I still need her…

I never thought I would say those words. I never thought I would feel this way. I had been dreading it. I was able to avoid it this whole time – it’s almost been 6 years – but finally, I said it, “I don’t have a Mum.” Sigh.

Now that I’m dating an adult AS an adult, I’m faced with things that I am not completely comfortable with honestly. I don’t feel sure of myself. This isn’t a teenage romance. This isn’t easy. There are so many things to consider: me, him, his children, my child, scheduling, blending of the families, everything. Not just externally, either, but in my own mind and heart. It’s challenging. There are so many ways things that can go wrong and get sidetracked. New Boyfriend and I do talk A LOT about everything and try to do right, but still, there are no guarantees and we don’t feel sure about everything all the time. We’re just doing the best we can. Remember when you were young and you meet someone, you like them and then you’re just ‘together’, the end. Those days are over! hehehe

Now is the time I wish Mum was still here, you know? I don’t know what it would be like and honestly, the person I am today is actually because she hasn’t been here, so if she was here, would I be me and would I be in this situation? I don’t know. All I know is that with this new relationship, I want to do the right thing and I want to make good choices, but how can I be sure? My mum often seemed to know what the right thing was…not always, but often.

I was talking to a coworker about New Boyfriend and she was literally GRILLING me about him and us and I thought, “Whoa!” The funny thing is that it’s been a long while since anyone actually gave a damn in that way. The way only a mother can: the no holds barred, I don’t care if it’s private, I still want to know way. It reminded me then that I don’t have a mum to help me get through this. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all good, but it’s very delicate to do it properly. I don’t have a mum to reassure me that I’m doing the right thing. I do have people in my life who love me and we can talk about things and New Boyfriend and I do talk about things all the time as well, but you know, Mummy would have been alllllll over everything, asking the hard questions.

Ultimately, though, it’s he and I that are in this relationship and while it’s good to get advice, it’s up to us, but I can’t help but want her as a sounding board.

I know it’s going to come up again. What if I get remarried, what if I have another baby, what if so many things…she won’t be here.

It’s good to know that she’s still in my heart and I fear all the time that I’ll forget and I’ll go on living without her, but the fact remains that I do still need her. I do still wish she was here and I do still want to hear her laugh.

Hmmm…

I press on.

Vikera

Sink or float

Good morning!

First of all, I am MELTING in this heat. Phew!!! Okay, so I was born and raised in Trinidad – an island almost ON the Equator – so I should be used to 30+ C temperatures every day, but damn. 

I don’t know if I’ve shared this before, but I can’t swim. Yes, I know I just said I was born and raised on an island, but the truth is that my dad grew up near the sea and is an amazing swimmer, but that talent had not been passed down to us. As children, we ALWAYS went to the very safe beach: no waves, not very deep. We did go to the beach often, but out of an abundance of caution, we were never allowed to venture out to swim. We would play on the shore under Mummy’s very watchful eye and one by one, my dad would take us out to the deep for 15 minutes. We would get dunked and just hang out there for a bit, but make no mistake, our tiny fingers were clenched around Daddy’s neck the whole time. After all six of us were washed and had our time, my dad would go out by himself for about 20 minutes and swim and float and just enjoy the water in a way someone who is absolutely comfortable with it is. My mum almost never went in.

I’ve never thought of that before – the fact that my dad is such a strong swimmer, yet none of us were taught how to swim. Hmmmm…the fact that we weren’t taught how to ride a bike either as children was also because we weren’t allowed to venture. Hmmm…very, very interesting.

I love the smell of introspection in the morning!

Flashforward 30 years and now I have my own son and I don’t know how to swim. Lame! Kidlet’s dad didn’t know how to swim either, so we decided that swimming was something that HAD to be learned. The next generation HAD to be better than ours, so from very early on, he was in swimming lessons.

It’s a strange feeling watching your small child do something that (frankly) scares you. I often wondered if I was holding him back. He would go to the pool, but I would have a super watchful eye on him (just like my Mum), making sure he didn’t go too far or didn’t lose his footing. I was overly cautious because as his mother, I knew fully well that if something were to happen, I wouldn’t be able to help him. So basically, my inability to swim (which is my own problem) had made him cautious of the water as well. Sigh. For a long time, this bothered me and we stopped going to the pool for a bit because the last thing I want to do is hold him back. Over time though, as he got more comfortable in the water, I did take him to the pool, but I would sit it out, letting him swim at his own pace and test his own boundaries while I watched him from the sidelines. I wanted him to trust his own ability and not let my fear literally drag him down.

Last night, he had swimming lessons. He had made it to Star Level 1, which is an intermediate level, and I promised him I would go down to the far end of the pool, which parents aren’t really allowed, to watch him. There was no seating, so I stood there for half an hour, watching my child, the fruit of my loins do laps in the full length pool effortlessly. He was a natural, swimming up and down, on his back, submerged, on his tummy, on his side. The pride in my heart was overwhelming. I hadn’t broken him! He loved it and despite my fear of the water, he was not afraid! I had a big smile on my face the whole time! As soon as he made it out of the pool, I said very exuberantly (and a little too loudly), “Wow! You’re amazing!” to which I was immediately and vigorously shushed! haha

He’s such an inspiration to me. Pushing himself past his circumstances at a very young age. I do credit myself with taking him to the pool often and getting out of his way, but ultimately, it would be easy for him to still be scared and cautious, but he pushed himself and that’s a testament to his developing character.

I don’t know if it was sign, but at the pool, right in the area where I was standing, what do you think was going on: adult swim lessons. There were four adults – three men and one 60+ woman – learning how to float. I could see the panic, I could see the distrust of the water and of themselves. I felt vindicated looking at them. I felt like saying, “See? It IS scary!!!” but then I looked over to Kidlet, flippers on, arms threading in and out of the water, swimming exclusively due to his own determination, I thought, “I can do it!”

Life: the spoils of war

Good morning!

Just a quickie today.

In the diary that I kept while I was taking a creative writing course a couple years ago, I stumbled upon a poem that yelled at me from the page. If I listened carefully, I can hear trumpets and a shout spurring me to action. This poem came from my insides – from a place that I had just discovered. In it, I hear my voice full of pain, but also full of triumph and pride.

They come.
They take.
They push.

But now,
I push back.
I shove back.

“IT’S MY LIFE!”

Earned
Fought for
Almost died for
My real self nearly lost forever.

Now

I will enjoy the spoils of the war.

Live your life, have fun, enjoy being who you are, enjoy being the self you’re fighting or you fought to be.

Have a good week, my friends!

Vikera <3

The Internet is bullsh*t

Okay, so the title is a bit strong, but read on…

So Kidlet and I were running an errand on the weekend. A song came on that I hadn’t heard in a while. Naturally, I began car dancing. I’m a GREAT car dancer. I can drive and shake my shoulders like nobody’s business. The car slowed at red light and then I really started dancing, putting my hips into it. I then felt a kick on the back of my seat, “Mum, stop!” I thought, “Huh? We’re just getting to the best part of the song!” “Mum, stop dancing!” I looked beside me and realized that both people in the car beside us were looking at me. It didn’t bother me really, but I thought, “I should be able to car dance if I want to!” I asked Kidlet, “Are you embarrassed of me?” What he said next is what blew my mind.

“Mum, do you want people to laugh at you? What if they’re taking video and then they put it on the internet? What if they put it on Facebook and then everybody just laughs at you? Is that what you want?”

Yeah. That happened.

Am I just naive? Maybe I just don’t get it. Is this something that people have to think about these days? What the hell? It took a while to process. I suppose he had a point, but it wasn’t something I never, ever thought about before. Sure, sometimes when I’m engaging in a shenanigan or two, the thought does cross my mind that perhaps what I’m doing is unseemly for a woman of my age, but my car dancing? Bite your tongue!

His reality is that people who are different or who are just living their lives are subject to JUDGEMENT on a global scale. Maybe twenty years ago, shows like American Funniest Videos were good innocent fun, but now, kids are killing themselves trying to escape from the fallout of viral videos. It weighed heavily on my mind.

Then last night, a friend on Facebook posted a picture of a female topless sunbather whose breasts had not recovered from breastfeeding. She was wearing sunglasses and looked like she was sleeping, so it could be that she didn’t even know the picture was being taken. My eyes were drawn to that picture since you know how I feel about my boobs. The woman was wearing a bikini and you can see the stretch marks across her belly, so she probably has had children. Anyway, I didn’t need to see the stretch marks, I know the cause of those boobs because I have a pair that do not look dissimilar.

The comments on that picture broke my heart. They really did. I piped in with

Vikera Hunte When you push out some chirren and feed them for a year each, then you can make any comments here….

but it didn’t make a difference. My three comments and one other were the only ones that were not negative. Everyone else seemed to think it was the worst thing they’d ever seen. The reality is though that this is how life is now. Anything is open for ridicule and judgement regardless of the cause. While I was taken aback by Kidlet’s comments in the car about my car dancing on Saturday, I had proof that he had a valid point.

The internet is a place where you can bring good and positive things to the light. It’s a place where things you never knew about can be seen, like those flowers whose petals go transparent when they’re wet (or was it frozen, I forget) or you can see what people or places look like in countries you’ll never be able to visit. The internet can also be CRUEL.

So where is the line? Can I not car dance anymore? Can I not sing (and dance) while I’m doing grocery shopping because it makes me happy? Can I not wear my bikini if I don’t have the perfect breasts and perfect body according to “people” even though my body is ravaged because I brought another human into the world?

Sigh.

Vikera

p.s. While I do not actually think that the internet is bullsh*t, it’s becoming or has become a weapon of mass destruction and I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all!

Don’t get lippy!

Good morning!

After a relaxing long weekend, I’m back to the grind. Instead of doing things around the house and being a responsible adult, I spent many, many hours shopping. I didn’t buy much at all, but what I did buy was a FABULOUS lipstick!

Ahem...this is my picture. Git yer own!

Ahem…this is my picture. Git yer own!

By way of pleasure, this little purchase really packs a punch. It makes me happy to see my smile (moreso) when I look in the mirror. Even though I was home alone yesterday, I reapplied a few times to make sure I kept my purple smile. I’m going to wear that sucker until it begs for mercy! haha…

I went to get a mini makeover for a girls day out this weekend. Historically, I’ve never been a big fan of makeup. It’s only recently, like this last year, that I’ve been interested in it. I have time on my hands when Kidlet is with his dad, so I experiment and do research. I’m not confident yet to proclaim that I have any kind of true knowledge, so getting my makeup done was quite the experience.

[Note: this is not the makeover makeup. This is me fooling around….poorly.]

The second time for the month, I was told what ‘good’ lips I have. The first time was at my dentist’s office. I had been going over my teeth cleaning bill with the receptionist and we started talking about what’s covered under extended health benefits. We got around to talking about boob implants and that someone she heard of was able to have her implants covered. She then told me about the time she paid about $1000 to get her lips plumped. She told me, “You’re lucky you have good lips.” I thought, “Huh?” I smiled and thanked her. Like tanning, I just don’t get it. A friend has to keep explaining to me that I don’t understand those things because I don’t need those things. I feel like, why would I NEED better lips…I don’t get it.

Then at the makeup place too, over the weekend, I was told that “you can pull off any colour because you’ve got great lips”. What are great lips, I wonder…If I had to walk around worrying about the list of things I already worry about and then have to obsess over lips too, it would make for a very stressful life.

Currently on my worry list:

My three loads of laundry waiting to be done.

What am I making for dinner for me and New Boyfriend tonight?

I have about ten reports to prepare for work.

How am I going to stay awake today?

What’s for lunch?

Should I wash the car after work today?

I have to take the garbage out.

It’s 7.37 and I haven’t showered AND I’m still writing this post.

What shoes am I wearing with my new dress to work?

This is what I’m currently worrying about since I woke up an hour ago. To think that I would have to think about my lips too? Sigh.

I don’t want to diminish anyone’s feelings (that’s a new thing I’m trying to work on – not diminishing people’s feelings just because I don’t see things the same way), but the way I figure, if we can’t or won’t change things, can’t we just learn to accept it?

Having said that, I will admit to you, if I had $5000 free and clear, I would get a boob lift before you can say “lip plumper”! It’s not something I worry about too much, but it’s one of those things like a clean house and keeping the kitchen sink clean for a week and staying up past 10 pm…you know…like a genie wish! :)

Going to jump in the shower and put my lipstick on :P

Have a great week today, my friends!

Vikera

It’s the courage that counts!

[Yes, you’re in the right place. I’ve changed the look of the place. This is the third time in 17 months that I’ve given the joint a new look and feel. I will try to restrain from tweaking it every day (but I can’t guarantee) and let the new look sink in.]

One of my besties had “It’s the courage that counts” tattooed on her body. It’s how she lives her life and the more I live, I realize how much that is true. It’s not always about where you’re going, it’s about what it takes to make the steps to get there.

A friend of mine (I’ll call her Walking Mama) began working out “to lose the weight and not feel so bleh every time I had to put on clothes” and what happened next changed everything. She had been doing her daily walks in the neighbourhood and was approached by a woman who had admired her perseverance and dedication to her exercise programme. They had a conversation, she shared her experiences and she never gave it a second thought and kept on walking. Some time later, Walking Mama was approached again – it was the same woman, who was now 45 pounds lighter. It seems her pep talk and demonstration of strength had inspired someone else to make a change.

Now, Walking Mama is amazed by these chain of events. I get it. When you choose to do something personal, you never think about who is watching and how your actions will manifest itself in someone else’s life. She went for her walks when she actually didn’t want to, when it was raining, when it was too hot, when she was tired, when she just couldn’t be bothered – that is strength. We live in a world where every little thing you do can be found on social media – all efforts big and small must be pointed out, given a spotlight, and acknowledged. What I find funny is that despite that all, no one REALLY knows how hard it is to put one foot in front the other and keep going, so it’s always a shock when someone understands.

This is why this piece touches me. Walking Mama had been posting pictures over the course of her transformation and she received a lot of encouragement. We watched, in pictures, as her body changed and her smile got bigger and bigger as she achieved her goal, yet, we were not there at 5 am cheering her on or watching her do what we wouldn’t do ourselves. We don’t know the real struggle. This woman did. This woman was up in the morning and saw the whole thing as it unfolded and saw the true demonstration of strength.

Funny, that’s the thing about courage and strength. It’s rarely private.

People have the potential to be strong and brave, but sometimes they just need to know that it can be done. We are always on the lookout for someone to show us it can be achieved. We are bombarded every day by images of six-pack abs and toned bodies, but it seems unrealistic to the average person. We don’t have personal trainers, we don’t have home gyms or unlimited time on our hands. What we do have is an hour to walk in the morning before the husband, children and the sun get up, what we have is online workouts we can do while the children play in the yard, what we have is a quick trip to the gym on our lunch break instead of frittering the time away surfing the internet.

It’s easier and more convenient to do something when you have all the tools available and someone pushing you to do it. It’s not easy when you have to be creative to work towards what you want. That is where the strength is. That is when the courage is needed: pushing through and past the exhaustion, the laziness, the hurdles. To see someone exhibit that kind of courage consistently IS inspirational and motivational. Hell yeah!

So we press on. We put one foot in front the other. Sure, we fall off the wagon, but then the next morning we get up and keep going towards our goal. One foot in front of the other. We start again despite our setbacks because it’s the courage that counts.

V

What weekends are made for…

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. Mine! Mine! Mine!

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. Mine! Mine! Mine!

Good morning, my lovelies!

So I had a spectacular weekend! Full of mini events, nothing super big, but pretty awesome things.

  1. I was in bed in pajamas with a bowl of cereal and Netflix by 7 pm on Friday. Now, one may view this as the height of laziness, but I choose to look at it as my right to enjoy my first child-free night whichever way I choose. Sure, I could have cooked something, but that’s the point of being an adult – the choice to make silly decisions is not always one you can make, but sometimes, just sometimes, you can just go for it! If you’re wondering what kind of cereal it was, it was leftover adult cereal and a healthy serving of sugary kids cereal. Now that I can enjoy cereal without intestinal trauma, life is good! I watched three movies (a triple feature?), one of which annoyed me. It was a great romance until the last five minutes of the movie: the couple shared a healthy chug each of a rat poison and wine cocktail and then promptly died, so yeah. Meh.
  2. Saturday morning, I had a VERY exciting meeting at the bank where I was told that things are not as grim as I thought. Being off work for six months and having car payments put a strain on things BUT my lovely financial advisor pointed me to the light at the end of the tunnel far off in the distance. I hinted that the light we saw may be on shining from my very own condo..but we’ll see if I kick my shoe/nail polish addiction long enough to actually reach said light.
  3. Spent a couple hours at the beach with New Boyfriend and children. It was weird being without my kidlet. It turns out that for me, being a parent is nothing something I can switch back and forth from. While I was giddy on Friday night with cereal in bed, when I’m around kids, even if they’re not my own, I’m very Mumsy complete with tissues, water, chapstick and snacks at the ready from my humongous handbag. :P
  4. Saturday night: no cereal, no Netflix. Passed out almost immediately. I blame the ocean air and not the old age.
  5. Sunday morning, I woke up with a lot of energy. I was up at 6 and braided my hair. Even though I took hours to do it, I knew I wouldn’t leave it as is, but would fuss with it more when I had time. It’s my hobby, that’s how I roll. I ran a few errands, took out the garbage and then I made sweet potato and chickpea enchiladas from scratch for my girls, who came over for lunch. We had a gossipfest, made very terrible jokes, talked about boys, tried on clothes, ate chocolate and braided our hair. Yes, I know we’re in our thirties, we’re mothers, we have careers BUT we also love each other and enjoy spending time with each other and hey, that’s what girls do! When I spend time with them, I am reminded that I grew up with five brothers and here, life has given me four sisters. Aren’t I blessed? <3
  6. Sunday afternoon, went for a massage. Turns out I’m a ball of knots. The gigantic masseuse, whose handspan pretty much covered my whole back and who could probably break me with little effort, declared that my muscles were ALL tight. In my mind, I was thinking, “Well, don’t tell me that…get on it!” All in all, pretty relaxing 45 minutes.
  7. After the massage, I ended up at the mall. I walked around for a couple hours and had a decaf soy frappuccino – first time for me. Not bad. Managed to only buy a pair of socks and a pair of earrings. That made me happy.
  8. I came home and fussed with my hair AGAIN. I put in extensions, which look kinda cute. I haven’t worn it like this before, so I’m excited.
  9. Now, I’m sitting here waiting for New Boyfriend to come over for a visit. I’m tired, and all the dishes from lunch are in the sink and I don’t know what I’m wearing to work tomorrow OR what’s for lunch, since I ate the leftovers that I was supposed to have taken to work. Sigh.

Even though it wasn’t super productive with laundry and a clean kitchen and a fridge full of groceries, all in all, I think this weekend was a success: a little bit of fun, romance, laughter, beauty, shopping, good food, movies, cereal, good sleep, the beach and relaxation.

I hope this week at work is as successful for me and for you too whatever happens! :)

Have fun!

Love,
Vikera