Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year Light Bulb Moment


Hello my friends!

I hope you have a nice evening tonight if you're ringing in the new year. Alex and I will be spending a quiet night at home, having a Raclette dinner and some cocktails with homemade sugar pie at midnight. We are such homebodies, which is funny because we both used to be such social butterflies. We both worked as bartenders and had lots of friends in our 20's. Now we would just prefer to spend our lives away from society, with each other and the pets!

So...on to my light bulb moment - just in time for the new year! :)

It's about my shadow self. Carl Jung defined the shadow self as the "hidden or unknown dark side of the personality." After reading his definition, I certainly didn't want to uncover my shadow self! I started to do some work in the fall, but got scared and forgot about it.

But lately I've been doing more reading and this is a different definition that motivated me to do more deep thinking. I found it after typing into Google "What is the shadow self?":

The shadow self is at first an unconscious side. It is only through effort to become self-aware that we recognize our shadow.

Although many infer the shadow is ‘negative’, this is not really true. The Shadow is rather what you yourself perceive as dark and weak about yourself, and therefore needing to be hidden and denied. But this depends on your own perspective on life, and your levels of self-esteem.

So while for one person their shadow might just contain such classic elements as sadness, rage, laziness, and cruelty, you might also hide your personal power, your independence, or your emotional sensitivity.


The above definition explains things more clearly for me. I've been spending lots of time in the woods lately walking with Charlie. Being in the woods is like therapy for me, I can kind of think out loud, consider lots of ideas and options and talk to Mother Nature and nobody bothers me! :) I guess it's my version of prayer.

I had my epiphany moment this morning walking home from the woods. I realized quite suddenly what my shadow self was and why I was hiding it. I wish I could share it with you but it's so personal that I just can't! But trust me, it's not the "classic elements" mentioned above like rage, cruelty or laziness!!

The realization of my shadow self abruptly boosted my self-confidence through the roof. I have never felt as happy as I do in this moment! What I thought I wanted out of life for so many years...my mind just debunked. Now I realize that what I truly want out of life isn't something to be hidden or ashamed of. It's something to celebrate and put into action.

Without being too cryptic, I'll try to explain. I thought I wanted a certain lifestyle; and when I am truly honest with myself - I don't want that certain lifestyle. I want something almost completely different. The way I was finally able to see this hidden self was through a very simple exercise. 

Daydreaming.

Every day for the last week, I've set some time aside to day dream, just to see where my thoughts would go. I would ask myself "how do I want to live the rest of my life?" and "how do I want my relationship to go forward?" etc...Well, the daydream I had this morning was so poignant. It was the exact opposite of what I'd been THINKING I wanted for the last decade or so. I think that my perception on how a woman in her 50's should be living was just skewed. I'm not going to beat myself up, just to say that my life experience has put a damper on a lifestyle I've been wanting to live since I was a teenager.

This epiphany moment is something that will definitely strengthen my independence, personal power, self-esteem, happiness and my relationship with Alex. My plans to homestead are still there and even stronger now. 

It's just unbelievable to me how one moment the light bulb was just turned on and I feel so enlightened. And interestingly enough...I knew all of this about myself for many years and somehow, some time...it just fell back into the shadow.

Does this make any sense to anyone? :)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Winter Winds Of Change


Happy Solstice Friends! :)

I hope you're having a nice day. I am! Today I celebrate the return of the Sun. Fall goes by so quickly, it feels like it's too fast for me. But, for someone like me, who lives for the warm weather, it's definitely a day to celebrate!

What good things are blowing your way this season? 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Holiday Planning and Consumerism


Hello Friends,

I hope you're all doing well. Yuletide is just around the corner. It's a fun time of year! I celebrate the Pagan holidays and the traditional ones. Since we're in savings mode, Alex and I decided on no gifts for the holidays - including our birthdays which fall in January and February!

So instead I'm celebrating with food. This really brings out my creative side. Not only for the menus, but for the cost - I need to be frugal!!

Most of you know I do a monthly shopping list. This means I plan a month's worth of meals according to the shopping flyers. Then Alex and I spend one grueling day a month in the "flats" shopping and driving; then we're safe in the mountains and free from being around society for another 30 glorious days! :)


I've pretty much planned every holiday meal so far:

December 21: Yule
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 25: Christmas
December 31: New Year's Eve
January 1: New Year's Day
January 2: Twelfth Night.

Lots of fun food, drink and sweets planned! What's your holiday season looking like? Alex and I don't have any family, nor do we really have close friends, so we spend all of our time together and with the furballs. This pretty much eliminates all stressors for us and we can enjoy each day as it comes. I hope you don't deal with holiday stress...it's not fun. I've been there and I won't do that again - EVER!!

Another subject I wanted to discuss is consumerism. Let's face it, though a lot of us would LOVE to live like pioneers, off the land, off the grid, self-sufficient etc...we were born in a modern world. I personally LOVE plumbing and electricity! :) And I love my internet. But...I still try to make do with what I have, not buy new things unless it's absolutely essential. Alex and I are striving for more self-sufficiency, but we will always rely on some supplier or another for something in this modern world.


I can give you countless examples of my beef with companies. I don't know how many times I opened up a container of milk to find it had already gone sour WELL before the expiry date. I write to companies all the time when their products are mediocre and I always get replies - usually in the form of a coupon or refund. In this case, I wrote to Quebon because of the milk going sour. I got the standard reply and some coupons in the mail. YES, it helps the budget and I am grateful for that...but what is really being done about this? The companies seem to be in this mind-frame that throwing money at people will just shut them up. Are they REALLY practicing sound quality control? I'm not an alarmist, but gosh...we really do rely a little too much on other people for safe products. 

Another great example I can give you happened this week. We only recently were able to drink the water here in our well. Before it wasn't in good shape and now it's testing fine. So before now, we had to purchase our water. To make life easier, we'd invested about $100 towards a counter top water dispenser. A few months after purchase, it leaked, so we had to fight Amazon to get a replacement because it was one or two days past their 3-month return period. 

We were drinking that - yuck!

Now, a year later, the tubes feeding the water from the jug started to deteriorate, causing little bits of plastic to float in the drinking water. Amazon wouldn't do anything so I actually wrote to the company asking them to look into the quality control of the plastic tubing in their water dispensers. I wrote a very thoughtful email, including photos of the deteriorating tubes, the plastic "floaties" and a description of our disappointment in the product. I honestly wasn't expecting much and didn't ask for anything either. This was their reply:

"Hello,

Your order for replacement unit is being processed. Please allow 5-7 business days for delivery.

Thank you"

No standard "we are sorry"...no "Dear Ms. Frances"...not even the name of a representative after the "Thank you" - just a "signature" of the company. Really? Are companies so used to complaints about their crappy items that they can't even bother to personalize a response anymore? And you're sending me an entirely new unit? How is this really going to change the quality of the item that will likely deteriorate in another year's time?

I have to tell you my friends, I feel weird about this. They are simply sending me a new unit that I didn't even ask for...to shut me up again? Of course beggars can't be choosers and I always appreciate replacement items and coupons, but this trend is bothersome.

It's almost like it gives the companies a free pass to sell crap because of their "very generous" return policies. 

As a Pagan, I try my best to be gentle with the Earth. I try to re-use, recycle, re-vamp or go without as much as possible. I try not to use non-biodegradable items. I'm not perfect by any stretch. But the continuous replacement of crappily made products...how is this honouring Nature and the environment? It bothered me to the point where I replied asking them NOT to send me a new unit. But I didn't get any response so I have no idea if it's been sent or not.

Anyway, that was bothering me and I needed to vent about it!! Any thoughts?

PS: I've noticed the "Followers" gadget isn't showing up at all on any of my blogs anymore, same with you guys?