30 in 30 (unfortunately we are not talking about my age)

So today (well technically yesterday now) I did something I have wanted to do for awhile. The local yoga studio is holding a 30 day yoga challenge from Feb 1 to Mar 1, and I signed up to participate – the goal being to complete 30 classes in 30 days. I have seen 30 day yoga challenges advertised at various studios before, including this one, and always wanted to sign up – but there was always a barrier that my mind put up for myself and it just never happened… I wasn’t sure if I could actually fit it in to my schedule, I felt some programs at studios were too restrictive and I didn’t want to waste money, and other times I just was too chicken to try it (some silly fear that I would be embarrassed or feel like a failure if I couldn’t do it perfectly), or that weird thought that it was something other people could do, but not me.

Well this past year I have been making some changes, and well… I decided it was time to stop thinking about it and just start it – so I made the call, got the low down on how it works, and signed up. My first class is at 6-7am in the morning (better get to bed). Tonight I got the calendar out and started working out the schedule – my strategy being that if I just plan 2 or 3 days at a time it should work out fine. So far it seems like it might actually be not that bad. I am also hoping to prove to myself that I really can fit in something for myself almost everyday if I plan well. And as for the 30 in 30, really… who cares if I don’t do it perfectly or if I don’t end up making it to every single class – the point is this is a personal challenge for me, and only me – just to have fun with and relax, to get closer to myself, to get more fit, to take time for me….and you know? …I might end up surprising myself. I have a feeling this is something I have been needing for awhile and I am sure I will get out of it much more than I know at this time. It feels like the start of a mini journey with myself and I am excited to start.

So a little about yoga in my life…

I grew up doing Yoga before I knew what it was or what it would become in today’s world. It was just a form of exercise that my mum taught at the local highschool one evening a week to the local neighbourhood mums. It was pretty casual back then – no fancy studio, no huge classes with pretty mats and hi-tech gear. I have vivid memories of her teaching when I was a child… I remember watching her get ready in the evenings in her bedroom… putting on the black stirrup leggings, the violet body suit… I remember going to class with her – walking down the quiet upper hallway at the school to one of the classrooms – sitting in a circle with the desks moved to the side (later in my life this would be one my classrooms that I sat in during my highschool years and a hallway I would walk during the day). To this day I can recall those evenings… hear her voice walking us through poses, her gently guiding the other mums.. I can see her handing out my dad’s ties for help with stretches, and of course relaxing at the end on our backs with the lights dimmed and music on (which I now know is Shavasana). You know I even remember some of the mums in the class – especially the one that could bend like a pretzel and touch her toes with her whole body straight against her legs.

And then there was the music… I have such a strong memory of the music… tapes that went into her little black portable tape player with the handle on top (I loved that tape player). At home I remember doing Sun Salutations with her in the morning to Cat Stevens “Morning has broken” (I chose this song to be part of my wedding ceremony as it was such a happy memory)… and there wouldn’t be yoga without Zamfir or James Gallway. There really was always yoga casually happening in our hourse – but it wasn’t a big deal back then – it was just part of what made my mum (she taught for 18 years). She would practice casually in the living room, or on vacation while we were at the beach. And I can’t forget her coming to elementary school and teaching our class in the gym – we would do a big lion’s roar, or pretend to be turtles…

To circle back to the future… a number of years ago just as Yoga started becoming more mainstream, I suddenly realized I knew how to do this thing called yoga from that strong foundation my mum had built…I just hadn’t thought about it much really – it was just there in the background of my memory. I had always done ballet and was blessed with flexibility so it felt like a natural transition back to my roots when I started to casually dip my toe into a class here and there – but what I really wanted and craved was to find a class that I really loved the energy and where I really loved the instructor. I am happy to say I have now found that and attend one evening class a week close to home and love it – I know it is partly because my teacher and the class remind me and embody the spirit of those evenings with my mum at her classes… relaxed, casual, fun, non-intimidating, extremely well taught, in a local setting (not in a studio), with a caring teacher. It is helping me get through all the challenges of modern day life now that I am an adult.

… and…

perhaps it has given me the confidence to try this 30 in 30 challenge at the local studio. I am not sure but I am not going to think about it too much and am just going to do it. Time to face the challenge head on.

I believe, or rather know now, that my mum was ahead of the times as I grew up and has given me the gift of an open mind and many healthy habits… we didn’t know it back then as kids… but yoga, vitamins, brown bread, sugar free natural peanut butter, fruit leather instead of fruit rollups, chiropractic care, great family doctor and dentist, no salt, etc. …. and I am thanking her now for building in these things to my life. She continues to inspire me today with her successes, passion and determination and I hope to bring that to this challenge as well.

Now wish me luck… I’ll keep you posted on the journey.

Enjoy,
Jane ๐Ÿ™‚

PS. My sister is also on a yoga journey in her life right now and I am so excited for her. She is an amazing support for my life and another motivator for me to just do it, so a huge thank you to my sister as well as my mum. I think I will dedicate this challenge to the strong women in my life, including myself.


Ahhh sweet time on my hands…. or is it? (oh and a side note on Rubbermaid containers)

(WARNING: This blog post may be hard to follow at times due to some rambling on and a few digressions into side topics – therefore seemingly disjointed at times. Please read at your own risk….and enjoy. It made me laugh – I hope you do too – Cheers, Jane)

So.

I know the constant repetitive sound bite constantly running around in my brain. And referenced in my previous posts. And discussed with various people that likely have a similar theme…. “I don’t have enough time to myself”, “I need more hours in the day”, “I want more time to do the things I want to do for just me”….

…. like blogging, like downloading photos, cleaning (yes I actually crave time to clean these days), like sleeping (yes sweet sleeping), making photobooks (started a few, have yet to actually finish one but it is on my 2012 bucket list), like working out (sooo not happening today but I did run at the gym last night so we’ll let it go), like watching a sweet guilty pleasure nothing show (check check already done tonight… and yes I will admit a slight attachment to a certain set of Real Housewives shows and perhaps Millionaire Matchmaker that perhaps I do tape obsessively on my PVR… along with intelligent shows like Law and Order of course)…phew. Ok anyways to finally say it… just “ahhh sweet time” to do whatever I please type of time.

Now…. as I sit here writing this blog, that is exactly what I have (insert singing angel sound here). It is Friday night and well Aidan, my 2 year old, is already fast asleep in bed – crashed to be more accurate… at gasp! 6:15pm! (more on this further down) and I really can do whatever I want.

It is peaceful, the dog is snoring on the landing, I just watched my PVR’d Millionaire Matchmaker (yay new season on SLICE just started – love it!)… right ok back to the topic on hand… where was I?

… oh yes… peaceful, quiet, house to myself, ET Canada is on in the background (really…who doesn’t do this as a background filler when there is nothing really on), the fireplace is on, I have a cozy blanket on my lap and I am finally typing again on my blog – which I have been aching to get to. “Ahh sweet time” – just what I wanted.

Right?

So… how is this going? Well I am happy and very much feeling relaxed and I am writing on my blog …but… well it is only 7:30pm and I miss the crazy of my son running around, and the bedtime routine, and the potty requests after he is in bed…and I really missed him yelling mummy and running at me, then leaping into my arms for a hug when I get home after work!

… Because today… he didn’t want to nap as it turned out and was asleep before I even turned my truck off in the garage after work. He was so tired after his great day with his dad that he had fallen asleep on the way home. So I left him to lie on the couch and rest for a few more minutes while I made dinner and then carried on innocently thinking he would surely wake up to eat…

yeah… so that didn’t work out so well.

…I had everything ready – fish fingers, grilled and seasoned asparagus and zucchini, and of course some vegetable infused KD (first time trying it) – what kid doesn’t wake up for some KD? – and so now I make an attempt to stir, wake, rouse, try and get him to wake up for dinner.

Right…

….Crying, flopping, more soft crying, asleep on my shoulder… “wake up it’s time for dinner, I have noodles for you”, sleepy head, managed to sit him in his chair, flopping and oops big tear drops down his cheeks, “oh dear…out of it”.

huh…asleep in his high chair….

ok this is not going so well. I am thinking bed is a smarter option… loving sigh… picked him up, took him upstairs and plopped him into his bed, sang a song for oh about half a second, and he completely crashed out again. 6:15pm. Yup crashed, done, finished – totally fast asleep! More loving looks, goodnight kiss on the forehead… ok then.

Downstairs I go…

I guess I’ll put his dinner away in case he wants it later… I stare down at my neatly cut up fish and veggies, and the orange glow of the KD, and think – (and here goes the commercial plug that is totally of my own doing) – ahhh thank goodness for my Rubbermaid non stain storage containers right now because I literally can put a lid on this and pop it in the fridge – loving it. How easy was that ! No fuss, no mess – and stored neatly away in a lovely container that won’t stain, won’t smell and can be heated up later if he wakes up. Oh and it looks pretty too (as the non staining version has a fancy swirl pattern). I have to say – I bought these for their marketing and packaging – the promise of no stains and pretty swirls….because I truly despise smelly, old or stained plastic storage containers that get all scratched and grimy.

I found these a year or so ago and they have completely lived up to the promise and more – for real.
They are a little more expensive but I bought them on sale at London Drugs originally and haven’t looked back – I would get at least 4 more sets if I had room. And I digress further… I actually also use them for bowls for Aidan for spaghetti and meatballs, or anything really, because the high sides make it easy for him to get to his food as he pushes his spoon or fork around in his oh so coordinated 2 year old way, and so important…the food doesn’t fall out over the side (I find alot of the kiddie plates and bowls are just not quite what I need – they seem to be either too small or have no sides or have dividers… and are just not working for right now – these fit perfectly). Plus like tonight’s example – when needed – you just pop the lid on and store it without having to do any transferring – and tonight it means one less dish to clean. Oh and I also love them for work for my lunches, and for storing soup or leftovers. Then when you are done with them they store nicely and the lids fit together and underneath them.

They truly do what they said they were supposed to do and are still stain free, streak free and stink free a year later – even after multiple spaghetti sauce storings and dishwasher cycles (insert more singing angels) – and they look brand new to me still – so LOVE these. Yup a big shout out recommendation for Rubbermaid for these. (Totally plugged on my own accord – no payments to endorse this product were made and I am completely hooked on this product after real life testing).

….Ok I think have sidetracked way too much on the Rubbermaid containers.

where was I? ah right yes… missing mummy time tonight…

And here comes part 2 of this blog (or really I guess part 3 after the Rubbermaid mini blog)
This is what I figured out and is the cheezy finale of tonight’s blog post…(not really rocket science but hey… this is my life so I get to think what I want ha ha)…

I was sitting here with my longed for “ahh sweet time” but wasn’t fully enjoying it (yet)… and I realized I was missing the time I get to be “mummy” – usually the time before and after work and then on the weekend. The busy and crazy and fun and noisy and loving time – the “yay it is finally the weekend” time where I get two whole days to fill as “at home me, as wife me, as mummy me, as dog owner me, daughter me, sister me etc.”….time that the long list of competing characters are fighting for outside of work week me.

It is making “me” think about this a little – or maybe a lot (yes I do like to analyze) – and I guess I am realizing that I just need to grab onto and enjoy all the “me times” in my life – whenever I am blessed to have them, planned or unplanned (and perhaps next time not think about it so much).

… another lesson learned or re-confirmed as a parent to remember to go with the flow and also just appreciate all the moments I get to enjoy whenever they happen – even if they don’t fall into the “planned” or “normal” times I expect them to. I shouldn’t be wishing for something and then when I have it, be wishing for something else.

I am pretty sure this is all part of some famous cliche …seizing the moment… seizing the day (remember girls? – Carpe Diem – “Dead Poets Society” – one of the best movies ever!)

….right getting sidetracked again…

This night and this blog is a reminder (again) to take in every minute. Life isn’t predictable – and will always surprise us – even a silly thing like no nap equalling a 6:15pm bedtime – and therefore leading to what I now would say is a blissfully enjoyable “me” night.

Enjoy all the “you” times in your life and run with it.

So now I am now going to hit publish on this blog. Then I am going to watch some pure guilty pleasure TV (anyone else seen Hillbilly Handfishen’?? yeah bizarre – think I’ll find something a little more girly), and finally some “ahhh sleep sweet sleep” (at least til I hear “muuuuummmy”)

Night all!
Cheers, Jane ๐Ÿ™‚

PS. One more parent lesson I think came out of tonight – perhaps we are not quite ready to live without napping quite yet as I am pretty confident that fitting dinner in is usually a good thing before crashing in one’s bed. For tonight, I think I will just laugh and go with it – and enjoy a little time to myself.


A letter to my girlfriends:

This life as we grow older, I have come to realize so clearly lately, has us all trying to squeeze everyone we care about into tiny packets of time. We are all running at this frantic pace all the time and we do our best to balance the time we have to also see each other – but mostly we squeeze in a visit here and there when we can – and certainly not as often as we like..

Going back to work full time as a mum now, even though I truly love my job, has been difficult as I struggle with that balance of where to put everything in my life plus how to see all of you in person – and how to keep up in a meaningful way. As a highly empathetic and sensitive person I always feel guilty when I am not in touch enough or not getting pictures out or …well you know the script. And I certainly am not alone in feeling like this – look at all those mummy bloggers out there telling it like it is, and isn’t it always a theme when catching up over a good bottle of red wine or a cup of coffee.

BUT my dear girlfriends, I am telling you that lately I am realizing that I must let this go and accept that it is OK if I am not perfect at it. I am becoming more forgiving of myself because I am hyper aware right now of what I now know without a doubt to be true – the complete impossibility of squeezing my entire personal life into two weekend days and a few evenings (let’s just say I have run scientific testing on this with conclusive results proving this outcome LOL).

So I am not claiming this as my own at all or as anything new… certainly all of us have our crazy schedules and endless to do lists regardless of whether we are mums, or are working or are at home.. or whatever we may be doing… I am just sharing my thoughts about it at this time in my life because it seems so darn clear right now.

It is all part of putting my life in perspective which is one of the reasons I started this blog. And you know what… I think that generally many of us seem to be doing pretty well in our grown up lives – for the most part I believe we are very blessed with what we have in this life, where we live, who we have in our lives, and the successes I have seen us all have. This seems cheesy perhaps, but I really do think about how fortunate I am and how very lucky I was to be born into this life. I wouldn’t change it – but I do wish I could have more time in it – another thing I am hyper aware of now that I am a mummy. I wish I could have more time on this planet (but I’ll save that topic for another day)…

So to my girlfriends… I have this to say to you:
I wanted to let you know that I miss you, a lot.
I wanted to let you know that I think of you often, daily in fact.
I wanted to let you know that I feel guilty that I can’t see you more.
I wanted to let you know that I am always there for you.
I wanted to let you know that if I am silent, I am usually dealing with a difficult issue
…or perhaps am just in a busy bubble attempting to cross off some of those to do list items (like finally tidying my shoes and coats in the hallway closet – which I am happy to say I got done this weekend).
Speaking of coats – I wanted to let you know I have kept my leopard print coat to remind me of days gone by.
I wanted to let you know that I admire all of you for everything you fit in, accomplish, and do in your lives.
I wanted to let you know that I am so proud of you for the wonderful women, wives, mums, career women, and beautiful people you have grown up to be.
I wanted to let you know that we all share the same stories.
I wanted to let you know that you are never alone.
I wanted to let you know that it is difficult sometimes but you can stand tall through anything.
I wanted to let you know that there really isn’t enough time to do it all – so take it easy on yourselves.
I wanted to let you know that you should always trust your gut feeling (this is a big one).
I wanted to let you know that I miss having tea with you.
I wanted to let you know I enjoy our visits so very much when we do see each other.
I wanted to let you know that I have so much more to say to you but am going to stop here – as I think I might never stop otherwise.

Take care of yourselves (and plan to have that bubble bath while reading a great magazine)!
Always, Jane

PS. I wanted to let you know that I finally figured out why mums shop early for everything ๐Ÿ˜‰


Blogging newbie…. finding the time

So this is just my 2nd post in the world of blogging. I have to say that after my first Goldfish post – I enjoyed writing it so much that I was super excited to delve into writing and publishing posts – but wow… that whole time and balance thing got me and the weeks started to tick by without another post in site. Truth be told, I did write another blog post in my notebook with yes “a real pen”… and I will be adding it to the blog soon.

But to stick to this topic… .

…why am I any different than anyone else that does manage to post? I’m not. Everyone struggles with finding the time. We are all super busy trying to be super mums, super dads, super women, and super everything – and well in reality life just gets in the way sometimes. I am not saying that people are not well accomplished, or not great parents or not good at a number of things in their lives – but I think the perfectly balanced life doesn’t exist in the way we think it should. Reality Check – we just can’t do it all. BUT that said… I do think it comes down to picking out some of the things that are meaningful to us and enrich our lives – that we just have to make time for. So now I need to do that because this is something that is giving back to me and is enriching me. And hopefully providing some enjoyment to others as well.

And to all of you that have blogs and manage to get on and make the time – you are motivating me as well, so thank you.

I do have lots of ideas and they will be coming, but before I carry on – I wanted to say – yes I am new at this, yes my site is still a work in progress, but I am so happy that I started this blog – I feel liberated and happy and excited to keep going. Thank you to everyone that read my first Goldfish post and sent me such supportive comments.

Speaking of finding the time… that sleep thing is on that important list! Night all.
Cheers, Jane ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Goldfish

I opened the door to my Ford Escape the other morning as I was heading out to work and was greeted with the sight of a single Goldfish cracker that had made its way under my drivers seat.

I saw it and had two thoughts 1) “huh” there is a Goldfish cracker under my seat… and 2) this would be a good blog entry (even though I had been thinking about it but didn’t quite have a blog yet).

As usual, I was loaded up with bags, keys, phones and the like – and hopped into the car without removing the Goldfish from its resting pace. As I was driving to work I kept thinking about this little orange Goldfish sitting under the left side of my seat. The same script kept running through my mind “you know you are a mum when you find a Goldfish cracker under the seat of your car” and I couldn’t help but laugh at myself and the sheer silliness of it all – partly at the fact that I had actually left the Goldfish where it was to clean up later – but also because it made me realize the chaotic but joyful nature of my life now as a full time working mum (we have a 2 year old), wife, daughter, sister, friend, etc…let’s just say it was a good reminder to lighten up and go easy on myself in the constant attempt to balance everything each day.

So this was a few days ago, and well yes I have to admit, terrible as this is, that the Goldfish is in fact still under the seat. It has now become the name of my new blog and I swear I will remove it from under the seat after I post this, my first blog entry.

Although I have been thinking about blogging for awhile now – I just had not gotten around to it ย (kind of like a lot of things on the “write it down” never ending to do list which I’ll explain later and that I am sure many people have a version of) but I was also scared of jumping into the unknown public blogging space. I needed a reminder to get going and go for it and this Goldfish really started me thinking of things I wanted to blog about that I could imagine people, and especially busy women, relating to.

And it just so happens that at work we have also been doing social media training for our client with Shane Gibson of Socialized! (http://www.socialized.me/) – and we happened to be covering blogging in this week’s training session. So Voila… ย no more putting it off – tonight after a good solitary run at the seawall and some more pondering, I shared with my awesome sister the name I was thinking about for my blog and this story that inspired it. I then picked up my 2 year old from my parents and came home, put him back to bed, then just got going. Now a few hours later I have arrived in blogger land with my Goldfish in tow.

This is all new to me, but I am just going to go for it and learn and add new things as I go. I plan to enjoy writing in this new space (I have kept an assortment of those old school paper diaries throughout the years). And as we learned yesterday in our training, it doesn’t have to be perfect… and that is partly the point of blogging right? So am I a little fearful of this new and public space… yup. Am I excited to get started… yup. Am I nervous about what people may think… yup. But it doesn’t matter, because this is for me and anyone else that comes along and gets some enjoyment out of it, in whatever form it takes.

So if you have found The Goldfish Diaries then welcome, I hope you enjoy it, crumbs and all.ย Cheers, Jane ๐Ÿ™‚