Espresso!

6 Mar

Do you ever drink an espresso (or espresso-based drink) and feel like you can conquer the world? It is such an amazing feeling! So positive! So wonderful! All of a sudden the sun is shining and you are the master of your destiny!

As Kenneth said on 30 RockI love how it makes me feel. It’s like my heart is trying to hug my brain!

I had an americano not too long ago. I feel inspired! So I’ve decided to write a blog post. I think it’s been about a year since my last post? Eeek!

And because I’m feeling so random, this post will be a list. I can’t muster more than bullet-points. Remember, I just had an americano?

Here, then, for your reading pleasure, is what currently fills my brain. Specifically, in no particular order, here is a list of all the things that I dislike/detest BUT I am extremely grateful for at one time or another….

  • Microwaves
  • Lysol wipes
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
  • Swiffer.  Wet and dry.
  • (Are you noticing a trend here? I claim to be environmentally conscious.  But I’m also always in a rush and I hate dirt.)
  • Our big car
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Fast food

That’s all that currently comes to mind.

What are yours?

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Zeitgeist

13 Mar

I remember first being introduced to the term, Zeitgeist, back in my Grade 12 English class. My hippy teacher (yes, he drove a VW van and was a true dude!) explained that this was a term that meant “spirit of the time”. Wikipedia has confirmed it.

For some reason, this word has been milling around my brain lately, as I think about our planet and recent global events. It is difficult not to notice that the Earth is going through a period of unrest, on many levels. We are bombarded with events that make hard-core Christians positively orgasmic with signs of the second coming. And, no. I did not intend to make that sentence sound quite so sexual. Whoops!

I really became aware of this a few months ago, when a friend introduced me to some “conspiracy-based” websites. There is A LOT of information out there pertaining to the New World Order, aliens, 2012, Illuminati, and a general “elite” agenda to make us all into robot-like morons that will follow a Satanic rule. Crazy enough for ya? It does sound a bit paranoid on the surface, but I quickly got sucked into the theories and began to worry about the grains of truth that could be scattered among the information.

Alongside these theories, there are the Bible-thumpers, mentioned above, reading every recent event as a sign of the coming Apocalypse and urging one and all to REPENT, REPENT, REPENT! With massive animal die-offs, war, and natural disasters plaguing the Earth, it is hard to turn a blind eye to these theories, as well; despite the fact that I am not a believer in literal interpretations of the Bible.

And so, in the past few months I’ve become a little obsessed. I gather information and I become sad. I admit, I have not yet come to proper terms with the impermanence of life. Looking at my two small children, I desperately want to experience life. And I want my children to experience it fully and freely. My heart feels so heavy when I think of any suffering that they may have to endure. I don’t mean a broken heart due to a love lost or some hardship when they argue with their boss at work (although I wish I could protect them from these events too!) I mean living through natural disasters, war, famine, political unrest, etc.

So, against this backdrop, I began to think of the word, Zeitgeist, and I realized the obvious: the Zeitgeist of our times is fear. We are a planet of humans living in complete and utter fear. At the core, it is a fear of the inevitability of death. North American culture, in particular, lives in total denial of the fact that everyone must eventually die. This trickles down to just about every aspect of how we conduct our daily lives. Protecting ourselves from any kind of hurt, pain or suffering at all costs. This fear fuels a collective paranoia. We read into every major event, looking for clues and signs. Signs that drive whatever fear-based agenda we believe is ruling the planet. Our media intensifies this madness with doom-filled headlines that manipulate facts. A personal favourite of mine is when weather turns extreme. Soon the TV networks are confirming: The most devastating tornado to hit Kansas since record-keeping began!! Nothing like this has been seen in our lifetime!! The inevitable quote by a local elder: 90-year-old has never seen a storm this horrific!! Of course, we’ve only been keeping records for a few hundred years, and a “lifetime” is actually a split second in the grand scheme of things. But that fact just doesn’t have the same kind of punch.

On the flip-side of this, we have the Universe itself. The planets. The stars. The cosmos. Existing for billions of years. Earth herself has been home to a multitude of species. Some survived for millions of years until present day. Others were wiped out. The Universe makes no judgements and is not sentimental. Nature simply flows through a natural cycle, allowing birth, life, destruction and re-birth. And, in my humble opinion, as many philosophies and religions that have tried to understand this process, none of us truly comprehend the enormity of it all.

In the wake of the recent tragedy in Japan, I have been checking in with both mainstream and unconventional news sites. Of course, the unconventional ones scream of conspiracy. Some believe the event was planned. Government conspiracy. Population control. Those who feel it’s a natural event, add this to their Apocalyptic checklist. I found myself feeling angry and manipulated. Everyone seems to have some kind of agenda. The conspiracy theorists claim that they are revealing the truth behind the curtain, but I see nothing constructive or positive in their rants. They sensationalize as much as mainstream media. And, of course, mainstream media itself cannot be trusted. I’m pretty sure that’s common knowledge at this point. Their one common bond, though? Fear. If you don’t fear the natural world then make sure you fear the government. If you don’t fear the government then make sure you fear God. If you don’t fear God, well then you better be in utter fear of….oh yes….Satan!!!

On her latest album, Erykah Badu states that there are only two emotions: fear and love. I feel like I see that all around us now. If something is not rooted in love, a universal love, then it is rooted in fear. Even hatred and violence are fear-based. The levels of fear are many. From the most superficial ego-based fear, to the most profound philosophical fear. But it is fear that surrounds us.

I don’t claim to be above it all. On the contrary, it affects me at a core level that I cannot deny. Fear has literally been my personal disease. However, my goal is to replace it with love. It’s a lofty goal, I admit, but it fills me with hope and it feels so right. Perhaps the world as we know it is spiraling toward irreversible destruction. Or perhaps this is just another moment in human history that shall pass and be analyzed by our children’s children. (Naturally, I hope for the latter scenario.) But, I cannot control this. I can only control my own reaction to it all. My hope is that I can tap into the beauty and love that surrounds me. My family, nature, my close friends, the joy in each day. I am blessed with love.

The current Zeitgeist is powerful. Fear is something I must fight every day. But it’s a good fight. And I hope you join me.

Happy March!

11 Mar

Happy March!

We’re a couple of months into the new year but I am still very much on the “new year’s resolution” tip. I am not sure if this is a “Virgo” thing, or just a quirk in my personality, but I find that I don’t function well without plans and schedules and general order. Just ask my hubby what a pleasure I am to be around when the house is in disarray. I immediately feel annoyed and angry at the world. This pretty much translates to every other aspect of my life, and it can be both a blessing and a curse. With 2 small children, keeping a well-organized home is next to impossible. And making plans? As a friend quotes, we make plans and God laughs. That is my current life-motto. However, it can also be quite easy to use this as an “excuse” for putting off important priorities in life. Oh, the tangled web…

As such, it’s been particularly difficult for me to muster up a blog post. With all the resolutions I’m trying to fill, I’ve allowed some fun stuff to fall by the wayside. Currently, I’m knee-deep in the process of trying to cut sugar and bread from my diet. Not entirely. But enough that I don’t depend on a lemon-ginger scone as both fruit and fiber quota for the day. Let me tell you – I’m suffering! Pastries are like a warm pillow and duvet for me! They make me feel like everything will be all right! Currently, everything is kind of “fuzzy” and hungry. I’ve been told that this too shall pass.

But I feel some blog posts brewing! Would it be extremely presumptuous of me to say, hold tight? For those who are kind enough to visit this blog, let me leave you with this teaser: we’ll have exercise and nutrition updates, stories of my kids and family life, and even my fears about the state of our world and the awful idea of calamity and catastrophe heading our way. And heck, maybe some craft ideas too!

Stay tuned.

Chemtrails/Geoengineering

3 Jan

I was going to write a blog post today, but a friend shared this link with me and its implications shocked me to the core. If elite scientists are willing to go this far…and have been doing so, already, perhaps for years, then I almost feel like it’s too late for us. My thoughts always turn to my children first and I wonder, don’t any of the world’s “elite” have children of their own? Do they have no conscience? But I suppose greed and the need for power knows no bounds. Our very soil, the air we breathe, our food…all being poisoned. Billions of dollars raised for “cancer-research”…the fight to find a cure? Which scientists is this money going to? And why are we fighting diseases that are being created? Please take the time to watch this documentary and draw your own conclusions.

Crafty!

7 Dec

I guess it must be the season, but I feel completely overwhelmed lately. No time to clean, no time to cook, shopping is falling behind, and even my email sits unanswered. Of course we also haven’t done any holiday shopping. As hectic as it is, though, I absolutely adore this time of year. I am a complete sucker for all the cliché traditions that come with Christmas. Having 2 kids, this has increased tenfold. As much as this will probably set back the women’s movement 100’s of years, I wish I could be in my kitchen, wearing an apron and baking cookies all day…the house immaculate, lights twinkling on our fresh tree…my children sitting quietly by the fire, reading stories….

Oops…pardon me…I fell asleep for a moment and had a ridiculous dream…

Anyhow, the irony of it all is that I am useless in the kitchen and I get overwhelmed just thinking about cleaning. I also suck at crafts. But, I’ll be damned, this year WILL be different. I started off adamant to make a beautiful, handmade advent calendar. Ultimately, I decided to make this, but clearly I was delusional since it was November 29th when I found this design. No way I would actually accomplish this by December 1st. Particularly since I lacked the materials and a sewing machine! (A great friend is going to help me make this for next year though! I’ll keep you all posted…)

Ultimately, I made pretty cards that I hung in a fancy way. On the back of each card I wrote something special that we would do that day to celebrate the season. Make lanterns…go for a walk downtown to see the lights…eat dinner in dress-up clothes…make a list of things we are thankful for…stuff like that…

As simple as this looks, it still took me 4 hours! Wow! I’m outta shape!

So, for my next project, I intend to make mason jar lanterns that we can take with us to celebrate the Winter Solstice. These will be for the kids so I’d like them to be colourful and bright. Google has helped with inspiration, of course. I’m excited.

This is something new for me, but I feel this spark inside of me that makes me want to create. I think it’s the kids. It’s amazing how much they inspire me to do things differently. I was always someone who preferred to buy things ready-made rather than make any effort in bringing them to fruition. But I guess kids make things more fun and it’s amazing to see the joy in their eyes when they’ve created the simplest of things. Believe me, though, this is extremely difficult for the Virgo in me. I am a control freak, and a neat freak and anal to the max. Getting messy and crafty, and trying to create something original, is actually hard for me. So I’m revelling in this new feeling and going with the flow. And loving every minute.

Big people

11 Nov

Lately, my mind has been occupied by very “adult” things.  Responsibility, our house, schooling, money.  Honestly, it’s no fun!  I would so much rather be thinking about Hollywood gossip or a nice pair of black boots.  But I suppose that after getting married, buying a house and having 2 kids, it might finally be time to grow up.

One of my closest childhood friends and I would often have long conversations about how we don’t want to become “big people”.


Shoot, maybe we were wrong!?

I think the most significant place that this has revealed itself is in my professional life. Or lack thereof.
I have avoided situations that would advance me in any career like the plague. I made up a million excuses but for the majority of my life I coasted in retail jobs or “assistant” positions. Always praised by my employers, I made sure to do a great job, but never so great that it would mean I should be striving for more. Of course, part of this is my low self-esteem and maybe even a bit of laziness, but I’ll save the psychoanalysis for a shrink.

Finally, 5 years ago, I made a very conscious and responsible decision. I wanted to raise my kids. I wanted to be fully present and accountable for these lives that I am helping to develop. It has been the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Truly a personal and professional decision that I feel great about. But one that naturally creates a financial burden. So, as I blogged before, I set out to find a part-time job. And I found one. Not one that I had hoped for, and in fact, one that I feel extremely conflicted about (no, not phone sex) but it’s an income nevertheless. However, this has made my mind churn with the angst of wasted opportunities and wasted time. I should have spent my 20’s building a meaningful professional future. Instead, I spent that time worrying about growing up. Now that I am grown up, I am stuck working with a bunch of 20 year olds, for minimum wage, at a job for which I am simply overqualified. My university degree, my dreams of doing something meaningful, my life experience…not of any consequence. And it’s entirely my fault.

Now, this is not to say that I would rather be working than raising my children (Also work, of course!). On the contrary, no matter what career decision I would have made, I feel strongly about my husband and I doing the majority of parenting. However, I do feel that had I allowed myself to become a grown-up a little earlier, I would now have a more fulfilling part-time job. One that I could be proud of and that I could grow with.

Ironically, I am experiencing the part of “big people” that I feared the most: having to give up your beliefs and ideals, no matter how superficial, in order to make a dollar and be part of the system. But to add another layer to it, I supposed being a grown-up means sucking it up and looking at the big picture. Like the fact that the money will provide a better future for my kids. It’s a tangled web.

Yin and Yang

17 Oct

So, I’m thinking, when it comes to honesty, people don’t really want to hear it. And really, what is honesty? Or truth? We all have our version of it. What has shaped us throughout our lives has shaped our version of the truth as well. Because although some truths are absolute (like one should not kill, for example), most are extremely subjective. And, sadly, even the “absolute” truths can actually be argued.

Could truth really be an opinion? I have always believed that there are rights and wrongs. Some truths simply WERE, and anyone who argued them was either an idiot or evil. (And I don’t mean that in a religious sense, by the way.) But now I wonder, did I just mean that anyone who didn’t subscribe to MY truth was an idiot? And does everyone ELSE feel that way too?? Damn. That can get confusing.

There are the superficial “truths”. Like when I ask my hubby what he thinks of an outfit I’m wearing. Generally, if his version of that truth differs from mine, he will feel the wrath. (Love you, babe!) But what about the more important truths? Like, would your friends appreciate if you started to honestly express how you felt about every aspect of their lives? About their parenting skills, for example? Or their lifestyle choices? What if you thought their brother was a jerk? Do you tell them that? How about if you thought their wife was a flake?

But this once again brings me back to the beginning: are any of these actual “truths”? They are to YOU but, in fact, they are all your opinions. You may be able to argue them to death, but I still guarantee someone out there can counter your argument effectively. And, even more importantly, who cares what you think! What I mean is, at which point are you being a good friend who is genuinely thinking of someone’s best interests OR are you simply giving your version of a truth and trying to change others to suit what YOU think is the “right” way to live.

Now, I don’t even want to get started on the bigger truths. Like faith, or love, or politics, or music… Is everything subjective?? Do we live in an utterly subjective world? This shakes my judgemental, opinionated Virgo to her core! I think I need to go call customer service at Bell or Enbridge or (insert any similar company here) and argue with them for a while. This will restore my faith in that there are ultimate truths and, more importantly, I am right and they are wrong.

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Class of 2010

2 Oct

I am no expert on social issues. Some may say I’m the worst candidate to comment. I’ve lived a middle-class life and I am an Eastern European woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. I have, however, attempted to remain aware of the world around me. I try to live consciously.

I had always thought that race was one of the biggest issues plaguing our society. Hatred of others because of their heritage or the colour of their skin. But lately, I am finding that there is another disease, equally damaging and one that often goes hand in hand with racism. Classism.

Since I’ve become aware of it, I feel like I see it everywhere and it shocks me. It’s usually subtle and occurs in the most unlikely situations but I guarantee that just as I have been, you have been guilty of it.

I think having kids and being around other parents has been one of the most revealing experiences for me. People are fierce about their values and beliefs when it involves their children. Which also means they become more transparent. Things you are willing to overlook in terms of your own self become unacceptable when it comes to your kids.

What scares me most about classism is that it is so subtle. So easily overlooked. And, of course, in its most basic manifestation, it simply stems from people wanting to feel better than others on some level. But it breeds hatred and separates people. To me the perfect example of it is the old cliche: you discriminate against a race until a person of that race becomes your friend, or brother-in-law. Then all of a sudden, he’s different. Not like the rest of them. He’s of a different class.

I find it often rears its ugly head when I am around people of the same race as me. I am married to a South Asian man and we have 2 kids. We have thankfully never been subjected to any direct prejudice. But it amazes me how the same people who are SUPER open-minded when all of us are present, begin to utter the stupidest things when only I am around. All of a sudden a comment that would be (and is) inappropriate to say in front of my husband, flies out of their mouths with frivolous confidence. I guess the fact that we are the same “race” and “class” makes it ok?

But it’s not restricted to when I’m around other white people. I have seen classism among EVERY race. And it makes me feel like even though we live in this multicultural world where equal rights is a common term, we really haven’t come very far from the time of Kings and Serfs.

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Time

21 Sep

Not to sound overly dramatic, but lately I have become overly aware of the weight of time. I feel like I’m running out of it. Don’t get me wrong – I am not making any morbid predictions about my future (touch wood!) – it’s just that there are still so many things I’d like to accomplish and I wonder where I can find the time…

It’s really such a cliche. When I was a teenager, the adults around me laughed at my bravado. I acted like I would live forever and they would give me that knowing, nay, patronizing look… They knew better.
In my 20’s, life was a flurry of discoveries and I experienced every high and low with passion and excitement. I met the love of my life and I formed a strong bond with friends who remain close to me today. I was full of ideas and the possibilities seemed endless. There were so many things I would do!! Meh. Tomorrow.

All those ideas…ideas that were achievable and realistic…I put them aside “for another day”. I did not pursue anything wholeheartedly because there “would always be time”. Even such a simple thing as establishing a solid yoga routine or drinking more water…simple things that take no effort at all, really…I always put them off for another day. Never mind getting certified to teach ESL or re-learning piano.

I am now 36. Far from old. But then again.

I have achieved many beautiful things. I am proud of the life I have created for myself. But have I really been pro-active? I feel a kind of urgency that I can’t fully explain. I want to forge ahead and make choices actively and consciously. I’m in a stage of my life where, ironically, time
is a luxury. Perhaps this is the very reason that I am realizing how I have taken it for granted.

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I think I can, I think I can…

14 Sep

I’m suffering from a superiority complex and I think it’s preventing me from getting a job.

For the past 5 1/2 years, I have happily taken on the role of stay-at-home mom.  Honestly, I love it and I cherish every moment I spend with my children.  However, I also have delusions of grandeur which make it extremely difficult to live on one income.  As such, I’ve accepted the fact that I will need to go back to work part-time.  I know, I know.  The horror!

Now, this won’t be the first time that I take on a part-time job.  But I am coming off a summer high, where I was able to enjoy lots of quality time with my little family and I think I’ve become spoiled!  Shush, my dear hubby, I was not already spoiled before!!

What I am getting at is, now that I will be giving up my family time for work time, I feel a little more choosy as to what I want to do.  I have set up a number of criteria regarding what my ideal job would be, and I’m starting to think that my little list is preventing me from getting any job at all. Work from home, with relatively flexible hours, and do something challenging and interesting that may eventually lead to a creative career when I am ready to return to work full-time.

When I first started to look for a job, I thought I would simply work in retail.  Perhaps a big box hardware store? Returns counter?  I know this is something I could easily do. I’ve got the experience and I’m good at it. But when I realized that I would receive minimum wage to spend every weekend arguing with grouchy customers, I thought, is this really worth my time??  So, I turned down an interview that was offered to me by one of these retailers. Except, it is at this point where I began to fear that I was getting too big for my britches.  Who did I think I was?  I would be lucky to get any job!  And we need money, fast. But wait. I have a University degree!  I’ve been praised for my job performance by many of my past superiors.  Surely I am better than “this”!  And so the internal dialogue continues…

The truth is, I find it scary to take this road.  It is very new for me.  My entire life I have been filled with self-doubt and I think I tend to aim lower, rather than higher.  It’s safer that way, of course, because I am more likely not to fail.  Psychology 101?

Now the stakes are even higher.  After all, although my other half is carrying the brunt of the financial burden, if I don’t contribute something soon, all of us will suffer.  So it’s kind of interesting that I would choose this time to decide that I want to work somewhere that fulfills more than just our monetary needs.  Especially considering how limited I am in the time that I can contribute to such a job!

Regardless, the seed has been planted in my mind.  Maybe I am better than I thought I was.  And maybe it’s okay that I don’t want to take pizza orders at 11 o’clock at night.  Then again, who the hell do I think I am??!

Ugh!!  And so it goes…