The Ultimate Definition of Balance

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I’ve been thinking a lot about balance lately. As I get older, I realize that I am not someone who embraces routine wholeheartedly. I am someone who has a hard time doing the same thing everyday – whether it’s ordering the same drink, eating the same food, or having the same schedule each day. I find it monotonous, ultimately.

I am constantly receiving emails that are supposed to help my life – you know the ones: “Say Yes to Life” and “The 5 Things You Should Be Doing Each Morning”, etc, et. al.  They frustrate me because they all say the same thing: you should be doing A, B, C, and D each day to give yourself a great start, or that in order to be successful in business and in life, you should do 1, 2, and 3 or else you don’t even stand a chance.

It’s similar to those articles listing the “20 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Do Each Day”, alluding to the fact that if you do indeed happen to do all those things, you TOO will become like them. It’s become this shaming tactic in making us think that we are either not good enough or unable to achieve what we want to, else we decide to go against the items on the list.

It frustrates me because each day I wake up, and I guzzle a litre of cold water while I get ready for the day – yet I feel guilty because I know it should have  fresh, organic lemons and possibly raw, natural honey in it. I struggle to wake up at 6:15 am, let alone 5 am to get in my morning workout (ideally outdoors), as well as meditate and start my day with a motivational mantra, along with 5 minutes to enjoy a coffee or tea, as well as a green smoothie complete with kale and protein powder, of course.

Instead, my morning thoughts consist of the never-ending to-do list for the day, trying to focus my thoughts on prioritizing my to-do list, what the kids (and adults) will possibly have for dinner tonight, if I have to do laundry that day, what will the adults eat for lunch, if the ten year old make her own lunch for school (the answer to that question is YES, however the next question is: will it be a nutritious lunch? to which the answer is a resounding NOT REALLY), and what else….

Will I wake up at 5 am one day to a positive mantra to set my day off right, followed by a mini yoga stretching session and an outdoor jog? Will I write in my non-existent journal then create a green smoothie to enjoy while watching the sunrise?

Perhaps one day. But for now, I’ll continue to wake up at 6:15am (maybe 6:30 some days…), do some online shopping on my cell phone (cute shoes), get myself ready, cuddle my children, yell at everyone to “hurry up”, and then rush myself out the door before 8 am in order to make my commute into the city less harried than it already is… One day I’ll be calm and grounded and motivated and the ultimate definition of balanced.

But I’m not there just yet.

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Beauty in Aging

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I have become fascinated with my own aging.

Is that considered narcissistic?

I revel in the little silver grey hairs that add sparkle to the part in my hair.

The laugh lines forming around my lips and the crinkles that explode when I smile so hard that my cheeks hurt.

My body is not youthful.

Stretch marks, a ‘mummy tummy’, cellulite, a c-section scar, not-so-plump breasts…

It all tells a story. All of it is a part of my life and a part of me.

Sometimes I’ll look in the mirror and notice the changes in my body.

When did that happen?

It’s all changing, all the time, and it makes me smile.

It makes me hopeful that all this change can make me a better person. That I can learn from everything that I’ve done and everything that I’ve lived through. That things will get better (and worse and better again).

That I can be happy despite and because of everything that I’ve gone through.

I see the beauty in aging.

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Resolutions & New Beginnings

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I don’t know how to do January without a deep cleaning, a purging of excess, and the motivation to change. I’ve noticed it’s becoming quite passé to have ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, as if the belief that the chiming of the clock at midnight will give you the resolve to change the entirety of your life is absolutely ridiculous – which it is.

My mother once told me that the way you spend January 1st is predictive of how the new year will become. For example, if you want to lose weight and create an active lifestyle, spend the first day of the year eating salads and jogging and it will put your life on the right path to achieve your goals. I think it’s some sort of Polish proverb.

I don’t think life changes with one night. But I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel a difference in the air around me. There’s something about the new year that feels like a blank slate ready to be filled – I get a new planner each year, with pristine white pages and a beautiful cover, still unscratched and free of dents. That’s only part of the feeling.

I get the sudden urge to deep clean my home – my closet was never so dust bunny-free as it is after January 1st. The kitchen goes through a purge, everything gets a nice, deep-cleaning – I even reorganized my bathroom drawers.

I think the “New Year” is just a nice way to close one chapter and start another. A sense of renewal occurs, one that I don’t plan for, one that I don’t expect, but it’s there all the same.  I have many resolutions for this year, many plans that I hope to occur in succession, and I’m focusing my efforts on them one at a time. First resolution? To quit drinking alcohol.

What’s your new years resolution?

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Dancing in Huggies #LittleMoversPlus

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Diaper changes are an ongoing challenge in my house – while my little one has been introduced to his potty and is definitely interested, he’s still seriously not ready for full-on potty training. So instead of ‘forcing’ it on him, I embrace it! He’s my last baby and I cherish every moment of his “baby-ness”, including diaper changes!

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I recently discovered Huggies Little Movers Plus which are sold exclusively at Costco, which are perfect for my growing boy! They move with him, allowing him to be as free as possible, while providing a comfy and leak-free fit! Bonus: his favourite Disney characters are all over these soft diapers!

Huggies Little Movers Plus are the perfect fit for my toddler – they feature Double Grip Strips for a comfy fit that lasts to protect against leaks for up to 12 hours! The new DryTouch Liner® helps to wick moisture away from your little ones skin which is great for preventing rashes.

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The Huggies Plus line are Huggies most abosrbent diaper (except for Huggies® OverNites diapers) and they are ultra soft to help protect your little ones delicate skin.  Huggies Little Snugglers Plus and Huggies Little Movers Plus are now exclusively available at Costco in sizes 1-6! For more information about Little Snuggler Plus and Little Movers Plus check out the Huggies website!

Disclosure: I am part of the Huggies Ambassador Campaign with Influence Central and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own

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Note to Self: I CAN’T Do It All

I Just Can't

I can feel it.

Starting in the back of my neck, a pain, just in that crook above my right shoulder blade.

It starts to spread to the other side, as I’m hunched over my keyboard, multi-tasking my life away. Phones ringing, papers flying everywhere, it’s like the beginning of some movie where the bored-with-life cubicle-caged employee snaps and goes off on a spontaneous adventure.

My cage, however, is self-made. A desk that is smack dab in the middle of my home. Always there, always eyeing me, always letting me know that my to-do list is never done. No door to shut it away.

This IS my adventure.

I remind myself of that. I chose this. Well, not THIS current panic-driven state. But I chose to be self-employed, to create a business, and run it as best I can.

But there’s days that I simply can’t do it all. Days where absolutely everything goes wrong, and surprise – it’s my fault.

A simple math equation…

Everything Goes Wrong

I’m tired. My mind is constantly running around in circles, trying to remember the tasks that need to be done for all the different projects. I am constantly forgetting things. I am making mistakes, more often than not. I used to be the one catching others’ mistakes and being frustrated with their inability to do a simple math equation. How the tables have turned…

Step away…

I get up from my desk, breathing heavy because I just can’t. I can’t. So I step away, and make myself a coffee. Throw a load of laundry in, while eyeing the dirty pile in the hamper, and the clean pile in the laundry basket, all folded but not put away. The mirror in the bathroom has water spots, and I notice my eyebrows are out of control.

There’s not enough time.

I quickly clear off the bathroom counter, shoving everything in the drawers, this way and that, never to be found again. I drink my coffee and ignore a phone call on purpose, because I just can’t.

Five more minutes.

Do More Yoga

I should do more yoga. I should go out for a walk. I need to go for a run. I have a race to do in two weeks that I haven’t trained for. My nervous energy is driving me crazy. I feel like one of those joke cans full of snakes. You know the ones you saw on tv as a kid? “I can’t open this can of peanuts Dad!” “Here, let me do it!” and out pop a handful of toy snakes, surprising Dad and making everyone else laugh.

Instead my snakes are real, and crazed, full of venom, waiting for the chance to strike. Or that’s how it feels anyway.

Sssssssssss… Don’t pop that lid open…

A sink full of dishes greets me upstairs, and a kitchen counter full of the remains of breakfast and lunches made in a hurry. Throw it out, wipe it down, fill the sink some more. I curse the fact we don’t have a dishwasher, what was I thinking? I shove a bunch of almonds in my  mouth, not the healthy ones but the chocolate-covered kind, and get back to work.

Emails. Emails in all sixteen of my inboxes. All need attention. All require more than a one word answer as a response. I finally check the voicemail and realize the phone call I avoided an hour ago was rather important, and am now kicking myself for not answering it. Calls returned. Emails start to fall apart. I answer one, but not the other. I save a few in the Drafts folder, never to be found again.

I just can’t.

Back to Work

Back to working on some good old graphic design. Website formatting. CSS. But creativity is lacking. I look down and realize that I’m basically wearing pyjamas. Yoga pants and a loose top make me feel like I’m wearing clothes, but it’s the 21st century’s sweat suit. I haven’t done yoga in months. I’ve gained 5 pounds.

Which doesn’t sound like much, but after losing 30 pounds, ANY gain seems devastating. And causes me to immediately reach for chocolate, gummy worms, or a nice, cold, and well-deserved beer at the end of the day.

I need to work out more.

Is that the time? Kids are almost out of school. This is bullshit. Nothing has been completed. This is NEVER-ENDING. I distract myself by throwing the laundry in the dryer, and playing with my new labeller – because if I was more organized, my life would be MUCH easier, right?

Denial. Denial. Denial.

Get in the Mode

I finally get in “the mode”. The one where I actually complete things. Photoshop decides to work for once, the internet isn’t too slow, everything gets uploaded, things are being crossed off the checklist – and then the kids get home. Most days they’re great together, but some days…

I just get sick of hearing my shouting voice. My angry voice. The one that snaps because I can’t write a full sentence without hearing them bicker and argue over nothing. I make them dinner, clean the kitchen, give them baths, get them ready for bed, and start to write down my to-do list for the next day.

I finally return some emails. I finally send things off to the printer. I finally clean my desk off. Finally. Finally. Finally. I know I can’t do it all, but I’m going to damn well try and I’m going to feel good about it.

And then I make the mistake of going on Facebook. There’s nothing worse. Instagram is lovely. Twitter is chaotic and boring. Pinterest can be fun. But Facebook?

Just kill me now.

Pesky Snakes

Between the politicos, the braggarts, and the whiners, there are those “friends” on Facebook that are actually living life. LIVING. Not just breathing and going through the motions. They’re travelling, and cooking, and exploring, and pushing themselves through new and amazing journeys. I remember occasionally feeling like that was me.

But for now? I’m pushing myself to work as hard as I can, for as short a time as possible, so I can come out on TOP and create something GREAT and AMAZING and FULFILLING – and then, once that happens, I can be an ADVENTURER again. I can travel, and try new foods, and go exploring in the woods again. Free as a bird spreading my wings and soaring into the distance.

But for now?

I just have to deal with those snakes.

xo

M

 

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