First, I want to say that I hope that each of you had a fabulous holiday season and that you celebrated it with whom and in whatever way means the most to you.
Mine was a quiet one. At the end of this year, I took a long and profound metaphorical breath, to aid in a re-focus of my life and how I was living it to date. Balancing on the edge of being forty-nine and turning fifty, made me pause and reflect on the past years that have, without a doubt, whizzed by and brought me to where I stand today. I'm still thoughtful.
So What's Up?
At this time of year, the new year, I don't generally set myself up for the standard resolutions. I use this time instead to remind me that I'm okay. That even if I happen to be at a low point in life, I am the driver of my boat and can always steer myself into a new direction. The new year is also a fork in the road for me that I stand still and silent and choose which pathway to walk down in the year ahead of me. I can always, at anytime, change direction if I see no fruition in the path initially chosen.
If you use the global "New Year Resolution(s)" to commit yourself to an act(s) and be accountable for the next year (i.e. lose weight - eat healthier, drink less - or take up a new physical activity - hockey, tennis, golf, soccer, baseball, going for runs or longer walks, etc. - or something less physical - read more books, practice mindfulness), it is my hope is that you are busy coming up with a way(s) to achieve your goal(s).
The most important thing is that you have your own special day during the year to assess your life and move forward in a way that is most beneficial to you. There is something truthful in the statement that we come into this world alone and that we leave this world alone. Live your life for you, always.
If you chose New Year's Day as your day to begin something new in your life and you've fallen off, so be it. I'm here to say join my train - get up and start again - hitch a ride!
Now having said the above, I did adopt doing something at the beginning of each year. This is my third year in a row doing it and I have chosen January/February as my building time. It's making a vision board. I learned from a fellow Toastmaster that a vision board is a powerful tool to use as a daily reminder for what you set out to accomplish in the year ahead. It also has quotes and words to reaffirm to us whom we aspire to be. As my twin brother pointed out though, sometimes you don't put on it exactly what you meant to. Last year's vision board had a quote on it, "Shattering The Wall", and if you've been reading my newsletters I did shatter something. During the summer, I climbed an indoor boulder wall and broke two bones in my my ankle when I jumped a three foot or so jump. The rubber of my shoe met the rubber of the floor and I went the other way. So, this year I'm choosing my words very carefully, to say the least!
This would be a perfect segway into what has been going on in the ankle front for me, but I will leave that for my fitness section.
Below is a picture of the vision board from last year as well as the one I'm working on for this year:
Thanks to each of you for subscribing and reading my newsletters. I appreciate your support.
If you're new to my website and newsletters, greetings! I'm honored that you're reading my writings :) Check out all of my previous newsletters and other writings on my website, Kim Friesen - Mogillow Arts.
POEM OF THE MONTH
UNDER THE BRIDGE - HEART SHAPED BOX
Shadowed by age
Cobweb that piece of me
We left to wither in the graveyard of my mind
Until this moment
Words once spoken
Rise up; death reborn
As I close my eyes tighter
Desperate to purge and eviscerate
All that was said between us
Reminders of every word
In each sentence
From my tongue that day
Are set on an endless loop
As I feel my insides clench
And my frail hands reach up
Urged to clasp and smother;
Erase both truths and lies that I spoke to you
I know well enough
That I alone cannot tame them
That without you they will
Mingle in the outer circle
Of the words that may never be spoken
As I sit here alone; I tremble; solicitous
My envelope of memories perched, precarious
Next to a vision
Of a jewel encrusted golden sword - luminous
On a large, square granite stone
Its handle pointed towards me
I hear its silent call
Placed to prompt and tempt me
To pick it up and swing it
To eradicate that piece of self-hatred
To sever these recollections for eternity
A cross road
Tiny bridges that I didn’t think I could cross over
Open, exposed, fractured, broken; undeniable
I visit the blighted pictures in my head
Sift through them
Despite the discomfort
Tears fall, unhurried
As I let them
Stain my cheeks
As life’s mirror reflects
That which you do not know
Failed attempts that I shattered
Before I let them touch you
They were intent to define me to you
Even though they held no truth
Stranded and abandoned by others
I drowned you
And watched as the last time
You went under the water, with such ease
Though at first you flailed
You were forsaken
I turned my back, so you could not see my face
Gifted with sacrifice
No one taught me how to trust
I picked myself up and with a wind of words
I turned and pushed you out of my life
I watched you as your belief in me was eradicated
Like a dried, crusty, colorless leaf
Fallen from the mighty oak
I picked you up and watched
As my fingers slowly crushed you
In the feeling of dis-compassion
Of surrender to conflict, to a path well worn, familiar
To return to my fortress that I'd built years ago
To possess and protect me
As I stare
At the rocks that mark your virtual grave
I marvel now how each of them
Seem to teeter
“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” ― Plutarch
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Since I last wrote a lot has changed. I met up with one of my birds who, after over 40 years, saw my porch light on. I answered. It was my "auntie".
She contacted me this past summer and I have been going through the process of getting to know her via the phone and email. We have talked a lot. Not so much about the past, but about the future. She has allowed me to share who I am as a person. She has listened to how I felt growing up. She has let me know that she is going nowhere and that she is my "auntie", always. My heart is doing cartwheels knowing that she was never lost. She allows me to be me and I treasure that. No questions asked, she accepts me.
When I saw her, she felt familiar, part of my "home". I have never had much of a connection to my extended family. I have a few relatives that I interact with, but that is all. So, to talk to her after all these years was interesting - to say the least.
We physically met three weeks back and I spent the weekend with her. She met my husband, my son - her great nephew. I saw my uncle, I haven't seen him in years either.
So how did it feel? Well it didn't feel like the reunion shows I see on TV. As soon as she hugged me, it's was as though 40 plus years just melted. I did not feel scared, intimidated, unsure, insecure - nothing negative. I just felt welcomed.
She immediately had food and drinks ready. Her hospitality was that of my mom's. She felt comfortable, like a big blanket of love. She felt right. I enjoyed the feeling. I felt like I belonged.
With each new opportunity presented to us in life, we generally have a regret or two. For me my regret is time. Why did this happen? She is so perfect for me, why did we never speak? Time went by so fast. Being abandoned by people in my life, I learned to not bother people or others around them. I don't know how to allow myself be pushy or selfish or quizzical or just ask some things like others do. In truth, I also never wanted to be heart again, like I had been before. I realize that along the way, I was taught to never fully trust. So, I'm still wanting to ask questions, but I don't want to be a bother, I'm scared still - if that makes any sense.
I realized too that a lot of what she learned of me, she learned from others. I saw that to some extent I've allowed others to speak on my behalf when it comes to family. I see it's bled into other areas of my life too. That some people have taken advantage of my inner soul. Well no more. I am here to tell the world my story. It's no one else's business to do that for me.
I gave my aunt something that holds no material value as we were leaving. We went beach combing earlier and I found her a rock. It's a beautiful rock. It's got a circle around it. A thick one. I told her that if she ever has any doubts about me, to just look at her rock, to the circle. The reminder that our circle was never broken. I told her her that circles are good luck.
Unbenownst to her, she pointed a rock out to on that beach walk. I tucked it in my pocket. I told her that now no matter where she is, I always have a part of her with me. I found a rock that weekend too in the forest behind our hotel, in a sun beam behind me that was kind of trine shaped and almost heart shaped. It represents my grandma (her mom), my aunt and myself. No one can take away this bond.
Today, I gained some of my tribe back. How about you, have you found a rock with a circle that you need to share with someone who may not have ever forgotten you? Could you be brave? Life is short. Think about what you may be missing out on . . .
Last month, I spoke about falling into an abyss and well, today I stopped falling.
I hit the bottom and I'm still standing. I survived.
Below is a picture of the rock I gave my aunt:
And then is one of both the rock aunt unknowingly collected for me (on the left) and the one which represents us three (on the right):
This women is my biological father's only sibling. Just because my biological father has chosen to put me in his past does not mean that he, nor anyone else, has the power to erase the rest of my family tree from me. I choose no longer to be a secret in my family of origin - I have other siblings who do not care, but for me, it matters. They respect my feelings. If anyone has a problem with me doing things my way though they can look in a mirror. They are only fighting themselves. No one has the right to choose who in "our" family I connect with. Remember neither does anyone else have a right to tell you what to do in yours.
My Grandma Hume
I just received the picture below of my grandma. My mom has always said I had the eyes and forehead of grandma. I never understood until I saw grandma's eyes - the window to her soul. Wow, I have never in my life look into my own eyes. Even if I had been adopted at birth, no DNA test would have to be taken to prove this was one of my ancestors, my tribe:
The picture above is me three weeks ago. Grandma and I are definitely different ages in these pictures. I do have pictures that I resemble her more in (they are packed away), but I can still see the resemblance. It's more evident too if you see me in person. My aunt saw the resemblance immediately and my mom has always told me I looked like her too.
My aunt told me that she always wondered about myself and my brothers. She said she was saddened never knowing what happened to us and that my grandma always worried about us. The thing that my aunt didn't know was that my grandma and I connected before her death. We spoke in '96/'97 of what happened between us. We made peace. I hope grandma went to heaven and told my grandpa what happened between us and how my life turned out. I feel they are both watching over me, along with my other grandparents and family members I have lost.
My advice to children of divorce is to never let adults take over your feelings for you. Speak up for what your needs are. I did with my grandma and at least I have that. At least I can give my aunt the gift of knowing her mom died with her and I intact.
Of note, my aunt never found the letters between my grandma and I. I never kept my grandma's to me - which now I regret. It's nice knowing though that after it all my grandma did have a special relationship with the little girl whose eyes she gave still graces this earth.
When my aunt and I were walking on the beach I watched an eagle sitting in the tree looking down over us. It is my belief, it was grandma watching as the universe corrected itself.
Friends, having my aunt (as well as my uncle and cousins) back in my life - though just briefly, has already been a wonderful plus. Right now she is texting me everyday. You'll understand why in my fitness section.
It feels wonderful to have a new piece of unconditional love, rooting for me, along with the many others that are surfacing. So embracing, they don't care about my parents divorce, they're just pleased to share the wealth of being part of a collective. I'm loving it! If you are reading this, cheers to Don, Nancy, Jason, Ryan and Trevor and to all the others I will no doubt be introduced to (or re-introduced to, lol).
The unpredictability I spoke of in my last newsletter has begun to settle. I'm getting my sense of self back. I'm absorbing the freshness back into my life.
Do you have someone you should be re-connecting with? Is there someone who makes you feel like you should walk away? Remember you only have one life to live. You are given yourself when you come int this world and it is only leaves it with you. While you are here surround yourself in positive, loving people. Rid yourself of anyone who makes you believe you are less of yourself.
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear your thoughts on what you're up to!
Today really can be the first day of the rest of your life!
MY FITNESS CORNER
Look I've Got A Leg Up!
Well the last few months, I have been taking fitness pretty serious. I've been readying my body the best I can for surgery to remove the hardware from when I broke my ankle this past summer. Six months to the day that I broke it, I got a call with a surgery date, yay!
So, I maintained working out six days a week - a Monday evening weight lifting class with trainer our Mike and Thursday evening class with Jenn and then did 4 days of rowing, 45 minutes a day. I would have done more bootcamp, but I didn't want to slip going to an early morning class (due to weather). I was being tentative, but I feel smart.
I also concentrated on eating well to aid me through surgery – trying too to up my water intake, which is always hard for me. I probably could drink alcohol a little less too, as a future goal. Maybe make it a goal to do a 60-day sober cleanse as opposed to the 30-day ones I have done in the past. But, hey at my age lots of people drink. It's just limiting my intake right now. Maybe one day I will jump on the no alcohol ever bandwagon. I’m finding that the alcohol my body used to tolerate no longer agrees with me. Cleaner eating, I think, has changed my body. Which is good!
Anyways, on January 28th I did it, I got all my hardware removed. Today, as I write this I am two weeks into healing and not doing bad. Just like last time I got horrible post op blisters. I think if they were not there this would be a home run surgery. I have been keeping my leg up and iced, but I can walk this time around and I can move my foot, which is awesome and inspires me that I can get through this.
In my last newsletter, I spoke of doing a 30-day challenge from my son. Well, I completed that and since then I did one more and am just started on another. I also joined a challenge at my bootcamp over the holiday season to stay consistent and accountable to my fitness group. I didn't get to see as many of them as I used too, but with this surgery behind me, I expect to see them all again.
Ever supportive has been Jenn, our trainer. She has held on to me during the last months as my mind was frazzled along with my body. I have been with her for over three years, so she understands my commitment, and realizes that I sometimes lose sight of the big picture – I get frustrated. We all do.
I went last month to a goal setting class at my bootcamp and made a mini goal to do ten times there and back on the monkey bars with my son and then to begin running one kilometer, two kilometers, three kilometers and so on. I have to wait for my ankle to heal a little more, but I am pumped. I'm excited to do another mudder with my fitness family :) I have work to do to get back to where I was before my break but the pause was a necessary thing, I grew in other ways, which is also important to a rounded life.
What About You?
How are you doing? I'd love to hear your thoughts. How are your work outs going? Have you been inspired lately to start doing them if you haven't started yet? Drop me an email at email@example.com, anytime!
1 ginger tea bag or 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger*
2 cups boiling water
Few dashes cinnamon, to taste**
Few dashes ground turmeric, to taste
Few dashes cayenne pepper, to taste (use less if you don’t like heat)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 small lemon slice
Pure maple syrup, to taste (I use 1 teaspoon)
Grab an extra large mug or a small teapot (3 cup capacity). Place ginger tea bag inside.
Boil 2 cups of water and pour all the water into the mug/teapot. Cover and steep the ginger tea for 7-8 minutes.
Remove tea bag. Set aside the tea bag to cool. Once the tea bag has cooled a bit you can gently squeeze it into the pot to infuse the tea with even more ginger flavour.
Add the cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne. Whisk until combined.
Add the vinegar and drop in the lemon wedge. Whisk to infuse the lemon.
Add maple syrup, to taste, and whisk to combine.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
*For the fresh ginger version: Pop the fresh grated ginger into a tea ball or mesh tea steeper, and steep tea for about 6-7 minutes. Proceed as usual.
**The spices tend to settle at the bottom of the mug/pot. Simply whisk it now and then to redistribute.***
Are you looking for a boot camp to "be the best version of yourself" and live in Victoria, BC? If so, check out Wholly Fit'swebsite at http://whollyfitvictoria.com/ and sign up to join us.
SOMETHING I'VE DISCOVERED
Last newsletter, I shared with you the story about Clare Bowden and how she cut off all of her long beautiful hair to donate to cancer patients. I think it's beautiful and so selfless. Clickhereto read the article in the Tennessean and you'll understand. You can also read her full story on Facebook by clicking here.
What's New This Newsletter
What I would like to share with you this newsletter is a link I found regarding exercise and chronic disease.
Friends, if anyone you know suffers from chronic disease, please keep them active. I have found in my own journey that keeping active has helped me immensely. I was able to half my medication that I take for nerve pain from my brain surgeries by doing bootcamp. I beleive in exercise. Find a buddy to keep you accountable. I not only have my tribe at bootcamp who help to keep me accountable, but I also have my dogs. My male dog keeps me accountable at home as we have taught him that me rowing equates a special bone chew. These bones do not come out of this room. He goes down there alot, lol! Put checks in your life to ensure you are living, you are moving. I totally understand hitting walls. No matter how many walls you hit though, just pick yourself up, do an exercise when you are able to and move forward. Exercise will only ever enrich your life, if done right. Move my friends, move! In health and solidatarity, boo-yah :)
So, I've finally made a decision! I'm gonna keep up with newsletters rather than a blog. I'm a creative soul, I write when it hits me, not on a structured time line. I hate structure like that in my personal life. I have no problems with deadlines and schedules in thew work world, but in my personal life, I thrive on spontaneity. So to honor me, I'm gonna keep writing when it hits. I am always available, I love to chat and write, but to put something out to you like this will come as they come. Who knows, you may get two with hardly any time back to back. I just need to be free to be me. Which you as my readers, know.
As always, please feel free to share my website, newsletters and writings with all of your friends and family. Encourage them to subscribe too. I promise I won't bug them with junk mail or anything of the sort!