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Posts Tagged ‘Me’

PEI is the new Vegas.

May 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Who in their right mind would pass up a low-cost, child-free girls weekend trip to beautiful PEI? When H invited me to a weekend away in PEI, I was like YES, but no. Maybe? No. No. TOTALLY!!! but…maybe not.

In my life, I place so much of my own value on my kids, it seemed unimaginable to separate myself from my “mom” identity. My kids have allowed me to find firm beliefs and passion in my world. My insecurities never allowed me to really push a point or believe hard in something, just for little old me. But having kids allows me to ask the right questions and really get into the issues, after all, it’s for my kids. I’m not an asshole, I’m a MO-THER.

So going away without kids seemed that it might strip me of the relatively new strong woman aspect of personality and send me straight back into awkward, left-out-edness. And yo, when I’m awkward, everyone’s feeling awkward. I really didn’t want to bring the awkward. Plus, I wasn’t too sure that I need a “break” from my family. I spend the majority of my life in a grey box away from my family. Sacrificing three entire days with them felt like straight-up BAD MOTHER territory.

But, while I initially struggled, worried that I would somehow be struck down by social anxiety, in reality, I felt more myself than I had in a while. How we spent the time was dictated by what we actually wanted to do, when we wanted to. It was not based on a timetable of scheduled meltdowns, diaper changes, or naps.

I swore like a trucker, didn’t remind anyone to say “excuse me” when they burped, sat in the same spot for over ten minutes. When the siblings began to fight, it really wasn’t my responsibility if they killed each other or not. I went into stores that had easily breakable items. I went into stores with brightly coloured items. And my blood pressure stayed stable.

I laughed ridiculously hard at ridiculous (and at times, completely inappropriate) things, smoked a cigarette (or two) during daylight hours, assigned a soundtrack to nearly all events, learned things I never wanted to know about my friends, and watched a full 2 hours of The Bachelorette – no fast-forwarding (now that’s what I call awkward).

On our last day, I woke up to overhear discussions of possibly not making our flight (standby’s a fickle mistress). Ah, there it is. Anxiety. Hello, old friend! I started wildly mentally calculating if I had enough credit on any of my cards to straight-up buy a ticket home. But by the time we’d committed ourselves to the Charlottetown-Toronto leg, I was accepting, and perhaps almost hoping for, the possibility of being stranded in Toronto overnight.

A weekend “off” will now be an annual requirement in my mom contract…but so long as I’m supplemented with regular nights out/in/off, I can wait another year to do it again.  And only if I can do it with the Walker girls.

Categories: Me Tags: , , ,

Real Food vs. “Real Food”(tm)

March 17, 2010 1 comment

I have been moving toward what I consider a “real food” diet for the most part of 2010 so far. After reading this article in the Globe, It looks like I’m going to have to stop calling it that, since I definitely don’t mill my own flour or make my own yogurt. I’ve just been trying to eat less processed foods. Maybe I should say, less packaged foods, or as author Michael Pollan coined them, “edible food-like substances”.

Moving away from junk and introducing different things into your diet is really not all that difficult. It just takes a while to change your thinking. I used to consider myself a healthy eater. After all, I took a multi-vitamin almost weekly and ate multi-grain Cheerios. These days I’ve become much more aware of what I am putting in and on my body. And the more “real” food I eat, the more revolting processed stuff becomes.

Side note: It’s much easier to maintain in regular life than at social events. I’m pretty sure that Costco birthday cake has all the wrong things in it, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to devour a giant corner piece on sight (extra icing, please, and can you make sure mine’s full of red dye No. 6? Thanks.) From Monday to Friday however, I’ve been able to navigate the junk food arena of the office: passing by the bowl of Hershey’s kisses at Valentine’s day, the Friday chips & dip bowl, and declined a Fatburger date by thinking of exactly what’s in that stuff compared to my other options (my daily giant salad, orange and/or apple).

To digress slightly, what I find especially interesting is the comment section. Comments sections are generally festering spots for posts demonstrating superiority complexes and/or ignorance, and no exception here. Wow. I do hope that those who are claiming they too follow the real food diet really are just trying to help and be supportive, but some just smack of smugness.

People spend a *lot* of time making excuses (to themselves, mostly, but somehow justify it in writing on these boards). And hey, bonus points to those who manage to throw in extra digs such as “my wife and I both work full-time, and evenings and weekends are also very busy (and we’re not parents who over-program our kids with extra-curricular activities either), so the notion that we’re going to spend the weekend cooking and baking is just a non-starter”. The author goes on to hilariously suggest that you could only follow this strict diet  if you’re a stay-at-home parent (because god knows stay-at-home parents aren’t doing anything else).

Back to me (ahem), I would never say never. Maybe one day I’ll be growing yogurt and drinking raw milk, Survivor-style. I never thought I’d be one to embrace and promote a more natural lifestyle. My way-back, former eye-rolling “oh-geez-everything-will-kill-you-these-days” self wouldn’t even recognize today’s me! Except maybe on Friday nights.

Categories: Food, Me Tags: , ,

Gratitude

November 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Been meaning to be more aware of the wonderful things in life for a long time now. Committing to capturing it on a regular basis, I’m hoping, will lead me to seek out the good things in every moment.

I haven’t been quite feeling myself lately, and it has caught up with me a little. I have many things to be thankful for today, most especially a better outlook after a long talk with a good friend.

But an honourable mention definitely goes to the fact that my white t-shirt came completely clean after the coffee mishap. I actually whooped with joy when I pulled it out of the washing machine! Holla, generic oxygen cleaner!

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Vancouver Sun Run (1:11)

April 21, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve always felt that I take up too much room, just in general. I’m always the one to apologize when elbow bump, or to move out of the way on a crowded sidewalk. Being pregnant for half of the last five years gave me a brief reprieve (after all, it’s not *me* in the way it’s MY BABY!), but as I’ve struggled to lose the weight it’s been a challenge for me to own my personal space. I’m glad just to be here. (Can you see around me? OK.)

So crowds have never really been my scene. Which is why I was not planning to actually run the Sun Run when I signed up for the training. I see the cover of the Sun every year and I get nauseated. But I got swept along in the excitement and camaraderie plus you know I can’t stand to be left out of *anything*. On our training runs I didn’t have any major difficulties running 40 minutes straight, just shuffling along one foot in front of the other. So I figured I may actually see something through to completion, something that doesn’t happen very often lately (or really, ever in my life).

Starting off was probably the worst part. Downtown during the day has become somewhat unrecognizable to me, so I felt a little lost and claustrophobic as we moved along like cattle waiting to begin. I felt a little hemmed in by the big crowd. My girls started off at a pace that was too fast for me so I hung back and they were immediately swallowed up by the crowd. About 10 minutes in I decided to discard a layer and it proved more complicated than I thought, weaving around headphones and outer vest…I slowed to dead stop and had trouble regaining any momentum.

Running through two protestor demonstrations brought me some negative energy and I had a hard time finding my stride and pace. I seriously considered quitting at that mark, feeling that I had already failed being so far behind…but then I thought about how long it would take me to walk 6K and I got my run on. About a km later I saw an orange shirt that was actually FC, and a perfect pace song came on – and I felt connected again, and could run on the steady slow beat of the song. I tried to focus on keeping my heart rate in the 170s so that I wouldn’t have to walk.

So the last of the run was good until someone jumped over a barricade and nearly went face-first into the pavement in front of me. I instinctively recoiled and pulled something in my neck. In the final stretch I didn’t see any of the km markers, so it wasn’t until I crossed the finish line that I realized that we were done. I swam along with the crowds until I realized I had no idea where anyone was, which resulted in a number of confused texts and phone calls between me and my girls.

I was still disappointed in myself for what I considered failing. Not that my time was slow or that I walked so much, but more that I didn’t get the runner’s high or the excitement and energy. I kind of felt like an imposter. I hate running, but I thought somehow I would fall under the magical spell of the love of running, or that I really would “feed off the energy of the crowd”. Mostly I just felt in the way of the real runners.

So I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel like a “real” runner, or if I’ll ever do another 10k, but the 736 calories I burned is enough motivation to keep me going. Along with my super-supportive friends, of course. Without them I would have quit around week 5 and never seen that finish line that I didn’t even see!

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