Where’s the “Off” Switch?

Lately, I’ve come to a rather disturbing conclusion in that I find it impossible to do “nothing”.  The one thing that so many people long for seems to be something I can not accomplish.  I know I used to be able to do this without effort, which is why this bit of news is so disturbing to me.

I’ve tried.  Many, many times, have I tried.  Especially on weekends.  I start each Saturday or Sunday with the best intentions of just getting up, grabbing a toast and coffee, and then sitting down and just reading (that’s truly my definition of doing “nothing” – not having any pressing matters to allow myself the luxury to just “read”).  At most, I can get in about an hour’s worth. While also making breakfast for the kids. While also doing some minor kitchen chores. So, in effect, it’s “interrupted” time.

Then, when I get to the bottom of my coffee mug, I suddenly (instinctively?) feel that my time of leisure is up and I have to get cracking on taking care of the household weekend chores (you know the kind). Even when there isn’t anything that requires my immediate attention, I feel guilty about taking any further time to myself. After all, there just aren’t that many hours in a weekend and shouldn’t I be doing something more important with my time?  You know, like playing with the kids, or getting outdoors, tackling some renovation chores, maybe groceries, etc, etc?

It’s a little insane if you ask me.  The entire work week is so jam-packed that everything happens in that manner: one to-do item after an another being handled, taken care of, rescheduled, or added. Going full-tilt like that from the moment I walk in until the  moment I leave (which does not take into account the rushing to get in and the rushing to get home). Heck, just today I walked into my team area and stated how surprised I was to see so many people there during the lunch hour. I was quickly informed that lunch was an hour ago and my brain almost shut down at the fact that 6 hours had already passed since I walked in.

I guess another thing that doesn’t really help is that the evenings fly just as fast. From walking through the door to getting through supper and whatever comes next (twice a week now being soccer for the kids) followed by bath and bedtime, it’s a quick blink of anywhere between 2 and 3 hours. That just doesn’t feel like quality enough time to spend with your family. You see why I’m looking for the Off switch?  So we could all just stop (or at least slow down enough) and enjoy the moments that are all too short in life…

Is it any wonder that the best part of our family vacations (that we try hard to ensure we have every year) involve us heading into the “woods” somewhere and spending a long weekend removed from everyday life (including the internet, television, and all those trappings!) so we can recharge ourselves and our family with just a log cabin and our thoughts for company?  Whatever the cost, those moments are just priceless…

Now, I just have to hang on for another month before we can enjoy this year’s outing…


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Travellin’ man

I have to say I’m a little surprised at how tiring these short jaunts to Toronto have been. I never thought a one hour flight/ commute would be as tiring as they’ve been, but there you go. The last few day trips were somewhat hard but I used to think it was mainly due to the hours of the flight (ie; I would get up early -thus a short night- and go full out until it was time to head back home) which usually meant 15 hours from leaving home to getting home.

This week, as there was a lot of work to be done, I stayed for 2 days. Sure enough, the first night I was *so* wiped I ended up falling into a deep sleep at 930pm and went right through until 630am! Woah! I woke up pretty refreshed and ready to tackle another day.

Day 2 was just as busy (if not more so) and before I knew it, time to fly home.  Guess what? I landed in Montreal and was completely wiped again!  Sure, the flight was one of the not-better ones I’ve had (which is weird considering the 767-300 flights I’ve been on have generally been smooth) but that wasn’t enough to tire me out. However, sure enough, I was hit with giant fatigue and headache. Sigh.  Here I am the next day and my head still feels like it’s been used to bang a gong. 🙂

I guess, in the end, I’m just going to have to learn to plan my flights a little better – otherwise I’ll end up needing to swallow down more Advil than I already do! 🙂  All in all, though, I love what I do so much and being part of the ground floor  Agile project plans are always extremely exciting, so no way am I complaining! 🙂


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Random Thought Bubbles

Today was such an incredibly busy day that there was absolutely no time to think about anything in any “long” fashion.  So, my brain simply jumped from thought to thought as I tried to chop off as many items from my to-do list as possible.  After all, with a new employee starting today and the US being on holiday tomorrow, I had to ensure she was technically operational today.  Especially as I’m flying off to Markham tomorrow (and back on Thursday night).  I’ll be missing Charlize’s soccer game tomorrow night and Kyle’s on Thursday night but it couldn’t be helped at this point 🙁

Wow, another point in just how scrambled my brain is today – I had a number of thoughts and ideas I wanted to relate quickly just about an hour ago.  But now, after starting to pack and getting the kids to bed, my short term recollection has decided to take a vacation.  Which can only truly mean one thing: I need to get some sleep.  Although not an extremely early flight, I’ll still be getting up at 5am to be ready.

More tomorrow, probably from the airport lounge 🙂


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Canada Day Celebrations

In thinking back on how we celebrate Canada Day there are always 2 things that stand out for my family: Biking and BBQ.  Every year as we enjoy the holiday, we naturally seem to find ourselves outside.  Whether or not it has to do with the fact that it’s usually sunny, we’re always drawn outdoors and that always translates into biking. Afterwards, a good BBQ of either burgers or giant franks just tops it off 🙂

This year, along with the usual, we also took advantage of my in-laws pool to cool off before the Euro cup final (disappointing as that match was). The biggest treat, however, was that this Canada Day was the day that Kyle decided he would no longer have training wheels on his bike! Yup, we took them off and he was determined to ride :). It was great to see him try over and over until he had the hang of it :). Chantale got some good shots of him but I don’t have them with me to share at the moment 🙂

Heck, even this morning as we went back out again, he didn’t need my help at all! He took his bike and off he went :). A nice early morning outdoor playtime.

Ps- in Casey news, she seems to be doing so much better! No more illness, a good appetite, and no real accidents overnight. In fact, this morning also had no blood in her first stool. Fingers still crossed that no real damage was done to her insides because of that medication.

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Rough night for puppy

One of the things we had been looking forward to this weekend was that outside of the Eurocup final on Sunday, there was nothing planned but lazing around and relaxing. This morning was supposed to stretch as long as possible in “lounge” mode, as a start.  Well, that’s not at all how it was.

Last night, while Chantale and I were watching Smallville season 7, Casey suddenly got up from her bed and was sick.  Chantale got her outside while I cleaned up the mess and when they came back in, we were a little concerned but hoped she would be okay. After all, she had eaten and seemed to be in good spirits.

Before long we were all asleep and then at 5am, Chantale and I jump out of bed when we hear Casey vomiting. Again, she takes her outside while I start cleaning when we find that sometime in the previous 4 hours, Casey had the runs downstairs!

Lots and lots of cleaning and disinfecting later, the pooch had been sick over and over, even with blood in her liquid stools. What a morning. Chantale investigated Casey’s medication and found tons of online postings of the large number of dogs this stuff has apparently eaten up. Metacam? Wow. Pain medication that can kill you.

We spent the morning keeping an eye on her while Chantale cooked various meals like ground beef and rice hoping the dog would stop being sick. The food has been staying in and Casey looks better (I gauge that by her tail wagging) so we’re trying to make her rest. We left a message with her Vet but haven’t heard back yet.

We’re just hoping nothing is seriously wrong internally…



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Acupuncture for Dogs

Casey had been acting extremely lethargic ever since the weekend.  Absolutely no appetite, sleeping most of the time, just no energy to do anything.  I could get her to come to me for a quick hello (which everyone else had trouble doing) but she would quickly turn around and go back to her bed.

We couldn’t figure out what it was so after going through a long period of the shakes yesterday morning, we managed to get an emergency visit with her vet in the afternoon.  Casey did get an energy boost from being at DMV and smelling all the animals there, but when we did get to meet with the vet, she could not really give a full diagnosis outside of Casey being slightly dehydrated and having a sensitive back.

Some may not remember, but Casey had a herniated disk three years ago and we managed to heal her by using Acupuncture instead of a $5,000 very-risky-and-not-guaranteed surgery.  I thought I had written about all this but the only two instances I found of this period was in these two posts:



I had ended that last post with the note that we were going to see a vet but never followed up with what happened.  Basically, after we considered all our options, we went forward with Acupuncture as a treatment plan and she responded extremely well to it!  In fact, after a couple of weeks, she was pretty much “completely” healed.  Acupuncture suddenly seemed like magic to me 🙂

Anyhow, we did give her another treatment yesterday and we saw an immediate change in her.  It is always funny to see how she pretty much “melts” into my arms as I keep her from doing whatever she can to remove the needles, though 🙂  Before we left, we also gave her a kind of re-hydration treatment (electrolytes injected just under her skin which got absorbed by her body during the evening).  Her appetite also improved so now we’re just going to keep an eye on her and check back in a week.

All this to say that considering what we went through 3 years ago, it’s wonderful (looking back now) that we were able to get all this time together and that this form of medicine has had a lot to do with it! 🙂


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Potter Musings

Kyle is a short month shy of turning 7 years old.  And guess what he’s been asking for ever since School finished last week? He wants us to read him Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as fast as possible (or at least a chapter a night) so he could be allowed to watch the first movie! 🙂

See, we always had this agreement with James and Melyssa as they were growing up (and as the HP books were being published) that they would be allowed to see the movies provided they would finish reading the books.  Seeing as James was the same age-ish as Harry, he got caught up quickly and able to read on his own.  Kyle is not yet there although he can read and make out sentences 🙂  It would just take too long.  Plus, if anyone has ever read to a child before, you know how satisfying it is to get them caught up in their imagination where they visualize what you’re speaking 🙂

Anyhow, we’ve been doing this every day with him and the amount of questions that keep coming out of him are hysterical. He asks questions we know the answers to, and gets a little frustrated when I tell him that “we haven’t learned that answer yet in the story” and to just wait a little longer 🙂  Heh.

Of course, he being such a sensitive little soul, the biggest trouble he had with the beginning of the book was why the Dursley’s were SO mean to Harry.  He got so sad hearing about another little boy (who’s supposed to be a hero!) being so mistreated by his “family” !

Another interesting part (for me, personally) is remembering just how much was changed (or rather shortened) from the book to the movie. That’s the part I’m also getting a kick out of.  But, there’s nothing that beats sitting on my chair in my bedroom, small light open by the nightstand, Kyle sitting on my lap intently listening, as we delve back into a world of magic 🙂

What a wonderful adventure 🙂

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Out of darkness…

Years ago, I could never have imagined myself not being online on a regular basis.  And the definition of “regular basis” for me really meant blogging, interacting with friends, reading, etc.  When Facebook came around and blogging (at least the reading of blogs) took a hit, I understood but at least kept up my own writing.  With Twitter, nothing really changed.  Slowly, though, I did find myself staying away for longer periods of time and yet although I was still online, I was more in an observer mode.

I’d read Twitter feeds, or some Facebook feeds and outside of sharing photos on FB, I had no time for anything else.  Every couple of weeks I’d log into my blog and read what others were up to, but, again, not being able to put any thoughts down. I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten until I went looking through my blog this week, looking for posts on the asthma-trauma we’ve had to deal with as a family. As I had become an Asthma Ambassador for the Asthma Society of Canada, I was asked to share some stories and I knew I’d find them here.  I had to go back two years to find something!  What?  How could that be, I asked myself?

Sure enough, the true realization that all those pretty little conversations I’ve had in my head for the last couple of years have only BEEN in my head.  Wow.  Sure, I’ve lived through periods in my life when I felt I had no time to keep up and managed to tweak some form of anything on a semi-regular basis.  At one point, I even tried blocking time on a daily basis just so I could take a moment and “escape” the daily routine.  Eventually, it cleared up and things went back to normal.  But this drought?  Not acceptable to me.  So many magical moments gone unrecorded – even if in private.  I have to fix this, and I shall.  No more waiting for tomorrow, no more waiting for a specific point in time “when things will happen”.  Yes, yes, Yoda, I know.  Do or Do Not.  Sometimes, it’s still a lesson to be (re) learned 🙂

Now, let me post this so I can start to draft out some future posts as well.  After all, I’ve got some catching up to do!


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It’s been a month??

A month since my last post?  Really?  Wow.  I know I was struggling with finding/ making/ bribing time to write something here, but to not even be able to complete the 3 drafts still waiting to go out… phew.

Take-away from all this? I’m a heck of a lot busier than I thought I was going to be! Full-on mad rush of a month was March but now that it’s finally over, I’m hoping to be able to breathe a little easier. We’ll see how that works out.

Maybe if I ever manage to actually take time out for lunch I could use it to throw down some digital thoughts…


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Hiding in the Wild

Greetings Earthlings!

Okay, not really 🙂 I just feel like I’ve been offline for so long that I may as well have been on another planet 🙂

I’m still in the process of re-integrating myself into everyday life here in NDIP and I must say it’s been really, really busy.  It’s taken me over 2 weeks to get a semblance of order restored in my workday -to a point where I don’t feel I’m constantly running- and I think we’re getting there in the home life, too.

See, one of the first things that we’ve been working on at home is an early Spring Cleaning, starting with new furniture! So, a few new commodes, plus some shifting around of the other ones, the throwing out of a lot of old clothes (or rather, bringing it to goodwill), and just getting our home cozy again.

All of which pretty much guarantees a shortened online presence.  Heck, even my social media time has been greatly limited. Oh yes, and speaking of Social sites, I just recently joined a new community that a good friend of mine (Paul) brought to my attention: Cowbird.

I’ve only just started using it, trying to find my voice, but you can see my pages here: http://cowbird.com/author/mike-aragona/#

Gotta run, back later!

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