Showing posts with label balance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label balance. Show all posts

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A double standard ?

The New York Times (credit)

I tend to skim across The New York Times stories that both the publishers and Google place upon my path as a customized choice of reading.  As I've meandered before, the more I click, scroll and share (retweet, share, like, comment, post, pin ...... ) the more juice I give Google and now it appears articles that are more likely to entice me to click, read more.  Very few insight me to want to comment and go even farther by blogging around it.  

Today, I did such a thing and clicked on this article tossed onto my path.  They wouldn't know that I was just hopping on for a quick look at something, and only spend five minutes at most.  

Most likely, family dynamics is top of mind with the wedding of my stepdaughter last weekend.  We talk about blended families, as if it is normal or not unusual, but until you are in the throws of unique coincidence that everything does pan out without less drama than the movie makers, writers or media want to let on.  We can have a huge event with everyone on their best behaviour and manners prevail.  What one would think should give comedic plots can actually be drama free and calm.  People relaxed, wary of the "others" but committed to keep the affair congenial so that the bride and groom are able to have a memorable occasions.

It is kinda nice that the drama is left to the screenwriters and authors to drum up in escaping for a the relief of comedy, spelled by belly jiggling laughter, and enrapture by dramatic tragedies and dysfunction of those on the screen or on the page (or screen).  

This article by The New York Times bid my read merely by its headline:  "Why Men Want to Marry Melanias and raise daughters like Ivanka".  It is an excellent read.  It is thought provoking and at its center distinguishes the traditional values so many are debating these days with all the violence and the public displays because of politics reinforced daily, if not hourly, or more, is bringing to the forefront the difference in values.  What I liked especially is how divorce, second marriages and blended families measure up with long-held marriage, defined in years, still with only one single child to be concerned with are so different.

What is the difference between a philandering man and a woman who lets her man get away with philandering I ask?  It's pretty hard to pick sides isn't it?  One isn't better than the other.

One showcases that despite the shortcomings of the parents, or father's infidelity can the kids, as byproducts, still end up firmly grounded, successful and looked up to by peers, elders alike.  I like to think my own kids demonstrate that they can actually end up as survivors and strong in their convictions and firmly planted and aligned to their own desires and goals.  It's like showing others that even if the parents' vows have been broken, the children were made and raised with love, understanding and support.

The article does have a very  interesting perspective to me personally.  I wonder how many of my followers agree?  Whether female or male, weigh in your thoughts please:  are you pro traditional values in your own home and marriages and pro climb and achievements for your daughter or daughters?  

I could blog on and on about this heavy topic that is being played out dramatically by the differences in the two campaigns:  Clinton versus Trump.  I start to meander as to whether Americans may vote according to values rather than any political rhetoric.  From the sounds of this article, Americans (Republicans or Democrats or Independents) forgive Trump's past digressions because of the great job he's done with having such awe inspiring offspring.  I'd hazard a guess, without any profound research undertaken, that children of a first marriage fair much better than the 2nd or 3rd marriages.  Tiffany Trump was merely okay comparatively speaking.  If she were a character in a book or screenplay she'd be the rebellious one who acts out her own insecurities by being louder, out there, fast lifestyle and notoriety born from being overshadowed by siblings and even parents that are amounting to some pretty hefty reputations.  To avoid pity, they take on a rock star lifestyle (that the media portrays, but not the real true lifestyle that I believe most rockstars lead:  normal, peaceful, loving lives and home that is achieved after a lot of roller coaster rides and growing up).

This article got me thinking and took a life of its own.  I wonder what others' perception of the article's accuracy is.  

No doubt, our world is evolving and our principles and values take a bumpy ride at times, for sure.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

In pursuit of excellence

Is the bar too high?

Do you often compare yourself to others::  beauty, looks, success, wealth, home, car, job?  Ahem, or career.

First, let me apologize because I was trying to sideswipe you to continue as if there hasn't been a few weeks since the last time I blogged.

Do we strive too far?

There comes a certain point in your life when you are at an event, more likely social, more alarming family ::.... and you just POP in your head!  Just like that with the zippy exclamation point (don't overdue it with multiples::.... that screams desperate for attention ....:: so you tend to ignore it or stop reading right there).

I found myself at my stepdaughter's wedding, as the "evil stepmother" I told everyone I was.  That was to downplay no input and my manners meter on high alert.   It became a time that because of my non role yet close observer of the past 12 years of the bride's life.

Try facing off two mother grizzly bears, it may not be pretty.  But manners prevailed and we treated each other with one acknowledgement and handshake (no hug and definitely no kiss to signify how genuine our gestures were).

Thankfully I'm no "other woman".   I came from picking up the pieces of a divorce and trying to make sure her kids were glued together.   I'm not even going to give it any respect and avoid saying that I'm the victim.  Because I was the woman in the marriage, the career magnifico, mom superior superwoman, and likely lastly wife.

At such a juncture in time and after 12 years, it would be misleading to not say that there was curiosity out there.  I mean, the "other woman" had had the chance to be involved this duo were, instead deciding to leap outta the picture to avoid the scandal that even not that many years ago would have been frowned upon.

So who was this mother and former wife?  I guess I wanted to see for myself and do what we do best we women, compare myself to this woman.  How pathetic when you think about it because I could not believe anyone would give up the chance to be married and committed to Rob for the awesome, thoughtful teddy bear he is.

I then decided to be less traditional::.... compare myself to the ex-wife, mother whom I played Head Coach for daughter ::..... most women wouldn't admit to it, be it they are the wrongee or the wrong doer, that they compare themselves to the other woman.  There are a lot of ridiculous benchmarks that just POP out there again.
  • Looks
  • Grooming
  • Manners
  • Poise
  • Success
  • Beauty
  • Clothes
  • Accessories
  • Jewellery
  • Shoes (did they match the purse?)
  • Any scarf, nail manicure, pedicure, evidence of formal fix er up
  • Body size, body shape, curvy, skinny, plump, thin
  • Make up, eyebrow shape and whether it needs plucking
  • Hair color, health, fried or gleaming?
  • Teeth white, whitener, straightened by braces or hidden behind veneers
  • Her kid(s) all of the above times however many kids
  • Work, stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, job, status, organization
I sorta apologize ::.... I got on a roll.  But the amazing part is that we can compute all of this information and filter it all to arrive at warning: "Threat" or "Possible Aly" ..... all under a minute.  The masters can talk while taking it all in and processing it all under the world's largest microprocessor:  the woman's mind.

I started my inventory differently.  I guess I wanted to be a bit unbiased and objective when I was comparing her now husband to my husband, her ex-husband.  (Yeah, I know, talking and writing like a woman who is processing information and spewing it out faster than any satellite network (aka faster than the largest telecommunications networks data).  Amazing eh?

I have to admit, I didn't think of it until only a couple of days ago:  Sunday.  The day after the wedding.  We women like to take in information, process it, exume it, but of all store information for later use so we can pull it out and extrapolate it, examine it, research it if need be, so that we have dissected it into the smallest of topics.  Then we speak to our mother, sister, brother, aunt, father, sister's best friend, brothers girlfriend, uncle, friend, acquaintances or therapy session.

I came out the lucky one.  My husband is awesome and he loves his family immensely.  That exuded from him in fumes, so light and almost vaporless.  I won't go on the scorn at her or ask her to give her head a shake.  Her new husband is a shell and only one quarter as interesting as my husband.  And that just about covers every area you can imagine, and the one you thought it implied.

I'll have to make up for being MIA the past few weeks by writing a little be more over the coming weeks.

Be healthy, be happy, and be hypercritical ...........:: LOL, checking to see if you're still with me ............::

Sunday, July 31, 2016

YOU can be anything!

You better believe me
This is very true.  
If you don't believe me,
ask my daughters about 
my son Kyle.

Prouder than the biggest lioness
Everyday he inspires me
by setting the example on 
how to be the better person
or the best version of yourself.

As a mother, it goes back to that
9 month relationship with that
baby in your womb.

Falling in love
When do you start talking to it?
How did you feel from 
the movements?

A womb
A gentle glide,
maybe back and forth.
Watch out for somersaults
because they can be the worse.

Motherhood childhood
If you are the mother of a child
you can probably understand and relate
if you are a child of a mother
there are many things to learn from her.
She didn't go to school for the job,
she wasn't told what it would entail, the
highs, the lows, the championships, the falls.
She knows it all
Yet she still is your biggest fan
single loudest cheerleader
Instant defender, protector, teacher, scolder, nagger.

When was the time
when you stopped listening
and just started doing?
Somewhere between adolescence and
motherhood afterhood.  

Is faith belief?
When did you start losing faith?
When faith has been steering you all along.
Not in the way that you'd design it
or be all glitzy and for show.

Inner committee
Is it because you stopped believing
your own press?
Or do you believe that old press
was a mistake?

Where you lose some of that inner glow
where enthusiasm and ideas blow
knocking anyone over in its path, 
or the fury if it didn't pass

The kick in the pants
self discovery talk
Was that with self or
glorious being?
An angel guide  on eagle wings,
takes you away from that place.

Maybe it is an inner mantra
that at first seems quiet

Ebbing towards a much calmer sea
from the beach
or the breaches of my mind.

optimism, gratitude, creativity tide.
Allowing your instincts 
to be your guide.

Wisdom and growth
Maybe with more wisdom
grows the appreciation of the great things
that happen behind the spotlight
of a social media glow.

Gratitude is
creating an appreciation
like never before.
For the very best things 
that you can enjoy.
For free, out there, helpful, 
creative and pure.

Love of a dove
Spread those wisdom wings
and wrap those so dear
whom you love
with all your soul
like a beautiful dove.

Far reaching
High outtabounds
limitless, boundless
energy abounds.
Through the coming
of one
with your soul.

Beginning to uncover
the real you.
Who was likely covered,
burdened, trodden so the
spirit may have fallen low.

Singing to others
by writing, tweeting, posting hello
to those who help make her grow.
Surrounded by talented by three
thousand times the speed of sound.

Her audience, her readers and growing fans
don't quite know what to make of this
lady so grand.
With style, with grace,
with wisdom to share.

Because of her age,
merely a number,
but because of it 
gathers many asunder.

For beauty wherever and whatever form
is in tuned with the beat of what most want to feel
A champion for others, 
finding inspirational

Beacon of light
To inspire, lighten a spirit, lift a mood.
To restore optimism to others
is a duty born
To stomp out hate, violence and/or fear.
To return to the important
things to hold dear.

Not money, not wealth, not even fame.
Can drown out the inspiration
many will claim.
As their right, their worth, and
wisdom reborn.

Let's spread our wings 
and let those gifts soar.
We can make a safer,
even more beautiful world.
We reach out beginning with one
and grow in affection and support.

among dreamers
because they eventually
become visionaries.
The ones that are 
easily discounted.

Yet rise above the clamour and noise
where radios and televisions on mute or off.
The people's choices emerge,
sending messages out as a blurb.

Telling a story
of grow and learning.
To instigate allegiance
to this yearning.

Of gathering
the still
yet like minded.
Forming a voice
that cannot be contended.

Fire and heat
The thermometer and furnaces
of hate, racial bias, violence and corruption
are burning bright
with heat to those who draw too near.

Taking steps
while they're stepping back
from the dreaded topics
of poverty and despair.
Like turning one's head
at a roadside wreckage.

How can we be mere
Luckily, there are others 
who make us look and reconsider
our role in humanity, our planet, 
our young and our elders.

One thing I know as a mother is how gifted my son Kyle is with people.  Over 27 years, I have wondered how can I capture the ingredients and sell it for a whole lot of people who need to have a better attitude on life.  Be more thankful.  Appreciate others more.  Judge less.  

His sister called me to tell me the coolest thing.  It reminded me of a phenomena that is uniquely Kyle:  once you meet him, you can never possibly forget him.  Apparently, still so.

This sis of his called to say she applied to this hipster hangout for the trendiest of youngest group of Millennial explosion (22 or something close to that).
They instantly hired her on the spot, without not even 1/2 of a 1/2 of a percent of Bernie Saunders math, pause.  She was merely told, if you're the sister of Kyle, you are on our team without hesitation.

How's Kyle?
I forgot how often after school, or in summer months, I would meet some of his teachers, in the community, grocery shopping, doing stuff.  It wasn't uncommon for someone to walk up to me to ask me how Kyle was doing?

With an imaginative soul.
Can you imagine that?  It was amazing, yet as you drift along in this tide, you don't get a chance to really stop and take in that it is probably even a bigger and more unique gift than any politician could commit more than a decade in learning how to smile at people just right, giggle, chuckle or full body laugh.  

just has it.
The "it"
YES, that IT
the thing we
all want

To be liked,
for being a really good person.
To be loved,
because he makes us want to be better.

We watch, we learn
He shows us that it isn't 
the toughest, the richest, the most obvious
who are the most talented.
It is usually someone who is gifted.  
Sometimes, even more less, 
discovered as a true treasure 
for our world.  

Lighting the way
Like a Nelson Mandela, 
not merely an Oprah Winfrey.  
The difference is obvious.
One dwells in the limelight
while the other is far away
from the spotlight.
A legacy of our times.
Like the Dali Lama who is still among us.
Or for some like me, fairly unknown, yet mysterious.

A lot of little somethings
So maybe that is something
worth delving into.
What makes one person so great
that others remember

Who wants that chance
to be the best of who they are NOT
diving deep into the talent
yet undiscovered.

With quiet humility and dedication
one can only hope to make a dent.
Help one person out of despair.
Failing hope.
Growing disbelief.
Not looking back because
the wreckage is in front of them.

How do you repair, restore faith,
uncover talent?
By cheerleading the unheard,
the unfamous, 
not infamous.

Exploring lands and cultures
without touching new soil.
That's what in front of us,
if you just focus on the most
beautiful, peaceful and hopeful
images, readings, teachings
stirring within new belief.

in yourself
in what you are capable
of doing.
Not yesterday, NOW.
Not tomorrow, NOW.

Images are all courtesy of Google from a GOOGLE SEARCH.  I would like to thank all the creators and give them tribute as one, easily found.

The tribute to Harry Potter is by design for two reasons:

1) The main character in "Goldfinch" the book that I am heavily engrossed in right now, is nicknamed "Potter" by his best friend.

2) There is a lot of excitement surrounding the release of yet another Harry Potter, to international instant acclaim, by J.K. Rowling:  a true inspiration for women everyWHERE as this century's #bestofeverything #womenofinspiration 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

A do do DO

What are you doing on here?
My best friend and her hubby came over for a BBQ this evening.  The hunkster hubby is trying to get his project off the ground:  our getaway car wrapped up in a 1979 Porsche.  Sound pretty fantastic doesn't it, except when you dwell on the fact that you haven't had a spin for 4 years (at least).

Why life ain't fair
What is it that a guy can have a "project" last for eons and cost mucho moola without a poof of smoke or a vroom vroom.  I should, to be fair, state that the car was started and the cloud of smoke was worse than any carbon tax register.

The girls are gals
We did a fabulous job of hanging out on the driveway while our hunks piddle and screwed around (with screwdrivers) with tools and we were content.  Ask us 50 somethings whether we could turn back time and put the breaks on these never-ending project that suck mucho moola out of the funds.

To be fair
We may have extended ourselves beyond the requirements: do we need those many shoes or purses?    Our defense mechanism is that we need as many pairs of shoes as they need tools.  

Take that!?!!
Truth be told, we really don't need those many purses, shoes or accessories as they need tools.  But never has anyone argued with the "in case".  The tool that is bought because it is needed for the specific time is far different than the "in case' that particular tool meets a specific requirement is like that purse or pair of shoes that we buy "in case" we need it.

An explanation or evasion?
My greatest friend, who has known me since we worth both 18, starting out at college asked me what the big fuss was about social media?  She said anything she has crossed paths with is nega-tive.  She links it to negative association or being tricked into saying something or her kids being trapped into something.  Something that they should avoid at all cost.

An explanation or defense?
If you find yourself fooling around on social media, we have to be prepared to defend why we do what we do do DO.    As I said to my dearest friend, or tried to explain to her, social media is not a news cast, or about what is trending in the news, or what has people all hopped up about.

Occupation or preoccupation?
To try to explain to a non-participant is a challenge.  It isn't like I get paid to tweet, blog or post.  I tried to tell her that you can be recog-nized for your efforts.  To try to explain how it can be measured is like trying to defend why smoking or drinking alcohol is okay.

About writing or expression?
My very best friend who has known me for so many years, through some challenges, and championed triumphs, asked me:  "When did you decide you liked to write?"  It was awkward.  I was reacting defensively at first.  Then I had to internalize the question and think about the answer in it's realism:  I didn't know I loved to write until I started to write and I felt this physical release.  It was like I could just write and it dissipated those worries or thoughts.  

The reaction to attraction
Whether it is from a post of words, a quote that resonates from you inner being, or an image that just seems just too cool not to share.  Writing, posting or blogging on social media is a source for saying how you really feel, what you think to be true, or what would help others.  

A piece of the peace
There is a peace that envelopes you when you can be expressive through means that are outside your own creation.  Whether it is a reaction to what is happening or a thought on what could be a reaction to what is going on around us.  Writing a blog, posting on social media, is found at the inner core of our being. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

the CLUBHOUSE project

The clubhouse project
Wooohooooo I'm on another 4-day weekend and I've been doing things that are treasured by me.  First and foremost lately it has been painting objects that turn into repurposed art.  

Repurposed art
About a year ago I started painting on objects that I'd had for a while and just goofing around painted them.  It was so fun and some of them really turned out very cool.   The homes I found for them even cooler.

A birdhouse with a purpose
As I started painting a birdhouse an idea blossomed.  What if I could use the birdhouse as a clubhouse that housed my dreams, goals, where my favorite people could either gain admittance or become members.

I holistically considered who would be allowed in my clubhouse?  It wasn't too hard to figure it out, they would be people who I wanted to be surrounded by.  They would be:

  • talented
  • exceptional
  • smart
  • creative
  • caring
  • motivational
  • friendly
  • innovative
  • humble
  • humanitarians
  • artistic
  • share positive messages
  • injected with humour
  • from across all walks of life
  • cultivated from among the world's best
  • they give, they promote, they help, without expecting anything in return.

The givers, innovators, creators
By words, art, photography, beauty they create a world worth living in.  Those would be the persons crowded into my little Clubhouse.  Lucky for us, there are foodies and entertainers and scholars and teachers and musicians and artists, curated from across many social media platforms and life.

Where would my happy place be?
As part of my clubhouse project, I would imagine the location of such a happy place.  I was divided among the options that bring me solace and peace:
  • My home
  • My garden
  • A new surrounding:  on a beach, beside the ocean

What would be in it?
No home, no vacation, no location would be complete without the right things in it:
  • Music
  • Art
  • Photography
  • Beautiful decor
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Pets

6 partitions with 5 sides to life
As a form of therapy of sorts, I reflect upon the clubhouse to create the five sides of life.  I began by imagining who and what would go in it.  To be expanded upon when I'm feeling discouraged, let down or a strong passion for wanting my life to be on track in a way that I make it possible.  

What and who goes in it
Complete the options before us.  We only let the people or things that matter to us inside our Clubhouse projects.  They bring us positiveness, beauty, inspiration.  We leave out those that hurt us, lower our self-esteem, cause us harm in any way.

The outside defines what is on the inside with five sides dedicated to making it a unique piece of our mind, our hearts, and dreams.

The front door
Is welcoming and a place in which we find ourselves safe, at peace, surrounded by only the good and wonderful we imagine it to be.  We want it to be welcoming because it will attract only the best of everything anyone or anything.

My garden
What I like to do is reflected on my entrance pane to my clubhouse project:  gardening, beautiful flowers, bright colors, happy faces.  A solace for dreaming, creating, beautifying where we spend our time.  

My goals
Are the levels on which I climb to reach my ultimate destination.  Whether it be career, writing, creating or being this side defines what I think will make my life complete.  They are realistic and achievable.  

My dreams
What do I see when I look outside the window of my clubhouse?  What would be the most perfect world imaginable.  Certainly gut-wrenching reflection because it defines the who, the what and the where long before economic reward brings the "things".  Things don't belong in my dreams.  Things are static and stationary, never evolving.  

The where
Where do I see my dreams blossoming the most?  What would I be looking at by my surroundings?  Beauty, sunshine, tropical trees, a lake, ocean or pool with billowing white puffs of cloud that don't bring darkness, but only shed light on the brightness where my inner peace can be found.

The bottom
Is where my secrets, disappointments, hurtful memories, failure, toxic people or events remain.  I place them there, on the bottom, to let go, get over and forgive.  Once those memories go to the bottom, they become dormant and never again allow me to regret, feel hurt, or hit my confidence.  

The roof
Unadorned and plain.  A place where I sole away dreams discovered, cheques or money seep into to make the dreams happen and the goals achieved.

It's about possibilities
The Clubhouse Project is about setting about making what is possible a reality.  Not to dwell on regrets or disappointments, it is filled with optimism.  I am in control of what goes on and in my Clubhouse to arrive at utopia and happiness.

Make your own CLUBHOUSE
Find your own birdhouse:  at a store, a garage sale or a thrift shop.   Design it in a way as described above.  As you paint it, you define the four key components:

  • What do you want others to see when you welcome them?
  • Who would the people be that you would allow to be members?
  • What will you see when you look out your window? ::  the goals, the dreams, the realization of all that can be made possible by you.
  • Where would it be?  How can you create the where?  Is it where you are, is it where you will need to be, or a stop along your travels to utopia?
  • What will you bury?  Who are the toxic people that you have removed because they block you from creating your intended destiny?  What are the awful memories that keep you frozen with fear, replayed over and over again.  Letting go when they go into the part of the clubhouse that is not opened again.  Who do you need to forgive?  Or, who do you need to forgive you?  They go in there, part of the past.  Let go to allow you your wonderful future.  If you replay failures, memories, hurt or heartache, they belong here.

Create your own clubhouse
Once it is created, decide all the ingredients and write them down on a piece of paper and put it through the welcoming front door.  Draw out your floor plan or surroundings as you imagine them to be.  Put in pictures of people that matter most.  Cut out images from magazines or print off photographs and insert them inside.  This is where they belong.  Write the list of people, things, memories or events you will let go of or forgive others or yourself for.

Creating the life you want
Only you can decide what it is that will bring you peace, happiness and excitement.  Nobody else.  Only you can determine your goals, decide on your dreams.  It is your own Clubhouse project.  Creating the destiny you and fate have aligned.  Understanding that you reap what you sow.  This is your CLUBHOUSE where you begin to imagine the possibilities of a life fulfilled with love, happiness and dreams come true.  

Try it.  Let me know how it goes,
 or let me know if you want to post yours on PINTEREST
I will invite you to share your post or your images!
and REMEMBER :: ...........

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I'm a "10" for sure!

Yayyyyyy I am a 10!  I reached the milestone of 55 on April 18th and in looking at the cup half full, I recognized that I'm finally a 10.  In 1979, the movie "10" starring Bo Derek and Dudley Moore and hit the big screen, and forever after gals wanted to be scored a ten in looks.  

I may be taking liberties with my own definition of being a ten (55 years old:: 5+5=10) but there is so much to be thankful for, I reckoned why not.  My personal benchmark may be different than others, yet they are mine alone:

  1. I'm happily married to a wonderful man who to this day makes me appreciate him and the life we have formed together.
  2. Through blending our family, we have four awesome kids aged 21, 23, 25 and 27 where the eldest, Kyle, has been working at the same corporation for 8 years, Des is solid in her career and engaged to be married this year, Chantal is finishing up her 2nd year of university and Kelsey is off to make her fortune in Vancouver with a great job in a law firm and with the man of her dreams.
  3. Ones own happiness is often defined through motherhood and my kids are happy, healthy and really great people.
  4. I am working for an excellent Canadian corporation that sets the bar in many ways.
  5. I have discovered my love of writing and blog as often as I can.
  6. I have found balance with work, life and love.
  7. I am a fashion forward fashionista where even the young gals where I work often comment on my ensembles.
  8. I have my mom who is 81 years old and still there for me with love, support and an example of how healthy living can carry you to a longer life still able to travel, dance and be true to herself.
  9. I have a beautiful home which I am continually redecorating and improving.
  10. I have an adorable pet dog named Buddy who makes my day every day.

I guess those are pretty basic to most.  Yet, we should stop every once and a while and just appreciate what we have to be thankful for and give gratitude to those who make our lives meaningful.  I am lucky to have a few great friends whom I've known for years and years.  

Aging is all about continual improvement, seeking more knowledge, being satisfied with what we have while still stretching ourselves towards new goals.  

Material things and money are easy targets for setting goals, however, the simpler things are sometimes harder to appreciate.  Certainly, when I was in my 20s, my list was fairly long.  I've experienced great success, great disappointments, periods of sadness or melancholy, and times of money.  

At the end of the day, what makes me the most content are:
  •  spending time with my kids, family dinners and playing games like "Heads Up" or having a backyard fire pit just hanging out and talking.
  • sharing time with my best friend and her husband whom Rob and I really enjoy hanging out with.
  • talking on the phone with my mom or sister, to discover the quick hello evolved into an hour.
  • my youngest daughter calls me almost every day from Vancouver, although I miss her tremendously, I love talking with her on her updates, news, happiness.
  • my stepdaughter, her fiance and my son drop in often just for a visit and sometimes a sleep over.
  • My older brother Greg and I get to go have dinner when he is in Calgary on visit.
  • My sister and I have been on vacations together to Mexico three times and there are wonderful memories that I would like to add to by going again.
  • My husband and I have been able to travel on tropical vacations, we like just going for drives in the beautiful country surrounding us, meandering through garage sales, or me just sitting on the driveway soaking up the sun while he putters around on our "Getaway Car".
  • While so many are unemployed, I have a job with a great company and have learned that my job title no longer defines me.
  • I have Buddy to take me on walks with, snuggle up with and who protects me faithfully.
  • We have a beautiful home that can accommodate our kids and their friends, hosting get togethers and celebrations.
  • I love working on my garden and transforming it year after year into a haven of beauty to be enjoyed not only by us but those who walk back the green belt pathway that goes along our back yard.

Sure, I wouldn't be me without some things we call bucket list as we grow older, transformed from goals:
  • a dream job doing marketing or maybe even dabbling in sales again
  • my writing starts to generate an income, for the extras in life we want:: travel first and foremost
  • I'd love it if my writing were to evolve more into reviewing items geared towards the female 50s crowd, with samples arriving from Brands who value my opinion and a following that trusts it.
  • My mom and sister are always telling me to write a book.  Humbly, I think everyone wants to write a book or thinks they can.  To be any better would be egotistical.  I recognize one just has to "do it".
  • I'd love a chance to go with Rob to Seattle to watch a Seattle Sea Hawks football game.  So strange for a Canadian hockey fan to put an NFL game on her list ... eh?
  • It would be fun to be invited to help decorate a show home or a room to stretch the imagination and challenge myself.
  • See if my painting hobby of re-purposed objects could actually be sold as art :: more designed for the garden.
  • Maybe get a second dog, smaller, for a companion for Buddy, like our teacup poodle Coco was before she passed on at 13 years old and who will trot after me as I putter in the garden (Buddy is too busy running around and playing bodyguard to follow me).

It is safe to say I am able to stop and be grateful for what I have and yet energetic enough to want to stretch farther and reach higher.  I am content for the most part yet still have a restlessness to want to do more.  The next decade is going to be interesting to see what unfolds.