Monthly Archives: January 2009

WORRIED

I’m worried about my friend.  My friend called me tonight to tell me about this very strange conversation she had with our friend that left her very worried.  Our friend is the mother of my godchild.  She’s had four kids in the span of 6 years, with one miscarriage in between.  I’ve known her since university and she’s always been a strong, resilient person.  I’ve hardly ever seen her weak or vulnerable.

I can’t begin to even understand the stresses of raising four kids.  I’m tired out from having a day with my nephews, so I can’t fathom 24/7 with four kids.  So, I got a call from her about 2 weeks ago telling me the hell she’s been through in the past few months.  I had an inkling about it after her third pregnancy, but she seemed to have bounced back.  This time it seems more serious and my friend and I are thinking maybe she has developed postpartum depression after her fourth child.  We’ve never seen her like this before. 

So, tomorrow (Friday), my friend and I will be giving her a much needed mini-break – we’ve been planning this since she left that message – its been hard to get a hold of her since, but thankfully we finally decided on a day to help her out.  Its not much, but I’m going to bring lunch, clean her place up, do some laundry, pick-up my friend (who will help in the evening with me), and then I’ll make her my world famous (ok, I think so!) chicken stir fry for dinner, and then put the kids down for bed.  My friend and I have decided we’ll try to do it next week as well (and continue to do it for as long as they need), and since I have the time now, might as well use it productively and usefully.  I’m really looking forward to seeing her tomorrow, it’ll put my mind at ease a little just to see her and hopefully make her laugh a little with my silliness.  She said she needed a laugh and I plan to deliver!

Its interesting how pregnancy, and the after effects of it, can whack a women out of balance, hormonally speaking.  It has certainly affected my friend.  I’ve never, ever seen her this emotional, stressed and vulnerable, ever.  It just breaks my heart.

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CHINESE NEW YEAR’S

Chinese New Year’s is a great time.  I get together with a bunch of family friends I haven’t seen in awhile and I get an update on their lives.  I get red pockets (love them!) and I eat lots and lots and lots of food.  Thankfully, these days I get to dress comfy, so no need to worry about having to fit into work clothes.

A snapshot of what I ate during my three days of festivities for Chinese New Year’s:

cnyfest

cnydimsum

cnydimsum1

eggtarts

I ate a lot more than what you see here, but there were too many meals to take shots of.  The egg tarts are my favourite at dim sum cause they are usually freshly baked.  The egg tarts in the above photo were delicious and fresh, yummy!  My other favourite is the steamed cake, but they didn’t have any when I was there.

I ingested a lot of food over these past few days.  More than I care to remember.  So, I took a nice long walk yesterday to work it off.  It was cold out, but not as cold as the time when my cheeks almost froze permanently numb.  Anyways, it was good to go for a walk.  I might go for a walk today, its snowing like crazy and looks lovely outside all blanketed in white snow.  I’ve really enjoyed these walks because I just forget about everything and focus on relaxing and enjoying my time outside.  I started Tai Chi just for the same reasons I’m walking now, it relaxes me and I just focus on the walking and in the case of my Tai Chi, my slow-mo movements.

Chinese New Year’s is not all about the food, but the celebrations are around food, and that’s why I love this holiday!  I can always diet later.

NEXT ADVENTURE

drbeauty1

Memories of the Dominican

My next adventure – I’ve been mulling it over.  Once I settle the job situation, I’ll be working on my adventure situation.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately because one of the girls I went to the Dominican Republic with, where I helped build houses, is going on another volunteer trip.

She does industrial design and she’ll be helping design/build this eco-tourism center and missionary center in Rwanda.  I haven’t been in close contact with her since the trip, but we’re on facebook so that’s how I found out.  She’s leaving in a few days, to do a trip in Europe and then she’ll make her way to Rwanda from there.  I met-up with her briefly today because she’s borrowing my battery charger.  We both have Canon cameras, and she left her charger at her parents, who live 5 hours from Toronto.  She started a blog about her trip and I told her I would stalk it daily, because she is going to Rwanda so I’m a bit worried, and she promised to update it as often as possible.  It was great to see her, she’s got such a bubbly personality, she’ll do good in Rwanda.

I really want to do a trip that will tie in with some volunteering this year as well.  I think I’m hooked now.  I was trying to explain to a friend how I could never do a resort vacation again, and she didn’t quite get it.  She thought it was because of the food, which is ridiculous, but after I explained it to her I think she was a bit embarassed once she understood that the reason why I couldn’t do it was because of what I had experienced not because of bad food.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with resort vacations abroad, but I crave adventure, being active and doing something worthwhile.  I’ve seen what comes out of a volunteer effort and having experienced it I can’t forget it, I want to keep doing it.  

A couple of countries pop into my head for this year – Africa and Asia.  Maybe I’ll just close my eyes and point somewhere on a map of Africa or Asia and that will be where I go. 

Trust me, there is a method to my madness.  😉

FRIENDSHIP CHANGES

When a friendship changes dramatically, its hard.  Especially if you’ve depended on this person alot.

When I was 11 or 12, my best friend and I were super close, we called each other everyday.  This continued until about university.  Our friendship started to crumble and a few years after university and many attempts to keep the friendship going, we decided to just end it.  It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but the best thing at the time, too much had happened.  We stopped talking for over 5 years.  I’m happy to report, though, that we are friends again, not as close (it will never be the same), but at least we’re in each others lives.

So, my friend was unloading on me last night.  She’s having a hard time adjusting to my friends new relationship status.  Our friend has been dating this guy for 5 months and they got engaged after only 4 months.  So, all the friends haven’t even had time to get to know this guy.  I only met him for the first time this weekend!  Everything about this guy is the opposite of what I thought my friend would end up with, but I’m happy for her nonetheless cause what’s important is that this guy treats her well and she’s happy.

My friend sees it the same way but its been a huge change for her.  They did everything together (some people actually thought they were “together” if you know what I mean) and depended on each other heavily and now she has to share her.  So, she’s trying her hardest to get to know this guy and to adjust to the change in their friendship.  I feel for her because she’s never been very independent so this is a big adjustment for her.

For me, I learned from my past.  I value my friendships, but I try not to depend on my friends.  That’s not to say I can’t depend on my friends, I know that they’ll be there for me when I really need them.  But, being independent is important to me.  I’ve learned to do a lot on my own and that has made me stronger in the process.

My friend has learned a hard lesson.  She realizes that she needs to be more independent, give the new guy more of a chance and accept the fact that change happens, even if its a pain in the ass.  😐

THE JOB HUNT

The Job Hunt – one of my least favourite things to do.  I’ve been at it for almost 2 months, more aggressively since the new year and for awhile there it seemed so futile.  It was a bit disheartening, but I kept going at it.

Finally, its paying off and the past couple of days I’ve been getting requests for interviews.  Now, the challenge is keeping track of all the jobs I’ve applied for and not to mix them up.  I’ve been pretty good at keeping the job descriptions and emails I’ve been sending and making sure not to forget to keep them.  And, as I keep building the number of positions I apply for, the challenge is to keep it organized.  My goal is to apply for a job a day or more so I’m going to be accumulating many job descriptions before I actually land a job offer.

My other least favourite thing?  Researching these companies once I get the interview and retaining what I learn about them.  This is my weak point, regurgitating what I remember about what these companies do.  Most of the time I make shit up and the employer can tell, but I’m determined I will get better!!! (at least I hope so?!).

Anyways, I have an interview today and a couple next week.  I’m trying not to get too worked up over these interviews.  I’m not comfortable “selling” myself.  I’d rather gouge my eyes out sometimes then go through these interviews.  It really is that painful to me at times.  But, I know its a necessary evil and I do it.

I’m trying not to tell anyone about these interviews, the less they know the better.  I won’t get bombarded with questions about how it went or have someone coach me on how to do the interview.  It just makes me more nervous.

A 9-5 is not exactly my dream situation, but in order for me to get to where I want to be, I need to do this for now.  Not forever, just a little longer before freedom reigns…LOL.

I guess I better put on that power suit and get ready.  Wish me luck!

IT’S COLD

Outside my place...lovely white snow

Outside my place...lovely white snow

Holy crap its cold.  Its the wear a wool sweater over a few shirts, a pair of long johns underneath your pants, a scarf, gloves, a hat, thick socks, boots with lining and a big bomber jacket kinda of cold.  Brrrrrr!!!!

Yesterday, I was out grabbing lunch, and made a detour to the bookstore.  I’ve been reading books like a madwomen and was running out so I needed to replenish..no, really!  So, anyways, it didn’t seem so cold, probably cause I was only in and out, but also because there wasn’t a breeze, so I couldn’t feel the nip as much.

When I got home and finished my lunch, I was restless, I needed some fresh air.  Now, a normal person wouldn’t venture out on such a cold day for a walk, but apparently I am not a normal person and bundled myself up, plugged in the iPod and off I went.  Well, 15 minutes into my walk, I couldn’t feel my cheeks, they had frozen.  My feet were following close behind because again, not a normal person, my boots didn’t have a lining in them.  So, I detoured into the mall to get some warmth, and buy some chapstick cause the lips were feeling a bit dry, and ventured back out to finish my walk.  My usual 45 minute walk was reduced to just 30 minutes yesterday.  I think I would have frozen if I hadn’t cut it short.

The forecast is saying it’ll be cold for a few more days.  I won’t be going for a walk today or tomorrow cause I’ll be busy, but it won’t deter me from taking my walks in the future.  Yeah, I froze my ass off, but it just means I’ll have to bundle up better.  You can’t let a little cold weather stop you from doing stuff.  Its like the obstacles you face in life, either you let them get you down, or you keep on trudging along.  I’d rather keep on going, its the challenges you face in life that make you stronger.  (how has a blog about the cold become so philosophical?  LOL)

WRITING

journal_coverThe first diary/journal I kept was when I was 8.  It had a lock on it, cause I didn’t want my brother getting into it.  I can’t remember a time I didn’t write down my thoughts and feelings, whether pen to paper or electronically, I’ve always recorded my thoughts when I needed to.  It helps me sort out how to work out situations or just to work through my emotions which I often times have a hard time expressing.  I’m better now at expressing myself emotionally, but its still a work-in-progress.

So, I’ve been thinking about the different things I’d like to do now that I have the time to actually do them, be productive.  Someone told me to plot out all the things I enjoy doing and it’ll reveal itself to me.  I visualized it, almost like meditating (but not) and I figured out that I really like being creative, hence the writing.  Its the right side of my brain taking over – my left handed tendencies haven’t completely vanished (my mom forced me to be right handed – so actually I use both sides of my brain – or at least I’d like to think so!).   I don’t think I could make a career out of writing, and I don’t want to, but I could turn this passion into something part-time.  I’d like to enroll myself in a course for creative writing, but because of my low tolerance for a controlled environment, I’m looking at alternatives to help me with my writing process.

Writing has always been a fun thing for me, a personal thing for me.  And, if I could do something constructive with it that would be great.  I’m in a state of flux right now, but I’m figuring it out.  Its not always fun, but its been revealing.