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.

Monday, 29 February 2016

365 Questions . . . boy, am I behind!

My apologies for the lateness in posting my answers over the past three weeks. It's been a time of cocooning for me and I haven't been in a reflecting mood. I promise to be more faithful as I JUST KNOW how eagerly everyone awaits my answers each week.


45. What has grief taught you about living?
I wrote an essay on this topic for my friend Kristin’s Gifts in Grief project. Rather than repeat the entire thing here, you can read it here.

46. Name a time when you didn’t speak up – and should have.
There are tons of examples from my past, with most of them occurring in past relationships. There were plenty of times I should have said something about the way I was being treated or certain behaviours I put up with without saying anything. I don’t think I did the best job of being my authentic self in earlier relationships, and if I had, I probably could have saved myself a ton of grief.

47. If you could have one super power, what would it be?
A friend of mine jokes that his super power is common sense, and that he could pretty much rule the world with it. I think at this stage of my life, I’d love to have an eidetic memory so I could retain everything I read or hear. Not sure if that’s a super power or not, but it would be cool.

48. If you lost all of your senses except one, which would you keep?
Hmmm. Tough to choose between sight and hearing. I would miss listening to music but the world is such a visual place I think I would want to keep my sight. And since I’ve been dealing with an eye condition for the past three years, I have been thinking about vision loss quite a bit.

49. What are you most grateful for?
I am grateful for the wonderful tribe of people in my life. I am surrounded by good friends who lift me up on a daily basis.

50. What does your ideal self look like?
My ideal self is happy. Eyes glowing, big smile, healthy body and thinking positive thoughts.

51. If your life was a TV show, what would your theme song be and why?
The first song to pop into my mind is “Happy Talk.” It’s just a simple happy little song to sing and speaks to having dreams.


52. You have an hour left to live, what will you do?
In a perfect world I’m at the cottage and can go out to the sundeck and just take in the beauty of the lake. Hopefully, I would also be with someone I love and could sit there quietly with them or maybe we’d make love.

53. What are you holding on to that you need to let go of?
I need to let go of my fear of doing things wrong. It absolutely cripples me. I’m a horrible decision maker because I don’t want to do the wrong thing or make the wrong choice. It’s an ancient wound and I’m working on it, but I still have some work to do.

54. What would you do if you could not fail?
The funny answer that pops into my mind is, get married. But I also think I would love to be a piano player in a jazz group.

55. How old are you, inside?

I think I’m 40. That’s a good age: A little bit wise but still room for some immaturity.

56. If you could offer a newborn one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be yourself and don’t worry about what others will think of you.

57. Would you give up your life to save a loved one?
I would like to think I’d be that unselfish but that’s hard to know. It would likely be a decision I’d make in the moment.

58. What would you do differently if no one judged you?
I try not to live my life based on other people’s judgment . . . and this gets easier as you age. I might have dated some women earlier in my life. Growing up under the shadow of very Catholic parents, I think I repressed that side of me.

59. Is there such thing as a soul mate or true love?
I definitely believe in soul mates and that you can have several throughout your life time. For example, my sister is a soul mate. We always joke that we were married in another life. There are just certain people who you meet and have an instant connection with – these are soul mates.

60. What’s been your biggest heartbreak?
I’m a big crier . . . just means I care very much . . . at least that’s what it said on a meme I read recently. I have shed many tears after certain relationships have ended but I think when my mother passed away I experienced my first real heartbreak. That was the first major loss in my life.

61. Most defining moment in your life (good or bad)?
Such a tough question. I think when I made the decision to move to Barrie was the most defining moment in my life. I was moving away from my hometown, leaving my parent’s house and starting a new job. I remember hearing Tom Petty’s “Free Falling” as I drove through Algonquin Park and thought to myself, “what a perfect song for this new chapter in my life.”

62. If you were a colour, what colour would you be and why?
I think I would be brown. For no particular reason other than I like the colour and I think it's a very useful and practical colour.

63. Where do you draw your energy from?
I draw my energy from positive and like-minded people. They keep me grounded and energize me at the same time. However, being an introvert, I also need my space and alone time to get re-energized and recharged.

64. On your most challenging day, what gets you out of bed?
On some really challenging days, there’s nothing that can get me out of bed . . . or at the very least I’m only able to make it to the couch. But, it’s usually my strong sense of loyalty and commitment to others that gets me out of bed. I don’t like to disappoint people and do my best to be there for them – because I know they would do the same for me.

65. When have you felt most alive?
In the pit at a Bruce Springsteen concert. It’s my happy-to-be-alive place.

Monday, 8 February 2016

365 Questions – Weeks 5 and 6

I’m combining weeks five and six into one blog. Enjoy!

WEEK 5 and 6
31. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
My union went on strike several years ago and a strike-seasoned colleague said to me: “This is an experience you’re going to appreciate.” I thought my colleague was crazy. If I wanted to experience something new, going on strike was certainly not on top of my to-do list. But afterwards – almost three weeks later – I understood what he meant. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I was yelled at by strangers, almost run over and questioned by several people, including some co-workers who were still working. But, having gone through the experience I am a stronger person. I discovered different strengths and developed a new level of empathy. I literally walked a mile in someone else’s shoes and decided I would always choose to become informed before making a judgment on anyone else’s actions.
32. Greatest lesson you’ve learned?

Be yourself. Life is too short to be anyone else.

33. If there was only one season year round, which would you choose to live in?

I’m a big fan of fall. To me it has the best of everything: nice weather – not too hot or too cold, no bugs so it’s pleasant for hiking, and it’s pretty darn beautiful as well.

34. If money wasn’t an object, what would you do with your life?

I would retire tomorrow and focus on projects like PeopleOfBarrie.com. I would divide my time between Barrie and Barry’s Bay (at the cottage).

35. Favourite book and why?

I really enjoyed Life by Keith Richards. I like the Rolling Stones but wouldn’t consider myself a big fan. Someone lent me the book and I didn’t have anything else to read during a snow day and, I couldn’t put it down. It was entertaining, humble and filled with a number of great anecdotal stories about a number of musicians. It compelled me to read more about Marianne Faithfull.

36. What would you try if you had no fear?

I want to try sky diving. And, I’m working up to it.

37. What does being happy mean to you?
I was injected with a huge dose of happy last night (Feb. 2) in Toronto in the pit at the Bruce Springsteen show. Being happy for me simply means being with someone I love, doing something I love and just soaking in the joy that combination creates.

38. What’s your why? (life purpose)
I’m still trying to figure this out! I’ve never been much of a career person – I’ve enjoyed every place I’ve worked because of the people with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work. That being said, I would like to think my life’s purpose is to bring joy into the lives of those who surround me. 

39. You’re granted three wishes. What are they? 
Here goes . . . pretty predictable :)

  • Win enough money so I could do all the things I want to do, and help others achieve that as well
  • The ability to play music by ear
  •  To have a lasting, committed relationship with someone who loves me unconditionally

40. What makes a good person?
Empathy, compassion, honesty, openness, authenticity, and the ability to listen mindfully.

41. What would you do different if you were reborn?
I would probably learn as much as I could at an earlier age since we are such sponges at that age. I would focus on learning musical theory to help me become a more accomplished musician and I would try to learn French or some other language. I would also try not to put a lot of emphasis on other people’s opinions and to trust my own intuition.

42. When taking your last breath in life, what do you hope to remember?
I would like to remember that I did my best to extend love unconditionally to everyone around me and how much I was loved in return.

43. If your doctor gave you a year to live, what would you do or achieve?
I think I would just spend time with the people I love. Plan a few short trips and spend a few months at the cottage.

44. What do you like most about yourself?
I’m an excellent hugger and have a pretty positive outlook on life.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

365 Questions – Week 4: Who would I trade places with for a month?

Here are my answers for Week 4. Again, I was challenged by a few of these questions.

24. Do you believe in ghosts? Why?
I believe there are spirits who live among us. The day of my mother’s funeral, we were tidying up the kitchen and started throwing a few – what we considered unnecessary – objects out. The lights flickered. We threw out another little tchotchke and the lights flickered again. We got the message: too soon to start decluttering “her” house.
25. What’s your proudest accomplishment?
This answer would probably change on any given day. In thinking about it right now, I’d have to say that going back to school to get my BA in English is a pretty big accomplishment. It was something I have always wanted to do and I did it while working full-time. It was a challenging six years but I’m proud that I stayed the course and did it.

26. What makes a good friendship?
I think empathy, respect, love and acceptance make a good friendship. We all have busy lives and we all get run down and feel like crap. And while they’re not always easy to live by each day, the four agreements are a good template for friendship:
  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don't take anything personally.
  3. Don't make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.
Friendships should usually enhance your life too and there’s nothing wrong with saying good-bye to certain friends who consistently only bring toxicity or negativity to your life. We are always evolving as humans

27. If there’s a heaven, what does it look like?
In my heaven, I would be surrounded by all the people I’ve loved in my life. It would be located near a lake (Paugh Lake preferably) and the temperature would be perfect.

28. Which moment from your life would you choose to relive if you could?
I think I would choose any moment around the year 2000 when both my parents were alive and healthy. Spend some good quality time with them, pay closer attention and tell them that I love them one more time.

29. If you could have any view from your back porch, what would it be?
Paugh Lake of course.

30. Who would you trade places with for a month and why?
I may have to cheat on this answer as well as I don’t think I’d want to trade places with anyone for a whole month. It would be cool to be Patti Scialfa for two weeks so I could experience living with Bruce and going on tour with him. And then maybe I would trade places with Portia de Rossi so I could live with Ellen and help her give away stuff. She would be fun to hang out with too.