Archive for the ‘coping’ Tag

I’m not….so maybe you’re not too?   2 comments

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I’ m not a lot of things. In fact, the laundry lists of things that I am not, is quite impressive if I do say so myself. For example I am not a man nor am I pigeon or a particularly skilled athlete. The latter can be attested to by anyone who has ever watched me participate in any activity that requires both my brain and my body to coordinate in any meaningful way.

 

I once dislocated my knee in the 30 seconds it took me to stand up and walk over to the dance floor. True story. Luckily the fellow with whom I had attempted to dance with was able to quickly slam it back into place. He had that skill set. So while I always knew that I shouldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time without a supervising medic, I know have to live with the painful knowledge that just plain walking is not something that I am gifted at.

 

So I’m not coordinated. I own that. I’m fine with it and if I find myself in situations that require me to perform acts that could cause me bodily harm I wear a helmet and make sure my health insurance is current. I like being prepared. That’s my skill set.

Now if I can accept what it is that I am ‘not’ why can’t more people embrace and accept the limits of their own realities?

So what’s lit the fire in my belly that has lead to yet another one of my epic over shares?

Well the answer to that question my friends is simply this: crappy drivers.

 

Just because you can spell the word “car” doesn’t mean should drive one. For example. If you consistently drive in the left lane a minimum of 10km below the posted speed limit, whilst seemingly sharing recipes with the driver keeping pace with you in the right lane. You should both immediately pull over, put your vehicles in park and burn your drivers license and or your cars. Now of course there is no law requiring to do so…but it is fair to say that driving is ‘not’ your thing. It’s ok, no one will judge for accepting this simple truth about yourself.

 

Animals have zero difficulty accepting what they are and aren’t capable of. Case in point, you will probably never see cats teaching quantum physics or sharks climbing Mount Everest. I say probably, because I am also not a zoologist and I would be remiss in speculating on the possibility of either one of these things occurring at some later date. However as of this minute it would appear it is still well beyond their current evolutionary purview.

 
So, if genetically speaking, we are all predestined to live within our own evolutionary constraints; why do so many people fight against it with every fathom of their being. It’s okay not to be awesome at everything. It’s okay to not to be much good at most things….I am in fact the living breathing testament to that statement. That being said, if you are this driver or you know this driver …do mankind a favour, stop trying to do what your not good at….and maybe just call a cab.

In for a penny…. In for a pound.   32 comments

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Have you ever had an Oprah-esque (not sure that is a word….yet) moment when you can no longer reconcile your version of the truth with the cold hard slap in the face real life reflects back at you? It’s like waking up and realizing it is still Monday.

There you are just living your life and out of nowhere some sort of cosmic epiphany downloads to your brain which forces you to face or accept some new fact or reality. To which I always say, “Thank you real life for interrupting my regularly programmed and most enjoyable sense of contentment.”

I just would prefer to live in a softly lit bubble of fictional reality. Who wouldn’t? Truth for the most part is highly over-rated.

Sadly today, that bubble burst along with a pipe in our bathroom.

Yes folks, my home’s terrorist assault has continued and it has now begun to water board us; and by water boarding I mean rotting out my floor boards with a leaking pipe in our shower. The good news is we were able to discover the problem early when some dingy water drizzled on a friend of ours who had stopped by for a visit.

If I wasn’t before, I am now completely convinced our house is trying to break us or at the very least evict us. If my house was an animal I am certain I’d be advised to have it put down. I may have said that out loud last night…..do you think I caused this?

Regardless of who or what is responsible, we are now facing a demo and a rebuild. We considered hiring a professional to do the work, and then we just laughed and said why pay someone to do something that we can so effortlessly do ourselves? I mean how hard can it be? Some new pipe and a bit of soldering and Bob’s your uncle. Realistically, we should be able to knock this off in a day or two and be living the life of non-leakage in no time.

Now I know what you’re thinking, statistically speaking we haven’t had the best track record on home improvement projects; but practice makes perfect right? And we rarely make the same mistake three times. We make similar mistakes a lot but not the exact same ones, because that would make us complete idiots. I feel really good about this.

These are the things I’m telling myself to try and ward off the mother of all panic attack I sense is about to envelop me.

On a positive note we have decided to totally change the design of the bathroom. It was entirely too small; not even enough room to swing a cat. Not that I would, or have ever, swung a cat. (Please no letters). However, for arguments sake, I would assume that if ever the need did arise (to swing a cat) I would be unable to do so.

The new design will require us to bang out a couple of walls and re-plumb a few things….no big deal… just the toilet, sink and shower. This of course might add a day or two to the projected completion date but you know us… in for a penny, in for a pound.

Pass the brain drano…please   18 comments

image I need brain Drano..I don’t know if there is such a thing but if there is I am going need to get some ASAP. Price is no object. Although it would be great if the potential side effects of the product did not list potential death and or rectal bleeding. Not necessarily going to be a deal breaker, but it would nice not to have the worry.

I am distracted and discombobulated all at the same time. I love that word. It’s just as much fun to write as it is to say. It reminds me of Mary Poppins and that song “Supercalifragilistic”; now that was a great movie. I’m going to see if I can get it on Netflix. That reminds me, I have to get some pictures printed from our Disney trip. Note to self; find memory stick.

See what just happened there? I can’t even focus my attention long enough to finish a thoug* ( ironic typo.) Who am I kidding with that ‘note to self’ comment? Lately my brain is like an etch-a -sketch every time I shake my head the last thought I had fades to grey. I never really embraced the etch-a-sketch as a child although I was fascinated by what Will Farrell drew with it in that movie Elf. I think I watch too much TV. Excuse me I have to go flip the laundry. I’ll be back in a minute. Although it’s just as likely I won’t. How will you even know? I could have started this last April and am just now returning; not obviously from doing the laundry but from doing other stuff.

Maybe that’s my problem. There is just way too much stuff to do all the time and my brain is now refusing to think new thoughts or even finish current ones. Maybe my brain is on strike? Although you’d think it would at least give me a set of demands if that were the case. Obviously its union rep is just going through the motions.

Brains are absolutely amazing though, aren’t they? No I’m not just sucking up to my brain in order to regain its cooperation. It’s true. Here are some fun brain facts.

Did you know you can’t tickle yourself because your brain can detect the difference between an unexpected external touch and your own?

The average brain thinks about 70,000 thoughts a day. No wonder mine is confused – I had no idea I was working it that hard. I am blonde though, so it’s entirely possible that number is a wee bit exaggerated.

Laughing at a joke is no small task either. It requires activity in five different parts of the brain. So if at any point while reading this, you had a giggle, you can knock five minutes off your workout. I’ll write you a note. You’re welcome.

Do you know approximately 4% of adults live with ADD and many others have never been diagnosed? You do now.

You know, I just realized something. I thought (one down 69,999 to go) maybe I was not going to have anything to write about this week. I was so distracted I couldn’t find the funny. Then just like a reprieve at the eleventh hour my brain checked back in long enough to finish my column. Let’s hope I didn’t have to give up anything too important in the strike settlement. It would be really awful if I forgot to remember to do something important like the laundry.

Posted November 26, 2014 by janyceresh in Humour

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Learn and live   6 comments

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We humans are rather intriguing bundles of DNA aren’t we? I was thinking that thought just now. For the record I think on most days, except on Tuesdays between 8-9 PM for reasons which I will not disclose. How is it that we have managed to survive so long on this big blue marble of a planet without becoming extinct? I ask myself the hard questions sometimes and then I need to take a nap because it makes me sleepy.

But seriously, I’ve seen some people, and I’m not trying to be rude or disparaging in anyway, but there are those among us that probably should not be walking around unsupervised. I think we’ve all seen enough reality TV in the past few years that proves, with absolute certainty, that the laws of natural selection have become a wee bit lackadaisical. How do some of these people make it through the day without medical attention? Divine intervention?

I think it must be a combination of pure dumb luck and lawyers that has kept some of our brethren from dropping out of the gene pool. Instinct alone used to be enough but apparently some of us can’t rely solely on common sense anymore so we now employ people to think the big thoughts for us.

Who doesn’t remember the woman who sued McDonald’s for her coffee being too hot….and won? That, for me, was the beginning of the end of my hope for humanity. I can only imagine the shock and horror she must have felt when she made the connection that the white mist emanating from her cup was not the ghost of her dead cousin Marg.

I once saw a sign on a washing machine saying please do not use while person is inside? Now that’s just good information isn’t it? I’m sure there was somebody at least once who thought, “Hmmm …I need a bath and my clothes need a bath let’s kill two birds with one stone and call it a day.”

There is also a helpful warning sign on hair dryers to not use in the shower. Really? Is this completely necessary? I can only imagine what is going throughout that brain trusts mind (right before the obvious electrical current). “Why my hairs no dry? I be standing under all this water and it’s still be wet. This be broken?”

Don’t get me wrong I’m all for red lights, seat belts and the labeling of hazardous materials. It’s important to provide this kind of information so that we can anticipate potential threats to our person. I just think that our approach to sharing some of the more obvious dangers might be beyond the comprehension of their intended audience.

Perhaps dangerous products should come with video tutorials and worst case scenario simulations or maybe we should all just watch that show Jackass? Those guys could potentially inspire us all to some new evolutionary lows. Anyway it was just a thought I was thinking as I was using a fork to get my waffle un-stuck from the toaster this morning…note to self “next time unplug toaster first.” See how easy that was? Learn and live.

If you don’t have a plan…how would you know what you should have been?   16 comments

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I am famous for the five year plan that runs into a huge snag about five minutes after its conception. In truth, I am not much of planner at all. I consider myself more of a proactive reactor, which basically means that I lightly pencil things in and when that doesn’t happen, I just bounce. It’s been working so far and as I always say if it ain’t broke ….it ain’t mine.

So where am I going with this?

Recently, I was listening/eavesdropping to a conversation between two moms at the mall. One of the ladies was talking about her son who is twenty-two and will be graduating from university next year. She said he had a very firm plan for the next ten years. He would get a job, buy a house, get married and have at least two children by the time he turned thirty. She said all this with great pride and without even the tiniest bit of hesitation.

I thought of my own life and could not help but wonder if a life could actually be lived with such efficiency?

Not my life obviously.

You see, at twenty-two I had a plan too. Not quite that structured but I definitely had a few core ideas that I was going to run with. First off, I was never going to get married or have any kids. I was going to be a journalist and travel the world. I was going to be fluent in at least three languages and live with two cats. My life would never be boring, and I would be the envy of all….other cat ladies.

So let’s reflect on how that plan fleshed out.

I am married with four children. I do remember telling my husband I wanted four cats, which is usually man repellant, but we were in a loud bar at the time, so I guess he misheard me and thought I said kids? I speak one language and can swear in three others. I have never traveled the world but I have Google Earth so that’s sort of the same. I never wrote a big story but I can write a heck of a grocery list. I live with one cat and three cat/dogs. My life is definitely not boring so I guess that worked out but as for being the envy of all, I think I would say, that I am more of a cautionary tale.

So was there a defining moment where my life plan took a u turn and ended up in opposite land? Probably. Does it matter? Probably not.

You see, the one thing I can always plan on, is that any plan I make usually ends up resembling a Picasso painting version of the original idea. That’s okay though, as I have never been a destination kind of a girl. I am all about the detours and roadblocks and I firmly believe that any life worth living should always be under construction or deconstruction depending on the day…which sort of explains a few of my other posts.

Posted October 15, 2014 by janyceresh in Uncategorized

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The universe loves to laugh….at me.   11 comments

Once again, my illusionary world, or as it is sometimes called, my delusionary world, just crashed into my reality like a bull in a china shop. I have always been a glass half full kind a girl but from time to time, I believe the universe likes to test my resolve. It starts out with small, seemingly insignificant blips and blunders that miraculously seem to manifest into mountains of mayhem in mere moments.

I believe I have now identified my mistake. I became overconfident, mildly complacent and even a tad bit content. The universe apparently decided that I was much more exciting and entertaining when I am none of those things. There also seems to be a bit of a reoccurring theme to my life over the past 12 months so it would appear that it (the universe) has a favorite genre.

So without further ado, I will begin my tale.

This morning I awoke to the death of yet another appliance. My refrigerator apparently decided to take its own life in the middle of the night. Sadly, it took a lot of our food with it; which is why I am calling this a murder suicide. I will probably never get over the carnage I discovered when I opened up my tub of Haagen Daz. It’s still too painful to talk about. I am crying as I write this.

I am loathed to admit I did not see it coming.

It showed no signs of depression. There were none of the usual red flags. I like to think that if I had known it was feeling down that I would have gotten it some help – called someone or arranged an intervention with some of the other appliances. I’m not saying they would have been able to intervene in a meaningful way, but maybe they could have talked it down off the ledge. If only it had stopped to consider the impact its death would have on my matching appliances and how a lack of this will inevitably impact my resell value.

Suicide is such a selfish act.

Miraculously we were able to replace it the same day. I know that might sound callous but we all grieve differently. Don’t judge me for moving on – applaud me for letting go.

Our new fridge is a beauty. It’s spacious, shiny and seems very well adjusted. At first I thought the others might not accept it as one of their own; but the stove gave it its leftovers from dinner tonight like they had been best friends since birth. I am not sure I have had a prouder moment.

We did hit a snag or three during the installation process which may or may not have led to the deconstruction of some solid oak railing, ceramic tile and the removal of some ill positioned cupboards.

I am not ready to discuss all that at this time as there is only so much one human can endure in a weekend and I maxed out on that with the murder of my caramel cone ice cream. I promise you, when I am stronger, I will over share all the repercussions of our latest failure to utilize a measuring tape.

Posted October 4, 2014 by janyceresh in Uncategorized

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I Am Not Invisible….Am I?   28 comments

 

My life is loud. I have one husband, 4 children, 3 dogs, and a cat. We also have two fish named Ethel and Fred and an algae eater named Oscar but they are generally pretty quiet. Most days my house literally vibrates from dawn until around 10pm. It is probably still loud after 10 o’ clock, however, I am usually sound asleep by then and would probably sleep through a zombie apocalypse.

Our kids range in age from 10 to 18 years and they have been making noise since about 5 minutes after conception. Our only daughter is the eldest and then we have 3 boys. I don’t know what she did in a past life to deserve them sometimes, but if I had to guess, I would say either she was a slum lord or a very unscrupulous used car salesperson. A little lesson for you…. Karma is apparently forever and quite unforgiving. But I digress.

Being part of a fairly large family, by today’s standards, it is sometimes challenging to control the volume of our existence. To be honest I’m not entirely sure we would even be capable of locating our mute button. Much like unicorns and ogopogos the entire concept of indoor voices and silence seems almost mythical.

So between dogs barking, music blaring, unwatched televisions blasting endless laugh tracks, my husbands air compressor ( which will inexplicably turn itself on for no apparent reason…usually between 2am and 4 am) my sons screaming at their xbox and my yelling for everyone to turn it all down. We are the very definition of a life lived on full blast and in stereo.

I blame myself. Why wouldn’t I? I set the tone. Unfortunately the tone is set at ten. My excuse is simple. My family is incapable of hearing the sound of my voice. I am essentially white noise, elevator music, a sad pantomime in the middle of a dark theater. My regular voice, that ironically is quite audible to those to whom I am not related, to my children, is completely ineffectual.

Now I should qualify that. If I was to say ” who wants their allowance?” In a voice so low that it would barely register to the human ear they will magically appear at my side before I even have time to complete my next thought. However if I was to say “whose turn is it to take out the garbage?” In my regular voice to 4 children within 3 feet of my person, I will generally receive the blank looks usually reserved for those speaking to them in a foreign language.

So how do I respond? Simple. I raise the level of my voice…not right away of course. I try and practice self control. After all we do have neighbours. But there is that limit, that line in the sand that once it has been breached there is no going back. So after I feel there has been a reasonable period of time (usually 1-2 minutes) between request and response and I have received nothing. I feel compelled on an almost cellular level to raise the decibel of my voice to its maximum vocal capacity. This is more commonly known as a yell or a scream depending on the seriousness of the situation.

Am I proud of this? Of course not. Do I live in a constant shame spiral of parenting despair? Sure I do. Do I anticipate Dr. Phil’s producers to approach me to come on his show to stage an intervention. Every single day. Is my voice sometimes so hoarse I talk like I have a 2 pack a day smoking habit? Yes. But what is the solution?

I LIVE A LIFE THAT REQUIRES ALL CAPS COMMUNICATION.

I know in my heart of hearts I am not the only parent in the known universe that fails to censure themselves in the heat of the moment. I have heard the quiet whispers at mommy and me classes that speak of stories similar to mine. I’ve been to Walmart and I’ve dined at McDonald’s. I’ve seen and bared witness to parents whose children have exposed their last nerve and laughed gleefully while doing so. I’m not saying children are bad I’m just saying they seem to casually push our buttons like they are playing with Wii remotes.

So if you are a parent that has experienced the pain and disillusionment that comes from years and years of unrequited validation. I, for one, would like to take this opportunity to validate you. I heard you. I understand. I know you said it in your Barney voice 17 times before you lost your mind and screamed it out in a voice usually reserved for air craft carrier landing strips. I can appreciate how soul sucking it can be to live in a house where unless you are handing out food or money you are about as noticed as a ghost. I get it and I am on your side.

Now I am sure there are psychologists who can present me a litany of useful tools that can equip me with more positive coping strategies. I know these will emphasize the importance of patience and positive reinforcement when dealing with children who are listening challenged. I understand all this. I’ve read the books and I am familiar with Oprah. It’s just that in my house if you aren’t living out loud in techno colour crazy you may get mistaken for a potted plant that never gets watered because some kid says and I quote ” I never heard you ask me to do that.”

 

Posted December 27, 2013 by janyceresh in Uncategorized

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Tea first, panic later.

One girl's story of fighting mental illness in the big city