Finding Lyrical Beauty in…Life

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IMG_0066Okay seriously? Really? Can we just move forward and be done with all the lessons in life for just a little while! I need a breather here! I am pretty sure my Karmic debt was paid in full at the age of 27! I think I’ve been mistaken for someone else who looks or acts like me from an alternate reality. Ummm HELLO I don’t live in reality, I live on my cloud where no one can reach me!

Just when I think there is a possibility of my life becoming somewhat normal, it changes! I adjust to my job and it changes. I think I have my house sold and it changes. My love life…ya, no, not gonna go there 😉 I will plead the fifth on that one forever! Throw in taxes and year ends and kids and a dog who literally jumps the fence, eats the fence or digs to China daily! Stress, ya a full plate of stress sprinkled with stress and add a dollop of stress! I’m feeling worn out and barely hanging on by a thread, and I wake up with Eczema on both eye lids! COME ON!!! I work in cosmetics for cry-in-out-loud and can’t look 100!!

I am all for learning lessons in life but I’d really like it better if they would come one at a time with a little space in between!

^ above is what I wrote pre-Wednesday May 7th.

May 7th @ 8:30 am…

The morning was beautiful. The sun was shinning and both my kids got up on time for school and we were out the door before we needed to be. <—- that rarely happens! I dropped my gorgeous daughter off to school and watched her little butt walk up the side of the school as she chatted with her girlfriend. She was smiling and happy! My son sat in the back of my jeep also smiling and happy. We chatted on our way to his school. He is such a handsome young man, his eyes melt me every time he grins at me. I dropped him off on time and put my donations in the clothing bin finally, I never seem to have that extra moment to do so.

I proceeded to drive back home going the long way while I listened to Emimen sing Cinderella Man…I had never actually listened to the words of this particular Eminem song before.

(Excerpt I heard as I drove to the stop sign)

Cinderella Man ~ Eminem…

“Yeah,
You know, technically, I’m not even really supposed to be here right now,
So fuck it, might as well make the most of it.

(Amen!)
Yeah, haha
(Amen!)
Feels good,
(Amen!)
Whooo,
(Amen!)
Guess I’m lucky,
(Amen!)
Some of us don’t get a second chance.
(Amen!)
But I ain’t blowing this one.
(Amen!)
Naw man, haha
(Amen!)
Shit I feel like I can do anything now”

The last thought that entered my mind before coming to a stop was this…

~ As I smiled to myself…”Everything always works out, I should be grateful to be here too, I am healthy, I have a precious family, a great circle of friends. I am really very lucky.”

I needed to hear those words.

And then…

I looked left and it was clear to turn right. I pulled out into my lane and just as I started to accelerate, a car was driving right at me in my lane. He had pulled out into my lane to pass a lawn mowing tractor and was committed to passing at full speed. I saw the young mans face as he swerved between my front end and the tractors front end. He barely made the pass without hitting me head on. It was all a blur and felt like it happened in slow motion. I drove a few meters forward feeling numb as I saw my girlfriend running toward me. She witnessed the whole thing looking at me with wide eyes as she realized it was me.

“you know, technically, I’m not even really supposed to be here right now, So fuck it, might as well make the most of it”

I kissed my peace sign fingers and gave thanks to both my angels for watching over me.

I am grateful for all the lessons life is trying to teach me. I am grateful to be here to have lessons to learn.

Perspective!

“Life’s blows cannot break a person whose spirit is warmed by the fire of enthusiasm.” ~Norman Vincent Peale

Tracy signiture

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Girl-Power!


There are so many beautiful amazing young girls out there who are making a difference in the world. They listen to their friends and give positive advice. They compliment one another. They are a comforting shoulder to cry on and hand out tissue when needed. They remind each other how important it is to be strong and supportive of other female energy. They empower one another! They take being a girlfriend seriously.

There has been so much sadness in the News this last week with the passing of Amanda Todd. She made a mistake or mistakes that ultimately should not have lead to her death. Young girls need to know they are not alone when it come to making mistakes. We all make mistakes as we navigate through the challenges of life. With each life lesson we learn a little bit more about who we are and what we are capable of. We learn to identify a true friend as we learn to become one ourselves. We grow and unfold as we face these challenges head on. Young girls need to know they matter!

It’s hard to understand while you are in the midst of being a teen that you will one day reflect on your path and the choices you made with a smile, but you will. You will smile, you will laugh and you will even say “Oh god, what was I thinking!”

Take time to reminder the young girls in your circle how important they are. We all go through tough times, it’s not just a teen thing! Grown ups make mistakes as well, we have just leaned not to be so hard on ourselves through experience. We are given opportunities every day to reach our hand out and help someone up! It is up to each of us to stop and take the time to recognize who needs a moment or simply a smile, a kind word or a helping hand.

Be kind and supportive of your friends whether they make mistakes or not because it’s the right thing to do.

Young girls need to band together to inspire and empower one another…here is a little video that shows us how precious our little girls really are!

My condolences to the Todd Family, they have lost their Princess ;(

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Embracing Who You Are ~

 

I have a lot going on in my life at the moment so the word change is ringing in my ears LOUD once again! Change is good…right? Closing one door to open another. I have been unfocused walking in a daze for a while. Can you say Monkey Brain! Nothing I can’t handle just lots of stuff happening at once.

Bonnie posted about The 3 A’s of Awesome last Sunday for our Svaha Spirit Series and although I didn’t watch the TEDtalk on Sunday it changed the way I viewed my life the moment I did. You NEED to watch it! I guarantee you will look at YOUR life with new awareness! Attitude, Awareness and Authenticity! Three very powerful words indeed!

I have been contemplating changing the way I write here on Tara Cronica for the last month or so. I have been wondering if I want to put myself out there anymore. I have shared myself extensively for the last 4 years. Although change seems to be coming at me in all directions, I think I just have to embrace the me I know and love. I am aware, I have a great attitude (99% of the time) and as far as I know I’m pretty darn authentic. I am occasionally unfocused, too passionate, lack patience, a little stubborn and think wayyyyyyyy too much about things I have no control over. I don’t always take my own advice but hey I’m human!

When I think of all the awesomeness my life has in it, none of the obstacles that were making me feel this way seem to matter as much! Awesome is right! It’s really all about perspective. I think we sometimes need to go deep in order to go home. I have gone to the depths I’m slightly uncomfortable with and have safely arrived back to the surface.

I have decided to embrace me for who I am which includes the questionable bits! I clearly have some work to do, but don’t we all? I like who I am for the most part and I love me. I question who I am and what I’m doing just like everyone else. When I do wander down this path there are a few things that help.

  • I take a deep breath.
  • Spray Rescue Remedy under my tongue.
  • Go for a run.
  • Listen to music.
  • Share with my incredible team of support.

My Mom has amazing advice 🙂 Bonnie calms my soul, The Chicksters are there every week no-matter what listening and giving their perspective, Carri makes EVERYTHING funny even when it shouldn’t be, Scott gives me the male perspective, You inspire me to write with your comments and continued support and all is well again. There is no judging, only understanding, listening and support! I love you all!

I am who I am and why I questioned it in the first place is a mystery! Embrace the quirky in you, it is what makes you unique.

Life is meant to be shared, not only with others but who you are. A friend of mine reminded me how important it is to just enjoy who I am right now. He said “You have less tomorrows than you do yesterdays” (thanks P.D)

So lets get this party started shall we!

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Hello Handsome…

I wrote a post last week called Exploring All Your Senses. I mentioned that sometimes we meet or know people who see us for who we truly are and it’s those individuals who make us strive to be better people. They keep us in check. They are not afraid to call us on things we say or do.

The sun came out this morning almost blinding me as I went through the Tim Hortons drive though to grab a java. I soaked up each ray with a ginormous smile on my face and even said out loud “Hello Sunshine” it felt like spring was in the air. The cashier had an extra big smile when I arrived, saying “your coffee was bought by the gentleman before you…and he was very handsome!” I giggled and said “really?” in my sweetest voice. (I was saying really to the coffee being bought not that he was handsome) I didn’t see him but that’s how she described him! Was it the kind gesture that made him handsome or was it simply his appearance that appealed to the cashier?

Which leads me to the real topic of my post…

So, I apparently describe men I meet more often than not as handsome. (my mind instantly sticks up for me justifying with…”and that’s wrong…why?”) I am only writing about this because it has been brought to my attention on more than one occasion. My initial reaction when it was first pointed out was (I won’t mention her name but she’s known me my entire life) “Well I’m just not going to tell you when I meet someone…handsome” and then the next time by two others (both handsome by the way) I said annoyed in denial “I do NOT say every guy I meet is handsome!” Which lead to a debate…that I sadly lost because of a technicality. I do in-fact describe men as handsome more often than not. One ‘other’ person added that I say “he was actually a really nice guy” but we’ll leave him out of it (he too is handsome!) 😉 HA! How lucky am I to meet so many really nice guys who so happen to be handsome! I know Bonnie is giggling with me right now!

When I describe a man as handsome I think they are but for more than their exterior. You don’t get described as handsome by me just because of how you look. I describe those guys as ‘hot’ (lol) Handsome is much deeper than hot.

I see the eyes first, then smile, then neck, and shoulders, and hands…okay, okay sorry! It’s the warmth that comes from behind a mans eyes that attracts me to him. Our conversation is what makes me want to listen and look longer, if he can make me laugh, bonus! A kind warm open heart is what will get me in the end, not handsome! Throw in intellect and I jump in with wide eyed enthusiasm! That is what makes a man handsome to me. It would have been the kind gesture that made the man who bought my coffee handsome to me. I will admit that when I am with my girlfriends feeling feisty we s-o-m-e-t-i-m-e-s just sit and appreciate the outer shell of men as they stream through the coffee shop because that’s just fun!

So, it may appear to some that I use the word ‘handsome‘ far too often and perhaps I do need to be more specific when describing the really nice men I meet. They are manly, kind, helpful, sarcastic, loving, cute, pleasing, generous, interesting, tempting, irresistibly sexy, alluring, tough, serious, intriguing, talented, intellectually stimulating, hilarious, confident…I could keep going but I am sure you get the point. I may describe men as being handsome but only because it’s a quick way of saying they made me look a little deeper than their surface because of something unique they showed me about who they are.

The man in both the photos I used has been my living example of what handsome truly is. He is my measuring stick, he is my Dad and I think he is the most handsome man EVER to have walked the earth…inside and out! xo (the beautiful woman is my Mom :))

Handsome is as handsome does…Character and behaviour are more important than appearance ~ proverb

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Look Back & Move Forward ~

At the end of each year I take time to look back and then move forward. There are always lessons learned, dots to connect and thoughts to purge. I savour moments with friends who have been in my life for a long time. (happy sigh) I think of those I’ve just met and how each person who crossed my path helped me become a better person. I love connecting the dots to see the growth of the year behind me. I sit for a while and daydream of how my life will change in the coming year trying very hard not to paint a picture prematurely. In doing so you are planting the seed of expectation.

I acknowledge what I need to change about myself. No need to jump in here, I’ve got this one…off the top of my head I can be a little stubborn at times. (nod your head all you want, I can’t see you! lol ) In order to change you must first be aware…correct? I’m not sure if I want to change too much at this stage of my life. I’d be willing to compromise. And to finish my thought process I set a few goals for the coming year.

Last year was full of lessons, more than usual for me. I learned a lot about myself and came to the conclusion that I still have a lot of work to do! I don’t just talk the talk I do walk the walk…most of the time. It would be helpful if I took my own advice, but what fun would there be in that! I am finally willing to admit that although I am strong and independent, there is a vulnerable side of me that sometimes wants to be taken care of.

A few time this year I felt like I was starting from scratch and couldn’t remember how the story went. I don’t always feel sure of where I am heading or whose coming along for the ride. I know one thing for sure ~ life has absolutely NO guarantees so follow your heart and trust your instincts.

Choices made last year have given me a push forward which is kind of scary. I am officially out of my winter slumber or comfort zone, feeling somedays like I’m standing naked on the corner of a busy intersection…and not getting paid for it! It feels liberating, exhilarating even, and then it scares the crap out of me! I’ve sprayed Rescue Remedy under my tongue on a few occasions! FYI it works!

I usually choose to share what’s on my mind, being the open book I have become accustom to. I wonder at times if I should just zip it and keep things to myself more. Up and down, up and down I go on this ride called life. When you really start to live you feel all the erratic emotions life has to offer, it can be daunting and exhilarating all at the same time leaving you feeling vulnerable, open. I am open and it feels good. Once you are open the only thing left to do is trust. Trust in who you are, where you are going and who may join you along the way.

Life is full of wonder. When I start to think about the details too much I meditate. I try to let it go, not always an easy task for me. A run with some good tunes usually helps! I’m a thinker, a worrier and sometimes over analyze so I’m ready…for what I am not sure but I’m ready. I have learned to grab life with both hands and enjoy the rush of excitement while it lasts. It’s ever changing. Life is not a race, it’s a journey.

Everything comes to an end eventually just as this last year did, but here we are in a new chapter in this so called life we live. Life is worth every beautiful moment. Take a deep breath, and think of what you are grateful for and what you wish to achieve in your year ahead.

Svaha ~

 

 

 

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Feliz Navidad…Jib Jab

I spent Christmas in Spain when I was 10 so Feliz Navidad was and still is my favourite Christmas song. You all know I can’t go through Christmas without doing a Jib-Jab, so here you go! Feliz Navidad!

Be sure you make time for those you love this holiday season. Time seems to fly by too quickly these days and we sometime lose sight of what is most important, time with our family and friends.

Have a very Merry and Safe Christmas Everyone!  xo

“Feliz Navidad ~ I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart…”

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Grad Reunion…

Bonnie chose the word ‘Memories’ for our header this month, beautiful job by the way Bon. I love when a new header goes up because it creates a fresh start each month and gives us a word to reflect on. Memories ~

Last weekend was our Grad Reunion so memories started flowing the moment Bonnie arrived in town on Friday afternoon. The annual came out and we sat and reacquainted ourselves with familiar faces that helped shape us into who we are today.

It doesn’t seem like that long ago that we were walking the halls of high school with all our friends but I guess it was, if you are the type of person who relates everything to time. You can’t avoid time…“time will tell, times a tickin, there’s no time like the present, I’m having the time of my life, it’s about time”…and so on. I personally hate the clock. It makes me feel rushed and reminds me of having a schedule. This weekend we stepped back in time to when none of us had real responsibilities.

We walked in slightly nervous as everyone was but soon realized that nothing that really mattered had changed. We had all grown and evolved but our cores had stayed the same. Time had just tweaked us a little. Some of us were in transition, happily married, sort of single, divorced, remarried for the 3rd time, finally married and although our circumstances were all different we were the same. We all wanted to reconnect in person with those who meant something to us a long time ago. A circle of friends were reunited making time for each other because that’s what friends do. Still after so many years there was warmth and support in the room. We could finally share who we had become with friends we knew, while we were searching for who we were. There were no competition, no chest puffing, no whispers, no sideways glances, it was nothing but smiles, handshakes, compliments, friendly eye contact, hugs and lots of kisses! Everyone genuinely wanted to be there.

“Time flies when you’re having fun” so I suppose I’ve had a lot of fun over the last 30 years. It certainly didn’t feel like that long ago once we entered the room!

If your clock is ticking slow, you need to make memories that are worth reliving. Bonnie and I did this weekend and it was just as fun as it was 30 years ago. Somethings never change…the after party ended up in the kitchen lasting all night long, and still it wasn’t enough time to spend catching up with great friends!

I loved seeing each and everyone of you that took the time to reconnect in person!

Thank you Tammy and Mike for making it all happen and Terry for the music, a party is not the same without the tunes, and Shirl for the fantastic after party it wouldn’t have been near enough time without it!

Love you all Class of ’81…

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Girlfriend Threesomes!

Have you ever been involved in a Girlfriend Threesome? It can be a lot of fun, confusing, or upsetting if you’re not careful. Each girlfriend needs to be aware and conscious of the others feelings when girlfriend threesomes exist! I have never been involved in one myself that lead to hurt feelings but know friends who have. I’ve always been a bit of a loner so it never bothers me when other girlfriends get together and I don’t go.

My daughter had a friendship trio last year that caused her hurt feelings and it was painful to watch her navigate through it. My advice to her was to expand her circle of friends, and be confident in who she was, which is hard when you’re only 9 but these types of lessons are good to learn at an early age. It all worked out in the end with very few pieces to be picked up and no friendships lost. She ventured out of her comfort zone and widened her circle of girlfriends which made her stronger and more independent. Lets face it, being a girl can be very difficult, and being a girlfriend is even harder!

As we age and become more confident in who we are, you’d think these sort of girlfriend troubles would disappear, but they don’t. Girls turn into women and have the same problems, they’re just older. However, as we mature and gain experience, we do become more equipped to deal with issues that pop up with friends, but there are still threesomes that cause hurt feelings.

Have you ever been involved in a girlfriend triangle which let to hurt feelings? I’d love to hear how you navigated through it if you have. Growing up my girlfriends came from two different areas so I was always hanging out with different crowds that didn’t know one another. I think that was the foundation of my friendship style. You don’t see each other all the time but when you do it feels like it was yesterday.

Bonnie and I as you all know have been friends since we were 15, but haven’t always lived close to one another. Throughout the years we have had lots of close friends, together and independent of one another, Jacquie, Carri, Anna, Teri, Lorellei, Chris and Deb are great examples! One of our friends, Jeannie, we found out years later, Bonnie was related to! (small world) Still when I see Anna its like it was yesterday that we were hanging out, same with Teri and Deb, yet we haven’t lived in the same city for years! I never thought of another close friend of Bonnie’s as a threat to our friendship because when we get together we usually haven’t seen each other in person for a couple of months so it’s always fresh and exciting! We do talk almost every day via every social network out there though. When I hang out with Jacquie it’s the same, I get her all to myself because her friends are from a different circle than mine. That could be the reason I have yet to have a girlfriend threesome which involved hurt feelings. Variety is the spice of life, even with girlfriends!

I think the most important part of being a girlfriend is honesty, “Does my ass look fat in these pants?” “Your Booty Rocks!” You see, there is no physical criteria for being a great girlfriend, just acceptance of being different and the same! Unconditional love of the female energy is wonderful! I embrace all the unique friendships I’ve had over the years, young and old, and look forward to the new ones I’ve yet to meet on my path of enlightenment! Encouragement, support, acceptance and unconditional love is what every girlfriend should be willing to give!

Cheers Girlfriends! I love each and every one of you for the unique individuals you are! 🙂


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The Whole Journey, Life Itself ~

This post is for Rick, one of our much appreciated regular Tara followers! Rick continues to use his voice by giving us his male point of view and we appreciate it. He’s very passionate about life and the meaning behind it. He asked me on my bio page to tackle the topic, The Whole Journey, Life Itself. At first I was overwhelmed at just the thought of having to put down my view because it felt so vast a subject, bigger than me! But when a seed is planted and time passes, something eventually starts to grow! When I run I process all the little things that have been slotted in my subconscious, this was one of them. Here goes…

The Whole Journey, Life Itself ~

I think that at some point in every human beings life the thought or contemplation of what the purpose of life is, enters our mind. Why are we here? What happens when we leave our bodies? Do we believe in angels, the devil, guides, after-life or reincarnation? Nobody really knows for sure why we’re here, or where we go after-life, but we can all speculate on what we think happens. Religious beliefs are a personal choice. Everybody has unique ways of supporting their religion or spiritual beliefs. Regardless of what you believe or wish to believe, you can’t be guaranteed something that you have not experienced yourself. I suppose that is why it’s called faith. Regardless of who your God or Source is, if you have faith in something, it somehow makes the time here on earth more meaningful.

I personally think that the whole journey and life itself all comes down to what we accomplish while we are here. It’s about the time between A, birth, and B, death. It’s the dash that is between your birth, for me 1963 to your death that counts. It’s not about what materialistic items you can accumulate along the way, how big your house is or what your job is, it’s about knowledge. It’s about making a difference, enrich the lives of those you encounter while on your chosen path. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a teacher helping educate children, building movie sets, cleaning houses or a policemen keeping us safe, as long as you are doing something each day to contribute to the world we live in. What matters is that whatever you are doing, you do the best you can.Whether your wealthy or penniless, you are able to make a difference.

Each soul is here to learn something unique to them, each having a different journey in life. I do believe we are all connected, an energy, where this energy originated from, I am still unsure. I like to believe that there is more purpose to life than being human or I simply don’t see the point of living a one time only existence. It’s about knowledge and sharing that knowledge with those also seeking it. Sometimes I wonder if I am on the right path and then simply ask myself if I had nothing, absolutely nothing but my friends and family, would my path change? The answer is no, I would be doing just what I am now, trying to inspire, gain knowledge, enrich the lives of those around me and maintain my moral fibre. Who I am will not change regardless of my doings. If being here on earth for this one life is it, then we better get started on making that difference so that future generations can also have the opportunity to enjoy what life has to offer. We all have a conscience inside somewhere, we just need to experience doing the right thing to make us aware of how strong it can be.

So for me Rick, The Whole Journey, Life Itself is all about knowledge and doings.

And thanks for planting that seed!

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Let’s Be Honest…

tracy-pic3We all like to think we have honesty with our partner, friends, family and co workers, but do we? Are we being honest with ourselves?

You have to wonder don’t you. A vow is taken at a wedding, but still the divorce rate is approaching 80%. Spouses are trusted, yet affairs are almost common behaviour. Friends who were once trusted with deep dark secrets eventually blab to someone and show their true colours. Why are relationships failing? Everything seems to be disposable including relationships and I think it all comes down to honesty. I think people are afraid to be really honest with one another. They’re afraid to say how they really feel. If they do they take the chance of being judged and alienated for simply speaking the truth. How well do you really know your partner? Do you know and accept the good with the bad? Do you really know their passions and desires? If we are completely honest in our relationships, trust should be there. But lets face it, sometimes the truth hurts.


Trust; – noun: reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, ect, of a person or thing; confidence.

Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people” I love this quote by Spencer Johnson.

How much confidence do you have in your spouse? Will they stand by you ‘til death do you part?’ I heard on the radio one morning about this study that was done when women in a marriage get ill. I’m not just talkin the flu or a virus here, I mean really sick. When women get an illness like M.S or Cancer 21% of men leave their wives. (That still leaves 79% that will stick it out, which is positive.) But if the rolls are reversed only 3% of women leave. The reasons given were that men don’t see themselves as the ‘caregiver‘ in a relationship. Men simply don’t multi task like women do, which would be necessary while taking on what would be required if their spouse was ill. This makes me wonder, if couples felt they could be more honest within their relationship, could these drastic measures turn into compromising ones? Could there be hope of working it out together simply because of raw honesty?

We all know how hard it can be to be COMPLETELY honest with anyone without hurting feelings somewhere along the line. But if you want real trust you have to start somewhere. I know this because I’ve been there. There is a huge payoff for honesty and that is friendship. Because of honesty in my relationship I have a best friend whom I trust more than ever. Scott is my best friend because of honesty. I will admit at times it was hard, but if you get rid of your ego and really put yourself out there, you get past the hard part and are left with trust.

When the truth is told it gives you the freedom to make decisions based on what’s best for you. It’s unselfish to speak the truth to those you love, whether the news is good or bad, the truth shall can set you free! The same goes with your girlfriends, although it is difficult to speak the truth to them at time, it is easier in the end if you do.

I think that as long as you have honesty, pure intention, you have trust.

Tracy signiture

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Casey Douglas Adkins ~ May 14 1981-Dec 28 2009

tracy-pic3I attended the funeral service for my second cousin Casey Douglas Adkins on Monday and was moved for many different reasons. I reconnected with my extended family on my mother’s side after years of not keeping in touch.

When I first saw my cousin Dee, Casey’s mom, her voice sent me back to my childhood, it brought me comfort hearing her soft familiar words. In a split second after hearing Dee’s voice, the time that had passed was gone. Doug, Casey’s dad stood tall and was the strength of the family, just as I remembered. Corey, Casey’s brother had the same strength, he too was a father to a young 6 year old boy who looked just like him.

Casey Douglas AdkinsTo lose your son at any age would be unbearable, Casey lost his life at 28 years old, it was an accident.  I hadn’t seen Casey since he was very young, but after hearing the tributes from his close circle of friends, I felt as though I had a real sense of who he had become. I had some regret for the first time in my life. I had not been a part of someone’s life whom I was classified as family. I sat feeling a sense of guilt that I had a seat in the “reserved family” section where any one of his friends should have been sitting.

When Casey’s close friends stood strong and spoke of their friend, it reminded me that there really are a lot of good solid people out there, we just haven’t met them yet. The voices of these young men who articulated their personal memories of Casey so vividly, have just started to live their lives; Stuart, Josh and Michael to name a few spoke from their hearts and brought tears and laughter to everyone sitting speechless.

Family shouldn’t just get together for weddings and funerals, we are connected and we miss out by not doing so. The passing of Casey is a tragic reminder of how life can be cut short. Casey was a soul who brightened every life he was a part of. He was known for his contagious smile, loud sneeze, athletics and great attitude towards pretty much everything.  He will be greatly missed.

Life sometimes throws us challenges that make us all become more aware of what is most important, family, friends, health, attitude and moral fiber. It’s how we decide to deal with these challenges that counts.

So although I personally didn’t know Casey as well as others, in the end he touched my life as well by making me more aware of how important it is to live life with no regret, stay connected with those you love and face life’s challenges with a positive attitude. Tracy signiture

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Merry Christmas!!

Tracy

Happy Holidays !!

The Tara Team Presents ~ Jacquie~ Bonnie ~ Tracy oh and a few of our favorite elves, Gavin (you had to know you would be in this one) and James (cause I miss you)  Enjoy every moment you spend with your family and friends!
Be safe and remember to “Find Lyrical Beauty in Giving”.

I am a huge fan of Jib Jab , so here you go!!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Tracy signiture

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Would you rather be a Mermaid or a Whale?

TracyYou may have already seen this.   It was sent to me by a beautiful friend of mine, Laurie, and I wanted to share it with you!

Recently, in a large french city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym.   It said:

¨THIS SUMMER DO YOU WANT TO BE A MERMAID OR A WHALE?¨

A middle aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

mermaid or whale?To Whom It May Concern:

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans).  They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales.  They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp.  They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Barren Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia . Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs.  They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don’t exist.  If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis.  Fish or human?  They don’t have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them not to mention how could they have sex?  Therefore they do not have kids either. Not to mention who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store? The choice is perfectly clear to me; I want to be a whale.

P.S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver and a coffee with my friends.  With time we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room it distributes out to the rest of our bodies.  So we aren’t heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.  Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think,  Good gosh, look how smart I am.

I found humor in that, I hope you did too.  So Ladies on Thanksgiving weekend you and I are going to indulge with our families and friends and enjoy ourselves with absolutely no guilt what-so-ever!!  Gym Shmim!  Now go cut yourself a piece of that Pumpkin pie!

Tracy signiture

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He’s Just Not That Into You!!!!

TracyWhile at the school talent show last week I noticed something that I couldn’t stop thinking about. This usually means a post is in the air.  It seemed to me that most of the girls who performed did it to songs that were directed towards boys in such a way that they were pining for them.  They had broken hearts and longed for their attention. Each song was somehow related to wanting our male counterpart to be into us. Maybe it is programming after all!  Conditioning at it’s best. How could we not continue down this path when we started on it at such an early age.

I watched the movie ‘He’s just not that into you’ and I had mixed feelings about it. I liked the fact that Jennifer Aniston’s character ‘Beth’ finally realized that Ben Affleck (Neil) didn’t need to marry her to be like a husband, but there were also parts that bothered me. Why are we afraid to admit that he is just not that into us. We have all consoled our friends with reasons why he hasn’t called or why our relationship ended when it may be as simple as there was no connection. Is that so hard to hear? Why do we feel we need to assess blame to justify the end of intimacy between two people.  Maybe it’s just the intimate part of the relationship that has run it’s course.

My question is “If he is just not that into you, why do you really care?” What’s wrong with just being honest so both people can move on without awkwardness. I think we care because he said no to us first. Our feelings get hurt because we take it personally that someone didn’t like us. Chances are we were going to say no eventually, but he just beat us to the punch.

Why not just be honest. If your not feeling it, say so. You could high five each other and move on and remain friends. Honestly you don’t want to date someone who isn’t really feeling the connection, do you?  That is just asking for a break-up down the road which gets messier as time goes by. It’s a hard pill to swallow when you think you have a connection with someone and it’s not reciprocated. I’ve been dumped on occasion, but there were very few I was bothered by, however, there was one I obsessed over for whatever reason. When looking back he was just a nightmare so I chalked it up to be my Karma for all the guys I just wasn’t that into and perhaps didn’t deal with honestly. Lesson learned!

I think women romanticize too much about men (I know I do being a hopeless romantic) I know for myself if it’s the man who is a challenge that drives me crazy, that intrigues me more. If we got rid of our ego’s it would be much easier. That’s why it’s so hard to remain friends…ego! No one really wants to hear the words, “I like you, just not that much.”

We need to stop sugar coating what men say to us and start hearing the truth behind their words. If a man says “I’m really gonna miss you” while in the throws of passionate love making, he’s NOT going on a holiday! Or you hear “hey buddy” or “dude” when he calls, chances are your not heading towards marriage. Maybe we make it difficult for men to be honest because we have that dreamy look in our eyes when they try to say what they feel. Just keep in mind it’s not really all that bad if someone isn’t really that into you. Put it in perspective!  There is always another bus coming as my Nana used to say !

Tracy

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Where Did You Meet Your Girl Friends?

Jacquie’s take~

Growing up I never had much difficulty finding friends.  Even as a small child I think I had the ‘disease to please’ and so I know I kinda went along with any game plan that was put on the table.  I was really easy going and just didn’t care to rock the boat.  I kept a lot of my emotions and opinions to myself and as a result I always had a lot of friends to play and laugh with.  In high school I met Naava, an out-spoken artsy/intellectual who jumped for no one and, literally, danced to the beat on her own drum.  We totally clicked for some reason.   I think because with her I felt I could just be me and I wasn’t afraid to not be perfectly agreeable.  For the first time I had a friend who I felt really liked the real me and not just the ‘fun’ me, and that was huge.  I learned so much from that friendship about quality, not quantity.

When I think about where I’ve met all my closest girlfriends what surprises me as that there really is no recurring theme except that they’re all quality women.  They’ve all popped into my life from different angles;  work, travel, school mom, friend of a friend’s spouse, neighborhood, and I am soooo grateful for them all.  I guess the point is you never really know when a new amazing friendship is going to find its way into your life.   Every girlfriend I’ve had has given me something special and made me a better, happier, more in-tuned human being.

My mother used to say that the friends you make in high school will always be close because you’ve seen each other go through one of the most difficult periods in your lives and that’s incredibly bonding.  While I think there’s a lot of truth in that, I also think that it’s equally possible to make deep bonds with new girlfriends at any stage in your life.  Once you’ve experienced a true connection with someone you know it’s a feeling you never want to be without.

I found a really interesting site last year when I was online looking for book club ideas.  It’s called www.meetups.com and it works like this; you punch in your zip code and up pops a list of different clubs or groups that are meeting in your area.  Joining is as easy as tapping a button.  I’ve used this site to join a book club, coffee club and a walking group.  When my sister moved to Australia last year I told her about it and she found a writer’s group in Sydney she wanted to try out.  I think this is a really inspiring site and what the internet is all about.. feeling connected.    Your newest BFF could be one of the ladies at the Fabulous and Forty Wine Tasting Club!

Bonnie’s 2 cents~

Bonnie and Dorrie

I'm the one on the left with the strange bloomer shorts on. Dorrie is on her bike/pretend horse behind me. Yes, it was in the days before colour film.

I still remember seeing her across the street playing in her yard.  She kept glancing over at me but then she would look away as soon as our eyes met.  Her every move fascinated me.  What was she imagining with her dolls.  I wanted so badly to play with her.  I’m the shy one.  Other kids always come over to me first.  I went inside and talked to my grandma about it.  “Just go over and tell her your name.  Then ask her if she wants to play with you.”  my grandmother said in her matter of fact tone.   “Can’t you go over and ask her if she wants to play with me?”  My grandmother just shuffled me out the door and told me not to be so silly.  I was 4.  We stared at each other for a while longer and then finally one of us ( I think it was her)  shouted out “What’s your name?” and that was all it took.  We were great friends from that moment on…until I moved away shortly after.  Her name was Dorrie.  I wonder how she is now?

I’ve met girl friends all over the world.  Unfortunately, I’ve moved all over the place too and have left many behind.   I’ve always had the best intentions about keeping in touch but as time goes on and my life has taken different turns, I’ve lost touch with many really great friends.  This is one of my biggest regrets.  Thanks to Facebook however, I have been able to reconnect with some and that has been wonderful.

One of my life’s greatest blessings has been the one constant friend I’ve had since high school, Tracy.  We’ve had our ups and downs but through it all we have learned some valuable lessons and have grown closer and closer.  When I think back on our years together I realize we haven’t lived in the same city for many of them but I don’t ever worry that we will drift apart.  Our bond is too deep.

Looking back I realize I have always had at least one close girlfriend near at all times.  I have so many fond memories of all the great women I’ve had the opportunity to get to know well in my life.  They’ve all helped mold me into the woman I am today and I’m truly grateful to all of them.

Tracy’s thoughts~

Where did I meet my girlfriends you ask?  Strip clubs mostly, after hours.  I’m kidding.  I used to have mostly guy friends in my teens and twenties. Girls judged and gossip too much for me, guys were much less complicated.  I feel differently now.  I embrace the female spirit.

There was one girl who was always there, the one who knows every single deep dark secret of mine in detail, Bonnie.  Some say the truth shall set you free.  In my case, her aging mind will.  Here’s hoping she loses the long term first.  I want her to remember who I am, just not what I did.  It would be so fun if she lost her mind before me so I could convince her it was she who did certain things, not I.  Our conversations would go something like this.  “I still can’t believe you did that!”  Tracy says jokingly.   “Did I do that?“  Bonnie says confusingly.  “I should know I was there when you did it!”, Tracy says, while looking down to the left because it’s a big fat lie.   “ I always thought it was you who did that?“  says Bonnie, while she starts to doubt her inner voice.  “Nope that was you.“ says Tracy with her best acting face ever!

Bonnie and I met in Acting class when we were 15.  Good thing we didn’t meet sooner because I would have FOR SURE told on her for some of the things she did.  We were partners in class and our task was to find out as much about the other person and then introduce them to everyone.  It was fairly basic for us, “Hi  I’m so-n-so, I live in North Van, I’m 15.” and then we laughed and giggled for the rest of the time.  I guess right then we knew we would be best friends forever so we didn’t want to find out too much too soon.  It has taken me 30 years to get to know Bonnie and still to this day she amazes me daily at how non judgmental and unconditional her friendship is.  She is one of the most multi-faceted souls I have had the honor to meet.

But how lucky can one girl be, 12 years ago I had the most incredible luck and met Jacquie on set of the movies.  We have become very close over the last couple of years because we make the time to see one another.  We embrace who we are, we work well together balancing one another’s quirks.  She makes me want to be a better person.  Sometime that’s hard! But I love her for it.  She challenges me which is such a turn on (not in that way).

Making memories is what friendships are all about.  Friends come and go, we learn, we grow.  I have a circle of friends now that I absolutely adore, some old, some new, some borrowed and men too.  It doesn’t really matter where you meet them, just that you do.

Girlfriends !!

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Midlife, Crisis or Awakening?

I have been thinking a lot lately about midlife.  Why, you ask, when I’m only 30-ish! (cough, choke, spit)  If asked straight out I don’t lie about my age.  I never have.  (I just become a low talker)  I am quite the opposite actually as  I usually admit to being the age I will be next.

We need to stop associating ‘midlife’ with ‘crisis’.  Why is it that when we finally start to feel like ourselves again that we have to classify this as a crisis?  Should it not be midlife celebration?  I don’t know about you, but it is for me and my circle of friends!Midlife Celebration!

We go through our 20’s where we think we know everything.  Well, at least I did.  My way or the highway!  We have the world by the tail.  We have few responsibilities with the exception of school and a part-time job.  We have freedom to do what we want, when we want, where we want, with whom we want.  Pause for a moment here and just daydream a moment with me.  Read slowly….What you want, when you want, where you want, with whom you want!  Did you giggle?  Smile at least?  Nothing wrong with remembering your past as long as you aren’t living in it.

We enter into our 30’s with more knowledge of what life is all about.  We hopefully have a job that has the potential of developing into a career.  Most of us have a partner and start to think of marriage and having a family.  We learn the importance of compromise.  But with that comes less time for ourselves and our life goes out of balance for a time.

We quickly reached our 40’s.  I must have had fun because man that went fast.  We have confidence in our opinions.  We have more freedom as our kids become independent.  More me time.  We start to find ourselves again and it feels incredible!  I just don’t see how this is a crisis.

Men buy sports cars, motorcycles or boats because they used enjoy them before they were required to trade them in for the mini van.  Compromise.  Women start to spend more time with their friends because that is what they used to do before their family took priority.  We start to live again.  We accept more, we say no and we don’t concern ourselves with the small things in life anymore.  We enjoy ourselves again without the attitude or desire of knowing it all.  It is a blessing to enter the second half of life with a carefree attitude.  We learn to embrace every moment we are given.  We have learned to live in the moment and  not judge.  We love,  we grow as souls, we appreciate everything the world has given to us to explore.  We finally GET IT!  That my friends is an Awakening not a crisis!

TracyThe Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles by Marianne Williamson ( Great read!)


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Which Reality Show Would You Do?

Jacquie’s Take~

I’m so glad it’s my turn to start the team post topic this week!  I don’t think my compadres would ever choose this subject so I’ve got them on the hot seat and they’re gonna have to do some serious head scratching since I’m the ‘reality junkie’!

Without a doubt, the show I would LOVE to get a spot on would be The Amazing Race!  And my partner would be my girlfriend Cheryl.  In fact, we’ve had it planned for years!  Our combined travel skills (she’s a cruise consultant and I had a compass surgically implanted in my hip socket) would make us an unbeatable duo if ever given the opportunity.  Unfortunately, the producers obviously fear us as they’ve made the show unavailable to Canadians to enter.

A few years back Cheryl and I did a Navigate the Streets event in support of the Make~a~Wish foundation in Vancouver.  We sucked air big time!  We suffered a humiliating loss at the end with a fatal mistake.  We were allowed to ‘phone a friend’ for help and sadly we mistook Carroll St for Haro St through the static on the cell.  Yup, not too good if you know how far apart these drags are downtown!  It was sooo  much fun, though!

Last person I would do the Amazing Race with would be my husband, Gavin, and he knows why (“cough” Vegas trip).  Oh, I would go to the ends of the earth with him just not with a time limit and a camera crew tracking every move! Nobody wants to see that train wreck in the making.   I’d be signing up for Trading Spouses next.

Your turn Tracy.  Canada’s Next Top Model?   Have you even ever watched any reality TV?

jacquie

Tracy’s 2 cents~

Indeed I have Jacquie!  I did watch the Amazing Race but only the season Rob & Amber from Survivor were on.  I tuned in because I saw the two of them take over Survivor when they became a couple right in front of our eyes.  Romance gets me every time!

I knew they would be a fantastic team and, although they didn’t win the entire show, they won quite a few legs of the race.  Amber was a strong, confident, naturally beautiful woman and Boston Rob was a very charismatic, smart guy with that great accent!  I’ve watched Survivor up until this year.  I am not sure why I’ve tuned out, but I think it’s because I have too many books I NEED to read.

I am waiting for the reality show that involves being stranded on the Beach!  I would need more time to find the point to it, but at this moment I’m not sure I need one or that there is one!   My luxury item would be Nair!  If you’re looking for a show that really exists it would be L.A. INK

Bonnie what show would you do?  So You Think You Can Dance ?  You’ve got the moves!  I’ve seen them !!

Tracy

Bonnie weighs in~

Ok, I’ll bite but I think you know I’m not a fan of “reality” TV.  It was fun when it all first began because I believed most of it then.  I’ve since become very cynical.  The first show I was glued to the TV watching was one where the guy chose a stranger to marry and then went through with it right on national television.  It was like watching a car accident; I wanted to look away but I couldn’t.

I was intrigued by Survivor for the first two or three seasons but lost interest.  I hate watching people bicker and connive against each other.  Fear factor, The Amazing Race, and The Apprentice all had me for awhile, and American Idol can suck me in if I’m not careful.  The trouble with all of these is that they’ve been done over and over again.  Even American Idol is just the same characters but different cast now.  You are right Tracy, I enjoy watching some of the dance reality shows because those people have some real talent…and I’m not referring to Dancing with the Stars here.

When I turn on the television these days what I truly miss is a really funny well written sitcom.  Remember when Seinfeld was brand new, or Friends or Sex and the City?

I don’t want to watch every day people doing ridiculous things anymore and I don’t want to be told it’s “reality” when I know damn well it’s mostly scripted and fully edited.   What’s happened to all of the clever writers in Hollywood?  Did they get lazy or is it Joe Public who has put them out of work because of this new obsession for “reality” tv?

But I haven’t really answered your question…Which reality show would I do?  None, I’d rather go along living my reality without a camera in my face thank you.

Bonnie


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