Tuesday, May 28, 2013

mini vacation

a year and a half ago,
when life was harder than,
well life itself
{or so it felt at the time}
i made a deep connection with the
 music and lyrics of
 Mumford and Sons.
they became my sound track and i still listen to them
at least once a day.
we traveled to Vancouver to see them live at an outdoor concert this past weekend
and my heart grew at least 2 sizes, i am sure.
you know that feeling,
standing in a crowd of 25,000 people
 feeling right at home
because you are so connected to the words, the sound,
 the feeling that a particular music evokes?
ya, that's what happened.
i felt at home.
 in an enormous crowd.
with owen behind me and hannah by my side.
we had the best 3 days together,
traveling, not too far from home,
but far enough away to feel like we were able to escape,
for a few moments,
the life that we adore and work hard at, but sometimes feel burdened by.
we lost ourselves high above Vancouver in our hotel room,
we lost ourselves peering, in awe at the jelly fish displays at the aquarium,
we lost and found our hearts at the concert
and we lost ourselves again,
 becoming silly and carefree
 in the pretend rooms of ikea
the next morning.
mini vacations are golden.
take them people!
 even if it is just downtown,
wherever your downtown may be.
take yourself away
 and remember how to come alive again.
  a mini vacation is also a great excuse to wear a new dress!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

it didn't fit.

i tried to crawl back into my old skin a few nights ago.
i sat on my bed and grieved.
i grieved for a time that was easier,
 less painful and wasn't defined through the lenses that i am currently wearing.
i was missing an old friend who has parted ways with me
for her reasons. for reasons i can't control and i was missing her, feeling abandoned by her, and yet, understanding that part of the cost of chronic illness includes loss of relationships.
i was remembering the days that flowed easily, that i felt i could control, days where i knew where my children were and what they were doing and i rested in the assurance that we were all alright.
and always would be.
i cried hot tears, and i wrote a letter that will never be mailed to that friend and then asked Owen to read it just so someone could witness my pain.
and he didn't want to but he did because he loves me and helps burden share with me,
even when the burdens are mine alone and he can't lift them.
i wept for the days of innocence, of casualness, of ease.
and i came to the place again of remembering
 that i couldn't go back there.
i accepted
that i can't turn back the hands of my
 personal clock
and that forward is the only direction
 worth moving.
but oh i tried.
for a few moments
 i tried to squeeze myself back into who i was,
who they were,
who i though we were all becoming.
the vision i had created for our futures together.
and i wrestled and squirmed
  feeling an emotional roller coaster rip through my body
and then i surrendered.
trust and surrender are my badges these weeks.
and i accepted the realization that
i am not that person,
they are not those people,
she is not that friend
and i don't fit that skin anymore anyhow
and even if there were some magical way to return,
i would be a stranger.
too different to belong in my past.
i have grown new skin.
i have been shedding
 and it is time to notice the newness
 of who i am and feel safe here.
as a child
(and still, truth be told)
when i would stumble upon a snake's paper thin, too small skin
i felt a hush. a holy hush of wonder.
that process is a miracle
in my eyes and i am in awe.
new skin.
the celebration of new growth,
through the humble letting go of our old container.
discarded and left.
 not displayed somewhere as precious,
not carried on our backs..
just left as it fell,
 to return to what it was.
allowing us to be free to be who we are.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

grateful right now.

it has been far too long since i have done a
grateful right now post
so here we go...
sunshine is streaming through my kitchen window
clear spaces are beginning to appear thanks to last night's decluttering
owen comes home late tonight!
i have a new, well 3 weeks old, job that is perfect for me.
i am learning to let her go a bit more each day
my online journaling community
the onions in the garden are growing
fresh banana muffins are sitting on my counter
homemade almond milk
paint. paint. paint. especially with a 4 year old.
reading books that are saying exactly what my soul needs to hear
essential oil roll ons..especially the one named "balance"
grief letters, written but not mailed
looking for her with a friend
surprise drop in visits from my parents
the cilantro is growing
snail mail

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

making space

(our cat has nothing to do with this post)
making space is a curiosity to me
because it seems that as soon as
it happens,
there is this rushing to refill it.
this is true for me in all my life areas,
but these days my thoughts turn to my home.
when we moved into this big house we were relocating from a
1000 square foot rectangle.
our shoe box house
 i call it and the six of us plust a few extras
over the two years we were there,
existed very close together.
it was, cozy.
we moved to this house,
all 3000 square feet of it,
and declared that we would
 never possibly ever be able to fill it all up.
and 5 years later i can declare that we were lying.
add on a few years of chronic illness and exhaustion
and the challenges that life has brought us
and i can tell you that house work
 and all that is necessary for the physical care of a house
has been very,very low on the priority list.
until now.
the energy has changed here recently
and slowly over the past year and i am noticing it and on a mission.
let the great de-cluttering begin
i said yesterday
 and i promised myself
 an hour a day would be devoted to getting rid of stuff
and after that,
 i would rearrange the rooms, clean the carpets, get house plants,
create spaces
 as i once did with such enthusiasm.
my house would become a home again.
so that would mean that today there should have been a few boxes by the door
ready to be taken away,
there would have been empty spaces showing up,
room for breathing being made.
i just didn't want to
 you know?
it seems so overwhelming 
and well, time consuming
and i would rather colour.
the pitfall of many great transitions in life.
just not starting.
so i am here,
declaring that tonight at 7 pm
i am putting on the timer and beginning.
making space.
moving forward.
in all the areas of my life.
creating home.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

oh the stories i could tell

i decided to make it a series.
oh the stories i could tell.
here is the first one.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

and i suddenly reilized..{this is a wee bit of a rant}

no one is coming to rescue me,
save me, take care of me,
be responsible for me.
except myself.
and this is okay.
in fact it is more than okay.
it is comforting because i know that i need not wait or strive
or be concerned about my inner stability
it depends not on others and there can be total surrender and trust
and letting go of so much fear
because i can trust myself.
{and i do} 
i am surrounded by people who love me dearly,
would do anything for me,
care for me down to the soles of their feet
and are oh, so  supportive of me.
and i soak up their love and let it fill me,
especially on the heavy days.
i need them
 but i also need myself
{more so, i think}
i need to part of, a bigger part of
"team tania"
{does that make sense?}
 i am the one,
the only one,
who can truly care for myself
and i am the one,
the only one who knows how to do that best,
when i listen to my inner self whisper to me.
i need to start doing what i hear.
{for all you self care masters out there,
 i am aware i am late in learning this lesson,
i won't even nap for goodness sakes}
this week
these past three days
i am learning the lesson of self love,
self preservation,
inner strength
and fortitude
and i am learning them fast.
{and deep}
fast tends to happen
 when your biggest supporter  suddenly is working out of town all week,
every week, in a turn of events that felt too fast, too unfair, too hard and is for too long.
{the days he is here suddenly feel much more important and valuable.}
and all the "things"
that i would save up for him
to help me deal with are now all mine to handle.
{or at least it feels that way}
 it doesn't much matter if i have a husband who works out of town suddenly,
or if there is any other sort of crisis brewing
{and there does always seem to be one in my world}
 because we just don't know,
do we
 and i need to be able to stand on my own two feet and stand firm,
 because i know how to care for myself.
my wobbly legs need to firm up and remember their strong roots again.
and maybe when you see me,
you think that i do stand firm and when i sway, i do so with  grace and strength
 because my roots are deep,
but until last night, until this morning,
i didn't believe it and now i do
and that is what matters.
i believe what others see
and i believe i know how to meet my needs
and i am so proud.
i have of course had lots of trial runs with this process,
it's just that last night i woke up to myself and said
"you need to take care of yourself girl!"
and it sunk in finally.
  this is my
moment this year! 
i can and will  take care of myself,
feed myself,  do what i need to do to be healthy
even if that feels selfish, and costs money
and means my life looks different than it has.
even if it looks strangely different
from your self care rituals,
 or my husbands or friends.
it makes sense
that we would all  have different strategies and rituals
 and ways to take good care,
after all,
we are all so wonderfully unique.
i need to just do what i need to do.
and so i am.

Monday, May 13, 2013

noisy surrender

a friend read my post from yesterday
and declared
"surrender. beautiful"
and i was gently reminded, re-guided to the path
of surrender
 and all the life
 that open up for me
 when i hand over what is not mine to keep.
 i have had many opportunities to practice surrendering
that and those that i love so deeply these past few years.

my dignity on occasions,
my curly haired girl,
the sense of self that comes from our "career",
the list could go on and on,
and now,
my fierce garden girl dreams.
what i know is this.
i do not yet surrender quietly.
i tend to fight, to keep going back and picking it up again,
whatever it may be.
i carry it for longer than necessary and i cry out about it,
quite a bit,
in the private spaces of my life.
but i do surrender
in the end
 and each time i am needing to face a reality, give up something or someone
it is always lined with such learning and stretching and loving.
  what finally arrives is a gentle release, 
 an often bitter sweet
 space and a landing that has,
 never been more than i can bear.
this surrender business
is bringing me closer to living a life of constant trust.
trusting in the moment, the journey, the bigger plan,
the new opportunities and gifts and friendships that await me
and this surrender work
is teaching me to not hold on too tightly to that which is not mine to grasp,
that an open hand receives much more than a tightly grasped fist and that
there is beauty in the empty spaces.
i need not rush to fill them.
a sweet comment on my blog last night
allowed me to re frame my sadness of the weekend.
she  helped return me to the path of optimism
by simply reminding me that i can still be a
"scatterer of seeds"
how lovely is that image?
that i can and will always do...
-a seed scatterer- 
and one who learns to trust the path of surrender.
the ground will not fail me.
nor will the practice.
i will get quieter, more graceful about it i am sure,
as the years continue to pass me by and squeeze me as they will.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


i don't actually do any digging
in the garden.
or wheel barowing
 or much of anything
 that requires physical strength.
i can't.
and with that truth
i lay to rest a whole lot of hopes and dreams and ideals.
last summer i comforted myself with the belief that
"next summer i will be better, stronger, more capable"
and now it is here, and i am none of those things.
yesterday there was a hot parade of tears pouring
down my face
as i argued with myself and the limitations of this body of mine,
as i found myself flat against the limitations of myself.
as i felt the betrayal of this body of mine, again and again,
in my favorite space,
barefoot amongst the grass and the dirt.
i am struggling to make peace,
slowly and painfully
with the truth that i am not going to be a gardener much longer,
at least not the "gardener" i envisioned i would always be,
the gardener who has a chicken under one arm and a shovel in the other,
surrounded by bounty grown and cared for by my hands and my heart.
that gardener.
can you see her?
i want to be her.
making peace
 with changing dreams,
with the labels we use to define ourselves
is work.
 hard work.
sometimes it feels as though i have been digging with a shovel for hours
even though the excavating is all soul work.
 while i am very close to laying to rest the name
from my vocabulary
because it serves no one to hold onto what we are not,
and it is like salt in a wound to be called something i can not be,
i am confident that there is another plan for me.
another connection-
one that honors both
 my love of the earth
 and my fragile body that i need to respect.
perhaps that is making the reality easier,
holding onto the hope of what is to be,
 rather than focusing on what isn't able to be any longer.
letting go with grace and trust.
allowing myself room to grieve but also anticipate.
but it is still hard, you know,
to see that what nourishes my soul
is slowly, season by season,
being taken away from me
and i struggle to remain optimistic.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

sweet smells.

"sweet smells are running up and down the earth kissing every nose"
-emily carr-
i have been learning about the difference between
 loneliness and solitude,
laziness and rest,
 treatments and healing,
 hanging on and letting go,
shadows and light.
 and sometimes not.
i am
always learning and i am doing most of it
in my backyard, which i have become so fond of
 this spring,
 i am always so fond of my backyard space in the spring,
when the grass is still green
and the lilacs lay heavy their scent all over me
and there are perenials making their faithful appearance.
i sit in my chair,
learning about rest and relaxation
  accepting that it is not laziness
and honouring the progress in my thinking.
i watch my feelings swing between
 oh so lonely
 oh so grateful for the solitude
and i remember not to take myself too seriously because after all,
everything changes in the blink of an eye around here.
i am watching myself embrace the journey
of medication
and dietary restrictions
as i hold onto the hope that there is an answer
if i keep on looking and it has everything to do with healing
and also requires some treatment.
{balance has come}
and all the while,
the spring blooms wrap themselves around me
 with their scent,
 their colours,
 their floating petals
 and dancing Columbine petticoats.
i am intoxicated with spring this year.
i can not get enough of her.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

images from my week.

what i wanted to do was come here
and talk about my doubts, my struggle with faith,
the temptation to slide down the path of ungratefulness.
instead. i looked at my images from this week
and decided that all my questions, my waverings, my battles
can be laid to rest.
it is well with my soul.
the battle may rage around me, and in my body,
i am grounded in love and mercy and grace.
my days are overflowing with the beauty that i make a choice to see.
it is always there,
waiting to be stumbled upon, fallen into
 and i am re- deciding,
right now,
 to continue to choose to see it.
and document it
and share.
find the beauty with me today.