January 6, 2017 – A Canadian Sister’s Perspective

I feel a bit like the younger sister who has gone to a party with an older sister and suddenly realized that things have gotten out of control.

When we decided to go to the party we knew that it might get a bit crazy. We were nervous but optimistic that everything would turn out all right. You hear things but never really know how these things are going to go down.

So now the party is in full swing and my sister is getting scared. There’s a guy my sister met who keeps telling her what to do and when she doesn’t do it he gets angry at her. She’s looking around at me and her friends hoping that somebody is going to step in and help.

The problem is that there really isn’t much we can do. We can make suggestions and give advice. We can be sympathetic and comforting. We can tell the guy to stop, behave himself and act like a gentleman.

Ultimately though, my sister has to be the one to stand up and make herself heard and tell this guy that he can’t treat her that way. It’s the only way to make it stop.

I love my sister and our relationship has always been close.   If I could, I would step in and make the guy go away.

January 16, 2017

Did you ever look through a kaleidoscope when you were a kid? The colors and shapes moving and changing as you turned the blue plastic tube? Pretty right?

Yes, when you are a kid it can be very entertaining.

But what about when you close your eyes as an adult and that’s what you see.

Without a blue plastic tube.

Lately I have felt like that when I’ve closed my eyes? Like pieces of my life are moving and changing but somebody else is turning the tube. It out of my control. It’s not pretty and it’s not fun. It’s scary.

I’m a list person. A schedule person. A calendar person. Plans are what I live for and thrive on. Uncertainty and change are…….unknowns.

But that is what my life is right now and I am going to have to find a way to stop the colors and shapes from distracting me. I need to find a way to make them work for me. A way to make best of them.

Oh to be a kid again.

The Art of the List

lists

Lists make me happy.

An article I read recently actually puts science behind the fact that lists can calm anxiety and bolster creativity.  For me, that’s just the icing on and already delicious cake.

What is it about writing out words on a note pad that is so magical?  I think it’s an OCD organizational thing.  If I feel like my life is getting out of control or becoming too chaotic, writing out tasks gives me some clarity.  By bringing some order to what needs to get done I can see that in reality my life is not quite so crazy as I think it is.

list of lists

Besides would late night tv be without David Letterman’s Top Ten List?  Even Shakespeare references lists in Hamlet.  The Bard refers to “a list of landlesse resolutes” in Act 1 Scene 1.

So what does it take to make a good list?  Well for starters you never have just one list.  On any given day you will find multiple lists in my kitchen.

  • Master To Do List
  • Thing To Do That Day ie: Wednesday
  • Groceries
  • Ideas or Posts to Work On

But it’s not that simple.  There is, I believe, an art to it.

You must have the appropriate piece of paper.

Sure, the right size is important, but so is the layout and look.  You wouldn’t put your Master To Do list on a tiny pad of paper with some realtors face on it.  But a quick shopping list?  Totally okay.  It has been suggested to me that I use my smart phone to record my lists.  It just doesn’t sit right with me.  I’m not sure if it’s an old school things or a tactile thing.  Regardless, the right tool for the job is always key.

blank page

Lists need to be about timing.

Now obviously making a Christmas card list in March is a bit of overkill.  Although, now that I’m saying it, it does make perfect sense.  What I am saying, is that one of the purposes of a list it to save time.  So make it work for you.  Writing out your grocery list in the order that you walk the aisles at the grocery store is a huge time saver.  If you have half a dozen errands to do not only will your list remind you what needs to get down but it can serve as a map for your route.

Tasks on your lists need to be realistic.

If you make a list of things to do that are unattainable, the list can’t serve it purpose.  It will only serve to frustrate you when you are unable to complete them.  There’s definitely a sense of accomplishment that comes with crossing things off of a list.  Even if you are just crossing it off because you have decided that it belongs on a different list.  Ya, that counts.  Bottom line?  World Peace shouldn’t necessarily  be on your list.

It’s really not rocket science, but lists can make you feel like a super hero. Everyone admires somebody who can keep things on track and get stuff done.  Don’t they?

The Best Thing in Life is a really good list.

I’m Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry

thischickshangry

Just after Christmas last year my husband, daughter and I were in Victoria for a little get away.  We had done a lot of walking and sightseeing during the day and it was getting late.  And I was hungry.  No, I was hangry.  You know.  When you are so hungry that the lack of food causes you to become frustrated, snappy and well, bitchy.

We found a cool pizza place for dinner and as we walked in we noticed that all of the staff were wearing t-shirts with the slogan.

I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry

My seven-year old looked at me and smiled and my husband said.  “You need that shirt.”  What?

Okay, so I get a little cranky if I’m not fed quickly enough.  Have you seen the Snickers commercials?  But who doesn’t?  It’s pretty normal I think.  Okay, so I may take it a step too far occasionally.  Really, is it so hard to just get me some food when I need it?  I’m not a fussy eater so it could be pretty much be anything, so long as it fills my belly.

The whole thing is just basic biology.  Here’s what is happening in your body when you get hangry.

Despite the fact that your brain is only 2% of your body weight, it uses up 20-30% of the energy you consume.  So when your glucose levels are nose diving your brain starts to struggle with controlling emotions.  Since anger is the emotion that most people have difficulty regulating, it tends to be what goes first.  And you get hangry.

In my younger, not so wise days, I thought that the longer I could go without eating the better.  It meant I had will power and didn’t need food.  (Don’t shake your head ’cause I know you did it too). Now I’m not talking about starving myself.  Well, actually I guess I was.  I just didn’t know any better and thought it was good to be a little hungry.  I might even lose some weight if I could do it for enough days in a row.  This may explain a few of those temper tantrums my mom has told me about.

When I started seeing a naturopath a couple of years ago one of the first things she did was test my blood sugar.  It was probably close to 10:30 in the morning.  I had eaten breakfast but was feeling a little rumble in my stomach.  No big deal right?

“Your blood sugar is a bit low.” She told me

“But I just had breakfast. Well, I had breakfast at 7:30 this morning.”

“That was three hours ago.  You need to keep your blood sugar between 4.4 and 6.1.

I’ve learnt a lot in the last year and a half about what my body does and doesn’t need to not only function, but function well and my hangry episode are getting fewer and farther between.  My family may get me that t-shirt from the pizza place but the Best Thing in Life is that they will still love me.  Hangry or not.

FYI – Rungry is the term used when you are so hungry from a long run that you must eat everything you see.  But that’s a whole different post.