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Posts from the ‘appreciation’ Category

Dream vacation … is not happening, how to get over the disappointment

Dream vacation is something I wish you, me, and everybody.

Every human being needs a vacation here and there: from routine, from work, from health problems, from pain and from people who get on our nerves. While I lived in Europe, I practically never had a vacation. Theoretically, every teacher had a very long summer vacation over there, but what do you do for 3 months without any money? That was reality. Salaries were so miserably small that after receiving the vacation pay, usually for almost 3 months at once and paying off debts that one had accumulated over the winter months, there was nothing left. So, the situation is like this: I have now fairly good weather, all kinds of free time and zero money for 3 months or a bit longer until the first salary rolls in. What do you do because you still want to eat and need some basics to survive?

I loved to pick mushrooms, gardening and since early childhood I have been sewing and designing outfits. I was getting up at 5 am, quickly run around the forest to get enough mushrooms for selling on the Riga Central Farmer’s Market, tried to sell them as fast as possible because there was only 1 train going back to where I lived. During these a few hours I also needed to shop for things I was out and then I had to literally run head over heels to catch the train.

If I had some sewing order I would do sewing. If I had somebody interested in private classes, I’d teach also during all summer. I could also do some gardening afterwards to put more food on my table. That was having a vacation, but still working harder than even during the work months.

Once I relocated to Canada I learned that everybody goes on vacation: one time in winter and for 2 weeks in summer. Nice! I mean, 2 weeks is a very short time period to do something meaningful, but still: one probably can catch the breath. Luckily, my husband loves traveling. We tried camping, too, but I find it sometimes scary and sometimes too time-consuming because the sun goes down very fast and after that it is really boring. Darkness. Silence. For night owls like me, that is tough. Sleep runs away, it feels that all insects are straight after me and I also hear some strange steps behind the wall of tent. Not to mention sudden rain, getting lost, not being able to find a decent campground and so on. We usually got products and all camping gear and ended up sleeping over in a motel until we finally gave up the idea about camping without a camper that provides a safe shelter.

Dream vacations happen rarely. There is always something: no time, no money or no health. The last 4 years have been troublesome for me. I would so much love to take a vacation from all pains and health issues. I feel like I totally deserve that.

So, how do you get not upset about some could-be-way-better vacation? How do you get over disappointment that it is not possible again to just leave everything behind and go away for a dream vacation? By making expectations more realistic and down to the Earth. By simply living through the summer and experiencing the best of everything available.

It is a good start not to scroll through social media sites where people share their real or polished up vacations, resorts, beaches, fancy foods, fantastic outfits, extremely exciting foreign cities and far-away lands, best summer destinations what money can get and so on. Keep it simple and enjoy what is within reach.

You might have a very pleasant vacation just a year later.

Secondly, there is something happening locally, too: fairs, food fests, music festivals. If you are a fan of crowds, that is a place to be. What if you are not happy being among lots of people and would rather be on your own? In that case, you could take longer walks, see exhibitions, go to the theatre or some smaller scale musical or art event.

Gardening is the best pass-time for any age, any health condition and any marital status. It comes with an added bonus in a form of freshest veggies possible.

Thirdly, there are plenty of people who are restricted by their health. It can be very tricky to get away when somebody is after surgery or on strong medications. It can be not in your best interest to take a long trip when there are certain life-threatening conditions that require ongoing medical attention.

So, what do you do? Get all crying and in tears because you know you won’t get away? Become angry and nasty because “everybody goes on vacation, only I cannot”? Send sad messages to friends or relatives painting yourself in black mood and feeling like a victim of circumstances? We can certainly do all of the above, and it won’t make us feel one small bit better.

I know that these who wait long enough receive what they are longing for. It might be not the next week or next month, but it will happen. It is true that vacation feels very different at the age of 30 and at the age of 60 or 80. Do you want to wait? Do you feel like it is worth waiting? No, it’s not worth killing oneself about what could have happened, but didn’t because of … all kinds of things. It is not worth trying to figure out why everybody is so lucky and happy and you are not. That is life. Life gives us vacations when it wants, not when we require. With the best case scenario, desires match opportunities.

Well, I always hope that the next year will be better than the previous one. I am going, though, to see my mom, my daughter, my sister and my grandchildren, as well as friends at the end of August. The weather is not going to be splendid in Latvia around that time, it never is, but the best part is meeting people who I love at least once a year. If you have somebody who you haven’t seen for ages, maybe it is a good time to go and pay a visit?

Finally, there are hundreds of great things that don’t require any extra huge spending.

There are numerous new books which wait to be read.

Sketchbook invites to add something new. Maybe you are in coloring? Fashion designing? Maybe make something new for yourself or your home? Maybe spend much more time with your closest ones? It sometimes feels everything else comes first and our direct family can wait. It should be straight the opposite: we have to make many other things wait in order to give our best part to the family. I hope you have a nice summer!

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The happy women come from a place called appreciation, respect and love

March 8th is my most favorite spring day and celebration. Not in a political and feminine rights way, but in the way which says that every woman has to experience some time how beautiful, loved and appreciated she is. Bring me tulips and daffodils; bring me wild anemones with their blue smiley faces, bring all the spring flowers so that I can be proud and happy once again that spring has arrived and I am so happy to be a woman! I always was, and I could imagine not being a woman ever.

I believe self-aware, self-confident, mentally strong and creative women come from families where the feminine side is greatly appreciated. Where helping with each step and idea is always supported by the masculine strength; where the stability and long-lasting genuine love is the basis of a relationship. I happen to have a fantastic family. My mom is always the soul and my dad always was the responsible and supporting part of our family. My husband is everything I could wish for: not only in what he says, but especially in what he does.

Real appreciation and love mean fixing one’s broken wings so that they can fly again, that means being a shelter in a rainy and stormy day since we rarely have only unshaded and undisturbed sun flowing over us. That might mean creating and giving someone completely new wings when the old ones are not any longer repairable.

Women can do everything, they can wear everything and they can be anything they want in 21stcentury. The only chains we put on ourselves are our inability to leave abusive workplace, abusive relationship and abusive partner.  We sometimes overdo with equality and that can harm us. The echo and the response are based on what we do and say. Allowing humiliating one means giving more power to the abuser.  It can be very tough at times to just pack and walk away since there is always hope that we can fix anything, and that is not true. There are people who will never change, never improve and never love anybody else, but themselves.

No money can buy genuine love, honest appreciation and respect. We have to earn respect and respectful attitude by being confident and persistent with our principles, choices and intentions.

I don’t see why in places like Canada women would need to march for their rights: we are entitled to have any job, any position, to live as and where we wish. We have rights to have and express our opinions. Women’s right are really well present here.

In soviet times, it was strongly emphasized that there should be no difference made between men and women, hence, that is discrimination. This was understood or rather misunderstood as women drinking Vodka from large 200 g glasses in line with men, women riding tractors and heavy machinery and smoking and swearing like the roughest men. Women construction workers with a Vodka bottle and hammer in their hands. That picture was sad, and I can recall some images of those so-called very masculine women who had drunk themselves to the bottom. Lots of that has changed by now, but alcoholism among women remains a big issue around the world since it often takes hidden forms. Some addictions are much more difficult to cure in women than in men, and medications do not actually work the same way, too.

Woman’s DNA is completely different, and the life-long program set by the female DNA and epigenetic factors result in many distinctive body and mind processes throughout the life. That does not mean only the genetic inheritance, but also includes all chemical reactions, hormone activity and inactivity periods; how and when genes are turned off and on. That shows in appearance, skin and bone structure, specific features of body systems, etc. There are lots and lots of physical distinctions which definitely have impact on mental processes, as well. However, it is well overdone nowadays just by making only the apparent distinctions important: woman is so much more than a dress, make-up and high heels.

Woman is the muse, the flight of thought, the germination of idea and the continuation of human race. Woman is a witch and a goddess, woman is a mother and a daughter, and woman is the one who keeps fairy-tales alive by telling them through thousands of years. Woman is the wise great-grandmother who has seen it all. Woman is the intuition and inspiration; she is the one who puts flowers in a vase while her husband takes home the daily bread. Old-fashioned point of view? Maybe, but it has proven to be working so well.

I wish every single woman experienced some time how appreciated and loved she is! I certainly have. I’m also very proud and happy to be a woman. Happy International Women’s Day!

Blessings from people who wish us well go long ways

I am very thankful and grateful to all my friends, fellow bloggers who have supported me so much during this extremely tough time.  It might seem like nothing special to those who do not blog frequently or have done this for a short time yet. However, there are moments when our life reaches the point when we become completely upset because of some health issues, we lose our determination and all good intentions are forgotten since there is no energy to implement any of them. During these times, my friends, bloggers were right there. There were hundreds and hundreds of prayers, good thoughts and blessings sent.

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I think the aspect which makes blogging so unique among all other forms of social interaction is the ability to really discover people, make new friends, even though, they are far away and scattered over all countries of the globe. I am certainly grateful for this ongoing, never stopping support. Among you are many people who suffer or have suffered from all kinds of health problems. That’s life and that’s something which we get as a side effect of living not in a perfect world. One second can turn our life upside down, and the sequences can stretch over decades. We need courage to realistically access our condition, and we need lots and lots of strength. What was the most pleasurable experience during the days when I was totally off? Those were encouragements, wishes feeling better and blessings which arrived from all sides of the globe.

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It is so wonderful that there is love which never ends; there is kindness, appreciation and gratitude. It is wonderful to feel better, and lots of friends have contributed to my inner comfort.

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I can only repeat that starting my two blogs (one 4 years ago and this one just last year) was the best thing I could ever do. There isn’t anything else like blogging; no Facebooks, Twitters or other media can ever replace that because of content, unlimited exchange of thoughts, ideas and inspiration.

I am attaching 3 fall photos from my personal archive; I hope you’ll love these.

Those who love art are invited to check out https://inesepogagallery.com/2016/09/25/2949/

and http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/inese-poga.html

And finally: I feel blessed for all this help and am sending back my prayers and blessings to those of you who need them at this moment.

The soothing Sunday thoughts: I refuse to go with the flow

To sit in the backyard and watch everything growing,

To see how blooms come up and how tomatoes get red.

Do you have time for that?

I refuse to be caught up in the trap of the endless rushing.

I simply refuse to burn out myself chasing a mystery.

Must haves and must dos, must sees and must becomes:

It’s a lost competition for me.

Growing 4

I have to be part of the growing:

To watch children growing,

To see the garden growing,

To witness myself growing old and then older.

And growing becomes a part of me.

Growing 2

The greens of the backyard: are they ever soothing!

Plants have no growing concerns and no fear from their fate.

The greens: such a miraculous, endlessly calming quietness!

This must be the secret of growing:

At our own pace, at our own terms.

At the end, we all become ancient cities:

Lost somewhere deep under happily growing greens.

Somebody will be watching this growing.

Who knows whether they realize

How many hidden treasures are underneath?

Growing 3

The Mother’s tree

I have a box of memories. This box holds everything which I could take with me from my past life in Latvia after I moved over to Canada. It is amazing how little space can be filled with memories of 46 years, and that’s all I have from there.

As I’m going through yellowish pictures, some as old as I am now, some even older which makes them 70 or 80 years old, I’m having a look at my mom. She is so diligent, loves moving and doing everything so much that even now at 85 she is still busy in the garden and at the sewing machine. Her eyesight has worsened a lot, but that does not stop her. My dad was like that, too: always busy with something. We had a fantastic place over there in Latvia. It was a semi-detached house; quite honestly, it later caused a lot of problems just because it was not solely ours, and my dad built it practically from scratch, when we moved to this small town Saldus, it had only the outside walls and sort of main structures.

Mother's day

He and my mom worked hard to make it a lovely living space. My mom is a born gardener, somebody who genuinely understands the nature and character of every plant and tree, and I believe I have inherited this knowledge because I have green thumbs, too. We had a huge orchard, 2 greenhouses and many flowers and vegetables, all kinds of them. These, who know what life was like in the late soviet era, can recall how nothing was in the store, so most food which we had on our table came from our own garden. Thankfully, gardening was the greatest thing I could ever learn. I started helping early, we were just small kids: sister and I, but it was an unwritten rule that everybody has to participate in order garden and orchard received the attention they deserved.

My mom in her 30

My mom in her 30

In my memories, there’s always spring and blossoming apple tress in this old place which doesn’t even exist anymore. I suppose, that will be my most favorite time of the year for as long as I live. There were white and sweetly pinkish clouds of blooms all along the garden path as we walk down the hill. The house was at the top of a hill, so when standing there, one was overlooking the most beautiful scene imaginable. Cherries, apple trees, plum trees, pear trees, black, white and red currant and gooseberry bushes were on both sides of the path. I think it’s not a coincidence I love painting garden path images. Whenever I think back, I am seeing my mom under these blossoming apple trees. It is spring, it is warm and sunny and dad works in the small shed he built, as well.

Whenever I think about a mother and her importance in our life, I am seeing a huge apple tree, wide and strong and it carries its fruit through dry, rainy or stormy summers straight into the first frosts of the fall. Branches are so strong and flexible at the same time, but they are in a full beauty in early May. Mother and a blossoming apple tree are synonyms for me.

My mom working at greenhouses

My mom used to work in huge greenhouses, I was quite often with her, I was 4-5 since we didn’t have kindergartens 

I never developed extreme attraction or attachment to things one can buy, but I found an endless opportunity to express myself through things one is able to create. Therefore, creativity became my true existence. That is thanks to my mom who is the most creative person I’ve ever known. She created home decor, pillow cases and curtains, thousands of dresses, skirts, blouses, dresses, coats and jackets. She still loves designing and sewing aprons. She gives them as a gift to people who love cooking or doing work around the house. She could create any outfit one only can dream off. I took over this skill when I was 12; and when I was 13, I was wearing everything made by myself, that included coat, pants, skirts, blouses and tops. It takes my mom nothing to create the most beautiful flower arrangements, and I obviously am good at that, as well. I think my feel of good composition and balance within a space or image takes its origin right there: that is the way my mom would arrange things. Harmony and balance was the main feature of any of her creations. I’ve never eaten more delicious patties or home- made pies. Thanks mom for allowing me to become not a consumer, but so much more a creator of anything beautiful around us! I think it is a precious skill which carries me through life and makes my living so much simpler.

My mom at her sewing machine

Returning to the memory box: I was surprised how few photos I had from all these years. Well, cameras and smart phones were not available as they are now, so having taken a picture was a big deal. I cannot describe the heartache when these pictures didn’t come out as good as planned. It does not really matter whether I have only a few or lots of pictures. My memory has it all: the old house, the orchard and my mom under a blossoming apple tree. That’s all what matters.

My mom in Latvia

A recent picture of mom, just last year, she is 85

I wish you love, appreciation and strength on March 8, the International Women’s Day

This day is permanently associated with the most beautiful spring celebration in my memories. It always was and still is widely celebrated in Latvia, Europe. Unfortunately, we inherited this great day from the former Soviet Union; it was a part of socialist understanding of praising women’s role and importance in the society. Well, it was supposed to be like that, but March 8 got transformed into a really festive day when every single woman was feeling happy, admired, appreciated and loved.

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It’s hard to say what I understood with March 8 as a kid, but I certainly was happy to receive beautiful spring flowers on this day every year in my life until I moved to Canada. What’s celebrated here? Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, and we have begun hearing about the International Women’s Day, as well, but as a part of movement for women’s equality and as a part of feminists’ attempts to get society to understand how strong and valuable women are. Valentine’s Day never took off in Latvia, not to the extent it is celebrated in Canada, and Mother’s Day is a very personal day, so, yes, I am still for March 8, the most beautiful and democratic celebration of every single woman, whether married or not, whether with kids or not, whether famous, or not. Every woman who feels like a woman and is happy about that.

International Women's Day  beautiful daffodils

This day, March 8 never carried this feminist meaning for me. I’ve always been very happy as a woman because I am a woman, and would say this is thanks to the type of family I could grow up. My dad was an extremely handsome man, and my mom still is an extremely feminine woman who always paid a lot of attention to housekeeping, the way she looks, the way she dresses, the way she interacts with other people, although, she had to work hard and long hours. I could see that a real woman does not have to be like a man to show her strength and ability to perform complex and sometimes difficult tasks. A woman does not have to demonstrate she can survive well without support of a man and a husband.

I believe the happiest women have always experienced lots of respect, lots of admiration, lots of understanding. I know that I have. Women can be strong, and there’s nothing actually they cannot manage. However, if you would like to be respected and celebrated as a woman, you have to allow the society and other people to respect and understand you. If you push away a man who’s holding the door open, if you kick out of your way somebody who’s trying to give you a hand, that does not mean they think you are weak and couldn’t do it on your own. That means they want to show you their appreciation for a woman.

International Women's Day carnation flowers

When I was 12, I got a fashion magazine which was published by Aenne Burda edition in Germany. I spoke also German at that age, and I had learned sewing, so this was my most favorite magazine, it was just extremely difficult to get, just like everything else from abroad. There was a picture on the back cover of this Burda fashion magazine: family at breakfast. It looked like spring. There were 2 neatly dressed kids, the man was ok, but nothing special, and there was this woman. She was slim, seemed to be quite tall with long blonde hair and oval, very attractive face. She looked adorable! I absorbed this look, and I told to myself: when I get old and older I want to look just like her! Well, and I sort of always was since I had never any weight problems, my natural hair was always blonde, and later I kept it that color. However, the most important message was under the picture. It read: WE WOULD LOVE THAT EVERY WOMAN EXPERIENCES HOW BEAUTIFUL AND ADORABLE SHE IS. I certainly remembered these words, too.

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I have had fantastic moments and extremely bad moments in my life since, but whenever I was walking down the street or whenever I was at some kind of event or party, and I got those looks which said: oh, you look so nice, I always cited these words in my head: WE WOULD LOVE THAT EVERY WOMAN EXPERIENCES HOW BEAUTIFUL AND ADORABLE SHE IS.

However, wearing a nice dress and high heels, as well as, being able to show off feminine body forms does not make woman a woman. There is so much more, a complete feminine universe, a brave way of thinking, a unique ability to handle and manage things and people. Every woman is different, and it is good that way, however, they all should feel appreciated and respected for what they do and what they are.

International Woman's Day hugs and greetings

Thankfully, life gave me plenty of chances to experience how appreciated I am as a woman. I wish you the same and more and I am sending you hugs and flowers on March 8!

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