Five Year Engagement -Thank You

Disclaimer-I wanted to apologize if my repeated use of the word fuck in my blog post the other day offended anyone. I am not apologizing for using the versatile, emotion conveying term, I am actually just sorry for you if you are offended. I think we spend way too much time being offended and though I try to keep things very upbeat and positive here (that is the whole purpose), the truth is life really sucks sometimes and that deserves to be acknowledged as well! Sometimes you are handed a bag of shit and expected to make shit pie. We do the best we can at any given moment.

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The Marshall Islands are a sprawling chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls in the central Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and the Philippines. Someone there has read my blog!

Happy five year anniversary to me

Today is the fifth year anniversary of my first blog post. Thanks to everyone who ever popped by, even if you found yourself here by accident. This is a pretty big deal to me!!! Five years. Besides marriage and motherhood; which I hide from both occasionally,  I am not really good with long engagements. I have worked at my job for over five years but I did take a two year break in between so I am not sure if that counts. I did have a diet that lasted for five years but I only did it in one day increments. It led to a lot of other issues such as headache, lethargy and bitchiness.

Blogging has been fun and I have appreciated all of the conversations that I have had with people, and the friendships that I have formed. Writing authentically requires a great deal of vulnerability; allowing people into your life and your heart can sometimes be difficuly but my experiences over the last five years have been exceptionally positive. From the bottom of my heart I thank you!

My blog has been viewed in 108 countries

I decided to go through my google analytics today and it was pretty interesting. I found out that my blog has been viewed in 108 countries. That is an interesting statistic. I have 739 friends on Facebook, many of whom have never viewed my blog at all. That means that strangers in 55% of the countries in the entire world give a shit about what is going on with me more than the people who actually know me. This is not a dig at those friends at all, I know that lives are busy and some of you cannot read and I know that you wouldn’t even have the time to follow my blog even if I won a billion dollars or wrote a bestselling novel. So seriously, there is no offense taken whatsoever. People in the Marshall Islands and Kyrgyzstan are very interested in what I am doing and that is enough for me.

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Kyrgyzstan is a rugged Central Asian country along the Silk Road, the ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean. The Tian Shan mountains, which surround the old caravan route and dominate the country, are home to snow leopards, lynx and sheep. Someone is Kyrgyzstan has read my blog.

Thousand Acre Heart Part 8 is my top viewed post

Of those 108 Countries who have read my blog; my most read blog post in 5 years was Thousand Acre Heart Part 8. Thousand Acre Heart is my account of being a pregnant sixteen year old girl in a small town who gave her baby boy up for adoption and years later searched for him. I had to peel back some layers of skin on old wounds to write about it but it was gave me a certain amount of freedom from the past. If you have not read it but you are curious (it has a happy ending) , it is on the menu bar at the top of the page, start at part one.

Strangers care about what I am doing at least as much as the people I know

Facebook and search engines were equal referrers in the past several years, so that means that strangers care about what I am doing at least as much as the people I know; if not more. Twitter was a big referrer over the years but was right in line with Storied mind, which is a support blog based out of the U.K. for spouses whose partners suffer depression. I found the blog at a time that I was in desperate need of support and because of that blog I started sharing my own stories and struggles surrounding my battles with my partners depression. I am humbled by the kindness people have shown me and the stories that have emerged from others who have a genuine desire to help me find my way when darkness falls. I sincerely hope that those that visited my blog from Storied Mind have found a bit of comfort in the knowing that they are not alone.

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Kazakhstan, a Central Asian country and former Soviet republic, extends from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Altai Mountains at its eastern border with China and Russia. Someone in  Kazakhstan has read my blog!

The top six countries that view my blog

The top six countries that view my blog are Canada, U.S., United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia and Germany, this is not really a surprise but those following closely behind like United Arab Emrites, India and South Africa are very intriguing to me as well.

There are a handful of countries that have only visited once, smaller less important countries of course. I assume that their google search led them astray and that is funny in its own right because some of the search terms they were interested in, that led them to my blog, are very facinating. In no particular order I have compiled some of my favorite search terms that lead readers to my blog, they are copied directly so I am not responsible for grammatical errors (I don’t even take responsibility for my own).

Search term favorites:

can i have a margarita while on vitamin d (ummm Cheryl Paris was this you?)

does bon jovi have eyebrows

turning 40 life ideas (not birthday but life lol)

“baby first” “marriage later”

الفيس بريسلي و بريسيلا (I translated this it means Elvis and Pricilla Presely)

was honey boo boo mom on jerry springer

what is the writing address for honey boo boo

“in his car” “had to pee”

stinky heidi shit gusts (poor Heidi)

diane lane nipple (go big or go home…just the nipple?)

card games if you lose you get a wedgie

masturbation snowsuit- (I am going to google this one myself)

is there a song about a whiny bitch

bit me nose of to spite me face (Say with a Newfie accent )

why you act like your shit don’t stink meme

so dance fucker dance

really dirty truth or dare questions (this sounds like something I would google but it was likely my Aunt Terri)

ed kowalczyk wife (please copy, paste and google this on google images)

Thanks so much for your visits, I write for myself but also for you and stats are fun!!

Have a great Wednesday!

Red Red Wine-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

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This morning I found my crumpled up paper that I had handwritten the entire years W.I.S.E. principles on back in December and discovered that June’s principles are WOW, Incredible, Stimulate and Enthusiasm. I had my first WOW moment around 3 am when I got up to use the washroom and noticed through groggy, half open eyes that my underwear were covered in red wine stains. I was initially confused and then I had a moment where I whispered to myself “WOW bitch, time to get your shit together!”

I am pretty sure that when I set out in December that was not the type of WOW moments I had intended to have upon entering the sixth month of this journey.

In all seriousness though, before my family thinks that I have turned into Chelsey Handler with a blog, I had a rough couple of “lady-time’ days and I had given myself a time out in the rec room with fuzzy blankets, Crave TV and wine. I discovered on my couch-side table that I had three bottles of wine with a glass to a glass and a half each in them because apparently I can never finish what I started. I thought it would be best to drink them before they evaporated and at some point I forgot that I didn’t have three hands and spilled wine all over me while adjusting my blankets. The couch is leather and my pants were black so I grabbed some Kleenex and put minimal effort into the clean-up, poured another glass and put it out of my mind entirely until the witching hour when I discovered that I looked like I just left a college frat party instead of the comfort of my bed.

All things considered it gave me a “WOW’ moment early in the month, an incredible laugh, it stimulated my imagination and I was wanted to enthusiastically recall the story for all of you. So I have used all of my June W.I.S.E. principles in one day so yay for me. I am going to celebrate with ice cream and call it a month!

I am happy to report that I am feeling much better today. I actually put on real clothes and lipstick for work which admittedly was not the case for the first two days of the week. That is in the past though, lets leave it there.

May’s W.I.S.E. principles (warmth, intimacy, serenity and enrich) have changed my life. I discovered so much about myself and relationships,took time to myself to recharge and refuel and discover the power of vulnerability. I have enriched my life immensely with the books and talks by the fabulous Brene Brown. I am currently reading Daring Greatly and taking her CourageWorks e-course on the anatomy of trust. I know I mentioned this in a previous post but I am clearly telling you again for your own good. Give her a listen, her Ted talk on Vulnerability was life changing for me and I am not even being a little bit dramatic, it really has profoundly changed me and the way I see myself.

I am loving the W.I.S.E Projects Facebook page. If you haven’t followed please check it out. It is just a place to share inspiring messages and you can interact with me there.

Visit me on Facebook

Let’s be wowed this month, whether it be by kindness or the beauty of nature or by knowledge, lets embrace the moments that make us say “WOW’, let’s seek the “incredible” and find it in everyday things, laughter, stories, art and music. Lets stimulate our minds and our bodies with good news, great messages, learning, good food and activity, and let’s face each new day with spirited enthusiasm, living, loving and learning moment to moment, day by day! This is a pivotal turning point for the W.I.S.E. Project, when we complete June’s principles we will be at the halfway mark of the 2016 W.I.S.E. Project. I don’t know about you but I feel great!!

I have learned so many great things lately but one thing that I wanted to share that I was once told is that you will be what you think of most of the time. when I started this project I just wanted to be happy…and I am.

Think about happiness, seek it, create it, enjoy it!

Be W.I.S.E. friends.

 

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

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“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

Clean Living

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Daily Prompt: From the Collection of the Artist

Posted by michelle w.It’s the year 2113. A major museum is running an exhibition on life and culture as it was in 2013. You’re asked to write an introduction for the show’s brochure. What will it say?Photographers, artists, poets: show us RETROSPCTIVE.

Ladies and gentlemen we are pleased today to offer you a rare glimpse into the past. We are taking you back to 2013. Bear in mind how different our communities were prior to the war of 2080 which resulted in the clean living act.

Our exhibits include cars and trucks with actual gas and diesal powered engines. We also have a motorbike which is a large bike powered by gas as well.

You  will be awed to see battery powered devices such as Ipod music makers and Smart Phones. All devices are in working order and we will be providing a short demo.

The exhibit showcases a replica of an actual fast food restaurant including it’s 2013 menus.  You may be shocked to to see how people ate prior to the clean living act.

There are many other showcases that will capture you and take you back. Please enjoy and be thankful for our advances.

We are pleased to continue to offer free bike parking. The exhibit costs ten hours of your time donated either to a community garden or bike shop, one hour will be deducted for those using their own bike locks today. Roller skates are allowed on all pedways, please be mindful of those traveling on foot.

Welcome to 2013 and enjoy.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/daily-prompt-retrospective/

Morning Fresh-Weekly Photo Challenge-FRESH

Fresh. The definition for fresh has a bit of a fork in it – it’s a state (new, recent, previously unknown) and it’s a taste or sensation (cool, sweet, invigorating, refreshing). Fresh is definitely this cantaloupe (“melone”) granita I enjoyed recently here in Italy. It cooled me down immensely (and it didn’t hurt that it was delicious, too!) I’m going to let the Daily Post community divide however you want with this – which definition will you go with? Show us what you got! In a new post specifically for this challenge, share a photo which means FRESH to you!

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Every morning I like to check for new blooms. This beauty greeted me this morning.  Fresh and new! Yellow is my favorite color, it symbolizes everything brilliant, vibrant and essential to me.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/weekly-photo-challenge-fresh/

Golden Hour-Weekly Photo Challenge

IN A NEW POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PICTURE TAKEN DURING THE GOLDEN HOUR.

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This picture was taken on our recent trip to the West Kootenays,  in a little place called Faulkier, British Columbia.  This is the lakefront at a 100 acre orchard nestled in the woods along the Arrow Lakes. I caught a picture just as the last bit of daylight was retreating into the summer evening sky.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/the-golden-hour/#more-31440

Monkey On My Back

Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation

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“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.

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/daily-prompt-singular/

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