• Fall Into The Blue

    When I look up to the sky now,

    It looks different to me.

    I have a new understanding

    Of how expansive life can be.

    I’ve lived mostly in a bubble,

    Quiet in my world

    Until bit by bit

    It began to unfurl.

    Today it blew wide open

    When I jumped in tandem

    The universe at once

    Seemed both connected and random.

    I was completely at ease

    Until it came time to fly

    A moment of mind numbing fear,

    And then we were a part of the sky.

    I shut my eyes at first

    As my body and stomach turned

    Once we levelled out

    I knew what I was there to learn.

    Believe in yourself,

    Live with arms open wide.

    Trust yourself,

    Let your heart be your guide.

    Put faith in others

    That show up in your day

    Embrace flight

    When it comes your way.

    If you feel inspired

    To do something new

    Just seize the moment

    And fall into the blue.















  • Just Do It

     “Are you skating or just watching?” I asked my “significant other” over breakfast.

    “Um, just watching” he replied, “and you?”

    At this point, I briefly weighed both options and heard myself say, “skating” before I had really made up my mind. We were taking the girls to the locals sports and rec center for free skating on Family Day. My oldest daughter is a hockey player and skates like a pro, and my youngest daughter has spent enough time on the ice to hold her own too.

    I’ve only gone skating about four times in the past 4 years and I’m definitely no pro, but I do okay, kinda, sorta. (Other than that one time when, after getting a little too confident, I tripped over my pick and did a total “a** over teakettle” kind of move that was far from graceful. I laughed it off but my pride wasn’t the only thing bruised.

    I made my youngest daughter promise to hold my hand until I got my bearings, and told my older daughter specifically not to. (She likes to grab my hand and pull me while she skates like she’s on a breakaway and about to score a goal….scares the snot out of me because of previously mentioned “a** over teakettle” manoeuvre that I do not want to repeat.)

    As much as I wish I could glide effortlessly around the ice and weave around people like my hockey playing daughter does, I hate to even let go of my younger daughter’s hand. Eventually, I get my confidence up and don’t totally panic when she does let go of my hand. I manage to glide along (fairly smoothly…with the odd, whoa that was close!) and stay upright until she comes along again and takes my hand.

    By the end of the two hours, I’m feeling pretty good skating on my own but still very careful not to get too confident and trip myself. I’ve gone from being afraid of my daughter letting go of my hand, to actually skating away from my hockey player and letting her chase me. (Mind you, she catches me in about two strides, but still…) I watched myself go from being afraid to skate alone, to playing with the temptation to just give ‘er and see what happens. (If there weren’t so many people there, I think I would’ve just done it. However, fear of consequence prevented me from skating with such abandon.)

    After my experience with skating with my two daughters this afternoon, I’ve come to realize that sometimes, you’ve got to “just do it” as in the words of the legendary Nike ads.

    I had the fear in my head that when my daughter let go of my hand, I would spontaneously do a triple-sow-cow-type-wipeout and yet when she did let go, I did fine. Just like learning to (or teaching our kids to) ride a bike.  You might be a little wobbly at first but before you know it, you’re gliding along on your own like you’ve been doing it forever, without a care in the world. (This is where I would probably trip over my pick again, but fortunately, not today!)

    Whatever opportunity comes up next for me I promise to sidestep fear (which I’ve read stands for false evidence appearing real), and “just do it”!


  • Beyond Fear

    Today I had to do a swim test as a prerequisite for an upcoming ice water rescue course that I’m doing this weekend. The test consisted of treading water for 15 minutes and swimming 100m with a PFD on. It wasn’t the actual test that bothered me so much as the going out without a stitch of makeup on and getting into a swimsuit in the middle of winter, and not with my family, which would’ve at least made it bearable just for the fact that it’s spending time with the family, and that makes everything worth it. Since this test is part of a training course offered through the volunteer fire department that I’m on, the lead instructor was there, an officer from my department, and a fellow firefighter from my station (who was also doing the test) were all there too.

    As a woman, if there’s ever a time that insecurities are going to come out, being in a bathing suit will do it to ya. I’m sure there are women out there that are extremely self confident and have no problem whatsoever in a bathing suit, summer or winter. I just don’t know any personally. And even though I get on my treadmill regularly and do weights often, I battle my own long standing insecurities any time I think of putting on a bathing suit. At least in the summer, one has the benefit of a tan to hide such imperfections and make one feel much better about themselves, in my experience anyway.

    As for the lack of makeup…don’t get me wrong. I’m not obsessed with my looks ( I believe them to be average), and I don’t spend tons of money on the latest and greatest beauty products ($5 mascara, $7 eyeliner and a little foundation here and there to cover the red spots and/or bags under my eyes…priceless.) I’m not sure if it’s an age thing or a stress thing but my skin definitely seems to be less than radiant most days, so if a little makeup here and there makes me feel better, so be it.  However, you do not wear makeup in the pool, it’s just not an option, so bare faced I went. Oh how I wish my “bare faced” was as fresh and clean and bright looking as the “bare faced” models in magazines…hahaha. Okay, back to the real world. (I suppose there is water proof makeup out there that may do the trick, but that definitely seems like going over board to “save face”.

    Makeup and body issues aside, I passed the test. I was glad I passed it, but not surprised. I had always been a strong swimmer when I was younger so I figured I could handle it, even if I don’t swim very often these days.

    The greatest victory for me today was not in passing the swim test, it was in testing myself and passing that I felt a victory had been won. I honestly didn’t care about how my body looked in the swim suit when I was at the pool (I felt good on the inside and that’s what mattered), and I wasn’t concerned with how I looked without makeup (did it really matter, after all?). I was also proud of myself for even doing the test and keeping up with the 20 something year old fellow firefighter that just happens to be training to become a full time firefighter and therefore is in extremely good shape. As a 40 year old mother of two, having the self confidence and self esteem to do the things you fear is hugely important to me so that I can be a good role model for my daughters.

    I don’t always feel as confident as I do at this particular moment in time, but I’m hoping that the more that I push myself beyond of my comfort zone and face my fears, the more my self confidence will grow, and someday become the norm. Fun Fearless Female. That’s what I’m going for. 40’s not too late is it???

    If you have that strong sense of self, nothing can stop you. That’s what I want for my girls….and for myself!