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It’s been a while since I’ve updated on what’s been happening with me lately. I’m not sure that there’s anyone left reading this thing that really even cares anymore. I’ve been thinking long and hard about shutting this blog down for a while now; I haven’t been feeling a lot of inspiration to write lately, to be honest. Or if I do feel inspired I lack the time and energy to sit down and actually write anything. I miss the days when I used to feel excitement at sitting down at the computer and putting out there what was on my mind. I’m a lot more guarded lately, I guess…worrying about the people who have access to this thing, whether they’re actually reading it or not is a whole other story.

Spoiler alert: they’re likely not.

I started a new job last week. Something very different from what I had been doing. Something that seems will be a job that will allow me to move on and move up, as long as I work hard and stay focused. With the start of week two yesterday I’m feeling like this is both a blessing and a curse. I’m feeling like I’m being dragged out of my comfort zone, kicking and screaming. Which is slightly hilarious, considering this is what I told myself I wanted. I’m learning that “theoretical Momma Sunshine” and “actual Momma Sunshine” are two different people. Theoretical Sunshine is ready and willing to accept any new challenge and jump on board with it. Actual Sunshine is scared to death of change and questions herself at almost every turn.


I know that new jobs come with challenges and that it’s not unexpected that I should feel more than a little uncertain of myself right now. No one ever got anywhere great by just staying where it’s comfortable. I know all of these things. But knowing them and living them are two very different things. And right now, I’m deep in doubting myself and my abilities. I’m questioning my decision to push myself a little harder in terms of my work life. I’m wondering if I was maybe, just maybe, a little bit stupid for thinking that I could actually do this.

Then again, I never DID do well with major life decisions. I always end up being filled with doubt, torturing myself with wondering if I did the right thing. “Actual Sunshine” tends to forget this sometimes.

Happiness is…

…just before drifting off to sleep, hearing your husband’s sleepy voice through the darkness: “I love being married to you.”




thankfulI’ve been writing a fair bit lately about the imperfections of life at the moment. It’s true — things are far from ideal right now for a number of reasons. Unfortunately I’ve been allowing myself to fall into the trap of focusing on life’s imperfections a little too much lately. And as I’ve written about before, the things we pay most attention to seem to grow in size.

Monday was Thanksgiving here in Canada and I spent the weekend really trying to think about all of the things I have to be thankful for in my life. I’ll be honest — I wasn’t 100% successful at this, but thanks to a conversation with my husband, I think I’m feeling ready to re-focus myself again.

On my run this morning I made a specific point of thinking about the things in my life that I’m feeling thankful for. Mostly I am thankful for the people in my life. The obvious ones — my husband, my girls, my step kids, my friends and family. I thought about how different my life looks than it did 7 or 8 years ago, and how very thankful I am for that, too. I’m not sure that I ever really had a clear image of how I wanted my life to look, and while there are some things that I would change, for the most part, life is good. Life is good even taking all the current factors into consideration. Because no matter what else happens, I still have the important people here. My husband. My girls. My step kids. My friends and family. And as long as I have all of them, the rest is manageable.

Not perfect, of course…but I’m sure that complete and utter perfection is impossible. And if not, then pretty dang boring. And I don’t know about you, but that’s sure not something I ever want life to be.

I’ll settle for sometimes stressful but full of joy and other amazing things any day.

And in the meantime, I’ll focus on being thankful for all the wonderful things that this life provides me with.


The Magic of Self-Care

Self-care means different things to different people. I’ve realized that even for me, self-care means something different depending on what day it is and how I’m feeling on that particular day. I mean, it only makes sense that our mental, emotional and physical needs are going to change from day to day or week to week. No two days and no two weeks are ever exactly the same.

For the past few weeks I’ve been a lot more physically active than I have been in a long time. I’ve been running and walking a lot as a way to deal with the overwhelming stress that I’ve been feeling. For me, there’s nothing like pounding the pavement for a few hours a day for stress management.

Last week I had what I can only describe as a bit of a “crash” in the energy department. I’m just…worn out. I told CBG that it’s like I’ve been running on adrenaline for the last couple of months, and that I’m finally coming down off it. My body is responding by telling me that it’s tired and in need of rest.

And so…I’ve been resting. I’m still running and walking, yes, but I’ve cut back my mileage significantly in the last week or so. I’m making a point to get to bed early. Instead of shooting out of bed at the crack of dawn I’ve chosen on more than one morning to take some extra sleep and some much-needed snuggle time with my man. Instead of taking a power walk on my lunch break, I went for a leisurely stroll, and even made time to sit in the grass and just be quiet with my thoughts. My body, mind and spirit right now are telling me to just be gentle with myself.

The magic of self-care means that sometimes you go for the long runs. You eat the healthy food. And other times, it means sleeping in and having ice cream for dinner.



The One in Which My Husband Proves his Love for Me…With a Spider

Yeah…you read that right. Weird, I know.

When my girls were little I was a stay at home mom with a dream of homeschooling my kids. Though I did educate them until my oldest daughter started Grade 1, unfortunately life (namely my divorce) prevented me from continuing with this. We used to spend our days together reading books, going for walks, baking, doing arts and crafts…all of the lovely things you’d expect from a stay at home mom homeschooling her two young daughters.

(Of course, there were lots of hellish parts about it, too, don’t get me wrong, but this is my story and this time I’m focusing only on the good parts).

My girls were particularly fascinated by insects and spiders. Because they were only around other children in small numbers, and because creepy-crawly things never bothered me, they never learned to be grossed out or squeamish by creatures with many legs. We spent lots of “nature walks” observing ants on the sidewalks, digging up worms, or watching spiders spin webs. After all, it’s educational, right?

Now that my girls are older, they’re a bit more hesitant around bugs, but still hold an interest in spiders. They *are* pretty fascinating, after all…spinning their webs and catching bugs and just generally doing their thing.

About a month ago we noticed that a smallish, striped spider had built a web in the window, directly beside our front door entrance (inside the house, I might add). It had built a big, beautiful web and positioned itself directly in the middle of it, waiting for an unsuspecting victim to come along. We spied our new friend and took an immediate interest in him.

CBG, however….was not nearly as impressed.

Y’see, my husband is arachnophobic. To the point where **I** am normally the person to usher out spiders that happen to get into the house, provided the cats don’t murder them first. CBG is creeped out by anything creepy-crawly, but spiders, in particular, are the worst for him.

As soon as he noticed the spider by the front door, he indicated that he would be making short work of our new friend…or better yet, that I should do it. The girls and I protested – loudly – and CBG relented. Reluctantly.

Very reluctantly.

Over the past month or so, the girls and I have continued to watch this spider with great interest. His web-building habits, the intricate patterns he creates. We have even noticed that he’s growing. Over this time he has also acquired a name —  “Stubby Longlegs” — as chosen by Lil’ Mo. Yeah…we’re a little weird like that. It’s part of our charm, right?

Every time we leave the house, we make note of Stubby Longlegs, while CBG makes disapproving sounds. But he has never, ever laid a hand on Stubby. Maybe CBG is too afraid of him at this point. Maybe he’s worried that if he does kill him, Stubby’s friends will find their way into our house in great numbers and get revenge. Personally, I think that this not-so-little-anymore spider is just one more way that CBG shows his love for me and our girls — that he is willing to knowingly co-exist with a spider, probably for the first time in his entire life.

And every day, as that spider gets a little bit bigger, so does CBG’s love.

*Not actually Stubby Longlegs.

*Not actually Stubby Longlegs.


The Danger of Whining

cryingI have a confession to make. I’ve been a bit of a whiny pants lately.

Thankfully, I’ve spared those of you that are reading this blog from any whine-fuelled, rambly blog posts where I wax poetic about how life kind of stinks right now and that I’m really stressed out about everything and how I’m really impatient with waiting for things to get better and why is it that it seems like as soon as things start getting better then something happens and things revert back to the same old turd pile they always were.

You’re welcome.

Fortunately for those in my immediate environment, I’ve been doing my best to keep my whining at a minimum for them, too. No one likes being around a whiney baby. Also, CBG in particular has been working really hard lately to be positive and optimistic. And while I know that part of what he signed up for with this whole marriage thing was supporting me when times are tough, quite frankly I just don’t want to bring him down.

There’s nothing worse than having to deal with someone else’s negativity when you’re working hard to keep your own head above water in that department. Been there, done that.

So. Mainly I’ve just been whining in my own head. My inner dialogue has been a battle of good-and-evil, positive-and-negative. Occasionally negativity slips out and gets dumped on the people around me.

Sorry about that.

Now, I know that at least some of you are thinking that there’s nothing wrong with a little whine-fest now and then. We all do it, right? Of course we do. But for me, this has been increasing in frequency lately. The last several months have been a challenge for me in a lot of ways – professionally, personally, and relationship-wise. There are a lot of things that I’m feeling negative about. The problem with whining isn’t when we have a bad day and need to let off a little steam, the problem is when it turns into a way of life.

Quite frankly, I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be the kind of person that focuses on the negative stuff, to the point that it becomes more important than the positive things. Because negative brain noise has a way of drowning out everything else and just adding this certain stench to life.

And well…I don’t like that story.

This is my reminder to myself that though I may not choose many of the circumstances of my life, the one thing that I do choose is my attitude. Sure, a lot of things kind of suck right now. I’ve been through worse and came out stronger, better and happier on the other side. Things certainly could be a lot worse than this. I have many positives in my life for which I am grateful. Positives that I need to remind myself of.

I may not be able to kick this negativity to the curb for good but for right now, I’m done with it. It’s not enough that I’m not whining to others — I need to also stop whining to myself.

negative mind


The Gap: Why I Love Running

I’m happy to report that in the last few weeks it would seem that my iron levels are improving. I haven’t had anything officially checked at this point, but I can tell by the way that I’m feeling. Getting up in the morning isn’t a struggle anymore. I am no longer cranky and irritable during the day. My running distances have been gradually getting longer. Make no mistake: I’m not operating at 100% yet, I certainly won’t be training for a marathon anytime soon. But I am making progress and progress is good.

The thing that makes me most happy about getting back into the groove with running longer distances is that this is my main form of stress relief. I’ve been dabbling in a few other things this summer — namely, colouring. And while sure, colouring is great and relaxing and all that, it’s just not the same as making my muscles work and getting my sweat on. Long running distances = a happier, more relaxed Sunshine.

I was thinking the other day about long distance running and why I love it so much. I’ve been doing it consistently for years now – close to 15, I’d say, with some breaks in there when I was pregnant and dealing with babies and such. Still, a pretty long time.

For me, there’s just nothing else as good for my mental and emotional health as a nice long distance run. There’s a magic that happens there, where my body goes on autopilot and my brain is free to roam where it likes. It’s as though as I rack up the physical distance, a mental and emotional distance is created as well. Running allows for a gap between my thoughts and emotions and the events of my life. I am able to look at things a more objectively, without the same kind of emotional attachment that is normally there.

So I run and I think and I process. Running gives me opportunity to assess life, to dream about the future, to make peace with the past. To plan and remember and analyze. All with my emotions checked at the door. There’s nothing else out there that allows me this same gap. Because in this gap — in this space between thoughts and emotions – is where joy is found.



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