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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

I tiptoe ‘round this post like the exhausted mother of an at long-last sleeping baby. Afraid to wake what lies before me…fearful I won’t be able to give what it needs.

Death, after all, is a needy subject. Never far away. Never a maybe. Never forgotten. And somehow, it still manages to leave us reeling. To rip us out of that place where we believed we were safe. Sometimes with nothing more than what seems a moment’s notice.

I lost a friend on Saturday. It was someone I hadn’t seen since high school. Someone who, before the last seven years, I’d only thought of maybe a handful of times. But, because of present day oddities, we were somehow very connected. Through social media, such as facebook, we were, what classifies as friends, before she passed.

We’d sent each other several private messages upon our initial encounter, reminiscing about our high school days and catching up on what was, at the time, our current lives. She told me that she was the happiest she’d ever been, having overcome some tough times and being in love with, what she deemed was, “…the best guy that ever walked this earth.”

And admittedly, that’s probably where it would have ended for us. Much like many, we both had hundreds of facebook “friends” and the extent of our relationship would have existed on the wings of a fluttering like or comment here and there.

Except Gina turned out to be one of the most positive posters I’d ever come across. Everything she wrote happened to be the silver lining in a grey cloud, should you find yourself fogged in. Her energy was addictive and I’d roll over and rub my eyes just to start the day with her perspective.

This didn’t change when she was diagnosed with brain cancer on June 1st, 2012.

She was generous enough to share what was the privacy of her fight with people – many I’m sure like me – not even a part of her inner circle. Her positivity not only continued, but was bolstered by an exasperating battle and her commitment, not to simply beat the disease, but to remain optimistic and inspirational to all those around her, never faltered.

Not once.

A post from Gina 7 months into her diagnosis

A post from Gina 7 months into her diagnosis

 

As I mentioned, I’m on tiptoes, terrified not to do justice to the power of death. To fail to give proper credit to Gina and what she so selflessly sacrificed so that we could learn.

There’s certain valor in accepting what eventually becomes an inevitable destination, but the real courage lies in how you walk the road. True wisdom is knowing you’ve trudged long enough, but the maturity to say good-bye is the bravest thing of all.

Gina Covey

March 26th, 1970 ~ February 1st, 2014

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Something’s been gnawing at me a while now. I tried to bury it a long time ago, but lately it keeps popping up in the most inopportune places. It’s really sunk its teeth in and I’ve been forced to chew on it almost daily.

I have a sneaking suspicion I used to be a dog.

Reading Beagle

Any friends reading right now are releasing a collective ‘Yeah’.

It’d make sense. It would explain why I’m so intolerable of their behavior. Of dogs, that is – not friends.

I mean, drooling, passing gas and scratching your butt in public? C’mon! Jumping all over humans and dry humping strangers without even so much as a facebook friend request? Just not acceptable. Always needing to be the center of attention and sleeping all day long? Indulgent!

Get a hold of yourselves, you mangy mongrels. We are supposed to be above all that!

But, back rubs are a gift from God. I know, I know. Who doesn’t feel this way? Although, for me…an hour is too short – all day, not enough. Someone could brush my hair ‘til the cows come home (herding cows is where our similarities end) and a pedicure tends to put me on edge. I prefer to bathe myself and an evening by the fire would never go unappreciated. Having my food brought to me is a dream (literally) and it goes without saying, I’m much more obedient when there’s a treat involved.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure being a dog was almost the perfect life, but sadly, I had t give it up. Way too many typos…

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Time.

There’s not enough. It doesn’t exist.

We’ve all thought that, felt that, said that and believed that on random occasion, specific days and every time we attempt to follow our dreams.

And when we think in terms of days, we’re right. There are precious few hours to commute, work, parent, clean, shop and participate. When we rest our overtaxed heads on our feathery pillows at the end of a task-checking day, we do in fact deserve to sigh a deep sigh of contentment and completion.

Alright, content maybe, but complete? That’s the question of the month, of the year…of our lives, really.

Are we complete?

I truly love what has evolved to be my fundamental flannel onesie. Being a wife, being a mom, being a make-up artist, being what I’ve always meant to be.

But am I complete?

Are you?

I have penned poetry and prose on lined tattered pages, wielding a short pencil dented with teeth marks. I’ve printed my work on dot-matrix line printers and typed on a Macbook Air.

It’s been twenty-seven years.

There’s time.

The time shall pass anyway

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“Fifteen hundred calories? Oh, I can’t do that.”

“Huh?” I murmur barely looking up from my menu.

I drove my daughter, Ava, down to the States a couple of weekends ago to visit family friends. As previously mentioned, Ava had just turned thirteen and one of her wishes was to head down to Everett to visit close friends that moved down there a couple of years ago.

Our family is lucky enough to live just a ten-minute drive to the US border and are able to cross frequently to get cheap gas and the odd, umm, bottle of wine. We can be there and back within 20 minutes, give or take.

Thankfully, Everett is also a short drive. What’s two hours between friends?

Being that this visit, or anytime we get to visit them, is cause for celebration, we headed out for some afternoon delight. In this case, that refers to shops, eats and admittedly, drinks.

So there we sat, at a glazed wooden table inside The Cheesecake Factory, where we were promptly handed a library. A library? (I sense confusion from behind my lit screen) Yes, maybe not a literal library, but it was definitely a full array of reading material, sporting page upon page of, what proved to be, very valuable information.

My friend and I have both been on somewhat of a health kick since the start of the New Year. No resolutions mind you, just a few minor cutbacks and cutouts.

On that note, we were both thinking greens, of course.

My nose buried in the menu, I was perusing the oodles of scrumptious components that miraculously constituted a salad when I heard her repeat,

“I can’t do fifteen hundred calories for one meal…one item. I just can’t.”

“I thought we were talking salad, crazy girl. I’m having the…”

“That is a salad. Fifteen hundred calories for one salad.”

I tut. “Well, I’m going to have the Asian. It sounds nice and light.” I don’t even ask her what kind of crazy ‘salad’ she’s considering.

“Oh my God, the Asian is eighteen hundred!” She proceeds to release that guttural cackle I miss out on having to communicate with her mainly over text and email now.

I grab her menu, even though it’s the same as mine and squint even though I’m wearing my glasses.

“Good Lord, you are right. It does say that. Is that even legal?”

Luckily we eventually found, amongst the documentation laid out in front of us, a menu entitled – Skinnylicious.

It included listings of the regular menu items, complete with alterations, and grouped into uncluttered calorie categories such as: Salads Under 590.”

Dreamy, right?

This meant we were able to happily order our respective salads and the non-Skinnylicious item, Pineapple Upside-Down Cheesecake.

Knowledge is power, my friends. It’s also delicious.

Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake

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Oh, my Friday Post gives me a giggle as I read it now. Note that I said now. As I wrote it on Friday, I was anything but amused. In fact, I was delirious and fevered. Sweaty and in the process of transporting down a swirling hole that sucked me into an abyss…mal place where I floated on intervals of molten lava and glacier waters. It held me hostage for forty-eight hours, but seconds before I succumbed to its strong suction I somehow managed to finish, tag and publish that post.

Thank goodness, right?

I mean, had I not, you would never have known to worry about me or concernedly check my blog for a new post and update on my current state of health.

You see, it was an entirely selfless act.

But you can breathe easy now, friends. I’m good! The abyss softened its grip on my tortured soul yesterday morning just enough that I was able throw in a load of towels (seems the rumors are true – there are no laundry fairies) and shower off the shudders in time to head out to my daughter’s soccer game.

Sunset Soccer

There’s something about spending two days in one room, propped on a bed, not moving unless entirely necessary, that made me appreciate all the more, the enormous privilege of standing in the freezing cold, sipping hot coffee, blowing my nose and cheering as my kid’s team ruled the field.

They won their game and obviously, so did I.

*Today’s post has been brought to you by the letter W and is sponsored by run-on sentences.

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I believe the past, oh, two weeks, have been a warm-up. I ‘ve been running on the spot, swimming laps, stretching sore muscles and working out the kinks. Trying to breath. Priming for the pistol.

As of this morning, I’m at the starting line, prepped, but not ready, for the gun to go off. The sun is hot and I’m trickling sweat. That may be my fever and sinus drip but I digress.

I’m in position, squinting into the distance, trying to make out the finish line.

However, despite all my training, I know I won’t come out a winner. I’ve seen how this goes down…everyone goes down. I’ve been watching the others as they trot along, thinking they’re picking up steam, believing they have it beat and then wham, their shoelace comes undone and and they’re faced in the dirt, inhaling the dust of all those before them.

There’s a lesson in here somewhere, but I’m far too focused on my unfocussedness to go searching for it at this very moment. But right now, I’m sure it must have something to do with this:

Writing is the best pastime in the world, as you can do it in any position or condition and still see it through to fruition.

Happy Friday, peeps.

Fetal position

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I’m starting late today. It seems my body wants to be sick, but my mind disagrees. Family’s dropping like flies all around me and I grow weary of the self-torture inflicted by my stubborn side. I wake up with sore glands and go to bed feeling nauseas, but in between all that, I run around doing what I do and believing I’m in perfect health.

C’mon already!

Yes, I know what I just did. I challenged it…called it out…jinxed what has merely been a touch of turbulence.

Well, what can I say? Let’s get it over with!

After all, walking around feeling the pokes and punches of perturb and living with the taunting ghost of a fickle fever is surely more exhausting than being able to succumb to a moody malaise. There’s something to be said, for hiding your head, under 350-count thread, and simply staying in bed.

Enough said? Yes, enough said.

All in your head

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My girl turned thirteen and with that I officially and forever lost the privilege of nattering on about my “little” kids. All three are now teens. (I had to put that in writing because I can’t believe it myself) We moved into this house when number one was three and exactly two weeks before I had number two. I sit here, in the same living room where I’ve probably changed over 15,000 diapers and spent the same, give (give, give) or take, amount of hours feeding, feeding…feeding baby after baby.

My oldest son will be eighteen in June, the middle, fifteen in May and as I say, my daughter turned thirteen…yesterday. I’m new to this, a mum of teens. I’m thankful to my boys for easing me in gently. So far, knock on this virtual paper that would have once been wood, they have been trouble-free and catastrophe-clear. Nothing beyond the everyday challenges that occur to most everyone with kids or a beating heart.

There have been coughs and colds, flus and fights, (amazingly no fleas despite the many pets that have crossed our paths) sports and spills, good grades and the odd less than desirable dud. So far, we’ve avoided lice, premature diaper changing, illegal activity and skirted ‘round underage drinking and drug use. Yes, we’re friendly with fortuity to say the least.

So here I sit, in the same living room where all of this did or didn’t take place, where so much has changed and somehow stayed the same, the room where ideally all my girl will drink is a duplicate of the teen behaviour potion her brothers are saturated in  (except of course, she will like hanging out with me a little more than they do, right?) and everything and nothing will change over and over and over again.

Ava Gondola Banff

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“When I read your blog, it doesn’t sound like it’s you.” My daughter tells me with her brows knit just a touch.

“Well, I… Wait! You read my blog?”

“Not all the posts, but most.” She rolls her eyes on the word ‘all’ like expecting her to read 138 short posts over the past two years would be just waytoomuch. And then, she returns to texting a friend.

So that’s what I’m left with. My writing doesn’t sound like me. Is that normal? Is that common? Is that…alright?

I hear murmurings now and then of something called “writer’s voice” and how all writers are looking for this and how most writers are ever so relieved when (and if) they ever come to find it.

Is it “writer’s voice” that my daughter is hearing? I didn’t hunt for it. It wasn’t a conscious effort. I didn’t try a few on for size before picking one, but I’m not completely oblivious to what she’s saying. I do know that when I started blogging, a certain approach and definite characteristic always came to the forefront. That still happens.

Writing is a craft after all. Thought should go into putting words on a page. Care should be taken when displaying them for all to read. Hopefully skill slides in there somewhere as well. I like to think that most people, non-writers included, scrawl very differently than they speak.

I’ve decided I’m flattered by my daughter’s observation and what she probably perceives as an oddity. After all, what are writers if not odd? Besides, it makes a notion I have of myself that much more notorious…

I writer better than I talk

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in·spire ( n-sp r )
v. in·spired, in·spir·ing, in·spires
v.tr.
1. To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence.
2. To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion:
3.a. To stimulate to action; motivate
b. To affect or touch:
4. To draw forth; elicit or arouse
5. To be the cause or source of; bring about
6. To draw in (air) by inhaling.
7. Archaic
a. To breathe on.
b. To breathe life into.
v.intr.
1. To stimulate energies, ideals, or reverence
2. To inhale.

A wrecking ball smashes into a building

What makes you tick? What twerks your Miley? Or should that be…Miley’s your twerk…okay, moving on. I promise.

I’m not asking where you get your stories from or your general writing ideas. I’m talking about what spurs you on to actually do it? And not just writing, but whatever your passion pushes you to pursue.

I like writing and whether I’m good at it or, more often than not, bite the big one, I obviously feel compelled to continue. Why is that? I mean, I could just read. There are plenty of novels in which to bury my brain and countless instructionals to whet my wits. I already have a job in make-up artistry and when I’m not doing that, I’m plenty busy in the homemaker department. I don’t actually have to write. In fact, I need to steal time to make that happen and honestly, it can be quite stressful. Did I really just say that?

Me, I tend to be inspired by understanding and authenticity, kindness and sincerity, compassion and positivity. Promoting what’s loved rather than bashing what’s not.

I’m also encouraged by support and recognition. Yes, I do it for me and would continue to do so even if no one ever took notice, yadda, yadda, yadda, but when it comes right down to it, I am very motivated by these two things as well. There’s no other feeling in the (writing) world quite like the appearance of a gold (really it’s orange, but in my mind it’s gold) star at the top of my blog telling me someone’s ‘liked’ my post. Or better yet, a plus sign signaling a new fan (really these are called followers, but I don’t like that word so much) and even better still, an interview published for all to see because of a writing contest I placed well in. Yup, mega motivating, albeit cheek-reddening and sort of bewildering.

** You can read my interview here! **

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