Overwhelmed

pexels-photo-247314.jpegSo as per my last blog post, I have recently found out that I have some difficult decisions to make about a surgery coming up and I was feeling quite concerned about telling my friends who know I would be a “High Risk” patient with this particular surgery.

And then I awoke to find a message from a friend who has three small children, who has finally revealed to her friends that she has an aggressive stage 3 cancer. This person has a special place in my heart as she allowed me to message her at 3am during a crisis 15 months ago, and so I find it heartbreaking.

Several years ago when I was going through a different health issue I explained to a friend how I felt alone with what I was going through and how I felt like a burden to my closest friends and family because of the stress of my illness and she suggested I start a blog. At the time I rolled my eyes but as the years passed I started thinking I wanted to start a blog and to specifically not bring up health issues. It’s funny because over 2 weeks after FINALLY starting a blog, I again am told I have a NEW major problem. I thought it was because of all my other weird health conditions – but the doctor assured me that this condition has “nothing to do with anything else I have ever had”.
I did tell a family member today about this –  and she said “WHAT??” I said “I know, I thought it might have been a domino affect”, and I started laughing about how crazy my life has been from the moment I was born. She said “I’m glad you are laughing!!” I responded with “I have no choice.”

I told her that when the doctor told me this was something completely different from “all the others” all I thought was “God, You and me got some talking to do”. How on earth have I made it this far? Seriously… So many close calls and another risky situation with no explanation and I just shake my head and I can ONLY laugh. In a way sometimes I feel like I’m the joke.

Then I ran across a comment online on social media in which I followed up with that person’s story and found a woman who is in stage 4 cancer – no hope – and 2 small children. This woman I don’t know, really upset me because I sit here and think – “I still have a chance and she doesn’t.” This means I MUST choose not to feel sorry for myself.  With all the close calls I’ve had in the past – I’m still here!! I’m still alive! I cannot give up now.

There are so many people in my thoughts, I know so many people going through their own personal hell, and it is overwhelming but miracles happen, I know this because my life has been one big miracle. So.. I can sit here and think I’m the joke, or I can sit here and think I’m the miracle. I guess I still have the chance to choose. Keep moving Forward!

Advertisements

To choose a positive mindset.

pexels-photo-415380.jpegMy morning started out in a bad way. I had an appointment in the hospital about a subject that the doctors kept dodging direct questions about. On my way to a new clinic and a new doctor I had never been to, I spilt coffee all down my shirt. I forced myself to laugh about it despite being nervous about the appointment.

Sure enough, I was told by a doctor who didn’t know me, that I had a some difficult choices to make between 3 high-risk options. I asked him if he was in my position what would he choose and he told me he didn’t know because they were all bad options but my only options. He explained the worst-case scenario about each option, and the risk of each decision. However all the doctors involved have decided upon a particular path, yet I was told it ultimately was my decision.

I had not been expecting this, as the doctors that I was familiar with wouldn’t give me clear answers before so I thought that maybe my situation wasn’t so bad. It felt horrible hearing this from a doctor who had never treated me before to explain to me what I dreaded, and wished it had come from a trusted doctor that I had a history with. It would have been more comforting.

After explaining the news to a select few family members they did their research from different clinics and came upon some very uplifting and positive results. You see, the doctor never explained BEST CASE SCENARIO. Best case scenario isn’t actually all that bad, and is very common. However, I do have other issues with my health that make the doctors nervous about the situation, and provide greater risk, which is why I believe they were preparing me for the difficulties of each choice.

What popped up into my head was a post from Dr Phil, when he talked about one of his previous jobs with “behavioral medicine” that I posted not that long ago on the Everything Better Facebook feed   . He discussed about how your attitude can change how you physiologically react to a medical condition. My few family members who know about it, have suggested that we focus on best case scenario, gearing up my mind and my body for the best, knowing that choosing a positive mindset could really add to a positive outcome.

When I have previously been in the hospital I have found two things that work tremendously (although I will be making more posts about other things that help keep that mind positive).

One doctor during a previous recovery told me to stay away from the news and anything that makes me sad or mad on the TV. They said there was nothing that they had ever seen that was better than humor to help someone stay positive and recover quickly. My favorite shows that I watch that help me keep a smile on my face are:

1. Scrubs

2. The Office

3. Parks and Recreation

and if you like some of the British Humor I recommend Black Books.

The other things I suggest to keep your mind in the positive direction is to build something – I know it sounds silly because it sounds like a kid thing, but whenever I have visited anyone in the hospital who needs to recover, I will always bring Lego. The process of “building something”, keeps the mind focused on creating, and doing something positive. So many people I know who have done the Lego thing in the hospital tell me how they are absolutely amazed at how it changed their mindset from being depressed to feeling like they accomplished something through building. Plus it’s just fun!

This is my basic building blocks (no pun intended) to get myself in a positive mood. There are surely more blogs to come. I hope you are not, or anyone you know facing a difficult medical condition or procedure, but if so, I highly recommend the above.
Since this blog isn’t just for readers but also for me, please let me know if you have any suggestions that would help me with my upcoming decisions and medical procedure. Thank you!

Breaking a toxic cycle:

poison-bottle-medicine-old-159296.jpegThere is something that I have put up with for way too long. It was deceptive because I felt like I was doing a good thing.

There was someone who was consistently having outbursts of yelling, or snapping at me. Who would criticize me or my friends, and if I ever brought up anything about it they would practically have a meltdown or even have no memory of the outburst or reaction. So most of the time I never took it personally, I told myself that the person had no idea what they were doing and that I could put up with it in order to be a friend to that person.

After many years, it has taken me until now to understand that even though “I could handle it’, it wasn’t fair on them. This is not just a bad deal for me (even though again, I could handle it and not let it affect me that much), but I realize that over time, this has hurt that person. I recognize that that person has become so used to this behavior that they treat others this way without realizing it, and they are unable to recognize the wrongness of their behavior.

It has been painful but I have had to take a step back. I love them very much and enjoy their company most of the time when we get together, but in order for them to change for the better, I no longer can allow myself to be a “place of blame” for them. I am hoping that all the people who have become a “place of blame” for this person can remove themselves for a short while, long enough for this person to actually have no one else to blame but themselves – so they can finally break their own habit. I’m not sure if this is the correct way to go about things, but I know that to continue to allow myself to be a source to incorrectly blame within their lives is not fair for them and their growth.

With that, I have to actively look for places to draw positive energy from in order to build up strength to resist this cycle. Good books, beautiful conversations, and time with nature.

Here’s a few books I recommend if you need some good vibes:

The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony

Always Looking Up by Michael J Fox

Everybody’s Got Something by Robin Roberts

Keep Going. Hope you have a great week and stay strong.

Feeling rejected? you may be in good company with incredible people.

There are some amazing people that we admire today that have been rejected at some point in Einsteintheir lifetime. It is a good reminder that even if you don’t feel like people see what you have to offer now, doesn’t mean that you wont achieve what you desire to. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have what you need to reach your goals. It just means that person (or people) don’t see what you are capable of.

Here are some jaw-dropping examples:

  1. Albert Einstein – His teacher told his father that he would “never amount to anything.” He only turned out to be one of the greatest minds of our time…
  2. Vincent Van Gogh – Arguably one of the most popular and intricate painters of all time, had all (ALL!!) of his neighbors sign a petition to put him in an asylum.
  3. Frida Kahlo – Many of us know her story – she had to deal with so much physical pain, she got to the point where she could not sit or stand continuously –  and on top of that her husband had an affair with her younger sister which she found to be deeply hurtful, yet, she is arguably one of the most famous female painters of our time.
  4. Elon Musk – known for PayPal and Tesla Inc was bullied so badly lost consciousness after being bullied so badly as a child.
  5. Joan Rivers – Arguably one of the most infamous female comedians of my lifetime –  after years of success as a comedian she found out that she was broke due to her husband spending all of her money. She thought of ‘ending it all’ but then realized no one would take care of her dog. She was told “no” so many times when trying to make it as a comedian because she was too “edgy” or too “old”. So glad she never gave up!
  6. Stephen King – He couldn’t find a job after receiving his teaching certificate and when trying to get published he was rejected 30 times!! I’m not a fan of the horror genre but the guy has skill!

There is no way I could finish this list – it is endless. As Will Smith recently said that you have to be comfortable with failure because you learn from it. Jane Fonda expresses that you don’t grow and learn with being successful, but through your darkest moments. Sometimes surviving a situation means to be still and learn from it, so that you can grow and become who you are meant to be.

Hope you have an amazing week ahead.

 

Why Mike Rowe will always have “it”.

Dear Readers,
I know this is a weird post, and frankly I can only be so honest on here because half of my family doesn’t even know I have a blog, but we need to talk about Mike Rowe.

I have been watching Mike Rowe since the beginning of Dirty Jobs (My husband made me at first but I didn’t fight it after the first episode). His voice is amazing, and quite frankly I am curious about how he would have sounded in the Opera (look that up… he was in one).

Dirty Jobs was humorous, it made me think – and helped me provide a response to my teacher and classmates in my educational philosophy class when the classroom discussion centred on how as a teacher your job is to inspire students to “pursue jobs they love”, and how it’s the job of a teacher to inspire children to be creative. At that point I said “If every kid gets a dream job, who’s going to be my plummer?” *SILENCE* Then… as if I hit a magic button I mentioned “Mike Rowe” and Dirty Jobs” and they were all on the same wavelength willing to entertain the idea. Had I not mentioned Mike Rowe, I think they would have thought I was crazy! I went on… “I Guess we wont have anybody to do the ‘undesirable jobs’ out there – and “society wont run will it?”. I have to say, I wouldn’t have thought outside of the “chase all your dreams” attitude had it not been for Dirty Jobs. However, I’m not sure what world some of my classmates are living in but their conclusion was “well, in the future we may not need people to do those jobs, we’ll think of a way where we can live our lives without toilets”. 😳 umm… please send me to another planet if the human inhabitants of this planet stop using toilets just because “no one should have to work in a job involving poop.” 🤦🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️

I hear Mike Rowe does some of the science shows now (I don’t get them on my cable), and I eat up every episode of “Returning the Favor” (the world needs more shows like this), and he will go on to do as many projects that interest him (I have a feeling he’s one of those people who wouldn’t enjoy doing ‘nothing’ in retirement), but there is something that makes him timeless.

It’s a sad fact, but what will always draw people to watching and listening to him (The Way I Heard It is Highly recommended) is not always his voice, or his wisecracks, or his intelligence on how he responds to the fan letters, not even how his mother writes hilarious letters. No, what makes Mike Rowe have “It”, and something that I believe is an undeniably attractive quality. It’s logic. I know! It’s crazy! But in this day and age where people claim all sorts of things and make decisions based on feelings – Logic is a rare and sought after trait in many people.

And So there you have it. I am undeniably attracted to logic. I find myself wanting to be around those that display this rare quality…  I’m not trying to get political or provoke, or cause controversy – I’m just stating a quality that can change your life. I highly recommend people invest in acquiring the quality of logic. It has worked for 100% of the people I know who have tried it. Including Mike Rowe.

I will say that most people I know who make decisions based on feelings (with no logic factored in) have made BAD, bad bad bad…. decisions…. so (based on my scientific findings) there has to be and always should be logic at the foundation of the many decisions we make.

And is it just me or does logic make a man seem more masculine? (which isn’t a bad thing no matter how the media currently portrays it).

Please let me know how logic has changed your life in any comments below.

P.S. I am going to say – for the record – I don’t get paid for recommending anything that has to do with Mike Rowe… I’m a tiny (as in numbers, not necessarily size of person) unimportant blogger (I am not a “social influencer” at all) and I just wanted to promote more logic in the world. However hopefully I have helped you with thinking about how much you appreciate logic and made you decide you would like to purchase some of  Mike Rowe’s work.

Mike Rowe

Anxiety about returning to school:

pexels-photo-207697.jpeg

My sensory son returns to school on Monday, starting Grade 3, and with most children who have sensory problems, he has a lot of anxiety about it. We have a new Occupational Therapist who hasn’t quite gained his full trust yet, so he did not express all of his concerns to her in our introductory session.

With his previous OT she had him write out a list of things he’s excited about and things he’s worried about when returning to school. Most of them are the usual things that a child may be worried about: New Teacher and different students. Some things he is excited about is that he has his cousin in his class, and he is also excited to get to know the new teacher even though he’s worried about it too. He was so attached to his grade 2 teacher that when we had spring break last year, he had to message her – a lot…. and being the amazing teacher she is, she still responded (on her break)!!

As he is extra sensitive to sound, he has been put with a teacher this year that has a reputation for never yelling (how on earth does she teach so many children without yelling?).

I find though, that I have more anxiety than he does. For one, I know he doesn’t get invited to Birthdays (even though he’s great at birthdays, there are few parents willing to risk it), thinking he’s going to have a meltdown. He’s actually a pretty awesome guest because he gets really excited for others opening up their presents… and does anything he can to make the birthday child feel extra special. I also know there is one child that says if any other child plays with my son, that they aren’t in his group… so some children are pressured to not play with my son. This breaks my heart.

The sad part is, my son is a super loyal child who is very protective of his friends but has meltdowns every once in a while when noises get too loud, or too bright, or he is teased. He is working on these meltdowns but my anxiety is that there are parents out there that don’t teach their children how to include children with differences. I have a child that not only has to deal with not being able to control how much the noises hurt him or the lights hurt him, but also that he is rejected for something he can’t control.
The great thing is that most parents and teachers, and OTs and any other staff member that works with him tell me how he has such incredible skills of caring for others and brightening up their day. I also know that there are a few children that do look out for him, who have purposely been put in his class.

So we are returning back to school, and my son has so many tools to help him, his ankle weights, his special wedge pillow to help him sit still, weighted blanket, noise cancellation headphones, a cold smooth stone to hold – but  there is no one who has more anxiety than me, the parent. I am not sure what tools I should use for ME but I am hoping that this year will be better than the previous years, and that maybe he will be included a little more this year.  Sometimes when you have a child like this… you are thankful for something as small as your child finding a friend.

 

How this exercise can help your child with their emotions

 

colours

So my sensory son has benefited greatly recently from a major exercise from his Occupational Therapist. It’s when we assign colors to emotions.

  • Blue represents sadness, or sickness, feeling unhappy, or things that make you unhappy.
  • Red represents anger, Yelling, screaming or anything that upsets you greatly.
  • Yellow represents that moment before anger, feeling annoyed – or even feeling silly, on the edge, or recognizing something that may annoy you.
  • Green represents happiness, joy, anything that helps you feel good about yourself.

My son, who isn’t very understanding about his emotions but is very visual can understand this explanation of feelings so much better than just labels. It helps when we are in public too, where I can say “I can tell you are in the ‘yellow zone’, what can we do to get green again?”

I’m an auditory learner, and to me this was very silly at first but it really works for children who need extra help with their emotions and are visual learners.

We then have asked him many questions (when he is in the Green zone) of what makes him feel green… if he is in the yellow, what can he do to help himself get to the green.

He has come up with exercises on his own, but the OT has helped him understand about counting, and pushing against the wall, breathing exercises- tools he wasn’t aware of, that has helped him.

Other exercises he has included is “getting a drink of water”, “going for a walk” (which he is allowed to do by most teachers), to help him stay calm. HE is also a big fan of drawing, and even drawing out his feelings is easier for him than expressing them in any other way.

We have posters around our house of “expressions” of people in each of these zones so he can recognize them in himself (and others) a lot easier.

He is soon to start Grade 3 on Monday, and I as a parent has a lot of anxiety about starting with a new teacher and knowing how much it takes for him to adjust so we are revising these colors so much before then.

Let me know if you have a similar method or something else that helps you. We need all the tools we can get to cope and adjust to this world.

God Bless

You are not a victim! 3 sentences to help you stay resilient.

I have wanted to scream this lately at quite a few people – some even in the media. You are not a victim! It’s one thing to hurt and pain over a situation but what does it mean to identify as a victim throughout your life?pexels-photo-278312.jpeg

Right now the world seems intent to convincing you that you are a victim. I have noticed people I know and love going down a the victimhood track and it’s disturbing.

Here are some major reasons and motivations into changing your mentality. What happens when you tell yourself you are a victim?

  1. It emphasizes your lack of control of your situation and takes away your power.
  2. It gives you an OUT in taking responsibility of the present and the future. This gives you a pathway to behaving however you want because “you are a victim so that makes it okay”, AND possibly even allows you to become the bully.
  3. It gives you an incorrect and tainted perspective and prevents you from looking and examining things fairly – especially who you are and how you treat others.
  4. It stops you from feeling empathy – proper empathy, because your victimhood will be what will cloud your emotions. IF someone goes through a difficult situation – you will somehow make it about you. Their issue has made things worse FOR YOU. It’s kind of messed up.
  5. It causes us to over exaggerate what we have done for others and under exaggerate what others have done for us. We lose our thankfulness and become ungrateful.
  6. Children notice.

The sad thing is, if we are thinking this way, and have children, we are teaching them to be victims too. Victims turn into bullies and get away with things because their parent/s are constantly seeing them as a victim and not seeing clearly what their child is doing to others. Children pick up on this. Children know that you wont see them as doing any wrong because they know you make excuses for them because you see them as the victim. Children will use this to their advantage. I’m not kidding. What is worse is that this victimhood mentality will limit their potential if they start believing it.

Not all victims are bullies – because we have all been victims and it’s okay to acknowledge the pain we feel in those situations, but when being a victim is a chronic way of thinking, we are shortchanging ourselves and what we can accomplish.

I have a few close friends who have had painful situations involving a parent when they were growing up. They got through it because of the other parent in their life teaching them resilience. Harvard has published some amazing papers on teaching children resilience – and resilience should be a major foundational goal for each child. To do this, an adult in their life must be an example of resilience. If you are constantly acting like you are a victim, then they will become that victim or bully and never learn the mental muscle of resilience.

I am still working on this myself to be honest. I get in an occasional rut where I tell myself how I have such a difficult life or situation that I am in and “poor me”, but the best way I have learnt how to deal with myself and to teach my children is these three sayings:

  1. This situation isn’t forever.
  2. There is a way through this.
  3. You have the skills to handle this.strength

I then ask these two questions: Can you change things? If you can’t, what do you need to do for yourself in order to get through this problem?

Stay resilient.

When “everyone else has got it together” – the big lie we tell ourselves:

checklistThe more I have authentic conversations with others the more I have come to one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves.

One of the biggest reasons why we get overwhelmed with life is because we compare ourselves to others – but what we compare is usually an idea, perspective or small facet of what we believe to be someone else’s life.

It’s a main reason why social media can cause depression, because we are usually only exposed to the “good bits” about people’s lives.

We believe others are making more money than us, that their children are better behaved, or that others parent their children better or that they haven’t experienced the humiliation, pain, or hurt that we have experienced and that their lives are better.
We lose our way when we begin to think this way. Every hurt, pain, or difficulty feels heavier when we start thinking “well this doesn’t happen to ______”. But it does. No matter how we differ from anyone else, almost everyone benefits and desires to feel needed and liked. These are the basics.  What we should be learning as we get older is that it’s okay if others don’t need us or like us, as long as we recognize our own value.

When we realize that not one person “has it all together” but that we all go through undulating emotions of good and bad feelings with different experiences, we are able to cope a little better and things can seem a little less overwhelming. One of my favorite books that I feel is a motto for me is Everybody’s Got Something by Robin Roberts.  It makes me remember that no matter what my problems are, that I am not alone and that you are absolutely capable to get through whatever difficult situation you are in.

Keep going!

“Stay in your Sandbox”

Sandbox-2013

So today I had a conversation that brought up a saying “Stay in your own Sandbox”.  It refers to the idea that if we all played in our own sandbox and stopped worrying about what castles other people were building or have created or destroyed in their own sandbox that we would all be happier.

I was reminded of this idea recently as someone close to me has not understood that most of their issues come from getting themselves into other people’s sandbox. They can’t seem to understand that they need to focus on what they are building, what they are destroying or how to fix or create their own world without getting into other people’s business. There is a constant stream of advice on what we should do or what would “fix” things without proper understanding of the exact situation. Nor  are they taken seriously because they don’t seem to be working in their own sandbox.

It doesn’t mean that this person isn’t loved or dearly regarded but it adds to any drama that you or others may be going through to receive opinions that have not been properly thought out. No one needs that extra interference and there is a large chance no one is going to take your advice if there isn’t proof that you have succeeded with building your own sandcastle in your own area.

I am an opinionated person but I know that no matter what advice I may give or offer (when asked – and sometimes when it’s not) that at the end of the day – I need to stay and work on my own sandcastle. Make sure that sandcastle is stable and still standing as that’s the most important place anyone can be. In their own sandbox.

Happy Building!

 

To Connect or Disconnect…

mother

One thing that I remember absolutely hating when I was younger was whenever my mother had to stop and talk to anyone – which was everyone. I was so embarrassed and I could not understand why she had the need to make a connection with every person she came across. When I would ask her about it, she would say
“You never know what their day has been like, maybe you can brighten up their day with a connection”.
I felt like she would take it too far she would engage in discussion with a maid at a hotel, or someone who happened to be crossing the street with us. Why? I was an extreme introvert as a child. All I could think about was that those people probably wanted to be left alone, just like I did. I had no desire to talk to strangers so why would strangers desire to talk to me?  or in this case my mother.

The funny thing is, as I have gotten older, I have developed her desire for connecting with others. I often find myself picking up conversations with the butcher, a waiter, a store owner, and anyone with a pet. I am probably one of the dreaded mothers at school drop-off because I feel like I haven’t completed my day if I haven’t said hello to all the mothers I know. I do find myself saying the same things that my mother said “Maybe I can make their day a bit brighter”.

I didn’t think I was known for this though, until I was in the car with my father today. He mentioned “I noticed you didn’t talk to many people yesterday”. Yesterday’s post might explain this better but I had an emotionally taxing day to put it mildly, and he had been aware of the situation. I said “Nope”, and didn’t offer to discuss it further as yesterday’s memories were painfully fresh in my mind. However he kept going…

“Well, you normally are very welcoming and I think you should have shown people that side of you yesterday.”
My mother was in the car as well as I was dropping them off at the airport. I was quiet for a while before I answered:
“you know dad, I like to make others feel good, but yesterday I wasn’t feeling good. I did not have the energy to be energetic and upbeat to those around me. I don’t have to be ‘up’ all the time. It’s unnatural to be happy all the time and it’s perfectly understandable.”.

My mother quickly agreed and my dad said “I guess that’s true.” I don’t know if I’m the only one here, but there is pressure to always look and feel happy and this is not only unnatural but it’s not healthy. If we don’t consider our “down days”, then we bottle up this emotion and it can turn into something more chronic and serious. I was surprised that this video popped up on social media which explains it perfectly.

After I dropped them off at the airport, instead of going home right away I took myself to a coffee shop. I got myself a coffee and went and sat in the car for a few minutes and took some time for myself. Just observing the quiet and making some time for me. I told myself there was no need to rush as I sipped away.

There are days it feels better to connect, and days it feels better to disconnect. Sometimes we don’t get a choice, but in the moments we do, it’s perfectly acceptable to decide what you need. I hope you have a good week ahead and take care of yourself so you can be a better you.

Find an assortment of unique Coffee Mugs here

You are a warrior!

This is my new motto.

We had a difficult day today. My son, who has sensory issues had a couple of meltdowns (in public) but the other difficulty is that I still have a few family members who don’t handle it well.

I cannot explain the frustration and I also I cannot explain the pain of feeling so alone with dealing with so much emotion each day.

I did have a moment when I felt the situation had settled but my emotions and nerves were still upset. I purposely took myself to the restroom, looked myself in the mirror and said “you are a warrior! You can handle this. You are strong”. I know we live in a world where we are to be in touch with our emotions and feel the depth of our reality but for some of us, if we did that, there might not be an end to the tears. So in moments where I have no choice but to keep going, I remind myself that I am a warrior, and that I have all the emotional tools to handle any situation that comes along.

So if you find yourself in a difficult reality, please keep telling yourself to keep going. You are a warrior!

God bless and be better!