Seeing the Light

I have been wanting to write another blog post for quite some time now. The thing is, there have been a lot of not-so-great things going on in my life and the lives of people I know, and so I didn’t think I was in the right mindset to write a post. I knew the post would be sad, and I didn’t want that. I’ve had a few sad posts in a row, and I didn’t want to continue with that pattern. I even talked to my friend Eli, the talented blogger Coach Daddy, and told him that I didn’t want to be Debbie Downer. So what could I write about?

Today Eli asked me what was good about my day yesterday. And, despite the sadness hanging over me like a dark cloud, I was able to list a number of things that made my day good. So why not write about what made my day good and practice gratitude?

Physiotherapy. I have been going off and on for 16 years, but for the last year I have been going regularly to two different physiotherapist teams. I have just added a third, as of two weeks ago. I’m grateful for those people whose job it is to make me feel better. Today. I felt 1000 times better leaving the physio office than entering it, physically and mentally. That was also in part to one of the other patients reading corny jokes to me from a Reader’s Digest magazine. They were corny but they made me chuckle, which always makes a day better.

Tea. I had a party a few weeks ago for a friend who sells tea. I was very excited for this party. Maybe too excited…? Anyway, my tea order came yesterday, which means I can try out my new purchases and tasty new teas, which makes me giddy. On the menu tonight: Toffee Crunch Rooibos Tea.

“Survivor”. I still love this show. I have watched since season one. It never gets old to me. I get excited during the competitions, and I always seem to find someone to cheer on. This season is especially fun to watch because it includes some of my past faves (Ozzy 😍). The best thing is my husband and I actually sit down together to watch this – he’s usually on his iPad playing a game, but will occasionally look up so we can chat about the show – and there’s really no other TV show we watch together. I look forward to Wednesday nights for this reason.

My dog, Sophie. A few months ago, a beautiful 10-year-old dog became a member of our family. She was a friend’s dog, but that friend recently moved and couldn’t take Sophie with her. Our family has wanted a dog for a long time, and we always planned on getting a puppy, but we just never knew when the right time would be for that to happen. That right time turned out to be now, and instead of a puppy we were blessed with an already trained, calm dog. Sophie is such a sweet dog, and she’s become a much-loved fixture at our house. The kids run in after school and call for her immediately, giving her hugs and kisses after missing her all day. She and I have spent the last few weeks together, as I have been on sick leave from work, and I love having her here to cuddle with. We had lots of that cuddle time yesterday.

My kids, Zander and Zoey. These two gems are obviously the most important people in my life and what I am most grateful for. All I want for them is to be happy, and yesterday they were happy. There were no meltdowns or fights. There were no tears. It was all good. Zander and Scott went out for a long walk with Sophie, while Zoey read me a story before bed. Zoey is also counting down the days to her birthday – we’re at 6 now – and she’s so excited. I love these two so much, and they brighten every day.

I am a very lucky person to have so much to be grateful for. Despite the sadness, and despite the uncertainty and frustration, I must see the light in every day.


2014: So far, so good (for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop)

Writing Prompt:  Update your readers on your 2014 goals. How are things going? Are you staying on track or facing some challenges?

Normally I don’t set goals for myself for the new year – too many opportunities to not meet them and feel like I’ve failed! – but this year I decided to do it, prompted by another blogger.  I set three goals:  follow my bliss, be grateful for what I have and stop worrying about what I can’t improve, and stop wishing my kids would grow up faster. 

First:  follow my bliss.  I love singing, and did it a lot as a kid and young adult, but haven’t really sung in almost 15 years.  A goal I set was to start singing again and eventually make a CD this year.  It’s for me and for my kids to have something of their mom doing what she loves.  At this point, I’ve only been able to get to one vocal lesson.  In my defense, I have missed two other lessons because of weather.  Living in Midwestern Ontario – also called the “snowbelt” of Ontario – means dealing with a lot of blizzards, whiteouts, and road closures at this time of year.  Today was all of those things, and so it was impossible for me to get to my scheduled lesson.  I will, however, keep trying, and hopefully Mother Nature will ease up on us a bit so that I can get back to my lessons and back on track with preparing to record a CD. 

BUT HERE’S THE EXCITING NEWS, and it fits in with following my bliss:  I just self-published a children’s book!  It’s called The Duck Who Lost Her QuackI have always loved writing, and though I haven’t done it in a long time – life gets busy and hobbies often get pushed aside – I had an urge to write a children’s book.  Again, it was so that I could follow my bliss, and so that I could have something to show my kids.  They love books and reading, and so it would be perfect.  I found an online site that lets people self-publish, and on Tuesday I published my book!  And though these days anyone can self-publish, I really feel like I’ve accomplished something.  And I feel pretty darn blissful about it.

My second goal:  be grateful for what I have and let go of what I cannot.  I mentioned writing in a “gratitude journal” like Oprah used to talk about years ago.  Bad news:  No journal has been started.  And I still get upset about things I do not have or with things I want to improve but have no control over.  That said, I do think I’ve taken many opportunities to let my fortunate circumstances sink in, but there’s always room for improvement in this area.

My last goal:  stop wishing my kids would grow up faster.  I think I’ve really been doing well at this one.  I know that life goes by quickly – too fast, really – and it’s important to just be in the moment.  When my seven year old son said, “Ugh, do I have to cuddle with you?” (which I discussed in a previous blog), it made me stop and see that the special moments I have with my kids won’t last forever.  He doesn’t even want to cuddle with his mommy anymore!  Sad.  But part of growing up.  So why would I want to speed that up?  Craziness.  I make sure I take every opportunity I have to cuddle, snuggle, play, and just be with my kids, while they still want me and my hubby to spend time with them!

Two months into the new year I feel as if I’m on track with my goals, and I am determined to stay on track.

3 Words for 2014

I follow a blogger on Twitter, who had an interesting writing prompt this week:  write 3 words to describe what your 2014 will be about.  I have been thinking long and hard about this one for several days.  I think I have the same New Year’s Resolutions as many:  I’d love to exercise more – okay, MUCH more, since I barely exercise at all – and get in better shape, especially as I approach my 40th birthday this summer; I’d love to read more – again, MUCH more, in my spare time (rather than watching TV);  and I really should get little projects around the house finished up – or even STARTED.  Eeks.  But I don’t want to write the same as everyone else.  And I can’t really improve on the obvious bad habits, because, luckily, I don’t have the “obvious” bad habits.  Don’t get me wrong, I have lots to work on, but what I mean is I don’t have “quit smoking” or “stop eating fast food” or “limit my alcohol intake” as possible resolutions.   So here goes.

BLISS – specifically the phrase “follow your bliss” applies here.  I absolutely LOVE singing.  I did it a lot as a kid – or as much as a shy(ish) little girl could, in my room, and then later in a play, and with my friends’ band, and in a string of weddings – but haven’t really sung in almost 15 years.  I would like to sing this year.  One of my dreams is to make a CD for my kids to have.  I just need to research where to go and how to get tracks laid down for me since I don’t really play instruments – well, I haven’t for decades.  I see a trend here.  Life gets busy, but I think it’s important to hold on to the hobbies one finds rewarding and satisfying.  I need to do this.

GRATITUDE – I am incredibly fortunate to have what I have.  Often I get caught up in the things that I do not have, or with the things that I want to improve but have no control over.  Instead, I really need to just be grateful for my life.  I have a wonderful family, including 2 healthy and happy children, I have so much fun here at work at the radio station, where I work with such fantastic people, I have a satisfying job as a teacher where I love working with students, my husband and I are healthy, I have terrific friends (but, unfortunately they are all over the place and so I don’t get to see them very often), we have a nice home and great neighbours…and the list goes on.  I think it’s time to start the good ole “gratitude journal” that Oprah Winfrey used to talk about years ago.

STOP – I mean this in terms of my children.  There are times when my husband and I hope for the kids to grow up a little quicker, so that they sleep longer – and don’t wake up SEVERAL times each night – and so that they are a little more independent…and so that they can play together without us worrying that our son is too rough or our daughter isn’t understanding that hitting her brother to provoke him isn’t the best decision to make.  Anyway, I need to stop wishing they would grow up faster.  Yes we are sleep deprived.  Yes we are not able to go out much – at least, without breaking the bank for a babysitter.  But, and here’s where word #2 comes in, I must be grateful for the opportunity to have these moments.  Many people are not so lucky.

Those are my 3 words for my goals for 2014.  I’m sure I will think about it some more and think of additional words…and that’s okay.  Nothing’s wrong with having goals, right?