Sometimes you need a little humour in your life, to keep you on your toes

Sometimes you need a little humour in your life, to keep you on your toes

I choose the man in my life to be someone that is the yin to my yang. I worry about everything, he worries about nothing. I freak out, he is calm. I and in pain, and he runs laps around me. He is loud, I am quiet. He loves to party, I love to be a home-body. He loves action, I love the simple pleasures. Yet, somehow we balance each other out. However, when I was pregnant, and in labour, this yin of mine pushed me to the brink!

After being in labour at home for hours, I hit the point that it was go time. My contractions were very close together and I was in a world of pain. I woke him up and said we have to go. I waddled my way down the stairs with my hospital bag, and sat down. And waited. And waited. And waited. Breath breath hoooooha….breath breath hoooo ha….where in the hell was he. Breath breath hoooo ha. Then I heard it. The shower was on. Are you bleeping kidding me right noooooooow? breath breath hooooooha….breath breath hooooooha. What you should also know, is that the other part of this yin and yang situation that we had going on here, was that during that time, I was a paramedic, and I had a strong sense of urgency with emergency situations. If there is an emergency, and I am up and out the door, springing into action. He on the other hand, has zero and I mean ZERO sense of urgency……he just doesn’t rush anywhere, doesn’t see the need. Things don’t phase him. I should have known. Ok, back to me sitting on the stairs in active labour , and he is taking his sweet time taking a shower. WHAT! If I could have waddled my big self on up those stairs, I would have …..but I couldn’t……so I sat……breath breath hooooooha….breath breath…I am going to kill him…..breath breath….where the hell is heeeeeee…..breath breath hoooooHAAAAA!

accurate depiction of me in that moment

So he comes down stairs, and If there was a stare that could have killed, he got it. He simply replied, “what? We are going to be at the hospital for a while and I needed to shower”. Um what? Do you think I am worried about showering myself right now, let alone you!! You know, I have watched movies where the woman’s water breaks, and the man runs around all crazy, unable to function…..and then is out in the car in two seconds…um no…..we did not have that problem here. So here we are at 2am, we get into the car, and start driving, there are no cars in sight, and he is driving slower than the speed limit. I am screaming in pain, telling him to hurry up, and he said he doesn’t need to get a ticket. I look at him, this is the man that probably had 3 speeding tickets this year alone and now he doesn’t want to get one! I tell him, I am sure the police will understand when they see the babies hand waving at him from down below! Good lord! We sit at at red light, for two minutes….breath breath hoooha….there is no one around…it is a ghost town….breath breath hooooha….

We finally make it to the hospital, he parks underground….there are 5 spots in front of the elevators marked labour and delivery. 3 of those spots are empty. He decides to bypass the spots and park another 6 or 7 spots away. I shoot him a look and say….what the hell! Park in those damn spots! He said, I would rather save them for someone that needs them. Im sorry, rewind…WHAT!!!! I AM THAT SOMEONE!!! I am in active labour, the baby could probably speak four languages by now she was sitting so low at this point….. If I wasn’t contracting, I would have…breath breath HOOOOOHAAAA~~! I still don’t know what possessed him , and what made him think that way…but I like to pretend he was in shock…but I know deep down that wasn’t the case. He then said…relax, I am sure there is a wheelchair. RELAX? UM WHAT? Did I hear that right? Well I am sure you can guess by now, there wasn’t a single wheelchair in sight….so I waddled the distance, cursing at him under my breath….all the way to the elevator. The doors open, we get in…and its the type of elevator that has mirrors all around, and it looks like their are 100 of you staring back….well …he got 100 of me GLARING at his dumb self. breath breath HOOOOOOOHA!

Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina Food Photographer/Stylist on Pexels.com

I would like to say that we got up to labour and delivery and everything went smoothly…but after like 20 hours of labour,( she was stuck with the cord around her neck, and we ended up having to do an emergency procedure), well, he by chance, took a break, and went for a coffee and almost missed the birth of his first born. Breath Breath HOOOHA!!

When you don’t have depression…

When you don’t have depression…

I often feel down, yet I am happy. I often feel alone, yet I am surrounded. I often feel tired, yet I don’t want to sleep. I often feel empty, and yet I am full. I often feel broken, yet I am whole. I often want silence, yetI love noise. I want more, yet I also want less. I am full of sickness, yet I have so much health. I am not depressed, yet I do feel compressed.

I often notice that on many days I feel down, yet I know in my heart that I am not depressed. I have often thought to myself, how could this be? I don’t have trouble getting out of bed, or going to sleep. I don’t feel unbearable sadness, or lack of interest in things. All the typical symptoms of depression I don’t have, yet I still feel down sometimes. It took me a while to sort it all out, but I have come up with a self-diagnostic for myself, and maybe it could ring true for you too. I call it: my Compression Days.

The definition of compression is:

~The reduction in volume causing an increase in pressure~

What I have realized is that I start every single morning with a new lease on life. My pots syndrome resets itself every morning. So in the morning I start at 100% (kind of). As many chronic warriors know , for every activity we do, or stress we encounter, or ache we feel, we lose a percentage of that 100%. The goal is to manage our day, thus managing our symptoms, so we can get through the day somewhat whole. The same applies to those outside of the chronic illness world too. I like to picture a big pink balloon. Every morning I fill that balloon up, and place it in a vice. As I go about my day, each event either loosens the vice, or tightens it. If i feel a symptom of my illness, the vice tightens. If i feel stress from work, or school, the vice tightens. Financial worries, kids worries, pandemic worries, family worries, tighten, tighten, tighten, tighten. I feel it tighten all day long, to the point that there is no room for a calm, happy state of mind. The compression keeps building and building until I can’t take it anymore, and I burst.

I am sure many of you can relate. Maybe we yell at the kids or spouse more when it was completely uncalled for. Maybe, you end up crying in the shower, afraid to let others know how you are feeling. Maybe you walk around in a bad mood all day, or just feel angry. May you feel off, but you can’t quite figure it out. I have had many days like that. I felt like I was in a constant vice being squeezed, and I had trouble articulating that until just now. If I don’t manage the vice, then the vice manages me

How do we manage it then? We slow down. We surround ourselves with the right people. We do things every day that makes us happy. We workout, we take time for ourselves, we create an environment that eliminates stress, we meditate, we get outside into nature, we watch positive tv, or read positive books and avoid the barrage of negative social media. We do things for others, expecting nothing in return. We enjoy solitude. We enjoy company. We appreciate family. We appreciate what we have been blessed with. We work hard towards a goal that makes us happy. We give ourselves a reasons to live. We give others a reason to live. We make an impact. We are the impact. We create change, for happiness.

The less compressed I feel, the happier I am. I see that now. I decrease my stress, the lighter I feel. The lighter I feel, the more my mood increases towards happiness. The happier I am, the better I am for my kids and husband. Not being chained down to compression, allows me to get outside, read my books, meditate, and write. My happy places get utilized. I am allowing myself to dust off my happy place, and use it.

~It is not death that man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live~

Marcus Aurelius

Compression allows us to live in anger and sadness. Loosen that vice, and live. Lose the anger, and sadness, and anxiety, and fear, one crank at a time. Go find your happy place, and just soak it in.

What I learned about life from Audrey Hepburn

TOP 25 QUOTES BY AUDREY HEPBURN (of 178) | A-Z Quotes

Although Audrey Hepburn is famous for her iconic look and fashion sense, what I have learned to love and appreciate about her is that she had this unflappable ability to stay true to herself, and to be ok with making choices that might not always line up with what society feels she should do. She left Hollywood at the height of her career to spend time with her family. She knew what was important, and the spotlight wasn’t cathartic to her.

She knew what she had to do to find happiness, and while she struggled in some areas of her life, she always found a way through it. In the end, she learned to find happiness in all areas of her life, by starting with herself.

I have struggled over the last few years to find my footing. It is ingrained in myself and most women that we put others ahead of ourselves, and that we need to have the perfect kitchen, the perfect meals, the perfect bodies, the perfect kids, and the perfect life. However, that isn’t what life is about! I have spent far too much time, trying to appeal to those outside of my home. Why? Does it matter what others think of me? Do those people ever set foot in my house? Is having the perfect bikini body worth 10 months of starving myself, just to hear the words “wow , you look great”? No, it really doesn’t matter. It is time that we do things to make ourselves feel good on the inside. If having a clean house makes you feel good, then clean it! But do it for you!

I often run myself ragged trying to have everything perfect. Will my kids remember the clean house and mom saying no to playing with them? Or will my kids remember a house that was lived in, and mom chased them around the mess trying to tickle them? Which leads me to this quote from Audrey:

“There is one difference between a long life and a great dinner; in the dinner, the sweet things come last.”

~Audrey Hepburn~
Photo by Elina Sazonova on Pexels.com

This quote stopped me in my tracks. The sweet things in life are happening all around us, each and every day. We have to start being more present, and start noticing and appreciating the things we have in our life NOW, not yesterday and not tomorrow. NOW. I often read books from Deepak Chopra, and the one thing I have learned to do to be more present is to stop, bring awareness to my beating heart, and start to listen to all the sounds that are occurring around me. Open your eyes to all the things happening, like the trees swaying in the breeze, the bird flying by, and to see the life that is happening right now in front of you. You don’t want to reach the end of your life, and look back and realize that the entire time, you had everything you were searching for but you were blind to it all.

” I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.”

~Audrey Hepburn~
Photo by Samuel Silitonga on Pexels.com

I have learned recently that I have a need to have moments of solitude. I have been feeling guilty about this feeling for a while. During this pandemic and subsequent lock-downs, I have not been able to work and my girls are being home schooled. This has left very little opportunity for me to take time for myself. With my health, I haven’t wanted to go out to any stores, and have tried to limit my social contacts with those outside of the home, so I do feel that it has impacted my health in some ways. The guilt comes out of feeling that I should have more gratitude for being given all this extra time to see my kids, and for having a roof over my head, and food in my belly. The guilt comes because for some reason, I haven’t felt like I was allowed to have this time. However, the more I spread myself thin, the more cranky I was getting. The more days that passed where I didn’t allow myself time to meditate, read, write, do yoga, or do things to advance my own health, I felt more sick, more unbalanced, more rage. Yes I said rage. I found myself being short and curt with my kids. I found myself irritated with my husband, and irritated with life around me in general. I was more pessimistic, more angry, more unhappy. When I heard this quote from Audrey, I felt validation. I felt that it was OK to need time alone. When she said that time alone was how she refueled, I felt this light go on inside me. That is how I felt. She wasn’t afraid to say she needed time. Why was I so afraid to ask for time? Why was I so afraid to admit that I need that time too? Why did it take me so long to realize that I needed to refuel. I created a space in my house to do that, and I wasn’t using it. I realized, that I needed to take this time, so I could be a better mom, a better wife, a better version of me. I needed to refuel my soul.

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone”

~Audrey Hepburn ~

The way to true beauty, is through kindness, and seeing the best in people. It is time we start talking about the good we see in people, instead of the bad. It is time that we see beauty as more than just the shell that holds all of our souls. With so much bad going on around us, we have forgotten that there is still a lot of great things going on. Audrey lived through the war, and waiting on the other side was humanity wanting to help and fix all the bad that had occurred. We will get through this pandemic. There is a lot of good waiting for us on the other side of this. This pandemic has taught me to value those in my life, and to return life to the simple basics. Sit and talk with someone you love, hug someone you love, play with someone you love, and listen to someone you love. That is all we crave isn’t it?

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

“As you grow older you will discover you have two hands. One for helping yourself, and one for helping others”

~Audrey Hepburn~

I have had the need and desire to help people my whole life, and since being removed from paramedic I have struggled to find a way to fill that void that was created. The void wasn’t the job, the void was in no longer having a job where I was helping people everyday. However, I don’t need a job to do that. I am learning that now. I can help someone every day with a kind word. I can help some one every day with a kind gesture. I can help someone every day by checking in with them. Everyone in this world is going through something. Everyone in this world has a hidden feeling. It is hard to reject and ignore an act of kindness when it is given to you, it only spreads goodness. If we all were to just check in with someone today, can you imagine the ripple that one act would create?

Photo by Ioana Motoc on Pexels.com

“When you have nobody you can make a cup of tea for, when nobody needs you, that’s when I think life is over”

~Audrey Hepburn~

I leave you with this one final quote. Take a moment to process this. Solitude is different than loneliness. We all need to feel purpose. We all need to have a reason for living. The relationships in your life will formulate the type of path you will take. We all need to have someone to love, and to love us. Invest in the right people, and they will invest in you. Find those people that will make you a cup of tea every day. Find someone that needs you. Make life need you as much as you need life. Audrey made life work for her. She did things that made her happy, and didn’t conform to others ideals. Don’t conform to societal ideals, find your own life. There is no wrong path if it makes you happy.

Sometimes, there just is no answer.

Sometimes, there just is no answer.

Sometimes, there just is no answer. You wait months and months for a consult, that you dream will magically solve all of your problems, and you walk away defeated. Sometimes there just is no answer.

You put your hopes into a specialist, that is trained, that is a guru, that is the saint in the profession of fixing any and all ailments, and you walk away defeated. Sometimes, there is just no answer.

You do what seems like every test known to man, and sometimes, there is just no answer.

Sometimes you have a diagnosis, for which there is no cure, and sometimes, there is just no answer.

Sometimes in life, there is just no answer. There is no magic potion. There is no magic guru. Nothing.

Sometimes, we just have to live with not having an answer, and build up from there. Make the most out of what we do have. Use what works, and be your own magician for your body. Fix it the best way you can, and find ways to cope. Try not to dwell on the bad, and focus on the good that surrounds you.

There is one answer to all of this. This is the life you were given. Find the light in the darkness. In an essay called ‘Blindness’ that I recently read by ‘Jorge Luis Borges’, he lectured on how the progressive nature of his own blindness, changed his own outlook on life. This man was a writer, who loved reading. His whole world revolved around seeing the written word. Instead of seeing what was being taken away, he chose to see through the darkness and find the light. He wrote, ” A writer, or any man, must believe that whatever happens to him is an instrument; everything has been given for an end. This is even stronger in the case of the artist. Everything that happens, including humiliations, embarrassments, misfortunes, all has been given like clay, like material for one’s art. One must accept it. For this reason I speak in a poem of the ancient food of heroes: Humiliation, unhappiness, discord. Those things are given to us to transform, so that we may make from the miserable circumstances of our lives things that are eternal, or aspire to be so. If a blind man thinks this way, he is saved. Blindness is a gift”.

Whatever affliction you may be suffering from, Chronic illness, Ptsd, Depression, Pain, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t have to have a name. It just has to be seen as the clay you need to mold. It needs to transform. It needs to show you the path you are meant to be on, and it needs to not take another day from you. You are the artist. You create your life. You may not have control over what you have been given, but you do have control over what perspective you take. You can either mold that clay into one of despair, or you can mold it into one of triumph. You chose.

Sometimes, there is no answer. But you can control your own solution.

Finding happiness, right where you are

Finding happiness, right where you are

I must admit, I had a little help with being inspired for this next blog. I have to give a shout out to my girl Moana, from Disney’s amazing animated movie of the same name, ‘Moana’. Now I won’t confirm or deny that it is quite possible that I am able to recite every single line from the movie, or that I often sing all the songs in shower, and that I usually persuade my daughters to watch that movie over the other ones they may opt for instead. However, it was while we were watching it again, ahem, on repeat, that I was inspired to write. A line In the song “Where you are”, hit me in the gut. It was something I had heard over and over, but it never stuck. Today, it stuck. In the song, her father Chief Tui says:

“There comes a day, when you’re gonna look around, and realize that happiness is where you are, cause every path leads you back to where you are”.

~Where you are Lin-Manual Miranda~

Photo by Charlotte May on Pexels.com

So many of us are caught in this hamster wheel, spinning and spinning, chasing the elusive dream of what other great pleasures we can pin down. When is enough, enough? Well, twelve pairs of jeans aren’t enough, we need that new pair, the ones made from silk that has been spun on sleeping beauties very spindle! Our houses aren’t big enough, we need the one in the country , where we can watch the deer stroll by, while drinking our espresso’s from our super expensive barista machine. We chase more money, we chase better jobs, we chase the perfect body, we chase the perfect children, we are chasing our way through a life that is barren. We are caught up in this web of wistful feelings that we get when we stroll through social media. We assume everyone is happy, and living a better life that we are. We want, and want and want. Yet the more we get, it never seems to be enough does it? But what if you one day you woke up, and realized that you are exactly where you need to be, and what you had is enough?

That is what happened to me

I think it is easy to forget how lucky we are. Every night, I say a prayer with my girls that starts with ” thank for the food in our bellies, and the roof over our head”, because I want them to always remember that it is a privilege to have these things, and to never take it for granted. There is a line in the song ‘Sit down’, by James, that also serves as a reminder:

“If I hadn’t seen such riches, I could live with being poor”

~Sit Down, By James~

Photo by Malte Luk on Pexels.com

Think about the truth behind that lyric. If you never had to compare your own self, to that of another’s, would you have this need for all these things? Would you be more satisfied with where you are? Growing up in the 80’s or 90’s, all of our photo’s of our vacations, and new outfits, and houses were private. You didn’t have the world to contend with, you had what you had. I have spent years chasing the dream of a better job, more money, more clothes, more property, bigger house, more and more and more. Who hasn’t? It is human nature. There is nothing wrong with dreaming and wanting more for yourself. It is admirable. The problem is, when it starts to take away from your own happiness. When jealousy, or negative emotions take over and it causes depression, or despair, or feelings of inadequacy. If you open up your eyes and look around. Really open them up. Like open up your soul. Sit down and take stock of what you have. Do you have your health? Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have food in your bellies? Do you have loved ones that you can rely on and who are there for you? Do you have a paycheque? Do you have clothes on your back, and shoes on your feet? If you answered yes to all of these, guess what? You are lucky. You are rich. You are blessed. That is all we need. The rest, is just fluff.

Let’s not spend another day blinded by what we don’t have, and instead appreciate what we do have. Every path that you take, has led you to where you are. It is where you need to be, and you are here now. You are breathing, loving, and living. Your life is yours alone to live. Don’t live someone else’s life that you perceive as perfect on social media. That’s their life, this is yours. If you change your perspective, you might just realize how lucky and envious your life really is to someone else out there, that couldn’t answer ‘yes’ to all those questions.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

Instead of trying to live a life that isn’t yours, why not take the time to help someone change their life, so that they can answer ‘yes’ one day too. Someone out there is looking at your life, and thinking about how perfect it is. See it though their eyes. Chances are, you will realize, like I did, that I have all I need, and that I have the power to give someone the help they need. Helping others, is way more fulfilling than the fluff we think we need. The world needs more people that want to help. So, take off your shoes and help put someone else into your shoes. Give them a pair of shoes. Help get a roof over their head, or food in their bellies. Even small changes, are meaningful to those that receive them. Will you help change the life of someone out there?