Flower in the sun-Wise Project 2018 – #TenaciousTuesday

Good Morning,

Today is a bit of a cheat day, we are fresh off a long weekend here in Canada and I spent yesterday being incredibly unproductive and eating everything I could get my hands on. My girls and I were having a hilarious conversation about crushes and asking for what you want and my oldest daughter said I was a Badass because I wasn’t afraid to ask for what I wanted and my youngest remarked that I had so much confidence that no didn’t bother me, I just bounced right back. Sometimes I wonder about the line between Badass and just plain ass but I am excited that my perceived badassery might inspire them to go after what they want in life and not just in love and relationships but in every aspect of their lives. No is not always a rejection, sometimes it is merely a redirection and in any case no does not have to reflect poorly on anyone; the person on the giving or receiving end. That being said I was writing a bit of fiction, fiction is actually one of my great loves, I love creating characters and scenarios. The one I have created below is very light reading but it is cute and fun and if it inspires one person today to find their version of brave and put themselves out there, without fear of the word no but in awesome anticipation of what grows on the other side of our fear than it will be a great Tuesday.

Thanks for visiting and go get what you want today!



Ed’s Diner, Photo Credit Telegraph U.K.

She was cute and fresh looking with just the hint of freckles across the bridge of her nose and scattered randomly on her face as if a happy accident with a brush and paint had lightly splattered them there. Her dark wavy hair was so shiny he could almost imagine how it would feel between his fingers. She had it pulled it back in a ponytail that moved from side to side as she talked and laughed. Her knee length floral dress hugged her in all the right places, showing off her small waist and fuller bust and then flaring into a flirty swing skirt. She could have effortlessly played the part of the girl next door in a 1950’s chewing gum commercial.

She smiled easily at everyone she encountered, her gentleness drawing exuberant smiles from even the most unlikely of candidates. Watching her from a distance he felt like a bit of a voyeur, peeking into her world uninvited.

He sipped his coffee, accepting a refill as the waitress walked by and loading it with full cream and sugar. It was still early, and the sun was just beginning to peak above the horizon, sending filtered light bursting through the restaurant windows. A rush of cool late summer air announced the opening of the door every few seconds and as he glanced in that direction he noticed that the sky looked like a tequila sunrise, a glorious golden peach color drizzled with hot pink throughout.

“Pretty sky this morning,” the waitress remarked following his gaze as she arrived to set down his scrambled eggs and brown toast and refill his coffee once again.

“It is, and thank you” he replied, nodding in the direction of the eggs and smiling.

He devoured the eggs and toast, pushing the plate aside to finish the last couple of mouthfuls of slightly burnt tasting diner coffee from a dingy off-white mug. He checked his phone messages again and took a sly selfie to make sure there was no food in his teeth or beard. He proceeded to nervously fumble with a small tear in the cherry red vinyl seat while avoiding going to the counter and fumbling over his words like many a time before.

Her name was Lily. She had once told him that she was named after her mother’s favorite flower and then looked at him expectantly to tell her his name. He ruined the moment of course and left feeling like a huge jerk but the next time he was in he blurted out “Trey” while she had her head down. She was thrown off guard for a moment, but he continued to speak what he had rehearsed, without daring to take a breath, “I was named after a childhood friend of my parents from D.C. who went on to be a novelist and playwright”

He sucked in a quick breath and looked up. Her eyes, as welcoming as the green fields of Ireland, seemed to be smiling at him as she held her hand out, “It is nice to finally meet you Trey.”

He came in every Tuesday since that day, waking up at an ungodly hour to beat the rush of the city traffic. He sat at the same booth and ordered the exact same breakfast and made the same incredibly awkward small talk with Lily while paying his bill that she rang in on the same outdated cash register.

He always made sure his suit was neatly pressed, his tie was on straight, and he had on enough cologne that he smelled manly but not like someone’s creepy uncle. He was well groomed; he had even started using beard oil and getting his hair trimmed more frequently. He was very aware that his dark skin was quite a contrast to her cream like complexion but he didn’t anticipate that being an issue, as it had been in the past.

As his legs somewhat unwillingly walked him to the counter each week he imagined every time that this would be the day that he asked Lily out and today was no exception.

“Good morning Trey, it looks like it is going to be a beautiful Tuesday!” she remarked, turning the corners of her bright red lips into a dazzling smile and looking straight into his warm chocolate colored eyes.

“Beautiful. Indeed,” he muttered, feeling like his throat was suddenly getting scratchy, and then quickly over analyzing everything he had intended on saying so opting to say nothing at all. He was certain that his brown skin was now a fiery shade of red as he stumbled to form a sentence while using the debit machine. Lily waved goodbye, still smiling at him with her wondrous eyes but looking a bit disappointed he thought.

As he got into his shiny silver Mazda a flood of frustration threatened to drown him. It was August 26 and he had wanted to ask Lily out for the past 35 Tuesdays. Today was supposed to be the day. He was going to celebrate his birthday knowing that he had a date with the girl whose smile had rocked him to sleep every night for the past several months. He completely blew it. He was a 34-year-old man with less courage than a twelve-year-old boy. It shouldn’t be this hard. There were three possible answers she could give him, yes, no or maybe. He had asked out girls before but had never considered dating anyone seriously since Jenna ripped his heart out and stomped all over it. Something about Lily made him believe that being with her could out weigh the risk of heartache. He longed to feel again, and he imagined feeling all sorts of things with Lily. Unfortunately, every time he got close he found himself in the grip of uncertainty and fear.

He realized he had been sitting in his car in the busy parking lot for fifteen minutes and was going to be late for a meeting. He scrambled to text a colleague when it occurred to him that he didn’t have his phone, he had left it on the counter while he paid his bill.

He walked into the diner and was greeted by Lily’s genuine smile and outstretched hand.

“I thought you would be looking for this she said,” placing his iPhone in his hand.”

“Thank-you Lily. You saved me. Have a wonderful day.” he said, turning to leave.

“Wait Trey,” she shouted as he opened the door. She came out from behind the counter and met him where he stood, “I put my number in your phone, and it’s under Lily, same as your pass code. Just in case you ever want to text me.” She smiled again and very softly touched his hand before turning on her heel but turning her head back just slightly, “Oh, and Happy Birthday.”

He was still smiling as he got in the car, even though Lily had out classed him by far. He texted his colleague first and then texted Lily thanking her again for returning his phone and asking her if she had any interest in going for birthday drinks with an adorable but hopelessly immature guy.”

She simply replied “Yes.” And then a moment later “Finally”

Hopeless minds and

hopeless hearts

are haunted places


no one loves to stay.

~Kwawaja Musadiq

Chasing the sun-W.I.S.E. Project 2017

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Is confidence important to you?

Nineteenth century philosopher and psychologist William James once said “Most people live in a restricted circle of potential”

This remains true today though some would prefer to believe that intelligence, opportunity and resources play the largest role in determining ones impending possibilities, rather than an evident lack of belief in ourselves.

Though popular opinion might lead us to believe that confidence was handed out to a select few at birth it is simply not true. Confidence is not something that is reserved for the wealthy or for those with luck, quite the contrary; it is simply the result of our thoughts and actions.

Too often my children have heard me quoting Henry Ford by saying “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right either way. “

If we truly believe we can’t we will not bother to try, our thoughts become the director of our actions and these actions become the sculptors of our lives.

Confidence is not something we either have or we don’t have. That is not the end of the story. Psychologists describe confidence as volitional in nature; therefore it is a cognitive process by which we as individuals can commit to a particular course of action. Purpose striving is one of the primary human psychological functions.

Without getting too deeply rooted into the science of it, like so many things we can make a conscious choice to build self confidence, we can practice it and over time it will become a habit. This is really good news for all of us! It means that confidence is a choice, with effort and the courage to take risks we can grow our self confidence and continue to build on it.

As humans we need to be mindful of the extent that we rely on outside affirmations for our confidence as we get a quick boost when our efforts are praised but we are hit quite hard when despite our best efforts we fall short of reaching a goal. We need to put more value on taking risks and putting the work in and if we do not achieve the end results we had hoped for we need to be proud of what we did achieve and use that foundation to continue to develop our ideas and work towards our ambitions. Every journey begins with that first step and every step in that journey counts.

Our self confidence is directly related to our self worth, we need to believe that we are enough, that our efforts are enough and when things don’t go the way we had hoped we need to be our own best friend. We need to immediately silence our inner self critic and instead give ourselves the same support that we would give to a friend in the same situation. Most likely we would tell them things like, ‘you did your best, don’t give up, keep working on it, learn from this…”

Focus on what you really like to do. When we have an active interest in something we are able to face the work with optimism and enthusiasm and therefore get better results. However, it is essential that we step out of our comfort zone as much as possible. There is minimal risk of failure in our comfort zone and that alone makes it attractive but there is also very little opportunity for growth. Taking small risks and lifting up the security blanket that we have draped over ourselves can lead to bigger successes and in turn a greater boost in confidence.

Often we focus on the possibility of a negative outcome instead of focusing on what great things could happen. We automatically set ourselves up for failure. If we train ourselves to focus on the positive things we can achieve we will be inspired to put in a greater effort.

Comparison is indeed the thief of joy, if we continually compare our lives to the lives of others we will come up short and feel bad about ourselves. It is okay to look to our role models though. Perhaps we like the way that they speak or handle tough questions, we admire their tenacity and their willingness to embrace new opportunities. If imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery then it is more than okay to emulate these qualities that we admire in others. If we take baby steps and we are able to successfully reproduce these merits of tenacity, courage and persistence we will not become the people we admire; but by radiating some of the qualities we hold in high esteem we will harness an energetic and dynamic new boldness that will leave us feeling poised and self assured.

Confidence, like all of the emotions, leads to the production of more confidence. The very word itself “confidence” is hard to put into mere words, but we recognize it anywhere, in ourselves and in others. When we feel confident we will say yes to new opportunities and take on bold new challenges and without it we will keep giving into that nagging little voice of self-doubt that tells us we can’t.

Oh baby, you can and you will! If you want something bad enough and you are willing to put in the hard work, you can work towards it, one important step at a time! You can chase the sun, you can dance in the rain!

If You think you can you’re right, If you think you can’t you’re right too!!

image courtesy of http://www.oprah.com

I used to work with a woman who used every single thing that happened in her life, directly related to her or not as an excuse to be miserable. She had been divorced for several years, so she used being single as a reason for her extreme unhappiness. She was a single mom to a daughter and she held onto her so tight that she sucked the life out of that relationship. Her daughter decided to start a new life in another Canadian city with her boyfriend and her Mother threw an absolute fit, even going as far as trying to guilt her daughter into staying. I silently cheered for the daughter as she told her Mom that it was her life and she was ready to spread her wings. Her mother called her several times a day and complained to her about her pathetic existence. It was sad really. One day I gently told her that she should take this as an opportunity to make changes to make herself happy. Get a hobby, meet people, better herself. She had a reason (very valid to herself) as to why all of those things were impossible. I find that a lot of people who are unhappy make excuses so they can stay that way. I have been guilty in the past of doing it myself.

My friend (you know who you are) told me a story tonight about how she felt bad because everyone in her peer group was getting married and because she was still single it made her feel very down on herself. We have had similar discussions in the past and I have given her some advice, not all ill received but there is always a “But”

I am not single so who am I to say but I am without my spouse a great deal of the time. My husband’s job keeps him away for weeks at a time so I know what it is like to not be a part of a couple all of the time. Our children keep me extremely busy and I dedicate a fair bit of time to ensuring they will be well-rounded, confident individuals. I also try to teach them a lot about independence because I believe very strongly that another person cannot make you happy. Happiness is an inside job. If you are not happy (and it’s not due to medical reasons) then you are the only one who can change it. There are a great deal of people who bring joy to my life, my husband and children included (most days) but none of them are responsible for my happiness. There was a time that I relied heavily on my husband for my happiness and believed that I was responsible for his. A relationship should definitely enhance you, make you better in ways but you do not become half of a person when you become half of a couple so therefore you are not half of a person when you are single. Nobody can make you feel small or insignificant without your permission.

I have a very wise friend whose favorite saying was “You are the architect of your own life, if you are not happy it is time to draw up new plans!” She did so in a very big way. She left a marriage that even though she would probably always hold a little love in her heart for him it wasn’t a relationship that brought her joy. She became a single Mom and a very important role model for her impressionable daughter. She went to school, worked long hours and sacrificed. She had a goal and she knew excuses were not going to pave a golden bridge for her. A job that she once loved took its toll on her. Though it was advantageous to her employer to have her take on the workload of three people for the price of one it was a situation that was not great for her physical or mental health but as a Mom it was easier for her to stay then rock the boat. It was EASIER but she didn’t stay, she researched and she sought out opportunities and now she wakes up everyday to oceans and palm trees and a job that has personal and professional rewards. She broke down barriers, fought stereotypes and became the exception not the rule. She is furthering her education and broadening her horizons. She is still single and it certainly doesn’t make her less of a person, she realizes that her happiness and her life are her own and that is a great thing! She just sent her baby girl off to University, in another country. She had the same initial meltdown and late night tears as I am sure every mother experiences when their nest is emptied but she also got to experience a great deal of pride because she raised a wonderfully bright young woman who loves and respects her mother and because of that she is unafraid to face the world and have her own experiences and seek her own happiness. She has raised a daughter that will not measure her self-worth by physical beauty or whether she is in a relationship or not. She will struggle and make mistakes but they won’t define her, they will present opportunities for her to learn from.

So when I hear someone who is single with no children tell me all the reasons they can’t I want shake them. You can. You are your biggest obstacle!!

There are non-single, parents every where that would LOVE to have your problems. You have the freedom to think of yourself, put your own needs first, have hobbies, explore interesting things! Opportunities don’t always fall out of the sky, sometimes we need to make them. Anything that requires effort has the potential for a great reward!

I think we need to stop short-changing ourselves, we need to believe that we are worthy of everything life has to offer. See the beauty in every day, see the bright side of things and take a couple of big steps outside of our comfort zone (often) and realize that life happens outside of the walls we have built around ourselves. See opportunities, see potential. Say yes more. Stomp on negativity and eliminate negative influences. Choose happiness. Seek reasons to feel good about yourself.

You do not need anyone to save you, but maybe you will find someone to laugh and share with while you are saving yourself!


“Your life is the fruit of your own doing, you have nobody to blame but yourself!” Joseph Carter”

P.S. No excuses Edmonton singles (cough cough)



For my Aunt Sylvia. A woman of great strength and grace, and to all the strong women in the world who are not afraid to shine, stand out and speak up!


A little over five years ago we moved our family across Canada making Edmonton our new home. My husband was already working an advancing job in the Oil Sands and he saw and seized an opportunity that wasn’t available to him in our small town in Nova Scotia. I was overcome with fear. Despite our struggles, financial and otherwise, there was a comfort in raising our girls in our country home just minutes away from the support of our family and friends. The thought of moving to a big city again, as a mom and a wife, not a young and carefree youth, crippled me with certain fear. The inevitable happened, people started telling me how much I would hate it and how I would be back in less than six months. The thought of slinking home after selling my home and moving my family 5000 miles away was even more unnerving then the alternative; trying to make it work.

As a young woman living in the city I saw beauty in the diversity of people and places. University students, rappers, professionals of every age and race, sharing space in a perfectly imperfect way.  I loved the city, it offered me a place to be myself and the opportunity to embrace a way of life that was new and exciting for me. I remember living in London, Ontario and walking to the all night diner at 3 am for scrambled eggs. The diner wasn’t fancy and it didn’t have a clever name. The neon sign simply said diner, open 24 hours. There were only a few two seater tables and a large communal bar-like round counter with stools where you could grab a seat, order from a menu on the wall and watch the cranky, elderly gentlemen behind the counter quickly prepare your palettes desire. He was like the ‘soup Nazi’ from the popular Seinfeld episode. If you spoke out of turn or made a snide remark there was ‘no food for you’ and there was no changing his mind. He fascinated me, this old man with the hard shell exterior and a work ethic not matched by his youthful counterparts. The food there was amazing and I was careful to eat quietly and not interact too much with the other late night clientele, lest they didn’t know the rules I didn’t want their ignorance to reflect on me. There was a quiet respect between the old man and myself and I know I had gained his trust. On more than one occasion I caught him observing me with a hint of a smile.

As a parent moving her children to the city I didn’t feel the same kind of enthusiasm. We enjoyed lazy days at the beach and Sunday family suppers at home in Nova Scotia. I liked that there wasn’t a lot of traffic on our quiet country road and the sounds of the night were reserved for crickets and coyotes. I think what I feared the most was the unknown. Take away my home, my friends, and my extended family….who would I be? Would I belong? Haley was young enough to just want to go wherever we were going, she could appreciate the excitement of the journey. Morgan however was old enough to mourn all she was leaving behind and too young to realize that if you keep a relationship alive in your heart that distance doesn’t matter.

Quite quickly I realized that my attitude about the move would prove essential in a smooth transition for the girls. I ignored the people who told me how much I would hate it and grasped unto the enthusiastic well wishes from people I was close to. I would always have a hometown, a place where I was born and raised, and a place that would always have my heart. Embracing a diverse and dynamic city like Edmonton, immersing my family in its vibrant culture would not diminish my ties to my home.

That first summer we visited the grand Rocky Mountains. Their soaring snowcapped peaks reaching for the sunshine as their feet refreshed into iridescent glacier water.  The mountain air that filled our lungs breathed a new life into our souls and motivated us for the journey ahead. The remainder of summer was full of sporting events, backyard barbeques and concerts. The kids loved the city, they loved city transit. They loved being a part of a grand scheme.

Summer faded into fall, Morgan started her new school while I stayed home with Haley. Morgan struggled with a place to belong in school and though she made new friendships quickly she suffered their ups and downs. She always enjoyed and excelled at sports but fought with the idea of being her best. She found that shining at sports didn’t always sit well with her female friends and I strained trying to explain to her the beauty in being the very best you can be. Somebody who is not afraid to shine will always be the brightest light in the room.

At ten Morgan was maturing into a sweet girl but her body and her emotions were at war with one another and I wrestled with trying to parent her through it. We had always been the best of friends and she felt she needed a friend, not a parent. I began to foresee a future of reasoning right and wrong with a pre-teen who knows everything.

One lazy Sunday we three girls were curled up watching Whip It. Whip It is a fun, inspirational sports film with a female dominated cast. It is full of charm, and good natured wit. The allure of the movie, based on Bliss, a former beauty pageant contestant turned Roller Derby player is that it isn’t sappy but it portrays women as strong, sassy, funny and real.  The film explores the game of modern roller derby, albeit in an over the top way and studies female relationships in an entertaining way. In a tough as nails, action packed roller derby scene my ten year old daughter said “I wanna do that!”

“Really?” I replied, “Roller Derby?”

“Yes, definitely”, she replied.

She was a girl in love.

The next day I was driving the girls to school and we got a sign, in the form of an actual sign. There was a sign on the side of the road that said “Junior Roller Derby, ages 12-17, wanna try?”

Morgan excitably pointed out the sign and begged me to call. The age said 12 and she was only ten but I guess I could make a phone call.

Turns out it was a very important phone call. The lady said that they had been considering taking younger girls and to bring her to practice Sunday. I decided to take her Roller Skating at the old Sportsworld that Friday to see if she liked it. She was off like a shot with a smile on her face. I tried too, I hadn’t been on quad skates since I was a kid and my legs were super shaky. It was also hard to keep my balance with Haley hanging off me. Haley was six at the time and hated roller-skating. She ripped the skates off her feet so fast you would have thought they were on fire. Morgan however had found her new love.

From that first Sunday till now has been quite a voyage.  A little league that was once the appendage of an adult league became its own society run by parents and volunteers with the common goal of empowering youth, allowing them to embrace their individualism in a fun, safe and respectful environment while learning the sport of flat track roller derby. As a founding member and board member I have been humbled and moved by the determination of these young skaters and the strong women who give their time to teach them a sport that they are passionate about.

As a parent I have always strived to teach my girls to be strong and independent and never be afraid to be the very best they can be. Traditionally females are taught to be feminine, quiet and sweet. Roller Derby is a non-traditional sport and it teaches girls lessons that are very valuable in today’s society. It teaches them to be strong and competent and competitive. A competitive sport such as roller derby teaches girls to embrace the skills they learn to be stronger individuals with healthy self-esteem and body images.

Often in society men are rewarded for strength, competence and aggressive behavior while for women it is frowned upon. Strong women are frequently viewed as a threat in today’s society and instead of learning to be fearless and independent they are learning that being feminine is measured in their ability to attract members of the opposite sex, not rocking the boat, allowing the men to do the heavy lifting, in sitting pretty so to speak. As a parent I prefer that my girls make their own definition of the word feminine. One that exceeds physical beauty and embraces independence, personality, uniqueness, strength and capability.

The sport of Roller Derby is played by strong and enduring women all over the world. Those that coach the sport are resilient and passionate. They are their own heroes, and heroes to the girls that they instill the same robust qualities.

Haley is a Derby girl now and she is navigating her way, finding a place in a sport that envelopes everyone.

I am proud of Morgan Mayhem and Haleylujah. They are flawlessly imperfect and definitely not textbook young ladies but I believe that they are amongst a movement of young women that will shove through the walls that society has built up, unravel and redefine the roles of men and women. They will know when to be strong, when to speak up and when to stand their ground. They will never be afraid to be “as good” as their male counterparts and in fact will struggle to be better.

They will never be intimidated by the term ‘male dominated’, they will believe that means ‘female friendly’

The definition of ‘feminine’ is in need of a serious revamp. Females in sport are changing what it looks like every day. From where I stand it looks like, determination, skill, endurance, passion and strength.

Morgan with Terminal City All Stars Luludemon and EightMean Wheeler after she guested with STAHR Roller Derby (adults) Beezlebubs at age 13
Morgan Mayhem, Haleylujah, Nancy Kenny and Marilyn Monroll at The Fringe Festival Parade promoting Roller Derby saved my soul.
Morgan Mayhem
Morgan Mayhem, Belle Camino (Tar Sand Betties) and Haleylujah at Calgary’s Flat Track Fever

There is some place where your specialties can shine. Somewhere that difference can be expressed. It’s up to you to find it, and you can. David Viscott

Learn more about Junior Roller Derby

Where to get Roller Derby Gear

Greater Edmonton Junior Roller Derby

Roller Derby

Monkey On My Back

Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation


“Be yourself,  everyone else is already taken” -Oscar Wilde

If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?Photographers, artists, poets: show us SINGULAR.

Writing forces me to put my messy brain in order, slow down and somewhat organize the thousands of thoughts playing pingpong in my head at any given time. The greatest change in me since starting my blog Dancing in the Rain is the confidence to be myself. When I began writing the series Thousand Acre Heart where I candidly talk about teen pregnancy,  adoption,  grief, marriage and motherhood I found a forum that I feel very confident in simply being me. It was sort of a “coming out” in a public way and saying “this is me, all of me, take it leave it. I am choosing to be happy”

Some of my confidence came with age and wisdom, some of it came with being reunited with my son and filling a very big void in me but a huge chunk of it came from acceptance.  Accepting myself, my choices and all the crazy little things about me. I don’t want to be anyone else but in accepting myself it makes me want to be me…only better. A better listener,  a better mom, wife and friend.

Blogging helps me refect as well as organize those thoughts and goals so it has been a big and positive life change for me.