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On a mission

July 31st, 2012 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal - (Comments Off on On a mission)

We have a lot going on around here and I tend to think and over-think. The problem with my over-thinking is that I used to journal and do stream of consciousness and everything would come out and it helped me make sense of it all.

Now I have so much to think about and so much to do and so many distractions that it’s going to take more than that, I think. I’m thinking about writing myself a mission statement. Not just about what I want to accomplish professionally, but personally as well. It’s important that I remind myself what my goals for the future are so that I can have strength in the present. Something that reminds me there’s a reason not to eat that or buy that because there is a greater plan that will provide greater reward.

How do you create a mission statement? How do you remind yourself what you could be jeopardizing with the stupid decisions you make day-to-day?

In the long term:

  • I want to be fit and healthy.
  • I want to have my finances in order and feel less stress about that aspect of my life.
  • I want to travel a bit.
  • I want to have a successful business and only take an office job if it’s something I really want to do.

Paring those down to specifics can be a bit trickier:

  • I want to take up yoga again
  • I want to watch my budget and tame my spending
  • I want to plan a trip to Halifax next summer
  • I want to get more clients for my freelance business so that I know there’s always something I can be working on.

Overall, I want to be healthier, less stressed and more in control. These are things I’ve always wanted, but so far I’ve only ever been successful in the short term.

How do you plan?

 

ABC Challenge 6

July 31st, 2012 | Posted by Amy Boughner in #ToddlerLife | Parenting - (Comments Off on ABC Challenge 6)

Over at Kids in the Capital, Lara has revived the ABC photo challenge with a list of photos to get of your kids this summer. I’ve already crossed a few off the list, here’s a few more.

Art
Books
Climbing
Discovery

Eating
Friends
Green
Inside


Jumping
Kisses
Laughing
Mealtime
Night
Outside
Playing
Quiet


Riding
Swinging
Trees

Umbrella

Vehicles
Wet

Xcited (OH! Cheater!)
Yellow
Zoom

So here is the fact: I’m afraid to fail again. I’m afraid to start over again. I’m tired and it’s hard. I’m afraid of hurting myself. I’m scared to go into some fitness class and get red in the face and sweaty and not be able to do it.

I’m afraid of never feeling fit, of never being able to do things I want to do.

I’m afraid of always being afraid.

The fact is I quit my job, I’m working from home, I’m taking care of my daughter, I’m sharing my thoughts with the world here and here and here.

These are all things I would have been afraid to do – every single one. But I’m doing them.

So why does sugar get to win? Why am I going to let that beat me?

Because it’s too hard. Because I’m tired. Because it’s uncomfortable. Because it takes time.

The voice inside my head reminds me that in my family there’s a history of heart disease, that I have PCOS which will get worse the heavier I am and could lead to cancer, that I don’t want to spend the rest of my life angry that I can’t change.

Do I eat this big of chips or that load of chocolate, or do I get active, gain energy and live through more of my daughter’s life.

This fear? This is stupid fear. This fear is no more that what I’ve pushed through before.

It’s not going to get any easier, but it can sure as hell get a lot harder.

Sitting downstairs this morning watching women’s gymnastics with the kid. I knew she would be interested because she’s taking gymnastics and she loves to bounce around and swing and doing somersaults.

She was excited to see the balance beam, because she’s walked on one before, and she likes the flips on the floor. She was very excited to see one of the athletes do a somersault – this one in midair.

Behind me she’s started pretending to be on the parallel bars.

She loves being active and gymnastics is one of her many interests, as is dance, and as the mother who over-thinks these things, I already wonder how I’m going to explain to her that her body type is not that of a gymnast or a ballerina.

I remember watching the 1996 Olympics, watching women’s gymnastics, and becoming a fan of Svetlana Khorkina. She was so tall and gangly and the announcers kept saying that coaches had told her she was too tall for the sport.

And then I googled her and found out that she’s 5’5.”

Yeah.

My kid? Going to be a lot taller than that. She’s already 3’1″ and she’s only two and a half. She’s also going to be big. Strong legs, big arms, solid build. No question.

I wonder how long she will continue taking dance classes and gymnastics – she’s already told me she wants to be an acrobat, which I kind of think would be great. I wonder when someone will first tell her that she doesn’t look right, or her body is wrong. I wonder what effect that will have on her and if she’ll talk to me about it. I wonder if, in that moment, anything I’ve said to her about her smarts and beauty will stick.

Dear Jack

July 28th, 2012 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal - (Comments Off on Dear Jack)

As I watched the comments flood dearjack.ca the day of the launch I cried – a lot. I think any of us who were there for even a short period of time cried. He touched all these people and we were there and we helped in our own ways.

While I was working for Jack I went through history. Two election campaigns, including the NDP breakthrough, coalition talks and two prorogations, and a Harper majority which will change the country enormously.

I stood on the hill and watched the big screens during the residential schools apology and my heart filled with pride when Jack stood up to speak and I could hear that he was making the people around me happy.

I was there when Jack announced he was fighting another form of cancer, I was on the hill the day he died.

I got to be in the room and see him speak on more than one occasion, I got to shake his hand and have my picture taken with him.

He was that sort of special person that made you feel special just by talking to you. When he spoke you felt as though he knew what he was talking about. He raised passions.

Watching the dearjack.ca messages I tweeted a comment about how special it was to have worked for the man who inspired all these thoughts and my friend @AnnBac9 said she’d been thinking about me all day, I replied that it was a privilege to have been a small part of it.

And it was.

I will honour Jack’s legacy by teaching my daughter that it is our duty to make sure everyone in society is taking care of, I will honour him by no longer wondering what could have happened, but focussing on moving forward.

I will do my best to remind myself every day that I need to have love, hope and optimism in my life.

ABC Challenge 5

July 27th, 2012 | Posted by Amy Boughner in #ToddlerLife | Parenting - (Comments Off on ABC Challenge 5)

Over at Kids in the Capital, Lara has revived the ABC photo challenge with a list of photos to get of your kids this summer. I’ve already crossed a few off the list, here’s a few more.

Art
Books


Climbing
Discovery
Eating

Friends


Green
Inside
Jumping


Kisses
Laughing
Mealtime
Night
Outside
Playing
Quiet
Riding
Swinging
Trees

Umbrella


Vehicles
Wet

Xcited (OH! Cheater!)
Yellow
Zoom

The Minister’s Wife

July 26th, 2012 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Women's Issues | Work - (Comments Off on The Minister’s Wife)

When I learned that Defence Minister Peter MacKay had married this woman – Nazanin Afshin-Jam – and started hearing a little bit about her, I immediately wanted to know more about her. The newspapers trumpeted her beauty, her acting and singing career, her life as a beauty queen. If you read a bit further, you understood that Ms. Afshin-Jam was Iranian born and a human rights activist with a strong voice of her own.

You might have taken a step back and wondered what this human rights activist and this minister in the Harper government have in common…

This week Afshin-Jam did an interview with a journalist from the Charlottetown Guardian who asked her about Omar Khadr. She said that Khadr was a child soldier and a Canadian citizen – all facts – and should be brought back to serve his sentence in Canada.

The story, of course, became that the ‘minister’s wife’ was voicing an opinion that went against all PMO talking points on the case.

Afshin-Jam spoke out on the stories coming out of her interview. She was upset because she was being referred to as the minister’s wife when she is her own person with her own identity – which I totally agree with. But she also said that the reporter was trying to get her to criticize the government. The reporter, Jim Day, says she could have declined to answer his questions.

The problem I’m having here is that Afshin-Jam can’t have it both ways. She is the minister’s wife and she also has opinions that clearly don’t mesh with government policies. As a human rights activist with a connection to the Middle East she should have expected to be asked questions about Khadr, whose transfer has been in the news for the past week. As a human rights activist and the minister’s wife, she should have prepared herself to answer such questions. She has no reason to stop answering questions about her passion for human rights and she has no right to expect people to ignore the fact that she happens to be married to the country’s Minister of National Defence.

She should be allowed to speak her mind, but she cannot also expect that people won’t question what Peter MacKay’s feelings might be when she does.

Dear Jack,

July 26th, 2012 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal | Work - (Comments Off on Dear Jack,)

It would have been your birthday last week, and next month will be a year since you passed. I will never forget checking my Blackberry that morning and seeing the statement from Olivia, Sarah and Mike and realizing right away that something was terribly wrong. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s been so long, but really I can’t believe it’s only been a year.

The last time I saw you, you were dancing with Olivia at convention in Vancouver, everyone was feeling great. We were celebrating 50 years and making history. When your coffin left Ottawa I watched it on television, and that’s when I cried the hardest, because you were leaving Ottawa forever and it wasn’t supposed to be that way.

You were a very special man to a lot of people, you were very special to me. You really made me believe that change can happen, and I’m going to be working towards that vision as best I can. I’m going to teach my daughter that change may take hard work, but if it’s important enough it’s always worth it.

Your vision is alive, Jack, there’s a campaign launching this very day and people will be sharing what you meant to them and what they’re doing to live with love, hope and optimism. People can share how they feel by going to DearJack.ca or tweeting with #DearJack.

I had great faith in you, Jack. In a way I still do, because I believe that you touched the lives of others as much as you touched me and together we can make a difference for this country that I love.

 

Follow the leader

July 26th, 2012 | Posted by Amy Boughner in #ToddlerLife | Parenting - (Comments Off on Follow the leader)

Modelling is an amazing thing to witness – the kid will say and do things that match what we say or do. I am still often surprised by what she picks up. Toddlers catch everything.

Lately the kid has been playing a bit rough. She gets excited and she doesn’t know her own strength. She certainly doesn’t mean to hurt anyone, but when she’s playing or there’s a tickle fight she often loses a little bit of control. She’s 2.5, she has to learn, and we’re trying to teach her. If we tell her to stop and she doesn’t, there’s time out, if she hurts us she has to apologize and we can tell that she feels badly.

Last night at dinner we had a bit of a talk about rough play. She’s always sorry when she realizes that we’re upset with her. She really doesn’t like it.

This morning she was sitting on the bottom stair when I was coming back from my shower. When I asked what was wrong she told me that her baby (Cabbage Patch Kid) had scratched her and hurt her.

She was sitting on the stair and she looked so sad.

I said to her: “Your baby scratched you? But you still love her right?”

“Yeah.”

“And she didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“Yeah.”

It’s these little moments when you’re reminded that they watch everything and hear everything and they understand. It’s just amazing.

It would have been your birthday last week, and next month will be a year since you passed. I will never forget checking my Blackberry that morning and seeing the statement from Olivia, Sarah and Mike and realizing right away that something was terribly wrong. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s been so long, but really I can’t believe it’s only been a year.

The last time I saw you, you were dancing with Olivia at convention in Vancouver, everyone was feeling great. We were celebrating 50 years and making history. When your coffin left Ottawa I watched it on television, and that’s when I cried the hardest, because you were leaving Ottawa forever and it wasn’t supposed to be that way.

You were a very special man to a lot of people, you were very special to me. You really made me believe that change can happen, and I’m going to be working towards that vision as best I can. I’m going to teach my daughter that change may take hard work, but if it’s important enough it’s always worth it.

Your vision is alive, Jack, there’s a campaign launching this very day and people will be sharing what you meant to them and what they’re doing to live with love, hope and optimism. People will share how they are committed to a more equal and just CAnada. People can share how they feel by going to DearJack.ca or tweeting with #DearJack.

I had great faith in you, Jack. In a way I still do, because I believe that you touched the lives of others as much as you touched me and together we can make a difference for this country that I love.

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