Memories of my Mum

Amy Zents with her mum in British Columbia in 2010

My mother was born on February 27th 1936. On February 27th, last month, she would have been 81 years old.

I have a lot of precious memories of my mother, sadly she got disabled in her sixties. She had the right-of-way walking through a green light when she was run down in the crosswalk by a truck driven by a drunk driver.

She was lucky to survive after she sustained a massive brain injury and lost her sight & hearing. This was a decade before she died. Her poor husband who is older than her had to take care of her and nurse her until he himself passed away. Then she was in the care of others and had to be put in Assisted Living.

After her husband passed away, and my mother was unable to walk the dogs or care for them, we adopted their two dogs.

My mother and her husband had adopted them as puppies and raised them for five years until my husband and I brought them to live in Minnesota.

The two dogs are named Cole and Pixie.

My husband James and our two furkids

After my husband Jim and I picked  up the dogs from my mother’s house, we were shuttled to the airport by my mother’s friends.

The two dogs were checked in at the airport and we all had to take the Big Metal Bird from Seattle to Minnesota, first crossing over the Pacific from Victoria Island in a noisy boat, the Seattle Clipper.

The two frightened dogs had to hunker down in crates near a loud engine.

I went from being footloose and fancy-free to becoming a dog mom. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the past seven and a half years.

The dogs have taken over my life. No matter what we do we have to always take the dogs into consideration. Especially since the Pomeranian as a diabetic.

Cole is 12
Pixie is 13

But they are a memory of my mum. They are her legacy to me because she loved them so much. When she could no longer walk them because she was too disabled and her husband had passed away, then I agreed to rescue the two dogs and not separate them from each other.

They are very happy and contented living in our house. They are a lot happier given free rein of the place.

Back in British Columbia they barked so much the police were always being called because they were bored and depressed penned in a little entry area of the house.

My mother couldn’t take care of them the way they needed to be taken care of. The dogs were much younger then and were high-spirited. They needed a lot of exercise and attention. Actually, they still do.

Some of my happiest memories as a child was seeing my mother walk through the front door after she had been at work or grocery shopping. It makes my heart rejoice when the dogs get all excited when I walk in the front door. It’s fun to see them jumping up and down and glad to see me!

Everytime I look at my dogs I am reminded of my mother and how she loved animals. Although I grew up in the heart of urban Toronto, we always had animals as pets.

There were the white mice, Flinky and Twinkie, cute cuddly cats named Sammy and Susie and others, a tan chihuahua named Fritzie, a brindle Bull Terrier, a brown and white guinea pig named Joey, Myrtle the Turtle, a budgie bird, and many others over the years.

Having pets is a good thing. I think it taught me empathy more than anything. I’m very grateful to my mother for being an animal lover and for her two dogs who light up my life everyday.

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Amy Zents dishes on Uni

Did you take a double major like me? You may have thought you wanted to become a Superstar multi-billionaire too by going through music, art and English classes. 

College professors don’t tell you how slim the chances are out there for budding wannabe movie stars.

Well I do not begrudge an education for you, just remember there’s those student loan bills that show up on a constant basis without guarantee of employment.
​I think you are wise to do what you are drawn to rather than what you are forced to do out of necessity. 

I was one of the fortunate few who did exactly what I wanted to do. I took over 500 credits in my college career. I had a very strong thirst for knowledge, and I took a variety of classes from nursing to the art of the science fiction novel.

It took me 14 years to graduate because I quit part way and then returned to finish up. Also, I kept changing my mind and my career focus.

I did walk away with a beautiful career as a radio announcer, but I had been doing that prior to college and I did not need a degree for that. With a college degree, I was able to add another couple of jobs to my resume, that of being a professional music instructor and singer-actress.

In planning your success route you need to keep in mind that being able to communicate is one of the highest qualities a person can possess. 

I was happy to learn to communicate and to create meaning in my life through my college degree and college education, but I knew what I was searching for once I found it.

It’s a pity that a lot of people go into writing, music and the arts with very little to say. They usually wind up working in a furniture store miserable and bitter. 

Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with working in a furniture store. It’s just the part of being miserable and bitter that is the problem.

Nevertheless, the world needs people who can clearly communicate information, inspiration, mind-opening ideas, along with entertainment to enliven and inspire others. 

You actually do not need a college degree to do any of those things if you were born with the gift of gab and a great curiosity and interest in others. Talent surely helps, and a college degree doesn’t hurt.

If you feel that you qualify to be an expert on something, it helps to be able to write or create in a way that you feel will benefit others. Giving is living.

But if you choose to quit trying and lie around all day doing nothing but drink beer and smoke pot thinking you’re an artist, a writer or a musician you’ve got another thing coming.

If you are so young you feel you haven’t really lived or if you feel you have nothing important or interesting to say, perhaps you would be better off forgetting that career in the Arts and becoming a young professional in a high-paying job, and not waste your productive years lying around or working on trifling low-paying unrelated and uninspiring work. 

Why not get a career that will benefit you financially? Decide what you want and go for it.

Then you might earn more money now instead of waiting for that magic opportunity that might never come. 

With your income you might also afford to take specialized classes in future days that will allow you to learn to better appreciate life, music, and the arts.

And with your specialized knowledge you might be able to communicate in a way that is just as beneficial or even more valuable than somebody who just decides to write or create without any purpose, outside of a desire for fame and self-aggrandizement.

The grass may always seems greener on the other side, but I always think you should bloom where you’re planted.

How to make head space in a cluttered mind

So many things to think, do and worry about.

Feeling that less is best is different than living up to that belief.
My attempts at making space in my home by getting rid of clutter has been very difficult for me, but I continue the quest. 

I also want to create space in my mind. Lately I’ve been doing three different things in the morning to calm myself and center myself.

Here is my regimen:

1.

I light a sweet-smelling garden rain candle, and I set the timer for 5 minutes. In that span of time I try to let go of all thoughts that intrude in my head.  It’s amazing what I think about when I stop and listen to what I think. 

2. 

Next, for five minutes I do stream-of-consciousness writing. I write whatever thoughts come into my head. My chicken scrawl is only legible to me because I don’t want others to be able to read it or for me to incriminate myself!

3.

Last, but not least, I review what I’ve written. I look and see what my concerns, actions, accomplishments and fears are. I notice when I complain and when I congratulate myself for doing things I didn’t want to have to do. I notice the recurring themes.

Summary

I’ve only been doing this practice for a few days. So far the thing that I’ve discovered is that I really like living a low pressure, stress-free existence.

I’m raising my consciousness to appreciate my downtime. Although I think about the future, I also try and become more present. It’s not always easy when anticipating a yucky task or chore, but it’s nice to know that I’ve carved out a tiny little niche in which to meditate and reflect on what I think. 

However, I don’t think the goal of meditation is to think, but to empty your mind. 

I’m not quite there yet.

The courage to be genuine


The real Amy Zents

What gives one the courage to be genuine? I recently attended a meeting on branding. People say that when you market something the number one key is branding.
I hate to say it, but to me it all seems fake.

What got millions of people to smoke cigarettes in order to look cool? Would you rather get a sock in the eye then give up your smokes?

Why is it so often when somebody represents themselves on their LinkedIn page they don’t look like that person in real life?

We need to empower our men, women and children to be as real as they can be.

As long as you hide who you really are you will disappoint both yourself and others.

There is nothing wrong in having a mission statement about who you are. There is nothing wrong with maximizing your strengths.

I fear that as long as people put candy coating on reality there can never be real progress.

The truth really matters.

Nobody wants a false front or a cheap fake.

There is only one you. You are special, unique and one-of-a-kind.

Need or needy?

There is a vast difference between needs and wants. But, nowadays, the line is very blurred.

Do you need to buy that or go there? Or do you just want to?

You have 7 basic needs to survive. Love, books, TV, music, coffee, Wi-Fi, and batteries not included.

The seven things you need to live are oxygen, food, shelter, sunlight, water, sleep and elimination.

However, there is a lot more stuff you don’t need.

The media has become very influencial when they convince you that more stuff will make you happier.

In most cases, more stuff creates chaos.

It becomes like a monster that invades and takes over your psyche.

No matter the cause, excess wants are unnecessary and will never stop asking to be fed until you decide to live a simpler, contented life you can control.

Keep Climbing No Matter What

Keep Climbing!

Every time we try to do something, there’s always a chance something might happen that we don’t like.
Similarly, in most climates, sometimes the sun shines and sometimes we get rain. If it’s only sunny all the time, you are living in a dry desert.

The same pattern holds true when it comes to your projects. 

There are some projects that are hard to do by yourself. Especially if it is something to do with special knowledge such as carpentry, mountain climbing or medicine.

Occasionally, other people are necessary for your progress. But other people are not perfect, unfortunately. They do make mistakes whether you like it or not.

In order not to freak out when things go awry, a certain attitude has to be adopted. Keep on track. Don’t get sidelined by trouble.

If the apple cart is upset, all you can do is pick up the apples and put them back on the cart. You don’t start flinging apples. It’s just a waste of energy!

Perfectionism is a stupid goal. It will the thwart your progress.

Perfectionism, not apples, needs to be thrown out the window, unless you desire a nervous breakdown.

I’m learning about the risk-reward ratio in life. Little improvements do add up over time.

You need to be patient with other people, but mainly you must be patient with yourself.

Every little progress also deserves a little reward. Persistence demands it.

Don’t forget to reward yourself when you find yourself doing what you know you should do.

Don’t freak out when things aren’t as perfect as you wish.

If you stay on the path towards progress, the desired outcome will be there waiting for you. No excuses, keep climbing until congratulations are in order!🌹

Musically yours,

Amy Zents 

Let go and love you!

You deserve flowers!

For years and years I walked around feeling bad. Yes, I felt sorry for myself. There is no pity for someone who feels wounded, hurt and used. Others just don’t know or understand. They don’t want to either.
I came to a point when I quit hoping other people would solve my dilemmas. There was nothing they could do to take back the hurt that was caused anyway.

Most of all, I really wanted to be happy.

I read somewhere that happiness is sexy!

This thought changed my life.

But it was only a start.

I still had issues related to my past.

I still felt discouraged, as I pretended to be happy.

Then I realized I not only need to be happy, so as to be attractive and sexy, but I need to value myself much, much more!

In the past, I was often kinder to others than to I was to myself.

I valued others more, and thought I was worth much less. I seemed to attract only people who were bad for me, who put me down and used me.

As I mature, I look at all my work and my accomplishments, my I.Q.of 143, and I think to myself, while no two people are alike, self-preservation is inherent. It is right to care for others, but it is necessary to love myself too.

Preservation of one’s dignity and sanity comes from self-acceptance and personal responsibility, and no one tells you that.

So, others hurt, used, and abused me. I was the victim of various crimes and emotional cruelty. I let that go.

Every day I choose to become the director of my life. I don’t let others or what they say or do get in my way.

Neither should you.

Time to pull up your big girl or big boy pants and fight for your right to party!

Enjoy your life.

Remember, happiness and high self-esteem is sexy!

Let go and love you!

You deserve to be happy too!