Archive for the ‘The Happy Sad Things’ Category

June 29, 2012
Filed Under (Family, Good Times, The Happy Sad Things) by svana

I am utterly gobsmacked.

On June 29, 1999 my wee girl came into the world. Today she becomes a teenager. I’m torn between being the supportive Mom who has absolute, utter pride of watching this extraordinary child take her first steps toward adulthood and the Mommy who could fix any wrong in the world with hugs and kisses.  These are the days where I feel the need to check my expiration date, because pretty soon she won’t need my guidance or advice…or that’s the way it may feel.

So, while I have the chance… I’d like to hand off a bit of wisdom that she may or may not take.

Thirteen things to know as you turn 13:

1) No one person has all the answers.

Kiddo, you are going to meet people that seem to know exactly all the right things to say at the right times and seem to have all the answers. The truth is, only you will have all the answers you need for your path. Taking one person’s truth and re-making yourself to fit that truth is the greatest lie and disservice you could ever do to yourself. Trust your own wisdom, because ultimately, it will be you walking the path and you will need to choose your shoes for that journey.


2) Opinions are like assholes…everyone has got one.

Not everyone is going to agree with you or you with them. If we all agreed on everything, there would be no growth, no forward motion and no dreams. You know what your deal breakers are, respect that others have deal breakers too. You have every right to your opinion and feel free to defend your opinions. You are smart enough to know how to defend your ideology and beliefs without beating someone into a pulpy mass. Have fewer battles and more debates.


3) Never date a guy who wears white pants.

I’m very happy to be proven wrong on this point, but it has been my experience that any guy in the Canadian climate who wears white pants is someone who can’t be trusted.


4) Guys who spend more time in front of the mirror than you do…avoid them like the plague.

Invariably, any guy who spends more time making himself pretty is either a narcissist or really insecure. Either way, dating a guy like that is exhausting, and really pointless. You spend your time reassuring them or propping their ego up…constantly. Ask yourself: if looks are that important to the person you are with, what is underneath all that? It doesn’t matter how pretty the cake is, if it leaves a bad taste in your mouth…why bother?


5) One true best friend trumps 20 faux friends.

People are going to come and go through your life for various reasons. Your best friend should be someone you can trust without reservation. This type of relationship doesn’t just “happen”, it takes time, trust and effort on both sides. Aside from your Dad, I have one Best Friend and a number of people that come damn close to being a best friend.  I would far rather have one or two people who are close to me and care about me than 20 people that don’t really care, but say they do.


6) Popularity is a lie.

Wearing the “right” clothes, having the “right” hair style, hanging out with the “right” people…it’s a lie. Every step you take away from being the person you know yourself to be in order to fit in with the popular crowd, the harder it is to navigate through the coming years. Don’t discard who you are for what someone else tells you should be.


7) Keep a journal.

Find a time to write down what happened in the day. Take the time to vent, celebrate, ruminate, laugh and mull over. Do it in your own hand, in a bound book that you can revisit as you need to. Your memories are precious and being able to look back at what has happened allows you to see how much you’ve grown.


8) Let your freak flag fly!

Being brave isn’t always easy, but it is easier than trying to be something you are not.  Be who you are…without limits.


9) Words count…use yours wisely.

As we well know, words can hurt or heal. Knowing what words mean is important but even more so, how to apply those words. Anyone can cuss and swear, those words don’t take all that much imagination. We’ll get you a Chambers Dictionary…and failing that, look to Shakespeare if you want to tell someone off. Having said that, once those words pass your lips you can’t take them back. Try to look beyond your initial indignation and try to determine whether or not it is really important for you to tell someone off.


10) Beauty is not on the outside.

At first glance, some people look beautiful, some look average, some look plain and some look pretty rough. However, as you get to know these people, your idea of beauty will transform. The most beautiful person in the world, visually, could have the blackest soul…and as you get to see more of that, you become aware of how ugly that person truly is.

Compassion, generosity, wit and humour are qualities that mature but do not age. They never get wrinkles and when these qualities are coupled with beautiful soul, you have timeless beauty.

As the old saying goes, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.


11) I will scare all your boyfriends.

This is a fact. It’s not Dad they’ll need to watch out for, it’s me. If I scare them away, they are not worthy of you.


12) If your Dad says, “I don’t like the way that guy treats you”

Your Dad is a gentleman, as such, he believes that a woman is to be treated with respect. If your Dad has seen something that has bothered him enough to speak up and step into a place where he feels he must say something to you about how you are being treated…Pay attention, he is not speaking from a knee jerk reaction, but from a place of observation.


13) We love you, no matter what.

We are not always going to agree with choices you make, but we will always support you in the choices you make for yourself.  You are our child, and we will always love you. We will do our level best to back off and let you scrape your knees, watch you grow in your best direction and watch you make your own big decisions. There will be some tears as the years go by, but I’m confident that the tears will be dulled by laughter.


At the end of all this…

I could not be more proud of the person you are and I am blessed to be your Mom.

Happy 13th!


I love you forever and always.



January 09, 2012
Filed Under (The Happy Sad Things, You don't say...?) by svana

Yet again my technical ineptitude has hit an all time high.

Must be the lack of uterus. Yes, I do believe that not having a uterus is to blame. Never mind all the tripe floating around the internet about feeling like less of a woman because you’re missing a part of your body that defines you as being a “woman”. Honestly, I still have my damn ovaries and they remind me often enough that I’m still a woman….failing that, I have 9 cats that feel compelled to stomp on my breasts at 3:00 in the morning when they want attention… If that doesn’t cover my “woman-ness”, I have a husband who still, after 13 years, looks at me like I’m the next best thing to a grilled cheese. (I have been corrected, “A havarti and hot genoa salami grilled cheese sandwich”)

The last year was filled with all sorts of changes, some good and some not so good.

We lost our beloved fur person, Mousie and we lost our beloved Nanny. I’d like to think that the two of them are hanging out together somewhere, enjoying the sunshine.

We welcomed two new feral kittens into our home. We looked forward to new paths, new technologies and new addictions…like the App Store, iTunes and yarn. And damn if I didn’t misplace that pesky uterus somewhere in the vicinity of the hospital. If anyone sees it trying to find it’s way home…direct it south….way south.

I hope 2012 continues as it has started, filled with discovery, joy, laughter, family and dear friends…both four footed and two footed. I know irreverance is my reverance, and that is something that will not change. Love me or hate me, but Ruthless Compassion is back in business….and if you don’t like what I write, feel free to move along, this isn’t about you…it’s about me.

October 17, 2008
Filed Under (HUH?, The Happy Sad Things) by svana

Lately, I haven’t been feeling much like myself.

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September 04, 2008
Filed Under (Good Times, The Happy Sad Things) by svana

Before becoming a parent, I really didn’t get the whole “back to school” thing. Why on earth would parents get teary eyed and hyper because their children went back to school? The shopping, haircuts and the dreaded First Day of School.

My daughter’s first day of Kindergarten was filled with elation and joy. She was thrilled to be going to school…how long could that last, I wondered. Every day was met with the same excitement for learning. I’ll admit, we started building it up in late August with the new stuff for school. The pristine Pooh Bear pencil case filled with new pencils, erasers, pencil crayons and wax crayons…all very carefully chosen for their various merits by my daughter. The running shoes that lit up whenever her feet touched the ground, as I was told then…”it will help me see where I’m going”. Weak as I am against her charm…I buckled. I became one of those parents. I did, however, draw the line at the faux fur coat that caught her eye. At least there was some hope for me. Last, but certainly not least…the back pack. The Bear in the Big Blue House won out over Blues Clues, for which I am profoundly grateful. At least her choice showed she had a sense of humour, rather than a conformist sheep seeking clues because of a blue dog with a speech impediment.

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August 23, 2008
Filed Under (The Happy Sad Things) by svana

It’s not too often that a wake-up call comes in the form of another human for me…largely because I am very aware of my fellow humans.

I usually do not carry cash, if I have my debit card…I’m good to go. I mention this specifically because from time to time, someone will ask me for spare change. This usually happens when I’m walking into a Tim Hortons first thing in the morning. My response is always, “What do you need?”…if it is food, I’ll buy you breakfast, if it is cigarettes, I’ll buy you a pack….but I will not arbitrarily hand over money. My eldest sister is an alcoholic, so I learned my lessons pretty early on and pretty painfully about “handing over money”.

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July 25, 2008
Filed Under (The Happy Sad Things) by svana

About five months ago, while surfing rather haphazardly at the start of my day, I found Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture”. Unless you have been living under a rock, are comatose, or are a hardcore geek; you’ve at least *heard* about the good Professor’s lecture.

With luck, you will have taken away a few warm fuzzy thoughts, been jolted awake, or simply marveled at this man’s courage, awareness and forethought. If you are a cold hearted individual, you will simply dismiss this lecture as a Hallmark moment and move on. That would, of course, be your prerogative. I would say it is my prerogative to call you a soulless shell.

Moving on….

I was looking at this morning and saw the breaking news banner announcing that the good Professor had passed. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I could not help but cry and feel cheated that the Universe didn’t provide the miracle that I had so heartily hoped for.

It is odd, really. I didn’t know him, but his lecture and book stuck in my head. More specifically, his admonition to live your childhood dreams. I could not figure out why one man’s death had affected me to such a degree. In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m not a big crying fan. Sure it happens, but not frequently, and certainly not for a man I do not know.

Watching my nine year old daughter bounce up the street, resplendent in pink, and carefree as only nine year old girls can be….it dawned on me. Like a sledgehammer to my wee cranium, wielded by a demented rabbit, awareness was upon me.

I hate it when that happens.

My childhood, or lack thereof, was not a good one. So, my twisted logic demanded Randy Pausch receive his miracle so I could start to dream all the dreams that I never dreamed as a child, there would be hope for me too. My only dream growing up was that I would make it out of my childhood alive. Well now…doesn’t that sound dramatic? Unfortunately though, very accurate and true…but enough of that.

To Randy Pausch, I tip my hat. I thank him for his courage, joy and the lesson that he brought to me, to get busy dreaming.

To his wife, Jai, who displayed such grace and courage, I thank for putting into words what I failed to articulate about my own husband. “If you die, the magic will die too”

I understand that statement right to the tips of my frog-like toes.

To his children, Dylan, Logan and Chloe, all the blessings this world can convey in the face of their loss.