Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010, I Bid You Adieu

It's the night before New Year's Eve and here I sit, past midnight, contemplating the year that has just passed. When you are living in the day to day moments, you just push to get through days, months, events and feelings. It's in these twilight hours that the scorecard tally of all that the year held seems incredible to me. What lies ahead for 2011? The word that comes to mind, if saying it aloud could make it so, is to feel "settled" and with that maybe some aging hippy "inner peace."

There have been so many changes and stresses and challenging moments the last two years for me, that I'd like 2011 to signal a new chapter. In 2010, a lot of changes occurred that closed doors, and I think I'd like to start flinging new ones open.

My last year involved a move to an entirely new province. In fact, one I'd never even set foot upon. That made move number 2 for us in less than 3 years. They say that selling a home and moving are two of life's biggest stresses. Well, leave it to me to do it twice, then. Go big or go home! We left behind amazing friendships that we were so fortunate to make right away; friendships that made us feel welcome from the shaky start. Those friendships saw us through some of our darkest moments and brought light to our happiest times. However, moving was a real gift for me, as it meant closing the door on everything that reminded me of heartache and loss, and let me move forward toward (what I hope) will be a time of re-growth and awakening.

I also lost my Dad this year. It's never an easy explanation when I speak of him or the dance that we did in our relationship. Suffice it to say that, whatever the view from the outside, and whatever the hurt that ebbed and flowed, he was my Daddy and I loved him. I don't really have the words to speak about this-me-who is never without words. My fingers poise over the keys but my thoughts stumble over one another and can't seem to make one single fluid sentence. I'm not a great one to pour out my feelings, and in this loss, it seems they've jammed up inside even further. I find it difficult to look at pictures, often quickly skipping past photos in my siblings Facebook albums. I try not to let memories wash over me when I'm in company, or ill prepared for the influx of tears. I'm shocked at my sense of outrage and loss. Mostly, though, I'm just a daughter that misses her Dad.

As is my typical response to stress and heartache, I've medicated myself with food. Obviously, this cycle of stress eating only leads to further stress and I've yet to conquer the demon. I'm disappointed in myself for negating all of the positive steps I had taken to tame this ornery beast that has plagued me for many years. I'm disappointed that I'm still fighting this nemesis. I'm hopeful that 2011 will find me stepping over the threshold into finally leaving behind this emotionally fraught baggage full of comfort foods that bring little comfort.

So, here I sit on the verge of a New Year. I always feel delicious anticipation at the possibilities that seem so ripe and within my grasp as I spin past on the Merry-Go-Round of Life. I'm starting completely new and fresh. I'm in a new home, in a new province, with everything to discover about new places and people and a new "me." Oh, not that I'm ditching the old me. I'm just adding and subtracting and multiplying to find a new configuration that makes for a more balanced equation.

The doors are opening and I'm poised on the brink of an incredible journey. I can almost feel the tingle of electricity in the air and in my soul I just know that I've reached a pivotal turning point. That's melodramatic, I know. I guess time will tell.

I'm looking forward to the next post, where I'll lay out my plans for "Resolutions" and how I'm taking this 2011 bull by the horns. Until then, goodbye to the old and a giddy welcome to a much needed brand New Year.

Happy New Year's to you and yours!

Friday, December 17, 2010


Dear Blog Readers,

Hi there! Hope you are all doing well and getting excited for the Holiday Season-whatever it is that you celebrate in your homes. Here, we are busy with a hundred different things it seems and nowhere near ready for the big day! Yippee!

I thought I had this whole thing covered and was patting myself on the back, but then the startling realization hit that SMACK, umm no. I have baking to donate for the school raffle on Monday, (me+baking=not pretty) Christmas cards still to mail out, groceries still to buy, presents to wrap, two school Christmas concerts, one dance Open House, and a few more things I won't bore you with via the good 'ol "To Do" list. I figure I should be done by Wednesday. I know, cutting it dangerously close.

On top of this, we're planning a trip to Florida and I'm starting to get overwhelmed by that list and the money needed to accomplish it all. We still have to get passports and get our dog a vaccination so she can be boarded. We've never left her without it being with family, so that's making me teary. We haven't taken her there yet either so, they may not even agree she's cool enough to board. Fingers crossed. Then there's the whole bills, needing to get my teeth fixed and the fact that my credit card is almost maxxed and now sizzling.

So, dear bloggy readers, this is why I've been hit or miss when it comes to jotting down my thoughts for all of you anxious to read them. This season is about joy and family and peace, or it's supposed to be anyways. Currently, it feels like it's about mayhem and money and checklists. It's also bittersweet because I'm far away from extended family. I think I've only missed one Christmas without seeing them at some point-in my ENTIRE life. I may be smiling through tears on Christmas morning.

If I'm sparse in the upcoming week or so, please know that I'm just running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. I hope you are doing well and enjoying the season. Take some time to breathe it all in and sit in silence, letting the meaning for the season wash over you and make what you're scurrying to and fro about make all that more sense.

From our home to yours,

Happy Holidays!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Could Really Use A Wish Right Now...Wish Right Now..

Have you ever been waiting and waiting on something or someone, wishing and hoping and finger crossing, only to have it happen and have it be less than monumental?

Take for example our move. We had known for the 2.5 years that we lived "away" from home that we would be moved once again in the near future. In the beginning, I prayed hard that it was soon. Towards the end of our residence there, I pleaded for it's imminence as well. It wasn't that I was unhappy where we were at, let me make that clear, it's just that I had this looming future promise hanging over me and I just wanted to be settled.

Now, here we are. I'm truly enjoying being here and I think a future here looks promising. It's just that it doesn't feel as, and I'm not even sure of the word I'm looking for here, climactic ? I think it may be partly that it's just been such a whirlwind and I've had so many balls up in the air since we found out that it just continues to seem surreal. That seems to be the refrain for my life in 2010 actually.

Since finding out that we were being moved across the country to a province where we don't know a soul, to the actual move, to school starting, to my Dad's passing and now Christmas-it just has all been a blur. I'm actually kind of frightened for when it all hits me square between the eyes and knocks me out for the count. I know it's going to happen once life slows down, but luckily for me I've always been a fighter and I'm pretty good at taking one on the chin and still standing my ground.

There are other things swirling around my little life that are long awaited but again, just kind of meh now that they are here. I'm starting to think it may just be that I'm too tired and busy and well, maybe a little crazy, to fully appreciate all that's going on.

I believe that come the New Year, I'm going to be wishing big and little wishes. By then, I hope I can be more present in appreciating and understanding them with welcome, open arms instead of sort of just coasting along on auto-pilot. Though auto-pilot has it's merits as well.

For now, I'm keeping an eye on the prize and pushing through the season ahead. I've got my head down, but the horizon is looming and soon I'll be back to going toe to toe with wishes and dreams.

Eye of the tiger, baby.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Good Patient?

One of my dear friends had surgery a few days ago (she's all good!) and has been told she's to take it easy and rest. Well, the day she left the hospital, which might I add was the day after her surgery, she went and got her nose ring put back in and had a pedicure. Whaaaat? I gave her a talking to and told her to get her butt into bed. Lucky for her I'm bossy like that, and she listened (mostly) and has been doing a whole lot of nothing.

It's driving her crazy. I've informed her she's truly a bad patient.

She updates me about movies she's watched or books she hasn't started. Her Facebook status updates contain several references to "not being cut out for this lying around stuff" and basically how she is going stir crazy. She also made mention to me that she can't fathom just hanging out at home every day.

Well, that's pretty much what "I" do. I don't mean the lying around part, contrary to the stereotype. I mean as a Stay At Home Mom. I kind of, er.......stay at home?

I told her that for me, a typical day involves meal planning, bill paying, errand running, chore doing, dog walking, kid bathing and homework checking. All of which mostly take place at home.

Her husband has plans to go away for the weekend, and has arranged for their daughters to go to Grandma's. Once again, my friend was unsure what she'd do for a whole weekend by herself.

Are you KIDDING me? I would take that in a hot minute. I would sleep in and watch trash TV and order in take out and lie in bed.....just like Brian Wilson did.

I gave her some suggestions and tips for things she could do while she's convalescing but she seemed doubtful. She said she's got to be on the go usually. How often, as Moms especially, do we get time to really just do nothing? Yet, when we're presented with the opportunity, we don't know what to do with ourselves? I've had many times where I get to go on a "girls weekend" and once there, spend half my time thinking about my kids. I know we can all relate to dinners out with our husbands where we spend the time talking about our family stuff.

When you get the time to just chill and do whatever it is that YOU want and you don't have to worry about schedules and routines and meals and laundry, I think you should savour it. Every last moment of it.

In the end, it allows us weary Moms to rejuvenate and re-energize and come back into the chaotic fray with renewed vigour.

So, she's watched a season of "Sister Wives," loved "Eat, Pray, Love" and is currently sorting through old photos. Ah.....she's learning, young grasshopper. The path ahead is lined with pillows and cookie crumbs, bed head and brain drain. It is worth the journey! Ommmmmm.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'm So Vain...No More?

So, last week as I took a big hearty bite, I heard a strange crunching sound. It wasn't SO strange that I hadn't ever heard it before though. Nope, the sharp plastic feeling wasn't foreign to my mouth.

Once again, I had eaten the covering of my tooth.

Growing up, I had a small space between my two front teeth. If it helps, visualize Madonna. I decided I hated it and wanted to get it filled in. I got bonding done and loved the look. The problem was, it cracked off several momentous times. Once, in particular, comes to mind. My sister and I were out in the food court at the local mall and I decided an egg sandwich sounded yummy. This familiar sandwich joint made a really delicious, thick, mayo induced one that I loved. As I was eating, I said to my sister that I thought they had left some shell in by accident. I can still picture her face as she replied, "That wasn't shell!! You ate your tooth!"

That happened a few more times before my pocketbook and I decided we needed something more substantial and permanent done. It was then that I had my teeth whittled down to nubs for my porcelain veneers.

Typically, veneers should last 5-10 years tops. I've had mine about 15 I'd say. My dental hygienist has been in awe of how well they've lasted and how great they look, but also commented last visit that it was probably time they got replaced.

I guess I should have taken her advice a bit more seriously, because now I find myself with a chip in the front of my tooth and a looming dental appointment. Right. Before. Christmas.

I'm hoping they can just somehow patch it up for now, and I'll get some new chicklets come spring or so. I don't really want to cough up a thousand bucks per tooth at this time of year, know what I mean? Most insurance plans don't cover veneers. Crap.

As this is all happening and I've had a few days now to lament my new umm, look, I've come to realize that I kind of wish I'd never had them done. I mean, we all like to look our best and every celebrity out there sports a pretty awesome grill. At the time, that's what I wanted as well. Yet, now that I'm "older and wiser," I think I'd be okay with the space. It adds character!

In France, that space between the front teeth means something like "luck." I'm a big Vanessa Paradis fan (Johnny Depp's wife if you don't know her) and she's got quite the space happening. She's never had it filled. Isn't it Lauren Hutton that also has a prominent space? It never caused her to lose modelling gigs, did it? Right. One more word? Madonna.

It certainly would have cost me less time, money and headaches. Now, it's too late. My teeth underneath have to be covered evermore or look like pegs-and I'm not really THAT secure with myself.

I think with age comes an inner acceptance of things that maybe once made you feel scrutinized or judged in some way. I wish I could tell my 16 year old self just to embrace the freckles, the mole, the gap in her teeth. Unfortunately, it's taken time and life and hard lessons to get to this point, and some days I still struggle.

For today? I'm even okay with the jagged crack. I'll get it fixed, but day to day? I'm okay with me.

Chipped or not.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Is Twitter Like Online Dating?

I have always thought of myself as a great judge of character. I've made a few blunders over the years, but in general, I can kind of sniff out an individuals inner "shtick" really quickly. I can tell who is bluffing and who is genuine in a hot minute. Mostly. I hear that makes me judgemental in some people's eyes, but I look at it differently. I don't want to waste my time, or theirs, if we just don't click. I'm not saying just because "I" don't dig you that you are a bad person with no integrity, it's more like "it's not you it's me."

I find the same thing with online relationships. I can discern pretty quickly whether someone is my type of person after a few exchanges. There are people that crack me up, but I know in person we wouldn't have similar lifestyles or interests. There are people that speak to the intellectual side of me (and yes, I do have one!) but might be a little too intense for daily me. Then, there are the people that strike just the right balance.

So, I've joined Twitter. At first, I didn't see what the draw was for joining. I had friends totally into it but it seemed silly to me to just update what amounts to a status repeatedly throughout the day. I figured it might be worth a shot given I live in a completely new province, as a way to connect with what is happening in my city and the others (moms mostly) that make up it's buzz.

I'm glad I did. I've found out about what's going on event wise, news wise and socially like which restaurants are good and where to go to get a haircut or get my dog groomed. That's all good information.

The tricky part is cultivating real friendships and relationships. It's like online dating, where you get along really well over the computer screen and you know what you're looking for, but you worry that the face to face might be the deal breaker.

I guess the only way to really know is to put yourself out there right? I guess I'm just hoping that someone feels the same connection and wants to get to know me better as well.

I like walks on the beach, good books, laughing, and a nice glass of wine.