Daring to Dream

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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot  of my life’s journey thus far. Perhaps it’s the time of year…a new year…or my age…the weather…upcoming life changes…or a combination of everything.

At 61, I sometimes just stop, caught by my reflection in the mirror; somedays wondering if I’m really 61; other days questioning if I’m really only 61. You see, it’s all about perspective…and as John Denver sang, some days are diamonds, some days are stone. But from where I sit, right here, right now, every single day is a blessing.

When I was growing up in a little fishing village on Brier Island,  plunked right between the mighty Bay of Fundy, St Mary’s Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, never once did I doubt I’d be successful…in every societal relevant sense of the word. My mother has told me more times than I can count, for as far back as I can remember, how I thought I was better than everyone else. I remember her judgemental tone, the words, feeling like they’d taken physical form, stinging and striking my heart as they venomously slipped through her pinched lips.

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I know now her words were a result of her own pain from never realizing her own dreams…but I didn’t know as a child, a teenager, a young mother, or a middle aged woman. But I know now. You must be careful of that…don’t allow someone with smashed dreams to smash yours….it takes courage, but you mustn’t allow it to happen.

Certainly I had never felt better than anyone else….in fact quite the opposite, but I knew in my heart that I was meant for more than what that little village could offer.

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There have been times over the years, where when watching a movie, I’ll think…or say aloud…”Why did they do that?” to which my sweetheart responds, “Because it was in the script”….ahhhhhh, yes. The script.

I am, as I said, where I thought I’d be, but I didn’t read the script….. or Listen[4] to the clues.

Who knew how many plot twists and turns my life would take to bring me here? Not me! The end result…to this point…. has been the same; it’s just that it didn’t unfold exactly as I’d imagined.

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Let me explain.

I always knew I would marry and have a son and a daughter. In fact, when I was pregnant with each child, so sure was I of their gender, a boy and girl respectively, I didn’t even pick out names for the other. People thought me mad, but I just knew. What I didn’t know was that I’d be married three times and have six children…two by choice biologically and four by choice through marriage. Yes….that’s right…three marriages! Sometimes it takes some of us a bit longer to get it right, but I never gave up on marriage.

I also always knew that I would go into business…of some sort. When I was young, I always fancied my role in business to be that of an international corporate lawyer….which by the way, is still percolating on the back burner. What I didn’t know was that I would own, or co-own, five …all very different…. business. I also didn’t know it would take me until the age of 43 to get over the failure of the first, and start another, and then another, and finally two more.

I always knew that I would earn a comfortable living. Me. Not the person I was married too. What I didn’t know was how,  but in three of those businesses, with my husband as my partner and we did it together. The hard way.

I always knew I’d be happy and content. What I didn’t know was how many times I’d be unhappy; how many times I’d feel defeated; alone; deep unexplainable pain; rage; loss; and betrayal. I also didn’t know how many times I’d fall, but I always knew  I’d get back up.

I didn’t know I would feel the loss and heartbreak of miscarriage. I never dreamt I’d feel the heartache of a marriage breakdown or the sting of betrayal and divorce. I couldn’t comprehend the palpable physical and spiritual pain that the death of those I  loved could bring. I had no idea the embarrassment and worthlessness I would feel to have a business fail. I never saw the day coming where I’d be rolling pennies and scrubbing other people’s toilets to put food on my table. But I did.

I always knew I was a survivor. What I didn’t know was how all of these things that knocked me down, were the very things that forced me up…in fact raised me up…pushed me up; through the pain, the embarrassment, the heartache, the anger, the sorrow; to stand on higher ground, above it all to claim my life on MY terms. To help me understand what it takes to put one foot ahead of the other; to hold my head high; to feel pride in my accomplishments yes, but more so in my own strength and courage. But mostly to appreciate, and give thanks every single day of my life for all that I have: the family, the warm home, the good food, the security, the love, and the happiness.

2351_127956260014_5222_nWe all need validation. The problem is that we look to other people rather than looking inside our own selves. Become your own validation. We can’t change other’s perceptions of us, so in order to find peace, truth and joy, we need to change our own perceptions of ourselves. Bare witness to your own life.  Live your truth without excuses, but do no harm.

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I’m not delusional. I know there will be more challenges ahead. There will be moments of darkness but I also know I’ll be ready. I’ve had a lot of practice. I’m far from finished on my journey, but now, after sixty one years, I just have better tools in my backpack as I continue the hike.

Blessings.

To View or Not to View? THAT is the Question

UnknownTelevision has always been a mystery to me. Like my great grandmother before me, I still don’t understand how they get the pictures in the box.

My daughter would tell you that I am electronically challenged….which may be a stretch. I can perfectly well set the digital clock on the microwave thank you. I no longer have to on the VCR because we don’t own one any more. Ok, on occasion, I may have to phone her and ask how I get the TV to show the DVD I’m trying to watch, but electronically challenged? PLA-EASE!

I have come to the conclusion that the term “Smart TV” may be the greatest oxymoron of the 21st century. I also don’t understand the criteria used for naming channels and the programming shown on those channels. Most are  paradoxes.

Take, for example, TLC, or The Learning Channel. When we subscribed, I thought it would be a channel I’d really enjoy…learn something new everyday is how I sold my sweetheart on it. How motors work, how styling foam goes from a liquid to a foam when you push the button on the can. It’ll be great!! Brain exercise I said! You know my motto…a day where you learn something new is a day not wasted. Heck, we might even finally be told the secret of how they get the caramel in the chocolate bar!!

Duh!!! As Forrest Gump said, ‘stupid is as stupid does.’

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IF I were to chose to watch TLC, which I rarely do, I wouldn’t learn any of those things mentioned above…or, in my opinion, anything else worth knowing, except perhaps for a game of Trivial Pursuit in the category of Entertainment (TV).

Instead, I could learn how to cope with 19 kids, totally irrelevant in my life (blessings come in all forms!!).

I could find out what not to wear, rather than what to wear….something a good honest look in the mirror will tell me if I can be objective enough to get over my love of that flannel lined plaid shirt that my sweetheart calls my “Columiban drug trafficker shirt”…which begs the question what columbian drug trafficker wears pastels?

There is a show called “Sex Sent Me to the ER” that might be interesting…or gross. TMI (Too Much Information) is my biggest fear, so think I’ll take a pass.

Then we have A&E, Arts and Entertainment. I think they forgot the art bit…and yes I know art is in the eye of the beholder and all that, but come on! “Duck Dynasty”? Really? (I know, given the popularity of the show I run the risk of being inundated with hate mail on the comment section of my blog…I’ll take the chance.)

“Storage Wars” (pick your state, town or subdivision and add to the title…they can all be found here). Okay, to give this one the benefit of the doubt, maybe this is where the art comes into play. Perhaps an original Van Gogh, or a Beatles song draft, hand written by one of the fab four, on the back of a cigarette package might turn up. Could happen.

The History channel! Now, we’re getting somewhere! Surely “Canadian Pickers” will turn up treasures of historical value….or not. But there are some cool finds according to dear hubby who follows it faithfully. 

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We all know that reruns of one of my favourite shows…”M.A.S.H”. ….are historically accurate, especially those scenes between Frank Burns and Hot Lips Houlihan.

“Ice Pilots NWT” while set in the current day in my town, touches on history, with the shows main character…the DC3 airplane….and of course “Ancient Aliens” is fodder for those of us old enough to remember Roswell and/or Shag Harbour…or Jim Jones and the kool-aid…

Maybe it’s just me, but I want my entertainment TV shows about reality to be fiction. I don’t need voyeurism, classism, or any other ‘isms’…except escapism. Take me away Calgon®! 

I enjoy the Documentary channel, and a lot of what’s on Knowledge and PBS…but mostly I think the TV executives have really dumbed it down. Even ‘news’ programs have taken on the flavour of tabloid ‘journalism’ .

So yes, TV remains a mystery to me, but so does the human need to know what boo-boo Honey is dealing with today,  or why, and how, the Kardashians took over some city…was it a coup(e)…or just a soft top convertible?

Now if you were to ask me how Mork came to earth, or why A.L.F. and Mr. T were so successful, I’d refer you to Q….not with  Jian Ghomeshi…but of Star Trek legend…because I can’t answer those mysterious questions either.

spock-leornard-nimoy-star-trek-tosLive long and prosper.