A Thirst For The #summerofrich

I had planned to give this as a gift to Rich for Father’s Day but (spoiler alert) I guess I just couldn’t wait that long, LOL!

I made it for him and in honour of him. 

So from now on whatever trails our #summerofrich adventures lead us to Rich will always be well hydrated with his new, “one of a kind”, personalized and insulated water bottle that will keep his drinks really cold and refreshing no matter how lost we may get or how hot it is outside.  

Every summer since its conception about five years ago now I like to give a brief synopsis of what #summerofrich is for any newcomers to my page who may be wondering what the heck it is exactly. 

It began with a simple exclamation one (very) early Friday morning at the end of June as we stood waving goodbye to our three kids as they drove away on the bus to camp for the next seven and a half glorious weeks (I actually think 2 of them were staff at the time and may have already left for camp, but not important!).

They were barely out of the parking lot yet when Rich turned to me with the biggest smile on his face and shouted “It’s the Summer of Rich”!, and wasted no time at all getting started. Our first activity on the #summerofrich agenda that year (and every year after that until last summer) was already scheduled for later that morning. We were off to the spa for pedicures.

The #summerofrich meant that he now had a seven plus week break; a well deserved, much needed and VERY much earned break from the burdensome (I use that term, not him) role he plays as both mom and dad, chef, psychologist, schlepper, grocery bagger and much, much more for the other forty something weeks of the year; a role which he has so selflessly taken on for the better part of seven years now.

Last summer when the devastating (yes it was devastating to many) announcement came that overnight camps would not be running due to Covid-19 I thought for a brief moment that we should cancel the #summerofrich all together seeing as Rich would not be getting his well deserved, much needed and VERY much earned break. Then I realized that we don’t have to cancel it at all, we just needed to pivot somewhat, after all we no longer had all three kids away for the summer anymore anyways.

And tada, the #summerofrich 2.0 was born. This past year we pivoted a lot due to Covid restrictions. And although our summers may not be as carefree as they once we’re, the #summerofrich has become an incredible outlet for the both of us. If you were to tell me 5 years ago that I’d be enjoying the great outdoors, hiking trails all over our beautiful Province of Ontario and exploring the beauty of nature I’d have said you were crazy.

It’s now become the perfect way to take care of our mental health, have fun and discover places we never imagined before. 

What a healthy outlet we have found to do together and I’m so glad that sharing our adventures brings so much joy to others as well. Hashtag #summerofrich has created quite a following!

I’m a planner and I love spending time researching and finding new and adventurous things for us to do. I take my job very seriously (hey, you never know but maybe one day we will even complete the entire length of the Bruce Trail, all 900 KMs of it!).

But most of all when we needed to pivot last summer, the #summerofrich 2.0 took on a whole new life of its own and has made many of our adventures that much more meaningful and memorable too. Our kids have even learned to embrace our passion in small doses, call it “Pandemic boredom” but hey, I’ll take it! 

Yes, the #summerofrich may have started out as a well deserved, much needed and VERY much earned break for Rich during the seven or eight weeks that the kids were away at camp but it’s become so much bigger than that, so much so that as we pivoted this past year we also continued to discover even more adventures with every changing season.  Me and winter do NOT get along but if you add the hashtag #summerofrich next to it then count me in! (And it’s a good thing that his new water bottle can also keep his drinks nice and warm as well!!)

#twopointoh #learntopivot #insulatedwaterbottle #earlyfathersdaypresent #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #nature #hiking #getmoving #yourmentalhealthmatters #youareenough #family #relationshipgoals

Puzzled

I finally finished this puzzle tonight. I’m pretty sure it was the most challenging puzzle I’ve ever done in my whole life.

My girls had so thoughtfully bought me this puzzle a couple of weeks ago knowing just how much I enjoy doing them and it’d been a while since I’d done one but then almost immediately upon opening up the box I became quite overwhelmed by it.

Normally I have no problem organizing the pieces of any size puzzle and then I excitedly like to get started right away but this time around I became easily frustrated right from the very beginning. 

Puzzles usually take me at most a few days to complete but suddenly this time around I also found myself adding additional anxiety to my day everytime I looked at it and began pressuring myself to get it done RIGHT NOW, or else.

I’m not really sure why I always put so much undue pressure on myself for just about every single “piece” of my life, it really is quite “puzzling” to say the very least but in any case I was determined to complete the darn thing no matter what it took or even how long it did because I knew how rewarding it would feel by doing so.

#puzzled #youareenough #gingerbreadhouses #candycanes #goals #perseverancepaysoff

Sometimes You Just Need A Good Cry

It doesn’t take much to make me cry and today was no exception. I felt a lot of tension and anger and sadness and frustration building up inside of me yesterday which carried over into the wee hours of the night and eventually turned into a full blown self-hating “Party For One” somewhere after midnight. 

Everything in my life right now feels like it’s coming unhinged and I don’t know how much more I can take. I’m sitting in my car as I write this, the doors are locked and I’m feeling trapped, without any way to escape.

I can feel the chaos of my life around me and it’s taking over my entire body. I am shaking in fear as the tears begin to well up in my eyes. I find the note in my phone that I wrote to myself late last night during my self-hating “Party For One” and the slow build up of tears quickly turns to a waterfall of emotions. 

I’m even more exhausted now while trying to read my note than I was when I first wrote it late last night and suddenly my eyes have become blurred from all the tears.

I put away my note and try to concentrate on my breathing instead. I can feel my heart palpitations and shakiness start to slow down with every breath I take and soon the tears begin to slow down as well.

Sometimes a good cry is all you need in order to help release your distress, calm yourself down, regulate your emotions and distract you from all the self-hate you have built up in your heart (and thank you to a good friend who happened to call me at just the right moment).

#tearsarehealing #itsalrighttocry #youareenough #youarenotalone #endthestigmatogether #itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #depression #anxiety #suicideprevention #blogger #masksoff 

Does Everything Happen For A Reason?

Do you believe that everything happens for a reason?  I have found myself pondering this question quite a lot, especially lately as I continue to battle many difficult setbacks in my life right now. Many of the setbacks I’ve been battling of late effect the wellbeing of my family too but many more of these setbacks have also led me to the brink of suicide for several weeks now.

According to the Greek Philosopher Aristotle everything does happen for a reason, always. He says that “Every
experience in your life is designed to shape you and help you grow into the highest and mightiest version of yourself.”

Sometimes though when you are in the throes of a particularly difficult or painful period in your life it can be really hard to understand its purpose or to find any positive meaning behind it. 

With the help of my wonderful therapist I have learned so much about myself in the last few years and I have gained a much better understanding of my past as well which has in turn given me the courage to let go of a lot of old wounds in order to heal.

I’ve been able to create an overall picture of myself in my head as I find the strength to let go of some of those wounds that have caused me great pain in my life and it is beginning to make perfect sense now. 

And over the last couple of years I have also been taught many valuable lessons amongst all the chaos and sadness through quiet introspection.  I have begun to accept that everything may very well happen for a reason but that it’s not always so easy to embrace it all of the time even though I know in my heart that it has been “designed to shape you and help you grow into the highest and mightiest version of yourself.”

So are you a believer?

#everythinghappensforareason #greekphilospher #aristotle #findingmypurpose #myjourney #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #endthestigmatogether #nationalsuicidepreventionawarenessmonth #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #mentalillness 

“Me” Day

Yesterday I went to a one hour aqua fit class in the morning followed by a 2.5 hour walk later on and finished my day off with a warm and very soothing bubble bath. 

My brain is always working in overdrive and I am easily overwhelmed by the simplest of tasks while desperately trying to get through my never-ending “to-do-list”. Even thinking about all the things I need to get done or would like to achieve and then don’t, completely depletes my already less than empty “mental gas tank”.

Mental fatigue is real and the more that things seem to escalate in my life right now, the less able I am to take a pause from reality which then causes me to become totally incapable of much. The overwhelm takes my mind to a whole other place and I become paralyzed with fear and emotionally drained.

Being mentally exhausted often goes hand in hand with extreme and ongoing levels of stress in one’s life which I find I am so easily distracted by and extremely anxious about and very quickly will turn into procrastination. 

Procrastination comes from a Latin term which translates to “for tomorrow” and very often I find myself taking my “to-do-list” and moving it over to tomorrow in my calendar. Yesterday was no exception, but is taking a “Me” day really considered procrastination? 

What is one thing you find you procrastinate most about?

#swim #sweat #solitude #selfcare #aquafit #exercise #bubblebath #brainfog #mentalfatigue #mentalexhaustion #mindfulness #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #depression #anxiety #youareenough