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LIFE WITH CYNTHIA: Life feels like being a gerbil on a treadmill

Columnist urges you to see your own evolution in your children as they age, with such joy and explosion of love you forget to be angry and stuck

Today is my daughter’s 37th birthday and I went rummaging through some old photo albums to find some pictures to ponder. She wanted no fanfare, so to post on social media was uncool.

Much like the birth of my twin grand babies, I have respected their right to privacy and kept the rejoicing to myself.

The sun is shining outside, I am watering my little sprouts of radishes, basil, spinach, and sweet peas while doing a load of laundry. I am listening to a profound and deeply thought-provoking podcast and concluded my mind is like a gerbil on a treadmill, legs a-flyin’, heart racing all trying to keep up with my joy-filled thoughts.

Today is a new day, a new dawn, where the sun has burst over the horizon and offered a wonderful clean slate of living. Where do I start?

By reflecting on the 37 years since the birth of my daughter, alongside the five-month-old twin babies, there is much to ponder.

Zach Bush and Rich Roll, two of my favourite educators, conversationally speak about billions of years, like they are a measurement I can fathom.

I wonder where 37 years went, so I can nary imagine 4 or 5 billion.

Who are we today as a species? This morning I produced my breakfast with more thought than most people put in over decades.

I recently found a naturopathic doctor so I can work with them to deal with why my body is producing too much cholesterol.

As I listen to Dr. Bush this morning, he confirms how I am reading my body correctly that my liver must produce cholesterol to line the blood vessels with protection when there is too much sugar present.

I am lean and eat little sugar so why is my liver confused? Maybe it was the 37+ years of alcohol I filtered through it when I was not the person I am today.

How did that change come to be? Dr. Bush talks about “evolution” like I discuss the distance between Bradford and Toronto. That said, he speaks clearly that what happens to the one happens to the whole.

When we can grasp the distance between Bradford and Toronto on a deeper level, we can also grasp the distance evolution has come.

My five years of sobriety is still a drop in the proverbial bucket to the 40 years of alcohol filtered through my liver. My daughter’s 37th birthday reminds me of how many years I used and abused my own body, and her lifetime reminds me of this distance.

The evolution of my recovery is ongoing and will not be fully realized until I am dead.

As my gerbil brain raced around on this sun-drenched morning, I headed down to the dryer to get out my one load of clothes.

Each week, I pride myself on maintaining as little laundry as possible and realizing I only need to wash what is truly dirty.

Being in the caregiving profession, I witness load after load of laundry where it is easier to toss it into the laundry than hang it up again. This alongside our current understanding that wearing it once constitutes soil.

I was pulling out the sheets and folding them. I had a flash in the pan memory of my mother pining for laundry to do, simply for the sole purpose of hanging it on the clothesline on a day like today.

I burst into tears thinking of this simplistic life on the farm in Heathcote where she would gather up a few items, toss them into the sink to wash them and peg them out on the line to dry.

The joy on her face as she watched them blow in the wind is forever imprinted on my psyche. I pined for a clothesline, a yard and the wind.

I am unsure if these thoughts and ponderings will make sense or if they sound like the squeaks and grunts of that gerbil on the treadmill. Sounds that make little sense to anyone else but me.

I believe what the connection to the divine is revealing is how seeing the greater picture and working toward a better world is the evolution and the success of our species. Pining to watch clothes blow in the wind and measuring our own lives by the aging of our children brings great joy when we look at it from an evolutionary perspective.

All the unrest is the result of our dysfunction and lack of grounded love for the planet and our connection with nature, our food and relationships.

Dr. Bush made comment of how we are living separated from nature based on an ancient story of being kicked out of the garden. This “dominion over” attitude is our downfall.

May you pine to find some clothes to wash and put them on a line to blow in the wind.

May you plant a few, wee seeds in soil and watch the shoots, marvelling at the phenomena.

May you see your own evolution in your children as they age, with such joy and explosion of love you forget to be angry and stuck.

May you seek to find spiritual fulfillment that takes you on the journey where your life has no choice but to be wonderful, gerbil-like, and fascinated!

Cynthia Breadner is a teacher, author, grief specialist and bereavement counsellor; a soul care worker and offers specialized care in spiritually integrated therapies. She lives and works in the Bradford, West Gwillimbury area, as a LTC chaplain assisting with end-of-life care for client and family. She is the mother part of the #DanCynAdventures duo and practises fitness, health and wellness. Her book, In Stillness – Short Stories from a Life Well Lived is a compilation of her work and available from Nancy’s Nifty Nook and Health Food Store downtown Bradford. She can be reached at: [email protected]

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Cynthia Breadner

About the Author: Cynthia Breadner

Writer Cynthia Breadner is a grief specialist and bereavement counsellor, a soul care worker providing one-on-one support at
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