Make every day count

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

"A lot of people think, 'oh, someday my path will start.'
But whatever's happening in this moment IS the path."- Marianne Williamson

I have always believed that people come into your life at a certain time or you are placed in a person's life at a certain time for a reason. I don't believe things are all mapped out, there is a certain balance of chaos but it's what you choose to do when you are in the moment that changes your course. Do you choose to make the moment count or do you choose to let the moment pass? Either choice will effect the outcome of your life.

Last year my daughter started school and has been blessed with the most wonderful friends. She would ask me to have play dates with one little girl in particular and I kept saying yes but then not sending a note to get the contact information. It wasn't on purpose, like many moms I just was busy and kept forgetting. In January of this year she was invited to this little girl's birthday party so I finally had the info! ! I met Clara's mom Vanessa and was instantly drawn into her warm smile and enthusiastic greeting. We chatted for a minute about the girls asking for a play date and it was finally nice to put a face to the little girl who's name peppered stories in each of our homes since the beginning of the school year. The party was at a busy indoor play space and other kids were arriving so we did the customary smile, said we'd chat in a bit and moved focus to our daughters. Vanessa greeting everyone with this incredible warmth  and the girls running off down the stairs to the play space.

There was a moment when a mutual friend who was at the party shared something with me and in that moment I made a choice. And I am forever better because of it.

That day changed many things for us. The girls have their play dates and Clara was the first of Amelia's friends to come for a sleepover. They joke that they are sisters and always ask to stay longer when it's time to head home. We've gotten to know Vanessa  and Jake. Jake has taught me what true grace under pressure, strength and courage look like.Vanessa shared her light with me and has taught me so much about resilience, strength, determination, love and courage. Her mantra was "Make every day count" and she really did.  She smiled through her pain, made every memory possible and brought positive energy to every situation.

11 month has passed since we first met. And it's so unfair that we don't get to have more time.

On November 6th, 2017, cancer took her, despite her incredible fight to stop it. A celebration of her life took place last week and it was one of the most beautiful events I have ever attended. The service took place in a beautiful location overlooking the water. It was standing room only and  people shared stories about how Vanessa impacted their lives and became part of their story. It was overcast and drizzly but we could all feel her light in that room.

I'm blessed to be part of her story and that she has become part of mine. Our girls share a sweet bond that I hope continues to grow over time. They love each other and I was so proud of Amelia last week for wanting to be with her friend. Amelia never left her side after the formal part of the celebration was over.

When we left the service, it was starting to rain and night was falling, Amelia sat quietly in the back of the car. As I tucked her into bed that night I asked her what she was thinking about in the car. She looked up at me and said "Mommy, you know Clara's mommy will always be with her and when Clara is sad I will hug her and make her happy." And I know that she will.

Today would have been her 33rd birthday. Her family had asked us to all think of her today and to spread kindness to honour her. Make today count. Make today better for someone else, share a smile, say hello, buy someone's coffee, ask someone how they are and take the time to be in the moment and present with them.

So Happy Birthday Ness! I know so many people will celebrate you again today and we will do our best to make ever day count.

February is starting off with a bang.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

I just a mom, trying to live the life I want. That life includes so many things but taking care of myself is never high on my priority list. 

I did a really interesting personal development activity this week. I had to ask 3 people what my strengths and my weaknesses were. So naturally I asked 6 people- then I asked 2 more. I was shocked when their answers were almost exactly the same as my own answers.

My strength: I genuinely care about other people and want to help others I do like to help others. It makes me feel good to see other people succeed, get  a hand up and improve their own wellbeing.  

My weakness: I put myself last and don't take care of myself often enough. I also got one "You never quit, it might take you awhile but you don't give up easy". Both of these statements are also true. Here I am almost 3 years into this coaching thing and I'm still going. I haven't quit because others are depending on me. But those people are also keeping me accountable and driving me to get over each and every obstacle that is in my way to reach my goals.

Self care is so important and, now that I have actually gotten some true sleep for the first time in about 5 years, I'm seeing how I NEED to practice what I preach and I need to take care of myself in order to help others.

So far in January I've crossed 2 things off my 2017 list of goals:
  • Committed to and finish a full 4 week program- Week 4 of Piyo is almost done!
  • Replenished our emergency account
I feel so much better! I'm down 4lbs (after months of gaining and then a major plateau this is HUGE for me), I am eating better, Piyo has been great for strengthening my foot and leg following that injury and I'm not super stressed and worrying about being able to deal with a financial emergency.  I feel ready to face February!

My BEautiful YOU challenge group has rocked January and I am so proud to have been able to help that group and now to be getting ready for my February group. This year I want to help even more people so I want you to ask yourself:

1. Are you comfortable in your own skin? Yeah well me neither!
2. Do you currently LOVE the body you are in? Working on it- I grew two babies with this body and I refuse to disrespect this body any longer.
3. Are you living the best possible life you could be right now? Nope but I'm on a path to get there!
4. Are you happy with your health and fitness right now? No.
5. Are you ready to MAKE A CHANGE!? YES!

**If you answered NO to questions 1-4 and YES to questions 5----I am ready to help you do this!

This is a journey and it isn't easy but it can be fun and it will change you. Contact me today if you are ready to get serious about creating a happier life.

New Year, New Me? Not quite

Monday, January 16, 2017

If you follow this blog (and thank you if you are still around) you'll have noticed consistency isn't my strong suit. My children have consistency, my husband has consistency- it's just that in managing to create consistency for everyone else,  my needs and efforts to be consistent with the things for me end up taking second place.

For the past 8 years and some odd months I have been taking care of other people. I take care of my children and my husband. I take care of the people I work with (comes with the territory of being an assistant). Sure I make efforts to take care of myself and for some periods I succeeded in taking good care of myself but I've NEVER made myself a priority. There has always been a tiny human who needed me, my family needing me, making sacrifices in my career to better meet the needs of my family, making sacrifices with my friends to meet the needs of my tiny humans, sacrificing my time to meet the needs of my employer, etc.....

In short there is a whole lot of sacrificing going on.

Not be sound like a martyr, there are many benefits to those sacrifices- happy, healthy kids, improved financial situation for my family, happy husband, happy friends, happy challengers...

Something occurred this weekend that made me really rethink this whole giving my all for everyone thing. It was a small thing but I felt really hurt by it, because I was doing my best to make everyone happy and still not miss out on something I wanted to be at. And I missed out despite stretching myself as thin as possible because another person didn't show me the same kind of consideration  that I have shown them time and time again. It made me think- while some sacrificing is worth it but maybe it's more than time for me to reclaim some respect and consideration for my needs.

I'm calling uncle on my whole situation. My cup is empty and it is totally impacting how I am able to care for my family. They are the one who suffer the most when the well is dry. Even the small deposits of love and adoration from the tiny humans aren't making their usual impact. 

People are depending on me. My family, my coworkers, my challengers, my customers. I am no good to anyone if I have nothing to give. So what is a mom to do?  The answer is quite simple in theory, harder in follow through:

1) Show myself some grace
2) Make a plan for change
3) Put the plan into action

The hardest of these three things is probably #1. I'm not good at showing myself grace. I'm hard on myself because I expect so much of myself. But I also expect so much of myself because I constantly fall into the trap of comparing myself to others. Sound familiar? Your life's journey is your own and while Top Coach's life looks perfect on social media I can assure you it isn't- now to just remember that when I'm falling into the comparison trap!

I'm great at making plans- follow through on plans for myself is the hard part. There are a few things in my life that I'm not happy about (that's a post for another day), so I'm focusing on one aspect at a time. I need to learn to ask for help, and ask for my needs to be put on the list. Morning workouts are a struggle. My workout needs to happen at night. That means the family routine is going to have to change- and I need to make peace with that. As a family, we'll need to look at the routine and make a change to ensure that I get 25 minutes to workout before 9pm.

Small steps will lead to bigger changes. 

Small steps will fill the cup. Filling the cup means everyone benefits.

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