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As the year draws to a close I have been plagued with thoughts about what is ahead of us and whether it will be good or not so good. I of course am aware of my ability to influence that outcome but smart enough to know that I cannot control the full outcome and that stuff happens and I can only respond to some things. I am waffling between thinking that life as it is right here and now is perfect and on the other hand that it sucks real badly.


On a superficial level right now it looks like hell outside, my feet are icy cold as I sit in my “warm” apartment and I am not looking forward to going outside one more time today in the very wet windy rain. So on this level things are not so good however if I shift my perspective just one iota I realize that in this neck of the woods this is as bad as it gets. We are not likely to get any snow that stays on the ground, it rarely gets icy on the roads or the sidewalks and the grass is still green. So maybe it is not so bad after all.

Continuing on a superficial level I am feeling a slight bit of boredom, not sure what I want to be doing today or for the upcoming days. This is the stuff of the winter solstice and the New Year and thinking about what my intentions and actions will be for 2012. There are glimpses of clarity but for the most part the water is pretty muddy and definitely needs to sit for a little while.

As is evident by this post, I am unclear about what I want to write about these days. The idea of keeping it a bit lighter over the holidays and until the New Year has me off-track from my previous train of thought. Are those topics that I was so intent on writing about like our supposed health care system that I believe is really an illness industry; the folly of trying to address problems out of context; our child poverty rates that are an embarrassment and the unacceptable greed of the econo-political systems really topics that need attention or is it just my skewed perspective? My seeming lack of focus is partly due to the season and covering topics concentrating on Christmas but also this confusion about whether the world is perfect as it is or whether it stinks. Being Canadian I am tempted to state that it is likely somewhere in between, yuck!! Now that is a telling sign, I love to see all sides of things, hear different perspectives but just compromising for compromising sake is not my usual modus operandi.

so many trails

Back to the boredom thing. On a superficial level I may be feeling a sense of boredom but in reality maybe it is calm and quiet resulting from stepping back from my regular routine that can get me into a rut of doing for doing sake, not paying much attention to intention. Life has been anything but boring over the last few days and today for that matter. It has been different with the focus on just being with family and with cooking and baking preparing for family meals on Christmas Eve, Christmas morning and Christmas dinner and Boxing Day dinner. It was not all old hat either. This year we ventured into uncharted territory making gluten free sweet potato pryohy that stayed together when we boiled them for our Christmas Eve dinner. We prepared lazy holupci that tasted as good as the real thing but was so much easier to make than the real thing. The slow-cooked beans made it into all four major meals ending up in a delicious veggie bean soup that was welcomed by all as a filling but simple meal to end the three days of feasting. Setting off the fire alarm in our 27 story apartment building was only just narrowly avoided by the furious waving of the dish towel at the smoke detector, opening all the windows and digging out the summer fan to blow away the smoke emitted from the oven as a result of the young duck roasting in the 450° oven. Everything including the Jamie Oliver sage butter roasted potatoes had a slight aroma of duck a fact not even commented on by our vegetarian dinner guest, who by the way was enjoying the baked beans.

Maybe my boredom arises out of not having to be on my feet for 12 hours first preparing the menu, the ingredients, then fussing with the cooking, and then the cleaning up with a short respite as we ate the dinners. Today we ate lunch out at my son’s favorite lunch spot in the city he no longer lives in. Tonight we go out for dinner before he leaves for his home in another city. Maybe I do not quite know what to do with myself?

On reflection as I sit here finishing this post I am feeling a sense of contentment with my situation (maybe it is the wine?). I have spent several days with most of my children and a stand-in daughter, talked with family across Canada and overseas in the UK and Ukraine and have enjoyed  just sitting time at home with the lights of the city and the Christmas tree and my favourite onion dip and potato chips. We enjoyed a very pleasant but mucky walk in the rainforest on Christmas day that my daughter’s puppy thought was heaven. It was good to breathe the fresh air of nature and observe how the trees, bushes and streams were doing this winter season. Life is good.

heavenly mud

Having said that, the issues that drive me to write still remain and I believe still deserve attention. I am grateful for my situation and can see that it is a good life but that so many humans on the planet do not have nearly the same experience keeps me away from boredom. I look forward to continuing to write about things I care a lot about.


Irene McDermott © 2011