Man Plans, And God Laughs

The other day I posted a blog titled “Socially Distanced Holiday Traditions” where I talked about how difficult the holidays have become for me over the last many years and how this year many of those social pressures, obligations and expectations that so often make it difficult for me to enjoy the holidays in the first place had been decided for me due to Covid-19. 

Sadly, it almost felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I could actually take in the beauty of some of our holiday traditions this year without all the added anxiety from too many social pressures, obligations and expectations. 

I felt way more in control and much less guilty than in holidays past and I was also looking forward to spending some (socially distanced) quality time with other family too, even if it meant having to freeze our asses off in the crisp Fall-like weather in order to do so.

But none of that ended up happening because just hours after posting my blog the other morning, Jacob came home from work feeling sick for the second time in just over a week (after being perfectly fine only hours earlier). This time though he had many more flu-like symptoms than the last time. He complained of body aches, chills, a dry cough and he felt warm to the touch so off he went again for yet another Covid test and then we waited, and waited some more in anticipation of his results while he lay locked away (again), alone in his room in the basement for what felt like an eternity (I’m pretty sure though it felt even longer for Jacob).

It was hard to think positively (or to think of much else) knowing what the outcome could be and knowing just how shitty he felt (I lay awake that entire first night convincing myself that I too had Covid! #anxietysucks). It was the longest 48 hours ever but thankfully once again his results came back negative. 

The whole situation made me think of the Yiddish adage “Man Plans, and God Laughs” and just how much life is truly so unpredictable and how quickly unexpected changes can occur in your life; big or small (which is basically the journey I’ve been on for 6 years now!).

I had the best intentions and the best laid plans for the first time in many years when it came to a holiday celebration and as I mentioned above I was actually looking forward to a much less overwhelming Rosh Hashanah this year. In the end it may of still turned out to be another very overwhelming holiday while we waited for Jacob’s results but at least we got to enjoy some quiet family time together (with Jacob on Facetime) and lots of delicious festive food (I think Jacob is secretly starting to enjoy being waited on hand and foot ūüôā even if the first chance he got to be released from what’s beginning to feel like a dungeon he bolted for the nearest exit up the stairs and to the kitchen!).

#shanatova #roshhashanah #happynewyear #youareenough #manplansandgodlaughs #goawaycovid #familymatters #itsgonnabealongwinter #wearyourmask #washyourhands #togetherapart #secondwave #socialdistancing

Our New Norm

Jacob called in sick to work the other day, something he has rarely done in the past but he just wasn’t feeling well. He told us he was feeling really run down, he had a case of laryngitis and he also displayed some other mild cold-like symptoms as well. If this had been 6 months ago we would have probably just given him some Tylenol or Cold and Flu medicine and sent him and his “man cold” back to bed but instead we sent him to go get a Covid test to put all of our minds at ease.

We can no longer just simply dismiss exhaustion or other cold and flu-like symptoms as nothing more than the “common cold”. For almost 24 hours we kept him isolated to his room in the basement while awaiting his results. We left food and water for him outside his bedroom door like you would that of a prisoner (and Hannah made him a big bowl of ice cream for dessert too) and we lay in wait with a feeling of panic until he got his results.

While we waited we also needed to discuss in great length what the possibility of a positive test would mean for the five of us and for anyone else Jacob had been in contact with over the last week or so.

It felt scary and very real. His test results THANKFULLY came back negative, but as we head into the cooler weather now and with the cold and flu season upon us, this is going to become the reality for more and more of us in the coming months and from the several stories I have seen on Social Media just one day into the start of the new school year for many of our children who were being sent home due to having runny noses, our “new norm” is certain to only add to an already very long and uncertain Fall and Winter season ahead.

#staysafeeveryone  #bettersafethansorry #covid19test #wearamask #washyourhands #socialdistancing #togetherapart #youareenough

Put Your Heart On The Line


It’s Monday today which is probably the most dreaded day of the entire week but maybe we are too quick to overlook all of it’s good qualities too. Mondays may be blue or manic or even hated by many but Mondays also signify a day filled with endless possibilites, new beginnings, new adventures and a day for bringing hope.
But today may not feel like a “normal” Monday for many of us.

It may no longer be in competition for the most dreaded day of the week anymore because right now every day feels like Monday and right now Mondays don’t feel much like a day filled with endless possibilities, new beginnings, new adventures or a day for bringing hope either and for many more of us this coming week may feel just like a typical dreaded Monday morning.

The week ahead for millions and millions of us should be filled with family, traditions, religious rituals, food (and lots of it), maybe a day or two off from school and work and for some of us it may even have included a visit from a furry life size bunny rabbit. 

But instead of being all of that and more we are left with a feeling of emptiness, sadness, anger and frustration knowing that we will not be able to celebrate those traditions and religious rituals with family or friends this year and if you were to ask most kids and adults today where they wish they were right now I bet they’d tell you in school or at work and ya those visits from the Easter bunny and the traditional Easter Egg Hunts will be missed my many young ones around the globe.

So today probably is one of those dreaded Mondays, but well deserved this time and one which also deserves hitting the snooze button a few dozen times on and one in which many of us may need a Mental Health Check In for. And whether or not you are doing really great ‚̧ right now or you are having a really hard time ūüíô like myself please don’t hesitate to reach out for support ūüíú.¬† Put our hearts out on the line today and remember we’re all in this together.

#manicmondays #bluemonday #everydayismonday #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #checkonyourstrongfriends #checkonyourlovedones #startaconversation #dontsufferinsilence #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #wereallinthistogether #passover #easter #happyholidays #zoom #youareenough #covid19 #coronavirus #stayhome #flattenthecurve #socialdistancing #togetherapart 

Sticking To Routine

Rich is a definite creature of habit and routine is very important to him (he’s definitely not alone in his thinking in our home as I am sure is the case in many homes around the world). Having his routine disrupted has been an unfortunate reality for him several times over the last few years but now more than ever. Keeping a somewhat “normal” routine may be nearly impossible to do right now for many of us. Are you finding it difficult to stick to your routine? What are you doing to try and keep to a somewhat “normal” routine? Do you find it is helping maintain your mental wellness? Would love for you to share some of your thoughts.

#selfcare #routine #habits #mentalhealth #ichooseme #youarenotalone #bekindtoyourself #itsoktonotbeok #checkonyourlovedones #covid19 #coronavirus #flattenthecurve

At A Loss


Over the last few weeks or months, depending on where you live in this great big world you have experienced loss. Loss is an inevitable part of one’s life, but we now find ourselves having to deal with so many different types of loss all at once and as we all know, healing from loss can be the most difficult time in someone’s life.¬†

We are all grieving from our losses right now and it will take time to heal when many of us begin to move through the grieving process. Many people have lost loved ones during this Pandemic, but loss of a loved one is not the only reason we need to grieve. 
Think about how much you have lost already in such a short time.

We collectively have lost our freedom to leave our homes, many have lost their jobs and financial stability, we have lost the ability to hug our loved ones or go to the park with our kids or meet a friend for coffee at Starbucks and children have lost the right to go to school and learn.

Many of our sudden and very painful losses has left the world in chaos and panic and of course in grief and with grief comes an array of emotions. Fear, sadness, irritability, anger, anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, remorse, a lack of security, a lack of motivation, guilt, frustration and an overwhelming numbness just to name a few. 

And just so you know, it’s more than okay to feel these emotions and many others too. It’s also okay to allow yourself to take your time when you begin your healing process and to allow yourself to feel your emotions, allow yourself to ask for help, allow yourself to take care of you and most importantly allow yourself to grieve in whatever way you need.

Do not let anyone tell you how to grieve, or judge you for how you choose to grieve or for how long it takes you to heal. We will all go through the stages of grief in our own way and in our own time but no one can tell you when you should “accept” (final stage of the grieving process) your grief except you and only you.

#loss #grief #grieving #youareenough #bekindtoyourself #checkonyourlovedones #startaconversation #dontsufferinsilence #itsoktonotbeok #ichooseme #yourmentalhealthmatters #covid19 #coronavirus #selfcare #togetherapart #flattenthecurve #unitedasone #twentytwentysucks

From A Distance

Bette Midler is one of my all time favorite performers and song writers. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her perform and if you were to ask Rich what my favorite movie or song is, he would probably say Beaches/Wind Beneath My Wings. But right now her song “From A Distance” is stuck in my head and its lyrics are so meaningful. I have a difficult time listening to music as it makes me quite emotional, but this song is worth every tear right now; after all we are one world now, fighting the same war; “From A Distance”.¬†

What song inspires you?

#togetherapart #windbeneathmywings #beaches  #fromadistance #wereinthistogether #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #music #divinemissm @BetteMidler

From a distance the world looks blue and green
And the snow capped mountains white
From a distance the ocean meets the stream
And the eagle takes to flightFrom a distance there is harmony
And it echoes through the land
It’s the voice of hope
It’s the voice of peace
It’s the voice of every manFrom a distance we all have enough
And no one is in need
And there are no guns, no bombs and no disease
No hungry mouths to feedFrom a distance we are instruments
Marching in a common band
Playing songs of hope
Playing songs of peace
They are the songs of every manFrom a distance you look like my friend
Even though we are at war
From a distance I just cannot comprehend
What all this fightings for
From a distance there is harmony
And it echoes through the land
And it’s the hope of hopes
It’s the love of loves
It’s the heart of every man
God is watching us
God is watching us
God is watching us from a distance

Me Time

Many (and I emphasize the word “many”) of us are struggling with our mental health more than ever before right now which is why we need to remind ourselves to make sure that each day includes “Me Time”.¬† Is it selfish? No F#*king way. Is it essential and non-negotiable? You better f#*king believe it is.¬† We all need to hit the pause button more than ever. There are 24 hours in a day (don’t know how we would fill any more than that right now), so tell me which hour of the day do you prefer to spend your “Me Time”? And more importantly what are some of the ways you like to spend it?

#selfcare #ichooseme #loveyourself #mentalillness  #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #depression #anxiety #youareenough #bekindtoyourself #togetherapart #selfcareisselfless #metime #selfdiscovery

The Kids Will Be Okay; But Will You?


There is still so much uncertainty right now pertaining to the rest of the current school year and for 2 of my kids this isn’t really an issue given that my son is done school already and one daughter is just completing her last few weeks of her 3rd year of University which is now being done all online, but then there is my youngest daughter who is just a few short months away from her High School Graduation and it’s beyond heartbreaking to think that she could miss out on the best and most defining moments of her High School career.

March Break is now officially over for us Ontarions and early this morning my daughter should have been returning home from her Graduation trip to Punta Cana with her friends, but instead she is at home unable to return to school for another 2 weeks, but whose kidding who, it’s going to be much longer than that and there has been quite a bit of buzz over the last few days that school could actually be cancelled for the remainder of the year.

As of right now there has not been any concrete plan put into place for this very possible and very devastating scenario, the one where my daughter doesn’t get to go to her High School Prom or attend her Graduation Ceremony but ya at least she has the accessibility to finish up her school year online if need be.¬†
But not every child can do so, in fact many children and their families don’t have computer or internet access in their home and have always relied on the available and free resources from our schools and libraries.

And right now many parents are panicking and rightfully so, but can we just take a step back for a moment (we have nothing better to do right now anyways). We as parents are under a tremendous amount of stress, overwhelm and anxiety about how they are going to be able to “homeschool” their children when the reality is, we aren’t meant to homeschool our kids unless that was the path you had already chosen for them. And an even bigger reality right now is that if school is to be cancelled for the remainder of the school year we honestly have so much more to be worried about than learning fractions or Shakespeare (he needs to be scraped from the curriculum all together!).

I really don’t think I need to tell you what it means if this pandemic continues right through to the summer. Right now we need to support each other as parents and remember that many parents may be doing this parenting and social distancing thing alone or maybe they are coping with the stressors that come along with having a child with special needs or maybe they are new to Canada and haven’t yet grasped the English language or maybe they are dealing with some physical or emotional issues.¬†

Whatever it is that someone else may be going through we need to stop judging each other. Whatever way you are able to get through today and tomorrow and the day after that, remember that you are a good parent and doing the best you can to survive these unprecedented times. 

So for now while we wait for what’s to come in the next few weeks try to focus on some kind of routine, but one which allows room for lots of flexibility and lots of outdoor recess and naptime. Now is as good a time as ever to slow down because we ain’t going anywhere anytime soon. Also let’s remember that our main objective as parents and human beings right now is to keep you and your family safe as best you can.

There will be so many opportunities for teachable moments throughout the day and maybe it will happen while you’re baking cookies, laughing at a TV show or taking a walk outside or maybe while you’re playing a game or painting a picture. Homeschooling needs to be about self-care which as I said above is much more important right now than fractions (and for sure Shakespeare; sorry to my Shakespeare fans).¬†

So considering my illness feels like it’s hit an iceberg and is causing me to suffer with daily headaches to boot, I will continue to try my best to be the best parent I know how by ensuring that my kids all get an A+ for doing their part in watching way too much Netflix while they help to flatten the curve.

#flattenthecurve #homeschooling #supporteachother #parenting #family #familymatters #youarenotalone #youareenough #covid19 #coronavirus #selfcare #togetherapart #pandemic #wewillneverbethesame #quarantine #netflixandchill #wheredidmommyssmilego #amazondotca

Welcome To My World

I haven’t slept much all week (it’s well after 3 am as I write this) but it’s not like that’s really out of the ordinary for me anyways (I write some of my best shit at 3 am). Life has been anything but ordinary this week for any of us as we try to collectively navigate our way¬† through our new way of life and learn a whole new lingo while we’re at it.¬†

I mean it’s not every day that the only words we hear on the street, on the news or on Facebook are words like State of Emergency, Lockdown, Quarantine, Self Isolation and Social Distancing. It actually feels quite ironic to me because as someone who suffers with Depression, Anxiety and Suicidal¬† thoughts these words have pretty much defined my life for the last 6 years already.
My illness makes me react to everything like I’m in a State of Emergency, it’s left me in Lockdown too many times to count, it’s paralyzed me with fear to the point that I’ve needed to quarantine, I’ve felt the need to self isolate when others make me feel like I am contagious and of course whenever I’m in a big crowd (like over 10 people) I am left begging for some much needed social distancing.

Suddenly the whole world knows what it feels like to be held in captivity, suddenly the whole world knows what it feels like when you feel you have no control over anything, suddenly the whole world knows what it feels like to have crazy, f#*ked up thoughts day and night, suddenly the whole world knows what it feels like to feel helpless and sad every single day while trying to make others understand that none of us chose or would ever willingly choose to live this way. Suddenly the whole world knows what it feels like to suffer with Anxiety and Depression every day. And now imagine navigating through all that lingo for 6 very long years or even more. 

I have found myself writing a lot more than normal over the past week or so and posting way more than I ordinarily do but as I said above, these are far from ordinary times. I find writing is the only thing that’s keeping me going right now. My mind is so fricken cluttered with negative thoughts and writing is the best way to let my creativity explode and let that negative thinking explode¬† too. I’m feeling extremely closed in (which I’m sure most of you are) and I’ve shed more tears this week than I thought was possible but writing and sharing help give me some clarity.¬†

Sometimes I write in the hope of making you laugh, sometimes I write in the hope of distracting you, sometimes I write in the hope of engaging you in conversation, sometimes I write in hope of making you feel less alone, sometimes I write in hope of keeping you grounded or mindful and often I write just because it’s the only way of socially distancing myself from the State of Emergency going down in my head!

#depressionkills #anxietyisreal #suicide #mentalillness #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #writing #blogger #blogging #togetherapart #covid19 #coronavirus #checkonyourlovedones #socialdistancing #stateofemergency #pandemic #overwhelm 

A Beautiful “Pick Me Up”

A beautiful “pick me up” email I received today on what feels otherwise very sombering. I always love receiving emails from Amazon informing me that I’ve just sold a book, but when I see that one person/organization bought 5 at one time makes my heart overflow with joy.

#wheredidmommyssmilego #amazondotca #author #youareenough #startaconversation #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #blogger #advocate #mentalillness #mentalhealth #depression #family

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