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Really? Is that Important? + Bagpipe Boogie + Your Morning Smile

Good Morning from Prince Edward Island,  

4:48 and a flick of the switch and the wiggle of a mouse, I am staring at a blank screen. 

The cursor is blinking and I blink right back at it. I think it is trying to send me a message telling me to say something, anything. 


How are you today? No, really…

I don't know how you feel but 2020 has been a wild and wacky roller coaster ride. Hasn’t it?  So much thrown at our psyches. 

And here we are at the end of another decade. 

When I think about the last decade and the last year, a dog chasing its tail came to mind. I am not sure how a dog feels, but when it finally stops chasing its tail, is it dizzy or was that just plain fun?  

Perhaps a bit of both. 

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing and too much of a bad thing can be a sad thing.  

Perhaps Covid by default has hit the pause button allowing some reality to set in.  Whether dog or a human what is essential after chasing our tails is focus

Essentialism by Greg McKeown was and still is one of my favourite books of the last decade. 

Essentialism as a way of thinking and acting is relevant to the way we lead our lives at home, work, in community and play.

There are times when my brain waves model what a ball of yarn looks like after three kittens have gotten hold of it. 

Greg McKeown writes, "We can all purge our lives of the nonessential and embrace the way of the Essentialist—in our own ways, and in our own time, and on our own scale. We can all live a life not just of simplicity but of high contribution and meaning. 

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

Every choice we make to pursue the essential and eliminate the nonessential builds on itself, making that choice more and more habitual until it becomes virtually second nature." 

So how can we discard the routines that keep us locked in nonessential habits and replace them with routines that make executing essentials almost effortless?

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. ~ Proverbs 21:5

Poverty is usually associated with one's financial status. But for me it can also mean having a lack of well being. Poverty in spirit, lacking joy, purpose, focus or balance. 

In his book, the author states, "Many of our nonessential routines are deep and emotional. They have been formed in the furnace of some strong emotions. The idea that we can just snap our fingers and replace them with a new one is naive. Learning essential new skills is never easy. But once we master them and make them automatic we have won an enormous victory, because the skill remains with us for the rest of our lives. The same is true with routines. Once they are in place they are gifts that keep on giving"

Progress is the power of small wins every day doing something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow. ~ Doug Firebaugh

Greg’s book and others of this ilk like Atomic Habits by James Clear, The One Thing by Gary Keller and Gary Papasan, Tiny Habits, Small Changes That Changes Everything, by BJ Fogg, PhD., have helped at different times to untangle the thinking.

All of these books are top of mind with 2021 marching towards me. Not thinking of resolutions I am more about seeking revelations. What can I do to inch, bump or jump forward. 

“There are going to be people in your life who change your trajectory. They’re going to walk into your life for a moment, a lifetime, or anytime in between. And they’re going to disrupt something in your life. They’ll challenge you, they’ll shake your beliefs, they’ll trigger you and then stand by you as you work through your healing. These people will teach you and be taught by you. You’ll dance and play. You’ll see the softer sides that others don’t get to see. They’ll lay down markers on your life’s timeline. Markers that roar “I was here”. Pre me. Post me. They’re the life changers. The good type of change. Not the one that takes you away from yourself… but the one that brings you home. “ — Vienna Pharaon

Here is an example of someone being totally themselves, I love the energy!!!

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton

Earlier this week, my polymath friend, Peter Rukavina who has a passion for ‘letterpress’ took an idea from fruition with hours. The story here.

I was a fortunate one of 19 who managed to purchase in time a piece of his art. It arrived yesterday. Thank you, Peter. 

Today, I have been listening a variety of piano artists but I must admit, I have this sound playing in the background, and I replayed it three times. 

Thank you for your time today and allowing to be with you. Also, to those who write comments in the blog, thank you for your notes of encouragement. I wish the blog platform would allow me to respond to you directly in the blog, and I am working on trying to find a solution. 

Wishing you a wonder-full weekend. 

With love from Prince Edward Island, 

Bruce & Millie

ps. Your Morning Smile

This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her.

I came into my house and told my dog... we laughed a lot.



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Murdock Morrison - December 7, 2020

Great debate as to what is essential and non -essential and both Mckeown and Mead did this in a very clear statements . You had great quotes in this blog with Pharon and Dolly and then your list of great books – made for an interesting insight into what is happening you with poverty and other areas of life that we need to deal with each day. I would recommend that in your blog in the future there is a performer who is remarkable in so many ways and her name is Lea Lasonga as I found her on PBS as she has a wonderful voice and very special. Murdock

Peggy Freeman - December 6, 2020

Thanks, Bruce! Enjoyed the music and the message! Have a wonderful week!

Melanie R - December 6, 2020

Thank you once again, Bruce, for your wonderful blog post. I always enjoy it with a cup of tea on a Sunday morning. Your writing gives me a warm sip of the Prince Edward Island spirit. Wishing you well!

althea - December 5, 2020

Hallo, Zyna. How wonderful to hear (somewhat similar) life-happenings from/about an age-contemporary who is aged but not old….like yours truly. I so miss intelligent, fun, conversations from the heart, simplicity and books and laughter. Sadly I know too many same-age-people who keep harping on infirmities. Hoping Bruce won’t mind this reply to you, Zyna – I just realized, from A to Z. How delightful. (Thanks, Bruce.)

althea - December 5, 2020

Bruce, I think I forgot to click on ‘Post your comment’. So writing again – knowing you can delete this bit. A.

Bruce, a capital D Delightful blog, from the peaceful amble through the trees, your openness/honesty in wondering what to write…the videos, the music, the book titles, quotes, everything, ending with your cheeky ‘conversation’ with Millie. What a wonderful, happy start to my weekend and week. Stealing from Peter Rukaviana: Just JOY! Thank you. I take my hat off to you, Bruce. ’tis not easy to write each week something that bumps, jumps forward, resonates with as many different readers as you have. Love and blessings to you and all.

Zyna in Winnipeg - December 5, 2020

Hi again Bruce! So you started with a blank screen, short of ideas, at 4.48 a.m. FOUR FORTY EIGHT! When do you sleep?!
AND THEN -yet again – you gave us another brilliant, thoughtful pot-pourri of words, videos and music. I have still not finished all the links it has created, and all my ‘essentials’ are now out of the window because os the multitude of diversions.
All your fault, and I am SO glad.

This is really just a letter to you, and so please don’t feel any obligation to post it, because it is going to be L O N G! I just thought that you might enjoy knowing what one blog can trigger in one of your readers.

I started with ‘Peter the Printer’. OH how I would love one of those MMXX! prints. Simply beautiful, and BOLD. I have been an advocate and practitioner of calligraphy for almost 60 years, so really appreciate anyone who adores the art of letter production. The piece on Peter was particularly fascinating because I adore Roman numerals, which are fast fading from our frame of numerical knowledge, and I have proof of that. Two years ago my husband and I bought what we consider will be our ‘Last Car’. We are two seniors of 78 and 86. It was a whim, since our 15 year old Matrix was still in good order. However, as we are of that certain age we realized a few more safely features would not go amiss. We bought an amazing Nissan in the colour Nitro Lime. It’s one amazing colour, and not a bad vehicle either! But we decided to go the whole hog and splurge on a vanity licence plate. This is where the Roman numerals come in. Since this was a kind of ‘new beginning’ for us oldies, we decided on the numerology number for just that, amongst it’s other bounties…222…so, translated that became CCXX11. I cannot tell you the number of times we have been approached in parking lots, first to compliment us on the fantastic colour of the car, but then to ask about the number plate! What did it mean? Folks just don’t know the Roman numerals any more and they are SO NEAT!

My second adventure with your blog today was the performance of the second movement of the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto byKhatia Buniatishvili. It was stunning! This is one of my favourite concerti, and I know it well, but to my shame, I didn’t know her at all. She is an artist so at one with the music. It was as if she was making love to and with the piano, and every emotion on her beautiful face flowed into her hands, and it was all so effortless. You forgot that it was performance. It became a sublime experience. SO I went searching for more, and there she was playing the Tchaikovsky Concerto. and once again I heard it as never before. Certainly she plays all pieces much faster than any delivery I have heard before, but whereas that would usually bother me, I listened with a different set of ears, and TWO HOURS LATER I have emerged from my classical concert morning, my poor old heart and battered soul joyfully refreshed. What a lovely unexpected link you provided.

Finally, ( do I hear a ‘phew’ -LOL ) a last link to your Vienna Pharaon quotation about the people we meet while on life’s journey, and the influences they might have on us. Many years ago I arrived at Heathrow airport. on my way to spent time with my parents in Devon. Pushing my luggage trolley I arrived in the bus depot just in time to see my connecting West Coast bus departing the bus stand. The next one would be four hours! At that point I was not a happy traveller. I plonked myself down on a bench, trying to decide what to do next when a beautiful young woman came and sat on the same bench. She too had hoped to be on that bus. We started a conversation, and the atmosphere around me changed…my ‘atmosphere’ changed. We spoke of many things for more than an hour..and then it happened. In the next set of bus bays a woman with a heavy rolling suitcase tripped and fell , and hit the ground hard, and looked as though she was about to struggle to her feet. Luckily no bus was approaching! My companion was immediately on her feet and hurrying over to the person on the ground. You have to remember that this is one of the busiest bus depots in the world. Buses coming and going to and fro to all parts of the British Isles. Unfazed, my friend was now kneeling on the ground next to the fallen woman. No attempt was made to lift her, but a conversation seemed to be happening. I was becoming concerned. I thought that any moment a bus would chose to turn into that slot. The gods were watching. Nothing came. As other buses came and went that space remained clear, and the two women were on the ground for what seemed an eternity. Finally my friend helped he woman to her feet, and after a hug, helped her regain control of her suitcase, and off she went.

I couldn’t wait to know what I had just witnessed, and the crucial knowledge I gained that day I have used ever since.
It turned out that my friend was a life coach – a person with some very special skills and then some! She had kept the woman on the ground because she explained that when we fall we disrupt all of our electrical circuits – or chakras to be more specific. If we jump straight to our feet – which is what we usually do, if not injured, because we are usually embarrassed – we end up with a very out- of -kilter disorientation, which can last several days. She advised to stay on the ground and do a mental body check. Start at the head and work your way to the feet, or vice versa, speaking quietly to yourself. ‘Head…feelsfine…..neck…that’s o.k.’… etc etc.

I have used this on the times when I have fallen, with great success, and shared it with others when possible. It is calming, and helpful, but can be an very worrying sight for neighbours as you lie in the icy back lane after going, teakettle over handlebars’ in the middle of winter. It’s these kind people that will not leave you alone, and try to rescue you. They think you are more than odd when you refuse their help and say you just want to be left there, looking at the bright blue sky!

I had met a very wise woman that day, and I have always determined there was a very good reason that we both missed the bus.
The gods were sending me a life long lesson, and I have never forgotten that lovely friend at Heathrow.

SO….you see now just how many bells you rang for me this morning, which has now become afternoon! It has been a lovely diversion…because Winnipeg is a very worrisome place theses days. But then , so is everywhere else as well.

I think this letter to you has been my chance to lie down and look at the blue sky, and restore my circuits!

Thank you, Bruce, as always…..Blessings be!…..Z

Linda Stephenson - December 5, 2020

I, too, enjoy reading your blog every Saturday morning. I must admit, I never have thought of the bagpipe as a jazz instrument, but it works! I’ve shared the video with a jazz enthusiast friend. Hope he likes it! Stay healthy!

Jennifer - December 5, 2020

I, too, enJOY reading your blogs.
Happy Advent Season to you and yours!
“This is the irrational season, when love blooms bright and wild. Had Mary been filled with reason, there’d have been no room for the child.” ~ Madeline L’engle
And the song based on this from Carolyn Arends, I’ll recommend to you this Season! 😊

Craig - December 5, 2020

Thanks for your blogs Bruce. They are a source of encouragement!

Holly Kovacs - December 5, 2020

Your blog has quickly become one of my favourite parts of my Saturday mornings. Thank you for the insights, the interesting music and stories that I would never otherwise stumble upon, and the warm Prince Edward Island spirit. Wishing you a wonderful day and week ahead! ….till next Saturday!😊

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