Archive for the 'Musings' Category

Ten Things

I have been thinking about this blog a bit lately.  I regret leaving it so long, but needed a wee bit of recovery time from all life’s changes. The last year has not been without its challenges, and some of those were best met privately.

But today, friends, brought a different kind of ugly.  Rampant job cuts within the work place.  Everything about the day felt veiled in the fear of change, sadness for those impacted, and uncertainty for the future.

So, in an effort to end the day feeling somewhat less heavy, here is a list of ten things I have decided would make positive things to focus on:

Ten Positive Things To Focus On Today

10.   My kid is not a werewolf.  Probably.

9.  There may be holes in my fence, but by dog is too fat to escape through them.

8.  Someone, at some point, had the good sense to invent ice cream.

7.  I own a rock star wig, and I have worn it in public.

6.  The world has artists, dancers, writers and a myriad of other creators.  Including animals.

5.  I did not have to deliver bad news today.  Unless you count telling the kids the pizza for supper was from frozen… then skip this one.

4.  I did not have to shovel today.

3.  My dog is certifiably insane, possibly drunk, easily amused.

2.  At the end of the day there are jammies.

1.  It is the end of the day.

🙂

What positive things can you focus on today?

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An Internal Dialogue on Driveways

I have been looking for a new place to live.  The girls and I have been craving a fresh start, and I have no doubt that new living space would go a long way to helping us heal.

Not everyone seems to get this.  I am finding men, in particular, don’t get that there is psychology to a house.  First reactions are typically “it will get better eventually”.  No doubt it will, but must I seriously reside among my ghosts waiting for that to happen?

So recently I went to see a property which had only an exterior picture in its sales pitch.  On paper it appeared to have pretty much everything I’d want.  Despite the fact that I hadn’t completely figured out how I’d make it happen, I made an appointment to view it.  Then I drove by numerous times awaiting my appointment, scoping out the neighbourhood, trying to imagine what it might be like inside.

While scoping out this property one thing that occurred to me was that it had a double driveway.  For some reason this made me remember that part in the book The Secret where they talk about the woman longed for a partner and then realizes that she is taking up her entire closet (or maybe it was a dresser or something), and as soon as she makes room for this partner that doesn’t exist yet, low and behold one enters her life, a gift from the universe.

So, I looked at this double driveway and thought to myself, “What would the universe bring to a driveway like that?  What would I want it to bring?”

And then it occurred to me, “Dear G*d, if you bring another car, please let it not be driven by an arsehole.” Because really, there are a few facts we need to come to terms with here:

1)      I am a crappy judge of men apparently, and

2)      I have no freaking idea how to be single as an older, frumpy, over-worked mom.

As it turned out, the property was a complete and total wreck, so I need not even have had this internal discussion with myself at all, but for the record….  If I *do* find a place to live with a double driveway… there is comfort in knowing that parking dead centre can send a message to the universe too:  One that says, “Lonely and alone are not the same thing… this space is mine…. mine alone…. and I am perfectly ok with that.”

Or maybe it says, “this girl has no idea how to park”.

Either one.

The New Normal

There is no doubt they are well meaning, for usually it is in response to a heartfelt “how was your holiday?” and is accompanied by a nod which acknowledges, “I know it must have been different.”  And usually it is someone I feel comfortable enough admitting the holiday was not without its drama…. but I have to say, every time I hear the words “It’s the new normal,” it pierces my soul just a tiny bit.

I have to remind myself that these are people that care about me, they are among those I hold dear, so they can’t possibly mean that they believe I should get pretty darn used to feeling alone and sad a lot of the time, and that I’ll have to clean out my own drains forever, and maybe even buy my own power tools to fix stuff.  Because my immediate reaction is, “if this is going to be my ‘normal’, it really kind of sucks, so please pass the chocolate.”

But deep within myself, I know that’s not what they mean, and I also know that this current reality will not always be how it is. It can get better.  And really, for the most part, my girls and I are perfectly ok and will continue to make our way in the world together just fine.

Though pass the chocolate anyway 🙂

The Sock in the Hat

It has been bitterly cold here of late.  Like minus a million degrees.  So, while most times I do enjoy a good stroll to work in the morning, I admit I find it a chore when the weather actually hurts.  And there were some walks this week that did hurt.

So, while shopping for something completely unrelated, I was delighted to find this hat:

Yes.  It’s ugly.  But it’s warm.  And was $4.  And I bought and wore it with no qualms whatsoever.  I call it my lumberjack hat.

So, in view of the recent cold, I bought each of my girls a new hat for an early Valentine’s day gift.  Now their’s was not the cheapie lumberjack chapeau shown above.  No, they got cute and trendy animal hats from the high end store.  And if they weren’t photo shy at the moment I would show you how cute and adorable they look in them.  Rainbow’s is a bear, and Dolittle’s is a mouse.

I had this conversation with Rainbow this morning:

Me: I quite like my new lumberjack hat.

Rainbow: Your what?

Me: Lumberjack hat.  The one with the flaps.  It’s very warm.

Rainbow: You know, they maybe used to be called bear hats, because the flaps used to have bear fur on them.

Me: Really?  Well I then I think mine is an albino muppet hat.

Rainbow responded with a look which I cannot even describe.

Me: I was wondering if you wanted to go to the Jack Frost* festival this month? (*a winter children’s festival held here in February)

Rainbow: (without hesitation) No. Thanks.

So, now I’m left wondering… have my children outgrown a children’s festival (which is a possibility)?  Have they just had enough of this darn cold?  Or are they somewhat mortified of my new bonnet?

Things that don’t suck or maybe do, but it’s not Thursday so I’ll just let you decide

There was no post for “Things That Don’t Suck Thursday”, not that I intend to do one every day, but I thought the first month I’d manage it (having already planned some general themes).  It turns out I needed to ponder my things that don’t suck I was going to post this week, as it is a tad more complex than I originally envisioned.

As a bit of backstory, there was a point in my life many years ago when I watch ER regularly (earlier in the series).  Then in one episode (and the details are foggy, long since purged by a brain in survival mode) either the patient mother or her newborn infant died.  As a mother, with children both living and not, it cut to the quick, and I found myself sitting on the floor, hugging my knees, weeping long after the show had ended.  That was not entertainment to me.  It was as if I had been sucker punched, and I never watched the show again, save a moment here and there channel surfing.

So fast forwarding to this week, I have my Thursday idea of “indulgence” toying in my brain, and by Wednesday evening have only a general idea of where my post would go with that (perhaps noting getting out to the movies earlier this week with my BFF), and I was  perfectly open to changing my topic to something else should inspiration strike before Thursday.  Then Wednesday evening I sat down to watch “So You Think You Can Dance.”  “Indulgence” would have to wait.  I had just seen my TTDS post….

It was Melissa and Ade’s routine on breast cancer.  I watched it and cried with Mia.  I watched it, and cried again.  Later I watched it with Husband and Rainbow and I cried again.  Then Rainbow said to me, “Why do you keep watching this if it makes you cry?”

Indeed.  How was this different than the episode of ER?

Fact – Cancer sucks.  Pain sucks.  But survival rocks.  And art that touches your heart and that makes you feel something bigger than the piece itself… I think that rocks too.  Which kind of begs the question of why I feel so differently about that episode of ER so long ago compared to that dance on Wednesday night?  Is episodic television less art than other visual arts?  Is it that one is fiction and obviously contrived, and the other shows a real person’s  a realtime emotional reaction to it. I have no clue.  But I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter.

So, this Can’t-Decide-What-Sucks-or-Doesn’t-Sunday presents art that moves you.  Is there a memorable piece of art that touched your heart?  I’d love to hear about it.

And I’ll try and think of an indulgence to tell you about for Thursday.  Because I think I might enjoy the search to find just the right one.  I invite you to do the same.

Delight

My grandmother knew what a painful life had taught her:  success or failure, the truth of a life really has little to do with its quality.  The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight.  The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.
—  Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

I have been picking away a bit at my ragged copy of The Artist’s Way, though admittedly somewhat half-heartedly.  Some days I do morning pages, and have found them quite useful.  And I think about the exercises, though never commit them to paper.  And while an “artist date” is a lovely concept, I must say, “me time” is in rare supply most days, so my solitary “creative date” time has never actually happened yet.

I ventured into this journey to recover my creativity really more as a journey to find direction.  I want so much more than survival.  I want a joyful life (for truly there is much in this life to rejoice about even in trying times).  It is my continuing attempt to open my mind to where exactly I want that direction to be.  But when I came to the above quote, I immediately grabbed a pen and underlined the statement “The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight.” and I rarely actually write in my books.  Because I think what she says here is very very true.

So I want to take notice of what delights me.  I want to be feel gratitude for all of the wonderful things in the world around me.  I want to take notice of the teacup that feels perfect in the hand… of how raindrops on the flowers reflect the re-emerging sunlight… of how the heart sings when one’s children laugh together… of what actually makes me stop and let my soul sigh with peace.

My new plan (and to be honest, I think I’m stealing this plan from something I saw a long time agon on What Would Jane Austen Do but in a quick search could not find it) is to present “Things That Don’t Suck” once a week for the next little while.  Maybe make a “Things That Don’t Suck Thursday” (like Wordless Wednesday but maybe with words) to share a particular delight noticed that week.

Because I want to pay attention.  And in taking notice of these things I want to celebrate the good things in life.  I hope you will join me and share your delights as well.

Spaces

If I were to choose a movie to watch it would either be a kid’s film, or a romantic comedy.  So last night I surfed the channels for something to watch and picked a sappy chick flick that had obvious plot holes, was not all that interesting, but had attractive actors that I nonetheless hoped would find love in the end (they did, of course).

And as I watched the movie, it occurred to me that when I tried to relate to the movie, I found myself longing to be there, but not for the reasons you might think.  I do not long to be in search of love.  I do not long for a romantic happily ever after any different than my current life.  What I longed for, dear people, was the heroine’s kick a** house.  There was space.  There were glorious windows.  And a porch.  And the gardens were weeded.  And there was no clutter.  I am not even sure what the hero’s house looked like because whenever he was shown in his home he was in a chair with a beer, but I have no doubt it would be a spacious, immaculate, well lit abode as well.

The houses of movies are always dream homes. Heck, even Shrek lived in a house that was clutter free.  That just isn’t my life.  But oh, how I want it to be.  Space, and storage, and light… I long for that.  Almost as I long to be in the position to make that a reality.

People in movies never have rented homes with creepy clay basements.  Any bathroom lineups shown have the purpose of building tension or delivering a punch line.  They never do laundry (though I have no doubt they would have laundry facilities to die for) or clean beyond clearing a dinner table or drying a dish.  And the homes are almost always bigger than a single person living alone needs.

I feel I must clarify that this is not a rant.  I am not at all complaining, for I have a place to live that accommodates the people and critters that are my family.  We have a roof, a working furnace, and a fridge covered in art work.  And those are very big blessings.  But it is not my dream home.  This is about the dream.

My dream house is not a mansion.  It is roomy though, but not so large that I couldn’t clean it easily myself.  It has a modest garden, or window boxes… just enough to make it pretty, but wouldn’t make me feel like I needed a team of gardeners to keep up with or like a failure when I don’t.  It has a washer and dryer that is not in the basement.  It has storage and big closets.  There are at least three bedrooms (though a spare would be a bonus) and there is room to do more than just walk around the furniture.  It has shelves and cupboards and drawers that work, and all our stuff is in those things.  There is room to bake.  And a welcoming place to take off your boots. And lots of windows.  Maybe there is a deck, or a porch, or even just bench outside to read and think and stretch one’s imagination.  It feels like home.  Maybe something like this.

Is your living space your dream house?  If so, what makes it feel that way?  If not, what does your dream space look like?  I’d love to hear from you.


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