Friday, December 30, 2011

this is it

It's getting close...... I can't believe another year has gone by. It's been quite the year..... crazy, ambitious, exciting, heart wrenching, soul searching, anguished.... and in all sincerity, it's been perfect, well, in a weird existential kind of way.

Somewhere along the way I made Acting Captain, waved a tearful goodbye to my marriage, explored the potential energy of people and their love, and survived the ups and downs of being a single shift-working mother. I am still in a state of complete and utter wonder at where I am at this point in my life. All I can say is that my heart is still full to the brim with love and room to spare and that despite all the bloodshed of heartache and the tsunami of tears, I wouldn't change a single thing. Because through the heartache and the tears, I found happiness and peace and I am free. I am free from the feeling of wanting or yearning. I am free from the desire of wishing my life or others lives were this way or that. I am free from wanting me to be more than or less than anyone else. I am free because I finally understand that I am enough. Right here right now I am enough...... because I realized I don't have to bend over backwards to fit in someone else's life, or to change who I am thinking that in doing so, I will be loved in return in the way that I need to be loved. And I no longer am afraid of what the future might hold. Because what I have is NOW and the next second from here I needn't worry about because the future will arrive and take care of itself. This freedom comes from accepting that life is difficult and full of inherent suffering simply because we are human and we are flawed. And instead of running away or numbing myself from the pain I can accept it, even welcome it, and then say good-bye to it like a bad houseguest when the pain no longer serves me. In understanding that my pain is transient, pain no longer feels, well, painful. This is huge for me because I fought unhappiness for years without realizing the pain was in the fighting. I have stepped out of the ring..... I no longer choose to fight anymore.

For the first time in my life I feel brave.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

coppin' the 'tude (or show me watcha got)

Fuck it. (pardon the language but it just feels soooooo effin good to swear at this time of year)..... So yeah, fuck it. I've been waffling on posting this picture for ages now and decided to just go ahead and take the plunge. Ta da!

Yeah, we had a housefire that got pretty hot so I just took off my clothes....... just kidding. I'm standing on the tailboard of the first truck I drove ten years ago. Photo was taken for a charity calendar and for some crazy reason I decided to volunteer to be Ms. October. I figured at the age of 41 cruel cruel gravity is going to set in soon so I might as well freeze frame a moment in time when good hair and make-up rules the day and my boobs are still firmly planted on my chest instead of dangling somewhere near my navel. And yeah, that is ink on my back. As in my entire back down to the crack of me bum. Aka mid life crisis. But that is a whole other post for another day.

Merry Christmas. (I keep telling myself if I keep saying it I will magically turn into Tinkerbell and spread my pixie dust cheer or at least grow her boobs). So yeah, Merry Christmas. Screw the eggnog. Headed straight for the tequila.

don't make me give you the finger

Lol. I was wondering how long this zen like bliss was going to last. Don't know if I am pms'ing or if it's because I am sick and tired of the way last minute Christmas shoppers drive but I am feeling grumpy.  I mean like seriously, you had 364 days to prepare.... why choose to leave it till the last minute?!  I cannot wait for Christmas to be over when I am back on shift because I really really need to kick a door in or smash some windows or rip apart a car. Love the firehall. It's the only place where my black humour is appreciated and I can speak in my outside voice all the time.   I need to feel the rage of a fire so I don't have to let mine out on some poor soul who has decided to cut me off on the highway.  Those arseholes who can't drive should consider themselves lucky for the simple fact that I have kids and they are the reason I choose to not get arrested for my loud mouthed profanities.   Sigh. Christmas is such a schizo time for me.

Ok. Rant over.

Regardless, Jacob and Maiya are tucked in bed fast asleep without prompting. That is the joy of Christmas. Getting children to bed without bribing, threatening, cajolling, or three glasses of wine (for me... not the kids of course ).

firefighter's prayer

Well it's that time. the eve of Christmas. I'd love to offer some insightful saying or meditative food for thought but I've got nothing really. But I did think of this prayer and can't believe I haven't posted it yet...... I don't know when it was written or who wrote it but it's lovely nonetheless.

So here it is.... Merry Christmas everyone.......

When I am called to duty God...
Wherever flames may rage...
Give me strength to save a life whatever be its age.

Let me embrace a little child...
Before it is too late...
Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert...
And hear the weakened shout...
And quickly and efficiently...
Put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling...
To give the best in me...
To guard my friend and neighbor...
And protect their property.

And, if...according to Your will...
While on duty I must answer deaths call...
Bless with your protecting hand...
My family, one and all.

Friday, December 23, 2011

on loving....

As you're well aware by now, I've been pondering life and love like never before....... and this is one of the new conclusions I have come to.... I have discovered that my heart and my love for people is a bottomless well. I used to think I had a limited amount that I could put aside for the most very special people in my life. But I found it too painful and exhausting to try and compartmentalize my love into neat little pie shaped pieces. Or to try to turn love on and off as if it were as simple as a bathroom light switch. This doesn't mean that I love recklessly but rather love from an honest heart with pure intention. And like I've mentioned before in other posts, it means loving for the sake of loving without expecting anything in return. I finally understand beyond my children what unconditional love is. And apart from the health and happiness of my family and friends, this feeling of loving without condition is the best Christmas gift I could ever imagine. My life makes perfect sense now.

peace and love..... xo

sweet slumber

Funny how when you let go of feelings of hurt, disappointment and pain, you start sleeping like a baby. I've slept an uninterrupted 8 hours for the past week.... (last night 10 hours!) something I haven't been able to accomplish in years.

Anxiety has disappeared. And hopefully will remain a distant memory. xo

Thursday, December 22, 2011

just happy to breathe

I realized whoever I do end up with in the future, it will be with someone who is strong...... Strong enough to love me, my children and be comfortable that my ex will be in our lives because he is the father of our children. And also be ok with what I do for a living and the shiftwork and commitment my profession entails. It will be someone who can love me for my 41 years of baggage, or rather let me rephrase that, my 41 years of wisdom.  This is not to say that the man of my life will be less of a priority than myself, my children and my job, but will become part of our lives like a glorious melting pot in which we can fulfill everyone's dreams and desires, through teamwork and understanding.  I have no doubt when the right person comes along we will rock this world. Having said all this, I am just happy to breathe right now. My life is perfectly happy and full. Anything else that comes my way will be the cherry on top. ;)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

new rookies

I just wanted to welcome our two new rookies at the firehall. We're a family of 10 again! :) The more the merrier as they say.

They came in all shiny new, boots polished, shirts pressed, bunker gear crisp with nary a speck of soot to be seen........... waiting with baited breath for their first call, drunk on love for this job.

Welcome boys. I wish you nothing but health and happiness for the years to come as you serve this profession. It's my honour and privilege to have you on my crew. Be safe and God bless.

there is a god

Found a last minute 9 foot Fraser fir Christmas tree for $22. The loft smells amazing..... nothing like the smell of pine... reminds me of the Muskokas in the summertime. :)

Can't wait to see the look on the children's faces when they get home from school today.

Happy days........... xo

Monday, December 19, 2011


I want to believe in God. But I have a hard time getting my head wrapped around a bearded dude sitting somewhere in the sky.

But I want to believe in God, and have the calming faith and devotion that some people have. I don't want to go to a church to pray because frankly I find churches a bit creepy. But I want to believe in something. I usually ponder these thoughts around Christmas time and for those of you who know me, you understand why I have a hard time with this holiday on so many levels. But at least it has me thinking about faith which is a good thing.

I've decided (with no disrespect to those who see God otherwise) that God is not a person but really the moments in which we find gratitude and love for the sake of loving without expecting anything in return. It's those moments when we are truly doing what we are born to do, using our talents and gifts as selfless offerings. I've seen God through my job, helping those find peace with the loss of their loved ones or simply when i am happy and just grateful to roll up hose when the fire is out. I've seen God look right at me through my son's eyes the moment he was born...., and feel His love through my daughter's kisses. I know this all sounds spacey, especially for someone as pragmatic as myself but I just finished listening to Leonard Cohen's Hallellujah and it always strikes a chord in me. Or maybe this is all residual stuff from my trip. Who knows? Regardless, I hope I can continue feeling this centred and carry this peace about me for a long time to come.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

home is where the heart is

Back from my trip. And something shifted in me. A subtle shift that crept up in me but a powerful one just the same....

The trip had a rough start but a strong finish. I learned a lot about myself.  It was like a detox where the first few days I felt like an addict, unable to let go of the distractions of the daily routines of my life, unable to get the gears to stop whirring in my head, unable to stop spinning in overdrive. It was like I was stuck in the mud, or quicksand.

But like anything, the faster you hit bottom the faster you bounce back and while I do wear a few emotional scars, I feel like I can function again. 

This trip was an opportunity to discover the things and ideas I want to hold onto, and the things and ideas I want to let go. 

For the first time in half a dozen months, and perhaps maybe even a year or longer, I feel at peace and truly worthy of love. Even though there is no guarantee in anything when it comes to matters of romance, I am going to trust in love and all it has to offer. Moreso, I am going to trust in MY love and what I have to offer.

For the first time in my life I am going to be still and let go of trying to control and form my life into what I think it should be and enjoy my life for exactly what it is right in the present moment. I easily love people for who they are without trying to change them, so it's about time I treat myself the same way and love myself for exactly who and what I am... warts and all. I am letting go of my knee-jerk reactions to pain and anger, hurt and disappointment. Instead I choose to become a master of my mind, and a believer in my heart.

I will say it again. I will be still. I am not going to react to the emotional madness around me. Because true love is quiet. And this silence comforts me because I know I no longer have to go searching. Like I said, home is where the heart is and now, when I shut my eyes and sit in solitude, I know I will never feel alone again.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

the cure

I've discovered the answer to world peace. A bottle of tequila in Cozumel today with a bunch of locals on a white sand beach and all is right as rain again. :)


Funny how after the fifth shot I started seeing oh-so-clearly and realized that I lead a pretty sweet life.  I created a dream home with joyful children and I have a profession that is indescribably fulfilling. Partly due to the fact that I am always surrounded by crewmates and friends who support me through thick and thin and the past few days they have inundated me with emails of encouragement and love. They are selfless and have circled the wagons from across the ocean and I feel safe and cherished again. I'm only repeating some of the things emailed to me here to remind me to stay grounded and not let other people's shit drag me down. Thanks again boys for these kind words of love. You are my brothers at heart. 

"you have a lot of amazing things going for you. 2 amazing children that are unbelievable, an amazing job, great health, you are absolutely beautiful and smart as a whip. "

'You will find someone and u will find them when u aren't even looking. U need to take this time to rediscover urself as a single parent. U r one of the most independent people i know so u will bounce back better and far quickier then anyone out there. Just keep ur chin up. Be proud of who u r and how many amazing things u accomplished. U will amaze urself as time goes on st how many more amazing things will happen to u in ur life because u deserve them to happen and u work hard to achieve them. '

'Don't let anyone bring u down!!  Walk proud!! Smile even when life seems it sucks. Looks at something beautiful. Take a deep breath of air, listen to the sounds we constantly ignore and enjoy being alive. '

It will work out. U r such a strong woman nothing can beat u. This may be winning the current battle on u right this moment but it won't win the war. Say to urself screw this I'm not gonna let this bring me down I deserve more!! Put ur chin up and walk with pride.  know u did everything u could and some. It will all work out. Trust me!! '

"It is very healthy for u to cry it out so let it happen ok. Don't hold it in. I'm here for u and always will be"

"You are a very special, beautiful, funny outgoing lady with so much to offer 
Move on and count your blessings."

"I am here to talk or write with you  - please hold on -   YOU are not seeing
the whole picture of who YOU are and what YOU have to offer !!!"

"I feel bad you are feeling this pain - I know how it feels, believe me"

"Give yourself  some time to heal and find out what you want. Don`t go looking and it may crash right into you.

 Oh yah, you`re pretty sexy too."

The last comment made me laugh out loud in a way i havent laughed in a long time.  And it warmed my heart because it was from my very favourite retired captain in the world. 
I love, love, love these people  And I just realized I have been loved in the truest sense all along.  I don't lack a single thing.  I will remind myself to never doubt  my strength again nor let other people's shit affect my self esteem. This love that I was so desperately yearning was  right under my nose the whole time.   Thank you boys for always being there for me. 

I'm back again with my two feet planted firmly on the ground and I cannot tell you how great it feels. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

random thoughts while on a trip to nowhere really

I am  embarking on a week's vacation with the children and use this time to try and mend my soul. 

So far it's not working. 

There are a million other places I'd rather be right now. The first place is wrapped in the strong safe arms of the man who broke my heart.  I play over the words and all the things he told me in the deep steady murmur of his voice and it pains me. Because I wanted to believe everything he said. I dove off this cliff into this thing called 'love' and I think I went splat. I feel so lost as I stare out of the window of this airplane. I need someone to catch my emotions as they tumble down full tilt from the sky. I have saved a few lives doing my job. Who  can save mine now?  


Dark heavy clouds loom over my heart like the plague.  Not even my children's exuberance can pull me out of this funk.   Rather, I feel impatient and curt with them because I am lost and consumed by my thoughts.  I feel like the worst mother and person in the world. I don't want to hold it together anymore.  What is wrong with me? I am in another country by the beauty of the ocean and all I want to do is wail.  


I do not want to be around strangers, buffet lines and least of all tourists in their loud mumuus and hairy banana hammocks smelling of coconut oil and cheap rum.  I swear I will smack the next person who tries to grab me by the hand to do the cha-cha or two step or whatever the fuck the dance of the moment is on the Lido deck.  I need to be alone with my thoughts. But it only magnifies how lonely I am now that I am away from my daily distractions that allow me to escape on a certain level. Here, in the middle of the ocean, I feel like I can't run from myself because wherever I go there I am which goes to show that I am stuck with me whether I'm at home or on a rocket to the moon so I better figure out something pretty darn quick.   

Aha. Maybe i have figured out why I am feeling so cuckoo.  Sex. Or rather lack thereof. A giant roll in the hay would be a great salve. But lovemaking, sweet sweet lovemaking would be a cure for my soul. Can you tell it's been much too long since I've been laid? Ugh. I am going to die an old maid. Ugh.

Ironic and funny and kind of sad and pathetic that while  married I made a thousand excuses to get out of sex. And now that is all I can think about. 


You'd think with having worked with nothing but men for the past 10 years that I would have them figured out now. 


I feel somewhat better this morning. Sleeping with the  lull of the ship, being rocked gently back and forth among the waves reminds me of once upon a time being cradled in someone's safe arms. 


I see octogenarians walking hand in hand along the beach without speaking, yet somehow I am sure they have been together for so long they speak telepathically. They seem to carry the quiet certainty of love that is forever and a day. And I am extremely jealous. 


I stare out into the ocean and somehow feel tiny and insignificant. But being so small compared to the sea heals me because I see how my problems are just a flash in the universe. Still, they are MY problems. And they swallow me whole. 


Once again I stare out into the ocean and  I pray for a sign that I will be ok:  A dolphin? A rainbow maybe? A volcanic eruption? Sigh. Nothing. 


This is crazy. I am yet again suffering from insomnia so I am hunkered down in the 4x4 foot cabin bathroom writing this so my kids can sleep in the dark. And also so that they can't hear me cry.  I stare at the mirror under the harsh fluorescent lights and wonder, who is this woman who looks back at me. I look deep into her tired eyes in search for a friendly smile or a glimmer of hope.  None. 


Maybe I need to get plastered. As in rip roaring drunk. But then again, I hate drinking alone.  Besides, I say stupid, stupid things when I am drunk, which is why I don't drink much in the first place. 


Maybe I am a massachist  (sp?) in that I choose to be in pain. After all, pain can be exquisite. But I've decided pain of the heart is not


Maiya asked me what I wanted Santa to bring me. To which I replied: 'Tall, dark and handsome'. She just looked at me quizzically and scampered off to get another helping of ice cream. 


Life is looking up. Now I'd love to say I met the man of my dreams but nope, found a chin up bar at the very top front (forward?) of the ship in such a secluded place I finally felt like I could breathe. I didn't shout 'I'm the King of the World' or anything stupid or cheesy like that. But rather, I did one hundred burpee pull ups like a badass GI Jane. Did my first 3 finger pull up. Ok six if counting both hands. Hey, gotta find happiness where it comes. 


Just realized that maybe this yet again painful period in my life is my Phoenix rising. Maybe I am being transformed!  Hopefully whatever I am in the middle of right now passes quickly because this clenched fist over my heart blows big time. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

thank you

I wanted to give a shout out to all my local friends and distant (yet close in my heart) friends from all over the world for sending their collective love and energy keeping in touch with me despite the busy lives we all lead. Means more to me than I can put into words. Door is always open along with a bottle of wine and some great conversation................. and a box of tissue to wipe the tears of laughter or sadness away. Whatever it may be, I'm always here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

playing hooky

I pulled Jake out of school today and we went to the mall! We filled a shopping cart to the brim with toys for some favourite charities. I love how Jacob understands. He is my old soul and I need to savour these moments........


All is right in the world again today.

Thank God.

Nothing like a good night's sleep and healthy children to make it all better.

And having shift to look forward to first thing tomorrow morning. Nothing like having brothers for life to support me in a way that sometimes I can't even understand but certainly do appreciate.

Dark clouds have lifted and today I can smile..........

peace and love.

rambling thoughts

As I watch over my son as he tosses and turns through feverish nightmares, I wonder if he or his sister sense the massive changes in my life during this past year, months, and even days. Do children have this remarkable ability to filter out grown up problems and only see the beautiful and the good? Do they sense my feelings of disappoinent, hurt, unrequited passion? I write this journal, partly to remind me where I came from, who I am, and where I hope to be. I also write so that my children one day can read this and know that I am doing the best I can to live my truth and find love and happiness not as just a mother or a firefighter but as a woman. I write so that they see I am hopelessly human and flawed in so many ways. So that they are never too disappointed in the choices I might have made in my life. I have suffered losses and had great gains. And some days I have a hard time because instead of feeling grateful, I feel selfish, petulant, and self-absorbed. And these feelings frighten me. But perhaps this is the balance necessary that tips the scales over to the dark side because it reminds me that I can't always be sunshine and light or be everything to everyone. Because that super hero image is impossible to keep up.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

trusting the universe

Where do I go from here?

God only knows..........

Trying to live my life one millisecond at a time.


....... in a big, big way. Thought I was ok but I guess I am not. I suppose I was being A-type thinking I could be fine already. Funny how the world perceives me as strong, together, competent. Yet on days like today I see myself unravelling at the seams... too tired to cry. Too numb to eat. Too exhausted to sleep. I should win an Academy for the great act I've been putting on because truth be told, I'm an not ok in this moment. On days like today I question the choices I have made, all in the quest to find myself, and to love and be loved.... to be cherished exactly for who I am in the moment, to be loved for all my mistakes and confusion of my past. To be loved and forgiven for any mistakes I will make in the future. Deep down I think there is a part of me that believes that I am unworthy of love and somehow I must figure out how to change this negative tape that plays in my head. I feel vulnerable, raw, flawed, and untrusting of this word called love. How will I ever learn to feel it with another being again without being scared to the bone that I will get crushed again? My heart doesn't feel resilient and strong...rather it is something that I hold cautiously in my chest to the point where I am terrified if I take a breath too deeply it will shatter like glass again. Normal feelings I suppose. Horribly painful nonetheless. I look forward to being on shift again so I can get out of my head and help people in any way I can. Besides, the guys never let me get away for feeling sorry for myself for long. And that is a good thing.

Friday, December 2, 2011

my children

I know I haven't posted any pics of my children recently. I think this is due to me going into mama bear mode with all the changes that have been happening the past few months. And I just want to keep them close. But trust me. They are the most beautiful things in the world, growing like weeds, loving and laughing with the joyful abandonment that children have that we, as adults somehow seem to lose along the way. Sometimes I want to keep them small, to savour their deliciousness, but then again, I am so excited for a peek into their future. In the meantime, I am just enjoying them, minute by minute... every kiss, giggle, hug and tear I can wipe away.

They keep me sane. And whole. They make everything in my life ok again.

better to have loved?

I woke up from shift grumpy as all heck and on the commute back home I was racking my brain as to why I felt out of my skin. Was it the rain? Fatigue? Hunger? The desperate need for a shower? I kept questioning myself how I could feel so sad when I had finished a great shift and was ready to enjoy my week off.

Then it dawned on me why I was out of sorts and ran into my home for a good cry.

We had a call around dinnertime and without getting into any gruesome details a woman is now a widow after witnessing her husband of many decades die in front of her. I worked on her husband for what felt like an eternity, strong and sure of every movement, action and decision made at that call. But it was his time. Simple as that. And nothing we could have done would have made a difference. We went back to the hall, had chicken caesar salad and apple pie for dinner (funny how prevalent meals are in our firehall lives) ran a few more calls and bunked down. And while I figured out why I felt sad, is it selfish that the reason I felt sad had not so much to do with the death of this man but more to do with this bringing up feelings of my own loss?

Like right now, as tears fill my eyes, partially blinding me from seeing the keyboard, I question if it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved before? I am single now, and as much I am enjoying the peacefulness, stability, and freedom that I have, I wonder if as humans, we are supposed to be without partners...... this is not to say I would settle for anyone, but still...........

I wonder if I would be as stoic and strong and a bit angry like the wife was yesterday. Or if I would wail and weep. It just made me realize that as powerful as we like to think we are, we never have the true choice in when we get to say goodbye. Hopefully when we do say goodbye to a loved one it is with grace and no regret. So in answer to my own question, with a resounding yes, it IS better to have loved and lost. Hopefully I will be able to love again. Maybe not now. But one day soon.

These are the calls that humble me to the core.