October 2010

I had a reiki session with Ann the other evening.  Ann’s sessions make me feel so grounded and calm and it’s worth it just for the sleep that I get the night afterwards.  I sleep like a rock. 

Ann and I got caught up and she has switched jobs since I’d seen her last.  She told me the best job hunting story ever.

She interviewed with a company and was really excited about the job.  It sounded just perfect for her and she was amped up about getting it.  Ann is an angel person so she said to her angels, “I’m excited about this job and I want it, but if it’s not the right thing for me, you gotta put something in front of it so that I don’t take it.”

Then she went in to interview for a second job that she wasn’t as thrilled about.  But the interview went well and she realized she clicked with the manager and felt more positive about the position leaving than she did going in.

So she gets a call about the first place from the recruiter she was dealing with.  The recruiter said, “I dunno what happened but it turns out the job has been filled. I’m really sorry I thought you had a good shot, but it’s just not available.”

Ann was cool about it and ended up taking the second job.  On day two of the second job she gets a call from the first place offering her the position.  She turned them down.  Someone had miscommunicated or some misunderstanding happened and it kept  Ann from taking the first job.  Just what she asked for.

She LOVES the job she took.  It’s perfect for her and she has control over what she’s doing and she’s making some coin doing it.

That story is such a great example of having Radical Trust that the right thing is going to turn up.  I’m trying to do the same thing with my own job hunt.

This week I was contacted about a job and when i looked into it I was medium-level interested.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was intriguing and I thought I’d go for it, for the interview experience if nothing else.

I was set up to do an interview with the recruiter to get on the short list for the job.  I intensely researched the job and thought about it all day.  The night before I was even awake for a couple hours thinking about what I’d say.

When I met with the recruiter yesterday she told me more and it moved me right to high interest.  The place sounded great!  The CEO sounded like the kind of no-nonsense get-‘er-done kind of guy I would love to work with.  Heck they are even moving to an office near my house – job nirvana right?  I came home from the meeting on a total high.  The recruiter said that she’d put me forward for the job and send my resume to CEO guy right away.

She called last night and said he took one look at my resume and said I wasn’t the person he was looking for.

Ouch.  Big Ouch.  My high came crashing down and I felt the kind of exhaustion that only Halloween candy can assuage.

I’m still shaking off the emotional high and lows of the last couple of days.  But I don’t resist it or regret it.  If CEO guy doesn’t see the value in my skills and background then I don’t want to tango with him either.  So I’m onto the next thing.  And trusting – with Radical Trust –  that The One is out there, and I’ll find it.

I had lunch with someone I hadn’t seen in 10 years.  Since we saw each other last we both invited 2 children into our life.

Him: I always said that marriage and kids wouldn’t change me.  How stupid was that.

Me: Yeah how could it not change you.

Him: It’s only made me better.

Detoxers often shake in fear of the thought of breakfasts for 10 days while detoxing.  Because if you don’t like hot cereal your options are incredibly limited.  You can do an egg and some sauteed veggies. 

I do that and add a bit of brown rice too, getting it toasty in the pan.  Then I clear a spot in the middle and add the egg.  It’s not eggs and bacon with toast but it has some flavour and fills me up when I need a decent breakfast.

Lately in my non-detoxing life I’ve gotten into smoothies.  It took a long time because I could not find edible protein powder.  I find plain ol’ fruit and stuff does not stick with me.  My naturopath had told me that I need to eat more protein for breakfast and suggested smoothies but I had had a rough history with the chemical powders. 

One time I bought one of those huge containers of protein powder from some weighlifting store.  I don’t know why the containers need to be so huge, to make you feel like you’re already big and strong? 

It was some fruity flavour an it tasted like eating some Wild Berry Body Shop product.  It. Was. Awful.  And I couldn’t throw it away for the longest time because it had been so expensive and I kept hoping I would try it again and finally Honeybunny got sick of looking at it and did it for me. 

Then I heard about Whey Gourmet, people said it tasted much better.  So I played it safe and tried the Vanilla flavour with fruit and juice or milk and it worked.  Woohoo! I’d found a smoothie that tasted good!  When Whey Gourmet went on sale at my store I splurged on the chocolate and while it does taste a bit chemically, mixed with a ripe banana and milk, I can live with it, yum. 

I’ve gotten hooked on drinking smoothies before morning workouts because they digest fast and easy and I don’t “enjoy breakfast all over again” when I start working hard, like I do with solid breakfasts.  The other benefit to smoothies is that they’re much easier to consume in the car than other crumby crumbly breakfasts.  I just pour it into a big water bottle and drink it with a thick straw (thank you MacDonald’s).

So when I was getting ready to start this fall’s detox I thought, damn how will I get my smoothies fix??  Protein powder is definitely not on the food list.  So here’s what I did:

Detox Smoothie

Ingredients:  Half a carton of silken tofu, 1 cup of frozen berries, 1/2 cup of unsweetened soy milk, 1/2 cup of juice

Directions: Whir the ingredients up in a blender, pour it into a 3 cup container and enjoy.

The food lists say that you should drink juice and soy milk “in moderation”, whatever that is.  But I figure half cup of each is probably safe.  I found my detox smoothie stuck with me as well as my usual ones and tasted great.

Supposedly in 1900 there were 1,000 different kinds of apples being sold by farmers.  I can’t imagine.  I can’t keep the types of apples that are available here clear in my head – which ones for baking, which ones are crisp and sweet for eating.  But I love all the crazy varieties. 

I love seeing the little brown ones, Russets.  I get excited by the big Honeycrisps early in the season.   And fall for me is all about the satisfying heft of a bag of Gravensteins and plans to bake something fruity and delicious. 

Last year I first discovered the Ginger Golds which are a cute little bright green apple that is my son’s choice of snack, his favourite color is green.  Supposedly the Ginger Gold was discovered in a Virginia orchard growing among some twisted uprooted trees (isn’t the interweb useful?  how did we find stuff out before it came along?). 

I’ve been a Fuji girl lately and my friend who was raised in the Valley, the apple growing area in Nova Scotia goes on at length about the joy of eating a Fall Pippin.  I had never heard of it. But to each their own when it comes to apples, there are enough varieties to go around.

When apple season started I got hungry for an apple crisp and found fresh Cortlands at the farmers market.  The Cortland is also a good baking apple, the interweb tells me it’s an heirloom variety developed by the food scientists in New York in 1898.

Anyhoo, I made an apple crisp with lots of crisp oaty topping and ate it for dinner before teaching yoga class one night.  But I had three Cortlands left over and thought, hey, I should make apple crisp in preparation for my detox!

Making Applesauce

So I cut 3 peeled apples into quarters and de-cored them by cutting a “v” into them.  Then I cut them in half again and sliced them.  I added a good sprinkle of cinnamon and cut up 3 dried plums (a.k.a. prunes)  and added for sweetness.  I’m not sure it needed the dried fruit.  I added just a bit of water so the apples wouldn’t stick in the pot while they heated up.  Then I let it all simmer uncovered until the apples were soft.  I mixed it well, let it cool and put it in a plastic container, it was happy in the fridge for the 5 days that it lasted. 

If you’re someone who misses jam when you detox, this is a good substitute.  It is great on top of almond butter on a rice cake.  I also put a couple spoonfuls on my oatmeal.

I ran a 10km race in Wolfville on the weekend.  Wolfville is a special town to me.  Not only does it ooze quaint but Honeybunny went to university there and then we got hitched in the little brick church.  The town has great farm markets, good restaurants, a decent second hand bookstore and beautiful historic inns that serve afternoon tea.

The race route started in town, went out to the next town and then looped back.  I ran with a friend and she and I were having fun.  We were going for the pass, pushing it to get by clumps of people as everyone found their pace.  It was fun, I felt like I trained enough for this one.  Then there was a hill at about kilometre 7 and my friend ran ahead while I wheezed my way to the top.

I rounded the corner and the endorphins must have been cookin’ because I suddenly felt this rush of Amazing.  I was so grateful that I can propel myself 10 kilometres at any pace.  I was blown away by the gorgeous autumn day where the sun casts everything in a golden light.  I ran past a field of big round pumpkins and felt so happy that I live in this corner of the world.  I was so glad to have girlfriends I can run and be healthy with.

As I got into town I was having to work, not dying, but definitely work at keeping going.  I thought, I need a good song on the ol’ ipod, something that’ll really bring me home.  And an old school Beastie Boys song came on that I’d added on impulse the night before. I had to laugh because it was perfect. 

I ran into the track at Acadia University, found a little sprint in my heels, heard my name called out and looked at the clock.  My goal was to run 10k in an hour and the time was 59.30.  It was just perfect.

 I love the “How To Be Alone” video.  It’s shot by local filmaker Andrea Dorfman here in Halifax. I love the shots of Gus’ pub and her getting into the face of the Winston Churchill statue.  I also love her handmade slippers, my Grandmother used to make those too and I was much to cool to wear them.  The poet is Tanya Davis and it’s a nice quiet feel-good peice.

Previously I did a lot of things alone.  I’ve travelled alone a lot and am totally OK with that.  I love the peace and quiet of reading on a place with no where to go. At some point I stopped living with boyfriends and got a place of my own when I was in Toronto. It was the upper floor of a narrow house where you could grab a fork while sitting at the table. 

I’d spend Saturdays walking blocks and blocks from one end of Queen Street to another, meandering in and out of places.  I can also go to movies by myself and know lots of people who can’t. I’ve been mostly OK with being alone.  But sometimes I’ve had to remind myself I want to be 100% OK with it because I wasn’t quite there.

Now with two children and a husband in the house I’m not alone very often.  Some days I crave it.  Some days I just have to stop at a coffee shop and sit by myself, reading, or just sitting.  Some days when I have the house to myself I stop and wonder what’s wrong and then notice, oh yeah, it’s dead quiet in here and it’s just me.  Those days are so rare. 

And what’s crazy is that while I look forward to the quieter times when the kids grow up,  I know from hearing other people say it,  I’ll also miss them.  But right now when the chaotic moments are so, well, daily,  I just can’t imagine not enjoying being alone.

I read in Dan Savage’s column that he started a video channel on You Tube for kids who consider or succeed in taking their life because they’re being harassed for being gay.  And the idea was – what would you say to this kid who lives in a small town and his life is miserable and he’s considering ending it?  Their message is – it gets better.  Here’s Dan and his lovely spouse Terry:

And I can second that emotion.  Even though I’m a boring hetero, my life has hugely improved since high school.  When you’re there it’s your whole world and you’re on the cusp of being a grown up but you’re not there yet. You don’t really have much control in your life.  You’re living in the town, or in my case ‘burb that your parents chose and you’re dying to find your own place, your own tribe, but it’s just not time yet. 

All I wanted to do in high school was get out and get far away.  The people around me were pretty small-minded bible thumping folks.   Let’s put it this way, the preacher at our church one morning said that the economy would be better if women would stop working and stay at home.  Ha!  It makes me laugh now that someone could say something so ludicrous but back then it made me feel invisible and want to strangle something.

All I knew is I wanted something different.  Every once in a while I’d get glimpses of what was out there.  I’d talk my boyfriend into driving us into the city for an afternoon and I’d imagine living there.  I pretty much went out with him just because he had wheels and i didn’t have to be trapped at home. 

I had a Scottish creative writing teacher who had us read stuff that was so not the Readers Digest, it blew my mind. 

I had a music teacher who took the band and choir to Europe every two years.  I managed to get the money scraped together to go on that trip.  At the airport there were kids crying to their mothers about how much they were going to miss them. I, on the other hand couldn’t *wait* to get my butt on that plane. 

I’m so embarassed when I think about how we marched through towns in Germany, Austria and Switzerland playing John Philip Sousa music and doing concerts in the town squares.  I’m sure we scared the crap out of the local townspeople.  We had flags and wore cowboy hats for gods sake.  But I didn’t care.  I was away, in a place totally different from home and all I knew is I wanted more of it.  Lots more.

And the minute we left high school everything changed.  The cliques immediately dissolved.  Everyone found their own path.  The drama melted away. Those that wanted to marry their high school sweetheart, make babies and work in their Dad’s construction company did just that. 

Other people straggled off to various colleges and universities. But no one even noticed because everyone was doing their own thing.   As intense as it seems at the time, it’s fake.  Afterwards it becomes just something you did once.  You don’t have to choose to see those people ever again.  You get to find your own tribe of people like you. 

And me, I don’t live anywhere near that ‘burb and neither do my family.  I still write, sometimes creatively. I still love to hang out in the city and I’ve been to Europe a couple times since high school, but you can bet it was without that cowboy hat.

It’s funny when you work on personal growth stuff.  Trying to change your mind or your beliefs or your patterns and then one day you notice without trying that you’ve made progress.  It happened to me yesterday.  I made the committment to Honeybunny that I’d stain the deck since I took the summer off.  It’s taken forever.  A few reasons.  Here’s the primary one – the deck is huge. 

At the time when we had it built it seemed like a good idea but then the idea of staining it has been completely daunting.  It’s been 4 years and now we’re at the point where we need to stain the sucker or watch it dry and crack and crumble beneath our feet. 

Another reason is that I’ve had kids underfoot most of the summer and one cannot stain much if one is going to have a baby crawl through one’s paint tray. 

And then, there’s the weather.  While it’s been an awesome summer the Direction on the stain can tells me that i can’t do it within 24 hour of rain and the temps have to be below 32 celcius.  So there’s that, plus I have other things going on in my life. 

Some days it seems like the planets have to be in the right position to get my deck stained and when i do get out it seems to be a test about how much one can humanly cover in 90 minutes. 

So I head out yesterday to stain the deck.  Honeybunny is going to stain the floor (the easy part) and i’m going to continue on with everything else.  We may actually finish coat number 1 of the deck.  The Directions instruct me that it needs two. Which means that it’s October and we’re only halfway done.  But anyhoo as I start I put a request out to the Universe. 

I do this a lot.  I figure it helps to know what you want and you might as well put it out there.  But I don’t just put out requests I also try to notice what I’m thankful for and put out a ‘thank you’ or five for that too.  Just to keep my head in a cup half full kind of space.

So without thinking about it my request was “just let me be OK with whatever I get done today”.  And then I registered what i just asked for and had to laugh.  Because normally it would have been, “please please please make me bionic so I can finish this frickin’ deck staining – NOW”.

What I asked for was better.  I don’t want my Universe asks to be around rearranging my life to my exact requirements because even though I think I know what I want and need, there’s no way I really know. 

Sometimes life deals you stuff and it seems lousy at the time and then you realize it’s the greatest thing ever.  Or vice versa.  It’s awesome and then it sucks.  It’s  like that sweater I bought on sale that didn’t survive a single washing.

I try to keep my lack-of-knowledge thing in mind with job hunting too.  I once applied for, and got an interview for a job that i wanted with all of my little jobless heart.  I figured that this job had my name on it.  I remember one question they asked in the meeting was whether i liked to work on my own or with a group and I happily answer that I was happiest in a group because it’s true for me.

I didn’t get the job and I was so bummed, it took a while to get over it.  Then a friend got a job at the same place and was able to give me the inside scoop on the job I didn’t get.  It was a total heads-down, buried-in-spreadsheets job obsessing over a product that no one in or outside the organization gave a flying poop about.  I. Would. Have. Hated. It. 

And the hiring folks knew it when I answered questions like the loner vs. groupie one.  They knew I wasn’t their woman.  I had no idea.  I had a small scrap of information about the job and was basing all my future plans on it.

Now I’m pretty comfortable knowing that I probably only have a small scrap of information about pretty much anything.  So it’s better that I trust that the right thing is going to happen.  I can feel calmer about it. I don’t need to think that I need to be, or even can be, in control.  I’m going to do what I can, but the Universe is going to make it happen.

So the deck is going to get as much stain on it as is humanly possible in one afternoon when the planets are in line.  Who says it needs to be done now.  Maybe I’ll love spending my Xmas holidays staining my deck.  Whatever happens, my job is to simply be OK with it.