Friday, 1 January 2016

It's been a long long time

First I must apologize. It's been over a year since my last blog post. And what's my excuse? I guess there are too many to mention. But as we have been reminded by parents/friends or even a spouse..someone out there has it worse than me. I certainly don't want to have excuse-itis either. So - I will chalk it up to 'life'. I have allowed my life circumstances to get in the way, again. AND I will have the lesson repeat itself until I learn to deal with it. So many times (especially with the new year here) I set a goal (resolution)  that I am going to control my calendar and well - it has been controlling me - for a very long time.

I am always on the go - my poor mother is very worried about me. She will call to ask how things are going and I ramble away at what needs to be done today or what I'm doing tomorrow. Her response is usually; Sherri, why not take a day and rest. Sometimes - I will listen to her advice. Usually; I'm rushing out the door.

It is hard to sit and relax. I have 5 children, 3 grandchildren, a hubby, 2 jobs, and - yes I'm crazy! I am starting another venture with a friend of mine, and my home/family to take care of. I honestly look around and see SO many things on the to-do list that I become paralysed and I don't accomplish what I want to get done. And I feel guilty I'm letting people down. Feeling like a failure.
I'm busy busy! accomplishing - well - to be perfectly honest... absolutely nothing!

Time is something we don't have total control of. Of course we have control of what we DO with time, but we can't control, stop or stall out time.
My dominate personality is choleric or assertive or competitive or a lion and the colour yellow- which ever system you use to determine what you are. Here's a link for a test to find out what your dominate personality is. I always feel the need to be in control. And the need to control time.
This year has been on the top of the list of being a difficult year (which continued from last year - the ball just kept rolling into this one!) It was difficult in many areas...emotionally, physically, mentally financially and sometimes I will admit; spiritually. And oh - to add to that with a little chuckle- the change of life is slowing creeping in! I cry over everything! 

So I guess I have a few conflicting statements...I want to control my calendar but I can't control time.
That's exactly right. I need to control my calendar because the clock ticks away every second with or without my approval. But if I can get really good at my calendar - I can actually control what goes on IN my calendar. Yes things will happen unexpectedly. But at this moment - if that were happen, I would be completely thrown off. I end up juggling everything in the air - sure to drop something! But if I have it on my calendar...I can move things around - even to the next day! At the end of the day - I'm satisfied with what I have accomplished!

I have quite a few goals for this year. And I need to control what I put in my calendar everyday so I can move toward achieving them. 

I also want to make time for the important people in my life....
at the top of the list - a deeper relationship with God - he needs to be my everything.
second on that list - my hubby - as my kids will come and go but he is my BFF
third on that list - my kids/grandkids - being there for them through the good, the bad and the ugly.
fourth on the list - myself. Making time for myself to enjoy my hobbies, (crocheting right now is my favourite), reading (oh how I miss my book time!) and taking care of my body, in every way - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually! 
last but certainly not the least - my friends. I have a few close friends that it has been way too long. We all lead such full lives and of course - time marches on and the next thing we know - it's months since I've sat down and had a coffee with them!
Writing these priorities into my calendar will help me feel like I'm at least in control of my calendar and use my time wisely and feel satisfied with my time well spent.

The Passion Planner. This is an amazing tool! You can order online or download it!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Marriage. It's What Brings Us Together Today.

I am a wife.
Of course, I am also a daughter, a sister, a mother, and meemaw, I love all of those titles and all of those roles, but paramount to all of these is wife.
One of my greatest hopes is that my marriage is a representation of love and commitment to all who know me; even more important however, is the example I set for my kids. In fact, I would say that being a great wife to my husband is quite possibly the most important thing I can do for my children.

My marriage is in no way perfect, nor can I say I am an expert on the subject. What I can say however, is I am committed to learning and growing in my role as wife and have been for over 25 years. Marriage takes work - a lot of work - but, everything worthwhile does.

This blog, "Meemaw's Transformation" is a series of thoughts and musings of my life. A theme you will see more of here will be on the topic of love and marriage - as that is central to who I am.

One of the most important books I've read on the topic of marriage (and relationships in general) is The Five Love Languages
In the book, the author Dr. Chapman explains that there are 5 specific languages each of us speak and understand. More often than not, husbands and wives don't speak the same language. I guess that's the bad news. The good news is: we can learn each others language. And it's really not that hard!

I encourage you, for the sake of your relationship, learn your spouse's Love Language. Words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch. Which language do you speak? Which language does your husband understand? Take the test here: 

On November 18, Dr. Chapman is bringing his 5 Love Languages tour to my home church in Grimsby, Lakemount Worship Centre
If there is any way you can make it out, please do. I promise you, by applying what you learn in the 5 Love Languages, your marriage can't help but improve.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Silence - is it golden?


This post is a hard one to write. Let's go back a few months ago.
I want to apologize for not 'continuing' my journey as I had planned. My life has been - well - hectic x 1000! Due to family circumstances I needed to find employment that would give me more than 1 day a week. I landed a 'good' j-o-b that became all consuming. Hard pressure sales job. The job itself isn't hard but the leadership - lets just say they need to read more people-skills books. The pressure was mounting. I had quite a bit to deal with on the home front and now add this job stress. My body decided it would revolt to the pressure and I began to crumble. Checked in with my doctor - he strongly suggested a "stress leave" and "change of job". Easier said than done on both counts! SO to add to the already mounting anxiety/panic attacks - now I feel guilty (that I left a large hole in the company where I occupied space) and now - sit? Relax? Enjoy life? WHAT?!? How do I do that?!? I'm not lazy?!? I have some hard lessons to learn here!

I'm not writing this so I receive sympathy or as a poor me - I'm writing this to tell myself - I have a plan. I know how to get through this! I'm giving myself a self talk. I need to speak positive to myself. I heard a speaker once say,  "if your loved one spoke to you like you speak to yourself - you would probably punch them in the throat"
SO why do we speak so negatively to ourselves? I need to take time and dig deep. I have been reading leadership, attitude, relationship books for quite a while now. I have been preparing for this day (unknowingly of course).

I have been surrounded by an ocean of negative words and attitudes from this j-o-b for months. As a child/youth I had always heard: GARBAGE IN/GARBAGE OUT. Ouch.  It is so hard to live positive when you are surrounded by negative - I tried. I fought to stay positive. The problem was, I wasn't allowing any time for positive influences to combat the negative.
I was allowing the negative to take over. The war raging inside was so real. I am a strong person - if you know 'the personalities' yup - I'm a raging choleric! I thought nothing could take me down. As they say; the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Up until last week however, I could feel I was losing control. Silence was killing me. Sherri crying at work! What? You get the idea. I need to move on.

So - moving forward what am I going to do? The doctor has ordered me to stop what I am doing, and get better. First things first. Positive In will result in Positive Out.

Back to reading. 

Not fiction or the latest books in the must read shelves at the nearest bookstore. Books that will help me change my life. My attitude. Help me with relationships with my husband, my kids, and my friends. Books that the authors have fruit on the tree. They have successfully mastered what they have written. I have leadership and motivational cds coming out my ears. Again - positive influence.

I need to listen to them daily.

I need to reach down and find all the life principles I have learned over the years and start the healing process.

 It's time.

At the same time - stop looking so hard at myself and help others. Thousands of people need something positive spoken over their life! I need to be careful that I don't consume myself with me. Surround myself again with those that are encouraging and uplifting. TALK to people! Not whining or poor me. It's ok for people to know you are going through something. My mom always said, 'is it a hill to die on'. There are times that whatever the 'fight' is, isn't worth dying for. A petty argument or a silly issue. Other times? Absolutely! Fight for your freedom, your rights, your life!

Right now - I'm yelling from the mountain tops! FIGHT! Don't sit silent and try to wish it away. Allow people to help you. Allow people to speak into your life. If you need someone to talk to? I'm here. Don't be silent. Help yourself. Only YOU can pull yourself out. YOU have to make the decision to get out of bed. Look in the mirror and say, YOU are great. YOU have a purpose. YOU need to make a difference.

I won't be throwing all my dirty laundry onto Facebook or twitter or even on this blog. I'm writing this praying it makes a difference to one person. It's going to be a good day!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Sad, Excited, Scared to Death!

 My 'last' day at work was yesterday, Thursday March 27th. Well, I guess I should be honest - my official last day was March 17th - the day I worked. BUT, they asked me to come in for lunch. Free food! I'm there!
Mixed emotions went through my head yesterday as I drove the hour of time along the highway from Niagara to Locke Street Hamilton. This will be the last day I make this trip to work. We went to a little bistro down the street for lunch. We tried not to talk shop but what awaited all of the us the next few months. My co-worker is going on a cruise, for myself, the NEW career path. My co-worker Lisa and I headed back to the office to tie up a few loose ends. Lisa is thrilled with my new position but hates me all at the same time.
We knew each other as kids and reconnected just a couple years ago with many years under out belts. Marriage, kids, great times, sad times. We shared a very special year building a relationship that we both vowed we would keep. We hugged goodbye - chatted for another few moments, hugged goodbye again. After 3 times Lisa said - please leave, I think I'm going to cry. As I walked out the door, my heart sank. Lisa called out - "Have a great weekend! See you next week!" She heard me stop in my tracks, she loudly whispered, "Just humour me". I called back and said my usual - "Don' stay too late! See you next week!"

Today - just taking it easy. Looking through my closet. The last six years I have worked as a Rehabilitation Support Worker for those that have survived a car accident but are now left to deal with a head injury. This job was exhausting - both mentally and physically at times but very rewarding! I have learned so much from my clients. One point: never take your life for granted and appreciate what you can do, each and everyday! My attire? yoga pants, sneakers, t-shirts and hoodies for 6 years! I took on helping out in the office between clients, setting up systems and learning the acquired brain injury lingo and teams. Dress code for the office? Whatever I felt like that day. Jeans with a cute top, dress pants and blouse or even a skirt with a scarf accessory.

Monday March 31st I start my new journey. I accepted a position as Community Sales Lead for Holiday Retirement at Stamford Estates. This is the scared to death part! I have done a little bit of sales with the jobs I have had over the years. BUT I know I can do this! I have had the priviledge to know the compnay as my Grandma Forrest (who just turned 93 last week! Happy Birthday!) lived in one of these communities in Hamilton, Court at Rushdale. They are beautiful retirement facilities. This company takes care of the littlest details.
Dress code? Not yoga pants and tees! Business. Which is great - I LOVE my heels! My tootsies will ache my first couple of weeks! I will be meeting new people. Meeting their needs to have an amazing time in their retirement. Getting out into the community meeting new friends and acquaintances.

I'm waiting for someone to say - ummm Sherri, you have been in the rehab world for 6 years, before that you have worked as executive assistants, fitness trainer and mom. Now! At the ripe age of 46 you are embarking on a NEW journey? That's right! And why not! For years I have been and continue to be involved in leadership development. Subscribing to books to better myself in leadership, people skills, all aspects of my LIFE. All that learning has led me to this! I have been on my LIFE journey the day I arrived and nestled in my moms arms. Just taking a different road that I have been on for the last 6 years. I know my destination. Its the journey that counts.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Days like these....

Days like wake up - the alarm scares you out of your skin! You look at the time and say "really? That was a short night!" 
You get up - trip over the dog, step on a lego on your way to get that coffee you so desperately need! You look outside and the sun has decided to stay hidden. It's ok, it just added to how you were feeling. You want to just crawl back in bed, pull the cover over your head and WAIT for the sun to come out to make your day! You can`t call your girlfriend, she hasn`t had her coffee yet either. You can`t call your other girlfriend as you know she has been up all night with her newborn. You just need someone to take out that cattle prod and give you a zap so you can get on with your day. I've been there.

BUT, I have learned that somedays I have to create my own sunshine. As my good friend Claude Hamilton says - "flick your own bick!" Create that sunshine in your life! You and I decide each and every day how it is going to be. Not the horoscope in the paper, not even the dj announcer can `rev` you up. That cup of coffee; it wears off quick. So instead, look inward and ask yourself; how can I create my own sunshine today? What attitude am I going to have today? 

There are SO many things we can be grateful for. We are all loved by someone, a friend, a relative, your pet, someone! We all have someone in our life that cares about us. You have a job. So many are without work these days. You are healthy. I may have the sniffles today but there are many that are battling for their life. Food in your cupboards. Maybe your cupboards aren't bursting at the seams but you didn't have to visit a foodbank this week. Your family. Many people at your work, in your neighborhood, on the bus; are estranged from their families and there is no relationship. 

There is always something good in every day! Your car started! You didn't put a run in your pantyhose, or you did but a new pair was hiding in your drawer! You had all green lights going to work! You found that lost earring in your sweater! It isn't snowing! (that is a wonderful news for those of us that have had to deal with quite a bit of snow this winter). Your coffee is just right!

Then there are even the little things that keep that smile on your face! When a person holds the door open for you or the vehicle in front of you pays for your coffee or you hear a childs giggle. How about a complete stranger who walks by and says 'hello' or someone says, "after you". Or even better! YOU are on the giving end. YOU make someones day a little brighter. These things brighten your day as well!

A song I just found - love it! Days like these - they go by way too fast. Days like these you wanna make them last. Check out this song! Jason Aldean - Days like these

Tomorrow morning, if the sun isn't shining over your home...make your own sunshine and have a GREAT day!

Monday, 17 March 2014

I Have A Choice

I'm not going to lie; I am disappointed.

Following the Twitter hashtag, #LVERaquaContest yesterday morning, I discovered that La Vie En Rose had contacted the three finalists for their Aqua Brand Ambassador contest. I was not one of them.
My sincere congratulations goes out to the three finalists - I think that this will be an amazing opportunity for them - and so I wish each of them the best of luck.

My disappointment comes for two reasons and is accompanied by a choice.

When I first started this journey to become the brand ambassador for La Vie En Rose's swimwear line, Aqua, I really thought it was a long-shot. The more I worked out, blogged and thought about it however, the more I believed I could actually be a finalist in this contest. I met all the qualifications and was pursuing it with great energy on my social networks. As the date of the announcement grew closer, I thought for sure I would get a call.

The second reason for my disappointment is a little deeper than just not winning. My thoughts and hopes were, coming into this contest, that the brand would take a more thoughtful approach to their future advertising and marketing campaigns. All of La Vie En Rose's ads feature young women with beautiful, flawless bodies (and yes - I understand they are selling lingerie and swimwear). However, every time I visit one of their stores, I see women my age and older shopping. We are their clientele, and I was hoping that they would choose a brand ambassador who would reflect the ideals and character of not only the store, but of the women who shop there.
I hope that doesn't come across as "sour grapes". I simply believe that they could have chosen an older woman (not necessarily even me) as one of their top three finalists to represent the demographic that is most likely to support their brand. Women whose bodies have been through the trauma of child-birth, women who have experienced both the pleasure and pain of life and relationships, women who want to be told they are beautiful when they least feel it. I really think they missed an opportunity.

I have a choice to make - I can be bitter
I can choose to become better.

My journey is not over. This blog is titled "Meema's Transformation". I am not done. I have not arrived. Today I will become better than I was yesterday; Body, Mind and Spirit. Mine is a journey of transformation, and transformation is not a destination, it is a process.

I hope you continue to join me on this journey. I believe that as each of us focus on becoming beautiful from the inside out, the world in turn will become just that much more beautiful.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

She made her DASH count!

It  is with sadness and tears that I write this post.  Heaven gained a beautiful woman yesterday.  This woman did not have an easy life,  a single mom trying to make ends meet. Struggling to be a good mom and working so hard. She knew there was more to this life she was living. She decided to turn her world upside down.  She took the hard way out, so her life would get easier.  She made the sacrifices to live her life on purpose. She read books that would change her life forever. Finding her soul mate, she married her knight in shining armour that would slay any dragon that would come her way, he gave her the world. She gave birth to three more beautiful children, making her family complete. She listened to her mentors and applied what she heard.  She became an amazing mom, a wonderful spouse to her loving husband and a successful business woman. She only wanted the very best for her children. Everything she did was to better their life. She became a leader/mentor and friend to thousands of women. She helped them see themselves as champions and winners as well. She was an example of being beautiful inside and out.

Jackie Lewis' life; "it's all or nothing!"

"You only live once,  but if you do it right,  once is enough."  Jackie Lewis

I heard a story from Laurie Woodward about  The Dash. That little line between our date of birth and date of death. That little dash is so significant. Jackie's dash could circle our globe quite a few times.  She made her dash count!  She had touched more hearts in her short time than is possible to even imagine.

"I don't believe in circumstances.  The people who really make it in this world are the ones who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can't find them,  they make them". Jackie Lewis

Jackie Lewis wasn't feeling well last weekend.  Going to the hospital they thought it was a bug bite from Puerto Rico not long ago.  Her vital signs became grim. Her brain began to swell and would not respond to medication.  They transferred her to the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, giving her access to some of the best physicians in the country.  The doctors worked hard to save her.  Machines were now keeping her alive.  With Bill holding his four children, Jacob,  Eli,  Bella  and Nemo, by her side they said goodbye to their mom and loving wife for the last time.

It's so hard to think about it.  She wasn't in an accident. She wasn't terminally ill. We saw her just two weeks ago,  full of laughter and a love for LIFE! 

I have learned so many life lessons from Jackie.  Her legacy will live on in all of us whom she inspired to strive to be beautiful and strong on the inside.

"A candle loses nothing when it lights another candle" Thomas Jefferson

Jackie lit many candles in her lifetime. Following her lead, we now keep that candle lit and find others that need that light.

You can read posts and memories from hundreds of people Jackie Lewis inspired.