Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Bombshell Strides Again

Just toodling along this afternoon running some work errands, and since one errand was right beside one of my favourite consignnment stores I thought 'why not just pop in and see what they have in nice dresses.' Just to look. Maybe get some new ideas for New Years Eve. After looking at picture after picture of gowns but mainly trying on cocktail dresses, I just didn't know what I wanted.

And, I wasn't feeling particularly like my fabulous Blonde Bombshell self after some unsuccessful shopping on Sunday and a disappointing trip to the scale this morning. But jaded and cynical with a piquant hint of hope, I went in. Quelle surprise! There were 5 gowns in my approximate size. Not all of them were stunning, but you really can't tell until you put them on so into the tiny change room I charged while the excited shop lady handed me more stuff through the curtain.


Item the first - black georgette slip dress with beautiful shimmering black beadwork flowers and a scalloped split front hemline to die for. It was soft and drapey and feminine. Sure, it needed a nip here and a tuck there. A little lower neck line. Some different support. But it could have worked. And been lovely. And 're-wearable' which I really don't remember being a criteria, but the shop lady thought was worth mentioning.

Item the second - flowy navy georgette with spaghetti straps and top band beading and a front slit and full A-line skirt. It was long and flowy even when I slid into in-store shoes to test for height. It cried out 'that lady's going dancing' (that a quote from the last time my 2 yo nephew saw me in a dress). Elegant, but understated. And let's be honest - we hate understated as much as we love dancing.

Item the fourth - when you step out of the dressing room and the only man in the store says "WOW" you don't keep looking. And when the va-va-voom gown comes matches some very NEW YOU va-va-voom shoes you say thank you very much I'll take it all. .

No description. You'll just have to see it when it's time. And don't even try to guess - it's not at all what I was expecting and exactly what I want. Funny how life is like that.

I want to squeal. And do a little chair dance. And especially I want to wear those shoes and that dress and see jaws drop. Eeeeeeeee! The bombshell is back baby, top to tail!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

plus none

I'm going to an exquisite wedding on New Year's Eve. I've been very excited about it since the very bride called and let me know a few months ago, and then I got the elegant invitation this week and was inspired all over again. It's going to be a full-on celebration of love and music and cocktails and dancing, and way back when I first got wind I promised myelf that I would go with someone who loves, adores and wants to create a relationship with me, or stag. No seat fillers need apply.

I've been shopping and planning and scheduling. I have dress ideas (see below) and shoe ideas and hair ideas. I have before plans and after plans. I haven't eaten dairy or sugar or grains in a week, and will continue that for another 33 days. I'm planning to be my absolutely most stunning, confident me.

I am not going to settle for less than everything I've pictured. And yet, I wish I'd checked +1 on the RSVP. I wish that I knew that there'd be someone to dance with me. Someone remembering where I put my camera down, and carrying the room key since there's not room left in my beaded clutch. Someone to put his hand on the small of my back as we walk out of the room at the end of the night and guide me safely home.

It's going to be an amazing night. I look forward to celebrating the beginning of my friend's new life. I know it's going to be magical. And ... I wish I hadn't checked Plus None.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

TI♥T: Epiphanies

Picture me, sludging home on the snowy, slippery sidewalk this afternoon - my hat low over my eyes, weighted down with bags and a swirling mind, and insulated from life around me by layers and blinders. I was stuck in my head swirling with anger and sadness and hurt and disappointment. Composing in my mind all the things there are to say. And all the things I wish I'd said and haven't yet, and all the things I want to hear. Just when I was about to give in and start saying those words, I experienced the simplest magic.

Just ahead of me at an intersection, an elderly lady couldn't manage the incline from the edge of the road to the divider that separates the turning lane from the main road. The curb has been lowered for accessibility, and the resulting slope, covered in compact snow, completely stalled her. After two slippery attempts, she seemed afraid to even move for several seconds. 

Instead of just driving by, or honking, or being frustrated, the gentleman in the car she was blocking put his car in park, put his hazard lights on in the turning lane, and got out to help her. There were 4 or 5 cars behind him, but no one honked or revved an engine. It was the most generous and spontaneous act of humanity I've seen lately. And then he saw me about to cross as well and smiled. 

That was all it took. He smiled. I took her other arm and helped her across the street as he drove on. The lights changed when we were mid-intersection, and again it seemed as though all the drivers had all the patience in the world for us. The sidewalk on the north side of the street was clear, and my charge assured me she was only going half a block down the street, so I let her go.

She thanked me profusely, but I really think I ought to have thanked her. All day I've kept having to rescue myself from the swirl of my own petty imaginings. And for the cost of a helping hand in the direction I was going anyway I was given an epiphany: in any instant I have a choice to be caught up in myself and my petty concerns and bullshit or I can look around, seewho needs me, and lend a hand. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

that girl & that boy

When I was a young girl, and even into my teens, it never occurred to me that I couldn't be or do whatever I wanted to be or do. That thinking just didn't exist. My parents were very clear that my sisters and I could have any future jobs and lives we wanted. They encouraged us to be open, to explore the world, and to try anything that interested us.

For me, that often looked like disappearing into the worlds created in books, which had me excel at school. But I also played a wide variety of team and individual sports with fair-to-middling success. I took piano lessons. Played the flute. Acted. Sang. We hiked and did farm chores and pretended to drive Dad's Willy's Jeep. I skiied at 5, and fished at 7. If I wanted to try something, by and large the access was there, and I was encouraged and supported in making it happen.

In all of those amazing experiences though, one was always missing. There was never a time in my life when I got to be 'that girl.' In grades 10, 11, and 12 I spent much of my social time with a group of three guys (Snake, Mongo and Blinky - seriously!) who treated me like any one of them. I was never sure they knew that I was there because I wanted Snake to notice me. Like, really notice me. We'd hang out at each other's houses. Cook dinners en masse. Study. Act/direct in the senior play. Snowmobile in the winter and hit the lake in the summer. And the whole time I was just one of the guys. Being 'that girl' in that environment wasn't an option. I graduated High School having never been on a date.

You'd think that'd be something you get over eventually. Snake and I reconnected a few years ago and he apologized. He said he knew, that he'd wanted to be with me to, and that he had his own things going on back then that kept things the way they were. It was a great conversation that cleared a lot up for me. And yet, it's been a lifetime (or at least several decades) and I still wonder - will that story that I'm just 'one of the guys' ever go away? 

I know who I am. I know I can be and do anything I set my mind to. Some people think I should be happy with that. But I want to be and do everything AND be the girl who gets the boy. Not just any boy - THAT boy. Until this week it's never occured to me that I could be THAT girl and get THAT boy. I thought it had to be one or the other, and that even then he probably wouldn't be THAT boy.

But guess what. I want to change the world and come home at night to someone who makes me smile and laugh and sometimes cry and who finds me in his sleep everytime he moves. And when THAT boy is ready, I guess I will be as well.

Monday, November 22, 2010

How To Rock a Snow Day, and in the Process Fall in Love

  1. Preempt the snow day by getting an infection and creating a sick day. Go back to sleep.
  2. Wake up only when darned good and ready. Listen to the wind howl for a while from the warm nest of your bed.
  3. Have a long, hot vanilla-spice scented bath. While you're there, finish a novel you've been reading forever. Frequently add more hot water.
  4. Create an urban-bunny snow warren: weather-proof an open-ended box by putting it in a garbage bag and lining it with a towel you never intend to dry human skin again; place beside his outside pen; shelter the whole thing with a bath mat. Spend a moment being glad you're not the rabbit.
  5. Bundle up (long wool coat, fleecy snow boots, mitts, scarf) and sally forth into the world. Trudge through snow, uphill both ways to drop-in and get a prescription from the doc. Since you're now only a block from Home Depot, pop in and buy stuff to weather-proof your very drafty bedroom window. Find and drink something hot and steamy (and preferrably spicy)
  6. Buy a really cute hat and prove to your BBs that you are so a hat person.
  7. Have a conversation or two with people you love and adore and who love and adore you right back.
  8. Stock up on victuals - you never know how long this weather might last!
  9. Flirt with and be flirted with by the charming pharmacist you didn't know worked just a block away. Decide you have a new favourite pharmacy.
  10. Bring bunny in early to thaw out. Replace his ice with liquid water.
  11. Fall in love with your city, your life, and yourself all over again.
  12. Turn off all electronics, open a bottle of pinot grigio & cuddle up with a steaming bowl of chicken veggie tikka masala and a steaming TV of Mad Men.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Heart Knows

Sometimes I want to say more than I feel capable of translating from feeling into words. This is one of those days. I want to share with you what I'm learning, and ... I'm fumbling. How do I say what it was like yesterday to have a stranger look me in the eye and tell me what I thought no one saw? What do I tell a friend who stopped by for dinner and reset my groove? I don't have the words.

I'm  slowly and steadily, catching up with the loving, vivacious, fun woman I sometimes forget lives and breathes inside me.

But I have the knowledge that there are people who know and see and accept and cherish me, hairy warts and all. And when I shush my chattering mind and listen to my heart, those people are easy to recognise.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

TI♥T: Flirting

You know how the other day I mentioned I was back?. It's been a summer and autumn of changes, of stressors and releases, of ups and downs and hopes and follies. Of forgetting who I am and letting others forget who I am. I stopped doing the things I do consciously for me - walking to work, minimizing my sugar intake, going to bed on time. I stopped taking care of myself. 

But I also stopped doing the things I unconsciously do. And because they are unconscious things, I didn't know I wasn't doing them, I just knew something was missing. 

Until last Sunday. Until a smile flickered in my eyes, and an unbeckoned lilt lit my words and I knew. And, I'm gonna guess, so did the man I was speaking to.

I am a flirt. I'm a girly-girl who likes being girly when I interact with manly men. I like to tease and banter. And to be teased and bantered with. I miss having hair long enough to play with as desired. And I love the heat of a blush - in my cheeks or his.

Until it came back I didn't realise that for a while I hadn't been flirting. It's not something I think about doing - it's just there a lot of the time. Until it wasn't. And now it is. And holy doodle did I miss it. It gets me in trouble sometimes, but chances are good that at 42, I'm not going to outgrow it.

I am a flirt. And one of my favourite moments this week was when I recognized that rush of lightness and playfulness that came with the batting of my long eyelashes and the sassy tilt of my head.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

TI♥T: Spontaneity

It's been a great week. Okay - half week. Being an all or nothing kinda girl, since getting my wind back I've been booked every night and working extra hours to catch up. Today I was looking forward to an art night with some new friends, and it was cancelled.

AND I WAS SO HAPPY!

I'm really excited about having new friends to be creative with. But having a whole free evening pop open meant that I got to pick up some chicken & salad, head to SC2's house, and sit around in comfy clothes watching TV. It was so spontaneous and easy and fun.

Sometimes the unplanned are the best plans. It almost makes me want to throw out the multiple calendars and the spreadsheets and the strategies and ... oh heck, who am I kidding. :)

PS - I'm the guest blogger & 'Lovely Lady' on my friend Jodi's blog today - exploring my vivacious side and trying to get comfortable with the camera.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Aaaahhhh, that's better

I don't know what happened the last couple days, but all of a sudden I'm me again. Powerful. In action. Happy. Dancing and singing and taking no guff me. I hate when that goes away, but boy is it great when I start to shine again. When everything shines.

Which (you saw this coming, didn't you) reminds me of a very me-in-this-moment song from my favourite newfies :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

just one thing

There are a great many blogs out there that I enjoy - some I've listed on the side panel, some I pop over to when I think of it. Some I click when I see the link on Twitter. Some I stumble down a rabbit hole, read voaraciously and can never find again. But there are only two blogs that I have delivered to my email so as not to miss an update, and the king of those is the handsome and erudite Jonathan Fields.

Today Jonathan addressed one of my pet peeves - bucket lists. It's not that I have anything against bucket lists per se. It's just that in the last year or two they seem to have become so commonplace as to be cliché (and there's nothing I despise more than a cliché). Too often they are either, as Jonathan addresses, a someday/maybe kind of experience. Or, the worse offence in my opinion, they are simply an occassion for pretension to being learned, being adventurous, and being accomplished. They are yet one more modern expression of self-indulgence. I've rarely seen a bucket list that says something like "I want to be the kind of friend someone can say anything to and know it is safe," or "I want to comfort a grieving widow just by listening to her stories," or, "I want to inspire someone to finish or return to school."

This may sound like sour grapes, to some, and I'm sorry if you hear that. I've actually had some pretty amazing experiences in my life and I look forward to a great many more of all sorts. But as much as I love being a world-travelling adventure, it doesn't define me, and writing out the things I am looking forward to experiencing won't inspire me to do them any more than buying organic produce inspires me to eat well (what's with that??).

/End Rant/

You can imagine then that when Jonathan's post titled "The Bucket List Lie" arrived in my inbox, I was already a believer. My favourite blogger blogging against my pet peeve? This I had to read! Although I'm less convinced than Jonathan that few people manifest the items on their bucket lists, we're on the same page overall. Even if people do cross off some items, I still see the medium as fundamentally flawed. And that's where Jonathan comes in. Never one to condemn without offering a solution, Jonathan suggests a great alternative: the List of One:
... make a List of One. A single, meaningful action you’re going to take before the end of the day to move you one step closer to a single, deeply meaningful quest.
Don’t go to bed tonight until you’ve completed your List Of One. And done one other thing, made your List Of One for tomorrow.
Do this every day for a month, long enough to begin to inculcate the habit.
If it feels manageable, turn it into a List Of Two. And so on, and so on.
Execute on your list consistently over time and you’ll begin to make magic unfold. Not “someday,” but everyday.
The timing is perfect. I had been looking for a personal challenge to take on in November that would move me closer to my goals of being healthy, wealthy and wise. And since I have a tendency to take on 14 things with vigour and then give up, and REALLY wanted to avoid that this time. The List of One is simple. Elegant. Perfect.

Just one thing. One act of love and generosity. One moment of self-care. One item crossed off the list of things I normally ignore. One step in the direction I intend my life to go.

So I declared my One Thing for today and went for it. I half succeeded, and felt the joy of playing. And I will play again tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow. Just one thing.

Now, if you could do Just One Thing tomorrow, what would it be?
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