April 2023

It is over halfway through April, and I just haven’t had a message to give you so haven’t written a newsletter till now. You ask what/why?!

Its not for the lack of subjects to write about, nor a lack of energy. I just ran out of confidence that anyone out there cared about the messages or were moved in anyway by them. Today I sat up and said to myself that composing the message was just as much an outlet for me to share something as it was for those reading it to be moved by the sentiment! So here goes…

My message this month is to those who are feeling down. Feeling down is the experience of all of us. Whether it is related to a time of life (retirement, separation, early adulthood, navigating transitions to a change in where we live, COVID, etc.) the experience comes with similar feelings. The main feeling permeating our conscience is losing confidence in ourselves. Whether this is because our career seems stalled; a relationship isn’t vital anymore; or we feel taken advantage of, the outcome generally is the same. We lose the ability to feel hope and expect success. Self confidence isn’t arrogance! It is the ability to accept that beyond the corner that we are about to turn we don’t know what will happen, but that we will be okay.

So what about those who don’t feel that things are going to be okay beyond that corner? They have lost hope for the future, and along the way they have lost confidence in their ability to manage life. To you I want to tell you that what you are feeling is common, and that a feeling of loss of control seems the regular experience of all of us at the moment. For me it has been a general sense that health and wellbeing are no longer mine to control. At the age of 68 your joints ache, your muscles are receding and your waistline just doesn’t respond to weight control strategies! For some of you it will be the economy; or the main ticket items such as climate change.

The good news is that having control over all these items is overrated. Its how we deal with our feeling of loss of control.  For me, I continue to believe in daily exercise, regular outings with friends and family, and expression of how I feel through my paintings. I just cannot afford to lose hope! There is so much to live for that I choose to take the small amount of challenge and balance it with all the amazing things that are happening.

On a different tack, and with a distinct possibility that I will offend some of my readers, I want to express my feelings about the election that is brewing in Alberta. I do so because elections are really about our interpretation of leadership and values. It is important that we look critically at the people running in both our riding and in the province, and that we do the litmus test before we vote. What should that test look like?! The question I am asking myself is: “Is this a person I can trust, and are their values those that I respect”?  So I am hoping that you will also ask yourself this question.

In closing, let me wish you a happy solstice and a great summer.

Peter Craighead

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