Shut Up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

gloves

Oh my.

I yelled ‘SHUT UP’ at the kids this morning.  I don’t normally.  It’s not something I like to do and it’s certainly not something I plan on doing often, but they were in an emotional, not to mention LOUD, gridlock over a situation that neither could let go of.  They bickered so angrily and loudly… it was going nowhere.  A1 was resolute that he was right and that only his logic made sense, while A2 was progressively getting more and more frustrated, his fists were poised to beat his older brother, his tears were spilling out of his eyes and he was shaking with anger.

It was not pretty.

It would not stop.

It was so incredibly loud.

I yelled “shut up!!!!!!!!!!” which did shut them up, but of course my children reminded me that my yelling shut up at them was sort of not the best way to handle things, which I acknowledged.  It took all my energy and headspace to have them agree to hug it out and declare a truce until they returned from school.

I did piece together the situation: A1 had asked A2 to go in with him on a game.  $20 each.  A2 said okay, but then over time realized that the game was attached to A1’s account so all the earned V bucks (I’m saying this, but I don’t really know what it means) goes to A1’s account.  A1 feels like this was the deal and the deal was that A2 would get to play whenever he wanted.  And that he would have never purchased the game all on his own.  But A2 felt like he paid half but wasn’t really getting half, so he wanted his $20 back.  They could not and would not see each other’s point of view and just kept going round and round in circles.

So let me ask you, my dear readers (all 2 of you), what would be a good resolution?

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Coincidentally, another mother was describing almost the same morning with her two boys and she had to take away their screen time privileges.  I shared their story with them and hinted that I could potentially solve this problem…  neither of them liked the idea that I might be able to solve their fight with a very simple idea involving getting rid of what they were arguing over…

P. S. We finally did reach one, whew, but it was not easy. It involved a lot of ‘trying to understand the other person’s perspective’ type of side discussions… a lot of humour… some analogies (‘so, if you guys bought a condo building together, each paying $20 million, does that mean A2 doesn’t get the rental income from the tenants?’ ‘yeah, but I would give him the rental income until he gets his investment back’)… walking through and testing out their logic (‘so in real life if you make a deal and realize you don’t like it afterwards, you can just get out of the deal?’ ‘yeah, but this is not real life’).

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Wait… I’m Turning into My Father!

Heroify

A week ago, I signed up me and the boys to attend an anti-bullying, hero training program called Heroify Your Life.  (I was invited by good friend and amazing hero Scott Dietrich.  The speakers were amazing and the topics should be taught in every school every year for all kids.)  Initially, the boys were a little bummed by the idea of being talked at all day long on a Saturday.  But then… on the day, they behaved so well and were so engaged for the entire day. I was a very proud Mama.  At the end of the day as we walked through the mall to find dinner, I offered to reward them with a present!

My younger son said: “You probably shouldn’t do that. If you connect behaving well with a present, I’ll be disappointed next time if you don’t buy me a present.”  What a wise 9-year old.  I had to backtrack and reframe it… that I wanted them to be happy, that it was separate from my being pleased with their behaviour.  He nodded approvingly and happily accepted the gift with the understanding that it isn’t necessarily going to happen again.  The older one declined the present I offered but counter-offered with something else that he felt was more age appropriate.  Everyone was happy.

Fast forward to a week later. My father was so pleased that I took his health advice seriously, he offered to buy me a big present if I could sustain these habits for 3 months. I was like, my present was the advice, my present will be improved health, I don’t need a present… wait a minute… this all sounds familiar!

The apple does not fall from the tree.  I guess parents are not beyond rewarding and bribing our kids… regardless of how old we all are.

Don’t Forget about Us~~~!!

A1: Hey Mommy, Daddy and I bought tickets to go see the Blue Jays on August 8.

Me: Well, did you check in with A2 if he wanted to join you?

A1: I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want to.

Me: Yeah, but you guys can’t just go off and buy tickets to something without checking with us first!  That’s not nice!

A1: Oh, I’m so sorry, it’s just that I didn’t think that A2 would want to go.

Me: And what about me?

A1: Oh Mommy, I’m so sorry, did you want to go?

Me: Well, it’s a little late, don’t you think?  You guys already bought the tickets!  Humph.

We go downstairs where Daddy and A2 are.

Me (to Daddy): Hey, that wasn’t so nice of you guys to go off and buy Jay’s tickets without checking in with us to see if we wanted to go too.

Daddy: Oh, sorry.  I got so focused on getting good tickets at a good price.  I guess we should have checked in to see if the two of you wanted to go.

Me: A2, did you want to go?

A2: Nope.

Me: Yeah, me neither.

Daddy and A1: !!

Cheat Day: Roundthe6ix Trip – Monument to the War of 1812

I’m cheating today.  We started Roundthe6ix as our family project where we each can only pick one photo to blog and write about.  The topic today was the toy soldiers monument by Douglas Copeland representing the War of 1812.

We had an amazing walk, through small streets and down to the Lakeshore then back up through Fort York.  We can see Lake Ontario peek through at certain times, we see all the crazy condo complexes being built up, and there is always our amazing CN Tower.  I got to show my boys my Gentle Kung Fu routine.  The weather was sublime and we got our steps!

It’s also a great opportunity to hang out with three of my most favourite people in the world and play with my new (old, hand me down) toy… So anyway, yes, right, one photo.  I took a bunch of photos and have selected mine for Roundthe6ix.  But I really like the other photos I’ve taken too. So here it goes.  I’m posting up all the ones that didn’t make it into Roundthe6ix.

“Monument to the War of 1812” by Douglas Coupland

If the Americans won in 1812, President Trump would be my President today.  So… I’m rather appreciative of the British for fighting over Canada… and I’m more than grateful to all the soldiers who fought for the freedoms and safety that we now enjoy, however precariously.

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I never let go an opportunity to take a photo of our beautiful CN Tower.

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Toronto, where you can see more cranes than care to count.  There are six or seven of them in this photo alone!

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I posted a Bill, I posted a Bill!  Will they prosecute Bill Stickers?

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They Know Me Well

A2: They are putting ads about iPhone Xs… and *I* only have an iPhone 4.

Me: 5. You have an iPhone 5. By the way, I never want to hear you complaining about the fact that you have an iPhone.

A2: No Mommy, I’m just joking. It’s a joke!

Me: Not funny. Not even as a joke. Too many kids have nothing. What you said makes you spoiled. It means that I’ve spoiled you and I can certainly stop spoiling you. If you are going to behave like spoiled brats, I’m either going to take away all your gadgets or send you away to a country where they don’t have any. Do you have any idea how privileged you are? You are not allowed to complain about your gadgets. I’m serious. Do you understand me?

A2: Yes Mommy. Sorry Mommy… Uh… Mommy?

Me: Yes~~~~?

A2: Um, I think we know that you love us too much to send us away. You could never send us away…

Me: Oh, okay, yes, you’re right. My threat was a bit exaggerated. But you get my drift though, right? You understand what I’m trying to say.

A2: Yes Mommy.

Toronto Night’s Full Moon and Jupiter

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This is the first time in a very long time I have had enough headspace to do anything other work, what is absolutely urgent, putting my kids to bed or veg in front of the TV at night.  Working full time, trying to be an active and attached parent, and dealing with a number of illnesses had really taken a toll on my physical and mental health.  Tonight after I put the kids to bed, I did my 8-brocade in the house and then went outside, where the weather was amazing.  I did my Gentle Kung Fu routine (well, the first half, as that’s all I’ve learned so far!) and saw people taking pictures of Jupiter.  So after completing my exercise, I grabbed my camera to capture Jupiter and the Full Moon!  This is such a great place to be after the past few months.  This is a huge victory for me… 

In the fall, my normally perfect blood pressure had shot through the roof, I was waking up in the middle of the night from panic attacks and I could not control my emotions, which flipped flopped between range and helplessness.  The condition I had was causing so much pain that was no longer being contained by the prescription painkillers… I was not well, I could feel it, but only ever did things that made it worse.  I was trying all the time to think about exercise or eating healthier… but I had zero willpower and very little headspace to make the right things happen.  I was going in a downward spiral.  Desperate, I knew I had to make changes, so I went vegetarian, I started waking up earlier to do meditation, I joined an inspirational coaching group on Facebook, I started taking Qigong.  For the first month, I felt great… I was making changes and I was feeling more zen about things.

Then… as things started to slide… the cracks in my mental health started to show.  At first, it was a bit subtle and was mostly just negative self-talk that emphasized the loserness of everything I did, thought, tried, and failed.  Every situation, any thing at all turned into a self-bashing session that left me struggling to breathe.  I second guessed every single thing I did… then it got worse.  My work suffered, my confidence was shattered… I no longer liked people at all. I could not function anymore as a mother, wife, colleague.  My whole body and brain shut down.  Even on days when I wasn’t struggling with pain, I no longer could done what needed to get done.

To have it happen once is one thing (3 years ago)… I thought that I had fixed things by changing jobs, but what I now realize is that I did not deal with the many fundamental issues that continued to plague me and was slowly destroying my health.

Health, I have come to discover, is a very complex and yet simple thing.  It’s all inter-related, there are so many things going on and so many things influence so many others. Over the past month and a half, I have been taking a shotgun approach to figuring how to fix my problems.  I’ve been reading books, searching forums, seeking various types of health providers, trying out stuff from the health food stores… and it all boils down to: Eat, Move, Sleep, Think, Feel, Believe, Do.

Eat to provide nutrition.  Anything else starves the body and causes it to crave bad stuff.  Humans have to move in order to maintain physical and mental health, sitting is the big evil thing now.  That and sugar.  Sleep enough or the body cannot rest and heal.  Think in a way that is constructive.  Feel good… feel love… feel positive… Believe in what can be and then do it.  Just do it. (Not withstanding that some of what we deal with are genetic inclinations… so, we may have to work harder to overcome them…)

This most recent part of my journey has been TOUGH, but it’s brought me so many amazing things:

  1. I’ve found songs again!  The theme songs for me right now are: Meant to Be by Bebe Rexha feat. Florida Georgia Line and Like I’m Going to Love You by Meghan Trainor feat. John Legend.
  2. I’ve rekindled unconditional love for my kids… I am very committed to ensuring I have headspace to be with them and enjoy them.  They are amazing human beings.
  3. I’ve found people who are wise to hang out with!  My amazing Qigong/Taichi Shifu trains at the park 365 days of the year with a number of his amazing/wise students.  And what I’m learning from them is life changing.
  4. There are healthcare practitioners who are patient-centred and holistic!  While many have been great, I have to say Naturopathy I think is the way to go…
  5. There have been amazing friends who have reached out to support me in a way that I never felt like I deserved, each person reminding me about and reconnecting me with parts of me I had neglected.
  6. Old, old friends from long time past who are also going through their own challenges, who have reminded me of who I once was and can be again.
  7. My amazing parents and mother-in-law who work so hard to take good care of themselves and always want to help us.
  8. My sisters who are just plain amazing people.
  9. The organization where I work is amazing, given me the opportunity and time to focus on my health and heal.
  10. My husband who is my partner, best friend, cheerleader and backup to everything.  So creative, honest, funny, solid, always accepting me for who I am, what I do, and will to do whatever it takes.

So grateful!  Now the next part of this journey is going to be figuring out how to fit in all the things I need to do to improve and maintain my health in a sustainable way (I will need to priority and cull!).  This is not a choice, it is the way.  Health is way too important.  It’s right up there as #1 priority along with Family.

Wishing you peace and health, happiness and love.