Saturday, June 29, 2013

Moving gently into the new

In 2009 my mom was gifted with a Louise Hay desk calendar - at the beginning of each month there was a monthly affirmation and then, every day, there was an affirmation related to the monthly theme. It was simple and beautiful and - although we did not remember to change the date every day - whenever we checked it, it helped set the tone for the day. A thought to be kept in the back of one's mind, a saying that brought things to the surface, or a reflection of one's own feelings on some matter.

At the end of 2009 we were a bit gloomy as it meant that the calendar would no longer apply... but we recycled it - ignored the dates that were off by a day and went through the calendar again for 2010. In 2011, I found the app for the calendar and since then I've downloaded it at the end of each year. I'd email the affirmations to my mom whenever I checked it (sometimes daily, sometimes not) and we'd sometimes talk about it.  

Today's affirmation is:

I'm always amazed by how well the daily affirmation can reflect my own thoughts and feelings.

peace,
Ren

Friday, June 28, 2013

Mini memory of my mom

I realise that the smallest things can bring up memories. Kes the Band is playing tonight at the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill. People might think I know this because I follow Kes the Band (they're a major group here in Trinidad and Tobago) but no, I am aware of this fact because I'm on B.B. King's mailing list. 

In 2010, my parents and I went to New Jersey because my brother was graduating (with honours and etc!). My dad and brother came home soon after but mom and I went adventuring - New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York. Adventure! It was a special time for both of us - I think perhaps she knew it would be her last major bit of travelling, she'd been unwell due to cancer treatments and had pulled through to be able to go to my brother's graduation and then I think to spend time with me. I miss having her to talk to. 

On the day before we came back to Trinidad I took her to brunch at B.B. King where we were entertained by Strawberry Fields (a Beatles tribute band). It was fairly awesome - I posted about it previously when blogging about that trip. I remember her singing along to the songs and that we were both a bit too shy to get up and dance (nobody was dancing!). I remember the taste of the macaroni and cheese and how she couldn't decide on which dessert to have (we ended up taking a bit of everything we could). 

Memories surface as they will. Am thinking about my mom tonight.

peace,
Ren

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Perhaps I can go into event management?

Last week I received an email inviting me and a guest to an information session about Event Management Certification at the ALJ Graduate School of Business. I'm not sure how I came to be on that mailing list but... event management is something I have thought I may be interested in so I decided to attend. I also encouraged the cute guy, Cupcake Wench and her hubby to attend as well. 

Today we attended the information session - it was not as informative as I had thought it might be. I am as unsure about pursuing such certification as I was before attending that session. All they did was verbalise the information I had gathered online. Ah well. 

Event Management - I have thought about pursuing it because: 
  • I like planning
  • I like organising pretty things
  • I like bringing people together in a space
Are these reasons enough? Do I want to pursue this particular certification?

I am reflecting.

peace,
Ren

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Perhaps I can go into agriculture?

Tired tonight, but, not the weariness of too much thinking or frustration. I've been in Mayaro with dad working on the project house. Puttying today - yay! The house is definitely beginning to look somewhat finished.

On our way to Mayaro this morning, we stopped in at the Rio Claro agricultural demonstration centre to say hello to one of my dad's past students. We got a tour of the demo centre, a brief explanation of what is done there. It's a rolling expanse of land planted with various fruit trees so that visitors can see the different fruits Trinidad and Tobago has to offer. There's a rabbitry where rabbits are raised and where new farmers are taught about rearing rabbits. There are pens for sheep, goat, chickens and ducks. There's a slaughterhouse. There's a hydroponic nursery. There are classes taught about landscaping, animal and produce rearing, agribusiness and processing. 

It's all very impressive. 

Maybe I can go into agriculture? I can't see myself rearing animals for food - being a vegetarian all my life has meant not much interaction with meat and the preparation of such. As I've told the cute guy, if it were a matter of survival, I could eat anything - even meat. It would have to be a matter of survival though. 

I could grow plants maybe? I don't exactly have a green thumb - this has been a source of much grumpiness for me. My dad does though... maybe I can convince him to grow plants? I'm not sure.

It's all very interesting though.

Agriculture is one of the mainstays of human life I think. A population should be able to feed itself in order to sustain itself. There are a lot of opportunities in this field - perhaps I'll explore some of them.

peace,
Ren

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Sweetest Thing...

The sweetest thing in the whole world right now is how the Cat reaches for me when he's sleeping. I'm on my computer, he's napping next to me, and then I hear a sleepy meow and see him reaching out his paw for me. His paw is now resting on my foot while he sleeps.

Awww!!!!!!!!!

Wishing you some sweet things :)

peace,
Ren

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mental Health Break (MHB).

A search on Google has led to many links to sites advocating that people should take 'mental health breaks' - time away from the busy everyday to let our minds relax and recuperate. Suggested break activities include: journalling, stretching, yoga (or some such activity), breathing, laughing and napping. I'm going to do all of these activities and more. 

I've decided I will take some time away from work - give myself some room to breathe. In a previous post I mentioned that my manager had suggested some time away from work. She's not the only one to have done so. Since there are a few people who keep telling me I need time away - I'm taking it as a sign. Perhaps the Universe wants me to rest? Recover. Reflect. 

Perhaps. 

I'm going to spend some time trying to figure out what I'd like to do with my life... and with the time I have left.


peace,
Ren

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Super moon in the sky...

I've been all day with my dad working on his project house. There are photos I could show you... but I look all sweaty, covered in sawdust and varnish - it's not a pretty sight. The house is getting there though. There's something immensely satisfying about doing things with your hands. Building things that will last for years to come. I told my dad that I'm going to tell everyone that visits the house that I sanded, sealed and varnished it all. He said if I wanted to I could tell everyone I built it all. 

I'm tired and achy and around seven p.m. I found myself moving quite slowly whilst varnishing the last set of shelves. My dad said to lean towards the window - that there'd be a sight that would more than make up for the early morning and the long day of labouring. I looked out the window and saw a red moon. 

There's a super moon in the sky this weekend. We missed the moonrise, which would have been something as we'd have seen the moon rising out of the ocean, but we didn't miss it by much. I wish I had my camera. Maybe next time I'll plan to take some photos... I'm glad that others did though.

Cape Sounion some 60 km east of Athens June 22, 2013. (Reuters / Yannis Behrakis)

Take some time to check out your sky... there's bound to be something beautiful. 

peace,
Ren

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Introvert

I've been reading Susan Cain's book (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking) and have looked at her TED talk on the advice of a friend. It's interesting to me because I've known for years that I'm an introvert and I'm always interested in what the world has to say about that.

There are many definitions available online that speaks to what is introversion, what is extroversion and what is the in-between (ambiversion). You can find out which you are by taking the test on Susan Cain's website or any other that can be found. Every test that I've ever taken has said that I'm an introvert. 

Inwardly focused is what I am. I like my own company, I don't like large crowds of people. I like to take the time to figure out what I'm thinking and feeling.   

Thinking about this tonight partly because I've been reading the book but also partly because I went out with the cute guy and his cousins. Man of Steel - ftw. I'm not particularly fond of large groups of new people and, although I've been out with them a few times already, I still feel that they're a new group of people. I feel awkward and shy and would really prefer if it were just the two of us. 

Ah well. The cute guy is more of an extrovert than I am. I'm thinking this means we may balance each other out. Good teams are made of extroverts and introverts as can be seen in this brilliant RSA short: 


They're talking about work teams but I think it would apply to any kind of team. I'm also amused/pleased that they chose to use a dog/cat to illustrate extroverts/introverts.

Do you know which way you would lean? Are you comfortable with that? It's taken me awhile but I think I've reached a point where I'm fine with the fact that I may need more physical and mental space than others to maintain my balance. 

peace,
Ren

Friday, June 21, 2013

Stand still... it's the Solstice...

It's apparently a good time for communication and emotional closure. I'm not very good with the former and in need of the latter. I'm not used to experiencing grief and, when added to the frustration  I'm feeling with my work place, it leaves me feeling a bit worn out. Exhausted. 

I feel a bit as though I've got my own little grey cloud hovering over me. There is gloomy shadow instead of sunshine. I'm hoping that by letting myself feel what I'm feeling and trying to be as open as possible the shade of my cloud will transform from oppressing to cooling. That moment, just before the rains come, when there is cool shade and a hint of wind. 

I've been told to just let go and be. 

This is sometimes hard to do - though I've noticed that it's hard when I'm experiencing negative feelings... grumpy and stressed with work makes it harder, being frustrated by parent or brother makes it harder. It's easiest when I'm alone... or with the cute guy, or with the Cat and Dog... or when I'm in my car with the radio on. 

I'm feeling raw. Emotions close to the surface. Life undecided. Not sure quite how to feel or what to do. 

I'm trying to just be. 

Send me some love?

peace,
Ren

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Processing...

I've been very much in my head yesterday and today; thinking, processing, figuring out where I stand on some things, what I believe in, what I want to do and where I want to go. I'm not sure that I'm getting anywhere but sometimes I realise that for me to be happy with myself, I need to take the time to stop and think about stuff. 

Sometimes I think about past choices -  if I had chosen different subjects in secondary school, what would I be doing now? How would life be different? Is it possible to switch to that path?

Sometimes I think about future choices - what do I make of where I am now? Where can my current skills take me?

Sometimes I think about my relationships - why do I feel so responsible for the brother? Why is it so hard to step away from family and let them make their own choices?

Sometimes I think that I'm thinking too much and when that happens I try to let go, sink into a book or listen to the radio or play with the Cat or Dog. 

This evening I found myself listening to the radio. It's been overcast and rainy, perfect weather for snuggling in bed with a book but, I couldn't settle so I turned on the radio instead. 

Jewel is awesome. Her voice can wrap around you and take you to places you may be unable to reach by yourself. She's helped me process today. 


peace,
Ren

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day 2013

Got up early today because my dad and I had planned to go to Mayaro and work a bit on his project house. Didn't actually get there though because I'm not feeling that well. Aches and pains and general malaise. 

Will spend some time with dad. Maybe cook something extra fabulous? 

I'm feeling a bit blue with the whole brother-dad fallout. Males. Hmph. I've had my own quarrels with dad over the years though as I've gotten older they have become fewer... now I appreciate him more as a person. I have more of an understanding of where he's coming from, what his thoughts are based on, what he's been through. I love him.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads, dads-to-be, guys-that-standin-as-dads... 

Something for all: 9 talks for Father's Day

peace,
Ren

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Long week

Sometimes it seems as though time flies... sometimes it doesn't. I've felt as though I've been moving through molasses this whole week. Each day has been challenging in some way or other. I've decided that this month is not the month to do everyday blogging. I'm taking it easy, trying to get through the moments. There have been highs and lows this week and I'm just glad that I made it through. 

My mom has been on my mind. I've been going through her stuff and reliving moments in my mind. It leaves me feeling raw for a bit and then after a while it seems to settle and there is... peace. I've been going through things I've said and done, moments that I regret and wonder what I could have done differently. I've realised that what was done then was part of a growing up process. If I knew then what I know now, of course some things would have been different... but I didn't know and whatever happened has led me to knowing now... how to better relate to people and events. I cherish her always for being one of my strongest supporters. 

My manager has suggested that I take some time off... she 'senses that I'm a bit frustrated'. I am. I feel very tired with my workplace - everyone is stuck in old modes of being. There is no moving forward. I've been looking through vacancies listings and finding nothing that really applies to me. I'm tempted to resign from my job and go learn welding... or electrical installation... or something. I'm considering the time off but it takes a month to apply for it. Bah. Humbug.

My brother and my dad has had a falling out of epic proportions. I'm not sure that either one would agree with my assessment but... ah well. It's something that's been a long time coming and has only reached epic proportions because both refrained from saying anything major as they did not want to upset mom. Now that she's not here it's all coming to the fore. They are both so much alike and yet they can't see it. I'm trying to be supportive yet detached. Trying to stay centered and maintain my own equilibrium. 

It helps that I have so many people that I can talk to. I think that is one of the greatest things. Community. It provides support and solace. My advice to people: reach out... if you are sad, lonely, vexed or happy, enthusiastic, amazed... reach out to others and share those feelings. 

Been spending time with the cute guy... movie nights and a visit to the peace festival. I've created an Amazon store... a bookstore - I'd like to have one in real life sometime, with cozy couches and reading nooks. 

It's Saturday and the end of a long week. 

Happy weekend all.


peace,
Ren

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday, Saturday, Friday, Thursday...

I feel as though I've been on the move since I last posted... and yet I can't quite figure out what I've been doing. 

The Cat is on antibiotics - he's got an upper respiratory infection. We first realised something was wrong on Thursday morning; he's a very vocal cat - I talk to him, he talks to me. He was significantly less so and by the time I got home from work Thursday evening he couldn't meow. It was very disconcerting. You could see him meowing but no sound came out. The vet wasn't available till the next morning. I googled. Google is the answer for everything now. Took him to the vet Friday morning and he's been on antibiotics since. He seems to be improving but his voice is nowhere near where it's supposed to be just yet. 

My dad wanted me to go to the doctor on Friday... because I was also coming down with a throat infection and I felt flu-like. Did I get something from the Cat? From my workplace? There's always someone sick at my workplace. I've been doing Reiki on mysef, sucking on zinc lozenges and eating fruit, ginger, garlic, onion (not all at the same time) ... I will get over whatever this is. It seems to be working thus far. I do not want to have to take antibiotics. 

I spent some time with the cute guy. It is easy to just be in his company. We've been talking about future plans and work and what might happen in a post-apocalyptic world. 

I'm reading three books on the Kindle (I don't think I'm the only one that reads more than one book at a time):

They're all very interesting and as I'm typing this I think I'll open up one of those Amazon stores... link all these books I read. Maybe. I can guarantee you'll find something of interest. 

I've spent some of today going through my mom's books. It's still such a hard thing to do. Especially as I think that it shouldn't be... I miss her even though I know that in some way, shape or form she is still with me. 

Tomorrow is another day. 

peace,
Ren

edited to add: I've got an Amazon store! Filled with books (maybe not as full as I'd like it to be but I'll add more as I go along)! Links are in the post as well as on the tabs bar. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Letting go of time...

My healing card for today says, 'let go of time'. I was much better at this when I was younger. There was no need to fill every moment with something, to be productive and get as much done as possible. Now there is that feeling... that moments pass and there is never enough time. 

There is enough. I can just be. Moment to moment, I am breathing. 

Was frustrated and annoyed at work today - so much to do, so much required and yet I was getting nowhere. There is only so much that can be done by one person. Around midday I was ready to grump at the world and then I remembered my card. I took my lunch hour to get a manicure. My hands were massaged, my nails look much more awesome than they usually do, my manicurist says my hands are like dolly hands. 

It was... refreshing. I've been spending a lot of lunch hours at my desk trying to get stuff done... Sometimes one needs to remember to step away. Step out of the grind. Just let go of time and the hurry and the pressure and just be.

Breathe. 

peace,
Ren

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Trini to the bone...

Yesterday I saw this link tweeted by my friend - 'In pictures: Indian Africans'. They are photos featuring the Sidis, a small community of Indians who are of African descent, that were taken by photographer Ketaki Sheth over a period of five years. These photos now form the basis of her book, 'A Certain Grace, The Sidi: Indians of African descent'.

One of the quotes under the photos stood out for me. Historian Mahmood Mamdani said,
"Whenever I asked a Sidi person I met whether they thought of themselves as African or Indian, I inevitably get a quizzical look. What, they seemed to think, was wrong with me: they were of course Indians". 
It interests me because of the fact that Trinidad and Tobago is made up of descendants of persons from India, Africa, Europe,  China, Syria, Lebanon and the native people of the island. We are a melting pot of different races and cultures and although we claim to be 'Trini to the bone' there are a lot of people who would identify themselves as Indian or African or whichever race they could most identify with. 

Is it that not enough years have passed since our ancestors came here? Is it that people want to identify with where their forefathers came from? I've often wondered why, when most of us are now very mixed, many people would still identify as something other than Trinbagonian. 

It is a puzzle. 

Thoughts?

peace,
Ren

Monday, June 3, 2013

Something pretty...

Monday = back to work... back to the grind. Perhaps not for all of you, some days are other people's Mondays if you're a shift worker. It's my Monday though and I'm sucking it up and going to work. 

I will have a positive day. It will be fabulous in every way. 

To help me with that, and maybe to help you as well, I present something pretty that I've done:





I got carried away and did four...

If you'd like to make your own, check out Silk by Yuri Vishnevsky.

Happy Monday all!

peace,
Ren



Sunday, June 2, 2013

Man work?

Spent a bit of my evening sealing and sanding planks of wood that my dad will be using to build shelving and storage in his project house

It was fun. I like using paint brushes but I'm not particularly artistic so painting walls or sanding sealer on wood is perhaps the most fun I can have with them. I used a sander... I'm not sure if it was because it was my aunt's sander that it was just my size - most power tools aren't. This one was. More power tools should be me-sized. I'd probably get more involved in building/constructing stuff if they were.

It was the kind of work that my dad calls 'man work' - muscle work. Doing stuff with one's hands. I guess just because it's traditionally a man's job. 

I could absolutely do man work. I think maybe I'd like it much more than office work. While I was at Kripalu there was a week called 'shut-down week' - where the facility was shut down so maintenance and such could be done. It was one of my favourite weeks even though at the end of each day the only thing one wanted to do was shower and sleep. 

It may be something worth exploring. 

peace,
Ren

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Time spent with my dad today

Almost a year ago I mentioned that my dad was talking about a house in Mayaro. I'm calling it his 'project house' - something that he's working on now that he's retired. It's tiny... 12 x 24 feet? I guess it can be called a 'studio apartment'. 

My dad likes to do things for himself. He's a qualified electrician so he's involved with the electrics. He and his brother have been installing the plumbing. He's been trying to figure out storage and how best the house and land can be used.

He's been gloomy that my brother has shown no interest. He's been grumpy that I hadn't been to visit the project house in months - of course I did tell him that I wasn't going to be far from mom while she wasn't well (Mayaro is a 2 hour drive one-way). Now that she's no longer with us I don't mind going and spending time with him while he's doing whatever. 

That's why I went Mayaro today. 

I learnt that I'm too short to reach the ceiling to putty even when standing on a step-stool (ladders - they are my friends). That when cutting porcelain tiles the dust goes *everywhere*. That my dad, somewhere between the ages of 17 and 25,  maintained the electrical equipment of three saw mills. That hammocks truly are made to sleep in.

I didn't do that much in my opinion... but I did get a 'glad you went with me today' email when we got back home. 

I'm glad I went as well. There's a lot we don't know about our parents, I've always felt that I know more about my mom and who she was as a person, than my dad. 

I'm glad that I like spending time with him as well. 

peace,
Ren