Wedding in the Country

With Chaeli staying with the grandparents, Doug and I went to the Saturday wedding of his co-worker’s. We booked a motel room for the night. Smart move on our part… since we left the wedding after 11pm, it was nice to be just minutes away from our rented room and bed.

Sacred Heart Church - Peterborough, ONThe couple had their wedding in their Catholic church. The ceremony was long, as is typical with most Catholic ceremonies. This one was about 75 minutes in length. We sat at the very back of this massive church (out of respect for their family and friends to have better seats) so it was difficult for me to follow. The father officiating the ceremony sounded a bit like the Swedish chef from The Muppets due to his slight accent, sound system and echoing acoustics inside.

I missed the vows and the announcement that they were husband and wife. :)

wedding decorationsnewly wedsThe reception was held at the banquet hall of their community hockey rink. It was a lovely affair. I enjoyed the decorations – nothing over the top but elegant in its simplicity. Despite the fact that I knew no one there (I hadn’t even had the chance to meet the groom until that day), I had a good time.

But by 10pm, I was very tired and ready to go to bed. I would say I was showing my age but there were people 10-20 years older than me that were partying way past the time we chose to leave (just after 11pm).

So my new theory is that these people don’t have children living with them anymore. They are past that stage of parenting and have gotten a second wind in life! Will this happen to us? When our kid leaves the nest, will we get this second wind? I sure hope so!

date night!I suppose Doug and I did have a date-night. It’s always nice to have a reason to dress up and be out with one’s spouse. When I think about the last 5 or 6 times we had a chance to dress up for a formal night, it always involved Chaeli and our family. Not that romantic. Whether it was for a family or family-friend wedding. Or on formal nights during the cruise we took last December.

This time, we didn’t know anyone hardly. So in a way we were pretty much on our own!

Historical downtown - Peterborough, ONSmoke trout crepes - Black Honey CafeWe slept in next morning (8:30am – that’s a luxury for me) and took our time getting up and getting ready. The motel did have a hot breakfast included so we decided to check it out. It was pretty horrible. But we managed to get down some breakfast sausages, some toast and some questionable egg ‘patties’. We’re pretty sure they were not real eggs. The coffee was so-so. But, we were hungry and needed just a little something to tie us over.

After checking out, we went to the downtown, historical area of Peterborough, which was also by the waterfront. It definitely had a lot of charm. Unfortunately, being on a Sunday and past the summer season, many attractions and stores were closed.

We did find the Black Honey Desserts cafe open and serving Sunday Brunch. Neither of us were hungry but we felt completely unsatisfied with the breakfast offered at our motel. Doug and I shared a beautifully prepared smoked trout and poached eggs crepe. It came with spring greens an the tastiest rosemary seasoned roasted potatoes I have ever had. I limited myself to just several pieces of the potatoes and had only a little of the crepe. But I definitely gobbled down the rest.

We also had two mugs of their delicious, fair-trade and organic coffee.

If you’re ever in Peterborough, do check this place out for brunch. Everything on their menu looked good! The ingredients were very fresh.

Work Bullies

It’s been a trying week as I was victim of a volatile outburst from an office bully.

I call this person a bully because there have been others who have been the target of her wrath.

At the moment, I documented this incident. While other co-workers are stressing for me to report it, I have only just documented it and will continue to do so until my case is built. I do have witnesses, though.

But I’m not here to post about the details of my documentation.

Just to note that since this occurrence, I have felt the opposite of the joy I use to feel for work. My efficiency, output and productivity was at an all-time high right up to around 2pm last Wednesday when this situation occurred.

Since then, it has been a struggle for me to even be at work. I feel un-welcomed and uncomfortable in my work place. Whenever I see or hear her, I am brought back to the humiliation and fear she instilled upon me from that day.

A lot of others are afraid to do anything about her – because that is what happens to victims of a bully. The bully instills fear.

If you know some one is being bullied at work, please… speak up. Document the situation even if it is not happening to you. Perhaps you are a witness but the more people who bring this to upper management’s attention and the more it is documented, the more a bully in the workplace will be stopped.

This is a horrible way to have to live one’s life 5 days (or more) a week. No one should have to work under these conditions. The problem is that such situations are rarely reported out of a fear for various reasons.

Morning Hugs

In the morning, when it’s me who has to wake up Chaeli for the day, I always try to wake her up with a hug.

She’s not too far off from what I’m like in the morning. I do have the discipline of waking up early but I do it my own way. If some one wakes me up, they better tread lightly?

This morning, when I sat next to her on her bed and gave a soft, singing, “Good mooooorniiiing…” she replied back with eyes closed, “Morning hug… I like my morning hugs.” And so as usual she slowly sat up and we embraced each other, giving her a chance to adjust herself to having to get up.

She then whispered, “I love you, mommy.”

I think that was better than a cup of coffee.

Work Hard In Silence – Let Success Do the Talking

I read this somewhere, recently. I believe the original quote ends with “Let Success Make the Noise.”

I prefer “Let Success Do the Talking.” Because even then, noise isn’t required. One’s hard work will always show without making too much noise anyway.

This has been something that’s really honed in on my professional front. I have been working very hard for many years but these last few months have really challenged me to excel forward. Through it, I have been surrounded by a lot of noise. A lot.

Noise about how much overtime is being put it.

Noise about not having time to take a vacation.

Noise about not getting paid enough.

I, myself, would shrink back into the shadows during these competitive one-up matches. I didn’t see the point. Why would I have to prove that I’m working harder then any other of my peers? Why would I care how hard they are working?

I realized that I don’t really care. It’s none of my business. What matters to me is what I do and the quality of my work. Lessons are made to be learned through both success and failure along the way, and that’s okay. So long as I improve upon these mistakes, I can take pride in my work.

The noise has lessened since. As my work has started to shine through, I’m not being targeted with these one-up matches.

Perhaps simply because, with me, they can not win.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff” But why?

I’m always told not to sweat the small stuff. For the most part, this statement holds true. But what if the sweating the small stuff is a way to practice handling the bigger stuff?

Lately, I’ve learned a very valuable lesson in my personal life. Through the help of therapy, I’ve been able to use ‘the small stuff’ to practice my change in attitude and behaviour within myself.

An example would be whenever my mother would come over and criticize something she sees in our house. Yes, mothers tend to do this and yes, it sounds small. To most people, it probably is small. To me (and others like me), it’s actually quite huge when it’s connected to a history of my upbringing and relationship with my mother.

The first time I realized my mother’s critique wasn’t as devastating to me as it use to be was about 2-3 weeks ago. We had this Easter lily plant in the middle of the coffee table. Completely dead. I think it was dead for at least a week before she pointed this out. And continued being dead for another week or two before my husband finally threw it out.

My mother went on about everything she could surrounding that dying plant. I can’t for the life of me remember what it was that she said – which was a good sign. A year ago,  I would have uncontrollably made a slew of mental notes about every single word she said to me. And then days later, weeks even, be tormented by it all. It was just something I became a pro at because it was the only life I knew since I started to walk and talk.

Though I do recall her saying that we used a perfectly good plate to put the plant on. I only remember this because I thought it was funny – it’s an ugly side plate which we’re going to replace soon anyway.

Anyway, point being, I realized for the first time that while her comments still frustrate and annoy me, I was suddenly able to not beat myself up over her negative reactions. It’s always something I understood in concept but never something I was fully able to believe in myself. And when that evening came and went, I explained to Doug that I finally was able to separate myself from her issues. That everything she was saying in direction of me was really issues she had all on her own.

And that I’m fine. I’m okay. I’m not the disappointment she continually tries to remind me that I am (either intentionally or not – most likely she doesn’t even realize she is doing this). Even if she truly believes I’m a disappointment, she’s wrong. I am my own person – flaws and all.

So I’m glad I did sweat the small stuff all these years. I think it was part of my road to practice on in order to face some of the bigger stuff either presently in my life or whatever might be waiting around the corner.

I don’t feel guilty about sweating the small stuff anymore. The small stuff has proven fruitful to me – rather than casually throwing them off to the side with a ‘meh’ attitude, it’s helped me distinguish what I need to do in the grander scheme of things.