Can I get a witness?

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When a marriage ends, it’s not just the end of the union between two people; it’s also the end of years of shared memories and experiences.

Once the dust has settled from a divorce or separation, there will be a stage of loss.   For me, this didn’t happen until a year and a half after my separation. For the majority of people with whom I have either read about their story, or talked to, the feelings began immediately following the separation.

The loss that I was feeling was not just for the relationship itself, but I was also mourning the memories inside of it that only exist with a select few people. The entire group of friends that we shared was now no longer part of my life, witnesses to the relationship, and my life for the last seven years, and the first years of my children’s lives. People who had been there through my most major life changing moments.

I wouldn’t have thought two years ago that later down the road there would be a need to be able to turn to someone and say remember when? Followed by an unfamiliar feeling of sadness that there was no longer someone with that same memory shared in the room.  I wouldn’t have thought that one could feel so lonely at times as a result from the loss of seven years of my life’s witnesses gone in what felt like an instant.

Making new memories and new traditions are crucial to breaking through this feeling of loss, and that is what got me through it. Take the time you need to grieve, just remember not to unpack and live there. Life goes on, and new memories are made every day; choose to live in the present so you don’t miss them.

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She dreams of angels

My late maternal grandmother came to visit me last night, in my dreams.

Marion Hannah Filion  Date of Birth: Tuesday, October 5th, 1926 Date of Death: Sunday, October 17th, 2010
Marion Hannah Filion
Date of Birth:
Tuesday, October 5th, 1926
Date of Death:
Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Since I was a child, I have always had strong dreams and memory of most of them. I have dreamed dreams of events that have later happened in my life, I have had dreams in colour, I have flown out of my body in dreams, and I have had terrible and horrific nightmares. I have always been a dreamer.

One dream I have never experienced until last night is one where I am visited by someone in my life that has passed on. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not flighty or someone who claims to be clairvoyant or can contact the dead. I have just experienced something new and wanted to share it with my readers.

The dream itself was short. I was sitting in a pew in a crowded and brightly lit Catholic church. The people’s faces that surrounded me were blurry, and I believe it was my own mother who sat to my right. When I turned to my left out of nowhere my grandmother appeared next to me. She looked healthy and wore a navy blue jacket. It looked heavy such as one intended for cooler weather. She smiled at me ever so brightly and hugged me and said my name. I felt intense happiness and surprise.

You see, in the last few years of my grandmother’s life, she lived in a seniors nursing care residence. Her diagnosis was Alzheimer’s.  I don’t remember the last time I heard her say my name, or for sure when she last knew who I was on our visits.

What I will always remember about my grandmother was her humor, her creativity, her love of writing poetry, stories and songs, and her kind spirit. Qualities I see ever so much in my own mother.

I don’t know what the dream meant, but I can say for sure that I have never experienced a dream like this one. I love you grandma, always and forever xo.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe that loved ones who have passed on can visit us in our dreams?

The perfect Christmas tree

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I previously posted two blogs about Christmas traditions and have shared one of my personal Christmas tradition memories. As Christmas day quickly approaches, I am reminded of another memory that shines out from my childhood, the hunt for the perfect tree.

As an adult, I have had both fake and real trees in my home. I have had a real tree the last three years that was found in a bush on my father’s property. I decided that I too wanted my children to grow up with lasting memories surrounding Christmas that aren’t so commercial.

As a child, we didn’t have a fake Christmas tree. The kind that always looks perfect as they are set so precisely in their stand. The kind that does not require constant watering to ensure they don’t dry out before Santa makes his way down the chimney. We did not have a classic “perfect” tree that came from a box, but our tree was perfect to us.

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What clings to my memory the most isn’t the tree itself, but what went in to the hunt for our Christmas tree. In my younger days, my father would bundle me up and take me out to either my grandparent’s farm, or my uncle’s property to “hunt” for our tree.   There was always snow that I could barely walk through, and 9 times out of ten, I complained of cold toes and fingers as we hunted through the bush for a pine or spruce full enough in hopes that we could turn the bare spots towards the wall.

Once my dad and I found what we would decide was our perfect tree, he would cut it down with his hand saw, and we would drag it behind us and be on our way!  Let’s not forget the hot chocolate that was warmed in a pot over an open fire, or the wieners we would roast on a stick to keep our bellies full after the hunt was over.

It is not the tree that has stayed in my memory bank all these years, it’s the tradition of spending time each year with my father and our trek through the bush to bring home our perfect tree.

Where does your family Christmas tree come from? Does it come from a box, a Christmas tree farm, or the wide open field?

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Do you have 4:44 min of your life to spare to be inspired and motivated?

“The Meaning of Life explained by 3rd Graders”.  Watch this video if you are in need of motivation & inspiration!

I stumbled across this video on a friend’s Facebook page. The title jumped out at me, “The Meaning of Life explained by 3rd Graders”.   I am always amazed at the view of a child. They are so full of ideas, imagination and have not yet been told by society to colour inside the lines of life.

What I gained from this 4 minute video could impact the rest of my life, and it could do the same for you if you listen carefully and actively.

How often do we have ideas floating around in our minds that we are too afraid to act on? How often do we let the fear of the unknown or the judgement of others affect what chances and risks we take?

The message by the intelligent and magical children in this video is one that we should remind ourselves of daily. We are in charge of our lives and what we make of it. Persistence, determination, and a little imagination is what set the doers and inventors and successful people apart from those of us who choose to stay stagnant in the fear of change.

Choose to do ONE thing today to take one step towards turning your dreams in to plans and actions. It won’t happen overnight, but if you are persistent enough, with time and effort, you will create the life you have dreamed of. Be your own hero.

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Office Moral Got You Down?

 5 Ways to tell if your workplace needs an attitude overhaul:

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  1. The buzzing of your alarm clock makes you cringe. It’s the first indicator that it’s time to go to work!
  2. You arrive at work as close to “on time” as you can and quickly dart past the front desk to avoid any awkward morning chit chat.
  3. The monthly pot lucks that used to create fun and excitement are now a drag that no-one wants to take part in. Crock-pot meatballs time again?!
  4. You’ve started working through lunch as a ploy to avoid the common “lunch room”.
  5. You now have the same daily rant the with the one co-worker you do get along with.

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If the above 5 indicators sounds like you, turn that frown upside down! You don’t have to be brought down by the negativity that surrounds your daunting cubicle. Remember, the only person that is in charge of how you feel is YOU. Become the office moral HERO!

Why not be the one to create the change that the office desperately needs? Be the one who continues to smile and say good morning to your co-workers instead of doing the dart and dive in to your office.

We spend more time at work than we do at home most days. It’s important that we are happy in our surroundings, and that includes the office.

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What ways could you be the positive change for your office moral?

Is Connecting Making us More Prone to Dis-Connect?

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Social Media is a powerful tool that enables the human need to stay connected. While Social Media has done a fantastic job at helping people stay in constant contact with far off family members, friends, past co-workers, school mates etc. It has also given us a tool to open up doors that were never before possible; job prospects that would never have been considered/attainable, new and inexpensive ways to market business among countless other resources that social media has opened doors to.

While recognizing that social media is one of the quickest and what seems to be, efficient ways to keep connected, we have to keep in mind that embracing the new does not mean we must kick the old to the curb, everything in moderation. It’s still important to pick up the phone and make that call, or drop in and make that personal visit.

We have quickly become a society that is so focused on staying connected with what isn’t right in front of us physically, that we often don’t realize that we become neglectful of what is in our very presence. Remember this the next time you sit at the dinner table with your family and desperately want to reach for your phone to check the latest Facebook feed.

While it is important to keep in the know with what’s going on in our surroundings, we must remember to stay connected to what’s happening in front of us before the moment has passed.

There are countless articles and blog posts that I have seen (all through social media by the way), that speak to this very issue. While I am a firm believer in the importance of social media, I still believe that there are times when we need to unplug and disconnect from the outer world, and focus on our own dining room tables.

I am interested in what my readers think. Do you have problems staying present because of the need to stay connected online? Have you found a healthy balance?

Check out my blog related to staying present: Presently Present

Halloween Flashback –Truly Outrageous

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I have always been a huge lover of Halloween and the opportunity to get dressed up and how about that candy?!

One of the great parts of being a parent is that you still get to go trick or treating. Well, you get to hold the treat bags for your kids while deviously planning to raid their candy sack once they are sound asleep. Come on! We all do it!

When shopping for my children’s Halloween costumes, I notice that the quality has much improved from when I was a child. I’m an 80’s kid, born in 1982. One of my favorite costumes when I look back, was a cheaply made (but probably expensive to buy), pink Jem & the Holograms costume! What scream’s 80’s more than Jem & the Holograms?

I proudly wore that plastic Jem costume and mask while tightly clutching my pillowcase in one hand, and my Unicef collection box (remember those?) in the other, while my father took me around collecting candy from numerous relatives. It was, and remains to be, truly outrageous.

What was your favorite costume from your childhood?