Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Is it possible to develop ADD later in life? Because I’m pretty sure that’s what’s happening to me.




Sure, I’ve been a putterer for as long as I can remember, skipping from one task to the next, but at the end of the day, my long list was always complete. I accomplished what I set out to do and went to bed each night, content and satisfied.


No longer the case.


Just to give you an idea, in the past two days, I have opened up six new Word docs with the intention of courting you with six different subjects and currently, each one displays about three sentences. There are twenty-three tabs open in my web browser. I can’t seem to make it to the laundry room because I have to walk through the family room to get there and well, let’s just say there’s always cause for pause in that area. I head towards the kitchen with the intent of baking cupcakes, but notice the granite counter top feels gritty, so I clean the entire kitchen instead. A vacuum out the cutlery drawer and wipe down all twenty-six cupboard doors kind of cleaning where, eventually, I look down to see the folds in my yellow rubber gloves crested in moonlight and I find myself totally alone, wondering why everyone is in bed already.


I don’t know what it is. I’ve started four books and can’t read more than a page in any one of them. I stand in front of my outdated pine bookcases and ponder how much better they will look when I finally paint them, only to get lost in the paperwork they house, which is never, ever finished…and thus, neither are the shelves.


Anyway, squirrel.


I got together with a friend last night. She helped me not only to hunker down and finish something, but to get a little of that Christmas Spirit I find so hard to muster, flowing. Here is the productive result of our focused girl’s night…



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I’ve developed a zealous addiction to ice cream. I can also be persuaded with Gelato or frozen yogurt—anything cold and creamy really, and most any kind. It doesn’t need to be expensive or of a certain name. It doesn’t have to be healthy or organic and I admit, with a coy smile and fluttering lashes, that it doesn’t even have to be particularly good.


There’s just something about it. Tiny spoonfuls. Over-sized globs. I don’t discriminate. Textured with nuts, smattered with chunks, smothered in swirling trails of smooth liqueurs—I’ll try them all.


Oh yes, I’ve always liked ice cream. As a kid I’d run after the creepy van or sit cross-legged on the sidewalk, scrawling my name in chalky bubbles, waiting for a poor schmuck to come by, pedaling a freezer full. I’d gleefully shell out way too much of my hard-earned pocket change for a Phantom or a Drumstick, and when I lived in the UK, I’d drool over 99’s and Raspberry Ripple. I savored bright afternoons watching Ernie stack his spherical scoops while I lazily traced designs in our blue, sun-warmed, shag rug.


But lately, it’s more than that. It’s like someone’s trying to tell me something. I just don’t know what. Maybe it’s that I’m getting too old for ice cream. That my time to enjoy it is running out. That soon it will make my teeth twinge and my stomach ache—that diabetes and high cholesterol are right around the corner and I should slow down. Or it might just be telling me I should go after more of what I enjoy .

Maybe it’s as simple as that.


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It can be tough to keep going. Everyone has reasons—some physical, some mental, some…imaginary.


You’ve given it your all, done all you can and you’re tired.


Maybe you’ve been trying to lose weight, but can’t seem to shed more than a pound or two, perhaps you’re training for a new job and things simply aren’t clicking, you might have been blogging for years and a high-profile publicist has somehow failed to swoop in and make you a star, maybe every query you’ve ever sent has ended up in the slush pile or it might just be that the expensive tooth whitening system you succumbed to buying just isn’t delivering those shocking pearly whites.


Unfortunately, I get it. I am very familiar with the rigorous tear down of the emotional psyche. No surprise there. Why do you think it occurs to me to write posts like this?


So last Sunday, I watched my daughter play yet another soccer game. She’s a good little player. Usually the oldest and almost always the smallest. She’s phenomenal with ball control, but sometimes doesn’t have the physical strength to match the other players. She was on a team at 4 and 5 years old, but quit shortly after for whatever reason of the day she gave back then, probably a blister, but decided to start up again two years ago. She’s almost 14. She’s playing with girls who never quit. Girls who have been playing since they were 3, 4 and 5 years old. Needless to say, it has taken her some time to build enough confidence to do more than run the ball for more than a few feet or make a quick pass to another teammate.


But Sunday was a great day. The weather was invigorating—cold and crisp with the odd burst of energizing sun. We played on a beautiful landscape adjacent to the prestigious grounds of UBC. The team played particularly well and incredibly hard. We were treated to all kinds of fancy footwork and the opportunities to cheer were plentiful.


And cheer we did.


Especially when my determined little girl seized the chance to strategically chip the ball up over the goalie’s head and score for her first time on a Rep level team.


Everyone needs a goal. What’s yours?

Not from Sunday, but a good one, nonetheless. (Photo cred goes to Kori Balaberda)

Not from Sunday, but a good one, nonetheless. Ava is the one in all black. (Photo cred goes to Kori Balaberda)




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I was born without fingernails. Eh, not really, but I bet I nabbed your attention and at least a split second of your sympathy. Admit it. You were picturing me thumping away at this keyboard with my nubby little fingers and their fleshy raw tips. Truth be told, I did come with fingernails. They were just nothing to speak of…or to show anyone for that matter. Ridged and wavy, they were thinner than paper and peeled easier than the fine layer of skin that flakes off after a blistery sunburn.


I was forever ashamed of them. Always finding reasons to have the tips of my fingers curled into the shelter of my palms or my hands hidden deep inside my pockets. Yes, there are worse things. Much worse things and we all know shoddy fingernails aren’t among them, but hey, they’re good blog material. (We won’t mention that that is probably a matter of opinion)


After trying vitamins, supplements and various potions over the years, I’d given up on my nails. They were what they were and when that wasn’t appropriate, at times like holidays or Christmas parties, I learned to cover them with esthetically pleasing plastic.


Alas, I’m veering off the path of this posting.


As you know, I managed to transfer 798 of you over to my new .org site and I’d really like to know how you feel about that. I need to know because maybe that will help me figure out how I feel. Right now, I’m not too sure. I was really looking forward to seeing you use the new plug-in “Comment Luv” (not allowed on .com) and to just having more freedom for things like that in general, but I’m second-guessing myself. Help me out. Let me know.


When I asked my “Wordpress Happy Engineer” Sam (we’ll call him Sam because well, that’s actually his name) if transferring you back is an option, he said that can be confusing for you guys and that multiple transfers lead to unhappy followers. I should mention that he also said that if I came to the conclusion that that’s what’s best for all of us, he’d do it in a heartbeat.


As for my nails, I decided that giving up wasn’t an option. That they still mattered. So I chose to try one last thing. And guess what? It worked. My nails became, by some miracle, long and strong. I’ve even had to cut them back or file them down a few times. I seriously can’t believe it.


I take it as proof that we need to keep trying new things. There’s something out there that will work for everyone. We just can’t give up.


MY nails!

MY nails!



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“This is the worst writing ever,” my husband says one lazy morning as we were lying in bed watching “Message in a Bottle” on the tube.


“You’re calling Nicholas Sparks the worst writer?”


It was that moment when Robin Wright is walking away from Kevin Costner and he says; “I don’t want to lose you,” and she replies; “Then don’t,” and keeps right on walking.


“Okay,” I prop myself up on one elbow. “But you know he’s like, extremely successful, right? He’s published seventeen novels and one super awesome non-fiction book.”


“Yeah, but this is garbage. It’s written for women. It’s just what women want to hear.”


I won’t lie. I get what he’s hinting at. Even I could almost smell the cheese while watching that movie, but does that mean it’s the worst writing ever?


Nicholas Sparks is clearly a massive success. Almost half of his books have been adapted to film and there aren’t many people out there who don’t know his name. So, the question comes to mind – if he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, does that make him an awful writer? Ugh, did I just say that out loud? Not a question. Never even should’ve come up because the answer is an emphatic no. We all write in different styles and different genres and there’s always going to be that doubt. Will people like it? Will anyone think it’s stupid? If Nicholas Sparks can’t woo absolutely everyone, how will I?


You don’t need to.


Don’t listen. Keep writing. Be you. As much as I, as a general rule, feel that saying preachy stuff like “be your authentic stuff” is redundant, I think in this case it holds some meaning. Don’t change your voice because you think it may not appeal to an entire world. Doing so will lead you away from where you’re meant to end up and you will not be happy. And what is true success when all is said and done? Happiness.


Nick Sparks is a former full scholarship athlete so I’m sure being razzed about writing girly stories isn’t new to him. I’m also pretty sure he’s darn glad he didn’t stop.


After all, everybody has different tastes, but most people appreciate a little cheese with their whine.


*Message in a Bottle opened at #1 on the Valentine Days weekend of 1999 with an estimated $16.7 million. It grossed $52.8 million domestically with an additional $66 million overseas to a total of $118.8 million worldwide.[1] – courtesy of Wikipedia


*”Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 97 million copies sold worldwide, in more than 50 languages, including over 65 million copies in the United States alone.”   – a snippet from Nicholas Sparks’ Biography.


Message in a bottle

Message in a bottle


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I blogged this post over on my new Hazy Shades of Me site and let me tell you, it’s all crickets. Granted, it was a Saturday evening, but there’s gotta be someone out there besides me with nothing to do on a potential party night, right?




I’ve managed to perform a magic trick. And, because I’m not a good magician, or a magician at all for that matter, I won’t be breaking any wizardish ways when I tell you what I did and how.


It happened, somewhat, by accident. I was just kicking back, playing my enchanted flute as one does and suddenly, you all stood up, as if in a trance, and followed me over to my new website. It was, after a few clicks, a couple of downloads, an export, an import and a generous dousing of fairy dust, as easy as rattling off a few spellbinding lyrics in the shower.


Now, don’t be shocked. As I said, it all just happened so quickly and sort of, unexpectedly. Oh, I admit it had been on my mind lately because, well, you may have read that I attended a Blogging Conference at the beginning of this month. That is where I sat in on a “microsession” with a WordPress expert and it was her advice that put the idea in my head. She told us that at .org we are much more in control of our site, much less restricted and, as a result, able to have a lot more fun. (This is yet to be determined)


So, as I say, the decision was definitely already brewing. My cauldron was bubbling and steaming, however things weren’t fully seasoned yet. But this is where the surprise comes in. The spell overtook even me. I became light-headed and when I came to, PRESTO KAZINGA & POOF, we were all under one roof, kneeling at the great org’s feet. (You should be taking notes, people. I just morphed from a magician to a witch right under your nose)


Anyway, that’s my big news. All of you are now following me on hazyshadesofme.orgunless you just followed me on .com in very recent days. That’s right. Eight of you were, through no fault of your own, a little late to the under-advertised party. Yes, there are eight stragglers left hanging all by their lonesomes over at .com

This is because you followed me post mystical import and, as we know, no good mamma wants to leave even one precious duckling behind. For this reason, I’d love it if you made the mortal (now that the spell has ended) effort to swim over to my (apparently) much brighter side.


I know it’s a lot to ask and if the mere thought of this is exhausting for you, I will look into stoking the fire under the now cold pot of water and see if I can’t conjure up another batch of magic to fly you over here myself.


Although hazyshadesofme.org is still in need of a good scrub and polish, I will be posting here from now on and hope we can all continue the pretty cool bond we currently have simmering over the coals.


And now, in case they have no idea they’re home alone, the last eight to make the leap are as follows:


Write With Warnimont

by Joe Warnimont

Affiliated Mindset

by Drew Iaconis

The Public Blogger

by Kendall F Pearson

Man of Many Thoughts

by Keith Garrett

Nutrition & Wellness

by Stephanie Eusebi

Business Solutions

by smilyking1976

The Amazing Adventures of Abigail Andrews

by Nickie Brooke

Remora Philippines

by Remora Philipppines


Bippity, boppity, boo!





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I dreamt all three of my children before they were born.


Now don’t click that little x. I am the most skeptical, non-hocus-pocus person you’ll ever meet. Promise. It comes standard with my RBF. (That was for a special friend, but I figure you may as well enjoy a laugh at my expense too.)


So, sanity aside, I did dream up all three of my kids before I ever met them. At three different stages of pregnancy, I had three different dreams about three different babies, at three different ages. My oldest was a newborn in my dream, my middle, three months and my daughter was just shy of a year.


Of course I dream all the time, but these dreams were different. They were tangible. In them, I could see, hear and taste as if awake. I could feel the hairs rise on the back of my neck as the downy silk of their cheeks brushed mine, I understood their dispositions and knew who I’d be meeting when the day finally came.


I would wake changed from when I’d gone to sleep. I’d come to know the tots forming in my belly. I’d been privy to what my future held. I’d been blessed with an extra day of their lives.


I can tell you there were no surprises. My first came early, slipping into our world as quietly as any living, breathing thing could. Our second, on his due date, with a head full of ebony hair and enough breath in his lungs to make up for his brother. The third, our daughter, swooped in on a magic carpet large enough to carry her and her big personality.


And I’d met them all before.


I am reminded of this because I was given another gift last night. Again, an extra day. Needless to say (I really hope it’s needless to say) I am not pregnant, but I had one of these dreams. Different, tangible, unmistakable.


Ava was about three years old. Her hair was cut into the short bob she used to wear and she wore a baseball cap. I could only see the back of her. Her squidgy little feet were covered in sand and she was struggling to get across a rocky patch. I asked her if she wanted me to pick her up and she said; “Could you, mumma,” in that tiny little voice she used to have.

Ava in her "Ash" cap

Ava in her “Ash” cap


My heart skipped and as I scooped her up, she melted in just like she was a part of me. It was one of those good holds. My arms wrapped under her teeny tushe and air could not have come between us.


“You’re the best mumma. I love you so much.” She whispered. And with the bubbles on her lips popping in my ear and the warmth of her comforting breaths, I felt the hair, once again, stand on the back of my neck.


I used to chalk my unique imaginings up to the whacky hormones of pregnancy, but after last night I know, dreams are just wishes your heart makes.





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