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My New Year’s Resolution

My New Year's Resolution

Happy New Year! As we begin this new year, we are flooded with sayings and mantras over various social media outlets. This post I found on my Facebook account and over all of the ones I have seen over the past week it speaks to me personally.

So what if that is the only New Year’s Resolution I make this year; exact what does it mean?

Well, as I speak about in my healthier lifestyle blog, it means making positive resolutions instead of negative ones in my journey to a healthier lifestyle. It also mean accepting my body and loving it TODAY, not when I lose another 40 pounds, or fit into a certain size. The link to my blog is here for anyone interested;

http://fortysomethingandgettinghealthy.blogspot.ca/2014/01/new-year-new-you-challenge.html

I also believe that this mantra means that I am kind to myself every day. No more beating myself up over poor choices, but praising myself for the positive choices in food and exercises choices I make each day. I have spent way too many years putting myself down. I now commit to lifting myself up from 2014 onward!

If I love myself more, I also love my loved ones more. I am going to focus on being happier and softer spoken with my family and friends. I shout and speak harshly too much both to my amazing wife and wonderful Chicklets.

This is going to be by far the hardest Resolution year to keep! But it will also be the most rewarding. I invite you to join me on this journey and also to share your resolutions here in the comments. Together, we can accomplish anything!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Sheri

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Breaking Traditional Parental Labels

Breaking Traditional Parental Labels

Today was an uncomfortable day for me. I was placed in a position where I had to defend my parental label to my two younger Chicklets. I was asked by someone ( whom I strongly think is gay themselves) who the mother of my two younger children were. I stated that both my wife and I were their Moms. He said again, “Yes, but who is the mother?” I restated my answer saying that they are both children of our marriage. This, unfortunately, was not enough for this man. He then said, “Your wife is the biological mother of the two girls, so then who is their biological father?”

At this point, I am about screaming in my head, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?” Can this man really be this dense!? No, of course he isn’t; this man ( I just can’t bring myself to use the word “gentleman” to describe this individual) is purposely trying to insinuate that I am not really a mother or parent to my two Chicklets. A colleague of mine decided to step in at this point and remind this man that it is public knowledge that here in Canada we are fortunate enough to live in a nation where two people of the same sex are indeed legally the parents of any children born within their marriage when unknown sperm donors are used.

This man had no other reason to pursue this line of questioning other than to try to negate my role as a valid parent to my two young beautiful daughters. I can’t say I have ever been harassed or bullied in this way before. I have been reflecting on my feelings and I now understand one very sad truth about bullying and why so many gay teens see no better option than suicide.

Bullying a gay person does not just hurt. It attacks every fiber of who they are as a person; a person they as a teenager are still trying to figure out themselves! I am in my early 40’s now and confidently know who I am as a person, and I felt attacked, broken down, and judged to be someone or something that is undesirable and illegitimate. How can we expect teens, or children even younger, be expected to handle gender-based bullying!? The truth is we can’t. We as a society MUST begin to stand up on behalf of these individuals who are being bullied and say, “Enough! No more!”

I truly believe that change must start with ourselves and how we live our lives. As long as we continue to differentiate between traditional relationships and marriages and same-sex relationships and marriages, I don’t see how the bullying will ever end. As stated in this recent post on Facebook, someday…..someday we will all just be “beautiful families.” Until such time, the bullying will continue because we will be labelled as different, as the “non” normal. The definition of normal is basically, anything that commonly happens or occurs. So, in fact, we are examples of today’s “normal” families!

So the next time you see a family with children and their two parents, please, if you must put any label on them, may I suggest you label them with the term, “beautiful” family.

Thank-you for reading my rant today,

Sheri

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A World’s True Hero – Nelson Mandela

A World's True Hero - Nelson Mandela

My hero died today. I think the world’s hero died today. We mourn for the loss of a leader, an inspiration, an “out-of-the-box” thinker, a living martyr, an eloquent speaker, a man who could move nations with his words and his actions of peace. But few of us will remember that he is also a husband, a father, a uncle, a cousin, a friend. My heart breaks for members of his family and friends. They have lost a loved one and are unable to mourn their loss in private. I pray that they find a way to mourn, remember, and celebrate Nelson Mandela’s death in their own way, in their own time, away from the rest of the world. I also hope that they will take great comfort in the fact that this man that they knew personally will never be forgotten by so many people around the world.

He will be remembered for all of he successes over the 95 years he walked on this earth. As this quote suggests though, it is not his successes that Mr. Mandela wanted to be remembered for, but his tenacity. Nelson Mandela has been a symbol of peaceful strength for me since I was old enough in school to become aware that he had been jailed and why. I remember writing letters to Amnesty International for him to be released from his imprisonment. I remember hearing the incredible news of his release; something I never really ever thought would happen! This man was physically and mentally beaten down for 30 years while in prison yet after time spent in a life of privacy, he decided to re-enter the world of the public eye to continue his mission to bring freedom and equality to his home of South Africa as well as around the world. I cried and cried when he won the Presidential election and became the first Black President of South Africa. What a turn of the tide that represented and within my own lifetime! He continued to have his stumbles and falls over the years, yet, he continued to pick himself up and continue on. THAT inspires me!

When I am sitting on my pity pot, begrudging my “unfair” life, I will remember this quote of my hero’s and pick myself up and continue on with improving not only my own life but the lives of those in my community. Nelson Mandela endured discrimination and imprisonment for over 30 years, surely, I can endure stressful times of financial restraints, disappointments in my career, occasional arguments with my spouse or children and everything else life throws my way!

So as you continue on your life journey, remember;
Your strength is defined not by your successes but by the number of times you pick yourself back up after being knocked down.

You will be missed but never forgotten Nelson Mandela! Thank you for showing the world what a true hero and inspiration looks like!

Sheri

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Actions Really Do Speak Louder Than Words!

Actions Really Do Speak Louder Than Words!

I never really believed it when my mother used to tell me, “Sheri, your actions always speak louder than your words.” Even into my 20’s and 30’s and I became a wife and mom I could always find ways to not listen to this sage advice. It was not until I hit my late 30’s that I took this phrase to heart, especially in regard to relationships.

If someone really cares for you, they will show you. Sure it is nice to hear them express their feelings, but really most friendships are not based on words of love and caring. These close relationships show that the person cares.

It can be a harsh reality when you tune into the actions of a friend or loved one and realize that they are showing that they do not care about you at all. You may deny it, or excuse it, but when your heart and mind are both ready to face the facts you will finally accept the truth. You then have a choice to make. What do you do about this particular relationship?

The post I re-blogged yesterday had a great comment that I want to paraphrase;

It is up to each of us to decide how much real-estate we permit each relationship takes up in our lives. If you view yourself as a prime piece of real-estate and reflect on how your particular piece of land is being rented how happy are you with the current arrangements? IF you are not completely happy you have every right and indeed should make changes!

Maybe that relationship that is currently sitting in one of your prime beach-front locations needs to be emotionally relocated to the back of your land, even if it is just for now until you are really able to invest the time and energy into repairing or evicting that tenant.

You are worth only the best of the best when it comes to your real-estate tenants. Don’t sell yourself short and allow squatters to poach on your emotional land. One relationship at a time, take stalk and clean house. You will feel more positive and better about yourself when you do this; it is VERY empowering!

Love yourself and fill your real-estate with prime quality tenants.

Sheri

Bugs Bunny……One SMART Bunny!

Bugs Bunny......One SMART Bunny!

When did Bugs Bunny get so smart!? I wish he has told me this sage advice back when I was in my 20’s. It would have saved me a lot of grief and missed opportunities. When I think back and start to list all of the times I wasted energy on comparing myself to other people, or other people’s expectations and how many amazing opportunities were lost to me simply because I did this comparison and decided that I was unworthy I figure it is years lost! WHAT A WASTE!!

I have often been known to say, “Well I turned 40 and my “give-a-damn” button broke!!” I just don’t seem to care what others think anymore. I cannot express how completely freeing and liberating that is! As I venture on this journey to a healthier lifestyle the ONLY person I compare myself to is who I was last month, and last year. Nothing else matters!

Remember, “Those who care don’t matter….and those who matter don’t care!” Love yourself and hold yourself accountable to no one but YOURSELF!!

Cheers!

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Don’t Judge

Don't Judge

This is one of my new mantras in life. I found this on Facebook and have no idea who to give credit to for being the genius who wrote this phrase down for the first time. Every single person we meet has a story. Here in our WordPress community we share parts of our stories with anyone willing to take the time to read our blogs. Now I am very new here but so far I have not once found a judgemental comment left on someone’s post. Why is it that our larger society can’t be based on the same foundation of mutual respect and understanding of people and the lives we lead and the opinions we have?

I am far from naïve in thinking that there are bloggers out there who, once they know what the name of my blog means, do not agree with my life; and that is ok! I respect that! I also respect that I have not had one piece of negative feedback in any of my posts or my “About” page. Isn’t it a shame that the same would not happen if I started a column with the exact same content as my blog but in my local newspaper.

Maybe in time our respectful community here on WordPress will filter out into our larger society…….maybe…..if we remember that everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about and for that reason alone we always remember to be kind.

What do you think?

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Motivational Moment

Motivational Moment

After yesterday’s post I found this on my Facebook page. As far as I can tell it was originally posted by Bob Harper….one of my absolute favourite health and fitness coaches. Why is it we as a society keep looking backwards instead of focusing our time and energies into our future? The past is done; it can’t be changed. We must learn from it (yes both the good and the bad) and move forward. Today I am making the decision to move forward and focus only on the future. I will not allow the past to trip me up or sabotage my journey to better health! How are you choosing to “not look back” today?

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Missing The Chicklets…

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Today after we got home from taking the little ones to school I noticed our younger dog, Riley, snuggled on the floor. Now usually if there is a shoe near him he is chewing on it……but this time he was just looking at ot forlornly. Until I saw his sad eyes looking up at me with my youngest daughter’s shoe in front of him I had never thought of how life’s changes affected the four legged members of our family.

In August we lost our 17 year old cat. She died naturally at home with us of old age. Just five days later we left for two weeks and our two dogs stayed at my in-law’s house. Then just three days after we all got home school started. Talk about a lot of changes in a short amount of time! Our poor dogs must have a abandonment complex by now! I know that most children would if they had to experience the past month as our two dogs have!

We are so lucky to have souls in our lives that love us unconditionally……..no matter what we do. Our two dogs have lost not only a companion in our cat Harley, but also their playmate that has been with them every day for the past four years when the other two went to school……she was always there to play with them and snuggle with them and pet them. My heart broke for Riley and our other dog Gizmo today for two reasons;
           1. They were missing the Chicklets while they were at school.
           2. I have been so self-absorbed in life’s daily stresses that until this morning I had not noticed and therefore not helped to make them feel better.

These beautiful creatures ask nothing in return for their unconditional love……..but they DESERVE so much more than they have been getting from me. Where do your pets land on your emotional radar? Something to think about……

Sheri

This Canadian Is Never Forgetting 9/11

This Canadian Is Never Forgetting 9/11

There are certain events in history that break down the barriers between races, countries, social economic status, and religious beliefs. September 11, 2001 is one such event. I am not American, I do not personally know anyone who died on 9/11. I am not Muslim or a traditionally devout Christian. I am a daughter, mother, teacher, human being and as, most people in the 90+ countries affected that day, will NEVER forget the events of this particular day. My memories include a bright blue sky, feeling so happy that my then 4 year old daughter was enjoying Junior Kindergarten, enjoying a peaceful moment with a cup of coffee at our trailer. That is where I was when my mother called to ask if I knew what was happening in the States. We did not have a t.v. at the trailer and I did not have the radio on. I was completely stunned. I remember crying without even knowing much of the details. I was over come with emotions; fear, anger, disbelief, bewilderment, fatalism, concern, heartbreak. It was not until later in the afternoon that I saw footage of what had happened in New York, at the Pentagon, and in a barren field in Pennsylvania. It struck me as odd and sad that as a society we needed to see the horrifying images over and over again and STILL found it hard to believe to be truth and not video effects in a t.v. show or movie. I watch while I did my family’s laundry at a local laundry mat and the conversations were quite interesting. Many did not really believe that this was happening. It HAD to be a joke! My heart broke a million times that day for each mother, father, daughter, brother, son, sister, friend ect. who’s lives shattered just like the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The world came together that day. And each year that, as a world, we come together to remember the anniversary I am glad that the focus is on those heroes that we lost that day; both the heroes that tried to help those inside the buildings but every single person who lost their lives that day. Each and every one of them is a hero. The reasons and causes of these events remain as atrocious as they were 12 years ago but we as a collective choose to focus and honour those lost and those affected by the loss of loved ones. Maybe that day we were all re-sensitised to violence after years of de-sensitisation through media. Many I am sure would disagree with me. Either way, we did learn to value and focus on what is important; people not evil.

Today I choose to remember the people not the evil from September 11, 2001. How are you remembering today?

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What Adventure Is Waiting For You Over The Next Hill!?

What Adventure Is Waiting For You Over The Next Hill!?

This photo was taken up north this summer while camping. Again, credit must be given to my talented wife. As I was re-living this camping trip by looking through pictures I found myself drawn to this particular one. “What adventure is just over this hill…..”came to mind. I find myself embarking on a new adventure in my own life and am excited by what lays ahead over the next hill for me. I will keep you posted in the near future as things unfold. So what adventure is over the next hill for you?!?

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