I remember thinking, “She’s way too cool for me” but I’ll say hi anyways. I remember thinking that she looked like a very adventurous Mom with her three kids and there I was with my own insecurities about being able to keep up or fit in. Little did I know that being adventurous hasn’t always been her forte.
Liz and I hit it off and became fast friends on the sledding hill that day. While our kids played, we quickly dug into deep life conversations and I got to learn more about how life hasn’t always been filled with adventures for her!
Liz grew up a timid child, and in her words she was “Scared. Of. EVERYTHING”. The fear of failing or getting hurt left her sitting on the sidelines rather than riding her bike, playing sports, or trying new things. In fact, she never tried new things and as she became an adult this really became an Achilles heel when it came to participating in activities.
After a horrible (and I mean horrible) break up with her husband, Liz decided that it was time for a new lease on life. Sound cliche? Well her story is that and more. Liz decided to transform who she was by doing one simple thing… saying yes to everything. And so it began.
She Said Yes To Hiking
One hike a week was her goal, and whether or not she had people with her, she hit the mountains. She told me that she got to find out just how weak and strong she was, and that she really felt at home among the trees. She used to be scared of hiking and now it’s one of her biggest passions!
She Said Yes To Snowboarding
Liz wanted to learn how to snowboard, but getting gear was an expensive indulgence for the single Mom. I happened to have my old snowboard in my garage and was happy to see it go to a new home. After one day on the slopes Liz was hooked and I loved getting the text messages of her out on the slopes with her friends.
She Said Yes to Ballroom Dancing Classes
And even though she didn’t have a partner she registered anyways… and had some fun with her Facebook post as she tried to swoon a partner to meet up with her for 8 weeks!
She Said Yes To Going Back To School
And her community stepped up with bursaries to support her! On Facebook she wrote, “So this happened last week and I am still sorting out my feels ❤️🤓. So very fortunate to have an amazing community supporting me as I begin a new journey of growth and learning. This bursary will cover my first semester in September. Thank you Wilma’s Transition House and Riverside Equipment Rentals. I am honoured and so very grateful my mom and kids were a part of the celebration #buildcommunity #loveothers #trustyourself #familyfirst #singlemom.”
She Said Every Day Begins With A Smile
Liz decided that there should be less rules and more fun in her house. And that most problems can be solved if you start off with a smile first. Her kids were happier and she was happier too, and everyone started having more fun!
And Then She Did This…
On Facebook she wrote, “Today I signed the last paper… One, thirty, twenty eighteen. I have been on my own for eight hundred and three days. I have been navigating my biggest fear for two years, two months and eleven days. I have fallen apart more times than I care to remember. I have cried for so long and so hard, my eyes were swollen shut. I have experienced more pain than I thought I could handle. I have questioned my value and my purpose. I have leaned on God hard. I have walked away from God and then fallen right back in love. I have laid my life long dream to rest. I have created a new dream. I have let friends pick me up and piece me back together. I have told my story. I have made fun of it. I have made fun of myself. I have journaled and then avoided it. I quit sugar, wheat and dairy. I sometimes eat pastries all day long. I have slept alone and enjoyed it. I have cried myself to sleep because I was alone. I have crammed three kids and a dog in bed with me. I have slept in. I have lived on 3 hours of sleep a night for months. I have spent more than 300 hours in counselling. I got a job. I worked too much. I went to part time. I sorted out my finances. I purchased shoes whenever I felt like it. I went dancing. I tried Karaoke. I went on a girls trip. I stood up for myself. I started embracing embarrassment. I made a new dream board. I decided I need to buy a boat one day. I jumped off a diving board for the first time. I went to a play and a symphony. I tried Champagne. More than once. I made new friends. I reconnected with soul mates. I got inside my body. I got outside of my head. I went on dates. I kissed someone else. I went to a few concerts. I’ve hosted dinner parties. I experienced baseball and hockey games. I started hiking and snowboarding. I fell in love with outside. I hired a lawyer. I paid her enough to take the trip I dream of taking. I applied for school. I stopped cooking as much. I struggled to spend enough time with my kids. I taxied too much. I have spent way too much at Starbucks. I went on lots of school field trips. I have dreaded ninety percent of them. I became the hot lunch-mom. I held my kids. I really held my kids. We navigated separation and fighting with friends. We cried together, then we woke up and went on an adventure. We hugged a lot. We hosted a few pre-teen girl dance parties. I discovered a house full of heart beats heals the soul. We went on vacations. We played basketball in the living room. We talked about hard things and silly things. We prayed. We invited friends over for dinner so we didn’t eat alone. We let go of the perfect family. We held on to each other instead. We made a big deal about birthdays. We made messes. We cleaned them up. I stopped yelling. So they stopped yelling. I tried really hard. I never got it perfect but I think I got it right.”
I’m so grateful that I got to meet Liz that day on the sledding hill and that I get to call her my Facebook friend. She continues to inspire me and remind me every day that no matter what, starting it with the right attitude makes all the difference.
Happy Mother’s Day, to all the Mom’s out there who maybe aren’t getting it perfect, but are definitely getting it right.