Celebrity gossip is to women what sports are to men. We live the hunt vicariously, for love, for the revenge body, for the perfect shoe/bag combo… and just for the record I was on “Team Jen.” There’s no shame here; I delight in relational dramz as much as the next gal. It’s just how our brains are wired. Those silly boys tease us while they’re out there literally losing sleep over whether some other dude gets a ball in a hole – way to go buddy, way to go. Continue reading
In our age of extended courtships, the wedding is so often seen as the endgame – “mission accomplished!” But marriage is just the beginning. Writing a marriage mission statement will help keep the story of your marriage on track, goal oriented, and inspiring. This installment of Blank Canvas Living’s ‘rebranding a marriage’ blog serial is all about laying down a clear path for bringing your dreamy ‘why’ vision statement into reality. Continue reading
After doing all that wedding paperwork, you may as well get on the same page. Writing a marriage vision statement will help keep your shared ideals front and center as the living room is slowly overrun by golf equipment – last count 53 clubs plus bags and accessories – and/or when your wife gets laid off and commits to writing – a vocation as lucrative as golf is cheap. Continue reading
Married to a man? Congratulations. They’re really quite durable and can put up with a heck of a lot. And it’s always nice to have something warm and solid to lean against whilst one ties one’s shoes. Married to a woman? Double congratulations. Through the grace of our exotic majesty you are invited to bear witness to the sublime… and that’s just before breakfast. Continue reading
What is your time perspective? For some of us, every breath is a lifetime lived in full. After all, at our end, it is the last observable measure of our humanity that cannot be quantized any further. But when every graduation, from micro to macro, is as equal an entirety, how do we balance the poignancy of the present with investment in the future? Continue reading
Who are you? Right now in this moment – with no apologies – who are you? If self is expressed through thoughts, words, and actions, how do yours line up? Are you… wait for it… congruent? Does your system express an inner harmony across all its layers of internal/external communication. If so, congratulations – you’re gonna get laid!
Heralds of truth come in all shapes and sizes: sometimes trumpeting with thick calves and good hair; sometimes scrawny redheads displaying somewhat disturbing troll-like tendencies. Case in point of the latter: Tyler from Real Social Dynamics. While I would never hold his hair colour against him – I’ve had some wonderfully flavourful encounters with ginger in all its forms – I still can’t believe I clicked on his Youtube sidebar “how to pick up women” video suggestion.
In my defense, as a consummate autodidact I feel it is my solemn, ever so noble, duty to educate myself across the broadest possible scope of humanity. Yes, duty. OK, OK, so maybe I was just a wee bit curious to see how my own game from back-in-the-day would stack up. And yes, I know I’m a woman (ultimate advantage), and a blonde (albeit highlighted – there I confessed!) so I’d be an idiot to suggest the playing field was equal, but still, I was curious…
Oh Tyler, how I misjudged you! Your cackling laugh, your somewhat dubious misogyny, your merciless quest for quality Russian p*ssy (sorry Tyler, dear, but I know you can take it) – somewhere buried beneath the ugliness was… that’s right… a small yet mighty grain of wisdom. Confidence, self-esteem, self-love, and charisma are the trademarks of attraction, but where do they come from, really? The one word answer might surprise you (although I suppose I already let the cat out of the bag in the first paragraph)… congruence. When your thoughts, words, and actions present a cohesive, congruent entity – the entire world is yours (yes, even chicks)!
You’re already awesome because you are key to the definition of humanity in this moment in time. Own it. Abstractions aside, if you sell someone a harmonious system, people (yes, even chicks) will be drawn to your energy and want to grab hold (yes, even chicks). Basically, by being congruent, you’re demonstrating proof of love and successful integration within a closed system, all without demanding validation from external components (aka chicks). You’re immediately offering value to the broader system without demanding anything in return. AHA!
Doesn’t have to be all biceps and butterflies. Tyler tells the story of his depressed friend’s super successful “broken man game” – blue painted bedroom and all! You’ll recognize your congruent self as your most honest comfortable self, one that presents a safe system for others to interact with because it’s predictable in all the right ways without being boring. Unless, of course, you’re boring, but I suppose congruently dull is still better than blue-balled – just guessing here.
Ancient Zaroastrian religion’s humata, hakhta, and huveshta (to think good, to speak good, to act good) and Buddhism’s eight fold path of right ________(fill in blank with pretty much any verb) are similar in their goals of personal congruence, along with most other religions. But leaving morality for another day and another post, let’s just do our best to be our most congruent selves this week. To be perfectly honest, I’m a little frightened as to what that might mean for my wardrobe!
Oh, and how did my game rate according to Tyler and Real Social Dynamics? Could’a taught that boy all he knows ~wink.
When my grandfather’s heart stopped this past spring, he used his one last moment of decision to kiss my grandmother goodbye. In a church full of black, she wore her favourite deep red skirt suit to his funeral. She curled her hair, coordinated her makeup, and stood tall and graceful in a scene of unimaginable bravery. Theirs was one of the true great love stories, sustained over half a century by affection, faith, courage, and generosity. There would be space and time for grief, but my grandmother chose that day to celebrate the life and love of her extraordinary man.
What came as a shock to us all, especially to my strong, beautiful grandmother, was that there would be only five short months of space and time before she too would pass – the very day before what would have been their 60th wedding anniversary. Neither would have to spend an anniversary alone. My own extraordinary man and I celebrated our 10th anniversary this August. I’ll always be grateful to my grandparents for offering their unconditional love and support when we got married just 5 short months after meeting.
I wouldn’t tell anyone what I was planning for my part of my grandmother’s eulogy, only that I was bringing a prop. I knew was already taking a risk with my leopard print leggings, but since she’d once showed me a snakeskin print tunic/pants outfit from the back of her closet, I figured I was in good company. When it was my turn to speak, I took a step to one side of the pulpit and up at the front of the church, in full view of friends, family, two Reverends, and the entire congregation, I carefully applied a good thick gloss of bright red lipstick.
Appropriate? Sure! We all laughed, and then of course, I completely fell apart describing how my grandmother always used glamour, not as a mask, but as a celebration of the way she saw the world – and her family – full of promise and wonder, and worthy of the very best she could bring to the table.
In a literal sense, what a table! Using the delicious and ingenious strategy of cooking healthy dishes (like their famous peas and mushrooms) they teamed up to keep their love story alive and well far past its genetic due date – telomeres be darned! This Thanksgiving weekend was the family’s first without our dear Matriarch and Patriarch. While the gift of the Quebec cottage they built with their own hands will stay with the family (thank heavens!), their Ontrio home, with all its comforting smells, sounds, collections, and textures, is being dismantled for sale. And individual objects, once separated from their context, begin to lose their meaning.
I am a woman who lives through her senses (through rarely common-sense), and this Thanksgiving I gave thanks to my grandparents the best way I knew how. I made their magical peas and mushrooms (my version above). My kitchen was filled with the smells and tastes of tradition. I added some sauteed onions for some next generation flair, and melted in enough butter to have horrified my grandmother. But time stopped for those few hours, and the unfathomable concept of loss was made tangible. Grief took a physical form, as it had with my lipstick, but in doing so became a celebration.
This morning, my man slept through 5 snooze alarms and by 6:30am I was ranting at him for risking being massively late for a 7:30am dentist appointment. Seeing his pensive face (because who likes going to the dentist anyway), I caught myself. To lighten the mood, I threw a sock at his head from the 3 day old pile of unfolded laundry on our bed. He whipped it back and it got me right in the neck! But when the mock battle subsided, I lifted my face to his, closed my eyes, and waited for our sacred ritual – because you never know how much time you have. Gone was the warrior with impeccable aim, here was a husband, giving his wife a kiss goodbye.