Happy Birthday Vivienne!! You are Three! Three!

Happy Birthday Vivienne!!

You are Three! Three!

Happy Birthday Monkey!

You bring us such joy! Your smile and your laugh make us so happy!

You definitely don’t smile all the time, and you have quite a temper when you don’t get your way, lest anyone think you are just a perfect angel, you aren’t. That’s actually good, because as Mommy likes to say, “Perfection is boring, and life is messy”

Speaking of wise sayings— You learned the word “Nana” just in time for her visit !

What a year it has been!

Job changes for both Mommy and Daddy!

We took you to your first Pride Parade, where you charmed everyone and gave out tons of “free sister hugs” to everyone!

You have learned so much in just one year! You are talking and walking and dancing! Yes! Dancing!! Your favourite book is “Green Eggs and Ham” and you love to have us read it to you!

You put on your shirts and dresses ALL by yourself, still working on the shorts and pants, and you are getting closer every day.

You love to play with your stuffed shark and you love the outdoors! You love the outdoors so much, it makes Mommy appreciate it more, which is saying a lot since Mommy doesn’t like the outdoors at all.

You love to swim and you like to run and play!

At the moment, Your favourite color is purple and you are spending a lot of time coloring, you love to color!

You watch movies with Mommy too!

The ones on rotation as of this writing are:

“Coco” “Leap”, and “Meet The Robinsons” and recently, much to Mommy’s delight, you have begun to request “Frogs” which means, “The Princess and The Frog”! (Mom’s favourite, obviously!)

You eat at the table with very little help, and you are so helpful to Mommy and Daddy with the dishes and the laundry!

At night we sing to you and read you books, and tell you,

“We love you, we are proud of you, and you are ours.”

We love to tickle you (Daddy especially) and make you laugh, and each night we send you to bed with these thoughts, “Keep the bad out, and all good things close” (a phrase written by your very talented Aunt Rachel)

and performed by another talented relative, Uncle Gab)

It’s the last thing we say to you before kissing and hugging you and sending you off to sleep.

We love you so much and can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

Love,

Mommy

I was wrong…

Dear Readers,

This week I discovered that due to my stubbornness and pride I ALMOST cost myself a good chunk of money because I assumed I knew EXACTLY how something worked but come to find out, I was 100% wrong. Don’t you hate that?

Have you ever done that? Made an assumption about how something worked and were 100%, take it to the bank (you would bet money on it) ABSOLUTELY SURE and it turned out you were wrong?

Well, I did, and it really made me wonder how often I have done that, so I started to look back on past things I was “sure were correct”?and whoo boy, there is a lot of “I was wrong” that I have had to say or to be honest, I SHOULD have said, but was embarrassed and didn’t address it.

I am not going to go through all of them with you, but suffice to say, it’s not a short list and that’s okay because after all, I am only human and so are you, despite our desperate attempt to appear perfect, we truly are not.

I think the 3 most important things a human can say are.

I was wrong.

I don’t know.

Tell me more.

I have a lot of curiosity so the last two are pretty easy, but that first one, boy, oh boy.

So what is my point, you ask?

It’s this.

Be curious, not certain.

I wonder what will happen if I listen instead of say the thing I am sure is true. Is it possible, I could be wrong? Is it possible I have an idea in my head that is wrong, and If I just listen a little longer or ask a question or two, maybe I will learn something new?

Think About It

 

 

Dream Chaser! Yes, I am!

Dear Readers,

In tackling any large goal, you might feel a little bit like a Ghostbuster.

The original movie came out 35 years ago so I will let go of the notion that my blog post will “ruin it for you”, and if you have not seen it, you should. It holds up.

For those who don’t know, in the movie, the main characters, The Ghostbusters help to eliminate ghosts from your life and take them away from your home or work so you can ostensibly get on with life or work, whichever has been disturbed by the paranormal.

In a similar fashion, chasing your dreams and goals, (see extraordinary circumstances) you have to “fight” the ghosts of your past, which says, “You’re too late, you should have done this YEARS ago. You’re too old now.”

Perhaps the ghost of your present shows up which says, “You are far too busy to run a marathon/write a book/go back to school,” (insert your big and scary dream you are chasing) “Just go back to doing what you have always done and stop dreaming, this will NEVER get off the ground, trust me”.

The worst of them all, the “ghost” of your future shows up and says, “See I knew you couldn’t do it, have looked into your future and I foresee failure, I know you can’t do this so let me do you a favor and stop you before you start.”

How is this like our boys in gray? Early in the movie, they get fired from their comfortable academia job and it forces them to open their business, which is really thriving until, you guessed it, they hit another roadblock, and  get thrown in jail. Obstacle.

However, they convince the mayor he can sew up re-election with their help and so convinces the City Of New York to stand behind them. Roll credits, right?

Wrong. They go through all that just to get permission to go fight the ghost, and they are cheered on by a throng of crowds as they approach the building containing their enemy. Bolstered by such a strong reception, they prepare to enter and fight. Then the ground underneath their feet cracks open!

—— Hello obstacle——- There you are, waiting in the wings for us to attempt something big (sound familiar?)

As one of my coaches, Jon Acuff says, “Fear only gets loud when you are doing something that matters.”

So, struggling and shaken, they regain their footing and head into the building, only to find they have to now climb many flights of stairs in order to attempt to fight their ghost.

How many times have you avoided doing the research or the necessary phone calls to see “What’s next?” to accomplish the goal? Just me, right? I didn’t think so. Then after you make that call you find out the goal is even farther away then you thought. Obstacle after obstacle, shows up and you feel like giving up.

(Yes, you will feel like giving up)

So then, you climb the “stairs”.

One flight at a time, and then you make it to the top, and you face a creature with red eyes that questions your right to fight.

You have come so far now, and this THING dares to question you, and screams things like, “Who are YOU to run a marathon? Who are you to write a book? Who are you to attempt to do ANYTHING you are scared to do?

Take a deep breath breath, and shout back:

”Who am I? I am amazing, I persevere through hardship and will not be stopped by the likes of you, FEAR! I am beautiful, strong, and talented and am NOT afraid of you as much as I want to achieve my goal, so SHUT UP and SIT DOWN and WATCH.

Think About It.

What are you WAITING for?

Dear Readers,

Last week, my Papa Joe passed away. He lost battle with Stage 4 Brain Cancer. As he put it in his own inimitable fashion-

“I’ve lived 80 years at 60 mph and now I am maybe 5 mph.  Not so bad. “

He was beloved by many and to say he will be sorely missed is a gross understatement.

Grief is a really strange thing because when I saw him a few weeks ago, It didn’t really hit me that I was seeing him on his last days. I mean I knew it, but I didn’t really KNOW it. I hadn’t cried or really grieved because as silly as it sounds now, I expected him to live, and thrive.

I actually kept hoping against all the facts and evidence he was going to rally and live.

He gave me the nickname “Sunshine” due to my unstoppable levels of optimism.

The downside of relentless optimism and positivity is that the crash when it “doesn’t work out” is so much harder to come back from because “you were SO SURE” it was going to work out for the best.

So then, you don’t get that job, or part you were “speaking into existence” and then you have to deal with the aftermath.

However, I am not planning to give on my “sunshine” outlook any time soon.

So, this post is titled, What are you WAITING for? because I think when someone dies be it suddenly or slowly, we owe it to ourselves to STOP wasting our only non renewable resource. TIME.

Put another way, what are you “waiting for” to start living?

I do this too, I say, “when we have a little more money” or “when our daughter is a little older” or  “when I get in better shape”

No more. I kept saying, “we will go see Papa Joe” in a year when we have more time or more money.

As it turned out, I made the time and the money when I found out things were so dire.

Just two months ago, we were having one of our “everything and nothing” conversations about my job, and my husband and my speaking (he was one of the first to encourage me in my speaking career) and now he is gone.

He will never call me “Sunshine” again. He will never have “further words” with me.

I implore you.

STOP WAITING for the perfect moment and seize “this” moment.

Think About It.

Today, I spoke to 46,557 people…

How ? How in the world did that happen?

Well, it was REALLY hard. Are you ready to hear about the grueling audition process I endured to gain this plummy opportunity? The hours I slaved over my proposal and waiting I endured in the selection process?

Here goes….

 

 

 

 

 

I sent an email.

I really wish I could tell you it was more involved than that, AND it wasn’t. I asked, and was told “yes”.

Now, I will tell you, it takes a bold mindset and the idea of doing things “before you are ready” because I absolutely did not feel “ready” to do this message.

But guess what? In the act of “doing it” I got to the state of “done” which transcends “ready” every single time.

So, what are you waiting to be “ready for”? What can you do to get to “done” and fly right past “ready”?

Think About It.

 

 

 

 

 

Prepare to be Amazed!

Dear Readers,

My daughter and I really enjoy the Disney movie, “Meet The Robinsons” and watch it frequently. I should clarify, I watch it and she will watch and then walk away and then come back and watch, she is almost three years old and a bundle of energy.

I was delighted to find my world as a manager and my role as a mother intersecting, (as they so often do!) because as I watched the movie for probably the 100th time, I was struck by a character’s line, because about two months ago, I heard it in a Ted Talk by the marvelous interviewer, Celeste Headlee-

In her talk, she gives 10 ways to have better conversations and as someone who feels passionately about deeper conversations, I paid rapt attention. I love all ten tips but the one that I heard in her Ted Talk AND in my beloved “Meet The Robinsons” was this. “Prepare To Be AMAZED. The character is talking to the board of directors and pitching his “great idea” and when Celeste talks about it, she is referring to every conversation being an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know about the person you are talking to. I love this idea, and am doing my best to incorporate it in every single conversation, even people I already know well, such as my husband.

A few weeks ago, we had a rare and treasured date night and after we agreed not to talk jobs, kids, or house stuff, we jumped in with a question to each other, “Tell me something I don’t know about you”. I was amazed to discover that there are definitely things about my partner that I didn’t know. Charming things, lovely things, AMAZING things. It was a wonderful revelation and it reminded me to take this approach in all my conversations and just yesterday I was in the middle of listening to a colleague (who I previously attributed to being in her 20’s) talk about her daughter, and I said, “She sounds lovely, how old is she?” Expecting the answer to be “9 or 10”, I was AMAZED to hear her say, “17”. I was assuming instead of listening.

Tbe opportunity to “Be Amazed” is within our grasp every day.

I encourage you to “Prepare To BE AMAZED” in all your conversations. Try it and see what happens. What do you have to lose?

Think About It.

 

 

 

 

Can A Hug Heal Your Heart?

Dear Readers,

On this blog, I have often talked about my traumatic childhood and the lengths I have gone to in order to overcome it.

Every once in a while, I am reminded of what has gone before and how difficult it was to grow up in a house minus a lot of hugs.

About a year ago, my friend Nikki’s church advertised giving “free hugs” on Pride weekend to those people who wanted them because for whatever reason their parents didn’t embrace their life choice to be who they are. I thought this was an awesome idea and said, “Sign me up”

Well, my husband, sweet and supportive man that he is, decided we could do better than that, so we asked a few friends if they wanted to join the “Hug Team” and they said yes and we had about 9 people hugging. He also had some rainbow letters put on shirts for us and Vivienne and we wore them so everyone knew that “free hugs” were on offer.

We were not even to the parade route before we ran into Dylan, (who was my first Hug)

He was our own personal angel, because we noticed that Vivienne had lost her hat and he took off at a sprint and ran 2 blocks over to retrieve it, popped it on her head, and in a flash, he was gone.

We made our way to the main area of the parade, running into more people we hugged on the way. I honestly wasn’t sure if I would feel weird or awkward, but I didn’t, it was so great to just hug people and have it not be “weird”

I felt very blessed and privileged because no one has ever ostracized me or discriminated against me for loving the opposite sex. I have never had to hide my preferences or worry about losing my job or being attacked or even killed because of who I love or am attracted to.

Truly, my favourite part of this whole experiment? Watching Vivienne get loved on by everyone she met. We watched as she charmed every person and they all just loved her and she was having a great time just socializing.

I think my best hug “moment” was when I hugged this woman and she said, “Oh wow, that was like a real “Mom Hug” ! I got a little misty and said, “I am so glad”

I am aware of the healing properties of a hug, lots of articles, like this one posit the science behind why it helps.

Got Hugs? The Healing Power of a Good Embrace

The part that surprised me the most was the looks on people’s faces after we hugged, I think we did a lot of healing, and some of it actually healed me too.

I was not expecting that and it was a nice bit of lagniappe (French for extra) for sure.

Now I know we can’t go around randomly hugging people but it sucks that you can’t, because I think it would solve an awful lot of problems. Certainly not all of them, but a few, to be sure.

So what’s the point? Simple, who can you hug that might need it and taking it a step further, who can you get a hug from that might just heal your hurting heart?

Think About It.