Reflections on Life Thus Far

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


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I found this image on Pinterest and really liked both the visual and message printed at the top of it.




Tired of Winter (It’s Supposed to be Spring!)



Cute raccoon hanging on opossum’s tail. Just because 🙂

Winter isn’t letting go here and I am feeling my energy levels evaporating each time I shovel. Officially it is Spring but you wouldn’t know that to look outside. Outside it’s blustery and snow mixed with freezing rain makes for tricky conditions (driving/walking). Fortunately, the snow we got last week has largely gone due to rain we got afterward but there’s still a fair amount about. Maybe Spring will get here in another week or so then we won’t lose the whole season to cruddy winter! As you can tell my tolerance for cold temps and snow/freezing rain is pretty low.

Yesterday I saw my counsellor where I complained about the weather and how it’s making me cranky. That likely took more time than was reasonable which makes me think I’m stalling or experiencing resistance to something. My resistance is likely due to not wanting to talk about why I never go out or have a social life. My excuse is it’s too difficult to go out and try having fun in social situations. Historically, social situations have not been fun for me so I am already primed to expect negative outcomes. It doesn’t do much for getting me out the door to try retesting the experience. My counsellor would like for me to try going out a bit more so I am not such a hermit like I am now. Currently, I spend most of my time at home unless I have an appointment or my dad has one where he needs help from me. So I really don’t know how to have fun unless it’s on my own. Making myself vulnerable enough to experience new situations with people I don’t know is scary for me. Suddenly my fears of rejection and abandonment come back in a most irrational way.

Sweet raccoon and opossum hanging onto the moon.

Sweet raccoon and opossum hanging onto the moon.

I’m really good at finding courage for facing stuff that scares me internally but externally it’s a whole other issue. In a way my fear is from inside me but it’s a visible or concrete one that can be observed. Recently, the social anxiety has lessened in low social pressure situations like going to the grocery store but stayed the same for social situations requiring me to interact more, such as conversations longer than a minute or two. Maybe I am supposed to just go slowly. But it feels like I have nothing to “show” for all the time I’ve been taking to work on healing myself so I get frustrated. It’s my darn ego trying to trick me into being its slave again! Guess I’ll just have to work on cultivating my patience further.

That’s it for now. I am going to read some blog posts now since I have been slacking in that area.

©Natalya, 2014 for Reflections On Life Thus Far.


Proud of Myself

Too cute!!! 🙂

Wow, I am proud of myself today! I finally cleaned up a spot in my dining room that had become unsightly and in need of cleaning. My parents both keep stuff in inappropriate places but since my mom’s dead it’s just my dad to deal with, thus it’s not as bad. So my dad had been keeping five snow shovels in the corner of our dining room year round for the past who knows how long (years). Anyway, I got sick of seeing that corner with the unsightly snow shovels and fishing rods there not being attended to. Ultimately I managed to negotiate with my dad to only keep two inside and have the other three in our garden shed. It’s progress. Now there’s the fishing rods and two snow shovels and a few other things I’d rather throw out but it’s an improvement. I swept up the dust and mopped before putting the aforementioned objects back in a tidier manner.

Then I saw that in my living room in an area I usually neglect there were dead ant bodies on the carpet in a layer of dust! I have no idea how they ended up in that area because there’s nothing attractive for them there as far as I can tell. It kind of dismayed me too because my dad and I don’t kill the ants we just let them roam freely (they’re small black ants-possibly carpenter but unsure- there aren’t many of them). So seeing dead ants lying in dust was just unsettling. Normally the ants stay in the kitchen but will go to other rooms too. The majority stay in the kitchen though. I don’t kill them because they aren’t really hurting anyone (there are not very many) and my dad doesn’t kill them because he just sees them as God‘s creatures. We both have religious reasons for leaving them be but different religions, LOL! The funny thing is my dad won’t kill bugs but eats animals. I don’t.

I am feeling much better since cleaning that spot I mentioned in our dining area and the coat closet yesterday. Honestly, I’ve cleaned and tidied/decluttered more in the past month or so than the past couple of years! This is a very good Spring Cleaning year for me. I have really ‘stepped up to the plate’. Yay me! lol

The weather is really nice out today. I might go outside and try to enjoy it before the day is over and I realize I spent it inside cleaning.

©Natalya, 2013.


Shoveling Snow to Welcome Spring :P

Schneeschaufel snow shovel

Schneeschaufel snow shovel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Today is the first day of Spring and what did I end up doing to ‘celebrate’? Shoveling! It snowed last night about 10 cm so by morning it looked winter-like. When I went outside it was mild and sunny but the snow was wet and heavy to lift. My arms are sore now. I really hope it doesn’t snow much Friday. So far it’s been forecast that we may have flurries or rain. The rain is actually preferable to the flurries. Hopefully we will be lucky and not have too much of a mess.


I’m ready to not look at the shovel again until next winter! Besides the snow, I am also ready to bid farewell to sudden blasts of icy cold temperatures like we had on Monday here. How was the first day of Spring for you? Or Fall if you’re in Australia/NZ?


©Natalya, 2013.



Snow Again!

English: Snowed in Snow on the hill has often ...

English: Snowed in Snow on the hill has often prevented getting to work – shame really! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please make it stop!!! It snowed again overnight and this morning so in addition to what we had yesterday we got another 10 cm. I shoveled snow Saturday after about 30 cm fell (give or take a few cm), then Sunday I had to shovel too. Seriously! This is crazy. We never get snow as often as we’ve been getting this year. I hate it. The only benefit is it gets me outside and off my butt! 😛

If it never snows again this winter I’ll be happy. Last year we had a very mild winter with little snow. This year it’s been VERY cold and snowed lots. Old Man Winter can pack up and leave NOW! He’s overstayed his welcome.

Tomorrow is supposed to be okay (no snow) so hopefully my portfolio development workshop I signed up for will be able to go ahead. Last week it was cancelled due to that four letter white stuff. I’m not fond of getting up early to make it there on time but it’s not too bad. Traffic might be another story though since we were advised the highways (motorways) would not be fully cleared for another day.

Now I’m doing my laundry and preparing for tomorrow. Fun! 😛

©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.


Holy S*it, It Snowed!

Well we got our snow that was forecast and then some 😛 Right now there’s about 10-15

Snowed trees on mount Brocken, Harz, Germany
Snowed trees on mount Brocken, Harz, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

cm down on the ground and we are due for some more overnight and tomorrow! Spring, hurry up and arrive!!!

As you can tell I am NOT a ‘good’ Canadian 😉 I get upset over snow and cold temperatures despite having lived in this country my whole life. The optimist in my head is shouting over the whiny voice that it’s so pretty outside. Pretty! Oy. It does look very picturesque but it makes for lousy walking and driving conditions. My portfolio development workshop will likely be cancelled tomorrow. Our first session and already we’re using our ‘storm day’ provision. This doesn’t bode well. I can only hope the following weeks are more agreeable.

What do you do when there’s lots of snow? Provided you live somewhere where it actually

English: Child making a (North Dallas, Texas).
English: Child making a (North Dallas, Texas). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

snows of course. Do you sulk as I do or find ways to embrace the natural beauty of the season? I feel so ashamed of myself. When I was a child the snow made me happy because I got to slide and make snowmen, etc so it was fun. Now I don’t play in the snow and just curse under my breath when there’s a snow flurry! lol

I’m not really into winter sports so there’s not a lot for me to do during the season. My feet always end up cold and so does the rest of me. If I dress warm enough not to be cold I’m uncomfortable! Very few adults wear the appropriate clothes for winter I’ve noticed. When skiing or skating though it is a bit better. Still, my point is I am physically uncoordinated and challenged when it comes to participating in sports. It brings up anxieties in me about looking foolish or silly. In many ways I’ve overcome my cognitive distortions but due to not having opportunities to practice, I remain rigid when considering winter activities.

Maybe it’s also because as a child, when my family would go out somewhere to ski cross

English: Canadian winter sports, snowshoeing a...
English: Canadian winter sports, snowshoeing and skiing. Français : Sports d’hiver canadiens, la raquette et le ski. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

country or skate, I’d end up cold. My mom didn’t think to advise me to dress warmer or buy me wool socks. So I’d have my cotton socks on in the ski boots and end up with frozen feet. My mom would want to finish her skiing though so I’d have to follow behind her with my freezing feet and crying because I wanted to go sit in the car. Basically I was always made to stay past the point of comfort and my mom didn’t have much concern for my feelings. It always felt painful and I hated going with her to do any type of activities. She’d be comfortable and had no problem ignoring my sister and I if we were not so comfortable.

Now I have these negative memories from my childhood around winter activities and can’t enjoy the season. All I associate it with is emotional pain stemming from what was originally physical pain and emotional neglect from my mother. Until now when I was writing this post the memories of my discomfort from winter sports had eluded my conscious memory. It’s back in my conscious awareness now so I guess I am glad I ‘found out’ what the reason is for my distinct lack of enthusiasm for all things winter.

When you have a Narcissist for a parent (mother) it can complicate things that ought to be

sweater - clothes for winter
sweater – clothes for winter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

simple. Lots of people enjoy winter and get to have fun but I had a mother who ignored me when I told her my feet were freezing. When I say ‘freezing’ that is literal because they often got close to hypothermia stage. My winter clothes weren’t exactly sufficient either. Mom took care of her own needs first and if she remembered my sister and I we’d be looked after. But we were an after thought.

I think in many ways it was ‘benign neglect’ because my mom had little knowledge of what constituted appropriate winter dress. She’d stay warm because she wore several layers of clothes but I didn’t know enough to do anything similar and was not advised either. As a child my mother grew up in a poor family so she often didn’t have appropriate clothing and outerwear. That is why I think it was not totally intentional on her part. I don’t think she meant to be neglectful but she didn’t care about my feelings either. I forgive her but it still leaves me feeling like a misanthrope towards winter instead of people!

Do you have any suggestions on how to make winter a more positive experience? Remember that I am not very sports oriented but appreciate any ideas you may have on how to enjoy winter more. Thank you.

©Natalya, 2013.


Groundhog Day Blues


Groundhog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well our groundhog ,for my area, saw his shadow-six more weeks of winter! Anyone know if it’s 6 more weeks IN ADDITION TO the usual season? Or is it just 6 weeks from the date the groundhog sees his shadow? If it’s the former I’m p*ssed, if the latter I am okay because winter doesn’t end for that long anyhow. We’re supposed to have snow tomorrow after we just got rid of the beastly white stuff from a few mild days and rain. Now we have to have more dumped on us! Grrr

I’m always more annoyed when we get snow after we manage to get rid of it. Tomorrow we’re expected to get 10-15 cm and another few cm on Monday with ice pellets. For pity’s sake why does winter have to suck so much? In order to be warm I’ve got to wear layers if it’s below 0 Celsius. Consequently, I’m always walking about feeling 10 pounds heavier and sweating to death inside stores. Lately we’ve had deep freeze temps followed by a few days of above zero temps which melted the snow. Snow makes me grumpy because I have to shovel it and unless it’s powdery it gets heavy.

Today I took the day off from my housekeeping ‘duties’ and bought a few cleaning supplies instead! LOL Monday I am supposed to attend my portfolio development workshop for 9 am but if it is crappy weather it might get cancelled. We were told if the schools close our workshop is cancelled. Hopefully the weather will be alright so I can still make it to the workshop-it’s the first day (last one was an info session).

Well did the groundhog see his shadow or not in your area?

©Natalya, 2013.


Blah Today

I’m very tired today. Got up way too early for my liking to make it to a doctor’s appointment but first had to clean snow off the car 4 times since it kept getting covered again! Lousy snow! Roads were slippery and visibility poor. Anyhow, got my prescription I needed and a “bonus”, my flu shot 😛 It stung my arm and now I just feel tired with a bit of an upset stomach. Might be the flu shot or my overly sensitive stomach reacting to a yucky doughnut I ate. Either way I feel guilty for not posting yet so have a picture to share since I don’t have the energy to write anything interesting.