Why We Worry And How You Can Win The Worry War

Quit Worrying And Start Whoo-hooing In Your Game Of Life

Why We Worry And How You Can Win The Worry War

How I'm Winning The War Against Worry

Some days I look in the mirror and think, "Lady, you've got it goin' on." Other days I think, "Lady, WHAT is going on? Quit your worrying!" 

I understand the parameters of reality, so why am I such a worrier? I know it's pointless. In fact, worrying to excess is harmful. I know better, so what gives? I think I have an answer.

The first time I recall being truly worried was when I was seven years old. My dad traveled a lot and one night his plane was late. I was convinced he had crashed and I worried myself sick. Of course he was fine, just delayed. 

Over the years I continued to worry about a variety of things from A to Z — some realistic, some ridiculous. 

They say only 8% of our worries are realistic. And of those, we can actually only do something about half. This means 96% of the things we worry about are a useless waste of time.

Why do some people worry more than others? I have a theory that we worriers have three things in common:

1. We need to be in control.

We dictate and delegate, but then end up doing everything ourselves because everyone else does it wrong. We like to organize and compartmentalize and strategize and basically orchestrate the outcome of like, everything. And when we realize we can't actually control nature and destiny, we freak out a little. If we can't control it, we worry about it. 

2. We have vivid imaginations.

Having a creative mind is wonderful. But for those predisposed to worry, it can be disastrous. A dog barking outside isn't just a frisky pet. Instead, we imagine it is a warning that a burglar is casing the joint. We imaginers can take an ordinary scenario and twist it into an epic conclusion that Stephen Spielberg himself would envy. 

3. It's in the genes.

I come from long line of worriers. You can identify us by our wringing hands and worry lines. This was fine with me until recently. It became un-fine when I saw the signs in my son—he was growing into a wee worrier. 

Replete with regret, and of course worry, I knew I had to break the cycle.

But how??

It started with me. I worked hard to quit the worrying. Meditation, breathing techniques and changing the pattern of negative self-talk and catastrophizing helped a lot. 

But the one thing that helped most was working together with my son. By being a positive role model for him, even if it was an 'act' at first, stuck and became reality. Talking through our feelings worked wonders too. By showing him how to take risks, to be grateful, gentle and gracious, and to live life in the moment, I learned how to walk the talk. 

Cutting down on worry is something that takes time to work through, but in the mean time, here's something fun that will take your mind off worry for a little while. It's THE GAME OF LIFE - CAA Edition game!

If you live in South Central Ontario, you can earn an entry by playing THE GAME OF LIFE - CAA Edition for your chance to win great prizes and earn entries into our grand prize draw for an incredible dream vacation! Now how's that for a cure for your worries? And don't worry...you can enter daily.

The game of life is filled with challenges and obstacles at every turn. Worrying about them is exhausting. It depletes us of our ability to enjoy life to the fullest and it robs us of time and energy better spent elsewhere. I'm happy to say that my son and I seem to have this worry thing under control. Sure, we still have work to do, but I'm certainly not going to worry about it.


Ten Ways To Cope In Your Role As Taxi Mom

Plus, enter for your chance to win a $150 Shell Gift Card and Free Coffee!

Ten Ways To Cope In Your Role As Taxi Mom

mom taxi driver
It's not that watching my son's basketball practice is boring—though I may have "rested my eyes" a few times. It's more a matter of being tired. Five days a week I'm on the move, driving my children to Tae Kwon Do, gymnastics, swimming, music lessons, basketball, cross country practice, play dates, and a myriad of appointments—and this is after working all day. I'm considering painting my mini-van yellow and switching on the "OCCUPIED" sign since clearly I have become a taxi driver. I'm happy to do it, but there's definitely a knack to this. 
Here are TEN things that make being a Mom-On-The-Move easier so you're less likely to go all Robert De Niro in "Taxi Driver." 

1. Keep a change of clothes in the car

Life gets messy, so stow away a change of clothes for each child in a bag in the trunk for upper (think, ice cream) and lower (think, wait... don't think about it) spills. And wet wipes. They're not just for babies. They're essential for sticky fingers, snotty noses, germy hands, and wiping ketchup off mum's white pants. Fries? What fries?

2. Pack snacks

Hangry much? Non-perishable snacks like a box of granola bars tucked away in the glove compartment can be a life saver. The only thing more unnerving than a hungry child is their 'hangry' mother.

3. Bring entertainment

A small bag of kids' books, pens/pencils, and a notebook or two will make them bored no more. It's easy entertainment for bored kids and you'd be surprised how often the paper comes in handy—like for leaving a cheeky note on a friend's car you spotted in the drug store parking lot. At least I think it was her car...

4. Fuel the Driver

The drive-thru line at the coffee shop across from our gymnastics centre is always a mile long. Thankfully, there's a Shell station on the way to the gym so I can dash in on our way and grab a Java Café coffee, pick up some gum and a magazine, and be on my way in minutes. We tardy-moms-on-the-move don't have the time (or patience) to idle in line-ups.
Gas station coffee? Don't worry, the stale pot you might remember is no more! The updated Java Café can be customized with FREE flavour shots (exciting!) and the variety of blends are brewed FRESH throughout the day. From now until November 9th, you earn five bonus AIR MILES with each Java Café purchase at participating Shell locations. Might as well earn points for something you desperately need, er...MUST have, that is, that would enhance your general enjoyment of your daughter's 90-minute gymnastics class.

5. Plan ahead

Take a few minutes to map your route so you can kill a few birds with one stone. By the way, if you happen to see the truck beside you strike and kill a bird, do your best to distract your children so they don't notice. Poor, poor pigeon. 
If you have books coming due at the library, and your son needs styrofoam balls for a science project, schedule those errands amid the regular stops. The library is beside the pool so return the books on swimming lesson day. And the craft store is on the way to gymnastics so stop in as you pass by. The result is less running around for you, time saved, and you can check things off your to-do list. Is there anything more satisfying than that? If you're like me you add things you've already done to your list just so you can check them off. 

6. Be prepared for the unexpected

Keep an "emergency" kit in your trunk just in case. Stock it with Bandaids, Tums, a small sewing kit, hair elastics, Tylenol, tampons, and whatever other random items you think you might need in a pinch and will save you the mad dash home. 

7. Bring Music

Make a playlist of your kids' favourite tunes to play as you travel along. BUT be sure to provide them with headphones because if you have to hear "Old MacDonald" one more time your head will explode. My son is currently into Minecraft cover songs. Needless to say, he has his own playlist on his iPod and mandatory earphones. 

8. Bring Things to keep YOU entertained

When your kids' activities overlap and one child must patiently wait around, you'll be happy you brought along some digital entertainment like an iPad to keep your little sweetheart occupied and quiet while you read your book. Oh yes, always keep a few *adult books or magazines in the car for the times when you have to wait. And there be waiting. And then some. 
* By adult books, I don't mean 50 Shades of Grey. I'm referring to any reading material that doesn't rhyme or feature illustrations of a scared squirrel.

9. Be prepared to Charge!

Parents need tech too. Sometimes we have to work while we're at the ice rink or sitting in the bleachers. It's sincerely sad when our batteries die and we're left hopelessly disconnected. Let's hang our heads for a moment shall we? This is why it's important to remember to charge your devices consistently. Or at least make sure you have the right cord to get charged on the go or pick yourself up a portable charge pack.

10. ...

I know I promised ten tips, but I need to pick up my phone charger, drive my son to the dentist and then pick up groceries before getting my daughter from school to drive her to swimming lessons. So, gotta jet. Er, taxi. 
Later mamas! 
~ Lisa "You talkin' to me?" Thornbury

A Simple Way To Host A Kids' Halloween Party

Frighteningly Frugal Costume Party Fun

A Simple Way To Host A Kids' Halloween Party

kids halloween costumes

If the idea of opening up your home to a gang of screeching, writhing, sticky little boys and ghouls makes you shudder, it should. Hosting a kids' Halloween party can be scary. Though it doesn't have to be a nightmare. Here's how to make it less gruesome. 

Rules of (severed bloody) Thumb:

1. Don't make it too fancy. Fancy is for adults who actually give a care.

2. Avoid spending a lot of money. Until our little bloodsuckers are out earning some coin, they're in for "frugal fun," and they're going to like it because we said so. 

3. Focus on activities that don't require much concentration or general decorum. Peers + Party = LOUD ASS CHAOS

Planning the Party:

  Two hours is plenty. Any longer and heads (yours) will explode.

  Plan ONE easy activity—sugar cookie decorating is fairly simple. Pumpkin shaped cookies, orange icing, assorted candies, plastic tablecloth. Go! 

  Plan ONE good game—"Dress up" is lots of fun. Loud, chaotic, but highly entertaining fun. As a former teacher and self-professed Halloween hag, I have a tickle trunk full of old costumes. If you don't have any dress up gear, ask friends to loan you some or visit Value Village and the Dollar Store to pick up a few things on the cheap. 

1. Pile costumes, wigs, masks, scarves, sunglasses, costume jewellery, etc. in the middle of the room.

2. Set a timer for 5 minutes and challenge kids to put together the spookiest, funniest, most unusual, etc. costume.

3. Kids model their costumes. Adults vote. Best three, or however many works for you, get a prize (candy or glow sticks).

4. Repeat 2-3x or until everyone has received a prize. (Ya, I know. "Everybody is a winner." Sigh...)

* Advise guests to come dressed in tank top/legging combo or anything that costumes can be easily layered over. 

  Variation to idea to above—ask guests to each bring whatever old costumes they still have from Halloweens past (label with your kids name if you want the costume back). Kids can try them on and mix and match to create a new-to-them costume to wear THIS year. Ta-dah! Frightening AND frugal!

Looking for more Halloweenie Links?

If you're up to it, host a Pumpkin Carving Party

Or scare up some frightening food for a spooky mood