Monday, May 30, 2011

A Different Kind of Whine

I've written a few times about CPRI - the treatment centre we go to that is 200km (124miles for my American friends)away from our home.

About a month ago I received an email inviting me to speak "for a short time" at the Volunteer Organization of CPRI (VOCPRI) annual fundraiser. This year they are trying something new - it is called Wine & Design and features interior designer and TV personality Tommy Smythe (Sarah Richardson’s aptly dubbed “design sidekick” in Sarah’s Cottage and Sarah's House - not sure if folks in the US or elsewhere get to see this show).

Anyhow - I had wanted to go to this event but wouldn't have been able to justify the travel and ticket cost (though how I would love to support CPRI even more than we do cause of all they have done for us but it's just not in the cards with me not being able to work). So when I got the request I was ready to say yes to support CPRI, then they threw in the fact that I could bring a guest which was very sweet and very much appreciated.

For someone who spends so much time in careful deliberation of so much of my life, I also have the tendency to act impulsively. I said yes almost immediately.

After I said yes, within 5 minutes I had posted this on Facebook:
really needs to learn to not respond so quickly to emails . . . rash decisions lead to wardrobe worries, stage fright and public discussions about her "puppies" :-)
The "puppies" part was because I had private messaged a friend (a highly stylish and amazing friend who loves to develop fundraisers and then dress up in gorgeous outfits to attend them and happens to be about the same size as I am) about wardrobe concerns and she accidentally posted on my Wall that of course I could "shop in her closet" and she thought she knew the perfect dress that would allow for my ample cleavage (her term was "puppies" LOL).

The event is this Thursday. I have spoken in front of groups before and actually public speaking doesn't usually bother me at all if I am comfortable with the task/topic. Even though I am a very anxious and shy person (I am nervous about any expectations of small talk before & after I speak!!!) I actually don't mind standing up in front of a crowd. To be truthful I would love to give presentations and workshops for a living. However, that's just a dream that I haven't actually shared with many people and I haven't done much to accomplish that dream. I have never done anything quite like this before.

I will have people's undivided attention for 3-5minutes. Doesn't sound long but I know that it is when you are in front of a room full of people. All the fundraiser people have asked me is to speak a little about our family and the services we have received, they are also wanting to raise general awareness about Children's Mental Health. I find it ironic that I have spent the last 9 years trying desperately (and often in vain) to get people to listen to me. Now I'm being asked to speak and given an open opportunity to focus it in anyway I choose.

It feels like a daunting task.

I want to make people really listen. I'd like to give them a glimpse into what it is like to live day in and day out with the struggles that families who travel to CPRI have to. I would like to challenge people to think a little harder about what they can do to help - whether it be to not be so quick to judge, to volunteer themselves in some way or (as is the point of the evening) to open their wallets and give generously.

I have 4 days (3 sleeps) to get something on paper. Tomorrow and Thursday I have to travel to CPRI for appointments. I still don't know what I am wearing and since I only own like 2 pair of shoes I think it's likely I will need to do some shopping. Basically today and Wednesday I have to pull this all together. Oh and our fabulous Home Support Worker is at training today and tomorrow and she comes in late Wednesday to be able to cover the evening for us.

I am open to any suggestions on what to say, what not to say and take a look at the event flyer and tell me what you think I should wear. The last time I went to a fundraiser was like, well, NEVER.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Unlike Last Month . . .

. . . I managed to get my post up on time at Hopeful Parents. Go on over and check it out.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

To the 16 year old me

I've thought about doing this several times over the years and since I haven't been posting lately (I've been in a dark dark place but dragging myself out now) I thought I would jump back in with a little humour mixed in with my sincerity.

To the 16 year old Me (things I wish I had known Wayyyyyyyy back then)

1. You are NOT fat. I wish you could find a way to feel comfortable in your body and learn how to work your, ahem, assets. They are awesome, you are awesome and you will kick yourself later when you find out the guys you liked actually liked you but were intimidated (see point 2, 3 and 6 for more on this).

2. Wearing clothes 2 sizes too big does not help you hide what you think it does. Work with what you have, flaunt the awesome and at least wear the right size to cover the rest. 

3. STOP being so freakin serious all the time!!!! You are young, healthy and the world is your oyster. Reach out to people who try to be your friends, don't shut them out. Party a little bit, make out with more guys. That demeanour that you have when you are shy and nervous - it comes off as being aloof and superior. Work on it, open up and allow yourself to be a little vulnerable.

3. Enjoy being able to sit on any surface in any configuration that you can for as long as you want. Before you know it when you simply sit on a chair your legs and butt will fall asleep and  your knees and back will ache. You don't know how good you have it.

4. Your giving nature, your desire to help others - embrace it and run with it. Learn to harness it and use it effectively. Don't let it run wild and run you over and make you question your desire to make the world a better place.  Compassion, empathy and understanding are gifts that you have been given.  Find a way to celebrate your gifts without losing yourself.

5. You are stronger than you think. The next few years will be rough. so rough. You will make it through and not unscathed but believe it or not these very necessary and painful experiences will help you make it through some extremely difficult times in the future.

6.  All those people who seem so self assured and stuck up at school?? Most aren't. Most are just as insecure, if not even more, inside. Some you will get to know later and you will be shocked at how much you have in common. No one feels comfortable going into the school cafeteria alone, some just hide it better. You are all struggling with who you are and who you are going to become (and many who made your life a living hell DO NOT go on to bigger and better things, just sayin).

7. Get contacts NOW.  I love you but what were you thinking when you bought those glasses???

8. Stop ducking when someone tries to take you picture.  Take lots of pictures of everything you do with your friends.  Your memory won't always be what it is today and you will love to reminisce over yearbooks and candid shots.  For this to be awesome you will NEED to follow #3!!!

9. You will meet the love of your life and not too far in the future. It will seem like its never going to happen. But it does. Times will be rough at times but he's a good guy and he loves you like no other.

10. When you are 37 years old you will have minor dental surgery. DO NOT try to eat a spicy chicken pizza slice the next day!!!!!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Happy 9th Gotcha Day

As you said this morning, my wise young man "it feels like I've been here forever" and we too feel the same. And yet, it is staggering to realize that 9 years ago we met you for the first time.  This journey we are all on together is certainly not easy but it is often joyous. We love the young man you are becoming - we rejoice in who you are and the old soul you have been graced with that seems to help lift and guide you through even the darkest of times. You are amazing. You are our son and we wouldn't have it any other way. I thank God everyday for allowing me to be your mother and for all of the lessons you have taught me.

I am a better person because you are my son.

I love you more than words.

Happy Gotcha Day