Saturday, June 28, 2008

The 'Slant' of a Story

As I have been busy documenting my life there seems to be an ongoing storyboard taking place in my mind. When I sit down at the end of the day or week with my pictures and video footage, I have an idea of the 'story' I want to tell by slicing and dicing the clips and rearranging them in a sequence that makes a point and hopefully entertains at the same time (I'm entertaining myself anyway...).

My video footage is all pretty tame stuff. Not the dramas that the media deals with as they make the headlines that sell our papers and grab the viewing audience. But what I have seen from my own experience is how you can put a slant on a story by highlighting one thing, while omitting another.

I am thinking of my daycare videos as I write this ... it wouldn't be too entertaining to watch the mundaneness of our days. Or the chaos (although I would love to insert a soundbite into the blog to portray the soundtrack of my days here). But as I think of my 'audience' I have to be aware of how they will interpret what they are seeing and hearing.

What is more important to me is the perception I get from rewinding the days and reliving them every evening. If I was to focus on the bickering, the crying, the chaos ... it would only serve to bring me down. My goal with my daycare blog is to focus on the positive, the innocense and the humor that I can find in the day.

Am I lying by portraying what I want to portray? Am I really no different than the reporter that only tells one side of the story? Or presents the information with a bias that sways what the reader or viewer is interpreting?

Life is all about perception. The same thing can happen to 10 different people and they could internalize and interpret it 1o different ways (or more). Those 10 people could read the same newspaper article and find 10 ways to understand it.

We choose how to react to life. We choose what to focus on. If you look for the negative in every situation, that is exactly what you'll find. If you look for the positive, you will find that as well.

Whether a person is the one doing the reporting or the one doing the interpreting, there is always room for debate as to the point that is being made. It is like looking at a painting and seeing something different than anyone else. Is life an art form?

And is this the point I actually set out to make when I started this entry????

Andre's (our cat) Bad Day

video
P.S. No cat was harmed in the making of this film

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Spoke Too Soon




--Our poor, poor kitty ended up with an abscess that had to be dealt with today. In the 8 years that we have had him, he has had that untamed wanderlust. Yet, he always comes home fully intact and without any sign of confrontations. He used to proudly come home with birds that he had caught ... but never with any sign that he went out looking for a fight.
--After his muskrat encounter a while ago, he slipped out one more time. This time he didn't come back for over 8 hours. I was just giving up on him and thought I'd have to go to bed and hope he was there in the morning. I called for him one last time. He came home meowing me a story like you wouldn't believe. He was definitely trying to tell me what he had been up to. But since the cat translator that they have invented only works in Japanese so far, I had to just nod and smile. I touched him and he had that 'mauled' feel to him. Kind of like a dog had slobbered all over him. But there were no bumps, lumps or injuries and I thought nothing more about it. That was a week ago, last Sunday.
--This Sunday, when we returned from the wedding, he didn't come running out to greet us as he usually does. I called for him and he appeared but he had a few meows "with attitude" (I thought he was mad at us for leaving him again) and he disappeared. I was busy unpacking and tending to all the things I thought I had to do that night ... and I didn't see him again until I was headed for bed.
--He was very lethargic and sort of looked like he was favoring an ear (his ear was slightly cocked). There seemed to be a little lump but I thought it would heal itself and didn't think too much about it.
--Monday night, he was really looking rough. Before the night was through, this lump started to ooze a bit and it looked like it must have been infected. The next morning, he scratched it and most of the lump burst. Again, I hoped he may be able to tend to himself ... but being a cat ... he scratched it until it was a terrible mess. I called the vet and they could squeeze him in this morning. Thank goodness Dale is willing and able to help me out on these little emergencies - this is the second time he ran Andre to the vet during the day (their evening and weekend appointments are really booked up quite far in advance).
--Dale picked Andre up for his appointment. I expected Andre to come home with a cone to keep him from scratching and antibiotics ... but Dale returned catless. My heart skipped a beat when Dale told me they had to keep him - they had to put him under anesthetic to deal with the abscess and we could pick him up later.
--6 hours and $307 later, our poor sad kitty is back home. He is so annoyed with that cone that I don't think he is appreciating the fact that we are trying to make him feel better.
--A person spends money on their pets without blinking an eye. There is no way that I could have not doctored him through this episode. Without question, he needed medical attention. I've always managed to juggle the books to compensate for whatever financial crisis's come up. Somehow, things have a way of working out.
--'Family first' ... and our cat is a cherished member of our family. I'll juggle the books and make this affordable. I just want my cat healed and happy again. I just hope he's laying there ''thinking about what he has done", to get into this predicament. He's not a thinker. He spent a night in jail (the pound) when they caught him wandering at large ... and he didn't learn his lesson then either. Here's to hoping this time is the charm .........


Monday, June 23, 2008

The Excitement Level is High!!

I am so busy 'living my life' and making memories that I am having a tough time finding the opportunity to sit down and write about it.

I have so many words in me tonight that I thought this would be a good time to unload them somewhere!

The weekend. FANtastic in every way ...

2 luxurious days off! It was perfect. I had some time to myself Saturday morning before we headed off to the wedding. I need that solitude. It recharges and sustains me. And ... I enjoy my own company. Wow.

Then, once we were on the road headed to our wedding destination I felt like a kid at Christmas. I simply couldn't wait to be there. In among my family. Savoring every moment. Making memories. The trip seemed endless as I anticipated the day ahead.

And it exceeded my expectations. I had it set in my mind that I was going to participate in the day. And I did. When I got too quiet, I'd wander around with my camera/video recorder and the next thing I knew I was involved in the day and not just watching it.

The wedding was wonderful. My niece (that got married) glows on a bad day so you can just imagine how such a beautiful, vibrant and enthusiastic personality would look on her wedding day. As she said when she started her thank you speech "I've waited almost 40 years for this day ..... " and it looks as though it was worth the wait. I really don't know her husband at all, but as I overheard him say, "I couldn't have found a nicer girl" so sincerely to someone in my vicinity, he won me over in that moment.

The weather was perfect (it was an outdoor wedding in a campground) ... the atmosphere was happy, supportive and loving ... they were surrounded by close family and friends ... and it just all felt so right.

I came home and raced through the 'reality' of my house/responsibilities/unpacking and I couldn't wait to sit down and start working with my video footage and pictures. I was pretty overwhelmed last night but I woke up this morning with ideas of how to mix all the material I have together in themes and 'tell a story'. It's starting ....

Then I had a group of families I used to babysit for, come over for a BBQ tonight. It turned out that there were 3 moms, a grandma and a step dad for adults and 5 kids (they all became good friends while they stayed here). The conversation between the adults was amazing. Everyone was involved, interested and the words just flew. One family actually stood up to leave, but they were so interested in the conversation, that they sat right down again (and stayed at least another half hour). Oh - and the kids appeared to enjoy themselves as well.

"Heroes among us" would describe the way I feel about the grandma that was here. She has a story. Very interesting, rather sad and tragic in places ... but she has come through the other side of a very hard situation with a positive attitude and a fighting spirit. I could sit and listen to her for hours ....

And the best part of all were the parting words "We'll have to get together again ... you do make good coffee!" (long story about how my mom thought she was subtly telling me I made bad coffee, so she gave me tips on how to improve it ... and it must have worked).

Inviting people in to my life. Making memories. Living my life. Omigosh. I'm so happy I could burst.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Past

I guess a person really knows they have moved on, when a person from their past phones and initiates a conversation that has the potential to relive and stir up the emotions of a time gone by. Then as soon as the phone is hung up, "life goes on." No residual feelings. No replaying the conversation to look for hidden meanings. No anger or sadness. Nothing.

When I think about the 'forever relationships' gone wrong and the reappearance of these people in my life that has nothing to do with our children, I think about the home that I found for our dog. And how thrilled that I am that he has found the loving and appreciative family that he so deserved. This is truly all I wish for the ''exes'' in my life. I would love to hear that they have found a loving and appreciative person in their life. But I don't think it is my job to find it for them (I didn't sign onto that, like I did when I adopted our dog from the SPCA). If we can hold a friendly conversation that is not tied to our past, that would be good (but not essential).

It isn't easy picking up the pieces. But it is necessary. I feel that a person must acknowledge that it takes 2 people to make a relationship work ... it takes 2 to argue ... one person is never entirely to blame ... try to learn from the experience ... grieve it ... let the anger come ... and go ... honor the good parts (but don't romanticize them) ... rebuild yourself from the inside ... and look towards the future.

Life has gone on for me. As it should for every person in a relationship that hasn't withstood the tests of time.

I honor the past .... but I am letting it go.

Friday, June 20, 2008

2 Days Off, A Wedding and Family

That sums up the excitement I have in store this weekend.

As usual, 2 days off thrill me. I love 2 day weekends! I felt the calmness seep into my being as this morning unfolded as I let the reality of a 2 day weekend sink in. Ahhhhh!!

And a wedding. My niece is getting married tomorrow. I'm not much of a social butterfly and I usually quietly sit back and observe the day more than participate in it.

This wedding is being held in a campground. Very fun and informal sounding. And ... I have my camera and Flip Video as my arsenol. I hope to wander around and catch moments on film. Already I am visualizing the day and what I can do with the pictures and footage I capture.

Filming these special moments has completely transformed me. I don't know if I have become entirely annoying to be around, with my video camera in tow? Hopefully not, because I am simply having too much fun!

And family!! My entire family will be there (sisters, brother and Mom). We will be a small minority in the wedding crowd ... but we will all be there. This excites me!!

Yesterday the shipment of "The Book" arrived. So I will be able to deliver these books in person to all of my immediate family. I mailed off all the rest last night. "The book is in the mail!!" The process has felt complete to me, for a long time. Now that the family will have it in their hands, it will complete the process to them. I'm ready to start all over again!!

I've been puttering away at the things I must do to be prepared for the wedding and also a BBQ I'm having on Monday. As soon as that is done, I'll be buying baseboards and painting them for the bedroom that is being renovated. Then there will be all the shuffling around of things to take best advantage of our new space (it will be complete very soon!!).

One day, I would like to sit in the back yard and read a book. And reflect. Man, I have a great life. I am so very, very blessed ....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pumped and Ready For Action!

My heart is beating with excitement this morning. Is it the caffeine that I have added back into my diet or is it the anticipation I have about my world? The caffeine is enjoyable but I think it is more than that.

I have a list of must-do items swirling around in my head. Things in preparation of going to a wedding this weekend ... preparation for the barbeque invitation I've extended (the day after we return from the wedding) ... a note that I want to write to my niece (soon-to-be-bride) ... the ideas I have swimming in my head for some new 'movie projects' of the events of the upcoming days ...

The creative side of my brain has taken over and there seems to be no harnessing it. And I'm running with it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Exhaustion Cycle ...

This renewed sense of energy I have, has a price. I get myself wound up ... can't sleep ... wake up early ... and continue the cycle until exhaustion sets in.

I have a wedding to go to this upcoming weekend and I knew I had to recharge my batteries. It took two 'crash and burn' nights, but once I got moving this morning I feel full of pep once again.

That overwhelmed feeling goes hand in hand with the exhaustion. I woke up this morning feeling like having a shower and starting to edit my video clips (for my daycare blog) was just too much. But once I got moving, all I could think is "What else can I squeeze into my morning??"

As I go through my days lately, I seem to have a 'movie' running in my mind. Little themes of things that I can do for my short video montages ... questions I can ask the kids ... music that I can run in the background ... what stories can I tell with the kids as my cast?

My brain enjoys the 'creative challenge'. A happy brain makes for a happy me. But first of all ... my brain must be rested enough to take on the challenge. Thus, my body tends to crash on me when it needs a little recovery time.

And I'm off again!

Monday, June 16, 2008

I Gave Up

My 21 day Cleanse has been going downhill since last Tuesday.

The night in the hotel really did me in (I associate these little hotel excursions with junk food and eating take out food). I did all the right things. I packed a salad, fruits and nuts. But the temptations got the best of me. Especially that pot of complimentary coffee first thing in the morning! Hotelling and early morning coffee go hand in hand for me.

Now ... it could have and should have stopped there. Today I made the conscious choice to continue making bad food choices. And once I got the taste for it, I went crazy.

So now I am sitting here feeling just gross because of all of the junky food that I put into my system today.

I now have another choice. Chalk these past few days up to experience and carry on with the healthier food choices that were starting to become a new habit. Or continue eating as I have (and feeling over-full, bloated and just plain gross). Even my brain feels lethargic today.

I think the healthier food was agreeing with me. Tomorrow is a new day. I can choose to eat responsibly and see what a difference it makes at the end of the day.

I gave up ... for 3 days. Tomorrow is a new beginning. I just have to choose to continue on.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Most Excellent Day

We celebrated Kurt's birthday this weekend and it turned out wonderfully ....

Kurt and I have had a few little hotel getaways on our own, which have been thoroughly enjoyable. But this time we stayed in a hotel close to home and invited some of his friends to join us. I think this was much more fun for Kurt. And for a guy that is so easy to have around, help me out with the kids, is not demanding and is pretty special to me ... it was nice to give him ''a day''.

Once again, I'm playing with the video footage that I captured all weekend and made ourselves a movie to last forever. He says it's his best birthday so far. And we have it etched in our minds forever (and on DVD for when the memory fades).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

It's Exciting to be Excited

I wake up in the morning with such anticipation these days! It is wonderful.

We've had a lot of fun and interesting things on the go in our lives this last long while .... and as the scheduled 'fun' events are winding to a close, it seems that more good stuff is on the horizon! It is wonderful!!

It seems that this 'living-my-life' attitude is filling my life! I want to be around people, draw them into my life and share this excitement.

Where there used to be a dread and anxiety attached to committing myself to various fun outings and get togethers, it has been exchanged with excitement. There is still a small amount of anxiety when it comes to things where I must make other arrangements for Kurt, but even that seems to work its way out. On the occasions where I need to find somewhere else for him to go, he is so thrilled that he gets to go and have his own fun, that I don't have to worry for a minute once the arrangements have been made.

He is nearing the age where he will be able to spend short amounts of time on his own ... another year should spell a little bit of independence for both of us. This is the age where I've always had another baby before (spreading my family out, over the course of 20 years had a few disadvantages). So as soon as I was able to go out a little bit, I had a baby to think of. The advantage is, that I had a built in babysitter once they got to the right ages and stages. So it hasn't been without its perks as well.

But by the time the year passes, I think that we will both be anticipating that small amount of freedom.

In the mean time, my need to tend to Kurt's needs before my own isn't hampering my spirit. Every day is exciting!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

What We Don't Know ...

(The perils right outside of our door)

Every day we face the unknown. We never know what lies ahead in our day. We head off to work, we run our errands and send our children off to school. We walk out the door and we trust that we will come home unscathed ...

It is the same with our cat who has a wanderlust in him that we can't contain. We try everything in our power to keep him inside or tether him in the backyard with us when we are outside. But he is a cagey fellow. Anytime he can make a break for it, he runs first and thinks later. If he doesn't want to be caught, there is nothing we can do but wait for him to come home. And he always does. With every fur and whisker in place, our happy, sociable and bird-loving cat returns home within a few hours (as if to say, "See ... I come back. Just let me go wander. I'll be okay!!").

Yesterday morning was one of those mornings where he dashed outside first and realized it was wet and lightly raining second. But he was not to be deterred. He found himself a puddle on the street to drink from (he loves water that doesn't come from his water dish for some reason ... as if to hunt down and find a new water source is a form of stalking to him??). Anyway, as we were watching him drink from the puddle the crows also spotted this alien black mammal that didn't have wings like they did. And they stalked him. They cawed and were terribly bothered by his presence. They flew by and swooped near him as if to scare him off. But our cat just ignored that and savored his new watering hole.

Then ... the next sighting was him stalking his next prey. One of the boys spotted this and said, "Look!! Andre is chasing a rat!!" I looked out the window not expecting to see a thing (rats run, don't they?). But what I saw was this huge waddling rodent that was almost the size of our cat! All I could think was, "If he can't move quickly, nature's second line of defense are teeth and claws." I could see our friendly, fun-loving, animal-loving kitty coming home ripped to shreds as he innocently thought, "Mmmmm ... breakfast!!"

I ran out to try to dissuade our cat from hunting down this huge critter, to no avail. I had to leave the two of them in between 2 neighbors garages. The muskrat (as we found out later) was hiding underneath a shovel, with our cat looking on. I wasn't going to put myself in the middle of that. So, I had to walk away and trust our cat would come out of the situation intact.

True to form, our cat returned within the hour. Not a hair or whisker out of place. As if to say, "See! I always come home ... you don't have to worry about me."

It made me wonder, as he faced his crow trouble and then hunted down and cornered a muskrat ... what does he really face every time he sneaks out on us? And do we really want to know?

Life is full of unknown perils. We just never know what we will encounter when we leave the safety of our homes. We just have to trust ... and as our cat would say, "You always come home ... don't worry ..."

'The Cleanse' Progress Report

Well, I am on Day #12 of 'The Cleanse'. How am I doing? Well ... progress has been made, but I've definately not perfected the diet.

First off were the innocent mistakes. I didn't realize that corn flour had the glutens I was supposed to stay away from. Then I ate some rice cakes that had milk products in them (I don't know how I missed that - it was in bold letters). And then there is the sugar that is in every salad dressing ... I thought I would let that slide. I just wouldn't add any other sugars to my diet (but I also missed the sucralose listed in the ingredients of some flavored water I bought - I bought that 11 days ago and it's still half full. I stopped drinking it when I realized it had sugar).

Then ... Dale appeared on the doorstep bearing breakfast one morning this week. A biscuit with egg and bacon; and coffee with cream to wash it down. Had it just been the coffee, I would have politely turned it down and sat with my cup of tea as he drank it. But with breakfast in hand as well, I just couldn't let his good deed go to waste. I indulged (and it tasted devine!!).

The positive is that I didn't let that end the 'cleanse' project in mind. I still went directly back to my fruits/vegetables/nuts (and salad dressing with some sugar added).

But ... Kurt's birthday was a few days ago. The birthday tradition in our home has been that the birthday person gets to choose where to go out for supper. Kurt ended up choosing pizza (and we invited Wes, Dale and their girlfriends over). Again ... there is nothing in the pizza menu that is allowed on this cleanse. So ... I bent the rules for one more meal. I did choose to eat the vegetarian pizza (but only 2 pieces - normally I would have had 3). And only one glass of pepsi (normally I would have poured a second glass as we visited after the meal). Oh ... and then there was the cupcake with icing that I had after the meal. Again - I ate one, where normally I would have had a second.

If I can do nothing else but start to change some of my eating habits by sticking out the rest of this 21 days, I'll consider it a success on some level.

Progress, not perfection is the goal.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

10 Years

My Youngest celebrated his 10th birthday yesterday. 10 years. It's hard to believe that it was 10 years ago that he entered our lives. It's been a good run.

The birth of each of my children brought a huge amount of transition to my life ...

I was 17 years old when My Oldest was born. I went from child to adult in the blink of an eye and I was simply not ready for any of it (adulthood, parenthood &/or marriage). I was in a shaky marriage that crumbled by the time My Oldest was 4 months old. I moved back home until I got my feet back under me. That was in January. By November I had bought a townhouse and we were forged out on our own.

My mom took care of my son while I worked and grew into my responsibilities as a parent. By the time My Oldest was 2 years old, I was in a much better spot to be a mother. I'm so grateful that my mom stepped up to the plate for me. The bond that she has with My Oldest Son is unmistakable and totally reciprocated. I don't begrudge the fact that she earned that special place in his heart (and vice versa). Thank goodness she was there for him when I wasn't ....

I was 26 years old when My Second Son was born. The shaky marriage that started before My Oldest Child was born went through many reconciliations, separations and divorces. We were on reconciliation #3 by the time our Second Son arrived. Things were really falling apart while I was pregnant ... and by the time My Second Son was ready to enter the scene, the note that I left on the table when I went to the hospital to have him was: "The VCR is in the shop; Our Oldest is at Mom's; and I'm in the hospital."

The marriage ended for good and for always 3 months after My Second Son was born. The divorce didn't happen for a few years (I'd already paid for one divorce and then we got remarried. I was determined not to pay for another divorce unless it lasted!). At age 27, I packed up my family and we moved to another province. I was determined to break the cycle of abuse and addiction that defined our previous life. I was broken and had almost zero self confidence when it came to anything 'domestic'. I was pretty confident in my ability to work though. I went into that one and only job interview and sold myself like I've never done before. I was a good worker, I knew my job, I could learn and adapt. I was worthy of getting that job. And I got it.

That move was the wisest decision that I had made in my life to that point. I was in a whole new world. It took a while to make friends, but as I did accumulate new friends out here I found that I was surrounded by an entirely different mindset of people. My friends from my Old Life were the wives of my husband's friends. We were all in a different but similar 'survival mode' in these relationships that weren't good for us. We were bonded by our struggles. The friends I made after I moved were 'whole' people. Strong, supportive, independent ... they were people that I looked up to and aspired to be like. For the first time in my adult life, I felt strong and happy. I felt 'whole'.

I thought that I had found an equal partner in life during this time. I was very gun-shy about a lifetime commitment with a blended family of 6 kids between the 2 of us. So I 'ran'. Eventually we reconciled and when I found myself pregnant and single at age 37, I stayed true to myself. I chose to accept and embrace the situation I was in ... and this time he 'ran'.

10 years ago My Youngest was born. The 10 years that have followed have once again been life altering. I have been an at-home-Mom for those 10 years. I've followed my heart and I have built a life that I wouldn't change for the world.

My Oldest and I have had our tough times during those 10 years (and before that as well) but I think we are back on track. Things aren't perfect, but they are so much better. He has gone back to school and in a career that he has chosen and he's a very healthy financial situation. He's a strong, independent and self supporting soul. He's found someone special in his life and they've been together for about 8 years. Though I think My Oldest still has some 'ghosts' in his past, (in a small way) he started facing up to those. I think he is on the right track.

My Second Son has a good job and working for someone that he truly enjoys. He continues to peel back layers of himself and show the man he has grown into. He is sensitive, open and he accepts his life as it is and just deals with it. He is an amazing big brother to His Younger Brother. He treats me with such an open and giving quality. He is in a serious relationship and I think he's pretty sensitive and open with his girlfriend. He is wise beyond his years.

I see My Youngest Son looking up to his big brothers ... especially My Second Son, because he has always been such a big part of My Youngest's life. His Middle Brother is his 'constant', in a changing world. Yes, he has step brothers, a step sister and even His Oldest Brother. But no one has been with him as much as My Second Son has. They went through a bad spell where things weren't too good. But in My Second Son's maturity, he has really stepped up as a strong male figure in His Youngest Brother's life. He wants to be there for His Brother, in a way his own dad wasn't there for him. My Youngest admires His Older Brother and appreciates what they have ... possibly more so because there was a time when they didn't get along so well.

During this past 10 years, My Youngest's dad and I reconciled and eventually split (for good, this time ... I seem to have a habit of giving my 'forever relationships' three chances before I quit entirely). The split was painful but necessary. The pain spurred me into making choices in my life that have filled my heart and soul. My life is full. I am surrounded by people that are upbeat, encouraging, positive and just generally fun to be around. I'm becoming the person that I've always wanted to be. I have a great life, wonderful friends, an amazing family ... and my own little family unit is getting stronger.

It seems that about every 10 years in my life is a time of growth and renewal. Evolving as a person never ends. I'm so grateful for the path that has led me to this place in my life. It's been a most excellent 10 years!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Perspective

Once again, I am reminded to look at my life and days from the outside, looking in ....

Yesterday, a friend dropped in for a surprise visit. She adores children and you could see her reaction to the kids. And their reaction to her. It was immediate and spontaneous. There was an immediate connection.

As I was putting the younger ones down for a nap, I heard one of the 3 yr olds start to tell his tale about a monster being under his bed and he ''screamed like a girl.'' This is a tired little tale that he tells at least 3 times a week at the lunch table. Then it goes around the table and each of the kids have to 'one-up' him on his story. It goes round and round and round and in the end, they are all 'screaming like a girl.'

I've heard the story so many times (and the emphasis seems to be on the ''screaming like a girl'' as the tale gets told and retold), that I basically tune it out now.

Well. My friend laughed and laughed. As a newcomer to the tale, it is sweet. And the little guy who tells the tale is adorable. I think he could make any story a good one, just by being the little person he is.

And I was reminded, once again of the gifts I am surrounded with all day, every day. In my tunnel vision of getting through the various chores, routines, responsibilities, schedules and basically keeping things running on track around here, I miss 'the small stuff'.

It is good to be reminded of the small blessings that surround us every day. Sometimes we are so accustomed to what we have, we forget to appreciate the little moments.

In the end, it is those special little moments that are everything.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Freefalling Thoughts

As I have spent the last few days painting, I couldn't help but think of last year and the marathon painting that I did outside.

The thoughts that went through my mind at that time were full of the pain I was feeling as I was dealing with 'relationship stuff'. I can look at a portion of the fence and know what I was feeling at the time. I don't dwell on it, but I remember.

As I devoted Sunday to the painting job that lay before me, I got out the CD player and some of the favorite songs I have accumulated this last little while. I turned the music up, sang my heart out and the hours flew by.

After all was said and done, I couldn't even remember what I had thought about as I painted. Thoughts were freefalling in my mind ... nothing serious ... just light and fluffy thoughts that I didn't even dwell on long enough to remember.

I was more conscious of my thinking as I painted last night and the thoughts were all enjoyable. I thought about the music and what it made me feel. I sang, I thought about dancing, I dreamed a little. No one thought was lasting. It was all good.

Life is good. My thoughts are reflecting that (or is life reflecting my thoughts??).

Monday, June 9, 2008

Using the Creative Side of My Brain

The creative/artistic juices have been flowing within me lately and it seems to be the recipe for a very happy mind and a general excitement about my days. I wake up in the morning with a spring in my step and an eagerness to get the day started. And I am quite certain that it has a lot to do with the way my brain is operating when I'm utilizing that 'artistic' side of myself.

Writing 'The Book' was energizing (minus the parts where I allowed myself to become overwhelmed). Since that time, I have put together various picture slide shows set to music ... edited video footage that I have accumulated and put it together in 'story form'. I've made DVD's ... I've posted these various 'video creations' on different blogs that I have on the go. I can't seem to stop the flow of ideas. Nor do I want to!

There is something so powerful about music, so when I can find that 'perfect song' that speaks to me ... and set it to pictures or video ... it makes my heart sing!

Music has been speaking to me a lot these days. Yesterday I had the cumbersome job of painting fresh drywall. I'm a slow painter to start with, but add this thirsty drywall that requires a lot of paint and the fact that I had to paint a white ceiling (with primer so watery that it required 2 coats) so I had some very tedious cutting-in to do ... and did I mention that I'm a painfully slow painter? Well, I turned on some music and sang my little heart out as I painted. The hours (5 1/2 of them to be exact) flew by. Music made the world of difference! I can tell something within me isn't right when music doesn't speak to me and make me want to sing.

I've been singing a lot these days. The music in my life is simply making me want to sing and dance my days away ....

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Real Life Before and After Photo


In this snap-happy phase I am going through, I asked Kurt to take a ''before'' picture of me, as I was waiting to get my hair cut last night.
This first picture is the picture of me before my haircut, sitting in the waiting area at the hairdressers.


This is the ''after'' picture of me that I took, in the car.

Do you see a difference?? I certainly don't! I felt different, but as with all the other changes and 'housecleaning' going on in my life ... from all outward appearances ... it looks the same. I just wish the cost had reflected that!! My wallet looks the same from the outside as well. But I lost a few dollars for this non-change look that I seem to have happening.

Disappointing ... but sort of funny.

Life's Diversions

Today wasn't so entirely focused on food ... it was a day devoted to 'life as I know it' ...

There seems to be a lot going on around the house and in my head. Between the bedroom renovations that are coming along, kids (as per usual), putting together video montages of our Regina getaway, video taping the kids (for my Video-Friday on my daycare blog) and dancing ...

Dancing!! It was great tonight! We played around and just danced for the first 15 minutes and it was fantastic. My brain wasn't ready to get down to business and work on our routine for the duration though. In time, it will all come together. For now, fun is good.

I quit dancing for almost a year. When I left dancing, I was so down and out that I just couldn't pick myself up and carry on in the dance world. I promised I would not walk back through the doors at the dance studio unless I left the 'cloud' of doom and gloom behind. And I have. I walk through those doors with a bounce in my step and a smile in my voice. I love everything about it! Dancing, laughing, learning a little along the way ... but most of all laughing! I wasn't laughing any more, when I left the studio 1 1/2 years ago. Now? I feel a smile inside of me almost all of the time.

I'm dancing to the beat of a different drummer than I was back then. I like this drummer!




Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Day 3

I seem to be a little bit food-obsessed. I think that I'm focusing on the 'have nots' instead of what I can have in this 'cleanse' today.

The good thing is, the foods that are allowed fill me up. At the moment I may be eating too much of a good thing (the strawberries were so tasty that I polished up a whole carton at one sitting this morning). Moderation is key.

I need to get myself moving more. As the bedroom renovation is finally moving forward again, I am focusing on what I can best use that room for. I'm thinking of a little exercise oasis may be good (also a spare bedroom for company and a place for napping children). If I had a place 'of my own' to turn up my music and just move and sing, I just may keep at it.

The sluggishness that spurred me into this 'cleanse' is still within. I really don't like the way my body feels inside. It's only been 3 days - there is a reason they say a 21 day cleanse. I'll give it time.

And in the meantime, I am so grateful strawberries are in season! They are allowed and they are a treat unto themselves!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 2 of ''The Cleanse''

I seem to have a different way of approaching this 'cleanse' than I normally have, when it comes to my food intake.

The 21 day goal is definately an easier thing for my mind to accept. I can do this for 21 days! The other thing I seem to be focusing on, is what I can have instead of what I can't. Normally when I think of cutting back on food, it is more of the mindset - NO snacks, NO eating after supper, NO second helpings. I focus on what I cannot have. There is great comfort in knowing that I can nibble when I want to.

As with almost anything, it is about perspective. The way a person looks at things makes such a difference.

When I look at a person and think of all that they are, I see greatness. When I look at that very same person and focus on the traits they lack, it is a recipe for disaster. The same holds true with everything - whether it is work, your children, your financial situation, your home .... by focusing on what you have you seem to draw more of the goodness to you.

This is what the "The Secret" talks about, as well. It is basically common sense. But when a person starts focusing on the negative it is hard to navigate out of that way of thinking.

Easier said than done. Last night when I smelled someone's barbequed meat (meat is taboo on this 'cleanse'), I was craving a hamburger in a bun (breads are also off limits). My mind somehow managed to start focusing on what I could have and I succeeded.

One day at a time. That is simply how I will take this. I almost have 3 days under my belt. The more days I succeed at this, the more I will be inspired to keep going forward.

I can do this.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The 21 Day Cleanse

As of yesterday after breakfast, I started on the '21 Day Cleanse' that Oprah talked about on her show a little while ago. No caffeine, no sugar, no meat (or meat byproducts), no alcohol and no bread (or gluten). And lots of water.

Yesterday was easy because I felt so bloated and uncomfortable in my skin. I felt yucky in my body and food had little appeal to me.

I am so uplifted from the visit with my friends, this is the perfect time to start. I'm not trying to 'fill' a void with food, because I feel fulfilled in every way.

I plan to succeed at this. My body feels 'toxic' inside. It feels like a good cleansing may flush that feeling away.

21 days. A beginning and an end. And I hope that at the end, I look closely at what I'm putting into my body. If I add some of the things back into my diet very gradually I may notice what foods feel 'best' on me. I have often wondered about the breads/glutens and the possibility of what reaction I have to milk. This is a good way to find out what my body reacts to.

A vision. I'm not trying to do this. I am doing it. 21 days. A beginning and an end. And then ... a whole new way of looking at food. That is my goal.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Friends

I stepped away from 'my world' for 25 hours this weekend and had a 'girls day and night out'. I was enveloped with friends that breathe life into my soul.

I am living my dream right now. Contentment oozes out my pores and I am excited about my days. I have hopes, dreams and aspirations. My life is full of positive energy.

This most special group of friends is a 'special blend' of personalities that encourage, uplift and support one another through life's many hills and valleys.

Surrounding yourself with positive, vibrant and uplifting people is the best way to live your life! I am blessed.