Saturday, June 30, 2012

vertical meditiation (aka rock climbing!)

Anyone with children knows how life can be a juggling act.  One becomes extremely adept at time management and becomes picky and choosy as to how to spend those glorious moments called 'spare time'.  For me, living a life where time is precious has been a blessing because it makes me highly aware as to how I want to spend my time, and with whom.  I would rather choose to crush a workout at the gym than go clubbing, and as cruel as it may sound, I have let go of some 'friends' who aren't healthy for me.  I don't have much time for bitching and moaning.  Sorry if that sounds harsh but since time is of the essence, that is the most succinct way I can put it. ;)  Time-wise,  the two things that are non-negotiable in my life is my work, and my children of course.....  My job and my babies are like the air I breathe and bring me great joy, passion, and gratitude.  I am lucky in the fact that I can swing shifts when need be and I make sure I have days that I dedicate to just me because I firmly believe that if I don't nurture myself, everyone around me will suffer.

Lately, all I can think about during my spare time is climbing the wall.... literally.  I have this addiction called rock climbing and it's an addiction in the sweetest of ways.  Everything disappears.... time, space, worries when I'm sending a route or a bouldering problem.  I love how climbing takes over and commands my body.  My brain shuts down and I just get into this rhythm of movement, balance, power, and precision.  Perhaps I love it so because climbing is quiet........ and although powerful, it is also something that is quite still....... and this stillness, even though dangling in space, is what keeps me grounded.

I haven't had much time to go climbing outdoors but when I do, it is pure bliss.  Nature has such a way of calming the mind.  But outside or inside, I will take climbing whenever I can.  I leave you with pictures of my kids (the first pics I've posted of them in ages).  Seems they have caught the bug too.... xo

Friday, June 29, 2012

so this is what they call closure...

Just opened my mailbox and lo and behold, my Marriage Certificate finally arrived, packaged in its very governmental envelope.  You see, in order to get a divorce in this province it seems that you have to prove that you were actually married in the first place.  haha.  Honestly though, I think the ones laughing the loudest are the lawyers.... laughing their way to the bank that is.  But alas, what must be done must be done.  And this process is almost over.  One more signature and c'est fini.  And because I truly believe that I did everything under the sun and the moon to keep this marriage together, I feel clean at heart, even though it didn't work out.  Because like all great dances, it takes two to tango and I simply couldn't hold it up on the dancefloor on my own anymore. My marriage was over a long time ago.... it just took awhile for me swallow my pride and be able to admit it.  And do what was best for my own soul.  Now I am no longer stuck in limbo... no longer stuck between two worlds of legal definition.  Instead of calling it a divorce, I simply look at it as being un-married, which has a nicer ring to it don't you think?  :)

Here I am free as a bird to redefine my life as I know it.  And do my own groundbreaking, making up my own rules as I go...  and promising myself that I won't lose my way ever again.

So as I reread our names on this said official Marriage Certificate, noting the date of our union in bold type, instead of feeling pangs of sadness, I breathe a quiet sigh relief as I close off this door behind me, and for the first time in years, I feel this thing called hope.....

Ok Life, I'm ready for you.   Bring it on baby.   xo ;)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

tough day at the office

There is nothing like a post-shift soak in the bathtub with a bowl of Ben and Jerry's red velvet cake ice cream to wash away the emotions I feel. Which often seem to pop up at work and percolate in my head the rest of the shift and the entire commute back until I can sort these feelings out in the refuge of my own home.  Don't get me wrong, I love my job... it's just that on some days, like yesterday, I am pretty touched and affected by the humanity I feel at calls.  And when I come home, I just yearn to be held tight for as long as it takes until I believe that everything and everyone is ok.... especially me.

I have learned to allow myself to be vulnerable.  Which is scary and terrifying and liberating.  My knee-jerk reaction during times of duress is to act like I'm tough and strong. Invincible.  This has served me well in places such as my work, where command presence is necessary.  But in moments of solitude, with those who I trust and hold dear, I have allowed a bit of my softness to peek through instead of hiding behind a wall of false bravado.  I am learning to let myself be raw and feel everything even though it might be scary to feel it if that makes any sense at all.  I am learning to be ok with stretching myself to grow even if it might feel uncomfortable and not having any tangible or concrete answers I can hold in my hand.  I am able to admit that not knowing what my future holds can be scary as shit but at the same time, I feel calm and poised because I have finally let go of my past need for control, and just see how my life's story will unfold.  As long as I continue to live with my heart wide open, whatever direction the wind decides to take me, it will be the right one.   xo

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


.....  on days like today when I am super tired I wonder if my life will ever be normal again. Or if it was ever normal in the first place. I mean, what the eff IS normal anyway?   I know, I know..... first world problems.   Maybe I just need a big hug. 

i have a confession

I am a bit of  a scoundrel.  From the onset of my firefighting career I haven't been entirely truthful. In fact, I am a liar.   I lied to my crewmates that I'm not much of a cook.  So for almost eleven years now I have gotten away with not cooking at the firehall. It's  not that I can't cook, it's that it stresses me out to cook for ten hungry men. And quite frankly, the guys enjoy cooking the meals more than I ever could so who am I to take that pleasure away from them?  That is not to say I don't like cooking. I do like it very much when I can do it at my leisure, with a glass of wine in hand and some great company.    Today I almost felt guilty of this secret I've been keeping when I walked to the local fishmonger and lovingly carried home shrimp and steamer clams in their parchment bag. I couldnt have been prouder than if i were a child carrying a goldfish in a twist-tied plastic bag won at a fair. I have plans for my little creatures of the sea:  chili tomato shrimp with fresh cilantro, and steamed clams in a white wine and butter sauce.  So for any of my fireman friends reading this blog, I apologize. I have been holding out. I can do more than peel potatoes, make toast, and boil a pot of water.  I promise to pull up my bootstraps and make a meal or two from here on in. Won't be the same without the wine though. ;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

move over Dear Abby

A dear friend of mine asked me to speak to his son who wasn't having much luck in the dating world.  He wanted me to give him some dating advice and tips which I found quite funny and ironic since I really don't know a thing about the rules of dating in these modern times after being in a relationship for over 11 years, to which, of course you know, fell apart.  I mustered up all the wisdom I had in this area and came up with this.... guys... pay attention now........

Rule number one:  Make her laugh.

Rule number two:  Don't be an asshole.

That's it.  5 cents please.  :)
Every woman wants to be around someone who is happy, and positive, and can find the humour in even the most dire of situations.  And the 'don't be an asshole' encompasses all that icky behaviour that no one in their right mind would put up with....... jealousy, insecurity, unfaithfulness, and any douchebag attitude. Just be honest and up front.  No one should ever fault you for how you feel.  Simple.  :)  Guys, don't go looking for that perfect Barbie doll.  She doesn't exist.  And if she did, I suspect she wouldn't have too much between the ears anyway.  But who am I to say if that is the kind of gal you like.  If that is the case, then no need to read further.   If  you can love your gal even when she is wearing her comfies with nary a stitch of make-up, legs unshaved because she is too damn busy living her life, and her hair  tossed up in a messy ponytail, think about how hot it will be when she does dress up for you.

And girls, after having worked with only men my entire firefighting career I have learned through them the qualities men like so I pass them on here.....

Rule number one:  Laugh at his jokes.

Rule number two:  Don't think you can change who they are.

Again,  there's no room for insecurity, unfaithfuless and bitchy attitude.  If you're having a bad day, call up your girlfriends or your mom.  Don't dump on him.  It ain't fair.  Love a guy for exactly who he is. Hey, we all just want to be accepted for who we are, flaws and all.   Let him hang out with his buddies and crawl into his man cave when he so chooses.  Girls, make sure you have your own life, friends, and activities so you don't drag him down with neediness.  It ain't his job to make your life fulfilling, or happy, or to complete you or to feed you any bullshit lines you hear in those dumb romantic comedies.   Make him your best friend ever, so that you actually have something to talk about years down the line.  And above all, don't beg him to put a ring on your finger.  Who needs that kind of pressure?

I am not sure how I feel about the formality of marriage... this is due to my own bias of a failed marriage.  I think it has served a purpose and a function in history.  As to what, I am not sure.  But for me, my philosophy is to just love and allow yourself to be loved, to be kind to each other in the most respectful of ways.  You can have that without a dj spinning dumb tunes, jordan almonds, and Aunt Bertha doing the macarena.  But I digress........

I guess what I am saying guys and gals, just be your amazing darn good self.  Don't play head games.  But play nice in the sandbox.  And just be happy.  If you aren't happy yourself, you don't stand much of a chance being happy with someone else.

That's it.  That's all I've got.  lol.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

crisis averted

Jacob, in his wise-beyond-5-year-old-years made Maiya a paper dragonfly at school today. He said 'I know it's not real but I did the best I could'. Maiya accepted it reverently and held it in her tiny hands and quietly said in her still lispy baby voice 'fank you Jacob'. So even though it is storming a summer thunder outside, the sun shines once again in our household.

on death....

I am still unsure as to how children perceive death and dying.  I personally don't believe in the concept of heaven where the dead are reunited with their loved ones partying it up on a white cloud somewhere in the ether thus this is not how I explain it to my children.  When they were wee, I would explain it as it's like a time out that lasts forever.  Now that Jake is older he understands the concept of the heart stopping, blood no longer flowing, brain shutting down, blah blah blah.  He sees dead animals on the side of the road and totally understands they 'ain't never coming back'.   Jake, my old soul child, gets it.  Maiya, however, being 3, and perhaps ever hopeful, thinks she can raise the dead.  With dead plants or flowers she believes that if she just sticks them in fresh soil and gives them enough sunlight, water, and love, they will flourish again.  Yesterday when I picked her up from preschool she noticed a huge dragonfly plastered on the grill of our truck.  She started sobbing and for the next hour she was inconsolable.  She kept crying "The dwagonfly.  He is dead!  He wasn't careful and didn't push the cwosswalk button so he got hit by our twuck and now he is deeeeeaaaadd!"  And she continued to wail this heartbroken song and I must say I didn't know what to do when she wanted to put him in a jar and take care of him to make him better.  I suggested we bury Mr. Dragonfly but she just looked at me like I was being ludicrous.  As in why-on-earth-would-you-do-that-when-I-can-fix-him.  I couldn't explain to my Maiya-Mew, that dead is dead and this bug's energy has moved onto someplace else.  As to where? Who the heck knows?  So like all good mothers I suggested ice cream and tv.  No and nope.  She was having none of it.  So into a nice bath we both went to wash away the tears.  It is during these moments I want to reach out and tell all my friends and family how much I love them because there will come a day we won't be part of this realm.  I think about my parents especially, who, like the rest of us, one day will die.  When that day comes I am sure I will be broken, and down on my knees because no matter how 'grown up' I am, I will still and always be their child.  And every child needs reassurance that their parents will always be there for them to make things better.  Especially in times of sorrow and need.  Which is why at bedtime, I welcomed Maiya, her eyes puffy from crying and hair still damp from the work of her tears, into my bed and let her sleep on my chest like she did when she was a newborn.

God help me when I take the kids camping next month.  I don't know how many bugs' lives are going to end up on the windshield......