Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Gobsmacked - How Lucky am I?

I woke up this morning to a dreamy D saying 'Happy Birthday' with his cute smile about 15 times.

I opened cards from TLO, Grandma N, Grandma P and my second family the S's.

I vegged on the couch, made a big fry up, and went shopping until 12:30

I headed to a cafe near the spa, where I enjoyed a luxurious lunch, before heading to be pampered.

I got to the spa, had a relaxing 2.5 hours and got myself in a cab ride home.

I checked my messages to find that EB and my buddy JH had left really fab bday messages for me - voice mail rules.

I also got home to 2 dozen roses, a card and a printed message that said..

I 'heart' NY

Gulp.

Gulp.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I fly out tomorrow morning. TO NEW YORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dreamy D arranged with work for Thurs and Fri off.

I am gobsmacked. Even writing that makes me not believe it's true. My sister knew. My mom knew. My friends in Belfast knew. There is no party on Friday night because I WILL BE IN NY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And they even postponed the party until next weekend.

To top it off, I just checked my email to find the most heartwarming email birthday wishes. I am such a lucky person. What was I avoiding 30 for?????????????

I am so lucky beyond my wildest dreams. Human relationships trump it all.

Thank you is not enough. You have all made me feel so loved.

******
This feels like such a side note in light of my exciting trip but it's time to let you all know.

I have given my notice at work and am preparing to head to S. Korea to teach. Crazy.

Taking life by the horns at 30. Life is a journey, not a destination.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A Sense of Calm

I'm happy to say that I believe I will be entering my 30s (or as my mother pointed out 31st year) with a sense of calm.

I will not go into details until tomorrow.

I can't actually think of anything more fitting to kick off the next decade.

I'm quite quite certain they might actually be the best years yet.

What Did You Have for Lunch?

I'm going to barf. I'm really really going to puke with anxiety.

I have never before been through so many roller coaster emotions.

I'm trying to document it all here because I want to look back and laugh at myself.

Laugh for being so caught up in it all.

How many times can one person check their email?

It's the waiting that is the worst

Oh god oh god oh god

Melodrama Head

D pointed out this morning that my gradiose statement

'My birthday is ruined'

was perhaps slightly a bit melodramatic.

I was able to laugh at it only because I was woken up by the phone ringing, a familiar voice and a serenade of If I Only Had a Heart.

I've got the info I need. Nothing has really changed the timeline however I don't feel quite so angry any frustrated any more.

******

Unable to elaborate JUST YET, I thought I would post this website I found off an ad from dooce.com - yes, sometimes I do click those ads as they are relevant to me. My marketing background loves it when an ad speaks to me in a way I feel like seeing what's behind it...and I click to support the artist, because she's funny and I'd like to pay her for it some how.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Where Has All my Patience Gone?

Long time, passing, I wanna know...

What has happened to me? When did I lose my carefree spirit? Did I ever really have one? When did I become so frustratingly anal about

BEING PERFECT and

DOING IT ALL RIGHT THE FIRST TIME

Aren't we supposed to make mistakes? Fall on our face?

Am I actually able to cope with spontaneity? Or do I just pretend that I'm all 'oh, easy breezy laid back Canadian girl?'

This turning 30 thing must be screwing with my head..or not..

I just want something to go to plan. Anything. But why???????????????????????

(Inner monologue will continue throughout the day no doubt. I wish I was back in Canada because at least I'd be at a cottage, in a Muskoka chair, vegged out with a Molson Export, probably, if I had my way, smoking some DuMaurier)

C to the W to the S

Coulda - punched myself in the head for not answering a very important call from a very far away friend

Woulda - had every piece of documentation needed and ready to go if only...

Shoulda - DONE MORE INVESTIGATION ON THE PROCESS instead of trusting someone else knew what they were talking about

This is just a minor setback, albeit a REALLY REALLY FRUSTRATING ONE!!

(2 days til my big 3-0 and I'm pretty sure my head is going to explode...secret is almost ready to come out)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Euro-hilarious

I had never heard of this contest until we moved to the UK. I suppose why would I have - it's called Eurovision.

Not only is it visually bizarre but the UK is lucky enough to have the event commentated by this famous presenter, who admits to simply getting drunk and taking the piss out of the whole thing.

Can I say D and I never laughed harder?

Oh, and if you watched it last night, we thought it was AMAZING too...

ha ha ha ha ha

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Morbid...But in a Nostalgic Way

When I was in high school, I used to be MORE melodramtic then I am right now. I know, perhaps hard to believe, but those of you who lived it with me know what I'm talking about.

For some reason, I think it must have been in grade 9 or 10, I got this weird notion into my head that I wasn't going to live past 30.

I used to say it nonchalantly, like, I didn't want beans for dinner. I also used to go on and on about how I knew I was ugly but I didn't care because I was smart and I wanted to be smart more than I wanted to be pretty. At the time, I didn't think I was fishing for compliments - just being practical. Upon reflection, WHAT ELSE could a 16 year old girl want when she tells people she knows she's ugly?

My feeling of impending death lasted all through high school. Most people who know me then, will remember me having this idea in my head. Eventually, people would just roll their eyes when I would bust out, 'well, it doesn't matter cause I won't live past 30 anyway...'. They'd gotten so used to it, it became commonplace.

I also remember really milking it with my first crush - CY. Even writing his initials gives my heart a little flutter. What is it about the innocence of your first crush that sustains the feeling for years and years? It all ended badly but remembering the beginning - and again, friends of mine will remember the OBSESSION I had with him, to the point where they will be rolling their eyes RIGHT NOW just looking at his initials.

When I was 16, there was something really great about someone like CY telling me he would miss me if I died before I was 30. Maybe it was just my way of finding out how he felt about me. I can tell you, he probably doesn't even remember my birthday let alone that I'm turning 30 so the likelihood of him actually missing me are slim.

I don't really remember when I stopped talking about my 'dying before I'm 30' thing but I do remember by the time I met dreamy D, it sounded silly to say.

I had actually forgotten all about it until last week. For some reason, thinking of the big day next Wednesday made think of the past and that made me think..oh wait!..ya, remember when I was that girl who thought I was going to die before I was 30? ha ha ha..

As an 'adult' (and I put that it quotes because if your criteria to be an adult is to be 18 then I'm sure I pass however, any more than that and I probably will get demoted to 'mature adolescent'), I think this statement had more to do with the fact that I couldn't imagine what my life would possibly like at 30.

For some reason, I could see my free twenties, partying it up, living in cities, traveling around, drinking Starbucks and talking to my friends about all the one night stands I'd had (Sex in the City anyone?). I just couldn't see what happened after you hit the big 30. And maybe, I thought all the fun in life comes to an end at that point.

I see now it was more me wanting to stop time rather than a sixth sense about my destiny.

But, in case by some weird cosmic force I turn out to be actually right (which would be creepy in more ways then one, especially since the consolation will be that I WAS RIGHT and everyone knows how I HATE to be wrong) I thought I should write down all the reasons why I am lucky - all the things that I now have in my life that make the last almost 30 years on the planet so spectacular.

1 - I have my health. I can run, do sit ups, push ups, swim, laugh, cry, see, smell, taste, hear, breathe.

2 - I have my loving family, all who are healthy and happy. This seems like such an average statement to make. Reading the words I don't know that it does any justice to our closeness. Or our childhood memories. But I'm not sure how else to express it.

3 - I have a spectacular partner in crime, one who continues after 10 years, to make me laugh on a daily basis. It's simple but its the only thing I ever really wanted. I'm so lucky to have found him so early. I have had so many years of glorious fun with dreamy D.

4 - I have wonderfully supportive friends. I have met so many incredible people in my lifetime. From so many different walks of life. They continue to amaze me with their kindness. And their patience for putting up with me.

5 - I have finally worked at a job I love. I have woken up on a regular basis walking into my job loving it. Before 30, that impresses even me.

6 - I have seen a lot of the world. Europe is a specatularly diverse place. I'm so grateful to have seen as much as I have

7 - I have gained perspective. No one can describe what living in another culture is like. What it does for your opinions. What it does for your patience.

8 - I don't have any regrets. I really don't. I have made many mistakes. But, as the saying goes, I have learned from them all. And I would probably make them again given the chance.

9 - I really like myself. Okay, this sounds really conceited but I just really like who I am, with the help of many people around me. I remember always feeling like I was good enough to do whatever I wanted. My first job interview ended with my future boss asking me where I got all my confidence from. I said my parents, because I figured they were the ones that encouraged me to simply be myself. I am not perfect and I already know all my faults. And I'm okay with them. I try my best not to hurt people and I figure if that's the one thing I try to do consistently, I can go too far wrong.

It feels a bit weird to write a list like this. And I kinda feel like their should be a 10 but then, that would make it too perfect and life is no fun when its perfect.

I have such a great life. I guess I just wanted you all to know that. In case, you know.

Now, if I don't get to be drinking G&Ts, I expect all of you to have your share. That and smoke. A LOT.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Whachya Gonna do with all that Stuff? All that Stuff inside your house?

First let me apologise for trying to be so 'hip' with my subject line but it's a song that gets stuck in your head and there is no...getting...it....out.

When we decided to take the big adventure, sell the house, quit the jobs and go travel Europe, we had to deal with our stuff.

We had to take all the things that we had filled the house with and put it somewhere.

This is a bit an unnerving process because you don't realise how attached you get to stuff.

Our society is such a consumer world that we feel we would be lost with out so many things. The vase. The TV in the bedroom. Your DVDs. The cushions on the couch. The magazines that scatter the house. The garlic press. The full length mirror. The hand towels. Your hanging pictures.

You feel like you're defined by stuff you choose to surround yourself with.

And then it all changes. It sound very earthy but when you release yourself surrounding you with material things, you suddenly realise that life does go on. You CAN actually cope without that recipe book or those placemats or the portable telephone. It is really true. Stuff does not make you happy.

It's easy to see after months living out of a backpack that all you really ever could need in life is in that pack. You suddenly can forget all those things that you thought were important to surround yourself with.

But one of two things can happen when you get home. You may fall quite easily back into your stuff-needing-self. Buying extra plastic containers for the sake of it and because they're on sale and well, you only have 15, another 5 would be really useful, especially for all that space you have in your fridge for ALL 20 OF THEM.

Or you could really stop caring about stuff.

For me, I was slighty forced into not getting stuff as soon as I got back into an apartment. We had no money and I live with a very frugal CFO who helps me to live the like princess I believe I am on very little salary. How? Pointing out the unnecessity of stuff.

Perfect example: When friends have come to visit, they note that there are no plugs in the bathrooms. I questioned a friend over here as to why that was and she looked at me as if I skinned her cat and said, 'Well, there's water in bathrooms. You could electrocute yourself.'

Not quite sure how the 100 million + North Americans have managed to survive all these years with electricity in bathrooms. Perhaps it's because we're don't get drunk AS OFTEN as there is less likely the chance that we will think it would be REALLY COOL MAN if we stepped into the bathtub while sticking our finger in the socket. And maybe also WE CAN CONTROL THE URGE TO ELECTROCUTE OURSELVES. Thanks goodness the UK government saves the crazy wannabe electrocuted citzens from themselves.

I quickly adapted to this. There is an outlet in the kitchen which allows me to look through the front foyer into the bathroom mirror. I have mastered blow drying my hair this way so much so that I rarely even look at the mirror now when I'm drying. (Perhaps this says something for my hairstyle..hmm..)

Neither of the bathrooms have full length mirrors. Actually, neither of them have mirrors built in at all - they have wall hanging mirrors. Cause heaven forbid the builders put mirrors in the BATHROOM. Someone might not resist their natural urge to punch the mirror and slit their wrists with the shards of glass. Thanks goodness for the UK government.

This means I don't get a full view of myself until I get into the elevator which HAS a full length mirror.

Again, I adapted.

The easy consumerism solution would be to buy a full length mirror. The, I could blow dry my hair in front of it AND see what I look like before I leave the house.

But I have already adapated. My first reaction was not to out and buy some stuff to fix the problem but to come up with an alternative solution.

It's only when people have visited that I realise how silly my argument might sound.

I suddenly realise that the majority of the population does care about stuff and that I must just seem like a cheap skate. Most people would say, just buy the full length mirror.

But my first thought is, how often will I use it? Will I be able to take it with me? Where will I put it? DO I REALLY NEED IT?

And suddenly, I've talked myself out it.

It's a liberating feeling to know you feel comfortable without stuff.

It makes it all that more easier to pick up and go again.

Because you have enough human beings that you leave behind, without having heartache over all your stuff.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Giving In

I am a big ole ball of frustration today.

I hate waiting on other people and relying on them to make decisions that affect my life.

I know that this will end and it will all make sense eventually but it's at the beginning stages of this whole process.

There are so many decisions that need to be made and processes that need to be started before other processes can get started.

Amongst it all, I have to continue to act normally and going along with the day to day frustrations.

Sometimes you just have to let go.

I suppose this is what I realised this morning.

I have to let go and trust. And know that things will go wrong.

That just because I have been through this process before, does not mean it will end up being the same route.

I have to just give in like I did the first time this process began.

Ignorance is bliss.

I just can't yet. I know the consequences and what I'm facing and it makes it so much more difficult to simply enjoy the experience of experiencing it.

It doesn't help that in less than a week I will be 30.

That's a post for another day...

Also, this is pissing me off too and I haven't even read enough to fully understand.

http://www.savetheinternet.com/

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Love Will Keep Us Together


I'm not sure when I learned that Love Will Keep Us Together was my parent's song.

They had the Captain and Tennille LP (It must have been kinda like having a New Kids on the Block CD - it seemed like a good idea at the time).

I remember distincting the two wrinkley faced bulldogs on the front who oddly enough resembled my parents two dogs which they bought years later, Frankie and Agatha.

I also remember not really understanding why the Captain was wearing a captain's hat and singing. If he was really a captain, what was he doing shacking up with some skinny babe to make music? Should he be sailing the seven seas?

Music always seemed to blare from the stereo, louder than it really needed to be but perfect for my deaf drummer father, who after years of gigs with smokes and babes, (you know, those years between 16 and 23) had either become slightly hard of hearing or simply was trying to drown us all out and get back to the good ole days.

And it was not odd to see my parents dancing cheek to cheek together, swaying with the beat, singing their hearts out, smiling up at each other.

But it was only Captain and Tennille that made their eyes light up just that little bit more. As I got older, I got it. This must be it.

Surreally enough for my parents, it was during a karaoke night out that us four kids got up on stage and serenaded our parents to their song.

They cheered and whooped in the back clapping and singing along, laughing and beaming at the crew they had created.

And when we sat down, it was my dad who said,

'If someone had told me 30 years ago that I would be watching my four children, singing karaoke to Captain and Tenille, I would have told them they were crazy.'

In a way, I think we may have stole their song. From that moment, it suddenly became a family song, one of the many over the years that we have stories associated with.

And now we have this one.

After months of planning and a day filled with love and laughter, the Vs came together one more time for a moment of singing and dancing.

This pictures made me a bit weepy this morning, knowing that as I get older, the fewer and fewer times we'll have to actually have these times together.

I'm glad someone at the wedding captured this. I was lost and caught up in the moment and had forgotten it until I saw this picture.

I suppose we are missing a few people from it - the boys who have survived years or month's in P's case with us crazy Vs and our crazy ways.

Perhaps though this was a moment for nostalgia - one to remind us of times dancing in the living room together, making up routines around our parents and they swayed back and forth, romance among the little ones.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Bit O'Nostalgia

(So high I forgot what I really wanted to post today..)

For all the ladies who were in grade 5 in the 80s, you will love this

Allergy High

I've never really been able to put my finger on my allergies but I only know that in spring, I seem to get them.

They used to be a very stuffed nose accompanied with sneezing.

Now, I don't get the stuffed nose, I get the headache with the sneezing.

When I as home in April, I bought some allergy medication (not to be named but a very regular brand) as I know it worked for me before and the BEST PART was that I only had to take it once a day and it worked.

They have either changed the formula or I am definitely becoming an old lady because every time I've taken it since I've been home, I feel high.

All those years in my early twenties when I thought I was hungover...NOPE

High on allergy medication.

All those time I thought was getting really pissed on the 3 pints of beer I would consume in a night..NOPE

High on allergy medication.

And so, I thought I had tricked the medication this time by taking it before I went to bed - the high feeling will then have worn off by the morning and I will simply be headache free.

So last night, I popped a pill and drifted off to la la land. May I say I slept like the dead? I'm never well rested on a Monday.

I woke this morning, quite normal. Until, unfortunately, I had lunch. I'm hoping I can make it through the afternoon without my arms floating up to the sky and me singing 'White Rabbit' at my desk, while slowly swaying back and forth, eyes squinted, telling everyone how hungry I am and how much 'i love you, man'.

Thank god I'm not driving, someone could easily get me for being under the influence.

What a story that would make in prison:

What are you in for?

Driving in an allergy high haze.

Ooooo...damn that hayfever.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Why Did I Quit Smoking Again?

For those of you who have followed my struggles with the wicked weed (no not THAT weed), you will be pleased to know that I have now gone for 3.8 weeks, including 6 drinking sessions, without having a cigarette.

I used the 'treat' system and with D's help, devised a plan that has worked. Every Sunday I make it to, i get to treat myself, each week the amount I get to spend goes up by 5 pounds. And because I am becoming more girlie by the day, I have been indulging in this line of beauty products that make you feel like a million bucks. This Sunday is £20..can...not..wait!!

The reason I wanted to be done with the tabacky was for my health, physical and mental. I was sick of having to 'quit' smoking every Monday morning after drinking and smoking over the weekend. I was not going to get any closer to running a marathon inhaling smoke.

And I'm so pleased with myself (and with the help of nicorette) that I have kicked the habit of needing a smoke when I drank.

So it was with intense anger - and extreme illness - that I woke this morning to find that I had a 'cigarette headache'. If you are a former smoker who has fallen of the wagon for an evening or a drinking smoker that hasn't figured out the right amount of drugs, vitamins and liquids to take before bed after a night out, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

It took me longer than usual to get ready, and my already blaring headache was making it difficult for me to figure out why I had it. Yes, I was at someone's 30th birthday party but I hadn't really drunk any more than I would on a usual night.

And suddenly remembering the fact that I was in a room WITH NO WINDOWS with 8 women ALL OF WHOM WERE CHAIN SMOKING, I realised I must have second hand smoked all night.

My will power and hard work may be paying off in the pockets, but not sure my head was happy to hear that this morning.

I think I deserve and extra fiver this Sunday...that'll make up for it....

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wednesday Giggle

Many of my friends have been having babies lately.

(Way to go J and L!! Hadley is beautiful! Another blog entry for later...)

This tends to make you think about how you would be as a mom.

I read this this morning and pissed my pants.

This, dear readers, will not be too far off.

http://www.simonsays.com/content/book.cfm?sid=33&pid=516738&agid=2

Monday, May 08, 2006

Oh No Wait!

It alway seems at the last minute, I go through panic stages and want to change my mind.

I think I have myself all figured out, taking the time to think pros and cons, weighing all the options and then, when I've finally made my decision, I FREAK OUT!!

Is this a good idea? Is this the right thing to do? Am I getting caught up in the excitement of the thing instead of actually thinking about how it will REALLY be? Why am I doing this is the first place? Am I simply trying to prove something or do I REALLY want to do this? oh no wait!

They say go with your gut but I HAVE A GEMINI GUT!!! It can't be relied upon - it's as impulsive as I am! If I went with my gut, I'd never get anything done because just when I figured out what it was trying to say, it would turn around and change its mind! I'd have to bribe it: 'C'mon, I'll give you a G&T if you will just have ONE type of feeling. It'll be yummy! You'll enjoy it! Now FIGURE OUT WHICH IDEA MAKES YOU FEEL MOST ICKY!!'

The only constants in my decision making seems to be
if 'its an adventure',
if 'i will regret NOT doing it more than DOING it'
if 'its something other people would dream of doing if given the chance'

It's hard to be adventurous. This is maybe the part that people don't tell you or think about when you have to go and make a decision like this. They kinda get caught up in the glamour of it all. 'Wow, that must be amazing' they say 'I could never do that' without actually realising I SOMETIMES DON'T THINK I COULD EVER DO THAT EITHER. And that's the hard part.

So I'm in that panic zone at the minute. The 'it's too good to be true' stage.

I just have to remember that it IS too good to be true.

But that doesn't mean it won't be worth it.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Slient Treatment

I do feel a bit bad that I have been very vague in my exciting news and unfortunately, I am still sworn to secrecy.

I can tell you that it is getting much closer...and much scarier...

The most exciting thing I can now talk about is made possible by the fact that it is May.

When we were little, in an effort to stop us begging and pleading for birthday presents EVERY DAY and also to assist in maintaing my mother's sanity, there was a rule in our house that we could not talk about our birthday - not talk meaning not discuss the plans of the day, the requests of the gifts, the people to invite - until the first day of the month of our birthdays.

Every year, I would wait and wait for May to come along. Then I would bombard my mom with questions who, already agreeing to allow us to talk about our birthdays once we had arrived at the month, was then forced to endure a DAILY ritual of birthday chatter.

(May must have really sucked because my little sister H is 4 days after mine. How did her head not explode?)

And so when May 1 came along this year, I suddenly got all excited and said 'I get to talk about my birthday'.

Then I laughed to myself. Because I have been talking about my birthday since I turned 29 last year. It seems to be what happens in your last year of your 20s. You obsess about your 30th.

I have always maintained that I am quite happy with my life so far. I know that if I had not travelled the way I have I would probably be depressed about the big day. This is not to say you have to travel to be happy before 30, it is to say I would not have been happy if I had not travelled before I was 30.

But there is part of me that must admit I'm just not quite sure what to do with myself. There is an apprehension, an acceptance of 'getting old'. A realisation that I'm further and further away from the carefree person I loved at 25 and closer and closer to a person that might just start getting bogged down in all that 'grown up settling down stuff'.

Even worse, I may end up liking it.

Clarification that I am not saying people who are settled and adult are not fufilled. This is about a personal choice. Knowing yourself is the greatest gift you can give you. And I know me.

Me - not yet ready to be happy grounded. And when you're not ready to be grounded the thought of being grounded makes you all the more anxious that you are really really really REALLY not going to like being grounded!!!!!!!!

And there is this pressure about 30, this MUST DO SOMETHING pressure that just makes me want to crawl under a hole and pray there is enough chips and G&Ts to allow me to survive for the next 60 years.

Then May 1 hit. And the little kid in me instinctively came out. And suddenly, I was excited about my birthday again.

Not just because I could talk about it but also because there is that little girl inside who just won't quit. Turning another decade is not making her go away any time soon.

Bring on May 24.