Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Miscommunication 102

Three times over the course of the past two weeks I have quite literally been misunderstood. That is not a track record that I can ignore. Because ... what (who) is the common denominator here?? Me!

First of all, I must recant my rant about my hair cut a week ago (Miscommunication 101). Number one, my hairdresser remedied the bad haircut immediately. I was simply unsure how it would work once I washed it and was left to deal with it in real life. It was fine. It was perhaps better than fine. Thank you, New Hairdresser. Sometimes? The professionals know best.

Second of all, when I watched Dancing With the Stars last night and took a closer look at the Kelly Pickler hair cut that I was hoping for ... her hair is much longer on top. So it is no wonder that my hairdresser left the top of my hair untouched. My words did not match up with the picture that I had given her. She went by the picture.

We (My Son) started a deck project last fall. There was not time nor resources available to complete the job and winter was on its way, so once the base of the deck was completed it was good enough to get us through the balance of the pre-winter weather. Our plan was to add perimeter seating around the deck in lieu of a railing.

Well, our endless winter taught me three things.
  1. The children that I babysit do not listen to my 'rules' unless I am hovering over them at all times and reminding them.
  2. The children that I babysit are accident prone. One of them will trip over her shadow. Or air. Daily. Another is 'the one who will get hurt'. Every time. The third? He likes to tell everyone what the 'rules' are, but he rarely heeds his own advice.
  3. I believe that I may babysit 'forever'. So anything that I do, is done with child safety in mind.
So ... the plan for perimeter seating around the deck has been abandoned (I have visions of kids climbing up and over the benches and landing head first on the ground below). I was adamant that I wanted deck railing.

This is where it started going wrong. I eyed up my neighbor's deck railing and knew in my mind that was exactly what I wanted. I found (what I thought was) similar deck railing in a flyer and showed this to My Son (who has happily resumed the Deck Project this spring). With a firm idea of exactly what I wanted, My Son went ahead and started building.

It wasn't until the actual railing started going up that I noticed that My Son and I were not on the same wavelength. He commented that he just bought one package of 'pickets' so that he could be sure that was what we needed so I (mis)understood that to mean that there was still room to change the plan. I was wrong.

It took little more than a glance at the structure to see that 'what I had hoped for' was not possible. How could this have gone so wrong? Again??

I dug through the recycling bin to recover the flyer with the picture that I had shown My Son. He has built exactly what I showed him. Once again, my words did not match up with the picture that I had given him to follow.

I questioned my hairdresser's communication skills when she did not reiterate back to me what she understood. But when she had a picture to go by, why would she question what I had asked for? Same goes for My Son.

I must take back my words and eat them. Miscommunication is a two way street. It is so easy to be misunderstood and on the flip side ... it is very easy to misunderstand what another person is telling you.

These exact words were thrown back to me recently. And they hurt. I was pointed told, "I don't think that you are understanding what I am telling you" was the exact comment. I got defensive and started simmering inside thinking to myself ... don't tell me what I am thinking. I had reiterated back what I understood and once again my words must not have matched up with what I was thinking. I had in fact completely understood correctly, but there was a miscommunication in the retelling.

The last instance was perhaps the most ideal of all three communication breakdowns. There was still a chance to remedy the miscommunication because I had communicated back what I had understood.

Communication is a two-way street. I have been feeling misunderstood a lot lately. It isn't always the other guy's fault. But I must look at my side of the equation and see what is tipping the odds against me.

If in doubt? Question. Even if you are sure you understand? Question.

These are minor little details in the realm of life. Relationships start faltering when a person feels misunderstood. We aren't mind readers. Often what we see is not what the other person means. Even when that other person is 'you'.

I'm eating crow this morning. I am amazingly quite full. I will digest my 'breakfast' and utilize it throughout the day ahead of me. Maybe there is a reason that my daycare family is not following the 'rules' around here...

Monday, April 29, 2013

I Love Mondays

Monday brings me back 'home again'. Back to the life that I long to live. I may have three small children to keep me company (and perhaps bring a dose of reality into my days), but this morning I am of a mind where I think we should just bring out all of the toys and create a little fun (aka: havoc) into the morning.

This week, though my weekdays are fully committed to my daycare charges my weekday evenings are (relatively) without commitment. I delivered my last flyer Friday night at approximately 7:38 p.m.

The weekend was one of perpetual motion thereafter.

I think that I overspent my word quota. By the time I came home from my bookkeeping job last night I was completely and totally spent.

I walked in the door and supper was on the table. My entire family was home to enjoy the meal. Not only did my Middle Son work on our deck all weekend, he cooked and invited his Older Brother over to join us last night. And I was too depleted to enjoy it ...

I didn't even have the vocabulary to say the words, "You guys talk ... I'll just listen". I was empty. I sat with words on my tongue but they were not spoken because I didn't have the energy to put them into a sentence.

All I could think was, how much do I have to do before I get to get ready for bed??

All that had to be done was done by 8:10 p.m. and I was on the couch staring mindlessly at the TV milliseconds thereafter. I think I was asleep before 8:30 (as soon as I stop channel surfing, I often fall asleep).

My brain was turned off and all I could think was, I'm so glad it is Monday tomorrow.

The flyers are gone from my life. My back, my neck, my shoulders and my thumbs are so happy. My bookkeeping boss happily declared that she will get me out to work every weekend now. I should have been jumping for joy. The income that I lose from not delivering flyers will be more than compensated for, by the extra bookkeeping hours. This could not have worked out better.

But ... every weekend? I have slept on the idea and it still doesn't sound too good. I am rather elated at the trust that has been bestowed upon me, to do a job that requires a part of my brain that is not utilized throughout the week. But ... every weekend?

Money is not everything. Waking up on a Monday morning to a day that I am so glad to have is worth its weight in gold. A day of working from home, doing mindless things, going for walks with my little people and marvelling at the wonders of birds in the sky and bugs on the ground is exactly what I am ready to do today.

I'm glad it's Monday. I don't have the energy for another weekend quite yet...

Things are coming along. Soon the backyard will be the haven that I have missed for so long ...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring in My Step

The past few weeks have been soothing to the soul. I have been able to take my little daycare family outside once, if not twice every single day. While we still long for the snow to melt, a little less mud, green grass and to be in the back yard ... we are making the most out of what we have been given. And we have been given some pretty decent walking weather.

My little two-year-old is a real trooper. He walks along and 'pushes' the stroller with me while my one-year-olds sit in the lap of luxury and doze off whenever they like as we travel the city streets.

Wednesday we walked for a few hours. My girls fell asleep as we strolled. Not at the same time though. One fell asleep. When she woke up, the other fell asleep. I got a lot of flyers delivered as I waited for both girls to be awake at the same time. And my little two-year-old was so happy to be outside and moving he happily kept on walking.

Yesterday, we headed towards a donut shop that is not exactly a hop, skip and a jump away. It was more like long, arduous trek (if you were two years old). But we simply kept putting one foot in front of the other and made our way to our destination.

We lost a boot, a watch and a mitt in our travels. Long story short, in the end we found all of the above items. But I had to retrace our steps after the kids left last night to accomplish that small feat.

My Youngest decided to join me for my walk-in-search-of-lost-treasures last night. He had walked home from school and was eager to show me the route that he took and we scouted out possible short cuts on our way home.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable day. I put on a fair amount of miles but more importantly, I breathed in a lot of fresh spring air. The breeze was warm and the sun shone upon our day (honestly, I can't remember if the sun was shining or not, but it was warm enough to remove our mitts on the way home).

I sat down at the end of the day and my Middle Son suggested that we map out a few possibilities for the completion of the deck railing and consider some fencing ideas. Oh, the mere idea of 'taking back the back yard' again (it has become the domain of my son's dogs and it is not the yard that I remember it to be) made my heart happy.

It has been a long, cold winter and I am so grateful to be back outside again. I haven't been outside much since I took my Daycare Hiatus several years ago. With every step I take, I know that I am headed back to where I long to be. I am home again. In so many ways ...

Welcome back, Spring. I have missed you so.

The difference a week can make:



Thursday, April 25, 2013


I have to change a light bulb today. And while I am at it, I thought I'd sew a button onto my coat. Maybe if I get on a roll, I'll vacuum the accumulation of dust on the ceiling fan that my Youngest Son noticed a few weeks ago ...

What is happening to me? Where has my get-up-and-go gone??

I look at my week days and I feel the demands of my daycare family of one and two-year-olds are taking their toll, as the days of the week progress. How do I turn those demands around in a way that energize rather than deplete me?

I look at my weekends and I am torn by the demands that I am finding there. I have a few weekend obligations that are not hard to do. Once I am there. In fact, I feel energized because I have accomplished something, after-the-fact. If only I could place that energy within our home.

I have two days worth of flyers to deliver before I hang up my paper-carrier bag. Letting that responsibility go allows me to say that I have (almost) every week-day evening free. Free to do as I please.

What will I do with all of that free time? Maybe I should formulate a plan here and now so that it becomes as real to me as changing that light bulb and sewing on that button today.

I will:
  • Read. I need input. Light and fluffy at first. Something deeper later. I simply need to reinstate the habit of reading into my life.
  • Walk. I need sunlight and wide open spaces. I need to let my thoughts flow through me and I need to let them rise up into the heavens above. I need to let some things go.
  • Invite people in. I have started to feel very greedy with my time once again. I know this is a warning sign. It means that I don't have enough of me left over in a day. I need to find the energy to expend because it always brings so much more back to me when I am in a state of giving.
  • Work. Little things. Inside and outside of my home. I need to bring back a sense of pride of ownership with what I already have. It costs nothing to clean and cull through the excess. Physically cleaning out a closet (or drawer or room) makes room for new ideas and thought processes.
  • Write. I need to let go of the idea that I can only write in the morning. I am blocking my own creativity when I put imaginary, self-imposed limitations on what I can do and when I can do it. It is time to break down those boundaries and leap over them.
I will start by changing a light bulb. Who knows where the momentum of this day will take me ...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I have reentered the 'holey' zone in my life. Not to be confused with 'holy'. It is truly a 'holey' time.

I have been wearing out socks so fast that I thought that maybe I should recheck the packaging. Have socks become disposable? Like Bic pens and Bic disposable lighters ... have I been buying Bic socks?!?

Then I looked down at the knees of my pants yesterday. I have no idea why I looked. Perhaps it was because it felt a little breezy? But I found a hole in the knee of my 'brand new' pants. Okay, okay ... I bought them in November. But honestly! I am not two years old any more. The knees on my pants should last longer than the winter season (yes, it is still winter here!!).

Then I thought about my life. I do put a lot of miles on these feet of mine. I should wear a pedometer for a few days and see how many miles I track in a day. Maybe my socks are wearing out for a reason?

As I crawled across the floor to retrieve a toy for the kids (or for myself ... who knows these days??), the thought did cross my mind that I will wear out the knees of my pants prematurely if I keep doing this. Apparently I have been crawling a little more than I remember. Then again, I have been doing a fair bit of falling (as I delivered flyers in snow encrusted, ice laden, rutty sidewalks over the course of 'winter'. Again! Winter is the common denominator).

Holes and winter. Holes and putting miles on this body.

Holes and the reason we acquire them ... sometimes a 'holey' life is the sign of a life well lived. It is those 'holes' that I fill with food, oversleeping and overspending are truly the holes to be wary of. Those holes of emptiness are the ones to watch for.

I am filling up the empty holes of interior of my life by wearing out holes in the exterior parts of my being. I think that there is a sense of balance in these holes that is starting to equal out.

Spring (soon to be followed by summer) is on its way. Soon I will not need to be wearing socks and long-legged pants will be too hot. Capris and bare feet will alleviate some of the holes in my life. Sunshine and fresh air will fill the others.

Oh, to live a life without 'holes'. It is a mighty big goal ... but I'm on my way.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Dream

When I was married, my husband and I purchased a ten acre plot of undeveloped land in northern Alberta. We were young, full of dreams and high hopes.

Our plan was to clear the land, buy and build a garage package (which would become our home). The concept of bringing in power, water, phone and gas lines onto this completely barren plot was not a deterrent. Neither was the fact that we would be living in a relatively undeveloped area up in 'bear country'.

I put my townhouse up for sale (it is very hard to write the word 'my' there, but I had bought the house on my own while my husband and I were divorced and the house was very much 'mine'. I was longing for joint ownership, hopes, dreams and plans when we bought those ten acres of land). My husband went up north and scouted out the possibilities to make our dream come true.

The townhouse didn't sell. My husband came back home and the dream fades into darkness there. Literally and figuratively. I honestly don't remember much about that time other than the fact that my husband brought home a giant dog ...

Our marriage crumbled at some point thereafter and there were scenes from this drama that made me realize at the time, that living in a secluded area with no one around would not likely have had a favorable outcome. I was quite relieved that life turned out as it did and I remained in my townhouse with our son after the marriage dissolved.

The dream died and all that was left was this abandoned chunk of land and the loan we took out to pay for it. Money, joint property and loans turn ugly when a marriage goes sour. Long story short, since I was the only one willing to pay off the debt, I became sole owner of the property. Despite our plans and high hopes, 'we' turned into 'my' once again.

This land was a thorn in my side as time went on. I paid off the loan. I paid the taxes each year. But I just wanted it 'gone'. The dream had died. I didn't relish the idea of paying for the lost dream each year at tax time.

Sometime around the time I purchased the home we live in now, I put that land up for sale. I can't remember how long it took to sell, but eventually I received an 'Offer to Purchase' from a couple and we arranged for payment by an Agreement for Sale (in retrospect, I can see that it was this payment arrangement that opened the door for the communication that would follow). I didn't have to think more than the millisecond that it took to comprehend the idea. "SOLD!"

That was in May of 1995. December of 1995 began the tradition of exchanging Christmas cards/letters/and photos that continues to this day.

I became pen pals with the wife of the couple that bought our land. It warmed my heart and soul to hear about their slow but steady progress as they turned our dream into their dream. That little piece of land was destined to be someone's dream. I was so grateful for the opportunity to bear witness to the story that land would come to hold.

Bit by bit, piece by piece this family worked together to clear and develop the land and turn it into their home. She spoke of the peaceful times before they had power that became cherished memories "... last night we talked into the wee hours, amazing how different things look in the candle light. A very enjoyable time we spent together! And we talked ..." (short excerpt from her letter three months after they moved onto the land).

I could feel the humble pride and joy as they made their dream progress slowly but surely as the years went on. I have listened to (read, via her letters) the story of their little family over the course of the last 18 years ...

My heart jumped a little when I spotted a letter from my long time pen pal in yesterday's mail. Inside was a thank you note for all of the Christmas Letters and request to "... please continue to keep in touch ...". Also enclosed was the memorial card from her husband's funeral. A strong and loving force behind the dream has died.

I feel honored and privileged to have shared just a small piece of their story. How often do we get to see our own lost dreams come true through someone else's journey?

Our dream died. But it lived on through another family. It was not our dream to be had. It was theirs. Thank you for letting me see it come true.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Miscommunication 101

The weekend was a little bit backwards. Yesterday felt like a Saturday so I am really, really, really craving a Sunday right about now.

Speaking of backwards, I think that I was speaking Backwards English yesterday ...

I had the time, opportunity and money to get my hair cut and colored yesterday afternoon. I squeezed it into a rather productive day and utilized the only free two hours that I had at my disposal. I thought that was a good sign that this was truly 'meant to be'.

The hair 'artist' asked me what I wanted done. This is where it started to go wrong. I used the wrong words, phrases and emphasis to describe what I didn't want.

I said (something to the effect of), "I'm glad my hair looks the way it does today because this is exactly what I want to get rid of." I grabbed the clump of hair on the top of my head and told her that it desperately needed to be thinned and it was not thinned properly the last time and it had led to this 'mushroom cap' look that I didn't want. I brought along photos of Kelly Pickler (with her short, sassy hair Dancing-With-the-Stars-hairstyle). I told her this was the look that I was going for ...

Then she asked about the color. She asked if I wanted to go with the brash, yucky, icky reddish tinge that was left over from my last bad color. Why did I not just say distinctly, loudly and succinctly, "NO"? Instead I grabbed the roots of my hair and said that I wanted to go towards something that would get rid of these unsightly roots. What I intended to mean was "I want my natural color, with highlights".

Well? At the end of her styling process, she had not even touched the top of my head when she started to blow it dry. Color me crazy, but I thought that perhaps she cut it when I wasn't looking and maybe she knew what she was doing. When she grabbed a big, round brush and blew some body into this massive amount of hair it wasn't feeling good. It didn't look any better.

So eventually, I did get the top of my hair thinned. I have no idea if it is going to work for me because she styled it and I don't know how it is going to act in 'real life'. But for the rest of the day and so far this morning, I can live with it.

My Youngest Son took a double take when he saw my hair in the light. He said that this is the first time that he has ever noticed a difference after I got my hair done. I asked what he noticed. He said he noticed the color. He didn't elaborate and I didn't ask if that was a good or a bad thing.

When I looked in the mirror this morning, after erasing my memory while I slept ... I simply saw the color that I had hoped to get rid of. It's not ugly. It is simply not the color I intended to spend two hours of my precious Sunday and all of my hard earned and precious-to-me cash that I had earned doing a job that I don't exactly love to do.

Yes, I could go back and have them 'fix' whatever I may find to be wrong with it after I wash it for the first time. But I have no desire to give up any more of my time. If I'm going to be sitting still for that amount of time, I would much rather be at home where I could fully appreciate it.

I'm done obsessing with my hair. It is a minor thing. It grows. And it looks far, far better than it did at this time yesterday. I don't hate it. The thing that bothers me the most is the backwards communication that transpired during that little 'hair transaction'. I played and replayed what I actually said and realized that I was not precise and clear in my intent. But in my eyes, I would think that Communications 101 should be the first course a hair stylist takes. How can you possibly hope to please your customers if you don't communicate what you 'hear' and reword it before you start cutting and coloring one's hair?

Then again ... my hair specialist yesterday was a 'Hair Artist'. Maybe they bring their interpretation of what they see, hear and feel into their art. And you are to walk out of the salon feeling like a masterpiece.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


This is 'reality' in my little corner of the world:

 We (me and my little daycare family) have had an extreme case of cabin fever over the course of the past six+ months as we endured the longest winter I can remember (please ignore the fact that I tend to forget things-such-as-this, but trust me - it has been a very, very long winter).

We built snowmen when the weather was mild. We went for walks as long as sidewalk conditions allowed. We played in the front yard when the sidewalks and roads became impassable with the stroller. We did the best we could do with the weather conditions that we were given. We tried. We honestly tried to make the most of the endless snow, cold, ice and dreary winter conditions. 

It is April 20th and this is what our yard looks like this morning. I'm just plain tired of winter. So is the rest of the country ...

But this week was a banner week. I took my daycare family out for a walk five out of five days. Most days, we were outside twice throughout the day. The addition of fresh air and sunshine has been most welcome.

It was also a very quiet week. Quiet in daycare language translates into more-adult-intervention-required. When there are more kids, they make their own fun within a group. My job is to oversee and guide them but it isn't one-on-one labor intensive. I get to stand back and breathe a little. The fewer the children, the harder my job becomes.

So I took this chance to relook at strategies and I found a few work-arounds that I think will bring 'world peace' back into our home. Little things.

It was a week that started out challenging ... but got better each and every day. I write a daily blog for my parents so that they can check in and see/hear what our day looked and felt like. I try so hard to focus on the positive and try to include fun pictures, videos and cute things-kids-say ... but this endless winter has been tough. Reality has seeped into my daily daycare musings.

I was talking to one of my parents yesterday morning as I was commiserating about the little things that were bringing me down at that particular moment. I was having one of those days where I questioned my abilities as a daycare provider. When you don't get a lot of feedback in a job, you tend to start to take silence personally. One of my parents is particularly quiet...

Anyway, the mom I was talking to assured me that she was very happy in all regards. She said reading our blog is the highlight of her day. I lowered my head and shamefully admitted that 'it isn't all positive'. She replied that she wouldn't want it any other way. She feels like she knows exactly what is going on in her daughter's day when I write honestly.

With these assurances under my belt, I was armed and ready to take on the day. It was an easy/hard day. Because I only had one child to tend. One child = excessive one-on-one expectations. But we did good. We walked for hours. I let her watch an extra episode of 'Bubble Guppies'. We just went where ever the day took us.

The next thing you know, the day was done. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? The mom that I had spoken with in the morning came in the house bearing these:


My reality is actually pretty wonderful. It may still be winter outside, but spring has sprung within my heart and home. And I am ready to take on the world (please world, do not take that statement too literally).

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Use It or Lose It

My day of absorbing the world has been lost as one day melted into the next. I feel a quiet ache inside of me because I had nourished a part of myself that needed that day. And the benefit of all that was gained has been spent on 'life'.

I still have the notations that I made as life-as-I-know-it started to intrude on that little piece of serenity. I glanced at the words yesterday and they had lost their poignancy. I wondered where the passion that I felt at the time had gone.

Real-life is draining me at the moment. I look at myself, my life and the challenges before me and there is absolutely no reason that I shouldn't be able to shake myself out of this.

I don't want or need anyone to point out what I already know. No one could beat me up inside, any more than I already am doing to myself. I see where I am and I know the direction that I am headed. I know that it is not always a direct path from 'here' to 'there' and I am fine with that.

The wheels inside of my head are turning. There are restrictions as to what I can and cannot do with the ideas that are formulating. Even that-which-I-can-do is limited at the moment.

Our endless winter is playing havoc with my coping abilities. I have taken my daycare family on walks every day this week and it has been wonderful. The sidewalks are not 100% passable yet but they are getting so much closer. 

I need a sunbeam. I need to soak up the sun so that I can reflect it inward and get myself up and out of this place. It is so close. It is so very, very close ...

I need to find that-which-sustains me and use it. For if I don't use it, it gets lost in the reality of that which is 'life'...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Time to Exhale

I am very sensitive to noise-overload. Perhaps it is better phrased as 'sensory overload'. My days have been extremely noisy lately.

I have been craving quiet and solitude. A lot. I gave myself the gift of 'a day' on Saturday and I have been playing catch-up ever since...

I felt guilty for it. The phone was at my side on my self-imposed day of solitude and I willed it not to ring. It didn't. Until it did.

It was good that the phone rang. It brought the gift of friendship into my day of 'inhaling' and my friends are as vital as oxygen and water to me . The downside is that I have been trying to 'exhale' ever since and I haven't found the opportunity to do so.

A day of absorbing the world was exactly what I needed. I let the day unfold as naturally as it could. I watched movies. Some were deep. Others weren't. But I found gifts in the shallowest of things on Saturday. Because I was breathing in the day.

I read. I bought the book "Carry On, Warrior" by Glennon Doyle Melton. I stumbled upon Glennon's blog innocently enough (I love days that allow me to follow where ever a computer link may lead). I would love to buy a dozen copies of this book and spread them around whenever I see someone who may benefit from it. These words speak so loudly to me and I interpret them on so many different levels. I love where this author's words take me ...

I inhaled so deeply that I was filled to the brim. I invited friendship into that oxygenated state and I was met with so many more words to inhale. I had so much to say ... then the real world came crashing in on me.

I had to work on Sunday. I have honed the art of procrastination and hadn't completed the job that I had to do at home, before I returned to my work place. I crammed in as much as I could before I had to go to my job but I had underestimated the time it would take to do the job and I was quite literally running out the door (I skidded out in the middle of the living room in my race against time) to make it to work in time.

I worked over six hours. I had to buy groceries on the way home. I didn't walk in the door until 6:30 and supper was necessary. I wanted it to be another fend-for-yourself-night, but we have had so many of those lately that I couldn't deny my son the pizza he asked for. So I combined picking up said pizza, with another errand that I had not run (due to my Saturday-of-inhaling). I got home at 9 p.m. and I still hadn't eaten supper. I needed to have a shower. It was 10:00 before I sat down. I had words bottled up inside of me with no energy or time left in the day to put a voice to them ...

I woke up at 5 a.m. yesterday and chose to stay in bed until 5:30. Big mistake. I could have used that 30 minutes. I needed to write. I needed to exhale but the day got in the way.

My daycare charges are draining every ounce of energy that I have in me. They need something. All day. All of the time. Except when they sleep. I made one more mistake yesterday. I took that nap time and spent it on matters of an income tax kind. I unearthed a small mystery that consumed every breath that was already consumed in a very kid-oriented day. The mystery was not completely unravelled until last night.

The day was spent and so was I.

So when I woke up at 5 a.m. once again this morning, I heeded that call and got up. I was greeted with messages in my inbox which I responded to. Again, there was more to 'inhale', than I had time to 'exhale' completely.

The clock was ticking. My son wanted the computer. I was five minutes away from the onset of my daycare day. I asked my son for those last five minutes on the computer.

I raced to update my daycare blog as my first family walked in the door. The day began like every other. The challenges of the day ahead were set before me. I looked at my son and asked him how was I going to do this for ten more hours. He understood exactly what I was saying. As he left for school, he wished me well with my day. The words came from a place in his heart. He not only knew what I was thinking, he knew what I was feeling.

All that I was feeling was validated in that very moment. It was enough. Because here I am.

I have rerouted my strategies today and I have a completely different game plan in mind. Two out of four of 'my kids' called in and told me that they will not be coming today. I have an opportunity to redo yesterday because I have the same two children that I feel that I 'failed' yesterday, here for a do-over.

The strategy is working. Because I have sat still and had an opportunity to breathe out the entirety of this blog post with almost no interruptions as they play contentedly at my side. They are getting along. They are acting in age-appropriate ways (my two-year-old that has honed the art of copying his one-year-old buddy has so completely that he has absorbed her ways, tones and inflections that I cannot honestly tell one voice apart from the other).

I need time to exhale all of the words that my day of 'inhaling' has wrought. I have so much to say and little time to say it. I feel slightly asthmatic as I deal with an excess of incoming 'air' and the lack of ability to breathe it out.

Today begins the process of exhaling...

Saturday, April 13, 2013


I woke up this morning completely void of words and thoughts (deep, inane or otherwise). My body hurt (3.5 hours of dodging puddles and carrying loads of flyers last night, that far exceeded that-which-is-recommended) and I was numb. Inside and out.

I turned on the TV and followed where my interests led. I sat down with a book on my lap and read snippets of writing that captured my attention. A pen, a notebook, a newspaper and a cup of coffee were (still are) at my side.

I followed wherever my attention took me. I ended up here:


Feeling a little lost today? Watch this. Feeling a little empty? Read and absorb the world.

I will write more another day when the words are bubbling up inside me. Today, I am revelling in my imperfections (in a good way). It is okay to be imperfect. It is okay to admit it out loud. I am beginning to see that is why I feel such a connection to those who are a part of my world.

I am breathing in the world around me today. And it is good ...

Friday, April 12, 2013

High School is Just the Beginning

Grade 9 seems like a bit of a wake up call for young students. Mid term assignments, exams and large projects are all coming to a head at the same time. For those that are struggling I can only imagine how coping strategies must be either hitting a passing or failing grade.

I find myself marvelling at my Youngest Son's desire to give his school work his 'all' this year. Elementary was fairly easy for him and the blasé marks of 'Not Meeting Expectations'; 'Meeting Expectations'; or 'Exceeding Expectations' did not bring out his personal best. The percentage marks that they hand out in high school is something so much more tangible. It has him competing against himself to do the best of his abilities.

His Easter Break was overcast in looming exams and big projects due within a week of returning back to school. He was overwhelmed and somewhat dismayed at the expectations that have been thrown at them this year, "Why even give us a break when we are expected to do so much homework?!" was his lament.

So he puttered away at the-biggest-project-of-them-all (and the first one due upon his return to school) throughout his holiday. All the while, muttering about the expectations in this new world of high school.

He finished that project with a few waking hours to spare on the first-day-back-to-school. The remainder of the week has been consumed with the other projects that are due. Last night was the granddaddy of them all with two projects and three exams all due today.

I am so happy to see his self-induced efforts and expectations. I am not the driving force behind his performance. It is all internal. And truly ... can we as parents really force our children to do as well as we think that they can? Encouragement, rewards, bribes, threats and everything else is a version of placing our expectations on someone else's shoulders. The real world isn't like that. We aren't coddled and cajoled into meeting expectations within a job, a relationship, running a home or simply managing our own life.

I couldn't help but think of the many ways that I can be overwhelmed by deadlines and responsibilities in my own little life, as I was doling out advise as per the 'wisdom I have gained by being an adult'. I realized the many ways that I am lacking the motivation that my young son has at the age of 14 years.

Don't leave big jobs until the last minute. I need that 'last minute' motivation to get big jobs done. A job without a deadline (real or perceived) in my mind is a job that doesn't get done. I could learn from a page in my son's book. Whittle away at the big jobs is better advise. As overwhelming as they are (real or perceived), you get nothing done by doing nothing. A little bit on a daily basis goes a long way when it comes to the final stretch. When the bulk of the work is behind you, it leaves you with the energy to work out the details in the end.

If you get the smaller jobs out of your way, you have more time and energy to put towards the bigger ones. As I watched my son's energy fizzle out as the week progressed, I wondered if he had used up all of his ambition on the 'big project' and had run out of momentum. But last night, as he was in the home stretch, I could see the wisdom in the way he progressed through the week. He prioritized by due dates. A smart move. A person is more motivated when a deadline is looming. It is definitely helpful when you've been placing some energy towards the end goal for some time preceding said deadline. To have to start and finish a project under the gun may produce action. But the results may be less than you could have come up with, if you work slowly and steadily towards the finish line. The moral of the story between the race between the tortoise remains as true today as it did in the decade it was written.

Take advantage of every opportunity to learn as you go. The final exams in life are best written with instilled knowledge that is absorbed and utilized to its fullest capacity along the way. That which is crammed into your brain at the last moment is the first to go. Read, listen, utilize and absorb the world around you to your fullest capacity every day. Review the details before the exam date, but if the knowledge is instilled the details are easier to remember. As my son planned to study for his exams as he progressed throughout the day today, I couldn't help but think that his retained knowledge will get him through the day. Perhaps he could do better if he had studied harder. Then again, many of the projects that were due this week may have been exactly what he needed to digest some of the information he will need for his exams.

High school is only the beginning of a lifetime full of projects and long term expectations. Some come with deadlines. Others don't. We have the ability to hang onto some of those lessons we learn in high school. Perhaps it would be wise for me to take a page from my son's book ...

My only fear? This is only Grade 9. It is bound to get worse. What if he burns out before he graduates? Where do kids find the motivation to keep going, when the going gets tough, tougher and seems never ending. Already, my son is comparing work to school. School does not end at the end of the school day. It seeps into evenings, weekends and holidays. Work? It is starting to sound pretty good to him.

Yet ... with work, comes a life of extra curricular responsibilities and expectations. 'Homework' is just that. You come home from a full-time job to a home full of work to be done. It really doesn't end. It just changes.

High school is just the beginning...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Eight More to Go

I have handed in my notice. I am so ready for this to be over. I am willing to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to see this through. I will deliver my last flyer/newspaper by April 27th.

From the moment that I finally made the call to give them the required one month notice, I was ready to let go. I waited one month too long.

The elation that I felt eight months ago is all but a distant memory. Oh, I remember the feeling. It felt a little bit wonderful to be back in my element, walking through my neighborhood and talking with my neighbors on those warm, sunny summer days.

Since that time, I have walked through wind, rain, snow, sleet, Arctic winter temperatures, ice and puddles. Of all of the aforementioned walking conditions, the spring thaw is the worst. If I don't end up in a puddle before my reign is through, I will be happy (and perhaps a little bit surprised).

Initially, I was thrilled to get paid to exercise. Weight bearing exercise to boot. Eight months in? I am beginning to think that the weight of all of those flyers (they just keep getting heavier now that all of the merchants are advertising for the spring and summer seasons ahead) is compacting my spine. My joints, my back, my flexibility and my thumbs (?!??) are not what they were prior to this little money-making exercise scheme of mine.

Now? I will give up whatever is necessary to make this financial sacrifice work. Dancing. Take-out food. Extra-curricular spending. Groceries....

I am so over you, flyers! I have eight more delivery dates to endure. Then I will celebrate by not going out dancing or spending frivolously. I will celebrate each time that I move with ease.

Good riddance, flyers. I will be grateful to see the end of you...

**P.S. A huge, huge thank you to my Middle Son who rescued me yesterday. Not only did he deliver the 'third' of the flyers that are the furthest away from home for me (before my daycare family left for the day) but ... he also assembled our supper for us while I was out completing the job. When I came home, supper was ready and waiting for me. Though I was tired and grumpy at the end of the day, not having to worry about supper at the end of a day-such-as-I-had was the best gift I could have ever hoped for.**

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Say it Out Loud

Sometimes I need to say things out loud to hear the answers I need to hear.

It was a small thing, but in my litany of voicing my exasperating 'kid moments' last week I heard myself speak. It was a small thing (my two-year-old who shoves the entire toast crust into his mouth in a double-fisted all-goes-in-his-mouth maneuver), but once I said it out loud I heard the obvious - cut the toast into 'triangles' (less crust to jam into his mouth at the end). It worked like a charm.

My second minor epiphany that was a day-changer yesterday. Monday is an exhausting day. Everyone is exhausted. Yesterday? I put the one-year-olds down for a short morning snooze and I snuggled on the couch with the two-year-old for some TV time while the girls were sleeping. Calmness reigned throughout the day.

Writing things out helps me sort through the chaos in my mind and helps me see that it is often one overwhelming thought that is going forth and multiplying in my mind. When the words are on paper, I can see that my thoughts were bigger in my mind than they were in reality.

How many times have I said something out loud and heard the answer I needed to hear ... simply by hearing my voice outside my head? More times than I can remember.

Keeping our thoughts to ourselves isn't always the best answer. Put a voice to that which is overtaking your thoughts. Say it out loud. Bounce your words off of another human being. You may be surprised at what you hear.

Besides that, putting a voice to your happiness enhances that which is already there. Sharing your worries diminishes their power. Call a friend today. You will be glad that you did.

 "Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow" (a Swedish proverb)

Monday, April 8, 2013

When the Wind Blows

I woke up to a weekend with no agenda Saturday morning. Honestly? I wanted to close the blinds and simply disappear from the world and regroup. Instead? I called my mom.

Mom and I have had some pretty good Saturday morning phone calls. This one felt a little different. First and foremost, she was quite disgusted to wake up to yet another freshly snow-covered morning. Secondly, her back was bothering her. Enough for her to put a voice to it (she isn't a complainer, so this was out of her norm). Most of all ... it was her voice. She simply didn't sound like herself.

We talked in and around the week's events. She mentioned mailing her income tax papers to me since she had been unable to make it out with them on the Easter weekend as we had originally hoped. There is something about 'mailing those income tax papers' that doesn't sit well with me ...

Dad always brought his income tax to his accountant in Our Fair City when I was growing up. As a rule (if memory serves me correctly), it was usually at Easter. It was a small little ritual that never varied too far from the norm.

After Dad died, Mom kept up the ritual and brought those tax papers back to the same tried and true accountant for some time before she started 'keeping it within the family' and I started doing her taxes. As it was with my childhood memories, bringing those tax papers back 'home' usually involved an Easter gathering ... and as time went on and weather conditions prevailed we would simply ensure that we got together some time before the end of April so that I could get her tax papers one way or another.

A few years ago, in a completely untypical move, Mom told me she was just going to mail her income tax stuff to me. Alarm bells rang and I knew something was not right. Mom doesn't like to trust the postal system with papers of such a confidential nature. I decided to simply make a visit of it and retrieve her papers in person. My sisters came along with me for the ride ...

There was a reason alarm bells were ringing. Mom wasn't doing too well and medical intervention was required. My sisters and I rotated our availability to go out and stay with Mom until everything stabilized and we felt ready to leave Mom on her own again (she would probably tell you that we over reacted). None-the-less ... we were there when we needed to be. And it was the threat of mailing out those tax papers that alerted me to something different in the air.

So when Mom was talking about mailing her income tax to me once again, I replied that I should see if my Middle Son felt like going for a road trip and we could run out there (a five hour drive) and pick them up. She didn't decline. My son was (unbeknownst to me) standing in the kitchen and overheard my comment. He peeked his head around the corner and nodded to me in agreement.

A few minutes later I was off the phone with Mom and within the hour, we were Westward bound. And off to see Mom.

My Son and I talked about little things, big things and things-that-matter along the way. Mom greeted us enthusiastically upon our arrival, six hours after we hung up the phone Saturday morning (she was faking it a little bit but her back was still bothering her so that didn't help).

We all went and visited my brother's family after supper. They have been plagued with their own set of worries and it simply felt good to 'be there' in some capacity. The visit was light but there were serious undertones. I know Mom is concerned about them...

We were back home 28 hours after we left, with eight waking hours left in the weekend. At this point I have no real firm idea if our spur-of-the-moment visit was really necessary or not.

I don't really feel like it made a huge difference in the whole scheme of things. Did I give Mom more things to worry about in my mindless chatter (about dealing with small children on a daily basis) or did I divert her thoughts? Her back ache shifted locations by the time we left. Is this anything to be concerned about? I don't know ...

My son gave my mom a tentative 'spring getaway plan' as we were walking out the door. He invited her to come and bear witness to moving the house onto their farm in May. Nine days after the move, they are headed back her way and could provide her a 'ride back home'.

The snow should be gone by May. Spring should be out in full force. A whole new life will become a reality as My Son & His Girlfriend move a modest little home onto the piece of land that they have been laboring over. It is my hope that Mom is looking forward and seeing 'a month from now' as a time of renewal and coming home to be a part of something that is close to her heart.

I just know that the wind was blowing Saturday morning. And we went with it. I have never been steered wrong when I simply follow where ever the wind blows me. It felt right. It was easy. There was absolutely no resistance or cross-wind to make me feel like we were doing anything but the right thing.

I know this past weekend mattered. I know that I will look back on it and know that it was the right thing to do. I don't know why ... but I know that when the wind blows, I will do my very best to relax and just go with it.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


It was a long week. I am tired. The week can be summed up by two phrases:
  • Taking care of one and two year olds is hard work
  • "I'm not listening ...", said my five year old as I was trying to explain to him how hard it is to reason with a two year old
It has been a long, long winter. I am so looking forward to warm, sunny days spent in the great outdoors.

I do not feel 'courageous' this morning. But I did wake up with the phrase "I will try again next week" running through my mind. So I guess that doesn't make me a coward.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Joy Defined

joy - 1.A feeling of great pleasure and happiness. 2.A thing that causes joy.

That which brings great pleasure and happiness into my life changes by the day. Perhaps by the minute ...

Children at play. One minute it may be over-the-top energy, enthusiasm and laughter. The next, it may be quiet contentment among a group. The closest thing to heaven on earth that I have witnessed is children playing contentedly among themselves. There is nothing better than harmony among children. It is one of my favorite things.

Children playing outdoors is a close second. Ahhh. There is nothing like it. A wide open sky. Space to let that pent up energy be released. Fresh air and sunshine are a great combo to add to a child-filled day. I love it. Except when I am fretting over one of the kids toppling down off the snow mountain in our front yard ... or throwing an ice-ball and hitting someone or falling into the window well or running out onto the street (our days of playing in the front yard are wearing very, very thin. So is 'winter').

An unexpected movie night brought a smile to my face and joy into my heart the other night. I bought 'Toy Story 3' for my daycare family. My Youngest and I picked up some refreshments and parked ourselves in front of the TV. Together. We simply savored a moment from a simpler time.

Then I went dancing. I like walking into the dance studio. There were many familiar faces within those walls. It is light and easy. But it isn't the same as it used to be ...

I know I'm there for only a short time. Until the dance lessons that I have paid for run out. I feel like I am learning things that will never be put to practice in the real world. Nor the dance world. I still enjoy it ... but it is simply not the same as it used to be. I miss the passion.

How does one bring the passion back into something that may have run its course? I sound like I am talking about marriage. And in many ways ... maybe I am.

When something that used to be light, easy, full of fun, happiness and joy becomes work ... where do you go from there? When it is something that is an integral part of your life (marriage, family, work ...), what can you do to keep the joy that is mixed into the reality of day-to-day life?

I am no expert on marriage and long term relationships. But I starting to feel successful in maintaining relationships within my friendships, family and my children. Perhaps a little of what is working within the core or my life can be utilized to continue to maintain what is working.

Savor those moments of quiet contentment during the drudgery of day-to-day life. There is no better way of appreciating that contentment, than to have it taken away. Try taking on something brand new in your life and you will soon come to realize that the 'same old, same old' is something one misses when it isn't a part of your life.

Add a dose of fresh air and sunshine into whatever you do. Take a step out into the vastness of our great outdoors. Whether you sit on your doorstep and gaze upwards into the sky ... or go for a walk ... or take a drive. Enjoy the view outside of your reality on a regular basis. Conversation may or may not be a part of the scenario. Doing something quietly with a loved one at your side may be 'the best conversation you didn't have'...

Take in a spur of the moment 'movie night' now and again. It doesn't have to be grand in any way, shape or form. Simply tune out the rest of the world and tune into something that moves you to laugh, feel, cry ... anything. If you can share the moment with someone who enhances the flavor of said movie night, go for it! I can enjoy something just as much on my own (sometimes I need the aloneness to appreciate something to its fullest). Tune out the world some of the time.

Dance to the beat of your own heart beat. Do something that moves you to want to sing, dance or skip. Find something joyful that brings something meaningful to you and bring it into your world. When I turn on the music and sing and dance within the safe confines of my life, I feel the same joyfulness that I used to feel when I danced on a more regular basis.

When life starts to feel like too much work, take it one small step at a time. Add a little joy into your day in whatever capacity you can. Life isn't about the big moments that come once-in-a-lifetime. It is about making the little moments into something bigger than they appear.

Now I must go and take my own advice as I step into another kid-filled day. This week has felt a little too much like work. I must look towards the sun and savor the small moments within today. I have had just a few too many weeks like this. I must look within, to make the rest of my world work better...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Without Her ...

I have walked at the side of (too) many people who have faced great loss in their lives this past year. I walked into this role with precious little first-hand experience. It is unfortunate to say that I have learned what I have to write, at the expense of people that mean the world to me.

I didn't know what to say or what to do. I sat back and thought that the person who was facing the greatest challenge that life had given them so far had so much support that I wasn't needed. Rule #1 - Never Assume Anything.

I learned that sometimes you may be the only person that 'shows up'. Or perhaps you, as your own unique individual ... have something to offer that makes it easier in some capacity. Rule #2 - Just Show Up. You will never know what a difference your presence makes.

Just listen. I led with my heart and it seemed to take me places that the other person needed to go. Sometimes I felt that I was no help at all ... but I was assured that the diversion of a fresh, new conversation about life-outside-the-hospital-doors was just what the doctor ordered. Rule #3 - Follow the path the conversation takes.

I am not a hugger. But there are times when the physical touch of another human being says more than a thousand words. I will never forget the time my brother simply touched my hand at a time that my world was caving in around me. There are times that I have touched some one's shoulder or hand in a similar manner. Rule #4 - Reach out in 'whatever' language you speak. You will never know the difference you have made by simply reaching out and touching someone.

Rule #4 - Be grateful for the people in your life that tell you exactly what they need. I have friends that are polar opposite from each other, yet what I learn from one friend helps me hear what another friend is not telling me. There is great comfort to be told what to do at a time when you have no idea. Yet ... there comes a time when even that friend who knows how to ask for what they need, will not ask. Fall back on Rule #2 - Just show up.

Mourning knows no end. Don't forget that. You never get over losing a loved one ... you simply come to accept it. Triggers are everywhere and you don't see them coming. Rule #5 - Keep showing up.

I am learning at the expense of others. Every person that I know that has faced great loss is teaching me what I need to know to walk through dark moments with another.

The friend who is not afraid to ask for help has opened my eyes to the simple things that matter. And as specific as she may be in her needs ("A large, strawberry milkshake from Dairy Queen" for example), I have also learned that "Just showing up" is what she needs most of all.

The friend who asks for absolutely nothing has taught me that simply "showing up" is often the best gift of all. She has helped me trust my intuition and feel confident in opening myself up to whatever may help her get through 'a moment'.

My uncle has been raw and open with emotion. He has opened my eyes in ways that I have never seen before. He has talked so openly and freely. My heart aches for him and his loss. He is going through the paces of his unexpected new life. He is saying the same words. But the twinkle in his eye has lost its luster. He misses her and the input that she had to put life's little lessons into perspective.

My uncle and I drove out to my sister's (who is married to his brother) on the weekend. My sister's guest list dwindled greatly due to circumstances beyond any one's control ... and when all was said and done our party dwindled down to my two sisters, their husbands, my uncle and me.

I have never, ever felt so alone in my singleness as I did this past weekend. In part, it was because my sisters and I either get together in a sibling-only capacity. Or else it is a full-out-all-family-included kind of affair. But this weekend, I believe that it was because I was seeing and feeling what I could only guess my uncle was living ... that I felt my 'singleness' so acutely. Any other time, my aunt would have been there.

How does the world go on spinning without her ... how dare it go on? Him without her is like peanut butter without chocolate. It can and does work on its own. But the combination of the two? They were made for each other. I hear it in the twinkle and chuckle that is now missing from his little anecdotes.

He misses her. Her children miss her. The world is not the same without her. Yet ... the world is a far better place because she was in it. I am grateful for every little memory that I have of her to hold on to.

I am but one person in the vastness of family and friends that these people have. From the outside, looking in ... it would seem that they have all the support that they need. But from what I have learned, I will simply just keep showing up. Maybe it is nothing in the whole scheme of things ... but what if it is like the time that my brother simply touched my hand. What if ... it is a small thing that makes a big difference?

I will simply keep showing up...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Please accept my sincerest apologies if you are coming over to read a little bit here thanks to my son's referral from garagejournal.com (please feel free to click on that link to check out my son's forum page as he writes and illustrates the progress he is making on his farm).

I am dabbling in 'public writing', which is a little similar to public speaking. You put yourself out on display for strangers to read or ignore or critique and there are moments (I had many such moments yesterday) when you simply want to crawl back under your rock and live a quiet little life behind closed doors.

I am writing a column for a handful of papers now. I also have a blog site within an Ontario publication. Once that site receives over 500 'hits', I will be paid a small stipend per hit. So ... I took a calculated risk and advertised that fact on my Facebook page:

Does anyone mind if I do a little self-promoting in this spot? If so, stop reading right now and carry on to the next item in your news feed ...

If you are still reading, I am still here writing. And that is what this is all about. My writing.

I am writing a column for a handful of papers and I have a blog space for an Ontario publication "MyKawartha" (a Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes community online newspaper). Once my blog has over 500 'hits', I will be paid according to the number of people viewing my posts.

So ... I am attaching the link to my blog. If you like it and think that it is worth following or passing along to someone feel free to do so. If not, please ignore this blatant misuse of Facebook space and carry on with your day!


I thought it was a small risk. I have 31 Facebook friends and I am a little bit certain that a small majority of them don't invest a great amount of time reading other people's updates. So I thought that perhaps I would reach another handful of readers.

You can imagine how terrifying it was when my son's girlfriend shared my link with her (much larger) group of friends. Suddenly I was feeling a small amount of anxiety about what I had written on my 'pay-per-view' blog site and how palatable it would be to a younger crowd. My day got busy and I decided that it was a waste of energy to worry about it any further.

Then ... I started noticing 'hits' on this blog space from "garagejournal.com". Oh. my. gosh. If I was a small bit anxious about what the younger set may think of my highly scrutinized, edited and condensed versions of my writing were over at myKawartha.com ... I was starting to sweat a few bullets when I thought of the readership from a garage forum in my personal blog space here...

I come here most mornings to purge my thoughts. Sometimes they are worth reading. Many times they are not. I am fearful that if I started scrutinizing every single word that I wrote, that I would get out of the habit of writing. So I write. I write alot. Much of it is tedious and mundane. But when I feel something very strongly and simply let my fingers fly over the keyboard ... every now and again I come up with something that may strike a chord with someone. So I write.

If you wish, please feel free to mosey on over to my more 'professional' writing spot at myKawartha.com . The articles that I have posted over there are some that are a little more polished and (hopefully) with enough substance to keep the attention of someone that I don't know. Everything that I write over there has originated 'here' ... in the privacy of my own personal blog.

What you read here is pretty raw and untamed. And I would imagine pretty boring as well. Please don't hold this against me. In the flourish of words that come, every now and again comes a nugget worth holding onto.

So I write. I write freely here. This is who I am. I would apologize for the fact ... but wouldn't it be safe to say that most of us have a little bit of that going on in our world? The face we show the world ... and the one we hold a little closer to the chest. The person we let out in little bits and pieces when we are safe and secure enough to do so.

Welcome to my safety zone. Enter at your own risk.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Doing it All Over Again

I'm walking into a new week (like the rest of the world) with a clean slate. Last week is behind us. This week will be a surprise.

Our temperatures are forecast to be hovering just over 'freezing' this week. I hope that means that the mountains of snow will melt in a fashion that does not create too much havoc. I want the snow and ice and puddles and mud and dirt gone so very, very much. But I would rather take this season slowly in the hopes that flooding is kept at a minimum.

Kids are out of school this week. In my Daycare, Part I ... school holidays spelt chaos. In Daycare, The Sequel ... school holidays are something that I actually look forward to. I will have the pleasure of spending the days with a five and an eight year old (in addition to my three regulars who are all under the age of three). I am looking into the week ahead with anticipation.

I officially have four weeks of flyers left before I hang up my carrier bag. I gave the required one month notice last week. I quite honestly cannot wait until this month is over. The snow should be gone and my flyer route will definitely be gone. I will miss it, but my thumbs won't (my sore-thumb repetitive injury is becoming a tiny bit bothersome).

I have a three-day weekend behind me. I cannot believe how completely thoroughly I wasted my days. I went away for (just over) 24 hours and it wiped me out. I came home and slept. Yesterday was not much better. Seven cups of coffee and visiting with a few friends pushed me off of the couch and away from the computer, but I quite honestly frittered away the final day of the long weekend. Shame on me! So I should have excessive stored up energy to take with me into the upcoming week.

I believe that most of my outstanding worries have been addressed and are behind me this week. So I am not carrying any excessive load into the week ahead. I am focused on the day that I am living and I am not scouting out any new income-earning-opportunities. I'm simply living in the present and trusting that the future will take care of itself. Why I have the illusion that I have any control over such matters is beyond me. But every now and again, I stick my neck out and try to create a path that I hope to follow. Not this week.

This week is a fly-by-the-pants kind of week. I'm not looking too far ahead and my neck is too sore to look backwards.

One step at a time. That's all I can do. It is all anyone can do.

I will do my best and give myself a break if I don't live up to my own expectations. I'm tired of beating myself up. It is a waste of energy.

My goal for the week is to spend the energy that I do have, in a positive fashion. That is my goal ...