Thursday, January 31, 2013

He Knows The Key To Success...

Well, it’s official. David is moving home. Since he’s made the decision, a couple of full time/year round employment options (in his field) have presented themselves, which keeps him progressing in the direction he ultimately wants to go. I believe this was meant to be. 

David doing his thing as published in NOW Magazine.
Taken: December 13th, 2012
Hang on a second. Let’s back up. 

When Dave was home at Thanksgiving, I encouraged him to make an employment change. Out of respect for GOOB I won’t discuss the details, except to say, at that time he decided not to. Rather than push my point, I continued to unconditionally support. 

A very rough autumn resulted in lots of telephone support as well as a GTA road trip for some much needed "family time". What was our biggest accomplishment that day? He let me buy him a new winter coat. Seriously, he was being far too proud, and it was really pissing me off!

Our boost that day gave him just enough energy to skate into the Christmas break; which is when he announced (at his own accord) that he was ready to make a change. It was wholeheartedly accepted and expected, that once we were back from our Christmas trip, David would transition home.

Well, turns out a week of fun and frolic in the sun (combined with a couple of weeks of solid Muskoka rest) had him return to his apartment and the very job I had hoped he would leave behind months earlier. Upon his return to hell this time, I asked him to make me a deal; call me no matter what, ask for help if needed, and if things didn’t change by the first of April, sincerely entertain a change! He  promised and said “I love you Mom…” A week or so ago, he ultimately decided he was ready.

I know it has been very hard for him to realize that sometimes you need to take a step back and look at the big picture in order to move forward. You know what I mean. Haven't you ever been so busy going through the motions, that you don't bother to try to process what's happening, so the utter dysfunction just keeps perpetuating itself? For him, something finally clicked, and he took a step back.

Because he has done that, I see this as an excellent opportunity for him. I see it as stepping stone to bigger and better things. He's seen personal success first hand, therefore he knows that he can accomplish anything, if he puts his mind to it.

I can't wait for his smile
to return for good!
Taken: December 29th, 2012
This journey solidifies that he is not afraid of a lot of hard work. It's not that he needed to prove anything to us, my joy comes because he has proven it to himself!

Speaking from experience? THAT is the key, that will open every single door, every single time!

I am so very proud of him. Not just because he understands my philosophy about hard work but because he's lived it.

Sky's the limit GOOB.... Don't look back!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Walk A Mile In Peter's Shoes? Never!

I can easily admit that I can walk into a room of 500 strangers and be comfortable. Not only am I very comfortable, but I can openly be myself. For whatever reason, I am at ease around people, and I have been from a very young age. Then there was today.

I’ve had something personal hanging over my head for a long time. I have wanted to deal with it, yet for various reasons, ended up dragging my feet with its closure. It goes back to the height of my large land development phase, so let’s run with the fall of 2006 for all intense “time frame” purposes. Needing it dealt with, I looked outside my inner circle for help. 

I'd met someone a number of years ago, and I unexpectedly bumped into him again this summer. It’s not like we really ever knew each other; heck when I approached him for help, he had no idea who the hell I was. What’s that saying “you never get a second chance at a first impression"? Details aside; I reminded him who I was, told him what I needed, and he agreed to help. Again, we arrive at today.

Peter, how fitting is it that you were with me at the start of my journey and standing beside me at the very end of it? This afternoon you called my writing “eloquent” yet my flair for the written word pale in comparison to what you have accomplished. I am truly in awe (and equally amazed) at how you treat every single person around you. 

My Cottage Walk In w/ Puddin' (front) & Dot (rear)
Taken: January 6th, 2013
I mean it when I say you are a remarkable person. Always willing to help as well as unconditionally willing to go that extra mile. Respect is earned, and you most definitely have mine. 

Thank you so very much. 

OH, before I forget, all my best to you on your journey with Chester!

I have attached a pic of Puddin’ and Dot. You know what they say? Always nice to put a face (I mean fur coat) to a name !!!

Take Care My Friend.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Simply Because I Wanted To Share

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 42 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written."

Written by Regina Brett (age 90), 
Cleveland , Ohio.

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short – enjoy it..
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.
9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
10. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
11. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
12. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it...
14 Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
15. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
16. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
17. It's never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
19. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
20. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
21. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
22. The most important sex organ is the brain.
23. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
25. Always choose life.
26. Forgive but don’t forget.
27. What other people think of you is none of your business.
28. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
30. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does..
31. Believe in miracles.
32. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
33. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
34. Your children get only one childhood.
35. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
36. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
37. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
38. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.
39. The best is yet to come...
40. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
41. Yield.
42. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Oh Those Mike's Milk Days!

So yesterday I was atop the "blah, blah, blah gotta keep moving forward" soapbox and what the hell do I go and do this morning? Climbed into an old High School scrapbook. Where did that find me in an instant? The past! Geeesh, I'm such a Rhondi!

Mike Milk on Manitoba Street
As you can imagine my walk down memory lane quickly drifted from my hairstyle and instantly focused on all the young people in my photos. 

Because a lot of them are on my Facebook, I scanned and sent out personal copies. Rhett, Henik, Mike, Allen H and Connie all received copies. Tom, Tim and Allan R have since passed so I just admired those ones fondly.

One person that was a big part
of my High School experience
(to which I have absolutely no idea whatever happened to him) was Andy. 

First and foremost I have to start by saying that the one thing I remember most about Andy was that he hated my mother with a passion and she knew it. Why? Because she felt exactly the same way about him!

Andy R. Working the same shift (as we usually did)
Taken: 1982-83ish
Andy & I met outside the Mike's Milk store on Baysville Rd the first week he moved to town. I remember the day, it was the August before I went into Grade 10. 

We became instant friends and continued working together in the two local stores until the summer I graduated from High School.

I never dated him, because let's face it, I wasn’t allowed. In hindsight though, that's probably why he chased me so hard after high school. Just to piss my mother off! 

Actually, if I remember correctly, we never really connected in that way. Every once and a while throughout 1984 we’d go to the edge but there just wasn’t a single stitch of natural chemistry. Besides, we were best friends, and the thought of it was just really kind of weird. It's a long time ago but I think the friendship came to a close when I started dating Tim. I had dated by now, but Tim was my first true love, and first really serious boyfriend. He was five years my senior.

You know, Andy hasn't crossed my mind in decades, yet I think of Tim all the time. 

We'd never lost touch. In fact, I had chatted with him for about an hour in the grocery store, just three weeks before he passed. I stopped by his grave last spring because some days I find it hard to process that he's gone. Once again proving that life is short.

That said, if anyone happens to run into Andy feel free to tell him I say hello. Oh, and don't forget to mention "that my mother was  REALLY glad the day he left town." I'll bet you fifty bucks he holds his middle finger up to the sky which will immediately be followed by some very severe profanity.

Seriously... She and he shared a strong outspoken bond that way!

Let's just say I completely understand why my
mother never liked him!
Taken: 1984

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Life Lesson #457 I've Learned

If there is one thing this silly little blog has taught me, it’s that I am not alone. I have friends of friends of friends that have shared; and I have had people that I have never met reach out, email and comment. What started out as a simple coping mechanism for all the negative energy in my life, has evolved into something I look forward to doing.

For lack of a better reference, it’s mine. Kind of like my flower gardens were when the kids were small. I'd always look forward to some "me time" when I could work away at them in the evening. It was fun. All season long, I would be changing it up. Inserting colour and contour; so at the end of it all, I provided a delightful visual reward, along the front of our home for all to see.

I remember that time in my life fondly. Seems like forever ago, probably because it was. That was then, and this is now. Once again reminding myself that I can’t go back, I can only go forward. Lord knows, I am the first to raise my hand and acknowledge that is easier said than done.

Lessons Learned In Life!
Why? Part and parcel because in the blink of an eye the past can become the present. Which in turn starts the vicious circle over and over again. 

Once jolted back, you inevitably arrive at the “I have to figure out what I really want” card. I hate that card. 

That card, combined with the "is this as good as it gets" question, has caused me more personal angst than I care to admit.

If there’s one thing the last couple of years have taught me is that at the end of it all you realize it just isn’t about you. After all is said and done, it becomes crystal clear that it’s actually the opposite. It's more about everything and everyone around you, that’s what makes up your life. 

Though I understand that one has to make themselves a priority, there is no need to shut everyone out of your life in doing so.  I am a firm believer that it doesn't have to be lonely. After all, you can't change who you are and what you need to be happy. That why it's called "personal happiness.

It's a journey, a fact finding mission per say, to which I am completely convinced that no matter how hard you look you'll never find a Hollywood or fairy tale ending. That "grass is always greener" thought process? Has a three month euphoric effect max! 

At the end of it all, even if you’re lucky enough to find a tower and a damsel; you’re still going wake up in the morning, there’s going to be shit to be done, bills to be paid, and no matter whom you choose she'll end up bitching at you just the same. That's just the harsh reality at hand.

I remember reading somewhere that people don’t always need advice. Sometimes all they need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand them. You my friend, know better than most, that I am ME. How crazy is it that I know you'd find me remiss if I didn’t literally cover off all four!

With number one officially checked off my list; my hand, my ear, and my heart are waiting. I will always love you and Good Luck. 

I hope you find what you've been searching for...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Seems I Have Reached The Middle

Mother never told me there'd
be days like these!
I was telling a friend this week that “when you can’t sleep at night it’s because you’re awake in someone else’s dream.” I joked that "you can imagine my surprise when all along I thought I was waking up because I thought I was having hot flashes!"

Joking aside, last night was awful. I didn’t sleep a wink. I had to physically get up twice because my entire body was drenched. It’s unlike anything I have every experienced before. Lack of sleep leading to exhaustion, combined with some unexpected anxiety, had me sick to my stomach all morning.

As a result, I missed my morning appointment and I have spent the day watching movies. I don’t have an appetite and I have been "flashing" on and off all day. I don’t have a fever but it’s late in the day and I am still unable to sleep.

I'm lethargic, irritable, as well as emotional. I can feel it. I hate it and I just want it to stop!

I haven’t really researched what is going to happen to my body over the next couple of years because let’s face it; I don’t feel middle aged, and I certainly don’t act it. Today has been a bit of a wake-up call telling me that this is something that is officially knocking at my door and I most definitely have zero control over it.

Truth? This morning I was actually wondering if my summer of self-discovery in 2012 was just my body ramping up in preparation to start shutting down. The thought of that does worry me. I know I am not ready, but if I am honest with myself, I know over the last year there have been certain subtle changes. There have been some physical changes as well as some changes in mindset. All I suspect are part of the process. I guess I best start reading to make it as bearable as possible.

I watched four movies while tucked into the love seat at the end of the bed today. Hope Springs is about a couple that go into marriage counselling. Something's Gotta Give is about finding love later in life. And Something to Talk About is about marriage in fidelity and how a couple over comes it. The last was 40 Year Old Virgin.

The final had the greatest impact on me from where I am at this very point in my life. Poor Steve Carell. He waited an entire 40 years to get laid; only to marry someone and he's a minute and a half away from a mid-life crisis, which is to be directly followed my menopause. AND she made his sell all his shit on EBay!

POOR Bastard! That movie isn't a comedy. It could very well be the single biggest tragedy of this century.

Just keepin' it real Peeps...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Who Knew? Zack Knew That's Who!

Let me start by clarifying something very important. That fifteen years ago I would have never anticipated this happening but I have evolved into a very structured person.

I honestly wish that I was still spontaneous but I am not. I use to be; matter a fact I have witnesses to those very fun times. I guess it just seems as I have gotten older, I have folded like a lawn chair.

That said, I had a really great day.

Not because I was expecting a "bad day" I just expected a “same shit, different day Monday in January in Muskoka" is all. As I sit here this evening, I am pleased to report that my day was anything but boring. It was genuinely pretty amazing.

Not only did I get to chat with my two favourite phone friends (they know who they are) but I spent my lunch hour with one of my very closest friends. NO, Smartie didn’t fly in from Whitehorse for lunch but this was a close second.

Zack Smith and I have been friends for what feels like forever. We both have a mutual love of golf and we are very like minded; our spouses are very similar in nature, our children are the same ages, so naturally it's a great friendship fit. Only problem? Not a single one of us is spontaneous!

I should mention that as a couple they've been front of mind this past weekend. They just lost their five year old purebred dog to leukemia last Friday; and just like Tony and I, their dogs have aided in the coping with their empty nest.

Then, out of the blue, he text me this morn and invited me for lunch. It’s not that a lunch invite is abnormal for me but in all this time that has never happened. Honestly? I almost said no; because let's face it, I'd brought my Monday leftover lunch to work. Staring at my phone, I realized that something must be amiss for him to unexpectedly invite me to lunch. Simply because he's far more structured than I'll ever be.

Spontaneity aside, I can`t help but wonder if my lunch invite came because he knows we have always had the ability to make each other laugh. True to form; for an entire lunch hour we were in the total comfort of our friendship. We laughed and laughed and laughed. 

I love to laugh. I need to laugh. How cool was our spontaneous euphoria? VERY! Hope we do it again soon. I wonder if he'll give me more notice next time?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hey Dad… Guess What I Found?

Thanks again Habitat Restore!
Taken: January 12th, 2013
After my Mom died, that following summer Dad and I packed his house up of any extras he felt he wouldn't use. Because he wasn’t ready to donate the items, we loaded up his car, and shipped the boxes to the lake.

The next time I arrived at Camp, I noticed he had personally saved the gold painted Petro Canada Olympic glasses from a life in storage. He had neatly placed all of them on the shelf with all of the other mismatched glassware. 

From that very moment, those glasses became the ‘Official Holder of Rhondi’s Camp Spirits’. Over the years, one by one they slowly broke, until there was only one left.

When Dad died, we had his girlfriend help herself to whatever she wanted, as they had been partners on and off for almost 20 years. I remember being emotional when she took MY very last glass. 

I mean that in jest. We never really noticed that the other used the same glass until there was only one left. So you can imagine those last few summers at Camp had that particular glass on the hot seat.

It started late one afternoon when I spied her pouring herself a glass of beer. In the whiniest voice imaginable, and at the top of my lungs, I yelled "Daaaaaaaaaddddddy! She's using my glass!!  We all howled with laughter. That moment in itself was the start of it all, it was on! I really do recall being disappointed at the discovery it was gone; but the matter a fact was, it was just as much hers, as it was mine. 

When the Habitat Restore opened here a few years ago I was given hope. I’d see several styles of the same series of glasses being donated but never the one that I used to love at Poppa’s Camp. I am almost embarrassed to admit that my quest had me check the Restore every single Saturday morning for over a year.

My hard work paid off because I eventually hit the mother load. I was estatic when I finally discovered a set of four of MY glasses in amazing condition. Two stayed home and two made their way to Orillia Lake. The two at home suffered a brutal death by dishwasher so one was borrowed from the cottage. The third dishwasher homicide had only the one at the cottage alive and well. It too eventually got broken. That was the summer of 2010.

I stopped going to the Restore every Saturday but when I did happen to stop in I would always check. Last Saturday there was only one. It was very well worn; and by its faded gold logo, I can tell it had survived a life in the dishwasher, only to find its way to me.

I know it's a silly story but it's true. Every time I open the glassware cupboard and see it, or pick it up and move it, I'll think of my Dad. I can hear his voice. The sound of his laughter. Most of all I hear the shuffle of his feet in his slipper two sizes too large.

I have tears in my eyes as I type. All over a silly little glass. Who knew? My entire family that's who!

Jaysen, Jukebox, Loretta (using MY glass), Goob,
Poppa, Shannyn & Tony with Staccs
Taken: August 1995

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Weight Loss Comes from Everywhere

This time last year? I was hugging a loveable bed hogging beagle with great anticipation of a very luxurious island vacation. Where am I at this year? I tend to spend the majority of my time chastising a very destructive yellow lab pup, and this week my tentative island vacation time was cancelled.

OK, in The Bossman's defence, cancelled is a strong word. Postponed is more like it. Luckily he and I discovered the conflict before any of "the very hard earned money" he pays me was ever spent! Said conflict, combined with the fact that I have no desire to fly out in the next minute and a half, resulted in my choice to postpone. 

With travel front of mind (for whatever reason) I was looking at the bazillion pictures I took from last year’s vaycay. I had some very mixed emotions when I returned home. That said, just like anything, anyone's perspective can change with time.

I was 20lbs heavier in 2012. I am 500lbs lighter in 2013.
Taken: February 27th, 2012
When it comes to my trip to Jamaica last year; my opinion today is not what it was a year ago, I know it shifted again six months ago, and after looking at my pictures this week... again it's further evolved. 

I remember being wound tighter than a top when the plane landed and it took me more than four days to decompress. (A series of upsetting emails had me pre-occupied and as a result I couldn't sleep.) 

That said, in chatting with an electronic friend this week, I was adamant that I didn't want to return to Jamaica. Not because I didn't love the island, the people, and the experience; but  because I didn't want to become complacent. So many places to go. So many people to meet. You know the deal. 

After thinking about it further, I know that I really do want to return. I want to return to the island without the weight of the world on my shoulders. I want to return without the need to have all the answers by the time I return. Most of all, I want to return with a true desire to unconditionally enjoy my surroundings. I will promise to leave work behind as well we any bullshit at home. I'll simply board the plane in a sundress and flip flops and kick some serious ass!

It's such a cliché when one says that "hindsight is always 20/20" in this case it is. I'm not going to blame my eyesight but it appears in the last couple of years I'd developed a squint. At first I thought it was just old age. Turns out I just needed to change my focus.

Peace Out Negil. You haven't seen the last of me yet!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lights Camera Action!

Puddin' checking out some cottage movie options...
Taken: January 6th,2013
Believe it or not, I am an "extreme" movie buff. I love to watch and collect movies but most of all I love to talk movies with a like minded addict.

That's a strong statement but I think I come by my obsession honestly. All these years later I can still remember my first movie experience. My mother took me to see Disney's The AristoCats. I was five. 

From a very young age my mother had me well versed in the different movie genres, so I guess it's  only fitting that I received my very first kiss in the Norwood Theatre.

To be clear, those were the days when the Norwood was a "classic movie theatre." You know, the fact that you could hear the film rolling in the projector, combined with the obvious, which is it wasn't three individual bowling alleys!

Anyway, when my Dad accepted a job in Muskoka in 1972, we had the Norwood and a grand total of two and a half channels on the television set for movie entertainment

When more television channels eventually followed, TVO (TV Ontario) was by far my mothers favourite. Elwy Yost & Saturday Night at The Movies, immediately became "our thing". I still remember seeing North By Northwest & Roman Holiday for the very first time, and as a result to this day I can never resist watching a black and white film.

I have no problem admitting that no matter how old I get, I will always love to curl up in bed and watch certain movies.  My favourite flicks just seem to comfortably wrap their arms around me and make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. They always have... and I know they always will.

How do I reward the unconditional love my flicks give me? Gifting! Be it a movie ticket, a video tape, a DVD or a download; Santa, the Easter Bunny, as well as birthday parties have always had my children tarred to the same walking stick I carry. They are movie buffs.

I find it interesting that and just like their mother, and my mother before me, we all get hooked on (and sucked into) a really great story!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Rhondi & David's Excellent Adventure

Well, the text came in late morning. The Seven Sisters Islands were supposedly still frozen; if I wanted/had to get over there, air boat was my only option. I called my quirky sidekick (on this mission) Dave, and together we hatched a plan. 

Photo Cred totally goes to Dave Kaye and his extra long reach!
Taken: January 13th, 2013
Neither of us had ever travelled by air boat so I was quite comfortable admitting that I was a bit nervous. 

Nerves may have been the case at the pier but they totally disappeared once I was comfortably tucked in and we pulled into open water.

Two words? VERY COOL!

Because the sound of the engine's so loud we had to wear headsets. I am sure they are meant to double as hearing protection, because you could instantly hear and feel the power of this yellow machine.

Once we were moving I was trying to listen to the guys talk about the mechanics of this neat thingamayjiggy I was moving in; it's unique versatility (giving Chris and his wife the ability to live on an island year round in Muskoka) but I was preoccupied. The breathtaking view surrounding me had my undivided attention.

I love fog, and heading toward the Seven Sisters could have been a scene from a movie. It wasn't only the amazing view that made today memorable. It's the fact that I would never take the experience for granted. Hell, I never take any experience I have for granted... but today was a very personal mission as well as a rewarding one.

With our mission accomplished (and my guided tour complete) it dawned on me that this area of the lake has been David's home his entire life. That said, as the leader for the next generation of his family business, I knew our limo ride had him curious. When walking together across the front lawn, I him heard yell to our chauffeur... "Do you make a lot of these trips?"

Thanks Chris Hoag. You're the BEST!
Taken: January 13th, 2013
To which I instantly interjected “Not really... He only does it for very desperate women that beg him really late on Friday afternoons!” 

Seriously, if I had to pay a dime for every man I ever had to beg? I’d owe at least $1,765.90 from last Friday alone and one other other dime.

Ya curious? All I am going to say is that I know I’ll never see him again. That, and the fact that in this instance my glass is more than half full.

Why? Because the lads loss is obvious. I'm keeping his dime!

Friday, January 11, 2013

I Am Blessed To Have A Doug!

Thank goodness this work week is over! I’m never one to wish my time away but this week was absolutely brutal. I had a big problem. Everywhere I turned I hit a roadblock. Every roadblock I faced I hit a dead end. If another week like this comes around before the next Halley’s Comet, it’ll be far too soon.

For every difficult person I have in my life...
I know I have a Doug!
I don’t think I am alone when I say that I have people in my work life that just grind the friggin’ crap right out of me. 

Not the “Oh my God, that's totally HOT” kinda grind; rather they tend to be the “totally unreasonable and I stopped listening to you at hello” kinda grind. Yup, the '80's Patrick Swayze vibe is definitely not the grind I feel when it comes to these folks!

Glass half full? I am elated how my work week ended and I am pleased to report that I can take something positive away from today. I am an extremely grateful gal.

Rhondi's Coles Note Version:

I have to get to a boathouse on an island this weekend. It's January. In Muskoka. The water is dangerously open and must be respected.

When I started to call in my markers, I made my obvious phone calls. So many people tried to help but I was shocked to find that the people I thought would unconditionally help did not. It was those that had no vested interest in my plight that moved mountains (or ice) for me today. Not because they had something to gain, but because they knew if the table were turned, I would do the very same for them.

Short story long? A perfect stranger came to my rescue today. Someone I have never met before, and they are transporting me with their Airboat this coming Sunday afternoon. The most amazing part of my story is that this stranger is an acquaintance (four layers removed) from the original call I made for help. 

Chris is helping me (not because I wasn't above begging but) because my original loop was created by a specific person within an unbelievable network. Seriously, because of that person, everyone just kept paying it forward to help him, which in turn was helping me. That statement right there honestly illustrates just how well respected my friend is.

With my eyes wide open (and a much better feel for the people I have surrounded myself with) I want to shout out a personal thank you. Thank you Doug. Thank you for being you. Most of all, thank you for being my friend.

I love ya Bud! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I'm Not Superficial - I'm Practical.

After a relaxing and rejuvenating day yesterday I managed to sit down last night and focus on where I want to take my winter trip. I know, I know, you’re going to say “you just got back" but fortunate for me, a VERY unexpected Christmas bonus, paid for my dogs play date on the ocean. So, the money I had so diligently saved for that can now be put to something I know I really need... A rockin' hot tan!

WOW! Just right there... Could I have sounded anymore superficial?!? I think not!

I know what I want & I want what I know.
Taken: February 28th, 2011
Negril, Jamaica
Seriously, as you know, I’ve never been an island hopper. In fact, the only reason the money was spent on Jamaica last year was because I received a substantial performance bonus in the form of a travel voucher (from a supplier, not my employer).

Believe it or not, I honestly try to not to spend money I don’t have. I always try to pay myself first and sometimes that’s really hard to do. 

I’m not a shopper per say (online or otherwise) and except for the indulgence of a really great concert ticket I am a very "stay within my means" kinda gal. 

I do have a couple of rules I live by. I try to never go into a grocery store hungry so that I don’t over spend. I make lunch & dinner menus every Sunday so that there is never any waste. And I pay bills once a week so that I don’t get hammered at the end of the month. I don’t think of myself as frugal, I just think of myself as practical.

Back to the idea of a trip; truth of the matter is, in all aspects of my life, I am a really picky person. It's as simple as I know what I want and I want what I know. So while surfing the internet last night I came to the realization that the whole "last minute thing" may not be the perfect fit for me. I’m not entirely sure I can get on a plane and hope for the best without doing the research prior. I did a lot of reading before I chose a resort last year. Truth of the matter? I like the fact that my 2011 travel experience had me brushing my teeth using water from the tap.

That may sound kinda petty but food and water quality are extremely important to me. For one week a year I love the idea of basking in the sun with a book, enjoying really good food, and minimizing any/all risk of getting ill. Just so you know, I'm not entirely closed off and without an adventurous side. For the first time in my life last year I took the leap and enjoyed authentic Jamaican jerk chicken.

Because chicken is a personal favourite, I know for a fact there will be even more chicken served this year. Guess at this point, I'm just not sure on which island that’s going to happen, nor exactly just how it will be seasoned. Maybe this year I will go for sweet rather than spicy. 

Best start reading on how specific Caribbean Islands prepare chicken and go from there. I'll keep ya posted!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Somethings In Life Will Never Add Up...

Have you ever been in a room full of people and felt really alone? You know, where certain things are happening around you and it’s feels like déjà vu? You think you’ve been in the scene and heard the dialogue before; yet hoped it was only a bad dream? You just really wanted to stop the ride and get the hell off? Well that was me last night and it was awful.

Because let's face it
No matter how many times
you try to do the math...
somethings will never add up
the way you think they should!
I absolutely hate when my day turns on a dime. You know, when a really great day changes instantly to a “ya gotta be f*ching kidding me" evening! 

I am honestly sitting here, fourteen hours later, and I’m still shaking my head and rolling my eyes. 

With my marbles clanging around my cranium; I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter what you do, and how hard you try, you can’t please all the people in our life, all of the time. 

I get that it's human nature to want to but trust me you can't. I’ve done the math. Long version. Yup, after over two years of calculation, I know firsthand that it’s completely and utterly impossible. 

With this big storm cloud over my head I guess the one big question this morning is why is it that after all these "life lessons" I boast about learning that I still can’t comprehend why certain situations (and people for that matter) bring out the worst in me? I guess the even bigger question for me personally is... Do I care?

Glass half full? I'm not going to dwell. I am going to dig out my showshoes and head over to the golf course. I'll go alone. I'm not afraid to be alone. Two years ago I could have never fathomed the thought of that. Whatever, guess it just blows that at the end of the day, one word describes my mood best this morning. 

It starts with F and ends in UCK. Trust me peeps it’s not firetruck! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

There's A Fine Line Between Love & Hate

 "To forgive is to set a prisoner free & discover that the prisoner was you." 
- Louis B. Smedes

Well, my first day back at work for 2013 was a good one. 

Though I would have rather stayed in bed and watched Sex In The City reruns all day, I did the responsible thing and hauled my sorry fat ass into work. As expected, it started off slow and relatively uneventful. In fact, I recall wishing my first cup of coffee was a five hour energy drink!

Unexpectedly, about an hour in, I received a very sincere email. After reading it, I resigned myself to the idea that perhaps “it was time.” I’ve had a couple of things lingering over my head and one thing in particular just kept resurfacing. So, after them reaching out over my vacation, as well as a heartfelt email this morning, I decided to finally deal with it.

Today I did... and it feels good!
It’s hard for me to admit that I have had people betray me and I have let them. 

Some I have forgiven because I knew they couldn’t help themselves and some I’d knew I would never speak to again. Why? Because for all intense purpose, their betrayal unconditionally helped me decide that they didn’t deserve to be in my life. 

My situation today was one that I thought was the latter. With that in mind, here's the million dollar question... How do you know when it’s time to forgive? At what point do you bargain in good faith and call a truce? 

When I was growing up my mother use to warn me that “there’s a fine line between love and hate…” The other side of her philosophy was to never hate anyone because hatred consumes far too much energyShe'd say, "Rhondi, it's takes a lot of energy to hate someone” and she was right on all counts.

My decision today most certainly wasn't an epiphany. It was like we had decided that together we'd peel away the layers of an onion (and it took us all day to to it). The more the emails flew back and forth, the more we both realized that the feelings of hurt were not only mutual; but felt that blame belonged to the other, contributing the severity of the hard feelings. 

Because of the effort we both made today I have to have faith. I guess faith is the price you have to pay to forgive someone. Call me quirky if you must, just don’t ever call me Ma’am.  Seriously, I mean that. Call me Ma'am and I'll kill ya!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Peace Out 2012. It's Been A Slice!

Peace Out 2012
...Gotta make room for my new pal 2013
Taken: January 27th, 2012

As expected, after a couple of glasses of wine last night, I folded like a proverbial lawn chair. 

Unable to keep my eyes open, I ended up hitting the sack by about ten o’clock and I was out like a light. 

As I crawled into bed it felt amazing. I've never been so happy to sleep in my own bed in my entire life. You know what they say, "it's great to go away... but great to be back at home!"

This Christmas break was definitely one of reflection for me. This past week it became very evident quickly just how far I’ve come on 'my personal journey' within 2012. 

As I spent time walking on the beach, I fully appreciated (and understood) where I have been this past year and how I actually arrived at today. Not only did I reflect on the past but I am also pleased to report that I took a good long look to where I’d like to be in the next few years. Not superficially or materialistically, but me personally as well as my career professionally.

When the kids lived at home we would have our now famous Sunday dinner together and true to form they would be asked their high and their low for the week. At times we were able to upgrade a low into something silly with laughter (usually at their fathers expense) but a high was always just that... Something they were entitled to feel really great about! For fun, this New Years Day, I’ll task myself with the same exercise. 

My Beautiful Daisy Marie
Taken: Aug 3rd, 2011
My LOW for 2012? Well because most of the shit that happened causing my extreme pain happened in 2011, I’ll automatically keep it there, so not to pick the annoying and generally speaking 'haphazard scab'. 

That said, without a doubt my lowest point for 2012 had to be the death of my beautiful Daisy Marie. My eyes fill with tears even now just thinking about her. It’s been months and I still miss that great big ball of fat and those big brown eyes. Nothing could have ever prepared me for that loss & the toll took on me. 

Low addressed, leaves me with my HIGH for 2012.

The feeling of my first monster drive with my super sweet new golf clubs crossed my mind. Heck, even the first back dive I accomplished in over a decade was right up there. Short listed was definitely one of the couple of new friendships I made throughout the year; but when all is said and done, I have to say it was the leap I took to live at the cottage for the summer that wins the final nod. How crazy is it that I wanted it sold figuring that I would never be able to enjoy it on my own? Yet I did! I literally found myself last summer. My eight week stint put everything into perspective and aligned all of my lanes and overall attitude about life.

The Summer for Me...
no hair, no makeup, just me!
Taken: July 11th, 2012
My summer experience offered extreme clarity to me; as a mother, a daughter, a lover and a wife. For the first time in my life I discovered and embraced who Rhondi was and who she is. I so desperately needed that. It was not only cathartic, it was liberating and life changing.

Those that know me well know a couple of things to be true. I am a very goal oriented and I'm anything but a ‘stuff’ person. I’ve always been an extremely hard worker and I married a man with the same work ethic. We do what it takes to get it done and it’s as simple as that. That formula, combined with being in the right place at the right time, have us living comfortably. Seems we don’t need much and it’s a good thing because that’s exactly how much we have.

It’s about the simple things in life for me. All I can say is thank God I don't have to pay for laughter and sex.  For if I did? I fear I'd always be broke! Glass half full? Makes no matter, because either way I'd be at least 15 lbs lighter and I'd always have a great big smile on my face!!! Happy New Year everyone. May 2013 be the year you want and need it to be. Cheers...

With my love and our laughter... ME!