When it rains, it pours


lake and rainI’m sitting in my sunroom looking out at the rain gently fall on the lake. It’s been a tough week on all fronts–work, home life, worrying about the health of loved ones and challenges at every turn.

One of those weeks where you wonder what more can life throw at you.

It can seem almost overwhelming at times. What do you do to get through when life pours down on you?

During the last three days in Toronto, when I spent more than 12 hours in traffic shuttling back and forth between work and Joseph Brant Hospital, I tried to snatch a few precious moments where I could to forget life’s worries.

A short walk in the rain. Treating myself to a frothy overpriced McDonald’s latte.

I came home, hugged my children, slipped into my hot tub, then curled up with my daughters to watch a movie. My worries were still there, but I was home, and with the people I loved, and all of a sudden my problems didn’t seem as insurmountable.

This week’s #HappyAct is to find a few moments of happiness when life pours down on you. Here’s to a better week.

Make some new daytime BFFs

I have three new best friends. Their names are Kelly, Michael and Ellen.

I’ve spent every morning with my new best friends this week. That’s because I haven’t left the house. After going on about how much I love winter, I came down with pneumonia.

I’ve never had pneumonia before. I expected to be tired, but I didn’t expect to spend most of my waking hours lying down. The fatigue was unbelievable. After twenty or thirty minutes of even sitting up, I was exhausted.

As the week went on, I wondered what the heck I was going to blog about after such a dismal week. Sure, there were a few highlights. Watching the squirrels and birds at the feeders on the back deck. Sharing every couch and bed with my two big dopey dogs. Witnessing my kids’ after school routine where they burst through the door, and then proceeded to rampage through the cupboards for snacks. (One day Clare ate a chocolate pudding, a hot dog, then a bowl full of pickles in that order).

I came to the conclusion that the highlight of my week was watching morning talk shows. My new BFFs became Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan and Ellen Degeneres.

Here are some of my observations after watching a week of morning talk.

  • Everyone dances. Whether you’re the host, a guest or in the TV audience, at some point, you’ll be expected to dance
  • 99% of the studio audience is women, which begs the question, what do men watch in the daytime? (guys feel free to leave a comment to enlighten me)
  • It’s not enough to just talk with celebrities any more—you have to get them to do some kind of stunt or play a game
  • You can win lots of free stuff
  • Every show has its own cool mug. I think I might start a new collection–a new mission in life

This week’s #HappyAct is to grab your favourite mug, curl up on the couch and watch a daytime talk show. Make some new daytime BFFs. And Kelly, Michael and Ellen—let’s do lunch—call me.


Take a long winter’s nap

Mother and child napping
Clare and I curled up for a nap on our bed, with Murphy looking on

I love sleep, so I hate this weekend when we lose an hour’s sleep. Personally, I don’t understand why we need Daylight Savings Time. This Hour Has 22 Minutes did a great spoof on the time change this week portraying a sleep-deprived Saskatchewaner.

Winter and sleep just seem to go together. One of the greatest luxuries in the winter is curling up for a long winter’s nap. It’s just so decadent, lying under the fluffy duvet, looking out at the trees while the afternoon suns streams through the window and letting your eyes slowly close as you drift off to glorious slumber.

I wasn’t much of a napper until I had kids when it became a survival tactic. My husband comes from a long line of nappers. Growing up on a farm, they’d be up early doing chores, have their main meal at lunch, then have a short afternoon siesta before going back to the barn.

In today’s hectic age, I think napping has become a coping mechanism. Last week was a perfect example. I was travelling on business and hadn’t slept at all the first night in the hotel. On Friday night, I was up in the middle of the night, and by Saturday I was an exhausted wreck. A quiet day at home and a long winter’s nap was just what the doctored ordered to make me feel like myself again.

This week’s Happy Act is to take a long winter’s nap. You’ll need it after losing an hour’s sleep and if you’re lucky, when you wake up, maybe winter will be gone for good.

Wear fuzzy socks

Fuzzy socksWhen the cold weather hits (and let’s face it, it’s hit hard this winter), there’s nothing better than to curl up, hibernate and put on a pair of fuzzy socks.

Hands down, fuzzy socks are in my books the best textile invention of the 21st century. They just don’t keep your feet warm. They flood your feet with waves of comfy softness, making you feel warm and cozy all over.

My mother-in-law was a Victorian Order of Nurses foot nurse. She always says take care of your feet. It makes sense. The average person will walk 115,000 miles in a lifetime, four times around the earth. During an average day of walking, the force on your feet can total hundreds of tons, which is roughly the same as a fully loaded cement truck. So it only makes sense to take care of your feet and keep them happy.

If you’re going for sheer warmth, stick with wool, but if you want an itch-free, cushy ride that will make you warm and fuzzy all over, wear fuzzy socks.

So this week’s Happy Act is to take care of your feet, make them happy and wear fuzzy socks. What favourite item of clothing makes you happy?

The only All Year’s Resolution you’ll ever need to make

2014 imageI’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. They may spur us into action, but usually after a few weeks or months they fade into oblivion and we are back into our old habits and woefully aware of our failure to keep our promises for yet another year.

So instead of making a New Year’s Resolution, why not make an All Year’s Resolution? A resolution to tell the people you love that you love them every day.

You see, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 12 and died when I was 19.  To say it changed my adolescence is a bit of an understatement. I never went through that phase of not wanting to be with my parents and I’m dreading the day when my two girls become teenagers and they don’t want to spend time with me.

Even though my Mom had cancer, I lived a normal teenage existence, but I also spent a lot of time with my Mom, playing board games, driving her to appointments and helping to take care of her. One of the things we talked about and committed to very early on in her disease was to tell each other we loved each other every day because we were painfully aware that some day, she would be gone.

I’ve tried to practice this philosophy throughout my life. And while it was difficult when both my parents died, I can honestly say there was nothing left unsaid. I still miss them dearly still to this day, and am sad to think my children never got to meet or know these wonderful people, but I have no regrets about our time together or how we felt about each other.

Life is short. The people you love might not be there tomorrow, so don’t leave anything left unsaid. This week’s Happy Act is to make an All Year’s Resolution to tell the people in your life you love them every day. Are you making any other New Year’s Resolutions? Share them. Me? Probably the same ones I make every year: eat a bit healthier and exercise more (but this time I have a game plan—wish me luck!)