Friday’s Fave Five ~ May 29th, 2015

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It’s Friday and time to share a few good moments from the last week with Susanne from Living to Tell the Story. It’s always good to look back and reflect on the week. Even when the week hasn’t seemed that great, there are always at least 5 good things to focus on.

1. An awesome review on one of my shampoo bars. This made me happy as I really wanted this shampoo to work well for this person and I was so glad it did. It also lead to a few orders that has actually allowed me to pay down a bit of debt, which will allow me to use the credit card to start university. Yes, yes, I know, debt, but at least it is for something that I want that should, eventually, get us ahead.

2. One university that was on the ball, and one that wasn’t. It help make my choice easier. Both offer classes from home, but one was on a very part time basis and I got passed around the department all over the place before I could get answers. There other university was very on the ball. I was able to speak with an advisor as soon as I called and the financial aide office was just as quick to answer my questions. I’ll be able to pay for one class on credit to start in July and then I will take a full course load starting in September. I am very happy with the courses that they offer and I should be able to complete my degree in about 2 1/2 years (maybe less, once I see how much I can handle).

3. A Daily Prompt that had me listening to my favourite singers. It was a lot of fun, though sometimes emotional, to watch some music videos on youtube. I guess this one is especially fitting for this point in my life. I grew up thinking I was going to be a professional student and that I’d never have kids of my own, but that certainly isn’t what happened. I figured I’d have a couple degrees by now, not be starting over again, but it’s never too late.

4. Sunshine. The heat might be slowly draining me, but the sunshine is so nice. It is especially nice this morning. I’m going to finish up my coffee and head on outside and try to get a tent up for the kids. It is a huge tent though, so I’ll need as the luck I can get. At least it is sunny and not too hot (yet).

5. Colouring pages for adults. Ha, I’m putting this here just because I hope that I will enjoy it. I’ve heard that it is good for mental health, but I’m looking at the picture my daughter choose for me and feel anxious because I don’t have any clue what colours to choose. I do hope that it will be fun. If nothing else, it will give me something to do with my daughter. If I manage to make process on the colouring, I’ll post a picture here next week.

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The Music of My Life

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mix Tape.”

Music has always been very much a part of my life and I tend to actually get a little bit obsessive over the songs/groups that I listen to at certain points in my life. There are a few groups/singers that stand out at various times, so let’s see who they are.

Those Early Years


Boy George – Karma Chameleon – I was born in 1982 and for the first few years of my life I don’t think I had a musical preference, but I’ve heard that my Mum would get me up to listen to Boy George if he came on television so I’ll go with him being my first obsession. I did name my first My Little Pony after him, after all. Catchy and fun. I’m thinking those first few years were pretty good.

Early 1990s – The Wilson Philips/Crystal Gayle Years

Somewhere around grade 3 I started spending hours and hours alone with my dolls, listening to Wilson Phillips and Crystal Gayle over and over and over again. I didn’t know anything about love or life or anything, but I clung to a few songs and they became part of my life.

Wilson Phillips – Hold On. This song had the tendency to make me cry at various points in my life (both then and more recently). I think that even way back in the early 1990s I was looking for change and holding on seem like all I could do. The fact that it did, and does, make me cry suggests that hope is really hard for me. Other notable songs that I played over and over were well, Over and Over, and Eyes Like Twins (in which I act that one of my dolls was in trouble and another girls would come and help her be okay). This is all pretty fresh right now as my daughter recently wrote a journal entry asking me about my favourite things to do when I was her age and I was telling her about my “dolls from different countries.” I so miss those dolls. They may have been living what I wanted.

As far as Crystal Gayle goes, I cannot remember any of the specific songs on the album, beyond Don’t It May Your Brown Eyes Blue. I seem to recall there were a few I’d use when my dolls were sick, but I really can’t recall now, so I’m saying that Wilson Philips most marked those years.

1994-1996 – Reba McEntire and The Rankin Family –  Facing Loss.

I latched on to those that have faced tragedy and families that seem put together. My Mum died in 1994 and almost immediately turned to Reba McEntire. She’d recently lost band members in a plane crash. She knew pain and she was still okay. I loved her. I dedicated my journal to her. I wrote to her and told her about things I was going through then got rid of the letters (though at one point I sent her my journal and some drawings that I’d done…I got back an autographed photo :p ).I just went on youtube to see what song I could choose, but there are so many. She is so, so real, but I’ll go with this one.

Reba McEntire – The Greatest Man I Never Knew – Though my father was, and is, alive and well, I still wanted to be near to him and want him near to me as I’d already lost my Mum. I wanted to know my father in case I lost him too. We weren’t that close of a family, though, and never really talked about much.

Reba McEntire – Not Going Down Like That – Even now, so many, many years later Reba McEntire sings my life. I don’t really follow her at all anymore, but my husband paused an episode of The Voice for me about a week ago, and there she was, still singing for me and I found myself with tears rolling down my cheeks. I’ll never be the life of the party, but I’m tired of feeling like dying. There’s that little spark there somewhere.

As far as The Rankin Family goes, well, I wanted a family. I don’t really know how to explain it. At that time I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone about anything and felt very alone. The Rankin Family just seemed so together and I wanted them to whisk me away to Cape Breton. When we went to visit Newfoundland the year after my Mum died I wanted to drive through Mabou just so I could be where they’d been. I was quite obsessive for a while and even named my cat Cookie (though I told my family it was after the oreo cookie, it was after the one of the Rankin girls). We lived in Cape Breton for a few years recently and you know, I never did make it to Mabou, but that’s okay. They’ve had their share of pain in the last years with the deaths of two bands members/siblings and their Mum (to cancer, which was another thing that drew to met them). There’s really not a song that spoke about my life at that time, though, so I can’t really put them in this playlist, they were important, though, and are worth mentioning.

1999-2002 – Basket Case, Falling in Love, and a Little Bit of Pink

Green Day – Basket Case – I may have spent some time in a psychiatric ward. I used to put this on my walkman and listen to it in the washroom with the nurse right outside the door (initially, being treated for an eating disorder, if they were suspicious I’d be followed to the toilet after meals).

Good Riddance – Green Day – Ending highscool, new beginnings (and goodness no, it wasn’t the time of my life, just closing some doors and moving on).

Crash and Burn – Savage Garden – I found the person that was all this to me. There was someone to take care of me and love me back into togetherness. I finally had someone that was there for me. He was so, so there for me and there were some challenging times as I continued to heal.

Pink – Just Like a Pill – There were times I wanted to run. I felt a bit smothered. I needed to spread my own wings. I didn’t though.

2003 and Beyond

Shania Twain – Forever and For Always – I first saw this video in the days after my first child was born. I was so madly in love with him and protective. I wanted someone to be so protective of me so this song made me cry so much. I called my midwife in tears and got counselling for past hurts in my life, so that I could see that whatever happened to me wasn’t because I wasn’t loved, but because people had their own things that they’d been going through to. Anyways, this song also spurred changes in my life because of the sweet love I had for my new little one.

Pink – F***ing Perfect – I wanted to let everyone know that they needed to fight and that they were worth so much and that they shouldn’t give up. That they were so very, very perfect. This was my little anthem for a time. I wanted to go back about 10 years and have Pink tell me I was perfect. I recently wrote that letter to myself, actually.

Pink – Try

The Present and Beyond

Demi Lovato – Let it Go – “Standing, frozen, in the life I’ve chosen, you won’t, find me. The past is all behind me. Buried in the snow.”

Soooooo……

Raise Your Glass – Pink

Do clothes make the person?

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man.”

I was that weird person in high school that would wear dresses and long skirts. I’d wear blouses and vests. I got dressed up for picture day. I met my partner while sitting in a field wearing a blouse and dress pants while waiting for movies in the park to start. He said I stood out from all the other students there. Yes, the weirdo in dress clothes at a very informal student event where every other person was in shorts and a tank top. I’m not sure that I prided myself in my looks or anything like that. I think at that point in life I was too uptight to relax, actually. However, I’ll admit that I did learn to feel pretty when I was in professional attire so I continued to wear mostly dress pants and nice blouses after having my first children. My husband would tease, a little, about how I’d get up and dress for work each day. I think because I never imagined having children, I never thought I’d find myself at home full time. I was keeping my identity of a professional woman alive.

However, we eventually decided that I was going to homeschool the children. Then we moved away from any professional work that I did partake in on occasion (I was an active member of a rape crisis and prevention centre and also a relatively active doula). We moved to a small town community. I had another baby and jeans and oversized sweaters became my clothing of choice. I only wore dress pants and handful of time and once it was to a funeral. I’d even occasionally don the traditional homeschooling outfit of a long denim skirt, but that was as far as my “dressing up” would go. We’d started to go frugal with clothes before we’d moved (and got some flack for that from people who felt we could do better), but at this point I started to only buy second hand clothing for the children and myself.

We’ve since moved even future away from from civilization. I have not purchased an article of clothing in the last two and a half years.  My mother and law gave me a bunch of stuff when they moved full time into an RV, but we aren’t the same size so I am virtually swimming in her pants and I’ve started to wear mostly my partner’s old t-shirts. There are days I don’t actually make it out of pyjamas.

I’m actually going back to school in the fall and want to reconnect with the professional woman I dreamed of becoming. I have thought quite a bit about how clothing gives me the feeling of being put together and I really want to go out and spend some money on myself, but then I think about my real life, dogs and messy (but happy) children, and it all seems pointless. It would get ruined or be covered in fluff all the time. That being said, I think that getting dressed in the morning, brushing up my hair and smiling would do a world of wonders for my mood. However, I don’t think that looking down at myself in new clothes covered in fur and paint would, so I sit here in my paint splattered shirt and jeans that are 3 sizes too big, wondering what happened to the person I was..

Worry, It’s What I Do

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Land of Confusion.”

Oh, school. I didn’t really have trouble mastering the material in school or college/university. I’ve made the Dean’s List or Academic Honour Roll all through my career as a student. Always at the top of my class (besides my last year of high school when I sat out/missed as much class as I attended) . However, I spent incredible amounts of time feeling like I had no idea what I was doing. I was convinced I was going to fail classes. I had downright panic attacks if I had to give oral presentations in high school. When I started college I remember going to my counsellor at student’s services panicking that I didn’t know anything. I was a nursing student and I was convinced that could not do the science involved (organic chemistry and human anatomy). He brought me across the hallway to the learning centre, pulled out a science book, and started asking me questions. I answered them. By the next semester I had a paid position at the learning centre teaching those very subjects to new students. Yes, I worried a lot for now reason.

I’m starting university again after a very long break and I am already panicking about the classes that I haven’t even selected, yet. There is every possibility that I will master these classes as well, but I am expecting to spend a fair bit of the next two year apprehensive.

What I’d really like to learn this time around is how to believe in myself.

Crash and Burn

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Green-Eyed Lady.”

I admit it. I am jealous and sometimes it feels suffocating. I’ve left, for the most part, facebook, because I am jealous. I see families doing things together. I see Daddies hugging their little ones. I see people in love. I see people interacting with their friends and I get jealous. I’m so very tired of feeling so alone in life and I often wonder how I got here. So, I don’t really change things, I just do what I can to isolate myself even more so I don’t have to see other people’s lives rolling by. I know, realistically, that their lives are not what they share on facebook, but all I want are moments, mere moments of the connectedness they share.

So yeah, I’m jealous. I’m jealous of those who are living life – those who are connected.

It’s so odd. I happened to have a playlist (songs from 2000) playing on youtube while I was writing this post. This song was one of my favourites. I fell in love to it. How did I end up feeling so alone?

You Never Forget

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Forgive and Forget?.”

It happens that I have survived a number of unfair, cruel, and sometimes criminal acts. Forgiving and forgetting is utter nonsense. You don’t forget. You aren’t the same person you once were. As far as forgiveness goes, if that floats your boat then go for it. I have forgiven myself and I have forgiven those around me, but I will not forgive the perpetrator. I do have compassion and understanding, but not forgiveness. I’ve been changed. That isn’t easy to forget.

I guess all that being said, I wouldn’t be who I am without these events, and that isn’t bad. I’ve gained compassion. I’ve worked with a number of wonderful women. I’ve healed. It’s opened doors for me, but there’s still pain and there will always been pain, but I’ve accepted that this pain is a part of my life. There are still areas that need work as I often allow situations to progress beyond my comfort level as I don’t feel like I have a voice. I didn’t then, and it is hard to make that voice heard now. This is why I cannot forgive. The work does not stop because I have accepted what has happened. I’m not allowed to forget…..however, there are times where this feels like an excuse, so I keep pushing ahead and keep going.

When all is dark around me, forgiving and forgetting sounds good, but that’s not the way that life works.