I am a collector! Of what I seem to have forgotten. I hold on to things just in case. In case of what I'm not really sure. This is something I'm working on. I think sometimes I just need to be more organized. I own a label maker and have lots of see through bins, but it doesn't seem to be enough.
Last week I went to Home Depot to get some paint for our play room. I also wanted to look at shelves. Not only did I look at the shelves well I bought the shelves. I couldn't resist they were 40% off for industrial sized shelves. This would be the solution to my messy garage. But would it be the solution to my collections? Maybe. I spent my week-end painting and organizing. I am also reducing the amount of stuff I have been collecting.
I started organizing the garage. After all this would be the new home of the massive industrial sized shelves. I was ruthless. I threw things in the garbage that were broken or useless. I started a bin for donations which is now overflowing and is soon to become two bins. I broke up collections and let go of the things that I was holding on to "just in case". If "just in case" hasn't come around in 2 years it's not going to! I did resist the urge to pull out the label maker. After all the labels would probably just freeze and fall off. I didn't think that a box of summer shoes or the package of paper towels really needed a label. We can see them through the see through bins.
I then moved down to the basement. I resisted the urge to pull a falling apart shelving unit from the garage and bring it to the basement. Instead we placed it gingerly on the edge of the drive way for one of the vultures in our neighborhood to take away. It was gone in less than half an hour. Our basement is a nightmare! We have three children and I run a day care. So when people say I have enough toys to run a day care - yes I do. The problem is that they are not very well organized. We let the kids clean up the whole thing once, bad idea - I wouldn't even call it organized chaos. It was just chaos. I was also keeping toys in three different rooms. How confusing. Now the toys are all together in their respective bins. I again resisted the urge to pull out the label maker. After all can a 14 month old or 21/2 year old read a label that says "little people" or "trucks" probably not. Again I have the see through bins, we can see where they go! I was also ruthless but sneaky in cleaning up this area. I threw out broken toys and began to add to my donation pile. I did have to do this in secret as one of my children HATES to see anything go.
I am trying to look at the mundane things in life and see how they fit into my yoga practice. I saw this cleansing to be very fitting with many of the yamas and the niyamas. Asteya, I feel that keeping all of this stuff in our space is in essence stealing space for things we need, use or just to have space in our home. Aparigraha, it feels like hording all of these useless items just feels greedy, why not give them to someone who could use my old towels or dishes, we don't need or want them. Of course saucha - cleanliness, I feel that when my space is cluttered it is unclean, and this makes my mind feel cluttered too. I imagine that this trickles down to my children and my partner. I do not feel santosha in my home I know I will once the clutter and possessions that are neither useful or that I love are gone. I would definately say that tapas is present in this practice of mine. I am continually sorting and purging and organizing, this is a practice. It is not a battle it is not a re-occurrence it is something that I strive and work towards regularly. Finally the most fitting of the niyamas is this process for me is svadhyaya, self study. I really do study why I collect, keep and desire? Why do we all do it? What am I holding on to and why am I holding on to it. The object is merely an object. If all I really need is food, water, shelter and possibly clothing what is all this other stuff for? Why do I hang on? I try not to judge these thoughts, feelings but just study and answer why. If I have no real answer then maybe I should just throw it away or donate it -
A few weeks ago I was asked to teach a session to a class at my son's school. I was told that the session would be about half and hour and that they were grades 4/5. I have to say I was a little scared. I have taught really little kids and have taught some elderly people as well (my oldest was around 90). This age group I knew would be different.
So I devised a plan to make it a different kind of class. To make our session something that they might enjoy and pay attention to as well. I even contacted a friend and colleague who has more experience with this age group to ask her what she thought (thanks Jamine). Even still with my planning and preparedness when the day came I was terrified, I honestly thought that they were going to eat me alive. We all have certain fears (false, evidence, appearing, real). My fear is that someone will stand up and start yelling fake, phony, get her out of here. I know I'm not a fake or a phony. I have a long practice and certification to back me up but it still sits there - haunting me sometimes. But that's probably another blog post.
I arrived at the school on Monday morning, did my regular volunteering in my son's kindergarten class. Then off to the gym I went. I was surprised to see some of the students already had yoga mats with them and were ready to go. That was re-assuring. We got seated in a circle I was introduced and we began. The girls seemed very interested and attentive, the boys were already being silly. So, I told them how yoga was traditionally for men and that there has been a shift, I told them that pro athletes practiced yoga in order to improve their game. They were interested for a bit and then it all seemed to fall apart (or so I thought). The teacher left the room to attend to something. I was alone with about 30 kids ages 10 and 11. Most of the girls were participating fully and generally happy to be there. The boys were another story, they were laughing and being loud and rambunctious, I had to ask them several times to settle down or quiet down. I even reminded them that sometimes laughter is a sign of nervousness and sometimes we do this when we are uncomfortable. That it is OK as long as you keep it in check.
The teacher came back in and full order was resumed. I had a few little yoga competitions to see who could hold a pose the longest. I even took some requests for postures that they knew from either the Wii Fit or that their mom's did. I had them hold warrior for a longish time while I walked around and reminded them that they are all stronger than they think. The warrior pose could help to build strength and stamina in the body and the mind.
Half an hour flies by I must say because before I knew it, it was time for a relaxation. I keep it to about 3 minutes as I was not sure they could handle much more than that. I was right. I played some soft music and talked them through a nice guided relaxation. The lights were dimmed and much to my surprise they were all totally relaxed. I could tell after about two minutes a lot of them were starting to get fidgety. So up we got and sat in a cross legged pose. Then I OM'd. I explained to them about the universal sound of OM, the calming properties.
I then caught some of the boys "showing off" only they were being a bit dangerous in my opinion. Trying to do head stands and falling over quite hard. Lifting their bodies into wheels with splayed feet. So I showed a couple of them how to do a proper head stand. Then one of them challenged me to do a headstand. Sometimes it's about the tricks. Not usually, but sometimes. So I popped up into a headstand and did some funky moves with my feet. In hind sight I should have started the lesson that way because it sure got their attention.
I thought that most of them honestly didn't like it or found it boring. But then the teacher contacted me and asked if I would come again. She said her students were asking for it. So I guess they did like it. What will my approach be next time? I know there are some things that I will change and some will stay the same. Maybe a little bit of
I am the kind of person who gets attached to people. The girlfriend who breaks up with you and says "let's be friends" but actually means it. The person who is deeply betrayed but forgives and moves on. Someone who is deeply saddened when she loses touch with a friend or close acquaintance.
I once did some work with a woman about 15 years ago who taught me how to learn about myself in meditation, who taught me that it was OK if bad thoughts, sadness, tears and even joy came from my mediation practice. That mediation was not just sitting but that mediation could also be a learning experience into your mind and your soul. If we dig deep enough we are able to find out why we are a certain way and why we behave a certain way in some situations. It was through this process of mediation, and question from this teacher after meditation that I learned why I am so attached to people.
I had many relationship breakdowns or "letdowns" starting from the time I was born. Through meditation I discovered that this is why I hold on to relationships whether they are good for me or not. This is also however the same reason why I never get too close. I am always just a little bit guarded and this does not matter if I have known you all my life, we are kindred spirits or really good friends.
Here I am now faced with another relationship that is ending, and I'm not doing a very good job. My guitar teacher is moving to another country to be with his girlfriend. I am very happy for him! When people find love and grab it by the horns and don't let distance stop them, I find that very admiring. I am however finding it very hard to accept that he is leaving. I have not booked another teacher and last night I made a comment to him about leaving me... he sarcastically said "don't make me feel guilty". I of course took that home with me and had to think about it. Why if I am happy for him would I say something that could offend him? I do have a secret crush on him (although not so secret now). Not the kind of crush that I would ever do anything about. More the type of crush that makes you brush your hair and put on lip gloss before you leave the house. He is an excellent teacher and I have learned a lot from him. He a a really nice and very smart guy whom I genuinely like. He has helped me with my web site, with twitter and other Apple related things and I have appreciated it so much. But, instead of being upset about his departure and making stupid comments, I should now be trying to learn as much as I can before our last lesson.
Instead of me simply saying to him, that's great that you are doing something for you, I appreciate the teachings you have given me, and I have learned so much. I chose to make sarcastic comments about him leaving. Now that's not very yogic - but at least I know why. Next week we have our last lesson and I will not make silly little comments about his departure. I will thank him for the lessons and wish him well on his journey. I will focus on what he has left to teach me and be on my way I will practice non-attachment and although the letting go of the lessons and weekly meeting is not my choice, I can chose to let go of the thoughts and the ideas of the teacher student relationship and move on. History shows me that you can learn more from multiple teachers and maybe finding a new teacher will be good for me and my guitar. I will also exercise compassion and understanding as I am sure it must be difficult to leave his home, his friends and his family. Even though it is his decision and he is leaving for a wonderful reason, that does not always make it easy.
So when I say good luck, thank you and can we still be friends I will mean every word!
I try to learn something new everyday. Sometimes this is a conscious decision and sometimes it just happens. I feel often like that is my job. The more I learn, the better teacher I become. I have been in school in one form or another since I was just under 4 and continue to do so until this day. This includes traditional schooling or courses that I take for personal interest.
More and more the course I take tend to be focused around yoga or birth and I am in awe of how much is out there. When my students ask about my training they often say "wow you know so much". But really I feel like I know so little and that there is so much more to learn.
The first time I felt that way was when I was in University getting my degree. I worked hard, I mean really hard! I had a full time job and was a full time student. I watched my peers who only had school to work on and whose parents were contributing and I don't ever feel like they really appreciated what was happening to them. I would be given an assignment or attend a lecture and even though the subject was complete I still wanted more. I thought there must be more, this can't be all there is to it.
Now as I live my life as a prenatal educator and yoga teacher I again find myself thinking and saying "there must be more". I am trained to teach so many kinds of yoga now but still there are more. I've taken many prenatal teacher trainings but still want to learn more about that too. Not that I want to teach all of the different kinds of yoga or birth styles. I just want to learn more about them. I am fascinated, intrigued and stimulated by all of it. I guess I have found my passions - birth and yoga and am so happy that they go together and fit my life. Two things that I can dip in and out of and delve into and take breaks when I need to. They are always there, always the same but forever changing.
I have signed up for another training and this one will take about 18 months to complete. This one is a distance education course and I have been looking at the course description for about a year now. Who knows what made me finally click "enroll now" and pay my money but now I am in. It's the same thing that happened when I signed up for my last yoga teacher training. My intention was to sign up for a workshop, one week-end, instead I found myself saying "teacher training please". Why did I do it? I'm not sure, I was already a yoga teacher and I was already teaching. I guess I just wanted and still want more. I try to live my life never regretting anything I do and I certainly have never regretted learning more.
Onward and upward to higher learning, give me more, more, more.
For anyone who has ever attended any of my classes the familiar sight is me either during the beginning, middle and occasionally the end of class trying to fight with my IPOD or the stereo system. I often complain very loudly that technology is not my friend. To be honest I find a lot of it very confusing but I muster through OK.
I'm not a total techno knob or anything. I have wireless, hooked it up myself. I own a laptop and connected the WIFI through my lap top and my IPOD even through our WII. It's the little things that get me. Like finding my play list or connecting my IPOD to a stereo. Or being able to read documents on my IPOD - apparently one can do it, I just can't figure it out.
Itunes totally confuses me to tell you the truth. Downloading music - easy but uploading pictures or personal documents, you've lost me. I wanted to read a PDF book that I downloaded so I uploaded some kind of E-reader app and it still doesn't work. My EBooks is checked and I'm pretty sure it is synching... whatever? I just want to read the damn book. Some of these publishers are so cocky about people having or knowing how to use the technology that they don't even print the books anymore. I don't know there is something special about holding a book in your hands as you are laying in bed that I like. Regardless of what I personally like to do technology and the environment is telling me that I need to learn another way and seemingly fast!
On the other hand I have these web sites www.young4ever.ca and www.lamazeottawa.ca that I keep up to date and add things to and make them function. I had a friend of mine who recently sent me a twitter message to tell me that I should add a tweet button, I had already added the facebook button. Apparently these things get your blog read more widely and your website visited more, so I thought why not. On the other hand do I really want to know that 8 people on facebook like my blog? Or once I start tweeting that 6,543 people tweeted my site? I'm not really sure.
As well I do LOVE my IPOD. It has 32megs or gigs or something like that of stuff on it. Whatever that means. I have a years worth of photographs, more music than one person should ever really need, my emails and my calendar plus a bunch of other time wasting things that help to reduce boredom while waiting in line. I do love it.
I guess technology and me have a bit of a love hate relationship. On the one hand I enjoy so many of the things that my computer, IPOD and other various toys have to offer. On the other hand sometimes they frustrate the heck out of me. Where is the yoga in all of this one might ask... I'm not sure - Tapas maybe... burning desire to learn? I'll let you know when I figure it out, or maybe there's an app to do it for me!
One of the things that I pride myself on as a yoga teacher is that I bring so much joy to my classes and to my practice. Today was even better! My 2 1/2 year old pulled out a yoga mat and said "mommy let's do yoga". So I said sure, thinking this would just be another session of her climbing all over me. I was so wrong!
Holly was amazing! She stood on her mat and did everything that I suggested she do. I was very basic with her practice, knowing that she is only 2 1/2 and that toddlers sometimes have a short attention span. She was fabulous touching her toes, sometimes rolling over. Her triangle was certainly something to be admired. Her favorite and most fun pose I think was the tree. Her balance does not last long but she had so much fun. I love that toddlers know the advanced moves of poses too, they smile through the whole thing. We then got on the floor and did some forward folds, wide leg forward fold side to side and centre. She didn't miss a beat. I got her to sit between my legs and we practiced cobbler's pose together, I held her feet and she held mine and we folded forward together. I think that this was honestly my favorite posture of the day. It was certainly the most fun.
I then sat crossed legged and closed my eyes in a meditative posture and she said "mommy are you sleeping"? I told her I was meditating and she tried it too. Oh, "I meditate too"! She closed her eyes for a second and started to giggle. I loved every moment of it. We then lay hugging for sivasana and that was priceless. She just wanted to cuddle and kiss, what an amazing preparation for rebirth! Maybe that's what samadi is all about - ultimate bliss, with your child.
I got up to go and fix a snack and she asked to do yoga again. "Tomorrow" I said. I hope she wants to do it again!
I have several friends who seem to lead very exciting lives. Seemingly more exciting than mine and I am always happy for them.
One of my best friends is heading off to Palm Springs in a few weeks to an all paid trip with her husband. I am hanging on every planning detail that she shares with me. From her shopping trip to buy a new bathing suit and various amazing sounding clothing items to where her children are going to be when she is gone. I was thrilled when she sent me the link to the resort where she is staying. It looks amazing and beautiful and so so relaxing. I actually looked at every page on the web site and watched all the neat little videos.
I have another close friend who travels a couple of times a year with her boyfriend to fun sounding places. She was recently in Miami over Christmas, Las Vegas last year and I can't remember where else. Even with these trips I savor every picture that she posts and enjoy it all.
Finally one of my very good friends is a world traveler. She spends her free time traveling around South East Asia. She posts lovely photographs of the places she visits. She writes amazing passages of her experiences and when I am lucky she even skypes me from places like Costa Rica. It seems like such an amazing life.
My husband is getting ready to go to Cuba with his best friend in a few weeks and I am happy for him too. He is not sure exactly where they are going but knows it will be relaxing and fun. I have asked him to bring me back another naked lady statue if he thinks of it (I have several from my travels).
My husband asked me the other day why I am not jealous of all these amazing trips. He knows how much I want to travel to interesting far away places. He is in awe of the fact that I don't gripe after talking to my friends but ask them to send me pictures of where they are going and to tell me all about it. To him I answer "I am truly happy for them". He doesn't understand. I'm not sure I understand it either but it is better than being miserable about all the places I can't go to just yet. I guess it is just part of being present. I am happy where I am, here and now. I don't feel like now is the right time for me to run off to a foreign country. I have too much that needs to be done here, now. I run a day care and have three small children. The day care and my other jobs can get taken care of but my children need me now. I also know that when I go it will be for at least a month or more and I will love every minute of it for the more because it will be the right time.
So the next time someone tells me they are heading off to Palm Springs or Florida or India or wherever it might be. When you hear me say, wow I am so happy for you - I really do mean it.
I am on a new journey I think... aren't I always. I have been learning so much about myself and am sometimes even surprised. This week I have had two major epiphanies. The first is that I can't handle sick people, the second is that I am a closet eater.
Onto the first one. My husband got really sick on the day before New Year's Eve. We went out for lunch together which we never do and after we got home he went to bed. For five hours! He thought he was overtired from working out too hard the week before. My mom invited us over for supper that night. Our middle child had been complaining of a tummy ache so I took the oldest and the youngest with me. We got home four hours later and he hadn't fed Reilly. Anyone who knows my son Reilly, knows that his favorite hobby is eating. He eats all day long, sometimes without taking breaks. Needless to say I was pissed off. I thought how freakin' sick can you be that you can throw the kid a banana? The next day he didn't get out of bed for most of the day. This is two days in bed now. I was getting mad. I NEVER lay around or sleep for two days completely removed from my mommy duties. How is it that he gets to? So I started cooking for the New Years day dinner that we had moved to my mom's house. I kept looking after our children and bringing food and drink for my weak husband. That night I had a glass of wine with some friends and came home. My husband went to bed and I sat and thought. What is my problem? I can't just take care of him and give him what he needs while he is feverish and breaking out with fever blisters and feeling like crap. Where the hell is my empathy, my sensitivity, my compassion? Then it hit me. I'm very uncomfortable with sick people, unless they are vomiting or dying.
I grew up with sickly grandparents. We lived less than a block away from my grandmother and grandfather. I saw them almost every day as a child. My grandfather was in and out of the hospital with a heart condition and I was 12 when he died. My grandmother was mostly well but was also in and out of the hospital with cataracts and glaucoma, angina and then finally when she died at the age of 92 of stomach cancer which she had beaten over 40 years before. I was 27 and 8 months pregnant for my first child. I walked to the hospital every day to sit with her and be with her, I am eternally grateful for the time I was able to spend with her. But I was never uncomfortable around her when she was dying. I helped dress her and held her hand, even when she vomited. My mother's father was a healthy man but he too died of cancer. I was 20 and sat by his bedside for almost 3 days until he took his last breath. I didn't mind that kind of sick. I held his hand, wiped his brow and gave him a shoulder to cry on before he died and I was fine with doing that.
My mother has been sick my entire life. She had knee problems when I was little. She had endometriosis when I was young and had a hysterectomy at the age of 27. She then developed IBS and after that crohn's disease. When I gave birth to my first child it was very traumatic for her and she needed help dealing with that. Then something happened to her back and now she is clinically disabled. I have never had a healthy mother. The person in my life who was my role model was always ill. I have flipped the other way and no matter how sick I get "the show must go on". I think it is for this reason that when my husband gets sick. I have no sympathy. When I get sick, I try not to complain.
From that moment on I think a switch happened in me. I realized how I had lost my compassion, my sympathy, my heart and started caring for my husband. He was really sick and is still not well. I thank god that all he has is an infection, what if it were more serious. Would I have walked away from him them? Probably not but I think the next time he is ill, or someone in my family is ill I will take more care.
Epiphany number two is totally unrelated. I gained a little bit of weight in the month of December. I am less than 5'2 so when I gain a little weight it can't be hidden in a tall frame. It is obvious in the way I look and the way my clothing fits. Of course I have gotten on the treadmill more and am doing more yoga and eating better (so I thought). When I am on the treadmill I tend to watch a bit of TV. For some reason the shows that appeal to me are things like "The Biggest Loser", "The Last 10 Pounds", "X-Weighted" - weight loss shows. I was walking on my treadmill the other day and was really struck by this one woman and her partner. She told the interviewer that she didn't like to eat in front of her husband as he made comments. So she ate when she was alone. My husband went out with our daughter for a ride and as soon as he left I reached for the chocolate. I started eating... not 1, 2 or 3 but when I counted the wrappers I had eaten 7 chocolates. Man did I ever feel sick - too much sugar. The funny thing is that this is how I "enjoy" treats all the time. I wait until I am alone and I stuff my face with whatever junk food I can find. As I was doing this, this strange feeling came over me - I too am a closet eater. I have been eating food this way since I was a kid. My husband does not comment on the food I eat but I still feel ashamed.
I was feeling so guilty about this gorging and I have been hiding it for so many years and I know it's not healthy. It's not good for my body and it is not good for my psyche either. I decided that the first step for me in breaking this unhealthy habit was to tell someone. I told my husband. At first he started to laugh, like I was making up a story. When he realized I was serious he said he wasn't surprised. He noticed that the "junk" food in our house was disappearing very quickly and didn't think I had let the kids eat it all - I'm pretty stricked with their food. I asked him to stop buying the things I crave and to take what we have out of the house. The bonus is that he does the groceries and in essence controls what comes into the house. If the "lover" the food I crave is not around then I won't eat or want it, I know with me it is as simple as that. I'm not on a goal to become skinny, I want to be healthy and I know that what I am doing is paying a toll on my body and it has to stop! Now!
So going forward I am ready to start feeling more empathy for people who are not well. If a person has a cold and they feel sick then that is how they feel and it is not my job to judge or ignore if they are asking for help. I am ready to stop gorging myself with junk food when I am alone. I am arming myself with a plan and will start to eat better one day at a time.
I don't know how January creeps up on me. Being self employed a lot of my business ventures begin anew in January. The new teaching schedules come out for my hospital classes, as well as for yoga and my Lamaze classes too.
This January is full of new beginnings and I am excited. I have been teaching a fantastic group of women on Monday nights for the city. Many of them were due to give birth around Christmas time so I won't be seeing them again. This means that next Monday when the new series starts I will have a whole new group of pregnant women, maybe some old faces too. I truly love my Monday evening prenatal yoga class and am sad each time there is a break.
As well I have been hired by another yoga studio to teach prenatal yoga on Sunday mornings. For this job I am very nervous. The owner hired me based on my reputation. Yikes! I love teaching yoga to pregnant women and really feel as if I have found my niche. I think that this love shines through in my teachings and my practice with them. I'm always a bit nervous when someone tells me that my reputation is great. I want to live up to that expectation. The expectation I have of myself is usually much higher than expected. I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. I want to do a good job, no matter what I am doing. Part of the excitement with this one class a week is that there may be room for me to take on more as my children get older. I will always be practicing yoga and hope to be teaching for a very long time as well. One of my goals for the future is to teach yoga full time, once my kids are in school.
My Childbirth Education classes are not filling up this year and this scares me a bit. I have slowly been letting go of my teaching responsibilities. The Lamaze classes that I was running myself were put on hold for several months as both my partner and I were having health issues. The hospital classes I was teaching were too much at night and there was not a lot available on the week-ends, so they were dwindling. The director at the hospital contacted me recently to say my next series may be canceled due to low registration and I fear the same thing may happen with my Lamaze classes. At least with Lamaze I am able to offer private sessions instead so it is not a total loss. I keep wondering if this is a sign that I shouldn't be doing it anymore?
I have been finding myself thinking more and more about Childbirth Education and whether or not I should continue doing it. I LOVE it and I know I am very good at it. It is the unpredictability of the classes that I find hard. At this point in my life I need to know how my schedule is going to look. My own children have activities that they like to do and I hate to say no and then find out they could have done it. It can be frustrating. They are very time consuming and I miss a lot of time with my family in order to teach. There are so many other reasons as well, that I'm not sure I have time or space for right now.
Is this another issue of me letting go and not being able to. Is the right thing to do looking me in the face, but me not being able to see it? Only time will tell I suppose. I honestly wish I had a crystal ball that could tell me where I would be in a year or two. What will happen if I take ro
A couple of weeks ago I posted about not being able to take a compliment. Sure enough it happened again and I froze.
My husband and I had planned to host New Year's Day supper at our home this year. My family really likes to get together and any excuse is a good one. We have the same feast on New Year's Day as we do on Christmas day. Those of us who are married and have big enough houses usually take turns hosting. This year I offered. I was very excited and have been baking for weeks and planning how I was going to cook the feast. I love entertaining and pull out all the best for our guests and I really enjoy doing it. My husband unfortunately got really sick the day before New Year's. I called my mom and asked if she could host. The catch was that since I had already bought all the food so I would bring it. She agreed and I called all of our relatives.
I spend all of New Year's eve day and most of New Year's day preparing. New Year's eve day I cooked an enormous sized ham. It was beautiful!!! I don't even eat ham. I had it covered with pineapple and cherries, it was basted every 15 minutes for almost 2 hours with an amazing smelling glaze. Even though I don't eat ham, I fell in love with it. It was almost too pretty to eat. I also had some lovely butternut squash left from my garden which I par boiled and then baked with nutmeg and brown sugar. I used one of my best baking dishes, it is blue and set off the colour of the squash beautifully. Lastly I made an apple crumble that was divine. I switched up some things that I normally do and added some crushed walnuts for extra crunch. I looked as pretty as it was tasty.
New Year's eve I visited a friend and her family for a drink and then came home to kiss my husband at midnight. He was so sick by then that a peck on the cheek was all we each got. At least we were together. The next morning I got up early to start cooking again. I started peeling potatoes, an entire 10lb bag of potatoes to be exact. For those I waited to boil them until I was at my mom's. There were a few cloves of garlic in the pot for some nice flavour, I then mashed them up with fresh cream and butter. They were smooth and yummy! I cut up two bags of carrots and got them going in my slow cookers. In one the carrots cooked in orange juice, honey, cinnamon and brown sugar, they smelled lovely and tasted even better. In the second crock pot the carrots cooked in orange juice, maple syrup and brown sugar, they were just as good. My dad doesn't like cinnamon so I wanted to make sure he had carrots too. Lastly the brussel sprouts. Now these puppies were hard to find, I had no idea that so many stores would sell out of brussel sprouts but eventually I found some. I peel each and scored them with a knife. They too were boiled ever so slightly at my mom's and were delicious.
I packed up my car with all of the goodies, as well as the bread, sauces, napkins, and anything else I could fit into my trunk and off the kids and I went to my mom's. My mom and dad had cooked the turkey and my aunt brought her traditional stuffing.
We loaded up our plates. A few people thanked my parents for such a great meal and they of course said "Jenni made everything but the turkey". This is when the compliments started coming... I think my family really liked the food but they were also a bit amazed that I was able to pull it all together. Whilst caring for my three children and having a sick partner. To be honest I was a bit shocked too! Anyways back to the compliments... I froze. I tried to say thank you instead all that came out was a nod and a chuckle. I felt my face get hot and I'm sure I was blushing. I begged for one of my children to jump into my lap and need me so I wouldn't have to face my family thanking me. What is wrong with me. How hard can it be to take a simple compliment. So say to myself yes I did a damn good job and I am happy that someone recognized it. I am too humble? Is it that I do all of this work because I enjoy it and don't really expect anything in return? Or I am not entirely sure that I have truly done a good job?
Whatever my reasons I am going to still try to do better. I am going to think about what it is that makes me clam up, change the subject or run away when someone offers me a compliment. I am going to try harder to say "thank you so much"
Jennifer is an RMT, long time yoga practitioner and teacher. Follow her musings as an RMT, yoga teacher, prenatal educator and mother of three.