2016 Resolutions

Well, one month into 2016 and I haven’t written once about my resolutions.


They are:

1.       Keep a gratitude journal

2.       Learn and practice self-acceptance

3.       Be open to love

4.       Start a travel fund

5.       Meet with a financial planner

6.       Move into a place that I love and can afford in July

7.       Spend less than $20/month on coffee/at cafe’s

8.       Practice compassion


Phew. Some pretty hefty resolutions....




1.       Keep a gratitude journal

Done and DONE!!! It’s actually an app that i downloaded on my phone, and every day there is a little reminder set to write down what I’m grateful for. Since being sick since January 4th and doing the divorce mambo, some days have been, “The really really good soup I ate for supper” was what I was grateful for. But I do it every night before I go to bed, and it FORCES me to think positive before I fall asleep. The app also lets me look back to the earlier entries...some are serious, some are moving, and some are ridiculous....


2.       Learn and practice self-acceptance

There are a few things that previously, I did not like about myself. One, that I’ve spoken pretty openly about, is my weight. And another big one is my sensitivity. I don’t know how to describe this. There are times where I present a strong exterior, and inside, I’m falling apart. There are other times where I just plain fall apart. I’ve beaten myself up for this trait for YEARS now. I should be STRONG and ALWAYS CONFIDENT and ALWAYS SELF ASSURED and not just a wimp. I should cry less and have be less sensitive to other’s comments.


While I agree that I have to work on taking comments less personally, I don’t have to work on being less sensitive. My sensitivity – whether I show it or not, is part of who I am. It’s a trait that is the same as my big nose or my green eyes. I can’t change this. I can manage my sensitivity in productive ways, but I shouldn’t chase it away. This is just ONE of the things that I’m working on....another post on my how I’ve learn to accept my weight to come. (And it’s a pretty big shocker!!!)


3.       Be open to love

Nope, nope, and nope. Nothing to add at this point.


4.       Start a travel fund


Well, I haven’t received my first paycheque yet (tomorrow), so i haven’t progressed on this resolution either.


5.       Meet with a financial planner

Will start looking for one this month.


6.       Move into a place that I love and can afford in July

July 1st in Quebec isn’t Canada Day, it’s Moving Day (I’m serious – Google it). I’ve already started looking and I have an idea of what neighborhood I’d like to live in, but it’s still a tiny bit too early. But I’ve put my name in and I’m starting to look at places this weekend.


7.       Spend less than $20/month on coffee/at cafe’s


FEBRUARY: Well...yesterday I spent $16 at Starbucks. I’m just going to call it a FAIL


8.       Practice compassion

The theory here is that for me to be compassionate with myself, I have to be compassionate with others.


I don’t know. I’m confused. I thought I was practicing compassion with my ex….it failed miserably. I’d like to get back into reading and I have some fantastic Pema Chodron (a Buddhist nun) books on this very subject. I don’t think I’m particularly compassionate to myself. I think I’m pretty hard on myself, but getting a lot better.


I don’t want to blame the divorce process for everything....but it certainly has an effect on how I value myself, how I practice compassion, and obviously, how and if I’m open to love....


I hope that next month I have more to update, but I think I’m off to a pretty great start.

Love those well-timed emails....

I receive daily or weekly emails from one of my favorite blogs, http://www.marcandangel.com/

They're not explaining some complicated rocket-science theory, but they write gentle reminders about every day things. Today I received an email with the subject:

5 Ways to Find Peace of Mind in Tough Times

Well, thank you for the perfect timing. Even this morning as I rode the bus....I couldn't stop thinking about the last few weeks...wondering just what will happen and what is so wrong with ME that this would happen. The email snapped me out of it.

So read away:

5 Ways to Find Peace of Mind in Tough Times

1. See the difference between who YOU are and what you’re going through.

You are more than whatever is troubling you. A very real part of you exists beyond your worries, beyond your doubts, independent from the troubles and frustrations of the present moment. Step back and observe yourself as you experience each moment. Be present. Watch yourself as you think, as you take action, as you experience emotions. Your body may experience pain, and yet that pain is not you. Your mind may encounter troubles, and yet you are not those troubles. (from the “Adversity” chapter of our book)

2. Open up to someone you trust.
You aren’t alone. Let someone special in when you’re in a dark place. You know who this person is. Don’t expect them to solve your problems; just allow them to face your problems with you. Give them permission to stand beside you. They won’t necessarily be able to pull you out of the dark place you’re in, but the light that spills in when they enter will at least show you which way the door is.

Again, the important thing I can’t stress enough is to remember is that you are NOT alone (there is always someone to talk to.

3. Ease your expectations and be present with life’s lessons.

Life is under no obligation to give you exactly what you expect. Whatever it is you’re seeking will rarely ever come in the form you’re expecting. Don’t miss the silver lining because you were expecting gold.

Mistakes and setbacks (and even losses) are simply a form of practice.

You must see and accept things as they are instead of as you hoped, wished, or expected them to be. Just because it didn’t turn out like you had envisioned, doesn’t mean it isn’t teaching you exactly what you need to know to get to where you ultimately want to go.

4. Move TOWARDS something instead of AWAY.

“Don’t think about eating that chocolate cookie!” What are you thinking about now? Eating that chocolate cookie, right? When you concentrate on not thinking about something, you end up thinking about it.

The same philosophy holds true when it comes to freeing your mind from a negative past. By persistently trying to move away from what you don’t want, you are forced to think about it so much that you end up carrying it’s weight along with you. But if you instead choose to focus your energy on moving toward something you do want, you naturally leave the negative weight behind as you progress forward.

Bottom line: Instead of concentrating on eliminating the negative, concentrate on creating something positive.

5. Give yourself time.

Take all the time you need. Emotional healing is a process; don’t rush yourself through it. Don’t let others force you through it either. Moving on doesn’t take a day; it takes lots of little steps to be able to break free of your broken past and your wounded self.

Source: http://www.marcandangel.com/

Survival of the Fittest

In my nearly thirty-six years, I've done some pretty impressive things. I'm not boasting or bragging, I think most of us have done some pretty impressive things, in our own way.

I've nearly summited Mount Kenya, off by 200 meters. I've managed to go to lunch by myself with no transportation but a rickshaw in the middle of an island off the coast of Africa after being in Madagascar for only one month. I have successfully filled my car with antifreeze liquid without anyone teaching me. (I'm serious. I was pretty proud of that last one!)

But what I can't seem to do - is get through this divorce.

I feel like I'm drowning.

I'm totally lost. I'm confused. I'm doubting myself, my actions, my convictions.

For every one time I've given in and said, Go ahead, have it your way; there have been three times that I've said, No way, over my dead body.

For what?

I've built a relationship, a marriage, a life. And now I've built an enemy.

I've lost a husband, a friend, and any resemblance of an amicable divorce.

I don't know what to do anymore to make this better, to make this go away, and I'm losing my....energy. Every action seems to be the wrong one...every reaction not making things any smoother.

So, from my list of seemingly insurmountable accomplishments...how can I add, "Survived divorce"?

The papers & gratitude

Everything that needs to be signed is signed, as of about 18h00 EST.

I had some tears on the way there....but left knowing that this is truly the end of a book (more than a chapter) in my life.

I'm going to bed....still the same conditions as yesterday. Sore throat, run down from being sick for FOUR weeks, but I have this amazing sense if gratitude towards every single person....that made the biggest or the smallest of gestures....that has helped me get through this.

Thank you....for just letting me be who I am...and loving me along the way.

Last week & This week

Well I somehow survived a pretty difficult week.

  • First week of my new job.
  • Being EXTREMELY sick.
  • Signing my separation agreement.

The new job:
My new job is going to be really challenging but I love a challenge in that sense. Right now I have a lot of, Is this really me??? ,kind of moments as I enter one of the tallest buildings and take (the correct) elevator to the 30th or 32nd floor (I have made the mistake a few times on getting on the wrong elevator and feeling like a complete dolt..). I have my hair done, makeup on, and (attempted) cute/fashionable/downtown-looking outfit on (I think?) and I catch myself like...Wasn't it just like a few years ago where I was wearing flip flops, a breezy skirt, and a tank top to work? Walking (or in very beginning - trying to find a ride somehow...) to work on the dusty road, getting to work and washing my feet in the sink, checking in to the office as rest of the world was going to bed? Like...my old office used to be on an island off the east coast in Africa - I'd often accessorize with the local jewelry that was made from seeds or the horn of a zebu (the local breed of cow). I'd be dealing with strikes and protests and cyclones....and now....

Now it's taxis and Starbucks and high heels and makeup. And....I like it. And I thought I could NEVER like the downtown life. Ever. I thought I'd marry a farmer and live in the country. Now I'm Ms. Downtown (when I'm over being Ms. Pessimist....). And I like it. I like my little place (I would like to not move but I can't afford the rent... and will be moving July 1st). It's just so....surreal. My life has taken multiple 180* turns (and I'm not talking about the bad stuff)....and it's so hard to believe sometimes that I'm actually here, living this life.

Anyway, I started this post because I got through my first week of work. It's wildly exciting and if I was feeling a little bit better I think I wouldn't be able to sleep nights thinking about it. I know that it won't be perfect...but the company structure and set up is interesting...and let's get real here: the employee benefits, are freaking amazing. It's so great to see a company that values it's employees... and I'm now working for a company that's in it's growth spurt stage so it's all RAH RAH RAH!!!! A big change.

Back to my health:
I'm going to be a little under the weather for a few weeks and after last week, I had to really assess what I could and couldn't do. I decided to keep Maggie's dog walker three times per week (even though it's only in my budget to have her taken out twice a week...) so that she gets enough exercise and I've hired someone to help me clean my house. It's not a forever situation...it's certainly not a budgeted item, but I can't be wasting what little energy I have left on the weeknights taking care of the house. So twice a week for the next two weeks, I'll have some help.  I also stopped at a trendier (of course...) version of an M&M Meats store and got some healthier prepared meals so that I could eat normally. This week I've either had ice cream or a green smoothie for supper because I have no energy to cook and my throat is killing me. So that takes care of that. I just have to have enough energy to get through my work days, hopefully get yoga or piyo in a few times a week for my mental sanity...and take it from there.

I'm actually pretty happy how I handled the situation. Had this been six months ago, I don't know if I could have gotten everything organized as quickly as I have.

The separation agreement:
Signing this document was a painful and long process. My ex is a good person but the legal process and the way that we both dealt with it differently....well, it didn't bring out the best in either of us. When I signed those documents on Thursday, it brought back a lot of bad memories.

Around Christmas time, I was sad because I had a head full of the good times....not last week. My brain seemed to fill with all of the bad moments, all of the stressful times, and it just wasn't a good feeling at all. I suspect this is part of the divorce process.....that it won't be the last time I'm upset about it, but the trifecta of new job, being sick, and upsetting memories was pretty difficult to get through.

But I'm here. I made it through and with a pretty positive attitude (most) of the time. There were some tears. There were many, many laughs.

So tonight I go to bed, knowing that this week won't be my easiest, but that I have many opportunities to enjoy myself, to be kind to myself (and others), and see what happens next. A lot of new things going on....change is hard even when it's the good kind, but my perception and a good attitude, and asking for help when I need it, will help me get through this.


Ms. Pessimist

Tonight, I finally signed my separation agreement.

While the relationship part of things was over long, long ago (I guess), this feels like the hardest part of the process.

I felt weak after I left (more on that later), so I took a taxi home...thankfully the taxi driver got me talking...or else I think I would have quietly whimpered/cried the entire way home like I did until I got in the taxi.

While my new job rocks (a lot)...I've been struggling with my health...which makes for long evenings...Once I hit the seat of the bus...it's donezo for me...

I try to tidy up, get a little workout in, tend to the dog...but I find myself too tired to move. Next post I'll talk about what I'm doing to try to get rid of this damn sickness....but tonight...I barely have the energy to cry...but can't seem to get myself to stop tearing up...I can't help but feel hopeless.

I think that I will build a very happy life for myself...that even on most days I have a happy life...but tonight I feel hopeless that I'll ever be able to find someone to love...that loves me back...and live happily ever after.

I think in the big picture, I'm a pretty good person, have desirable qualities, am generally attractive, and would make a good partner.

But after reading my separation and divorce agreements...and paying money to have them prepared...and having to deal with lawyers to end a union...that is supposed to be forever...well, it casts a pretty negative outlook on the entire, "love" aspect of my life.

I miss having someone to nag to make sure they eat a minimum of 5 vegetables per day (it's my thing....I'm weird). I miss laughing with about something completely ridiculous and inappropriate with someone. The hardest...not going to sleep...holding someone's hand.

I know that I have a good life and that tomorrow will be a new day with most likely a brighter outlook in general.

But love...romantically....again...a relationship with the good, bad, and ugly? Pessimistic view at this point.

Goodnight online world.

Morale money

Pardon me if my writing is a little "Frenglish"....when I go back and forth some days I can't quite pick a language.

It is astonishing the size of impact that a change in environment can have on an individual. I knew in my heart by day two of my previous job that I wouldn't be a lifer there...but that I would make the best of it.

"The best of it" became too much for too long, had a direct impact on my productivity, confidence, and ultimately my happiness....but I had some other factors going on in the background....or the front ground, really...that didn't exactly help the situation.

Today was my first day at my new job. I am treated with respect, dignity, and valued - just like every other employee working there. Look, I totally expect to get shit on at multiple points at my time there....it's the nature of my job... But the company as a whole....well, I'm honestly in total shock and awe because these conditions are some that I haven't experienced in a long time.

I know I'm most likely seeing only the good...but I didn't have that feeling that I did at my previous job....where everyone was just a number with an expiration date...the details are not important...but what I've REALLY learned in the last couple of months, and what was truly enforced today, is that a company that reinvests even 0.005% of their profits into activities related to employee morale, save themselves an enormous amount of time, money, and lost productivity.

That's all I've got for now....I hope to continue to post more encouraging updates. I've decided that I really, really deserve it.