Monday, July 28, 2014

Launch Yourself On Every Wave

"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this."
 - Henry David Thoreau

Sometime life can make you feel sick.

It can throw you loops that you don’t see coming.

It scares the living shit out of you…makes you feel exposed…makes you really, really uncomfortable.

And if it doesn’t?

If your life makes you feel safe 100% of the time?

Well then perhaps you should consider the thought that you may not really be living.

OK. So you may be literally alive.

But are you really living the life you want? The life you deserve? The life that encompasses at least some of your hopes and dreams?

Think about it.

No. I mean REALLY think about it for a sec.

In fact…give it a few secs if you will.

Frickin’ humour me.

Anything worth doing usually involves a degree of risk…a chance of getting hurt…a requirement to be somewhat vulnerable.

You want to have a baby? Think of all that could go wrong. Think of all of the responsibility. Think of the cost. Think of the lack of sleep. Think of all the things that would have to change in your life.

Does that mean you should remain in your safe, little life and not have a child?

You want to leave your unfulfilling job and go after your dream career? What if you fail? What if the money isn’t there? What if you don’t like the job as much as you though you would?

Does that mean you resign yourself to doing the same, boring thing, all day, every working day, until you retire?

You want a life partner…a soul mate? Think of finding someone who seems to fit you like a glove. Think of navigating the inevitable ups and downs and compromises that relationships entails. Think of loving that person so much you can’t imagine life without them. Think about losing them.

Does that mean you should live on your own for the rest of your life? Not experience the awesomeness that is a great love?

Really take a few quiet moments and think about these examples.

Where are you in your life and where are you taking reasonable risks and where are you holding back or running for cover out of fear of the unknown?

I mean, listen. I get it.

Change is difficult.

But change can also be dynamic and exciting.

You can either stay in one place…doing the same thing…with the same people…feeling the same one-dimensional emotion...feeling safe.

Or you can make some moves…follow your heart…take a leap of faith…live your life!

Because….quite frankly…eventually you’ll be dead.

And that could be tomorrow.

Seize the day.

Carpe Diem.

As Henry David Thoreau said, “Launch yourself on every wave.”

And why not start now?

That is all we are guaranteed.

And I’m stoked.



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Goodbye Friend

"Gaily I lived as ease and nature taught,
And spent my little life without a thought,
And am amazed that Death, that tyrant grim,
Should think of me, who never thought of him."
 - Rene Francois Regnier

It’s different when you don’t see it coming.

Like an arrow to the heart, it hits you and yet the hole is somehow plugged. The blood does not immediately pour out.

There is a period of shock…of numbness.

Is this really happening? Are they really gone?

Is he really dead?

I just lost a close friend very suddenly.

My friend Phil. 

He was seemingly in perfect health, but suffered a heart attack while driving and his car smashing into a wall.

He was killed instantly.

It was the day before his 42nd birthday.

He is the one who died but I feel like the one who has had the life sucked out of them. 

He and I were closer than most of our mutual friends ever knew. He was a confidant…a shoulder…a rock…and a kindred spirit.

He was funny, kind, sweet, a hopeless romantic a great actor and someone who was passionate about life and about the people he cared about. 

I loved him.

So many people did. 

He was one of those people that had a way about him. He could make anyone feel like the most important person on earth. His leaving this world so soon is a tragedy for many.

I am just trying to figure out how to process the news. I have never had anyone close to me killed suddenly before. That whole “but I just SPOKE to him!” feeling is surreal. Because I did. I just spoke to him. And now he’s gone.

How can he be gone?

I know I’m not special. In fact, I am probably special in that I have been lucky enough to get through almost 42 years of life without losing a friend in this sudden way before.

But it frickin hurts. 

One minute I feel OK and then I am reminded of what happened and I get pins and needles and my heart races and my stomach drops. The tears come. Why did this happen to him? Why HIM?


That is the elusive question. And the “What if”? It is enough to drive one crazy.

But all is not fair in life and death. Shit like this happens. But it just doesn’t happen to my friends.

Not until last week.

And there really is no point to this post other than just getting my feelings out. I always write when I am going though anything emotionally trying and this is certainly no exception.

I could try and have a point. I could try and tie this all up in a nice, pretty bow.

But there is nothing pretty about it.

The only beauty is in my memories. But those are the memories that make me cry even harder right now.

I know I need time.

I know time heals.

But for now I find solace in my loved ones. The people who ARE here. The people who I love. The people who wrap their arms around me.

Because it’s cold. It feels so cold.

I miss you Phil.

Rest in peace sweet friend. 

I know I have an angel in you.


Friday, June 20, 2014

I Can Feel the Sun

"Little darling, it's been a long, cold lonely winter. Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here. Here comes the comes the sun. And I say...It's all right."
- From "Here Comes the Sun" (The Beatles) 
It was a long, long, loooooooooooooong winter. So much cold. So much snow.
So little sun.

So much ash to wash away after the slow burn of several years of fanning embers that probably should have been left to go dark years earlier.
But with the heat comes the refreshing splash of the sea during that first walk on the beach.

The water strips the ash…slowly but surely…and reveals a new and often stronger skin beneath.
When enough of that ash is washed away, skin and sun meet and the warmth radiates within.
And then boomerangs back into the universe.
I can feel the sun.

I never lost complete sight of that light…but oh how dull it was for a while.
It was like being at the bottom of a dry water well without a bucket to help with the escape. A little stream of hope shone in once in a while…teasing to reach in and pull me into its soothing embrace…and yet no.

The trenches of life are a lonely place to live 
But we all must visit from time to time.
We all must mourn. 
We all must grieve.
And being that low into the ground…and then slowly, slowly, slippery, slidy, slowly…climbing back out?
Well it ain’t easy peeps. It can be a long and torturous journey. For some, much longer than others.
But the important thing as that you keep climbing. One step up, five stumbles down.
Just keep moving.

Cry cleansing tears. Like the sea, they help to wash away that ash.
As the challenge of the journey is what makes the light at the top that much brighter.
Hold that thought as you travel.
Because then eventually…gently…beautifully…
The sun will shine again.


Monday, May 26, 2014


"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."
 - Maria Robinson

Well has been a long while since I've written here.

And this won't be a long post...but I wanted to offer you all a little update.

Because I know you all been on the edge of your seats wondering about me.

"Where is Lora, The Hugging Home chick?!?!?? haven't?

Gee...thanks a frickin' truck load!

Now that's not very nice peeps! ;)
2013 and 2014 thus far have been difficult years for me. 

But things are starting to turn around.

Ear worm alert!

Decided to separate after a long relationship and marriage and three beautiful boys. Sold our home. Bought my own home. Told the kids about the separation. Got through the summer somehow. 

Signed a legal separation agreement on amicable terms. Moved into my new (to me!), four BR townhouse. Experienced the high of starting a new life. Got into a relationship way too wonderful of a person that he was. 

Crashed around Christmas time. Got pneumonia. Found out my immune system was shot due to not stopping to take care of myself and stress. Found out my body was not absorbing important vitamins like B12. Got depressed. Felt anxious. Was forced to take a long break from work by my doctors. 

Me...looking ravishing with pneumonia.
I can't believe this photo was taken.
I can't believe I am publishing it!

Started getting thrice-weekly vitamin injections, seeing doctors regularly and completely overhauled my diet. Have lost over 40 lbs and counting. 

Decided to break things off with my then-boyfriend. While I cared and still care for him deeply (he is an old friend), it was just not working. 

As of a few weeks ago, I accepted a few date invitations. Simple. A coffee. A drink. Realized I was starting to feel better about things. Not because of the dates...but because I was feeling more confident...willing to put in the effort to go out and have fun. Willing to really try hard to get out of this slump.

Planning to go back to work in the next week or two. Looking forward to getting back into my seeing my co-workers and to helping people through my work.

Had a couple of really good dates this past weekend. With the same person. 

Me...just yesterday.
Looking much healthier and much happier  if I do say so myself.

Will it lead anywhere? Only time will tell. 

But today...I am feeling stronger. I am feeling healthier. I am feeling some happiness and joy again.

Lord knows I have my moments still. We all do.

But today...I am smiling.

See? Smiling again!

And my sparkle...that sparkle that so many people say I have...well...I think it is finally starting to come back.


And for that...I am ever so grateful.



Sunday, March 30, 2014


"Clap your hands if you feel like a room without a roof..." 
- From the song 'Happy' (Pharrell Williams)

I want to clap my hands more often.

I want to be happy.

I want a roof on my to speak.

Life just feels so discombobulated right now. The only good thing about this is that I love the word "discombobulated".

2013 was a rough year...and I had it all planned that 2014 was going to be better.

And I am still hopeful that it will be.

But so far, 2014 has been even harder than last year.

It is like I am stripping back all the layers of "the old me" and trying to get to the core so that I can build myself back up to a new and "better" me.

And I don't mean a better person. I'm a really good person.

I mean a happier, healthier person.

As I have said...mind, body and spirit.

But it's the getting there that is so difficult.

I want to get out and have fun, but I can hardly find the motivation to do a load of laundry.

I want love and companionship, but I have to learn how to be happy on my own before I can be happy with someone else.

I want to get back to work...back to my regular routine, but I don't feel ready.

Not ready.

I want to continue to decorate my home but making simple decisions are to difficult and being off work is a financial pressure. And hanging a new shower curtain just seems like a daunting task right now.

I am lonely and miss my kids when they are with their Dad.

When I am with my kids, I find it very difficult to deal with the chaos and responsibility of three, young boys.

I envy families who are going on fun, family vacations. I envy single, childless people who have so much more freedom that I have.

I look at pretty women with their pretty bodies and beautiful hair and flawless skin and envy them.

I see people who seem happy all the time and wonder what their "secret recipe" is.

Dolphins! Maybe that's what I need!??!?

What keeps me going is my family. My friends. My boys. My commitment to eating healthier and making my health a priority right now.

My desire to create a new life for myself.

I know I am not alone. I know so many people out there have it way, way, way worse than I do.

But right now it is all so confusing. I feel like I don't know what is up or down sometimes.

Having a shower or going to the grocery store or making a meal seem like major accomplishments for me right now.

As I steps.

Baby steps towards "undiscombobulation".

Hey! I think I just found my new, favourite word.

It is a word right?

Well it is now. I invented it.

And I just may give myself a clap for that.



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I'm a Lover and a Fighter

"I've had some dark nights of the soul, of course, but giving in to depression would be a sellout, a defeat." 
- Christopher Hitchens

I am a lover.

I am a fighter.

By these statements I am not saying I am a sex goddess nor am I saying I like to punch people.

I love love. I love my family. I love my friends.

I also love life.

So I'm a lover.

But when you are struggling with depression, loving life is a battle.

Loving life right now is a fight. And I am fighting as best that I can to get my love of life back.

So I'm a fighter.

When depression is pulling me and my life down...I know that I have to fight. I have no choice...unless I want the depression to win.

And I am not going to let it win.

When you have children, an amazing family, great friends, a mortgage, a job...all of these search for anything to motivate and inspire you.

I, myself, also try the "fake it till I make it" thing when I can.

I try my best right now to be the best mom that I can to my three boys. They are motivation personified.

I seek support from family, friends, social media outlets, books, doctors and specialists.

It takes a village. 

I write.

I cry.

I sleep to escape the sometimes near crippling hold that depression can have at times. At least in most of my dreams, things are different.

But in reality, I have real dreams. Real aspirations. Real goals.

So I put on a brave face and try to laugh and smile as much as I can.

Sometime, my smile is my makeup...

My boys make me laugh and I share these moments with friends on Facebook. I share funny memes and still try to be witty and light and funny.

Because what is who I really am. Even though right now my smile often masks how I am feeling inside, I am aware that my depression is masking the "real" me.

My hair as a visual metaphor for my depression.
I know.
Deep shit.

I don't want what I am going though at the moment to define me.

"Lora...the sad, lethargic, depressed chick".

Those who know me well enough, know that I am smart, fun, someone who loves to laugh and make others smile and laugh in return.


So I am fighting to get that "chick" back.

Because I love...I fight.

Because I fight...I love.

Learning to love myself through exercises in self-care, is a slow process...but I am slowly making changes in my life to prove to myself that at the end of the day...I am worthy enough...I am lovable enough...I am awesome fight to get back...

I know I am.

...back to me.

Smiles (authentic ones),


Friday, March 07, 2014

The "Ex" Factor

“When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence,
as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.” 
― Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)

If you have been following, you will know by now that I separated from my husband last year.

It has been an incredibly difficult, trying time.

It still is.

It was an amicable split. We get along quite well.

We are managing to co-parent our three boys as best that we can with minimal arguing.

So here's my question.

When I am referring to my husband - who is still technically my husband as we are not divorced (we are legally separated) - what do I CALL him?

I mean, to people I know and who know him - or at least know of him well enough - I simply refer to him by his name.

If they are not sure who I am referring to - because I simply assumed they knew (he has a very common name) - I tend to fumble a little. "Well...Rob is my "ex"...we are is still la la."

Tongue tied!

But to others...who don't necessarily know his there are proper "label" to use (for lack of a better word)?

For some reason, I hate the term "Ex".

For example, if I were talking to an associate at the office who I don't know very well, and they asked me by the water cooler, "So what are you and you kids up to this weekend?" do I respond?

My go-to in a situation like this is to say "My kids are with their Dad this weekend", for example.

But in general conversation when I am referring to him..."my husband" sounds wrong as we are no longer together. "My soon-to-be-ex-husband" sounds wrong to me too. "My ex" does not sit well with me either. I just don't like the term. It's as if he has been "X"ed out of my life - which he hasn't.

"My boys' dad" seems to insinuate that perhaps we were never married at all.

So what do I say?

I know...this is a little thing...not a big deal.

I would imagine and if and/or when we are actually divorced I will use "my former husband" or something like that.

But for now...things are still fresh. The situation is still raw and new.

Less than a year has passed since we decided to separate. And I was married to him for over 13 years before that and with him for 17 years.

I dunno. This is kind of a ramble...but it's just something that I fumble over.

With many things...I am sure it with become clearer.



Friday, February 28, 2014

Depression: Let's Talk

“When you're lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you've just wandered off the path, that you'll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it's time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don't even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.”  
- Elizabeth Gilbert (author)

Depression is a difficult thing to talk about.

It is also a difficult thing to write about...especially if you are considering actually publishing it.

Any illness that falls under the category of "mental illness" is - if it is something from which you suffer.

While taboos about mental illness have certainly decreased over the years, it seems as though "mental wellness" is what more people focus on.

I am not saying this is a bad thing. Overall emotional and mental wellness is important. Social media is lit up with inspirational quotes from everyone from Chopra to Gibran to famous celebrities to life coaches and motivational speakers.

But sometimes - to someone suffering from a mental illness - particularly depression - the whole "pull up your socks and keep moving" messages can be...well...frustrating.

There are still many a person who believes that depression is more about a "state of mind" rather than a medical issue involving a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Now yes. Like many illnesses and conditions or whatever you choose to call them, there are a myriad of "severities".

Some people suffer from "clinical depression" - which, in short - involves an issue with optimal levels of serotonin in the brain.

Some people suffer from "situational depression" - which involves a depressive state brought on by an event or events in one's life (for example, the death of a loved one, an accident, the diagnosis of another illness/disease, chronic pain, the loss of a job/financial hardship, addiction, the break-up of a relationship/marriage, etc - the list is endless.)

Then there is postpartum depression which is common to mothers after the birth of a baby.

Let me stop here to remind you all that I am not a doctor. Nor a nurse.

I am not here to give you long, detailed information about different kinds of depression, nor do I claim to know all of it.

I don't.

I am here to remind you that depression is very often an "invisible illness".

Someone can look happy on the outside and be crying on the inside.

Someone can seem to have it "all together" when they feel as though everything in their world is falling apart.

Why am I sitting my laptop...reminding you of this?

Well...I am doing this because I have struggled with clinical depression (and anxiety) for the better part of my life.

There I said it.

I am also someone who many people look at and thinks she has is all together.

I post inspirational quotes on Facebook and Twitter. I write about health and wellness and being present and how happiness is all in how you react to what life throws at you.

Photos of me smiling, of my children playing and being silly, status updates and antidotes filled with witty banter about my "crazy yet wonderful" life fill Facebook and this blog.

And I am not in a depressive state all of the time. I have a blessed life. I consider myself extremely lucky.

I have three, beautiful, healthy sons. I have my own home. I have a job I enjoy. I have amazing friends and a family that is probably the best and most supportive family in the world.

I am usually someone who is what many would call a "high-functioning" person who suffers from bouts with depression. I have had ups and downs, but I have been able to manage it (with help) for many years. Sometimes fighting harder than I should have, in retrospect.

But right now I am admitting that I am currently struggling.

Clinical and situational depression, some physical health issues, stress and lots of life change (including the break-up of my 17 year relationship with my husband - the father of my three boys) have resulted in my body finally reaching its limit.

The "what comes first - the chicken or the egg" scenario applies. Did the stress cause my physical symptoms or was it the other way around?

Well...after many consultations with several doctors, it seems it really is a miss-mash of the two.

I am currently on leave from my full-time job - as prescribed by my doctors - to take stock of my health.

I don't like to seem "weak". When I work, I want to be fully present and top-notch. When I parent, I want to be engaged and really there for my kids.

But when it is all that you can do to muster up the physical and emotional strength just to get out of bed in the morning (usually after not sleeping very well - very common when one is depressed and anxious) - it is next to impossible to work and parent effectively.

And so guilt and worry come in to play. And I am a self-proclaimed "guilt and worry" junkie. I want to be the "best employee" and "the best mom" and "the best friend" and "the best daughter"...and the list goes on. And if I don't feel I am doing my "best", then I feel like I am just not doing whatever it is...well enough.

Intellectually, I know that I am good enough.

I know I am a great person, a hard worker, a good mother, a reliable friend and all that wonderful stuff. But lately, this often does not translate over to the emotional side of my inner voice or "critic".

But there is good news.

I am finally....FINALLY...putting myself first - as much as I can.

I have realized that I can't be as effective as I know I CAN be at work or at home or at play unless I take the time to stop and take care of ME.

And I wanted to let you know this because I am sure many of you reading this struggle with similar things.

And I want you to are not alone.

So that's it.

Now the question is...will I actually publish this post?

Will I have the courage to really put it out there?

So much has been written in my personal journals...but will I actually but this out there in the blogosphere?

Well one thing I always venture to do with my writing is to help people. To extend my experiences outward in hopes of making others feel that what they are going through is not something they are experiencing by themselves.

So if you are reading this now...well...there is your answer.


And courage.

I had to put a "Wizard of Oz" reference in here.

These are the four cornerstones that I am addressing to bring myself back to the Lora I know I am.

I'm gonna get my sparkle back.

The one that sparkles.