Improvement

All posts tagged Improvement

Moving Forward

Published March 9, 2014 by S

Life Updates:

  • As of June 1, 2013 my husband and I separated, and are now working towards a divorce.
  • I continued on with my 2nd surrogacy journey, and delivered healthy boy/girl twins in October 2013.  You can read my story on my other blog dedicated to my experiences.  baby2beforyandc.wordpress.com

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“Happiness is not determined by what’s happening around you, but rather what’s happening inside you. Most people depend on others to gain happiness, but the truth is, it always comes from within.”

“Happiness is not simply given to you, not can you expect another person to be responsible for your happiness, else you are doomed before you even begin.”

“Those we love can be supporters and help us nurture our happiness, but they cannot guarantee it. Only by looking within can we truly learn to feel and express the joy of living.”

I don’t know who wrote these quotes, but it really sums up a lesson I have had to learn over the last few years. Hopefully others that are struggling can find the truth in these words as I have.

Take control of you life, stop sitting there blaming everyone and everything around you for your situation.

Yes, bad things happen that set us back but your life cannot be handed to you. Everyone struggles, and everyone has sorrow. Everyone has trials, and everyone has disaster. You cannot live your life comparing it to others, and expect good things to start happening. You cannot live a life expecting something good to “just happen” without taking a few steps to make it so.

Despite my upbringing, I do not have a religious faith, but I do have a faith in humanity and in our ability to survive. I have faith that no matter how bad something is, somewhere there is a person who will help me, if only I have the strength to ask.

I do not turn to God to fix my life or give me strength, although I can see why some people do.  I have learned to trust in myself, and to draw strength from the love I have in my life.

I do not need romantic love to survive, and I do not need romantic love to validate my life.

I want romantic love in my life, but I can survive without it. I want romantic love in my life, but I can be happy without it.

I learned over half my lifetime ago, that simply sitting there waiting for someone to take notice and make things better for me was not going to work. I learned life doesn’t work that way, and that if I didn’t speak up, if I didn’t ask for help….no help came.

I have suffered loss through death…and I have survived. I have loved, and then been alone…and I have survived. I have struggled to grow and I have made bad choices…but I have survived. I did not always succeed, even when I tried my hardest, but I learned…and I have survived.

I do not have a perfect life, but I have the life I made for myself. I am happy and I am proud. I have the love of my family, and the promise of new love in my future.

I have endless doors open to me.

Now I just need the courage to step through…

The Red Dress

Published September 6, 2011 by S

Yesterday I came across a story that can only be described in one word exclamations.  “Wow!”, “Amazing!” and “Inspiring!” to name a few.

The History:

A few months ago, an amazing Blogger named Jenny (aka The Bloggess) posted an inspiring article titled “The Traveling Red Dress” on her own site. I had not yet started to follow the Bloggess, since apparently I lived in a cave and wasn’t made aware of her amazing existence until she posted her infamous introduction to Beyoncé the Giant Metal Chicken, and how it came to share her home.  But I digress…

The article was about overcoming your own personal roadblocks and doing the things that you have dreamed of doing no matter how others may look at you.  I hope she doesn’t mind, but I’ll add a quote from her post here to give you the idea:

“I want, just once, to wear a bright red, strapless ball gown with no apologies.  I want to be shocking, and vivid and wear a dress as intensely amazing as the person I so want to be.  And the more I thought about it the more I realized how often we deny ourselves that red dress and all the other capricious, ridiculous, overindulgent and silly things that we desperately want but never let ourselves have because they are simply “not sensible”.  Things like flying lessons, and ballet shoes, and breaking into spontaneous song, and building a train set, and crawling onto the roof just to see the stars better.  Things like cartwheels and learning how to box and painting encouraging words on your body to remind yourself that you’re worth it.

And I am worth it. –Jenny (The Bloggess)”

The Present:

And so the journey of the Red Dress began.  A designer named Sunny Haralson made a dress specifically for this project, and after The Bloggess had her time with the dress (and had some amazing photos taken) it was sent out into the world so that  other women could wear it and feel the same feeling of Wonder  and Awe that Jenny did. The plan is for the dress to travel from city to city and spread its magic to others looking to finally do all those things that were kept in diaries and dreams.

I noticed yesterday, The Bloggess re-tweeted a post made by one of the women lucky enough to wear this dress. Another amazing blogger whose name I believe is Lolli attended a local event for other such bloggers and amongst all the women in their shorts and sandals was the amazing red dress! Her post titled “The Sisterhood of the Bloggess’ Traveling Red Dress” tells how all the women at this party took a turn sporting this inspirational garment.

“As each person took a turn trying on the red dress, the energy in the room began to change. Something was happening to us.

Finally, it was my turn. I followed Amy up the stairs and was right behind her as she took the red dress off. I stepped into the dress and Kristen fastened the corset back.

In less than a minute, I was ready for my debut. I walked down the stairs and the room cheered.

I felt beautiful. But I realized with a jolt as my picture was being taken that I had no idea what I looked like at that moment.

Each one of us had walked down those stairs into a room full of other women without ever passing a mirror. Everyone looked gorgeous but that was not what we were focused on.

The magic of the Bloggess’ traveling red dress was the way it made each woman feel.”

No two women were the same, but as each woman put on that dress they felt the magic.  It didn’t matter if they were skinny, or full-figured.  It didn’t matter if they were blonde or brunette.  That dress brought out something happy and amazing in each of them.

Jenny had sent this dress to a woman fighting Breast Cancer, who then shared it with the women at this party. You can see the confidence in each woman’s photograph, even without being able to see their faces.  Their posture and how they hold themselves tells the whole story (Ladies,  any of you who has ever worn a fancy dress knows what I’m talking about!)

And I have to admit that I am jealous!  Jealous of these women for sharing in the journey of this dress, and jealous of them for feeling that freedom and happiness that came from it.

So what I will take from this story is this: Never be afraid to live your life. Be whimsical even if your aren’t brave, and sometimes let the reason just be “Because I can!” 

Those of you that know me in real life know that I have dreams.  You know that I’m not usually afraid to speak my mind, and to dream big.  But most of you would be surprised at how often I talk myself out of things, and how often I wimp out of things simply because I care way to much what a perfect stranger might think. For me it’s easier to get a great big tattoo across my back then it is to wear a dress that ends above my knees or to go up on stage at a karaoke bar without a drink or two in me first.

I remember a long time ago talking with my friends and planning a Girls Night Out where we would all put on our fanciest dresses that we had worn over the years that we just couldn’t let go of, and bring them out into the world again.  We never had anywhere fancy or appropriate to wear them so planned to just head down to Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls. An area where ballgowns, prom dresses or wedding attire would be seldom scene, and perhaps cause a few double takes from our fellow tourists.

But sadly nothing ever came of those plans.  And now its years later.  Many of us are married, a few of us have children, have moved away, or simply have lost touch because of silly fights.

I’m thinking I’m going to let this be an inspiration.  I’m going to stop letting other people stop ME from being me.  I’m going to live the life I want to live and enjoy it while I’m able to.  And hopefully I’ll finally have that girls night planned so long ago, and create more wonderful memories with my friends as we create a real sensation.

I know it’s not exactly the point that Jenny and Lolli had in mind, but its a step, and one that I want to take with those closest to me. We will break those chains inside us that hold us back and have us worried about  “appearances”.  I can’t imagine sharing that freedom with anyone else.

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PS:  To The Bloggess and Lolli, if you happen to find this post, I hope you don’t mind me quoting your inspiring words.  I honestly couldn’t have said it better if I tried.

Kudos to New York! Another step in the Right Direction

Published June 25, 2011 by S

Yesterday we saw another historical win for Civil Rights.

New York State passed a law allowing Same Sex marriages to be formally recognized.

Members of the LGBT community in Canada have enjoyed that fundamental right since 2005, and I think it is about time that such a prominent state such as New York join the Equality bandwagon.

I have seen so many people in the past spouting negative opinions of Gay people in general, and many more claiming to be tolerant of “the gay lifestyle” still arguing that allowing same sex couples to marry will somehow diminish the sacred nature of heterosexual marriages.

But my question to those people is this: How on Earth can a gay couple getting married even effect, let alone destroy the sanctity of your own marriage?  If you believe that what they are doing is morally degrading and wrong in the eyes of whatever form of God you choose to worship, than why can’t you leave the judgement up to that God? Why must you believe yourself to be better and of higher moral fibre and preach intolerance about people you don’t know, and obviously don’t understand?  Are you really that insecure in your own relationship that you have to blame its possible destruction on people that have nothing to do with you?

All people in this world are human beings, regardless of their gender, faith or sexual orientation.  So why are there laws that allow one group of people something that is denied to another?

Is it all simply because what you haven’t or can’t experience scares the shit out of some people?  Is  it that some people are scared of their own feelings so that they bury them deep inside themselves, and then condemn others for feeling the same thing but having the strength and courage to share it openly and not deny it exists?

Or is it simply because at some point in history the mere existance of Same sex love was vilified by an organization or religion?

I applaud those people brave enough to live “out of the closet”. Those people that know who and what they are, and do not hide from the world for the sake of convenience or fear. Even here in Canada there is no lack of intolerance.  There are groups here just as anywhere that live and act on hate.

In my own lifetime I have seen a drastic change in how people see and react towards Gay people.  As a child, I never thought much or heard much of it.  It simply wasn’t talked about unless you knew someone who was gay.  Now I’m glad to say that I can see same sex couples walking down the street holding hands, getting married and even having children.

I have seen so many changes to the way people in our world look at all the differences that we have as a society, and I have seen a great change for the better, but we still have a long road to travel.

I can’t control others thoughts or feelings, but in my own life, I can only do what I think is right.

I can teach my children that Love is a precious gift, and gender shouldn’t be part of the equation.   I can teach them that no matter what direction their lives take, I will do my best to support them. I can teach them that Human rights don’t stop just because of your gender or your faith, and I most definitely am teaching them that I will love them no matter who they bring home to dinner.

Awhile ago, I was reading a book and 2 of the main characters were telling their stories of how they came out to their families…I remember thinking when I read those stories that if my child ever came to me and told me they were gay, that I hope my response will be, “ok, but I still want grandchildren.”

As long as my children find Love and know how to give Love in return, I really don’t care what chromosomes or genitalia those lucky people have, or were born with. Love is a higher power than anything I know, and that is all that should matter.

Surrogacy Tab Added

Published June 19, 2011 by S

I have created a “Surrogacy” tab at the top of my blog.  I plan to add a few sections under that heading, but for now I have just added one.

I chose to copy a few things that I wrote on my private Facebook group over to this blog.  I have not edited anything except some of the spelling.

If I am going to be honest in this blog and share myself with those of you that follow me here, I have to include those writings as well, as they were originally written and posted.  Surrogacy has become a part of my life and I am proud of it.

Those of us that are Surrogates often refer to our experiences as “Journeys”.  We follow a long road, and never return fully to who we were before. I think I have changed for the better through my experiences, and if my writings can help anyone in the future to better understand why and how I went through my Journey, I’m glad to post it here, for all to see.

My New Leaf

Published April 30, 2011 by S

So last night I had a bit of a pity party for myself. I chose to vent my feelings on a private support group I am part of through Facebook. All the group members are surrogates, former, current, and future. they are a wonderful group of women and I feel blessed to have so many supportive and understanding women in my life.

One of the good things about our group is that it is a safe place for me to share my feelings since only those people can read what I have shared. I don’t need to worry about keeping everything cheerful or happy with them like I do in other forums. I can be “real”.

this morning I realized that I need to be real on this blog too. I can’t just sugar coat things and only post the happy and the good, because let’s face it…life isn’t always happy and good.

The thing I had vented on last night is an issue I have been trying to come to terms with for several months now. I thought that if I kept it to myself eventually I wouldn’t feel bad about it anymore, and generally I don’t but it does still sit in the back of my mind to jump out at the oddest of times.

Yes, I will blog about this issue. probably later today actually but this post is not directly about that.

The thing that broke my emotional “dam” was actually a combination of delicious wine from one of my favourite wineries, and an episode of the TV show “Bones”. in this weeks episode the murder Vicim was a man that believed in complete and total honesty. Now I do believe that honesty is best, but it’s not always practical.

I believe that you need to be honest but in order to prevent hurting others I think a certain level of omission is acceptable.

It turns out I was omitting a lot of myself in this blog by not sharing my true feelings on some things, and only posting about the good and positive with none of the negatives.

In general I don’t like complaining and would much rather post only the positive side of things, but that’s simply not realistic, and I now realize somewhat dishonest to anyone reading this blog. So today I will start sharing my true self with my readers. Wish me luck!

Envy

Published March 3, 2011 by S

I admit it, I can be envious at times of other people.  I see what I think to be a pretty woman and I am envious of her hair, or her slim figure.  Or I see people who have all the money in the world, and the ease and opportunities they have because of it.  And I’ve been known to be envious on occasion of people’s possessions.

But the thing I find myself wishing I had the most was some of the Talent that is displayed all around me.

Sure I can play the piano, and am told by friends that I’m a good writer, but those are not things that I have the talent to turn into a career.  I have a passion for writing, but I don’t have the ability to think out plot lines and to develop characters to write a novel….but I enjoy blogging, and even though it’s all about me, I truly enjoy it and it’s been a great outlet.

I have always been very jealous of one particular person I went to school with.  Let’s call her A.

From as far back as I can remember, A has always been an amazingly talented person. Her ability to draw and paint, even from early childhood was amazing!  It’s really not surprising to me that she is excelling in the Arts.  She has been continuing her education in so many fields since we left highschool, and I’m truly astounded at how she excels at everything!  She is learning languages, she has an amazing singing voice and performs regularly in Toronto.  She draws, paints, sculpts, and does photography….She is truly amazing!

Then there is Mike’s cousin Jonathon.  He is an animation and arts student.  He did an internship in California for an animation production company a couple of years ago.  And since he posts some of his work on Facebook, and now has a blog, I am truly amazed at each new thing he produces.  His drawings are amazing, and his animations speak for themselves.

I was looking at some pencil drawing he did of a human subject, and although they are simple, I think they are beautiful as well.  He might see it in a more technical light, but I think he has amazing talent.

And this coming from someone who can’t do any better than stick figures!

So here I am, 28 yrs old and still searching for my talent.  I can’t draw, and I can only sing well enough for karaoke.  I’m learning how to crochet more things than just blankets right now, and blogging is becoming a decent outlet for me.  At least the end product is much better than the sad and rather ridiculous poetry I used to write in highschool….Ugh!  I cringe to remember!

Blossom on Parenting

Published February 18, 2011 by S

Today I came across a rather thought provoking article on Parenting, written by Mayim Bialik.  Most of us remember her as “Blossom” from the early 90’s TV show, but what most people don’t know about her is that she has a PhD in Neuroscience.

She is currently a  guest star on one of my favourite shows, The Big Bang Theory, but she is also a regular contributor to “Today Moms” magazine and I found the ideas in her recent article quite fascinating, and encourage you to read it by clicking the link posted below.

Why I don’t Force my Kids to say Please or walk on schedule – by: Mayim Bialik and featured in Today Moms magazine

I applaud her efforts to go against the society dictated “norms” and to allow her children to truly develop at their own pace.  It can be so easy to think that by pushing your children to observe certain “polite” expectations that you are making it “easier” for them, but the point she makes about it really just teaching them to “monkey” or parrot the behaviour without truly understanding why it is needed or expected, and the true feeling behind the actions does make me wonder whether it is truly benefiting them, or just us adults.

For me as a mother, I have only ever wanted the best for my kids, but having a very wilful 6 year old (who acts much like I did at her age, if you must know) makes me wonder if the forceful methods of constant repetition and expectation are truly the best way to go. 

My Daughter is a truly loving and considerate child, which I think is more Nature and not something that you can truly teach. But my methods in some of the other areas of development have not always had the desired effects.  I don’t strive for perfection, since I don’t believe it’s fair to expect perfection from a child since it most surely does not exist in adults.

 So as of today, I am planning on overhauling the way I think about raising my children.  I don’t know if I can truly follow the methods that Mayim writes about in this article, but I’m thinking that a happy medium is very possible in this. 

I have 2 amazing children who are loving, thoughtful and kind.  I don’t want to ever change who they are, but if I can find a better way to guide them through their young lives, I am happy to do it!

Mayim also blogs on another website called “Raising Kvell” which seems to be focused on parenting in the Jewish faith, but definately appeals to a broader spectrum of parents as well.  Mayim takes pride in her faith, and has also earned a Bachelors Degree in Jewish Studies from UCLA.  That website can be found at:

http://www.kveller.com/blog/

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