Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In search of the Perfect Employer

After working in a varied amount of fields I have had my fair share of employer types, still to this day I have yet to find the illusive perfect employer (I will never give up the hunt).

I have worked in everything from Restaurants as a server to taking on a position as Training and Support Coordinator for a major Canadian company and have collected a wide range a skill sets. I have changed jobs more than a few times because like in everything else in my life I refuse to settle.

I have found employers who started out amazing with big promises of nurturing new skills and amazing growth potential, only to be later used and walked all over. My biggest problem is that I have a problem saying no. I pick up new skills quickly, so learning a new job doesn’t take me much time, because of that I am an easy candidate to give extra duties (most time without any extra pay). For the longest time I put up with it because to me I was learning new skills and to me an opportunity to learn should not be wasted.  Unfortunately when you have that attitude it gets easy to be taken advantage of and that’s when jobs tend to turn south.

My Husband laughs at me all the time when I say that I’m bored and hate being at a job where I feel like I’m doing nothing, he always says “Babe if they are going to pay you to do nothing then do nothing”. I never listen and then end up in the same cycle of taking on extra duties outside of my pay grade and being taken advantage of all over again (you’d think id learn).

So my question is, is it really too much to ask to be challenged, to feel appreciated and noticed for work done?  I once had an employer who told me “if you don’t hear from me it’s a good thing, you don’t want to hear from me. I don’t stroke egos I don’t have time for that so we will talk when you do something wrong”; coming from the women who during my interview and job acceptance promised an environment that fostered growth and development.

I’m not na├»ve; I know every job has its ups and downs. I’m not asking for someone to tell me that everything I do is amazing at every moment of the day, but every once in a while would be nice. I am not asking for rainbows and gum drops; just as I would expect an employee to deliver on what they said in an interview I expect the same from the employer.  I feel like I have a lot to offer and I have a lot more I want to learn, so I would love to be in an environment where that is allowed. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be challenged and allowed to grow as an employee and an individual?

Well my hunt will continue, I will not stop… Perfect employer if you’re out there I’m coming, I will find you! To everyone else out there that knows what I’m talking about, don’t settle. I’m not telling you to get up and quit your job, but don’t settle. Know your worth and shoot for the stars. Never give up on your dreams and never stop learning and growing. Be the best you in everything you do and the rest will just fall into place.

Lotsa Love,
Tasha

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

When all the vitamin C in the world can do no more and your body gives in to being ill what is better than love and some chicken noodle soup?

As you may have notice I have not written this week, this is because I have been sick and along with sick comes cloudy sick brain. In replace of my creative thoughts are those of warm fuzzy blankets, my inhaler and my comfort foods. I am on the mend and my brain is starting to clear.

I noticed with myself I have several stages of sick; denial (I can’t be getting sick), resistance (take that sick), acceptance (bah I’m sick), hibernation (I’m going to sleep till I’m better), premature celebration (first sign of feeling better jump back into EVERYTHING), start back at beginning and then finally comfort food and all better.  This pattern may vary slightly based on my levels of sick but is pretty much constant.

Some of us handle sick much better than others; the tough people who would never let being sick slow them down until they are in the hospital, the over exaggerators who use sick days like vacation, the babies and the nurturers who still take care of others even if they are sick. I am definitely a bit of a baby when I’m sick. I think part of it is because I’ve hard my fair share of trips to the hospital with my asthma and surgery mishaps that when I start to get sick this aging fear sweeps over me and panic ensues that I may end back up in the hospital. My hospital trips have never been short visits more life a week to weeks, so my fear is slightly justified.

Sometimes, I believe, our bodies allow us to get sick on purpose to slow us down or teach us something. I know I have gotten sick more than a few times burning the candle at both ends and pushing myself to hard. Maybe we can take a lesson from being sick and learn to take better care of ourselves.

We can learn to take more time for ourselves, sleep in once in a while, have days locked in our room or on the couch, take long baths, take our vitamins and take care of ourselves as a whole. I think some of us take our health for granted thinking there is always a fix or a cure, I’ll deal with it when it happens. Wouldn’t it be better to prevent feeling like a big bag of poop to begin with?

We spend our time going from A to B, just trying to getting everything done on our list. It is rare that most of us take time to take care of us. So don’t wait to get sick to realize that you need to take time to wind down and take care of yourself. Remember you’re not indestructible, you do need to stop and recharge so that you can be your best at everything that you do.

If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want.  ~Elbert Hubbard



Lotsa Love,

Natasha

Monday, April 18, 2011

For the love of food

With so many amazing options in the world of food, what's not to love?

I may not be able to paint or draw but put me in a kitchen and watch me go. I even love grocery shopping, the whole time I'm imagining all the things I will create. My husband laughs at me because I'll come home excited wanting to show him all my finds and his response is "I don't care babe, I know it's going to be great." I guess not everyone is as excited by groceries as me.

My husband claims I am the pickiest eater that will eat almost anything. My take on it is that I know what I like, I will try something new, but once I've tried something a few times I'm not going to keep eating what I don't like when there's so many things I do. He laughs at my rules like I don't like BBQ sauce except for on BBQ chicken and I have issues with sweet things that aren't desert. Lol I chalk it up to I like what I like and I don't what I don't.

Oils, spices and sauces oh my. I love getting in the kitchen with something new and trying it out. Cooking, puttering around in the kitchen is something I look forward to in my day.

Entertaining is also a big part of my love for cooking. I get to express myself through my cooking and watch how others interpret it.

I am very happy to have things like cooking and writing in my life. Everyone should have creative outlets to express themselves with. Be it art, design, music or sharing my love for food; expression is a great outlet and way to grow and learn.

What is your creative outlet, how do you express yourself? You may not even recognize what your doing as creative or a form of expression but if you look close enough you will see it. Nurture your creative side, have fun with it, try something new and allow yourself to be free in your art. Because the more free we are with ourselves the better we can open up and share with others.

Lotsa Love,
Tasha

Friday, April 15, 2011

Don't sweat the small stuff!

With so much wrong in the world why waste time sweating the trivial small stuff? 

People are starving, suffering and in need of some serious love, yet somehow we find time to sweat a bad hair day. 

We all have our bad days, moments or even months and we can think that it’s the worst it can get, however I can guarantee there is someone who has it worst off. I am not trying to disqualifie your struggles, I am simply pointing out that there (in some cases) far worst things then what we are currently going through. There is always a ying to a yang and a positive to any negative. Your cup can be half empty or half full it’s always how we look at things, are your glasses rose coloured or grey? 

I have had a many a bad day or moment where I have my very own pity party, it’s not until one of the great people in my life, by doing nothing else but being who they are to me, show me that I am lucky, it could be worse and I am lucky to be me. 

It’s okay to have bad days and it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself every once in a while. But we have to remember we control our lives, no one else and you can be the only one to decide how you overcome the hard times. Do you sulk in your own pity party convinced that you’re doomed or focus on what’s good and what’s to come?

Remember for every bad day there is a lot more good, for every bit of darkness there is the light and when the chips fall and your down you’re not alone. Take stock in the good things in your life and if your unhappy move towards a happier, sunny future. Because no matter what gets thrown at you remember you’re the only one that can decide your strength to catch and release instead of holding on to the negative. 

Lotsa Love,
Tasha

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Infertility Awareness Month

Seeing as April is the infertility awareness month and I have a personal attachment to the issue I thought I would give it it's much needed attention.

Infertility is a tricky and emotionally draining issue. So many couples are affected by infertility, over a quarter of a million in Canada, and yet it still remains an issue unaided by the government.

Couples faced with infertility issues are already under emotional stress, it can test the strength of your relationship. I know that it has being trying on myself and my husband. When you want something so bad, something you whole heartily feel you deserve it's hard to face month after month that it might not happen for you. You feel relieved when your DR tells you you're going to be referred and then when you get to the specialist is when you find out for a low payment of 7000.00 a pregnancy could be yours, no guarantees. Like that won't add anymore stress to the couple.

In some cases diet, vitamins, weight loss/gain can be treatment enough. If you've been trying and have been unsuccessful don't wait to see your dr the longer you put it off the harder it gets.

In Ontario the government does not fund infertility treatments and the emotionally drained couple is left to foot the hefty bill. If you feel like I do let your government know that it's not ok, that this issue should get more attention and support.

If you know someone who's been struggling encourage them to talk to their dr and to even do some of there own research, not to much though I read everything and now have no idea how accidental pregnancies happen. Search online for support groups. If your struggling know your not alone and there is help.

I know how emotionally crippling some days can be and how it can be easy to be angry at the world. Take stock in your relationship, make sure that doesn't suffer, stay strong and together you can get through it.

Lotsa love,
Tasha

Monday, April 11, 2011

Do you believe in magic?


The Magic of silly laughter!


Remember what it is like to be a kid with the imagination, grand dreams and belief in magic? Unexplainable things could be simply explained by "It's magic". 
 
Somewhere along the line we get jaded, the answer "It’s magic" no longer will do and we start losing that wondrous spark. 
 
I think part of it is that children don't have the issues to deal with that we do, they are (or should be) more sheltered then us. Our challenges and difficulties take place of the play times we once used to enjoy as children. 
 
Before we used to be jealous of a friends toys, now we deal with marriage, houses (not the pink play kind), babies and fertility. I guess we have a lot more to be jaded about if everything isn't going our way. I know I have found myself in a very ugly place angry about what I felt I deserved over someone else. But who am I to judge, who am I to decide what's fair? 
 
At some point we (most of us) stop believing that anything is possible and lean towards the more cynical side. While I understand that we will never be the same wide eyed adventurers we were as children, I like to hope that we can still let some of that spark live on. 
 
After all isn't love magical or friendship, babies and the very many blends of chocolate and coffee! Our views may change and the things that are important to us. But, that doesn't mean we still can't find the magic. 
 
So do me a favour reignite that spark, find the magic or simply create it. Go outside at night and stare out into the night sky with wonderment, acknowledge all the special magical moments in your life. Give the cynical side a vacation and let in the amazing opportunities for magic.

Lotsa Love,
Tasha

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Release


When the tension builds up and you feel stuck, helpless or ready to explode; how do you deal? How do you get release from the pent up anger, frustration or stress?

I used to be horrible at dealing with stress and anger, I would let it bottle up until I couldn’t take it any longer or ignore it all together.  As I got older I realized how ineffective and unhealthy my methods were. I have now learnt to try and resolve the issue and for the ones where there is no resolution or it’s directed at an issue I have no power over to try and use an outlet.

For some people simply running a bath and soaking all the days issues away is resolution enough, they can let the stressors go down the drain after their soak is done. While I do enjoy baths and find them relaxing, they do not give me the kind of release I need when I have pent up issues.

Running has always seemed to be a great de-stressor for me, something about running outside by myself the wind, sun and never ending free space for me to run is an amazing stress reliever for me. It’s like the harder I run the more I’m breaking out of my stress cage and it feel’s great.

Recently my husband purchased a set of throwing knives and anyone who knows me knows I have a strong dislike for knives. I couldn’t figure out what the attraction was until one night after dinner at my in laws all the guys went outside, leaving the girls still sitting at the table, to use the throwing knives (in a safe and controlled environment). At first I had no interest in joining, but then my curiosity took over and I ventured outside. I watched the guys all taking turns and the odd rush they all seemed to be getting from it, so I decided to give it a shot. My first attempt I was nervous and unsure on how they would work or react; this try was not so great. My husband was like “Tash just throw it, give it some muscle” so I did just that I stopped worrying and threw, the knife made a whistle and ended up right into the target and I got this rush, after that every time I threw one I felt a rush of adrenaline and afterwards felt amazingly de-stressed. I think a big part of it was that for me to get into the act I had to release my fear and just go with it and that alone is a great feet.

Now I am not an advocate for violence or violent acts, but I do now have a better understanding for some sports or past times that before unnerved me. I can now see the attraction and am not as closed minded as I may have been before. I realized that just because an item or activity can be used for bad things doesn’t mean that it is a bad thing and that everything is what you make of it.

Sometimes acting "crazy" is the
best way to stay "sane"!
I have also felt a similar feeling while using my sister in laws punching bag, playing paint ball and having play wrestle fights on blow up mattresses with a few friends (sounds crazy but man it’s fun). I think using physical outlets to get rid of mental or emotional stress is completely healthy as long as it stays that way. In no way am I suggesting fighting (unless it’s regulated and in a ring) or releasing aggression on others. I am simply suggesting that physically challenging outlets can be some of the best ways to release. Sometimes all we need is to push our physical limits to be able to relieve tension from our pressed limits mentally.

Find an outlet that works for you and use it appropriately. It can be anything as long as it works for you; De-stress in a bubble bath, run your worries away, journal your thoughts, put on a fat suit and sumo wrestle... No matter how silly or crazy what you’re doing may look (sometimes those are the best ones), find a way to outlet your emotions and keep your mind, body and soul all healthy.

Lotsa Love,
Tasha

Do you have a way to de-stress, unwind or an interesting outlet? Share with us and comment below.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Talent

There is so much talent out there that never gets proper recognition. So I wanted to take this moment to introduce you to a very talented person.

Her name is Diana Begg and she is a super fabulous Interior Decorator. I thought of posting this because she is going to be at the Home Show in Cornwall, Ontario this weekend and her unique, creative designs are definitely worth taking a look at.

If you aren't able to make it out, visit her website at www.indulgeinteriors.ca

Never be afraid to tell someone how wonderful they are. With all of the bad in the world, spread the good whenever you can!


Charly

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rut?!?

Do you ever feel like you’re not where you should be, something’s missing or you’re just not happy? It could be that you’re stuck in a rut and just need to find a way out.
 
Sometimes a simple small change can be enough to pull us out and other times a much bigger drastic change is what's needed.
 
It's hard to take a step back and analyze our own lives. Sometimes we've known for a while what needs to change but hide from it. Change isn't always easy, but can be necessary in order to lead a happy, healthy life.
 
We need to be able to acknowledge what the issue is, face it and fix it before we can start climbing out of the rut. There can be a multitude of things that can make us feel down or stuck; sometimes its work, personal or even seasonal. Regardless you need to be the one who wants to change and to initiate it.
 
I think I can....wait...I know I can!
It can be hard to initiate a change, even though we are unhappy, change is different, an unknown and that can be scary. But when it comes down to it what’s scarier, staying in a rut and being unhappy or making a change that may be scary at first but can lead to a happier future?

Not all choices or changes will be right and that’s ok. I know that I have made a couple of wrong ones along the way, but I’ve learnt from them and moved on. I have learnt that I get bored easily and need to feel challenged, so because of that I try new things and try and push myself. We learn from trial and error, where not perfect and we cannot predict the future. So instead learn from mistakes made and celebrate the times you get it right.

We can become very busy looking out for the best interest of everyone else that sometimes we can neglect what it is that we need. We forget that we need to be our very own advocates.

So be your number one fan, celebrate you and fight to be happy, and don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. Because, even though we need to be the ones to initiate the change some holes are a lot easier to climb out of when you have a rock to tie the rope around.

Lotsa Love,
Tasha

Monday, April 4, 2011

Rainy Days

On days like these where it's raining and cool my first inclination is to stay wrapped in blankets in bed or migrate to the couch with a good book.

Inevitably with spring comes the rain and the days where I struggle most to get out of bed. I find this most prominent when the rain follows a few great sunny days and I have been spoiled by the great weather.

The rain can also make me long for the summer and my cottage. Don't get me wrong sunny cottage days are the best, but there is something special about rainy days at the cottage. We get the wood stove going and everyone finds a couch or jumps into one already occupied for a book reading snuggle fest. On the sunny days we are soak up  every moment outdoors on the dock but mostly in the water. The "relaxing" weekend ends up being busier then some weeks because we are active and motivated to be outside. So when a rainy day comes along and your not at home so you don't have regular chores to preoccupy you, all you have to do is veg. Board games, movies, naps and reading books takes over your day and you get recharged.

So even though I am not particularly fond of the rain, I do have fond memories and look forward to a few special days at my cottage where watches come off and the couch is your home.

There is need for balance in all things we do. It's great to fill your days and go go go, but don't miss out on opportunities  for down time or you time. Allow yourself time to recharge and it will make the rest so much easier to get through.

On the days where you find yourself feeling like you want to do absolutely nothin, instead of feeling guilty, remind yourself that you deserve it every once and awhile and just enjoy the serenity without replaying in your head all the things you could be doing. If you give yourself a chance to recharge, you'll be way more efficient the next time you decide to tackle a big project.

Lotsa Love,
Tasha

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Fever

With the smell of barbeques, new bustling in the neighbours yards and the heightened number of people walking this can mean only one thing; Spring Fever!
For those of us that live in areas where it is cold and snowy for half our year, the appearance of grass and sunshine is a thing to be celebrated. The first sign of spring takes barebeques out of the garage, dusty running shoes out of the closet and our itsy bitsy tank tops we’ve been dying to wear again out of storage.
The once restless (done with winter) people put all their pent up energy into getting their yards ready, themselves ready and homes ready for summer time. We burst out of our homes and enjoy the weather. This is actually the topic of conversation for the first few weeks of spring, the weather, people are so happy that the snow is gone that is all they can talk about.
This also triggers the realization that summer is not far away, actually only a few short months away and this is when you see all the walkers and runners emerging prepping for the summer reveal.
I also have a feeling that the beer and wine sales spike the first couple weeks of spring, people busting out the barbeques tends to include an aspect of entertaining (to prove they have not lost their fierce barbequing skills) and celebrating the new found sunny, warm weather.
Finally the end of hibernation is here, for those of us that do not enjoy the cold and the long dark days, it is time to emerge from the darkness and enjoy time outside. Get outside and be active, get the whole family involved. Let your face meet the sun that it has been hidden from since December and get moving.
For those of you who are not fans of winter there is no time to waste, go out there and enjoy it now before it fly’s away. Take your date night outside, join a walking/running group and play with your dog, anything to get you moving again.
Join the spring fever movement, get outside and enjoy life. Who knows what you may discover while you’re out there.

Lotsa Love,
Natasha

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Never-Ending ‘To-Do’ List (Charly)


So with the nice weather that Mother Nature has finally graced us with, I have had the sudden urge to fix everything in my home! I’ve had ideas in my head for a long time I suppose, but now that the weather is nicer I’m more prone to want to follow out the things I want to do because I am finding less and less excuses to put it off. I did a quick to-do list and discovered that “YIKES!” I have enough items that could potentially take me the whole year to complete and that’s barely scratching the surface of what I want done.
I have a tendency of always making these handy little ‘to-do’ lists, but then feeling overwhelmed by them because they encompass everything I want done and then I want to push myself to get them completed in a short time frame. This would be entirely possible if I didn’t have a husband, a full-time job, piano lessons, and family and friends that deserve my attention as well. Even then, who wants to spend their entire life scratching things off their ‘to-do’ lists? I think life should be a little more about spontaneity. I have had the best experiences when I didn’t have a plan. I used to miss out on going places with friends or spending quality time with my husband because I was so focused on all the things I wanted to get done, that I was missing out on the whole part of life: living.
So for all you people out there that are like me and are falling victim to the too-long ‘to-do’ list, do me a favour and throw it away! Don’t set unnecessary pressure on yourself to complete items that you will get to on your own time. If you are really attached to your list, set aside 30-60 minutes a day to work at it, but that’s it. Life is about balance, and that is definitely something I am striving for this year.
Charly