Lesson learned.

Sometimes I just feel like life is a joke. It’s an endless cycle of not really getting things I want sprinkled with very tiny moments of times that I do.

I know I’m whining but sometimes I feel like I just keep struggling like my life is teaching me the same lesson over and over and over.

I get it already. I probably just make bad decisions and deserve everything. And I feel lost.

Engagement

I recently got engaged to the best man I know. I feel extremely lucky. It’s not a surprise, to be honest. We’ve been talking about marriage for a long time. I just didn’t know when it would happen. But when it did, I was caught off guard, and it was perfect the way he did it.

We were in Banff, Alberta, Canada. We like to take a cold vacation every year, and boy did this one deliver. At the coldest, it was -2° F (-19° C), which was a first for me. I had never been in weather so bitterly cold that it hurt to breathe. But despite the cold, we still managed to get out and enjoy the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. We saw loads of frozen lakes, frozen waterfalls, frozen rivers, wildlife… we ate Canadian food, which is not unlike American food, but it is more in touch with the wilderness. We treated ourselves to expensive meals, tours, activities and maple cream cookies. It was an active trip.

In the end, I know I can look forward to being with my best friend for life. It’s been a strange feeling. Partly feels the same, but also feels weird to be on this side of a relationship. A lot of my anxiety actually has more to do with the ceremony and wedding than the actual marriage. In a lot of ways we’ve been “married” for a while. We’re open about our finances together, make decisions together and support each other in every aspect. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs, and I’m just not convinced anyone else can love me as fully and unconditionally the way he does. He tries so hard to make our life good, and I can’t take that for granted.

Ok, here are some photos:

Center of town, Banff, looking towards Cascade Mountain.
Sulphur Mountain
View of the town of Banff from Sulphur Mountain.
View of Cascade Mountain from Sulphur Mountain
Christmas-y trees over Bow River Valley.
All trees are Christmas trees here.
More Christmas trees, Sulphur Mountain.
Sulphur Mountain
Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station
Frozen waterfall, Johnston Canyon lower falls.
Wild elk
Frozen Lake Minnewanka (or Lake “Willy Wonka”)
Waiting for sports to end.
Almost missed it.
Lone wolf
Wolvessss
A small chair.

All 31 in one go

I don’t really like to do these in my Instagram stories, but I’ll do it here. For a long time, music was my world. And now I don’t care as much for it as I did.

  1. A song you like with a color in the title: “Silver Springs” – Fleetwood Mac
  2. A song you like with a number in the title: “Thirteen” – Big Star
  3. A song that reminds you of summertime: “Motorcycle Drive By” – Third Eye Blind
  4. A song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget: “A Case of You” – Joni Mitchell
  5. A song that needs to be played loud: “Sam’s Town” – The Killers
  6. A song that makes you want to dance: “Call Your Girlfriend” – Robyn
  7. A song to drive to: “Take Me Home, Country Roads” – John Denver
  8. A song about drugs or alcohol: “Black Balloon” – Goo Goo Dolls
  9. A song that makes you happy: “Breakin’ Up” – Rilo Kiley
  10. A song that makes you sad: “Evaporated” – Ben Folds Five
  11. A song you never tired of: “Terrible Vision” – Rhett Miller
  12. A song from your preteen years: “I’ll Make Love to You” – Boyz II Men
  13. A song you like with from the 70s: “What A Fool Believes” – The Doobie Brothers
  14. A song you’d love to be played at your wedding: “That One Night” – Hunter
  15. A song you like that’s covered by another artist: “We Will Become Silhouettes” The Postal Service
  16. A song you that’s a classic favorite: “The End of the World” – Skeeter Davis
  17. A song you’d sing a duet with someone at karaoke: “Jackson” – Johnny Cash & June Carter
  18. A song from the year you were born: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – Bonnie Tyler
  19. A song that makes you think about life: “A Comet Appears” – The Shins
  20. A song that has many meanings to you: “Cruel World” – Willie Nelson
  21. A song you like with a person’s name in the title: “Helena” – Nickel Creek
  22. A song that makes you move forward: “A Better Version of Me” – Fiona Apple
  23. A song you think everybody should listen to: nature
  24. A song by a band you wish were still together: “More Adventurous” – Rilo Kiley
  25. A song you like by an artist no longer living: “Everyday” – Buddy Holly
  26. A song that makes you want to fall in love: “Sometimes” – Rhett Miller
  27. A song that breaks your heart: “Wheel” – John Mayer
  28. A song by an artist whose voice you love: “Fallingwater” – Maggie Rogers
  29. A song you remember from your childhood: “Bad” – Michael Jackson
  30. A song that reminds you of yourself: “Hand Me Down” – The Wallflowers
  31. A song that comforts your soul: “Round Here” – Counting Crows

Social relief

I’m actually sometimes relieved when I find out that someone has unfollowed me on Instagram. I often feel pressured to keep up and to pretend that I care when I don’t. Does that sound awful? I’m like, Thank god I wasn’t the only one!

Not sleeping, and feeling old

I haven’t really been sleeping lately. I’ve been having anxiety dreams and other things keeping me up. Like for instance, my feet get super hot. Like, to the point where I have to go and rinse them in the tub. The plus side is I’ve been able to greatly reduce my overall chronic pain, thanks to some internet purchases. It’s still there, but it’s far more manageable.

I think there are some things in my life I need to let go of. Old feelings on things I can’t control or change. Old grudges, old dreams… I’m just getting too old for this.

 

Frontier Spawn

I realized recently that Little House on the Prairie was on Amazon Prime, so I started watching it again recently. I grew up watching these but never in the order that they came out. I also somehow got Jordan to watch with me and I’m super happy that he also loves this show.

I’ve had an obsession with the Old West for a very long time. I was actually waiting in a dentist office today reading the BBC History publication about taming the Wild West. (By the way, there were a lot of grammatical errors in it too.) I don’t know why I feel so drawn to the lore of that era. Maybe because it’s close enough in time that it feels tangible, yet distinctly  mythical in some ways. Maybe because it’s a part of what made me who I am. My parents were frontiersmen in their own right. I’m the daughter of two people who were brave enough to move away from what they knew to forge a new life in a land that was unknown to them. I am lucky.

Oops!

Well shit. This time I actually forgot. Last night we spilled red wine on our expensive sofa, and ended up going to Walmart late at night to pick up an extractor. Normally I wouldn’t go there but it was the only local-ish place (it was 3 towns over) that had what I needed and was still open at that time.

But really… I’m a little bit stressed at the moment. There are some things happening that are making me a bit worried about what’s going to happen. And I’m trying not to worry about it too much. I had an anxiety dream last night that was totally connected to it.

Sleep Deprivation, et cetera

I missed last Monday. I sort of didn’t know what to talk about that didn’t get too personal.

I took a sleeping pill just before I started this. I’m trying to get more sleep in my life. I have a feeling it will make my life better. I learned recently that because I can usually fall asleep within less than 5 minutes, I am severely sleep-deprived. So why the sleeping pill? My problem isn’t falling asleep; it’s staying asleep. There are various reasons I wake up in the night. I’m naturally a light sleeper. I wake up from pain. I wake up after every REM cycle. It’s not good sleep, ever.

I haven’t had a good night of sleep in years. I don’t know that I know what it feels like.

So anyway, let’s talk about what I’ve been listening to lately. I’ve been listening to the Red Dead Redemption 2 soundtrack. The one produced by Daniel Lanois.  “Cruel World” makes me want to die just so you can play it at my funeral. “Red” just legit makes me want to cry. Maybe it’s because of the context in which the song was written.

I really can’t wait for the next part of the soundtrack to be released because I (and the whole internet) want this song:

I’ve also been listening to Skeeter Davis a lot.

 

Earthquakes and Luck

I’ve been thinking pretty heavily about preparedness for that last year. The earthquakes from last week were nothing unexpected. I just thought they would have been bigger and closer to LA. And after one happens, you always feel pretty shook because you know it could have been worse. This is especially if you’ve ever lived through one. The San Andreas Fault is overdue for a large earthquake and it will happen, and likely soon. I feel like a doomsday prepper when I think about all the stuff in my Amazon cart waiting to be purchased. How devastating can an earthquake be? Northridge was pretty devastating for us, but we had shelter. I have tarps, bungee cords and duct tape in my Amazon cart. I have camping supplies, an emergency radio and solar chargers. I got glass tint so that if the window shatters, it won’t scatter shards all over my face.  I only have water for 2 days, a first aid kit for humans and one for the cat, non perishable food in the cupboards that I always make sure is well-supplied. The hard part is I also have a storage problem. But I have no idea if it’s enough. When will I feel sheltered enough from the thing I cannot predict?

————

As I was driving home from work today, I was thinking a lot about luck.  There is so much in the world that is determined by forces beyond our own control, so many things that have been given to us because of the decisions of generations before us, and the mere existence of humans as they are for such a short time in the history of the Earth and universe. I can appreciate how little control I have over 95% of my life. There’s something peaceful about that.

My Dad, His Gun and Two Swords

Some months after my dad passed away, my mom decided to move out of the home I grew up in. There were nearly 40 years of things hiding away in every nook and cranny. We finally started to go through my dad’s things. I knew what we’d expect to find for the most part (besides tools). But the things we weren’t expecting were even more puzzling. But it gave me some glimpse into what he did when none of us were around.

The things we expected:

  1. My dad’s gun. Yes he had a gun – and he always had it tucked away in his closet. It was a really beautiful, white, antique Colt 45 revolver with a pearl handle. I know he never intended to use this gun, even for protection, but my dad liked nice things. He liked things that were shiny and pretty.
  2. His Rolex. This went to my brother.
  3. His college ring.
  4. Old Playboys.
  5. A gold bracelet with his name “Tony” engraved into it. I kept this.
  6. Math and engineering books.
  7. His leather jacket. Now something about this leather jacket is that it still, to this day, smells like him. It’s the smell of tanned leather and tobacco. This was his “going out” jacket for as long as I can remember, even well into a few years before his death. It fit him perfectly and it was styled more like a Members Only jacket, not a motorcycle jacket. I remember the smell of it when he would carry me as a sleeping child from the car into the house and into bed. I find it funny that he had a jacket that was very specifically a jacket he never wore for working and only when he would go out to a party or to a nice dinner (that didn’t need a suit jacket). And now I have a jacket that’s similar. When I bought it, I vowed to never wear it to work – it was only for going out to parties and dinners.

The things we didn’t expect:

Two swords — one katana and one flame-bladed sword.

Like… why?