Category Archives: Adventure

She shoots…will she score?

Dropping all of your vices is scary.  Scary but empowering.  Motivating but challenging.  I have a few vices.  I drink too much, not like everyday but usually at every gathering and on Fridays.  We do beer Fridays in my world.  I smoke.  I didn’t for a really long time but I do again.  I eat.  Oh baby do I eat.  I eat good food because I love good food because I can cook good food so I do.  Sedentary.  I am that.  It’s like the food thing.  I am good at sedentary.

All kidding aside, these things are really not helping to lengthen my life.  While a lot of fun, these vices are costly, take a terrible toll on the body and really don’t do much in way of making you feel GREAT about yourself.  This is especially bad considering I am one of those people who love to feel great about myself peoples.  Particularly my strength and physical fitness.  I was strong.  Strong and proud of it.  Now, not so much.  I wasn’t afraid of hiking or jogging because I knew that I could breath and enjoy myself.  Now, not so much.

Clearly things have got to change.  But the thing about me is this…the second I tell myself I *can’t* have something, you can bet your ass I’m going to run out and have 15 of exactly whatever it is I’ve just told myself I can’t have.  Childish?  Yes.  It is what it is.  So, one would think then the easiest way for me to trick myself would be to tell myself I can’t have a healthy meal or can’t run up a hill and then you’d find me eating my salad WHILE running up the hill….right?  WRONG.  Nope, you know what I’d say to myself? “Well you’re clearly out of your mind. We’d better have a beer and a cigarette and contemplate this conundrum”.  Because I work like a slightly off-kilter, needs-to-be-oiled machine.

So this all being said, I’m going to try to learn something new.  lifegoalIt’s called goal setting and achieving.  I’m pretty sure 90% of the population already does this but I do not.  So I’m going to learn.  Fun, right?  Probably not.  BUT I’m pretty sure it’s not going to hurt me either.  I mean not setting goals and not having a plan HAS been hurting me so….

I am a great starter of things…and not a great finisher so that’s my first goal.  To get a plan together and stick to it for 30 days.  I’ll keep you posted….

 

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Babble Travel Log #1: Akumal, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico (April 2015)

Oh man…where do I even start.  After much deliberation, my husband, me, and 4 of our closest friends decided to do a group trip to Mexico.  Hands down, best decision ever.

As this was my first “big” trip, I tried to leave my expectations behind and travel to unknown places with an open mind and an open heart.  I often scare myself, or talk myself, out of new experiences because of my fear.  I am so thankful that I traveled with an open heart.  I am so grateful to have had the travel crew I did.  I am so grateful for the time to reconnect with my husband.  I am so grateful to have been able to hang up all my titles (mom, daughter, advisor, etc) and just be me. I am so grateful to have had this experience and I can’t wait for our next one.

For the story of our trip, read on…

Continue reading Babble Travel Log #1: Akumal, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico (April 2015)

Coming Home

One morning I woke up, decided to don my big-girl panties, pack my suitcase and take my new, enlightened self to a different venue.  Like so many leaving home for the first time, I thought I can do this, I can find a new space and make it my own but like many of us, there never really is any place quite like home.  That’s how I feel about this blog.

I started a new blog, I started a twitter, I started all of it with the intentions of tapping back into my creative self and pouring out one enlightened post after another but you know what they say about good intentions right? 

I thought making the decision to re-open Random Babble would be easy but it really wasn’t.  I found myself staring at the link to my dashboard and thinking “If only I could post…” until my better sense (she can be a little slow on the uptake folks) kicked some sense into my brain and replied with “why the hell can’t you?”  I didn’t have a good answer. Yes, I answer myself.

Luckily, deciding to post on an old blog is nothing like going home.  For starters, you can actually do it.  It doesn’t feel weird.  I don’t feel misplaced or like a guest.  I feel exactly how I should – like I want to write again.

 coming home logo 1

Eager Easter

Easter is right around the corner and lots of folks are focussed on the Bunny, celebratory dinners and the inevitable chocolate hangover.  Other folks are also focussed on the religious aspect of Easter, the death and resurrection of Jesus. 

Over the years I haven’t put much thought into the whole death and resurrection bit.  I’ve gone to Church, I understand what it all means but I’ve never really thought about it.  I’m talking in a how-does-this-relate-to-me kind of way.  Now I’m starting to think about it.

This time last year, I was still deep in the ditch I had dug for myself, waivering between anger, sadness, embarassment, guilt and a myrid of other emotions.  I was walking the thin line of choice and change.  I expected that change to occur immediately but I was wrong.  So very, very wrong.

The person I was compared to the person I am is like comparing apples to oranges.  There are similarities, for sure. Both are round, both are fruits, both grow on trees, they both have seeds, they come in a variety of types and flavor profiles…really the similarities between apples and oranges are greater than one thinks; however, there are many differences as well.  They’re just not a subtle.

My differences are subtle.  I am blessed with the opportunity to practice these differences and I’m blessed to be able to actually see the change.  That doesn’t mean the same old girl isn’t kicking around in this body, it just means how she’s interacting with the world and the people in it is a little different.  I’m grateful for each new encounter, I’m grateful for each opportunity to be a little more positive, I’m grateful to have the strength to change and I’m grateful for the set backs I’m sure to encounter.  I’m grateful that the people in my life are starting to see and trust in the changes I’ve made and I’m grateful they are all so supportive of who I am. 

I totally get the death and resurrection thing now.  Maybe I just never realized that it’s not always physical.

“…May the past be the sound
Of your feet on the ground
Carry on…”

Happy Easter Everyone. 

 

Hoppy Easter

Hey You! Sixteen and stupid

Have you seen or heard the commercial or youtube video or whatever that outlines a letter to your sixteen year old self? Yeah, me too. And it got me to thinking, what would I say to my sixteen year old self? What advice or wisdom would I impart on her? Not that she’d listen…my 16 year old self was an idiot. Anyway, here goes…

Dear You,

I am you but you sixteen years from now. Yeah ok, feel better now that your eyes have rolled all over your face? Good. Don’t do that again. You look like an idiot.

Let me level with you here kid. Things are ugly right now and unless you change some things, it’s only going to get uglier. So, you can do things the right way or you can continue to do things your way. Me, as you 16 years in the future, would really like you to do things the right way. I know you’re not going to but still. Let’s break this down bit by bit, ok?

First, school. Stay in it. I get that Skull Baby is hot. Like H.O.T. I get it, I remember him well. Your relationship? Yeah, it’s going to end in about…oh…3 weeks. School? That shit is not going away. Just suck it up, get ‘er done. Oh yeah, and participate while you’re IN school. One day, you’ll look back and really, really wish you had. You’re not unpopular, you’re not bullied so live it up. High school. It’s hell and awesome. There will never be anything like it so embrace it. Once you’re done school, go to University. Think you’re too cool huh? Well, right now, you’re trying to raise kids, pay a mortgage, work your ass off AND figure out how to afford and fit school into that kind of schedule. So, um, suck it up. Get it done. Get a bachelor’s degree. That’s a good plan.

Remember that relationship I mentioned earlier? It’s actually a pivotal time in your life. SURPRISE!

You’re going to cheat on Skull Baby with his best Bud. Don’t. It doesn’t turn out well and it sort-of sets the stage for later years. Not going to listen? Ok, fine. Then when it all goes to shit, and you are set up with Hippy Boy as a distraction, practice safe sex with him. What if you don’t? Well, then we’ll end up here…and you’ll be a mom in 2 years. Promise. Ok, so you’re not going to pay heed to my warning, that’s cool. I like the kids, yeah I said k.i.d.S., he gives you. Hippy Boy is going to change your life. You think he’s “the One”. WAKE UP! He lives in a fucking CAR! He is NOT the One. He will be the one who takes your security, tramples on your self esteem, makes you feel smaller than a speck of dust.

Speaking of self esteem and security. Learn how to build your self esteem. You aren’t fat. You aren’t ugly. You aren’t stupid. Actually, quite the contrary. You are smart. You are beautiful and you have an eating disorder. Get help. The reasons you have those issues run deep. They will stay with you for a long time. Get help. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about and you WILL live a better life because of it.

Don’t fight with your Mom. Talk to her. You two can’t get along? You’re not the first. Figure out another living arrangement. Go to a group home or go to a teen’s shelter. Otherise, you will be sleeping in parks. Yes, I mean outside. Yes, I mean alone. You will be terrified. Believe me. I’ve been there. Also, go to Alanon. You need it.

Get your driver’s license. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE! You will regret this later in life. I don’t care if you don’t use. Shred it for all I care but get it. Have it. Keep it.

Oh yeah, stop smoking. Leave the dope alone. Practice safe sex. Be responsible.

Basically it boils down to this, you are making risky decisions. I totally get you can’t see the consequences and I totally get how a lot of your home-life situations were tough and you just want to escape, I’m not denying that. I’m just saying that your escape can be so much easier than it will be if you continue down this path. A little teeth grtting will save you so much energy later in life.

I know you aren’t going to listen. I am you afterall. I know that your stubborness and refusal to give in will get you through but it will tire you out.

Some other words of advice: your Mom is going to borrow money for a downpayment. Get those terms in writing, in a contract that’s been reviewed by a lawyer. Otherwise, you will lose out. There will be an opportunity for you to buy a house. Take it. Put your kids in private school. It’ll be worth it. Don’t give in to drinking and eating excessively. You will struggle with weight gain in later years. Stay in touch with friends. You will miss them in years to come.

Rocking Resolutions and a Year in Review

Well folks, I know you’ve all been waiting on baited breath waiting for my traditional “year in review” post. 

Wait…what?  You haven’t been waiting at all?  Pffffttt.  Well, too bad.  I’m writing it anyway.

I’ve been mulling this post over in my head for a while and have even started it a couple of times but couldn’t really decide the direction I wanted to go in.  So I decided to revist my last year’s post to see what I had to say waaaay back then and in doing so, I was reminded of those nasty trolls.  Damn it!  Why did I have to re-read that post.  So, because I usually have to do the same things over and over many times in order to learn my lesson, I decided to revisit that ridiculous website that basically rolls the dice for your resolution (go ahead – I dare you:http://www.moninavelarde.com/newyears/) .  Really, I need to start learning my lessons the first time through.  So, with the same snarky grin on my face, I press the “gimme more” button…

First “roll”: Follow through.

I. Kid. You. Not. Already I know I shouldn’t have hit that button, already I know that this is not going to be the funny, I-pulled-one-over-on-the-universe trick I thought it was going to be.  Shit.  Follow through huh…ok.  I totally get that.  I’m terrible for making plans and then breaking them.  Volunteering for something and just bailing at the last moment.  It also swings into my parenting techniques.  I am the mother of a thousand chances and zero follow-through.  That technique has failed me once, I’ll be damned before I let it affect how the other two turn out.  Follow through…<mumble mumble grumble>…fine.  I’ll work on it.  BUT that’s not a resolution.

Second “roll” (yes, I am really stubborn to a fault): Let go

<insert extreme profanity here>…ok trolls.  I know you’re capable of funny.  I know that you’re capable of humour.  This is supposed to be a funny website.  You, website, are failing.  Epicly.   Let go.  Ok, I get it.  I really, really need to learn this.  I even know I need to learn this.  I even said it to my darling husband just the other day.  “Q1 for counsellor: How do I let things go” – or something along those lines.  Really, it’s my Achilles heel.  I obsess and mull things over for WAY too long, I let it stress me out, I get all tense over it.  Letting go.  Novel thought.  Good skill, guess I’ll have to practice that.  I still don’t think those trolls are funny.

Finally, thinking to myself that this stupid website has made it’s point, I click the button one more time…: Start a piggie bank.

I have never glared at a computer screen so hard in my ENTIRE life.  Alright, alright.  I call mercy.  I get it.  The universe is not just trying to send me a message but she’s slapping me straight upside the head with it. 

In all seriousness though, for the first time, I feel that I actually did make personal progress in 2012.  I can feel it in my own self.  It’s not so much how I do things or even what I’m doing.  It’s a great culmnation of things that are coming together.  I find myself calmer in some ways and more intense in others, except now it’s in the right ways.  I am slowly working to quiet that hateful little voice in my head and even in the hardest moments, when I want to just let ‘er rip, I tell her to sit down and STFU.  She has no place in my life now.  I feel like I am taking the time to really look at myself and those around me, analyse their words, watch their actions and really try to understand them.  I finally, for the first time in my life, am taking a stand with the people in my life.  I have never been good at drawing boundaries.  Lie to me, hit me, disrespect me, use me, make fun of me – I was always more worried about having people in my life vs having quality relationships.  I’m not doing that anymore.  I deserve better than that because I am better than that.  For the first time in my life, I believe I am a good person and deserve better than that.

What will 2013 bring?  Who knows.  We weren’t supposed to get this far.  For me though, it will be much of the same.  Though I have no trophies to display or plaques to hand around, I am proud of my accomplishments over this past year.  I am fighting some of the toughest battles anyone can fight. I am over coming years of mental conditioning that I am not good enough, not important enough, only loved if I’m a certain way.  I am slowly overcoming serious depression without medication (hence shutting up that wicked bitch in the back of my mind).  I am battling anxiety, a highly misunderstood, nearly invisible thing, without medication.  And I’m fighting those battles for me – also a first.

So I guess, even though I always claim to not make resolutions, I do in a way.  They just aren’t based on a year.  I am resolved to live the happiest life I can. 

Happy New Year to you all.  I hope 2013 is everything you hope it will be

Ok, ok, ok…you all know I didn’t stop at three clicks right?  Here are the rest:

Be a leader

Strike up a convo with a stranger

Be true to myself and others

Sing in the shower (FINALLY!)

Join a choir (what’s with the singing?  I am NOT a good singer)

Be happy

and finally…carpool.  Very funny trolls.  Very funny.

Weekly Peek: Clear thoughts lead to clear actions

Clear thoughts lead to clear actions.  That is the end line in my horoscope (which I firmly believe in, I’ll have you know).  It appears that the end line changes each week.  In an effort to stay true to the path that I am on, I have decided that each week I’ll craft a “weekly peek” post that is based around my end line in my horoscope.

Clear thoughts lead to clear actions.  What does that even mean?  It sounds like some hippy dippy mumble jumble but it’s not…not really.  I have rarely taken the time to mull something over in my head, toss it this way and that, examine all the angles, question them and draw conclusions.  I’m more the type to make a snap decision and run with it. I am slowly painfully changing that.  Introspective in training, peeps.

Life has thrown a couple of curve balls in the last little while that really makes me stop and think.  Think clearly about what it is I’m supposed to learn because there is obvi something here for me to learn.  I’ve concluded that consequences may be the trend right now.  In the past, I engaged in behaviour with very little thought to the end result and/or the consequence to those actions.  For some reason, I believed that my consequences would be different, you know because I lurve having my cake and eating it too (and dictating EXACTLY what that cake will be).  Recently I watched two people who are close to me go through similar situations but I felt that the consequences didn’t match the situation.  I feel like the gravity or rather the seriousness of their situations was lost on them.  Then epiphany slapped me in the mutherf!#@!$ face!  That is probably how so many people who have cared for me over the years have felt.  The people I hurt with the feelings I ran down all probably felt that my consequences weren’t great enough.  So why did I think that I was so very different from the rest of the world?

Easy. Because I wasn’t thinking clearly.  Without clear thoughts, my actions were muddled as well.  Holy Hannah Batman!  I think we’ve stumbled upon something here!  Without taking the time to really think things through, to understand the motivations and desires of the underlying current, how could I have acknowledged that my actions would be tainted as well?  I don’t think I could have.  Ah ha (see, there really IS a “ah ha” moment)…clear thoughts lead to clear actions.

Clarity of thought to me now means, mulling a thought over and making sure that my intentions are clean and clear.  Thinking it through to make sure that I understand the base reason why that thought even entered my mind in the first place.  So repeat after me: Clear thoughts lead to clear actions.

ps…you’ll probably see the whole consequences thing end up in a rant rock post…just sayin’

Dreamscapes and Landslides

I have been told that I am a vivid dreamer and I agree.  My dreamscapades are radical, entertaining, realistic and memorable.  It isn’t often that I dream and then don’t remember.  My dreams fascinate me.  They give me something to think about, to analyze, to delve into; however, when I wake, I go about my life in a doldrum fashion. I give very little thought or analysis to the “why’s” in my life.  I hardly glance at the needs, wants and desires of my soul.  The urge to spread my wings, expand my mind, expand my bubble – ultimately expand my life.

Lately I have been trying to rationalize the vast difference in my dream world vs my waking world.  I’ve been thinking why am I enjoying my dreamscapes so much but completely, and utterly, ignoring my wakescape (yea, I made that up).  Why is it that I’m not building a world of wonder while I’m awake?  Why am I holding myself back while I’m awake but letting it rip while I’m asleep.  I mean really, I spend about the same amount of time in each place.

In my dreams, I don’t let people walk on my heart, I don’t justify hurt, I prioritize myself, I literally live “dream big” …so why am I not giving myself that same respect during my waking hours?  No matter how hard I try, I simply can’t put it together.

I look around the world and every now and again I am touched by a soul who is amazing, brilliant, and so full of life and light that it’s palpable.  And I want that…no, I crave that.  And I know it’s there for the taking…I just need to reach out and take it.  I suspect that fulfilment, enrichment, a nourished soul is not so much found in a bucket of kale or a gallon of water but rather it’s learning the talent of making your life “right”.  Those moments that make your heart and/or soul hurt take something from you, they take away a bit of rightness until the moment comes where every waking hour no longer feels “right”. 

I want my life to feel right.  I want to bounce out of bed and greet each day with enthusiasm and joy.  I want the people in my life to support me, love me, value me.  I want to talk with people who talk back, who engage in conversation and have an honest interest in what I have to say.  I want people in my life who can recognize that I’m practicing being vulnerable, that I’m not perfect, that I need tenderness and support.  I want people in my life who see me as more than something to posess.  I’m not just a body to use, I’m not a soul that can be claimed.  I want people in my life that inspire me to share who I am, that care about me just as much as I care about them and that aren’t afraid to show it.  I deserve that.  I want to make my dreams my waking life too.

Parenting Paradigm and Prayers

When you become a parent, there is usually a chorus of “congratulations” and “hold on tight, it’s going to be a ride” coming from those who are close to you or, frankly, anyone who sees you.  In the beginning, it’s not so much hard as it is scary.  The day you bring a baby home and look at it and think “what the hell am I supposed to do now?” hits you like a tonne of bricks.  It’s the day you realize that you are truly responsible for another human being and a helpless one at that.  Luckily, for most, those moments only last a short while and you quickly move past them and get into the swing of things.

Then life takes hold and all of those lines you were fed suddenly become painfully clear. Time really does speed up, to a pace which rivals light speed.  Before you know it, you’re facing the terrible twos, which have nothing on the terrors of a three-year old.  Suddenly your baby isn’t a baby, she’s a toddler then all of a sudden you’re standing in an elementary school waiting to register for kindergarten and you’re thinking “WTF?  How did I get here?” Once your child enters school, it’s almost like time isn’t measured in months anymore, it’s either “the school year” or “summer”…holy fruit nut batman, where does the time go?  You negotiate the school years with grace, charm, twists, turns, bumps, and pitfalls BUT you make it.  It’s graduation day.  What now?

Somehow along a timeline that has been put in super fast-forward, you negotiate the waters of parenting and you start to realize two things.  First, you realize you start to sound an awful lot like your parents did and second, that your parents were generally right. 

I am in a tight parenting spot right now.  If you take the baby bird analogy, as provided by my dear BIL, STech, we have a baby bird in need of a mighty kick out of the nest.  The hard part about that is we know our baby bird is going to struggle with the fall.  We know that she may not flap her wings until the very last possible second.  We have to have faith that she will flap those wings of hers and take off into flight. 

As her Mom, albeit her step-mom, it is heart-wrenching to watch her be scared and confused.  I feel that same fear and confusion but for different reasons.  I fear that if we don’t push her to independence she will never get there.  I fear that if we continue to swoop in and make everything alright, she will never learn how to make things alright for herself.  I’m confused because I never wanted to be in a position where I had to push one of my children out of the nest when they don’t have a job or anywhere to do.  I’ve been there.  It sucks.  Big time.  I am worried about how she will make out, out on her own.  Will she fall back into a cycle of poor decisions?  Will she get herself into a sticky situation?  I guess time will tell that. 

Parenting is so hard and it gets harder as time goes on.  It is exhilarating and confusing and frustrating and rewarding and simultaneously the most difficult and the most incredible thing I have ever done.  I pray that I have the strength to guide my children onto the right paths while respecting their ability, need and want to make their own decisions.  I pray that our family will pull through the raising of three children, all from very different foundations.  I pray for the day that we have a big family dinner, the days when my hair will be more salt than pepper, and I can look around my table, at my beautiful children, and see the successful outcome of much laughter and many tears and so many years of hard work. 

I want my children to look back at their lives and remember that their parents supported them.  Maybe not in the ways they would have liked but that we were there, with love in our hearts and resolution in our spirits. 

 

Being Grounded

Remember when you were young and you did something to royally piss your parents off?  Remember their response?  YOU’RE GROUNDED!

Back then, that phrase was likely met with eyes rolled so far back into your head that you could see the back of your skull and either a loud puff of air that would rival a leaky tire or some sarcastic remark about how lame your parents are.  I think the message that was missed, likely on both Team Parent and Team Kid is that grounding is actually not a punishment. Or at least it’s not supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a time where you stop, listen to your inner-self and think about your choices, decisions, and the path ahead of you.

I need to be grounded. No, wait…I want to be grounded.

We are planning a trip to Tofino in the next couple of weeks and I’m so looking forward to it. I’m considering leaving my electronics behind (*gasp*) and bringing my old fashioned paper journal and a pen, maybe even a pencil! I would like to sit on the beach with my face turned up to the sun and just feel it. Let the sunshine soak into my being. I would like to be up early enough to watch the sun rise above the water and marvel in it’s beauty. I would like to listen to my children laughing and playing on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and not be interrupted by the ever-present sound of an incoming text message.

Basically, I want to hit the pause button and, for four days, be present. I want to be with my family, be with people I love and cherish. Be surrounded by nature and soak it all up. My soul needs this. It needs to reconnect with nature and the beauty in the world around it.  I need to reconnect with my family and just watch them in all of their beauty.  I need to be around my friends and watch them interact and marvel at the amazing network of people we have around us. I need this and I’m looking forward to it.

I hope that I come back with some excellent blogfodder to share with you.

Can you believe this is where I get to be?