Decisions

Apr. 28th, 2017 04:04 pm
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So I've decided to go forward and take a series of online courses that will qualify me to teach English as a Second Language. I've been thinking about it for weeks, and I can't see any downside to it. It all sounds great, especially the part where I might get to travel to someone wonderful and teach English there. I'm starting to brush up on my Spanish (at this moment I could order a beer but not say much else), so that my hopes of working in a Latin American country could be more easily facilitated. I would really like to use Spanish on a daily basis, so going somewhere like Peru or Chile or somewhere in Central America would be ideal. I'm actually getting a bit excited at the possibilities of teaching abroad. South America would be my first choice.

My elder daughter taught English in Ecuador for a few months some years back and loved her immersion into Latin American life, especially the weddings to which her entire Andean village was invited, including her, and which lasted for days. She also loved being able to pick fresh fruit for her breakfast from her host family's yard. Imagine waking up to fresh mangoes! On the way to her classroom in the morning she would always be approached by friendly alpacas, which she hand fed with fruit and sugar, and which sometimes followed her to school. D. was 9,000 feet up in the Andes, and the scenery was unbelievable. I would love an experience like hers. Of course, she was 18 and highly adaptable and very healthy, whereas I'm 53, diabetic, with mental health issues, and more set in my ways, but I think I could find myself a safe place in a new environment.

When I say "safe place", what I mean is my bed. When life gets rough I have the world's comfiest bed, and just sitting on it for a few minutes calms me down. Obviously I can't take my bed with me if I travel, but I can take elements of it - my snuggly blanket or one of my teddy bears, and be reminded of the safety of my cosy bedroom. I'd need that if I were working overseas, and I'll even need it when I go to the UK this September. I'm sure if I were living for three months in a foreign country that I could establish for myself a safe place to which I could retreat when panic threatens.

It's been another beautiful day, sun shining, blue sky, not too warm, and I had a nice time having coffee with my mother, which is something we do every Friday afternoon.
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I had no idea how much I would love having an online journal again. It feels so good to be here at Dreamwidth. I am making new friends, have a place to share my life, and have the great privilege of being able to share the lives of others. For a woman who is decidedly lonely, this place is a godsend.

It's gotten hot all of a sudden - it's 23 here at the moment (that's 76) and rather humid so that it feels hotter. I mowed the lawn for the first time all on my own. The result reminds me very much of the time my elder daughter, age approx. three, took her safety scissors to the curls at the front of her hair, kind of jagged and sloppy and frayed. (And it was heartbreaking to see her lovely curls on the floor.) I console myself with the fact that my neighbours have obviously been mowing for years and know how, whereas I simply don't have a clue....yet. Someday I will be a jedi master at lawns.

Saw my caseworker at Canadian Mental Health today....such a nice woman. I am so fortunate to have really excellent community help for my poor addled brain. Psychiatrist, therapist, case worker, doctor: I am so lucky to live in Canada and in this city.

The thing I'm working on now is learning to be gentler with myself. I need to get rid of the self talk that says "you're stupid" or "you're a failure" and replace it with "you're learning" and "look at all of the things you've accomplished today". I need to learn to look in the mirror and instead of seeing ugly and fat, and old, see a woman who has survived a lot of grief and turmoil and has the battle scars to prove it. Maybe, if I'm really lucky, some day I will see beauty.

Touch

Apr. 26th, 2017 05:11 pm
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Every day I go to odb.org - Our Daily Bread - it is a Christian website that gives daily short articles that prompt the reader to think about their relationship with God. Today's article was about the healing power of touch, focusing on Jesus healing the leper, and I was surprised as touch has been on my mind a lot lately.

Today my therapist hugged me at the close of our session, and I realized that it was the first hug I'd had in a couple of weeks. My mother doesn't hug, neither does anyone else I see, and being bereft of physical contact is something I'm finding very challenging. I'm not sure what the solution is. One of the reasons I miss my son as much as I do is that he is a very physical human being, and I got hugs all day long. I took them for granted; one thing this past six months of my life has taught me is that one should never take any aspect of any relationship for granted.

It's a beautiful day today. The weather is hovering around 20 degrees (70 degrees F), the sun is shining, trees are sprouting blossoms and leaves, and gardens are full of daffodils and tulips and other spring flowers. My little plot out front is bright and cheerful. It's lovely to have the windows open; the cats like that as well. I love spring.

Speaking of cats, I had to lock them in the kitchen last night. Both of them decided that my desire to sleep was unacceptable, and they kept sitting on my pillow and meowing me into consciousness. I don't like barring them from my room, but egads, they were annoying.

Tomorrow I have to mow the lawn. My brother has been over to show me how to use the lawnmower and put gas in it. I am nervous, I've never cut grass before!

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