Happy Valentine’s Day

What is Valentine’s Day anymore anyway? I remember vaguely celebrating it as a kid and learning the roots and who Valentine was etc. But it seems today that it’s yet another ‘Hallmark’ commercial day. I just came back from my 3 year old Valentine’s party at school and was astonished by the amount, size and diversity of the ‘cards’ exchanged. Back in the days, it used to be that, cards. A piece of paper/cardboard with something along the line of ‘Be my Valentine’ written on it. That just about disappeared. Even the plain cards seems to hold some object of some sort: candy, sticker, tattoo, small toy. Some even passed along fist size bags of goodies. And I’m looking at all this in wonder. Then I drive back home and rethink of all of this. I think of the love for the kids the teacher has for spending hours preparing this event, for going way above and beyond, preparing strawberry shortcakes, preparing big bags of gifts for the children and my heart just swelled thinking of how much she loves them and cares for them.

And then I thought about how truly lucky I was to be able to spend time with my kids like this and being involved in their school lives. Sure I often feel stressed out but all there is to do for them, at home, at school, for school. I feel like I work for them and that I lost my sense of self. Which is certainly partly true. I think it’s insane preparing those little Valentine’s goodie bags at 6am for those preschoolers (30 total!), driving them to school only to go back a hour later to take pictures of the party at which the amount of goodies received makes Christmas blush. But when I think of the love we have as parents for those little critters, my heart just explodes and I think ah! this must be love!

Happy Valentine’s Day, whatever it means to you!

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Veganuary?

Ha ha I laughed so much when I saw this! I loved the name and had to sign up! If you’ve never heard about it, here’s in their own words: “Veganuary aims to reduce the suffering of animals by inspiring and supporting people across the globe to go vegan for the month of January”. Since we’ve been vegans wannabe for a few years now I thought, why not?

The reason we’re striving to become vegan is actually not even for the animals. Well, ok, a little bit perhaps but definitely not the main reason. It is for health and environment reasons. And even more importantly, as I always like to add, for us it’s not only about eating vegetarian or vegan but eating whole foods.

So, we started years ago by cutting red meat and slowly making our way to vegetarian. We also cut as much as possible all processed foods. When we buy something already made, we make sure it has as few ingredients as possible. Heck, I’m a busy mom so of course I want to cut corners! I do buy my almond butter already made but it’s 100% almonds. But I refuse to buy almond milk that has more ingredients than almond+water. Beurk.

Now we’re down to letting go of eggs and dairy. Which, I’m not sure I want to. I love over easy eggs. I love them by themselves, in huevos rancheros, on pizzas. At home, for cooking, I’ve been able to cook without eggs and make really good recipes. I have yet to try to make a spanish ‘tortilla’ but this week Veganuary just posted a recipe for it that I will try!

And milk. Good grief. I have two young kids. The youngest one never had cow’s milk until only a year ago. What a shame that she had a taste of it because now that’s all she wants. But I know she’ll be easier to convert. My oldest though won’t take a second look at a non cow’s milk. I’ve concluded that the best way to remove something from our diet is just to not buy it! And luck has it that there was a big sale on MALK, the only nut milk I buy, so when we ran out of milk, I bought only almond, pecan and cashew milk. We’ll see how it goes! I for one am perfectly happy with pecan maple milk in my coffee.

The hardest step of all, and keeping it for the last, will be to switch to vegan when eating out. Ufff…

Rituals For Living: The Dreambook+Planner

So a few weeks ago I stumbled across an add in Facebook, or was it a post someone liked, whatever, and looked into it. By curiosity at first, but then I ended up buying the product, which is not usual for me. It turns out that someone had put in print exactly what I’ve been wanting to do by myself for ages and made my life oh so much easier!

It is ‘yet’ another planner, but helps you jot down your whole life plan, and it’s made really easy too! In short, I’m absolutely in love with it! Ok ok, I’m only in week one but we’ll see…

So far I’ve been able to write down how to connect with my true desires and purpose, what are my core values and gifts, write down a one liner purpose. Then it’s a full 12 pages of visioning the future, from career to family, community connection to physical wellness, creation, exploration and play to psychological and spiritual health. You cover it all! After that it makes you create mind maps of your goals for 1 year, 3 years, 10 years and your lifetime. And from then on you brake it down by quarter, month, week, day, hours even if you wish!

I like how visual the planner is, and how it makes you ask the right questions. It is very well written and edited. Unfortunately, there are no page numbers but I think it’s probably because I purchased the printable pdf version. Which in the end is probably a good thing because I did print some pages separately like the month grid for example, so I could have the two pages facing each other.

I also like how the week pages are designed. It reminds me a lot of the assignments we had to do in yoga teacher training such as setting an intention for the day, creating rituals, write down what am I grateful for. Each week there’s a Rituals for Living Challenge which are good reminders of things I should-would-could do anyway (get 7 hours sleep/night, green smoothie 5x/week, reduce plastic, create a ‘sacred place’, hydrate, connect with 3 people, etc). Again, those challenges remind me of my yoga teacher training. It all comes in a circle.

Best thing is, it’s getting me off my dear gluteus maximus, making me realize what it is I really want to do, and getting it done! Heck, I even started to write again! Thank you The Dragon Tree for the Rituals for Living Dreambook+Planner!

Eureka!

Ever had that kind of moment? Where the light bulb goes on, and it’s BRIGHT!!!

Well, within a week, I learned I was gifted and a multipotentialite. This goes to explain so much of my life and myself. I have no word for it.

After over a year of talking with this great french psychologist she offered the idea that one of the source of depression from which I suffered my whole life could be linked to me being a gifted child. Well, gifted adult now I guess. After reading a bit about the subject I was blown away by how much it fitted my profile. Big light bulb.

Then yesterday, I watched a Ted Talk ‘Why some of us don’t have one true calling’

Another big light bulb, which grew even brighter as I perused through the speaker’s website.

My whole life I’ve wondered what was I supposed to grow up to be. And still was today, at 43.

Thank you Emilie Wapnick for putting words on how I think and feel!!!

http://puttylike.com/

A plan, but no time?

I can only hear one of my high school teacher in my head: “There’s no such thing as not having the time to do something, you have to make the time”. My goodness, I wonder if those few teachers know how big of an impact they have on our lives. Every time I feel overwhelmed with not having enough time to do the things I really want to do I think about making the time. Unfortunately, for a mom with little ones, this too often means cutting on sleep.

Even though I’ve been a ‘stay at home mom’ for almost 2 years now, I still feel like it’s new to me. It is so hard to commit time for yourself when you’re home because there is ALWAYS something to be done in the house: dishes, laundry, errands, repairs, phone calls, appointments, etc. And even trying to get those completed is difficult for me. And we have a cleaning lady. How do they do it all? How is it that moms around have their nails always freshly done and their Facebook updated to the minute? I haven’t had a haircut in almost a year, you can imagine the rest.

I guess I just never get to the end of it and have to decide when to take time for myself, myself. There will ALWAYS have something to do in the house. I need to set time aside to work on MY personal projects, the same way I would at work. Otherwise life just passes at speed of light and I’ll have nothing to show for myself.

No focus!

Like a cow’s tail. Running like a headless chicken. So much to do and nothing gets done because you don’t know where to start. You’re heading someplace and forgot what you were about to do there. You get the idea.

I don’t know if it’s stress related, depression related, or because I’m at home and found I’m by myself, or perhaps I actually do have less time? I knew that when I was sleep deprived (because of the baby) I had no focus, and that was alright. But I’m still like that and there’s no real reason.

Then I read an article in Thrive magazine about goal settings and the light bulb went on! Of course I have no focus, I have no goals, no timeline, no deadlines, all the things I was used to having when I was working!

So, enough of this! I will start setting and writing down my goals. Perhaps I can start by looking at my ever growing bucket list… Since I’m changing career, I should have all new goals related to that. And of course, races. It is time for me to start racing again. I’ve been on the bench for way too long. Where do I sign up?

Happy Fall!

Fall. Automn. My favorite season.

Back to school. Cooler temperatures. Leaves changing color and falling, cracking under my feet as I walk outside.

Deep blue skies. My birthday. Apples and everything apple. Halloween. So many things that make this season my favorite.

For some reason, fall is my season of renewal. Not spring. Fall is when I get back to life, when my motivation kicks in. As I went through my first ‘back to school’ as a mom this September, I realised how strongly I feel about school. Going back to school as a kid has always been my very favorite time of the year. Talking about this a little while back with my husband made me realise that it wasn’t the case for all kids. What??? So I thought that perhaps there was something special about this. Perhaps behind my love for fall and new pencils is hiding something much deeper.

I always said that ‘later’ (after being done with my corporate work), I would teach. I always wanted to teach something, someday. Today, I know it for sure and want to embark on the journey.