Unashamed

It’s been a long time since I have written. I get ‘couchbound’ where I can’t do anything. It’s where I am right now.

I have so many things to take care of. My ‘free Canadian health care’ gets less free when you neglect to file your taxes. My provincial MSP plan is on my back for payment. I need to file my taxes before I call them or I can’t go see a doctor. Not filing taxes or calling MSP back will affect me negatively but I haven’t been able to do either. I made some small steps like loooking up paper work and phone numbers to get it all together. I can’t gather the motivation? initiative? gumption? to make the call.

Other things to take care of? Well, personal hygiene would be good. Watering my plants which are footsteps from my house might be nice because watching them die from my couch isn’t. Cleaning my personal space.

The fact it is so difficult for me to accomplish even doing my dishes? Is embarrassing. I SHOULD feel shame.

However? When my BF comes home after a long day of work and sees I am still in my PJs on the couch? He doesn’t shame me.

He recognizes any effort I have made (like packing him a lunch that day or washing some of the dishes).

And when I get so far gone I can’t take care of my own hygiene? He doesn’t even shame me then. He offers to run be a bubble bath. Like I’m the one that had a hard day, not him.

Those kindnesses he gives me takes away the shame of what I go through when I struggle every day. Because of him I survive better. There were times in my life I was bedbound from my mental health. Now I am couchbound but with encouragement not shame.

Next question.

How do I take this new feeling of being unashamed about my lack of inclination and use it as a catalyst to incite motivation?

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Apple Health

I always hated Apple (Mac) products. I considered them over priced devices. Components mined by slave children in Africa, built by slave children in China and designed so the newest one is out around 5 minutes after you just bought the brand new thing. I simply didn’t want them.

On the other hand, my BF went to school for graphic design which is primarily a Mac industry so he has always raved about everything Apple. When he got his first ever cellphone (ironically, even though he is a tech geek that was last year) it was the iPhone 5s.

And he raved about it. Tried to show me how easy everything was and even downloaded games I couldn’t get on my meagre Android phone. He made it tantalizing.

Now that I have it in my hands (The Phone) I can see why everyone raves. Not only is it all so freaking simple and everything just works? There are amazing Apple apps built in to help you.

Like? Apple Health. I think this one is a game-changer for me.

One of it’s basic operating functions works like an SOS. If you are in an accident you can simply press a button and it calls 911 for you. It gives them your location AND it sends a message to your emergency contact listed in your phone you have made an SOS call.

Maybe you can’t make that signal because you are unconscious but someone else on the scene has called 911? When the EMTs arrive your phone now acts like a medic alert bracelet. From the unlock screen they can find any allergies, medications or medical conditions they should be aware of. It also gives them the power to then alert your emergency contact.

If you want to get deeper into it? You can record your medical history, keep track of tests (everything from inputting blood test results to taking your heart rate) and make a plan for better nutrition/exercise. There is a mental health component that allows you to make a diary of your mindfulness.

I’m still in search for a local doctor. This is a way I can easily track everything about my health. When I finally get to see a doctor? This will be helpful information.

And that exercise component? Without doing anything but having my phone in my pocket like normal my phone now tracks my movement. My exercise (steps or more) are monitored like a fitbit. And it tells me how I am doing.

I’m totally sedentary at the moment. I knew that. I admit as much. But seeing that word? Well, I got off the couch and checked my garden today. It motivates me to move a bit. I’d like to get it up to ‘lightly active’ by the end of the week.

Oh, and even though I’m not going over my caloric intake? 75% of my calories are from wine. So, that needs to be addressed. I know I’m an alcoholic but 75% of my caloric intake without going over my daily calories is an eye-opener.

So, Apple Health! It’s changed the way I see my phone. And it’s makers.

 

The Phone

I’ve had a crappy phone for a while now. Alcatel. Pay as you go. Can’t even send or receive picture messages. Cracked because I am clumsy.
I’ve struggled with the ability to make calls about my health things because I have limited daytime minutes and have to wait on hold. However, I have always been stubborn about paying for my own phone. So I’ve paid for what I could afford.
 
Today? My BF and I were out doing errands. He surprised me by pulling into a place where he got a brand new phone.
 
Then? He handed me his iPhone. He got me my own phone number with an amazing plan that was added to his bill.
 
Now? I have unlimited Canada-wide calling (so I can call my doctors, insurance company, etc and keep on top of my health). It also means I can call family if they want. I can text, send text pics and have 2 GB of data on top of my WiFi. That ALL makes my life easier.
I now own an iPhone 5s with a working camera. That has a plan where I can text or call anyone, anytime. He also gave me a case for it that will really protect it from me.
Our combined phone bill? Now that I don’t pay-as-you-go and have this beautiful phone? Hasn’t changed. We’ve always paid a combined total of $100/month.
We walked out of the store today with him having an iPhone 6. His sim card from the old phone was put into the new one. They put the new sim card in the old phone so I have a new number and better plan on the iPhone 5s. We paid nothing. On a plan already fitting out monthly budget.
I never thought I would be so happy about a phone but this one is kind of a game changer.

The Landlord

The wonderful woman who owns the property I live on has become a treasure to me. She told me before I signed my lease this is a place people find healing.

Since moving in? I have space in her garden. We’ve shared meals. We visit regularly.

At the same time? I have been struggling with depression. I’m in my ideal situation but can’t find motivation to do things I want to do.

I want to take advantage of the garden space she offered. I want to make my own yard beautiful. I have every tool at my disposal. The weather is perfect. So why can’t I get off my couch?

I go for walks but then I feel exhausted by them. I make minor attempts to clean my home but I am exhausted by them. Self care is on my back-burner. I feel defeated.

But then my 82 yr old landlord comes up the path with her walker. She sits with me on the porch and I tell her I’m sorry I haven’t started ‘doing’ more with the beautiful space.

She reminds me I was chosen to be here so I can heal. She understands things take me longer, even adjusting to a good environment, and she is so glad I am here. She tells me to enjoy the quiet. Rest. Just, BE.

Beyond the perfect home? I have such a kind, caring landlord. Right now there are days she is the one who gets me through.

Getting My Shit Together

Been a while since I wrote,  so here is a quick update.

I still love my new home. I still have lots of ideas for things like gardening, etc and I have done some prep.

But I stalled.

I sit and look at my sunny porch from my couch and I do nothing. I have no motivation, only longing. I decided today, I am going to take some advice from Jordan Peterson.

If you are ignoring your goal find out why! Is it something you really want? (Yes) Is it too big? Are you overwhelmed? Do you need you change your plan? Start with smaller steps!

Today I took the small step of picking up a broken planter and setting up to make sure it would work for the ‘fairy planter’ I want to create.

It was ONE step. I suppose writing this blog is another step.

His next piece of advice? It’s awesome that you took one step, any step, toward accomplishing your goal. Don’t chastise yourself it was small, instead reward yourself because it was a step!

I’ve had a rewarding feeling evening between food, vino and foot rub!

Tomorrow? Another step!

Maybe I can get off this couch and get my shit together!

Blessed Eostre

So it’s Good Friday. The day we all get a day off work to celebrate killing Jesus. I always wondered why we got his death as a holiday but not the resurrection. One of my many confusions about Christianity. However that is another subject for another time.
March 21/22 is the marking of Spring. Everything is turning green and it is time to plant. The days are getting warmer as the sun is longer in the sky. What an incredible thing to celebrate.
And celebrate we did!
It was incredibly special to have a Spring feast with my landlord. We both are inclined to celebrate seasons, not ‘holidays’, so today I went up to her place and we made and old-fashioned, traditional Spring Feast. 
Wild meat taken by her son who harvested it respectfully and gifted it to his mother. I can’t wait to meet him. We made a delicious Elk stew. And we made it on fire. Yes, we used the wood stove to cook today. Tradition ❤
Her property manager’s daughter was there for a time. I had such a terrific time teaching that bright young lady what we were doing. She helped me manage the fire, learned how to make bannock and was very pleased with the book I gave her as a gift (yes, some ‘tweens’ still appreciate books). We talked about school and how she prefers to ride horses than study. Old fashioned.
Everyone who passed through the home today was welcome at the table. Shared harvests make for bounty. We shared food, shared wine and shared amazing conversation. We have such amazing conversations.
On so many levels my landlord is a woman I admire.
 
Some people can look to mothers and other older women for guidance. I never really had a woman in that capacity that wasn’t preaching to me. Until her.
 
My landlord welcomes me to her home to teach me the old ways from the land around us. She wants to celebrate the seasons with everyone around her.
She has all the tools, space and knowledge to teach me growing, harvesting and canning. And at 82 she still wants to learn new things. We’re going to learn how to make Honey Mead together this summer. Our drink when fall harvest comes and we celebrate the Autumn Equinox together will be our mead.
Spring, Eostre, is the time for beginning. Fresh starts. Planting. Looking forward.
I hope everyone has had as blessed a season as I have!

New Dentist

I have new dentist!!

I’ve been in pain for a few days. I had a broken, rotten molar that was giving me headaches and becoming infected.

I don’t have dental coverage under any of my insurance things. Seems dentists around here aren’t quick to help unless you have insurance or cash up front. No one take payments anymore. Even if things are an emergency.

However, I remembered a dentist I’d heard of that helps people in need and I looked him up online. I called. They wanted to make the appointment right away but I asked about cost, etc. I told them my situation and all the money I had for this. The receptionist told me to come in regardless of my circumstances because the doctor was kind.

So I went.

He extracted my tooth without pain. AND he described everything he was doing and what I could expect to hear or feel as he did it. His assistant held my hand and he kept telling me how great I was doing (like I was giving birth to a tooth LOL).

My appointment today should have cost me around $600. They knew I was financially challenged for that kind of payment all at once. They asked what I had.

I had $120 to offer and said I was willing to make payments (something they don’t do). The dentist decided to do my procedure for the $120. Nothing else would be owed because this was an obvious emergency.

I asked them what it would have cost and they came up with a price that was discounted in many ways and the total came to $290. I made a proposition! If I pay the balance of the bill, instead of taking it as a gift, would they work with me to get help for my teeth on my budget.

And they said yes! They told me they don’t usually take payments but they could see my earnest desire to get my tooth health under control. They will continue to offer me the discounted rate they gave me today.

When I go back to pay the balance next week? He’s going to book me an appointment for a full exam, etc.

I suddenly have this amazing dentist and I am so grateful!

Karma Jail

I know I did some bad things in my past. Hurt people. I went from being a very kind and caring person to being someone who used others and abused friendships. I made some bad karma. Then for a long time life was shitting on me.
I saw the correlation but I ignored it for the longest time. I pushed the last of the people who cared about me away and I ended up alone.
 
However, the universe must have known that is what I needed. I used that time to heal. Reflect. I used that as an opportunity to turn myself into a better person. And while I was still being crapped by life and people? I maintained my efforts to be good and kind.
 
It worked! I feel like my time in karma jail has been served and my kindness’ are being rewarded.
I found my dream home with an epic landlord and property manager. They make me feel like family.
I reached out online to find some used furniture for cheap because everything was built into my RV I gave away. People who read my story all along the way? Reached out and gave me some really cool stuff. A leather couch that sorta of matches my recliner and looks great in here. And? A king size bed. She said it was her guest room bed and was never really used but seeing the kindness I gave others made her want to give me the bed.
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All good karma right? But it doesn’t stop there!
I went to garage sale today. I spent $8 on a lamp, a piece of art and I bought a book for the property manager’s little girl because she likes horses.
I guess karma thought I didn’t get enough for my $8. As we were driving back through town we passed what we thought was another garage sale and we stopped. Not a sale. FREE. She was downsizing her cabin, boat and RV so she was giving away everything I could see.
I now have a beautiful wooden wine rack that matches the wood in my cabin. Mixing bowls, the good kind with rubberized bottoms. A marble cutting board that matches the kitchen and makes it ‘pop’. Storage containers, cookie sheets, plates…   and she told me to come back tomorrow and she will have more for me.
Yep, I’ve definitely been released from karma jail. The nice thing about good behaviour on release from karma jail? Karma rewards!

Moving Day

My moving day is right around the corner and I am so excited.  The previous tenants vacated a few days early so the property manager has graciously allowed me to begin bringing over my outdoor things and anything that can be stored in the outdoor shed while she cleans and readies the cabin. I pick up my keys and take possession tomorrow! With all the advance moving? I should be moved over and nesting before dinnertime!

Someone from a local Facebook group offered me a couch that is going to be perfect for the space. It matches the recliner I already have and she is able to help deliver it the day I move in.

Admittedly, getting the outdoor stuff cleaned up has been exhausting. Things under my RV gooseneck were mudcaked on the bottom. Trying to clean mud off to transport things, while still in a muddy, wet yard, was a challenge but I was lucky to have good help.

My freezer was filthy and rusted from being outside in the rain for two years. However, I washed it up and a friend with more muscle power than I can muster removed all the rust. It’s not quite ‘new’ looking but I’ll throw a coat of spray paint on it and it will look like much less of an eyesore!

Digging around under my RV? I discovered some tools I never knew I had. Different friends offered me tools for gardening over the years and they were just put under the RV. I have a hoe, a spade and an old school hand tiller. All heritage tools in great condition.  There is a nice size axe and a smaller hatchet for splitting firewood for my big outdoor firepit.

So many things are coming together to make this the easiest move I have ever had. Thanks to everyone who been such an encouragement to me throughout the struggle of finding a new home. Your positive energy helped light the way!

Tales Of The Travelling RV

When my RV was gifted to me? It already had a history.

Someone bought it and then had to leave it behind as ‘payment of rent owed’. The new owner rented it out to someone in need for only the cost of pad rent. When she left the situation he did the same for me. When I was alone and felt insecure? He gifted it to me so I would always have a home.

I met the couple who originally gutted it and made it the beautiful open concept it is now. They sold it to “payment owed guy” for a bargain because they had a baby and needed more space. This RV has a beautiful history of people being helped.

It’s had it’s ups n downs! I’ve struggled with it and rather than struggle anymore? I found new housing!

However, in the spirit of kindness, I posted my running down RV on the same website I found my place. I posted it ‘as is’ and was honest about it’s condition. I may have even been over-dramatic about it’s issues.

I’m so happy that someone saw it and contacted me. His sister needs a place. Her rental was sold and she will be homeless at the end of the month. He is VERY handy and rebuilt an entire wall of an RV once so my minor issues are completely within his range of helping her fix up. He told me he was delightfully surprised at it’s condition. He was super grateful.

It was gifted to me without transfer papers. I gave him the name of Mike, who gave it to me, so he could see if he could get papers. Turns out? He already knows the kind man who gave me my home. Paperwork won’t be an issue.

I gifted it to them. He promised me he would fix it up really nice for her and once she is back on her feet? They will gift it forward and let me know who it goes to.

My tiny RV, that has already seen lifetimes of kindness, is going to move on to improvement and be a home for people who need for a long time.