Emotional Clutter

The art of letting go.  I can’t seem to master it.

It’s not that I don’t want to let go.  I absolutely do.  After all, who in her right mind would want to hold on to every word, event, situation, and person that has caused her pain, sadness, frustration, anger, and self-doubt?

But I do hold on.

Today has been a particularly difficult day for me.  Part of it is because it is the day before I am going back to work, for the first time this school year.  I am feeling the same nervousness I feel at the end of August on a “regular” school year.  No matter how many years I have been teaching – this month it’s 17 – there’s still that feeling of butterflies in my stomach with every new year.  It’s difficult to let go of that nervousness.  I know it will be wonderful when I meet my students, and some of my nervousness disappeared last week when I saw some of my former students who were very glad to see me.  However, there are other things that I cannot let go of and which are completely out of my control.  Learning to let go of what other people – other adults – think of me is something I have been trying to do for YEARS, and, no matter how far I think I have come, I end up feeling self-doubt, confusion, and frustration, and I end up getting trapped in the middle of that emotional clutter.

Today has also been difficult because I am trying to let go of friendships that I can’t seem to resuscitate, no matter how hard I try.  Here’s the thing about me:  Friendships are high on my list of priorities and always have been.  Making time for friends is important to me, and I will do anything for my friends.  So, when someone decides that there’s no longer any point in having a friendship, I can’t seem to let it be and let it go.  I worry about what I have done, what I have said, what I haven’t done, what I haven’t said, and on, and on, and on…until I drive myself crazy.  I wonder how I can change this person’s mind, and if we’ll ever be friends again…someday.  There are times when I think I am okay with letting go, but then, once again, I end up feeling smothered by all of the emotions I am experiencing and I can’t clear that emotional clutter.

Though letting go would most certainly make my life easier and make me happier, I just can’t seem to get a handle on it.  And, quite honestly, I’m not sure it’s a “Shannon thing”.  I guess time will tell.

Tomorrow will hopefully be a less emotional day for me, or at least a day with more positive emotions than negative.  I can handle that kind of emotional clutter any day.



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.

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.


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.


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.


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…