When Life Makes You Think

I was going about my day when I saw my friend Lindsay Bell post a note on Facebook about an explosion at the Boston Marathon.

From the time it took to read that post to the time my kids came home from school 20 minutes later, thousands of posts both on Twitter and Facebook were shared: drawing attention to the details of the events. It was a whirlwind and yet it seemed to pass by like a dream in slow motion.

When my kids arrived home, I turned their attention to the television set and told them what had happened. The events had taken an even sadder note when we found out this race was in special commemoration for the Sandy Hook victims and their families. It seemed too surreal to imagine that something like this could happen again.

After 9/11, I, like many other families dove head-first and embraced family. It was a time to focus on the hear-and-now and ONLY make time for those things that were important. Hence, my son, Nathan was born in June of 2002. He would always be a reminder of how life should be lived.

I feel guilty most days…

I know I sometimes (ok, most times) treat my family unfairly. I know I have a temper that must be tempered. I know I should be more patient. I know I should call my parents more often. I know that I should spend more time with my Lola, whose time on this earth is limited. I know I should stop putting unrealistic expectations upon others. I know I should stop judging. I know I am NOT always right.

But I do know I have to be better…

I hug my kids everyday and telling them that I love them. I appreciate Shawn, my love, who has shown me more generosity and compassion and love than anyone deserves. I appreciate my parents who, still new to Canada, struggled to raise 4 kids and gave up so much so we could have what they couldn’t. I never told them Thank You. I still have lots to do to repair a lot of my past mistakes. But I’m relentless and I’m going try.

I collected some of these life lessons along the way and regretfully I have not properly recorded their origins:

…Have no regrets…Laugh like you’ve never laughed before…Dance like no-ones watching…

Tonight, I went to Tumblr to look for inspiration. I found some pretty profound stuff–many from the young’uns who have experienced more hurt, and have openly shared their souls online. Thank you for making me cry tonight. And thank you for making me appreciate what I have:)

Here are some of those amazing posts:

uarenotpowerless love90yochildrenvisitjustbeingtheregentle

There are no words for what happened today. There’s no point in speculation. It’s just another life lesson we need to learn. #PrayersforBoston

@Miikinc does #Movember

Thanks to Caron Court, I am now a #Mosista. What turned out to be a friendly lunch between friends, brainstorming ideas about #Movember, actually became a fun venture. OK, so I decided to Miik-it (get it!).

So, Michael Gaughan is a friend of mine. He and his lovely wife, Donna run this amazing clothing company called Miik  and they produce some pretty cool clothing that I’ve purchased over the years.

So I approached Michael and asked him if he would participate in Movember. That meant he needed to sponsor me. In return, I would model his clothing line and promote them through my networks.  He not only agreed, he also told me that this month 10% of online sales would be donated to #Mosistas #Movember. Pretty cool, eh? So, I set out (outside of my comfort zone, btw) and was a model for a morning. It was pretty fun.  Bonnie, Catherine and I just improvised and put together some pretty cool shots.  I hope you enjoy them!

I will be featuring @Miik in the next week on my blog and on my Twitter, Facebook and G+ Accounts. If you happen to see them, please do two things:

It all goes towards a great cause!

About Miik [pronounced: mick/mik]
Miik designs simple yet striking clothing for active women who don’t want to sacrifice comfort to look great. Using sustainably sourced fabrics like bamboo, Miik creates pieces that feel unbelievably soft against your skin and are flattering on so many body types. Once you try on Miik you’ll never want to wear anything else!

Miik is designed, milled and sewn in the Toronto area. Visit Miik for a complete list of retailers or to shop online.

First up! Olivia Cowl-Neck Colour-Block Dress in black and deep purple. Click here for details. Emily Soft Blazer. Click here for details.

My first article on Huffington Post: Cyberbullying Hits Home

Lately, the news about how social media is creating a haven for cruelty especially among kids prompted me to write a post. I was fortunate enough to get a writing gig on Huffington Post! Thanks Rashida! So I decided that my first article would be about Cyberbullying Hits Home.

This is a personal story and one that had (thankfully) a positive ending. There was no emotional turmoil and the bullying ended as quickly as it began. But other kids have not been so lucky. As a mother, I would hope that I could always protect my children from anything or anyone that would dare to harm them. These days, their own home cannot shield the hurtful words, picture or videos that penetrate our walls via this world wide web. As much as good has come out of social networking, an equal and more harmful poison has threatened  the emotional livelihoods of our own children. The net allows bullies to hide behind its veil of anonymity and torture others without consequence.  They now come in droves, not in groups.

I digress…. Please read this article if you are a parent.

Next week November 14-18 is Anti-Bullying Awareness Week.  I’ll be posting another article on What’s Your Tech.  Please look out for it! cheers!

Nabs Edge Walk at the CN Tower – Aug 2, 2011 Dare4Nabs.com

I promised my dear friend Sonya that I’d dedicate this blog post to helping her spread the word about her mission.

Here’s her story:

As I mentioned, late last week I signed up for the Nabs Edge walk (Dare4Nabs.com) on the CN Tower taking place on August 2nd.  Still can’t believe it’s less than a week away…  Needless to say, besides being scared out of my mind, I’m a tad bit behind in fundraising (to put it mildly.)  Chris and Noah think it’s pretty cool though so I can’t chicken out!

What is Nabs Edge Walk?

OK…. so just so you haven’t figure out how scary this really is, check this out!:

“Edge Walk is where thrill-seeking adventurers will be taking a walk…outside and around the circumference of the CN Tower’s roof. Not quite your average stroll in the park……EdgeWalk is the first attraction of its kind in North America and the world’s highest full circle hands-free walk on a 5 ft wide ledge. Don’t worry though, it’s only 116 stories above the ground.”

OK, so Sonya you are truly brave for doing this.

Nabs supports Canadian professionals in the communications industry facing personal, career and family challenges due to illness, injury, unemployment or financial difficulties by helping those with job searches and short term financial aid.

Here are some stories that I grabbed from the site:

Finding inner strength through NABS

A 50-year old divorced woman who had spent her whole career in the advertising industry was diagnosed with an illness that required long periods of time in the hospital. She had to resign from her position and was only left with government funding, which wasn’t enough to cover her expenses.

NABS began providing this woman with financial assistance to help her with rent, utilities and other necessities. Relieved from financial worries, this strong, resilient woman, managed to find freelance work, and when that wasn’t enough to cover expenses, NABS was there. Recently, she found a full-time job and continues to express her gratitude to NABS—not only for paying her bills, but also for helping her draw on her inner strength and talent to secure freelance work and, ultimately, full-time employment.

Solving problems with a different approach

With four children, it was very difficult for this 35-year-old man when both he and his wife filed for personal bankruptcy, on which they were still paying penalties. With his wife unemployed, his salary wasn’t enough to cover the young family’s needs.

NABS not only provided financial assistance, but we also offered the family financial, career and personal counseling. NABS Personal and Career Counseling was a great help to his wife and enabled her to find work. In the meantime, the man found a second job to help supplement their income, while our career counsellor helped him outline an alternate career path, which ultimately led to a better paying job.

Back on their feet in three months

When he applied to NABS, he was a 34-year-old married marketing manager with a young son. He had been unemployed for almost three years. His wife’s salary wasn’t enough to cover all the family’s expenses and they had used up all their savings and RRSPs. NABS arranged financial assistance to help the family with essential needs. We also arranged financial, career and personal counseling to enable them to get back on their feet.

The financial assistance kept the couple afloat while they worked with a financial counselor to devise a plan that would help them make changes and lower their expenses. With the help of our career counselor, the husband created a plan that helped him find full-time employment. By providing the plans and motivation this couple so desperately needed, NABS was able to help this family get back on its feet within three months

Sonys’a request:

I need all the help I can get with raising donations.  Anyone can donate here,  I realize it’s a last minute request but any help you can give me would be so appreciated!

Please donate!  And don’t miss this amazing event.. from your comfy seats down….down….down below!

Good luck Sonya!

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