Welcome to my foray into the blogging world. I don't promise to be your source for political and social commentary, but I will always endeavour to be entertaining, charming and witty (and by witty, you may also want to read that as sarcastic . . . I sometimes mix the two up).

You will see a mix of poems and/or song lyrics, my skewed little musings on life, the odd rant or two, and hopefully I can pass along some inspirational pieces – either from my own personal experiences or from those who inspire me.

I will try not to work Bruce Springsteen into everything I write, though it will be difficult as he does impact a large part of my waking world as well as a good portion of my dream world.

Enjoy. Be kind. Come back often and visit.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

365 Questions: What one thing has surprised me about myself?

262. Is the individual or society more important?
I would have to say that society is more important. We as individuals need to take care of ourselves but we need others to survive and grow. And, we can do more as a society of people. Right now we need to bond together as a group to tackle the big issues facing us today: homelessness, climate change

263. If you were cremated, where would you like to have your ashes spread?
I would have my ashes scattered on the property at Paugh Lake.

264. If you had the means, how would you address the problem of homelessness?
I read an article about a woman in New York City who turned a hotel into a haven for the homeless. In addition to providing people with shelter, it also provided them with an address so they could receive mail – for unemployment insurance or applying for jobs. Those who lived there each had a role in helping run the place whether it was doing maintenance, cleaning, working in the kitchen, paperwork . . . but bottom line, they had a place to live while getting back on their feet. I always thought this was a cool idea. I realize it wouldn’t be the ideal solution for everyone but it would be a start. We need more affordable housing for people – and housing in areas with access to public transportation and viable employment. I would convert whatever I could into affordable (or free) housing.

265. If you decided to go on a spiritual journey, where would you go and what would you do?
I’ve always liked the idea of doing some kind of hiking spiritual journey – perhaps doing a portion of the Camino Trail in Spain. It would be out of my comfort zone but I think I would enjoy it. I would prefer to go with one other person, but I would journal every day.

266. If you had to spend one year living alone in a remote cabin, what would you spend your time doing?
I’m assuming there wouldn’t be any WiFi, so power binging a number of Netflix shows would be out of the question. So, I would load up as many books as I could and get my fill of reading. I would also bring my guitar and try to write a number of songs. And – maybe finally teach myself how to do barre chords. I would also bring a ton of notebooks (or a laptop) and write, write, write. And, hopefully my cabin would be in a nice location where I could go on a daily runs.

267. Which language would you choose, if you could immediately speak it fluently?
Probably French. It’s a language that would be useful in a number of different countries, plus it would be handy here in Canada.

268. What other culture would you choose to be born into?
I don’t know if I would choose to be born in any other culture than my original Canadian. We are pretty lucky here. And, the world needs more Canada!

269. Would you prefer money for a housekeeper, gardener, cook or personal secretary?
While I could certainly use (and welcome) any of those services, I would probably choose to spend money on someone to cook for me. I love good food but I don’t always necessarily love to cook it. I think I would eat much healthier if someone was preparing the food for me.

270.        Which temptation do you try hardest to resist?
Probably food. I love chocolate. I love pasta. I love bread. I love cookies. I love (and can eat) lots of food. I’ve recently dropped some weight – something I’ve done a few times in the past. I’ve changed how – and what I choose to eat now. I try to eat a healthy 90 per cent of the time. It’s a slippery slope with food, and I have lost weight before so I really need to be careful that I don’t fall into bad habits again.   

271. What’s the most beautiful drive you’ve ever taken?
One of the most beautiful drives I have ever taken was in Ireland. Every day was filled with incredible views. On our very first day of travel, heading south from Dublin, we rounded a corner and saw the Rock of Cashel rise up and greet us. It was pretty remarkable . . . and a sight you don’t see in Canada. The varying greens were beautiful too. Any given day could see us driving through lush farmland, spectacular mountains with scary cliffs (but cute sheep) or in deep valleys bracketed by the Atlantic Ocean and a vast expanse of emerald.

272. What did you get in trouble most for when you were young?
Really young? Probably for climbing. Both my sister and I were climbers. We would climb cupboards, fences, door frames (by licking our hands and feet for traction) and even our TV tower. Back then we could never figure out how our parents knew we were up there; but of course it was because the TV reception would go fuzzy. They put a fence up around it to prevent us from climbing it but really . . . we climbed the TV tower . . . why would they think we wouldn’t get over the fence? One time when I was young, I even pushed a dresser against my bedroom door and climbed out my window. That got me into a bit of trouble. As a teenager, I got in trouble for the usual stuff – staying out too late, drinking, or not doing something (a chore) right away.

273. What’s the best and worst thing about being a man or a woman?
The best thing about being a woman is that special sisterhood we celebrate with other women. Those supportive relationships get us through so many things. And generally, I think it’s easier for us (rather than guys with their friends) to show affection to our girlfriends. We kiss, hold hands, cuddle and hug on a regular basis . . . or maybe that’s just me and my girlfriends! The worst thing has got to be the ups and downs of our hormonal cycles. I suppose men suffer from the same thing to a certain degree but the craziness of some days can be overwhelming.

274. What fashion trend you followed was cool then but looks ridiculous now?
I’m not much of a slave to fashion – I leave that to my more fashionable sister. But, I did go through a quasi-goth phase in the ‘80s in which I wore a lot of black and had some interesting hair styles.

275. Where would you most like to travel?
My sister and I are traveling to Iceland this February. We’re really looking forward to that trip. I really want to explore more of North America. I haven’t been out to the West Coast, or to Newfoundland or PEI. And there are a ton of places I’d like to visit in the States, like San Francisco, New Orleans, Seattle, Portland, and Washington.

276. If you could have another name, what would you choose?
I like my name. It’s not too over-used. And I dodged a bullet in that I could have been named Nancy Belle. Not that I have any big issues with the name Nancy or Belle, but put together it sounds like the name of some little steamship. When my older brother was born, my paternal grandfather walked into the hospital room and announced, “How’s Stephen Francis?” He named him after some famous baseball player and my parents were too shocked or overwhelmed by the birth of their first child to argue. He tried to get away with it again when I was born (with the Nancy Belle) but thankfully my parents respectfully told him they were naming me. But, if I had to choose a new name I would likely go with Janey as in Springsteen’s Crazy Janey.

277. Would you like a quiet life of safety or a life of great adventure and uncertainty?
Some people would likely say I don’t do anything quietly. I’ve been accused of turning those close to me into yellers. I like to say I’m simply enthusiastic. I think I would land somewhere in the middle. I think life is filled with plenty of uncertainly enough so you don’t generally have to go looking for it. I want adventures – and have had plenty of them so far – but I’m practical enough that I wouldn’t want risky adventures.

278. If you lived to be 100, would it be more important to have a sharp mind or fit body?
Again, it would be great to be somewhere in the middle. I work at being healthy now so I can do the things I want to as I age. But, that being said, at 100, I think I would be happy to toodle around in a walker or wheelchair with my witty mind still very much intact.

279.  If you could work as an assistant to anyone for a year, who would you choose?
For a year? I think it would be cool to be Bruce Springsteen’s assistant. First of all, he’s a musician, so he’s not getting up too early. That would work great with my schedule. And, I think I would probably learn a lot from him about song writing, or maybe pick up a few new techniques to improve my guitar playing; and he does a lot of charity work at a very high level. So that would be pretty cool to be involved with too.

280. What is the worst gift you’ve ever received?
My mother bought me a dress once that I told her I didn’t want. I refused to wear it and eventually was able to sell it, with the sales tag still on it.

281. In which activity would you like a lesson from an expert?
Oh, I could benefit from lessons from a lot of experts in many different areas. Maybe some good budgeting tips would be great.

282. Do you believe in coincidence or synchronicity?
I believe in the power of flow. If you’re moving along the right path, things will happen a little more easily. Stuff will fall into place and doors will open. I suppose that’s more synchronistic in nature.

283.  In what era would you most like to have grown up?
I’m all about the music. I would have loved to have been a teenager in the 1960s and experienced all that great music. I also loved the clothes – jeans, tie-dyed t-shirts, headbands, loose flowing skirts . . . it would have been right up my alley.

284.  Is the male or female body more beautiful?
More beautiful? There are aspects about both that I find beautiful but if I had a choice between looking at a Playgirl or a Playboy magazine, I would likely choose Playboy. The female body is pretty darn gorgeous in all sizes and shapes – soft, curvy, lean, voluptuous – with a number of hidden treasures.

285. What are the redeeming qualities of the person you most dislike?
I don’t really dislike a lot of people in my life. I find some people challenging and I likely wouldn’t hang out with them because we wouldn’t have a ton in common. There are a few people like that in my life who I probably encounter mainly at work. I think what I do find redeeming about them though is their ability to make tough decisions.

286. How do you define integrity and do you have it?
I think integrity is having a strong belief system and being true to it. You follow through with what you say you’re going to do – your actions match your words. You speak and live your truth. It may not necessarily be my truth, but that’s okay. It’s being honest and treating people with respect. I do consider myself an action person. I’d rather give someone a firm no, than a wishy-washy yes. And if I tell you I’m going to do something, I do my best to do it. I’m not perfect 100 percent of the time but I’m pretty reliable.

287. Is it more difficult for you to speak kindly or honestly?
I have been unkind in the past – not intentionally – but I have not always delivered a message in the best manner possible. In my work world, I’m considered a “thinker” on the Myers-Briggs scale, so sometimes I can get caught up in “how is this going to affect what I need to do” rather than taking into account a person’s feelings. So I can be abrupt or straight to the point when I need information. I’m conscious of this behaviour and it’s something I watch for now.  

288.  What is the most amazing weather you’ve ever seen?
One August we experienced the most spectacular Northern lights at the cottage. Myself and a few friends ended up sleeping on the sundeck. I have never seen Northern lights like that ever again.

289. If you could master one instrument, what would it be?
Oh, there are so many. I would love to be able to go nuts with my accordion or play anything I wanted on the piano by ear, but the practical girl in me would likely pick the guitar as it’s easier to transport.

290. How would our society be different if it was matriarchal rather than patriarchal?
I put this question to a few girlfriends while we were at lunch and we all agreed that one thing that would be different in a matriarchal society would be the way women’s bodies are treated. You wouldn’t see issues with health care, maternity leave, planned parenthood clinics and birth control. T In addition, there likely would be more emphasis placed on the environment and social services – not just big corporations.

291. What would you love to find at a yard sale?
Right now I would love to find an antique round dining room table.

292. What have you given up that you wish you never had?
Oh, again, there are so many answers to this question. I wish I would have concentrated more on musical theory growing up. I’d be a better musician today. I wish I was a bit more handier – watched my mom do stuff – she wasn’t afraid to tackle any project or take anything apart.

293. With whom have you lost touch and wish you could reconnect?
There are a few friends I’d like to spend more quality time with this year. I haven’t lost touch with them per se, but it’s just harder to get together with everyone all the time. Sometimes I just like to cocoon and stay home when I have a free evening. I have a good friend who lives in the States. We usually only see each other once or twice a year when she travels North. I’d like to travel down to see her this year. It shouldn’t always be her that travels to see me.

294. What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever read?
I have a lot of talented and creative people in my circle. My sister and my friend Kristin post some pretty amazing stuff online. I’m also drawn to certain lyrics in songs and can’t get them out of my head. There’s a line in “Lake Song” by The Decemberists that I could listen to over and over again. “You tattered me, you tethered me to you.” I don’t know why I love that line but it gets me every time I hear the song. And my boyfriend Jeff recently texted me saying, “I’m serious about you and I’m serious about us.” That was pretty beautiful too.

295. What’s one thing that has surprised you about yourself?
I would have to say it’s how much I enjoy being in a relationship. I always thought my life was great the way it was. I have a wonderful circle of friends, a great job with the best co-workers, amazing and unbelievable adventures, that I thought my life didn’t’ need anything else. But I love being part of a couple. I love planning for our future. I love spending time with him. I love knowing there’s someone who loves me – the yell-y, crazy, multiple-personality, Dancing-With-The-Stars-watching me. In the past I was afraid how my life would change if I was in a relationship and thought I wouldn’t be able to do all the things I loved to do anymore. It would be a life filled with compromise, checking in, a loss of my independence. And yes, being in a relationship means there are compromises and another person to consider before making plans or decisions. But when you find that right person, those compromises and decisions are easy and effortless. I guess I just didn’t expect to love it this much.

296. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your limit (physical, emotional, otherwise)?
Probably when I trained for my last half-marathon in 2006. I really pushed myself to increase my running miles, did hill training and several long distance runs. The run itself was pretty grueling in that it was super hot that day and I don’t like running in the heat. I had wanted to better my time of two hours and 10 minutes, but ended up finishing in two hours and 20 minutes. I was proud that I finished though.

297. If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Caution: This could get loud, crazy, extremely affectionate and in some cases may even lick you.

298. What is your favourite tradition?
I love spending Thanksgiving at the cottage and staying there for a week in the fall. It’s my favourite time of year. Sometimes we have a large gang of people around the dinner table; other years it might just be myself and my sister.

299. What is your most deepest, secret desire?
Oh, I think you’ll have to buy me a drink to find out the answer to that question. I'm not giving that away for free :)

300. Do you have any scars (physical or otherwise)?
Just tiny scars. I have three small incisions from my gall bladder surgery.
301. What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Probably getting on those online dating sites post-50. Scary stuff!

302. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for love?
Oh, I’ve done a lot of crazy things for love. Once I kidnapped a guy’s scarf and held it for ransom just to get his attention. And in my great love for Springsteen, a friend and I bought expensive scalper tickets last minute, drove 10 hours to Hershey, Pennsylvania … with no hotel reservation. After the concert was over, the closest hotel we could get was two hours away. Ah, love!

303. Do the right thing, or do things right?
If you do things right, you’re probably doing the right thing.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

365 Questions: What's my basic life philosophy?

234. What message would you send to aliens?
Hello. Yes, we really are quite normal and could use your help with a few things. I’m hoping we could do a bit of knowledge sharing and perhaps we could help you work through some puzzles while you helped us with a few of ours. I’m sure between our collective heads we could solve a lot of problems. I’d love to hear your ideas.

235. If you could have the answer to any question, what would the question be?
Oh, there are so many questions to which I would like answers.  What ever happened to my dad’s wedding band? Why can’t we all just get along? Why does Kanye West exist?

236. What do you like least about yourself?
I’m pretty darn likable and a big fan of myself.  But I suppose I wish I was a bit more decisive. I’m getting better at trusting my gut instinct but I still struggle with making some decisions.

237. What’s your basic life philosophy?
I believe in treating others as I would like to be treated. We are all humans and deserve empathy and compassion. For the most part, we all want the same thing: to be loved. So, just be yourself and the rest will follow. I also believe in telling those I love that I love them. I try to tell them often and I try to hug them as whenever I can.

238. What’s more important? Increasing your talent or character?
More important? Increasing my character. There is always something that can be improved upon . . . ever if it’s something little.

239. What piece of clothing can you not live without?
I’ve got a Grateful Dead bandana that I’ll probably never throw out. It’s worn out, soft and faded. It’s perfect headgear for the cottage.

240. If you could have front row tickets to any concert, what would it be and why?
It’s still my dream to lean my arms on the stage at a Springsteen show. I’ve been close to the front but never in the front row. I would love to have that up-close-and-personal perspective. Maybe get a guitar pick from Bruce or Nils or one of Max’s drumsticks. It would be an amazing experience.

241. Do you believe everyone should be a parent?
I believe everyone has the capability to be a parent, but I don’t necessarily believe everyone should be a parent. You should really want children. People shouldn’t have children because it’s the right time, or the thing to do. They shouldn’t be pressured into having them either. Having children is not a light responsibility, and they’re a lifelong commitment, so one should be sure about that decision. I think some people go into parenthood with romantic notions about what having children is all about. It’s a huge responsibility. And, I don’t think poorly about those who choose not to have children.  That’s a big decision on their part too and I’m sure they don’t make that decision lightly.

242. Would you rather be a famous actor, athlete, musician, inventor or humanitarian – why?
As much as I love music, I think I’d rather leave a legacy of having accomplished something good in this world. I love to help people. I remember listening to Craig Keilburger speak many years ago, and he told a story about meeting one of his heroes (I can’t remember who it was but it was someone like Nelson Mandela . . . darn ‘50s memory!). He told his hero that he stopped reading the paper because it was too depressing. This man told him that he read the newspaper every morning with his children. He said the newspaper was like one big to-do list, divided nicely into different categories. It showed you where you could help out on a local level, a national level or on a world level. I always thought that was a great perspective and good advice. I’d like to be remembered for having helped out my fellow humans.

243. What’s the most significant problem facing the world?
I think it’s a tie between the distribution of wealth inequality throughout the world and the rampant commercialism/materialism. Those I suppose those two things are definitely connected. Some people just have way too much money – far more than any single human being should have. And as human beings, we collect way too much stuff. As I get older I’m placing more emphasis on experiences and doing things with people, rather than buying things or expecting gifts for special occasions. Spending quality time with a friend is far more important to me than any present. I prefer the gift of time. 

244. If you were to own a fabulously impractical vehicle, what would it be?
Hmmmm. Funny question to answer after writing about materialism in the previous question. I’m not really an impractical person and pretty boring when it comes to vehicles. I’d love a black BMW convertible or maybe a pontoon boat for the cottage.

245. Would you choose to be the best player on the worst team or the worst player on the best team?
I think I’d rather be the worst player on the best team because if we’re the best team, then my worst can’t be that bad. I must be contributing in some way in order to be on that team. I was always a fan of the “most improved” player trophy.

246. If you were given money to remodel your house, what would you change first?
My first renovation would be to my upstairs bathroom. I would remove the bathtub and replace it with a nice tiled shower – something with a grab bar for my impending senior years. Switch out the huge vanity with a smaller antique-type cabinet. Ditch the ugly 1970s tiles and replace with some nice bead board, and tile using the same flooring that’s in my kitchen. I’d also get rid of the gross boxy light fixture and replace it with something nicer. Another plan would include expanding the bathroom into my back office and extending it to include a main floor laundry room perhaps.

247. What makes a house a home?
People. Doesn’t matter where you live or what you put in a house. It’s always having your loved ones around you that makes anywhere home.

248. In your opinion, what are the seven wonders of the world?
I’m not that well-travelled, but I would definitely include the iconic tree on the point at my cottage. I would also have to include childbirth – to me that’s a pretty darn wondrous thing. Love. A Springsteen pit (both wondrous and glorious). I would have to throw in the pyramids just because it’s amazing to think about how they were even built back in those days. Even though I’ve just seen pictures of them, I’ve always thought that those giant Sequoias in British Columbia were pretty cool. And, I gotta say that a starry night on the Paugh Lake deck is very captivating and never boring.

249. Is justice or forgiveness more important?
Forgiveness for sure. Forgiveness brings peace into your life. It’s rarely about the other person. You don’t need to even tell someone you forgive them. It’s about forgiving them in your heart and moving on. It’s very freeing.                                                            

250. Do you possess the qualities of your astrological sign?
I think I’m 99 percent bull J My astrological sign is Taurus and I do possess a lot of its qualities. I consider myself loyal, dependable, practical and a bit stubborn.  I am passionate and sensuous too. Apparently we’re good with money which I suppose I am to a certain degree. I’m no one-percenter, but I’m not going to starve. Where I would disagree is with the point that we Taureans are considered materialistic; I don’t believe I possess that quality. Nor am I lazy. I can “be” lazy but I’m not lazy. Taurus women long for true love and security and that is definitely true for me as well.

251. Has anything bad ever happened to you that turned out to be for the best?
Definitely. I was laid off from my job in the printing department at Georgian back in 1994. Luckily, I am a union member so there was a process to be followed after my lay-off. I did a short stint in a department before being moved to the Marketing and Communications department to produce the Part-time Studies calendar. While I was there, a part-timer quit and I was able to remain in Marketing, where I still work today. It was a great move and I love being part of this team.

252. Who is the most unusual member of your family?
Oh, there are many unusual characters in my family. One of the most interesting people though was my Great Uncle William “Billy” Murray. He was a tight rope walker and performed at many carnivals. He suffered a fall at one point and became extremely religious afterwards. He lived out his final days in Toronto, spending some time at 99 Queen Street which was a mental facility for 150 years. In her memoir Fragments of My Life, Catherine Doherty credits him for saving her life after he prayed over her dying body.

253. Are things pre-determined or all about choice?
I think there is a pre-determined plan for all of us. We are each here for our own unique purpose and to learn. Sometimes it takes us more than one kick at the can to learn certain lessons, but hopefully, we eventually learn. We do make our own choices and may take a more circular path to life’s end, but we all end up where we’re supposed to end up.

254. Which is more important – intelligence or common sense?
My boyfriend Jeff would definitely say that common sense is more important. He claims that it is his super power. I think having common sense may serve a person much better in life. You can be extremely intelligent but yet have few life skills, which can get you into trouble. 

255. If you could trade places with the opposite sex for a day, would you and why?
Of course! It would be fascinating to be inside the male brain for a day to understand how it operates. And naturally it would be equally fascinating to experience sex from the male perspective.

256. What’s the biggest lie we tell ourselves as humans?
I think the biggest lie we tell ourselves as humans is that we’re not good enough. We’re constantly trying to improve – be thinner, faster, richer, smarter – in order to have people like us. Just be yourself.

257. Which of your ancestors would you most like to meet?
I think there are some relatives I wish I had spent more quality time with or paid greater attention to while they were alive. I don’t think I appreciated my maternal grandmother or paternal grandfather enough. They were both fascinating people and I should have taken more care in absorbing everything they had to say. My grandmother was a strong woman who ran her own business and raised three equally strong daughters. She had spirit, a great sense of humour and a good head for business. After her first husband passed away at a very young age, she was forced into a second marriage to a man who was never faithful to her, drank, and eventually killed himself. I say forced because she didn’t want to marry him, but the local parish priest threatened to take her children out of school if she didn’t. Welcome to small town Catholic life in the 1930s. My grandfather on my dad’s side was a real Renaissance man. Despite only having a grade school education, he was a politician (a local Reeve as well as a Member of Parliament), poet, athlete and an entrepreneur. He loved nature and knew the importance of community. I would like a do-over with both of these people so I could truly appreciate who they were.

258. Who do you think is the most important person alive today?
That’s a tough question. You could go good or bad because both sides of the coin can effect important decisions and change. I think Craig Keilburger is doing important things because he works with young people, developing future generations of involved, compassionate and passionate influencers who want to make a difference in their world. If we can develop more people with that mindset, we can do wonderful things for this planet.

259. Would you stop eating junk food to prolong your life by a few years?
Definitely. I rarely eat junk food now. I can’t eliminate chocolate from my life but I stick to good dark chocolate. My personal favourite is the Lindt dark chocolate with coconut.

260. If you were offered a seat on the next space shuttle, would you take it?
Probably but if there was someone else who really wanted to go, I’d probably give up my seat.

261. What makes your generation unique?
Having been born in 1962, I’m considered a baby boomer. I think we’re considered lucky in that most of us have grown up in a time of relatively good employment opportunities. We’re also a good mix of healthiness, altruistic values and a good work ethic. I also believe we’re a bit more imaginative, as we didn’t rely on technology for entertainment. We created our own fantasy worlds without the aid of video games. And, we’re going to experience a wide gamut of phones! I can remember party lines, rotary phones, touch tone, the first large clumsy cordless ones, flip phones, iPhones, Androids, Blackberries – in all shapes and sizes – and whatever is next to come.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

365 Questions: Who is my personal hero?

213. What’s bothering you today?
My life is actually pretty darn good right now. I’ve got a bit of a kink in my left shoulder, probably from the spin class I just did. But other than that, I can’t complain.

214. Are you an introvert or extrovert? Explain.
I’m what you would call a social introvert and people are often surprised when I tell them I’m shy. I like people and enjoy spending time with them but I like to control “how” I spend my time socially with others. I’m more comfortable meeting people one-on-one and wouldn’t enjoy walking into a party or event where I didn’t know anyone. I could do it, but it would be a bit difficult for me. There are times when I can be the life of the party in big, loud gatherings – usually more with people I know really well – but my norm is to sit back, assess and take everything in. I also need my alone time to recharge. I enjoy spending evenings alone with Netflix or reading. I have spent a week by myself at my cottage. I like to think about things before I speak. And, I’m generally better at explaining myself or something through writing rather than speaking. Public speaking isn’t my cup of tea, but if I’m passionate and knowledgeable about the topic, I’m good. And, ironically I am a performer and can sing, dance or play guitar in front of a live audience. I like to be rehearsed though and don’t always necessarily need the spotlight. I enjoy writing my songs but I don’t have the burning urge to perform all the time.

215. What three things do you think about every single day?
Because I’ve been on a nutritional program for the past six months I’m always thinking: What am I going to eat today? Secondly, I’m a great sleeper but I usually wake up exhausted (could be my colourful dream life), so I’m always wondering why I’m so tired – especially after a good night’s sleep. Lastly, I have a sweetie in my life right now and it’s been a wonderful few weeks. He’s someone I have recently reconnected with and it’s amazing. He’s amazing. I think about him every day.

216. What’s the best way to your heart?
I’m a sucker for words. Woo me with your wit and crazy sense of humour and I’m yours. That being said, if you play with my hair I’d likely follow you home too.

217. What are you most ashamed of?
I was fairly promiscuous during a period in my 20s and I used to carry a lot of shame about that part of my life. I don’t anymore. It’s a part of my past and I can’t change who I was back then or anything I did. And because of my sexual history, I really dislike the culture of slut shaming. I was that girl. I never understood the whole double standard of why the girl who had sex was always branded with the scarlet letter while the dude always got away unscathed. They both had sex. What’s the difference? As women (and men too), we need to stop the slut shaming. Women and men both enjoy sex – there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as there’s two consenting adults. That’s important too.

I can also honestly say that I experienced date rape on at least two occasions. I was certainly in no state to provide consent. I bumped into one of my offenders a few years ago. We passed each other going in (and out) of a building. The way he looked at me – with a kind of knowing, condescending expression on his face – brought back a moment of shame for a brief moment. But afterwards I thought: why should I feel any shame? He’s the one who took advantage of me. He’s the “less-than” person, not me. And that’s the message I would like to convey to anyone who’s been through a similar experience. You’ve done nothing wrong. They’re the asshole who took advantage of you.

218. Do you believe in karma?
Definitely. It may not happen in this life, but it will happen. I don’t do good things because I hope to get good things in return. I just try to be a good person as much as I can. And you know: karma can be a bitch J

219. What compulsions do you have?
I’m not a big shopper by any means and I actually don’t enjoy it very much. But if anything will be my undoing, it will be my entertainment budget . ..or lack of an entertainment budget. I have a hard time saying no to experiences, especially good musical ones. I don’t spend recklessly but I believe in living my life and enjoying it as much as I can right now. I don’t want to wait for retirement to do fun stuff.

220. What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever done?
Some people might say that purchasing a VIP ticket to see Derek and Julianne Hough’s Move – Live On Tour show two years in a row was pretty ridiculous. It was a lot of money, but my friend Laura and I had a blast – both times. I was a complete idiot meeting the Houghs the first year but was totally cool the following year. We’re besties now.

221. What are the five most important things people should know about you?
· I’m a master hugger and am very touchy-feely
· If you need someone, I can be counted on to be there for you
· I’m allergic to penicillin
· I love music and can be a bit of a music snob
· I’m a social introvert

222. Does time really heal all wounds?
Time, a positive attitude and a good therapist or friend(s) to help you heal.

223. What are the key ingredients to a good relationship?
Mutual respect. Open and honest communication. Emotional availability and a willingness to be vulnerable and authentic. Empathy and compassion. Friendship. Shared interests. Chemistry and attraction. Patience. Trust. And the knowledge that love is an action, not merely a feeling. You must choose to love that person every day.

224. What 12 songs would be on the soundtrack to your life?
I actually blogged on this topic last year. Here are my soundtrack songs.

225. If you had a diary, what would today’s entry say?
Dear Diary: I’m so incredibly happy right now. I’ve met someone very special and I’m looking forward to seeing how our life unfolds together. He’s unbelievably sweet and caring. I’m so glad that he reached out to me again and I’m enjoying the process of getting to know him. I’m seeing him tonight and I can’t wait!

226. If the weather person was going to forecast your life, what would they say?
It looks like mainly sunshine going forward. There likely will be rain or stormy weather at some point, but as long as you’re prepared, you’ll be okay. Enjoy those rainy and stormy days because they’ll give you a better appreciation for the sunny ones.

227. What song best describes you when you first wake up in the morning?
Todd Rundgren’s “Bang the Drum All Day.”

228. What have you always wanted? Have you got it?
Well, I always wanted a horse and never did get one.

229. If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future? Why?
I would probably go into the past and do some things I didn’t get to do the first time around. I would travel back to the 70s and check out Bruce Springsteen’s early shows. Then to 1978 and go to a few shows on his Darkness tour. I would like to see the Beatles, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, go to Woodstock, visit Haight-Ashbury in its hey day.

230. What words do you think those closest to you would use to describe you?
Funny. Kind. Altruistic. Rainmaker. Generous. Creative. Loyal. Sarcastic. Loving.

231. Who is your personal hero?
This is such a tough question. Most people would assume my personal hero is Bruce Springsteen. But while I love the man, his lyrics, enthusiasm, music and work ethic, I don’t really consider him my personal hero. For me, most of my personal heroes are the people in my life. I have some friends who have been married for over 30 years and I admire their commitment to each other and their marriage – especially in this age of disposable relationships. I aspire to that. I have other close friends – like my friend Kristin – who is so incredibly creative, especially in the ways she reaches out to connect with our community and I am constantly blown away by her ideas. I want to be a part of everything she does. I have other friends who cope courageously with big day-to-day challenges. My friend Carol has lived with MS since her 30s and she is one of the most generous people I know. I love that about her.   

232. If you could choose your last words, what would they be?
I love you.

233. In what ways are you the same as your childhood self?
I was an avid reader as a kid and I still love to read. I’m also still very playful, silly and childlike. I can be serious but there’s a very big silly side to me as well.