Little Surprises

Yesterday I threw a little socially distanced 60th surprise party for my momma🥳

Mom watches my Insta Stories so I couldn’t share it with you. I know you can hide your Story from certain people but I was too paranoid she would somehow see so I didn’t share😂

With the help of my brother and my mum’s partner to coordinate keeping it a secret (and my brother helping me pick dessert flavors 😄), she got to celebrate with 3 of her best friends.🤫

I didn’t take any photos except for the food but it was all a hit!! A big thank you especially to @thegrazecompany for your amazing charcuterie box and @cakesnsweets_ for the delicious lemon and taro cupcakes, and earl grey macarons😍

The world is my oyster

A really simple Friday affirmation that’s been said to me before, which I needed to hear today.

I’m going to be transparent with you all – I got into the meditation teacher training program which I had applied for a few weeks back. Now I’m not so sure I’m ready to commit to it. Primarily because of choosing what dreams of mine to allocate my money to first. I have a dream to visit Africa when I turn 30, but I also have a dream to become a meditation teacher. Africa came before I dreamed of teaching meditation, so I should go with that right?

I’m at a crossroads. I should start saving for Africa pretty much now, if I intend to save up enough to feel comfortable going by 2022. But now is actually a really great time to learn to meditate while working from home. I don’t want to say it’s a hard decision because it’s really not – I’m making a decision about which dream I want to pursue more – which is hella amazing. Some people don’t even have that. Some people (as I am learning lately) don’t even have the privilege to consider travel or consider advancement or personal growth in the first place. So I acknowledge the privilege I hold, and I respect it. I am at an interesting point in my life – one where I am not tied down to any one location or job. I’m also not tied down by a boyfriend or husband and don’t have any kids. I can essentially do what I want and go where I want.

I think I’ve spent so long not acknowledging my dreams that now that I’m in this head-space where I know what my dreams are, and I’ve breathed life into them, I want to do everything now … and if I don’t then that dream will be forgotten about again.

But dreams take time, and that is also something which I am working to recognize. Perhaps pursuing the longer term dream will be bring me more satisfaction because I worked that much harder for it.

My Mother: 10 Lessons at 60

My Mother: 10 Lessons at 60

[TW: ED]

Reading Time: 10 Minutes

Today my mom turns 60. This past weekend, I asked her to reflect on life as she turns the big 6-0 – looking back on lessons learned, what she’d go back and tell her younger self if she could, and what she plans to do moving forward.

I’ve focused a lot of my energy recently on writing about my dad, about his absence and inconsistency throughout my childhood, and (in the works at the moment) his alcoholism. But throughout this writing, I’ve often thought “What about mom? Why focus so much energy on the invisible parent when the other was so present. She was the real hero of these stories”. She understands that my writing is a way to work through what I’ve lived through, but I thought it was about time that I focus on her – what a perfect week/day to do so.

In the past, she’d put her own needs aside to raise us offspring, while at the same time, putting up with an immense amount of bullshit from my dad. She’s pushed past the societal stigmas of raising 2 kids as a single parent and the criticism that’s been dished out to her that kids from broken homes end up troubled. My brother and I have not let this stigma define us, shape us, or take hold of us – speak to past teachers, speak to family friends, speak to our places of employment and you will find praise of 2 hardworking, caring individuals. That’s not meant to boost us up, in fact I take it very humbly. What i’m saying is we owe that praise to her.

She often makes enough food to feed a small army and at 60, still hasn’t figured out the correct quota of person to pasta ratio. She found love again at 52, after choosing to stay single for 15 years so she could raise us kids (meanwhile i’m over here lamenting about being single at 30). She has shared her appreciation for older music and movies with my brother and I (a la impromptu Milli Vanilli boogie sessions in the kitchen). She is strong, she is kind and not afraid to speak her opinion. She is helpful and she is loving – happy 60th birthday to my momma. Without further ado, here are 10 lessons at 60 from my mother and 2 lessons she hopes to adapt moving forward.

Accept your partner as they are

“If you find yourself in a relationship, especially when you are younger, accept your partner as they are – do not try to change them. If you find yourself trying and struggling to change aspects of your partner, it may be wise to take a step back, reconsider who you are with and whether that’s the person you’re meant to be with. Reflecting upon my first marriage before your dad, my ex and I grew apart in different ways. I was naggy and didn’t speak for long periods of time (when upset). Looking back now, I recognize he was perfectly fine the way he was – it’s crazy now that I reflect on it.”

I asked her what she thought she was trying to change in him, and she said “all those dumb guy things – the things young guys don’t think about, but you expect them to. Especially when you are younger you think they can read your mind, you don’t communicate. That’s another thing – you should never not speak – even if you fight and yell at each other, it’s better to do that then not talk. Eric (her current partner) says he has nothing to work with when I shut down.”

Your friends can be your family

“My friends are more like my family. I have friends that I connect with more than family members. Just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean you are automatically close with them. It also doesn’t mean you have to be friends with them. Some people have that (connection with their siblings), but just because you are related, it doesn’t mean you have to work at a relationship that is hard, or try to the point where it’s disturbing in your life – you can give up on it.”

Struggles are what make you stronger

“Every struggle led me to where I am now, which is a very positive place (I commented that it was probably the healthiest place she has ever been). Eric and I allow each other to just be ourselves. Every hurdle that you jump through and come out the other side, leads you to a better place.”

Wisdom with Money

“I would have been way wiser with money way earlier. But it was all about the party. You made the money and you spent the money, and you tried to save it but then took it out of places you shouldn’t have. I often think of Whistler Blackcombe, I could have bought a place for $8,000. Why were we so stupid with money? Why are you so smart?”

I proposed I thought it was because the economy was okay back then (in the 80’s), and the cost of living was cheaper, so there wasn’t as great of a need to save. As I pointed out to her now, I can’t afford to buy a house. “There were also jobs you could get without schooling, which may have also meant more disposable income when I was younger. I was also somewhat behind in money from raising your brother and you. So I would say just be wiser with money.”

Traveling lighter makes for a happier trip.

“Every trip I take I learn to take less with me because the less baggage you take with you, the happier your trip will be. Travel is so much easier with less and you usually don’t end up wearing half of what you take.”

Have Patience.

“Patience is something I have learned. Having patience has benefited me in that I don’t get agitated about little things. Patience also requires me to …”

Slow Down.

“If your pace is slower you have more patience. I’m in no hurry to get things done any longer. Sometimes things irritate me, but very little does anymore. I used to be the Queen of Rushing when I was younger, but I don’t rush anymore, I allow myself down time now. Some people might say it’s wrong, that you should live in the moment, but I don’t live in the moment. I know what I am eating a week and a half from now – that’s who I am. I have always had to be one date ahead, but that’s not something I think I have learned (a lesson from) – that’s something I see as a good thing for me, it’s what I do. It’s not something I would want to change ever.”

I asked her if she wished she lived more in the present over the years – “It was not a possibility as a single parent of 2 kids. But I look back to the summer holidays, that one summer we went to Drumheller – we put Sun In in our hair and you kids went back to school looking healthy and tanned. I look back at those times and I was present. I still knew what we were having for dinner and still knew what we were doing the next day, but I enjoyed it, I was with you kids. At home, when working full time and running from one activity to the next, I always had to be ahead of it. Now, I don’t have to do or be that way (both of us kids have flown the coop) but it’s an organizational thing for me, it’s part of who I am. I would rather be the way I am than at 4:00pm in the afternoon go “hmm what am I going to have for dinner?”. Speeding up to slow down, as I put it, and she agreed.

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

“I have learned how to laugh at myself. If something is funny, and little things just happen, I don’t take it home with me. I don’t come home and say “oh my god, oh my god”. Instead of beating myself up about things, I can laugh at myself which is important. You don’t care as much about what people think as you get older.”

I told her I looked forward to growing older for that reason.

Eat Healthy, Everything in Moderation

“I think that a diet, like a really restrictive diet is not healthy – I think that the strive to be thin can be all-consuming. I did all kinds of stupid stuff. I took laxatives when I was in my 20’s, I made these muffins that were held together by bran and nothing else. I’ve always had a weight problem. I do love Weight Watchers, I don’t know if you can pump them up on your blog. My mother had me on this diet when I was 8 that was grapefruit, boiled eggs, and Swiss cheese and that’s all I ate for like a week. Those kinds of weird things – doing things to your body that are destructive. I just think healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle are the way to go, but also to live a little once in a while – have that doughnut if you want to, everything in moderation.”

As I pointed out to her, with that sort of diet when you are 8, you are reinforcing the belief that your body is not what it should be, you reinforce the idea of an “other”, like it should be something that it’s not. The second point is that creates such disordered eating when you start so young, in women especially, which is probably why she ended up making bran muffins with nothing to them.

“I would say enjoy life – if people relaxed a little bit more about diets, they would find their weight wouldn’t fluctuate so much and would probably be happier.”

Walk Away From DramaEspecially Workplace Drama

When talking about her previous workplace: “I was seen as not very social or friendly because I wanted to avoid the drama that filled my workplace. When I was younger I may have made more of an effort to be social but as I got older, and especially at the specific location of where I worked, my intent was to come to work, do my job and leave. Nobody there liked their job. They got stuck there because of the money, they were grumpy and hated what they were doing. They were trying to create something out of nothing and trying to make other people unhappy because they were not happy. It’s toxic – they were not happy in their own lives and there was so much talking about everyone else behind their backs. You don’t need it – stay away from it.”

2 Things To Work Towards

Become a Better Listener

“I would like to, in the future, between 60 and 70, to not, while someone is talking, have my brain going in a million different directions in how i’m going to respond to them. To stop my brain and actually listen to somebody. That’s one thing, it’s a big one. It’s always going – when you’re talking to me, I’m thinking of what i’m going to say or something else. And it’s not you, it’s just who I am and my brain has had to do that for years. That’s something I’m going to work on. It’s back to the point earlier about slowing down.”

Express Gratitude on a Daily Basis

“I would like to wake up every morning and think of something I’m grateful for, to take a page from your book. Because sometimes you forget, all the good you have and you need to remind yourself every day.”

Thank you for reading as always. If you liked what you read, give my post a like, hit the Follow button on the top right-hand corner of this post, and turn on post-notifications, so you never miss an LE blog post! Don’t forget to join my monthly email list by signing up below, for updates, bonus content, and recommendations from yours truly!

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May Grounded Gratitude Day 30

My friends – today has been an informative day!🌟

Day 1 of Gem Conference wrapped up a little bit ago – I am SO pleased I made the decision to purchase a ticket last minute. The wealth of information and knowledge of the speakers has been incredible. I got involved, joined in the chat feature, interacted with folks, made some new connections here on Instagram based off those interactions – overall I’m really happy and grateful that I put myself out there and joined in on the fun and learning! 😊

I’m also grateful for (and something which I seem to notice when out for my daily walk) how curious I get about nature. Leaving my phone at home especially allows for me to interact and engage with nature by getting curious.💭

I ask myself questions, I get curious about certain things I see: “How come leaves can grow different patterns? At what rate does a baby Canadian goose grow? Why is there a certain smell when it rains? Why do we find that so relaxing and refreshing?”🌿

It’s healthy to get curious and it’s healthy to interact and get out into nature – I encourage you to do both of these things as restrictions continue to lift! 😁

Have a lovely Saturday evening.🌟

May Grounded Gratitude Day 29

Hi friends – hope your Friday evening is going lovely.

Lots of great things happened to me today – In particular, I signed myself up for the GEM Conference, a digital marketing conference primarily aimed at small business owners looking to grow their content strategy, but it’s also open to individuals (like me) looking for an opportunity to learn as well.

There are going to be sessions and workshops led my well-known female content creators across the web on a variety of topics – podcasts, organization, DIY photography, public speaking, intellectual property and protecting your brand, pitching yourself to a brand – lot’s of really great topics! I’m looking forward to learning lots of taking the steps to invest back into myself, my brand, my social media and of course, this site! For the complete list of speakers and workshops, check out https://gemconference.ca/

May Grounded Gratitude Day 28

Hi all – today’s Grounded Gratitude is here 🌟

Exciting things that happened to me today – I submitted a job application, received my Saje order, and applied for meditation teacher training with @the_lab_of_meditation 👏🏻

I’m excited about the potential opportunity to expand my knowledge on a subject I am very passionate about (as I know a lot of you are too) and to be able to teach others this practice which has helped me greatly in my daily life. What’s more, the decision to apply was so clear in my mind. There were no “what-if” moments or questioning my ability or self-doubt. Yay to being brave and just going for it 😄

Tonight some girlfriends and I are having a group video chat too – all in all a great day – hope you had a great day too✌🏻

May Grounded Gratitude Day 27

Day 27 of Grounded Gratitude 😄

My new patio lounge chair is AWESOME – it’s a cute teal color, I bought a matching ottoman , cup holder, and an outdoor pillow ✨ I’m cozy folks. It’s my new fave spot for drinking my morning coffee and answering work emails.💻

I ordered a bunch of products from @sajewellness – I ordered some baths salts, new hand soap, and a lavender mist. I wanted a new room spray, too, but with less chemicals, so I also decided to purchase one from Saje – plant-based and no synthetics!🌿

May Grounded Gratitude Day 25

Hi friends! Hope you all had a great start to your Monday. Today’s blog post was supposed to come out, but I just got busy doing other things and time slipped away, and it didn’t happen. I feel proud of myself for having been so consistent with posting so far (every Monday!), so I shall allow myself this one time as a grace period. Tomorrow it shall be published!

A week or so ago, I entered into a draw for a free tarot card reading by Lynn of Gentle Guidance Tarot on Instagram. I didn’t win, but had been planning to enter her draw again come the next month. I received a message from her yesterday (kind of strange timing as those accounts who follow me closely will know it was a bit of an odd, sad day), that she’s going to do my reading for free the following day (today!). As a way to promote her readings and her services, Lynn is offering for anyone who is interested, their first reading for free so they can experience a reading and get a feel for working with her. From there if people decide they wish for more readings, they can pursue her paid option. I told her what I wanted to focus the reading on, and woke up this morning to a lovely 20 minute clip from her explaining my tarot cards.

I haven’t had a chance to fully sit down and take in and listen to the reading (it’s just been a wack, busy day, and time got away), but I plan to fully immerse myself this evening.

On another note, my avocado seed seems to be growing – fingers crossed, my plant saga continues….

May Grounded Gratitude Day 23

Grounded Gratitude Day 23 is here – happy Saturday!

My gal pal Abby helped me out with a little creative project this afternoon to do with my Instagram account (which will come out soon!). I’m grateful for her creative wizardry and her beautiful front garden where we shot photos.

⁠I’m working on a blog post which confronts an irrational fear of mine (hint hint – it has to do with turning a certain age, in a few years, and a certain relationship status I may or may not have by that age).

This weekend I am staying at my parents’ house while my brother is home for his birthday. I am grateful I am sleeping in a safe house in a safe bed this weekend – I don’t have a remote idea of the number of people who sleep in unsafe beds in unsafe locations each night and I’m grateful I don’t have to experience or live through that.