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

Giving Thanks

It’s Thanksgiving in Canada. As I was having my coffee this morning, I had a feeling something was missing. A feeling of something left undone, forgotten. I have been feeling this way almost everyday lately. With everything happening in the world from the ever present Covid 19, the always infuriating Trump, the continued injustice of black, minority and indigenous people, it’s safe to say my mind has been spinning and I have been finding it hard to focus. So, I went about my morning, getting the laundry in the washer, starting meal prep, having a social distanced coffee with my folks, the usual “day off” routine. Yup, no turkey prep for this gal. We do not celebrate Thanksgiving in the traditional sense since my hubby had a heart attack 9 years ago on Thanksgiving weekend. Back to the tale at hand. As I was going through the motions of my routine I still had that aching feeling I was forgetting something. To be honest, I knew what it was I was forgetting. I’ve known everyday. I wasn’t writing.

My last entry was May 24th. I had just returned to work. Jesus, I thought retail before Covid was interesting… . Those of you familiar with my blog, (9 years of loyal following, thank you), know I tell it like it is. Well, this is how it is. I haven’t written in over 4 months for two reasons. 1 – I’ve been pissed off. 2 – I didn’t trust myself because of my anger. I didn’t want to come across as a raving lunatic. I didn’t want to upset the apple cart. I didn’t want to lose the following I have. This morning, as I stepped outside for a cigarette… yes, I’m still smoking, let’s move on, I finally listened to the advice I’ve been dishing to everyone else. I’m a “helper” as Brene Brown says. I love to help everyone, from boosting up their self esteem to making sure they have enough toilet paper. … Covid …who knew? The one person I don’t seem to help enough is me. So, this is me, helping me, and hopefully you as well. (I told you I was a helper).

I am in no way an expert, nor a guru on the mount. What I am is a 48 year old woman who has made her share of mistakes, had her share of triumphs and defeats. I am a woman who’s life isn’t how I pictured it would be, whose been thrown curve balls and sucker punches and lived to tell the tale. I’ve been (and sometimes still am) a woman who worries what others think, if I’m disappointing anyone. I’m a mother who worries if I did all I could for my daughter while she was growing up. I’m a woman who has been married 26 years and finds herself wondering how so much has changed yet stayed the same. I’m a woman who is quick with a sassy remark, and also, a woman who, I’m sorry to say, can be quick to judge.

Thanks to Covid, I’m a human being trying to get through each changing day, trying to keep my head above water and not make Covid the only thing I focus on. I’m a woman who’s here to tell you that you are not alone. We all have moments of doubt, of fear, of hopelessness. Believe it or not, that is what I’m most thankful for. As I see it, those moments are the moments that prove we are all the same. Shred away the bravado, the ego, we are all just, in the words of June Carter Cash, “trying to matter.”. If we are all the same, maybe, just maybe, that means we can have each other’s back.

Beauty, health and wellness, Parenting past 15, That girl in the red coat

Sunday Confessions

 

 

“Isn’t it strange that we talk least about the things we think about the most?” – Charles Lindbergh

I am a lover of quotes. I have been for as long as I can remember. Quotes and sayings that grabbed my attention or the attention of others were and still are my favorites. I fondly remember shopping with my mother in a gift shop in Elora Ontario. I was 8 years old and fancy shoe laces were all the rage. The shop had a display of them and as I was looking at them and planning my performance to my mother in hopes of getting her to buy me a pair, my eyes landed on a pair of laces that I thought were the letters of the alphabet…they weren’t the letters of the alphabet…they read “BULLSHIT”. I giggled and gasped at the same time. My mother came over and I threw caution to the wind and told her I found a pair I liked. I pointed them out to her, she read them and laughed out loud, took them off the display and bought them for me. I wore my “BULLSHIT” shoelaces with pride, to school, to the playground, even to my grandparents house. Back to the tale at hand.

The above quote I came across a few days ago on Instagram and have not been able to stop thinking about it. It made me think of all the things that I think about, but do not say. Sure I make a sarcastic quip to lighten the mood, and will give my honest opinion when asked, I do not however always talk about what is going on behind the scenes. I put on my game face and head on out the door. Over the past weeks, being given time to actually complete a thought and do some soul searching via conversations with friends and finding a fabulous book -Rising Strong by Brene Brown, I have been able to, slowly but surely, leave the house without my game face. What you see is what you get. I have been able to shed my skin of shame (as I like to call it) and just be me. Becoming honest with myself is allowing me to become honest with those around me. So many of us are dealing with some type of pain or anguish yet feel shame for doing so. Let the shame go, it’s a waste of energy, it serves no purpose. Sharing your stories will set you free, your stories may even set someone else free for they will realize they are not alone. For the naysayers out there I have a perfect example, a personal one.

My daughter deals with anxiety and depression. Her high school years were not gentle and kind. Over the years we tried to get her some help to deal with her thoughts and feelings, to no avail. It was frustrating to say the least, not only for her, but as her Mother for it is my job to protect her, to show her there is good in the world. How was I to get her to believe that when one door closes another opens when every door seemed to slam in her face? Over the years we did our best to support her, all the while telling her to speak to someone. She didn’t trust the system for it had failed her so many times before. Finally, God, the powers that be, the Smurfs, whichever you want to believe in heard our plea, saw our efforts and a door opened, my daughter was heard, was taken seriously and is slowly but surely gaining control of herself, her emotions and her anxiety. I know, I hear you …”what’s your point? Where’s your example?”. Here it is. Last year while working with my friend at her shop, a friend of hers came in for her morning Matcha. She looked exhausted. She looked distraught. She was on the verge of tears. I overheard her conversation with my friend, it was about her daughter. She was 17, not eating, depressed, anxious, couldn’t make it through the day at high school. Her Mother was at a loss and didn’t know what to do. I went over, excused myself for entering the conversation and told her I felt I needed to. My voice was shaking as I told her about my daughter. Why was my voice shaking? What was so wrong about speaking the truth? It was at that moment I realized that I was blaming myself for my daughter’s anxieties and in turn by doing so was making her issues about me, which serves no purpose and does not help my daughter in any way, shape or form. As I was speaking to this woman, her tears slowed, her breathing calmed, my voice stopped shaking and we both felt lighter. I told her “Don’t do what I did. This is not your fault and we have to remember this is not about us. I am here to tell you there is light at the end of this tunnel. It will get better”. I went home that day and told my daughter about the conversation and I apologized to her. I apologized for always trying to fix it, that I realized all the while I was trying to make it better for her, because of my fear and shame of being seen as a bad Mother, I was not helping at all. By speaking my truth to another, I let go of my feelings of shame I hadn’t even realized I was carrying and I released another of their feelings of shame.

We all have stories that ain’t so pretty. We all know someone, or are ourselves dealing with;

  • loss
  • divorce
  • addiction
  • mental health issues
  • parenting issues – form having your toddler ripping off it’s diaper to having to put a parent in diapers.
  • are we doing enough
  • are we doing too much
  • bad hair day meltdown

…the list is endless. Here’s the deal Beauties. There is no shame in speaking your truth, what ever it may be. In the immortal words of Dr. Suess ” Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”.