Category Archives: Family

Happily Ever Never

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coverIf life never got any better than today, would you be okay with that?  That also means that life would never get any worse.  Your today would be your everyday, nobody would die, nobody would move, if you are married you will always be married, if you are single you will always be single.  If you were told that this was your lot in life, TODAY, would you be okay with that?

It’s an interesting question because we are hardwired to create plans, goals and visions.  We are educated and told about all the things we should seek from our parents.  As we get older that pressure mounts because friends, teachers and society gets involved.  We all want the latest gadgets, trendy clothes and haircuts because frankly, we are brainwashed to want them.  Keeping up with the Joneses you know?

I once read that unhappiness is not an issue with what you do have, but a desire for what you don’t.  So, if you could turn that around and stop craving the things that you don’t have…would you be okay?

That’s the funny thing about life.  When it’s good, we don’t want it to change.  When it’s bad, well we can’t wait for tomorrow to come soon enough.  But, life is ever-evolving, ever-changing…so even if you never gained a pound, never ate new foods, never left your apartment, never sought a full-time job, never tried to date…things would still change outside of your control.  Your parents will age, your plants may wither, your neighbours may move, and your precious ipad could break.  Nothing really ever stays the same.

So, I guess the key is not to look at the big things as your life all the time.  Don’t focus on your failed romance, your fight with a friend or your unknown career path as whether or not you have a good life.  Try to focus on the tedious day-in-day-out and look at the little changes that take place everyday.  If you look long and hard at your day, everyday….maybe you didn’t change your job, your boyfriend or your apartment…but hopefully you did change your underwear.

Focus on the little signs of good you have in your life…the ability to sleep in, choosing your own TV shows, cooking your own food, spending money on vacations of your choosing, knick-knacks nobody else has input on and KNOW, know that even if you found your dream job, could afford your dream home or met the love of your life…some things would change for the worse.  Some of the things that you think of trivial in your mundane little life would be the very things you missed greatly once all your dreams came true.

The grass is always greener my friend, so maybe accept that your life is a washed our Polaroid and just look carefully at your background.  Maybe there isn’t a picket fence, but at least there is a lawn.  Couldn’t say it better myself…http://tinybuddha.com/blog/why-the-grass-is-never-greener-and-how-to-be-happy-today/

People think life is short.  Nah, life is long.  The next great thing will come to you.  Just be ready and let it.  – George, Go On

The Ginga Ninja

Chris itsnevertoolate-redM

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I Coulda been Somebody, I Coulda been a Contender

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On_the_Waterfront_posterI have a friend who tells me I’m really bad with perspective because I compare.  The funny thing is the other day she also said the same of herself.  I walk around and say “most people are…” or “I should be…” which in all reality makes no sense for me because I commonly break all these rules anyways.  You should date people you’re own age, you should settle down and get a respectable job after school; you should stay at home to save money.  Maybe I say these things because deep down my good little girl inner-child who (secretly) wants to please my parents and play with the good kids believes them…yet… I never ever actually do these things.  Does this instead just make me a contemplating badass?  A rebel with a cause?

I know that normal doesn’t exist.  In fact, as mentioned already, I heard that normal people are only people you don’t know yet.  I have enough experience and baggage to know life isn’t always easy.  I also fought damn hard to get others to accept the things I was finally accepting about myself.  I’m perfectly flawed and I know it.  Imperfectly balanced you might even say.  I have finally accepted that certain quirks and traits aren’t going away no matter how much I want them too or how much I try…no matter how much I sometimes wish I could pull some magic movie stunt and live someone else’s life for awhile just to see how it feels.

But, I guess even in that scenario I would still want to be me…you know, be aware that I’m now somebody else…which makes no sense at all.  In fact, in all the switcheroo movies I could think of, there is no plot that evolves this way…well, because it’s impossible.  Freaky Friday, Big, The Change Up, 17 Again…these characters merely swap bodies or have the wrong-aged mind in a different-aged body.

So, I guess I’m actually not that great at comparing after all, as I even when trying to come up with a good movie comparison, I can’t.

If that were the case I might swap my body for the one I had at 25, or maybe spend a day in one of Hefner’s Playboy Bunnies, but who are we kidding.  For as many things that I wish weren’t parts of me, there are just as many that I am happy that are.  I have to hope that those who love me – love me for the good…and not-so good traits too.  So for anybody that gets a little too competitive at Jeopardy, is obsessed with finding the best sugarless chocolate, puts the toilet paper roll on backwards, uses Kleenex to the bitter end, or thinks too much about what they should be doing instead of what they actually do…remember that should be doing and actually doing are 2 very different things and both are probably wrong…because frankly, no right exists.

Like the famous Marlon Brando scene in “On the Waterfront” there are people out there with expectations of how they could or should act, or in this case who they could or should be.  His character states, “You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it.”

Coulda, woulda, shoulda…..maybe some people really believe they can go back and undo things to make it different….me, I just believe that maybe as far as society goes there are things I “should” do….(and unfortunately may always reference them when I believe I’ve taken a gamble outside the secure and successful), but…I won’t.

Because frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn – Rhett Butler.  images

The Ginga Ninja

Sorry, What Day did You Say it Was?

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So this year I didn’t write a Valentine’s Day post.  Not because I’m bitter, not because I actually have a Valentine, but because I’m kind of…well, nothing over it.

As it turns out this past year things have been up and down…because, well, that is life.  I had a brief international fling, a ridiculously busy Christmas and a fairly relaxed January.  Since glowing about how much I love unemployment, I have now found myself fully employed again and am running myself ragged to maintain all that I’ve taken on.  Funny how that works, but finances run the world (even though Beyonce may have referenced ‘girls’) and time is once again at a premium.

Either way, I’m pretty okay with or without a Valentine.  Two years ago I was just learning to be independent, last year I was knee deep in health scares and this year, well, I barely noticed it even came.  I didn’t see many store fronts, am now chocolate-free, I’m happy for my taken friends and very few of my single ones are bitter or planning sad nights in. Single or taken, busy or relaxed, male or female, rich or poor…Valentine’s Day comes and goes and so we close the door on Valentines 2014.

But….I really do love those old vintage cards…and I really love this  post by a fellow blogger.  We are the same age, have the same poor spacial awareness and funnily enough sometimes pick the same titles for our blogs.  www.jentalkstoomuch.com/2011/02/happy-valentines-day-to-me

I think not just this year, but every year, you should feel this way.  Happy Valentines to you, your family, your friends, your pets and most importantly, YOU!

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Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.                                                                                                – Lucille Ball

The Ginga Ninja

Maybe the Deadly Sins aren’t so Deadly after all…

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Pride-w-bckgrnd-580x250Over the past year and a half, despite ups and downs, I keep finding myself both proud and amazed of the little things I figure out.  By nature, I like to have projects on the go.  Painting somebody’s toy trunk, updating an old piece of furniture, creating party playlists…I’m a doer.  Now, I’m less of a doer than I used to be and I’m definitely less of doer than I was (sometimes) forced to be, but that’s only because I had to learn to focus on me, not just tasks at hand.

That being said, last summer I could’ve used a lot more tasks.  This summer there simply weren’t enough hours in the day.  It’s so interesting how 1 year later your problems can be completely different.  Last year I was stressed at work, this year I was borderline bored.  Last year I was melting away in my new apartment wishing for things to do, and there were moments this year I wished I took on a little less!

Either way, I have accomplished a lot on my own.  This doesn’t negate that friends, family, and neighbours have helped me of course, but I mean…living on my own.  No roommates, no boyfriends.  The crap your dad or husband does?  Well, I have had to learn to do it.manicure-set

This has included things both large and small – from learning to use spray sunscreen on my own back to things pretty darn large – like learning how to redneck tie my muffler with a coat hanger.  Throughout the last year I have learned how to fix my own internet, call around for car quotes, sand, fill and stain wood, putty in holes, install air conditioners, use a nail gun, relight pilots, silicon my sink, research alloy rim bolt patterns and possibly most impressive for me…..a month or so ago I spent an hour fixing my own brakes on my new bike.  This is almost a freaking miracle as I haven’t owned a bike since I was about 15.

But, I used to think I had a pretty decent list even before that.  My dad taught me to be somewhat self-sufficient.  I could hang my own pictures, paint my own furniture, hook up my own VCR, check my oil and even know how to detail a car…rust and all.  Each time my mom and I debate about how busy we are (or how little she thinks my dad does), I have to remind her that those things she takes for granted – my dad cooking, doing registration on her car, filling her gas, fixing the internet, installing the DVD Player, fixing her birdhouse…well, me and a lot of other women don’t necessarily have that luxury.  There are more ways to be successful in life and frankly, handling your own life is probably number one.  Funnily enough, making another $10,000 or visiting a far away land now seem like less of an accomplishment than learning to clean out the air conditioner filter.

Think long and hard.  If you had to name what you were proudest of…what would it be?

I know a lot of strong women, so whether it be emotionally or otherwise – I’m so proud of everyone for all they have accomplished.  So, though there are women out there probably a lot handier than me – I have a feeling there are a lot that are less too.  Not too long ago I had two boys both tell me how sexy my self-reliance actually was.   Just yesterday I had an old friend say, “Well, aren’t you a handy little girl.”  It was interesting to think, but I guess an independent women can be both intimidating as well as appealing – I guess it just depends on how secure the lad is.  However, I don’t want to be sexist, so if you are a single guy, you can be proud of yourself too.  A good friend of mine actually learned about wiring just so he didn’t have to pay somebody to install his chandelier.  Even that is a challenge I’m not quite ready to undertake yet…maybe next year.

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If there is only one thing in my life that I am proud of, it’s that I’ve never been a kept woman.                                                                                                                                                    – Marilyn Monroe

The Ginga Ninja

Blah, Blah, Blog….

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red journalAre blogs just modern day journals?  Unlike Bridget Jones, how many girls do you think are still locking their diary and hiding it under their mattresses? (I for one wish I had been that smart).

But, at that time, being mentioned in somebody else’s journal was juicy…it was gossip…a secret look into the crazy mind of another.  How mortified would you be if everybody knew what you were thinking and (EGAD) who you accttuuaalllyy had a c-r-u-s-h on?

Nowadays however, we are all encouraged to show our uniqueness.  The irony being, is that the number of online blogs is estimated at around 181 million unique sites.  That is 181 million very un-unique people blabbing about their likes, dislikes, days and hobbies.  Me included of course.

I personally find blog pushers very annoying.  They post it on Facebook, they post it on LinkedIn, they post it at the bottom of their emails; they encourage you to read it on twitter.  Who doesn’t have something better to do than read somebody else’s thoughts?  C’mon.

Well, I guess my saving grace is only a a handful of my loved ones even know this exists.  Maybe they read it because they can relate, maybe they read it because they are bored, maybe it’s because they love and support me, or maybe, just maybe they read it to see if they are mentioned.

Love you ladies….oh, and man.

The Ginga Ninja

Mr. Right Was Always Right Here

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Daddy's Little Girl, Fred Flintstone & PebblesSo, I debated just reblogging last year’s Father’s Day post for anybody who missed it.  Good and bad, right and wrong, I sure do love my Daddy.

But, I stumbled across this great article earlier this week.  It was about a father who wrote a letter to his young daughter.  He wanted her to know that in her future she should have worth, she should have standards and she should be willing to wait for somebody who had been willing to wait for her.  She was more than a toy, she was more than a fling for a boy, she didn’t need to meet Mr. Right, just Mr. Right For Her.

http://mobile.news.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/dads-heartwarming-letter-to-daughter-about-mr-right-gets-internet-love/story-fnet0he2-1226638398797

It got me thinking.  In all of the years I have dated; the ups, the downs, the makeups, the breakups…I don’t really remember my dad ever telling me what I should or should not be doing (at least not in regards to boys).  When he liked a boy, he vocalized that he may be a good husband and if I chose to partner with him, he could be a good match.  But, the important thing here was that he always specified…IF I CHOSE.

He didn’t say much about the boys that were no good for me, he never called anybody a bum, or a good for nothing or an over my dead body….but, he always sat by quietly just waiting to see what I would do and who I would choose.  Sometimes, after the fact he had an opinion or two, but he was very careful not to say anything that would make my mind up for me when I was deep in the heart of it.  When a tough decision came last year over a good guy…he simply told me to do right for me and reinforced that I had to question what could make me feel any less than the best version of myself.

In all of these 31 years, I don’t remember him ever telling me I had to get married, I had to have kids, I had to have a partner, or even that I had to have a concrete life direction.  He has never asked me for grandkids or ever mentioned how much money I’ve wasted despite what I owe him.  He has watched me through many adventures and many changes and each and every time he seems to have a positive outlook on the “rest of my life”, what I deserve and who I will be.  I don’t ever remember him telling me to grow up, to get real, or to lower my expectations.  In many ways my dad has always been my best friend and I don’t think he has ever worried whether I had a man to “take care of me” once he is gone….because I think he raised me well enough to take care of myself.

So, like the father from the letter; I think that my Dad hopes that I meet Mr. Good Enough.  But, let’s be specific here… not Mr. Good Enough to Settle For, but Mr. Good Enough for Me.

 …But Whatever Road You Choose, I’m Right Behind You Win Or Lose. – Rod Stewart

The Ginga Ninja

Life is the Messy Bits

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This past weekend was Family Day weekend.  That actually makes no sense, as Family Day is a day and I just referenced it as a weekend…however, we had the Monday off as it was Family Day.  In essence, this created a long weekend.  Phew, thank god I clarified that.

I, for one, actually spent the entire weekend with my actual family.  The whole lot of them.  A night with my brother, his kids, my other brother and his common-law lady, both their dogs and two cats.  I then proceeded to drive another 2 hours to visit my parents and third brother’s homes.  I saw my mom, my dad, my brother’s new wife, his kids, his step-kids, his ex-wife, her boyfriend, three dogs and even my new sister-in-law’s father and step-mother. Finally, I finished the night off texting with good friends and cuddling with my cats.

Family is a big, messy, complication nowadays.  There is rarely such a thing as the nuclear family and there are few expectations of happily ever after.  Hell, I have friends who only went to see other friends and probably count them closer to family then they do their own siblings.  Like Modern Family, there is no one way to have a family now.  Like The New Normal, there is no normal anymore.

I know for me – well, my sister-in-law, my common-law sister-in-law, my new sister-in-law and even my ex-sister-in-law are all important people in my life.  The ex is the closest thing that I’ve ever had to a sister and in a weird way her boyfriend is like my brother-in-law.  And the new additions to my brother’s family?  Well, those would now be my niece and nephew.

There is no wrong way to have a family.  At least not in my books.  So, go out and appreciate yours, whatever version that may be.  Don’t feel guilty for enjoying time with them and don’t feel guilty for not enjoying time with them…just remember there is no real expectation anymore and you shouldn’t feel bad for who you love…or are forced to tolerate.

So, embarassingly enough, like Erma Bombeck says,  “I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.”

The Ginga Ninja

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