40 Things

I Am Beautiful

By on November 24, 2017

This might be the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn.

Like most of us, I don’t believe I am beautiful. I was born into a world where beauty is only skin deep, and everyone is compared to everyone else, in hopes of finding it.

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40 Things

20 – The Sun Rises Every Day

By on November 9, 2017

Life is heavy and difficult. Just when you think you have it figured out, something comes from the middle of nowhere and kicks you down a peg.

Sometimes, it is just a minor set back. You bounce back like nothing happened. Other times everything you know and believed in vanishes, and you are left back at square one again. Just the thought of restarting can be utterly overwhelming.

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40 Things

21 – Running Is Hard But Rewarding

By on November 2, 2017

I started running back in 2013. I had always wanted to run a race, but had no idea where to even begin. I had tried on my own a few times and couldn’t do it. I had no plan and no idea that I even needed one.

I saw a few others on Twitter were joining a running clinic, so I figured why not? I mean how hard could it be to learn to run a 5km race?

The answer is, VERY VERY HARD.

I joined a 12 week beginner running clinic, with the end goal being the Summer’s Night 5km Race. Twice a week, I met up with the running group and slowly progressed. Starting at just 1 minute running intervals, we worked our way up to being able to run most of the 5 kilometres.

It wasn’t easy though. Learning to breathe properly, along with increasing my overall lung capacity proved to be a challenge. In addition to that, I was one of the lucky souls who is tortured with intermittent shin splints. Some days, all I could do was walk while I watched the rest of the group progress.

I am not a quitter though, and while it was tempting to throw in the towel, I continued to push on. With a little bit of preventative therapy from Clearpath Chiropratic, and better shoes, race day finally arrived.

I was terrified. I had no idea what would possess me to think I could run a 5km race and be successful. My goal was to finish under 40 minutes. Seemed reasonable, because I knew I could walk a kilometre every 10 minutes. If I added some running to the mix, I should be able to shave 10 minutes off of that easily.

The race started, and I settled in at a decent pace. For almost the first half of the run, I kept very close pace with my friend Erin. She is fast though and maintaining that would not have been possible. Close to the halfway point I started to run/walk as I needed. I also started to get frustrated and feel defeated because when I hit the 3 km marker, I was finding it hard to believe I hadn’t gone further than that already.

Like my entire experience with running, I pushed on.

When I finally crossed the finish line, my kids and some friends were cheering me until the end. My final time was an incredible 34:18 – well under my forty minute goal. To this day, that is still my personal best for a 5km race.

I will always have a love/hate relationship with running, but there is no better feeling than finishing a run, and knowing you did your very best.

I was counting down the days until my 40th birthday on September 15, 2017 with 40 Things. Unfortunately, I am a procrastinator and did not finish it on time. Still, I continue to push myself to finish.

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40 Things

22 – Love Is Hard

By on October 8, 2017

Love is defined most simply as a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties. It seems simple enough. In fact, it would be fair to say that most of my friendships fall within this simple definition.

Love is not that simple though. At forty years old, I still can’t wrap my head around it.

The hopeless romantic in me (yes she does exist, contrary to popular opinion) wants to believe that love can be like The Notebook. All consuming, passionate and fierce. A flame that never burns out. I want to believe beautiful love stories like this can happen in real life.

The independent feminist (yup, that’s more like it) in me wants to believe in movies like Ever After. The kind where the Princess does not need to be saved, because she saves herself. The Prince loves her for who she is, and they live happily ever after.

They are both just stories though. Different fairy tales created to captivate audiences.

I suppose what I want lies somewhere in the middle of those two examples. A passionate flame that never burns out, but still respects my independence and ability to take care of myself. Fierce but loving. Loyal and committed.

When I look back at my past relationships, I wonder why they stopped working. The easiest answer is probably not right. These answers focus on the failure itself, as opposed to the cause of it. There is not one stand out reason why, but rather a list of possibilities.

I recently finished reading A Book About Love by Jonah Lehrer. It examined all different types of love, and the factors that can strengthen it. The book explored different studies about married couples, parents and children and even alcoholics.

While I came away from the book with a lot think about, the only definite answer was that love is hard, and there is no one way to make it work.

I was counting down the days until my 40th birthday on September 15, 2017 with 40 Things. Unfortunately, I am a procrastinator and did not finish it on time. Still, I continue to push myself to finish.

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40 Things

23- Everyone Is Smart In Their Own Way

By on September 24, 2017

I used to think the word smart was reserved for the type of people who became doctors and lawyers. These were book smart overachievers who could retain anything. They were incredibly articulate and always used the correct grammar.

It was a very narrow minded view of what constituted intelligence. It meant that either a person was smart, or they were not. There was no gray area on this.

Having kids changed my view immensely. I didn’t look at my kids with such a black or white stance on intelligence. I looked at their strengths, and saw areas where they excelled. It opened my mind to the idea that everyone is smart in their own way.

My oldest son loves cars. He always has. He can name any car he sees by both make and model. This also applies to emergency vehicles – including police cars, fire trucks and ambulances. Any time I have ever challenged this, he has proved me wrong.

He reminds me of some of the people I work with. Vehicle parts specialists. The things they know and can convey about a vehicle and it respective parts blows my mind some days. It’s something I think I could learn, but it would take a very long time and would be very painful for me.

My younger boy loves music. At his young age, he could rival most people at a game of Name that Tune covering most musical eras and genres. He also has an incredible memory for lyrics. He often surprises me with the songs he can sing word for word.

Technology is also a passion of his. He loves computers and everything iPhone, and can work his way around an app with incredible confidence and ease. I am very competent with technology, but every day I see his skills growing and passing my own.

I have just focused on my boys passions, which are the things they excel at. When I look beyond my children, I can see how everyone as their own passions. These are their strengths, and the things they are smartest about.

  • My Mom sews. She can sew almost anything you ask her to. She can take a pattern and follow the directions with incredible patience. There are things she just instinctively knows how to make now. This is not something that is easy for everyone – trust me, I have tried.
  • A friend of mine is incredibly gifted socially. It seems like a funny thing to say, but I know I could never command a room the way he does. I have watched him walk into a room of strangers, and strike up a conversation with the first person he sees. While I am looking for the nearest corner to hide in, he is making everyone he comes across feel like they matter. It is truly magnetic.
  • My Omi could cook. She could take anything in the fridge and make a delicious flavorful meal out of it. I suspect growing up in Germany during WWII has a lot to do with. Her family was large, and feeding them on rations would not be an easy task.

These are just some of the smart people I know. Everyone is different, and it seems that a person’s passion usually the thing they are the smartest at.

Everyone has something unique to add to the world we live in, and everyone is smart in their own way.

I was counting down the days until my 40th birthday on September 15, 2017 with 40 Things. Unfortunately, I am a procrastinator and did not finish it on time. Still, I continue to push myself to finish.

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