Are you afraid of being happy?

Are you afraid of being happy? I am. But it wasn’t always the case. It started about 7 years ago. I remember it as vividly as the day it happened…

It is April fool’s day, year 2010 and I am at work. I am just finishing up a call and the other line is ringing. It is close to lunchtime but I figured one last call won’t kill me. Plus it could be my sister calling with some last minute details.  Nancy is travelling with some friends to some exotic place and is sending my niece to stay with me a couple of weeks. So I pick up, very excited. It is certainly not the voices I am expecting to hear. It is a person with a very formal and cold tone of voice.

  • “Hello May I speak with Mrs Duplessy?”
  • “This is she”
  • “Well , we have your niece here with us and she would like to speak to you.”

I relax. It is my niece. She probably missed her plane and is running late. Typical. Asking my niece to catch a plane on time is like asking a mouse to catch fish. It’s against nature. I wait readying myself with a long list of “I told you so”.  The minute I hear her voice I start:

  • “Well, well, well, let me guess you missed your plane again?”

No answer at first then I hear sobbing. I am a bit shocked and embarrassed.

  • “Don’t tell me you’re crying because you missed the plane?”

More sobbing. This time louder. She is becoming a tad bit hysterical. It is only then that it hit me. She is not at the airport and something is very wrong. Impatient, I ask her: “What’s wrong?”

  • “She is dead, she answered. Nancy’s dead!”

My brain went dark. Shutting down to process the piece of information I’ve just received.

“She is dead”, she keeps repeating as if she is trying to process the information too. I hear the voice with the cold and formal tone again. Someone who’s probably hospital staff took back the phone and is trying to explain the situation……

This was April 2010. Fast forward to 2017. I finally have enough distance to realize I was preventing myself from being happy. I was afraid as soon as I’d allow myself to be happy something wrong would happen. I simply had lost faith in life.

But now I know better. I have regained my faith in life. At least a good amount of it. After all, isn’t it what being happy’s all about? Being happy is choosing to have faith in life even though we know fully well things may take a turn for the worst in the blink of an eye. It’s to accept life’s ebb and flow and realize we can’t control everything no matter how hard we try. I should know. I am a control freak masquerading as a free spirit.

Here are some of the things I tell myself when I notice myself slipping back into “I am afraid of being happy” territory:

  • You’re 40 now. Technically you could be halfway through your entire lifespan so don’t waste it by thinking about what could go wrong.
  • Life is short. This could be your last happy moment so enjoy it.
  • We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
  • Preventing yourself from enjoying this moment won’t spare you the hardship that may come.
  • You’re making memories to get you through the tough times when and if they come so embrace the moment.
  • Happiness is a matter of perspective so find a new perspective.

What about you? Are you afraid of being happy too sometimes? Do you know someone who’s afraid of being happy? How do you cope with those feelings? I think we all know at least one person.

Once again don’t forget to comment like or share this article! I’ll be back on the 25th with another article. Maybe out of sheer desperation of what to write I’ll share my food journal for the week 🙂

5 THINGS I LEARNED WHEN I TURNED 40

Last month I turned 40, October 10th to be precise. It was scary. It was good. I felt younger than I ever felt in my life. I also felt older than I ever felt. Why is that? I ask myself.

I was born in Haiti and when I was a child I remember I couldn’t wait to be older but not older like my mom. No. Older like my grandmother. It seemed to me she had it all. Children to guilt trip whenever they refuse to give into whatever she asks them to partake in no matter how unreasonable. Grandchildren to annoy. In Haiti older people are revered. They are believed to be wise and of a good influence. Although my grandmother was more like a very tall and old-looking child. Sometimes she behaved even worse than us children. She threw more tantrums than a teething baby.

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Around here, it is like they expect people to fight to stay young at all cost. Specially women. and although it pains me greatly to admit it it does influence me in the end. While I consider it a privilege to grow old, there is a thought that has been haunting me lately.  At 40 years old, I feel as though I am sort of halfway through my life duration, that is of course if I am lucky enough to live to be 80 years old. So with that constantly in mind, I feel an overwhelming need to simplify my life. In life so much rests upon so little. Everything is so fragile. So today I want to take time and share 5 things I learned when turning 40. So here we go:

1)Keep a journal

No matter how hard a time you’re facing now, remember it won’t last forever. One day you’ll look at that memory and be amazed at how far you’ve come and you’ll be so proud of yourself. You’ll look fondly at something that used to traumatize or frustrate you and realize that nothing has changed except you. Naturally if you’re lucky it would also mean you’ve survived. I admit keeping a journal is something I struggle with but it is so worth it.

2) You can’t see the light without seeing the crap

Usually seeing the light is most often seeing as this sort of epiphany, like a life changing moment and it is but I think that’s rather the glamorized version. Unfortunately seeing the light also comes hand in hand with seeing the crap. It is like having 20/20 vision. At 40 I felt like somebody piled up all of my crap and locked me in a room with it. Everything is made clear including past mistakes, negative patterns, lies we keep feeding ourselves, etc.

3) Time our most precious resource so don’t squander it

Nowadays I won’t even blink in the direction of things and people that are not worth my time and energy. I feel like I can’t afford to. I have no tolerance for repeated pettiness, crassness, pure selfishness and all the likes. Lately I’ve gotten into the habit of constantly reevaluating everything and everyone in my life to see if they are deserving of my time and energy and forever redirecting that time and energy towards people and things that deserve to be valued and cherished.

4) You are the most important person in your universe

Try and spend time with yourself, protect yourself, cherish yourself, love yourself above and beyond. You hold it all together. You give it meaning. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to pursue things that make you happy. It is okay to say no to things and people that no longer serve you even if it is a family member. Only you know what you need. Nobody else does. Care for yourself first. Everything starts and ends with you.

5) Life is in the simple things

Little moments of happiness are as important as big ones if not more. Don’t neglect the small stuff. Nothing makes me happier than a juicy burger and Netflix with dear husband on a Friday night. Dynasty marathons never gets old to me. Christmas playlists even when it is not Christmas yet. Hot tea on a cold day. The list goes on and on. Once you start paying attention to the little things, you find even more little things to enjoy.

Does any of that resonate with you? Would love to hear your thoughts! Please don’t forget to comment, share or like this article. I hope to be back on the 19th with another article, wish me luck! 

 

The black Swan…or the ugly duckling

Version Française…

A nice perfect Saturday I was leisurely walking down Saint Laurent in the Mile-End neighborhood when I came across a nice little boutique. Looking in from the outside you’d think it a mere shop that sells ballet clothing but it was much more than that judging from the scribbling on the front window. It was a ballet class offering and it was very light and vivacious. If I had to translate it would probably be: “Whether you think you’re skinny, fat, in between, slim or slim fat, you can do it! Our ballet classes are fun and a great workout. Come on in, we’re waiting for you!”

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So as they say fools rush in so I went. I usually avoid these types of places like the plague for the simple reason that there always seem to be lurking around some tall, long and lean person with cheetah-like muscle and a gazelle-like grace who can do it all including giving birth to 10 kids back to back while maintaining a perfect body to show us all mere mortal how it should be done. Considering that day I’d just had a heavy brunch, the last thing I needed was to be reminded of my round belly and my lack of body consciousness. Still against all odds I rushed in round belly and all. And it went rather…well. The minute I stepped in I was greeted by a long lean young woman. She was uncommonly friendly for these kind of places considering I in no way looked like the usual crowd. She looked like an adolescent boy with a bun and lipstick. We chatted a bit as she walk me through the different classes, schedules and general tone of the environment. Everything was going fine until the manager showed up. Then everything changed.

She installed herself behind the reception desk with a brief hello and gave me one of those looks that says it all. Pest control must greet vermin the same way. It was brief and cutting. She looked so scrubbed and healthy and shiny you’d think she is fresh out of the dishwasher. One look and you knew that everything down to her close friends and family is vegan and came straight from the earth bowels. I am sure she comes from a long line of all natural and homemade, heal-the-world, salt-of-the-earth vegans. Even her ancestors must have themselves been vegan even before the term was officially coined. I suspect just as in nobility or wealth it takes at least two generations to produce someone like her. Either that or she is a con artist in which case I need her autograph.

Standing under her gaze I felt self-conscious as if surrounded by the screaming souls of all the animals whose meat I have consumed over the years. It seemed as if they were asking for justice. An eye for an eye or at the very least forbiddance to enroll in the next ballet hop class. I felt like she could see my insides and the nice juicy, plum piece of steak I had just consumed under my husband meat-eating leadership over brunch. The young woman seeming not to notice the subtle “rapport de force” kept going on about the benefits. It is then that probably cornered and feeling unholy I did the unthinkable…I asked for the price of all of these wonderful classes.

The answer came from behind the desk, a quick and cutting, ‘it depends’ with a look that seems to say “don’t you low life meat eater have an insanity class waiting for you somewhere? Preferably where the sun doesn’t shine?” Finally, the young woman decided to put me out of my misery and blurted out the price. I gave her a much grateful look and said ‘thank’ you. We understood each other immediately and I left without asking further questions. I think from now on they’re gonna use the same tactic for all the flesh-eaters daring to step into Sacred territory.

Well, I guess I’ll have to put my black swan plans on ice:)

LAC DES CYGNES…OU VILAIN PETIT CANARD

English Version…

 

Un jour je flânait sur la rue Saint Laurent dans le quartier Mile-end et je vois une petite boutique avec une devanture super intéressante qui proposait dans un langage super comique et fun de faire du ballet non traditionnel. L’enseigne était vraiment accrocheur, genre quelqu’un qui ne se prend pas trop au sérieux…comme moi. Après de longues minutes de réflexion je me décidai à y entrer vu qu’il y avait aussi un petit café se partageant l’espace. Au pire, je me dis si une nana au profil “lac des cygnes” m’approche d’un air indigné comme ça arrive souvent dans ce genre de magasin, je ferai semblant d’être venue pour le café. Je dois avouer que j’avais quand même beaucoup d’appréhension car bien que n’étant pas en surpoids je n’ai pas nécessairement un profil “lac des cygnes”.

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Alors là, il faut que je sois honnête et avouer que la fille qui s’approcha bien qu’elle corresponde assez au profil épuré genre lac des cygnes était super gentille. En la regardant j’ai tout de suite compris que si je devais participer au prochain lac des cygnes il faudrait littéralement remplacer cygnes par éléphant. De loin, on aurait dit un ado avec du rouge à lèvres et de très longs cheveux noirs rassemblés en chignon tellement elle avait les fesses musclées et étroites. Elle m’a pris à part et m’a fait faire le tour des différents cours de ballet disponibles. Ils avaient même du ballet hip hop, je crois. J’étais de plus en plus intéressée vu que je me cherchais une activité sortant un peu de l’ordinaire. Tout se passait bien quand soudain la directrice du studio sortit de nulle part et s’installa façon buddha stoïque derrière la caisse. Elle devait avoir une antenne pour les gens “non In” tout comme je suppose un exterminateur aurait un sixième sens pour la détection de vermine. A vrai dire, je n’avais pas du tout le profil végé-bio machin-truc recherchée. Je devais probablement être entourée d’un aura carnivore.

La directrice, elle, avait plutôt le profil mère nature c’est-à-dire que tout ce qu’elle mange, touche, voit et boit doit être le plus près possible de son état naturel. Je pouvais d’ailleurs très bien l’imaginer en train de faire son propre kombucha. En portant une attention particulière au visage on pouvait déjà noter les signes d’une vieillesse timide qui s’installait tranquillement d’une manière décidée sans que la propriétaire des lieux s’en rende compte. Tout sur son être était aseptisé. A bien la regarder on avait l’impression que même ses petits bracelets en corde avaient été tirés des entrailles même de mère nature.

Je sentis au regard furtif qu’elle me lançait que mon profil ne correspondait pas nécessairement à la clientèle cible. C’était clair que j’étais un carnivore sans discipline qui buvait de temps à autre une canette de bière et du coke. Autrement dit je n’avais pas le profil tofu kombucha. C’est alors que me sentant guettée, je commis l’irréparable…j’osai m’enquérir du coût…Je pense que c’est alors qu’elle perdit tout espoir. La réponse fut rapide et nette. Elle prit tout de suite la direction des opérations avec un énigmatique ‘’Ça depend’’ tout en esquivant chacune de mes questions à propos du coût jusqu’à ce que bien sûr la fille qui m’accueillit initialement eut pitié de moi et me lança le prix d’un air gênée. En entendant le prix, le miracle tant souhaité se produisit: Je remerciai rapidement la fille et je quittai le magasin sur le champ sans demander mon reste. A leurs regards de connivence j’ai tout suite compris qu’elles venaient de se rendre compte qu’elles possédaient là une nouvelle tactique infaillible pour se débarrasser des gens “non in” osant s’aventurer en terre sacro-sainte :).

C’est clair que je dois continuer à travailler sur mon profil black swan….

Interview with the vampire: Eternal life ain’t shit!

“If life’s a bitch, eternal life is a three-headed shape-shifting hungry bitch, and these vampires are here to prove it!”

First of all I just want to say I really really enjoyed interview with a vampire. I was reluctant to read it at first considering I had already watched the movie and loved it very much so why read the book when I already know the high points, right? So I said to myself I’ll read it in due time. That due time came in the form of dear husband first granting me a copy of said book and then nagging me every single time his eyes fell on said copy lying around.

And you know what? I am glad I did because boy these vampires are a mess! Naturally there is nothing I like more than a big mess to roll around in and analyze.

The title of the book alone is quite arresting. I mean the opportunity to Interview a vampire?  I suppose it would be exceedingly cool to a journalist. But let’s say I am just me…a normal human being who is very keen on staying alive and also a big coward…..would I still go? I think I would…yeah, I definitely would. I’d probably need to marinate in a mixture of garlic and holy water the night before, just in case. Hubby would also need to be nearby although if it’s Brad Pitt he can take the night off 🙂 And I am not even the bravest person around just to show you how enticing the whole idea is. 

“The world changes, we do not, therein lies the irony that kills us.”

From the start I was almost mesmerized by these vampires tribulations. This isn’t a vampire horror-type story. It is basically the story of life.  And death.  A story of redemption and perversion. Of good and evil and so much more. But the lines are blurred…terribly blurred. So blurred that you are sort forced to construct your own truth or at the very least come up with your own version of things. What is good? What is evil? Is there a God? Does love justify everything? How do you look at things with fresh eyes when well, you have truly seen it all. What makes life worthwhile? What makes human life precious? Is it the thought of losing it? Do we change? Can people change?

“Let the flesh instruct the mind”

At times it became the story of my life when I witnessed Louis wrestle with what he has become versus what he was or could have been but surprisingly Louis wasn’t my favorite either. I found him whiny. Always trying to look like the good guy. I was like relax you’re a vampire, nobody trusts you anyways. But if I am to be honest with myself there is a deeper reason why I just couldn’t fully like Louis. He reminds me of that part of myself that I am constantly trying to change. The part that never seems to be able to enjoy the now. Joy is always to be found in either the past or a seemingly glorious future. The do-gooder, the model child, model wife, model citizen part of me. I was so invested in these characters that at various points in the story I found myself wanting to bring a cup of warm milk to Louis and invite Armand for super. I also started imagining what a night out with Lestat would feel like (I told you I was invested). I am quite sure he would have entry to all the cool clubs and such. Of them all, I felt like Lestat made the most of his condition so far. Well, at least he tried and I admire him for that.

So many contradictions. So many emotions. What about Claudia? I mean being forced to walk the earth inside the body of a child when you’re probably old enough to be a grandmother? How cruel that? If I were Claudia I’d definitely have mixed feelings about my maker. I envy and pity them all at the same time.

I enjoyed Armand thoughts about handling change and staying relevant. According to him there are vampires who are so afraid of change that they literally become mummified in a certain time period. They sport the same clothes over and over and entertain the same thoughts over and over without allowing the passing of time any kind of influence on their behaviors. I don’t think it is because they refuse to change. At least it is only a mere part of the equation. Instead, I think at some point, once you become more and more acquainted with yourself there comes a strong need to anchor yourself and being able to stay “this is who I am and that’s that”. Of course, there’s always the danger of looking like Mary Poppins when most people are now wearing star wars type of clothing. But hey at some point you’ve got to chose, right? Anyways I’d probably be the only vampire walking around naked because she can’t decide what to wear 🙂

“Don’t you see? I’m not the spirit of any age. I’m at odds with everything and always have been! I have never belonged anywhere with anyone at any time!” 

I started asking myself all types of questions. For example, if I were to become a vampire who would I turn first into a vampire? My niece? My husband? These are the two people dearest to me in the entire world. I think maybe my husband. Why? Well, our wedding vows said: “Till death do us part” and I ain’t dead, aren’t? Plus somebody has to brave the sun😊 while I am having my beauty sleep. If I were given the opportunity who would I play? I’d probably want to play Armand (wise, annoying and slightly stuck up) provided the casting crew doesn’t just take one look at me and cast me as Louis. Story of my life 😦

The synergy between the characters is amazing. Louis is always questioning. Lestat is living it up and Armand is reflecting. It allows you to experience the story on so many different levels.  

Now dear readers, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the following questions: Would you go if you were given the opportunity to interview a vampire? Who’s your favorite character and why? Who’s your least favorite character and why? Who would you turn first into a vampire if you yourself were to become a vampire? Feel free to also add some more questions to the list!

As for turning my niece into a vampire if I ever become one? The jury is still out…

Thank you for passing by and if you enjoy this article please feel free to like, comment or share! Next time I’ll tell you about my 2017 goals and see if I have achieved any of those goals or if I am, at the very least, on the verge of accomplishing some of them any time soon… so stay tuned!

How to get back to writing when you lack the necessary motivation

As time passes I realize it is not about acing it but rather, it is about keeping yourself in the game no matter what. As long as you’re still in the game, you’re bound to win or at the very least learn why you didn’t. So below are a couple of rules that never fail to help me find the necessary motivation to keep writing. 

Face yourself

I used to feed myself a lot of bullshit about myself. I don’t anymore. Not because I don’t want to but because I don’t believe myself anymore. I have wised up in spite of myself. Plus my husband never fail to provide me with the necessary but much dreaded reality check. I had to face myself. I had to accept that I was this lazy person who could not commit to writing and kept lying to herself about not being able to commit. You know, just like an alcoholic claiming he/she can get by without attending AA meetings . Or better yet just like my husband claiming he’s only getting back on eBay to buy that one star wars action figure. He bought it and is still on eBay maybe now buying his 4th or 5th action figure….go figure. The minute I stopped believing my lies about myself,  things got better. Or course they got worse at the beginning. My pink and lilac dreams were shattered 🙂 But things got better in the end. I started seeing myself objectively. When you face yourself you can deal with yourself efficiently and prescribe a proper course of treatment. I sincerely wish there was a “delusional want-to-be writers anonymous”. I swear I’ d go to meetings.

Consider yourself a scientist

Except that you’re also the sole lab rat. You see whenever I used to promise myself to do something and fail to do so I would get discouraged, think I am doomed and give up. But now since I am a scientist on my own case, I press on. I conduct little experiments and I tell myself “Fabienne, you’ll keep trying until you succeed”. As an example, before my surgery I had my writing schedule all figured out (before February 2017). I wake up at 4:45, make coffee and starts writing at 5:00. And then I exercise at 6:00 o’clock sharp. Took three months off due to surgery and I found myself back to square one.

It was actually quite frustrating trying to get back to my old schedule and realizing it wasn’t working anymore. What happened I asked myself? Did I leave my ambition in the surgery room or what? I tried writing at night after work. Still to no avail. The minute I get home all I want to do is relax with dear husband. Still I carry on. Then it hit me that instead of coming home to write after work I could go somewhere nearby my workplace, grab a coffee and write. It worked for a little while until I started spending my time being distracted by people watching. Still I didn’t get discourage. I press on determined to succeed. I researched shared workplace and found the Gab cafe (There are plenty other options here in Montreal).

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Tried it, loved it. The staff is amazing. The coffee is great. It is 3 dollars an hour. I am currently on the monthly membership but I think I’ll get back to the per/hour basis as I find that working with a limited amount of time (due to the 3$/hr rate) can be very motivating as opposed to the monthly membership where the amount of time is unlimited. Which brings me to rule number 3.

Tie it to a treat

About the GAB cafe, if I am to be honest, I don’t go for the writing. Yes, you heard right! I go for the coffee.

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The delicious GAB coffee and sandwich combo

I go for the staff. They are super sweet. So I get there. A fresh water bottle is waiting for me. My coffee is brought to me prettily served (Their latte is to die for). As for motivation there are other people working and appropriate silence. Once I am done with my writing I can pay a quick visit to my favorite stores because they are all at walking distance. I am not sure how good that arrangement will prove to be for my bank account but I can assure you it is money well spent 🙂 For some reason there always seem to be a new item waiting for me. Although I don’t always buy, it never fails to put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. So whenever I don’t feel like going to write, all I have to do is think about the good coffee and the possibly new item waiting for me at one my favorite stores and my motivation goes up to 100 %.

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And the lighting is good 🙂

Give it time

Everything takes time. A lot of time. Life gets in the way sometimes. We get in our own way as well. Give it time all the time it needs. Take breaks when you’re tired. Then get back up again. Keep at it until you figure it out. Stay flexible. There isn’t just one way to do something. Different things work at different times and different stages of our lives. And last but not least:

Anything count as writing: Not writing is the building block of writing

You are a writer even if you’re not writing at the present time (emphasis on present time, provided you have written at some point). To me writing is a way of recycling our experiences into something better, something useful and healing. This way of thinking helps me not to get discouraged. Lately, I’ve realized that the more mature I get, the better my writing becomes. I am able to tackle certain subject with much more assurance and depth. I now have a much more nuanced understanding of human nature. I have always had a highly attuned sense of  psychology but the older I get the more I am able to grasp how simultaneously fickle and wonderful human nature can be. The downside is I can now smell my own crap. I can no longer lie to myself and pretend I’ve moved on. All of this knowledge will hopefully help me create  multidimensional characters that adequately reflect the human experience.  After all, what is writing if not an attempt at translating our human emotions into something everlasting?

I hope you enjoyed this piece and will be back soon with a review of “interview with a vampire” by Anne Rice. Stay tuned and don’t forget to comment, like or share this article!

WHEN HUBBY GOES SHOPPING: TAKE 2

 

Version Française…

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It was in Ottawa. The husband and I went for one of those long weekends. I was super excited until I learned I had to plan all of the trip activities. Mind you, it was just for a few days but still. Yes, I could have hopped on the internet and resurfaced with a long list of activities. I just wasn’t sure I’d be able to monitor my excitement level long enough once on site for him not to realize I was as much a first-timer as he was. Besides, how do I tell him I was living under a rock when I used to live there? I should have hopped on the internet and come up with a long list of things instead of half-assing it. Instead the only things I could suggest was a walk on the Rideau canal, the Rideau Centre Shopping center and a stroll on the market place. While those activities can be romantic they are not adrenaline-inducing. It was quickly over with. When the husband mentioned museums I had to come clean and confess that I never ventured in that part of the city.

My confession was met with a stern face. Had I admit that two years ago I am quite sure he wouldn’t have proposed as fast as he did :).  My husband is always on the go, always moving, in fact when we go on vacation it is like going to a correctional boot camp. I come back even more tired than I left. Not exactly my type of vacation. I would happily go on one of those health-themed vacation where all you do is repeat mantra while drinking spirulina water.

On the last day of our trip we decided to visit the Rideau Centre mall. Unfortunately for us that day we discovered that there was a Disney store located in the same mall. Dear husband feigned complete disdain at first but I could see he was burning to check it out. Fives minutes after, he literally dropped me in the middle of a shoe store and practically ran to the said store. By the time I went looking for him (about 15 minutes later) the damage was already done.

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I found him standing in a long line holding close to his heart, the way you would an only child, a mountain of Star wars action figures. I was shocked and slightly amused. Resolved to take action I planted myself firmly in front of him making full use of my 5’2. No use. His eyes were blank just like a walking dead. It was impossible to reach him. Being the good wife that I am, I resolved to wait till he finishes and drag him to Zara in the hope of convincing him to buy me a couple of blouses to calm his conscience. That plan quickly fell into the drain. The minute his toys were all paid for he seemed to experience a sudden wake up from his walking dead condition . He hurried us out of the mall as if we were wanted criminals leaving a crime scene. Bonnie and Clyde would have been proud! Next thing I know we’re driving back to Montréal.

 

Here is a snipped of the exchange that followed:
Hubby: ‘We are leaving’
Me: ‘What?! I am not done yet’
Hubby: ‘I need to put some distance between me and that store…’
Me: ‘Isn’t that exactly what I was trying to do just a few minutes ago and you completely ignore me.’
Hubby: ‘You don’t understand…I couldn’t hear you…’
And then seeing he is not going to win this round.

‘I blame the coffee’
Me: ‘Are you serious?’
Hubby: ‘I am not kidding! This is the first time I have had coffee in 6 weeks. It was bound to happen’.
Me: ‘Well, in this case you shouldn’t be driving because you’re clearly under the influence. And to think all this time road patrols were checking for blood alcohol level. They should have checked for blood caffeine level.’
Hubby: ‘Are you done making fun of me?’

I made fun of him the whole way back. When I shop I have a problem but when hubby goes overboard it is a small accident in the life of a very reasonable person. How convenient.

What about you dear readers, what is your vacation personality? Is it different from that of your other half? What is that one thing you spend money on like crazy?

Quand mon mari fait du shopping: 2ième partie

English Version…

La prochaine fois qu’on visitera un magasin Disney j’apporterai une croix et de l’ail. Si vous ne me croyez pas écoutez la suite…

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Je me fais souvent taquiné par mon mari sous prétexte que je fais du shopping comme je respire. C’est- à-dire sans réfléchir comme un genre de réflexe involontaire. Au fait tout est bon pour justifier une séance de shopping.

Le printemps dernier, nous avons décidé de passer un long weekend à Ottawa. On voulait un peu sortir de Montréal et prendre de l’air.   Mon cher mari sachant que j’ai vécu pas mal d’années à Ottawa s’est empressé de me charger de la planification des activités. Comment lui avouer que j’étais pratiquement assise sous une roche à ramasser de la mousse à Ottawa?

Dans un premier temps j’ai pensé à aller sur internet et compiler une liste digne d’un guide touristique. Je me suis retenue juste à temps pour réaliser que ce serait quand même difficile de feindre l’air blasé d’un habitué des lieux alors que je les découvrirais avec des yeux aussi nouveaux que lui. Je me résolues donc de ne rien faire de la sorte et de juste lui faire visiter mes anciens favoris à savoir les centres d’achat (avec le recul, j’ai un peu honte), le canal Rideau ainsi que la place du marché.

Malheureusement, ces promenades bien qu’ayant un fort potentiel romantique ne sont pas des plus excitants, surtout avec un mari limite hyperactif.  Alors comme cela arrive dans les cas ou l’on flâne sans but précis on atterrit au centre Rideau. On flânait main dans la main comme des amoureux quand soudain devant nous se dressa dans toute sa splendeur funeste (et vous saurez pourquoi plus tard à la fin du récit) le fameux magasin Disney. Mon mari qui d’habitude est très raisonnable avait de la peine à cacher son excitation. Il y résista genre 2 minutes puis s’enfuya literalement en me plantant au beau milieu d’un magasin de chaussures.

Je continuai mon flânage pendant quelques minutes quand tout d’un coup mon sixième sens me souffla d’aller le rejoindre. J’arrivai juste à temps… ou pas. Mon cher mari était campée dans toute la longueur de ses 6 pieds, les bras remplis d’une montagne de figurines Star Wars lui arrivant jusqu’au menton. Choquée et amusée je courus me planter devant lui pour bien lui faire voir ma désapprobation. Peine perdue. Il avait déjà le regard fixe et vitreux d’un mort vivant. En le fixant dans les yeux je compris qu’il était déconseillé voire même dangereux de me mettre entre lui et la caisse. En plus, arrivé à la caisse, la caissière en profita pour lui parler d’autres promotions qu’il s’empressa d’ajouter a son sac déjà lourd de figurines.

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Résignée je me résolus de l’attendre patiemment dans l’espoir de réussir à le convaincre de me payer quelques petites babioles chez Zara pour calmer sa conscience.

Mon plan tomba lamentablement à l’eau. Sitôt son gros sac sur l’épaule, il me fit quitter le centre d’achat littéralement en courant. On aurait dit des criminels s’enfuyant des lieux d’un crime. Bonnie et Clyde auraient été fiers de nous!

Outrée, j’attendis d’être assise dans la voiture pour lui demander des explications.

‘qu’est-ce qui vient de se passer là?’

‘Rien…on part juste un petit peu plus tôt?

‘Ne fais pas le malin avec moi, om chéri. Je me suis faite pratiquement traîner hors du magasin…’

‘Je m’excuse. J’avais peur de faire d’autres bêtises.’

‘C’est justement ce que j’essayais de faire tout à l’heure!’

‘Tu ne peux pas comprendre…’

Puis voyant mon regard sceptique.

‘Je blâme le café.’
‘Ah bon’
‘Se bourrer de café après tant de semaines de sevrage. Ce qui devait arriver arriva.’
‘Ah! Je vois…la cafféine a encore frappé. Peut-être qu’au lieu de vérifier le taux d’alcool dans le sang, la police de la route devrait plutôt commencer par vérifier le taux de cafféine…’
‘Cest ça…moque-toi de moi.’

Bien entendu, je l’ai taquiné pendant tout le chemin du retour. Ce n’est pas tous les jours qu’on a l’occasion de prendre les vertueux en flagrand délit. Surtout que mon cher mari ne rate pas une occasion de me faire la leçon sur mes soi-disants séances de shopping.

Et vous? Quel type de vacancier êtes-vous? Ça vous arrive-t-il de faire du shopping inpulsif?

Becoming Mother Theresa / Mère Theresa en devenir

Version Française…

 I believe one of my first posts when I started this blog was about being kind to everyone. Well it’s been a year and I have changed. I still feel the same way but let’s just say I would like to light the way ahead some more for the believers.

Have you ever had people you’ve treated with nothing but kindness turn around and mistreat you in a ruthless way or worst with total crassness? Well, I have. And more than my fare share which is why I have devised a few ways to cope in order to keep being my light and beautiful self 🙂 and also to avoid committing murder. Considering the number of times this has happened I should literally be vaccinated against such behavior but sadly I am not.

when shit happens to good people

But then again I am a Libra and as such I consider it my birthright to bring light and goodness to the mortals who surrounds me (insert shine bright like a diamond lyrics here). Let’s say I am a big believer in killing them with kindness. I know what you’re thinking. Maybe the people did not ask for my kindness or maybe my kindness is killing them…literally. Could be true but then again I am not here to bash myself 🙂 There are more than enough ”receivers of my kindness” out there doing it already. So instead, we’ll just focus on the other part of the problem which is ‘’them’’.

So here is how to deal:

Put yourself in the other person’ shoes

Try to understand where the other person is coming from. Remember there is always precedence for any kind of behavior. Most of the times, the present situation is rarely enough to get the full picture. Maybe the only time people showed kindness to that particular person was when they needed something from said person and discarded him/her the minute they got whatever they wanted. So their only experience with kindness was the abuse that usually follows. Therefore these people become overtime suspicious or simply wary of any act of kindness. Now when facing people in this kind of situation there maybe a strong urge to prove them that good people still walk the earth but I am telling you: don’t.  You’ll just end up constantly proving yourself to them which can be very tiring. Just let them figure out for themselves a way back into love. Remain courteous but do move on.

Accept people for who they are

And I really mean just that. I know it is one of those simple truths that seem so simple it is practically laughable. But it is just that. Learn to spot the good from the bad and plain ugly. Embrace the good and learn to cohabitate with the bad and ugly peacefully if possible until you can figure out a way to neutralize them. Always think about the end goal when dealing with people. What are you trying to achieve through that relationship? Then act accordingly.

 Understand that some people take kindness as a sign of weakness

Which means when you’re being kind to them they take it as a signal to start abusing you, thinking you must be either an imbecile or a sheep. Continue being courteous but limit contact to absolute necessity. Consider it as an opportunity to practice your poker face.

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My face when people take me for an idiot…

And lastly, you have probably done the same thing or something similar to someone in the past and you’re still alive. We’ve all done it at some point.

I would love to illustrate this last piece of advice but unfortunately I am a saint 🙂 like I said I am not here to bash myself….

And if you happen to lose it while dealing with such people, don’t blame yourself. Just know you’re just a good person who’s been tried one time too many 🙂

PS: These advice only work on my good days 🙂

If you know any other ways of coping please do share!

English Version…

Mère Theresa en devenir

Être gentil, à l’heure actuelle ou les gourus et les grands manitous abondent, c’est vraiment un sujet qui tient à coeur beaucoup de gens. Comment rester zen dans nos relations avec les autres? Que faire quand on a affaire à des personnes méchantes, malpolies, hypocrites, profiteurs…en un mot des malfrats? Le premier réflexe est de bâtir un abri souterrain et de se terrer en remontant périodiquement pour distribuer des pamphlets genre ‘’protégez-vous’’. Disons que ce n’est pas la solution idéale….

when shit happens to good people

Beaucoup vous diront de tendre l’autre joue, de s’aimer les uns les autres et qu’il y a beaucoup plus de plaisir à donner qu’à recevoir…ne les écoutez pas..tout le temps. Ce sont des exaltés. Je vous le dit en connaissance de cause car étant balance je suis exaltée de nature (quelqu’un a t’il vu le fabuleux destin d’amélie poulain?). Heureusement que mon mari est là pour insérer une bonne dose de logique dans mes échafaudages. Non seulement ce n’est pas toujours possible mais des fois ca peut être carrément dangereux d’agir ainsi. Je dis toujours qu’il faut quand même essayer même si le chemin est des fois juché de mécréants, d’ingrats de profiteurs de toutes sortes.

Alors voici mes conseils pour face à la mauvaise herbe de la race humaine:

Soyez compréhensif:

On est tous passés par là. On a tous fait parti de la racaille de la race humaine à un moment ou à un autre. On a tous peut-être par le passé agit avec ingratitude ou méchanceté ou abuser du bon vouloir de quelqu’un qui ne voulait que notre bien. Essayons de nous en rappeler avant de nous offusquer et crier vengeance en déterrant la hache de guerre.

Essayer de vous mettre à leur place.

Selon le comportement de la racaille en question, cela risque d’être difficile mais avec un peu de pratique et beaucoup de cardio vélo on peut y arriver 🙂 Peut-être qu’il s’agit de gens qui se s’ayant tellement fait abusés sont à force devenus désabusés et remplis d’amertume. Dans ce cas, ils ont finis par adopter un comportement méchant et égoïste pour se protéger. Faites très attention à ne pas vous faire malmener et engloutir par de telles personnes sous prétexte qu’ils ont beaucoup soufferts. Quand vous rencontrez ces gens-là n’essayez surtout pas de les changer. Laissez-les plutôt mijoter dans leur désillusions et leurs amertumes et passez votre chemin.

Acceptez les gens pour ce qu’ils sont et s’ajuster en conséquence.

Je sais que cela peut paraître une vision bien simpliste des choses et de par là même difficile à accepter mais c’est vrai. C’est surtout très dur de faire cela quand ce sont des gens dont les valeurs sont complètement à l’opposé des nôtres. Mais c’est particulièrement essentiel de le faire dans ces cas précis. Il y a des gens qui sont  ingrats, égoïstes, profiteurs et non, ils n’ont pas eu une enfance malheureuse. Au contraire, ils ont été élevés par des gens bien et dans l’amour. Ils sont juste des connards, c’est tout. Pas besoin de psychoter, d’analyser, de sortir leur thèmes astral. Ils sont juste constitués d’atomes primairement crochus et ils sont parfaitement heureux ainsi. N’éssayez surtout pas de leur rendre la pareille, vous y perdrez votre âme car vous n’êtes pas fait du même bois à moins que vous ne le soyez….Si vous êtes forcés de travailler avec ces gens-là, restez courtois mais ne baissez pas vos gardez et neutralisez-les plus vite possible. 

Pensez au but final à atteindre. 

Sont-elles utiles à votre avancement professionnel ou personnel? Selon le but cela vaut-il vraiment la peine de garder ces personnes-là dans votre entourage? Est-ce des personnes que vous voyez souvent? Est-ce des membres de la famille que vous ne pouvez éviter? Dans ce cas limitez-vous au strict nécessaire.

Beaucoup de gens voient la gentillesse comme un signe de faiblesse.

Ils vont automatiquement essayer d’abuser de vous pensant avoir trouver la proie idéale. Quand je rencontre ces gens-là, j’en profite pour pratiquer mon ‘’poker face’’.

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Quand on me prends pour une imbécile…

Et si malgré cela, vous perdez la boule et vous retrouvez un jour en incarcération temporaire pour coups et blessures, ne vous sentez pas coupable. Sachez que vous  êtes juste une gentille personne….poussée à bout.

PS: Il ya des jours ou rien de tout cela ne marche 🙂

Et vous? Comment vous y prenez-vous avec ces genres de personnes?