For the love of all things Corgi

For the love of all things Corgi….

Charleston Rupertly Corgshire is my Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog. He has a regal name for a dog I found on an online “exchange good” site. I found this little puppy available on my 30th birthday. When I was in my 20s I felt like I had failed life. I was excited to turn 30 and start a new chapter. Little did I known 30 would hit me like a Mack truck and be the hardest year yet.

I wasn’t thinking about getting a dog, but then, I met a crazy corgi lady named Kristen. She had a corgi. A what? Right at the time I had no idea what a corgi was. Once I met her corgi dog, Ronin, it was game over. I had to have a corgi. I soon realized this is the same breed of dog the queen has. Surely if this breed of dog is good enough for the queen, then it should be good enough for me?

I found this cute little corgi puppy available on my freaking 30th birthday. What are the odds? I drove for five hours one way to a place I had never heard of to find this puppy. He was so tiny he was wearing a cat collar. I was instantly in love. I stopped at the first park I could find to let him out to pee. I saw a bench to sit on and just stare in awe of my little puppy. Well this puppy let me tell you he stuck his head in the side of the bench through this little hole and I couldn’t get him out. Oh great had the puppy for ten minutes and already a problem. Well now it’s going on eight years and it hasn’t gotten much better. Charleston, also known as Charles, Charlie, Chuck, Charty, Lolly or puparonies, has sure given me a run for my money over the years. No, seriously, this dog has cost me a small fortune. I think he thinks he lives with the queen and money is no issue.

I have never felt the love of an animal like I have from this dog of mine. I am so lucky to call this dog mine. Charles has forever changed my life. I am blessed to experience the unconditional love of a dog. I have never had a dog stare at me and want to be with me every second of the day. He tilts his head as if he understands what I am saying. I know I sound like the crazy corgi lady. I am happy to announce to you I AM A CRAZY CORGI LADY. Yes I have my dog tattooed on my left arm wearing a crown hanging off one ear and looking like the royal mess he is. I have a corgi air fresher in my car. More corgi pictures, t-shirts, belts, water bottles, mugs, pins, magnets you name it I probably have it with a corgi on it.

What does it mean to have a dog that loves you? Charles saved my life. When I lay down in my bathtub ready to end my life, I wrote my goodbye letters and I had made amends with darkness. I said out loud darkness you win I can’t do this anymore. I had thought out every detail including how I thought there was less cleaning if you died in your tub. When you are in a dark place you cannot see the light. Nothing else mattered to me. I no longer wanted to be here. This corgi of mine crawled up on me and laid his head on my shoulder he looked at me with such love in his eyes. I spent forever crying in that tub holding my little corgi and I realized what I would be missing if I was no longer here. I wondered why I cared about so much about what everyone else thought of me. I almost let the thoughts other people created about me kill me.

Charles means so much to me. I had such a hard time when I became a single mom (more on that in a future blog) I looked into re homing Charles as I felt I wasn’t giving him enough attention and I thought maybe someone else could do a better job. Always the “what ifs” haunting me. To get sucked into the “what if” cycle will drive you mad! I actually found him a home and almost re homed him but that look oh goodness that look he gives me. I immediately cried until I almost drowned in my own tears and I couldn’t do it. Charles will forever be my dog until the day he’s no longer here I will give him the very best life I can.

I have met so many absolutely wonderful friends through a local corgi group. Let’s be serious I am talking about the corgi’s, ha, I can remember the dogs names, the humans not so much. Corgis just have an instant way of cheering you up and to see a bunch of them together oh my goodness it hurts to laugh and smile that much. Charles in his old age is kinda grumpy towards other dogs not just other corgis. I have tried to add on another corgi dog a few times and he will have no part of it. He has made it very clear he will be my one and only.

Charles has always had a fan club of people who just love him. When I moved a few years back I met a little girl who absolutely believes Charles is her dog. Charles has a way with kids, he just loves little people. I think it’s because they eat snacks low to the ground and often share! This little girl asks me daily to come see her dog. She’s so good to Charles. He gets extra cookies and pat pats and you can see the love he has for her. He lights right up and runs to her. I always thought if I lost my dog to anyone it would be the actual queen, well move over Queen Elizabeth, Miss Liv is going to give you a run for your money.

Oh Charles, I can never thank you enough for saving my life, for being the very best dog. Thank you for always loving me even when I couldn’t love myself. Thank you for always keeping a close eye on my little human, for howling when he cries. Thank you for always protecting my house even though you can’t see out the window you always know when some ones near. I love that you have become a grumpy old man set in your ways. I would not change you for the world. You forever hold a special place in my heart and on my arm!

Reading my way into a better life

Reading my way into a better life….

I have always had a love for reading and a love for learning. Once I learned to read, the whole world opened up for me. I could be found with my nose in a book. I loved reading big chapter books as a kid. Those babysitter club books really sucked me in and don’t get me started on Anne of Green Gables. I was such a huge fan of Anne of Green Gables I convinced my dad to road trip to Cavendish, Prince Edward Island to visit the Green Gables Heritage Place. I live in Ontario.

Reading allowed me to escape from my everyday life, it allowed to me to dream, to become a part of someone else’s story. I love the feeling of how a good book can suck you in and hours can pass by while you keep turning pages, aware of the things you should be doing but you just can’t put that book down.

I did eventually, long after it was the in thing to have, upgrade and get a Kobo eReader. I tried to read eBooks but I hated it. I just love holding onto the book and flipping the pages. I love reading in the bathtub with bubbles up to my neck. It’s just not the same. If you have ever dropped a book into the bathtub water you get me! I have tried to listen to audio books. Oh my goodness, I cannot focus when someone else is reading. I need to have that book in my hand. I need to re-read the pages when I forget what’s going on. I need to have that great bookmark. Currently my book mark is one of my business cards. My business card has the most beautiful picture of Tofino that I captured.

When my Oma was alive she used to find the best books. Oma had a love for reading. Her house had so many bookshelves filled with some of the best books. Her books have always held such great memories. Oma always had just the book you needed to read. She introduced me to Wally Lamb, who to this day is still one of my favourite authors. I loved to read the books she had previously read and discuss what we thought. It was like our own little book club. After Oma passed I didn’t read much, I lost that person to discuss books with. It felt like I couldn’t find a good book to save my life.

After going to school and being sick of reading text books, I was still lost and most of my thoughts haunted me with negativity and baggage from my past. I turned to new section of the book store called Self-Help. Oh dear goodness, how can I help myself? I had spent a lot of years in counselling, been to psychotherapists. I packed my baggage so tight and carried it around for so long it’s no wonder my back hurt. I tried to solve most of my life problems with drugs and alcohol. Although I thought a combination of drugs and alcohol did make me feel better at times in my life, all it did was cloud my vision so I couldn’t clearly see my problems. When you drink, get high, or a combination of both you tend to no give a fuck about your problems. I knew from personal experience addictions and running away from your problems doesn’t work!

When I was stuck in my negative thought patterns and just hating each day more than the last, well I thought it was just me who felt that way. I didn’t talk much about my problems to others; I didn’t think other people felt the way I did. Turns out almost everyone feels this unbelievable darkness of negativity. I was determined that if I could reprogram the way I thought and saw my life and create a positive life that my life would be better than ever. It has not been easy it’s a lot of work. It’s daily work. It takes time and patience which are two things I never thought I would have! I have been on this journey for many years and I am here to empower you to do the same. I read so many different ways to change your life; I have tried so many different ideas, thoughts and ways. I understand what works for one person won’t work for everyone. I am not here to judge you, trust me my darkness is that of a horror movie. I am here to tell you when you see your life in a positive way the possibilities are endless. When I was creating this website I struggled with writing about myself. Instead of staying stuck or giving up I called my life coach friend and asked him for some help. He asked me some powerful questions he said “Who are you creating this website for? Who do you want to attract?” My immediate answer was me ten years ago, the woman who was so sad she couldn’t pick herself up off the floor, who thought about ending her life because she didn’t want to live one more day, the woman who was stuck, who lost her dreams, the woman who almost let negativity win. ALMOST! Then I kicked my life in to positivity over drive and this is the woman I am today. The woman who wants to share with you, to believe in you, to empower you to create your path into a future filled with positive light. I wanna shine that light so bright that it’s blinding. I want you to have a journey filled with positivity, laughter and fun! I want you to feel how I feel today. I have lived the life of negativity it does not lead anywhere good. I have lived the life of light and positivity and it’s amazing. Many of my dreams and visions are happening now, because I have a clear vision. I believe in myself. I am once again enjoying reading and have finished some amazing books. I am always reading self-help or inspirational story as well as a good suspense or fiction novel. If you have a great book to recommend shoot me a message.

I want to thank those of you who stood beside me through my journey. I want to thank those of you who continue to inspire me! I want to say thank you for the amazing outpouring of positive feedback I have received since I started this dream job! I am blown away by how many people have reached out to me. Thank you all so very much!!

Biking my way to positivity!

Biking my way to positivity!

When I was kid I grew up in a small town, on a little street where all the neighbours looked out for each other. I remember biking up and down the street, for hours on end after a long day at school and pretty much all summer long.

I struggled with removing my training wheels from my bike. I admit I was terrified at the thought of two wheels. Four felt so safe. As a child already, the “what ifs” haunted me. What if I fell of my bike? What if I got hurt? What if my injuries were serious? What if I had to go to see a doctor? It took a lot of convincing from my older brother and my dad but in time I did it. I removed my training wheels, a force to be reckoned with. I was a wild chick on two wheels. My first bike was a beautiful navy blue colour with a white banana seat. Between having an older brother and the boys next door I learned how to take my bike off some pretty sweet jumps, ride with no hands and pop a wheelie. Being a kid this is about as cool as it gets. I felt I was unstoppable.

I used to bike with my friends to the local stores. We were able to ride pretty much all over our little town. We used to head to the local park and watch the waterfalls, then ride the bike trail along the river. I always enjoyed when we found a new path or discovered some place new. Over the years I went through a lot of bikes and bike accessories. I loved the beads you put in your spokes to make the bike sound louder. Some of my friends put cards in their bike wheels because they thought they sounded like motorbikes. I had a basket to carry all my toys. It’s important when you’re a kid to take your favourite doll or “stuffie” along on an adventure. I had a bell and oh boy did I ring it!

Biking was what made me feel free, as a child, and let me discover and go new places. When I became a teenager with a driver’s license and I bought a car, I forgot about my love of biking. I had a new need for speed and a new way to discover and go new places.

My son is six years old and he has already removed his training wheels. He’s much braver than I was. He wipes out a lot (he got my need for speed and my accident prone ways). He has had his fair share of injuries but he always gets right back on that bike. We live close to some cool parks. When he had his training wheels on his bike I was able to keep up to him walking, but not now the boy has a need for speed. He asked me to go biking with him but, I wasn’t sure I would be able to bike. I haven’t been on a bike since I was a kid and with my back injury I was worried about the pain. I started my search for a comfy cruiser bike. Guess what kind of bike I found? Oh yes, a Cadillac cruiser bike. Oh heck yes, it’s got a big Caddy symbol on the front. As soon as my butt hit that comfy seat I lost all fears and I felt that freedom I felt as a child. My heart is so full. Biking with my son and exploring new places together has been amazing.

This summer I decided to buy a hybrid bike with an upgraded more comfortable seat and I checked out some new trails. I wasn’t sure how long I would be able to bike or how much my back would handle. It was pretty rough going at the start. I could only bike small amounts, every part of me hurt. I was thinking I made a huge mistake spending the money on a hobby I couldn’t do without pain. I soon caught myself being negative and turned it around. I didn’t have to go far. I just had to go. I pushed myself and I completed my goal of 60kms this summer. I actually did way more than 60kms. I am proud of myself. I had so much fun.

My east coast cousin was home this summer; she’s all about fitness so we took some awesome tours together. It was a lot of fun biking and catching up. This girl is going to go places watch out world! My granny, oh granny she accompanied me with her customized big horse saddle pad seat cover, luxury comfort. I think she’s onto something with this comfort upgrade. It makes it next level cruising. I have to admit she was just a going! Granny biked much faster and further and I thought she would. This lady is amazing, broken pelvis won’t stop her; she just comes up with creative ways to join in on the fun. She took me to some of the coolest places. Granny lives in wine country, cheers to that. I had made a bucket list of 100 things I wanted to do, when I realized I had never been to a winery, granny said we can bike to some and oh we did. The laughs we shared oh goodness so many laughs and delicious wines.

Biking has allowed me to clear my head, and to explore cool places at a slower pace. I have seen some amazing scenery along the way and taken some amazing pictures. (I took all the pictures on my website) Biking has improved my health, as much as it hurt to start, I am glad I stuck with it.

Thank you to everyone who has joined me on bike tours this season. Cheers to many more bike tours!!

I left my heart on Vancouver Island

I left my heart on Vancouver Island…

My first trip to Vancouver Island was to meet my Uncle Merv (my dad’s brother) and his wife my Auntie Gay. At the time they lived in a place called Qualicum Beach. I could not believe my eyes because from their house you walked to the end of the street, cross a four lane highway and boom you are at the Pacific Ocean. The freaking Pacific Ocean was practically in their back yard. I could spend my lifetime walking up and down the beach, beach-combing for treasures. Some of my favourite memories are walking the beach with my grandma Davis. We would spend hours finding the neatest treasures; I still have a sand dollar we found together. I was shocked to learn that star fish are purple. I love star fish and purple has always been my favourite colour!
Every visit I made to Vancouver Island growing up left me yearning to move. I wanted to call the Island my home. My heart felt like it belonged on the Island. To feel the salt of the ocean hit my skin makes me feel whole.

I did end up moving to Nanaimo B.C. where my aunt, uncle and cousins lived at the time and I made it work for about a year in 2008. I was supposed to get married here in Ontario and everything came crashing down on me. I knew that marrying this person was not right for me. I was not living the life I dreamed of; I was filled with negativity. I had long lost the person I wanted to be. I was working dead end jobs and had lost the passion in my life. I was barely getting through each day. To me each day felt like the worst day of my life, stuck on a horrible repeat cycle. It was a cycle that I couldn’t seem to stop, or escape from. I was so unhappy and felt so lost. I finally decided enough was enough and I packed up my suitcases. I boarded a flight as far west as I could go; headed for a place that had always held my heart. I called my Island family who I had not seen in many years. When you adult and your parents don’t pay for your vacations well I seemed to take less. I laced up my running shoes and ran from a future I couldn’t dream of living. I am a runaway bride. Maybe I should have a movie made about my life, ha; I wonder who would be cast in my role? (Granny, who helps me edit thinks Allison Janney would play me in the movie).

I remember when the plane took off I broke out crying. Full on ugly crying. Immediately I was hit with worry. What if I messed up my life? What if I couldn’t start over? What if I failed again? What if I didn’t pack enough? What if I couldn’t find a job? What if I couldn’t find a place to live? What if people didn’t like me? What if I lost who I was? I often wonder if these thoughts ran through my Opa’s mind when he boarded his boat headed for Canada? I admit I was scared to make this change in my life, but I was absolutely terrified to stay in Ontario and run my failed marriage tape to the end. Turns out when you run from your problems no matter how beautiful the new surrounding are, no matter how far you run, how fast you run, you will still have those same problems. The ocean did its best to heal my heart but I had not learned how to erase my negative self-talk and it was eating away at me. I struggled with finding a job, a place to live, I was running out of money, my car constantly broke down, I was always sick and truthfully I missed Ontario. It’s the only home I have ever known. I would not change my experience on the west coast for the world. My dream of being a west coast island girl had come to an end much sooner than I had dreamed. It’s true it didn’t work out as I had first planned but, my dream is not gone, it has just changed. My time on the Island taught me so many lessons and brought me closer to my Island family. I wouldn’t say I failed so much as I gained an amazing experience.

As much as I miss the Island I am glad to be back in Ontario. If I stayed in British Columbia I wouldn’t have my son! I will always have a place to call home with family on the island. I do believe everything has a way of working out for the best.

Oh, my Island family they are some of the greatest people you could ever meet. I am so lucky to call them my family. My Uncle Merv is one of the funniest people you will ever meet. He is just a grown up hiding in a kid’s body. His big smile is contagious; you cannot be in a bad mood in this man’s presence. His jokes and great sense of humour will make you laugh until it hurts to laugh. He has a huge heart and I know he loves his family more than anything because I am lucky enough to be a part of his family. He will forever be my favourite uncle. My son and Uncle Merv share the same birthday, granted a few years in between. My auntie Gay is one of the sweetest people. Her kindness radiates from the moment you meet her. I would say she is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. You could watch wheel of fortune with her, the board would have two letters and she would be able to solve the puzzle. I used to think she cheated, but, no I found out she’s just that good! When I watch wheel of fortune it could be down to all the letters filled in but the last two and I would still get it wrong. She is a woman of natural talent. I have one of her beautiful paintings hanging up in my home. Oh and goodness we can’t forget that time I went to aqua fit with her. To say she kicked my ass would be an understatement. She too loves her family more than anything. Auntie Gay showed me how important having great people surrounding you truly is. Both my aunt and uncle welcomed me into their beautiful home. They gave me the biggest hugs and helped me more than they will ever know. They taught me not only how to love myself but how to love and show kindness to others. Thank you Auntie and Uncle! I also have three wonderful Island cousins. Christopher, oh you never know where he will be or what he will be doing but, whatever he is doing he always drops it and come to visit when family is around. I have never had an Island visit where he didn’t show up, enjoy catching up, and end with a hug. I’m coming back for an off road jeep adventure! Jana, oh you just know you will be laughing with this girl. I wanted to be her when I was a kid. I thought she was one cool chick. On one of our trips she was wearing the most beautiful outfit. It was a plaid sun dress and she rocked it. When I came home I had my Oma make me one just like it. Jana you have always been and still are a picture of beauty to me. Last but nearest and dearest to my heart is Shenoah (Noah). We are cousins, but, also I believe we are soul sisters! She’s my favourite road trip buddy! Her son Ryley is everything I hope my son turns out to be. You are amazing! Noah is older than me but the smaller version of me. We are so much alike it makes me smile. This girl is the most beautiful person I know. Noah is the picture of strength and determination. I aspire to be the woman she is.
My Island family changed me for the better.

As I headed back to Ontario I never forgot their kindness towards me, the love they passed along and all the laughs oh goodness I needed those laughs. I met some of the most amazing people on the Island and I would like to say thank you to each and every one of them for all the amazing memories. Here is too many more trips to the Island and to a place that forever holds my heart. I will be back soon!

I didn’t want to ride the bus I wanted to drive the bus

I didn’t want to ride the bus I wanted to drive the bus…

It’s important to have dreams. Share with me what are some of your career dreams?

My first career dream comes from my first day of school.

My first day of school I remember getting on the bus and thinking “wow this is amazing”. I had a woman bus driver in public school and I was in awe of how she could drive such a huge vehicle. I thought my bus driver was the coolest woman ever! My bus ride to school was short, only a few minutes long. I sat with the window open, wind in my hair, living the dream life. I remember getting off the bus the first day of kindergarten with a dream I didn’t want to ride the bus I wanted to drive the bus. I’m sure when my parents heard this dream they thought I was going places. Oh the places I have gone and the dreams I have had over the years. Before I knew what a career was I wanted to be an Orca whale. How cool would it be to swim around the ocean all day with the coolest nick name being the killer whale. Turns out you can’t change from being human to a whale and so my dreams were shattered.

I confess as of now, I have never driven a bus. I think the Cadillac is about the biggest vehicle I have ever driven. As my son boarded his bus the first day of kindergarten, three years ago now (time slow down he’s growing up too fast) I cried like a crazy lady at the bus stop in front of family, friends and neighbours. When my son got off the bus after the first day of school he did not mention that he wanted to drive the bus. He has dreams of being a Police officer, train conductor, builder, fixer man and a farmer. This boy is going to be busy, hopefully busy enough to stay out of trouble!

My second dream job, around the third grade I wanted to be a veterinarian. I always had a variety of pets and an endless love for animals. I grew up with cats, dogs, pony, hamsters, bunny, chinchillas and even a pet sheep. My granny worked at the veterinary office and I looked up to her. I always struggled with math and after public school I began to dislike school.

Since public school my dreams changed. I dropped out of high school not long after starting and lost my way for a while, probably something to do with my negative outlook and my addictions. I am proud to say I did graduate high school, granted it was a couple years behind schedule but I did it. I even went on to post-secondary a few times, for a few different degrees. My first degree was in Corrections with a dream of working in Parole. I hurt my back at a job in the summer between semesters at college and I am to this day still living with pain. I graduated with great marks but I decided with a bad back maybe a career in Corrections wasn’t for me. I lost my dreams for a while dealing with an injury takes a lot out of you. I never gave up searching for something that would help ease the pain.

I worked a lot of jobs that were just that-jobs, I got stuck in the cycle of living pay cheque to pay cheque and lost sight of my career dreams. I decided while working to take some online courses in addictions and tried my hand at addictions counseling. I never finished the degree and found it hard to work and go to school. I again repeated the cycle of working dead end jobs that I dreamed of quitting. I pictured the way people quit in movies and I wanted to barge into work and tell them how much I hated it. Once again I decided to go back to school. This time I set my mind on online learning but in medical office administration. I had found my strength and determination and I rocked that degree. After graduation before I had even received my degree, I sent off my resume and had many job interviews. I was determined to get into the hospital where my mother and aunt both worked. I got an interview and I said “I am going to get the job”. I am proud to say my determination paid off, I got the job. I have been at the hospital for almost 9 years now. I love my job, I love the places I work, I have amazing co-workers, and I get the opportunity to work in different departments every shift. This job has changed my life. Growing up my mother was a nurse. I always felt like I was destined to help people but I didn’t know how. I knew I didn’t want to be a nurse, I have a weak stomach and working twelve hour shifts terrified me. Sometimes just the stories I heard from my mother made me feel ill.

I started a dream of working from home. I again went back to school, this time I took medical transcription. I finished the degree and started a job from home which I didn’t love, but I was living the dream of working from home. I started working for a hospital out of town this time, it was something new to me, but this job didn’t ignite a passion in me. Back to the drawing board I went. I wish you all could see this drawing board. I have started over countless times but I never stopped dreaming. I have had so many dreams and so many failures. Despite all of my failures and lost dreams I have never stopped moving forward.

I continued to look into counseling, psychology, social work, all different ways to help people. I didn’t want another job working for someone else. I wanted to work for me; I wanted to be my boss. For years I have been dreaming of how to take my experiences in life and empower others to live their greatest lives. I wanted to share with you my strengths, weakness, victories and failures. I have so many stories to share. I have never given up. I always had my Opa saying “Do your best and if you best isn’t good enough fuck it”.

I first came upon the idea of life coaching through a podcast. I often listened to podcasts while brainstorming what to do next in my life. My drawing board was getting messy! One podcast in particular grabbed my attention and I felt like this guy was talking to me about what I wanted to do in my life. I immediately googled his name to see what he’s all about and what do you know he was coming to a city near me to certify life coaches. I didn’t sign up until the last minute, I think I even paid extra because I was at the drawing board and working out the financial part but I jumped in I thought no this is my calling. Nothing is going to stop me. This is what I am destined to do. I love the idea of helping you reach your goals. This is a job I love. Get in touch with me now and let’s make your drawing board dreams into your reality.

Thank you to my coaching clients and thank you to those of you reading my blogs.