Friday I’m in love -W.I.S.E. Project 2016-Journal Notes

It is really freeing to be able to be open and honest in a relationship and to be all in, to know that you are worthy of love and therefore you can give it freely as well.

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My W.I.S.E. principles for the month of may are warmth, intimacy, serenity and enrich.

I feel like I should get a sticker and a high five for not just chooosing these principles but for taking them seriously and learning so much.

Warmth is that good feeling you get by sharing and being kind to others. I have done well, except to bad drivers and the plumber that showed up at my work with just a flashlight to fix a leak and asked me what I wanted  him to do. I myself am not a plumber nor do I claim to know anything about plumbing but I will say that waving a flashlight around a well lit room doesn’t seem like the way to fix a leak. But all in all I have had some wonderfully warm encounters so far this month.

Intimacy is something I really wanted to work on. My husband and I have been together for 18 years and we have had a huge transition with him working away for 8 years and now being home every night. There is a huge difference in the dynamics of a relationship that is lived in stolen moments than one that you struggle to keep connected even though you are together everyday. I am focusing on relationship studies and have had a million ‘aha’ moments. It is really freeing to be able to be open and honest in a relationship and to be all in, to know that you are worthy of love and therefore you can give it freely as well. I had an incredible epiphany this month about the power of vulnerability and I discovered a Researcher/Storyteller named Brene Brown who does a wonderful Ted Talk on the subject. It is life changing.

Serenity-I have continued to go floating and I am continuing to meditate. I try to add five mindful minutes each day and I have found a wonderful guided meditation that is calming and helps to centre me.

Enrich-thinking about, working on and creating happiness has been very enriching. I love Robert Waldingers Research on What makes a good life, I am studying relationships and emotions as well as meditation which has led me to research Budhism.  I signed up for Brene Browns CourageWorks ecourse on the Anatomy of Trust. I have seen her Super Soul Sunday talk on Trust and it was fantastic. I put together an actual binder and a journal about The W.I.S.E. Project but my purse, desk and bedside table are full of hand scribbled notes I have jotted down.

I feel good. There were some trying times this month and I feel like I have learned and grown from them. I feel that knowing how I want to feel and recognizing what it takes to make me feel that way has and will continue to have a huge impact on my life.

As you continue your mindful and happy journey this month don’t forget to visit the new Facebbok page https://m.facebook.com/WISE-Project-236710606685815/

It is a place where we can share wisdom, happy thoughts and interact. I am sharing a couple of links below to some amazing content that has changed my life.

Remember that happiness doesn’t find us, we need to create it and choose it, every moment of everyday. Be W.I.S.E. friends.

Brene Brown on Vulnerability

Robert Waldinger on What makes a good life.

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Keep Shining

Photo courtesy of http://www.gorillabrigade.com

Today didn’t feel quite right. I remember laying in bed this morning wide awake for quite some time because I had to pee very bad but I though I was uncomfortable I was too lazy to move. By the time I got up to pee it was time to get up anyways but I crawled back in bed and stole an extra fifteen minutes of cuddle time with my husband.

The day didn’t start unusually but from the minute I got to work I felt off and disorganized. I usually look at Mondays as an opportunity to regroup and start the week strong and fresh. In fact yesterday I went to church with a friend and we listened to a sermon on Vocational Health and I was actually quite excited to start the work week.

In the morning we had a visitor to our building who is going to be doing some work here for another company, he didn’t have an appointment but I generously let him in any way and allowed him look around. I called our Maintenance Manager to let him know and then shoved my phone into my pocket. A couple of minutes later I bent down to pick up my keys and the phone took a hard thud on the concrete. The screen had some minor cracks but the inside touch screen had issues and one side of the phone was green. I felt instantly deflated.

I was recounting my story to the mail lady when she came in and she told me she had met a co-worker for coffee and she had a bad day, she got bit by a dog, fell in a mud puddle and dropped her phone down a manhole. She had me beat and since bad things happen in threes she was done!

The mail lady said her goodbyes with a promise to see me the next day. I looked at her like she had three heads and said “You will not see me on a Saturday!” She abruptly laughed and then looked at me with a mixture of sympathy and amusement as she reminded me that it was only Monday.

Five minutes later I broke a mug in my office and sent coffee and broken glass flying everywhere. After cleaning it up I decided maybe it was time to take lunch. I enjoy texting with my teenage daughter on her lunch hour and I was able to turn my phone sideways and with a little bit of difficulty I asked how her day was and told her I broke my phone. She replied that maybe it would make me feel better to know her heart was broken? My heart swelled and I texted back “Why?” She said people hurt her feelings everyday. I replied that those people do not matter to which she replied that some of them do. I replied, “Close your eyes and picture yourself peeing on them. Now that you have peed on them they do not matter!”

Her reply to my Mother of the year advice was “LMAO I love You”

Feeling just like I imagine a mother of the year would feel I laughed and contemplated another witty reply but somehow my already broken phone slipped out of my hands and hit the floor with a tragic thud. The phone is now broken beyond repair and it could be up till three days until I receive another. The screen is just black but the blue notification light flashes mockingly!!

Mondays are awesome!! I spent the rest of my afternoon at work hoping that my fourteen year old daughter was not at school peeing all over people. She wouldn’t even be able to text me. 😦

I have the words of a Dionne Warwick ballad, keep smiling, keep shining….” playing over and over in my head like a bad dream. That is what I will do universe, I am damn well going to dust myself off and keep shining!


How was your day?

A Penny for your thoughts…

MYlife

How it must feel to pack up thirty years of memories into boxes, to decide what gets put in the trash pile and what comes with you to your new home. I remember six years ago when I packed up my house and moved 5300 kms away to Edmonton, Alberta. It was a huge process and whenever I was upset my Mom would say “take the memories!” They don’t take up a lot of room and there will always be a use for them.

I spoke with my Mom today and she is in the throes of packing up thirty years into boxes and I wish I could be there to share in every smile and every tear, I am sure there are many. I can’t even imagine the things you would come across and the memories they would evoke. I jokingly said “Don’t throw anything of mine out!” My Mom said she is sending me a little envelope and I am so excited to see what is inside. When I was home last spring she gave me a package with newspaper clippings, awkward school photos and poems I wrote. You really cannot give someone a better gift then a memory that transports them back in time. I frequently dig out that envelope and thumb through my past and though I always wonder what the heck my mother was thinking with some of those haircuts I was sporting I will treasure the contents of that package forever.

The house my Mom is packing up was my home since I was about 11. I believe we moved the summer I was going into grade six. If I remember correctly my Dad had lost his job and we put our house up for sale and when things took a turn for the better and my parents wanted to take it off the market the Real Estate company held us to the three month contract and though my parents wished it wouldn’t our house sold. I recall my parents apologizing to my brothers and I about the house they were moving to. It was a “fixer upper” and the rooms were much smaller but it had room for my Dad’s business ventures and he could be his own boss. We didn’t really care, it was a roof over our head!

We were about to embark on a humid Nova Scotia summer, we had endless sunny adventure filled days on our minds. Moving was no biggie for us, just a different spot to lay our heads at night!

Our parents even allowed us to attend the same school in the fall, grade 6 for me, grade five for my younger brother and the same Junior High for my older brother. These were the days when kids actually played outside and I really don’t remember it being such a big deal. I am sure it stressed my Mom out a great deal but we all adapted.

We only had a few short years at that house while my Dad was alive but it was great to have him with his business at home. I got to make him and the guys coffee and clean his office which for some reason I thought was super fun! I remember thinking how glamorous it would be to have my own office someday! Ha!

My Dad owned an Auto Body shop and he also had a dealers license so we grew up with several different vehicles. My older brother had a car from the day he turned sixteen and he never quite learned not to get attached. He took a shine to a Bronco Dad had brought home for him and was quite disappointed when he came home from school one day and Dad had sold it and got him something else. Anyone who knew my brother during those teenage years will recall how much he liked his cars. He had a black Monte Carlo that he treated better then anyone in his life. One day he bought another Monte Carlo, black as well but a bit newer, he decided to sell his original love to an acquaintance. Apparently my brother was getting reports that the new owner was driving the car erratically (burning the piss out of it) was the term he animatedly used to describe the treatment of his true love he had sold to another. I shrugged my shoulders when he told me. I really didn’t understand what this had to do with him. My brother couldn’t get past it though so he contacted the new owner and made arrangements to buy the car back! My brother now had twin black Monte Carlos. I secretly hope that in the envelope coming is a picture of me beside one of those sexy black Montes with my long glorious black permed hair and poufy eighties bangs!

I remember how my friends and I used to spray the product called “sun in” in our hair in hopes of getting au natural highlights and lather ourselves up with suntan lotion and lay on the roof of the spray booth during the July heat waves with L.L. Cool J beats playing on my bright orange boombox! In the cooler monthes we used to pack into the tiny hallway of the upstairs to play Risk afterschool and sometimes we carried on the game for days!

I’ll never forget the time my younger brother and his friends decided in their “everything’s a great idea” teen years to take a newly painted car out of the shop and go on a joyride when my parents were away. They got to the bottom of our road and panicked when they thought they saw my parents and put the car in the ditch. They took the smashed car back to the house, put it back in the garage and locked up as if nothing happened. My older brother and mother met us at the bus stop the next day and my brother immediately knew why and tried to walk in the other direction. There were a couple of tense days to follow in that little house. Later that night I tried to sneak my brother a peanut butter and jam sandwich but my Dad intercepted me. Under the circumstances, and I can sympathize with his frame of mind, he thought it best that my brother go without supper for the night! After awhile it blew over and we moved on, as a family in that little house.

Years later after my dad passed away and my stepdad came along to give my Mom a new lease on life and someone me and my brothers could count on always, we made new memories in that little house. We became adults, married and brought our own children there for family dinners.

When my mom and stepdad pack up those boxes I wonder what kind of things they will recall, what stories they will tell. Which ones will make them laugh and which ones will make them cry? Whatever they choose to put in the throw away pile, I hope it’s regret and sadness. I hope they take with them thirty years of memories from that little house and they pack all the love our family has for each other and fill each and every room in their new home with it!

Cheers! I am off now to open my wine and drink my book…or something like that.

xo Michelle

P.S. Always take the memories.

Don’t bite off your nose to spite your face.

people-texting
“The generation that had information, but no context. Butter, but no bread. Craving, but no longing.”
― Meg Wolitzer, The Uncoupling

When I was 20 years old I was flying from Toronto to Halifax to visit my family. I met a young lady who had been born in Mexico but raised in California and she was leaving the easy warmth of the West Coast for the vibrant seafaring East Coast to study at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We shared stories of our childhoods and the long, hot summers gone by. We talked about our parents and showed pictures of our siblings that we pulled out of our wallets. On the short flight we became fast friends, exchanging addresses and promises to keep in touch. I was genuinely interested to hear about her adjustment and university life and she was anxious to hear about my visit with my family and life back in the city I called home for the time being. We parted with hugs and best wishes and I kept her address tucked away in a side pocket in my purse.

Months later I decided to send her a card. I inquired about how she was doing, said it was great to chat with her and I hoped she was doing well at Dal. She replied weeks later with a card saying she had made friends and was adjusting quite well but got homesick at times.
Our lives never intersected again and that was the last written correspondence we had. Years later I saw a canvas she had painted on display at The Colchester Regional Hospital in my hometown of Truro. I was certain from the lively, colorful commotion she had created she must be happy and that made me smile.

I think of her from time to time and the imaginative eclectic mix of people I have met over the years on planes, buses, in waiting rooms, washrooms, Vegas strip clubs, concert line-ups, neighborhood pubs…..well you catch my drift!

I wonder how many great conversations and fleeting friendships I have missed out on with my nose pressed into my Samsung Galaxy. There are a lot of great things on the internet (like this uh-huh) but there is also life out there happening all around us. Smiles, handshakes, laughter, people connecting “IN-PERSON”

We call ourselves “Social” because we “Social network” but how social are we really? How many of us sit at parties and play candy crush and avoid real conversations with real people. This is not technologically advanced. It is socially stunned.

Last week I decided to put my phone on the charger when I came home from work and not pick it up for the rest of the night. I used to carry it from room to room tapping away. I know a lot of you can relate. I have been trying hard to keep this routine every night. I am not sure my family has noticed yet but one day they will look up from their own electronics and realize there is life happening all around them!

I love Social Media! I personally use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WordPress… I think if used correctly they are all fascinating tools that can connect people all over the world immediately. People can share, content, ideas, create excitement and change. That being said I think your social media success depends largely on a balancing act between online and face to face interaction. Social media is a juncture between humanity and technology and you can absolutely create and share meaningful, witty, relevant content.
I just think that often we ignore the people around us in an attempt to be “social” That is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. It will undoubtedly be harmful to your relationships.

Moments are brief and once they are gone they are lost forever. Sometimes we need a reminder that the people beside us deserve a bit of our undivided attention.

I used to work in sales and we used to get lots of calls from people asking a multitude of questions and our boss used to tell us to be mindful of the time we spent on the phone because the people who took the time out of their day to drive to our store deserved our full and undivided attention. I always remembered that and it sits at the back of my mind. Sometimes we all need a reminder, I admit, especially me.

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. (21)”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

The thing about time…

photo courtesy of http://www.timeanddate.com

“How did it get so late so soon?”
― Dr. Seuss

The thing about time is that it is one of our most valuable commodities and we waste it as if it is an endless renewable resource. For instance I just watched Achey Breaky Heart Part 2. That is some valuable time I will never get back.

In all seriousness, time well wasted is not wasted time (To clarify The New Billy Ray Cyrus video is wasted time) but we put a lot of value on things that matter a lot less than our time.

In 2011 Justin Timberlake starred in a movie called In Time. Set in the future the premise was that time was the international currency. Though J.T. was appropriately charming the movie didn’t win any awards but the theme “Time is money, no time to waste” struck a chord.

A couple of nights ago I watched the movie About Time with my husband. I had seen the advance screening a couple of months ago at the theater and City TV interviewed me directly afterwards and I was a blubbering mess. I decided to watch it again with Kirk and this time I cried even harder. At one point I sobbed so hard Kirk was holding my hand and wiping my tears. I won’t ruin the movie for those of you who haven’t watched but I will say when I watch it I think about my Dad who was taken from our family way too soon. He died a week short of his 40th birthday when I was sixteen. The one thing I have wished for over the years is that we had more time. A minute, an hour, a day. I wish he had met Kirk and got to know our children. There will never be more time. Alas the saying “we don’t have the luxury of time”

About Time follows 21-year-old Tim Lake (the quirky and quietly charming Domhnall Gleeson) as he discovers he can travel in time… The night after another disappointing New Year party, Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim cannot change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his life-so he decides to make his world a better place and to him that means getting a girlfriend. Ironically it turns out to be quite a task. Tim moves from the Cornwall coast to London to work as a lawyer and Tim finally meets the beautiful but insecure Mary (Rachel McAdams). They hit it off immediately but an unfortunate time-travel incident means he’s never met her at all. After a lot trial and error time travel they meet again for the very first time and Tim is able to quickly win Mary’s heart. Tim then uses the power of time to create the perfect romantic proposal, to save his wedding from the worst best-man speeches, to save his best friend from professional ruin and to get his pregnant wife to the hospital in time for the birth of their daughter. As his out of the ordinary life unfolds, Tim finds out that his unique gift can’t save him from grief, sorrow and ups and downs that touch all of our families. There are huge obstacles to the success of time travel making it a dangerous game to play with. About Time is a poignant comedy about love and time travel, which leads you on a journey back in time and then forward again leaving you with the very real revelation that making the most out of life simply means making the most of your time.

Valentines Day is coming up, love it or hate it, it comes every February 14. My challenge to you is to not stress yourself out trying to find the perfect gift to show how much you care one day out of the year. Give the people you love the very best gift of all…your time. Put your phone down, shut off your laptop, be present. Show the people you love that time with them is the most important gift at all!

“Time is what we want most,but what we use worst.”
― William Penn

Chicken Wings and Silly Things

Find the sunshine in everyday
Find the sunshine in everyday

I really shot myself in the foot by putting it in writing that I had a free five minutes in my last post. At the end of that evening I was exhausted and I was so ready for sleep when I crawled into bed only to discover that my cat had pissed in the middle of my bed.

Apparently she is annoyed with me for going back to work and decided to show her displeasure in a big way.

After a tedious clean up and new bedding I stretched out for a short(er) but glorious sleep. I was on the verge of exquisite slumber when hubby came to bed and as usual turned on the fan in our adjoining washroom. He needs the white noise and I despise it. I wake up several times a night thinking the heat is going and then lay awake stressing about my electric bill. Sometimes from overuse the fan begins to act up and I will wake thinking a helicopter is landing on the roof. Not a great feeling. I remember the 3 1/2 months I spent in the hospital pregnant with Haley and the Helipad landing was directly above my room. I would hear that thing at all hours and near pee my pants. Perhaps that is what happened to Kitty, she had the piss scared out of her.

Yesterday was a good and upbeat day at work and I managed to leave in time to rush home and drive Haley to music lessons, pop by work for another 40 minutes, stop and get groceries, make a quick (but late) dinner for the girls, put in laundry and then go for wing night at the local pub with hubby. He wanted to take me out so we could have a chat with me….intriguing! I ordered a corona and listened intently as my husband told me that we had to put my cat to sleep, that she has been terrorizing the mailman and the local children and that on top of refusing mail delivery the mailman had put in a complaint with the city. He looked at me sadly with a sympathetic shrug and hand squeeze. Good try hubby, good try!

I never wanted a cat but Kirk saved her almost ten years ago from certain death and she chose me as her person and it will continue to be that way!

We shared some pub grub and some laughs together. I really wanted to opt for fuzzy jammies and a night on the coach but we really enjoyed each others company. My husband is really good at recognizing when we just need a step away from the ordinary.

Life doesn’t always have to be extraordinary, we just have to grasp onto the moments that make us happy and focus on making time for more of those with the people we love!

Haley just called to tell me her sister called her the asshole of the family. I assured her that there are several assholes in the family but she is not at the top of the list. She asked if she could have ice cream. The kid has her priorities.

Tonight I took Morgan to practice, stopped by the YMCA to sign a paper, picked up the items I went to the grocery store for… spent $164 and came home without, picked up Morgan’s new phone and got a haircut.

My hair had gotten so long and it is incredibly thick. I needed a trim and a “fix-up” because I tried to trim my own bangs. At first I thought they looked pretty spy but as the days went on I kept trying to even it up and I was truly buthering it.

I laid back at the hairdresser while the nice young lady from the Phillipines washed my hair. It felt so great laying back with warm water running on my head. I wanted to stay forever.

It’s 10 pm and I finally got something to eat, put my jammies on and crawled in bed to watch Greys Anatomy re-runs. My house is a disaster but I can’t find the desire to care!

It has been brutally cold. This morning it was -37 with the wind chill eeek. The good news is the days are getting longer. I love the pink sky and the rising sun as I drive to work in the morning and the fiery ball nestled above the trees as I drive home.

Sometimes it’s the little things

What’s up Buttercup?

Haley visited at work last week, I found this when I sat down at my desk the very next morning. It made my day!
Haley visitied at work last week, I found this when I sat down at my desk the very next morning. It made my day!

I am on week two of back to work full-time and so far I am liking it, even more than I thought. I like having a routine but the problem I am having is trying to fit everything in. With the kids having activities 4-5 days a week something has to give and usually it is housework. At 9 p.m. after I have ran around all day it is easier to close the laundry room door then to actually do laundry.

When I decided to go back to work I went through mixed emotions and I even cried my eyes out at one point. I think the thing that bothers me the most is thinking of the summer and not being able to drop everything and go to the mountains whenever the mood strikes us. There were times Kirk and I would decide to go to the Mountains at 3 am, go to bed till 7 am, wake the kids, tell them the news, pack a couple of bags and drive. I love those crazy, random, spur of the moment trips.

I do however like feeling useful and feeling like all the hours in my day are accounted for. I would like to have just a couple of extra ones that are not accounted for though, a couple of freebies. I also miss aquafit, coffee dates and p.j days.

Today my 9-year-old daughter called me at work crying to tell me that her older sister had eaten all the drumsticks and she didn’t get to have one. I was in the middle of entering schedules into the computer and though it wasn’t time sensitive in my head I had started it and didn’t want to leave it unfinished. I had five minutes to get everything I wanted done so I could chat with my evening staff, pack up and pick up my daughters friend and both my girls and get them to practice on time. This ice cream crisis did not constitute an emergency in my mind and it was a good opportunity to discuss when we call mommy at work and when we don’t. Truth be known if they are just calling to say I love you they can call anytime.

I rushed to practice, I brought the youngest home after hers and left the oldest to her two hour practice while I quickly cleaned the kitchen and folded laundry. I found myself staring into space after I inhaled a chicken sandwich and coleslaw and thought it was a good opportunity for an update. I HAD FIVE WHOLE MINUTES TO MYSELF!!

Yay me.

It’s -22 and I am bundling up to go back into the cold and get my oldest daughter from her roller derby practice. The fun it never ends.

Have a good night xx
Michelle