“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher

Some days I feel like a little mouse. I wander through my day, nary disturbing a soul. Other days, I feel like a muted lion. I’m roaring, roaring so loud my ears are ringing and yet no one hears me.

When I was young, I was bullied. The bullying stopped when I changed schools, but the low self-esteem and extreme shyness didn’t.

As I grew older, I tried harder and harder to break out of that shell, but succeeded mostly in feeling worthless and acting happy. My relationships didn’t last – I was too busy doing what others thought I should do, but pretending to do ‘my thing’.

That combination of low self-esteem, losing someone I loved, and keeping up appearances landed me straight into a marriage that I didn’t really want. Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? I need to clarify – I thought I was in love. I had left someone I loved dearly due to what others said I should do and fell into the arms of a man I would never have normally even looked at. He could sweat talk anyone and even though his controlling ways grew over our engagement, I thought I couldn’t say no anymore because I had already said yes and it was expected.

Years later, after we divorced (I won’t get into the details of our marriage, I have two beautiful older children who don’t deserve to read that online), I spent a few months trying to find ‘me’. I thought I knew me, but I didn’t. It was tumultuous, emotionally draining, and a hugely stressful time.

Out of that time I met my current husband. We met online playing World of Warcraft. We were friends first and foremost. I never even considered sparking anything with him until one day I asked if he was on Facebook. He was – and the rest is history.

I thought I had finally found myself with him. I love myself husband deeply. He stood by me when I was diagnosed with MS. He stood by my little family when my kids became harder and harder to cope with due to disabilities. He still stands by me and now our three children (we had one little guy together). I feel like I will never be able to tell him or express to him how much gratitude I have for him in my life.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2016. Our lives never seem easy.

I thought I knew me by now. But I don’t. At 44 years old, I am roaring to myself and no one hears. I have an inner anarchist that is never let loose due to propriety. I have to work full-time, I have to be a good mother, I have to be a good wife, I have to be a good care-taker, I have to be a good worker, I have to be a good everything.

The only problem is – I’m not a good me.

Katy Perry – Roar

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In defence of Dirk

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ― Douglas AdamsThe Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

If you haven’t yet watched the 2 seasons of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agengy, do yourself a favour now and go watch it. Seriously – go binge watch that shit. I’ll be here waiting…

…Now that you’ve watched it you can feel just as sanctimoniously ticked off as I am over it being CANCELLED! Shit is like Firefly all over again! BBC AMERICA, WHY!!!???

I NEED to know what happens to Bart and Dirk and Todd and Amanda and Farah. Oh, and the Rowdy 3…

I love the craziness of the series, I love the absolutely nonsense and the absolute rawness that comes with truth that is revealed in it! It’s probably one of the most imaginative, unique shows I have seen in so, so long.

And now I need the books. I had no idea the show was based on a Douglas Adams series (I’ve not read any of his works…don’t mock me, I keep meaning to read HGG). Books are almost always better than the screen material – almost…

There’s a petition that has been created to try to get Netflix to give the show a 3rd season. Of course, I have to share it!

Renew Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency for Season 3/Future Seasons

Now go sign that shit!

The Rowdy 3 – Extended (theme from Dirk Gently)

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“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” ― Marthe Troly-Curtin

It’s been a while. Please sit, and stay a bit…I’ve got a confession to make…

My name is Gwen, and I have an addiction.

Freshwater aquariums.

Sounds innocent enough, right? WRONG!

First, you get a small aquarium, but you research and you know that your little betta needs a bigger one. You upgrade. You add plants. Then you get a great deal off kijiji for an even bigger tank!

The HOBs (Hang On the Back) filters it came with aren’t good enough though…not in your mind. So you get better ones. You put MORE plants in. More fish. One filter isn’t enough! No, no, you need another.

That canopy it came with – it looks terrible over top of all those beautiful fish and that fluorescent light looks horrible. You need glass and LED!

Then you end up with this – 55 g

A 55 gallon freshwater aquarium full of beautiful tetras, and other fish…with hitchhicker pond snails about to be gobbled up by assassin snails (WOOHOO!). The tank came with 2 HOB filters…they would have been adequate. BUT not nearly as sleek as the cannister and submersible in-tank filters. I have more plants on the way – specifically mosses. I love this thing.

Here’s a little video of it about a month ago before I got the in-tank filter – . I’ll try to take a new video of it soon…promise.

Here’s two of my favourite ‘babies’ in this one –


Saphire – Female veiltail betta

Dory (male veiltail betta)

Dory the male veiltail betta – don’t judge me, my 3 year old named him after watching Finding Dory.

I also love this thing – 9 gallon Fluval Flex that will be my shrimp tank. The plants have grown significantly since this photo. Sharp eyes will see Starburst the veiltail betta and Mr. Snail the mystery snail. That sad brown patch in the front is Christmas moss…which I am pretty sure has officially died. It’s being replaced soon. I’m getting some blue velvet and long nose algae eating shrimp tomorrow! YAY!9 g

Here’s my favourite baby in this one –


Starburst – male veiltail betta…wish the iridescent areas would come out more in photos!

Sidebar – I had an MRI on Friday evening…every time I hear the song below it reminds me of being in the machine. Also, I find MRI’s relaxing – it’s the only time NO ONE wants my attention LOL! Not sure if it’s my MS flaring or what though, I felt nauseated and weird after this one. No contrast was used either…weird.

Martin Solveig & Dragonette – Hello

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Marco Polo

“One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside.” ― John Lennon

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” ― Oscar WildeThe Picture of Dorian Gray

Life often throws us curves and sends us on a voyage across a sea of emotions.

They sway and stagger with the rise and fall of the waves being thrown their way.

For some, it is easy to hide. For others – they simply try to navigate through the waves as best they can with the tools they have.

I wonder, sometimes, how ancient mariners navigated the open oceans with no idea what they would or could encounter. How do our lives even compare to that massive unknown.

Looking up at the night sky, I wonder how my ancestors made their way in life. Did they let their emotions roll them or did they flow with the currents…

Loreena McKennitt – Marco Polo

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Somebody’s Someone

“When you can stop you don’t want to, and when you want to stop, you can’t…” ― Luke DaviesCandy

Addiction IS a disease. You can see someone everyday and not realise they have an addiction. They may show signs once in a while, but rarely do you see the whole picture until shit hits the fan.

I’ve known people throughout my life who have suffered from one form of addiction to another. Some you would NEVER know, others were painfully obvious.

The one thing all have in common are the questions – why are they doing it? Aren’t they afraid of losing everything? Can’t they control it? What is WRONG with them? The flip side to those are of course related to the ones who care for them and usually people accusing them of enabling the addiction.

Addicts don’t want to be addicts. They have an impulse so strong to attain that which they are addicted to that nothing matters. Consequences are not part of the equation, until the shit hits the fan. They would rather beg forgiveness and let go in the moment. Until everyone has left them to their own devices, the addict will always feel that things will be OK (not necessarily in the OK way non-addicts would see life).

Just remember to be kind. No matter what happens. Be kind to the homeless addict, your kindness may be the only one they get. Be kind to the loved one struggling with what to do, yours may be the only kindness that helps. Be kind to the people who work with addicts, they deal with a huge burden of care most of us could not even imagine.

Remember to act with kindness and love, you never know the path that lead someone to where they are. Remember that that person is somebody’s someone and that somebody loves them.

Daphne Willis – Somebody’s Someone

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Days go by

“In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die: 
Ever drifting down the stream- Lingering in the golden gleam- Life, what is it but a dream?” ― Lewis CarrollThrough the Looking Glass

Today is a good day. At least, I think it is.

It’s funny how you can wake up and feel like things are good or they are bad…or they just are.

The older I get, the more it feels like time is just an illusion – we believe it keeps a steady pace, but it rushes on and slows are the most inopportune times.

I’ve been very self-examinatory lately. My oldest child will be turning 18 in a few months and finishes high school this school year. My middle child is turning 16 soon. My youngest is going to be 4 in a few months. How has so much time already flown by? How can my first baby have gone from being in my arms to preparing for her adult life?

I’ve never been a perfect parent. Far from it I feel. I feel that I’ve missed too much, not done enough, not been enough. I try – by all the powers, I have tried.

The days go by at a pace that leaves me behind. I remember when my eldest was born, how hard it was. I remember when we adopted my middle child, my sunshine boy. I remember the fear of having a section when I had my youngest – he decided coming feet first into the world was a great idea (a week before he was due no less!).

I remember the first time I saw my first neurologist and was told I have MS. I remember my doctor telling me I have osteoarthritis (I was even younger then). I remember the first time I smoked a cigarette, I remember how I quit but not how long ago it was. It feels like forever.

I can’t remember my first kiss, but I do remember my first real boyfriend.


They are so easily lost.

I find myself constantly trying to remember. My brain has become my enemy and I try to befriend it again over and over.

Days go by, but the memories ebb and flow.

Dirty Vegas – Days go by

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Everything You Want

“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” ― George Orwell1984

Life is funny. The more you want something, the harder it seems to attain. Dream job, significant other, friends, family, emotional states of being. I hear so often how unfair and hard life is.

Yes. It’s hard. Sometimes it’s so hard that it can suck the very breath from your soul.

But you know what? Life is way more complex than to be filled with simplified statements. It’s existential at it’s best and shattering at it’s worse. It is uplifting, freeing, loving, being. It is hurtful, dreary, boring, deceiving.

Life is Janus. It is yin and yang. Light and dark and so, so many shades of grey (no, I am not referring to that book).

Wouldn’t it be grand if everything flowed smoothly? A gentle, easy river ride on a smooth, glass-topped river. A free sail with good winds. The trouble with smooth sailing is that it isn’t appreciated for what it is until you hit rough waters and wish that calm would return.

My life has been far from smooth sailing, but I wouldn’t trade it. Yes, I have many, many regrets. I know if I let some go, I would be happier, but I have yet to learn how to. My point though? When I am sitting in the midst of the calm of my life, I enjoy it all the more and am so grateful for it. I know how rough the waters can be. I love the calm, and try to prolong it for as long as I can.

It is everything I want.

Vertical Horizon – Everything You Want

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“Duty is heavy as a mountain, death is light as a feather.”  ― Robert Jordan

Mental health is a battle. A battle with yourself. A battle with society. A battle with perception. A battle with judgement.

Battles aren’t meant to be fought alone. A soldier never enters a field without his fellows.

When I hear the word battle, I think of something tragic, hard, frustrating, painful. Mental health is all of those…and more.

No one chooses to have to deal with all that. No one wakes up in the morning thinking, “Hey, I think I’ll be depressed today and not function in life.” Who wants that? No ONE.

With chronic illness, comes a host of chronic issues. Depression. Anxiety. Fatigue. Feelings of inadequacy. Regret. Fear. All of those and so much more.

Every day I wake up, I prepare myself for battle. Some days, I rock it. I win that day. Others, I flounder and trip over the simplest things and feel the judgement of the world on my shoulders.

“Love yourself!” That’s what I always hear from others. “You will never be happy with yourself, until you love yourself.” I really wish it was that easy. I envy those who are capable of doing just that.

Every day I wake up wondering if I will ever be enoughEnough for my husband. Enough for my children. Enough for my pets. Enough for my job.

I want to sleep. Not the regular type. I want to curl up in my bed and not move for days. But my body aches throughout the night, my bladder wakes me up. My hips tell me I can’t lay for too long and I have to keep moving. I have to keep going. I have to keep working.

For now, I have to keep moving. The weight of everything weighs on me, and I have no idea how to set myself free.

Linkin Park (feat. Kiiara) – Heavy

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Under Pressure

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” – Bruce Lee

The last while I have been under a tremendous amount of pressure and stress. Physically, my head literally feels like it’s full of pressure – and I usually end up exhausted and with a migraine. Mentally, the anxiety attacks seem to be happening more.

I need to give myself a chance to breath.

My home life is stressful and I’ve been fighting for help. We’re finally getting it. I can breath a little.

My work life is stressful only in so far that I have not been functional enough in my opinion. I need to do more – my head is numb and full of pressure. I have a hard time thinking, concentrating, dealing with my task that are normally so simple to me.

My beautiful cat, Spice, somehow got out of our house on Monday – she’s so skittish and scared that no one can get near her and she will not enter the live trap we borrowed. My heart is breaking. She’s such a sweet tortie girl.

We’re trying to renovate our house and we are going on a whirlwind trip soon. Money money money – must be funny, in a rich person’s world…right? (thanks for that ear worm ABBA, I love it).

My expectations of self are higher than my physical reality. I need to remember that if I am not in health, I cannot care for my children. If I am not focused on being healthy, I will not be there for my children in the future.

So much pressure in my head and chest. I want to crawl into bed and sleep for a month…I have to work. I am the sole breadwinner for my family right now. No rest for the wicked (with MS), right?

Queen ft. David Bowie – Under Pressure

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Don’t Let Me Get Me

“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” ― Herbert Bayard Swope

Truer words have never been spoken.

I am my own worse enemy. I struggle daily with food, with life, with health.

I struggle with being everything to everyone all the time.

I’m burnt out.

I’m exhausted.

I can’t possibly keep up this pace and be of any use to anyone.

I need to make things better or things will fall apart.

I feel like a little rag doll. I’m stitched about the edges to hold in my stuffing, but if you shake me the wrong way, I’ll spill out and fall apart. My seams will rip out, my button eyes come loose. My stuffing will spill out and make a mess. I’ll have failed at being me, even though I didn’t know I could be me.

Right now, at this moment, I hate myself. I hate that I gave in to a horrid craving (it has actually made me feel sick). I hate that I haven’t been able to go to the gym in a week. I hate that I can’t be with my youngest who wanted me to stay home today with him. I hate that I haven’t taken all my kids to the beach yet this summer. I hate that I suck at money. I hate my body. I hate the fog that is permeating my brain. I hate my exhaustion. I hate my anxiety. I hate my stress. I hate everything about it and it boggles my mind that anyone should love me.

I got me. That’s a bad thing.

Pink – Don’t Let Me Get Me

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