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 ūüėć). 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.

Every Bunny’s Different – Book #3 Is Available!

Last year I had this crazy idea. ¬†I wanted to self-publish a book. ¬†Why not, right? ¬†There are a number of online sites which make self-publishing easy. ¬†All you need is a computer, an idea, and an illustrator (if you are like me and can’t draw). ¬†Although there have been some delays and snags, I’ve actually managed to write and self-publish three books. ¬†I’m extremely proud of them too. ¬†I’ll give you a brief rundown of them all – available for purchase at blurb.ca, blurb.com, amazon.com, and createspace.com – but I want to start with my latest, called¬†Every Bunny’s Different.

Every Bunny’s Different¬†is¬†the story of a bunny named Bryn who learns that she hops differently than the other bunnies. ¬†As a result, she is embarrassed and decides not to hop at all. ¬†Because I can’t have an unhappy ending (I need¬†to have a happy ending…always!), Bryn learns that everyone is different and that’s what makes us special. ¬†It’s an uplifting story about embracing differences, accepting yourself as you are, and being happy.

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Now let’s go back to the beginning…or, at least, to the first book. ¬†It all started with this one. ¬†The idea for this book¬†came to me quickly – based on an adulthood experience I have had – and everything seemed to fall into place with it easily and rapidly. ¬†It’s called The Duck Who Lost Her Quack. ¬†It’s about a duck named Gemma who is¬†forced to change and, consequently, becomes a different – sad – duck. ¬†It ends happily though, with Gemma becoming herself again and finding happiness once more. ¬†I think it’s a sweet story about choosing to be happy and not letting others change you.

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Months (and months and months) later, I self-published my second book, called¬†Sammy’s Rainy Day-And How It Went Away. ¬†It’s about a cat named Sammy who gets sad and lets his emotions overcome him. ¬†It, too, ends happily, with Sammy’s friends coming to his rescue, and letting him see the love around him. ¬†Sammy even pays it forward by helping another animal on the playground overcome his sadness. ¬†Again, I think it’s a heartwarming story about choosing happiness, as well as being about the importance of friendship, and recognizing the good around you.

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As a mom of two fantastic children, I wanted to write stories for them with really beautiful, positive, and inspiring messages attached to them. ¬†I think I did that. ¬†I’m proud of what I’ve done…so far. More to come…

If I Had More Time

Taken from a Writing Prompt from Mama Kat: What Would You Change About Your Life If You Could?

If there was something I could change about my life, it would be that I would have more time. Over the last few months (okay, realistically over the last 6 months or so) I have not been keeping up with writing on my blog. It’s definitely a time problem. At the beginning of last year, when I started this blog – inspired by other bloggers whose work I read regularly and who I think are incredibly talented – I had free time. My then almost-3-year-old frequently napped, which meant that I had a few hours in the afternoon to myself, while my hubby was at work and my son was at school. I used that time to feed my passion for writing. It was something I used to do a lot when I was younger – in elementary school I wrote poems, short stories, and even raps (!), and in secondary school I wrote for the school newspaper – but that was a LONG time ago. I loved getting back to it. I even wrote and self-published some children’s books. It had been a dream of mine to create something that I could be proud of and show to my children, as an example of setting a goal and achieving it. (Shameless self-promotion: The Duck Who Lost Her Quack, Sammy’s Rainy Day-And How It Went Away, and Every Bunny’s Different are available at blurb.ca and amazon.com.)

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But the afternoon naps of my youngest disappeared, and, with them, so did my free time in the day to write. The nights have also gotten busier, with me single-parenting three nights of the week. ¬†So it’s difficult to have any time to just sit and think…and write. I honestly don’t know how the other bloggers I follow find the time to write as much as they do, and I wish I could do the same. The only reason I am able to write this right now is because I am at work…shhhhh…which means I am alone (and I can do this because I’m just a body here in case something goes wrong!).

Of course, keeping up with writing isn’t the only thing I would do with more time. In September, my son and I started taking guitar lessons. It’s something I have wanted to do since I was 14, listening to Bon Jovi and hoping to get an electric guitar for my 15th birthday. That didn’t happen. And I didn’t ever take lessons. So when the opportunity came up months ago, I jumped at it. I loved the lessons, but I started to feel overwhelmed with life a few months later. It seemed we (my family) were always running here and there, though I know we’re not nearly as busy with extra-curricular activities as many people we know. That, compounded with daily headaches and back and neck problems, led to me abandoning the guitar. I jokingly told my hubby he could step in for me for a bit. Now he’s hooked. And I haven’t yet been back to guitar lessons. It’s been four months. I miss it. But, again, I don’t feel like I have enough time to practice as much as I need to. As much as giving it a real try deserves. If I had more time I would definitely continue with guitar lessons, and, in a perfect world, I’d have loads of free time to practice.

With more time I’d also start taking voice lessons. I used to sing. All the time. It’s what I’d do on whenever I¬†had any free time. It was my thing. And I was good. WAS. When I started teachers college, I moved home, leaving the big city and my vocal instructor. That was in 2000. ¬†When I first started this blog, one of my goals for the year was to follow my bliss: singing. I originally intended to start lessons to get my instrument back into shape, and then pay for some recording time and make a CD for me and to have something cool to show and play for my children. That lasted one lesson.

I admit that I feel bad about focusing on myself with my make-believe free time, but I really think it’s important to do what you love and what makes you happy. Obviously my kids make me happy, and I love them more than anything in the world, but I think it’s important to show them that Mommy has hobbies and activities she loves and needs time to do. Hopefully that will also ignite a passion for something in them.

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I have been fortunate enough to have had four years off from my regular job – teaching secondary school – to concentrate on taking care of my family, so I know that the time I have free to do anything “extra” will diminish drastically in September when I go back to work and my youngest starts school. I’m sure I will have a much different list of things I’d want to do with my free time then. I know that¬†I’ll miss spending all of my days with my daughter, having the time to drive my son to and home from school every day, and spending every minute of the kids’ time at home with them. Instead of lamenting the loss of free time to do things for myself, I’ll be wishing time wouldn’t move as quickly as it does, mourning the loss of the time I used to have to just hang out with the kids.

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Time, why can’t you just stop for a bit and let us do all of the things we want to do?

Nothing Like a Spontaneous Reunion…(for Ketchup With Us)

I’m a social person. I always have been. I love my friends. I love getting together and having fun. But over the last few years I’ve been disappointed about not having close friends in the town where we’ve settled. It’s been difficult, and, if I’m being honest, pretty sad. You see, I didn’t grow up here. I grew up in a town about 45 minutes away, where I had loads of friends and lots of fun times. So to live in a place where I have only my husband and kids to talk to has been tough. I’ve actually been told that I’m “too busy”, and so people just don’t even attempt to get in touch with me because I have a husband, kids, a job, and a bunch of other things going on that take my time. People here seem to be “all or nothing” people, unfortunately. And because I can’t give all of my time to others, they want nothing. It’s made me think something’s wrong with me (and my priorities), which has done a number on my self-esteem.

Thank God for something that happened last week.

Last week, I decided, on a whim really, to go to Toronto, where I attended university. I haven’t been back for a visit for a long time, but I thought I should take advantage of the few days I had free in the week to brave the craziness of the city and see some old friends with whom I spent so much time over a decade ago. I put out a call on Facebook, and four days later 16 of us congregated at a restaurant downtown for a walk down memory lane. I would describe the experience as “amazingly wonderful”. We were all so happy to see each other, and so grateful to reconnect. Most of them still live in the city, but with busy work lives and personal lives, it had been years since some of them had seen each other. I hadn’t seen many of them since graduation (16 years ago). But that didn’t matter. True friendships aren’t based on how many times you see each other in a year. It was an experience that warmed my heart, lifted my spirits, and reconfirmed to me that I am a good person who is worthy of true friendship and happiness. I heard someone say – on a talk show! – last week that we need our friends to remind us to love ourselves. So true. My university friends reminded me to love myself last week. They also reminded me how lucky I’ve been to have such terrific people in my life.

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Yes, I took a TON of pictures that night! I love these people!!!!!

And I hope that we can reconnect again in the near future for another night of laughs and memories. They’re good for my soul.