Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Future Belongs to Me!


The last two days as I begin intentionally moving toward a different direction in life, I've had some huge inspiration, and incredible encouragement.

Watching my friend Candace train with dedication and endurance while being healthy about it is so inspiring to me. I long to be like her when I grow up. Focused, determined, FIERCE!

Today I had a meeting that has brought full circle an idea I have been working on for awhile, that missing piece that will make the journey I'm about to embark on just so much better. The meeting today was so encouraging, and filled me with energy and excitement about the future.

I've lacked that motivation for awhile now, that little piece that propels you out of bed in the morning to go do STUFF! Your important, amazing, motivating STUFF! And now the answers are becoming clear.

Still not really ready to fully reveal everything, mostly because some endings still need to take place. But this next step is going to be uncomfortable and a little scary...ok, a LOT scary...but the certainty of knowing this is exactly right for me, for right now, is propelling me forward to leap...




Monday, July 30, 2012

Serious Courage!


This is my girlfriend Candace. 

She's an incredible single mom and has work ethic that makes me feel lazy every day.

She also has courage beyond words. This weekend Kyle and I went out to film her football practice. At first when she told me that she was playing football I thought, wow, now THAT takes courage, as she's playing with the Saskatoon Sirens, one of the first Canadian LFL teams.

What is LFL? None other than the Lingerie Football League.  What people don't know is that this group of women are a bunch of really touch chicks. After seeing how hard they hit, how much they run, and the drills that they are going through at each practice I have to say my respect grew exponentially.

To not only have the courage to compete in certain attire, but to also have the courage to take some serious hits (both literal and metaphorical) as well as hit like a boy, well THAT takes courage.

Any of my girlfriends who are interested in running their asses off, getting an amazing workout and doing it all FOR FREE in the next few weeks are invited to come with me to a practice. Just message me and I'll let you know the times/dates. 

I dare anyone who is critical of these girls to come out and keep up for a whole practice...once you are able to do that, to compete at their level, then you can talk as much as you want, until then my hats off to these girls, you are personifying courage and athleticism. I'm impressed.



Friday, July 27, 2012

Dear Kirk Cameron...WTH??

I feel really sorry for Kirk Cameron. After reading the Huffington Post today, citing yet another moment when he's being exactly the OPPOSITE of what Jesus was all about, I just hang my head and wonder.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/26/kirk-cameron-anti-gay-advocate-rejects-gay-youth_n_1707570.html

I get that we live in a world where when you are looking for an image online under the heading "Christian" that you are going to find primarily results including: Christian Bale (Batman), Christian Louboutin (ohhhh my! Those yummy shoes!) and Christian Grey (masquerading as literature pathetically written!). That makes it hard for people passionate about their beliefs, I understand that.

But to not only attack a specific group of people is very unJesus. Then not have the balls (seems the only appropriate word to use here) to stand behind your belief and meet with the people who are wanting to open a dialogue with you? Yeah.....that is why I have such a struggle with my own belief and my own feelings about Christianity.

I've written about this before to much criticism but I'll keep saying it...if you're going to call yourself a Christian please for the love of GOD (see how I worked THAT in there!) realize what Jesus was preaching and about!!!

So to Mr. Cameron, I'd like to say this:

Jesus spent time with those you are shunning. The goal of healthy Christianity is to live as Jesus would have lived and to emulate that compassion, grace and lack of judgement. It is sad that you are using your celebrity to live exactly the opposite life style from what He preached, and from how He lived. Christianity isn't the words you say. It is the action you show.

I'd be happy to introduce you to a few people I know who give me hope in Christianity, as they love me in spite of my doubt and disbelief. They show me daily that there is hope for humanity through their love and acceptance. Two of them are Pastors, one of them is a mom living with beautiful intention, a few are just people living authentically and honestly.

Should you choose to argue the line of "But God says..." remember that God gives freewill and uses who he chooses and most of them were NOT the celebrity...


I truly feel sorry for you, and even more so, for your children.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Detoxing...


So I'm really trying to be healthier, and as such I'm detoxing right now to try remove the sugar addiction from my life, get back in control of my health and to lose that last little bit of weight.

After losing 25lbs this spring, I was still 10lbs off of my goal weight but overall thrilled with the loss I had accomplished. In July I gained back 6 of those hard lost pounds, so time is NOW to take control back.

I guess that two back to back weekends of lying on the beach, drinking beer and eating chips isn't a great way to maintain a healthy body. Period. Not body weight, but body. Following the lake it was daily dessert and snacks. Normally I prefer chips to dessert but I think having so fully detoxed my body of sugars prior to this little slip of mine, that my body craved sugar conversions to fuel it after eating like a bozo.

I felt like crap and was tired for weeks after. Having been detoxing for 4 days now I'm feeling kind of amazing. My energy isn't 100% but the cravings are pretty much gone. Last night I wanted the french garlic bread on the table for about 10 minutes so I got up and walked away.

So instead of garlic bread I'm eating very lean meat, veggies with extremely low sugar content and drinking a tonne of water. No fruits at the moment, I'm waiting a few days before I try a few of the lower sugar fruits to see if they trigger the cravings again.

I'm also working out in my bedroom because I'm not getting to the gym. No more excuses


The best part is I *AM* doing all of this for me. It's time for me to be the best me I can, and life is to short to squander on silly stuff.

Interesting thing is that I'm realizing that I'm also detoxing myself of people right now. People who don't give me energy or positive reinforcement and it's pretty empowering!

So I wonder if it was an unconscious thing for me or not to detox my body and my mind at the same time, either way this is a great way to truly enjoy this summer.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Coffeegasm!


Have you ever noticed how many gorgeous photos there are of coffee, coffee beans or coffee culture on the internet? If not, and you like pretty things, then google "coffee" and go look at the images. Don't you WISH it tasted as good as it looks in pictures?

What if I told you there is a place in Saskatoon THAT can do that???

This morning I had coffee with one of my favorite humans. Lorie is truly the poster girl for how I wish humanity really was. From the moment we met 3 years ago I knew she was instant family.  From that point on we've been friends on the sister level. She's driven and brilliant and compassionate. I've watched her being taken advantage of, and watched her handle it so gracefully. She gives great advice and I trust her counsel without question. 


A few weeks ago she tweeted to me that we should have coffee at a new coffee place in Saskatoon called Leven's Coffee. Being that she is one of my favorite human's I should have listened sooner!!


Today I met her and a colleague of hers, Tracy, at Leven's and talk about astounded! The coffee was incredible. The ambiance fantastic. The company I got to keep while enjoying the coffee, unparalled. 


If you haven't been I HIGHLY encourage you to go. It's in the Farmer's market building and the very best part is they give you French Press to-go cups! Seriously! Coolest things EVER!!!




They also have a great website! http://www.levenscoffee.com/index.html 

I'm nothing if not high maintenance, so wow factor is rare for me. Today I was TOTALLY wowed! Thank you Aaron & Marie for a fantastic cup of coffee! We will be back, and I plan on making Levin's my new guilty pleasure!

And if nothing else, I expect it will get me through many a morning!


Writers Block....

Ok, so normally I have several posts in a day. Several of my posts have been ones that were 'sitting' written but hadn't published them...because here's the thing. I'm not feeling 'it'.

The "it" that is inspiration to write. Normally I love to write and put my jumbled thoughts into the universe, which I'm sure there are many people out there who would rather I didn't.

The advice to overcome this, I've heard, is that you need to write everyday, so today I am.....despite not really having much to say.

That is how I'm going to learn to blog consistently and find my writers voice...now not everyone is going to looooove my blogging, in fact, a couple of friends were talking the other day about how they could never blog, because of taking the feedback too personally.

I'll be honest, at first I did, but now it doesn't bother me any more. I generally delete anything negative, and the truth is 99% don't have the balls to do it in any way public. I get personal messages via FaceBook and Twitter about how much I suck. Whatever, haters be hatin', I really could care less.

Clearly I'm doing something right.

Which is why it annoys the HELL out of me when I don't know what I want to write, what will amuse me and therefore amuse others.

And to the haters who find themselves reading this remember...I don't force you here...this world is brilliantly filled with freewill. Exercise yours and don't worry, I'll continue to write and do my thing...because I can!



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Its just a giant popularity contest


Today I'm working on my resume. I do this about every six months, to keep it current and so I am prepared for future client wooing. As I work on it today, I do happen to have a specific prospective client in mind as I tailor and polish.


I'm not sure why I hate doing this so much as it always reminds me of who I am, where I've come from and what I've learned along the way. The reminders are positive, the task is tedious.

The problem is that a) it's annoying to write out what you do and make it look cool, together and posh while avoiding making it look like a mess of crap, and b) it reminds me that when you give a resume you're attempting, via a piece of paper, to tell a total stranger why you are rockstar awesome!

My resume doesn't show my true abilities, or my quirky sense of humor. It doesn't express my fierce loyalty and how I'll take crap in order to protect the greater good. It doesn't tell you how vulnerable I can be or how confident you'll see me as. It doesn't share that I'm a really good person who tries to do the right thing and owns it when I make a mistake.

It really can't show you how great a partnership with me would be, or that I will work myself to crazy to make you (my prospective client) look good! It doesn't show you how much my kids and spouse mean to me, which, in turn, means to you that I'm pretty damn motivated to make our relationship (consider being my client) work! It doesn't cover that all I really want to do in this world is make a difference, and as such I'll work harder than anyone you've met to make you (are you my client yet?) look really good and make a difference in your life.

My resume sure won't tell you that what I may lack in formal education I can make up for by sheer will and enthusiasm to be the very best at what I do. I'll out research, out work and out enjoy making you (you're totally mine, client) look as rockstar amazing as I am.

But all you have is my stupid resume....

And all a resume is at the end of the day, is a sad entry form to a giant popularity contest, judged by the fickle person on the other side of the paper and it sucks. I feel six years old yelling "pick me, PICK ME!"

I'm a grown up, the time for this kind of stuff has long passed, I don't want you have to MAKE you like me, except you NEED to like me...otherwise I'l have issues...and I'll stalk you until you do like me.

Well maybe not, but its a tough thing to worry about what people who have never met you are thinking about you. To worry that you're not good enough for them.

Especially when you know deep down when something is right, and you just want it to happen now, to woo them successfully and be past this waiting and wondering and wooing stage!

But I still keep writing and revising this damn resume and reminding myself...



Friday, July 20, 2012

This is YOUR sign!


I love the scene in the Jim Carrey movie Bruce Almighty, where he's looking for a sign, imploring God and the universe to give him a sign.

What makes it so funny is how often I've looked back at life and the signs that lit the way and marked the path of my decisions, and I am forever thinking "how did I miss that!?"

Every journey and decision that I make has been littered with signs directing me, right from that tiny voice inside of me who were telling me where I needed to go and what I already knew deep down.

In the next few weeks I'm going to see a "Life Coach" because I'm starting to think that there are so many other signs that I'm missing and I really just want to live this incredibly full and amazing life. Every opportunity, or every ending, is the stepping stone to a new adventure, and life SHOULD be full of so many adventures.

So if you happen to be in a space today, where you don't know what to do, and you are not sure what is next or what to do. Sit quietly. Listen to the voice that speaks to your heart.

You know. You can. You will. Now go do.




Thursday, July 19, 2012

Like Weekend Update but different!



More of Jen's Marvellous 1 am ramblings...the BLUE is my in my head commentary responses!

-dog attacked by beaver (who knew they could be vicious buggers?)

I’m going to guess this is actually a euphemism…seriously….dog? Beaver? You can’t make that shit up!!

-bad date rescue app (um, that seems like a lot of work for nothing...whatever happened to, I don’t know, telling the truth?  I mean it gets you out of the date but you still aren’t being very nice or fair, they’re still gonna think it’s tickety boo)

Designed for lazy scared people.

-hunk of ice twice the size of Manhattan cracks off Greenland (well that effectively renders every map and atlas useless now)

What’s scarier is if it DIDN’T!!! And really...why don't we get Atlas updates yearly like we do Webster's Dictionary updates? 

Anywho, on to what I’ve learned this week:

-those little fruit fly things?  Yeah, don’t sniff too aggressively when they’re near.  You will snort them.  And then they come out later when you blow your nose.  It’s quite gross...maybe there is merit to that wives’ tale that you eat 8 spiders while you sleep.  I always thought that was bunk but who knows?  I certainly don’t, I’m asleep!  How did they come up with that statistic anyways?  Watch people every night over a year?  That seems unethical to watch people eat spiders.  What if they’re poisonous?

If I can’t sleep tonight I blame you!!!!!!!

-Squishing spiders with steel-toed boots proves to be harder than one would imagine.  The suckers pull their legs in and scuttle about, with me stomping like an idiot and they always seem to fall where the crack in the sole of the boots is so they live.  I had to stomp no less than ten times tonight.  I’m sure that was fun to watch on camera lol.

Total absolute complete visual is making me laugh at my desk!

-it’s funny how you can have both something that makes you question humanity and have hope for humanity happen in the same day.  I’m choosing to stick with the hope for humanity and focus on that.  I guess that makes me an optimist after all, even though it is a frustrated one!  It turns out I’m also a frustrated perfectionist lol!

Right!?!? This is me everyday! Every time I think the world couldn’t disappoint me more and humanity has gone to hell something happens to restore my faith…sort of.

I often wonder if it isn’t that humanity hasn’t really changed much BUT the fact that so much is fed to us through media now that we are just so hyper aware that humanity isn’t really changing or evolving it’s just more accessible to despise humans, you know?

-Co-op was playing old school rap.  That shit never gets old!  Plus I got to embarrass my kid while I tried to rap along and remember the words...I believe that is called win-win.

Did you do all the sick moves too? Cuz that would’ve been EPIC…sorry A but your mama is FUNNY!

-Apparently I type loud and it’s bothering the nurse on the unit I’m on.  It’s not bothering me.

I feel your pain…Kyle reached over at the optometrist today to turn off my ‘volume’ on my phone…apparently the clicky noises bug him…no pleasin’ some people I tells ya!

I was going to comment on the other point you put in but that is between you and you know who but lets just say it makes me super happy to hear your ramble at 1am and to know you’re so happy. I’ve waited a long time (almost 2 years now!) to say this:
SEEEEEE!!!??? Isn’t it just amazing!?!?!?

Attitude of Gratitude


So for some odd reason I woke up in a really grateful mood today.

Which is a little incongruous with the fact that my water heater blew up the other day, my job currently sucks and I may have to have additional eye surgery in the next 6 months...BUT my life is still awesome.

Part of it has to do with being woken up this morning to nature rumbling, I love a good thunderstorm. Being snuggled by the most wonderful man didn't hurt either. Two cute little boys awake and happy on the sofa giving their mama kisses and cuddles was pretty terrific too.

I think my attitude today really came from the messages that I woke up to though. A good friend expressing her joy in the world and in a relationship she had abandoned hope of having. Another good friend close to reaching some fitness goals that seemed huge not that long ago. Yet a different friend opening her home up to accommodate and promote several friends with home based businesses.

It's the love and generosity of the day that made me feel so small in the big picture of life, but in a really good way.

So to deal with the 'hiccups' I've been proactive:

a) The water heater is being fixed later this afternoon, so the troll hair shall cease to exist by bed time!

b) Kyle and I have become proactive about what our dreams are, something of which we shall be sharing with the world in the coming weeks...and NO we aren't getting married, and NO we aren't having a baby and NO we aren't buying a puppy...but its creating the restlessness and gratitude I feel today as well.

c) I'm going to continue to do what they eye doctor has instructed and hope that the issues heal themselves on their own...and even if they don't, I've been enjoying corrective lens free vision for a month now! How amazing is THAT!


So yes, our bank account is hemorrhaging money faster than we can keep up. Yes, work has been a emotional drain, and yes, facing another surgery is scary BUT it all means I'm alive and that in an of itself is totally wonderful.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Uninspired...



I'm uninspired today...uninspired and unmotivated. I'm really not myself.

With the changes that are taking place in my life right now its pretty difficult to mentally show up in a space and place you know you are spending a finite amount of time in.

And in the last several days the direction I need to take has become clear, which is making the backwards glance that is today really difficult.

How do you invest a resource like time, which you can't get back, in tying up loose ends and finishing something that you're no longer really a part of?

I'd rather squander my time doing something pleasurable, thank you.

For me the hardest part isn't that our water heater blew up last night and I'm tired, though that isn't helping me right now. Its that I'm no longer passionate about the work I'm doing today. I'd rather focus on the future and where it is leading. Now THAT energizes and excites me!

It just happens that I'm one of the fortunate few who has had an opportunity to do what I love AND be compensated for it. This makes what the work I'm now doing, what the role has become out of necessity and no wrong doing on anyone's part, so tiring and energy draining. It isn't what I love.

So as drained and uninspired as I am I have to remember that once this job too inspired and excited me, brought me enthusiasm and focus because:




Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fraser, he drinks well with others...


Our friend Fraser asked that I write a post about him not that long ago.

While I agreed that he needed to visit us in Saskatchewan before I would I decided today, upon finding this sign that I would write a post for him today.

Fraser is a single New Zealander with an awesome accent and great sense of humor.  He would have to have the humor as he's friends with us. He also drinks well with others, again a huge plus as to why we like him. I'm not sure about religious affiliation, but were I to guess, I'd guess that he pays great homage to beer, women and adventure. He's also scared of visiting Saskatchewan, but I think that is just because he's afraid of being overwhelmed by the incredible women here.

I met Fraser two years ago, when Kyle and I started dating (he was Kyle's roommate prior to Kyle moving back home to Saskatchewan). While Kyle had to break up with his roomies to move, we kept Fraser for reasons unknown to us, other than he appears to be much like duct tape--all but impossible to remove.

But here's a secret Fraser doesn't know...I am a little in awe of his life. Not very many years ago he did what so many of us are too fearful to do. He hopped on a plane, travelled half way around the world into the unknown and pursued his dreams. Well the ones he can pursue, as I do not think professional skier is in his future, but he markets shoes (dream job!), adventures across Canada (travel, love it!) and lives in Vancouver (we'll eventually live there!).

It takes courage to grab the opportunity and jump into life head first, and Fraser has done just that, nothing is better than a life well lived, and more of us need to take a page from the life that Fraser has chosen--he's living his.

And did I mention, my lady friends, he's single.... ;)




Change is in the air


For the last while I've been facing some professional turmoil, which has created a tonne of stress, frustration and disillusionment. The funny thing is that I've always known that where I am right now isn't where I'm going to be. Today has always been a stepping stone to tomorrow.

Some of this turmoil has sorted itself out in the last few days and I am feeling oddly jubilantly free for lack of a better word. It is astounding how you can get mired in the mud of work and forget your 'why' so easily.

My why are four lovely children. My why is my wonderful loving spousal equivalent. My why is my passion and making a difference in lives around me. I haven't been doing that for ages, and now I'm writing my own ticket...planning and strategizing my own life and it's frankly quite liberating!

I'm not exactly sure what the next 90 days is going to bring, I only know that I'm so ready for the changes and direct, whatever it looks like.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Yes, this is happening right now, and its wrong.




I have a dear friend who is doing battle with her recently former employer. It astounds me that kindness and integrity have been repaid like this.

This battle has come because she chose to leave after being treated badly by aforementioned employer. To the point where she recently was forced to take down her Facebook page because of accusations that are being thrown her way, after having left the organization.

If I mentioned what she does for a living it would stun people. As with so much abuse of power, this is an organization that SHOULD be holding themselves to a higher standard, but are consciously choosing otherwise.

In a world of social media, lawsuits and the ability to influence perspectives you would think employers would give a damn about the global reputation that they get from the personal relationships that people have.

You see, she doesn't have to share what the accusations are, or the way she's been treated. More so, she hasn't. That isn't her style.

But for those that love her, we don't need to know details. This incredible, moral woman has taught us about integrity and ethics continually through her example and action. This particular employer is lucky, she is a rare beast. Most humans out there would and do broadcast wrong doing when there is a situation of discontent or outright malfeasance.

Yet so many businesses and organizations don't know it but constructive dismissal is a legal issue, intentional or not, and should be governing themselves accordingly. Our laws state clearly that as an employer you cannot create a hostile work environment in order to remove an employee. It is sad to see, but her grace and dignity will have her keeping herself in check, for now. 

I wish for her the opportunity, when it is right to do so, to speak out against this kind of behavior and action.



My safe happy place...


My safe happy place is in bed with a book. I read voraciously. It's how I cope and where I escape to. My bed and sleep are my escape/coping mechanism. When things are overwhelming I go to bed and literally hide under the covers. The more stressed I am the more time I spend in bed hiding. When I wake up I dive into books which allow me to handle 'other problems' by escaping into fiction. For some one who is as social as I am this seems to be a contradiction, but I really love my alone time.

I've been doing this since I was a child.

Often during these times I figure "it" out. Whatever I don't want to deal with becomes less scary and I handle it. But part of my process is going through by hiding from life.


See most of the time I know the answer, I simply don't like it. I argue and fight with the universe and the message I clearly see, which is hard, because I want the answer *I* want.

As I grow older I am finding things are in flux more often than not. Voicing my fears is easier and harder at the same time. I know when I'm being a stubborn monkey and when holding true to my heart and what I fundamentally believe is the right choice. Sometimes telling the difference for others is really tough.

At the end of the day (or sleepless night) transition is inevitable. Life is inevitable. Some how despite the worry, the confusion and the uncertainty life manages to figure itself out. Joy and comfort resurface and I leap toward the future. Confident. But never without a few days/nights of cocooning inside the safety of love, family and my bed.




Thursday, July 12, 2012

Diabolical Happiness

Well I guess lately this isn't as true as it was 6 months ago, but since I started sharing my story, it's been amazing the love, encouragement and support I've had. Thank you everyone who reads my random squirrel based thoughts and champions me to continue.

A girlfriend sent me a message privately on Facebook today and asked me "how are you so happy?" the context of which was in conjunction with some of the stuff that I haven't shared and likely won't share at this point. But she's aware of it and asked me, how I handle it. One word:

CHOICE



Many people would have cowered in a closet hiding their pain. I did that. That is how this all began. Many people would have gone to counseling to deal with it. I did that. That is how I came to today. Many people would have talked to 'someone' about their problem, issue or concern. I did that. That is how I write every day.

The journey at the end of a relationship is a brutal one. You need people around you more than ever to tell you that you aren't crazier than the rest of the world, to assure you that you aren't broken and that yes, life WILL go on again. To face it as a parent is one of the most frightening things you can do.

You learn awful lessons about lines in the sand, and taking sides. You feel so damn alone you think you might be the only human to know the void, and horrible failure you are battling within. You learn that you will do anything for your kids and will see sides of the person you lived with that you never knew existed.

It's a messy awful vortex of hell that you will, even with the best of intentions, get sucked into. Some have bigger emotional tornado's than others, but conflict cyclones will suck at you and try and destroy you. You'll fight back. You'll want revenge.

The thing about these storms is that they pass.

On my journey post divorce, I read a LOT of really great books, unfortunately I read a lot of really awful ones too. One of which used this quote, by Marilyn Monroe, to empower women:

“A wise girl kisses but doesn't love, listens but doesn't believe, and leaves before she is left.” 

Instantly threw the book out and refused to look at it again. I knew in an moment I didn't care what it took, I wasn't going to become that angry cynical chick who was 'strong and empowered'. Being shut down isn't empowered. It's lonely.

Vulnerability is empowerment. Trust is empowerment. Laughter and love are empowerment. I think life is so much more than protecting myself from hurt. People hurt each other. It's called being human. Sometimes I get it right, other times I don't but at the end of the day I'm a pretty happy human. So instead of being a 'wise girl' by Marilyn's definition. I'm being wise by mine. Let them hurt me, criticize me, hell let them throw stones. I still choose happy. I didn't always, but I do now. 

Happy also happens to be an epic form of revenge and I'm diabolical that way!



I wish I had been sassier in High School...


Easy A...all I can say is I wish I had been THIS sassy in High School. I love the movie but the confidence, humor and general chutzpah is awesome.

My wish for my kids, especially my daughters, when they run into bullies, energy vampires and other mean girls is that along the way we will have some how instilled the confidence in themselves to stand up and be who they are, sass and all.

My wish for us is that we will have instilled in them the confidence to act accordingly and with the indefatigable strength that Olive has in Easy A.

Ms. Sheasby and Ms. Muller, I look forward to our Irish Adventures...and continuing to live our lives better than high school with panache and style whilst embracing our sassy, chutzpah filled lives!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Not the Jackass Whisperer....

Someone said to me the other day that I've "really changed".

They then with other words made it clear that it wasn't a compliment. And through the dialogue it became clear that they are in extraordinary turmoil that they can't even see.

I have this to say:


Sometimes you grow up in ways you don't plan, but in the end we grow and we're better for the trials and tribulations we go through.

Each of us handle our pain differently, accept the challenges uniquely to us.



And unlike the person who uncomplimented me, I don't have any desire to change them or their opinion of me, I'm too busy living a great life and working on myself. Sometimes that is enough to seriously piss people off, and you're welcome!



You is Important


It's funny how simple this phrase is, but in reality, it is all any one of us want to know about ourselves...that we're relevant. That we matter.

I'm watching daily as my blog following is growing and I realize that my voice matters. The number of encouraging messages that I get sent privately is astounding. The majority from women who are finding their own voices, their own relevance in this world. What is even more humbling to me is the global scope of the messages and voices I'm hearing echo their experience back.

Sharing my thoughts, feelings and hurts in a public forum is terrifying. The vulnerability is sometimes more than I can bear. And then I'll share a particularly difficult challenge and how I'm facing it in that moment, and voices from all over this world will pipe up to encourage and raise me up. This encouragement blots out the naysayers like an eclipse.

Telling MY truth helps me to deal with the emotions and the journey, every speed bump, pothole and hiccup along the way is cushioned by knowing what my perspective means to who I am becoming. It doesn't change or diminish the experience of others, their truth belongs to them.

Years ago I heard a speaker named Jan Silvious (fairly well known in Christian circles) talk about the journey and how important it is. The lesson that stuck with me was a comment that she made about how we are never alone in our problems or issues. She specifically said something to the effect of "There is ALWAYS a woman who has had YOUR problem, she has walked before you. Find her." I am paraphrasing, but the message made sense.

I grew up in a life where you presented one face to the public but behind closed doors you were another person. In the darkest of moments, I draw strength from knowing I'm not alone! 

The principle is brilliant, there and it works. My life has changed dramatically because of choices I've made, many imperfect choices, but still they are still choices that guide my life. Fundamentally I am the person I always was, I just am choosing my own adventure now.



Monday, July 9, 2012

Sleep Away Camp...FTW!


In the next few weeks 3 out of 4 of our kids will be heading off to summer camps. There is no stronger or fonder memory of my early years that I have than heading off to camp.

According to an article in MacLean's it turns out it was good for me!

(http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/06/05/send-your-kid-to-sleepover-camp-is-just-what-kids-and-parents-need/ )

The oldest one went to camp once when she was about 9, she did not like it. As she went without knowing anyone and being shy, it wasn't a positive experience. She's old enough now that she's working and has turned out fine, but I wish she had the experience that I did. I think it might have built a stronger confidence in herself had she had a longer, better experience with it.

I adored a week each year at camp, meeting new friends, connecting with old ones. My spouse also attended the same camp I did and his experience was similar. Each summer was geared to the camp dates and counting the days to getting there. The songs were familiar, the food was not our favorite but we recall it fondly as the memories have lasted forever.

Every year at the end of camp we had dreams, and promises and a special independence that came with going into that unknown world without the armour of our comfort zone. It prepared us for endings and good-byes; for new beginnings and coping with the unknown.

I believe it has helped give me the strength of my convictions, the ability to adapt, and the sense of humor to know where to hang my hat and when to just throw my head back and laugh.

And while camp is somewhat of a financial hardship to our family when you have 3 kids going in a very short time span, I believe with all my heart, that the investment is priceless to building them into the people they are so wonderfully becoming.

Years later as I occasionally connect with friends who went to camp with me, we reminisce with great fondness about those carefree days of hot days, river raft floating, camp outs, fireside singing and friendship that still holds today.


Friday, July 6, 2012

BEACH!


I'd like to write something meaningful or profound today, but I simply can't. I woke up today with my mind checked out and already at the lake.

Later this afternoon I shall be with my love and one of my four favorite kids chillaxn' and forgetting about the stuff that makes me write daily about this world I live in.

If you are reading this, back away from my blog and disconnect this weekend. If you are facing headaches, hiccups and general wrenches that life throws out and go to the beach, or the park, or where you relax and just let go!

May this weekend be full of gratitude and peace for all of you.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

YOU are enough



I'm 5' 6 1/2" tall. This may not mean much to most but to me, as a teenager, it meant I was 1/2 an inch too short to get modelling work. I wasn't going to become a Supermodel at that height so I resigned myself to modelling failure and I focused on acting Truthfully I preferred the acting as it gave me a character to hide behind, which was my coping mechanism in my teenage years. Later I became a talent agent, having been part of the industry it gave the an interesting insight about people.

Inside every one of us is a scared 17 year old filled with doubt.

Last night the daughter of a good friend was asking me about this, as she had been told by peers that she would never be able to model.

As teenagers we do daily war with bullies, naysayers and mean girls. Kids, here's a horrible secret the grown ups neglected to tell you.....

Growing up isn't going to fix this. Life is full of bullies and mean girls and all sorts of rude, rough, unfairness and there is nothing you can do about it.

As grown ups we joke about trying to figure out what we're going to be when we grow up, but the truth is that caught inside each of us is a freaked out 17 year old questioning life. Even the most confident adults have moments where they wonder.

Did I make the right choice? Why did I say that? How could I have handled that better? Why don't the right words come until AFTER a conversation is done? Why can't I lose this weight? When will I stop struggling to make ends meet? Did I do enough? Have I acquired enough? Am I tall enough? Skinny enough? Smart enough?


Here's the good news, YOU are enough. And because you are enough, you will learn to handle it yourself. You learn to pretend your way through the roughest of situations.

Sometimes you'll still curl up under your covers at night (or mid afternoon) wishing the issue that plagues you away. Then you'll dig down deep crawl out of bed and deal.

Somewhere along the line, in the battle against life, societal norms and age you will realize that your experience is unique to you. Your truth is yours and yours alone. People won't agree with you or fall in line, but its yours to own.

Success is simply the choice to be where you are everyday. The best way to handle a mean girl, naysaying bully? Be better. Do better. Show compassion, after all she or he are as little as the words they need to use to make themselves feel bigger. That isn't worth your time or energy. The best revenge is to be who you are and have a life well lived. Nothing annoys them more.



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I got there on my own...


It's funny how you can live your life and not see certain things about yourself that others can. And when you see it, well, it's pretty humbling...

In a previous post I talked about how I hate conflict. And that came from a bunch of things (people) who are behaving badly around me. I'm not saying I'm behaving so amazingly that they've nothing to criticize, that would be unrealistic and frankly quite arrogant. I'm not purporting to be perfect, it's just that instead of dealing with it, I seem to have various relationships that have begun to hang in limbo because of communication issues.

Because of some of these hiccups a feeling of fear and inadequacy reared its ugly head in the last few weeks in a way that was startling to me. I didn't understand it, and because of it I felt like my relationship was suddenly in jeopardy. Completely unfounded feeling based upon my reality, my present, THIS relationship.

I have never had more gratitude for Kyle than I have these last few weeks as he's watched me flounder, get pummelled, be beaten down, get back up and then take another hit. He's been powerless to help, in terms of others, but I'm truly amazed by his ability to understand the importance of 'just being there'.

Humbling.

Everyone brings the baggage of experience to a relationship and he and I are no exception to this rule. We've both been treated badly along the way, been wounded and some of those wounds have formed who we are today.

This last week I faced an unexpected challenge from an unexpected source. When that happened I immediately snapped to survival mode. Self protection comes easily and immediately to me, and I thought the absolute worst.

What I realized through the process (it took me a full day to come to terms, understand and be reasonable about what happened) is that I had to 'get there' on my own. Kyle saw what was happening because he knows my story, he knows what I've been through and where I've come to. But only I had the power to understand the why. Being told wouldn't help me get there sooner. I spent 15 years doubting my value when I was married. I've spent my lifetime doubting my value because of my family relationship.

I've spent the last 7 days knowing my value because I got there on my own, with love walking beside me, holding my hand.

Humbling.

This is a lesson in more than a romantic relationship, we do not have a perfect relationship. That is an impossible ideal to put upon anyone. What we have is respect, understanding, admiration, and oh, so much more. Instead of jumping in love, we both unconsciously (or at least I wasn't cognizant we were doing this...he might have been, he's smart like that) "built" in love. We've learned about each other, chosen how we talk to each other. And in doing so we've found our way for two years now.

And now, this week, after 16 years of being a mum, he's shown me why his family is so successful as a family. He's shown me why he's such a great parent to these four fantastic kids. He's shown me that little, but significant, piece that I just didn't get about the value of letting them get there on their own. Some things you can't fix, but you can still love, encourage and support.

And he did it with a simple phrase followed by not a single word.

The phrase? "I'm on your side."

Love.