Fabric, fabric everywhere. I’m back in my studio which still isn’t finished but there’s too much fabric to wait until it is.
Summer has finally arrived and brought with it a lot of rain, torrential rain at times. The beach is happening and I’m slowly getting inspired to get back into the thick of things.
Was it the rain, bad news recently received or missing my family and friends in Australia? I don’t know but I confess I haven’t felt like doing anything. Overwhelmed is a not a new feeling but one I haven’t felt since leaving the corporate world, yet it has returned. Add disillusioned to that and you’ve got a myriad of emotions.
I usually keep so busy that I don’t have time for such thoughts or emotions. However, this time I became reclusive. Shopping can usually get me out of any funk but I’ve had no desire to shop. A new hairdo can lift my spirits so I got a fabulous haircut which helped for a few days. I spent time working out at the gym, it helped a little. Then I finally pulled some fabric and started creating a new wardrobe and suddenly it felt like a cloud had been lifted.
Getting started was easy, I made a pair of jeans and put a glitzy zip fly in. Nobody will know it’s there unless…. but I will. It’s kind of like that feeling you get when you wear your sexiest under garments.
I’m not usually a fan of pink for myself but I do love daisies, so my next project was a pink pant suit. Pale pink pants and a pink daisy top from the fabric shown at the top of the blog.
As I started to make these outfits, I began to get excited and couldn’t help but pull out more fabric. Well I admit I went to Pinterest and Instragram to get inspired by things I love and while there isn’t much I don’t love, I do love colours and textures.
Here’s some of the fabric I’ll be using for my new wardrobe. Now all I have to do is find the time to do it all.
Hopefully I stay inspired long enough to complete my new wardrobe.
In the meantime, Keep Creating!Read More
HAPPY, you bet I am. Perhaps it’s because Spring is in the air and everything feels lighter, fresher and new but I have other reasons for being happy. It started a couple of weeks ago, I had been thinking about an old friend that I hadn’t been in contact with for several years. This pic of the horses is quite appropriate because I used to call her Mare, short for Mary. She had been my best friend, the person I shared everything with but we had a silly disagreement and our cooling down period ended up lasting more than 10 years. So many times I wanted to pick up the phone to call her but pride got in the way, you know that thought when you tell yourself it’s not your fault and they should pick up the phone, not you. Needless to say I didn’t make the call and as it does, life went on. I missed her but not just her, I missed her family, I missed us and the way we laughed together.
I always know when I’m about to get a life lesson because things get in my head and they linger until the lesson presents itself. For weeks I had been thinking about her, wondering what her kids were up to and then – I got a message from her on Facebook. We chatted via messenger for a couple of hours, sent each other pictures of our families and brought each other up to date. I was shocked to learn that she had a couple of strokes but thankfully was doing much better. I could hardly sleep that night because of the emotion that had welled up inside of me. Lesson learned – friendships are treasures we find in life, we need to cherish them while we can because life is short.
Then of course it was Mother’s Day and my boys didn’t disappoint. It can be a sad time when you’re so far away but messages from the heart can mean so much more than presents. I adore my sons and while every mother says that, it’s true in my case. I had them when I was very young so not only are they my children but they are a little like the brothers I never had too. They are my best friends and I’m so blessed because in spite of having them was I was a mere child, they’ve grown up to be successful adults so I must have done something right. The fact that they’re handsome, intelligent, funny and talented is another bonus. I jokingly refer to them as my slugs – just because.
I received pics of these girls the other day and I melted. My Mom grew up on a farm, she had a horse (Bob) that she loved and when he got old and had to be put down, she never quite got over it. She loved horses so much that she
became quite a gambler. Needless to say, I spent a great deal of my childhood at the racetrack. Naturally I developed a deep love for horses as well. To me horses represent family. Four years ago I was in Australia and took my grandchildren to the racetrack – had to keep the tradition alive. As we were leaving I told them that if I moved back to Australia I would buy us a horse. My youngest granddaughter who just happens to share a birthday with my Mother has inherited the same love of horses. I was hoping that she could come to spend the summer here in Canada with me as I live just a couple of miles from a stable and I have friends who own horses. That was just a dream, the girls have school, Taekwondo and a myriad of other things going on but I’m delighted that they are riding too.
Lastly, I put my IKEA pieces together all by myself. Trust me this is not always an easy thing to do but I did it and I’m so happy because I now have drawers for my craft tools and a cube to store fabric, although I need a door or containers to put it in so it doesn’t look so messy. I need more of these as I have a wall of cupboards that are filled to the brim with fabric and no place to store other things. Another trip to the city is on the agenda.
They came to measure for the flooring yesterday and once that is done my studio will be complete and I will be ready to design a fall/winter collection. I’m not even going to try to do a collection for the summer, I have so many other things I want to do so I’ve decided to take the summer off to enjoy life, my friends and spend time at the gym getting fit and fabulous.
Life is good and that makes me happy. I hope you are too.
In the meantime, Keep Creating!
One of my most used Hashtags is #lovemylife so I thought I’d share a little about just why I love my life. This is my beloved Toronto, circa 1950 I’m guessing. Growing up in downtown Toronto, Yonge Street was pretty much my backyard and over the years I saw changes but for the most part it remained the same. I assure you it doesn’t look like this any longer although most of the old buildings remain but the movie theatres that lined the street are gone now with the exception of the Pantages Theatre. This is an aerial view of the city today, sadly the skyline is all but gone now.
Don’t get me wrong I love Toronto, it’s my hometown, it’s where I grew up and where I spent the better part of my life with the exception of the years I lived in Australia but it’s changed. I’m not opposed to change but…… there’s always a but isn’t there. Okay let me explain. I’m one of those people that when I get something in my head, I’m not content until I bring it to fruition. I started renovating my studio months ago and it’s still not complete. The flooring still needs to be done and I needed storage items. I can’t design until I’ve created the ambiance that exists in my head. So I searched the net for the items I wanted and of course where can you find just about anything – IKEA of course. Where is the nearest IKEA – TORONTO of course. You can find everything in Toronto. For weeks I have been wanting/needing to go and get those pieces but for a number of reasons hadn’t been able to – weather mostly. Yesterday the weather was perfect so off I went with a friend.. I hate taking the highway, no matter the time of day everybody thinks they’re Mario Andretti and I’m never in that much of a hurry. Besides I love taking the side roads; the views of lush green grass in spring, trees in bloom and animals grazing feeds my soul. We saw plenty of that yesterday as well as quaint little towns that make you wish you lived in them. Best of all traffic was almost absent.
The minute we hit Toronto, we were fighting our way through traffic -why we don’t hear more stories of road rage in the City is beyond me, drivers were very aggressive. Arriving at our first destination, the famous IKEA, it took us quite awhile to find a parking space – really don’t people work anymore, it was mid day. I got a few of the items I needed but one of the most important I couldn’t fit in my car.
After a well deserved lunch, it was getting late now and we still had a two hour drive home but I wasn’t going home without going to one of my old haunts – Grande Cheese on Orfus Rd. to pick up a couple of things I can’t find in the country – Passitti cheese and tarelli. For those who don’t know what Passitti is, it’s those little balls hanging. I went via the Bridal Path to get to Lawrence thinking there wouldn’t be a lot of traffic there – I was ABSOLUTELY wrong. We spent an hour in more traffic but nothing was going to stop me and I’m so glad I persevered. Walking into this place, the blended aroma of cheese and salami filled the air and I felt a warmth come over me. I was so grateful that this place hadn’t changed and that it was still there. My friend who had never been there looked at me and her eyes lit up. Before we left she said I could spend hours here. I was so happy to share my little treasure with her. There’s something wonderful about the security of knowing that some things don’t change.
I got my passitti, my favourite pasta and we headed for home. There was no time to hit another of my favourite places in Toronto – Queen Street West where people in the fashion biz can find just about anything they want or need. Heading home I thought I need to come back, I’m missing the familiarity of home, I just don’t miss the congestion.
We weren’t in a hurry to get home so we once again took another route. This time we saw plenty of opulence. For a moment I wondered if the views were like those one would see in South Carolina where there are rolling estates. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.
The ride home was beautiful, I didn’t feel tired or tense when I arrived as I so often do when I’ve spent a day fighting my way through traffic.
That was my start to this week. Last week I spent doing some spring cleaning and giving my closet a fresh coat of paint. However, in the midst of that I took a day off to go on a little adventure with one of my artist friends who is doing such beautiful work she has inspired me. I’m not going to share the name of it because it’s still fairly untouched, it’s a little brook that flows into/and a favourite fishing spot on Lake Huron. It was so beautiful and spending time in a nature always makes me feel creative and alive. This is my home now, beautiful South Georgian Bay where you can find a different kind of everything.
So you see I love my life because I have the time to explore and I find beauty in all that I discover. Life is never dull when you can do that.
No time for exploration this week however, now it’s time to get things done, get organized so I can design. There is so much fabric in my studio just waiting to become objects of beauty. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, Keep creating!Read More
Lately my life feels like a giant jigsaw puzzle and I’m finding it hard to fit the pieces together. Have you ever felt that way?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining but if I were the only thing I would be whining about is the fact that there is no time to do all the things I have on the go. For example, I had my garage drywalled a few weeks ago and bought the paint but I’ve been unable to get out and do it because it’s either been too cold or raining. I finally got out in the garden and bagged 13 bags of leaves that I didn’t manage to get to before the snow came last year only to discover that my lawn has not only been taken over by some nasty critter but that every weed on the planet has moved in. HELP I cried – Lawn Maintenance “sorry call in a weed guy”. Weed guy “sorry too many weeds, you need to seed and pray“. I’m sticking to succulents from here on in. I’m not even trying to be a gardener but when the people you try to hire don’t even want to take your money – like ‘SERIOUSLY’.
Completed two sweaters that now need to be blocked, I have no time to do it so I’ve gone to our local wool shop three times to ask if they could do it only to find classes in session or a CLOSED sign on the door. WHAT, well we do live in snow country after all.
I need someone to paint the house and after getting a recommendation, he was a no show not once but twice.
Need flooring done, first the reno guy didn’t call back and then the fellow from the flooring store never showed up to measure.
I need to get to Ikea to purchase pieces for my studio but everytime I’ve planned to go the weather hasn’t cooperated.
Is all of that the result of Mercury being retrograde? I don’t know but it’s been incredibly frustrating for a gal who knows what she wants and wants it when she wants it.
I decided to wait it out and just chill, trouble is I can’t chill, I need to be doing something, making something, creating something. So I decided to work on some DIY projects – I made a couple of garden globes which turned out lovely but now I have no garden to put them in and it’s still too cold.
On a brighter note I have a new big screen TV and have finally been able to get caught up with Game of Thrones. I’m tickled pink that the girls have taken over in Season 6. Now I can’t wait for Season 7. I was invited to attend the Collingwood Cinema Club’s movie presentations this past weekend and got to see a couple of tear jerkers – Manchester by the Sea and Horse Window, Moonlight was playing the next day but I was too exhausted from the prior day. I had guests for dinner and we headed to an after party with Liberty Silver and some of her friends, she was in town performing.
Sunday I decided to spend the day resting and watching TV, the Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion was on as was the premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale. The RHOA reunion was brutal, the women slung insult after insult at each other. It was hurting my head so I pulled out a canvas and paint, I needed a diversion. Then the Handmaid’s Tale, if you think Game of Thrones as being barbaric and cruel, well at least the killing is swift. The Handmaid’s Tale takes place in a totalitarian theocracy with the theme being the subjugation of women. It was torturous for me to watch so I continued painting feverishly. The result was a picture of my brain exploding. You can clearly see that I started out softly but it quickly ended in chaos. Proof that you are a product of your environment.
Yesterday I finally got around to taking the car in for service and while I was in the City I decided to shop around. I ended up signing up for a jewelry making class. Do I really need yet another hobby? I have no time for the ones I have now but, but ……….the pieces were shiny and sparkling, unlike the current state of my chaotic and hectic life.
Last night I had an exchange with one of my cousins who just happens to be an Angel Card Reader. She picked these cards for me. Learn new things and teach was the first card.
The second card suggested I needed Focused Intention. Hhmm, I reflected on that for a while and questioned whether I could ever stay focused. Is it because I’m passionate and I want to do everything; experience life while I still can? After all I’ve spent most of my life taking care of other people and now I finally have time for me. Or am I looking for distractions to keep my mind off the fact that the people I love most in the world are 9,000 miles away and I don’t want to think about all that I’m missing?
More from my angel reading
I may never know the answer but in the meantime, I’m busy living life moment by moment, day by day and it’s racing by far too quickly. Today I’m feeling girly, so I’m off to clear out and paint my walk in closet. I even found a small chandelier for it – now that’s GIRLY and so unlike me. Stay tuned for the next installment, oh maybe I should finish that book I’ve been working on for the past 20 years.
In the meantime, Keep Creating!Read More
2017 Fashion trends – hmmm, while I’ve been lazy and indulgent for the past couple of months and couldn’t be happier, I have kept my eye on what’s happening in the fashion world. AND it’s not entirely true that I’ve been lazy although I have used the excuse that my studio is under renovation and I simply can’t get motivated until it’s completed. The problem is I haven’t done a lot about finishing it. Instead I’ve been renovating myself and indulging in things I love, knitting for one.
First off I decided it was time for a change of hairstyle so I got a pixie cut and went lighter than I normally do. My poor hairdresser stood at the ready saying “are you sure?” with a worried look on his face. Thankfully he said “no” when I showed him a pic of the haircut with a platinum blonde model. I was not meant to be that blonde.
Secondly I’ve gone vegetarian again. I started a few years ago and felt so healthy, I can’t remember why I stopped but I somehow recall that it had to do with stress from a job that exhausted me. My only problem with being vegetarian is that you have to find things to make and make them tasty enough to keep you on track. It’s not that I hate cooking, it’s just that cooking takes time. Time is one thing I hate to waste on anything that I’m not passionate about – I like cooking and I’m an adequate cook but I’m definitely not passionate about it.
Thirdly, I’ve gone back to meditating daily, the joy in my day. I have been meditating for years but every once in awhile I fall off and get too busy. Truth is we’re never too busy to take time to recharge – another excuse I make.
All that I have been doing of late seems to be associated with reconnecting with parts of my past and isn’t it interesting that fashion trends also seem to be taking a walk down memory lane. There’s almost a Dr. Zhivago look for 2017 winter with vintage fur, high collars, the Russian look and velvet making a comeback on the runway. Coincidentally, I watched Dr. Zhivago just last night, who could resist the romantic look that this inspires. After all aren’t the men of today all sporting sporting either a mustache or beard? This is a look I can certainly live with and on the OHMJAM scorecard it scores a 7 from me (provided the fur is fake). LOVE
Other comebacks include 70’s plaid – I put a lot of plaid into my 2015 collection. Plaid is something that will always make a comeback. I give plaid a 7.
Colours for the fall are Red and Chocolate Brown. YES, these are two colours I can live with no problem. Red brightens up and aligns with the fall colours and brown accentuated with the golds, and oranges in the fall is so rich, I love the look. These colours score a 9 with me.
Glittery boots are in – not or me thanks. HATE although I was not a fan of UGGS when I first saw them in Australia, before they made a big splash here in Canada. UGGS have sort of grown on me since then so maybe if I see enough glittery boots done well, I’ll have a change of heart about them. Score 0.
Couch Florals for the Spring/Summer – I love big splashy florals but do I want to wear this? NO. Score 0.
Big Belts are in again and oh how I wish I could still wear the ones I wore back in my 20 inch waist days. Bring em on. Score 9.
Dare I say it – shoulder pads are also coming back and I couldn’t be happier. I have tried everything imaginable over the years, including weightlifting but nothing has worked to make my shoulders larger or broader. Here’s the thing girls – clothes just hang better on a woman when she has shoulders. I score them a big 10 and hope they stay forever. Not too big though. However, the Deconstructed look is back in style and I’m not too crazy about that.
Lastly the Leisure look is in. Living in the country you rarely see anybody in anything other than jeans or a track suit. Admittedly, that took a bit of getting used to but a couple of winters in snowbelt country made me a convert. So the leisure look is one I’ll be happy to see. There are deisgners that can make a track suit that’s wearable almost anywhere. Just one note to those designers – not all girls have skinny legs. The leisure look scores an 8 from me.
Lower hemlines are also in and I predit a lot of longer, flowing, romantic dresses for the summer.
That’s my take on the fashion trends for 2017. What are your favourites?
In the meantime, Keep Creating!Read More
Who doesn’t love the Oscars? Viola Davis summed it up best in her acceptance speech when she said “We are the only profession that gets to celebrate what it means to live a life.” and we get to see them doing just that in their performances. We also get to see actors dressed in the creations of today’s fashion designers, what’s not to love?
This year while there were some mishaps in the production, the designers didn’t disappoint. Here are my picks of the Best dressed (not necessarily in order).
This white one shoulder cape is simple but elegant. The choker and bag are the perfect accessories to this outfit.
I often think that less is more and this Dior gown is proof of that. Dunst is stunning in this design.
I sometimes think Marchesa is a bit too busy for my liking but this is the perfect balance of texture, flair and fit.
Ralph & Russo, one of my favourite designers rarely disappoint and Priya was one of my favourites last year as well.
I don’t know this designer but when Johannson walked on the stage the dress was flowing like liquid and was just revealing enough.
Jessica Biel would look good in a sack but she really stuns in this beautiful gold creation which hugs her perfectly.
Last but certainly not least. I have never seen Halle wear anything that wasn’t perfect for her. This modern Grecian style by Versace is absolutely stunning.
These couture pieces have inspired me to get busy.
In the meantime, Keep Creating!
I have decided it’s time for me to get back to basics; so what exactly does that mean?
I have been working feverishly for the past two years on projects, neglecting my designs and the one thing that sustains me – creative expression. As a Homeopath, I know better but I haven’t slowed down long enough to listen to the messages I’ve been receiving.
It all began before the holidays when everything in my house seemed to break down but didn’t. Let me explain – my appliances are all fairly new yet just two days before a dinner party my range started making noises, not unlike a motorcycle. Then the fridge started making similar noises, there was a clogged sink which made it impossible to do my washing. I was too busy to deal with most of it however, I had no choice but to deal with the clogged sink.
As if that weren’t enough, the flu kept me off my feet for several days causing me to reflect on my life and I realized it was spinning, not out of control but not going in a direction I wanted. The holidays provided me with an opportunity to spend time with friends, people whose company I enjoy, I suddenly realized how much I missed spending time with my friends and doing the things I love. The strangest thing though was the appliances that I chose to ignore stopped making the noises – without repair.
I decided I needed to freshen up my studio which was in an absolute state of chaos, I decided it was time for a colour change as well – red and white. Then I began to purge, 3 trips to the dump later and I’m almost ready to get back to work.
Painting the walls also made me realize I wanted new art to put on the walls. My oldest son has an innate talent but my youngest son started painting more recently and has become just as talented. People would say they got that from me, I assure you they did not, they got that from my father. I, however, hate not being able to do things I want to do so I enrolled in an art class. Art, like fashion is subjective – you either like a person’s work or you don’t so I wasn’t terribly intimidated by the awesome work that the other students created. My piece was nothing like the others, not as good but what it did for me was open me up to the possibilities. I also realized I didn’t have the proper tools and you can’t create anything without the right tools.
My studio renovation is almost complete, I’ve decided the flooring needs to be changed and as soon as the weather permits I will be making a trip to IKEA to get a couple of pieces that will not only allow me to store but to display my fabric and then it’s back to basics – back to designing. I received an email from a gal who modelled one of my designs at my fashion show last year, she commented on how much her dress was like the one that Adele wore at the Grammy’s this year, she said I was ahead of my time. It’s time to get back to doing what I love – being expressive through design.
I’ve come to the conclusion that life is too short not to spend it doing what you love, with people that inspire you and make your heart sing. So I’ve resigned from the projects that have taken time away from what’s important to me. Stay tuned for what’s next, I promise it won’t be dull.
In the meantime, Keep Creating!
Another year is about to come to an end so I thought I’d take some time to reflect on what the past year has been like for me and for the record, I personally can’t wait to say good-bye to 2016.
The year started off busy and so full of hope as I worked feverishly to make my Fashion Fundraiser a success and indeed it was but that’s where it ended. I don’t like to regret anything in life but it was something I ended up deeply regretting. I did something kind, selfless to bring awareness to an organization but it became nothing more than contentious or perhaps it was just that way because of the people involved. Either way I learned a lesson in life about people, a lesson I would much rather not have had to learn. I learned how wrong I was about people I thought were integral, I learned not to trust.
2016 was about loss, endings for me. Friendships ended, some I thought would last a lifetime. I walked away from an organization I was responsible for starting and was passionate about. I learned that people I thought I could count on forever, weren’t as reliable as I thought. I learned how much gossip and lies hurt. Sadly, I learned how not to give so much of my time and energy to undeserving people.
I committed to being a co-chair on the Wasaga Film Festival and making the 6th Annual a Year to Remember. I had no idea as to just how much work I was signing up for (another lesson) but when I make a commitment, I follow through. It has allowed me to meet a number of people that I am glad to have met so I can’t complain. I do confess having time to rest and relax over the holidays has been a wonderful respite from all the work.
There were so many heart wrenching situations that happened all over the world I confess that while I’m not prone to depression, I struggled this year. The only thing that truly made me happy was my family and their accomplishments. It’s not easy to be happy when there are so many people fighting to survive, are being terrorized or you open your computer only to discover that yet there’s another terrorist attack, or someone that brought so much happiness to your life has passed.
Resolutions are always difficult for me because I start off with such high expectations of myself and then one by one they seem to fall by the wayside. However, I have decided that the lessons I learned this year will serve me well in 2017 as I plan to make it about me and fulfilling my wish list. There are so many things I want to do while I still can – I want to learn to paint and incorporate art into my designs. I want to live a healthier more creative life, I want to learn how to say NO and not feel guilty, I want to love more (if that’s possible) but most of all I just want to become the best me that I can be for me.
So that’s it for me, 2016 SUCKED. I’m renovating my studio and incorporating a lot of happiness into the design so stay tuned for some fabulous designs in 2017.
I wish you all a Happy 2017, let’s all hope that it’s a kinder, more gentler year filled with peace, hope and love.
In the meantime, Keep Creating!
I am sooooo ready for the Holidays; to have some alone time as well as time with friends. I’ve been going non-stop since September and I’m exhausted. It’s been wonderful things that have kept me busy but I definitely need to relax and recharge before the new year. I didn’t realize until today that I haven’t stopped since January when I was preparing for my Fashion Fundraiser which was held in March. Since then I’ve been going full on with the Wasaga Film Festival and the Wasaga Society for the Arts.
So exactly what has kept me so busy – first off I hosted a luncheon for the amazing Liberty Silver in early October. We then took her to RogersTV to do a taping for our October 19th Press Release.October 19th, we appeared on Georgian Bay Life and then immediately raced to meet with Ian Adams, Reporter for the Wasaga Beach Sun
There was a lovely night at the Gayety Theatre to listen to Moses Znaimer, a wonderful Show at the Simcoe Theatre where I saw a fabulous Musical called No Chance in Hell and a great Creative Symposium also at the Simcoe Theatre with Guest Speaker Jeremy Frieberger from CoBalt Connects.
November there were non stop meetings and telephone conferences, with a little trip to Molly Blooms in Collingwood to do a fundraiser. Then one of the most exciting things happened at the end of November, the first M in OHMJAM fought her way in Taekwondo to represent Australia in the Oceana Championships in Fiji. She took home a bronze medal. I couldn’t be more proud of her.
While Maeve was off representing Australia, I was in Collingwood in the Santa Claus parade, trying to portray blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield. Kudos to us as we came third in the Non-Profit category.
Third for a first time entry wasn’t at all bad but what was really special was that we actually won first prize in the Wasaga Beach Santa Parade.
Throughout all of that we were prepping for our Youth workshops which happened yesterday with Brett Heard.
We decided to make the third workshop available to all ages as so many people had expressed an interest in wanting to learn how to do a film. I was delighted with the turnout and got to learn some valuable information. I am hosting a dinner party next week and wondering whether I should spring it on my unsuspecting guests that I want them to be part of my film or tell them in advance and hope that they still show up. Either way I will hopefully film the preparation of the meal if my oven works. Turned on the oven today and it sounded like there was a Harley in my kitchen – please please let me get it repaired this week.
What I did learn yesterday will not only help me with the film I intend to make but I have a manuscript that’s been sitting collecting dust for far too long. I think I may take advantage of the holidays to take it out, dust it off and get working on finishing it. Wish me luck.
Next week is still a busy one with more preparations for the holidays – baking, sewing, wrapping presents and I have another household project that I would love to do – I found some fabulous tiles that I want to install downstairs. Will I get it all done? We’ll see but I promise to let you know by the time I write my annual year end blog.
I hope you’re all ready for the holidays and that you’re able to spend it with loved ones and good friends.
In the meantime, Keep Creating!Read More
September 11th and what it means to me. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about feeling emotional and about being a cancer survivor. I hate saying that, perhaps it’s because I associate survival with guilt or the fact that being a cancer survivor is tantamount to being chased by some invisible monster and hoping you never get caught. For me it’s definitely GUILT.
In 2001, while in Australia to visit friends and family for a month I felt sick the entire time, thinking I had the flu and the 24 plus flight had taken it’s toll making it even harder to recover. When I got home I discovered a lump, not in my breast but under my arm. After a regular check up, I asked the doctor what it was – he joked that it was a bone but maybe I should have a mammogram. My Homeopath finally diagnosed it as a ganglion but I will forever refer to it as my divine intervention.
I’d already had two lumpectomies for benign tumours and was told I had to have regular mammograms. I took that advice and had one every year until 1996 when for the first time in my life I had a woman doctor tell me I was wasting time having them. I stopped getting mammograms, after all I’d been told I was wasting time, making me feel like a naughty little girl for having done so; besides I knew how to check myself after finding the other lumps. This time I resisted a mammogram, insisting on an ultrasound instead – it was less painful.
The ultrasound indicated there was something and they took me into another room to have a needle biopsy, I’d been through that so many times already it didn’t matter. Days later I got a phone call from my doctor telling me it was cancer and that I needed to have surgery as soon as possible. When you live alone and you get devastating news you don’t know what to do, there’s nobody there to talk to so you absorb the shock, I went into auto-pilot mode. I calmly called my sons in Australia to tell them then wondered if I should have. Would they feel as helpless as I did being so far away but they had to know, there was the dog and the house to be taken care of in case…………
My surgery was scheduled for August 12th, my oldest son’s birthday (how ironic) and later postponed to the 17th which caused more stress, that meant it had a week longer to grow inside of me and I wanted it out. Surgery then badda bang, badda bing – I wanted to go home, get on with my life and act like it never happened while nurses kept telling me I didn’t have to be so brave. I wasn’t being brave, I was scared as hell but refused to give in to it.
September 11th I was scheduled to get my patholgy report, they had removed 14 lymph nodes, I would find out whether it had spread. The report was good, I was told that all nodes were clear, the cancer had been removed and all that remained were the scars from the surgery. I raced out of the hospital, almost feeling smug, never wanting to see the inside of a cancer hospital ever again. I felt like I was walking on air as I found my way home, I turned on the tv and there it was.
This was what I saw – absolute horror, the images of planes hitting the towers, people jumping from the towers. I kept changing the channel thinking that it was some sort of bizarre movie being made, it couldn’t be real. Not my beloved New York – NOOOOOOOOOO make it stop I screamed to an empty house. Then the guilt set it – I had just received the happiest news of my life while thousands of innocent people were being killed, lives were destroyed for no reason.
The images were horrific, they took me to a place in my being that I had never been, a dark horrible place where I tried to understand, how something so evil could possibly happen in my lifetime. How could anybody be filled with so much hate? I remembered the images in my head after reading Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning where he described life in the Nazi death camps, spiritual survival and books about soldiers experiencing P.T.S.D. after the war in Viet Nam. However, I believed that those atrocities could never happen again, surely we had learned from that and we were wiser now.
My life was changed forever on September 11th, 2001, I could no longer live in the little bubble where I was comfortable and felt safe. It made me want to be a better person, to give more without expectation, to be passionate about life, to never take anything for granted again. It also left a deeper scar, it left me untrusting and fearful, afraid to let anyone get too close, I put up a shield so I could never feel that much pain or see such ugliness again. I left the bubble only to build a wall.
It’s taken me 15 years to realize it but two weeks ago I did. I’m no longer afraid to live without the shield, I will no longer let fear of pain rule my life. I know that there will always be hatred, people who don’t care how much they hurt others, and people who relish in doing so. Ego never stops trying to rule us. It will always sadden me when I hear or read irrational, illogical, negative, ungrateful or deceitful words but all I can do is be responsible for me, how I behave and react to those people. If our own children and parents can hurt us then why not the rest of the world but the wall has been torn down.
Let’s all try to be kinder, gentler and more loving to each other so that there can never be another September 11th, 2001.
In the meantime Keep Creating!