Aside from the obvious differences, men and women ‘see’ things quite differently. What is priority to one, matters little to the other. For example:

I wake at 7:00am, make my way downstairs and prepare breakfast. I eat my fruit, drink my coffee and and eventually take fruit and coffee up to my wonderful husband. He is sitting up in bed watching the news and is most appreciative of the ‘delivery service’.

I sort some laundry and make my way downstairs with the wash then I tidy up the kitchen and head down to the freezer to defrost something for dinner. Upon seeing no further breakfast is forthcoming, my husband eventually gets up and comes down to make some toast.

I head upstairs where I get dressed and make the now empty bed as I plan out my day. My husband has come back upstairs, gets dressed and moves to his chaise lounge chair, located just outside the bedroom, to read the paper.

I prepare my grocery list and head out for my walk to the grocery store, list in hand. Two hours later my grocery cart piled high with staples, I call my darling husband to pick me up. It takes a few moments for him to answer because he dozed off reading the paper.

Upon returning I put away the groceries and empty the garbage cans in the kitchen and washrooms. As I see my husband heading upstairs, library book in hand, I remind him that we are having company for dinner this evening and suggest he help me prepare the house. He disappears into the garage  and when I next check in on him I see he’s washing the car. (Ok, not necessarily a priority for my dinner party but work is work) He eventually comes in satisfied that he’s done his part and asks, ‘what’s for lunch?’

I make us both a quick sandwich, finish cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms and prepare to mop the kitchen floor, stopping to change the laundry on my way. My husband has now moved to the bedroom so he can watch tv under a blanket – he has a chill.

After the floors are dry I put everything back into the kitchen and run the vacuum through the other rooms, tidying up as I do. Then I hastily set the table. Noting from the local weather forecast that the clear and mild weather isn’t to last until tomorrow I determine this is likely the best time to put out our holiday lights so I head into the garage and spend the next 21/2 hours sorting Christmas lights and stringing them onto our bushes. My husband comes down to make a cup of coffee, steps outside briefly to declare the lights I hung adequate, stops to admire the shiny car, then returns to his chaise, coffee and ipad in hand.

I come inside, having completed my outdoor work, fold my 2nd load of laundry and head upstairs to put things away. It’s late afternoon now and my chores for the day are mostly done so I jump into a shower mentally planning the strategy for my dinner menu. I remind my partner in passing that he still needs to set up the bar and he nods. By the time I get out of the shower my sweetheart has moved back to the bed to watch tv but now the noise of my hair dryer overpowers the sound so he decides this is a good time to go downstairs after all .

Clean and dressed I eventually come down to the kitchen to prepare dinner for our guests only to find the love of my life hovered over the kitchen sink madly scrubbing, and golf balls are drying on towels all over the counter. I note the time and suggest perhaps he finish up this vital task another day, after all it’s almost December so it’s unlikely he’ll need those balls for at least the next 4  months. I remind him also that we have dinner guests arriving in 2 hours and that we really should be getting ready. Oblivious to my sense of urgency, my sweetheart grudgingly packs up his golf balls, putting them and his cleaning supplies on a side counter (so all can see his efforts?) and heads upstairs to shower.

In between chopping, peeling and cooking, I update my banking, paying a few bills, etc. My husband finally comes down showered and dressed, and declares it’s after 5:00 and it’s  been a long day – time for a cocktail.  He sets up the bar in preparation for guests, repositions his bucket of balls so that they’re front and center, and settles into his chair to await our guests while watching the Golf channel.

Our dinner guests arrive and we enjoy a lovely evening. They comment on a delicious meal, lovely table, and even note how pretty the Christmas lights look as they leave. As we tidy up the dishes and head up to bed I notice my husband is unusually quiet. The evening was a success so puzzled, I inquire as to his pensive mood to which he replies, “All that work, the preparation, the toil, and they didn’t even notice how clean my golf balls were!”

***Disclaimer – no husbands were hurt in the making of this blog***

Man cleaning


I was recently in a conversation with friends and the subject of gratitude came up, specifically how there seems to be such a shortage of it today. We are a busy people, all of us, and there’s no shortage of energy expressing all that is wrong in our lives. If only we could expend such energy (gratitude) on what is right in our lives.

Distraction plays a big role here. Time is short and we are much in demand, and it seems it is the negatives in life that catch our attention, i.e. they are the priority, consuming our minds and ultimately weighing us down. We are reminded of everything we don’t have versus everything we do, and too often we take all that is right in our lives for granted, even the bad things, because they too have purpose.

Maybe it’s a symptom of age. I don’t recall myself reflecting daily and giving thanks for all that was good in my life when I was young. In my arrogance I simply assumed it was my right that life was good – I expected life to be good and easy and abundant, and when it wasn’t I blamed everything from God, to destiny, to luck, bad luck. Age and experience have made me a little more conscious of appreciating not only all that is good in my life, but also all that wasn’t. It wasn’t always that way.

When something goes very right it’s easy to celebrate but when something goes wrong how often do we step back and think, “ok, why did this happen, and how can I make it of benefit to me?” We don’t. But we should  because everything happens for a reason and the reason is never to punish us but rather to learn.

I lost my job a few years ago. The circumstances were unpleasant and I didn’t feel I deserved the way I was treated, and in my naive emotional state I honestly thought justice would prevail and I would be exonerated, at the very least supported but the corporate world doesn’t always seek justice. Too often they hide under the guise of ‘a business decision’ or ‘restructuring’ or ‘you’ve simply served your purpose and we’re done with you’. In this case it was more a matter of taking the easy way out and minimizing any public fallout. Releasing me was quicker and less ‘visual’ that dealing with the bigger problem. I went through all the stages, shock, disappointment, anger at the betrayal,,,,,, but not for long, and that surprised me….more even, than the act itself.

In trying to justify the situation in my mind, I had to ask myself if it would’ve been better had it never happened and the answer really shocked me. NO. No, it would not have been better. I realized then that I had been working in a toxic environment and it was slowly killing me. I didn’t see it but friends and family did and they would subtly comment but I wasn’t listening, so fate took the wheel. Or maybe it was destiny or God or I don’t know who (personally I think it was God, but that’s my belief). All I know is that I was forcibly removed from an environment that was hurting my psyche….and it was a good thing because….eventually I was grateful.  I was of the age and position to retire, so I did. That doesn’t make the injustice hurt any less but it did make me reflective. I came to realize that one way or another I had to get out of that environment, and I wasn’t doing it myself, so God, intervened,,,,for my own good.

That experience made me really appreciate everything in my life. I’m in a better place. I spend time with my family, my friends, and I no longer lament the things that supposedly went wrong because from something so very wrong came something so very good, and I found myself feeling something  in this situation I hadn’t imagined ….gratitude. Gratitude isn’t always just about the good things in life, although we should always be thankful for those anyway because they’re just a gift. It’s about evaluating everything in life, measuring its’ worth, appreciating the lesson, and taking stock.

Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for the people in my life, what I have, and where I am. I will never understand the ‘how’ or ‘why’ of some things, but I will trust that they occur the way they do for good reason, and I will always be grateful  for the outcome. Take nothing for granted. Focus on the good, work with the bad, but don’t give it excess energy because it’ll just drain you. Take from ‘the bad’ the lesson and find the positive spin in it because there is always one….look at my story.  Things happen. Life is good.



We all know the egocentric, at least one, surely! That individual who struts like their ‘stuff’ is invaluable to mankind, and their opinion, on anything, is as good as Gods’ word. They do not appear to lack confidence. In fact, they hold themselves a cut above the rest of humanity because they are, after all, ‘special’. On one hand you have to feel a little sorry for them because it must be exhausting to keep up the façade of superiority; on the other you can’t help but admire their sheer gall.

I suppose it’s easy for someone famous to fall into the trap. After enough adoring fans tell you you’re fabulous, you start to believe it and before you know it you’ve catapulted yourself to super stardom and can do no wrong. How often do you see music concerts where the front rows boast any number of screaming women, sobbing, grabbing at anything they can to obtain that coveted souvenir?

I attended such a concert once for Il Divo; four middle aged, handsome men with beautiful voices, singing in harmony. Somehow we had managed to get floor seats, front and centre – we were so close you could almost touch them. It should’ve been a wonderful experience, but it wasn’t. Screaming fans making fools of themselves aside, (I had expected this) I was startled by the behaviour of the performers themselves. Being so close to the stage gave us a good sightline of their faces and I noticed they kept making eye contact with women in the audience, winking as they reached their arms out suggestively to everyone and no one. One in particular kept flexing his eyebrows provocatively at random fans, gazing into our eyes.

Every now and then they’d toss a scarf or towel from around their necks into the audience and smile smugly as women scrambled onto the floor like ants to get them. Ok, am I the only one that thinks this is excessive? I’m probably as big a fan of some performers as anybody and while I admire their talent I don’t need their attitude. In fact I find it insulting when they resort to such practices.

Lose the ego pal. Remember you’re only as good as your fans ‘see you’, and this fan (me) walked away disappointed because my love and adoration for your special talent was only superseded by your own love and adoration for yourself and that’s one cold bucket of ice in the face! I came to hear good music. Don’t resort to suggestive maneuvers and don’t throw your laundry at me. Oh, and you might want to have that eyebrow spasm thing looked at by a good surgeon.

Maybe that’s one price to be paid for fame. It can’t be easy for some to keep their ego in check with fans degrading themselves just to gain their attention. If devotees could keep their ‘accolades’ to a realistic level maybe those famous personalities would be a little more humble (and likeable).

Now big egos aren’t limited to those with fame. You see them every day, everywhere; in the workplace, at school, and without a ‘special talent’ you have to wonder what they base their superiority on. Even the performers I described above; take away their beautiful voices and they’re just, well,,,us!

I think we are all fabulous and we all have talent – maybe not the kind you can market for fame and profit, but an asset; something unique to you that is notable, and while I urge everyone to remain confident in their abilities, don’t lose sight of reality (your limitations), i.e., don’t let it change who you are. There’s a fine line between confidence and conceit – don’t cross it, because the weight of carrying a big ego is exhausting to maintain and comes with a high price to your ‘fan’ base.


Never underestimate the strength of a woman

Throughout the ages women have born the title of ‘the weaker sex’. In fact, I wonder if they were ever justified in owning this descriptive. The physical make up of a woman is typically smaller and less muscular than that of a man, making it possible for them to be physically dominated, but does that mean they are weaker? And that women were automatically cast into submissive roles – how’d that come about?

Taking control of society by brute force was simple for men who flexed their muscle, but how would they have survived in a society ruled exclusively by brain and no brawn? Gone are the days (and thank goodness!) when women were viewed as delicate flowers, brainless, helpless, and in need of protection from a big strong male, because over the years women figured out that if they wanted to raise their profile and independence they needed to flex muscle of a different kind, so they learned how to use the strongest organ in the body; the one that can rule muscle – the brain.

Effective use of thought and strategy gave women the ability to influence their male counterparts, subtly, so the men didn’t even see it. (many still don’t) That’s not to say they had complete control but it certainly gave them a voice in a male dominated world; a voice they otherwise didn’t have.

As I moved through my adult years I experienced and witnessed numerous situations that tested the strength of men and women, mentally and physically, and it changed the way I had been raised to view women. We are most definitely anything but delicate! In fact, I’d venture to say that as we age, women get stronger, probably as a result of the hardships we’d experienced. Men, by contrast, appear to get weaker with age, and not just physically. Maybe that too is a direct result of their life experiences. The difference is how these experiences have manifested themselves in our psyche.

I know of a woman my age, who raised three children, and just as she and her husband planned on retiring to enjoy the fruits of their labour, her sibling died suddenly leaving three young children without parents. One child has special needs and will require supervision and assistance for life. Well past the age to raise a young family, she couldn’t turn her back on these innocent young orphans and took them in, raising a young family all over again. The toll on her husband was visible, despite his acceptance of the situation. She on the other hand, took charge, mustering up the energy of a woman half her age, and gave these children a good home and family. This didn’t come without issues. The challenges of integrating two families, dealing with grief, loss, and resentment, not to mention the financial burden would bring many to their knees, but she did it, and no sooner is she done with raising her second family, than she has to now look after her aging, tired husband and this too she manages, because she can.

I come from a long line of strong women. My mother was a powerhouse and my family and friends have confirmed that I too, apparently, am a force to be reckoned with. I have to admit that for a long time I resented this…and  truth told, I was somewhat embarrassed. I didn’t want to be viewed as a ‘tough’ woman. This reputation made me feel hard and unfeminine. (and I am a girly-girl) Fortunately as I aged I came to realize that what some perceived as tough I saw as strong. The experiences of my life made me stronger, more resilient, and dare I say it….. competent!  And isn’t that what we’re supposed to do, learn from our experiences and put those teachings to good use? If I’m ‘hard’ or ‘tough’ it’s because life handed me situations that required me to either cope or crumble. I chose to cope. (and since when is competency a crime?)

I suppose at the end of the day we all have a choice in determining how we are to be portrayed, and I do not want to be seen as the ‘damsel in distress’; in need of her knight to save her. I’m capable, confident and able to cope…..and proud of it! And if my knight (or my children) ever need a powerhouse in their moment of weakness (because we ALL have them), I hope they know I can handle it.

I am woman….hear me roar!

strong woman.jpg