Friday, February 23, 2018


So, it’s been a little over a year since I began my quest for a clean bill of health. It started in my family doctor's office with a clear vision of me needing to establish a starting point for my mid-life body, giving me the ability to embrace it for the next twenty five plus years.

It immediately kicked off with a ton of blood work that quickly led to a series of ultrasounds, smears, specialists & 'oscopy procedures; and although it took longer than I'd ever imagined, all have proven to have been very necessary.

My point is that I had an outpatient procedure yesterday in hospital about 30 miles south of me. It was at my request, as we had ruled out the medication dealing with what was a definite growth wasn't having the overall impact that was expected.

Because I was the one pushing for the procedure, I didn't find the idea as personally stressful as say if I’d been given less than a week's notice and told it had to happen as soon as possible. In hindsight, I wish I would have been more mentally prepared and done some clear research to understand what I was about to endure. 

Who knew OHIP supplied very sexy paper bracelets
for enduring one of their life changing spa experiences?!
TAKEN: FEBRUARY 22nd, 2018
As silly as this may read, I believed that I was going to pop in and out of the outpatient department as fast as one does locally when they have a mammogram, which wasn't the case.

I should have picked up my doctors' vibe when he asked me, twice, 'if I would prefer to have a general anesthetic' and not remain awake.

I declined because I felt I had prepared myself for having the lump removed, yet what I didn't know was how painful and stressful being awake for the procedure would be. I actually think I went into a little bit of shock... Because by the time I dressed and said my goodbyes, I began to shake all over. I narrowly managed to get into the car before I had a total meltdown. I cried all the way home from the sheer physicality & emotional anxiety of what I'd just endured.

Now that I have had time to calm down, I don't regret going forward with the procedure. I was a tad surprised with the number of stitches I received and that it would take close to a month for them to heal but the experience is all a part of the bigger picture and my own philosophy, which is that no one should ever take their health for granted.

If I have to take a glass half full moment from the experience, it would have to be that I am so very grateful that I have always been aware of my body and any changes that are happening. Between self-examination and the simplistic generality of Web-MD, I hope to have stayed ahead of my biopsy results being cancerous.

If you haven't kept up on your bill of health, make that appointment today. If my post doesn't spell it out, understand that there are a million reasons why you should with the #1 reason being the single most important one of all.

... You're freaking worth it!

Sunday, February 18, 2018


I was texting back and forth yesterday morning with a trusted confidant and we began reminiscing about the summer of 2012. For a number of varying reasons we cheerfully remember that time, most importantly because it was the very first time I’d lived alone at the cottage & commuted to work since its purchase in 1999. In hindsight, I guess you can say that was the summer I officially learned to sew; simply because that summer was the first time I'd ever invested in mending... me.

It’s not like I was broken per se, more to the point that when the twins left for post secondary school in September of 2011, I felt a sense that my life was unraveling. The point being, when the nest empties I don’t think anyone can truly get to know themselves (what they want, nor what they need as a newly independent person) until they make the effort to try and figure it out. Midlife gave me the one thing I’d never had the luxury of before: time.

All these years later, I realize that nothing truly prepares us for midlife. And when that phase crept into my peripheral vision, I honestly would not have classified myself as unhappy. More elated, embracing a feeling of euphoria because I no longer had to focus on everyone around me, and could finally get to focus on my own needs.

It was in that moment, that I looked in the mirror and realized that I had no idea who I was. I remember my immediate assessment on the outside was that I was overweight, yet on the inside I realized I was resentful for being underappreciated. That very harsh personal reality hit like a ton of bricks… and trust me, I did NOT see it coming.

So, as things in my life began to quickly unfurl, I took matters into my own hands. I don’t know what I would have done without my very best girlfriend. She was a lifesaver. She had already survived something similar, so she was my beacon. Thank goodness I didn’t have to pay CJ for all of her hugs and words of support, I would have gone bankrupt!

The summer of 2012. Puddin' was just a wee pup and Dot got to spend extra paddle time alone with me!

The point of my post is that I don't dwell on that time and I have no regrets. I made some big personal moves, learned how to live my life on my terms, and over the eighteen months that followed suffered gut-wrenching heartache I don’t wish on anyone else to have to experience. At the end of the day, I came out the other side more vibrant and exceedingly more comfortable with the skin I’m in. If you’re in my life it’s because you deserve to be, if you’re not, you ultimately know & understand why.

Owning who you are is a lot harder than you may think. For years I just folded like a lawn chair until I would explode with frustration. Now a days, I wholeheartedly own what I want and openly communicate where I’m going: with no regrets.

A wise man once told me that life experiences are the threads that all have a part in our final blanket, which is very true. The other side of that coin is, who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

I taught myself to sew a beautiful midlife blanket six years ago... Didn’t I ?!

Monday, February 5, 2018


FUN FACT #1: Did you know that there are roughly sixty four shades of blue?
FUN FACT #2: In the past, I've suffered a varying levels of many during February.

As I always try and own the second fun fact, I can’t help but go on record with the thought that this past month of January, felt like a really tough year. As we roll into February, I'll enthusiastically start the new calendar month with a smile on my face, simply because I've officially made it. 

When the children left for post secondary school, we originally began travelling in February. Not sure why really, outside the fact that we'd never done so & everybody in our neck of the tundra seemed to. A couple of years in, we took the twins and the pups and rented a pet friendly house in South Carolina. I couldn't believe how that early jolt of vitamin D aided with my symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

As that year rolled into the next, I soon discovered that we could very economically head into the light at the fall time change, skip mid-winter travel, wait until my birthday in spring and essentially get away twice for the price of an all inclusive week in February. So that's what our travel timing shifted to.

Then, this time last year, I took my daughter on a quick 4 night weekend jaunt to Cuba. It was intended to serve as quality time for the both of us, but at the end of the day, those 4 nights made the world of difference for both of us personally. 

By 1 pm that first full day on the beach, I could feel myself awaking from my winter slumber. But it wasn't just me, it was my daughter too. She was participating around the pool, running along the beach, and embracing every single minute. 

A weekend win on every possible level, it was upon my return that I realized that moving forward, some similar type of February mini vaycay was something I needed. So I baked a value into my annual travel budget and Bob's your uncle; I was on my way.

This year my daughter isn't coming with as she's spending this weekend in Ottawa with friends, skating on the Rideau Canal and enjoying the city in general. Instead, I am taking my other Sweetie; my husband, and we are headed to Bahamas for the very first time.

Photographic proof of my daughter kicking February's ass....Old school!

I booked it Black Friday for less than what it would have cost us to return to Cuba for that same four day stint I did last year. The only downside is that I had to take a hammer to my piggy bank this morning.... Why?

Because when doing my due diligence, I figured out why it's "Better In The Bahamas." Everything has at least four dollar signs attached ($$$$) even the Starbucks in the lobby. With my birthday trip booked and the planning of our 30th anniversary in June underway, I don't care. We are totally worth it and we are gonna have a blast.

Not to mention... I get yet another brand new stamp in my passport!

Giddy UP!!