Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Predicting the future

I met a girl when I was in my 20's who believed she could read palms. I was mildly buzzed at a party so I agreed to let her look at mine. Something I have always regretted. Unless someone is going to tell you you're going to win the lotto and live a charmed life, you don't want to know the future.

She looked at my palm, scrunched up her face and ominously said, "Oh...wow. Have you hard a very hard life?" To which I probably looked vaguely confused, I mean I grew up with three older brothers, and was a little bit of a social outcast at school, does that count? When I replied with a "Not really." She looked a little mortified and started back peddling, mumbling something about how she had always been told not to tell people of bad things in their future then scurried away.

That left me a little concerned about what life had in store for me, and every time I go through a rough patch I'm left wondering, was this what she was talking about.  I've had my share of trials over the years, leaving South Africa and starting again was hard, not being able to get pregnant and going through years of drugs, being put into false menopause and doing IVF wasn't exactly a walk in the park. Having a son born with a club foot, needing surgery and years and years of casts and corrective devices wasn't a whole lot of fun either, but none of these are what I would've considered enough to tell someone they're going to endure hard times. I guess one persons hard time is another's idea of life.

I figure after 20 odd years I'm safe from her prediction, I'm not even sure I really believe anyone can predict the future. I'm not sure I'd want to know. If you knew what the future held, would you try change it? What would you miss if you changed it, it could be something defining and important.

To quote a country song, 
"I'm glad I didn't know 
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance" - Garth Brooks


Yes don't judge me, I've been known to listen to country music from time to time.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Taking joy in the small things

It hasn't been a particularly good week in our household, and my emotions have gone from highs to extreme lows at varying times throughout the week. Today I'm feeling the need to take stock and look back on the things that I'm thankful for and that have brought me some form of joy this week.

I bathed the monster dog, now while this may seem trivial to you, it brought me joy. She sits on top of me and loves me too much, she was smelling worse than the inside of my sons snow boots and that was not pleasant. I now have a fresh clean, soft cuddle partner.

I have awesome friends, they support me when I'm in need and even treat me to lunch and coffee after a Doctors appointment that they know was no fun.

DH is on a health kick, he's no longer bringing crap home and is even working out. This benefits me in multiple ways. I get a fit, healthy husband who has more stamina and looks sexy and I too lose weight because I'm not being tempted by donuts and chocolates calling my name.

Last night we observed earth hour with the kids, we turned off the lights and all electronics (a rare occurrence in this house). We lit some candles, pulled out the camping lantern and spent the hour playing pictionary with the kids. It was a fun evening and the kids can't wait to play again. My team naturally won in case anyone wondered.

Spring seems to be trying to make an appearance at long last. The snow is receding, there are a few more sunny days on the calendar and I'm seeing a light at the end of the long, bitterly cold winter.

With the spring thaw comes the dreaded dog poop cleanup of the backyard. Now I can see you sitting there reading this asking yourself what would she possibly be thankful about regarding this? It's a simple answer really, DH did it this weekend, and I'm eternally thankful I never had to do it myself.

Online shenanigans, firstly get your minds out the gutter, not that sort of shenanigans. There was a "disturbance in the force" online with a group of friends,acquaintances and general group of people I see. Some were ecstatic, some were pissed, some were sad and some were just downright rude and obnoxious. The point of this is, it took my mind off my own worries, it gave a lot to read, to laugh at, to shake my head at and to discuss, and yes I'm thankful for that and thankful I was one of the people who wasn't upset.

Today's joy came in the form of a simple walk in the sunshine, yes the wind was cold and the paths were muddy from melted snow, but it felt really good to have the family outdoors and get some exercise too. The added bonus was some pretty scenes and fun had by all.

Fractured ice on the river we were walking next to.

Great kilometer trail markers

Inukshuk by the trail

Happy kids who had fun




Saturday, 22 March 2014

43

It's my birthday on Monday...43, I turn 43! I'm left pondering the question how did I get here, how am I 43 and living a suburban domestic life?

Is it time for me to have my midlife crisis yet? Maybe I'm already having it. Should I go out and buy a sports car or find myself a young stud? Well sports cars are a waste of money unless you're rich, I'd rather have a trip to Hawaii, and a young stud? Well that just seems like a lot of work, like having to housebreak a puppy, wouldn't you prefer one that's already housebroken? I wouldn't say no to some liposuction, maybe a tummy tuck, I'll keep those in mind for when my crisis really hits home.

The thing is I don't feel 43. I don't feel like I'm a kid and still 16 or 18, however, I feel no different from when I was in my late 20's and 30's, just with more responsibilities and kids. And less time to make something of my life. Now if I just knew what I wanted to make of it, perhaps I could start.

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying I haven't done anything great with my life, I've had wonderful experiences, traveled and done things a lot of people would only dream of. I've got two beautiful kids who ultimately have to be the center of everything and my ultimate devotion and reason behind any decisions I make. I just feel like I haven't accomplished what I was put on this earth to do. The question is how do you accomplish becoming a rich beach bum when you live in the frozen wasteland of Canada?

In all seriousness I feel like I have more potential, more to give. Maybe everybody feels like this? I surely can't be that unique? Is life passing me by while I'm playing at being a mother and wife with the picket fence and shoveling snow? I sure hope not, I hope to one day realize my potential, find my passion and maybe then find my hammock on the beach to retire and be a beach bum.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Boobaliscious

I went shopping for bra's today as some of mine have started to fall apart, buckle under the weight of everyday hard labor one may say.*  Yes the sad fact is I have big boobs.  Now in some instances it's not a sad fact, more of a welcome advantage, but when bra shopping it is indeed a sad state of affairs.

Every girls wants something sexy, something pretty for their lingerie, however big busted girls have to pay a small fortune if they want this, whereas girls with regular boobs can go to their local Target or Sears and pick up some nice fun bras.  The bras these stores sell for well endowed girls like me are more like restraint devices.  They come in your basic colors white, black and nude, they have thick ugly, unsexy straps. I guess they serve their purpose to hold our giant knockers that obviously must weigh a good 20lbs each (judging by the thickness of the fabric) up. They remind me of something my grandmother would've worn in the war era.

Yes there are some nice bras in pretty fun fabrics available in my size, but guess what, they all have padding.  Here's a newsflash to bra makers everywhere.  When you have D cups, you don't need or want padding!!  You don't want to take someones eye out every time you turn around!

I do have a wonderful bra that has removable straps, so it can be worn strapless or halter or cross back etc. The only issue with it? It's padded, every time I wear it someone comments on the size of my boobs and yes I know they look humongous in that bra, but what can a girl do, I can hardly go bra less when wearing a tank top. So I try not to wear it too often, but every now and then its a necessity so out it comes and I mentally prepare myself for the comments while trying to refrain from replying sarcastically, "Really? My boobs are huge? I never noticed, thanks for pointing that out."

*To be honest some of my bras are failing due to the monster dog chewing through the straps when she was a puppy (I sewed them back together because dammit these things are expensive), and others because often I'm not that careful with my laundry and they get caught up in the drier and the underwire pokes through or snaps.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Moving and life changes

Moving house has been on my mind a lot lately, in my last blog I mentioned my reasons for making the change and deciding to move to Canada. Don't get me wrong, at this point I have no intention of moving house again any time soon. Unless I win the lotto that is, because then I'm buying a bigger house with a "granny apartment" for my mom.

People will tell you that moving house can be as stressful as a divorce, never having been divorced I can't really compare, but although I was stressed to the max with our move I can't imagine this to be true. I love moving, I love the excitement of packing things, unpacking in a new (preferably better) place. After our first move I probably wouldn't have said that, the first move from from South Africa to Canada was very high on the stress scale, but we weren't just moving suburbs, we moved countries. We had paperwork, shipping containers, customs and sad family to say goodbye to. On the other hand we had welcoming family on this side of the ocean in the form of my aunt and uncle who let us stay in their basement until our furniture arrived and pointed us in the right direction to get the red tape and paperwork to get settled in completely, we also had my cousins who welcomed us into their extended families like we had all grown up together, not a continent apart. For this I will always be thankful.

If I am not planning to move anytime soon (lotto withstanding -I live in hope), why am I thinking about it? Well my mom is in the final stages of packing up to come over to Canada and join us.  My moms stresses become my stresses, so it's almost like moving. I'm looking for apartments for her to rent, trying to make sure the perfect one for her doesn't slip through our fingers in the next few months, while also not wanting her to feel unwelcome and like she can't live with us for a while. It probably isn't the best thing to say on the way home from the airport, "welcome to Canada mom, we'll just drop you at your new residence and see you in a few days." I may not be her favorite daughter after that, and yes I am her only daughter so at any given time I'm aware I'm both her favorite and least favorite daughter.

So mom is moving, she is not bringing furniture so it's a couple of suitcases and maybe a box or two to ship
over. I am planning to fly over and spend a week helping her pack and fly back with her. Yay, I get to pack, (insert sarcasm font here!)  not really the sort I want to be doing, but thankfully I can be ruthless. My parents moved from a large house to a one bedroom retirement cottage a few years ago and a lot of their "clutter" was disposed of then. But believe me there is still a lot to go through! Hence the need to be fairly ruthless when we leave.  It seems each time we move is the prefect opportunity to get rid of a lot of stuff that had accumulated and is never used. I know mom will find this stressful, but it will have to be done.

 I have put no pressure on my moms decision to move to Canada as I know how stressful a move like this can be and if she was happy and content there I would encourage her to stay. The fact is, she has three children and their families here, along with her brother and his kids, she misses us, and she loves the time she spends over here with us. I know she will miss my one brother and his family who she will be leaving behind there immensely and she will be very sad to say goodbye, but will be buoyed by the fact that they have said they will make a trip out to visit us and see the snow very soon. 

What I don't think she has taken into account is how sad she will feel to say goodbye to her friends and the few remaining cousins she has there. These will be her final goodbyes to them and I think the reality of this will only hit her once it is happening.  I am glad for this reason that I will be there to provide a bit of support and remind her of the excited grand kids waiting for her on the other side of the ocean. The move into a new apartment and excitement of getting her set up can wait.


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Tipping point

Every situation that you are not happy with has a tipping point. That point where you are no longer content to sit back and let things continue. Human beings (at least the ones I know) don't like change so we'd rather put up with a bad situation than face change, that is, until we reach that critical tipping point.

Whether it is a relationship, a work situation, a living situation or something as simple as body image and needing to workout and diet.

We sit, we procrastinate, we find reasons, excuses even, not to change. Until that day where we can't take it anymore, we say enough and we usually take that first big step in the right direction. 

The thing with change is you have to really want it for it to succeed. It can't just be a thought of oh I'd like to lose weight, or I'd like a new job, it's got to be a deep driven desire for something better, you have to want it, really want it. You have to want it more than all those excuses you've been using in your head for the past few months or even years.

The reason you have to want it so bad? It usually requires some sort of sacrifice. You have to give up something in order to gain something. It's tough to give up things, especially things that bring you pleasure, no matter how fleeting that pleasure might be. If it's weight loss you're after, you have to give up a whole lot of food and drink, especially at parties. If it's a new job, perhaps you have to give up security or an easy commute, if it's a relationship then you may have to give up a lifestyle or time with kids or a whole lot more.

An easy example for me to fall back on was our decision to move countries. We didn't want to change for the longest time. We had a good life, a privileged life, the lifestyle was great, the weather fantastic and all our friends and family were there. We knew we should leave, we knew that the country was not one we wanted to raise our as yet unborn kids in, due to the culture of crime and violence and we knew that with the economy heading downhill travel from the country was only only going to get harder and more costly. But did that push us to make our decision? No, we dallied, we found excuses, friends got held at gunpoint and we found reasons why they were the victim, things like, oh they shouldn't have been driving in that area, or why were they traveling alone? Friends, family and us were robbed, attacked and we shrugged it off with an, oh lucky they survived, or lucky we weren't home, material things can be replaced. We still needed that one thing, that tipping point to push us to move.  It came one day in a bizarre way, nothing dramatic. I was sitting in the car while DH ran into an office in a pretty decent part of town and I started to fear for my life watching people walking past the car. I was literally waiting for someone to rip the door open and pull me out to take the car. Pretty odd for a girl who used to drive her little mini through the worst area of town with the doors locked and windows up merely because it was the shortest distance to college. DH got back to the car that day and I said, I can't do this any more, it's time to leave. We submitted our paperwork for Canada the following week. We sacrificed a lot to make that move. Leaving family and friends to make the move was definitely the biggest and most heart breaking sacrifice, but we wanted that better future for our kids and us more than we wanted to stay.

The point to this blog post? I'm in need of re finding my weight loss tipping point that occurred the year I turned 40, the year I managed to lose 30 lbs, other than that I don't really have a point, I'm just writing down rambling thoughts in my brain as they spew forth.  If you've been reading my blog for a while I thought you would've all realized that by now. I will say, if you need to change something in your life and you've reached that tipping point, concentrate on that motivation and keep it clear in your head so that you follow through with the change, it's oh so easy to slip back into the status quo and start making excuses again.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

When I grow up

I wrote this last year while my mom was staying with me and never published it. I'm not sure why, I guess my mom must have distracted me somehow and I lost focus. I figured it still stands, why not share it with you now.

I started the day off by getting a lecture from my mom. I feel 16 again and that's not a good thing.  She thinks I'm wasting my life, She may not be wrong in that department. She gave me the "you have so much talent and you sit here reading other people's stories and doing other people's work" lecture.  It started after she read my when-home-is-no-longer-where-you-think  blog post and it made her cry.  She is not computer literate (thank god or I can only imagine the other lectures I'd endure) so she asked me to print it for her and I did.
Now she wants me write more, find a way to make money writing somehow.  The thing is I know and am friends with lots of fantastic writers, so I compare myself to them and know there is no way, but try telling that to good old mom. 

Growing up, writing was never something I considered as a career. I wanted to be an artist, a dress designer, work in advertising or even work in media somehow, but writing, it never crossed my mind. My teachers at school were never impressed with my writing abilities, (not that I was trying very hard), and no one ever told me it was something I should consider.

I enjoy writing, I enjoy blogging, but I battle for inspiration and ideas. While I can blog and write down here how screwed up my family is and what a bad parent I am, that's not going to make me any money. I'm not trained in any form of writing as I'm sure you can see. I just put down my thoughts on the paper (well on my iPad) as they pop into my head.  I've written a few articles for my anti shark finning website, but I was never overly happy with them. I can pick and choose my blog posts that I am proud to have written, scattered in among the ones I wrote because I felt I needed to get something out there.  So how does one go about making money from writing?  Mom wants me to write a best seller, a fiction story of some kind, I have dabbled in short fiction, all of it way too erotic to show my mom, but I know I'm no where near good enough to write a long one.  I guess half my problem is I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.  I just keep hoping something will fall in my lap that will make me happy and I can get paid doing it..I could be waiting for a while yet since I have no intention of growing up until I have to retire.