Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Bad Day

By 8:00 a.m., maybe even earlier, I knew I was going to have a bad day today. I can sometimes feel it coming on - like a mist creeping over a field, slowly covering up all the grass and flowers. It is hard to describe in a way that others can relate to, especially since everyone experiences things so differently.

When I'm having a bad day I kind of just shut down. I don't want to see people, talk to them, or interact in any real way. If I can, I will find a song or album and just put it on repeat as loudly as I can. Sometimes I will put on a movie, usually a drama, something that will stir up some emotions. Other times I will put on the most mindless movie and just escape into that world. Unfortunately, five out of seven days I have to work so I can't just hide and shut down. It makes these bad days even harder since I have to be "on" and interact with others in a comprehensive manner. Thankfully I have my lunch time where I can retreat to a quiet room with my lunch and my music and just be invisible for an hour or so.

This all sounds quite depressing, and it is I suppose but I guess that's the point. I said I wanted to talk about it, so people could maybe get a better understanding of who I really am. I hope it works.

All I ask is that you don't say, "Oh, Andréa, just cheer up!" because if it were that easy I would. Certainly things I see or hear throughout the day might cheer me up but mostly I just need to get through my funk and move on. It usually only lasts a day or so, I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stop Drop and Roll on Out

Do you ever wish you could just drop everything and start over somewhere new? I do. All. The. Time.

Thankfully, I have enough sense to know that that isn't realistic, and that, really, it would be a HUGE pain in the ass to actually start over. No clothes, no home, no furniture, no dishes. Still, it could be fun right?

I think if I ever got a chance at doing this I would do it - assuming my husband was on board of course, which he wouldn't be, but whatever. I have never really been able to decide where I would go though. I have a list of a few places I would like to live:
  • Nova Scotia or PEI - keeping things close to home but still away from it all.
  • North Carolina - I've always been fascinated by The South; and NC is beautiful.
  • The UK - I can't decide if I'd rather live in England, Wales, Ireland or Scotland...
  • Australia/New Zealand - From what I've heard these countries are amazing places to raise a family.
Now I'm pretty flexible...if someone had a ticket for anywhere else they weren't planning on using, I'm sure I could go pretty much anywhere, for a while at least.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

As The Days Get Shorter

It is getting to be a time of year that is hard on a lot of people. The days are getting shorter and the weather is colder; not really a good combination. Yes, some people love winter, and I can see why - there is a lot to do once the snow starts to fly - but even if you enjoy the season you might be affected by it.

In the past I haven't talked much about depression publicly. This post is kind of a "coming out", if you will.

I have been suffering from depression and anxiety for about eight years now and I'm finally coming to terms with it. No, it isn't easy to talk about, especially in such a public forum, but I think that it is important to talk about so that others out there can know that they aren't alone in the way they are feeling.

I chose to make this post now because of the shortening days; less sunshine, less vitamin D, less "happy". Now then, sunshine and vitamin D aren't the only factors, and everyone who suffers from any kind of mental illness is different, but they are proven contributors.

I will be going more in depth about my personal experiences as the months go along - assuming I'm up for it and you actually want to read about it - but for now I just wanted you all to know that it is OK to feel sad sometimes. Feeling sad doesn't make you depressed, it makes you human! For those of you who are affected this time of year, take a vitamin D supplement, it won't "cure" you, but it just might make you feel a bit better!

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Promise is a Promise!

So I've been slacking on this blog, I could come up with a million excuses but really I just haven't known what to write about.

A new friend of mine recently started a blog and she's been bugging me to update so I promised her that I would; Ashley, a promise is a promise so here is my blog post!

Promises tend to be a bit fickle these days and I think that the reason for that is that too many promises are being made. Like money, the more there is out there, the more it loses its value. If you make all kinds of promises like "I promise to do the dishes" or "I promise to take the dog for a walk" or "I promise to come listen to your new band play" the really important ones like "I promise to be there for you" or "I promise to love you forever" or even "for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health..." don't mean what they did before.

The only way to maintain the value of a promise is to keep it. Every. Single. One. If you break a small promise because you "forgot" or "got too busy" then it sends out the signal that you don't put much stock in your promises. How is the promisee supposed to trust that the promiser will keep the "big" promises if they can't even keep the small ones?

So, this is my goal: to keep every single promise I make; big or small. I also will try not to make so many promises, especially if I don't think I can keep them.

My friends and family, if I make you a promise and I break it - call me on it. I need to know and I need to be held responsible. If you aren't held accountable for your promises, how are you supposed to know whether or not they are worth anything?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer's Almost Over

Well, summer is starting to come to a close. The leaves have started to change and the mornings and evenings are getting cooler. I love this time of year!

I think the reason I like this time of year so much is that you still have that summer feeling - good traffic in the morning; sun still up long enough to play outside after work; the smell of BBQ still in the air - but you know that things will be back to "normal" soon. I'm looking forward to getting back into a regular routine where I might actually have some time to just relax.

This summer has been so busy with babies and weddings and weather disasters, etc. It's been great to see all my friends and family, but what I really want to do now is nothing. I just want to have a weekend where I can clean my house, read a book, and spend time with my husband and child.

Oh, this may sound silly, but I love my wardrobe this time of year - bring on the light sweaters and the capris, the closed-toe flats and the great fall colours! Time to put away the shorts and tanks, the summer dresses and the sandals until next year!

I hope you've all had a great summer so far, enjoy the last couple of weeks, but look forward to what the new school/work year has to bring!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

101 Things in 1001 Days

A few years ago I tried doing this 101 Things in 1001 Days project but after getting pregnant with my son I got side-tracked. I did manage to get a few things done though, so I thought that I would start over.

I haven't been able to find my original list (sad day) so I started fresh and made a brand new list! If you want to follow my progress you can do so at: http://www.dayzeroproject.com/user/apriltiger23. I may post some updates on here, but there is a nice little feature on the DayZero site that allows me to add a progress update. I just started on Tuesday (I was on holidays on Monday) but I've already gotten one thing done! Only 100 more to go!

If you're interested in making your own list, they have a few different kinds and tons of ideas! You should go check it out, you never know what you're going to stumble upon!

Friday, June 08, 2012

I've Been Everywhere, Man

For those of you who know me, you may already know that I grew up in a military family. For some people that means that they've moved cross-country, or at least inter-provincially (in Canada at least). For me it means that I moved cross-continentally!

I was born in Lahr, Germany in 1986. My father was posted there for 3 years (1985-1988) so my brother and I were both born there. I also got to live in Peiking (now Beijing), China for 3 years (1990-1993). Moving around so much was definitely hard, especially as I grew up and made friends and left them behind. I have managed to keep in touch with a few but never enough. Despite the difficulty in pulling up your roots and moving to a new place, I was given a wonderful opportunity to visit so many places and experience so many cultures! I have been to Australia, Thailand, Japan, the United States, and several countries in Europe (though I don't remember any of the latter). The only continents I have never been to are South America and Africa (and Antarctica...), both of which I would love to visit sometime in the next 40 years of my life!

I guess I'm just writing this to tell you all to travel as much as you can. Even if it is just to another province or city because every place you go will be different. Every person you meet will have different experiences and stories to tell you.

I also wanted to give a shout-out to my German, Russian and U.K. readers. I know you're out there and I just wanted to say Hi! and Thanks!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Dear Friendly Citizen

I received this reply anonymously yesterday and I love seeing the other side of the story!


Dear Friendly Citizen,

Yes - I agree with you 100% - The customer in front of me is the most important. And, as a Customer Service Representative, it is my job to ensure you get the products or services that you need.

However, please remember we are not mind-readers. Even if you don't know exactly what you need, you could do us both a favour and drop some hints. Like how much you are willing to spend? What types of products or services worked for you in the past? Why do you need this product / service?

And please don't roll your eyes when we ask you questions. We are only trying to get a idea of what could possibly work for you.

If you don't like our products or services - you don't need to purchase them. I love my job. I love the company I work for. I believe in the products and services I sell.

Please remember I am human and I have feelings. It is never okay for you to yell or threaten me for any reason. If you have a complaint, you are encouraged to contact me so I can correct the issue. Coarse language will not speed up the process.

The hardest thing for Customer Service Reps is balancing customer expectations with price. We don't set the prices. We don't control the discounts or service or product limitations. Please try to remember, we are the middle man.

We will work our hardest to get you the best price/product/service because we want you to be a repeat customer and anyone who has ever worked on commission knows a repeat customer is better than a customer who was overcharged and never returns.

We value your time. We value your opinion. And we value your business.

Sincerely,

Your Customer Service Agent

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Dear Customer Service Agent

An open letter to all customer service agents, from one average citizen:


Dear Customer Service Agent,

Please do not look at me like I have three heads or treat me like an idiot because I do not know what I want or need. If I had known, I wouldn't have come to ask you in the first place.

It is your job to help people; to explain to us regular citizens why we need this instead of that, why we don't really need that, or why we definitely need that.

You are the customer service agent, that means that you are supposed to provide service to your customers.

I don't believe that the customer is always right. I do believe that the customer in front of you is the most important one.

Please try to explain things simply. Most of us are clueless.

If you don't like people, don't care about your products or services, or just plain hate your job - please quit, or at least find something else to do within the company. It's people like you who make people like me walk out the store and never come back - which I guess you don't really care about...

Sincerely,

Your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman citizen



NOTE: No, I haven't recently had a bad customer experience, but I know so many stories and have even had my fair share. I just thought this would be fun and easy to relate to!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

There is no WE in TEAM

Meat, tea, eat, mate, met, mat...ME. These are the words that I can find in the word "team". I'm sure there are more, but that isn't the point. The fact is that there may not be an "I" in "team" but there is also no "we".

I'm finding some things really difficult lately. Not just at home or at work, but in general. I have a lot going on and sometimes I just wish I had the help to do it...or at least eight more hours in a day! My friends and family are great support but sometimes things just need to be done be me.

For example, I had asked a colleague at work to help me with some things; I explained how everything should be done, what to do afterwards, etc. She did the work but made several obvious errors. What gets me the worst is that I had given her instructions. If you can't remember things then write it down!

It happens at home as well. I know that no one will raise my son the same way I will - not even my husband - but when I specifically ask that something be done a certain way, then why wouldn't you?

I guess that even when working as a team - at home or at work - there will always be a team leader. I'm grateful to be the team leader in my life, but still...can't I sit out for an inning or two?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I am Mad

Why do people go through grief in so many different ways? Some people get extremely sad, others carry on as though nothing has happened (or that's how they seem on the outside at least). I don't fall into either of these categories; I get mad. I get so angry that I can't focus on anything else and I just want to rant and be angry at the world.

So many people who have either been close to me or close to the people I care about have died in the past few years. Don't get me wrong, I know people die for various reasons every day, but it seems like the people I've known have died for absolutely no reason! None of them have been sick, none have had dangerous lifestyles or careers. People say "it was their time" and frankly I think that's bulls**t. Who decides that a 20-year old is ready to die, or a 40-something with two kids, or even a 70-something with grown children and grandchildren?

Some of you would expect me to go on a relegious rant here, but I'm really not in the mood to go there today. Today I just want to be mad. I want to hate the world for letting these people die and doing nothing about it. I want to be angry that there's nothing I can do about it.

To the friends and family members who have lost someone recently, to myself - I am mad. I am mad that we have lost these amazing people. I am mad that we won't ever really know if it could have been prevented. I am mad that I don't know what to do about it.

I am sad...but I'm showing it by being mad.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Rhymes With Ovaries?

Is it just me, or are there babies popping up everywhere lately?

Every time I see a baby my ovaries start to ache. I want another one SO badly! Everyone tells me "but you've got your son", "he's not even two yet", "you have plenty of time for more", but clearly my body doesn't agree. I mean yes, these are all true statements but that doesn't stop me from wanting more children!

I love my son to pieces. He learns new things every day and I am constantly in awe of him. I still get that wow feeling when I look at him and think, that little boy is mine. I made that! and a surge of pride and love and joy sweeps over me. Then I think, I cannot wait to do it again!

Another thing I get a lot of is "you'll never get another one like him", and that's probably also true. Guess what though...I don't want another one like him; I want a brand new one who will be different and who will definitely bring me just as much pride and joy and love.

We don't have plans to expand the family quite yet. My husband and I have decided to wait until 2013 for that (lots of practice in the meanwhile!). Until then though, I'm not going to try to stop my body from yearning another child; I will embrace the feeling, the joy it brings me to strive for something so big.

So, friends and strangers beware: if you have a baby or will be having a baby soon, I envy you and I will comment on how precious your baby is/will be and I will give you a melancholy look as my hand inadvertently hovers over my non-pregnant stomach, but only because I am so happy for you and I can't wait to feel that joy anew!

Friday, April 20, 2012

More Ch-ch-ch-changes

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything. It's not that I haven't wanted to, more that I didn't know if I should. I want this blog to remain as public as possible so sometimes I need to use my discretion when it comes to posting, especially about work. I'm not a spy or a doctor or something, so I won't ever be posting super secret information, but I don't want to put myself in a position where I could get into trouble so I try to avoid posting about work in general.

Needless to say that I really do enjoy my job, there have just been a lot of changes lately and it has been taking its toll on me! I embrace change, I go a bit stir-crazy without it...but lately there has just been a lot of change and it has all been a bit overwhelming! I'm surviving though - I have to. Change is good, of that I'm convinced, so I'm not going to let it get me down!

I have a couple of non-work related posts that I want to get to so keep checking back! I promise that I'll get over this hump and be back to myself in no time!

Extra bonus - it's Friday!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Be A Donor

So today is "Hélène Campbell Day" in Ottawa. Ms. Campbell is a 20-year old from Barrhaven who is currently awaiting a double-lung transplant. She has started a HUGE campaign to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation in Ontario and throughout the world. She managed to get Justin Bieber to tweet about it and also made an appearance on the Ellen Degeneres show!

While I am already a registered organ donor, I urge any of you to really take the time to learn about it and to register. One person's organs can save up to 8 lives!

On a personal note - my brother-in-law passed away at the age of 20 in 2010, his organs were donated and went to people in need across Ontario and even into the United States. They also donated his femurs which helped to improve the quality of life of at least one more individual. While this donation didn't bring him back, it has definitely helped us to know that SOMETHING good came out of our loss and that the lives of many were made a little bit better that day.

To register for organ donation in Ontario please go to www.beadonor.ca.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Too Old For This?

So my girlfriend and I are going out to a movie tonight - a "mightnight" premiere - which, according to my husband, we are "too old for". I don't think he really cares, but my friend and I are excited for a kid-free night out! We booked Friday off so we don't have to go to work looking like zombies after getting home at 3 a.m. and we've been going to these kinds of things for years together!

Obviously if there were soming important at the office or if we were out of vacation time we would have just gone to see the movie some other time, but we are responsible adults, doing what needs to be done first. Aren't we entitled to a night out without any grief?

Like I said, I don't think my husband is actually upset that we're going out and that I won't be home until the wee hours of the morning - in fact, I think he's jealous. Well honey, I love you but that's too bad! Mama's goin' out tonight!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sick and Tired of Being Sick!

Apologies for the lack of entries but me and my family have been battling various bugs for over a week now!

It all started last Tuesday at 3:20 am when I woke up, positive I had food poisoning from the KFC we'd had at dinner. I spent the next 8 hours puking and crapping more than I can ever remember. It came on so suddenly and was furious - hence I thought it was food poisoning. Alas, it was the evil stomach flu and it came for my husband and my son on Thursday. Thankfully, neither of them got it as bad I as did, but still, not a pleasant thing to deal with for anyone!

On Friday, when everyone seemed to be feeling better, we all went back to work/daycare and all was well. Until I got the tickle in my throat. That tickle has turned into a full-blown cough/cold now - complete with headaches, runny nose, sneezing and a lot of coughing. On top of that my son was sick at daycare on Friday, and again at dinner on Saturday. Today he had to be picked up from daycare and I'm still fighting this cold.

Needless to say, I'm sick and tired of being sick! I just want to feel better already! Maybe I should crawl under my desk and have a nap...wouldn't that be nice!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

So I got in to work this morning, checked my e-mail and found out that I'll be getting a new boss as of March 28th. Nice of them to let me know ahead of time, eh!? Oh well, change isn't necessarily a bad thing. Goodness knows I've seen my fair share of it!

I will be moving to a new desk with a nice big window which will be nice. I'm hopeful that I will get along with the new boss. From what I hear she has a lot of experience and is easy to get along with so that's always good!

Anywho, just a quickie today. I will keep you posted!

Monday, March 05, 2012

These Boobs Were Made for Feeding...

As of today my son is 21-months old. He will be 2 years old in June. I have been breastfeeding him since he was born (within an hour of his birth actually) and I don't plan on stopping just because you aren't comfortable with it!

I understand that breastfeeding isn't for everyone and I don't think that I've put any pressure on my friends when it comes to feeding their own children, so why is it so hard for people - my friends and family included - to accept the fact that this is what I've decided is best for my child?

"Extended breastfeeding" as it is popularly known in North America, is defined as breastfeeding your child after the age of one. Meanwhile, across the world, the average time a woman breastfeeds her child is four years! The World Heath Organization ("WHO") - the people we trust when it comes to pretty much anything health-related, including SARS and H1N1 - recommend breastfeeding until at least the age of two. I get it, breastfeeding a toddler is "weird" but you know what? So are lots of things.

I plan on continuing to breastfeed until my son and I are both ready to stop and not a minute earlier. If you don't like it then don't ask me about it!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Catching up

So you know how I mentioned that I might be writing about friends' stories? Well, yesterday I found an old classmate on Facebook and added her. By this morning she'd added me back so I proceeded to creep her profile and I found her blog (I now follow it in case you are curious to read it for yourself). Needless to say I spent most of my morning reading it and all I can say is, "WOW!"

This girl - woman now, like me - has two young girls, a husband who seems to be a pretty impeccable guy, and she just finished treatment for stage 3 breast cancer! After reading her horror stories about chemo and the terrible side-effects she had, the happy stories of her eldest doing her makeup, her husband's 30th birthday, I just don't know what to say. I am so incredibly amazed and in awe of what a person can go through and still come out strong and positive and genuinely happy.

I haven't even had the chance to e-mail her yet or to comment on her wall, but Justine, if you're reading this...I've always believed you to be a pretty incredible person and this just did it for me. You are an amazing person, mother, wife, daughter, friend and I truly admire you for going what you went through, being broken and battered but still coming out of it with the courage to live your life no matter what. I'm sure your daughters will always look up to you, your husband will cherish you, and your friends - old and new - will be proud to say they know you.

Cheers to you and a life full of joy and good health!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Eat, Sleep, Work?

Although the title of my blog implies that I lead a boring and repetitive life I really don't. Sure I do the same things every day - eat, sleep, work - but every day something new happens. Now of course these things aren't all going to be blog-worthy (did you know that this morning I read 1.5 chapters of my book on the bus?) but sometimes things happen that you just want to share (I got an awesome pair of shoes for 60% off this weekend!).

Most of these stories are going to be from my life, but sometimes I will read something interesting or hear something on the news. Maybe a friend will be going through something that I want to share...

That's the beauty of life...it's never the same, something is always a little different!