Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I have so much more I *could* say....

I've been incredibly busy, and haven't made any time to post. I also feel like I've set myself up as being this blogger who writes long winded posts....but I more feel like sharing all the little things lately. There are so many little things that make up my life, and I want to document them, and share them, and keep them for later.

So, for today, because I want to keep this and share it with you, I am posting this quote that I just found. I love it. 

Love,
~J



“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” - Meryl Streep

Monday, January 20, 2014

Gratitude Jar...


One thing I am going to focus my energy on this year, is appreciating my life more. I feel like I vent and complain a lot here....painting this picture of a negative life. Or constant negative state of mind.

Except that it's not.

I have SO much to be thankful for. 

-An incredibly kind and consistent boyfriend
-A GORGEOUS and hilarious step-son
-The. Best. Friends. on this planet
-Cheese
-A beautiful home
-Employment that I like
-Co-workers that I adore
-Enough food
-Money to have fun with
-The ability to forgive
-The good sense to know when to move on

So this jar will sit on our dining room table, with paper and pens beside it. And everyone who sits at our table to break bread with us, will be invited to add a little note of their own. At the end of the year, we'll look back at all the little, and not-so-little things we took a moment to appreciate.

The more you are thankful for, the more you get.

I don't make the rules, that's just the way it is.

xoxox
~J

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Define perfect.

Urban Dictionary defines "perfect" as:

1. Someone with few flaws; possessing many desirable qualities.

Someone with many, if not all of these traits:

beautiful on the inside and out
attractive
athletic
generous
caring
kind
intelligent
funny
fun to be around
hardworking
friendly


I'd like to think that I am all of those things but one. Athletic. And for who knows what reason, I let that one go awhile back. Even I don't know exactly why....but I do know without a doubt that it was emotional baggage that pulled me back.

If it was simply a matter of moving more, and eating less, everyone would do it.  

It is rarely ever that simple.

I'm still working on myself...working on letting go, opening up, and allowing myself to be fully loved, and openly vulnerable. It sounds so easy, but there are still so many things I'm carrying around in my Shame Backpack. Stupid things, really. And logically, I understand that letting them out of the bag won't change a damn thing about me, who I am, what I do, or the past, of course.

But emotionally, fear stands in my way. Fear that people will look at me differently. Judge me. Or (biggest fear here) stop loving me.


(I used to be behind the wall on the right... As low as my walls have gotten, I still have them. )

I know that I am not alone in these struggles, feelings and fears....but I sometimes feel that I am because I blab on about them so often while trying to wrestle them down. And I don't hear as much chatter from my some of closest girlfriends. Maybe I should work on listening more, and talking less. I don't know.

What I do know, is that I'm about to crack some stuff open...I can feel it bubbling up, the words always on the tip of my tongue.... I'm teetering here on the edge, afraid and unsure, and now knowing how to start. So I signed up for an online course with Brene Brown. If you haven't seen her TED talk on vulnerability, watch it here. (take the 20 minutes to watch it. I promise you won't regret it.)

And last night I started the journalling process. "Creative journalling", they call it. Except I've never fancied myself as "creative". 

And I noticed a couple of strange habits....what they mean, or where they came from, I haven't quite figured out yet.

Page #1. Give myself "permission slips" to use throughout this process. Permission to make mistakes, cry openly, be vulnerable, tell the truth, and share my heart with people who have earned the right to know me wholly. 

I messed up the first page with permanent marker. I tried fixing it, but didn't like it. It didn't look good enough. I tore the whole page out and started fresh. 

I re-did the page, using stickers with lines on them - so cute! (side note: I've never spent so much time at craft stores as I have this past week) I made a spelling error. And I sat there looking at it....trying to decide if I could live with this little mistake. Turns out, NOPE. But my page was nearly done damn it! So I slowly, carefully, and tediously peeled that sticker off the page, tossed it in the garbage and applied a new one. 

My #1 "permission"...and I couldn't do it. Please, someone comment below to tell me that I am not alone in this.

And now that I think about it, I have also never gone to the grocery store with a list that "looked messy", or had any spelling errors. 



For our journals, we also had to take the picture above, with the words "I'm imperfect and I am enough" - to remind us not to be so bloody hard on ourselves. 

The end goal of this class is to get to a point where we accept our imperfections, let go of our shame, and allow ourselves to feel vulnerable. And this vulnerability (or as I currently see it, The Devil = weakness), is supposed to allow us to feel closer to the people we love the most. And those people? They should love us not despite our imperfections....but because of them.

By opening up and being truly honest about our stories and our fears, those walls should come down a little bit at a time. And from that, we start to feel worthy, lovable, strong, and truly connected. 

Scared. Doing it anyway.

xoxox
~J

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Four Agreements...

I've been told that this book is pretty amazing. 

Adding it to my Want list. Or maybe it's a need.



Friday, January 10, 2014

Being quiet....




My whole life, I've been loud. 

Every report card I ever brought home from school made some mention of what a nice girl I was, but that I talked too much. I disrupted the class too much. I socialized too much.

Get it? Being quiet just isn't in my nature. 

No kidding, I remember being in 2nd grade and thinking that all the quiet kids were so sweet. They seemed so kind and gentle. Like old souls walking around in miniature bodies. 

It was easy to see that teachers loved them, and they never seemed to get into trouble.

God, I wanted to be that kid SO bad. From time to time, I would go to school with the intention of being quiet, shy, and sweet. I would promise myself that "today, I'll be a really good girl". I would vow to pay attention in class, and only speak when spoken to. And then? All the teachers would LOVE me.

And I tried. I really, really tried to be that girl.

But I swear to God, I nearly burst right out of my skin trying to be her. Trying to be something I'm not. 

I distinctly recall the very physical sensation of feeling like I was going to just. burst. if I didn't talk. If I didn't tell everyone, all the things. 

Whether they wanted to hear it or not? 

Totally irrelevant to me. 

That is one sure fire way to know that I am being myself. When I'm talking, laughing, engaging with almost every person around me. 

When I'm quiet though? Could mean any number of things.... I've got a lot on my mind, I'm reliving old experiences, I'm afraid, I'm pissed, I'm sad, or I'm working out the best way to talk about it.

Because if there is anything I've learned about myself, it's that one way or another, it's going to come out. It might be ugly, messy, or downright shameful....but it's coming out.

It always does.

Big love,
~Jenn

Friday, November 29, 2013

Short.


I can't shake this feeling lately.

Constantly questioning where I fit in.

Wanting to feel like I belong. Belong somewhere. To someone.

Desiring validation, and recognition.

I feel like a failure. Like I'm doing a miserable job at so many things.


It feels like I'm nowhere near done figuring out my fucking issues, and the things that hold me back. Why I hold myself back. Why I still have residual pain from childhood shit. 

I still can't seem to let my guard fully down...allow myself to be vulnerable...really shed light on every shameful feeling I carry around. That I've carried around since I was a little kid.

I envy people who don't have the weight of these things on their minds and in their hearts. Were they just blessed with better upbringings? Are they simply more resilient than I am? Or do they sweep all their stuff under the rug and numb out with other vices?

Back to therapy I go, I guess. Cause the chocolate ain't helping me figure out a damn thing.

~J

Monday, September 16, 2013

I quit.



I eluded to it in my last post....and maybe a little bit on The Twitter a few weeks ago, but here it is officially:

18 years to the day after I started, I quit my job.

Actually, since my new job is so much like my old job, maybe that isn't very accurate. Perhaps I didn't quit the job as much as I quit the company? or my boss?

That seems more accurate.

I am a girl who can, for the most part, roll with the punches.

Like when this happened....never mind how completely ignored and demoralized I was after that point - expected to just suck it up, keep smiling, continue showing up, and remain comfortably in place over the corporate barrel. "Yes sir, may I have another?"

Aside from the massive pay cut and subsequent lifestyle change, the worst part about that event was the colleagues who I thought were friends suddenly vanished, and my manager at the time (who I was quite close with) - never spoke to me again. I have since come to believe that his lack of actions at the time say more about him than I ever could.

And even though I had been made to feel pretty slow and stupid since I was forced into a new position, I really could have stayed where I was... in a place of complacency and acceptance. Golden handcuffs securely locked in place. Not entirely happy, not entirely miserable, either.

I think a lot of people are in that same place in their jobs, wherever they may work. 
That dull and lifeless place called Limbo. 

Or maybe the more fitting word in many cases would be Purgatory.

Thing is (and it took me a long time to figure this out), I am not a bad employee. 

I am not a bad person.

I'm not stupid.

And there really are only so many times a person can handle being treated sub-human. 
Only so many threats you'll let roll off your back. 
And only so many metaphorical punches a person can take.

No matter the situation or circumstance, if you're in a negative and toxic place, you'll move when it gets too painful to keep standing there.

Deep down, I knew I wasn't in the right place. I had known for quite some time.
I could feel it in my heart. 
And I could feel it in my pants as they became too tight again. 

With every stressful day, snide remark, and accusation, I reached for the chocolate covered almonds. I'm not happy or proud of myself for being unable to cope, but it also wasn't my fault that I didn't have the resources or support to help me deal with it, either. 

Which is where the new job comes into play. 

They. Came. Looking. For. Me. *insert slowly growing confidence here*

Thanks to old fashioned good timing, connections, and shared frustrations, an old friend reached out and threw me a lifeline a few months ago.

I grabbed it, without really even thinking about the massive shift this would bring to my life. I would have been a fool not to make the move. Change is good, after all. 

As scary as it was, I decided to be brave and do what was best for my emotional well being, my family and myself - naysayers and gossip bags be damned!

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that part of the decision was about better offers and more opportunity...but the other part was about needing to work in a place where respect was mutual, trust was not a lost concept, H.R. is on top of their game, and people actually say Good Morning! After they hold open the door for me. Like, whoa.

It's a whole new world, and I'm so happy!

xoxox
~J


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Retraction.

I feel like I have painted a negative picture of my mom here. Or here. And maybe a little bit in real life, too.

I can't lie - I do truly wish she would stay sober when I am around, and I also wish she would keep all comments and opinions about my weight to herself.

But. And this is a big but.

She is my mom, and I love her.

She is still the first person I called after I interviewed for a new job.

She is still the first person I called after I quit my old job after 18 years.

She is still the first person I called after my first day at the new job.

And she is still the first person I call when I need to buy a new car, or rent out my condo, buy a new house with the boyfriend, or slow cook ribs. Note to self: 3 hours at 300. Covered. Then uncovered for 20 minutes. Ish.

I love my mom, despite what I feel are some parenting shortcomings.

I love my mom, even if I think she is a jerk when she drinks scotch.

I love my mom, because I truly do believe that she did the best she could with what she had.

And I love my mom, for all the positive things she brings to the table.

Like her unwavering strength, brutal honesty, and hardcore work ethic that she instilled in Sister and I.

I will forever and ever be thankful for those things.

A wise friend sent this to me this morning:  The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.

So yeah....I love my mom.

xoxox
~J

Friday, August 2, 2013

Family. The ties that bind. And choke.

I flew to Regina last Thursday to be with my little sister the week before her wedding.

Since I kind of bullied my way into being her Maid Of Honour, I felt that it was only right to come out early to try and pitch in where I could with the details that were left: Stagette party, errands, make up, nails, hair consultations, and as of yesterday......running interference with our mom:

Coming up with ideas to keep her awake and sober till bedtime. 
Trying to avoid the liquor store at all costs.
Doing her nails.
Trying to be a buffer, and keep the peace.
Splitting the bill at lunch.
Me, keeping my legs covered at all costs, to avoid the mean comments.

So far, not so bad.

Especially since sister and I were on our way to the airport yesterday to pick mudder up, and we both confessed that we were nervous. I haven't seen mom in 2 years, sister hasn't seen her in 1.5.

Sister: I'm nervous. Like, I could be sick, and my stomach is in knots.

Me: I'm nervous too. 

Sister: I'm afraid that she is going to start in with her opinions on the wedding, and that when I give her the gift I got her, she'll say "I don't want that!"

Me: I'm afraid she is going to comment on how much weight I have gained back and that she'll tell me how fat I am.

Sister: How sick! And how sad. We are grown women, on our way to pick up our mother, and we're both ready to hurl.

She's right. It IS sick. And it's definitely not the way it should be. And not the way we would both like it to be.

We don't hurl, thankfully. Instead, we put on smiles, dish out hugs, go to lunch and navigate our limited time as best we can.

When this is all you have ever known, what else is there to do?

xoxox
~J


Monday, July 15, 2013

I fear that my feet may never be the same.

So, I can't believe that I haven't blogged about this yet. God knows it isn't from lack of wanting to, as much as a complete lack of time.

Anyways, side by side with my best friend, Feather, we walked a half marathon together during the National Capital Race Weekend.

That's 21.1 kilometres, which, as it turns out.....is really frigging far.
Or, as I like to look at it - just a 4.5 hour walk with my best friend.

See below.... a chronological slideshow of our first epic event together!

I am still not over the complete trauma of it all.

See us here? All smiley and happy and hopeful? We trained for this walk, we have run half this distance before, and with the help of Feather's trusted husband we won't starve to death on this epic journey that took us through 2 provinces, and just a few pee-your-pants-laughing moments.

We were too nervous to jump in with the minus 4 hour corral, so we stayed at the back of the pack, and vowed to be okay with whatever our finishing time was.
We assumed it would be approximately 4.5 hours.
While waiting to be released from our pen, I tweeted: 
"I'm just not going to look behind me. That way I won't know if I'm last."

Drumming bands along the canal (above) and on Wellington (below) who were likely there at the crack of Christ to set up, and stayed until the last people trudged through. 
AWESOME!

No kidding, at this point in the route, it felt like we were out there all alone. Old ladies were power walking past us in skirts, it was that bad.
Let the tweeting continue:
"Me to @H_Cosgrove 'Why are those old ladies faster than us?' Her to me: Because we didn't train that way. We more gabbed and wandered."

Which couldn't have been more true.

Too funny not to photograph, and instagram, and Facebook and blog.

This is Feather tweeting at me "At the halfway mark with @1qtnewf re: Advil: You are gonna feel awesome in a minute cause that was ecstasy I gave you, not Advil."
I nearly peed my pants laughing.

The signs you see along the way, are the absolute BEST pick me ups.

We even stopped to model for photos as we crossed over into Quebec.

This picture is terribly deceiving. That's why I love it.

This. Right here. This was the longest we had walked in our half marathon training. 
Knowing that if we can do 16 km, we can 21.1.

Approximately 1 km after this point though, I could feel heavy burning on the bottom of my left foot....and I knew it wasn't going to be a good scene when I finally got to take my socks and shoes off. Thanks to Feather though, I kept going.

I'm not quite sure at what point we realized it, but somewhere along the way, we did the math and were shocked to learn that if we kept it up, we were going to finish in less than 4.5 hours. And despite the burning feet, and the knowledge that I was creating bigger blisters with each step, we ended up finishing in 3 hours and 49 minutes.

That is a whole 40 minutes faster than we assumed we would finish.

And as it turns out, we were NOT last.


As for my feet. My poor wretched feet. I ended up with 5 minor blisters, 2 major blisters, 1 lost toenail, and 1 that is still in very questionable condition.

But, and I cannot believe I am saying this!.......I would do it again.
And I am proud as hell of both of us for doing it. Arthritis, and surgeries and weight gain, and blisters be damned! Because that isn't what it is all about anyways, right?

xoxox
~Jenn