Reflections on Life Thus Far

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

Happy Holidays!



Holiday Mini Schnauzer Chef 🙂 Pic from Pinterest 





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Day 24 of 30 Day Challenge

Question/discuss: Your favourite movie and what is it about?

My favourite movie is a made for T.V. one, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss -yes,

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (TV special)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (TV special) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the animated cartoon! I love that movie. It comes on every December before Christmas and is only half an hour long but so cute. I love the characters and message of the movie. It’s such a sweet, charming little movie and I don’t get tired of seeing it because it’s only half an hour long. Most of you probably have some idea of what it’s about but if not it’s about the Grinch who has no Christmas spirit and wants to take away the Whoville people’s presents and food. He thinks if he takes their gifts and food they’ll be as miserable as he is but finds out they are still happy because they have each other. They also know that Christmas is not about the gifts or special food so the Grinch sees this and has a change of heart-literally as his heart grows that day by two sizes! Then he gives the things back that he took from the Who’s and they invite him and his little dog to join them for Christmas. It’s just a sweet little movie. I have seen the one with Jim Carry and liked it too but I prefer the T.V. version best.

©Natalya, 2013.


Did You Survive Christmas?

Well I just got back from visiting with my sister and niece, along with my dad and I. We had a nice time. The gifts weren’t exactly “me” but at least my sister and niece were thinking of me. The meal was enjoyable. Having someone else make the meal is always nice right there. I may have eaten too many sugar cookies before my supper but I still managed to eat a serving of everything, including a piece of pie afterward.

I managed to get my niece a few gifts she actually liked-on her birthday I missed the target and she was unimpressed, this

English: Sizzle the Bear.

English: Sizzle the Bear. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

time she seemed happier. I was glad I bought her a huggable bear because no one else got her any stuffies(stuffed plush toys), she’s only 7 after all. She was visibly delighted with the bear which made me feel happy for her. Then I took a picture of her hugging the bear and smiling her toothy smile (she’s missing her two front teeth). Sadly, the school photographer had told her to close her mouth for her pictures so

Julia Margaret Cameron-I wait

Julia Margaret Cameron-I wait (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

when my sister gave us her picture from school she looked sad. Said photographer told her to close her mouth because she had her front teeth missing. I felt really crushed for my niece. She really looked very forlorn when normally she looks happy when smiling. It upset me a photographer would tell a 7 year old child they should close their mouth for the picture due to a few missing teeth. That is what happens when you’re a child-you loose teeth! Mean S.O.B. photographer! Her eyes looked doleful or melancholy. It breaks my heart.

Gift Box

Gift Box (Photo credit: Maeflower72)

On a brighter note, I didn’t get too much this year that I want to donate. There are a few things but it doesn’t bother me like it used to. Now I just think about the person who gave it to me being considerate enough to get me something. I haven’t yet talked about next Christmas and whether or not to scrap giving gifts altogether. Perhaps we could agree on a certain amount and do it that way. That would give me time to transition to a gift free Christmas!

So how was your day? Did you manage to survive without wanting to hide away until the new year?

©Reflectionsonlifethusfar, 2012.


Season’s Greetings

For some of you, including myself, this is a difficult time of year. The expectations pushed from every direction, including one’s family, the larger culture you belong to, and retail. How can you avoid something so inescapably in your face. The radio shows I normally tune into to listen to have been subsumed by Christmas music and stories; this, despite the fact they pretend to be unattached to a particular religious affiliation, is what I’ve been subjected to in place of my regular favourites. In case you’re wondering I listen to the CBC (Canada’s version of the BBC). Normally they provide wonderful programming and news but this time of year they focus on Christmas. I suppose being public broadcasters they have to pander to the majority somewhat in order to maintain listeners, but it’s rather annoying if you’re not hyped for the holidays as they assume everyone to be.

There are countless people with nobody to share the holidays with in an environment saturated with messages of familial appreciation and communion. No wonder suicides spike at this time of year! What lonely person wants to be bombarded with “Christmas spirit” 24/7 from the media and retail? Not to mention co-workers and people you don’t know or don’t like! When did we end up being subjugated to play along in a game we never agreed to be in? I know, I know I sound Grinch like or Scrooge like but there are lots who feel similar to me. Next year I hope I find the backbone to participate in a gift less Christmas. I’ll buy a gift for my niece but the rest I’m going to focus on at the very least giving an experience. If someone bought me a ticket to the movies(cinema) that would be inexpensive and I’d enjoy it. Or a meal gift card would be okay too. Finding space for gifts you don’t want is horrible. On the one hand the person was considerate to get you something, but on the other hand you’re stuck with, in many cases, something you’d rather toss (either to charity or in the trash).

What are your plans over the next few days? Are you hiding until everything is over? Or are you wishing it would never end?

©Reflectionsonlifethusfar, 2012.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (TV special)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (TV special) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Holidays and Dysfunctional Families

Monday is Thanksgiving in Canada so that means pressure to get together with family. In case you’re unfamiliar with

English: "The First Thanksgiving at Plymo...

English: “The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanksgiving it’s a day to gather with family over a dead animal or Tofurkey(soy based “meat”) and lots of vegetables and usually pumpkin or apple pie. Typically people eat too much, sort of like at Christmas time if you celebrate it. Thanksgiving is from the days when the Mayflower ship held European colonists looking to settle in Canada and the U.S.A.. The Mayflower got to Canada first and being hungry the First Nations people/Aboriginals generously hosted a feast for the scum bag colonists. Sorry did I let that slip? The colonists treated the Aboriginals in cruel ways. Anyhow, the Aboriginals fed the European settlers and they piled back onto their boat to go the U.S., which is why Thanksgiving is over a month later in the U.S..

Now that I’ve given you a history lesson I’ll move on. I dislike holidays where you’re expected to gather with family you usually try and avoid. Then suddenly you are all together playing big happy family with everyone’s issues bubbling close enough to the surface so that if alcohol is involved you might just get some

tofurkey feast

tofurkey feast (Photo credit: mira mira on the wall)

free entertainment! Except you don’t want it. My family doesn’t drink. We just sit around awkwardly trying to think of ‘neutral’ things to say with my sister usually being the hostess. I mean, I don’t want to make it seem like my sister doesn’t try but she shoves us together with her blended family with people we don’t really know around a holiday meal. We’re supposed to somehow bridge the lack of communication leading up to this event and know what to say to each other. Unfortunately, most of us are quiet and feel uncomfortable. Occasionally we get off ‘easy’ and my sister invites us over without the extended family from her partner’s side (he was married before and has kids) and it almost goes well. But it still ends up being uncomfortable because my sister and dad don’t want to talk about anything I’m remotely interested in. It just ends up such that I dread any major holiday involving a family gathering around a meal. If not for my young niece I would likely avoid any invitation to my sister’s place for dinner. I make the effort to show up and be ‘good’ so my niece isn’t affected negatively.

What do normal people do for holiday meals? I mean healthy people without a family tree full of nuts? Sometimes I end

English: Saying grace before carving the turke...

English: Saying grace before carving the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner in the home of Earle Landis in Neffsville, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

up feeling really sad because I imagine everyone else has a nice meal with their family and I don’t. It gets to be a lot for me. In fact I have a sense of shame attached to holiday meals. Every holiday stirs up shame in me and I really dislike it. I dread people asking how my Thanksgiving went or Christmas or whatever other major holiday you can think of. It feels like they’re pulling a band-aid off a wound. I think a lot of people dread holiday gatherings for various reasons but if you grew up in a toxic family environment it’s just that much harder to cope with. How do holiday gatherings make you feel? Do you enjoy them or dread them?

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.