What’s Going On?

It has been brought to my attention, numerous times by numerous people, that it has been a LONG time (2 months) since I’ve actually posted any significant writing material. And yes, that would be correct. However, we have continued to post our baking recipes regularly which does include some writing. Apparently recipe writing is not considered ‘real writing’. I’d have to agree with that

I want these inquiring folks (you know who you are.. and mom, that includes you) to know it’s not because I didn’t want to write or that I simply gave up my writing. Quite the contraire. I couldn’t write. Let me elaborate. When I started thinking about it I came up with a big long list of excuses reasons why I haven’t written. Hence, here I am writing about… why I haven’t been writing. Interesting.

Let’s go through my list. I’ll keep it short. I’m crazy for details but I’ll spare you what could potentially turn into a very lengthy post. I know for a fact that I could go on and on… and on. I’ll begin with the 2 most severe explanations since they seemed to be the most serious underlying factors for everything that was going on in my life and ultimately responsible for the head space I was in.

Okay… to start,  excuse explanation:

#1. I have been off work since the end of October. I know what you’re thinking. In that case I had oodles of free time to write. Well, I can see how one could think that, however… I was off work on medical leave due to stress. I have a renal (kidney transplant for 17 years now- can read about that here) which puts me in the immune suppressed category. I assign my own categories/lists for everything. This is not such a fun category. This means that something as simple as a flu can cause havoc for my health. And stress, well, stress isn’t good for anyone’s health but can send my health into a fury of problems that are like a domino effect. One thing causes another and so on.  I don’t want to bore you with all of the details or have a pity party for myself (I like parties but not that kind). Dr’s ordered me off work immediately in effort to protect my kidney from going into rejection. She then recommended I should seriously consider finding a different job. ‘What do you mean?.. like a whole new job? Really?’ I asked her, to which she surprisingly responds with, ‘Yes, leave your job. That is if you are interested in living as long as possible. Stress kills and takes years off of your life. Is this job worth that?‘  Wow! Don’t hold back… Tell me how you really feel! So essentially I’m eliminating one stress (my current job) and creating a new stress (searching for a new job). After 10 years with this company. This was so not in my short term plans.


#2. Then there’s the main reason I completely lost all motivation to write. My amazing, inspiring, smarter then anyone I know, most favourite Uncle in the whole wide world lost his battle with cancer on November 11. On Remembrance Day. A day we nationally remember and honour all of our war veterans. This in itself is so fitting because we will obviously never forget my uncle. But more ironic is the fact that he was a huge history buff. He knew every detail of history, politics and war. A few of his uncles fought in WW2 so he was very patriotic and very knowledgable.  I won’t go into great detail, God knows my family and I have grieved and cried in abundance.  Experiencing a loved one’s death is beyond difficult. Add to that me not being in great health myself, tends to dominate your mind with thoughts of immortality and everything associated to it. When his Doctors gave him 2-3 weeks to live, my mom (his only sister) and I went to spend time with him everyday.  I felt it was a real blessing that I was off work and able to spend these last days with him. While this took a toll on me emotionally, it was painfully difficult to see my mom have to watch her brother (and only sibling) die. It was so heartbreaking to know that there was nothing we could do for him except be there with him until the end. Anyone who has lost someone extremely special in their life knows how painful this process is. It’s almost like you’re in a state of shock, it’s not really happening or that it’s all been a mistake and he’s going to surprise us all and get better. You really don’t believe it until it’s over. Even then your brain can’t comprehend it.

You can imagine reason #1 and #2 alone seemed to consume me with constant worry, frustration, anxiety and sadness. So many emotions. Not exactly the stress free time off my Doctors were talking about. As for the writing creative side of things, some would argue that sad and distressing experiences are the best time to engage in writing. They say that’s when musicians seem to create bestselling albums and when authors pen bestselling novels.  Hard times and pain usually create magical art. Art imitates life kinda thing. Or is it life imitating art? Whichever.  For me it is conflicting. My intention for our blog is to talk about my/our life and all the things we love in our life. To have a very happy vibe to it. But another important aspect of the blog is to be honest and real. If being honest means sharing good times it certainly must include sharing hardships as well. I never want to be a Debbie Downer on this blog but I will always be genuine. In life, we have take the good with the bad. That’s life. That’s how we grow. That’s how it’s done.

#3. Then we get to the incidentals, the additional factors that I also had to, uh, deal with. Like there was the whole Christmas holiday thing going on. According to some good ol’ Christmas carols it is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. I’ll pass this year, thanks. It’s not really gonna work for me this year, is what I felt like saying. Couldn’t of been worse timing. I was off work, no cheques = no money, uncle’s passing, my health, and anxiety like I’ve never known. Like really? 

Typically I LOVE the Christmas holidays. This year was hard to mask the grief and sadness. Our family did our best for the sake of my young niece and nephew. Christmas is for kids after all. I can’t tell you how much it helped being around those 2 little people during the holidays. They gave the rest of us the strength to get through it. They were like our little bright shining stars during a very difficult season.  Since there was no stopping Christmas from coming, there was all of that Christmas-y stuff that MUST be done. Stuff like entertaining, shopping, baking, decorating, celebrations… you know, all of those damn traditions that I normally thrive doing every year! There was nothing on that Christmas to do list that I really felt like doing. I was all like ‘Ba Hum Bug Y’all’ but I forged through with them anyway. I’m a trooper, I know.

On the Christmas to do list was the entertaining, which I did as little of as possible, almost nil really. The shopping, it was something I dreaded doing but I managed to go out begrudgingly on Christmas Eve with a brutal migraine and a kidney infection no less and got it all done. Fabulous!  It was so enjoyable feeling like hell while out shopping with all of the other cranky frantic annoying last minute shoppers. The best.  Than there’s the baking, which I forced myself  to do with Natasha for our regular blog posts. Admittedly Natasha did the majority. Bless her pretty little heart. She’s my sweetie. Our blog baking posts process is typically a 4-5 hour procedure which consists of: recipe researching, ingredient shopping, testing, baking, kitchen cleanup, baked goods photo session, photo editing, then finally the actual recipe post. Oddly enough I preferred to do all of that instead of sitting down for an hour to write a blog post that wasn’t a recipe! Weird right?

#4. Then my son went back east (Ontario) with his dad to visit his side of the family for a week during Christmas. I know right! Poor poor me. I was sad. Silently sad.  I say silently because my sane self was truly happy he got to experience winter and Christmas where his father and I grew up. I’ve always wanted that for both of my kids. My insane selfish self was dreadfully heartbroken about the whole thing. I kept my composure when I dropped him off at the airport. I put on my big brave mommy face, gave him a big hug and kiss, told him I loved him, sent him on his way. Got back in the car with Natasha and cried like a baby on the drive home. I can’t help it. I adore my kids and want them home with me as much as possible. This was the first Christmas I haven’t had both kids. With me already being in such an emotional and unhealthy state it was more difficult then I had anticipated. Regardless of how long their father and I have been divorced, I still have 20 years of special memories with my ex and his family. With my son spending part of the holidays with them I couldn’t help but reminisce of all of the previous Christmas’ shared with my ex’ side of the family. Christmas is an emotional time of the year overall for many people. I’m one of  ‘those’ many people. Infact I’m a fairly emotional type year round, it just gets amped way up during the holidays. I’m the worst. I’m the type that cries at concerts, live shows, movies, SPCA animal commercials, songs, anything really. I have teared up at rock concerts watching my favourite bands. It’s quite embarrassing. And I may or may not have been caught with a couple of tears while watching an episode of The Real Housewives. Yeah, that might’ve happened. 

#5. Then there’s Superhero Angry Birds. Yes. The game. I’ve got issues, no doubt. Turned out to be a very big distraction for me. Weird since I typically hate playing any video games. But I may possibly have an addiction. Angry Birds rehab? Just sayin. Thanks to my mom for introducing me to this Angry Bird game. Every time I did sit down at the computer or ipad with the intent to write even a sentence or 2 for the blog, I’d get all side tracked and preoccupied. I’d bypass my writing and be all up in Angry Birds land. It’s like some weird spell came over me. I’m guessing it was the ‘avoid facing reality’ spell. The next thing you know, 2 hours have just flew by. And what had I accomplished?  Some pretty damn high scores that’s what. I so have to beat my previous score.

#6. I’m sure there are at least 5 more ‘explanations’ I could add to this list. But I really have to draw the line somewhere. Things like, I never got a pay check for 2 months from the insurance company. My mom was dealing with extreme high blood pressure. Ex boyfriends contacting me out of the blue. Like wtf?  I’ve had the worst sleep insomnia I’ve ever experienced.  Lets not even get started on anxiety. On and on. Good times.

I had all of these thoughts and emotions crammed in my brain. Trying to make sense of everything that was going on around me, my emotions, dealing with death, figuring out how to make major life changes with my job/career and what my plan of action should be to get myself back on track. So much so that it seemed to paralyze my writing ability. Writers block? All of these contributing factors made me feel like one gigantic stress case/nut job. Totally unable to put any thoughts down in writing that resembled anything coherent.

Today I decided to finally share. I’ve been able to step back and clear my mind, somewhat. Get my thoughts on track. I managed to get a new job with a different company. That is one huge stress relief ! I will tell you all about it in another post.

So that’s whats been going on in my life. What’ve you been up to? Have you ever had numerous stresses in your life all at once? I’d love to hear your stories. For real, I’d love to hear from you!

Laura xo