Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Forget

Yesterday was a difficult day for me. I had firmly planted in my brain that today was going to be even harder. And it was, for a little while.

Then this word crossed my desk...


I have that!

I want things, I plan for them, I set goals and take steps everyday to move myself closer to them. Then they don't come to me as quickly as I want them and I get impatient. I get impatient and forget everything I know.

I forget that you are only in charge of your desires not their arrival

I forget that you don't always get what you want but it is usually because there is something better waiting for you.

I forget that buckets are filled a drop at a time

I forget that the best place to be is in now, breathing this breath and letting the future unfold according to a greater plan.

I forget that things happen for a reason

I forget that the reason is not always clear

I forget that I am exactly where I am meant to be at this minute

I forget that I am not alone in the world and I have a role to play in someone else's story

I forget that we never remain in any place in life too long

I forget that the things I cried about in the past have shaped where I am today and made me a stronger person

I forget to trust

I forget

Impatience does this to me.

I forget to have faith

Yesterday was a day of impatience, today was a day of recognition, tomorrow is a day of growing in patience and practicing to breath...

...So I don't forget.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Getting Back to a Dream

Tomorrow is not going to be a good day. I know because today I have been visiting my past; a past where I had what I always wanted. Believe it or not once upon a time I was a lucky one, a person blessed to be living the life they have dreamed.

I am living proof that you can do it. I am also living proof that you can give it all up. I did that too. Now I spend a split second of every day angry and disappointed in myself. It happens at 9:26 each morning when I slip my key into the lock of my office door and flip the switch that starts another day of addressing form letters, tracking missed insurance payments and problem solving. I unlock that door and I am angry, not at my job; that would be foolish. I am grateful for my job, for the ability to earn a living and provide for my family. I work with nice people and nice people sign my paycheck. There are many people who pray every day for the opportunity of employment. I am not angry at my job, I am angry at myself. Angry that I didn’t fight harder for my dream while I was living it, angry that I didn’t try harder to turn the situation inside out and look at every other conceivable option before doing the ‘right’ thing. Every day I turn that key and I think “the right thing for who?” Did my children entering school fulltime have to end my privilege to live my dream?  Wouldn’t the right thing for me, for my family, for my children have been to find a way, anyway to stay home in the role that I dreamt my whole life to fill, doing the things that bring my heart joy? Wouldn’t the right decision have been to believe in myself enough to build on my dream rather than trade it in for what was expected of me?

And I answer myself, “Yes that would have been the right thing, but you made the wrong decision. You didn’t fight hard enough, you didn’t find another way. You cashed in the chips on the life you always wanted.” I acknowledge my mistake put the cork back in my regret and I check the messages on my machine, scan my emails and review my to-do list for the day. I carry on. I carry on and I do a good job but I’m not really there. My heart is at school and on field trips, home cooked meals and sorting socks (yes even the domestic chore I hate more than any other is forefront in my mind) I clock out at 5, head home, soak in as much domestic bliss as I possibly can before heading to bed and getting up to do it all again the next day. My job is akin to my mother’s arthritis. It aches and causes her discomfort but she pushes through and does what she needs to do to live with it. Most days it’s okay, I can manage it, laugh at where I’ve put myself and, make the most of the day, do the very best with the task I’ve taken upon myself and remind myself that the money is making other great things possible.

Then sometimes my mistake hits home and immobilizes me. All it takes is a personal day or the arrival of my Friday off or like this week, someone getting sick and needing me at home. That’s when I feel it, the comfort of being back in my place, the return to being who I am in my heart. I am reminded I have done the wrong thing. I’ve done the wrong thing and I don’t have a clue how to fix it.

On a day like today when I know tomorrow means a return to my job I feel helplessly lost, I cy, I get angry with myself for giving up so easily. My daughter would call me a hypocrite. “Mom, you spend so much time encouraging everyone to follow their heart to pursue their dreams to do whatever it takes to live their passion every day. Then you do the opposite.” She is not wrong. She also does not see that I spend that time because I have lived in that beautiful space of my dream, I did it for 13 years; and I let it go just like that. I opened my hand and responsibility blew it from my outstretched palm. I put a smile on my face and pretended I was excited to return to work, but it was a lie. One the consequences of which I have to fix, if I can just figure out how. What she doesn’t get to see is the regret. She doesn't know that my wrong is the thing that makes me push so hard for other people to it do right.

Tomorrow is not going to be a good day, I know that. I am going to head into the office, I am going to turn that key and wish worse than ever that I was home, where I belong taking care of the life I dreamed for myself. I am going to be angry and disappointed with myself. Then I am going to do something I usually stop short of; I am going to work on the fix until I have a plan to get back to where I belong.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hockey on My Terms

I’ve been trying, with great conviction, to write all week. I brew fresh coffee, plunk down in my favourite writing spot, tuck my left foot up under my right leg and begin...

and hockey comes out. Hockey comes out and a little voice in the back of my head screams NOOOOO…not here too!

Don’t get me wrong, I love hockey. Okay, not really. To be more accurate I love the people in my life who love hockey, so I go along with it. Going along was pretty easy in the beginning of the season this year, we were restricted to house league games and our hometown OHL heroes. House league is good, mostly because there is no place in this entire world I would rather be than watching one of my kids live their passion. The OHL is good; all those Friday home games leave me with an empty house and some time to rejuvenate my inner calm. But then it happened; the end of the NHL lockout, and we switched to all hockey all the time. The Hockey Night in Canada theme song is an earworm loop from sun up to sun down.  When the sun does go down, in my sleep Don Cherry narrates a play by play of my day, tells me exactly where I messed up and what to expect tomorrow. I can’t escape. We are so deep in the quicksand of hockey that it has leaked right into my creative spirit and I can’t even pen a thought that isn’t associated in some way with hockey.

I have Hockey Block.

There are only two ways to handle any kind of block; Turn around and go home or push it out of the way. I can’t go home, writing is my home. So I have to push.

An exercise in turning hockey terms into relevant terms:

Offside – what the cat does with a glass left on the table.

Face-off – Removal of makeup before bed each night.

Left wing – right-wing – a snack in each hand

Power play – remote control supremacy

Tripping – a mother’s reaction to chores that get ignored

Penalty box – locking yourself in the washroom for a timeout

Penalty minutes – the length of time you are in the box before somebody knocks on the door

Goaltender – the person responsible for remembering that things besides hockey are waiting for attention

Point-man – I have one

Checking – running around behind people picking up what gets left behind

Cross checking – finding someone else’s stuff

Line change – moving to the faster cue for coffee

1 Game Suspension – pretending you don’t find hockey boring for one night and attending a game with your husband. If a girl wants a date during hockey season – you’ve got to compromise.

Good play – making it a double date with dinner beforehand.

There is still a lot of season left and I’m sure to suffer further bouts of Hockey Block, there is no telling how long this list of terms might get before we get to…

Playoff Season – light at the end of the tunnel

Have a great weekend everyone! Keep your Stick on the Ice -