What is Love?

Baby don't hurt me...

Baby don’t hurt me…

Love, amour, amare, amo, любовь,爱, agape, eros, älskar…..

The Concise Oxford Dictonary, Ninth Ed. describes love like this:

love n. & v.  -n. 1. an intense feeling of deep affection or fondness for a person or thing; great liking. 2. sexual passion. 3. sexual relations. 4 a a beloved one; a sweetheart (often as a form of address). Brit. colloq. a familiar form of address regardless of affection. 5. colloq. a person of whom one is fond….

Yadda yadda yadda.

After 9 definitions of the word love as a noun, it goes on to provide 4 definitions of love as a verb and the use of the word in various contexts, such as fall in love, for the love of, in love, love-hate relationship, making loveand so on and so forth.  All of which make me believe even more strongly what I am here to say today, on Valentine’s Day, when love is celebrated above all else:

There is no true description to the word love.  It means something different to everyone, in every situation. Each time the word is uttered (which is often – I also think it is the worlds most overused word) it means something different.  Love is such a vast, multi-layered complex concept, that those folks that wrote that dictionary barely even scratched the surface in their very long definition of the word.

Let us break it down.  I can only speak for myself, but I think that the general concept is universal:

I love God.  God loves me.

I love my son.  My son loves me.

I love my husband.  My husband loves me.

I love my Mom.  My Mom loves me.

I love my Dad.  My Dad loves me.

I love my friend Jolene.  My friend Jolene loves me.

I love my friend Renee.  My friend Renee loves me.

I love my friend Karen.  My friend Karen loves me.

I love all my friends (you know who you are) and they all love me.

I love my dog Sophie.  Sophie loves me.

I love reading.

I love my job.

I love being home, nice and cozy, on a cold winter day.

I love soaking up the sun on the beach on a hot summer day.

I love my cell phone.  Also my Macbook Pro.  And any kind of amazing technology.

I love shopping in Sephora, Indigo, Coach, and other various clothing and shoe stores, etc.

I love bacon, pizza, popcorn, chocolate, the smell of BBQ in the summer, the smell of baked beans in the winter.

I love to cook, bake, and create things in the kitchen.  I love to share those things with the folks that I love.

I love Harry Potter.

I love music.

I love the sound of my son’s laughter.

I love my bed.

I love cuddling.

I love a good cup of tea.

I love how you get the idea…..I’m sure you get the idea.

I just used the word love in almost 50 different ways.  Each time I typed the word, it meant something different.  Each time I typed the word I totally meant it.  Relative to the subject I was writing about.  Do I love a good cup of tea as much as I love my Mom?  Uh…no.  But I do love them both.  I love my son more than anything in the world.  I also love my husband more than anything in the world.  You may ask how I can say that.  You may think I am contradicting myself.  But I am not.  I love them both more than anything in the world, yet the love I feel for my son is so completely different than the love I feel for my husband, that there is absolutely no comparing the two.

Love is a pretty big thing.  It makes the world go around.  There is a reason why many people wait to say it in relationships, and have a hard time saying it for the first time.  It means something, or at least it should.

I hope you all have an amazing Valentine’s Day, and use this day to celebrate love.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship or not.  We are all capable of love and because of that today is for everyone, everywhere.

Enjoy!

 

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The Best…and Worst Books I’ve Read So Far this Year.

IMG_4393Last year I slacked a bit on reading.  I think I only read 17 books last year.  This may seem like a lot, but for someone who has clocked over 60 books on the Goodreads Reading Challenge, 17 is not very many.  It was a busy crazy year, as you’ll know if you read my last post.

This year though, things have settled a bit, and I’ve been a regular visitor at my local library again.  I love the library, who doesn’t love free books, even if you have to give them back?  Nicholas and I usually walk down once a week, where he borrows several books and a movie.  It’s an amazing service offered by the community, and I don’t know why more people don’t utilize it.

As I said, I have been frequenting the library for my own purposes more often lately, and it’s the 2nd of February and I’m working on book #7 of 2015.  So I thought I would weigh in on the best and worst that I have read so far.

The Bad:

I’ll get the bad one out of the way first.  I typically finish books.  I have this thing where I feel like if I start a book, I need to see it through.  There have been very few books that I have given up on.  Lately though, I feel like if something isn’t going so good, and I give it a fair chance (meaning I have read several chapters trying to get into the story and characters) I am more likely to put it down.  The way I look at it, my TBR (to be read) list is so long, that I’m not likely to get through it during my lifetime as it continues to grow on a regular basis.  I don’t often take as many books off the list as I put on.  There are so many amazing books out there just waiting to be read.  Why waste my time struggling through books that just aren’t doing it for me?  Life is short, read what you want.

I gave up on a book this year already.  I was actually excited to read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.  I haven’t read a lot of fiction that is surrounding the events and aftermath of 9/11, but I was looking forward to reading this one.  I knew that there had been a movie made a few years back starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.  I hadn’t seen it, but it looked really good.  I just thought I would enjoy it.  I was wrong.  I found this book so hard to read.  The way it was written really annoyed me.  I really struggled to keep up with it.  The conversations in the book had no structure.  Sentences in quotes that were back and forth.  This isn’t a quote from the book, but an example of this might be:

“Hi, how are you?” “Good.” “What are you doing?” “Nothing much.” “It’s a beautiful day.” “Yes it is.” “I think I’ll go for a walk.” “Sounds like a good idea.”

This drove me crazy.  There was no flow to the writing.  I also had a hard time believing that a nine year old boy was scouring the city of New York trying to find a hidden message that his father who was killed in 9/11 had left him with someone named “Black.”  That no one (including his mother) seemed to notice.  Maybe I didn’t get far enough in, maybe there was a reason and an explanation for this, maybe it would all be made clear to those that actually made it through to the end of this one.  I found myself not caring enough to find out.

The Amazing:

I did however, read an amazing piece of literature this month.  The best book I’ve read this year, and actually in a long time for that matter.  I have been a fan of Sue Monk Kidd for many years, enjoying everything I’ve read by her.  This month I added The Invention of Wings to the list.  This book was amazing.  It takes place primarily in 19th century Charleston, before the civil war.  The book cuts back and forth between Sarah Grimke, who on her 11th birthday receives Hetty “Handful” Grimke as her personal ladies maid, the other protagonist in the book.  I was unaware that Sarah and her sister Angelina were actual figures in US history, who were prominent voices in the anti-slave movement, as well as among the first in the feminist movement.  Sue Monk Kidd has taken Sarah’s general story and shown her own perception, taking liberties along the way.  The result is a powerful story, so well written, that took me in from the very first page.  It is a captivating book about two girls who grow into women, very different people, very different lots in life, but whose lives are woven together permanently.

Sue Monk Kidd switches smoothly and effortlessly back and forth between the two women, and each has their own distinct voice.  I found myself thoroughly invested in each character, and once I finished this story, I spent a bit of time researching the story of Sarah Grimke, and learning more about what a remarkable woman she was and the mark she made on history.  I was astonished that I had never heard her name before.

Needless to say, I highly recommend this book, and any other book written by this gifted storyteller.  The Secret Life of Bees is the first book I read by her, it was amazing as well, and I have always been very impressed by her work.

Hopefully there will be more reviews to come.  I have, as I mentioned, been reading more this year so far, and my name is on a long list of books waiting for my turn to read from the library.

Have a great week!

A Re-boot

Sometimes it feels as though you're lost in a forest.  But if you stay positive and look up, you can make it through to the other side.

Sometimes it feels as though you’re lost in a forest. But if you stay positive and look up, you can make it through to the other side.

Hey.  How are things?

It’s been a while. Almost 8 months to be exact.  I guess it was time to take a break from my completely sporadic, non-grueling, when-I-felt-like-it blogging schedule.  Perhaps it’s because the last 8 months have been a time of real transition for me.  My life was turned on its head, in what turned out to be a good way.

Those of you that know me will know that I worked at my last job for 17 years.  I worked in the office, primarily in Purchasing and Materials, of a factory that painted parts for the automotive industry.  Sounds thrilling, doesn’t it?  It was a love/hate thing sometimes, but it was kind of in my blood.  This factory was owned by my parents since I was a little girl, and I started working there full time when I was about 19.  Then it changed hands about 9 years ago, and I stayed on, as did the majority of the staff.  It’s pretty safe to say that after all those years, this was in my blood, it was what I knew, and going into work every day was just like breathing.  It was natural for me.  I guess I never really envisioned myself working anywhere else or doing anything else, although I wasn’t dim enough to believe that it wasn’t a possibility.

I guess though, that nothing lasts forever.  It started to become obvious that the days that the factory would remain open were numbered.  Another new, state of the art factory was opening by the same owners, two hours away.  Though it originally seemed like there may be a chance to keep it open, eventually, the writing was on the wall.

This was pretty scary for me.  It’s scary enough when it looks like you’re going to lose your job, but it’s really scary when your job is all you know, and it’s woven into the fabric of your life so tightly that it is truly a part of who you are.  It’s also scary to think about the process of looking for another job, when I had never really done up a resume before, never been on an interview.  It was very nerve-wracking.

I started to think about where I would want to work, and what I would want in my next job.  I sent out a couple of resumes on to some online postings.  I also sent a resume to the long term care facility in our town.  They had no jobs posted, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to send in a resume and ask them to please consider me if a position in Administration became available.  To be perfectly honest, I didn’t really expect to hear from any of them.  You can imagine my surprise when I received a phone call from the LTC Home.  They had a part time, three day a week position available they wanted to see me about.  It was to cover for someone else that was on leave.  It was a temp position, but there was no end date for it.  I decided to go for it, hoping that I would be able to eventually stay on permanently. I hoped that if I got it, they would let me go down to two days a week at the factory.

I ended up getting the job.  My boss allowed me to go down to two days.  He was actually really great with me, and flexible, working with me around my new hours.  This was an extremely busy time, as although I was only there for two days a week, I still was responsible for most of the same duties I had been, I only now had to do it in two days instead of five.  This meant sometimes coming in early, staying later, and working on the weekends now and then.  That was okay though, I was extremely grateful for being able to continue on there while starting a new chapter of my life at the same time.

The inevitable ended up happening.  In August, we received notice that the company would be closing on October 3rd.  This was tough.  This was actually happening.  I had spent the better part of my life at this place.  From running around pestering everyone when I was a kid, to riding my bike up the laneway, exploring in the ravine below, to working there every day, I was finally going to have to say goodbye for good.  It was tough.  The place was a part of me.  The people were a part of me.  I was so fortunate to have somewhere to go, something to do.

And so it went.  The company closed in October, I stayed on for a couple days a week until the end, and beyond until the end of the year, doing a bit here and there for them.  I still get the odd email every now and then asking me to help out, which I don’t mind doing.  Just before Christmas, I got offered permanent full time at the nursing home (4 days Monday to Thursday) starting January 5th.  I was ecstatic.  I really love it there.  The people are wonderful, they have all been so welcoming, and I have learned so much.  It is a very different atmosphere, going from industry to healthcare, but I’m learning as I go.  I am looking forward to staying on there and heading into the future with this wonderful organization.

So 2014 was a bit of a topsy turvy year.  Beginnings, endings, uncertainty, joy, tears, a broad spectrum.   I learned a lot about myself, what I’m capable of, and what I hope to achieve in life.  I have tried to remain positive, although at times it has been tough, particularly at the beginning and middle of the year when most of the craziness was going on.  It may have been a good (and interesting) time to blog, and perhaps get everything out.  There were lots of other awesome stuff that happened, my kid started Grade One, we had another trip to Great Wolf Lodge.  We had a really great Christmas and New Year.  My parents sold their house, my childhood home, and moved into an apartment in town.  But I think it was good for me to take a step back and let things play out.  I thought I would take the time to update my readership (all three of them – you know who you are! 😉 ) on my current situation, to get that out of the way.  I would say that now, I’m likely to go back to posting about food, and books, and makeup, with the odd little update and opinion piece thrown in.  I can’t say that I’ll post with any regularity, but who knows…stranger things have happened.

I hope everyone is doing wonderfully, and that life is treating you good, and you’re all staying positive and counting your blessings every day.

Love you all to bits and you’ll be hearing from me soon.

I’m almost positive of it.