Ode to my feet.

31 01 2012

Oh, my darlings. My strange appendages that sprout from my legs that serve me so well. How you support me and carry me and give me so much in my life.

My odd and sweet baby toes, so tiny in comparison to my other phalanges. They look as if they belong on cabbage patch dolls instead of my feet. Long, long, long, long, SHORT. That particular little piggy didn’t get any roast beef. And yes, I’m looking at you too…. My big toes that sprout unnecessary hair. Yes, yes. I wax my toes. Deal with it.

I do put you through torture. I force you into impossibly high heels, teetering about for the sake of fashion. Oh how I love to paint those nails and strut with you ensconced in stilettos or peep-toed pumps. I do adore the feel of being so tall so that I look down upon the tops of many heads. The arch in my feet elongate my calves. It places a sway in my hips and confidence in my heart.

As well, I run. I gift you Sauconys or Reeboks or Nikes or New Balance. I pound along the highway for several kilometres, ignoring your pleas for a moment of non-impact. Suck it up, I whisper to you, promising an Epsom salt soak to soothe your aches and pains. But how you have carried me! Thank you so much for those extra few hundred metres of push when you cry for mercy.

I ram you into ski boots, and ski from first to last chair. I hear your moaning, especially YOU, my left foot. That annoying numbness and chronic urge to flex finally ebbs from whimpers to shouts and by lunch time I concede to your demands and release you from the confines of my boot. I stretch and flex you, spreading my toes out wide to relieve this chronic annoyance. I hear you. I really do. And I thank you, again and again. That last run down Motherlode was so worth it, don’t you agree?

I take care of you. I soak you, I pumice you, I slather you in oils and creams and massage. I put you up at the end of a long day. I sometimes sit and stare at you, in awe of what you allow me to accomplish during the day.

I stretch you during yoga. You hold me up during asanas and I reward you with acknowledgment of strength. I do love to feel your connection to the earth beneath me. Namasté, mes pieds.

Thank you, my feet. For carrying me through thick and thin, through all the beauty of life. You are worthy of a queen’s treatment. I hope you carry me with strength until the day I die. Merci.

Pride, gay and otherwise.

25 01 2012

I’m pretty staunch in a lot of my views. I try to keep an open mind about other people’s opinions while staying true to what I deeply believe in my heart. I’ve learned throughout my life that in many cases, keeping my thoughts to myself far outweigh the stress of being involved in debates about politics and religion.

I try to raise my children to mirror this as best they can.

One thing, however, I will not abide by ever is rampant racism or homophobia. These are two things that appall me beyond measure.

I have consistently taught both my son and my daughter that race, colour of skin, religious belief and sexuality have absolutely nothing to do with how you should treat them. I want and demand that they are open-hearted and kind to everyone, no matter what.

I strongly believe that ANYONE and EVERYONE should be allowed to get married. Girls and Guys, Guys and Guys, Girls and Girls….. Apart from Ye Olde Joke that everyone deserves the equal right and opportunity to be miserable (HA!!) or that old argument that the “sanctity” of marriage is consistently threatened by the eternal sham of marriage amongst the Hollywood elite and so forth (Kim Kardashian, for lack of a better example), the plain reality is that if it doesn’t affect YOU, than why should you make a big issue out of it? If Sally and Lucy are married and they raise their kids in a loving home and their children grow to be successful participants in society, why should there be an argument against that? It just boggles my mind.

Anyway, my lovely daughter, wise beyond her years and truthful to her own curiosity asked me a question the other day. I loved that she felt at ease in coming to me to ask, knowing I would give her a truthful and honest answer.

She wondered if two gay people who adopt a child would “make” that child gay.

What a delight it was to tell her no. That we are who we are the second we are born. We do not choose our preferences for anything, let alone sexuality. What a joy it was to my heart to teach my child what I so deeply believe is the truth.

No, darling, I said. No one makes us who we are. We are who we are, no matter what.

I thought so, she said. And away she went… my open-hearted wonderful daughter, brimming with acceptance and love.

My heart was definitely full that day.


19 01 2012

On my way to my first day back to work after years of being a stay-at-home mom, I ran into my previous boss on the street. We both greeted each other with friendly smiles and hellos.

Then he raised his right arm and leaned in towards me. I reacted in kind, thinking he was going for a hug, which was odd, but hey, I live in the Koots and hug pretty much everyone I know on a regular basis.

I went in for the hug with both arms as he slowly patted my back and turned away.

At that point, time slowed down, and with a sickening feeling I realized I had no choice. I was going in, the momentum was too much and I had to complete the Awkward Social Hug, in which I sort of hugged his arm and ended up with my head against the back of his shoulder. My own right arm floundered in space. I swear the man next to him grimaced.

Then there was that weird, awkward moment where you both feel like complete assholes. That second lasted a very long time to me. Thank God the light turned and we could both cross the street, making light-hearted polite conversation, in some sort of attempt to pretend that the Hug never happened.

I shuddered inwardly. It was worse than going for a handshake and getting a fist-bump instead. I can equate it with giving someone a kiss on the cheek, but inadvertently smooching someone on the lips due to a rogue head-turn. The only thing I can think of that is definitely worse is accidentally grabbing someone’s junk in an inept attempt to shake hands. (Yes. That happened to me. Really.)

I hope he felt just as awkward as I did, since, really, it was all his fault….

Oh, beautiful life.

14 01 2012

Most of the time, I consider myself an optimistic, happy and joyful person. I generally have more good days than bad, I wake up eager to face my day, I feel fulfilled. I am blessed to have a wonderful family I love so deeply, I am fortunate to call a myriad of women my friends whom all are treasured in my heart beyond compare. I live a simple yet full life.

Don’t get me wrong. I have days when I want to stab bunnies. When I am overwhelmed with the redundancy of life’s annoyances. Laundry, dinner, arguments with my husband. Kids picking at each other when I am in the throes of PMS. Oh, yes. There are days, my lovelies, when I want to run screaming from my house. Days when I fantasize about living on a beach in Thailand ALL BY MY SELF. Days when I’d rather pluck pubic hairs out one by one than deal with life’s meaningless bullshit.

But thank the Goddess, those days are far and few between.

I know amongst us there are those who suffer from depression and despondency. Those who cannot summon the energy to brush their teeth, let alone shake the sadness from their soul to function in regular life. It makes my heart hurt for them.

I know, because once upon a time I was depressed too. I had sunk into a mired-down pit of anxiety, suffering daily pain from a chronic illness and also blindness to my own mental health to my situation.

Fortunately, there was one person who took control and told me to my face what she thought. My mom. She was brave enough to say those words out loud. She was the impetus for me to seek help. She got all up in my face about it, and I am so very glad.

This was years ago. I went on my “happy pills” for a year and a half. I achieved a balanced state, through Western medicine, my beloved yoga practice, meditation, a better diet and complete awareness. I wanted to live a full and rewarding life and these were my tools to achieve that. I eventually weaned myself off the anti-depressants and have been fairly balanced since.

Oh, my beautiful life. I am so thankful for you and all your gifts I receive daily. The laughter and lessons, the gifts and giggles.

If you think you’re suffering from depression, do NOT be ashamed or afraid. Talk to someone. There is help out there, from whatever path you choose to seek it from.

Oh and thanks Mom. I love you!

Blessings. Love. Laughter. Life.