Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Empowerment of Stepping out of My Comfort Zone

Even when I was more social, there was still the anxiety, though that's not what it was called back then.  It was called being shy. I was shy until I got to know people and hated walking into rooms even if I knew everyone there.  It wasn't until my daughter was diagnosed with extreme social anxiety that I realised that I had it too.

Since that women's dinner last year, my social calendar has definitely blossomed (mostly due to the same woman that invited me out that night).  She will invite me to lunch or dinner at a nearby restaurant/micro brewery, where we chat about our lives, watch hockey games and laugh a lot.  But, this past weekend, I actually went to a girls dinner at another acquaintance/friend's house.  I got this random invite on Facebook a few weeks ago.  The inner shy girl screamed, "DON'T DO IT!!!!!!".  The social butterfly wannabe had different ideas.  Now, I knew this girl, but we aren't besties.  We have attended the same weddings and stag & does. We are beyond acquaintances, in the fact that we hug, but not friends to the point that we have ever gone out together that did not include mutual friends.

Daily, I checked the Facebook event page, trying to see if the few people that I did know that were invited, were in fact attending.  Only one was (and for the record, she ended up not coming because her car wouldn't start, so I did this all by myself! I'm so proud of me!). By the day before the party, I was in a pure state of panic.  I was suddenly making excuses why I might not be able to go. ( I was cramping, the weather might not be good, etc). I stayed strong and refused to let myself off the hook.  I knew that if I pushed myself to step out of my comfort zone, that the reward would be worth it.  And it was.

I scheduled my time well that afternoon, dropping children off at their perspective friend's houses, picking up a bottle of wine and gassing up the car.  The roads were busy and I started losing confidence, but once I was on the highway, I felt relief.  My goal was to get there early enough that I wasn't stuck walking into a room full of people.  And it worked! I was the second car there and the third guest.  The hostess' husband was outside when I arrived, so I didn't even have the chance to worry once I got out of the car.

As for the party itself, what a blast!  Put a bunch of women together and that is bound to happen. And better than that, it opened up the door for more fun, as I have invited the hostess and her hubby to come to our house for the evening.  Just have to figure out a date....and what to serve....and who else to invite......whatevs, it will be amazing.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Channelling My Inner Betty Draper

I'll let you in on a little secret....I actually (sometimes) enjoy cleaning.  Well, perhaps not entirely the act itself, but nothing beats a clean house.  I just feel happier when everything is in its place and there isn't a layer of dust on my furniture or dog hair tumble weeds rolling around my house. I love rushing down to the laundry room with a fresh tin of laundry soap (Nellie's is my fave).  I'm really odd that way.

Of course, I am the mom of five, six if you count my husband, so my house is not usually in the state that would make me happy.  My eldest will help with the cleaning if I ask. She doesn't do a great job, mind you, but it's nice that she is helpful, even though she would rather be on tumblr.

In a family of seven, my house is rarely company ready (though it has been two days this week!).  Or it doesn't last after 5 minutes of the children walking through the front door after school. This can be so disheartening.  And lets not even mention the bedrooms.  I have a panic attack when I'm on the bedroom level of my home.  It's just so overwhelming.  And being overwhelmed can lead to inaction on my part.

Now, I have discovered a secret about myself.  On the days where I wake up and get all dolled up and put on my pretty apron (now I wear my Ruby Woo lipstick too), it all seems so much more pleasurable.  I feel like Betty Draper, when she still was Betty Draper and not married to Henry.  I find joy in cooking eggs for my darling children before sending them off to school.  I happily dust, sweep, vacuum and fold laundry.  Now, hell would freeze over before I waited on hubby hand and foot, but at least he can be happy to come home to a clean house.  It reminds me of Mary Poppins singing a spoon full of sugar to get the children to clean up the nursery.  Playing the role of a glamourous housewife of days long ago, makes scrubbing the faucet with a toothbrush seem noble; it makes a shiny kitchen sink seem to be the secret of lifelong happiness.

I remember watching a talk show once (possibly Ellen?) on which Emily Procter from CSI Miami spoke about how she always wears a tiara when she's doing her housework.  Ms. Procter, I believe you are a genious.  Brilliant thinking!

That being said, I'm not quite sure where I hid my tiara, so I will now change out of my sweats into some prettier clothes, put on my face (and my apron, of course) and make this house company ready once again.

Now if only I had company coming over..........

Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Search for the Perfect Red

Tuesday was behaving like a typical Monday.  One of those blah days, in which getting out of bed seems like the biggest of life's struggles.  Add to that some January Blues (it's so ridiculously cold out there!) and lazy me just want to cuddle up on my couch.  There I was checking my email and from one of the umpteenth companies that send me email I never read, I actually decided to click on a link about red lipstick and how EVEN I could wear it.

Fast forward several wasted hours, and I had researched red lipsticks and skin types and I had it narrowed down to two classics, Ruby Woo and Russian Red, both by MAC.  I had also hatched a plan! My eldest DD had been itching to go out and purchase some new headphones, so I had an excuse to leave the house. I would just "check" the colour to see which one I like best, as online research can only go so far.

I'm sure that you all know how this story ended and it didn't involve simply checking anything out.  I must have looked quite the site.  I must have looked quite the site in my big warm coat and purple headband trying on red lipsticks.  Next time I have to remember to dress the part of sophisticated make-up connoisseur instead of frazzled mismatched housewife.

As per usual, the make-up lady recommended the colour for the darker skin colouring.  They always do.  Must be my hair and eye colour.  They always put too-dark foundation on my face that make me look somewhat orange.  Drives me nuts.  In the winter I have pale, fair skin.  Just because I'm a brunette....oh whatever.  I tried on the Russian Red.  It was pretty.  Then I tried on the Ruby Woo.  DD and the make-up lady immediately said that that was the ONE.  It is so pretty.  I felt glamourous in my sweats and purple headband.  My confidence was even pumped up more when MAC lady told me that I have the perfect lips to wear red lipstick.

Not sure what the peeps at Best Buy thought of my bright lip colour...Need to get used to it.  I kind of kept my eyes down, but I wore it again yesterday and plan to again today! Housework is much more fun when you look good. Hubby is getting suspicious about me dolling myself up all of the time. It honestly just make me feel more confident and happier overall.  And there's nothing wrong with that!

Tried to take a selfie of me wearing my fancy Ruby Woo, but my kitten, Fergus, had other ideas.

At least you can see the pretty colour.....

.....or not!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Spontaneous Tea Time

Happy Saturday!

Well, it is now. Today didn't start out on the right foot, but a simple cup of tea has turned all of that around. 

For the record, my mood was fine, but a nasty headache was hampering my enjoyment. (It was an ice pick headache which is most unpleasant and was interfering with the vision in my right eye.)

Despite this, or perhaps because I was grateful to pawn off my children for the afternoon in exchange for some peace and quiet, I was once again Chauffeur Mommy. And of course these visits could not be coordinated for the same time. So off I went with Boy 2, followed by a half hour lie down in hopes of letting the ibuprofen kick in, and then I took Miss Hollywood off to her friend's house to work on a school project. After chatting for a few minutes in the foyer, I was invited in for a cup of tea. I looked like hell, but thought why not. And just like that, without any pre-planning I was able to be social. Able to be more than a mom. Woot! 

It was so nice and relaxing and I'm envious of her gigantic kitchen in which we were able to chit chat and make plans to go garage saling in the spring. My headache all but disappeared. Then I came home......

Friday, 10 January 2014

Should Have Worn My Fat Pants

Last night was a wonderful evening. I was lucky enough to get to go out to The Keg Manor for dinner (and I didn't have to pay!)

First of all, let me say, what a gorgeous building. The restaurant is in an old manor named Maplelawn that was built between 1831 and 1834. I love homes from that time frame. The details in the architecture and decor were breath taking for me. 

Then, there was the food. One of my dinner mates insisted that I get the French Onion soup as a starter. Big mistake. I think I was full after that and I only had half of the bowl of soup! The staff was lovely and made me a vodka gimlet, even though it wasn't on the menu. I was able to channel my inner Betty Draper. 

For my main meal, I chose a filet mignon wrapped in applewood bacon and a twice baked potato as my side.  It was beyond scrumptious. For dessert (of which I should not partaken), I had a lovely Creme Brûlée.  And a specialty coffee too, of course. I think I ordered the b-52 coffee, but honestly at that point I was so outrageously full that I thought I was going to die. 

All in all, despite my gluttony, I had a fabulous evening. The food, drink, atmosphere, conversation and our server, Jason, were perfect. 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Quirky Plan or Pure Genius

Christmas is over, January is here and I'm still feeling blue. Now, I know it could just be the winter blues, but if I'm honest with myself, I know it's not. 

The lack of purpose is strong and I need to figure out which direction I should choose next for my life. I need a greater purpose than simply "Momming". Quite frankly my Momming is suffering by being in this funk. But before I pull up my big girl panties and face the road ahead, I have decided to have a good old fashioned day of wallowing. I find that the majority of my days are filled with tasks to keep me busy in an attempt to not have to face up to things....feelings, choices...it is all avoided. 

So I'm setting aside a day to just sulk. Sulk about the weather. Sulk about roads not taken. Sulk about sulking. I'll eat ice cream and cuddle under a blanket and cry and watch sappy movies and face it all head on. 

I think I deserve at least one day of that before heading down the next road.