Today is my best day!

 

Today I saw a shirt that had the above words, I thought to myself what a great slogan. No matter what type of day you are having “Today is my best day” and make it that.

These past few years have turned into a slump, after losing my job and forced to drop out of a course I wanted to take due to financial need I have been just going from one job to another looking for some way to make ends meet. The feeling like your running in a huge mud puddle and sinking. I believe that we have influences all around us in large or small ways, the milk spilled so now you are late for work, does that mean you have to behave like a Bitch to everyone? No, not at all.

As you are just spreading your negative influence so, when I see something that is a positive influence I try to embrace it into my day and week. We all have an abundant amount of negative influences all around us every second every day. How we handle them is what sets us apart from others, are we better than those negative influences? I’m trying to be.

Today is my best day, if I take a step back and ponder this, how profound it can be of a statement. I have had so few “best days” that I think I need to re-think how I look at myself. My daughter is invited to a wedding and we have nothing to give or even a dress for her to wear. I have not been able to buy cloths in well over three years and am down to two pants and 4 shirts and one bra. I now have every sock with holes that have been re-sewn so many times that the sock is see through with only strands of thread holding together. I have sewed my cloths so many times that the patches and torn material is so thin no patch or thread is going to save it. My jeans are practically see through and now a single mom looking for work again.

So when the “today is my best day” filled my head I have to admit first glance I thought “ya right!” but then I stopped stressing out and decided yes, today is my best day.

I have a roof over my families head, I have a small amount to food to stave of hunger, small amount and not very healthy but it will keep us alive. We do have cloths, even though they are the holiest things I have ever owned. We have each other.

I think I must stop focusing on the horizon, and start learning to enjoy the walk.  Just like this quote:

If you’re going through hell, keep going. Winston Churchill

So when I am down I just need to think of it as I am just passing through, not stopping, not dwelling on anything, I’m just passing through. So, today is my best day and so will tomorrow and the tomorrows after?

I want to pass on the inspiration, I do not know who made the shirt, if it is a famous quote or what it is, but I want to pass on the inspiration to you. Make today and every day your best day by looking at what you have and not what don’t.

Make today your best day.

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Rule Your Hell

Very recently I have experienced a struggle, with reality I guess you could put it. I am in Alice’s Wonderland of all lands to enter. I mean really, why couldn’t I enter the land of enchantment, to be a queen in a castle? What’s up is really down, and the truth be told, the left side of that mushroom will not make you taller. Just like the right will not make you smaller. While I go through hard times I always try to learn from others, I read anything and everything as fast as I can read it. Just so I can find an inspiration, and tool or a strand of hope to get me through this with some sort of grace. I love and respect all writers, it is a fantastic way to weave in and out of realities, lessons and of course finding treasures in mystical worlds, my favourite. Words in print, just the best.

While having a random anxiety attack, I opened a random book. Seriously just random, picked up what was beside where I was sitting. While taking those deep slow breaths I opened a page deep within the bindings. This is what I read;

“To reign is worth ambition though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven” (Pg. 44 in Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy)

This was like a fist to the face. What the hell is this person saying? It was shocking, thought provoking, and made me think I was about to be stricken by God at any point. This was blasphemous! Should I duck? Run for cover? I mean I honestly, felt like I was in serious harms way. Not what someone in the middle of an anxiety attach needs! But this is what writing is all about for me. To shock you, to make you think, to encourage or shake up your reality, only then are you open to a new way of thinking.

I put it down and took a few more deep slow breaths. I’m calming down from the attack now by reminding myself “I am all right”. As you may know, our body does not know the difference between stress of excitement, stress of fear, or stress of shock. To our bodies, stress is stress, and it releases all sorts of chemical reactions to help you fight or flight. So, self talk, (don’t laugh) is a huge help to let your body  know you are all right. After calming down I had to open that book again. I searched for the page and re-read that line. I took it to be speaking to me right now. Ya, I’m special in the way, but anything that can help make sense of or contribute to a better situation; I’ll take it.

It is better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven. What? To me, I think of it meaning when going through Hell you had better rule it while you pass through. Make it worth your while right, why be a slave in Hell? Learn all you need to make it work for you.

That’s my interpretation at this point in life of the first part. However, the better than serving in Heaven part I am not sure.Heaven is supposed to be a place we all want to go, but no I don’t want to be a servant for eternity, be it heaven or hell.

I often think of things that help me get through hard times. such things like:

The light at the end of the tunnel is not at train.

This too shall pass.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Tomorrow is always better than today.

When travelling through hell don’t stop, you are just passing through.

These little self-help pep talks are great when you need them as a quick pick up, but to consider to actually rule your Hell. This is a total shift. Take charge! for a lack of better words “man up.” What a great perspective.

So, next question is… How?

Go to school and get that education that will make you a leader. Focus on your current work to show you are stronger, better, and more passionate. Show you want that raise, be assertive! Go for the next level within the company or a competing company. Don’t hang around for a boyfriend / girlfriend to get their shit together, move it on up, don’t let them drag you down. Don’t let them hold you back either, do not let them follow you like a weight around your ankles. Let the pain of the past be exactly that, all in the past. Don’t carry it with you in your future. If you let the past follow you around then it wins, you must win over anything that happened yesterday. It hurt, yup, now let it go.

Basically find the courage to take a leap of faith, to make a move up, or move forward. You can do it. How do I know this? Because history is filled with stories of people who had nothing that made the world change. Not just the local town shaken up, no, these people who had nothing, changed the WORLD! How? Courage! Be courageous, be assertive, get educated and rule your Hell.

😉

 

You want me to wear a bra?

For those of you who have been following my personal everything blog, you will remember we were homeless. Unfortunately I learned that people don’t give a shit. You sleep in your car, who cares! You sleep in a card board box, who cares! In this economy it was not easy to get back on our feet alone, but we are doing it. My daughter finally found work at a Loblaws company in N.W. Calgary. (There are a lot of Loblaws company brands, such as Presidents Choice, No Frills, and the list goes on.) She had been working there for well over 6 months. She has proven that she is a hard worker. She shows up for every shift, she has trained other staff and she knows her job well. She has even stayed extra hours to help them out because they are so busy. Needless to say, she works hard.

Knowing that she is a reliable individual I feel she is taken for granted quit often, and treated rather poorly, but as she says, we need this job until we can find a better on. She is correct of course. Here is the kicker of all the mistreatment she takes. I will sum up the conversation like this;

One morning she shows up for her shift and her manager of the department tells my daughter that she needs to talk to her.

OK, about what? My daughter said.

Do you wear a bra at work? The manager said.

Not always, what does that have to do with my work? My daughter said.

There was a customer who said she was offended by my daughter not wearing a bra because she could see her nipples where perky, so we need you to wear a bra at all times at work. The manager said.

What? So let me get this straight, no one cares if you are homeless, but perky boobs is something to bitch about? Good to know. First of all, my daughter has small breasts, (not like that should make a difference) and is not shaking all over the place. No one is getting a black eye by my daughters massive breasts swinging like a hurricane down the aisles. She wears her t-shirt, plus the specific Loblaws company required shirt for that department over top. The only way that customer could have seen any  perkiness or poking nipples is if she was looking for it, and up close and personal with my daughter. Besides, I have worn bras that still show when its a little cold in the room, so wear a bra or not, perking is still happening.

The other thing is that this is a perfectly normal part of our bodies, if she is upset by perkiness, get a boob job lady! Plus, for a company to tell an employee what underwear they must wear, it must be in the contract of hire, it must be for good reason, such as modeling a bra, or for a company that is advertising breasts, or clothing. This is a grocery store for crying out loud. And it was summer time when this happened, with 30 C weather! Its not like it was -40C below, geesh.

I find this to be a very inappropriate thing to tell anyone. It is just out right sexist. Men don’t wear bras. Oh ya, not including those men who are very large and wear the bra to help stop the pain of their shaking new fat breast. Oh, and the men who are transitioning to become a woman. Or the men that are cross dressers. Or the men who are dressing up for Halloween or some type of costume party. Oh ya, and those men who wear the bra for a day, raising money for breast cancer. But, other than those men, men don’t wear bras. Telling my daughter to put on a bra in my humbled opinion, is bullshit.

There are many reasons for not wearing a bra, to stop sagging breasts is one. Yuppers, that’s true. I would not lie to you, at least not intentionally. A study was done by the French, (and we all know how amazing they are about there boobs and fashion right?), that those who wear bras are more likely to get sagging boobs when aging then those who do not. The reason was that without a bra your body is using muscles of its own to hold them up. By wearing a bra, the body doesn’t have to use those muscles and they become weak and so, in turn, you get knee slapping breasts when you are 50.

Links to find this study info : CBS News, Medical News Today.

So in all my daughters manager (and Loblaws company since the manager represents the company) is cursing my sweethearted, hard working, perky breasted daughter, with the droopy boobies.

My daughter did not protest it because we are in such a hard situation financially that she was worried she would get fired if she were to make a big deal out of it. How horrible is that? You can’t defend your right to be underwear-less because you may get fired.  So, those of you who don’t have panty lines are next, you may have a customer who is offended that you have no panty line, then your employer will tell you to start wearing panties ladies!

What do you think? I think I have clearly made my stand on this issue. Tell my what you think? Do you think an employer of a grocery store (or any store) should tell you what underwear you should wear?

Job Hunting

Have you ever received an email from a potential employer that made you stop in your tracks and question working for that company? How the company treats their employees is just as important as how they treat their customers. If you have questions like; Did they not even look at my résumé? That information is on my résumé, why are they asking for it again? Or perhaps you thought; What are they talking about, a phone interview, and if I pass that I get to be interviewed again in person? Why not just a single in person interview? How lazy is this company? Does this company even know what position I applied for? Answer a survey and then if I pass I can have an in-person interview?

These surveys or questionnaires or personality tests are not even accurate. I read a lot about them while doing my job hunt to see if there’s any right or wrong answers. There are. When you answer, you answer on either end, either highly agree or highly disagree. There is no in the middle anyplace, and there is no neutral. Pick an end and go for it. But, some companies depend on these surveys and they don’t tell them anything about the person. You can have a very qualified, wonderfully friendly person who does not do well on tests, fail these questionnaires. They are crap, most jobs that use these I don’t apply at. Some I will bypass and go directly to the hiring manager. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t, but at least I took a shot.

Now some hoops are legit if it is for a company like say the Secret Service. I could understand the phone interview, then an in-person interview, then a series of tests for physical, mental and emotions stability.  Maybe even more tests and hoops to jump through, but that I could understand if it were for a job with that type of pressure and need for specific qualifications. All the James Bonds out there need to be weeded out from the Peewee Herman’s. But if you are applying for say a fast food place, or a clothing store, or some type of customer service directed job like that these types of “hoops” are ridiculous. I understand that a company wants to find the best fit, but the turn over on these types of jobs are high not because of the right fit, but because these are temporary jobs. Most of those individuals are using these jobs as starter jobs to eventually get better paying jobs.

I am hunting for a job that will fulfill my financial needs and allow me to continue my writing and my other interest. I want it all, what can I say. I had applied at company XYZ. This company advertised online on a specialized site for that type of work.

Being a great job hunter I investigated the company quickly to decide if it’s a place that I would make a good fit. I looked at the hours of operation, the doctors that were working there and then googled their names to see if any bad review of value were ever posted.  Tried to find them on LinkedIn and other social media to get a feel for their style and personalities. Then I looked at what they were looking for in a staff / team member. I felt it was a possible match. I then developed a résumé geared toward the company and fired it off.

Since there is no way for me to interview them before the real interview, we as job seekers must wait for the interview to get a better feel for the position and if we think it would be a fit. It took the company XYZ almost three weeks to respond to my application. When I got the response, it was through email, which is perfectly acceptable. However, the email itself sent out some red flags.

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First it addressed me by: “Hi there.” This is not Facebook, this is a professional company, a business. “Hi there” is just not respectful.

Secondly: It thanked me for applying for an un-named position. Seriously? Does the company even know what position I applied for? Did they even look at the résumé or are they just replying to all the resumes and see what happens?

Thirdly: They sent the email to me at 8:30 at night. The office closes at 6 pm so does this mean they expect their staff to pull overtime regularly? This was not the bad thing, it just made me wonder if I would get overtime pay.  But what did bug me was it sent the email at 8:30 pm asking me to come in at 8:00 am the following morning. Less than 24 hours notice of a possible interview via email. Now I know some people have their emails forwarded to their phones via sms. I can’t afford this, I must check emails on the computer, not my cell. So how this works is that I check email around 6 or 7 pm daily and again around 8 or 9 am daily. I would have had no way of getting the email in time to respond to them. Therefore, it is very disrespectful of a company to only give less than 24 hours notice of an interview. So, they do this to their employees? If I am scheduled off and someone called in sick and they fired off an email to me that night, do they expect me to know or see this email and drop everything and come in? Plus, if I had to work else wear at that time am I expected to drop that job just for a possible job interview with company XYZ? Giving less than 24 hours for a possible interview is a huge neon red flag waving at me.

Fourth: The kicker, they wanted a phone interview and in the same sentence asked for my phone number? What? Did you not read my résumé? Anyone who is a job seeker would put their best possible phone contact number on the résumé. Then they said after the phone interview they will contact me and let me know if I can come in for an in-person interview. I am not applying for the Secret Service, and I am not applying for a job that is in a different country or province or state. It is not so long distance that a phone interview would be feasible and logical.

With the way the job hunting is now, it is hard to get work. Some people are forced to jump through these hoops, my questions are;

Do you think some companies are going overboard on their hiring process?

Do you have an experience in the hiring process that made you think that it was a bad idea to work for this company, but you did anyway only to find out your first impression was right?

What are your thoughts on the modern hiring system of some companies?

 

 

 

Give your food a bath?

In my squirrely soap blog I do a little short story writing and poetry, it is all about soaps and crafts and I sell some at the farmers market but I decided to expand my writing and tie all the blogs together. I start all the stories or poetry with “IMAGINE” you are welcome to go to the squirrely soap blog first story to find out why I start with imagine but right now I wanted to share with more people the stories and see how it goes. So this is how it goes …

Should your food take a bath?

Ha-ha I bet that caught your attention right, giving your food a bath? What? Yes there is a reason to give your food a bath. I wrote all about this in my “Food Of Wisdom” blog and please feel free to read it. I hope it is informative. I was thinking about the article I wrote and I started to laugh at myself as I do quite regularly. I think people around me thing I am a mad person, off my rocker! But picture this if you will, a small claw foot tub with bubbles and a whole bunch of fruit and vegetable taking a bath, how cute? Or strange? But a mental image just makes me chuckle. Is there a story in this? Hum Dee Dum, I ponder and …

Imagine:

Mr. Beet waddles down the dirt path of a mammoth sized field wearing his beautiful green hat. As he reaches the end of the field he spies as far as he can spy and all that he can spy is another field.  Pears to the right and it is a mammoth sized field of vegetable, pears to the left and another mammoth vegetable field. Off yonder it looks like endless low top trees. Just then that flying noise maker passes over, he has another leak. He really needs to look at that Mr. Beet thinks to himself, every time he flies over he’s spraying this nasty tasting liquid all over us. He passes back and forth all over the fields and trees and then is gone again.  Mr. Beet turns his focus back to his surroundings and decides to push forward, I wonder what is out there? He thinks to himself. So he waddles along the dirt path and stops when he sees Mrs. Potato.

“Excuse me” Mr. Beet shyly speaks “Who may you be miss and would you happen to know where I might be?”

Mrs. Potato whips around to face Mr. Beet. She eyes him up and down, she is tall and strong, she is so bold and intimidating that Mr. Beet takes a small step back.

In a strong powerful voice she bellows “Where the heck did you come from? Haven’t seen the like of you in this field and I have traveled this field for many weeks. What the heck are you? You aint one of those weeds are ya? Whatever you’re selling we don’t want it!”

“Well miss, um farmer Jones calls me Mr. Beet so I reckon you can call me Mr. Beet also.” As he stumbles nervously over his words he continues. “I-I-I am not selling anything and well um, uh, well…”

“Spit it out kid, aint got all day ya know.”

“Oh aww, y-yes of course, well I must be a bit of an explorer, ya that’s it, I am an explorer and I am exploring this here fields and those trees over yonder.”

“An explorer hey, don’t know much about that but this here field needs piling so you best be on your way. Nice meetin ya.”

Mr. Beet bid Mrs. Potato farewell and waddled on his way just then Mrs. Potato bellows out to him, “You be careful of those gophers! They’re mean buggers and will take a bite right outta ya!” Mr. Beet nodded politely and waved good bye. The sun was hot, like sun funneled through a magnifying glass piercing down on Mr. Beet. This field seems to go on forever he thought, then he heard in the distance a familiar sound, he stops and listens. Ah yes it is that flying noise machine again, just like always it sprays this bad tasting liquid up and down the rows but this time Mr. Beet drank up all he could, he was so hot he absorbed as much as possible, not really refreshing but will keep me going on my journey he thought to himself. He started to walk again and he almost bumped into the largest gopher he had ever seen, I mean he was huge!

“You work out? What’s your name?” Mr. Beet said trying to break the ice.

In that sexy deep, rather manly voice the gopher spoke. “Folks round here call me MR. Gopher!” “Whaaat yo doing waaay over heeere? This aint chor field, you don’t belooong here.” He drawled out. “Go back where ya came from little red! Go on now, run back home!”

As the gopher leaned in towards Mr. Beet he felt frightened, so frightened he almost pooped out a little beet.

“No.” quietly Mr. Beet said.

“Did yo say somethin? I thought I heard a peep comin outta yo mouth?” The gophers stepped closer to Mr. Beet, almost stepping right on him, gopher bumped beet with his chest. “Wha’s da matter? Carrot got your tongue? You so chatty, wa-ch ya gonna do?” Mr. Gopher glared right into Mr. Beets eyes.

Every part of Mr. Beet was shaking, his beautiful green hat look like a hoola dancer on a dashboard of a car. More gophers were walking out from the potato tops and he was surrounded. The lump in his throat would not go down it just sat there getting bigger and bigger making it hard to breath. The voice in his head kept yelling at him “shut up and run, shut up and run ya fool, run now! Right now, RUN!” But Mr. Beet was an explorer and he wanted to see the fields and the low top trees. He had to be brave, maybe even stupid if he was to succeed.

“I – I – I s-s-said n-n-no Mr. G-G-Gopher.” Stuttered Mr. Beet. “Oooooh now you gone and done it!” The voice inside Mr. Beets head exclaimed, “That’s it, were dead! Dead! Dead! Dead! Ya fool you gone and killed us off, in our prime too!”

“Ha-ha!” all the gopher started to laugh, Mr. Gopher laughed so hard he was kicking on the ground, they sounded like a bunch of hyenas. Mr. Beet saw his chance, a space opened up between the gophers and he bolted. He waddled like he had never waddled before, it is not easy for a beet to run, tiny little legs and a tail is not helpful at all. Now that he bolted his beautiful green hat had a high stem that caught on ever leaf and now there was flowers on his green hat. “Oh what will become of me he thought?” These are strange greens, these are not potato tops, these are far more bushy and taller. Mr. Beet tucked in under a bunch and watched closely as he felt the thunder of the gophers running passed. Mr. Beet held his breath until he could no longer hear them.

“Ahh” Mr. Beet let out a sigh of relief.

“WHOO EEE! That was some staaaampeeeede. Ha-Ha son you see that?” he slapped Mr. Beet on the back.

“I mean you no harm, I come in peace.” Mr. Beet cautiously said.

“What, I come in peace, Ha-ha you sure do talk funny red. I spose you want help with that there flower on your top, alright come on then, kneel down I caint reach that far.”

Mr. Beet cautiously knelt down and a stem of flowers fell to the grown beside him. He felt lighter, younger, not so old and stiff like a piece of wood.

“Thank you sir, I thought I was a goner with those gophers after me, how can I ever thank you?”

“Ya just did, and don’t call me Sir my dad’s name was sir just call me Kale!”

Mr. Beet felt like he just made a friend, he was so excited to talk to someone. Since leaving home it was rather lonely and he missed his family very much. Mr. Beet told Kale all about his home and the fun things they did and all about strange grandpa Beet who had two tails growing outta him. Kale listened and walked with Mr. Beet for a long time, Mr. Beet talked and talked, he even cried a little. The strange flying noise maker sprayed and flew by and Mr. Beet did not even notice it was there he was just so happy to have made a friend that the world seemed like a smaller happier place. Just then they stopped walking and Kale sat down so Mr. Beet sat down and realized he had nothing more to say, he told Kale all about the journey, the gophers and Mrs. Potato and he could not think of anything else to say. It was silent for a few second.

“Boy you sure like to talk don’t ya?” Kale inquired.

“Oh I’m sorry, I guess I did get a little carried away. Tell me about yourself Kale and your family?” asked Mr. Beet

“Alright, look around ya, this is my family, and well we are dinosaur Kale.” Kale stated. “We aint much of the talking kind, but sure glad to have met ya.” Kale shook Mr. Beet’s hand “look here, we are at the end of my field and that there is the orange trees. They are just as chatty and cheerful as you are so you will be in good company. Take care of yourself now.” Kale turned and walked away disappearing into the other bunches and he was gone.

Mr. Beet had not realized it but Kale made sure he made it safely to the end of his field, they walked for days and it felt like only a little while. “Thank you Kale.” Mr. Beet whispered and he turned to the low top trees. It was beautiful, what a sight to see it takes your breath away and brings tears to your eyes to see such beautiful tall, strong trees and these bright orange balls dancing in the branches. Mr. Beet ran out as fast as he could to see them closer.

“Hello, hello, I’m Mr. Beet and I’m from the field far, far away.” He yelled up to the oranges in the trees. He spun around and around looking at them all waving and dancing he got dizzy and fell down.

“Ha-ha!” All the oranges laughed at him after he fell down. “Hello Mr. Beet welcome to Sunny Valley.”

Oranges were very nice and the days passed and Mr. Beet lost all track of how long he had been there. He could talk to so many oranges and he was happy, he never wanted to leave to go back home.

Just then a strange feeling came over him, the air seemed to get dark and heavy, Mr. Beet felt afraid.

“Oh no!” said some oranges. “RUN MR. BEET, RUN TO THE KALE THEY CAN HELP YOU!” The oranges yelled.

Mr. Beet was not going to wait to find out why, he ran as fast as he could but he was in the open, the trees are so far apart and there is no bunches of greens to hide behind. Mr. Beet was is beg trouble and he knew it when he saw Mr. Gopher swoop in front of him.

“Well, well look who we’ve got here boys.” Said Mr. Gopher.

“I don’t want any trouble Mr. Gopher, please – just leave me alone.”

“Not this time little red, you made me look like a fool in fronta ma boys. I don’t like looking like a fool.”

Mr. Gopher and the others walked closer and closer to Mr. Beet. He was surrounded and there was so many more of them. Mr. Beet could see they all had there claws out, this was it he thought, so afraid, so alone, and he started to cry – but he held his head up strong and brave.

“Mr. Gopher. You can shred me, slice and dice me, you can even blend me up but I did what I set out to do. I succeeded in – spite – of — you! You did not stop me, I out smarted you! I made friends and I saw the other end of the fields. I am an explorer! I had a good life and you are nothing but a fur ball, a bully in these fields.

Those were the last brave words Mr. Beet ever said. The green grass is stained with the memory of where Mr. Beet stood his ground. He may have lost this fight but he was not looser, he was brave, strong and he was what legends are made of.

So because as you can see in the story there is in many fields chemicals sprayed on crops of all kinds, fruits and vegetables so we need to wash off these pesticide residues or we are eating these chemicals. Even though those chemicals may make their way into the plant itself we really don’t want more if we can do anything about it right. So yes we need to give our fruit and vegetables a bath. How are we supposed to do this? With water! Water only takes off more residue than those vegetable cleaners in the store. If you want the very best than use salt. 1 part salt to 9 parts water and be sure to rinse off the salt water once you have finished soaking and scrubbing your fruits and vegetables. You can read more about this at Food Of Wisdom.

Have a great and sunny summer

T.C.

Sometimes I think child psychologists don’t have children!

 

Sometimes I think child psychologists don’t have children!

My daughter of age 18 emailed me this article she read, she was shocked at some of the advice and could not believe the advice these people were suggesting to new parents or any parent for that matter. The article is titled 10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Kids they state that “These everyday phrases may actually do more harm than good.” It was written by Michelle Crouch from Parents Magazine.

My daughter and I have an amazing mother daughter relationship, I have had mothers ask me how we did it and can I give them advice on how to fix their relationship with their daughter. Ha-ha but easier said than done, I worked hard over the years to understand how to do this with my daughter. Mother daughter relationships can be a challenge, my own relationship with my mother is fire and ice, no more like a volcano eruption. It is very hard to have a conversation with my mother as it almost always ends in feeling getting hurt or anger or something of a negative effect and definite boundaries stomped on.  I have tried to build a relationship with her, tried as hard as anyone can and sometimes I have come to the conclusion it is just not possible to have a close loving and embracing relationship so I just try my best to keep the peace and leave when it starts to get bad.  To be honest the main reason for our problems I think is boundaries are not respected, my boundaries are not respected and she stomps right over them like a tank and respecting each other’s boundaries is very important.  Another very important thing for moms is to remember that your job as a mom changes as the child grows up, as a parent we must back off more and more as they grow up so they can be their own person and so you both can have a great relationship. You will always be mom and when she needs you to me motherly she will ask for it and never should we push our motherly smotherlyness on them. So to the article that I read, I tried to keep an open mind but to me it was load of s**t for the most part.

Let’s talk about the 10 things parent.com says we are never to say to our children. In the article it tells you were these ridiculous ideas came from and their reasons so I will not repeat the location again in my post, you are welcome to go to the web post at parent.com and see for yourself.  In the blue ink is the parent.com idea and the green ink is my rebuttal or response idea on the topic.

  1. Great job – It says that you shouldn’t say it when the child masters a skill or they become dependent on the external affirmation instead of self-motivation. I disagree 100%, what is the one thing that encourages people to do better? Hearing they did a good job! What is the one and most effective way to get more out of people? Telling them how they are appreciated or the work they did was wonderful and that you would love to see more of it! If you hold back the praise then the child is more likely to feel they are not good enough, they are more likely to lash out because they never feel that all there hard efforts are passed over and they are less likely to keep trying to please you, themselves and less likely to try to overcome obstacles.
  2. Practice make perfect – It tries to say that if you make mistakes it is because you didn’t try hard enough. Disagree 100%, no place in the words practice makes perfect does it say you made a mistake so you are a failure. It does tell the child that if you want to be good at something you need to work for it, earn it and you will be rewarded for your hard work by becoming good at that thing you practiced. If there ever is that giant leap to “I’m never good enough” and if you are parent with your heart and not image in mind then this leap will not be there you can easily encourage your child to understand that when they first started how did they do? And then look at how they are doing now after trying so hard? Show them that they are improving and with some things in life we just may never become the best at it but are we at our own personal best at it? Practice makes perfect has nothing to do with comparison to anyone else, it is our own personal best!
  3. You’re okay – this one is saying that the child is not really badly hurt and their feelings are irrelevant or dismissed. I disagree 100% again! When you say to a child that’s hurt themselves they are okay or going to be okay it is reassuring them that they are being taken care of and you are in a sense saving them. Reassurance is a powerful tool to help keep a child calm and to put into perspective the situation. As a child the world seems to revolve around them and telling them they are okay and you are there to help them is a big deal, if you coddle a child too much you are giving them no benefit of how to talk to themselves when you are not around. They can care for themselves by telling themselves they are okay and be able to put things into perspective to be able to move forward and passed the injury or hard times in their future. For example, I fell through the ice all alone and managed to climb out myself thankfully. I was freezing, scared and half drowned, I kept telling myself “I’m ok, I just have to get home.” I told myself this over and over again and it gave me strength because I was able to put into perspective my situation and be able to focus on what was needed. If I had never been told “you’re okay” I would have sat right there on the ice and cried and died of hypothermia because I would have been overly coddled and not been taught to put into perspective the situation that I am in and I am ok right now and if I get home I will be able to get help.  
  4. Hurry up – They are saying this adds stress to the child. Oh my goodness do I disagree 100%. Since when is a little stress a bad thing? We actually need a little stress not a lot just a little to stimulate our senses, and saying hurry up is not adding stress it is actually teaching time management and respect for those around you. The world does not stop because you want to doddle, in fact if you doddle you will miss out so really hurry up! It is not right that you tie up the line with your desire to take your time, it slows down others and really it creates bad emotions towards the slow person as the years go on. I personally have troubles keeping an employee that takes there time on the job, if I can have someone who can do the job faster than they get the job and the slow person is let go. So teaching these lessons very early in life is a benefit to the child for years to come.
  5. I’m on a diet – They say keep it to yourself. Ok this one has a point. If you are trying to lose weight you really do not want to pass your negative self-image onto the child, they get that already from every direction in media, school, friends etc. It is true though that an overweight parent you have a higher chance to have overweight children. So as far as “on a diet” should really be a family affair and we are now eating healthy and all of the family learn how to eat healthy and be active together. The key here is together.  If you make activities that you all can play and join in together you teach a healthy lifestyle and you will lose your weight in the same time without causing negative self-image.
  6. We can’t afford that – This says that you are not in control of your finances and scares the child. They said that instead you should say we can’t buy that because we are saving our money for more important things. Ok my daughter lashed out at this one, so disagree 100% here. My daughter cleverly said that if you say what the article wants than you are saying that the child’s needs are not important. True, true, that is what it is saying. We need to teach our children how to manage finances and when you cannot afford something this is a great opportunity for a lesson. Go ahead and say you cannot afford that but also add the lesson and knowledge building of difference between needs vs wants. When my daughter was 4 we started to talk about the difference between needs and wants. Needs are things that keep us alive like healthy foods, the house we live in, basic clothes, light and heat etc. Wants are things we want like junk food, toys, fancy clothes, fancy house, vehicles, junk food, etc. As time goes on you can say we cannot afford that because it is a want and not a needed item and right now money it tight so only needs are what get purchased and wants can be purchased when we save up the money for it. By the time my daughter was 6 she fully understood it and would as me do we have any money for wants today? And I would tell her I can afford up to $5 today or not today sorry maybe next time and she was perfectly okay with that because she too was learning how to manage money without touching money.
  7. Don’t talk to strangers – This says that it is too hard for children to understand this concept. I worked for Kid Safe Canada (has now changed) and taught safety classes to children. It really is not a hard concept if taught properly. Yes don’t talk to strangers but explain what a stranger is. What is a stranger? Anyone you do not know is a stranger, even if they tell you their name they are still a stranger. Teach them the good people to go to for help, they are police officers, firemen and firewoman, teacher, etc. The other thing is to never teach the words or idea stranger danger, this gives the impression of a monster and that is not right. So here it is -the slogan to help keep things simple for children is: Never go with anyone unless parent/guardian gave permission. Most abduction are by people they know or see on the street or a family member. So the child is familiar with them so just saying stranger is not enough. So the rule is this; Never to anywhere with ANYONE unless parent/guardian gave the child permission. The child must phone you to get permission. Have a pass word to know they have permission to go with them even if it is a family member. The child should know before going to school or activity who is picking them up. So again the rule is: NEVER GO ANYWHERE WITH ANYONE UNLESS PARENT/GUARDIAN GAVE PERMISION!
  8. Be careful – This they say is saying that it makes it more likely the child will fall or hurt themselves. Oh come on seriously! I disagree. There are those that if you are being supper hovering of a parent then just back off, really no one like that, no one! And hovering over your child definitely makes them think that everyone everyplace is going to protect them. What a horrible wake up call for your child when they see this is not the case, you just made more problems for them you super hovering parent! But if you see that the child is in potential danger then say be careful of that bar it is getting close to your head! Then go ahead, but again if you are a parent that is pointing out every possible booboo potential just back off, go sit down and let the child get the small booboos as it is a good thing. They learn to be more careful. You hit your thumb with a hammer, that sure smarts don’t it? So the next time you use a hammer you learned something right? Right! You learned to move your thumb! Same with your children. DO NOT HOVER OR SMOTHER YOUR CHILDREN, LET THEM GET THOSE LITTLE BOOBOO’S! You can point out the occasional potential accident or as they leave the house tell them be careful crossing the road! Acceptable absolutely.
  9. No dessert unless you finish your dinner – this one says it diminishes the enjoyment of the meal. You definitely did not listen to Pink Floyd did you? So what! Who does not look forward to the occasional dessert? And eating all that the child put on the plate teaches balance and the importance of the meal over the dessert. If parent plated the meal then it really is not fair as the parent does not know how much the child is hungry or not. Let the child learn to plate the meal and they will learn to plate only what they are going to need and eat.
  10. Let me help – jumping in too soon will cause child to give up too early. This goes back to the super hovering parent I spoke about in #8. If you are hovering then you will be asking to help them all the time and yes this is not good. But if you are seeing the child is struggling you can look at it and ask them would you like a little help? If they say yes then offer a little help, little being the key here. Such as the puzzle in the parent.com example. Say where is it you need help with? Let the child guide you to where they feel they are needing help, then tell them I wonder if that piece will fit can you try that one? If it fits say ok you are on your own again because you helped and now they can try other pieces for themselves. If they need more help let them know you are not going to do it for them but will give advice here and there. They need to try for themselves first. This is great as with my daughter she would try to get me to do things for her. All kids try it, it is human nature to get someone else to it for you. But teaching them the benefit of doing themselves is a far more beneficial.

 

Parenting is not easy, but I would never trade a second of it. I love being a parent and over the years my role as a parent changes and I embrace this change. The changes in my role proves I did my job right, she is ready to spread her wings and see the world in all its glory and misery and be able to tackle it wisely no matter what comes her way. We all want to protect our children or even shelter them but that is not helping prepare them for their future. Our job as parents is not to shelter them but to prepare them, and guide them to be the best them they can be. That is my views, my lessons learned and as always, take what you want and leave the rest.

 

T.C.

Write your own eulogy

Writing your own Eulogy

 

One sunny and happy day my daughter tells me “mom, I want you to write your own eulogy.” Just said that straight out, what a shocker, what is she talking about? What? So I responded as any good parent would and said “what the hell are you talking about?” She laughed at me and said, “ya I want you to write your own eulogy, if you write it then I don’t have to when the time comes.” So we talked and yes I am writing my eulogy.

Why write your own eulogy? There are many reasons, you could get in the last word, you could tell people in your own words how much they cared about you and you can share your own story through your eyes. Why not write your own eulogy? If you are a jerk you would probably be telling people off and if that is true there probably will not be anyone at your funeral. Telling a lie about your life or a fairy tale of what you lived would just leave people not liking you, so if you can’t write an honest eulogy I would image letting someone else write it for you, but you could still do that and review the eulogy and have it edited before you die, that might be an option as well.

Is this strange to write your own eulogy? In my research of how to write a eulogy I found that more and more people are writing their own. So this isn’t just a strange thing, I did not even know that this was done to be honest, if I had known earlier my eulogy would definitely be different than what I am planning now. I am older, more mature and hopefully wiser and there are things that I appreciate far greater now than 20 years ago. So with this in mind I would advise to revisit your eulogy ever 5 years or so to make sure it is still relevant and not an extinct purpose. How confused people may be if the situation is no longer relevant or how they may feel if you had some grudge or harbored feelings you really do not anymore. Is there anything I want to tell people? First of all I personally make sure I tell people what I want to say to them in person, that way I can look back and never have any regret of not telling anyone something. I don’t mean telling people off, but tell them I love them, what they did hurt me and work it out with them or parted ways. I never want to have more regrets than I already have, a clean slate sort of speak or no good deed undone. So what is there to say?

Here are some suggestions I recommend to start with this process if you decide to write your eulogy.

  • Jot down some memories of your life, some funny stories, your career path, accomplishments, where you lived, your education, marriage and family, and so on.
  • Now that you have some ideas on paper, it is not in order and it is nowhere near done. Now you can write an outline. Think through your life to this point and picture all you have achieved in these years, the people you loved and your behaviour over the years. Answer these questions to help you create this outline.
  • Where were you born and where did you live? Did you move a lot? Where was your retirement?
  • What kind of life was your youth? Were you a busy kid or focused on a hobby?
  • What hobbies did you have over the years, like what was most enjoyable in each decade for your hobbies of what you did for enjoyment?
  • If retired what did you do during retirement?
  • Did you marry? Have kids and how many? Did you make friends easily or find it hard and did you have many friends? Lots or a few really good ones that meant the most to you?
  • Education? What did you study? Where did you attend? Did you have more than one career in your life? More educational interests?
  • Accomplishments – what awards did you win? Talents you developed? What books did you love to read? Were you ever in a newspaper or on T.V.?
  • What were some funny stories that people would remember you with? Did you have a funny sense of humour or a humour people really did not understand? Did you cook? Could you cook? What memory of cooking would people like to hear about? Such as your most amazing dish or how the smoke alarm always went off when you cooked.
  • Did you have a passion for the outdoors? Hiker, jogger, nature painter, adventurer, bird watcher, camper, a rock climber? Anything that you enjoyed doing outside. Perhaps you liked crafts – what did you enjoy making? Crafts for the home or gifts? Needlework or crochet or maybe sewing?
  • Where did you work? What type of jobs did you have? Do you have a funny story about working at one of those jobs? Did you get injured at any job?
  • Now this one I want you to be completely honest with yourself. What type of friend were you? Were you loyal or a friend of opportunity? Were you honest, ethical, and compassionate? Were you a good listener? If you had family did you love them? Were you patient? Were you a leader? Did you try to help the needy and offer service to others without desire for payment, recognition or thanks in return?
  • What was it about you that people admired? What will people most miss about you? Such as the way you could turn a bad situation into something that can be laughed at and helped others overcome hardship? How good of listener were you?
  • What did you love the most about others, spouse, children, family, friends, and strangers? What was it that you loved about the people around you? Perhaps a favourite restaurant and the waiter who always forgot your drink? Perhaps the sound of your children’s laughter? Your neighbour who always stubbed their toe on the steps? Those little things that made you laugh, the bigger things that made you appreciate them more.

Once this is done you can look at all this information and turn it into a eulogy. There are many types of eulogies but this is a starting point for anyone, once this is done you can tweak it into any type of eulogy you desire people to hear at your funeral. I recommend starting at the beginning, rather a step through your life from birth to death and how you lived each moment. It is similar to a biography without the biography part. A biography covers so much of a lifetime that it can take some time to tell the whole story, if you want to tell your life story write your own biography, your eulogy is not your entire biography but rather a summary of your life. I would not recommend making people sit through a eulogy that runs for an hour or more but a short one, no more than 30 minutes to 40 minutes is a good amount of a eulogy speech time I would think. So to put things in order I have jotted down some ideas of how to go about doing that as I am doing this for myself. I do not at all think you should follow my steps and nothing else, be creative. Try new designs and ideas and I do recommend running them passed a friend or family member who you feel would be honest. If you are not getting a good support in that sense talk to a librarian or English teacher and ask them to please read it and give some feedback. Allow those to give the feedback as you are the one who is asking, their opinions may not be yours but it lets you know if you are rambling, or if you are not making sense. For example, if you are trying to describe a funny story it can sometimes be hard to explain on paper, you may need to change the story or change how you wrote it as it comes across not how you intended. So be open, and allow for feedback. This is your last word, you want to be clear and understood, or at least I would.

This outline is what I started with but then changed it once I was done and decided that I wanted to write it in first person not third person as this is. This is written so the person that reads it is like they wrote it about you. I wanted to have the person reading it like I was standing up there telling my story in my words.  So like I said, change it up how you would like it to be done, this below is for third person version. Feel free to search the internet for examples of eulogies there are a lot of them, some are quite poetic.

  • Beginning –birth (parents, date of birth, town or city, etc) through childhood. Be brief you do not want to drone this on too long, quickly state your birth and hometown and perhaps one or two funny kid stories. Remember this is not a genealogy, it’s a summary of your life.
  • Education- where and what you studied, your careers, etc. any awards you won in school, or sport and any accomplishments. If religious add your devotion to the religion.
  • Hobbies-interests-adventures-funny story of any of this, memorable story of this. A camp trip that turned into a story.
  • Family and relationships and friendships. A story that describes an example of what you were in life to be a parent, friend, member of the community, etc.
  • About your personality and self – your qualities as a friend, parent, spouse etc.
  • You will be missed- this is the wrap it up section where you tell the part of you that will be most missed about you.

In first person style.

  • Eulogy is written by the deceased… I was born….etc.… and story
  • I attended…. And graduated from… a career in …. changed careers because…. etc.
  • I have ….family and …. children… married to… etc. story that describes my nature….I remember when….
  • I really enjoyed to play…. and always got into trouble because…. I loved to …. etc.
  • I love and appreciated …. I will miss… I loved my life and …. story….
  • Thank you for being a part of my life and …..

 

By Tina Curtis

Planting Seeds in the Garden of Life

 

 Nothing is impossible; there are ways that lead to everything, and if we had sufficient will we should always have sufficient means. It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible.

~ Francois de La Tochefoucauld

 

Planting Seeds in the Garden of Life

I love this quote, it gives me courage, helps me to strive to be more than I think I am. When I fail it helps me to not use excuses to stay down or to make myself a victim.  Once people believed the world was flat and because one person decided that it was not and imagined a new world it became true. Once the moon was just this magical object that had massive power now we can actually touch it, even see far beyond the moon all because one person imagined something more. I often imagine that my life is something more meaningful and one day, it will be true because I imagined it. I imaging helping people who cannot help themselves to climb up and hold their heads high, and I hope that this is true or will be. I love this quote because it fills me with hope of a better future and a better life. I believe if you imagine something it can become true, perhaps not always how you expected but still possible. I believe the power of the mind is intense, if you think about it long enough you want it, if you want it long enough you will make it happen. With this intense power of our minds I believe we also need to use caution how we use it.

If you could be anything what would it be? I am sure we have all asked this question of ourselves but how many of us actually take the steps to make that happen? I love to plant a seed, by this I mean plant a seed of thought, inspiration, or even just an idea and watch it grow. Sometimes when I speak with people I see and opportunity to help open the mind to another possible explanation or possibility and I leave a little seed. Sometimes I’m looked at with rather a strangeness or even outright told that they feel my idea is not for them, and I am OK with that 100%. We are not all made to agree but the funny thing is, once that idea or seed has been planted it is interesting how it grows into something more over time.  I will meet that same person who states it is not for them say a year or more later and they have embraced the idea, the concept or suggestion and if fills their life with joy or a greater understanding of another person. To me this is fun, ya not fun like how I love snowboarding but fun to watch a mind grow, or a life improve. This is so fascinating to me by just planting a seed and someone somewhere waters that seed, then another person someplace shines light on that seed and it blooms. With planting seeds we must be careful that we only plant seeds of joy, peace, compassion, love and understanding, because even a seed of hate can grow. I chose to pluck out those bad weeds and only keep my garden of life full of wondrous blooms and attract the most beautiful birds, bees and butterflies.

We are always rushing from one place to another these days, life has taken over us and sometimes it literally seems to control us, we have no choice in what to do but just follow the robots to work and home and again the next day. Eat tasteless food, or have a meal in a cup and round and round we go. I for one lived this merry-go-round and realized that I was on it, not even knowing how I got on, but wanted off and fast I was nauseated with the ride. When you jump off it is a whole new world, filled with wonder, colour, and beautiful sounds and smells. It is a bit alarming as it is new but take a walk, look around, walk slow or fast because it is up to you. Stop beside that bush of roses and bend over and smell it, really smell it, examine the colour the texture and enjoy it. In exploring this new life style I find it invigorating, scary but more invigorating. Now I am ready to explore a little more and soon I will be ready for even more of this freedom, I would love to invite you in as really the sun shines more here.  So if you are thinking what is she talking about? I am simply trying to show you that breaking away from the merry-go-round is not that bad, doing what we are “supposed to do” is not always what makes us happy. I am “supposed to” make x amount of money and have x amount of children and have x amount of vehicles and so on. If you have no idea of what you would want to be that could bring happiness to your life or more meaningfulness to your life then perhaps look at this list.

Help Mother Nature by cleaning up the garbage and recycle/reduce/reuse

Service – help another person today

Take a day off of work and spend it with your family at the pool, or park, or camping

Instead of driving to work take a bike or walk

Stop and help someone with a flat tire

Give your gloves to a homeless person or someone at the bus stop who is freezing cold

Donate your time to a soup kitchen or food bank

These are only a small amount of ideas here but you can see that they are all helping others or the world. By helping others we help ourselves, so if you want a happier life then help another person have a better day, I feel you will have many happy days by one service.  This is free, won’t cost you a dime to help someone, you do not need to give money just some of your time. So if you could be anything what would it be? Is it something that will make you happy or make you money? Either way I would like to see more people re connecting with each other, not connecting online actually face to face connecting. Say hello at a bus stop. Tell someone that you like their hair cut or that is a nice dress where did you get that? This in not always successful as with the more that people are not connected the more overly sensitive they are and quick to anger, but keep trying new ways to make another person smile. Of course be respectful and not creepy when you tell them nice dress, creepy is wrong.  Share some great news with a random stranger, such as sitting at the bus stop and tell them you just got a new job! Or I’m a new Grandma! Connect with the world around you, get off that merry-go-round and enjoy life a little more every day, step by step. So like in the quote nothing is impossible and if we had sufficient will what will you do today to help another person to help you be happier?

Growing up it was always the joke of that old person on the street bench that talked to everyone that passed and seemed to talk to themselves, you know the one. As an adult and in the world that we live now I see that that old person was just trying to connect, perhaps lonely, maybe a little senile but really how horrible would it have been for me to have taken 10 minutes of my life to talk with him? It would not have been a bad thing at all, it would have probably bettered my life if I had, perhaps gave me a little more understanding of another. For that I am ashamed and I do not want any more of that shame of walking passed a lonely person who just wants to re connect with someone. Of course with this world we still need to be careful of those that are dangerously mentally unstable, but for those that are just lonely, say hello, how is your day? Or perhaps you know an older person that could use the sidewalk/driveway shoveled for FREE so do it. It gives you exercise and you feel like you are useful and they feel loved and respected. What will you do today to help another person to help you be happier?

We start with the small steps, nothing big, we never ran before learning to crawl or walk first so take a walk, look around, smell the flowers, watch Mother Nature, do a service. Step by step we can make this a better street, community, town, city and in planting a seed in the garden of a happy life everyone around us will be happy because of you, and in turn you will be happy.