Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"He's Just Not That Into You"

So there's this guy, he's one of the roommates of a very close friend. She thinks we would be a good match. He's attractive, and we seem to have fairly easy conversation, he flirts shamelessly, and we have even shared a moment or two. I decided a while ago that I wouldn't do the chasing on this one, if something happened it was great, but if not that's okay too. Last week I pushed that line a little and suggested that if he wasn't doing anything it might be nice to grab a drink or something. It turned out that he was busy, and that's fine, but at least there is now no question that I'm interested.

Later that night we had a chat online. We discussed our days, we flirted, and then it happened. He gave me the "You're really sweet and deserve a "relationship", but I'm still struggling to get my shit together so it would be leading you on to get involved since I can't really give myself to anyone until I've figured out my shit" line. I told him it was a good thing to spend some time figuring out your own shit, that I'm a big girl, and how about we just hang out periodically and see if it turns into anything more.

The next day I was talking to my friend about the chat and that's where she pointed out that he was just feeding me a "line". She suggested that my response was just leaving me open to being nothing more than a "booty call". And that made me think.

Is "I don't have my shit together" our generation's version of "It's not you, it's me"?

I think it is, or at least that's how I'm going to take it. I have lots of days that I don't feel like I've got it all together, but I'm not going to use it as an excuse to not date. As I understand it the point of dating is to hang out with someone that you think is interesting/attractive/amusing and over time get to know them and their baggage and ultimately come to the decision as to whether their baggage is a good match with your own baggage. If we are all staying solo until we each feel we've got our lives figured out then we are going to be a very lonely generation, not to mention a very self-absorbed generation.

Am I the only one experiencing this "line"? Are both guys and gals using it? Have you ever used it yourself?

Friday, September 9, 2011

What's in a Name?

When I got married all those years ago I made the decision to hyphenate my name. I'm not sure if I should have taken that as a sign that all was not the fairytale that we all make our relationships out to be during our engagements. At the time I justified it with the fact that my generation in my family is made up exclusively of girls. EVERY single one of my siblings, cousins, and second cousins with my maiden name are girls. I am proud of my heritage, and my family, I couldn't bear the thought of the name ending with my generation. this was a decision that was never discussed with my husband-to-be(also a possible red flag), it was just something that was presented to him as the only option. I know he was a smidge upset. I know he was not happy to have to answer the constant "Why isn't she taking your name?" questions(Really? It was 2001, it shouldn't be that big a deal)

Now I find myself, 10 years later. I took my wedding ring off 19 months ago. I'm pulling all my stuff together to move forward on my divorce. And only last week realized that un-hyphenating my name will be part of that process. I still haven't really looked into what that will entail. I'm fairly certain that changing one's name after a divorce is far more challenging than changing it after a marriage. This is a process that will be worth it for me. I have already started in small ways. Yesterday I dropped the Ex's name from my facebook profile. I have stopped adding his name when I fill out forms for myself and for my boys.

Looks like it's an old name for a new start.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The New Year

Last year around this time I introduced you all to my idea of Labor Day being MY New Year start. I just went back and looked at that post, and boy did I miss the boat this year. I will at this time choose to move forward, and choose not to regret the past. Next week marks the passing of summer into the new school year for my boys, and with that a new routine in our house.

This year's RESOLUTIONS are...

1)Get my weight under control. I am doing this for me. I am not happy when I look in a mirror. I am not happy with the way my clothes fit. I have started to notice myself unconsciously covering my stomach with things when I sit down, and tugging at the waist of my shirt to make sure my blubber isn't exposed. I also need to start setting an example. If people are going to take me seriously as a nutritionist, yoga instructor, personal trainer, and massage therapist, then I must start looking/behaving the part.

2) Get my divorce done. I have been procrastinating on this for over a year now. It's time to start to build my new life, and I will never truly be able to do that until I have freed myself fully from my old life(well, as fully as I can given that we have monkeys together).

3) Make my house into MY house(well, mine and my kids house). This house was bought with the needs of two other adults in mind as well as me and the boys. This house was decorated to a fair degree by those other two adults. This house is still holding may items that belonged to those other two adults. I am tired of feeling sad/angry/resentful when I look around my house. It's time to move on.

4) Make those that care for me feel LOVED!!!
Just because it's at the bottom of the list, doesn't make it the least important. This item in fact is the MOST important.

I have a tendency to get overzealous in my list making, and end up easily overwhelmed. I think this is a manageable list of resolutions, and look forward to the new year, as I always do.

Do you feel the same way about Labor day?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Self Discipline

In the spring I injured myself, badly. I threw out my back, well my SI joint actually, with impressive severity. I had signed up for a mountain biking course, and only was able to make it to one out of the four classes. When I informed my instructor/friend/mentor that I physically wasn't able to continue she told me that when she had seen me for that one class all she could think about was my need for SELF DISCIPLINE.

This has stuck with me since I read it. It's true. Self discipline has always been something I have struggled with. I am a very enthusiastic starter, but have always failed on the follow through. I have an entire room of "started" craft projects. I stick to diets for on average ONE week. My laundry is generally clean, but only makes it to the basket or bed.

I really have no idea why I have such difficulty with follow through, but I aim for it to end now. I have an Autumn filled with exciting new experiences and projects that will all require discipline on my part. I am building my motivation now and hope it continues. Really, there's very little I can't accomplish if I just stick it out.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I'm told with some regularity that I'm seen as fit, and active. I laugh when this comes up, especially after my recent injury. I do try to stay active. I'm lucky that I have a career that does not force me to sit at a desk for hours upon hours. BUT I am for from fit! I will get there though! Know why? Because of my family.

I realized the other day while looking through my facebook feed that I am hard-wired to be active, it's in my genes, my family is leading by example.

Here's just a small example....

As some of you know my grandmother had a stroke last spring at the age of 75. This originally left her almost completely paralyzed on her left side, face, arm, and leg. Her right side was also slightly effected. This occurred in mid-April. She was out of the rehab centre and walking(slowly and with a cane, but walking none the less)by Canada Day. The next week we all boarded a plane along side her to go to a family wedding. She continues to live in her own home, and with my grandfather's assistance cooks all their meals from scratch, keeps on top of the housework better than the rest of us, and continues to travel. The real inspiration though came a few weeks ago, at a family wedding, when we all got to see my Grandparents dance together as gracefully as they always have.

My Aunt was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes when she was 17 years old. By the time she was 22 she was over 200lbs. She then began jogging, and eating better, and became healthy and fit. I remember as a child going along with her for "runs", she would jog while carrying me on HER SHOULDERS!!! She gave up jogging by 30 because it bothered her knees. However, she got a stationary bike and an inclined ab board for her house, and EVERY day would spend 45 minutes on the bike, and do 200 sit ups. The week before my wedding she had to have abdominal surgery, she was told she would have to miss my wedding. She said come hell or high water she would be there! Know what? She was! Know why? Her abdominal muscles were so strong that she was able to be discharged earlier than most people. She continues to exercise regularly and she is in her 50's, having had Juvenile Diabetes for over 30 years, and she does not have any of the associated conditions that so often are fatal to diabetics MUCH younger than she is.

Another Aunt is becoming a certified yoga instructor this summer. She has already been instructing yoga, pilates, and boot camp for a few years on the small island she lives on. She also regularly runs the 10km to and from work. She and my Uncle are planning their vacation "south" for next winter. They are going to go to Machu Picchu. She is over 50 years old.

My MOM!!!! She inspires just about everyone who knows her. Five years ago she was 70lbs overweight. My sister had just headed off to spend a year abroad in Australia for University. The plan was that when Sis was finished in November, Mom would go to Australia for six weeks so they could travel together and then come home together in time for Christmas. During that year Sis was away, Mom started jogging 3 times a week with her friend, she also started going to the gym for personal training 3 times a week. By the time she arrived in Australia, she was 60lbs lighter and almost unrecognizable to Sis(she walked past her in the airport). Mom also arrived having recently received her SCUBA diving certification so that they could go diving on The Great Barrier Reef(they did 11 dives in 3 days). Mom has continued with the running and the training. She has done many 5km runs, completed the 10km this past weekend for Ottawa Race Weekend, and has done the 60km Weekend to End Women's Cancers 3 times. All of this has been accomplished AFTER turning 50!

So this summer I am taking my health seriously. I am getting off my ass and truly getting active and fit. If all these amazing people in my life can do these amazing things, I have no excuse do I? How about you?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Get Your Shit Together - Week 5

That's right, week 5. Also week 4 did not mysteriously disappear into cyberspace, it never existed. We all have those weeks. I'm OK with it.

This is just a quick post, because this is going to be one of those crazy weeks, and I have shit I need to get together already tonight.

This Week's Challenges

1) Do your TAXES. Or at the very least pull all the stuff together, get your totals figured out and hand it off to your accountant.

2) Figure out a fun new thing you are going to try this summer. I am currently looking into trying Adventure Racing, cause I'm a little insane and it's something that just about every person that has met me sees me doing. Also it looks like a blast :-)

3) Spend some time with family doing something creative. The boys and I will be decorating Easter eggs on Good Friday. They have requested it and it's an activity that I remember always doing with my Mom when I was growing up. They really didn't need to ask.

I hope you all have an amazing week. I also hope that you are all organized enough that you don't have to venture into a grocery store on Saturday(worst day of the year to do groceries)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Get Your Shit Together Challenge - Week 3

Hey All, I hope you enjoyed last week's challenges. I personally found the reduction in the number of challenges to be much more manageable and way less overwhelming. How did you all find it?

Recap of the Week 2 challenges

1) Get completely on top of your laundry this week. This includes bedding and towels.
I didn't manage to get on top of this one. I will continue to plug away at it this week, and I'm confident I will be all clean for next week's post.

2) Spend time on professional development this week. Read some journal articles, register for a class or course, or even volunteer for a new project at work.
Some of you may know that I am currently working on a Holistic Nutrition diploma. This has been a struggle since I am doing it as home study and the only deadline is the program completion date(February 2012). I worked on my course work just about every day this week. This makes me very happy!

3) Make a commitment to your health this week. Go for a walk, get to the gym, drink your 8 glasses of water every day, or eat at least one vegetarian meal.

I chose to focus on my water consumption this week. I was successful at getting at least a litre of the wet stuff into me every day. Yay!

I'm proud of myself. It may not seem like much, but for a chronic procrastinator and non-finisher it feels great to check a few things off my list.

Week # 3 Challenges

1) If you and/or your family members drink their water from a reusable bottle, put them through the dishwasher, or give them a really thorough clean a few times this week. Even though it's just water going into them day after day they still build up bacteria and stuff inside and outside.

2)Both my kids schools are preparing for their annual used book sales. If you have school age kids chances are your schools are doing the same thing. This week go through your books and get rid of ones you will never look at again. If you don't have a book sale to give them too then just send them to a donation place.

3)Meal Plan. This doesn't really need more explanation.

Good Luck my Lovelies, and have a wonderful week.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Get Your Shit Together Challenge - Week 2

I just have to take a moment to say WOW!!! It seems that this is a topic and a challenge that just about everyone can get behind. Last weeks post had the highest number of hits of any of my posts so far. Thank You! Hopefully after a year we will all be well on our way to having our shit together.

First I'll let you know how I did with last weeks tasks

Health and Wellness
-Make at least one health related appointment you have been putting off
I cheated a bit on this one, as I had already fulfilled this task 2 days before starting the challenge. I figured since it was something "I" had been putting off, others would have been as well.

-Chose one unfinished project, and work on it at least every other day all week
I failed miserably on this one. I had plans to work on my Mom's birthday gift, but never touched it.

-Begin pulling together your tax requirements. If you have already filed, good for you, want to come help me out?
This one didn't happen either.

-If you have kids, play at least one board game with them this week. If you don't have kids, call a relative that you haven't talked to for a while(maybe see if they want to play a board game too).
Yet another item I didn't check off. I was only home with the boys 2 evenings this week and one was spent at the pool for diving.

-Try one new recipe that contains ingredients that in theory EVERY member of your household will eat. Aim for it being a healthy recipe.
Yay! I did manage to do this, however, only 2 out of 3 of us liked the "cashew crusted chicken"

-Pick one room in your home, and purge 10 DIFFERENT items. This means 10 books doesn't count.
Look at that! Another item not completed. Seeing a pattern?

-Make one appointment/send one e-mail/mail something that you have been avoiding.
Completed! Appointment made to meet with my lawyer to move forward and complete my divorce. Talk about an appointment worthy of avoiding.

Now we get to the new challenges. I have decided in light of my only half completed list that I still ended up being overzealous despite my best effort to the contrary. In light of this revelation I will be "simplifying" the challenge. For the time being each week will involve 3 challenges. They will not currently be categorized, but perhaps that will change in the coming months as we all get our shit a little bit more "together".

Week # 2 Challenges

1) Get completely on top of your laundry this week. This includes bedding and towels.

2) Spend time on professional development this week. Read some journal articles, register for a class or course, or even volunteer for a new project at work.

3) Make a commitment to your health this week. Go for a walk, get to the gym, drink your 8 glasses of water every day, or eat at least one vegetarian meal.

Good Luck every one. I know I will get this list completed, I hope you will too.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Get Your Shit Together Challenge

I have now officially past my one year single anniversary. This past year was a year of survival. I have managed to mostly keep my head above water as well as on straight. Now it's time to clean up, clear out, and lay the ground work for what will be a most magical and happy life. Since we can all always use a bit of a kick in the butt to move forward and improve ourselves, I thought I would make this a challenge to others as well as myself.

The aim is that each Sunday I will post a number of challenges for the coming week. This means there is an ENTIRE week to accomplish these few items. I am going to break them into categories with the aim to have a challenge from each category each week. I'm hoping that this will combat my issues with being overzealous. I know that it may look like a lot, but I bet that each and every item could be accomplished in the week just by "unplugging" for no more than 30 minutes each day.

Categories will be; Health and Wellness, Creativity, Professional, Family, Diet, Household, Stuff.

Health and Wellness
-Make at least one health related appointment you have been putting off

-Chose one unfinished project, and work on it at least every other day all week

-Begin pulling together your tax requirements. If you have already filed, good for you, want to come help me out?

-If you have kids, play at least one board game with them this week. If you don't have kids, call a relative that you haven't talked to for a while(maybe see if they want to play a board game too).

-Try one new recipe that contains ingredients that in theory EVERY member of your household will eat. Aim for it being a healthy recipe.

-Pick one room in your home, and purge 10 DIFFERENT items. This means 10 books doesn't count.

-Make one appointment/send one e-mail/mail something that you have been avoiding.

Thanks for joining me, at the end of the week I would love to hear how you did. I will let you know how things go.

Bucket List

I've decided to start a bucket list, this is sort of in keeping with my Year of New Experiences. I'm always up for suggestions, or hearing the top items on your own list, or even better hearing about the ones you've completed.

  • Drive a race car
  • Eat a RIPE mango, right off the tree(they grow on trees, right?)
  • Get a massage on every continent
  • Take boys on Coast-to-Coast multi-month Canadian experience
  • Get motorcycle license and ride cross country/continent
  • See every Ontario provincial park
  • Go whitewater rafting
  • Learn to play an instrument, preferably banjo, mandolin, Irish flute
  • Speed skate
  • Learn to swing dance
  • Train for and "compete" in an athletic endeavour
  • Travel to every continent
  • Build my dream house
  • Sell my wares at a craft show
  • Earn a Masters degree

Of course this will be an ever evolving list, help me add to it, or help me check off some items :-)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Single Parenting is Lonely

When I separated a year ago it was scary. There were so many unknows. Was I going to be able to keep living in the house my kids were comfy in? Was I going to be able to afford the things we needed? Would my boys be happy? There was one thing that I wasn't concerned about though, loneliness.

I was excited about the prospect of having a quiet house to myself. I was glad to have some time off to explore my own interests. I thought I would spend my "off" weekends going out with friends. I was on twitter, I was meeting new people.

Now here I am, one year later. Lonely! Prepare for the whiny part. I have not spent an evening with friends in over 4 weeks. I have not spent an evening with friends not in my home since New Years Eve. I have not had a friend call me up and say, "Lets go out" in I have no idea how long(possibly not since before my separation). A very large number of my pre-separation friends we not even "available" for my birthday(not all of them, some I still love). On a side note, my twitter friends braved a long drive in a huge snowstorm for my birthday.

The reality of my social life right now is that I have 2 groups of friends. The first group are married. They hang out with other married couples. They go out with girlfriends during the week cause that's when they can have hubs look after the kids. They spend their weekends with their family, or going out as a couple(often with other couples). I don't hold any of it against them, I did the same thing. It just doesn't help my social life any.
The second group are single. Either they are completely single(no partner, no kids) and we don't have a huge amount in common. Or they are single parents, and somehow it appears EVERY single parent in Ottawa has the opposite visitation schedule from me.

I now know why single Moms jump back into the dating game so quickly. So, to all the people out there that worry because a friend is in your opinion "dating too soon", they are just lonely, invite them out for dinner.

p.s. this post was not written to make anyone feel guilty, I love all my friends. It just gets lonely being alone so much.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

One Year Ago

"When you're in a relationship you should look to your partner for inspiration, support, encouragement. You shouldn't be looking to your mistress" I said.

"Jennie, I've never looked to YOU for any of that" He said.

"Well, then what the fuck are we doing?" I said.

In three short sentences, a small part of a very long conversation a year ago today, my 8 year marriage and 13 year relationship was over.

We had put in the work, we had been to solo counselling, couples counselling, we even did the Alpha Marriage Course. Ultimately after all that work and time we had discovered that we had a fundamental difference of opinion about what our idea marriage was. I wanted a safe and secure, monogamous partnership where we grew emotionally and matured together through mutual interests and activities. He wanted a polyamorous relationship where all members we independent and only pleasurable activities were done as a group.

One year ago today I realized that...Life is too long to be miserable for the rest of it. I am better off discovering who I am solo than staying in a relationship where I am made to feel that I'm not sufficiently equipped to provide a fulfilling relationship without outside "assistance".

I've had my year to re-group, to come to terms with my new life. I am now completely ready to take on the challenge of re-shaping my life to look the way my boys and I want it to look. This coming year will be an exciting and HAPPY year.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm the Vice Ruler

When I was in high school I was kind of shy. May people find that difficult to believe, since I certainly stood out. I'm comfortable with my body and the image that I portray from a physical stand point. I have always worn colour, I have been dying my hair un-natural colours since I was about 15 years old, I can be loud, and my laughter is rarely held back....I stand out!
However, I am shy. I find it difficult to have conversations with people that I don't instantly "click" with. I am scared to death of public speaking. I am also very nervous about approaching people I don't know, like when you are soliciting donations, etc. Because of these concerns I never got involved in activities in high school.

In college I moved away from my carefully constructed support system and floundered, HUGE! I had a lot of difficulty making close friends, there isn't a single person except my Ex from my college experience that is anything more than a "facebook friend". I was in class and studying LONG hours for a college program(we averaged 25 hours a week min in class), I had a boyfriend that was in a different program and was not very social. So needless to say I did not take advantage of the social opportunities that were available.

Fast forward to NOW. I am happily living and working in the village that I grew up in. I love my village for it's very strong community spirit, the many activities that are organized here, the closeness of the villagers, and the extreme acceptance that exists here. This is a village that I am proud to call home, that I'm proud to be raising my boys in, and that I want to truly be a part of.

This brings us to last night. A friend who happens to be the President of the Village Community Association asked if she could nominate ME to be Vice President. ME! You know the shy one, the one that has NO experience with social groups, the single Mom that works full time. In spite of all of this, I accepted her nomination because I fully support the important work that they do, and want to be a part of it.
Well wouldn't you know...I was voted in with no challenger.

And so, this weeks "First" for me is becoming involved in a social organization, and I went big!

It's going to be a great year, very busy, but loads of fun!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Year of "Firsts"

It's been almost a year now since my Ex and I separated, there has been a lot of change in that year, a lot of learning, and quite a bit of challenge. I have decided that for the year 2011 I will be trying new things. Of course, I will share my experiences with you all :-)

A few weeks ago as I was sitting, mourning my Birthday on a totally new level while also attempting(for the first time in my life)to plan a birthday party for myself, I realized that I have no idea what "I" like to do for fun. This got me thinking that maybe it was time that I put myself out there and had some new experiences. Over the coming year I will post not only about my "first" experiences, but also just about anything that I do or that happens to me that is a "first".

2011 "Firsts" so far

*I went OUT for new Years Eve -Russell Legion, but was still the first time I've ever gone out

*I spent my birthday"alone" -I was with my kids, then worked, but no adult loved ones. Won't do this again!!!

*I went skating on the canal alone - This was nice, and will be done MANY times in the rest of my life

*I threw my own birthday party - The weather and illness once again decided to fuck this up, but my soup party was great none the less

I hope to do a "firsts" post each week. I would love you all to join me, make suggestions, or even invite me along for one of your "firsts". How about we all spend this year trying new stuff?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The REAL Reason I Need To Get Healthy

Today my Dad would have turned 61. But he didn't. He made it to 47 before he lost his battle with colon cancer , partly due to his profession as a Firefighter and partly due to a relatively unhealthy lifestyle.

In the past 14 years since he died he has missed so much, my family has missed him so much, and I cannot bear the thought of my boys going through what my sister and I have. I don't blame him, I'm not angry with him, I'm just sad.

In 14 years my Father has missed;

-Seeing my sister graduate high school and university
-Seeing me graduate from college
-Sharing my joy when I finally passed my board exams
-Walking me down the aisle on my wedding day
-Holding his grandsons in the first hours of their lives, or any moment afterwards
-Hearing about my sisters amazing travels around the world
-Joining my Mom on her travels around the world
-Meeting the man of my sisters dreams, who is so perfect for her
-The joy of being an "empty-nester" with his wife
-The pride of seeing is daughters turn into responsible adults, instead of the bratty teenagers we were when he died

These are the REAL reasons I will think twice before I eat anything with wheat(I'm intolerant), or drink pop, or skip my veggies, or skip my workout, or consider ordering a meal that is completely deepfried.

Losing weight is a bonus for sure, but is really of very little consequence when stacked beside living to see my boys grow into old men.

Happy Birthday Dad xox

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bring IT! 2011

So 2010 was a big year for me and my family. A year of changes, of learning new routines, of re-prioritizing. Some of those things have been accomplished, others still need work. I am confident that at this time a year from now I will be so much closer to being the person I want to be, and living the life I really want for myself and my family.

I know that everyone says that in order to actually keep New Years Resolutions they must be few and quite simple. But I'm a list person and in order to keep on track I need to have a few items, that are then broken down into smaller tasks. So here I go....

Happy Family
- declutter my home
- spend more quality time together
- say "yes" more often
- take daily pictures of our life
- visit extended family more often

Happy Work
- send welcome cards to new clients
- create an e-mail database for newsletters and availability
- read more technique books
- go to some Breakfast Business Club meetings

Happy Community
- become more involved with Village Association
- become involved with the local food cupboard
- become involved with PTA
- become more involved with the Creative Wheel Centre

Happy Me
- drop weight
- improve fitness so that biking is more fun
- start doing more yoga
- complete my started crafts
- spend more time with my beautiful and supportive friends
- spend all downtime at work earning my Nutrition diploma

I know it looks like a pretty big list, and it is. Hopefully having it all written down will help me keep on top of it. I'll aim for checking back here every month and with determination and drive I'll be able to scratch a number of items off this list.

Happy 2011 Everyone. Bring It!