Sunday, January 29, 2012

Questions 16-20

The next series of questions from this website...

16.) Have you done anything lately worth remembering? A couple who we are friends with recently found out their almost 3 year old (3 in May) has leu.k.emia. This child already has c.yst.ic which they learned of at her newborn screening tests. I dont particularly enjoy the company of the male half of this couple (and I'm fairly certain he feels the same about me) and at times have nothing but disdain for him and his behaviors but I do get along ok with his wife. I was devastated, as we all were in our circle of friends, to learn this news, thinking of their poor child and how difficult this must be for them as parents. So despite my dislike for him, I did not forget my own grace and charity for them and their daughter and we donated some cash along with a few meals and snacks to help them out. Its worth it for me to remember this lesson of giving to people in time of need in any small way possible.

17.) What does your joy look like today? See that pic below...of my beautiful boy and our chill cat...that is my joy. My child every day is my ultimate joy, everyday.

18.) Is it possible to lie without saying a word? Yes it is. Body language and facial expression say so much more than words do at times. Lying by omission is still lying.

19.) If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend? A few months ago, I would have said for not very long. Now I'm getting better at the self-talk thing but its certainly a good question to ask oneself. I know if I heard negative talk from another, I would end the relationship in a heartbeat but you can't end your relationship with yourself so easily and it isnt always apparent there is negativity going on in your own head. Insight is pretty important when it comes to this sort of thing.

20.) Which activities make you lose track of time? Listening to music, playing the piano, cooking and baking and reading. All of my favorite things in the world...leave me with a book and my Ipod and I step out of the world for awhile.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Questions 11-15

11.) Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength? I think it can be both actually. I think most think of this issue in terms of character. To that I say bullshit...crying is not a character issue at all. In my line of work, when a client cries, they have likely broken down a wall of defensiveness and are opening up themselves to not only the person listening but to their own self. Depending on the situation, crying can also be a sign of strength.

12.) What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? I have no idea.

13.) Do you celebrate the things you do have? Yes but not enough. I could work harder at gratefulness for sure, but after the hard days I have and when I'm feeling hopeless in my work, I definitely appreciate the hand I've been dealt in life.

14.) What is the difference between living and existing? I'm not sure if I can really adequately describe this but I know it when I see it and feel it. Moving along, shuffling through, not really living with passion and purpose. Existing is going through the motions, living is being in every moment and fully present.

15.) If not now, when? I ask myself this all the time and I put things off thinking I have another time. Sometimes, I dont. And someday, I won't.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Questions 6-10

Questions 6-10 in the 365 questions...

6.) What do you wish you had spent more time doing 5 years ago? Five years ago I was graduating my Masters program in June, and getting married in October. I moved back home from Chicago until my wedding. I guess I wish I would have spent more time with my parents and family before my wedding because since my wedding I have lived in Canada with my husband. The distance between here and there is great and can feel very far at times. I also wish I had spent my last few months in Chicago trying one more restaurant, exploring one more museum and partying it up with my friends.

7.) Do you ask enough questions or do you settle for what you know? I think I tend to settle for what I know more often than I ask questions, but I will say this depends on the situation. In my work, I ask questions all the time. Its well over 50% of my mental activity and treatment of clients. So in my personal life, I tend to settle for what I know because I'm just so tired of questions. Plus my DH does a TON of questioning of everything so he does more than enough for us both. I have been analytical by nature since I was a little maybe I have a good balance of the two? Interesting question...haha...see...even my answer is slightly ambiguous in whether I continue to question or settle...

8.) Who do you love and what are you doing about it? I love my husband and I do it by showing respect. I treat him as an equal partner, work hard to not use harsh words or language against him, no name-calling, and I try not to nag or be controlling. I treat him as an adult to his face and when talking about him when he isn't around. I dont use sex for power and control (I like it too much to punish myself too, haha) or punishment. We have a no name calling unspoken rule in our marriage...I think if that was to happen, it would be a real sign of trouble. We dont even jokingly say "f-off" to each other and if he ever called me a bitch, I would have his balls in a jar.

9.) What's a belief that you hold with which many people disagree? I don't tend to hold too many controversial beliefs in my heart, and I don't really think my belief system is unique...we all think we're unique but really, we are too often alike too. Focusing too much on disagreements is what creates even bigger problems in my opinion so I haven't really thought about how my beliefts differ from others...I more interested in how they are similiar. In thinking of my line of work, services for women are way more abundant than they were 30+ years ago. Shelters, advocacy, counselling, and support for issues women weren't allowed to talk about or were even acknowledged to be a problem so many years ago are amazing to have for women nowadays. That said, I believe strongly there isnt enough for men as well. I believe in rights for men and in my line of work, too many things are advocated for women only and not for the men folk too. For example, why do women get free sexual assault counselling but male survivors of sexual assault have to pay for it out of pocket? Just one of my peeves when it comes to extreme feminism. My sisters in womanhood are so deserving and didnt get anything for so long but now the pendulum has swung so far we are leaving half the population behind in important issues to them.

10.) What can you do today that you were not capable of one year ago? One year ago I was in the midst of a pretty significant depression based on my lack of employment and feeling less than good about my contributions and self-esteem. Mix in some undiagnosed, untreated mild postpartum depression as well...I can say with 90% certainty I had some of that going on too. I think much of the contributing factors to that were uncertainty about my job situation, financial stress and knowing I wasn't a very good stay at home parent some days but not knowing when I would be back to work. It created a lot of anger, anxiety, emotional eating and lack of control. I can say today that I am capable of self awareness and recognition of how to manage these feelings and knowing it is all temporary. However long temporary is, its still temporary. To manage behavior when feelings and situations are temporary is a skill I have honed for myself and my own situation very well.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

365 Questions

In an attempt to blog more often, I am turning to this website and its list of 365 questions. So I shall answer them here. I'm going to try to catch up by answering 5 a day for a bit.

1.) When was the last time you tried something new? I tried bellydancing back in September 2011 at a local studio and it was super fun! It was also incredibly challenging physically and mentally. I can't recall prior to this the last time I tried something new. Generally I'm pretty cool with staying my comfort zone, but I realize more and more that this holds me back too. So with a touch of fear and anxiety, along with some excitement, I gave it a whirl and I really enjoyed it. It was incredibly difficult to confront my body fears in such an intimate way but I'm glad I did it. I am so uncoordinated and it was disappointing to learn that I have lost some of my natural rhythm I have as a musician as I have gotten really lazy the last few years. It made me realize I need to work a little harder to keep my body healthy. I think I'm a little more at peace with my body image lately as a result. Oh and I'll be doing more classes in March so I hope this is an activity I can do continue to do, learn and enjoy.

2.) Who do you sometimes compare yourself to? I would be lying if I said I never compared myself to other women in the looks department. For a long time it has been in a negative light towards myself, but I'm working on this. I'm working on becoming more content with my own looks. I think with the next decade of my life looming ahead, its making me think a little harder about things.

3.) What's the most sensible thing you have ever heard someone say? In a career full of counselling, advice and thoughts on situations, I have to say that this is really hard to answer. I`m surrounded by sensible things all the time and I often offer my own sensible things to others. So I guess one thing would be the grass may be greener on the other side, but remember, it takes a lot of shit to fertilize a field.

4.) What gets you excited about life? My son's innocence and his wonder at the world. I think of how much he has changed and learned in his almost 2 years and how every new thing is such a wonderful experiment to him. How cool to help him explore and change the world.

5.) What life lesson did you learn the hard way? As I am rapidly approaching my third decade, I wish I would have spent my second decade in a more carefree manner. I have no regrets about how my 20's played out, I just would have liked to have cared less about what others think and let loose. I would have really enjoyed my university years more and not taken them for granted. They did fly by as the years tend to do. I find as I get older, I am getting more carefree and less uptight. I don't want to be looking upon my fourth decade and feeling this way so I intend to make my 30's a really wonderful time in my life.

Monday, January 2, 2012

3 Weeks of the Sickies

Yes, it is week 3 of somebody in this house being ill...mostly me and the baby. DH has gotten lucky so far, the cheeky bastard (knock wood).

I havent updated in forever. Lets just say I had a full week of my parents and brother visiting us which was awesome and tiring and busy all at once. Then December hit us full on so it was getting ready for the holidays.

Then two weeks before Christmas, Maxim go sick. Then the week after, just before Christmas, I got hit with the worst damn stomach flu I've had in years. I honestly can't remember the last time I was so sick. I was out of work for 2 days (3 days really with the forced day off due to Occupational Health's requirements) followed by one good day, followed by the worst gas and gut pain over the holidays I've ever had in my life. Last week, I still wasnt 100% until about Wednesday...and now I have a nasty chest cold with a terrible cough.

Seriously. Seriously the worst Christmas ever when it comes to this. I so didnt enjoy myself like I normally do.

Upside that isnt really a positive thing: I've lost 10 lbs in 3 weeks due to sickness and lack of appetite.

Home remedies are the best. When Maxim threw up his 5th damn DAY in a ROW (it ended up being 9 days if you are really curious) due to coughing, I called my grandma. I had it up to HERE with cleaning up puke. Seriously, I know I gotta lot of years ahead of me cleaning up barf, but enough was enough after 9 days in a row. Poor baby was so sick, he wanted nothing to do but sit and lay on us. The extra cuddles were awesome but I felt so badly for him.

Anyway so I called my grandma and she gave me my great-grandma's home remedy for chest congestion. Long ago, I learned that grandma's remedies are just awesome. When I was in high school, I was a band trip on a bus. I ate Subway then sat on the floor of the bus with my friends...huge mistake, huge nauseous headache ensued. I threw up on the bus in a bucket next to my band director. At the time I didnt make the association between car sickness and the episode, I thought I was coming down with a bug. We were like 20 minutes from my great-grandma's teeny little town and I asked my band director to drop me off for the night. So this big coach bus pulls up in front of my great-grandma's and out she comes with welcoming arms. She nursed me back to health with a teaspoon of creme de menthe and sugar. Yep, thats it. It sounds really foul but trust me, it soothes an upset tummy very fast. I didnt have real creme de menthe during my latest bout with stomach flu, though I was praying it would magically show up in my cupboard at any time. After some great-grandma love, I was good to go the next day and my great-uncle drove me to my band's destination so I could finish my trip. Ever since I do get headaches in the car from nausea unless I'm driving or in the front seat (even the front seat isnt a guarentee) so I'm usually driving.

So grandma's remedies rock. The remedy we used this time was the mustard pack. The recipe is as follows:

3 tbsp of dried mustard
2 tbsp of white vinegar
2 tbsp of white flour
2 egg whites

Mix it up into a paste and spread on a a piece of old thin cotton fabric (old torn bedsheet or t-shirt for example). It will feel cold to the touch. Place on bare chest and keep there for 10-20 minutes (for a child 5 minutes). Be sure to watch so the skin doesnt burn as the circulation in the chest and the mustard interact to heat it up very quickly. If you are doing this to a child, half the recipe down for a smaller pack and remember it will feel cold to you so you have to watch the chest so it doesnt blister. Remove from the chest when it starts to turn pinkish red.

We did this to Maxim twice and it really helped clear it up.

I'm so hoping we all get well really soon. I'm so tired of having low energy and no motivation and feeling like crap. I'll try to post more frequently and hopefully will get some pics up from our Christmas soon!