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.

 

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Thinking About National Writing Month

confrontation

“Wait.  Wait. Back up.”

“What’s wrong?”

“That car.”

“What about it?”

“It’s her car. ”

“Who’s car?”

“The daycare director’s car.”

“And?”

“The license plate.  It the license plate number that Karen gave me last week.”

“Are you sure?”

“Hang on I write it down just in case.”

She flipped through her day timer to last Wednesday as he pulled the car into an empty parking spot.

“Here it is.”

Her best friend and former next door neighbor had called her last week and told her that a red car had been parked outside her son’s dad’s house on and off all week.  She’d seen the same women coming over in the early evening and then leaving early in the morning a number of times.  Her friend wasn’t trying to be nosy (bless her heart) but with the divorce and custody not finalized yet she thought it might help.  She hadn’t really paid much attention.  It had become pretty normal for him to have “friends” over and frankly it was his life now and she had moved on.

“So what does that mean?”

“It means that my ex is sleeping with the director of my son’s daycare.”

“Are you kidding me?”

She had started to shake.  How stupid was she to think that any of this had been an accident.  That when he had suggested this daycare it had just been a coincidence.  Nothing he did ever lacked an ulterior motive.  What a stupid shit.  What was he thinking?

Her boyfriend put his hand on her knee and tried to calm her down.

“Okay, so what do you think we should do?”  He asked.

“Oh god I don’t know.  Wait I’ll call Lisa.  She’ll know what to do.”

She dialed her lawyer’s office.   This was just wrong.  Not illegal or anything but it was morally just wrong.  Her lawyer was great and calmly talked her down off the ledge.

“Well I suppose you could talk to her boss but like you said, she hasn’t really done anything wrong.  They are both allowed to have a private life.  Is it sleazy and could it have repercussions?  Of course.  But unless you want to sue her there’s really no point.”

“Of course, no, I don’t want to sue her that would just make things worse.  Thank you.  I think I can deal with this on my own.”

She was right of course.  But she couldn’t just let this slide.  He could sleep with whoever he wanted to but if things went bad between the two of them, which they would, her son would most likely pay the price.  God, how could he be so stupid?  How could she have not seen this coming.  Thank god for her friends keen eyes.

The next afternoon she pulled up to the little house where her son’s daycare was and sat for a moment.  She needed to be calm and remember that there were kids around who might hear her if it got loud.  She hadn’t completely decide what she would say.  Would she be mad?  Would she be sympathetic?  Should she just warn her?

“Screw it I’m just gonna wing it.”  She said to herself.

She walk into the little house and asked one of the girls if they knew where Jackie was.

“Oh, she’s in the infant room.  You can go in if you like?”

“No, that’s okay.  Can you ask her to meet me in her office?”

“Sure I’ll go get her.  Anything wrong?”

“No.  Just need to touch base on a couple of things.”

She sat down at the desk and looked at the colorful pictures on the walls.  Tiny toddler hands had crafted these masterpieces in the rooms down the hall.  When was this going to end?  After a year of arguments, lawyers, mean emails, hurt feelings and tears she thought that their lives had finally settled down.  The divorce was almost final, she had a new job, a new boyfriend and all the lies and manipulation were behind her.  Or were they?

“Hey, is everything okay?  You’re here early aren’t you?”  The director of the daycare came around the corner and stood in the doorway.

“Can you close the door please?”  She said quietly.

“Sure.  What’s up?”

She could feel the heat rising in her face.  Stay calm, stay calm she kept telling herself.

“So there’s something I need to tell you…….”

Thinking about taking on the challenge of National Writing Month.  

Would you want to read more about this story?

Just Do It

just do it

Three simple words that Nike has used for years to inspire.  But sometimes even the great and powerful Nike can’t make you “just do it”.  Quite often, the even more powerful foe, procrastination, wins the battle.

How many of you out there have something that you need to get done and well, you just aren’t doing it?  I’m gonna go with about 97% of you.  Maybe more.  And if you are one of the 3% that are doing everything.  Call me.  We need to talk.

I had a small task I needed to get done a few weeks ago.  Nobody else would be effected if I didn’t do it.  Nobody would even know if I didn’t do it.  But I knew that I needed to get it done….for my own good.  Yet, it sat there on my To Do list for days.  Taunting me and laughing at me each morning.  I could have just crossed it off and moved on.  But I didn’t.

I did it.  Eventually.  And once it was done it felt so good.  I actually felt good about two seconds after I started doing it because I knew then that it was going to get done. And it only took me about half an hour.  Half an hour.  So why did it take me so long to get it done?

According to Psychology Today the underlying reasons most people procrastinate is fear of failure, fear of success or perfectionism.  Fear of success?  Pretty sure that I think I can cross the last two off.  But I knew that nobody else would see or judge what I did.  How could I fail if that was the case.  Yes, the mind is a strange and powerful force that can make you do things without you even knowing.

The funny thing is that I see my son and my husband doing it too and it drives me crazy.

“Why haven’t you booked your drivers test yet?”

“Dunno. Busy.”

Busy?  Doing what?  Now me, I’m really busy.  I could be busy all day long.  There’s laundry and cleaning the cat’s box and sorting my sock drawer.  (No really, that actually is something I need to do). The fact of the matter is none of us are so busy that we can’t do that thing that needs to get done.  Typically it’s something that we know will help us.  Be it financially, emotionally or spiritually.  But yet we put it off in favor of a menial task that has no consequence.

Is there a solution to this dilemma?  Other than Nike’s?  A way to put aside the fear of whatever it may be that is holding us back?  If there is, I really need to know what it is because once I completed my small task……I realized that it had led me to an even bigger task.  And now I’m not getting that done either.

The Best Thing in Life is just getting it done.

PS. I’ve been meaning to write this for a while now but well, you know.

Giving New Years a Pass

I’m not particularly looking forward to 2015. Not because of anything in particular, but because 2014 was such a great year. How can I improve on it? Can’t I just opt out of a New Year? Continue on with the one that is working so well for me? I don’t want to make any resolutions because life is good and it would appear that what I am doing already, is working. I am happier now than I have been in a long time. I am relaxed and feel good with who I am, where I’ve been and were I am going. I don’t know if I want a New Year?

The year started in Hawaii. All four of us spent two weeks enjoying all that Maui has to offer. Beautiful quiet days at the beach, snorkeling with serene sea turtles, fish tacos and cold beer for lunch and relaxed dinners on the patio. Really, it was an amazing vacation.  I had a chance to paddle board with my 18 year old son for two hours one day. Two hours of uninterrupted time to talk about life, work and the future. No cell phones allowed. For all of you with teenagers. you know that this doesn’t happen very often and is precious time.  The fact that we still had enough in common to talk about made me realize that I have raised a thoughtful, mature man.  (Holy crap, my son is a man)

Two weeks away was also a good chance for me to think through my options when it came to work. Life was getting crazy with my husband away so much and me not enjoying my job. On a warm sunny beach the decision seemed quite clear. Work? Whatever. But when we got home and life got back to normal, the decision wasn’t quite so obvious. I spent an entire weekend in early January changing my mind every half an hour. Work. Quit. Work. Quit. Thank god my husband is as patient as he is. So many reasons to continue and so many reasons to pack it in. Ultimately I decide to stop working at the end of February.

I thought that once I had decided to quit work I would immediately feel a sense of relief. Nope. Panick, guilt, stress. It took a good six months before it would really sink in that I had made the right decision and that everyone in my family was in a better place because of it. I do still feel some guilt. Usually it’s when I’m on the phone with my husband and he is telling me about how he has a meeting in one city, then is flying to another city for a site tour and then back the same day for more meetings and then working late to keep up with the work he didn’t do because he was in meetings all day. “Okay then, bye I’ve got to get to yoga” I say. Guilt. At least yoga is teaching me to be grateful for everything in my life.

So March 1st rolled around and eventually so did this blog. In hind site I went out of the gate a bit fast. I wrote A LOT in those first two or three months. Loved it, but perhaps could have saved some pieces for a later date. The world of online blogging is quite fascinating and I have learnt a lot from other bloggers and writers. When I tell people that I have a blog I get lots of different reactions. Some are interested and some sort of dismiss it as if to say “ya, you and every other person with nothing better to do”. There is some truth to that I suppose. For me it has been an outlet for the small speck of creativity in my brain that has been waiting years to come out. I’m not a “writer”, I’m not trying to change the world and I’m not trying to sell people on anything. I’m just enjoying my life and my friends and passing on the experience.

I think in my head I was hoping that not working would change how I felt, not only emotionally, but physically. I was dead wrong. In May I found myself feeling worse physically than I had in years. Tired, achy, fuzzy, bad skin. I could name a couple of others but, well, I’m not going to as nobody needs that much information. A complete overhaul of how I ate was, as far as I could see, my only option. Hardest thing I have ever done. Almost six weeks of no sugar. With a road race smack dab in the middle I needed to get off track a bit and then back on track half way through my detox, but I did it and am so glad I did. It’s not for everybody and anybody who does it should approach it in their own unique way. By the time I turned fifty in October I could finally say “I feel good inside” and truly mean it.

So here I am on January 3rd filling in the 2015 calendar and reminiscing about last year. It was a year of change and realization for me. I am comfortable in my slightly older skin, although I could do without a few of the new grey hairs. I feel a sense of contentment in my life that is new for me. I started Tweeting every day in November to recognize some small thing each day that I feel is one of The Best Things in Life. Give or take a few days, I have kept up with it. Totally not something I would have seen myself doing a few years ago, but isn’t that what life is about? At any age? Being able to make changes and start new things that bring happiness into your life? Maybe I won’t pass on New Years after all