Categories
Life mental health

Your Story Is Not Over

“Time heals all wounds”. I’d like to break that statement down. Time doesn’t heal wounds. Healing is what actually heals our wounds. Healing takes time, sometimes a long time. For healing to happen we need to nurse the pain, keep the wound clean and maybe cover it with a Band-Aid. Healing is usually hard and once in awhile the healing process is much more painful than what caused the pain in the first place. So healing heals all wounds. Healing takes time and therefore time heals all wounds. Time itself does not heal anything without doing the work of healing.

Today I’m wanting to just share something that’s been weighing on my mind. We all deal with failure, or feelings of inadequacy, pain of all kinds whether it’s emotional or physical. We all sometimes think about just giving up, and I’m not talking suicide here although that’s a real thing that many suffer with. I’m not looking to get that deep today.

I was listening to some talks from from a few strong and successful women. One talked about failure. What she said brought up so much for me. Y’all know I’m pretty open to talking about my childhood but what I don’t often talk about is the feelings that the some of the issues that have been an outcome of that childhood. So what this woman had to say just really kind of hit me.

Failure is something that happens to you. It’s not YOU, its not the end. If you fail at something, the world doesn’t just stop. You fall off your bike, the world keeps going. You say something dumb during an interview and don’t get the job…the world keeps going. Failing at something does not mean you are a failure. How could it? You are brave. You are strong. You are courageous. You are powerful. You are all that and more combined perfectly into this body, this body that was chosen specifically for YOU.

No matter how dark it is, how impossible it may feel right now, or hard it is to just take those steps forward, may seem. It is not over yet. Failure is never the end of your story. When we can deeply understand this fact then we can finally fully trust that pain was never supposed to destroy us. Pain is never supposed to stop us from living our lives. Instead of being afraid of it, we can invite it in. Yes, invite pain in and allow it to teach us and to help us become more free. To sit with the dark feelings and memories that hurt us will allow us to bring healing to our hearts.

Hope you enjoy your weekend! Here in Saskatchewan we’re looking at a beautiful week ahead!

-Ang

Categories
Life

It’s A Grey Thing

On my 27th birthday I found my first grey hair. My hair was long (almost to my butt) at the time, which is usually how long I have it. This hair was white as snow and it was the full length! How did it sneak in there without me seeing it? I thought it was beautiful. I had a Great Aunt Winnie who had the most beautiful white hair and I remember wishing that my hair will one day be that gorgeous and white. I plucked that beautiful long white hair out of my head and…

(okay, don’t judge here. I was only 27, we all do silly things when we’re young)

Laugh all you want to, but I put that baby in my jewelry box and I probably still have it in there. Since that day I have noticed a few here and there but none as white and as long as that first.

This brings us to last week. As I was getting myself ready for work in the morning and thinking about how short and precious our lives here on Earth are, I noticed something in my hair. Turns out the “something” was some more grey hair. Many actually (and by many I mean about 5). They were scattered about here and there and most were just short little fly-aways. I grimaced at my reflection with disappointment because the color wasn’t quite right. And then a quick shimmer of silver caught my attention. Just behind my ear on the left side. There it was. A long white/silver hair LOL. I left it alone this time.

I left it alone because regardless of what others think grey hair means, to me it means beauty and grace and I am at the point in my life where I look at my imperfections as gold stars and accept them with love.

Because I am enough.

Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

We are half-way to the weekend and there’s only gorgeous weather ahead in the forecast. I’m looking forward to heading to the lake at the end of the month to soak up some sun and listen to the waves.

-Ang

Categories
Life mental health Uncategorized

I’m Sure My Calendar Is Wrong

How its already the middle of May is baffling to me! That’s impossible.

My home is pretty close to being back to a regular routine, not the same comfortable routine I know and love because as kids get older, life changes. When my husband went back to work in March I jumped right back into the stay at home Mom role that I really love. I was still working during the week though so things got done, just a bit differently. April hit and I thought to myself, I should look into getting a second job that’s close to home so I can work more during the week. Found one, applied, got it, started May 1st.

I already hate it HAHA! I said I could manage about 20 hours a week. I still have my at home business, my paycheck job, and I still do baking. I thought 20 hours was maybe even a bit more than I was really capable of for now. They hired me but then told me I needed to put in 10-12 hour days! I was not happy. I know my limits and there’s just no way that it would happen because of my other responsibilities. So they said okay we really need at least 35 hours a week, minimum. This means 7 hours a day 5 days a week and then everything else stuffed into the few hours left a the end of the day. Still a no for me, sorry. What I did manage was to have a crazy, disorganized week full of grouchy kids, crap for meals and too late of nights. I was working from 9:30-3 without a lunch, home with kids doing homework and supper prep from 3-6 and back on the road for more work from 6-8:30. Home to get kids ready for bed and make sure lunches were packed and chores were done. Kids to bed by 10 and myself not until my paperwork for work was done. This takes about an hour to get complete and so I was heading to bed about midnight, mind racing and unable to go to sleep… The fact they were so unhappy that I had a therapy appointment in there too was too much. I postponed it for another 2 weeks which I know I should not have had to do.

I clocked in 28 hours for that job, 22 hours for the other, 4 hours of the home business and 3 baking orders of bread and buns. I left home at 5 am twice to work all day until 9pm and then plus paperwork.

Mid April a good friend that I worked with passed away, what a blessing for her to be pain free now and able to rest. I will never forget the laughs we had and how, even on days when her pain must have been excruciating, she still looked as beautiful as could be.

Moving into May and we’ve already lost 2 family members.

I had the last 2 days off from everything and it hit me that I’ve buried myself in work again and although it did the job to ignore and bury the problems, it always takes a lot longer to move THROUGH the problems and onto the recovery process.

I decided to keep the job because I’m also a people pleaser, and that perfectionism takes a huge hit when I see myself as a failure (yes, those voices are dumb and wrong on so many levels but still very hard not to hear…) which happens when I don’t take the time for the self care that I need. I’ve spoke to both of my bosses and I hope that by keeping some communication open, I will be able to have breathing space to keep going.

I hope you had a beautiful last couple of weeks and that you’re staying safe and healthy!

-Ang

Categories
book review books read Uncategorized

The Goodreads Challenge And Book Review

In January I decided to join a book challenge to see if I could motivate myself to make more time to enjoy books–whether reading them or listening to them. Reading is always something I ‘ve enjoyed. I love being able to disappear into another world. It’s the one thing that (and I’m not even exaggerating here) kept me alive while growing up. When all the things got to to the point that I couldn’t deal anymore, you would find me in a corner reading. I also loved to write my own stories and create my own little safe bubbles that I could escape to when needed. I would draw pictures and doodle my stresses away. What I wouldn’t do is talk. I would never say a word to anyone about what was going on and you would never see any hint of it in my writing.

Since my second kiddo was born, it’s been nearly impossible to get back to my reading with all the responsibilities (real and made up). Looking after others was always my first priority. In the last few years my kids and I read so many books together! They love listening to stories and I love reading and it was the perfect way to incorporate the two 🙂 Last year I realized I wasn’t enjoying it as much and what I really wanted was to just read a grown up book, one that I picked out for myself. This year I decided to challenge myself.

The Goal: 10 books in 2021.

I’m horrible at making goals because I either shoot too far or I don’t have enough faith in myself. I’m laughing at the goal now because I’m already at 9 books. I re-vamped it and my new goal is 20 books. Honestly that’s still low but I’m about to start a new season in my life again and I don’t know how much time I will have.

Lost

The 7th book on my list is Lost by James Patterson and James O. Born. This was actually a pretty intense book about human trafficking. I was really impressed with Detective Tom Moon, who is the new leader of an FBI task force called “Operation Guardian”. His mission is to combat International crime and ends up stumbling onto a human trafficking operation. After rescuing the children from the Miami airport, Tom trusts no one to watch them. He technically kidnaps them and takes it upon himself to deliver them all back to Amsterdam to ensure their safety. It is in Amsterdam that he crosses paths with a Dutch National Police Detective who shares his passion for keeping people safe. Moon and Marie make an excellent team and I loved the easy flowing, sarcastic and fun way they played off each other. The book was fast-moving, full of adventure and serious issues, and had some strong multi-faceted characters. Tom Moon was a likable character, as well as Marie. I rated it 4.5 stars

Last One Home (New Beginnings, #1)

Last One Home by Debbie Macomber was a sweet and humbling read about a broken family, domestic abuse and the bond between sisters. Growing up, Cassie Carter and her sisters, Karen and Nichole, were incredibly close—until that last fight. A regular fight between sisters that ended it all and drove them apart. After high school, Cassie ran away from home to marry the wrong man, throwing away a college scholarship and breaking her parents’ hearts. She lost everything in the process. Herself, her confidence, her family. She would have lost her way completely without her daughter to keep safe. Cassie is by far one of my favorite women characters in a long time. Her strength was inspiring and leaves the reader completely in love with her. She not only managed to turn her life around and escape a horribly violent marriage that was sure to end in her death, but she also managed to find the strength to help others in abusive situations and volunteer with Habitat For Humanity. I rated this book 4 stars. It would have been 5 if it didn’t feel so rushed at the end. I would have loved to see how the sister’s relationships grew and blossomed. Fantastic book overall though!

That’s it for today. Hope everyone is staying healthy! Have a great week 🙂

-Ang

Categories
Life mental health Uncategorized

A Selfish Moment

As most people who know me already know, I’m a persistent people pleaser which can be both a positive AND a negative trait at times. It’s always such a difficult decision to choose ourselves over the happiness of others.

Here’s my selfish story of the month.

I met Alana about 6 years ago while I was sitting in the ER with my 2 kids and pregnant with the 3rd. My husband was living an hour away and I was living in the city. I fell back to sleep one morning while the two kids were playing with play-doh in the next room. Trust me, the guilt I feel over this still sometimes gets to me. Everything was fine…until it wasn’t. My son, who wasn’t even in school yet, started crying loudly. I opened my eyes. Now what? I thought to myself. I woke up quick as he ran into the bedroom screaming with my 2 year old right behind him. Blood. Why was there blood? My eyes followed the trail in horror as I realized that it was coming from my son. Oh lord, there seemed to be so much. My room had carpet at the time so once I saw how much was smeared on the light grey kitchen floor it seemed so much worse. The only towels I had available were light grey and white. I grabbed what I could and started dabbing my son’s foot to see what was going on. He had stepped on a metal cookie cutter that they were using for a play-doh toy. The cut looked bad. I was living on the block over from the hospital so I bundled up the kids in their winter gear and headed out the door. I’m sure it was still before 9 am when we walked into the ER. We were one of the first ones there and it didn’t even cross my mind that we wouldn’t be out before lunch time. I didn’t bring snacks or drinks or activities… Around 11;00 I realized that I needed help. The kids were cranky, I was already mentally exhausted and I had literally no one to call. I decided it was time to call my husband. He was almost 2 hours away. After a good scolding on why I hadn’t called earlier, he assured me he was on his way. I had no money on me for the vending machines and as the kids continued screaming I just wanted to crawl under the chair and cry. I would have except the floor was terribly nasty with dirty, wet snow boots going in and out. Also, even if I had money, the lady told me that if I left the room, the file would be put on the bottom of the pile again. We would have to start all over.

In walks Alana. Well, honestly she was almost crawling and in so much pain she could barely speak. She sat down across from us, slumped is a more accurate word. She took up about 3 chairs as she half laid and slouched and sprawled trying to find a comfortable position. She smiled brightly at the kids and asked their names making a bit of small talk. She then looked up at me and introduced herself. She added how incredibly tired I looked and asked if the kids were bored she could let them watch videos on her cell phone. What an angel. She was my saving grace that day and for the next little bit until my husband showed up. We exchanged numbers before she was called in around 3 pm. At 4 we were moved to another room to wait because the waiting room was getting too full. At 5 I said to heck with it and I told them we were leaving because my kids were hungry and tired and bored. Yes, I understood that we would be put to the bottom of the list, not that it mattered after waiting all day. I felt completely defeated.

I’ll quickly tell you that I took the kids home to get them some decent food. The cafeteria wasn’t even open at the hospital so the kids had been living off vending machine snack foods and drinks which really didn’t help. I stayed at my house while my husband took my son back to the hospital at 8 that evening. In all, my poor 4.5 year old had to endure an 11 hour wait in the ER and because of where the gash was on his toe, the doctor put glue instead of stitches. He was fine, we were all fine. I am still upset with the wait.

Over the years, I have visited Alana countless times after surgeries while at hospitals, whether in Saskatoon or North Battleford. I have been there to pick up her kids and watch them while she was admitted time and time again. I would keep them occupied until someone else could come get them. I would make long trips to Saskatoon to take her a sandwich because this time she might not wake up from her brain surgery.

Fast forward to the present. The last time I saw her was sometime in June or July of 2020 when she was shopping in the store. She had told me the time before this that was told the doctor only gave her a year. We quickly caught up and she asked if she could give me a hug, I sadly told her that because I was working I couldn’t because of the 6 foot rule and I really didn’t want to be fired. I also told her she should be extra careful that she didn’t catch anything and I’m saying no because I loved her. I felt like a terrible person. What if I didn’t see her again? It had already been a year but she was looking good and energetic. The doctor wanted her to have another surgery because there was too much pressure in the brain again but she declined. She just couldn’t do it again. If I remember correctly, she has had 6 or 7 already.

Then last month she contacted me. Her message said she needed to see me. When could we see each other. I told her I would contact her for a quick coffee sometime on a weekday.

Fast forward to April…

“I’m still missing you. When can I see you? I really need a friend right now.”

My heart breaks when I read that because the last 2 times I had gone into the city during the week I was on such a tight time crunch that I really couldn’t reach out to her. Last week I had time. I debated calling her. I went back and forth a zillion times. My reasoning (aka excuse) was that I really needed an hour to myself without the kids when I got home. I can’t remember the last time I had that. The truth: I’m scared.

What if this is it? What if she has declined so badly since the last time I saw her happy and bubbly that I don’t even know her anymore? What if she looks horrible and I say something dumb? What if I just plainly say something dumb?

Why would it care if I did say something dumb? She already knows to expect that. If this is the last chance to see her, I would forever regret not seeing her. Last night, after I confessed to myself that it was fear holding me back, I messaged her and made a date for Tuesday. We will meet at McDonald’s for a parking lot coffee.

This morning she messaged me again saying we might have to postpone because she’s back in the hospital again. She had up puking all night again. Her headache is unbearable.

I was selfish and I hate that. And now I sit in that yucky feeling.

-Ang

Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension