Keep moving

Keep moving

A little over two years ago, when I was experiencing a lot of pain in my legs, I went to visit Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia to discuss the topic: Aging and Cerebral Palsy (there wasn’t a lot of information about growing old with CP, and there wasn’t a lot of research on the topic). I figured CPABC would probably be a good place to start.

While there, I spoke with a woman who once was mobile like myself, but who now found herself wheelchair bound (she must have been about ten years younger than myself). She gave me some advice, “Keep moving,” she said, “Always keep moving.”
At the time, I said, “I take transit; I have no other options than to ‘keep moving.’”

What I said was true to a point, but it was not the complete truth. Because of the pain I was experiencing, and because I was falling down a lot, I only walked as much as I needed to in my everyday life activities. I stopped moving regularly. I stopped working out at the gym, I stopped walking (I would hop on the bus just to go a few stops). I wasn’t moving.

This winter was no exception. I pretty much hibernated this winter. I rarely went outside other than to work and back. I never pushed myself to move more. I used the weather as an excuse to not go out. I was pathetic (and this is the truth). As a result, I gained all the weight back, which I had previously lost). It wasn’t until I got disgusted with myself that I finally acted on it.

I gave up drinking beer at home, and I am cutting down on junk food at work (and somewhat at home, if I am truly being honest). I have also started to walk more. This isn’t easy. I am terribly out of shape and I require to stop half-way to my destination just to catch my breath. It’s pathetic really, but it is a start, and this is what I need to focus on that it’s a clean start. I am not walking fast, so when friends asked to walk with me; I turn them down, because I either can’t keep pace, or I need to rest.

My goal this week, I plan on walking home from the Skytrain. I told my other half that I would be home later than usual because I plan to walk from the station. I won’t be doing my “Toronto walk.” If I did that, then the walk would kill me; New Westminster has a lot of hills and from the station most of the trip is uphill, or on a rising slant, so I will be taking things nice and easy.

It’s a new plan. It’s about change, and I am all about changing if I improve myself: Never stop learning, and never stop self-improvement.
—Robert Confiant 6 May 2018 Continue reading “Keep moving”

Gender roles and expectations (Dating for dating sake)

The last post I discussed that I always knew, or part of me did any way, I was gay. In the post, I stated that I dated. The word “date” here might be overstated.

I grew up and attended Catholic K -8 grade school in a community where it was half Italian and half ‘English’ (for want of a better word with English, Irish and Scottish ancestry mix), and where never the two shall mix.

As I stated in my previous post, I always had crushes on girls who were out of reach (I believe that was more subconscious on my part). While in grade school, I tended to have had crushes on the Italian girls; I don’t think it was reciprocal; since, they never showed any interest in me. To be honest here, I don’t know if it was just me, or the fact that I wasn’t Italian myself, or the fact I had Cerebral Palsy, or a combination of these. It doesn’t matter – they clearly were not interested. It was slightly different with the English girls.

With the English girls, I at least got a date to the dances, but there was never a follow up date. We would end up just being friends. And, this is how it continued throughout the rest of my life with girls and I just being friends.

When I finally came out, this was perfect. It was perfect because we had the topic of ‘men’ in common and the women liked it because there was no sexual tension between us. I think these women also liked the fact that they could get a perspective of a man on men. This arrangement of having female friends worked out for me because I found I could be completely myself (Straight me don’t discuss their feelings as freely; at least my generation of men do not).

On reflection at 56 yo, I believe I tried to date while younger because it was expected of me. I also think that if it wasn’t so ingrained in our culture, I wouldn’t have to have attempted dating. As I said in my previous post, my handicap hid a lot of questions.

Gender roles

I have no regrets about the past; I have no regrets at all.
—Robert Confiant 3 April 2018

Hidden Figures, the story of women in NASA (formerly the NACA)

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures the story of women in NASA (formerly the NACA)

I am currently reading the book: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.

I saw the movie first.

I would have read the book first, but I never heard of this story before, and it an important story to tell. I never knew NACA (and later NASA) hired women (never mind women of color).

These women were known as “computers,” before there were machines called, “Computers.” Their job was to handle the many calculations required by the engineers. Many of these women held Master’s and Doctorate degrees at their universities.

The story takes place in the 1950s and 1960s, so segregation was a reality of the day. For the most part the attitude was, “let’s get the job done.” I am not saying, that there weren’t barriers to overcome, on the contrary, segregation, women’s right regarding peer respect, salary and promotion issues were a reality these women faced daily. Despite these concern, the women persevered and, eventually, they succeeded.

I am glad I saw the movie (and I am currently reading the book). As books do, it goes into further depth and detail of the aerodynamics history.
Robert Confiant 10 February 2018

 

 

One more time

It’s been a while, since I last posted, and it will be a little while more. I am on the “Learn French” kick. As a result, I have been spending a lot of my energy on this task.

I have a French last name, Confiant. We have traced the family to the south of France. Our family moved to Saint Pierre et Miquelon (a French satellite off the coast of Newfoundland) many generations ago. For reasons that are lost in history, our family settled in Cape Breton N.S. (Canada). At the time assimilation was occurring. It was either assimilate, or move out, (Which is why one finds French settlement in Louisiana and surrounding areas). My family chose to stay; they chose to assimilate. In so doing, we lost the capability to speak French.

My partner and I  are planning a trip to France next year. I am attempting to learn French (again). I have a French last name, so I figured I better try ti learn the language.

Numerous times in the past, I tried to learn French for the same reason I always attempted to get in touch with my roots. All my attempts were in vain. I found I could read quite a lot of the language; I failed to speak it well. I didn’t get much practice with it, so I gave up each time. This time around, I hope to succeed.

I will try to post at least once a week. Jusque-là, souhaite-moi bonne chance.

Au revoir,
Robert Confiant 2 February 2018

 

Sometimes

Sometimes I don’t know, sometimes I don’t know what I am feeling.

Sometimes I feel empty like a shell of my former self.

People just take, and take, and take until I have nothing else to offer, or perhaps, I am just tired; it was a busy day 😉.
—Robert Confiant 18 December 2017

 

 

It is time to get back at it

I am almost finished my 23rd book; since, I started taking the bus instead of the SkyTrain (since mid-June). I will finish it in about an hour from this post.

Enough of reading, I will leave that for the bus ride, from here on ward, I will get to some serious writing. It is time. I felt I needed a break. Well, coffee time’s over. It is time to get back at it.
—Robert Confiant 3 December 2017

Why I live here

It’s darker now in the mornings when I leave to catch the bus in the morning. It’s getting darker going home in the evenings as well. It won’t be long until it’s pitch dark in the morning, and pitch dark in the evening. I find this time of year a trying experience.

I have a SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder) light at work. It will soon be time to start utilizing it again. I have offered to share it with a few of my co-workers as well.

Rain season is just around the corner. This is just a fact of living in British Columbia. It can be daunting as well. I often tell newbies to Vancouver when they complain about the rain, “If you can’t handle the rain, then you are living in the wrong province.” If they think it has rained a lot before rain season, then they haven’t seen anything yet. Life in Vancouver is all about trade offs with its milder weather versus the rain.

It has been sunny and warm this week, so there are no complaints. One learns to enjoy the good weather when it comes.

I still choose to live here.

Yes, I miss my family, and Toronto, every once in a blue moon, but I have built a life here now. I have a decent job, do my writing, and I have the best friends a man could want. For the most part, I am happy.

What else can anyone ask for?
—Robert Confiant 12 November 2017 (29 March 2018)