Sunday, 30 December 2012


I still can't believe 2012 is coming to an end.

A year ago, I toasted to "the best year yet" with J as we rang in the New Year. It's no secret that my year didn't turn out the way I had been anticipating, but that's OK. If it had, I wouldn't have made the new friends I've made, gone back to school, landed my new job or caught some of the dreams I'd been putting off chasing. I'd still be wondering who I am.

When I look back on this year - at all of the ups and downs and roundabouts - I know I couldn't have made it to the other end without two amazing people: Mom and Dad. Just like when I was a little girl, they've helped me up, doctored my bruises and held my hand as I took the next few tentative steps.

Thank-you. In the words of F (and Lightning McQueen):
You're the BOMB!

I love you both more than I'll ever be able to express.

You have inspired me, encouraged me and admittedly, you've pulled me back to earth when I was floating off to the clouds again. You've made me the woman I am today, and I hope you're as proud of me as I am of you.

Without you, I couldn't be the Mom I am to F.

Without Mom's guidance, I wouldn't be able to fold a fitted sheet (and I still do a miserable job of it). I also wouldn't be able to make biscuits or open a bottle of wine. Priorities, after all.

Without Dad's help, I never would have gotten furniture into this apartment. And I wouldn't have had that hideous plastic cards table to eat canned soup at with Evan when all of my furniture was thrown out of that other ghastly apartment.

I haven't figured out the words to express my gratitude just yet, but I'm working on it.

I can't wait to tackle 2013 with you - but I promise I'll go easy on you... you are getting old, afterall.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Final Firsts

Sometimes, without intending to, I seem to torture myself with unnecessary punishment.
After surviving Christmas (sans J) without a single tear, I made the impossibly stupid decision to dig out my wedding rings. They've been tucked away for months now, unseen but not forgotten. I looked at them for a moment or two, shiny and pretty in their box before I defied my own sense and pushed the boundaries of my own stupidity by putting them on.
Even after months of not wearing them, my left ring finger still feels naked. Before my engagement I had even worn my Claddagh ring on my left hand, always pointed inwards. I looked down at my hand, my engagement ring and wedding band sparkling back at me. It was a weird sensation. The rings suit my hand and yet they looked so wrong. They felt wrong, and not just because my fingers have grown far too small for them. I slid them off, tucked them safely in their box and looked at them one more time before I put them away. What possessed me to do that? I'm not even sure.
I hurried around at getting things ready for my big weekend "away" with F. I took him to my apartment in Halifax for the weekend for some quality time and also so he can get comfortable here. When we finally packed the car and hard our coats and boots on, we said good-bye to Breton Cove and started on our drive.
It wasn't until I saw the "Not Operating" lights flashing to the ferry until I realized that I had to do something I'd been dreading: I had to drive by my old house. Anxiety gripped my chest tightly, and that sick feeling that comes from pure dread spread over me. It won't be so bad I thought, lying to myself. As we got closer, the sick feeling got stronger. My articial Christmas tree stood in the window, my beautiful red drapes parted wide to show it off. It looked beautiful, perfect even. A perfect little home for a little family. As I rounded the turn, I couldn't bring myself to look in the rear view mirror for one last glance. The tell-tale tingle came to my nose and my lip quivered against my will as tears stung my eyes.

It's not mine any more.

I almost pulled the car over, but I realized that this was just another first: another bridge to cross, another hurtle to overcome and I survived it. There's only one first left: New Years.

2012 was supposed to be a great year, and in a lot of ways it has been. It's been a blessing in disguise, really. I've grown immensely. I found myself, my niche and I'm well on my way to finding happiness. I set goals and surpassed them. I started dreaming again. I've learned who my true friends are, and found the strength to wave farewell to the others. I've made new friends, strengthened the bonds with my family and I've worked on my relationship with myself. My life is still a little messy, but I love it in all it's imperfections.

I don't know exactly what's in store for me in 2013, but I know I will make it big.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

A Guest Post: Coming to Grips with Mesothelioma

I was approached about a month ago by the Heather, author of this post, with a simple plea:
Help me share my story.

I sat on the idea for a day or two, wondering if my blog was the right place for this story but I came to realise that the right place for this story is anywhere that someone might see it. I am honoured to help her share her story. For more information on Mesothelioma, or to read more of Heather's story, check out

Coming to Grips With Mesothelioma

How could I have cancer? The doctor’s announcement made the bottom drop out of my stomach, and I just couldn’t understand it. I had been feeling tired, but then I had just had a baby less than four months ago. I had mesothelioma cancer, which is primarily caused by asbestos exposure. This horrible news hit me hard, and more, it confused me.

Wasn’t asbestos that stuff that’s been banned? Plenty of people ask me that question, and they follow it up with asking when I was exposed. First, no, asbestos is not banned, and second, I seem to have been exposed through my father. My father dealt with asbestos throughout his career in construction, and with all of that drywall installation, mudding and sanding, he was covered with asbestos dust. Those nasty white fibers were all over his clothing, his car and his work clothes, and it was those fibers that would make me so sick as an adult.

I was one of the youngest cases of mesothelioma cancer that the doctors had ever seen at the time. Most people who contract this cancer are older men who work in the trades. Some military men get it, as do mechanics, electricians and plumbers. After my diagnosis, there came a wave of people who got it the way I did. Suddenly children and wives of men like this were being diagnosed with this disease in large numbers.

Now that there is more visibility, we are seeing more mesothelioma sufferers who are my age. More and more young people are turning up. Their stories are all similar, whether they were young girls who put on their dad’s jackets to go out or they simply wanted hugs when their dads came home for a long day of work. As I got more involved in the mesothelioma community, and as I learned more about my condition, I wanted to know more about the people who were getting diagnosed. I started seeing men and women in their twenties and their thirties. We were just starting our lives, and all of a sudden, things were brought to a real halt. We’re lucky we are living in the time period that we are; we are seeing so many more terrific advances that are helping people survive and thrive in the face of this terrible disease.

The fateful words, “you have cancer” still ring in my ears sometimes, but I have not given up hope. I am surrounded by people with mesothelioma who are resolved to fight, both on their own and as a community. We want to share and we want to support each other. We want to work, and to celebrate the joys and to mourn the setbacks.

The reason why I am so invested in mesothelioma advocacy is simply to raise awareness. I want my story to offer hope to other people and to help them move forward with the life that they want. It is scary, but we can always move forward with hope instead of fear.


What will you do differently in 2013?

As 2012 wraps up, I find this question wiggling out of the woodworks and tripping me as I walk down my little path of life. What will I vow to work on in the upcoming year? Healthier eating? More meditating? Better work ethic? Less stress?

The answer is nothing, and yet it's also everything.

I'm not going to have a new year's resolution for the first time in as long as I can remember. In this past year I've realised that I don't need a new year to start fresh, just a new attitude and a little fuel in my tank. The rest of your life starts whenever you want it to, so why put a date on it?

If you are planning a resolution for your new year, whatever it may be, remember to factor in room for error. Everything in life has a learning curve, and we all start at a different place. If it's losing twenty pounds, don't expect to see them gone before January 31. Start small, be positive and enjoy the ride.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012


I am a worrier.

It's one of those little quirks that I can't seem to shake. I've tried, trust me. I worry about everything, from the possibility that I may one day have cancer to having my apartment broken into, F getting sick, something bad happening to my parents and little things like losing my car keys. It seems silly, but I can't help it. I just worry.

My worry has become such a monster that I've begun to question whether or not good things can just happen. When I was bombarded with good news earlier this month, I joked that the world really must be ending on December 21. Luckily for all of us it didn't, but there was just no way that I could have all this great stuff coming my way. Anyone who knows me well can tell you that if I didn't have bad luck, I'd have none. I'm that person, it would seem.

My theory that everything happens for a reason is often the only thing that keeps me going. I don't always understand the whys or even the hows, but I believe that there is a purpose and that each challenge I'm faced with will only make me stronger eventually. From time to time, my faith in that falters and I have a meltdown.

"You're such a strong, happy person," a good friend told me recently. The irony that I was in the middle of one of the abovementioned meltdowns was not lost on me. Wiping the tears from my face and apologizing for my breakdown, I listened to her tell me what I already know. I'm doing the right thing and I've come a long way. It's time to let go of the fear that I'm making a mistake, the doubts that are eating away at me have no place in my life any more.

In the middle of all the crap that was thrown my way in the past eight weeks - or the past year if we want to be serious here - I've done my best to stay positive. Even though my heart was broken, I did all I could to smile and love. Feeling sorry for myself won't help, and the truth is that there are many people who are dealing with a lot worse than I ever had to.

Put into the world what you want to get from it. Project positivity and happiness when you don't feel like it because that's when it counts the most. You might be surprised to find that it comes back to you in due course.

Boring Day

We survived Christmas.

In truth, it was highly unlikely that I wouldn't make it through the day but it was a real fear for me nonetheless. After spending the better part of the last two months almost totally alone, being around family was a precarious combination of stressful and relaxing, alternating between the two quicker than you can say "turkey dinner". I won't deny that I spent the entire day waiting for the phone to ring, only to disappointed (and a little bit hurt) by a text message from J that said "Merry Christmas. How did F make out?"

Mom and Dad's living room looked like Toys-R-Us and Walmart's Christmas aisle threw up in it. There were toys, presents, Christmas stockings and ornaments every where. By the time all of the presents were opened (over an hour after the commencement), you could barely tell there was a floor beneath all the torn wrapping paper and empty toy boxes. F was so excited he was, possibly for the first time ever, at a loss for words. He walked around the living room talking to everyone and looking at everyone's gifts.

I was ready for bed by mid-afternoon, and exhausted by the time I'd finished my turkey dinner. F's joy was fading into a sour mood, and my patience was all but gone. When we settled into bed, F with his new toys and me with my new Kobo, it took about ten minutes for us both to conk out. I was more than a little happy to wake up today and to know that Christmas is over, at least for another year.

I laid in bed this morning thinking of all the presents I had found under the tree yesterday, how generous my family had been. I thought of how blessed I am to have the love and support of my parents, and how incredibly blessed I am to have a healthy, happy little boy to spend my days with. In the midst of his meltdown last night, I had lost my temper and reached the end of my rope and I regretted it this morning.

So many mothers were without their children yesterday. So many mothers would have given anything to have a meltdown take place in the middle of Christmas dinner or to have their child stick their tongue out at them and be saucy as she was getting his jacket on him.

The best gift of all was bouncing off the walls yesterday, not wrapped neatly under the tree.

Monday, 24 December 2012


Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of year.

It doesn't seem like long ago that it really was the happiest time of the year for me. Excitement and magic filled the air, and the anticipation of Santa's arrival was almost too much to bear. My baby brother and I would sleep in his bedroom on Christmas eve and then wait (albeit impatiently) at the top of the stairs on Christmas morning for Mom to wind up the camera and take a photo of us in our PJs before we rushed in to see what Santa had left for us.

After opening our stockings and having a cup of tea, we'd wait until 7:00am to call Nanny and Papa next door to tell them we were up and ready to open our presents. It was tradition, and I loved it.

Now, though, Christmas just doesn't hold the same wonder. I've filled it with financial stress and worry, rushing through the motions, trying to remember where I stashed the presents for Mom and F, and of course making sure everything is just right. By the time Christmas day arrives, I can't wait for it to be over and that makes me just a little sad.

It's during this season of merriment and cheer that I find myself missing Papa the most. I miss his laugh, his mischevious grin and the way he talked about salt herring (his favourite meal) while sipping his Canadian Club and 7-Up at the Christmas dinner table. I miss my great-aunt Mayme and her husband, Doug, who always chimed in that turkey dinner was his favourite. This year, I'll miss J too. We spent the last four Christmases together, and this is just another "first" to get through without him.

I'm trying hard to get into the Christmas-y spirit and help F get excited. He has some idea about toys under the Christmas tree, but he's not totally into it yet. I have the NORAD Santa Tracker open on the computer, and we'll make some Gingerbread men later today. The Christmas tree in Mom's living room is beautiful, with gifts piled up and around it. Everything is decorated, and there's even a little bit of snow on the ground - just enough for "Santa to rest his runners on". 

Tonight, I'll read in church and we'll come home and share the story of the Night Before Christmas, just like always. We'll open the rum and the wine and we'll all sit around the living room and I'll bask in the joy and love of being close to family, even if it's a little bittersweet.

I'm hoping the candlelit church service and snowflakes in the air can bring the Christmas spirit into my heart tonight, but I'm willing to bet the excitement dancing in F's eyes when he sees all the toys in his stocking tomorrow will inspire nothing shy of a Christmas miracle for this girl.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Breakfast Cake

Yesterday, F and I had birthday cake for breakfast.

I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, to be honest. Probably F, since it's still totally new and exciting to him that you could possibly ever eat something beside Cheerios and eggs at breakfast time. If we're being honest, I've eaten many a non-breakfast food for breakfast (beer included). We ate our breakfast cake in my bedroom, he standing at the nightstand and me laying in bed. Between great-big-honkin' spoonfuls, he looked at me and said "I'm so happy you're home. I love cake for breaksbist."

I'm not sure if that was the exact moment or if it was the ten minutes we spent hugging and looking at eachother the night before that did me in, but I melted. He's just so fantastic. Being away from him has been so hard. Even though he's not quite three, F is showing a level of understanding beyond what I could have ever imagined. He told me that I was away so I could buy him more toys, which is partially true: I'm away so I can give him more everything.If it weren't for my family, I wouldn't have the opportunity to do this for F and I. It's the greatest gift ever.

Down the hall from mine, Mom's room is piled high with gifts, each wrapped perfectly with love and care. I haven't wrapped my gifts to my family yet. Nothing seems big enough or good enough. I can't imagine every finding something big enough or good enough to give to my parents. They've given me everything, and I'm doing my best to one-up my gift from the year before every year. (Spoiler alert: Next year, I'm going to try to buy an Island. Wish me luck!)

As a society, we've forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. It's lost in the stores filled with toys and expensive jewelry. Christmas is a time for family, friends and love. It's a time to share, reflect and be thankful for all we have. I've vowed to spend every moment in positivity and love for the next two days. I'll eat cake for breakfast, pour myself a bigger glass of wine and I'll let the poor manners and occasional snarky comment from F roll. I'm going to enjoy every minute.

And I'm going to savour the look on my Mom's face when she sees what I got her for Christmas!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


I do my best to be a positive person.

Lately, it's been hard. The stress of being away from F has been greater than I could have ever imagined and the lack of sleep is starting to make me a little crazy. After spending most of the last year alone, I've overcompensated by filling my days with people and I haven't taken a quarter of the alone time that I really need.

Enter the eyetwitch.

It takes a lot to really grate my nerves, and yet for the past two weeks everything has been abrasive and irritating. Little comments and actions seem huge, bad drivers seem to have multiplied and all of the stupid people in the world seem to be out in full-force when I'm in a rush to get somewhere or get something done.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Negativity spreads like wildfire. Little irritations snowball into massive pet peeves, bad days spiral into bad weeks and the next thing you know you've become that douchebag you can't stand. You're irritated just listening to yourself be irritated, you're pissed off by your own bad mood and yet you feel powerless to stop it.

Once it begins, it's almost impossible to stop it. I'm exhausted by my own exhaustion, and annoyed by my own annoyance. It's tiring and it's unfulfilling. It sucks the joy out of everything, and I've decided to put my foot down.

I can't change the past two months. I can't undo all the crap that happened, and I certainly can't go back and adjust my attitude but I can look forward. I can make sure it doesn't happen again. My patience my wear thin from time to time, but I don't have to let it get the better of me. In fact, I won't.

I've decided to implement a 10-minute rule.

I can bitch and complain for 10-minutes every day, and then put it all away. Whether it's a person at work, the ass who cut me off in rush hour traffic or the neighbours who play their music too loud, I can complain for 10 minutes. I can be angry, sad, annoyed, frustrated, WHATEVER for 10 minutes and then I have to let it fly.

I can't take on the frustrations of others. I'm too empathetic. I will tune out the "Debbie Downers" and I'll ignore the gloomy moods that I run into in class or the office. I'll be the irritating, cheerful person that all the cranky people can't stand.

And they can bitch about me all they want.



Sunday, 16 December 2012

Comfortable Discomfort

It's been a long year.

On New Year's Eve last year, J and I sat in our new home drinking wine and discussing how much we looked forward to 2012. We talked having another baby, his going back to school, F growing up, and buying a home in Halifax. I meant every word I said, I wonder now if he meant any of them. A month later, we had agreed to separate.

This morning was hardly the first time I've found myself looking back, comparing my then and now. It's not even comparable.

If I lay it all out on paper, the list of good things is a lot longer than the list of bad. In March, I scored a job I always thought I wanted - I was dining room manager at a popular restaurant. Me. Management material? My joy was shortlived when I had to leave due to personal issues in August, but I learned a lot and made an impression on the community.

I gave up my home - the home that I had spent hours and energy making my own - but I've settled comfortably and happily into my new apartment. I returned to school and for the first time in years, I made myself a priority. For the first time in my life, I've stopped denying myself the emotions I needed to feel.

The past six weeks alone were filled with enough BS for a whole year. The apartment fiasco itself was enough, actually. The stress of moving, the stress of leaving F, the stress of coming back to school... sheesh. I can't count the times I laid in bed wondering if I'd made a big mistake.

I didn't.

My blog has skyrocketed in the past month. I hit my six-month goal in less than three. I've been offered a contract writing position.

I applied for a Public Relations job for giggles, went to the interview for experience and collapsed into tears when I discovered an offer of employment in my inbox.

I've made wonderful friends. I've had great experiences. I've found myself again, and better, I'm reinventing myself. Imagine if I'd given up? Imagine all I'd be missing out on. It's easy to back out when things get tough. I know, because I've done it a million times. It's easy to return to what's comfortable, what we know.

It's important to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Life is uncomfortable sometimes. If it was comfortable all the time, we'd never progress. We'd never learn or grow.

Friday, 14 December 2012


I suck at dating.

I hate hurting people's feelings or letting someone down. I'm genuinely flattered by someone's interest, but I also get sick of people way too quickly. I consider it nothing shy of a miracle that I've been in 4 long-term relationships, although I'm just realizing now that all of them (including my marriage) were long-distance for the most part. It's now less surprising that I put up with those people for so long, but I digress.


Upon moving into the city, I had decided that I was going to meet lots of new people whether at school, at the park or through friends new and old. I planned on having an open mind, going on dates and just having fun, so I did. I met new people. I went on dates and I had fun just being out, but I'm stuck with what you might call some "clingers" now.

Avoiding future "dates" by being "super busy" didn't solve the problem, so I decided to gently lay it all out on the table with the age-old "I'm don't feel like I can get involved" line. That didn't seem to work either. So now I'm just straight-up ignoring the texts. Lucky for me, the phone hasn't started ringing. If it does, I might have a meltdown.

These were genuinely nice guys: they were kind, funny,  attractive and they had jobs (bonus!). For about a week, I thought I was really into one of them but that faded after his 476th text. Another I only met once for coffee, but he's asked me out about two dozen times since then. I haven't responded to the last text asking me to go out this week. I've run out of excuses and "Sorry, but I'm obviously less interested than you are" just seems a little too harsh.

Maybe I'll just be super busy for another little while until they run out of energy. Or interest.

Whichever comes first.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


My three year old has his very own iPod Touch.

Yep. F's actually shockingly tech savvy, bless his little heart. It was a two-pronged decision, buying the iPod. He calls it his phone and it's a lot like Mommy's, only without the option to call random people and waste my daytime minutes or run up my long distance. The children's apps make everything from grocery shopping to waiting at the doctor's office a little smoother, but I consider my phone an extension of myself and sharing just couldn't be done any longer.

I also imagined hour-long FaceTime conversations with F, like the ones he used to share with J a year ago. I can see him carrying my phone around the house, showing his Dad his toys, the dog, and blabbing away in his own little language. It was going to be great, and the money well spent.

That was a bust.

For the fifth time tonight, F had more interest in using the potty (another battle of ours) than he did in speaking to me.

"I don't want to talk to Mommy," he started, turning his back to the iPod as my Mom held it for him. "I don't want to. Go away, Mommy. I don't want to talk to you!"

Enter broken heartedness here.

Screenshot from a successful call last week.

Both of my parents rushed to create excuses and try to gloss it over. He'd been away from his toys all day, he was hungry. Maybe it was time for a bath and bed but none of it helped my hurting heart. Is he mad at me for being away? Is that even a reasonable thought? Probably not.

I thought about going home this weekend and while I'd really like to, 12 hours of driving for a day and a half with F is a lot. Saying goodbye for another week is just too much. Maybe I'll catch him at a better time tomorrow when I call his "phone".

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


It's been one of those days since before it even began.

It probably really started with my hangover on Sunday, and it's been snowballing into one of the worst moods I've been in since that time J told me he bought a truck after telling me he couldn't afford to send money for his son.

Yep. It's that bad and I don't even really know why, but I'm OK with both of those things.

Bad moods happen. So do gigglefits and random bursts of hysterical laughter, hiccups and super-embarassing trip-over-your-own-feet moments. Imagine how boring life would be without them (and how few wrinkles and grey hair we'd all have). The realization that shit happens came to me a little bit later in life than I would have liked, and at 25 there are still a lot of things I need to learn but I've been thinking a lot about the things I wish I'd known sooner. For instance, you can wear brown and black at the same time among other (arguably more important) things like these:

1. Sometimes you don't have to be nice. As a people pleaser this is a tough pill for me to swallow, however there are times I can't be nice and people whom I just cannot be nice to. I can't be kind to unkindness, but I don't have to be mean either. Walking away is the best option, but I've learned not to put up with the bullshit.

2. It's absolutely OK to not be OK all the time. Much like bad moods, meltdowns do happen. Sometimes they're short, sometimes they last and last. If you're sad, be sad - don't try to hide it or gloss it over. Life is about the highs and lows.

3. As much as life is about the highs and lows, you do not need to feel low all the time. You can seek help. You can find happy, and the best part is that you don't have to do it alone.

4. You can be alone and not be lonely.

5. Nobody can hold your happiness: it is all yours. Own it, run with it and treasure it.

6. You can love your child and dislike motherhood at the same time. Society doesn't talk about it, but it can happen. Discipline, selflessness and living on the schedule of a toddler is maddening and has probably led many others to meltdowns like my own. I love F, but there are times I miss being a free agent with nothing but my own wellbeing to worry about.

7. Everybody lies. Just make sure you're not lying to yourself.

8. You can love someone and hate them in the same breath.

9. Sometimes, you really can't move on.

10. Nobody actually cares about how much you weigh or what size your jeans are. They also can't see that five pounds you wanted to lose, and it's not the end of the word if it's still hanging out in your thighs.


Are there other things I wish I'd known a little earlier in life? Of course! I wish I'd known that my husband liked trucks more than he liked me, or that closure may never come to you when you've lost a loved one. I wish I'd known that my heart would break every day once I became a mother and that it's OK to have no fucking idea what I'm doing with my life. It's also OK to be 25 and make reference to "when I grow up" (and joke about never really doing so). I'm sure I'll stumble across a lesson later today, or day after tomorrow and realize that I could have benefited from the knowledge on Monday afternoon or three years ago.

So is life.

It is knowing and not knowing at the exact same time.


I have a really bad habit of getting stuck in my own head.

All manner of little things can do it to me. I worry about this and that, one stressor feeds another and the next thing I know I'm on the verge of tearing my hair out and crying into a glass of something alcoholic. This last month has certainly taken it's toll on me. Tomorrow, for example, will be one month since the day I found all of my belongings missing from my old apartment. The property rental company finally settled last week, and while it was only half of what it should have been, I just couldn't do it anymore. I was too tired.

I've left the dishes to pile up in the kitchen, laundry overflowing in the baskets, clothes strewn across my closet and eaten more than one bag of popcorn for lunch. I was tired, and most of it was my own damn fault.

Yesterday, I woke up sour. It may have been the fact that it was day two of a hangover (it would seem I'm not 19 any more), and it could have had something to do with the fact that my neighbours choose 4:48AM as the perfect time to blast really loud, really bad music. Must be nice to not have to get up and do anything in the morning. I texted my friend and expressed my displeasure at the whole thing. The texts ranged from "Are you going to go to class?" to "Today might be the day I finally lose my shit," but I managed to put on pants (real ones, with a button), and I went to class.

I went grocery shopping with one friend and ranted about how tired and frustrated I was. Another friend came over for movies and dinner and she and I ranted about how frustrated we both were. Then we put on hilarious music and danced. We went for hot chocolates, and I came home to a hot bath and I sat in front of my laptop for the better part of two hours, too wrapped up in my own head to write anything.

It was past my bedtime before I finally got out of my head, and it took a Skype call and a 5-minute laughing fit to do it. As it turned out, I went to bed two hours later than I should have and woke up positively exhausted with bad hair and a smile on my face. I needed a good laugh it would appear.

And I've already watched the 19-second video evidence I have of the hilarity twice.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


The last time I was home for a weekend, F was onto me within minutes of getting out of bed on Sunday. He sat on the bed while I packed a handful of things in my suitcase and puttered around grabbing this and that. By the time we sat down for breakfast the meltdown was inevitable.

As I discussed school, new friends and all manner of randomness with my parents, F sat at the breakfast table making noises and generally being rude. I politely asked him to please eat his breakfast, and a slur of mean words came out of his mouth. He received his first, second and final warning before I turned his chair around and told him he could sit in the corner until he was ready to be have.


"No, Mommy, NO! NO! NO! NO! I don't want to sit in the corner!" he wailed, as he threw his head back and tears ran down his little cheeks. I could feel my heart breaking, and I was torn between the importance of teaching him to be polite and the need to hold him in my arms and make the most of the three hours we had to spend together before I left. I crouched next to his chair, wiped his tears and held his hands. "This isn't how I want us to spend our morning," I started, only to be cut off by the most loaded sentence that kid has ever spoken.

"I don't want you to leave me again, Mommy."

Heart. Broken.

I try not to get upset in front of F, whether it's anger or tears threatening to spill over my fascade of cool and collected. This time, though, I just couldn't. Sobbing, I tried to explain that I didn't want to leave him. Is it going to be this bad every time? Will it be a cycle of happy, sad, happy, sad for the next year?

This week, I'm spending a whole week with him: I came home on Monday, and he is coming back to Halifax with me on Wednesday - with Grammie in tow! We'll hang out at "Mommy's Halifax House" until Saturday (when I'll finally have real furniture for my dining room!), and then it will be another "see you later", another river of tears and a few hours of feeling sorry for myself.

I know I've made the right decision. I've never felt more home in all my life than I do when I sit amongst my classmates. For the first time since J and I began dating, I feel empowered and strong. And - Mommy guilt aside - I'm really loving having time to myself. I love going out for a walk whenever I want to, going to bed when I want, laying in the bathtub for hours and watching movies on the couch, but I miss F a lot.

Even the bad words, temper tantrums and occasional burst of rudeness.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Off Kilter

I need to start taking my own advice.

This past spring and summer, I busied myself by creating a wellness program which I had planned to be running this winter - but not even I can be in two places at once, and the drive from Halifax to St. Ann's Bay is just a leeeeeeeeeetle bit too long to do twice a week. Instead, the St. Ann's Bay Health Group Society has invited me to speak at Wednesday's morning's Senior's Lunch. As I skimmed through my own program, the program I lived and breathed for four months, I'm realizing that I need to get my shit together, because I have not followed a single piece of my own advice in well over a month.

Simple things, like eating, have gone to the wayside as I tend to completely lose my appetite (and the motivation to make food) when I'm feeling stressed. I forget to drink my 6-8 glasses of water a day - the same 6-8 glasses that I used to genuinely miss when I didn't get them. Aside from walking the dog, wandering around my apartment and a couple of well-deserve, Wii-golf victory danceoffs, I've not even cut out the time for some physical activity. My sleeping patterns suck too.

And I'm not too proud to admit that I ate popcorn for lunch on Sunday. Go ahead and judge.

We're all guilty of it though, whether we want to admit it or not. We're quick to point out the flaws and shortcomings of our neighbours and friends, we give great advice on everything from chores to time management, relationships to healthy lifestyles and we contradict every word of it by doing the complete opposite. Practice what you preach, my mother would say.

It's time for me to get back on track. Starting with a glass of water right...after I finish my wine.