O Canada

Do me a favor and point north today, and sing ‘O Canada’ as loudly as you can – it’s Canada Day!!!! Time to celebrate!!! :-) To kick the morning off right, I delivered tacos and mimosas to my parents….yummy!! :-) Every day should begin like this! :-) I plan to enjoy some great wine and even better company this evening…focusing on what’s important on Canada Day: those that you love. :-)

 

Some of the best things about Canada, for your perusal:

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Niagara Falls – the Canadian side :-)

Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria, British Columbia

Quebec City, Quebec

Quebec City, Quebec

 

I’m proud to be from a land that produces stuff like that up there – Happy Canada Day, eh!

xxx

Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind?

Does Fort Worth ever cross your mind? If not, it totally should – what a great city!! I’ve been here all week for an Advanced Placement Summer Institute conference – and, while I would rather have been at home in San Antonio with my Wee One, I have really enjoyed getting to see some of the city. I want to get planning a trip back here as soon as I can – there’s a lot I want to see and do! :-)

I saw some of the Stockyards area, which is really cool – it looked like an Old West down, and the preservation/restoration of this awesome neighborhood is really well done. Unfortunately, the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill were wreaking havoc on this area, making it far too wet to stroll around outside, but driving through the area was great. :-)

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Fort Worth is a brilliant food town – and we all know how I love me some good eating! 😉 I am not a fan of chain restaurants, so trying new and different places is one of my very favorite things to do – and this city is a fab place to do this! We had dinner at Rodeo Goat on Sunday night – I had the Sugar Burger, which was one of the most delicious and unusual things I’ve ever had (grilled peaches should always be on every burger every where every day). We shared an appetizer called ‘The Steaming Pile’ (if you’re a regular reader, you know that I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy, so you are correct in your assumption that I ordered this one totally because of the filthy name!) – it was jalapeno tots smothered with goat cheese, a sharp cheddar, and bacon. O.M.G. Good eatin’ here, folks…DELISH! :-)

The Sugar Burger from Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth...unreal! Grilled peaches on top of a burger!! Who knew??! Delicious!! :-)

The Sugar Burger from Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth…unreal! Grilled peaches on top of a burger!! Who knew??! Delicious!! :-)

The Steaming Pile....of goodness! ;-)

The Steaming Pile….of goodness! ;-)

 

We had a delicious sushi meal at Blue Sushi Sake Grill – really different things, which I thoroughly enjoyed. One of my colleagues that I was dining with is a real sushi afficionado, and letting him order for me was an excellent decision. :-)

Awesome sushi from Blue Sushi Sake Grill in Fort Worth....I heart sushi!! :-)

Awesome sushi from Blue Sushi Sake Grill in Fort Worth….I heart sushi!! :-)

 

A real standout this week was Torchy’s Tacos – apparently we have one of these in San Antonio, and I feel that my life has been empty up to this point since I’ve never heard of this place before. I cannot wait to go back many, many times, working my way through their awesome menu. I ordered something called the Trailer Park Hillbilly from the secret menu – and my life is forever changed for the better. Yaa me! :-)

Heaven, my friends...in taco form. :-)

Heaven, my friends…in taco form. :-)

 

I had a great meal at Bird Cafe (we tried a bit of everything on the menu – and I highly highly recommend the food), Cane Rosso (friggin’ delicious pizza), Carshon’s Deli (a really weird, old school deli with BLOODY AWESOME food – be sure to take cash, though, as they don’t accept credit cards)…but I didn’t get pictures of these places. However, I feel confident that I will visit them again someday, so….stay tuned, friends! :-)

 

When I come back to Fort Worth, I want to do the touristy things: the Stockyards, the zoo, the botanical gardens….there is SO MUCH to see and do here! I hope Fort Worth is on your mind – because it sure is on mine! I can’t wait to come back! 😉

xxx

 

Shaddap You Face

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Why some people think that it’s okay to express their opinions whether they are wanted or not is completely beyond me – I don’t get it. Personally, I wait until I’m asked to offer my little nuggets o’wisdom up – and if I’m not asked, I keep my mouth shut. Why? Because I’m not pompous enough to think that the rest of the world gives a shit about my opinions – I figure if they want/need to know, they will ask. Until then? I shut up and keep it to myself.

However, I have noticed over the years that I am amongst the minority with this one…very few people know how to be quiet and keep their opinions to themselves. I don’t get it – but it’s absolutely true. Everywhere I go these days, it seems that someone I encounter feels it is their God-given right to spout words about what I’m doing/wearing/eating/drinking/being…and it’s ridiculous. What made them think that this kind of behavior is okay? I somehow manage to resist the urge to comment on their appalling fashion choices or charisma-bypass procedure, so why can’t they shut up about the width of my arse/my lipstick color?I don’t get it.

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I believe in my heart that what other people think of me is absolutely NONE of my business. However, it kind of becomes my business when someone takes it upon themselves to tell me – and this is where things get tricky. Very rarely these days do people stop you to tell you how wonderful you are, or how clever and witty they think you are. I wish more of that happened – but sadly it does not. (NOTE: It totally should – there’s your homework assignment for today, friends – go find someone and tell them how wonderful you think they are. It’ll make their day. :-) ) Instead, what seems to be commonplace now is people giving you their unsolicited opinions about the things that you do wrong, or the things that they perceive to  be wrong with your appearance. Why? Many of them claim that they do this because they want to ‘help’ you – I call bullshit on that. They don’t want to help you. They want to somehow build themselves up by putting you down….and that is crap. All that this does is make you feel bad, and pretty much ruin your day. Gross.

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Instead of going around ruining each other’s days, why don’t we celebrate the things that make all of us unique? How about we focus on improving the quality of our own lives, doing the things that make us feel so awesome that we don’t need to put anyone else down? I’m so on board with this idea…let’s all give it a shot, and see if we can’t get a movement going. Here’s a list – 30 Small Things I Do Every Day That Improves the Quality of My Life – to get you started:

1. Drink a cup of coffee or tea. The caffeine will help to give you a much-needed boost – and it is pretty delicious too!
2. Wake up earlier. Set your alarm to go off quarter of an hour before you normally get up. This extra 15 minutes will help make your morning less stressful, and you will able to have a more organized and productive day.

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3. Clean out your email. Delete all of your spam emails and the ones you don’t need. Decluttering will make you more organized while helping you to keep on top of work.

4. Make a friend smile. Send them a funny video online, or text them to see how they are doing. Making someone else’s day is a sure-fire way to guarantee your day being great too.

5. Read the newspaper. Keeping up with world events will stimulate your mind and help you to gain new perspectives.
6. Hug someone you are close to. From your child to your partner to your sister, having a good old hug will improve your mood and mental state. This is also a great way to keep your relationships healthy and happy, too!

7. Have a quick tidy up if you have a few spare minutes. It will barely feel like tidying, but your mind will thank you for making the environment tidier and more pleasant.

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8. Write a diary entry or a blog post. Many people find writing cathartic, and it can help you to process your own emotions and feelings. This is also a great way to keep your brain sharp!

9. Smile at the first stranger you see. This will put a smile on their face and leave you feeling warm inside!

10. Raise your heart rate. From a brisk walk to a session in the gym, exercise stimulates your body and mind, leaving you feeling generally more energetic and improving your mood.

11. Take a walk. Being outside will raise your mood and it can calm you down if you are feeling stressed or worried.
12. Carry a bottle of water with you. Water is one of the best drinks for your body, and it will improve your health, your skin and your mind – perfect!

13. Look through old photographs. Reliving old memories will put a smile on your face, and you will feel grateful for the wonderful people in your life.

14. Write down three things you are thankful for each day. This will help you to appreciate all of the brilliant people and things you have in your life.

15. Put some laundry on. No-one likes doing laundry, but the feeling of accomplishment afterwards is much better for your mind than the negative feeling of putting it off.

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16. Read a chapter of a book you love, or a new book. This will help to both lift your mood and relax you – a twofer!
17. Have a meaningful conversation. After a day of work and chores, it is important to feel like your day was important and meaningful – and one of the easiest ways to do this is to sit down with someone interesting and chew the fat.

18. Listen to music. Put on an upbeat album you love, and after a few tracks you will notice yourself humming, smiling and dancing – all indicators of a great mood.

19. Light a candle when you get home from work. The appearance and smell of a candle will help you to relax and wind down.
20. Eat at least one healthy meal, with fruit and vegetables. The healthy food will give both your body and your mind energy – and you’ll feel great for choosing the healthy option.

21. Listen to something that makes you think. From the radio on the way home to a podcast you like, this will stimulate your brain and get your mind thinking about different things.

22. Do something nice for someone else. Mentally fulfilled people think about other’s needs as often as their own, and simply offering a co-worker a word of encouragement will help you to feel more positive.

23. Spend some time with the people you live with. From family to housemates, this will make you feel more connected to the people you share your life with – and it is a really fun way to wind down!

24. Have a drink you love with your lunch. Lunch can feel like a hurried affair, so make the effort to bring a drink you love to savour, whether that is a comforting latte or a healthy berry smoothie.

25. Do the washing up before you go to bed. The next morning will be much more pleasant and relaxed if you don’t have to start the day with yesterday’s chores.

26. Put on an outfit you love. If you feel great on the outside, you will start to feel pretty good on the inside too – trust me!
27. Speak to someone who lives far away. From your parents to a friend who moved away, this will make you feel proactive – and no doubt they will really appreciate you calling them!

28. Spend five minutes alone. If you feel life starting to get on top of you take a break and spend a minutes alone. After this reflection time you will feel noticeably calmer and more relaxed.

29. Take a long bath or shower before you sleep. You will go to bed feeling clean and relaxed, helping you to get a great night’s sleep.

30. Make sure you get eight hours sleep. Everything is more difficult and stressful when you’re tired – get a head start on this and make sure you are refreshed for a productive and fun day!

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Good list, eh? Thanks, Lifehack! I highlighted my favorites in bold, but I think the whole list is a pretty good one. I think that it has become too common in today’s world to shit all over the people around us as a way to make ourselves feel better…which is  the absolute stupidest thing ever. If we focused more on making our own lives rich and full of happiness, we wouldn’t feel the need to stick our noses into the goings on of others. You do you, and I do me. It’s a beautiful thing, friends….let’s try. :-)

xxx

 

PS: The next time you find yourself offering your unsolicited opinion to someone around you, stop and take a deep breath…think carefully about what you’re about to say. If your words could possibly hurt, just shaddup you face. 😉

 

Catch Up

Things have been majorly busy for me lately – the regular end-of-school-year stuff, combined with two coworkers with serious illnesses (and me covering their work during their absence), graduation, a birthday party for the Wee One, a broken arm for the Wee One :-(, and a work trip to Fort Worth for a week. Life has been a bit much lately (she says in the understatement of the year thus far)…here’s what’s been happening lately:

Living the life :-)

Living the life :-)

My little love....and her tiny broken right arm :-(

My little love….and her tiny broken right arm :-(

BooBoo at her Painting With a Twist birthday party!! :-)

BooBoo at her Painting With a Twist birthday party!! :-)

All the little girls and their finished products!! SUCH a great birthday party!! :-)

All the little girls and their finished products!! SUCH a great birthday party!! :-)

I took the Wee One to see Mamma Mia last week - the show was awesome, as was the bruschetta at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Riverwalk where we ate on our way to the show. Yum!

I took the Wee One to see Mamma Mia last week – the show was awesome, as was the bruschetta at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Riverwalk where we ate on our way to the show. Yum!

Lights along the Riverwalk :-)

Lights along the Riverwalk :-)

The Riverwalk in San Antonio :-)

The Riverwalk in San Antonio :-)

At Mamma Mia! So much fun!! :-)

At Mamma Mia! So much fun!! :-)

My new hobby - eating frozen yogurt for lunch :-) I highly recommend it!! :-)

My new hobby – eating frozen yogurt for lunch :-) I highly recommend it!! :-)

On my way to graduation at the AlamoDome...I survived announcing all of the student names onstage! Woohoo!!! :-)

On my way to graduation at the AlamoDome…I survived announcing all of the student names onstage! Woohoo!!! :-)

A fried egg sandwich from Halcyon in San Antonio....SO.GOOD. :-)

A fried egg sandwich from Halcyon in San Antonio….SO.GOOD. :-)

The Sugar Burger from Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth...unreal! Grilled peaches on top of a burger!! Who knew??! Delicious!! :-)

The Sugar Burger from Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth…unreal! Grilled peaches on top of a burger!! Who knew??! Delicious!! :-)

Awesome sushi from Blue Sake Sushi in Fort Worth....I heart sushi!! :-)

Awesome sushi from Blue Sake Sushi in Fort Worth….I heart sushi!! :-)

 

So….as you can see, things have been pretty action-packed around here lately. Thankfully my summer vacation time begins next week – yaa! I’m looking forward to taking time for myself, spending as much time as possible with the Wee One, working around my house, sitting on my arse, and catching up on all of the things that I have ignored for the entire school year. I’m excited!!! :-) How’s your summer going so far, friends?

xxx

Jealousy

I hate feeling jealous. I hate the fact that somebody else has something that I don’t (but that I apparently want badly enough to feel the feels), and I hate feeling resentment towards other people. Life is too damn short, friends. However, I feel jealous of other people all the damn time – and I’ve got to work on this. How do you handle the green-eyed monster?

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I am a regular reader of Gala Darling’s site, and I like (and agree with) a lot of what she has to say. She recently posted about the common phenomenon of women not feeling happy for other women – which is somethat I find troubling. I know that there have been times when others have shared their good news with me and I have been anything but happy….which is very shitty of me. I should never begrudge someone else’s joy simply because that particular ship hasn’t come in for me – how small-minded and petty of me. Ick. I know better. Read what Gala said about this:

I’ve been thinking a lot about business frenemies. There are a lot of people who seem to be on your team on an everyday basis, but when things get really good, it’s fascinating to see how things unravel.

One of the easiest frenemy tests is to see how people respond when you tell them some amazing news. It’s not just whether they are happy for you or not. Their response can be one of four categories: passive destructive (they ignore the news), active destructive (they diminish the news), passive constructive (they acknowledge the news half-heartedly), or active constructive (they engage wholeheartedly). It’s a fascinating topic.

Feeling jealous or envious of another woman’s success is an indication of your subconscious beliefs. If you feel slighted when someone else does well, that shows that you have a mindset of scarcity. You believe that if she is successful, you can’t be. It indicates that you think there is not enough money, opportunity, customers, love, or attention to go around.

I believe the opposite. I believe that when my sister succeeds, knocks it out of the park, or has a massive professional triumph, that lifts all of us higher!

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Jealousy can be a gift: it shows us what we want from our own lives. Sometimes what we want is buried so far beneath the surface that jealousy is the only thing that coaxes it out. Let’s be real though — jealousy never feels like a gift. It feels like hell. And it doesn’t just feel bad: it keeps us stuck.

Obsessing over what someone else is doing is a distraction. You can’t move your own life forward when you’re constantly looking over your shoulder to see what everyone else is up to. In order to change your life and move dramatically onward, you need to enlist laser focus and stay on your grind!

Society tells us to be in constant competition with each other. Who’s skinniest? Who’s wealthiest? Who’s got a more perfect-looking life? None of that stuff matters. While we’re busy squabbling amongst ourselves, we’re still earning 70 cents to every dollar a man gets for the same work. Let’s not kid ourselves: we have bigger problems than who can fit into a smaller dress size.

As I say in my book…

“We are constantly being taught to see women as competition, rather than people who need you and can make your life better. Make the mental leap, and fuck the status quo! We are so much more powerful when we’re together!” — Radical Self Love: A Guide to Loving Yourself and Living Your Dream

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The key to getting unstuck in your own life is to learn how to become wildly excited for your friend’s success. Recognise that there is no lack, no scarcity: if she can do it, so can you! Use your jealousy and see what it’s telling you. Ask yourself what you can learn from what your friend did. Success is never about “luck”: it’s a result of knowledge and concerted effort. Those things are totally within reach!

When you can be happy when you see other women who are slaying it, you know that you’re on the right track.

Remember, too, that you never know exactly what is going on in someone’s life. They may be getting married but their career is a wreck; their mother might be terminally ill; they may be dealing with a crisis of faith underneath that perfectly-applied red lipstick.

Have compassion for others as well as for yourself. You are exactly where you need to be, right in this moment. Accept all of that, and recommit yourself to your dreams!

I love you (and I’m cheering for you!)

 

 

I really really love this: Jealousy can be a gift: it shows us what we want from our own lives. This is so profound I can hardly stand it…it’s one of those things that hit me like a ton of bricks. If this is the case, then here are the things that I want: a happy and fulfilling relationship, more time with my Wee One, more time away from work to do the things that I enjoy doing…and just more pleasure and happiness in my life. I guess it all comes down to this simple idea: I want more of what I want to do, and less of what I have to do. Pretty simple, yes? These are the things that I envy in other people – those who have nothing but time to do what they fancy, those who have every day of their life surrounded by people who love them…that’s what I want. I mostly feel happy for the joy of others these days, but…I have the odd moment where I am left thinking, ‘Why them? Why not me?’ I should be thinking, ‘Why not them! Maybe someday me!’ and be happy about their success, instead of wondering when it will be my turn. Because it will, you know…someday it will be my turn to get all of those things that I want most out of life. Someday. :-)

xxxx

Thinkin’ About You

I subscribe to the Lifehack newsletter, and get all sorts of gems from them each day – this is one of my recent favorites. If you’ve been reading ’round these parts for awhile, you will know that I care very little what other people think of me – I figure that it’s none of my business. Instead, I try every day to be a brave little toaster, to forge my own path, and to just go on with my bad self. Here’s some words of wisdom I wanted to share with you about that:

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  1. “The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.” ― Virginia Woolf

  2. “A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up.” ― Mae West
  3. “You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.” ― Richard P. Feynman
  4. “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”—Lao Tzu
  5. “Never dull your shine for somebody else.” ― Tyra Banks (Preach that one, Ms Tyra!!!!)

  6. “If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that… I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.” ― John Lennon
  7. “I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.” ― Michel de Montaigne
  8. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”— Dr. Seuss
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  10. “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. “― Suzy Kassem
  11. “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”— Oscar Wilde
  12. “Some people say, “Never let them see you cry.” I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone.” ― Tina Fey
  13. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”— Albert Einstein
  14. “Some people say you are going the wrong way, when it’s simply a way of your own.”— Angelina Jolie
  15. “I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all.”— Coco Chanel (Love this!!!)
  16. “Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what.” ― Erma Bombeck
  17. “There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.” ― Marianne Williamson
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  19. “Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.” ― Cynthia Kersey

  20. “No name-calling truly bites deep unless, in some dark part of us, we believe it. If we are confident enough then it is just noise.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton
  21. “When it comes down to it, I let them think what they want. If they care enough to bother with what I do, then I’m already better than them.” ― Marilyn Monroe
  22. “Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.” ― Tina Fey
  23. I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.” ― Charlotte Brontë

  24. “I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.” ― Amy Poehler (YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  25. “You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.” ― Olin Miller
  26. “There is nothing more attractive than confidence, once she sees her own beauty, everyone else will.” ― Habeeb Akande
  27. “Few and mean as my gifts may be, I actually am, and do not need for my own assurance or the assurance of my fellows any secondary testimony.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
  28. “People who repeatedly attack your confidence and self-esteem are quite aware of your potential, even if you are not.” ― Wayne Gerard Trotman
  29. “So many people along the way, whatever it is you aspire to do, will tell you it can’t be done. But it all it takes is imagination. You dream. You plan. You reach.”― Michael Phelps
  30. “Well, laddie, if you’ve let an old buzzard like me hurt your confidence, you couldn’t have had much in the first place.” ― Tamora Pierce

  31. “Most people just want to see you fall, that’s more reason to stand tall.” ― Emma Michelle
  32. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” ― Aristotle
  33. “He thinks himself rather an exceptional young man, thoroughly sophisticated, well adjusted to his environment, and somewhat more significant than any one else he knows.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald
  34. “When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize I should have been more specific.” ― Lily Tomlin
  35. “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” ― Sigmund Freud
  36. “My dear, I don’t give a damn.” ― Margaret Mitchell

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Aren’t these fabulous?? I think so, too! Give ’em a read, go over the list a second and third time, and let those words soak into that beautiful brain of yours. Good stuff! :)

xxx

Glory Days

AMC’s brilliant “Mad Men” ended on Sunday night…and man, will I miss that show. What did you think of the finale? I like that it ended rather open-ended (although not as wide open as the ending of “The Soprano’s”, which only served to piss me off), but yet tied up a number of the storylines with bows on top. I will forever love Joan, Peggy, and even Betty doesn’t grate on my nerves like she used to…and I will certainly miss my weekly hour spent with Don Draper. There was so much good about this show, something so beautiful about the glory days of a nation coming in to its own…I will miss it.

When you look back on your life, what time period do you identify as your ‘glory days’? I know a lot of people who thought that their best times were in high school or college. That’s great, I’m glad that they enjoyed the experience – but holy hell am I ever glad that I am not one of those people. High school was okay for me, for the most part (not the early part, but the latter years), but I sure as hell hope that wasn’t as good as it gets. I think – HOPE! – my glory days are now – I’m happier in my work than I’ve ever been, I’m a deliriously happy mama and can’t imagine a moment of my days without my Wee One, and I think perhaps I’m on the cusp on finding the happiness that I’ve long sought. Things are starting to feel differently for me lately – I feel like things are coming together, and maybe life isn’t as hard as it used to be. I hope that this is a sign of things to come, rather than a one-off fluke thing. I am not struggling as hard as I always have, and while I can’t say that things are coming easily, I can certainly acknowledge that life has been considerably more peaceful lately. It’s been great….and I’m hoping for more good times. :-) I feel like I’ve earned them!

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I’ve not been able to pinpoint exactly what it is that is feeling different, but there is certainly something going on with me lately. I’m feeling so much more at ease with myself…and it is friggin’ LIBERATING! I read this article on self-acceptance, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you:

There’s nothing wrong with you.


Let me repeat that statement one more time so you can take it in more fully: There’s nothing wrong with you.


How does that concept make you feel? Maybe it filled you with a sense of relief … it affirmed that you’re okay and that made you feel better. Or, maybe your mind flat-out rejected the idea, saying something like “Baloney! There are lots of things wrong with me … you don’t know me and you don’t know what you’re talking about!” Perhaps it was a blend of these responses or something else entirely. 


There’s nothing wrong with you.


What does that statement even mean? So many of us are walking around in life feeling broken or weary or wounded in some way … thinking we’re not good enough or we’re not worthy enough. We count up our faults and use them as evidence that we’re defective. We work on improving ourselves, certain we must reject who we are to become the person we’re capable of being. We’re looking for the fix to make everything better. But what if … I urge you to open your mind to this idea for just a moment … what if there’s nothing really wrong with you after all?


Our bodies may not be functioning at 100% … I’m not denying the existence of illness. Yet, our bodies are not “who we are” … they are the vessels that carry our souls in this life on earth.


Who we are … who we truly are … arrived on earth with everything we need for our life journey. We came complete … whole … there was nothing wrong with us from day one. And, nothing we can do can change that.


Can our behaviors be wrong? Yes – they can, for instance, it is wrong to deliberately hurt another person. Can our thinking be wrong? Well, I’m not sure “wrong” is the correct word, but certainly we can perceive things in a way that brings us stress instead of peace. Still, who you are at your core is who you are meant to be, and in that sense, there’s nothing wrong with you.

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WHY IS SELF-ACCEPTANCE SO IMPORTANT?
I find that when we really love and accept and approve of ourselves exactly as
we are, then everything in life works. ~ Louise Hay


Self-acceptance doesn’t mean you don’t want to change. Quite the contrary, it often leads to dramatic change as you give up the limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors that you’d adopted trying to be someone you’re not. The secret to finding the happiness and peace you seek in your life is not in trying to figure out what’s wrong with you; instead, your aim is to explore the truth of who you really are.


Perhaps this analogy might help. Imagine your vision is getting blurry so you go to the eye doctor and get a prescription for new pair of glasses. A mistake is made in the lab and the actual lenses you receive are far too strong; the glasses not only make your vision worse, they give you headaches. You realize the problem so you go back and get the prescription that is correct for you. With these new lenses, the world appears sharper, crisper, and more beautiful. You see the world around you more clearly. All I have to do today is be myself — because I am more than good enough.


Self-acceptance is like putting on that wonderful new pair of glasses with the perfect prescription for you. You see every action and thought you have in a new light … the way it really is rather than how you’d once imagined the world to be (the world you saw through the lenses that weren’t right for you .. the world that gave you headaches!). Little by little, you’re able to let go of past patterns … pretense falls away … you embrace the authentic you. You accept yourself, you love yourself, and your world becomes rich with a sense of peace and happiness that may have alluded you for years.


We are constantly invited to be who we are. ~ Henry David Thoreau


There is nothing wrong with you. Know this and live your life being true to you. If you’ve not listened to your inner guidance for a while, it may take time to get reacquainted with the true you, but I promise, the “journey to you” will be worth the effort!

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I know it’s kind of new age-y and hippie-ish, but…there are some really good points in there. You are good enough – and so am I. We can make minor improvements because we want to, but we sure as hell don’t have to. There is nothing we HAVE to do but be our true, awesome selves…it IS enough. I love that. :-)

I have 6 tattoos (somehow that sounds really shocking and like it is a lot when I say it, but they don’t appear that way in real life), and I want 3 more: “To thine own self be true” on my back, “Let it be” somewhere (I’d like the inside of a wrist, but I’m not 100% certain on that one), and the Latin phrase “Satis sum” somewhere on me as well – it means “I am enough”. Because I am enough. So are you. :-)

Don’t you love it? I do, too. :-)

 

xxx

School’s Out

Something pretty exciting happened today – I earned some new letters to put behind my name. I have been pursuing a Doctorate for a number of years now – sadly, the degree I did earn was not that….but it’s pretty damn close. I have completed all of the course work necessary for an Education Specialist degree (EdS) – I received my grade for my final massive research project this morning: I got a perfect score. :-)

As I said, I’ve been toiling away on the Doctorate degree for awhile now – I flew through the course work and found it to be very interesting, educational, and fulfilling….but the dissertation process has been the death of me. No joke. I went through three different dissertion chairs, and I could not seem to get myself and my way of working to the point that they wanted me to be – and they couldn’t provide feedback or advice in a way that made sense to me, so….there was no meeting of the minds whatsoever. It was painful, and awful, and I decided a few months ago that I was done. I couldn’t take it a moment longer, no degree was worth my sanity. I contacted my university to see if there was something that I could do that would allow me to get some acknowledgement for all of the work that I had done – and they told me about the EdS program. It’s designed for those who are already working in a specific field, and it’s kind of like a stop along the way between the Master’s degree level and the Doctorate programs. They took most of my course work that I’d already completed, and asked that the only class I take was the final Capstone research project. I agreed, and began the class in April.

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I had one of the most positive learning experiences that I have ever had. My instructor was amazing, he understood me, and he valued my work and contributions. He didn’t make me feel like I was depriving a village of its idiot, and he didn’t tell me that I was useless on the daily. I was able to research a topic that relates to my current job (which was a source of constant struggle under the old program – they wanted me to research something that was considered a ‘hole’ in the existing literature…which I didn’t give a shit about. I wanted to research things that were happening around me every day, so that I could be better equipped to deal with them. Different philosophies and approaches, I guess).  My instructor gave me feedback that I could actually use and apply to my work, and he didn’t rip me apart for my writing style. The entire experience was so positive that I feel tremendously proud right at this moment. Am I disappointed that I didn’t complete the Doctorate? Absolutely. Do I think that someday I may take another run at it? Probably. However, it won’t be any damn time soon. Right now, I want to focus on improving in my job, improving on the time that I spend with my Wee One and those that I care for, and I want to spend some time on me. I want to write write write for pleasure, not academic purposes….and I want to read for fun, not research.

 

I’m SO excited…I can hardly wait! :-)

xxx

Let’s Make a Deal

Are you a planner? I sure am – it’s probably one of my most annoying qualities. I can’t help it, though….I like to make the most of the time that I have (in a day, and here on earth), so I do my best to schedule things and fill it up with stuff that matters. Someone asked me recently (while scoffing at the calendar that was open on my desk and the kajillion obligations that I have coming up in the next two months) what I had planned for the next 20 years. I laughed and started to tell her that she was a jackass for mocking me – but then I stopped. Hmm. She made a good point. Where do I want to be in 20 years?

This. :-)

This. :-)

In 20 years from now, I will  be 61 years old. Holy shit. No doubt I will still be cute as hell, and my rack will still be awesome (please don’t interrupt with a dose of reality – I’m not interested). I will still be working in Education in some capacity, but hopefully at that point, I will be about 5 years from retirement. (Fun fact – if I retire at the age of 66, I will have worked in this industry for 46 years. Yikes.) My Wee One won’t be so wee anymore – she will be 28 years old, and probably working on building a life of her own. I hope that she will still want to hold hands and be best friends with me – I guess time will tell on that one. :-) I want to have made some of the trips that I have on my list (I’m looking at you, Bali!), and I want to have learned how to paint (art, not walls). I want to have learned to speak one other language, and I hope to have mastered the bagpipes by then. I know that I won’t have cured cancer or the common cold, and I know that I won’t have done something so amazing that Diane Sawyer calls for an interview, but…I’d like to have made some contribution to the world that left it a little better than I found it. I hope I can figure out what that is. :-)

I want to be living in a home that I love, one that is full of warmth, laughter, and love. Bonus points if it’s paid off by then!!! :-) I don’t want to be living alone anymore – I’ve done that, and I don’t choose to live out my days that way. I want to spend my time in the company of those that appreciate me, not tolerate me – again, I’ve done that long enough, not doing it anymore. I want to still feel well enough physically to enjoy life, and I’d really, really like it if I could finally find some relief and peace from the constant agony that is my left arm (which is hurting like a mo’fo these days). I want to not have to worry about money anymore – I don’t expect that I will be rollin’ like a rock star (although I believe in my heart that I would truly excel at that type of life), but I do want to live comfortably, and not have to worry. That would be nice. :-)

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Most of all, I want to be happy. I want to look around me and feel joy at what I see. I don’t want to feel annoyed, and I sure as hell don’t want to become one of those people that complains ALL THE DAMN TIME. I really dislike that quality in others, and I certainly don’t care to try it out myself. Ick. I’ve worked so hard in recent years to adopt an attitude of gratitude as I go about my days, and that is something that I really want to see continue. There’s a lot of great things in this world – it’s my duty to appreciate each and every one of them. :-) I have spent a fair bit of time lately focusing on doing more of the things that make me happy – I’ve not been working quite as much, I have been saying no to things I don’t want to do, and I’ve made spending time with those that I care about a real priority. I’ve met some amazing new people, and actually taken the time to live like a normal person with a social life and everything….it’s been great!! I’ve been watching all of the hockey playoff games (which you know makes this Canuck happy), and the time that I’ve spent cuddling on the couch with hockey and wine has been some of the best moments that I have had in years. See how little it actually takes to make me truly happy? :-)

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I’ve also been making plans for the summer, which I’m SO excited about! I’m really looking forward to a few weeks off work, taking a couple of trips, and spending time with the people that I love. :-) I’m also looking forward to spending an entire day in bed, and not putting pants on unless I have to go to the store for supplies (it’s good to have dreams). I want to go kayaking, sit outside and enjoy some (a lot of) wine, swim, and just be happy. It’s going to be GREAT. :-)

 

I came across this article on Lifehack today, and it made me smile – 40 Little Things in Daily Life That Bring Us True Happiness. :-)

1. Finding money in your pocket that you didn’t know you had.

2. Being asked by someone who cares how you are doing.

3. Climbing into bed when you have fresh sheets.

4. Taking an extra-long bath or shower when you have some free time.

5. Smiling at a child you see in public.

6. Receiving a 10 minute massage from your partner or friend.

7. Cuddling someone before you have to get up and start your day.

8. Waking up and realizing it is a sunny, beautiful day.

9. Having a long phone conversation with someone you care about and haven’t spoken to in a while.

10. Watching the rain fall when you have nowhere to be, and you can curl up on the sofa.

11. Watching children playing and laughing together, reminding you of the joy in the world.

12. Spending some time with your pets – or animals in general!

13. A stranger giving you a genuine smile.

14. Having a nice, long stretch when you first wake up to get your body moving.

15. Laughing out loud at a funny memory.

16. A gesture of kindness from someone in your life – as simple as your child helping you cook dinner.

17. A smell you love, from baked bread to a freshly mowed lawn.

18. A meaningful, long hug from somebody you care about.

19. Putting on clothes after they have been warmed on the radiator.

20. Taking a few moments alone when things get hectic.

21. Watching the sunset or the sunrise.

22. The smell outside after the rain has stopped.

23. Listening to your favorite artist or album.

24. Receiving an email or a letter from a friend.

25. The chance to be creative, from painting an old set of drawers to doodling a picture.

26. Holding hands with someone you love.

27. Eating your breakfast in bed.

28. Playing a game you used to love when you were younger.

29. Eating healthy, tasty food that makes you feel good about yourself.

30. An extra half an hour to snooze in bed.

31. Having some time to yourself to read a book you love.

32. Buying your favorite drink or snack and savoring it.

33. Receiving flowers from someone who cares about you.

34. Eating your lunch outside in the sun.

35. Trying out a new recipe and creating something delicious.

36. A gesture of support from your friends or family.

37. Listening to a song you used to love and haven’t heard in years.

38. Taking the time to help someone with their problems.

39. Spending time in your home when it is tidy and clean.

40. Achieving a small victory, like fixing the washing machine or replacing a light bulb.

 

Great list, eh? I know! There is nothing on there that’s too revolutionary, but all really sweet, wonderful things that feel good. I think that’s the kind of life that I want to have in 20 years – it’s the kind of life that I want to have NOW. I want to spend my days revelling in the sweetness of the world around me. I’ve said before that life to me is like a beautiful summer peach…let’s all bite in, and let the juice run down our chins. Good deal? :-)

xxx

 

PS: This:

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