On Being Mindful

It was an anti-bullying day yesterday. People were supposed to wear pink to show their support. Some people complied, I was one of them. But after some thought and reading some tweets, I came to agree with an AntiBullying group I somehow ended up following on Twitter. One day, one big push, does not necessarily HELP the situation. People are all about it for that day, that one particular day, but does it stay with them? Do they carry it forward and make it part of their everyday life?

I also came to realize (though internally knew this all along) that bullies are everywhere. We push the whole anti-bullying thing in school and generally highlight the effects it has on younger kids and tweens/teens, but its rampant in sports and in workplaces all over the world. Sadly, parents are some of the worst offenders where sports is concerned. Yelling at coaches, other players, your own kids. Its disgusting. But often times you’ll see coaches picking on their own players. Don’t they realize that they won’t ever get the best out of these kids if thats the way they operate? Kids try harder when they think their work and effort is appreciated, recognized and respected. I’m always a little bit floored when I see these stories in the news, that the verbal outbursts in kids hockey arenas is allowed to continue. Its sad. And it sets the most dispicable example. We’re grown ups. We should know better.

Workplace bullies can be even worse. Undermining you, diminishing your ability to contribute, threatening your livlihood. I think some of them don’t even realize they are doing it. Saying NO loudly to something that you know is happening anyway, yet making you feel like you should run and change it just because THEY said so. Demanding things that aren’t necessarily rightfully thiers, making you feel like you should accommodate them because THEY want more. It may come across as simply just personalities clashing, or differences in opinion. But I think thats just the “grown up way” that we excuse shitty behavior.

I know we can’t wear pink every day, nor should we have to. But we SHOULD be mindful of how we treat others every day, mindful of how our words, our attitudes and our “personality clashes” may affect those around us. Just be mindful. It leads to being thoughtful. And THAT is something that can start at ANY age.

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Double Standard

Quick question….

How come no one dares utter a negative WORD when the Jets lose, yet this city takes a collective DUMP on the Bombers when they do?

Yes, we just got them back. Yes, its been a crazy start to the season for them. But seriously, I don’t follow hockey that much and even *I* know they’re actually just not really that great of a team. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that no one bashes the shit out of them all over twitter, and that fans protect and defend them to those that have the balls to, but why is it so different than defending and loving the Bombers, win or lose? Why do people feel like its a-ok to shit-upon the Bombers when they don’t play well? Is it because they have a history of not being that great? Or because they had a shitty year where they made a habit of not being that great? Well, thus far the Jets have lost more than they’ve won. Soooo…..

Like I said. I am a huge fan of people being positive about their home teams and defending them win or lose and I’m certainly not implying that people need to start bashing the Jets because they don’t have a good game. I just think the courtesy needs to be extended to ALL the home teams we have.

Go blue.

My Kid ~ She’s Kinda Cool

So my little princess has been growing up a lot lately. She has been evolving into something pretty spectacular complete with her own sense of style, taste in music, likes and dislikes and of course, plenty of attitude.

She cracks me up on a daily, if not hourly, basis. She loves to wear her fake glasses, especially the ones with rims that look like they’re from the video game MineCraft. Because she LOVES the video game MineCraft. She digs wearing wrist bands and skinny jeans and above all else, let there be suspenders! She has suspenders in every color of the rainbow and yes, even rainbow colored ones too. Her teacher actually calls her Bretelle, french for suspenders. From a girl who lived in nothing but leggings, she is now a skinny-jean fiend and for some reason cannot stand to wear long sleeved shirts. An outing would have to be pretty spectactular for her to actually put a dress on, and she would likely pair it with her skater shoes. She loves the current artists on the radio but wholeheartedly states that nothing, NO ONE, will ever trump Michael Jackson on her playlist. Ever. She has random moments where she just wants to hit the treadmill and do push ups with us in the basement. She’ll make a face as soon as a camera is on, never mind pointed at her. She’ll dance the instant she catches a whiff of a beat and its both gangly and rhythmic at the same time.

She has taken to wearing her owl headphones because if it has an owl on it, it surely must belong to her. She loves to shop and be at the mall and hang out with her friends and lucky for us, loves to hang out with us still. She’s a techie and can figure stuff out long before I can and teaches me with (sometimes) patience. She’s a fabulous student and has taken on the learing of a new language like she was put on this earth to be Francais. She essentially lives in her walk-in closet and if you ever can’t find her, she’s likely snuggled up in there with her oversized pillows and an iPad watching her favourite YouTube star play video games and listen to him commentate the whole way through. She now can’t play a single video game without giving a running commentary of every move she makes to no one in particular and anyone who’s listening. She loves horror stories and scary pictures and thank heavens for Goosebumps books which were made for kids her age.

As we drive along, me with my arm twisted around, reaching into the backseat so we can still hold hands, I marvel at how cool she is, at what a neat kid she is, at how grown up she is. And I think to myself, what in the world is this super awesome kid gonna be when she grows up, what cool fantastical things will she do? It doesn’t take long to come up with an answer.

Anything she wants to.

I Want To Be In That Number

Football is over.

Sad Char is sad.

HOWEVER! The CFL season starts on or about June 28 with pre-season games even earlier. The NFL season starts on or about September 5 with preseason games in August. So thats what…….4 months give or take?????? And in that time we have open practices, the combine, the draft……….that’ll help tide me over…..right??? RIGHT?!?!?

I think that my new goal is to go to the Saints home opener. This is for a number of reasons. One, I got a taste of it again in December and while that game was fun, it was their final regular season game and really, lets be honest, meant nothing in le grande scheme of things. Two, their defensive line is complete and intact and J-Vil will be playing from game one onwards, AS IT SHOULD BE. Add to that they hired Rob Ryan, the just-as-crazy-half of the Ryan brothers, as their defensive coordinator and BOOM bring on the brick wall of big boys! Three, Drew will be composed and collected and pinpoint and precise because he will not have any of the weight hanging over him that he had this year. He was essentially the brains of the entire team this year with the loss of the coach etc and having to work with an interim coach and then an interim-interim coach? That would crumble even the strongest of men. And last but not least, my personal fave is back, Coach Sean Payton. Back on the field where he belongs. Back beside Drew with his visor and his juicy fruit gum and his black track jacket. Back with energy and pure pure love for New Orleans coursing through his veins. He was a “free agent” for awhile. Open to other teams. And they wanted him. BOY did they want him. But lucky for us, lucky for NOLA, lucky for the team and for every fan who has stood by them that he stayed where his heart is.

Yes. I do believe that I would like to be there on opening day. Cheering and whistling and chanting along with 86000 other true-dats. Because when the Saints go marching in, don’t YOU want to be in that number??

Push Bar to Open

I had not seen my Uncle Rick from England for a good 25 years I’d say. He finally came to Winnipeg to visit us just last spring. You could see the years on his face, but those blue eyes, they still sparkled. Getting to know him through Facebook of all things made the visit that much better. He adored McK, loved her immensely, and you could feel it when he was around her. He got a huge kick out of Pat and believe you me, the feeling was mutual. After suffering a stroke and with his heavy british accent, Pat would say that if he closed his eyes it was like he was talking to Ozzy Osborne.

I will never forget taking him for breakfast at the Nook and having him hollaring out the team song for his Chelsea Blues while we sat in the crowded tiny restaurant. Everyone thought he was nuts. We just sat and laughed. I might have even been clapping along.

I remember my sister telling me a story of when she went to England and was able to visit with him. They went to a local pub for lunch one day and as many large doors do, the door leading to this pub had a sticker on it that said “Push Bar to Open”. So in my uncle walks, straight up to the bar, and leans into it with all his might and heft, huffing and puffing. When asked what in gods name he was doing he simply replied, “Oh, the sign said push bar to open.” This was him in a nutshell.

Of all of the amazing and beautiful things he saw and enjoyed on his trip to Canada, the one moment he said “made the trip” for him was when I brought him to my work. The soccer final was on, his team had made it, and wouldn’t you know it, we got to watch it on a wall-sized screen. He LOVED taking pictures of it and gloating to his boy Si, back in England, bragging and sending pictures to Facebook. Chelsea won that day and we draped ourselves in the flag he gave us and savoured the moment.

At the time, it was just a visit. Something that would likely be repeated. But now, its a cherished memory, one that I feel intensely lucky to have had. How LUCKY were we that he chose to come to Canada and meet McK and reacquaint himself with us after all that time had passed? How lucky are we that he didn’t wait another year, or for a better time, or opt not to come at all. How lucky are we.

Uncle Rick died yesterday. Suddenly and without warning.

Chelsea, Chelsea! Chelsea, Chelsea.

Football-Moms Kick Ass

Screw soccer-moms and hockey-moms. Football-Mom’s is where its at!

Yesterday my sweet little 9 year old declared that she was ready to get into a sport and that sport, my friends, is football.

*whooping and hollaring on the inside people!!!*

Now I have not forced football on her. I will admit I keep the channel on the games I want to watch and don’t let her change it lest she want to lose a finger but as far as PLAYING it, she came up with that all on her own. And I fully support this. I went online because I had no idea if there even WAS a girls league in Winnipeg and it turns out there is. We’re not sure the calibre or skill level required of the girls but it looks fun, not everyone looks enormous and a few of them even look McK-size. She. Is. Pumped.

I have not outwardly expressed my inner joy at her decision to want to try the game just in case its ridiculously expensive or of a higher level that she is wanting to play at but believe you me, when we find out all the details and everything falls into place, I will be one wide-grinnin’ son of a gun!

I will not yell any coaching from the sidelines. I will not boo or badmouth the opposing team. I will simply be the loudest, proudest mom in the stands. In fact, I will bring the noise of 86000 fans, a noise that still rings clear in my ears from December, and I will make sure she feels that out there, turf under her feet, enemy in her sights, hut, hut, hut.

Angry Reading, Its a Thing

Funny how sometimes you go back to something you really dislike, only to see if you still dislike it as much as you thought you did.

I read a few blogs now and then. I am not a committed reader as I do not entirely have time nor am I scheduled enough to remember to go to that one place and do that one thing everyday at that one time. So when I think of it, I go check stuff out. There has been one blog that I have read with somewhat regularity and I find myself drawn to it frequently, not because I like it, but rather, because I quite DISlike it.

It is somewhat of a communal blog and I go there to see if the one writer who I DO truly enjoy reading has left any new ditties behind. I’m always a little bummed when its not hers, and believe you me, I can tell within the first sentence if its hers or not, but I read anyway. And then I stew. And I think of comments. And I decide its better to just keep them to myself lest I make any online enemies cuz who needs that.

I get that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I appreciate that we are all very different people. So I really have no valid basis on which to hang my dislike. But its there. I get that they are writing about things that do not interest me in any way but that doesn’t usually create dislike in my world. I can read a technology magazine and not be irritated by it even though I have ZERO interest in it. But this blog? The irritation is virtually instant. Its practically palpable.

I have come to realize after chatting with a pal that it is more the disingenuous way in which they write that irks me than the topic itself. The way that they think everyone wants these ridiculous things that they write about. And then when certain “other” posts garner comments and accolades I can sense them attempting to write in the same style and that irks me even more. The whole idea is to just simply write. Take the words from your brain, and throw them out into the world. Maybe I’m getting this whole blogging thing wrong. Maybe I should be thinking of things that other people want to hear about and spewing out a forced monologue and trying to fancy up really boring things and hope like hell I get a comment.

Hell no.

I write for me. I write to get it out and remember things and if someone else reads it, super. If someone else likes it, super. If someone else hates it, super. I didn’t write it for them. I wrote it for me. Thats me. Thats genuine. Thats what I want to read from other people.

If your words sound fake, one can only make a fairly simple and elementary deduction.

I will still click on over to this other blog on occasion, don’t get me wrong. I will continue to log on and remain typically optimistic that I will either be surprised and enjoy the words on the screen or be treated to a beautifully composed post from my favourite contributor. And if I am let down, well, I will carry on, tally-ho, push through the discomfort and will NOT exit out. No siree. I will read on, slight scowl on my face, restraint in my comment-typing fingers and when I have digested their words, will log off muttering something to myself about “why do I keep going back” and maybe even “glutton for punishment”.