Sunday, July 10, 2011

Things I Wish More People Knew About Me

Wow! It’s been over a year since I last blogged. Where did that year go?? I will admit the lack of blogging has been intentional, and that’s because my decision to change the blog from a personal introspective narrative to a “Ron and Kathy Weight Loss Blog” left me no choice but to stop blogging when the white ‘I can’t do this anymore’ flag was raised. What was I to talk about – my pure hatred of the gym? Our decision to cancel our gym membership and use the money to get a housekeeper instead? (incidentally the best move I think we’ve ever made) Maybe I could have blogged about our top 10 foods that we shouldn’t have been eating, but still were.

No, I had no intention of continuing on with something that I knew in my heart wasn’t going to work for us. We were strong for a short time, and I’m proud of the effort we made, but ultimately, we’re just not ready to make the changes we need to on a permanent basis yet, and regardless of my aversion to disappointing those who were rooting us on – some on a daily basis – we are who we are, a chubby couple who like foods that are bad for us, hate exercise, and who have more excuses for not sticking to a healthy lifestyle than anyone you'll ever meet. I would like to thank that cheering squad we had though, because I feel certain we would never have made it as long as we did without outside reinforcement and support – so for the pounds we DID lose, and HAVE kept off...thank you!

So what to do with this site now? Well, up until recently I was willing to let it fade away into internet oblivion, because I really didn’t know what to talk about (enter "Kathy, speechless?" jokes here). Not sure I really do now either, but I recently read a blog that has inspired me to at least give it another go. This was an ongoing blog which, until then, I had never read, but one entry in particular challenged the reader to create their own blog on this topic – Things I Wish More People Knew About Me - this challenge had been tweeted by someone I follow and sounded intriguing. As I read things I didn’t know about an author who...well...I didn’t know...I found myself putting together my own ‘Things’ blog in my head which I thought was a good indication that I had a place to start again. So, for those of you who were regular readers in the past (689 hits on previous!), or for those of you checking this out for the first time, here are some things I would like you to know about me. Once you’ve read them, if they stir anything in you, feel free to write your own list and send it to me...I’d love to learn more about you too!

I am a listener by nature...

...always have been...and I am honoured when others place their trust in me by sharing things they can’t share with others. I first realized this wasn’t everyone’s nature, and that maybe I was a little different, when: teachers started sharing frustrations about my classmates and other teachers with me – even in elementary school, my co-op boss in high school chose me to confide she was having suicidal thoughts to (I was 17 incidentally and thankfully smart enough to tell someone who could actually do something to help her) and friends shared stories of abuse and dysfunction in their families with me that no one else knew. I will never begrudge this personality trait of mine, and think that it’s very much at the heart of what makes me, me.

I hate failing... anything! I hate making mistakes, can’t fathom not doing a good job at something and beat myself up over stupid little things I could have done better. I try to work on this aspect of myself – and sometimes repeat Ron’s mantra “Remember, it’s OK to be a D student. D stands for Diploma” it won’t make a difference, but at least makes me smile long enough to breathe. (And yes folks, he does work in the education system :) )

I love nice people...

...whether I know them or not, it doesn’t matter. When I see someone perform an act of kindness, when I meet someone who genuinely has a good heart, when I hear about someone whose motivation in life is to make the world a better place in their own little heart smiles. Life comes with so many challenges, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in your own, but I truly believe that if everyone was just a little more selfless and focused on being the kindest person they can, this world would be such a different place, and all those petty problems we all think we have wouldn’t seem nearly so important.

I have thin skin...

...and don’t take criticism well. Thankfully I don’t face a lot of criticism, and maybe that’s partly because I try to surround myself with non-critical people, but when met with ways I can improve I get defensive. I do. It’s a flaw. I think it’s a big part of the reason I didn’t pursue acting as a career – constant rejection would kill me, and I knew it. I remember my first ever ‘real’ non-high school audition. It was for London Community Players and it was for the play “Joey” based on the book “Flowers for Algernon”. I had read the book twice prior to auditioning and knew there was a part in there for me. I knew the tone of the story. I knew the monologue I was performing to a tee. I was ready. When my moment in the spotlight was over, from the dark auditorium I heard “thank you, next” in a voice that was so monotone I thought it could have been a robot speaking. My big moment was given a rousing ‘blah’ and I was devastated. I didn’t sit by the phone waiting for a call...I knew it wasn’t coming...if this was acting, no thank you.

I adore the water...

...the beach, the ocean, backyard ponds, sparkling swimming pools, beautiful fountains. I love it all. I have vowed that one day I will live by the water, and I fully intend to realize that dream someday. I love being on a cruise ship, surrounded by nothing but open water, listening to it splash against the sides, watching the waves roll by. The most ironic part of this passion for all things aquatic? I can’t swim. And by that I mean if placed in a body of water that is deeper than I am from nose to toes, I will drown. Period. Some people say they can’t swim and mean they can’t swim well, but can at least float and maybe doggy paddle enough to cause some movement in the water. I am not one of those people. I sink, and I sink hard.

I will never feel financially comfortable...

...I could win the lottery tomorrow and still stress that it’s not quite enough to get me through the rest of my life. Why the stress? It’s not like Ron and I are hurting, and we certainly have more than enough creature comforts to say that we are living well. So what’s the issue? I grew up without money. I also grew up in an environment where money was spent as soon as it was received. That’s a hard habit to get out of, even when your logical side constantly reminds you that you can break the cycle at any time. We have made financial mistakes (18 months seems so far away when you’re buying that ‘no interest, no payments’ furniture!), and have had our share of tough times when we were existing on one non-profit salary and a little OSAP, rejoicing when Kraft dinner went on sale, and thankfully we’re past those times now. But that little nagging voice at the back of my brain still reminds me constantly that we’re not as comfortable as we could or should be, and that one catastrophic event could sink us.

I love people, but I love my alone time too...

...sometimes you just need time on your own to think, to relax or just to enjoy the quiet that surrounds you. I am far from being an introvert, and have no problem being around people most of the time, but once in a while I feel the need to get away from everything and just enjoy the quiet solitude.

I’m wordy... do I know this? Because this blog is already 1522 words long! So on that note, I’ll end this entry here, and will look forward to hearing all about you - who you are, what you wish more people knew about you, why you are who you are. This entire blog was created to share insights into me and how I think, so you can expect to learn more about me as I grow and learn more about myself. Life is a journey, and you never know where it might lead next. I look forward to being part of yours, and bringing you along on mine.

Until next time –

Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.” ~James Dean~