#FMF – Simplify

Its the 2nd week of linking up for 2018 for the Five Minute Friday community (I missed the first one). Gathering together, writing on one work for five minutes and seeing what is revealed.

Prompt: Simplify
Synonyms: clarify, cut down, facilitate, reduce, streamline
Definition: to make less complex or complicated; make plainer or easier

i think that a simplified life is something that I would like to have, but the thought of getting there seems overwhelming. Because you have to go through things, and get rid of things and think through priorities and while those are all things that are ultimately good, they seem exhausting to me.

I am overwhelmed by the excess that I have. I fear running out of things, or needing something one day and not having it. so i keep things that aren’t really necessary. i have gotten rid of things, don’t think that I hold onto it all, but that doesn’t always seem to be something that takes its place.

i would like a clean open space. I would like to be able to see things in my room and know where i put things. I would like to have less clothes and less things. But when its time to go through my things I start to think…well i might use that, i might need that and its hard for me. and i’ve had several friends say ‘oh I’ll help you’ and my answer is NO thank you. it fills my heart with terror that they may dispose of something I deem important although I might end up with truly less instead of my half hearted attempts.



Working thru the tears

mourn: to feel or express sorrow or grief over

Yesterday, I lost my job.

It was something that I thought might happen, but that didn’t stop it from being very sad.

On January 1st, Ontario changed minimum wage from somewhere about 11.50/hr to a mandatory 14/hr. There were many thoughts behind it I am sure. For those of us who actually make minimum wage, it wasn’t necessarily the benefit the government proposed it to be.

Numerous people will lose their jobs. Numerous small businesses will close up. Our cost of living (for EVERYONE) will rise significantly.

I anticipated that in January I may be without a job. I am the last person hired at my store, and also drive about an hour to get there. Everyone else is local and has been there over two years. I was considering attempting a new job in September closer to home, but knew that there would be much upheaval with the coming changes.

The thing that makes me saddest about this situation, is one of the things that made my heart hurt last time as well. I love people. As someone that works in the Customer Service industry, it is hard not to come to know and enjoy the people you daily interact with. In this situation and the last one, I was unable to say goodbye to either my coworkers (this time I got to tell two people and get a hug) or the customers who really meant something to me.

Last night tears ran down my face, thinking about the people who I won’t see today…or any day in the future. I didn’t know yesterday would be our last interaction. I hope they know how much they meant to me and how thankful I am to have had them in my life.

In some sense, perhaps I cry because I want to be acknowledged for having made a difference, for being someone that really made their day a little better and brighter. I also cry because they made my day better and brighter.

I will miss Bill saying “hello Janel” in his special way every shift we work together. I will miss Jen laughing with me and telling me fun things about her family and dog. I will miss Bob’s easy going personality. I will miss Zach’s encouragement when I really messed things up. I will miss Todd’s easy going smile. I will miss Joan calling me and telling me I’m something special. I will miss all the people who came in for water and who I had a weekly interaction with at the same time each week. I will miss Dana putting up with my quirkiness. I will miss Betty’s mom’s smile. I will missing hearing all the Platz Deutch around me. I will miss the beards, and bonnets and homemade/homespun clothes. I will miss Melissa telling me about her painting escapades. Dean telling me about his daughter and new grandson. Sheila and her husband claiming me as their favourite.

These are the people whose faces run through  my mind as the tears drip down my face. these are the people I wished I had known to say goodbye to before I left.

I understand being let go at the end of my shift. It makes sense. But its hard to not have closure, especially for someone that needs and loves people like I do.

#FMF – Different

Always a pleasure to join up with my favorite community Five Minute Friday and write on a prompt for five minutes. 

Prompt: Different

I don’t really consider myself a traditionalist in many things, but the one time that tradition seems important to me is in celebrating holidays with my family. 

As the years have gone by and life has changed it has been difficult for me to see things become different than they once were.

Since my brother has more often than not lived far from us the past 10 years he hasn’t had alot of chance to be part of the getting ready for Christmas that we often do. 

We used to go and buy a real tree for years. We would tromp out into the fields at a farm and try to size up what we could see. Sometimes there was no snow to be found and we had umbrellas for the rain. Sometimes we had to make a path thru the snow. My mom developed an allergy to the trees so we have since had a fake tree.

We have collected individual ornaments since we were born. My parents chose the theme of horses for my brother and bells for me. 

– – – end of time

I have since developed a love of ornaments in general and have more than my years. My brothers still get put up on the tree faithfully.

Our celebration dates have changed as well as we have my sister and her family to think of as well. So we have often celebrated with them in January.

The first year my brother wasn’t coming home for December it was hard on the rest of us. My brother reminded us that we were blessed to have all the years together that we did. 

I am not fond of different but sometimes it comes wether you summon it or not. 

#FMF – Excuse

The link up for this one is done but I thought I would still give it a whirl.


I still remember sitting at the light waiting for it to turn green. I was right across from my place of employment and would be there as soon as the light changed from red to green. 

I have no idea what program or who was speaking on the radio but a comment was made about excuses. I have since this moment desperately attempted to recall the exact words and searched in vain for them online.

The words were spoken and it was like an explosion inside my head. Something clicked and I saw excuses in a whole new light. I have since made an effort not to make excuses but to speak truth. 

You can fill the day with excuses or you can acknowledge what is or had happened and move forward. Excuses often revolve around a situation where the truth being given might land you in hot water or create a difficult situation. In this sense it seems dear drives excuses.

I still wish I could remember the exact words that had such an impact but it seems they were just for that moment to change my thinking. 


Joining up with my Five Minute Friday fellow writers

#FMF – Silence

Joining up with my friends who write for five minutes on one word...and then share what has uniquely inspired them.

Prompt: Silence

and when we speak we are afraid              our words will not be heard                          or welcomed                                                      but when we are silent                                     we are still afraid                                              * Audre Lourde

I am not fond of conflict. In fact as soon as I sense conflict, I begin to retreat into myself or very quickly remove myself from the situation. Often when I share an opinion and it is quickly shot down or argued quite heatedly with, I will clam up and not add to the conversation.

In my head, I have some fierce arguments and stunning rebuttals, but they rarely make their way out of my mouth to be heard in the light of day.

I am not sure why I so often choke on my words. I am not quiet and demure. I can offer many a word in conversation, but there are somethings that remain barracaded from being spoken.

Sometimes I think the silence I maintain on these subjects is for the better. That isn’t always so. I just so often don’t know how or when to speak up for myself.

I don’t want to have the thoughts that are vulnerable and raw accosted or even more painful…rejected. I take things personally and that would seem like a bone deep dismissal of my very self.

Sometimes I chose silence. Sometimes fear holds my words hostage. 


#FMF – Invite

Joining up with my.party people from #fmfparty and writing on 1 word in 5 min.


He has invited us in for the last couple years at least. We have been brought close, more then just a thruthe window view. It more of a heart to heart, face to face that we’ve been given.

Each time he writes it breaks my heart and puts the pieces back together again, because he doesn’t stray from sharing the burden of life but also speaks truth with fire. 

He is a fighter. He has been for a long time. These days the battle takes place in a much different setting, but still requires bravery and boldness. And this boldness comes in the form of life being fought for each eaked out second of the day.

The brotherhood looks different now. Its made up of sniffing noses, bearpaw hugs  and animals trained to caregive with their hearts and instinct. And yet it is like a blood brotherhood. The unity of preserving life and fighting off death binds them heart strong. 

The coleader of this battalion has seen the battle from a different angle but has this warriors back. They take ground moment by moment, fighting to grasp life out of every intake of breathe. 

They are battle weary, they hold each other up…looking to the light. Each dawning moment is a gift…there is a breathe that fills their lungs with hope.

They bless us by letting us in. By sharing what is true. What is hard. What is real.

And one of the reasons they are loved so deeply. 

ANDREW and BARB and pups, you are SO loved. 

#FMF- Story

Joining with my buddies over at Five Minute Friday. Writing Five minutes on a one word prompt. Linking up and checking what others were inspired to write. 

Prompt: Story

As I drove west across Michigan today, I got to thinking about why I am heading to the Breathe conference tomorrow. I was reminded of an interaction I had last year at FFW by an aquisitions genleman when browsing the booktable. “So, what do you write?” he asked, which I suppose could be a logical question for such a gathering. I stuttered for a moment then said, “Well I dont really write anymore, I’m more of a reader.” In some sense, I felt like my answer didnt satisfy him, but that could just be my sensitivity. Looking at the different Breakout sessions starting tomorrow I feel that perhaps I am a fish out of water. But what I truly feel called to do is first and foremost encourage others who are writing. In some selfish sense I kind of want them to write bevause I am not able to form the words these days. I believe in story and right now the words to describe what I want to say come from the pens of others. So I think thats why I am here. I am seeking storytellers, heart whisperers. Ones to encourage