Happiness Is…

Healthy New Addictions.


Library loans have been strictly forbidden from our book-crammed, chaotic home. Until now.

This week, Lucy and Bayla got their first library cards.

Lucy’s a big-time reader. So, she was pleased.

Bayla’s a big-time shopper. And a bigger-time geek. So, she’s been over the moon.

Audio books. Wii games. Wii nights. Board game nights. NFB Fridays.

And, above all, surfing the catalogue. Selecting, “holding” and swiping out.

And flipping Eva Ibbotson CDs in and out of the boombox.

Hope this habit’s a long one.

Happiness Is…

Second, and third, and nth chances.

Yesterday, was frustration. I guess I should say, I let myself be frustrated.

One small effect, and propagating cause, was the absolute blackening of this pot. Followed by my many frantic, frustrated, fruitless attempts to boil and scrape through the thick, stuck, edge-to-edge char.

Turns out time, rest and water did what no amount of swearing and straining could.

And that’s just one of the many nth chances I’ve been treated to today.

I am grateful for each one.

Now to treat myself to some of the same.

A Top Notch Tenning

The weekend Lucy turned ten, I found that lump. Fully dressed, amidst Lucy’s festivities, some tingling vibration drew my fingers. And there it was.

With a puff of cold steam, a new world was born.

Today, Bayla turned ten. Twenty-two months later.

Today was a good day.

Lucy and Bayla spent most of it on their own together, being tweens: browsing their favourite shops, doing each others’ nails, exploring Bayla’s new DSI, painting pottery, strolling down to DQ to split a Blizzard.

And we ended the day with the end of Harry P. In 3D.

Today I did a lot of thinking back ten years. And back two years. And looking ahead.

Looking forward to many happy years of great memories behind and ahead for us all.

And feeling very, very grateful.

First Person, First Class

As our enjoyable BOLO evening ended, last week, my friend Laurie and I sprang to our feet, hoping to dash to the exit before throngs of bloggers clogged our path.

But the packed room was gridlocked.

I shrugged. This would take a while.

But Laurie was dauntless. She raised her eyebrows, smirked and assured me that her “pointy elbows” would whisk us across that floor.

And they did. In a flash we were strolling down Preston — me admiring her finesse. “You’re amazing,” I said, “I stand invisible for ages trying to squeeze through crowds.”

“Oh, me too,” Laurie chirped, “I can only do that for someone else.”

Far. Too. Familiar.

In the wise words of my friend Janice, “Good God woman … Be even kinder to yourself, as you have to live with you.”

Two tier service just disgusts me yet I foist it daily on myself.
So, I’m trying to stop.

Thanks to both women for the reminders.
I must be worth first class self-service — judging by the company I keep.

Happiness Is…

Hanging. Twisting. Stretching. Trusting.
Letting go…

I just experienced my first ever wall yoga.

Four students. Two instructors.
Loads of gentle adjustments and narrative.

Pure Bliss.

And to think I only joined as a personal dare.

Thank you Basia. Thank you Natalie.

For the heavenly new addiction.

Related Links:

Our Big Little Girls

When this journey began, our girls were barely 8 and 10. In the two years since then, they’ve been through a lot.

They’ve endured peaks of fear, responsibility and uncertainty. Their own and ours.
They’ve been misunderstood and alienated by their peers.
They’ve pushed the limits of already maxed-out and readjusting parents. And endured the resulting wrath.
They’ve even hidden big worries and needs.

Last summer they refused to be separated from us. Even day camp was out of the question.

Yesterday, they bolted from the car to 5 days of sleepover camp. Without a hug, goodbye or backward glance.

They are happy and healthy and they’ve become confident that we are too.

We love you and miss you, Lucy and Bayla. Have a safe, healthy, happy, fabulous week at camp!!

Looking forward to reuniting with you on Friday.

An Accidental Time Capsule

In fall 2009, during the stressful 6-week wait for diagnosis of that lump, I turned my back on our beloved podcast, Just One More Book.

Weeks later, Bob Goyetche and I discussed that decision, for the Canadian Podcast Buffet.
It was hours after my biopsy. Mark was out of town.

With all the PAB2011 captured-story excitement this week, that interview bobbed to my mind’s surface. And I took the time to listen to that 15 minute chat.

Wondering how we endured the 6 week wait. How I did that interview. And how we possibly got from there to here.

I’m glad those moments were captured. I’m glad I thought to listen.

Life’s odd. In a good way.

If you’d like to listen too, the interview is at the 18 minute mark of episode 147 of CPB.

Photo AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by Bruce Murray (The Zedcast)

Bold. By Default.

One million times I backed out of this jolt.

But having publicly announced and collected input for a 5 minute spiel about standing up to fear, it seemed the embarrassment of backing out might actually dwarf the embarrassment of flopping.

So I did the jolt.

And I’m glad I did.

Because life is better when we take bold steps.

Thanks to Alexa Clark for the jolt photo.

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Digesting PAB

For the 53 hours since PAB ended, I’ve been squeezing my brain, hoping to shrink the PAB2011 experience down to a blog-post-sized blurb.

My mind, my chest, my eyes are still swelling with swirling ideas and images. Huge laughs, huge smiles, huge buzzing, tingling emotions. Huge gratitude for the privilege of belonging.

This morning, as we attended Lucy’s grade 6 graduation, I realized that the stilted, tension-filled ickiness of that sweltering gym, thick with twelve years of inter-parental encounters, was the anti-PAB. And that helped boil the weekend down to its core…

PAB gets me. It lets me be me when I’m there. And seems to do the same for us all.
PAB’s about expressing, not impressing.
It’s about connecting and creating and stretching and sharing.

It’s a slingshot into life.

Thanks to everybody for the photos (and for the weekend, of course).

More PAB here.