I have decided to divide the year end review into two parts. Part 1 will cover the first six months of the year.
I woke up January 1st in Jilotsingo where I had celebrated New Years Eve with fifty-nine others. The next day I went back to Angie’s home in Pachuca. I returned to Aguascalientes after King’s Day. The rest of the month was spent getting together with friends and writing blog posts. I also had a SAIL training session on Zoom.
February was an exciting month. My characters started talking to me again and I was finally inspired to continue working on my book of fiction. My granddaughter in Kelowna also celebrated her fourth birthday. And I went to Culiacan to spend time with my Mexican family before heading back up north for the warmer months.
On March 1st I crossed the border at Nogales and headed for Tucson, where I spent a few relaxing days by a pool at a hotel. Then came the rather unusual but interesting Greyhound bus trip to Seattle where I was finally able to pick up an Amtrak into Leavenworth. One of the first things I did was get a Covid booster. I moved around a lot staying in Leavenworth and Dryden and did some pet sitting before finally settling down in East Wenatchee. It was wonderful to be at Sage Hills in person again and to resume teaching SAIL classes.
April was a fun month of garage sales, different from the usual tienguis in Mexico. Life Group resumed and a series of library programs began on Zoom. My characters continued to chatter so it was also a great writing month.
May was a little on the stressful side. The results of a biopsy were not what I’d hoped for and I needed to have a growth removed. On a more positive note I celebrated a birthday and had a delightful day in Lake Chelan. And I also received great news that while the growth indeed had been malignant, there was only healthy tissue left and no further sign of cancer. So no need for more treatment.
I had training in the A Matter Of Balance program during the month of June and I’m looking forward to coaching it when I return to Washington in the spring. And towards the end of the month I found myself on a plane headed for Winnipeg for the first time in five years.
I’m taking a break from blogging so no post this coming Sunday. 2022 Part 2 will be on December 28th.
I’m often asked why I write. There is no simple answer to that. I enjoy writing. I never had the time to write before. I can choose the topic unlike when I was back in school in English class. I don’t have to count words although I do have to be cautious when it comes to spelling and grammar. I’m retired so I can write at any time I want, day or night. I choose the background music, something I never got to do back in school either. But mostly, I find writing relaxing, almost a meditation.
Writing is challenging. Although I’m currently writing fiction, I’ve still had to do considerable research along the way. While the story primarily takes place in some small, fictitious town in California, my main character is struggling with a health issue. And that requires research. And then there are issues in the legal system that need to be considered. These tend to vary from state to state. Of course I’m drawing on psychology when it comes to family dynamics and resolving conflict.
There are days when my characters don’t talk to me. That is quite discouraging. I’ve had days where I’ve totally erased every single word I’ve written. And yes I still find that relaxing as well as frustrating. After all, the reality is that life is like that. The road is not a straight one and it’s often necessary to meander here and there. So why shouldn’t writing be like that?
Why do I write a blog? That started when I was living in Guadalajara years ago. I was sharing a house with two guys who were computer geeks. One was a web designer and the other was running a business in the USA while living in Mexico. They got me going on WordPress. At first it was mainly to let my friends back home know what I was up to. And I must admit that I could be doing a lot more on this site. But I’m content with what I’m currently doing. It serves the purpose. And I’m flattered that I now have followers from all over the world.
However there are always things I will not write about. I tend to shy away from religion and politics. These are very controversial topics and I don’t want to offend my readers. I also have friends who tell me things in confidence. While these would make great material for blog posts, it’s not my story to tell.
I have my own story to tell. I’m not as forthcoming as some writers about my more personal life. My reasons for that have changed over the years. There are details that I care to share only with my closest friends. That may change someday, but write now I’m comfortable with the way it is. And I respect and admire writers who are able to put everything out there for everyone in the world to read. I have writer friends in Missouri and Illinois who bravely do this and I always look forward to their blog posts.
Remembering you today as always, Koal. I can’t believe it’s fourteen years since you left us. Sending lots of love to doggie heaven.
I was talking to one of my blogging friends the other day and somehow we got on the topic of why we blog. I originally started blogging as a way for my friends back home to come along with me on my travels and adventures. But it has evolved into more.
I write about whatever happens to come to mind, whatever I’m in the mood to write about. At the moment, mental health is very much on my mind. May is mental health awareness month. And one of the leading characters in my WIP is bipolar. I also have friends in Canada, Mexico and here in the USA who struggle with a bipolar disorder. Needless to say I’ve been doing a lot of research on the subject lately.
No idea why but I started thinking about Carl Rogers and encounter groups. Anyone else out there remember encounter groups? They were a part of my life back in the late 60s, early 70s when I was studying psychology in college. Ah, yes, my Canadian friends. I used the word college instead of university. Next you’re going to accuse me of spending too much time in the USA.
Back to my character. At the moment he is in a psych ward, not the most pleasant place to be. After all the struggles he’s had throughout childhood and his early teenage years, the diagnosis has finally been made and I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing with him next.
My character has had issues with anger management all his life. It began with temper tantrums as a toddler. And then there was the stage where he held all his emotions bottled up inside. Then the volcano erupted. Mood swings became the norm. Is he headed toward full-blown narcissism and ultimately Alzheimers? Too predictable. A serial killer? Nope. Don’t like that one either. Oh well. I’m sure it will come to me eventually.
But I sure am enjoying writing fiction. It’s fun to let my imagination run wild. People beware. I’m finding inspiration in the most unlikely places.
Facebook……what has happened to you? There was a time when I enjoyed scrolling through my news feed to catch up on my friends’ activities. I have friends all over the world. Many of these friends I met in my teaching and traveling in Mexico in the last ten years. I have friends back in my hometown in Canada and friends in Leavenworth. These are the people I primarily stay in touch with through Facebook. And a one liner at one time replaced email that I now view as snail mail.
But it’s getting more and more difficult and time consuming to find the posts that I really want to see.
Recently an American friend had posted photos of her new granddaughter in Mexico. Another American friend shared an excellent article on PTSD related to living in this COVID-19 world. A Canadian friend posted news of how the virus has affected life in my hometown. A friend from England shared some beautiful photos of the countryside.
I almost missed all of these.
There are too many people sharing posts out there without even reading what they are sharing first. Aside from all the misinformation, there is no reason to share upwards of ten posts every single day.
Political posts annoy me. They just add fuel to the fire that is already out of control. They divide a nation and promote animosity between neighbors no matter what country you live in.
Then there are the people who use Facebook as a daily diary. FYI I really don’t care what you ate for lunch or that it is naptime. Or that you just can’t find anything to watch on Netflix.
Then there are those who use Facebook as a pity party. They constantly complain of their aches and pains and of how life is so unfair.
All of the above mentioned people need to get a real life and stop living a virtual life.
In addition there are all the unwanted advertisements thanks to cookies.
I honestly don’t have the time or the patience to scroll through dozens of post to find the ones I am truly interested in. And selecting unfollow doesn’t seem to help.
I post notifications for my blog on Facebook. I check the groups I belong to. I use Messenger. I try to post meaningful items and not an abundance of them. Occasionally I post a Facebook memory. I very selectively share articles posted by friends.