April 20th, 2017

It’s 10:50, the moon is high and the stars are twinkling in the Grey black sky. My eyes should be heavy with sleep, but the sandman has yet to find me. My brain is working overtime, but yet I don’t get paid.

Today I received messages from 2 friends. One was from a friend who had read one of my Diary blog posts (not including yesterdays because I hadn’t posted yet). She was honestly concerned for me and wanted to bolster my spirits, remind me that she is always there for me. That she thought it was cool that I was “owning all the highs and lows”. I appreciated her message immensely since sometimes being far away from close friends and family can feel a little alienating. And well my posts were a lot about the “lows” of this journey up to this point.

The other friend was replying to a birthday message I’d sent her and asked me a most thought provoking question in return. She asked me to tell her something new and enjoyable that i had discovered this week. Her question caused me to pause. I don’t think she had read my posts but it really got me to look at the last 2 weeks and see what was hiding in the recesses of my mind, something caught in the spider web of activity that has been happening.

Her question made me realize that when I am writing I am documenting thoughts of our challenges but somewhat neglecting the amazing things unfolding before me. What came to mind was a mix of “things” that were good. The journey’s tapestry was being woven with a fabric comprised of so much positivity as well. Both messages I’d received reminded me of that; indirectly.

I’ve shared some of my inner most feelings about this move. Many can be seen as challenges, difficulties. If any of you know me, I’d like to think you’d agree that I take these times in full bull fashion, head on! I am a Taurus (yes, eye rolls acceptable) so makes good sense that I am determined and bullish (no, not stubborn). But with these challenges are also moments and memories of smiles, laughs, amazement, astonishment at so much.

Today though I want to share the ‘Glad Game’. These are the things I shared with my friend. Note she only asked for 1 thing and I provided a barrage of gladness for her consideration.

  • The most impressive is how well Chloe is adapting to her new life. She still wears pants and long sleeved tops but her new wardrobe (thankfully) now includes shorts and t-shirts. Massive applause acceptable. Don’t fret however, her back bubble, bunny ears and various other “accessories” (i.e. a serious winter toque from Canada, different one from the one in this photo) have made an appearance as well.
  • She taught herself (without actually practising) how to use chopsticks. Just picked them up, told us to watch and BAM!
  • This morning I mentioned that her pull ups have been fairly dry lately. I asked her why, thinking it was dehydration. Her reply, “I’m practising!” Huh!!!!? Ummm for what? “To wear underwear at night time!” She is growing up so quickly and quietly mastering skills. It is like she is blossoming.
  • There is a part of her that is more open to new things, such as sushi! And she likes it!!!
  • Another amazing thing here. The food! I love it ♡
  • The train system is incredible, the cleanliness, and how courteous people are.

Really I am not a facebook fraud after all, those smiles were and are real. It is important to me that I share all sides of the journey; good and bad, easy and challenging, fun and boring, lonely and overwhelmed at the lack of privacy (primarily when I am trying to use the toilet. Parents, you know what I’m referring to).

So, the short and sweet, and much is sweet, I am enjoying myself. And this is fun, I like it.

“Everything always works out. Always!”

Rachelle C Foo

That’s it for the positivity for the day. I need to rest so when tomorrow arrives I have fresh eyes to view the world from and find new and exciting things to take my breath away.

Jet pack outfitsuperhero testing the fountain waterWhy not wear a toque, it's only 35c

April 19th, 2017

It seems I may be a tad focused on the challenges we face. And as much as I’d like to be honest about this experience, I realize I need to document a bit more about the actual fun. Not simply saying, “there have been moments of fun”. Because exploring has been fun! Tiring AND fun.

This city has so much to see and do. Almost like a clean Vegas. And those who know me well know I LOVE VEGAS!!!!!!

What have we seen with our wondrous eyes, felt with our gentle touch and where have the soles of our feet taken us in this city of awesomeness? We’ve been all over! Well not everywhere but a few places.

Our first day here we went to Toa Payoh, the community right next door. On our walk over we weaved through the concrete overpass instead of climbing the stairs – this is what happens when you walk with a pram holding our precious cargo. Got to the other side and saw a nature park where turtle’s swim freely, gracefully, until they see you then they dive for cover.

We were on our way to find the bank and stopped for breakfast, traditional Asian style breakfast noodles, curry puffs (which ended up being too spicy for the little mouths) and coffee for us older kids. It was a taste sensation. Not because it was culinary genius, but because it was authentic, it represents a part of Asia in which I am not familiar with. But I will become familiar, intimately.

We learned our first lesson of cultural correctness. Children should be wearing shoes! We’re from the beach, they were fortunate we had clothes on other than buggy smugglers, rashies and a bikini! Ha! Could you imagine if we wore that!? Climate wise it makes good sense though.

Our feet have travelled on crooked sidewalks, jumped the gap in the train platform, through the paved pathways in the Bay of Gardens and many other spots. We have been to malls, parks, new neighbourhoods and always with a keen eye to experience what the locals provide to us.

This city has a plethora of activities for us to experience. Our plan is to take this opportunity and engage with the culture, the environment, the people. It is expansive and rich in diversity. The world of Singapore is here for our enjoyment. And enjoy we shall.

April 18th, 2017

We got it! We got the condo we put an offer in on. No, we didn’t buy it, we are lowly renters – wink wink. This place is like being on permanent vacation. A staycation of sorts. It has 7 different pools, multiple outdoor exercise equipment stations (Chantal & Philip), a karaoke cafe (mom and Emily), a coffee cafe (Mike), nail spa and hair salon (Riley), 2 tennis courts (Zelma and Yeap), 1 basketball court, a running track (Derek and Helen) & an RV racing track. Oh and we must remember the bamboo maze which is where Chloe stated she wanted to live.

Take notice family, we seriously took you ALL into consideration when choosing a place to call HOME. So come visit well BEFORE we move from here!!!!

We viewed 10 units in the complex in multiple building blocks and decided this unit was for us. Maybe it was the 9 month old baby that sealed the deal (1 time she was slumbering peacefully, the other time she was full of smiles), or the friendly nature of the parents who made the place feel so welcome. It felt like walking into OUR home as soon as the front door parted for our entry.

The view isn’t like the one on the 29th floor, but how could a view on the lowly 15th floor be as good. We will still see the sun kiss the day goodbye and the moon welcome the starry night sky. We will sit on our balcony and enjoy noodles with a myriad of side options and maybe a glass of wine on occasion. This is how I see it all enfolding.

Reality…our night will likely look more like this.

Nicholas stop throwing food on the floor if you don’t like it. Put it on your plate.

Chloe, keep your butt in your chair and stop trying to have fighting games with your pasta.

Phew, dinner over!

Kidlets will run around to burn off engery, but in the house instead of in the bamboo maze where maybe I could loose them for even 10 minutes of peace?!

Back to the bedtime routine….

Nicholas, stop peeing in the bathtub and trying to eat the bubbles. Oh wait, is he taking a poo??? Shit!!!!! (seriously, this DOES happen!)

Chloe, you need to wash your hair or I’ll have to chop it off! It looks like all the birds from the jungle up north have taken up residence in YOUR hair! Seriously!

Phew, bathtime over!

Kids will get pj’s on and of course this will be very easy.

Nicholas, get your naked butt back here! You need a nappy/diaper on before you pee on the floor – seems to be a recurring theme with him, pee. Maybe we need therapy? ??

Chloe, No, I don’t know where you most wintery pj’s are. We live on the equator wear shorts! And No, it isn’t cold in here! Sesh, seriously, who’s kid is she anyway, she’s crazy!

Phew, pj’s on and no mess on the floor and winter Roots pj’s still in the drawer (note to self, pack them in the back of the drawer and bring only to Canada! Or New Zealand).

Read book quietly and calmly

Nicholas to stop eating the pages, this isn’t desert!

Chloe all babies eat books, your brother is still learning all the same lessons you had to learn hence why half the age appropriate books for him are missing pages..

Phew, book(s) done

Time for bed now my beautiful babies.

Oh I love my babies so much when they are snuggled into bed, ready for me to sing them to lala land. Let sleep cover their eyes and peaceful dreams of everything sweet occupy their minds.

Slowly, quietly, creep out the door. Ssshhh! I said quiet!!!!!

Now for adult time, wine, relax, some good conversation. All sounds so civilized.

Just nee to sit on couch for a quiet moment before indulging in our exotic dinner and $100 Singapore bottle of wine (which is likely imported from Australia somewhere).

ZZZZzzzzzzzzz….WHAT WAS THAT!!!!

Eyes jolt open….was I just sleeping? The pool of drool in the corner of my mouth tells me it was definitely sleep and the snoring was definitely what just woke me….? So how was my adult time tonight? Great, I did nothing! Why? Right, I’m a parent and the evening was exhausting! But I loved it. How do I know I’m not tricking myself with delusional talk? Because I’m not drunk, they’ve only been asleep an hour and I’m already talking and laughing about them and their crazy antics. Don’t deny it, you do it too

Sat 15th April

So up till today I thought the most challenging element of moving overseas was; where to buy groceries, how to decipher one brand from another, how to save money on anything & everything, where to live, which school.

What I have come to realize is most challenging is navigating a new medical system. Your heart plummets when you see your baby not feeling well and knowing you need a Doctor. But you don’t know where to find the Doctor, which Doctor is “good” and even how to go about booking an appointment. Now forget the fact that today is a Saturday, that has only added another layer of complexity to the situation.

What I have discovered is that Doctors here only work till 1pm on Sat in newer clinics – which apparently is the case where we live. I’m not sure if there is a walk-in type Centre in Singapore – I don’t know yet anyway.

As a parent you may take to Google to find the answers but of course you are faced with an abundance of irrelevant info and you need to wade through the sites to find something, anyone, who can help.

It feels very overwhelming and downright scary because this is YOUR child. You want to get it “right’ because health is all we have in life to live. An unwell child is heartbreaking enough then add this unknown, I can finally say I’ve found what “Culture Shock” is to me! No more worrying about finding my beloved toothpaste brand (which is Crest by the way), or favourite coffee to satisfy my heart….a healthy child is all I need.

Those other things still hold an element of cultural unknown, but they are surmountable. They will hang on a low rung of the ladder from here on in.

I posted a couple pics to FB and feel like such a fraud. As if I am deceiving the public into thinking all this is easy, fun, exciting. And well there are moments of each of those. The reality however is, this is HARD! It is SO challenging and in ways I never imagined. Like the heat, the humidity! Walking down a sidewalk with a pram. Isn’t everywhere pram friendly? First world problems eh!

Each day I wake with a new attitude towards the day. May depend on how much sleep I’ve had or what day of the week it is, or how many more days till the weekend when I don’t have to do the day on my own. My mind bounces like a yo-yo, up-down, sideways, constantly, making my brain hurt. One minute I am revelling in the fact that we made it out the door with Randal to walk him to the train station and have breakfast. The next I am wiping my brow to stop sweat from dripping into my ears and eyes thinking, “seriously, can I really survive this?” “How much sweat can one person produce” and “could I survive off my sweat in case of a drought?” (how does one collect sweat while walking anyway?) The answer to all is YES. I can survive and I will.

In all seriousness though, a drought? haha! This place has torrential downpour almost daily! Today it rained so hard I could barely see the building next to us. And if you could see how close that building is you’d be astounded. The laundry that hung complacently on the balcony drying rack was almost lost to the wind and rain that came in all ways & threatened to throw it overboard! Now that is some rain.

When we packed house and left Vancouver, we were young (early 30’s IS young!), energized and threw caution to the wind to let our hearts take us where we wanted. As you may recall from an earlier post, we yearned for that ugly red brick building lurching on the edge of the cliff in Manly. We got that. It took work and perseverance, but we made it happen.

We left Vancouver with a 100 liter duffel bag and backpack each. This time we added about 10 times that, oh and don’t forget the 2 little tyrants! I mean people. Things are not as simplistic as last time.

We were not delusional believing this would be easy. In fact we have been braced for catastrophic devastation pre departure and probably hourly even now. We pictured having to tear Chloe (who is 4.5 yrs old), away from our apartment, Tiggy (our beloved car), her friends, from everything she has ever known, with tears coursing down her sweet round cheeks. In reality, she has done quite well. She’s been here a week only and already knows how to use chopsticks! I mean REAL not for children chopsticks. She never even practised, she just did it! Crazy smart kid (gotta tell Annette!).

Us on the other hand I think is fair to say we miss everything 132 Bower Street represents to us. I can only speak for myself here, but I do find it difficult to see photos of Manly beach flashing across my screen as I troll through Facebook. My heart feels confused; pride mingled with sadness to know that Manly was once my home too. Alongside fascination, hesitation and bewilderment that funky half-missing skyscrapers dot my worldly view for the moment. The complexities of all this can be overwhelming.

So, as I said, every day is a different bag of emotions. Every hour can be different. A journey is like that though I suppose. Challenge our deepest rituals and comforts and see what new colours we can add to the rainbow of our life. It is my long held belief that every emotion, every life experience good &/or bad, deserves it’s place in your life and heart. I remind myself of this often (with the help from a good friend) and try to appreciate the emotions for what they are; a moment in my life. This too shall pass and I will miss these days of newness and confusion. I will likely long for it again as I long for the mountains in BC and the sound of waves in Manly. Until then, this is my reality and I shall enjoy.
Please enjoy with me

On a jet plane....to SINGAPORE

I’m sitting on the airplane, with a sleeping baby on me while eating the best sourdough bread ever, when it hits me; the excitement. I’m finally excited to peruse the streets of Singapore and find out what wonderful tales we will weave of this adventure.


He’s gently snoring, she’s busy shoving an ice cream cookie in her face and my other half is enjoying the finesse of business class. I’m content; happy even, and excited.


Well that moment last, a MOMENT. Nicholas promptly woke. Chloe started to complain, but notably she quickly fell asleep curled up in her oversized chair, and R sat watching his movie completely oblivious to the impending ticking time bomb I had on my lap.


Overall the flight was good. My first experience of business class will make it difficult to return to the normalcy of airline travel; back in the sardine pack. No leg room and no menu choice. How did I survive before?


We cleared customs and collected our 12 pieces of luggage (that’s not including the 7 pieces of carry-on & the pram we had). The whole process was so civilized and efficient that I thoroughly enjoyed my least favourite element of air travel. R’s Uncle collected us in a taxi van and brought us to our Airbnb. What a nice guy. I’m certain he couldn’t appreciate beforehand just how much luggage we were traveling with, despite the warning.  Not sure anyone could be prepared for what we brought.


I wish we had taken a photo as it really was ridiculous. Maybe when we finally move from the Airbnb to our new place I can recapture the silliness of it.  I did capture a portion of the items that came with us while I was packing.


Packing to move


It’s morning, I’m not impressed to be awake at whatever hour it is. Chloe and I shared a bed with her stuffies, and they probably had the best sleep out of us all. Between fighting for my place in the bed and Chloe stealing the covers of warmth, I had a sore throat and stuffy head. My eyes revolted at the waking process and my brain starting screaming, “get out of here! This isn’t what I bargained for!” The feeling of nostalgia rose deep in my heart and I wanted to be waking up in our bed with the sound of waves crashing around me. The reality that this is our new chapter really sank in. And when I woke I really wasn’t certain I appreciated what I was getting myself into by moving.


Alas here we are. In Singapore.


View View to the right from our Airbnb condo

Stay tuned for more of this story. Please join me on the journey


view

And in a moment the decision is made, off we go! Or here we come. Either way it is a new chapter of the Foo Family life. It is filled with trepidation, excitement, overwhelm, eagerness, and being downright scared shitless.

8 years ago, we packed our house and said a temporary ’see ya’ to our good friends and family in Vancouver BC Canada. Living there was enviable but adventure called. Actually, truth be told I was sick and tired and decided on a whim to apply for the 1 Year Working Holiday Visa for Australia. 24 hours later the email arrived in my inbox claiming an opportunity existed for my heart to explore. Randal is an Australian by descent (through his wonderful mother) so the choice of applying to Australia for my late-in-life work abroad experience was influenced by the ease of only 1 of us needing approval from a foreign government.

Vancouver BC

Vancouver - Yaletown, where we called home

Our planned year away turned into 8 years in the blink of an eye. That’s not to imply the time rushed by, simply that it is amazing to think that it has been 8 years already! Our time in Australia brought us many wonderful experiences: 2 Australian born babies, I obtained a passport to another lovely country, work experience that perhaps neither of us would have been fortunate to gain and the chance to live right on the beach in an iconic Manly building.

When we first walked down the streets of Manly to the main beach, we looked left, we looked right and we set our sights on this ugly red building dangling on the edge of the walkway, “We will live there one day!” I proclaimed. Never did I think we’d make that building our home for so many years, almost 5! Our prized position in the building is what makes leaving so difficult. We love our unit, our view and the home we have built here.

Manly - Where WE live

Notice the black line on the right hand side upper middle. That's where WE live

How many 4 year olds can stand on their bed and see the whale migration happening? We can say Chloe can. We look out our balcony and see stingrays dancing in the ocean, groupers gently owning the sea and we even once saw a dead Wobbegong shark scare the daylights out of swimmers and kayakers the like. We had a good chuckle about that one. Cockatoos scream at us from our balcony railing, we’ve had birds take flight in our house and a few large huntsman spiders take refuge from the rain. We’ve seen some of the worst storms in over 100 years from the windows of our world, sunrises that make your spirit soar with the rise of the day and the wild ocean in all its grace and grandeur. All this without leaving our front door!

Manly Beach - calm morning waters

Manly Beach - calm morning waters

A friend of mine gave me some very valuable advice, “Never plan your life around a home you don’t own.” Those words were the turning point in my attitude about leaving this mecca. Thank-you Abbie for the invaluable words. Now let’s hope this adventure is as grand as it is in my dreams otherwise you may have hell to pay J. In all seriousness, she is right. We don’t own this slice of heaven and therefore it can end at any moment and likely we won’t have any choice in changing that outcome. Each year when our lease is up for renewal we sweat wondering what our fate will be. So far we’ve been very fortunate, and we realize that to its fullest.

So although we have settled in this little piece of paradise, we are willing to walk away knowing the ramifications it holds for us. All in the name of adventure. Where are we headed? We will be boarding a flight that will land us in a city filled with trees and gardens. With food hawkers and fancy restaurants, upscale malls and street markets, bright sky’s and torrential downpours, old city mixed with bright skyscrapers relishing their resort style living, fast trains and slow walkers, beaches and nature alongside playgrounds and amusement parks, this city apparently has it all. Well maybe not all, but it has loads for everyone. This city? Singapore! For all the unknown it holds for me I know it will be great fun and something we will always look back and say with fondness, ‘remember when we lived in Singapore?’

Who knows how many years 1 will turn into over there. We go with an open mind and open heart. Once we get past this feeling of, “what the heck are we doing leaving all this?”, “are we crazy” (Randal actually said that to me this morning while he was giving ME the grounding hug), we will embrace our new diggs. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is wherever Randal and our babies are.

So, I’ve been on a journey. Well life is a journey, but as expected the journey changes as the seasons to our life change. Part of this journey includes an online course I came across on the DailyOM site called, ‘A Year To Clear What is Holding You Back’. I felt stuck so figured hey, why not try to clear that block?


http://dailyom.com/cgi-bin/courses/courseoverview.cgi?cid=532

Here is me. I am a mother of 2 children with beautiful souls. 1 lovely little girl full of so much life and determination, love and kindness. She’s sensitive and a bit of a fire cracker with a gentle inner nature! We also have 1 little boy we call “the gentle bulldozer”. He is loving, sweet and a tank. He’s not “huge” in stature, although he is bigger than average. He is not rambunctious, but he is lively and quite entertaining. So, currently my life is being a full time mother. Some days I am in love with being a SAHM (Stay at Home Mother) and other days I am a little less infatuated with the role. No romanticism here! Saying that, I always feel blessed/fortunate to have this time at home with them. Yes, even when I am not in love with it I feel that way. Rose coloured glasses eh!

The questions I’ve been seeking answers to for years are: Where am I going? What am I doing? What do I want from life and how do I want to help my family achieve our goals? How am I going to contribute to our success; not only financial but emotional, mental, spiritual?

Just over 4 years ago I was a top producing sales rep in an industry where I truly felt I had found my place and could be doing good for others. My friends and husband used to laugh at me for my constant enthusiastic commentary about my job. I was a wheelchair sales rep (our actual title was “Mobility Consultant”). To me the role was cool, interesting. I mean, how many people do you know that sell wheelchairs? It wasn’t a “sales” role in the conventional sense (and truly believe it). How can you sell a wheelchair to someone who doesn’t NEED one? It is not one of those things you see and say to yourself, “I just have to get one of those!” No, it was a role that was more about providing a real life solution to a real personal need.

I’d like to believe that my contributions to the wheelchair industry were numerous. From the companies I worked for to the manufacturers, the physio and occupational therapists to the care facilities and most importantly to the end user and their families. In my heart I believe I made a difference, at least once.

It came as a shock to me when my last employer, the one where I put work above my own life, all in the desire to become a top producing sales rep, told me they were having to make some organizational adjustments. Government funding was changing, both federally and state wide, and they were worried for the survival of their company being that a bulk of their business was from Government funded clients. I cried openly for my boss, the owner, as he explained that he had to remortgage his family home, how he and his wife were worried for their retirement. I accepted that it was a real possibility that I may not have a job when I returned from maternity leave. It was all just a “maybe, and possibly” that a few employees would be made redundant; I was one of those people being considered. My sadness at this point was not for me, it was for THEM. I even told my boss that I was concerned for my co-workers and that I totally understood his situation.

It was a month before I was due to return to work from maternity leave, and my daughters 1st birthday, when I opened the mailbox and inside was a letter outlining my dismissal and the redundancy package. I knew the letter was coming but my outrage was due to their explanation for choosing ME for redundancy. My ego took a massive hit. My journey was taking on a new vastness of space, a new path; I felt very lost. My belief is there is always a silver lining if you are open to finding/seeing one. I decided mine was this: I no longer needed to worry about childcare and juggling the details of all that. Phew!

Fast forward to today, over 3 years on since that letter was in my hand and devastation was in my heart. I’ve been afforded the daily opportunity to see my daughter grow and be her primary carer. She and I have travelled extensively together, mostly to Canada and New Zealand, but we got to do it, us 2 hand in hand. We have a very connected bond and I believe it is due to the opportunity that was provided to me by my last employer. See, another silver lining!

My husband and I got pregnant about 6 months after our daughter turned 1 but sadly that pregnancy only got to 18 weeks when our sleeping baby boy was delivered. That’s a story for another time though. Do not fret or feel bad for us. The experience gave us plenty to be thankful for. One thing in particular was the chance for me to finally allow myself to be vulnerable. Also, my husband was able to show me that I could be taken care of, emotionally, physically and spiritually by someone else. Yep, the silver lining! Without that baby I could still be wandering this earth believing the misconception that I only have me!

7 months after that baby was born I was growing a new life inside me. A life that my husband and I felt positive was meant to be. I didn’t even need a pregnancy test to know if I was pregnant. I will always recall the moment I knew our new life was growing. I was sitting on the floor near the TV and I knew! Something in me clicked and I said to myself, “well, I’m pregnant. Hello little baby!”  No need to spend the money to confirm or pee on a little stick hoping you missed your own hand as the stream flows out. We waited a few days and bought the test anyway. No surprise! That 2nd line announced itself like a raging fire. We were delighted!


Welcome world, our little boy is here! Born on the day of LOVE even.

When our son was born I had promised myself that I wasn’t going to worry about what career was next, like I had for the preceding years. Instead my focus was about being a mom to 2 and enjoying that life. Somehow my promise sprang a leak and I was seeping air, quick! I was floating around the sky like a balloon that slipped out of your fingers mid inflation. I was going left, right, up, down and with no detailed map to keep me on course. I was everywhere! There were hair-brain ideas, some good ideas that simply became stale, and some ideas that hit the trash before I could even finish verbalizing them to myself.

I was feeling overwhelmed, unfocused, unable to enjoy what was right in front of me and worried that I wasn’t contributing anything to our family. Sometimes I was even angry (yikes!). What I realize now is that I AM contributing. I am helping to raise 2 wonderful children. Helping provide a framework for them to grow into kind, thoughtful and productive members of society, while giving them space to discover the world themselves. Most days I feel I’m doing pretty good at this parenting thing. Not every day though. Don’t misinterpret me, I have my share of “Oh, did I really just say/do that?”  I’m not perfect but I am perfectly me. And that’s enough.

So, why am I writing this if it seems I’ve got it all figured out? Well secret is, I don’t! That is the point of my words. I am embarking on a new journey. My balloon is laying on the floor deflated and I am going to leave it that way. The next while (notice my lack of time frame provided?) I am going to do a bit of self reflection, self building and sculpting. My mind, spirit and soul will be nourished.

When that is accomplished I believe that my wild floating balloon will be more of a developing road map. With obvious construction zones being tended to and definitive paved roads with flowering trees and green grass for me to venture down. Nothing will ever be complete but certain things will be clear. What I am supposed to do will just be “there” for me to construct and nourish into whatever it is going to be.


At this moment in time I believe it will have something to do with spatial clearing, physically and internally, nurturing of our lives, our homes and our earth. Perhaps something minimalism like. It is exciting to see where this time will take me. This is the first time in awhile that I am excited for the journey and not seeing it as groundhog day. I invite you to come along for the ride if you like….

Edited by Rhiannon

For all the guys that get dumped out of no where, and for all the girls that are just tired of waiting around for their man to finally get down on their knee and profess their desire to be together forever.  Why does this happen?  Perhaps this theory could explain…keep reading.

You’re a guy and you have been dating the same wonderful woman for what, three years now?  And for some strange reason when you walked in the door yesterday and all her stuff was missing?  “Someone has broken in…stolen everything!”  But something seems amiss.  Everything is gone, just nothing of yours; except maybe the BBQ you wanted and that 40” LCD Samsung TV you bought “together”.

You’re a girl and have been off the market for over three years dating the same guy, maybe even living with him.  But you’re at the point where you just cannot wait any longer for him to make the next move.  You only have so many eggs to fertilize and you just wasted 36 of them on this guy with no promise of a future together.

What in the world is going on you wonder.  Let me tell you.  You took to long and she waited, waited, waited and you just didn’t get on board with the “future”.  I had this conversation with my fiancé early in our relationship about who ends the relationship, when and why.  It was friendly banter about who knew what, or more, about relationships.  He believes it is typically the girl that ends the relationship if it survives past the first year, and the girl typically get’s over it quicker.  I believe I have the answer!

I put it out there pretty early on in our courting that I was not looking for someone to pass the time with, I was looking for the person I wanted to spend my life with.  Pretty brash of me I know, but I had done the waiting game back when I was younger and this is where I discovered the truth of my theory.  A “light goes off” kind of moment you could say, a little knowledge a little late.  And having experienced this once in my life was enough of a life lesson for me.

As many of us girls do, I dissected the relationship, what was good/bad and where I went wrong. Unfortunately I could not put my finger on one specific thing or event that could contribute to the end of my 5 ½ yr relationship.  It took the course it was meant to take but what I did discover was there tends to be a pattern in long term relationships.  And here is my theory.

Year one:

Together you decide the relationship is worth pursuing and you fall in love.  You are “together” and enjoying your time together.  You have been getting to know one another on a deeper level, and those butterflies that invade your tummy in the first months seem to have flown the coup.  But that’s okay because what you have after all this time is a solid foundation to build upon.  By the end of year one the girl is seriously sussing out if she can see you as “the” long term partner she has been searching for.  The guy in turn is just happy he found a girl to stick around for this long…maybe you will go the distance but no need to rush the situation, you are happy to see where it goes.

Year two:

Still together, maybe living together, maybe not.  Either way this relationship is travelling down the relationship road and you are both are in it for the long”er” haul.  This is the beginning of the end.  If you are still together than more than likely she has decided to pursue you as her life long mate and you better get ready for the bumpy road ahead; yes, I am referring to the pressure.

She drops hints about “marriage” and makes comments about your potential future together.  The guy thinks, “great, she does see a future with me, okay, this is good”.  But as a man you are naturally non-committal in your answers.  “Ya, things are great with “us” and I really do enjoy spending time with you”.  Ouch, that’s what we girls think…what in the world is he thinking???  How does that help me figure out if he feels the same as I do?  No point asking the question direct, he knows what I am getting at.

Men and women, we communicate differently.  Women seem to like to allude to things, also known as hinting.  Men, well they say it like it is.  If you do not spell it out for them then they can pretend to not understand.  Don’t let that fool you though.  I fully believe the guy knows what we girls are doing, but due to the belief that men occasionally think with their parts further south, we let them off the hook and continue dropping our hints hoping one day they will get the picture.  Seriously, do we really need to spell it out for you?  YES!!!!  The simple answer is YES.  If you want to know how/what he thinks, ask him.  Don’t beat around the bush, unless you like banging your head against a brick wall and are immune to head injury.

So what year are we at?  Right, year two.  If the hints are not addressed with concrete answers that satisfy the woman’s curiosity to explore the future together, year two become a road of distancing herself.  She slowly starts to convince herself that her man does not picture the two-story house with white picket fence and 2.5 children with “her”.  Off turn the emotions and wow, the pressure to answer the life long commitment end.

For the guy this path is experienced completely different.  While he ignores the hints and offers only what he needs to in order to make the relationship complacent and bearable, don’t be fooled!  He is aware that the pressure is mounting and guess what, he does NOT like it.  He is going to continue ignoring the hints so why bother dropping them.  But you do, now it is just lip service though.

Year Three:

Once she stops laying the pressure on, he realises that things are getting better, less tense.  With all this tension and stress it is difficult to know whether he is thinking of marriage with you because he loves you and wants to spend his life with you, or because he is being pressured to feel that way.  How could we expect a man to make such an important life decision under such a weight?  So the anxiety around the commitment has eased and he is now permitting himself to see his life with you, feeling like you are getting closer and loving you more.  But you (the woman) are feeling distant and the desire to marry him lessens every day.  Wow, how in the world did this happen?

Just as he is ready to begin ring shopping, or at least talk openly and honestly about your future together, this is when he comes home and the house is barren.  He is totally confused.  He was really starting to get used to the idea that he is going to ask you to be his wife, and oppss! There you go; you are busy building your new life, maybe single, maybe not.  And you seem to be just fine.  Either way he is dumbfounded and stupefied about what in the world happened.  He is heart broken and cannot for the life of him understands how you could walk away so calmly and easily from the life he was planning to have with you.  He is mourning the end and she is done.  She already did her mourning during the time that she had accepted the relationship was never going to flourish into the exchange of rings and “together forever” vows.

Simply said, she dropped too many hints and he took too long to make the decision!  Got it?!

Interesting food for thought, offered from my sister as a means of supporting my emotional crisis when my relationship ended.  People that date for 5 years or more and are not engaged, are 50% more likely to get divorced if they do end up getting married.  Not sure where she got this statistic from but when I stop to think of it I see the validity.

Have you ever seen the movie, “The Wedding Planner” (yep, using this cheesy movie to prove a point, sorry)?  Have you been in a long term relationship and find yourself engaged and then married and wondered how it happened?  Well, for me there was a very momentous scene where two of the main characters are about to marry and they have a little chat before the ceremony; they wonder, “how did we find ourselves here”.  And that is often a good question to ask.  Are you at this point because that person is the love of your life or because it just seems to be the next logical step in the relationship?  If you are getting married because it is the next natural step or because you’re not sure who else you will marry, run!

I believe that the person we marry should be someone we could live without but chose not to want to live without.  You may not always feel that way about the person, but apparently you have to just pray that you both don’t want a divorce at the same time.  This advice was dispensed by a couple that has been married for over 40 years, so I think there is a grain of truth in it.

We are getting married and as most brides-to-be, I too am endeavoring to get healthy and lose a few pounds.  The weight has been with me for a couple of year, kind of like an old comfortable friend.  Although I am not implying I want to rid myself of a good friend, I do wish to rid myself of the muffin tops (the extra weight hanging over the top of your pants) and back fat that has endeared itself to me!  Thank you muffin tops and back fat but I think I am fine without you.

Technically I am not overweight, but definitely have lost the toned body I used to have of my early to mid 20’s.  Where did it go?  I don’t think I gave it permission to leave!  I am just shy of 5’10 and weight currently (I so cannot believe I am going to share this…) about 145lbs.  My weight is probably just a natural progression of aging but why should I accept this as permission for my body to change.  There is no grace in that.

A few days ago my fiancé sent me a link about a husband that is seeking advice about how to tell his wife she is a little chubbier and how he wants her to lose some weight.  Oh no, is this a hint?  And then he sent another link to an article about the correlation of marriage and weight gain.  No no, I really don’t believe he is trying to tell ME to lose weight, he actually see’s humour in these articles.  Nonetheless I heed his warnings and see this as an opportunity to get up off my butt and make some needed changes.

First I would like to applaud the husband seeking advice on how to tell his wife he is loosing sexual interest in her because of the weight gain.  He is giving her a chance to prevent him from cheating.  He is not dead yet and face it, we all have sexual urges!  Too bad he doesn’t feel he can just blurt it out.  Even though it’s not nice to hear someone tell you something you likely already know and despise about yourself, it really needs to be said.  If you feel you have any good suggestions for him, go to his post.  He seems to have tried everything except telling her outright that he is loosing his attraction to her.  Nah, I have not done it yet, figured I would let one of you! http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/8wgsu/how_do_you_tell_your_wife_that_she_is_overweight/

Maybe this phenomenon is more closely related to the happy union of marriage than I previously thought.  An article in Time magazine discusses studies conducted regarding the correlation of marriage and weight gain in both men and women.  Men win in these studies, their weight tends peak in the first two years and then they plateau.  Women on the other hand, well we just keeping packing on the pounds.  Where is the justice in that?  And why is this the case, why do WE have to keep gaining the weight?  This does not seem to work for the woman’s advantage evolutionarily speaking.  Suggestions anyone?

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1907143,00.html

Is it true that we women become compliant with our weight as we age?  The article in Times magazine does not talk about the impact of pregnancy on the woman’s body and how that too can correlate to weight gain.  It saddens me to think that I may be doomed to the pounds progressively finding their way onto my body.  Rubbish I say, rubbish!

There are tons of people out there seeking advise about their weight, getting healthy and about their partners that cheat (maybe due to your weight but could be other things as well).  Most of the time you can answer the question(s) yourself but we tend to reach out to others for help hoping they will not point out the obvious.

Dr. Laura is a know-it-all doctor whom I believe acts solely on the agenda of profit and disregard for human understanding.  Obviously I do not like Dr. Laura, she is a glaring example of a paradox of contradictions and for that reason I will not provide you a direct link to her page!  You can find it yourself if you like.  As well as being a published author, Dr. Laura hosts a radio show where she dispenses advice to people in about 3 minutes, usually horrible advice.  Why am I talking about her then?  Well, in this one situation the good Dr. did provide sound commentary for one person; she told her caller the truth.  I use this example to show how we could all be more honest to those we love (but maybe use a little more decorum and tact, we are calling for honesty not an all out personal attack).

This lady called complaining about how her husband told her he was no longer attracted to her because she had gotten fat (sorry, don’t really like that word but it is in context of the conversation).  She wanted Dr. Laura to be outraged at the husbands’ comments and tell her how out of line her husband is.  Dr. Laura asked the lady about her height and her weight and surprise surprise, what was the Dr.’s reply to this poor lady seeking a brilliant answer?  News flash lady, you ARE fat!  Loose some weight!  Not sure what happened to this caller, but I have to agree with Dr. Laura on that one.  Again, the approach could have been a little more loving but Dr. Laura is not known for gentle love.

Although research says that women gain wait when in a relationship, I say it is much more important to be trim and healthy when you are in a committed relationship.  Do you really want your man’s eye to roam and his fingers to wander?  He may love you dearly, but that does not mean he has to love your new plush and cushy body.  As much as I say that a woman has a responsibility to look after her body, so does the man!  We can all fall victim to a wandering eye and roaming hands, we are human after all.

You have reached the end of my post and I have yet to tell you why we gain weight in relationships.  To be honest I am not sure I am qualified to answer that.  But what I do know is that as we age our bodies change as does our metabolism.  Even though these milestones are earmarked in our futures we are still able to make decisions that will impact our weight, like eating one big mac instead of two.  Make your choices wisely and if you have gained weight (outside a medical condition) at least try to do something about it.   Seek advice, but not from Dr. Laura unless you are prepared for brutal honesty!