Thursday, March 26

I got one...I GOT ONE, I GOT ONE, I GOT ONE!!!!!

I can't believe it happened. 

Tonight after what felt like the longest day in recorded history, packing and sorting and moving Jason and I went for dinner. I wish I could say we sat and enjoyed each others company the whole meal. What actually happened was I was sorting kids stuff and reading report cards off my phone and Jason was reading the inspection report on the house off his phone. 

It has been a crazy few weeks, in which everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Broken washing machines, the sale of my house fell through, a sick child, a sick ex (and GF) who were stuck in a Mexican hospital for 4 days, I am pretty sure I had a stress induced minim breakdown in front of co-workers, my therapist quit being my therapist, my boys had to get to tryouts nights I had to work....Blah blah blah...

But tonight, it all went away. 

A few weeks ago I started the Gratitude Project and I wasn't sure it would go anywhere. I have left postcards around three cities and was trying to not get too disappointed that non had returned yet. 

While Jason and I drove back from dinner tonight to collapse into bed from our long day I had a thought, maybe we should stop off at the post office, and I am so glad we did. 


I GOT ONE, I GOT ONE, I GOT ONE!!!! 


It is pretty badly beaten up, but it arrived. My first postcard has returned and I am over the moon thrilled! 






It says; I am Grateful for my sister. She is my heart and my best friend.
I am grateful for the mountains, I see them when I wake up and enjoy hiking in them. So peaceful.



And my favourite part says, at the top, I'm grateful for this postcard, it gave me a chance to stop and think. Thank you!

Every single penny spent and moment of time used to make this come together...worth it. 

I am so happy I have almost completely forgotten that I have to buy a new washing machine!


Today:

I am grateful for this week and last week finally being over. 

I am grateful for Drew and R's safe return from Mexico and that they are making a full recovery. 

I am grateful Jason is home, and for him. Who wouldn't love a guy that drives the teenage and preteen kids to school wearing Noras birthday party hat just to make them smile. 

 

Tonight, I am so grateful! 

J

Tuesday, March 17

Then We Decided To Sell A House....

After living in a house for as long as we have lived in our place, I expected there would be a lot of work involved in cleaning it and getting it "show ready" but I had no idea just how much effort and work would need to go into getting this old place presentable.

It has taken 2 months, 5 truck loads to the dump, 2 truck loads to the nearest goodwill store, numerous items sold on a local buy and sell, roughly 40 hours of muscle power....and it is FINALLY ready.

I didn't think I would ever get here. To be honest, there were many many times I wanted to throw in the towel and I thought,"this place isn't THAT small...the kids can just sleep by the freezer."

But perseverance and hard work prevailed and this place is de-cluttered, organized and ready for viewing!

The for sale sign is up *cue trumpet* let the showings begin!!

This sounds easier said then done. I didn't realize what a HUGE pain in the A$$ this was going to be.
Showing your home when you have children is exhausting. People only want to come see your home around the time they are home from work and after they have eaten dinner OR right before dinner...which, coincidentally,  is the same time YOU get home and finish dinner OR are about to start cooking dinner.

My first showing went smashingly. *eyeroll*

I got a text from my agent that I had 2 showings on this particular Saturday starting at 3:15pm and ending at 4:30.

Ok..no problem. I finish work at 2pm, I can boot it home for 2:30pm, Clean up the house a little and be out of there by 3pm.
The kids and I will drive around town (it was beautiful out) we will also go get groceries for dinner that night. No problem....

Then, while I am running around the house barking orders at everyone, "mom, there are people standing outside" Come on Ethan, don't joke!
"No mom, there really is people outside"

The 3:15 showing shows up at 2:50, and I am not finished cleaning up things because I just walked in the door from my drive home

S%&$!!

 So, in a calm and composed manner that I have mastered over all these years of EMS, parenting and problem solving ....I yell at the kids in a tone used to alert people that they are literally on fire, to grab their shoes and to run out to the van, passing the potential home buyers as I am running with sweat dripping from my flustered forehead.
We jumped into the van, started it up and drove down the street.

This might sound shocking, but I was a tad frazzled at this moment. I Know I Know, I hid it very well. a few deep breaths and we return to zen.

We drive to Tim Hortons, get drinks, cruze around town a billion times (it takes exactly 5 minutes to go around the entire town once) and then go get groceries. We return to the house at 4:23pm and there is no one there. PERFECT! It was suppose to go until 4:30 but finished early so we all go in and resume our lounging. I walk straight upstairs to disrobe from my day at work and put on relaxing clothes, while the kids all return to their previous activities draped on different items of furniture to await dinner.

As all my lady friends understand, the second the bra comes off and the tank top and sports bra is put on,  I am in for the night! With the clothes and ladies unmentionables thrown on the floor I am now in the kitchen with a glass of red and I am browning the meat for dinner.

It is roughly 4:43 now and I text my Realtor to ask why there was only one business card left (it is customary that the agent representing the people seeing a house to leave a business card)...had the second showing not come? It was  in that moment of anticipation,  after my text was sent and I saw the response bubble appear from his response that Ethan says to me, for the second time this afternoon, "MOM..There are people at the door again"

I looked at my phone and my Realtor had written back, "they are there now!!"

I instantly felt sick.

 I open the door in my lounge clothes, nasty bra and matching look on my face to an overly pushy woman saying they had ran a little late and could we still see the house?

I was NOT impressed. But I didn't know what to do, so I let them in. I awkwardly went back to the kitchen while this woman loudly went on and on about how LOVELY my home was...
The children just sat silently on the couch and I returned to cooking, while strangers walked around my home judging and looking at my stuff.

They walked upstairs and that's when I remembered my underthings on the floor. I became even more uncomfortable and could not look the man in the eye when they came back down stairs and started asking me questions about the house.

I just wanted to die. Do NOT ask me about how good the wifi is when you just saw my paisley print panties. and there are only a few things you are allowed to say to me after you look at my bra, and I'll let you know that NONE of them involve the toilet.

After this awkwardness was all over all I could do was tell the kids how sorry I was. We all just reiterated that this was for the "greater good" and laughed. My laughing faded to  weeping sobs when I went upstairs and saw there was pee on the toilet seat...


Please, dear powers of the universe...let this house sell quickly so I don't need to do this anymore!

Today:

I am grateful for people who make me laugh and that can laugh at themselves.

I am grateful for happy children.

I am grateful for texting. When Jason is gone it's nice to chat throughout the day.

J




Sunday, March 15

The Gratitude Project.

It's been such a crazy few weeks that I have not been writing much. Who would have thought selling and buying a home could be so stressful...ugh!!!

 I have been working on a side project for this little blog of mine that I am pretty excited about, but before I get too ahead of myself I thought I would tell you how it came to be.

I have always kept a journal. Since I was 15 I have written my thoughts and feeling down in books. I could not tell you why or how I began, but I always have.



Writing was always the way I felt better.  I find it therapeutic to be able to look back at experiences I have had and see how far I have come. Perhaps its the fact that I have such a bad memory that having experiences written down has been a god sent when trying to remember dates and events. 

Not all journal entries are pleasant or happy. Life has not always been roses, but that is the beauty of journals. you get to remember everything. The good the bad and the ugly. I even have a journal from when I was in highshool filled with stories of what it was like dating and the dreams I had for myself. What direction I thought my life would take and where I would end up one day. 

One specific time in my life when things were not going well was a year after my wedding. It was in June 2000 and I was terribly unhappy. I wasn't loving my job, my husband was away at school all the time and the big one, I wasn't happy being married. 

I was watching Oprah one day and she introduced the idea of living Gratitude. 
The premise was, life is never a happy event after happy event...life has natural ups and downs. What keeps us happy or at least able to manage through all the hard stuff life throws our way is when we are grateful for what we do have and not fixated on what we don't. *

Gratitude seems simple, but can be a struggle when you are feeling down or when life is too hard to carry on. (a feeling I was very familiar with at the time) 

Things had gotten so bad for me that I was contemplating some rather serious self harm in order to escape it all. I was unhappy and that had no end in sight, 

On her show that day, she spoke of gratitude. How doing something as simple as writing down three things you were grateful for everyday would completely change how you felt and saw the world.
She promised that it would make me feel happier and that things (although bad things wouldn't stop happening) I'd be more able to handle them and manage my feelings. 

I felt it was a really tall order. But, I trusted Oprah. She had not failed me yet. She had been correct about my ill fitting bra a month or so previous, so she had some street cred I was willing to heed. 

I walked down to the Book store the very next day and bought a gratitude journal. 


I had no idea what I was doing, but I was willing to give it a shot. What did I have to lose? 

I opened the book, wrote the first paragraph and I scared myself. I wrote about how depressed I was feeling, how unhappy I was with my job and my marriage and that I had even contemplated hurting myself..but how I was willing to try. 
It actually says in the top left corner before the gratitudes even start, 

"I am willing to try anything for one month. I don't want to feel this way any more and I need to do something...so here goes"



At first it was so hard! Trying to think of one thing that I was grateful for seemed like climbing a mountain, let alone three things. At night I would have to sit for almost an hour and try to think back on my day and everything that happened during it. "I can't say that because I was so angry" or "I would say thing but so -and -so is an idiot and said this to me"
It was like I allowed others to constantly dictate my moods and outside sources controlled my days.

Then, after a while, finding things I was grateful for didn't seem like such a challenge.

Over time I would think about gratitudes first thing in the morning and try to find things throughout the day to write, that way I wouldn't forget. Some days it would take  ALL DAY to find one thing to write. But after a while it got easier. I started noticing more and more things that made me feel grateful. Over the next 6 months I was able to write  4 things a day. After a year it seemed like good things were happening in an over abundance and I had more to write down. Some nights I was so excited I couldn't wait to write down my gratitude's. I had hit the jackpot so to speak. 
 It eventually dawned on me, I am not having more good things happen to me during my days. My days are relatively the same as they always have been, the change is simply how I am choosing to see things that happen to me. 


And THAT is the promise Oprah had made me so long ago. 

When we are grateful for the times we have and for things that we experience it changes the way we see everything. It changes the way we interact with others, because you are better able to empathize and relate to their struggles. You no long compare or compete with them over who's life is harder, you just become more grateful for what your life has. 

For the years that followed I have been writing in my journal entries and (over time and with advancements from journals with pen & paper to computers and my blog) I have carried on with my gratitude's. 

At the end of every entry I write three things I am grateful for. Some times the things I am grateful for seem simple and other times it brings me to tears while writing. Being grateful has changed the way I see things. My friend use to write her gratitude's on her blog too and I always felt so uplifted when I would read the things she wrote. It always made me feel like I wasn't alone. Like someone understood, especially when the things I were grateful for maybe seemed not very nice. 


INTRO THE MUSIC AND THE FUN IDEA....

I was chatting with Jason a few weeks ago and he had suggested that maybe asking people to send in what they are grateful for might be something that would be fun and a way that might help readers of this little blog feel more connected. While sharing what makes you feel grateful, maybe that gratitude might lift the spirits of another person, a total stranger and help them through a situation that seemed endless. 

....Dum Dum Duuuuuummmm!!!!

Here are the Gratitude cards. 







I made up (with the help of my talented friend N & L) these postcard size things that are eye catching and fun. On these cards I have explained what I would like the finder to do, which is, share with me three things you are grateful for (write them anywhere on the card) and then mail it back to me so I can share it with others. No name needs to be added, I respect peoples privacy, it's the gratitudes I want. 


Excitedly, I had a few printed off...



I started putting them in places in hopes the right person would see it, be curious, and pick it up. 




Calgary, Strathmore and some places in Edmonton have these little beauties lovingly placed in and around them. I am not too sure what will become of this little experiment, but the idea of sharing happiness and gratitude can't be a terrible one, I hope. 

So that is what I am up to these days. That, along with moving...cause that isn't enough apparently. hahaha

If you see one of these laying around, or you want to send me your gratitude's in your own way, I'd LOVE to hear them. Also, if you are going on a trip and wouldn't mind taking a card or two to place somewhere to pass it along I'd be ever so thankful. 

So..in the spirit of all of this:

I am grateful for all my friends who have supported me and my weird ideas. 

I am grateful for the women who help me with my kids and make my life easier.

I am grateful for the new adventures that are fast approaching. 


(Soon I hope to have your gratitudes to share here!)

J












*In no way am I saying this is the case for depression or serious mental illness*