You have Cancer, maybe, nope …what?….!

Sometimes it feels like there are no words to describe how something went down, but then as I sit here there are so many words competing to make it to this page.  Regardless of all of the intelligent possible openers the only way to start is to say Holy Shit Batman, that was a f’n emotional ride!!!

To make the back story as minimal as possible I will cut right to the chase. For just about twenty years now I have had digestive issues. I call it “tap ass syndrome” <<warning – some may find the following gross>> meaning the liquid shyte comes out as fast as water from a tap.  Medical folks call it IBS.  I have had multiple colonoscopies, endoscopies, CT scans and ultra sounds over the years. I’ve taken foods out and brought others in.  Gone on meds, off meds. Still the same result – tap ass.  It makes face to face business encounters and social eating events stressful at times but for the most part I’ve learned to manage my issue. That said, sometimes it gets in the way of everything.  Be it cramps or shooting pains or bloating like I am nearing my third trimester there are times I become, as my mum would say, utterly useless… Two weeks ago I was in agony. I could feel my insides aching and every now and then it got so intense the feeling shot down my right leg.  I woke up the Friday morning and knew something was wrong and I took myself to the urgent care centre nearby.

There are times I could complain about an emergency room encounter, however, this was not one of them. Within three hours I had been assessed, blood and urine tests completed and had a CT scan.  It was amazing. That would have taken me about half a year to acquire via my family doctor. As an example, I saw my family doctor in July and she referred me to another gastro specialist. My appointment is December 18th….

After the CT scan, however, felt like forever. You haven’t changed in the way you feel but now you don’t get to lie down. You are sitting there on a hard chair against a wall (near the clean linen rack) rammed beside others also waiting on their findings.  Usually when you are waiting in the ER they just blurt your results out for all to hear (sometimes you feel like a dumb-ass like when they tell you its just a sprain vs a break or to put polysporin on it… ) In this case, I was called away to get my results. That doesn’t happen. I also wasn’t the next in what would be the sequence we went in. Up to that point everyone pretty much got them in order of who had gone in for their scan. I was about six people away from what should have been my turn when he called me to join him down the hall.  He spoke so softly saying they found something serious. I needed to have further exploration and so I would be hearing within a day from a gastro specialist who would perform a colonoscopy immediately.  I remember staring at his glasses and listening to him say something about how I am too young for colon cancer but it was important it be addressed right away…. He then shuffled me back to where I’d just been sitting to wait for paperwork.

I felt like everyone was staring at me. They weren’t , they were inside their own heads wondering what he could have said to me, what that could mean for their results. I know my face would have revealed what I was feeling. I was shocked.  Forty has meant cancer for people I care about. Some of them are not here anymore after dying horrible cancer deaths and so using that word just as I turned forty meant it could be real…  and of all cancers it had to be my ass. If you knew some of my relatives you would know that even if it were terminal, there would be ass jokes….it’s one of they many things I love about them.

CT Scan Results

CT Scan Results

Fast forward a few days and I had my colonoscopy. I was awake this time. Not my favorite – I prefer completely unconscious with no view of my colon. One, you can feel it. Two, you can see it. I watched my colon on the screen. I think she said twenty five feet were viewed but I was on drugs, it’s a blur. Why they share so much with you when you are whacked out watching your freakishly long colon is beyond me.

Long story short – diverticulosos perhaps? I have inflammation, spasms and another label but NOT cancer. NO CANCER. Who cares about the rest? For days this was what was wearing me down…what if… what then? Everything else is manageable.

So what then does this really all mean? A wonderful woman said to me this morning that “digestive issues reflect one’s inability to digest something in their life right now.”  She knows me well.  It’s so true.

I’ve been thinking about this for days. I’ve been given this gift of time to heal right now and I’m focusing on more than just my gut.  I am making significant changes in my life.

Basically, I am claiming back my life.

I’ve spent the last few years working towards several goals and I achieved all of them. I also opened and small coaching practice which I run in addition to my full time position. I have been fortunate to connect with some amazing clients. The past few days I realized how much I have enjoyed this, and, that I do not want to continue. Although it is very rewarding work I want those hours back in my personal life. I work early mornings or evenings with my clients and although it has benefited my career, my finances, my ability to provide for my family – I’m closing my “office” doors.  I am fortunate that I love what I do by day and I am able to use all of my learning/development.  It’s either or and so I’m choosing to put the pause button on this one and to shift my time.

I want to play more. I want to take more half days off, take the kids out of school and go play together.  I want to go on more of their school trips and not feel guilty about what I’ve left behind for a day at work. It’s one day. It’s time to end all of the little stories I tell myself about why I just can’t…. yes…. I can.

I want to make the time to create the foods I need to nurture and heal myself. It’s easy to do when I am not working, it’s hard to do when I am. I want to create a better balance. Tying into this, I also need to give myself more credit for what I do accomplish. I am a driven person and I always see potential to grow / maximize / enhance.  We rarely eat anything from a box or can or picked up/out….we make fresh meals three times a day.  I have to remember to be kind to myself about what I am achieving versus the one thing I did not. Negative self talk leads to an angry ass – completely avoidable by choosing another way. I do not have to put this kind of pressure on myself.

I need to pause and ask myself if the action I am taking is one of self – love or not.  In every sense. Money cannot buy this time back. Yes it can buy awesome things like Jamaica trips and a new pool in the backyard BUT I’ve been pushing myself this way for three years and clearly my ass cannot handle it. Your body will always reveal the truth about how it has been cared for.  The key is to create a platform that, in every sense, creates a balanced life.

Sitting here now with days between all that happened what amazes me is what came to mind when I was worried about having to deal with something that could compromise my life. We are constantly reminded, sometimes a little more bluntly than other times, of all we have in our lives. When we forget or let things get in the way the universe reminds us. I’ve clearly not been paying attention and so this time it took more of a screaming effort vs a gentle nudge. It’s up to me to make this lesson stick…this one is worth it.

Be well.

N.

To be online or not to be online….

I’ve been struggling with the volume of screen time I’ve been taking as of late. I have actually caught myself ignoring live  beings to read a few news headlines or status updates. It’s so rude, I don’t tolerate it of others and yet this is exactly what I’ve been doing. Not all the time, but I caught myself today in lieu of playing with my kiddos responding to a non-urgent or relevant text. It was just joking around with a friend and I think I should have picked up the phone to chat live vs just fired off an awesomely witty one liner ( i was quite creative if I do say so myself ha ha).  I am constantly talking about being present, committing to the people in front of you. There were my kiddos waiting for me…and I was texting.

Ultimate hypocrite, that’s my deserved title.

That said, I am working on it! Tomorrow is Sunday and I’ve promised my kiddos, spouse and self that there will be no cell phones, no emails, no anything electronic. We may have a family wii battle – but that’s about it.  We have sunny skies with warm weather in the forecast, there is no reason to be indoors or online.

So why am I so freaked about being offline?

I tell my clients to log off and go play, I’m overdue in consistently taking my own advice.

GOPLAY

How much time do you commit to being offline / week?

A game changer…

Clearly I am leaning towards more the of the sucking side in terms of having lived up to my promise to self to blog more.

I made a few such promises to myself. One being blogging, I do love writing. The second being exploring different ways of working out. I’ve grown away from the gym environment lately.  I love weight training, I’m just not digging the gym itself.  And so I have been. It’s been fun. My third, my game changer is this:

Play More

 

Two simple words have changed the way I am experiencing my life.

I am really enjoying my time. I’m relaxing on things that used to make me uptight ( laundry) and just giving myself permission to take time out and play. The kids and I have ” wii battles”.  They may be six and seven but they are fair game when it comes to wii!

We’ve been enjoying board games or just playing outside in the snow. Regardless of what I’m ignoring in order to create time to do this, I’m really happy right now. I know in a blink of an eye these moments will pass. I see my eldest already wanting more time with her friends vs her amazingly cool mom.  It’s going to happen and there isn’t much I can do about that. That said, there is much about what I can do now. And so I am, one playful moment at a time.

I’m really grateful I took the time out to write for myself today. That said, I’m anxious to log off and get back to playing. Just writing about it confirms that this new motto is changing the way I feel about my life. I’m experiencing it, not just navigating through it.  This is new for me. It’s my new norm…I’m absolutely loving it.

Log off time!

Wishing you a wonderful and playful day,

N.

Laying the foundation…

The time has come for me to launch this next chapter of my fitness/wellness business and I find myself toggling between perspectives.

In listening to clientele at present, as well as, potential clients, I recognize now more than ever how the way we measure our successes at present really tear us down vs build us up. Stepping on the scale in front of large groups, points systems – these can cause more harm then they can good. The scale does not at all reflect one’s wellness and yet it is used as a tool to determine if someone is “successful” in their attempt to control their physical well being.

I’ve decided this is not the side of wellness or fitness I want to focus on.

My target audience is women. Single women, mothers, daughters….females.  I can relate to women (naturally ha ha) and so I want more for them.  Their lives should be more than numerically focused. It’s time to change it up and bring women to a new level of awareness.

We are more than we are currently seen at present.

We are capable of pushing and lifting heavy weights. We are capable of strength, power, determination.  We are capable of leading our families to another way of living, one that honors their well being and their inner selves vs becoming the next woman working out in a bikini and see-through heels. Image

 

As I sit here attempting to recreate my professional pathway I really wonder what it’s going to take for us to retrain our way of thinking.  How do I empower women to be themselves vs a societal byproduct?

Not sure.

But it’s time to open some wine and ponder this….

I’m not your usual wellness woman. I’ve competed and seen the error in that lifestyles ways. I’ve denied myself things saying it was in my best interest. I know better now…and this knowledge means no more denying myself wine to save an inch on my waist. I workout, I eat real food, I drink wine. I have muscles and am continuing to lose the prego blub.

I’ve, after a decade of searching, finally found balance.

Amen…

Blind to the obvious…

Once a summer, in July, my hubby and I receive a “pass”.  It’s an over night babysitting gig via my hubby’s mother. We are not in the habit of rejecting this type of generosity as once you have a third child, babysitter’s disappear.

July is both my husband’s, as well as, my birthday month. It’s also our wedding anniversary. It’s the perfect reason to leave over night, that’s for sure!

I will say, my mother in law was awesome. She arrived at 8am Saturday morning and told Dave and I to take off.  We were out within twenty minutes.  I don’t recall showering at that speed in a long time but I was really impressed with our ability to exit quickly and fully prepared!  We had not yet packed before she arrived. Really an amazing accomplishment, I was very proud of us.

Our check in time was 3pm. It was 8:30am. It was a gorgeous summer day. The sun was shining, the humidity was non existent.  It was hot, cloudless and gorgeous.

After first having stuffed our faces in at a local breakfast place, we opted to hop on a boat and head over to Toronto Island.

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Toronto, ON

I have not been to the Island in years. Many, many years. I was a kid.

It is so beautiful there.  Dave and I loved the boat ride over.  We were kid-less and so the mission was to hit a patio and have a beer immediately. It was just past 11am.

We arrived and immediately claimed the last of the waterside tables.  We sat here for a few hours enjoying pints and sharing some food.  It was fantastic. I miss this grown up time. Where you can just sit back and not worry about washroom trips, who peed their pants, why is the baby screaming, why aren’t they eating and what not.

We didn’t have to drive. We had no time lines or schedules to adhere to.  For the first time in ages, this was just “us” time with no agenda.

That first stop at the restaurant pretty much set the tone for the day.

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My handsome hubby waterside on the patio….

We wandered around the island, soaking in what we both forgot existed within our little universe. After returning via boat to the city we just wandered around the water front. Again reminded of what’s been right in front of us the entire time.

It was absolutely gorgeous. The day was awesome. Pints on different patio’s. We ate well. We met up with friends and then spent our evening alone together.  The Royal York hotel was great (location is amazing for wandering around).

Not only did I re-discover Toronto, I was reminded of how much fun it is just hanging out with Dave.  We enjoy each other. We like spending time with each other.  Get away’s like this allow you to really, really have fun with one another. We were only away for just over 24 hours and I feel so very full right now.  We’ve been smiling all week.

Or maybe our bodies just don’t know how to respond to actually sleeping.  One passes out quite heavily post many pints a’wanderin’ the town!!

I was really impressed though with our ability to plan ahead.

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First time ever having breakfast delivered to the room. Ridiculous amount of money for a bran muffin and fruit BUT worth every penny for the carafe of coffee!

Not only did we sleep in ( just past 8am!! MIRACLE. Can’t believe we made it that late!),  but we didn’t have to feed people. They fed us. Amazing.

I’ve got so many ideas on how to spend time with the kiddos now that we’ve seen all that we have. Family bike rides on the water front. Ferry rides, family bikes ( 4 ppl bikes) and picnics on the island.  I love how inexpensive these ideas are AND that they remind us all that has been in front of us the entire time.

There’s so much more than the hustle and bustle available to us.

I will also say of myself this past weekend, I ate well. Really well. We found locations with organic chicken breasts and salads…I felt so well.

Beer and salad. Yum.

Workin’ from home…

Recently I’ve been fortunate enough to shift from an office based office, to a home based office.  It feels for lack of more profound sounding words, weird.  We’ve been trained to do things in certain periods of time.  For years routines have been drilled into us;  you must do this, arrive at this time, sit there for this amount of time.

I am an okay employee. I’m not their top producer, I lack that passion and drive that upper managers posses, but I’m not their worst employee. I’m personable, dependable, driven and focused. I’m just not passionate about the corporate side of life. I’m a people person, that’s it.

So being at home on company time is, well, weird.

I’m sitting here with bed head, hideous orange shorts and an incredibly unattractive yellow tank top. I have no shoes on,  I’ve done nothing with myself. I think I put deodorant on last night, but I’m not sure.

I’ve brushed my teeth ( but not my hair, I have very curly hair so to brush it would transform me into a white Diana Ross).  I can’t actually recall if I washed my face or not and I’m very well fed.

I’ve already accomplished the tasks I had laid out for myself today. It’s 11 AM.

Do I put more time in and diminish my seriously low-level productivity I’ve presented them for years? OR show I am capable of more in my home based office? Clearly not socializing has its benefits. I’m way too productive!

Most of my days I am scheduled into a training session. I run product or skill based corporate training either via Webex – an online classroom, or, face to face sessions.  I love my job.

I did not expect that at this phase of my life I would have this opportunity to work this way.  I feel so…relaxed.  I am no longer the fire-breathing dragon spazing all over my children as I have four milliseconds to get out the door to beat traffic to get to the office to log in on time.  I can just walk over and log in now while my coffee is brewing.

The down side, I don’t feel this sense of urgency with anything now really.  My manic go-go person had me doing everything as fast as humanly possible to get to the next objective. Now, no worries man….it’ll happen.

I’m gardening on my lunch hours.  I’m working out a few times / week.  I’m cutting the grass on lunch hour once a week. My weekends are so calm as I’m not rushing to get things done – they are done. I’ve been tackling them one by one daily during the week and suddenly – there’s a lot more time for Rum punch!

That said, I spend last week researching meditation and am starting to set aside time to meditate daily now. I want more. I want depth. I don’t just want to feel well or eat well, I want to BE well. All of me, including my soul.

I’m one week away from my 38th birthday and I feel so…peaceful. If this is the pace of the next chapter in my life – I love it. I can’t wait to see who I can grow into.  I’m starting to live my life on purpose and with this weird but awesome sense of self.

I can lift and push more than I thought I could in my workouts (still loving pressing more than some of the boys are and with proper form ha ha).  I’m at a fantastic place in my career. My kids are growing into amazing little people. I’m doing less of what has been instilled in me (the “you should”) and more of the living in the moment with the present me.

Bottom line, I’m realizing something. We have so much more power and control over our lives than we acknowledge. We control how things play out, we just have to play our cards smarter.  I’m playing strategically now, in my best interest.  I’ve realized, at long last, I’m worth it.

Courtesy of google

 

This love of mine…

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The date stamp is wrong…never did figure out how to fix it on that camera ha ha!

‎7 years ago around this time in July while at a friend ‘s wedding this pic was taken. We were caught up in ourselves in this moment and had no idea the photographer was up to something. Moments later the woman in the corner of this pic and her partner approached Dave and I and stated that she could feel how in love with each other we were and how lucky we were to have found that in each other. SO I thought she was probably faced and friendly but now I suspect she was a coach ( as one I am now aware of the awareness one has when tuned in to other people deeply and as the Bride and Groom are both coaches surrounded by coaches). As our 7 year anniversary approaches I am more in love with my hubby than ever. I am so fortunate to have discovered what could be if only we allow ourselves to be. I don’t know what compelled me to share this in this moment, but if you are sitting on the fence about something or running from your own fears – don’t. When you truly allow yourself to be and allow others in – amazing things can happen. I am truly blessed. ♥ Don’t tell him I said nice things. I may have to take it all back if he becomes irritating with a big head later……

On the road again…..

I’m excited! Once upon a time a 4 hour train ride would have not appealed to me. I would have taken the 1 hour flight or one that flew somehow faster to minimize any time involved.   Things have definitely changed around here.

I’m Ottawa bound for work.  That 4 hour train ride equates to; peace, tranquility, ME time away from the kiddos, the house, my schedule…  It’s just moi and my facilitators guide. I actually have a rare opportunity to re-review the material and prepare myself for my delivery. Polishing. I’ve prepared myself for a good presentation, this gives me that extra time to take it up a notch and improve my game. That has me excited.

Boring, perhaps…but totally reflective of where I am at in life. 

I am at this weird place of happiness. I’m okay with moving slower vs rapid fire. I have an amazing husband, 3 distinctly different and incredible little monkeys, a sense of purpose and living my life on purpose.  

I could look at how insane my schedule is this week, or I could celebrate the different opportunities this week offers. I fly back in time to kiss my hubby & kiddos and then am off to a weekend course.  He’s Daddy on duty solo styles this week and Momma…well…all work aside she’s in a nice hotel suite (that comes with a robe and slippers hee hee) that offers a pool and a gym. See where I’m going with this? Sure, sure, I’m working. I’m also travelling without kids, baby monitors, diaper bags. It’s a grown up mission and Momma’s maximizing.

I can’t wait. 

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I’m riding business class with access to the lounge. Cocktails are in order, just one – I’m working, but a cocktail none the less!!! I’ll be the extra smiley chick just like the one featured ha ha.

I love travelling for work (mostly as I don’t do it that often, I’m a suck away from my family). That said, I really really look forward to; morning workouts, big HOT breakfasts, a quiet cup of coffee. Alternatively at night I can unwind, prepare my material for the next day, WATCH TV (so rare -so awesome) and, dare I say it aloud…..SLEEP.

 

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