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Amazing what a difference half a decade makes!

On Friday, I received my new drivers license in the mail.  A lot has changed since I had taken my previous DL photo.  Not just in my life, but procedurally as well.

Now they require a new photo every five years.  I think it used to be every seven (but don’t quote me on that).  It used to be you could wear glasses, smile, act and be natural in your photo.  Now, even if you wear glasses full time they have to be off, and not only are you not allowed to crack a toothy grin, you aren’t allowed to smile at all.  But, as you’ll note from my new license, a wry smirk is perfect acceptable.

My Driver's License Photo - Old and New

My Driver’s License Photo – Old and New

 

I have to admit…  when I received my new license and pulled the old one from my wallet, I stopped and stared at the photos for a while.  What a difference roughly half a decade makes.  The first photo was before I was married, before Lily-Ann was even a vague idea.  It was before I’d changed focus from my work as an expert in Canine Communication to Professional Photographer.  I voted Green back then, but wasn’t a member of the party, and would never dream I would run the provincial party and run for office during a provincial election, a national election, and a provincial by-election.  It was before I returned to my roots and realized how much I missed working with youth.  I hadn’t outed myself as a former victim of sexual assault, and was ashamed of the fact that I had FMS and IBS.  It was a very different me – who was plagued by social anxiety disorder and had a specially trained Service Dog because I couldn’t leave the house alone.

Now?  Wow.  There really isn’t much of that girl left.

I chose my wording carefully, the use of “girl” wasn’t an accident.  I was a girl.  I was a nervous, scared, girl.  I hid it pretty well from most folk…  but I really did live my life scared that I’d be found out, that someone would realize I wasn’t actually good enough to be worthwhile.

I said it once already, but for emphasis, I’ll say it again:  What a difference roughly half a decade makes.

Now?  I’m probably a little too self-assured…  I’m actually downright cocky.  LOL  I know that who I am matters, and what I do makes a difference.  I’m a proud woman.  Confident and ready to tackle pretty much anything that comes my way.  I live out loud, and tend to over share.  Want to know something about me?  Ask.  I’m not afraid and will happily talk to anyone about anything.  I’m doing some pretty amazing things.

Someone asked me if I felt old now that I’ve turned 35, and you know what?  I totally don’t.  I feel like life is just beginning.  I’ve just hit my stride.

 

Sometimes joy is simple…

When I watch my wee girl sleeping, laying in bed next to me, joy is simple.  Nothing could fill my heart more than watching her here, quietly breathing.  Each rise and fall of her tiny chest elevates my happiness a little further.  This type of joy is easy.  This love comes easily.  Some joy, some love, you really have to work at…  but for now, I’m blissfully happy just laying here in the dark with my wee one beside me.

Families who don’t co-sleep may find certain things easier (like couple time for mom and dad).  LOL  But I wouldn’t trade this closeness with my daughter for any of it.  She sleeps soundly knowing I’m right here, and I sleep better knowing she is safe and sleeping deeply.  This, for me, is a natural.

The wee girlie has her own bed.  It’s a loft we built in Autumn.  It’s right above our bed (I even posted a couple times about it here).  And she slept in it for quite a while…  and I missed her while she was up there.  LOL  But as she grows and changes, sometimes  she needs us closer than at others.  And right now, she needs these night times.  It won’t be long until she rolls her eyes when I ask for a hug and kiss, so as long as she wants me close, I’m happy to remain so.

Co-sleeping is worth any tiny sacrifices we may have to make…  but honestly?  Those sacrifices are nothing compared to the rewards it brings.  In a world full of people with sleeping disorders, I know my daughter sleeps soundly.  She  is safe, secure, and attached.  Just as she should be.

Soundly Sleeping Sweetie

Closer than I appear.

Objects in Mirror are Closer than they Appear.

Closer than I appear.

I sometimes wonder if everything we do is worth it.  Living an ordinary life would be so much simpler.  I’ve done a lot of things, worn a lot of hats, played a lot of roles…  not all fit, but I could see how a person could be happy living within a box more simply defined.  One label.  One job.  One purpose.  A complex life is just that, complex.  It’s rarely easy.  And I do, from time to time, wonder if all the extra effort is really worth it.  It would be so much more simple, so much easier, to be ordinary.

I think we all get tired at times.  I know I’ve taken on a lot of important roles.  I’ve also moved past some important roles that I wish I could have held onto…  but we evolve.  We change.  And some hats we once wore so well end up not fitting us as well as the decades pull us onwards.

So…  no real point to make today.  LOL  Just kinda rambling on…  rambling through this road trip we call life.  🙂  Thinking about the interesting pit stops we’ve hit so far, and wondering where we’ll find ourselves tomorrow.

I’m feeling a bit like I’m at a crossroad.  Time to do some evaluating.  I think I may have a hat or two in my closet that just aren’t all together me any more.  Might be time to do a little late spring cleaning.  Wonder if there is anything here worth shipping off to Sally Ann.  😉

Take care of each other.

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