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Posts Tagged ‘humour’

Some days I am the tree, my feet firmly rooted in the ground and my arms outstretched to the sky, taking in all of the endless possibilities.

And some days I am the kid in the Winnie the Pooh cordoroy overalls hanging from the branches, screaming to get down.

Hang in there

Hang in there!

(Yes, this is a picture of me as a child.  According to family legend I used to stand under this tree in our backyard and whine until someone lifted me up to hang off the branch.  After hanging there for all of ten seconds I would, apparently, start crying until someone came and got me down. 

Then I would whine to get back up. 

You get the idea. 

I personally dispute the authenticity of the story.)

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The truth is I don’t read or watch or listen to the news. It just makes me feel depressed and dumb.

The truth is I always thought as a parent I would savour tucking my kids in at night but I don’t. The truth is I actually hate it and by the end of the day I just want them to go to sleep already.

The truth is I generally judge all books by their covers. The truth is I generally judge everything by its cover.

The truth is I could eat breakfast for every meal.

The truth is the greatest sense of accomplishment I’ve felt in the last six months is passing level 37 of Candy Crush.

The truth is I don’t really care how my hair looks, as you can probably tell when you see how my hair looks.

The truth is I judge people by the books they read and the TV shows they watch.

The truth is my favourite aisle at Walmart is the one with all of the plastic containers.  It makes me want to put everything I own in a plastic container.

The truth is I eat more chocolate than I should.

The truth is I used to care ‎what my linen closet looked like; I used to care what other people thought my linen closet looked like.  The truth is I don’t care any more and to prove it, here is what my linen closet looks like.

Don't tell Martha

Don’t tell Martha

The truth is ‎I just pretend to know what the word Zeitgeist means.

‎The truth is I generally prefer books to people.

The truth is ‎I’m horrible with directions or spatial awareness of any kind. The truth is I almost always get lost in parking garages.

The truth is my motherhood idol is Amy Duncan from Good Luck Charlie.

The truth is I usually decide within five minutes of meeting someone whether we’re going to be friends or not. The truth is even when I probably could change my mind about my initial impression, I usually don’t.

The truth is sometimes I run the dryer over and over after the clothes are already dry because I don’t feel like folding them.

The truth is, it’s nice to have somewhere to share my truths.

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I woke up before the alarm and groaned.  Today of all days when I could actually sleep in a little, of course I’m awake even earlier than usual.  I decide not to be too upset, at least I don’t have to go to work!  I’m off today, a rare vacation day for which nothing specific has been planned.  I’m actually off because hubby has work stuff to do after work today and my son needs to get to a hockey practice and then my daughter needs to get to a hockey practice so I offered to take a day to do that.

But all of that running around stuff doesn’t start until later this afternoon, which means I’ve had time to do things.  Any kind of things I want. And this is what I’ve done:

1) drop the kids at school and spend five minutes pawing through the lost and found bin looking for my son’s missing hat.  I’m pretty sure it won’t be in there but I had some time and decided to give it a shot.  The entire time I’m sorting through the piles of stuff, I just kept thinking of the moms out there who are, right in that moment, looking through their house for said missing item.  After having already asked their child ten times where it is and throwing up their hands in exasperation over “why can’t you just bring your sweater home with you??”  I totally get it sister, I’m right there with you.  And really, in this day and age don’t you think the whole lost and found thing can be digitized at least a little bit?  Take a picture of the item and post it on the school website so we don’t have to stick our hands down to the bottom of a crazy bin on wheels and get whacked on the head with the heavy wooden lid?  Just a thought.

2) go to the grocery store to get margarine.  Walk up and down the aisles somewhat aimlessly pulling one of those baskets on wheels which, incidentally, were a great invention.  Pick up a few things we don’t really need (what can I say – I have a craving for cinnamon buns) and a few things that we do and headed to the check out.  Then realize I forgot the margarine.  Really?  I don’t know why I’m surprised, it happens almost every time.  Run to the back corner of the store where the margarine is – of course it’s literally as far away from the checkout as is physically possible, I never forget something that’s close by – and run back in time to pay.  Spend a minute contemplating how winded I am after such a short run but decide that’s a thought for another day.

3) realize I have 15 minutes to kill before the library opens so I head to Tim Hortons to grab a tea from the drive through.  Make a witty comment to the lady working the cash about the holiday cups now being available.  Momentarily congratulate myself for successfully making a witty comment.

4) go to the library and just miss getting the last free parking spot out front.  Decide that today is my day and I’m not going to let things like that get me down.  Pull into the other lot and pay for 30 minutes of parking and head inside with my bag of books to return and my cup of tea.  Spend a blissful 15 minutes browsing through the magazines and the movies and the CDs, spending a little more time than I should admit contemplating whether I should borrow the Depeche Mode greatest hits album (I decided no and then regret it as soon as I get home).  Remember I was going to pick up some Christmas books while I was there.  Spend another 15 minutes browsing through the Christmas books before realizing my 30 minutes of parking has now expired and I’m probably getting a ticket right now.  Run to the automated checkout (why is there so much running today?) grabbing eight items from the hold shelf and realizing the book bag I brought is going to be horribly inadequate.  Get the books all checked out, and squash as much stuff into the bag as I can, carefully balancing the others in one arm while being incredibly careful not to spill my tea which I have not yet finished. This is probably why they’re not too keen on people who bring beverages to the library.  Note to self for next time – get the tea AFTER the library.  Make it out the door without spilling a single drop and have just enough time to feel very proud of myself before I dump the remaining contents of my cup down the front of my jacket.  Oh well, at least I didn’t get any on the books!  And it’s my day; things like this don’t bother me on my day.

5) home to do a bit of work around the house and in the backyard.  Finally put the garden to bed after weeks of staring out the window telling myself that I really have to do it.  Take a minute to enjoy standing in the middle of the yard on a Thursday morning without anything else to do.  Cut back the dead plants and think about what a wonderful gardener I am.  Momentarily wonder if I’ve actually cut the plants back too far which means I’ve actually just killed them.  Decide not to think about that today, because today is my day.

5) decide I’ve worked very hard so far and it’s time for lunch.  Heat up some minestrone soup which isn’t great but it’s not chicken noodle which is what I usually have to eat when the kids are here so I am thankful for that.  I finish the soup and contemplate how many candies I can reasonably take out of the bin of leftover Halloween candy without anyone noticing.  Decide that number is probably five and am satisfied with that.

6) sit my butt down on the couch and watch the episode of The Good Wife that I recorded from last week and, not for the first time, hate Julianna Margulies just a little bit for her perfectly coiffed eyebrows and her ability to wear fabulous colours of lipstick.  But it’s the nice kind of hate because of course I also 100% love her, in the same way you love your best friend but also hate her a little because she has better hair than you do.

7) breath.  I haven’t had time all week to even sit and take a breath so I’m going to do that now.  I’m going to do that for the next hour before it’s time to think about gathering together hockey equipment and trying not to forget the bag of pucks and the water bottles and the 10,000 other things to stuff in the back of my van.  Breath and lay my head down and love the fact that today, at least for part of it, was my day.

And I have loved every minute of it.

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The purple ones

What’s wrong with this picture?

I’m trying to do better, really I am.

I’m trying to see the forest for the trees, and smell the roses, and breath deeply, and express gratitude, and on and on and on.

I’m trying, really.

And I think I’m doing better, I think I’m getting the hang of it.  Until the day I come up my front path and notice that my tulips have blossomed.  For one single moment I feel all of those emotions that I’m trying to feel.  I feel peace and happiness and contentment and gratitude.

And then I realize that the stupid purple ones are growing in the wrong place.

WHY ARE ALL THE PINK AND ORANGE ONES NICELY ARRANGED AND THE PURPLE ONES ARE OVER ON ONE SIDE, ALL CLUMPED TOGETHER??

WHY ARE THERE PURPLE ONES AT ALL????

I SWEAR THE PACKAGE SAID THEY WERE ALL PINK AND ORANGE!!!

I SWEAR.

I know I should just relax and let it go.  I’m sure no one else notices.  I’m sure everyone else just walks by and thinks how pretty the tulips are.  I’m sure they’re happier and more content and more relaxed than me because I just can’t let it go.

For a couple of minutes I actually consider digging them up and moving them around so the colours are more evenly distributed.

Welcome to life in my head.

I didn’t dig them up though.  I just left them.  I realize I should look at this as an opportunity for growth.  I should use this as a lesson in how life is not meant to be perfect and how I need to learn to accept the bad along with the good.  I understand that I should turn this into one of Oprah’s “ah ha” moments and write a book about it.

But I can’t.

Instead, every time I walk up the path I see the stupid purple tulips that are all lumped together.

WHY ARE THERE PURPLE ONES???

If you listen very closely, you can hear a faint chuckle dancing on the breeze.

It’s the universe.

And it’s laughing at me.

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My apologies to all of you who have already seen this but it’s literally one of my very favourite things in the world and I had to pass it along.  A friend sent it to me a few months ago and I continue to watch it at least once a week so I can laugh out loud (and I should probably be ashamed to admit that I do the hand gestures to go along with it).

And when you get to the part where she makes the “fish stick face” if you listen closely you can probably hear me laughing…loudly…even though I’ve seen it a hundred times.

We’re friends though, so I know you won’t make fun of me.

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I was running behind schedule. I stood in the kitchen glancing sideways at the clock while moving furiously between the fridge and the counter, moving things, cutting things, organizing things, putting things away.

I was (not so) silently cursing myself…again. Why didn’t I make lunches the night before?? Usually I do, but I was too tired this time. I had errands to run while waiting for my daughter to finish her guitar lesson. Then I had to wash and blow dry my hair, always a longer process than I think it’s going to be. When that was finally done I just wanted to sit on the couch and decompress. I knew I would regret it in the morning, pay the price for my decision to relax but in that moment I didn’t care.

Now I cared.

Another glance at the clock told me that I had two more minutes to finish everything before it was time to go wake up the kids. No breakfast for me, I would need to grab something later. Sigh. I had been up for less than an hour and already I felt hopelessly behind.

Then something caught my attention from the corner of my eye. I turned to see my son slowly walking into the kitchen, eyes squinting from the light.

“Good morning, Mama.”

My mouth hung open in shock. Here was the kid who I have to pry out of bed every day, the one who insists he can’t take off his pajamas, or put on his shirt, or even walk down the stairs by himself in the morning; now here he was, fully dressed, standing in front of me.

“You got up and got dressed all by yourself?!?” I was so surprised I could hardly form words. I knew in my head that this was a direct result of the time change on the weekend but I wasn’t complaining.

Suddenly I saw a blissful change in my morning routine. If he could/would do this every morning then maybe I could have breakfast – a real breakfast that didn’t come in a package and have the word “bar” in its name.

This could be life changing.

I reached over, gave him a huge hug and told him how proud I was of him. He explained that he had gotten dressed very fast because he didn’t want me to come upstairs before he was done and ruin the surprise.

“I even brushed my teeth Mama, see?” He said, opening his mouth wide so I could inspect. I gave him another hug and a kiss. Then I decided to see how far this could go.

“Hey Buddy, do you want to go wake up your sister for me?”

He was off like a rocket, so fast I had to yell “do it nicely” after him for fear he would decide that jumping on her bed was an appropriate wake up call.

I turned back to the kitchen and managed to get five extra minutes to finish my chores and eat a piece of toast.

Bliss.

I began to envision a whole new life, not unlike the feeling I had when the kids (finally) started sleeping through the night. I could exhale. I saw my mornings stretched out ahead of me, relaxed and unhurried. It’s amazing what a difference a few extra minutes can make.

That was yesterday.

This morning my bedroom door opened at 5:47am and my son proclaimed (loudly), “Mama, I got dressed by myself again!”

Groan.

This would be what is meant by being careful what you wish for.

I get it now.

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Is it just me or has the retail industry gotten a little ahead of themselves lately? I mean obviously they need to have certain items in stores ahead of when they are actually needed but seriously, have the people who look after these things decided that the calendar is now completely irrelevant?

This year the Halloween costumes were in my local store at pretty much the same time as the school supplies. The first time I saw them I panicked – is it that time already? Man, I better pick up the kids’ costumes before they all get picked over! Picked over? It was barely September for goodness sakes!

I used to pat myself on the back whenever I was (surprisingly) organized enough to have clothes purchased and ready in advance of the changing seasons. Now, however, it seems that I’m now expected to be two seasons ahead and have the super hero ability to be able to predict what clothing and shoe sizes my kids are going to be six months from now.

Looking for a winter jacket in November? Too late, all that’s left in stores are extra small or extra large – and both in colours that the kids won’t go anywhere near. Forget that it’s still Fall outside – don’t even bother asking the cashier if they have any more sizes in the back, he’ll look at you as if you just asked him to sew you one from scratch. Apparently the time to buy winter clothes is four months before you’re actually going to wear them.

Looking for a bathing suit in June? Nope, they’re pretty much all gone by mid-April. I live north of the Great Lakes – no one here is wearing a bathing suit in April!!

My local home decor store was fully decked out for Christmas more than two weeks ago; complete with four themed trees and miles and miles of little twinkly lights. What ever happened to waiting until December? Or forget December, what ever happened to waiting until Halloween was done?

I had to send my husband to Costco at the beginning of September to buy new Christmas garlands because I knew they would be gone in less than a week. When he arrived back from his errand he informed me he got the last two. For real. Then I had to find room to stash them in the garage for two and a half months, waiting for it to actually be Christmas time.

I get stressed every time I go shopping now, feeling horribly behind before I even get started. What an awful mother I must be if I left buying winter boots until October. What ever made me think that was an okay thing to do?

It’s November and I haven’t finished my Christmas shopping yet? I’ll never get it done in time now! Is it any wonder that I’m usually tired of the holidays long before they even arrive? Am I the only one who thinks it’s wrong to drink eggnog while wearing shorts and a tank top? How special are the decorations, music and cookies, when you have them for two months instead of just a couple of weeks? By the time December 25 finally rolls around I just want to pack it all away and be rid of the whole thing.

And when I finally get the last box of decorations packed away I will (mistakenly) think I can relax for a month or so.

That is until my next trip to the store reveals that the Easter baskets, patio sets and flip flops are now on clearance.

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I want to do anything but go to my exercise class tonight. My friend won’t be there tonight which I realize is as lame an excuse as you can get but when you hate exercising as much as I do you’ll grasp at anything.

I want to go to Starbucks instead and order a chai latte (extra hot) and sigh with bliss when the first taste of sweet, spicy foam hits my tongue.

Instead I’m sitting outside the rec centre in my cold car, watching the minutes count down.

I want to go to the library and flip through magazines. I’ll pretend that I’m there to read Newsweek and Time when, in reality, I’m really there to look through the new issue of People with Adele on the cover. I totally need to know how she’s getting ready for her baby. This is important stuff people.

I want to wander aimlessly through Walmart, stopping to browse at the nail polish and eye cream sections. I want to buy myself a chocolate bar and savor every sweet morsel.

Instead I’m sitting here in my black stretchy exercise pants wishing I hadn’t said yes to that second helping of stuffing (or maybe it was the second piece of pumpkin pie?) at Thanksgiving dinner last weekend. Darn pumpkin pie. I am too weak to resist your charms.

And so I will get out of this car with my water bottle in hand and I will slink dejectedly across the parking lot to the rec centre for an hour of pain.

I will do it.

I will hate it but I will do it.

Even though I would rather be doing anything but.

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The voices were soft at first, barely above a whisper. I had to concentrate to hear them and make out what they were saying.

“Come over here, look at me, I’m beautiful.”

What? Who is talking to me? I shake my head and move on.

Over the next few days they got louder though.

“Come look at me, you know you want to, you know you can’t resist. I will help keep you organized. I am a home for all of your brilliant thoughts. I will look amazing in your purse.”

It was then that it all slowly began to make sense. It is September, time for the annual call of the daily planner.

Every year I buy one, certain that this will be the year that I actually use it. I will write down all of my to-do’s in one handy place – no more random post-its junking up my purse. I will keep track of writing ideas, birthday lists, clothing sizes, doctor’s appointments, and library book due dates all in one stylish package.

And I do. I do all of that and more.

For about a week and a half.

Then I switch purses for some reason and decide it doesn’t fit in my new one. A week goes by and I don’t write anything in it. I have to make a dentist appointment and realize I left it at home. I write the info down on a post-it instead. And just like that, the spell has been broken and another planner sits, barely used, on my shelf. An unkept promise, another small failure on my road to becoming Martha.

You just know she uses a daily planner.

One year I decided to give up the dream and get with the times, in-putting things directly into an “app” on my phone. What a perfect solution (I thought at the time)! I will have everything at my fingertips. And yes, it did turn out to be very convenient and yes, it did help manage things but, to be honest, it wasn’t very much fun. I was all function and no form. Something was missing.

I didn’t get the thrill of pulling it out of my purse and running my hands across the smooth pages any time I had to write something in it.

I didn’t get the joy of spending an entire lunch hour picking out just the right pen to use with it. Smooth writing? Check! Not globby? Check! Doesn’t bleed through the pages? Check! Hmmm, should I go with blue or black ink? These are important decisions people.

Okay, maybe just to me but whatever.

Going digital was a practical choice but one that left me feeling hollow. Organizing wasn’t fun anymore.

So now I’m back at square one. Every time I walk past the stationary store the planners continue to call to me and I continue to try and ignore them. But I’m not that strong and I’m not sure how much longer I can resist.

Hey wait a minute, look at that pretty one in the window – it has a purple cover! I love purple!

Maybe I’ll just pop in and take a peek. It doesn’t hurt to look, right?

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Why do I continue to do this to myself?

Oh yeah, I’m getting older and, shockingly, so is my body. If I want to keep eating cheesecake, loaf after loaf of blissfully yummy bread, and cups of sugar-rich tea then I have to do this. And I do want to keep eating all of those things, I really, really do. So last night I wrestled up my water bottle, dug out my running shoes, put my hair up in a ponytail and headed out into the night.  Yep, I have signed up for yet another fitness class!  And I’m hoping that maybe this time it will stick; maybe this time I will actually even enjoy it.

Um…yeah, I’m thinking not.

The people all seemed vaguely familiar, although I knew I had never met any of them before. The smells were the same, the sounds were the same; the Top 40 music pumping from the speakers was the same.  I wore the same Costco-brand yoga pants and out-dated concert shirt as I did for the last class I took, probably going on three years ago now.  It wasn’t fun then and I quickly began to realize that it’s not going to be fun now either.

I did change one crucial thing in an attempt to make it a bit better this time – I signed up with a buddy.  I convinced a like-minded friend of mine who hates the idea of exercising (almost) as much as I do to take the class with me.  I thought having someone to laugh with about our out-of-shapedness would make things easier; someone else who would be huffing and puffing within the first five minutes, just like me.

At the very least it would eliminate the gut-wrenching moment when the instructor says “buddy up” and I have to look desperately around the room hoping that someone else is also there partner less.   And the worst case scenario when I’m actually the only person there solo and I end up paired with the instructor, struggling to throw a 4-pound medicine ball back and forth while fantasizing about the floor opening up and swallowing me whole, just to put me out of my misery.

But I digress.

The first 25 minutes of the class were fairly standard – a little jogging, a few jumping jacks, some squats and lunges.  I was feeling the burn but had not yet encountered anything I couldn’t handle.  That was until the instructor yelled out that it was time for “burpees.”  I didn’t know what he was talking about.  Then he did one and I felt the ache begin…just standing there watching him do it.  And then he told us we needed to do them for five minutes, without stopping.  I felt the tears well up in my eyes and the bile build in my throat.

I wish I could go back to a time before I knew what a burpee was.  It was a safe, warm, comfortable place, one where I didn’t know what the floor tasted like and where I could still walk without limping.

A burpee is a bad, bad thing.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, after the burpees he said it was time for “the plank.”  At that very moment I actually prayed he was talking about “walking the plank” like on a pirate ship, because the idea of jumping into shark-infested waters actually seemed preferable to me.

But no, unfortunately he was referring to the other kind of plank.

I am happy to say that I survived the first class, albeit barely.  Only 11 more weeks to go.

Maybe by the end of the session I will be able to do a burpee without crying; or, more likely, maybe I’ll just grow to love the taste of the gym floor.

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