GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life


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Travel Excitement

I have a few drafts of travel adventures when I was young but work has gotten crazy busy.   I  may post them in future or scrap them all together.  Even if I’m not writing, I have been thinking that the enjoyment I’ve had in travelling outweighs the few problems and snags that have occurred.

I am excited now about my upcoming work trip.  I’m in single digits countdown and while it would be unrealistic to think I won’t have a few short moments of  sudden panic, I am genuinely excited.

I contacted a geocacher in the area and have made plans one evening after training to pick up some easier caches.  No bushwhacking, tree climbing or playing tunnel rat (like I’d ever go into a tunnel anyway!).   Just some simple skirts and I’ve solved a few puzzles to sign as well.

Then today scrolling through IG, I realized an art friend lives in the area.  She’s always hiking and posting photos so it should have clicked sooner.   I messaged her and yep, her AND another art friend lives there.  I’ve known them through social media for years so we’re planning on meeting another evening.

I’m kind of bummed I’m going to have to spend the day doing work stuff before I can hang out with friends.

Namaste.


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Travel Memory – Visiting my dad

When I was around 12, I would visit my dad and stepmom in Washington state.  I travelled alone, flying to Denver and switching planes, continuing on to Sea-Tac.  

I don’t remember having anxiety about travelling alone to my dad’s.  Being a minor, airport staff would help me making flight transitions and I never worried what would happen if I missed a flight.   This was well before 9-11 and the TSA checks so flying back then was a lot simpler.

I would stay with my dad during the summer, and fly back home to get ready to back to school. I had my 13th birthday there, with a huge Filipino feast.  No matter how much I try, I can’t make pancit like my stepmom.

I enjoyed these trips and visiting my family in the Pacific Northwest.  Nothing bad or stressful happened, other than the fact as I was heading home meant the summer was over.

Namaste


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A Sick Cat and the Cup

It’s been a surreal week.  I have neglected my gratitude journal but once I have some time to breathe and catch up, I’ll easily write a page in it.

Late Sunday morning my cat Jet started acting odd.  He was meowing loudly, and David commented that he sounded like a goat.  Jet stayed in the yoga room, meowing and I’d go pet him. He acted like he was in pain and I thought he had eaten something that had caused a blockage.  I planned on calling the vet 1st thing on Monday morning.

Monday morning, Jet’s lethargic, laying in the shower and barely moving.  He would acknowledge you when petting him but he wasn’t able to walk on his own.  I called the vet as soon as they opened and they were booked up for the day as the vet was leaving early as well and sent me to the emergency pet hospital if I thought it was serious.

At the pet hospital, we found out Jet had a urethra blockage and I honestly have no idea how long it had been going on.  His body temp was about 10 deg below normal and he was severely dehydrated.  Essentially my cat was dying.  They were able to get the blockage out and begin flushing his bladder, which was full of blood.  He stayed in the pet hospital with fluids and a catheter for 3 days .

Now he’s at home and slowly acting more like himself.  I’m monitoring his water intake & urine output.  I don’t think his back to normal but he is peeing on his own.  Hopefully each day he’ll get a little better but we’re not out of the woods yet. He could easily become blocked again.   I have a pet water fountain on order that will double as a meditation fountain and I’m making the yoga room his little sanctuary while he recovers.

Then last night my favorite hockey team won the Stanley Cup for the 1st time in their 44 year history.  I started watching the Washington Capitals after I first saw Ovechkin play in the 2006 Winter Olympics.  I have watched them lose in the 2nd round of Stanley Cup playoffs more times than I care to acknowledge.  I happily ugly cried last night watching Ovie hoist the Cup.  It’s been a dream to watch this and I can’t even imagine how elated the team is!   Congrats guys!

Time to get ready for work.  I’m glad it’s Friday and I can spend the weekend with Jet.

Namaste


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The Inevitable

Two weeks ago my mom passed away.  I thought I was ready.

I had visited her in the hospital for 3 days prior, seeing her mostly unconscious, bruised from IVs and the respirator on her face (she had very thin skin from sun damage as a child and would bruise easily just brushing up against something).

She had degenerative disk disorder and arthritis in her hip which made sitting for any length of time uncomfortable, even when she was younger.   In the hospital, she would try to toss and turn, but was so weak she could barely move.  We would shift her around as her breathing shallowed indicating she was in pain.  She’d settle down and breath deeply for a while, until that position became uncomfortable.

She had congestive heart failure, had a heart attack 17 years ago or so, continued to smoke afterwards.  She had COPD and breathing problems over the last few years, and kept smoking.  I think cleaning out her dresser & purses, we found 5 packs of ‘stashed’ cigarettes.  She told the doctors she only smoked 2 cigarettes a day.  It was closer to a pack a day.

She also lost her eyesight to macular degeneration. She had told me it’s hereditary but I can’t recall anyone else in the family with it.   I honestly think it had more to do with sitting in a 900 square foot house, windows and doors shut, with a haze of cigarette smoke lingering in the air.

In the hospital she was in pain, annoyed with the respirator and during one days when she seemed more conscious (although I still doubt she knew who was who) wanted to go home.  I wanted her to recover and go home, but I think part of me knew it was the end. I thought I was ready.

Part of my anger in the grief cycle is why didn’t she take better care of herself.  Why continue to smoke after such drastic health events. I never saw her exercise for the sake of exercise.   I really don’t understand it.

I know everyone dies, and no one lives forever but Mom could have lived another 15 years easily.  Well, maybe not easily if she had no desire to change her lifestyle, quit smoking, move more, eat healthier.  I’m not sure how many fresh fruits & veggies she ate.

As I am approaching 50 years old, I’m making a serious commitment to moving more, eating less sugar, and more fruits & veggies.   I’m not going to live forever but when I’m 72 yrs old, I’ll be able to get out and continue to geocache, hike and be social.

As much as I love my mom, I’m not ready to become like her as I get older.