Today is my birthday.
Over the past few years I find that I am celebrating my birthday more, and certainly being more vocal about it. Not quite to the point of being childish, but I have gotten past being embarassed. It is a day for me, and the people who love me should celebrate me.
This year I turn 28, which seems older than I should be, and much older than 27 for some reason. I think this is because I have a lot of sentences in my head that start ‘I’m 28 years old, I shouldn’t…”
Like ‘I’m 28 years old, I shouldn’t still be breaking out’ for instance, or ‘I’m 28 years old, I shouldn’t still be eating candy for dinner.’
I think this is because I find myself married, talking about kids and health insurance and whether to keep renting or buy, I find myself in a comfortable job with some idea of where I want to move. I suddenly know what I want to spend my life doing. I am in a position right now that I’m fairly happy in (depending on the day) and there are jobs here I can move into, and I know what I’m looking for if and when I apply elsewhere.
I know that there are things I want to work towards and that I will eventually end up where I want to end up – and that it doesn’t necessarily matter if that happens tomorrow or 20 years from now.
I know that by the time I turn 29 I will not have gone through as many major life changes as I have in the past few years, that I can now settle in where I am for the next little while. I know how to stand up for myself when I need to (no matter how much I’m shaking when I do), and I know that there are people who will stand behind me. I know that I can say no and that I can do what’s best for me because I have the right to, and there’s no need to feel guilty or ashamed. I know that I can be a bitch when I need to (I’m actually quite good at it), but that I can also be calm and strong when that’s what’s required. I know that I have strong instincts that I can trust. I know that I can still learn no matter what my age. I know that when faced with new challenges, I can come out on the other side with success and new skills.
I know that it’s ridiculous to think that my birthday has caused any of these changes in me and in my life, but if that;s what I want to centre this day on, that my right as the birthday girl.
*This is a reference, it also happens to be true, but not something I regret
In January, the husband and I signed up for memberships at Goodlife. As part of the membership, I also signed up for 12 sessions with a personal trainer. I chose to do this because the main reason for signing up at all was to have access to the weight training equipment and to learn how to use it all properly.
I got annoyed with the gym almost right away because they sold me this service and when I tried to book my sessions with the trainer I was told they didn’t have anyone that would fit my schedule – you know, the normal schedule of the average working person. I was upset by this because it seemed to me that they shouldn’t have offered me the service if they didn’t have any way to provide it. I sorted this out with the manager and got started with my new trainer a few weeks ago.
This brings me a little over half way through my 12 sessions, at which point it is apparently time to try and sell me continued personal training. I was presented with a plan for me to reach my goals and told the cost – about 10 times what the first 12 sessions cost me.
I said no in the most polite way that I could – I said the money was too much and that the reason I bought the 12 sessions in the first place was to learn how to use the equipment so I could do this by myself.
Now let me just say, I understand sales. I understand that it was his job to try and sell me on this service and I understand that he was using the techniques that he has been told to use, but I didn’t appreciate those techniques and it has soured me on the personal training experience as a whole.
I believe part of being a good salesman is taking no for an answer. I think this sales pitch went too far.
See, in my view the personal training is part cheerleader – pushing you while telling you that you can accomplish something, congratulating you when you do – and part of the sales pitch was undermining my belief that I can accomplish my goals if I work by myself. Those two things contradict each other, and make me not want to go back and work with this guy for the remaining 5 sessions that I have already paid for.
As part of being open with my trainer, I have shared several reasons for my weight loss goal over the time we’ve worked together, I have also shared the things in my life that I know I need to change. In his sales pitch, he used those things against me – telling me that if I spent the money we usually spend eating out on the training won’t I just feel so much better? Telling me that if part of getting healthy is so I can eventually get pregnant, don’t I want to take the best route to be healthy for my children?
In my view those are cheap shots, and very inappropriate.
The worst part of it all is that after I spent 10 minutes standing my ground, saying no in harsher and harsher terms, he walked away saying we would revisit this as I finish the rest of my 12 sessions. If we do come back to the discussion, I can promise I will be much less polite.
I haven’t watched the Oscars in years, though I used to watch religiously, but this was the first time in a while that there were a few nominated films that I had really enjoyed seeing and I wanted to waste a few hours watching TV and keeping myself occupied with other things (like trying to finish my current knitting project and completing another challenge in Zoo Tycoon).
The highlight of the night for me was Dustin Lance Black, the man who wrote the screenplay for Milk (a movie I enjoyed very much) who thanked his mother for loving him no matter what and then said something that brought tears to my eyes :
If Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight, who have been told they are less than by the churches, by the government, by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours.”
There are tears in my eyes again just re-reading it. I cannot imagine what these words mean to those people who have heard from their families, from society, that they are none of these things. I know a few people like that, and I think they should believe every word of that speech, because I do.
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Post a comment here linking to your results
Maple Syrup & Poutine’s 100 Canadian Foods to Consume
1. Arctic Char
2. Ketchup flavoured chips
3. Wild Rice Pilaf
4. Caribou Steak
5. Gourmet Poutine
7. Beaver Tails
8. Maple Baked Beans
9. Bison Burger (Bison steak, but not burgers)
10. Bumbleberry pie
11. Nanaimo bar
12. Butter Tarts (never saw the appeal)
13. Cedar Planked B.C. Salmon (Joe’s rant about Ottawa not having Pacific fish goes here)
14. Wild Blueberries (I’ve picked strawberries and raspberries, but never blueberries)
15. Pure Local Cranberry Juice
16. Chocolate from Ganong or Purdy’s
17. A cup of warm cider from your local orchard
19. 4 of the following types of apples: Cortland, Empire, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Spartan, Greensleeves, Liberty, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Golden Russet, Idared, Gala
20. Freshly foraged mushrooms
21. Dinner cooked by Michael Smith, Susur Lee or Rob Feenie
22. Fondue Chinoise
23. Dish created from a Canadian Living Magazine recipe
24. Peameal Bacon Sandwich from St. Lawrence Market in Toronto
25. Lobster bought directly from a boat in a Maritime harbour (Lobster freaks me out, but I have been with people who ate fresh lobster in a Maritime harbour)
26. Handmade perogies from your local church or market
27. Alberta Beef at an Alberta Steakhouse (Plenty of the beef, never the steakhouse)
28. Leamington Tomatoes
29. Roasted Pheasant
30. Wild Game hunted by someone you know
31. Ice Wine
32. Habitant Pea Soup – entire can (a staple)
33. Any Canadian Artisinal Cheese
36. Flapper Pie
37. Jellied Moose Nose (what?)
38. Saskatoon Berries
39. Fish and Brewis
40. Screech Pie
42. Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich
43. Flipper Pie
44. Montreal Bagels with Smoked Salmon (Bagels yes, salmon no)
46. Jam Busters (even google couldn’t tell me what this meant)
47. Bakeapple Pie
48. Bridge Mixture
49. Canadian Style Pizza (bacon, pepperoni. Mushrooms)
51. A cone from Cow’s Ice Cream
52. Lumberjack or Logger’s Breakfast
53. Jigg’s Dinner
54. Rappie Pie
56. Lake Erie Sturgeon Caviar
57. Belon Oysters
58. Brome Lake Duck
59. Beer from a stubby bottle.
60. A beer from Unibroue or Phillips Brewery.
61. Salt Spring Island Lamb
62. Fry’s Cocoa
63. A bag of Old Dutch Potato Chips
64. Every Flavour of Laura Secord Suckers
65. Chicken Dinner from St Hubert’s or Swiss Chalet (The lack of St. Hubert’s may be the thing that prevents me from ever moving West)
66. Hickory Sticks
67. An entire box of Kraft Dinner
68. Candy Apples
69. Corn from a roadside stand
70. A meal at Eigensenn Farm
71. Okanogan Peaches (I live off Ontario peaches when they’re in season)
72. Berkshire Pork
73. PEI Potatoes
74. Something cooked in Canola oil
75. Figgy Duff
76. Blueberry Grunt
77. High Tea at the Empress Hotel
78. Fresh maple syrup hardened on the snow (One of my greatest childhood memories)
79. Oreilles de Christ
80. Nova Scotia Beer Warmer
81. A cheese plate containing Bleu Bénédictin, Friulano, St. Maure and Oka.
82. Black or red currant jam
83. Maple glazed Doughnut from Tim Horton’s with a Large “Double Double” (I like my coffee black)
84. A glass of Mission Hill’s “Oculus”
85. Alberta Pure Vodka
87. Canada Day Cake
89. Canadian Iced Tea
93. Local honey
94. Creton on toast (yes and would prefer not to again)
95. Glen Breton Rare
96. A whole box of Smarties, where the empty box is then used as a kazoo
97. Grilled cheese made with Canadian Cheddar
98. A meal from Harvey’s
99. Lake Erie Perch
100. Red Rose Tea
If you are unsure of what the item is, look it up! Please pass the list on to your friends and fellow bloggers – whether they are Canadian or not.
This list makes me feel un-Canadian for not liking seafood and never having traveled to Newfoundland.
HAPPY SELF-LOVE DAY!!
Feb. 13th & 14th, 2009
Rules are here, but basically I am supposed to declare something that I love about myself and then ask you, however many of you are out there, what you love about me, and suggest that maybe you repost this to your own blog.
Right now, at this moment, the thing I love the most about myself is my passion. It gets me into trouble sometimes and I don’t often express it very well (especially when speaking, I am a much better writer than speaker), but it is what leads me through life. I do things that I am passionate about and if I’m not passionate about something then I question it and try to make changes.
When women’s lives are better around the world, the world is better for it. When a woman gets a chance to thrive, she will help her community thrive. Her children and her neighbours will be all the better for her chance.
People who think women are lesser beings forget where they came from.
Because every girl should have the chance to think about silly things, like her hair or that boy she likes or what dress she’s going to wear.
Yesterday I was finally tagged in the Facebook meme that has been going around. The meme requires you to post a list of 25 things that your friends may or may not know about you. The post took my all day as I tried to think of things that were not obvious to everyone.
It occurred to me while I was doing this exercise that I am very lucky to have the time to dwell on these sorts of things. Self-analysis is not something many people have time for, even less right now, but my job is secure and so is my husband’s, we make good money, we have a home and groceries and no one to think of but ourselves and our dog.
I am blessed to have these people in my life, and I am blessed that I am able to spend so much time worrying about the little things instead of the big things, which tend to be too far in the future to really sweat over.
Anyway, if you’re interested, here are my 25 things:
1) I believe in fate. I know that unless I had made all the decisions I have made I woulnd’t be where I am now, and I like where I am now no matter how hard some of those decisions were.
2) I also believe in ghosts and angels, but I’m not sure if I believe in God.
3) I believe that I am very forgettable. That’s why I don’t approach people that I’ve met before very often, even when I see someone I went to high school with.
4) This may be why I am so bad at staying in touch with people after I’ve left a place.
5) I love my grandfather more than anyone else on earth.
6) I never thought anyone like Joe would come along and it still confuses me that he chose me.
7) I am incredibly passive aggressive. I often say rude things to people on the street under my breath. It makes me feel better.
8) I love Ottawa. I have tried to leave five times and I always come back. I think it’s a beautiful city, despite the occasionally freezing temperatures.
9) I hate making mistakes and I really hate having mistakes that I know I’ve made pointed out to me.
10) I worry every day that I’ve lost the ability to write fiction. It makes me think I’ve lost everything that I was when I was little.
11) I am very clumsy and uncoordinated, but I have only fractured one bone in my life and never broken any.
12) I love to bake and cook, but only when I have time.
13) I love bad movies, especially bad chick flicks, I also love movies that make me cry. I have watched Steel Magnolias several hundred times.
14) I love puns. I love stupid jokes. I make a bad joke and giggle away at myself.
15) I think one of the reasons that I dote on Henry so much is because I feel guilty about the life Daphne had, and I want him to live for a long, long time.
16) I have lived a lot of life in very few years (I didn’t really start until I was 19) and it bothers me that a lot of people don’t know that much about me.
17) I have four tattoos, each one of them represents something about me. I don’t regret any of them and I want more. I also take a certain amount of pleasure in the surprise people show when they find out about my tattoos.
18) It is almost impossible for me to go to sleep when Joe isn’t there. I stay up very late until I am too tired to fight it anymore and I usually leave the TV or some music on.
19) I consider myself a feminist even if I did change my last name when I got married.
20) I love being alone: Eating out alone, going to movies alone, shopping alone – I always have. If I don’t get a certain amount of alone time I become a very nasty person.
21) Despite my lifelong commitment to being comfortable by myself, since we’ve been together I like to be alone while Joe is in the house.
22) I was comfortable with my body until I hit my 20s and it bothers me that I don’t have that same comfort level now, but I’m working on it.
23) My family is very good at being apart for a long time and coming back together as though we all just saw each other yesterday.
24) Babies terrify me. I don’t like holding them, I don’t know how to talk to them or how to play with them, but I still want my own.
25) I love being barefoot, or at least without shoes.
ETA: I thought of a #26 – I love to drive. Driving across the country by myself with my music blaring and no real plan or where I was going to end up on any given day (except that I had a final destination and a timeline) was one of the best times of my life – and a #27 – I have an Ottawa Valley accent, it’s not a strong one but I catch myself sometimes and I love it.
Another thing I am thankful for: It is now February, which means my birthday is this month, but that’s beside the point, what it really means is that I accomplished two goals that I set for myself at the beginning of January.
Last month I decided that I wanted to check off something else from my life list, that being “Write every day.” I decided that every day in January I would either blog or writer in my journal, or both and I accomplished that – though there was one day that I allowed myself to count something I had written for work, but I don’t think that’s really cheating and I get to define the terms of my life list, so there.
Another thing I wanted to accomplish in January was to not buy any magazines all month. Magazines are a big time waster for me, I’d really rather be reading books. They also cost a lot and considering that there are only two or three magazines that I actually read all the way through they really are a waste. It is now February 1 and I have not purchased any magazines this month – not even knitting magazines, which I was going to allow myself under the terms I had set – and I’ve discovered that I really didn’t miss them, which to me means that these publications weren’t adding very much to my life. I am also in the middle of reading two books that I am thoroughly enjoying and that I never thought I would get through because I usually only read books on the bus – and we haven’t had bus service here for 51 days.
So, I will probably continue to not buy magazines (except for knitting magazines, and Bitch and Bust – those being the ones with a majority of content that I actually read). Maybe I’ll even come up with something to do with the $30 odd that I’m saving like, say, an RRSP contribution. I will also continue to write more than not, and maybe there will be days that I will force myself for the good of the writing, because eventually I’d like to go back to fiction and there’s no better practice.