Saturday, September 24, 2016

Show Up Before You are Ready

"Show up before you are ready" was the summary statement of Elizabeth Gilbert's interview (conversation) with Glennon Doyle Melton (Here are some ways to listen:
direct download: http://tinyurl.com/h3bnvxm; max fun ep page: http://tinyurl.com/gl29q4t
itunes: http://tinyurl.com/zg5abpm). "Show up before you are ready" are the words which seem to be resonating within my life, my family and all the unknowns within my little world lately. Show up before you are ready.

I did the brave thing and gave notice I was closing my daycare, giving my parents four months notice before my closure. Three months before I had financially prepared for my decision, all but one of my families have "abandoned" me and moved on. I guess this was an invitation to show up before I was ready. I was shocked at first but now I feel up to the task.

I listened to Glennon talk about her "on the bathroom floor" moment when she was served an eviction from her previous life of addictions and invited to be a wife and mother. I thought of my "evictions" of the past. When I was younger, my eviction/invitations were a little more dramatic and easier for the bare eye to see. Pregnancy, divorce, change of jobs and the like are out there for the world to see. What I wasn't prepared for, was this age called "55".

Eviction notices at this stage of the game show up differently. Loss of health, loss of lives who touch you, loss of those dependent upon you and in many cases retirement is around the corner so there is the loss of identity that comes in the form of shedding many of your "labels" and finding new ones.

I looked back on my blog post history yesterday to see if I could find a trend as to when I gained my momentum to write and lost it. I was 47 years old when I started up this blog. My first year, I wrote 298 posts. Percentage wise, this equates to writing 82% of the days available within the year. I reached a 100% average the year I was 50 years old, then my average hovered around 85 - 88% for the next few years and has continued on a downward spiral ever since. When I went to calculate my stats for this year-to-date, I found the reason I have had very little to submit to the papers I write for. I have written 149 out of a possible 266 days, an average of 56%. Barely more than half.

I wrote through year after my break up, I wrote through my disastrous career change, I wrote through my fears of Mom's health, I wrote through the changes and transitions of my family. I wrote through it all. This year, the year of being 55, I have almost stopped writing. Writing hurts. Writing is hard. I wrote anyway but it wasn't the same. This transition of my life has been the least dramatic and hardest to manage. This "eviction" from life as I knew it came upon me like a storm you see off in the horizon. I hunkered down and gathered what I thought I would need to survive, but the storm was not what I expected. It was a weather system that simply settled in and stayed. It's harder to deal with day after day of "bad weather" than it is to pick yourself up after a hurricane. Hurricanes are visible and newsworthy. The community bands together and unites. There is support and "new" replaces that which has been destroyed. There is a before and after. The clouds that come in and stay don't attract attention but it doesn't make it much easier to endure.

I look at my children and I think I see them wandering through some of the same stuff I'm feeling. A little bit of "this isn't what I thought my life was going to look like when I was 38/29/28". Varying thoughts from that point of view, but the underlying sameness of "this isn't what I was expecting" and the emotional backlash of thinking that thought but not talking about it. The conversations between me and each of my children varies with who they are and who I am when I'm with them.

I think that is a small part of what I am longing for. The echo of "me too" in a conversation with each of my children. I'm not going through what they are going through but I'm going through something somewhat similar. Maybe hard conversations will open up doors, ideas and communication. I'm ready to show up before I'm ready and talk about this out loud.

And now I must go to work, whether I'm ready for that or not. It's okay. I'm ready. Bring it on, day. I'm showing up for you whether I'm ready or not.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Financial Tips from the Financially Inept

I received an email the other day with a request to write something on my blog. In part, the writer wrote:

"What do you think about growing up and checking off those must do’s and personal goals in your 20's and 30's? There’s fun stuff like travelling the world, and applying for that dream job, but then there’s responsible stuff like managing your finances (paying student loans, saving for retirement) that we tend to procrastinate on.

It’d be great if you’d like to share your list of 5-10 goals you recommend checking off in a post on your blog."

My first thought was I was reading a scam email. Who, other than my family reads this stuff I write? Then after Googling the name of the sender and deciding there is a chance this could be legit, I just laughed. Me? Give financial "advise"? After the past few decades of my life? Hilarious!

Then I settled in and let the words take hold. I've been a single parent most of my adult life. I've been solely responsible for financing our living most of that time. I have scrimped, budgeted and lived meagerly when necessary. I have also enjoyed spending, living and giving in my more recent years. The tables are in the process of turning again and here I am, at the age of 55 with a mortgage, a student loan, no retirement savings or emergency fund. Who am I to give advise?

I've learned a few things along the way. Do I always adhere to that knowledge? No. But when times get lean, I do have a few budgeting strategies I naturally fall back on.

My number one rule is I always, always, ALWAYS pay my credit card balance in full each and every month. I didn't pay it in full ONE time, back in 1988 while I was waiting for some money to come, which would pay off my credit card a few days late. I was shocked and angry when I found out I didn't just owe a few days worth of interest on my outstanding balance. The minute you don't pay your credit card balance in full, they go back to the date of purchase and your interest starts accruing from that point. Credit card interest isn't cheap. Avoid paying it like the plague.

Instead, use that very same credit card to your advantage. My paid-in-full credit cards not only do not cost me a cent to use them, but they actually reward me for using them. My finances were getting pretty tight a few months ago and suddenly I had reward points, settle up credits on my equalized utility bills, a Co-op rebate and Air Miles rewards totalling $621.45.

Yes, I kept track of every penny. I highly recommend it. When you see, appreciate and account for every incoming and outgoing dollar you have the ability to track "trends". One thing I have noticed is the more I appreciate and respect my current state of financial affairs, the more I am rewarded. The month I had to rein in my spending and received this assortment of "rewards" from previous spending, I also received cash rewards in the form of gifts from unexpected sources. It was nothing short of amazing.

One thing I would do differently, if I was to live my life over again would be that I would record every financial gift I received and how I spent it. I've been very blessed in that regard. I know this. But I didn't keep track. I wish I did. I have much to show for some of it but not all of it. If I had been more accountable, I think I would have invested some of those gifts more wisely.

Don't put off to retirement, what you want to do today. I always joked that I was going to save taking ballroom dance lessons until retirement. My reasoning was, that I had no idea who I was going to be when I retired so I needed something to look forward to. Best "mistake" I ever made was dancing when the dancing was good. I spent a small fortune during my ballroom dancing years. They were some of the best years of my life. They brought me to life and I finally got to live every girl's dream (well, my dream anyway) of feeling like a princess at a ball. Total dollar amount spent could have probably chipped a big portion off my mortgage or been the equivalent of six months wages for my emergency fund. Regrets? Zero.

Use your house to the best of its advantage. I was very fortunate to have bought my house when real estate prices were incredibly low. I would have had it paid off seven years ago if I had stuck to my original financial plan, which included saving for retirement, paying off the mortgage, accumulating an emergency fund and having adequate insurance in place. ALL which I highly recommend. But I was miserable. My mortgage came up for renewal just before my youngest son was born and reamortizing made the world of difference in my ability to stay home and enjoy my last chance at motherhood.

Look at all the options your bank has for mortgages. When I remortgaged again, I borrowed off the equity of my home and got a flexible kind of mortgage where all I MUST pay each month is my interest. The difference between what I owe and what is approved is a revolving balance. This mortgage has allowed me to "live" and eke by through some pretty lean years. Paying my mortgage interest and property taxes has made my housing expenses lower than I could ever imagine paying if I lived elsewhere.

See what you can do to make your house work for you. I turned mine into a daycare 18 years ago. I am wondering what I can do next, to help it pay its way. Renting the main floor? Renting a room? Checking into Bed & Breakfast options for my existing home? Working out of my home doing bookkeeping? There has got to be a way. And you can be sure I'll turn over every stone trying to find it.

Keep your receipts! I can't begin to tell you how often being able to retrieve my original receipt has allowed me to return items, even long after I thought I would be able to. I have a credit card that doubles the manufacturer's guarantee as long as you paid for the purchase with said credit card and have the original receipt. Another time, a defective product was paid back in full just by going to the company's website and telling them of the issues I was having (and my original receipt).

Remember that your garbage is someone else's treasure. There is quite a little business in reselling your old wares. I have a habit of holding onto original manuals and I admit I am compulsive about ensuring all parts and pieces to the original product are kept and I know where they are. This has proven to be an excellent marketing tool. When I say "all original parts and pieces" are included and also include a picture the owner's manual on my ad, I find what I put up for sale seems to get a lot of attention.

Speaking of someone else's garbage ... buy used whenever it is a viable option. I bought some ridiculously expensive brand new blinds with the rational that we hadn't replaced our original blinds in the 21 years prior, so in the end it would be a good investment. These expensive blinds broke twice within eight months. I suppose this is also a reason to recommend buying big ticket items from a reputable source because when I asked for a refund in full, my wish was accommodated. I exchanged $1270 brand new blinds with a set for $20 off of Kijiji. It was a win, win, win situation. My new blinds are not the most up to date but they sure beat the sheets we had up.

Look at me, handing out financial advise like I know what I am talking about. I am 55 years old. I owe too much money on my home. I do not have enough money saved for retirement. my emergency savings is nil, I'm living pay cheque to pay cheque and that pay cheque just got slashed by 69% of what I was making a month ago.

What do I have as a back up plan? I have assets to sell and I am selling them. I had been overspending and I ceased that activity immediately. I have funds I could borrow from my revolving mortgage but that is my only source of "emergency funds" so I'm not using it. I have a pension I can withdraw from. Again, this is a last resort source of funding. And I have an over generous parent who is willing to step in to keep me financially solvent. "This" is the reason I wish I would have kept better track of gifts received over my lifetime. Because the gift I just received has already been received by me sometime in my past and I have nothing to show for it. I should have stashed it away so I had it for this rainy day.

If I was to live life over again, I would hope to have my mortgage paid off by now. But that very mortgage has allowed me to live a life I am glad to have led. I wouldn't be where I am today, if I had stuck to "Plan A" and had all debts, retirement savings and emergency funds in place. I could afford to live but I wasn't living my life. Would I recommend this to everyone? Not an easy answer. There is a fine line between living the life you want to live and having debt and money overrule your world. Everyone's line in the sand is different and that line gets washed away and redefined with every high tide.

Draw your own line. Be willing to redefine your goals. Rework and revise when necessary. And when the going gets tough, remember the tough stop spending. At least until you have a chance to find your new line in the sand.

I wrote this and found this in my inbox, courtesy of Project Happiness (https://projecthappiness.com/)


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Taking Care of What I Have

I looked at the clock and it was only 6:00 (p.m.). I had cleaned cat litter, eaten supper, updated our daycare blog and had my day officially done and tied up with a bow. It was only 6:00. It seemed like only yesterday when it felt like I was dragging around hundred pound weights with each step. To accomplish all of these feats and have them all behind me by 6:00 p.m. meant it was time to celebrate. I would jump into my pajamas, snuggle up on the couch and fall asleep in front of the TV. Yes, this is a girl who knows how to party!

Last night was different. I knew there was a chance I may have to leave the house so I didn't leap into my pj's at the first sign of slowing down. I stayed dressed. Then when I sat down on the couch, the only reason I grabbed the blanket was for it to serve as the home base for my mini-pedicure.

I hate when my feet get so rough I feel like I could sand down rough surfaces with them. It's annoying and frustrating because it seems like I barely get those appendages all neat and tidy and smooth to the touch and they need more attention.

Last night, I had the time, energy and motivation to sand down those sandpapery soles. I turned on one of last season's episodes of Grey's Anatomy (so I could be all ready and refresh my memory for tonight's season premiere). I was ready to go to work and settle in to watch some good television.

It seems like only yesterday when the I would be grabbing a bag of chips and calling it a party. Last night? A few foot files, some lotion and I was one happy camper.

I was getting nowhere, fast. It seemed like another case of "it's got to get worse before it gets better". My slightly rough feet started to take on the look of a bearded dragon. Yes, stop and take a look at "Google images" for the picture of a bearded dragon. That was what the heel of my foot like and what the rest of my roughened up calluses looked like. "There is a reason I pay people to do these things!" rambled through my mind on an endless loop as I tried to justify my overspending in the past. Then I remembered the second file I had just thrown out because it looked so worn. That may serve as a "fine sanding" tool to smooth down these rough edges.

Somewhere under 45 minutes later (I know this, because that is how long it takes to watch Grey's Anatomy without commercials), my feet were as smooth as silk and I still had "money in my pocket" from the savings of not running to get a professional to do the job for me. Granted, I still have 6-1/2 week, worn down, worn off and missing nail polish on those smooth toes. And I didn't even think about "cuticles". Whoa, Nellie! Let's take this one Grey's Anatomy episode at a time now. But I had smooth, silky feet and that was pretty amazing.

I have had so many excuses lately. I don't have the flexibility. That is a big one. It is THE reason I started rationalizing this pedicure idea to start with. I don't have the tools. Well, I do actually. I am simply to lazy to put them to use. I don't have the time. Give me a break. I had all the time in the world. I just didn't care to use my time towards that goal.

I have accumulated so many ways in which I waste money. And time.

Cooking is a big one. It seems I would rather waste a half  hour (or more) and gas to drive somewhere to pick up supper, than I would to take that same time and throw something simple together and call it a meal.

Cleaning is another. Simply put, I don't really clean any more. I wipe and I swipe and I keep things presentable. But I don't clean. Part of my excuse is that I have to get rid of the "stuff" first. There is too much clutter to clean. I'm starting to see the light of day when it comes to the excessive "stuff". My little one year old daycare daughter who is staying on, after all of her friends leave loves to "clean". I think we will spend part of our days cleaning together (she loves nothing better than to sit down and clean toys with me after the rest of the kids go home). I'm not sure how long that game will remain fun but we'll give it a whirl. When I become her only play partner at daycare, we may have to resort to desperate measures.

I have not been taking care of what I have. I have been doing a bare minimum, hiring out what is deemed socially acceptable to pay others to do (isn't getting a pedicure somewhat of a status symbol?). Maybe my little one-year-old daycare buddy and I can start doing some stretching and exercising too. I will have to find some inventive ways to pass time with last daycare daughter left standing. Maybe we can make this work for both of us.

I had a small revelation last night as I tended to my feet, in the comfort of my own home. I have so much. I must start taking care of it. Myself. With the tools that I have on hand. Tend to what I have and want to hold onto, while letting go of the rest is like a weight is lifting off my shoulders. I think I'm going to go weigh myself now. I must have lost at least five pounds with all of this "letting go".

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

This is Us - It IS Us

I may have found my next "Gilmore Girls" last night. I can't remember what promotion I read or heard for the new series "This is Us". I know it was on Facebook because I stopped following everyone on Facebook except "This is Us" so I wouldn't forget about its upcoming premiere. I refused to watch any more trailers because I hate ruining something I think I may enjoy by knowing too much about it. I simply didn't want to forget when it started airing because I had a feeling it was something I would want to watch. It aired last night.

I was utterly exhausted at the very end of a very long and hard day. I do not have the stamina to deal with a one-year-with-a-cold at the tail end of my reign as a daycare provider. Then my on-line auction ended at 6:00. I had 31 bids come in at the tail end, as a bidding war started five minutes before my auction ended which ramped up the excitement level and increased my overall profits.Then I had to contact all of my auction winners. And Mom called me in the middle of this.

Long story short, I was pretty tired at the tail end of the day. Then I remembered "This is Us" was on (thankfully I taped it) and I plopped my weary body down and tuned in.

It was good. I enjoyed the way all of the characters were introduced. I liked the build up of a complicated character and could see this will be a good series to turn my attention towards. I was getting wearier and wearier and had to rewind and rewatch a few scenes so I didn't miss anything. But I was awake and coherent. Yes, it was a very good way to wind down a very tiring day.

Then there was a twist in the final few minutes of the show. I didn't see it coming but it all made perfect sense. The show I thought I would enjoy suddenly became the show I wanted to watch again the minute it was over so I could see the way the writer wove the story together to produce the ending of the beginning of the story.

I love a story that surprises me. I enjoy watching something new, with no build up or knowing too much. I like when life pleasantly surprises me when I have few or no expectations. Most of all, I think a show must be pretty darn good to keep me awake after the day I had yesterday.

This morning, I watched the cast talk about last night's episode (it is on the Facebook page of "This is Us" (https://www.facebook.com/NBCThisIsUs/) with the caption that says "Hear what the cast has to say about tonight’s episode. Spoilers ahead."), I reheard what I heard last night but didn't absorb.

One of the characters was dropped off at a fire station and abandoned by his father when he was an infant. By the age of 36, this baby was a highly successful, married, father of two kids and had everything money could buy. He found his father, showed up on his doorstep and told him "I came here today so I could look you in the eye, say that to you, get back in my fancy ass car and finally prove to myself and to you and to my family who loves me, that I didn't need a thing from you!" He says this in a way that shows he has been driven by this emotion for the better part of his life since knowing what his father did. It is an emotion packed statement and I hear my sons in his voice, his demeanor, his emotion and in his heart.

Who doesn't want to walk up to someone they feel has done an injustice to them and say those exact words? It is a powerful moment. Then the father calmly asks, "Do you want to come in?" And his son bends his head in a submissive and almost indiscernible manner and says, "Yes". That scene. It did it for me. That son is my son.

I'll be back for more.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

No Definite Plans

It has been a week since I discovered my financially solvent life was briskly coming to an end. I've had a week for the news to sink in and take hold. A week to conspire and plan. A week to work myself into a frenzy. It has been a week and I am firm in my believe "this" is exactly where I want and need to be right now. This temporary lull with no defined outcome is a gift. The gift of being flexible.

I love that I have also been given the gift of stability for three months. Being committed to tending one child versus five feels easy breezy. I am tied to life as I know it for three more months. Life as I know it, without the stress I have been feeling looks and feels very comfortable to me. When I'm comfortable, I make better choices. The very fact that I'm able to look ahead and know I'm in a spot where "flexibility" is my new reality, I feel at peace.

As I cull my way through the excesses of our world, I am looking at the bigger picture. I'm trying to pull "myself" out of much of the space within our home. There is a deep, quiet knowing that I must make room for change. The process of emptying cupboards, closets and drawers is cathartic.

It has almost been 29 years since I moved my little family out here. We arrived with very little. Our first home was furnished with the bare necessities of living and our basement was empty. Our lives were upended within the course of a month and at the end of it all, we had the basics in place to start our new lives with a fresh, new slate.

I don't have a great desire to wipe my slate clean at this point of my life but getting back to the basics, purging the excess and a fresh new beginning with the stability of the life I have built to this point feels right. So very right.

Mom is at a place in her life where I simply want to be able to pack up on a moment's notice and "be there". Everything is fine. There is no need for concern right now. But I simply want to be able to say "I can be there, if you want me to be". I haven't been able to say that before.

There was a short period in my life when I couldn't have cared less what my employer thought. I just picked up and left with no notice and came back when it felt right to come home again. I did that once. I did the same thing during my last holiday. I knew that was what I wanted to create in my life. Room to pick up and leave on a moment's notice.

I am almost there. Three more months. In searching for someone who could move into my life while I move out yesterday, I wrote the words "I could be out by the new year. Just think about it ..." That suggestion came from a recent conversation where we each laid out a glimmer of what we were thinking may lie in our future. A conversation where we said, "I'm just thinking about this", like it was a far fetched dream. I thought of my dream and their dream and the possibility of how we could work together and make both a reality.

My early morning brain to fingertip connection was all lubricated yesterday morning when I laid out the possibility that maybe, just maybe we could work together to make a change within our lives, while each of us held onto the real estate we have adopted as part of "us" and part of our lifestyle. I thought of how I never in a million years would have thought of a collaborative effort if we hadn't had that conversation where each of us spoke the words out loud and said, "This is what I'm thinking about".

I truly believe we have to speak about what we want to bring about. When we say the words out loud, they hold more power to redefine our world than when we simply sit still with them and hold everything inside. The same can be said about the words which have the power to bring us to our knees and hold us down.

Say the words out loud to someone you trust. Give your hopes and your wishes some hope by speaking them aloud. Take the power of the demons of fear, shame, secrecy and embarrassment away by sharing them in some way. Write, speak, sing it out loud. By working together, by sharing that which brings us up and that which brings us down we can change our own little world. When we change the way we look, feel and live our lives we change those around us.

I absolutely love this place where I am at right now. This place of "no definite plans" is empowering me to believe I can go and do and be wherever I need and want to go. By not making definite plans, the world looks and feels entirely different. Because I am starting to feel empowered again, I am also starting to feel like I have something to give again. The life of holding onto everything I had, not wanting to share my time, myself or invite people in was confining me in ways I didn't even realize.

The ability to dream is life affirming. I've said it before and I'll say it again. When I stop dreaming and believing I have the power to turn my hopes into realities, I stop living. When I stop living, my world becomes far too small.

This temporary state of a life with "no definite plans" is exactly where I want to be. It will give me what I need to find out where I want to go next.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Strange Things Are Happening to Me

I was wide awake twenty minutes before my alarm went off again this morning. I think this has been happening for at least a week now. Maybe more. My alarm is set for 5:00 a.m., it is pitch black outside and I've been going to bed later. This is nothing short of a miracle. I love it!

I love the quiet of the morning and I have been sabotaging my own happiness by sleeping through this, the happiest part of my day. I wake up motivated to get as much done before the rest of the world seeps into my day.

What to do? Where to start?

Unfortunately, I have replaced my addiction to TV watching with on-line selling. I started selling off my excess daycare wares two weeks ago and I'm still going strong. I have made $343.25 to date and I have 16 more items up for bid at the moment. My goal of selling $50 per week is being exceeded but far better than that, I seem to have regained a foothold on the excess that was taking over my life. I am finally willing and ready to let go.

It was not so very long ago when I opened a drawer or a cupboard or focused on the clutter within the garage and I felt defeated. I was overwhelmed. I had a sickly attachment to "stuff" and deciding what to purge felt akin to deciding which toe I could live without. There was a physical and emotional hold which resulted in a lot of television watching and sleeping in lieu of "cutting off a toe".

Granted, the decision to close my daycare has been a catalyst for this change. If this decision wasn't so right for me right now, I wouldn't find this process so easy. It is not just letting go of "the stuff", it is letting go of the lifestyle. Our house is not going to look like and BE a daycare. If not a daycare, then "what"?

I know that part of my fascination with the Home and Garden network comes from the idea of wondering what our home could be transformed into next. The entire time I was babysitting, I wished for the HGTV network to knock on my door and offer to do a renovation on creating "convertible spaces" within my home. Somewhat akin to how a Murphy bed disappears into a wall when not in use as a bed, I wished for a home where booster seats, playpens and play areas could "vanish into a wall" the moment my daycare day ended.

My goal is to make our house "work" for me. It has served well as a daycare for the better part of the last 18 years. It has been done a very good job. But what now? What can I do to help this house pay its own way in the world?

My dream goal has been to open a Bed and Breakfast. Ever since I stayed in my very first B & B in 2005, I knew "that" was it for me. That was the direction I wanted to work towards. My dream was open a B & B, do bookkeeping on the side and write. Just write.

I'm at a crossroad now. My daycare days must end. It is hard but it is necessary. Now it is time to transform my world and turn it into what I have been dreaming of.

As I dig into the closets, drawers, garage, playhouse, nooks and crannies around here I am not yet "cleaning". I am purging. Simply erasing the identity of what once lived here. This house has to work for me. I don't think Scott McGillivray is going to drop by and turn my main floor into a fully independent rent-able space for me, while he pats me on the back and applauds me for choosing the downstairs suite as my own home. I know I would have his approval but I know just as certainly, that he won't offer to do it for free because it would make a good half hour segment on his rental property TV series.

Since I can't count on Scott, I must count on myself. I don't have the funds for a full-on renovation. I must work with what I have. I don't have much. I have $343.25 from sold daycare assets but that may have to go towards groceries in the next month or two. I must start from where I AM and look forward.

I'm still looking off into the sunset and seeing the retreat I want to create. An oasis, a shelter from the storm, a quiet place for someone to go off, lose themselves and find themselves in the process. Yes, the dream is still very much alive. I'm glad.

But in the meantime, I must pay the bills around here. Am I scared? No. Am I nervous? Amazingly not. Do I know what I want? Hmmm.

My very wise son sat down with me and looked at me rather incredulously when I told him this. It was that look of "Who are you and where is my mother??" It was a look of "Oh no. Has she slipped from reality and relying solely on 'faith' to get her where she needs to go next?" He reworded his question and said, "Really now. Where do you see yourself going? What is your end goal? What does retirement look like to you?"

I slipped into my newfound peaceful spot and told him this:

First of all, I need to fix "me". I need to get happy, stay happy and like myself again. I need to start from there and move forward. That is the gift "the next three months" of forced slowdown in my daycare world has given me.

Secondly, I need to get financially independent &/or solvent. I may never earn what I can earn from my daycare again. This is sobering. I liked my lifestyle. I didn't go crazy and wild, but if I wanted something I could buy it. If I wanted to give someone a gift, I didn't have to think twice about it. I gave and did and spent what I wanted. I don't need extravagance but I do want stability and comfort.

Thirdly, once I am all grounded and happy as well as self supporting and independent, I would like to get married. Yes, "get married" slipped off the tip of my tongue before I censored myself. "Get married", as in I want an equal partner in life to walk beside me as I go forward from here. Once I have my feet firmly planted on the ground again and am content in the life I have built, I want to find a companion, a partner, a yin to my yang.

"In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang (also yin-yang or yin yang, 陰陽 yīnyáng "dark—bright") describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another." ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_and_yang

I am looking toward the future with great hope and a healthy dose of anticipation. Do I know all the answers? Not in a heartbeat. Am I nervous? Truth be told, I can't dwell on that right now. But I have the very same feeling I had when I moved to Saskatoon 29 years ago. It's going to be okay. I know this with every fibre of my being. “Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it is not yet the end” ~ Patel, Hotel Manager, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”~ Joseph Campbell

I feel like I'm starting to live in my "Field of Dreams" again. If I build it, they will come...


Life isn’t a project to be completed; it is an unknowable landscape to be explored. Be open and excited for whatever terrain you encounter this weekend....Or as the Swedish army manual says, “If the terrain and the map do not agree, follow the terrain”. ~ Project Happiness 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

38 Years of Parenting

Thirty eight years of "parenting" have come to this:

Jet - there is nothing he won't try, there is no rule he will not break.

And this is Ray. He is our "good" cat.

It's no wonder I need to close my daycare. I've lost all authority in this house. Even the cats know that.

This just in:

And this is what a roll of toilet paper looks like EVEN when it is stored "safely" behind a child-proof cupboard in the bathroom: