Wondering? Don’t. I am childfree by choice, and love it!

Saw this, and while I don’t normally share things on my personal page that make it really clear that I am childfree by choice, I couldn’t resist! I shared it, and the response has been fantastic. This is by CBC’s comedy page, and I LOVED it.

I am who I am, and my choice does not mean you made the wrong choice. Everyone’s decisions are personal to them, and choosing something different isn’t a judgement on your decision! Why can’t people live and let live? Jesus. OH and for reference, I had a pretty serious family rift this year when my parents decided that ‘I’ owe them grandchildren. Wrong wrong wrong wrong WRONG. We are currently  not speaking, by my choice. Maybe in a year, we can reconnect and laugh about it?! 🙂 But there are none so blind as those who will not see.

baby-flowchart

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Is this the part where I get all I ever wanted? Who said that? Weekend update!

Yes, a weekend of so many updates- chiefly because SO much happened!

Friday night my husband and I finally went out to use our gift certificate to a fancy restaurant- Il Terrazo, and it was amazing! We had been meaning to go there since September, can you believe it? I had bread, tapenade, we shared an appetizer of grilled scallops, tuna, seaweed and cucumber salad. For my main, I enjoyed a very fulsome ciopinno. I couldn’t finish it!

I remember Friday night as the first night all week I felt like I actually slept.

Saturday was the big day. I was a ball of anxiety. I ended up dragging my poor husband around with me for the whole day (this would also be true for Sunday as well…). We first got gas, I went riding, we went to the feed store to buy grain, then he provided moral support for me as I went and had coffee with my parents, launching what was probably the most difficult discussion I have ever had with another person in my entire life.

It was hard. It was unpleasant. It was important. It was cathartic. It was necessary.

Telling your parents, firmly and honestly, that you are not having children and therefore they do not get grandchildren is so hard, but I needed to be heard, and they deserved my honesty- not to get ignored, get swept under the rug again, put off for another time. No. This time it’s for real.

They were sad, and cried. I wasn’t. I finally felt free.

I went home and bailed out on my friend’s birthday party- it was just going to be too draining, and I also had my VIRA 8k race the next morning even! I needed some time to recover (oh, and drink wine…oops). My nutrition that day consisted of pancakes for breakfast, pancakes with smarties and peanut butter for lunch, and wine. Oh and chocolate too. Dinner was better, a stir-fry…with two peanut-butter cupcakes for dessert. Whoops!

Emotional eating for the win!

At least I had a stir fry?

And on Sunday, after racing, enjoying a beer at Category 12, falling unceremoniously off my horse, I went with my husband to go see La La Land. I liked it, and enjoyed watching it more than I thought (I have a notoriously difficult time watching movies. I can’t sit still for that long, get fidgety, need many breaks, etc) so getting me out to a movie is kind of a big deal, haha.

It was still about 15 minutes too long, in my opinion.

And that wraps up my insanely busy wknd! I sometimes feel as if I live enough on weekends for most peoples weeks 😉

If I fall, let me go

I’ve probably alluded to this in the past, but I do not have a super fantastic family relationship. I have had my fair share of emotional trauma courtesy of my family, and I love them despite this. It makes it hard to enjoy the holidays, and hard to spend time with them a lot, because of the bad shit that has gone down in the past.

I now must do a kindness, and it’s going to look like a lot of pain and hurt. But trust me, making someone very clear about who you are, and what you are doing is very kind:

Luxury goods are only consumed when we’ve got enough. You shouldn’t go shopping for a Birkin bag with your last dollar.

It’s easy to believe that kindness is like that. We need more reserves, perhaps, before we can expend some of what we’ve got in this generous way.

You’ve had a hard day, it’s raining out, the world is changing, your boss is mean to you, the checking account is overdrawn, you’re on deadline…

But… Does every need have to be filled, every emotion in place before we’re capable of being kind?

Do we have to have enough money, enough confidence about the future and enough of everything else we crave before we can find the space to offer someone else a hand?

It turns out that the opposite is true. That kindness is a foundation for the rest. That investing time and resources in extending ourselves shifts the rest of our needs in precisely the right direction, not only putting us closer to satisfying those other needs, but enjoying the journey as well.

Kindness rewards the giver as well.

Lately, I have been struggling again, chiefly because I feel disrespected as a woman, as an independent thinker, and that my entire ‘personhood’ is diminished and made powerless by them (my parents).

I hate it. I’m having a rough week dealing with this, and it 100% distracted me yesterday at work so I made some pretty big screwups. It also affected my riding lesson, as I was literally shaking with rage. Thankfully, because I have been working on managing my emotions in the saddle, all it meant was that I needed to do some mindless jump-jump-jump and nothing too technical. My coach understood what I needed, and I didn’t come out to my lesson with angst in my hands and a chip on my shoulder to take out on Oats. I’ve stopped that now.

It boils down to this- when someone says they do not want children, believe them.

Why push, force, coerce or judge? Why try and manipulate? Why go behind my back? What is the end goal here? Someone who has kids and hates them, is resentful of them, doesn’t want them. Why would that be a desired result? It’s not fair for anyone, least of all the child.

It’s not up for debate. It’s not up to YOU to choose for them. You can say what you want, ONCE, and leave it alone. And you can feel however you wish, I’m not here to stop anyone’s feelings.

I’m being pressured and threatened. I’m going to put a stop to it on Saturday, on a day I have deemed my personal rubicon. I wish I didn’t have to, confrontation is the least of what I like, but now it’s become perfectly clear- I must do this now, and fast, and get ahead of this issue. I have discussed this with my equine counselor, and we have worked on a simple strategy to manage this issue in a calm, firm manner. No apologies, no anger, no defensiveness.

They can’t pretend not to hear me, or ignore me outright, when I am in their face telling them it’s either this, or they lose a daughter too.

 

Christmas aftermath

Man, so many things. Good and bad. I enjoyed my time off, considering I was in a spectacularly grouchy/depressed mood, I was in a WAY better mind frame to celebrate.

We went to Ucluelet for a few days to decompress before the family madness began, and then celebrated Christmas Eve at my husband’s parents farm, which was nice. We then had Christmas breakfast and then Christmas dinner at MY parents, which was also good. My gifts were lovely, my husband got me everything I wanted and I really loved the cool and unique gifts my sister, parents and stable friends gave me. WOW so generous!

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Yes I am wearing a grumpy cat Xmas sweater! Featuring new boots for Oats, love them so much.

I also did some Boxing Day shopping and bought myself another pair of running shoes (I know I know, I have like 10 pairs now..eek) and some cool funky clothes (I also have too many of those, haha).

I ate too much, went to two parties in one night, drank too much (again) and ran a lot and also rode Oats five days in a row, gave him three days off, and now tonight will be day 4 in a row he gets ridden! That pony gets a lotta love, gotta say it, haha. He also enjoyed a home-made cookie from one of the girls are the barn and he gobbled it up in RECORD time.

No Xmas is complete without some holiday drama, and it led me to realize my new year’s resolution is to not whitewash what I want out of life. Not whitewash WHO I am anymore.

I will finish with this- as I go into the new year, I’m planning on setting the slate clean with a few people (my parents). I want to go into a fresh year unencumbered by people’s expectations of me.

I have a dog, horse, rabbit and husband because I love and cherish all of them, and they all add value and joy to my life. I would never presume anyone needed any of those items or animals to make their lives whole. This is my experience.

Please do not assume I need children to make my life whole. That is your experience. I do not need convincing, judgement, argument or debate to ‘make me change my mind’. I don’t think everyone needs a dog, horse or husband to fully experience life–why do people think that about kids? Just stop.

In 2017, I am going to be clear about what I want with the people I love and am closest to. If that means they are upset with me, so be it. I am going to focus on what is most important to me, and maintain my priorities and my sense of self the only way I know how- with resolve and resolution.

So, I guess that’s my NYE resolution right there. I also really want to start planning my next exciting big trip and can’t figure out where I want to go/do next. Africa maybe??

A Crabsgiving to be thankful for!

This year, we wanted to try something different–a trip to Port Angeles to take part in their annual Crab Fest on Thanksgiving weekend!

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Crab Fest weekend!

(that was why I was in such a panic to find my passport a few weeks ago)

We headed out to the ferry in the pouring rain. It was just hammering down this past Saturday and because a lot of people go to Crab Fest, we ended up in line outdoors for over an hour waiting to clear customs. We got pretty soaked, even with an umbrella…

The ferry itself (Black Ball line) was absolutely packed. People didn’t have seats! It was kind of a hassel and a long way to Port Angeles. Once we got to Port Angeles, it is very easy to get around; everything is within walking distance (ferry, town, hotel/motels, shopping, Crab Fest, the pier, the aquarium!!!).

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A ride on the ferry

We first grabbed lunch at Crab Fest and we had southwestern chili and dungeness mac’n’ cheese- it was GOOD! I could eat a vat of it! Then we headed out to the Feiro Marine Life Centre to grab at some touch pools and check out their octopus. She was really interesting, huge, white and sleepy. The volunteers assured us that the octopus was just resting, and when they opened her tank, she changed red instantly. Neat eh?

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Ian and the ‘rocktopus’

Our motel was nothing to write home about, zero-frills and too $$ for what you get, but ehhh it was clean at least? No hot water in the showers though, and it was CHILLY in Port Angeles for the whole time we were there. I did pick up some pumpkin-spiced hard ciders at their natural food market and boy those are good. Canada we are missing out!

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A huge paella- my dream!!

We then went back to Crab Fest to enjoy our crab dinners- we each got a whole crab, a cob of corn and coleslaw. I tossed the coleslaw (yuck) but the crab was great and so was the corn. Yum! It was sooooo busy- in fact my one issue with Crab Fest was how packed it was, made it hard to enjoy browsing the tent because it was just one huge mass of people, all day.

We visited a local brewpub after and grabbed a drink there, and then called it a night.

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Intense concentration while crab fishing.

The next day, we ate at a local breakfast joint and wow–sooooo good. My breakfast was carmelized bananas with cream cheese and orange – cinnamon syrup and I can 100% recommend it. I was full the whole day!

We then went back to Crab Fest and I took part in the Crab Derby- you pay $5, and fish for 10 minutes in the tanks for crabs. If you hook them, they cost $15 each if you want to keep it. I got one and they were tricky to catch actually!

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Weekend= success (even if it was coooollddd).

Then it was home on the ferry with my cooked & cleaned crab and away we go. We also had with us doughnuts from Cock-a-Doodle-Doughnuts (sooooo good) and flamin’ hot Funyuns to round out the weekend of gluttony!

As soon as we got home, we zipped off to my in-laws farm for Thanksgiving, and then on Monday to my parents on Thanksgiving. Crazy weekend eh? Barely enough time to ride ol’ Oats (with my saddle fixed up!!! yes!!) on Monday! He was great though, silly old guy.

When I was a God

From watching Futurama last night, and it was a surprisingly introspective episode. I know, right?

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Dad, daughter and horse.

My family has come and gone (not for good though, they will be back forever in a few months!) and I tried fairly hard to be reasonable and not too snappy, though you always hurt the ones you love, the hardest…Oh well, I was better this time than others, and maybe in the future I will be better and more understanding.

We did a ton of activities, so many activities! From walking in Witty’s Lagoon, to hiking Mt. Doug in a dangerous windstorm with my mom, visiting the farm, to happy hour with my parents, to watch a winning Royals Game this past weekend, swimming, seafood feast, Mexican food, Beer & Fish night, live music, riding my horse (just me this time since my mom broke her arm really badly last time!), to looking at houses and them eventually buying one! I was exhausted!

Maybe all of that was why the half marathon wasn’t the ‘winningest’ of my races, but hey, you gotta live your life, right?

And I try to make sure I live EVERY MOMENT OF IT/

But yes today my legs finally feel like they belong to me, and not some sad broken wooden puppet! I have been a bit burned out, a bit tired but not as strangely tired as last week, so that is a win for me.

And how is Mr. Oaty? He is going great, I’m the one that is moving stiffly and hobbling! We had some really excellent lessons last week in both dressage and jumping, and then Saturday my parents came to watch him go- he was lovely.

Monday I rode, after we had the race on Sunday and wowww….It was pretty awful. I was moving stiffly and barely managed a 10-15 minute ride. To be fair, the hardest part of the ride was tacking up, bending down and walking to the arena.

Tuesday I tried again and was a bit more successful- we worked on two jumps on the diagonals, and I was quite strict with myself about straightness. We halted after the one diagonal line on and off, trying to keep Oats working with me and not anticipating the turn, as I LOVE to.

Today, time off from riding and give my legs a chance to rest up for tomorrow!

 

Miniature Tigers

This week…Wow, this week.

Busy. Rode Tuesday, not in a dressage lesson, and was thinking I probably should have left what I was asking Oats for IN a dressage lesson, it went that poorly. Well at first it went well, and then I had to go and push the envelope and was a bit unprepared for him to over-give and then get pissy with me about it! Ah…it’s a learning experience I guess?! Note to self: When he gives you good lateral work for awhile, don’t push it on your own yet!

So, yeah. That. My dad also flew in from Ontario that evening at 11:30pm!

Wednesday we had the Foxstone Awards Night banquet at the Quamichan Inn. I’d volunteered to drive, and wow…Was kind of regretting the whole night driving. It was SO stormy, and crazy dangerous on the roads. POURING rain, the car was hydroplaning on the Malahat, visibility was so poor, and we saw two accidents, and like 5 cars pulled over…Jesus.

I drove extremely carefully and white-knuckled it the whole way. Glad to be alive.

The banquet was fine, I was still feeling a bit put-out by dropping down from reserve champ to third 😦 it is quite a demotion. Ahhhh….

I got all of us home safely, thank god, and had a glass of wine sitting on my couch at home. It was a very hairy experience.

Thursday, I had my jump night lesson! I had promised my dad I’d try to get home early (so, before 8pm), a message that somehow didn’t translate to them letting me know where they were going to be in the evening, so when I got home to an empty house, hungry, I had NO idea where they were, and nobody was answering their cell phones, despite multiple texts and calls. Needless to say, I was pissed off and hungry!

We sorted it out and I joined them for one drink and some live music at the Fernwood Inn, and it was really good-surprisingly! I normally am not a fan of a lot of ‘open mic’ nights because they tend to..suck sometimes…but these guys were spot-on!

And my jump lesson went well, Oats was hard to get motivated though and we are experiencing some real frustrations in terms of landing ON THE RIGHT LEAD GODDAMMIT~ Even on a circle? What is this, horse??!

But he’s a cheery fellow, and didn’t take it too hard. Ha, things to work on…Along with me using the crop even more judiciously to get him motivated. Well, to give him credit, he jumped an interesting looking jump without even a second glance. Good pony! Now, land on the right lead for once and I will be even happier with you!