Random Thoughts

Happy Father’s Day

While picking up my boys from daycare the other day I found a copy of the June newsletter in one of their cubbies. I read through it, and found a little section about Father’s Day.

The preschoolers participated in an exercise, and were asked – What is a Father? I thought the answers were worth sharing…

  • A boy
  • A daddy
  • He wears big shoes
  • He plays with children
  • Someone who fixes things
  • He drives the car
  • He cooks (this was my son’s answer)
  • He likes to watch T.V.
  • He loves me

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

The Importance of Running

My first pair of shoes

As I woke, I peeked out the bedroom window to get a sense of the day ahead. I often do that so I know whether it is sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy… whatever. I also saw my neighbour returning home from an early morning workout. That was the spark I needed to get back into my running shoes.

I had breakfast and got the kids off to daycare just as I always do, but I also let my mind relax so it could plan out my first run of 2013. After returning home from my pre-work chores, I quickly jumped into my running gear, darted out the door… and ran.

It felt so good to be back on the road again, to feel the sun on my face, to feel my heart race, and listen to the metronomic (I think I just made that word up) cadence of my feet gripping the pavement with each bound.

I felt free, and for a brief period I felt completely unplugged from the rest of the world and living solely within myself. No computers, no tablets, no cell phones… just ME!

I love running because it allows me to slow things down, to reflect, to think. Running is my time to completely zen out and gather my thoughts. I think nearly every great idea or decision I’ve made in life has come while running.

The rest of the day was a complete joy. I was happy, I was upbeat. I am often those things, but it felt less forced yesterday and I attribute that to my morning run.

I can’t stress enough how important exercise is for the mind. I think people often treat exercise as just another chore to complete, but I think that if we can find the one form of exercise that truly lets us relax, and lets our minds become free, then we can be much happier. I believe that exercise can help us see things more clearly, deal with challenges more easily, and live a more productive life.

What is it that helps you recharge and regroup from your busy schedules? I’d love to find out what you do by leaving a comment below.

Bedtime Stories

Today’s daily prompt:

What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?

I remember having books, lots of books, as a child. But, I don’t actually remember reading them. My parents tell me that we read together, but I have stronger memories of drawing and copying the pictures from my books than I do from reading them. When I was in grade 2, I won first prize at the local fair for my drawing of the Cat In The Hat, that I recreated from the cover of the book by the same name.

I’ve written before about my late-blooming love of reading, and I think that has a lot to do with my love of reading with my kids today. In a roundabout way, I think my lack of reading as a child has made me hunger for reading as an adult… so ya, I guess I have been influenced by my childhood reading habits (or lack thereof).

Having said that, my current favorite childrens book is Little Blue Truck, by Alice Shertle.

courtesy of amazon.ca

courtesy of amazon.ca

This is a terrific little story that uses rich and beautiful pictures and words to subtly teaches children the value of friendship and being helpful.

Though I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Dr. Seuss classics (which we have plenty of in the house), I highly recommend Little Blue Truck for your budding little readers. It’s a great little story that I think you’ll enjoy sharing.

My Best Friend

Image

Tara and me (at about age five or six)

Though I now live in the city, my heart is still firmly planted in the countryside that I grew up in. I grew up in two small towns north of Toronto, both with heavy ties to thoroughbred racehorses, both with wide open fields, both giving me great places to explore and learn.

Today’s writing prompt from The Daily Post asked bloggers to write about our pets and what they meant to us.

I often reminisce about my youth – riding horses (I had my own beige pony), talking to the neighbours cows while I waited for the school bus, playing in the grass with my cats, playing with my pet pigeon… yes, I had a pigeon that I named Bernice (after Bert’s pigeon on Sesame Street).

But my closest friend was my dog, Tara. She was a pure-bread German Shepherd that my parents got when I was about two years old. Though my parents were often warned about the dangers of having a Shepherd near such a young child, we bonded almost immediately and were inseparable until the day she died.

Tara was like the older sister I never had, or like a second mother. We could often be found curled up together on the floor, racing each other around the yard, or playing catch with balls and sticks. She protected me fiercely. She once lunged at, and bit, my mom’s boss because he grabbed me. He was only trying to play with me and tickle me, but she saw his movement as a potential threat.

Tara lived longer than she had been expected, lasting until my early teens. We shared so many terrific times together, as did the rest of my family, and she never once caused us any trouble. She will always remain the favorite pet I’ve ever owned… and I’ve owned a LOT of pets (rabbits, rats, horses, various birds, fish, turtles, and many other dogs). It’s hard to think that I could ever love an animal as much as I loved her, and that may be part of my hesitation for owning a dog today.

It’s possible that my boys are missing out on something by not having a dog, but dogs just don’t fit into the family mold at the moment. At least, not our family mold. Maybe this’ll change, maybe one day they’ll have a four-legged best friend to run and play with – and blog about (if blogging even exists when they’ve grown up).

Dogs are fantastic animals, they’re good for the soul, they lift spirits, and they’re loyal. At least, that’s what my dog was like.