  I like nice, I prefer nice.  Conflict makes me very anxious, it reminds me of growing up, it reminds me of being a little girl and being scared because my dad was yelling and I didn't know why.  Which makes me cry.  

So I need to be scared and keep going.  I'm not a child anymore, I can chose to behave differently.  I want to behave differently.


Saturday, 21 September 2013




“It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between that we fear . . . . It's like being between trapezes. It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to.” Marilyn Ferguson

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Mount Edith Cavell




Random thoughts when I should be in bed.

I figured out why September was getting me down.  My dad's birthday, my parent's anniversary and my first birthday without my mum.

My patients at work always help to remind me to drag my head out of my ass.

I'm excited about my middle daughter and her boyfriend coming out to visit for Thanksgiving.  My daughter and I didn't talk for almost six months last year, both of us to angry and stubborn to give in.

I miss my dogs.  Before I left my ex-husband I had two beagles.  I love dogs.  We have a cat but it's just not the same as dog love.

I really should be in bed.

Monday, 9 September 2013


This is part of the harbour where my parents' ashes are scattered. Last night I went for a walk and went by my mum's old apartment. There is someone else living there now. I haven't been back inside the building since I turned in her keys. I can't. Everything brings back memories.

Last night when I went to bed, I started crying. I still miss my mum. Not the sick mum who was suffering so much but the mum who would go for walks with me, who liked a dirty joke, who had such a wonderful sense of humor. I thought I was okay but I'm not. The black dog is back. I hate depression. It is a soul sucker.

I took myself down to the dog park this morning for an early morning walk.  I listened to the birds, spotted a procrastinating robin who has not yet left, watched the mist slowly evaporate as the sun rose.  Part of the river bank collapsed with the flooding we had this summer and there is now a sandbank part way out into the river where there was none before.  The leaves are turning color, gently falling to the ground. 

Even with all this beauty around me, I still miss her. 

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Tangle Creek Falls
I took down my previous blog a few weeks ago when my niece and nephew contacted me and accused me of cyber shaming their mother, my sister.  I regret that action now which is not unusual for me.  When I'm hurt I act impulsively to protect myself, like many I suppose.  What they wrote to me hurt me deeply.  My nephew in particular shocked me with the depth of his anger towards me.  At the end of their letters they assured me that they loved me.  Really?

They love me, but only if I act they way they want me to.  They love me but I must behave.  They love me but I am not allowed to say what I feel.  The story of my life I realized this morning.

My ex-husband loved me, if I behaved a certain way.  My parents loved me, if I would only do as they asked.  My family apparently loves me, with the above stipulations.  Fuck that!

Almost two years I met and fell in love with the big guy.  I don't know if I've ever explained why I call him the big guy.  He's six foot five.  He loves me.  He loves all of me, even the nasty bits, even the stupid bits, even the jiggly bits.  It's not easy being loved wholly.  I have no experience with it and I find it difficult at times.  I'm sure he does as well.  I can be prickly, moody, impatient, a drama queen and I often push him very hard because I am scared.  But I never doubt that he loves me.  Ever.

I was raised to not make waves, be nice, behave, shut up, sit down, stuff everything down deep inside.  Except I leak a fair bit.  All that stuffing tends to either explode out of me as anger or as tears.  But I don't want to live like that anymore.

Right now at work I am faced with a morally distressing situation.  A co-worker abandoned a patient, left the patient on the table and walked out on the patient and the doctor near the end of a procedure because she wanted to prove a point to management.  She was reprimanded by our manager but I still feel that it is my responsibility to report it to our college.  This has bothered me all summer.  What she did was wrong, it was inexcusable.  And the thought of reporting her, of putting my name of the complaint terrifies me because it will make waves, it will make work difficult, because she will be angry with me and her anger scares me.  She is a passive-aggressive bully and she scares me. 

I am so tired of being scared.  Is it really wrong to say something when somebody doesn't do their job?  Is it wrong to have standards? 

As for my family, is it wrong to say what I think and feel?  Am I not allowed to feel anger towards siblings who didn't want to help care for their mother?  Who wanted to put their mother in a nursing home rather than make their lives difficult for awhile?  They don't have to agree with me but I am allowed to feel my feelings dammit!

Monday, 2 September 2013


I am always in awe while in the mountains.  Water falls everywhere, rushing downhill towards the sea. The very same sea that we scattered my parents ashes in only two weeks ago.  It feels like the end of a chapter in my life.  Both of my parents are now dead, my duty towards them fulfilled.  And now?

Last week I walked beside a river and thought about my life.  I am more than mid-way through it which brought to mind a book I had read, although not finished, awhile ago.  "Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life" by James Hollis.  I picked the book up a couple of nights ago and started reading it again, determined this time to finish it.

I just read a bit about midlife crisis.

There are reasons why these disturbances frequently manifest at what we typically consider "midlife."  One has to have separated from the parents long enough to be in the world, to make choices, to see what works, what does not, and to experience the collapse, or at least erosion, of one's projections.  By this age, the ego strength necessary for self-examination may have reached a level where it can reflect upon itself, critique itself, and risk altering choices, and thereby values as well...To engage with the summons of our souls is to step into the deepest ocean, uncertain whether we will be able to swim to some new, distant shore.  And yet, until we have consented to swim beyond the familiar lights of the port left behind, we will never arrive at a newer shore.  For some the entry is gradual; others are pushed suddenly into deep waters. ( Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, James Hollis, Pg. 25)

I often wonder why it is that I am fifty years old and questioning everything I believe and think and do.  Why did I do the things I did?  Why did I believe what I did?  Why didn't I question things before now? 

It's time, once again, to start looking at myself.