What emerged over the month?
CLARITY. With all of my kids gone for most of the summer, I have spent my time prioritizing things. I am very clear on what I want going forward in all aspects of my life: my physical environment, my professional opportunities, my health, my finances, my relationships with family and friends, my personal growth and my creative pursuits. July was a bit messy but it all seemed to come together through August. I didn’t push myself or become impatient, I knew the pieces would fall into place – or not – and with love and kindness I was going to hold the space to figure it out. I know this was the greatest gift I’ve ever given myself!
What were the big and small victories?
Calendars and schedules and coloured pens took up much time and attention. So happy to have it all done well in advance of the school year! | Inspired by Cathy Zielske’s new Scrapbook Your Year method, I took all of the content from all of my previous blogs and stored all of it in Word documents in order to get my books complete! | Susannah Conway hosted #augustbreak2016 – I enjoyed participating and posting, fun getting back on Instagram. | Early in the month Chloé got her tablet for next year at school (Caden is booked to get his in September). And we received all of the text books. It’s so close! | Caden got his G1. His course at DriveWise was held the last week of the month. | More signs of growing up: Social Insurance Numbers have been obtained. Weird how something so important to your identity doesn’t even have a card but a simple print out on plain paper. | The Olympics are so much fun to watch – a wonderful distraction from politics in the US which infiltrates our Canadian days. Endless beach and court volleyball and the “weird” sports we never see any other time. | The boys + Chloé enjoyed regular “classics” – their term for hangouts. | Max is getting quite a work out now that Chloé is completely fearless driving around town. | I enjoyed lunch on the dock with Lise. The company was great. The weather? Blistering hot with humidex 44C. | My bedroom is the only one in the house that faces West with no shade. It is so hot even early in the morning with a ceiling fan running. I had window film installed and it is wonderful – it cut the heat (but not the light) by at least 50%. | Claire has made plans to go to Punta Cana for reading week with girlfriends. So much fun! (The trip sold out in day one!) | Note sent to the head of the Arts Department about getting the Timpani drums back to the school. With the departure of Ms Dupuy, Chloé has decided to focus on vocal next year. | BBQ at the Watt’s to pick up Cole and move him back home. While he didn’t come back with us, all his stuff did! | Manifested some good ideas at the Full Moon. | Watched the Tragically Hip concert on CBC – with the rest of the country. Spectacular. The next morning I donated to brain cancer research. | We had a lovely visit with my cousin Pete who rode up from Truro. | Who knew you could eat breakfast at Whole Foods? Happy to meet and catch up with my friend, Jill. | Claire and Cole went to the Blink 182 concert. Throwback to 2007! | The Power Hour with Heather Hannan was worth every minute! Love wins, always. | Keeping my hair short – and gray. Sweet liberation! | Checking out of IKEA at 9PM is a hectic experience. At least the apartments for the upcoming school year are all set! Until we figure out what was missed. | Spa Day at Zenbar really makes me feel good: reiki, wax, facial and pedicure. Bliss. | “Deployment Syndrome” is in full swing and I’m happy to be able to avoid a few days of it! | Caden checked with me – seriously – his outfit before a day with friends. My response? “Are you trying to look fabulous?” “Uh, no.” “Then change.” | The youngers enjoyed Canada’s Wonderland with Blyth friends. | Travel is always an adventure. Seriously considering all trips should be made via car from now on – or business class non stop! | Inside Story Summer School has started and I know it will be filled with such good information and a dynamic community. Love. | Waving ‘bye to Claire who is back to Kingston for her final year at Queen’s.
What were the lessons?
I missed PaintNite! I was so engrossed in collecting the information from my now-defunct blogs that I started at 3PM and looked up at the clock at 7PM. Boo. | Caden has a few more weeks with braces. He is fed up with my asking if he is wearing his elastics. | I missed the Perseids Meteor Shower due to overcast skies. | Claire made it from England to JFK fine. It was the JFK to Pearson leg that was brutal. Overbooking is not a good business choice. 19 hours later she got on an airplane to Toronto. | My 78 Mirrors Course took a back seat to my getting 2015 pages done and printed. | Sent my 2015 book out for printing and FORGOT the cover page. Oh well! | I really enjoy writing workshops. This one was how to make stories more dramatic. I needed to learn that! Too bad I didn’t make it. Ugh. | I’m pretty sure if I ever hear Snow Patrol Chasing Cars again it will induce tears! Or The Tragically Hip Ahead By A Century, I’ll be bawling. | The cemetery installed rock in the creek which essentially makes all of the work done in my yard last fall moot. Now to find a solution.
I am so jazzed by CZ’s new memory keeping method that I got back into scrapbooking in a big way. Not in a collect every product or piece of ephemera way, but in a get these stories told way. PRINTED: an 86-page book containing the stories of 2015 AND already 35 pages ready to print for 2016! I’m now working on 2014 with plans to get as much done as I can working backward. I do so enjoy keeping our stories and photos I’m grateful for finding this sustainable (and transferable) practice. Boom. Stories told. Photos printed.
ENJOYING EVERYDAY LIFE
Great quote: “No one’s interested in something you didn’t do” – Gord Downie
What we watched and enjoyed: Olympics! The athletes really brought it this year, especially the Canadian women. I appreciate CBC not only gives us intimate interviews with Canadian athletes, but gives a broad and knowledgeable look at all of the athletes in competition, regardless of where they are from. Really well done. (In between Caden tried to keep us caught up with Gray’s Anatomy. I have no doubt that should I hear this song ever again I will cry. No, I will sob. Should have it all watched by the series return on 22 September!)
Book found on my nightstand: Moonology by Yasmin Boland is filled with all kinds of great information in bite-sized morsels. It makes all things moon easy to understand. That is saying A LOT!
Music that had me moving and singing along: all this new music from old favourites! Peter Gabriel, KT Tunstall – Maybe it’s a Good Thing is lovely, Corinne Bailey Rae, Natalie Merchant – so wonderful to hear from them again! Awaiting something from Imogen Heap (though she’s been busy as she wrote the music for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) … and a few others.
Weather: We finally had a few big thunderstorms but not enough to get rid of the humidity or make up for the lack of rain. Grass around town is still brown and dormant. I’ve never been so anxious for rain – and some cool, it’s been unbearably hot this summer.
Unexpected: Mid-month I received an e-mail that is hands-down the weirdest bit of correspondence I have ever received. Not weird because it came from a woman who was “involved” with my ex-husband, I’ve received plenty of those. It was lovely and complementary and unexpected.
Discovery: As one does on the internet, I stumbled across the Best Self site and in turn found the Self Journal (and manifesto poster!) I am a calendar junkie and had promised myself that this year I would be content with my Get To Work Book and my DayMinder Monthly Academic Planner. At this age and stage, I don’t have that many goals in my life, but what few I have are important: lose 25 pounds (on my way to losing 100 pounds); finish Year in the Life Albums for 2013 and 2014; take and pass the course that will open up my future; and, map out the outline of my book/novel/memoir, just get it out of my system so I can move on.
Exhale: Not that I’m perfect (yet!), but I graduated myself from my weekly coaching sessions of the last few years. I am as good as I’m going to get – and that’s not half bad. I am so very tired of working on myself – the rehash of old issues and learning how to deal with people who are never going to change. For the foreseeable future I plan to be centred in now and simply let things be. All future plans include a paintbrush or camera in hand. It is time to get back to creating what I love now that I’ve created who I love best!
Online Courses: Fierce Grace Collective with Carrie Anne Moss; Creativity Workshop with Elizabeth Gilbert; Sacred Wheel Immersion with Allison Carr; Ask Your Guides with Sonia Choquette; The Moon Sisterhood with Anne Hayman; The Inside Story and 78 Mirrors with Susannah Conway; 50 Questions with Heather Plett; Journaling into the Deep with Jen Morris; Inner Excavation with Liz Lamoreaux; One Little Word with Ali Edwards; and, FIT2016 and Scrapbook Your Year with Cathy Zielske.
How was your August? What are you noticing in your life?