Getting Lucky

Getting Lucky

From time to time, I seem to surprise my husband of 18 years with some random new fact about myself. It always catches him off-guard, and he looks at me as if to say, “Who ARE you?”

I don’t mean to do it, it just happens. You would think after being together for so long, we would know everything about one another, right? I thought so too. Even at this very moment, I think there is nothing he doesn’t already know about me. But I am sure, in time, some small detail about my life will pop up and he will be shocked again.

We spend a LOT of time talking, about everything, or so it would seem. We lounge outside, on long, humid summer evenings, enjoying a drink together and we just talk. Sometimes he dominates the conversation (which throws me because he’s usually fairly quiet and laid back) and sometimes I’m the one spilling my guts, but regardless, we thoroughly enjoy these talks with one another.

On one particular evening, a few years ago, as the summer sky was darkening, he had a sudden urge to throw a baseball around. We had mitts and gloves in the garage and so he took them out… convinced me to play some catch. He stood a few feet away from me, thinking he was being respectful of his girl, and not making me step out of my comfort zone, and probably not wanting me to embarrass myself with my poor throw.

I smiled at him and asked that he move back… go on further down the street. He looked surprised but moved back a few steps… and I had to repeat myself again. When he hadn’t moved away far enough, I decided to back up to a point where I was comfortable. He seemed unsure, but as I wound up for the throw, memories of playing baseball on the field as a kid in gym class came back to me. I LOVED playing baseball when I was younger. It was my favourite game, and I was often part of the group playing it in the summer with a group of neighbourhood kids.

My husband didn’t hold back with his shock as the baseball sailed easily and swiftly through the air. He caught it just as easily, because he was on a baseball team around the time that I met him, and I went to a few of his games. We tossed the ball around for awhile after that, and he said he couldn’t believe he didn’t know, after all this time, that I could throw a ball. I laughed at him… he didn’t know me in my tomboy days. I could climb trees and hop fences to match ANY boy in my neighbourhood when I was young. I built forts and rode my bike through dirt fields, and came home sweaty and filthy, with more than my fair share of cuts and scrapes. Games of tag and man-hunt were played daily through my summers as a kid. I happily and almost giddily, shared this with him. I honestly thought he knew, I thought I had told him!

A little while later, the song “Inner Ninja” came out, by Classified. I loved the song, mostly because it was catchy… I don’t remember exactly how the topic came up this time, but it must have been through another one of our evening conversations. I shocked him again when I told him that when I was in grade six, I had taken a karate class, which was hosted by a teacher at school. The classes were held before school started for the day, and all I remember is yawning throughout the class. I had the moves down but was still surprised when it came to sparring at the end of the course, in order to get the next belt. I was in grade six, I couldn’t fight for the life of me, so the moves that I had been practicing, along with my yawning, did me no good and I failed epically.

But my husband didn’t hear ANY of the bad stuff I was telling him. He didn’t hear how I had FAILED the sparring match. Oh no… he immediately got our boys’ attention and asked if they knew their mom was a ninja.

Are you kidding me?

*sigh*

Inner Ninja became my theme song after that. Whether I liked it or not. Good thing that song was catchy.

To conclude my story of hidden lifetime tidbits of myself, when I began learning about blogging last summer, I kept it to myself for awhile. I like to think things through, turning it over and over in my mind. I needed a topic… and it began with camping (because of my deep-rooted love for it), and then it progressed to family. Two of my most favourite things in the world… even before wine and chocolate!

When I explained to my husband that I wanted to start a blog and write, maybe make a living off of it, I got that look from him again. The “who ARE you?” look, as he said, “Really?”. I told him I’ve always loved writing (honestly, he should know just by my post-it notes, they are practically mini-novels most of the time!). He had no idea, and I still can’t figure out how he didn’t know.

English was always my favourite class in high school, and I had considered the idea of writing novels like some of my favourite authors; Danielle Steel, Stephen King, and later on down the road, David Baldacci, Jodi Picoult. Wouldn’t it just be awesome to not have to work a traditional job and to get paid for writing?

More ideas and research and reading, and finally I am here. I have, what I think is, a good blog. A place I can call my own, to write and share as much or as little about myself as I like. This is the place I go to when I can’t sleep in, and then my husband gives me hell for being up so early… but I can’t help it. It’s almost therapeutic. It’s mine to share and I have things to say and it’s beginning to pay off. Literally.

I received my first pay for writing, last weekend.

It’s changed everything. It’s changed how I feel about my full-time job. It’s changed how I feel about my future. I am not stuck anymore. I have options. I have VERY REAL options. There are people out there who will pay me to do what I love to do.

Does anyone have any idea how freeing that realization really is? I feel like I can finally breathe.

It is freedom.

And while it’s just a small step, it’s a start. Baby steps are still steps and that is all that matters.

If you’re reading this, I want to personally thank you for being a part of my journey thus far, and I truly hope you’ll stick with me as I navigate through whatever this will become!

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January 2016 Roundup

January 2016 Roundup

January was a pretty good month for us as a family, and for myself as a blogger. I am really enjoying the WordPress Daily Prompts, I love the challenge of writing about several topics and relating them to my own life. Here’s a breakdown of what’s been going on here at SMores and Sundresses:

My son, Tyler, shared his story about coming out. If you missed his brave and amazing story, you can catch up here.

I began my journey with 21 Day Fix… it’s been touch and go but I’ve lost a few pounds and I’m pleased with how it’s going. I plan to continue the program over the month of February. Read about my start here.

I shared my celebrity run-in from when I was a teenager… you can check it out here. It’s kind of funny, and it wouldn’t be a teen experience if it wasn’t at least a little awkward!

I wrote about a fun weekend shared with friends, which can be read here, and the music at that party can be checked out here.

I’ve shared the dreams of my husband and I, for our big vow renewal bash in two years, when we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary. Can you smell the pork? Find out here.

I compiled my bucket list! It’s pretty awesome to see it in black and white! I encourage you to write yours down as well! Check mine out by clicking here.

I also started a fan page for Smores & Sundresses to keep my posts separate from my personal Facebook page. Bloggers are welcome as well; I plan to have weekly threads for bloggers to share their top posts of the week, and non-bloggers will have an opportunity to check out some other great reads! Let’s share the love, join here.

I wrote to my younger self in a post, you can check it out here. Writing it was so much fun, the words and sentences just poured from my heart!

I shared my concern for a friend who was diagnosed with cancer. He goes in for a scan tomorrow to check his lymph nodes. He would sincerely appreciate your prayers.

I wrote about my experiences with technology throughout my life… maybe my story isn’t much different from yours?

Lastly, I have set aside some time to return blogger love out to the blogosphere and have retweeted posts from fellow bloggers under the hashtag #sundayblogshare. I love how it feels when someone helps to promote your writing, and I’ve been lucky to have received RTs, so I wanted to promote writing that I’ve personally enjoyed!

I am blessed with some pretty fantastic followers, both blogger friends and personal friends. It warms my heart to have you on board. Thank you!

Just No

JustNo

Recently I was in the background in a video while my husband danced with a roasting pan. True story.

I was less impressed with what you could see of me than his performance. It made me grateful that I’m doing 21DF! I think I’ll be heading to round two for that one!

As much as I dislike photos or videos of myself, I despise my voice most of all.

Growing up in the 70s and 80s, my father would record my brothers and I talking. It was before video cameras were in full force so this was his way of preserving our youth so he could play it back later. And he definitely did. What happened to my voice? It used to be cute!

At one time, I wanted to be a deejay. Yup… me. I think it was around grade 8, and I was actually writing songs (lyrics to songs, I couldn’t write actual music). That dream was short-lived, as I knew I did not have the voice for it. When I listen to Parker on Slacker, I’m jealous of how smooth and sexy she sounds. I sound absolutely nothing like that.

In my teen years, it was the age of meeting boys and talking to them on the phone. One actually said I sounded like a guy. Nice. Thanks for that, dude. See ya.

Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to change my voice (but I can use it less lol)… but I like that I’ve recently found my writing voice, and I like that a LOT better.

Which is worse for you; watching videos of yourself, or hearing your voice on a recording?

I found some answers here!

Can’t Stand Me

5 Blogging Truths

5 Blogging Truths

 

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1. Strangers may commend you on a life-changing event in your life when you write about it.

I poured my heart out, all over my keyboard when I wrote this post, “Coming Out – A Mother’s Story – Part One“. As the words flowed, the tears rolled, and I put it all out there, in black and white. Then I sat on it, for a month. I wasn’t ready to share it, because I didn’t think anyone would care.

Some people did. It felt great to not feel so alone. But was that what I was striving for? Maybe writing about it was just therapeutic, something for me… so opinions don’t really matter as much as I thought they did.

2. If you ever need a reality check, have your blog post featured.

Seriously.

I was so excited. I had received some positive feedback with it, and a few readers admitted that the post made them cry, which I took as a good thing because it made ME cry, so yay for me, making some of my readers feel like I did! I was feeling pretty confident about it, and then comes “THE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK”. I knew it would happen, I expected it and I thought I would react with grace.

Not so much. The feedback upset me a little, but even though it did, I knew there was some truth to it. I needed to hear it. not everyone has the same point of view and that is absolutely okay. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but that still doesn’t mean that they get to tell me how I should proceed. The battle I wrote about is MY battle, and writing about is my way of working through it.

3. Just because not everyone agrees with you on your topic or your post, doesn’t mean you’re doing this for nothing.

We all have opinions, we all have ways of looking at things. We all need various amounts of time to deal with things. The point of my post was to share how I felt, in the event that someone else, now or in the future, goes through the same thing and feels exactly the way I do, they will know they are not alone. Is that not the entire purpose of putting our life experiences in print?

4. Strong reactions, positive or negative, all mean the same thing.

You’re doing something RIGHT because people are reacting. People are reacting because they are reading. They’re reading YOUR work!

Think about some of the celebrities and the stunts they pull, all to create a media frenzy. No such thing as negative publicity (okay, we can’t say that for Justin Bieber, but I digress).

Writing is the same thing… getting people talking, even if it’s negative, even if it’s about YOU, doesn’t mean anything other than: people are reading your work. Focus on the good, take the bad with a grain of salt, and hold your head high.

5. You SHOULD continue.

Throwing in the towel is not an option unless you genuinely dislike writing, in which case, why did you write anything? Exactly. You will get better, you will grow. Not only with writing, but also as a person.

It’s been awhile since someone’s called me out on something, and the post I mentioned is the first time in a long time. It’s a good thing because it’s given me something to think about, not to mention, something write about. You can get inspiration from just about anywhere, and sometimes, it can be hidden in a reader comment. So I’m going to look at the whole experience as a positive one.

In the end, being featured was still an exciting thing for me. My topic can be a controversial one, and everyone has an opinion, but it doesn’t matter because it’s MINE I’m writing about, and it’s done me some good to do so.

For the record, Tyler, my gay son, has read the post and absolutely loved it. Our communication has been excellent with all of this, and he thought the piece was well-written and he’s shared it with his friends. He’s also written about HIS experience, which I hope to have him guest blog about in a future post.

Fellow bloggers, keep writing! What you have to say matters!