Monday, April 27, 2009

When life throws you a curve ball... you learn a new way to catch.

The economy stories I've been avoiding for so long are finally catching up in my quaint little area of the world. I thought if I'd just avoid the news and not allow the hype to get to me, the entire fiasco would simply be a myth. Apparently not so.

I see many changes constantly. One of my all time favorite bloggers is moving due to her rental foreclosure. A friend's work has slowed down. I hear of layoffs daily. It's a scary world out there.

And then trouble began to knock on my own front door. I didn't want to answer it for the longest time, keeping busy, avoiding the inevitable. But there comes a time when you are forced to listen to reason or you pay the price.

Indeed some changes are before me. I'm struggling with a slower economy, which creates a slower work pace, which greatly effects lifestyle choices.

For years I have parked my trailer at a favorite campsite during the summer months. It provided a great getaway when my son was out of school. The boy literally grew up on the beach. It was an affordable way to vacation.

The campsite has recently revamped to be all full season, which means to park there 12 months out of the year. But it comes with a price. Basically, a bigger one at that.

I managed to pay my dues last year, diligently saving up monthly ahead of time, so I could pay cash for my leisure for the rest of the year. And yes, it was fabulous taking off on weekends to run and escape reality for a short while.

Things are different this year. I didn't diligently save. I was busy spending on renos and life and needing to dip into savings as the troubled economy started brewing. Basically put, I don't have the funds for my leisurely lifestyle this year. And I'm in mourning. Big time. My gut says my camper is going to have to sit in my driveway as opposed to a campsite this year.

And I'm not alone. Many are revamping their lives to incorporate change.

But does this have to be a bad thing? I've always found in the past, that from troubled times, there always appears to be a silver lining. All the things in my past that have brought me some grief have always become a benefit of sorts. Each and every time.

It's with that optimism that I am slowly forcing myself to think differently. Rather than panic, be informed, do what one must do, and keep watching for that silver lining.

I can already spot some sparkly corners if I dig deep enough. I'll be home on weekends and can work on my house that so badly is in need of fine tuning and refinishing. I can once again bond with my own surroundings on weekends as opposed to running away from them. I can plant a full garden knowing that I'll actually be home to water and eat from it. I can take the time to go on my thrifty hunts and create new and wonderful economical solutions to my house and yard in need. And I can slowly mould my interests and passions into possibly something that can employ me full time one day.

Building a new business?!? Who am I kidding you ask? I'm not kidding. I'm kicking some doors open and looking for opportunities. I'm talking about it. I'm practicing it. I'm researching it. And I'm going to do it. And I've already started. Yup, I'm gonna be a HGTV decorator type with a big 'ol smiley attitude! Alright, that's thinking abit big. I want to stage homes and decorate economically for folks.

And it might take weekends to do this too. Therefore, I'd need to be home on weekends. Hmmm... something tells me the puzzle pieces are starting to fit together. There's still a big chunk missing in the middle, but I imagine as time goes on, I'll find the perfect fit to make this picture one smooth transition. Some pieces just take their time showing up.

I'm here to tell you, there is ALWAYS a silver lining somewhere. You just have to be willing to roll with the punches and tweak as you go along. Eventually it all makes sense.

What will this economy ultimately teach many of us? No doubt to save for a rainy day. That we don't need 'new stuff.' That debt is something to be avoided and it's more important to be debt free than to accumulate stuff that is getting us in debt. To live simply. To reflect on what's really important in life.

Lessons will be learned and I believe, if you allow yourself to work through the new transitions without panicking, you will find your silver lining as well.

I'm looking forward to see what my final puzzle piece will bring me. For now, it's important to be good to people, build your support system around you, let others in that wish to help, go help them, and get through this like one big happy family.

Playing catch can indeed be tricky with those curve balls. But just think. If you learn to catch in a new way, you have built a brand new skill! That in itself, may be the lesson you've needed all along right there.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The BIG answer arrived today!

This is one of my favorite blogs. And today, Emily is asking that we join her in finding the special moments of your day out of the nothings. And honestly? That's what this blog has been all about. So I'd love to share our special news that makes me smile ever so big!

I went and picked up the mail today, thinking today would be like any other day. Maybe a few bills, perhaps even a cheque, and your typical handful of junkmail. I was wrong.

A BIG announcement arrived today.

Click on the picture below to see Cody's reaction on You Tube!

My 9 yr boy is going to be flown into another province (without ME) and spend 9 glorious days at the Tim Horton's Camp!

We've been waiting for the approval for awhile since we were invited to register for the camp in Jaunary. (you can read about when we first found out right HERE.

I have mixed emotions to work through, but the one that stands out the most is, this is what CODY wants and he gets to go!!!!!!

I have lots of reading to do and an orientation to go to soon to find out who what when where why and how.

All that matters right now is, I can't wait till Cody gets home to show him the letter!!! My baby is growing up.

And looks like mom has to as well this summer... sigh...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Learning to deal

I have been royally spoiled all my life. I (touch wood) have rarely been seriously ill with anything. I've never spent time in a hospital room except when Cody was born. I am one of those 'lucky' people.

I remember around Christmas time, I heard alot of others were feeling sick. Some I knew had major health issues. And I was busy renoing my house, thinking, how on earth would I be able to do what I do if I had those kinds of issues?!? I simply don't know how some cope day to day! I distinctly remember feeling so very grateful I didn't have to find out, as well as empathy for those that had troubles day to day.

And then it hit. I woke up one morning and couldn't get out of bed. The room spun. I laid down because I didn't know what was wrong. And my neck roared with fire. Huh?!?

I was in a rut like this for nearly a week. Luckily my work was blessed with being on the slow side that week so I was able to sidestep alot of stuff. I promptly made an appointment during that time with my physiotherapist AND doctor to attempt to figure out what this was.

Between umpteen visits here and there pushing aside work projects on a regular basis, between bursts of impatience at everything just because I felt lousy, between frustrated moments where I didn't understand why no one including myself could actually FIND anything wrong in obvious tests done, I started to learn how to deal with an inflicted REAL illness for the first time in my life.

It's now exactly 4 months later and I still have/get it.

The sensation I get is, it's like the entire house is unlevel. I remember feeling a modified version of this when my trailer at the lake was unlevel. I felt a need to grab the edges of things just to gain proper composure. And I was relentless about fiddling with the trailer until it was right, because I couldn't function with unlevel. It was unnerving.

And now I get to live in an unlevel world. Every day.

(I also learned through spellcheck that unlevel isn't a word. Hmm... levelless? Ah forget it. I know you know what I mean)

Unlevel is the way to best describe this. Dizzy comes from unlevel. Loss of balance comes from it too. Generally, all three symptoms are at the same time. Like now. I feel like my head is about to bam on my keyboard.

I have no other symptoms. Just THIS, whatever it is.

Vertigo some call it. But vertigo is a SYMPTOM of something that's gone wrong.

It could be attributed to my neck/back issues. Physio says no.

It could result from a head injury. Your balance mechanism shakes up and may take months to settle down again where one day, you just wake up and all is well. When I was renoing, I hit my head but good on a lower wall partition. The next day I woke up with this. So maybe. BUT I'm well past the time it takes for this thing to pass if that was the case. A few weeks is typical. A few months is not.

All I know is, the more I do, the worse it gets. I've been avidly gardening lately and wake up worse each AM. If I sit still for a day (egads, who can do that?!?), the dizzy diminishes somewhat. I've had about 5 'better' days since Christmas. Most are filled with dizzy because my lifestyle keeps me so active.

You can tell when I'm having an off day by looking around my house. I gasp when the fog clears abit some days. Nests everywhere because I've been too dizzy to put things back. Plunk and move on.

Cody now pretty much knows the drill. If I come across abit grumpy, he says, "Mom, I know you're not feeling good again. But don't get mad, ok?" Meltmeltmeltmeltmelt.... this boy is way more grown up than I give him credit for.

My doctor warned I'd have good and bad days. And she's right. Trouble is, I don't know what tomorrow will bring. But generally, I don't allow this whatever it is to stop me. I have to work. I have to do this and that. I have to feed my boy. I have to keep going.

I finally know what it's like to deal with a real issue. And I am learning to deal.

Going outside seems to help but can be a curse in disguise. When the walls are pushed well away from me which is what outside offers, I tend to feel better and do more. And guess where that gets me. I need to learn how to go outside, park myself and read or something. That's hard to do when it's gardening season and the sun is out and it's not quite all that warm to stay still.

I also believe all things are for a reason. Perhaps I didn't have enough empathy for those that are afflicted with an illness. Perhaps I needed this lesson to become a better person. (there's always certainly room for that one!) Perhaps I'm being tested as to how I reach out for help with this one, in a faithful manner.

I read somewhere we are all given this level of happiness. When something afflicts us, our happiness level decreases momentarily, but after we learn how to cope with said illness, our level rises once again. So how am I coping?

For the most part, I have sooooo much to be happy for, so most days, even when having a bad one, I have the inner strength to appreciate all the good things in my life. But yeah, on certain days, I wear a little thin, more so from impatience than anything else. I don't really like hitting my shoulder against a wall when I walk by a doorway or grabbing for things to stable myself. Who would?

So, I allow some days to be good and some to be not so good. I am allowing myself to learn how to carry on despite a spinning world around me. Nothing has changed. I won't allow it. I WANT to live a full and productive life, and be there for Cody like I always have. But I also have to learn how to modify what I can do on a more so troublesome kind of day.

I use to blog alot. My laptop died for 2 weeks. But now that it's up and running, I haven't gotten full throttle into it yet. I'm just having a challenging week is all. This too shall pass and I'll feel better again. I'm just waiting patiently for my 'better' day.

I truly believe we are given challenges so we can learn more about life. I use to take good health for granted. I use to get up and feel bright and alert and had the energy to GOGOGO.

So I'm here to tell those of you with good health, take care of it. Appreciate it and enjoy it daily. I want you to wake up each and every morning and give thanks to the Big Guy that's offering you ultimate health and do something productive and meaningful with it.

Go for those walks, eat right, play with those that matter, work passionately but know when to turn it off, and perhaps say a prayer or 3 for those that don't have it as good as you do right now.

And those of you afflicted with a health issue, start doing your homework, people! Don't lie still and will it away hoping meds will cure all. Investigate. Try new things. Don't allow someone to tell you no it can't be done. Persevere! Pray! Continue on with life as best as you can. Learn to live with your limitations, rather than having your limitations rule you.

You. Can. Do. This. One moment at a time.

You don't have to, but those of you that are reading this, if you have an infliction of something and you leave a comment, (alert me if you'd prefer me to NOT publish your comment and I won't) I'll put in a good word to the Big Guy upstairs for you. Because I want you to have a supreme day despite the odds.

So, let's go! Let's enjoy the day despite what we are dealing with. Because, it's time to learn how to deal in order to move on and punch through this thing.

Now go have yourself a wonderful day. I'm certainly going to. Hey, walls are all around me to grab for balance. That can't be a bad thing.