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Birth day

January 13th, 2017 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Parenting - (Comments Off on Birth day)

Seven years ago I was finally introduced to the most important person in my life.

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(I cannot believe it was seven years ago).

Back then she needed me for absolutely everything, and now she barely needs me for anything. Except that she knows she needs me, which I don’t think will every go away. So that’s lucky.

The love I feel for her can still bring me to tears. I didn’t ever know that was a thing before. That just watching another person live could bring you to tears because you are so deeply connected to them. Even when you hate them you love them. Even when you want them to go away you want to be with them.

I want nothing more than for her to know she is loved and she is protected. That she is smart and strong and full to the brim with possibility.

All of the best parts of me, and all of the best parts of her Daddy, and every bit her own person – more and more every day. She fascinates me. Even when I’m confused or angry, I’m fascinated.

She gives the best hugs.

Seven years ago I met my favourite person in the word, and she is so much my everything. I don’t know what I ever would have done without her.

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What.

January 9th, 2017 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Parenting | Personal - (Comments Off on What.)

I have been struggling with a simple question lately. What do I want?

What do I want to be? What do I want to do for a living? The answer always shrinks down to what am I capable of, really. What can I actually do. My brain convinces me that there is little I can ask for – despite all evidence to the contrary.

What do I want?

All I want is for my daughter to be happy. To be healthy. To see me happy and healthy. To be better at seeing herself.

What do I want?

I want to talk to my dad. I want to ask his opinion and get a response. The kind he always used to give. It wasn’t always easy to hear but it was often right.

I want to feel well rested for just one day. I want to see in me what others so clearly see.

I want someone to give me a glimpse just five years down the road so that I have an inkling that I will have answers. I want more than confusion and doubt.

I want to feel good about the things I’ve actually accomplished. I want to sit back and have a little fun. I want there to be moments when the hard work and worry fades away.

So, now, when.

The art is the political

January 8th, 2017 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Issues - (Comments Off on The art is the political)

I watched the Golden Globes this weekend for the same reason I usually watch awards shows, because I find them entertaining. I like going to see movies and I like watching great TV and I like to see actors and writers and directors and other creative people get awarded and give speeches while wearing pretty clothes.

I like the speeches because sometimes one of the winners will say something profound and important. Like Tracee Ellis Ross and Meryl Streep did at the Globes.

But as wonderful as Meryl’s speech was (though I’d argue that rich white people aren’t the most vilified…) I saw people filling Twitter with complaints that she would get political at an event meant to celebrate the arts.

I am fascinated by this segment of the populations that believes arts and politics are apparently separate. I would say that very little inspires great art like political outrage. Decades of great art have demonstrated this.

And something tells me we are headed for four years of great production. It is the one thing I’m looking forward to – the artists writing us out of the darkness and reminding us what fighting means.

Reigniting and it feels so good

January 5th, 2017 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Reigniting and it feels so good)

I have been very lucky in my life to know a lot of great women. I have been particularly lucky in my adult life to meet a lot of passionate women. I have had the chance to watch them grow and build something for themselves. I know a lot of entrepreneurial women who found their perfect thing that they love doing and are good at.

Sometimes it feels as though everyone I know has figured out what to do with their passion and I’m just here, trying to stay passionate.

But when I said as much on Facebook I got a thoughtful reply from one friend who has been going through a similar journey to mine over the past couple of years.
So what if I redefine my passion and look for my purpose. And subsequently look for purpose in everything I do.
Sometimes the purpose of a thing is going to feel unsatisfying, but the thing itself will be necessary.
The fact is that I know what I’m passionate about. I am passionate about writing. I always have been. I can so easily lose myself in books or in my own words. I have known for years that whatever career or job I ended up in would have to require a good deal of writing.
My purpose is much more difficult. I have an easy answer – I take care of my family. I mother. That, day to day, is my purpose. There might be none greater.
But there is a greater purpose for me, somewhere. And I don’t know what that is.
Since I took my first ever job I have known that I love working. I love learning and using my brain and creating. I love being part of a team. To spend the day thinking, and trying to find answers and create solutions. To pass along information necessary for the best decisions.
To be of use. To create focus. To be a part of something greater. That is my purpose.
And more.
There are so many things I could be doing better. That I will try to do better, improve, approach differently in 2017. I respect the new year as a place of new beginnings. New focus, an attempt at new priorities. Like Jenny says, to focus on contentment.
2017 will be the year I put my mask on first.
Re-build

Re-build

I feel it coming on every afternoon since we got back from our trip. At some point, four or five o’clock, no matter what we’ve been doing the rest of the day, I begin to find the company of others unbearable.

Even today, even when I spent the entire afternoon out, by myself, completely relaxed.

Even when I started the day off well. Even when I’ve had enough sleep.

It’s like a collision between my depression and low blood sugar.

And I hate everything about.

I go upstairs, I separate myself in quiet. I get annoyed, easily frustrated. Unfair. I sit and wonder what the hell is wrong with me.

Normal people don’t feel this way. Normal people don’t crash in the middle of the day. Normal people don’t have to escape from their family for fear of lashing out.

Normal people don’t wake up ready to dance and spend their afternoon waiting to explode.

Light the match

January 2nd, 2017 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Health | Personal - (Comments Off on Light the match)

In 2017 I need to change. Me. My brain needs re-jigging. My body. My life a bit too.

So many things not worth thinking about or getting upset over. Wasted energy, brain power. Wasted stress. Wasted time. Wasted health.

Mood swings and exhaustion and tears.

So 2017 and I have some figuring out to do.

Perhaps in the future 2017 will be known as the year Amy stopped letting shit get to her. No more of this getting so stressed out I’m in physical pain. Especially because I’m scared of the reactions of people that have nothing to do with me.

I’m turning 36 this year. I’m old enough to know better and also too old to deal with some of this shit. Also old enough to know that I don’t have to. I can have standards for the way I’m treated and I can enforce them.

Good enough, smart enough, strong enough, skilled enough, etc.

Because at 35, almost 36 I have a better grasp of what’s actually important.

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2017 Incoming

December 30th, 2016 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Health | Parenting | Personal - (Comments Off on 2017 Incoming)

It seems like it’s been a rough year. There were definite highs and some low lows. Crap getting thrown all over the bloody place. I’m worn out and ready to be hopeful. A couple of years ago I trusted my instincts and went back to school and it probably couldn’t have been better for me. This year I trusted my instincts and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t at all. Now I’m trying to trust them again, and it’s hard.

I need to focus and simplify. That’s my goal. And to take better care of me. There are a lot of things I can’t control and a very few that I can. So that is where my strength will lie.

I can’t control who other countries elect as their leader, but I can control how much sleep I get and how much water I drink. I can control my spending and my food intake and the amount of time I spend exercising at the lovely gym I pay for monthly.

I spend so much time telling my daughter that she needs to try to control her brain, to shift her focus, to move away from the dark into the light, but shouldn’t I also be getting that message?

I’m tried of trying to get better, I’d like to just be better.

So that’s what I’m going to try to do from now on. Be in the moment, taking care of the most important things. Knowing that making the hard decision now will make things easier later. Taking care of smaller things so that they all roll into something bigger.

I started decluttering the house a big yesterday. I started with the mantle, picking off things that aren’t needed and putting them in a box, dusting as I went. I cleaned out my toques and scarves and shoes in the front closet. I cleaned off my bookshelf and said goodbye to those titles who have been waiting for me to get to them for too long. Before the week is out I’ll clean out my dresser. Yesterday I bought new socks and got rid of two pairs that haven’t been what I needed. I’ll say goodbye to clothes that I think I should wear but that I really don’t feel comfortable in, and I’ll pass them on to someone else who might.

I’ll tidy my office next week, and make it ready for me to sit and create – writing, drawing, watercolours. Whatever I feel like doing. The walls are full of inspiration, the shelves full of books to read and notebooks to fill. I love my office.

I started knitting again over the holidays – a thing I enjoy doing that I had stopped for no real reason except there were other things to do. I made two hats, started a blanket, and planned to take some classes that will keep me going in the new year.

I will exercise because I know that it is good for me, I know that it makes me feel better in the end. Because it will help me sleep better, which is something I desperately need. I will do both and eat better because I have a 6-almost-7 year old I have to keep up with, because I need more energy to take care of myself, because I need to be able to walk across New York City this spring and do a 10K in the fall. Because this body needs to carry me through the hard times.

Because the end of 2017 is only going to be better than 2016 if I bloody well make it.

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Year end

December 26th, 2016 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal - (Comments Off on Year end)

I was scrolling through Facebook today and one of my friends had sent good wishes and happiness. That anyone reading it would be happy.

And I burst into tears.

Because for the past month or two it has been very difficult to be happy, or even see happiness in my future.

The past month, certainly, feels like it’s been raining shit down on me and my family and I’ve found myself wondering if this is what being an adult is – surely there is some part that is easy or good, at least not a struggle. I can’t keep up with the easy things enough to give myself the breathing room to get through the hard.

All made harder by the holidays. All made harder by being away from home. All made harder by losing pieces of my childhood. All made harder by all the hard things.

I’ve been left wondering where the world is going and none of it seems good. I find myself over-reacting to the smallest of things – knowing that it’s happening. Knowing that tears are coming that I can’t stop.

Looking for the small moments that will remind me that there is some sunshine. That the weather can change. I can be the person I have been before. Reminding myself that sometimes there is good, and maybe it will stick around for a while. That sometimes the bad shows you something about yourself you never knew before.

Christmas from the West Coast

December 24th, 2016 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal - (Comments Off on Christmas from the West Coast)

We’re away from home this Christmas. First time in several years. There was some talk of celebrating somewhere else last year, but after we lost my dad I wasn’t sure I could handle it.

This year my Gramps is doing poorly, my mom doesn’t want to celebrate much of anything at all. Here we are with my husband’s family.

My intention was to spend this holiday pondering. Coming to terms. Moving forward. Carrying on. Figure out what comes next. Where do I fit in the world.

Turns out that’s pretty tough in a house full of people. Especially stealing your husband away from his whole family that he rarely gets to see.

The kid has been throw off her game, which is tough for all of us. It affects her moods, make her emotional and hyperactive. It puts me on edge, adding a level of stress I was not anticipating.

I had, in fact, not anticipated the amount of stress I would feel in general this Christmas. The way that I would feel so much removed from events. Off kilter. It all makes trying to figure out how to feel good again rather difficult.

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Late night musings

December 20th, 2016 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal - (Comments Off on Late night musings)

Sitting in the airport in Calgary. We got up at 4:30 this morning to catch a flight to get here for a four hour layover. Not my best planning.

Because of the early flight we stayed out by the airport last night and I had quite a bit of trouble falling asleep. Now, I often have trouble falling asleep the night before a trip. The first time I flew in my life (save a trip to BC as a baby) I didn’t sleep at all the night before.

I also don’t sleep well when I’m sick, which I am, because vacation. Having to get up to blow your nose and coughing every time you lie down doesn’t lend itself to a restful sleep.

So there I was, in a strange bed, lying awake, thinking about getting up at the buttcrack of stupid, thinking about how I was not sleeping and I should be. And thinking about how 2016 hasn’t really ended the way I had hoped it would for me.

I have gone through a lot this year, seemingly never ending challenges sometimes. I have struggled emotionally. There has been change. There have been accomplishments – I can’t forget those, though I often do. But here at year end, I’m disappointed with where I’m seated.

(Not specifically this gate at the Calgary airport, though, it’s beautifully sunny here and you can see the Rockies).

I held in this anticipation of what came next when I finished my degree, as though I was going to take off like a rocket and do great things. But I’m not.

I thought I was going to have time to cook and exercise and take care of myself and my home and my family but, in fact, I’ve had less. I haven’t been cooking, exercise is hard to fit in, the house is a mess and my daughter is feeding off my stress. She knows I’m down.

I also had the crazy idea that maybe, just maybe, I’d be healthy enough by the end of this year to get off some of my medication. Instead I’m taking more – I’ve had to add iron pills to the mix.

I don’t know what I thought this would be, but I know that this isn’t it.

One day a few weeks ago I was commuting in to work. The drive can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour depending on traffic and weather. I was sitting in the car and thinking to myself and suddenly I thought ‘Is this what life is?’

It’s crushing. To think that you’re moving up and find yourself stuck, wondering, feeling your confidence breaking all over again, and wondering if I was in a good place at all this year.

I know I was. I know it. But I can’t remember.

At least I still get to wake up to them.

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