I Tortured My Kid With Song! Creative Parenting

Simon CowellHow many times have you wished you were different than you were? Wished your hair was straight instead of curly, or that you had a talent for cooking instead of burning, or that you were athletic instead of clumsy? I can’t tell you how often I’ve wished for a beautiful singing voice. I love music, I love to dance (can’t dance but I pretend I can), I love to sing (can’t sing but pretend I can). When my babies were little, they used to love when I sang them songs…actually, now that I think of it, they never actually asked me to sing….hmmm….interesting. Oh well. I sang to them a lot, when they went to sleep, when they woke up, as they got ready for school. Never any specific song, nope. I made up each song as I went along. I thought they loved it because my singing always made them laugh. I’ve noticed that the older they get, the more they plead with me to stop singing….they still laugh….most of the time.

Last week, I stumbled upon a gift that is sure to serve me well for the rest of my life. You will never believe what it was…my voice! My beautiful singing voice! Allow me to fill you in…what I am about to share with you is a true story…one that any parent can appreciate.

It was a Sunday like any other dedicated to cleaning up the house in preparation of a brand new week. There I was begging my 11 year old son to clean his room. I had tried everything to get him motivated to create a space he could relax in. I’ve hidden money in his room, I’ve bribed him with quality time exchanges, I’ve taken away his toys, I’ve made him do his own laundry, I’ve taken his beloved extra-curricular activities away, nothing seems to work long term. The best I got was a half-assed clean sweep.

On this day, in another attempt at motivation, I suggested he crank some music. It always worked for me, Dance! Sing! while you clean up. The job seems to do itself! For whatever reason, I can’t remember he said he couldn’t play the music in his room so I offered to sing to him…..WHAM! That’s when it happened, “No! No! Mom, don’t sing!”idea

“I’ll tell you what, I won’t sing if you clean your room, I mean really clean it. If you stop cleaning it before it’s done, I will sing.” He did as any kid his age would do. He called my bluff. Out of my mouth came Taylor Swift and WHAM! “Okay Mom! Okay! Look at me, I’m cleaning my room! See?” Within less than an hour his room was spotless! Brilliant!! That was a major discovery I made right there!!

Unfortunately, this technique will not work for every parent, only maybe those with a special kind of voice. All I’m saying is just for today trust in your whole being and embrace every part of you because sometimes what you may perceive as a fault may one day prove to be your greatest asset ๐Ÿ™‚

Embrace your awesomeness!

If you liked this post, share it with others who will too! You may also like The Solo Adventure of a Geographically Challenged Mom, Mommy’s Escape – The end of a beautiful affair, and The Making of a Book That Broke My Heart

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How Our House Became Our Home

home sweet homeHome renovations are the leading cause of divorce in the world. Okay, I don’t actually know this, after the week I’ve had I’m just guessing…although I’d be very interested to see the statistics.

For 14 years we have lived in the same house. It was a repo and in desperate need of some loving attention. However with our impending marriage, new home costs, and other financial commitments at the time, the TLC our home needed was just too much to bear. Over the years, we dabbled in decor only to find out that there is one thing my husband and I agree on and that’s that we can’t agree on anything house related. We have completely different tastes and neither one of us have a clue when it comes to decorating a home. Seriously, I can’t stress this enough. We once hired someone to help us figure it out, at least to take us through some options and mediate for us until we could come to some kind of compromise. I loved what she did but I knew we needed more. Our budget just wouldn’t allow it. My husband’s reaction was different, “We paid how much for toilet paper curtains??” and made reference to the off-white looped carpet being a bad idea with pets and children (right he was) And so, we did all we could do…we ignored it until we forgot about the excruciating pain of paint, renos, purchases, and decorating.ย  It took years before we decided to give it another go.

This time, we decided that we would try something new. Curtis put me in charge of all things paint; choosing the colors, taping, mudding and sanding the walls, and painting. I put Curtis in charge of flooring. We both checked in with each other regularly. The flooring went well, we went to see our options with the type we had in mind and ended up talking to a wealth-of-information sales guy and got something totally different that we felt would work in our home and we both loved it! I suggested we paint before laying the floor but Curtis adamantly insisted on laying the floor first. (Can you hear that?? It’s trouble brewing…!)

Curtis laid the floor. He did a fantastic job and great news…it looked awesome! We both loved it! I was still obsessing about struggling with paint color choices. Do I go with neutrals, do I go timeless,ย  vibrant, bold, what? It had to be something we could both live with. I looked through pictures and asked questions, I even started a heated discussion on a home decor and design site! I wanted to paint the ugly honey oak cupboards, Curtis was dead set against it! The compromise was I needed to find a way to tone down the bright, glossy, ugliness of them. Who knew what I had unleashed when I asked what paint color would do the job I needed it to do? The responses were passionate; “It doesn’t matter what color you put with those cupboards, any color will make them uglier”, “he should buy you new appliances for having to put up with those cupboards”, … even my husband got in on the action “I am confident we can make our kitchen look nice working with what we have” lol it was too much fun!

AHHH! The paint colors…you know I don’t like to commit. Commitment is just too final. I like change, I change my mind as my mood changes. I came across a picture of my ideal room, if I had my own place, this is what it would look like:

I showed it to Curtis, and guess what?! Once he got over the inital shock of it, he admitted he liked it. (!!!) There’s my green light! After asking for his feedback on the 50th paint swatch, he repeated for the 50th time, “I don’t want anything to do with the paint! Whatever you want is fine!” I’m thinking ok ๐Ÿ˜€ I wanted to give our home some personality…and personality I found! I excitedly shared my color choices with my husband. His reaction?

shock!

I started with Salsa Dancing in the living room…LOVED IT!! Warm, cozy, deep, rich, wonderful color! I love painting, I love the unveiling of color, I love to watch the transformation before my eyes, I genuinely enjoy painting, it’s a happy place for me. Curtis hates all things paint…especially watching me paint, but he can’t help himself. He stared at me, and nit-picked until I kindly turned to him and said “Don’t you have anything else to do?” By the time we got to the Yellow for the hallway, I was psyched! Until I saw the yellow on the wall. I felt myself starting to doubt, but trusted the wonderful lady at the paint store….surely, it would all work out in the end. It wasn’t a bad color at night…Once I hit the kitchen and tore into the green paint….Ah! O-M-G! What have I done! I’ve painted my house orange, yellow and green! I do believe my colors of choice may have been questionable!!

Right then, as my husband watched me with his-hate-for-painting eyes, and his constant reminders of “watch the paint”, “watch the floor with the paint” and my “I got this! Ok?” I gracefully tripped over a cord from the fridge he had moved, my foot landed directly in my tray of wet paint, I quickly pulled my paint soaked foot out of the tray and braced it securely on his newly laid grooved floor. (There’s the trouble I was telling you about!)ย  His reminders went silent, his eyes went crazed, and I got worried. He remained silent. Hot Tip: Laughing out loud at this point, NOT a good idea.

Once I got the floor cleaned, I called on reinforcements in sheer panic over the paint colors! They loved it. (Well, I think my brother had his doubts, he just laughed saying my home definitely radiates personality!) Maybe it was me…maybe the idea of commitment was just too much. I don’t know, but I stuck with it and you know what? Once I got the drop sheets moved, the curtains hung, and the hits of personality on the walls…I loved it too!

After 14 years, our house has finally begun to feel like a home. A home we created together. A home that showcases our personalities, ugly wood cupboards and vibrance on the walls.

If you liked this post you may also like: The Truth About My Marriage,ย  Not-So-Solo Trip to Toronto, On The Verge Of Crazy or Helplessly Charismatic

Thank you for being a part of the life I call my own personal chaos ๐Ÿ™‚ Embrace your awesomeness ๐Ÿ™‚

Insomnia – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

01 insomnia2 In the beginning Insomnia was good to me. It spoiled me with unexpected, uninterrupted time to myself. I had time to clean the house, do laundry (of course I didn’t use the time for that, I chose to write instead). I was blinded by quiet beauty of it. This is the part I like to refer to as ‘the honeymoon stage’.

What you need to know about Insomnia

Insomnia unleashes the beast within. It transforms the meek into the fierce.

It bestows upon us the power of realization and deep insight. When one suffers a good bout of insomnia, one becomes acutely aware of just how seriously irritating the world can be.

Insomnia offers X-Ray vision – the ability to see through bullshit.

Be warned! This gift does not come free!

This ‘superpower of sorts’ is given to you in exchange for your patience – the very patience you would normally use to deal with all that bullshit.

Even though you lie with BOTH eyes open, it will rob you! Ever heard of the thief in the night? That’s Insomnia! It robs you of any and all sense of time you once had. No longer would you have the luxury of knowing what day it is, you would be lucky to know what year and month it is.

Insomnia is a ruthless killer. It kills all the antibodies in your system that keep you healthy and strong. In the beginning, I blamed those little fighters for giving up on me when I needed them most. But as I learned to master my X-ray BS powers, the real perp became obvious to me.

In my darkest hour, …. oh, who am I kidding? My darkest hour probably lasted a week or a few… I finally came to the realization that it was time to weapon-up. It was time to medicate. Armed with a natural sleep inducer, I anxiously headed to bed. My head hit the pillow and I impatiently awaited to renew my relationship with sleep. But Insomnia laughed in the face of my impending sleep and left me lying there; head perfectly positioned on my favorite pillow, eyes wide open. I ‘watched’ my body fall asleep leaving my brain and my eyes fully alert and clearly insane.

insomnia

I will never forget the experience of the next day. I ‘slept’ while I was awake at work. It was the oddest sensation. To anyone else, I looked like a full functioning adult (at least I think I did). But inside, I was sleeping. Literally sleeping. With my eyes wide open and walking around. It was one of those great sleeps too. You know the ones that feel so indescribably relaxing, like an impromptu, much needed afternoon nap? My body was tingling and in total relaxation. I was aware of my limited blinking. It was like walking around in a dream. People were talking to me. I was aware of the sounds that came out of their mouths. And as quickly as their sentences were finished, the whole thing was completely erased from my memory. After countless requests to repeat what was said, I gave up and started to respond based on their facial expressions and hoped for the best. FYI: I work in Customer Service. This was bad. But I was so torn, the sleep – as inconvenient a time as it was – was still sleep. And it was soooo nice. My body was so beautifully, incredibly relaxed. I am ashamed to say, I can’t even share with you the events that took place that day. Let me just say this, it was worse than the time I asked a customer if his parents had any kids ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

My Insomnia had taken me to a dark place and there was only one thing left to do. It was time for me to turn it over to my Mom. My Mother said to me “Don’t worry” and handed me pills in an unmarked prescription bottle. My Mom is a huge advocate for narcotics….NO! NO! That’s not what I mean! Jeez! That’s my Mother! I mean, she’s a huge advocate for the “don’t ever take anyone else’s prescriptions” message. So before passing me that bottle, she said “Don’t worry, this is an old prescription bottle. I’m putting these (showing me the store-bought package) in this bottle.” I don’t know what she was thinking at that point. I knew she wouldn’t try to poison me. And besides, I would have taken anything. No explanation needed. I hadn’t slept in weeks. I couldn’t function to save my life.

insomnia

Melatonin

That’s the beautiful natural drug who’s helping me put my life back together. Melatonin, it even sounds like a lullaby.

I have always fully appreciated my sleep. I embraced the whole experience of it; the feel of my pillow, the warmth of my blankets, fresh air from the open window in the summer, the tingly feeling of a fully relaxed body, dreaming,… all of it! I’m so crazy about sleep,ย  I’m not even fond of waking up half the time. Insomnia has taught me that appreciation is not enough, sleep needs to be respected; be gentle – don’t expect to fall asleep at a certain time. Sleep likes gentle persuasion which comes only from turning off the mind and not engaging in vigorous list making.

The moral of the story is this:

Tame the beast within – RESPECT SLEEP. And always listen to your Mother.

Embrace the awesomeness of a good nights rest ๐Ÿ™‚

Your comments keep me writing, if you’ve enjoyed this blog, please take a moment to let me know you did ๐Ÿ™‚

Not-So-Solo Trip To Toronto

My husband (sporting the Movember look) and I on Young Street in Toronto

It would seem that all the excitement from my recent solo adventure in the big city had caused my husband enough anxiety to insist on joining me when I was booked for another one day orientation back in Toronto ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, I’ll be honest with you…as much as I was looking forward to this mini trip, I had my reservations. My husband tends to be a little impatient in rush hour traffic when we go to Ottawa. He gets a little agitated when if he gets lost in the city. He can be a bit of a firecracker in highly populated areas. Did I mention that my orientation was booked in Toronto at the same time as the 100th Grey Cup game? And we were staying at The Madison Manor which was located just a couple blocks away from the stadium? As apprehensive as I was, I was excited too. We rarely get time to ourselves, just the two of us, it felt like I was dating my husband!

The drive down went surprisingly well…okay, I fell asleep 3 times. Toronto was congested with football fevered fans. There were people everywhere all dressed up, blowing horns, screaming, and cheering. We decided to grab a bite to eat at a place named “famous” for their wings. We ate the wings…we both agreed, they couldn’t be famous for anything other than a walking heart attack, they tasted like grease and we both knew our stomachs would pay for it later that night – if we even made it that long!

Our hotel was great. Not great in a fancy, over-the- top way, fancy in a cozy, quaint, old fashioned, hospitable way. It was nice. Perfect actually.

Being the fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants (aka never-plan-anything-until-the-very-last-moment) kind of people that we are, we scrambled to find some entertainment. Of course, it was the Sunday night of the 100th Grey Cup…there was nothing else going on. NOTHING. We headed out to Kensington Market and arrived just in time to see all the shops close. I must give my husband credit here – he (like most people I know), doesn’t remotely relate to my sense of style. But, (I suppose to allow for me to bask in my happy place) he accompanied me to every hippie clothing store that caught my eye and with a curious look of bewilderment on his face, he smiled and nodded as I excitedly pointed out multicolored bags and jackets full of peace signs and banners with New Age quotes. (I think he was secretly relieved the market was shutting down.)

When we headed for the movies and I fought the urge to beg him to watch Breaking Dawn (why would I put myself through that movie again you ask? Read here lol) we got tickets for Freefall instead. It’s the least I could do considering I had fallen asleep 3 times while he drove for 5 hours and, well, we can’t ignore the hippie stores ๐Ÿ™‚ Note to self: Next time we find ourselves heading to Toronto during the 100th Grey Cup game, buy tickets to attend.

Monday night we took a short stroll down Young Street and ate dinner at Milestones before heading back on the long drive home…I don’t remember the last time we had a quiet dinner out just the two of us. It was weird nice. We talked about our days and at one point he told me I should become a Financial Advisor. I laughed and told him that maybe one day he would have the opportunity to marry one. He looked at me and said “I don’t think I would ever be able to get along with a Financial Advisor” Perplexed, I asked why then would he ever suggest that I become one. He simply replied “Well, that’s different. You and I, we don’t usually ever see eye to eye anyway. It would just be more of the same.” Great! ๐Ÿ™‚

Heading back home in the dark, I was determined to stay awake so he wouldn’t be driving alone. No worries, there….my insomnia never lets me down! Snow started to fall. At first it was light and beautiful. It gradually made it’s way to fast and furious. You know when you’re driving in a blizzard,ย  you look out the window and it feels like you’ve been transported into a Star Wars space shuttle flying through the universe? Don’t tell me I’m the only one who sees it. I know you’ve seen it too.

We were both starting to get a little anxious about visibility – or lack there of – so I did all I could to calm our nerves…I started to sing. Hmmmm…..the look on Curtis’ face told me that my singing voice sounded better in my own ears than in his. He tried his best to keep a straight face. Well, at least it made him laugh ๐Ÿ˜‰

The further we drove, the worse the roads became. At one point we couldn’t see anything. Not the middle of the road, not the side of the road, only millions of giant white snowflakes coming right at us. We both looked at each other and wondered how we would drive any further. There were no hotels nearby and nowhere to stop to wait it out. At that exact moment, the radio played “We Will Die Young”. I kid you not! We just looked at each other wondering out loud if this is how it ends? Does everyone get a sign like this when their time comes?

I told Curtis that if anything were ever to happen to me, he deserved to find someone who “had it all together”, someone who was always well prepared for each and every day, someone who would take good care of him, and be able to find their keys, someone who was my exact polar opposite. My heart swelled when he shook his head and said that no, he wouldn’t want his life to be any other way than what it was right now. I never knew until the moment I heard those words coming out of his mouth, how much I needed to hear them.

The roads cleared, I continued to sing, Curtis continued to practice tuning me out, and life returned to normal….with a just a hint of even-better!

Isn’t it beautiful how life finds a way of working itself out so imperfectly perfect?

Embrace your awesomeness, and the crazy beautiful world in which you live!

On The Verge of Crazy or Helplessly Charismatic?

Sometimes I wish I were different. I guess at some point we all do, don’t we? Today I’m having one of those days.

Normally I take great pride in being the creative free spirit I am. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but this creative free spirit has no sense of time, order, direction, or balance. I live in a house of chaos. Are you familiar with the saying “A place for everything and everything has a place” ? In my home we have a saying too; “Anything could be anywhere, good luck”. It doesn’t help my condition any. You see, I’m also a chronic loser. Everyday, as many times as I use my van, I loose my keys. The lists I make in my attempt to keep me semi-functional vanish into some vast invisible hole as quickly as they are made. At the end of the day I often find myself thinking “Oh, today would have been the perfect day to (insert brilliant idea here). Normally, I see all these little quirks as the pieces that add a little extra adventure to my life (sometimes a lot!) It keeps my days full of entertainment. I honestly never know what a day will hold. Part of me finds this type of scattered existence oddly comforting. My kids seem to find humor in it, they laugh every day because they can’t help not to.

Sometimes it might be nice to experience being on time and prepared for anything, but I guess that would make me someone I am not and I have to admit, I’m pretty damn good at being the free spirit that I am.

I don’t know if it’s the rain, the full moon, the missing wallet, the pants I ruined in the washing machine, the stress of impending home renovations, or the baking that I’ve put off getting done to the very second for the bake sale at work, but I can’t help wondering, was hurricane Sandy named after me?

On a more serious note, please pray for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Excitement At The Grocery Store

In response to a comment made on A Solo Adventure of a Geographically Challenged Mom I felt I should explain a little about the trip to the grocery store with my sister.

First, let me introduce you to my sister. My little Angie, who I refer to as Boojie – but that’s a whole other story) is 5 years younger than I. She is one of the most efficient and organized people I know. Boojie always has a schedule, a plan. She always knows what she’s doing next, and she prepares herself accordingly. Her home is immaculate, she’s an excellent cook, she’s wicked smart and always brings a smile to my face. She has an energetic, happy demeanor, and won’t hesitate to set people straight when she’s got something to say. She is a whole package of wonderful.

I, on the other hand am more of a free spirit. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants. If I have a plan at all, it’s normally a very loose plan with plenty of room for screw ups (did I say screw ups? I meant adventure). Sometimes I like to think that Boojie turned out the way she did by watching her big sister growing and thinking “OMG! I don’t want to be like that!” All I can say inย  my defense is “You’re welcome Boojie!” ๐Ÿ™‚

This story takes place at a stressful time in my life when I struggled with anxiety (long before my Journey through Miracles).

So my sister calls me up, “Want to come to Renfrew with me? The new grocery store there has great deals this week.” Haven’t had experiencedย  this new grocery store yet, and always up for a road trip with my sister I excitedly agree.

She comes to pick me up (because she refuses to let me drive her anywhere), her trunk is completely cleaned out, her bags are neatly folded and packed together, and her grocery list is sitting neatly folded beside her with a pen. I get in her car with a grocery bag stuffed with other bags, and a notepad with a stack of recipe books (always better to make a list – I will make mine on the way). Boojie turns to me with her usual greeting: “Got your purse?” I respond with my traditional “Oh, Dang!”

Once I have my purse, my bankcard, and my money, we head to Renfrew. Before we hit the end of my street, we’re sharing stories, enjoying our time and the gift of each other. As we near Renfrew, we’re laughing to point where there are tears in our eyes and we’re both hoping our bladders don’t fail us before we get to the store.

When we arrive, I’m instantly glad I came. The store is clean, the isles are wide, things are easy to spot, and the prices are great. Boojie knows exactly where she’s going, so I’m happy following her lead.

By the time we get to the cash, our cart is full. the cash lines are busy, there are people everywhere and I’m still in awe at how smoothly the whole place runs. As we near the cash, Boojie puts her serious get-down-to-business face on – which always makes me nervous- and she asks “Do you want to bag or unload?” Bag? We have to bag ourselves? Normally this wouldn’t fizz me at all, but I’ve noticed how busy the store is and how quickly people are moving through, I also know how particular my sister is with her groceries. I look back at our cartful and although we’ve separated the groceries; hers and mine, I’m not entirely sure anymore exactly whose is whose. “I’ll bag” I say.

The cashier starts scanning, Boojie is unloading like with like allowing me to pack accordingly. the groceries start coming at me faster, more people are in the line, carts are moving all around me, people are looking for boxes, the belt is getting full. My breathing starts to get shallow, I was starting to sweat, my anxiety was going through the roof. Why would they make you bag your own groceries when it’s so extremely busy?ย  I looked at the people, looked at all the groceries, and did my best not to make eye contact with my sister as I opened up a bag, stretched out my arm, and quickly and gracefully swept as many groceries as I could into my open bag all at once. I could feel Boojie’s eyes on me as I went for the next bag. Her eyes were huge and she was NOT happy. “Stop it! We’re switching places Sandy!” I could see the anger rising in her as she thoroughly re-arranged the mess I had made of that last grocery bag. In that moment, I knew she was going to let me have it, and walking out of the store she did! “Who does that Sandy?” and something about the importance of grocery bagging and such….

She was so appalled, she wouldn’t let me unload the groceries into the truck. I sat in the car and wondered why on earth such an efficient store would want the end the customers experience in kaos? I could still hear Boojie mumbling words obviously meant for me as she packed her trunk.

Once again I found myself admiring her highly organized habits that make her life so much more efficient than mine and I thought to myself “Your welcome Boojie” ๐Ÿ™‚

The moral of the story is this: Although we are all different, if we stay open, we may just realize that we all bring out the best in each other….and I love my sister โค

The Solo Adventure of a Geographically Challenged Mom

I always used to say “If you get lost with a friend, it’s an adventure. To get lost by yourself would be scary.”

Earlier this week, I was sent to Toronto for training…by myself. For a girl with absolutely no sense of direction and little observation, this was a giant step outside my comfort zone. Clearly I needed to accept that the time had come for me to REALLY live by my own words.

Traveling by train was great! The view was stunning and lucky for me, I had a window seat! A few cities into my trip, a woman sat beside me. We hit it off instantly, sharing our love of books and some personal stories. I thoroughly enjoyed our visit and thought to myself “what a great way to start my adventure.”

At 10pm, I reached Toronto. I followed everyone in front of me hoping for the best. Taxis were waiting outside…Bonus! As I jumped in, horns were honking, cars were so tight together, swerving to miss each other. My driver is speaking a different language probably to shield me from hearing his words meant for the other drivers. I asked if it was always like this. He burst out laughing saying “rush hour is over. The streets are bare!”

I stayed at the Delta Chelsea, the hotel was GORGEOUS and they had upgraded me to a suite! SWEET!

The next morning I decided things were going so well, I’d walk to the training center. It should have taken no more than 1o mins. and I’d left a half hour early just in case. With my mapquest printout in hand, I set out on my way. The sights, the people, the buildings, the rush of the city, I took everything in. I couldn’t make any sense of the map, so I started stopping people on the street, asking them for directions. Everyone was so nice. It was easy to see the appeal of big city living.

Panic started to set in when I realized the address I had been looking for led me to an old boarded up building. Taking the Mapquest print out of my pocket, I asked a small group of youth sitting outside the building if this was were I was supposed to be. They laughed and said “this is the right address, but I don’t think this is where you’re supposed to be”. Time to call work back home.

Yep, I had the wrong address and I’m now late for my training! Time to hail a taxi! Having lived in a small town my entire life, this was something new. As I gave the driver the address, I realized my training was being held on the same street as my hotel! How could I possibly have gotten so lost!

After my workshop, I felt a renewed sense of confidence as I headed out to return to my hotel. I noticed things were looking very different than they had in the morning. There were people begging for change, the streets and sidewalks were congested with people, the cars were beeping and everything was rushed. My heart was sinking for the people I realized may very well spend a night without a meal. I wanted to find a coffee shop, somewhere I could stop and pickย  up some food for these people so many were trying to ignore. I started to wonder, why hadn’t I passed any coffee shops? Why hadn’t I noticed these dark passageways on my way this morning? No one was making eye contact, people were shouting across the streets, everyone’s eyes were fixed forward. They were so rushed, some of them running. Panic was starting to set in. I knew I was lost. Finally I caught up to a young woman and asked her to point me in the right direction. For a spit second, she considered ignoring me, but she met my eyes and said “You are not where you want to be. You need to go back to where you started and ask someone for directions from there.” I didn’t want to go back, I didn’t want to keep moving forward. I wanted another cab and there were none to be found.

Eventually I made my way back to the hotel.

In the morning, I decided I wasn’t taking any chances. I had a train to catch after my workshop and I couldn’t be late for that. I packed my luggage and hopped into a cab. My driver dropped me off and I entered the wrong doors. Everything was locked and I couldn’t get inside. I walked around the building in the rain, luggage in tow searching for the right doors.ย  Time to call work back home.ย  They guided me to the right doors, I took the wrong elevator – twice – and eventually made it to the training center on time ๐Ÿ™‚

After the workshop, I called a taxi to drop me off at the train station. No more getting lost.ย  I noticed the pedestrians were moving faster than my cab. As we crawl up the first block, the driverย  tells me that he can’t take me all the way to train station, it’s been under construction for a year and no cars can get to the doors. He would drive me as far as he could, and then I would need to walk the rest of the way.

As we crawl up the second street, my driver starts yelling “Get out! Get out!” I look around, I’m in the middle of the street, there are cars and people everywhere. I look at him pleading “You want me to get out here?? But I don’t know where I’m going! And I need a receipt!” He continues to point down the street to what I recognize as one of the dark places I crossed the night before, saying “Get out! Get out! Lights changing! Cars behind! Get out! Get out!”

I threw open my door and started pulling on my luggage which had somehow managed to get stuck inside the cab. The driver continued to repeat “Get out! Get out!” I started to panic, and suddenly saw the humor in all of it. Laughing, still trying to get my luggage free, hoping not to pee my pants, the driver, then perturbed, met my eyes and started to chuckle himself.

I started to walk toward what I hoped could only be an unmarked train station, which security guards did confirm once I was inside. I made it to my train, survived Toronto, and once again enjoyed the gift of a new friend brought together by food ๐Ÿ™‚ We laughed, shared stories, even tears. And I thought to myself “what a great way to end my adventure.”

I always used to say “If you get lost with a friend, it’s an adventure. To get lost by yourself would be scary.” Now I say “If you get lost with a friend, it’s an adventure. If you get lost by yourself, it’s an even bigger one!”

Here’s to celebrating your each and every adventure!

Embrace Your Awesomeness!

Your comments are the most rewarding part my of sharing a piece of myself with you. I’d love to hear your thoughts โค

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โ€œTo live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.โ€ โ€• Oscar Wilde

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