Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A New Year's a Comin'

Well I guess it's that time when I like to reflect upon the past year and look ahead at the year to come.

Here is the end of my 2009 summary:

If I were to sum up 2009 into one word I would have to say it is: RELATIONSHIPS. That is what I feel like the year has been all about. Establishing, growing, weeding out and the evolving of relationships with new and old friends alike. It has been incredibly cool to start this blog and feel connected to people near and far. To help actually make friends through strangers - what a gift.

My hope is that 2010 holds adventure, excitement, love, growth, healing and even more building of relationship in new and different ways.

Every year I look ahead and wonder what the year to come will look like. Will it be full of change? Will I be living where I am now? Will those closest to me still be alive and well? Will I still have my health? Will I have children in the coming year? Where will I travel to, if at all? Who will I laugh with and build fun memories with? What will those memories hold? How can I make this year even better than the last? That is a question I really wonder about. I honestly feel so blessed (sorry for the cliche) at the fact that I truly feel like I am living my life that I can't possibly have a better year than I just had. But I will because I am determined to live connected and open to seeing whatever God is up to.

I find it interesting that I thought 2009 was full of RELATIONSHIPS because if I were describe 2010 it would be the same thing. I feel as though I was, for lack of a better word, blessed with so many new friendships, most of which came by surprise. Though Wally and I struggle very much to establish 'couple friends' (this is something we'd really like to change but are unsure as to how exactly, I'm sure it seems like a no brainer but it's hard when we're so different from eachother), I have been lucky to connect with several people that have encouraged me in my journey. I am so grateful.

Without further a due (sp?) here's what happened in 2010 ....

* In January both Wally and I began new full time jobs in our fields of study. There aren't words to express how exciting it was to get employment right out of school in what we wanted to do!

* January through April I worked diligently on the party of the decade with various different friends that made it so possible. From the hand made invitations, to the quotes that were cut out and sticky tacked to the walls of the auditorium, no detail was left behind. The prep for the party was easily equal to that of a wedding reception.

* In March we celebrated 9 years of marriage together by escaping to a little bed and breakfast (some of our favourite places to go) for the weekend. Time flies!

* In April we finally had our big fat party to celebrate life and those who have come and gone through ours. I made my speech of a lifetime and did my best to let people know how much their presence in our lives meant to us, whether it was long or short. I then danced the night away (even though the DJ was less than stellar).

* Also during the weekend of the party one of my closest friends surprised me by flying in from the other side of HER country just for the weekend to show me how much I meant to her. There aren't words to say how much I loved that she did this and to be honest I think I had more fun the night before the party when her and I went out for the night, I think for the first time since we were out of high school. It was an amazing gift!

* In June Wally and I celebrated a week of graduations with each of us walking across that stage to get our college diplomas, something that meant alot to us as we had really sacrificed our comfort, familiarity, our house and all we knew to do so. It was a very special time.

* Also in June I took a week off to just break from the business of my new job, and went on a three day two night retreat which really challenged and renewed my thoughts on motherhood. A good time of relaxing, thinking and renewing.

* June was a busy month as I also decided that it was never too late to celebrate a birthday and I threw my own 30th birthday party consisting of 2 dear friends that embraced my fun! The night was dedicated to #28 (the thong challenge) on my last 40 day adventure.

* Sometime I believe in July Wally was in a fender bender that resulted in his car being written off and us having to buy another. Fortunately we used our wisdom and were able to purchase one out right.

* By the end of August Wally and I have completed 6 months of personal training with Dee (our amazing trainer). We had both increased our muscle mass and lowered our body fat by .... a lot. Resulting in both of us losing between 35-40 pounds. We changed our eating quite a bit and now feel free from the fear of obesity and a life of ill health resulting from a negative lifestyle. A HUGE accomplishment for us. (Though it can be a battle).

* It was early September when I committed to raising $10 000 for Compasio, the organization Wally and I are visiting next year. With much help from friends I believe we will do it!

* October held much excitement as we decided to start house shopping (which was supposed to be for fun) and in turn we ended up car shopping as we were hit by another car while actually out looking at houses with our agent. This time it was my car (that we'd just bought in March) but we made it through and got another one that was exactly the same only a yr older.

* The same weekend we bought my replacement car we purchased our house! An expensive 24 hrs for sure!!!

* In December we moved into our house and out of the retirement village just in time for Christmas (exactly 2 weeks before!).

All in all it has been an eventful year for sure. Not all events were welcomed but all were teachers. This would likely be a great time to talk about what I'd love to see in 2011 but I think there's enough for a whole other post on that so I'll share that separately.

If you think your life is boring try writing it out like this, it'll show you really what's been going on, things you can be proud of or maybe things you should work on. I hope you found 2010 to be a good teacher to help you know how better to deal with the ever changing life we share!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fears of Fraudulance

I'm torn about what to write about. Do I share what's weighing on my heart or do some housekeeping?

Well since this is a personal blog and not the end of the year books for the tax guy I think I'll go with what's been on my heart...

I've shared many a times about my desire to be a mother, the long waiting period it is seeming to take to get there, our 'we didn't try but we didn't not try stage, our desire to adopt and my inward struggle to be totally fine with every possibility and how long it takes to get where ever.

While Wally and I detoured our lives towards school in hopes of making them better for any future people living in our home I found it really easy to be satisfied with not being a mom, not sharing the most exciting news anyone wants to here, and not even considering much when such news should be shared. Now that it has been a year since school has finished, we are both working, just bought a house and now the 'hmmmm when's a good time to get this kid thing on the go?' question is popping up.

Of course right now we are also in the middle of planning our trip to Thailand to work with Compasio (really probably just be more in the way of Compasio), and raising the $10 000 I committed a few months ago to raise, we do have one distraction.

However my time of naturally accepting 'whatever life gives us' in the realm of a family is, I'm noticing, seeming to be coming to an end. How do I know?

Exhibit #1: A co-worker and I were working together to advocate for someone we both support to go on a trip and she begins using phrases such as 'If I'm pregnant then I'll just volunteer to go on the trip with her', and 'Um yeah, don't tell anyone but I am pregnant!', following by the official announcement (which is of course made on facebook).

During that time I receive only twinges of 'Oh wow, you're pregnant. Hmmmm, we're the same age. You already have one kid. You JUST got married. I don't have any and I've been married for almost 10 years. But that's great for you, congratulations.' (I am secretly lying a little but trying to believe I'm above lying). At one point she also said 'if I can't go on the trip next Dec (because of the new baby) will you go?' Because of course I won't have any...)

Exhibit #2: A girl that I mentored a bit years ago, whom always seemed waaaaay younger than I has a baby and is sharing the facebook love about the baby often. The baby is beautiful and perfect.

I have began to consider 'hiding' this person ONLY because of my own selfish 'I want a little person to love and for my life to seem perfect!' notions. And it seems a tad torturous to here about hers. Even though I SHOULD be overjoyed for her as she is an incredibly lovely girl and no doubt great wife and mommy.

Exhibit #3: My cousin (who again is younger than I and married for less years - yeah I don't know why this part matters but apparently in my head there are invisible rules), and his wife are expecting a baby any day. Finally, after seven years and 'Eva and Wally being married for 10 childless years', another great grand baby is on it's way. My cousin is a very excited and proud first time daddy (if I wasn't holding a stick up my butt I'd likely think this was rather endearing, seeing as the stick is clearly lodged where it shouldn't be I am ridiculously annoyed by all of it).

His wife experienced a lot of sickness in the first few months and openly complained about wanting the pregnancy to be over. I openly reminded her how lucky she was to be able to feeling EVERYTHING that it meant to be pregnant (Can't say it was hard for me to say seeing as I was not the one puking my guts out).

I could go further on about the jealously I sadly hold over these two as they've been married the perfect amount of time to have a child (5 yrs), they have a lovely home that is paid for (thanks to my aunt's passing and my uncle's incredible generosity), they've gone on probably 10 cruises in their relatively short marriage (showing they realize the sacrifice children will bring - ok so that's what I tell my self), and they both have their dream jobs that incidentally bring in substantial bread to eat (like raisin, pizza, whole grain, etc.). Perfect.

Needless to say this has been my biggest challenge to get over within myself. I swear every time I think of them and their life I turn into this horrible jealous monster. I'm really glad there aren't mirrors for the spiritual world - I'd be so ugly.

In conclusion, my evidence clearly shows that I am officially faking being satisfied with not fulfilling my longtime 'calling' of being a mom. I am starting to feel as though I would fit right in on an infertility blog (something which I don't like - no offense to infertility blog writers or readers but SOME of those blogs become pity parties rather than 'ok so let's make a plan of attack and take more joy out of it than I could have ever out of what I thought I wanted'). No doubt I'm running from the thing I dislike within myself the most. Shockingly I'm very far from perfection (I know, I hope you didn't fall off of your chair).

Sooooooooo, now what?

Well I'll be honest. Wally and I are both a little nervous to become pregnant before traveling abroad to a place so foreign and so not Canada. Who knows maybe the very first shot out of the gun would be a perfect target. So we've decided to begin the long arduous steps of the adoption process.

It's funny I don't feel old enough, responsible enough, rich enough, good enough or ready enough to make that phone call. I will admit that I fear the Social Worker will talk us out of it, or into more than we can handle. I fear we will get closer and realize everyone's belief's are true and the children from the system are 'too damaged' for us to handle. I fear the additional negative comments that we will get regarding adoption that doesn't include an infant. I fear making the announcement that we are parents only to see the disappointment that the child isn't genetically 'ours'.

I think though what I fear most is that I will get pregnant in the middle of the adoption path and realize I've been faking my desire to adopt the whole time in efforts to cope and that I am indeed a complete fraud.

However, despite my fears, despite my unreadiness in many ways, I know it's time to at least begin to take steps in some kind of direction and see where we go.

I think I may be blogging more this year ...

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Well I haven't had an 'up in the night' night since we moved but it IS Christmas. It's 4:30am and I can't sleep. For a couple of reasons: hello, it's Christmas, who can sleep on Christmas? And I have a sugar hangover from lastnight's sweet fest.

I'm not sure why this year I can't sleep as Wally and I agreed not to purchase any gifts for eachother since we just bought the house (and enough paint to monetarily equal an eighth of our down payment).

Generally we are very creative gift givers. We've always given ourselves a very strict budget to work with since most Christmases we've had together we have not been financially .... um .... well ... let's just say extraordinary (although saying this I know we've always always had what we've needed which is far better than most in this world).

It's only been in the past couple of years we've really felt the fun of shopping for eachother (that being said our budget went from between $25 and $50 to $100 super extravagant for us!!). We have maintained no matter what we have had to shop with that thoughtfulness be the priority and we're both pretty good at that (especially Wally).

I've learned that clearly the anticipation of gifts isn't everything to me but the cherished time we spend together in the early morning of Christmas day with only the tree lights, the doggies, and two well made mugs of hot chocolate in our hands means so much more.

In years past we've written eachother letters (love letters I suppose), a couple of which have been framed and hang in our computer area. Words encouraging one another in the year to come and the endeavors that were anticipated and the faith we shared in eachother's abilities.

This year I told Wally that I thought it'd be fun to share the top ten moments we had together in 2010 as our gift, hopefully something we'll chat about.

I have to mention the richness I feel right now. I'm sitting in our 'upstairs' living room with our new electric fireplace blazing (I'm going to sound spoiled but I have come to almost need a fireplace - I think it's sort of like therapy for me). We have two bedrooms waiting to be filled (and painted) with little ones. We have an empty room in the basement that's finished and perfect for our hopefully soon to be home gym, where someday I hope to be able to train people myself (wow that's sharing a dream!).

We have a dining room ready for entertaining which will hopefully lead to many a good conversations and memories. A little kitchen (soon to be painted) that will hug me every time I cook. Attached to our home (an addition) is a little garage that challenges me every time I back out with not losing my mirrors. And I can't forget the fourth bedroom downstairs that we've made a tv room that's admittedly awkward for tv furniture but will do just fine (we hope to tear down a wall and open it up to the only unfinished room in the basement - that is if we live here long enough).

Aside from the fireplace do you know what I seem to appreciate the most about our new (to us) home? The ancient, but free, dryer I got with the purchase of a 3 year old $100 washing machine on Kijiji.

Yesterday I was doing laundry for the first time since getting the dryer hooked up and I felt as though I was in heaven. I'm not sure if it's because for the 2 1/2 years we lived in the apartment I was too cheap to use the driers (as you may recall from my first 40 day adventure) and I could now use one for free. OR if it was because it cut so much time out of hanging our clothes (I hang A LOT of our clothes anyways), and the dry time. It could be the fact that I no longer have to wear crunchy socks or use stiff wash clothes on my face. There are tonnes of reasons that could be why I love my new (yet archaic) dryer.

I'm not exactly sure why I went on that long bunny trail about a dryer. I guess it ties in with simple, free and unexpected things becoming a pleasure.

Of all the reasons to love having a house again I will admit that I never thought that rickety old thing (that was free!!!!) would be at the top of my list - but it is. I guess it is just a reminder this Christmas that the best things in life are the little things. We never know what might be meaningless to one person could completely change another one's life.

Wally and I, in the past, have named our important appliances. I remember when a couple that were sort of our mentors gave us their old portable dishwasher at the old house. We sent them a thank you card with me hugging our new helpmate we aptly named 'Gloria' because I said 'She's glorious!'.

I'm looking forward this Christmas day to Wally getting up and turning on the kettle, the tree lights and the fire (I know, lighting the fire sounds far more sentimental but sometimes you gotta work with what you have) and sitting together cherishing our memories from this year. That's one thing I love about us, no matter what state we've been in during the holidays, whether good times or bad, we make an effort to really and truly enjoy our time together and make it special (even in the middle of painting a house the week before we're moving in and we SOUND as though we may kill eachother), we value our together.

Not sure where this post was off to but there is it.

Have a very Merry Christmas Day and take time to truly enjoy those you have in your life!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!!

It's noon thirty this Christmas Eve and I have so many thoughts I'd love to share about the season and the past couple weeks Wally and I have had in our new home. However time is ticking away and I have to ice the cookies I had declared I wasn't making this year, before celebrating with my in laws this evening.

The first thing I must mention is a recent donation made to my Compasio campaign. I was standing in Walmart yesterday with a young lady I was supporting checking texts I wasn't supposed to be checking when Wally had asked me in a text what the campaign was at. I replied '$320; He was ecstatic to be the one to share with me that there had been a $1000 donation!!! Of course since I was supposed to be working and not checking texts I had to forget what I heard but inside I was amazed.

I had recently shared with a fried my feelings of disappoint about a work fundraiser that popped up that would target many of those I was hoping to attract (my co workers) in the same month I was planning to do our big event.

I felt discouraged, overwhelmed and mad at myself for setting a ridiculous goal. Why would I do this? why do I always have to be so 'out there'? Oh I get so flustered with myself sometimes.

Anyways hearing the sudden swell in donations did more than boost my energy is goal. It gave me hope and increased my faith that we could indeed raise the $10 000. A wonderful Christmas gift.

I plan to write again before the new year as I'd love to reflect upon the past one and look ahead at the one to come. For now though I say thank you for allowing me into your heart, and though I don't know who is reading, thank you for encouraging mine. I hope that for what ever reason you read you are given something good in return.

May you enjoy the holidays and feel hope for the future in knowing so much of it lies in your heart and how you approach it. I am continuing to learn this every day.

Hugs from my heart to yours.

Eva :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Alive and bloggin!

Hey I'm still around!

Wally and I just moved into our new (to us) home last Saturday and have not had the internet until tonight. Before that we spent the week painting and moving over boxes and boxes. Now we are in the middle of Christmas stuff and unpacking. I hope to be able to settle soon and be able to share some thoughts (for whatever they're worth).

Will be writing soon :)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In a nutshell

My day in a nutshell ...

Woke up.
Discovered 7 bites on the top half of my body that were really itchy and red. Wondered what creature did this.
Made yummy 'clean' pancakes with blueberry sauce.
Got into a disagreement with Wally.
Regretted not kissing him good bye before he even left.
Got ready for the gym.
Got distracted by the dishes.
Got distracted by facebook.
Wrote a short blog.
Decided not to go to the gym.
Felt bad for avoiding a weight training session.
Got showered and ready for the day.
Felt sad for no apparent reason.
Sulked in my bed while watching 'Til Debt Do Us Part' episodes for 2 hours until I had no choice but to finally do the dishes.
Took the dogs out and make my lunch to go.
Left for work.
Almost accidentally put diesel in my car.
Was relieved I didn't.
Arrived at my shift.
Killed a bunch of errands with the person I was supporting.
For the first time in a while really enjoyed my time with her as she had no weird 'drama' in her head.
Left that shift way too late to go to my next shift at the mental hospital.
Hated the mental hospital.
Enjoyed that Dolly was in a good mood overall.
Removed a ginger ale can from the toilet before helping her use it (without gloves). Noticed that there was no soap in the dispenser in the bathroom there.
Wanted a shower with my clothes on.
Left my shift.
Got talked to my a woman who seemed like she should be admitted who asked me several times for change to use the phone.
Lied several times about not having change.
Hated the mental hospital for making me lie.
Hated driving in the rain. Arrived home at 6:15pm.
Checked e-mail.
Ate a reheated sort of gross stir fry made with freezer leftovers.
Was thankful for it anyways.
Left for a meeting at 6:40pm.
Had a pretty good meeting.
Arrived home at 8:55pm.
Scratched the bites I couldn't scratch all day because it would have been too inappropriate.
Considered putting in a scratching post.
Enjoyed pj's that I made myself that are indeed 4 sizes to big.
Telling you who likely doesn't care but bored enough to read, all about it.
Sleep well (at least that's the plan).

Slowing Down

I got the following e-mail from a friend I have recently met who has embraced my fund raising like no one else. She was telling a friend of hers who was visiting her last week about coming over to help me and a couple of my friends brain storm about fund raising ideas and he requested to have a jar (that was a very long sentence).

He's Jewish and knows it's for a Christian organization but since the jars only had the website and what I was fund raising for he said it would be 'safe' to help us out...

"George took the jar to shul on Saturday during Shabbat and just left it ... he said that people have asked about it and already there is about $20 in change in the jar ... he said that one man said, sure that sounds like a very good idea to buy a motor bike to take the nurses into give needles, I will give you all of my change ... all he had was a nickel ... he told George he would put more in next time ...

so, it may be at a nickel at a time, or a loonie, or toonie, doesn't matter as long as they fill the jar. One guy put a handful of change in and there were several toonies involved. :)"

At first I didn't really think much about it as I'd just gotten home from work and was tired. But then I started to realize that this little idea has gotten into another province that speaks another language and has even touched another Faith culture. That's incredible.

The process.

I need to embrace this seemingly slow moving process.

You have a chance to see so much more when you are moving slow as opposed to moving fast. I'm going to try and look around a bit today.

To enjoy the view.

To notice the 'little things' that are actually 'the big things'.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I'm very excited. My jar just doubled in the last hour!

Ok so it now has roughly $17 in it but that's not bad for a couple of weeks and only three people giving.

Tonight I have three people coming over that have committed to helping me fund raise towards my goal. This also makes me very excited. They barely know much about Compasio (except for what I've shared, which isn't a lot) and they are taking time and energy out of their lives to help me do this, without them I know I couldn't.

Maybe I should clean up a little. Well, at least put yesterdays' underwear in the laundry hamper instead of leaving it in front of the bathroom door. I'm sort of a slob right now, with the move and all.

We hope to start planning a large benefit tonight, the fundraiser that I hope will bring in at least half of what I have committed to raise. Yikes.

I have had mixed emotions since my commitment to do this, right now though nothing other than excitement and humility. I do have moments when I'm angry at myself for being so naive and other moments that I already want to give up. Right now I'm going to hang on to the excitement I'm feeling and ride it for as long as I can. Until the end of June if possible :)

That's really all I wanted to share today. It's not much but it's what I've got.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Living Giving

I worked a long day today.

I started with a couple of young ladies, moved on to the loudest woman on the planet. Had a wee break then went to another young lady who thrives on emotional ups and downs yet doesn't ever realize what's up or what's down ending with someone who snored through karaoke. I started at 7am and got home before 9pm. Shockingly though I had a mini epiphany.

While I was riding home with a few people I support from karaoke we chatted about the Christmas lights, I had commented about them being up already. We talked about the lighting of the lights in the park and when it happened. Then my mind wandered.

I remembered reading an e-mail that Wally sent from work about a new clothing and toy drive at his work. I had contemplated after reading it what we would buy and where it would come from in our new 'we just bought a house' budget.

I wasn't worried about whether or not we'd had money, I knew we had more than enough whether it would fit into our budget or not. But I considered the fact that in our new budget there's the budgeted items: groceries, heat, hydro, gas, insurance, etc. and how when we give, it's generally out of the 'giving' portion. There's a certain amount we set aside to give each month, so when we give that's where the money comes from.

It wasn't until I thought of Christmas as I watched the lights sparkle that at certain times we are called to give out of only what we have not our extra.

You see Wally and I have extra. If you are reading this it is likely you do too.

In order to be careful with our money we plan how we spend it. That is of course excluding when we decide to buy dessert out once in a while, and when we decide to treat ourselves to a meal out, or if there's a new cd one of us wants on itunes or a movie we just have to see. Sometimes those things just pop up, yet it still seems like no big deal to 'squeeze' them into our funds.

How often do we get extra opportunities to spend money on giving. Whether it's buying our friend lunch who's had a bad day (God forbid we don't get a tax receipt when we give!), or picking up a few extra groceries at the store while we're there.

I don't know about you but I too often get caught up in giving out of what I have rather than what I don't.

No, I'm not saying you should be giving on credit in a way that puts you into debt - that would be silly (although of all the kinds of debt to get into that one might be the most forgivable kind). But rather challenging you (and myself) to give out of what we don't have scheduled in to give.

There's a story in the Bible about a widow I believe that gave the last of what she had. could you imagine? When do we ever do that? Generally in this culture we are lucky if we even give out of our extra let alone out of what we're counting on to get us to our next meal. That takes faith.

Not only that somehow your needs will be met, but that your last possession will be appreciated to the capacity that it would be by yourself. I've often not given because I didn't feel someone worthy of my treasure because I didn't know if my 'investment' would pay off.

Why does it really matter though? Are we called to give always in order to reap a reward in whatever way? OR do you think sometimes we are called to give, period? No expectations, just growth.

I know this seems like a kindergarten lesson from Sunday School but it really struck me tonight so I wanted to share.

I find this lesson a little scary but one I hope to put into practice. I think I'm going to try and give out of my budget as well. So if I had $50 give some of it.
It's small but it would be a sacrifice for me. I would feel it. I would notice. It would mean something more than a percentage or just a predetermined number.

Well I'm half asleep on my way to becoming whole asleep.

I hope you got something out of this.

Pretty basic: give. From where you feel it. Then you know your alive and your giving is too.

I know this great place you could send your money too ;)

(Ok, you didn't expect me not to try right?)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Attention: Harvesting results requires planting first!!

'We're getting married', 'We're buying a house', 'Going to Cuba on vacation', 'We're gonna put on a Christmas play', 'I'm raising $10 000 for non profit', I'm going to college', 'I'm going to lose 20 pounds'. And the list can go on and on and on...

All are goals. All are focused on an end result. Just making these statements seems to make you feel like you are one step closer to getting something you want. However none tell you how to do it, what the process is going to be like, or what you may learn along the way. In the moment none of these things matter because all you care about is the end result.

I think I've mentioned before that I am the worst for wanting results yesterday. This is something my trainer was kind enough to point out to me months ago and frustrated both him and Wally to no end (it still frustrates poor Wally). I get so focused on what I want in the end that I forget that there's a learning curve, a process, a growth that needs to happen on my way. Sometimes I just blatantly refuse to do what I'm supposed to do and I still get frustrated that I'm not where I want to be. Then I have to wake up and see that I didn't follow the 'directions' to get to where I planned on going and that obviously I shouldn't expect to be anywhere but where I am in that moment. And where ever that is could be great but I'm so focused on the end destination I don't notice the beautiful waterfalls, incredible views or anything else that is around.

I am trying to learn to accept the process (geez, you'd think I'd just get it and move on to a new lesson already!!). Not only that but to ENJOY the process.

As I am in the throws of fund raising I check my donation link every couple of days and see it stand still I panic a little and wonder what I should do. What I am missing is that I am doing lots right now to prep my little fund raising garden and that generally when you are weeding, tilling soil, and planting seeds you aren't noticing any flowers growing around you. Duh.

This of course applies to pretty much any sort of lofty goal one has in life.

The other day as I was deep in thought over how to acquire $10 000 before the end of June 2011 I, out of no where, realized that in this journey to get to that goal was a process. A process that exceeds any result. A process that could, if I allowed it to, change who I am. It could open my eyes, open my heart, plant a seed and grow something beautiful I couldn't possibly see in a mere $10 000 cheque.

I have already begun to see glimpses of my own selfishness and self-centredness that don't leave me feeling so great. I can only imagine what this could potentially teach me as I pursue to enjoy the process of this opportunity.

So I am now going to refocus a bit and try to accept and embrace what comes of this mini adventure to raise $10 000. I'm sure I will be humbled.

Each day I go to my garden of 'promise' I hope to enjoy the fact that the soil is there, that the seeds are alive, that no garden grows or looks beautiful with lots of weeds, nor is it appreciated as much as it should be without the efforts to get rid of those weeds. I want to embrace the slow and steadiness of it's growth and appreciate each little bud and leaf. I will hopefully trust other gardeners to come it and help me care for it and know that they may often know better what to do than I.

Maybe I'll grow to love gardening. Miracles happen.

What a perfect garden to fall in love with. Than one that harvests promise.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I can't.

I want to believe this statement. So bad. I want to make it my mantra and say it all of the time, over, and over and believe it in every fiber of my being.

But ... I can't.

Yesterday I was at the gym doing a long awaited strength training session on my own. I had been avoiding one for a good week and a half. I had still gone in to do cardio because I don't mind it as much. I have had a few weeks of straying too far from 'clean eating' (not all of the time at all, just enough to make me feel a difference) so I saw no point in doing a kick ass training session as 80% is indeed what you feed yourself. If you are not doing that right you aren't really changing much.

Anyhow I'd finally decided that enough was enough and I tweaked those unclean eating habits a bit and was feeling back on track, which meant it was now time to tackle this training thing.


I decided in my head that I just had to get in there and do something. Anything. So as I warmed up on the treadmill I scanned through my old workouts with Dee and found one I thought I could mentally get through. It really is all in the mind.

I settled on one and pushed away the guilty feeling of knowing I could do a more challenging one and went about my 'back to the gym for the first time in a week and a half' one.

As I went through the first set of the first group of exercises I thought 'I can do this'. I reminded myself that I just needed to do one set at a time and then could take a rest and regroup. More in my head than with my body.

By the time I finished my second set of the first group I sat on the bench nearly in tears trying my hardest not to cry.

The phrase going through my head: 'I can't do this! I can't do this! I can't do this!'

As those foreign words bustled through my mind I immediately recognized them as intruders. They were obvious lies to me in ways I'd never experienced before. It was like someone was standing there telling me the sky was purple. I was like ' No, not true.'

I'm not sure when it happened but sometime over the last 9months my mind/spirit/emotions have begun to recognize the truth behind the statement 'I can't'. I'm not sure when because when I worked out with Dee I said it all of the time without thought or conviction. Now I honestly can't say 'I can't' and believe it.

I can't.

It's a weird feeling when you realize you are trying very hard to lie to yourself. You honestly feel as though your personality is splitting in two and you are having a conversation with a crazy person (of course probably by now you are crazy but who isn't to some degree right?).

Yesterday as I fought back the tears, red nose and desire to quit I wanted so bad to be allowed to accept that statement. I wanted so bad to believe I couldn't do it. That I couldn't achieve what I wanted. That I couldn't get through that difficult situation.

Instead the truth of 'I can' was staring me square in the face not letting me give up. If it wasn't for that truth I would've walked straight out of that gym 2/3rds the way through that first set. I seriously considered doing that too.

But I didn't. I couldn't. Because if I had I would've been calling what I know is real truth a lie, in turn making me a liar. I don't want to be a liar.

Sometimes the truth sucks even when it holds the potential for every good thing, because it's asking us to believe in it enough to act on it. And acting on it is taking responsibility for what you know.


Who knew knowing 'I can' could be such a big task? Because that means I can do anything that is on my heart to do. Yikes!

We humans are much more comfortable with 'I can't' because it limits us to only what we can see or understand. Though often times I want to believe 'I can't' and my life would likely be much simpler, it would also lack the excitement, the growth, the relationships and the change that 'I can' brings.

Before you think I'm running for a spot in Obama's government (and I'm not saying that would be bad, just that I'm not getting into politics), I'm not. I'm just sharing want can be an incredible truth if you let it in.

I realize there are many things in life you don't have control over, but you do have control over how you look at it right?

I can't = limitations

I can = limitless

Friday, October 29, 2010

Up and Down

That's me. But if you read my blog very often you know that already.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm mentally ill or something (not that there's anything wrong with that) but I do think it's a case of over zealousness.

The other day I had a little panic attack at the thought of my goals. I was thinking 'Oh my goodness!!! What did I do? Who commits to raising $10 000 for a place in only a few months?' I then thought of my trainer goal and pondered 'Why did I say I wanted this? It's not really me, people would only laugh at the thought. I'm not committed enough or good enough to do this!' I kept thinking .... 'Bikini goal - why would I ever be that superficial? I don't even really believe women should wear bikinis in public, why would I ever say that?'

Upon my first thought of panic grew many more. With each one they got more negative and disbelieving.

Shame on me.

After getting excited yesterday morning at the my current '$100 Jar' Fundraiser that I'm starting over the weekend, I had shared with a couple of people at work my plan and they looked at me like I was nuts. I came home deflated and in doubt. I declared to Wally: 'I can't do it. I can't raise $10 000!!'.

However the second those words came out of my mouth I knew it was a lie. So the second that followed the first I renounced it with 'That's I lie. I know I can'. At which time I proceeded to slump over on the couch with depression.

Ok so I'll admit it, I thought fund raising was going to start out a wee bit easier. I knew the money would exactly fly in but I thought it was at least take a gondola or something.

Last night I planned to have the first fund raising meeting to begin looking at different ideas and ways we could look at reaching the goal. Initially there was a group of us, then by the time the night came we were down to two. At first I was going to cancel, but then I realized the power of two. The importance of the other very willing person who wanted to be a part of this project with me. That's when I decided that though I hope next time we meet there will be more people to bounce ideas off of (and delegate jobs to!), whether there is or not I've committed myself and if we're it, we're it! I am so thankful for the excitement of Glo (her name says it all!!) and how she has encouraged me in this endeavor.

I have learned fast that when YOU commit to do something YOU are committing to it, not everyone around you. You cannot blame them for not seeing your vision or carrying your burden. They have their own visions and their own burdens. If they join yours that's great, if not, that's more than ok too.

In light of this reality I have begun my first fund raising project within my grand $10 000 goal.

As I mentioned it has to do with jars. What I've done is collected 20 jars and will be labeling them with information about Compasio, their website and where the money from the jars will be going (the 2-3 motorcycles for them to go out and do first aid, feed the hungry, find orphaned babies in the dump - I'm not kidding!!). People have from when they get their jar until January 1st to collect as much money as they can, the minimum goal being $100. The person who has collected the most money over $100 will win a gift certificate of $100 to a place of their choosing!

I have just posted a note on facebook so I guess I'll see. I need to step back and NOT look at the response as I am admittedly fearful it will get completely ignored. As I said though, no one said this would be easy and for me to learn the most out of this experience I know it shouldn't be easy. I am decidedly looking forward to the challenge.

I MUST mention the amazing encouragement I've already received while pursuing this goal. I posted the link to my 'Seeds of Promise Campaign' and 3 people had donated $130!! Last night I checked again and see that another person has donated $50!!

The frustrating part is I don't have access to know who has given - however in the same light I am sort of glad. It ultimately doesn't matter who gave what - it's that they heard a message and were willing to help.

Not everyone can necessarily give money. I can't really give Compasio $10 000. Well, I could but I might need to find a new place to live. I CAN help spread the word about the work that they do and the children's lives they literally save everyday.

Maybe you can't give $100 but maybe you could get a jar and let me know so I can send you a label and we together can changes some lives. Better yet, let's save them!

P.S. I realize I myself can't raise $10 000. But I know the One who has placed this in my heart can give me what I need to make it happen. He's pretty cool that way.

If you gave: Thank you
If you are grabbing a jar: Thank you
If you are cheering me on quietly: Thank you
If you are a part of something other than this to give back: Thank you
If you are reading: Thank you

A million times: Thank you

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stressful Passion

Those two words don't seem to match very well but I'd say they are pretty accurate descriptions of what my husband is complaining I am lately.

He actually said to me the other day 'You're zest for life is stressing me out!'. I think he began to recognize it more when I proposed me working probably stresses him out. After he thought on it for a while he found the stress coming from somewhere else... oops.

Is it still passion if it's stressful or should it really have another description? Who knows? I have just really learned that my pursuit of balance got sorely lost somewhere on my trail blaze and my true believe system along with it.

A few months ago I sat ready to give up the monetary benefits of working full full-time and rest in the knowledge of the bigger, deeper benefits of living from peace and genuine choice about each action I make and how it will benefit those around me as well as myself.

I now feel just as caught up in life as I did before and as a result missing out on a feeling of satisfaction and presence that I long to have. It's easy for me to defend my current state and say 'Working 30 hrs a week doesn't really make a difference in my life - I'm the same as when I work 35 or 40'. But in reality I think I know the truth.

A truth that mocks and teases my ability to do a great job working full time at one job. The job I sold my house to go back to school to do. That fact is what keeps staring me in the face and making me question any thoughts of wisdom over doing what's expecting of me.

It's the comments from others, the self scrutiny, and all that trails behind that prevents me from feeling justified in doing what I know in my heart would benefit all and bring growth and truth.

I care too much about what others think.

I care too much about what I think.

Yet by doing so I am clearly NOT caring about what can make a huge difference. I am caring about the superficial, not what is real.

Hmmmm .... when I put it that way I am very embarrassed.

My whole pursuit in life is to be a real, honest person and to help others be the same way. Why is cutting a few hours of something that is clearly unhealthy for me so difficult?!

Today I don't have an answer but if you have one please share.

Passion for life is awesome and I'm glad I have a little spark but I fear that if I keep pairing it with the description of 'stress' it will be snuffed out while I'm not looking. That would simply be sad.

What would you do?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sand Specks

I had brilliant thoughts this morning as I was walking the dogs. When I came in I thought 'Go blog now so you can get them out!' Why would I ever listen to myself?

Instead I proceeded to get dressed and ready, gather change for parking, print out an e-mail for work, check and respond to more e-mail from work, facebook, order something on Amazon (but not really because I don't have our info, so it's still waiting), and now I'm here and can't completely remember my brilliance.


Give me a sec.

One thought keeps coming back to nag be through out my little journey a la body. The reminder that real, true change happens in little tiny molecules of adjustment (I'm using molecules as a metaphor though if you want to take it literally go ahead).

I keep hearing over and over from so many different people, in regards to weight loss and fitness, that they've 'tried everything', they are 'doing everything right', that 'nothing works'. To which I say 'I totally get what you are saying!!'

Because I've worked out with a trainer for 6 months, that by itself means I should be cellulite free right? I've eaten nearly clean for 3 months, hello with the sacrifices I've made I feel as though I should have modeling agencies knocking down my door to have me in a bikini front and centre of the next issue. I've tried to dedicate every choice to making the right one over the past 8 months or so.

The thing is I have been balanced for only a brief period of time with all of these things. I have struggled to make good choices, fought to keep up the work outs and rarely been squeaky clean with my intake. Because I haven't made all of these decisions perfectly all of the time should I give up? Because I don't have the outcome yet that I want should I forget it all and call it wrong? Because I'm not 'there yet' should I stop?

When I began my journey with everything months ago I made the decision to try the trainer and see where it lead. I had small goals and little desire to be anything more than improved. As I've gone along I have made one small choice after another. With each bad choice I've considered making it my first of an eternity of negative choices because I knew I wasn't being perfect so why try even to be 'good'? For some reason having the piece of cake seems to lead us down an 'I'm making a bad choice this gives me permission to make another 10 bad choices' road.

Recognizing this thought and a myriad of others I think is what has changed my inner dialogue so much. Now I will say it has by no means stopped me from making a string a bad choices once the first one was made but instead of 10 bad ones maybe one day it's only 7 and another only 5. Some days if I'm really doing well I by pass them altogether. However still even after all these months I am continuing to struggle my way through the mental game of what's ok and what's a ridiculous expectation to hold.

I don't really know why exactly I haven't given up yet. Maybe it's because I am not interested in a legalistic point of view and I know that it's not necessary with others things so why this? I got rid of this in my faith a few years ago and I have no interest adopting it back into my healthful lifestyle. My hope is to be real and honest to myself and others as to what real change consists of.

I know that if I'd achieved my goal in 6 months it would have been temporary and superficial. This is not at all something I ever want to be.

At the same time I have been challenged by so many people's thoughts, opinions and beliefs to 'settle' where I'm at in my fitness journey. I have been tempted over and over to take people up on their comfortable offers. However I can't. I just can't. And it has nothing to do with being a number (may I remind you I don't measure or weigh myself often at all right now and that's the way it should be.

I feel as though people give themselves an 'out' with so many things in life. Mine would be my fitness journey. People would tell me 'You look great! You can stop! You don't have to give up that!' Blah, Blah, Blah.

However they are missing the point for me. This is my challenge. My challenge to believe in the impossible. This is the impossible for me. To change how I see my self, how others see me (I am meaning those who have known me since the years of over weight and out of shapeness). To be what I would never ever in a trillion years believe I could be. That is what my journey is really about.

When I had my core gift done (I mentioned this months ago) I was shocked to find out that it related directly back to my most distraught moment as an overweight little girl, the moment I felt most alone and unaccepted. Your core gift is what life has broken out of you. I was sure it would have been something else because I was sure I was way past my years of teasing and believing I was less because of my image. I had no idea how real and deep that wound was.

We all have wounds. We all have 'the impossible' in our lives. My bet is that they are related but maybe they aren't always, I don't know.

I do know that I have been given a spark for figuring out this inner dialogue so many people struggle with when it comes to their bodies, but more over actually when it comes to doing anything in their lives. I have a drive to finish what I've started so I can help others do the same. 'Finish' in this case is a lifetime long event.

One piece of sand on the scale may seem to mean nothing. But when you add another and then another and keep going all of those little tiny pieces become effective in moving the scale in the right direction. It may take a while to get anything to move, and there may be times when you don't add a piece for quite sometime but no doubt they are doing something.

Don't doubt the effectiveness of the seemingly little decisions you make (bad or good). When you add them up they do something.

One way or another.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Little Message

I want to write.

I want to share more stories with you. Not my complaints anymore but my learnings. I want to share and learn myself. I want to reflect.

Why does it seem so difficult to find the time?

Why is it so hard to figure out what to give up and what to attend to?

Hmmmmm. I don't know really. Just that I have a couple of stories I'd love to share, some fun, some thoughtful.

Tonight I need to go to bed so instead I'll give you a list like the old days.

Recent stuff ...

I've been asked twice int he past 2 weeks why I'm not wearing my wedding rings. I stopped wearing them weeks ago because they started falling off after I lost weight. I get offended when people ask me why I don't wear rings. I don't know if this is good or bad. But it is how I feel when they ask. (By the way, I feel not one twinge of guilt for not wearing them, I love my husband).

I got my first speeding ticket Tuesday. Rather than feeling scared or fearful when the cop pulled me over my first thought was 'This will be a great story to tell'. Maybe I'll put it to paper (even though there's not a lot to it).

I learned today that the very slow walking person I support (who has no physical reason why she must walk at a turtle's pace), still walks as if her feet are glued to the ground even when it's pouring rain.

A family member and I have recently resolved a long standing offense. I have found the forgiveness shared has healed many a wounds and given me deeper joy and peace than I knew I could feel in that relationship. It's never too late.

I wondered at the stars this morning

I'm continuing to learn a lot. A LOT during my journey of getting fit and such. I am daily amazed at how never ending the trip is. I hope to share.

I used the treadmill at the gym for the first time the other day. Yes I've been at the gym for 9 months I have been terrified to go on in fear that my body would become imprinted in the wall at the back of the gym. I acquainted myself very well with the emergency stop button before I went to fast.

I have realized that my $10 000 goal is incredibly huge. Though I'm am admittedly a bit fearful I am also thankful that I made the goal bigger than myself. That way when I reach it I will be humbled and amazed at ... well several things.

I must go now and sleep.

Live. Please live. Full and strong. Real and bright. Love and laugh and feel joy.


Eva :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

10 000 Seeds of Promise

This is my Campaign for Compasio Thailand!!!

It's finally underway and I am very excited!!!In the next week or two I plan on starting to meet with whomever I can find that is interested in helping me with fund raising for this amazing cause.

Here's a note that explains a bit more about what it's all about:

Since I was a teenager I’ve wanted to travel abroad and serve along side an organization that helps those in dire need, but as I grew older and attempted to ‘settle down’ I saw this dream as impossible. A couple of years go a friend of mine was sharing his recent experiences with Compasio Thailand working with at risk children. As I viewed the pictures from his trip my dreams were reignited and my heart strings were tugged. I saw the beautiful faces and hearts of the people he met and I was immediately reminded of what I had long since wanted to do.

This year I decided it was time to quit procrastinating and start investigating what it would take to visit Compasio Thailand and be a part of something beyond myself. My husband and I plan to take our first trip over land and sea to Thailand (actually to anywhere) in the spring of 2011. We are thrilled, nervous and curious to see what we will learn and how we will be changed by this experience.

Wally and I are paying for our trip to Thailand ourselves but as I was sharing our plans with people we were asked in what ways they could help. I decided that it would be a great challenge to fund raise the cost of our trip to go and designate it to a couple of projects Compasio had. After more deliberation and excitement the goal turned into something bigger …. I am now hoping to raise $10 000 for a few different projects for Compasio.

After learning about their most urgent needs my hope is to raise money for: 3 motorcycles - that will be used to go out and give health care and supply other needs to those on the streets, a band full of all sorts of instruments for both the staff and children being reached by Compasio to be uplifted and refreshed through music, and enough money to have one big fat party for the children and staff (complete with gifts) while we are visiting (I’m all about celebrating life!!). The rest of the money will go directly towards the greatest needs the organization has.

Please consider how you may want to be a part of this incredible organization and possibly even this project. Check out and see how you may be changed by what they are doing. If you are interested in being apart of my 10 000 Seeds of Promise Campaign (remember every seed counts!!!) go to the link on the left of this post and donate with a gift of your choosing and you will receive a tax receipt and help me keep track of how far we’ve come.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fresh Starts

I'm back again after another mini hiatus.

I'm currently at the end of my week off that really turned out to be one of the least relaxing weeks I've had in a while but am glad to have at least had a break from work.

Much has been happening in the past week. Last Friday, after a rather interesting visit with a car salesman then further torture to a finance guy, Wally and I purchased a replacement car for Chuck (my old car who was smashed to death). We picked Winston up last night (he's my new to me car). I've decided to love Winston as if we were meant to be together forever. It's working out well so far.

Last Saturday, exactly 24 hrs after purchasing our car we then decided to purchase a house. (You know, we were bored). We had gone out 2 week prior looking at houses supposedly for 'fun' and ended up somehow putting ourselves in the position of moving during the most stressful time of the year - December!

Last night I finalized some stuff for the fund raising project I'm starting for Thailand with the head director fellow. I'm not sure yet if I've shared that I've changed my goal from $4000 to $10 000. I was telling a friend this morning I changed it because 10 000 seemed like a rounder number. She reminded me that 5000 is also a nice round number. I hadn't thought of that.

Essentially my holiday has been made up of talking and meeting with: 1 real estate agent, 1 mortgage 'specialist', 1 house inspector, 1 car salesman, 1 car finance person, 1 house/car insurance lady, 1 warranty person, 1 disability insurance lady, 1 car rental guy - oh wait there were two, and to spice things up a couple of old friends and one newer one. Needless to say I don't feel particularly rested but I am STARTING to feel more relaxed.

I have continued to struggle this month with sleeplessness (even on my 'holiday') and (I believe) in turn have struggled greatly, for the first time in my four months, eating clean.

I don't really want to share this failure with you. For a few reason: I'm not so sure it's failure but rather part of dealing with life without a trainer and with the realization this is a lifestyle and not going to be easy all of the time. I don't want to let anyone down, especially myself. In some ways I feel as though there's an imaginary switch somewhere that when it's turned on you are given all you need emotionally and mentally to do what you are supposed to do and at some point, perhaps during a few sleepless nights, gets turned off depleting you of the ability to follow through with your convictions about such things.

Whatever it is I know that it is not an excuse to hurl myself under a bus and give up my newly acquired lifestyle.

It woudl be easy to do in some ways because of all of the comments Wally and I have received regarding our new lifestyle. Over Thanksgiving we heard people ask about our 'diet' and stuff. It drives me crazy to hear that word because honestly I know it's not a diet. Diets don't work and though a person could approach clean eating like it's a diet (if so they will surely 'fall off' and quit eventually) that's not what the essence of it is. But then again a lot of different types of eating are like that.

I just get annoyed when we are treated like aliens and stuff when people hear that we've changed oru eating. We aren't so strict that we won't share in something considered 'unclean' (I'm chuckling to myself at the sounds of that). We just try to make the best choices we can when we're given them to make ourselves.

Anyways I sort of wonder if these attitudes have challenged my old habits into convincing me clean eating isn't a 'me' thing to do.

When I mentioned during a visit with some of my family that I was considering taking a fitness and nutrition course there were odd looks and questions. They could figure it out, especially for me to do.

As if I didn't have enough doubts about it on my own.

I remember being very scared to mention getting certified as a Personal Trainer and having a bikini goal someday during my PATH process. But all of my friends there were looking at me crazy like 'Why wouldn't you be a trainer? Why wouldn't you wear a bikini?' I was dumbfounded.

It's funny, I guess so much of who we are, what we do and who we allow ourselves to become CAN depend on who/what others believe we are. This can't be my excuse or reason to struggle but I believe it may at times contribute a wee bit.

Maybe now would be a good time to share a few of my PATH dreams with you...

* to buy a house (where I can have a vegetable garden, a yard for the dogs to play in, and a room for a home gym)

* to raise $10 000 for Compasio Thailand

* to eventually become a certified personal trainer so that I can possibly teach others what I`ve learned.

* to take a nutrition course

* to achieve a bikini body (not a slutty one, a fit one), and no I likely won`t go out in public with it on either

* to adopt childrens

I`m not sure of anything else, there could be more but those were the big ones. All things that hopefully will come to pass within the next 12 months.

I told Wally yesterday I thought that perhaps my goal for next year should be NOT to have any goals.

Sometimes I`m overzealous.

Well that`s it for now. Coming soon will be my link to my donation page for my Compasio project - YAY!!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mind Cold

It's all a battle of the mind.

When it all comes down to it I believe this statement is true.

If your mind is healthy you have the potential to be healthy. If your mind is ill you have the potential to be ill, or you already are ill.

Over the past couple of weeks I feel like I have been battling a severe mind cold. You know, like a head cold only in my mind/spirit.

I find it amazing how if you keep your attitude right, your thoughts positive and your mind clear how much more you can do in life. In your everyday.

Lately I've allowed far too many things to clutter my heart, my mind and overwhelm me. This has seemed to have weaken my immune system (spiritually speaking) and has left me prone the the mind cold that travels all seasons of the year to anyone willing to let it in.

What makes you more susceptible? Not taking care of yourself. Not feeding yourself what you need to survive. Not recognizing when others who stand to close to you have a cold (and very willing to share). Not taking the proper precautions to stay clear of the invader that will make you sick. The worst of all: thinking you are above getting sick.

When did I feel it coming on? I would definitely say after my PATH was done. I am a goal oriented person who gets overly focused on things. I put the pressure on myself to preform at my highest potential, and often higher than my potential. I can be my worst enemy in this area. It prevents me from accepting when I do well because if the well that I do is not the well that I set myself up to do then I only focus on where I have failed. Not such an entirely healthy approach - this is yet another thing I am working on and my fitness journey is helping me with.

In my PATH are several dreams, things that I would like to do this year coming up. They are not things I HAVE to do but things I want to do. They are not things I even have to do this year, but as you know, I know the value of a deadline and I like deadlines because you never know when your own is up.

Anyhoo, I began the following day and week to tackle a few things on my new 'List' and some went ok, some were more challenging but I had begun to make some headway.

In the meantime I stopped sleeping much and got wound up and overly excited. I get excited about my dreams. I'm weird like that. The adrenaline pumps at the most annoying times. Thus turning me into what I consider a crazy woman.

Crazy Woman is not too concerned with diet, exercise, moderately attaining goals, being rational or anything else that is even keel and healthy. Life seemed to snowball and the other night while Wally and I were house hunting with our real estate agent we got rear-ended pretty bad, putting chuck (my car) in the garage, hopefully to get resuscitated and not laid to rest. We were both sore but ok.

In fact ten minutes after it happened after I'd stayed in the driver's seat quietly in shock (Wally also didn't want me out looking at my injured Chuck) I popped my head out the window and asked our agent if we could still look at more houses (as we had only seen 2 of the 7 that night). He said 'We can do anything you want to my dear.' (See what I mean about being overly focused?)

I didn't stop the following couple of days as I worked. Then Sunday evening when I got home I got an e-mail from a friend which seemed to shake me to the core. Even though I completely understood the circumstances around what she had to say and why, it still shook my core and didn't mix well with the rather fragile Crazy Woman that existed at the time.

I grieved and tried to release the sadness of the previous couple of weeks. It's funny how feelings of grief and despair can visit when life does not seem to warrant these feelings. For some reason though, these are what surrounded me and I had to figure out what to do with these unwelcome visitors.

When you are in their company it's so easy to make the choice to get to know them better. It's easy to think that you should be a good host and let them get comfortable on your couch. I've always been taught to be a good host to those who walk through my door. To offer up what they need, to ask what I can do for them, to feed them cake and relax along side of them.

In some ways I think I almost had to do this for a few moments, in hopes of recognizing who was on my doorstep so I knew whether or not they had anything good for me that I needed. I worried that if I asked them to leave I would end up alone, which seemed far worse at the time than keeping company with Grief and Despair. I thought briefly that maybe I could make them into what I needed. Surely they could change right?

I have quickly learned that Grief and Despair are what they say they are: Grief and Despair. And that they are not compatible with Hope and Joy, those were the friends I really wanted to have over to stay, but I thought for some reason they didn't want to be around me anymore because I was too much for them. Too head strong.

I have learned that I have a choice about the company I keep. This choice is made with my mind and the healthier my mind is kept the healthier choices I will make.

Initially when the snowball of ill events began I put myself in the middle of the snowball and let it roll me down the hill and get worse and worse. This got me sick. (hello, anyone would in the middle of a snowball).

This made me think that with all of the people and events around me I couldn't go after my dreams, I couldn't complete my goals. I have realized that events and people don't determine my success (whether they are good influences or negative, supportive or unsupportive). I am the one who makes the choice and I can't allow Life to carry me away, to make me sick or choose my company. I can do that all on my own.

With that being said, I am feeling much better today. And I am so thankful for it.

I am also especially thankful for each of my 'PATH' supporters whom I know will keep me accountable and be excited to see my dreams come true as if they were their very own.

Thank you :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tears over Melba toast

It's 4:30am and I've been wide awake for the past two hours keeping my current 'no sleep' streak alive and well. Actually I did sleep great one night, which is probably better than most young mothers, however I'm not overly impressed as I am not yet a young mother. At this rate I'll be lucky ever to be a mother, let alone a young one.

I've tried distracting myself on the computer, I accidentally shut it down (along with all of my tabs for house hunting and my research into personal training certification). I then tried going back to bed only to toss and turn and be reminded of my yesterday.

Which then lead me to tears over Melba toast. Not just any Melba toast, but a pre opened package from a few days ago that was on my night table. (Seriously, is there such a thing as stale Melba toast?).

Now I sit here already having had a few good sobs over 4 pieces of something I will never understand why it was made purposefully but enjoyed as much as my 73 year old grandfather did years ago.

Tears over Melba toast. Good times.

Yesterday was long but not overall terrible. I actually was feeling pretty good about the day until a conversation I had with a co worker (which I have to say I really hesitate bringing up as I know some co-workers who read, I trust they know my heart doesn't have ill intentions).

I had endured and enjoyed an hour with the loudest woman on the planet whom drives me crazy and makes me want to put her in my pocket to experience all day long all at the same time.

I took another person I support to the Snoezelan room (a therapeutic place stimulating the senses) for the third time to be dazzled by the progress she's making each time we go. A new piece of her personality is revealed with every visit. It is so cool to see.

I also got to help a co worker fix a significant med problem during the same shift with little time to spare - but it got done. It felt good to be a tiny help in finding the solution.

Then I had a conversation that knocked the wind out of my sails.

I was chatting with another co worker about one of the places/people I support as they asked how it was going. Following the question there was a quick lifting of the eyebrows in anticipation, yet subtle at the same time.

I began to answer safely then got the hint that there was understanding in her question. So I followed my answer with a question ... 'why do you ask?'

Something I probably should've left unexamined.

This trusted co worker went on to share that the person I was supporting's home provider had been speaking to their neighbor (who is also involved in home providing with our agency) and neither of them could figure out what 'the staff' (being myself) did all day with.... well, the person I support.

I nearly fell off of my feet. Not because it isn't a valid question. But more because, to me, my integrity was being questioned - as I in fact am accountable for all I do, all we do, in the progress notes.

Apparently they were concerned and questioning the fact that I brought the person to my home. Other staff were referred to as 'lazy' and so on because of doing leisure activities while yet other staff did the leg work. Over the last couple of months I have been the only staff for this person leaving me with more responsibility than time for fun, but I have really enjoyed the challenge.

The hard part was, though I have indeed brought this person to me house, in the past couple of months it has only been to print forms out on the computer or to do doing nice for the home provider. We definitely were not sitting around. Even if we were it wouldn't be a crime where I work to do that. Leisure is as important for those we support as work, or any other daily activity of living. Of course it should come more times than not after the other stuff is accomplished but it generally does anyways.

I guess the part that bothers me so deeply is how hard I have been trying to work with this person to make sure everything is done well. Appointments upon appointments, phone calls upon phone calls, government forms and attempts upon attempts. There has actually been very little time for anything fun. Something I used to do much more of with this person (and I am sure will in the future).

I know you could say 'Don't assume the conversation, look at the trouble it has caused you before' but I trust this staff, her intent and the context she gave to the conversation (which is further than I can explain).


Nothing hits me to the core more than someone questioning my integrity, especially in my work. I'm far from perfect. I am, more times than not, without the answer. I will openly admit that I am fully aware I am not the best DSW in the land and this frustrates me, which is why when I can at least get the work that needs to be done completed I try my darndest to make it happen. Having someone question my work ethic is a big deal to me.

I did my best to get this out of my head, it was more than a challenge. It got a bit easier when I entered one of my weekly nursing home visits with Dolly (remember she has Alzheimers?).

It was then I got to be reminded about how truly cruel human services can be.

There's too much to write to help you understand the whole situation but I can say this: my heart was broken more than once during my brief time with her. As I watched her go from tired, crying Dolly, to happy, lovey Dolly, moments later to angry, yelling Dolly, yet a few seconds later to 'Thank you so much! You spoil me!' Dolly (that's what she will say if she thinks you gave her her current colouring book for her birthday - which by the way is everyday, my kind of lady!).

The one that hurt the most was when she said out of nowhere in the most cheerful of voices 'Hi, my name is Dolly!' then shook my hand as if it was the first time ever. Then she politely asked how my day was going.

This was the most diverse conversation (those two lines) we've had in a long time and they were quickly over moments later when she forgot we were having a conversation and then went back to yelling and being upset.

Because of new protocols where she is there is little I am allowed to do with her anymore, hopefully that will change soon. Early on I disconnected myself with her hoping that the fact I had to be a near stone in my actions would help my heart be numb to what she was going through.

It didn't work.

As we sat in the t.v room without the t.v being on (not allowed) I disengaged from her the best I could but quickly felt my nose turn hot and the tears well up.

I just watched her.

I watched her go from one emotion to the next, with not one interaction between herself and another person, she switched on and off all on her own, seemingly without control.

I had done so well disconnecting that by the time I left she hadn't even noticed (and I had to walk right in front of her). I was secretly grateful as it would've been hard on both of us.

As I left feeling empty and heartbroken over Dolly I was quickly reminded of my earlier disappointment of the day that sunk further down in my heart.

I know it doesn't always matter what others assume or think.

I know I can't change Dolly's situation.

But I do wish there was a dose of something we could take (that wasn't alcohol) that could cure these sad days.

Something better than Melba toast.

I completely realize I am just doing a job. I am paid to care. I do get to go home at the end of the day (whenever that might be). But it still changes the state of my heart the same as if I didn't.

I am human.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


So I'm REALLLLLLLLY good at this. If one could get paid for doing this well - I'd be right up there at the top making the big bucks.

Unfortunately 'pre-worrying' isn't really a positive quality to have. Pre-planning is, pre-worrying isn't.

My problem is that I get the two confused all of the time. Maybe I should figure out what the difference is ....

A few definitions on worrying (Taken from the Nelson Canadian Dictionary of the English Language - you know in case you all wanted me arrested for plagiarism) :

* To feel uneasy or concerned about something, to be troubled.

* To cause to feel anxious, distressed, or troubled

* Persistent mental uneasiness

* To proceed doggedly in the face of difficulty or hardship, to struggle

I feel wound up in a ball just reading these things.

Now what is planning?

* A scheme, program, or method worked out beforehand to accomplish an objective

* A tentative project or course of action

* To have a specific aim or purpose

Hmmmmm ... sounds much less stressful.

The first half of our marriage Wally and I (probably more I than Wally) had a plan. We did our best to make that plan come to fruition. I did my best not to wrestle with worry about the plan along the way. For the most part I am happy with how I handled the plan in regards to worrying.

All of the parts of my plan that I had control over I fulfilled, we fulfilled. Unfortunately the parts of the plan that relied on ... well I'm not sure who or what to blame ... let's say life, did not get fulfilled in anyway that fit into my plan.

In facing Life's decidedly different plan than my own, I/we had choices. We did our best to avoid worry and be realistic, thoughtful and smart about the options Life offered. I am happy to say that worry only crept into our lives temporarily and never to a point of affecting our decisions too much. This made living Life more fun and enjoyable.

Wally and I are now at another crossroads. We have begun the process of house hunting, something that over the past two years I have secretly dreaded (and not so secretly). I have enjoyed the freedom of renting and the little commitment to stay in one place. I have also enjoyed the financial freedom that does come with no signed monetary agreements past 'yes I'll pay the rent on time'. I have feared the idea of owning a home again, and I realize that it's not mandatory that we do. However it seem right for us in this moment and it's something I think that the I part of us almost needs to do.

In case you haven't noticed I love challenge. I love new things. I love new places. I love meeting new people. I love seeing development. I love growing.

My downfall is that I love all these things a lot and often.

I was on the phone with a College recruiter yesterday as I inquired about a possible course I may be interested in (more on that later). I hadn't realized that it was actually a Diploma and a year's worth of night school. She was asking me what I did for a living now and how long I'd been at it. I chuckled out loud and said 'I'm a DSW and have been working in the field for not quite 2 years'.

She paused and was obviously speechless. I recognized her hesitation. You get familiar with it from people when you are someone like me. It's somewhat embarrassing and sort of fun all at the same time. (I did clarify that I loved my job but not a fan of it in a full time context).

Anyways, I guess my point is that sometimes I get a little out of control with whipping around with new ideas all of the time. I want to see things happen yesterday and when I have to wait I nearly go crazy and either want to give up or, after a lot of fighting with myself) embrace the mental challenge that it is for me and continue to work on it baby step by baby step.

I guess this is one thing that my training and change in eating has really stretched me with. Your body does not change overnight and if you want to ever see or feel a change you HAVE to accept that baby steps is what will take you there.

I know that 'settling down' physically by grounding ourselves somewhere (for however long we feel called to be there) is a healthy step for me to take but definitely a challenging one on the worrying front for me.

You see, Wally and I hope to become parents within the next year or two, some way or another. And since our dramatic (for us) leap of faith in selling our home and moving to the city and going back to school, we have tried to view 'planning' for our lives differently. I have found with the thoughts of buying a house the urge to fall back into pre-planning our lives has come upon me. Something I now sort of despise as I see how great Life can be when you just take one day at a time, one challenge at time, and keep yourself open to what Life often has to offer.

You see when we get too heavily involved in pre-planning, it quickly becomes pre-worrying and then you stop really just living and seeing Life around you. How sad.

I don't want my mortgage to decide my life or how much faith I live with. I want my heart to do that. I want my heart to be full to the brim and overflowing with the excitement that comes with having a home to share, children to fill it, and the love for Life willing to not let physical things snuff out unseen dreams.

So as I wrestle over the idea that I may HAVE to work part time to make things work and wonder if our kids can handle a working mommy, if their working mommy can handle a working mommy, if I'll need to work for my own sanity, how I will accomplish my new dreams while having children, if I can handle children and a job, if I will have time to dream, if I will have energy to pursue my drams, or if I'm selfish for wanting all of it.


Wait a second ....

I just realized something .... one step at a time.


If I just live today and be my smartest, most thoughtful, loving Life me today. Tomorrow will take care of itself. That's all I need to do.

And ... I may just realize that my husband, my kids, my job, the things I challenge myself to do are all indeed a part of my dreams. And with them, I am Living.

One baby step at a time.

Baby steps.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Focus. Balance. Breathing. Doing. Feeling. Listening.

Knowing when to act. Knowing when to stop. Knowing when to run. Knowing when to rest.

I've learned a lot about these things in terms of my time at the gym these days. Respecting each of their roles in the process of bettering my physical body.

However ... I am still learning how to use these valuable tools in my daily life.

Last week I had the privilege of having my PATH done. This is something the agency I work at has began to implement for people we support and now even for the staff. What you do is gather around you people that you care about and that care about you and your dreams. They are people that will help you achieve the things that you dream up.

You get together and sit and the person getting their PATH done, with the facilitators help, puts themselves in a 'dream world' where money is no object and they think of what they would like to do, be and have.

For anyone this can be a challenge. For anyone this can be exciting. For those we support often it is the first time in their lives they get to enter the realm of the impossible, or what seems impossible to them. It can be difficult to put themselves in a place to think of doing ANYTHING when they have only known being limited by their bodies, their minds, those around them, their financial status, just to name a few. It is a beautiful chance for them to put ideas to paper then have others help them achieve these things, or at least perhaps the feeling of these things. (For example their dream may be to become an airline pilot, and due to obvious reasons that may be impossible, however taking them up in an airplane where maybe they could, with some help, control a plane or just fly in the sky, they are given the chance to at least feel those feelings and the freedom that comes with it).

Once you get your dreams out on paper the facilitator helps you go through and see where you will be with them in a year, then 6 months, and what you can do now. This helps breakdown the big goal into smaller steps to hopefully help you see how achievable it is. Then those you've invited can give input on what they can do and where they can help with you achieving these things.

I will admit I had little trouble entering my 'dream world'. I pretty much already knew what my dreams and goals were for this year to come a a wee bit beyond. It was still fun to do. By the end of the evening I was pumping with adrenaline and excitement causing me not to settle down and sleep. The next day the excitement had turned into despair as I had gotten barely any sleep which seemed to make my weekend coming look overwhelming and unbearable. Clearly sleep is an asset.

The past few days have overcome people and left my dreams feeling like weights. I know that's the opposite of the point.

As I've been thinking about my 'issues' I have realized that focus for me is a challenge.

When I worked out with Dee I generally did well because he told me what to do, I never doubted him, I did it and went about my business. Often times a joke was cracked while I was in the middle of performing a set of something or other and it would break my focus and my body would give out. For a good cause but one that interrupted what I was supposed to be doing - I would inevitably get after him to joke during my breaks (though I could absolutely break the rules at anytime).

When I began working out alone I prepped my MP3 player so that I could enjoy music while I was torturing myself alone. However I quickly realized that I need to use everything in me to focus on the task at hand in a workout. I learned that I can workout as hard and some days harder than I did with Dee. this surprised me as I thought Dee was the key to my challenging workouts. I've learned that FOCUS is my most necessary ingredient.

Now coming back to my PATH. After having a rough few days following having my PATH done I have realized that my focus can be a negative thing too.

I have tried to accomplish a years worth of work into the past three days wondering how it will get done, what I should do first, doubting myself, wanting to give up on certain things, stressing about if I can work and accomplish everything, and I could go on and on.

This morning as I have had to choose to skip the gym for my sanity (balance, balance, balance) so that I could stop and reign in my overly jumpy mind that refuses right now to focus on one step at a time.

I hope to be able to slow down my head a bit and just break these goals down a bit more into more bite sized pieces so that I don't overwhelm myself so much.

Hmmmmmmm ... I just had a thought. We'll see if it goes any where.

I think I really miss blogging a lot. Because I've been teased alot about it being narcissistic I think I subconsciously decided that I should let it go because it was unhealthy. I think I over analyzed things and I may just have to make it a priority, if for nothing else, for myself.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Too excited to sleep!!

I'm way too excited to sleep.

Even though I barely slept lastnight and I will hear an alarm going off in ... oh 5.5 hours.

I'm excited because of something I don't have the energy to explain right now but is indeed going to be life changing.

I expect that I will soon be inspired to share more and write more and once again be stretched more. I trust that my urge to write will be ignited again and that it won't be in vain.

Cannot wait til I can sleep, so I can share :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Doggie Poop Bags

Great title eh? Got you intrigued?

A little over 2 years ago when Wally and I moved from our cute little house with our quaint little yard from our quiet little town with our two adorable little dogs to our little apartment in the big city we had some adjusting to do. On many fronts.

Not only did I need to get over the fact that I wouldn't need to plan for the extra 20 minutes in the grocery store for a last minute milk run because we didn't know a single soul here (let alone every other soul related to that soul). We also had to get used to the idea that we did have to plan for the extra twenty minutes it would take to drive a block in a half through traffic during rush hour.

Something else we had to 'come to terms with' was the fact that we no longer had a convenient fenced in yard to house and employ our dog duties. This meant a minimum of three trips a day down 7 flights in an annoying old elevator that moved at the matched snail pace of 95% those who used it.

I remember a couple of weeks into newly established daily doggie outing schedule (which by the way, we never ever had before) thinking 'Oh my goodness. 3 walks a day times 365 days a year for at least 2 years equals 2190 (ok so I didn't exactly do that math in my head but you get the idea) walks while we live here! How am I ever going to do this?!'

It overwhelmed me to think about the fact that I would have to pick up their poop that many times before ever getting the luxury of just opening up the back door and letting them run freely to a tree or spot of their choosing (in the dark cold morning might I add). I know it sounds silly but this tidbit of reality gave me a bit of panic.

Would I be able to pull myself out of bed at the crack of dawn to do this? What about in the winter time when the snow is above their little heads and there's no where to scamper to ... you know, move things along? What about when one of them came down with the dreaded doggie poo flu? Yikes how would I deal with that in the middle of the night seven stories up?

Well two years later I have learned that you do what you need to do in situations you just have no choice about.

It only took a few months before I completely forgot about the looming 2190 poop pick ups that would have to be done (which is good considering that number will likely turn out to be closer to 3285). We got into a new rhythm in our lives and all of the 'fun' of no backyard became the norm at our place (along with the 75 layers of ridiculously mismatched winter wear that rears it's ugly head late every fall).

My silent hopes that our dogs would be flu free while living closer to the sky have been dashed, more than once. I have found myself outside of our building at 3am in my pjs trying to encourage a sick dog to get everything cleared out before returning to fits of vomiting ... or worse inside.

Through it all I have wished on more than one occasion that we didn't have carpeting everywhere and have definitely dreaded the elevator wait in times of desperate need (doggie bladder infections aren't cool, nor are plugged anal glands - gotta hate when that happens). But I have learned it can be done. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.

I'm not exactly sure when I stopped counting the poop bags. Maybe when I accepted that this was our reality for now and the only other choice would be to get rid of these furry little creatures, which for us wasn't (and isn't) an option.

Sometimes not having choices is the best thing for us.

Why do I bring this little story up?

Yesterday was my first workout alone and with the realization that's how it would be for ... ever.

My immediate thoughts while I was in the middle of my rather intense self torture went to wondering how many more times I would have to do this before it was over. Unfortunately the answer didn't bring relief.

I remember when I first started doing cardio twice a week, as prescribed by Dee, and sitting on the bike (which by the way I abhorred and think I may still when I put it at a workout level) thinking 'Oh my goodness, I'm going to have to do this forever! I hate this. *pant pant* How am I ever going to get through it? I hate this. *pant pant* How am I not going to quit? I hate this. *pant pant* What if it doesn't make me lose weight? (Clearly I cared deeply about my health then). I hate this. *pant pant* How many more times do I have to do this? I hate this. *pant pant*'

I won't lie, I still have days when I wonder if I'll be able to stick with it and wish it wasn't a part of taking care of the health I've been blessed with. Overall though I look forward to getting my heart pumping (even though I still hate the bike I force myself to do it because it makes me work hard and sweat lots). In fact after doing weight training I look forward to mindless stuff like cardo on a machine and oddly now consider it the dessert after a healthy meal (sick I know).

My hope is that I will soon forget thinking about how many more I have to go and begin to crave it as a necessary part of feeling good.

The one thing that has kept me in the gym through moments of wanting to absolutely give up and never return has been neglecting the worry of 'next time' and focusing on just getting through 'this time'. I can't tell you how many times this strategy has helped me succeed through a tough time.

I've mentioned this before but in the past I've approached diet and exercise as 'all or nothings'. I had to do something perfectly or I would give up. This time around I have been able to approach things more in the moment and it's been an awesome discovery.

People often joke that if you knew what was going to happen in the future you'd never get out of bed to face it because you'd be worried and scared all of the time. But life does happen when we least expect it and challenges come our way that we overcome or at least learn how to live with (often not without a good scrappy fight along the way). We get bumped and bruised, and don't always feel so hot about what we have to do and often resent the fact that we have to do it. In the end though most of us do it. We survive and some of us even thrive through it.

Some of us eventually stop counting the poop bags and just look forward to the walk.

I want to look forward to the walk and enjoy the one I'm already on.

It's ok to sit down once in a while and rest, that's what benches are for. As long as we eventually get back up and keep walking, right?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Buzz, buzz, buzz

I'm not sure why my itch to write as of late has been non existent but it has and I won't lie, it kind of concerns me. For quite a while I thought 'I could totally do this for a living' but as the past couple of months have flown by with little thought or urge to do so I wonder if the satisfaction of it was only temporary and yet another one of my 'phases'. If so, it saddens me, as I gain so much relief and satisfaction from it.

There is part of me that wonders if it's the imbalance I've been feeling as of late is the real cause.

I really feel like a broken record harping on and on about not being even keel so much with work and personal life, this time I think the imbalance lies in a different area of my life...

I am the type of person who is not particularly a fan of confrontation. However in light of the breakdown of what I would consider to be a very important relationship in my life over the past 6 months (I can't believe it's been that long! I now understand how time escapes people who are involved in a disagreement and they end up losing 25 years to resentment and hurt before they realize it), I will say I am an even less of a fan of watching conflict idling without confronting the cause.

Unfortunately I feel that there has been a breakdown to some degree in both my personal life and professional life that I have struggled greatly to address.

In my relationship personally I have done all that I can do (aside from excusing the hurt I experienced and behaviour shown to me) to try and fix it. I know that the expectation of many of those around me has been to once again let go of the internal injury and move on. To be honest I want to be able to do that, and in I way I think I have. However the memory of what keeps happening, the established pattern, haunts me and has caused me to be shy of re-entering that pattern. Not to mention there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that I can seem to do right in this person's eyes so I'm at the point I don't want to try anymore. However, as I mentioned earlier, I cannot stand the discord or 'unkept' relationship, especially when I know there is great potential for things to be so much better than they are.

In this case I clearly have a choice to make, I just don't know what that is.

The part of me of me that clings to peace and fullness desires nothing but to let go and move on. Yet an equal part of me, that has received constant criticism about everything I say and do and so much of who I am, is aching for a break from the 'air' of judgment that never seems to end. I just want to be shielded from it.

Many people have told me story after story of their experiences and have stated that leaving such a situation would be better and easier on all fronts. As I sit in the position I'm in right now I can't help but want to do this so very badly, just leave, walk out and never look back. However doing so would affect the most important relationship that I have and I don't want to do that (even though at this point it's all I can do to NOT do this).

It's times like this that I want the lessons of the fragility and incredible giftedness that is life to get lost. I want to forget that I am doing my damnedest to live life to it's fullness without regret or misgiving in my relationships. Whenever I get into a situation as this I always use life and death as a baseline for my decisions. I actually tried this very early on when trying to bring the situation to a close but it wasn't received as anything worth giving a second glance at. It's usually then that I figure if someone can't see how important it is to give and receive forgiveness when reminded of this, it is my hint to move on and not give anymore of myself (here I am assuming myself is worth the time of day).

For some reason this little test has failed and I still find myself wondering what to do. The memory of potential death looms in my head and I want all to be at peace. (Sounds morbid I know, but I think it's important to do our best to be at our best as much as we can with those that are significant in our lives).

That's my personal dilemma.

Then there's my work dilemma ... which really could be described very much alike.

Where I work there seems to have developed a breakdown between the relationship of staff and management, not unheard of for any workplace. In fact most people would not see a workplace as healthy unless this breakdown (or 'respect'/fear) existed.

I have always been under the impression that the agency I work for is different. And though I've seen otherwise over the past several months I believe it is different, in a good way. I just wonder if recent rapid growth has changed things rather quickly and the first thing to go was the affection between staff and management. And unfortunately along with staff and their jobs. That's just my best guess.

You may be wondering what my dilemma is here. I mean what really can someone who is still in their infancy of a new career do in an agency that has spanned over her lifetime right? Well inside I know a lot. Once again my incessant need for peace, fullness and life override everyone's logic (even my own) and challenge me to find resolution. Yet I still ask myself 'Who am I in a group of 120 other people?' Well, I am one big fat annoying voice. Come on, we all know how annoying a buzzing little fly can be whether you are in a small room or large. All you really want to do is kill the annoying little bastard.

Maybe that's my fear, that I'll get the boot. However, if I'm not fulfilled, along with dozens of other people who used to LOVE their jobs and where they worked, then what really is the loss?

I've tried to feel out the crowd and see if it was just me and my 'weaknesses' that kept me from satisfaction but quickly learned that the only thing holding people back form doing anything was fear. I've heard over and over that people fear being looked at as a 'black sheep' and worry that they will establish a bad reputation and get the ramifications of it later.

Something I hate about myself: though I am often fearful, it rarely stops me from doing what I know is best. This does not make me a hero, this pushes me to points of frustration that are beyond sanity and I hate it. Yet I feel as though I have no choice.

When I think about it, I kind of wonder if balance isn't the issue I am struggling with here but just the frustration of responsibility of who I am (not that I'm all that special, I just mean we all are put here to do something and have a responsibility to do it).

I can't tell you how many times in the past few months I have wanted to speak on behalf of my burned out, misused and fearful co workers. Most of whom are not my friends, just fellow humans whom have yet to discover their voice, or moreover are scared to death to use it.

It's funny, in school we were actually taught how to advocate for those we support but never for ourselves. As I think more and more about the stress levels and discontent of my co workers I am realizing this cannot NOT affect those we support. Reminding me right now how important it is to speak up.

*taking a breath*

Well, after getting this out I think I have solved at least one of my conundrums. The first one I still have no clue about. The second is easy: I have to speak for those who don't have a voice, whether I'm only heard as the annoying fly or not.

It's funny how we spend so much time trying to get a job done yet we are totally missing the point of what we are actually aiming to complete. In my field we spend our entire day trying to understand someone's method of communication and then doing our best to give what is needed. How odd that we try and do this for others yet have no clue how to do it for ourselves.

It's time to learn.

Buzz, buzz, buzz!!!