communication, health and wellness, lifestyle, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

…there isn’t an App for that

  My view this morning.

Over the past months, speaking with countless ladies and gents of all ages, there has been one striking commonality. Everyone seems to be wanting. Wanting appreciation. Wanting to be seen. Wanting to be heard. Wanting a better job. Wanting a better life. You name it, someone wants it. Unfortunately, all these wants are wanted NOW and most cannot understand why it doesn’t happen as fast as they can snap their fingers. Being a parent of a “millennial”, I have had many an interesting conversation, debate or all out argument over this exact phenomenon. So, today Ladies and Gents, boys and girls, I am going to tell you what I have told my daughter (I can feel the eye roll), …”there’s not an App for that.”.

Think about it for a minute. Gone are the days of the waiting list for the one encyclopedia at the library you need to complete a paper. Need facts? You can pick up your phone and Google it. No more lines at the card catalogue with pencil and scrap piece of paper in hand to write down the Dewey Decimal number to retrieve the book you need. Looking for a book? Your local library’s web site can do it for you as you pick up your pre ordered Mochachinofrappalatte. No more pining over that shirt you had to have, but were too late deciding and now it’s been sold. Hop onto amazon and have it to your door by tomorrow. Remember the weekends as a kid? Wondering if someone was home? Trying to call but the line was busy, so you kept trying every two minutes to see if it would ring through to the other end as your parents bellowed “Get off the DAMN phone!!!”. Today, surf your Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and not only can kids find out who’s home or where their friends “are at”, you can also know what they had for breakfast, what they are wearing today and how unfair they are being treated at home because their Mom asked them to ….gasp…empty the garbage.

Here’s the deal. You want something out of life? You gotta do the work. No App is going to clean your house, or change the oil in your car. No App is going to mend a broken heart or take back an unkind word. Sometimes, you will not get a text back as soon as you send it, it’s okay. Maybe the textee had a bad curry for lunch and is tormented in the bathroom and just doesn’t want to share “whassup”…yet. I am sure you will hear about it on Facebook or god help us, see it on Instagram.

They say that whenever you get a “like” or a text, dopamine in released. Guess what? It’s released in other ways too. Before you get up on your soapboxes, yes, I realize I am blogging, and yes, I realize I share this on Facebook and other sites. Yes, I post pics of the cookies I made on Instagram …I also hand deliver said cookies to share with those who see them. I physically go and see people and I look them in the eye when I speak to them, face to face…not to be confused with Facetime. Dopamine sans technology my friends.

Life gets in the way. Trains are late. Flights are delayed. Emails go unanswered. The only thing you have complete control over is yourself, so why not make it as enjoyable as possible? Set up a little corner with your favorite things that make you happy and bring back the warm fuzzies. Go outside and look around, not for anything in particular, just look. Surprise a friend with a coffee…without your phone in hand. Hand deliver a Birthday wish instead of making Facebook do all the work. Try to live every moment and laugh everyday. Plain and simple.

 

 

health and wellness, lifestyle, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear

You can get back up off the floor now. Yes, yours truly is posting again. I have taken some time away, to figure out my focus and where to go from here. Five years ago, as a manager of a retail shop/Salon, I sat down and began my blogging adventures. Starting with humour and hair “how to’s” in hopes of helping the Ladies and Gents gain control of their hair. Within months, as I regained my self confidence, my blog began to take on a life of it’s own. Job opportunities arose, questions were posed, I became a Retail Consultant and the light began to shine a little brighter. Fast forward to present day. I am no longer in the Salon. Although strong ties to my beloved industry are still intact, I am no longer on the front lines so to speak. At first I didn’t know what to do or where my blog was going. So, I took a step back. I turned my focus onto my life, my family, and quite honestly, how and where I was going to earn a living. I thought my blogging days were done, the powers that be had other plans.

Whenever I spoke to friends, I would find myself thinking “I bet a lot of people feel this way…I should write about it.”. Be it marriage woes, attempting to walk the tight rope of parenting millennials, watching a loved one in pain, emotional or otherwise and having no control or say in the matter or simply feeling overwhelmed by life in general. When discussing my idea’s for my “new and improved” blog with those I trust, many who have never met each other, they all told me the same thing. “I like your blogs about hair and products, but I LOVE your blogs about life.”.

Some of the favorites have been;

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/07/21/kindness-101/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/09/06/beware-of-yoga-pants-ponytails/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/11/02/receding-hairlines-and-muffin-tops/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/08/06/the-emily-post-of-retail/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/04/22/my-morning-coffey/

 

So Beauties, here it is, a blog to help add some humor and light into your day, about finding the beauty in everything, life, love, lifestyle and parenting a millennial …God help us.  Yes, I will still allow you to be a fly on the wall in my life and hear about the funny things I see and hear on a daily basis (well, I think they’re hilarious.). That Girl in the Red Coat Consulting services will still be available (call me.).

Beauty, communication, health and wellness, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Women

It’s the little things

It’s 5 days before Christmas and yours truly is able to enjoy some time off before the big day. The last time I had time off at Christmas was because I had the stupid cut out (hysterectomy)…7 years ago. Sure, I had “time off” at the holidays when my daughter was a toddler, but those of us with children know that although the world may see it as time off, time with a toddler is a 24/7 job with no pay, with a boss who can’t find their shoe and cries because you gave them the wrong colored cup with their lunch…so “time off” is a relative term.

As I was running errands yesterday, I found myself getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I almost succumbed to the Grinch and Scrooge mentality. Almost.  Hearing everyone around me sighing, complaining that the lines were taking too long, or honking at each other in the parking lot because they needed that parking space, it’s hard not to get sucked in to it all. As I was listening to the ladies complain about having people over for dinner as they were about to start a rumble over the biggest pot roast in the meat department, I looked over to see an elderly woman with her little basket with a few items in it and I thought to myself “she probably wishes her biggest problem was getting a big enough roast to feed her guests.”. …and that’s when I began to hum a Christmas carol, carry on with my shopping and tune out the sighs and complaints that passed me through the aisles.

Don’t get me wrong, I am no angel as my daughter can attest to. I cuss like a sailor if you are riding my tail end too close in traffic – when I have my kid in the car, her safety comes first so all bets are off. I have been known to use a certain finger when the snowplow comes by just as I have dug out their first visit’s mound of snow and I may have pretended not to speak English when a telemarketer just wouldn’t get “take me off your calling list”. There have been times throughout the days of Christmas past when I pouted even though I knew Santa saw me. There were times I started to Scrooge out or felt the Grinch was onto something complaining about the noise of Christmas, but I always remembered something that others seem to forget. At the end of both these Christmas stories, Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch gave over to the magic and the spirit of Christmas. If they could do it, you can too.

  • give to the Salvation army. If they are giving out candy canes for each donation, do what I do. Ask them to give it to the next child that walks by.

 

  • wave to Santa at the mall. Trust me, he is having a harder day than you.

 

  • don’t fight over a parking space. If the other person is gunning for it, let them have it. If you have to park further away, the fresh air will do you good.

 

  • If the grocery store is out of the size of turkey you need, your family and guests will survive. I promise, the sky will not turn black and the world will not swallow you whole.

 

  • when you make eye contact with someone, say hello or wish them a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays for those weary of offending.

 

  • give to every toy drive you can find. Any toy will do. The dollar store has coloring books and crayons for a dollar a piece. …psst…you spent more than that on the mocha frappe latte concoction you have in your hand.

 

  • give to your local food bank. If you can, a monetary donation is best – the food bank can stretch a dollar farther than you can imagine.

Take a moment to remember how snow once made you squeal with glee, how hours would pass as you wondered how Santa got to every house. Remember the smell of your Gramma’s perfume as she reached out to hug you, or the cackle of your Grampa’s laugh when he got your joke. Think back to the smiles on your parents faces on Christmas morning, thinking they were so happy Santa brought you your favorite toy, only to now know, the smile was for them and you, not Santa and you. When you take a moment to remember the magic and spirit of Christmas, you too will realize it’s not having the perfectly trimmed tree or the biggest turkey that you remember, it’s all the little things that mattered the most.

 

Beauty, communication, health and wellness, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

The choice is yours

A few years ago I received a sign for my office from my girl, with many positive affirmations collaged together. The one that sticks out the most to me is “Happiness is a choice you make everyday”. So very true, so easy to remember yet so easily forgotten.

Over the past weeks I have heard the following from friends, family and the people I see everyday;

  • I’d be happier if he was nicer
  • I’d be happier if I got a raise
  • I’d be happier if my child behaved in public
  • I’d be happier if people kept their opinions to themselves
  • I’d be happier if I got to see my friend’s more
  • I’d be happier if I had more help around the house
  • Etc… etc… etc…

It seems everyone wants to be happier, but doesn’t want to do the work. Trust me. I know. It is easier to put the blame of our woes on someone else’s behaviour. Been there, done that. Try my best not to do that anymore. For no one, anywhere, wants to look in the mirror, take a long hard look at themselves and admit a fault. …but darlin’, ya gotta. There is no magic happiness pill, no happiness potion, no mystery man arriving at your doorstep with your package of happiness waiting to be unwrapped, it’s all up to you. Before you get all upset or weepy, I do know that life throws curveballs, of this I am certain. There will be illnesses, job losses, flat tires, spilled coffee, baby spit up on your shoulder that you missed, but the President of the company did not. There will be bad hair days, bloated days, adult acne days ….by the way…what kind of sick cosmic joke is that? We cannot control what happens to us or around us. We can control how we decide to let it affect us. We can control how long a harsh word gets to live in our head rent free.  Have your head spin around and spew venom because the dishes weren’t done or the garbage emptied, or don’t. The decision is yours.

Happiness can be created anywhere, anytime. It can.

  • Had a hard day at work and still have to go to the grocery store? Buy an extra canned good or two and drop in it the food bank donation bin.
  • Your teenager is making you crazy and you are at your wits end over the useless arguments…go look at their baby pictures, their saved school artwork…remind yourself of the love there.
  • Just a long, stupid day? Get yourself some instant cocoa, grab your favorite mug and top that baby off with some whipped cream. …sprinkles too if it the day really kicked your ass.
  • Make a Jello. My gramma Leah always told me that. This way whenever you look in the fridge, you can be reminded that you made something that day and accomplished something.
  • Make some cookies or muffins and deliver them to a neighbour or friend, for no reason. Just to do it. Trust me, 9 out of 10 times, they are in dire need of a glimpse of happiness and a the touch of kindness.
  • Send a joke to a friend.
  • Share a you tube video with a friend, reminding them of a memory you share.
  • Post a joke on your Facebook wall in the morning…it will make someone’s day.

Doing for others is doing for yourself. Making others feel good will make you feel good. Carrying happiness with you will allow happiness to spread to those you are around. Plain and simple.

bubbles

Beauty, communication, health and wellness, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

Share and share alike

Everywhere you look, people are sharing. Sharing “likes” on Facebook, sharing pics on Instagram, tweeting their latest opinion on Twitter, snapping a moment on Snapchat. I often find myself wondering, what is real and what is not. Over the past weeks, you may have noticed that yours truly hadn’t been sharing much on my blog. It wasn’t for lack of material or opinions…as those who know me know all too well, when it comes to opinions I have a deep well to draw from. The reason for my lack of sharing you ask? My life and the lives of those I hold dear needed some attention, some tending to if you will. I also needed some tending to. I realized I had to take a step back and take a good look at what I was doing, where I was going and where I wanted to go. Now, before you all start to create scenario’s in your head to spill at the watercooler, let me make things clear. No one is ill. No one is leaving anyone. No one has been arrested. I came to realize that the powers that be that directed me onto this road after the closure of the shop had given me a gift. That gift being time.

I used to have time. I used to make time. I stayed home with my daughter until she was 5. Back then I would make time for me. I would make time for chats with my hubby, walks, coffee with friends, well, for life, plain and simple. I would make time for me so I could enjoy the time with my daughter, so I could enjoy the multitude of questions posed by a toddler – 100 before 7:00a.m. ( I counted one day – hey it was educational…I taught my daughter to count to 100 didn’t I?). Over the past weeks, I realized that I hadn’t made time since my daughter crossed the threshold into her kindergarten class. I went right back to work, full force. Always moving on to the next thing, finding the next idea. Over coming financial struggles, dealing with plant closures and lay offs, taking any amount of hours given so we could keep our home. Those days are long gone, but the memory of them still reside. I had put myself in survivor mode and forgotten to change the record. I had become so focused on working and keeping my house, paying off debts and having money in the bank that I hadn’t realized that I still had my house, the majority of the debt is paid off and there is money in the bank.

I realized something last week. I am always telling the women I know to make time for themselves. I thought I was. It wasn’t until last night as I was painting my nails that I realized this was the first time in along time I was painting my nails, for me. Not for an Instagram shot, not for work. For me. On the weekend, I was having a really good hair day, so I took a selfie. For me. Yes, I put it on Instagram, but I put it up there for me. If no one had liked it, I would have been fine with it. People liking it was a perk. I did it for me. I have adored photo’s since I was a child. I could and can sit and look at photo’s for hours. I wanted that picture because whenever I look at it, I remember how I felt and remembering happiness is a good thing.

The moral of today’s tale? If you are going to share your moments, your opinions, your snaps and your chats, make them worth remembering, for you. Create moments worth sharing. Do not create moments just so you can share them. Plain and simple.

Beauty, communication, Fashion, Hair Care, health and wellness, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Women

Lost and Found

I hear the all too familiar chirp of the shop’s door, I look up from my orders to say hello and before I can utter a sound I hear “Well! Look at you!”. …with the right side of my head being shaved and a magenta swoop down the side, it is safe to say I am quite used to this… I smiled and said “Hey! Nice to see you again.”. I asked my customer if she needed my help. She did, so I showed her where the product was that she was looking for, carried it to the counter, asked if there was anything else she needed that day and began to ring through her purchases, all the while she was staring at my head and when I would catch her eye, her smirk would disappear. As we were waiting for her debit to connect, she looked me straight in the eye and said “Wow. Your Hair. Aren’t you looking very Neapolitan.”. I just smiled, reminded myself not to show it on my face, and told her to have a nice afternoon.

Now, in a perfect world, she would have meant I resembled a Mediterranean beauty, but knowing that my skin is whiter than preschool paste, and she was sporting a ponytail and yoga pants (with not a yoga studio within 20kms) I knew it was a crack at my hair color. For those of you a little lost …my hair is blonde, pink and brown and some find it to resemble Neapolitan ice cream. After she left, I found myself giggling. Yes, a little at her small view of the world and herself, but mostly at me and how far I had come. Before the age of 24, I was head strong and quite opinionated yet always fair and kind. I was referred to as “spunky” on more than one occasion and also as a tough broad – a true compliment in my book. You see, somewhere between 24 and 37 I lost myself.  I used to be the woman that after hearing that wise crack about my hair would have been floored and would have run to the closest mirror trying to see what she saw and thinking I should change my hair, and think I was stupid for even trying something new. I used to let the opinions of others control my decisions and would allow their words to hurt me. I wore my hair short because everyone told me to, it made my face “slimmer”. I wore clothes that were clothes “Mother’s should wear”…what ever the hell that means…I still don’t know. Hell, I even carried a purse I hated and wore shoes that weren’t cute and sparkly like I wanted to, because of some dumb ass comment someone made.

I remember when it began to change, or when I began to change. Actually, I didn’t change. I returned to myself. I was 37. It was December 2009 and I had my hysterectomy. That Christmas was low key, as I was physically unable to perform my yearly Christmas miracles. No cookies were made. Gifts were at a minimum. The only Christmas décor to be seen was our tree. Many had an opinion about my lack of Christmas spirit. Some actually were put out that they wouldn’t be receiving my cookies that year. You know what? I really didn’t care about what they thought. I was too relieved knowing that the 11cm x 21cm x 14cm fibroid was not cancer, and that it had not attached itself to any vital organs. I was too happy to have a week with my husband – our girl still had a week before Christmas vacation and hubby was able to be home with me. I still remember the two of us laughing at the fact we had just had an hour long conversation without an interruption – the first time in 12 years. In those conversations I started to feel like myself, and started to remember who I was. It’s amazing what you realize when you take a moment to be still. …try to do it without having to have surgery.

Fast forward to present day. I dress how I want. I own cute shoes with sparkly bows. I wear heels whenever and wherever I want. I have a cute purse. I own more than one red coat – depending on the weather and the season, a girl has to be prepared. I try new things – be it a new flavour of coffee or a new route home. I say yes to my life more than I say no. I no longer give my time away. I color my hair the way I like. I cut my hair and style my hair the way I like. Today, my wish for you, is that you begin to say yes to you, more than you say no. If you are lost, you begin to be found.

I would rather be Neapolitan than vanilla any day 😉

 

Beauty, health and wellness, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Timing

I came across an interesting quote a few weeks ago and it crossed my path again this weekend, on Valentine’s Day as a matter of fact. “You will be married 7 times in your lifetime…hopefully to the same person”. When I first found this quote…or as I like to think, it found me, my mind shifted and I began to see my marriage differently. All of a sudden, things just made sense. It also reminded me of some wise words bestowed on yours truly by my grandmother Leah. My grandparents had been married over 50 years so I asked her one evening what was the secret to a long and happy marriage. “Never fall out of love with each other at the same time – that’s the secret”. Words I have cradled and held tight ever since.

Everyday at the Salon I meet or chat with a woman who thinks her marriage is falling apart. Seriously. Everyday. Most of these confessions happen as she is looking at hair color swatches. She thinks her husband has lost interest in her. She thinks he is having an affair. She thinks he thinks she isn’t as pretty as she once was. She thinks they have nothing in common anymore. She has noticed that things are just…different. Another constant – she has never discussed any of these thoughts or feelings with her husband and has usually drawn her own conclusions and has played out the divorce court proceedings in her head. Ladies, for the love of all that is good and holy, take a breath. Take another. Yes, your hubby may have changed…guess what? You have as well. Think about it. Look back at how you saw the world 10 years ago, how you dressed, how you viewed yourself. See? You’re different. You are still you, the same person, you’ve just… evolved, and that’s okay.

I am 42 years old and I have been married 20 years. I have known my husband longer than I haven’t known him. Looking back, I realize how much the above quote and my grandmother’s beautiful words ring true – I am sure due in part to my forties and getting the stupid cut out (hysterectomy). Over the past 20 years I became a mother. I have lost loved ones dear to my heart. I have been witness to loved ones losing a parent. I have had health issues and scares. I have witnessed health scares and issues of my loved ones. I have been a stay at home mom. I have been a working mom. I have had financial difficulties -some my own fault, some the fault of others. I have had short hair, red hair, brown hair, permed hair  – you name it – I’ve done it. Experiences and life changed me, changed my views and my perspectives. Over the past 20 years, I have been many women – always myself – yet depending on the situation at hand, a selected version of myself. I have also been that woman standing in a Salon, staring down at the color swatch book, believing that the right hair color choice would end the search for answers to the never ending stream of questions about her marriage running through her mind.

I am not a hair stylist. I am not a marriage counselor nor am I a therapist. What I am is a woman who has been married over 20 years and is not afraid to talk about those things that people don’t talk about at parties. I am a woman who doubted herself so much that the doubt began to seep into all aspects of her life – her marriage, her parenting, her career, her abilities…you name it – I doubted it. I was afraid of the hard conversations. I was afraid to ask my husband certain questions for fear of his answer. I also was unhappy – with myself – it was easier to blame my marriage, my job, my stylist for giving me the wrong cut, the scale for being broken…you get the picture. In my experience, the majority of doubts of my marriage were of my own making. Yes, gentlemen, you can get up…a woman has admitted her fault…lets move on, shall we? Looking back, many of my doubts were not mine, but the doubts of others. All day long I heard negative after negative about men and marriage and I began to let all those negatives reside rent free in my mind and then the moment an action matched a negative, all hell broke loose…proof it’s love. I am sure there were moments my husband was waiting for my head to spin around.

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, for some. For me, I try to make it everyday. A stolen kiss in the kitchen while my daughter is watching T.V., saying I love you and meaning it with each goodbye every morning and kiss goodnight, giving space or a helping hand when it’s needed. Remembering that when my husband is quiet, maybe he is just quiet. Remembering not to take everything personally and reminding myself it’s not all about me…still a toughie, but I am working on it. Ironing the bed sheets for a comfy slumber (yes, I iron my sheets. It takes 20 minutes out of my week and it feels divine and makes the love of my life happy). Remembering that although we may not agree or like each other’s behavior, we still love each other. Remembering that having separate lives (work, friends, etc…) and separate interests does not mean we are separate – it actually brings us closer together, and always remembering that although the road may get bumpy and words may get ugly and life will tirelessly try to get in the way, love is always waiting for us, if we take the time to find it once more.

 

ThatGirlx3