Taking on 2013 and hoping to revitalize my life

Posts tagged ‘reflecting’

Parked in My Driveway

So Dan is a car salesman. This means that he has access to a lot of vehicles. It also means that he has shown up at my house driving 3 different cars in the last 2 weeks.

Lord only knows what the neighbours are thinking as sometimes these cars are parked in my driveway overnight….

My First Time Wasn’t Pretty

I decided to look up an old boyfriend on FaceBook. A discussion with Dan reminded me of him the other day so I wanted to see what he was up too, let’s call him G.

This boyfriend was from many lifetimes ago. We were both university students, we took a lot of classes together, he had a big crush on me (while I was slightly less infatuated), and he was my first. He wasn’t a good first, we were both virgins and it was very fast, but he was my first.

There’s a bit of a story surrounding this one. It’s not a pretty story. First of all, when we lost our virginity we were not actually dating anymore. We never had sex while we were dating. I wasn’t interested in having sex with G. My plan had been to save my first time for someone I was in love with. Sometimes plans don’t work out…

Anyway, we were still friends. G still liked me. I made plans to stay with him one night and we went out to party (He lived in the city, I was home with my parents for the summer). I got extremely intoxicated. He also had lots to drink. As I can still vividly recall, 20+ years later, I can see in my mind’s eye, not being able to walk down the yellow line in the middle of the road on the walk back to his place.

I have no recollection of how we ended up naked in bed together but I do recall the actual act. I do recall that it was consensual even though I was too drunk to make good decisions. And I do recall my immediate response of “that’s it?”. I also recall physically kicking him out of bed. OMG, obviously it was not a good first experience for either of us. But just wait, it gets worse.

Then, when I woke up the next day, I was pretty horrified with what had happened. So, while he was in the shower, I grabbed my stuff and bolted. Pretty much a running version of the “walk of shame”.

Back in those days, we didn’t have cell phones (how did we manage?) so I didn’t hear from him until I got back to my parent’s house at the end of the weekend. (I had plans with other friend’s for the next night.)

When he called me, I wasn’t overly gracious. I was still horrified that I had lost my virginity to someone I wasn’t dating, didn’t love and was so drunk that my decision-making skills were obviously impaired. I kind of let him have it. After several minutes of discussion that involved me exclaiming how could he not know how drunk I was, we got to the point where I said, “If we never had sex while we were dating, why would you think I wanted to have sex with you when we weren’t?”.

Needless to say, I didn’t hear from G again after that phone call.

Now, let’s get back to the present. I looked G up on FaceBook yesterday. And there he is with multiple pictures of him and his boyfriend. Yes, he is in an openly gay relationship. I mean good for him for coming out of the closet.

He had some slightly effeminate mannerisms when we knew each other but G actively pursued me so I really had no idea that he was gay. I have to wonder if our less than optimal copulation and after-effects helped crack that closet door open.

I don’t hold any ill-will towards G. I was 20 years old and my sub-conscience did not want to be a virgin any more. I met someone else that summer who I dated and had sober, consensual sex with. Several times. And I wasn’t in love with him. And he taught me some stuff ;).

But now that I know that the first guy I ever slept with is gay, it makes the whole memory and incident all the more baffling and slightly ridiculous. And for some reason it makes me smile and shake my head with disbelief. I actually felt a little bad for the way that I treated him afterwards. He obviously cared for me and I made him feel like crap. He also made a poor decision while under the influence of alcohol. 

Anyway, it was all a very long time ago and yet just a short walk down memory lane. The new information adds an interesting layer to the story. I’m almost curious enough to hear his perspective of the whole thing. Almost.

Where the Wind Takes Me

I had a great weekend. I spent the whole weekend with Dan. I was a bit nervous at first as to how things would go and they didn’t start out exactly perfect, but Saturday was GREAT! And then this morning was GREAT! So all in all, I’d say it was GREAT!

Yesterday we went on a day trip to the ocean. I’m a sucker for the ocean. Look how beautiful it was there.


The sun was shining and the view was spectacular. Giant hunks of ice in the intensely blue water and small ice fishing huts in a spot where you could barely tell the horizon from the sky.

We stopped in several spots for me to have a quick photoshoot and then we ended the day with donairs and a movie.

This morning involved lounging around, brunch and an impromptu snowball fight. He didn’t try very hard ūüėČ

It was hard to leave at the end of the weekend for the long drive home. I really like Dan. He’s fun and grounded and we have a good time together. He’s even got me saying things like “When our kids meet…” That one caught me off guard when it slipped out of my mouth today. He feels the same way.

I feel a bit like I’m in uncharted water, but I’m not nervous. I’m just going to unfurl the sail and see where the wind takes me. Hopefully somewhere good (and fun).

My First Winter Solstice Ritual

I participated in an online Winter Solstice Ritual tonight. It was conducted by Christine Arylo, Shiloh Sophia and Amy Ahlers.

The premise of the whole thing is to slow down or pause and take the time to review the past year. To see the surprises, successes, failures and wisdom learned. Once you can take stock of everything that happened, it is easier to begin 2014 with a sense of fullness as opposed to a sense of emptiness.

Christine drew a Medicine Wheel or Wheel of Reflection for us. It pretty much looks like a compass with the addition of the thing that you want to reflect on written in the middle.

wheel of reflection

During the process of reflection, you are supposed to start in the East with your surprises and then go clockwise around the wheel, ending up at North with the wisdom that you gained during the year. (The wheel doesn’t have to be used for just this ritual, it can be about anything).

I was lucky, I had this blog to help remind me of my journey during 2013. They did give you a way to try to reflect on what happened throughout the year, but I cheated a bit and looked at my Monthly Reviews. If you want to perform the ritual, you may need to spend some time thinking a bit harder than I did.

Once you have completed your list of items, you are supposed to share them with others. Sharing is supposed to help you remember¬†the learnings from this ritual. Since I have this blog, I guess I’ll share here.


  • the discovery of the importance of being ‘in the present’ and how it relates to happiness
  • a desire to write
  • a rekindled love of badminton
  • joining a writing course
  • my new job which involves being a minority and working with another culture


  • writing a short story and submitting it to a contest
  • welcoming abundance into my life
  • writing this blog
  • getting a new job
  • teaching my youngest how to ride a bike
  • losing some weight
  • keeping connected with friends


  • dating the wrong men for me
  • not writing as much as I had hoped
  • multiple failed job interviews
  • continued bad eating habits

(You need to feel your disappointments in order to heal them! )

I’m going to leave WISDOM for now. I think it deserves its own blog post, plus I think I need to think about it a bit more before I can articulate the learnings of the past year.¬†

After we completed the Wheel of Reflection, they shared that January is known as the “Dreaming Time”. It’s the time to visualize and to look towards your future with the possibilities of what can happen as opposed to looking forward from a place of negativity. And once you’ve given yourself permission to look at your future as a canvas that you can paint, then you start your new year in February.

Finally, they discussed that within the next few weeks you should declare 2013 as being complete and to determine what support you need for 2014.

I really enjoyed this ritual. It just seemed very fitting for 2013 for me. I have grown and learned a lot this past year. And as you can see, my successes outnumbered my disappointments so I’m on the right track. I’d like to pull together some pearls of wisdom before I declare 2013 as complete and then I look forward to considering what I need to make 2014 as successful as 2013.

Feel free to do your own Winter Solstice Ritual, there’s still time. Winter Solstice is actually tomorrow :). And don’t forget to share your reflections! I’d love to read them.



“We Need to Talk” or 3 Lessons Learned

We Need to Talk My ex left a message on my phone today, “We need to talk.”. How is it that those 4 simple words can strike fear into the heart of¬†anyone who hears them?

When I listened to that message my mind immediately went to a worst-case scenario which was that he wanted to tell me that he was getting engaged or to finalize our divorce.

Upon reflection, I want to know why that is my worst-case scenario, I mean I’m supposed to be over him, right? It’s been 12 years since we started having trouble and 3 1/2 years since we separated the 2nd time… how is this my worst fear realized? Sigh… I know that a part of me will always love him but I am so ready to move on. I’m tired of being alone and would like to have a new partner in life. A better partner, one that will stick with me to the end.

Anyway, he was not calling to tell me that. He was calling to tell me that he is having issues that are health-related in nature, nothing life threatening or that really concerns me but he thought that I should know. I offered an ear in case he wanted to talk but that’s it. Business as usual.

So based on today’s events, I have 3 lessons learned:

  1. People should not use the words “we need to talk” ever. It just makes the recipient of those words think bad things.
  2. My ex getting engaged or us finalizing our divorce is not actually a worst-case scenario for me.
  3. Sometimes my subconscious state is a little slow to catch up to my conscious state.

Keeping Calm and Carrying On

keep calmMy oldest is almost 13 and we have been butting heads    A LOT during the last few months. The raging hormones regularly declare their existence through bouts of moodiness and lots of attitude. A few times it got so bad that my ex had to talk me down when all I wanted to do was lose what is left of my mind.

Recently she went to the other side of the country¬†on a Youth Exchange for a week. And then last week she spent the whole week at her Father’s. We did see each other for a few hours in between the exchange and the time at her Dad’s but it was almost 2 full weeks of not really being together.

What a difference it has made for us. I believe that the old saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” holds true in this instance. The last 2 days with her have been so much nicer.

I’m not sure if the change comes from both of us or not but I know that I have been dealing better since she has been back. For example, today¬†she yelled at me when she was frustrated and instead of instantly getting upset with her for yelling at me for no reason, I pointed out to her that she was stressed and asked her if she really meant to be yelling at me. It immediately diffused the situation because no, she did not.

I have been off work for about 9 months now, which means that even on the week’s she is with her Dad, she comes here after school so she sees me all of the time. It’s possible that there just might be a bit too much Mom these days.

Part of becoming a teen means asserting her independence. That also means that she has more opinions about what we are doing and a greater desire to make her own plans. Sometimes when she shares her dislike, it comes across as having a bad attitude as it is often accompanied by an eye roll or negative tone of voice. And she is less than happy to drop what she is doing now to accompany the family on some type of excursion. Texting with friends or straightening her hair can often seem more important than whatever you are offering.

I can’t guarantee that this improved atmosphere will continue, but if I can see her actions as what they are as opposed to a personal attack, I think we might be able to make it through the teen years. I have seen that there is hope so if I can “keep calm and carry on” we may both make it through intact.

Open to Possibilities

So I’m not sure what has happened but I seem to actually be interested in a guy.

This is not my typical dating scenario. Most often I’ll meet a guy, we’ll go out a few times, I’ll decide he’s not for me and move on. Or if the guy does make it through my initial screening to the point of actual dating then shortly thereafter he hits his 3 strike limit and he is no longer a viable long-term option. Now don’t get me wrong, I can already visualize the multiple hurdles that are attached to this guy and realistically do not believe we will make it more than 6 months, but who knows, weirder things have happened, lol.

Let’s look at the guy I dated a year ago. I liked him, we clicked on some level, but when he started talking about planning things for 5 months down the road and meeting his mother, it scared the hell out of me. After a very short amount of time he became someone that I referred to as my “trial” boyfriend. He was the first one to ever meet my kids and I learned that they wouldn’t fall apart to see Mom dating. But after a certain point I no longer thought of him as a long-term prospect. We went out 5 months and then it crashed and burned. I’d say that this is typical but most guys I went out with never got that far.

Kirk* (I’ve changed his name, perhaps he doesn’t want me writing about him on here, lol) and I met through online dating, I’m an introvert, that’s how I meet guys. We hit it off right away, so there were lots of emails and texts. This was back in March. We eventually met in person, it went great, there were extenuating circumstances and it didn’t go anywhere. Fast forward two months, he sends me a message out of the blue telling me to get out of his head, lol. I was surprised, I had moved on without too much of a backwards glance. We chatted that night, messages back and forth. At the time, I didn’t realize he was drinking, and when I found out the next day I was not impressed and told him so.

A few days later¬†I decided to give Kirk another chance. Not so much because he’s perfect for me, but because he had managed to lodge himself into my head with his most recent batch of messages. We decided to meet again. It went well again. And then after a few weeks it didn’t. Things somehow managed to continue to progress but it just really became a process of dating by text.

Last week I wrote him a very long email explaining in detail what was working for me and what wasn’t. I told him that if he wasn’t looking for anything that involved actually seeing each other more than every 3 weeks or so that I was out. I found the whole thing too frustrating and wasn’t interested. He told me he had been stalling and that the whole concept of dating again scared him (he’s divorced twice if you didn’t click the links or forgot). But he said that he needed to hear what I said, he apologized, and he invited me to dinner on Saturday. I went, I like him for some reason. It went extremely well, lol.

I don’t know if it is him or me or a combination of the two but when he mentions 5 months down the road it seems plausible on some level. It doesn’t make me want to run for the hills. When he tells me he thinks about me all the time, it doesn’t scare me. When he held my hand on Saturday, I really liked it. When he took me for a walk on the beach because he knows I like beaches it made me think about how sweet he is.

Is the difference him or am I finally ready for something serious? I’m not sure, I’m not sure if we’ll make it 5 more months, things have not been smooth sailing so far, but maybe we will, and I guess I am open to this possibility.

6 Months and 100 Posts

100I cannot believe that this is my 100th post.

When I started this little project I’m not sure if I ever thought that I would make it this far. I hoped that I would but 100 posts is a lot. I’m pretty proud of myself.

They haven’t all been stellar but they have all been written by me. I may eventually go back and purge a few of them but they are a nice little diary of my adventures these past 6 months.

Today is also the 8 month anniversary of my unemployment. I never thought I would be unemployed this long either. I had 2 interviews last week (for the same job) so I’m waiting patiently to find out if they want me to come in for a third. I’m hopeful even though it would be an hour commute, I am really tired of looking. But as I have not heard yet, I have to get back to the job search tomorrow. Last week was so crazy I certainly didn’t do much. And this week I want to take an extra long weekend so I need to get to it tomorrow!

As for the goals of this project, I think I am making progress. It is not always easy to be happier. Some of us have innate personality traits that make some days a challenge. And I have yet to find my great passion. I don’t know if I ever will, but I am happy to have this project as my intermediary passion until I can find something better :).

Thank You to the Teachers

appleDuring my months of unemployment I have had the opportunity to volunteer at my youngest’s school on occasion. It hasn’t been a lot of hours but it has made me appreciate teachers and all that they do for the sake of our children.

I am particularly impressed with my daughter’s teacher. She is a shining example to other teachers and I hope that the school realizes what a treasure they have in her. It is very evident that she loves working with children and that she gives it her all each and every day.

Not only have I had the opportunity to volunteer with her class, but I have had the chance to talk with her during parent-teacher meetings, during extra-curricular activities and at the pool as our kids had swimming lessons during the same time slot. She is an amazing person and since the school year is coming to an end, I took some time today to write her a thank you note. I copied it here in case it inspires anyone to send their own message to a special teacher this year.

Dear Mrs. xxxxx,

Thank you for being a great teacher this year and thank you for caring so much for all of the children in your class. 

Thank you for being a shining example of not only a teacher, but a person who is loving and giving and caring. Thank you for working tirelessly to teach our children to the best of your ability. Thank you for creating your lesson plans for school while you take your own children to their activities. Thank you for staying late to mark tests and sending emails to the parents at all hours of the day and on weekends. Thank you for spending your own money to buy supplies and gifts for the children. Thank you for helping out with the school’s extracurricular activities.

Thank you for teaching the children about math, science and reading but also about art, the environment, helping others and working for a good cause. Thank you for making the children feel valued, appreciated and loved. Thank you for accepting hugs and giving them back. Thank you for teaching them courage and bravery. Thank you for making learning interesting, creative and fun. Thank you for helping them all with their individual needs even though you had the biggest class in the school.

But I think I speak for all of the parents when I say thank you most of all for being you and for being a part of our children’s lives. 

Have a fantastic summer, I really enjoyed getting to know you this year.

All the best,


Possible Passions Part 2

DSC_1799I’ve been thinking about what my possible passions are for a long time now, trying to figure out what burns inside me, what compels me to wake up in the morning and reach for the stars.

After much consideration I have decided that passion cannot be sustained. For every yin there is a yang and for every up there is a down. If we were to live in a type of sustained passion for an extended period of time, we would burn out. Or if we did manage to sustain a high level of euphoria, eventually that would become our new normal and we would again be seeking some kind of new high.

People are adaptable. Sliding down the same old waterslides, riding the same old rollercoasters, and doing the same old bungee jumps eventually becomes old hat. We adapt and experience fewer waves of excitement during repeat performances of the same old thrill rides.

So what I have discovered is that although I ¬†haven’t found anything that makes me want to shout from the rooftops,¬†I think my passion for right now is doing exactly what I am doing: Revitalizing Me. It is really important to me and I am passionate about it in my own way.¬†I also feel that if I go off on another tangent, I will lose my focus here and I don’t want to do that.

But I didn’t make this decision lightly.¬†I made lists, I did some research and for awhile I thought that perhaps I could do a blog about being a Single Mom and all of the things associated with that… ¬†I mean I am passionate about being a Mom, I’m always hanging out with my kids, talking about them and trying to be the best Mom I can (although some days are better than others). But I couldn’t really gather any enthusiasm to move it forwards. I’m a somewhat private person and although I air lots of my thoughts and feelings here, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it about my kids. So after all of that thinking I just decided to focus on what I am already doing, here at¬†Revitalizing Me.

As for all of the lists that I originally came up with, well some of those items have been incorporated into the¬†52 Actions section of this project. I decided not to make them into more than they were, which is stuff I like to do on occasion or small plans I’d like to try out. Hopefully I will accomplish some of them before the end of the year.

All in all, I guess I had already discovered a new passion without even realizing it. Passion doesn’t always have to burn brightly, sometimes it smoulders in the background, sometimes igniting a burst of flames but sometimes just producing steady heat.

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