Reflections on Life Thus Far

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


Maybe I have Mice…

So I thought about it and decided I may have been hasty in my assessment of having rats. I looked up the size differences between mice and rats and viewed pics of house mice and it seems more like I have house mice. This is still bad but I feel slightly better because I figure (at least psychologically anyway) mice are somewhat less disastrous to have. They are still going to have to go though.


Image from:



A House Mouse.

House Mouse CC-BY-SA Wikipedia user 4028mdk09 Image copied from (

©Natalya, Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2016.





Life is testing me right now because after months of letting the housecleaning get put on the back burner it’s caught up to me. We have rats (roof rats) and I am really p*ssed off because I am the one doing all the cleaning now. My dad is not tidy and rarely cleans up after himself. Maybe I should cut him some slack but it feels like he doesn’t care about the clutter and dirt and he leaves it for me. In fact if it were not for the rats I likely would not have been motivated to clean up and declutter. So in that respect I am grateful for the rodents.

I’ve been trying to trap them humanely (catch and release) but they have evaded capture


Roof rat on top of a bird feeder. Pic is public domain.

thus far. All I hope for now is to eliminate the food sources and clutter so they will find somewhere else to live. Cleaning up rat poop is not fun and makes me feel worse about how slack I’ve been in keeping house these past months (prior to when I spotted one late in May). It’s like this is my punishment for being depressed and not having the motivation for keeping a clean, tidy home. Now I have no choice but to clean and declutter if I want the rats to go. Technically I have only ever seen two but I am sure there are likely more. Why do they have to be so cute? It would be easier to hate them but even now I am only angry over their unsanitary practices (i.e. pooping in places that are not the toilet, or leaving food they found before I smartened up and put the food in sealed glass containers). Honestly, I am really grossed out by their poop and have trouble falling asleep because any noise I hear makes me think of the rats. It’s wearing me down.



Roof rat. Public domain pic.

There’s just something about having a rat problem that makes me feel horribly dirty. I wish they would just leave and not return. They are making a lot of cleaning work for me and I do not like it! The grass, trees and rose bushes have to be trimmed too since they likely hide in such spots. Gosh, I feel like there is an awful lot to do so they will hopefully leave. Even if I was alright with killing them (I’m not) it would still be necessary to do the cleaning and decluttering so they don’t come back. As it is though I don’t want to kill them because they are dirty and messy but not any worse than humans. Plus they are cute and it’s awfully hard to murder a small furry creature that simply wants to live somewhere and have something to eat. I just hope they don’t damage anything important like pipes or electrical wiring.


©Natalya, Reflections on Life Thus Far, 2016.

This One Is Worth Watching!

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Made me cry but good tears at the end 🙂


Understanding Is Forgiving


To me, if you want to forgive anyone the easiest way there is by understanding them. But what if you didn’t really know them yet their existence had an effect on you. In my case I am trying to understand a grandparent who committed incest with his daughter (my mom) over the span of her childhood. I would really like to understand what caused his behaviour so I can drop my anger towards him. He’s been dead a long time but his actions influenced my upbringing since my mother sexually abused me too (primarily covert abuse). I have released 99% of the anger towards my mom but I have not released any toward the grandfather.

How does one go about understanding someone you never knew? At this rate I am not going to be able to forgive him at all. My heart is not that generous.

©Natalya Lyubov, Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2016.



The middle one has a garbage disposal! Sweet!

The middle one has a garbage disposal! (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Mine doesn’t have a garbage disposal. Also, picture pots and pans on the counters and floor.

Yesterday evening I was very proud of myself as I finally washed all the dishes in the sinks and cleaned the sinks too. After I had put everything away and had the kitchen looking reasonable my dad looked under the sink (several hours later) and found a drip from the pipes that had leaked onto the cupboard floor board. I was out of the room when he found it and when I came back he had pots and pans all over the floor, counters and stove top! I was so irritated and peeved my efforts to keep the kitchen clean had come apart. I’d gone from feeling satisfied with myself to fuming, LOL. Dad was wiping up the excess water under the sink and I was wringing my hands metaphorically and trying to not “flip out”. Fortunately, I didn’t do anything too reprehensible, aside from being overtly irritable and impolite. As it was nearing midnight I stalked off to bed hoping to sleep off my irritation.

The plumber can’t come ’til tomorrow so I have to put up with a bunch of pots and pans on the floor and counter until they fix the pipe(s). Grrrrr! I’m less irritable than last night but still peeved because I really, really hate messes especially after I just finish making a space clean and tidy.

Things could be worse so no need to remind me of that. I am simply venting!

©Natalya, 2013.


Unsolicited Phone Calls From Microsoft

This morning I got a phone call from “Microsofttechnical support. My dad had answered the phone and passed it to me so I didn’t know who it was. The man said he was from Microsoft and I had an infection on my computer he would help me with. I don’t know why I didn’t hang up right away but I had only just gotten up and hadn’t even eaten yet or had my coffee. So I gave this guy my login information for my computer and I know it was likely a stupid thing to do but it’s done now. If I’d been awake longer I might have thought better of it. Anyhow, I was on the phone for nearly three quarters of an hour with this guy and he said he could fix the problem if I paid for a registry certificate that would be good for the next 17 years! Well it cost close to $400 and I just couldn’t believe this was legitimate. Anyway, long story short-I thanked the person for their “help” and hung up. I don’t have any credit cards because I’m in debt and said as much so the guy’s response was to ask my family! What?! Seriously?

By this point I was waking up mentally and the alarm bells were ringing in my head. It left me feeling very stressed after hanging up because I know it wasn’t good that I gave the guy access to my computer even if he didn’t get any money from me. I’m just worried still that something bad will happen. It really made me anxious. I hate when these things occur. Normally I don’t answer the phone if the number is not recognizable but my dad had answered so I was unaware of the caller-except for what they told me. These kinds of things stress me out a lot. I am still feeling anxious and the phone call was three hours ago.

I really hope my computer is okay and the guy didn’t do anything harmful to it whilst trying to “help” me. Maybe being unemployed and poor is good sometimes as I had no money to give the guy anyhow even if I did have credit cards. He even said I could use Paypal but I have little money so that was no better. Guess I am glad about that because I wasn’t really all that alert yet when on the phone. The overt request for money made me “wake up” in a hurry though. I hung up shortly after realizing what the phone call probably was-a scam.

Anyone else have phone calls like the one I had?

©Natalya, 2013.



Day 26 of 30 Day Challenge


debt (Photo credit: Alan Cleaver)

Question: If you had a million dollars to spend how would you spend it?

Well if I had to SPEND the million dollars I would pay off my student loan debt, pay my sister’s student loan debt and take care of any bills my dad had. Then I would buy myself some half decent clothes and get my “look” updated. I’d make a trip to the dentist and have my dental check up and x-rays then check out veneers because of my overbite and uneven teeth. Then I’d actually smile in my photos because I would like my teeth for once! lol

Next thing I would do is buy my dad an RV or trailer to have on his property where he grew up because he loves it there but can’t afford to put anything permanent there. Or I’d get some other structure if he preferred that instead. I would finally be able to afford to move out and get a place to live and I’d help my sister and her family move into a better apartment or house. Oh yeah, I could also get driving instruction and my license then buy a car! LOL

I’d also love to take some further university courses or find a program to study that I can’t afford currently. It would be awesome to know I could afford ANY university or college degree or diploma I was interested in provided I qualified for it otherwise.

Assuming I have to spend the entire million dollars I would help out my favourite charities then take a trip to a few different places I have always wanted to go. I’d also be able to have a dog and look after him/her.

Most importantly I could find a therapist and afford to see them more than once or twice a month. It would be  nice to explore art therapy and maybe try out a few contemplative practices that are focused on healing your heart and mind too.

Realistically though I would not want to spend it all. Instead I would try to invest most of it and make modest purchases and pay down or off debts I have and my dad and sister have. It would mean I would not have to worry so much about what kind of job to take since the wage would not matter as much. There was a time I could have p***ed it all away in very short order but I was a foolish teenager then and at 31 I am a bit more practical and slightly wiser!

What would you do with a million dollars if you had to spend it?

©Natalya, 2013.



Gray Days

April was a fairly dry month where I live but we’re making up for it now because it’s been wet all week. I am feeling disappointed with the local weather reporting too because today was supposed to be sunny and warm. Instead it’s damp and cold like it’s been all week and I don’t think we’ll see any sun until next week. Cloudy, overcast and cold stretches like this make me feel down. There’s no opportunity to get outside and do anything because it’s cold and wet. Sure I could “dress for it” but it’s May and I don’t want to have to bundle myself up to tidy the yard. So I’m a little bit blue today wishing for the sun to return. Haven’t seen any since last week! When you’re prone to low moods long stretches of gray, cold days can be a bummer to say the least.

Since the weather has been so miserable I have kept indoors and used my time to organize the kitchen cupboards. The cupboards are now orderly and it’s easier to find what you want. I even washed the plates and bowls that were in the cupboards because they were full of crumbs and dust…don’t ask! My dad manages to make some things very gross. The utensils also had a washing because, like the dishes, they had crumbs and dust around/on them. Now I don’t feel the need to wash a dish or utensil off before I use it when I take it out of the cupboard! The drinking cups/mugs still need a washing but at least they’re arranged neatly now instead of in disarray like before.

You know the grossest thing was cleaning out the cupboards and finding dead bugs. I vacuumed them up along with the dust and crumbs. Sometimes I just can’t understand how my parents didn’t mind so much filth. Although my mom is dead now my dad is just as messy as she was. Thankfully he doesn’t collect stuff like she did but he’ll hoard containers and lids to use for later. The stack of pie plates he had was shocking too. I wonder why he thinks he needs so many for. I put the majority of them into the recycling! I didn’t throw out much though because I know hoarding is anxiety related. So if I’d thrown out much he’d have panic’d and maybe kept everything. One needs to widdle down clutter gradually if the person collecting the clutter is a hoarder.

The comical thing about my dad is when something is put back in the spot it is supposed to be in he can’t find it! He needs it to be out somewhere on a counter or somewhere it isn’t supposed to be! LOL I put the utensils in the drawer and he was puzzled they weren’t in the sink! I genuinely worry he’s getting dementia but hopefully it’s “just” his learning disability. If he hadn’t been such a workaholic up until he retired I might have known how he behaved but I only got to know his habits when he left work. So if his behaviour is what it always was I don’t know because he was always at work, not home.

Perhaps it is because my mom had Alzheimer’s and my grandmothers had/have dementias, as well as an aunt, that I worry about my dad. He’s 66 in another week or so and I am concerned about him. He tells me he has always been like he is now though so I guess I just have to trust he is right.

©Natalya, 2013.



New Counsellor

A cute monkey 🙂

Tuesday I met my new counsellor after my last one had to leave because her internship had ended. The new counsellor seems good so far. I felt a connection so that’s a positive sign since I don’t like having to ask to see someone else. Unexpectedly, I ended up crying quite a bit as I recounted what I thought by now would be ‘routine’. Instead, I sat crying for a fair portion of the session. It’s a good sign if I am able to be emotionally vulnerable on my first meeting with a therapist or counsellor. Otherwise it means I am guarded. So I see the crying as a good thing.

I won’t get to see my new counsellor again until the end of the month because she’s going on vacation. Hopefully things will be okay and I will be alright. The only thing plaguing me is what do I do next? I thought by now I’d know what I want to do but I am still clueless. Thus, all I have been capable of is housekeeping and yard work. Both things that aren’t very much fun but they do give me a feeling of satisfaction when I can make a space look nicer than before. I’ve also been helping my dad sell his car. So I have been keeping busy but I feel like I ought to have a better idea of what I’m doing when and where. Right now I just see myself as doing things that need to be done but maybe aren’t important. They’re things that need doing though. Living in a messy and unclean environment doesn’t make me feel positive. In that sense, then, I am contributing at least to the maintenance of my home. Also, I try to provide an ear to my dad and help him out.

It was warm and sunny today so I got outside and trimmed the rose bushes a bit more. Otherwise I stayed indoors because the sun was actually a bit much for me. Even though it was only 20 Celsius it was humid. It’s hard to feel like doing much when you’re warm. Mind you in a month or two this will feel cool! Already the mosquitoes and black flies are out-I could live without them though!

©Natalya, 2013.




Organized Chaos

A monk sweeping at his temple in Dehiwalla

A monk sweeping at his temple in Dehiwalla (Photo credit: Oatsandsugar)

As I continue my Spring cleaning I am getting outside more to work on the yard. It seems that there is a sort of momentum that has come about as a result of my cleaning efforts. Even my dad is beginning to assess what he needs to hold on to or get rid of. I never imagined Spring cleaning could develop into a part of my daily life. For a long time I existed in clutter and dirt but once I started cleaning it’s been impossible to go back. There has been a steady development from decluttering to actually managing to turn to smaller details. It used to be so hard to clean because of all the clutter but as I have gotten rid of so much it’s become easier to keep the ball rolling so to speak. A clean and tidy space sounds like no big deal but it is a da*n miracle in my house. My mother was a compulsive hoarder when she was still alive so housework was nearly impossible. Now I can think about cleaning without wondering how on earth I will manage it because there’s so much stuff in the way. It just feels so liberating! Unless you have lived with a compulsive hoarder for years you may not fully appreciate the gravity of my experience and feelings. It’s hard to convey the utter despair, frustration and lethargy that can descend in such an atmosphere of over cluttering and dirt. Just moving about is hard because of everything that is in the way. Now I am actually able to move about easily and see the surface of things again! I can even clean them!

There are still areas of my home needing decluttering and cleaning but I can identify them now whereas before everything was requiring decluttering and cleaning! Before I thought in terms of what areas were clean and how might I keep them that way in such an environment of disorganization and chaos. So I am truly grateful these days for having the energy to continue my efforts in decluttering and cleaning. These are simple things but so important to your wellness. Have you ever noticed the effects a dirty, cluttered room has on your mood or energy levels? It literally can zap your good mood and energy if you have to stay in it any length of time. Just imagine living like that for years! I had no control over anything as a child so I developed an eating disorder. For 15 years I either starved or deprived myself of food to stay very underweight. A part of the reason I did that was to feel like I had some kind of power in my life. My parents were quite neglectful so didn’t consider my low weight an issue. Thankfully, I am in a healthier state these days.

Spring cleaning has brought about a sense of calm and peace in my life never present before. I really delight in the simple  things. A clean bathroom or dust free shelf is enough to give me a feeling of balance. When I look about and see order and organization after so many awful years of disaster I smile inwardly. Not feeling a sense of shame when someone unexpectedly shows up for a visit is worth its weight in gold. Life can be hard but keeping a Zen-like environment can be extremely helpful for bringing that sense of calm and peace I mentioned earlier. Attending to one’s living space is not about impressing others but to reflect the respect you have for yourself. I realize lots of people clean for other reasons but to me it is a measure of how much I respect myself. If I leave my living space to get cluttered and dirty I feel that means I don’t value myself very much. I’m sure there are a number of interpretations one could find that are positive but for me dirt and clutter is a negative thing.

How do you view clutter and dirt in your living space? Is it something you can live with or do you need to keep things more in order?

©Anya, 2013.