Tag Archives: lifestyle

Alternative Living – Other Options Part Three…


6. A caravan

This is open to interpretation. Old or modern or new concept. Costs are reflected in the design, space and style – so you will need to investigate what your money will buy. You can travel from site to site or become semi- permanent on a site, it depends on what you require for income, such as where your work place is situated, if you have a self-generated income or have retired and want to travel with all the comforts of home and familiarity.

 

 

7. A shipping container

The use of shipping containers for conversation into homes has become increasingly popular. In fact, in some European countries, they are being converted into store/retail units. Depending on how much space you need or want,you can purchase one or more and design how you will convert it into a living space. The conversion cost is high and requires a lot of expert knowledge and time. However, there are numerous companies that will convert and refit containers for you at a price. This link is from a local article from my city – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/shipping-container-homes-move-into-edmonton-s-back-alleys-1.3596759

8. A tent

 

There are of course temperature restrictions when it comes to living in a tent – in our -40 winters the idea of living in a tent is unthinkable, however on a sunny, warm beach somewhere with the waves crashing in – yep!

Tents come in all sorts of styles, shapes, and sizes. You would need to be minimalist in your lifestyle to be able to ‘move’ your home easily. Again it depends on where you wish to travel or live and how you would sustain yourself.

Which of these options would you rather live in?

Life is Exigent – Do You Balance Your Life..?


Exigent – definition: requiring, demanding, or calling for much attention or action

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Life is exigent, isn’t it? We are pulled in different directions for family, work and writing commitments. This Wiki explanation sums it up well:

Work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development / meditation). Related, though broader, terms include “lifestyle calm balance” and “lifestyle choices”.

For most of the time we seem to be ‘catching ourselves up’ or ‘dropping the ball’ in one area; if not more. Stress results and impacts severely on our decision making, abilities and mental health. Finding a balance in our personal lives isn’t easy and although we try to divide our attention to each area equally, it is not always possible.

What should suffer? Work – would impact us financially. Family – relationships would falter. Writing – creativity and productivity would diminish. So the answer is…juggle it all and hope for the best or find methods to enable a balance to be achieved.

Have you found difficulties with this?

Do you have creative ways to achieve your best balance?

http://www.writedirections.com/balancing.php

http://www.mybooktherapy.com/finding-balance-with-writing-life-getting-organized/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/amyanderson/2013/07/26/work-life-balance-the-ultimate-oxymoron-or-5-tips-to-help-you-achieve-better-worklife-balance/

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Reflections…A Writing Excercise…


Stymie – definition: to present an obstacle; to stand in the way of

As many of you know I really enjoy writing prompts, and have overcome ‘blocks’ using them. So don’t get stymied use one to refresh and release your creativity.

I was inspired by a fellow blogger’s photograph of a set of windows. http://storiesbyfrances.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/untitled-2/ and promised to share the short story it inspired. The changing light in the two windows made me think of reflections of a personality.

Window 1

Madeline believed wholeheartedly that the eyes were a reflection of the soul so no matter what a person might appear like on the outside, she knew it was their inner being that was their true self. When she moved into her new apartment she relished the golden light that shone through. It reflected her joyous nature. With a bubbly, friendly personality many people were instantly drawn to Madeline. She made friends easily and was known as a loyal and supportive person.
Although she had been living in the apartment for over two weeks, she had not met her immediate neighbor. Their apartment window was always dark and gloomy such a contrast to her own, even though they were facing the exact same direction. Madeline had heard movements through the wall and the murmurings of a television but nothing more. Wanting to make introductions, Madeline baked a batch of cookies on Saturday morning. Once they were cool she placed a dozen into a small tin lined with a napkin.

Window 2

After taking a deep breath and with a broad smile on her face she knocked on her neighbor’s door. She waited and turned her head to listen. No footsteps. No response. Maybe she had missed them going out while she had been busy baking? A shuffling noise stopped her from turning away. The door slowly opened and an old man’s face appeared just above the door chain.
“What do you want?”
“Hello, my name’s Madeline. I’m your new neighbor. I wanted to introduce myself and offer you some cookies I baked this morning.”
The man’s brow crinkled, as he looked her up and down.
“Cookies you say?”
Yes chocolate chip. Would you like them?”
“You want to give them to me?”
“Yes.”

Window 3

The man put his hand through the gap in the doorway and took the tin. A slight smile creased his lips.
“Well thank you. The name’s Boyd.”
Not waiting for a reply he shut the door.
Madeline was a little surprised but thought Boyd was probably lonely. From the small glimpse of his apartment she could see numerous cobwebs and there was a distinct stale odor. She thought her gift had given him a little happiness but wanted to help more. She would think on how that would be possible as she cleaned her own apartment.

Boyd sat in his armchair with a mug of coffee and ate the cookies hungrily. It had been a long time since he had such a treat. After Mildred passed he seldom left the apartment. Luckily the corner shop delivered the same food order every Wednesday so his only outing was to collect his pension once a month. He would pick up the money, pay his bill at the shop and return home. He felt anxious whenever he was outside; the neighbourhood had changed a great deal in the last five years.
Madeline’s idea came to her as she was folding laundry. She knew she would have to be convincing but maybe it would work. Once supper was cooked she made up an extra plate and knocked on Boyd’s door.
“Who is it at this time of night?”
“Hello, Boyd, it’s me, Madeline, from next door.”
Boyd opened his door and peeked through the gap.
“I wondered if you would like some supper? I haven’t got used to making single portions and made far too much for one person.”

Window 4

The aroma made Boyd’s stomach grumble.
“Well, it seems wicked to throw it away, I’ll help you out.”
Boyd took the chain off the door and opened it. Standing to one side he motioned Madeline to enter. Her heart ached when she saw how dark and dirty the apartment was. The poor man was obviously living alone and could not manage. Boyd followed behind Madeline shuffling with his cane.
“Just put the plate on the little table by the armchair. Thank you.”
Madeline surveyed the room, apart from the armchair, side table and the television everything else had a layer of dust covering it. It was obvious Boyd sat in that exact spot most of the time.
“If you will let me I could bring a plate over every evening.”
“Now why would you do that? We’re strangers.”
“Not anymore, Boyd, we’re neighbours. I hope we will get to know each other well, in time.”
Boyd looked at Madeline friendly, smiling face. It was a long time since he had anyone want to be his friend. A broad smile lit up his face and Boyd nodded as a single tear ran down his cheek.
“You are so very kind. I would like that very much.”
Over the following months Madeline managed to clean Boyd’s apartment and they regularly went for walks at the weekends, picking new coffee shops to visit on their way. Light began to reflect in Boyd’s window and his eyes. Madeline shared her light willingly.

Strathcona Connect article


Strathcona Connect article

My newest article for Strathcona Connect. It is relevant to us all at some stage.

Parenthood certainly keeps us busy. There is never enough time for us and for the most part we accept that fact. But what happens when the nest is empty, how do we fill that void? More importantly, should we wait until the nest is completely empty before planning life without children?

As our children become older we are required less and less, finding ourselves with time on our hands. Don’t waste it looking at the phone, just in case a call comes through or clean their room as a surprise! Use the time to find the ‘new’ you or even the ‘old’ you, who was left behind when children came along. Did you have a hobby or craft you really enjoyed? Are there supplies stacked away in a cupboard waiting to see the light of day? Have you always wanted to try something but never had the time? Re-discover yourself, your passion, the inner you that has been buried for so long. It’s alright to pursue something for yourself not only because it keeps us vibrant and interested but it also shows others, including our children, that we are our own person after all, with a life!

So how do we start? Firstly, don’t jump straight into something or do anything drastic. Selling the house and setting off to backpack your way around the world might need more than a moment’s thought. There will be feelings of loss and emptiness, which is normal, so take time to gather yourself. This may take a few weeks or a few months, each person is different. Whichever it is, take heart in knowing you will always be Mom or Dad but needed in different ways. With the house so quiet, you may feel like you are rattling around in it with a stranger, just remember you are both grieving. Be understanding and actively listen to each other. Have you got similar ideas on what you want to do or are you polar opposites? Either way can work, if there is communication and understanding. Maybe golf three times a week excites you or making quilts for third nation countries is your thing. Whatever your choices, plan around each other’s schedules so you have time to share your new passion, it will surprise you how lively and energetic your partner becomes. This is a fresh liberating stage in your lives, embrace it.

Now where to start? Contemplate your options and interests and decide on one or two to try. Yes, I said try because we change and what was all encompassing several decades ago might not be so inspiring now. Use community resources to find groups or organizations and go along to a few meetings. Get a ‘taste’ of how the group interacts and if the pastime/hobby/craft still appeals, if not move along to the next one. The Strathcona County library has numerous resources and notice boards and you can find event listings on the Strathcona County website or use your search engine to find local groups. Challenge yourself. Make a self-centered goal list…take the time to find what engages you and remember change doesn’t happen in an instant. Enjoy the journey the goal is just the icing on the cake.

Are you panicking yet? There are no hard and fast rules about what you should do and in what timeframe. Maybe start off slow. Have a movie night, read a novel a week, eat take out, meet friends for coffee on Sunday morning, it’s up to you how you enjoy your time. Don’t beat yourself up if the class or group didn’t turn out the way you expected, there are always other options. Just remember it’s your ‘new’ life and tailor it the way you want to live it.