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Every night I go to bed, I have thoughts swirling in my head. Things to do. Scrapbook pages I want to create. Gifts I want to make. Skills I want to learn. And, of course, daily happenings that I don't want to forget, but invariably will by tomorrow morning, only to pop up in a random thought weeks down the road. So, here I am. I may use this blog daily to empty my head and heart before cuddling up in my duvet, or as it may be, I may write in it once a month. Who knows. It is for me, but perhaps something I write or learn may spark a fire in someone else. Perhaps it may quiet a mind or make you feel like you are not alone out there. It is for me. But perhaps it is for you.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

What are Men Craving?

An hour ago, a friend of mine sent me a video of John Wineland speaking on the topic, 'What are men craving?'  It connected to something we had been talking about a few weeks earlier and her timing was perfect.  Often when an important idea shows up in your life, it finds a way of continually presenting itself until you are ready to really listen and be present to it.

Desire has been a strong theme in my life.  I have always had big dreams, aspirations and have been on the journey to have them fulfilled.  Life is short and I want to do it all.  I am pretty sure that this desire for more is with me for the long haul.  It has served me well.  The past few years in particular I have been working closely with Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map and it calls to me so clearly.  However, that is a story for another place and another time.  What I am musing about today is not my own desires, but rather being open to listen for and to the desires of others.  Namely, my family.  My husband and older son in particular, as our two-year old is very capable of very clearly asserting himself to get what he wants.

A few months ago I came across this article on my Facebook feed about starting a communication journal with children.  As luck has it our 7 1/2 year old Kai is quite in touch with his emotions and loves to cuddle and hug still.  Although he is beginning to outgrow it now and spend more time with his neighbourhood friends, he has always been a little bit of a Mama's boy and I love it.  We picked out and decorated a journal and use a special pen to write letters back and forth to each other.  When we have written a letter, we leave it by each other's bedside to read.  Some letters are short, some are longer.  Some are filled with important thoughts and ideas while others are simply two or three words.  The important piece for me is that no matter what, if Kai doesn't feel like he can talk to us, he always has a place to share his thoughts and questions.  Over Spring Break, we did some planning together through the journal.  I listened to what he would like to do and tried to give him some say in how our days would play out.  He loved that and it made me feel good, like I was making sure to honour the heart of my little boy.  I want to make sure this is something we keep up over the years, discussing our desires and feelings in the midst of all the other details of life that often seem to take precedence.  Of course we have also had to have discussions about valuing the desires and time demands on the rest of the family and making sure we have balance.  Kai is learning that although he would like to have swimming or baseball or soccer or playdates every day of the week that we are a family and everybody has to have time for their own activities also.  It is a hard lesson to learn, even for me.  Perhaps it is one that we will have to learn together.

I have the potential to have a non-stop social life.  With many different groups of friends and a love of trying new things, there is always something going on that I want to take part in.  Some months I am very good at balancing all the parts of my life and others, not so much.  As Walt Disney has said, "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."  This is exactly the rabbit hole I could go down and while it seems fun (and I'm sure it would be exhilarating), I am on the adventure in life with my husband and two wonderful children and the adventures should also be ours together.

So I return full circle to being in a place where I am beginning to remember to ask and to listen.  I need to listen very carefully because my voice is often louder than and more persistent than the voices of my family.  It has been with me for the longest so it often takes time and insistence to quiet. Don't get me wrong, my voice is still going to be heard, but I want to make sure I hear those of my loved ones as well.



42

The night before my 42nd birthday I couldn't sleep.  Not because I was worried about getting a year older but rather because I had spent time earlier in the evening writing a desires list for the next day and couldn't wait for it to begin.  That got me thinking about why I wasn't creating every day in such a fashion.  Why am I not living my life in a way that causes such excitement?

I awoke the next day to a quiet house and two pots of flowers with a handmade happy birthday sign.  Breakfast was delivered to me alongside a chai tea from a friend and colleague.  Students made me a birthday hat to wear and I received hugs all day long.  I painted with my little guy and was completely present in the moment.  My older son began creating with clay and the evening rounded out with snuggles on the couch and Moana.  We ate juicy burgers and delicious fries and it was perfect.  I felt connected.  Life was simple and full of love.

Perhaps my 43rd year will continue on with such love and presence and be filled with simple joys.  I feel so much gratitude for the people in my life and the opportunity for so many beautiful moments.  It is time to be thankful and continue to live each day to the fullest.

What is perfect?
  • waking up before 6:30 a.m. feeling fully rested and excited to begin my day
  • listening to a 15 minute guided meditation by candlelight without feeling rushed
  • writing my morning pages with a cup of peppermint tea
  • leaving for work with a healthy lunch packed and a clear, doable list for my morning before work starts
  • connecting with my team before the day begins
  • going to the staffroom for recess and lunch
  • getting into the woods every day
  • yoga
  • leaving work by 3:30 without so I have plenty of play time with my children
  • time spent painting, writing and connecting with friends and family
  • going for walks in the crisp fall air
  • reading books
  • time to connect and enjoy life with my husband

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chores - a poem, 2015

candlelight
no obligations or places to go
stocked pantry
plethora of options
                 freedom.

dirty washcloths
laundry waiting
new shoes to be bought
feeling distraught
lessons to be taught
     structure constricting
     responsibility overrated

chores -
    the word rings of sullen child
    responsibility
           asking to be forgotten


Vacation in the Valley

As the kids get older and I realize more and more how much I love adventuring with them, it is time to finally create a list of activities to do while visiting family in Agassiz so that we don't end up hanging out in the house all day, especially on rainy days like today.

Hiking:

Bridal Veil Falls: an oldy, but always a goody, especially for a picnic


Seven Sisters Trail

Not the first time I have tried to go on this trail, although I am pretty sure I walked it years ago.  It is a short, lush 3 km trail.
Teapot Hill: a 5 km round-trip trail at Cultus Lake.  This may be too long for Nico at this point, but perhaps a little food bribery may help?

Cheam Wetlands:  We have gone here often with my parents and family, but just a reminder to me for those days that I can't come up with anything.

Whipoorwill Point Trail, Harrison:
As a teenager we frequented this trail in the summer to go hang out at Sandy Beach.  It is probably too steep for Nico, but the 4km distance would be a nice afternoon date with Kai followed by ice cream in Harrison.

More to come next time!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Christmas List for the Family

Christmas Gift Ideas

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Today's Desire List: Sept 27, 2016

I desire...

for my body to feel 100% healthy
to walk in the forest

to cook a tasty dinner
to be at 100% sustained energy
to feel like my day has been perfect
fresh cut flowers
to be out of my head
to have a date night with Marc on Friday
to find and order a family pic with ease
warmth
ease
spaciousness
to connect with my boys today

to have fun with my boys
a clean computer
to receive a letter
to be clear on my birthday desires
to work 4 days a week maximum
to love every minute of my job
a toned, firm, strong, flexible body
a flat, strong stomach so I can wear snug clothing
a decorative rug on the wall like at Urban Healing
the best month of October ever
a day a month just for digestion/planning/writing - Me Day

New York City, Here I Come....Again

Yes, I have been the New York City many times now...6, I think, but for most of those visits I was hanging out and learning with Mama's Gena's School of Womanly Arts.  Yes, it sounds like I was learning to become a lady, perhaps walking with a book on my head, doing embroidery and practicing to set the table for company.  Although those are skills that may actually do me well, they are not even close to the amazing life lessons I learned and that is not the point in any case.  The point is that despite my many visits, NYC and I have yet to be truly acquainted.  This trip I have 4 1/2 days to see the beauty of this amazing city.  Here are some of the things I would like to experience:

Walk the Highline again:

I have seen promos for a past event called The Social Soup Experiment often done mid-October so am secretly hoping it will be while I am there!




Bike Ride Through Central Park:

I have seen much of the park but nothing seems more luxurious than biking through the park with a girlfriend, chatting casually, stopping for pictures or a bite to eat or a hot chocolate and breathing in the crisp autumn air.



Broadway Show:

Of course a trip to NYC must always include a show on Broadway or just off Broadway.  Last time I went Christy and I saw Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmann and had an amazing time.  Not on Broadway, the most interesting show I ever experienced was Sleep, No More which was interactive and incredible!  This year I think I would like to see Wicked.


Museum Visit:  MoMA

Something I have always missed is visiting one of the notable museums.  This time around I would like to start with the Museum of Modern Art.  Although the Met and the Guggenheim buildings are supposed to be incredible, I love modern art.  The thought of sitting and contemplating beautiful art quietly (with hundreds of others, of course) really sounds wonderful to me.



Eat at Eataly with a foodie

The first time I was in NYC I did a city bus tour to get the lay of the land.  One of our stops was a huge Italian market and I went camera happy.  The food, the displays, the atmosphere was incredible. This was the trip that my camera got left in a taxi after arriving home in Vancouver and I lost all the gorgeous pictures I had taken.  This time I want to return with my camera in hand but also with a foodie.  I know that the market could be a gastronomical dream but as someone who is intimated and overwhelmed by food itself, I would love to have someone with me ordering different types of food to try, all along with a nice glass of wine of course.



Most importantly, I want to enjoy girl time with these lovely ladies...