Monday, October 31, 2011

7 Billion And Counting

We’ve all known it was coming and according to the UN, today’s the day. Our world’s population has hit 7 billion people. That means (if you’re keeping track) that the world has gained 1 billion people since 1999 – 12 years!

Do people care? I honestly don’t know. When I was first labelled an ‘environmentalist’ it wasn’t a good thing. I often got called a ‘tree hugger’ and it was used as a derogatory term. Since that day being green has become trendy, annoying and then trendy again.  I can’t keep up with the current labels – good or bad.

What I really don’t understand is how a person can be anything but an advocate for our environment. Imagine for a moment our world without nature, without trees and animals and the beauty that is our natural world. Forget for a moment that we can’t survive without it; just take a second and think honestly how our lives would be without all the things that encompass our environment.

Our earth and all the living things on it; plant and animal alike deserve our respect and our care. I realize we can’t all do everything suggested but we can all make a difference. How difficult is it to use your green bin, or CFL bulbs? What about turning down your heat a little, what about choosing to walk to the corner store?

With 7 billion of us sharing our planet right now we can’t wait for our children to do the right thing...we need to leave the earth for them – not take it from them.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Barriers to Love Part 2

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wrote in Barriers to Love the other day. About how I often make choices and decisions from a place of fear rather than a place of love; although this is something I’ve known about myself for a very long time, I all of a sudden feel the need to change it.

Which of course, brings up the question of how. How does a person change a long seated habit – especially one as personal as how we see the world? A good friend of mine once told me that people who grow up in secure loving households are well adjusted and secure people, and those of us who grow up in unstable dysfunctional households are insecure and afraid. So if seeing my world the way I do comes from my dysfunctional childhood, how do I change it now as an adult?

As usual I seem to have more questions than answers.

“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.” - Bill Cosby

I came upon this quote this morning and I wonder if it doesn’t answer my questions in the simplest way possible. 

I won’t know if it’s that simple until I give it a try; and of course I’m afraid to try it but habits don’t change without effort so I’m going to give it my very best shot. I will of course let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Growing Pains

When I was little and couldn’t sleep because I’d played too hard or worn myself out my Grandmother would always tell me I was having growing pains. As I got older growing pains grew to encompass so many different things; the discomfort of starting a new school (and there were many), my first training bra, being taller than everyone else in elementary school – yes those of you who know me may now laugh! Peer pressure, my first boyfriend, my first break up, my first hangover, we all know the milestones that mark our way in life – “just growing pains” Nanny would tell me.

The implication was always that sooner or later I’d out grow growing pains because I’d grow up. Makes sense, right? As a girl I looked forward to that day. I associated being grown up with not having growing pains. I can actually remember being about eleven and being aware of one of the girls down the street being seventeen and I thought she seemed so grown up. I decided then and there that I would be grown up by then and no longer would growing pains be my struggle. Nanny really should have clued me in – growing pains never stop. They are always a part of life because we are forever growing. 

Once we’re grown up and have children of our own the growing pains double. We still have our own and now we have our children’s too. I’m going to go out on a limb here and make the assumption that once we have grandbabies we’ll also have theirs to feel too. 

I think I’m going through a period of intense growing pains (at my age, some might call them collectively a mid-life crisis). The catalyst for all of this? Bradley’s not going to play football next year. I know, I know, this should be his growing pain to deal with. I’ve been involved in football every season for the last 25 years and I can’t (right now) imagine my life without it. Then you throw in the fact that Shane will be 21 soon and Bradley 17 soon after that and you have growing pains.

What’s a person to do; besides keep right on growing?  There’s always something going on in our lives that encourage us to grow and move forward. Instead of bemoaning, I want to embrace the changes. Isn’t that one of the things we all want – the ability to embrace change and go with the flow of our lives?  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Berry Delicious Girly Moment

It doesn’t happen very often that I experience a girly moment....unless of course you count the times that I’m yelling for Jon or Bradley to kill a bug.

Sunday afternoon while Jon and I were trying to waste some time waiting for Bradley’s football game to start we went shopping for a pair of slippers for Jon. I hate shopping. I don’t like grocery shopping or clothes shopping or Christmas shopping. Somehow the shopping gene missed me and landed in both my boys.

We’ve looked almost everywhere for slippers that my big footed picky husband will wear and he suggested Payless Shoes. I’m not sure I’ve ever been there before but I can tell you for certain I will be there again! I walked in the store and the very first pair of shoes I saw I loved....I might even have let out a little girly squeal I loved them so much.

Not only were they my size, they were on sale too! Since Sunday I’ve had moments of being so incredibly happy to be a woman; there just might be more shoes in my near future. Now I just have to get Jon to take me some place nice so I can wear them. Check these babies out!!



Thursday, October 20, 2011

Early Morning

It’s early; the house is quiet inside and the wind is howling outside. I’ve just stoked up the fire and the dogs are lying at my feet. It’s peaceful here right now. Before the day starts and life takes over I have a few minutes to just be with the silence.

These are the moments I live for. The stillness within me and the matching stillness of my home this morning help me realize that it’s ok to just be. We live in such crazy busy times all we really need from time to time is to balance the craziness with some still quiet time.

In my life I’ve discovered lots of ways to allow myself stillness. The fire often helps but so does walking the girls through the field, taking my camera out and looking for a particular shot. I love deer, and I find watching them brings an inner stillness. When the boys were little and I could still read to them, in that moment just before sleep the stillness and joy were always palpable.

I’m sure we all have moments of stillness and silence in our lives no matter how busy they feel. It’s just a matter of recognising them and then of making them our own. Once we notice how a moment can change us it becomes easier to pay attention. Paying attention to our lives is the only way we can live them....one moment at a time.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Barriers to Love

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

I’m feeling extra introverted and a little melancholy this morning, and when I read this quote it got me thinking of all the ways I build barriers to love. I know it’s something we all do for a variety of reasons but today in particular it’s bothering me.

Spiritual books and self help books tell us that we live either from a place of fear or a place of love and I know all too often I choose fear and right now as I sit here thinking of my barriers to love that would be my biggest one.

By nature I’m not a brave woman. I won’t ever be sailing around the world alone, or jumping out of an airplane. It’s unlikely that I will ever scale the side of a mountain or fly a helicopter but I like to believe that I can look within myself without any reservations. I try hard to be self aware and that takes a certain kind of courage too.

We can’t fully experience our lives with too many barriers in place. They get in the way of not only love, but also of joy and fulfillment. So today while I’m pondering my life I’m going to think about ways to live from love and rather than building barriers I hope that maybe – just maybe, I can tear a few of them down.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pet Peeves

Pet peeves are like opinions – we all have a few of them. I will admit to quite a few.

Let’s start with the simple ones. What’s with men who wear capris? I mean is that a good look on a guy anywhere? People who wear floods drive me nuts; especially women who wear really high heels and feel the need to show us their shoes. Pants should cover your socks, your ankles,  a good portion of your shoes and if you’re wearing heels most of the heels too. Pinky rings on a man – I can’t stand them. I have no idea why, they just bug me. Why do so many people miss use the word ‘are’? Are and our are not the same word – nor are they interchangeable. For example: 'are you coming over to our house?' is the correct way to use them. It’s not: 'are you coming over to are house?'!

Now, my big pet peeves. People who can’t or won’t take the time to spell people’s names correctly – for example: my name is spelled Lynne...not Lynn; Jon’s name has no ‘h’. Why can’t people pay attention? Manners; or rather lack of them, crappy customer service and people who say they’re going to do something and don’t follow through. If you’re not going to do something don’t say you are, if you do say you’re going to do something – to quote Nike “Just do it”. I will likely feel the need to expand on a few of these, but for now let’s keep it very simple....


If you’re a man, don’t wear capris.

Make sure your pants are long enough.

Leave all pinky rings in the jewellery box.

Use are and our properly.

Take the time to check the spelling of people’s names.

Have some manners!

If appropriate, give excellent customer service.

And most importantly....

If you say you’re going to do something – just do it!!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Surrender

You know the expression – Let go, let God? What does that mean exactly? I’m reading a book about surrender and how to ‘let go’ of the false sense of control we think we have over our lives and I’m having trouble with the whole concept.

I’m a struggler...I’ve known it for a long time. I’ve also known that life doesn’t need to be so difficult all the time. Which brings me to the concept of surrender – it brings me to letting God be in charge. I’m a big believer of Him being in charge, but how exactly does that happen? I can’t wrap my brain comfortably around this.

The book I’m reading says that if the concept is difficult for you then ask yourself how your life would be different if you could let go of the control you think you have. Imagine yourself surrendering and see the potential.

I know that control is an illusion we all share, but it’s a comfortable one for me. Does that mean that surrender is simply too uncomfortable for me to practice? I don’t know the answer to that either. All I know right now is that I’ve used some version of the word comfort three times in this short post and that gives me something to think about.

Today instead of asking myself what role surrender plays in my life I need to ask myself why comfort is so important to me. Does discomfort lead to surrender and therefore to less struggle? There are always more questions than answers – I guess all I can do today is be comfortable with them! J

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Fall Garden

Jon and I planted 80 trees over Sunday and Monday and I loved being outside enjoying the beautiful fall weather so much I decided to prolong the weekend just a little longer by taking a few minutes in my garden this morning.


As much as l love my garden when it’s in full summer bloom I love it almost as much now. There’s always something to see when I look carefully. This morning I noticed I still have many alyssum blooming and my wild roses are still going strong. I saw one lonely cosmo in the mess of dried and tired greenery and of course the leaves are a wonderful back drop this time of year.

Wandering around the yard listening to the rustle of the fallen leaves is relaxing and meditative and makes me wonder what’s coming this winter. Although I’m looking forward to winters quiet charms, for the moment I’m content to enjoy the fall colours and marvel at the last of my flowers.




Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanksgiving

Our family has a tradition that during Thanksgiving dinner we take turns saying what we’re grateful for. Sometimes the things we’re grateful for are big important milestones and sometimes they’re very simple; but no matter, big or small they are all meaningful.

I think gratitude is one of the easiest ways to connect with our lives and although I make it a daily practice it never ceases to warm my heart to hear what my family is grateful for once a year.

Some of the things I am most grateful for are:

~ My amazing family

~ My friends, both old and new

~ My pups – even though they drive me a bit batty some days

~ My home, it welcomes me regardless of how often I vacuum

~ The trees around my home that make me feel like I live in a park

~ My books for the knowledge, entertainment and comfort they offer me

~ For being creative almost daily with my blog and my photography

Life is good!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Parenting 101

I read an article a few weeks ago about very harsh, very critical and domineering parents. These parents believe that the only way to raise children is to tell them what to do, how to think and to schedule ALL their time with activities that “will lead to better grownups” – such as music lessons, tutoring, language lessons etc... I don’t get it.

The only growing up people do is to mature physically and get taller. Humans don’t grow up...they grow. Period. We all grow into who we want to be or who we feel we are meant to be.

Children aren’t an extension of us; they are their own people. Their lives aren’t ours to do with as we please, but theirs to do with as they please. Parents are meant to love first and foremost and then to guide, encourage and support their children, not to dominate.

I don’t want my children to do only what they’re told; I want the boys to think for themselves. I’ve tried to raise them in such a way that they’ve learned to do just that. I want them to question everything, to learn as many new things as they can. I want them to have open and inquisitive minds, not only as young people but as adults too.

My goal with Shane and Bradley has always been to support them in learning who they are, who they want to be and how they want to contribute to our world. Isn’t that what we all want for our children? How can our children learn to think for themselves and learn to make good choices in their lives if we do all their thinking and decision making for them? 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs: How to live before you die

“Your time is limited..don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” ~ Steve Jobs

I love this quote, and in honour of Steve Jobs, today’s a good day to use it!

I’ve watched this video from time to time when I need a little inspiration or a good kick in the ass. It has accomplished both – depending on what I needed on the given day.

I hope you’ll take the fifteen minutes it takes to watch this video today. It’s definitely worth it. The world has lost an amazing man and I know I will continue to watch this video every now and then when I’m looking for a little inspiration, or more likely, when I feel like I need a kick in the ass. 




Wednesday, October 5, 2011

If you have nothing nice to say.....

I started writing my post this morning and I guess I’m in a mood because it wasn’t turning out the way I thought it would. All I can hear is my grandmother telling me if I don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. So in honour of my grandmother; today I have nothing to say.

BTW...my name is spelled like this L-y-n-n-E

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gentle Reminders

It’s been rainy and gray the last few days and my moods have matched the weather. Usually I love the fall and in particular the rain but the last few days I’ve been feeling a little down. Besides the weather I’ve been giving myself a million excuses about my crappy mood – stress, exhaustion, boredom, busyness etc.. On the top of my list has been pain. With the change in weather (at least I hope it’s only the change in weather) my hip has been so painful walking has become difficult.


This morning after dropping Bradley off at school I was walking from the car to the house feeling sorry for myself and a reflection caught my eye.  I got my camera to take a couple of pictures and for a few moments I was reminded of the beauty in our world even on gray days and I forgot I was feeling sorry for myself. As I sit here my hip is still sore but I’m grateful for the gentle reminder that it’s not all bad.