Sunday, September 30, 2012

Q-isms - Life Plan

At 8 years of age, my Q has a life plan.  This in itself is amazing to me, because at (almost) 35, I do not have a life plan.  While overhearing his father and me talking about starting a fund for his university education, he said:

Q:  Do I have to use that money for college?  What if I don't go to college?

Me:  Oh you're going to college, my son.  Sorry, no choice there.

Q:   But if I'm already playing for the NHL by then, it will be hard to go to college AND play hockey at the same time. 

What, exactly, do you say to that?

Me:  Well, maybe that's where you'll be University.  And then you'll be glad you went.

Q:  Ummmm, well I'm pretty sure I'm going to be picked up by the BCHL before that.

Hmmmmm, this kid has thought this through....

Later, I texted his dad...

I think we need to put Q in skating lessons

Not only has my son set a goal for his life, he's set a pretty lofty one.  He is determined to be in the NHL.  Yes, this might just be a phase he's going through but I'd rather support his goals, no matter how monumental, instead of telling him there's a pretty big chance they're not going to happen.  I mean, talk about winning horrible parent of the year award, hey?  Sorry kid, your goals....too high.  Not sure I believe in you enough to accomplish them...

So, he's signed up for skating lessons.  He has to be in skate 4 before they'll even consider him for hockey.  We get there, and there's like a hundred kids...boys in hockey jerseys and girls in skating tutus, all with dreams big enough to touch the sky.  I realize we're a little bit behind, because most kids who are interested in hockey start when they're 4, and not when they're 8.  We're behind and I'm feeling the pressure. 

And my little guy, he just looks so little.  There is he out on the ice, looking so vulnerable behind all these hopes and wishes.  My heart literally ached for him that evening.  I wanted to jump out onto the ice and let everyone know that he was going to be the next Jarome Iginla, so they better put all their efforts into teaching him.  He looked like he needed me to protect him.  I wanted to scoop him and all his hopes and dreams into a great big hug and protect them. 

I look around and all these kids have name tags, and they all just seem to know where to go.  My boy is just standing there.  With no name tag.  Where did these kids get their name tags?  Why does my kid not have a name tag?  Where were these effin' instructors anyways?  Who was running this chaos?  In that split second, I almost leaped over the glass, slipped on the ice and made a huge fool of myself all in an attempt to protect and help my little boy.

That's what it was a split second.  Because Q, he skates out on the ice (without falling at all!!!) gets into a big circle with all these kids and starts doing EVERYTHING that the instructors do.  When he realizes everyone has a name tag and he doesn't, he skates over to the board where all the name tags are (oh...) finds his name, puts it on, and skates back to the group where he's supposed to be.  All without falling.  And then got put in the intermediate skating class.  Hmmhmmmm.


Dude did it all on his own!!!!  I'm having a fricken panic attack, my heart literally breaking over how much I love him and want to protect him, and the dude does it all ON HIS OWN without even a second thought.  This growing up thing is going to be really hard on me, I think.  Sometimes, I still catch myself doing up his coat zipper or putting his shoes on and he looks at me like I've lost my mind.

But it is this determination in him and this tenacity that leads me to believe he will meet all these goals that he has set for himself, that he is more than capable of doing so.  Whether he changes his mind and decides to become a neurosurgeon or a choir director (funny story: he came home from school the other day super stoked because he had joined the extra curricular choir AND had talked two of his buddies into it as well!!) he has all he needs to be successful.

He just needs me to put him in the skating lessons, sign the permission slips, give the encouragement, believe in him, support him, LOVE him.  He does not need me climbing over hockey glass and yelling at 15 year old instructors and writing letters to the NHL telling them to put my son on the Calgary Flames...or else.

this kid knows how to win friends...maple leaf jersey in vancouver...geez

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Return and Demise of Mr. (un) Fab

Oh my goodness, you guys!  Do you remember Mr. Fabulous?  From 2009?  Well, he started off as Mr. Fabulous...but very quickly turned into Mr. (un) Fabulous.  If you really feel like reading all the trials and tribs of Mr. (un) Fab, it all started April 2009 and ended roughly around August 2009, on ther right hand side, about half way down.

Okay, let me quickly remind you...

He had two boys from two different women (hey, I'm not one to judge but there was a lot of baby momma drama from his ex-wife and his ex-girlfriend).  He was fighting for full custody of the younger one because his ex-gf was denying him any visitation at all.

He was a momma's boy.  There were several occasions that he had to *cancel* on me because his momma had stopped by or he had to do something with/for his momma.

He had a story for everything.  Like everything.  And the stories were wildly entertaining and highly improbable.  Like the story about when he was in a motor cycle accident and he was flung 80 feet in the air, landed on his feet and was totally fine (he told it waaaaaay better than I, because he was a *story* teller).

He always had somewhere to be...other than with me.  And it was always, again, a crazy story that was so impossible to believe you had to question if maybe it was true, because who has the imagination to think up something that insane.  For instance, the time he stood me up because his neighbour was stabbed by his crazy ex-wife and Mr. (un) Fab was chosen to take the children for the night, while their father was in the hospital and the wife was in jail.  Seriously, I have so many questions about just totally puzzles me.  He texted me from the back of a police cruiser at least twice.  At that point, you have to question whether he's a liar - who you don't want to be with - or if he really does attract that kind of *bad luck* - which is also not so appealing.

He had two cell phones.  His e-mail address was not his first and last name, but something completely obscure that would be impossible to pin on him.  His profile on POF (yes, I met him online) had no pictures until contact was made, and even then it was a little blurry. 

I ran into him in Costco.  And when I say I ran into him, I mean, I saw him and then ducked around a rack of women's jackets so he wouldn't see me (but I could still see him).  He was with a woman and two little girls.  They both looked grumpy.  Who were those children?  Where did he get them?  Hmmmmm...

Anywho....I hadn't spoken to him in years, because I flat out told him I thought he was married.  His behavior was not that of a single man looking for a woman to be his wife.  It was of a married man looking for a mistress.  I mean, who in their right mind would choose to hang out with their mother when they can hang out with their girlfriend? 

Recently, like about 6 months or so ago, when I went back on POF, he found my profile and we talked briefly.  He had won joint custody of his son, his mother was still very much in his life, and he very conveniently was working around the corner from where I work now.  AND his company got the contract to put the elevators in our new building.  Can you stay stalker?  Right?

Last week, Mr. (un) Fab came on strong.  Email after email...I regret letting you go, I miss you, would love to meet for lunch, blah, blah, blah.  Again, I was very blunt, yet as polite as possible.  I didn't have time to waste with someone who saw my views on religion as *juvenile* and who always had somewhere else to be.  I wished him luck in his search and expected that to be the end of it. 

But no, it's not the end. 

He sends this uber long email about how he is looking for a woman who has a strong faith and is searching for a church for the security it brings.  He even totally changed his way of talking, using words and phrases like 'be blessed' and crap like that. 

Then the next day, he sends another email saying he just can't let it go and could I please, please make time for him and a lunch date.  If for no other reason than *friendship*.  But, geez...nothing like beating a dead horse, ya know?


I gotta be honest with you, if this were any other guy, I'd probably be sitting at the table right now waiting for him.  I mean, here is this guy who I know I have chemistry with, has two (?) adorable children and is a great parent to them.  He has a good job, strong family ties and says he is looking for a great church.  He seems to have everything I've ever wanted or asked for.  So why am I not super excited and planning my centerpieces for the wedding reception?

Because I have this really bad feeling.

If there is one thing I have learned recently, it's to follow my gut, my intuition.  If I have any misgivings about this guy, it's for a good reason and I should just let it go.  What may be perceived as his interest in me as a person, is most likely just the thrill of the chase.  We've been here before.  We've done this already.  It didn't work.  I wonder if it's just a game for him to see how far he can go before he gets caught.


What if my intuition is totally off and this guy is supposed to be my husband and I'm reading all the signs wrong?  What if he means all the things he says?  What if?  What if?  What if?  The thought has crossed my mind, but truthfully, I feel completely okay with walking away from him.  I don't feel as though I'm missing anything or walking away from the man I'm meant to be with.  I think if he were the husband meant for me, I would feel a little different.

My intuition wouldn't be sounding off alarms.  I'd be eager to return his emails and meet for lunch. 


Am I right?


Seriously?  A little help here, folks...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Raising the Leaders of Tomorrow

Do you see those two new buttons on the side of my blog?  If you get my blog e-mailed to you, then click here to be directed to my blog. 

For a very long time, there has been a soft spot for children in my heart.  In fact, for as long as I can remember, there has been.  I love not only their innocence and purity, but their ability to love with abandon and their hope for the future.  It is so striking to me that these children are our future and the way we raise them up now when they're young is a very strong determining factor for who they will be when they grow up.  We are raising the leaders of tomorrow.  We're raising the doctors and the teachers and the mayors and maybe even the prime minister.  If you knew you were raising the next leader of Canada, would you raise him differently?  Sadly, we're also raising the homeless and the criminals.  How would we parent differently if we knew in 10 years our child would be robbing a bank?

When Q was in kindergarten, I was able to volunteer in his class almost every day.  It was a wonderful experience for me to interact with my son, but also with the other children in his class. What I saw amazed me...the children who acted out the most were almost always the children who's parents were absent - the parents who never picked them up from school, never came to the after school events, never showed for parent/teacher interviews.  Children learn from a very young age that any attention is good attention, so if they were getting in trouble, well I guess they thought it was better than being invisible.  It was remarkable what a little bit of positive attention did to their behavior.  The whole year Q was in kindergarten I thought, teachers plant a seed.  They plant an "I believe in you" seed that they hope grows and grows and grows in these leaders of the future. 

Having a child of my own has only made my desire to help children more.  Every night (or every night Q is with me) I get to kiss him good night, tuck him in, tell him I love him, and I'm proud of him.  It breaks my heart that children go to bed at night alone, hungry, scared, homeless, orphans.  It breaks my heart that children go to sleep without hearing, "I love you." 

Q really, really, really enjoys being an only child.  He tells me so almost daily.  Lately I've been planting a seed in Q's heart for the children of the world who are homeless and have no parents at all.  Somewhat reluctantly, he is realizing he may have a very large family one day, with brothers and sisters from around the world. 

I stumbled upon this blog called recently and it has opened my eyes to a whole world of orphans yes, but also people trying to do something about it.  Katie is a mother of 13 adopted orphan girls from Uganda, where so many children are left either abandoned or orphaned due to AIDS or poverty or both.  Katie has started a non-profit organization that helps the poorest of the poor go to school, have clothes, and feeds them two meals a day.  Her ministry and her organization has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years.  I started reading her book, "Kisses from Katie" and I had goosebumps the whole book.  This young woman is amazing.  Katie is 22 and has done more for the 'least of these' than most of us will ever do in our life time.  She is raising up the leaders of tomorrow for Uganda, and inviting the world to help. 

November 4 is Orphan Sunday.  It's purpose is to:
  • Educate people about the plight of millions and millions of orphans around the world
  • Involve people by sponsoring children so they can go to school, eat and learn about God 
  • Get donations that go towards assisting people who want to adopt internationally.  These adoptions can go anywhere from $10, 000 to $45, 000. Organizations create grants so this becomes a reality for families who do not have the money, but have the heart to adopt orphans
  • Finally, it educates and encourages people who want to adopt orphans internationally
If you want to donate to either of these causes, all you have to do is click on these links on the side of my blog.  They will take you directly to the websites.  If you have a church congregation and want to take the plight of orphans around the world to people, click on the Orphan's Sunday button.  It has all the resources, ideas, and contacts that you will need to successfully host an event. 

Think of the future of our world.  What do you want it to look like?  What do you want to do to ensure it looks like your vision?  When you tuck your babies into bed tonight, remember the ones who sleep on a mat in an orphanage praying for a mommy to kiss them goodnight.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Harass This, You A$$

As of late, I have been the recipient of some *unwanted attention* by someone who a) is an employee where I work and b) I never would have thought was *that* kind of person.  I'm definitely not going to go into the specifics because it has been dealt with and (fingers crossed) totally over, but I learned a whole heck of a lot from it.  This time of year, kids are writing, "What I learned on my Summer Vacation" so I thought I would pen my own "What I learned about Sexual Harassment"...I know, right?  Big words.  I think it's important though that I talk about it, because I felt isolated and (silly me...) almost like I must have deserved it.  So, if I can make one woman realize she is NOT alone and help her take a stand then woot woot!! 

1. Sexual harassment does not start with someone grabbing your boob.  It starts very small so you don't even really notice it started.  A slightly off colour joke that you laugh at.  A smile.  A comment on how they like your earrings or how you did your hair.  It doesn't even compute that they have ulterior motives.  Then things get a little bit weirder and they start bringing you gifts, not just at Christmas time.  Or calling you, and not about work.  But it's built up to this point so you think, "Oh no.  I've led them on.  They think I'm a partner in this.  Other people will think the same."  So you do nothing and you say nothing.   This is why women can report sexual harassment years and years after the initial incident.  It sneaks up on you and then snowballs out of control.   To be clear...this person never touched me, never said anything inappropriate.  It was all in his actions. 

2.  It made me uncomfortable.  Like really, really uncomfortable.  It takes a lot to make me uncomfortable.  I can joke and swear like a trucker.  I've worked with pilots.  I work in a male dominated society.  I do not get uncomfortable.  But this made me very uncomfortable.  I did not listen to my intuition.  I told myself I was being silly and it was all in my imagination.  If it makes you uncomfortable and it feels is sexual harassment, no matter the other persons intentions.  I was on the verge of tears at times while working.  That is not okay.

3.  You have a choice.  Let me say that again...YOU have a choice.  You can choose to be the victim or you can choose to end it.  Years ago, when I worked in the airline industry, I had to take a course on sexual harassment.  The only thing I remember about it (because we joked through most of the day) is that if you feel you're being harassed, you must tell your attacker to stop.  You must take that step.  Let me tell you, it was awful.  I felt like I was going to throw up.  My heart was pounding out of my heart and I could feel my pulse in my neck and head and hands.  I was sweating.  I was scared.  But I chose to end it.  I did not want to be a victim any longer.  After I was done, it was the most liberating thing in the world.  I had rescued myself.  I was the hero of my own story.  I was not a victim.  If you need someone else to be there,  that is totally okay.   

4.  Ask for help if you need it.  I thought it might be a cultural way of showing respect and didn't want to offend this man.  I thought I was misreading things.  I thought that because I'm a nice person, he had misread and thought I had led him on.  Two things happened that helped me immensely.  The first thing I did was talk in hypotheticals to someone of the same cultural background who let me know this was not a cultural respect kind of thing.  He also gave me tips on how to end it.  I would have been really quiet and polite.  He said I needed to be firm and strong.  Secondly, when all was done and over, I told my immediate boss so that if anything happened in the future, I would have a witness of some sort.  I told him he didn't need to *do* anything. It was dealt with, all I needed was him to know.  And get this...before I had even finished the story he knew who it was because this guy had done it before!!!!!!!!  Like you've got to be kidding me, right?  This guy is a professional at this and I felt guilty???? I actually felt better knowing that he had done it meant I hadn't *brought it on*.

5.  It can happen to you, so be aware.  I always thought that I wouldn't put up with that kind of shite from anyone.  I thought if anyone ever did anything that made me uncomfortable, I would just speak up and stop it so fast they wouldn't know what hit them because I am a strong woman.  The thing's not that easy.  You question whether you're over reacting or if it's just your imagination.  Then it gets to the point where you think it's so ridiculous that it's gone on for sooooo long.  You might be embarrassed, afraid, or sad.  It's all normal.  Remember that if it makes you uncomfortable in a *sexual* way, it needs to stop.

6.  Talk about it.  Tell people.  This guy always said, "Don't tell anyone I bought you this.  They'll just overreact."  If it has to be a secret, it's not right. 

7.  Finish it before you want to kick him in the face every time you see him...because that is where I am at right now, and I shouldn't have let it go so long.  So, now what I am dealing with is my anger and not his advances...

I really hate leaving this at only 7 points.  It's an odd number.  It's no where near 5 or 10.  Alas, I am done.  So, if you have any other tips then please, please, tell me.  Three more helpful tips would be awesome.  But seriously...have you ever experienced harassment?  How did you deal?

Friday, September 14, 2012

For the Love of the Game

Q loves hockey.

Q knows everything there is to know about hockey.  Every stat for every player is etched in his memory.  Spelling words?  No.  Hockey stats?  Of course.  When you ask Q what he wants to be when he grows up, it's an NHL player for the Calgary Flames.  He plays NHL Slapshot on his Wii and has *won* the Stanley Cup twice.  Jerome Iginla is his favourite player.

Me, I could care less about hockey.  My most fondest memories about hockey are of it lulling me to sleep when either a boyfriend, my brother, or now my son, watch it on T.V.  There is something about the announcers voices and the swish of the skates and the roar of the crowd that actually puts me to sleep in minutes. 

Countries are in recessions.  Businesses are either losing money hand over fist or going bankrupt.  Children are going to bed hungry every night because their parents cannot afford to feed them three meals a day.

And these effing hockey players think they deserve more of something.  More money?  More job security?  Honestly, I tried to read an article about what their beef was, but I got so bored after the second sentence I decided I didn't mind being uneducated about this.  It's like when people start talking about car parts.  I just totally zone out.  Borrrrrr-ing. 

Side note:  I realized recently that I should probably research things before I go off on rants about them.  I had mentioned a statistic I heard that if you have money in the bank, you are richer than 92% of people in the world.  Someone asked where the stat came from and I had nooooooooo idea.  And then I felt really dumb for just believing crazy, random facts without follow up.  However, having said that...if the above stat makes us feel just a little more grateful for what we have, then it can't be a bad thing that I blindly believed it.  It's not like it was a stat that said 92% of people who buy lottery tickets win over a million dollars.  That would have been harmful to believe...and subsequently advertise to my friends.  Anyways, I will now return to my rant....

To all you selfish hockey players in the NHL:  You play a silly game where you chase around a little puck and then have grown-ass fights with other grown-ass men over that little puck.  You're not curing cancer.  You're not doing brain surgery.  You're not solving world hunger issues.  You play hockey.  I'm sorry that our society has become so single minded that you think what you do is important.  It's not.  Guess what...if tomorrow the NHL folded, you will all be screwed.  You have nothing to fall back on, because most of you skipped out on university so you could play hockey.  You can't complete coherent sentences based on your post hockey sports interviews -" know, we...uh....did what know," - so public speaking is out of the question.   Modelling?  Well half of you are missing your teeth, so perhaps you could model dentures...but that only goes so far. 

Sydney Crosby, you're a special disappointment, because you want more too.  You didn't even play for most of last season (according to Q) due to some sort of concussion.  Sit down and be quiet, Syd.  Seriously. 

Good luck to all of you trying to find a job where you can work for 3 minutes and sit out the next 10 for 90 minutes a day, 2 times a week.  Good luck finding a job that gives you 2-4 months (depending how much you suck at what you get PAID to do) of the year off so you can golf.  I know it will be difficult to say good-bye to your gardener and your pool boy and your driver and hello to your wife and children. 

When you really think about it, the only people you're really disappointing are 8 year olds like my Q who think you guys are amazing.  You're playing for them, really, because the empty arenas prove you're not playing for anyone else.  Calgary Flames, you're disappointing the children who would have benefited from the charity golf tourney that you pulled out of at the last minute - all of you - due to a scheduling conflict.  You're ruining the dreams of 8 year old children.  So, I hope that makes you feel like crap.

I hope they're all locked out for years and years to come.  I hope children will recapture their love for the game by playing it out on the street with their neighbourhood friends far past their bedtimes instead of watching the 19 year old who make 5 million dollars a year play it on T.V.  They'll tell their children all about how way back when they used to watch it on T.V. and maybe a new generation of hockey players will rise up who care more about the game and the spirit than the money.  I hope mothers will run into you guys at the grocery store and beat you over the head with their umbrella for making their sons sad.  I hope grown men will finally say enough is enough and stop watching, betting on, and drinking to your silly little game.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Q-isms - Wise Beyond his Years

In many ways, I'm a conventional mom.  Q knows his manners, eats his veggies, takes a shower twice a week (if we're lucky), and goes to school on a regular basis.  We've tried to implement chores, but I mostly forget or if I do remember I do it myself because it's easier.  As he gets older, though, I see the value in teaching him the quality of responsibility, the importance of a job well done and a dollar earned - so I'm working on that.

In one way, I am not a conventional mom.  Q still sleeps in my bed.  There are three reasons for this.

  1. He sleeps with his dad, too.  Every time I try to wean Q out of my bed, his father does not follow suit, so I relent.  If it's not consistent, it is fighting a losing battle.  I end up with too little sleep and then I'm ugly and grumpy.  Not a good combination.  Coincidentally, him sleeping with me in the beginning started as a way to get more sleep.  He slept longer with me beside him.
  2. As an only child from two separate households, Q has some unique challenges that other children with siblings or with parents who are together do not have.  He gets separation anxiety.  If sleeping with me gives him a little extra confidence to get through his day, I see nothing wrong with that at all.
  3. There is nothing more wonderful than feeling his little hand on my cheek as he falls asleep, hearing him breathe or talk in his sleep, and watching him sleep.  It is something I cherish.  It gives us extra time together where there is no "eat your dinner" or "do your homework" or "hurry up" or "slow down".  There is just us.
We often have our best talks just before he is going to bed.  I don't know if Q is like other children and I haven't given kids enough credit for their depth of understanding or if he is incredibly wise beyond his years.  Sometimes his insight is so wise it amazes me.  I think he is destined for great things, my little man - just because his compassion and his understanding is so great.

One such occasion was the night before Grade 3....

Q:  Daddy says grade three was his worst year ever.

Me:  That's because grade three is the year his mommy died.

Q:  Oh.  I didn't know that.  I just knew she was 42, but I didn't know he was only 8.  What happened to daddy?

Me:  His daddy moved to Libya to work, so daddy went to boarding school with Uncle Duck (or Doug as everyone else calls him).

Q:  What's a boarding school?

Me:  It's when you live and go to school and eat and play all in the same place.


Q:  I'm understanding some things more now.

Me:  Like what?

Q:  Daddy was offered a job in Dallas a while ago, and he didn't take it.

Me:  Do you know why he didn't take it?

Q:  Yes, because of me. 

Me:  Yup.  Because he loved you more.

Geez...for all the times I wish I was flexible enough to kick my ex in the face, I lied there thankful for knowing that my Q knows his daddy loves him.  He knows that his daddy wants something better for him than he had as a boy. 

I wonder how many children notice or appreciate what their parents sacrifice for them.  Anyone of us parents can name several things we've sacrificed in the name of our dear children, but how many of them know it?  How many know but don't appreciate it?  How many have to be told to be grateful?  And yet here is my little 8 year old boy not just knowing, but reveling in the knowledge?  It makes me want to cry just thinking of it.  I know it's something he'll carry within him well into his adulthood. 

We're seriously going to save on therapy bills for this one.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Grey Hairs Suck ~ and Other Revelations

I found another grey hair last night.

I think part of what is so shocking when I find a grey hair is that I'm not actually looking for it.  I'm usually doing my makeup and I'll see a glisten in the mirror out of the corner of my eye.  A wiry glisten and I'll just know.  "Oh no," I think.  Not again.

And of course I'll pull it out but that doesn't mean it wasn't there in the first place. 

Now I feel bad for all those times I told my mother I thought grey hair on a woman looked *distinguished*.  What a load of BS.  It looks old.  That's what it looks like.  Old.  Dye those mo-fos...that's my new motto.  Or the times I thought, "Wrinkles are just memories of laughter."  Again, BULL.  Wrinkles are signs that you squinted too much in the sun, or frowned.  Your skin is not so forgiving because it is old and so now your skin remembers every little thing. I will most definitely consider Botox (when I can afford it).

It's another reminder that 35 is waiting for me right around the corner.  It's another mid-life sign.

Despite that whole rant, I've had a little change of heart when it comes to my most recent *blah* phase.  Yes I am older than I've ever been. But that's not going to change.  Because now, I'm older than I was when I wrote that first sentence (geez, now I'm just freaking myself out).

I've had to remind myself of something very important that I happened to forget while in the midst of all this *old* turmoil.

Happiness is a Choice.  

Just as whether I want to be a blonde or brunette is a choice, I have to choose my point of view.  There are so many things in this life that can get you down...debt woes, self image problems, global warming, poverty, death...the list goes on and on.  You (or I) can choose to focus on those things, or you (I) can choose to focus on the blessings.  So there's a nasty rumour going around work about me (I know it's not true), so I'm a little bored at work (I can find challenges).  I am right where I'm meant to be right now.

And so I choose to be happy.  I choose to turn my frown upside down.  I choose to be the change I wish to see in the world.  

It's true that I've never been on a mission to Africa (like this book I'm reading right now, Kisses from Katie...I have permanent goosebumps from reading this woman's story.  I highly, highly, highly recommend it.  Like if you only read one book this year, read Kisses from Katie).  It's true I've not pulled a drowning man from the ocean.  It's true I've even witnessed a car accident and then driven away instead of giving my name as a witness (eeps, I still feel guilty about that one...)  I can choose to be kind to everyone, giving to those who seem to deserve it the least, and willing to make a difference.

It's the small things that matter.  Small things done with great love. 

I don't want to justify doing NOTHING.  Doing nothing is poor form when we're given this awesome experience called life.  But I do want to remind myself, mostly, that not everyone can be a brain surgeon.  Not everyone can run into a burning building and save a mother pregnant with triplets.  Not everyone can thwart terrorist attacks or make decisions for a country. 

Everyone can be kind.  Everyone can be thoughtful.  Everyone can be a listening ear.

I was getting so depressed because here I am working in mail.  For as far as my eye can see, there are parcels.  Boxes and boxes and boxes.  None of the boxes are filled with hearts for transplant.  Most of them are filled with purchases people bought on-line.  Whatever.  The point was I couldn't imagine anyone feeling called to work in a post office.  How could I make a difference in the world in a post office?  I started to think that no one really feels called to work in a gas station, either.  No one feels the need to haul garbage for a living.  Someone working in Tim Horton's probably didn't dream of serving coffee to people since they were little.  There are jobs that need to be done in this world that don't necessarily seem important.  It's not the job that matters, it is the attitude and care with which we do said job.  

So I can do a mundane job.  I can do a mundane job with a crappy attitude.  Or I can do a so-so job with a crazy, out of this world happy attitude that immediately disarms people and tears down walls they've built up over the years.  

I think the real tragedy would be missing out on those experiences. 

And finding another grey hair. 

That would also be a tragedy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blah, Blah, Blah

(Or Self Pep-Talk.)
For all of you, this will just sound like blah, blah, blah, consider yourself warned.
I had a few free hours tonight.  Q has gone to his dads for the evening, and I have 3 hours (well, 2 1/2 now) to do what ever I want.  I had an awesome plan. I was going to write for 3 (now 2 1/2) hours.  I was going to write and write and write and write. 
Because I am an author.  And that is what authors do.  They write.  They write things like books and poems and short stories.  They update their blogs on a daily basis with witty thoughts and ideas.  They have comments on their posts.  Well deserved comments.
Yet here I sit.  In front of the TV.  It's on.  No ideas.  Well, one idea.  But every time I decided to write said idea, nothing comes out.  I just sit there and stare at a blank screen. 
Well, it's not blank.  Actually, I downloaded this program that is supposed to help you put all your ideas together when you're writing a book.  It's a virtual pin board, with virtual recipe cards that you can write your ideas on and then smush them all together in to one.  But it's a 30 day trial, and only the days you use it count, so I don't want to use it until I get a really, really good idea.  So it sits on my desktop, virtually unused. 
Ironic, huh?
So I figure if I just keep writing *I'm a writer*, an author...that I will believe it and have the confidence in myself to do this. 
This.  This.
What this? 
Write a book?  I mean that's not really scary in and of itself, is it?  No.  No it is not.  If Snooki and Tori Spelling can write books, then I surely can.  Anyone can write a book.  Not many people can write a really, really, really good book. 
And that's what I want to do, I want to write a really, really, really good book.  A book that everyone talks about.  A book that makes the best sellers list.  Ohhhhh, a book that book clubs discuss.  That's what I want.  It's not because I want to be famous.  It's because I want to leave a lasting mark that is truly amazing.
Again with the effin' midlife crisis. 
I'm an author.  An author.  I write.  I write books and such.  Because that's what authors do.  They write.
They rewrite.
They write and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite.
They get rejection letters that say, "Your story sucks.  Sorry."

And then write again.
I'm totally okay with that, because I realize it's not a personal attack, and it's not a failure.  It's a way to grow, and I'm not going to grow at all if I just sit on this couch, staring at that t.v. every single day.
So, as an author, I'm going to turn the TV. off.  I've got roughly 2 hours left.  I'm going to turn off the TV and write for 2 hours.  Because I am an author.  And that is what authors do.
They write.
But first I'm going to watch *Modern Family* because geez, that show is hilarious (even though it's a rerun).
Authors need inspiration.  Hilarious inspiration.  And then I'll have 1 1/2 hours to write pure genius, because that's what writers do.
And that's what I do.  I write.  I'm a writer. 


Back to School 2012

When I was young (because now I'm old) I loved back to school.  The new clothes, the school supplies, the excitement of learning, being the teacher's pet, and seeing my friends - so, so exciting for me.  People think I'm crazy when I say this, but I loooooove the smell of school supplies.  They do, they smell.  Mmmmmmm, like heaven, I think.    I even worked in a stationery store fueled by my weird obsession with pens and pencils and paper....ohhhhh, the possibilities!!

Now that I have a child of my own, however, it's a completely different experience.  I had to start warning Q a week before the start of school that it was going to happen, just so he wouldn't have a huge freak out the night before.  While I'm excited for the structure that back to school brings, Q is resenting the fact that he cannot spend his days playing video games and going to the beach.

The night before brought huge anxiety...all the what-ifs that we all experience when we don't know what to expect.  My poor little boy has the worry gene of his mother, and so we rationalized all evening about the fear and the actuality.  It's been a good lesson for me as well.  What am I missing out on in life because I fear all the silly what-ifs that most likely won't happen? 

The day before school we took advantage of the beautiful weather and beautiful scenery.  This is the city I fell in love with when I first moved here 9 years ago!! 



...and this will be Heaven for me. Sun, Sand
                                and the Ocean

Proof I do feed this kid!!


You try getting 3 boys to smile at the same time!

Best friends make everything better, even if they don't want to smile for the camera!  J is an awesome gift from God for my little man!

How was your back to school experience?  Tears?  Parties?  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Somewhere in the Middle of Nowhere

I'm not so good at playing the role of the victim.  Even when I am *the victim* I try really, really, really hard to turn things around so that I'm in control of the situation. 

There is this woman at work and whenever I'd see her, I'd throw out the customary, "How are you?" to which she'd put on this sad smile, look at the floor and say, "Oh, you know.  Life."  What do you say to that?  Because I always felt like saying, "Suck it up, Princess.  Life is what you make it.  You aren't getting my pity."  Instead, I'd smile and nod, but deep down I really just wanted to smack her.  Too many people spend their lives waiting to be rescued from some unknown evil, when all they really had to do is say, "ENOUGH".  Sometimes it's easier to just lay down and play dead, I guess. 

When my ex and I split, I had $300 for a deposit on the one bedroom basement suite I was moving into with Q.  That and about $10,000 in debt.  He kept the house and the boat and the Porsche and the Jeep and the bank account.  Honestly, most of it was his before we were a couple and so even though I was entitled to half, I walked away with absolutely nothing.  I had an old bed that a friend of a friend gave to me because their son had outgrown it.  Q and I would roll into the middle every night, but I couldn't afford to buy a new mattress.  I didn't own a couch for 6 months because I didn't have the money to buy one.  I didn't want to be the victim.  I didn't want to be the vengeful ex that went for the jugular.  I wanted what I had to be mine.

And now it is.  Everything I have now, I worked very hard for.  I became the hero of my own story.

I like being in control.  I like being in control of every single situation there is.  Traffic jam with budgers?  Ya, I want to control that like nobodies business.  Line ups in the grocery store?  On it.  Skytrain?  Done it. 

The other day, my momma and I went to the great US of A for some back to school shopping for Q.  We drove for what seemed like forever looking for this outlet mall that I could have sworn was like right there but we could not find it.  When my momma followed yet another one of my *unhelpful* directional suggestions, I finally blurted out, "Why are you listening to me????  You know I'm directionally challenged!!!" and she said slowly...."Because I'm afraid you'll get mad at me if I don't listen to you."


That is so ridiculous.

I totally...


...would.  Yup.  Sad, but true.  I started to think about it.  I would really get mad at the situation (of course, not her...) if she didn't listen to me, even though I knew I didn't have a clue what I was talking about. 

I'm a little bit of a control freak.

It was pointed out to me the other day, quite bluntly in fact, that it would not be fair for any man to be in a relationship with me because of my *control* issues.

Hang on just a minute...I don't have issues....

Oh no...I think it's true and I kind of do have issues. 

Again, being with my ex, having absolutely no control over anything - funny story...I remember sitting at home waiting all day for my ex to be *ready* to do something with me.  Literally just waiting, just to have him say he was tired and didn't feel like doing anything - made me think being totally in control of everything was the only way to go.  In my crazy plan to make sure I'm not the victim ever, ever again, I've swung to the extreme opposite and I've become the superhero. 

The scary thing is that superheros aren't real.

So instead, I've become what?  Someone who likes to be in control of every situation.  Despite this not only being impossible, it's gotta be a little frustrating for people around me too.  What am I missing out on, by controlling things when I could just go with the flow?  What is in store for me that is beyond my control?  How much better/easier/awesome would it be to just say, "Okey dokey, bring it on.  I don't know what *it* is, but I can totally roll with it..."


"Uh, I'm lost.  Maybe I should ask for help..."


"Hey, whatever you want - Sushi or Greek.  I'm cool with it..."


"No, it's totally okay.  You don't have to load the dishwasher with all the forks together and all the spoons together and all the knives together.  You can even mix the mugs and the glasses, if you want.  Even though it makes sense to me, and it is so much easier when you're putting them away.  Whatever, mix them.  It will be fun.  Totally."  (Just so you know, it was painful just typing that.)

So we'll start with the little things and get bigger as we go along.  It's exciting for me to see what is waiting for me beyond my control.  It's like when you're watching a movie and a whole fabulous situation is brewing but the main character can't see it yet and they're just pluggin' along all oblivious.  There is a really fabulous situation brewing for me right now, I just have to believe it's true.  I can't see it yet but wow, it's going to be amazing!

And the best part is I won't be a victim or a control freak. 

I'll be somewhere in the middle.

I'll just be me.