Good changes and getting back to being me

Over the last few years, I’ve learned a lot of new things about myself and I’ve rediscovered things I’ve always known. It’s been quite an incredible ride and I’m enjoying a period of blissful quiet these days. It’s busy quiet, but mostly in the best possible ways. A lot of the quiet is due to my stepping down from my role as president of the WBN. I have more time to pursue some of the things I enjoy now.

Back in January, I started blogging again over on my other blog where I talk about marketing, writing and business. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sitting down to write again over the last couple months. I even managed to publish a post a week, which feels like an enormous accomplishment.

When the year was brand new, I also set a goal to read 70 books this year. I have an ambitious pile of books, but I’ve already managed to get through 23, which puts me 9 books ahead for this time of year. My reading pace in January and February was pretty intense. I’ve already slowed way down, but I’m enjoying reading in a way I haven’t in quite a few years.

I started reading ebooks way before they got popular. I was reading them on my Palm devices in the early 2000s. (In fact, the site I used to buy my books from is totally defunct now.) Last summer, I decided I wanted to really slow down during my vacation and I thought reading physical books was a good way to do that. So I stocked up on 3-4 books to keep me occupied during my week off and I spent as many moments as possible on our brand new patio.

Check it out! 👇 I miss patio weather right now most of all (go away, winter) and since I haven’t blogged about it yet, I can share it now and remember the loveliness of sitting out there on nice summer days.

Matt has some more work he wants to do in the backyard this year, and we’re hoping that we don’t have grubs return for a very long time. This was our second time replacing the grass since we bought our house.

I’ve been trying to be more intentional about taking better care of my physical, mental, and emotional health as well. The biggest change I’ve made is making sure I get in an absolute minimum amount of exercise everyday. For me, that equates to closing the rings on my watch (stand for one minute each hour for 12 hours, 30 minutes of exercise and burn X number of active calories).

This has been really helpful for me in working through some things. I’ve been doing more meditation and trying to ensure I get enough sleep. Though since I’m typing this at 2:47am, I suppose I’m never gonna be great at the getting enough sleep goal. Besides, I haven’t stayed up late writing like this in longer than I can even remember. So, I'm calling it a win. Especially since this is my fourth blog post I’m writing tonight. I’m on a roll and I’m taking advantage.

Outside of reading and writing, I’ve been advocating for children with autism - mine and others - pretty heavily this year. We had some good developments at Brandon’s school and I’m hoping we’ll be able to continue to work through anything that comes up as he moves into his last year of elementary school in September. Now, if we could get the government to roll back their hideous new Ontario Autism Plan. Parents all over the province are protesting in droves, including a 20km walk that’s scheduled for March 31 in support of a National Autism Strategy. If the government finally listens, it’ll be worth it for my kid and all the kids who need support.

It’s hard to believe my little man is turning 11 in a few weeks. He’s my musical partner and we’ve been having a blast going to musicals since last August when we both saw Wicked for the first time. We took a train down to Toronto and stayed overnight at a hotel, making it a little mini-vacation. We had so much fun we decided to go down again to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory during the winter break from school.

I don’t know why I didn’t take more pictures when we were back in Toronto for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But Brandon loved that show as well. It was our third musical and we saw Beautiful (The Carole King Story) a few days later back in Ottawa. This weekend, we’re going to see a show I grew up watching many times - The King and I. I don’t know if Brandon will enjoy it like I did as a kid, but that’s okay. I love how interested he is in musicals. And we’ve already got our tickets to go see Hamilton when it comes to Ottawa in 2020. Getting back into watching musicals has been amazing. Having Brandon take an interest too? I feel like I won the lottery.

As usual, the year is flying by so fast. I’ve officially hit double digits as a blogger, so I’m glad I’m still keeping it going even if the posts are few and far between. I think that will probably change now that I have more time to work on some of my hobbies and personal interests. So that’s something for you to look forward to!

Day 13 - A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough days. (write a letter.)

Photo Credit: Kym Shumsky (Relishing.ca)It’s been over a year since I started this meme and I’m not even halfway through. Partially because I decided I was going to do as I was inspired to and I think that’s okay. The other part is because there are many prompts after the first few that I’m just not that into.

I can’t tell you why this particular prompt isn’t inspiring me. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel like writing a letter. I don’t. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to detail the tough days. Definitely don’t. The problem isn’t that I don’t have a deep connection to music (at times) that helps me get through my own emotions. I definitely do.

Maybe it’s a fear of vulnerability. Tough times in life that you remember through music can be hard to dredge up. Putting those times out there in a blog post for the world to see allows people to come in to a place I’m not sure I want to invite people.

What if they don’t like the band I mention?

What if the songs that touched me are songs they hate?

What if I can’t handle sharing that part of my self?

My likes and dislikes in music are very personal. I can take teasing about liking certain groups, but one that is connected to an emotional event isn’t something I want to take a chance on. Not now.

So, I’ll share a song that got me through the waiting to move to Canada - a song that Matt (ironically) cannot stand. :) Those were tough days for more reasons than just the pending move. But every time I listened to this CD and heard this song, I danced around my house doing housework, nodding my agreement. I knew it was time to go, but I was truly “weighed by the chains that keep me hangin’ around” (mainly the lack of a permanent resident visa):

Do you have a song that got you through a tough time? Does it feel too personal to share?

Day 6 - Laughter (#reverb11)

Laughter What made you laugh this year?

*****

I laugh a lot - I’m lucky like that. I have a witty husband who keeps me laughing. I have friends who all seem to have a great sense of humour. I am amused daily by things that my co-workers say and do. I have had Twitter buddies make me laugh out loud - even on the bus (so not cool). There’s so much to laugh at - in the joyful, fun way. I’m really blessed to have such fun, funny people everywhere I turn.

Brandon in the train on a recent trip to Saunders Farm.The person whose antics I’ve treasured most this year was Brandon. He’s at an age where his personality is starting to blossom and grow. He is starting to pick up on the nuance of teasing - and he’s trying it out. He knows that there are things that will make his mommy and daddy laugh and he takes great joy in making that happen.

I think the most exciting part of that is knowing that to be teased and tease in return takes a certain amount of trust and confidence. Trust that someone teasing you isn’t doing so in a hurtful matter. Confidence that you know someone well enough to tease them about something and know they’ll respond positively.

Seeing this develop in him gives me assurance that we’re doing all right.