Friday, June 29, 2012


Today I'm exhausted...words cannot describe how tired I am.

For the last few weeks I've been dealing with family issues and some pretty major work issues.

I've also been watching someone I respect and care about be used and manipulated by colleagues. I know I have to say something but the stress of it, especially with my aversion to conflict, is getting to me. Last night it was after 2 am before I could even close my eyes. The most frustrating part about it is knowing that morally I must say something. At the core of my humanity it would be immoral to ignore the issue that will hurt someone I care about, and that part sucks.

But it isn't the physical fatigue that gets me. It's the knowing the right thing to do, but loathing to be stuck being the one who has to do it feeling that is draining me.

Last night we were talking about my conflict issues and one of the things that really got me is that so much of what I've been dealing with would and could be completely avoided by one conversation. There are others in the mix causing other issues, but the core problem would only take a single conversation to fix. Unfortunately you can't make people be grown ups when it doesn't suit them.

So today I deal with the unfortunate frustration of utter fatigue. Pop a few Advil and hope the end of today resolves itself or I am going to have a huge giant unavoidable stress/insomnia issue to deal with this weekend....lovely.

Slaying Dragons

I can't think of one self-inflicted prison more demoralizing and emotionally destructive than seeking the approval of a person who can't be pleased. It's like throwing yourself off a cliff repeatedly until you're so broken you can't drag yourself to the peak anymore.

- the author of the blog Battle Scars and Exit Wounds

Wow...Imagine finding out you're not alone in the world, in the midst of your turmoil and deepest shame?
That is what finding this blog series has been like for me. Except that I have an amazing immediate family and 'adoptive' family. In the last 3 years I've finally really begun to understand being family, becoming part of one, which began with my extended family-by-choice and is continued with my family in-loves (because in-laws sounds just so damn wrong!). Kyle has been my biggest support and cheerleader, encourager and demonstrator of true, real love looks like. It looks like friendship but with definite WONDERFUL added benefits!!

You see one of the things that I am most ashamed of is that I have no family. I am, for all intents and purposes, an orphan. I try with my father but as he ages it is becoming more and more difficult to have him berate me, or worse, this week he vented to my 16 year old daughter and told her how ashamed of me he is. That isn't fair to her and he should never have done it, but he did. 

We are all on a journey but recently I came to realize something, prior to finding the above mentioned blog. 

As a human being we all have a right to end relationships that hurt us, cause us stress or pain or that hurt our soul. 

So in the next few weeks I'm going to figure out how to have a really hard conversation with each of my parents. My life is in transition and you can't fight winter (though some sort of warning sign would have been helpful). You can only wear warm jackets (love that is truly given), a pair of mittens (those who journey beside me, lifting me up) and not travel in the worst elements (timing IS king). 

(Yeah I kind of LOVE Game of Thrones, it has DRAGONS!) 

I know that the backlash will hurt, but pain and recriminations are worth it to me, to journey through this winter and into a new spring. And soon I'll be able to say....

And the most important part will be that I will know, that not only have I slain a dragon, but also that I've given birth to new, stronger, better, much SMARTER dragons. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

On being uncomfortable

I don't handle conflict well, at least in my opinion. In fact, I deeply envy those that can routinely go into battle and deal head on with being wronged. I simply cannot do that unless I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm right AND I'm 100% certain of the outcome OR if I have no issue with losing the relationship in question. Should I find myself in the latter space I find confrontation not to be an issue and just do it. But more often than not, I run, hide, burrow, avoid. Or I draft a memo worthy of any legal battle on film. Basically when it comes to conflict, I do not like it at all.

Admittedly, I'm getting better as the years progress, and I've gotten stronger, been surprised when things go well and even found footing and strength I never knew I had.

So through this journey I began years ago (long before I knew I was on it), I've found myself working toward figuring out how to overcome the negative self talk and fear of conflict I have.

For me, I still find that even today, I become physically shaky at even the slightest conflict or confrontation. I get so upset my stomach hurts if I'm confronted by someone else, especially if they do it via email or text. I shake from head to toe and get butterflies in my tummy. It basically sucks and generally I make something bigger (to me) than it deserves.

After reading...reading some more....and reading...then a little more reading, I've come to the conclusion that it isn't simply that I don't handle conflict well, its that I don't handle unnecessary conflict well. Conflict that could have been totally avoided if one or both parties had just been mature enough to have a simple conversation.

We learn alllll the way back in kindergarten that you do the right thing. Talk to people. Don't hit. Use your words.

Grown ups seem to often like the high school drama or passive agressive role of not facing conflict head on. So they hide, play games, especially in the work place.

To that I simply have this to say:

The Grand Gesture update!

So for those of you who read the post about The Grand Gesture and were wanting to see what the final result that made so many women "sigh", the 'movie' is done!

It's spectacular and intensely private, so if you would like to see it you will need to 'inbox' me so I can send you a limited time link to see the WONDERFUL sweetness that came out of this project.

And to the 'boys' out there trying to WOW your women (or men!) I can hook you up with how to really do that spectacularly!

Chaos and other thoughts

    A girlfriend of mine often sends me her random thoughts while she is on her night shifts, they're hysterical at least to me. Or maybe that is because I just think the same way and often feel that the universe NEEDS TO answer these thoughts/questions for me. I read them in her voice and respond, in my head, accordingly. We're only slightly are some of the random thoughts...with, of course, my commentary...and you're welcome!

    I enjoy this time of year because you can eat mcdonald's in your car and not have to worry about a wasp or a bee flying in through your open window and ruining your lunch.  I have a funny story about bugs ruining lunch.  So my grandma was too frail to walk inside a restaurant so we'd just go thru the drive thru and eat in the car.  We were at the a & w on 8th street and parked in the lot.  I was driving a mercury villager, and it had those seat belts that automatically come across your chest when you started the car (and basically hung me every time…small design flaw they're not made for short people) but you had to buckle up the lap belt yourself.  Which I always did.  Anyways, we had the windows open and my grandma was in the front with me and my sister and daughter were in the back.  This freakin COCKROACH and although I have never actually seen a cockroach I swear to god that's what it was, flew in and landed BETWEEN MY LEGS.  I managed to lift my body off of the seat WHILE STILL BUCKLED IN mind you while I was freaking out.  Some of you may not know that I do not have the ability to scream but I can yell rather loud.  I was out of the seatbelt in a flash somehow going straight up and opening the door and taking off the lap belt in one movement.  My family didn't help one iota.  No siree bob, they freakin' LAUGHED at me.  I'm scarred for life.  :o)  but it makes a funny story.  Or maybe you had to be there.  It is early in the morning and things are funnier at this time.

    Ok...just so you know, I've read this 5 times and laughed my ass off each time. Maybe it's because I know you BUT I have a total visual along with actually being able to hear your response in my head...that makes at least one of us crazy!

    a well timed hiccup can defuse tension in the room.  It makes everyone laugh.  Which is good because we could have had a wee altercation tonight

    Duly noted. With my aversion to conflict this might actually work. Though I really need to learn how to handle LIFE in general more head on. I struggle with that and admire your ability to just call shit out. Kudos, do you give lessons? (And again, this gave me a visual...cuckoooo!)

    earlier there was a little moth flying along the floor on the unit I was on… I swear I saw it in the hall about an hour ago…and it just flew by my computer.  It's disappeared.  I hope it's not in my red bull.

    Ummm doesn't Red bull give you wings?? I'm just sayn'....

    when you shine your flashlight into your can you really can't see much of anything…it seems like an idea that would work in theory, but not so good in practice.

    This reads badly but made me laugh because I was like: "Uhhhh she shone what? Where? WTF?" Then I realized you were looking for the aforementioned moth....(they're coming to take me away...)

    speaking of theories…my mom had this flyer for these classes you could order.  They were taught by ivy-league professors and you basically buy the DVD of their lectures.  Which I totally want to do (holy fuck I'm going to be smart with all these night shifts when I do find the money to buy these courses, you know when I win the lottery).  Anywho, there was one entitled the "theory of chaos" which perplexed (and continues to perplex) me.  How can you have a theory of chaos?  Chaos is random therefore defying any logic or theories…I don't get it.  It's been bugging me for days.  Brilliant marketing on their parts…now I NEED to get that series so I can make sense of it all…

    A) If you get this series I want to see it and learn from it too, although you are bringing up a VERY valid point. And B) See pic that follows: 

      I found the moth.  He's gone to a better place.  Now I can drink my red bull.  I was scared to.  I don't like surprises like that.  Watch, he had a brother lol.

      They always have a brother...and my blog is acting up so now my justification (in terms of the paragraph setting not in terms of my desire to respond to your random thoughts) is off and I can't seem to fix it. Stupid technology.

    why are they only coming out with 3D tv now? 

    Why are they coming out with it at all? I mean I have 4 kids? Do you know how many of those stupid glasses we would go through/lose/destroy? Seriously? I don't NEEEEEEED to see in multidimentions to enjoy shows! And because I said that and because the Universe and Murphy conspire daily to mess with me, we are going to end up with all TV all the time being 3D and I'm going to have to conform like a friggn lemming! And what is more is I'll probably like it and hate myself for liking it because today I think it is dumb and inconvenient.

    And thus ends my response to my darling friend who makes me laugh, backs me up and is my family. I love that you get me and that you are in my life. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hockey Coach Accused Of Tripping 13-Year-Old Player

When I first saw this story this morning while getting ready for work I was struck by the type of chance that this coach squandered with his players.

He not only behaved badly but now he's claiming it wasn't on purpose, yet he felt compelled when he 'slipped' on the ice to point an accusatory finger at the children who had fallen and then flipped the bird at the parents watching in the stands.

Even with video evidence the cries of innocence from an adult who should be taking responsibility for his actions he claims innocence. And maybe he did slip, but his actions immediately afterward speak to the contrary. His actions immediately afterward were at best immature and irresponsible, and were, in my opinion a squandered opportunity for example and leadership that kids need to grow and learn to be responsible for their actions.

Had he rushed to the aid of the kids (and yes, at their age, they are still very much children) and shown any kind of compassion or concern I'd be apt to believe, in spite of the video which appears to the contrary, that it was in fact an accident. Instead he points at them as if to say, "watch yourself, I'm bigger than you and I just took you out."

He's not a coach, he's a shameful example of adult bullying.

Currently in Edmonton there is a man, waiting to hear the fate of his teaching career for holding children accountable to their actions. There are men and women all over our country TRYING to set an example, and they are being vilified for it.

Sportsmanship, respect, accountability, leadership, compassion...these are learned behaviours and it is time we as adults acted as such.

It is my sincerest hope that this man is removed from coaching duties and not allowed back on to the ice again, and that in being diciplined that he realizes that he, and he alone, was to blame for his actions. Maybe he should learn from the actions of children:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I'm so awkward!

This weekend we went to spend some time with Kyle's extended family, and to be honest it was marvellous. They're imperfect but they love and respect each other. There are the usual little complaints that each family has about the nutty cousin, the crazy uncle, the flamboyant aunt, the (insert descriptive here) brother, etc. But what struck me is the ease of which I have when I'm with them, which incidentally translates to both sides of the family. I adore listening to his grandparents tell stories. The teasing, laughing and good natured ribbing that is so new to me.

Two-ish years ago when Kyle and I first started dating I began to really learn what family is all about. I truly feel that I've never really felt that I've ever been unconditionally loved by my parents. Whether that was their intention or not, what matters is the feeling that is left behind and, I've always been made to feel that it was my fault. I've actually been told I am difficult to love, and that they don't love me the way I would expect a family should because I don't behave a certain way, speak a certain way, or interact a certain way.

As a result, I've spent nearly 40 years of my life feeling like I didn't play well with other children, and that I was familial awkward (as opposed to socially I totally have down!)

Seriously...I'm like Seinfeld, Elaine dance awkward!

Turns out that I've just had bad examples but because of it I'm now finding myself learning how to be family with Kyle's family, and with my own extended family. But sometimes I find that I am so awkward it is crazy because I don't really know how to accept, well, being accepted and even more so being LOVED! (GASP!)

Because of this I find myself talking to my own cousins and Aunties/Uncles more often and with significantly less trepidation. It's kinda awesome getting to know all of them in a real and honest way. My Auntie Jean often teases me on Facebook and truth be told, I adore it. It makes me feel loved and known and part of a family. Zehra often sends me encouragement when I am clearly deflated, and I know her love is unconditional. THIS is family and I'm learning to trust it.

My children look at Kyle's mom as their grandparent and I hear them so often telling her (and us) and his sister Cara how much they love them. I don't remember, particularly with my daughters, the last time I heard them say that to my parents or their father's mother. To quote our oldest, "Wendy is the grammy I've always wanted!"

I'm so grateful to have his family love us like they do. The unfortunate repayment, from me, that they get is my sometimes awkwardness. I don't always know how to accept what they so generously give me and the kids. I don't know how to not be afraid to stay open and unguarded with them at times, though I try. And I'm learning...because I have amazing family that has chosen me along the way. And I'm becoming someone I'm really proud of, because of them.

Luckily, my kids naturally show their love, trust and appreciation, which means that as parents Kyle and I are somehow getting it right. And that I'm so grateful for, even if it means his family has to deal with my crazy assed way of showing it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Daddy

This year my dad will turn 70. The other day when we were driving home with the oldest child, I said something to her that really stuck with me.

She was upset that the day before, on Father's Day, during brunch with us, my dad talked about going fishing with the kids this summer, and my ex-husband.

Things with the ex are tenuous at best. Like any divorce, it's messy, undignified and frustrating. Anger, resentment and accusations fly from time to time, but for the most part we keep our lives separate from the ex and just live.

In recent months, the oldest one has decided to live with Kyle and I full time. Her dad has responded to this by ignoring her and making her feel guilty. So when my dad, deliberately excluded us by including him, it hurt and angered her. In her eyes, her own father isn't loving her and now in her eyes, my father isn't loving me by this action.

During the drive home I said to her that even if she hates fishing, that she really should go. Dad is going to be 70 and our time with him is finite. I do not want her looking back and feeling like she's missed out on him because she was angry.

I know that I have. And both pride, history and being my father's daughter, doesn't allow me to speak up and say "hey daddy, please include me!" I would love to spend time with my father, especially knowing how limited a time we have left in this world, each breath, every moment that we take for granted may be the one that leaves a deep regret.

My daddy will always be my daddy. My love for him will always be there, running deep. Even when we're not included I appreciate the moments when we are, when I can look at my daddy and see his face.

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Dream Job...

I wrote this post about 5 days ago, and have been mulling it about every since. After a lovely meeting this afternoon with two very lovely ladies, we discussed pushing an idea that would incorporate this dream into fruition. I won't say more about the idea that is forming at this point however, I'm putting this into the universe to ask it, kindly, for the dream to become reality....

I've been lucky in that during the last couple of years I've had a job I've loved. I'm really good at planning events, creating wow factor and a certain je ne sais quoi when it came to meetings or impressing clients. I also happen to be really good at anticipating what needs to be done and getting it done without being asked. When asked what I do, my general response until lately has been "Basically I'm Pepper Pots (from Ironman), I make things happen as if by magic."

While I am an extremely adept executive assistant and business manager, I'm at a point in my life where I want to live my dreams and get paid to do so! That, and who are we kidding, things on the old career front are currently leaving a little to be desired....which has me dreaming again. So instead of choosing to be unhappy about THIS situation, I'm making a choice to embrace dreaming.

So here is my 'wish list' to the Santa of the Universe:
If I could pick the perfect career, it would involve the following: a) no worries about cashflow (I do have kids to provide for); b) travel to places I haven't been before but have dreamed of going to; c) often, if not always, include Kyle and, when possible, the kids; d) allow me to write and make a difference in this world; e) would bring me joy, airplanes, hotel rooms, and epic food; f) be in the form of a TV show or some sort of documentary and give me access to places, people and things that interest me.
Impossible you say? Well maybe, but if I don't tell the universe what I want, how can it give me what I desire?

Beyond Outrageous

My daughters (aged 14 and 16) and I have been following this story for a few days now. They are beyond saddened by this, and as one them aptly stated with deep fear "if he can lose his kids, then you could lose us!"

How long will it take before the courts decide "you're not pretty enough to be a mom", or "you're too short to be a dad" because really, that is what this boils down to.

The children's aid society claims that he became aggressive and loud with them. In other reports it was noted that they also claimed he didn't know his own strength because his "handshake was so strong it would hurt".


As a mother currently in a custody dispute, there is nothing and no one I wouldn't take down or scream at or lose my composure over if they even TRIED to take my kids. To be told I couldn't have them when I'm ready, willing, capable and able...well that just wouldn't go well for anyone.

If you said the tattoo on my back was justification. Or that I had premarital sex was justification. Or that I believe in god, or Prada, or the Muppets was justification. Or that you just didn't like me was justification. I would lose it everywhere.

There is no way to know how good a parent he is. There is no way to truly know how good a parent anyone is. We're all just doing the best we can with what little we have. I know that I came into the job with the only experience of having once been a child. Basically the same qualification and training that most of humanity has.

The fact is that this man has lost more than a significant amount of weight, has abandoned drugs and has shown shown a bigger effort to improve his life to fight for his children than many out there whose so called 'ailments' are not as superficially apparent.

Do these clock punchers in an agency who has more often been in the media for being over worked and under funded than for making the right choices even KNOW what it takes to do what he's done to better himself? They say, you're too fat. He loses weight. They say, you smoke marijuana, he stops. They still withhold his children?? I don't get it.

All I know for certain is that this whole thing scares the bejesus out of me. Am I next? Will I lose the kids I adore because of my tattoo on my back? The blemish on my face? The attitude I have toward child services?

I'm certainly not living in the country I thought I was. Especially when THIS woman is allowed to have 3 children and live freely with them:


Creating Happiness

I've had a crappy couple of weeks as many know. 

I'd love to say it impacted only me but the type of frustrations and hurdles I've hit (including eye surgery that has left me with somewhat limited vision for the next several weeks) have impacted those I love the very most.

Through many days and nights of dealing with one speed bump, followed by a hurdle, chased by a mountain, I've felt myself sucked deeper and deeper down into a vortex of sadness, disillusionment, frustration and overwhelmedness. I FELT like I have no power to change the issues and hurdles I'm facing.

And then I read this:

A dear friend shared it on Facebook and it was beyond aptly timed (Thanks Brent!)

I've forgotten to be a grown up. There is so much of what we are facing that I cannot change. You can't MAKE people do or be or say or act like you want or need them to. You can't even make people be ethical, moral or simply decent.

I'm 40 years old. Old enough to know that I can CHOOSE love, laughter, joy and happiness. I owe a debt of gratitude to the entire universe, even if it DOES have me in a reality show against my will!

Today I'll take it to the pavement and celebrate the things that matter: I'm healthy, my kids are coming home from their dad tonight; I have food in my fridge; an amazing man who I truly love walks beside me each day and sleeps with his arms around me each night; I have choices; my dear friend just had a baby girl and I get to hold a brand new life today... and I get to make my life a brand new life today too.

What I can't change, what will frustrate, anger and paralyze me, I'll take to the pavement, knowing it's all gonna be ok.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Full-day kindergarten not on provincial agenda

Full-day kindergarten not on provincial agenda

Further to the article regarding the budget cut backs, out of my four kids, three attended full day preschool and full day kindergarten. In this day and age of working parents, of which I've been a full time employee following maternity leave, giving mt children the strongest opportunity to be the best that they can be is the deepest desire of my heart.

This is strictly my opinion, and I can't speak for all parents, however I know that I'm not alone in this. To know that instead of the mass chaos of daycare where keeping them from being broken or bleeding is the highest priority I chose to pay a premium for full time preschool and then when I had the option, full day kindergarten. Please don't misunderstand, I work full time as I don't have the patience to have a house full of kids to chase, I deeply respect those that are called to childcare as a vocation!

However, having the choice to choose education over ONLY childcare was something I as a mom felt to be important for shaping my kids.

I won't pretend that my kids are the most academically gifted, nor the most perfectly behaved. They're kids, and unrealistic expectations are already set upon them by society, I don't need to add to that. Instead I needed to give them the biggest leg up I could, which was early learning and discipline to read, write, add and subtract.

I know other provinces offer "traditional school" options, and I would hope that our province at some point will follow suit. Discipline, grading system, arts, sports, culture. Were that an option, I'd take it.

To know that now not only are our governments slashing budgets for the arts, sports and culture, but also for education on the whole leaves me shaking my head. What future does our society have when even the basics of educational options?

I'm writing a better story...

One of my favorite author's is Donald Miller. These days I'm not particularly Christian or particularly any denomination of any faith. But he is a Christian author, and he's my favorite.

Nearly four years ago  my faith was shaken. To it's roots. Nearly four years ago my world, the world of my children, was shaken. Everything I had believed to be true was wrong. Today I am so filled with the deepest of gratitude for that experience. 

The reason he's my favorite is simply:

My dear friend, Marilyn, gave me this book on one of my darkest days during that time. I was lying in bed with a 4 year old who had recently broken his leg, the break happened the evening after my husband of 13 years had moved out of our home and in with his brother, when I first opened the cover.

Do not misunderstand, I had asked my now ex to move out. Things had happened in our marriage that I couldn't get past--bad, horrible, normal, mundane things that happen to many marriages, but I simply couldn't let them go.

At that point I had survived months of verbal barrages that he had 'made a mistake' and I was 'obligated' to forgive him; an effective, if not brilliant campaign of misinformation to bolster his position with friends and family, whilst continuing to undermine mine; and finally a physical altercation. All of this solidified my confidence that the decision to ask him to leave had been the right one.

I first picked up the book, empty and battered. Worn down and broken only to find the first several chapters, well....boring. They were as mundane as my days had become. I fought through continuing on to realize as the book progressed so did the words write themselves upon my heart and into my psyche.

We all have the power to write a better story for ourselves.

To say that this was life changing is an understatement. Every part of my belief, my confidence, who I really thought I was had been wrapped up in this man, another human! And the simplicity of being told through a gentle story of another's life, that *I* had the power to write a better story was so completely liberating and humbling. 

From that day I took my first steps, I began to learn to forgive myself, even if he couldn't, for the things I'd done wrong, the mistakes and wrong turns I had taken. 

My life was changed because of that book coming to me at EXACTLY the right time. My gratitude to you Mr. Miller is immeasurable, my gratitude to the lovely lady who gave it to me is infinite. 

We all have choices, some days we make good ones, some days we make bad ones. But as long as we are writing that story for our selves, we can always remember that Hope Floats...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Eating Better Challenge/Goal

So I'm doing some research on eating clean, and contrary to what it seems it appears pretty simple. It's mostly going to be common sense and discipline on my part....ahhhhh pesky issue of discipline.

I promise to do my best and to keep a journal of my progress through this blog.

I've googled a bunch of options for eating clean and plan to pick up Tosca Reno's book today from Indigo as it is on sale. I also found a great link today that was fairly simple in terms of rules, and as a few friends are planning to travel with me on this journey, I thought I'd post it for them.

So for my chica's who are going to do this with me here is also a shopping list and here is the link for aforementioned shopping list:

To this point in my day I've eaten really well. I had steamed edemame beans, a small salad comprised of shallots and cucumbers and raw almonds (covered in white balsamic and olive oil for dressing only). I've only had one cup of coffee and several of green tea.

So here's my plan for tonight (my weakest time for eating badly):

  • Grocery store to get some fresh fruit (I like raspberries, mangos, and a few other select fruits, but I dislike most fruits truth be told); a bunch of fresh veggies and some chicken to grill and put on top. 
  • If I feel 'snacky' I'll eat the fruit
  • Hopefully I won't eat the bag of Munchies currently residing beside our bed on Kyle's side.
So that's the plan. Girls what are your first steps going to be??

What I did not have, my Children shall...

Many of you know I've been struggling with forgiveness as of late, and how to move on from being hurt or kicked or even just my perception of such, true or not.

I find my heart longs for different outcomes in many of my past relationships. And this blog has probably been my most vulnerable place to have a voice, as a simple Google search will bring it up for some of the people who will know by the content that it is them I speak of. 

The quote below really struck me, because what I'm struggling with is the ability to 'finish the old business' some things, like family, divorce, or situations where you have no control to confront or fix things, leave you (read: me) feeling somewhat powerless to forgive or even move on. 

"Forgiveness is not the misguided act of condoning irresponsible, hurtful behavior. Nor is it a superficial turning of the other cheek that leaves us feeling victimized and martyred. Rather it is the finishing of old business that allows us to experience the present, free of contamination from the past."         Joan Borysenko

I've often times in recent years said to friends, that the thing I will mourn most in this lifetime is never having the unconditional love of my mother. As the years progress, and through much counseling (professionally) I've come to realize and learn that I'll never have that. The cost that it would take for me to maintain a relationship with my mother is too high. It took 4 different professional opinions, more than one who know my mother personally, to help me see this. 

The parameters, the stipulations, the expectations can never be met. The standard never attained. I completely accept this, however, it doesn't reduce the level of hurt by actions and words that are spoken at me. By the lack of love or pride that is given to me. 

In so many ways this relationship has caused me to create many control issues in my life, and even as I grow up at age 40, and learn to let go more and more, I realize that what I can control is the legacy. 

When I look into the eyes of my darling babies, who are growing into wonderful children, I cannot imagine a single thing on this earth they could do that would make me ration my love, or censor it. There is not single human on this planet that could make me choose them over my children, which is what makes my relationship with my mother so hard for me to understand. Despite diagnosis from a medical professional that explains much of it to me, I still don't "get it". And that leaves me hurting every time an action 

So instead, I have resolved to create a legacy of love, laughter, pride and respect for my children. The control I can exert over my life is to show them the unconditional love I long for. I can show them that when someone makes you feel a certain way you still have choices. They will always know that however good, or bad those choices, their mother loves them.

Letting go of the ex

Letting go of the ex

It's funny, last night my spousal-equivalent and I were having this exact conversation. And talking about how 'nuts' some people are when it comes to the end of a relationship.

This conversation happened because a friend of his asked some advice about the ex and hurt feelings involving a relationship that took place months after they had broken up. My spouse's advice? MOVE ON.

Recently we were visiting with friends who had broken up more than a year ago but still see each other regularly WITH the new love interests in tow. This situation made it uncomfortable for US but they seemed perfectly ok with the whole situation.

They didn't seek our advice but had they, we both would've said: MOVE ON.

I'm 'friendly' with several ex's, but I don't seek deep involved relationship with them where I feel the need to check in with them on what could even begin to be perceived as a 'regular basis'.

When my ex husband and I split up, I took nearly a year and a half before I began truly dating again. I had no inclination to 'fix' the hole that was left for my children and I with a band-aid of another man. I fixed that hideous gaping break-up hole, by fixing me, becoming comfortable with who I am and building a pretty terrific life with my kids.

During this phase I had several friends whose long term relationships were ending around the same time who were actively looking for that replacement, or spending time with their ex when an immediate replacement isn't available. They were on dating sites, losing their minds over the ex's behavior, and generally running from what was wrong. And I'm not saying I didn't lose my mind somewhat too, I just didn't feel justified in bringing anyone else with me on that journey under the guise of 'dating'.

I struggle with the concept of 'needing' to be friends, I know sometimes its hard when you have the same social circle. But friends will adapt to the break up if they really are your friends. And yes, sometimes "sides" are chosen. That's life, it happens even without break ups.

My advice to those driving themselves crazy with a relationship they need to let go of is to do what I did for myself after my 15 year relationship and 12 year marriage fell apart was to get to know me again.
To focus all that energy that HE didn't deserve seeking the best an amazing life without him.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Luka Rocco Magnotta pleads not guilty (with video)

Luka Rocco Magnotta pleads not guilty (with video)

Ok, so let me get this straight? He kills a guy, films it, confesses on film and then he pleads not guilty?

The horrifying thing about this is that his narcissism has grown so exponentially that he clearly from all the video footage is reveling in the attention. He WANTED this attention, he sought it deliberately and with well planned intention.

Part of me doesn't want to acknowledge that this has happened, that I read about it, or watch this story on the news. It makes me guilty of feeding this frenzy and I hate that.

The truly sad part of all of this, is if he is successful in his bid for a psych evaluation our LEGAL (not to be confused with JUSTICE) system, will likely create a situation in his sentencing where this man continues to benefit from the notoriety he so desperately sought, and that is just a sad testament to the 'rights and freedoms' this country so "enjoys".

To really punish this guy, take it off air, don't publish, don't cover, don't complete the cycle of notoriety he's been looking for all along.


I think what I really left out of this post wasn't so much a lack of understanding about the legal system we have. I get that as a societal who we are glamorizing this kind of behaviour. I also understand that his lawyer would enter the not guilty plea in order for the court circus that will ensue from trial to happen.

What I think really gets me is that this is the world my kids are growing up in and taking for granted that they will have access to the most sensationalized, graphic news that they can get their hands on. And THAT is what so upsets me.

Crime will happen, we're a society where that is fact. But allowing pseudo celebrity from it is beyond wrong.

You really aren't all that special...

Recently, a teacher in Edmonton was fired for giving a zero to students who didn't complete their assignments.

Here is the full article:

I find this appalling! Kyle's mom is a teacher, and we are the parents to four wonderful kids. But when I read this article I am astounded at the stupidity of it all.

Maybe Kyle and I were just raised with a higher standard, and as such have a higher standard we want for our children. But I am filled with frustration and outrage when I see that a good teacher, with a sensible REAL LIFE approach to teaching, does something like, oh, I don't know, treating the teenager (who is old enough to understand consequences) to a grade deserving of their effort. Zero effort = zero grades.

The parents that are outraged at this teacher are likely the same hypocrites who can't understand what has gone wrong with 'kids these days'.

LIFE doesn't give you an "incomplete' and an opportunity to do better.

Our oldest daughter started her first job recently. Because we know much of the staff and management where she works, we were pleased to find out that they were surprised to find out she was only 15 (just recently turned 16) because she works so hard.

In our home we have expectations and standards. It hurts when we have to take things away or implement consequences. BUT THAT IS LIFE! The kids are kinder, smarter, better equipped for real life because of it.

As a parent seeing passing grades with no merit, soccer games with no score, tournaments where everyone gets a medal, is disconcerting. Our society is teaching children that everyone wins. Feelings don't get hurt. Ativan, Prozac, or any other plethora of drugs will help them cope.

Real life doesn't forgive this way, it isn't kind. It is hard, and cruel and really, really tough. By enabling the all too common mantra of "the world owes me something" we are disabling an entire generation of children. How can we have expectations of kids when there aren't any being set in their world??

In our home we work hard against that but we can't overcome and entire culture of entitlement and attitude. If I had one message for my children it would be the commencement speech from Wellesley High School:

June-July Being 40 challenge

In the months of March/April, I worked on losing 25lbs, and taking up running, and I did it. I've fluxed within 3-4lbs of that weight ever since and as such consider that to be maintaining. In May I ran my first every 10k race and did it in 1hour 24 min. Not record breaking, but an accomplishment none the less.

Having done that successfully I took on another habit--and in the month of May I took a break from on-line shopping. My wallet grew bigger, my addiction grew smaller. Since the end of May I've made 1 on-line purchase of a a dress and shoes from the same company. I haven't been quite so compelled to shop as I had been.

The June/July Challenge: 

I'd like to lose the last 10lbs that I am still bothered by. I would like to do so by eating right and through my running regime that I will be following to prep for the 1/2 marathon I'll run at the beginning of September. This challenge is a bit bigger as we often camp through the summer and barbeque lots. That and I have an adoration of chips, steak and beer (all summer lake staples!) so this means that there will be much preparation and planning and discipline involved.

I don't really want to think about it too much, but rather face it as a choice, a good one. For me, my health, my family, my life.

Anyone want to join me?

Driving the Karma Bus....

This last 3 months have been REALLY trying my patience. Seriously Universe/Karma gods, WTF did I do to you?

I try to be a good person, a good mom, and a good spouse. I work hard, am kind...sarcastic, but kind, I generally try and make this world better if I have the power to do so. It would be arrogant to say I always succeed in this, but I don't deliberately try to go out and hurt people for my own personal gain or satisfaction. Currently, I only have a small list of people Karma keeps missing...ok, that's a lie...I have a growing list of people, but really WHY do bad people have good things happen to them?

There are so many really good people out there with great intentions, and the ones who back stab, and hurt and tear down seem to get ahead? I don't understand. I watch the people I love, who are genuine good people constantly getting sidelined or out right derailed by stupidity, bullying, toxicity and ridiculousness, and I can't help but question the Universe.

I see petty, ignorant people getting ahead professionally, you know the ones, professional vipers--they smile at you and speak nice words, all the while plunging the knife into your back, or the backs of others? It's terribly disconcerting to watch those I would deem to be intelligent men and women fall prey to the hypnosis of these vipers. Yet I see it over and over again. The snakes are everywhere.

I see people personally, gleefully sharing that they 'stuck it to someone'. Just yesterday, I related a story to another party of something that had happened to me recently. They indicated that they had heard the exact same story, same words, same everything. The difference was that the other party was very proud of themselves for being deliberately hurtful and cruel. Part of me wants to be THAT girl. The one who just doesn't give a damn and rolls like she just don't care....except this girl kinda does...a lot more than she'd like to.

Since I was small I repeatedly heard the mantra: do good things, be a good person, and good things will happen for you. And please, make no mistake, I have an infinite depth of gratitude for all the tremendous blessings in my life. I just struggle to understand a universe that allows prosperity in return for being a vile human.

And as a result, the karma gods these days are SERIOUSLY pissing me off...creating all this nonsense in my world and the worlds of those I love.

So hear this KarmaBitch: I want my life rid of the toxic people (easier said than done), you know who they are! I ask to have abundance and blessing; joy and gratitude; hopes and dreams; peace and calm flow over my little family and all those who do good in this world.

And, as for those vindictive vipers, the bitter mavens who litter the professional and personal worlds around me and those I love, I wish this: Whatever has made you so bitter, I wish you find the ability to forgive it. Whatever has made you so insecure, I wish you the ability to heal it. Whatever has made it satisfying to hurt me, to hurt others, I hope you realize and find it in you to fix it. 

Karma has a lawnmower and she's not afraid to use it!

Monday, June 18, 2012

In Celebration of GIRLFRIENDHOOD (It's a word!)

This week I have had to rely on the generosity and kindness of others to help me through my eye surgery. On Friday when I went to the optometrist to have the bandages removed from my eyeballs (yes, they bandage eyeballs with funky, murky contact lens type bandages) I was a little stressed.

My spousal-equivalent had a meeting at the exact time that I had an eye doctor appointment, so I called on my girlfriend Lorie to be my "mommy" for the day! I couldn't see much, wore sunglasses everywhere, and laughed my ass off.

In the midst of our adventure to the eye doctor, we talked about the need for an anonymous blog to really "tell the truth" about people, perspectives, and opinions. We decided the Karma Gods would likely bite our asses in a not so pleasant way, so we wouldn't start aforementioned blog, but we did come up with some AWESOME topics.

Shoes, insanity, stupidity, mean girls, ex's, dreams.....

We talked about how many people suffer from the stupid gene and how much we generally dislike humans, unless they're our humans, and then we love 'em fierce.

In depth we talked about a professional stupidity I've been dealing with for awhile now and she helped me get back on track.

Our foray was a wonderful reminder of how much I love my peeps and what a great family I have. I wouldn't survive, cope, or even function without their love, humor and general goofiness!

Lorie and I both believe that we both attract to our lives marvellous women who are like us. Loyal, loving, honest, ridiculous and totally fabulous.

Our 3 hour adventure made me feel strong, and empowered, and real or perceived it didn't matter that she also reminded me that the gloriousness of true GIRLFRIENDHOOD (seriously, its a word! I made it up!) is this: 

So I toast you SENSATIONAL WOMAN, Lorie! You help make me stronger and better, and are one of my darling sisters I've chosen!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dear Hallmark, you suck

This weekend is Father's Day, and so I ventured out last weekend to the Hallmark store, after all, the 10,000 commercials they have say they have a card for every occasion...turns out...not so much.

First I was looking for a "we may not be married, but you're the best partner in crime and parenting a girl could ask for" type cards. There were lots of "To my Husband" Not even a banal "To the man I love" with no title to pigeonhole the relationship. There wasn't even a "Yo! Thanks for being my baby daddy!" ... seriously Hallmark? WTH?

After 35 cards and much frustration, I thought, this day and age, kids don't have dad's like they used to, there has to be something I can give him from the kids. Well unless you're a biological father, or a step dad or pet owner, nothing! Not even a "you may not be my dad but you're an awesome father figure and I appreciate you!" kind of card.

So Hallmark, based upon the demographic of friends I have I'd like you to note that you should maybe take a leap to 2012 when the traditional family isn't as common, and those non traditional may not be trailer park either.

Then again the world is ending this year, so I understand you hedging your bets.

And because Hallmark couldn't help me I have this to say:

To my BESTEST friend in the whole wide world, most awesome non-bio dad ever, and most generous human I know, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! 

When my little family was happy and what we thought as good as it gets, you came into our lives and showed us how much better it could be. You make our family amazing and complete. We couldn't have more gratitude to have you in our lives and I only hope a life time of showing you our love will be able to convey how much you have changed our lives by being you and loving us right back. 

We love you.

I love you.

To quote Elton John, and because I'm no Hallmark writer, "I hope you don't mind, that I put down in words, how wonderful life is while you're in the world."

Monday, June 11, 2012

ooooh my EYES!

Sometimes life is rather unexpected.

At Christmas I decide the best gift I could give Kyle is laser eye surgery to improve his eye sight. It was so life changing for him that I decided to look into it myself.

While we did his with little urgency, and over a several months saw our optometrist, the surgeon, and went through many consults, my experience has been quite different.

18 days ago I say my optometrist. Within hours I was booked in to see the specialist as I have "extremely thin cornea's" and due to a hole in my retina need to see a retinal specialist. Basically what took 4 months to do for Kyle and his stellar, perfect eyes, has taken 18 days for me.

I was anticipating having my eyes done on June 18th. However when I saw the surgeon this morning he said..."Today, we're doing this today." Talk about freaking a girl out!

And freaking out, I sure am! But, yet again, I'm being forced to put on my big girl panties and carry on. EGADZZZZZ!

Yeah I'm a little freaked out (READ: a LOT) but here goes....I hope it is at least close to as successful as Kyle's was!

I'll let you know how it all goes!

Friday, June 8, 2012


Several weeks ago I posted about my kids and ex and some of my family frustrations, which got me to thinking very deeply about relationships and why my life (sans their frustrating choices that hurt my kids and/or I quite often) is so filled with love and joy. I came to this realization: Family-By-Choice.

A couple of years ago, coincidentally right about the time I was divorcing the love of my mother's life, she told me that I was an extremely difficult person to love, and that I had been since I was a child.

I look around me and I know she's wrong. The only problem is that it's taken me nearly 40 years to see that.

Why did it take that long? Simple. Programming. I've been told that message by the people who, by blood, should love me unconditionally that I'm difficult.

I'm kinda proud of being difficult, if by their definition it means that I'm loved and blessed to be surrounded by INCREDIBLE supportive wonderful people. Because that IS what it means in my world.

And the depth and breadth of my gratitude is immeasurable for these incredible men and women in my life who love and support me and lift me up daily.  I always hate to call them "friends", the truth is that they have taught me family. They've taught me my capacity to love and have accepted and returned that love unconditionally.

I have mother's and sister's and brother's and father's who hold me accountable, with grace and truth. Who encourage and build me up every day. I've walked with them through trials and tribulations that would shake the foundations and sanity of most, and I've watched the extreme strength that they exhibit through the tough days and the horrible things that have been thrown at them. In spite of what the universe has given them, I feel proud to have been there walking beside, being family.

And when my own foundation shattered, I was not alone for a minute. I was carried and pushed and forced to find my own voice, and my own strength, but never alone.

There are people in my world who I've watched question life, and the world around them, but they've never questioned my love or loyalty, nor I theirs.

So thank you all for your unconditional love and understanding; your compassion and integrity; for being my family-by-choice (and YES, my darling extended family this does include you, who have been there when others were not!).

Because of all of you I'm pretty comfortable at 40, being labelled as "difficult to love"--labels you can peel off and discard.

Mother also said "never air your dirty laundry in public"...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What I saved by NOT shopping on-line in May

So what did I save in the month of May with my on-line shopping hiatus??

A lot.

I'm a little embarassed to admit I've saved well over $650 (including taxes and shipping) by not shopping online.

So what are some of the things I DIDN'T buy, you ask??? Well, mostly clothes....the money I saved will be going toward much needed to be paid bills (we've been traveling most of the month which has helped the online shopping issue) as we've neglected them.

Here are some pictures of some of the things I DON'T own....  and the moral of the story??? I'd be well dressed but broke. June's challenge...coming soon!