Appreciate What You Have ~

keep-calm-and-appreciate-what-you-have
IMG_4459My glass is always half full! I consciously look for the lesson in unfavourable circumstances and can usually pop my head above the swirling chaotic clouds to see the sun-shining bright in the distance. If I do get swayed to the dark side I don’t stay long. I allow a few streams of tears to flow and move forward. My girlfriend/therapist Tannia and I have a one day limit to wallow in any unpleasantness and then we “suck it up buttercup” laugh like hyenas in heat and take a step forward. I am grateful for so many things in my life

Starting today…

~ Appreciate what you have ~ Focusing on what you have instead of what you don’t will immediately bless you with gratitude.

~ Focus on what matters ~ Health matters. Your body is a gift, we are all miracles of life.

~ Decide what your purpose in life is and go for it ~ What makes you most happy? If you are not doing it, ask yourself why? If you have fears, face them! Step out of your comfort zone and see how exhilarating it can be. “Fear is the Thief of Dreams” ~ Gandhi.

~ Take on challenges that scare you ~ Nothing we experience in life is a waste of time. We live and learn with each life experience growing and unfolding along the way. Change is good, healthy even, if you step back and view it from a positive perspective. When a door opens step through it and see where it takes you!

~ Find balance ~ If you work too much, learn to play. Take time for yourself and give your time to things that make your heart race, and cork pop!

~ Love your body enough to take care of it ~ You’re beautiful! Embrace the skin your in! You can scar it, stretch it, burn it, mark it, tan it, and peel it, you are always in it, so you might as well take care of it and learn to love it! If you don’t love it, why should anyone else.

~ Treat others the way you want to be treated ~ Be conscious of your attitude and your actions. Karma has a way of finding those who don’t play fair. Always remember ‘this too will pass’ good or bad. Life is a circle and what goes around comes around…eventually!

~ Set a good example ~ If you want to empower others in your life, you need to start living the most empowered version of yourself first. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. Dream BIG! Believe in what you want so much that it has no choice but to become your reality. And don’t ever compare yourself to anyone else, stay focused on your own journey and leave footprints behind.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world!” ~ Mahatma Gandhi 

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My Kids Survived Another Summer…barely!


Have you ever thought of putting your kids on Craigslist? This summer I actually sat down and wrote an ad…just for fun *wink.

“Two kids free to ANY family. Both need constant stimulation. A horse and NLL lacrosse star within arms reach would be a huge plus. Neither can quite finish any task for some unknown reason…but close. Constant supervision is mandatory. Attitude adjustments are required regularly. Money tree in back yard would eliminate the tedious whining. One sleeps till noon, the other is at your side the second your eyes open. Can only be in the same room together for 3 min max until the little one says “Jessssseeee donnnnn’t” and the big one says “wooooooow” and then all hell breaks loose. Taxi and maid service would be handy. They come with a dog they don’t walk that’s out of control…but really cute and loves to dig” (and then I realized I was dating! ) “I thought you had kids?” “Ya (insert long pause here) I did…” Not sure how that might play out!

My girlfriend Carri offered to have her daughter join the ad suggesting we give the two girls to the same family since blended families seem to be so popular (her daughter is 1/2 Filipino which = super cute)…then both my kids walked in my office and said “Mom, you’re the best Mom on the planet” and I loved them once again more than life itself. Their intuition is right on track! Moms just want love and affection and 10 minutes in the bathroom without hearing mom, mom, mom, mom through the door.

Anyone with kids the same age will totally relate. Parents of younger kids, all I can say is don’t judge, karma’s a bitch!

My daughter’s umbilical cord reattached to my womb over the summer. It happens when we spend lots of time together. I am NOT complaining. I remember getting the same feelings about my Mom as the summer came to an end. I couldn’t live without her throughout the year let alone after spending all day and night with her for 2 months. I got homesick at the thought of her being in another room. I can relate to my daughter very well.

I am taking every single hug and kiss I can get knowing that these moment are fleeting. My sons has a couple of years on his sister so he is at the age of loving his freedom…ahhh freedom remember that. He is awfully love-able for 13 so I can’t complain. I take every lingering boy hug I can get. I try not to make a big deal of it so it last longer. If I don’t move maybe he will forget I’m hanging on for dear life! He has his hormonal teenager moments like the rest of them that don’t go unnoticed but I have learned not to take them personally. He simply needs to flash that irresistible smile and I melt. Moms and their boys…sigh. 🙂

Being a Mom has been one of the best experiences I have ever had hands down. I’ve learned over the years to let go and allow my kids to grow. They have learned to be independent which has given them both confidence. My job now, it to just be there for moral support and teach them by example. (that is definitely questionable at times but hey, at least I’m honest!) I don’t mind telling you though it’s a bitter sweet time for me. I love spending time with my kids, they are incredible little human beings but I too have a life I need to reacquaint myself with in-order to be a great Mom!

Happy September Everyone! Enjoy each moment making memories with your little humans!

 

 

 

 

 

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Friendship…to the Tenth Degree!

Bonnie’s post Confessions of a Killer, her being the killer, made me laugh and think about our friendship. Since Bonnie selected the word Friendship when she created this months header I thought I would relate at least one post this month to just that…Friendship! (beautiful header by the way Bon) My Red Flags post will have to wait until next Wednesday! 🙂

Bonnie’s post reminded me that I know EVERYTHING about her. The flip side of that, she knows EVERYTHING about me. There are no secrets! I react to spiders like Bonnie reacts to cockroaches. I’ve said to her son James that if he ever does something questionable and gets the stink eye for it, I would tell him a story or two about what she did that I am sure would equal what he might have done. Yes, he’s a boy and boys usually take things a step further but I can recall a time or two when Bonnie behaved like a boy! (giggle) This is where is gets tricky, I was probably with her when she did, doing the same thing, with a huge smile on my face to boot! We’ve lead one another astray on many occasions in our friendship! *wink*

I understand the cockroach fear and think I may have been the reason it became embedded into her psyche. Back in ’83, we lived in Australia for 6 months, it was 4o+ degrees 80% humidity. We had to sleep with all the window closed because there were no screens. The cockroaches in Australia can be 3-4 inches long. There were so many skittering on the street late at night it was hard to avoid stepping on them. They made a crunch sound if you did which still makes my skin crawl just thinking about it. Somehow they entered our room even though we shoved towels under the doors, we woke up in a sweat every morning because of it!

One day Bonnie entered the room and she had the Grand-daddy of all roaches on her chest, the look on my face said it all and she reacted by running at me screaming “GET IT OFF GET IT OFF!” At the time she thought it was a Huntsman spider which were the size of your hand splayed out! I freaked out and ran away from her screaming and locked myself in the bathroom letting her fend for herself…she banged on the door for quite awhile! lol I am still sorry about that, but can’t help but giggle at the thought of the look on her face!

This post is about friendship…no really! It’s about give and take. And forgiveness! Mostly forgiveness! And Karma, we can’t forget Karma, it can apparently follow you for 20 years or more! I agree that might not have been a best friend kind of thing to do, but you need to know that I’ve never told any of Bonnie’s secrets. And I have a brain full of them!

Each year we visit Bonnie and John and before I arrive Bonnie sprays the cottage we stay in with spider spray so I can sleep at night! My Karma finally arrived, 20 years later. We went out on the boat and no exaggeration a million spiders came climbing over the edge of the boat to MY seat like it was a James Bond Movie Trailer. If you listened closely I think you could actually hear the theme song playing in the background! I think they were all packing heat if my memory serves me right! Bonnie didn’t jump over board like I almost did, she stepped TOWARDS me and helped swat them off while I literally freaked out jumping up and down like I was being electrocuted. They were climbing up my legs and I could feel them in my hair, and we all know I have a head of hair you don’t want to lose a spider in! She mention later she wished she had video taped the episode so she could post it on YouTube. The perrrfect friend in my eyes! The next night on the doc watching shooting stars and comets, you could only see my eyes and nose through my draw string hoodie, she was in flip flops without a care in the world…my hero! She told me I was missing a life experience because of my fear. Yep!

Friendship is about making sure you’re with your best friend when they do something questionable so that when you do something questionable they have no choice but keep your secret! And if you can still be friends after 35 years, you don’t have to worry about who did more questionable things, because you can’t remember. Sweeeet!

All joking aside, each year I am grateful for the time I get to spend with Bonnie, the confessed killer of small helpless things. I watch and learn and somehow magically or through osmosis her strength rubs off on me making me feel empowered. She is one of the most incredible women I have had the pleasure of knowing. She loves unconditionally, without judgement. She is one of a kind and I love her for who she was and who she has become. She has taught me so much about life and love, neither of which would be the same without her. Just the thought of her makes me smile…and then giggle!

I promise if at any point in the future a cockroach skitters anywhere on or near your body I will step TOWARDS you and start swatting! Love you Bon! xo

This is classic stink eye for those of you who are not familiar with the term. (you gotta love photo booth on Mac)

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‘Tis the Season to… Break up?

I heard the other day that November and December are when most break up occur. The reasons why made sense to me, but what I found hard to believe was that so many people found it difficult to be honest about why. What’s wrong with honesty? Not everyone is going to be into you, and there is always going to be another person out there who is NOT tired of putting up with your crap! giggle

Did you know there is break up etiquette? I suppose if it saves someones feelings, it’s a good thing. We all know getting dumped is crappy but in the big picture wouldn’t you rather be dumped than be an option if you’re not a priority? I’ve noticed in both men and women that everyone seems to want to have a few options, whether they are married or not. (if my marriage doesn’t work out…there is always him, or if my girlfriend and I don’t work out…there’s always her) I’ve got one word for that EGO! I would rather have no options and spend some quality time with myself than waste the time of someone else for the sake of an option. Options don’t last! Priorities do! Its pretty basic isn’t it? Don’t we just want to know the truth so we can adjust our thinking and move on. The truth can be razor sharp at times but the pain ALWAYS subsides. No one is free from being dumped, it’s a learning experience that is really valuable to find out who we are. (last weeks post Who Are You? touched on that)

Some of the reasons why November and December are when the most break up occur is because, generally speaking the holidays are usually spent visiting with family. If you’re not ‘the one’, the break up is to avoid having to introduce you to the family, that you are probably not going to be a part of in the near future. It makes it more difficult later on in the relationship to dump someone who has met your family. The same reason I believe you shouldn’t introduce your kids to every Tom, Mary or Larry you go out for coffee with. If it’s meant to be, in time everyone will meet. Patience is a virtue!

Sometime we realize that we simply want to be alone and need to spend time by ourselves. Nothing wrong with that! That makes the most sense, I love being on my own but there are lots of men/women who like to be with someone, regardless whether or not they are the right someone. If it’s not working, end it, but kindly! You would be doing the other person a favour in the end! Always remember when one door closes another one opens!

The reason at the bottom of the list was that we just don’t want to spend money on someone we don’t think we are going to be with long term. Do you really want the generic-says-nothing-about-your-pending-relationship gift anyway?

I think what’s most important is the way you break up. No one likes to be lead on. If everyone would just learn to NOT lie, it would sure make things a lot simpler don’t you think? After mustering up the courage to finally end a relationship you should never ever end with…right now. Example: “I really like you but I don’t want to be in a committed relationship…right now“. It leaves the relationship dangling! If the truth is “I really like you but I don’t want to be in a committed relationship…with you” say it! At least the person being dumped won’t pine over you for months after the fact!

The etiquette to me was a no-brainer but here is the basics simplified: No text break-ups, No email break-ups, Face to Face is best, the sooner the better, be honest so the person is not wondering what they did or why…tell them why! DO NOT just ignore the person or disappear off the face of the earth, there is such a thing as BREAK UP KARMA! My personal advice to being the dumper, dress down, it just might lighten the blow :0 wink*

Basic rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you!

Happy Break ups Everyone, it’s not always a bad thing! 🙂

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Tracy Learns a Lesson~

TracyI finally got a moment to myself the other night so I lite some candles and ran myself a tub.  I really needed the solitude having been so busy lately.  Literally, just as I submerged I was interrupted by my darling little girl.  She was sent to get some tweezers to help with a sliver, she loves slivers.  She knocked quietly on the door and politely asked if I was already in the tub.  Yes I was, but she is so adorable and was helping someone, so how could I not oblige.  The interruption this time didn’t bother me…I admit I normally just yell “I’M IN THE TUB AND UNLESS YOUR BLEEDING, I’ll BE OUT WHEN I’M DONE”.  You have to understand that every single time I shut the bathroom door, someone needs something.  It’s like when you answer the phone, kids appear out of no where and ask for something they know they can’t have.  By just going with the flow this particular time I think I confused the Karma gods and the ball had already started to roll in my direction and that’s when it happened…

I stepped out of my tub to get what she needed, passed it through a 2 inch opening, she smiled and I quickly locked the door to get back to my imaginary spa.  If I could play a record scratching right now I would…I lifted my leg to hurdle the side of the tub and my ginormous foot hit my brand spankin new blackberry that was sitting on the edge (to keep me connected to the world while I bathe, ya I know!) and it torpedoed into the water.  I didn’t recognise the black flash it happened so fast but when I realized it was my beloved 4 DAY OLD BLACKBERRY I gasped in horror!

I whipped off the rubber case and took out the battery in record time, I flailed buck naked doing everything I could to keep my phone alive, not a pretty sight!  If I had a video of this 4 minute time frame I might not be so focused on the phone right now, there are much bigger issues here than a wet phone.  I would be side tracked with seeing on video the consequence of eating that oh so yummy movie theatre popcorn, twice in one week, with it’s full bloating potential, and I’d be completely distracted at how my boobs looked while I was in mid panic.

telus-blackberry-8330-smSo I am trying to find the positive here, there is no video of me naked, that’s a start!  I didn’t slip and fall and bump my head, knocking myself unconscious for my 11 year old son to find, naked, waking to him saying “eww gross”.  I have an old phone that still works and could get it hooked back up. *groan*  If I look on the bright side I can borrow my sons “dinosaur phone” as he calls it, fortunately Scott, Kelsey and home are part of his five favorites!  Serves me right for not getting him a new phone…ya whatever!  Now would be a good time to say “Hi my name is Tracy Westerholm and I am a cell phone addict”.  I am having withdrawals already and it’s only been a couple of hours !!

Kelsey put everything in perspective when she sent me a message via Facebook telling me it was just “stuff” and it can be replaced!  Love you Kels!  She is right, I am really trying to look at this in a positive light.  I’ve admitted to having a cellphone (all one word) addiction.  Can’t change what we are not aware of right?  But my cellphone (all one word) keeps me linked to the world and I don’t know if I can go without it for 3 days, but I am going to try.  I’ve decided to go cell-less until my blackberry dries out.

Here are some tips I found while surfing the web trying to keep my mind off my phone.wet-blackberry-phone

1~Remove the battery and cover immediately and DO NOT attempt to turn on the device.
2~Place and seal in bag or container with uncooked rice, silicon gel or any non-abrasive water absorbing agent.
3~Leave phone in bag or container in a warm place for 4-6 days.  (try hard)
4~Allow the phone to cool at room temperature and place battery back into phone
5~Cross your fingers.

I will let you know if it works!

UPDATE…yes it worked! I took out the battery which was important! I saw water in the screen so blow-dried it from far away on warm, NOT HOT, and after about an hour saw the water evaporate from the window. I left it in my hot bathroom in a bowl of rice and those little silicon packets for about 4 days, maybe 5. It was the hardest thing to leave it and not turn it on but I did it. When I did finally think it’s all or nothing I turned it on and it WORKED! It was perfect!

I now have an iPhone but hey loved my blackberry too!

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Here’s One Thing You Probably Don’t Know About Me

Bonnie Johnson's Post

Bonnie’s Take~

Apparently my partners are struggling to come up with something to write for this post.  I, on the other hand, have a number of options to go with.  Hmmm.  I wonder what that says about me.

I’ve decided to share my fire walking experience.  Yes, that’s right, I am one of those freaks who willingly walked on white hot coals for about 20 feet.  Why would anyone even want to do that you ask?  It began for me when I decided to enter a martial arts contest and I really wanted to win.  I was training with a variety of people for this particular bout.  One of the guys I trained with told me that if I went to the “fire walking” course and successfully walked on the hot coals I would be guaranteed to win my bout.  He said that once you have accomplished that feat there is nothing you feel you cannot do.  It’s a huge boost to your confidence.

I was just fascinated by the thought of learning to control my mind to the point that I could actually be able to have my physical body perform this amazing act.  I signed up for the full day course.  It was many years ago now but I remember that I enjoyed the experience immensely.  Looking back on my notes I wrote 3 things that I hoped to accomplish that day:   1.  Build confidence   2.  Overcome Fears   3.  Become the Best I Can Be In Any Endeavor.   I also see in my notes that it was important to me to prove to my young son that anyone can accomplish whatever they put their mind to.

I remember the main focus of the day was to obtain a peak state of energy.  I did, and at the end of the course the coals were white hot and waiting for us to prove we could “walk the walk”.  When it was my turn to step on to the coals I hesitated with doubt for a moment.  My mind was screaming “are you crazy!?”  So I jumped off.  Disappointed that I had failed I suddenly thought “NO! You can do this!”  I stepped back on with determination like I’d never known before and slowly walked the entire 20 feet.  When it was over I put my socks and shoes back on without looking at the soles of my feet.  I drove the 2 hour long drive home wondering if I had actually really done this crazy act.  Were my soles burnt and blistered?  When I got home I gingerly took off my shoes and socks and examined my feet.  Not a blister, not a mark.  I had done it!  I felt like I was invincible.  A few days later I had my martial arts contest and won my division.  The power of the mind is an amazing thing.

TracyTracy’s Two Cents~

I have to admit this topic was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  Although I am a very private person when it comes to how I spend my time, I think I am also a very open person when it comes to sharing my life through thought and opinion especially now with Tara Cronica.

The one subject that I have yet to address is my religious beliefs.  I think this is one of the very few things people don’t know about me.  I would describe myself as a very Spiritual person.  I find interesting aspects of many different religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, African Traditional Religion, Wiccan Beliefs to name a few.  I believe in life after death, reincarnation.  I believe in Karma.  I believe we all come from an energy source.  We all have a destiny or life path that we follow to learn the lessons that we as individual souls need to learn in our time here on earth.  I believe we meet for a reason.

Religion is such a wide topic to cover which is why I have yet to explore it here on Tara Cronica.  I try to live by ‘The Golden Rule’  “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them  Do Unto You”.  But I am far from perfect.  It’s pretty basic really.  I believe it doesn’t matter what religion you follow, whether it be one or many, but that you are living your life authentically being aware of others and being true to self.  I look forward to writing a more in depth post of what I specifically like about different religions or religious beliefs that I personally find interesting.   Great topic Bonnie it really got my mind thinking.  How about you Jake?

post-pic-4-11Jacquie’s response~

In 1981 I auditioned for my first ever film role and landed it after about 5 call backs.   I eventually turned the part down because it called for a little bit of nudity and at 16 I was slightly uncomfortable with that.  The movie starred Diane Lane and the Sex Pistols as well as a very young Laura Dern.  It was released on the indie and festival circuit as Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains and has enjoyed a cult following ever since, I’ve been told.  Could’ve been my big break.  Apparently Daryl Hannah was originally offered my role but she turned it down as well, so I’m in good company.

I watched it for the first time last night on some cable channel and I also TiVoed it in case one of my kids is interested to see what their mom might have been if she’d had the guts to pursue her dreams instead of worrying what the rest of the world would think.   I have to laugh it’s so bad!  Courtney Love bad!  Train wreck bad.  So bad it’s good… in an ‘I’m-having-a-mid-life-crisis-why-can’t-I-turn-back-the-hands-of-time’ kinda way.   If I had a do-over I’d take it.  And now you know…

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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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