Jun 6 2010

I #$@%& Hate Camping!

I so incredibly hate to camp!

No kidding. I’m so not kidding! I hate it with every fibre of my being!

I think the reason I hate it so much is that I wasn’t exposed to camping as a kid. My mom and dad were more golfers than campers and, as a result, my single camping trip as a kid consisted of a tent trailer sojourn to Northern Ontario to be eaten alive by black flies and mosquitos.

In fact, the most vivid memory I have of that tour was that our tent trailer was in one site and our friends were in another. Being the youngest, by a long shot, of 3 I was sent to bed….alone. The other site was next door but I was all alone in the tent trailer in our empty campsite.

Eventually I fell asleep, curled into the fetal position. No doubt crippled with fear. I awoke abruptly, on the ground! I guess those old tent trailer thingys were not really very well designed. I must have slipped between the tent bit and the trailer bit and fell through! My dad, who slept naked (ew!) came flying out of the contraption and found me lying there stunned!

I suspect that this could be a contributing factor to my hatred of camping.

Later, as a young adult living in Whistler, I was forced (yes! forced!) to try camping again. This time we hiked for miles and miles in the most gorgeous wilderness on earth to pitch a tent, find firewood, boil water, eat crappy food and collapse, exhausted. But no matter how tired I was from the hike, I never slept.

I’ve bitten the camping bullet over and over again because I want my kids to like it. I have also managed to avoid, like the plague, camping invitations on many occasions. Everyone knows I hate to camp.

There is even a running joke among many of my friends that if I am going camping they will not because if I’m camping it means rain.

Yep, it rains when I camp. Awesome hey?

The last time I camped was in Squamish, BC. Alice Lake to be exact. It was when the husband hadn’t been voted off the island yet. Alice Lake was a catastrophe! It rained, of course. It was cold. The ex hated it because it was a commercial camp site (with toilets and showers) and not wilderness-y enough for him. I hated it because it required me to sleep in a tent among other things.

To make matter worse, on the way there I got my period! It makes me shudder to think of it. Like I didn’t hate camping enough? Now I had to deal with cramps too!? Not to mention the myriad of other issues that come with this particular affliction.

I #$@%& camping!!!!!!!!

This year I bought a tent.

I know, I know, stupid right? Why would someone who hates camping buy a tent?

I have a plan. This year we’re going to Tofino on the west side of Vancouver Island. For anyone who has not heard of Tofino it is one of the most insanely beautiful places in the world. The air is so clean there you feel light-headed!

The last time we went we stayed in a condo. I loved that condo :( I’m going to miss that condo.

The reality is, I can’t really afford a condo in Tofino right now. It’s not on the “needs” list. So, we’re going to camp. (shudder)

Here’s my plan. I bought the big tent. I am now going to buy a camp cot for me and some sort of inflatable thing for the kids. (maybe the camp cot can double as a beach chair! :)

If this doesn’t work I don’t know what I’m going to do. My kids love to camp (weirdos) and I love to be with them.

We’re not going til mid-July. I have plenty of time to get my head around this, right? uggg.

The upside (because I’m all about the upside) is that the last time we went there the images I took were spectacular! I love the scenery and we’ll be coming home with a lot of beautiful photos.

I promise to share both camping experiences and photos with you!

Jun 3 2010

Regaining Focus…FAST!

For the last several hours I have been trying hard to dig myself out of a mis-directed focus hiccup.

I went to yoga but found that, far from zening me out, I actually left in a worse mood. Could be all those bloody hip openings that I hate but know are good for me. Kinda like spinach, only for your hips.

I ate chocolate. This is usually a no brainer. When annoyed, eat chocolate. There is medical research to back this up people! It increases your serotonin and makes you feel really good. At least that was what I was telling myself while devouring it on the couch this evening. After yoga btw.

3 hours of mindless nonsense on TV was next. America’s Got Talent. Stupid Housewives of NYC. I even tried Wipeout for a bit. None of it worked though.

The only thing left was to return to the writing. The thing that got me into this in the first place.

So, I wrote a post about being non-controversial on your blog. But it did little to assuage my annoyance.

Then, I had an epiphany. (or as much of one as is possible at 11pm after a nasty-ass afternoon. BTW, the morning was epic and I’m going to blog about it eventually. After I get to my epiphany)

Epiphany! Right, that’s what I was about to say.

Focus, for me, is about perspective. I was unable to find perspective in yoga tonight. It could not be found in chocolate or tv either.

Tonight I had to bring out the big guns. I had to troop out love to gain some perspective.

More specifically, maternal love.

For me all creativity and focus stems from this. The love I have for my children supercedes all other emotion and when I need to tap into it to get some, hard-found, perspective, it’s there for me.

I am so incredibly grateful for my children. Not just for the idea of them but for the people that they are.

They are bloody brilliant, sarcastic, adorable, insane, loud, occasionally obnoxious and even flatulent but they are 100% authentic. They teach me  what is important and, more importantly, who is important in my life.

All other concerns are moot.

I wish for you all to find your perspective in whatever form it takes and grab it tight. Don’t let the small stuff, or small people or barriers get in your way. Remember what’s important when you need to.

Here is my perspective.

Enjoy. Namaste.

Jun 3 2010

Non Controversial Venting

Ok, so after a day to think about things I want to post something positive.
I’m all about the positive. I have made a good portion of my day, my week, my year, my life about not only being positive but inspiring others to do so.
Everyday I wake up and think about what I can do today to make things better in the lives of the people around me. Whether that means something as simple as waking my children up with a kiss or sending a note of encouragement to a friend, the act matters less than the thought of the act.
In the last year I have helped people find jobs, I have helped strengthen, mould and mentor kids and teens in both cheer and track training.
I have made posters for Haiti and volunteered in the classroom.
I’ve participated in the school fair, helped friends move, organized surprise parties and saved a cat.
I work very hard at staying positive in the life that I lead. It’s important not just so I can sleep at night but also so that my kids realize that just because our situation may look bleak on paper sometimes (living in a cabin sans water for 4 months) that our attitudes do not need to match that.
I’m working toward taking my show on the road to inspire kids and adults in the secret to leading a productive, happy life. To setting and achieving goals and to get in the face of barriers to those goals and say “piss off”.
Whatever the outcome of the negative events of the day, I am happy knowing that I am authentic. Whether that means venting about something that upsets me or inspiring someone to something great, I am true to me.
So here’s the point; being true to yourself is not always the popular action.
Others may misinterpret your meaning but that’s really on them, isn’t it?
Even though intent doesn’t mitigate impact you should never be afraid to be authentic.
One caveat to this is if, in your honesty, you hurt others it may require a re-think.
Just sayin’.
Tomorrow is a brand new, fantastic day and I, for one, cannot wait to see where it takes me.
The journey has been bumpy but bloody exciting as hell. Let’s get on with it!

Jun 3 2010

Learnings in Blog-land

Here’s something to note.

You have no control over your blog. You have no control over who it goes out to and who reads it. But most of all, you have NO control over how it will be interpreted.

Have you ever heard the expression “intention doesn’t mitigate impact”? That’s what blogging is all about.

If you write about a specific person, in your own mind, you have no control over who will read your post and think you’re talking about them.

I’ve done a couple of posts where I refer to people I’ve met in the day. People that have frustrated me or mad me feel bad. I never hate anyone and I can almost always see their point of view. It’s rare for me to have issues with people because I usually don’t hang on to junk like that.

On the 2 occasions since starting my blog last month that I did have issues, and wrote about them, I received a ton of feedback.

I’m torn about this. On one hand this should be my space to a) express myself through my writing and b) be authentic about what I think or feel.

Guess a re-think is in order. The good news is, controversy = readership! Who knew? :)