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Dinner conversations

This past Saturday I was treated to my favourite dinner – All You Can Eat Sushi – by the lovely Alex.  She drove up from downtown to the dreaded Durham Region where she thinks the dragons will attack her as soon as she crosses the Port Union boundary – she’s crazy, we feed our dragons Trump supporters…

Anyway, we had an amazing meal and  great conversation that really got me thinking.  We were talking about things we KNOW we want in our life.  Her biggest one was a husband, and to travel the world.  Now for those of you who may know my little Yoga loving hippie, this was not a shock at all.  (4 years ago I would have been shocked, but she met a sweet man who changed her view points on this and I totally get it!).  For me, the answer wasn’t so simple.  I started thinking about things people in general know they want in life and my answers were not so concrete.

A man (life partner)

This one is tricky – ask me ten years ago, I wanted to be a housewife, taking care of my imaginary husband, the house, the kids the whole nine yards.  I believed fully in passionate, romantic love.  But that was an un-realistic point of view.  I’ve been told this a million times over by friends and family members who roll their eyes as I watch another Nicholas Sparks movie.  But, I don’t know if I believe in any of that anymore.  I don’t feel like I will be fulfilled without this kind of love, so I am just kind of floating along the dating trail waiting to see.  I’d like a partner, sure.  But I have been single for so long, and screwed over so often that at the end of the day – this isn’t my “dream future”.

Child(ren)

This is my only focus.  All that I have, all that I am, is going into being a mom.  It’s the one constant throughout my life that hasn’t wavered (okay well 30 years ago I wanted 10 kids and the number has slowly decreased from there).  Having a child, being a mother, is the one thing I will sacrifice everything else for.  It’s not a want, it’s a need that has roots so deep in my heart I think I would rather die than live childless.

The perfect job

I like my job; I don’t love it usually though some days I do.  There are things I would rather be doing, but this job has set me up for success and stability in life and I crave stability – hence why having a man in my world is not a priority.

Travel

I’d travel most places in this large world of ours, but I will only ever plan or desire to travel to the USA and the Caribbean *and Mexico*.  When I am on vacation I like to relax and lie by a pool/ocean.  If someone else wanted me to go to say Belarus (cough Alex cough) I’d go, but I wouldn’t plan it.  Again, once I am able to be a mother, my idea of vacations will change.

A roof over my head

I love my house.  I picked it and decorated it for me.  It was nice being single at this time because it was all about me in a world where it so seldom is.  I don’t ever see me selling this home, I have great neighbours, a close drive to everything and everyone I love and it’s affordable (thank you job).

Maybe I do know what I want.  Maybe I am afraid to admit those things that I don’t want or aren’t willing to settle for because they aren’t the norm.  People are uneasy when a woman of a certain age are single still…maybe I just have to accept my lot in life because of my wants.  I don’t know…time will tell I guess.  For now, this lady is a single, trying to adopt, caseworker who has a few Caribbean vacations planned in the next few years!

Love me or hate me…but that’s what it is!

 

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Prioritize

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This is my #onelittleword for 2017 .  Sometimes I am so bored I have days or weeks where I have nothing to do.  Sometimes I am so busy that things (and people) get ignored.  A lot of times that person is me.  My priorities get out of whack a lot because in general I am a people pleaser.  I want everyone to be happy and I do what I can to make that happen.

After having lunch with one of my oldest friends (as in I have known her longest, not as in actual age) and bouncing a few words off her and sending out requests to Facebook friends, I have chosen the word Prioritize.  I need to prioritize “me” time.  I need to prioritize my money for the adoption.  I need to prioritize time spent with my friends and god-children because they all mean the world to me and keep my head above water. I need to prioritize time for my house because it too needs attention. My niece also needs attention, she is struggling with reality and I want to help her and take care of her when she lets me.  I also want to make time for one of my favourite people in the world – my aunt – who also has a lot of life changes this upcoming year and whose love I feel constantly.

I could just sit back and say “screw it all, let the chips fall where they may” but I know from years past that what gets neglected is my house and me and I don’t want that to happen in 2017.

I need to make time for my creative outlet – scrapbooking.  I usually end up panicking and doing a ton at the Crop and Create events I attend but then I don’t get to enjoy my friends there as much as I would like to, so up first on my list – finish my December Daily and finish Project Life 2016 by the end of next week.  I also want to make time to take Julia out to Walmart to replace her Christmas gift. I may see if she is free this Saturday.  I can take her to Walmart and then come by for an hour to play with her and her sister.  This will make me happy.  Yes, I think I am going to go text her dad right now!  I will make her my priority this weekend.  Also, I am being spoiled by the same lovely friend as mentioned above and she is making the trek into Durham to take me out for my birthday dinner!!!  WOOHOO

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
Stephen R. Covey

What would your #onelittleword be??

 

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Five things you learn from owning a dog

Simba and I have been together for a full year as of yesterday. It’s insane to think I have had this monster for 365 days! We have had our ups and downs (especially in the beginning), I have laughed and cried because of him, but through thick and thin I have learned a lot just from having him in my life. Shout out to Erin for trusting me to take on this responsibility because without him my life would be VERY different.

Here is a list in no particular order of the things I have learned from owning a dog:

  1. No one will EVER love me as much as he does.

Seriously, there is just so much love. Being by my side (or actually on my side) makes him the happiest dog in the world. His kisses come every day all day whether I feed him or walk him or play with him, he will always lick me…sometimes to the point where I feel my skin may actually start to fall off.

  1. A free dog isn’t free.

I agreed to take on Simba knowing I could financially afford to take him on. I had my inheritance that I was willing to tap into to give Simba the best life possible, however I wasn’t quite expecting the cost associated. Now, Simba attends daycare 3-4 days a week which is a huge expense and that is my choice so I am not even counting the $191 for every 5 visits…but Simba has had two major dental cleanings and extractions because he has horrible teeth and each visit was $1000+. He eats his weight (okay its only 17 pds) in food and treats…and dog food is NOT cheap. He loves to chase tennis balls and throw around toys and in order to keep him away from my beloved shoes or knickknacks I have spent up to $100+ on toys and blankets for him to use. Also, he came with balls – like male balls, not toy balls…I was not okay with this. He needed to be neutered because I just believe that all dogs and cats should be spayed or neutered – $125 later…plus the cost of the cone to keep him from licking his stitches. My “free dog” has cost me a small fortune…why haven’t I complained? Because Simba deserves a good life and he is a good dog and I want to make him happy. He is my family. He was adopted to have my last name…I will forever take care of him…even if I go broke trying.

  1. People like you more when you have a dog.

It’s true…people I have never talked to have come out of the woodwork on Facebook, twitter, instagram and even in my own neighborhood. At my cottage I was walking down the street and someone said “hi” and introduced themselves and I said I was “Nicole, the owner of Simba the cocker spaniel” They replied “Oh we know Simba, he is so cute…my daughter loves him!” Seriously…people know my dog before they know me? How does that even happen!!??  People are much more social when they know you have a dog – at least in my opinion

  1. Your priorities change when you have a dog.

My friends have cats and they come or go as they please. I don’t feel that same freedom and it doesn’t bother me. If I want to go away during the day, I will bring him to daycare to play and be taken out to pee or poop, but if I want to go away overnight I only have two choices…don’t go, or find someone to take care of him. My mom has been amazing and she watches him all the time for me, but if I can’t find someone to watch him or if I feel bad that he has started to become more of my moms dog than mine, I stay home. Pre-Simba I literally came and went whenever and wherever I wanted. Pittsburgh for a weekend – sure! Hop on a plane to Chicago to buy a wedding dress..lets go! Stay out all night watching movies with friends…not a problem. Now my life needs more planning, some things don’t happen…but I love Simba and any sacrifice I make it 100% worth it!

  1. A dog really is man’s best friend.

I’m a woman so this analogy doesn’t really work but I can honestly say that without Simba, this year would have been much more difficult for me. Between my dads passing, the ice storm with no power, moving, isolation, loneliness – it may have gotten the best of me. But I had to keep it together to walk, feed and take care of Simba. Also when I was on the brink of losing it, Simba would snuggle up to me, paw at me, lick me or act crazy which always makes me giggle. He doesn’t care if I’m fat or thin, rich or poor, happy or sad. He doesn’t care at all if I’m late or early, if I’ve got makeup on, if my socks match, if my clothes are clean or if my bed is made (actually he prefers it unmade cause he just rolls around it anyway). He’s just naturally good.  He is my best friend.  I never get sick of seeing him…ever.

Yes this past year has been hard and I have learned a lot about dogs and how to take care of them, but I have had constant support from friends who have given me advice, encouragement and support when I thought I’d lose the battle with him and it’s turned out to be a good year shielding the bad.  Thanks Simba YOU are loved.

Also a shout out to Mary who knew Simba would do better in a different home and was strong enough to give him away.  You are a wonderful woman for doing so!

Love

Nicole