I’m still kicking around….

Good morning!

I just wanted to swing by to say that I’m here. I’m still alive. I know it’s been a few weeks since my last post. That is not a reflection on how much I like to write or how much I value this here blog. It’s a reflection on how busy my life has become lately.

Work is becoming increasingly challenging (in a good way), I have 10,000 steps to get on my Fitbit every day, school has just begun and Kidlet’s academic needs are at the top of my mind, I’m growing out my hair, which requires the whole segment of brain that produces patience, I’ve recently started a new activity and, of course, there is my budding romance with Boyfriend.¬†Even though my life is becoming fuller and fuller with every week that passes, there is room for you and room for the Mind Maze. I just have to re-calibrate.

I’ll be back soon to regale you with a bunch of stories from my charming life!

In the meantime, please play nicely among yourselves, be happy and keep on smiling.

Have a good week ahead. ūüôā

Vikera

Advertisements

Break who? Me? Today? I think not.

This morning I woke up and felt like I can take on the world. Sometimes you feel like the ant, sometimes you feel like the shoe. Today I feel like a steel-toe size 13 boot!

Hair is cooperating, makeup is good and blouse is cute: all systems go! Determination is my co-pilot today!

Have a great Thursday lovelies!

Vikera

Image taken by Vikera Hunte. Please do not copy without permission.

Image taken by Vikera Hunte. Please do not copy without permission.

I only needed one week

So I’m back from a week off work sandwiched in between¬†weekends away from home. Well, let me tell you, I learned something about myself and about life these past 9 days.

My vacation at home (or staycation as the cool kids call it) was one of the most relaxing times I’ve had. Usually, wherever I’ve worked, I would bank all my vacation time to be able to go back to Trinidad for a few weeks. I never just took days off. I always needed all my days to be able to have a long enough trip to travel to Trinidad. With this job, I have quite a bit of time off, so with my decision not to go to Trinidad this year, I am up to my eyeballs in time off eligibility. As Kidlet’s school vacation was winding¬†down, I took a week off to spend with him. In the meantime, I planned a weekend away to go camping with my friend and her boys to start off the week and Boyfriend and I planned a child-free weekend after Kidlet went to his dad’s.

First of all, it was weird spending vacation time in town. It felt indulgent. Most people (and I used to be one of them) squeeze out all their time off to hop on a plane and travel or at least to go away for a week; I just stayed at my house to noodle around! Ha! What a luxury! I had planned a few things for us to do: amusement park, aquarium, a day trip that included a bike ride, possible play dates. In the end, Kidlet and I just spent a lot of time at home together, just being together. We watched movies, ate out, did¬†6 loads of laundry at the laundromat, went¬†back-to-school shopping, got him a fancy haircut and went to the park. It wasn’t anything particularly postcard-worthy, but just being with him, being his mum and spending time together uninterrupted was amazing. Spending this alone time with him really made me see what a remarkable young man he is¬†becoming and how funny he is! My pride runneth over. ‚̧

After that week being a full-time mother, I got Kidlet ready to go off to his dad’s and then got myself ready to take on my role as a full-time girlfriend for the weekend (a process that involves a lot of prep, let me tell you! Ha!).

Boyfriend and I are cut from the same cloth. We get along extremely well and what I realize is that a lot of our happiness comes from our ability to just take things with stride. We too had lofty plans of doing things on the weekend and sightseeing and dinners out. In the end, we ended up spending one day at the mall, taking funny pics in a photo booth, and buying groceries and cooking at home. Again, it was this alone time that really hit home that we are building on something and I how happy I really am.

You know, when I took my current job, part of the appeal was the vacation allowance and the flexibility it would provide to go to Trinidad for weeks at a time. Little did I know, all I needed was one week to have a really good vacation.

This week has taught me:

  • despite being an early morning person my whole life, I quickly learnt how to sleep in until at least 9 am…I kinda like it!
  • while I am a city girl at heart, I thoroughly enjoyed camping
  • my life was becoming way too stressful and that the things that I spent time and energy worrying about on a day to day basis, are¬†really just NOT that big a deal in reality, for example, cooking ūüėõ
  • my job is not my life and I am blessed to have a job that I can go hard at 5 days a week, but can also walk away from for a week without looking back
  • as much as I value and feel protective of my independence, having someone in my¬†life who respects me¬†enough to let me¬†be myself, but also who wants me¬†to know that he has my back is a wonderful discovery
  • you really don’t need a lot of money to really enjoy the things that make you happy (but I already knew that!)

So I have a few days of vacation left (Still? WHAT?!) and I am looking forward to spending it wisely. Doing what? Who knows!

Have a great week!

Vikera (no longer a woman of leisure)

The iron have me so bazodee…literally!

Morning!

My heading is the lyrics from a song about steelpan music: the “iron” is the steelpan music and “bazodee” means overwhelmed, confused, dazed in Trinidadian. Now, the original song was about enjoying steelpan music, but my heading means that my actual iron levels are low and I am literally overwhelmed, confused and dazed.

A few weeks ago, I collapsed in the washroom. I passed out for a few minutes and when I woke up, I had twisted my ankle and bitten through my lower lip. After getting bloodwork done and going through the agonizing twenty four hours after being told I had to come in to discuss the results and when I actually met with the doctor, I was told that there was virtually no iron in my blood. Sigh.

As a vegetarian, we’re always reminded that we need to keep up our protein. I do try to include protein in every meal and those close to me know that I’m always lecturing about protein in meals. Somewhere along the line, I guess I lost sight of the iron part of things. The doctor met with me and discussed the levels and while he didn’t try to make me start eating meat again, he did ask me a few times if I would consider eating meat, “not that I want to judge your lifestyle”. Hmmmm…

I can’t actually fathom chewing on and swallowing a piece of chicken or bacon on salmon. I actually can’t. Now I know the body is resilient and if I wanted to, I probably could actually do it, but the reality is that I’m not going to. The fact remains that I have been a vegetarian since high school and can’t go back now. If I can incubate a human and take care of two of us on this diet, I can surely take care of myself, right?

So like the lactose intolerant revelation a few months ago, now there’s this bombshell. I mean, seriously? Does my body want me to eat nothing at all? Sigh. To add insult to injury, since last year, I have given up juice and pop and have stuck to drinking only water and tea: I go through a cup of orange pekoe in the morning, 750 ml a day of green tea at my desk at work and then I drink unsweetened homemade iced tea at home (that I brew myself) and on doing my iron absorption research, I’ve come to find out that properties in tea (tannins) inhibit iron absorption. Here’s the kicker: tannins only affect iron absorption in iron found in non-meat sources. So essentially, because of the all-day tea drinking, my body has not been able to absorb any iron I’ve been consuming.¬†What the f….annoying!

So now what? Now what do I do? I fear I might have to become those meal-planning, own-food-bringing, nutritional-content-scrutinizing people. I don’t have time for all of that! Can’t I just eat three beets and call it a day? I never want to reject food or bad talk food or shun food.¬†I like to eat!! I have been doing research and my loved ones have been providing a lot of information and advice for me to consider, so that’s good, but I still can’t be bothered! hahahaha…I’m kidding.

Over the last three days, I’ve had to make changes. I have to take my iron supplements twice a day with food, but not with dairy (since that inhibits absorption) and try to have it with Vitamin C (which helps absorption), but after one hour of having tea, which affects absorption. It’s like an algebra formula! I just want to eat!!!!

Okay, enough with the whining.

I’m not invincible and despite how free-wheeling I want to live my life, diligence and organization is necessary. The amount of attention¬†my body needs¬†is growing and so to be healthy, I have to make a concentrated effort. No more fainting spells and low energy because I have my life to live. I have a son to raise and a job and a boyfriend and hobbies and this blog and my family and my Fitbit to keep busy. I don’t have time to have low iron!!! Right now, I have to work hard to get the iron levels UP and then maintained! That will take some effort, but pretty soon, it’ll be automatic and my body will be happier and I will be happier.¬†This low iron thing is¬†not going to¬†keep me bazodee!

So on I go, one meal at a time.

Have a good week!

Vikera

What a difference a year makes….

Good morning!

I was sitting here reminiscing on last summer. It seems so different from this summer. Last summer, I had just started working again and funds were not for spending, but for replenishing my withering bank account after six months of being off work. In other aspects though, my life was the same, but different back then. I was very involved with the Trinidadian society out here: going to meetings and volunteering. I was seriously single. I didn’t have the new car and still felt awkward driving my old car. I was living a very sedentary life. I didn’t have the new phone or maybe I just got it and was still figuring it all out. I was dancing kizomba religiously every two weeks. I certainly didn’t have Whatsapp to communicate with my brothers. I was rocking short hair. I didn’t have four tattoos.¬†Flashforward a year and a lot of this has changed.

Isn’t it amazing how life changes? None of these things I had really planned on changing; they just happened over the course of the year. Life has a way of moving along nicely, doesn’t it?

You know me, I have always been a planner and I’m not extremely spontaneous, however, it’s becoming clear to me that despite my best efforts, things are going to happen that I didn’t plan for or didn’t see coming and it’s not always a bad thing! Hmmm…imagine that!

  1. I am grateful to have people in my life who love me and want what’s best for me.
  2. I am grateful that I am able to provide for Kidlet and we both have more than we need and are able to have some of what we want.
  3. I am grateful that my heart remembers how to love and the person that I’ve entrusted it to is taking care of it nicely.
  4. I am grateful that I’m becoming more active. (I bought a Fitbit activity tracker…more on that next week!)
  5. I am grateful that I have a challenging and rewarding (and frustrating and sometimes overwhelming) job!
  6. I am grateful that Kidlet is happy and healthy and just an all-round super duper wonderful person. ‚̧
  7. I am grateful that I’m making peace with my hair. It’s getting longer and it’s a lot more work than a bi-weekly haircut, but when it’s big and fluffy and my curls are all over the place, it feels magical.
  8. I am grateful that after 10 years, the homesickness for Trini food is now manageable.
  9. I am grateful that I held out for a job with a short commute, so when I’m working on this blog post in the morning when I should be in the shower, I can still get to work on time! ACK! ūüėõ

It’s important to focus on the positive. Last year, my life was good.¬†It wasn’t perfect, but it was good. This year, my life still isn’t perfect, but it’s still good. Happiness and contentment live with me and for THAT¬†I am ever grateful!

Have a good week all!

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. ūüėõ
  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? ‚̧
  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 Рfirst 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! ūüôā

Have fun!

Love,
Vikera

There’s been a development

Good morning!!

So there’s been a development.

I’ve been blogging now for a little more than year and it’s been a wild ride. I’ve been able to share my peaks and a lot of my valleys. My readers have been there along for the ride the whole time. Well, here’s another peak for ya!

A few months ago, I went on a date with a man, which led to another date with him, which led to another date, which led to a few other dates, which led to him asking me a question a few weeks ago:

“Would you like to be my girlfriend?”

Needless to say, I am very excited about the possibilities. He’s funny, he’s smart, he’s a parent as well, he’s very tall, but most importantly, he gets me – the real me, the whole me. I’m not going to lie, we’re awesome together.

Honestly, I didn’t know if I wanted to share it on the blog. I am protective of who/what I put in the public eye, but¬†it felt weird not sharing it. Of course, there’s the whole, “What if I tell the world and it doesn’t work out?” Well, after all this time looking for someone, I’m trying to make a concentrated effort not to hold back. What’s the point?

What’s the worst that can happen: I get my heart broken? Well, I got¬†a divorce and buried my mother in the same year: my heart’s been broken plenty, thank you very much. It wasn’t easy, but I’m still standing.

Having been single for a long time, I’m not scared of going back to that either. Meh. There’s no real point in holding back. I have a good life and while there are times I had been conflicted¬†about sharing it with someone else, now that I’ve met this man, I see a different side of things and frankly, different things about myself too.

We are taking things slow, which I know sounds incredibly cliche, but it’s actually true. We both have children, so it’s none of this ‘love at first sight, flashforward three months and let’s ride off into the sunset’ business. Just being able to see each other takes a lot of coordination – with the different custody arrangements, classes, work, other family commitments and my early bedtime, we couldn’t take it too fast even if we wanted to! I certainly don’t take for granted the time we do spend together, which is how it should be anyway. I guess, I’ll finally figure out what to do with a man. ūüôā

Anyway, I don’t want to ramble on and on, but I just wanted to¬†share the news. From time to time, I’ll probably write about things I’ve noticed about myself in this situation…or not. I don’t know yet how comfortable I will be, but you know me: the words must flow. ūüôā

Have a wonderful week, my friends! ‚̧

V