A Natural Lush Muses on Muscle

reclining-goddessBy nature I am voluptuous both in body and soul.

I could think of no better occupation than striking a sideways reclining position on a well-cushioned chaise  while holding court with artists and intellectuals. Dressed in something flowing, yet revealing (likely a deep red or aubergine with gold glitter somewhere near the valley of all that god-gave-me), and drinking a chewy red with a long finish…think California meets Plato darlings.

Alas I must actually work. In a suit that makes me look like a Russian prison guard from the 1920’s.

Which means I also must work-out, if I’m to have any figure at all, and remain somewhat psychologically in tact.

I spoke with a friend of mine who is wonderful, outgoing, and joyful. She told me that her social anxiety is building, and going out in a crowd, let alone going out in a crowd that is sweating in body hugging clothing is impossible for her.

Ladies, I know you are out there. I know that you dread the same things that we do. Do not let it stop you. The endorphins – you need them. The friends you make there – you need them. Sure, it comes slowly, and you’ll have embarrassing moments, but we all do.

Get yourself an outfit that works. You may not feel fabulous, but functional is all we can ask for some days. Pick up a 365 motivational book and read it. Celebrate your body for all that it has carried you through, and give it some love in return.

After hitting bottom recently,  I dragged my bottom back to the gym. And I’m loving it. No, it’s not a joke, and no, I don’t strike a Socratian pose on a mat and sneak wine in my plastic sippy cup for adults while ogling the man-steak. I actually sweat and make a tiny effort.

Today, after my little perspire-a-thon, I relaxed onto the floor to do my stretching, which, incidentally is my very favourite part of the whole gym thing. I then made my merry way back to the change room to disrobe of my sweaty gym stuff and pile on a plush towel for the basking-in-the-heat-of-the-sauna portion of my strict physical regime.

Finally, and without a grand show of nipple or jiggle, my favourite white sports bra gave up the ghost. Not having it let loose on the gym floor, or while I was doing my back extensions was a small miracle, but one that I appreciate very much.  I’m also kinda happy that I actually used the damn thing and didn’t let it set in my drawer next to my unused boa and fishnet body stocking…but I digress...

Reading my magazine,wrapped in a cozy and colourful towel in the sauna, I sweat out the gunk and gave a quiet thank you to the universe. Thank you for providing a great facility so close to home. Thank you for new friends. Thank you for not letting the girls run free in public because of a wardrobe malfunction.

To celebrate? I’m going to stretch out in my sweats tonight, sip a glass or two of my favourite red, and muse poetically on…





Midnight Visits from the Ghost of Granny; Living with Intention & Gratitude

There were many nights that I used to get up in the middle of the night and see my Grandmother at the kitchen table.

I thought of her last night, when the rest of the world was in slumber. I know that  she had her own heartache and troubles, but she inspired me with her courage and zest for life.

Inspired by the woman who most inspired me, I have decided to go about my day with intention. Beyond the BIG things; my son and my home, there are little things that I am grateful for every day. So I give to you a list of things that make me happy/am grateful for, and I hope that it may inspire you.

  1. A good pair of tweezers. Oh yah baby. Women of a certain age can appreciate this as much as a man appreciates that little do-hickey end of a hair trimmer that removes ear hair. Sometimes it’s just the little things.


2. The friends who love me. Like really love me, and manage to keep the flame of silliness burning alive and well within me. You know who you are; The Lovely L., The Amazing C., The Rolicking R., The Daring D.,  the Mumster and the Fearlessly Creative C.


3. Creativity and the friends who value creativity as highly as I do…

drum beating

4. The legacy of a kick-ass granny, who knew how to balance compassion and strength, especially on the days when you felt like giving up. Her fearlessness and curiosity always give me a kick in the bum.


5. Sports. For instance, this year, the Toronto Blue Jays are playing in the semi-finals. Sports give us something common to be emotionally invested in, talk about and bond over that isn’t too personal. Sports give us easy, enthusiastic conversation without the monotony of the curse of middle-age; talking about work, our failed marriages or how we still don’t have a clue what’s going on. Sports are highly under-rated.


6. Witnessing the evolving relationship of couples who love each other. They know the value of what it means to love when it’s easy, and when it needs to be fiercely fought for. Depth never came easy. Kuddos to my pals, the Kick-Ass Ms. K and the Debonair Mr. D. I admire your commitment to one another…


7. Junk Food. Oh yah. The ultimate narcotic.


8. My cleaning lady. Yes, my granny would swat me behind the ear for not cleaning my own house, but some things change.


9. Feeling motivated to get back to the gym. Anyone who is a little on the pudgy side knows the anxiety of being seen wearing spandex in public.



10. Bread, blue cheese and red wine. Accompanied by thoughtful, fun and intelligent conversation makes it even more delicious…




Turn Your Lights Down Low: Healing Your Heart

Love, it’s a flighty bird, but a beautiful one nonetheless.

May your love be greater than your fear. May you want it more than your ego needs to be seen. May you be brave enough to mend it after it’s been broken.


The Toilet: Where You Find The Best Things

no-mudFor years I had this je ne sais quois quality about me that, dare I say was charismatic, charming, and could even make your grouchy old granddad giggle.

But then I lost it. I guess for a while I didn’t much care. I figured it was just the normal aging process. Recent events have had me re-evaluating, and realizing that like my black tights which make their way onto hangers under the next sweater I’m going to wear, my chutzpah hasn’t died, it’s just been hiding in a corner where I had, out of sheer exhaustion, dropped it.

For a couple of months I’ve been getting hints that it’s still around. I’ve been reclaiming my own joy; creativity, physical activity, rest…and with that, I’ve felt it was coming back; that fabulous zest for life that is my legacy. Our legacy ladies. Everyone’s legacy.

No, it wasn’t hidden by the old stack of House & Home magazines in the corner, or next to an errant knee high and old slipper that continually fail at making it into my laundry bin. No, I found it in the loo at a crowded bar,dressed up and fevered to the point of sweating through my clothes and being yelled at because of it.  Yah, it’s true, we find miracles in the darndest places.

At some point (and yes, it was a sober some point as all I’d had for two days was gingerale and tea) the reality of reality sets in.  When you find peace in a tiny stall with a toilet, you should know that something is wrong.

One cannot seek meaningful solace next to the shitter darlings. One can only hope to apply fresh lipstick and get their kit together.

If you find yourself in a similar circumstance sweeties, look at it less like a dirty toilet in a pathetic re-run bar, and more like a time machine, transporting you from whomever made you want to shrivel up, or feel shrivelled up, to all of your gloriousness as a woman who is true to herself.

In those toilet-hiding moments, we find our je-ne-sais-quoisness.  These are the moments that give you the confidence to strut.

Last night, after having suffered for someone else’s comfort, and being yelled at and treated poorly, I made a trip to the lady’s time machine where my wee little girl brain asked me what in the hell I was doing suffering for someone else who was supposed to be not just a friend, but the best of friends.

The night got worse before it got better, but it was at least efficient.

Quite often women retreat to the bathroom as their only place of quiet and peace. Whether it’s out and about, or at home. Quite often they are there because someone has attacked their self worth. Those quiet, albeit gross moments near the toilet are generally where you can find your value again. Dare I say your,  I-Don’t-Give-A-Shitness.

It’s sad that we are forced into the shit to find ourselves, but that is life. No mud, no lotus right? Whatever…

Just remember if you find yourself in the loo with a tear in your eye, it’s a grand opportunity to make things better.  I mean, after all, how much worse can it get than hiding in the same place a thousand other people have pooped? Not much.


Thanksgiving & Not a Piece of Turkey in Sight

thanksgiving-snoopyIf you didn’t get your annual invitation to my Thanksgiving party this year, it’s because I didn’t have one.

The notice is out for our Hallowe’en bash though, so shake the dust off your costume and come prepared for some fun. For that I will be truly thankful – a bunch of adults acting like kids and an entire evening of silliness.

I do miss my leftover turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, but I don’t miss feeling obligated to do it. So this year, let me say that I am thankful for change.

Yes, change is scary, and vast, and sometimes it is a little overwhelming. I’m not talking about the nickel that I found next to my sweetie’s errant sock on the bedroom floor today. No, I’m talking about big, life-moves-on change. Taking a lesson from my most awesome mumster, I am excited about this new chapter that I’ve been blessed with.

For the first time I ran with my partner, (that’s a big deal for a private woman like me),spent a holiday weekend savouring a meal someone else cooked, and spent time in a different, refreshing atmosphere.

Instead of asking what my kiddo wanted for dessert, when what he really likes is being with his pals, I left him a surprise treat for when he gets home from grandma’s. Instead of planning and budgeting for a big dinner, I was spoiled to a weekend in wine country. Rather than cleaning up all night last night, I curled up by the fire and watched my favourite team sweep their rivals on the way to the World Series.

This year I am thankful for my wonderful son, my own determination to thrive, my amazing friends, and my loving man.

This year I am thankful that there is no turkey, stuffing or pumpkin pie in sight, although, if you’re out there great-Thanksgiving-Fairy, it would not go unnoticed if you arrived at my place of work this afternoon with a plate of culinary-thanksgivingish-delight.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, whatever it is that you may be thankful for this year.



Cow Tea-Pots & Other Dreams

cowteapotA young woman held her lover by the hand and reached up on her tip-toes.”Do you remember at the beginning of our relationship when I told you that I’ve always wanted a cow teapot?” She stroked (yes, caressed) the ugliest tea pot I’ve ever seen. It was in the shape of a Holstein cow, with it’s tail curled as a handle.

I immediately felt emotional pain for the young man. Who on earth cares about a cow-shaped tea-pot? What on earth would possess anyone to reveal that to someone at the beginning of a relationship other than recreational drugs and too much tequila?

At first my thought was, ‘this is over the top’. Who cares? Who really freaking cares about your tea-pot darling?

The reality is we all do.

It’s about the need to connect. That’s what the tea-pot is about. Our need to connect is even more powerful than any numbing agent out there; prescription drugs, booze, therapy or any other obsessive behavior. As human beings we have a great need to connect with one, special person who gets us. Who loves us no matter our penchant for weird kitsch like cow tea-pots and Jimmy Buffett costumes.

The evening I overheard this little nugget of ‘please remember me’, I was having dinner with a friend. Most of the dinner was about girl-stuff; being mothers, wives, and our loss of who we are in the middle of all of that (I’m not a wife,  I’m currently hanging out with a gem who thinks commitment is letting me know where he is sometimes).  We talked about our children, our work, the details of our personal lives, and we considered the quality of our romantic partnerships.

Feeling taken for granted is the biggest killer of joy on the planet.

Cow Tea-Pots matter. How you take your coffee and tea matter. What your favourite section of the newspaper is matters. How you feel matters.

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I have a  man  who has no idea how I take my coffee or tea. With sugar right? No darling. Not for the past 42 years, but thanks for caring. If your partner would rather be on the golf course than in bed, and planning anything romantic is beyond their grasp, but planning social events for a dozen people is nothing, give the whole thing some serious consideration.

I’ve suggested setting a goal of hiking the Bruce Trail as a couple-something new, active and with a common goal in mind, but I know that it will never happen with my partner. I will have plenty of time for that however when he’s off on his own. Cow-teapots? Pul-eaze. Not even close.

Cow-tea pots matter. Because it means they listen, they care enough about why on earth that damn ugly tea-pot means so much to you, and they listened not just to the words of your story, but to your connection to it all.

When you are with a man who,  doesn’t have a clue  what kind of perfume you wear or a thousand other things, I have some advice for you. As much as it breaks your heart to think that your lover does not love you, but takes you for granted instead; wear the red dress and go to dinner with friends on your own (they will love your teapot stories), hike the trail  (who knows who you might meet), buy the lingerie, and don’t ever make your time a priority for someone who takes yours for granted.

Go for the person who knows all about your cow teapot, or in my case, the pin-ball machine.





Friendship:Urine My Good Books



Tonight I had to laugh as I dogged my way through backed up email.

The first email I opened was from a friend encouraging me to drink my own urine.

No, I did not freak out or wretch.

I laughed. Out loud. And it was a most welcome sound.  I could laugh because anyone who didn’t know us would think she was crazy, and that I was too. But that’s their problem, and their brand of crazy.

I haven’t done a lot of laughing of late, and having a friend who can talk about drinking pee makes me smile – laugh even.

I’m not going to get into the whole pee-as-a-beverage conversation, but let me just say this; she’s not crazy. She’s my friend.

That email (and the prior conversation we had about the entire process), reminded me of just how lucky we are to have friends with whom we can share our brand of crazy with. It is a wild and crazy life after all, and I think that’s easy to forget.

“I haven’t been myself lately,” was something that I said to a colleague today as we sorted out Chinese undies (don’t ask). I think that might have been the grossest understatement I’ve made in a while. Truth be told, I haven’t been jolly-old-over-the-top-flamboyant-self in a while, and hell, I MISS her!

My friends are grand reminders of who I am, how far I’ve come, the hope and the silliness still left in the world.

Just this week alone, I have been given all kinds of wonderful advice: drink your own pee, quit your job, have an affair, call in sick…

What would we do without our friends?  You see, it’s not about taking or giving advice. It’s about being caring enough to want to know how someone is feeling,  curious enough to look at alternative ways of being in the world and courageous enough to live out our choices.

As I plucked through my email, I came across a little email from ‘the crazy cat lady’ who used to be my neighbour,  I had a copied and pasted message from one of my friends’ lovers ( a seriously well-written love letter…swoon), and an invitation to some sort of kitchen party. I had a reminder about a dinner a friend planned for me knowing my love of all things bourbon and spicy. I also had bills, a library pick-up notice, and a reminder about my e-signature on a contract.

As I muddle through the darkness of ‘not quite being myself’, emails about urine as medicine, torrid love affairs and kitchen-knick-knacks I don’t-need-but-want are most welcome reminders that these seemingly frivolous distractions are the substance of life, not just unnecessary distractions.

Sending out my gratitude for my crazy, lovely, ever-so-wonderful friends…xo