Free Bird

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” ― Leo TolstoyAnna Karenina

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” ― Anne Frank

It’s been a while since I posted, I know. So much has been going on, so much happening.

I have three children.

My eldest was to graduate this year, she isn’t – and that is totally ok. She wasn’t ready, she definitely needed another year. No one is perfect. I love her unconditionally – she has to do what she has to do. She’s had a rough few years emotionally, mentally, and socially. She’s got this.

My middle child is in grade 10 (well, just finished). His challenges have expanded exponentially this year. We found out for sure that his birth mother drank while pregnant…a lot. This was that final key that fit the lock of who he is. Gawd I love my son. Gawd my son drains me so much. I’m not going to describe it all. It’s not fair to him to do so. Needless to say, No one is perfect. I love my son unconditionally, but I am exhausted. We all are.

My youngest child has yet to begin school. He’s four and won’t turn five until January. This means, in my area, that he won’t begin kindergarten until 2019. That’s fine with me. Children need to be able to be children. A few months back, my intrepid explorer of a son decided that climbing on his dresser was a great, fun idea. He slipped. He broke his right forearm – the ulna straight through, the tibia in several smaller cracks causing it to bow (it was horrid to see, my poor boy). It has healed wonderfully, but he is now scared of heights. It doesn’t stop him. It hasn’t slowed him down. Our family doctor said to us one day last year – don’t be surprised if he has ADHD as well (the older two do). All I could think was – no kidding! No one is perfect. I love my son unconditionally just the way he is. He has a lot to learn and I know he has got this!

I adopted a parrotlet. Kalypso (she has her own insta if you want to check her out @kalypsotheparrotlet) is sweet, tame, and so so so spoiled LOL! Just look at her! She was born February 5th, 2018 – so she just turned four months old ❤ I got her after losing one of my budgies, Lemondrop (RIP my sweet baby). I wanted a parrot species that would live longer, was heartier, and tame. Kalypso is all that and more. She makes me so happy.

Kalypso

Such a pretty baby ❤

I know this post seems random. I’m tired. I’m trying to dig myself out of a hole. It’s slowly working. Depression is a wicked attacker. I’m finally starting to win…this time.

What I really want to stand out from this – no one is perfect. Stop fighting to be perfect – fight to be happy, fight to feel amazing – but not perfect! Perfection is an illusion perpetuated by false perceptions of the world around us. Flawed, happy people are the best – they know what real happiness is. Love you for you.

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird

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Into the Ocean

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ― André Gide

Hi, my name is Gwen and I am addicted to my aquariums.

Oh myyyy…

I was afraid to get back into this hobby. The more I researched, the more intimidating it was. It is no where near like it was back in the 1980’s – back then you put a fish in a tank, no filter, no heat – just plucked them in and did a full change of water when it was bad enough. I cringe so much writing, and reading, those words.

Step by step, through trial and error, I have grown live plants in all three aquariums. All three have LED lights; the largest having the atypical tube light. All three have happy inhabitants that have come to expect food by a certain time and the largest aquarium even shows signs of wee fry.

I love watching the fish swim around and interact. I’ve persisted through the problems that have cropped up. I do lose an occasional fish now and then, but the population I have now is quite stable.

I enjoy cleaning the aquariums, seeing results from my efforts of care. I get a sense of purpose and joy from it. These beautiful creatures, born into a market that uses them as disposable, are now in my care. I will do everything I can to love and protect them for their natural lives. I do the same for all the creatures in my home. My budgies have more than what is required, my bearded dragon as well. My cats and my dog – all of them, receive the best care I can give them, and sometimes more.

If I can make the effort for all these beautiful creatures, why is it so hard to do the same for myself?

Well, I’ve again dipped my feet into a new ocean and am losing sight of the shore I once clung to. I’ve finally taken a leap I had always wanted to, but was afraid, no, anxious to do. I’ve become vegan. This is huge for me both mentally and physically.

My health has not been very well. My doctor actually recommended I go vegan in an effort to help. I’m overweight. I have depression and anxiety. I could go on. I started my animal free eating more than a week ago – not long, but enough to feel a difference. In this short span of time I can already sense a difference! Mentally, I feel sharper and more ‘awake’. Physically, I feel less tired – my MS fatigue has always been horrible, but this last bit it’s not as bad. I’m still tired, but it’s not as intense. I’m not really sure if I can explain it well.

I know veganism is not for everyone. I would never enforce my dietary needs/wants on another, but I am so glad I finally did this. I’m not sure what I was waiting for.

Here I go, tending to myself finally. Here I go, swimming away from the shore of what I was towards who I really want to be.

In the meantime, my aquariums will always call to me…

Blue October – Into The Ocean

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Something To Believe In

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ― Dr. Seuss

I’m pretty sure I’ve used that quote before, but it fits this post to a “T”. It’s a post created through raw emotion and memories that have faded.

This beautiful young girl was my best friend.

Pam

Pamela Gail Bischoff – October 3, 1976 – April 12, 1991

27 years ago yesterday (I couldn’t write this yesterday), she was ripped from our lives by a selfish sociopath. I won’t write his name here. I was going to. I was going to call him out and let the world know that HE gets to live, get married (he is), and go on.

Pam was 14 years old. She had called me before going out that night to tell me about her new stockings her mom had bought her. Her mom had to travel over an hour away to get them. They were special to go with her grade 9 prom dress. Back then, junior high was grades 7 to 9.

Her dress was black from the mid hip up, and with a gorgeous purple skirting. She was so excited. I can still remember the sound of her voice when I think of that phone call. She hung up saying she would talk to me later. She hung out with a group she normally didn’t. She never called me again…

You would think after 27 years that the pain of loss would lessen. Granted, it’s not as intense as it used to be, but I’m still sitting here crying.

Pam was intense, vivacious, confident. When she walked into a room, you knew it because she was the life of the party. She got me to hitchhike (something I had never done before), she made me step out of my comfort zone in so many ways. She was magnetic. Even though I was the oldest (I was 17 when she died), I never felt like it – she was mature beyond her years. She was rebellious. She loved her parents deeply. As much as she fought with her older sister, she loved her deeply too.

I still remember spending the night and her knocking on her bedroom wall, calling to her mom (it was morning), “Mom, can you bring me some orange juice?” Of course, her mom did. Pam knew her mom would. Her parents would have done anything for her. Her loss was too much on them all.

Everything Pam did was done with intensity and passion. We were crazy kids. We did things we shouldn’t, we were carefree, we loved life. There was 4 of us in our group of best friends. Pam, me, Gena and Rhonda. We were joined at the hips and that was that. We made nicknames for each other. Pam was Pam Pam. I was Gwembles. It’s awful, but I can’t remember what Gena and Rhonda’s were (though I’m sure they’ll remind we).

The other three of us still live. We have families, we’ve had marriages, two of us divorced, one remarried (me lol). We are still best friends.

This time of year, I often wonder how Pam would have turned out as an adult. I have no doubt that we would still be friends. But how much different would our lives had been with her in it?

We’ll never know.

Poison was her favourite band. I think she would have been devastated to know they split up. C.C. DeVille was her favourite member. She had a large poster on her ceiling over top of her bed.

This song was played at her memorial service. Even know I have a hard time listening to it.

Poison – Something To Believe In

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Rich Girl

“No man is rich enough to buy back his past.” ― Oscar Wilde

I’ve been reminiscing so much over the last long while. My eldest just turned 18. She has her learner’s permit to drive. I think her reaching these milestones has brought on a wave of memories long since buried for me.

The aromas of the past linger on my senses. The yearning for those days tugs at my spirit.

I was so fucking care free.

I’m not sure how else to word that. I don’t normally curse in my writing, but the feeling is so intense. I had so much freedom and, yet, I restrained myself in chains of convention. I still do.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot buy back my past. I can’t remove the creases of time. I can’t erase the scars of life.

No matter how hard I want to, I can’t let go…let go of anxiety, depression, sickness.

I’m so desperate to lose weight, be healthy, that I’m forgetting to live along the way.

Would it not be incredible if everyone had the ability to afford proper nutrition, prepped for you when needed? Would it not be incredible if everyone had the ability to get the help they needed, when they needed it and how they needed it?

If I were to be rich, I would be able to do all that and more.

But I’m not.

I guess for now, I’ll trudge on my journey. Attempt to keep up with life, whilst trying to regain my life.

Gwen Stefani – Rich Girl ft. Eve

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Gold Old Days

“I am hopelessly in love with a memory. An echo from another time, another place.”  ― Michel Foucault

“…you are battered and bruised in the collisions between reminiscence and reality.” 
― David EaglemanSum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

I’ve caught myself reminiscing frequently of late. I have such strong emotions attached to a time when a you me seemed so carefree. I wasn’t, but many thought I was and I never removed that mask for them.

This thing called adulthood…I don’t know.

On my morning drives to work, I am often struck by how formulaic we are, drones dropping the kids off at daycare or school, drones driving to work, parking, working.

I often catch myself yearning for the days when I had the energy and stamina to do everything I needed to and wanted to. I remember bonfires on the beach, friends laughing as we mentally toasted us all with another drink.

I remember car rides full of laughter, camp outs in the rain, hugs from anyone remotely considered friend.

I remember nights of excess with friends to hold my hair back. Nights of dancing until past last call.

I remember sleep overs full of music and talking.

I remember the wind in the windows of my old Pontiac Acadian – no AC back then. It was a 5 speed, 4 door hatchback. I loved that car. It was red. I would drive that thing everywhere – quite literally. Down back roads meant for ATVs, to the beach for an all-night camp out. hundreds of miles but on the engine that constantly rattled enough to pop off it’s oil cap. So many times I had to replace that cap – “Gwen, the oil light is on.” “It’s ok, I just need another cap.”

There were no cell phones. No computers, nothing fancier than an Atari that often got left behind, covered in dust. I can feel the sun on my face even now. The smell of Spring and Summer when we would just be.

I wish somebody would have told just how awesome those days actually were going to be…but I know I wouldn’t have listened.

Mackelmore feat. Kesha – Good Old Days

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