Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 30 ... Grandmotherhood...

I have to tell you... there is no better feeling in the world than your daughter placing your grandson in your arms and saying "Here, you deal.. I need some sleep". Then you change, and feed, and play, and coo... and put the little man happily to bed. And the house is quiet and all is well and my heart is very, very full ....

I know I'm biased.... but oh my God, that baby is absolutely perfect. We all are aren't we?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 29 ... motherhood, the process

I am not sure what is going on with me. I am ever so thankful and grateful to be here with my daughter and her family. My grandson is precious. The rhythm between Peanut and I seems good and comfortable. The distance as I experience it, between my son-in-law and myself, is not about me, and it's all good.

I got text messages from middle daughter. She was in the midst of a drama. I apparently didn't respond in quite the fashion she had hoped and so was angry with me. I felt at a loss: loss of interest, loss of energy... not feeling able to stand up and meet the challenge of comforting her.

I don't think myself a good mother. Due to my history and the choices I have made as a mother - I feel there is much to make up for always, none of the relationships are free of trepidation, unsureness, unconditional anything... how could my actions of the past have been interpreted as unconditional? That is one of the big problems I guess for divorced parents.. how can your child possibly understand your love for them as unconditional if in fact you left? So what happens? You spend the rest of your life making up for it... feeling always on the edge of a cliff because of it, never really sure of your place.

On the other hand... Peanut trusts me enough to leave me alone with her son. Many a mother I'm sure would think me nuts for being surprised at this. It is how it is supposed to be. Well it's a big deal to me. And you know what .. I'm grateful for it.

Levi just woke crying... I waited, went and soothed him, and such an overwhelming sense of love took hold of me... as it does when I hold him... I KNOW this was there for my children. I know this. What does that morph into? There is a depth and a fullness to the love I feel for Levi. It's pure. It's beautiful. That love exists for my children as well. I know this. I wish they did.

When that wellspring of love surfaces as it just did ... that is gratitude.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

June 27 ..... A man of Canmore...

I don't understand how people live here. I walk out side and am instantly agog at the mountains. They are everywhere. At the BBQ last night I asked people, some of whose families have lived here for over a hundred years!! I asked them, do you ever tire of the mountains? Is it possible to become blase about them? I am stupified by them. Young daughter will ask me an important question while we're driving and I'm tuned out.... gawking...

At one point today son-in-law noticed a rescue operation going on on one of the mountains.. he called out to Peanut and she got me and we all watched. Then they sat and watched for at least an hour how birds, presumably eagles, were dive-bombing for food. I am very grateful that my daughter has found a man who finds that interesting, who is mesmerized by nature, who has a healthy and immense respect for nature. THAT makes me happy.

It takes my breath away sometimes to see the values I hold dear - obviously nature, its care, the beauty of the mountains, Winnetou... I see those values being held and shared between my daughter and her mate, soon with her son, my grandson. I love the continuity.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

June 26 .... Continued...

Grandson fell asleep in my arms, much to his mum's chagrin, several times today. I seem to have the midas touch... yay me, and yay Levi.

We went on an awesome drive today. Spray Lake.... it looks downright unreal it's so awesomely beautiful. I will show pictures upon my return home, as I don't know how to do it from where I am
.. and it's not a phone pic.

It's been a long, pleasant day ...

My apologies for the brevity of these posts these days - but the days are indeed long and full, and it seems I'm too spent to be able to share all that's amazing and wonderful in the world.. although much there is.

Friday, June 25, 2010

June 25 ... magnificence...

I arrived in Calgary at 11 a.m. Young daughter of mine looks amazing, my grandson is magnificent. He cooed at me! Watching daughter take care of the young man, I am filled with pride. I participated in giving a bath - and he loooovvves his bath! He was sooo happy in his bath. I'm in awe, happy, loving the time with my daughter and her little family.

And then of course there are the mountains. I can't be here and not notice the mountains. They are magnificent. I have already gone on the first of many walks.

I am now whooped proper... and need to go to bed. Tomorrow pictures, and more about all this magnificence around me.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 24.... out of the blue..

Howdy. So, after a full day of work I am on vacation for 10 days. I am leaving in the morning for a trip to Canmore to see Peanut and family including new baby Levi .. and the Rockies. I could stop right there because God knows that's enough to be grateful about! However...

When I got home, I knew I had to do the bank run, and offered Honey to do a run to the grocery store - not wanting to leave him with an empty fridge and all. Well.. as most of us, or some of us, understood, the stores are all closed today.. oops. Oh well, I guess he will get what he needs and wants without me. All good.

So we do that bank run anyway - and then we stop at the local Louisianan place called Lucille's. We shared a bunch of pints, Calamari, and Ribs.. and I'm happy and sated, and totally grateful for the spontaneity of it all. I didn't like the idea of leaving here for ten days and being happier about leaving than I was about arriving. It's not a good place to be. So here is my gratitude for out of the blue decisions, fun, having Ireland dealt with, laughing together, allowing things to happen...... things don't always have to be a shit storm, do they?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 23...... The Stone of Compassion.

So I feel a little unsettled with how I ended my post yesterday. Grateful for loving someone sounds wrong. But the truth of it is my dad and I had a crappy life together until he showed up at my door homeless. I spent a lot of years being really, very angry at him. He was a brute, physically, verbally, emotionally. He is narcissistically  disordered. He is a man of his time and generation. He was violent and egocentric. He never gave a shit about anyone but himself really, unless there was something to gain from the other person. He is however, also a boy who survived the burning of his city, the bombing of his grandmother's house in which he lost several relatives, he was a baby who was left with his brother in a playpen for a large part of the day while mother and father went out to work, he is the brother of an alcoholic, and was the husband of one for many years. He is a man who failed at business, marriage and parenting.

Some years ago, I learned how to carry the stone of compassion. This may sound bizarre but I get it .. so I share it this way. The stone of compassion for me was a real blessing. It does not weigh what the stone of anger weighs. It really doesn't. The stone of compassion lets you grow, leaves you room to grow, to be kind to yourself. The stone of anger eats away at you, doesn't leave you any room for much else, least of all yourself.  I was able to learn how to carry the stone of compassion for my mother as well. So important to take the person in the context of their lives. Oh my God, I just had an epiphany - it makes total sense that I am the "type" of therapist I am - systemically oriented - believing and relying on the understanding of context to help people. Wow. I have been able to use compassion not as a way to forget necessarily, and I'm not even sure about forgiving - but truth be told all that isn't necessary once you carry the stone of compassion instead of the stone of anger. The two - anger and compassion - can not coexist. They can't. And yes, it is totally a choice - which stone you choose to carry.

My dad was shaped into being a prick. My mother was shaped into being an alcoholic. It could have been different but it wasn't. I choose the stone of compassion. For this, I am grateful.

and ps .. no we didn't find the wallet .. more on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 22 .... Dad

Dad is a funny guy. He lost his marbles almost eight years ago, ended up more or less homeless, showed up at my doorstep with a suitcase that contained but a pair of shorts, his wallet, and his "papers". Since then, I have taken over. I found him a good place to live, have dressed him, furnished his home, and now take him for doctor's appointments and haircuts. I often worry about how he is doing. He tends to sleep some 22 hours a day. Whenever we ask him how is he, he says you know same shit different day. Ok. So imagine my surprise when one day, when I went to the office to re-sign his lease, a yearly chore, I saw pictures of him on the desk. He was singing in a choir! Dancing with some woman! Winning at bingo! Wow!! Then as years went on, his apartment was getting populated with nice little throw pillows; we once came in and found a pair of nylons draped over the TV!; there is a nice ladies jacket hanging in his closet; he has a new pair of reading glasses (ladies glasses). So I ask him who does this belong to dad? And I always get the same, very sincere reply, "I don't know". I have pretty much accepted my dad's dementia. It's the vascular kind so its not so bad (sort of). We joke with him, he is always happy to see me, and clearly he has less of a sleepy life than I know or think!

It has always been important to me that he maintain some autonomy. That means that I leave him money in his account (minimal) and he gets to keep his banking card.  I know his dementia is progressing because he has stopped going to the corner store all together. He used to go, would buy macaroni, Crisco Oil, (he has no means of cooking) cause he was doing a grocery run to go to the country. I often go to his place and find little grocery lists. When I ask him what that is, he replies like I'm an idiot, haven't I seen his grocery lists for the cottage before, I should know he is getting ready to open the cottage up for the season, whats wrong with me. Well Dad, what's wrong with me is I remember we lost the cottage and you don't. Talk about Groundhog Day. Anyhow, all that to tell you that he got to keep his wallet.

Well now he lost his wallet. A whole host of things need to be taken care of now - in order to secure his pension from Germany - can't do that without photo ID. Bloody hell... that would have been the Medicare Card that was in the wallet. Or his Citizenship card... that was in his wallet too. It's such a damn fine line - autonomy/security, dignity/powerlessness. You don't know when you have crossed the line until you do - and then it's too late.

Where is the gratitude? I don't know. I'm glad I have saved up his money, because if we lose the German pension for a while, he won't hurt any. I am glad there are ways to fix these things. Tomorrow I will go and really scour his apartment, perhaps my blog tomorrow will be about my gratitude for finding it!

I love my dad. That I can tell you I'm grateful for.

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 21 ... Happy Summer...

All first days of summer should be as glorious as today was. I was lucky - I had a late start to work - which left my morning free and clear. I went on a most amazing bike ride. Up the mountain and through the woods of Mount Royal, down through the Plateau, to Old Montreal and home again. It was the perfect temperature. It smelled absolutely wonderful on the mountain, everywhere actually. The Linden trees are in bloom - and while in a week or so I will be cursing the sap or whatever shit sprays from those trees in the middle of the summer, making the whole front of the house sticky and disgusting, when they bloom it's another story all together. It smells fantastic around here. The mountain smelled of the country and while I got weepy for only a second or two - I felt ever grateful for the morning I was having. A lot of smiling on my face today.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

June 20 ... the day after...

Howdy. I need to share what a great time I had last night. We had a record turn out at the Lane Party - how I know is because I collect the dough to pay for the lamb - and I collected more than ever before. It was, quite possibly, the very best meshwi we ever had. Delish. The people were fun, my friends were great, and I didn't get drunk. You know there might be a problem lurking in the background, when people show up at around 6 pm and are saying stuff like "Wow Heidi, it's 6 pm and you're not trashed yet!" or ..."Hey Heidi, it's 8 pm and you're still here! Wonderful!".  I actually got those comments last night - and truth be told they felt not good. (You need to know that the meshwi starts at around two in the afternoon, at which point the chef and sous-chef (I'm the sous-chef) usually starting cooking other things on the grill as well, and start with a bit of Ouzo .. it can and has gone down hill from there once or twice!).

Being the daughter of an alcoholic, drinking is always a loaded thing for me. I'm afraid of it ... until I start doing it, then I decide everything is fine. I learned last night that practicing restraint is not impossible, it is ok, and I feel a lot better today for it I tell you. It's horrible having that skeleton in my closet to tell the truth. It always makes me weigh and judge my behavior - probably, often, too harshly. And then the pendulum swings, and I don't respect the skeleton enough - apparently like at other lane parties. It's never, ever, a non-issue for me. There is always stuff to reflect on isn't there?

I had a great time. I got to take responsibility for my actions. I'm glad for it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

June 19 ... Lane Party!

Every year, the responsibility is bestowed on me, and I guess I accept, to organize my neighbourhood community for a "Lane Party". We have a lamb meschui - lamb roasted on a spit. We get to have that because one of the neighbours is Greek - and they always do Greek Easter with a lamb on a spit. A few years ago we all decided that we would chip in and have that for our lane party - and we have been doing it ever since. The neighbourhood consists of the houses on either side that border our lane out back. It's perfect. Our lane is constructed so that it is closed at either end and there is never any car traffic.

As I write - the men are putting up tarps - as it seems a thunder shower later is inevitable. They have created an amazing tent city before - we use tarp, swimming pool liners, (yes, yes), out door gazebo type structures.. and by the beginning of the evening it all comes together to house up to 35 adults and a bunch of kids, and many tables laden with food and wine - and there you go .. we have an awesome evening, always.

I have to go .. the Greeks are starting up the grill... and we always have a smaller, more private, lunch party ... let the fun begin!

Happy Summer everyone.

Friday, June 18, 2010

June 18 .... in the midst of a storm...

Sometimes, when I'm "supposed" to write my blog post, I'm in the middle of stuff - it could be a funky mood, a dinner with friends, or a fight with Honey. Writing always seems kind of surreal at those times because I'm not really tuned in to either - in this case the fight, Honey, or the blog. And I am not sure at a moment like this what I feel grateful for.

I had a great day. Interesting politics, good work, awesome gardening, a lovely 5 a 7 with friends, and then a difficult, uncomfortable evening with Honey.

I remember learning, and then teaching, with regard to self-esteem, that people sometimes have the bad "habit" of making "everything" bad when it's only been a small part - for example, doing poorly on a test, does NOT mean you don't understand ANYTHING; not getting ONE job, does not mean you're a complete career failure; having one fight, does not make the whole relationship shit; having a few bad months does not flush 20 years down the toilet....

Sometimes, life is hard .... and you know what, sometimes, it's not. That is in fact, something to be grateful for.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

June 17 .... Welcome Little Souls...

I witnessed an ancient, Jewish ritual today. I went to watch a little boy get circumcised. It was my first time meeting Little Henry, hearing his name, which was chosen to honour the memory of his late Grandmother Helen. Helen would have been a Bubby. Her presence was felt, undeniable, comforting.

Oh my God Henry is beautiful. His head fit into the cup of my hand. He has a shock of hair that is in fact, shocking! A perfect nose, a perfect face. So beautiful - and looks just like his dad. It was emotional, and wonderful, and sad, and joyful. I feel blessed to be a part of this family. I feel blessed with this new addition on Honey's side. Little Henry is bringing a lot of joy to this family.

That being said, I CAN'T WAIT to see Levi!! Next Friday! He will get a tummy rub from Grandma Heidi for sure. I can't wait to hold him, soothe him, truth be told, be soothed by him. I can't wait to see my daughter, the young woman now - she's a mother. Much feeling and emotion today. Much blessing.

Welcome little Souls.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 16 ...Consciousness.. Progress....

I remember when I was young, most of my energy was focused on raging. No matter what was going on I would shout out "You have hurt me! You are wrong!! You are unfair! You are not well!" Like that. I would go on and on. As years went by, for some reason I shut down. I remember in university - I was about 30 something, I was sitting in a circle of about 40 or so people. Two people on either side of me started a conflict. I froze, couldn't speak, blanked out ... the teacher (thank you M, I don't know if you remember this) caught it and called me on it, taught me to recognize it, guided me toward empowering myself. Well I did.

As things go, the pendulum swung the opposite way - so that I was all about raging again but in a more adult way. What that looked like was me speaking before thinking, jumping up at injustices, not picking my battles. A wonderful example of this was when I was an admissions counsellor at Concordia. I was in a meeting with other counsellors - some who represented the John Molson School of Business. In the meeting Maria said "John Molson decided that they were going to cut the grades off at B+" .. to which I jumped up and shouted emphatically "John Molson is dead!!!" - and Maria with all the serenity of a monk responded, "The school Heidi, not the man." I actually had to leave the meeting because I could not contain my laughter. At least I can laugh at myself!!!

 Lately, with the group I am involved in, I have been challenged, both in my role in this group, as well as on an interpersonal level. The "old me" would charge in, name a wrong, stir up shit I guess, think I was doing good - and probably had the intention of doing so - but chaotic, un-thought out action rarely results in much good. Oh my how far I have come. Instead, I am learning, making connections, checking for support and happily finding it, planning for the next time, being patient. I feel kind of grown up. I feel safe. I feel empowered. I feel conscious. On Oprah today, she was telling a woman you are not conscious, you are not aware of your impact on your environment - whether your kids, husband or yourself. You have to live consciously and with intent. I'm there I think.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June 15 ... Abundance....

Sometimes I come to this blog knowing what it is I'm grateful for. Sometimes, I come with a story in my head, and wonder, how do I shine the light of gratitude on this? Sometimes, I feel miserable, and I write about that and in doing so something shifts, I recognize the gift in the moment, and I'm grateful. Sometimes, like right now, I come to the blog contented, at peace, centered even, happy with the weather, the gardening I did this morning, the state of my tomato plants, the meal I just had that Honey cooked for me, the day of work which was great, the potential for growth in that area, the walks to and from the office, the video that was posted of my grandson, the contact from my daughter .... There is abundance in my life.

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 14..... Family...

I'm struggling with starting this post today. I am not intending to complain, so if it sounds like that forgive me. Family is hard stuff. We don't get to pick our families. We don't get to pick the choices our family members make. We usually are pretty much affected by those choices none the less. Just a few examples: alcoholism, business decisions, life partner choices, drug addiction, divorce, religion..... you get the idea. There is a whole slew of stuff in my family - that seems to prevent us from having authentic relationships. And funny enough - that trait spans both my families, all three of my families... see it's complicated. And then there is the bubble problem I tend to have - thinking things are wonderful, lovely, loving even, when in reality they aren't really.

I found it funny (well not funny funny, funny in a weird way) that Peanut would call me today to talk about her disappointing relationship with her brother, when I just got through feeling saddened by Honey's family. Is it that we all harbour these expectations to be thought of, loved, in a way that's satisfying to us? That we want warm and dependable relationships and they aren't what's there? We want honesty and concern, unconditional love and acceptance, and that's just not there? We want to belong, be a part of, a bosom (buzum - how to spell?) of a family, yet it doesn't really exist? Buddhists teach that the thing you hang on to for security, whether it's family, love, or ego - it's not real. The security is not real. Suffering however, apparently is. That sort of sums up my feeling of family .. often. 

In terms of gratitude though, I am pleased that Peanut reached out and shared with me. We are a tiny unit her and I, and I would imagine it was her fear speaking, when she admonished me today to not mother her too much when I come for my visit. I know our relationship means much to her, as clearly it does to me. It's a precious thing, worthy of work and care. I don't want to lose it either Sweetheart. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

June 13 ... in the woods...

We got up early today and headed to the Laurentians for a cycle in Morin Heights. It started off kind of shaky... so after wiping out in the first 5 minutes, (no real harm done sort of), and finding my own private bathroom in the woods (I don't think I have EVER done that!! God Help Me) ... we finally got underway and had a fantastic 50 km ride. Ireland, we're getting ready for you! I feel great.

We went from Morin Heights to Lac des Seize Iles, through something called Le Corridor Aerobique. It was beautiful, difficult, wonderful! Much of the way looks like a place they might have filmed the Hobbit. Moss covered stones, brooks and waterfalls, small lakes all along. I was so thrilled when we came upon Lac des Seize Iles. It's a part of the country-side that is burned into memory -we have driven there so many times, it's on the way to Winnetou. It's a lake I have always wanted to get to know. The picnic lunch was awesome. And while the ride back - up most of a mountain to start was arduous, there is something so rewarding for me to know that my body can indeed cooperate. I feel great, whooped, and happy.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 12 ... ordinary things....

Today was a day of getting stuff done. We needed to finalize, sort of, our wardrobe prep for Ireland - that's coming up quickly. Going shopping for clothes is rarely fun for me. I'm shaped like a light bulb... ya, like that, like when you're holding up a light bulb - screwy side down... no fun.. thats not a pear, or an apple, certainly not a bean... no way, uh uh not me, I'm a light bulb. Which means what fits on the top doesn't fit on the bottom and vice versa... Oh well. The good news is, rather than look like a young, hip, hottie babe... I'm going to look like an Olympic athlete! See.. it's all about the silver lining.

Then we proceeded to the baby store! Soo tiny these things. It's hard to imagine my own children, who are now adults, with whom I have at the very least, complicated relationships, were once my teeny tiny babies. So we shopped for Levi and the new second cousin, who I hope we're going to see shortly. Imagine we were all such tiny creatures once upon a time. You lose sight of that, lose sight of how vulnerable we all were, basically are, who am I kidding.

Now it's time for an afternoon nap, before this evenings festivities begin. We're off to a BBQ party.

Nice easy summer day. I'm grateful.

Oh, PS ... Blogger has new templates.. let me know what you think of the change....

Friday, June 11, 2010

June 11.... up at dawn...

For whatever reason I woke up at 5 am. Honey says I was already reading by then .. but how would he know? I'm sure he was the dude lying next to me snoring away! Anyhow.. so while it's only 7 pm now, and I have yet to have dinner, I'm ready for bed!!!

My gratitude is simple today. I'm really glad it hasn't been raining and overcast for the last 4 hours. We're all praying for a break tomorrow, I want to cycle, walk, something! And while tomorrow isn't here, and yesterday is gone... right now is a gift... back to the deck!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June 10.... more babies!!!

Second cousin once removed .. is that even it? Let me start over ... Honey's cousin had a baby today! Beautiful, beautiful boy. Mom looked like she didn't even break a sweat, seriously. I saw her less than three weeks ago and really, she didn't even look all that pregnant!!! I am very, very happy for them indeed.

I had a moment today where I really missed her mom. Dear H passed away two years go February. I know her daughters missed her mightily today. We all did. When I said as much to Auntie A she said "She was with us anyway". We all carry a spirit or two around with us don't we?

I am noticing now that whenever someone close has a baby, it's really loaded for me. I wanted so badly for my mother to be there for me when my kids were born. That didn't happen. It was and is painful, more so I guess because I always saw it as her choice. It would be nice to find a way to rejoice about these babies that are coming into my life. New grandson, new second cousin, these are happy wonderful events - not sad ones.

Time to move on Heidi.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June 9.... stuff to say...

I have been carrying around some thoughts and on first glance they don't seem to have too much to do with gratitude... but I have done this before and ended up somewhere lovely so here goes.

So yesterday's convo with S is still with me. I have been thinking about how we as women, often, put the relationship above all else. Many of us have put it ahead of our kids, certainly at the expense of ourselves, we drown out our desires and voices and wake up somewhere down the road asking ourselves how we got here. That's hard shit. How do we get ourselves heard? My experience is that sometimes even if we're heard, we're not. Perhaps the problem is the expectation of change once we are in fact heard. Nothing seems simple.

Today I was part of a group that is 99% women. There is a bully among us, among the 99%. No one is speaking up, challenging, putting a stop to it.. I guess that's why it's called bullying. Or mental illness, I'm not sure! Anyhow.. all that to say.. sometimes, you gotta stand up and say stuff that needs to be said. And sadly, even doing that isn't always enough (see, again!). Our voices are drowned out by an emotional reaction, our own guilt or fear, our own insecurity, or for the sake of "peace" - whatever the hell that would look like. Often rather than own our anger and unhappiness we get on board with the insane and say stuff like "Oh, I'm pmsing" or "Oh, I'm menopausal - I'll be less pissed at your inattention and disrespect when I age!" - wtf??? We DO this!

So where's the gratitude in one's voicelessness. How many are the ways we silence ourselves? Because many they are. I've been challenged recently to step up to a place of leadership. But I can see clearly... there is no support there for me. The bully is winning the day. And mostly everyone is afraid of a bully. There is a part of me saying - I can pick and choose my battles and I'm not sure this one merits my energy - precious as it is to me. How do I figure that out?

Gratitude.... in the melee of my day, I hear that I make a difference, I hear that I am being counted on to make a difference, I hear that in fact that is my role. I appreciated very much the definition of that today. From that feedback it would seem I have a voice, and someone is hearing it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June 8 ... of men and hair...

I went to see S today. She is my lovely hair consultant. I consult with her on my hair, and she does what she wants. Very much most of the time I come away happy. The times that I don't I am beginning to realize it's not about her. I keep demanding that she make me look younger, thinner, hipper, not like an old woman from the burbs (eeek!!!)  you can do that with my little bit of hair can't you???  We spend a lot of time laughing together. Today seemed sadder. It didn't help that I'm PMSing. Anyhow all that to say we got on to the subject of our respective men.

I need to share something with you S. You must take what I say with a grain of salt - as clearly, like I explained, I'm no expert on the subject. Dear beautiful S, you deserve so much. One doesn't need to spend a lot of time with you to know that you are one of those true spirits, those pure ones, the ones without malice. You are caring, responsible, fuuuuuuunny. You don't deserve to suffer, even less to suffer in silence. And truth be told, with regard to our subject matter, none of us do - deserve that. But it's the very few of us who can talk about it, who can make choices to change things, who can step up and respect themselves enough to do just that. I doubt that I lead by example, but I talk about it. I talk about it a lot. I know you have too. No one will think any less of you for putting yourself first. Do it cleanly, honourably, honestly ... I promise there will be great rewards for you to reap.

What's this got to do with gratitude? I am grateful I know a pure a heart as you. Thank you .... not so sure about the cut though, it looks a little "burby" to me. :-) xo

Monday, June 7, 2010

June 7 .... much gratitude...

My present life began back about let's see.. twenty years ago. That's who I am now, the person that evolved from there. It's that woman that decided to go to university, get herself educated, figure out who I am and all. One of the first awesome women on my journey was M. I met her as my teacher - in one of my very first courses. It was then that I knew without a doubt actually, that I would one day have a private practice and do what it is I'm doing today. The road was long and curvy, hills and vales, but here I am pretty much how I visioned it then. And all along the way, in one way, shape or form, M has been there, in a strange kind of way.

Like I said our relationship began as teacher/student, Peter Pan/Wendy, White Witch/Grasshopper ... whatever. After some time, I taught with her, twice. Both experiences were great. She was near me when I first began therapy. I would run into her at the oddest of times. After one therapy session, running into her and our co-teaching colleagues, one of the colleagues said "Oh my look how upset poor Heidi is!", M chirped back "Good!".  She had a way of shaking me back to myself. She used to "rub" the bad energy off of me and toss it away. We spent a weekend in the country with two other women. We have laughed so hard together... M remember the drive to the country, me telling you the story of L ... doesn't matter now but holy cow I never laughed so hard in my life. Or the story of your mother's nursing home, where the mother AND daughter resided ... remember that howl? Or the book falling on your head on Park Avenue.. out of no where. Or being on the phone when you discovered the word Miasma!! God.. fuuuunnny.

And then she moved to another country. We don't see each other just as much as we ever did :). That's the kind of relationship we have I guess. And if that were all I had to write - I would be grateful enough.

Once she left Canada, she left her private practice behind too. And since she left, she has sent me a steady stream of work which has been a huge part of the success of my practice. I have thanked her many a time. I am thanking her again. The fact that she sends these folks to me speaks to me of trust - in me of course; of a recognition of my good work - cause truth be told, it's been over 5 years now that she is sending me people. I feel respected as a professional by my mentor and teacher. I am very, very grateful dear M. Thank you.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 6 ... of comfort and mothers...

What a miserable, cold and rainy day we had today. It was beautiful. I have spent a total of two hours out of my pajamas. I watched a bunch of SYTYCD (the dance thing) back to back, interspersed with the movie Crouching Tiger, Something or other Dragon - which by the way is a beautiful movie, even if you're not into that sort of thing - and finally watched some golf. We took a two hour break to visit the folks, they tempted us with home made rhubarb pie! Who could resist?

For dinner Honey and I foraged in the fridge. Once in a while, and tonight was one of those nights, we don't have a "formal" dinner, no three food groups, no organized process, more like left overs, or something we each make for ourselves. My treat tonight was "noodles and eggs".

Do you remember any foodie things your mom used to cook you when you were a kid? My mom used to make us noodles and eggs, and I pretty much stay true to form except I take mine up a notch by using yummy Udon noodles, hot sesame seed oil, and curry spices. She used to make us sweet rice - white Dainty rice, cooked in milk, and served with either sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top, or with fruit cocktail. Makes me gag to think about it now - but I used to LOVE that! Or cream of wheat the same way. She used to make us "spaetzle" - German home made noodles, and then fry that in brown butter, with bread crumbs. What's the nutritional value of that?  But I would eat it so happily - until I felt ill and ready to bust! Sundays at the cottage, she would always make us her French toast - that was always such a treat for us. She made pfannenkuchen - thick crepe like things - which we had with a host of different fillings - creamed spinach, or potato salad, or cut fruit into the batter and then sprinkle that with sugar, bizarre, but all in their own right yummy believe it or not. And I realized while making my noodles tonight, thinking about this, how nice was it to have come upon a good memory of my mom.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

June 5 ... in the garden...

So the weather here is getting predictable - if it's the weekend it's raining. Except that... it more or less isn't. It looks foreboding enough not to go out and cycle, or picnic, or walk .. and in the end it barely rains. The silver lining in that is the gardening I got done today! My home - the outside - looks awesome. I have some new "children", a clematis, basil plants, ooh and a nice new lavender plant. And I transplanted irises to the front and created a sort of hedge, looks wonderful.

Now, at 5 pm... I can barely move... is that really how 49 is supposed to feel? Anyhow.. despite the stiffness and muscle ache, I am really pleased with my productive day. Yay me!

Friday, June 4, 2010

June 4 .. lettin' loose..

Honey and I moved here about 9 years ago now.. oh God.. that's like a blink of an eye! Crikie... Anyhoo all that to say... we have developed some fine relationships over the last nine years. The Mooka folks are awesome: we eat and drink too much, we play golf, we even vacation together... it's a beautiful thing.

The Greeks are awesome too. They may be a year or two younger than us (probably not even, and I don't even remember now). Mr. Greek was a buddy of our landlord that we had for 12 years on the Plateau. For whatever reason, it always thrills Honey to hear tales about what Mr. Greek and ex-landlord used to do together. I think because it's nice validation knowing EVERYONE else thought the guy (ex-landlord) an ass.

So often, during the summer, the Greeks invite us over for a 5 a 7. These guys happen to be the most generous, hospitable folks I have ever met. And the funniest thing... their oldest son D, mimics his dad.. completely.. when it comes to how he offers food, how he walks, how he wants to entertain when folks are around - it's beautiful. I doubt they follow blogs, or are even online that much .. maybe the kids... but if just once they would.. I would like them to know that their friendship and hospitality are immensely appreciated.

In two weeks we have our annual "Lane Party" .. it's usually a Meschwi of Lamb, this year perhaps a suckling pig!, but we're not sure. The entire neighbourhood shows up, we have an awesome, heartwarming, somewhat inebriated time, and I love it. I love summer. I love my neighbourhood.

What a lovely summer evening we have had...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June 3 .... getting out there....

I have been commenting lately on my great brain fatigue .. (Haven't I??). Well in case I haven't .. I have been suffering from brain fog, brain fatigue, a lack of motivation, I don't know what the hell...  and it's tough tough tough to get past it. It's easier, it really is, to sit and stare out a window for four hours than it is to get up and live a life. Sort of....

Anyhow... last week on Princess Day I was in a meeting where I met a very interesting lady. Since our meeting she has sent emails to two different people saying Heidi does this and that I think she would be good for you. Holy Cow!! Now I have to step up to the plate!! I do!!! I have to put my projects into practice, have to walk the talk, put my money where my mouth is... or make the money I'd like to put in my mouth! Whatever! And it's hard! It's hard to have the guts to put a workshop together and trust that it's going to be something. It's hard keeping the belief that you can engage people, that they will be interested, that you have something important to share. I was told I had wonderful potential for leadership, I should grab the bull by the horns, I have lots to offer. Really? How do you see that while I'm asleep at the wheel??? Tell me?! I'm really glad I met this lady. I may never see her again... but I'm grateful she came across my path.

Nothing like someone coming along and lighting a fire under your hiney.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June 2.... good old fashion Princess Day..

It's a spectacular morning. At this point I have already had a perfect Mooka coffee, lovely breakfast with Honey out on the deck, and time to linger over the morning paper. I'm getting ready to attempt playing a 9 hole game of golf with Mr. Mooka. God bless that man for his patience... because I use the terms "Game" and "golf" and "playing" very, very loosely. Cause truth be told - I suck at it! But I never give up!!

I love waking up happy, pain free, on a delicious summer morning - especially when it isn't even summer yet!

Off to a great day!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1.... I came to the conclusion

So today I only started working at one. Sometimes I have a hard time with an expanse of space and time before me. I have friends who run all day long, do for everyone, say they can't find a second... and I wander around my house with hours before me wondering what's wrong with me. Really. Sometimes I look at Honey's and my lifestyle and say too, something is wrong, we're just not like everyone else. Maybe I worry for nothing, but I'm not sure.

Anyhow.. so today I'm wandering around. I notice I don't have a lot of motivation to do anything either. I could just as easily sit in front of my computer, or stare out the window. I don't think this is good. It is in fact making me unhappy. So I go get my journal. I start writing about this, writing about what I want - have wanted - to do in terms of projects. I question why I can't - won't - find the energy to do them. My money workshop, other creative endeavors to broaden my private practice, work I'm supposed to do with a theatre company, clay or painting - something creative, exercise. What is it that stops me?

And then I make a choice. Can it possibly be that simple? I made a choice to exercise. 30 minutes on the elliptical - Marj where are you anyway? And all of a sudden I feel awake, not lethargic, clear. I finish up, take a shower - and then send some emails and make some phone calls. Put myself out among the living again.

Sometimes it just feels great making a choice for yourself.