Thursday, April 28, 2016

a big part of healing/taking care of yourself is doing things that bring you life, and making sure that you have things to look forward to, and things to look forward to i do!

next week - road [well, train] trip to ottawa
june: dominican republic with my BFFN
july: see the jays play in arizona
august: see them play in baltimore

and in between? a lot of work, some more blue jays, counselling, healthy eating, and exercise, all of which have been set in place to keep my mind busy and help me heal.

another thing that has been helping me heal this week especially is an attitude gratitude, or as i like to call it, thanks-living.

if you know me, you know that i'm a firm believer that thanksgiving trumps christmas for the best holiday of the year. why? because christmas can be sad for some, and stressful for most, but everybody is thankful on thanksgiving. on that one fall day in october, everybody focuses on the good.

this week, i have decided to be intentional about focussing on the good.

the smell of fresh cut grass and beautiful weather. good coffee. a comfy bed and peaceful home. baseball. my friends and family. love. life. adventure. and the list goes on.

and you know something? it's made the world of a difference.

i think the apostle paul was onto something when he wrote philippians 4:8:

"finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things" [philippians 4:8].

what good and lovely things will you dwell on today?

Monday, April 25, 2016

there's a huge difference between loneliness and solitude.

solitude is defined by those moments where you isolate yourself on purpose because you need some peace and quiet, or sleep, or some time to think and reflect. i, for one, am good at solitude.

i am not, however, good at being alone.

i have this unusually deep desire to connect - really connect - with people, and all of my efforts are put into doing so. the problem is, i find, that most people don't crave the same connection that i do, or at least their actions don't line up with their desire if they do.

people make plans to hang out, and break them, show up with their phone glued to their fingertips, and if they do follow through with their plans and put their phone down, most avoid going any deeper than small talk. "how was your day?" "good. yours?"

does anyone else feel this way?

i sit at home feeling lonely, hoping someone, anyone will text me and ask me how i'm doing [lord knows i do this to so many], or initiate some quality time with me so i'm not sitting at home replaying my mom's death over and over in my head, or desiring to be with her.

i'm really trying here, you guys.

i reach out and initiate contact. i get up every day and go to work. i do what i can to have fun, plow through my bucket list, and keep my brain occupied. i'm seeing a counselor, and the list goes on. but i can't for the life of me shake this lonely feeling, or seem to make my way through this dark and messy thing called grief.

dr gary chapman talks about the ways in which we give and receive love in his book "the five love languages". throughout his book, he claims that the reason why so many relationships fail to work is because we're not speaking the language our spouse/friends/parents need us to speak.

some of us exhaust ourselves trying to show love to our significant others by speaking life into them, when all they really need is a hug. or cooking dinner for them when all they really need is a word of encouragement, or spending hours at the office to provide for them when all they desire is quality time.

for me, words are huge. if sincere, nothing makes me feel more loved than a word of encouragement. a simple "i appreciate you" can keep me going for weeks. secondary to that, quality time is of utmost importance. i believe that if you love someone, you'll want to be with them, and make time for them.

of course, this is how i operate. if i love you, i'll tell you. a lot. i'll send you random texts, write you letters, rearrange my schedule to see you, and spend a few hours on a bus just to have a quick coffee with you without thinking twice about it.

the problem is, these two love languages are the hardest for people to speak [words can be awkward and time is a hot commodity these days], so regretfully, i wrestle with feeling unloved at times. especially now as i mourn the loss of my mom and need it the most.

Monday, April 11, 2016

to say i had a happy birthday is an understatement.

i spent the morning reading through some of your wonderful facebook messages and texts, reflecting on my last 36 years of life [at least what i can remember of it], and dreaming about my future. life has been good to me so far, and judging by this year's bucket list, it looks like 36 will shape up to be that way, too.

special thanks to:

my BFFN for taking me to my fave burger joint for lunch and an upcoming jays' game, for a sweet, and healthy, new cookbook, and more importantly, her company and friendship, which trumps all.

my work friends, who outdid themselves by throwing me a party with the best colour co-ordinated decorations, homemade cupcakes, yummy ice cream cake, flowers, blue jay hats [yes, plural], homemade cards, a thoughtful book full of encouragement letters that i will cherish forever, and much, much more.

my wonderful housemate and friend, sharon, for the devotional and boston spending money [go jays!], and my dear friend stephanie for breakfast, an upcoming jays' game [do you see a theme here?] and especially for having her adorable grade four class call me on speaker phone to collectively wish me a happy birthday. i love and appreciate you a great deal. all of you.

you know, the more i get older, the more realize how important the people you surround yourself with are. society would tell you that living the good life means making a lot of money, owning a huge house with a white picket fence, driving an expensive car, and having a bunch of degrees hanging up in your corner office, yet i have none of these things and feel like one of the richest people in the world.

thanks, everyone. hold your loved ones close today.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

i was filling out an easter card for my world vision kids the other day [they sent it to me after easter lol], and one of the questions they asked me was what food i ate the most as a kid. truthfully, i had no idea, and the sad part is, i don't have anyone to ask. as odd as this may sound, this was a defining moment for me. losing my mom meant grieving some of my past.

my sisters and i were together not too long a go when my younger sister said, "i'm so happy that mom was here for my wedding. sorry, robin" [who is getting married again sometime in the future], to which she replied, "that's okay; i'm just glad she met brian and knows that i'm happy".

unbeknownst to them, my heart sank in the backseat of the car as i started to think about the things my mom would miss in my own life. she won't be here to see me flourish, meet the man of my dreams when he shows up, or rock my babies to sleep when i can't due to sheer exhaustion. i no longer have a mom, my future husband won't have a mother-in-law, and my kids, a grandma. losing my mom meant grieving part of my future.

and the present, too.

i wanted to call her for advice the other day, and very quickly realized i couldn't. i want to text her about how excited i am to see my jays play at fenway, but can't. i want her to be able to call and wish me a happy birthday on friday, but she can't ... and the list goes on.

grieving some of my past is hard, grieving my future without her is harder, but grieving her presence in my life today is the hardest.

miss you every single day, mom. xo

Sunday, April 3, 2016

there's an inner conflict that comes with losing someone you love.

on one hand, your life is consumed by a hole; a deep, and painful, un-fillable hole.

but on the other hand, you know that life is a gift, and you have a lot to be thankful for.

some days, the hole consumes you, and others, gratitude does; the key is to learn to live with both.

my birthday is coming up this week, and i just feel ... weird. it's my first one without my mom [and without a parent, period]. how does one celebrate a day without the two who are responsible for bringing you into this world? i mean, i will - obviously - because i have a lot to be thankful for, but i'd be lying if i didn't say that this is one of those times where the hole seems all consuming.

either way, i'm determined to make this my best year yet.

i have a trip to boston planned in a few weeks to see my boys in blue take on the red sox, a trip to ottawa planned in a few weeks, an all inclusive one planned for june, and am in the midst of working on a trip to arizona in july to, you guessed it, watch my jays play in the desert.

i've dedicated this summer to 'healing and fun', before making a potential career change in the fall, but hey, let's just take one day at a time, shall we?