Have you ever thought about how games are a metaphor for life? 

Wiki’s definition of a game is "a structured activity usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes also used as an educational tool. Key components of games are goals, rules, challenge, and interactivity. Games generally involve mental or physical stimulation, and often both. Many games help develop practical skills, serve as a form of exercise, or otherwise perform an educational, simulational or psychological role. Games are a universal part of human experience and present in all cultures."

Think about the game of hockey for example.

It is a team sport, the more goals you make the better.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you loose.  Haven’t we been told or tell our kids, it’s how you play the game that counts.  When you win, the entire team feels very proud of themselves, but it depends on "how" you win.  When you lose, you might feel bad, but you get over it and try better next time. Games where you slaughter the other team are not much fun at all. 

However, if you’re my nine-year-old nephew Jesse you might look at it a different way. Jesse was the goalie for his hockey team during a tournament. When the tournament was over, his mom asked what was his favorite game?  Totally unexpectedly he said, “The one we lost 14 to 1”.  She said, “Really? Why” He smiled proudly and said, “Because I made 56 saves in that game!”  Now that is a positive attitude!

Baseball is another example.  Sometimes you hit a home run, sometimes you score one base at a time, and sometimes you strike out.  The pitcher makes every attempt to strike you out, and the basemen are trying to put you out, but you continue to do your best.

Then there’s Tennis, there’s a lot of love in tennis.

Life is also like that.  It takes a team.  You can’t do it on your own or you would be the only person here on earth.  You should always strive to reach your goals and make your dreams come true.  Like hockey, baseball or tennis, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, there are always ups and downs and challenges, but you continue to improve your skills.  It’s your attitude during these times that makes the difference.

When you do win it is gratifying, the more goals you can achieve the more successful you are.  You feel proud of your accomplishments.  But sometimes you lose.  You can let the losses get you down, or you can learn from them and grow.

It is your decision how you play this game called “life”.    Do you want to sit on the bench, on the sidelines or in the dug out? Do you want to watch it go by as if on a TV screen?  Do you want to be a spectator or a player?    Choosing to participate, be a team player, set goals, and be grateful for the wins and the loses, scores a life that’s rosey.

Enjoy the game!

So often I hear people say how others have upset them, or done them wrong, or ruined their lives, etc.  I used to be one of these people.  I blamed everyone, and everything for my rotten life.  After much soul searching, personal development, and reading the book Reframe Your Blame by my mentor and friend Jay Fiset, I have been able to take responsibility for my life and I realize that everything that happens is because I have created it.  Here are a few lessons I have learned, and by doing so, I have released resentment, worry, judgment, anger, hurt and fear. 

1.  No one can ruin your life.  Just like your thoughts and actions, you choose your feelings.  You choose how you feel and react to others.  I have learnt that if someone hurts me, it is my issue, not theirs.  It is my insecurity, or fear, or unwillingness to accept the truth.  I try to see what it is I am learning from it and don’t hold it against the other person.  When someone upsets me I tell myself “bless them, change me”.  It works every time.

2.  Stop worrying what others think of you.  What other’s think of you is none of your business.  I stopped worrying about what others think of me.  It is their issues and beliefs; it does not mean that it is my truth.  Live your life according to your morales, beliefs and values.  If others don’t agree, it is their choice.

3.  Stop blaming others for your unhappiness.  No one is responsible to make you happy.  This is your responsibility.  Once I learned this my life changed completely. 

4.  How you react is your own choice.  If you get upset over something someone else has said or done, it is your own emotions and feelings that dictate how you react to it.  I do not “feed the fire” by “getting the last word”.  I allow them to react how they choose to.  How I react is my own issue.  I deal with them and move on.

5.  Start being accountable for your actions.  Take responsibility for your choices.  You life is a result of your actions, no one else’s.  If something isn’t the way you want it to be change it.  If you make a mistake, admit it, apologize for it, and move on.

6.  Stop being a victim.  Stuff happens.  Let the experience teach you and make you a stronger person.  By overcoming challenges and helping others who may have experienced the same, you become the victor.

7.  Stop hanging out with negative people.  Negative people bring you down.  That’s all I need to say about this one.

8.  Don’t worry about things you can’t control.  You cannot control everything that happens or what others do or say.  Ninety-five percent of what you worry about never happens.  If you can’t change it, accept it.  It is what it is.  How you react to it is your choice.  What you can’t change it, let go.

Once I was able to change my perspective and learn that my feelings, reations, thoughts and emotions are things that I control, and by realizing that what others do, think and say has nothing to do with me, I have become a much less judgemental, more compassionate, accepting, and loving person, and because of that my life is much more rosey.

Living life on my terms,

I would like to take you back in time, back to the early 1800’s.  Imagine, you hear the crow of a rooster, you stretch and crawl out of bed.  It is chilly and the only source of heat is a wood stove.  You build a fire; you heat water for your coffee and to wash up for the day.  The only light is coming from the flickering of the flames, and an oil lamp on the table.  Now fast forward to today.  Your alarm goes off, you jump out of bed and grab a Keurig.  After your shower, you might blow dry your hair or use your shaver.  All of these conveniences are things we never thought possible 100 years ago. 

Where does electricity come from?  Do you know?  Electricity is a very powerful source of energy.  We can plug in a 25 watt bulb and we get a little bit of light, or we can plug in a 40 watt bulb which gives us a little more light, but if we plug in a 100 watt light bulb, this lights up the entire room.  Do you think that if you plugged in a 500 watt bulb, that the power source would still be there?   Of course, it would be. 

You and I also have access to a very powerful source of energy that flows to and through us.  We are to this universal source the same as a light bulb is to electricity, and like electricity we don’t know where it comes from or how it works, it is just there.  We can resist it and block it, or we can open ourselves up to it and let it flow through.  This energy is unlimited the same way our potential is unlimited and it is our own thoughts and limiting beliefs that prevent us from being anything we want to be.  We have the power and potential to living a life that is amazing and unbelievable; a life that is charged up and on fire. 

Eight years ago I was a very unhappy person who was letting life go by without any appreciation for it.  I then had an aha moment. I realized that my happiness comes from within. I am responsible for my happiness, no one else, and it was like WOW, a light bulb went on.   I went from 25 watts to 100 instantly and my life has not been the same since. I am happy, and by living in a state of continuous gratitude, wonderful things keep happening for me. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would be a best selling author.  We all have the potential to be or do what ever we choose and live the life of our dreams. 

Think for a moment about Oprah Winphrey, Wayne Gretzke, or Bill Gates.  Are they living their dreams?  Are they powerful people?  Do they have the power to do what ever it is they dream of?  They have and so do you.  You are not Oprah, or Wayne Gretzke, you are YOU.  You are here for a reason.  You are unique, and no one can do you as well as you can. 

So do you want to be a 25 watter, or a 100 watter?  You  have the power.  So start now.  Light up your life, and live a life that’s rosey.

In light and love,

Are you getting the results you want in your life?  Are you living your dreams?  What do you want?  Do you want a new home, car, a million dollars, open a new business, build your business, travel, better relationships?  What do you really want?

We can be, do and have everything and anything our hearts desire.   I believe if we be the best we can be and do what it is that we are meant to do on this earth, that the have will come automatically.  If the results we are getting in our lives are not what we want then we can change them.  To change our results we need to change the way we are thinking.  For the last 6000 years in recorded history, all the great thinkers and scientists and philosophers have said “That which we think about we become.”

We think in pictures.  When I say the words home or car, what do you see on the screen of your mind?  You see a picture, you do not see the words h-o-m-e or c-a-r, you see a picture, and it is usually something you are emotionally attached to.  You see your home or car not your neighbor’s home or car.

We have the ability to choose our thoughts and we are 100% responsible for the thoughts we choose.  We can choose good thoughts or bad thoughts.  We cannot be thinking good and bad thoughts at the same time, it is impossible.  We can think and build big beautiful pictures of what we want in life, or we can focus on why we can’t have it or why it won’t work.  Our thoughts cause our feelings.  We will never be thinking good thoughts and be feeling down and depressed.  Or we will never be thinking bad thoughts and feel happy and cheerful.  Our feelings get expressed in actions and it’s our actions that produce our results. 

Think of times when you are thinking good thoughts, you feel good, your happy and cheerful and people are naturally attracted to you.  When you are thinking bad thoughts and feeling bad, people want to stay away.  So if you want to attract good things into your life, you need to think good thoughts.

We need to get a picture in our mind of what it is we want.  Then we have to feel it.  Then we have to act on it to get the desired results.

So if you want that new home, picture it in your mind.  Feel how you would feel living in it.  Then act and do what needs to be done to make it a reality.

So what will you do, are you going to die with your dreams still in you?  Or will you live fully and die empty?

We all have the ability to create what it is we want in life and live our dreams.  We all have the ability to love, laugh, be happy, healthy and wealthy.  We just need to make the choice; to be, do and have a life that’s rosey.

May you have your heart's desire,

I have been an empty nester for ten years now, since my step-son Chris moved out of the house at eighteen years old. How time flies and how soon we forget the joys of having kids around 24/7.  I was recently reminded when Mark’s kids, Hailey and Tyson, age 10 and 8, moved in with us.

Our simple routine of getting up in the morning and getting ourselves to work has totally changed.  We now have to get two kids up, fed, dressed, lunches made and driven to school.  We thought our lives were busy before!

It’s funny how things we used to do as a parent without thinking, we now have to re-learn.  We have to remember to check their backpacks for homework and notes from the teachers.  They are basically telling us what needs to be done because we have forgotten. 

I am not sure why I am not feeling a lot more stressed.  I seem to remember I was much more stressed the first time around.   I don't know why I have more patience, but I do.  Does that come with age? Or from being a grandma?

Everyone keeps asking, “How is it being a full time mom again?” and are surprised when I say “Good!”  A lot of that has to do with Mark.  He is a wonderful dad and takes a lot of the responsibility.  He does most of it; I just fill in when his work schedule doesn’t allow it.

In the ten years since having kids around I realize I have learned a few things.

I do not have to shout to get my point across.   Gentle persuasion works much better than getting angry. Taking a few moments to talk to them about their day makes a huge difference.  It makes me wish I could go back and do things all over again with Chris.  I wish I knew then, what I know now.

It has been a wonderful experience having Hailey and Tyson here.  They are great kids and I see such potential in them and I am excited to be a part of watching them grow.  Each day I grow closer to them and want to be a positive influence on them. I love to see them laugh and play and have fun and I want to be a part of it.

I can’t believe how much more cooking, more dishes, more laundry, more cleaning, and more groceries, two kids can make.  I also can’t believe how much more laughs, more giggles, more hugs, more fun, more playing, and more love fills our home.  Having them here definitely makes life more rosey!

With giggles,

Recently, my siblings and I had the unfortunate task of moving our mom into a long-term care facility.  As her zest for life diminishes, and the sparkle in her beautiful loving eyes is fading, we try to make every moment we have with her now special.  This is one of those moments.
For Valentine's Day, I wanted to share with you a love story.  A love story that is short but sweeter than the most decadent chocolate on earth. It is about a beautiful lady, my mom Irene, and my step-dad Lynn Marshall.  He came into our lives very unexpectedly.  Six years ago mom went to the Senior's Centre and Lynn asked her to dance.  They danced beautifully together, and they have been dancing ever since. 

Not long after she met Lynn we noticed a big difference in our mom.  She was smiling all the time.  She was giggling like a schoolgirl. We asked her what was making her so happy, as we hadn’t seen her smile so much since before our dad died.   She said, “I think I’m in love!”

It was a love affair like no other.  They acted like high school sweethearts.  They were always holding hands, would sit side-by-side, and spent every minute together.

Six months later Mom and Lynn were married.  He was 82; she was 77.  We were very happy for them, but as any  child would say to their mother, are you sure about this?  Are you rushing into things?  Both her and Lynn responded, “No, at this age we don’t have a lot of time to waste.”

We had never seen our mom so happy.  Lynn made her laugh often.  He would sing little ditties to her.  I am not sure if they were actual songs or if he made them up.  If he did, he was a great poet.

This man we now called Dad was in better shape at 82 than most people half his age.  You would see him cycling down the highway, going distances of 40 kms or more.  Going up hill was nothing for him, while most of us would have to get off and walk the bike up.

He had his own vocabulary.  I think he made up his own words.  We would call and ask him how he was and he would say, “I am supermelagorgeous”, and we would laugh.

He was strong in his beliefs and values and had no problem expressing them.  He believed in hard work and did it all of his life.  He was always busy working in the yard and around the house.

He raised three wonderful children, our stepbrothers and sister, making eleven children between them.  His children loved our mom the same way we loved him.

Lynn, or “Dad” passed away this week.  Our mom has to endure another broken heart.  Even though it was a short time, he made a huge impact on our lives, but the thing that makes me most grateful is how happy he made her.  Their love was rare and true. They showed us that true love can happen at any age.

How lucky Mom was to find him.  RIP Dad, thank you for all you have given us.  Thank you and your children, Debbie, Brady, and Bob for coming into our lives, making mom laugh, and loving her with all your hearts.  You truly made the last years of her life much more rosey.

With Love on Valentine's Day,

A friend on Facebook this week asked this question.  “What is the difference between being negative and being a realist?”  This spurred a rather lengthy discussion with a variety of opinions.  My answer was “we create our reality, whether it is positive or negative”.   In other words, your reality is all in your perception and whether it is negative or positive depends on your thoughts.  I have learned that thinking positively creates more positive results in my life. 

This really hits home for me this week. For the most part, I try to focus on what’s positive and good in my life.  There are times however, when this is difficult to do. Life has its ups and downs.  Feeling happy or sad are human emotions that need to be acknowledged and expressed to live authentically.  If I said my life was wonderful right now, it would not be honest or authentic.

Over the last few weeks my family has been struggling with looking after our mom and stepdad as their health deteriorates.  Although it is very difficult for all of us, I try to focus on what is good. 

I am grateful that I have seven other siblings who can take an active role in her care.  I know that I would not be able to do it alone.  When it is my turn, I am grateful to have the time and special moments to share with her. 

There are times too when the eight of us don’t agree on things when it comes to her well-being, but I am grateful that we are able to discuss our opinions opening and honestly and understand that we are all under a lot of stress and pressure trying to do the right thing.

We all want what is best for her, we all want to be there for her, and we understand that when things are said out of anger or frustration, it is because of the situation and not a personal attack on the person.  We are able to apologize and get on with what needs to be done.

We are being authentic and recognizing that we are all human and have feelings, and differences of opinions, and work through these as new circumstances beyond our control challenge us.  We feel bad for things we say, we feel guilty for things we may not have handled the way we wish we had.  We need to remember we are all doing our best, with the knowledge we have at the moment. 

What we have learned is respect and understanding for each other.  We have learned how to apologize and how to forgive, and we have learned that no matter what life brings, we will get through.  And although they may be numbered, we will cherish the special moments we still have with our mom and step-dad and continue to love and support each other along the way.  Life may not always be rosey, but it still can be meaningful, and it is love that will get us through.

In her book, On Toby’s Terms, my friend and best selling author Charmaine Hammond writes about how her dog Toby misbehaved for months when they first brought their rescue dog home.   She finally realized that like humans Toby needed a purpose for his life.  Once he found his purpose as a Pet Therapy dog his behavior improved and life became much easier for Toby and his owners.  The book goes on to explain other lessons she learned from her dog.  We all can learn things from our pets.  It makes me wonder why humans can’t be more like them.  If we were, we would love unconditionally and give without wanting anything in return.  Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

·      Always run to greet your loved ones;  

·      Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride;  

·      Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy;  

·      Take naps;  

·      Stretch before rising; 

·      Eat only when you're hungry; 

·      Run, romp, and play daily;  

·      Thrive on attention and let people cuddle you;  

·      Avoid biting when a simple growl will do;  

·      On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass;  

·      On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree;  

·      When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body;  

·      Delight in the simple joy of a long walk;  

·      Be loyal;  

·      Never pretend to be something you're not;  

·      If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it;  

·      When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently;  

Wouldn’t this world be a better place to live if we behaved more like our dog?  How happy and healthy we would be.  Our lives would be much more rosey.

The Dog

Sometimes keeping commitments is difficult; things come up, time runs out, plans change.    January is always the time of year when people want to make changes in their lives.  They set New Years resolutions only to break them weeks or even days later.

Resolutions are the commitments or intentions we make for ourselves.  For me it’s usually about losing weight, exercising more and being healthier.  It has been something I have struggled with most of my life.  How jealous I am of people who have the skinny genes and high metabolisms.  

This year, as I do every year, I make a commitment to get back on track in my health and fitness regime.  Why is it so much easier for me to keep commitments to others than it is to keep them to myself?  I am forever starting over.  I tell myself well I didn’t lose any but I didn’t gain any either.  I make excuses like I am too stressed out and there is too much going on in my life to worry about that now.   Why do I sabotage myself when I know that by eating right and exercising my life will be better in every other area?   Is it because it’s easier to disappoint myself then it is someone else, or do I believe that I am not as important as others?  Do I think that helping others is more important even when it interferes with my own plans?  Why do we think it’s wrong to put ourselves first?

Woman seem to be especially bad for this, maybe it is the nurturing side of us.  We put everyone else first before we look after our own needs.  But what happens more often then not is that after we have looked after everyone else there is no time or energy left to look after ourselves. 

Maybe we need to look at it from a different perspective.  What if we put ourselves first?  Would that be selfish of us?  Any time in my life when I have put myself first, pampered myself, gave my body and spirit what it needed, and filled myself up I had much more energy and was in a much better position to give even more to those I care about.   Instead of thinking this is self-ish why not think of it as self-love?  Isn’t it better to give when our spirit and energy is high?  Wouldn’t we have more to give and enjoy giving it more?

So now I will remind myself again to look after myself first and keep my commitments to myself even if it is just for today.  I promise to love myself more and do what I need to do to make my life and everyone else’s around me more rosey.

With love and commitment,