We Hope For More

This time of year gives us all an excuse of some kind.

An excuse to spend too much, celebrate too much, care too much, give too much, drink too much, talk too much. An excuse to say everything we shouldn’t, to give to everyone we normally wouldn’t, to spoil more than we should, to love stronger than we thought we could.

It’s the time of year we feel okay giving more to our loved ones, providing more for those in need, saying all those things we are afraid to say, and filling our calendar with events and looking past our insecurities.

It gives us something to look forward to, or something to dread depending on your family.

There are traditions and recipes, and so much we need to do. Neighbours to invite and people to remember…it gives us all an excuse to do all the things we would like to do but never bother to. It gives us the excuse to fight for everything we believe in, everything we believe we deserve, everything we believe should be….

Tonight I walked in my first Christmas parade with my girls. And I watched them work hard at giving out candy to the crowds. Nothing was more important than getting every child. And I was proud and thankful and filled with…well…Christmas spirit.

Whatever that means to you….whatever it means to me….it is fantastic.

If you struggle to see what this time of year is really about…look no further. It is about children feeling good about giving sweets to other children. It’s about shouting Christmas greetings at the top of your lungs even though it feels foolish because within twenty minutes it suddenly feels so natural and makes you smile every time you do. It’s about the smiles of people around you, the foolish waving of ridiculously dressed mascots, it’s the bundled up families sitting on the side of the road to watch the exact same parade as last year. It’s our need to feel a part of something bigger than ourselves, that we belong, we make a difference, that we care.

It’s the time of year we hope for more. The time of year we strive to believe that there is more to life, more to ourselves, more to the people around us.

It gives us an excuse to live within our dreams, our hopes for the future and the fantasy of the past.

And it is my favourite time of year.

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A Star is Born

When young people watch any of the Karate Kid films they instantly become ninjas and black belt experts with moves that no one can see coming….

I finished watching Gaga; Five Foot Two today….and I am an influential, artistic, sexy creative soul of exponential potential.

You may or may not be a fan of hers. I like some of her music but even more so I am a fan of her person. Her drive to create and affect and be authentic…I get the feeling from this movie that her drive to be honest and comfortable is more important than all the other bullshit that comes with success.

I see how many of us are so similar to her journey, in smaller scales of course, but who the fuck cares about that. Good for her for getting to where she is at….I’d like to say that I wish I was in her spot…but in actuality I don’t. My drive to succeed and be seen is not as strong as hers.

Is that where fame originates from? The degree of need for success that lives within us? Some of us go through both physical and mental pain to achieve it, and others realize that it is beyond our reach and we settle for what our bodies and minds are comfortable with. So those who have achieved fame…perhaps they just couldn’t settle for less…and we….we preferred to settle for something other than that. It could be that simple.

Or I could be sitting in my livingroom hurting so badly to achieve a small segment of what Lady Gaga has accomplished….so much so that I totally and completely believe that her and I could be good friends….that she could come over for tea…and somehow through osmosis…A Star Is Born.

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Good Enough

About ten years ago I went to a dinner party and met a couple who had brought with them their baby, and toddler. I enjoyed the baby’s company most of all….but got to chatting her mom. She told me how she had run a half marathon while pregnant with the little peanut, and she had been determined to use cloth diapers for as long as possible, in spite of how inconvenient  it can sometimes get.

Those two things stuck with me.

When I was four months pregnant with my first I ran a half marathon in Toronto…and until Sophie was potty trained; I used cloth diapers on her.

My point is that we all have the ability to inspire one another.

I don’t remember that woman’s name but I still remember her words. And they affected me.  I don’t think that there is anything better that we can do in life than affect others. Positively. To inspire the people around us to feel strong enough, capable enough, good enough.

It’s always a lovely stroke to the ego to feel like you’ve impressed someone with your accomplishments…but that lasts a short while. To inspire someone to reach beyond what they on their own thought they could do….that can last a life time.

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I Offer You Peace

First it was the music that caught my attention. Beautiful piano notes floating over our heads…not music I would necessarily choose to listen to on my own, but so welcome and calming. And then there’s the children; curious eyes, giggles, runny noses and hugs.

If nothing else, the church is a place to go to reset, to stop everything from spinning. Our access to immediate satisfaction is filling our heads beyond their capacity…and it’s necessary to find ways to make it stop…shush it….free ourselves momentarily…

In the catholic church, about have way through mass we are invited to offer the sign of peace to our fellow congregation members. Today a little girl near the front of the church looked back to find my five year old. Long after everyone else had finished, and the mass had moved on, two five year old girls went our of their way to offer each other the sign of peace.

And I suddenly cried.

It was so beautiful. Imagine what the world would be like  if we all went out of our way to offer peace to our fellow man. Daily.

Try it.

It’s so simple.

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It’s Like Magic

Sometimes things fall into place. Almost magically.

More than once it has happened to me. Without me even knowing or understanding why or how or…if it had at all…

There’s this potential out there. It is available to us all when we welcome it without prejudice or judgement. It’s there for you and me…to discover, and shape and accept into whatever it is we are hoping to accomplish, become, create….

Personally, I find that it happens most when I don’t have control. When I have no choice but to jump in and trust. When I’ve got little time to think and my instinct is to forge ahead without worry of the outcome.

As much as I want to, I do not live fearlessly.

It’s my goal. And I’m almost certain that it is unattainable…but I’m willing to keep trying. And sometimes…when I don’t have the time to worry, or question, when I feel the possibilities ahead of me and I’m brave enough to trust….it happens just as I had hoped, right infront of my face. And then life feels free.

I feel free for a moment.

It’s funny isn’t it? This fear and guilt that we feel as we fail to accomplish everything we envision for ourselves…but if we can actually just release that….IF we can be willing to be open to…whatever….more than likely we will achieve. It’s not so much about our drive, or determination that moves us ‘forward’ within our lives, but our willingness to let go and be open to failure. Open to allowing things to just….be.

Failure. So good.

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A fucking fantastic medicine.

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It Doesn’t End…

As a daycare provider I know that children crave routines in order to feel safe and comfortable. Sticking to a daily routine allows the little ones to understand what is coming next, to be familiar and to trust the care provider.

But it doesn’t end there.

We, as adults, still need the routine, the landmarks that help to make us feel safe, and cared for. Why else do we have our holiday traditions? Why else do we look forward to special days? They help us to feel familiar and trusting in a world of fear and unknown.

The toddlers know that after they eat lunch they will be changed and tucked into bed. And I know that as Christmas gets closer I will have certain jobs to do to prepare…and on the day of there will be excitement and joy and the rest of life will disappear as we all slip into a slumber of warmth and love.

I wish that I could conjure up Christmas three or four times every year….God, our year would be so much more beautiful. But this makes Christmas better…that we only get it once a year. Could you imagine how fantastic it would be if we only got it once every two years?

It’s coming. And I can feel myself ‘nesting’ in a sort of way. Preparing for what is the warmest, most comforting time of year. When everything else melts away and I feel like a kid again. Yeah, I still crave routines. I crave knowing what’s coming so that I can be comfortable when it does. But really, if I was completely honest….I’m just waiting for Christmas all year….for Christmas Eve….and wrapping, and candles, and watching White Christmas….and….phone calls….

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It Is Time

It snowed tonight. 

Fat, threatening drops slammed down on the pavement. 

I felt the heaviness of their inevitable descent and the paralyzingly deadness of Winter laughed. My heart hurt because I knew it was time. There would be small windows of warmth to break it up, moments of cinnamon and nutmeg when we can pretend everything is perfect, but there is no avoiding it. 

It is time. 

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