For the eyes. For the heart. For the ears. For the feet. For the soul.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Baby, you're a firework!



Do you ever feel like a plastic bag,
drifting through the wind
wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
like a house of cards,
one blow from caving in?

Do you ever feel already buried deep?
6 feet under screams but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there's still a chance for you
'Cause there's a spark in you

You just gotta ignite, the light, and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
You're gonna leave 'em falling down-own-own

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe your reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it's time, you'll know

You just gotta ignite, the light, and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, Oh, Oh"
You're gonna leave 'em falling down-own-own

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time to let it through-ough-ough

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, Oh, Oh"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, Oh, Oh"
You're gonna leave 'em falling down-own-own

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon

~ Katy Perry

Thursday, February 24, 2011

An office with a view.

Today it's a snowy and bleak looking day outside. The gas prices at $1.21 are even more bleak than the weather. I spent so many years stuck in either a cubicle or freezing cold offices with space heaters under my desk that it's nice to be sitting in Chapters with a warm coffee, internet access and floor to ceiling windows all around. I'm sticking my nose in the books all day, specifically "Understanding Exposure" but there are too many distractions at home. So here I study, with a side of people watching. Even at this time in the morning, there is lots of hustle and bustle to observe. Four men who are seemingly coworkers, a lady waiting for her friend and a couple most surely on a blind date.

I love to sit and watch. Oh, and the coffee was free because they were in the middle of changing tills. My girlfriend who also quit the job from hell is now a full time real estate agent and works for herself so I'm waiting here to catch up with her and be thankful together that we are free.

I love my office with a view.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My story of workplace harassment: When doing the right thing is always the hard thing.


It's been a year since I worked at that hellhole. For two years, I worked at an accounting firm where the antics belonged on a dramatic series on t.v. I'm not even sure how I lasted that long. I was an assistant to two female Partners of the firm. Prior to me, there were several other assistants who had quit for similar reasons, but I stuck it out for a couple of years. The pay was excellent, the location was 2 minutes from my home and I had my own office with a door.

The pay was the reason people stuck it out, but at the same time, every young person that I was friends with there, quit months before or after I did.

Where do I even start?

I'll start with the abuse that staff endured from the female Partners. When we weren't being screamed at by one, we were being berated by another. One came from a military upbringing, and thrived on making you feel like shit. As their personal assistant, I certainly spent the most time with these two women. I would be set up to fail. I would schedule meetings and they would be cancelled or declined, with no explanations. Like most corporations these days, there was zero training so you either sink or swim. I chose to swim, and fortunately do well with documenting procedures from scratch. I should have known right away, when I was supposed to be taken for lunch on my first day, and that was cancelled 3 times, what I was getting into.

We finally went for my "welcome" lunch and I sat across two women who did not say a single word to me. One started to laugh at the new waitress because she was obviously inexperienced and nervous, and her hands trembled as she poured our water. Always rooting for the underdog, I turned to Bossy Dearest, and said, I'm sure you remember your first job and how nervous you were. She looked surprised at my comment.

Three months into working here, I scheduled a meeting to find out how I was doing. I sensed they were unhappy as there were often snide and dirty looks and derogatory remarks about my work. I sat across the table from them, after ordering lunch and having them comment it wasn't healthy enough, and bluntly told them, I am not doing them any good as an assistant if I am intimidated by my bosses. I asked what the deal was and they told me they were pissed off that I scheduled training on their busy season. Being new to the firm, I didn't realize at that point what busy season actually meant, was every single day of the year from September until May. They seemed surprised that I called it like it was.

Things got a bit better, but only because I knew I wasn't alone. I found emails and documentation of my predecessors describing the hell that went on there. Things got worse when the acting Human Resource person began to harass all the females. When I returned from my honeymoon, I had learned that I would be directly reporting to him. He was like a walking time bomb. At first sight, you would naturally think he was either gay or having a mid life crisis. Late 50's with a 30 year old wife, an earring in one ear and the most obvious faux tan and hair plugs you've ever seen. He taught salsa dancing to the local youth at a club up the street. He once told me that an 18 year old's dress blew up in the wind and he saw the most beautiful purple thong he had ever seen. I wanted to puke.

As time went on, his comments became worse. It was such a small office that there was no way to avoid him. These were the things I documented:

*In front of male staff at an office function, while talking about speeding tickets, he said he could just picture me trying to get out of a ticket by lifting up my shirt.

* He came into my office in front of another Accounting staff who asked that her name not be mentioned and said he swore he was looking at my eyes, even though he was staring at my chest.

* He asked me how many bikinis I brought away on my honeymoon

* He asked if he could borrow my "Cock-ulator" instead of calculator

* He came into my office and said "Pumpkin, can I get under your desk oh baby baby" in front of a colleague.

* While discussing if I had received training from Lotus Notes, he said "Ohhh Kent already DID you. I didn't know you had already been DONE. He DID you quick and dirty. I didn't know you had already been done and Kent had done you."

* He asked a 20 year old colleague upon her resignation to call him because he would "like to see where this relationship goes". She by the way quit, because the Partner would throw files at her, embarass her in meetings and performed a huge "no no" in the accounting world, which was to not inform the existing student that she had passed her huge accounting test. For other favourite students, a cake was ordered, an email sent to the staff and the phone call made. For this beautiful young woman, the Partner specifically did not call her to let her know her results, all day letting her think that she failed this career important exam.

* While a colleague was at the Christmas party, the harassor said out loud, "That's a whole lotta womanly woman, look at those legs."

* He came in to my office and for about 15 minutes started looking at an inappropriate book telling me what he liked and which costumes he liked and what he would like his wife to wear.

* He instilled the fear that there was something going on with a company merger and we should all be very careful and worried about our jobs and if you were in his bad books, like the older staff.

* Our receptionist had confided in me that after over 20 years at the company, this person was the one who will push her out the door as he makes derogatory remarks to her and makes her feel stupid. He made it known that he simply had no use for anyone that was unattractive or older.

This person was in a power position. He guided the 4 Partners of the firm in whichever direction he wanted them to go. He was in charge of our vacation approval and salary review and even where we sat within the office structure. Needless to say, when I came forward about all this, I came back to work and my office with a door was taken and my new desk sat in the hallway by the file room. I was crushed.

At a certain point, we went through a company merger. Ironically, right around the time that Bill 168 was being introduced and the harassor would be conducting the training for the staff. I took all the necessary steps I was supposed to. I tape recorded conversations. I documented everything. I went to the Partners who did nothing. I went to colleagues who did nothing. I sought legal guidance, who, in a surprising twist of kindness, offered to help me pro bono. She said I had enough evidence to win a case, but asked if I was really prepared to spend 3 years of hell going up against a firm with big time lawyers. A part of me felt so defeated when I walked away, but I had a choice, and that choice was to start my new married life off in peace. I chose to fight for my job. I loved my job itself but the environment was so toxic, my Doctor recommended not going back. I was having breathing issues, panic attacks and major pains in my neck and body.

For the sake of our new home and the right thing to do, I came forward. An investigation was launched. 12 women were interviewed and came forward with the truth, however what I was shocked to discover, is when I returned to work, those same women turned on me. They would whisper, not speak to me and were angry that I brought this situation to light. One lady, a Christian, told me that she was forced to be honest, but that if that had of been her, she would have quit rather than come forward. She made it known that she was no longer my friend or confidante, even though prior to this, her husband urged her to quit because she was having heart problems due to the stress of this harassor. The company said they recognize he was at fault but that they would not be terminating him. What it came down to, they told me, was that if I sued them or he sued them for wrongful dismissal, his suit would cost them more money because of his superior position. I had a choice to return to the office or quit. Those were my two choices.

My assistant who was hired to help me, all of a sudden was supporting the Partners, being taken out for lunch and my office and duties were removed. They claimed they were not pushing me out the door, but the moment I gave a month's notice, they happily told me to take the month paid. Sure they did, that was right around the time an employee won a huge lawsuit against a large Payday loan company and it was all over the newspapers.

There was one woman who I can not thank enough. She always knew what was happening and had a backbone. She dragged me into the Managing Partners office and made me tell him what happened. She also went to bat for me and the other women during the investigation. I could never thank her enough. I never understood these other women. It's like they were secretly relieved that something had been done, but at the end of the day, still had to face these people knowing that they came forward and having to face the consequences. The ironic part was, it was my male colleagues, friends and superiors who came to me with support and told me I did the right thing and they shook my hand.

The harassor was found guilty and had to say so in front of the entire staff. My husband was there that day and had a few choice words for him. He actually told him that he made him ashamed to be a man and would never speak to any woman like that. The ironic part of all this is, if I was witnessing someone else being treated like this, I would naturally stick up for them but when it's you in that position, for some reason it is not as easy to say something to your superiors.

I'm no longer there but from what I understand, the abuse continues. The newly merged company did a fantastic job at trying to implement processes and in time, hopefully things will change. It is always the case that the right thing to do is always the hard thing. Maybe this will make these people think twice about how they treat their staff. I consider myself a strong person and I fought for my job and what was right and fair but at the end of the day, sometimes your own personal well being and safety is more important than a good paying job.

I contacted a bullying at work site and did you know they get over 500,000 hits to their site
per month? You wonder why I want to stay at home and work for myself.

If you are a witness to harassment in the workplace, remember that this could one day be your daughter, your mother or your friend, and they need for you to stand by them and do the right thing. It could exist anywhere. You would think this type of behaviour would go on in a factory type setting but the truth is, the white collar corporations are just as guilty, but are more clever at covering it up. I told the female Partners upon my resignation, that they should be ashamed of themselves. They are smart and highly educated females representing half of the firm's management. Their roles are as prestigious as a Partner in a law firm. We as Corporate women have to be just as ballsy as men. If you want to fit in, you have to part of the old boys club. I can joke around with the best of them. In fact, when coming forward, I had to make sure the superiors knew that I wasn't just an uptight prude. Isn't that sad? The truth is, when the economy is on a downslide, people more than ever need to keep their jobs, but at what cost?

I have to say, it was difficult going for job interviews and coming up with a reason why I left my last company. I wanted to tell them the truth but would I be looked at as a "troubled" candidate? I was ready to sign an offer at a competing firm when I heard from a friend that the owner had several wrongful dismissal and harassment suits against him. It was like leaping from the frying pan right back into the fire! After going through what I've gone through, I'm not so sure I would come forward again. When you look at how things transpired, I doubt any other woman who witnessed what I went through before and after the investigation, would ever come forward either. It certainly seemed that staying quiet was the easier road in all regards.

Thanks for listening. I'm now flying on my own and I've never felt so free.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Keep it together.



Happy Family Day to you! What a special and needed holiday which allows us just one more extended day on the weekend to spend time with our loved ones.

Time is all we have.

Enjoy!

From my family to yours,

Wendy

"Keep it together in the family
They're a reminder of your history
Brothers and sisters they hold the key
To your heart and your soul
Don't forget that your family is gold"

~ Madonna

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mission Bells.

I love it when I hear new bands who sound distinctively different. Armistice is a Canadian indie pop band consisting of singer-songwriter BĂ©atrice Martin, better known by her stage name Coeur de pirate, and Jay Malinowski of Bedouin Soundclash.

The fun mariachi tone and sounds of "Mission Bells" remind me of the nice weather that is quickly approaching us.

I have a soft spot for all things spanish sounding. Doesn't this song remind you of a contemporary Spanish Harlem? Their voices are sexy, raspy and smokin' hot. Of course, the vintage inspired video tugs at my heart strings as well.

Enjoy this ear candy as the work week is coming to a close.

Love,

Wendy



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The middle ages


If I took a quiz about having a mid-life crisis, is that an indication in itself that I am having one?

I read an article that I found interesting, and figured I would share it. Since the majority of my readers are women, and I get responses from all around the world, I have realized that no matter what our cultural differences, we are all in this together, and relatively all going through the same things. For once, I'll let the experts sum it up and I'll sit back and let you read.

Life is a cycle of seasons, and the transitions between seasons can be worrisome. Often there may be minor disruptions in life style, which are soon resolved. But when they persist, there is a crisis. Midlife is one such period which has been recognized as a period of potential crisis.
Midlife sets in somewhere between the end of the 30s and the late 40s. It is distinct from the premenopausal years that occur later. Up till the 1900s, only about 10% of women reached middle age. Their roles were well defined within the limited sphere of home and family, as wife, mother, domestic drudge. Midlife crisis was unheard of.

However, the 20th century has seen an incredible lengthening of the life span, with women living well into their 7th or 8th decade. So, around 40 years or thereabouts, when the business of child bearing is over, and children begin to assert their independence, there looms before women a stretch of life that appears to be like a vacuum. Husbands may also be passing through their own midlife crisis, and are like irritable hedgehogs. Or in a reversal of roles, they become overly dependant on their wives. Women begin to feel trapped.

A woman may feel that life is passing her by. "Who am I?" she wonders. "Does my life count for anything?" An inexplicable loneliness overcomes her as though she has no real self identity. Conscious of her gradually fading beauty and energy, she sinks into depression. This feeling of worthlessness is compounded if there is marital dissatisfaction. The 20th century saw revolutionary changes taking place in every aspect of life. Education, employment outside the home, collapse of the joint family system, migration to the impersonal atmosphere of cities, changing sex roles, women's liberation movements, youth culture, and rapid advances in Science and technology - these have created a kind of insecurity in the traditional woman. As she tries to keep pace with changing times, stress becomes her portion.

It is against this background that Midlife Crisis assumes significance. Whether single, married or widowed, almost 2/3rds of women pass through this phase. A career oriented spinster high up in the Management hierarchy suddenly decided that she cannot live alone anymore. She conjures up pictures of being incarcerated in some Home for the Aged, and the prospect alarms her. So she frantically advertises in the newspapers for a suitable spouse, and may imprudently select an undesirable mate, or enter into a live-in relationship. A sober middle aged widow may decide to give herself a new image. She may visit a beautician to have her hair styled, her eyebrows plucked, and her wrinkles ironed out with Botox. She may even begin to use heavy make-up and dress like a teenager. She may flirt outrageously with eligible men, or have an affair with someone younger than her son. People notice, gossip and snigger, but the woman throws propriety to the winds, and is brazen about her behavior.

A spinster with unfulfilled maternal desires may decide to have a baby out of wedlock or offer to 'rent her womb.' Some psychologists say that Midlife Crisis is just a convenient excuse for irresponsible behavior. But it can be argued that if this was the case, why wait till middle age to indulge one's self? Middle Age is merely a transitory phase, and is not something to be feared but welcomed. Crisis usually occurs when there is a lack of preparation. E. M. Blaicklock says "Middle Age is the time when life's fruits begin to ripen."

It must be prepared for. It is a time to take stock of one's self, and examine one's life style. One needs to identify factors that can contribute to a crisis and address them individually. Is there fear of losing one's youth, sex appeal and beauty? Do a few strands of grey, or sagging breasts or weight gain create panic? One psychiatrist says, "Feeling good and looking good is related to a balance between mind and body." And Longfellow assures us that "Age is no less an opportunity than youth itself, though in another dress."
Exercise, a balanced diet, relaxation, and a general interest in the world around, will put the radiance back into middle aged faces.

Has the marriage relationship become boring? Then one needs to put more effort into changing it. A little more loving, communication and caring can go a long way in setting things right. The husband may also be passing through midlife crisis and may be disinterested or unable to respond to her feelings. A woman must therefore verbalize her needs directly and specifically, making him understand that she is passing through a difficult phase and wants his understanding and love. A good husband will not only be emotionally supportive of his wife, but also give her the space she needs to develop her sense of self worth. If a woman is suddenly widowed in middle age, her depression may increase. Or she might rush into an affair which is not a sensible thing to do while under stress.

For a woman who has spent the best years of her life being an exemplary mother, who has found identity and fulfillment in her children, the realization that they don't need her anymore, and a wide generation gap is developing between them, makes her feel marginalized and useless. Midlife is also a time when one becomes vulnerable healthwise. Diseases like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, the need for diet restriction, medication, exercise, make her conscious of her mortality. She begins to brood over her situation and gets bogged down in self pity. Dwindling money resources and stringencies brought on by retirement, also pose a threat to her peace of mind.
All these stress factors have a snowballing effect, which can undermine a woman's self confidence and bring about altered behavior like, depression, irritability, irrational behavior, assertiveness or abnormal sexual interest. In fact, this phase is like passing through a 'second emotional adolescence.'

Anticipating and preparing for middle age can make the transition smoother. Life doesn't end at that stage. Floyd and Thatcher say, "Middle Age is a time for discovery, not stagnation. It is a time ripe for fresh beginnings - a threshold to a rich stimulating future. If approached with good humour and flexibility, and an openness to change, the middle years and beyond can be the best half of life." Life has many different seasons. At each season a woman needs to reassess her values from different perspectives. Whether single, married or widowed, she needs to bloom in her own identity, and not be a rubber stamp of her husband or a door mat for her children; nor should she let herself be exploited even by her own family. She too must be a decision maker and assert herself when necessary.

Hobbies and new interests make life interesting. "Unlock your creativity," exhorts Ann Morrow Lindbergh. Music, reading, travel, painting are mood elevators.

Good friends are assets in difficult times. They act as confidantes or as sounding boards when one needs to get something off one's chest. They lend support in times of stress and depression. Groups like "Emotions Anonymous" help its members to open up and talk about their problems. They learn from each other's experiences and help each other mutually, to redefine their ideas and values. They become happy and confident. Artificial props like drugs and alcohol are not the answer, neither is an extra marital affair a solution. It may only lead to guilt feelings that are hard to shake off.

Husbands and children must realize that their supportive love can work magic in overcoming midlife crisis. But unless a woman verbalizes her needs and fears, they cannot know.
Finding time for introspection, refusing to condemn one's self for imaginary short comings, and an awareness of the temporary nature of such a crisis, is half way to overcoming it. People tend to put God last when faced with a crisis. Paul's words in Philippians 3:13 are encouraging. "I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear out one thing; forgetting the past, and looking to what lies ahead." Prayer surmounts many a crisis.

Midlife is the pre- autumn season of one's life. Autumn is sure to follow, and will light up one's personality with the golden hues of maturity and peace. Life will begin again with a new vision for what is left of the future.

Eva Bell is a doctor of Medicine and also a freelance writer of articles, short stories, children stories. Published in Indian magazines and newspapers, anthologies and also on the web. Author of two novels, one non-fiction, two children's books. Special interest - Travel and Women's Issues.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Eva_Bell


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spring 2011 Trends: The Glamourous Life


The snow is melting and the storefronts are already loaded with the pastel and airy palettes that remind us the nice weather is coming. Here are some fashion trends to try for Spring 2011, accompanied by Rihanna's "Breakin' Dishes/Glamourous Life" medley.

1. Indigo Blue


2. Lace Everything


3. Menwear


4. Florals
5. Trouser Jeans


6. Vibrant Colours


7. White on White





Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweet things.



Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! If you're in love, relish the moment. If you're not, do something about it. If you're alone, go make plans. If you are by yourself and want to be, relax and unwind. If you're with friends, enjoy.

Without love in our lives, what's the point?

Love,

Wendy


Sunday, February 13, 2011

A reader's response to "A midlife crisis, already?"


I asked permission to use the below from someone who contacted me regarding the above mentioned post. She agreed and I think it adds some great perspective to the notions of aging.
Thank you for all your feedback!!


Hi Wendy,

I read with interest your recent blog on mid-life crisis and aging. Unfortunately there is a pre-conceived notion out there about older people. Being 64 years of age does not make me old…old is a state of mind where one basically sits around waiting to die. Aging on the other hand is much different than being old. With aging there is the ability to reflect on times past and enjoy, albeit sometimes only mentally, all the good things, experiences and memories that have taken place in our lives to make us the people we are. Most “old” people that I know are bitter…but they were that way at 25, at 50 and still at 80….life was never good enough for them then or now…so they sit and wait. No need to wait….death is inevitable and it will come – but being old is not a prerequisite for dieing, it just happens! We can plan for death, or not plan, it doesn’t matter – when our time comes, it’s game over.


Flannel pajamas??? I’ve never owned a pair and certainly don’t intend on going down that road, ever! Sexy nighties fill a drawer in my dresser but most often bedtime is “au natural” in spite of the surplus rolls, the stretch marks and the waning elasticity of the skin. Flesh on flesh begins at birth and is a sensation that brings about warmth, love, closeness and fragility – I don’t think that anything else can compare.


Intimacy….ahhhhhhhhhhhh now there is a subject that has no age limit. I know most of my senior friends engage in some type of sexual intimacy at least a couple of times a week…some even more. When I was in my 30’s raising a family, working full time, going to school working on my degrees, paying bills, keeping a house, being totally exhausted, etc. I had less energy and desire for intimacy than I do now and with kids around, it certainly wasn’t spontaneous. Age has nothing whatsoever to do with intimacy. Also, being post menopausal there is no concern for birth control and no unexpected “friend” showing up on holidays. Intimacy stops or wanes for many reasons….aging is not the major reason though, it is usually medications or lack of interest by either partner or by both and can occur at any age..


Early bedtime?? Not many seniors I know are in bed by 9pm…only those in nursing homes or those who have no other interests. We are rarely in bed before midnight as we have lots of things going on in our lives and some days seem to be too short as there are only 24 hours and we sure could use another 5-6 to do everything we want to do.


Grey hair….hmmmm…..I know of 20 somethings getting grey hair so being “old” has nothing to do with it. Yes, there are mostly seniors out there who have grey hair(s) but again, it is just not old people who have this phenomenon.


Wrinkles….at 64 I have some but they are good wrinkles….caused by laughing, smiling, enjoying life. Furrowed brows and pursed lip lines are not the good kind and only come from taking life too seriously and not enjoying the gifts that are offered to us each and every day.

As older people…64 & 65…we are nowhere near calling it quits on this thing called life. We still turn up the tunes, enjoy our wine, marvel in the fact that we still find each other interested and interesting….and we still dance whenever possible with our favourite being the Horizontal Boogie!


In this world of "thou must be the perfect female" - skinny, young, beautiful, flawless, dominated, disposable....I cringe at the thought how young teenagers are being molded mostly by the media. I am not a feminist by any means nor am I skinny, beautiful, flawless, dominated or disposable...and Hell will freeze over before I am any of those things. I am a female who is educated, independent, intelligent, happy in my own skin, nearing an age where a generation ago would have been thinking about their demise, have plenty of faults but have learned how to cope with them, resourceful, creative with many other qualities that make me an individual who is unique in this crass culture. I used to be quite intimidated by what others thought..now I don't give a flying fig. It's only their opinion and they are entitled to it however wrong it may be. I find that others criticize or dislike qualities in others only because they see those same traits in themselves that disgust them to infinite depths...so it's easier to lash out at others than to work on changing those loathing flaws from within.



I thought you might appreciate the thoughts of someone who will become a senior by year's end. There are many out there do think that older people are sexless beings who have little or nothing to live for. Life is good and it does get better. Remember when you were little and you thought your Mom was old...and as a teenager, she was really old!...lol....times change and so does our perspective. Men think that they are still youthful and sexy looking when they have lost their hair, have a beer belly and haven't shaved or bathed in a week.....but are so critical of the external female. Females are so much more complicated and are more beautiful on the inside that their exterior facade can ever exhibit.

At 34, you are not old, not anywhere near old...at 50 you may be approaching a senior's discount, at 65 you can get your Old Age Pension (must have been named by a male) but it is really money the government gives you for being a valuable, aged, experienced person. I was told frequently by my first husband that I was short, fat, ugly and stupid...but I didn't believe it then and I don't believe it now...well the short bit perhaps as I'm only 5'4"...but the rest was hogwash and said only to make himself feel better. If your "friend" wants to call you old it is only because he fears his own fleeting youth. Even if was said in jest, it's a mean comment and words do cut as deeply as a knife.

You are a beautiful person.....I see that from your passionate writings, your perspective of others in pictures, the light in your soul that shines through your eyes. Continue to be who you are, regardless of your chronological age.






Friday, February 11, 2011

A mid life crisis, already?



The other day, a male friend was confiding in me about liking younger women in the prime of their lives. I argued that women of maturity are sexier, and he then said something that walloped me over the head: you're old Wendy.

I read an article on the Yahoo front page a few days ago that said there are scientific studies that prove at the age of 35, the signs of aging for a woman start increasing rapidly.

Is 34 years old on the brink of old? I instantly checked the mirror for signs that my friend was right. Grey hairs? Check. Fine lines? Check. Tired eyes? Check Check.

I then did what any sane 34 year old woman just called "old" would do. I cranked up the music, had a glass of wine, did my hair and makeup and took some pictures (for myself) to prove him otherwise. Alas, my husband said, I am indeed old(er) than when we met. That's the thing about life. Time keeps ticking and if you're like me, you may not feel any different. You see someone's child that has grown so much, and you wonder where time went, all the while forgetting that if they are 10 years older than the last time you saw them, then most certainly so are you.

I announced to my husband last night that I had the chance to shoot a destination wedding in the tropics this year. He told me I was having a mid life crisis and if, in fact according to the stats, women pass on generally in their 70' and 80's, well he chuckled, I'm at about the middle of the road right now.

Could this be true? I'm not someone who tries to live in their 20's. I appreciated those wreckless, fun and confusing years for what they were. I believe in aging gracefully. I certainly would never wear a mini skirt past the age of 30. I abide by the rules. But I'm sure as hell not ready to throw in the towel and succumb to flannel pj's every night, bed time at 8pm and an absence of an intimate life. Isn't that what happens when you get "old?"

I'll never forget the movie Alfie with Jude Law. I simply loved this sexy remake of the 1966 classic. Alfie was a charming, attractive man who was always searching for someone younger and more beautiful. He fell in love with Susan Sarandon's character and she devastated him when she broke up with him. In one particular dramatic scene, he asked what this other gent had that he did not. She hesitated and upon his persistence, whispered "He's younger than you."

I guess age works both ways.

I am a 34 year old passionate woman full of fire, determination and love for life. My husband said he would never have to see another woman because I am 10 women all in one (not sure if that's a compliment or an aside to my many personalities LOL). I love to go dancing with my ladies, even if it's just for one night a year.

I'm old(er) but damn it, I am not old! Tonight, I'm gonna leave that 9 to 5 up on the shelf and just enjoy myself! To all the women my age, cheers to moving forward in life with dignity, pride, confidence and fun. We are not dead yet and nowhere near it.

Live your life off the wall!

Salut!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

...



Is it possible to love one person for the rest our human lives? In a recent episode of one of my soon to become favourite shows, Glee, the question was raised if you can have feelings for two people at the same time. It got me wondering about love and marriage and human nature.

Is it human nature to always want what we don't have? For example when you're single, you spend your life trying to find the right one, and long for that feeling of someone actually choosing you for their hand in marriage. Then you spend your time planning the wedding of your dreams and eventually go through life hand in hand as a married couple.

The stresses of life build and eventually you occassionally long for your single and free life back. I think as time goes on and the laundry and dishes start to build, you start to take your spouse for granted. They could tell you they love you every single day, but for some reason that doesn't weigh as heavily on your emotions as when a random person gives you new attention or compliments.

I read a passage in Elizabeth Gilbert's sequel to Eat Pray Love, in her latest book "Committed".
It discusses the perfect blueprint for infidelity. In life, she muses, there are appropriate places for windows and doors. In your marriage there should be windows which are open and transparent to what is going on with the other person. In work for example, there are doors, which close off that information not pertinent to a colleague for example. All of a sudden you meet someone and feel an attraction, and go for a casual lunch but don't mention it to your spouse. You have just put a door where there should be a window and that is the start of a recipe for disaster.

I hear more and more often in our generation talk of the "D" word. A friend's mom once told me that our generation needs to grow the fuck up because we don't want to stick it out the way they used to have to for the sake of their family. Is this true, or do we just have more options and choices? Furthermore, does the internet and technology make it too easy to meet someone, arrange to meet someone or have an online affair? Texting, emailing, tweeting make it far easier to be deceptive than if you were to call someone's home line at dinner time.

I often have a visual in my mind when thinking about breakups or divorce and the entire dating process. It's like we are all playing dating musical chairs and ending one relationship to go into another, show our best selves at first and then carry on in the cycle when it doesn't work out. Aren't people in fact just switching partners and trying to find that right fit? It makes you wonder why at an older age, people refuse to get married again and often want to live separate lives, even while dating.

Would this be easier than trying to transform one person to be everything you need under the same roof? Would casual dating solve the dilemmas of everday arguments and bickering of the married couple? Would chance encounters which awaken your spirit and soul and make you feel alive actually be better for your marriage?

I don't know. I don't have the answers. I don't even have a title to this blog post. I just listen and observe and write about it.

Is there even a definitive answer?

There was a song written, that I used to bop my head to but when I actually listened to the lyrics one day, it made so much sense. It's called "Escape", you know...the Pina Colada song about a wife who puts an ad in the personal column, and her husband answers it and they don't even realize what each other are lacking in their marriage. Take a gander at the lyrics and reflect on your own life.

Maybe it's just time to communicate.

I was tired of my lady, we'd been together too long.
Like a worn-out recording, of a favorite song.
So while she lay there sleeping, I read the paper in bed.
And in the personals column, there was this letter I read:

If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
If you're not into yoga, if you have half-a-brain.
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape.
I'm the lady you've looked for, write to me, and escape.

I didn't think about my lady, I know that sounds kind of mean.
But me and my old lady, had fallen into the same old dull routine.
So I wrote to the paper, took out a personal ad.
And though I'm nobody's poet, I thought it wasn't half-bad.

Yes, I like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
I'm not much into health food, I am into champagne.
I've got to meet you by tomorrow noon, and cut through all this red tape.
At a bar called O'Malley's, where we'll plan our escape
.

So I waited with high hopes, then she walked in the place.
I knew her smile in an instant, I knew the curve of her face.
It was my own lovely lady, and she said, "Oh, it's you."
And we laughed for a moment, and I said, I never knew...

That you liked Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
And the feel of the ocean, and the taste of champagne.
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape.
You're the love that I've looked for, come with me, and escape.

If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
If you're not into yoga, if you have half-a-brain.
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape.
You're the love that I've looked for, come with me, and escape.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The underdog




Always root for the underdog. Why not lend a hand instead of point and laugh? You never know how famous that underdog just might become.

See below and smile.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Beating the Monday blahs.....


1. Crank up Adele's new track
2. Dance like a maniac
3. Get curtains so neighbour's don't think you're nuts
4. Stage an impromptu photo shoot.
5. Smile. Someone loves you.




Sunday, February 6, 2011

A leap of faith



You've heard the expression "put yourself out there." If you put whatever it is you want out there in the universe, you shall eventually receive. The difficult part comes when you're not sure what it is in fact you want.

I often heard this expression when I was single. It was true, I often mused. I certainly wasn't going to meet someone just sitting in my apartment moping. In my dreams, a cute pizza delivery driver would just suddenly show up at my door, which allowed for me no effort in actually getting ready, going out and playing the ever so exhausting dating game.

The same is true for my change in career. I literally quit my job with no plan in sight and had to deal with people's perception and judgement of my rash decision. Someone recently said to me that it wasn't fair I get to live a fun life and play dress up. The truth is, the past four months have been ball busting hard work and all-nighters spent trying to find as much information about photography that I can, to expediate the process and eventually make a career out of something that I love.

When I met Michael, I certainly took a chance. I met him on an internet dating site, after having several horrid (and some great) dates. I cancelled on him a couple of times before finally agreeing to meet up with him. The truth is, I would never have met such a wonderful and amazing man if I didn't agree to take that opportunity.

Chance took me on another journey yesterday where I found myself having coffee with a woman with a soul of beauty named Charity. We sat and watched the snow fall on young skaters by the Burlington waterside. We looked at each other and instantly wanted to reach for our cameras. I knew I had met someone that was as crazy as I was for capturing a beautiful moment. Just then, an elderly couple were seated behind us. The wife clearly was confused as she asked where her granddaughter was and her husband gingerly placed his hand on her back.
It's nice to be loved.

I never really thought I wanted to have children. I never had that calling or urge that most mothers tell me about. Today, I went for a walk with my dog. He saw Michael and escaped out of my hand. I leaped face first into the snow and concrete to stop traffic from hitting my dog. Michael was shaken, and later said to me that I must have the instincts, if I was about to get hit by traffic to save my dog.

My point in all this is that you have to take a leap of faith in life. If it seems scary, daunting or intimidating, that is even more reason to try it. Because I took a chance, I have a wonderful husband, a new career assisting Charity Swords with her weddings this year and a great sense of pride and accomplishment of achieving my dreams without any handouts.

Reach for the stars....go out and live your dream.

Love,

Wendy