Thursday, May 15, 2014

~Through Someone Else's Eyes

My book, 'Through Someone Else's Eyes' is now available on Kobo.
Just sayin'

Kobo Books for your E-Reader

Can a smalltown girl raised in a house full of negativity and alcoholism find true happiness?
More importantly, does she deserve it?

How many times have you heard, You can't do this!  You're not smart enough, not pretty enough...You don't deserve anyone's love, it's not real...and you will end up alone...NO one will ever love you that much?!?

 What if ...the person saying it is you?

Emotional abuse, rejection and neglect hurt so much more than anything else.  Because your worst enemy becomes yourself.  Listening to that little voice holds you back from moving forward, achieving your goals and essentially living your life.

'Emelia' is created from love and showered with affection throughout childhood.  Then her world falls apart as her parents divorce.  A family once strong turns against itself.  Emelia finds herself alone as she enters adult life with an absent mother, an alcoholic father and siblings that turn their backs on her.  Looking elsewhere for love and acceptance, Emelia's path finds many puddles.

Can she put the pieces back together and move on?

Many of us had less than idyllic childhoods.  Mom and Dad are not always there to answer our questions nor do we have that older sibling to go to for advice.  Sometimes all we have is ourselves.  And even though I sometimes feel totally alone...I'm not, I still have me.
This story is one that will inspire anyone who is a child, has a child, or anyone that has ever loved and had that love taken away.  I am a 41 year old mother of 3 who is finally ready to break free of the fear of life and start living.  This book is about me, my life and things that I have learned.  My goal is to show that someone with hope and faith in themselves can get through anything.

Most people, young and old can relate to the issues facing 'Emelia' and how we don't always make the right decisions.  But we should never be ashamed of things we've done, because good or bad, those experiences make us who we are.  There are many self-help & feel-better books that are written by doctors, psychologists or celebrities.  However, sometimes the voices heard need to be from real people.
Like me.  Like you.

Kobo Books

~My Perfectly Redneck Husband

When I first met my dear Husband, he was a self-proclaimed rocker. Metallica, Guns n Roses, AC/DC.  He claimed to have never heard of George Strait or the Dixie Chicks.

'How do you not hear of the Dixie Chicks?' I thought.
'This should be fun...' was an afterthought.

Every time I listened to MY stations or MY music, it always included Country, with a mix of Rock, Classical, name it, I love it.
But the looks I got when a country song came on, I thought he would be ill.
He is a good man, sexy, handsome, hard-working. He loves me and would do anything for me. So I thought it was a small price to pay.
Country music was put on pause.

Every once in a while, a Johnny Cash tune would come on. He would start moving to it...singing, tapping a foot. I said, 'What are you doing?'
'What do you mean?...that's not Country...'
'It sure as Hell is! Johnny Cash IS Country...he is the King of Country!'

I was a bit resentful of the fact that I was no longer 'allowed' to listen to my music. I know that he did not forbid it...but I didn't want to make him listen to something that would curl his hair. I'm a nice girl! But I really missed it.

He is a redneck. He has an old classic pickup truck that is loud & fast. He has tattoos, long hair and grease under his fingernails. He likes to ride his tractor with a straw hat and a cold beer onboard. How can he hate Country music? I pondered over this for years.
Finally, I decided if he was to listen to some of it unknowingly, say a movie perhaps...get to the know the stories behind some of the songs and might make a difference.

We have movie nights.  We take turns picking the movies.  Hey, if I have to sit through Star Wars, Star Trek and Stargate over and over ....and over again.  He can watch a little 'Pure Country' with George Strait. 
'Why does it have 'Country' in the title?'
'Because it takes place in the me, it's a love story'
He liked it.
'Not bad...for Country music'

Months later, it was my turn again...'Shut up and Sing' starring the Dixie Chicks. Such a good movie, more like a documentary but still gets you fired up! And he loved the music. We laughed, we cried.
I thought, 'Well at least I get these small bursts of 'home' to keep my spirit going.'  I grew up with Country music. And a Dad that played the guitar, wore cowboy hats, raced cars and got into trouble. He WAS Johnny Cash!

Last summer when we got married, my little Redneck picked out the music and got it all ready.  There was a healthy dose of Dixie Chicks, Johnny Cash and George name a few. His explanation?
'Well it's your day, too!' :-)
'Thanks Honey..'

One day a few months ago, we got into his car and the radio was tuned to a Country station. My head flew around to look at him.
He said, 'You know? There's some really good songs on this station...You can hear the words and there's actually stories to them!'
I said, 'Yeah...I know..'
It got so that every time I was in his car, we were listening to Country.  His radio in his garage is now permanently set to a Country station.  He sings along to them. Knows the words. And is learning some of them on the guitar.

'Yeah' by Joe Nichols and 'This is how we roll' by Luke Bryan and 'Automatic' by Miranda Lambert.
I had a hard time coming to grips with this complete turnaround.
'How come you're not singing along Baby Girl?'
'Because I don't know the songs....I haven't been listening for a few years!'
'Well, you should listen to this stuff!'
'Yeah...I should.'

But I'll get 'em back. Yeah, yeah, yahyeahyeah...

The other night, we watched 'Coalminer's Daughter' the life and story of Miss Loretta Lynn. It had been almost 25 years since I'd seen it. Hubby never had.  I remember Friday & Saturday nights at my Grandparents' camp up in the Tobique. We had a radio that played the Grand Ole Opry as I fell to sleep.  When Loretta walked up on that stage and was introduced for the first time I thought my heart would burst. Through my tears I turned and looked at my perfect Redneck husband with wet cheeks. I knew he had been bitten as well. It's just one more thing that we get to share now.
We laughed, we cried...we bonded in our love for Country :-)

~Paying your Dues

I woke up this morning thinking about jobs.  My last few have been doozies for sure.
My last three jobs have been in the Fast Food Industry.  A place where apparently only teenagers should work. A place where at my age, I thought I was too good to work.  But after three years of searching fruitlessly in a small town, your options become clearly limited.
After 20 years of raising my children, running a household and keeping my sanity I had accomplished the most complicated, heartbreaking, fast-paced stressful 24/7 position ever.  Unfortunately it leaves you with no salary, benefits, diploma or experience that looks good on a resume.
But who is to blame? My parents for not having money to send me to college or university?
Myself for not saving money for college or university?
My children for being born?
Of course not.  I would not trade my children for anything. The choices that I made led me on a path that brought me right to this moment. Sitting in my home office, listening to the birds singing and a warm breeze blowing through my windows. I have a wonderful husband that adores me. And I am working on a course that is allowing me to study to be a Professional Photographer.
My first job, other than babysitting in our community, was running a Summer Day Camp Drop-in Program at the Community Rec Centre.   Which was basically, babysitting :-)
But it was so much fun. I was 16. I worked with my best friend at the time, Jennifer. Parents dropped their kids off with bagged lunches.  And I think sometimes we offered refreshments as well.  We played hide & seek in the tall grass around the perimeter of the property. We taught the kids how to play 'Old Maid' with cards. We did crafts. It was great. There were a couple boys that we knew to expect trouble from every day. It frustrated the Hell out of us....but every time they smiled, there was no way we could stay mad at them. Chris and Joel seemed to know they weren't in serious trouble.  And they're probably frustrating the Hell out of someone to this day...but hopefully they can still smile their way out of it. :-)
My next job was at Shopper's Drug Mart as a Cosmetician. And then managing a Shoe boutique. While most teenagers around me worked at McDonald's and Burger King. Working their way up to better jobs or getting themselves through post-education.
I got married and had babies. Three of them, to be exact.
When I first went back to work, I did well.  Fell into positions that required experience I did not have, but also needed the personality and client handling that I could do blindfolded. So that was good and it allowed me to get experience to move on to better jobs. More hours, more money.
Then I moved to a small town. Where people have been at their jobs for decades and have no plans to leave. The only positions readily available were restaurants, because of students coming and going.
I finally got hired at a Tim Horton's. Where the supervisors were 19 & 20. And the power trips were unbelievable. I can't imagine telling someone 20 years older than me to go and clean the washroom and when they can and cannot go to the washroom themselves. There was such a lack of respect, it was horrible.
I moved to what I thought was a better place. Wendy's. Boy, was I wrong. In this position I was a Supervisor, which I thought would be better.  But the teenagers there, didn't think they had to listen to me because I was 'new'. I hadn't 'paid my dues'...after all, they had been there for months before me. When I discussed the issues with my new boss, he shrugged his shoulders and said there was nothing he could do to make them listen.
I said, 'Yes, there could fire them!'
When I was their age, if you didn't listen to your boss, you didn't work!
How has this changed in the world? How have we become a society that has no control over the children? No control over our employees?
Something has to change in order for the natural flow of things to get back to normal. Children have no respect for adults anymore. Parents have no control. And this is what we call progress.
Employers have to remind themselves that they have a right to dismiss workers who don't work. Stop worrying about their rights and remind themselves they are doing these 'children' no favors by letting them away with insubordination.
Yes they are teenagers. Yes this is a fast food place. They won't always be there...hopefully.
But this job is also a stepping stone to getting them to where they want to be in the world.  If we don't correct inappropriate behaviour at this stage of the game...what will happen to them when they have a real job as an adult and they don't think they need to listen? Because they have not been taught.
My advice to every teenager I have worked with in the last year and a bit has been this:
"Get a good education, pay attention in school and stay in you don't end up in a place like this when you are my age'
I hope they take me seriously.
So I might be a little late up to bat...but I am finally paying my dues. Sloughing ice cream day and night...studying Photography in my spare time.  I know what I want to be when I grow up.
And I can't wait to get there!