Is #BellLetsTalk worth it?

There is mental illness in my family, as there likely is in yours. We’ve even lost loved ones to suicide. It was hard to accept that the first suicide couldn’t be prevented by my actions. I wanted so much to travel backwards in time and try to do something to change the outcome. I battled the “What ifs” for a long time. I felt alone.

Feeling alone

I hadn’t heard anything about these types of issues from my friends. Any time I heard about it in the past, people would hush the conversation, and I was left inside my head imagining the difficulties families face.

Were mental illnesses and suicides really that unique? If someone in your family did it, were you likely going to do it too? Was there real help for people?

So I started talking about it. First, I told to my circle of friends. Then I told classmates. I even told my professors. And by the time I was in university, people were more willing to talk openly about it.

Not unique after all

Guess what! My family was not unique after all. Mental illness impacts every family. I heard story after story from friends. Even strangers approached me with their stories. So many of us have to deal with these same issues. The world is not such a lonely place.

Oprah’s impact

I honestly believe that Oprah Winfrey had a lot to do with removing the stigma on so many issues, including mental illness. The only real shame is on us for not being willing to speak openly. -Oprah

Her show started the conversation and now more people are more willing to talk. More importantly, people are more willing to seek help.

Fundraising Efforts

Bell Let’s Talk day states that 100 tweets using #BellLetsTalk are equal to a $5 donation. It’s a great advertising campaign for Bell and helps to raise awareness for mental health.

I’d like to suggest that you go a step further. Consider donating directly to a local mental health organization, such as the Canadian Mental Health Association of New Brunswick. If we all donate a little, it will have a large impact.

Still battling

Many continue to battle mental illness. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Please reach out when you need the support. Talk to your family doctor. Talk to your friends. Talk to me. You matter. What you do matters.

You can also call a mental health hotline in your area any time.

New Brunswick Helpline (Chimo Helpline)

This provincial helpline serves NB 24 hours a day in French and English:
Provincial toll-free Crisis line: 1-800-667-5005
Fredericton area: 506-450-HELP (4357)

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MY FIRST FULL MARATHON!

As the kids and I were leaving Walmart today, a group of adults who were blocking our passage split down the middle to let us pass.

“I feel like I’m crossing the finish line of a marathon!” I joked.

Immediately, not even looking to one another, they broke into exceptionally loud cheers and clapping, and so I jogged through, fists in the air, looking for my finishing medal, and laughing. It was amazing!

Minutes later, after loading the kids into my car, the group arrived at my car, returned my cart for me, and asked if that was my first successful marathon.

“It was! And it’s such a satisfying accomplishment!” Indeed, some days do feel like a marathon. It was clear they knew the exhaustion of my day. We all enjoyed the moment together.

Thank you to the folks from Musquash. You made my day.

Do all moms hate shopping?

I hate shopping for clothes. I really do! I know what you are thinking. You think I am insane and ask, “What’s better than a couple of hours away from the kids, indulging in modeling fabulous outfits in sizes you never dreamed you’d reach before kids?” And truly, while I’ve come to grips with the size battle, I still can’t stand shopping. So what’s my problem?

The pain of it all

15966073_10155329258190016_1509826348254793375_nI can’t get away from the kids. Occasionally, I bring my girls shopping. It’s always a mistake. Whether they are fashioning the store mannequins as zombies, hiding in the racks, or complaining loudly, I rarely try anything on and have to leave. Once in a great while, when I actually try on a piece, it’s usually the last thing I try on that day. It’s just not worth it.

I rarely get to shop alone. Our city has limited stores and limited stock. As an average woman who wears an average size, if I don’t get out the week the clothing appears in stores, I don’t usually get a chance to buy any of the clothes I like. And then I look online and all the mediums are gone there too. If they aren’t and I order them, I often have to take them back because the cut isn’t quite right. Tragic I know.

Never accept defeat

This past weekend, I was away with the kids in the city known to be the shopping centre of the Maritimes. You may know it as Moncton, New Brunswick. My friend Jessica told me I needed an updated wardrobe and suggested I hit Ricki’s. “Oh yeah! I remember Ricki’s.” Inexpensive clothes that might be perfect for a cool mom like me (at least my kids say I’m cool). I decided I’d try again with a promise to visit Toys R Us if we all survived.

Immediately, the store gained Zombie mannequins. I tried to conceal my amusement as I chastised them. It was time to leave.

And then there was Rebecca

15823264_10155329255445016_4016708866481861603_nRebecca came over and suggested I take a quick photo before she fixed the mannequin arms. She was the salesperson that witnessed my rapid defeat. After I shot the photo she asked, “Girls, can you help me make up outfits for display?” Everything she said beyond that was a blur of relief for me. She kept the kids busy, while delivering me clothes that she knew I’d love.

The kids took their stylist role very seriously, examining every item one by one, before settling on which pieces to include in each outfit. I didn’t even notice until the end after I tried on nearly every item in the store and spent my Christmas money. I took photos of the girls with their ensembles, while I was rung in. I couldn’t believe it!

For the first time in years, I actually purchased more than one item of clothing outside of a grocery store.

And I was with the kids!

I’m not certain that Rebecca has wings, but she was an angel for me that day. After that experience, I’d go back to Ricki’s in Champlain Place in a heartbeat. Thank you Rebecca. And thank you to the other staff that also joined in.

You made my day! And when my friends read this, they may visit, so you can make their day too! I can’t wait to feel like a stylish woman at work this week.

Thank you all so much!


Rebecca provided the best service ever! Ricki’s Salesperson 50753 Transaction 15974.

What are your goals for 2017?

What are some of the things you are actually planning to do this year? I don’t mean pie in the sky wishes that you’ll forget in a month. What do you really want to do and why? Share in the comments below.

Also, can you advise me how to achieve my 7 goals for 2017? I need all the help I can get. Nobody does everything on their own.

My 7 Goals for 2017

Here are my goals for 2017. I chose them by thinking about what I love most in life.

  1. Throw my girls a birthday party. On boxing day the girls told their dad and me that they felt like things will never be as fun as they used to be, because they haven’t had a birthday party in forever. Their birthdays fell in the thick of elections, so we skipped having parties, meaning to hold them after it was over. I know! It’s time! It’s time!
  2. 10896835_652116458234144_3042347052231017809_nTeach Zumba® classes weekly. Zumba Fitness makes me happy. I love getting together and dancing with other women and sharing laughs and stories! I taught a bit with others over the fall, but I have decided to reboot the QPlex classes. I’ve put a bit of money into promoting them. My secondary goal here is to break even on the costs. That would be awesome. Classes start Monday!
  3. Grow roots. I want to move into a home where I feel like we’ll stay until the girls graduate high school. This is attainable. Wish me luck!
  4. Get back to my happy size. I packed on fat over the last few months. I want to get back to my happy size. I’ll know when I get there. I’ll feel lighter and more energetic, when I am back in great shape. The number isn’t the important thing here. It is the overall feeling.
  5. Visit more of my friends and visit my friends more. I miss so many of my friends. I have been working so hard that I have failed at seeing the people that matter the most to me on a regular basis. My love for them fills my heart and I can’t wait to rekindle all those amazing relationships, near and far. I commit to a minimum of two visits per month on average.
  6. Have a sunny, relaxing vacation! Whether it is in Canada or away, I want to spend a week swimming and playing outdoors. Any ideas?
  7. Have more family fun! Yes. I love my family. We are all the same and different and I love it! I need to organize some fun events to see them more often outside of the routine. We could all use a little bit of fun. I commit to plan an event once each month.

That’s it! Now what are your goals? Please share below!