Friends To The Finish…

I was blessed to spend the weekend with some fabulous women. We were together to experience the Scotia Bank Half Marathon here in Vancouver. We had shirts made that said:

“Sole Sisters – Friends to the finish”

Seven of us were running and one “sister” currently healing from surgery, was there to support the rest of us (and to shop!).

When you have eight strong women together, you are bound to have different opinions.

The beauty with this group is despite the difference in opinions or the small frustrations that may pop up, these women LOVE and CARE for each other. They SUPPORT each other in their running goals and their personal lives.

They have held each other up through separations, career changes, illnesses, family chaos, carpooling the kids, and financial challenges. They’ll give you a hug when you need it but they won’t hesitate to kick your butt either.

They are STRONG women who will tell you the truth but they are also extremely caring, compassionate and loyal. 

I did a little research into how friendships can affect your health and scientists believe that friendships help you live longer. Apparently being around others (instead of being alone) actually releases endorphins in the brain. With this group, not only are we getting endorphins by being together, but we got another dose by jogging! And if there’s endorphins released from laughing, well, we’ve got enough for everyone!

As you can see, having friends is important but how do you be a friend?

Being a friend is an investment.

Friendships require time, love, patience, respect, and honesty. In order to be trusted, you must be trust-worthy.  If you want to be respected, you must be respectful. Loyalty is built over time once you’ve shown you are dependable, authentic and honest.

Your actions must validate your words.  

One “sister” said to me on the weekend:

“If my partner can’t accept my friends, well, that’s a deal breaker for me.  My friends are my family.”

Now there’s a woman I am proud to call my friend.  She has a healthy outlook, understanding what’s required to balance her relationship with her partner with her relationship with her friends.

The bottom line: If you want good friends, you have to be a good friend.

I was very blessed to enjoy laughter, great conversations and the experience of supporting each other as we ran our half marathons. Some of us ran alone and some of us didn’t. It didn’t matter because we cheered each other on and were proud of the accomplishment we’d all achieved. We just ran 21.1K!

We were indeed “Friends to the finish”.

Remember to hug your friends and thank them for being in your life. You’ll know the good ones, they won’t desert you when the going gets tough or you are down in the dumps BUT they’ll also kick your butt if you are down there too long.

Good friends = Good life.

With a smile,
Tina

PS.  In case you were wondering, the guy in the back of the photo was our waiter.  He was hilarious!

A Few Good Men

These are just a few of the incredible men I am blessed to know. Some are fathers and others may not have children of their own but still have an enormous impact on the lives of kids and young adults. Since Sunday was Father’s Day I wanted to acknowledge the exceptional men in the world: the men who understand RESPECT, INTEGRITY and HONESTY.

Thank you.

I’ve known some pretty rotten men and you confirm that it’s the person that’s rotten, not the gender.  I adore men and feel blessed to have such quality men in my life.  Men who understand how to be supportive, how to listen, communicate and speak the truth.  These are  loving, funny, kind, strong, and talented men. 

To the fathers who are LISTENING, LOVING, NURTURING, VALIDATING and SUPPORTING their children:

Thank you.

Your presence in your children’s lives is invaluable.  You are a role model to your sons by showing them what it means to be a good man. You are an example of how to communicate, be respectful, work hard and live with integrity. You prove a man can be strong and still show emotion.Your daughters look to you as the example on how a man should treat a woman. Your influence in their decisions on male/female relationships is profound. Their self-esteem is based on your involvement in their life.

Thank you for being strong, loving, kind, generous men: generous with your time, your emotion and your love.

Father’s Day is an interesting day for those of us who didn’t have that positive male role model growing up.  My father neglected to validate, love, nurture or support me.  I didn’t feel safe and I definitely wasn’t heard. I had the opposite and yet, I loved him.  He didn’t deserve it but that’s what children do: they love.

As an adult, I was introduced to a family who embraced me as their own child. They are my friend’s parents but they are like my own.  Their presence in my life has had a deep and profound impact.

I don’t need my birth father because I have someone who exemplifies ‘Dad’.

I am blessed that their children accept and embrace me with open arms and allow me to share their parents. They have given me a gift and for that I am grateful.

Sometimes life doesn’t give you what you want so you have to create it, even in the case of a parent. There are other options and choices out there and there are certainly more than a few good men in the world. 

Thank you to all the respectful, loving and generous men.  Thank you for having INTEGRITY, MORALS and being true to your VALUES.  Thank you for being positive role models through your ACTIONS and not just your words. Thank you for restoring my faith that there are indeed more than a few good men… 

With a smile,

Tina

PS.  Ladies, check out my Ezine article on “How To Pick A Good Man…”

I’m Sorry…

The other day I had to look someone in the eye and apologize.  It wasn’t easy.  It was actually very difficult because they looked back at me with such pain and confusion.  They looked so sad and hurt and I felt awful for making someone feel that way.

I could barely look this person in the eye. It’s important when you apologize that you look into their eyes and truly mean what you are saying. I had to do it.

The words got stuck in my mouth…eventually they came out, but very softly…

I’m sorry

Tears welled up in both of our eyes.  I could see that what I was saying meant something so I continued…

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YOU Can Sustain HAPPINESS!

In the photo I look pretty happy, and on most days I am but am I gloriously joyful all the time? No, that wouldn’t be reality but I am sustaining happiness whereas in the past it eluded me.

So what does ‘SUSTAINING HAPPINESS’ mean? And more importantly, what does it mean to YOU?

Since I started jogging and processing my emotions in a healthy way I’ve been happy but that doesn’t mean I haven’t curled up in bed and cried about the pain, betrayal and anger from my past relationship.  Deep wounds take time to heal.

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PMS – Pondering My Sanity

Dear PMS:

Why?  Why do you come in the night and take away my personality?  Why do you leave me emotional, irrational and totally craving salt and sugar?  Why do you see everything as half empty?  Why do you insist on making everything so irritating?

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