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I’m turning into my mother…

on Mar 17, 2015

The inevitable is happening. I’m turning into my mother. We used to mock her. Family nights, watching TV. The sappy commercials would come on in the middle of Matlock or Carol Burnett—something as simple as a girl calling her dad long distance on his birthday—and cue the tears. As the wistful strains of a violin or some other emotion-provoking soundtrack would play, we’d all knowingly turn our gaze to mom to see her eyes welling and tears rolling. As would our eyeballs. Really mom? It’s a long-distance commercial. (And the mockery would continue.) So, the other evening, as I was folding laundry in front of the TV, watching PVR’d episodes of Fixer Upper (or some other HGTV fodder, where designers change people’s lives while changing their homes) you can imagine my surprise when I felt something wet roll down my cheek. The host threw her husband a surprise 40th party, combined with the...

Living legacies…

on Mar 12, 2015

I ran into a friend from my past at the grocery store recently. Our daughters went to elementary school together, but when mine switched schools in fifth grade, we lost touch. Thirteen years later, we still live in the same community but only run into each other very occasionally. When we do meet up though, it’s always a good conversation. She’s an energetic and animated woman. I love talking with her, catching up on what the years between our meetings have brought. There we stood, chatting in the aisle between the bakery and the produce, when she gently took my arm, leaned in, looked into my eyes and said, “I’ll never forget something you told me once. “ Thoughts began swirling. What profound thing might I have said that required her to grab my arm and change her posture? What legacy of wise counsel was I doling out all those years ago? I couldn’t think of a thing. And then she told...

From worthless to worthy

on Jan 31, 2015

Source It’s taking me longer to navigate my journals than I anticipated; I’m still meditating my way through the first one. I suppose I shouldn’t expect that a journey of two decades would be digested in a matter of days or weeks. I suspected that the reading would be simple, but I keep getting stuck on themes. Or, maybe, one theme characterized by many different words. Discouraged. Inferior. Hopeless. Lonely. Desperate. Worthless. The theme plays itself out day after day after day. At one point, I wrote, “I don’t know how much longer I can live like this.” Oh, let me tell you, dear, sweet, naïve 27-year-old me, you can (and will) live like this for a long time. These days that, right now, feel like weeks will extend into months and drag on for years. But, hindsight is beautiful thing and I can also tell you that these days will get easier. Your desperate hope for reconciliation in...

This was so NOT what I was expecting…

on Jan 20, 2015

Those of you who read my posts with some regularity will know that I’ve recently begun plodding my way through my past. What an exercise it’s been, reading journal entries penned almost 20 years ago. I opened the first journal, expecting it to be hard. August 1995. Throughout its pages are tucked little snippets of paper, verses, notes from friends, notes from my husband at the time, a race bib from my first 5 km run. Reminders of the events of those days. (Who knew I was actually sentimental???) As I re-read some of those verses and notes, memories laced with feelings (or feelings laced with memories?) came flooding back. At one point, I held in my hand feminine, lacy stationary with scripture hand-written in penmanship I did not recognize. No return address. No signature. Verses given especially for me that spoke to the deepest part of me. It came in the mail on a day...

Digging up the past: a different perspective

on Jan 15, 2015

As I’m plodding my way through my old journals, this timely devotional came through my inbox. Author Christine Caine offers a different perspective on digging up the past, which I think has some merit. It certainly made me take pause and question my motives for this exercise. I don’t think it’s ever a mistake to take a step back and see where your behaviours and actions are rooted. So many of the things we do and say in our lives come out of a desire for justice. Or justification. A desire to be heard, or understood. To paint the whole picture when most people can only see half. Is that what I’m doing here? Am I digging through my past for some sort of justification or redemption, now after all these years? Or has it been taking up space (literally–the blue Rubbermaid bin–and figuratively) in my life, holding me back from what I really desire in my...

Digging up the past

on Jan 8, 2015

I’ve been doing a bit of digging these days. No, not dirt. Not even snow (though shovelling and digging are admittedly similar.) Digging into my past. I’ve got a big, blue Rubbermaid bin in my office. It’s been sitting there in full view for about four years, possibly more. Honestly, I’ve lost count. So, basically, I’ve been ignoring it for that long. Actually, I’ve cracked the lid once or twice, brought out some of the contents, only to gently place the item back into the bin again and shut the lid tightly. Another time. You see, it’s full of journals. Physical documentation of my past. Or, at least, my past dating back to 1995, when I began journalling in earnest. I didn’t know, when I began, what my journalling would become to me. Didn’t know that my initial random thoughts and musings would eventually become a written offering...

Monday Morning

on Nov 25, 2014

To the lady in the silver mini-van, I see you most mornings. You drop your kids off at the same place I drop mine. Often, you’re careening up the lane as I’m pulling out and I get the feeling you’re a bit frazzled. You usually have your bathrobe on; a bright, fluffy pink one with white flowers. It makes me smile. I’m always smiling when you drive by. Maybe you’ve never noticed me. I don’t think there’s anything about me that stands out; I’m certainly not in a fuchsia housecoat. Most mornings, I don’t relish the thought of getting dressed. It breaks the morning spell. For me, it’s the quiet dark. The coffee sipping. The newspaper reading. Breakfast nibbling. Lunch packing. All the cozy home things. I love those cozy home things. And, believe me, when the thermometer outside is well below zero, pulling that robe tighter around...

One foot in front of the other…

on Nov 19, 2014

I stumbled upon this graphic the other day. So good, right? Years ago, when I chose the title for my blog, I wanted it to convey something about my journey. I didn’t have a specific theme for my writing, as I wasn’t immersed in a field or specialty that I anticipated writing about. Rather, I wanted it to reflect the musings of someone just trying to navigate the day-to-day messiness (and beauty) of life. One foot in front of the other. That’s me. Not always a lot of foresight. Sometimes (and by sometimes, I mean often) my steps are clumsy. But I keep plodding along. Thankful that God made me an optimist and gave me the ability to find humour and see good in the midst of some of the ridiculous and a lot of the painful. Hence the subtitle, –and, hopefully, not in my mouth– because, let’s be honest here, I put my foot in my mouth A LOT! I’m much...

The girl in the mirror

on Sep 5, 2014

I spent most of my summer without mirrors. Our mostly finished, but-still-some-things-to-be-done home lacks a few things. Mirrors, among them. Let me tell you, it was lovely and liberating to wake up in the morning, run my fingers through my crazy hair, ask my husband how I look and have him tell me day after day, “You’re beautiful!” Actually, I feel compelled to clarify that he wasn’t with me every single day, but he was very consistent when he was around! And he always encourages me never to let facts get in the way of a good story.  I recently updated my profile picture on Facebook, which I only do in the rare event that I find a photo of myself that I don’t hate. I am, after all, more critical of myself than my husband is. I had gone to the hairdresser at the end of my mirror-free summer, which was characterized by complete and utter relaxation. (a.k.a. ponytails and mu-mus) When I...

My pants don’t fit

on Aug 19, 2014

Source It’s official. My pants don’t fit. It’s been a summer of lakeside living: pastries with my coffee, afternoon coolers on the beach, sipping summer wines with dinner, dessert, lounging, reading, snacking and LOTS of sitting. You’ll notice the list above doesn’t include a lot of vigorous movement and now it’s catching up with me. Flowy sundresses and stretchy Lycra bathing suits have been my friends this summer. One hundred per cent cotton, freshly washed and shrunken shorts, not so much. Where the Lycra gently stretches to accommodate my ample and, apparently, growing curvature, the snug cotton of the shorts acts more like sausage casing. And while the blowsy sundresses (think mu-mu) can camouflage their contents to a certain extent, there is no hiding the fact that my body and my shorts are no longer the same size. Sigh. Thankfully, the forecast for the next few days is cool and...