Family traditions

What family traditions do you have and share?

There was a time when one of our family traditions was that I wrote a lengthy newsy letter to include in Christmas cards that I mailed. I’m not sure when or why I stopped the practise. It wasn’t just that I stopped mailing cards. For a while I sent my annual family newsletter via email.

Holiday cards

My mom used to do so as well only she called hers “Holiday cards”. They never made it in the mail in time for Christmas.

We’d run through the past year chronicling the highlights. We’d share the highlghts of each family members’ adventures and misadventures.

This year in an effort to connect better with loved ones I decided to revive one of the family traditions. Only I chose to go back even further to the days when we hand-wrote most of our correspondence. Rather than send the same family newsletter to each recipient, we wrote a personal note to each.

Snail mail

I wanted to include a short hand-written note with each card. After about 4 cards I had to mail them off as is, in order for the rest to arrive on time.

If I were to revive the whole tradition I’d write a newsletter about our bi-annual family New Year’s Eve party (kid-focused); my oldest’s learning to drive and her new-to-her car; my youngest’s move to the much bigger English high school, but remaining in French (immersion instead of francophone); how the girls continue to perform: signing in music productions; and their busy schedules with dance and part-time jobs; they’ve added tutoring to the repertoire this year. And I’d share how lucky we’ve been to have a new member of our family since summer of last year; and how his family includes us all and makes us feel like part of their family.

For the first time in years I planned a vacation (without kids) and had a great travel companion to come with me. My youngest did some of her own traveling this summer, flying unaccompanied for the first time and spent two weeks away from home.

It’s really been a pretty fantastic year!

What family traditions mean the most to you?

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Life plan? A plan without action is just a dream…

Life plan? A plan without action is just a dream…

Have you been stuck in a rut? A never-ending cycle of planning, researching, and starting-but-not-quite, only to end up back at the drawing board?

Take action

I have heard this time and again as I have followed several influential side-hustlers/entrepeneurs… “take ACTION”… *don’t wait until you are ready* … take action now, and adjust the plan as it unfolds…

There are so many aspects of life that this is true, but probably most importantly when you are trying to affect change in your life. Action forces the envelope, pushes you outside of your little comfort box, and is how we learn! So go ahead, make mistakes! Then learn from them, and continue taking action!

Taking action, with all of the imperfection that comes along with it, is better than finding yourself in the same place only years older…

I recently stumbled upon aAction blog post of mine from years ago. Written back when my blog was more of a journal. Upon reading, I realized a few things. My life plan was nothing more than a bunch of partially realized or unrealized dreams. AND most of those dreams remain true today, more than seven years later.

There is one significant difference. I am now desperate to take action.

 

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts, reading a lot of books, and doing a lot of researching, learning, thinking… and I know that I must take more significant steps than I have in the past. I need to stretch beyond my newer comfort zone, and THEN keep stretching.

There are a lot of great leaders out there. Each has their own way of doing things. Many have a philosophy that they have come to follow. The most common thread among those I have been drawn to: ACTION is much more effective than planning, goal-setting, dreaming. While it is important to have the eye on the prize, it should be evolving, and it cannot evolve without taking steps in a direction beyond the current state.

 

Resources that I have found useful:

Chris Guillebeau – Sidehustleschool.com; $100 Start-up; Born for This

Marie Forleo – B-School; MarieTV

Cathy Heller – Don’t Keep Your Day Job (podcast)

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Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

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Nineteen Eighty-four

Nineteen Eighty-four

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Nineteen Eighty-four

 

George Orwell was certainly ahead of his time. He envisioned a future much like it became. Although I find beyond the references to Big Brother and how surveillance physically took place that there is so much different (thankfully).

Manipulative Politics

Another very poignant and disturbingly familiar theme is that of manipulation. Politicians and Politics which usually aim to address the needs of society at the start, become more and more manipulative in nature as Government becomes more Knowledgeable and prescriptive in what is best for the People.

Citizen surveillance

It makes you wonder though – could we be headed down the path lead by Big Brother (thankfully NOT a reality TV show) since we are using technology that so closely resembles and in many way surpasses his visions of surveillance? OR can we learn from the book as well as from history and prevent the worst of it?

One thing is certain, Nineteen Eighty-four could have been written much more recently and would still become a classic.

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Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

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What is Coaching with Trish and how does it work?

Have you been considering coaching to get some help with setting and/or reaching your goals?

Coaching is a great way to improve your chances of success!

Many people have heard about life and/or health coaching but aren’t really sure how it works. So, if that is you, you are not alone. Just about anyone can benefit from coaching, including other coaches.

Coaching helps individuals and groups to establish goals in different areas – whether it be life in general, career, business, finances, health and/or fitness, etc.  With the help of your coach YOU will determine what you want to work on. You will set goals that are reachable, and YOU will decided how to work towards them.

So what does your coach do?Trish - Coaching for Change

Before answering that, I must share with you one thing that coaching is NOT. Coaching is not therapy. If during your coaching sessions, therapy is determined as one of the resources required to meet your goals, I will assist with the process of finding the right therapist for you.

As your coach my goal is to help you work through that process. I will ask you the questions that will point you in the right direction. I will assist with researching both the issues/presenting obstacles and how to overcome them. I will help you to find the resources needed to be successful. And I will walk you through the process of setting the goals and objectives required to meet those goals.

Now once you have a clear idea of where you are wanting to be, and how you want to get there, we will decide together what support you require in moving forward. Primarily I will be your accountability partner. I will be looking for updates and helping to assess how your progress is coming. I will work with you to determine if there are new goals of reaching higher and/or maintaining the successes achieved.

How long will you need to work with a coach?

The answer to how long is completely up to you. You get to decide when we are done. You also get to decide how flexible the accountability will be and what will happen if you do not hold up your end of the bargain. Have you reached the goals you hoped to? Is the coaching relationship successfully assisting your journey?  Have you determined new goals to work on? Many people work with coaches for at least several months. Some people work with coaches for years and move through varying stages and or issues as they go.

I will “meet” with you via email, or virtual chat (text or audio) on a weekly basis (or otherwise, as determined in your sessions). I will help you navigate through a series of questions and conversations. The first session is a get to know you opportunity about where you are today and where you think you’d like to be headed, or what issue(s) you’d like to work on. This will also give you an opportunity to learn a little more about me and whether I would make a good fit for the coaching you are looking for.

What will be expected of you?

During sessions you will find yourself sharing/talking a lot more than listening. And you will be the decision-maker on this path.

In between our sessions you will have assignments, determined by you – with my assistance. I will be looking for an update during or prior to our next session(s). I may offer to provide resources to help with your journey. Most importantly, we will determine outcomes that will help us to know if you have achieved the desired objective and/or goal. And we will set a timeline by which you will work on them.

Coaching should not be stressful, but will be a bit uncomfortable. The only way to achieve change is to step outside of your comfort zone and do something that is at least a little bit of a stretch for you.

We will also determine what your learning style is and what will help you to be motivated to make the necessary changes to move forward. If this involves some sort of reward(s), we’ll establish what those rewards should be, and later, if they worked for your desired outcome. That way we will be able to set effective outcomes and rewards (or consequencWellness, parenting and social media coachinges if appropriate) going forward.

So what can we work on in our coaching sessions?

 

My areas of specialty are health and wellness; parenting/family/relationships/child care/and child development; social media marketing; curating family stories; and more. That being said I am able to work with you on just about anything that you identify as being important. My role is to ask you the questions that will help YOU to identify WHAT and HOW to work on the issue(s)/goal(s).

If you are ready to get started, or would like speak with me for a short consult to learn more, please complete my contact form. Or… you can join us on Facebook for a closed discussion about how coaching works.

I look forward to working with you!

 

 

Living “right” for health & wellness

Wellness has a right/wrong?!

Imagine that there is a “right” way to live. That by not living it your health and wellness suffers. Now imagine that this right way applies to every single human – regardless of age, gender, fitness level, income level, etc. – on the planet. It seems implausible. Why is it that people have such emotional responses to how others chose to live? Why is that so many try to convince others that their way is the right or best way?

*This post may contain affiliate links. TrishBlogs receives a small percentage of compensation for purchases made via these links.*

I have been looking into many options. Because of my chronic condition I have a specific motive for doing so – that is to find the right way for ME. I have read many books. I have surfed a lot of websites. I have listened to many podcasts.

 

It’s not one-size-fits all

Everyone presents his or her way as THE way to living the best life. From dietary recommendations of Paleo, to Vegan, omnivore, Vegetarian, low-carb to prescribed diets from nutritionists… one thing is clear to me. Each of our unique body-types, gene make-ups and lifestyles has a unique need for health & wellness. I’m not looking for a one-size fits all solution. I’m looking for what meets my individual needs – INCLUDING my other treatment options. It’s funny how few people question my doctors’ multi-prescription approach even with no noticeable improvement – yet tell someone that you have seen improvements due to a change to your diet based on natural/alternative medicine theory and you must heed many warnings.

There are a few common threads and that is where I want to focus for the time being. Limit processed foods. Eat real, whole, foods as much as possible. Read labels. The more green vegetables the better. Reduce sugar consumption. Move your body.

Then the waters begin to muddy.

Draw from multiple diet & exercise plans

It’s unfortunate that all professionals don’t have the same information. A base of unbiased general knowledge of all schools of thought and what situations they seem to apply best to. And the ability to then work with individuals to determine what is most appropriate for their lifestyle, body’s needs, etc.

I love research and so I have been attempting to find my “right” fit for a while now. From books like Dr. Sara Gottfried’s YOUNGER, websites like http://www.mercola.com/, podcasts like Ultimate Health, and professionals whose care I seek… Some of my preconceived ideas are applicable to a certain lifestyle (i.e. carb-loading for running races), but seem detrimental to my current condition. Where I once was training for endurance sport I learned specific recommendations. However, as my body began to complain, my mindset didn’t keep up with the changes. Not entirely.

So now, I am eating and exercising for my condition or what I hope will offer the best possible outcome. My biggest challenge is reminding myself not to compare my progress in any way to the formerly fit me. I need to compare my progress to me current situation going forward. One thing is clear – it’s much easier to navigate the waters when you have a better idea of the destination.

 

Wellness coaching services

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Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

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Book list for 2017… (Books read so far)

I used to document each  book I’ve read and responses to them. I’d like to get back to that. Once I get caught up, I may work backwards and share some of the responses I’ve had to books I’ve already read this year.

Self Portrait, Reading, Book

To start I’ll share my book list read so far in 2017:

 

The Right to Be Cold, Sheila Watt-Cloutier

The Elephants in My Backyard, Rajiv Surendra

The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah

One Hour in Paris, Karyn L. Freedman

Quantum Night, Robert J. Sawyer

Fifteen Dogs, Andre Alexis

Better Than Before, Gretchen Reuben

The Postmistress, Sarah Blake

The Brightest Star in the Sky, Marian Keyes

The Art of People, Dave Kerpen

The Fibromyalgia Coach, Tami Stackelhouse

, Simon Sinek

Stones into Schools, Greg Morgtenson

Instant Mom, Nia Vardalos

Born a Crime, Trevor Noah

Why Men Lie, Linden MacIntyre

Take Back Your Life, Tami Stackelhouse

Punishment, Linden MacIntyre

Stolen Lives, Malika Oufkir

Safe Haven, Nicholas Sparks

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Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

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Are you thinking about starting a side-hustle too?

I am always thinking about starting my own business and it seems somehow more do-able as a side-hustle.

Photo by Paul Wesson Photography

Photo by Paul Wesson Photography

The challenge to move forward, my side-hustle

I sit here contemplating the adjustments our bodies go through from to pre-op to post-op/recovery from major surgery. I am struck by my challenge with moving forward these days. Every time my health seems to be on the upswing, something else comes along…

I feel like much of my life has had the same kind of momentum. Two days ago I was ready to start spending my recovery days working on a project. I pulled out my laptop and launched my current digital scrapbooking project and worked on a few pages, knowing that tomorrow I’d have more time to complete more. “Tomorrow” came and I felt like crap. Hot & cold. Achy all over. I woke up late and then had no energy or ability to focus. So I read a little, watched a movie related to another personal project and tackled about 2 more pages. One thing I have learned but seem to need to keep re-learning is that we never know what tomorrow will bring. Today we must live as if it’s the only day/moment that we have.

Take action now

Now I could consider this as a bit of a fail in the world of follow-through, or I could cut myself a little slack, and see what the next tomorrow brings. It’s not that I can’t do that. But, I feel like life throws an awful lot of wrenches my way, and I wonder when dodging those wrenches becomes making excuses. Today, I slept. More than half the day away. It took some time to get my butt in gear. I still feel a bit wonky, but better. I will work on that project next, but I first thought my mind has cleared enough to tackle a bigger project. The side-hustle project. The project that requires a bit more focus and clarity.

Side-hustle

My blog. This project has been in the works a long time and has certainly been far more active and likely more influential by times. It’s still my side-hustle of choice. I just haven’t figured out exactly what the plan with it is. One thing I know is that I need to keep moving forward to build the momentum back up. Hopefully in the process the plan will become clearer.

Flexibility

Just as we have to be prepared to have a little flexibility with our plans in life, clearly we also need to with plans in business. It’s hard not to feel like that is some sort of indication of my ability or passion. So, I try not to pay much heed to where I have been, and keep my eye on where this may be headed. Here’s hoping I can pin that down soon.

Resources

I’ve found a few great resources that I turn to while trying to do just that:

I have followed Chris Guillebeau for quite a while now, from before his first book launched. Most recently, I got a lot out of his Book “Born for This”, and I’ve started following his new project “You Need a Side Hustle”. Chris gives a new perspective to all of the traditional business model advice that is out there. It is very refreshing.

Another great leader I recently started following is Marie Forleo. She is another who speaks passionately with her own voice. Following her videos feels a lot like you would imagine sitting across a diner table and chatting would feel like. I’ve been considering taking one of her courses and have noticed a new project “Start the Right Business” just launched today that seems to be calling out to me. Here’s hoping I can get the extra funds together soon!

Both Chris and Marie focus on taking Action more than anything. I’d love to get moving!

What actions are you taking to make that side-hustle/business happen? Do you have any great resources to share?

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Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

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When (if ever) does the end justify the means?

When (If ever?) does the end justify the means?

Individuals whom I have come to know and respect believe Trump to be a good choice as President. Hearing these words upset me almost as much as the actions of this man.

I’m a Canadian without a huge concern for direct impact of his Presidency. I sympathize with my friends to the south. They have to suffer the consequences of the orders he manages to push through during his “reign”. I have some misgivings about potential “seepage” so-to-speak across the border with policies, etc.

We had a Prime Minster who I disagreed with on almost every issue. A PM who had a manner about him that was unsettling to me. However, in all his days in power and campaigning I never felt real concern … that he would or had at any time prior (that would have been known to the world) behave in a manner that could be seen as outright bigotry, misogynistic, bullying, etc. Yes, I disagreed with his opinions and values. I certainly would not have accused him of championing the cause when it comes to most forms of discrimination. But I did not fear that he would be the one to encourage and initiate the vitriol.

justify this

Herein lies the real issue with The Donald’s election as President of the U.S. of A.

During the election campaign I was infuriated that Trump had a platform where not only was his ignorance and absolute smuck being accepted but it was glorified. In the period between his election and the inauguration, he should have be reigning himself in and learning to present himself in a manner deserving of the Oval Office. Yet, it continued. In fact, he justified himself anytime it was noted.

Now we have a man in the most powerful office in the world, who is being given seats at tables that deserve behavior of utmost respect and decorum. The @realdonaldtrump is engaging in middle school playground fights with celebrities, television shows and “the media” while the entire world watches. He is now wasting his (and our) time celebrating his over-stated success at drawing a crowd for his inauguration. Seriously, I’m just waiting for the “nannah nannah, nan-nah…” tweet directly to his predecessor.

How much time will it take for my learned friends who believe his claims of caring about their economic values and hatred of “the establishment” … to see just how much this was a power play – and nothing more – for this bigoted, misogynistic, opportunist.

Don’t be fooled by his claims to represent and care about “the people”, he doesn’t have any understanding of what it is like to struggle in any way, shape or form. Nor does he care.

 

So the question is, does the end justify the means?

I don’t have to agree with your values. Nor do you have to agree with mine. There is nothing that justifies the actions of a man so powerful pointedly belittling and degrading those far less powerful than he. Worse still, by accepting that a man in his position behaves in such a way it will only serve to make it acceptable for *anyone* to behave in such a way. Thus undoing the progress our society has made in treating people of all sexes, races, class, abilities, cultures, beliefs, ages, levels of income, etc. with the respect and equity that “the people” deserve.

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Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

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Living with Fibro (Fibromyalgia)

I’m often asked to describe some aspect of fibro (fibromyalgia), my chronic pain, chronic illness, etc. It’s not easy. There are so many pieces that all interconnect. As soon as I mention one thing, something else comes up… because one always affects the other, and another and another…

I recently went through my worst flareup. I’m beginning to feel like I’m coming out ahead of it now, but there’s never any total relief. My normal state is always in pain, just a lesser degree. I actually do not recall a day without pain anymore. It’s been more than thirteen years of dealing with this, day in and day out. I try not to get into it much, but you can rest assured that if I’m talking about it, it’s worse than “normal”.

What is fibro?

Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects the soft tissue, most specifically the fascia (connective tissue that attaches/covers muscles). The latest theory is something to do with nerves over-firing and not shutting off. The sensitivity to pain being much more active than pre-fibromyalgia. There may be a neurological root to this syndrome, however it is not psychological.

Fibro is so much more than that though. There are 18 tender points throughout the body that seem to be overactive at different times. During this last flareup, that lasted a few months, every single tender point was in excruciating pain. My “normal” usual involves about 6-8.

Fibro (fibromyalgia) & Chronic Pain Center

Symptoms of fibromyalgia

Living with fibromyalgia

Additionally, my muscles are always on high alert. My neck and shoulders are so tight at all times that knots form up and down my neck. It feels like that terrible neck and shoulder tension that comes during extensive highly stressful periods… only it’s 24/7. I find myself tensing muscles constantly, even in the most relaxed state. If I bring awareness to my body, I’ll notice it. And the most active pain areas are knotted up so that every visit to the massage therapist involves painful deep tissue massage in order to feel just a little relief from all the knots.

I see my massage therapist once/month. However, the benefit I feel from massage only last several days. If I could afford to, I’d have a standing weekly appointment. I also see each of a chiropractor, physiotherapist, my family physician and a pain specialist approximately monthly.

In the past I have been treated by acupuncturists, osteopaths, psychologists, social workers, natural medicine…

I have tried so many medications I have lost count. Meds for pain, meds to help my sleep cycle, meds for nerve endings…

Amitriptyline, nortriptyline, lyrica, Cymbalta, naproxen, advil, Tylenol, tramadol, Voltaren, cesamet… the list goes on.

I recently asked my pharmacy (which has only been my pharmacy for a little over three years) to give me a print out of my history. It’s several pages long. Imagine what the other ten years looks like!

I have always been one to try to avoid meds and I hate feeling like a guinea pig. Some treatments work but I have found no matter what the initial response, there is always a plateau at some point and the benefit no longer is seen.

At one point for over a year I had avoided eating all wheat, to no avail. I use a heating pad ritualistically at bedtime. I ice my flareups when they are inflamed. I have tried dry needling, “cupping”, many recommendations of supplements…

I have started logging everything, from symptoms to meds intake, foods eaten, water consumption, heart rate, stress levels, weather, my menstrual cycle, physical activity/exercise and sleep.

I live with a brain fog, and frequent vertigo. Sometimes I attribute it to lack of sleep, sometimes to the meds, and sometimes to my pain levels. In any event, my memory is nothing like it once was, and I have inconsistencies in efficiency of thought processing.

living with fibromyalgia

Photo by Paul Wesson Photography

I spent the better part of time I off recently (to rest and recover over a period of a few weeks) researching apps to log and sync most of that data. They don’t all interact, but I hope one day something will work together with them all.

Sleep is a chicken and egg kind of conundrum. I never ever get a restful sleep. My body can’t seem to get into a deep restorative sleep, ever. And yet, my pain cannot improve without some opportunity for my body to heal itself while I sleep. The pain keeps me awake, and the lack of sleep keeps the pain turned on. Chicken, egg, chicken. Egg. Chicken.

I love to be active, indoors and outdoors and I find when I have a regular routine of exercise that my health is definitely the best. But when a flareup occurs (which can be triggered by any combination of things including stress, the weather, and injury, or even just over doing it a little) I get completely derailed. And what would take a “normal” person 12 weeks to get back on track, will take me at least twice that. I need to double up the rest time and cut in half the workout intensities, and hope that something else doesn’t derail me before I get back on track.

Days like today, I feel like a complainer. A whiny, miserable, complainer. And I know there are those who look at me and think “there’s nothing wrong with you, why don’t you just suck it up?” But the fact is, as much as it gets me down, the tears just don’t flow. Living with fibro is frustrating, and often doesn’t feel like much of a life. But it’s mine and I will do so unapologetically.

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Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

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Give me a body break!

“Body break”. Do you remember those ads?

participaction - body break

Thinking about the break I need, from my body, reminded me of them.

So, I’m looking for writing prompts to try to get the juices flowing again – after a long time of not feeling “it”… and what do I come across, but “write about your body”?

My body …

The one that feels like she’s seeking her own revenge on me? She’s been telling me for years now that I have subjected myself to too much stress and turmoil and that she wants nothing more of it. The problem is that now she’s become the cause of my stress and turmoil … since I have finally started working hard to pay better attention to preventing stress and turmoil.

And just when I feel like I can’t deal with any more physical stress, something else comes along. The silver lining? I have realized that I have actually gotten very good at NOT stewing over the things that I cannot control.

I sure hope she starts to see how far I’ve come and gives me a little break. If I could give myself a break – and not just a few sick days and a few extra days vacation at home with the kids over the holidays – but a real break… I would.

And I’m working on it.

Do you need a break?

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Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do like/share it. You can do so using the easy share button below