Good morning…

7:22 am. It is an absolutely gorgeous day so far. Our balcony faces East, I’m bathed in sunshine. It’s going up to 21 degrees. Sigh. Life is wonderful.

Janet Edmonds

Two weeks ago today my dear friend Janet died in palliative care in St. John’s, NL. 51 years old, bone cancer. Surrounded by close friends and family. She died as she lived, gracefully. She was an Actor by trade, a phenomenal one at that. We worked closely together a number of seasons at a summer theatre festival in Newfoundland many moons ago. The picture below was taken last summer when she visited Toronto. We had 3 glorious hours together which I shall cherish for a lifetime.

It’s too soon to clearly express…I’m still processing it. Heartbroken is a word I’d use. And grateful. Through action she taught us that no matter what life throws your way it can be met head on, eyes and heart wide open, with great humour, love and dignity. She didn’t allow cancer to define her. Instead she showed it her boot and said, Well if you’re here you’re coming with me. Try to keep up will ya? Lol. She had the BEST laugh. Chesty, charming and catching. She was unique which means there was only one ❤

It turns out another friend, who lives in Halifax, my hometown, has the same cancer. It was only a few days after Janet’s passing that I learned we’re talking months now. Well fuck. I couldn’t get home to see Janet. I was in school see and she was no longer able to handle visitors. But I’d had it. I was heartbroken and homesick (hadn’t been home in 5 years). I sure as HELL was going home to see Lynn. So, I put it out on Facebook asking for airmiles or aeroplan points to get me and my daughter Lily home, it’s important. I’m not working yet see…poor student, couldn’t afford to do it on our own. Lo and behold an angel came through for us. I found out Thursday morning and by that afternoon our eager arses were sitting on the tarmac in Halifax.  

Still processing our trip home too. It was an unforgettable whirlwind of love, salt air and meaning. Lily, who’s 8 now, got to spend quality time with her Auntie Danielle, my friend for 30 years, and her Nanny Jean & Auntie Joan on my husband’s side. 

Lily & Danielle

We were treated like gold, as is the East coast way.

Anni & I…I am a lucky woman ❤

It was also my 45th birthday on the Saturday…

Myself, Genevieve & Danielle…friends for 30 years…birthday brunch ❤

Old friends 😃

Myself & Rebecca, choir camp buddies since our teens…seeing ONCE the musical at Neptune Theatre, a gift for my birthday ❤.

Friends of mine who were in the cast of ONCE…Kirsten, Amanda, Cam, Me, Jon-Alex and Margot ❤

Myself and Margot Sampson…a fellow performer ❤

Doug & Danielle ❤…our loving hosts for the weekend

Myself & Jeremy Webb…Actor and Artistic Director of Eastern Front Theatre ❤

Kendra & I…friends for 40 years – HOLY poop!! ❤

Myself & Lesli Chandler…we performed together in the musical Cabaret at Neptune Theatre in the late-90’s ❤

Luckily Lynn had enough energy to see me Sunday afternoon. We had a whole 2 hours together!! I got to massage her feet and legs…it was…beautiful. Magical. Spiritual. Our time, it was love. She said she felt Janet was with us ❤. I feel indescribably lucky. Felt so good to give something of myself to one who has given so much of themselves to others. I love you Lynn. More adventures to be had 😄

Sigh☀️

At the airport Sunday evening waiting to depart…sad faces.

Here it is, Saturday again.

It’s been two weeks since Janet passed away. Still hard to believe. But I strive to live, love and be better. Every day.

Our time here is brief my friends. Make it count ❤

It’s 8:50 am…and I am bathed in sunshine.

Wed. May 31, 2017…after a 12 hour day at school. This is the face of a soon-to-be graduate. 2 more months of classes!!

Peace, love & light,

Julia

Advertisements

Checking In

image

Self-Portrait...Muskoka, Ontario...July 2015

Dear ones,

I have been ridiculously inattentive. Forgive me. It has been over two months since my last post! I sound like I’m  beginning a confession, lol.

How have you been? Please, fill me in, I want to know.

Summer FLEW by didn’t it? I’m hard pressed to remember it all. Best part of it for me was spending two weeks with my daughter at my Mother’s place up north in the land of Muskoka lakes. Lake swimming and ice cream eating. Every. Day. We are so lucky to have had this special time with my Mum. And I needed a break from the big city. Toronto does not present the depth of nature Muskoka offers so willingly and freely…and my soul needs the soothing surround of pure, peaceful nature.

On August 24th I began my courses in Massage Therapy at Sutherland-Chan here in Toronto. We have a healthy class of 37 wonderful, unique individuals all working together towards the same goal (they teach me so much!). We really are lucky to have each other.

It has been an intense period of transition, adjusting to a new full-time study schedule. And it’s truly full on. Both Anatomy and Physiology are dense courses…I can hardly believe I’m learning as much as I am in such a short time…all the bones and their structures from the pelvis to the feet and their muscles & ligaments (excluding the lower leg). I mean, it’s only been 4 weeks! It feels so much longer…in a good way, lol.

The best part of course are the practical classes where we learn massage techniques. Every week, three times a week, I get a massage. How brilliant is that?! We just learned Head/Neck/Shoulders… oh…my…gad it feels amazing!!

I have to say though, I love giving more than receiving. It’s a total workout and thus completely energizing. I love it. I massage with love :).

Regarding my mental health, school is so beneficial. I feel motivated and inspired every day. I have no time to ruminate. Bipolar who? Ha-cha-cha!

So, that’s me. Where I’m at right now.

I love that my 6 year old daughter and I are both going to school at the same time…learning, steady as she goes, new languages both (she French, me Anatomy speak). My husband makes our lunches for us…how sweet is that? How lucky are we :).

I leave you now, time to play a game with the little one.

Thank you for reading and being here.

Peace, love & light,
Julia

image

Where Time Machines Cannot Take Us

I introduce my friend, Kusum Dole, and her new blog. Let’s show her some WordPress love :).

This piece really resonates with me presently.
May it also with you.

Peace, love & light,
Julia

Foster Self Awareness

Related: A personal account of my “Experiences of In-Between”

Watch Header

Where Time Machines Cannot Take Us

Why do we dread starting and ending?

What is between the here and there?

The “in-between” is everywhere: creative or work projects, writing a resume, going out for the evening, quitting smoking…any task whether active or passive.

Each of us reacts to it in our own way: a dead stop, procrastination, hesitation, digging our heels, avoidance or, perhaps, rising to the challenge.

What does in-between feel like?

The in-between is different for each of us who struggles with it: An open field fraught with attacks from the sky. A swamp of sinking despair. An empty eternity. A dense dark forest…suffocating, trapping.

Even though we know that we must go through the in-between, we yearn for that time machine so we don’t have to traverse it. Wanting to be already there.

I used to want this, too. Then I learned…

View original post 158 more words

Celebrating!

My Mid-Term mark! 39 out of 40!!! Weeeeeeeeeeeee! I’m loving this course. I’m so proud of myself!

For those of you who don’t know   I’m taking a Pre-Admission course in Physiology and Anatomy for the Massage Therapy program at the Sutherland-Chan School here in Toronto. I haven’t been in class for over 20 years…was rather nervous, excited and somewhat intimidated in the beginning. I do not have a Science background, I’ve been Arts all the way. I was a professional Musical Theatre actor before I became a mother 6 years ago. But I’m beginning to understand that career was the perfect training ground.

I was a singer/ dancer / actor…performing in the musicals CATS, Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar, Gypsy, Annie, Les Misérables to name a few. I knew those shows inside and out. Had to. Showed up to perform 8 shows a week over 6 days for two, three, 4 months at a time. I know what commitment means. And I do learn very well. I can do this!

I wasn’t the best student in High School though I knew I could have done better. In University I studied Acting, I did very well, A’s and B’s…but in my electives not so much. Because they didn’t interest me, they were simply a means to an end. I was that person who showed up for the exam in a flurry, all a fluster, saying, “I crammed all night, I am so fucked. How do you feel?!”  Thus, I was worried, maybe…I’m not smart enough/good enough to succeed in this new program.

I’m happy to say that isn’t the case. I’m no longer that gal. That gal showed up yesterday for the exam all a fluster having crammed all night asking me, “How do you feel?!” I felt appropriately nervous but very prepared. And it showed in my results. Yay! For her as well. Sadly she barely passed the exam. We spoke afterwards, she lamenting her poor result. She REALLY wants to get into this program. So from now on I’m going to be her quiz partner. I was very practical about her situation. If she aces the next two quizzes and the final she’ll pass above the passing grade of 65. But she’s got to put in the work, the time. She can do it, she just has to DO it. She seemed a little lighter after we spoke. She’s not alone, she has me in her corner. We’ll pass together! I want her to do well and I want to help. Helps me too! I love having a quiz partner.

It feels good though to know I have changed. I’m no longer ekeing by by the skin of my teeth. I want to be the best Massage Therapist I can be! I don’t want to let myself down by just “getting by”.

Wow. I did it. I did it!!!
Sigh ☺…feels sum good.

image

Bala Bay Falls, 2015

Onwards & upwards!
Julia

Birthday Beach

Yesterday was the time I turned 43 ☺. Twas a relaxing time, a simple one, shared with my love on the shore of Lake Ontario on a bench in the spot nearby where we had our first date 7 years ago. Perfect weather, not too hot not too cold, juuuuuuust right. I spent the day exactly as I wanted to, with my family. Close in not too wide, nuthin’ too fancy. Chocolate cake, my favorite to top it off. I still don’t feel “in my forties” whatever that’s supposed to feel like. Young is how I feel except when my body tells me otherwise, lol.

What a difference a year makes. A year ago I was still struggling with the depression aspect of Bipolar2 Disorder…couldn’t fathom having the energy or mind to work, getting out of bed was a success. Dressing, brushing my teeth, being present. Now here I am taking a pre-requisite course in Physiology and Anatomy for the Massage Therapy program at Sutherland-Chan AND working a part-time job…AND enjoying my life.

Grateful…blessed…humbled are words that come to mind.

image

Our living room wall decorated by Steven & Lily

image

Lily's Birthday message

image

A Dad & daughter out for a stroll...

image

image

Our spot

image

image

Boardwalk

image

image

Special is another word I feel.

image

Birthday smile

Twas a lovely day.

Mid-Term Saturday. I’ll let you know how it goes. I feel satisfied with my studies and can’t wait to get at it!

Thank you for visiting. I know my posts have been few and far between of late as well as my visits to your pages. Maybe now that my nerves have settled in regards to my class I’ll feel more inspired to be creative and engaged here.

Sending you peace, love & light,
Julia

I did it ☺

Yep I did it!! My fundraising campaign was totally successful!! I raised what I need to take the two prerequisite courses for the Massage Therapy program I want to do – all due to the kindness and generosity of others. I’m so moved & humbled by the love. I mean, just over a week ago I was despairing the fact I wouldn’t be able to enroll for September. Here I am today, I signed up for my first course, Physiology and Anatomy. The textbook is beautiful but it also kinda makes me want to hurl, lol. What was I thinking?!? Me? Study anatomy?? I think I’m crazy but I’m doing it anyway. Too late to back out now!

And…it seems my shrink and I have finally found a successful med “cocktail” – WIN! For those who aren’t aware I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder last year and it’s taken this long to find the right med combo. I wouldn’t be here going back to school if I didn’t feel confident I can do it. I’m still nervous as hell lol but not…depressed and under a rock. Thank you God!!

I’m sorry I’ve been so slack with posts of late. I haven’t felt inspired to shoot and as this is/was meant to be a photo blog I guess I feel like, what am I going to post? But I guess photos aren’t all I have, right? ☺

It’s good to be back. May you enjoy this most beautiful day!

Peace, love & light,
Julia