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Sugar Bush

Updated: May 11


February 23, 2024

The last two days I've spent outside helping tap hard maple trees at my boyfriends' families sugar bush. This is their 200+ year old homestead where they have a pipeline to all their maple trees that then feed into's quite the process.

There were just the three of us, his friend from Gatineau was there. The first day was pretty easy going as we had fluffy soft snow but the next day it began to melt and was much more difficult to walk through. No need for snowshoes this year though, which made moving much faster, but I do love snowshoeing, we just didn't have the weather for it this least not yet is still only February. This is my tenth winter being part of this process and I still love every minute of it. I get to do two of my favourite things; play outside and spend quality time with my amazing boyfriend...what more could anyone ask for!!!

Those of you who have read my physical health blog posts may question how I am able to still do this kind of work despite the chronic pain I am always in. It's a frame of mind, that's all. I love being outdoors, always have. I enjoy being active, and as you are aware, I have A.D.H.D. so I have no other choice but to stay active. But in all honesty, it comes back down to changing my mindset. I've been ill my entire life, it worsened exactly 20 years ago this year. It was 2004, I was 29, I had what I felt was everything, my life was finally on track, then suddenly Trigeminal Neuralgia erupted and that was it for me. For a few years I fought hard to find what was causing it. Then for a few more years I fought hard to just try and get rid of it. Then finally I came to the realization this was it for me. This was my norm and I had to learn to just live with it. I had to learn to live with a lot of different illnesses that came up with it as well. And yes, some days I just want to stay in bed but that is not an option for me as I have pets to care for, and stoves to fill in the winter, lawns to maintain in the summer. There's just too much to do to become bedridden. And what kind of a life would that be anyway. I was only 29 when I got knocked down, I'm only turning 49 in less than a month, going into park is not a way of life, not for me, I couldn't imagine not 'living' my life, no matter what it looks like. Two songs always come to mind when I start to feel down, they are triggers but they really do mean a lot, they are both music from my youth.

It's just a line in the songs that really speak to me, I love both bands, always have, and these songs, as are most of their music, are totally awesome...but these two with their single sentences, each pierce my heart and make me want to get up and try as best I can.

The first is from The Tragically Hip, I have loved them forever and worked at their concerts at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa from 1991 to 2001 as a Security Guard, it was magic, their music and that job kept me alive. The song is Ahead by a Century, "No Dress Rehearsal, this is Our Life!"

The second is from another super amazing band I've also loved since high school, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the song Can't Stop, "This Life is More than just a Read-Through!"

These songs are both reminders for me that there is no second try at this. I only have one life, and no matter what, I want to have a chance to live it as best as I can. So, despite the pain I am in, the headaches that I have, how low I feel, whatever other bs is thrown at me, I still persevere because I have no other choice. This is why I try my best to make myself as healthy as I possibly can, all the different therapies I do, eating as healthy as possible, exercising daily, meditating, mindfulness, being outdoors, staying active. I just want so badly to 'live my life' for whatever it may be! And I hope this encourages others in the same situation as me to still strive for a better life as well despite the really is remarkable once we can see past the pain and bs... Life really is Incredible!!! :)



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