Oooohhhhhh…..

30 01 2018

It was a long day at work: a good day, but long. I worked until 5, and then headed to the grocery store for my weekly shop. I drove home in the pouring rain, ensconced in the wintery January darkness. The visibility was terrible. I puttered along behind other drivers going far below the speed limit as slushy melting snow snagged at our tires and splats of rain beat down upon us.

I finally got home to face the (endless) chore of unloading almost $300 worth of groceries (so, like 1.5 bags… hahaha, no really, I kid, but holy shit y’all, it’s expensive AF to feed a family of four these days!!). I put things away, wondering morosely what I was going to do for supper, when I looked up to see my husband’s expression. He had eagerly helped me as we chatted about our day. He looked almost guilty as he admitted he needed help with uploading a back- up for the business from our bookkeeper. I wanted to sigh OUT LOUD… but he was too sweet in his efforts to make sure I knew he didn’t feel good about taking more time away from me than necessary. I swallowed my irritation, as I have accepted my IT position in this house. And so I put the groceries away and set off to the computer to fix the issue.

During this, my daughter came to me to ask for help for choosing a book for her AP English class. I wanted to grit my teeth: the exhaustion of my day, more mental than physical, seethed and boiled within me. Like, FUCK… I just want to relax and drink some of that nice Pinot Grigio I had chilling in the fridge but nooooooooooooo, I have to unload groceries AND help with the computer AND pick a book AND deal with whatever else will be coming down to land on my lap. I glanced at the clock in dismay. It was close to 7.30 pm and I hadn’t eaten and there was still a bunch of thing to be done because there was that 18 hour long power outage that left me unable to do what I usually get done. And then I started to think about appointments I needed to book, incessant chores that nagged at me, and I could just feel that pity party wanting to start.

It was then that I realized that I was the CEO of The Huiberts Corporation. It lifted my spirits and made me smile to myself. I felt my irritation dissipate into a level of acceptance that allowed me breath. I fixed the computer issue. My daughter told me to not worry about dinner as we chatted about books. I poured that wine and took a luscious sip, reveling in the (maybe slight egotistical and vain kind of way) fact that without me this house and home just might crumble into a moldering, smelly, slightly slimy hot mess. I fucking OWNED this shit. Hell, I run this place like a tight ship. Right then and there, I stopped my Poor Me and said Girl, you are AMAZING. Everyone is fed and happy and looked after and it’s all because of me. ME.

So, hey… All you other amazing CEOs of your own corporations….when you get irritated at everyone running to you to help solve their problems, just take a seat and drum your fingers together and laugh in a maniacal way. And repeat after me: I run this, I own this, I kick ASS at this. Pour that wine, or tea, or beer. And sit back and know how truly indispensable and integral you really truly are..

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Onward and upwards

31 12 2017

Well, here we are. The end of 2017.  I thought I’d blow the dust off this laptop of mine and see if I could crank out a blog post before the New Year. So forgive my indulgent nattering.

Here we go!

This past year has been intense, interesting and deeply soul-changing. I watched my first-born graduate high school, I witnessed the heart-soaring level of love a circle of friends can achieve while helping a dear friend through a deeply challenging time, I learned that love can come back even if you thought it might be gone forever, I experienced my first (WTF – OMG – FML)  hot flash.

I tried to live up to my word that I had chosen as my intention at the beginning of last year: embrace. I embraced what came along. Well, I tried to. As far as intentions go, they do become mired down with gooey messy human emotions. But every once in a while a soft whisper would nudge me along. It isn’t easy to embrace the bad as well as the good. But I attempted to embrace my negativity, hoping that at some point it would provide a launch for me to achieve a level of self-forgiveness that I believe every human being needs. I embraced my mistakes and took a long hard look within myself. I listened to criticism and even though I wanted to lash out and scream at the messenger, I swallowed what little pride I had and embraced the truth that I wasn’t at all connected with so many of my loved ones. I embraced my lack of authentic living. And every tiny step I made, I embraced that as well. I embraced my fragility and humanity.

I tend to turn inwards, and too much self-reflection has a contrary effect within me. I start to doubt my worth. I hate that about me. I dance with that darkness too much and this… THIS is what I want to work on. I need to learn how to stop beating myself up and thinking that I am not as important to others as they are to me. I need to remember to reach out instead of burying myself. I need to learn how to hush up this internal dialogue. There is a savagery in our psyches that tend to urge destruction and far too many of us fall prey to its insidious chatter.

So yes… while resolutions are silly and never really work and I am STILL having a love/hate relationship with Patty, my little tummy that is now my new BFF because she won’t leave me the fuck alone, and I am totally going to achieve a 6 pack this year (LOL, yeah, no… who am I kidding), I do think that choosing a word as an intention can offer a sweet sentiment.

So this year, my word is RELEASE. It crashed its way into my mind during one of my 2 AM hot-flash infused self-hate episodes. I had thrown the covers off and sat up, sweaty and sad and filled with a melancholic wave of self-contempt. And I was so sick of it. So tired, exhausted by this inner voice telling me I am not worthy, I am stupid and foolish and unloved. So, there, muddled and hot and frustrated, “release” clanged like a bell in my brain. Right then and there, I decided to give it a try. To release myself from this angry mantra of alienation and self-inflicted misery. Enough already.

As we hesitantly step into 2018, measuring out our growth in the past year, as we enter into the light and the dawn of a fresh start, as we draw from the sweet clarity of an unmarked expanse of the New Year, may we all go with our own sweet intentions.

 

Happy New Year!





The little things.

9 10 2017

I’ve been immersed in gratitude this weekend. Like most people I know, we have more than enough to be thankful for. And this weekend is ripe for expressing it, showing our deep thanks and recognizing the blessed lives we lead. For many, we were surrounded by family and friends and copious amounts of food. As the autumn sunlight streamed through windows, lighting up the tables set to celebrate our abundance, it made me think about the little things, the not-so-easy things to be thankful for.

I am thankful for this gentle appreciation I have for my aging. While I joke about the crinkles and eyebags and my deep fear of a neck wattle with my dearest of friends, fantasizing about Botox and mini-lifts, I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. While my skin folds in on itself, and the age that I am  is reflected in the face I present to the world, I find myself discovering a beauty I wouldn’t have dreamed of admiring a mere ten years ago. I breathe my age in and exhale my thanks out. For this only means that I am still fortunate enough to be here, to live and find joy and have arguments and walk my dog along a forest path.

I give thanks for my restless mind, who prowls about at 2 am. Who fosters self-doubt and worry and strife, but who also reigns in senseless fretting and whispers gentle realities to myself. Don’t worry so much I tell myself and I agree. I listen and it says: You are loved. You are loved.

I am deeply grateful for my decades of dealing with depression and chronic pain and the dark dance I shared with thoughts of suicide so many times. It was indeed as scary as it sounds but in a lovely way, it afforded me more self-knowledge that I could have ever imagined. My cognizance of my frailty has made me stronger. And letting go of my fear of talking about it has gifted me the strength of being there for others. Raw honesty is as healing as honey drizzled in a cup of tea. One sip and you feel it cascading into your body, spreading it’s warmth and love to every cell.

I am indebted to experiencing hate and jealousy. In allowing myself to mirror the beauty of love and kindness through contempt and resentment, I think that I’ve only become more appreciative of my own bounty. And learning how these two distasteful emotions can be used to guide me towards a better understanding and a deeper compassion is seeing that light turned onto me. How bitter I was and relieved my soul was when I found I could let it go. My life certainly isn’t perfect. And by no means will I be able to stop coveting entirely. But learning to step back and trying to see the foolishness of my insecurities is akin to peeling off layers of wet and uncomfortable clothing. Discarded on the floor, I stand bare and tender, more willing to let the negative dissipate.

I am thankful for so much. Today, though, my gratitude is for the little life lessons we are gifted every day, these hidden jewels around us, offering us ways to better our own true selves and walk a sweeter path.

Many blessings to you all, this Thanksgiving weekend.





What I meant to say….

3 10 2017

So I saw a fat bear today, if you saw my facebook post.

I caught a glimpse of the rolliest-poliest black bear I ever saw. She was standing at the foot of someone’s driveway, just after the “thrill hill” at 9 Mile. (Nelson peeps, you know where I mean…) Just standing there, all podgy and chubby, with a complacent look on her face. A contented look, belly full of fish and apples, I’d suppose. Her legs ridiculously small in comparison to her girthy roundness.

Just the sight of that bear made me feel all good and shit. I just laughed and held that odd joy in my heart for a good portion of my drive home.

After dinner tonight, I caught an interview with the daughter and husband of one of the human lives lost in Vegas. Married between my tears and grief for their loss was my confusion, admiration and (admittedly) a wee bit of astonished revulsion that they were able, capable and brave enough to speak on world wide TV about their experience, their heart-stopping loss. I was left feeling obviously bereft. Silent. Just utterly stooped in my inability to absorb such a tragedy.

Then that fat old bear popped into my head.

I thought of her pale muzzle, so like any old bear I’ve seen. Sniffing the air, her eyes too dim to catch anything far away. Belly almost grazing the ground. Her rear end, comical with that odd tuft of a tail sticking out. Front paws slightly turned in.

That chubby ursus americanus didn’t care about guns and loss of life and mind-fucking rage of the horrific nature of humans. That fuzzy-wuzzy ball of GRRRRRRRR gave zero shits about Trump and his heart-aching lack of human compassion and even less shits about how much we all hate him.

And amidst our grief and sadness these last couple days, I realized why that damn bear made me so happy. That lucky shit is completely oblivious of the utter terrible-ness that is going on in the world. Why, that bear has a belly full of yummmmmm and is almost ready to sleep on and off for the next six months. That lucky asshole. So yes, I smiled when I thought of her. And I realized why… There’s a part of me that wishes I could just be that bear. To learn how to be. To only just be.

And to let others just be as well.

 

 





A little ebb and a little flow

26 08 2017

It’s looking pretty fatigued out there these days. Limp and exhausted, branches support the faded echoes of spring bravado. Brilliant greens are no more than a memory of the beginning of summertime; every leaf drained of its glory, a muted effort to stay for just a bit longer. Sunlight casts a different angle through my windows, lighting up the dust motes dancing and much to my chagrin, lighting up every single dog hair on my wood floors.

There is just under a month of summer left, but it’s the somewhat melancholic summer days that eke out a sadness in my heart. A panicky flutter of my soul, eager to wring out every last delicious drop of it. Did I swim enough? Did I sit on my deck and watch the stars come out enough? Will I have feasted on summertime enough to tide me through the dark days, the cold nights that are on their way?

The answer of course is yes. I have closed my eyes while floating in the Bay, breathing in that intoxicating summer smell. I have savoured bites of huckleberry crisp, berries that we picked early in the morning, my eyes almost tearing up at the tart and sweet of it all. I’ve marveled at the gift of walking my dog at dusk in nothing but shorts and a tank top, that warm air kissing our skin. Sundays over at Sunshine Bay with friends, that hot sun searing on our shoulders, and the only way to cool down is a plunge in the lake.

I’d gladly have more summertime. I love that heat, the early sunny mornings. Those late nights, hearing music echo from a beach party across the lake. Bike rides and peonies, lawn mowers and hummingbirds. I feel more me in the summer, I can’t explain it better than that.

But our seasons, they are part of us. We morph into each one, some reluctantly, others with excitement. There is magic in every seasonal change. There is joy found with crisp fall days and leaves crunching under our feet. Hot tea instead of iced coffee in the afternoons, sweaters and boots find their way from the darkness of our closets. Soups and bread nourish us. That brilliant blue of a fall sky demands our admiration and yes, we admit its beauty. Boisterous oranges and reds and yellows are painted on our landscapes, and yes, it is no more than simply breathtaking.

We ebb and flow, like tides. It’s not without a measure of dispirited energy for some. For others though, Autumn is their favourite season and they’ve trudged through the summer heat with the sweet knowledge that it is on its way.

These last few weeks of summer that are laid out before us demand us to enjoy. Have one more BBQ, a couple more days on the boat. Swim a few more times. Marvel at your tan lines. As we meander through these last of the summer days, we give in to it, we acquiesce to Nature.

And we find joy and beauty in it all.

 





Choice

15 08 2017

I had a really good weekend. I was able to immerse myself in an sparkly, altered reality where dancing all night long and wearing tutus and nipple pasties are the norm. Where random people hug one another with a hearty “Happy Shams” said to each other with the biggest smiles on their faces.

Where lasers and lights and bass and beats marry in bliss, where walking by a little geo-dome offers rides to outer space. Where wishes are hung from trees, coffee is drank at 3 AM and walking isn’t walking. No, no. You become the beat, you dance to each place you want to go to. Where that drop of the music gets EVERYONE hyped.

Where the “wave” goes around via everyone yelling WOOOOOOO at the top of their lungs. You can hear it coming, swirling through the masses and finally it’s your turn to lend your voice to the joy and celebration that is Shambhala.

I unplugged. I turned off notifications and didn’t enter the Social Media world for days.

That was all sorts of refreshing.

When I resurfaced on Sunday, my lovey Shamb vibe deflated a little, learning of what happened in Virginia. My heart sunk when I heard and read comments of people DEFENDING the supremacists. You-Know-Who made a complete ass of himself, which is not surprising, but still so goddamn depressing. I cannot even imagine what my friends and family feel who actually live there.

I just can’t, you guys. I can’t engage with the emotions that this creates.

There’s just so much hate reinventing itself. And not just down in the States. It’s here, in Europe, all over the world.

If I really start to think about it, it becomes so overwhelming that I want to crawl into bed and bury myself in the covers and never ever leave.

But this world is ours. And all I can think of is how to go about my day without becoming too disheartened that it eats away at our very hearts and souls.

It becomes a choice.

And I choose kindness. (That is not without saying I won’t speak my mind if I am faced with hateful rhetoric. Oh, anyone who knows me knows my mouth and my No-Filter setting.)

But I choose kindness. To go through my day, as much as I possibly can, to lend a smile to someone, to offer supportive words, to bring love and sweetness in any little way possible. If we all do this, planting tiny seeds of love, a few of them are bound to take root and grow and blossom.

And the more love that is planted and grows, the more likely the noxious weeds will get choked out. They will wither and die, trying to eek out strength. Their mindless nattering will fade into silence. They will become nothing, because they are nothing.

And the love will grow, nurtured with kindness.

Blessings and love to you, to our world. Let’s fill it with love, let’s pile on the kindness.

Namaste.





16 Candles….

17 07 2017

I was in a hurry Wednesday morning. We had to make sure all of our stuff was packed up: clothes, food, soccer gear, beach gear… and numerous other items needed for a coastal getaway for soccer provincials. It was a long drive to Whiterock, and we had to drop my car off at the garage and meet up with our friends to make the all-day trek.

In my haste to make sure we had everything, I noticed my daughter acting glum. “Good lord” I thought to myself. “There’s no fucking way I am putting up with teenage moods and angst this morning!” I urged her to get ready, feed the dog, pack her cleats. I rolled my eyes at her seeming unwillingness to extract any minuscule bit of human decency in getting her to help me.

Finally, we were all loaded up and ready to go. She remained quiet and uncommunicative. I took a deep breath and just drove in silence. I stared at the road ahead of me thinking of the expanse of time in front of us, knowing it would be hell to get through with this sort of energy. So I asked her, point blank.

“What is the matter, honey? You have to tell me.”

Her big blue eyes blinked back some tears, and in a quiet voice that recalled her younger years, that evoked a tenderness and delicate fatalism and acceptance that broke my goddamn heart, she whispered:

“It’s my birthday today.”

My heart dropped. I stepped on the brakes and there, in the middle of the highway, I put my car into park and burst into tears. I reached for her, pulling her close and holding her as her sobs issued forth. I clung her to me, my baby girl, my love and heart, my sweetness and strength. I held her as she cried, as I cried.

Oh my heart. It broke and shattered and in my dismal realization of such a huge oversight, I realized that there would never ever be true forgiveness of my self.

Yes, yes. I know I would have remembered. I KNOW I had planned the night before that Jill and I would stop at a bakery and get a yummy cake for dinner that night once we arrived. I know that her and I had discussed for weeks about her 16th birthday gift and spent hours online looking for the perfect one.

I know all that. And logically, I can apply that and tell myself that yes, I was busy and running around and it slipped my mind. An easy oversight.

But. That little piece of her heart that was crushed when I failed to greet her with a kiss and a hug and a loving “Happy Birthday”  when she woke that morning will stay with me forever. I still feel nauseated when I think of it, even now after days of joking about it, and everyone razzing me.

My forgiveness is slow to come on this one folks. I set the bar high on fuck-ups. And I am not entirely sure I will ever allow myself to let it go. Even now, as she lords it over me, EVERY CHANCE SHE GETS.

 

But if it’s ANY consolation to the mothers (and fathers) out there…. When you fuck up… and feel that guilt about your supposed shitty parenting faux pas, just remember “Hey, I’m not THAT bad….. Kris forgot her daughter’s 16th birthday!”