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A Dose Of Happy For 2012

1 Jan

The calendar has clicked over into 2012. This is the day on which thousands of people are quitting smoking, going on diet, starting an exercise program, or finally starting to write that novel they’ve always been talking about. I myself will be participating in the 5km Resolution Run later on today.

Although I’m not really big on the idea of making major life changes just because of what day it happens to be, New Years Day is a convenient time for us to re-evaluate our goals, see where we’re at, and maybe give ourselves a bit of a kick-start. For some people, it may indeed mean starting over, like pressing the reset button on the back of a mobile device.

2011 was an eventful year for me. Despite a poor season of training, I had some success in my races. I worked hard on my writing, and in the last couple of months of the year, I finally started to find some traction in the writing community. And of course, there was my wedding in April – a fantastic event that included friends and family from far away. Having my mom there, and my brother to walk me down the aisle, made it all extra-special.

Despite the good stuff, I found myself sinking towards the end of the year. I have, for several weeks now, been dealing with depression. It is something that I have chosen not to write about, because it’s such a painful, private thing. But it is something that I should at least acknowledge, if only to let other people suffering from this problem know that they are not alone.

I have been reading these articles about how the simple act of laughing releases natural happy-drugs into your brain, how the biggest single predictor of happiness is the degree to which a person does good for their fellow man, and how being around proactive people can spur you on to action in your own life. In other words, positivity breeds positivity.

In that spirit, I decided that I would start off 2012 on a positive note in my blog. I would host some guest writers: inspirational women who have done amazing things. A couple of the women I approached told me that writing something positive might help lift them out of their own states of psychological disequilibrium. So much the better! This became a little project to raise everyone’s spirits – mine, my guest writers, and any readers who need a lift.

I am excited about this week. For the next five days, my blog is given over to some women who inspire me and remind me that anything is possible.

We lead off tomorrow with single mom Kerry White, who tells us that although things have been kind of turbulent for her, life isn’t all that bad. It’s a wonderful reminder about perspective.

On Tuesday, we will hear from Sara Morgan, an autism mom who has also experienced the trauma of pregnancy loss. She brings these two things together and reminds us that where  there’s life, there’s hope.

On Wednesday, Phaedra Kennedy (who has the distinction of being the first friend I had in Canada) tells us about how she rose above some deeply sad and traumatic events in her personal life to have a phenomenal season of running.

Thursday is given over to Jennifer Burden, whose idea for a group blog for moms has ballooned into an entire project for social good that includes the United Nations.

And on Friday, we hear from my friend Margie Bryant, who gives a whole new meaning to the idea of turning your life around. Margie describes how she made the transformation from someone with no hope into someone with huge possibilities for great things.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each of these women for giving of themselves to contribute to my quest to start off the year on a positive note. I wish them all continued success in 2012.

And for everyone reading this, may 2012 be a year filled with love, peace and happiness, as well as just the right dose of adventure.

A Life Hanging In The Balance

20 Apr

About three weeks ago, we hired a new respite worker for George. It has been a long, frustrating process – anyone who has ever had a need for a respite worker will know that the good ones are like gold dust. They are very hard to find, and even harder to keep.

When our new worker, F, walked into our home for an interview, I liked her immediately. Perhaps more tellingly, both of the kids took to her immediately. In a very short time, she has wormed her way into the hearts of the entire family.

Sadly, as she becomes an important part of our family, a crisis is happening in her own. A couple of weeks ago, the car that her sister and sister-in-law were traveling in was hit by a car making an illegal turn. The driver of the other car drove away at speed, but not before a witness snapped a picture of him with a cell phone. Police have since found the vehicle and identified the driver, who is currently hiding out in the United States.

F’s sister is OK. She has a broken leg and some nasty bruising. The sister-in-law, on the other hand, is in very serious condition. She was pregnant at the time of the collision, and the baby did not survive. And now her own body is gradually shutting down. She is not responding to medication, her lungs are filling up with fluids, and doctors are saying that there is nothing they can do.

She has been moved to palliative care. There have been conversations about DNR’s.

My heart goes out to F, who is very close to her sister-in-law. I think of the anguish she is going through, and the pain of the man who is likely going to be widowed very soon. I think of a two-year-old child whose mother is dying. And it just breaks my heart.

Anyone reading this – please send out positive thoughts of strength and healing to a family who really needs it. The doctors say that a miracle is still possible. Let’s try to bend the will of the Universe to make that miracle happen.

He Lives To Fight Another Day…

10 Jan

For those following the story, Captain Snuggles chugs along.  Last night was a bad one.  There was much bleeding, so much that a blood transfusion was called for.  Amy’s full update can be found here.

I want to take a moment here to spare a thought for a special group of people: donors.  Baby David is still with us – albeit in a tenuous state – because of a liver and Lord knows how many pints of blood that originated from other human beings.  Blood and organ donors save lives.  They give hope where otherwise there would be none.

I have my usual request tonight, which is to please keep thinking those positive thoughts.  Keep saying those prayers to whatever supreme being you happen to believe in.  Continue to send out that vibrant, life-giving energy to Amy and her son David.

And Amy, may you feel the love of a thousand hugs, and know that there are many people rooting for David and reaching out a hand to hold you steady when you need it.  Know that you are not alone.



A Captain’s Courage

9 Jan

I find that I am posting twice on some days now.  I wish I didn’t have the material that allows me to do so.  I wish that I didn’t have a friend keeping vigil at her critically ill baby boy’s hospital bed.  But I do, and Amy – a woman with immense strength and bravery – is in need of any many prayers and positive thoughts that she can possibly get for her son, David, affectionately referred to as Captain Snuggles.

This kid is amazing.  He is not even a year old and he has been through a liver transplant, intubation, countless medications, complications, skin blistering and sloughing away – and he is hanging in there.  He is not doing well.  His kidneys are acting up, to the point where this tiny little human being could end up on dialysis.  His lungs are acting up, so the doctors having to up his ventilator settings and are now looking at upgrading the ventilator itself.

But he is hanging in there.

This is one brave, brave little boy.

Let’s all help him to be brave.  Let’s help his Mom to be brave.


Those positive thoughts that people have been sending out for Amy and the Little Cap’n?  They are being noticed.  The nurses in the hospital have commented on the atmosphere in David’s room.

So let’s keep it going, people.  Let’s keep that energy flowing, bright and beautiful, to Amy and David.

Thank you so much for caring.

For a full update, please check out Amy’s blog.


Raising A Little Chi…

7 Jan

I am writing this tonight on behalf of someone I have never met in person, yet who I have come to care about a great deal.  Amy is a fellow writer on World Moms Blog, which I am honoured to be a part of.  Amy and I have been getting to know one another through our respective blogs.  She is one of the bravest people I know.  For the last few months, she has been pretty much living at the hospital, at the bedside of her infant son, David, who is very sick with a genetic disorder.

And now Amy and David need your help.  David is in serious trouble – so serious that doctors are talking to Amy about DNR’s for her son (do not resuscitate).  There is a very real possibility that Amy, who has already lost one child to this illness, will have to say goodbye to her precious little boy.

Amy’s story can be found here:

I am choosing to believe that a miracle is still possible.

I am posting this, sending it out to whoever I can, in the belief that the greater the number of people who send out positive energy into the universe for Amy and David (a.k.a. Capt. Snuggles), the more chance we’ll have of a positive outcome.

So please, wing a prayer for Amy and David.  Think positive thoughts, send out some good chi into the universe.