Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

I go along day after day, week, year, following the same routine. And I worry. I agonize. I stress. I sweat the small stuff.

Every now and then some event comes along and stops me in the middle of my routine. It’s earth shaking, mind numbing, heart stopping. Yesterday it was the news of the death of Robin Williams. If you haven’t heard by now, your probably live off the grid, and are  blissfully ignorant of the details.

I haven’t seen all of his movies, I saw a few in the 90s. I enjoyed his animation voice overs and his wacky stand up routines. I very much liked the fact that he did good with his celebrity status, unlike so many, who just seek more fame more house more car. He was a good man.

His tragic demise hits close to home. I  won’t go into details, suffice it to say that his distress is not foreign to me. Death is awful. Death by one’s own hand is particularly so.

I’ve been on pause since yesterday, present but not quite. I ponder on how alone he must have felt. How his poor family is trying to grieve and function  in the spotlight of the media. I did the same when Michael Jackson died. I’ll most likely go through it again, the next time someone good dies young. Events like this make you think, about life and trying to find whatever joy you can. And if you suffer from mental issues, seek or accept help, as hard as that may be.

Today, I’m trying to let the small stuff go. It’s just not worth the stress.

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Let’s Go Fly A Kite!

My husband was born and raised in Jamaica.  As a child he and his friends would often make their own toys, like wooden cars with bottle cap wheels, and kites. Using bamboo and newspaper, they built their own flying machines and sent them up with fishing wire.

He’s been trying to share this with the kids, passing on his passion to the next generation. Bamboo isnt readily available here where I live, so he’s had to buy kites. It’s all good, as long as they fly. They enjoy the experience, but I just hang back watching them have fun.

Yesterday that changed. He bought another kite and had me go to the field with him. I must admit I was less than enthused, I couldn’t see the point. I told him he had 10 minutes then I wanted to go back in. He put the kite together, unfurled the tail, attached the string and waited for a good breeze.

And up it went! And it looked pretty….bright coloured tail against a bright blue sky. Fair enough, I thought, seems like fun. Then he gave me the reigns, he handed me the spool of string and I felt the kite jerk, being pulled by a strong current. That’s when it hit me….there’s power in your hands when you hold a kite. When you feel the pull and you let the string out little more by little aaaaannnd STOP!

Now just relax and watch it float, dip, rise. Listen to the rustle of the air moving under and over and around it. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face as you stare straight up, as your kite goes higher and higher in the sky fading as the  distance between it and you increases

We were there for half an hour, and I enjoyed every minute! I get it now, I see why he wants to share this with me and the kids.  There’s a joy kite flying, a harkening back to simpler times. And I highly recommend it.

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Reality bites

Sunday. The last day of the weekend. Back to work tomorrow.

I had a really great time galavanting about town with my family this past week, and now the fun has come to am end, it’s reality check time. I must admit to feeling a deep sadness. My feelings aren’t simply because my vacation time is over, though. No, it goes deeper than that.

I was once a stay at home mom, for about 10 years. I’d worked before but having my second and third child back to back rendered the choice between going back to work and staying home a fairly obvious one. Returning to work meant daycare for our 3 children. Daycare is expensive, especially in the Infant room. One of our two paycheques would go straight to the daycare centre and that made no financial sense to us. We weighed the pros and cons and it was decided that I would stay with the kids.

It was not an easy road to take, just in case someone out there is saying, “Oh how nice for you!” Being a SAHM is no walk in the park, I assure you, especially with 3 children aged 4 and under. As well, to help make ends meet my husband periodically had to take a second job, so I was alone quite often from morning til night. Yes, you love your babies but being alone with them for hours, with little to no adult interaction  can get to you. On top of that I suffered from post-partum depression as many women do. It was a very difficult time.

But I got through it, with help from family, hubby’s and mine. As the kids got older it got a little easier, though each stage of childhood has it’s ups and downs. Crying and babbling becomes talking…non stop chatter. Crawling becomes walking and hyper-vigilance on your part, to ensure no one gets into anything dangerous or falls down the stairs (both have happened). And then one day, before I was truly prepared, I had to make my way back into the work force.

To be honest, I had no real reason to stay home anymore: the kids were all in school full time, my son was old enough to stay with the girls / before and after school.  There were no babies at home who needed constant care, and living on one income was becoming difficult.  No one tells you that the bigger your kids get, the more they need and want. I thought infants required a lot,  HA! It’s nothing compared to the list of things tweens and teens need.

So here I am, two and half years out in the world. My kids are bigger, and to some extent more responsible. They are relatively self sufficient, and that makes me proud. Before heading out to look for work I prepped them: taught them how to do laundry, make breakfast, run the dishwasher. I told them that Mamma going out to work means everyone needs to pitch in at home. I feel confident in the knowledge that if hubby and I had to leave them for a few days they would be OK.

But in my heart, deep down within me, there are times when I feel bad that I’m not home in the mornings or after school. I work in a daycare centre, and it often hits me hard  that while I’m spending 8 hours a day feeding, changing, teaching other people’s children, mine are at home fending for themselves. But it is what it is, I guess.

Still, after a week of sun and fun and laughter with my ‘babies’, going in to work will be very hard in the morning.

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The Finish Line

As I sip my tea, resting on a pile of pillows, I’m rethinking the events of this week. It’s been great having time to be with the kids without the stress of work or bills or chores interfering. The demands of our jobs make it hard sometimes for hubby and I to get time of when we want and need it; it’s been about 3 or 4 years since we’be had a full week off at the same time, and it’s been a real treat.

Yesterday was wrap up day, so to speak. We’d done all the big ticket activities earlier this week, and wanted to keep things simple but not stop cold. So swimming was just the ticket! 👙
Fortunately we have a very nice recreation centre just minutes away, which features a library, youth drop in rooms, skate park, and a pool. We chose an open swim time (certain hours when the pool isn’t being used for lessons) and headed out.

I don’t swim. I can sort of doggy paddle and I can kinda float. The furthest I’ve ever been when it  came to lessons, was in grade 3, when the Board of Ed provides children with a 3 day crash course in water safety. And…I’m a bit of a chicken TBH. I love the water, I could stay in it all day whether it’s pool or beach. I just stay close to the edge…

Luckily my children didn’t inherit my hesitancy, they jump right in. They’ve had the grade 3 lessons, plus whatever my husband and their grandfather have added to that. It’s pure joy to watch them move smoothly and fearlessly through the water. Not so much my son tho, he’s not into the swim thing, doesn’t see the point. “Does there need to be a point to getting into a pool and splashing around?” I asked myself the question, just thankful for the fact he came without complaint. He’ll be 16 in a month and this age is tricky! This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to us to do this kind of thing. Anyone who’s a parent of tweens and teens realizes that there is a thing line between when the kids want to be with you and when they don’t. For me, I stopped wanting to be around my mom when I hit 14 or so. Thankfully hubby and I have not yet haven’t had to deal with this yet, but one never knows when that hammer will fall!

We splashed, we laughed, we got out and came home. Hubby threw some meat on the grill, had a nap then later went to soccer with my son. 🍔⚽There was a feeling of finality in the air. Yes, there’s still today and the weekend, but there’s also the reality. Money can’t be spent indefinitely, clothes are piling up, fast food all week makes you sluggish, and it’s back to work on Monday. Every good vacation must come to an end. But it was a good run and I’m so very happy about it, hopefully it won’t be too long before we get to do it again!:D

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Winding down

Wow! This week had been a whirlwind of activity! It’s actually turned out to be much more like a “go away” vacation than we expected. As some of you may know, it’s can cost quite a bit of money for families to travel, especially a family of 5. So a “stay-cation” had become a much more viable option, and even that has made our pockets ever so slightly lighter. But it’s been worth it, just to spend some quality time as a family.

Yesterday was day 3 and just as busy as the first two days. I was born and raised in Toronto, and I  often went downtown for events or shopping or just getting away. Our children, however are very much suburbanites, who onlu tasted downtown life in teeny tiny bites. Thr plan for this week had to include heading into the city!

So off we drove, downtown to see the Ripley’s Aquarium. My husband loves fish! He used to raise fish as a child and we have some now, so it’s fair to say that fish are his thing.

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To be honest, it was a little much for me…I’m not the kind of person who likes touring through museums and the like. I get bored easily and just want to leave. However there were areas of interest throughout the exhibit such as the starfish, and the jellyfish tanks:

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The big draw, however was the tunnel. You go through a tank that has been built around and overhead. It’s filled with all sorts of fish, stingrays and sharks!

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After the aquarium we were starving, and I suggested fish and chips. Yeh… Maybe not! :oops: Instead a more field based meal, then a stroll along back to our car.

I truly love Toronto, there is just so much to see and you, it’s never boring!

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Today will be a much quieter day..
not getting up earlier, no huge plans. We’re taking our time, going swimming in the afternoon. Hubby and I go back to work on Monday so we don’t want to need a vacation to recover from the staycation :D

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Halfway there

Good morning! Day 3 of days off, halfway through. Bit cloudy today ☁ with a chance of showers, nevertheless we shall carry on with our adventures :D
Yesterday was a very nice day, starting off with a family dental appointment. I know! How do you contain the excitement, right?! Well, into each vacation a little practicality must fall. And so we pressed on, to lunch.

Our plan was to take them to Chinese buffet, since we so rarely do it, but they said. We want East Side Mario’s, they said, and proceeded to list of reasons why this had to be  the lunch destination. I must admit give me a choice between Chinese food and pasta, the noodles win everytime.

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Mario’s is outside the mall, so we did a post meal stroll to work it off. As always happens when I go shopping after a meal, I’m much more susceptible to the siren song of the goods and services available. That is to say, by the time we left  my stomach was still  full but wallet was empty.

The day was neatly wrapped up by a session of kite flying, my husband’s joy.

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Today’s plan takes us further afield: train ride downtown to the new Ripley’s aquarium!  Gonna be great! 🐟🐠🐬

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