Gimme Some Love

IMG_6142

Love is in the air…and on the door!

It’s the season of love so we are gearing up for Valentine’s Day!

This idea has been floating around social media for a few weeks.  I’m not sure of the original source as so many people have shared it and reposted it.  My sincere thanks to whomever the brilliant, innovative person is who thought this up.

Here’s how it works. Starting February 1st, every night while they are sleeping, you tack a heart to your child’s bedroom door professing what you love about them.  Super simple to do and the impact is huge!  Here are some example of what I have written:

You are a really good friend.

You always look after everyone and make sure they’re okay.

We are so proud of you.  Proud of who you are.  Proud of what you do.

You are so artistic!  Your art is amazing!

You are beautiful, inside and out!

My children wake up so excited to see what has been added to their doors.  A little tidbit of love to start their day off on the right foot and fill them with all of my love.  The bonus is that it delays the sibling fighting for all of five minutes! Hahaha!  But seriously, it is a little thing that warms them and reminds them how much we love them.

You could do this for your significant other too!  You could tape hearts full of love on the bathroom mirror for them to read while getting ready in the morning or maybe sneak them into their bag/purse or tape them to the dashboard of their car. That would be such a nice surprise!

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?  How do you show your love?

© The Flip of the Switch, February 2016.

Wild & Untethered

fog in the morning

When I was a child, there were no seat belts, car seats or power windows.
When I was a child, our family spent Sundays driving along dirt roads listening to the eight track, pulling over occassionally to pick up fallen acorns.
When I was a child, I drank from a beer bottle and stayed up late playing cards with the neighbours.
When I was a child, we jumped from rooftops, ran free through the neighbourhood and soared off swings.
When I was a child, twilight was my curfew and the village raised me.
When I was a child, I ran outside in my socks and swam in ditches during a good rainstorm.
When I was a child, I spent weekends at the drive in, swung from a tire and ate mud pies.
When I was a child, toxicity was everywhere;  we breathed deep, licked the walls and survived to talk about it.
When I was a child, raw hot dogs and cookie dough were staples in my diet.
When I was a child, I got my vitamin C from Tang and everything else from a Flinstone vitamin.
When I was a child, I was free from societal confines and ludicrous expectations.

I was a free spirit, wild and untethered.

It is unfortunate that many of today’s children will never experience such a liberating childhood. They are too busy being strapped down securely in their car seats, frying their brains on electronics and eating organic food out of BPA free Tupperware. One day they will long for excitement and danger. I hope they wear a helmet.

© The Flip of the Switch, February 2016.

Announcing the Nominees for the VBA

Vintage studio mic

It is with deep gratitude that I proudly announce that Laura Lecce from Laura Lecce’s Art & Photography has nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you so much Laura.

Laura’s use of colour and technique in exploring her worldview is captivating.  I encourage you to visit Laura’s page to find daily inspiration and colours beyond your imagination.  Of course, if you have never seen a kookaburra, The King of the Aussie Bush, you need to go there straightaway as I had no idea this is what they looked like and I was in awe to discover their regality.  It is one of my favourite posts of Laura’s. Thank you Laura, for your nomination and for your continued contributions to making our world so much brighter with your artistic talent.

The Versatile Blogger Award asks that you tell your nominator seven things about yourself.

  1. I shoot from the hip; I tell it like it is.  Love me or hate me.
  2. My favourite foods are lasagna and chocolate.
  3. I am Canadian.
  4. I love Taylor Swift.
  5. I am currently watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager on Netflix.
  6. I love Game of Thrones and House of Cards.
  7. I was loving Scandal but could no longer tolerate all of Olivia Pope’s crying. #crybaby

There you have it.  The deep, dark secrets of The Flip of the Switch!

Upon acceptance of the Versatile Blogger Award, I must nominate other bloggers whom I follow and love.  Please visit their blogs, you won’t be disappointed.  In no particular order, I nominate:

  1. S.K. Nicholas, A Journal for Damned Lovers
    • S.K. Nicholas takes my breath away.  Go there now.  Trust me.  This is the blog that I look for every day.
  2. No Page Left Blank
    • TraceyLynnTobin recounts her experience with gastrointestinal hell in the heart of the Alberta oil sands.  Her tenacity is inspiring.  You will never look at a bus ride the same.
  3. Life After 50
    • Lynn is the brilliant author behind Life After 50.  Full of her wisdom on aging, parenting, gratitude and life’s ups and downs, I know that I can rely on Lynn to share her deepest compassion and understanding. Thank you Lynn.
  4. Smiling in the Winter
    • A versatile blog about parenting, being a mom, affluence and what to do when your husband gives you a vacuum for Christmas!
  5. In the Big Tall Pines
    • One woman’s journey through marriage, the birth of her daughter and the contemplation of divorce.  Raw, honest, heart breaking, inspiring, hopeful.
  6. The Bag of Nerves Lady
    • Sheilagh is an eighty year old trapped in a twenty three year old’s body!  She is wise beyond her years and eloquently tells her story of life with anxiety, panic and emetophobia.  Thank you for shining the light on mental illness Sheilagh.
  7. Oh My GAD
    • Miss Aligned and I are soul sisters sharing a walk down this bumpy path of anxiety and panic.  If we knew each other in the “real world”, we would share our gut wrenching turmoils while sipping martinis under a big willow tree.
  8. Perfect Panicky
    • All about how our parents influence us and how those influences can lead to anxiety.  Shining a much needed light on how relationships impact our mental health.  Total honesty, shooting from the hip.

There you have it. My nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award.

What are you waiting for?  Get reading! 🙂

 

© The Flip of the Switch, February 2016.

 

 

Time

Antique pocket watch.

Time.

The most valuable commodity ever known to mankind.

Time can be squandered.  Wasted.

Time can be valued.  Cherished.

A commonality all humans possess.

A singular guiding principle that unites us.

An undeniable reality.

We are all driven by time.

Time to work.

Time to commute.

Time to meet a deadline.

Time to get to school.

Time for hockey.

Time for dance.

Time for dinner.

Time to pray.

Time for bed.

We pray that we are blessed with time to do it all over again tomorrow.

The reality however, is that we are all running out of time.

Time is often taken for granted.

Tick tock.

Tick tock.

They say the days are long and the years go by fast.

I can attest to this.  I cannot believe the speed at which my children are growing. In the blink of an eye, they will be in high school, then university, then married, then I will hopefully be blessed with grandchildren (God willing).

They are growing at the speed of light.

Time is zooming by, I can’t catch my breath.

I want to stop time.

Cuddle my babies a little longer.

Travel a little further.

Love a little longer, a little deeper.

Make a difference; leave my footprint on this world.

Time.

Tick tock.

Tick tock.

Savour the time you have been given.

It is a blessing.

Do not squander it.

Cherish it.

For in the blink of an eye, it will all be over.

 

 

© The Flip of the Switch, January 2016.

 

 

Canadian Pride

happy friends watching hockey game on skating rink

 

I am Canadian.

As such, my son was born wearing hockey skates.

Hockey is in his blood.  He lives and breathes hockey.  When he is not on the ice, he is thinking about the next time he will be on the ice.  He could also be outside playing road hockey or mini sticks with his friends.  He could be playing NHL 16 on the Playstation with a group of neighbourhood friends.

Like I said, it is in his blood.

He dreams of becoming an NHL player and I support all of his dreams.

He is a defenceman.  A truly thankless position.  He wouldn’t change it for anything.  He loves being a defenceman.  He defends the team at all costs; protects the goalie and his crease;  and rushes the puck to score.  End to end.

I will cheer from the sidelines, so proud of my son.  So proud of our team.

I will be radiating pride.

Our team is full of boys who are passionate, dedicated and have such good hearts.  They are learning important life skills together;  as individuals and as a team.  Skills and lessons they cannot learn from their parents or in a classroom. Our coaches teach our children these lessons and for that, we are eternally grateful.

Today, the playoffs start!  It is a big deal!  The team has worked hard to get to this point. It is their time to shine!

I have to go put on my jersey and playoff scarf.  Wear the colours of our team with pride.  Pack my cowbell.  Oh yes, this is going to be a great day!  Today, wherever you are, you may indeed hear me cheering with pride for my son and our team.

Win or lose, they will do it as a team.

No one has ever won a hockey game alone.

Teamwork.

Unparalleled teamwork.

Unparalleled pride.

 

© The Flip of the Switch, January 2016.

 

 

 

Wishes & Dreams

field of dandelion in sunset - bokeh and allergy

 

Daily gratitude can alter your thought patterns and your outlook on life. With that in mind, I have been trying to acknowledge all of the blessings in my life on a daily basis.  Two of my greatest blessings are my children. Thinking of my children, the lives they will lead, the adventures they will experience and all they will become, makes me smile.  I am truly blessed.

For my children.

I wish you a long life full of love, happiness and crimson sunsets.

I wish you a life of compassion;  showing deep love and grace to others, just as I hope you are treated with compassion and kindness.

I wish you peace, serenity and a calm mind;  a mind that is still and does not rush to panic. Tranquility is necessary for your spirit to soar.

I wish you good health;  take care of your mind, body and your spirit.  Listen to the messages your body sends you.

I wish you true friendship. Real, loving, fulfilling friendship.  It doesn’t come along very often so when it does, hang on to it and cherish it.  Those friends, your dearest friends, will be by your side through all the curves in the road;  the good;  the not so good. Celebrate with them;  cry with them. Make sure they know you love them and appreciate them.

I wish you adventure.  Go backpacking.  Ride roller coasters. Climb a mountain. Our beautiful world is waiting for you to explore it.

I wish you time. Time with your family; time with your own children;  time to stop and smell the roses;  time to read a good book;  time to reflect on and appreciate the blessings in your life.

I wish you hope.  I wish you hope in your yourself;  hope in others; hope in our world. Never surrender your hope.  It is something we all need to survive and thrive.  It is something that can never be taken from you.

I wish you character.  Be strong;  be noble;  be a role model.  Be respectful, be kind, be loving.  Be who you are meant to be.

I wish you strength, determination, perseverance and patience; especially with yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

I wish you love.  Deep, fulfilling love.  The kind of love that takes your breath away; makes your heart skip a beat;  sweeps you off your feet; makes your soul sing.  Hang onto it. Cherish it.  If you lose it, it wasn’t meant to be.  Remember it for how it made you feel but do not grieve for its loss. You will love again and be loved by many, for you are spectacular.

I wish you quiet moments to watch the trees blow in the wind, to watch the clouds sail by, to watch the flowers bloom.  It is these quiet moments that you will hear yourself; when life will make sense;  where stillness will lead to answers.

Trust yourself.

Believe in yourself, just as I believe in you.

I believe you can do anything;  be anything.

Reach for the stars, follow your dreams and be proud of who you are and what you become.  I am already so proud of you.  I am proud to be your mom.

I love you with all of my heart and soul.  You are the reason I was born.  You are the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing I think of before I fall asleep.

You.

My children.

My wishes and dreams.

 

© The Flip of the Switch, January 2016.

 

The Great Outdoors

girl outside winter with cup of hot drink

Get outdoors.

I don’t care if all you do is throw on your bathrobe and slippers and stand outside your front door for five minutes.

Do it.

Do it now.

Think about this for a minute.  When do you feel your best?

It occurred to me today that lately, I feel my best when I am either (a) busy and accomplishing something or (b) when I am outdoors.

Fresh air and sunshine can truly have an immediate impact on your mood; your outlook; your self esteem; your thoughts.

Breathe it in.  Do you feel that?

Fresh, crisp air.

Look around you.

Take it all in.

What do you see?

The trees.  The sunshine. The clouds.  People running errands.  Children playing in the snow.

What do you smell?

The crisp air of winter.  A burning fire.  Maybe someone is baking cookies for an after school treat.

What do you hear?

Children laughing.  Birds singing. The snow quietly falling upon the glistening ground.

Give your brain a rest from the worry; the anxiety; the panic; the constant state of heightened awareness and catastrophic arousal.

For even just a few minutes, stand outside or go for a walk and try to tune out all of the exhausting thoughts.  Try to focus on the little things around you that usually go unnoticed.

Even in your bathrobe.

Even for just a few minutes.

Your mind will thank you.

 

© The Flip of the Switch, January 2016.