Just Your Average Joe

Walking along the street or sitting in a coffee shop, you would not notice this man. Just your average Joe. Older with gray hair, sometimes a little unkempt, he is of medium/ tall height with a slight hunch of the shoulders. One would conclude that he is physically active, for his weight is appropriate to his height, and his strides are easy. He keeps his head tilted down, just enough to make others assume that he is deep in thought. Whether that is a learned behaviour or just the tilt of his head, or the fact that he is a bit of a hermit, I don’t know. The added facial hair, gray also, gives the impression of intelligence, with a touch of ‘silly professor’.

orange blue jester hatHis dress ranges from; plaid pyjama bottoms with a cotton Tee at home, to jeans with a nice shirt or sweater, when out and about. He has a beefed up scooter, which now, after seeing him decked out in helmet, sunglasses and windbreaker, makes sense. There is definitely a fun-loving side to him that may keep you on your toes. You can see it in his sky blue eyes.

Conversing with this man, you find out that he has the strength of character like that of an angry bull. His voice is quiet, unassuming, with a mild South African accent, even when raised to make a point. Filled with common sense, he is. Down to earth, no flash, sensible shoes. He has money, that becomes clear once you get to know him better. Not because he tells you, but because he has worked hard all his life, and he shows you his vast projects. You know how it is being used.

His compassion runs very deep. Learning from his own past, becoming who he is today, and reaching out to others in order to encourage and teach emotional, intellectual, and physical health as one. His stories are very interesting, his background, his challenges, and how he managed to grow from it all. Frustrated at times with the lack of openness in people, the fear of change, the fear of success really, he strives to reach them. However, in his effort to educate, he is not pushy, allowing his teachings to have their effect, or not.

He has an alter ego, the one who writes the stories, the one wearing the jester’s hat. They work well together, as author and editor, despite his dislike for the writer. The creations are a bit brash, bold, bottom-line, but if you want the truth, if you are open to the truth, you will enjoy it.

Writing 101         As always, your comments are welcomed and encouraged!


Kid’s Can Too; The Travel Checklist

colourful suitcases travelI am a list maker. It gives me confidence. Freeing up a little space in my brain is a definite plus. When my kids were little, and we were planning a trip, I found myself searching online for a packing list. Something that my kids could easily follow, ticking off items as they laid out their belongings. I found a couple that were, ‘just’ satisfactory. Not one seemed complete, to me. So, I made my own. This is not the same list, from years ago, but, a much better one. I love organizing, so this falls into the category ‘FUN FOR ME’!

I have created, the one and only list, you will ever need for your pre-travel, packing, purposes. If your kids can read; they can pack. As the every time winner of, ‘Who’s Doing the Packing’, I delegated. I think the kids even thought it was fun, having such responsibility. Of course, I still did the final checks, just to be sure.

This list is geared towards a family (with kids), who’ll be leaving the comfort of their home. You are more than welcome to alter, adjust, add, subtract, scribble, draw on, recycle, or whatever else you fancy doing with the list. You might also find it useful, just the way it is.

Family with Kids Travel Checklist

Since I love lists, here are a couple more examples from Word & Excel, that might be useful. I have saved them as a PDF; if you have any issues, please let me know.

Business Trip Planner

Camping Checklist

Please let me know if I have missed something of importance. I like to think I’m perfect, but alas, that is not always the case. If you have a great list to share…do it!

If you enjoyed this post, leave your comments below, and do have a peek at the rest of my blog.

School-Time Blues

Which subject in school did you find impossible to master?

Seriously? Do I have to pick just one? Nope, can’t do that.

Grade 11 and 12, it seems, I gave up on learning. No desire, no interest, anything else was better. I was, however, leaving my options open…lol.

Physics 11 put me to sleep. Computer Science 11; fail. Funny, same teacher.

Chemistry 11 and 12; I had a wonderful partner, who seemed to understand everything, and didn’t mind sharing. 😉 The teacher was really great, and I could tell he loved his job. I think I exasperated him.

Algebra 11; dropped out. Way over my head.

school cartoon

Social Studies; geography I got, history, not so much. The teacher was awesome though. He had the most striking blue eyes, dark hair, and a ‘Magnum’ moustache.

English 12: the teacher liked to sit at her desk the entire class, and admire her fingernails.

Biology 12; nice teacher, made an effort to make it fun, I still did a lousy job. There was one section, however, that piqued my interest. Dissection. That was when I decided to become a nurse.

Needless to say, I was in total shock when I received my ‘acceptance into the nursing program’ letter. I had just enough credits, and barely, passing marks, to graduate. Why on earth did they want a slacker? So, I showed them…by having to take the program a second time. I did well in the field, not so well on exams. We were told at the beginning of the program, that we would be eating, sleeping, breathing, nursing. Maybe for some, but not for me, hence the second time around. Eventually, I graduated, and was hired immediately.

After 5ish years working, I quit, to the sounds of disgruntled sighs, and chatter. Psycho mom, or serene mom; which would you choose? Alright then.

One thing I know very well about myself. If it doesn’t make me happy, I won’t do it. I am learning, as I gain some wisdom, along with my gray hair; anything that needs doing, with a little focus, and some pride in a job well done, can be satisfying. Like blogging!

Which subject in school did you find impossible to master? Who had the same attitude as me? Or were you one of those straight A students? 

As always, comments are welcomed, and encouraged!

The Art of Holding A Grudge-8 tips

unhappy couple

  1. Put on blinders. You feel bad, and some may try to stop you. Let them know it would be a huge waste of time to examine the issue, as you played no part in this misfortune that, someone else burdened you with. If you begin to feel depressed, weary, lethargic, and fatigued, that is because you are using great amounts of unconscious energy, maintaining your grudge. That is normal.
  2. Don’t try to make amends by confronting the issue/ individual. Judging yourself and others is the best route. It’s good to rant, by putting down others, as they are the cause of your infliction. Continue any self-blaming, and ‘poor me’ talk, as this brings short-term sympathy. This is also an effective and efficient way of withholding intelligent, and sensible, communication. Your goal here, is to exude feelings of frustration, melancholy, uncontrolled anger, and begin to carry an inferiority complex. Over time you will need to seek out new friends, as they will begin to avoid you. Another necessary step in keeping the negativity strong.
  3. angry_woman_198033Walking a mile in their shoes, gives you a glimpse into their world, and makes it more difficult for you to maintain your unhappiness. Stay out of their shoes. You want to feel more stress, have a higher heart rate, increased blood pressure, lots of muscle tension, higher rate of sweating, and because you want your face to match, more distressed facial gestures. Our past misfortunes, are a great way of enhancing and averting blame, for our present failures, at our job, on our health, and with maintaining other friendships. Bonus!
  4. Do wait for the other person to apologize. It’s all their fault you are miserable and unable to begin healing yourself. You may already have a poor self-image, a history of abuse, and stress; this will just enhance your negative emotions that have lived inside of you for years. Again, this is normal.
  5. Discuss your problems continuously, with anyone who will listen. The more you focus on the negativity, the longer it sticks around, and festers inside you. Also, those listening, may have grudges to share with you, so you will be infused with negativity, an essential aspect of holding a grudge.
  6. 12049063-angry-young-man-shows-middle-fingers-isolated-on-white-background-focus-on-handsThere is nothing to learn from what happened to you. No life lesson here. You were the one wronged, and because of this, you will experience a disparity in your energy system, and may suffer persistent agony, and maybe even mental instability. That’s good though, as that leads to further, ill health.
  7. Misery loves company, and you will find those who want to befriend misery. Stick with like-minded people, they will understand your woes, they will agree with every word that comes out of your mouth. You will be a good friend to them. Eventually, even they will disappoint you.
  8. Never forget how you were wronged, and it’s best to never forgive this individual, even if they apologize. Wash your hands of them, and any responsibility around the issue. Even after years go by, continue to dwell on your negativity, you didn’t want that person in your life anyway. Right?

Unfortunately, for me, I haven’t been successful at holding a grudge, or at least, never for any length of time, but, for those of you who are successful, good on you! By incorporating these tips, into your daily routine, you will reach your goal of an unhappy, unfulfilling, nonproductive life. Reach out to others, who share in your negativity, for support. Best of luck to you!

On the other side of the coin, those of us–who, sadly, are unable to pull this off–it’s best to just back off. We are more likely to accidentally offer, positive advice, than the much needed negativity.


To Gray or Not To Gray?


It all began, at age 26, with a few gray hairs at the base of my scalp. Of course, it was someone’s brilliant idea to point it out to me, in a tone conveying horror. That little seed, planted in my brain, has materialized every 6-8 weeks, for the better part of 10 years. In the beginning, I dyed my hair for something different, but, as the gray continues to spread and consume entire areas on my head, I’m not looking for different anymore. It has become a battleground, and I am weary with the knowledge that I will not be victorious.

“It is also intense, like revealing a secret you’ve tried to conceal for years.” From, How to Embrace Gray Hair Glad I don't see this view!

Two little words describe the shade of gray that persists in pushing itself to the surface of my scalp—rainy day. What’s your shade? Salt & Pepper? White? Are you lucky enough to have silver? To clarify, I love, love, love the rain and how it trickles down my face when I look to the sky. It empowers, refreshes and replenishes me. The gray clouds above do not bother me; they are beautiful, grand, and powerful. However, they are distant enough to not drain my skin of what little natural color it has. An interesting side-note, gray is a shade I started wearing a few years back because I like how it looks on me. Honestly, I don’t know what that is supposed to mean. Sigh.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is fairest of them all?

Surprisingly, and happily, I’m finding much positivity around wearing our natural hair color as we age, and as I read more articles about this, I am increasingly convinced to go for it, excited actually. To finally be free from all that is, in reality, just the stories we’ve heard and told ourselves, about self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem. A concept I should embrace completely and I’m working on it. I even made myself a table to demonstrate the abundance of negatives. I’m sure the list is much longer.

Negative vs. Positive Aspects of Dyeing My Hair
Costly Boosts self-esteem
Smelly Younger appearance
Time-consuming Choice of many colours
Standing appointment every 2 months without fail
Osmotic behaviour of the chemical-laden liquid? See definition below
Short-term boost of self-esteem
Everyone knows you do it
Becomes more difficult to attain a natural look

Definition: Osmosis is the result of diffusion across a semi-permeable membrane. If a semi-permeable membrane separates two solutions of different concentration, then the solvent will tend to diffuse across the membrane from the less concentrated to the more concentrated solution. This process is called osmosis. (So this is my reality: that thick, brownish, sludge pushing itself into my brain cells every couple of months, yet I persist.)

Gray Matters: Why and how to stop colouring your hair by, Barbara Barnes. In some cultures, gray hair represents qualities — maturity, responsibility, wisdom — that deserve to be valued by everyone. Jean Shinoda Bolen, in “Goddesses in Older Women”, cites the connection between aging and wisdom revered by these traditions…We can let our hair be gray and know we are as vital and full of potential as ever, which may be more attractive than anything else we could do. That is my favorite part, and why not?

You can also find 100+ reasons to go gray here. The title is great: Revolution Gray, it’s not just a hair color, it’s a lifestyle. It is a ‘Going Gray Blog’ with lots of pertinent tips, relatable comments and stories, as well as links.

I took a few minutes to visit with a hairdresser and discuss my future. Bottom line is; there is no easy fix. Everyone will have different issues and personal ways of coping. I have to find what will work best for me, and so I had about five or six inches cut off the back. That removed a lot of the darker color. My hair is now a little longer than shoulder length, and by the way, I love it! Cutting off that much has cut my grow-out time probably in half. It will take about a year, maybe a bit longer to complete the process. She gave me lots to think about, but I was a little taken aback by one of her comments, “Just know that it will add about ten years to your age, and you are still a young woman.” Why on earth was she trying to talk me out of it? She kept asking me if I was sure. I realize now that it was her own fear of showing her gray and my response to her comment: “It will be me, though. I don’t care what anyone else thinks of my hair.”

In essence, I am doing this to be more authentic. I’m tired of hiding my reality, and I do not believe for one minute that I will look ten years older. It’s about freeing myself…and that will only make me feel younger and lighter, letting go one burden at a time.

On that note, I have now immersed myself in this personal project, and when the “The Skunk Stripe” becomes too much for me to handle, I will decide how to deal with it then. As you noticed, I posted a photo of my newly, emerging skunk stripe, and will post an update monthly, along with tips I’ve learned and used, or not used.

Would love to hear from you, gals and guys, all ages, with opinions, your own challenges, and any positive encouragement you can muster up.

One more thingwho’s going to join me?? Be brave! You can comment below or visit me on Facebook and leave me a personal message.