Category Archives: Life

Expecting Something Different

I know that we’re supposed to forgive and forget, and for the most part I’m able to do that. Well, not so much the forget part, but I am pretty good at forgiving. You hurt me and/or my family, and sincerely ask for forgiveness and you will get it. What you won’t necessarily receive is trust and “forgetfulness”.

Problem is, so many times we expect people to react differently than how they always have. We assume that they are going to see our despair or disappointment and not do that again. But then it happens, again, and we just stand there and take it.

Who’s fault is that? Theirs or ours?

At what point should we stop accepting the same old, same old and demand better? When should we stand up and say, I love you but you can be a real jerk. What day do we look at ourselves in the mirror and decide that enough is enough and just walk away?

So often in life, we begin relationships with people and we fall so deeply in love, or like and life that we spend a lot of time turning the other cheek. We decide that there are so many awesome things about them that we can just accept these little quirks or differences. And usually, that’s okay.

Slurping soup, leaving laundry all over the floor, stealing your shoes, listening to crappy music or loving really dumb movies. Those things are okay … annoying as all get out, but okay. But when their fun is at your expense, or when their needs and desires are ALWAYS put ahead of yours, something is wrong.

Relationships won’t always be equal, but more often than not, they should be. There should be more joy than sorrow, more peace than strife and more team than leader and follower. You shouldn’t have to sit there waiting, and hoping and expecting people to become something different from how they’ve always been. It is possible, but it shouldn’t occur at the expense of you.

I want to say that’s it and that even though this relationship means so much to me, I need to matter too. I want to turn around and run away.

But I can’t.

I don’t want to give up on people. I want to continue to expect more. So instead of walking away, I’m choosing to hang on for hope and change and something better. But from now on, I’m done accepting treatment that is less than anything I deserve.

I will expect, but I will not accept.

Now where are you in this equation? What relationships in your world need to have a playing field levelled out? Fix them. We need each other.

 

Be encouraged Fatty. Bah.

I was just tagged in another one of those, supposed to be inspirational and kind posts written by a skinny person, giving me permission to be okay with being fat.

It’s not too different from the post written by the person working out in the gym that says, I see you and all your fatness working out, and you’re so awesome. Keep it up.

Which is quite similar to the posts telling me not to let my weight get me down, and that I’ve got such a pretty face that my size doesn’t really matter. (I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been told this one).

Sigh. I hate those posts. I hate those comments. And this is why.

They’re stupid and they shouldn’t need to even be written.

People’s sizes and/or appearance shouldn’t be the fodder for your next “make yourself feel better” post.

Sure, I suppose the thought behind them is to be one of encouragement and acceptance, but that’s not what they’re saying at all. They’re saying … I see you as a fat person, first and foremost. The FIRST thing you saw when you looked at your subject matter was that they were Fat. And that ONE FACTOR alone inspired you to write a whole commentary about them. That is what makes me mad and sad and annoyed. Fat isn’t all that I am.

Yes, you spotted me in a gym, but I’m pretty sure there are lots of other people there too. Do you make comments about the super skinny girl who can do nothing but ride bikes because she doesn’t have a lot of muscle mass. Do you feel inspired to write about the guy that is “normal” sized but just came to the gym for the first time in his life? Probably not because frankly, their “stories” aren’t as obvious and easy to pick out.

Why can’t you just look around the room and think, Wow, there’s a lot of people here today working on getting healthy and then go about your own workout without waxing poetic?

I don’t go to the hairdresser and comment about the lady with the horribly whacked out hair with more grey roots than blonde flowing locks. I’m not all “I see you with the sad and desperate hair coming to the salon with it all hidden in a ball cap. It’s okay, I understand. I’m happy that you’re stepping up to fix that mess”.

I don’t go for a pedicure and then come home and write a post about the lady with the horrible cracked heels, and hairy toes. “I see you and your slovenly feet, all tired and dirty and forlorn. I know how embarrassed you must’ve been to leave your house this morning to come here. But thank-you for being brave enough to come”.

Yes, those things are stupid, but there’s no difference.

Look at me as a person, not as a shape or a colour, but as a person. If, by some miracle I ever get up and go to the gym, don’t look at me as the fat chick. Look at me as one of your peers that is taking the same steps as you.

Period.

 crime

The Lying Jones’s

Perfect Kids. Perfect House. Perfect Jobs. Perfect Life.

These are the things that we all talk about and think about. They’re the things that we foolishly believe are actually attainable. Every day, we struggle along trying to get ourselves closer to that pretty little picture in our head. But newsflash people, it doesn’t exist or it’s too expensive or lonely or boring or on the other side of the world.

Life is just way too short to worry so much about people who don’t even remotely affect your life. The people who truly matter and want to be in my life, love me exactly as I am. Why isn’t that good enough? Perfect is a whole lotta work, and frankly I’m just altogether too tired, too busy and too old to even care anymore.

No more keeping up with the Jones’s and no more pretending like everything is perfect. It’s time to open the blinds, take off the Spanx and let it all hang out. I’m officially drawing a line in the sand and being absolutely, totally okay with me, my life and all that I have.

SO to encourage you to do the same,  I give you this. My list of Imperfections. Probably one of the most honest & “I should probably be more embarrassed” about this than I am lists that I’ve ever written.

1.  My TV is on for probably 14 hours a day. I’m not always actually watching it, but I am listening. I don’t handle quiet well at all, so TV has become my background noise that is someway, somehow keeping me sane. Or wired. I can’t decide.

2. My kitchen is never clean. Ever. Like seriously, NEVER. And for the love of all things holy, do not open my cupboards cause well, the kitchen is glorious compared to the state they’re in. In fact, I haven’t washed my floors in probably 5 years. Thankfully, I have a housekeeper that comes in weekly because if she didn’t, my bathtub and floors would never get washed.

3. I don’t exercise. At all. In fact, the only time that I actually walk somewhere is if I’m going shopping. And in that case, I can walk miles and miles and miles. This may also be contributing to my fatness.

4. My bedroom is a disaster, a full-on, I should probably be grounded kinda mess. My kids rooms get cleaned all the time, because I threaten them with punishments if they aren’t clean. I’ve got no one threatening to take away my phone so my room has become a pile of small piles spread around the entire space. Well, that’s not exactly true – my husbands section is clean, but I’m going to take over his side at some point, and well … he may move into the living room. But he won’t be any better off there.

5. I drive a Lincoln Navigator. It gets washed 2 times a year, assuming Kevin takes it into the car wash. The bolts on the running boards rusted off so they were held on by bungee cords for almost a year, before I just finally had them removed altogether. I backed out of the garage and ripped my fancy power folding and heated mirror off. I repaired it with black electrical tape and with bi-monthly “repairs”, it survived a full year until my Dad fixed it a few months ago. The interior is also really sticky, and I’m not really sure how or why. I think I’m supposed to care more about the state of my fairly expensive vehicle, but I don’t. Not at all, and this may actually be the thing that kills my husband.

6. I own lots of Coach items. I bought them all on Ebay or at Ross in the States. I REFUSE to pay full retail for anything, not because I can’t afford it but because I can buy MORE things if they cost less. I need All. The. Things.

7. I don’t shower enough. I’m blaming that one on Motherhood and the fact that by the time my kids are all settled enough for me to get there, I’ve found 89 other things to do. Dry Shampoo is the bomb.

8. I owe money on my credit cards. I like shopping and buying stupid things. Enough said.

9. I have a Target problem. Not a little one either … it’s like an addiction that calls my name. It’s magical powers and red tagged – end of the aisles displays are too much for me to resist. I probably should get counselling or have my red card taken away.

10. I have no idea how to: start the lawnmower, change the oil, change a tire, make a fire, etc. AND I have no desire to learn. I have a Father and a Husband and sons and my best friends husband Drew so I really don’t need to know. I also have no issues with pulling the “I’m a girl” card to get what I want.

Reality is, I’m not perfect. At all. But I’m happy. Ridiculously happy, madly in love, blessed beyond measure, totally satisfied, content and full of joy. I am incredibly imperfect & all kinds of happy.

And frankly, I’d rather be happy than one of the Jones’s. They’re Liars anyways.

Perfect

Words.

Last February, I wrote a blog post. I was angry and annoyed by the words of a small group of people who meant absolutely nothing to me. In theory, they should have had zero impact on my life, but they did.

And I think that’s what made me the most upset. Complete strangers had burned me to my core and I was SO not okay with that. I had let them take my power, but writing that letter helped me get it back.

I love that I was able to write it, and for the impact that it made in the lives of many people around me. Turns out my story wasn’t mine alone, but was the same one being lived by more people than I could even imagine. By saying those words aloud, it gave many people the opportunity to stand up and say, “you are right, they are wrong, and we are SO okay”. What a gift.

Now on the flip side. What would’ve happened if I would’ve stood up and said, “those strangers exposed me, and now the world can see my flaws and weaknesses”. What if I would’ve accepted their crap as my reality? What if I would’ve told you all that I am nothing “but a fat pig, that was worthless and that no one would ever love me”.

Would your reaction have been the same or would it have changed the way you looked at me? Instead of being the powerful girl who stood up for herself, I would have been the girl who was pitied or felt sorry for. It would not have been shared 200+ times, it would have been a post soon forgotten and let go.

Funny thing is, It’s the exact same story but it was told from a different viewpoint, with a positive spin.

I chose to see their words in the exact opposite way than they had wanted them to be heard. I chose to take back the power that they had ripped from me. I chose to say, screw you, you are wrong.

I also chose to tell you the story after I had worked through it and corrected it in my head. I chose words in hopes that they would affect change, and they did. Those words were not their story, they were mine.

I said all of that to say this.

Words have power people, do not forget that and do not take it lightly. Our mouths have the ability to uplift or destroy, to burden or set free, to harm or heal, to motivate or demean. We use them to diagnose or more often than not, mis-diagnose. We use them in judgement or as a means to push others down to make ourselves feel better. We change them as often as we change our minds, and twist them or rearrange around them to suit our own purposes or current agenda.

We’ve turned words into weapons and we are killing each other with them.

So please choose your words wisely. They cannot be taken back and will not always be forgotten or forgiven. They can quite easily turn a person into a shell of what they are truly meant to be, just as quickly as they can set someone completely free.

Disagreements and differences in opinion are not reason enough to “attack and destroy”. Open your eyes, open your ears, listen and learn. And sometimes,  just shut your mouth.

Your mind may never be changed or your opinion swayed, and frankly, that’s okay. Different is awesome, and what makes our world just that much more interesting. Why would we let our words destroy that which is so unique and amazing?

You do not always need to be right. You do not always need to win. You do not always know best.

Speak up, speak out, but don’t speak over. We all deserve better than that.

 

HawthorneQuote_final

Me, Katy and Drifting

“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, Drifting through the wind, Wanting to start again?

Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin, Like a house of cards, One blow from caving in?”

Have you ever heard a song, and felt like it was about you? Well, me and Katy … we’re feeling it. I can honestly say that I’ve never felt like a plastic bag, but I have felt drifting. I have felt like there needs to be an end, and like I need a new beginning. I have felt like I’m not good enough, that I haven’t done enough, that I could’ve done a whole lot better, and that I’m a failure.

I quite often feel like I should be more than what I am now. I should’ve gone to school and became a doctor or a lawyer or something “important”. I should work harder on my businesses and be more passionate about becoming uber-successful. I should try a whole lot harder at losing weight and stop getting caught up in excuses and nonsense. I should want to try new things and discover the world.

Instead … I’m living a life that focuses on everything and everyone that surrounds me. It’s not my story, it’s theirs and it carries a massive burden. Is this “non-me” good enough to make them the best that they can be. My days begin and end with being a Mom.

I shouldn’t be content with being a housewife and a Mom. I should stop drifting along, and start focusing on something more.

But what is that? What should I be? Who should I be? Am I doing the wrong things altogether? Why do I feel like I’m just filling a role and shaping someone else’s story? I need to find me without losing them, but how in the world do I do that? Who will I become when the little’s leave, and I’m just here with me, myself and I?

Where does Mom end and April begin?

When I sit back now and look at all of the things that I think are super awesome about me, I realize that all of those things, are because of them. I don’t remember the person that I was before I had children. I remember times, and places, but I don’t remember “me”. I lived a very full and happy life, and experienced many things. I’ve been well off and really broke. I’ve been really sick and really healthy. And all of these things helped turn me into me, but NOW the things that I’m most proud of are the traits that formed because of them.

They are MY Story, and what a beautiful story it is.

I am strong.

I am resilient.

I am determined.

I am hilarious.

I am a Mom.

So maybe, just maybe I’m not actually drifting, maybe I’m just “holding” in the exact spot that I’m supposed to be. They don’t need to end, I just need to honour and accept all that they’ve helped me become. I, or should I say “we” need to be okay with the life that we’ve been blessed with ….our days may not be filled with paycheques or new discoveries. But what we do is nothing less important than that, and frankly, that IS. GOOD. ENOUGH.

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It’s always been inside of you, you, you
And now it’s time to let it through

You’re right Katy …. I’ve already got all I need inside of me, and it’s all kinds of awesome. Watch out world, this girl is about to shine. My should’ve and could’ves have officially been blown up in one massive blast of fireworks. Now, who’s joining me in this lightshow?

Boom Mama’s. Boom.

 

“Firework” is from Katy Perry’s album Teenage Dream. It was written by Wilhelm, Sandy / Eriksen, Mikkel / Hermansen, Tor / Perry, Katy / Dean, Ester.

Floating, not sinking.

Today, I am broken and in the middle of a story that I will never share. It is private and runs deep but it consumes me and all that I am and all that I am about.

I am stuck in a place that I cannot fix and I cannot change. I have tried and tried and this time is coming to end. It’s a horrible feeling that makes me want to throw up, but somewhere in the back of that horrific feeling, I feel something that feels a little bit like relief. Relief mixed with sadness, or something like that. I don’t know.

I feel like a tightness that has been consuming me, is starting to loosen it’s grip. I feel like this isn’t the most worst thing ever, but is somewhere in the middle. It’s SO not good, but maybe, just maybe it isn’t so bad. Every moment, I “feel” a little bit less, and I think that’s a good thing. But then I know it isn’t.

I hate not winning especially when it means that I’m losing …. is this losing? Or is this winning? Bah.

Why is life so incredibly tough sometimes? And unfair. And difficult. And crappy.

Have you ever been in this same place? A place where no answer is right, and no matter what happens, there’s going to be a hole. When you close your eyes, you’d like to just be able to sleep for a little bit, and then wake up and have it all done and over with. A place where your heart has way more power than your brain, and your heart is wrong. When you question every word, and every decision you’ve ever spoken or made in your current situation. When you want to sit down and cry, not because you’re sad or mad or really anything, but just because. In the middle of a story where the ending is wrong, or a chapter seems to have been forgotten. This is a horrific place to be, and I really wish I knew why it was happening. I hate not knowing.

BUT thankfully, there are some things that I do know.

I know that every day and every moment serves a purpose.

I know that this story isn’t over, that the ending may be different, but the story will continue.

I know that I have done all that I could, and have to let myself trust that.

I know that tomorrow or the next week, I will be blessed with new challenges and situations and that today will make be better equipped to deal with them.

I know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be at this very moment.

I know that I’m going to be okay, and that my journey isn’t over.

If you’re stuck in a similar boat as me, hang in there. Not all things can be predicted or controlled, and sometimes, we just have to float.

So grab a paddle and a life jacket and join me. Maybe this little canoe will take us somewhere fancy … like a beach or a mall or somewhere that has naps.

Wherever it is … there’s going to be waves. Hang on friends, hang on.

 

The Day I almost Died.

My heart is racing and it is pounding through me and pushing its way out of my chest. I can “see it” when my eyes are open, and can “hear it” when my eyes are closed. There’s something making my insides shake, and not a little bit, but like someone took their cellphone, put it on vibrate and shoved it inside my chest cavity.

I can feel myself breathing but I can’t seem to get any air into my lungs. I feel like something is pulling me down, and I’m drowning in water that isn’t even there. I can no longer feel my feet on the ground, but I know I’m not floating. I have never been so aware of my skin before, and I think I’m itchy. But it’s not itchy, it’s scratchy, like nails on a chalkboard.

There’s a voice in my head telling me that I’m dying. It is clear as a bell, and as loud as anything that I’ve ever heard spoken in my ear before. It has consumed me. It is winning.

Suddenly I’m sitting on my couch and I’m working out a plan. I know that I’m about to die but I can’t figure out the best place for that to happen. I go and get the telephone and finally decide to sit on the floor by the door and just wait. But then I realize that my kids would find me, so then the pounding and panic begin again. I don’t know what to do.

While all of this is happening, there’s another voice in my head speaking to me. It’s telling me I’m okay and that I’m not dying. It’s telling me to relax and calm down. It’s telling me that I’m fine. It’s reminding me to breathe and to not stop moving. It’s keeping me upright, but the strength of its voice isn’t strong enough to really be heard.

A blackness of unreasonable and irrational despair has taken over my brain, and I’ve become powerless to stop it. These words that make absolutely no sense, that have just shown up out of nowhere are starting to feel more real than the truths that I know are actually true. I have left my body.

This was me 5 days ago. The day I was supposed to die. It was the first panic attack that I’ve ever experienced, and unfortunately, it wasn’t the last. I am normally a very calm and rational person and it takes a lot to stress me out or even shake me a little bit. But this, this has been the worst fight of my life.

For me, it was brought on by a triple dosage of a strong steroid to fight an infection, so it will go away. But for the first time in my life, I have a small understanding of what my son lives through everyday, and my heart is broken.  I am so sorry & ashamed for all of the times that I lost patience with him for being irrational and “crazy”. I had no idea what panic and anxiety really, truly was until that day last week. Why in the world did I think he could just ignore this?

I think of all of the friends and family members that I know that suffer with this. The many foster children and their siblings that get completely lost within their own heads. The people that the world has labelled as crazy and I want to cry. I want to find the words to help people understand what’s going on with them, but I don’t think I can. Instead, I give you my story and hope that it will help you see them in a different light.

If you’ve got people in your life that suffer from panic and anxiety attacks, please understand that they can’t help it. They can’t stop it. They can’t explain it and they most certainly can’t fix it. What they are feeling is very real, and it is all-consuming. They know it’s irrational, but they still can’t shut it off. They “know” that they’re safe, but they don’t “feel” it. Please hug them, hold them and let them feel your presence. Be patient with them, as your loved one is in there, they’re just struggling to find their way back out again.

Thankfully, I know that my journey into panic will be short-lived and that eventually it will go away. I know that I will find my way out of this fog, and that the old me will return. But for now, my insides vibrate and my tired brain is trying to convince me that I’m not okay. Even as I write this, I can feel my skin again and the worry is trying to fight its way back in. BUT, I know that one day soon, I will wake up and it will be gone. For now, I sit and I pray and wait for an end to this nightmare.

Today, I choose Life.

* PLEASE, If you are suffering through attacks like these on your own, please get help. No one deserves to live a life this way. Tell a friend, a loved one, your pastor, or a doctor. Just tell someone, as you do not need to get through this alone. We are going to be okay.