Saturday, March 26, 2011

Find Your Joy.

joy  noun \ˈjȯi\   : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires
as defined by Merriam-Webster

Most people spend their whole lives searching for the meaning of life. Who are we? Why are we here? What is the point?  The answers depend entirely on your morals and beliefs. If you are religious, chances are you believe we're here because a higher power has a plan for us (that's my personal belief). And further to that I believe that that the beginning and the end of our lives are written in stone - and perhaps some specific events that lead us to that (the beginnings of other lives or the ends of our own)   but the rest of the journey is ours to make.

It's the rest of the journey that seems to have the world stumped. The search for meaning, purpose, fullfillment and happiness.

Could it be that I've found it?

I can honestly say that for the first time in my life I am happy. Really, truly happy. I like love the direction my life is in.  And the reason. I don't long for anything.

I have three fabulous kids. At one time I wanted to have more...many more....but that feeling has passed and I have made my peace with it. My baby is 3 now. He's going to school in the fall. My oldest is 11 and becoming quite a young lady.  I see the light at the end of the 'dependant on Mommy' tunnel and the new stage of parenting - the one in which I can enjoy both the joy of  more independant children and the joy of seeing my kids learn and grow.

I have a fabulous husband. We've been down some very rocky roads and it's made us stronger, more loving, more in tune with each other and more able to see each others needs. The journey was hell but the destination was worth it.

Happiness.

I have my dream job. I know it's still the honeymoon stages, less than a year in, but truthfully, I've never felt this way about a a job before and I've had jobs I've loved. This is different. I feel at home. I can truly see me doing this job until I retire.  (Though a small note to all of my Ontario readers....vote Liberal in the fall Provincial elections because if Hudak replaces McGuinty I could be out of a job!!)

Fullfillment.

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't long for more. I wish my family were more intact. I wish my Dad were still here. I wish my brother was as he used to be. I wish I were in better shape and 30 lbs lighter. I wish I had more money and less debt.  There are a million material things I wish for. But these are things I either can't change or am working towards.

Purpose.

I wish the same for you, my dear readers. I hope you find your happiness, your fullfillment and your purpose.

Find your joy.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The One in Which I Complain About Winter Driving.

There are so many places I could go with this post.

I worked from home for 8 years but it didn't make me spoiled. I also worked outside of the home for 10 years and for much of that I had to commute from one city to another to work. I truly do not mind commuting, I enjoy the quiet, the solitutude of me and my music or talk radio and my thoughts.
I also don't mind winter driving. I am after all Canadian and while I know it sounds cliche, the truth of the matter is, I don't know any different. I was born and raised here, there is a solid chance of snow anytime from November (sometimes October) to March (sometimes April - hell, my husband can tell stories of still having ice in the harbour on his birthday in mid June - but he was much further north)

So, for the past two weeks the tempuratures have been rising. We've been up as high as 15 degrees (Celcius) All the snow had melted.

But then it happened. SNOW in TORONTO!

Yesterday I had to go to a workshop for work. I had to drive from my city to another to pick up a co worker and then to another city for the workshop. In total the whole drive was about 70 km. Factoring in rough hour traffic the drive should not have taken longer than 2 hours. I pikced up my co worker at 7 am to be there for 9. We got there at 10. We got there because I drove 7 km/h on the highway for roughly 15 km. Insane.  But it gets better.

Going home we needed to leave that city, stop in another city to get her kids, go back to her city and then back to mine. Tack another 10 km at most onto the drive.
We left at 2:45. I got home at 7:45.  Yeah, 5 hours to make what should have been a 2 hour drive.

And the reason for this insanity. We got snow. But don't be fooled. We didn't get 4 feet of snow. We didn't even get 1 foot of snow. We got about 7 cm of snow. Yes my American friends, we got 2.8 inches of snow. In Canada. And apparently that means the end of the world as we know it.

I shudder to think the chaos an event like in Japan would bring to my fellow Canadians.

It's 6:30 now. I have to be at work by 8:15. It SHOULD only take 20 minutes. I better leave now.

I leave you with a video. It's about how frustrated I feel.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Secret to Successful Weight Loss

I've found the secret. I'll bet you'd like to know, wouldn't you? Well, I'm going to share it with you because that's the kind of girl I am today.

Work. All the time. If I stay at work there is drastically less opportunity for me to fill myself with crap.

We've just wrapped up spring break. I've been home all week. I've discovered (poor choice of words...I've always known and it was just further proven) that I have absolutely NO will power.

The thing is, I don't keep sweets in the house. I don't buy cookies and junk like that. Mostly because if i do, I'll eat them but also because if I buy them I don't make an effort to pack healthy snacks for the girls for school. I get lazy, throw some Bear Paws in their lunch bags and call it a night.

This week my mom made cookies. Damn her. She couldn't make pie? (I hate pie) She couldn't make cake? (not a fan) No, she made cookies. Chocolate chip ones. My. Favourite.  And to make matters worse, I had to do laundry this week which meant I couldn't just not go downstairs. And if I'm downstairs and the cookies are there....well let's call a spade a spade. I'm gonna eat them.

The next problem is lunch. At work I eat salad for lunch. At home there are options. At work there aren't. I make my salad the night before so that I'm not hungry when I'm packing my lunch and therefore less inclined to pack it with crap and empty calories.

But at home I'm free to eat eggs for lunch, or leftovers from last night or grilled cheese.....

Then there's the gym. This is the first week that I didn't go three times. I went twice. In my defence it wasn't that I didn't want to go but I was having a particularly unpleasant visit from that bitch Aunt Flo and let's face it, 30 minutes on the elliptical with her wouldn't be pretty.

I cheated and got on the scale again. I haven't lost anything, in fact I gained a pound. I'm hoping it's water retention from the aforementioned unwelcome guest but it's more likely due to having had wings twice last week plus beer and nachos.

Hey, did I mention I made 3 dozen chocolate chip cookies from scratch this afternoon?

Shit.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Little Humour

Apparently this is the world's funniest joke.

I'll admit, I laughed.

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?". The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?"

Have a nice weekend.

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's A Shaky World We Live In

We had an earthquake here last June. It was a 5.0.

I remember it quite clearly, mainly because we don't get a lot of earthquakes in these parts. In fact, I can only recall 6 or so.

I was on the computer, IMing a friend who lives just east of me and on the phone with Sean. Connor and the daycare babies were sleeping. The ground shook and at first I thought it was a truck going by. We live on a main street so often times big rigs go by and give the house a bit of a shake. But this shake was different in that the house creaked and moaned and there was an audible rumble. It also lasted longer than it takes a truck to drive by.

I said to Sean "Holy shit, we just had an earthquake" and typed to my friend, "Did you feel that??"

Of course it was the talk for the day after that and the lead story on the news.

It seems funny now, trivial. A 5.0 probably doesn't even get felt in places that are accustomed to having frequent and stronger earthquakes.

One of my Pumpkin Patch sisters lives in Japan. Thankfully she and her family are okay - far enough away that the earthquake and tsunami didn't cause any damage. I've been reading her frequent updates on Facebook - it's a glimpse at what is really happening there, especially with the nuclear plants. It's very scary and though for now they are safe, I pray the continue to be so.

The whole thing gets me thinking (because I don't already have enough things to be afraid of)  I live right in between two nuclear plants. Great huh? I'm in that zone where we have to fill out permission forms for our kids to be given potassium iodide in case of a nuclear emergency at schools and daycares. Fabulous.

I think this earthquake in Japan is a reminder of how perilous life is. Earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, fire, nuclear meltdown, blackout (anyone remember the blackout in 2003?) terrorist attacks.....
And my pantry is nearly empty.

Say a prayer tonight for all the people of Japan.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Milestones

Sean is on holiday this week. Lucky dog. Okay, not so much. For the entire week at least one of our children has been sick. It started with Mary running a fever. Then Connor had a fever and croup. Then Emily had a fever and vomiting. Good thing Sean was on holiday or one of us would have missed a lot of work.

We've had some problems lately with Mary calling home from school saying she's sick and wanting to come home and then 20 minutes after she gets home she's fine.  Yesterday the school called and said Mary was 'tired' and needed to come home. Sean and I had had enough of her crying wolf so he made her stay at school.

When Sean picked her up after school she went to bed and went to sleep. And she slept....hard.

For those who know anything about Mary she's not a sleeper. She never has been. She just doesn't need the same amount of sleep that most kids her age do. So for her to sleep so deeply at such an hour was odd.

I went in to check on her and she was out like a light. She was also hot. So I took her temperature. She slept through the whole process.

That got me thinking of Mono. She'd had a sore throat earlier in the week and now here she is in a dead sleep and feverish.

So at 6:30 last night I made her wake up (she was no happy) and took her to the after hours clinic.

The diagnosis. The early onset of pneumonia.  It's no wonder she's tired, she's not getting enough air.

So for the first time in my baby's 8 1/4 years of life, she's on antibiotics.

And Sean feels as guilty as hell for leaving her at school (though he shouldn't, I would have left her too....she cries wolf too often)

When the Dr was writing the script he asked if she was allergic to any meds. I said "I don't know, she's never had any" He stopped and looked at me. "Really?" I said "Yep, never. She's a healthy kid"

At the pharmacy the pharmacist said "Does she have any allergies to medicine?" I said "I don't know, this is her first time having antibiotics" He laughed. I said, "No, really" He looked at her with amazement and said "Is that Mary? How old is she? Wow...never had medicine"

I guess my kid a freak of nature.  

It's all good, Emily had enough meds in her first 2 years to cover the both of them...and Connor too.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's The Small Victories That Matter

We bought the Wii game Epic Mickey for the girls just after Christmas.

I've said before, I'm not much of a 'gamer'. I play things like Jeopardy, Wii Sports and other games that don't require gaming skills. I'm no good at things like Super Mario and Donkey Kong and I quickly lose interest.

But, since the girls and Sean all got new games for Christmas they were pretty occupied with them so I thought I'd be the first to crack it open and give it a try.

I became a junkie. It was a super fun game! And it didn't take a lot of skill, it's more of a puzzle game.

Last night I finished the game. I saved Oswald and Ortensia and got Mickey home. 

I finished the game!

Is it sad that I was totally proud of myself for finishing the game? I was so excited. I still am. I finished a game. I have this overwhelming sense of accomplishment. And I also have an urge to play it again because even though I finished it, I failed at some of the tasks and didn't complete some others. I didn't collect all my film reels.....

I know it's a stupid thing, but I'm happy nonetheless. I finished a game.

Yay Me!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Turmoil of all varieties

A co worker of Sean's passed away last week. It was sudden, unexpected and he was relatively young (47). 
I'd met him a few times because he lives in the same city we do (Sean doesn't work in the same city we live in)
Sean and I went to the funeral home on Sunday evening to pay our respects to his wife.

I'm not a fan of funeral homes to begin with (who is?....well besides morticians) but what made this especially difficult was that it was the same one my Dad's viewing and funeral was. And to add further to this, his viewing was in the same room that my Dad's funeral was in. His casket was in the same place my Dad's was in.
The room was L shaped and I made a point of not going anywhere near the side of the room in which I sat for my Dad's funeral. That would have been too hard.

To add even further to this trauma....the dear departed's wife was clearly still in shock and though she'd only met Sean and I on two occasions when we went to her to express our sympathies she proceeded to unload the details of his death. I certainly understand why she did - she's grieving and trying to make sense of it all but for us....well, I have to remind myself that for the 5 minutes of unmatched awkwardness we endured she'll likely suffer years of grief and questions.

A sad story indeed. RIP Tom. May you find peace and comfort on the other side.

I took Mary to the Dr the specialist the other day to see about her snoring.  She has to have her adenoids out.

I understand the medical reasons but I'm terrified. I had an allergic reaction to general anesthetic when I was 7 and almost died. I've turned down elective surgery for myself because of that. I have worst case scenarios running through my head. I have to book the surgery date at the end of May (we're holding off until the summer) and I'm certain I will talk myself out of it by then.  I know it's routine but I'm not confident that I have the kind of luck that makes my family 'routine' (otherwise known as good luck)  I don't have faith in things I can't control.  I'll wait, I'll talk to the Dr more and I'll decide if we're doing it when it's time to book the surgery.   These are the times when being a parent blows. I don't like decisions like this. I know in the end I'll likely do it but I'll also likely be hysterical from the time she goes in until the time she comes  home.

The good part of our trip to the Dr was that Mary and I had a 'day' together. We went to the mall, had lunch and shopped. She got a lululemon headband...and even better....she got a bag to put it in!! I swear, she was more excited about the free bag and sticker they gave her than she was about the $10 headband.  Makes me think...I should buy stuff there to get a bag and then return the obscenely expensive clothes and keep the bags my children covet. Best of both worlds, they get a bag, I spend no money!!

Love it!