Worthy!

worthyI had a friend in high school who was much younger than me. We became friends for our mutual love and adoration for Catcher in the Rye. Now that my seem silly and mundane, but there are different people in this world, and those of us who love this book to a fault are a unique breed.

We stopped talking when I left high school, I found out he left too… he pursued other learning opportunities and I found him by fluke on Twitter eons later, whilst he moved to DC because he wanted to be in the stratosphere the White House with the first President of colour. We chatted and then he moved back to Toronto. And we talked all the time. He left and became so worldly, and his writing was so lovely, he became the friend you beamed with pride that you had in your inner circle, because he was so smart.

Well, my friend Sameer taught me 1 thing so long ago about the New Year, that resolutions and intentions need a grounded space. They need to come from a word perhaps. And every year I allow myself a word.

This year that word is Worthy. It’s a complex word. From a person who likes to give, I am the world’s best gift giver and yet I suck at receiving gifts… because I struggle with my own self worth. — Crazy but true, how does a loud mouth like me feel anything she is worthy of all the things that come out of her mouth.

But it is true. And this year, I will focus on my worth. I always felt if you felt any sort of worth your EGO was getting in your way. And how can one be humble if they feel they are worth much more than the next person. You’d think this was a hard lesson in religious upbringing but it’s not… my guilt is not Christian guilt… it’s poor Greek girl guilt but that’s for another post.

But owning a business and getting accolades and headlines printed with our name made me feel not worthy. Like no big deal, anyone could do it.

People will say:

“You have smart and kind children.” — in my head, oh stop I am sure all other kids are the same.

“You make gorgeous pieces of jewelry”— in my head, I don’t know. It’s just what I came up with

“Your design aesthetic is awesome”— in my head, ohhh anybody could do it, it’s not that complicated.

Why? Because I don’t accept my worth. But this year I am going to own my worth, I am going to toot my own horn in the most humbling way of course but nonetheless I will toot it. I will learn to be a gracious receiver and say Thank you and not be uncomfortable when passed a compliment. I will push myself to do things I don’t usually do and do it with grace and worthiness.

I am I will believe myself WORTHY because life is short and I believe we are all here for a reason, God, the Universe, Science, brought us here at the exact moment we came with the unique genetic make up that makes us our unique selves for a purpose and what that fruits is worthy of feeling pretty darn proud of.

So maybe my word will give you pause, maybe you too can join the WORD train. Do you have a word, if so share. I hope my word gives you reflection and direction if you don’t. But I’d love to hear your words.

 

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New Year, new outlook!

Happy New Year!

Where does one start, 2018 was a mental excursion of pushing thoughts I may have ignored or didn’t want to come to terms with. I say this as a place of taking onus of all the things that occurred to me last year.

While my girls, grew and changed as well, all my girls are currently at school, which is new and different. We have no kids at home anymore… Woohoo! And they had birthdays and a bunch of firsts and tried new things, and so on. Watching them expand was not enough to push me out of the emotional state I was in.

Perhaps I was depressed, I wasn’t in the mind frame to call it that and never seeked any external help for it. I started the new year last year freshly healed from a huge surgery that changed my physicality in ways I could never imagine. I was optimistic. But it was a bad year for me, where I wanted to look at the positive the noise kept drowning all positivity out of me. The people I kept close ties with drowned me, I felt not good enough, I felt like I needed to be more, I felt judged, I allowed myself to feel judged. I gave all of my power away.

I was weak from things that happened, and I knew it. But I allowed the noise that others brought into my life to cloud my judgment, I wanted to be saved to the point I allowed others opinions and comments destroy me.

It has been 4 or so months now, that I have been grappling with my noise. I call it my own because there has been a ton of isolation on my end. And the noise is how I feel affected by other people’s actions. It’s noise that I allow to play in my head, I let it feed my soul in negativity. And I have talked at nauseum with it with various people. I have had people tell me to just let it go… which let’s be honest I am not a let it go person, I am a fix it person. I am here to fix it all, fix the problems, rationalize them to death, leading with a compass that good is better than evil. But this GOOD did me no good.

And then my birthday came, which it always does before Christmas, I didn’t want to do anything or want anyone around. I wanted to just be me and my thoughts and my girls. And my thoughts spoke to me.

Who am I but not a person of get back up and try again? Who am I but the girl who sees change as natural and human? Why do I not let myself be me? I like doing the unknown, I like testing myself, I am the girl most people say you have balls. You are brave. I watch you do things I would never have the courage to do the stuff you do. And the truth is I do it not because of some courage syndrome but because I have always been taught you make do with change, it’s not scary, it’s just change.

So 2019, bring it. I already have so much happening already that might be insane to people, or might make others ponder for years to come. But I have done this.

  • I ran for City Council.
  • I started a business while pregnant with baby #3
  • I flipped a whole house pregnant, then with a newborn in tow.
  • I took my 4 babes across North America, lived the California dream for a short time

I have done stuff, lots of stuff. I was not scared. I am no longer scared. I am unafraid. I am unabashed. I see 2019. I see it with all it’s might. I see that it could make or break me and I say bring it. There is a light and if it is not in that tunnel… I will be the light I need to light my own path.

Happy 2019!

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Lea on this date 2 years ago. Living our fullest before heading back to Toronto

Social Girl lost… now found!

I get a ton of flack from people I know about how much time I spend on social media. How much emphasis I give my social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Today I have been on Twitter 10 years.

What people never understood is how much I owe to the power of the internet and the social media landscape. When I decided to try and understand why I wasn’t getting pregnant I found like minded women on Babycenter; these women now 12 years later are some of my best friends in the whole wide world.

Then it became Facebook. Which was fun, because I was connecting with the people I already knew but had lost touch with. All my school peers started creeping up and everyone became a click away.

And then I had 2 babies within a year of each other and most people don’t seem to understand the emotional or physical stress “Irish Twins” have on a person. I signed on to Twitter… I lingered for months and then I broke my arm with 2 babies in tow and could barely move and felt very alone. And one late night I logged into my twitter and I have been quoted saying it but…

Twitter changed my life!

But I was severely depressed, exhausted and lacking a decent shower. I got on and I finally was home. I made friends, tons of them. They encouraged meet ups, lunches, buttertart adventures and so much more.

A group of us became the Toronto Twitter scene, but I was now making friends in Vancouver, California and everywhere else. I had conversations with celebrities and start my blog Mommydoings. I was now being invited to parties, launches, meeting fashion designers and such.

And then I started my label and got off Twitter, didn’t think my big mouth was good for business which seemed so insane as I met my PR agent on Twitter. But I believed a narrative that didn’t meld with who I was and turned myself off.

Since returning to Toronto I felt alone again and needed to connect… and Twitter came calling. It was fast, so many people not as connected as the first time I was on there but slowly and surely I started finding others who were also slowly creeping back to the most conversational platform out there.

While Instagram is fun, I don’t get to be concerned about my neighbours, my fellow humans… not talking Politics or having open conversations. I needed like minded people engaged and communicating. Sure there is a heavily troll presence on Twitter but I am a pretty big loud mouth who doesn’t get intimidated much.

So today on my Twitterversary! I just want to say; find people who make you engaged, who don’t need to sugarcoat life for you and hey, get a bit uncomfortable meeting new people can be scary but can be so satisfying.

Long hair diaries…

I loved my long hair as a teen, as a child my parents very much encouraged me to cut my hair. I sported a bob many years.

But hair in our home is always up to the beholder. I don’t recommend, force or coerce any kind of hair cuts. One year my second wanted short… we chopped it off. But long hair is the norm and it has caused us unnecessary anxiety.

Every year we have dealt with lice since my first 2 entered school. It has been the bane of my existence. Treatments, special nit combs, tea tree oils and so on… it has been a study in patience.

This year is the first year we had 4 heads at school… 4 heads that might bring lice home. It’s only December there have been a few instances at the school and not just a specific grade.20181203_152412181276050.jpg

I no longer wanted to deal with it. We spent the last week getting our “lice on” at our local lice squad; been checked a few times to guarantee we are lice free. And while we have been going to lice squad for education on lice and a very specific lice brush; it was nice to learn so fun new tidbits.

Here are some Myths on lice I want to debunk:

  1. Lice jump. (This is not true, lice only slow crawl looking for warm shelter and food sources.)
  2. Dirty people have lice. (Nothing can be further from the truth, lice like an unobstructed hair shaft clean and easier to eat.)
  3. Lice eggs off the head will breed a lice. (Wrong!!! Lice eggs which are called nits must be on a hair shaft to grow, it feeds off the proteins so leaving it means it can no longer grow and hatch.)
  4. Over the counter treatments work. (Maybe in other parts of the world, but the pesticides in Canadian pharmacy counters no longer work on North American lice.)
  5. Dying your hair kills lice. (False… the only thing that gets rid of lice is picking out.)
  6. Children carry lice. (Big fat No! Teens are the most common culprits as of late, no one checks their heads, they don’t know what to look for also teens are far more affectionate than their younger counterparts.)

So if your kids get lice find a local lice removal company, speak to them about ridding your family of these pests and don’t feel guilt ridden. You are definitely not alone and don’t let me to make you feel that way.  And funnily enough… welcome to the club.

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Breaking up is hard to do…

IMG_20160724_191428I recently went through a huge break up… oh wait not with my husband.

It appears I had a break up with a friend who I had known for over 30+ years. It may not make sense that I call it a break up but it reminded me of the dating scene my single friends explain as of late.

I have many friends come and go and without naming names, the friend who stopped talking to me after she admitted to my husband that her new boyfriend was a married man, all while I was putting baby to sleep one night. She said it so nonchalantly… and never called or walked back into my home since. I never got to comment, she had no idea how I felt about the whole thing.

We’ve all lost the friend who started dating a new person who everyone hates, only for them to think the dating partner is so fantastic. I don’t fault the person for following their hearts. People do that, it’s normal.

I stopped talking to a school friend who had her own PR firm because when I wanted to launch my own jewelry line she looked at me like I was the biggest loser going and so undeserving, I didn’t even realize she was putting my down until someone asked why I let her speak to me in the manner she did. Not friends now, Jewelry line was a PR dream.

But I digress, I had a break up with one of my closest most confidante friend. I couldn’t tell you why. I mourned our relationship really, really bad. At first the text messages weren’t being returned. Then she didn’t RSVP or come to my kid’s birthday party. Then it was radio silent and I left a message that said something like: WTF? What did I do? Do you not want to be friends, I know your busy we all are busy but this feels more personal… silence. I chalked it up to she is going through something and she doesn’t need me now to help cope. Another month went by… nothing. And then I realized she blocked me from social media and all my bells went off.

Maybe I see social media as this foreign identity, but my Facebook was a place where I kept everyone who was ever connected to me, connected to me. It was like the Rolodex of my life. To delete someone off my Facebook would mean I wanted nothing to ever do with that person, that they caused me or my family some imminent harm.

So to me… this felt really deep and personal. She blocked me and my husband from her Instagram. I was no longer privy to her life. I was cut off. Not only had she ghosted me, she totally deleted me from her life. 30 years of friendship gone because of no clue. There was no fight, no tantrum, no bad words exchanged, our children loved each other, our husbands were friends. We had been there for one and other in ways most friends don’t ever get a chance to share their lives with friends. Just wiped away like garbage.

I knew if I called nothing much would come from my avoided texts or messages. I spent sleepless nights, anxiety filled afternoons talking to other people… asking for advice. How could I fix it. I went into attack mode to find answers, spoke to mutual friends who had no interest in helping heal the divide. Who said “we never mention you”… like somehow that was supposed to heal the pain of being avoided.

And then I called… from a daughter’s phone, I called and she picked up. I said a lot. She said I was too much, too big of a personality. I said is this how our friendship ends, she said I would get an email explaining what she was feeling. 3 months later… nothing. So I mourned for the first 2 months. Many people telling me the letter wasn’t coming; I refused to believe it. I refused to believe what was the greatest friendships the world had seen could just disappear. But it did and I was at a loss.

No longer at a loss, I have to learn that I value friendships very differently than most. I don’t hold much expectation of my friends because I also don’t like expectations put on me. I just expect you to care about me enough to say Hey, to curiously ask how I am doing and when you know, feel happy that I am happy or caring that I am hurting.

Maybe it’s my grandiose personality, maybe my stoic demeanour on expectations that people just be good people to one and other. Maybe she said it when she said my personality is to big, she didn’t want me involved.—- I want to apologize for that, I want to apologize for my personality… but I am not sure I should. I don’t want to apologize for being me. I don’t want to hold on to relationships where I am too much for a person. Where my dreams are too big, my goals too crazy, my reality too colourful…. I like me. I don’t want to change me to keep relationships with people who I no longer like the person I always was. My high school friend I reconnected with said she saw my old spunk from High school come… I liked that girl. She isn’t going anywhere. And not sure which of my many beautiful friends who posted you don’t have to dim your light for others to feel bright.

I guess I just wanted people to know this oversharer has feelings, and maybe it’s in not hiding those feelings that I overshare. But I plan of sharing them with people who don’t think I am too much. I am taking a deep dive look into the people I surround myself and doing a clean sweep of relationships that are not mutually beneficial and being ok with them falling to the waste side. But ladies, do yourself a favour, if you don’t enjoy being ghosted by a guy, don’t ever do it to a girlfriend.

Thanksgiving.

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Today, is an especially intricate day for our family; clearly we are a Canadian family… so we celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving in October with the rest of our country men.

When in L.A. we even found a diner 65 minutes away from our home doing Canadian Thanksgiving with Tim Horton’s coffee, Nanaimo bars and maple syrup pie (which makes more sense because they were from Montreal). But for the first time we got to spend an American Thanksgiving in the USA.

Now, I did Black Friday shopping once when a family member was doing college in Buffalo. But Turkey, decor and trimming was new and I was excited. Now it was more—- even more exciting because when my sis and I were old enough we started declaring American Thanksgiving as a celebration we would dedicate to ourselves. We would not go into work or school, stay in front of the TV watching the Macy’s Day Parade and eat something sinful.

My daughter’s got a 4 day weekend and we got to experience it like real Americans. Though we did it alone and far from family it was so wonderful. My mom arrived the week later.

Tomorrow will be the first American Thanksgiving my girls will miss, they will all be at school. I will record the Parade and Dog show to watch with them over the weekend. But it’s feeling a little bittersweet this year. This might be the last time I let my girls miss another Thanksgiving.

I know Thanksgiving is a hot topic as of late, but to our family it has always been more about being Thankful for what the earth, the Universe and God allowed us to experience… and our first official thanksgiving in the US was full of gratitude, grateful to new friends, new neighbours, trees full of fresh produce, views we could only see in magazines and memories we could fill books up for a lifetime.

So today on American Thanksgiving… we just wanted to say Thank you. For the memories we made, the ones we are going to make and love to our friends south of the border who daily feed our souls even from afar.

 

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