Wednesday, May 30, 2012
It's the end of May, and as I flipped my calendar over to June to glance at what's up and coming, well, I almost got the vapours!
June is a ridiculously crazy month here! Most of it is that kind of social, awesome crazy, so one can't really complain. However, there's also lots of "need to buy gifts" insanity and "school wrap up so let's cram a ton into the schedule" silliness, coupled with a bunch of "hello social calendar, welcome to too many June birthdays!"
The good news is that most of these things aren't occurring on the same day, so it's nice to have it spaced out. That way, my wallet can also take a hit week after week, for each week of the month! Yay! Cough.
Really though, there's some great stuff coming up for the month in which I'm really looking forward to participating. Some of my favourite people are born in June-including my niece, my daughter, and one of my best friends. You can't really go wrong with that! There's also Father's day, and let me tell you, my daughters are plenty lucky to have the hands on Dad that they do-so that's always worth celebrating! Plus, I get to go on some field trips with my youngest and my nephew which should be fun, plus some date nights with just my hubby and I.
They key is in making it all work for all of our schedules, but to also enjoy the moments and not just see them as added work on an already busy week. Oh, and to not go broke. That's an important, too.
I'll be looking forward to hearing your ideas for teacher gifts in the upcoming weeks, what summer activities you have planned with your loved ones, how you keep fit in the heat.....and who can make me an awesome ice cream cake for my daughter's birthday party. Just thought I'd throw that one out there.
Ah June....insanely busy.....insanely fun!
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Everywhere I look, people are posting self-portraits in various looks and styles. Though the composition and subjects change, one thing that doesn't is the fact that everyone seems to be "editing" their photos to within an inch of what they actually look like. It's really weird to me, because I KNOW these people and I know they don't have green eyes, for example, so why change it up to pretend they do?
Oh, I know. It's just to create a cool photo that looks vintage or that is subdued in some ways and then stands out in others. I get the concept and might experiment with it myself at some point but it's the prevalence all over the place that kind of frightens me, especially in the pre-teen and teen population.
It begs the question "What's wrong with the way you ACTUALLY look?" It makes me worry that no one is just happy with themselves, anymore, without the little airbrush. If you have hazel eyes, why make them green? If you have grey eyes, why go blue? If your skin is golden, why go porcelain? Why can't we all just embrace who we are and what we look like and celebrate that diversity, without trying to polish ourselves from a rough draft to what we think is a more interesting tableau?
I used to think Botox parties and plastic surgery was something that just the rich, "Housewives" franchise type of folk did. Well, and celebrities. As I near my 40's, I hear more and more people I actually KNOW discussing what they need done, what they'll have done, what they'd like to tweak.
I'm not perfect, I'm a far cry from perfect. I have stretch marks and freckles and sun spots. I have a deep line in my forehead from squinting in the sun. I have some laugh lines starting around my eyes. You know what? I'm cool with it. Don't get me wrong-I'm obviously not saying I'd never do anything to make myself look my best. I'm just not obsessed with it, with ageing, with trying to be anything but who I am. To me, you can age gracefully without looking desperate. I also think ageing is a privilege, not a right, and many don't get to live to see each age I reach, so I'm thankful for each year and each lesson learned during it's course. Yep, even the tough ones.
When I look into the mirror-I'm pretty okay with what I see reflected back at me, even without a photo edit. So, while you may see me add a funky photo somewhere, you'll never see me changing the colour of my eyes or the shade of my hair, or the freckles that tumble over my nose. They are what make me who I am, and I'll never want to be anyone other than that.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
I had this interesting thought the other day, all about my clothes and how in a bizarre way that reflects who I am as a person. No, I wasn't high. My brain is just full of random, weird thoughts and you get the privilege of peeking inside.
Basically, I was perusing my (tiny) wardrobe and realized much of my clothing is from a bazillion years ago. I get a few new items per year, obviously, but in general, unless something is horribly outdated or worn down to unwearable, it's still in my closet.
When I pick something I really, really like....I will wear it and love it and cherish it forever. It's sort of a comfort item, I guess. I just don't see why I'd get rid of it or replace it, if there's no need. I like holding on to what I have and I honestly feel most like "me" when I'm wearing some old standbys. If I go to an event and have to dress up in something all new and shiny, I spend the night tugging and pulling and adjusting. In my old hoodie and jeans though? I'm totally relaxed and just "me."
I realized, that's kind of how I am with friendships, too.
I'm someone who has a large social network. I like meeting new people, I like expanding my circles, I like being introduced to new things. I also, however, am still friends with the same people as when I was 5 years old and up. My best friends date back 25 years. In fact, I still talk to and maintain friendly relationships with most of my exes as well. If someone badly hurts me, don't get me wrong, I can let them go. I'm not a fan of toxicity or drama. In general though, if I decide you are worth a friendship, you can pretty much guarantee I'll be your friend for life and I'll be there in a pinch. I won't let you down, and I will treat you as best I can. I've even been in long term relationships for the last 21 years of my life! I clearly don't have a need to "look elsewhere" for gratification and don't get bored with what I know-much like I don't constantly discard or replace loved items in my wardrobe.
Similar to my clothing, I don't like letting people go from my life. It feels alien to me to not have someone around anymore-even if the relationship was just casual, like an acquaintance. I'm most comfortable, and most "me" when I'm surrounded by long standing friends with a shared history.
I'm not comparing my friends to grungy hoodies-they are obviously way more awesome than that. They are however, comfortable, soft, and embracing.
Whether it be clothes, apparently, or friendships-one thing I am is loyal. My clothes may literally cover my back, but believe me when I say, if you're in my circle, I've got yours.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
I've had my oldest daughter home with me the last two days, she started a cough and sore throat over the weekend and it's lingering which is also affecting her sleep. (or lack thereof) I don't know what it is as of late, but I've been very emotional for the last few weeks, prone to tearing up over the slightest commercial, TV show, things people say. On top of that, I've been feeling sort of nostalgic for "the ways things used to be." I wouldn't want to go BACK, don't get me wrong, because EVERY stage of life is fraught with it's own set of challenges and obstacles, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit I'm a bit melancholy about how quickly time seems to fly.
My daughter has been snuggling with me in my bed during the day, which I am in total HEAVEN about. She's a pre-teen and I know these times are getting to be more and more rare. Sometimes, looking at her, I can see the woman she is going to be, and other times, she looks exactly like the little girl I've been guiding to grow.
Last night, as I was putting my youngest to bed, she was chatting away about her day, ideas she has for things she'd like to do, plans she's made for school or friends and family. As she was lying in bed talking, she began to sort of twirl her hair on one side. Immediately, I was whisked back into my memory banks of her as an infant and toddler. The "hair twirl" was one of the clues to let us know she was on the verge of sleep. She hasn't done that in a long, long time and it struck me right in the heart to see her back there.
I've made the mistake today of looking at old videos and photos, snapshots of trips and family vacations, holidays and daily life. I say mistake because given my current sappiness, I'm teary again. Heck, I'm tearing up writing this, currently.
The moments with my family are, and I can say this unequivocally, THE best times of my life. When my life "flashes before my eyes" it won't be trips and clothes and houses I see, it'll be first steps, hugs and kisses, and "I love you Mummy's."
I know I can't freeze time, nor keep my kids from the amazing lives they are to etch out for themselves, and I certainly wouldn't want to do so. I continue to love each moment where I get to just be close to them, be welcome and wanted in their lives, and to hold them for just one minute more in my arms and heart. I can only bask in the present and what we have, and look both forward to the future and what it holds, while still remembering all the wonderful from the past.
Memories fill me today, sustain me on days that are rough, and bring me hope for tomorrow.