Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Broken Yolks and Burnt Toast

I don't know how it is around your house, but at mine, if you're making the breakfast and you burn the toast? You're eating that charred piece of cardboard. Same goes if you break the yolk. Is it fair that the person who does all the work gets the crappiest breakfast if it happens not to turn out? I dunno, but them's the breaks.

Doesn't it sometimes seem like moms, or just women in general, sometimes get the short end of the stick? I'm very lucky at my house. I cannot make a good breakfast to save my life and He Who Shall Not Be Named, rocks the breakfast kitchen, so generally he makes it and I devour it happily. But I'm not always as lucky out in the real world.

If we were going by statistics, we'd learn that women get less top jobs, we earn less, and we're often doing more because we're just better multi-taskers. This isn't a post to bitch and moan about inequality - far from it. It's a lead up to my virtue of the month. 

Last month I was writing about how often I find myself in a position where I am surrounded by people with more experience than I have, or they are better or more successful than I am. In fact quite often it's the case that I am the underdog. My girl Donna commented on how sad it was that we as women don't give ourselves enough credit. So my immediate reaction was to pick "Self-acceptance" as the virtue for March. But hang on a second... Acceptance by its very nature suggests "being received as adequate". Donna isn't adequate, she's exceptional, so why should she have to "accept" herself as if she were flawed? And by that logic, why should you or I or anyone else for that matter?

Most of us here are grown-ups. We're accomplished in our own fields and in fact if we were men, we might even be shouting our own accolades from the highest mountain. Okay perhaps not, but you know what I mean. Men just seem less afraid to speak up for what they want and deserve, less shy about acknowledging their successes, so can we not learn from them?

I believe we can.

I'm not about to post my CV or list my accomplishments so the whole world can pat me on the back, however, I can give myself credit where credit is due. I mean if I was a complete waste of space, I'd have never found myself in meetings or on panels or in places where I am surrounded by all these people that I respect and admire now would I? Nor would you. So how about we decide that we are good enough, that we are worthy, that we are smart, pretty, funny, healthy, whatever else we deep down need to finally see that we are and give ourselves some credit.

So the virtue for March? Self-Credit. Recognize yourself this month even if it's just for the tiny things like having the willpower to chose dark chocolate over milk chocolate, or waking up early to take time for meditation, or getting that big project done on time and under budget - whatever it is that you reached for and got, pat yourself on the back this month.

Now just as an aside, here's a little story that might make you sit up and say Omigod, I'd probably do that too and how dumb is that?

I've been having health issues for months now, since last June actually. I kept coming up empty. I have a compromised immune and seriously low iron but no one could figure out why. 

First off let me say I now know what is going on and am getting treatment and all is well. But here's the story....

He Who Shall Not Be Named and I decided to drive up to Whistler for the day and go for a hike. We arrived, hung out in town, grabbed some tea and set off for the trail. As we parked up, I started experiencing chest pain. Still, I soldiered on and off we went. Not ten minutes in, the pain got worse and we decided we'd better pack it in and head home. I'd been out of town all the previous week working crazy hours on a live show so I was tired. No biggie. 

We're on the highway and next thing you know, this chest pain is radiating into my back and my left hand is starting to tingle. Yeah, it's going numb. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? "Holy crap, I might be having a heart attack!" Can that be true? That can't be true....

So we drove on. The further out of Whistler we got, the worse I began to feel. I wondered if I could make it home and just go to bed. Nope, this was happening. But here's the best part as it relates to the virtue.

I had the option of going to emergency in a small town between Whistler and Vancouver, but I wasn't sure I wanted to do that. I didn't want to look foolish.  Didn't want to take up the doctor's time or steal a hospital bed from someone who really needed it. And mostly? I didn't want to inconvenience anyone. Are you fucking kidding me? If I was having a heart attack don't you think my death might be a bit more of an inconvenience than a hospital visit?

Yeah. We went to the Squamish Emergency room. It wasn't a heart attack. The thing that had been plaguing me for months had finally caught up with me and was now making itself known. I have a bacterial infection. It got to my wee heart and caused some inflammation. Advil took care of the pain and I was right as rain. I am on a three-month course of treatment for the infection so at the end of the day it's all good. I'm betting I've had this puppy living in me for years slowly chipping away at me and wearing me down, and by the time I get through treatment, I'll feel like my old self again. I hope.

But isn't that so lame? We are just so used to not ruffling feathers, not putting anyone out, not wanting to "bother" anyone, that I was almost willing to chance my health. Dumb dumb dumb.

Give yourself some credit, already, geez.


  1. Oh my God, Shan!

    First, yes I am glad you figured it all out...but I know for a fact that I too would think for a minute the same exact thing that you did. Is that not terrible? And the same thing with not feeling "right" or something and deciding to live with it. A few years back I was feeling increasingly overwhelmed and depressed. So every night when I had no energy to do something healthy or positive to address the stress, I would just sit on the sofa and have a glass of wine...or 3. And then when I never felt better (and started to feel worse and worse) I figured, well we know how I'm spending my nights, so what's the surprise? I kept feeling worse and not dealing with anything, and then one day I was in a (very minor) fender-bender in my boyfriend's car. I spent all day worrying about what I would tell him, and at the same time feeling physically worse and worse. Finally, I broke out in what I thought might be hives from the anxiety. Actually, it was the shingles! The doctor said it was rare for someone my age to get them unless you are freakishly run down...big eye opener.

    Looking back, I knew something was wrong (many things were wrong), but my body had to stop being subtle before I would listen. In a way, I didn't give myself enough credit--I didn't believe that I could know these things.

    Excellent virtue...and even better news that you're on the mend!


    1. Hi Mimsy,
      Wow! Shingles are supposed to be one of the most painful things you can get! I am so glad you got through it and started taking care. We are so accustomed to taking care of others and not stopping to take care of ourselves.
      It's amazing how are bodies are able to communicate, even if they have to sometimes shout!

  2. Oh my goodness! It must be a relief to find out what been wrong! Maybe your immune system & iron levels will be normal!

    Please rest, drink lots of fluids! Praying for you!

    1. Hey Gia,
      Yes, I hope that after all of the stuff I'm taking to heal that my body will naturally once again find balance including my iron levels. I am trying to drink as much water as I can and I sleep a lot!
      Thanks girl.

  3. Oh my friend Shan!!!!!!!!!!! My eyes are flooded with tears as I write this.

    First of all . . . I am just so sorry to hear that you've not been feeling well but you must be SO relieved that the problem has been identified and that you are on the road to recovery. What a terrifying experience for you and your husband, and I'm so sorry you had to go through that. Please keep us posted on how you are feeling. I hope that you will feel better than ever very soon!

    Second, I appreciate your words more than you can know and I am so glad and so thankful that I had some small part in inspiring you to develop this monthly virtue. Self Credit - YES! I love everything about this.

    Obviously I don't want to be arrogant, or self-involved, or have a superiority complex, but I do need to be mindful that I have some value in this world - and that I offer something to others. I don't practice "Self-Credit" enough (or at all?!?) - and after reflection, I believe that because I don't, self-doubt creeps in and takes over and I do not actively seek out - or compete for - various opportunities or experiences - because I believe I can't or I'm not good enough. I think I don't live life fully enough because I am scared of my limitations - some of which may be imagined. How sad is that? Dumb dumb dumb! Girl, you are on to something with Self-Credit. Thank you for making me think about it. I'm just so thankful for you!

    Hugs and love, xoxo

    1. Donna,
      It was a very interesting experience. A heart attack is no joke, so when I thought that's what was going on, it really helped to sort out some priorities in a hurry. I'm glad it wasn't a heart attack and am thrilled to be finally getting treatment - but it's slow going.

      I agree with you about our limitations. Many of them we put upon ourselves out of doubt or fear or whatever, but our friends and family likely never see us in such a limited way. We tend to believe in those we love, so why is it so hard to turn that belief inward towards ourselves? That's the challenge and it's been a good one for this month.

      You made me think about this too. We're quite the dynamic duo! lol.
      Big hugs

  4. shan,

    So good to hear from you! I wish I could air mail you some homemade soup!

    Henry Rollins sings in "Low S(elf) O(pinion) " " if you could see the you that I see, you'd see yourself so differently" . Or something like that. OK, he pretty much yells it.
    I remember a church elder asking me if I'd join the Hospitality Committee because I'm so "warm, friendly & happy". Funny, I've been clinically depressed my whole life & I have terrible social skills!

    Also, if you're spiritual or religious you have self worth "just because" you are God's creation. It helps to remember that sometimes.

    1. Thanks Bella. We never do see ourselves the way others do, right? But thank you for the last sentiment. It is beautiful.
      Big hugs.

  5. Oh my god Shannon, huge hugs from over here!
    That's horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE and I've been so slack and only just read your post. I started smiling at the burnt toast and mooshed yolk (yup same thing goes on over here!), and then the self credit - well I've never been particuarly great at that, think it's something we all could do a lot more of actually because (without stealing the L'oreal line too much) we really are WORTH IT! .......but then I was so shocked by what I read about your health. Noooooo that's not allowed to happen to lovely, kind, clever and giving people like you!
    I guess I've been in your boat but with different circumstances, (if anyone else reads this I've recently finished my cancer treatment and should, fingers crossed, be getting the all clear in 2 weeks times!) but going back to last year before the first actual hospital visit, and there I was at home, phone in hand questioning whether to ring as I didn't want to be wasting the doctors time. In retrospect it's utterly stupid but that's exactly what I felt, in fact that happened twice as the pills the first doctor gave me didn't work and so I needed to go back, experiencing it all again, the same feeling of doubt and not giving myself the credit and worth that I/we deserve. But truth of the matter is that if I hadn't rung I probably wouldn't be around anymore to write I've learnt (perhaps the hard way and now perhaps you have too?) that we are worth SO much more than we give ourselves credit! Self credit, acceptance of our place in this little world is our right as much as it is the successful business person sat next to you on the train (or more likely zooming past in the dead swanky car!) We're all equal and deserving.........100%, straight down the line!
    I really hope you feel better must be a relief to have a name for what you've been feeling for so long, but my god that was some scary s*#t!!
    Think of you lots and keep knocking back those pills (which I'm pretty sure you don't like doing at all!) right now we can rattle together :)
    Take HUGE care x x

    1. Oh Hanna, we girls are so much the same aren't we. I'm glad we both stood up for ourselves and rightfully took care of ourselves before it became too late and thrilled that we are both on the mend. Although your condition is much more fierce than mine, our feelings around it are much the same.
      We can totally rattle together. I feel like a dealer walking around with all these different tablets and tinctures, and viles of stuff.
      Sending you big hugs back and I cannot wait to hear your good news.

  6. You haven't been here in sooooooooo long. I get that you are evolving -- and focusing on what is most important (you and health). But please at least give us an update on how you are and maybe your thoughts of writing/blogging/changing? Heathy thoughts your way........M

    1. I am soooooo sorry. I am going to write a post for you right now! Big kiss.