Monday, January 31, 2011

A Patchwork Quilt of Wonderful

This past weekend was absolutely everything that I needed it to be.

The weekend was perfectly seasoned with family moments. Our family's Sunday Supper was moved to Saturday. It had a different flavor, but it gave me the chance to visit with My Oldest. My Youngest and I went to a movie yesterday afternoon - something we haven't done in ages, so it felt special. My Second Son has taught me that 'great conversations just happen ... they cannot be planned'. So I anticipate the next time we sit down and have a meeting of the minds. It will happen when it happens. But I know it will happen.

I spent time with friends, I talked on the phone with others and I wound up the weekend by going to a Zumba Dance Party with a friend who hadn't lived the 'Zumba Experience' before. That was followed by supper, a good visit and booking the last must-do items for our upcoming Alaskan Cruise.

I worked a little. By choice. I suppose that I should have been diligently logging as many hours as I could possibly squeeze in before the month-end payroll cut off date. But I worked a good week. I figured that anything I did on the weekend was 'gravy'. I didn't want the weekend to be all about work. I needed to make the most of the past two days. Though work is necessary, I won't let it dominate my world.

I had time. Time to sleep in a little bit (funny how much easier I find it to get up on the weekends, when I know that any lost time in the morning cannot be regained). Time to breathe. Time to relax. Time to sit back and simply feel that "Ahhhhhh ...." sensation.

The proof that the weekend was exactly what I needed it to be, is that I wasn't gorging myself on food at the end of the day for the past two evenings. It was a conscious decision. When I started feeling the urge to satiate the 'hunger' within, I went to bed. I must train myself to sleep when I am tired ... not eat!!

The balance that was restored to my being, this weekend is evident in the way I feel this morning. I feel rested, revitalized and eager to face the week ahead.

The weekend was everything I needed and wanted. It is a sad truth that (as quoted from "Tron: Legacy") "Sometimes life has a way of moving you past wants and hopes." I was scrambling for a pen in the darkness of the theatre to write down those words. They spoke to me.

It is my hope that people do take the time to fulfill those wants and hopes. That is what dreams are made of. When you lose the ability to dream, part of you withers away and dies. Keep the dream alive. Keep making time to fulfill your heart's smallest desires.

The weekend was a patchwork quilt of wonderful. It restored my ability to aspire to be 'more' of who I hope to become. It has renewed my spirit and filled me full of hope.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Day of Rest

The words aren't flowing this morning. It doesn't mean I don't have an excessive amount of them ... it simply means that I can't pinpoint one thought or idea and find something meaningful to write.

Instead of writing a bunch of nonsense, I'll keep my thoughts to myself for the moment and come back later if I manage to find something worth writing about.

In the mean time, I am savoring my Sunday. It is a day with too much that I want to do, some things that I need to do and wrapped up in a 'Zumba Dance Party' and supper with a friend at the end.

It is the recipe for a most perfect day. But it is a day that is going to come to a close all too soon. It is time to move myself forward and make the most of my Sunday.

It may not be a day of rest, but it is a day full of everything I enjoy.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

19 Days

I have been running for 19 days straight. I have been out of the house every single day &/or night. I went away one weekend. The second weekend, was consumed with a two-day course. I am officially tired.

I have nothing written on my calendar for today. I feel liberated and free!

It doesn't mean that I have nothing to do. But I don't have to leave the house to do it. Oh ... the joy!!

Balance. It's all about balance. Having too little to do is not a good thing. But booking up every free moment is not a good alternative.

My new goal? To live a moderately busy life style.

It's fun to be busy, involved and around people. But I'm missing my own company. I haven't had the opportunity to simply be quiet with my thoughts and revel in the moment.

Every time I sit still (without eating), I fall asleep. My food intake has been at an all time high. Something is out of whack when I eat this way. Something must change.

Today is a new day. Today I shall strive towards living a balanced day. There is a time for work and a time for play. Today is about mixing it up and doing a little of both. At home!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Spur of the Moment

One of my favorite things in the world is when plans fall together easily and with little thought or planning. It is akin to just 'going with the flow' of life.

In a world where everyone is busy and committed in their lives, it is a rarity when you can gather a group of four friends together on a whim.

But this has been happening a lot lately within my special friendship group. It is very hard to make a commitment in the future sometimes. So we have adopted the attitude - if it works out ... it is meant to be. And we have had pretty much 100% success with that.

Yesterday morning, I received a few email responses to a suggestion that I offered. By 3:00 in the afternoon, it was decided to throw together a pot luck meal tonight. It was that easy! And because it was so spur of the moment, expectations are low. No panicking about what to make, bring or do. Just being there is the order of the day.

Keep it simple. Go with whatever works. Be spontaneous. Invite people into your life. It works!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


This morning, I knew in advance (this rarely, if ever?? happens) that my morning daycare charge would not be coming.

When I woke up before my alarm, I knew the morning was mine. All mine, to do with as I pleased.

I wandered to the computer and checked my emails. Then I played around on the Internet for a short while.

When my alarm went off at 6:00 a.m., I thought "I'll just crawl back into my unmade bed, warm up and watch TV for a while". The moment the TV was on, I was out.

I kept waking up with the knowledge that I didn't have to get up if I didn't want to. So I didn't. It's fun to have options like that. It seems that I've been driven to wake up on time for several weeks now. Even on the weekends. So this morning, I revelled in the luxury of sleeping in. It was wonderful!

But now my day is behind schedule. I must get myself to work.

I'm so grateful that I have several days of work to work on ... from home! It's good to have the option of running into 'the shop' to supplement my at-home income. But working from home is my preference.

I am grateful for the need to get up. It means that I have job to work at and responsibilities to tend to. It means that I am 'needed' in this world. It gives my day purpose and direction.

But every now and again ... it is a luxury when life hands you options.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, My Friend

I have a friend who has many gifts and talents. One of those many talents, is knowing people so well that she can take a 'nothing' day and turn it into a gift.

My Friend draws little or no attention to herself. She's a little dynamo that knows how to draw out the best in people. She is beyond perceptive and looks far below the surface and discovers each person's special gifts. And she acknowledges them. 

I'll never forget the first time that I received a hand written note from her. She wrote individual cards to a group that she was training (I was one of the ten (?) in that group). I didn't know that she would become My Friend at that time. I read the words she wrote and I was surprised. I was quiet in those days. I didn't speak unless I was spoken to. I didn't contribute to our class discussions. How she could see what was lying dormant within me was astounding. I believe that she is directly responsible for helping me become who I was all along. And she does this for everyone.

My Friend has compassion that is far reaching and has touched many. She quietly just does what needs to be done. She sees a need and she fills it. She isn't looking for public praise and acknowledgement. She is simply a good citizen to each person that crosses her path.

She walks into a room and sees more than a nameless people. She sees personalities and quiet 'needs' within those who may be alone in a room full of people. She engages people in conversation and you see them light up before your eyes.

She takes care of others. She has her own quiet battles but selflessly turns the other cheek to those and takes the energy she does have and uses it for the better good.

It is no surprise that her parents are amazing and wonderful people. I have felt 'adopted' by her family each and every time I have walked into their home. Her parents gave selflessly of themselves and raised an incredible family. And my friend finds it an honor and a privilege to be able to help take care of her parent's needs as their health has faltered.

Today is My Friend's birthday. My words cannot begin to describe My Friend. But I have tried. To paraphrase why, I have used a comment that my friend made when I blogged about birthdays:

"Funny thing about those birthdays ... some people like the attention and others would rather not have anything focused on them, and some say one way when they really mean another. We try to look at it as a celebration day - not necessarily a birthday but a day to honour the individual - could be any day for that but just easier to pick a birthday so we know everyone gets honoured. We really should honour the people in our lives as much as some people all these unknown actors, music stars, public figures, etc ..."

My Friend, this is your 'Celebration Day'. May you feel peace within, as you deal with whatever life has in store for you. Today and all the days that follow.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Too Much Sitting

Friday - I sat at the computer and worked at my bookkeeping for nine solid hours. Okay, a few of those hours I was standing at the kitchen table sorting a massive amount of paper. But for the most part? I sat.

Saturday and Sunday - I sat for nine hours each day as I took a First Aid/CPR class. Saturday was brutal. I have been exhausted before but this is the first time that I could have quite literally fallen asleep standing up (I kid you not!). I warned my partner "If I appear to be unconscious, I have just fallen asleep. No need for CPR."

Monday - I worked for another nine hours at my bookkeeping. I sat at the computer 95% of the time.

My point? Too much sitting makes you tired.

Friday night I simply had no choice. Errands had to be run because there was no other time to do it. Perpetual motion kept me awake.

Saturday night I was in bed and sleeping by 8:30. Falling asleep standing up made that decision an easy one.

Sunday night I managed to get through the evening by eating, even though I had just eaten a fully satisfying supper (I believe that is why I eat so much ... it is the only way I can stay awake).

Then there was last night (Monday).

Two hours of Zumba is my Monday evening routine. For the first time in 'ever', I thought I don't want to go. I was tired. I had been out of the house every single day for two weeks running. I just wanted to curl up in a little ball and sleep.

If I wasn't such a cheap skate, I may have done that. But I paid for those classes. I would be ripping myself off if I didn't go to each and every one. So I went.

It was the best two hours I could recall since Thursday. Sitting still for four solid days is not good for you. I needed to move.

I moved and I grooved to the music. I pushed myself as far as I could go (I'm sure I should have pushed harder ... I don't think my heart was beating as fast as it should have been). I broke a sweat. I used my muscles. I had fun.

I needed to push myself out of the house last night. It was the smartest thing that I could have done. I've been so busy working out my brain muscle that I was under the illusion that I was exhausted. Who knew that my body had built up all of that extra energy while it sat idle for four days?

Sometimes it is what you feel like doing the least ... that is the best thing for you.

Monday, January 24, 2011

"I Could Be Your Mother!"

I'm not saying that I feel old. I'm just saying that it feels like half of the people I meet these days, could be my children.

This knowledge should have kicked in when I ran my daycare. But since My Youngest was a baby when I began that career, I felt more like a peer with my young parents. We were raising children the same age. It kept me feeling young.

Then I met a mom who went to the same school, at the same time as My Oldest. I think it was then that the cold, hard truth hit me. "I could be your mom", I declared. I was more surprised than anyone (I'm quite certain that she looked at me and thought, "Well, duh (obviously)!!"

Lately, I've been having such fun trying out new and wonderful things. Zumba, Bellyfit, Salsa ... and though I walk into each class wondering if I will be the oldest, I cheerfully find out that I'm not. And then I forget all about ages. I feel the same age as the rest of the class.

That's what I love about the classes with no mirrors. You look around the room and see youth and vitality. You feel that reflected back to you when you talk to people. I'm quite certain that my inner view of myself is about ten years younger because I find myself surrounded by those much younger than I.

Then there was this weekend.

Our First Aid/CPR class was a class of 17. As we started to get to know each other, I discovered that of those that sat closest to me, a few were a year younger than My Oldest. Another was a year older than My Second Son.

These 'young things' were quick. They learned quickly. They finished their chapter end questions in record time. I learned much later that they were working on these questions while we were being taught the lesson at hand. By the time I caught onto their tricks and did the same, it was the last chapter. And we never were required to answer those questions.

The lightning speed at which these young brains worked pushed me harder. A lot of them were in university. The girl who 'set the bar' for me was just finishing her sixth year. She was an achiever. I looked at her and wondered if I could have ever been anything like her.

The second morning of our classes, I came upon a group from our class. As I approached them, they said, "We are just talking about age ...". I was eager to hear what they had to say.

As it turned out, the few other 'mom-like' figures felt exactly as I did. We were dazed and in awe of what our younger counter-parts were capable of learning. I was not alone.

I came home and talked to my adult children about my experiences with these 'kids' that were the ages of my own children. They smiled knowingly, as if to say "... and this is news to you??"

When did the rest of the world grow up? How can I hold onto a piece of that youthfulness without looking like a 50 year old who's trying to act 20?

I think I shall continue doing what I'm doing. I am going to continue to nurture my 'younger self'. I hope that finds me in a room full of people of all ages. I aspire to look at those who could be my children and remember what it is like to be their age. But most of all? I shall continue to learn.

I believe that learning is key. When I felt my brain reacting sluggishly to all of this new information, it made me want to change that. I need to exercise my brain so that it can continue to grow.

To grow old is one thing. Your body has a mind of its own. But your mind ... it is one muscle that can be worked out no matter what else your body has in mind. At least it can if we are lucky.

I hope to be one of the lucky ones. If I take care of the most important muscle of my body, it is my goal to continue to be surprised that I am ten years older than I think I am.

"Sure, I could be your mother. I'm glad. I never want to forget what it is like to be you."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Real Life Verses Practice Scenarios

I completed my First Aid/CPR course today, after two full days of learning.

As I tried to absorb all of the information that was taught, I couldn't help but wonder how our practice scenarios would unfold if they were to happen in real life. What if your child was choking or you found a parent unconscious? Would a person panic? Would you be able to recall what you needed to know when you needed to know it??

Well, as luck would have it our training also involved a practical section. We were divided into 6 teams. One team would walk into an unknown emergency situation while a second team evaluated how they did and the other 4 teams simply observed.

Our team was the last to act out the scenario. One would think that would make it easier. To utilize the knowledge of what the prior teams had demonstrated and have the extra time to map out how we would react. One would be wrong.

The reality of our un-real situation is that we still walked in on a scenario where we didn't know what was unfolding. We had a classroom full of bystanders. An upset child (play acting) and an unconscious 'mother' lying on the floor.

I can't remember what I may have done right. I instructed my team mate to call 911. I checked for breathing. I asked 'the child' what happened. And it all went down hill from there.

I didn't ask for the defibrillator. I didn't ask any bystanders for assistance. Once I knew my 'casualty' was not breathing and didn't have a heart beat, I panicked.

I started CPR. I didn't check the mouth for foreign objects. I didn't tilt the head back or  plug the patient's nose to do mouth-to-mouth. I didn't count the chest compressions. I forgot I had a partner.

I'm quite certain that my patient would have died had this been real life. Even though this was play acting, I reacted as though I hadn't learned a thing the past few days. If my instructor had to pass or fail me based on my performance alone, I'd fail.

Thank goodness for the written exam. I had a chance to prove that I did actually listen and learn what was taught. But the most valuable lesson that I learned this weekend? To take a breath. Take a minute to think. Remember to utilize the help around me. To trust that I have the knowledge - I simply must remain calm enough to put it to use.

As I went out for supper with my family afterwards, I warned them "Don't you dare choke! I failed to keep my patient alive in class ... " (and I didn't want any real life reenactments).

I hope I never have to utilize what I learned this weekend. To keep cool under pressure ... that is easier said than done.

P.S. Further to yesterday's post where I had a very vivid dream about this course ... not only did we not get McDonald's for lunch, but there was no cash payout upon completion either! It was only a dream (and thankfully it was only a pretend patient as well).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Steppin' Out

I am forging far out of my comfort zone today and tomorrow. I am attending a First Aid/CPR course.

I've done this before. I enjoy learning. I don't relish the idea of the hands-on teaching and acting out scenarios. Play acting is much better than having to utilize this knowledge out of necessity. So I shall make sure I appreciate the fact that none of this is the 'real deal'.

I had dreams galore. In my dreams, the instructor had absolutely no control over her class. She brought us McDonald's but only the 'bad kids' got to eat it while it was hot. The rest of us had to wait. Then there was the $100.00 bill we got if we completed the course (of course the 'bad kids' got paid out early in an attempt to bribe them to listen).

I woke up and was relieved to know that our instructor will have full control over this class. We will have to fend for ourselves at lunch. And there is no cash pay-out.

But who knows. What I learn today and tomorrow could make a difference. Hopefully I'll never have to utilize what I learn. But there is no harm in knowing ....

Friday, January 21, 2011

Things I'd Rather Not See

I went through the paces of the morning.

It is a simple routine. Hit the snooze button one to three times. Get up. The floor is freezing cold, so I put on my socks. Then I make up the bed around our cat.

Then I make my way to the bathroom. I don't leave until I have 'readied my head' for the day. This includes taming down my wild Zumba Hair, moisturizing my face and then coloring in my eyes and eyebrows which disappeared when I washed them off the previous evening.

This morning, the task of taming down my wild hair was easy. I raked my fingers through it and thought "good enough", and proceeded onward with the rest of my routine. It wasn't until I went to color in some eyebrows that I realized that I wasn't wearing my glasses.

I put on my glasses and realized my hair looked better with out them (many things on my body look better without the assistance of glasses or contact lenses).

It was then, that I realized that there is a reason our eyesight falters as we age. You can't see the wrinkles, the gray hairs and bad hair days just aren't as vivid.

Who needs good eyesight to focus on all that is changing??

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Definition: stubborn

Synonyms: adamant, adamantine, determined, dogged, dyed-in-the-wool, firm, fixed, hard, hard-and-fast, immovable, immutable, implacable, indomitable, inexorable, intractable, iron, obdurate, obstinate, relentless, resolute, rigid, rigorous, set, set in one's ways, single-minded, stand one's ground, staunch, steadfast, steely, stiff, strict, stringent, unadaptable, unbending, unchangeable, uncompliant, uncompromising, unrelenting, unswayable, unyielding

I was thinking of my stiff and (dare I say it??) aging body when I titled this post. My morning calisthenics include: 1) putting on my socks; and 2) making my bed.

As I made my way through this morning, I felt like a 90 year old woman. I started thinking that maybe I should do some stretches before I set one foot on the ground each day. What is going on with this body of mine?

Is it age? Or could it be the extra demands of Zumba and Salsa? Or could it be moving a car load full of boxes from my home, to my new upstairs 'office' at my Place of Work yesterday?

As I have been wading through my 'Fitness Knowledge' course, the one thing that sticks in my mind is that "flexibility is a trainable component of fitness which can be improved at any point in one's life ...".

Even before I decided to look up the synonyms for the word 'inflexible', I had thought of the correlation between age and not only the inflexibility of the body ... but of the mind.

Are my thoughts inflexible? As I age, am I becoming more set in my ways? Am I adaptable? Unbending? Uncompromising? Unyielding?

It was then, that I decided that the flexibility of my thinking is also a trainable component of who I am, that can be improved at any point in my life.

Today, I shall focus on flexibility. Flexibility of my body, as well as flexibility of my mind.

No Zumba for me tonight. Instead ... I shall dance. Dancing exercises both my body and mind. It includes a recipe of good company, laughter, learning and challenges my mind/body co-ordination. It is a partnership. It is the one place in my life where all I have to do is follow.

I'm tired of blazing new trails in my life. It becomes exhausting after a while. Maybe it is the stress of putting on the face of bravery as I step out of my comfort zone that has my muscles tense and feeling inflexible.

So today ... I shall focus on the opposite of 'inflexible':

Antonyms:  flexible, reasonable, willing, yielding

If my mind leads the way, surely my body will follow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pass It On

This is an email that was forwarded to me today. It asked me to forward it to 6 others and amazing things would happen. Instead, I shall post it here:

"May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
Let this knowledge settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love ...
It is there for each and every one of us."
~Mother Theresa~

If you trust yourself to believe this message, amazing things will happen. There may be one or two sentences below that speak to you. Absorb what you need to hear. Allow yourself to be at peace with who you are and where you are in your life.

Pass it on ...

Just Ask

I have gone on and on, time and again about the incidents where my wishes have come true. Yesterday was no different.

I knew what I wanted. I declared it out loud. I went after it. And I got (or am getting) it!

The feeling that I have about my work situation is very good. The ability to go into work and log some most necessary hours (within the hours that My Youngest is in school!!) looks like it is going to make all the difference in the world. Yes, it was one day. But it was a day that looks like it is leading somewhere. At last!

I came home to a message from my second job. After a two week hiatus, he finally needs me to come in and work. Yes, I will. But my priority lies in the employer that has the potential to offer me full time work. I committed to them first, so I will go to my second job after that.

Now, for the good part!

I also returned from a most excellent day at the 'office' to find an email from someone looking for a volunteer to instruct a Zumba class (and this is the amazing part) ... at the school that I can see from my living room window.

I have not completed all of the courses to be a Group Fitness instructor. Nor have I invested any time in learning/choreographing an hour of 'Zumba Dance Fitness' (and this will take a great deal of time to achieve). But I called back anyway.

I told the girl that I had just completed the instructor training three days ago and I am just starting to complete a few of the courses that I need to attain my group fitness certificate. I am not yet qualified. But ... if she doesn't find any other qualified volunteer to help her with this, that I would most definitely be interested in leading a class.

Three days after I completed the training, I was offered an opportunity. Three days!

I sat down with my Second Son and we talked of my game plan, now that I have taken this course. I told him that my goal was to be ready to lead a class by September. I hope to start with friends and family. Maybe an evening class in our community. Eventually, I would like to lead a class of children. There are five elementary schools within five minutes of my home. A golden opportunity.

And what should happen within 24 hours of making this declaration aloud? An opportunity.
  • Make a plan.
  • Move your life in a direction to make that plan succeed.
  • Believe that you can succeed.
  • State it aloud. 
Ask and you shall receive. These small miracles never cease to amaze me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Some Days I Idle ... Other Days I Work

You can't imagine my pleasure when I called my boss first thing yesterday morning and was told, "Sorry, I don't have any work for you right now but I will soon."

I took the morning off.

I could have whipped open my books and studied. I didn't. I could have wrote a letter to my mom. I didn't do that either.

I'm not certain what I did, but I didn't do much. After a weekend away from home, I couldn't have asked for a more perfect Monday morning.

I worked in the afternoon. I 'Zumba-ed' all night. And this morning? I must go to work.

They have cleared out office space and I will now have a place to go to fill in the gaps. This is a step towards full-time employment.

It is my hope that I can work away from home when My Youngest is at school. And that I will be able to pack up the excess and finish it at home.

I may be dreaming. But I can hope.

It is my goal to work five days a week, between the hours of 8 - 5.

In a perfect world, I would be working from home. I am happy to compromise if it means a full-time pay cheque. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be here when My Youngest returns from school.

I don't mind a little home work. In fact, that would be my preference. Because first and foremost? I still want to be a mom.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Roads Less Travelled

I travelled down a familiar road this weekend. A road I have driven countless times before. A road that is very comfortable.

Armed with the security and assistance of my sisters, we made our way down this much travelled highway in winter conditions. Conditions that could change in an instant.

We were very fortunate that the highway was a busy one. Many others blazed the trail before us, so for the most part it was clear sailing.

Then there was the passing lane. The road less travelled.

Every once in a while, we would have to venture out onto this path. More often, others passed us. But every once in a while, a semi would pull into the passing lane and create a momentary white out.

All you could do, was take your foot off the gas and look down at the road to make sure the vehicle was between the lines.

Panic was not an option. Caution and using what we had to guide us, got us through the moment and eventually, to our various destinations.

This morning, I woke up to my familiar and comfortable life. I woke up to a new morning and looked at the road before me.

I shall continue to forge ahead on the comfortable and familiar path, but I'm choosing a new variation.

I'm choosing to go places that I have never gone before. But countless other souls have forged the way.

I have the option of turning around and never going down that road.

I can blaze my own trail or choose to utilize the support that is available each and every step of the way.

I can break my voyage into several manageable steps. Each step is beneficial and should I choose to stop at any point on this journey, I shall still be further ahead than if I had simply 'stayed home'.

When the going gets rough and I can't see beyond the moment that I am in, I know that all I have to do is slow down and look closely at what I have to guide me.

As it was, with my sisters along with me on that familiar road ... I know that I have quiet support and encouragement as I forge my way through my life.

There is always the option of pulling over to take a break. But eventually you must keep moving towards a destination. The destination may change. But it is vital to keep venturing out and forging your way.

Stepping out of your comfort zone brings you to new destinations. Even though outward appearances may not change, we can change the person we are by choosing the road less travelled.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Then ... There is Zumba!!

I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone once again today. I am attending a full-day 'Zumba Instructor' course.

My Zumba-Love has created a new passion within me. I want to find a way to continue to pursue this and share the joy that I have found. Can I instruct it? I shall try.

I am taking a 'Fitness Knowledge' home study course. I have enrolled in a First Aid/CPR class. I will be taking a 'Group Fitness Class'. Then ... there is one final exam. And I could become a licensed Group Instructor.

Me? An instructor? Lead a class? What in the world makes me think this is possible? The excellent teachers/instructors/leaders that I have been quietly watching throughout my life. And most especially since I found 'Zumba'.

I have been immersing myself in classes the past few months. No matter what level the class is at, I have much to learn.

The styles of teaching, leading and creating a learning environment are as individual as the instructor. I would like to be a patchwork quilt of all that I have learned and add my own personal flair.

I want to create an environment where people can't wait to return. I want to have so much fun that we don't even realize what we are doing is exercise. I want to 'dance like no one is watching' ... and teach others to do the same.

It started with ballroom dancing. It led to Zumba. Where will it go from here??

Friday, January 14, 2011


Watch this to hear the most awesome speaker, with an amazing outlook on life. It will make your day:

I cannot say any more than what has been said. Amazing!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pushing Through

I am working on a 'home study' course at the moment. It is actually a very good thing that I have this on hand in this life-as-I-know-it.

Two days ago, I hit a wall with my bookkeeping. Stuck. Waiting for the 'okay' to move forward. I'm not certain that the starting point is correct. So I wait.

Job Number Two. I expected a call yesterday. It didn't come.

I thought the day could turn around at any moment. An email getting the go-ahead to move forward with my latest bookkeeping task. A call to go into work. Nothing.

When I saw that possibility unfolding yesterday morning, I opened my books. I declared it a study day.

This course is full of information that I have never heard before. I am wading through it but not absorbing a lot. Thankfully the exam is open book. But I peeked ahead at the exam at the end. It will be beyond challenging.

Ten chapters down. Two to go. Then the exam. Slowly but surely. I will get it done.

Then there is my dad's family's Book Project. Yet another challenge that awaits. When I complete my course, I will devote my down-time to that.

I have amassed a lot of memories. I must organize, sift and style them into the fashion of a book. I have a deadline. I will do this.

In this long, cold, dark month of January ... I shall push through. Work as much as I can. Study in the hours that should be filled with work. I will continue to motivate myself to get to work on the Book Project.

One small step at a time, I will set out to accomplish all that I plan to do. Forward momentum. I just need to keep taking steady steps forward. I can do this. And I will.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Do Unto Others ...

I know people get busy. I know that there are underlying frustrations, worries and an entire back story going on within each person you come into contact with. I know that I have done the same. But what truly gives a person the 'right' to speak to another, in a demeaning manner?

I know for a fact that I have 'jumped' on my children when they have asked a simple question. When they were young, I probably went on with my day and never thought another thing about it. As they grew older, they responded in kind.

During the teen years, this response may have led to an argument that started with someone belittling the other's value by talking to them in such a tone.

Other responses have been the 'cone of silence'. Each of us has retreated within ourselves when words have been hurled that cut below the surface.

As my children grew into adults, this particular scenario started playing out differently. They would 'call me on it' when I said something that was hurtful or inappropriate. We have stopped in our tracks and retracted,  reworded or explained where the emotion was coming from.

Looking back, I physically shudder when I think of the injuries that my tone of voice, body language and words have caused over the years. I have learned to think more before I speak. No matter who I'm talking to, I (try to) consciously weigh what I am saying and how it will feel to be on the receiving end of those words.

It's been a work in progress (always with room for improvement), but the response you get from speaking to another person with respect nears the 98% effective rate.

I rarely (if ever) raise my voice any more. In fact, I have scared myself when the volume of my voice rises. What scares me more than anything, is that during the height of my (many) frustrating moments of life, this decibel level was not out of the ordinary.

I do not get drawn into an argument. I don't agree with everything I hear. I may have my way of thinking and someone else has theirs. But it is not a requirement that I see eye to eye on every level with every person. I listen. I stand my ground. But it is a waste of energy to argue. So I don't (do I??).

"How to treat people" is probably the most valuable lesson I have learned in my life. I have learned through example. Most importantly, by my parents and also the rest of my family and friends. I have learned how I do and don't like to be treated as a: customer, employee,  child, friend, parent (and the list goes on). I have learned how to treat people when you run your own business. My children have taught me a lot (yes, I know I was a slow learner ... sorry!!).

I've learned. I'm still learning.

So when someone barks at me without consideration or thought for who I am and what I am trying to communicate ... it bothers me. It takes the wind out of my sails and I become less of who I am. No one has that right.

Thought for the day: "How many times have I done this to others?"

Goal for a lifetime: "Treat others with the respect they deserve". More often than not, people respond in kind.

Every now and again, you run into someone having a bad day. Forgive them. Tomorrow, it could be you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Moving Again

After a very sedentary Christmas season, it feels good to get moving once again.

Not only did I spend the better part of yesterday organizing a basement (which utilized a lot of dormant muscle groups), but I finally, finally went out last night and enjoyed two hours of Zumba!

I haven't felt physically exhausted for so long, that I forgot how good it felt.

My brain gets weary and my body tires, but not from over-use. In fact, the truth is quite the opposite.

One thing that I noticed when I went back and read the archives of this blog, is the amount that I used to accomplish in a day/week/month. I have become very lackadaisical this past year.

The busier you are, the more you get done. You have to organize your time, make and meet deadlines and very little time is wasted sitting around trying to get motivated. You just do it.

I believe that I have committed my evenings to 'things that I enjoy' so that it helps to create a certain state of busy-ness within my life. The pitfall of working from home is that I know I can work evenings and weekends to make up for time lost during the day. The reality is, that I don't want to work evenings and weekends.

So it is my plan to keep myself moving throughout the winter months ahead.

My muscles are still twitching from the stimulation they received yesterday. I shall motivate them again tonight at a Salsa class ... hopefully at a Zumba class on Wednesday ... then dancing on Thursday. And the list goes on.

I want to make a habit of moving and getting these muscles busy and active again. This body of mine could use quite a dose of fine tuning. Because I have a new ballgown to squeeze into, in about ... 82 days.

It's time to move it, move it!!

(And that is just how fun Zumba is!!)

Monday, January 10, 2011


I am "1000 Posts Old" today. Funny, I don't feel a day over 300.

I went back to the archives yesterday ... back to December 29, 2007. I made it to April 20, 2008 before I had to come back to the real world and make supper.

I had hoped to write something deep and meaningful after scanning the 999 entries that have preceded this one.

But I kept stopping to read an entry here, there and everywhere.

What have I noticed? The seeds planted just over three years ago have taken root and grown. Almost every part of who I am today is a result of putting myself out there, doing 'impossible things' and risking a small piece of myself.

What is consistent? The love of writing, dancing ... my family grounds me ... friendships. Oh, the friendships!

Have I changed? I have become stronger and more confident. I have simply become more of who I have been all along.

What makes my heart sing? My children.

My Youngest ... who at age 12 has a solid foundation to build on. No matter what happens from this point on, I know that he will always be who he is. Only more.

My Second Born Son ... his middle name is my Dad's name. He is probably the one of my children who is most like my dad. He had an wealth of knowledge and perspective which far exceeds his 23 years. I wish, hope and part of me believes that Dad is be looking down on him and somehow encouraging to continue to be more of who he already is.

My First Born Son ... he has spent the last year rebuilding his life. It has been a tough road. I have closed my eyes and hoped for the best as he travelled that road his way. Not mine. We sat down last night and talked. We acknowledged how far he has come since this time, last year. He is developing self confidence. Possibly something that eluded him throughout his life (up to this point). Something I can totally relate to. He is finally starting to see the value in who he is. He is becoming the person that he always wanted to be (and has been all along).

The seeds are planted. Not only am I more fully grounded and stronger ... my children are benefiting from that sense of knowing who they are and where they come from.

I have researched my own family 'roots' and I have found such peace in feeling that I fit and truly belong not only within my family ... but my own little piece of this world.

I feel like I am teaching my children some valuable lessons by example. I see pieces of myself in all three of my children. I feel them finding their own unique way in the world.

What will change throughout the next 1000 posts? Hopefully more of the same. An evolution of who we already are ... but growing towards the people who we are meant to be.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

You Can 'Go Home' Again

I visited with old friends of the family yesterday. We were brought together by happenstance, but it ended up being yet another one of life's little blessings.

I have a long time, near and dear friend that 'married into my family' in a long, round about way. She actually married my brother-in-law's cousin. So we aren't really related, but we now have ties that connect us beyond friendship. It is an amazing coincidence.

Yesterday, we celebrated this friend's milestone birthday. I walked into a room, where the first people I met (after the guest of honor) were these long time friends (and in-laws) of the family. We are connected not only by that familiar prairie road highway, but our family is connected in a myriad of ways. In small town communities, families and connections are so intertwined that it becomes confusing to those on the outside, looking in.

We talked easily of the past, present and future. We know all the same people. You refer to people by names, not titles when you have such a connection. As I recounted some of my stories, I was actually astounded in the many ways my present day life is still very much intertwined with my prairie roots.

I have been intermittently working on my dad's family history and I had just dusted off the idea and revisited it once again, the evening before I ran into these friends. Sitting and chatting with them reminded me of the feeling of 'coming home' that I get each and every time I actively put my mind to this project.
I am being drawn into my family, my roots, connections and the overwhelming sense of knowing I am on the path that I was destined to be on.
I can vividly remember my nine-year-old self quietly sobbing as we drove West and moved to our new home 41 years ago.
I remember my ten-year-old self vowing that I would become a teacher and move back to my Home Town when I grew up.
I remember when I revisited that 'home' at the age of 26. I had married a man and was living a life that was so far from the life I grew up in, that I felt like a foreigner within my own family.
The turning point in my life when at age 27, I packed up my children and physically moved back 'home'. Emotionally, I was still far from being back to the place that I knew.
Putting together Mom's family's story three years ago started me down a path, that has taken me places that I have never been/yet have always been. At age 47, I was finally starting to feel like I belonged within my family unit. Talking with them, hearing their thoughts, feeling the essence of my family ... I finally, finally started to see how they were a part of me as much as I was a part of them.
This latest journey - the journey which I fear I don't want to end (thus the reason I am dragging my heels perhaps??), is the most rewarding of all.
In talking with my dad's family, I am finding 'Dad' where I least expect him. He has come to life within the hearts, souls and beings of his family.
As I drive down these prairie roads of my past, I know that I have finally come home again. I'm here to stay.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

In a New York Minute

It was a short article in our local paper (that I read last night) that rose to my consciousness first thing this morning ...

Two years after rebuilding her life after a "tumultuous divorce" a newly single mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The onset of her symptoms were fast and furious. She wrote that when she sat down in her car right after her diagnosis, the song playing on the radio was "A New York Minute" by the Eagles ...

Shortly after I read that article, I found this inspirational message about focusing on what is important and making the 'most of your Saturdays' in my inbox:

I have been living my life with passion lately. There is something about the combined events of having the freedom to go out without needing a babysitter and turning 50 that has given me permission to my live to the fullest.

I laughingly told someone that I'm living my 'first' childhood. For the first time in 32 years, my children are all in varying stages of independence. For the first time in 50 years, I have had the confidence to spread my wings and fly solo for small, but regular periods of time.

I am pursuing that which interests me. I find myself laughing more than I ever have before. I'm living a very good life.

But when I think of it, I am consciously aware that my life is a little bit too much all about me lately.

When I woke up this morning and thought that all of this could change 'in a New York minute', instantly I knew where I needed to devote more of my time.

If life as I know it changed in the blink of an eye ... what would I regret?

That which sifts to the surface, is what needs to be addressed. As good as my life is right now, it has room for improvement. I want to live a life without regret. I know what needs to be done. And I know that I only have a finite amount of time to do it in.

The flip side of this, is that no matter how dark and hopeless things may seem ... that too, can change 'in a New York Minute'.

What life has taught me is to take nothing for granted. And never lose hope ...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Finally Taking My Own Advice

It seems I am constantly talking about going with the flow of life. Not going against the current. The best results (for me) come from following what feels natural and right.

Then there is my hair.

I fight with it each and every time I wash it. It has natural waves and kinks which are beyond annoying. It's not curly - it is inconsistently kinky and frizzy. After letting my hair dry naturally one day, my Second Son commented "... it does have a 'wild scientist' look about it."

I blow it dry and straighten it. I try and tame it into submission and make it become something it's not. Sleek and smooth. It's been like wading against the current, but I have continued to fight what comes naturally to my hair. And why does this matter right now?

'Zumba' season is before me. What does this have to do with my hair you ask? You must have never been to a Zumba class if you are wondering.

When you 'Zumba', you sweat. Profusely. Running down the face kind of sweating. It isn't pretty kind of sweating.

My forcefully tamed down hair is a mess at Zumba. The natural kinks and waves do their thing and I feel like a frizzed out, wet dish rag. With uncontrollable kinks and waves.

I made a hair appointment yesterday. This hair dresser took on my hair several months ago and my hair is not driving me crazy. I have not had trouble with this cut, not even from the onset. She has won my trust.

I set my challenge out before her yesterday. I explained that I am taking Zumba and I was hoping for a style that worked with my hair's natural tendency to wave. As an avid fellow Zumba-lover she knew exactly what I was talking about. And she took on the challenge that was my hair.

I walked away with the first hair style that has been noticeably different (minus the orange hair I donned as I prepared for The Great Dance Adventure about this time last year) in years.

Each of my sons walked in the door and did a double take and verbally expressed a bit of a "whoa!" expression as they saw my 'messy' new look. I still have a bit of a 'whoa'!! expression each time I pass by a mirror.

But I'm determined to give this a try. I'm going to go with the flow of what comes natural and easy to my hair. I am calling this new look my 'Zumba Hair'. Hair that I can take to the gym and walk out looking the same as I did when I walked in the door (and this a good thing?!?).

I've been going against the current when it comes to my hair. It's time to take my own advice and just go with what comes naturally. This could be a test in bravery. Or it could be life changing. Time will tell.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Self Fulfilling Prophecies

Yesterday morning, I posted my blog "I Love My Job" at 8:38 a.m.

At precisely 8:48 a.m., I sent an email to my employer letting her know that I was almost caught up with the work at hand and I was ready, willing and able to do anything to keep me busy.

I started working at about 9:15 a.m. and about an hour later, the only job I had left to do was to stamp the return mail address on a box of 500 envelopes (yes, as I tell my Youngest Son ... I do get paid to do this!).

It was at that point that I started second guessing myself on my earlier post "I Love My Job". Negativity was right around the corner and I thought I may have to retract that post. But instead, it was as if the positive vibes I sent out earlier in the day were rewarded.

I wandered over to check for any incoming emails. My employer and I have yet to find the ideal means of communication. I phone ... and they are busy. I email ... and they don't get around to checking it. I leave messages ... and the message isn't passed along ... or they don't have time to call back ... or they forget? ... Internet troubles ... Technical difficulties. You name it, we seem to have run across it. But yesterday?? I received a speedy reply to my email. She had work for me! All I had to do was come and get it. Instant happy!!

I was elated (yes, little things make me very happy) to find out that we had the missing invoices that I required, to complete a project (balancing a core book) that I have become very invested in; another small project to do; and bills to pay. Yee haw!! Work to carry me through the day and into the next. I was thrilled.

I packed up my little treasure trove of work (formerly known as Pandora's Box, as I have had many not-so-wonderful encounters with the above mentioned projects), and happily drove back home.

I ran into a snag when my 'core book' was out $110.00 and I just couldn't walk away from it (though I tried). I was determined to find that outage. That core book has become my baby. I have gone back close to three years and 'rebuilt' it from scratch to ensure it balanced. I was on a mission.

It took the better part of the afternoon, but I found the outage. I felt like I'd conquered the world. It was a very good day to be a bookkeeper.

And it all started by telling the world "I Love My Job".

I thought of the mantras that continually run through my head: "I love my life" ... "I am blessed" ... "I am happy" ... "I am healthy" ... "I admire who my children are and who they are becoming" ... "I have the best family in the world" ... "I have the greatest bunch of friends" ... "I love dancing/Zumba/writing/and the list grows" ... And I wondered if I am stating what I want and expect in my life and making it happen?? Or am I just that lucky?

I am going to try it out again today. "I still love my job". And today I have an extra bounce in my step because I have my dance lesson tonight. And I love, love, love dancing!!

Let the day begin!! I'm ready! Because simply put ... "I love my life!"

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I Love My Job!

After dragging myself through Monday, where every effort to put in a full day of work was met by a (self induced) obstacle, I put in a perfectly productive day on Tuesday. And it felt wonderful!

When I know what my day has in store, I can plan. Yesterday had the potential to go awry, but I nipped it in the bud. When my 'second job' called, I told him that I could really use a few good hours to tackle the work I had at hand. That worked perfectly into his day, and we were both able to efficiently plan the day ahead of us.

Blindly saying 'yes' to each and every opportunity to work is a good way to make an impression. It isn't a productive way to handle two jobs. By negotiating a compatible work day, I think we both win.

I love having flexibility. Monday was tough. But I was able to stop for a much needed 1 1/2 hour 'coffee break' with my Second Son. Our meeting of the minds inspired me and helped to propel me forward through not only the day ... but the months ahead.

I made up for that by working late into the evening. Not only did I get myself to a point where I knew I could handle whatever Tuesday had in store ... I vowed not to make a habit of working until 11:00 p.m.!

I love it when I have a busy day. The challenge of managing my time and accomplishing all that I have set out to do gets my adrenaline pumping. It feels very good to work.

If I can put in full time hours between my two jobs, I can afford a comfortable life style.

I have great plans for pushing for what I need, to make this arrangement work. Working primarily from home, with the need to put in work outside of my home as necessary is okay.

I will do what is necessary to succeed at the jobs that I have been given. I will!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Three Minutes Late

I almost forgot about my appointment to donate blood last night. I was leisurely clearing off the table for supper when I found the notification (that I had placed on the table on purpose yesterday morning) reminding me of my appointment.

I wolfed down my supper, hastily tidied the kitchen and I ran into a few snags as I tried racing out the door in time (this is nothing unusual for me, but I normally 'budget' for the five minutes it takes for me to get out the door).

Traffic was slow, so I made good time. I ran up to the building and the security guard was there to hold the door open to me. I thanked him and asked if he was ushering me in because I was late. His only concern was that I slow down so that I didn't slip on the ice.

Because I was three minutes late, I ended up waiting behind a new donor. Had I been on time, I would have sped through the checking in process and been quickly on my way.

Had I arrived five to ten minutes early (as normally would have), I wouldn't have been at that exact place at that exact time.

I ended up running into a couple that I know. And because all three of us were behind this new donor (which takes longer to go through the processes), we ended up having a nice, leisurely chat as we waited.

As I left the building an hour later, the security guard once again held the door open for me and said, "See? It didn't matter that you were late did it?" I replied that it was actually a good thing.

Sunday, a completely out of the ordinary set of circumstances brought me exactly where I needed to be to help a stranded young girl home.

A few days ago, a friend and I were emailing back and forth about a class that we were considering taking. It is really hard to pick up a 'voice' in an email at times, so I wasn't sure if my friend was really in a position to go forward with this or not. There was a high probability the classes could have been full. So we decided to take the plunge and just go ahead email our request to register for a class.

Long story short, the day we picked couldn't have been more perfect (due to the arrangements that she has to make to attend). Her mom had a better day yesterday (after several worrisome ones). And then we found out that our 'chosen' day had openings and our request had been accepted. All of the cards fell easily into place. And all we had to do was 'pick a day' ...

It's really rather amazing. Going with the flow of life often takes you exactly where you are meant to be. At the time you are meant to be there. These small coincidences are truly a miracle ...

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Holiday is Over

Last night, for the first night since December 13th (that is how long the kids have been out of school ... it was a most excellent year not to be running a daycare), My Youngest went to bed. At a normal bed time ... in his own bed.

My Youngest has been camping out in the TV room downstairs throughout the holiday. To find him and our cat snuggled up on the couch together in the morning has become the norm.

Our Little Black Cat (Andre) loves 'camping out'. As a rule, Andre sleeps around a lot at night. Both My Youngest and I claim that he sleeps with us. But what I think he must do, is sleep with each of us a little bit (so that we both feel loved).

Needless to say, I have become quite accustomed to not sharing my bed with our Little Black Hairball the past few weeks. I have stretched out fully and rolled around to my heart's content, not worrying about disturbing His Highness's sleep (I can't be the only cat owner who unconsciously tucks my knees up to my shoulders so that I can roll over and then stretch back out when I'm on the other side of our cat??).

Last night, I didn't realize I had a bed partner. Until ...

I rolled over and stretched my feet out towards the end of the bed. Immediately, I heard the ker-thunk of our cat falling to the floor (don't worry, he landed on his feet ... otherwise it would have been simply 'thunk').

In my semi conscious state, I had a little chuckle as I visualized Our Little Black Kitty being rudely ejected off the foot of my bed.

This morning when I woke up, he was sleeping soundly on the opposite side of me. I think he was consciously aware that he could be ousted out again at any time.

He was still sleeping when I got up. So we went back to our usual tradition of him sleeping on my bed while I make my bed around him (I've become very adept at this special talent).

He followed me into the bathroom and investigated it for any drips that he could lap up. He was my little black shadow this morning.

I didn't realize how much I missed the early morning presence of our Little Black Kitty, until he blessed me with his presence once again this morning.

It made waking up to a regular, old work day a little more pleasant.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Happy Ending

What a way to bring in 2011!! With a good news story!!

I already have a follow-up story to the last (not so good story) post of 2010. I accidentally mailed my ATM deposit. A deposit which held all of my 'Christmas Gift' money and other. Cash which would have paid a quarter of my monthly bills.

A most helpful employee of the store right by the mailbox (which also houses a 'post office' department) made all the calls she could on Friday, to no avail. Everything was closed down for the holiday long weekend. She left messages for me, but there was little else she could do. I would have to wait until Tuesday before the post office opened again.

Long story short, I was able to contact some employees at the Canada Post today. On a Sunday! The manager offered to retrieve my deposit from the mailbox today. All I had to provide were details about what I 'mailed' and my identification.

I asked my New Hero if I could somehow repay him for his kindness. I came armed with gift cards, cash ... anything to say 'thank you'. He politely declined but mentioned that there has been so much bad press about Canada Post lately, that what he would appreciate most would be a letter to our local paper. Done!!!

That is all good. It makes me warm, happy and extremely grateful. But it is the opportunity that 'life' offered me (almost simultaneously) as this was unfolding, is what brings me the greatest joy. The opportunity to pay it forward.

I was able to help a young girl back 'home'. She was stranded 150 kms away from home without a way back ...

As I was waiting for my own Hero, I had the opportunity to pay it forward even before I knew what the result of my own predicament would be.

This poor girl simply asked "Which way is (home)?" She was shivering, shaking and bravely wiping tears away from her cheeks as we spoke. I asked her if she was driving. She said no, she was walking. At that point she did ask if she could borrow my phone.

She called her mom and after she hung up, she told me her mom was mad. I replied that she was probably more worried than anything. It was at that point, I felt the need to 'mother' this young girl.

I had a spare pair of gloves to offer this girl and I suggested that she run in and buy herself a hot chocolate while we waited. And that I would drive her to the bus depot.

As luck would have it, her bus back 'home' was departing an hour after I dropped her off at the bus station. I bought her a ticket, suggested that she call her mom one more time so that she knew she was on her way home and I gave her enough money to buy some lunch while she waited.

She told me her mom said 'thanks', smiled and then she hugged me. I told her that I just hoped if it was my daughter, someone would do the same.

To think that an hour before all of this unfolded, I was worried about retrieving my lost Christmas Cash. And to find out less than 60 minutes later, the relief of having my bank deposit back in my hands paled in comparison to the coincidence which brought 'Summer' and I together at the same place, at the same time. I felt much more grateful to help a young girl back home, than I did to find what was lost to me for a few days.

Today was the best gift of the season. One good deed done unto me. And the opportunity to pay it forward.

And Now Back to My Regularly Scheduled Blogging

Enough already about the whole Christmas and New Year's thing! I've been doing nothing but repeating myself for the past while and I'm getting a tad bored with my old tales.

It's time to move on!

This morning, I have been planning the New Year. Not making resolutions. Planning. Totally different.

I am pursuing my interest of Zumba with a vengeance. I plan to make the most of my Zumba lust. We'll see how the year unfolds.

I have an upcoming 'sister' weekend to anticipate. A fun-filled trip out to Mom's while I Zumba the day away and come home to a house full of family at the end of my Zumba fun. Then a good sister-visit all the way back home again.

There is hope of continuing to walk further through the 'door' that was opened over the Christmas holiday. The new year is full of new hope and possibilities.

I am going to complete a course, write a book and complete another course.

Then ... I am going to go on a cruise!

I am going to fill my days with the perfect balance of work, challenge, learning, family, friends and down-time.

I will cook and provide nourishing meals for myself and my family. No more of this "I hate cooking" for me. That is a poor excuse. One's mind doesn't work at full capacity if you don't nourish it.

Our dance showcase will be the highlight of the spring. There are upcoming reunions to anticipate in the summer. A lofty goal that I have set for myself in the fall (that will carry me throughout winter, if all goes as planned).

Whew! I have a lot of ground to cover this year. It's time to get cracking!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 in Review

I summarized my year in yesterday's post but after reading "Issa's" recap who had in turn used "All & Sundry's" Yearly recap format, I decided to utilize this 'question and answer' format to fill in a few important items that I missed previously (though I believe each and every item is documented in detail within the confines of this blog).

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

- Dance Competition, Dance Camp, Danced With the Stars

- Hosted pot luck gatherings (and unbeknownst to me, a surprise party) in my home … I’m convinced this is just a taste of what’s to come. A precursor to my dream of owning and running a Bed & Breakfast in the future.

- Finished school

- Zumba, Bellyfit, Salsa, Scottish Country Dancing

- Took a risk … made new friends

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

- I don’t make them (though in 2011, I must complete compiling the book of my dad's family's memories, that I have been puttering with the past few years)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

- A few great nephews (does Dec 28th, 2009 count?)

4. Did anyone close to you die?

- My brother’s family’s beloved cat

5. What countries did you visit?

- Does Montreal qualify? (I sure didn’t feel like I was still in Canada!)

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

- I lacked for nothing in 2010. My cup runneth over!

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

- Feb 11 to 15 - Dance Competition in Montreal

- Apr 3rd – Family Easter gathering

- June 25-26 – Dance Camp & Potluck

- July 14th – Completed my schooling

- Oct 14th – “Danced With the Stars” at Ballroom With a Twist

- Nov 6th – Surprise Birthday party awaiting me at home after an evening out with my ‘Dance Formation Team’

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

- Dance Competition, Dancing With the Stars … and just plain dancing!!

- Making new friends

- Booking an Alaskan cruise for May 2011

9. What was your biggest failure?

- There is no such thing as failure! Only opportunities to learn!!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

- Do sore feet count?

11. What was the best thing you bought?

- New bedroom furniture from London Drugs!

12. Where did most of your money go?

- Dance Studio

- “Changes” salon (fake nails, fake tan, fake eyelashes, hair, make-up and everything girly!!)

13. What did you get really excited about?

- Can I say it again?? Dance Competition in Montreal!!

- My surprise birthday party ranks right up there with the Dance Competition

14. What song will always remind you of 2010?

- I Gotta Feeling (you got it … the theme song from the Dance Competition)

- Dynamite (the song I will forever associate to my new found love of “Zumba”!!

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

- Just as excited as last year! Last year I was anticipating The Great Dance Adventure. This year I am anticipating The Great Alaskan Cruise Holiday Adventure!

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

- I felt like I lived a ‘Goldilocks’ kind of year. Everything was ‘just right’!

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

- Same as #16

18. How did you spend Christmas?

- At Mom’s with all of my family

- Reconnected with my (ex) in-laws … opened a door for my children to walk through

19. What was your favorite TV program?

- "Private Practice". It gets to me … the writing, the acting, the everything. It’s my favorite!

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

- None stand out. I’m presently banishing myself from all books except my “Fitness Knowledge” home study course. I will allow myself the privilege of reading for pleasure once I complete this course, write a book and cross a few other items off of my to-do-list.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

- Simply rediscovering the wonderful world of music via Internet Radio “At Work With Star 104”

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

- "Morning Glory" comes to mind first and foremost, but a Friday Night Out with the girls was a fun-filled, (though short lived) tradition that took me out to see the first adult, chick-flick movies that I have seen in ... decades(?)

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

- A surprise (truly, completely, and totally 100%) party. I returned home from an evening with my Dance Formation team, to find a houseful of family and friends awaiting my return. Best gift I have ever received!! One of the (many) benefits of my milestone 50th birthday.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

- I don’t think anything could have made the year any better than it was. It was my best year so far!

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

- I have discovered the fun of pampering and enjoying just ‘being a girl’

26. What kept you sane?

- Writing, family, friends and dancing (each equally important to my sanity!)

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

- “If you dream it … it can happen”. 2010 was the year that wishes came true for me.

- Friends are forever. 2010 will forever be The Year of My Friends as I reached out and made new friends, nurtured my existing friendships and reconnected with old friends. I have friends that feel like family and family that feel like friends.

- I live a blessed life.

Happy Greetings to All and to All a Great Year!!