Sunday, January 30, 2011

It makes you think...don't it?

A little while back I noticed that my blog had been visited by a web crawler of sorts that seeks out posts about feelings. I wrote about it here.

Every now and then when I'm bored I'll take a look at the site and see if I can't stumble across an interesting blog to read.

I hit the jackpot yesterday.

I stumbled across a blog written by a young woman who decided to donate her kidney. Not because she had a family member or friend who was in need of one and she was a match but because she figured she had two perfectly good kidneys, she can live just fine with one so why not give the other to someone who can use it.

And she did.

I support organ donation 100%. I think everyone who can should have themselves marked off as organ donors.  But living, anonymous donations....

To be perfectly honest,  I didn't know you could even do this...just anonymously donate organs to people. It was a long process to make sure she was physically, mentally and emotionally fit to donate her kidney and despite not everyone in her life being 100% supportive, she went ahead and did it.

And in the process saved someone's life.

Talk about your random acts of kindness.

It's not something I think I would ever do (I should qualify this by saying I would donate my kidney or anything else I could to someone I knew who needed it - I'm talking about anonymous donation)  but nonetheless I am in awe of what lengths some people will go to for the good of others.

Anyhow, it was something that got me thinking all day yesterday.

So, you'll notice my new layout. I'm not happy with it but I got bored of the old one. I'm hoping to have one custom made by Little Bean Shop, just waiting on a price list. She's awesome so I encourage you to visit her etsy shop for all of your custom graphics needs.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

42.5, 38.5, 43

And 158 lbs.

Not exactly Barbies measurements, though I guess I should be happy that I'm still hourglass shaped.

Of course, I don't really want to be like Barbie either so I guess that's okay. But I'd like to pair down those numbers a bit.

I officially joined the gym again on Thursday night.

Let's discuss. I joined the gym once, many moons ago with my bff and my sister in law. This was back when stepping was a craze. So we took step classes and since I am the most uncoordinated person on earth, I couldn't keep up.  So we used the step machine but since there is nothing I hate more than my legs hurting (well...I hate tooth aches more but we're not talking teeth) I didn't last long on those.
I loved the weight training equipment but this was a gym proper and that meant there were burly, steroid enhanced men working on them most of the time and what I got left with was the thigh machine that put your legs in compromising positions right in front of the lobby window.
So my SIL and my BFF and I would go to the gym, pretend to work out and then go to the McDonalds down the street when we left.

I joined the same gym a few years later with Sean.
I didn't go a whole lot. Neither did he. And much like the news stories you hear about - after quitting - perfectly within my contract - they still took money from my account.

That was 15 years ago.

For Mother's Day in 2009 Sean gave me a 6 month membership to the local city run fitness centre (don't worry, I asked for it) It gave me access to the gym (any city run gym in my city) as well as the pools, tracks, rinks, indoor tennis courts and squash.  (those have a nominal fee but it's okay - I don't really play racket sports and there are lots of free outdoor tennis courts I can play on if I want to)

I even got two sessions with a personal trainer. She showed me what exercises I needed to do to meet my fitness goal (said goal being to be able to walk from here to there without getting winded.)

I was good. I went every other day for all of May and June.

I started to feel good about myself. I had more energy. By the end of June I was able to go 30 minutes on the elliptical without wanting to puke whereas when I started I could barely go 10 minutes without crying.

But at the end of June the gym's hours changed for summer. And these new hours did not coincide with a schedule in which I could actually go (being that I had a job, children and a husband who works strange hours)

So I didn't go as often and my membership ran out.

Since then I've tried using an elliptical at home (wasn't as good as the gym one). I've tried jogging (injured my previously broken foot) and I've become one of those people who actually craves salad if I don't have any for more than 2 days (I'll be having a giant one today...I miss my salad)

So I went to the gym last night on my way home from work (that's the plan...if I don't go home first...if I go straight from work....I'll go!)

I was prepared to be miserable. I don't like physical activity (hence the weight and measurements above).

I was pleasantly surprised though. I went 28 minutes on the elliptical before wanting to die. I remembered all the exercises the trainer had told me to do and did them!  I was at the gym for just shy of an hour and I felt great afterward.

And today I'm as sore as a son of a bitch so I know I did it right!!

I am determined to feel good in shorts this summer. I'm determined to WANT to wear my bathing suit this summer. Because let's not forget - I now have a job that gives me summers off and you know what that means?? That means a lot of time at the beach.

So I have 5 full months until summer vacation. I'd like to be down at least 18 lbs. I'm not sure about the measurements...I'd like like to look smaller....
I'm not making promises that I'm going to start eating right all the time. I'm still going to have cookies and wings and beer....but I'm going to eat less of them.
I'm going to continue my healthy breakfast and lunches. I'm going to try to eat less supper...I tend to gorge at supper.

And on the 30th of each month I'm going to post my measurements and weight and you people are going to keep me on feel free to taunt me in the comments section if I have a month in which I don't lose anything or (gasp!!) get bigger.

I WILL do this.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is the grass greener?

Do you have to get married?

These are different times. Women are not getting married right out of school (or foregoing school altogether) We are getting our careers in order first. We are becoming productive people in our communities. We are older when we start our families.....

No, I'm not questioning my marriage.

The friend I had dinner with the other night is single. As is my bff. As is another friend.  All have never been married.

So I'm talking with my mom and filling her in on the past 15 years of this friend I had dinner with and her comment about my friend not being married struck me. She then commented on another friend who is turning 40 this year and never married.
I think the conversation was something like this

"So she's doing great, back in school, travelling with a friend..."
"Yes, but she doesn't have a husband and three beautiful children."

I'm not wanting to throw over my family for a life of freedom and travel. I'd end up bored and since flying isn't my thing I'm limited in my travel opportunities. Like I said to my friend, I'd love to go to Cuba but until I can go to Miami and rent a boat to get to Cuba a la Michael Moore I'm stuck here. (and let's face it, if I get to Miami, it's hot and there's lots of Cubans there so why go any further?)  But it doesn't mean my life is better. It's better for me but it's not for everyone.

The whole conversation just reminded me of first, my mom is still pretty old fashioned, but also that while I am envious of my friends ability (freedom) to go on an adventure on a whim and not have to plan ahead just to go for coffee with a friend, I've also got it pretty darn good. 

Now to change gears for a second.

Someone told that there was a study done that said if you tell people your New Year resolution you are less likely to keep it because in your mind you equate telling people to actually doing it. I would think it would be opposite, you'd want to keep you resolution because you want to save face.

Well that's my motivation. It's not a new year's resolution but tomorrow I'm joining the gym again. And I'm vowing to go at least three nights a week, right after work (or right before work, depending on Sean's hours) And I resolve to look good enough to be comfortable wearing shorts this summer...and that I will need to buy NEW shorts this summer because none of my fat clothes will fit.

I've already mastered my eating (almost) I have become a salad junkie and actually feel like crap if I don't nurse a giant salad all day long.

Tomorrow I'm also going to put it right out the measurements and my weight and I'm going to update it monthly......I WILL do it.

And one final note.

In our fast paced world it's shocking how long 2 minutes can seem. But sometimes we just need to stop, breathe and relax.

Can you do nothing for two minutes?

Give it a try.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Childhood Enthusiasm

Connor has a bit of a sock fetish. He loves socks. He won't be without them. If I let him, he'd probably wear them in the bathtub too. When I put him to bed he insists on wearing socks so his feet don't get "
He's really quite the opposite of me and the girls because none of us are really big on socks and are usually barefoot until it's time to go out.

But - because Connor is so adamant about wearing socks all. the. time. I buy the expensive ones. I want ones that will last and be durable.  Most of his socks have the no slip bottoms on them too which is great because we have all wood floors.

Last night Connor picked out a pair of dollar store socks from his drawer. They were Christmas ones that he got in his stocking. Being from the dollar store they are cheaply made and don't have the no slip bottoms.

It is at this point that I noticed something about my child (and all children when I come to think about it)

Connor went to his room to get something and wiped out 4 times in the hallway because he was running to his room and slipped.  It was like that all day. Connor was slipping and sliding all over the floor and it wasn't just because of the socks it was because he doesn't walk. Ever. He runs everywhere he goes.

And I got to thinking back to when Mary was younger (though she's still very much the same) and Emily when she was younger and to every child I've cared for in the past 15 years.....

kids don't walk when they are going from A to B. They run.

Are they running because their legs are short and they need to keep up?
Are they running because they need to hurry?

No, they are running because when you're a kid the world is such an awesome, fantastic, exciting place that they just can't wait to greet every minute life. They are overwhelmed with awe and even the most mundane things like going to the bathroom or picking out socks needs to be rushed to because the faster you get there the faster you can experience it and move on to something else.

And it makes me sad too to think about when this stops.

Emily doesn't run anymore. She drags herself from A to B. She's lost that zest for life that forces her to run into it head on.
And most adults have too.

I'm reminded of the episode of Friends in which Phoebe decides to take up jogging with Rachel and when they go out for the first time together Rachel is embarrassed because Phoebe runs quite chaotically, like a child, with her arms flailing and with no rhythm.  Phoebe asks Rachel why she's never tried running like a child, it should be something fun. Rachel tries it and discovers that running that way is much more fun.

Make it your mission sometime this week to run like a child. Don't worry about looking foolish. Just greet the world with the enthusiasm of youth. We spend too much time being serious and losing track of the awesomeness of our very existence (that's right, I said awesomeness).

I'm going to go out and have a snowball fight.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Reaching Out Part 2

Tonight I had dinner with someone I haven't seen in nearly 15 years. It was the friend I decided to get back in touch with in this post

I had a fabulous time.

It felt good to talk to someone about old times, to laugh at ourselves, our history and all the crap we pulled together. It felt good to catch up and find out what we'd both been doing for the past 15 years.

I'm glad I went and I'm hoping that this renews a friendship.

We joked because I remembered things so clearly and there were some things she couldn't remember at all. I said, "That's just me, mind like a steal trap" to which she replied "yeah but that means you remember all the bad things too"

I know there were rough times between us and yeah, I remember them but after having dinner tonight it wasn't the rough times we reminisced about, it was the fun. That's what I remember the most. Those were the times that mattered.

I'm glad I reached out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thank a Police Officer

On Wednesday, January 12th in the early morning hours a man stole a snow plow that was idling in front of a Tim Horton's. He drove through the streets of Toronto on a rampage and when he was finally stopped he'd left a trail of damaged cars and businesses.....

and one dead police officer.

Tomorrow Sgt. Ryan Russell will be laid to rest.

I tell you this because it's a story that hits very close to home for me.
My brother is a police officer. He knew Sgt. Russell.

It hits close to home for me because it's a reminder of just how dangerous my brother's job is and more importantly, just how much of a hero he, and every other police officer is,  in just putting on that uniform everyday and going out to serve and protect us.  Because all it takes is one nut job and an idling snow plow to change a life forever. 

We are always reminded to 'Thank a Vet'.  It's a tragedy like this that reminds us to also thank Police Officers. The next time you get pulled over for speeding or are forced to be late because of a RIDE spot check, remember that that officer puts his ass on the line every single day to protect us. You and me. And it's often a thankless job. You might bitch about a parking ticket but who's the first person you call when you're in trouble and need help. And they always come

It's a tragedy like this that reminds us to hug our children (Sgt. Russell leaves behind a young son) and to always say "I love you". 

Life can change in the blink of an eye.

RIP Sgt. Russell.
Thank You.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Who Are You?

I went to a team building workshop for work yesterday. The goal behind it was to show the teaching teams (teachers and ECE's) what the other's strengths and weaknesses in their personalities were and therefore provide a better understanding of how the other works, which would hopefully lead to a better working relationship.
This isn't so much of a problem with the teacher I work with and I. We get along quite well and, as expected, our results in the personality test were almost identical. It's like I work with myself. This, of course, may not always be a great thing since it means there isn't anyone to challenge our way of thinking...we think the same way. But it does mean there likely won't be much conflict and for that, I'm ecstatic.

Anyhow, it turns out the personality test we did is available online. So I thought I'd pass it along in case any of you were interested (because if you're a geek like me, taking a personality test is fun)
And for what it's worth, this is an accredited test created by an accredited individual, not just some random fly by night thing.

So if you're interested here's the test

And for further interest - I'm an ISFJ - which is exactly what I thought I was.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Where does the time go?

I've tried posting three times this week. And two of those posts are sitting in my drafts pile because I'm so limited on time. I've been reduced to posting first thing in the morning which would probably be okay except that I get caught up in checking my email, checking work email (yeah, I could do that at work), checking FB, checking the Pumpkin Patch and occasionally doing some banking and then when I get to the blog and start I look at the clock and see it's already 6:45 and I should be getting ready to leave for work.

So, you're getting two posts in one.

I joined the volleyball team at work. BAHAHAHAHAHA. First off, did I mention how badly I suck? Let's discuss.
I did manage to connect with the ball during warm up and I did get it to go where I wanted it to sometimes but when it came time to play I was on a team with a teacher who, for starters, I'm not particularly fond of, but is also highly competitive. This meant there was no room for l'il ol' shitty players like me. Can we say BALL HOG!

Anyhow, I digress because the fact of the matter is, I know the team is pretty competitive but there are two classes and I was playing within the none competitive class - just looking to have some fun. So I didn't let it bother me a whole lot.

And then it happened, halfway through the second game I fell and hyper extended  my knee. It hurt like a son of a  bitch but while I might suck at volleyball, I'm not a suck and to save face I stood up, shook it off and kept on playing. By the time I got home though, my knee was good and swollen and aching.  And now, I still can't do a deep knee bend on that side or kneel on it at all. Fabulous!

So much for saving face, I won't be playing anymore. I'm still without a union contract which means if I get hurt and have to take some time off....I ain't gettin' paid.
I gotsta get paid! 

There is a woman and her daughter who take piano lessons right before Emily. I know the woman, I know her daughter. Her daughter was in my class at a daycare I worked at 5 years ago. We had many conversations. And yet, it's clear she has no memory of me at all. There isn't even that faint 'hmmm, she looks familiar' flash in her eyes. Not a clue.
Clearly a family I made a deep impact on.

But yet the receptionist at my fertility specialist's office remembered me after 5 years despite a truly monumental patient load (ironically, the women from the piano lessons went to the same Dr...saw her in the waiting room shortly after I got pregnant with Connor....she didn't seem to remember me then either) My banker not only remembers me but she also remembers all three of my kids names even though we see her only once a year.

I've come across daycare kids who are all grown up now who don't remember me but I have others who gush about what an impact I've made on them.

It makes me wonder. What makes people memorable?

I tend to think I'm not memorable. I am honestly one of those people who will see someone I know but maybe haven't seen in years and won't approach them because I figure they won't remember me. Why not? I'm just as memorable as the next girl, aren't I?

Chances are, if we've had a face to face conversation, I'll remember you. I'll remember the details of that conversation too.  (my disclaimer to this would be since adulthood because in fairness I've been Facebooked by people from high school who I have to ask my bff who they are and how I know them....high school was a bit of a blur....)

I don't think being memorable has as much to do with the person being remembered as it does with the person doing to remembering. I don't necessarily strive to remember everyone (no offence intended of course but really, why is it necessary that I remember that the cashier at WalMart has twins who are slightly older than Connor and will start school the same time he will?) but I do anyway.

I think I'm more perplexed by the people who I feel like they should remember you (like someone who cared for your child, for instance!)

Oh well, I suppose in the grand scheme of things the ones who do remember you are the ones who really matter.

Don't forget me, okay? I won't forget you.

One final note. Look up at your browser address bar. Beside the URL there is a picture. See it? It's a little tiny Canadian Flag. Neat huh? I put it there. It used to be the orange Blogger 'B' but now it's a nifty doodle Canadian Flag.

On the Papa's Pride blog I've got one there too, only it's not a Canadian Flag, it's the Papa's Pride logo.

I gotta say, I'm pretty proud of my techno accomplishment. I can't take all the credit though, I got the info from a blog I follow.

It doesn't take much to thrill me these days. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Reaching Out

The summer I turned 16 I had a job at a local amusement park. During the first couple of weeks I met a girl who worked in the same gift shop I did. We hit it off and became friends right away.

We were best friends for 2-3 years after that - we spent weekends together, evenings, summer. She came with us to the cottage in the summer. I  went on my first trip without my parents with her (we took her brother to Boston when we were 18 for a karate tournament - THAT trip is a blog in itself!)

The thing is, the friendship wasn't all good. We had problems and eventually it just got too hard to be friends. We drifted apart, she went to college out of town and we never recovered from that physical distance.

I did miss my friendship with her, we shared a lot and though it was full of ups and downs I do have mostly good memories.

We connected on Facebook a couple of years ago. We've chatted on the phone off and on and we even made plans to go to dinner but I was pregnant with Connor, going through a lot with Sean still and not sure I wanted to tread those waters at the time so I backed out.

My new year's resolution involved reaching out to old friends. I have a lot of old friends who I've drifted apart from. We grew up, we married or went to school or had kids or all the other things that happen that make you grow apart from your friends. It's sad and I know it's just one of those things but then I think, why do we have to settle for that?

I've spent far too many years with my bff being the one real friend I have outside of my husband and sisters in law. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, I like my husband (which is handy) and I like my sisters in law and I like my bff but I have room for more friends. I am a firm believer in the quality of your friends being more important than the quantity but I think I had quality friends.

Yesterday I sent an email to that friend I had when I was 16 and asked her if she wanted to get together for dinner - the one I backed out of 3 years ago. She said sure so hopefully she won't back out this time and we can reconnect.

Who knows if our friendship will be rekindled. Maybe it will or maybe we've just grown too far apart but if I don't reach out I'm never going to know.