Archives

Uncategorized

Patience

 One of those qualities I have never really given enough credit to in people. I mean, coming from an incredibly impatient person who thinks it’s excruciating to wait for something I want - I never think twice about it. Then every time by body crashes because I pretend it can handle working out 2x a day and working full time or I have a ‘whatever age I am’ crisis because I can’t achieve everything I want while attempting to do it all or even when I think that 4 hours of sleep is enough to accomplish everything I want to - I stop and think about being patient.

Good things come to those who wait? Well, I don’t really buy that – good things come to those who make it happen, but it doesn’t happen over night (this is the part I tend to forget). I can get so caught up in the deadlines I set for myself, the timing I think my life should be running on, that if I don’t meet those milestones I am my harshest critic. And it gets ugly…

A very good friend of mine keeps telling me to ditch those deadlines, those imaginary road blocks I’ve put in my way only to make my journey that much harder. Always have a dream and goals for yourself, but remember that life is unpredictable. What you may think your path will be could end up being completely opposite.

As long as I’m being challenged and I’m still learning, I need to learn to be patient. Relationships aren’t built over night, careers aren’t made with the snap of your fingers and having a lifestyle you want may take you a little longer than planned. But ask yourself what makes you happy now – now being the key word.

We get so caught up planning the future we can forget about living.

So go out and live this week and I’ll try and take my own advice…

Lost too soon…

Bringing life into this world always seems to amaze me. If you’re ever in the hospital and you happen to pass by the newborns or see a young family leave with their baby for the first time, even if you’re not a baby kind of person you have to admit it’s pretty incredible. All of a sudden your life completely changes. You put yourself second for once and selflessly re-prioritize everything to raise this little thing that will soon become a self sufficient (hopefully) adult one day. It’s this wild journey of parenting – that kind of parental love that you’ll never understand until you have a child of your own.

But life can be twisted and harsh. It challenges us and makes us experience pain, loss and tragedy. It shocks us sometimes and isn’t fair. No young couple at home with their baby for the first time would ever think of losing them. No parent should ever have to bury their own child – ever. The order seems reversed, it just seems wrong to me.

When I heard that a beautiful, talented young woman who had come into my life a few years ago lost her battle to cancer yesterday I didn’t want to believe it. I couldn’t believe it. She was 29 years old – just a few years older than me, the same age as my sister. She had so much to live for, so much to do. I grappled for the right words to pay my respects to her family, but nothing can make this better. She inspired me to be a better person, even though I didn’t know her long, her spirit and energy was magnetic. She gave so much of herself to others – something we could all do a lot more of.

Her younger sister posted a letter to her after she had passed for all of us to see. It broke my heart to know that she flew in to Ottawa to see her sister in the hospital and never got a chance to say goodbye to her. Cristina had passed away before she got there. In my heart I know that Cristina knew she was there with her. Life doesn’t make sense a lot of the time and this may never make any sense to any of us.

The tears that I’ve cried for her and her family seem to be endless today.

Thank you Cristina for everything you did for the people around you.

You will always continue to live on in our hearts and our minds.

Rest in peace…

Overly reflective?

As I waited for my hopelessly lost friend to make it to my favourite sushi spot on Bloor last night, in the heart of the Annex, I kept noticing a few eyes on me. Cute couples thinking I’m waiting for my boyfriend who was really ridiculously late, a table of girls feeling bad for me for getting stood up maybe…even the waiters bringing me extra water and tea just in case I started bawling my eyes out right there all over my chopsticks. It’s kind of funny to sit alone and see how others perceive you. Automatically complete strangers threw their pity at me, secretly thankful they weren’t the one sitting alone. Breathing a sigh of relief and smiling extra harder at that person in front of them, showing the world that yes they did have friends.

Why is it that so many people are scared of just being on their own? I was completely fine sitting there. I was people watching (one of my favourite activities) and enjoying some tea. I didn’t need a book or my phone, I was just content with being with myself. I’m realizing the number of people able to just sit and relax in their own thoughts are few and far between. I challenge you all to take yourself out to dinner one night….catch a movie even. Don’t be walking around with your head down, playing with your smart phone as if it had the answer to world peace on it. Turn it off even (woah maybe I’ve gone too far). For you newbies, maybe putting it in your bag on silent is enough. Feel the temptation of taking it out and rise above it (you can do it).

Now my friends will be rolling their eyes at this because I am one of those horrible iPhone obsessed people. I mean, my twitter stopped working for less than an hour and I was having a seriously hard time with it. But I realized it wasn’t necessarily the fact that my twitter was down and god for bid I couldn’t tweet! It was the very fact that something I had spent a lot of money on, covet even, wasn’t working the way it should work. It’s a type A personality thing I think – I just want things to work the way they are supposed to work. Is that so hard to ask for? It actually bothered me that it wasn’t doing it’s job (some would call this a control freak).

So the morale of the story is that even though I want to control everything in my life – you can’t control people who are late (sorry Jacob) or technology because we all know it has a mind of it’s own…and that’s ok. It forces us to be on our own, to reflect on our lives or even how we’re really feeling. I feel as though we run around every day like crazy people, rushing from thing to thing and not really soaking in everything around us. How many of us smile on the way to work or witness a small act of kindness. It’s cliched, but we have to stop and smell the roses sometimes.

Turn off the phone. Breathe. Take yourself out for a meal. Breathe.

And just be.

 

Holiday Temptations…

It’s that time of year when temptations are all around you and every day you have to remember not to eat that whole plate of treats that’s just a mere 2 steps away from your desk. The coveted office “snack shack” has turned into chocolate heaven and, to be honest, it’s too good to be true.

For those of you like me who haven’t been blessed with an incredible metabolism like those people that can eat double their body weight and never step foot in the gym (yes the ones we secretly hate), it’s really important to keep focused during the holiday season. A little over a month ago I made a promise to myself that I was going to stop wishing I could fit into those gorgeous jeans I still keep hidden in my closet and actually get my butt back in shape and wear them for my upcoming birthday.

Now it’s not always the most amazing thing to admit to yourself (or to the world via blogging), but we all have that stuff we obsess over about our bodies. It doesn’t matter if you’re rail thin or curvy – believe me. The grass is always greener on the other side, but to lead healthier lives (mentally and physically) women need to start liking themselves. And I truly mean that.

So instead of looking at old pictures and wishing I was as thin as I was when I was a teenager, I think back to how fit and healthy I was when I was an athlete. So the first goal I set for myself wasn’t a number, it had nothing to do with a scale at all. My first goal was to get stronger and start lifting weights again. This doesn’t seem like a daunting task, but for someone who went from being in the best shape of their life to basically stationary due to knee surgery and back again – the weight room, hell even the gym, turned into a scary place.

I am here to tell you all that no matter what you’ve accomplished in your life or who you are, you will still have insecurities sometimes just like everyone else. I’m thankful that I had a friend who supported me every step of the way and knew how hard it was for me to suck it up and get back into a routine. I’m not sure if he actually knows how much he has actually helped me, but I don’t think I could ever fully repay him.

I’m starting to feel like my old self again, but healthier. Someone who knows how to cook for themselves and eat smart. Someone who can confidently walk into a weight room and lift just as heavy as those around her. Someone who is changing her lifestyle, not just addicted to the newest diet.

So every time I reach for that chocolate I know how hard I’ve worked to get where I am, well most of the time anyways….

It is Christmas, you can cheat a little bit can’t you?

One of those moments…

You watch so many movies over the years that you get desensitized to spontaneity, to moments of pure coincidence that lead to the best thing that has ever happened to you. A job, a love, a life. These things just happen naturally because they’re supposed to right? The guy behind the counter at the coffee shop is going to say the perfect thing you’ve been wishing he would say the whole time you were in line and you get whisked off into this torrid love affair resembling something out of a Rihanna video. You get the job in the Big Apple, the apartment, the clothes – it was always going to work out in the end anyways.

After thinking it’s going to happen to you one day, every day, every morning you wake up unhappy with your love life, work life, family life. After thinking it’s going to happen to you one day, every day, every night you go to sleep unsatisfied, wanting more for yourself. You start to think it will never happen and you close yourself off to the beauty of a mysterious stranger or a held stare across the subway platform. That job you should’ve reached for even if you didn’t think you were qualified, the risk of starting a new life, starting over.

And just as you think you’ve become accustomed to rolling your eyes at the ending of a cheesy romantic comedy or a magazine story that makes you want to throw up – it happens to you. And when it does it’s the most unbelievable feeling – you immediately feel like something can’t be right. You must have read into something wrong, there’s got to be a catch. It can’t be that easy, that quick, that spontaneous?

Well my friends, it definitely can…

…and I can’t stop smiling

Holiday Spirit

I have to admit I haven’t really gotten into the holiday spirit just yet. It could be that there’s no snow on the ground, the ski hills aren’t even open and christmas decorations look extremely out of place. It could be that my family hasn’t even put up their tree or discussed holiday plans because let’s face it – we’re all so busy right now christmas is just another thing to worry about.

But on the weekend I stopped and thought back to when I was a kid and it felt as if Christmas would never come. The days seemed to drag on and on, my advent calendar would ever so slowly start to open itself up like a present unwrapping itself on Christmas morning. The chocolates and treats started to appear on our kitchen table and we would read books near the decorated fire place. It was magical.

I feel as though somewhere along the way I lost that feeling, somehow the holiday season has almost become something like a chore – a never ending list of things to do and buy. So I decided to take myself back to those younger years and spent all day Saturday with my best friend getting into the holiday spirit.

When we first had the idea of building a gingerbread house I thought it would be pretty straight forward, but I forgot just how difficult these things are to make. Did I mention that we went to a bulk store and bought all kinds of fancy candy to make it look extra special? Yeah – those red and brown roof shingles are individual chocolate pieces layered on top of each other with icing that was died with food coloring to match. Oh and the ‘snow’ is actually coconut shavings that we scattered around after we made a walk way with red and green nuts. Somehow we devised a structure inside it to keep the roof from sliding off (after a few hours) and managed to get it to stand for this gorgeous photo. I left before it actually collapsed, but our goal was to donate it to Sick Kids Hospital….if it survives the night.

Merry Christmas Everyone :)

 

Thankful

If you’re a writer you know that horrible feeling of sitting down staring at a blank screen, typing a few useless words, backspacing a bit, starting again then deleting the whole thing. One by one the letters disappear, your thoughts all caught in your head, but your fingers not able to spit it out. The bright lights of Bloor street distract you as you sip your venti lactose free latte slowly, soaking it in, slowly searching for inspiration. It has to be in there, you know it is.

The past couple of weeks I have been searching and searching for the right words, but couldn’t seem to find them. It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to write about, if anything, I think I have had more to say than ever before. I just couldn’t bring myself to write them down. I don’t know if it was too terrifying to see all the things I’ve taken on in black and white, making it all real, and having to finally realize that I’m not the super woman I thought I was. Accepting the fact that maybe I need to ask for help with a few things, maybe I wasn’t as happy as I was pretending to be.

This past weekend my father was home for American Thanksgiving as he works in the Big Apple and I really started to think about what I was thankful for. When I was younger we would sit around the table and say what we were thankful for, we would write it down in school and put a bigger emphasis on the thanks part of thanksgiving. Nowadays, I find that it’s all about the extra day off work, football (always a given) and inhaling copious amounts of fatty foods drenched in gravy – which to be clear is not a bad thing.

However, I think I really need to pause for a minute and think about what I’m thankful for. As this year comes to a close, I have to breathe a sigh of relief that December is right around the corner. As great of a year as this was for all aspects of my life, it was a tough one. I took some huge strides in opening myself up to the people in my life that I never could before. I look back on all the bad habits, the hurt and know that I will never be back there again. That girl that used to hide from her problems, run away when she felt vulnerable isn’t there anymore.

 I’m thankful that I have had the greatest support system around me as I told the world my deepest darkest secrets. I’m thankful that I have a family that will love me no matter what, friends that take care of me and help me to be a healthier person and a life that is a never ending adventure.

What are you thankful for?

NOVEMBER 30 CHARITY EVENT

 

The countdown is on….30 days until my first ever charity event and creative production….

www.amoproductions.wordpress.com

Get your tickets now!

Home away from home

Sunday morning. It’s a cloudly one here today as the Village slowly awakens with the first stragglers heading out to the dining hall. You’ll see a few brave souls running up the hilly path behind the residences.

As I read a message from my family back in Toronto getting ready for Thanksgiving, I curl up on the couch and think of them in the kitchen. I give thanks for the amazing support system and never ending love they give to me.

Then I curl up on the couch with my steaming hot tea, sipping slowly, and turn on spanish cartoons to start my day off right.

My little home away from home here in Guadalajara.

Thunderstorms y Starbucks

Hola a todos!

The last couple of days have been a bit of a blur, but I’m thrilled to say that our office is up and running here in Guadalajara and we are ready for our athletes to start arriving. Estamos Listos! I am one of the two member Athlete Services Team here for the Canadian Olympic Committee in the Athlete Village for the 2011 Pan American Games. My wingwoman Veronica Brenner (multiple Olympian in freestyle skiing) and I have been working around the clock to set up the Team Canada lounge – fully equiped with tvs, laptops, snacks, fridges, a killer patio and even Wii!

It has been quite the wild ride as we battled a few thunderstorms to boot. When it rains it pours here in Guadalajara and it comes on lightning quick – so we’ve gotten pretty used to pulling in our patio furniture and bean bag chairs just in the nick of time (it takes skill people). It can go from a beautiful cloud free sunny day to dark stormy clouds in a few seconds – actually.

Through it all we’ve set up our ticket process, arrival schedule, celebration events and much much more….so you can imagine how excited we were to see the Starbucks in the Village finally set up!

I have to admit, even though I love experiencing a new culture –  it felt damn good to have a taste of home today

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: