Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have


Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day?

Which one did you take part in today if you live in North America? Canada used to be free from the Black Friday madness until a few years ago; now we’re almost as bad as the U.S. with sales on everything you can think of. I don’t think a lot of it is really a savings but more of a way to lure people into stores to spend money.

By virtue of the fact I didn’t go out today I guess I could claim I celebrated Buy Nothing Day but that’s not true. I hardly ever go out anyway so me not going out for Black Friday sales is not me being political but apathetic. Most of the shopping I do is online because I can find deals better on the internet than I can going all over my local city. It’s not always a sure thing when ordering clothing or footwear but those are chances I’m willing to take for the convenience. At least I don’t have to stand in line-ups or get lost in crowds of people.


One of the advertisements I got in my inbox for Black Friday.

So did you go shopping today and take part in the Black Friday madness? Or did you make a conscious decision to avoid buying anything for today? If you don’t live in North America my apologies for my content not making much sense for where you’re living.

©Natalya for Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2015.


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Happy Canada Day! & A Bit of Rambling

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians. What am I doing to celebrate my country’s birthday? Well nothing unless you consider sitting in front of your computer on WordPress celebrating! LOL Guess my patriotism doesn’t get too stoked about these holidays. July 4th is a big deal in the U.S. but July 1st in Canada is a bit more subdued 😛

I haven’t been on here much so apologise for missing your posts. It’s really warm and humid today so I haven’t got much energy unfortunately so this post is likely to be slightly scattered like my brain at the moment. Humidity and heat really aren’t my friends. I take two antidepressants and both cause me to perspire more and be more sensitive to the sun/heat. Thus I am not loving summer so far even though I would likely be told I’m nuts because it’s cold the other three seasons and ought to enjoy it. Oh well.

Okay, I’m not thinking straight now so am going to contemplate the merits of putting my head in the freezer to cool off.



Toasters and Cooling Pads

What an odd title for a post but I couldn’t think of a better one. Today I went to Canadian Tire (a

English: Canadian Tire Money which can be used...

English: Canadian Tire Money which can be used as scrip in Canadian Tire stores under loyalty program, but is not considered a private currency (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

hardware department store in Canada) and bought a toaster for only $5.09 after I paid the bulk with Canadian Tire money! LOL I had $11 in Cdn Tire currency and the toaster was on sale so I got a good deal. Just so you know I organized the Cdn Tire money into one dollar sums because otherwise it would have taken forever to count at the checkout. If you’re unfamiliar with the Cdn Tire money it is money you get everytime you buy something in the store. It comes in $0.05,$0.10,$0.25,$0.50 and $1.00 amounts. I had some in the larger denominations but a fair amount was in the lower amounts too. It was pretty funny but I had “real” money too in case they had a limit or something on the amount of Cdn Tire money you can use for a purchase. Now I have a nice new toaster and I didn’t have to pay hardly anything for it! 😀

For my laptop I bought a cooling pad and mouse because my laptop overheats easily and my previous mouse was a crappy one from the Dollar Store! Not a great place to buy your electronics and computer accessories from! LOL It worked but it was lacking a scroll wheel and the cursor didn’t scroll smoothly or track well. Plus it wasn’t comfortable for my index finger and wrist. So my new one is wireless-Yay!- and scrolls with ease. The cooling pad seems to be working because it has been 1 hour and 40 min. since I turned my computer on and it’s not burning me! Normally it would be hot enough to fry an egg and I’d have my fan directed on it to cool it off. That worked well but it was bad when I got too cold from the fan! LOL My cooling pad is not noisy either like the one I had in the past. It was a cheaper one though and sometimes you do get what you pay for 😛

Tomorrow is my counselling appointment so I’ll post about it if anything interesting occurs. We’re also getting a buffet hutch tomorrow that was my grandmother’s before she had to go into a nursing home. I am hoping we’ll have enough space in the kitchen for it and it doesn’t look out of place. I’ve had to do a lot of rearranging since we’ve been acquiring some of her furniture. It can get kind of interesting figuring out where to put things and deciding if something can be given away or tossed.

©Natalya, 2013.


Hot, Humid and Sunny

Well hot and sunny might sound nice but throw in the humidity and you’ll have to scrape me off

A device to measure the relative humidity.

A device to measure the relative humidity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the floor. I don’t handle humidity well which is unfortunate as we are humid here more often than not. The issue is my sinuses get blocked and I end up feeling like someone sucked the life out of me (when humid too). Not fun. But at least it’s sunny! Always a silver lining 😉

In other news I am applying for a caregiver’s benefit because I do a lot for my dad since he’s become a lot less mobile/functional. It requires that I do 20 hours min. of work a week for my dad but I am having trouble with this number. Some weeks I am certain I do 20 hrs. or more but others I might do half that. It’s hard to know how to time every little thing done throughout the day. If I lived on my own and visited specifically to do the stuff I’m doing now then I could count the hours more easily. When you live with the person things get blurry and less easy to quantify. Add to that a feeling of guilt from trying to get paid for taking care of all the housework when I don’t pay anything to stay here.

There’s a part of me that wants to be so saintly I don’t mind doing everything around the house, including maintenance type jobs and laundry, reminding dad of his appointments and being his personal assistant- but I’m not a saint! Plus I have to keep decluttering all the time ’cause my dad hoards stuff. Not as badly as my mom did but he doesn’t like throwing anything out unless I can convince him to (which isn’t easy).

Then I worry when the worker comes to assess my dad and I for this benefit program that my dad will deny he needs help and I just do the stuff I do because I WANT TO! Are you kidding me? I don’t want to do everything I do but the place would look like a bomb hit it otherwise and dad would forget his appointments or not be able to find out the information he needs as he is not tech savvy in any way. But my dad lives in a constant state of denial about his health and how he’s getting older. He thinks he can still do pretty well everything he could before his hip was in need of replacement. Is this a male thing? You don’t usually find as many women in denial about their poor health or increasing age.

It’s supposed to be hot and humid for the next few days so not sure how much I’ll get done around home. Days like today really make me want to have air conditioning at home! I know there are lots of people with air conditioners but they aren’t terribly popular in my province or much of Canada for that matter. We only have hot temperatures for maybe 3 months of the year, sometimes it’s four but usually more like 2-3 months. Even then we aren’t usually getting hot weather the whole time. Air conditioners drain electricity anyway so I feel good from an environmental standpoint but we have fans on in every room. Not sure how much less electricity we use from having fans instead of A/C.

Hope everyone has a nice Friday and weekend 🙂

©Natalya, 2013.

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Day 13 of 30 Day Challenge

Question: Somewhere you’d like to move or visit?

I think I will discuss somewhere I would like to visit as that is easier than where to move.

English: Moscow Kremlin, thunderstorm brewing ...

English: Moscow Kremlin, thunderstorm brewing Русский: Кремль. Перед ливнем. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Somewhere that interests me that I’d also like to visit is Russia in the summer. It would have to be in the summer because Russia is even colder than here in Canada! Not too sure where in Russia I’d like to visit but Moscow and St. Petersburg maybe, or the Kremlin (in Moscow). The culture interests me so I haven’t really looked at the geography very much.

Another place I’d like to visit is Germany. I’ve been there already but only for two days and it was over a decade ago. There are many places I would like to go for a visit so it’s hard to only name one or two places!

©Anya of Finding Health After Illness for Natalya, 2013.


Busy But Okay

My portfolio workshop I was in for the past ten weeks ended Monday; thus I was busy trying to finish it to present to my fellow participants. It went well and I feel a lot better about my skills and myself generally than before I took it. So I would say it was useful and beneficial. We started out with 10 people but only had 4 by the end! Now I will have nothing to do on Mondays! 😦 Well, I can find something but I don’t have anything planned yet. Monday was super nice too since we had sun all day and 20 Celsius. It’s really great having such pleasant weather after the crappy winter we had. It stayed around for far too long. Dang groundhog was actually right this year! 😛

Tuesday was my last session with my counsellor because she was an intern so her placement ended at the end of April. I wasn’t really upset or sad to have to change counsellors. She was really nice and I got along with her well but often I felt we were not focused enough. I felt like I was indulging a lot of her curiosities during our sessions together, rather than focusing on a particular solution or even just having her listen. I am not unhappy about our sessions we had together though as she was genuinely a lovely person I connected with. I’m seeing a new counsellor next week. Since I haven’t met her yet I am a bit nervous but glad I can still go. My dad pays for the sessions since I am unemployed. Thankfully the fee will not increase so I am relieved about that. If the fee would have increased by much I likely would not have been able to return. However, I was told once you agree on a fee it stays the same usually (if you are on a sliding scale).

Tomorrow I am supposed to see my employment counsellor. I haven’t seen her since February when she suggested I consider counselling after I came to her depressed from my S.A.D. She had wanted me to focus on talking to someone from the Student Loans office, in person, about an amount of money owing that has prevented me from applying for further financial help to return to school. But I very stubbornly felt a great deal of internal resistance to this idea. I was angry that she was fixated on my student loans. Perhaps we had reached a stalemate and she thought this was the move that would get things moving again. Instead, for me, it just made me annoyed!(I don’t like being told what to do either!). So I never talked to anyone from Student loans about the issue I was supposed to and now I am to see my employment counsellor tomorrow. My present plan is to go to the appointment and end our counselling because we’ve pretty well taken it as far as it wants to go in my opinion. I’ve been going to her since the end of 2011 and I don’t feel like we’ve made much progress. I’ve gotten more from the workshops put on by the agency my employment counsellor is at than our individual sessions together. So I think I will just take the workshops and quit the individual employment counselling I’ve been getting.

Last night was the deadline for filing your taxes here in Canada so I had to do that yesterday when I got home after counselling (therapy counselling not employment). Fortunately I didn’t have much to do since I was unemployed for the 2012 tax year. The only reason I bothered filing was to get the GST(gov’t sales tax) cheque (a small sum of money you get quarterly if you make very little) and to keep my voting status current. Consequently I was too tired to check WordPress and read your blogs or update my own here. I’ll do my best to get caught up.

©Natalya, 2013.




Today I was quite busy running errands so didn’t get a chance to blog but I will try to do better tomorrow. I do have a few things left to do but will try writing a proper post anyway. My taxes still haven’t been done so I will be doing those too with the help of my TurboTax software. If you ever want to do your own taxes and are not an accountant or math wiz TurboTax is awesome! Totally “idiot friendly”, LOL.



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Trailer Park Boys and Rita MacNeil (*May Offend*)

In case you haven’t heard a dear Canadian musician died last night, Rita MacNeil. She was from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. A shy woman and very humble too despite her success. Well I was told about this clip I am sharing here and couldn’t resist sharing it with you. It has coarse language and involves drugs so don’t watch if you aren’t okay seeing/listening to that sort of thing. That being said, it’s a hilarious short clip a little over 2 minutes in length.

Rest In Peace Rita MacNeil.


Cancelled Due to Weather

A snow storm. Pic found on Pinterest.

Urgh! Our portfolio development workshop we were to have today got cancelled for a second time due to bad weather (not much snow but slippery roads and white out conditions due to high winds). Now we are going to have to figure out if we ‘double up’ one session and have a two for one, or use March Break. None of us in the group have kids or young ones anyhow so there’s little need for March Break. It was only scheduled in b/c many times the workshops draw mothers with school age children. This time we have child free people and young grandparents (late 40s-50s). So we may be able to use that time but I have to wait until next week’s session (provided it goes ahead!) to find out what will happen.

Maybe I will go back over my report and see if there’s anything I forgot to add or want to edit. I put it together over the weekend not realizing how time consuming it would be. It’s amazing I managed to come up with anything for some years where nothing overly monumental happened. Those were the years I pulled out the programmes for various arts and cultural events I attended! LOL Good thing I’m a sentimental one who likes hanging onto stuff that reminds me of positive times. Come to think of it I could have read my old journals but that would have taken too much time and been painful.

©Natalya, 2013.


Winter Wonderland

English: Hindhead Common in the snow Several i...

English: Hindhead Common in the snow Several inches of snow have turned the common into a Winter Wonderland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It snowed A LOT last night and is still snowing. The U.S. (northern states) are getting more than we are though. Still, I think we’ve had enough of this stuff called snow for now! We’ve probably got around 15 cm so far and will be getting another 10-15 cm today and 5 cm tomorrow. I’m hoping by Monday the snow will be cleared from the roads and sidewalks so I can make it to my portfolio development workshop. Last week we had our first session cancelled due to the snow. You know this is all the snow we missed last year when we got off easy with only a few snow falls and little snow. Seems we’re making up for it this year though!

©Natalya, 2013.