March 16, 2017

 

Today has been a learning day as you will see if you read to the end.

After dropping my daughter off at soccer camp I went for my first run in six weeks. It was raining and I was in a crappy mood. My hip hurt and it was cold. I decided to scrap it and head home for a hot shower and a cup of tea.

As I sat with my tea, surfing Facebook, a boatload of posts popped up from friends on vacation in California, Arizona and Hawaii. I made some comments about being jealous and dreamt of August when I would fly to San Diego. It seems so far away.

Grabbing my gortex I head out to do the grocery shopping. It’s been a while so I need to do a major shop. The cart is full and as the checker finishes and tells me how much the total bill is I can’t help but gasp a little.

Leaving the grocery store I think about dinner. Should I make chicken or pasta? I hate having to decide what to make for dinner. Ugh why did I park so far away from the store.

A young man was sitting on the sidewalk as I headed down the street. A sign next to him asked for spare change so he could buy food. It was raining and he was soaking wet. Beside him a small backpack and blanket.

I sat in my car and thought…..I am an idiot.

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March 14, 2017

I have a high energy child. There I said it. When I hear The Ramones song “I Want to be Sedated” I think of her.

Now I know that most kids have a lot of energy but I have to say that my kids seems to have been given an extra shot of whatever kids get. I have often wondered what her teachers do to keep her in her seat at school all day.

Do they know something I don’t?

And yes, you judgey moms, I do have her in a lot of activities. There’s a good reason for that. She needs them.  And frankly, so do I.

Look, every kid is different. Some kids are okay with less activity. Some kids are okay with more activity. They are all different. That’s what makes them so great. Unique. Interesting.

So I’m going to keep letting her be as active as she likes. Well, within our budget that is.

The Best Thing in Life is knowing your own child and allowing them to be that child.

March 4, 2017

Dear Residents of Manitoba,

How the hell do you do it? And by “it” I mean, how do you survive winter after winter of snow and cold and brrrrrr?

This winter in Vancouver has been challenging for us West Coasters. We are, as you know, complete light weights when it comes to cold weather and snow. We don’t know how to drive in it and we don’t know how to deal with it.

You do it every year. Every year. How?

The past two or three months I have spent most days counting the hours until I could (without judgement) put on my fleece pjs and crawl under my feather duvet. Time not day dreaming about this is spent surfing the travel websites in search of a super deal to a beach vacation spot.

So, is it alcohol? A sun bed in your bathroom? On line shopping? Do you have heated underwear? What keeps you sane during those frigid months?

The forecast for the next three days in the Metro Vancouver area is snow.  Sure, it will probably be less than three inches. But for us that’s the equivalent of three feet for you prairie dwellers.

The Best Thing in Life is that all my flannel pjs are clean and ready to go.

March 2, 2017

Is it odd to say that I’ve only just realized that I’m a grown up?

It’s not about my age. I know how old I am physically…..on the outside and on the inside. I may be fifty two but my body is still in it’s thirties. My physiotherapist has his own opinion on that subject but that’s his problem.

No, this has to do with my relatively new found ability to deal with pretty much any situation I may find myself in. The ability to be thrown into a scenario and not only respond but, dare I say, revel.

To rise to the occasion and not give a crap what anybody thinks of me outside of my ability.

To not care if I’m impressing or fitting in other than making sure that I’m getting the job done.

And to do all of this with a certain calmness that could only be a direct result of having to deal with some serious shit in the past twenty years.

Wow, it’s really true…..with age comes wisdom

“I have reached an age when, if someone tells me to wear socks, I don’t have to.” Albert Einstein

January 23, 2017

The evolution of the job interview?

My last two job interviews have taken place in coffee houses, in casual dress and with not an HR person in sight.  One opportunity was found on Craigslist and the other through word of mouth.  Is this the evolution of job search and interviews?

To be clear these are interviews for positions in small, locally owned companies and are by no means for any C level positions.  None the less, they are jobs that require skills and a fairly high level of trust on the employers part.

I’m pretty sure neither employer has ever checked my references.  When I asked them, one of my interviewers said.  “No, you look like a pretty normal person.”   Score one for looking normal.

I’m not sure if this is indicative of how the job market is changing or of it simply the opportunities that I am finding attractive.  I think that employers are looking for ways to cut some costs today and perhaps attract people like me who like a more laid back work style.

The Best Thing in Life is that it totally works for me.

 

 

 

January 20, 2017

Yesterday my daughter and I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Aside from the fact that they are now staring at me from across the kitchen, I am happy that we took the time to bake them.

When I was young all of the treats that we had were homemade. My mom was an amazing baker and considered store bought cookies “trash”. Cookies, muffins, bars, loaves and scones. Yummy.

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were definitely a favorite for all of us and disappeared quickly. I remember my mom attempting to slow down the cookie consumption by putting them in the freezer. Wrong. That just made them better.

We should really bake more often. It’s easy, it’s fun and it creates great memories…..but it also creates situations like this. Me sitting in the kitchen being stared down by a plate of cookies thinking about my mom.

The Best Thing in Life is fresh oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  Miss you mom.

January 16, 2017

I love where we live. I love that I can walk out the door, choose a trail and be out in the wilderness within minutes. I love that a thriving cosmopolitan city is only a fifteen minute drive away. I love that in the summer we go to the beach and in the winter we go skiing.

Do you know what I don’t love?

Raccoons who use our roof as their personal litter box.

Raccoons notoriously return to the same spots most times to…ummm….do their business. These particular raccoons have chosen a very dry, cozy spot.

Under the eaves directly outside our bedroom window.

As I lay in the dark last night listening to the rain I suddenly realized that the rain was making a new sound. A heavy, trotting kind of sound. Damn. I grab a flashlight and open the blinds.

Three sets of eyes peer back at me. If they could talk they would have said.

“A little privacy please.”

The Best Thing in Life is having something to throw at those little stinkers.

January 11, 2017

Gossip.  For years it has been considered salacious and the stuff of idle housewives. Studies out of the University of California, Berkeley, however, are questioning that opinion.

I personally think that a good gossip session is okay once in a while. It can be a release to share a story with a friend (or two) and voice an opinion.

Sometime gossip can be helpful. I was recently at a lunch with some friends and the gossip that came up was about two people that we all knew. As it turns out it wasnt gossip, it was, in fact true.  Had I not brought it up, I would never have know and could have put myself in very uncomfortable situation.

Okay, maybe not a great example…..but you could see my point?

Gossip is a fact of life. Everybody does it whether they admit it or not. So why not just admit it and enjoy it. According to the study done at U of C, Berkeley when people observe somebody behaving in an immoral way it caused frustration. Being able to share that information helped them feel better.

So go ahead and have a good gossip. It will do you good.

January 9, 2017

We come into this world woefully unqualified for what life has to throw at us. It’s not our fault. It’s just the way it happens.

But never have I felt so ridiculously unqualified as I have as a parent.

People have been doing this for how many years? And yet……nobody has put together a comprehensive ” how to” guide. Yes, many have written self help books on parenting and I have read them all (mostly) but none of them have really resonated with me as being authentic.

I feel like at this point in my life I should have enough life experience to be able to handle this. So how do I take my experiences and the knowledge that I have gained from them and pass it on to my kids in a relevant manner?

This is not going to be a post with a smart, well written, Best Things in Life ending. This is a real question.

How do I take my life experiences and pass them on to my kids in a meaningful, educational way that will benefit them?  Without driving them crazy.