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Tuesday, July 22, 2014


So, for the first time in a couple of years I am on vacation and actually get to travel! The GEMS Leadership Training Conference is this week in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We're leaving around 8:30 this morning. I really should be in bed now, but I've been busy packing, doing laundry, and just finding a place for everything before I go. I don't get back until Sunday sometime and I know I won't have a lot of time to prepare before going back to work Monday. I guess it's just my way of preparing for that inevitability and to clear some of my mind clutter too.

I have big hopes for this time away. It's a time away from my job, away from my house and away from my family. It should give me plenty of room for some much needed soul searching. I want, no. I need to find my calling. I need to find God's purpose for my life. I don't expect to have all the answers, I just want to feel like I'm on the right path and working towards the right goals. I'm tired of floundering through life. I know I have a great life in terms of an amazing husband, and three healthy, beautiful, unique children. There was a time I thought that was all I'd ever need, but I'm now finding there's still something missing. Some part of me that can't find peace until I am fulfilling a purpose greater than I am now.

Okay, well this post took a sorry turn for the dark and depressing! Sorry about that. I am actually quite excited about my trip and just wanted to take a few minutes to share where my head is at. If there's WiFi I may try and sneak in a blog post while I'm away. If not I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories to share when I return.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Progress with Primal Strength Systems

As you know I've been doing a fitness class called Primal Strength Systems. I'm in my fourth week now and loving (and sometimes hating) every minute of it. I decided to do a video post since it's been a while.

I've made a lot of progress over the last month and I've proved to myself that I am capable of so much more! I've had some personal bests that have really encouraged me in my journey. Tonight I was able to hold up my own body weight on that damn gym rope. It was only for a short time and only a couple of inches off the ground, but I DID IT!

I'm actually holding up my own weight!
Well, I'm off. I just had to share my excitement and progress with you tonight while it's still fresh and while I can still type without muscle pain!

And in case you missed it and you're wondering what kind of equipment we've been using here's a demo video.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Everything is Awesome....

Today, just for a moment everything is awesome! I am awesome! This morning was my sixth class with Primal Strength Systems and today I kicked ass!

It's getting easier to lift the 75 lbs bag. (I said easier not easy.) I also surprised myself with my improved ability to pull myself up from the ground using the thick rope. (You know the dreaded rope you had to climb in gym class as a kid) We did this one the first class and I could barely lift myself off the ground. Now I can go hand over hand and pull my body up and back down again (my feet stay on the ground). One of these days I'll get someone to take a video or a pic of it to show you.

It's amazing what I've accomplished in three short weeks. I feel like everyone should be able to tell just by looking at me, but there's no obvious physical changes. (I checked. I took pictures to compare. It's only minute changes that I can see.) That will come in time, I just have to be patient and persistent. I am quite proud of myself for what I have accomplished. I continue to amaze myself. Seeing the things that my body is capable of just makes me want to do more and more amazing things!

It's funny on my way home I had so much to say and now I'm drawing a blank. So, I guess I'll keep it short and sweet today!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 11, 2014

An Ode to a Mug

Oh travel mug how I loved thee!
And then you went and died on me.

You've been there for me through many cups of coffee to many more cups of tea. You didn't judge me when I changed your contents. You gladly kept everything hot, sometimes too hot! And then I discovered that you kept my cold water, really cold, and I knew it was love! How will I ever manage to live without you?

Today is a sad day indeed. I will miss you Travelly my mug. I took you wherever I went. I'm so sorry about that dent. You've always been a good friend.

Farewell dear one! It's time to buy a new one!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Finding Style

Friday I went to Reitman's to see if I could find a light colored shirt for my fitness class. It's really hot working out in a black shirt! While I was there I tried on a number of dresses. I seriously love wearing dresses. Over the last 10 months or so I've been putting in effort in terms of trying to find my own style. In fact, prior to October 2013, I hadn't worn lipstick in years. I still don't wear a lot of makeup, just eyeliner, mascara and now lipstick. I've learned what colors look best on me and I'm still learning what I like and what looks good. It's still a little weird for me as I go about finding my own style but I am enjoying creating this part of my identity. 

Anyway, I found a couple of dresses I liked but I wasn't 100% sure so I didn't buy them. Sunday I was going to go back but wanted to check out Pennington's first. They only had halter and floor length dresses which wasn't what I was looking for. These stores tend to really annoy me. There are clothes I'd love to wear, but I can't justify spending that much money on one item. My visit got cut short as I was needed at home. I figured I would just go to Reitman's a little later. Unfortunately, by the time I was able to get out again everything was closed and I ended up at Walmart.

The dress selection was slim but I found one I was willing to try on. I was highly disappointed. Can someone please tell me what is up with this new style where a dress is short in front and long in back? It makes no sense to me and honestly I think they're awful.

Could you not decide if you wanted a short dress or a long one and went with both?  
In the end, I managed to buy a magenta sleeveless scoop neck top, sandals, a new bra, and underwear. I always forget how much better I feel when I get new underclothes. Nothing beats having the girls up where they belong! What we wear under our clothes can have such a positive impact on our self-esteem. It's the little things in life that put a smile on my face. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Another Successful Class

It's Thursday already! At least this is a super short week. I don't think I'd survive if it wasn't.

Last night was my third class with Primal Strength Systems. We started the class in the rain and ended by getting eaten alive!

Finally another woman has joined us and this time we all actually introduced ourselves. We are all at various degrees of fitness but what I find fascinating is that each of us has a strength in at least one area. I love my squats!

The other woman in the class is amazing! She's got seven month old twins! And she said one side of her body is weaker than the other (I'm not sure why). But she's truly amazing. She can't do everything so the trainer gives her alternatives and you can see she's really trying. She's my hero of the week! It just goes to prove anyone at any fitness level can do this!

So, I thought we had gotten off "easy" until the end when we had to do that damned bear crawl! I was crawling by the last 5 feet but it wasn't exactly a bear crawl.

It's only been 3 classes and I can see improvement in my strength already! This is where my stubbornness really is a blessing. I had to do farmer walks with around 70lbs in each hand and about halfway I wanted to drop them but kept going just out of sheer stubbornness! The 75 lbs bag is getting slightly easier to lift. I've been able to lift it without falling on my duff and without help. I even managed to do 5 front squats with it.

The best part about this class is that I'm not self conscious. For the most part I keep up with everyone else. And I really look forward to class!

If you're ever interested in joining or have questions please feel free to contact Terry!

Posted via BlogPost

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Lifetime of Searching

Happy Canada Day!

Well, I've gone and done it now. I'm all wired up and need to rant! As you know I've been in this personal funk. I've been in it for so long now it's getting hard to remember what having hopes and dreams felt like. Don't get me wrong, I'm not ready to end it all or anything so dire. I have a pretty fantastic life, but as I mentioned before there's a big hole in my life that I can't seem to fill.

Let's see, where to begin. So, at 17 I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was positive that I would be a reporter. It had been strongly suggested by my high school guidance counselor that I go into journalism and not only did it seem like I had an aptitude for it, but it also fit with my interests. I did a co-op placement at the local newspaper and loved it.

However, journalism in college was a completely different ball game and I realized this was not what I wanted to do. I stuck it out and passed...barely. I did find that I had a knack for layout and design so after a maternity leave contract ended I decided to go back to school once again.

This time I took web design. I rocked that course. I did so well I ended up tutoring other students in my own class. But when I had to face the real world I didn't have the confidence in myself or what I could do and I didn't put a lot of effort into my job search. I did some small business websites for friends, but that was about the extent of it. Web design also took a crazy turn for the dynamic and I was lost in the wilderness. I'm good with design, not so good with learning new languages.

So, I entered the technical support and customer service world and stayed at call centers for the most part over the next 12 years. Once you're in a call center type job it's really difficult to get back out. A couple of years ago, my technical support contract ended and I was able to get into the Second Career program through Employment Ontario.

I ended up taking the Addictions and Community Service Worker program at Everest College. I learned a lot through this program. I was a leader in my classroom. I made really decent marks and when I graduated I was certain that I would be able to find a job this time. I had self-confidence and the perseverance to apply, apply, apply. What I hadn't counted on was a lack of opportunities for full time work in the field. I admit my teacher did tell us over and over again this is not the field to be making a lot of money, but I did think I could find something full time.

I bought into the Second Career hype that over the next five years social service and community service workers were going to be in high demand. There's a demand all right. A demand for casual, part-time employees with no real hope for more.

Social and Community Service Workers Regional Trend
After a year of looking and only being able to get casual part-time work I threw in the towel. Yes, maybe I did give up too easily, but I was heart broken. I'd finally found my passion. I'd finally found what that I felt I'd been called to do. Being a leader in the classroom just doesn't translate to the real world of job searching.

Knowing what you're good at doesn't promise you a job. Maybe this is coming off as conceited but I promise you this is not about my ego. For the first time in my life I've had a glimpse of what I've been missing throughout my entire employment history. This glimpse has taken what I thought I knew and thrown it out the window. I thought that all I ever really wanted was to have a stable job with normal daytime hours and weekends off. And maybe there was a time that would have been enough for me, but I caught that glimpse of more and I can't seem to let it go.

The question is, where do I go from here?

Do I go back to school again, only this time go big or go home and try the university route? I have to admit I'm quite gun-shy about going back to school. How many stories have you heard about recent graduates not being able to find jobs? I know I've heard plenty and I've experienced a few myself. Plus, there's the whole issue of how would I afford it even if I could get in.

Do I attempt entrepreneurship and start my own company? There's a lot of risk there and an initial investment that, let's face it, I don't have. Plus, I have a family to support so is the risk really worth it?

Do I stay where I am even though I feel like I lose another piece of myself everyday? I have decent hours so I can enjoy my evenings and weekends. Except that I'm left so drained at the end of the day I don't really enjoy my time off. Oh, but don't forget the old adage "at least I have a job".

Do I put myself through the humiliation of another job search? I'm a Jane of all trades and master of none. Have you ever tried to look for a job but not known where to even start?

So, I have options. (Insert eye roll here and sarcastic "yay".) Maybe we should be teaching our children that the ideal dream job just isn't out there. Find a job that you can stand, one that doesn't take away who you are, pays the bills and is just...good...enough.

Don't worry, I know that's ridiculous and jaded. Believe me, I want my kids to pursue their dreams and to actually be able to surpass their own imaginations! But I also want my kids to see that I've done everything I possibly could to accomplish my own dreams no matter how terrifying they may seem.

~End Rant~