Sunday, May 20, 2007

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat - by Aleah

My sister Claire and I were in a concert at school with our new music teacher, Mrs. Powell. During the concert, Claire sang a whole song by herself called "Meanwhile back in Canaan" and I sang many songs in the chorus. I liked "Pharaoh's Dreams" best. I get really nervous in front of an audience, so it was a bit scary. I had fun, but I wouldn't want to be in Claire's part. Gillian also sang and she gets nervous too. Claire does a bit, but not too much.
The first night was amazing because it had Cast 1 with the older kids and Joseph was played by a girl, Amanda. She was really good and she acts in the Little Theatre. She's going to be in the Annie sequel as the nanny. My mom and dad came to both concerts and my Aunt Brenda and Aunt Dawn came to the last one. And then we had a bit of a party to celebrate after. Now I'm going to make my own blog called Earth to Aleah.
Photo: Gillian, Claire and me on closing night

Saturday, May 19, 2007


My four-year old nephew Ben is a going concern. Smart, articulate, intense, energetic. He knows what he wants, what he likes and he is acutely focused on achieving both as much as he possibly can. As a four-year old, he doesn't yet grasp that his needs and those of others have to be factored into that equation as well. While his parents or other adults may be considering these needs - to Ben they are simply not providing what he wants and likes, at that moment.

He is well aware of the word "patience" and knows its definition. And especially since the arrival of younger brother Matthew almost two years ago, he has learned to practice it - somewhat. I love his response when you ask him to have patience - the sigh, the roll of the eyes, the exasperated "I know." Who doesn't know what that feels like - even if you're decades beyond the age of four?!

Patience is a virtue that allows us to more fully appreciate that which we want and like and even need, but must await. It's an opportunity to live in the moment, mindful of more than just ourselves and our own priorities.

And how wonderful it is when we can fully enjoy ourselves once the patient part is over. Right Ben?!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Life is good.

Though I have to stop getting the inspiration to contribute these postings at midnight!

That said, here's to life! Nature's in full bloom, friends & family are always there, and love is in the air. What more can we ask for?

Monday, May 14, 2007


It took me many years to grasp the concept that relationships - all relationships - are ever-changing. I remember being hit by an image one day when I saw what this actually looked like in black & white form. The vision was startlingly clear and consisted of an actual, linear grid - very odd for an intuitive type (INFP in Myers Briggs language) - as I tend to think in organic, grey form.

Conceptually the realization went something like:

Relationships change from moment to moment, from year to year. When people interact with one another, a resulting sense of rapport is determined by a wide variety of factors including the nature or type of the relationship, the stage of the relationship, and internal and external influences. Joko a Japanese zen writer used the metaphor that you can only enter the same river once, as its flow and environment and the person entering the river will never be exactly the same again. So regardless of what has happened before, each encounter with someone is fresh, new and dependent on our ability to experience it in the moment.

This notion was an epiphany to me for two reasons.

One: Regardless of the fact we may share the same experiences, we are all applying our different lenses and filters resulting in unique images and understanding.

Two: Relationships are subject to constant evolution. We cannot take any one for granted. We can be heartened that although a relationship is experiencing difficulties at a given time there are many factors which can influence a positive outcome. And we must also realize that any positive relationship can be lost under the influence of these same factors. Relationships are not fixed. Nor are they guaranteed to last, to be good or bad, healthy or dysfunctional, inspiring or deflating. They simply are.

This was an important lesson at the time as I was coming to terms with the fact that you cannot trust everyone. As much as we would all love to be surrounded by loving, compassionate and harmonious interactions, that is not the world we live in. So, I came to understand that:

- All relationships are different and should be considered independently - even when they are part of larger groups

- The nature of relationship is fluid – no one will remain exactly the same over time as long as we open our minds, hearts and eyes to what is in the present

- Ideally, they are guided by our inner wisdom and balance, personal boundaries, mutual respect, and compassion

- Authentic engagement is based in truth, integrity and driven by a personal value system

- Neither person in an authentic relationship should be externally driven, reactionary nor accommodating at the expense of their own needs and values and shouldn't expect that of the other

These thoughts have been on my mind, as I focus on re-connection, and new connections as consciously as I can. It is amazing to see what were established childhood relationships in a whole new light. It's always enlightening to experience the deepening of friendships that last through difficulties, separation or geographic distance. And it's exciting to anticipate the next stage in all relationships whether foundational or brand new!

Party Girls

This past Saturday, my two sisters and I hosted a celebration of our sister-in-law Dawn's 40th. It was a chance for 10 "girls" to get away from kids and partners for a few hours of laughter, good food, chocolate and drinks. Plus the two canine gals - Maggy and Ginger of course. It was a lot of fun and especially so as many there really needed it. Life has a way of throwing challenges at us - and it helps to have our female friends to help us through. Therapy with a hangover.

It's especially enlightening to join this group - many of whom have known each other for many years. I'm more an honorary member as I'm older (a bit) than the others and haven't lived here since leaving for university. My shared experiences since then have consisted of brief holiday appearances, hellos and updates from family. Now that I can play a different, more consistent role, it feels good.

For Maggy too - as the party was a success for her as well. She happily hung around everyone enjoying the attention, lying in the grass, then calmly, surreptitiously nabbing a snack from one of the trays, barely making a sound or motion. We were all surprised and impressed at the same time - until she tried it again and we shut her down. Once was a party trick, twice was uncouth!

Overall, all the girls appeared to have a good night.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Life has settled down somewhat and I can now really focus on my career game plan - you know establishing objectives, targets, milestones in a very left-brain way.

Trouble is I've been enjoying the social, fun, creative right-brain approach to life for the past few months and it's kind of a drag to have to do this. Don't get me wrong, time and project management are what I actually do for a living so it's not too much of a stretch. That said, the sunshine and Maggy are calling so off we go outside for now. It's supposed to rain tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Bon Voyage!

Less than 24 hours from now my parents will depart for a 15-day cruise. It has been a long time coming and is more than well-deserved. They've just finalized the sale of my dad's company of 25 years and are heading off to relax. And celebrate!!

Thank goodness - for them, for family who've lived this impending sale for the past year and a half and for me and the pooches who are looking forward to some relaxation too! One of the benefits of having moved here is that I could assist with this process over the past few months. That said, there have been some tense times as the negotiations and legal and accounting details were being hammered out.

Thankfully, we can all now move on. While Dad will continue to work with the new owners, he's free of the administration and other tedious stuff that interfered with the real fun of meeting with his clients/friends and golfing. Now that's what he can focus on til he decides full retirement is the way to go. A very nice transition and he gets to see his "baby" live on and flourish as well. And my mom's retirement can now be focused on family, friends and fun as she lets go of her role in the company as well.

So, after a wonderful time away, they'll return rejuvenated to (hopefully) warm and sunny weather, flowers abloom, backyard pool open, a long-weekend party AND there'll be no looking back.

Seems like 2007 truly is shaping up to be the year of change, evolution and new beginnings. Happy sailing Mom & Dad!