These are the friends I know, I know. These are the friends I know.

30 11 2013

You know the ones. The ones you  might not talk to for months, not see for years. The ones who helped the integral sculpting of your true and innermost self. The ones that have more secrets of yours than anyone. The very ones that even if YEARS have gone by, once you settle in with a drink, you become who you always were with them. Time passed ceases to be any issue and the very comfort of your friendship wraps around you all, burying any strife and discomfort and bringing forth epic laughter, tears, and the very sweet and graceful gift of knowing, of really really knowing that you will ALWAYS be friends. Until the very very end.

They are the lifers, the friends that span childhood, the teenager years, young adulthood rife with adventure and drinking (which may or may not include knowledge of exploits best left to your diary), the journey into adulthood and responsibility. I am so very lucky to have two girls in my life that I can gift them this accolade.

I haven’t been able to see these two girls for almost two years now. This weekend, they are together though, and I am so happy for them. I admit a surge of jealousy frothed a bit, but this fucking life of ours has a tendency to take us where we need to be, not necessarily where we WANT to be… and I chose to just be glad for their experience instead of hosting a pity party for one…. I do hope that we can figure out a way to hang for a weekend soon, the three of us, up to no good at all, epic laughs until 4 am… This. This is what I need, what my soul craves. It’s like a treat, that one you never indulge in until you cannot say no. A gathering with your oldest and dearest. Well, I believe it fills your inner well up until it flows over. I know it did the last time we all managed to squeeze in an impromptu gathering.

We were little kids together. How freaking cool is that??? We saw each other through nose-picking and bullying games in the playground, periods and bras, first loves and crushes. Fights with each other, silent treatments, notes passed in biology. As we grew, we learned. We learned that love and friendship means more than popularity. Celebrations, driving to cruise hot guys, drinking in the pits. Getting caught doing something bad. Commiseration. Smoking together. Drinking together. More fights… well, they just lead to relationships strengthened.

We know so much, we needn’t discuss it. We are one another on some deeply formed level that is so buried within, it whispers instead of shouts. I am who I am and a huge silent part of this is Lisa and Melissa.

We wrote a book together, we raised holy hell together, we drank and partied, we ripped it up, owned our sexuality with  wide varieties of willing young men, we slowly settled, fell in love, raised some lovely children. We are rolling into that great and gray area of Middle Age, and yet. And yet we still feel the same inside our very hearts and souls.

We were mean as hell to each other, but holy fuck, NO ONE would mess with them other than us. I stuck up countless times to gossip and backstabbing. I raised my voice against ones who would say shit about MY friends. These were my beauties, my sisters. They were my best friends. And I sure love them a whole lot.

Well, SOMEONE had to do it….

23 11 2013

Last night I took my daughter and two of her friends to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (which was a fantastic movie, btw). We arrived early since we knew everyone in Nelson might have the same idea. (It ended up being sold out and 80+ people being turned away at the door!)

So there we stood outside in the bitter cold, me the only adult within 50 feet, surrounded by many many kids aged 10-15. I kept quiet for the most part, listening to the chatter. Once it got closer to the time the doors were set to open though, the group of kids in front of me started to get a little rambunctious. One kid in particular was running around, jumping on the railing and acting like, well, like a little crazed monkey, drunk with excitement. I could see with my Mom eyes that the situation was threatening to escalate, to turn into all-out gong show of maniacal unchaperoned kids. Then the pushing started. I waited a minute or so to see if they could calm themselves down.

Nope. A few of the kids tried their best to yell “Stop PUSHING!” to no avail. The pushing and  grabbing continued, and I for one didn’t feel like being caught up in the melee.

So I held up my hand and said “Hey! Do I need to be the Mom here and tell you guys to stop pushing?”

LOL…..       L….O….L……

The mini riot stopped instantly, contrite children staring at me with saucer-sized eyes. My daughter and her two friends were MORTIFIED…. From the corner of my eye I saw them slink away and huddle together in some sort of deflection of embarrassment, to disconnect from me as much as humanly possible. Oy, I felt bad right away….. But the majority of the kids in the group, one of whom is a friend’s son, were instantly apologetic. It’s like as a mob they couldn’t stop themselves and needed a voice of parental reason to put an end to the madness. A few looked somewhat grateful. My daughter and her two friends, rosy-cheeked with embarrassment wouldn’t speak to me…. well, except to say “OH MY GOD…. I’m sooooo embarrassed….”

Finally, the doors opened, the mob poured in, and I… I, as a peace offering of sorts, sat far, far away from the girls.

Fulfillment in unexpected places.

16 11 2013

I haven’t always been happy and fulfilled in my life. I have admittedly spent a good amount of time being bitter, judgmental, self-pitying and often miserable. I sometimes chose to despise things, to hate people, to expect the worse. But as personal growth happens, fortunately I received the lovely gifts of acceptance and joy, compassion and understanding. It’s been a long and bumpy road my friends, met with angry resistance on my part as I was unwilling to admit that 99.999999% of my shit was me and my own crap being mirrored and manifested upon my life. And believe me I still have epically shitty days where I wallow in self-pity, whining about meaningless crap. I get overly mad at my kids, I find myself yelling at that stupid asshole who doesn’t know how to drive, and don’t even get me started when that goddamn recycling box never ever gets emptied…..

Ultimately we all need some sort of fulfillment in our lives to connect to our worth. I mean, at least I do. I have received that by volunteering in my past, but haven’t done that since my kids left elementary school.

These days I find fulfillment in my job. I can honestly say there hasn’t been a day yet that I have dragged my feet to work. I really love what I do for work.

I’m a simple MOA (medical office assistant)… and my job entails multi-tasking on epic levels some days. The clinic I work in is family practice as well as a pain and addictions clinic.

This is what I love:

I love helping patients make sure they see their doctor.

I love facilitating care between other doctors.

I love that (most of) the patients love me. (Oh, there are some patients who probably don’t like me at all… go ahead and ask how many fucks I give… go ahead… Answer: ZERO. Because you know what? Some people are jerks.)

I love my co-worker and the doctors I have been privileged to get to know.

I love protecting my docs and making their day as easy as it can be. Yup… they’re MY docs… and I protect them every way I can.

I love that I have had my eyes opened to addiction and the real, loving and kind people who struggle with it every day.

I love the fact that I use my “Mom Voice” at work with authority if crap is about to hit that fan.

I love the fun we can have in our office. Oh, the stories I could tell!! 🙂

I love that I can be a patient’s advocate.

I love mostly that sometimes there are heart-wrenching moments of when a sweet patient gets a horrendous diagnosis and we are the ones she comes to for support. These are the days where I wish I wore water-proof mascara. And these are the days that weigh heavily on me when I come home, my heart aching and my silence respectful. I cannot ever, nor would I ever dream to share what these people go through, but the stories I hear, witness and see are each so deeply meaningful and rich and full and tragic and rife with truth, my mind whirls sometimes. I love that I take their pain home and can reflect on life and I love that it gives me clarity.

I love that I care, so very much.

The F Word.

13 11 2013

Once upon a time, about 15 years ago I worked in an insurance office. I had the glamorous job of selling car, travel and house insurance. It was as exciting as it sounds. (I can’t tell you how much I love my current job… if anything, it offers daily bouts of excitement and never ever a dull moment…)

I was around 7 months pregnant at that time with my first child. A client came in to renew his car insurance and I was the one who went to the counter to help him.

I lumbered over to where the decals were and as I leaned myself over to get a sticker, well… I farted. Loudly.

My client jumped a bit, his face clearly revealing his utter shock that I let one rip. His ensuing blush was so darn cute!

Now, all you ladies in the house who have grown babies in their uteruses (uterii?) can probably recall the absolute inability to control gaseous expulsions from one’s body. Quite honestly, it was either fart or be in agonizing pain for hours…. and I for one wasn’t willing to take one for the Manners Team. I came to accept this side effect of pregnancy with complete delight as I am one to ALWAYS find farts funny.

He looked so uncomfortable, this young man. I shrugged and looked him square in the eye and said “I’m pregnant. I can’t help it.” with absolutely no embarrassment on my part whatsoever. He chuckled a bit, signed his documents and left.

I like to think I did that young man a favour. Perhaps he went on to marry the love of his life and be completely OK with the fact that women fart.

Now, in retrospect I would never condone public farting, as it is certainly offensive to  many, but this just made me realize that we are far too worried about what others think if they happen to hear us accidentally let one go. And all I have to do is remind myself that like the sinners who could cast no stone, there shall be no judgment unless you have never yourself farted.

In closing, I urge you all to go forth and fart in peace.

Reconnected and it feels so good….

11 11 2013

There has been some emptiness in my life lately and I have been struggling to define it, to discover the source and to fill it all back up.

Life, this crazy chaotic thing that has this ability to toss us about in a storm of kids soccer games, work, doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning, working out, somehow trying to  make time for everything. Everything! The source of all our ability to at least try to keep up with life is within us. And we know all too well that if we do not give to ourselves then we cannot give to others.

We all get lost in our way of what we feel we need to give ourselves. I started to work out a lot the last couple years, indulging in high intensity interval training and dabbling in Crossfit. And whoa, did I (and do I) ever love it. I love that muscle soreness the next day, I love the end of a workout and being amazed at what my body just did. I loved seeing muscle definition where there was none before. I feel so good about my health and how I look and feel. It’s really an addiction, a very healthy one. Unfortunately for me I have been struggling with a lower back issue for the last four to five weeks that has brought a full screeching stop to my intense workouts. Frustrating to no end, let me tell you. I felt disconnected with my body and my old nemesis of depressive traits that have haunted me for years began whispering in my ears again. I found myself treading into the territory of self-doubt and soul-crushing sadness. I felt ready to cry at the drop of a hat. Stress built up in me: I had days of migraines and my stomach issues flared again. I marched on, missing my old happy self, missing something I could not define. But then one day, I realized that I had truly not been on my yoga mat for months.

Oh, right, I remember now, I said to myself. I unrolled my mat and lit a candle. I sat cross-legged, folded my hands in prayer in front of my heart. I closed my eyes and then I breathed. Long drawn-in breaths and exhales that began to calm me. It was like I hadn’t breathed in weeks. Every cell in my body was shriveled up, but in this feast of oxygen and awareness, they plumped up again. My breath became an ocean of waves, each one bringing a taste of awareness and each outgoing current taking my worries away. I don’t know how long I sat there, breathing. Frankly, it doesn’t matter. When I let my eyes open and allowed the world to saturate back into my mind, I felt lighter. I moved on to a deep yoga practice that left me feeling limber and elongated and completely whole again.

In all my life I have never known a love like I have for this practice of yoga. It makes me a better woman, when I give myself ME. In turn, I am more loving to my husband and my children. I reach out to my friends more readily without judgement. I am more patient at work and in the world. I see more beauty, I laugh more. I am more me when I give myself time on my mat. And I felt so terribly sad that I had let this slip by the wayside. Yoga was like a forgotten friend, patiently waiting for me to pick up the phone and call.

This is not to say I won’t continue to work out as I do. (Hell no…that’s far too much a part of me as well.)  But I deeply believe that we all need to give ourselves some form of quiet reconnection to ourselves, where we can listen to what our soul needs to say. Where we can be quiet and humble and satiated in our breath. Whether it’s a hot bath, a walk in the woods or a yoga practice with meditation, it really doesn’t matter. As long as we give our selves what we truly need. A connection with our own body, mind and soul.