Friday, June 8, 2018

Take Care

I'm a social media kind of girl. It's my equivalent of reading the paper.

Today, I was sitting on my front deck in the late morning sun, enjoying a cup of coffee and the wind rustling the leaves on my big birch tree. My media feeds this morning were filled with mentions of a man who was found dead by suicide.

He was the type of man who seemed to have it all - exciting career, world travel, family, material wealth... and yet, he had come to a point in his life where the sounds inside his head were so much louder than those on the outside, and he took his own life.

He is just another random stranger to me, familiar only because of his public image, and yet his death has dropped on me like an unimaginable weight.

In the last 2 years I have been very intimately acquainted with how varied mental illness can be.

Sometimes you can see it coming; the long, slow descent into a state where you are unable to effectively deal with your own well being. It's not pretty, but it is much easier to identify than the alternative.

Most recently, I had a taste of the brick-to-the-side-of-the-head variety of mental illness. Witnessing the decision by someone waking up one morning and making a conscious decision that being out of life was easier, or better, or something... than being in life.

The shock of this is indescribable. I've read so many comments by those close to "that guy" expressing shock and disbelief. So many feelings of guilt over not being able to see it coming, or not having known what was barrelling towards them.

Believe me, I know those feelings. Up close and personal. In my case, the ending was a less gruesome one, but still haunting. Most of the time the images and emotions stay nicely crammed into the back of my brain, but on days like today they slither out and slide around my throat in a death hold.

My guilt is huge. Hindsight is so unkind. Now, I am hyper-aware and push myself to the point of analyzing every word, every emotion, every tiny whisper of body language...

What this has taught me is that being entrusted with the care of another human being must also go hand in hand with taking equal care of oneself. Trying to shoulder the problems of all will inevitably result in crushing your own needs.

Take the time to focus entirely on yourself. Remind yourself of all the things that make you happy - from the light shining through the leaves of the tree as you sip your morning coffee, to the family and friends who, though sometimes infuriating and exhausting, are always the ones who support you unconditionally. It's challenging but crucial.

I will take that time. Tomorrow happens to be my birthday, and I will spend my day indulging myself and enjoying the people who remind me of all the things I love about life. If I see you tomorrow, don't be surprised if I throw myself at you and hug for just a little too long. I'm just healing.

Sunday, May 8, 2016


I am beyond proud to say I am the mother of 3 amazing, annoying, beautiful, hilarious, frustrating, fabulous children. They push my buttons and push my limits daily. There have been days when I have wanted to box them all up and ship them to A Far Away Place, but I love them unconditionally.

I have another "family" too. My Rage family is an interesting one. These "children" are grown women. Some of them are older than I. Many of them have their own children. Regardless, my maternal instinct still kicks in when I see them on the football field. I am almost as proud of them as of my own children. 

How I came to be lucky enough to have so much in my life is anyone's guess, but I am grateful. 💗

Friday, February 5, 2016

I'm a Bitch

No, really.

Let's talk language for a moment.

A bitch is a female dog. As much as some of you might not associate me with dogs (I've never been a dog person), the title of bitch couldn't be more fitting.

If you are among my circle of friends and loved ones, there is little I would not do for you. My primary drive in life is to support the people I love.  Physical, emotional, financial... whatever is within my power, I will do to see that you are happy and successful. Sometimes this manifests itself as ridiculous gestures, with the end result often nothing more than a smile or a polite thank you from the recipient. To you this may seem fruitless and silly, but I assure you that what it gives me is exponentially greater than the effort involved.

If you've ever seen the look a dog gives her owner just for being present, you might begin to understand.

Go ahead. Call me a bitch. I'll wear that title like a crown.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Full circle

Just over 6 years ago, my first "real" post was about my hair. My long, dark, curly hair. I loved my hair. I grew it out after my second child was born. Now, 10 years and another child later, it's all gone. Like, ALL. GONE.

There is a fantastic organization called Kids Cancer Care that provides support to children dealing with cancer and their families. I first heard about them when my son decided to shave his head as part of an event at his school. The stories shared by some young cancer survivors about their lives and what Kids Cancer Care had done for them brought me to tears. 

Years later, I decided to step up and take on the challenge myself. Initially I vowed that unless I reached my fundraising goal of $10,000. I wouldn't shave my head or cut my hair. 

As time passed, and my amazing friends and family stepped up and donated in my name, I realized that there was no way I could disappoint them. 

On October 3, 2015 I sat on a stage in the middle of a mall, surrounded by strangers and friends. My kids watched and helped as two wonderful men from the Calgary Stampeders gently clipped off my 13 inch long ponytails, and then proceeded to shave me bald. 

As I sit at home now and reflect on what happened today, my heart is bursting and my eyes are full of tears. The amount of love and support from my family and friends has been overwhelming. I don't think it will sink in completely for several days. 

What I can tell you for certain is that you are capable of so much more than you ever imagine when you have support from your loved ones. 

Be that support for someone. You have no idea what a difference you will make.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Cleaning out the closet.

I'm a hoarder.

Over the past few years I've managed to amass a great deal of "memorabilia" - everything from photos to tickets and passes, buttons, and various odds and ends that most people would shake their heads at.

I've heard numerous times that de-cluttering is good for the soul. One should sort through the "stuff" and ask a simple question - "Does this make me happy or bring me joy?" Anything failing to meet this criteria should be disposed of.
This, however, is not where the problem lies.
My collection of souvenirs make me ridiculously happy every time I see it. Every item has a clear, heartwarming memory attached to it. I can connect them all to the people and places that fill my heart.

So what's the issue?

It seems I have difficulty with hoarding people, too.

Ever the optimist, I hang on to people who may not actually be making me happy or bringing joy into my life. It's a struggle for me to accept that as much as I may wish to, I can't will someone to be a meaningful part of my life.

I think I may need to de-clutter my head.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tears of a clown

We all know someone like it - the goofy one ; the one who's always making jokes, doing everything possible to cheer people up.  It's so cliché but so many don't see what's right in front of them.

The person you'd least expect to harbour a dark place inside is probably that clown in your life.

Don't take that happiness for granted. That person - the one who seems to have it all together - is probably the one most in need of a small affirmation, some quiet words spoken randomly and thoughtfully. Be generous with your kindness. You have no idea what impact it might make.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


In French, one doesn't say "I miss you", but rather "tu me manques" - you are missing from me, as though the person in mind is a real, physical part of you that is missing.

I understand this. I have pieces of myself all over - some miles away, some close enough to touch, but all of them missing from me in some way. They drift in and out of my life in strange and irregular ways, but never fully leave me. Some of them leave a much larger empty space than others, even if physically they are not that far removed.

No matter how difficult it is to locate each missing piece and try, however briefly, to tuck it back into its place, it is worth the effort for the reward that comes.

My fear is that some of them have no idea their absence is felt at all. I hope to show each of them how they fit into my life before they are missing from me for good.