These Eyes Have Many Stories

Photo by Michael Morse on

This year has been challenging for so many reasons, but one personal reason is the loss of my eyesight and independence.

I started the year off great and then slowly I started noticing my vision was becoming blurry. More blurry than usual. I have pellucid marginal degeneration. In November of 2017 I had crosslinking and limited PRK. Afterwards I had amazing vision even without glasses for a year, Then I needed glasses again which was no big deal, but in December of 2020 , I noticed something was wrong.

My optometrist who I respected moved away and my surgeon and opthamologist was no longer seeing patients. So I had to find a new optometrist and opthamologist, no easy feat during covid.

Long story short over two months later, I got in to see a new opthamologist who diagnosed me with eye herpes. Who knew you could get herpes in your eyes? Not me or most people I knew. So began the treatments.

Then another twist I had to go to Nova Scotia unexpectedly and find another opthamologist and optometrist who could treat me there. Luckily that all worked out. I have been unable to drive since January and to say that has been difficult for me is an understatement.

Fast forward to today and I am getting closer and closer to better vision. I just got fitted for sclerals and I am feeling very hopeful, not only that I will see better ,but that I will drive and get my independence back.

I don’t always make a big deal about my vision loss so often people forget and think I can see things that I can’t like menus in fast food places,misspelling words in emails. I worked all throughout this time and luckily I work with very compassionate people.

I sometimes feel overwhelmed in big stores because of the lights and can’t find what I am looking for. Of course when I ask for help it looks like I can see so instead of telling my story I just manage as best as possible.

I continue to wear my glasses for now even though they don’t help one little bit , I just feel more comfortable with them on. It’s hard to admit to myself that I am visually impaired, but it is even more difficult to admit to others. I cannot see people or things at a distance and actually you have to be pretty close up for me to recognize you these days.

I end up paying for a lot of things related to my sight because it is not covered by my insurance. I am hoping in the future this is not so.

I am hopeful that this invisible disability I have will be more understood in time.. It is my responsibility to try and educate others as best as I can and do what I can to advocate for others.

Loss of sight affects more than 1.5 million Canadians. Awareness around the issue is still relatively small. You’ve got to speak up if you want to be heard. Not that doing so is easy, but I will do my part. My eyes matter and so do yours. I am hopeful that I will gain new eye sight and independence in the near future. I am hopeful technology will change things for me in my lifetime (it already has) and I know it will for the youth that are newly diagnosed with keratoconus and corneal related issues.

There is a wonderful website I have found during this time, hadley edu and if you need assistance with your vision they are amazing. More websites should use their contrast feature. Check it out , it is so helpful.

I remain very optimistic even though I cannot presently see clearly.

These eyes they have many stories to tell.Feel free to just ask me , and you may start to see things differently yourself.

How Do I Remain Positive?

Photo by on

2021 has been one of the more difficult times in my adult life. I lost a lot of my vision due to a virus. It is slowly returning, but, It will never be the same again. There is just too much damage. I am not at the point of corneal transplants yet so, I have a lot to be grateful for. I have also dealt with the loss of a beloved family member as well as having two close family members get Covid. Let’s just say it hasn’t been easy.

Fortunately for me I started with a full cup and while it is draining,my cup is not empty (far from it). So how do I remain positive? I walk everyday and moved it up to an hour a day from a half hour. I keep myself active by painting and working part time. I also belong to an amazing organization called Secont Chants, plus I volunteer. All have been a true blessing for me. They keep my mind off of myself and more on others and other things.

Although it is tiring and not easy to connect virtually after a day of work and other pressures , many of my closest friends have made it a point to connect with me. I have not reached out like I usually do. My husband has also made life so much easier for me, he always has I am fortunate.

I am tired and grieving ,but I also know how much good I have in my life and I remind myself that others have fared off much worse than I. Not to diminish my pain,but to recognize that no one gets through this life without struggles some so much more severe than others and yet people remain pillars of strength.

Each chapter in life brings us new challenges, some we can never anticipate or expect. So having a full cup with connections, caring people and coping skills makes it all that much easier, definitely not easy ,but it gives us strength to cope with what comes our way. At least it has for me.

So I remain positive that this too shall come to pass and I will fill my cup back up and maybe it will even run over. I hope that happens for you too.

Creating is Good For Mental Health

There are so many creative people in the world and oh how lucky am I to be connected to such creative and fabulous people on twitter.

“Where The World Finds Gratitude in the Rhythm of Shared Writing” Kevin Hodgson

Thank you for the inspiration #DS106. Creating is so good for our mental health. I am always inspired by @grammasheri . i love that she nudges me to join in on her creative endeavours. I am also grateful to @wendtale who has also given me a nudge or two along the way. I have had the pleasure of collaborating with her on Humanizing Online Teaching and Learning before so connecting again has been great. So today I was inspired to create a remix of 106 lines of thought.

Here is my remix:

Collaborating on the 106 Lines of Thought poem with such fabulous people was so much fun. Here is the original.

  1. A bird, flying though the sky

2 Cuts through dark clouds

3 Circling on wind drifts

4 Your mind shifts to stars

5 Whose silver wings shimmer and shiver. And fade.

6 Cutting into thin air, exhilarating, hard to breath,

7 as you swim through the sun flooded blue

8 ignoring the green duckweed trying to get into your nostrils.

9 focusing on turquoise skies: the other side

10 until, until, there. You break through and for a moment,

11 you forget. (Go to line 106 option)

12 The dark clouds that touched your wings yesterday. Now replaced by light.

13 Invisibly lifted, you soar higher.

14 Higher and higher until you fear Icarus’ fate.

15 Looking down, you notice gratitude growing within you,

16 warming your bones just like the Sun’s rays.

17 wrapping wings of hope around the earth

18 observing the moment pass.

19 You glide, introspective,

20 Into a brighter light,

21 illuminating from deep within,

22 sparking something deep inside of you,

23 that reaches out to others

24 even animal friends, companions

25 share your brilliance

26 alive, living in the moment.

27 noticing the small things

28 celebrating the small things, because these give us all hope.

29 a child’s smile, a cat’s paw, a snowdrop peeking through the snow

30 a carousel of animated memories that light up receptors of gratitude

31 and trigger fond memories

32 captured, like snapshots, to browse through

33 a force keeping the dark clouds at bay

34 and allowing our inner strength to shine through

35 Wings rhythm beat is one of an ancient song

36 The sound of wings

37 beats like hearts thumping in rhythm

38 like tribes gathering

39 on the plateau in late spring

40 reflecting on the past yet looking to the future

41 and still remaining warriors in the present

42 armed with love and compassion

    43 To see ourselves as others see us!

    44 It wad frae monie a blunder free us,

    45 An’ foolish notion.

46 Of snowflakes drifting on the winds

47 Snowflakes?

48 the only flakes I see are dust

49 different zones, different moans

50 Crisscrossing echoes linger

51 from far away. While closer, chattering birds

52 with young in tow, peaceful sounds, rise in stark contrast

53 with sirens, ever circling. Human and nature collide

54 something of our song still songs, inside

55 wonder rises, can we still hear?

56 have we salvaged our hope to listen for joy?

57 Hope springs eternal, so we are told. Joy

58 cometh from the sounds of birds, the breath of wind, the tangible sense of nature

59 of hope

60 Where poems are seeds and stories are leaves

61 the Earth grows stronger, and the sunlight

62 shadows these trees, firm-rooted in ancient soil

63 and we, the people, we are always digging deep

64 thinking and feeling , listening as though we may be

65 on the ancient bows of trees rooting stories through and through,

66 reaching at once deep into the earth and high into the sky

67 these

68      clouds

69               speak

70                      of

71                          forever

72                      these

73                 roots

74       burrow

75 down

76 past the places where we share words

77 that tumble past my lips, like a blessing

78 or a curse

79 far beneath, where stone melts and churns

80 then returns with smoke and fire

81 through cracks and crevices

82 new land cools and forms

83 greens, flourishes,

84 only to have the Poet surface, to ponder:

85 And what will we make of this place

86 where poems and voice and culture collide?

87 what digital fossils left embedded in stone?

88 Take this hammer, take this chisel

89 Take some time to work alone

90 Shatter the surface of intentions

91 Surface this collaborative poem

92 Grab it by the scruff

93 Wield the woven words

94 a weapon against hate

95 a tapestry of many colors

96 a harmony of many notes

97 will you knit our thoughts together?

98 will you help us fly?

99 I can fly beside you, soar with you

100 Share in the life of these words

101 Sit still in silence with you

102 What will it be?

103 When we come to these last lines

104 Who will we be? Will we

105 Remember to breathe and

106 To flap. The End.


Sarah @NomadWarMachine

Wendy @wentale

Kevin @dogtrax

Beemer @krue222

Ron @RonSamul

Nathalie @drnsherida

Ronadl @Ronald_2008

Susan @sspellmancann

Stephanie @mrs_loomisphd

Irene @IrenequStewart

Catherine @catdartnall

Rosemary @rmdigitally

Sheri @grammasheri

AK @koutropoulos

Charlene @inspirepassion

Anny @Annycow

Matt @Matthew20031337

Madeline @madelinek106

The Jolt @AwoJolt

Esfandiyar @EsfandiyarKhan

Tania @taniatorikova

Morgan @MoB4884

Clare @slowtech2000

JoAnn @JoAnnJacobs6

Alan @cogdog

Jennifer @JenniferDenslow

Joe @joetynan

Hank @HankLerma, 

Jaap @Jaapsoft

Untertaker @untertacker

Prof Caritat @profcaritat

Sherri @edifiedlistener

Sue @sueinasp

Jenni @jennihayman

Judith @judith_ekn


Irwin @irwindev

Bart @barmilledu

Nanci @TheWB6

Denise @mrsdkrebs

Lisa @nobleknits2

Will @willgourley

Betsy @BetsyCallanan

Anna @anna_phd

Reference: #DS106 Daily Create: derived from #tdc3296 DS106 9th Birthday Party and Sarah Honeychurch Twitter thread

Here is a link to one of the remixes of the the poem . There are so many ways to remix. You can try some here in the poetry remix matrix.

You may be inspired to remix one day soon and if you do you might connect with some inspiring people and create a state of flow for yourself which is definitely good for your mental health. Have fun!

Sometimes Goals Have To Be Altered

Photo by Ann H on

If you have been reading my blog I want to thank you and yes, especially you Paul. I’ve decided to take a break. I committed to writing every day for a year and I have been writing most every day since July 1st , but I have decided I will alter my goal.

I have lots of goals not just this one and I took on two jobs in this pandemic, which I am very happy to do. It gives me purpose in this pandemic. However, I don’t feel I need to write every day. Exercise is one of my top priorities. Self care is also important so I have given myself permission to NOT write every day. This is not easy for me . Pat of it feels like I have not committed to my goals, but I also know it is OK to alter goals when it is in your best interest to do so.

I need some downtime , not feeling like I have to write when I have little to say. Again thanks to those of you who come back often. I will continue to blog just not as often.

As I take some downtime in the holiday season, I will have time to reflect and maybe the next time I write it will be more meaningful.

Take care of yourself. I know I plan to, sometimes goals need to be altered to make room for things you need. Virtual hugs.

Affirmations For Teens

Affirmations help teens to reframe their thoughts into more positive ones. They are uplifting, affirming and with repetition can stick in teens minds. What we say to our mind matters. Having teens repeat affirmations long enough can help start to believe the words.

I like to have students write them on their mirrors and or write an affirmation and put it in their phone or in their wallet. Whichever place they know they will look at often makes the most sense.

If we want teens to be kind to their mind using affirmations is one way that could help.

20 Positive Affirmations for Teens

I am enough

I matter

I believe I can

I can cope with difficult times

I will live each day fully to the best of my ability

I am strong

I am courageous

I will trust my feelings

I accept myself for who I am

I will have hope that all will turn out ok

I am brave

I believe it is ok to not be ok

I will reach out for supports when I need them

I will speak to myself kindly

I will love and accept my body

I have a purpose for being in this world

I will not give up

I will say no when I need to

Some Days

Some days life just passes by and before you know it , I’m too tired to write . It’s much easier to fit in exercise than to write daily. There have been days when I missed writing because I fell asleep. I am going to forgive myself because I am living through a pandemic. Life is different and so am I. It’s so hard to let go of not fulfilling my promise to myself to write each day for one year. I have fallen short , but I will let go of my inability to be 100%.

if I am able to write most every day then that is good enough. If I miss a few days this year of living differently in a pandemic then so be it !

Traditions That Matter

Photo by Olesia Buyar on Unsplash

My friend Kent reminded me of all the traditions that we have at Christmas time that will have to wait until next year to celebrate.

We usually start the season with a gift exchange and dinner at Leena and Roger’s with a lovely tourtiere dinner. I usually bring my art as a gift and we play the stealing game of presents. There is no lack of laughter in the room.

Kent has taken our children along with Darlene and Leonard’s children to see Christmas Carol for over the past 20 years and they have never tired of going or this lovely tradition.

Kent usually holds a pre Christmas roast beef dinner with enough food to last the next 10 meals.

I have hosted Christmas eve at my home for over 30 years and I must say it saddens me as I write this to say we won’t be doing that this year. I love that all of our friends have continued to come and bring their now grown children and significant others. The grown kids have always played games and often we join in or tell stories around the table while eating our now tradition spiral ham Christmas eve dinner.

Christmas morning was a time I had my neighbours over for breakfast. I love my neighbours.

Christmas day we rotate who holds the dinner. At Paul and Shelley’s or somewhere we are that year we take family pics. We all have been friends for 35 plus years and none of us have had our family here (parents, siblings etc.) so we consider each other family. Christmas time we eat too much , laugh too much , play games and tell stories around beautifully decorated tables. More importantly we love being together, we love each others company we are family. there have been some years where family and friends have come out to visit and join us at our tables of joy.

New years eve we also spend together. Often ordering in from Leena’s Italian , playing games and celebrating life. There is never a time we have run out of laughter or conversation.

New years day we all come together again, rotating whose turn it is , but celebrating again with another turkey dinner. Each bringing our special dish and loving every moment we have together.

Christmas season will be different this year , but I’m thinking we have to come up with a new tradition, maybe all chipping in to help a family have a better holiday season as we have had the blessings of so many..