Archive for May, 2017

A funny thing has been happening for the last couple of years.  I’ve been happy more often than angry. More often than frustrated. More often than sad. I mean, I’m just happy most of the time.  My kids have noticed.  Shawn has definitely noticed.  

I think a lot of it comes from letting go of the conflicts in my life.  I don’t harbour things, I speak on them. And I don’t keep trying to please everyone else. And I stopped obsessing about needing everyone to like me.  I let go of people who are mean, or rude, or careless with my feelings or the feelings of my loved ones.  It’s beautiful and liberating. 

I’m also living in the moment more.  I’m enjoying my home, which I worked hard for, my children, who continue to amaze me all the time and my marriage, which has never been better.   

Today was actually a perfect day.  I spent the day with my family laughing, cooking, dancing, playing, singing and walking.  I’ve been happy all day.  Shawn and I went out to meet some friends for coffee this evening and although it took us a few years, we’ve really found our community of friends here and they’re wonderful. 

As I get older, I’m getting better at recognizing the value of seizing the moments of joy and bliss in life and living as much in the moment as possible.  And the more I do that, the more I model it for the kids. 

I’m in the best place in my life that I think I’ve ever been and I can’t help but sharing. We never know what tomorrow will throw at us. 


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Burning out

I’m pretty sure every adult I know knows what is meant by the term “burn out”. Simply put,  it is running out of gas physically,  emotionally, mentally  or a combination of all three.   I know the platitudes,  I tell them to my kids often.  You can’t pour from an empty cup, you can’t effectively help others if you don’t help yourself,  etc etc.  But, also a trait of many adults,  I’m better at dispensing advice than I am at following it.  

Except for today.   Today I am burnt out.  Today, I recharge my batteries.  

Rest, read, recoup.   And take my time. Tomorrow I can fire on all cylinders again.  Today, I say no to everyone else and yes to me.  

100% best thing I’ve learned to do as a woman in my forties.  

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When I was little, grade school little, I did ballet in summer school.  That was back when there was more to do in summer school than just make up classes. You could take dance or gymnastics or second language classes.  I think I only did it one summer, because I would up eventually doing gymnastics and then soccer, then Irish dancing. But I remembered the ballet.  

My cousin Monica had a poster in her bedroom wall of a ballerina leaning down to tie her slippers and man, I wanted to be that girl.  The photo was blown out with light to make it all glowy and ethereal and it was so beautiful.   In my head, I would take it up again, put on those pointe shoes, and immediately be as good as Karen Kain.  I was sure of it.  

But life had other plans for me and I did not become a prima ballerina.  Nor a broadway star, famous singer, fashion designer or famous writer.  (Im still working on that last one). Instead I had a family.  I watched my own children find which stars they wanted to hitch their dreams to and I helped them whenever and however I could. 

A funny thing happens when you get older and the kids start being adults. You start getting nostalgiac. And I did.  All those old dreams have come slipping back into my thoughts and now, instead of oh well, I’m starting to think, why not? 

I asked my hubs about buying me a pair of ballet slippers as a gift.  He wanted to know why and I simply said, because I want them. Okay not simply, we had many discussions over a few weeks.  He thought I was kind of kidding. Or being silly.  So one day I posted on Facebook that I wanted him to buy them and my friends all chimed in that he should. I know, I could have bought them for myself.  But, something inside me wanted him to do it.  (I also bugged him for tap shoes, but, as it did when I was young, ballet won).  My friends responses were wonderful and that night we went online together and picked out a pair of soft shoes and a pair of pointe.  

Since I had posted about this on Facebook, it became the topic of discussion among some of my work friends. So naturally, the day they arrived, I sent pictures.  

What a day!  I had to put them on of course.  I immediately changed into tights (nude because I didn’t have the pale pink ones) and a pair of bike shorts, because I don’t have a leotard.  I didn’t break the box first and I laced them wrong but they were mine and they were on my feet.  And I was so happy.  I even stood up on pointe for a few seconds. 

The other day, as I was leaving work, my friend Christie asked me the question I’ve been asked a few times now.  Am I taking lessons? Nope. Then, why the shoes? 

Because they make me happy.  

If I can have a few moment of that childhood dream, why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t any of us?  I think as we get older we sometimes forget it’s still okay to be a dreamer. Who can blame us?  There is just so much to be serious about in today’s world. There is so much to worry about, to stress out over and to get angry, offended or cry about.  So I’m trying to make an active effort to choose happy as often as I can.  I choose dreams and silliness and laughter. 

I choose to dance. 

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When my first book came out, I had a small publisher in Ontario. I was thrilled, as any author is with their first book. The publisher helped get me events in the local Chapters and I was off to the races. But times change and my small publisher closed down and I took my work back into my own hands, so to speak.  

I have four books out now and I have been blessed to have developed relationships with the local bookstores where I live.  

Our local Coles is hosting me for the second time this saturday. As a self published author, I find myself asking and asking again for support from friends and family alike. Support means the world to authors like me.  I order my own books in, have them shipped to my house and convince stores to take them on consignment. Believe me, I don’t write for the money, I do it because I love it.  

So, I thought, what can I do back?  Today I posted on Facebook that I’ll be donating $2 from each book sold in store on Saturday to Romero House, a local organization that serves meals to those who need it locally, amid their other work.  Because I also want to support. I want my kids to see that it’s important to give as we receive. 

But I want to take it further.  Whenever I make a sale through Amazon, I make about $3.50 in royalties. 

This weekend, I will also add $1 donation to Romero House for each book sold on Amazon or Kindle.  

You can find my author page here: https://www.amazon.com/Nuala-Reilly/e/B00J1HZ67U

So, allow me to ask for support from you, dear friends, and I will in turn put some back into my city.  

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