Do Unto Others….

Every once in a while, something special happens. You find yourself, surprised, smiling and deeply appreciative. I’m not talking about the typically polite things, such as someone holding the door open for you, or a smile from a stranger (although these are nice gestures), I mean when something happens that makes you realize that you may just be more important or more valued then you thought. Something like this happened to me this week, and the happiness that it resulted in for me will not soon be forgotten.

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On a quarantine, rainy summer afternoon, I headed down to our home gym in the basement. It took some internal convincing as I wasn’t feeling too motivated. A blah yucky day can do that to ya! Anyway, I stretched and jumped on to my elliptical and got ready for my 30-minute workout. Not five minutes into my workout, my daughter – who is currently working from home – told me that there was something outside the front door for me. She told me that I should come up and get it. Clearly she was in on this surprise! As I was trudging upstairs, I thought, is it the paper boy? I know I paid him. It’s not my birthday. Amid these covid times,  with limited visiting and social distancing…I was at a loss.

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Waiting for me was a folder and envelope with a card inside. I opened the card and read that enclosed in the folder was a painting that a friend had commissioned for ME. Me?? Me!! It was a gorgeous painting of yellow and purple flowers, a painting that we had talked about a few weeks ago and I had loved. I was speechless that she took the time to find someone to paint it specifically for me.

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My friend’s card said that I was an “amazing person.” And she wanted to do this for me. I considered that amazing, ME? I was dumbfounded. It was then that I realized that most of us are fortunate enough to receive gifts at Christmas and on our birthdays. But receiving something nice completely out of the blue (I wasn’t even sick or anything) is startling. I immediately texted my friend and asked her why she did this? She said that it was “beautiful like me and that I deserved all the beauty in the world because I sure dish it out to everyone I meet.” She said she was “proud to be my friend and I was a bundle of light energy, and that I am like everyone’s sister, and most of all that she will always have my back even though we may not always be face to face.” Not going to lie, I swallowed a big lump in my throat.

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Her gift was timely, timely as my husband and I are soon to be empty nesters – our youngest moves out in a few weeks. I am at the point where I am struggling to figure out what’s next, and at moments I’m feeling lost, and truth be told really not needed anymore. The chapter of child rearing is closing, we did a good job.
Her gift reminded me that there is more to me then I realized and that I have the means and character to do whatever I want to do. Life isn’t over, as they say this is a new chapter. I am grateful that she helped remind me of my worth.

….. as you would do unto yourself 

blessings x

Maryse

Make this your best year ever!

Ahhhh the smell of a brand-new year! Hello 2019!

new year 2019As always, the air is ripe with the scent of almost everyone discussing their resolutions. What are these resolutions? Get fit, lose weight, spend less money, be more patient, make a better effort at staying in touch with friends and family …the list goes on.
I thought about posting a blog on a few of these resolutions and my thoughts on them, especially since I have definitely had many of them as my own resolution at one time or another. But instead I decided that making one big promise is probably not always the best idea. I’m not suggesting that all resolutions are failures. Often, they serve as the one big catalyst that most people need to get important things moving! What I am saying though, is I think it’s important that during our quest to be successful at our resolutions, we remember some things that may seem small. But are actually very important.

sparklerHere are a few:

Live in the moment and be present. How often are we having a conversation with someone, but we are only half listening because we’re caught up in thinking about what we need to do next. Making that mental list of items that are running through our mind like a hamster on a wheel. Take a moment and think about quieting that part of your mind and just being present. Enjoy what you are doing, whether it’s having a cup of tea, chatting with a friend or family member, or enjoying the walk that you are on alone. Which brings me to my next point.
Be kind to yourself. If you’re anything like me, you may still be reviewing the past year and thinking about a few things you should have accomplished. Mistakes were made, projects not completed. It’s all about being human. Moving forward and allowing yourself to set new goals is the best thing you can do for yourself. Maybe at night you lie in bed and think about the day and what you could have said or done differently, consider not doing that anymore. What does it really accomplish? Feelings of anxiety? Regret? Anger or sadness? You don’t deserve that. Being kind to yourself may also mean, heading to the gym, getting that manicure or facial, curling up with a book and a cup of tea. Do it! Don’t feel guilty. Be kind to yourself. Without being kind and taking care of yourself first, how will we ever be kind to others?
Surround yourself with the people that make you feel great, suggest a workout at the gym with someone you enjoy being with or perhaps a coffee or lunch date. There are people out there that naturally exude happiness and positivity and literally feel like a sunny day. Positivity is the name of the game for these folks. Revel in their golden glow! It will rub off on days you can really use it. Heck you may even learn a few of their strategies.

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I wish you a happy healthy 2019, full of laughter, love and all that makes your heart glow.

Blessings xoxx
Maryse

At the top of the 6ix

Recently my daughter and I willingly dangled ourselves 1,186 feet over the city of Toronto.  For fun! My mini me was turning 25 and I wanted to celebrate it in an unusual and exciting way! In my true mini me spirit, she is not afraid of heights and as I booked the event I was remembering her gleeful laughter when we went parasailing together over the sparkling, turquoise waters in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

IMG_9464The CN Tower Edgewalk gives participants the experience of walking around the CN Tower, suspended by harnesses. That would be 1,186 feet in the air, and a walk around the Tower itself.

CN TowerI pulled up the web page and booked it! Right after I did it, a little voice in my head said, “are you nuts?” My friends, parents and my son repeated the same phrase. I started to get nervous “wait, what??? Hang on, was this a good idea? Could I die? Could we both die? Good Lord, I’ve lost my mind.” Later that evening I saw my Husband and I told him I was scared, he shrugged and said, “It should be safe.” Yeah that’s right he said SHOULD. “I could die” I loudly said. “Nahhhh” he replied.

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On D-Day we were in traffic and arrived just in the nick of time. Which I suppose, in retrospect was a good thing, no time to think about the madness I was going to do! Aside from rushing, my daughter was a mixture of calm and excitement. We were greeted by friendly staff who gave us waivers which I signed and never read. What was the point anyway? They directed us to a room, where we were asked to put on orange jumpsuits and remove all jewelry, empty our pockets – even receipts weren’t allowed. They insisted on giving me an extra jacket as it was 9 degrees outside the tower. So, I put the jacket on over my orange suit and admired my extra padding, maybe I would bounce if I fell? Next, they administered a breathalyzer to all of us. Darling daughter loudly asked, “Mom did you pass?” Then collapsed in laughter.

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The staff in this room was incredibly cheerful and happy. I wanted to shout at them “I’m risking my life today!!! I COULD DIE! STOP ME! But I didn’t. I let them check everything on me. I asked one of them if anyone has ever changed their mind. They said yes, usually right in that very room we were in. She took that opportunity to remind me that the ticket is non-refundable.

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Once we took our group photos, the staff lined the hallway and clapped for us as we proceeded to the elevator. What the hey gone diddly was going on? It was like a scene out of Armageddon. I sorta felt like an astronaut on my way to the space shuttle. Yeahhhhh I got this! Slowly my nervousness was giving way to excitement. Go me! Needless to say, my daughter was pretty excited.
We met our leader for our walk, and she was incredibly bubbly and friendly. I was impressed that she took the time to learn all our names. Along with my daughter celebrating her birthday were two others, so it was quite the birthday bunch.
We were hooked up to harnesses and instructed not to touch the clasps. Honestly?????? I wouldn’t dare. Just to be sure, they zip tied our clasps. A good idea, I thought, you never know if someone might have plans on ending it all in a dramatic fashion! Our leader told us that once we were outside, we would be doing some tricks. Yes you read that correctly. I didn’t recall reading about tricks in all of the promotional material. How could I miss that??? TRICKS, almost 1,200 feet in the air. Of course!

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Mini me was at the front of the line and our line leader said she would go first right behind her. Hehehe. My daughter looked momentarily nervous but sucked it up. Gosh she’s brave! Then the doors opened and BOOM! OH MY GOD. No turning back. We walked outside, and our happy leader walked us out, calmly smiling and shouting at the top of her lungs “Hello Toronto!!!!” we all hung onto the areas of our harness that she said we were allowed to hold.
It was chilly outside, but sunny and beautiful. My hands were sweating uncontrollably, I definitely did NOT need the extra jacket. Nerves kept me warm.
As promised, our leader led us through tricks, putting our toes over Toronto, leaning forward, and leaning backward, she took videos and pictures of us. Each of us felt the nerves and we all cheered each other on as we took turns completing our tricks. As time wore on, it became easier and easier to be out there. Looking out over the City I grew up in, everything seemed so peaceful. Our leader pointed out places and landmarks to our group as we had a few people from the U.S. and Ireland visiting. It was absolutely incredible to be so high up and exhilarating to be hanging over the city. I became aware of how quickly my nerves settled and gave way to excitement and elation

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As our walk on the edge was coming to an end, we waited while a new group was coming out with their leader. We encouragingly shouted to them “It’s amazing! You will love it! So exciting!” You would have thought we hung out there all day long as opposed to half an hour.
When we came in, they unhooked us, and we went downstairs to return our suits and get our coats out of the lockers that was provided to us. They told us, if we looked in our left pockets of our jumpsuits we would find our tickets that included our entry to sky pod. I took my ticket out and looked at it with my first and last name boldly printed on it. I immediately looked over to a staff member and asked if, these tickets were there to help identify our bodies??? He smiled and said, “Oh no, we would use your teeth for that.”
The Edgewalk at the CN Tower was amazing. I was astounded that one event could put us through a myriad of emotions, fear, happiness, excitement, nervousness and many more. I would highly recommend this experience to everyone. It is safe as long as you listen to all instructions from the qualified and experienced staff. The checking, double checking and triple checking by different staff members was very thorough and eased my mind.

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This was an amazing and unforgettable way to celebrate my daughter’s 25th birthday. On the way out, my birthday girl asked about skydiving…. maybe…but for THAT, I’d fail the breathalyzer.

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Ticket- $225 each
Celebrating and time spent with my daughter- Priceless

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I can roll with my new role!

In a month I’ll be 52. By the time you hit this age, you get comfortable with who you are. I’m a Mom, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Aunt, Cousin and Friend. Those are my “identities” if you will, and I wear them with pride.

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Last month, our Son asked the love of his life to be his Wife. They have dated for eight years and have a lot of experience under their belt both as individuals, and as a couple. This is the type of relationship that has a solid foundation. That makes me proud.

So, what does this have to do with my role?

Sitting on the deck one evening with my husband, we happily laughed about this new wonderful event that happened in our lives. We smiled proudly, marveling at how our little boy has become a man in front of our eyes. Suddenly, we realized that we were going to be someone’s Mother–in law and Father–in law. Whoa!!!!!

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This got me thinking. How does this all work? What does a Mother-in law do? Up until that moment, I had never given a thought to the actual role.

I mean no big deal, I was always in regular contact with my Son’s Fiancée, before she became his fiancée. I have always prided myself on our relationship and the ease with which we communicate. There doesn’t seem to be many topics that we can’t chat about. Our visits, text messages, hugs and kisses. But suddenly, I felt self-conscious.

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Is it because a “Mother-in law” has such a bad rap? Oh boy, what do I do? How do I act?

Obviously, just like some of the most important roles in our lives, this one comes with no formal job description.

No one wants to be the overbearing, obnoxious, nosey, pushy, condescending busy body the world makes Mother in laws out to be. When do I ask questions? What questions am I allowed to ask? Do I keep some of my opinions to myself? Or ALL of my opinions to myself?

EEEEEEEEK!!!! I will have a new identity in about a year!

I considered rushing to Google just to see what I would find. But, I stopped myself. Really? Come on Maryse! Get a grip! You are so not resorting to asking Google “What are the functions of a Mother-in-law”.

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And so, I have simply continued on with what I’ve been doing for the last few years. Communicating with my future daughter in law in the same way we always have over the past eight years.

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Maybe as if sensing my hesitation, she has recently asked me what I think of a few things pertaining to the wedding. Those simple things make me feel important, and I have realized that everything is going to be alright. Why? Because I am going to be just ME, this is who I am and will continue to be. Loving and supportive and kind. I embrace this new upcoming role with glee.

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Life….Celebrate it!

How often have you saved  a certain outfit for a special occasion? I’ll bet more times then you can count. There have been many times over the years that I have been guilty of doing the same.

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Now I’m not sure if it is the wisdom of growing older, or just the overall appreciation of life, or a little of both. But in recent years I’ve learned that being mindful of the present and living life to the fullest is more important now than ever.

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There is never a need of a “special occasion” to go somewhere or do something. When the staff at Maison Blanc day spa asked my daughter and I what we were celebrating, I didn’t hesitate in answering: Life. I loved seeing them break out in smiles and nod in agreement.

For the afternoon my daughter and I donned our make-believe crowns and attended a catered High Tea that was a lovely addition to our afternoon of pampering treatments.

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Ordinarily, we have attended High Tea exclusively for special occasions. I decided that life itself was a special occasion and so was spending time with my daughter.

We were asked to come early so that we could relax and enjoy our High Tea. We were warmly greeted by the Spa Director and shown to a private room for our tea. The table setting was perfect and the arrangement of our sandwiches and desserts were so pleasant and classy on the tray. Tea lights added such a classy touch that made us feel that we were transported to Paris for the afternoon. The atmosphere was perfect.

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We loved having the time to chat and eat before our services. The staff at Maison Blanc went out of their way to ensure that we had everything we needed, checking in on us frequently throughout the afternoon.

It was a relaxing afternoon from beginning to end.

Don’t ever wait for a special occasion! Pop that bottle of champagne, wear that new outfit, use your special china. Because life is meant to be lived.

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Canada, I love you eh!

This month,  is the 50th anniversary that Canada opened her arms and welcomed my parents and myself. It would be amazing if I could just remember what that was like, I was a baby and the nervousness and excitement of it all was obviously lost on me.

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With changes to legislation regarding who could be admitted to Canada, the 1960’s saw a wave of immigration. Canada welcomed smiling faces from a variety of countries ranging from the lush green landscape of Ireland, to Africa, India, England, the West Indies, South America and many more places. Thankfully, my parents and myself were among these new immigrants that landed on Canadian soil. I can’t imagine how exciting yet scary it must have been for my 20 something year old Mom to have left the only home she has ever known with a baby and husband. Or for my Dad, to be bravely leading the way to a new and better life.

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Let’s be honest, most people would probably say that they live in the best Country in the world. I would of course agree with them, if that Country is Canada.

As a child I had the opportunity to embrace and experience the diversity represented among the people of this country. Growing up, my classmates were from different Countries around the world. The excitement of learning about their cultures, visiting their homes and quite simply calling them friend was wonderful. We were different, but we had one thing in common and that was the fact that we called Canada home.

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I’m incredibly grateful that my parents made the best decision to choose Canada as their home. I often tease my Dad that I wish he had chosen a warmer Country, but truth be told I love this Country! I could list at least 100 reasons why Canada is a wonderful place and why I am grateful to be living here, but I instead I will try to sum them up into three reasons that make Canada great:

  1. From coast to coast, Canada is simply beautiful. Every single province has its own beauty about it that makes travel memorable. For example: British Columbia has the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, and the easy going friendly and down to earth nature of Maritimers and the amazing abundance of fresh seafood.
  2. Often envied, our healthcare system is something I am always grateful for. While it isn’t perfect, it is better then some equally developed Countries.
  3. Racism is a word that is far removed in the vocabulary of Canadians alike. Sure, it exists (hey – nobody’s perfect) but on Canadian soil it is far less threatening and aggressive than in other countries. It is not nearly as corrupt as some other neighbouring countries.

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Thank you, Canada, for all that you have brought to my life, excellent education, the start of my own family and a future that continues to shine a beacon of bright light.

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Winterlicious 2018 – Oliver and Bonacini Cafe Grill

Winter can be a long process in Canada, the days are short, and darkness comes early. Heading to the movies, socializing with friends and dining out becomes the way of entertainment during these frigid months.  This is when the foodie in me tends to come out!

Toronto’s Winterlicious is an exciting time when restaurants offer lunch and dinner price fixed menus.  It’s the perfect opportunity to try out new restaurants or visit old faithfuls.

This past Saturday, Hubby and I chose to visit Oliver and Bonacini Café Grill in Bayview Village. As many of you already know the O & B restaurants are some of our favourites. Hubby and I have began dining at one of their first restaurants Oliver’s in the Eglinton area some 30 years ago.

Reception

Winterlicious can be an incredibly busy time for the participating Toronto restaurants. We usually brace ourselves for the rush at reception but at the same time I look for the professionalism that should still be evident despite the bustle. We were not disappointed. The ladies at the front welcomed us with big smiles and a friendly Danny introduced himself and took us to a beautiful table in the back by the window. He took pride in telling us that on that particular night they were the second busiest restaurant in the city with Canoe in first place.  Another O&B classic restaurant.  Amazing so far!

Service

Danny advised us that our waiter was Arshia. Arshia came over promptly and brought us water while we perused the drink menu. He gave us an appropriate amount of time to come back and take our drink order and food order as well. He was incredibly energetic and interested in how we were finding everything all weekend. His attention to accuracy and details as well as his pleasant personality contributed to a lovely evening. Arshia is perhaps one of the best waiters we have ever had in that particular establishment. Well done!

Atmosphere

Casually elegant, the cleanliness of the dining room and upscale décor are perfect. A wonderful atmosphere for lunch, tea, dinner or even private events which can be held in their private room. Despite the business of Winterlicious the staff contributed to this atmosphere with their bright smiles and hellos.

Drinks

The restaurant was currently running a promotion with Estrella Damm beer, according to the menu when you ordered one you received a ballot to enter a contest to win a trip for two to Spain. Enticing! I’m not a beer drinker so Hubby ordered one. I was intrigued by one of their featured drinks LA DOLCE VITA. Comprised of Argento Cabernet Sauvignon, triple sec, orange juice and lime. Surprisingly though our drinks took quite a while to arrive. That was a bit disappointing because with the absence of a bread basket we were left with water to simply sip and wait. When our drinks arrived, Arshia apologized and explained there was a backup at the bar. My feature drink was very good.

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Food

Appetizers– Both of us ordered the crispy curried potato pierogies with cilantro lime yoghurt for dipping. It arrived quickly at a great temperature and was delicious. The curry did not over power the taste which was a concern for me, delicious!

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Entrée

Hubby ordered the Tuna Poke Bowl, it was beautifully presented and tasted amazing according to him. He found it very filling which was interesting because you would think based on looks it was just a salad with tuna, not so! Consisting of: avocado, sticky rice, cucumber, pickled ginger and sesame seeds and tuna. There was egg and we are convinced some sweet yam or potato as well.

 

I ordered the rigatoni verde. Described on the menu as having kale pesto, oven roasted cherry tomatoes, zucchini, edamame and grana padano. The size of the serving was huge, it arrived at an excellent temperature and was beautifully presented.  It was yummy and the sprinkling of edamame throughout the dish made it so much fun to eat. The only criticism I had was that the pesto had just a bit too much oil. Other then that it was a tasty dish.

Dessert

We both decided on the Baba Rhum with Chantilly. As always dessert is the crowning glory of any meal and we waited with anticipation. The Baba Rhum was a cupcake with chantilly cream decorating the top, we eagerly dug in to find that it was dry in the inside and the outside edges were hard, it was disappointing. When Arshia came by to check on us and get our thoughts we explained our observations and showed him the hardness on the outside of the cupcake and the dryness inside. He was disappointed by this, but he did not want us to leave dissatisfied, so he hustled back with the other two desserts on the Winterlicious menu for us to try. The Aged cheddar dish with spiced raisin compote and cranberry and seed toast. The cheddar was good, and the spiced raisin compote was perfectly spiced and left you wanting more! The cranberry and seed toast that accompanied this dish was perfect. He also brought us the Artisan black forest cake, which was moist and delicious. A solid ending to our dinner.

 

I would give this visit 8.5/10 marks lost for not receiving a ballot for the contest, an unusually long wait for our drinks and lack of bread basket as well as a disappointing experience with dessert.

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Ten things I know to be true

  1. Babies smell great and they can turn a bad day into a better one!

Five years ago, when I was going through a rough time and needed a pick me up, I would visit my then baby nephew, Johnny. He would smell delicious and would be happy to be held, kissed and snuggled. I would always leave my sister’s house a happier person.

  1. Travel whenever you can

We get hung up in our day to day lives and sometimes forget there is a big world out there, go places, see new things, meet new people and learn about new cultures. It truly broadens your perspective.

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  1. My husband is my one true love

I was lucky enough to find him at a young age. I’ll tell you that story sometime.

  1. Crying to a police officer doesn’t always get you out of a ticket (don’t ask)

It used to work like a charm when I was younger, go figure.

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  1. Practice gratitude daily

I mean it. What a difference it makes when you can say out loud a few things you are grateful for. It’s an instant perk. Try it.

  1. My world lights up when my kids walk in the room

I’m always so amazed that I gave birth to two great kids. Besides being smart and good looking, they are compassionate, giving, and loving human beings with great big hearts. They believe in loyalty, honesty and kissing their parents.

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  1. Make time to do nothing

Yes, you read that right, I’ve only been doing that in recent years. It may mean meditating or just chilling. Life is not about being busy all the time and running around. Sometimes you can hear more in quiet and silence then you ever could while racing around.

  1. Keep the past in the past

If there was a reward for hitting the rewind button on the past, it would go to me.  I’ll say this though It solves nothing. Whoever said you can’t go forward while looking back was right. Don’t look back.

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  1. Surround yourself with positivity

Positive thoughts and positive people make an enormous difference, I found this out myself when I chose to distance myself from the Debbie downers and negative Normans.

  1. Make the time to pray

You don’t have to be in church to pray. Pray wherever and whenever you want too. I have prayed in the most predictable places (airplanes) and the most unpredictable places (traffic jams). When the feeling hits go for it, God is always listening.

 

What things do you know to be true?

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If I’m not red…I’m dead.

Staring in the mirror recently I started thinking how much it drives me nuts to have to get my hair coloured on a regular basis. The need to cover the grey hair, and the window that keeps getting shorter and shorter in between each hair dressing appointment! Damn! I looked closer and decided that I was pretty much done with the dark hair and the lack of personality in my hair.  My personality! I kinda felt like my hair belonged to someone else. I needed a drastic move, drastic for me at least.

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Ashley in Oshawa Centre’s Curio, listened to me go on and on and on, I mentioned red for some reason. Probably because it’s my fave colour. No sooner did the words escape my lips that I knew I had a horrified look on my face. Could I have red highlights in my hair? I was almost 51! What would people think? What would people say? Holy hell! Was I having a mid life crisis?

Ashley confidently smiled and said I would look great and she would be able to make that red show beautifully and that it would suit me well.

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It made me think..why are we so concerned about what others think? I mean I can give myself some credit and say that I have cared less and less as I have become older, and sometimes I even speak without thinking. But at the same time there have been too many times I’ve seen older women who..well..are either dressed or have a hair colour that would better suit someone in their 20’s.

But the thing is who made those rules? Who says that certain hair colours are for certain ages? I mean if I was 70 and wanted to rock some green or purple strands I could do it! Right? Damn right! Ok, Ashley from Curio. Bring on the expertise!

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So, we began by removing layers and layers of dark colour so that we could give me a medium dark root, we then chose the red. Ashley began expertly applying it to my hair. Friendly, and incredibly knowledgeable about hair colour I was intrigued and picked her brain on stuff related to hair colour.

While sitting and waiting for the stuff in my hair to do it’s thing, I felt myself becoming increasingly nervous. What if it turned out bad? What if my hair fell out? What if I looked like a clown? What? Why the hell was I thinking that? Ashley periodically came by and with her big smile she would check my hair. Why didn’t she look nervous I wondered? She should be nervous this was a big moment. Then I realized that she has done a kabillion of these in her lifetime. I sat quietly and thought about how good a glass of wine would be at that moment.

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Finally, we washed it out and I looked in the mirror. I was beyond pleased!  Ashley started styling my hair, it was perfectly vibrant with just enough sass! There was red in my hair, and it looked great! It looked like ME and that it belonged there, like we belonged together! Red and Maryse! Together at last. I finally felt like the colour reflected my personality. I felt quite comfortable in my own skin. This was exciting!! I was so happy and the compliments have been flowing non-stop.

Yep! I was almost 51 and rocking red highlights! What’s next?

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A letter to my younger self

Dear Maryse,

I see you rushing around, hair in ponytail not a strand of grey hair and that youthful face. At 30 you’re busy, trying to keep up with your three-year-old daughter and six-year-old son, maintain the house and be a wife to your awesome Hubby of nine years. You love your little house in Whitby, Ontario. It’s the first home you and your husband have purchased. I know you are secretly dreaming of a bigger one someday.

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You’re constantly worrying if your chatty daughter will stop talking long enough when she starts school to actually learn. You are also worrying when your son will stop being such a picky eater. He seems to eat only four or five things and dinner time inadvertently means that you will end up making him something different for him from the rest of the family. Many say don’t do that, he needs to learn to eat the same thing as the family. You can’t do that. You make him something different. You’re just that kind of Mom. He just seems so skinny and you worry…and worry.

You stand in front of the mirror and wonder why you are still so chubby. Hell, it’s been 3 years since Kaitlin was born. You have to stop walking around and saying that you just had a baby! The stretch marks are terrible! Ugh!!!! I know you are considering another diet.

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Here’s the thing. Or things I want you to know. It’s now 2017 and you’re 50 years old and married almost 30 years now to the same great guy. I’d like to tell you what to do, but I know you, and you won’t listen. So, I’ll make suggestions.

  1. You are an awesome wife and your husband appreciates you now just like he did 20 years ago, if not more so. So, relax. Life is good for you now and will be good years from now, you’re lucky to have each other.
  2. Your chatty Kaitlin is 23 years old and still chatty, she learned lots in school so much so that she has her Masters in Criminology.
  3. Worrying about Justin being a picky eater is not necessary, you are constantly concerned that he is not getting enough nutrients because he eats five things. He’s now 26 years old, 6’4 and 215lbs. I think he’s okay.
  4. At 50 years of age you are still not at the perfect weight, but you have placed more importance on being physically healthy and you are regularly at the gym, yoga or meditating. The stretch marks didn’t go away despite numerous creams and wraps. You have finally accepted them as a badge of honour. You are proud of them.

Maryse, you’re worrying too much. I need you to be more care free and not sweat the small stuff. The house will never be clean enough or you will not catch up on ALL the laundry. Concentrate on relationships, with your husband, kids, parents, sisters and close friends.  These are the things that are the most important in life. This is where happiness lies. Everything will work itself out.

Oh, and the bigger house…you’re in it now. The funny thing is, Hubby and you will probably have to downsize when the kids leave home.

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