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"Our dependency makes slaves out of us, especially if this dependency is a dependency of our self-esteem. If you need encouragement, praise, pats on the back from everybody, then you make everybody your judge." - anon

"Let the spirit out - Discard all thoughts of reward, all hopes of praise and fears of blame, all awareness of one's bodily self. And, finally closing the avenues of sense perception, let the spirit out, as it will." - Bruce Lee

"Be humble, yet privately praiseful of yourself." - anon

You must be able to see the way you're pulling yourself down and decide that isn't what you want to do. Then you can start doing the things that give you pride and pleasure in living...

Such as being aware of your own achievements. When you do something you are proud of, dwell on it a little, praise yourself for it, relish the experience, take it in. We're not used to doing that, for ourselves or for others. When things go wrong, they call attention to themselves. When things run well, we must actively bring them to our attention.

It is up to us to give ourselves recognition. If we wait for it to come from others, we feel resentful when it doesn't, and when it does, we may well reject it. It is not what others say to us that counts. We all love praise, but have you ever noticed how quickly the glow from a compliment wears off? When we compliment ourselves, the glow stays with us. It is still good to hear it from others, but it doesn't matter so much if we have already heard it from ourselves. This is the tragedy of some great performers, who need endless applause to tell them how great they are, but who feel a chill as soon as they enter their dressing rooms.

They have never heard it from themselves.

- taken from "Day By Day" quoting from "How To Be Your Own Best Friend" by Mildred Newman and Bernard Berkowitz.

Hello again, folks. It's been fairly obvious (duh!) that I've been absent for awhile. Not only that, but I've not responded to comments left on recent blogs either.

I've been in a funk. I'm at a stage where I don't know what to do with myself. I don't have a job because of my illness(es), I don't have a mate to share my life...both good and bad...with, I have no abiding interests or talents.....I just feel so completely empty most of the time.

All my life, I've been empowered by the praise of others, reaching its peak during my years of teaching when I would always get such positive and wonderful and continuous feedback from the students, just like the actor seeking applause. I think, to a large degree, I lived for that, but I no longer have it in my life. And so I feel empty.

I have never learned to like myself, for I see so many flaws and weaknesses...so many more than others see, or I allow them to see. Those have always overridden anything positive in my life. I've never figured out how to change that. "Change the things you can, accept the things you can't." I've never learned how to accept that.

I had a garage sale two weeks ago and had what almost amounts to an epiphany. I had literally spent months getting things ready for it (check back on earlier blog entries and you'll see!), and it filled my days. I am by nature a collector. A collector of "things". I have an aversion to throwing anything out, and a penchant for gathering them in. So I had a lot of "stuff" to go through. I think in the process, I "touched" pretty well every item in my house. I spent countless hours making decisions "sell or keep?", "what price?", "all, or just some?"

I filled my garage....I built extra shelves to display things, I hauled every table and bookcase I have out to display even more, I piled things two and three deep on tables because I didn't have enough room to spread out. ...it took me weeks setting up the garage. I had kitchen stuff, and furniture, camping stuff and Christmas stuff, and tools, and shop stuff, and lumber, and games and books...hundreds of books...and magazines, biking stuff, and antiques and collectibles. I had posters, pictures, art and carvings. I had a ping pong table and a polar bearskin rug. I had sweaters, and winter coats and summer jackets. I had a never-installed toilet, sink, faucet and cabinet for the sink, left over from a project that never got done. I actually sold that with about 10 minutes to go in the sale....for $30. The faucet alone cost more than that.

Now, I have to interupt myself at this point to tell you something. My motivation was to "kill time" and hopefully, empty the house out a little bit. It would give me the option of "down-sizing" sometime if that is the way I choose to go. My brothers and my sister, on the other hand, (and this is just my perception, I may be wrong) are anxious for me to move back to Ontario to be closer in case I have further complications medically. The less "stuff" I have to move, the easier it will be. For now, I have no intention of moving, but that hasn't stopped them from still "making the suggestion" from time to time. I don't mind, really. I know they're doing it in what they feel are my best interests.

So back to the garage sale. I ran a huge ad in the paper, it was a gorgeous day weather-wise, (happened to be my birthday, in fact!). My sister, her husband, their daughter and her boyfriend drove here from B.C. to help out, because I have no one here I could call on to help out (that, alone, is the greatest sadness in my life I think). I made about $1600, and when it was all over, the garage was still full of "stuff".

And that's when I had the insight. I've always "said" people are far more important than things, yet I've devoted my life to surrounding myself with things and not people. I'm shy. I lack self-confidence. I'm my own worst critic. I know all this and yet, like the actor, I need the praise of others....not just some, but ALL...in order to feel even marginally adequate. Logically, of course, I realize that's not possible nor realistic. But for a thousand praises, the single criticism will override every time. I've never been able to understand that.

"Things" have no value. I'm not talking dollars and cents value, but intrinsic value. The sale ran Friday evening and all day Saturday. Garbage pickup is Monday morning, and he starts his route at my place at 7:30 AM, so I always put my garbage out the evening before. The Sunday following the sale, I put out 32 bags of "garbage", the next week, 22 bags, and this past week 12 bags plus about 9 or 10 bundles of branches from some long overdue pruning I had done in the backyard.

And it still hasn't made a difference it seems. The house is still as full as it ever was. I'm still surrounded by "stuff". I think it reproduces overnight or something! But I've decided to purge. For instance, I have a 57-year uninterrupted collection of National Geographic----garbage. I have 5 different sets of the Time-Life series of books that I couldn't sell for only TWO dollars a set! (24 or so hard cover books in each set)----garbage. I have souvenirs I picked up from various trips and vacations---garbage.

So what's my point of this meandering, wandering entry? To be honest, I'm not sure. I think primarily it's just something to remind myself that I am worthy, and I don't need anyone else telling me that to make it so. I know it won't change much.

But it's a start.


I'm sorry to hear about your illness. They say be careful what you say to a child...they will forget your 100 compliments but remember the one criticism...so I'm careful what I tell my grandkids.
Someone told me the 1st half of your life you accumulate 'stuff'...baggage, etc...and the next half...you get rid of the 'stuff'! Maybe, its true.
We don't need 'things' and stuff to enrich our life..we need other people and self-esteem.
If your words alone can make another person feel better..then you have value as a human being.
I find your blog thought-provoking and for that I say thanks!

I wish I had made it there on time for your sale! :) I would have bought so much I would have had to check some luggage I think!

Ya know we have talked on here for some time, and I adore you for just who you are. Then getting to meet you in person - I adore you even more. You are a wonderful human being inside and out! It sucks that we all live so far apart...

Matty: I'm so glad you found my blog, because it allowed me to find yours! You fascinate me...you are so full of talent, stories, feelings. You make me laugh, you make cry, you make me feel, you make me wonder. Your stories, I think, are helping me to start getting out of the "funk" I talk about, and put things back in perspective again. Unfortunately, one of the effects of bipolarism is fairly wild mood swings sometimes, and I've been classified as a rapid transitioner, which means I "swing" more often, and my mOod extremes (at both ends) are "deeper. My highs are euphoric, and my lows are somewhat just short of suicidal. It doesn't take much to set me off. Just being aware of that alone, though, and trying to practice some degree of biofeedback is helping. I also have Menieres Disease. For that ther is no cure, so it just complicates everything. Fortunately, I'm just affected very mildly by it....some are totally incapacitated.

It's amazing, isn't it? You never know that what you to say to another person might have an impact you'll never know about. Like the one criticism of your grandson cancelling out 100 praises (although I think we all need "critical feedback" from time to time...that's how we grow!). Your words are a comfort to me right now.

About the accumulating then getting rid of "stuff"....it's true! it's true! I'm walking, talking evidence of that! LOL

I react the same to your blog as you to mine...and so I throw the "Thanks" back at ya!

I haven't mentioned it to either Mackeydoodle or KSHIPPYCHIC, but they check my site regularly, and no doubt will see this note (see the comment following yours). I do hope you get in touch with them about your interest in photography. KSHIPPYCHIC has a gallery of some of her work on Artalyst, and Mackey has some of hers on a separate blog listed in my sidebar as "My Life In Pictures".

KS: It was a delight to meet you too, short as it was (and embarrassing....not knowing my own neighbourhood!!). I appreciate the props, thanks. It doesn't really suck, you know. If it weren't for the net, our paths would never ever have crossed. Even if only vicariously, I feel I have gotten to know you, Mackey and the others, and enjoy your "company". On some days, it's pretty much all that keeps me going. You are a delightful and talented person ....and BTW, I'm holding you to the goal of President's list when you're back at school!

I think you and Matty (see above) and Mackey should chat a bit with each other. She has an interest in photography (hell...it seems she has an interest in most everything!!). She tells the most moving, provocative, funny, sad, challenging stories on her blog. I've added her to my sidebar as "Running On Empty" (finally bumped Shane from the list ... I strongly doubt any of us will hear from him or JJ again, which is too bad, but c'est la vie).

I ramble. A habit I must break! Glad you enjoyed your visit, and I'll look forward to seeing some of your pics being posted over the next while.

It appears that I'm back "on the air" now! Have a great weekend.

It's really weird how some people come into your life for a reason or season! I'll tell you something I haven't told anyone else....I'm bipolar.........my highs are so high, it's amazing how much I can accomplish in a day or week, or month.........there is nothing I can't do...and my lows are the lowest. I fight it constantly. I guess I'm a highly-functional bi-polar.....what keeps me going is the constant drive to protect and care for my grandkids, sons and family. That, and that alone is what gets me up some mornings and allows me to go through the motions...of acting the part....'as in fake it till you make it'...so far its worked well for me.
Winter is the worst...I also have SAD..it feels like God turned out the lights out and I can't find the candle's....but practice makes perfect. I can actually feel when I'm going to hit bottom...and I do what I have to do....so far it's working. I'd rather be bi-polar than schizophrenic.
And I do it well......I wear a coat of many colors...sometimes I get a break,,my son will take the kids for a weekend or 3 days...and I can let go, do nothing, feel nothing...and rejuvenate....but the minute the kids are back in my life....then I push myself.....to be the best, feel the best...and give them good memories.
I'm glad I can evoke feelings from you.....if I made you laugh....I'm glad...and if I can make you cry...all the better....it's good to get in touch with our feelings.
Bipolar people are always on a roller coaster of highs and lows..but I've gotten to the point where I can manage it..most of the time...for that I'm grateful. The grandkids just call me 'Nutty Nan' and we have a ball.
I was sorry to read about your dad.....I don't know how I would be able to face it if my mom had any form of Alzheimers. That has to be the cruelest way to lose a parent. My mom may be 86 right now...and although she is stone-deaf,,,,the minute she sees me, her eyes light up...and she says...Hi, dear! She knows me..and I am so lucky that I've been given some time to spend with her. Last year I spent 6 months in Cheo with my grandson...I was so worried that I wouldn't have time to spend with my mom, and let her know how much she meant to me... That I appreciated everything she taught me...that I get my strength of character and sense of humour from her....also my temper...and determination. Thank God, I had the chance to let her know everything I felt.
I know her days are numbered...and so I value each one...I use an 'erase board' to have a conversation with my mom. I will write......'how are you feeling mom?' and she reads it, and says, 'I'm fine, dear! Or, I'll ask if she needs anything,,,or I'll write about who came to visit, who called, what I cooked, etc.
One day soon, I won't have that...and no matter how much you prepare yourself, it will happen....and it will hit hard. I know that! Last week I wrote....if Freddy bothers you Mom...just let me know...and she just smiled! So maybe if it ain't broke...why fix it, eh?
I hope your mom is doing well, Rick...bad enough to lose one parent...she sounds like a strong woman!
You mentioned Montreal! I was born and raised in Montreal...at 1st in the East end....where CBC Radio now stands,,,,,and later in Verdun, N.D.G..etc.
Small world! Then lived and worked in Toronto.....and now live outside Ottawa.
I'm sorry if I led you on,,,when I mentioned the fact that I was interested in photography!
I didn't lie! I'm interested alright! It seems I can't take a picture without chopping off heads or arms and legs...so yes, I do have an interest. My son always says..Mom,,,,,you keep chopping off heads,,,,stop moving the camera. And I tell him...'I meant to chop off their heads...it's their body I was interested in!I didn't want their faces in the pic! Just kidding!
Nothing wrong with my sight...just not one of my strengths...just like I have no sense of direction...none whatsoever! I live in a small town of 753 people, well, it's a village counting the animals and I can still get lost.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses...and I know mine. So, yes, I do have an interest in photography and a thousand other things.....doesn't mean I have a talent...I'm just interested and curious.
I wish I had a chance to go to your Garage Sale,,,I'm positive I would have bought all the books and a lot more. I go to all the garage sale's around here,,,buy books by the box....and get a lot of reading done in the winter!
By the way...you said you were sorry you didn't respond to my comments...no need to be sorry...we blog because we must., or we can....when you need a break..you take it....sometimes I can blog every day....and some days I can't. No excuse...no rules...sometimes I comment if a post sparks my interest and sometimes I don't...No offence!
That's what is so nice about blogging....your space, your rule's,,no deadline....you write for yourself..and if you get some validation...good...if not.....you validate yourself. Sometimes its just nice to see your thoughts on paper!
Cancer sucks!
My brother died of lung cancer at 51! As he got weaker..we spoke about it..and he said.......Matty, don't feel sad! I worked hard for it...I chose it...and I got it! The one's I feel sorry for are the children...they didn't have a choice...they get cancer and some make it and some don't.
Well, he was right! I hope my grandson makes it. I met my grandson when he was 6 months old..he's a beautiful Indian boy...now 12....not my biological grandson...but who care's? To him, I'm his Nanny..and to me....that's my grandson!
We all need a reason for being....a 'raison d'etre'...to feel good in our skin...like the French say.....and if our blogging can touch someone's life...if it can bring a smile or touch a heart...Hey! our life has value!
Take care, Rick.

I do not ever think you are rambling. It is your blog to fill how you desire & I for one like reading everything that you have to say.

I love to get rid of stuff....it just feels sooo good.

Matty: Our comments are becoming longer than our blogs!!

I was only diagnosed as bipolar about 4 years ago when I had my first mainc attack, requiring a week or so in the hospital. All my life, up till then, people just thought I got depressed from time to time, and it would pass, and I'd be my normal jolly self again. I won't go into the details of that first attack (I've had 3 full-blown ones since...two of them putting me in the hospital for a week each time), but what a weird and strange experience it was!

I don't really mind being bipolar. It's the hand I was delat. It's a very petty thing, but the only thing that bugs me about it is other folk who won't accept that it's a medical condition and have the attitutde "Oh, get over it for God's sake!" It shouldn't bother me, but it does.

I'm on a daily coctail of 7 different medications right now,and they seem to be doing their job fairly well. I see my doc every 3 months, and it seems he tweaks the combinations on almost every visit. Sometimes I wonder if he's just guess, or if he's particularly sensitive to changes. The last one he put me on was Lithium, and I had very adverse reactions to it....I'd lose my balance,fall down...sort of like the old pratfalls of Laurel and Hardy, had extreme shakes in my hands. Within two days of discontinuing it, I was almost back to normal (well...normal for me!!)

You said you live ina small village outside of Ottawa. If you tell me it's Martinsville, I'm going to puke! I hve a very close and dear friend who lives there (I have a brother in Ottawa too).

You made a comment about my Mom doing well. She passed on too, in 1995....Jan 2. It may sound perverse, but I was kinda hoping she'd hang on till the fourth (the day dad died). I have never seen two people more in love with each other, and I just felt it would be a "nice" kind of closure. She had Alzheimer's and Senile Dementia the last four or five years of her life, ahad to be tended for full-time. When she talked it was senseless, she didn''t recognize anyone....and it was very painful because it was like watching dad again all over, only this time in very slow motion.

I told you about my Dad passing on as soon as I got back there and let him know we werre all there. Well, my bros, my sis and I ent home for Mom's 85th birthday (middle of May) although we knew it wouldn't mean anything to her, it meant a lot to us. One day my sister went in to visit, and she had soiled herself. So while I was lifting her into the wheel chair, and we were changing the sheets and her nightgown she started singing.

About three weeks before this visit, I had been having lunch at work with a colleaugue, and mentioned that I had a funny feeling around my heart. He convinced me to go to the company nurse immediately, and she sent me to my doctor immediately. He phoned a heart specialist, and sent me to him immediately....apparently my heart was fibulating and everyone was getting concerned. I could tell more about that episode...but back to Mom. After we got her settled back into bed and all comfortbale, my sister and I satyed on awhile, talking to each other really, because it was a fruitless exercise to try and engage Mom in any kind of converstaion. (She thought I was her great-uncle!). Then, all of a sudden, she sat up in bed, looked straight at me, and said in as normal a voice as she had ever used , "Rick you make sure you take care of your heart." aaaaand then went back to singing something terribly off-key. I was shocked. When we got home, I asked everyone if anyone had mentioned my episode, and they all said "No"!

There's more to this life than we understand.

Mackey: I won't use the word "rambling" then, perhaps I just should say I could be "more concise" LOL. I'm glad to be back.

I notice you're doing the letter meme...didn't we do that awhile ago? (not that it matters). I'd be willing to give it a shot if you give me a "nice" letter!

Cheers to both of you.


Yes Rick we did that letter thing before....almost a year ago I think.
Anyhoo.....I would love to give you another letter.
The last time I gave you the letter "P" so this time I shall give you the letter "D".
Have fun!

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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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