calm your tits

I’m in a good place as I write this. Normally I’m angsty or crying or fed up and miserable which is what people like to read from me. I share the same mentality in that misery LOVES company, I jump on board to wallow in someone else’s pain too. It makes my life feel better for the moment and I enjoy that camaraderie immensely.

I woke up early this morning, not by choice mind you, my husband felt it important to jolt me awake to tell me that the song birds are migrating and that it’s not raining too much and also that he is reformatting my computer at 6am with the kitchen is blaring CBC radio. I guess he is in long weekend mode so I let him ramble and kiss me good bye as he ran out the door leaving the house whirling in his wake.

I lumbered up but decided to sit with a coffee and write even though I really had nothing to say. Maybe I should write about that? I mean, most people think I am a raging lunatic most of the time, maybe I should write from a place of calm? As I reflected, I noted that calm is a relative term these days isn’t it? We aspire for it, but would we even notice if we achieved it? A moment of calm might be spent on the computer trolling insta, or binging netflix, or my husbands addiction to strange sub-reddits. But is this really a state of relaxation?

Do we even know how to chill out anymore? We have been forced inside, told to relax through this mess but have any of us really been ‘calm’ through it? Have any of us really sat back and thought, cool, I’m going to commit to this imposed restrictive life and soak in the vibes. I’m going to go all hippie and be one with the family, love everyone and sip herbal tea in my jams all day.

Not a fucking chance.

Most are worried about something, or multiple things. Whether it’s working from home, lack of money, fear of the disease, the dreaded home schooling, essential workers are worried about going IN to work, toilet paper, zoom meetings, HOME SCHOOLING, face masks, hand sanitizers, when Homesense is going to open, HOME SCHOOLING. There is so much to dread.

I don’t think I have been calm for any of it, maybe 6%. If I wasn’t in a state of depression, panic, stress, madness, then I was on my phone scrolling twitter, or cursing Facebook posts from people lying about how they are loving this time (they are not actually calm at all), or trying to do my actual work, or finishing the books I have on the go, or writing, or drawing, or cross stitching or managing my daughters slime addiction. I’ve realized as I sit here (still doing something) that calm wouldn’t be a word I am familiar with anymore. 

I’ve filled my days with so much ‘doing’ that I’m not sure I would know calm if it came from the earth in the form of a large alien snake and bit me in the ass…yes we recently watched Tremors.

Days blend in, routines are made, broken, made again, tensions rise, then they fall – it’s been an erratic flow chart of ups and downs for 60 or 8000 days – who counts anymore? That calm we seek is shrouded in things we feel we need to be DOING to be calm and chill or ‘taking advantage of the situation’ to be insanely productive. 

I used to booze to be calm. It gave me an excuse to sit, have a cocktail (or 20) and talk and laugh and that would be my night. I would sit on my ass for hours not really doing anything but ‘being’. I can’t do that anymore (and I don’t want to) but what have I replaced that with? Some friends shared a beer the other weekend and I sat from a distance very antsy and thinking I should be doing, building my brain, reading, I felt like I couldn’t sit and chill like I used to and that was unsettling.

I feel good today but I’m also still DOING. My brain is constantly running through the days activities: when should I clean the house (because it is in lord of the flies mode), when will I work, when should I post this blog, what will I make for dinner, how will I ever get this oobleck slime smear off my dining table, when I will get to A and then B and then C, D, E? The list continues…

So while we are all doing our best, hanging by a thread, take a moment to think about what the repercussions of this are going to be on our mental health. In 6 months will we have some sort of PTSD from covid? Will we fill the void with retail therapy? Will we crumble in the real world once we can socialize again? Will we function awesomely or will going to an office with real people spiral our mental state into blackness?

I’m not sure I can even be calm, but perhaps mindfulness of the layers of immense stress and it’s effect on our mental health is a baby step in the right direction. We all need to calm our tits and take 5 seconds to stare at those fucking song birds that are coming to town. Enjoy the long weekend friends, you’re doing amazing :)

xoxo

Quote Schmote

Shitballs, not another facebook quote

I saw a pic today with a quote on it. I know. Gagging a little but hear me out.

I am the one who cringes the moment I open facebook and see 7,000 quotes in my timeline. Quotes about parenting, eating cake for dinner, pumpkin spiced lattes being like air or some chick exclaiming in glee that sweater weather is here! And I’m like I’ve been wearing a sweater all summer so fuck off. So while some might be lovely, or funny, or relevant or whatever the crap you’re feeling, it comes across like facebook is yelling at me to get my life together and frankly I don’t need the reminder.

But yesterday was a bad day. I could barely drag myself around the house. I took a nap and felt like I should just stay in bed for the next 4 months. I felt worthless in my job, shitty as a parent, fat for eating all the left over cream cheese bake, I had a terrible hair day and looked in the mirror thinking what the feck are you contributing to this world.

I was also like SO angry about the chatelaine article claiming that 86% of female MPs have experienced sexism in politics (read it, you will want to barf too but it’s important so read it).

So then I started to just hate men in general.

Which is a bit of a blanket statement but when I open twitter, it’s just bad shitty gross guys getting AWAY WITH EVERYTHING. Like they are competing to be the worst human being on the planet. It felt bleak and yuck and I wasn’t sure if I was slipping back into another terrible depression or whether it was a one off but those days scare me.

This morning didn’t start great. Wren was sick which means the hellmouth has erupted underneath our house and we couldn’t do anything but tip toe around her and make bets on who was going to get yelled at next. I bet on Finn FOR SURE. 

But once I corralled (pushed) them onto the bus I saw a little sunlight. It can be that literal when you have a mental illness you struggle with. I threw out the rest of the cream cheese bake (YAY), I signed up for a writers group which is so FAR OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE, and I took a walk. I went to the library and then I signed up for a cross stitch class in which I will be learning to cross stitch a beer can. I know…WINNING.

I also brought over Piper from next door. Dogs are key right? Dogs are perfect specimens on this earth and they will bring forth my happiness and squash all my evil man thoughts for another day because Piper is a girl and we’ve got to stick together.

So while I am indeed feeling better, I did just have a wasp fly into my head as I typed this indicating what every September brings which is a fecking nest in my walls. Maybe it was a one off, maybe it will signal the next hornet-apocalypse. We shall see.

So in all my ramblings I go back to the quote I saw today that resonated with me and perhaps won’t make you barf either. Happy Wednesday folks :)

Taco Bout A Party

So in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo on Saturday (AKA one of my favourite days of the year) I thought I would share some of my fav decorations and food ideas some of which I will be trying out this weekend.

DECOR

I love the colour palette for this holiday…skulls and tacos, bright colours (OH MY!) with a dash of cacti and perhaps a few llamas or two. I mean, I have no idea if llamas are a thing but they are cute and really match the whole theme so I’m going with it.

I love this taco banner and cardboard cacti. Last year I did one from balloons which was cool until all the kids yanked the balloons off the wall. Side note: kids are ruiners.

How cute are these homemade cushions? (PS I have zero talent and won’t be making these)

A great kids craft to keep them busy while you drink margaritas, yup.

Super simple flower holder, I love it.

Another great way to keep kids ocupado

Those who know me understand that this would go up and probably stay up all year long, right beside the skull garland that I put up like 2 years ago.

OUTFITS

I don’t have time to snag a great t-shirt but this one is perfect.


DIY Sombrero Headbands, need I say more?

LOVE THIS.

Yes.

THE FOOD

So my neighbour and I collab on the food, and I know she will be making a vat of Blue Curacao (a given) and enough enchiladas for 800 so I decided this year I will go finger food and dips to appeal to the later crowds (me) who have had too much tequila and need some serious snacks (also me).

First off are these little dip cups, I mean, they’re perfect and easy and I can make them ahead of time which is important to recognize your faults as I tend to lose interest in cooking mid margarita.

CHURROOOOOOOOS…I need Rhianne (my neighbour and sweets queen) to make this, it’s importante!

No party would be complete with out jello shots…margarita jello shots, although Chad has told me no one would eat them so I will have to think on that one.

So as the week goes on, I’ll be making posts on instagram (@freshchick) with all my deco disasters/winners. Follow me there if you don’t already and so the count down begins!

Cinco, Cuatro, Tres…

Don’t Forget to Remember, Canada

Remembrance day is tomorrow and I hope that we aren’t so anger fueled by our southern neighbors that we don’t stop for a bit and think about our own country. I get insanely nostalgic for this day, from birth to now as it holds so much significance. Adding to that, 8 years ago tomorrow, I gave birth to Finn, so it’s a pretty important date in the eyes of an 8 year old as well as to me. No less important, in fact it’s even more so as I reflect on this world and the things our ancestors went through to make it so amazing for my kids to grow up in.

Let’s backtrack for a second. I’m sure most of you know I was born into a military family. A base brat through and through for nearly 2 decades of my life. So much so that when I thought about my future I almost enlisted to remain in the military circle. See we moved every 3 or 4 years, we were far from actual relatives, we only had each other but I never once felt bad about that. In fact, I remember with such distinctness all those faces that were always popping by in civilian clothes but then seeing those same faces, dressed in their crisp uniforms when I woud visit my dad – Sarge – in his office. I recall very clearly spending some time there, but it could have been just a handful of times.

From the terribly painted hallways, an extremenely shiny paint, everything was always so similar, gleaming in this whitish paint. All furnishings had a purpose – utilitarian but always clean. From base to base, it remained the same, but then again maybe that happened for alternate reasons – maybe it was a way to make it feel familiar, so that you didn’t get homesick. You were there, after all, for more important reasons. It wasn’t just a job to many. It was a way to give back, serve your country, but to me it was all I ever knew. To me it was my whole universe, or so it seemed in my kid brain.

Those faces, I recall so many, and really it was the best life. THE. BEST. LIFE. I never felt strange always moving, it was part of it and every one I met, every new kid, was living the same life – we had free reign of the base, or again, so it seemed.

My favorite place to live was located in northern Alberta, close to the B.C. border. It was a tiny speck of Canada, the smallest base perched on a hill, neslted in Albertan trees and rough terrain. We woud ATV around the woods, play tennis in a court in our backyard and then they would flood it in winter to entertain us during all those frigid months. No one was worried about strangers taking us, my best friend, Erica, and I would roar around on bikes, playing spies, organizing wee baseball games due to the miniscule amount of kids – the ages ranging from very young to teenagers. We all had to play together as there was no one else but it was fine, no one seemed to be too bothered by it. We’d head to the Canex for 40 cent candy bars, and there was even a small theatre on base that showed all the best movies on Sundays.

As a kid it was amazing.

I don’t know if my parents would agree with that, I mean we had to live in a tiny trailer to start with. There was one channel and it was blurry at best. Although we did get our first VHS there which led to my obsessive watching of The Lost Boys to the point that I could recite it. Sigh, my first vampire love…

In order to get to town for groceries or a Zellers fix, my mom had to brave countless winter storms and always that winding hill going up the side of the mountain was a freaking nightmare. My older sister has since lamented on how awful it was to be a teenager there, I mean, parties in ‘Beaverlodge’ were impossible to get to and she had to deal with me all the time. Sorry Laurie, I love you!! But for a little kid, I just needed a bag of chips, Corey Haim movies and I was content. There would always be parties for the kids, it was extrememly family oriented. Military life was, in my mind, the very best way to grow up.

Sure I missed out on being close to biological family, but I also learned from birth to adapt. I could move tomorrow and be ok with that. I’ve lived all over Canada, my appreciation for this country is vast. It was tough but being forced into a new class every few years sure makes one self-sufficent, and making new friends was old hat. I didn’t have to sit with the same people for years, growing up with the same circle, I had new ones every couple years. Perhaps it makes me flippant about relationships a tad, I’m not sure, but it’s given me the ability to walk into a new place and quickly turn around a social life.

This isn’t saying that I don’t care about the ones I leave behind. I care greatly, I miss them all very much, but I can also see the possibilities of gaining new people to excite me, entertain me and add to my life. I view it as a gift. Something maybe my parents know about, maybe not. If you’re reading this mom & dad – thank you!

I feel so much fondness when I think of my life as a military brat that I actually physically miss it. During Air Show days I sometimes feel like bursting into tears. Not that I’m sad, but I just miss that ‘family’ connection with all those people in uniform. I wasn’t a solider, I didn’t do a damn thing, but I was there for the ride and I loved it. I was included and felt a part of something bigger, something amazing.

Every November 11, I attend the ceremony (well aside from that morning I was pushing Finn out), and again I’m close to tears. When I see the vets in their blazers, their medals displayed proudly, many with watery eyes, plus the men and women in their crisp uniforms, their shoes shined to perfection (I recall my dad shining his every single morning…like every day…I even remeber the box he kept with all his supplies, shining a mirror into his toes). Then I see the young cadets and their adorably perfect outfits, I can’t help but feel sad that I’m not one of them anymore. I feel like I should be able to walk up and share that bond like everybody on base had. No matter who you were,  you belonged and you were in it together.

When I think about my job now and how little I contribute to society, how these men and women devote their lives to our country and risk their lives in combat to keep our lives safe, I wish perhaps I would have chosen differently. Not that anyone reading this could picture my hair in such a tight bun, keeping the collars clear of hair and to code! Or see me running through physical training with 50 pounds of gear on, in the pouring rain. Or having to wear the same thing every day, or shoot a gun…although I have been thinking of taking up archery…

Regardless, I think about all of this every single Novemeber, I feel sad but so very blessed to have had that connection…and now I get to add a happy component to the day. I get to watch my kid beam with pride that he was born on ‘Poppy day’. I get to eat cake (Pokemon cake in case you were wondering) and I get to celebrate the day with my new family even though I will always remember my first one. The life my mom and dad chose, I will always be grateful for and I thank them for giving me that. I am also so so beyond happy that they are here for another Remembrance Day, their health still going strong :) They are so important to me and my kids, I just wanted them to know how much their sacrifices meant to me.

I also spend a few minutes of tomorrow looking up to my grandpa in heaven, thanking him for his navy service, and I ALWAYS blubber (espeically with my sister!) during the procession – darn those fecking bag pipes…

Happy Poppy Day :) Cheers mum and dad!

img_5798

Troy, (Sargeant Lawrence) Dad & Mum 

Live your Dream! Or don’t…who cares

So the other day I read an interview and I can’t even recall where I read it, which I apologize for as it has stayed in my brain for days and this person deserves a shout out :) Regardless it was about following your passion. I typically don’t write about this stuff as I am no expert and I don’t want to sound hokey…I prefer to bitch and moan and make the odd person laugh at the ridiculousness of my life. But today I felt inspired and I haven’t blogged in so long so it brings me full circle back to one of my own passions. Writing.

The quote was a simple one: If you think about your passion every single day then you should never let it go. Never let it die. Never.

9bdddee300aae67a05b4b318a113bc85

Simple right? Simple but not always easy with the follow through. Kids, work, social lives, yard work (RAKING IS MY NEMESIS), house work, yard work (ugh), laundry, crafting Halloween costumes, trying to keep up with the school schedule, yard work (the worst), trying to keep up with some sort of personal workout, keeping up in general … I mean, I pretty much sit on the precipice of ‘failing miserably’ most days.

This past weekend, according to my mum, I should have a scrubber on hand at all times in this house (and javex, and lysol, and sponges, and comet) and I didn’t and I’m thinking holy shit, I can’t even keep general cleaning supplies on hand! I had to throw that joke in there for her … and Kristin :)

Nailed it.

OK, so that aside, let’s get back to your passion project. Hard (impossible some days) to keep that up when you have a life to manage and money to make, right? I’m constantly in awe of those people who pop their kids to bed and write the next best novel all night long. Or work double, and triple, and quadruple time to build their business. It’s unbelievably daunting and I have my own business! I’ve built it to the point that I can manage fitting it in during the school day but once I get those kids, feed them, play with them, organize the school shit for the next day, I’m toast. My success is great for the lack of initiative I have, I’m so very lucky to have this life, but it’s still missing something.

That fucking passion project.

So what do you do? How do you be the person you want to be, put your own dreams first, or basically do anything in the slightest to fulfill your goal when all you want to do is lay in bed, read slutty books or binge watch Misfits on Netflix (I ADORE ROBERT SHEEHAN).

I have no fucking clue.

But still, I hold on to that passion. I haven’t let it go for 8 years. I’ve written almost 3 books which is sad over that amount of time, but I guess it’s a start. And then I think of all the other things I want to do and I tell myself, you are no Printemps Poulet, you need to start this shit before you get too old!

104ebf9f141fb6a93d2c28f0dcac1253

I guess the fact remains that it’s been 8 years and I’m still doing it, that’s something I suppose. I get a high every time I write a great scene, I’m super pumped about finishing this last one, and still, I’m messing with my concept for my NaNoWriMo project (writing 50,000 words in November). It’s there and it makes me so happy when I actually get a chance to do it. Even this morning, I’m pumped to write a blog, it’s been forever! But let’s not stop there.

I want to learn to play guitar – there I said it. My lovely friend Kristin, has graciously cornered a local girl after a workout class and pressured her to take on a number of us for a class this winter. So I guess sharing your passion is key as well. Get others working with you to follow through.

b37a86b7b3debb160887177c2977756a

this is mine!

I also want to make t-shirts, like all the other zillion people in the world, I know. But I don’t want to make a million bucks or sell them anywhere. I just want to make my own wardrobe of inappropriate sayings on a t-shirt and then make them for my friends. Valid passion right? It’s very important I do this, so on to buying the press … Christmas Troy?

So my thoughts are this. Don’t get bogged down with the whole passion project. Don’t feel pressure. Don’t worry about it. Don’t feel like a failure if it takes you 7 years to learn to paint, or 25 to become a black belt. As long as you are alive, and not letting it go, that passion is yours and yours alone and no one can ever take that from you.