Tag Archives: reflection

2020: A Retrospective

I recently saw a sign that said “2020. Written by Stephen King. Directed by Quentin Tarantino.”

Apt, yes?

The calm before the storm.

Well, yes and no. For all its tragedies, fears, stresses, economic disasters, fires. floods, storms, inconveniences and annoyances, 2020 could have been a lot worse. In fact, history has recorded quite a number of years that were much worse than this one. 1944 was the worst year of WW II; June 8, D-Day, saw the deaths of almost 7000 allied soldiers (British, Canadian and American) in that 24-hour period alone.

1918 was the start of the Spanish flu. That plague went on to kill 50 million people world-wide. Whole communities were wiped out.

And let’s not forget WW I. On August 22, 1914, 27000 were killed during The Battle of the Frontiers. That was a single day’s losses. In total, that war killed 1.35 million soldiers; that number doesn’t include civilian deaths.

I could give many other examples, but you get the idea.

In the scheme of things, 2020 just wasn’t that bad. In common with others, though, I did a lot of moaning and complaining. But really, I haven’t been that badly affected. It’s more precise to say that I’ve been inconvenienced.

I kept my job. I didn’t lose anyone to coronavirus. I had to stay locked up and quarantined for weeks, but Spouse and I are both introverts. It wasn’t really that difficult.

Given that situation, a spotlight has been focussed on some things to which we need to pay attention; it’s like we’ve been given a second chance. Let’s not blow it.

So in that spirit, here are some realisations, appreciations and habits I hope to take with me:

The worst may be over. For now.

1. Respect for nature. We don’t need to spread ourselves over every single millimetre of this planet. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that this is the attitude that lead to (probably) bat, snake and pangolin DNA combining to bring about coronavirus.

2. Mindful travelling. (https://mindfultravelco.com/5-steps-to-mindful-travel/). Trying to cram an entire continent into a 10-day package tour where the point is to post as many braggy photos to Instagram as possible? That’s not travel. To me, that sounds like a lot of gobbling and very little appreciation. Much of this type of travel is causing extreme damage to the very things people want to see. And the environmental injury is becoming enormous.

3. Solidarity. We’ve all been hit by this. The whole world. Focussing on our commonalities is much better than focussing on our differences.

4. We are a lot more capable than we have let ourselves become. We figured out some amazing, innovative, and environmentally friendly solutions to the coronavirus issues. And those vaccines! So amazing and so fast!

5. There are wonderful people from all walks of life who have stepped forward during this crisis. And sometimes, I was very surprised by who did (and who didn’t). For all we think we know people, we really don’t …

What do you think?

Watching You Watching Them

Alex Badyaev Wildlife Photographer of the Year https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2020/10/winners-wildlife-photographer-year-2020/616710/

Entitled Watching You Watching Them, this photographer was gifted with an example of the bird he was studying right outside his cabin window.

The Cordilleran flycatcher is declining across western North America as the changing climate causes shrinkage of the riparian habitats (i.e. river and other freshwater corridors) along its migratory routes and on its wintering grounds in Mexico. In Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, it typically nests in crevices and on canyon shelves. But one pair picked this remote research cabin instead, perhaps to avoid predation. The nest was built on the head of a window frame by the female. Both parents were feeding the nestlings, flying out to snatch insects in mid-air or hovering to pick them off leaves.

So as not to disturb the birds or attract predators to the nest, Alex Badyaev hid his camera behind a large piece of bark on an ancient spruce tree leaning against the cabin. He directed a flash toward the trunk, so the scene would be illuminated by reflection, and operated the setup remotely from the cabin. He captured his shot as the female paused to check on her four nestlings. Behind her—the cabin serving as a conveniently spacious blind—the biologist recorded his observations.

Happy Friday, everyone. 🙂

Green Growing

The vineyards of the Okanagan Valley are verdant and blowsy with green growing …

… and green globular wine grapes, tight with juice and flavour …

… unless they’re red. 🙂

Most of them will soon be ready for plucking. They will become lots of types of wine, both precious and humble, and everything in between.

Like us.

Greetings from the vineyards of the Okanagan Valley. 🙂

Salt River

The Salt River runs through the town of Fort Smith, NWT.

All is very green right now because recently, there has been a lot of rain.

The Salt River is not salty, but is named for the nearby salt plains. The plains can be found in Wood Buffalo National Park and are very attractive to the many types of animals who like to lick the salt that has worked its way up from deep inside the earth.

During the fur trading days, the salt was collected for seasoning. It could still be used for this purpose today.

Happy Independence Day to our American friends and greetings from the non-salty Salt River. 🙂

A Northern Lilac

In the north, lilac takes a long time to bloom.

It’s July, yes, but these hardy blooms do arrive, even if late by southern standards.

I found this particular bush after a rain when their fragrance was particularly lush and heady.

Hardy they may be, but they spread their gaudy celebration of life with gusto.

Greetings from the lovely northern lilac. 🙂

How to Make a Narcissist Want You

This has become the most popular search term in my list. I have written before about other search terms of this type, such as how to get a narcissist back and how to get a narcissist to fall in love. The titular term is slightly different of course, and making a narcissist want you is not necessarily the same as wanting a narcissist to fall in love or to get him or her back.

There may be a number of things going on here. The first is that there may be the idea of vengefulness in the mind of the searcher. “I want that horrible person to want me so that I can do the same and give him/her the boot. Give him/her a taste of his/her own medicine!”

Or, the searcher may be another narcissist, and in that case, it’s probably an attempt at figuring out how to do a hoover.

Unfortunately, there’s a third option, and that’s the fact that the searcher may really be trying to get the narcissist to “want” him or her. And that’s disturbing, because what that tells me is that the searcher likely

Rain is coming.

knows what the narcissist is but still believes in redemption, in a cure, or that love can conquer all.

And that type of thinking only has negative results: heartbreak, betrayal, manipulation, verbal and emotional abuse (sometimes there’s physical abuse as well), gaslighting, rejection, abandonment, hoovering, more rejection. The behaviour of the narcissist is well-established and steady across years of interactions with others. The course of their interplay with you is very predictable, even if you are never sure what they will do or what is going to come out of their mouths; you know that it’s going to be something, and something unpleasant at that.

Most people are optimistic. Yes, we have periods when we aren’t, but for the most part, the majority of us believe in second chances, change, and opportunities to recoup. Narcissists know this, either consciously or unconsciously, and even if they are the unconscious type who becomes conscious of it, it’s not going to change them.

The people who authentically are trying to get the narcissist to want them are turning a blind eye to what they know. Really, they’re the ones who want the narcissist. The narcissist could care less – a few hoovers, a nice infusion of supply, and then, no more narcissist.

Rain.

Well, the narcissist might turn up now and again, even years apart for a hoover, but for all intents and purposes, the “relationship” is over.

In the end, it’s the victim who has to stop doing the wanting.

Why do people pursue those who have hurt them, manipulated them, betrayed them? Do they feel that it isn’t worth it to themselves to set a standard? (I won’t accept this, this, this and that.) Maybe they’re worried that no one will be left. That unless they accept the narcissist, and convince the narcissist to drop the bad behaviour, they will be alone and everyone will judge them. Or, unfortunately, maybe they are just used to it and can’t imagine another way. Sometimes, it’s that we become comfortable with discomfort.

The charm that the narcissist exudes during the golden period can be heady, wonderful, completely intoxicating.

Once there’s a taste of that, especially if it’s combined with a fear of being judged inadequate if they are constantly alone, or a fear of what might be wrong with them, well, then they’re dealing with what’s in their heads.

The fear that there’s something dreadfully wrong with you if the narcissist can’t be convinced to want you is powerful. The pride that prevents you from moving ahead as a single is also powerful.

And again, the narcissist knows this and takes advantage of it.

This uncertainty in yourself is what the narcissist wants, not you yourself. And you wanting the narcissist? Part of it is that you’re wanting the person the narcissist made you believe you are – an unrealistic golden period version of yourself, and unfortunately, you will fall off the edge of that particular path if you try to stay on it. Yes, you’re wanting what you thought the narcissist is, too, but those feelings you had about yourself during the golden period – you thought you could fly.

Want can never be satisfied; it’s a false economy of hucksterism that the narcissist knows well and manipulates thoroughly. It’s the narcissist’s job to find out what your wants are in order to exploit them.

The narcissist lives externally, and has drawn you into that. There will never be enough love, enough faith, enough loyalty to overcome the narcissist’s deficits and make you feel like you did when you first met the narcissist. There may be glimpses of it, but they’re just that.

It’s unfair, but you will be left holding the “want” bag and will have to deal with it. No Contact is the answer. Many interpret this to mean that it’s for keeping the narcissist at bay.

Yes, it is that, partially. But the most important part is for you. You have healing to do, resting to do, and then, work to do. No Contact allows you to get yourself and your life sorted, to create space so that you can do the work of figuring out why you would love and/or want the narcissist. When you’re asking “how do I make a narcissist want me?” – what are you really asking?

Should I change my clothes? Should I change my hair? Make-up? House?Job? Personality? I know – I’ll become a chameleon and be whatever the narcissist wants me to be in that particular moment. I’ll spend all my time doing that and the narcissist will have so much fun with it experimenting with how many different ways I can be pretzeled. It’ll be a blast!!

Why do you want the narcissist to want you?

Answer the question.

It’s a hard question and will take work and struggle and you will feel frustrated and will want to give up.

But accepting yourself, as you are, with what you have to offer, is worth it.

Sun is coming.

The alternative is to accept that you want a mirage and that your life with this individual will be one of denial, deflection and obfuscation. And if you would rather do that, then that’s your choice. Lots of people have made the choice to live that way, but I believe that there’s a better way.

I hope you come around to that too.

Rocky Mountain View

On our last drive from the Okanagan to the Northwest Territories, M and I

stopped at the Overlander Hotel, just outside Jasper National Park.

It was a wonderful respite after eight hours of driving through the mountains. There was great food with a wonderful room in the original lodge that was built more than 100 years ago.

The view from the dining room is stunning, with the mountains gazing serenely from their redoubt.

Greetings from the beautiful Overlander Hotel.