Friday, December 07, 2012

My thoughts on... Living life

“If you’re not doing something with your life, then it doesn’t matter how long you live. If you’re doing something with your life, then it doesn’t matter how short your life may be. A life is not measured by years lived, but by its usefulness. If you are giving, loving, serving, helping, encouraging, and adding value to others, then you’re living a life that counts!”

John C. Maxwell

I hope to never be one of those people that have wasted life away. Even one day wasted is one day too many. I believe in being value added in every situation, even if it's just making someone laugh and forget what is going on around them. I'm thankful for the many people in my life that are value added and I know I'm lucky to have so many of them.  All I want to know is that at the end of the day, I've proved to be useful.

My thoughts on... The unexamined life

I know I can't be alone being fascinated by Socrates' statement that "The unexamined life is not worth living."  Think about it, he's not saying the unexamined life is less enjoyable or less meaningful, but that its not even worth living!!

This is because Socrates believed that the purpose of human life was personal and spiritual growth. How can any of us grow without a full understanding of who we are and what our true nature is.  This can only be be discovered by taking the time to examine and reflect upon our lives. 

This examination of our lives should and will reveal patterns of behavior. We learn to understand the subconscious programming of our minds, the way we determine how to live our lives. Unless we become aware of these patterns, much of life is just unconscious repetition.

Leo Rosten states "The purpose of life is not to be happy - but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all." If I'm not paying attention to the manner in which I'm living life, how do I fulfill such a goal?  If the purpose of life was to simply be happy, I don't think it would be to hard to achieve.  By diligently examining my thoughts and actions, I can improve and develop and grow.

This blog does a great job of  helping me examine my life.  I can reflect and see areas in which I need to mature.  I can look back on situations and think I'll never let myself get involved in something like that again.  Adversely, I can recognize when I've done something well and strive to achieve similar results. 

I'm going to make a daily effort to live an examined life, as I know I want a life that's worth living.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

My thoughts on... a sad statistic

I heard a sad statistic today. It turns out that 6 out of 7 dwarfs aren't happy.

I can hear that every time and still laugh!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

My thoughts on... my sister

So I walk in the house yesterday and our conversation went like this...

Little sister:  Why are you wearing your hat like that?

Me:  Like what?

Little sister:  Like a loser!

Me:  How does a loser wear their hat?

Little sister:  Like that!

Such a silly comment, so close to Christmas, someone is very brave...

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

My thoughts on... Something New

So they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. 
I decided if that's the case I better try something new. 
I guess I'll have to see if these results are any better. 

This is the problem...

How do you document real life, when real life is getting more like fiction everyday?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My thoughts on... my Nonno

My grandpa past away recently and I seem to keep finding him in the strangest places. I'll hear his smile in someone's voice or see his twinkle in someone else's eye. I never realized how much I was going to miss him. I think what hurt the most was pulling up to the front porch the first day and realizing that I'd never find him waiting there for me again.

I always knew that I was going to have to be the one to say the eulogy, because has much as he may not have been the perfect husband or father, he really excelled at being a grandpa. It never struck me how draining the experience would be, but I slept right through the 2 days following his funeral. This is what I had to say about my grandpa Joe...

If there was a saying that could express the way my Grandpa lived it would be "eat, drink and be merry."

Grandpa was a man with many names, to some he was Pa or PaPooch to others he was Zio Pep, Giuseppe, Joe, Mr. Joe, but we always just called him Grandpa.

My Grandpa was never happier than when he was surrounded by family.

I've heard a lot of memories being shared of how people remember his laugh or his smile.  How much he enjoyed dancing or the basil leaf smell he had.  I personally will remember his singing and whistling and his love of Old Spice.  Some Christmas' I think it was the only present he looked forward to!

My Grandpa was a very loving man, who always wanted to make sure everyone was taken care of.  From when I was little Grandpa was always trying to sneak me a glass of wine or a bottle of beer.

I know that Grand had a special place in his heart for all his grandchildren.  We all got to be his special star at one point or another.  Antonio and I were first, with me on Grandpa's right side and Antonio on the left for every family dinner.  Next came Julia, Grandpa's garden helper, he loved his garden almost as much as he loved us.  Next was Sara, I don't think I ever heard him call her anything but his star.  Sadly, he used to steal her nose all the time and I think he forgot to give it back.  Finally Adam, I've never seen Grandpa happier than when he saw his male grandson, the one that would carry on the Di Tomasso name. Grandpa used to make sure we never left the house without a kinder egg, a pack of cookies and a $20 bill.

We all knew that we were loved and we loved him so much in return. 

Grandpa being the eldest child felt a special connection to all his siblings, nieces and nephews.  Whenever relatives would come over he'd have us run for a bottle of beer and make sure everyone was looked after.  He loved to spend time with family and always wanted to know when we were coming next.  Whenever you would say bye he would be quick to say "okay, I'll see you tomorrow!"

Grandpa was quite the charmer, he was always trying to make someone laugh or smile. He'd pull out his asthma puffer and asked if anyone minded if he had a smoke with a big grin on his face.  

Grandpa was a fixture on his front porch.  I can barely think of a time we'd pull up and not find him sitting there, he loved the outdoors.  He took great pride in his garden.  All of us had a turn at picking fruit from the trees.  Mom often talks of going fishing with Grandpa.  Winter, summer, spring or fall he loved to be outside.

The immediate family would like to express our appreciation to everyone that was a part of Grandpa's life, especially the family, friends and neighbours.  Thank you for all the support and kind words that have helped us through the last few days.  As we looked over the pictures that brought back great memories, what will stick with me most is that great smile that Grandpa had and the love he shared.

Thank you Grandpa!

My thoughts on... Ashley Wilkes

Disclaimer:  Understanding this post will probably require some familiarity with Gone with the Wind.

So last night Gone with the Wind was on AMC and it got me thinking.  When I was younger I fell in love with my own version of  Ashley Wilkes.  There was only one problem with that - Ashley Wilkes is the classical, ideal example of the "He's just not that into you" guy.  When I realized that my Ashley was Ashley Wilkes and found what I thought to be was Rhett Butler (but turned out to be just an Asshole (a story for another day)), I knew it was time to get over Ashley.

Ashley's main problem is that he's a gentlemen. In the movie when he had multiple opportunities to tell Scarlett that he just didn't share her feelings, he keep discouraging her with his words, but encouraging her with his actions. My Ashley did the reverse and encouraged me with his words, well discouraging me with his actions. His biggest problem was that he was constantly trying not to hurt any one's feelings. Not to say that having Ashley in our lives was an entirely bad experience for either of us, for Scarlett he gave her the courage to make it through the civil war and for me he loved me until I was able to love myself, in both cases he was able to accomplish that with little effort. For a long I made all the excuses that everyone does for a "he's just not that into you" guy. He just needs to grow up, he needs to experience the world, he'll realize soon that I'm the one. And than I started blogging and I recognized all the bullshit I'd been feeding myself. That I'd been doing the definition of Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I realized that Ashley just wasn't that into me and I moved on.

I stopped loving Ashley a long time ago and I'm happy he's found
his Melanie and truthfully I don't feel sad or jealous about the way things have worked out, because at the end of the day Ashley Wilkes is still Ashley Wilkes; I'm just no longer Scarlett O'Hara.  I've realized I no longer need or want Ashley in my life.

My thoughts on... Finally getting there

I finally did it!! I went to Australia!!

It by far was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I got to meet all of my extended family. Feed the kangaroos, eat the kangaroos, pet the koala, didn't eat the koalas, drove down the Great Ocean Road. Most importantly I made my dream come true and I did it all on my own. Traveling to Australia by myself had to be one of the most exhilarating and freeing experiences.

I decided to go on my own because I figured if I kept waiting for other people I'd never get there. A point that was driven home when I got to spend time with my uncles who had both recently lost their wives. Both had been planning to start enjoying their lives and traveling with their significant others when they past away. They both give me the same message. Never wait! For the right time, more money, til the kids are older. Just go, whenever, however, whatever you have to do, just do it and go.

I can't wait to go back and hopefully next time it won't  just be for a visit ;)

My thoughts on... The truth‏

Here's my truth. Recently, I've been in some bad relationships. Relationships where the other people involved didn't appreciate my value or add value to my life. People that tried to dull my shine. I've finally come to realize where the challenge lies in being unequally yoked. When you're with someone that's just not on the same level or page as you, it's a lot easier to sink down to their level, than to force them to raise up to yours. You can never be whole as a unit if the person you're with is just a fraction. The weirdest things can make you open your eyes.

A friend and I were discussing another friend's relationship and how he appeared to be trapped. Trapped by decisions that were made a long time ago. I sat there and realized that could be me, I was making decisions that would have had me trapped in relationships I didn't want to be in, unless I started making the changes that were required. It took making a stand and having uncomfortable conversations to direct my life on the course I want it to be. I feel so free right now, like the opportunities are endless and I couldn't feel that way until all the wrong doors were closed. Now hopefully when the right doors opens I'll be able to recognize it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My thoughts on... Life

So I spent most of today (shhh, don't tell my boss) going over my old posts.  I was sitting here at my desk laughing and crying and when it was all said and done, I was like DAMN, I MISS THAT GIRL!!  I think it's time to make more of an effort in reviving the old me.   I did something 2 days ago and for the first time in over 5 years I feel free.  I haven't made a decision in a long time that has made me feel that good.  It's weird cause sometimes we forget that the worst prisons are the ones that are in our minds.  I didn't even realize I felt so constrained until I took that first breathe after becoming free.  There's so much to share about everything that's happened over the past few years, stuff that I'd start to blog in my mind, but never put pen to paper.  I started out this year feeling like I was trapped in 3 relationships and somehow I've managed to rid myself those 3 things that were holding me back in life.  I've learned to be excited and not fear the unknown.

At this moment I feel as content and happy as I can imagine being.  I learned so much about me today and I'm glad I've had this blog to come back to and have it remind me one that it's been a wonderful life and it's still just getting started.

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” ― Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My thoughts on... Choices

I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

I fully believe the above statement.  I know that I personally have been shaped by the sum total of every choice that I've made.  I know that I've made good choices, I may have just made a very bad choice, but at the end of the day it's my choice, I accept the consequences or the rewards that come with them. 

My thoughts on.. suicide in small increments

Do you ever get tired of watching people kill themselves in small increments.  Smoking, drinking, over-eating, negative thinking?  I'm tired of watching people commit suidcide in baby-steps.

My thoughts on... What is possible

"All progress in the world depends on a person who seeks opportunity—not security. A person who takes the calculated risk, to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed, who faces the world boldly and says, 'This is what is possible'."

I don't know how well you know me but I strongly believe anything is possible. If there is one thing that I actually hate it would be negativity. I can't stand to be told that I can't do something, there are very few things that I can't do (and I'm still trying to figure out how to do them (world demonation - here I come)). I dream big, I believe big, once I've made up my mind I'm going to something that is what is going to get done. I'm a lot like my dad in that fashion. The only thing that can stop me is me.

My thoughts on... Life Lessons

My two greatest life lessons were taught to me by David Bowie.  I must have been 6 years old when I watched Labyrinth for the first time.  To this day it remains one of my favourite movies (I also still have a girl crush on Jennifer Connelly).  Anyhow, the two lessons that he taught me were:
1) Life isn't fair
2) It's all in the way you can spin

Life isn't fair was an easy lesson to learn.  You don't always get what you want.  Sometimes you get what you want and it wasn't what you expected it to be.  Sometimes people get things they don't deserve, sometimes people deserve things they don't get.  Life is never going to be fair, deal with it!

It's all in the way you can spin anything.  People can claim to be doing things for you like turning the hands of time, changing the world upside down.  But when you really look at it, you realize it's all full of shit.  His actions in the movie weren't done out of selflessness, but to get what he wanted.  He could make it sound good, but that's just it, it sounds nice that he's done all of that and that's the extent of it.

So I thank David Bowie for my very early life lessons, they've served me well through out the years.

My thoughts on... forgiving yourself

We're all human so we're all going to make mistakes.  I've made some really big mistakes, like wearing my short, red overalls when I was a pre-teen.  To make matters worse I allowed people to take pictures of me in that outfit.  Now I could continue to be mad at myself for making such a stupid mistake or I could learn and grow from it and help it form my future decisions.  I can say that was dumb, but now I know better... I will never again wear short, red overalls ever again... that was not a good look... I must have not been thinking clearly... from now on I will stay as far away from overalls as I can get.  The easiest and fastest way to forgive yourself is to learn from your mistake.  Continuing to beat yourself up over stupid decisions, just keeps you stick in the past.  The more you harp on the past and mistakes that you've made, the more you continue to f#$^ up your future.  Learn, forgive, move on... make new mistakes learn and grow from them too.  Just get living, learning and forgiving.

Forgiveness is “selective remembering” – a conscious decision to focus on love and let the rest go.

Just my thoughts... on friendship

Being friends should be so much easier than most people make it.  If you want to be my friend, that's fine but take me how I am, allow me to be me.  I should not have to censor myself or just share part of myself for fear of hurting feelings.  I should be able to say whatever I want, free from any judgment, you have every right to disagree with me, but allow me to express myself and I'll return the courtesy. 

Friendships should never feel like work.  I should never have the thought that I better call this person or they're going to be pissed at me.  Real friendships are easy, I have some friends I talk to once a year and we pick up right where we left off.  Real friendships don't end they simple change and morph into whatever they're needed to be at any given time. 

I read somewhere that all people need in life to be happy are 5 good friends.  The article also said that the average facebook user has 245 friends, it was saying technically you could unfriend 240 people and still be happy.  I'm blessed to have way more than 5 good friends and I'm thankful for each and everyone of them and what they bring to my life.

Monday, November 19, 2012

My thoughts on... past loves

When I was five I made a pretty big mistake, I fell in love.  I fell in love with the boy that would be my first kiss, first secret boyfriend, first, second third, etc. heartbreak and the unrequited love of my life.  Over the years I've told him everything my wildest dreams, my darkest secrets, right down to my deepest fantasies.  I've shared things with him, that to this day he's the only one I've ever told. 

After the last time things didn't work out I sent him an email and I told him everything.  How his arms were my favourite place to be, how after every disappointment I kept hoping he would fight for me and he never did.  I shared every last hidden piece of myself.  I only sent it because at the end of the day I didn't want to sit there thinking about the things I never said.  There wasn't anything held back cause I figured this may very well be my last shot.   There wasn't anything left of me when I was done, I was exposed and raw and waiting to be let down easy.  All I really wanted was to be set free, to get permission to love someone else, to move on knowing that it was just never going to be.  Instead he said we should try. 

And so I waited.  I waited until I just couldn't take it anymore and went to make the first move.  That's when he tells me he's met someone else and wants to see how it works out with them.  I had shared all that I was, all that I am and he wanted to see if things would work out with someone else.  How do you get over knowing that you weren't enough to have someone else be selected over you after you've put it all on the line.  Its a feeling I would never wish on anyone.  Its still there sometimes when I'm not paying attention, I'll forget to block it out or I'll watch a movie and see our entire scenario play out.  I'll get this pain in my chest (not my heart, cause that was the last time I let him break my heart (not that there was much of it left from our previous experiences  (than my next love ground to dust the little pieces that were left))).  But, anyways, my chest still tightens and I'll see that look on the heroines face and know I've seen it before.  Sometimes I'll stop the movie there cause I don't feel like watching her find prince charming. 

Lately, I don't feel anything in regards to my past relationships.  When my first cruch recently announced that he was engaged I didn't feel anything at all.  Not sadness or jealousy or even a little confused, just nothing.  It made me decide that it's time to get all of my failed loves out of my life.  Cause I realized it doesn't help to have these reminders around of things that have caused me pain. I know I've never done anything but try to love them and they've done nothing but cause me pain and I know I deserve better than that.  I told someone we can't be friends right now, but maybe sometime in the future when the past hurts don't cause pain, we can try again.  Than I sat there and I thought about and I realized why that would never work.  He was never a real friend, he's never had any real regard for my heart or my feelings.  Why would I want to be friends with that.  Someone who could hurt me and never think to apologize.  I don't think his absence will be missed from my life at all.

Here's the crazy thing, after all that I'm still open to love, I'd still jump again if the right man came along.   My one hope is that I never take out the pain old love has caused on the next man that tries to love me.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tonight I can write the saddest lines

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example,'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved him, and sometimes he loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held him in my arms
I kissed him again and again under the endless sky.

He loved me sometimes, and I loved him too.
How could one not have loved his great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have him. To feel that I have lost him.

 To hear the immense night, still more immense without him.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep him.
The night is shattered and he is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost him.

My sight searches for him as though to go to him.
My heart looks for him, and he is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love him, that's certain, but how I loved him.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch his hearing.

Another's. He will be another's. Like my kisses before.
His voice. His bright body. His inifinite eyes.

I no longer love him, that's certain, but maybe I love him.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held him in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost him.

Though this be the last pain that he makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for him.

Pablo Neruda

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My heart hurts...

For someone who hasn't experienced it, it would be hard to explain the pain of losing a brother. When I was a teenager I lost my cousin in a tragic car accident and to me that was losing my brother. Last year after my brother's car accident when I came close to losing my biological brother I felt that same pain. And I'm feeling it again tonight, but for someone else's brother. A good friend of mine lost her brother to gun violence yesterday. I feel hurt and angry and frustrated. Nobody should ever have to go through what she's going through right now. And I wish I knew what to say.

Anger seems to be the overwhelming emotion. I think the city of Toronto needs to start getting angry. How much violence are we going to tolerate before we've had enough.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

A wee bit slow...

So this morning I woke up at 3:45am so that we could try and catch a boat tour on the other side of the country. We got off to a good start, by some miracle we found the car fairly easily and made it out of Edinburgh without trouble. I'm reading the directions and everything some to be going fairly smoothly, it even looks like well make it on time. The map suggests the amount of time each segment of the journey should make. It tells me 20 minutes, around 30 minutes in I mention to Sue that it seems to be taking a little too long, however after our ticket on day 1, sue says she doesn't want to take any chances and will only be going according to the posted speed limits she sees. When I realize its taken us WELL over an hour to complete a 20 minute drive, I'm pretty sure something isn't right. As we pull into the ferry terminal over an hour late, we're informed that the speed limit is not 30 or 40 MPH like Sue had been driving, but 60!

I will simply consider this another lesson learned and not resent the fact that I woke up before 4am!

The reason we drove a cross the country was to take the 3 isle tour of Mull, Io a and Staffa. So you have to take the ferry to Mull, the Mull bus to the other docks. To take the boat to Staffa, the boat again to Iona, the ferry back to Mull the bus back to the other ferry terminal and the ferry back to Oban. The experience is worth every second of the travel. Staffa is home to Fingal's Cave, which was one of the most breathtaking sights I've seen. You have to climb a cross Staff a to get to the cave, which was absolutely terrifying for me. I'm not a fan of heights, so to walk along a cliff with the ocean rushing beneath me has never been on my to do list (and it never will be again). I have never been so tense in my life. As you can see from the pictures it was totally worth it, but if I had to do it all over again I'll try the lazy way where the boat just drops you off in the cave.

I finally got my first real taste of Scotland today. For lunch I had Cornish pasty and for dinner real fish and chips, by far the best fish and chips I've ever had. To top it all off I closed dinner off with deep fried Haggis. The flavour is actually really nice its just the mental issue of not thinking about what you're eating. Sue has yet to try Scotland. In the fish and chip shop she ordered Hawaiian pizza. Who in their right mind goes into a fish and chip store facing the sea and orders pizza! I let her know how utterly disgusted I was. I'm still looking for my bangers and mash and steak pie.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

A wee bit busy...

So this morning I got to experience the "full Scottish breakfast". It includes just about everything you could think of - eggs, sausage, bacon, toast, potato scones, hash browns, beans, tomatoes, etc... What I couldn't understand after eating breakfast is the shortage of fat Scottish people. This mystery was quickly solved as they walk everywhere and its all hills and valleys. I haven't yet seen a drive through anything.

We ended up going on three of the bus tours today. Why Edinburgh has something like 6 bus tours, 5 run by the same company, makes no sense to me. By the time we got on the third tour I probably could have hosted the tour. We got to see all the touristy sights like Edinburgh Castle, Parliament, the Holyrood Palace and went up to Leith. I've inherited my dad's love of the water and boats, so checking out the Royal Yacht Britannia was cool. When nobody was looking I thought it would be fun to have a seat in the queens drawing room. Sue brought it to my attention that after that we had a staff member follow us in every room we went into.

We were actually suppose to go see Rosslyn Chapel today, but as Sue had almost a complete mental breakdown driving yesterday, she said she's not getting back in the car until were leaving.

I still haven't had a proper Scottish meal. Yesterday we went to a pub and I tried to order bangers and mash - no luck, so I asked for a meat pie - again no luck. So I ended up with friggin lasagna, which was gross. Some how today again I had Italian. I'm determined to have some real Scottish food tomorrow.

To end today we toured an underground city called, Mary King's Close. A Close is an old street in Edinburgh and since it's illegal to live underground in Scotland, when parts of the city were being rebuilt many of the Closes ended up underground and some were preserved quite well. Its interesting how much the Close reminded me of my cubicle. No sunlight, small, cramped, dreary, depressing, I think it even has the same light blue/gray walls. At least now I know that me and 17th century Scottish people have something in common.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Wee bit of a rough start...

So I had a great flight to Scotland, there was an empty seat beside me so I get to stretch out and relax. There was some turbulence before we landed, but I've been through worse flights. Apparently Sue has not, she looked like death when we arrived. There were a few moments in the customs lineup when I was sure she was going to pass out, but she managed to pull through. It took forever to get passed customs and pick up the rental car and since the flight had departed late we ended up being way behind schedule. It didn't help that we got lost as soon as we left the airport. Sue had printed out all the directions, we simply hadn't counted on the road closure and trying to follow the diversion signs while Sue was still figuring out how to drive on the right side. She only hit one car and I'm not sure if she took off their side mirror, but luckily there was no damage to our rental car ;)

On the road to Edinburgh all I keep hearing was "TINA EYES OPEN!!". We somehow managed to arrive safely, only to park in a motorcycle only spot and get a £60 ticket. At least we've learned that "Only M/C" means that spot us designated for motorcycles. Lunch was okay and than we walked up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle. That walk finally turned the trip around. The castle was amazing, Sue pointed out that we were standing where kings once stood. I pointed out that babies with dirty pampers had probably stood there too.

On the way back to the hotel we grabbed some hot chocolate at the Cockburn Cafe. We decided to take a quick nap before dinner at 6 and woke up at midnight. It's 3AM now, so I'm going to try and get some sleep.

Sue's snoring could wake the dead! I hope I fall asleep before she does tomorrow!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Okay so I've been to Montreal before, but its usually been on someone else's schedule. So having not only a free weekend in Montreal, but one that included spending time with my two favourite people was amazing. Had I known how pain free business class travel was by train, I would have started visiting a long time ago. It was a blast... nice lounge... priority boarding ... comfortable seats and the most delicious meal I've had in transit. Steve met me at the train station and than we caught a late dinner at 3 Amigos, which is not a restaurant I will be recommending (I'll stick to Lone Star with Peri). We stayed in and up until 2. It was nice to wake up the next morning to fresh baked bread. We decided to go watch a movie on Friday. We thought it would be cool to go watch the Cape Town movie (aka Safe House). About half way through we all realized we weren't actually going to get to see Cape Town in the movie, but it was still an entertaining movie. Saturday was a totally packed day we did almost everything you could think to do in Montreal. We went to brunch at Universel and it was fantastic. We went to the snow village and took some unbelievable photos.

For dinner we went to this seafood place Suzy had been to before. You pick out the fresh seafood you want and they cook it to order. So Suzy had this great plan that we'd all order items to share except for her mussels because neither Steve or I are fans. We were all in for a surprise when the 3 or 4 mussels she'd ordered turned into a platter they refused to take back. Next we visited Montreal en Lumière, the lineups were huge and intimidating but we got a nice seat by the fire pit, which was a welcome rest after all the walking in the snow village and our huge dinner. To end the nigh we had to visit the old port and Notre Dame. Although it was a 13 hour day it was worth every minute of it. My feet are killing me and there's a giant blister on right foot, but at least it was great practice for September.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Just my thoughts... on life with diabetes

I don't think that a lot of people realize that being diagnosed with diabetes can feel a lot like the loss of a good friend. Gone is the carefree days of doing whatever you want, because not only do you have to watch your diet, you must also consider every action you perform and how it can positively or negatively affect your blood sugars and health. I think that most diabetics have to go through the 7 Stages of Grief...

1. Shock and Denial
2. Pain & Guilt
3. Anger & Bargaining
4. Depression
5. The Upward Turn
6. Reconstruction and Working Through
7. Acceptance and Hope

The three stages I want to focus on are 1, 3 and 7. I spent a long time denying the reality of having diabetes. Mostly, because I felt I was too young (and good looking) to have to deal with something like that, it was really surprising and overwhelming. At 21 the last thing you're expecting to hear that that you have type 2 diabetes. If you know me it's not really my thing to feel guilty, so it wasn't a stage I spent too much time in. But I did manage to get really angry, it was probably the most angry I've ever felt, because it just wasn't fair. I was pissed, every once in a while I still feel very angry, because there are days i just don't feel like being diabetic, or having to test my sugars or not eat what I want, it can be hard to not feel angry at the situation. I did get depressed, but not for very long, because I was often reminded of everything I had to be thankful, including the fact that diabetes does not have to be a life sentence. When I got to stage 7 of acceptance and hope it didn't mean that suddenly everything was rainbows and lollipops, it meant I had adapted to a life with diabetes. The situation is what it is, I can't ignore the fact that my life has changed and my mindset must change with it. I've learned to be more creative in meal planning, find activities I can enjoy and feel safe participating in. I don't hide or feel ashamed of what I have to live with. I can't be the same carefree, untroubled me that existed before I was diagnosed. I'm a better me, I have a greater understanding of what is happening in my body. I know how to properly keep my body fueled and take care of myself. I accept the responsibility of being my own biggest advocate and adversary. I find ways to move forward with a positive attitude, knowing that every day I'm doing the best that I can and as I continue to educate myself the easier figuring it all out will be. I'm well aware of what I've lost, but I won't allow that loss to impede on the anticipation of the good time to come and the joy of experiencing life to the fullest.