Thursday, 27 November 2014

A Magical Metamorphosis.

The past four months have been four months of upheaval, turmoil, adventure and discovery.  I'm in my new home.  My son is in his new home.  Penny, a dog of such sensitive perception, shares both homes.

A new life has begun for my son, for Penny the lovable Jack Russell and myself.  I, a man coping and challenging every aspect of my low esteem caused by past environmental trauma.

Yes, the past four months brought on a deeply intense bout of depression.  The "inner critic" screamed, tormented me to the point I could barely sleep, barely eat.  I was sinking fast.  How was I going to cope? Would my son cope with his new responsibilities?   Would Penny be able to adjust?   Questions, concerns, whirled and whirled in my frazzled mind.  Something had to change.  It was time to battle against the inner critic.  I cannot give my depression permission to sabotage my right to a peaceful, hopeful life.

I learn from that past and embrace the now.  A new sense of excitement, of realistic, positive anticipation that all will be just fine. The inner critic has been replaced by the loving return of my "inner child."  An inquisitive child that sees the good in perceived bad moments.

The powerful revelations that lay within the four months of perplexity quashed the incessant chatter of the inner critic.  My upbeat attitude is returning with a sense of defiant triumph.

When my son lived with me, I hardly saw him.  Just a fleeting glimpse down the hallway as he headed to his bedroom.   I'd get the occasional grunt of acknowledgement from my son.  On a good day I'd get two grunts.  My son, Tristan, an angry, frustrated young man.  A young man craving independence and feeling trapped.  An angry, frustrated young man who would vent his seething rage directly at me.

That was then.  This is now.  My son is coping remarkably well as he sets out on his new life.  Of course, he gets incensed over the bureaucratic incompetence that transforms what should be simple situations into a surreal complexity.  I'm sure you know what I mean.

Tristan has started listening to my advice.  I like to think he listens to all my advice, okay, most of my advice, some of my advice, just a tiny bit of my advice.  Even a minuscule fraction of taking on board my advice is a great deal more than he used to pay heed to.  Now that he is paying his own way, you bet he listens to me in regards to saving money, to paying the correct amount on his taxes.

The anger my son has felt has dissipated.  The communication between the two of us has gone through a magical metamorphosis.

In fact, I'm seeing more of my son now than when we used to live together.  The common denominator is communication, cooperation, love.  And who is behind this new understanding of love I share with my son? Take a bow wow, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!   Penny knew that she needed to see both of us together, all three of us together, as much as possible.  Penny, loving Penny, has taught my son and I valuable lessons.  Lessons that the purity of a dog's unconditional, non-judgemental love, is the bond that grows, that glows with the symbolic beacon of hope  for the future.

A magical metamorphosis.


  1. Penny, the Pawsitive People Healer! It's funny how a change turns out so differently from what we might expect. I'm so glad you, Tristan & Penny are coping with the new life you've carved out for yourselves. Keep on keeping on! :)

  2. Hi Jemi,

    Excellent, I spelt your name correctly on the second attempt. Here's the rest of the comment, again.

    Let's see how this pop-up comment thingy ma jiggy works.

    Penny is pawsitively pawfound. Well, that's what she'd say :)

    Thank you, Jemi.

    Penny's alleged human,

    Gary :)

  3. Awesome to hear! Thanks to Penny's need to avoid being alone, it seems she's brought you and your son together in a positive way. One that neither threatens your son's need for independence nor weighs you down with worry and responsibility. Wow. I love how you now get to spend quality time with Tristan, and that he no longer lashes out at you in his frustrations. Life is better. Life is good.
    And Penny's a star. Of course.

  4. I don't have to give my depression permission. It is wild and badly behaved and does whatever it wants.


  5. What wonderful news to hear. I am so glad you are emerging from the dark time and are ready to take hold of the reins of life again. Great job Penny, you perfectly precocious pup. You've led the team to the light once more.

  6. Hi Kim,

    Your comment is pawfect, according to Penny. I agree with her. It's been a good compromise. A compromise where I'm not intrusive on my son's life.

    Hi Janie,

    Franklin, sort your human out!

    Hi Delores,

    I owe it all to Penny. She had a scheme, sorry, she had it all worked out that she was determined that her love would be the bond that makes it magical.

    Gary :)

  7. Oh what a pup can do. Advice is appreciated more when one has to pay their own bills.

  8. What wonderful magic. And I know your pawsitively beautiful Penny had some to do with it. My relationship with my mom has improved with distance. Funny how things work that way, but we get along so well now when we're together. It's about quality rather than quantity now. :)

  9. That's awesome to hear my friend! You are both growing and changing.

  10. Three cheers for Penny! And for you and your son. I'm so glad for you all! And I'm glad you defeated the Inner Critic too. Good riddance!

  11. I think everyone should own a pet. They give us so much.

  12. The little one's work miracles don't they. I do miss my little girl and the pawsitive support she always gave.

    I'm so happy you, your son, and Penny have found some peace! It's only through independence they learn the value of the individual.

    Happy Thanksgiving - I know an American (well mostly) holiday, but a day for family, and for family celebrations!

  13. Wonderful, positive news. I'm happy your new situation is working so well for all three of you.

  14. A lovely post to read - wonderful news. What a great little lady Penny is :-) x

  15. Positivity seeps from every paw. Change can be scary and emotionally draining but it can also reveal new paths that you hadn't visualised. I am so glad that you, Tristan and Penny are entering a new phase. It sounds like it is going to be exciting for you all. Best wishes to you all.

  16. I am so glad that you and Tristan finally listened to Penny. And wish all three of you nothing but good.

  17. God bless Penny. I should have checked in here at the blog first Gary before I emailed you! Never mind - I have the big picture now. Hang on tight to that inner child.
    You write really well Gary, it's a win-win platform for you, and us the reader.

  18. There are so many things I love about this post like the hope, love, and positivity that is finally coming through for you, Tristan, and Penny. And this: "My upbeat attitude is returning with a sense of defiant triumph." YES! Life will continue to go up and down but with a positive attitude you can get through anything. It's also wonderful that you and your son are finally able to build a new relationship built on respect and love. My relationship with my father took a similar path. It wasn't until I left home for college that my relationship with him changed for the better. I love him very much and now, as an adult, I wish we lived closer to him. Hugs to you mon ami!!!

  19. Hi Gary - this is such good news to read ... life has been distinctly difficult and often black without much sunlight ahead for you: thankfully Penny held her head up through it all ... and has kept the three of you connected.

    I am so pleased for you .. have a lovely weekend ... and with much more happiness and lightness in the future - take care ... and cheers to you three - Hilary

  20. Such good news! I'm happy for all of you. You are a fighter! It isn't easy to do that in this life, but necessary to keep afloat.

  21. I am so happy to hear that all of you have turned the corner on all that upheaval and the accompanying depression. Penny ROCKS! Love that sweet little dog! And every kid craves independence.

  22. Good to hear things are going OK for the three of you at present . . . . Will you get to team up over Christmas.

    Take care be good. . . .

  23. Dogs are such magical creatures. Give my love to Penny. Dragon Hugs!

  24. I hate saying I told you so, but I told you Penny would fix everything. I'm so happy I can say that. I did know everything was going to be okay. I felt it in my water. That's an old expression. I used to tell my sons that everything would be okay and they'd roll their eyes and give me a half-hearted smile. Not a real smile. But I knew. And I was right. Did I mention I love being right? You three are earmarked for great things. It's only beginning, dear Gary. Please give Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar a hug for me. Love that you're back!

  25. "Incensed over the bureaucratic incompetence that transforms what should be simple situations into a surreal complexity," yeah, I think I know exactly what you mean by that.
    It sounds like the blanket of depression has been cast off and that family has come together. Very heartwarming and glad to hear things are looking up for you and yours.

  26. "My upbeat attitude is returning with a sense of defiant triumph" - marvellous news, such a battle you fight and yet come out each time a stronger man, and the distance between you and your son is lessened by the extra distance, which is often the case. The older he gets, the more he'll appreciate you and how good a father you are and have been. Penny knew just what she was doing after all *hugs* x

  27. I'm so pleased to read this my friend.
    Sending positive vibes your way.

  28. I feel closer to my parents as an adult than I did as a grumpy, angry, misunderstood teenager.

    This is a wonderful metamorphosis.

  29. Hi Pat,

    Quite right, my kind friend. Pups are tops in my world. Amazing indeed how they pay heed, when the bills aren't thrills.

    Thank you, Pat.

    Hi Christine,

    The magic continues and yes, Penny was very much part of the new reality. She's a clever dog :) I so understand about the quality as opposed to quantity. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. Thanks for sharing your story, dear Christine.

    Hi Alex,

    Thank you, kind sir. Growing, changing and discovering new adventures. Thank you, Alex.

    Hi Debra,

    Hip, hip, hooray! :) Getting so much better and yep, the inner critic can go take a hike, eh. Thank you, Debra.

    Hi ditchingthedog,

    Indeed, the kind of dog you want to have around you :) We could learn so much from our furry family members. Thank you, kindly.

  30. Hi Yolanda,

    Bless you and the miracles that Patches brought to your life. Penny and I fondly recall the collaboration story Patches and Penny did. Her support to you was, as Penny would say, "pawfound" and loving.

    The independence my son craved, that I craved. You have stated your thoughts so well, Yolanda.

    Yes, even though the other one was back in October, eh, the ethos and ideals of Thanksgiving are there to embrace. Thank you, dear Yolanda.

  31. Hi Eileen,

    Your thoughtful words are cherished. Thank you and onward we go :)

    Hi Teresa,

    Thanks and Penny's love, the binding force behind a lot of the new adventure. Thank you, Teresa.

    Hi Suzanne,

    What a wonderful way to express it, dear Suzanne. Change can be scary and exciting, all at the same time. New phases in the new beginnings. Thank you for your best wishes, my kind friend.

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you, dear Sue. Tristan and I had little choice. She is one determined dog :) Cheers, Sue.

    Hi Rose,

    Your email was gratefully received, my lovely friend. Strewth! The inner child wants to go play, to observe all the wonders around. You are most generous with your words. I'm flattered, dear Rose. Cheers.

  32. Hi Elise,

    What an amazingly thoughtful comment, dear Elise. I also appreciate you alluding to your own life story. How different we can see those we love when the life-changing situations come along, challenge us, make us reflect. I thank you for sharing your own experience. My mother, most of my family, are in Vancouver. How I try to look at it is like this, so far apart and yet, so close together. Bless you, my lovely friend. Savour your own Thanksgiving as best you can in France. Hugs.

  33. Hi Hilary,

    The miracle of love that is the beloved Penny. This took a lot of challenging my own inner critic to finally turn the corner again. The new connection with my son, so much to do with Penny.

    My kind friend, Hilary, may you have a peaceful, positive weekend. Thank you.

  34. Hi Martha,

    I thank you for that. It was a situation that I truly sensed, thanks in part to Penny, that would get so much better. There has been many a time in my 3D world that I've had to fight the fight on my own. I think that helps us keep afloat. Thank you, dear Martha.

    Hi JoJo,

    Thanks, JoJo. Depression has been defied, once again. This has been one of the toughest times I can ever recall. It was most daunting trying to coordinate a double move. Thankfully, Penny lit the way. Every kid needs independence. These days, it seems even more of a challenge for them to leave the nest. Thank you, JoJo. Hope you had a lovely birthday. A peaceful Thanksgiving to you.

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for that, my kind friend. I hope we can team up over Christmas. It's always an uncertain time. Thank you, Rob.

    Hi Al,

    Dogs and dragons, magical creatures :) I shall pass on your love to the amazing Penny. Hugs to you, my kind dragon buddy.

  35. Hey Joylene,

    I'm happy you can say what you're saying, you know what I'm saying...Your water, as per usual, is correct. Nothing like feeling it in your water, eh. I love that you love being right. Thought I'd mention that. Only the beginning, indeed. Penny is definitely going to make the biggest earmark! Penny is partying at Tristan's over the weekend. Upon her return, I shall hug her for you. It's nice to almost back. If not, Penny can pawblish another pawst. Thank you, Joylene.

  36. Hi Pickleope Von Pickleope,

    I had a hunch somebody would relate to that statement.

    The suffocating blanket has been removed, my kind friend. I appreciate your words. I was determined that my depression would not overwhelm me. Thank you.

  37. Hi Michelle,

    You have stated in brilliantly. With each adverse challenge, I do my utmost to somewhat defy my own odds and finally get on with it. The distance has brought my son closer to me. And yes, he is starting to realise that I was not trying to make his life miserable. I was just trying to be the best single father I could possibly be.

    Penny is one smart dog. Thank you , Michelle. Hugs to you and the lovable Lardy! x

  38. Hi Julia,

    I really appreciate your words, dear Julia. Your positive vibes are warmly received. Please know that peaceful, hopeful vibes are kindly returned to you.

  39. Hi Medeia,

    Ah yes, I so understand what you're saying. Although, there is many a time I still feel like a grumpy, angry, misunderstood teenager :) Amazing what the passage of time can do in such a profound way.

    Magical metamorphosis, indeed. Thank you, dear Medeia.


  40. You have ALL come so far and you should be proud. You are fighting through those dark depths with a positive mindset and that is so hard to achieve!! I am certain 2015 is going to bring much good your way! xoxo

  41. Look at Penny changing lives! Dogs change us in ways we don't expect. Love that you are getting to see more of your son than ever. That is awesome! Good for you for battling the negative- it isn't always easy, but it is always necessary. Hugs!

  42. Wonderful, wonderful, absolutely wonderful news. I am so glad that things have turned out so well for all three of you. Somehow, I just knew they would.

  43. Hi Caren,

    Thank you for such thoughtful words, dear Caren. I know that there are times being positive can be such hard work. However, the alternative is a place I'm not a big fan of. Here's to a better 2015 for all of us. Thank you, Caren.

    Hi Jess,

    Fur sure, Penny's changing lives in only a way a beloved furry friend can. A necessary battle against negativity. Absolutely and thanks, dear Jess.

    Hey Dixie,

    I'm thinking, "they're magically delicious....!"

    Hi rhymeswithplague,

    Thank you and being this time of the year, it's a wonderful life.. Your senses, my kind friend, were spot on. Thank you kindly and having a nice weekend.


  44. Love, hugs, kisses from Minnesota for all of you!! xxxoo

  45. Kids need time to mature and forget the rebellious attitudes built up over so many years. I'm sure your relationship will continue to improve - and YAY for Penny for fostering the love! :)

  46. I'm pleased to hear that you are coping well and Tristan is making strong personal growth too. Penny has every right to be proud of you both and of herself too, for the huge part she plays in this. Love your new header.

  47. Penny gets the Nobel Prize for Love :)

    I'm so happy to hear how much your life has improved. Most excellent!

  48. I'm glad the changes are working out for the best.

  49. I'm very glad to learn you've turned a corner into a brighter, stronger, more loving and peace-filled direction. You deserve it all, and much more.

    Love and blessings, my friend. xo

  50. It's funny how sons and daughters actually get along better with their parents when they're out of the house. I think the space helps. I hope all of you continue to make the adjustment, and that things keep looking up.

  51. NO ONE has permission to sabotage your right to a peaceful, hopeful life, Gary. Good to hear your upbeat attitude is returning. You're a good person. Remember that.

  52. This made me smile Gary. Sometimes it's difficult to push those pessimistic thoughts aside but it sounds like you did just that. I'm happy for you.

    My son was the same way. He listened to our advice but didn't take it. Until he moved out. Then he realized we actually knew what we were talking about. Kids!

    Hugs to you and to Penny too!

  53. Change is inevitable, and wonderful when it makes for a better relationship and gives you a chance to do things a bit differently.

    The constant seems to be that amazing and talented Jack Russell in your life. Your post makes me want to clone her.

  54. Where children are concerned, the one they need the most is the one who receives their rancor. You're slowly finding a peaceful way to coexist, and for those of us who never get to that stage, we have our own way of gaining some peace. Some of us move 800 miles away. But we happily took our furchild with us.

  55. I'm so glad you guys could come together like this. Maybe distance helped? I hope everything works out for all three of you.

  56. Hi Kim,

    Right back at you from a very mild Staffordshire! xxx :)

    Hey Lexa,

    Indeed they do. It might take a bit longer with kids who are raised by single parents. An amazing turnaround with my son. Bless him. Penny is one clever, loving dog.

    Hi River,

    Thanks for your kind words. The new adventure in our lives has brought some new magic. Penny is quite the director in this movie of life :) Delighted you love the new header. Thank you, River.

    Hi Carol,

    The Nobel Peace Paws, pawhaps :) Thanks for that and yes, excellent! Thank you, Carol.

    Hi Patsy,

    Changes for the better are warmly embraced. Thank you, Patsy.

  57. Hey Robyn,

    Such a nice corner to have turned around. A bit nervous about what lay beyond the corner. However, the pride I feel for my son and the clever dog, are immeasurable. Love and blessings to you, dear Robyn. xo

    Hi Sherry,

    It might be as sense of relief that makes us all get along better when they move out :) The space sure does help. Space to reflect and think. Thanks for your thoughtful words, dear Sherry.

    Hey Blue,

    Your words are resonating. Evidently, that's good :) From one good dude to another, thank you, good dude.

  58. Hi Elsie,

    I'm glad this could make you smile, dear Elsie. The negative speculation can overwhelm. I always do my best to not let such thinking get the better of me. I know things will eventually work out.

    Kids, indeed, eh! I remember being a kid, sort of. LOL Hugs back your way, Elsie.

    Hi Lee,

    Change and the apprehension, yet excitement it can bring. I had been waiting for the dawning of my new son. I think we both have become better humans thanks mostly to Penny.

    Penny the clone. Just think she could do pawblished pawsts on your site as you kick up your heals and relax. Thank you, dear Lee.

    Hi Dana,

    Exactly, dear lady. I knew all the times my son was being awful to me was because he really loved me. Just a convenient target for his anger as his mother gets on with her own life. Thankfully, our fur child shares two homes less than a mile apart. Thank you, Dana.

    Hi Shannon,

    Now that my son and I are apart, we are closer together. So far, the three of us are having a much better time after Penny told us the "rules." Thank you, dear Shannon.

  59. This brought tears to my eyes, Gary. So glad you all have found such peace. Way to go, Penny. :)

  60. That is fantastic to hear!
    I so earnestly want to maintain a great relationship with my kids.
    Not only do I want them with me in my "golden" years, I gotta keep them on good terms for other reasons.
    After all, Mrs. Penwasser sure won't want to wipe my mouth when I dribble tapioca at the rest home.

  61. How sweet. Sounds like Penny is the parent to both you and Tristan!! LOL

  62. I have an angry young man by the name of Tristan in my life too, but in my case he is my grandson. He feels that life has been unfair to him (and in many ways it has), his dad lives in Australia so my husband and I are trying to deal with some of the anger and the hurt, not easy when all we really want is a quiet life. Thank you for reminding me about unconditional love – I must try harder!
    Big hugs for penny and you.

  63. yay! so awesome to hear that father and son are doing much better! no really...

  64. Hi Julie,

    Tears of hope in what can seem such a difficult, life-changing situation. Penny the peace-maker, methinks :)

    Have a lovely weekend, Julie.

    Hi Carole,

    Thank you so much, dear lady. Good to see you with your blog back up. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  65. Here's to you, Gary. I know, it's a bit early... so what.

  66. Hi My Friend,

    I haven't seen you around in a bit and then saw your post over at Pat's place so thought I would swing by with a big hello. I am glad you are doing better.

    Peace & Light

  67. Hi Al,

    Thank you, good sir. Keeping the kids on good terms for other reasons sounds like a plan I'm relating to.

    Hi Eve,

    It's apparent that Penny's the parent :)

    Hi Barbara,

    Your angry young grandson, Tristan, vents his frustration and you two are the closest means of what could be described as Tristan's processing of his hurt. He will come good for he knows how much you love him. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Hugs to all of you, dear Barbara.

    Hi Lady Lilith,

    My son is getting more like me all the time :)

    Hey Tammy,

    It's totally awesome, dear Tammy. Yes, really :)

  68. Hi Barry,

    It has and then some, my kind friend. The weekend has gone and it was great. Happy times to you, good sir.

    Hey Blue,

    Never to early and I appreciate your kindness.

    Hi Truedessa,

    Ah yes, I visited Pat in the Hatt and his crazy cat. I'm glad you would have a fling and swing here with a bit of cheer. We are doing better and hope to be more proactive very shortly.

    Peace and light to you, dear friend.

    Gary :)

  69. Aren't dogs amazing?! They do so much good for us at times like these and we're always so surprised. I think dogs give what they are given, which leads me to say to you, that you and Tristan taught Penny as much as she taught you. Though I agree with you that the unconditional love part is what dogs give us best, teach us best. I am so very happy for you, Gary, and Tristan and of course Penny! Happy to hear you successfully fighting off your demons, happy to hear there is peace beginning between you and Tristan, happy that Penny still has both of you in her life! You guys are all awesome! Thanks so much for sharing...

  70. I"m back to pester you some more. Aren't you glad? Read your post on my blog and had to pop in for a visit, ready or not.

    Would love a cuppa, but I know you're busy. Next time.

  71. i am so thankful for your growth and recovery in dealing with these major changes! and how wonderful that penny was such a shining example to bring you closer to your son! sometimes space brings people closer together =)

  72. Hey, what's with the robot crap on here? I never put that on!

    Hi Lisa,

    Dogs are such clever, amazing and lovable creatures. I agree with you about the two-way lessons of love we shared with Penny. The demons are still loitering, however, they will never defeat the human spirit. The peace within Tristan's heart is a wonder to sense. It helps me with my peace. Thank you for your kind, thoughtful words, dear Lisa.

    Hey superstar author, Lee,

    You are always welcome to pester me. I'm glad beyond any suitable adjectives.

    I shall manage to find time to have a cuppa' with your kind self. What a deal for my ego having a cuppa' with a superstar!

    Hi Tara,

    Thank you. Growth, recovery and a sense of adventure. Indeed, somewhat further apart and yet, closer together. Thanks for your kind comment, dear Tara.


  73. Penny is such a wise, wonderful friend.

    Adjustments are hard. I don't adapt to change quickly and my natural tendency is to get down. Now I make lists of things I need to get done and keep my mind and body busy until I am adjusted.

  74. Apart from Penny the Jack Russell and modest internet star being the common denominator, I suspect that your son is 'also' spending quality time with his father because he has a choice in the matter. As apposed to having no choice whatsoever. Distance can bring perspective. As can the love of an animal (furry family members I like to say, but hey, you know what I mean).

    Thus, if you would kindly give the lovely Penny a snuggle from Down Under and Off to the Side, I would be much obliqued :)

    PS This is the third time I have read this post. Each time I was about to comment, I either forget what I was going to say, or was distracted. Never mind ... old age I suspect. Aargh ... Crikey! (gotta get one of those in somewhere) :)

    PPS This is wonderful news, Gary. Here's to a happy new year on the horizon :) xo

    PPPS What's with the word verification? :(

    PPPPS Sorry for leaving a post on your post!

    As you were ...

  75. What a great reflection. It is amazing how ones experiences can really change and shaper us.

  76. Missing your comments all across blogiverse. Hope all's well with you.

  77. Hi Elizabeth,

    You are so right. Penny is such a loving, wise dog.

    Good idea to have a list especially when there are adjustments to be realised. Positive distractions do work wonders. Thank you, Elizabeth

  78. Hi Wendy,

    You are totally correct. The time I have with my son now seems to be quality time. Even though he lives less than a mile away, the fact he's getting to live his own life has made a world of differences.

    I shall snuggle Penny on behalf of your Down Under and All over the Place, self! :)

    You kept returning and helped my visitors count. Thank you! Crikey, indeed.

    Thanks in regards to the wonderful news. Here's to you having a superb 2015 as you will get there before me.

    I'm totally pissed off about the word verification. I never put that on there. It's blogger messing about. This means I shall have to revert back to my old comment format.

    A post on a post from the Down Under congenial host :)

    As I was!

    Gary :) x

  79. Hi Lady Lilith,

    Thank you for the return visit. Change can bring us a sense of adventure beyond any doubts. Thank you, dear lady.

    Hi Damyanti,

    I'm having a hell of a time getting back to a blogging routine. So many life changing events in such a short time have completely thrown me off. However, despite me not blogging much, I have been commenting on a huge amount of blogs.

    Have a lovely weekend, dear Damyanti.



I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.