Saturday, January 31, 2015

She's The Giggle at a Funeral

I wasn't going to publish this post.  It seemed too dark, sad, a bit creepy really... but a friend commented on my Facebook page: "Your mission statement is strong. Caring community is crucial and I love stories." So I changed my mind...

There's this rather catchy tune being played on the radio... "Take Me To Church" by Hozier.  Before you take off and listen to it... please know this is not a happy clappy worship sing.  I'm not even sure I would recommend listening to it with children in the room, but the first few lines of that song speak to me.

My lover's got humor
She's the giggle at a funeral
Knows everyone's disapproval...

It makes me think of the awkwardness of grief.  When your heart is torn apart and the gaping wounds are gushing copious amounts of life fluid and you are sure you will not survive this torture.

 In the midst of the haze that surrounds you like an uncomfortable damp blanket, that doesn't allow you to feel warmth, there are brief pockets where for a split second you forget.

You forget that one you love is gone from you, and maybe in that little pocket you will find a giggle.  And you will probably feel guilty when that giggle escapes.  Maybe even beat yourself up a little bit.  Who laughs when someone has left?  Who laughs when their soul has been torn?

 People do.  Human beings whose emotions are sometimes beyond their control.  In spite of disapproval.

Before I get comments informing me that "Take Me To Church is not about grief... I am aware of that.  I was only inspired by the opening lines to share this post.
photo credit: Sidereal via photopin cc

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Capsule Kitchens

There's a new idea circulating social media.  In the minimalist circles at least... it's called a capsule kitchen.  It's similar to a capsule wardrobe. 

With a capsule wardrobe you only have a certain amount of clothing items and you can generally mix and match those items to create various outfits. Case in point my 33 items of clothing for 3 months commitment.

When it comes to a capsule kitchen replace clothing items with food.  So for 3 months you only shop for and eat 33 food items which you can of course eat on their own or use in recipes with some of the other items on your list.

This fascinates me.  I mean really how great would it be to have your shopping list streamlined for 3 months.  Eat more in season produce and get your creative juices flowing to try new recipes.  Exciting right?

It also terrifies me.  I mean how much zucchini and squash can a person eat?  And what about cravings?  What if I really want Kraft Dinner?  But it's not on my list of 33 foods... so I don't even have it in the house... and then I just stand there staring at my sadly bare cupboard... totally uninspired because there is no mac and cheese!  Do you feel the anxiety?

I promise to let you know if I decide to take this on.

What do you think?  Does the idea of a capsule kitchen appeal to you?  What would be on your list?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How Do You Handle the "C" Word?

The other night I was a whiny wife... "You don't initiate spending time with me!" "I'm always the one who has to make plans." "Invite me to do something fun wiiiith yooooooou!" It was one of my finer human moments let me tell you... really pretty.

After some defensive (and pretty true) comments Craig said, "I'm going to consider your criticisms and try to make myself better because of them."

"Whoa! What!  I'm not criticizing!  Criticism is harsh and unloving... I'm telling you that I'm lonely and just exactly how you can love me better.  Not criticizing!"

In hindsight my rational adult self can see how this misunderstanding could have possibly come about.

I was quite relieved to find out that Craig's commitment to turn my (totally valid, but somewhat juvenile) concerns into a tool for self improvement, was not solely a product of his own wisdom and maturity. (Because really I could not handle the pressure of being married to someone so wise and mature).

Craig's decision to turn my lemons into lemonade was due to a conversation he had with a work mate that happened well before I made my... ahem... speech.  It was based on a quote from Elon Musk:

"I think it's very important to have a feedback loop, where you're constantly thinking about what you've done and how you could be doing it better. I think that's the single best piece of advice: Constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself."

Pretty heavy duty right?  I'm pretty sure adopting this advice in my life would cause me to crumple as a person.  While I agree that it's a good idea to learn to accept other's less than glowing feedback, without bursting in to tears and burning your life's work in a backyard bonfire, there also needs to be a time to recognize and celebrate a job well done and be satisfied with your end product.

In case you couldn't tell I'm really not that great at receiving criticism.  Admittedly I'm not that practiced at it either.  I rarely ask for an outside editor to weigh in on my writing. I make it clear that I am fishing for compliments when I ask for opinions (I think Craig sometimes dreads the words "How do you like supper tonight?).  I dread hearing the ways something I've put my sweat tears and effort into could be improved.

Would I like to be better at accepting feedback?  Probably... It would certainly be good to view things from a different perspective.  It seems like that takes some practice though... and how scary is that!?

What are your tips for handling feedback?  Are feedback and criticism the same thing? Are you good or bad at accepting criticism?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy Monday! Here's a Free Printable!

I've been writing down quotes that really move me over the past little while... and of course I have an entire Pinterest board titled Inspires the hell outta me... where you will find oodles of really great, mood boosting, fantastic quotes.

I thought this one would be pretty inspiring to have in my living room... the place where I mostly hang out with my friends, or my husband to sip a cuppa something and chat...

You can put it in your living room too! Just click this handy dandy little link click the blue button that says download and this beauty is all yours!

What are some of your favorite quotes?  Do you have a Quotes Pinterest board? Leave me a link!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

33 Clothing Items for 3 Months... What I Wore Week 2

Week 2 of the challenge... Here's what happened:

1. 3 year old had the flu... so I didn't actually get dressed every day this week.
2. I am discovering that I feel quite vulnerable posting pictures of myself taken by my 9 year old...

On with the (fashion) show:

Day 1:

 I was headed to a surprise party to celebrate my
mother-in-law becoming a Canadian citizen... So my outfit is black and white leggings, chambray button up, grey tank top  (borrowed flag headband and red scarf from my kids dress-up)

Day 2:

Play date and dinner at my mom's were the agenda... Outfit: Grey American Eagle cardigan, Silver jeans, Sevenly Love shirt, carriage necklace and navy tank top.

Day 3:

An afternoon at my grandma's inspired this slightly wild but super comfy combo: Patterned leggings, grey tank top, Sevenly education is freedom shirt, black Target (RIP) cardigan and the necklace my dad made for me.

So there you have it... What did you wear?  Are you purging your closet?  How's that going for ya?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Mornings

My Saturday mornings generally aren't on Saturdays... because of Craig's work schedule Saturday mornings around here are every other Wednesday.

I love the morning of Craig's first day off.  Regular things still happen... school work, chores, noise... but I join the common chaos a little later than usual.  After everyone has been fed and just maybe the dishwasher has been unloaded from the night before.

Sometimes I call Craig back to bed for a few extra moments of extracting his body heat with my frozen feet, before I peel back my warm covers and join the rest of my family in the world of awake that lays just beyond my bedroom door.

Often there is coffee waiting for me when I emerge, and everybody knows that coffee made lovingly, by someone who knows just how you like it, is a decadent treat to savor.

We try really hard to have nothing planned for that first Wednesday.  It's not always possible, but when it is the luxury of having a whole day to spend together makes me giddy.

Sigh Saturday Mornings... no matter what day you happen... I adore you.

Do you have Saturday morning rituals?  What do you love about the first day off in your week?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Dear People In Line Ahead of Me...

We were both in line last week to buy tickets for a movie... the line wound out into the street and while we were out there... where it was cold and snowy... a woman came walking along and asked for some spare change.  You seemed quite oblivious to the situation... until I handed the woman a loonie.

That's when I heard the tone of your conversation change.  Your voices got lower and your eyes quickly glanced back and forth between me and the person you were whispering to... now not that I meant to eavesdrop, but really I was right behind you and could hear what you were saying... phrases like:
"You should never give them money."
"I gave them some fries once at the restaurant I worked at.  They just kept coming back for more."

This made my heart hurt...

I obviously don't have the solution to remedy the plight of hungry, hurting people.  I'm not here to debate whether you should give a panhandler the change in your pocket or have a stack of Tim Cards ready for such a situation.  Really that's up to the individual giver.

What hurt me was the way you talked about fellow human beings, you talked about helping street people like it was a "don't feed the bears" situation at a national park.  "Don't feed those people... they'll be hungry again tomorrow and come back for more.  They'll become nuisance humans and we'll have to try relocating them."

I want to gently point out some things you might not have considered:

You probably knew where you were going to sleep that night, and every night.  I'm betting it's a nice warm safe place.  That woman probably didn't have such a luxury.

Since you were standing in a line to pay $9.00 for a movie ticket, I can only assume you were not worried where your next meal was coming from. She might be worried about that very thing.

It's cold outside.  And I might be a bit naive but I hope that dollar was used to pay for a cup of coffee... or maybe another generous person gave her a toonie down the way and she was able to buy some soup or chili and warm up a little.

Human beings are our tribe... they are our people... and if we don't help them out when the opportunity presents itself... who will?  Certainly not the bears.

Sincerely and Kindly

photo credit: final gather via photopin cc