Friday, December 31, 2010

A Bloggy Year In Review

[Filched from Dani at Postcards from the Mothership.]

The first sentence of the first post in each month this year. (And this year I'm actually doing the first sentence. Unlike in other years where I've misread the instructions and done post titles.)

2010 in bloggy review:

  1. It wouldn't be New Year's without the meme of review in the form of the first line of the first post of each month in 2009.
  2. By patching a pair of otherwise perfectly good jeans.
  3. That I wasn't on the highway when the engine broke on my old car.
  4. How to stop holding a grudge.
  5. Because my character's surname was Damon.
  6. Just because you drive an SUV and were running late, doesn't diminish my right to make a full stop at a stop sign to ensure my safety before I continued.
  7. The audition went well.
  8. It's been over 6 years since I've had more than 3 consecutive hours, child-free, in my own home.
  9. I am grateful for my most recent audition experience.
  10. While I'm pleased as punch when you offer me audition opportunities and short-term paid work contracts, I'm confused by your concomitant generosity with The Sick and especially The Laryngitis.
  11. That when I went to fill my car tires up with air, that I followed someone who hadn't used up all of their paid time and I got to fill them up for free!
  12. I've meant to get back here before now, really I have.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

That there was a strong glass windshield between me and the rock the truck wheels in front of me hurtled toward my face at some potentially fatal speed.

Otherwise, that would not have ended well.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

Will all the free time I've had on my hands lately (*cough* *cough*), I found myself hooked on Sing-Off. My favourite group, Street Corner Symphony finished second last night. Here they are doing two numbers I could listen to again and again....

Come On Eileen


Down on the Corner

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Has It Really Been A Month?

I've meant to get back here before now, really I have. (Those of you who know me IRL will be scratching your heads as to why I'm here doing this instead of everything else that is supposed to be getting done. Don't scratch too hard -- it's bad for your scalp.)

What's been on my mind:
  • I've said to the universe twice since my last post, "I'm happy to take money for doing something I like to do, but I WILL NOT RUSH AND STRESS MYSELF OUT TO DO SO. If that means I don't get the $$, then so be it." And the universe spake unto me, "Miche, just tell me when you can be ready and whether or not you accept personal cheques." Nice.
  • I'm behind on all things Christmas. And instead of staying up all night and trying to pull off a minor miracle, I'm just redefining how things will get done this year. Like no fancy baked good gifts for wM's teacher this year.
  • I'm grateful for my health and the health of my family and friends. No matter how dysfunctional and disjointed, I'd feel much worse about things if they weren't around. Sometimes I need to be reminded about that.
  • I'm not sure if I've given up on the acting dream, or whether I'm just letting it nap for a bit. Timing and schedules et al aren't aligning themselves in a way to make things possible. I thought I'd be more upset about it. I'm almost wondering whether or not it's time to let it go.
  • We may be hosting a new food allergy in this household. One of the biggies. More on that when things get medically confirmed.
  • I'm grateful for truck drivers who let me in front of them.
  • I'm grateful for car breaks that work.
  • I'm grateful that all the rain we had on the w/e wasn't snow.
  • I'm grateful that wM's school is awesome and so are all of the staff in their own way.
  • I'm grateful for a kitchen full of food, shelter to call our own and heat and running water.

And now, I must get on with life.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Progress

One of my pet projects is to reduce the number of extra tasks I take on because I tend to "feel unworthy to the point of 'over achieving' just to feel like I'm earning my keep."

I've been doing this passively, by not taking on new things unless I'm absolutely invested in doing them and will gain some personal enjoyment or satisfaction from doing them. I've been figuratively sitting on my hands, lest they raise themselves involuntarily to take on new assignments.

This has been helpful in the sense that I'm only mildly overcommitted instead of being completely buried by outside commitments. However, by doing this I'm still not convincing myself that "I'm good enough as I am."

I've recently made baby steps towards that goal.

The head of a local non-profit where I volunteer some of my time, recently mentioned to me how completely swamped one of the key staff members is by his responsibilities. They casually mentioned how in years previous, some of the volunteers would step-up and help out a couple of hours a day. What a big help it would be, they indicated, if someone could help out with this responsibility even a few days a week.

Mentally, I took three steps back, lest someone thought I was stepping forward to take that on. Not only would that be a significant time commitment, but it would be doing work I wouldn't enjoy. Not one bit.

I took a deep breath and said as calmly and matter of factly as I could muster, "I can't make that kind of commitment."

Guess what?

The answer was accepted and not argued or debated! The organization head is still talking to me and friendly to me! My other, more minor contributions are still valued! I haven't been banned! The earth continues to spin on its axis!

Maybe, just maybe, I am good enough as I am.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

That there are people that stop by here and remind me of things about which to be grateful!

I am VERY grateful for sunshine in November!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Exasperated

The other day, wM was playing with her friends, Cee and Dee.

[content deleted]

Needless to say, wM felt a tad put out.

Does this make sense to you?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Brain Dump

For some time now, I've had a number of semi-complicated issues swirling around in my head. Waiting patiently for me to make the time to sift through them write them out here.

We all see how well that plan has worked.

So today I'll do a quick and dirty dump here and see where that takes me.
  • The progress on letting go has been very small, but not for lack of trying. I'm much more aware of the habits I'd like to change. But the actual real life change is still very small. Apparently you can't "white knuckle" letting go. Who knew?
  • In retrospect, when I wrote that I'm not happy, it was a stepping stone to me realizing that maybe I've never ever really been happy. I mean, I've certainly been as happy as I'm capable of being at this point. But even when I was a child, I'm not sure I ever let myself be as happy as wM is capable of being. I'd like to work on that. I expect I need to sort through much of the first point on my journey there.
  • I am very grateful that there are so many people at wM's school that want the best for her. But I get frustrated by well-intentioned off-handed comments or actions by the staff that mess things up for us here. For example, commenting that maybe wM should be bringing something different for school lunches. The upshot of that is, instead of having a grand total of THREE things wM is willing to take for lunch, now we only have TWO choices. Thanks.
  • I've been struggling with the green-eyed monster. It's funny, I can't think of anyone else's complete life that I'd prefer over mine. But it's very easy to see snatches of their lives about which I let myself become envious. Like the woman in the acting intensive I took a half-dozen years ago. The one who starred in a Canadian series and is now doing US shows like the CSI franchise. Or the double income families with disposable cash! I try really hard to focus on the things for which I am grateful -- because I know that I have more than my fair share. But it's so easy to get distracted and think that the grass is greener elsewhere.
  • I feel like a fraud in many areas of my life. I'm not up to date with the field I studied in college, so that I can't really be useful in that field. I've never been formally educated in the field for which I most recently earned income, so I'm not qualified there. The acting thing isn't working out so well either. (Which could be a whole other bullet about whether I'm self-sabotaging even during the audition application process or whether it is just getting prioritized low out of necessity.) I've stopped and started in a number of hobbies. Jack of all trades. MASTER OF NONE.
  • The feature length film I worked on back in 2006 is never going to see the light of day. I've recently seen audition notices from the production company. They're going to recast and re-shoot. They've tweaked the character parts, such that I'm not even eligible for auditioning. This is a good news / bad news thing. While I would have liked to have some footage from this for my reel, I'm a little relieved to be out of the project. It kinda sucks though to have to remove that from the old resume.
  • There's a mom at the school who is a self-centered, self-serving, thoughtless, insensitive person. I'm really tired of sharing air with her. I'm really tired of her being able to get away with all the crap that she does. She is wearing. me. down.

    The worst part? I don't know why I let her. I don't know how to stop letting her. It would be much healthier for me if I could just let anything related to her slide off my back.

That's it for now.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

That so far I've been home and able to pick up wM from school whenever the office calls and lets me know she's not feeling well.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

That when I went to fill my car tires up with air, that I followed someone who hadn't used up all of their paid time and I got to fill them up for free!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It Makes Sense

But some days it's awfully hard.
He is a man of sense who does not grieve for what he has not, but rejoices
in what he has.
- Epictetus

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dear Universe

Dear Universe,

While I'm pleased as punch when you offer me audition opportunities and short-term paid work contracts, I'm confused by your concomitant generosity with The Sick and especially The Laryngitis. Why do you offer me paid work that involves many consecutive hours of talking when you're going to take my voice away at the same time?

I'm not complaining. I understand that we all must get sick at some point.

I'm just wondering if there's a message in here that I'm just not hearing clearly.

Yours,
Miche

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Frustrated

It never ceases to amaze me, the number of novel approaches I can find to failing my daughter, on a regular basis.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Don't Understand

Why is it, now that wM is in school all day, it feels like I'm getting less done than when she was only in for half?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sick. Sick. Sick.

So tired of The Obligatory Back to School Sick.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

For car mechanics I can trust.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

I am grateful for my most recent audition experience. The role, for me, was a real gem. I thought I nailed the audition. The script was fun and for a good cause. The people were awesome to work with.

Of course, on the way home, I thought of a million ways I could have done things better.

And I didn't get the part.

You typically find out you don't get the part when no one contacts you within the time-frame they quote. Sometimes they don't even quote you a "hear back by" time frame and if it's the shoot date and you haven't heard, well, you didn't get it. The reasons for not getting a part are always mysterious. It could be that you were AWESOME but the other people cast playing the other parts (like your on screen children) don't look enough like you so they had to go with someone else. Sometimes you just don't look like what the director had in mind. Mostly, you never know.

This time, I got an e-mail from the producer letting me know that I wasn't cast. (Hurray for considerate producers!) I took a chance and asked for any audition feedback they had to offer. I expected vague generalities and non-answers, if I received a reply at all.

He said I wasn't as comfortable with the process as the person they cast (who also took direction better than I).

Fair enough. The only way to gain comfort is to keep experiencing the process. And yes, some of the million ways I could have done things better was to internalize more quickly the direction I was given. And the best way to get better at that? More practice.

In the short term, it looks like I've got my work cut out for me, if I'm going to keep at this.

On the plus side, he said they'd keep my resume on file.

Thank you universe, for hooking me up with someone who is both curtious and was willing to offer constructive feedback.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dear Universe

Dear Universe,

I am very grateful for my upcoming audition opportunity. I am, however, very confused by the concurrent sore throat, runny nose and accompanying headache.

What exactly are you trying to tell me?

Yours,
Miche

Monday, August 16, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

For a credit card company that was happy to reverse *MY* mistake *AND* refund me the service charge incurred by said mistake.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Stomach Is In Knots

Someone, from an acting class I took, has spent the last few days hunting me down. They have a part in a short film, for which they believe I will be perfect. (It's non-speaking and only on screen for less than a minute.)

I like the script and they are shooting during a time when child care will be easy-ish to arrange. (Is it ever really easy to arrange child care?)

After being offered the role, without an audition ('cause that's how small the role is -- or maybe that's how good an impression I made during class?), I was upfront declaring my union status even though it was not requested of me.

I think I've fallen on the wrong side of the line.

I'm no worse off if I don't get the role, but for some reason, now I really, really want it.

*sigh*

At the very least, I hope they get back to me soon!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Three Consecutive Hours

It's been over 6 years since I've had more than 3 consecutive hours, child-free, in my own home. Much of that time, I've spent longing for some quiet "me" time.

Funny then, now that wM is in a full day fun camp, that I miss her so and will be going early to pick-up, so I can spy on her having fun.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

No Dice

The audition went well. I hadn't realized until I arrived, but it was more of an "open call," rather than me being picked to be one of two dozen candidates for the spot. I'd guess there were about 40 other people given the same appointment time I had.

I was pleased with how I homeworked it (and I clearly did more homework than some of the others). There weren't any big things that I wish I'd done differently. All of this usually adds up to me not getting the part. And as near as I can tell, I was right.

Chin up, as they say. Another audtion experience under my belt. Onward to the next adventure!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Audition!

I've got an audition next week for an actual professionally produced commercial! At an actual well regarded, experienced casting agency!

It happened just like with Joey on Friends.
[sound of phone ringing]

Me: Hello?

Casting agent: May I speak with Miche?

Me: Speaking.

CA: I've got an audition for you next Wednesday at 10am. Can you make it?

Me: I'll be there!


Thank you universe!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dear Driver,

Just because you drive an SUV and were running late, doesn't diminish my right to make a full stop at a stop sign to ensure my safety before I continued.

Signed,
Not Impressed

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dear Other Mom

Dear Other Mom,

I know you have all sorts of fancy-pants education related to childhood. I know you have a really big heart and mean to help. But between you and me, I really resent it when you try and parent my kid.

Yeah, my kid doesn't always interact with your kid in the way that you think is appropriate. Newsflash. Your kid doesn't always interact with mine in a way I think is appropriate.

Is my kid perfect? Far from it. Are there areas we're working on? Actively. Ongoing. And we're slowly making progress.

Are you making progress with your kid's issues?

Leave me and my kid alone!

Signed,
Fed Up

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

That wM and I can walk to a nearby vendor to buy organic fruit and veggies.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hats Off To Mothers Who Work Outside Of The Home

I had the good fortune to have an opportunity to get paid to do something I enjoy( outside of the home) for a few days. It was nice. Nice to earn a few extra dollars. Nice to feel like I'm contributing to society. Nice to be out of the house. By the time evening rolled around, I wasn't nearly as mentally or physically exhausted as I normally am. When I came home at the end of each day, I had infinitely more patience for wM than a typical day. For the first couple of days, it was lovely.

By the end of the third consecutive day, however, the 3 hour (1.5h each way) commute on public transit was starting to wear me down. Spending my lunch hour among people who shared very few common interests made me feel a little sad.

My heart, and my body apparently, belong in the home. Looking after wM. And even though the hours are long and the pay is lousy it's the best job in the world for me right now.

Hats off to all you moms out there who don't have the choice and are working outside of the home. I don't know how you manage to cram all the family stuff in, during the precious little time you have at the end of your work day. (Not to mention the running of the household, groceries, laundry and appointments.) Be sure to give yourself a well deserved pat on the back.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Question Of Worth

So here's my dilemna.

The acting gig, as stated, was for the function of an actor. (No surprise there.)

When I arrived on location, however, they decided that based on my educational background I would be doing things in addition to the acting, that they would normally have hired someone at a higher rate to do.

So.

How to ask for a raise. How to scale the pay. (I haven't done work in line with my education for many, many years and am somewhat rusty.) How to negotiate.

To do the above well, I need to believe in myself. To believe in my own worth.

The real question then, is do I?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

They Must Be Reading My Blog

Because my character's surname was Damon.

*snicker*

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Got The Part!

I got the part for which I recently audtioned.

Funny thing is, it's work that's going to be used to help students learn, how to learn, what I learned at school.

Needless to say, I'm grateful!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Yippee!

Audition tomorrow!

It won't make me a star, but it's a paying gig!

*fingers crossed*

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Dream Is Alive

Though it's not tended to as often as I'd like.

I submitted for auditions this week!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dealing With Dangerous Dogs

From the BBC News article, "How do you fend off a dangerous dog?"
  • No sudden movements
  • Put hands in pockets
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Back away but do not run away
  • Children can accidentally provoke a dog
  • Never try to break up two fighting dogs

Good to know.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

For having amazing neighbours.

Thanks guys!

Monday, April 5, 2010

How To

How to stop holding a grudge. [from eHow.com]
  1. Decide to move on. You expend more energy holding a grudge than you do letting one go. Make the choice to clear up the mental space occupied by this resentment. Once you choose to move on, the grudge will gradually dissipate.
  2. Honor your feelings. Resentment builds when emotions go unacknowledged. Take the time to get clear about what you're feeling and why. Take action accordingly. If you have something that needs to be said, say it. If you have already voiced your grievance, then resolve any other feelings yourself.
  3. Accept what is. Stop waiting for signs of remorse. Chances are the other person has already put the issue behind them. You may never get an apology, but that doesn't mean you should continue to indulge resentment. Be the bigger person and put the incident behind you.
  4. Forgive. Forgiving someone doesn't exempting them from their actions. It doesn't change the facts. If you have been legitimately wronged, then forgiving doesn't mean you have to forget. It does mean that you acknowledge that the person is human and that we all make mistakes.
  5. Shift your focus. Look at the good things about the person. Find the positive in the situation. Maybe you learned a lesson and discovered something new about yourself. Changing your viewpoint will help you release resentment.

  6. Don't feed the monster. Once you've voiced your resentment and committed to moving on, don't continually talk about the offense. If you find yourself thinking about it, mentally change the subject. If someone brings it up, explain that it's in the past and you don't want to dwell on it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

That I have the type of friends who will go with me to fashion stores, with the purpose of mocking the fashions.

Monday, March 22, 2010

This One's For The Dog Lovers Out There

Can you teach me to be less agitated by the constant bark, Bark, BARKING of the canines out there?

Seriously.

It's driving me batty and I know with the warmer weather it's going to get much worse before it gets better.

How do I be more Zen about it?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

That I wasn't on the highway when the engine broke on my old car. Also grateful that I was close to a mechanic I could trust and got the car to the mechanic before more expensive damage could take place.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Health Related Crossroads

I'm at a crossroads of sorts in my meandering health care journey and I'm searching for opinions to help me settle on my own.

I suffer from a number of chronic conditions. Some of which can be mildly to moderately painful and negatively impact my quality of life (and therefore the quality of life of those with whom I live). Some of which I was told at a young age, were considered something I'd just have to live with for the rest of my life. Some of which I was recently told there was nothing that could be done by our medical system, other than some forms of surgery to control the symptoms. (I'm not fond of treatments that mask symptoms but do nothing to treat the underlying condition.)

Enter alternative medicine.

I've investigated and experimented with a variety of alternative health care providers, with mixed success. Until last spring. I hit the jackpot with a healer with whom I resonated. She worked wonders on a number of my issues. I had long pain free spells.

She also told me, that if left untreated, my condition at that time would lead to cancer within 10 years. Based on everything I knew about my body and the human body in general, she had my serious attention.

After seeing her every week in the spring and summer, I was transitioned to every two weeks. In December I was told that I was "almost done" and would be transitioning "soon" to once a month, maintenance. (Which was a relief because the appointments were, what I considered to be, expensive.)

And then, before Christmas, she passed away. Some of the benefits I had previously experienced were starting to dissapate.

I panicked and scrambled and found one of her teachers, who agreed to take me on as a patient.

I have been seeing the teacher every week for close to three months now. While I'm noticing improvement overall (and significant changes in one specific area of my health), the effects weren't nearly as "magical" as with the healer who passed on. And the appointments are costing me two to three times as much as they did last year.

I've told this healer, that as of Date X, I will have run out of funds for treatments. He has said that I should call him when I have more funds and we can pick up again. In a perfect world, he said that after Date X he'd transition me to every other week appointments and we'd likely be "done" after about three months.

A family member has recently stepped up and offered me the funds to "finish" with this healer, commenting that I had a young family and you can't put a price on health. "No strings attached."

I don't know what to do.

I can't help but feel that this treatment is costing too much. Both financially and time wise. (It's a scramble to get to the appointments and leaves wM in a less than optimal position and Mr. M. with extra weight on his shoulders.) I could use a break from the grind.

I also know that if I don't continue on now, when I go back, it may take an extra month or more of treatment to get me to where I was when we left off. More money and more time, in the long run.

What would you do?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

That there are people close to me, who are supportive of my healing journey. No matter how meandering and ridiculous the path may be!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

That my 10+ year old beater car is still holding up.

*fingers crossed*

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Last Week I Tried To Make The World A Better Place

By volunteering in wM's classroom.

--

I was pleasantly surprised at how attentive and well mannered many of the children are. I was also horrified as I saw some behaviours that, left unchecked, are likely to lead to bullying. (And yes, I informed the teacher.)

And then there was the little girl who picked up the wooden ruler and raised it as if to hit one of her classmates. While she was reprimanded for the behaviour, my heart sank for her. I can only imagine how she learned about that.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

That my car brakes work.

Three times today, I am incredibly and truly thankful for those brakes.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Last Week I Tried To Make The World A Better Place

By patching a pair of otherwise perfectly good jeans. (It seems I'm not the only one in the patching game these days.)

I wonder what it says about me, when the already patched jeans that I'm wearing were in worse shape than the "for dirty odd job" jeans that I just patched. (The pairs switched roles post-patch.)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I'm Not Happy

It's not that I'm sad about anything, per se, I just don't feel "happy." I wouldn't even call it depressed or unhappy (even though technically, I suppose, not being happy is being unhappy, it feels more like neutral to me -- not good, not bad).

I look at the joy and energy that wM has and exudes every waking moment. I don't feel that way. Haven't for a long time.

It doesn't worry me. It just is.

I wonder how long it will last.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Is It Any Of My Business

If I see a kid unrestrained (not in appropriate car seat or booster seat) in the backseat of their parent's car, while it is in motion.

Does it make a difference if it is my neighbour's kid or a friend's kid or a classmate's kid?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Today I Am Grateful

  • That for the first time in about a week, I'm starting to feel a little bit human again.
  • That I'm the only one in the family that was hit this hard with what ever it is.
  • And that I was able to let so many things slide last week, in favour of sleep.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Letting go

If you know me well, you know that I'm not big on making resolutions. You want to do something in your life? Do it! (Or be like me and spend an inordinate amount of time brooding about doing it.) I'm not a fan of creating a list of goals that I have no intention or ability to complete.

This year feels a little different to me somehow. While I'm not going to create an itemized list of things to do for 2010, this year my focus is going to be "letting go."

Letting go of things like:
  • negative internal dialogues
  • feeling unworthy to the point of "over achieving" just to feel like I'm earning my keep
  • the fear of not being good enough (mother, wife, daughter, neighbour ....)
  • endless worry of things big and small
  • overthinking
  • clutter (physical, emotional, social, mental)
  • allowing other people's opinions / attitudes /behaviours to have a big impact on me
  • doing (in lieu of being)

For me, these things are monumental in size. If I can manage some of these things for a 5 minute stretch, it will be a fantastic baby step.

I can feel it in my bones. Big changes are coming in 2010. Here's hoping they're good ones!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

It wouldn't be New Year's without the meme of review in the form of the first line of the first post of each month in 2009.
  1. Let's start the New Year by looking back at the old one, with some perspective!
  2. That I remembered to bring the online receipt showing the photo order was prepaid, to the store when I picked up my photos.
  3. That wM's childhood has been more enriched, more nurturing and more fun than mine was over the same timeframe.
  4. That all this rain isn't snow!
  5. Robin in the rain, such a saucy fellow.
  6. AA refuses to return my calls.
  7. Should you ever find yourself in a heated argument with a right fighter, do not utter the words "get out of here," unless you actually mean, "please leave this physical location."
  8. For the people in my life who want me to be the best "me" I can be.
  9. That I discovered I left my purse at home on my way in to the grocery store and not at the check out!
  10. That a dry clean only wool sweater came out on the right side of a near miss with spilled chocolate milk.
  11. I had the opportunity to try, fresh picked from the farm, organic vegetables at no cost to me.
  12. Today I am holding a grudge against anyone in my life that can't seem to let go of theirs.

May your 2010 be happy, healthy and grudge free!