Y’all. I live for holidays. Doesn’t matter what we’re celebrating- I’m totally there for it. Halloween will forever be my favourite and even though it’s July, I’d be a big liar if I said we didn’t have a cryptic hand in our front garden. I’m THAT committed.
So, I didn’t decorate for yesterday’s Nation holiday (Canada Day) OR go full out… or actually any kind of particular preparation but…
- We’re still on Covid-cation
- I was feeling a touch down
Covid. Basically, every day is like Canada Day around here as the kids spend their days in the pool (even though they’re saying they’re bored of the pool…. Ummm what?!) and the BBQ is always running (I have to feed 5 growing kids and they’re ALWAYS hungry.) But like really, who doesn’t love BBQ on a hot summer day? Total FAVE. Love me some summer. However, this year absolutely felt different.
Okay, so yes. I’m usually out of the country at my daughter’s Nationals every July 1st and I always envision a backyard full of family and friends that I’m missing out on. My parents would send me super awesome pics of the other kiddos (all decked in red,of course) doing some day trip at a family members house or some other exciting outing…. and as I happily lounged around a Vegas swimming pool while receiving these photos (I know, poor me) I knew that Canada Day was being spent in proper fashion at home. It made my heart full.
So, this year it was pretty special to be home to partake in the weekend with all my family. We absolutely complied with physical distancing this year and kept to our immediate family. (Ps. don’t feel sorry for us, there are 9 people living in this house so every day feels like a celebration.) But, I missed the opportunity to see others, 100% which of course, lead to me feeling a bit down.
You see, I get stuck sometimes in the dream of how things could be… as in I want to live out the very best version of my life possible. And to me? I envision a life of celebration. And I mean celebrating as much as humanly possible. I want the house that people want to come to on their weekends and I want to always be trying out new recipes and then kicking back on the pool deck and chilling. Sounds a bit ambitious, right? I know, I know… but at the end of the day, it keeps me moving towards my goals. My favourite memories as a kid involve the times my parents hosted friends and family over and I simply want to provide the same memories to my kids…. While I make some good ones myself. Laughter, good food and a general good time. I don’t think it’s too much to ask. Am I right?
I blame my Mom for imprinting this trait in me. (hehe, thanks Mom.) She’s the Queen of making sure everyone is in holidays colours, sparklers in hand for the summer long weekends, stocked fridges for the long winter breaks and a clean and bright home for anytime weekend guests were over. She was and is an awesome hostess and I am truly forever grateful that she made sure my childhood was full of celebration. And I think I did a decent little job at it during my short-lived marriage. Honestly, I do. We were usually hosting the few holidays we spent together and since my family had lived 3 hours away, weekend getaways to my husband’s hometown (where we lived) was a usual affair. I think we got through ONE Christmas and Easter without any big issues and it wasn’t until the July long weekend in 2012 when things started to go South. This was around the time that I really came to terms with the fact that he was battling an addiction issue that I couldn’t fix.
So, rewind 8 years. My sister was on her way down with her friends and I was ensuring the house was clean for them (or let’s be honest, presentable enough as can be), the fridge was full and we were ready for a good weekend. And honestly, we had a good weekend as we spent time with my sister and brother in law and went down to the waterfront for ice cream and celebrations. But, my husband never joined us as he chose to party at the local bar rather than spend time with family. That specific night didn’t end well and I took off to my hometown with my sister the morning after. It was the first time that I felt like I wasn’t good enough and that my idea of family togetherness might not be a reality. This sparked the beginning of a long haul of holidays where my husband chose to feed his habits rather than spend with his family and began the tumultuous downfall of our future. I first attributed it to long weekends and this was his way of unwinding after a long week of work but it was putting my happiness on hold and I vowed to make a change to make sure that all coming holidays were going to be happy ones, rather than me upset.
I know some of you all think that it’s an absolutely ridiculous expectation to expect my partner to spend family time with us (ludicrous, right?!) but it’s a reality and even a dream I have. And maybe it’s a little bit sad that it’s simply a dream of mine to want a spouse who chose us over an addiction. So yesterday, even though I wasn’t surrounded by extended family and friends, I felt grateful to be where I was and enjoyed a day of not having to worry whether or not my husband was behind bars. I was grateful to experience my kids splashing around, (albeit whining a crap ton because we totally had a Harry Potter marathon the night before) and divulging in probably a couple too many treats and sweets. And I added something to my mental vision board yesterday. I envisioned myself, in my own home, gathering with the people I love the most and it reminded and motivated me to keep moving forward. To keep pushing my online courses, to put my heart and soul into a current entrepreneurship and to master the book I’m co-authoring and the most important- to be the absolute best mother I can be. I truly believe that our best days are ahead and the best parties are going to follow this pandemic. We absolutely miss out family and friends and are anxious to gather and celebrate with you all once again. But until then, I’m choosing to keep my values as a priority. And I’m choosing to be grateful for the growth that the last 5 years has presented me with. I’m choosing to be happy that I’m able to surround my family with positivity and opportunity. I’m totally after that simple life and it may have taken me a while to get here but now that I’m here? There’s no place I’d rather be.
PS. Happy 4th to my friends South of the Border xo