It is Thursday, well, two hours into Thursday so barely a new day. I had Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off this week, and I was all ready to go back to work on Wednesday, but Mother Nature has other plans. A significant winter event has hit our region bringing flurries, squalls, winds up to 75 km/h and wind chills down to minus thirty. It is just downright nasty out there or as the Weather Network states “Dangerous snow squall conditions likely through Thursday.” I just checked the temperature and it is minus twelve but the windchill is minus twenty-six. BRR!
Highway 21 closed on Tuesday afternoon and has been closed ever since. I checked 511 a few minutes ago and there is no change. This means no work for me and anyone else who must drive to get to work in Port Elgin. I know of a few people who live out of town and no doubt called off yesterday.
It did not stop some people from travelling though, reports have been coming in all day of vehicles in ditches, people stranded and calls out for rescue by anyone, and even a multi-vehicle collision on the back way to Port on 33. It is just nasty out there and people need to stay home if possible.
Okay, enough preaching, I have spent the last two days on Facebook and Twitter sharing updates and comments on the weather and politics. Too many people out there are getting cabin fever, heck they should try spending a winter in western Alberta.
Alright, so what else have I been up to? Well, I spent a lot of the time watching documentaries on YouTube, everything from Persian History to the distant Universe and aliens to the Russian space program (sorry Democrats, there was no mention of conspiring with Trump in the last one).
It looks like the highway will be closed again today so I will spend my day catching up on some reading and writing. I am a bit disappointed I have not done more of both those things already this week. The internet can really get a hold of you and hold your head under water for hours.
I am out of pop and snacks. I managed to run up to Tiverton on Tuesday, the weather was lousy then too, and grab two bags of cheese sticks and a bag of ketchup chips. Naturally it is all gone by Wednesday afternoon and I am left feeling like I have failed myself somehow. It is a bit of a curse of staying up late at night. You do the things you would normally do during the day, including eating, and when you wake up next day and the food is gone part of you feels this sense of regret. It is silly really, you must eat some time, but eating at night just feels wrong somehow?
I am sort of happy my pop has run out, I think I have one can of Monster left for emergencies in the fridge – would this be such an emergency? It will give me the opportunity to cut back on my soft drink consumption which I noticed has been getting out of hand recently. I think it has to do with the weather and being stuck indoors so much. Anyone else find they raid the snack cupboards in their house when they are stuck there with the weather?
I have been listening to a lot more of the relaxing, or even upbeat, music they play on videos on YouTube, created for ‘relaxation’ or ‘meditation’ or what have you. There is a really great selection out there that does not cost a dime to listen to (except internet costs of course). Right now, I am listening to piano and watching a butterfly in a blossoming tree. It is quite relaxing and helps me to write.
I have some paperwork to get done for the PPC, but thanks to the weather I can not get in to buy ink for my printer, so it will just have to wait. There seems to be a lot of hurry up and wait lately, I have been getting a bit frustrated. I did find the opportunity to update my “Maxime Bernier videos” listing on my website and I was thrilled when I posted the link on Twitter and have received over ninety likes in just half a day. Wow. I just checked it now, I have 16 comments (all positive), 44 re-tweets and 101 likes. Amazing.
Today, Thursday, figuring that I will not be going into work (though I will not know for sure until around noon) I think I will spend a good portion of the day in bed catching up on my rest and avoiding Facebook and Twitter as much as possible after one. That is my new cut-off time on days off.
I plan on being off the computer, at least social media, from one in the afternoon until nine in the evening. I mean, why spend my entire day on social media like I did on Tuesday, that was just such a horrible waste of my time it isn’t even funny anymore. I was looking forward to 2019 and some of the changes it would bring in my life but so far, I have been far too focused on the “political” goal I set myself (one of four main goals) and now it is time to branch out. Writing, reading, meditation, reconnecting with my spiritual self that has been lost during the last five years.
I think that is all I must write about for now. I will write something later today, if and when I am stuck home, we will see but there is something like ten centimetres of snow coming tonight and winds continuing into the afternoon. I am not going to get stranded in Port Elgin, sorry.
I discovered, in my archives, a baby book I received from my parents about five years ago. It describes some events that occurred in the first few years of my life. I am going to share with you now some of the entries from this book that I find intriguing and my comments today.
“Born March 24 1971”
“Five weeks – smiles a lot”
So, it would appear I was a friendly guy from a very young age but as you will read later, I was communicating on a different level.
“Six weeks – talks”
It is interesting to note that I talked but no details were given about what I said, this would have been late April early May 1971.
“May 21 – Kevin laughed today”
I wonder, did I not laugh before then?
This was the same day I disrupted a wedding ceremony.
“Uncle XXXXX wedding May 21. Kevin slept until the minister asked if anyone objected to the marriage then he started to scream. XXXXX (my father) took him out quickly.”
“October 6 – crawled for 1st time”
I later read that November 15 I pulled myself up onto my feet in my playpen and walked around it by November 28. The strange thing is that a later entry states I first walked “June 4, 1972”. I am curious what I was doing between November and June? I noticed another timeline that recorded “May - takes a couple steps on his own” and “June 5 - walked short distances several times”.
“April 19, 1972 – has eight teeth now” it is a bit hilarious that at the age of 47 (2018) I have only 10 teeth left.
First, let me say I am, for the most part, pro-life. I didn't make the decision outright it came from years of experience and reflection.
What I find ironic, in a way, is that for decades women have figuratively ripped men to shreds for having any opinion whatsoever about abortion or not (even though men have a 50% stake in the act of pregnancy). "It's my body I can choose what I want to do with it" women have said quite viciously in some cases.
Along comes a law, passed by both Men AND Women allowing late-term abortions. The irony, suddenly it's okay by Women for Men to have a voice and speak out against these new laws. Why was it wrong for Men to have an opinion about it for the last three decades?
I will probably regret posting this later, but for now I have decided to be more open and honest with my readers. I want to talk about all issues in our society, as I would in a private diary, and not just share "fluffy bunny" views of the world.
So here we go. New York has made changes to their abortion laws that now stipulate the ability to abort an 'older' unborn child if the mother's life is at risk.
First of all, the mother's life is at risk in ANY pregnancy. The simple response of pregnancy is to put the woman's body through a myriad of changes including chemical and psychology instability ending with the stretching and potential ripping of the physical body in order to purge a being the size of a watermelon through a hole that's normally below the size of an egg.
I think they have to be very specific what factors will determine that a woman's life is in danger versus the norm for being in 'that position'. I think about all the cases out there where doctors have 'bent' the rules a little to favour the patient and worry that this will eventually lead to abortions done by aesthetic versus health.
So, my views on abortion have evolved somewhat over the decades I have been on this planet this time around. You will find these opinions to be somewhat vague and uneducated because, to be honest, I have never really sat down for any great length of time and thought about the specifics involving being pregnant. Why would I? I am a Man and I cannot get pregnant, simple as that.
When I was a young teenager, I feel I was more "pro-choice" than anything else, but even then, there were limits. If the unborn child had developed enough to be called an "unborn child" then you were pretty much stuck with it, in my opinion, unless some substantial health risk threatened the mother's life. Even then the risk would have to be extreme as being confined to bed and a c-section were ways around many risks.
For a while there I supported the idea that an abortion could be granted if the woman was raped but I was still undecided if this included it being done by a family member. While incest is, of course, horribly wrong, there are less variables involved than if the rape had been performed by a stranger. Neither way is right by any means, but a rational person gets what I mean.
When I was married, I started to value unborn life more. I think it was about the time of the talk that my views on abortion started to really change. I started to support "pro-choice" but, myself, leaned toward "pro-life", there were still many factors involved, including external ones like rape and internal ones like genetic defects in the unborn child.
It was my view, then, that a genetic defect in a child should be taken into consideration. Now I am not talking basic things like hair colour or such, I mean things like physical and mental "abnormalities" that would prevent the child from leading a "normal" life. I know, simple minded reasoning but we are not all scientists regardless of what Trudeau thinks.
A young girl I knew got pregnant, at 16, by her boyfriend at the time, and was considering aborting it because of societal and family pressure. Her mother opposed the pregnancy and advised her to get an abortion because it would "ruin her life" being pregnant at such a young age. (her mother had her first child at 21). I talked to the girl, just my opinions, and she ended up deciding to keep the baby. I was told about four years later that the child, a boy, was around today because of the talk his mother and I had had those years before. I heard that, since then, she has had two more children by the same man.
It was in the early 2000's I saw a movie called Gattaca (1997) which shifted my views significantly in regards to genetics. As IMDB summarizes "A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel." but it goes much deeper than that. I recommend watching it.
For a while I did not think about pro-life or pro-choice because it did not directly involve me. It was not until around 2015 that I started to examine my position on the subject and decide where I stand.
I am "pro-life". I think that, unless in extreme cases where the mother's life is guaranteed to be 'at risk' then one should carry out the pregnancy. If you do not want to have a baby, then don't get pregnant. Note that this leaves the question of rape unanswered and I just do not know what to say on this one, for now I will leave that section blank.
I think if you participate in sexual activity you must accept the consequences. There is, however, the matter of child support (or not) which I will leave for another day.
Talk about a triple sign. I went out to my truck and fell on the ice about 2 feet away from it.
Next, I started my truck and got onto the street only to have a horrible roaring sound come from under the hood (it's a part that controls the acceleration, taking it into the shop tomorrow). Then, I got to the end of the street and couldn't see either direction. The issues continued and I couldn't get enough throttle vs thrust. It's a simple part, another sensor, that regulates how much power to provide when you step on the gas.
I drove around the park road, back home, and called off. I don't want to drive all the way to work and the truck stops working. My truck was hitting 4,500 RPMs and I was barely doing 40 kilometres an hour. The part is only $110 installed so I am not going to risk getting stuck or hit or something driving seventy kilometres round trip to work. I can always do fifty down the B-line if I have to tomorrow to get it to the shop without pushing it too much. I had already made an appointment to get it fixed on my day off and be back to work Saturday. I am not happy at all, I've had enough days without pay!
Well, you can make that 'fell twice'. I fell down on my knees going out there to shovel some more of the snow off the ice. Okay I am grabbing bubble wrap and sitting in the fetal position in the corner now.
I have heard a few comments that the lunar eclipse, and the night after, are part of a process to bring about change and new beginnings. I looked up a horoscope for me and it read "Then energy of change is around your children, younger relatives, and beloved pets. You will be needed as a guide, mentor or caretaker this month. There may be some reason for you to gather resources and make choices, but as you move forward with love in your heart, you will be guided by the Universe and make good decisions."
This is intriguing for a couple reasons.
First, I am heading into a mentoring position involving a friend of mine and a project they are working on. I am not sure what this project involves at this time, nor, in the interest of confidentiality will I be writing about it here until there is a solid foundation and course laid out. I am open to the opportunity and eagerly await my friend to bring me into the loop soon.
Second, I have been taking a serious look at how our political efforts are progressing in this area and where what direction we should move in next.
I am hoping for positive progression and outcomes on both fronts, however, in the case of politics sometimes you must decide to continue fishing or cut bait. Right now, with all that has been happening, or not happening locally I should say, I have the proverbial knife in my hand inching toward the line.
I have been very disappointed with the lack of support and direction in regards to how our Party is approaching the rural ridings such as ours. Instead of developing the Electoral District Associations in a slower, easier to set up properly, environment they have focused on the big cities (which are ripe with discourse I might add). The methodology used to set up the Party structure has been questioned by everyone from the higher ups to the most newest of members. This is frustrating and not the return on investment I would like to see.
I remain dedicated to both projects, for now, as they both align with my goals for 2019 - politics, mentoring, photography and writing in this blog.
I have been off from work for the last week. It was a sort of unplanned vacation, one that I am not getting paid for. And while I did not have enough money in my vacation hours to pay for it, I decided to take it off for a bit of mid-winter relief.
I had hoped to accomplish several things during this week including the three goals I have set for myself this year – to focus on politics, writing in my blog, and mentoring.
I am somewhat pleased to report that I was able to contribute to the achievement of two of these long-term goals this week. In between I binge watched Netflix (Lucifer, The Blacklist), catch up on a couple DVD’s (Deliverance and Pet Semetary) and watch a dozen TED Talks and YouTube videos on a video gamer I’m following, objects in space, ghosts and hauntings, human consciousness and, of course, Canadian politics.
I am listening to The Grand Sound, a channel of instrumental music (in this case hip hop and electronic) on YouTube to help my concentration while I write this blog, a few minutes ago it was a TED Talk on robots and drones. I know, my video watching interests vary as much as the music genres I listen to.
Tomorrow, Friday, is my last day off this week. I return to work for one day then I have two more days off. It is such a hard life isn’t it. On Sunday evening we will be holding our last People’s Party Huron-Bruce meeting until spring. We decided that to save money and not worry about fighting the elements and minor league hockey it would be best to put off meetings until more people are out and about.
For the first time since the start of 2017 I have decided to grow facial hair again. I sported a goatee while living in Alberta for a couple years and shaved it off when I left and returned to Ontario. I am not entirely certain why I decided to grow a beard and moustache here, as if I need yet another reason to look older than I want to feel. My beard starts out nice and dark but eventually ends up blond with lots of gray. I am told it appears quite distinguished and mature but to be honest, like most people around me, such characteristics blend into the landscape.
I can not recall if I told you of an experiment I conducted recently. One day at work I was discussing the frequency of numbers and how their sequences can be a sign of something happening in the universe around us. We had discovered that a sequence “11122” had recently been appearing in my life. As these are positive numbers, in numerology, we decided I should try to pay attention for them more.
Well, as I left work that night, I was debating whether to buy my usual lottery tickets. I was in the left turn lane, heading south out of town and away from the convenience store up the street. I glanced over at the street address, the 9-1-1 signs all over Ontario. There were four signs, I think, and down through the middle of the numbers were several 1’s and 2’s. I checked my mirrors, hit the right signal and changed into the right lane and turned up the street to buy my tickets.
Each week I buy what I call ‘the 5-draw spread’ which I have had to explain a few times to the clerk. It consists of buying one line with extra (encore) of each of the five draws displayed on the overhead LED screen. Max, 649, Daily Grand and two others I can never remember the names of, in total $18. It is a reasonable amount to pay, many people spend $5 to $20 a week on the lottery.
So how lucky were the tickets? Each week, after the draws concluded, I bought a new set of tickets.
Week 1 – won $2
Week 2 – won $4
Week 3 – won $6 plus 2 free plays
Week 4 – won $4 plus 1 free play
Week 5 – won $0 plus 3 free plays
Week 6 – won $0
Week 7 – the last week of my experiment, won $2 with 1 ticket not checked yet
Update: won $2 on that ticket
Not very lucky some might say, but I think in the last six months previous of randomly buying my set of tickets I might have won a total of $4 and 1 free play.
Was this simply chance or a tapping into the numerical flow of the universe? Some will say, like the lottery, that it was pure chance… while others are not quite so sure.
I am going to end of this blog for now before starting a new topic. I do not want these to get too long that no one will want to read them, not that people do anyways that is.
Last night I was feeling disappointed that I had spent most of my three days off watching Netflix and following politics on Facebook and Twitter. It felt like I had wasted my days off and I knew there was no way I could recover the lost time. I did get a couple things done I wanted to, paid some bills, took some pics in the park, and did my laundry. It just did not feel productive though.
I decided that, over the next three nights, after work, I would catch up on all the things I had not completed. Write in my journal, update my blog, find time to relax, those sorts of things that I put on the proverbial back burner for most of 2018.
That was my biggest complaint for 2018 of myself – denying myself quality ‘me time’ to write or read or, in my own way, meditate, and try to re-connect to my spiritual side that was left at the side of the road half dead waiting to be buried these past couple years.
So here it is Wednesday, and I was all ready to go back to work, three days off is quite enough but I did like that they were all in a row and not my two days off and another stray one somewhere else in this week. It started to snow, fluffy stuff, about an hour before I was to leave for work. I got ready, out to the truck, cleaned it off… cleaned it off again and set off for Port Elgin. I did not even make it the block down to Concession 2. The visibility was terrible, suffice to say there was almost no visibility. I saw the lights of oncoming cars in the last few seconds before they passed (under 3 metres away) and the road surface was snow covered and slippery. I made it to the bridge down the street, turned around almost missing the turn as I slid into the south-bound lane, and paused for a moment on the park road to center myself a little. I drove back home and called off work, the whole ordeal took about fifteen minutes for something on a clear summer day would take less than three.
So, I spent today trying to avoid Facebook and Twitter. I went on both but only briefly, trying to spend less than ten minutes each time. I watched some Netflix, wrote in my journal and hung out a bit with my cat. Right now, I have some meditative music playing on YouTube, love the videos and live streams there for music, and as you can read, I am writing in my blog.
And what will I write about tonight in this blog you ask? I have no idea. I guess it is time once again to check the ‘I did it’ list and find five things to write about.
Here’s one “rode on a snowmobile”. The ride was totally unplanned. I was in Harrison Park, I think it was, and had decided to take a winter hike back into the woods between the Park and the highway that leads into Owen Sound. I remember I got out far enough that the snow was deep and hard to walk in. I remember thinking how long it would take me to get back to the parking lot when a snowmobiler came along. He must have noticed that I was not the best dressed, albeit in winter attire, for such a long hike and he offered me a lift back to the main park. My walk that had taken well over an hour going out was done in about ten minutes. That is the only time I have ever been on a snowmobile.
Called 9-1-1. I think I can recall all the times I called 9-1-1. Let me see if I can list them.
An electrical fire where some trees were touching power lines along the highway – the fire department responded and got the power shut down, so the power crews could repair the damage to the lines.
A flood on the main highway into Walkerton – the police did not respond, the person who responded said “well, we just hope and pray they slow down”, the area flooded was right in front of the OPP detachment office. That storm, as it turns out, was the tipping point for contamination into the town water supply that killed seven and injured over two thousand people.
One time, on vacation, driving through Owen Sound, called the police to report someone throwing a variety of fruits and vegetables down from the escarpment onto the roadway, where cars were going over 50. My wife at the time was worried they’d hit someone. We don’t think the police bothered to even drive by the hill.
Called them one time some guy was spooking kids in my home town, he turned out to be drunk or something, but that time they did show up and even let me ride along to where they caught him in the cemetery.
I called them once about an abandoned vehicle. I had seen it the night before as I was driving home. The location was not near any residences and it just seemed a bit off. So, I called and when I drove by later the vehicle was gone.
Let’s see, probably other times but I will bet I could count them on less fingers than on my two hands.
I have seen all the “Great Lakes”, Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior. Ontario from Toronto. Erie from Erie, Buffalo and Toledo, Huron from all points here along the lakeshore, Sarnia, Michigan from Milwaukee, and, Superior from Sault Ste Marie, Thunder Bay. I have been to the Pacific Ocean via Vancouver Island, but I have yet to see the Atlantic Ocean.
The furthest “east” I have been is Ottawa way back in 1984, and in the US it would be Buffalo, NY.
The furthest “west” in Canada I have been is Pacific Rim National Forest, Vancouver Island, and in the US, it was Fargo, North Dakota I guess since Davenport (Quad City) Iowa is not as far west.
To the north, that would be Baker Lake, Nunavut, and, to the south it would be Lexington, Kentucky. And that is the extent of my worldly travels to date.
The furthest I walked in an urban setting, while having a conversation with a friend, was over 6.5 kilometres, from Brampton Transit Centre in downtown Brampton, to the Mississauga Civic Centre. This was back before when it mostly horse farms and open spaces between the two cities. I used to walk a lot back then. I lived in downtown Brampton and on several occasions walked to and from Mount Chinguacousy, 6 kilometres one way.
What is that, three life experiences, I think that is enough for tonight. Have a great night.
Tonight, I was deciding what to write about for my second blog of 2019. I have my notebook open with my ‘Things I’ve Done in My Life’ list, in case I can not think of anything else to write about.
I think, to begin, I will tell you about a dream I had the other night. I believe that the dream was trying to give me a message, let’s see what you think?
I was somewhere in the future, I believe stuck on a planet not Earth. I know, but I am a Star Trek fan so bear with me. This planet, the section I was on at least, was covered with dense vegetation. It appeared to be somewhat tropical. I knew, somehow, that I was a) stuck on this planet with at least one other person, a woman, perhaps a crew member from my ship, and, 2) possible hostile natives, of the planet, that I had not met nor knew anything about. I think the ship we had been on broke apart and crashed. There was some electronic beacon, large about the size of a night stand, sitting in the dense vegetation.
I remember finding the beacon and changing some of the settings on it to attempt to send a distress call to our ship. So, we must have been on a shuttlecraft that crashed and not a larger ship, I think. Or perhaps to another coalition starship that might be passing by the planet or system? I didn’t know.
The dream started with me seeing things from an observer of the woman, she too found the beacon and had adjusted settings on it to send a signal. The thing was, when I observed the man, who I believed to be me in this dream, I did not seem to be aware that the woman was there and alive. Maybe I thought everyone had died in the crash? When I saw the area with her in it, I felt I knew her, and the man (me?) knew her, but neither knew the other was still alive and on the same part of the planet at the same time.
I got to the beacon, I think it was a second time. I discovered the settings had been changed so I changed them back again. In my mind I thought a hostile may have found the beacon and tried to trap me on the planet by changing the settings. I remember feeling fear that someone or something was watching me, out there, nearby, since I had not ventured far from the beacon after setting it the first time. I am wondering why I did not think there might be a survivor out there, but then I think if the settings on the beacon had been left alone to what I knew would reach ‘someone’ out there (and not on the planet surface) she would have used the same settings.
The thing was, when I woke up, I believe I might have misunderstood the dream while I was ‘in’ it. The man and the woman in the dream were both me. Two sides of myself, the yin and yang if you will. The message I think the dream was trying to tell me was that there is something I am conflicted with in my life. I can not pinpoint what that might be exactly, but the two ‘halves’ of me were working against each other to reach the goal.
I have not had much time to think about what the object of conflict might be in my life, but I am wondering if anyone else might have a different interpretation of this dream.
I have mentioned before that some dreams, particularly reoccurring ones, have ended up meaning something in my life, the meaning of which I did not understand until months or even years later. Normally I do not take my dreams to heart, as they say, but with all the changes, that are starting to happen again in my life, maybe I need to?
In the ‘real world’ Sunday was spent mostly on Twitter and Facebook catching up with the latest Canadian political blunders. The big news for the afternoon and into the evening is about a girl from Saudi Arabia who was flying to Australia to seek asylum. She was detained in Thailand and it has caused an international incident that is being discussed around the world.
You would not know that from Twitter mind you, they have strategically censored the Trends to reflect the asinine Golden Globe awards and filled the “Worldwide” trend list with crap about it. Seriously? I would say over half of my entire screen of messages used the hashtag #SaveRahif that Twitter strategically left out of trends. It was a blatantly clear indication of the censoring and bias of Twitter and the uselessness its Trends feature as an accurate reflection of regional or global interests.
I did get out for a couple hours in the afternoon, down to Station Beach. It was overcast, freezing cold and windy. I took some photos along the lakeshore and tried to do some writing, but, instead, spent most of my time on my phone with social media. It was just too bloody cold to really get out and take a decent walk, yeah, sure, other people were out there walking, but minus seven isn’t the kind of ‘hey let’s check out the boardwalk and beach’ type of weather, at least not alone.
Tonight, January 1st, now technically January 2nd, I am writing my first of what I hope to be fifty-two blog entries in 2019. I know, that’s a rather ambitious goal seeing as I barely wrote fifty-two blog entries in the last ten years. The hardest part of doing this I only realized yesterday. ‘I can not think of fifty-two interesting things to write about let alone turn them into several paragraphs’ I said to myself.
And then I remembered a project I worked on in 2017, one that is still going to some degree in 2019. I described this briefly to a friend the other day, and I have decided that I will talk about it in greater detail tonight.
I started on a rather ambitious list, a listing of “All the things I have done in my life” up to this point, and I mean everything I have done. Let me give you a couple examples from this list of 172 things:
Number 10 – got married
Number 11 – got divorced
Number 40 – wrote in a newspaper
Number 62 – witnessed an accident
Number 105 – asked for directions
And so on. I am not going to list them all but what I am going to do is pick 5 random points and write about them each time I need inspiration for a blog entry. Tonight, will be the first five picked, and no, it is not the five I just listed that would be too easy. Okay, maybe one of them will be. I am going to be lazy though and not bother with the number of the point, I do not have them so meticulously numbered in this booklet so to speed things up I will just omit that part.
Here is the first one, “made a wish”.
Have you ever made a wish? I have, several times. I have wished on a star. I have wished on one of those poofy dandelions before blowing the seeds away. I have not wished on a four-leaf clover. I did see one, twice, different ones, but not ones in my possession. I can not begin to recall all the things I have wished for in life. I probably wished for a girlfriend, for pain to go away, for the winning numbers for the lottery. This was years before I learned about the law of attraction and how wishes can, eventually, come true if you want them enough.
The second, “got lost in the woods”.
I have only gotten lost in the woods once. Now, some who really know me might recall a time near Brampton I got lost during a terrible thunderstorm and used my knowledge of urban development to get us back to the car. That’s a story for another time and does not involve the woods.
The one time I was lost in the woods was, ironically, while trying to use a compass to get out of the woods and back to camp. It was at the Outdoor Education Centre near Wiarton, Ontario. We were there, as a class, for a few nights. For one afternoon the exercise was to be taken out into the wilds, given a compass and coordinates and find our own way back to the facility. I was never, and still am not, very good at reading a compass. I ended up relying on one of my classmates to help me find my way back to camp. The strange thing about it is, in the years since, I have developed a natural ability to find my way back to civilization (my hotel, my car, whatever) when I am travelling to new places. I guess I proved the point of having another person along with you when you go hiking in the woods.
The third, “played sports”.
I was just remembering the other day about playing floor hockey way back in elementary school. I received several school merit bars for my activities. I remember that in floor hockey I was the guy who would head up into the defensive zone and slap the puck or ball, I forget, into the net past the goalie. I think one year I was on the Aqua team? We played floor hockey, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and track. I was not that good at sports as my life progressed, perhaps it was because of poor upper body strength or perhaps I just did not want to be a jock. I do not know. I could run, and I could throw. There are more memories I have, that might be the reasons why, but I will not get into them tonight.
I wish I had saved everything from back then. To be honest I do not remember what I did with all my awards and such, I think I destroyed them all that first year I was in college and suffering from depression. I spent days shredding and ended up filling two garbage bags full of my life including dozens of poems and short stories, school awards and certificates, journals (called diaries back then), and, anything else in my life I had accumulated over about ten years.
The fourth, and I am listing this one on purpose, asked for directions.
Yes, I, Kevin Klerks, a man, asked for directions. Okay, it was only twice in my entire life, not counting getting lost in the woods, but still, two times I admitted defeat and got directions to my destination.
The first time would have been back when I was visiting family down in the city. And then I was not even really lost. I ended up being about two city blocks away from their house in the suburbs.
The second time was down in Kentucky. Somehow, shortly after leaving the interstate to get fuel, I got turned around and I had to ask the cashier at the station how to get back to the highway. It turns out I was significantly off course and it was a good idea I asked for directions. It helped that she was cute too, yes, I went there. Hey if you are a guy and you need help at least get it from someone you want talking to you for as long as possible.
The fourth, wrote a letter by hand.
In fact, I have written many letters by hand. The last one I wrote would have been back around 2015 or 2016 I believe to a friend in the States. I used to write very long letters to a girlfriend of mine, years ago. I think the longest one I ever wrote was over sixty pages, yes six zero pages. I know your first question “What the heck did you have to write about that took up sixty pages?” Well, let’s see, I think it had some personal stuff, some poetry, probably the weather, comments about work or life. Could I write that long a letter today? Probably not, heck I have enough trouble writing blog entries consistently.
The fifth, sang karaoke, once, and never ever again.
It was at a bar in downtown Brampton. I foolishly got up on stage, clearly identified myself and a co-worker friend of mine at the time and proceeded to slaughter ‘Cats in the Cradle’ by Harry Chapin. I did it on a dare and suffice to say I was never dared to sing karaoke again after that. I remember the night, the bar, going up on stage, singing horribly, and wishing that when I drank, I would forget everything I had done that night. No such luck.
So, there you have it, five things from my list of “things I have done in my life”. To be continued the next time I lack inspiration for a blog entry.
When I think back to New Years Eve’s in the past, I recall only a few that stand out in my mind.
I remember one time getting so drunk I passed out and woke up in a panic feeling like I was going to die. I remember the Y2K New Years Eve, I was in a townhouse in Worthington but I can’t recall any positive memories from that place.
I remember celebrating with friends when I was a teenager, having a sleep-over at one friend’s place in his attic rec room. Oh my god, I just remembered, one time when the three of us were up there partying we started throwing pretzels out the window. One of the pretzels got caught on a branch far enough from the window it couldn’t be retrieved. Now those memories those are good ones.
New Years Eve used to hold meaning to me as the time you would write resolutions for the coming year. That was, until I discovered like most people that I did not keep any of the resolutions I had written. It felt like a waste of time and it was. Now you may be saying ‘goals’ are the same as ‘resolutions’, as I have come up with four goals for 2019, but they are not the same thing.
The Dictionary tells us that “resolution – a firm decision to do or not do something”, whereas a “goal - the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result”. For example, a resolution is like saying “I resolve to always be on time for work”. This is a firm decision with a definitive outcome, either you are on time for work or you are not.
Whereas, a goal could be “My goal is to eat healthy meals at lunch”. There is a number of variables involved that affect whether or not you will reach this goal to eat healthier. There is no immediate punishment for not eating healthier, unlike being late for work which comes with a penalty.
Resolutions, to me at least, just seem to be something you want to place on the most common things in life, your schedule, your behaviour around others, your firm unwavering actions. Goals are something you ‘want’ to achieve to improve or enhance the conditions around you.
The point is, I don’t set ‘resolutions’ for myself on New Years Eve anymore. And, because of the traditions that stuck with me following my neo-pagan years, I now set goals more often throughout the year and particularly on October 31 and December 31. The first, in October, is more a look back at the past year, and tweaking what I can before the entire calendar year has concluded. Those set in December tend to be more life path goals, while those in October tend to be more spiritual goals.
And then there is the periods of transitioning, those months or years when things are just to unstable in my life to set any goals for the future. This past October was one of those times, and, unfortunately, it leads to uncertainty and a state of contemplation that never seems to really be resolved.
When I returned to Ontario in April 2017 it was after a year of negativity in my life. There are so many people out there who seek to do nothing but treat you like crap, to boost their egos, and to do their best to ruin you. I wanted to stay out west but take this cloud of negativity and add in the almost ten percent unemployment rate to the mix and I felt I needed to ‘come home’. Well, now, about eighteen months later and I think I have recharged enough to pick up my proverbial backpack and set off walking down my path again.
I need a better pair of ‘shoes’ for this journey, in the virtual sense, for example when I take to writing in my blog or a roleplay, I now play videos of meditative study and concentration music on YouTube. This helps me to concentrate by freeing my mind of worldly distractions like my smartphone or noises of people moving around upstairs.
Another foundational (footwear in this metaphor) task is to not be laying down in bed while I’m trying to read or write – it’s just not successful. I will usually occupy my mind with other things until finally I am too tired to process words or thoughts and I will fall asleep with the task incomplete. I found out recently I am not the only person to be plagued by this, and I told them the best thing to do when you want to write is to use music, when you want to read find a place that is uncomfortable – for me that’s the front seat of my truck. It might be nice to lean the chair back and put my feet up on the dash but it’s still not a bed or reclining chair and that’s enough to keep me alert and focused on the book.
Music has started to play a bigger role in my life again, and not the Top Ten horribly repetitive crap you hear on the radio on the drive to work. I am talking meditative music, instrumental piano and violin, music to write with or study or sleep to. I’ve tried that a few times now, playing music designed to help me sleep. I didn’t stick with it, it was more like a sleep aid, once I got my sleeping patterns back on track, I was able to fall asleep naturally with just white noise in the background (usually a fan).
I am listening to music right now while I write this. The video includes a slideshow of a variety of nature images to accompany the motivational piano. Right now, there is a picture of snow-capped mountain peaks and in the foreground a deep lake reflecting the clouds and rock. I would love to download hours of this type of music onto my smartphone, so I could just listen to it and relax whenever I need to or write whenever I want to.
I guess that’s it for now, have a good night!
Freelance Online Writer, Amateur Photographer, Social Media Consultant, Website Content Manager