This is 30!

Months ago I decided that I needed some sort of therapy to help me accept the fact that come December of this year, I would be entering into my 30s.  

So why am I so panicked to turn 30?

I guess it is just the uncertainty of what comes with that intimidating number—better yet, what doesn’t.

Zero to 29 seems like a free pass. It seems like there is endless time to “find yourself,” explore different options in life regarding work, geography and love. Before you turn 30, I think that most people are pretty confident that they won’t suffer a heart attack or break a hip. After 30, I feel like all bets are off.

Nearing 30 makes you reflect upon what you have accomplished in life thus far—that isn’t necessarily a good thing. We live in a very competitive, very goal-driven world and measuring your own achievements against others seems to come naturally. In some cases this can cause a lot of negative feelings and anxiety. Questions constantly berate your mind, keeping you awake at night—or maybe that is just me.

Questions start firing out like vomit.

Why don’t I make as much money as I want to?

How many kids am I going to have if I don’t get started soon?

How can I be a good parent if I can’t take care of myself?

What is my health going to be like in a few years?

What if I never get married?

My point being here that although uncertainty terrifies me more than anything else, I also know that there is a lot more life out there still waiting and some amazing things are going to happen in my 30s.

For the time being, I would like to reflect on getting to this point of almost 30 and stay away from all of the doom and gloom.

So far life has been pretty awesome. There isn’t much to complain about when you are warm, well-fed and surrounded by animals, friends and family.

My plan with this blog is to recall 30 memories that I have in my slowly deteriorating brain that make me smile, help me to remember what life is all about and hopefully will entertain my readers. Every day I will post a new memory and at the end of the blog I will be 30!

Don’t worry, I will stay away from the obvious ones—first boyfriend, first kiss, finally getting my aunt Flo and the first time I wore a bra. Think that is already too much information? You really should meet me in person.

Enjoy my 30 memories but more importantly, start thinking about yours!

Thirty—where did you come from?! (30)

And so it had to come.

I don’t know if you remember this book from a long time ago—it was about Grover, you know the big blue…I don’t really know what he is suppsoed to be. Anyway, the whole point of the story is that Grover is convinced that there is a monster at the end of the book. Every time the reader flips a page, Grover loses his shit. He is so convinced that something terrible is yet to come and that you (the reader) should let the pages lie as they are.

Of course any kid who is reading the book is dying to know what kind of monster is at the end of the book. I don’t mean to ruin the ending for everyone, but there really is a monster at the end. Grover discovers that he is the monster at the end of the book—he worried for nothing.

And so on the eve of  my 30s I am trying to channel my inner Grover and remember that there isn’t any type of monster at the end of this chapter of my life—even thought I may want to believe that there is.

So how did I spend this day you might ask? well after a solid day of working, I had a mild panic attack when the relization of time set in, so I took myself to the mall. This way I could find some therapy in shopping and in case I passed out, someone would surely pick me up. Either that or they would start to walk over me and the thought of that made me laugh.

I even purchased a sweater with a badger on it. I don’t know what the significance is but it is badass.

Then I made sure to pick up a bottle of champagne (don’t worry, I don’t plan to drink the whole bottle mid-week) and I made myself some nachos. They were amazing in case you were wondering. Then I thought about waxing my legs but somehow the idea of drinking champagne and waxing seemed like a terrible idea. You are supposed to get smarter with age right?!

I feel like 30 snuck up really quick. I had planned to do this blog months ago and by the time it came around—well all of a sudden I am writing my last post.

I have so many more memories that I couldn’t mention—there wasn’t enough time. There are so many people that I have met throughout my life that I didn’t get to mention and so many moments that are extremely special to me. I didn’t get to talk about rodeos, high school, my dating life, meeting my boyfriend, discovering that chickens don’t just fly into your yard (don’t ask) and sleepovers. Hiking the Chief on a stagette was another amazing moment, and no the Chief is not the name of the stripper we hired, it’s a mountain. (Get your minds out of the gutter!)

But, let’s face it—if I spent all of my time writing about my memories, I wouldn’t have any time to make any new memories, and I plan to have a lot of memories to record in another 30 years.

Am I scared about the future? That ladies and gentlemen warrants a big, fat yes—but I’m also excited. If the next 30 are anything like the last 30, I am going to be ok.

Thanks for following, for being a part of my life and I hope that you can look up at the sky tonight and see that there is still a lot of room for dreaming.

All the best in the new year.

It would have been amazing! (29)

When the Amazing Race finally came to Canada I was SO EXCITED.

Can you imagine racing around Canada with a number of other teams, competing for the title of coolest people ever. I don’t know if that is the exact title for the winners but I can imagine it is similar.

Of course I jumped at the chance to try and see if I could have a shot. What an amazing way to close off my 20s with something so special.

But I had to really think about who I would like for a partner—who could really compliment me and survive the race? It was a no brainer; my dad was the obvious choice. A fellow redhead, only he would understand my drive and my yearning to be a part of the race. He wanted it just as bad if not more.

And so we constructed our video, filled out our forms and crossed our fingers. I couldn’t think about anything else. I wanted it so badly that I could taste it.

I thought that if I dreamed about it hard enough that it would come true.

Obviously we didn’t make it onto the show.

Was I disappointed, of course. People always tell you that when you really want something and you work hard for it, you will receive.

But dad and I had so much fun over the whole idea. It was like someone had lit a fire under out butts and we had someting to get truly excited about!

We watched the first season in awe, wishing we were there and rooting for the teams. Of course at first I wanted the couple from B.C. to win for obvious reasons but as I got to know the teams, I was really cheering for Jody and Cory—why you might ask? Mainly I liked them because there was no bullshit. They were there to compete in a race. They weren’t mean-spirited or bullies or drama queens and they wanted to win.

Dave and Jet were also top competitors in my books—they looked like they were genuinely having fun and maybe I had a bit of a soft spot for Dave since I am also dating a Dave from London—how does that work?

So the point that I am really trying to make with this post is that yes, I was super disappointed that my dad and I didn’t get to run in the race but getting excited about it together was worth trying to get on the show.

At least we can say that we tried and we have our own amazing races in our lives everyday!

It’s all relative (28)

As I near my big 30, I find myself getting a little more sentimental each day—and scared. I admit it, as I am typing I can feel the panic rising in my throat. As I have expressed before, my 20s felt (feel for two more days) like a free pass.

And so as I try to reflect and move ahead without too much uncertaintly and fear, I look back at those who have been around since the beginning of time (well my time anyway). I am talking about my relatives.

Not necessarily my imediate relatives (siblings and parents) but my cousins, grandparents, second cousins and sons and daughters of my parent’s cousins. (When you figure that one out please let me know what they are.)

There’s a good chance that my first real encounter with another child was a relative. It was probably a planned date, with a required talk ahead of time explaining how relatives work and how you have to get along with them. Actually that may have been a  little in-depth for a baby but who knows. Somewhere along the line we must figure it out that you are supposed to make nice with your relatives no matter what.

I was lucky—I am sure not everyone is. I had a great group of relatives that were (are) diverse, fun, loving and beyond all else, caring and helpful. Most of my relatives were (are) outdoor enthusiasts and that made for an amazing childhood. It was also a plus that most of my relatives were around my age. That doesn’t realy make sense exactly but you get what I mean—the kid relatives were (are) the same age as me. This stuff gets confusing.

Regardless, some of my best memories were with my relatives—playing in the mud, in the lake, in the mud next to the lake.

Usually our parents sent us outside to play. The world was at our fingertips as we used our imaginations in all aspects of our play. This was back in the day when you could use sticks and rocks and be entertained for hours. I don’t know what it is like today to be a child but I am pretty sure rocks and sticks have been traded in and then some.

But then what do I know—fads seem to come full circle—maybe sticks and rocks have made a comeback.

It didn’t really matter what we were playing, we seemed to have fun.

And just like friendships, you go through chapters with your relatives—that is kind of the beauty. One day you are close to cousin X and then the next day you have found a new friends in another relative. There are no hard feelings—you can rekindle your friendship down the line and no one has to feel bad. In fact, they may have been thinking the same thing you just beat them to it.

My relatives had a huge impact on who I am today. They were a major part of my childhood, helping me to learn all about this big, wide world and helping me to dream about what the future would bring.

I don’t have a lot of contact with many of my relatives today that I spent so much time with as a child and that is somewhat depressing, but life takes us in all different directions. I am happy when I know that my relatives are happy and healthy and growing their families.

Thank you to my relatives for being there for me, for helping me grow into the person that I am today and for letting us pick up from where we left off no matter how much time has passed.

What do piping pipers have to do with Christmas anyway? (27)

ChristmasOk, ok, so anyone who knows me is already rolling their eyes, anticipating the fact that somewhere in this blog I would mention my unfailing love for Christmas. It’s not just the day really—it is the whole season in general.

Christmas is by far my most favorite time of year and I can’t remember a Christmas or a Christmas season that I didn’t love.

I truly believe that I first came to enjoy Christmas in the womb. By Decemeber 1983, I was surpassing the eight month mark and becoming a cognisant human. What I mean is, I was rocking out to Christmas carols while I was waiting to be born. Too much information? I totally get that it is, but it is the truth.

Christmas is this beautiful time of year and you just can’t wipe the smile off your face—at least I can’t. When I start to see the Christmas lights adorning the houses in town, I get chills. When I hear Christmas carols blasting through the mall, I feel happy. I can’t wait till I hear the familiar voices of Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and Frank sinatra. My boys return to me each and every year and they sound just the same.

When I see a Christmas special on TV, I try to find soomeone to watch it with me so that we can talk about how amazing it was! Prancer is one of my favourites—especially when the main girl feeds the cookies to Prancer (a reindeer). A good lesson for everyone is that  it isn’t just Santa that eats the cookies that you leave out. The Shop around the Corner is another great flick. Nothing like a good romance to get you in the holiday mood. I hate It’s a Wonderful Life, so don’t ask or mention that one to me. 😉

I think that what I really like about Christmas and the Christmas season is that friends and neighbours get together—sometimes they have to and sometimes they want to.

I get to see people that I might not get to see for the rest of the year. Sometimes it is my only chance and that makes me really sad—but it also makes me excited that I have that chance.

The food is another plus—plates and plates of turkey, potatoes and a spread of vegetables. I could really do without the cookies and pie now that I will be celebrating my next ten Christmases in my 30s. A moment on the lips, forever on the hips—isn’t that how the saying goes?!

Gifts are a nice plus but more of a formality than anything else. Of course you are always and should always be appreciative when someone gifts you something but presents to me are more for the children—they deserve to be spoiled.

Christmas to me is like falling in love—you are constantly excited, waiting in anticipation and although you kind of know what is going to happen (if you have fallen in love before) it’s always different so even though it is the same, it isn’t! Christmas is warm and fuzzy and cuddly—kind of like a bear without the teeth!

Please enjoy some of my favourite Christmas carols below while you try to de-stress from all of your holiday shopping and please, do Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas…

My furry and not so furry friends (26)

313_70191270514_2730_nHow many people can say that they have taken a bath with a cat before? Proably not many that’s for sure.

How many people can say that they have played hide-and-seek in an emu pen? If you had to google emu just now, that’s a no.

I had a very fortunate childhood and by fortunate I mean that I have both bathed with a cat and I have played hide-and-seek in an emu pen (I consider that to be very fortunate).

Growing up in my house, there were always pets underfoot. It would be an unusual situation when I didn’t go to school with some kind of fur attached to my clothing—you just give up trying to get rid of it after a while.

Cats, dogs, sugar gliders and hedgehogs, my siblings and I were exposed to the works—and then some.

Thanks to my brave and animal-loving parents, I can honestly say that sometimes I prefer animals to people—they are loyal, trusting, dependable and really great listeners. (I am talking about the animals here if you didn’t get that.)

I love when they sleep with you at night and they try to nuzzle that much closer to you, or when they follow you wherever you go, taking the loneliness out of your day. And I am talking about any pet here—cats, dogs, rabbits, etc. They are all equally awesome.

Carlos and Margarita were two pretty unique pups that we had. Mexican hairless dogs with very little in the way of coats, we had to make sure that they were well-dressed in the winter and covered in sunscreen in the summer.

Tuffy was a beautiful cat that loved to spend time in the tub—literally. Tuffy wanted to be where the party was. I guess not all cats are afraid of water.

Tiny, the one-eyed miniature pony with a solid build proudly pranced around the yard—he was always hitting on the younger, taller ladies.

Then there was Holly, the orange cat that only liked my mom. No matter how hard I tried to get into her good books, Holly was a one-woman cat.

There were birds and guinea pigs, mice and rats and even a salamander named Sally (I could be wrong on the name).

I am very grateful for all of the furry friends that my parents gifted to us. I think that every child should have some type of pet, whether that be a dog, cat or rock—caring for something, learning from an animal—all of it is important.

To sum up this post I would like to invite you to watch this really stupid but funny animal compilation on Youtube. It makes me laugh.

Expect the unexpected (25)

Impromptu nights and activities are the best!

When you throw away expectations, when you don’t plan and you just let things happen, things can turn out really awesome.

It’s like going to the movies and seeing a show that you really had no intention of viewing. In fact, you actually didn’t really want to see the show because it looked stupid or boring. At the end of the movie, you find that you really loved it and gave it a solid seven.

It was the year 1994. Actually I don’t know that for sure but I am pretty sure (about 85 per cent sure) that it was either 1994 or 1995. I mean it was one or the other and at the very latest 1996.

Kamloops used to have this New Year’s Eve celebration at Riverside Coliseum (what is now know as the Interior Savings Centre). I tried to search the archives on the Kamloops Daily News site to see if I could find anything that referred back to those nights, but I wasn’t able to find anything. Probably if I took more than five minutes to investigate, I could have reported back. Regardless, back in the day, there used to be a New Year’s Eve party every year at Riverside Coliseum.

It was a really great idea. The party was geared toward kids—a night of food, friends and glow sticks. Kids from all over Kamloops would come together to dance and listen to music. The parents would sit in the stands and watch their kids enjoying their childhoods.

One New Year’s Eve, (this is where I am debating with myself whether it was 1994, 1995, or 1996) my mom, brother and sister and I were deciding whether or not partake in what was now the tradition of heading downtown to Riverside Coliseum.

But something wasn’t quite right that day.

The weather had taken a turn for the worst and ice covered the roads.

Neighbours attempted to make the trip downtown but were quickly deterred by the slipperiness of the streets. It wasn’t safe to be driving around—not safe for anyone.

I don’t know how things got started but it was just like a scene out of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. You know when the people of Whoville bind together in a time of need and form something beautiful? Ok, well maybe that is a bit dramatic, but it was amazing.

With the roads becoming a solid block of ice, kids in the neighborhood, parents, families and strangers laced up their skates and started skating down the streets. We may not have been singing while the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes but it was beautiful—and crazy awesome! Who can say that they have skated down their own road before.

It has never happened again—not in the last 30 years anyway 😉 It was a once in a lifetime experience. I am so grateful that I was in the right place at the right time and although I feel bad for the people out driving and if anyone was hurt that night, it was truly a memorable experience.

All night long (24)

I amuse myself with these headlines. (Let’s face it, it doesn’t take much to amuse me.) Just wait for my next line, it’s even better.

See, I think that being post number 24 it is appropriate because post number 24 is about staying up all night long. Do you get it now? It’s like staying up for 24 hours. It’s ok, you don’t have to tell me—I’ve got witt.

When you are a kid/teenager, you have this unique ability to stay up all night and function properly the next day. I have no idea why it was so fun—I think it was just that usually it was during a sleepover and you were having so much fun and you didn’t want the fun to end. By staying up all night, you definitely fit in a few extra hours.

One time a friend of mine and my sister stayed up all night to watch the sunrise. Waiting all night for it makes it all the more special. 🙂 I don’t know what we were doing all night. We were probably chatting, driving my brother and dad crazy, watching movies, possibly playing Party Mania and drooling over Max and his striped sweater. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you better refer back to post number five.

Anyway, after probably a few games of Party Mania and after gorging on nachos and a lot of pop, we counted down the hours to sunrise. Isn’t it amazing how even when you are so tired and have already been hanging out for hours and hours, you still find things to talk about.

Finally, with sleep starting to set in, we saw the clock hit the morning hours and we began executing our plan. Not only did we want to watch the sunrise but we wanted to videotape the sunrise. So there we were, hiking up the hill out back, video camera in hand and possibly still in our pajamas.

Then the video camera died!

After all of our planning to videotape the sunrise and all night to charge the batteries, our luck had run out on a technicality. The final clip of our video cuts off just before the sun came up (how perfect).

Even though we couldn’t catch the action for all the world to see, it was wonderful to just sit on that hill and watch that beautiful sunrise. It really makes you stop and wonder who else is up and watching that same gorgeous sunrise.

It was invigorating. It almost felt like an accomplishment to stay up all night and continue on into the next day.

Of course everyone runs out of gas eventually and when our gas started to dwindle, we mixed-up a brew of instant coffee. (It was always really terrible).

Nowadays, the thought of an all-nighter makes me sick (literally). If I do stay up all night, unlike 10 years ago I am completely useless in the morning. Not only am I useless but I am brain dead.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to the days of Kettle corn and Dreamphone and staying up all night for no reason at all. If I tried to pull an all-nighter now, I would have to sleep for the next two days to make up for it. Oh the joys of growing old!