I am here...although I don't know if I have arrived. Some days I feel stranded in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, other days I marvel at the paradise that I call my life. Welcome to my ramblings, reflections, and obsessive- compulsive tendencies

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

...about water

this little island of mine is surrounded by the most beautiful water i have ever seen.  the various colours of blue leave me in awe each and every day.  there are no rivers running into the ocean, there is little to no pollution and the bottom of the ocean is lovely, soft, pinkish-white sand ensuring that the water is clear, clean and stunning.  i have views of the ocean from most windows in my home.  it really is breathtaking.  i think i have made my point.  jealous, yet?
here's the flip side...in the true spirit of island life, we are staring at all of this water while we are fretting that we don't have any that we can use.  having spent the majority of my life living near the great lakes, an unbelievable source of fresh water in the world, i came to take for granted that i could have clean, fresh water to use in abundance.  i turned on the tap and magically, there it was.   would it run out...of course not.  i could feel all self-righteous that i would turn off the tap when i brushed my teeth because "i love the earth", but truly, i was blissfully unaware of what it was like to really worry about my water consumption.   this past month has significantly altered my perspective. 

when you arrive in bermuda you notice that all of the houses are painted in what i refer to as "ice cream colours".  we live in an orange house, our neighbours house is green, there is a purple house down the road and numerous yellow and pink houses to be seen as well.  in fact, people refer to the colour of their house when they give directions.  it is far more important than the name of your street. regardless of the colour of your house, though, everyone has a white roof.  it looks a bit like stair steps and is specially treated and cleaned often.  this is because our roof is the first step in the collection of the water that we use in our home.  when it rains the water runs down the roof and into pipes that lead to the water tank that is under our house.  our tank is near empty at the moment, for the second time since we have been here.  we have had de-salinated water delivered twice, but they can't keep up with the demand.  everyone here is having the same issues.

apparently this is not the norm.  it is said to the be worst drought in 50 years.  while we are loving day after day of beach weather, we are also hoping that the rain comes soon.  the whole island is struggling with the water shortage.  the boys have baths together in very shallow water.  i turn off the water in the shower while i lather my shampoo.  we brush our teeth out using a cup and run the dishwasher and laundry only when they are full to overflowing.  we follow the old saying, "if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down."  there are no thoughts of washing the car or watering the grass and letting our children run through the sprinkler to cool off is beyond out of the question.

so, while i am waiting for rain,  it makes me think of other people in the world who really do have issues with water.  my problems are very small...tiny...miniscule.   i do not walk to the next town, pump water and carry it back to my family.  i walk to the store beside my house, use my bank card and buy a case of water for my family to drink.  i have taps that work, toilets that flush and, as sad as it is to acknowledge it, a wasteful attitude too much of the time.  it isn't like these thoughts haven't crossed my mind in the past, but they have been brought to the forefront of my mind.  i can do more.  i teach children that can be more aware.   i am raising children that can make a real change.  my perspective is changing.  better late than never.  

Monday, May 18, 2009

...about mind over matter

as i was growing up i feel like i hardly ever went to the doctor when i was sick.  that probably isn't true of when i was really little, of course.  i wouldn't want to give the wrong impression of my parents.  they were exceptional and wouldn't have let anything happen to me.  i was also a pretty healthy kid from the sound of things.  but as i entered my late childhood and into my teens, i can't think of when i saw the doctor.  i could always hear my dad's voice, "oh, it's all in your mind, luv, you're fine."  the thing is, i guess i always was.  that said, i think it did a major number on my mind.  it seems that i began to believe him that everything was in my mind and now i find myself constantly battling with it.  here's a little example of the craziness that is in my head.

i have been working my ass off (literally) trying to be a runner.  i have always wanted to be that person that can lace up her nikes, head out the door and stride along without a care in the world, looking strong and fit.  this new country of mine is the perfect setting.  i can run out of my door and have views of the atlantic ocean the entire time.  in january i laced up my nikes and headed out for a two-mile "run" where i walked most of the time.  i have since worked my way up to 5 1/2 miles where i do run (jog) the entire time.  It is a huge accomplishment for me and i am truly quite proud of myself, but the whole "without a care in the world" doesn't come close to what is happening inside my head when i am running.  

i set out on saturday morning for my weekly long run sans stroller.  usually these are good runs because pushing a 30 pound kid in a 20 pound stroller up and down the hills in my part of the island is something of a challenge.  that said, on this particular day, after two minutes i decided that i hated the music playing, my sports bra sucked and my legs felt like lead, i was quitting...not just the run for the day, but the whole exercise kick.  i would run out of sight of the house so that my cheering husband wouldn't know how pathetic i was.  i ran the five minutes to the railway trail and slowed to a walk for a millisecond and decided that i could probably run the five minutes back to the house, so i did.  at the cut-off for the house i talked myself into running the rest of the trail, it isn't that long, but then i was quitting for sure.  running was stupid.  you can guess where this story is going.  i argued myself into running for over five miles and my brain didn't shut up the entire time.  i ended up being more emotionally exhausted than physically.  

my body can actually do far more than my mind ever gives it credit for.  if i can just get past the hurdle of my brain, imagine the athlete i could become.  well, maybe that is overstating it a little bit, but it does give me something to think about (i know, i know, there i go again with the over-thinking).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

...about my luck

i've often said that i feel incredibly lucky when it comes to the big things in life but in the little things, bad luck follows me wherever i go.  i have a loving partner who supports me in anything i choose, whether it is a crazy decision or not.  my young son miraculously made his way though some health issues that didn't seem like there would be a positive end in sight.  my parents offered me a wealth of opportunities and i have a few degrees under my belt, am able to play the piano, sing, and i hold my own in most sports.  i knew all of my grandparents well and didn't even attend a funeral for a family member until well into my 20s.  i never struggled with what my career path should be and the choice to be an educator completely fulfills me.   lucky...i know that i am.

here's the thing.  the whole murphy's law thing seems to be a motto for my life.  if it can go wrong, it probably will.  as i was preparing to move to bermuda last fall, my roof started to leak just before we put our house on the market.  later, my car was broken into and our passports and laptop were stolen.  passports are kind of essential in a move overseas, as you might guess.  finally, in the couple of weeks leading up to us handing over our keys to the new owners, we had sewage coming up the drain in our basement and found out that roots were growing through our pipes.  oh, and the garage door broke.  fun times.

i just had another of those moments that made me think that i had pissed somebody off in a former life.  yesterday was my husband's birthday.  it wasn't a grand affair to be sure, but i was looking to make it special in some small way for him.  i baked a rum cake, going for the "bermuda" feel.  we wrapped presents, blew up balloons, made his favourite salad, fresh baguette and lamb chops with rosemary.  great dinner, great company, tons of dishes at the end of it all.  oh yes, and did i mention that when we turned on the taps for the sink we found that we had no water left.  well, that isn't completely true, we did have the disgusting, brownish, sludgy kind of water that must collect at the bottom of our tank.

we promptly made a call to the water guy -- another bermuda experience -- check.  today, as the water truck was pulling into the driveway, my 2-year old chef and i were just putting the finishing touches on our freshly made hummus.  i quickly stacked up the four containers to put them in the fridge only to have the top two wobble, fall and splat all over the kitchen floor, covering my shirt, jeans and toes on their way down.  knock, knock, knock. 

ahh, life in rheanne's world.

Monday, May 11, 2009

...about the day after mother's day

i've always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with mother's day.  i love the idea that mothers have a day of appreciation for all that they do, and, man, they do so very much.  that it is only one day seems wrong, somehow.  mostly, though, i don't really like the hallmark holiday-ness of it all.  the card stores, flower shops and telephone companies who cash in big time on the guilt of children who know that they take their mothers for granted but can wash those nagging feelings away with the swipe of their visa card.  i wasn't going to fall prey to all this, or so i thought. 

in my sixth year of being a mother, I fell from my high horse and thought, what the hell, i am going to embrace this day where my darling boys can dote on me.  bring on the presents, bring on the pampering.  this is my year of change, after all.  i have to admit, it was a lovely day, well, entire weekend.  I shopped (by myself!), had unlimited time to read, basked in the sun on the beach, lounged around and was told numerous times how much i was loved, how great i am, and how i am their favourite mom in the whole, wide world.  

reality hit me this morning, though, on the morning after mother's day.  the house was a disaster.  the laundry was piled up, the dishwasher needed unloading and reloading, the beach bags needed emptying and there was sand all over the floor so sweeping was in order as well.  to add to that, the shoes that I had bought on my lovely child-free shopping day had to be returned because I had bought the kind that "overpronators"need and, as it turns out, i am an "underpronator"  arrgghhh.  before i could launch into my self-righteous rant about how-right-i-am-about-that-stupid-mother's-day-crap-that-has-to-do-with-everyone-else-feeling-good-about-themselves-and-nothing-to-do-with-mothers-at-all, i was stopped in my tracks. 

morgan, my darling 5-year old, looked deeply into my eyes and told me how he can't wait until 3pm because it is a really long day at school before he gets to see me again.  my heart melted.  meanwhile, my 2-year old sweetheart, quinn, took one of the billion animal books from the shelf and sat up on the chair saying, "okay mommy, i be the teacher and you sit on the floor and i will tell you a story, but first we do tell-and-show.  do you have a hippo to tell-and-show today?"  i am so blessed to have these days with him.  

yes, reality set in.  mother's day is fine but i prefer all the days in between.  give me the sloppy kisses, the imaginative play, the need for a hug only a mommy can provide, and even the slamming doors, the pee on the floor and the emotional outbursts.  as hard as being a mother is, the regular days are better than i could have ever imagined in my wildest dreams.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

...about the name

i've always been the kind of person that writes something and puts a title on it near the end.  the title of a piece says so much, draws the reader in, must have meaning beyond the words.  a blog title is a new and challenging experience.  it is a work that is continually in progress.  how do i go about naming something that is yet to be created and will continue to be created as the days, weeks and months go by?  i have been pondering this (read obsessing over this) for a few days now.   i have no idea what this blog will turn out to be, so i didn't really have a good staring point for a name.  

i dabbled with the whole "mommy blog" thing.  should the title be related to my two little jellybeans?  not really my style but my two hilarious, active and frustratingly bright boys will undoubtedly get lots of air time.  

will this be about exercise and diet?  granted it is something that occupies a whole lot of my thoughts these days.  to be perfectly honest, something that has occupied a whole lot of my thought these decades of my life.  i am on a continuous journey to find my ideal weight and my healthiest, fittest self.  having said that, there is only so much i can say or complain about when it comes to that topic.

my recent move to this island of sand and sun was the inspiration for beginning this blog as a place to reflect, ponder, vent, create.  my support systems are across the ocean and i am searching for that place of strength and confidence...and searching for my true voice.  it seemed fitting that bermuda should feature prominently in the name.  so, the options ranged from "pink is the new black" (pink=bermuda, black=toronto), "finding the pink within", "driving on the left", to "railway tales" (the railway trail runs behind my house), "a piece of the rock", and "a line in the sand".  

i landed on bermuda shorts.  i tend to be succinct.  short.  to the point.  well, usually.  i want this to be a space that i can toss out just a few lines, a sentiment or two.  i feel like i have taken myself off the hook for writing long, deep and meaningful entries by calling it "shorts".  i also like what comes to mind with the name.   it has to be said that bermuda shorts are an acquired taste.  they suit some and not others.  you have to a certain kind of personality to really get away with them.  i fit those statements.  not that i am a wearer of bermuda shorts, but i do find myself and some of my ideas to be something of an acquired taste, and someone who wishes she could take a few more risks, style and otherwise.  

finally, i like the initials.