Thursday November 6th, 2014

Yesterday morning, totally out of the blue, I learned a friend had passed away. Just like that, by email. I really can’t expect the news to come any other way as I work on a virtual team and this was a colleague who became my friend. Today, it feels cold. It feels like in the midst of everything else that is business as usual there lay a notice that my friend has died. A few moments after that email came in, so did others all just about business as usual.

Today as I sit here I still can’t stop crying. I am so sad that my friend, who I worked with one on one for months, didn’t hear from me once we stopped working side by side because I was caught up in my business as usual. He sent me emails asking how I was and when we could talk. I would email replies and promise to call but that call, it never happened. I would push it off telling myself I would call him tomorrow but I didn’t. Something would come up, I’d be tired after a long day of sessions and I didn’t pick up the phone. I wish so much that I picked up the phone!!!

He’s not the only one I haven’t called. I can count on both hands the volume of people I said I would call or see, and I haven’t. I am so tired, so run down I am neglecting this important part of my life. But what do I do? I. am. so . tired. The kids always need something…in fact in twenty minutes I have to go collect my youngest to take her to her doctor’s appointment. I will then rush back and finish my work and then take the kids to their lessons. Then there is dinner and showers and homework and then I’m shot. This is my everyday. I love how involved I am and the time I spend with my kids and yet, I’m sobbing just writing this.

I wish I had called my friend.

I am struggling to find within myself a sense of peace around this. I am struggling with how removed I am from my friends.  I don’t remember ever feeling like this before and I don’t remember not being able to pull it all off. Superwoman doesn’t exist and I don’t know why we tell ourselves we can do it all, we really cannot. Something will always have to give…and it has to be okay…I will find a way to make it okay but for right now in this moment I just needed a space to say I am so sorry I haven’t called….

 

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.

Where did that Irie feeling go mon?

I admit it. I’m writing this hiding in my office praying for ten minutes to de-spaz.  Just a few days ago I was calm, relaxed, totally irie mon. Now, I’m shooting fire out my nostrils and forcing myself to stop and breathe. This is how busy life was before I left and it seemed okay, what’s up with the short fuse now?

My mother in law ran away when we returned from the airport. A few quick updates, you know – oops crashed the van, some issues at school and my youngest turned out to be wilder than previously imagined and then “okay see you!”, she was out. I somehow managed not to froth or be upset in any way, I understand what she was juggling at the age of almost 74. I am 39 and I get tired and want to run ha ha! Besides, I don’t like the van and am now hoping it’s close enough to total the thing. C’mon new car!

This week, albeit two days in only, has me firing off fireballs over everything. Un-eaten lunches, toilets with gifts left quite some time prior, toothpaste gobs in the sink – all have me smoking. It’s like I was never irie at all mon, which has me completely pissed off!

OH MY LORD…all the Lords actually, someone swoop in and paint me a different picture. I don’t like all this work right now. What was I thinking? I also received confirmation I am registered for the early date to attempt certification for a program I am a candidate within and it’s eight weeks away. HAVEN’T TOUCHED the material. For some reason I thought unicorns and rainbows would be waiting for me when I returned from the turning 40/overdue honeymoon/ ten years together as a couple retreat. The signals got crossed, I can’t find a unicorn and there’s no sun to make any rainbows. Where is the Caribbean Sea? What happened to the steel drums? White sand???
unicorns

Maybe that’s why I am pissy – seven days of sun followed by two days of darkness and freezingness ( even the tank less hot water tank froze – WTH?) has me pissy and blowing smoke.

Whatever it is, whatever the cause my timing is (ahem as per usual when I think these thoughts) off. I had thought I’d quit wine for a while post booze-indulgent vacation. So not going to happen, in fact I should probably stop writing and go fire my hubby a “LCBO” text. He knows what that code means……

Anyone else suffering post vacation blues / reality is sucking / where oh where is the sun blues?

To froth or not to froth….a day can make a difference.

So it turns out, I’m not my mother, my period just showed up early. It’s got attitude lately. I’m too young for menopause ( or am I? Is that what random chin hairs indicates?)…right? 

I don’t know that I like where my cycle is taking me lately (and right about now the male audience is tuning out / clicking elsewhere), and I know I am not alone. My girlfriends are also acting crazy. Sometimes what makes me feel better about myself is them sharing how insane they have been. I can use that material to remind my  husband he is fortunate to have me….

My husband, for years now, has been saying “chicks are crazy”. His three elder sisters have forever changed how he sees the entire female population. The thing is, myself included here, the examples he has to work with are proving his hypothesis to be correct…..

There is a great book: Consciously Female How to Listen to Your Body and Your Soul For a Healthier Lifetime of Living.  A lot of what it shares in there has changed how I experience myself and my cycle. That said, there are times where your animal side comes out and LOOK OUT WORLD!

This includes going from completely insane ranting lunatic, to being unable to speak due to uncontrollable sobbing. That came last night…..
The upside? Today – I feel AWESOME. So light, care free. I just had to lose my shit for a day and VOILA – the world is rainbows and fairies again. 

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I was very well behaved this morning.  There were moments where sparks started to generate within, like when; my son pulled out the Father’s Day present we’ve been secretly working on for about a week now and showed him, or my daughter snapping that she has nothing to wear followed by my youngest, whom is potty training, taking a dump in her underpants…….I kept it together. I took a deep breath and noted…it’s just twelve hours to go until wine……………………

Wishing you a day full of rainbows and fairies…and a great big glass o’wine 🙂

Mark this day….

Well, this is it. It has happened. I have officially morphed into my mother. I heard myself this morning. Spazing, frothing at the mouth. My nostrils were so flared I could have sucked all three kids up while inhaling so as to have enough air to re-release.  I heard this sound coming firing out of my mouth that was exactly what my mother used to sound like when she was freaking out in the kitchen many moons ago.

I had a f’n meltdown over absolutely nothing in the kitchen this morning. I think someone whined or I stepped on Lego. I cannot remember which was first. By the end of moment, all three kids were crying and my husband was apologizing to them for my behavior. I think I might be burnt out….but not sure if the signs are totally clear yet. 

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Okay so it was not totally over nothing. The thing is sometimes if you reveal your whole truth in that moment you could completely devastate the other person.  There are situations that arise that sometimes mean shit is going to happen and even though you said it was okay, in the end, it’s a boat load more than you acknowledged it would be.

My husband is working insane hours. My kids just started their summer sports. I literally am dragging young mostly unco-operative arses everywhere Monday through Thursday. Friday, I refuse. I crack beer early and refuse to take anyone anywhere for any reason. My husband is on any bday party duty that may arise, I’m checkin’ out. I know my husband is stressed and burnt out as well, but, my pressure valve cracked this morning and now, well…it’s out there! 

How do people do this and not lose their shit or become raging alcoholics? Seriously, this is insane.  I am a very organized person. I can multi task like a bad ass.  I admit I sacrifice things that matter to me when the timing gets tight. Sometimes twenty minutes hiding in a corner with a cup of hot coffee is worth not doing laundry even though I know it will lead to someone crying that they have nothing to wear the next morning….

I will have to do some damage control after work today. Mum is going to have to eat some crow and confess to being human vs super human.  Maybe it will inspire them to pick up their Lego….it’s definitely inspired me to stop and pick up a “good” bottle of wine tonight. I’m on ass kissing duty now…..lol. Nine years of marriage this summer. I think a totally over done meltdown is in order every now and then! Only for me of course, he has to keep his shit together……………………………………….or start doing laundry. 

 

 

I did it, and the world didn’t end!

Who knew I could do it. I went a whole day without texting, logging on or such. The world didn’t end, no tragedies unfolded,  and…the kiddos were so happy to be with me! Holy ego boosting, I should have put my phone down a while ago.  It’s amazing how positive the kids are when they realize the whole focus is on them vs shared with gizmo’s and gadgets galore. 

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courtesy of google

We all have them, those friends who you get together with who never put their phone away. It may have taken weeks to dedicate time to get together and there they are, texting away to others while your live ass is right in front of them. I cannot stand it. I find it to be so rude and inconsiderate, especially when I’ve dragged myself out (when really I just wanted to pop the big bra off and get in my jammies!).  

What I didn’t realize was how often I’ve been like that around my kiddos. My hubby will text me, my friends and while I am making dinner or whatever I’m reading and replying with my live little monkeys around me. What message am I sending them?

My folks, their folks, my friends and cousins (same age or older-the younger ones would “die” if they did this apparently) all survived without being this connected. We were ok with waiting for letters to take a week to get to each other and feverishly wrote back excited about the reply that would come in a few weeks. Who knew what could unfold in that gap? Well now, there is no gap. If someone farts they have a status update about it….you know what’s going down in almost real time. 

I’m keeping screen-less Sundays (my hubby is still dealing with his addiction and cannot fully commit at this time LOL). IF people want to reach me, they have to use that old fashioned land line OR get in their car and come see me. It ‘s a crazy wild idea, I know…but I’m liking it….

Has anyone else taken this plunge?  What did you realize?

 

Wishing you a wonderful Monday,

Cheers!

Nicole  

 

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?

Vino…..

I was standing in the school yard the other morning yapping with a friend whose children attend the same school.  Somehow or another we got talking wine.

It makes me smile when I think of how many conversations I’ve had lately wherein wine came up. We start off talking like we are modest consumers…and then somehow a few minutes later we are both confessing to multiple bottle experiences on multiple occasions per week. 

I’ve lied to every Doctor I have about the volume of vino I consume. When I confess to 7-10 glasses per week they are mortified and review how women absorb and react to alcohol differently than men and thus I am to proceed with extreme caution. Yet regardless of the warnings and/or my bodies own physical revolt to my behavior…it continues. I really, really enjoy it.

I work by day and many times night (coaching practice is growing YAY), parent by evening and then once the lunches are made, kiddos are asleep, toys tidied, laundry folded (and maybe on a really, really good day put away the same day)…I plop my butt on the couch. Directly beside me, my partner in crime AKA my husband. He is a custom cabinet maker by day and usually is unable to even take ten minutes as a break or space to himself upon arrival home. He’s the victim of absence. I work from home. They see me. He works at the shop….they miss him. He walks in the door and BLAM….like flies on flypaper.  For me it is absolutely awesome and I count down the minutes until he arrives. I smile, ask about his day and know full well I will likely never hear the full response as the kids are already attacking him.  It’s our little routine and it completely works for me….the calm before the dinner storm. 

Some days the wine opens at five. Oh who am I kidding, most days there’s wine at 5.  That’s when I am preparing dinner with three children hanging off me….picking at what I am preparing. Some days openly whining while I prepare it about their displeasure with my selection or a want for something I don’t have in the house. Like Salmon. I really dislike fish.  I can’t cook it. The smell puts me right over the edge and then I can’t eat it. It has to be BBQ’d to keep the cooking of fish smell out of the house….. 

I know some will be reading this thinking OMG She is a total alcoholic. By their standards I guess I am. What makes me feel better about it is that I’m totally not alone. I’m really quite normal by comparison to those around me. They are good people!! So am I…. besides…when I use my big goblets…it’s just a glass a day…….

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via Google

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.

2012

When I sit here and think about last year, what an adventure!

It started off amazingly. We took our first ever family vacation to Disney in Florida. Awesome.

Shortly after we returned we discovered my hubby has cancer. Skin cancer. The same as his father who passed away from cancer.  Not so awesome.

My colicky baby finally stopped screaming – THANK THE LORD – ALL LORDS!

I returned to work post mat leave – semi awesome depending on what’s happening. I miss being at home focused on only the kiddos.

I began and completed my courses for coaching.

I opened my practice and began certifying myself as a coach.

I discovered something about myself. I’ve been struggling with what it is I wanted out of my workouts/my physical self. I’ve previously always had specific image related/strength related goals. I can sculp myself into what I choose, but the results weren’t coming. My effort inconsistent  I realized it isn’t really my goal anymore. I don’t care about that, I see through it. I recognize the behavior and mindsets within myself that are damaging. Not just to me, but to my children, society at large. I am participating in something I don’t truly believe in – fitness. Wellness – yes. What is now identified as “fitness”, NO.
I’ve grown tired of seeing women working out in bikini’s with curves that cannot be made by Momma Nature herself with headlines like “fit women can be curvy”.  I am cautious on how I present this material as this is a non-judgmental statement and yet people I adore may be offended by my statements.  That is not my intention.  It’s how women in “fitness” are being presented and what women are sculpting themselves into that worries my soul.
What it is is that I want more for us. I know we are worth just as we are, we don’t need anything else. We don’t need boobs, tinted eyelashes, laser treatments, botox… We just need to be okay with ourselves. We are damaging our souls by following this path.
And so in this 2012 adventure of mine I have created my way of participating in change. If you believe in something and it’s cause and fail to take action on it why bother thinking it? It’s just a random passing thought then….
I have stopped acting mindlessly and started living on purpose.  I am bringing myself into the moment as much as possible. I want to be present in my life, not just running on auto pilot. This is what 2012 stirred up in me, advanced action.
My tiny steps towards my ultimate destination weren’t effective. It’s time to take bigger ones. Drastic ones. Whatever comes of it is still one step further than where I am now and that is exactly what I am aiming for. Movement. Purposeful movement.
I know exactly what I want in my life. For myself, for my children.  This clarity is new for me. Maybe as I was in baby making mode and distracted by screaming colicky babies BUT whatever it is, I’m clear now.
I’m also so grateful for my hubby.  I feel like this really strengthened this past year.  He’s amazing.  I’ve known he was amazing for years but it’s easy to get distracted by what is happening in the house.  I’m making a greater effort to be just as focused on us as the kids.  It’s lead to a great year. What should be the seven year itch has been more like a  honeymooney year. It’s been awesome.
And last but not least, I’ve learned that the greatest gifts I have in my life need to know they are my greatest gifts regularly.  Anything can happen in any given moment that removes your ability to speak this truth for yourself.  We have the gift of today, let’s celebrate it.
2013…this seems so “spacey” ha ha.  Back to the Future was one of my favorite movies and this was beyond the future they traveled to ha ha!!

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Now only if I had a flying car………

Be well.

Mad luv

Happy New Year!!!

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