Mi Life Is An Adventure

Mi crazy, wonderful, beautiful life.

Mia Famiglia – My Family July 6, 2012

It’s not my family, but it’s close enough!

Ok, so the picture isn’t exactly accurate.

I come from a very large family. I have Aunts, Uncles, a million cousins, and then their kids to make up another half million (No really, they all just have to stop having kids).

Growing up, my family always did things together. Regular playdates, family dinners and BBQ’s, birthday parties, road trips, you name it we did it. Some of my fondest childhood memories are with my extended family. Summers at the beach with my grandmother, giant new year’s eve parties with all the cousins, racing for quarters at the bottom of the pool against my brother and whoever else would challenge me.

Family has always been one of the most important things in my life. I speak with my parents almost daily, I talk with my brother almost every other day. My brother and I are very close. We always have been. Joel and I are 18 months apart and have always shared everything; Friends, clothes, toys, midnight secrets, heartbreak and love. He is and will always be my best friend.

So this week I had to let my family know about my diagnosis. Not an easy task. Rather than call everyone, because I know I’d never get through it, I emailed most people.  I was very nervous emailing everyone, all of my first cousins have had a parent die from Cancer, one Aunt just two years ago, the other 10 years ago. I was afraid of how they would feel. I also had to email Aunts and Uncles who had lost these two sisters.

Family has once again surrounded me with love, encouragement, and words that make things seem a bit easier.

I have friends that seem much more like family then they do friends, I often don’t know where I’d be day to do without them. Elliot, Cerys, Adele, Haley, and Jeanette, you 5 make sure I’m ok, keep me smiling and are the most wonderful friends I could ever hope for. Words of thanks will never be enough for all you do. You will always be family in my book, friends just doesn’t cover how I feel about you guys.

I am so blessed, I know that I’m going to kick this, I know that with the people closest to me, I will have all the strength I need especially when I need it most.

 

Hope Is Better Than Fear July 2, 2012

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.
Jack Layton

Hope is better than Fear, Optimism better than despair.

For a year, longer than the last week; these words have resonated with me.

I am a political junkie, and the quote was written by one of the most influential Canadian politicians of my time. Sadly Jack Layton lost his battle with cancer almost a year ago. During his last days he wrote a letter to all Canadians that ended with the quote:

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

I have tried to be both hopeful and optimistic this last week, I will not let fear, or anger rule my life; although I have plenty of both.

I am not going to lie, this week has been tough, for many reasons; work, relationship, kiddo, and cancer. Cancer seems to be the things that is at the forefront of it all. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, it’s just there. It’s not even that I am sad about it all the time, or upset. Often its indifference, but it’s still there.

I know deep down that all of this is going to be ok, I know that I am strong, and healthy otherwise. I know that as sacred as I am that things have spread, they haven’t, I have to believe it. I know that while I have to wait to deal with all this shit, there are so many other women who don’t have the luxury of a few extra days…

I have been trying to put my life into some sort of perspective, which hasn’t been easy when it is all upside down. I’m trying to think of this as just a bump in the road, a blip on the chart. Today it feels like a mountain to climb, not a bump, but tomorrow will be better. It’s when I have time to sit and think, that my head gets the better of me. When I am surrounded by the kids and chaos of daycare I don’t have time to think about much. This was a long weekend up here in Canada, so lots of downtime where my brain has sometimes gotten the better of me. Paisley spent a night at her grandparents, and yesterday I spent the majority of the day asleep in bed. When I wasn’t sleeping, I was trying not to think…kind of a vicious circle.

I have a few amazing friends (you know who you are) that are calling, texting, and checking in. I love them, right now they are the ones helping me to keep my head up. There are others that I thought would be there who in a short time have dropped off the face of the earth…how lovely.

My goal for the next few days, is not to tread water, but to swim. To try and grab life, shake the shit out of it, and live it. I don’t like walking around in this fugue state. I want to see the colours, smell the air, and feel the breeze.

Wish me luck!

 

My Adventure Ended…. April 12, 2012

Going Home Is Hard To Do.

Well, I made it back home unscathed, somewhat rested, and with feelings of mixed sorts.

I was unbelievably excited to see my Paisley. God I missed her. 5 days away was long enough. I missed my girl, her drama, her early waking, her laugh, her excitement, I missed it all. I was so happy when I went in to kiss her at 2 am, she woke up briefly, and smiled, and said “Mummy, I missed you”…melted my heart.

I was excited to see Shaughn, but truthfully, we still haven’t seen each other. We have not connected, I haven’t really told him anything about my trip. He has seen a few pics on Instagram, but really that’s about it. I hate this.

My life seems to have just continued exactly where I left off, I got home, got things ready for work, slept for 4 hours, woke up and had the kids that morning. Nothing has changed. It’s still the same life.

When I left, I was going for a break, which I did get. I spent time doing things I love, I was in the outdoors pretty much everyday, I was able to explore a new city, and be with a wonderful friend. I was able to remember who I was, and where I came from; before I was Mummy, before 5 kids called for me every minute of my 10 hour work day. I was able to laugh, and cry and talk…and talk….and talk. I was able to have real conversations, that weren’t filled with interruptions, or explanations.

I enjoyed doing new things, and hearing new stories about things and places I had never been or seen. It was wonderful to be away.

On Monday, I woke with the weight of the world on my shoulders. I knew my time away was over. I had to go back. Real life was calling my name. I packed and got ready for my trip to Milwaukee. Thankfully it was a 3 hour drive, still time to talk, and laugh. As soon as Miller Park (where the Brewers play) came into view, my stomach dropped. It was really ending. I was going to have to say goodbye. I hate goodbyes. HATE THEM. There was a pretty big line at the train station and we were able to talk a bit more before I boarded.

And then I had to go. My adventure was over. I had to say Good Bye to Elliot, see you in July.

It was a very uneventful ride to Chicago, I snuggled with Paisley’s cow, and just stared out the window. A million things drifted through my head as I watched the world pass out my window.

I finally arrived home to London at 2 am. It was a long trip, I was exhausted. I was looking for my bed before I stepped a foot inside the door.

So, now I wait till July. Elliot will be here for my vacation, and I will show him London, we will be hitting our Pride festival, checking out Toronto and Niagara Falls, campfires, and fun. I can’t wait. Another break. Hopefully by then Shaughn will be more settled in a job, and my life will resemble something of that of a year ago, and not my current crazy.

 

 

 

 

A Letter To My Friends… March 14, 2012

Dear Friends,

Thank you for being wonderful, thank you for taking the time to listen, to laugh, and to try to understand me. Thank you for not trying to fix me, or my life. I don’t need fixing, I need a shoulder, and yours are ever so broad.

Thank you for showing me the lines in the sand aren’t always as they seem, that no issues are black and white; there are often undertones of grey and  blue. Thank you for accepting  my idiosyncrasies, my tendencies for neurotic, and my general stupidity. I often need to put my foot in my mouth, yet you never make me feel bad about it.

My dear friends, thank you for being you. I admire the people you are. On this life’s journey we have to take paths, and they can lead us and branch off so many ways. I am glad the path I chose led me to you. I have wondered what my life would be like without you in it; not hearing your laughter or voice, I wonder if there would be someone else if it hadn’t been you? I highly doubt it.

I need you to know how important you are to me, I need you to know that your opinions do matter, that I value your insight and wisdom. I need you to know that when I laugh with you, it comes from my heart, you are clever and I like that a lot.

Please don’t worry about running out of things to talk about, I’m sure that won’t happen, but if it does we can figure it out. Thank you for trying to teach me, for being a champion of my causes, for late night conversations, and a million text messages. They help me get through my life; being a work at home mama is a tough job, and often you are the only adult I speak in 10 hours.

My friends, thank you for getting excited over the little things with me, I know you could care less about finding worms with the kids, but to me it is important, and I appreciate your excitement too. I love being silly with you, it makes me feel young.

Finally, in each of your own ways, you have helped me to become a better, stronger, and happier person, what more could I ever ask for?

X’s and O’s,

C.

 

To See A Smile… March 7, 2012

They're Free

One of the most wonderful things in life is to see a smile. A full-out grin, or a pensive-lost-in-thought smile. They all mean the same thing. It means that somewhere inside of us we are happy.

I love smiles, the first thing I notice about a person is their smile (second is eyes, and third is shoes…you have to have good shoes!). I notice the way your lips form over your teeth, I see if you have dimples, or if your smile is toothy or small.

A smile makes me feel warm, a smile can give me strength when I think I can’t go on, a smile will brighten my day when I am down, and will bring me higher when I’m already thinking I can’t get any happier!

Music makes me smile, as do kids, animals, trees and the water. I love to just sit, take in the world, and hope to not look too dumb as I smile like an idiot. I can remember times in my life when I am sad, down and out crying, yet I think of something and slowly a smile will start…I won’t necessarily be happy, but that moment of memory is enough to get me through.

I enjoy making others smile. I know that if my smile makes me happy, it must make others happy too, right? I think nothing of smiling at strangers, and am teaching Pais to share her wonderful smile with the world.

It’s not easy, in this day and age when we are all lost in our own lives, listening to our iPods, thinking about work, school, partners, parents, friends; we rarely take the moment to look up and smile at a stranger, to open our minds and hearts to another. It almost takes courage to look someone in the eye and grin.

So take a moment, clean the salad out of your teeth, and SMILE!

 

Connection February 24, 2012

If we take the time, we will all find that there is one thing that connects us all; Humanity..

“I’m not that girl” she said, “I don’t call two people, not even one person to ask for help, it’s just not who I am.”

This was part of a conversation I had last night. A total stranger, going through some really tough times, reaching out.

Why are we so afraid to ask for help and support? Does it make us look weak? Are we worried about what others must think? Are we afraid that the other person will say no?

These are all valid and genuine fears, lord knows I have felt them several times. My concern is that we feel fear at all when we are reaching out. What has society done to us, that when we are at out most vulnerable we shy away from others, worried about their reaction, and not being worried about what will happen if we don’t seek support.

What gives any of us the right to judge another? Who gave us that upper-hand so that we may decide if we are better than someone else? Is that feeling  justified or is it just in our heads?

I know I have certainly been on both ends as the judge and the judged. Neither is a nice place to be in. Initially, that judge position makes me feel superior; like I have the answers, like others she respect me. Afterwards, I feel like a heel. I’m not better, I sure as shit don’t have any fancy papers that say I am qualified to judge, and respect goes out the window the minute I chose to judge. As the judged, I feel small, sad, angry. I feel as if I am unable to do things on my own, mainly I feel fear.

I think we all need to take a step back, we all need to remind ourselves that we are all human, not one of us is better, not one of us is perfect. People we put in places of respect and honour make mistakes. They have affairs, they cheat on their taxes, they have mental illnesses, they are addicts and alcoholics, they are normal people too, with the same problems that we have. They just have different jobs.

This post is supposed to be connecting, the one thing that connects us, each one of us; is our humanity. From sinner to saint to everyone in between, we are all connected by the fact that we are human, we share the same dreams, aspirations, hopes, and love.  We are all different, yet, so much of us is the same, why do we treat each other so differently?

Do yourself a favour today, take a step out of that judge and jury box, keep an open and clear mind, do something small to make someone else’s life a little better. It doesn’t take much, a cup of coffee, a phone call, a meal for a homeless person. Take time to listen today, not just to others, but to your internal dialogue, what are you saying? Would your thoughts be harmful and hurtful or would they be trying to see the good in everyone?

Take a minute to connect with someone today, take a minute to listen, to smile, and to appreciate what it is that makes us all human.

 

Life Update – Regaining My Sanity July 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christa @ 6:21 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I'm not THIS peaceful yet...but I'll get there

It’s been a few challenging months for me. But I am starting to feel better, I am starting to look forward, and I am starting to be more hopeful.

I’ve discovered the small changes I have been making have seemed to make all the difference in my work life, my home life, and in my own mental well-being.

The biggest thing, and I wish I wasn’t serious, but believe me its soooo true….I have been referring to the daycare kids as ‘Love’ or ‘Lovey” like a pet name. It has helped to remind me that even if I am at my WITS end with this child, that they deserve my love, and even if at that moment I don’t like them, deep down (and sometimes it’s REALLY deep down) I do love each and every one of them.

I have also decided to shelf all of my worry for the autumn. I have decided to enjoy our short summer, and not worry about what September will bring.  I can’t change things, I can’t worry about the unknown, if I continue to, I will make myself certifiable. I know that eventually things will work out, they have to. I don’t have a choice but to be a Mum, I don’t have the choice as to work or not, to go to the gym, swimming lessons, gymnastics, karate…I have to keep doing what I do, just as a single Mummy. I know how much I am going to miss our family time, but that will just make me treasure our weekends and time together more. S is doing this to better himself, and ultimately our family. I am so proud of him.

I have continued to faithfully go to the gym, and I love it! When I don’t work out, I feel like ass. When I do, I feel like a million dollars! I have ramped up my gym days to five a week. When I get home after my holidays, I will be adding weight training into my schedule. The end result is to keep my sanity in check, and to continue to work towards a healthier me.

So, for now, life is moseying along. I am happier at work, at home, and play. We are looking forward to some time away to visit our relatives out west, and are practically counting the hours. Miss P can’t wait for the airplane, and to swim in the lake, I can’t wait to sit on the dock with my Kindle and read from morning till night (of course with the occasional swim and sauna thrown in for good measure).

I will continue on this adventure, because it is Mi Adventure.

XO

 

 
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