Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The fog is lifting

This week I had my last appointment with my individual grief counsellor, she’s off to a new opportunity. She offered to transfer my file to someone else but after I finish group counselling next week I think I’ll see how it goes.


She did say she saw a change in me and that I seemed well lighter and brighter. I did feel a shift in the past week. For the longest time it felt like my personality was on mute and I was in a fog. The fog feels like it’s lifting, not gone but not lost in it.


While last week was nuts I think the remembering the funny stuff about my Dad at memento night was the key and then the inspirational key note speaker at the conference when he talked about the effects of positive actions and thoughts to the ratio of negative thoughts and actions.


Dr. John Izzo who was the key note on day 2 and I had the opportunity to introduce him for his follow up session wrote a book called “The five secrets you must discover before you die”, morbid title but not morbid book. He interviewed 200 people between the ages of 60 and 160 that were identified by family, friends and acquaintances as “the one person who found happiness and meaning”. They started with over 10,000 recommendations and narrowed it down to 200 based on pre-interviews.


The people he interviewed are from all types of backgrounds like barbers to CEOs, men and women, immigrants and native people.


I read half of it while waiting for group to start last night.


He asks things like:

What brought you the greatest happiness?

What do you wish you learned sooner?


There are funny parts and moving parts I’m really glad I bought it as I think it’s something I’ll go back to again and again.


The other giant aha shift in the last week is I decided to buy a car. Now I got my learner’s when I was 16, my license at 25 as that was when my Dad got sick and it became more of a priority to know how to drive. I have never owned a vehicle before. It was never a priority. In fact I’ve never felt the burning need to own a car. I drove Dad’s vehicles and of course more recently been renting.


As I thought about soon I’d be going up to his house for a week and rent again, I stopped and thought why rent again? If I buy I don’t need to worry about when I leave or when I come back or filling the tank before returning and etc.


I’m thinking more and more of getting a dog.


I kept saying well I’ll wait for the estate to be settledbefore looking for a vehicle. A big part of my delay was I had planned to buy but it was something that Dad and I would do together.


I did say in group last night that it’s probably best we didn’t do it together as he’d probably think some of the features I want are not necessary J I remember telling Dad his next car should have power steering. His was response what for. Then he had a car with power steering and noticed the difference.


I’ve been researching it for a while so I know what I want so on Saturday I’m going to see a dealer. I found a google+ review that highly recommended this one dealer so I emailed him (contact info was on the dealership website) and asked if he worked Saturdays. He responded saying he works this Saturday.


Yesterday I called my insurance folks to start looking at options and if bundling with my house insurance really gets me a better deal.


Thought about getting a personalized plate based on my Dad’s plate number but I can’t justify the $150 to Dad or myself. I do have an art project plan for his old plates.


So will I leave a vehicle owner on Saturday? Maybeand maybe not, we will see how it goes. I will walk away if the deal doesn’t feel right.


I have been asking for people’s advice and it’s kind of funny about what’s important to people. Like:


Make sure you play it cool– Make sure you say what you want


Don’t let them talk you into undercoating or paint protector


You should get a sunroof- But I don’t want a sunroof….what?


Definitely get the navigation system – don’t get the navigation system Garmin works just fine


and it goes on.


Kind of like asking people what’s the best pizza, we all have our own convictions.


Last night we got coated in a nice layer of ice and itsrain/snow ice so thicker. I’m standing at the shuttle bus stop this morning with my bus buddies and said I wonder how bad it will be today with lots of people having removed their snow tires. This prompted the discussion on when should you take off your snowtires….the consensus after May long weekend (which is Victoria Day in Canada – roughly 3rd week of May) that is also my rule for planting flowers as we usually get some sort of killing frost before May long weekend.


I have noticed the tulips I hastily planted in fall are starting to pop up, though I think this continuous snow confuses them and the rest of us.


Hope your week is going well.





Sunday, April 13, 2014

Week from HE - double hockey sticks

Oy vey last week was a challenge.

Monday night was a quick rehearsal for the conference, I was there early but luckily that worked out and I got all my stuff and didn't need to wait till 5pm.

Tuesday was memento night at Group Grief Counselling, I struggled with this. One I knew it would difficult to talk about my Dad and two I had no idea what to bring. My Dad didn't like attention so I know I'd keep it simple so I took a picture off my desk. Not to mention it was also the 12th anniversary of my Mom's passing it was a rough day.

 There were less people at group counselling and I can see why this was a difficult exercise. I totally burst into tears while I was talking about my Dad and I despise crying in front of people, I felt bad as I was the first person to really lose it during their presentation but after me loads of others did so maybe I made them feel comfortable.

Earlier in the day on Tuesday I had to get hosiery for the conference so I ran to the Bay at lunch, I ran past this purse and thought this is perfect for Stampede as the whole downtown core dresses western for 10 days. There was only one so I told myself if it's still there on my way back it's mine and well it was.

Hello fringe!!

Wednesday and Thursday was the conference and I managed to introduce my 4 speakers without incident and the key note speaker on the 2nd day actually made my little grey cells snap to attention, quite frankly up till then everything seemed a little meh. On the last day I did volunteer to do the speaker selection again in 2016 (next time Calgary hosts) as I learned a lot and thought of things I'd do differently.

I took Friday off as I had some more emotional errands to run. The first one was to pick up the vase I ordered for Dad. I was a nice day so I decided to walk back to the train which was about a 30 minute walk. I passed some views I haven't taken time to admire in a while.

 Lions gate bridge, these lions used to be stone but as they were deteriorating the city removed them to a safe place and replaced them with these that are made out of stronger material, though they are still as majestic.

 A glimpse into Chinatown surrounded by downtown towers and the Chinese Cultural Centre.
 The Bow River
The iconic Calgary Tower now dwarfed by the Bow Tower and Suncor Energy Centre, it actually shoots flame from the top since we hosted the Olympic in 1988.

I also visited H&R Block to do Dad's terminal return and my tax return, I finally found someone who was well versed in terminal returns and she offered to help me with the clearance certificate step as well.

Saturday was weigh in and I was up .8, but I kind of expected that. This week I'm bound and determined for a loss. I thought about joining a summer challenge on facebook but then decided against it. I don't do well in group challenges but there's no reason I can't challenge myself.

I already made my lunch for tomorrow and it's in the fridge. It's super salad week. I'm not a fan of lettuce so my salad is tomatoes, cucumber, orange pepper, red onion, mushrooms, ham and boiled egg. Sort of my version of the chopped salad.

Tomorrow I have my last individual grief counselling appointment, originally that was scheduled for after group finished but my counsellor is off to a new opportunity and I really liked her so I'm glad I can see her again.

Tuesday is another group grief counselling and it's the 2nd last one. I can't say I've learned a lot of new things but even my individual counsellor said I had done my research on grief. I have really appreciated hearing the stories of the group though and really knowing I'm not alone.

Well I need go get laundry out of the dryer, breakfast is organized and ready to go for tomorrow.

This will be a good week.