What a whirlwind of a week it has been. I feel so humbled, educated and a little overwhelmed.
Normally, I am interviewing and writing about a mom that has some great insights to share at this time. However, this month, with the busyness that is my life right now, I haven't been able to. But it's a good thing. I feel I need to share my learnings this month.
It has been all about moms.
I attended the Vancouver Mom Top Bloggers event.
What an amazing group of women to be a part of. I was humbled and inspired to be amongst so many mothers, each of whom find time and passion to write, run a business, or be risk takers and explore. I met so many people who I hope to either collaborate with, and grow friendships with. Some have met through these networking events and formed business partnerships or great bonds.
I find it amazing, moms do so much, but it's so important to stay true to yourself and not lose your sense of self. Be passionate, be driven, try out new things, and be happy doing what you want to do.
Another amazing thing I learned from this event, the nature of women to support one another. Not one person was not smiling, and so many open up about working together. We are all trying to gain exposure one way or the other, and each wants to promote not only themselves, but the work other moms are doing to.
It really showed me, as I embark on a new writing/consulting journey myself, that I can do this...to keep propeling, dreaming and don't look back.
I learned that having my kids is my muse, but me writing and working is my self.
A friend's mom passed away and I attended her celebration of life.
Such a sombre time for some close and dear friends of ours. We lost a mother, grandmother, aunt, friend, who was beyond words of a woman. Her life was full of travels, determination, philanthropy, passion and hospitality.
I was so sad to hear that cancer ravaged her body, this woman who was one of the nicest most thought-provoking women I have ever met. The disease did its course and caused her to leave a beautiful family behind, along with a legacy of wisdom.
As I watched the sideshow of her life, heard her stories and listened to her friends, I thought, "wow, this woman lived. We are all alive but are we all living? April English truly lived". What an inspiration and a kick to look in the direction of positivity and light...always.
I wanted to highlight a few key things I learned and felt from this celebration of life.
April had kept a diary through her whole life, I guess a blog for back then, and it chronicled her learnings as a mother. As extraordinary of a woman and leader she was, she was a mom first and foremost, and learned as she went. She didn't always have the answers but she read, she took advice and she tried her best. There was one entry she described discipline...it said to walk away if angry and be consistent and fair, that the kids are frustrated too because they are learning too. Even while leaving, she leaves sound advice for any mom with toddlers...I needed that advice currently. I don't want to always be yelling, and the kids will be ok...in the long run.
I learned that life is beautiful and we can all make a difference. It is easy to get caught up in the stress and hardships, but there is always a rainbow...always. She was a single mother of twin boys, she raised those boys to men, had a plethora of traveled adventures all over the world, she worked hard and she started clubs and gave back to the community. How did she do all that? Patience and following her heart. She wanted to see the world, so she did. She wanted to have family time, so she did. She wanted to discuss important issues and make a difference, so she did.
We all must, not forget we are all in control of our happiness and goals. There is nothing stopping us. No need to wait for things to come to you, go out and get it. Happiness is not a destination, it's knowing who you are, not shielding it and acting on it.
Lastly, love. With all that is wrong with the world, love does conquer all. The love people have for this woman resonated so loudly. So love...always, no matter what, even in times of hardship, still love.
I got in some quality time with both my mom and my mother in law.
It is rare, that I get to spend time with both moms. I often worry about both, their health, them not always putting themselves first, them stressing secretly about all of us, no matter how grown we get. Then it hit me. They are still moms. They always will have this inate nature to mother us, care for us, even before themselves, even if we don't need it.
Both women came to Canada with little to no family, alone and meeting new people, and went through tremendous hardships; ones I will not fathom or ever have to endure. But here they are, pushing their grandchildren in strollers, laughing, making travel plans (that may or may not come to fruition), then having tea and watching crappy Indian soap operas. They had a great day. It was a simple day, but no housework, no stress, no taking care of anyone, just being in the moment. Moms, well my moms, have lived their whole life taking care of others that sometimes, it takes them a while to put themselves first. Often they need a push to do so. A simple day out is needed every now and then. For every mom, old or new, tired or not.
I take these "time-outs" for granted as they have always been available all my life, but as I am so attached to my babies, I see it is easy to put yourself on the back burner at times. I learned to just make sure you do check in on yourself too. I am so lucky, I have that option. And I remembered to treat my own moms too, because they deserve it.
So there you have it ladies, a lot of reflections. And, as always, a lot of learnings.
Love. Live. Laugh.