Draw or paint I say: I can’t she says, I’m not a good artist. Paint something abstract…maybe for your wall: I can’t she says, it always turns out ugly. Use paper or glitter or crayons or SOMETHING and do mixed media collage: I can’t Mom, shes says, I don’t know what to make that will look good. Sad face. Sad Mom. Internally I scream PLEASE SEE YOUR OWN AMAZINGNESS LITTLE ONE!!! Please…just look and see it like I do!!! Then it struck me: Give the kid a fresh cartridge of Polaroid film and watch her go!! Last year we gave my girl an Instax Mini camera for her 12th birthday. We set her up with batteries and some film and she has had so much fun with it ever since: pretty sure somewhere in this mess of still (soon Robyn…SOON) unpacked boxes there are 100’s of little Polaroid pictures that document Ry’s last year. She takes a million selfies on her iPod everyday and drives me bonkers with stupid SnapChat filters. She becomes frustrated trying to get a good shot (why she always covers her mouth I have no idea??) But…when she uses the Instax: the photos she takes are so much more….meaningful. She suddenly gets the “value” of a picture. You can’t just delete and retake the photo: there are only 15 pictures for each cartridge, so the photo you take has to be “the one”. She still gets excited waiting for the picture to come alive. She STILL shakes it thinking it will develop faster. She is so proud of herself for each photo she takes. Suddenly the “I can’t” and the “I’m not an artist” disappears and she feels pride and excitement for what is she can do. Every single one of those shots have a story and carry meaning for her. I watch her look at her subject thoughtfully, adjust the lighting, adjust the angle, adjust her position and SNAP! My favorite are the ones that don’t “turn out”. She can look at those “a little bit blurry” or “a little bit too bright or too dark” shots and still manages to find beauty and art in them. I found some black and white film for her this Christmas that is still in the box: she is waiting to save it for something really special. I love that she is looking for that “special” moment to photograph. I love that she can look at little things: items around the house, a flower, a cloud, a snowflake or even a reflection on the glass table and see that as something she wants to capture. Not one selfie. Not a single “pensive look out the window like I have a record dropping next week” shot. All creative. All amazing. All incredible. Give a creative mind, that doesn’t realize she IS creative, a cartridge of Polaroid film and watch her go! I would love someday to give her a true film camera and watch her have a go with that and have to wait for the film to be developed!! She is currently sitting next to me, taking selfies on her iPod. Searching for the perfect one of course…while glancing every so often at the stack of photos she took today and a few pictures from a few months ago that are her most special, and the smile that twitches at the corners of her lips as she does this simple makes my heart soar!!! You did it Squish…you found your amazingness. Yay us!!!!
This is my every other Friday view. Sitting. Waiting. Warning lights on. Fingers crossed it was a good 10 days apart. Wondering what changes have occurred in her absence. Will she be taller? Will her face be more grownup than child like? Did someone break her heart this week and I wasn’t there? Did she experience a life event that will pull her further away from being my little squish and closer to being a young woman, and I missed it…again? Is this going to be the time she no longer wants to be tucked In to bed and I forgot to notice the last time was the last time? Will I recognize her? Will she recognize me? Will she notice how I have changed and grown as well in 10 short days? Will I ever stop feeling the stab in my chest when I notice and bare the affect of how much she changes and grows up and away in 10 short days that feel like an eternity every damn time. I can do nothing but wait and hope and do my best for her and for us in the short time we have: it’s all we have and it is enough. It’s perfect. This is what is ok…this is what works for us. We are happy. We answer these questions every other Friday: it’s the thing we do now: We make every second count. That’s what we do :))
I had a bad day yesterday. That is OK. I have allowed myself permission to have bad days: not everyday can be great and some days are going to remind that hard is hard. That was one of those days. I couldn’t get away from it. I could not overcome it. I could not rise above. I could not stop thinking everything and everyone was out to get me. I was miserable and I was, probably on purpose, making everyone around me miserable as well. I’m sure it was frightening, I am sure it was horrible to watch/listen/read what i was experiencing. I love my people. all my people: they all understood. They all stuck with me. Every. Single. One of them. I simply adore my people!!! Thank you my people. I decided this morning when I woke up that today was going to be a good day. Nights that are long and filled with time to think about important things and feel them and hold them and choose what to let go of allow enough time as well, to set certain changes in motion. I was going to make what felt abhorrent to me: good again. I wanted change and I was going to drive the change. I was going to be brave. I showered and got dressed. Makeup (soooo much make-up) and hair done. Went to work. That was exhausting. I apologized to my people: (I am so sorry). That was hard. I made some decisions about somethings: let somethings simply, go: let somethings be: let something matter. No more asking questions that don’t matter. Trust. Be Patient. Always expect an abundance: of all of the things I feel I deserve. That was brave. I made a choice and a plan to be brave and I feel good about my choice. I don’t know what this means in regards to not having a bad day like I had. I don’t know if this choice will be enough; but I have to try. Perhaps I am even desperate at this point to reset my brain: to train the other parts to do what the sad, broken and lonely parts just can not do right now. I want to learn to be comfortable with being alone with myself. I want to learn to take big steps alone: I have taken many already thus far; but I need to learn to walk further. I want to learn to forgive myself for what I deem my mistakes to be. I want to learn to, quite simply, love. Call it a journey. Call it a test. Call it and experiment, Call it silly because to most, it is really not that big of a deal: call it whatever you like…but I solemnly swear it does not matter to me, because this is my story not yours. My story will be written by me for me. I am the princess in the tower that sometimes needs to be saved, I am the heroine who saves the day, I am the dragon waiting to be slayed and I am the castle. I decided it is alright sometimes to need to be saved. I decided it is just as alright to need someone to stand by my side and watch me save myself. I am the writer of this story and the narrator and the reader all at once. I am going to make this story what I need it to be. Call it a last minute Eat, Pray, Love journey. I assure you there will be attempts in eating, the praying will come in the form of reflection and focusing and the love will come from learning to love me again: I have so much love to give it is time for that to be my own: I deserve it most. My bravery in this instance came with support and encouragement from someone who already has found their inner hero and slayed their own dragon: with promises that I would be safe: I would make it: I would be OK: I will find something useful in this journey: That I could do this. I believe you. I can do this. I will do this. I clicked the button.
Last night I found happiness and magnificent wonderfulness and camaraderie in the grocery store of all places. I was very not happy to be in the grocery store. Not my favorite place to be: money…bright lights and generally grumpy people (mostly for the same reason). I have never enjoyed grocery shopping especially alone. I have always found it overwhelming for some reason. I have always been “bad” at it: cause I hate it. Which is OK….i shouldn’t have to be good at every aspect of being a grown up and if i need company to shop: no big deal. But suddenly, the horror of the grocery store (ok: maybe that is a bit too dramatic) Turned beautiful! The lights became warm and inviting, the food all suddenly looked kind of delicious (weird) and the people!!! The people, me included, became happy and kind and it was all thanks to: Mr. Billy Joel.
The instore radio started playing “For The Longest Time”. Everyone knows that song. If you don’t think you know the song: trust me you know the song. It’s the song you hum to and tap your foot to and if you’re me you just make up your own frigging words and sing along anyway. It’s the song that when it plays on the radio in the car you turn it up and don’t mind sitting through a red light drumming your fingers on the steering wheel. I started singing away quietly and humming a bit and maybe a bounce showed up in my step: this was weird feeling to me. This kind of conduct has been missing from me for awhile now. My mission, as a parent, was to show my daughter to always have fun and singing in the store is fun. Singing in the car is fun (even when someone is all: Hey! Who sings this song? and I would be all I think it’s pink? And they would be all: Then maybe let her sing it. Buzz kill). Boom! Another hit to the chin about something I stopped doing when I stopped doing everything except being fake happy. As I turned down an aisle, still humming away, I noticed this man singing away too!!! We kind of smiled at each other and carried on; but then I heard from the next aisle this dude singing away nice and loud!! I totally hurried around the corner and smiled at him and he gave me high five as he walked by with his cart. This lady down the cat food aisle was humming. A man by the bread was tapping his toe to the beat! The guy stocking the shelves in the freezer aisle was definitely rocking out. I gave up on shopping and just ran around trying to catch everyone singing together. It wasn’t like a dramatic flash mob or anything. There were no serious dance moves: It was just simply beautiful! We all knew that each of us were singing along. We all acknowledged each other. We all complimented each other in our own little way (thank you high five guy!!!). We were all friendly to each other. We all made each of us have a better day. Every single one us of had a smile on our faces. Billy Joel just completely helped me find another piece of me. The part of me that was always able to know that there is happiness and light in the world. I am a dreamer. I get excited about things that people think are unimportant. I act like a goof in public and I don’t care what people think of me. I don’t very often take myself too seriously: I am trying so so hard to get back to here. I’m loud. I ask too many questions because I want to know everything there is to know. I become enamored with little habits and quirks that the people I love have, and it makes my heart happy to see them. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that happiness is right there with me at all times. That sometimes you just need to hold you chin a little higher in the cereal aisle and pay attention and you will see it too. This won’t help me solve any problems. This won’t pay any bills. This won’t make any of the hard stuff go away any faster. It won’t correct mistakes I have made or change the past: what it will do though is help me find a way to make those things a little easier to get through. I promise you: when you think you’re alone; you really honestly and truly are not alone. There will always be someone singing along to a song that you know in a grocery store and if that makes you happy: let it. There will always be someone noticing those things about you that are so simply perfect and endearing it makes their heart sing. Let something: anything make you happy when you need it to. Let those happy moments remind you that you can’t look for or create happiness: its right there, right where you are, waiting for you to see it: waiting for you to just be happy. (Also: it’s mean to tell people not to sing in the car: you just turn the music up and drown their tone deaf ass down!)
5 things (that turned into 6 and then 7 because I am indecisive) I can’t be without
Is it just me or are there certain things you need to have: things that make your day go right and you feel more at ease? Things that calm you or feel like such a part of you that without them you feel off or naked? Here are mine
Sad: my cell phone. It’s glued to me. I am the kid that panics when its not with me. I am that kid that checks it incessantly (which is sad because only like 5 people ever text me and at any given time 2 of them are with me) I don’t like not having it with me when I drive or when I am out. What if I get lost? What if something happens? What if someone needs me?? what if Brad and Jennifer decide to get back together?!?! How will I know. Pathetic.
Sad again: Coffee in the morning. Yup…again I am that kid. I am a grump without it. It makes me feel all warm and happy and its delicious tasting. Its an integral part of my morning routine: wake up make coffee then bathroom stuff then drink coffee. Then get ready and blah blah blah go to work: the blah blah blah represents probably 2 more cups and then I feel all shaky and great and I am ready to go.
Music or back ground noise: I hate the quiet. I did not used to but now I do. If there is quiet, I have too much time for idle thoughts and mind wandering so I avoid it. At work the radio is on, in the car I have music playing or CBC on. At home I usually have headphone in (much to the dismay of people who are trying to talk to me. Here’s a handy trick: when you don’t want to talk to people put headphones in! Everyone leaves you alone after you shout answers at them a few times!)
A sweater or a big scarf. Even in the summer I drag a sweater around with me. I hate being cold so much that I worry about getting cold. I take my sweater off and on numerous times during the day: my hair is always a disaster. I plan my outfits around what sweater I would wear. I wear my hoodies until I wear holes in the sleeves and then I still wear them at home.
A journal. I always have a journal with me. If I don’t carry a bag that day that can accommodate my journal I have post-it notes on hand and use them to journal on and stick them inside. Writing is my medicine. It calms me and helps me get my thoughts out of my head and on paper to help me make better sense of them.
Its kinda weird: But… I always feel better when I have something in my pocket (see Instagram post about buying pants without pockets…frig) I am a fidgeter. I play with circle money or spin a bobby pin or a hair tie around my fingers. I have a rock that I put in my pocket in the summer from a significant place that I have rubbed so often its now smooth in spots. Again, its calming.
Someone to talk to: This. This is important. As much as I like to have quiet sometimes; I feel so much better knowing I have someone I can talk to about the important things in life. It makes me feel happy to know I have someone I can tell random sill things too or send funny pictures to. It makes me feel safe I guess, to know that I have someone I can turn to if I am upset or need advice. It makes me feel comfortable to know that I can be open and honest and share things about myself that maybe not easy to share or just to be honest about how I feel about somethings and not worry about being judged or them getting angry at me: if I were to say something in that regard, I would know that person would be open with me and let me know. I get that people aren’t things and I put people on my list of things: however, to me having that someone or someone’s to count on is definitely something I can’t be without and hope i never have to. I really like my someones being with me! ❤
I was given this really cool pack of daily affirmation cards for Christmas this year from one of my super awesome-life changing-also beautiful!!! Co-op students. They are called Affirmators! and the have a unicorn on the box: Best. Gift. Ever. I have been posting a few of them on Instagram and having fun with them. The card i drew yesterday at random using my own little bit of sorcery to determine which one to pick sort of took me by surprise.
Patience. Yesterday was a day i required much patience. Patience is something I have been asked to have more of. This shook me a little: I am a believer of things happening for us right when they need to for a specific purpose…either that it its a crazy random happenstance and I am just being weird. I think its the former. We all need patience. If we didn’t have it we would spend our time here on this earth in a constant state of panic (I think I have made it evidently clear that this is where I live most of the time. I do not want to live here anymore and I am trying with all my strength and might to leave this place. It stinks here). I have very little patience anymore. It is one of the many…many things about me that I would like to improve on. Self improvement is a good thing: sometimes. Sometimes we can get carried away and take those things to an extreme. It’s dangerous. I know this all too well. To me, learning to be patient is a big step towards helping me with other part of me. Questions is: How does one learn patience? I’ve googled it. I have read books about it. I have just tried to be more patient: that only lasts for about 37 seconds and I end up snapping. I am very snappy. My patience can, at this point, be compared to an uncooked piece of spaghetti: very thin, very fragile and once its gone…it’s gone. I don’t like this either. I try during situations and times that require substantial amounts of patience to breath, to focus, to count, to remind myself of the many reasons I am trying to be patient. I try to ask myself if I was in the other persons position what would I need? How would I feel if I was being pestered or bothered or watched constantly or even not seen as trustworthy: this helps. Empathy I have…much to my detriment sometimes. Trust. There is much trust involved in being patient. Trust is hard as well. Trust the situation. Trust the person. Trust that whatever “it” is the person I am trying to be patient with is doing, that they have the best intentions in mind: my best intentions. Being impatient does not feel good. It feels uncomfortable to me. it feels distrustful and I want to live in a space where I can trust people and situations. It makes my hands sweaty and my heart race. My mind wanders to the worst of the worst and I end up “crystal balling” the outcome and exhausting myself and, quite frankly, pissing people off. It feels quite gross: Disgusting. Having my impatience pointed out feels just awful. I know I am. I know best about the the “things” that need fixing. I am sorry. I am trying. I don’t know if I have always been impatient. I certainly hated waiting for Christmas morning. I hated waiting for it to be time to leave for somewhere fun. I was always good at taking turns though: I was fair. I think I still am fair….just very impatient. Very negative…very distrustful. Life has not been…laid-back as I would like it to have been. I have always had to kind of look out for myself and other people. It wasn’t very often I felt looked after. The few times I did, well…here I am. I think thats why I crave order and calm: I become impatient when things aren’t that way. I become impatient waiting for the feeling of those things. I don’t like when things feel uncomfortable. I don’t like when the risk of shit going sideways is high: If I can just “do the thing” or not have to wait for an answer, I feel more in control. I need the feeling of control: probably because things have felt so out of control for awhile now. When I don’t feel like I am in control of me…more specifically when I feel like other people are in control of “me” I feel that uncomfortable feeling: that is distrust I suppose. I know I shouldn’t feel that way. I know its not healthy. I know people perceive my impatience as being bossy and controlling and probably just make me seem hard to get along with and work with or live with…and like I am just a big ol’ bitch. Maybe I am. Maybe this is self preservation? Maybe I just need to calm the hell down and learn to let things happen? Ha. That’s funny. I know I am learning slowly. I am being as patient as I can with myself: the problem is I don’t have much trust in myself or my decisions these days. It’s almost as if before I can learn to be patient I need to learn to have some faith in “me” but that journey is daunting and time consuming and requires a huge amount of trust and patience and trial and error….and I don’t like how that feels. Its this huge juggling act and I cant juggle: I am not coordinated and I am too afraid of being smacked in the face: literally and figuratively; both have happened often. For that reason I guess, I find it hard to patient with others. I’ve said it a million times: Life is hard….patience seems harder. I am trying. Be patient (and gentle) with me. (Oh…I shoved this card under Buddah’s bum and begged for his guidance!…here’s hoping it helps!)
Finding inspiration on the internet!! Seriously: Feeling down??? Look up happiness quotes! Feeling weak?? Google “I am strong!” Hungry?: Oh there are recipes! Bored?? Literally Google “I am Bored”. Feeling reminiscent of the old days?? Ya…every bad picture taken of you is hidden somewhere out there: try to find them…and then cry. My favorite though are the inspirational quotes. Whoever it is that takes the time to make those: Thank YOU!! (whoever makes the ones with the spelling mistakes: they are my favorite ones! :)) I have a folder on my lap top, one on my Mac Mini and one on my work laptop labeled “Be happy!!” And I fill them with images I find that make me feel…happy. Some of them I print out and tape them to my wall or copy them on post it notes and tape them to my laptop or give them to my little Buddha statue to hold for me! Pretty much…I do what I gotta do to SURROUND myself with positivity because I know I will need it…several times a day I need it. The best time to deal with low, sad or depressive moments is when you are well. You have to know you well enough to recognize the “fall” is coming and do whatever you have to keep it at bay. Maybe some of these could help you or someone you someday! They sure have come in handy for me! Stay Happy. Stay Awesome xo
I’m complaining. I’m sending a letter to whoever it is that has made it so cold that the zoo has to move the penguins INSIDE…Penguins INSIDE (slams hand on desk like Granny!!!). Arctic creatures…it’s too bloody cold for them: it’s too bloody cold for me. I am perpetually cold. My hands have been classified as ice paws. I can use them as weapons of torture if I choose to. In fact, I have been contacted by evil war lords asking to hire me to help with torture. I live in Canada. I live in the snow belt. I live where its so cold it makes your face hurt and your nostrils freeze shut and tears that run out of my eyes 3 times a day freeze to my cheeks. I have permanent white spots on my face from the frost bite I procured as a child. I have mastered the art of letting my teeth chatter to stop the full body convulsions I feel when I am cold. I have never not lived here…it’s always been this cold. Why now is it getting so hard to endure this? Is it global warming that is making mother nature hate us so much? Is it because i am getting old and just can’t handle it anymore? (Jeeze oh man! What am i going to be like when i am actually old?) Do I need to condition myself for the cold better? Should I be sitting in a snow bank for 5 minute increments and gradually increasing the time until I am better able to regulate my body temperature? (pretty sure I won’t be doing this!) I have taken to being that kid that wears snow pants everywhere I go: there is a good change underneath those snow pants are my pajamas so please, don’t ask to me to come in to visit! I have taken to wearing my toque (Hi from Canada!) indoors. I wear a blanket scarf like its a cape (I am Wonder Woman inside my head. Leave me alone) I am constantly asking my kid if shes warm enough even though I can see her sweating from the sweater I make her wear just because I am cold. Clearly I am a baby. I need to do some stride jumps to get my blood flowing. It’s only January 6th and I am already counting the days until April. I miss the rain that I complained about all summer. Maybe I am actually a bear and I am supposed to hibernate until spring. I’m ok with that actually! Can someone write me a note for work telling them I will be back when it’s warm because of reasons? That probably wont work. Oh well…at least I dont have to do my hair when i just shove in a hat!!! Blanket scarf ahoy!!
Things I ask myself WHY? about: Does music give you goosebumps? Does the sound of a crying baby make you anxious sometimes? Does the sound of rain on the roof make you sleepy? Does a certain fluffy blanket make you feel safe and comfy? Does the smell of a cup of tea make you homesick? Does the feel of clean sheets and a made bed make you sleep better? Does wine taste better out of the right glass (I lost my wineglasses and I’m sad) Does a clean bathroom make you feel better? Does opening a box of packed things almost knock you over? Does having your socks match and your makeup done make you feel like you have your shit together? Does the TV being on make your head hurt? Does the sound of some people chewing make you bonkers? Does the smell of fabric softener make everything feel clean? Does the sound of laughter make you envious? Does being sad make your finger tips hurt? Does sitting for too long make you feel uncomfortable? Does holding a new kitten make you cry? Does a random hilarious moment make you laugh so hard you can’t breathe? Does looking at old photos make your head and heart hurt with emotion? Does a long drive home after a long day help calm you down? Does the sound of birds singing make you long for springtime and outside? Does the smell of cut grass make you feel joy? Does rocking in a rocking chair feel like you can figure out anything? Does the sound of a crackling fire feel like home? Does the sun shining on the snow make you think of magic? Does having a snack make solving problems easier? Does being hungry make you angry? Does a bubble bath make you feel at peace? Does watching someone you love sleep make you feel protective? Does a good hug just fix everything sometimes? Does having a sad moment during the day make you ask all of those things.