relaxation

A Little Basic Planning and the Apple Watch

DSC_0145            A Beautiful Christmas Day View Of The MacDonald Hotel In Downtown Edmonton

(don’t forget to scroll down past today’s poem for my blog entry)

Good Friends Through The Years

 

As each year passes good friends will come and some will go

As these times pass us by I want to write and let you know

 

You my friends and loved ones are the best part of me

If only I had more than just simple words to make you see

 

How much of my life I truly owe to all of you

And how you make my heart and soul feel new

 

Life was tough and bad luck had me down for quite a while

But now when I feel down I can think of my friends and smile

 

My friends and I don’t all have the same image of a perfect world

But into that same great void we will all one day be hurled

 

There are friends so close and true they are almost family

I have so many dear friends that mean so much to me

 

Some know me only through the words I write

But they are there for me in darkness and in light

 

It is heavenly to have good friends in the summertime

And having friends in deepest winter can be sublime

 

It’s more important that your friends are there through good or bad

There will be times when friends seem to be the only thing you have

 

As a teen friends and I loved to pile into a car

Race off and get some beer or find a bar

 

But the friends I have now like me with or without booze

It seemed that all my teenage friends could do was use

 

And then there is true love warm and precious that can grow

From someone who is already a friend of yours you know

 

A love like this can make your heart feel reborn and new

Nurture these friendships, they can change your world for you

 

Just take care to proceed with caution lest you end up alone

Let any love grow slowly, naturally all on its own

 

And one last thing you really need to know

Love can cause you so much pain when it goes

 

But care for your friends and keep trying for that perfect love

Love and friends are the road to heaven and a gift from God above

 

Leif Gregersen

December 28, 2016


     Hello Dear Readers!  Well, a few more people have joined in the past few days.  I have been having problems with my creativity lately and decided that I should try and focus on poetry which comes a little easier to me than short stories.  Then yesterday morning I woke up and was still extremely groggy but had a great idea, to write about my true life experiences in Vancouver as a 19 year-old but add in elements of fiction.  It worked out nicely, and with the help of a few friends I worked it into something that I felt a bit proud of.  Anyone interested in seeing an advance copy feel free to email me at viking3082000@yahoo.com and I will be more than happy to send you one.

As far as mental health goes for today, I think that if I can do a bit of work, especially creative work, along with my daily life and mental health maintenance routine, I will be happy.  My daily mental health maintenance routine is something I knew about but learned a little more about in a class I took called “Wellness Recovery Action Plan” or Wrap.  It is a really beneficial course, it teaches you to become more aware of your triggers and to plan out things you can do to de-stress yourself.  I think I find it most useful in planning a day in which I just feel better mentally.  This includes of course taking my proper medication, but then goes to stuff that applies to anyone.  Clean clothes, brush teeth, make sure and eat three nutritious meals a day and get some exercise.  The exercise part is a bit difficult, but in this past year I made an investment in the Apple Watch Sport and it monitors and reminds you of three categories of fitness: how much you stand (it recommends once an hour for 12 hours of each day) how much you exercise (it recommends 30 minutes a day) and how many calories you burn (this you can set).  It takes into account your steps, your movements, your height and weight and is an excellent addition to a person’s daily routine.  At $500 it isn’t that affordable, but I should note it does a lot more than remind you and help you plan your workouts.  I can ask my watch anything, just like google (as long as my phone is within bluetooth distance) the other day I was at a loss to remember a writer and just asked my watch and it told me right away.  You can also ask it just about anything you can ask Siri on your phone like math questions, addresses.  It updates you on messages, lets you use it as a phone to call or receive calls.  I simply love it.  The other cool thing is that right on your watch face you get the date, the time, the temperature, your workouts and even the next sunset or sunrise time.  It makes things so handy to have all of this right on your wrist, my only real complaint is that it has to be charged approximately every 24 hours.

To get back to the mental health maintenance plan though, after exercise, I find it important to spend some time each day interacting with people.  If I don’t interact with anyone I take two giant steps back in feeling comfortable around others and I have to readjust myself when a social situation does come up.  So I spend a lot of time on the phone and try to engage my roommate and other group home residents at supper and other times.

Another thing that has a lot to do with mental health maintenance is how clean your house, apartment or room is.  Having a clean and organized room is huge.  I recently picked up a book called the ancient art of tidying up or something close to that and soon after reading it I threw out a bunch of stuff that may have been worth something but I wasn’t using it.  I also found a lot of garbage that wasn’t of any value at all and now I can walk around and do things in my room a lot more efficiently.  I have a ways to go, but it has already started to make me feel better.

I have been trying something to make myself happier lately that a good friend has kind of been pushing me to do, I have tried to add in more leisure time to my life.  Simple, fun things that I have always liked but not done because I felt it was more important to work until my fingers started to bleed on my keyboard.  I have been buying comic books and even toys and video games just to keep that inner child of mine happy, and it seems to work well and has even made me more of a personable, social person, which only adds to the medicine wheel of happiness.  I also know I would get a lot out of going to church, but I have had a hard time doing this.  I did attend midnight mass on Christmas which was really special and a lot of fun, I love Christmas carols!

Well, dear readers, I leave you at that.  As always I appreciate any feedback, comments.  Don’t forget to have a peek at my books page, I have written nine books now and would love if someone who follows my blog could read one or more of them (available at amazon in print and eBook) and review or comment on them.  Anyone curious should have a quick look at the amazon page for my first book, “Through The Withering Storm”, it recently got an incredibly good review by a well known psychologist with a Master’s Degree.  Happy New Year to all of you and let’s hope 2016 is a better and more peaceful year for everyone in the world, perhaps especially right now for Syrian refugees.

LG

Jerks and Other Types of Assholes

DSC_0112       This is a picture of the Alberta Legislature grounds and building on December 25th

 

Well, I thought I would change things up just a little bit.  I want to start with the poem for today, so here goes, I will follow with some commentary in case anyone is interested.

 

Dear Friend

 

Fight the years that try and break you down

Show no fear even when death is all around

Life can be a journey through many years

And as you grow older your perception clears

 

No one knows what waits for us on our final day

But there is no chance of changing it anyway

Love and laugh and do all that you can

Face life and death with courage, faith and a plan

 

Fight the lies the assholes use to keep you down

Don’t let them make you face your loved ones with a frown

Stand tall if you can and never stop working hard

Fight for the ones you love, don’t retreat a single yard

 

Rewards await for those who truly dare

If you never try no one will ever care

The strength you need is right inside of you

You must be strong and tall and true

 

Don’t let love pass you by as I have done

You can’t spend your whole life with just anyone

The one you love must learn just how you feel

If you ever want to have a love that’s real

 

What is deep in your soul can one day come true

But there is no one who will hand your dreams to you

You have to battle pain and hate and time

But it’s not so bad, your soul ages like wine

 

Your life’s work can last mankind a thousand years

If you work hard enough and overcome your fears

Work and fight until your final breath escapes your chest

Never forget to receive a life on this earth is to be truly blessed

 

I can’t tell you where you will go on that final day

But my dear friend I can definitely say

When you finally stop breathing and slip away

I will not forget to bow my head for you and pray

 

Leif Gregersen

December 26, 2015

     Good day and a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone who follows my blog.  I don’t really know where to start today, but I guess I should begin with how I am doing.  Last night I was feeling a little out of sorts, it likely had mostly to do with all the unhealthy food I have been eating.  I don’t know how many people who read this blog are interested in my talking about mental health, but I want to talk a bit about it here and now.  It can be a hard thing to have an illness at this time of year, especially in the climate I live in.  Edmonton, though perhaps not as bad as further north areas, has very little sunlight which contributes to depression.  Not only that, the holiday season can be a difficult time.  I am still very clearly reminded of my first Christmas as an adult at the age of 18 and living at home with my parents was very unsteady.  I was deeply in love at that time with a young woman I sat next to in school and I didn’t want to give up on the hope of her becoming my girlfriend, even though I had never had a girlfriend in my life before that.  Not long before, I also experienced a loss of a severe nature, a good friend had killed himself (Rest in peace Brad Latta).  So, all of these things, disappointment with the holiday, loneliness and feelings of inadequacy added to my predisposition for a mental illness and life became very difficult.  It was a short time later that I ended up in a mental hospital and literally lost everything.  I don’t know what one person can do, other than to try and make people aware of how delicate the mental health of a lot of people can be at this time of year.  I am having no problems this particular year, aside from being a bit bored and wanting more to do.  I don’t know why, but I don’t seem to be able to write any short stories lately.  Still, the holidays have been great this year.  I spent time with my dad and brother, I went to see the new Star Wars film and I spent a fair bit of time also with friends.  One of my main problems though is that I find it hard to keep focus on anything.  Whatever I seem to do, except maybe writing, and my mind wanders.  Often it wanders to a perceived slight that may or may not have occurred.  The other day I went into a convenience store and briefly talked to the clerk and wished him a Merry Christmas and some guy standing behind me yelled out, “F*%^&ing Fag!” quite loudly.  I didn’t know if he was saying this to me, but it left me pretty upset.  I seem to run into situations like this a lot.  There was another time, not too long ago when I was going to the till at a grocery store and a young man ran and stood in front of me and literally let three of his friends go ahead of me while blocking my cart and then disappeared.  I got extremely upset and decided to keep slamming my cart into the guy who was in front of me and pushed him too far to use the till when he got there.  He swore at me and asked me to move and I said, “Sure, as long as you say please.” and he called me a Fag.  I have played this over and over in my head and I keep wishing I had slammed the cart into him as hard as I could, but all I in fact did was loudly comment on a piece of jewelry he was wearing.  He smiled and said “Maybe we should take this outside.” quietly to himself and when I got outside no one was there.  I just wish I had a thicker skin, but all in all I think it comes down to just maintaining my daily mental health.  One of the most important things I know works is if I meditate.  A half hour, or even less of sitting and just focusing on my breath and trying to keep my mind clear helps me to control recurring thoughts of these perceived slights.   Then of course I also need to keep in touch with the outside world and watch my moods.  If I talk to a few friends and get out and do a few things, including a workout routine, I know for a fact I will be much more able to deal with topics that I am normally very sensitive about.  Of course where this happens the most is work, but, God willing, I am nearing the point where I will no longer have to work my labor job or at the very least be able to work just a few days a month.

Anyhow, that was a long paragraph.  I hope some of you got something out of it, as always I would love to hear feedback.  viking3082000@yahoo.com

Take care!