Are we living the dash?

There are days that we sit here and chug along.  Really just going through the motions of life, doing the same things, day in and day out.  But when we stop and take a look to assess the damage, holy…it is like a slap in the face.  Now this can be with the good stuff and the bad.  We’re so busy and on the go that most of us don’t actually stop to assess our lives regularly.  Are we living the dash?

Trying to live your life purposefully and/or with meaning is a goal we should all be working towards.  Otherwise, what was our purpose on this earth?  I know each of you, and myself included were put here to do more than just take up space and use the resources.  Our goal should be to inspire one another, encourage one another.  Our goal should be to touch one person’s life each day, if we can accomplish that, then little by little, through small changes, we are not only changing the world, but we are living our dash.  Take a few minutes and try it today.  See how you can empower someone else, see how you might be able to do one thing to change the life of someone, even if it is your own.

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Seriously clothing industry?!

So as I sit here and type this I think it is important to give you a bit of history as to how I came here.  For the last nine months, hubby and I have been following a Keto way of eating (WOE).  What that means is that we eat high good fats, moderate protein and low carbs.  Low carbs in the area of less than 20 grams a day.  To give you an idea that is one average sized potato or the bottom of a hamburger bun.  They call this a WOE because truly you’re changing your thinking about food, which in turn is changing your body.  So with this new WOE has come weight loss.  And with this weight loss has come the need to purchase new clothing.  Now for a girl who has been in the plus sized world her whole life, moving out of that world into the “normal” store world is a bit daunting.  In the plus sized world, I knew that when I walked into the store, it would be people who looked like me.  Either a little bit smaller or a little bit bigger, but at the end of the day if you weren’t of a certain size, you weren’t shopping there.  In the “normal” world, the size zeros and two intermingle with the size 14 and 16s.  And you have everything in between.

I am a tailor’s daughter in case you didn’t know so from a young age I understood body measurements and the importance of knowing them and altering clothing to fit your type of body.  So one thing I had going for me this whole time is my measurements were that of a models. No, no I never had a model’s body but my measurements were even, they fit.  Now this new body isn’t even and doesn’t fit. So dresses are out and mix and match is in, which brings me to my latest shopping expedition.  I go to the GAP in hopes of finding some clothes.  Their jeans tend to fit me well.  Now one little tidbit that I’ve found is that the outlet clothes in adults fit larger than at the actual store, where as the outlet kids stuff needs to be sized up.

Anyways, I’m at the actual store and find a pair of jeans I’m looking for in my size, super.  Then I move to tops.  I’m looking at a few different ones and you know when you can just tell some stuff is sized bigger? Well in this case I grab a medium, large and XL.  Three different designs, three different sizes and all three fit.  Now I assure you if you haven’t seen me I’m in no way shape or form a medium size.  But thank you Gap for stroking my ego for a few minutes. But my point in bringing this up is we have a generation of girls growing up with visuals of models who are size 0, 2 and 4s and while progress is being made both on the runway and in mainstream media to show women of all sizes, this crap is playing with our minds.  How is a girl not going to feel bad when she really is a medium but can also fit into an XL?  Why can’t there be more consistent sizing?  Why can’t your measurements reflect the same size regardless of the brand?  How can the measurements of a typical size 8 be considered an XL by some manufacturers? Seriously clothing industry?!   As a mom to a daughter, I know that these are issues that she will face in the coming years and something that we’ll have to navigate together.

What is your experience?  Have you ever been able to wear multiple “sizes” in one store?  Is my experience a one off or am I not alone?

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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A Day of Love or a Hallmark Holiday?

So tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  A day that everyone expresses their love to each other.  People race around to candy stores to buy large heart shaped boxes of chocolates, teddy bears and whatever else they can find in order to bring home to their loved one so they know how much they mean to them.  But really, is February 14th a day of love or a Hallmark Holiday?

My husband does not buy into it.  He doesn’t think that you need one day a year to remind someone how much they mean to you.  This should be done throughout the other 364 days a year.  It is the little things like when he’s hogging the covers and you let him have them because you know if you pull on them he’ll just wake up.  Or when you’re pregnant and all you want Chinese food from one place and he goes to get it for you at 10pm.  Or when you just need a break and your partner senses that and takes the kids for the day so you can get some much needed mental health time.  These are the little things.  These are the things that aren’t posted all over social media on February 14th but these are the things that count.

So a couple of years ago my husband tried to send me flowers on Valentine’s Day and the flowers never arrived.  Now you’ll say that it is convenient that they didn’t arrive.  So picture a Valentine’s Day with not even an acknowledgement from your partner.  Needless to say I was not very happy as I am not a fan in spending $100 on roses that will just wilt and die and three days but I would have been happy with a card.  He included a card with a heartfelt message in the flower order, that never came.  So late that night when he came home from a long day of work, he showed me the placed order (days prior I might add) with the message that never came.  Of course I understood and needless to say he made it up to me but it just affirmed my belief.

So tomorrow we’ll wake up and have a family breakfast.  Open our cards (remember I said cards were important) and go along with our days. Whether you’re married or single, celebrating or not tomorrow know that I’ll be thinking of my wonderful friends near and far.  I’m grateful for all of you and wish you a great day, however you choose to celebrate.

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Family

It is amazing how his family becomes your family after marriage.  The dynamics that you’ve had all of these years now need to be shared with a new group of people. The closest members of your tribe become exposed and everyone is vulnerable.  I’m fortunate enough where our families have meshed well.  Maybe it is the distance, maybe it is the personalities, we’ll never know.  Regardless I’m grateful how easy it is when we’re together.

Last week, we had the opportunity to visit some of my father in law’s first cousins.  They live a couple of hours away and coordinating schedules isn’t always easy.  We were able to meet up with three of them (and families) and the stories that were shared and the memories that were relived were special even for an outside to see.  Before we headed back we were able to visit with Yiayia Georgia. She is my husband’s grandmother’s sister.  Unfortunately all of my husband’s grandparents, as well as my grandparents are deceased.  So it was amazing for the kid to be able to connect with someone of that generation.  Yiayia Georgia is 92 years old and God bless her, she remembers things better than some people half of her age.

My FIL asked her to tell me the story of the deer, since I had never heard it. I’ll preface the story with they live on a farm with many acres so seeing wildlife is an everyday occurrence for them.  She recalled a day when she had gone out for a walk and a deer had the same idea.  She stood still as really what else could she do.  The deer proceeded to come closer to her.  She couldn’t run so she stood there until the deer came close enough where she could grab it by the neck.  So here is this woman, in her 60s holding the deer in fear it’ll hurt her.  Luckily her daughter was on the property and saw this from a window and came running down.  Yiayia asked her daughter to go grab some rope so they can tie the deer’s feet.  Once that happened Yiayia could finally let go of it and not be scared.  Quite honestly she didn’t say she was scared I used that word as really, nothing else fit.  Women of that generation didn’t have the same fears that you and I do.  They didn’t have to fear online bullying of their kids and sexual predators in their neighborhoods.  Their kids played outside until the streetlights came on and usually since they were all immigrants they tended to stick together.  They lived two to four families in a home, they worked the land, they tried to have the best life that they could.  Their fears were about the boat journey to come to a new country.  They worried about not knowing the language and leaving family behind that they could only communicate to via letters and then telephone.  They worried about keeping those Greek traditions alive while assimilating in their new country.  Yiayia Georgia is what I would call  a νταρντάνα γυναίκα.  She was one tough cookie and I am just lucky enough to call her family.

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Happy New Year

Thanks for the memories 2017. I’m not big on resolutions because really each day is a blessing and an opportunity to make a change. You don’t need January first for that. My chance came June 7th. Nothing really significant about that day but it was the day hubby and I decided to change our way of eating and joined the Keto bandwagon.

Now most people hear Keto and thing bacon and high cholesterol. That isn’t what it is all about, although bacon is a perk! I really didn’t expect much I mean after all I had been overweight my whole life. Although I was never one to diet as they really don’t last, I had made a lifestyle change before getting pregnant. My goal was to get back to that weight. Slow and steady wins the race as they say. Well six months later I’m happy to report I’m there. I’d like to think I’m a modest person but gosh darn it, this was a great accomplishment. One I should be proud of, and even more importantly one I got to share with my hubby who rocked the hell out of Keto! I’m so proud of him. A friend asked me if I’m at my goal weight? I’m not sure what that would be. If I look on that list of height/weight at the doctor’s office I’m probably still considered overweight, maybe even obese. But who the hell is 5’10” and 115lbs?? Other than a supermodel of course.

I’ve learned to not worry about that number on the scale. I’ve learned to trust the process. I wasn’t sure wether or not I should even write this post but if I can encourage one person to make a change then it was worth it. I’m not specifically talking about weight loss, it can be about anything. Stop being scared. You have to start somewhere. Why not let today be that start? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Take the class, go for that hike, give it a shot.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. May your 2018 be full of health, happiness, love and laughter! And remember go for it! Whatever is holding you back isn’t worth it.

 

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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The big day is almost here…

Well the big day is almost here.  Santa Claus arrives at our house tonight and we are ready and waiting.  We’ll be decorating cookies for him later tonight.  We’ll be putting out our reindeer food and leaving milk and cookies (if the kid doesn’t eat them all).  Tomorrow morning we’ll wake up, open our gifts and go to church, before spending time with family. What traditions do you have with your family on Christmas Eve?  I’d love it if you shared with us.

FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
Wishing each of you all that the Season has to offer.

 

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Why are people so miserable during the Happiest Time of the Year?

Okay ladies and gentlemen, I’m ready to tackle the question we’re all wondering: why are people so miserable during the Happiest Time of the Year? If you know me you know that I try to be done Christmas shopping early and hate to even go into stores after December 1st.  With the amazing help of technology I don’t have to deal with the insanity this time of year but the question still begs to be asked.  Is it because people need to find that perfect gift?  Is it because they are spending way too much money, that in some cases they don’t have, to make their children, family, friends, happy?  Is it because the holidays while bringing the good out of people also can remind them that they are in some cases?  Obviously Christmas has become overly commercialized but people have we really forgotten the true meaning of Christmas?

Christmas isn’t about the one, five, fifteen, or fifty gifts under your tree on the big day.  It is about how you treat your fellow human every other day of the year.  And yes, while I as a parent my day has changed a bit as I would do anything to see a smile on my child’s face, I also have been trying to instill in her the idea of giving.  Now she’s not four yet so the idea still needs flushing out but my point is she understands that it is important to help when you can.  She understands that not everyone is as fortunate as she and many of her friends are.  Will this stick with her the rest of her life?  I sure as hell hope so.  My goal isn’t to raise another entitled child that walks along this earth with their earbuds in, staring at their phone, feeling that they are owed something because they breathe.  My goal is to raise a child who will start the toy drive in their school, who will ask to give up something that they have to put a smile on another child’s face and to help where she can.

So going back to my original question, why are people so miserable?  Maybe it is because we don’t take the time to look into ourselves to see what will really make us happy this time of year?  Remember you’re no good to everyone else if you’re not good with yourself.  So as we get closer to Christmas and the end of the year, take a moment and reflect.  What were some wins this year?  What would you have done differently?  Did you hug your loved ones enough?  More importantly did you tell them that you loved them?  Life can change in an instant, never leave anything unsaid.    And when you encounter those miserable people, kill them with kindness.

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Social Media and Friendships

So it isn’t a secret that 99% of us are on social media.  We’re connected today in a way that our parents never could be.  We literally can FaceTime or Skype everyday with people thousands of miles away and feel more connected than the people who live down the street from us.  You can join me as I go “live” on Facebook or via my InstaStory and be right there with me at my dentist appointment, favourite concert or heck even wedding.  It is crazy if you begin to think that 20 years ago this was not the norm and now this generation knows no different.

So how many friends are too many?  One day I was having a heated discussion with a friend about Facebook and really did they need to have 800 friends?  How many of these people truly had an impact on their life?  How many of these people did they really care about and furthermore how many of these did they actually know? It is crazy to think that so much of what we do is out there for the public to see.  That absolutely is not a criticism on anyone, it is just an observation.  Did we give up our privacy when cell phones became cheap enough that even most 8 year olds have them?  And if so, what are we teaching our kids?  Do our friendships need to be validated by the person on the other side of the screen? Are we giving up our human interaction for a number of likes?

I have had a couple of former friends now who have blocked me on social media.  The first time it happened it bothered me, the second time not so much.  As I was decorating for the holidays I found Christmas cards from past years from these people telling me how wonderful of a friend I was and how lucky they were to have me in their lives.  I’m not writing this to toot my own horn, these were their words.  My question is how can someone so important in your life be shut out without a conversation and by the click of a block button?  Trust me, my life moved on and I didn’t lose any sleep over it but if you’re creeping my blog, as I think you may be, I ask you to look inside of yourself and answer that question.  Has social media devaluized friendship? I truly believe that there are very few people who are meant to be in your life for the long haul. I’m so fortunate to have a few of those in my inner tribe.  I can count on more than one hand people that I have had in my life over 20 years, how blessed am I to say that.  Friendship, like marriage is work.  Not necessarily hard work but you need to put time and effort in to make it viable.  You need to care enough about the other person to make a sacrifice to see them over coffee, wine, or even a quick FaceTime.  You need to invest in your friends because after yourself and your family, they’re all you’ve got!

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Slow down

As the holiday season approaches I think more and more people are on edge. Even the little things can set people off. So I was walking out of a store yesterday when a woman texting on her phone literally walked into me. She didn’t have a care in the world and looked up and glared at me. Of course my response was, “Perhaps you should wait to get to your destination before texting.” She turned around and said, “You saw me coming why didn’t you move?” Umm excuse me? When did 40 year olds become as entitled as the generation that they are breeding? I could have said more to the lady but didn’t and walked out. But of course it got me thinking. How obsessed are we with the message coming in, the video we’re watching, the email we need to respond to, that we don’t take notice of the human being walking right in front of us?  How often are we using that push of the like button instead of human interaction?

A ten year old passed away a few days ago in our city. I didn’t know the family but heard about the accident both on social media and the news. She was in an SUV with her mother when their car was hit by a man in his 20s who was driving the other SUV. His car crossed over to the other side of the road and he was later charged with distracted driving. Now that man needs to live the rest of his life knowing what he did and that mother needs to live the rest of her life knowing there was nothing she could do to save her little girl. Life can change in an instant. Stop at that yellow light as opposed to trying to beat it before it turns red.  Make sure to tell your loved ones that you love them. Live each day to the fullest. Remember that this isn’t a dress rehearsal, you only get one chance…make it count!

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Happy (U.S.) Thanksgiving

As an American who no longer lives in the States, it is hard to keep the tradition of a November Thanksgiving alive, when your country celebrates in October (US Columbus Day).   I sit here typing thinking of Thanksgiving pasts.  The smell of turkey that would take over the house.  The Thanksgiving eves spent at the football stadium watching my high school alma mater take on its rival.  The Thanksgiving mornings going back to the stadium to watch the other two high schools in the city take each other on.  The Thanksgiving where my mom made a ham, lamb and turkey and all the fixings for just the four of us.   The years that my parents spent in New Hampshire and we got to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day since a few of the stores opened on the holiday.  Regardless of the memory a smile comes across my face.  Those were the good ole days! The carefree days of only low stress and no worries.  As the years passed on it still was one of the favourite holidays.  I remember the year where we showed up and surprised my family for Thanksgiving.  Or last year when the kid and I went to Boston and my husband decided to show up at 7:45am knocking on the door surprising us for the day.  Needless to say the customs officer looked at him a bit funny when he asked how long were you there for, and he replied I just went for Thanksgiving dinner.

Regardless of how your day plays out today, whether you’re fortunate enough to be surrounded by your family or friends that are like your family.  Whether you have to grin and bear it through dinner or are sitting at a table by yourself, know that your friend in Canada is wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.  I’m grateful for so much today.  My amazing family, my wonderful friends, the three countries that I’m blessed to know and have impacted my life so much and of course all of you.  Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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