Why I try to stay in touch with my grandma

She’s a pretty special lady. A real lady, the kind who looks immaculate in a jogging suit (but never wears one in public), and never leaves the house with a hair out of place. She also always smells awesome.

She always has a manicure, her hair perfectly coiffed, and I’m still surprised that she never took over the world (there’s still time though).

While she doesn’t work a real job, she still has an excellent work ethic and somehow makes me feel loved and lazy whilst on holiday. She gets up and cooks, then goes off to exercise, and takes excellent care of herself and her family all the time. It’s a point of pride for her. She is also a fabulous bridge player.

Even though I didn’t grow up in their house, the house that she and my grandfather and uncle live in always feels like home. I call their house “Little Baghdad” because even though they live on a quiet suburban street, entering their home is like entering a new country, with a different language, smells and customs.

She is an amazing cook. Every time I tell myself I will watch myself and eat less, but I find it impossible. I’ve even eaten her food through nausea (and then suddenly didn’t feel sick anymore). She can also skins chicken and keep the skin in one piece. She’s an artist, and her canvas is my plate.

She is pretty good at using the Internet too. She has bridge buddies all over the world and calls her siters in England and Israel all the time. This is also how she knows what’s happening in my life sometimes before I know, because her network is so tight that nothing gets past her.

She might have difficulty hearing, but that lady is so sharp. If my hair is a bit greasy, if my clothes are a bit wrinkled, she will know. And she will tell me.

Even though she has been trying to get me married since I turned 16, I understand now that it’s her way of trying to make sure I will live happily and comfortably. It’s cause she cares! *grits teeth*

Here’s is one of my favourite stories about her, as she is a badass, and nobody’s doormat:

A couple of years ago, my brother and I went to New York on our own to attend the Bar Mitzvah of our younger cousin. We took a taxi into the city to attend the services and she was very unhappy with the route the driver took. Also, let me point out that she detailed the route she wanted him to take in the first place.

Once he took the wrong route, that was the end of it. She didn’t curse him out, but she may as well have. I wouldn’t be surprised if that guy’s ears were still red at the verbal lashing she gave him. She definitely didn’t take the error sitting down (figuratively, naturally). She even had the driver pay the tolls himself, since she had initially requested a route without tolls!

Anyway, these are some of a million reasons why she is lovely. And she is damned good at laying on the guilt to visit more often. I’m already trying to figure it out, but in the meantime I’ll keep emailing!

And it goes on, and on and on again…

Well, no major developments so far. Just business as usual, which can be summarized as such:

    1. Did yoga on Saturday (yes on holiday)
    2. Traveled, but not somewhere new
    3. I am a packing guru, but I still suck at maintaining my shoes and ironing*
    4. Made tentative plans to go somewhere new
    5. Made plans to head out to Toronto to see Andrea, her new home and go for tattoo consultations
    6. Saw my grandma, and chilled with her. The language barrier between us really intimidates me, but I still email her*
    7. Totally didn’t do any volunteering, which is crappy as I know they are depending on me
    8. Went to Spanish conversation class this afternoon, and actually said more than three words (you know, “hola,” “gracias” and “uno”)
    9. Continued to neglect my series of short stories, which still needs to be edited and given some more meat
    10. My moving plans have been put on halt (as of Easter weekend)

* I should actually write about these things a little…

An improvement!

An improvement! I can now run a mile (still on the elliptical) in under 9 minutes!

I started at 12 and huffed and puffed my way down to a better time. This might just happen after all.

Next up: learning to run on the treadmill. I’ve written about my weird aversion to this machine before. I don’t mind running in real life, nor on the elliptical. But it honestly took me ages to get over some weird anxiety and actually join a gym. I didn’t like it until I joined one where people are just down to business, and less social than many other places. This saves me time and makes me feel less self-conscious, since the less people talking, means the less people who are outwardly judging me (maybe). I also feel like I sound like an elephant stomping around when I run on a treadmill. Which doesn’t help. But I suppose I’ll have to tackle that one soon!

Unsure–some uncertainties

Still working on the ones that need doing on a regular basis. But somehow I feel stuck and a bit overwhelmed. It’s discouraging not to be able to cross things off a list every so often. While I can faithfully say I’m working on something like 15 different items on a regular basis, somehow it all feels a bit unattainable. Will I really “win” the challenge in the end? It’s hard to say.

I am pumped to be getting better, but I’m also a bit frustrated. Some things are taking much longer than I had hoped, some things I am procrastinating on performing. There are definitely items on my list that are “shoulds” rather than “wants.” It’s not entirely a dream list, some of this is to help me become better and more successful — and that is part of the purpose of this.

We all wanted to get fitter, better, stronger, smarter, work more efficiently, and that’s why we signed up for this. But damn some things are a drag, and if I’m not working on 25/25 in my spare time it’s difficult not to feel like the time wasn’t wasted. And that is how I’m really bad at following my own advice. Last week, a friend was complaining to me how he was feeling so lazy. He had a million things to do, was so stressed out and yet couldn’t get much done. He felt so guilty just listening to the radio or watching thirty minutes of TV. He felt bad if he starting fiddling around with his music, even if it was just to write something down quickly. In short, he was STRESSED.

And I told him not to feel so bad, cause everyone needs veg time. Everyone needs time for themselves to process their lives and so on. Personally I need that time especially after work. I can’t do it while interacting with other people, not at the gym and not while I’m reading. But I feel bad to take that time, even though I take it anyway.

Just another reason to devote a bit more to yoga: mindfulness and kindness towards oneself are pretty necessary for life!

My most boring goal: touch typing

I am trying to type this whole post by touch-type. I still don’t know how to type without staring at the keys and only using four fingers. This is sad and embarrassing but I really need to learn how. I mean I’m a writer dammit! And this is one of the skills I should have. Ugh I am taking a break.

Ok, back to my story. Man, this is tedious at this (snail’s) pace. So back in the day I was supposed to learn how to type because my parents could tell that this would be an important skill. This last sentence just took 5 minutes to write. So many errors. And I just almost put myself to sleep.

Anyway, so I sort of learned how to type without looking at the keyboard. But I never actually used that skill outside of the practice, because I could always look at the keyboard in real life. And now I’m paying for that laziness in a figurative sense so that I can basically catch up. Now I try to spend at least 15 minutes every day to practice. I’ve been doing this for almost two weeks, and I am so tired of this junk. I’m fairly certain this has taken me almost half an hour writing this but I have no idea why. Even my break didn’t take that long!

At any rate that’s what my thought process sounds like at the slowest pace ever. My fingers need to catch up. Make it snappy!

Running

I think I might be able to make this 6-minute mile after all.

Yesterday, I finally went to an appointment with a trainer to figure out how to improve my cardiovascular strength. I’m super slow and afraid of the treadmill, but I had some decent encouragement.

My trainer is a tall, blond, blue-eyed man with an affinity for soccer and thankfully not for yelling. He was very patient with my uncoordinated and out-of-shape self, and at least I (intentionally) made him laugh. So when I explained my goals to him he basically said (in a really subtle way) that my goal is a pretty tall order but if I work things out properly, then I should be able to come close.

Well sounds good to me!

Here was the session:

    1. Fill out a firm and questionnaire and then talk a bit about why I was there.
    2. Warm up on the elliptical (like I said: I have a great fear of the treadmill)
    3. Moving on to the machines. 10 reps of pretty much everything.
    4. Barbells and dumbbells with more weight than I ad used before.
    5. My getting out of breath after most of the exercises
    6. Even the strength-training exercises are cardio-based!

And then he asked me to book another appoitnment to follow up in a month to make sure I’m following through and adapting well to the program.

Today, I am in incredible pain. I think I might die, but it might just be worth it

Off Topic

In 2006 I made the hardest decision of my life, to burn a bridge that has been built and torn apart since I was born. It was a very trying and difficult thing to do; I wasted many tears for the first year. However, every day was new, the hurt slowly went away, and the acceptance started to grow. It was the best decision for both of us, and I’m sure that he can look back and say the same thing as well.

I will always remember the fond memories of Calvin, and if it weren’t for him I definitely wouldn’t be the person that I am today. So in a way, I do owe him a thank you.

2006 was also the year that I met James Ricci. I was currently in a relationship with Jesse Waltman that was just not working out to anyone’s advantage. I ended my relationship with Jesse in early 2007 to be with James. Most of my family did not approve with my decision. Actually, let me rephrase that: My Jewish family did not like the fact that I broke up with an older Jewish accountant to be with a younger non-jewish musician. I actually remember my Uncle saying the only reason I was dating James was because he had a car. I laughed. My aunt also harped in and said “whose going to take care of you?” when I replied “Myself” she had a laugh to herself.

What most people don’t know about me is that at a young age of fifteen I was told to get a job to support myself. Another thing that I am thankful for, but of course at the time despised. While everyone else went to camp I was at the local Laura Secord serving ice cream. I held many jobs from the age of fifteen to nineteen to get by. Although I had a roof over my head from Calvin I was still the outsider of the family, I had to buy my own groceries and make my own food while they had their family dinners without me. I stuck by my friend Ilan Weintraub throughout this and had eventually started eating family dinners at his parents’ house. I’m sure they knew something was wrong, but they never asked. And I was very thankful for that. I’m going away from topic, but since I was 15 I have been taking care of myself.

From 2006-2008 I fought for an inheritance that was taken away from me without my approval, and won. After this my aunt and uncle decided that they wanted to know what I would be spending this money on, and demanded I give them my banking information. I said No. They then accused James of wanting to take all of my money. I was mortified that they made this accusation, but more embarrassed that they said it in front of his parents. I was very persistent and said No every time they kept on asking for that information. Eventually they got angry and decided that name-calling and ignoring me completely would be the best solution for them. I was leaving for Australia the next day and was completely depressed from all of this.

I kept on thinking about how I was abandoned by Calvin and now by them.

James kept on reassuring me and telling me that everything would be OK. He was a great support system and I loved him all the more for standing by my side.

In 2011, James decided that he couldn’t be in a relationship with me anymore. It hurt so badly. I didn’t want to loose him. This would mark the third time that he wanted to end everything. Knowing this, I just couldn’t put any more effort into anything. I agreed, and we cried. Although he brought it up I think it was a mutual understanding after talking it through. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard. I was loosing my life partner and my best friend. I threw myself into my work and school got recognized and promoted from both. I was doing well, but was thoroughly depressed. James stopped talking to me entirely after about a month of not being with me anymore. I was crushed. I didn’t understand why he wanted me out of his life entirely, and I guess I’ll never know.

Depression sank in even more and I kept on thinking about how he knew that family members abandoned me. Why would he be doing the same thing? I didn’t know what to do. Then I started to think that something was wrong with me, why would all of these people not want to be a part of my life anymore?

Again, wasted tears over something that I couldn’t control. And the days got better, and the acceptance grew.

After four years of having my inheritance I still have some saved away. I managed to pay off most of my debts with it and purchased a car as well. I am not the best with money, but I do understand how things work. I know that I spent my money wisely and I have justified every time I needed to take something out.

I don’t understand why this wasn’t enough for my aunt and uncle, but to each their own I suppose.

As for James, I do wish that he would start talking to me again. I’ve decided to stop my efforts and just wait for him to make the first move, if he ever does. He was a huge part of my life, and in some ways I think I always will love him. I do know now that we weren’t the right fit for each other, and I really hope that he does find happiness in someone else. Whether or not he wants to be apart of my life as a friend will be entirely open to him, and my door will always be open.

My life really started to come together around my birthday in 2011. I just turned 25, and I started to accept everything that had happened to me in the past six years. I really became a whole other person; a more accepting person, and more patient person. Wise to my years I suppose.

Sometimes the wish of things being different would cross my mind. I then laugh. I cannot imagine my life being different right now. I am too happy. I have two great jobs, my health, and an amazing boyfriend.

 

Yes, I am happy. Took me a long time to get here, but I am.

Moving on out and up

I’ve been busy and uninspired. I wrote consistently every day last week. I edited my series of short stories, I posted blog posts. I wanted to take pictures.

And now I’m a bit tapped out.

I’ve gone to Spanish class and am studying independently. I’ve gone running. I’ve practiced yoga. I’ve booked a consultation appointment for my tattoo. I’m playing chess. I’m volunteering. I’m learning lots about how to manage my money. And I’ve met with one bank so far about buying a home.

And I’ve run into a snag. It’s pretty personal, and more so than what I’m willing to share in its entirety. But basically when I accept help from someone who offers, I’m the kind of person who expects that person to actually be helpful. So when I went to the bank yesterday and the person I brought along hijacked my meeting, well, let’s just say I was upset.

So that’s a bit annoying, especially since this someone with whom I have a close personal relationship, and they decided to take over and spout bullshit throughout the appointment. I’m frustrated with that person, and I guess I’m just gonna have to move on without them. I’m fairly certain I am highly capable of meeting with banks and brokers and visiting properties on my own.

I’m sure I’ll get over it, but it’s a bad start. This person has given me some really terrible advice in the past, and I’m sorry I allowed them to “advise” me so far. But I’ll get over it.

Quarterly Update

A quarterly update sounded like a good idea to me, so I am following suit.

I feel like I am not getting most of the things that I want to get done. I was hoping for more to be scratched off the list by now. BUT I am not giving up! Hopefully in the next month I will be settled into a new place, and really will take the bull by its horns!

 

In the midst of the move I will have completed 3 things: #7 Spring Cleaning, #10 Moving & # 9 Dinner Party. I just figured as a house warming I can cook for everyone!

Right now I currently have completed:

# 4. Market my business better**
#5. Keep in better touch with the ones that I love**
# 14. Get a new piercing with Meagan Bond
# 15 Be better at my job – Lean more about audio equipment**
# 20. Go to a party where I don’t know anyone and make a new friend
# 23. Quit smoking, for good.
# 24. Do more activities during the winter

 

** (I’ll be doing this throughout the year though)

7/25 Isn’t terrible. Could be much better! But hey, next month it could possible be 10/25!

Between now and the move I can’t really do that much, I do need to get my ass in gear and finally work on that stupid script of mine. You know, I even made a schedule for myself but I never followed through with it! What was the point of even making it?? Oh right. So that I could ACTUALLY sit down and start it. Grumbles

I was thinking of switching my dance lessons to just general physical activity. I need to get into shape, and would definitely love to do dance lessons, but I might join a boot camp instead. Will update on that once I’m back in the city.

In the meantime, anyone want to win the lottery for me?