Like anything worth doing,it’s worth doing well. And doing something ‘well’ is quite relative a term. And I hate starting sentences with ‘and’. Ugh.
As I’m feverishly writing my next entry into the anthology of ‘Books People Will ReadAfterI’m Dead’ I’ve been missing events and goings on to which I really should have been paying more attention. As I was downing my glass of wine the other night, someone mentioned something aboutTikTok. I’m thinking Nanny’s noisy clock that is currently hanging in her kitchen and dings every BLESSED HOUR ON THE HOUR, but no. TikTokis an app for lip-syncing and karaoke-gone-awry. It’s asocial media app that lets a person download a video of someone singingbadly toN’Syncor the Backstreet Boys or maybe amore currentmusicianlike theBiebs. I’m thinking of doing ‘Bye-Bye’ ala JT with the curls and the baggy jeans and the fancy-dancymoves.
I could joinTikTokand connect with the peeps who arejammin’ to NKOTB andIT’SBRITTANY, BITCH. Maybe somebodysingin’ some Alanis…Yeah. “Isn’t it Ironic? Don’tyathink?” I could so NOT do that. Well. Not well. At all.
Maybe I’ll doa video of Mags when sheborksat the ‘hood dogs. She couldbe the next big thing! Add some music and BAM she’s the four-legged Madonna of the doggo-world. Maybe she could do a whole rap-thing.Instead of ‘Lose Yourself’ she could do ‘PooYo’self’. EPIC.
I’ll keep brain-storming some ideas whilst desperately trying to stay on-trend. Do we still say ‘whilst’? Ugh.
The other morning when leaving Bootcamp, I heard a woman exclaim how mundane her life had become with making lunches and gathering kids to the bus for school. I remember those days. Frankly, I’m glad they’re over. It’s challenging being a mom and working and shuffling after-school activities, homework, discipline and then you still have to feed these people. It’s exhausting. And then, it seems a few days later, they’re driving cars and shuffling themselves to after-school activities. They’re going to parties and getting part-time jobs. They buy their own lunches and get busy with friends. Pretty soon, she’s going to college or university and taking classes we’ve never heard of and dating people we don’t know. Who owns you?
Then you find yourself sitting at her convocation
and celebrating her achievement (which is really yours, as well) and then she’s
stressed because she has to find a job.
Then you turn around and she’s moved out into her own apartment because she
has actual employment, her own vehicle and a life. And here you are Mommy, with her lunch in
your hand saying, ‘but I made you peanut butter, your favourite.’ She shrugs and says she has her own food and
will see you later. Like next week. When she has the time and is not on
shift. And she needs food for her
The mundane is how you go from ‘Mommy,
I need you’ to ‘Mom, I’ll see you later.’
It’s all the crap you have to endure in order to see that snotty-nosed
kid become an adult. One capable of
making her own lunches and paying her own bills and taking care of somebody else’s
sick baby. But then she comes home and
opens the fridge to see what’s to eat and she wants to watch Arthur’s Perfect
Christmas with you and everything is right with the world, until she has to go
back to work and become an adult and someone else’s caregiver.
You did that, Mommy. Because you made her lunches and you got her
shuffled to the bus and you read her stories at night for the one-hundredth
millionth time and you did it because you knew, someday, it would all be worth
it. I know, right now it’s tiring and
challenging. I know you have no time for
yourself and you wish she would just be a bit more independent, but don’t rush
it. She’ll get there. In her own time.
Hang in there, Mommy. You are doing a great job. Make those damned lunches, take her to the
bus stop and read the bed-time stories. You’ll
blink and you’ll be hanging art in her new apartment and wondering if she has
enough toilet paper for next week.
The mundane stuff is what she
relies on. You are her safety net. Keep going.
Clearly, I should have listened to my gut this morning. I was on my way to Tim’s for tea for Hubby and coffee for myself. A long line greeted me at the drive thru, however, it’s usually quick and I was in no hurry. I had left early enough to adjust for the line. I get to the drive thru window and a sign had been posted. No debit. Of course, there’s no debit at the drive thru this morning because I don’t have any cash! I get to the window and ask if I can place my order, park and come in to pick it up. Of course, I can’t do that because that would be too easy! I drive on past the window and look at the extensive line blocking the parking. My answer was “Fuck this,” and I drive out. I go to the OTHER Tim Horton shop that is only a walk-in. I refer here to, ‘listening to my gut,’ because at the sight of the line as I was initially driving up to the first coffee shop, my head was saying ‘fuck that and go to the other Tim’s.’ I didn’t listen and here I was fifteen minutes later, driving to the other Tim’s. I get there. Virtually no line. They also have no tea. Ugh. I wait. Half an hour later, I arrive home with tea for Hubby. My lesson for today was listen to your gut. (And…. I can hear the Starbucks fans yelling at me…)
We always have situations where
that little voice in our head is telling us something different than the
oftentimes, easiest route. It says to go
the other way, or something about this situation is wrong. We have the free will to choose. We can either listen to that little voice or
our ‘gut’, or we can choose to go the easy way.
Maybe the easier more convenient route seems logical or more practical
at the time, then it turns out costing more time or more energy in the long
run. If we stop and listen for just a
second more, we could have saved ourselves pain or time or money by listening
to our ‘gut’ or our intuition. It’s rarely
Listening to our intuition takes
practice. We have to be able to trust
that little voice to lead us in the right direction. Often times, we doubt what that voice is
saying because we doubt ourselves. We
don’t trust enough in our intellect or in our logic or in our understanding of
the situation to trust that inner voice.
It’s screaming to be heard and we
ignore it because we fear the outcome.
We fear its wrong and we’ve made the wrong choice. Making mistakes is an essential part of growth
and if we never make a mistake, if we never take a chance on something that
makes us challenge ourselves, we have allowed complacency to move in. That would be boring.
Today’s lesson for me was minor. It cost me time but I had time to spare. I try to impart the wisdom of listening to
your intuition to my daughters. Your intuition
or ‘Spidey-Sense’ tells you when someone is ‘off’ or maybe the situation feels
wrong to you. Then get out. If it feels wrong then it is wrong. For you.
You may think because you see others seemingly enjoying themselves and
they may well be, that you would be making the wrong choice by leaving or by
not participating. But maybe they feel
something about it is wrong too, but are not listening to their gut. Maybe they’re afraid they’ll miss something
or that people will ostracize them because they made another choice. You have to trust in yourself to listen to
your inner voice and make the choice that’s right for you. I’m
not saying to run away from things or situations that challenge you. I’m saying if a situation or person seems to
be going in a direction that’s immoral, illegal or unethical then you have the
obligation to decide what’s best for you.
And your true self, your true inner
voice already has your back and knows the answer.
You just have to listen to it.
Opening ourselves up to listening
to our voice and to trust in ourselves takes practice, but it is well-worth the
work. Fear and self-doubt should take a
backseat to listening and acting upon our instincts.
Obviously, I have some practicing to do myself. Or, I can send Hubby to get the coffee and tea next time. We’ll see if he listens to his inner voice along the way….
The following is a reblog of a post I wrote two years ago. It reminds us to take a breath and appreciate our connections and relationships; to value each day and each person we encounter along the way. Stay connected, my friends.
The other day I was cleaning out our closet. It was time to do some much needed purging. I decided to gut out everything and go from there. I ended up finding some old cards from a few years ago when my mother passed away. I opened each one and read them again, this time with five years behind me. They were sweet and sympathetic. My Aunt had sent one reminiscing about when she and my mother were teens and very close. Some I kept and others I didn’t. So much for the big purge. In amongst the cards I found a letter that was written by a childhood friend of the family. Her kids were friends with us when we lived in the old neighbourhood. She and her husband were friends with my parents. We used to visit them after they moved away into a new house. She wrote to say how dismayed she was of my mother’s passing and that she hadn’t realized my mother continued to reside in Chatham. She assumed she had moved in either my brother or myself. She was disappointed she had not made the effort to reconnect. I think she was disappointed neither had my mother. I don’t think it was anyone’s fault that they got disconnected. It was just life.
Kids grow up, graduate, move on to university or not, tragic events unfold, weddings and new houses, new babies, new lives. It’s everything that happens over a lifetime. We get disconnected. We get disjointed and enmeshed in the everyday. We forget the connections that were made years ago on a summer’s day when the children were small, who later walked to the bus stop hand-in-hand on frosty fall mornings, caught “all things squirmy and squishy” (her words) and played basketball until nightfall.
Those days get lost in band practices,
packed lunches, hockey games and baseball tryouts. People get older, move to other streets or to
other towns. They work, they make new
friends, they move on to other hobbies, other occupations and other past times
without the old acquaintances that have become a part of their past. The present is different. Its fluid and changes with the seasons and
the ever-speeding passage of time. We
don’t notice the children becoming adults until they are there. We don’t notice our hair changing colour
until our hairstylist points it out (while saying loudly WHY ARE YOU NOT COMING
HERE MORE OFTEN?! ) we don’t notice the deeper cracks in the sidewalks
outside the house, how the maple tree
has grown exponentially or how few little children are out playing street
hockey these days, until all of that suddenly seeps into our consciousness and
we take a look around with clearer eyes.
And older eyes. How did this
happen? When did we get HERE?
I understand her disappointment and
dismay. It seems like a sudden
about-face of one minute she’s there, the next she’s gone, but really it wasn’t
like that. It was a lifetime of being,
of living and of surviving. The
disconnection of relationships is unfortunately, an everyday occurrence that
can be prevented if we take the time. Aye
there’s the rub. TIME. We never have enough. It flies away so
fleetingly. If only we had more time to
connect, to say ‘hey’, to reminisce, to support, to actually stop and watch
everything grow and change without having to be awoken to its
transformation. It’s a difficult
dance. Maybe we don’t want to watch
because if we do, then we’ll have to admit that we are getting older, life is
flying by without us even moving or flinching in this hurricane. Maybe
we don’t really want to see the children getting older or the sidewalk cracking
or the maple tree growing so big we can’t see across the street, anymore. We’d rather hold on to today, to live in the present,
just let me have one more day!
Connections are our lifelines. We crave them, we seek them out and some we
hold dear. Our intentions are for
connections to last as long as we take a breath, to be eternal and constant, but
sometimes those bonds get weaker and grow more distant, then they are suddenly
lost in the gale force wind. It’s not
wrong. It’s life.
I’m thinking after all of this time, to
send her a reply. To let her know I did
receive her letter and I did read it and I still have it. That I remember everything she said was
Maybe, that could be one little dance in the hurricane.
The undertaking of writing the second instalment of False Hope is beginning to make me nervous. I remember how time consuming and all-encompassingit waswriting the first book and I’m beginning to feel bogged down. I have one chapter completed with work starting on the second. The struggle of carving out time to write characters and scenes and implement accents and plot points is difficult when summer weather decides to make an appearance. The sun shines and I want to be outside, not locked in a room in the basement writingthe next big adventure. The rarity of sunshine makes it all the more important for me to head outside while it lasts. Autumn is packing its bags getting ready to move in and wave summer off into the grand abyss where the seasons-that-barely-happened go to die. Before I know it, I’ll be welcoming students back for another year, scheduling tests and skipping lunches infavourof one more hour for testing. I’m fearful my penchant to procrastinate will overtake me and I’llfinish Book Twoaround the same timeany grandchildren I’ve been promised have graduated highschool.
I’m ever-aware of my tendencytosimply give-up or to throw my hands up in the air and proclaim it all a bit too much before I’ve even given it my best shot.I managed to stay focused and finish the first round and I’m hoping my determination will see me through to the next. I have big plans for Claire and Jimmy in Book Two and I’m hoping it will all come to fruition. They may even run into some old friends from False Hope. (That was a hint, by the way in case you missed it.)
My notes are gathering in the purple notebook I used for the False Hope. I’ll simply keep it moving with more notes chapter-by-chapter and flesh out some new characters I have in mind. I always change around chapters and events according to how things logistically work out. For example, in False Hope Julien was supposed to be accused of nefarious activities with the women he was photographing. If you notice in the book, there are references to a rapist running around loose in town and even a dark hooded stranger bumping into Julien when he was standing outside the office building where Ashley worked. That incident was initially a set-up to a much larger sub-plot. I backed down at the last minute not wanting Julien to undergo any further scrutiny and bias from his colleagues. He had enough on his plate.
My work continues on Book Two and I hope my characters move forward with their lives, but not everything can go easily for them in their new circumstances. I’ll try to keep the momentum going through bouts of soaking up the intermittent sunshine and my tendency to walk away.
I’ll keep you posted on the progress and maybe drop a few more hints along the way, like JimmyFeherty. He’s an Irishman straight from Belfast with eyes only for Claire. Or so he says….
It’s mid-August and I can feel the imminence of Fall. It’s in the back-to-school supplies that are crowding every shelf at Walmart. It’s in the woods jackets and plaid flannel shirts that are hanging on racks. It’s in the now-dark 5 am mornings that greet me and the cooler evenings thatnow descend before 9pm. Summer hasn’t yet arrived and here we are readying for another season. I’m lamenting a summer I never had. I’m still waiting for that everlasting full day of sunshine and sultry heat that stretches into a dusky evening. I’m waiting for days full of water-balloon tossing and garden hose spraying and evenings of open-windows and flies eating me alive. Where was all of that?
Quidi Vidi, Newfoundland
We missed an entire season. It was a summer of spring-like days at best. Cool winds, rain and almost hot-enough-but-not-quite temperatures. We willbe back to wearing coats andboots before I even broke out my shorts. I don’t mean to complain, but this is why most people in St. John’s need a break and head to the liquor store. Or try to find solace and heat either more west on the island or head south to anywhere else. We know that soon enough, it will be a full-frontal assault into cold and ice. We desperately cling to those final few evenings of near-warm-enough temperatures to steal away on the back patio for a fire and a glass of wine before the gale-force wind of 100kms/hrbegin to blow through. It’s hard to go to work on a nice day knowing that when we are on a treasured day off, the wind will howl and the rain will pelt our faces so hard we feel the sting for a week. We flee the office building in the midst of theevaporating sunshine holding our faces skyward in hopes to feel the last of the rays beat upon our skin and feelsome semblance of warmth. We shed the office pallor for some fresh air and bright light, not the fluorescent kind.
Sometimes, we get lucky.
Today, the wind is highbut the air is warm. I’m hoping to retreat to my back patio for a little sun before the clouds elbow their way through the sky,squeezing itbehind their billowing puffs of air. If the sun can manage to appear in our sky a few more times, I will be grateful for that.
Right now,I’mgrateful for the liquor store’s cache of wine…
The wind is blowing a gale today and I’m feeling a little disheveled. My book is up and out and I’m now grappling with the idea that there are actual people out there in the great wide world who are reading my words. In a book. I wrote. I shake my head and try not to gauge reactions and try not to have thoughts of, “I wonder what they thought when this happened.”
Instead of obsessing on things I can’t control, I’m choosing to play with my dog and post random shit that I think will entertain the masses as much as it does me. You. Are. Welcome.
I’ve also been given the opportunity to observe the strange and irksome occurrencesaround me on a daily basis thatkeeps my mind busy and cause me to walkinto arbitrary walls. On purpose. Here are a few:
Old People Driving – I am NOT the old person I am referring to. I was cut off on the highway merge ramptoday,by an ‘old’lady driving her Honda CRV at 60kms an hour whorefused to go the obligatory 100kms an hour, almost causing an accident and causing me to swear profusely. Fun,wha?
No Shirt Sheila – Unfortunately, I was not privy to the shirtless woman wandering aimlessly around the mall, yesterday in her bra with a sweater tied around her waist whilst yelling into her phone, “I NEED MY LOTION BACK!” however, my niece and her daughters, and my daughter were witnesses to this craziness. Sad I missed it. AndGaawwdddDebby, give her the lotion BACK!
Irate complainers who complain about complaining – It’s a thing! I love it! No, really tell me more about how I piss you off when I fucking swear all of the fucking time, Goddammit. I love you,tho.
On a positive note, puppies are in the world so, there’s that.