Friday, February 26, 2010


Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Passing of Another Year

Another year has passed and so starts a new year and a new decade.

As I have witnessed the passing of many years (I know, I'm ancient), I have learned that it is best to take life one day at a time. Nothing gets accomplished by getting all worked up over things. Trying to change what you can't control just leaves you frustrated and exhausted.

It is what it is. Thanks Dan.

I also continue to live the best life I can, work with what I have to work with to the best of my abilities, and strive to leave the world a better place than I found it. I also like the rule of 3....what you do comes back to you, times 3. Good or bad. For me, these things are more important than making resolutions at the beginning of each year just because society says we should.

I'm sure everyone has had the 'Any New Year Resolutions?' discussion several times already. That always seems to be the hot topic of conversation right after Christmas. As always, I resolve not to resolve. Many years ago I stopped making resolutions. Mainly because I would start out full of fire and determination, then about two minutes later my fire would sputter out along with my determination. At the end of the year I'd be disappointed in myself, but I knew that nothing would change. So why put myself through that torture year after year? My cousin Jay made a comment on Face book the other day that went something like - why do we need to wait for one specific day each year to decide to make changes? If we want to change something it can be done anytime. And if we won't make the change at anytime during the year, what makes us think we will just because we decide to on New Years day?

I couldn't agree more - obviously, duh!

That's not to say I don't think people should set goals to accomplish during the year. I just don't think it should wait until the new year, bringing all that pressure with it. The general populous sees it as failure if you don't accomplish a large portion of your resolution list by the end of the year. And, really, most of them are unrealistic. Or the person just isn't ready to deal with certain aspects of their lives at that time. Personally, I feel more comfortable having a wish list for myself. Things I hope to accomplish, stuff I want to work on. If it gets done, great! If not, there's always another day.

Somethings I did accomplish in 2009 are;
Writing - I have written 12 children's stories and have titles and ideas for at least 15 more.
Karaoke - I got my karaoke equipment back.
Gratitude Experiment - I participated in a friends 'Gratitude Experiment', and found it extremely successful and helpful.

Wishes for the coming year:
Writing - I wish to have my stories published. I also wish to finish the stories and at least some of the screen plays I've been working on.
Karaoke - I wish to get my own karaoke business going with Amanda and Brandy.
Card Company - I wish to get my card company off the ground by having my cards sold in local stores.
Organization - I wish to finish getting my house organized. Thanks Jackie.
Gratitude Experiment - I wish to continue being openly grateful all year and to inspire others to do the same.
Name Change - I wish to drop my last name, so that when I am published and start my professional career I will be known as Cheryl LaRea. Not that I'm ashamed to be a Whitehead....this is just catchier.

But most of all, I wish to LiVe! To Enjoy my life, no matter what I'm able to do. Enjoy being with those I love. Enjoy my solitary moments. And Enjoy being me!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Gratitude Experiment

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I know, it's scary how time flies when you're.....well you know. Anyway, most people take Thanksgiving Day to think about what they're thankful for, hence the name - go figure. But giving thanks is something that should be done every day.

That is why my friend, Bernie, decided to start a "Gratitude Experiment" for the month of October (I think it's very fitting he chose October to start it.....he's smarter than he looks.....hehehe. Love ya Bernie!) The rules of the experiment are simple and primarily pertain to Facebook use but, I'm sure anyone can join in even if they don't use facebook. He proposed that everyone use their fb status to state what they are grateful for. When ever the participant logs on to fb they change their status to what they are grateful for at that moment. If they have any complaining or negative statements to make it's ok, but those are done first and followed up by a statement of gratitude. At the end of the month everyone who participated should notice a positive difference in their lives.

The principle is not a new one. It has long been believed that one attracts what one gives off. If you are negative and always have negative things to say then your life will probably be full of negativity and the same is true on the positive side. It's really not rocket science. But sometimes the most simple concepts are the hardest to grasp. Happiness, contentment, love, and health can't be as easy believing it, manifesting it, and being grateful for what we have in the mean time ....... can it?

Whether it can or not is up to each individual. No matter what the result is no one is out anything when they stop to count their blessings and be grateful for what they have every day. I'm grateful for the following (which is in no particular order and is just a partial list, obviously it would take forever to make a full list.):

-A home
-the ability to get around
-the talents I've been blessed with
-help when I need it (and when I don't)
-My rotten puppy (Ok she's not that rotten)
-Hyle trucks
-love (past, present, future)
-modern technology
-new shoes
-lime drinks
-good secrets

Well, as I said there are too many to mention them all here. Perhaps I'll update the list through out the experiment.

I'm also grateful to Bernie for suggesting such a wonderful endeavour. In tough times it's vital to remember what we have rather than what we have not. As a terminal optimist I usually see the glass as half full anyway, but sometimes even I need a little reminder that life is a gift.

As Travis Tritt said "It's a great day to be alive....."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Delinquent Diva

Wow!! I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted. Not that it really matters, it seems I'm the only one who ever reads these ramblings of an old lady.

A lot has been going on lately, not really anything to write home about, (or to blog about for that matter). So it seems that I have neglected my musings here. I had fully intended to share some sage wisdom after I had turned another year older. Appearantly I haven't gotten any wiser as I didn't share a thing.

So, now that my birthday has come and gone almost two weeks ago now, I have finally paused to jot down a few things that have been tumbling around my me there is plenty of room for tumbling up there.....hehehe.

Just what could someone of my advanced years have learned since my last birthday. Well, there are still a few things I have yet to learn.

But what I have learned, or perhaps what has been re-instilled in me is:

Don't sweat the small stuff, it usually takes care of it's self.
Stand up for what you believe no matter what the cost.
Love those you love even if they say they no longer love you. Eventually they realize they really do still love you.
Keep hope alive, even when it seem futile.
And, that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

There is still a fair amount of verbal acrobatics bouncing around my brain, but I think this is a good start. Another thing I have learned as I have gotten older is that everything is best in small doses. If you want more later you can always come back for seconds.

I'm hoping this year of my life will be a good one, that I'll have what I need. That my family will be near by and happy. And that I'll start to see some success. But what ever comes my way I know it'll be worth it.

I love Myle Cyrus' song "The Climb". It's so true and I have always felt that it isn't about where you are going or how you get there it's about the journey. The climb is what makes us who we are and what we will be. There's always going to be to be mountains in the way. But moving them won't add character and strength like the time it takes to climb the mountain.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Step 1: Teaching an "Old Diva" new tricks.....

As I stated in my last blog, I'm going to live my life out loud this year (and hopefully for the rest of my life). And I'm starting with learning something new.

I have often said if I could be a professional student I would. Now that I'm an adult I have found the joy that can come from learning and exploring new things that I didn't appreciate when I was younger. Of course, as an adult, I now get to choose what I study and what classes I want to take. Perhaps the public school system might want to rethink their archaic that'll happen. Anyway, I digress, I was asked if I would consider being one of the first aid officers at work a couple of weeks ago. It would involve general first aid to anyone (customer or employee) in the bank that happens to need it. True, one of the reasons I was asked is because the other girl I work with can't handle the sight of blood or even hearing about it and our other co-worker is elderly and about to retire doesn't feel capable or up to the task. But, what ever the reason, it'll still look good on my record at work and it's a chance to do some extra training.

When I was training to be a flight attendant with WestJet, we had to go through the first aid training as well. I naturally passed with "flying" colors (a little airline humor there ....hehehe), but it has been about 7 years since then, so although it won't be exactly like starting from scratch I'll still have lots to learn.

The other new thing I'm about to learn is Low German....... Why???? you may ask. Well I'll tell you why, there are a lot of Mennonites that bank at the Scotia bank and I thought it would be helpful to be able to communicate with them and help them feel more welcome and accommodated at the bank. Many of them don't speak any English and the one's that do don't speak it very well. I've been in a foreign country before and been unable to understand everything that was being said around me. I felt lost and frustrated waiting for someone to fill me in. And by the time I was filled in the conversation had moved on and I was lost again. It was an awful feeling, and I can see the same feeling in my customers as they stand there, smiling that uncomfortable smile, waiting to be told what has been said.

These two undertakings begin next week. Monday & Tuesday, I go for first aid training. On Wednesday I start my German classes, which will run until the beginning of March (I think). These are just the start of the classes I plan to take this year. So I'll be posting updates on my progress as I go.

A lot of people think that once they reach a certain age they are too old to learn anything new, or that they have "done their time". I think that's very sad. I believe that when you stop learning you stop living. Every day and every thing should be a new learning experience. I read an article in the Readers Digest about an 88 year old woman (who had to quite school in 6th grade) that went to University and took night classes. She spoke at their graduation ceremony and announced she couldn't wait for the next classes to begin and she planned to have completed them by the time she was 90.

So, it seems you CAN teach old Diva's new tricks. And this Diva is going to keep learning for as long as I can. Let the adventures begin!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

"Living Out Loud....."

January 1 is upon us - boy did the past year fly by - and so begins the dawn of a brand new year filled with endless possibilities.

As usual I will not be setting any New Year's Resolutions for myself, I have always felt they put too much pressure on the resolvee and when they are not accomplished one tends to feel like a failure. That (to my way of thinking) is no way to live ones life, always worried that they are falling short and not living up to unreal expectations they have imposed upon themselves. Instead I usually write a bit of a wish list..... nothing like one writes at Christmas, filled with the presents they would like to receive, but one with the things I would like to see happen for me during the next year.

For me 2009 started out on an excellent track around mid-summer 2008, when I made a major life changing decision to leave Robert and the abuse and control I had lived under for 5 years. During those years I seemed to have lost my voice -metaphorically speaking - and my enthusiasm and gusto for life dwindled. I had been shuffling about, quietly, in his shadow and it seemed I had all but disappeared. When I left I took a huge step back into the sunshine and began to find myself again. I started doing the things I loved again, got involved with the local theater, my health has improved, and I have a job I love and look forward to going to. I finally took back the control on Christmas Eve when I told him I didn't want to see him again.

Now, as I enter 2009, I am going to continue "Living Out Loud" (to quote one of my favorite songs). Standing by in the shadows has never been for me. I was born to be in the spot light, to be in control of my own destiny, and to make my mark on the world. It may not happen tomorrow, but I know it will happen for me because I believe it and I'll never give up.

My wish list this year is simple: Live everyday Out Loud.....

"I'm tired of living in this bubble So today I'm changing everything Well, my dream's been buried in the rubble It's time to set it free No more keeping quiet this life inside of me

I'm gonna start living out loud My soul's been dying To scream and shout And shatter the silence It's a beautiful sound when each moment counts Starting right now, I'm gonna start living out loud Oh, yeah

Well, I'm not breaking any new ground And I didn't reinvent the wheel I'm just a (girl) who finally figured out What (she) really needs So I'm turning up the volume of this song inside of me

Gonna start living out loud My soul's been dying To scream and shout And shatter the silence It's a beautiful sound when each moment counts Right here, right now I'm gonna start living out loud All my demons, I have fought 'em Inhibitions, I have lost 'em It wasn't easy, but I taught 'em To just get out of my way And now, every breath I'm breathing, The air is so much sweeter Now that my heart has finally found a way To start living out loud My soul's been dying To scream and shout And shatter the silence It's a beautiful sound, when each moment counts Right here, right now I'm gonna start living out loud My soul's been dying To scream and shout And shatter the silence It's a beautiful sound, when each moment counts Right here and now I'm gonna start living out loud Living out loud Living out loud".....(Aaron Lines).

I wish the same for everyone, be happy, and make every moment count!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Ghost of Christmas Past......

The whirlwind hustle bustle of another Christmas season has come and gone and now is the time to reflect and prepare for the New Year ahead.

This Christmas was rather different for me. I had a bit of a difficult time getting into the Christmas Spirit, I felt like I was dragging.... procrastinating (more than I usually do). Now looking back. a few days later, I think maybe a part of me was trying to hold on to the past. This was the first Christmas in 5 years that I've been single and even though the relationship was very unhealthy a part of me was sad that I am no longer "we". I was bound and determined that things were going to end well and we'd stay friends, but he has seen to it that that is completely impossible. So I kept trying to do all the things I had planned for Christmas; baking, card making, present making, shopping, etc, and it never got completely done. As usual I was staying up late and running around last minute trying to do it all. Then I finally decided "it all" wasn't going to get done. I'd do what I could and that would have to do.....and surprisingly it did!!

On Christmas Eve I had planned on finishing a couple of things, after work, before heading to Raymond. But my plans got drastically changed. Near the end of my day Robert decided to show up at the bank - at first he was all smiles and everything until I reminded him he was no longer part of my life and would not be coming with me to Raymond (duh!), then he started threatening me. I remained calm and told him to leave, but inside he had rattled me. In retrospect I'm glad this happened. It scared me enough to know that he can turn his emotions on and off like a light switch. It shook me up enough to know that I could never retain any kind of relationship with him because the only thing he wants is complete control. And it made me realize that I am strong enough to make it on my own.

So, I went to Raymond for Christmas and had a great time as just me, proud of myself for not giving in and knowing that what is most important are Christmas present and the Christmas' yet to come, being with my family, and most of all being with me.... the real me (someone I happen to like and admire a lot).