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.

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 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.

February 3, 2017

Every other week I drive my daughter and three other kids from their school to an afternoon program at another local school. At the beginning of the year I didn’t really know the other three kids very well.

Over the past months I’ve come to realize what great kids they are. Ranging in age from nine to eleven, one might expect them to be, well, kids. And they are,  but they are also engaged, talkative inquisitive and grateful for me driving them each week.

The drive is only about five minutes. Today we talked about how to successfully navigate slippery roads. The merits of snow tires and why busses aren’t necessarily built for snowy days like today. One boy was pretty specific about the tire size to bus length ratio not being conducive to good traction.

Then we talked about skiing versus snowboarding and it was generally agreed that snowboarding was fun but that you needed to practice more than once a year to be any good. Astute observations.

And when I say we talked I mean we ALL talked.

When we arrive at our destination they all (without exception) thanked me for the ride and headed into the school.

Happy good kids. The Best Thing in Life.

January 12, 2017

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Optimist; Someone who feels that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster. It’s more like a cha-cha.

Realist; Someone who accepts a situation as it is and is prepared to deal with it accordingly. There is no room for make believe.

Pessimists; Someone who is sure the plane is missing some essential part that won’t be noticed until it plummets from the sky. Can pessimism be fun? Not really.

Which one are you?

 

January 11, 2017

A few years ago I read Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project.

I enjoyed it immensely and still go back and re-read sections when I need a reminder on how to handle certain situations in life. It is truly the only “self help” book I have ever finished.

Today I found myself back on her web page and taking her quiz to determine what type of person I am when it comes to handling inner and external expectations. Things like work deadlines, New Years resolutions, life altering decisions.

Try it yourself here.

The four categories, or types, are Upholder, Questioner, Rebel and Obliger. She has developed a quick quiz to help you determine which category you fall into. It was quite interesting. The questions seemed a bit random but the results were bang on for me.

I am a questioner. I have a tendency to question everything before I will move ahead with a project or decision.

The fact that I even took the quiz proves that I needed to know what type I was before I could move on with my day.

January 8, 2017

A cold, hard day. A day for puzzles.

A quick trip up to the ski hill this morning was marred only by the fact that there were so many people. The lift line ups were ridiculous. A five minute ski run resulted in thirty minutes waiting in line.

For the most part people know how a ski lift line up works. You merge the same way you would if you were in traffic. If you are a single rider you get in the single rider line and take your chances as to who you get on the chair with. I personally love doing it if I’m skiing alone. You meet the coolest people.

Anyway, getting through the line is not hard. Yes, it’s a bit of a puzzle. This piece goes then that piece goes.

However, some people have obviously never done a puzzle.

The afternoon was then spent actually doing a puzzle.

Relaxing and anxiety inducing all at the same time. When you get to that point where all the pieces left are the same colour.

Blue ski has never been so infuriating.

January 7, 2017

The year is seven days old.

When I look back on the day, the thing that I remember most clearly is a frustrating moment. Actually it was two frustrating moments. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the truth.

I was cleaning the bathrooms upstairs and using a spray bottle of cleaner for the top of the vanities. Half way through the second bathroom, I managed to drop the bottle and the spray nozzle broke off.

Damn.

Okay, so that bites, but I know that I have an empty spray bottle downstairs. Problem solved.

Now I’m thinking I’m a rockstar for not only solving my problem but recycling a bottle that would have gone unused. Bathroom cleaner and environmentally conscious goddess extraordinaire. This was going to be a great year.

Only it happened again. As I’m clean the bathtub I mange to bump the bottle off of the side of the tub.

This time I didn’t say damn. It was more like motherf#%&@.

Maybe this wasn’t going to be such an awesome year.

When I Was Your Age

snow

We all know that times have changed.  It is no longer normal, or sometimes even possible,  for kids to walk 10 miles to school, in the snow, uphill, both ways.  Yet we’ve all done it.  When our kids are whining about some insignificant first world problem that could mean the end of their world we’ve pulled out the “when I was your age” story.

Say perhaps the Japanese restaurant that we are ordering dinner from online is *gasp* out of ahi tuna.  We might say….when I was your age we ate whatever grandma put on the table and we liked it.

Or…..when we wanted to talk to our friends we went into the kitchen and called them on the phone.  That was attached to the wall.  And if they weren’t home we called back.  Because nobody had voice mail. And no, we couldn’t just text them.

Or….when we wanted to see a movie we took the bus to the theatre.  If the movie we wanted to see was no longer playing?  We were out of luck.  Yes, there was only one theatre, not eight.  No, Netflix was not a thing back then.

Or….when we had a research paper to write we had three options.  Got to the library and look up the book on the little cards in the file drawers.  Use the Encyclopedia Britannica that lined the walls of our dad’s study.  Find a Time magazine in the magazine rack that had something relevant in it.  Yes, that’s right.  Books.  Made of paper.

But then last weekend my daughter had the opportunity to dance in the West Vancouver Days celebration.  As we drove down the hill towards Ambleside I remembered when I was nine and had participated in the May Day Parade.  (The 1973 equivalent of West Van Days.). I found myself saying….. “when  I was your age”.  But this time it was different.

When I danced at Ambleside I wore a dress my mom had made for me.  Apparently in 1973 pink eyelet, high collars and long sleeves leg-o-mutton sleeves were all the rage.  I loved it!

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Olivia in my May Day dress

When we performed our special May Day for the May Queen and her court we did it on the grass and not on a stage.  The West Van Marching Band played our music and we had ribbons and everybody stopped and watched.

When the festivities were over we went for ice cream at Dairy Queen.  (Yes, they had Dairy Queen back then). Granny let me have a root beer float.

froyo
Olivia getting froyo after her dance

Yes, thing are different and sometime the “when I was your age” story gives our kids some perspective.  But it doesn’t have to be a “my life was harder than yours” kind of thing.  It can be a “we are both so lucky” kind of thing.

Sometimes the Best Thing in Life is watching your kids have the same amazing experiences you had.  Only different.

Found It

looking around cornere

I have spent the past two years searching for My Thing through this blog.  I think I may have found it.

In hindsight, it was pretty much staring me in the face the whole time.  Yup, I know.  I can be a bit thick sometimes.  So while I may never write the great Canadian novel, I think it’s safe to say that my creative outlet is putting pen to paper.  Or perhaps fingertips to iPad would be more appropriate.

There I said it.  I love to write.

Some of the most satisfying moments in the past months have been the ones just after hitting the publish button.  It’s an odd rush of “Yes, I’m done” and “Wow, I finished another one”.  It’s interesting to see how my writing style changed over the months.  My first couple of posts were pretty wordy and involved long descriptive paragraphs.  The later ones are a bit more choppy.  I’m not sure if it’s just how my thought process changed or if realized that it was just easier for people to read it that way.  Whatever the reason, I have enjoyed every minute.

But I’m not going to lie.  I have wished, more than a few times, that more people read my posts.  That’s when my most trusted adviser gently reminded me, that wasn’t why I was writing.  I was writing to explore my life and express myself.  (Ya, I know, sometimes I expressed myself a little too much)  But it felt good.  It felt right.  So I kept doing it.

Oddly enough, since having this epiphany about writing being my thing, I’ve been stuck with no ideas and nothing flowing in my head.  I started numerous post but never got past the first sentence.  Panic started to set in.  What was happening?

Some would call it writers block.  I call it damned annoying.

And worst of all, I just couldn’t figure out why.  It was infuriating and caused hours, perhaps days, of gut wrenching soul searching.  (Okay, a bit of an exaggeration). I tried to work through it by spending some time drinking wine in Whistler and heading out for numerous runs. Trying to nudge the process along.  I was willing to do whatever it took.  I’m dedicated that way.

But then I remembered that this was something else that I’ve learnt these past two years.

Everything comes when it’s supposed to.  And it did.

I realized that the time I have spent with friends and acquaintances in the past two years learning about them, and in turn me, has been enlightening and rewarding.  Not to mention a lot of fun.  I’ve seen what it means to be passionate about something.  Truly passionate. I’ve been given advice and I’ve give some out myself.  I’ve rekindled friendships that had faded and realized that people I hardly knew were wicked interesting.  Despite already being middle aged I’ve grown up.

But here’s the kicker.  Now that I’ve come to this momentous conclusion, I’m  feeling like I need a change. Don’t worry, I’m still interested in exploring the Best Things in Life.  I just think that it may look a little different.

I’m not exactly sure how…..but that’s the Best Thing in Life.  You don’t always know what’s around the corner.