Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bedtime Looms...

I managed to get in a bike ride today. It was the first time on a bike for me in at least seven or eight years. Probably closer to ten though... truth be known. 

Wow. 10 years. And yet I managed to hop on and ride for 7 km in 32 minutes. That felt great! Mind you it would have felt better if it were a tad warmer. And if the rain hadn't cut my ride short. I had hoped to ride for 45 mins but the cold numbed my fingers and pouring rain was on the horizon so I booked it back to the house. I just pulled in the driveway when the first drops fell. 

I took care of Petite tonight as Hubby was out helping one of my coworkers with his computer. Petite had Sparks and then I got her nighttime routine done before calling my mom, editing a newsletter, figuring out lunch for tomorrow and writing out a menu for the week. Is it bedtime yet? 

Come on Friday!!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Microblog Mondays: Running... for a Reason

Our dear Mel over at Stirrup Queens has begun a blog phenomenon... as she frequently does. 

Microblog Mondays. Writing in your own space. Something short and sweet. But it's meant to take back our bloggy space and call it our own. I am going to try to do this periodically. Life's hectic. So we'll see how long this lasts.

I took my running outside yesterday.

Ouch. Did you know that running on pavement is VERY different from running on a treadmill? I knew it, but wow, I'm really feeling it this morning. I used muscles yesterday that I haven't used in ages. They are screaming at me today. It'll be worth it though.

I stood up in church yesterday and told them of my run. I screwed up my courage and went for it.

"Hi, my name is Gil. I sing in the choir and now and then I bring my daughter Petite with me, who seems to enjoy dancing at the front for your pleasure." (The congregation laughed, as Petite just can't help but move and shake when we start singing!)

I continued...

"Last year I set out to lose some weight. I've been pretty successful at it thus far. At that time, I had set myself a personal goal; I wanted to run a 5K — not WALK it as I've done before — but run a 5K before my 45th birthday. Well, I've registered for that run coming up at the end of May, a week before my birthday. I'm gonna do it. I WILL get through it. Originally, I thought I would just run it for myself, to see how well I could do. But on February 4, all of that changed."

I took a deep breath.

"On February 4, a dear friend of mine took his own life. His widow, his friends, his family, we are all still dealing with this. Then, three weeks ago, a colleague of mine did the same thing." I heard the audible intake of breath and the scattered sympathetic moan. And I took another breath.

"So, my friend's widow and I, and another friend of ours, we are running this 5K in my friend's honour, and to raise funds for the Royal Ottawa Hospital's Foundation for Mental Health. The name of our team is The Hamsters are Free! in a nod to Rob's stellar sense of humour," laughter rang out, "... and if you, your family or your friends have ever been affected by mental health issues, we would be happy to have your sponsorship to raise funds for this wonderful cause. Mental health is something that is still taboo to talk about but so many people around us are affected. More than we can possibly fathom. Today, I have with me some slips that have the information that will help you donate to the Foundation through a secure online form, or please feel free to speak with me to make other arrangements. Thank you for your time."

So, dear reader, if you would like to support me in this cause, here's the link for you.

The Hamsters are Free! - Scotiabank Charity Challenge

Friday, April 17, 2015

Reflections on life and changes

Taking stock. It's good for me to just stop for a moment and reflect on things. 

My time is in increasingly high demand these days. 

Busy at work. Preparing to transition from one position to another. Obtaining top secret clearance for that new job. Social Committee events and translation of its posters, e-mails, and communications. Baking for the committee and the church. Walking for the church... daily on my own and as part of the group. Updating the church blog. Teaching others how to do the same to help me out. Training for the 5K race at the end of May. Taking Petite to Sparks. Selling Girl Guide cookies. Taking Petite to swimming class. Making sure I get to choir and practise as needed for our hymns. Seeing friends. Making sure our geriatric cat is well taken care of. Planning our vacay in July. Figuring out child care for Petite for the summer. Shopping for clothes that is sorely needed (down to 168 lbs!). Shopping for groceries. Making sure family back at home has necessary gifts and cards for various events. Helping Petite with homework (we have to build a puppet from recycled materials for the end of the month and in May it's her turn to bring the play-doh... gotta make that next weekend). Handling finances. Shopping for and celebrating Hubby's birthday last week. And more. 

Life is a bit insane right now. I still cannot wrap my head around the weight loss and how I actually look in the mirror and in my clothes. A girlfriend and I did go shopping last week. I indulged. Shoes. (Oh these florals make me feel positively sinful!) 

Frillies. Skirts. Pants. Blouses. Shirts and a gorgeous coral suit. I am stunned to find myself in size 10. THAT is nothing short of incredible. (This suit jacket is a bit big and needs tailoring but no smaller size was available.)

However the same old feelings are still there. Am I good enough? Am I "normal enough" now? I do not consider myself pretty (OMG hell no) but am I good enough, for once? The doc said I should take stock. Check in now and then with myself to see how I'm feeling. And she said I should poll others who know me to see what they would say about me. How would they describe me? What traits or characteristics would they attribute to me? (If you wish to chime on that in I would be grateful.) 

So here I am. Taking stock of a very busy life. I feel like I'm too busy to stop to even do that. 

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Microblog Mondays: Grief and more grief. When does it end?

Our dear Mel over at Stirrup Queens has begun a blog phenomenon... as she frequently does. 

Microblog Mondays. Writing in your own space. Something short and sweet. But it's meant to take back our bloggy space and call it our own. I am going to try to do this periodically. Life's hectic. So we'll see how long this lasts.
Okay, okay, a day late and a dollar short. Sheesh. Shoot me.
We've been tied up with a number of things. Easter. An impromptu and definitely flying visit to The Big Apple with Petite to meet a gaming friend from Singapore. Visiting with friends from Toronto. Taking in a Sugar Bush meal (albeit somewhat restricted on my part). And the general rounds of sickness in the house. Ugh.
And deaths.
Note that I said "deaths" as in plural. Oh my.
Last week two people in my circles passed away.
I sing in a church choir. One of our choir member's wife was diagnosed months ago with an aggressive cancer. Treatments didn't keep it at bay and last week, the choir was told that she was rapidly declining... but that when the time came, they both wished the choir to sing at her funeral. She passed away on Monday, March 30. She was a lovely lady and very active in our church family. The service was held on Monday, April 6 and because Easter Monday is a holiday for me, I was able to attend and sing with the choir. It was a beautiful service and she would have really loved it. Rest in peace, Anne.
On Wednesday, April 1, I got a phone call from a former co-worker (a different location within our organization). I used to work with the group from 2010–13. She told me that one of the employees had committed suicide overnight onTuesday, March 31. I was in shock. This fellow was young (early 50s perhaps). Bright. Intelligent. Caring. A broad smile and a gentle nature, despite a physique that made him look like the roughest, toughest bouncer you could come across. He would sit in my office and chat about his cat (how he loved animals!) and his eyes would sparkle. He was a giving, sweet man, and I cannot fathom that he took his own life. The whole family in the branch he worked with is grieving; he was part of a small, skilled, elite team of counter intelligence and his presence will definitely be missed. We are all grieving. Today, April 7, I attend his funeral and I know many tears will be shed at this senseless loss. My heart goes out to his family and all his colleagues and friends. May he find the peace in death that he so sought in life. We love you Morgan. Good-bye dear friend.