Hi Ladies.

I had a few things I wanted to cover today, so this one will be a bit of a mixed bowl.

I firstly want to thank WordPress (www.wordpress.com) for choosing yesterday’s blog on GUILT as one of the featured articles of the day. It brought me insane amounts of traffic, and I was excited beyond belief. One of my Facebook friends wrote, “If you build it, They will come.” This made me teary. I write from my heart, day after day, and I visualize a whole bunch of us women sitting in a room together just discussing the issues. I feel connected. I do.

I also wanted to share what happened Monday evening. It will have a point at the end. It’s not just all drama, so stay with me…

Monday evening, my entire family was over for dinner. We were eating, talking, enjoying. My two boys were running wild in the living room, as they always do. Next thing I know, someone is crying. Hello!!! This happens five times a day! But this time was different. I picked up my two year old to comfort him, and next thing I know,  his eyes rolled to the back of his head, he was turning blue, and he was lifeless in my arms. In fact, he then slid right out of my arms directly onto my hard wood floor, as I wasn’t expecting to receive his body in this nature. I picked him up off the floor but he was dead weight, and not moving.

I screamed to my family, “CALL 911!!!!!” The ambulance came literally in two minutes. In those two minutes, while I started shaking him and screaming, my husband blew in his face. He awoke, and started crying. My husband was physically trembling, he couldn’t even hold him. He physically almost threw up. When the ambulance arrived, my son was already lucid and talking up a storm again. They said that while his vitals were good, his blood pressure was very high and he had to go to the hospital immediately. I ran into the ambulance with him completely shaking. In fact, I ran out of the house in my pink fluffy slippers when the nice driver told me to go back and get shoes. My husband followed with my father in law behind the ambulance. My baby boy. I thought he had died in my arms.

So while sitting in the ambulance, all that went through my head was how fragile life is. How life turns on a dime. How one minute you’re celebrating, and the next minute you’re praying. In fact, at this very moment, my uncle is very ill in the hospital. We were talking about him at the dinner table, and how life is just not fair sometimes.  I don’t have to tell you this. We all know life isn’t always fair.

The shortened version, when we arrived at the hospital, the doctors had come to the conclusion that after my big son had winded the little one into the couch, his hard crying had caused him to stop breathing and pass out. No joke. It’s called “breath holding.” Many kids get it from crying. They hold their breath from crying, and the lack of oxygen to the brain makes them faint. Don’t laugh, it’s scary as hell!

All this to say, we all slept in yesterday morning. My big son went to  school late, my little one stayed home with me. We had a quiet day, and it was wonderful. I don’t mean to be somber, but that’s just where my head was. It was all very scary. To top it off, what truly made me cry, was my big son thought it was his fault. When the ambulance pulled up, he shouted, “It’s all my fault.” That killed me. I called him 5 times from the hospital to tell him that of course, it wasn’t his fault at all. He must have the guilty gene like his mom! Poor him!

So, enough of this sad story. I will tell you the funny parts of the story. There were a couple. While we were in the ambulance, and his life was flashing before my eyes, this little voice comes out and says, “Mommy, no DVD player in da ambulance.” I blurted out laughing. Even the driver started to laugh, as my son started to recite our Montreal Canadiens team players one by one, and how Kovalev was traded to the Ottawa Senators.

Top that off with the doctor who treated him at the hospital. We’re waiting for the doctor, and in walks this nice lady  “Hello, I’m Dr. Seuss.” I reply, “That’s cute. Really, what’s your name?” She answers, “Dr. Seuss.” NO JOKE! P.S.,  her name really is Dr. Soos.!! My big son ran with that. He loved that the doctor at the Children’s Hospital was Dr. Soos!

So just remember, you blink and life can change. I realize now more than ever, we have to live in the moment. Celebrate the good stuff. My husband and I went out last night to celebrate for no reason. My son was healthy and we felt thankful. I had my busiest blogging day and we tried to savor the moment. So today I pray for my uncle’s recovery, and for good health and happiness for my family.You should feel grateful for the good things you have.

And do the cheesy stuff today…

Email your boyfriend or husband or partner and tell them them you love them and appreciate them. Blast your iPod and close your eyes and enjoy some great music. Run on the treadmill today at the gym, cuz there’s no greater and freer feeling. And call those people you wronged and apologize to them. You never know if you’ll always have that chance to tell them how you feel.

xoxEDxox

PS – I should be feeling happier tomorrow, therefore, look out for some happier “On the fence” topics.

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So, our brains constantly torture us to the tune of ; I should be spending more time with my kids, cooking healthier meals, calling friends more regularly, returning emails, working harder, going to the gym more often, being nicer to people, coming home earlier from the office, baking more, eating better… Oh the Guilt! Oh the Guilt!

Actually, guilt does serve its purpose on occasion. It sometimes guides us when things go wrong in our lives, when we’re not working hard enough, or when we’ve done something wrong, for example. But us ladies truly take guilt to a whole new level. I would even go so far as to call it our disease.  We suffer from guilt about so many things. Instead of recognizing all the wonderful things we do for those around us, we let the things we CAN’T do completely overtake our mind. This is a sad thing ladies. Sad. But I will tell you, I suffer from this disease as well! And it’s chronic.

I sold my business three years ago to be home with my kids, because I was feeling so guilty leaving them all the time. Now, I feel guilty if I can’t be at all the carpool pickups for my little son. Or I feel guilty if I want to take time alone. I feel guilty if I miss a dinner with the kids due to a school meeting. I feel guilty if I go to the 7:30am kick boxing class. I feel guilty ALL THE TIME. And I don’t know why. After all, I think I’m a pretty good mom, daughter, and wife. I just can’t turn off that guilt switch.

So what is the solution? Many experts say we truly need to put ourselves and our needs first. To take that “Me time.” Haven’t we all heard “The first Love, Self love.” or “Happy Wife, Happy Life.” and “Happiness comes from within. First please yourself, and then you’ll be pleasing to others?”

Well that shit is darn easier said than done!!!

There is such a fine line between pleasing and nurturing ourselves, and being selfish. That’s at least where I and so many of you struggle. If I treat myself to an afternoon alone, am I a bad mother? If I leave the office too early, am I bad employee? If I leave my marriage without trying, did I give up too soon?The list is endless.

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So, what do you do? Guilt can be very paralyzing and destructive. And the thing with guilt, is no one punishes you but yourself! Every woman deserves to be happy, and live their life to its maximum potential.

  • First, accept that you are human, and that you are always acting the best you can, at any given moment. Accept that humans fail and err, and all you can do is your best. Guilt keeps you stuck in the past, and doesn’t let you move forward. Let it go.  You’ll do better the next time.
  • This leads up to; if you made a mistake, learn your lesson and move forward. Learn to be resilient. It’s a process.
  • The “should-haves” cause tremendous guilt. Placing unrealistic expectations on yourself serves you no purpose other than to stress you out. This leads us back to learning to say no a little more, and saying it guilt free.
  • Don’t get sucked in when someone is trying to give you a guilt trip. For example, “Really don’t come if you don’t want to… Isn’t that too expensive for you?… You put your child in daycare after 3 months?… Shouldn’t you be home with your kids now?” Don’t even answer the question or you are being sucked in.
  • Remind yourself of ALL THE GOOD THINGS YOU OFFER TO THIS WORLD. Calm those negative and guilty thoughts. Seriously, the power of positive thinking is an incredible thing. You’re worth it. We’re all worth it. We all deserve a little “me time,” and deserve it guilt free.
  • And finally, stop asking yourselves, “What will the world think of me if I…” Stop caring what others think… you’ll see how much guilt dissipates once you stop caring about how the world views you. I know people who have mastered this art. They don’t give a sh*t what anyone thinks of them! And I tell you, they’re happy! Now, I’m not saying not to care or be accountable to your family and friends, but stop that need for external approval.

And stop living your lives the way OTHERS want or expect you to. And stop feeling guilty that you’re not perfect; my friends, neither are they!! Live your life according to your own values and beliefs. We are on this earth for a short time. Make is great.  Make it count.

xoxEDxox

Any of you have your own tips for calming the guilt in your brains? Share with our readers…

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So, I received a call the other day to teach a weekly course (4 hours a week) on entrepreneurship and mentoring… for free.  Everything I do, by the way, be it giving sales and marketing seminars in October, to the stuff I describe below, I do it all for free. Cuz I love it.

The old me;  “Of course I’ll do it.”

The new me, “No thank you. Not right now.”

I always volunteer. I’m a serial volunteer. I do it because this community supported me many years back when I started my own business. And, I truly believe in giving back. I do. I help out whenever I can. I run to a ton of meetings. I mentor a group of individuals each month who are trying to collectively get a business off the ground. I leave my kids at supper time and homework time to do this, because I believe in charity and I love business. I mentor another woman in my community starting an online business. Besides being on the board of director’s for my son’s school, I just started the school’s marketing committee. I love this stuff. I come alive for this stuff. But, becoming a human pretzel is just not where I’m at these days. I have reached my threshold, my saturation point. And I know it. I’m starting to get short-tempered. I’m starting to lose it. We all know our breaking points, or at least we think we do. It’s that last thing we agree to take on, that is going to make us collapse like a house of cards. So, I decided my new motto is, “not right now.” And it’s a skill, I tell you. It doesn’t feel great to say no. Our egos are attached to the yes, and so saying no, and letting go is difficult. It’s definitely a process I’m getting better at.

And when I say, “no thank you right now is, ” it doesn’t mean I won’t be interested in a couple of weeks, months, or next year. It means for today. And when I keep the door open, I feel good about that. I read somewhere once that “SAYING NO TO SOMEONE, IS SAYING YES TO YOURSELF.” Just let that soak in. It’s really true. Saying no to someone else, means saying yes to yourself. It means freeing yourself up to do more of the things you love… read a book, go for a walk, take a painting class. Whatever.

As working women, as single moms, as wives, as friends, we’re asked and pulled every day in a thousand directions.”Do you think you can do my carpool?” or “Do you think you can stay late tonight at the office to get some extra filing done?” and “Do you think you can just drop off my dry cleaning?” I’m not saying we all don’t have responsibilities we are unable to escape in our daily lives. All I’m saying is, if you feel like your plate is full, it ain’t the time to pack more on it. And saying no takes practice. Saying no to friends, no to husbands, no to charities, no to someone asking you for a loan, no to a bothersome person, no to an incredible opportunity because now just may not be the ideal time for you.

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So, if you feel you’re becoming the human pretzel, just a word of advice. (Now I would like to reiterate, I am not saying you should be selfish and never help people out. However, it’s just that many of us are running around stressed out because we’re saying yes to everyone).

  • We have all been turned down in our lives. Johnny couldn’t come to our son’s birthday party, you were denied a favor, someone didn’t reciprocate your crush, it’s a part of life. So, did you die from it? Of course you survived it! Don’t assume you’re going to inflict serious harm by saying no to someone.
  • Learn to accept no from those you love as well. “No’s” are a part of everyone’s life. Take it all in stride. If you do, you’ll be more easily able to say no to others, which means YES to yourself.
  • Stop being a pleaser. Saying no without any guilt is very common, but say it when you need to say it. To your children, to your spouse, to your boyfriend, to your boss. What’s your human pretzel threshold? Are you there yet?
  • Don’t instinctively say yes. Think it out first. It’s okay to not answer on the spot. How about something like, “can I think it over and get back to you?” If anything, you sound mature, professional, and if it really ends up being no, the “no” will sound like a better no. And may I also note, you don’t have to be rude when you say no either. You should say it politely, thank you very much!
  • Saying no truly does come with confidence. The more confident you are in your abilities, the easier time you will have to say no to people. Sorry, but it’s the truth.
  • And finally, if you do say yes, and then you feel resentment, it means you SHOULD HAVE SAID NO!

So, say NO, and let it be guilt free… except in sex… I say “go for it!”

Oh ya, and by the way, I’m not a night person. So, if the new blogs are not posted at night for early morning viewing, please cut me some slack. I’m learning to say no. Postings will be every day to every second day. I’m aiming for daily! I thank you kindly for reading. I’m writing for you!

xoxEDxox