the great fast

Ah Lent... That time of year when those of Christian faiths around the worlds "give up" something before Easter, to commemorate Jesus' 40 days in the desert. (Where I am sure, if he had just  stopped to ask for directions, would have been a week, maybe two, tops!) As a kid, we would choose to give up chocolate, or TV, or more often hitting and pinching each other - trust me, as the oldest of four siblings, that one was the hardest!

Now, I am what you would call a C-GINO (Catholic Girl In Name Only) kind of gal. I don't go to church regularly, I did not baptize my children and as you can guess, I have some serious issues with some of the more rigid teachings and doctrines of the Catholic church.

But Lent? Somehow Lent has always meant something for me and this year is no exception.

So while the leader of the Catholic Church himself, with impeccable timing, has decided to GIVE UP his entire flock this year, I am taking things along a different route. This year I am going do DO something for Lent.

I am going to write for the next 40 days. Something every day. Something that makes me happy. A daily "silver lining".

Because sometimes we lose sight of them. The small things that we miss while we rush about in our fast-paced world. Those moments that are gone in an instant in our 'check-list checking, phone reminder beeping, time is slip, slip, slipping away' lives.

And really... It is just so much easier to focus on the crappy things in our days.

You hit the snooze button one too many times and now everyone is late for school and/or work. You forgot that it was pajama day at school and now you feel like the worst parent ever and your kid is giving you THAT LOOK. You didn't eat breakfast and now at 2 PM, you are shoving a chocolate-filled croissant in your face that you know will just make you feel like you want a nap in an hour. Which you can't have because you have to get the kids to swimming and then you put the swim bag on the floor and it got soaked through and now the kids have to go home in the middle of winter wrapped in damp towels and their jackets. AND you forgot to take something out of the freezer for dinner... again, so its a mad rush to figure out a decent meal that everyone will eat. There is laundry piled a mile high, a stack of papers that have been on your kitchen counter for 2 months now that you really should have a look at and for some reason your spouse is NOT offering you a foot rub.

Life SUCKS.

Or does it?

Those extra nine minutes in bed were spent smooshed between your two children, one gently running his fingers through your hair and the other one spooned up against you with her little hand intertwined with yours. That croissant was TO DIE FOR delicious and still warm. And while the swim bag was soaking up half of the water on the deck, your 4-year old treaded water for 30 seconds without any floaties and then looked over and full-on winked at you with the biggest smile ever! The laundry is at least clean and while your spouse may not be giving you a foot rub, he is planning on surprising you on Valentine's day with a new iPad mini.

See?

Silver linings.

And I need to find them.

I need to focus on the joy in my life, to keep the shadows away and to remind myself that my life absolutely does not SUCK.

So, this is what I plan to do. 40 days of Silver Linings.

I am giving up any feelings of despair and depression and self-pity for Lent.

What about you? What are you giving up? Or do you want to join me and make a little Silver Linings Playbook of your own? (Disclosure-I have not seen this movie yet and it is on our Must See list for the next date night!)

Natasha~

 

1. Today's Silver Lining was me finding my inner HAPPY PLACE. 

It is that spot just past the break of the waves on a beautiful Pacific Ocean beach of the coast of an island in Hawaii.

That spot of calm.

And I am in the water. Floating. On my back. My ears are in the water, my eyes are closed, I am one with the water...

I am of the water.

And in that moment it is just me and the ocean. No sound.

Just the sweet bouyancy of the salty water and the warmth of the sun beaming down on me.

I am fluid.

I am calm. 

It is vast and I am small.

And happy.

my happy place

 

 

 

 

Try, try, try.

You are eleven years old. You are not good enough.

Not pretty enough.

Not smart enough.

Not worthy of his love, his time, his attention.

You are not his daughter anymore.

In the years to come

You will let countless others use you in the name of feeling something that you think is love.

You will think this means that you are wanted.

You will ask yourself over and over, every year,

Why?

What did you do?

Why did he disappear? Why did he not fight for you?

You will think it is because you are a girl and that he wanted a boy.

You will spend your life trying to please those who claim to love you.

You will give too much,

and keep nothing for yourself.

Your heart will be broken over and over

and over again.

But you won't give up.

There is a strength in you.

It is buried

Deep

But it is there.

And so you keep getting up,

You keep trying.

Because you are worthy.

You are loveable.

You are amazing.

You are strong.

You will make things right.

You know that you will never be perfect,

And that perfection is not the goal.

You know that time will heal.

You know what you need to do.

 

Love yourself first.

 

 

I can't stop listening to this song from the incredible, incomparable, PINK!

 [youtube]http://youtu.be/ivPEKaBHjYA[/youtube]

 

Natasha~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Blue one of the colors of Fall?

October sucks!

There I said it.

I LOVE Fall, it is by far my favourite season of the year. I long to see the leaves changing and the myriad of colors in the river valley and feel the crispness in the air.

But somewhere around the middle of October this all changes for me.

The leaves fall off the trees, it gets cold outside, the days become noticeably shorter and somewhere in all of this my mood shifts.

Two years ago, when Princess L was just one, it was so bad that I had to get some help and started to see a therapist for a few months. I attributed that time to some latent postpartum depression, but in hindsight, I think it was my usual seasonal blues. Last year I just pushed through it.

I remember a time in University when I did not get out of bed for about 2 weeks and suffered from some pretty severe panic attacks when I did manage to leave the house. That year was the worst of it.

As far back as I can remember, at least in my adult life, this time of year is just not great for me. And this year is turning out to be no different.

You would think that this would not be the case. All looks or seems great from the outside. I attended not one, but two awesome blogging conferences in the past month. I landed a sweet co-editor position with an up and coming online mom's website. I am probably in the best shape physically that I have been in in years, thanks to some personal dedication and my amazing trainer. I was nominated for an award recognizing my abilities as an entrepreneur AND a mother. And I continue to do what I love, surrounded by the people who I love.

So why so sad, so uninterested....so tired ALL THE TIME!?

I know what depression is. I can recognize the symptoms, I know the chemical reasons behind why it happens and yes, I know how to treat it. I have seen depression in friends and family and colleagues and I have lost someone to the darkness that it is as well. I spent years of my life and in my previous career learning about, marketing and selling antidepressants.They are life savers for so many people, but I personally just don't like going that route. I feel like I take enough meds as it is to keep my rheumatoid arthritis controlled and I don't like to overload my body with too many synthetic chemicals to process.

And so I am pushing through. Getting through one day at a time and trying to keep my head above water (or often above the piles of laundry). Some days are better than others and some days I wonder if other things that I can't control are affecting me as well.

Today was kind of one of the latter. I wonder if my mood is also affecting others? If I am no fun to be around and if that makes me less likely to be invited to playdates or get-togethers? I wonder if I have alienated some friends as of late and then I also wonder why I am wondering this? If they are truly my friends should this be an issue? Should I not be able to talk my friends about this?

And now I am wondering if I should even be writing this post. But I am 500 words in so I am just going to keep going....

Tomorrow is November. I know the days are getting even shorter and colder, but I will keep going. I am going to love on my little people and bask in their sweet innocent goodness and silliness. Natural Urban Dad and I are going away for a weekend to our happy place at Jasper Park Lodge to reconnect and focus on US as a couple. And I am going to write. I am going to write lots of things. Lists to keep my days on track, meal plans to keep me better organized and blog posts both here and on Mom Nation to feed my soul, to purge my brain of the many thoughts that often keep me up at night, and to keep me going.

This will pass...it always does (usually right before Christmas).

So please bear with me as I get this little seasonal beastie under control and find my way back to my happy place within.

Sincerely,

Natasha~