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Archive for October, 2012

English: Fortune Teller, Colin Campbell Cooper...

What does the future hold? Would you like to know? Do you prefer to be surprised, or do you like knowing exactly where you’re headed? I’ve always been in awe of people who set goals and then manage to live up to them. The first time I became aware of this phenomenon I was 26 or 27, having brunch with a girlfriend from out of town. She was 25 and going through her first pregnancy. We were sitting in a dark café in a back street in the deserted financial district on a Sunday morning. She took a sip of her cappuccino, looked up over my head, and calmly explained that her goal was to be married by 24 with a baby by 25. She told me she was a little off the mark, seeing as the baby wouldn’t be born until after her 26th birthday, but she considered it for a moment, and then declared “not bad, I mean I almost made it.”

I was shocked. I grew up in a home where my parents repeatedly told me that you can’t make these kinds of plans. You can’t because something will always get in the way, something you can’t predict. But yet, Emma was able to predict her future, and to make it come true to within a year of her goals.

I must have missed something; maybe I was set up to fail. Maybe if my parents had told me to chase my personal and professional goals more doggedly I would have achieved a few more of them. It’s hard to speak in hypotheticals, and frankly “coulda” “woulda” “shoulda” should be left alone. So I’ve made my way, and I have nothing to complain about, but every now and then I’d like to know what the future holds. I know that it’s silly, but sometimes I feel like everyone around me has it all figured out. They went to university, they got jobs, they got married, they bought houses, and now they are having kids. They know how many kids they’d like to have, and they are working towards setting their lives up according to their goals. WE were on the same track until the marriage part. I made my plans, and they promptly fell apart, not that I’ve suffered, it’s just the feeling of being left behind is all.

As I said , it’s not that I’m unhappy with my life, but, as you know, I have some challenges that I’m working on as well. At times, I wish I had a plan; I wish I knew where I was headed.

It’s charity week at my office, and one of the fundraising activities that we have going on here is a psychic. For 15 dollars you can go and have 20 minutes with a Taro card reader (with the proceeds going to charity). She told me a variety of things:

  • Some information about my brothers that I will share with them
  • That I am a talented writer, with a lot to say
  • She told me about my financial problems
  • She told me that I will hone my craft over the next year, and that this will be successful, and profitable for me
  • She told me that I will work very hard between now and July
  • But that in August or September I will meet a nice guy, who is very strong, and leadership oriented
  • She told me that I need to let go of the past
  • She warned me to try not to get mired in processes, but rather, I should just start writing and see where it takes me.

The psychic is urging me to take stock of where I’m at in my life, and take more direct action that will help me get to wherever it is I’m going. I guess that’s one of the biggest problems I have: I’m not even sure where it is I want to go. So it’s not a blow by blow of my future, but it’s teh beginning of a plan.

That being said, I know what the future holds for Penelope; her little guy Momo turns 1 on Sunday, so she will welcome a house-full of visitors Saturday afternoon. Now that she has an almost-one-year-old, she’ll be heading back to work on Thursday. Happy last day of mat leave.

And happy Halloween.

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Deutsch: Ben & Jerrys Cherry Garcia

I often think about support systems. How we keep ourselves on track, and the people who are standing beside us, urging us on, are a big part of the success we experience. For most of us, we get the majority of our support from friends and family. Some of us might have the support of health care professionals, but at the end of the day, the decision to exercise, or to have that second bowl of ice cream, is between us, the voices in our heads, and often the reflection in the mirror. So I guess it’s not all that surprising that we often make the wrong decision.

I have been lucky enough to discover a new supporter. Back in March I walked into my local convenience store and picked up a bag of chips, a two-litre bottle of Dr. Pepper, and a pint of Cherry Garcia ice cream. While I was waiting for the charges to clear my account I started chatting to the sales clerk. I told her that it was my first splurge in two weeks. She laughed and asked if I was on a diet. I laughed and said, well… yes, but also it’s about saving money, since junk food is expensive. Then we both laughed, because my three items had come to nearly twenty dollars. I took my “treasures” and went home to enjoy them.

A few weeks ago I had another series of cravings. I was in the store three more times, in as many days. On my second trip the sales clerk reminded me that I had given up junk food. I became defensive, and told her that I deserved some credit for not coming in before. She laughed and packed my treats into my Lulu Lemon bag.

I could make no such protestation when I arrived the next day with my Lulu Lemon bag in font of my face. She laughed as soon as she saw me slink into the store. Undeterred, I got my treats, said a few self loathing words to her, and turned to leave. In a pathetic attempt to salvage some dignity and pretend that I have willpower, I said “you won’t see me now for a long time.” “Good,” she said, “I’m here all the time.” And with that I left, knowing that I had lost my anonymity, but had gained a new supporter. And an important supporter at that; now that I know there is another set of eyes on me I think twice before spur of the moment over indulgencies.

It’s been two months since that last meeting, and my only interaction with this kind sales clerk is when I stop my dog walk to wave at her through the open door. It’s good to know that she’s keeping me on track.

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Please excuse our year-long absence, but it’s been a busy year for both Penelope and I. Penelope is now the proud mummy to a very cute and happy little boy. Penelope’s son Momo takes up a lot of her time, and some of mine, as I get to go over and be the doting aunt.

Still, you might say, why not share Penelope’s new son with the world? So many people do it, and you’re right, if ever there was a shareable baby it’s Momo (which is not his real name by the way).

Momo and mum, enjoying a sunny autumn day.

So, since this kid is cute, and babies are such a blessing, why the lengthy delay? The answer is two-pronged.

1) Penelope has been far too busy to write. Babies need a lot of attention!

2) I had what was very nearly the worst year of my life, and I shut down.

I started blogging so that I could focus on what was good in my life, and not worry about what was bad, or missing. My first blog was a simple blog, written by me, cataloguing my adventures with Cadie. But I started to realize that I wanted to talk about more than just dog walking, dog grooming, and dogs on television, so I started this blog with my best bud. Here we could talk about lifestyle, and we could be adventurous about sports, food, and social activities. But then I also started a blog detailing my love of vintage porcelain and glass. From there I had a scary moment with my finances, and I had to take on a part-time job, and then my weekday job became a nightmare. Suffice it to say that my plate was full, my outlook was bleak, and I needed to retreat.

Blogging for me was about seeing the positives in my life, focusing on what was working (Cadie and porcelain) rather than what wasn’t (my weight, my finances). I was determined to keep blogging a positive space for myself: I was going to “fake it [being happy]! until I made it!”

And I tried. I took copious amounts of pictures; every time I passed a cute little house, made a new treat, or tried something new I documented it. My plan was always to come back to this place, and to be the happy, positive person that I thought I could be.

2011 came to an end, and 2012 started out with some good and some bad. Before the 3rd of the month I was offered a new weekday job. I LOVE it! It’s the perfect environment for me, and I feel that my career is finally starting to get back on track. However, with the good, we must take the bad, and sadly my grandmother died in early January. I miss her every day, but I’m glad that she is now at peace, and no longer lonely or depressed. My grandmother and my mother also conspired to give me a little financial assistance that has allowed me to downgrade my commitment to my part-time job, and it has even opened up some new professional opportunities for me.

After a year plus of hard-core purging my home is finally starting to come together, and I am starting to feel calm and happy and I am once again looking forward to a pleasant future.

The plan.

Penelope and I have been talking about starting this back up again for quite some time, so the plan is to do two posts this week–just a little something to get us started again. From there we will do one post every week, probably on Wednesdays. Life has changed, and it’s more complicated now, so we’re not going to make this a weight loss blog; instead this is a blog about navigating life. Eating foods that make us drool, figuring out how to manage a housekeeping schedule, some talk about our hobbies, and of course we’ll keep you posted on what we did over our weekends, and why they were awesome.

I’ve been sewing. Wait until you see what I’m making Momo for his birthday.

If any of you are still left, I hope you’ll stay with us as we move into the next stage of our life and blogging adventures.

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