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

Happy 26th Anniversary To My Beshert

Twenty six years ago today we stood before our family and friends and made a lifelong promise to one another. It was a promise to become partners and to love each other unconditionally, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.

It was a promise of friendship, a promise of commitment, a promise of forgiveness, a promise of kindness, a promise of laughter, a promise of honesty, a promise of trust and a promise of patience.

We may have weathered many storms since then and we may have tested many of those promises too but still, twenty six years later there is no one else in the world I would rather weather any storm with than with you.

Thank you for keeping your promise to me; especially during the storms.

I love you to the moon and back, forever and a day!

#happyanniversary #twentysix #iloveyoutothemoonandback #foreverandaday #youareenough #strongertogether #familymatters #weddingvows #weddingbells #promises #vows #weatherthestorms #mrandmrs #insicknessandinhealth #summerofrich

Ma famille ❤

What does family mean to you?

To me family is always having someone in your life who has your back and sees your shortcomings yet still loves you unconditionally.

Family is showing love and support for one another even through the difficult times and having a strong connection with others who want nothing more than to lift you up and inspire you to be the best version of yourself.

Family is having a feeling of security, unity, acceptance and a mutual respect and understanding. 

Being part of a family doesn’t have to mean that you are related by a bloodline or always having to share the same interests or opinions with each other  either; it just means that you always feel a sense of belonging, a willingness to embrace your differences and the ability to value them no matter what.

#happyfamilyday #family #familymatters #memories #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #youareenough #youarenotalone #mondaymotivation

What is Love?

“Love isn’t about how often you say I love you, it’s about how much you can prove it’s true.” ~ unknown ~

It’s easy to say I love you, they are just words; people can tell you anything they believe you long to hear but it’s their actions that will truly tell you everything.

There are many different kinds of love we will experience in our lifetime but just remember, that no matter what, the only kind of love you ever deserve, is the kind of love that doesn’t come with conditions, prerequisites or agendas attached to it.

#chooseaction #choosekindness #chooselove #loveyourself #bemyvalentine #youareenough #bekindtoyourself

Today Is A New Day

I had a very restless and “catastrophic” evening last night. Somewhere between 10pm and 11 I began to have a panic attack of “catastrophic” proportions which soon morphed itself into an anxiety attack and lasted until the wee hours of the morning.

But if it weren’t for a few of my many incredible friends who just so happened to be checking in with me around that time, I’m not sure how I would have ever gotten through last night. They listened to me and distracted me with their own antics and funny memes well into those wee hours of the morning. 

I am both incredibly lucky and grateful to have so many amazing people in my life who simply want nothing more than to be there for me no matter what, who don’t keep score, who always know how to make me laugh through my tears, who continue to make me feel empowered and who would unselfishly be there for me until the wee hours of the morning.  

Two years ago today I wrote a blog called “What A Catastrophe” which just so happened to show up in my memories on Facebook this morning and I thought I would share it with you all again (and for anyone who may have missed it the first time) after the “catastrophic” night I had. It describes in length just how quickly a depressed and anxious mind can turn anything into a catastrophe in a matter of seconds, sometimes without any warning and often without any real triggers either. 

https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/what-a-catastrophe

After last night and with very little sleep, I knew that I needed to find an outlet today and definitely a change of scenery. One thing that has been a tremendous source of emotional wreckage for me lately has been the lack of time in the great outdoors. I really hate winter, like really really hate it but I have also really missed my long walks every day and hiking every weekend since the change in weather hit and so today I faced the dreaded winter air head on and went for a long and very challenging hike with Rich and my girls (Jacob was working but I’m pretty sure Football would have won over a hike either way). 

The weather was perfect (I could have worn a t-shirt lol), the sun was shining so brightly on us and it felt like we were in a winter wonderland.  It’s the moments like today that I hold deep in my heart and it’s moments like today that I need to imagine during my next big catastrophe. And who knows, maybe we can even start a new tradition.

#winterofrich 
#friendship #whattrulymatters #youarenotalone #familymatters #hiking #humbervalleyheritagetrail #newtraditions #weatheringthestorm #youareenough #anxiety #depression #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #panicattack #hiking #nature #mindfulness #therapeutic

You’ll always be my babies ❤

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been” ~ Mark Twain

#youareenough #iloveyoutothemoonandback #foreverandaday #tbthursday

Going On A Bear Hunt

Today’s #summerofrich adventure was quite the adventure.  We headed to a trail near Port Perry and when we got there it was closed (the website gave no indication that it was closed), so we went to another trail a bit further away; and guess what? it was closed too! (Again no mention of it on their website; but it was under construction).

By this point we figured since we had come all that way we might as well venture to yet one more trail (I mean what are the chances it would be closed too!). Thankfully it was not; Yahoo!!! As we reached the start of the trail we saw a sign that read (in pics) “beware of bears”! Ya well who doesn’t like to be a bit “risque” sometimes so off we went into the forest, but with every step we took we started to get more and more nervous (well Rich did lol) which was only about 5 minutes into our hike.

There were no other hikers in sight (maybe they had already been eaten by a bear) and we tried hard to ignore every rustling sound coming from the woods but THEN we came upon piles and piles of bear poop (Don’t worry I saved you from any pics!). So it was at that very moment that we hightailed it out of there and back to safety!

It looks like a hike just wasn’t in the cards for us today (good thing I did an aqua fit class this morning) and instead we headed to Port Perry’s Main Street and walked along the Pier and did some window shopping instead (that’s pretty mindful in my opinion, wouldn’t you agree?) which is where our adventure continued.

Once we had enough window shopping we decided to grab a quick bite to eat on a patio close to the water which was also our first time doing so since patios opened back up. We placed our order and THEN came the lightening, the thunder and soon followed by a terrestrial downpour!

Luckily the umbrella over the picnic table kept us pretty dry for most of the time (and it was too late to make it back to the car anyways), but then the wind turned directions and we were getting soaked! 

You can’t fault us for trying today, it was certainly a memorable day and nothing a big scoop of peanut butter and chocolate ice cream from one of the local shops couldn’t fix.

#summerofrichcoronaedition #nohikingtoday #bewareofbears #imisspatios #portperry #scugogtownship #icecreamyouscream #peanutbutterandchocolateicecream #thunderandlightening #youareenough #mentalhealth #mentalwellness

Life Is F’ing Hard

For the better part of six years now I have found myself wondering most days “Why is life so hard?” and over time (I’m guessing just in the last four months alone) it has probably crossed your mind many times as well. We are all human beings after all and we will all fall on hard times in our lifetime after all and we all go through our own emotional rollercoasters through different stages of our life after all; it’s what makes us human after all! 

At any given moment when life becomes too hard we may need a little extra support and guidance to get us through which is when it’s most important to remember that it’s okay to rely on others for help and it’s more than okay to ask. Some days/nights when I am experiencing a particularly acute and dire episode of negative emotions (crazy amount lately) I will often allow my mind to wander to my super social supports (support can come from many different kinds of people and places). Just thinking about them and knowing that they are there for me in case I need to reach out can provide me with a level of comfort to help get me through in the moment because ignoring our negative emotions or trying to avoid facing our hard times head on will not make them go away. In fact from what I have learned over time will only create further despair and mental anguish. One of the most difficult things I’ve had to learn to accept over the last six years is that it’s all part of our journey and talking through it can really help you better understand your feelings. 

I have also learned over the last couple of years that making self-care a top priority is one of necessity when life is especially hard. For me that includes writing and journaling, reading a good (self-help) book, doing a puzzle, taking a warm bubble bath, texting with a friend or going for a hike or a long walk. Since the onset of Covid-19 Rich and I have tried to prioritize taking long walks every day and exploring our neighbourhood. Until recently when the temperatures weren’t so crazy hot and humid we would go for an hour or two walk during the day but have recently moved it to the evenings. I’ve even found getting caught in the rain sometimes an added bonus! 

What do you do to take care of you in hard times? What do you find works best?


#lifeishard #youareenough #itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #advocate #selfcare #ichooseme #youarenotalone #findyoursupportsystem #family #friendship #therapy #kindness #itsthejourneynotthedestination #masksoff #checkonyourlovedones 

Stop The Presses

I placed my final order of signs first thing this morning which will be printed and then delivered later this week. I knew a week ago that I needed to wrap up my Initiative for the sake of my mental health but as I wrote in my blog last week “How Can I Say No?” I struggle a great deal with saying No.

Yesterday the emails were still pouring in non-stop; and even as I took some much needed time for myself to go for a hike I panicked at the thought of all the emails I would have to return when I got home. And knowing that I was taking my final orders that day made the panic worsen at how I could possibly get back to everyone on time. 

I did get back to everyone and when I told them it was to be my final night to take any new orders, everyone responded very quickly but it still didn’t help the fact that I would be letting many others down who would continue to contact me today, tomorrow or even next week. 

I knew going in that my Campaign would only be short term but now as the school year is beginning to wind down I feel like I am letting so many people down and disappointing so many others by simply saying No. 

I truly never imagined 5 or 6 weeks ago that my little idea would take on a life of its own, a life that has now exceeded every expectation I had and crushed every goal I made; but then why do I feel so guilty, why do I feel like it’s never enough or that I should be doing more?

There is still time to contribute to my Class of 2020 Graduate Initiative and help make a difference in a child/youth’s life. Please feel free to make a donation at: youthareenough@gmail.com.

All of the proceeds will go to @KidsHelpPhone 

Continue to follow my journey at:https://youareenough712.wordpress.com 

#lifewithdepression #lifewithanxiety #youareenough #bekindtoyourself #guiltfree #depressionkills #anxietyisreal #mentalillness #itsoktonotbeok #negativeselftalk #selfcare  #ichooseme #youarenotalone #graduationday #grads #classof2020 #ouryouthmatter #lawnsigns 

Suicide During A Pandemic

*May Be Triggering*

The impact that Covid-19 has had on the world is immeasurable and unprecedented and these uncertain times have left much of the world feeling very helpless and very often hopeless. 

For 6 years now I myself have been living with daily feelings of helplessness and hopelessness but not because of Covid-19 but instead due to Depression and Anxiety and the combination of those feelings is what often leads me to having daily thoughts of Suicide, none of which has changed because of Covid-19. 

To be perfectly honest there are some days lately that those feelings are even more overwhelmingly hard to ignore and I know that I’m not alone in how I’m feeling because whether or not you were suffering with Depression, Anxiety or thoughts of Suicide before Covid-19, many, many more people are suffering with one or more of these symptoms now and many, many many more will continue to suffer well after this is all over and we begin to piece our lives back together. 

There are so many reasons why so many people’s mental health and safety are sure to be impacted from the Coronavirus and so many reasons why there could be a surge in suicidal deaths in the coming months. 

Whether it’s from having to self-isolate alone, or the impact of being quarantined with family that could increase our thoughts of Suicide. Or maybe it could be due to our heightened anxiety from fear of financial struggles or a loss of a job that can lead to Depression or thoughts of Suicide. Or some of us may become super fearful of losing a loved one to Coronavirus or spend our days worrying incessantly about contracting the virus itself. 

For some of us it may be from having a change in our routine, worry that the Pandemic will never end or simply that we have less activity in our life right now and way more time for negative thinking to occur. 

I won’t go into detail about where my thoughts are at the moment and whether it’s just one factor or all of them that are affecting my mental state during the Pandemic, but I will say again and again, I know I am not alone which is why it is imperative that we keep checking up on each other regularly regardless of how strong you think someone is because they may just be the one who is suddenly feeling the most helpless or hopeless of us all.

If you or someone you know is in crisis please call: Kids Help Phone: 1 800 668-6868 or Canada Suicide Prevention: 1 833 456-4566 and as always I am hear to lend an ear.


#suicide #depression #anxiety #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #pandemic #overwhelm #helpless #hopeless #youareenough #startaconversation #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #checkonyourstrongfriends #checkonyourlovedones