Being Grateful

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With Thanksgiving not too far away, I have been thinking about what I am grateful for. The thing I am most grateful for is my very special family. They are amazing, beautiful people.  Nothing could ever take the place of family. When we are together during the different holidays, there is comfort in being together. There is warmth and laughter. The house is filled with lovely smells and happy noise of people who love each other.

Thanksgiving is also a time that I think of the people in my family who have passed away. While there are so many happy memories, I do feel a little bit sad. Especially when remembering my dad. I miss him very much. Even though he isn’t here, I know he is in my heart.

This coming weekend is a wonderful time to be with the people you love and to tell them that you are grateful that they are in your life.

Wishing everyone many Thanksgiving blessings and hearts full of love.

Be inspired,

Tanya

 

Experiencing Surgery

Life is full of experiences. Some are fun and joyful, some I am not so sure about. Last year I went through a new experience that was scary and at times painful. I had to have surgery! It was discovered that I was missing a bone in my left foot and to make sure that my big toe stayed straight, I needed a metal plate and 5 screws implanted. The operation was explained to me ahead of time but I was still nervous. My mum, family friends and I took a road trip to Camrose where I was having my surgery. That part was fun! My sister stayed in Edmonton so she could be my nurse when I got back. The staff at the hospital were very kind to me. We talked alot before they gave me some medicine to make me sleep. I even got to pick the smell that would come through the oxygen mask. Bubblegum seemed like a good choice. When I woke up in the recovery room the nurses were very gentle and talked to me softly. They had me bundled up and even my head was wrapped up. My mum says I looked like a boxer. Wow, was my foot swollen. I was very concerned that it was going to look like this for the rest of my life. Quite a few people made sure I understood that my foot would look normal again.

Now came the hard part, my recovery. I had to stay off my foot for 8 weeks. The first week after my surgery was not fun. I was in pain and had sensations in my foot. Once I started to feel a bit better, I was able to use a special scooter for people who have to stay off a foot or leg for a period of time. This was a good thing. I allowed me to have my independence and move around. I had some crutches too, but they hurt my armpits. When my doctor looked at my foot many weeks after the surgery, he said that I was a great patient. I guess that means I am good at following doctor’s orders.  This experience was not one of my favorites but I learned something. I learned that the body is a pretty amazing at healing and that I was able to work through the pain and frustration. Now a year later, I have a beautiful foot and I am ready to dance!

Be inspired,

Tanya

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Be Fit, Be Healthy, Push Hard, Work Hard

At the beginning of the year I thought to myself that I needed a motto for 2017. I thought about the things that are important to my life and the saying that have been repeated to me over and over again, like a broken record. I came up with Be Fit, Be Healthy, Push Hard, Work Hard. Being fit is important to me. It is not about being skinny. It is about being strong and in good shape. Of course I like to feel good in my clothes too. My trainer continues to coach me in exercise and healthy eating. The best ultimate fitness gift I can give myself is to get active and make healthy food choices. This can be hard sometimes but we have to push ourselves even when we do not feel like doing something. When I have a day like this, I have to say “Tanya, stand up and be somebody”! When we work hard, good things start to happen!

Be inspired,

Tanya

Ability

You will often hear me talk about the people in my life. My family and my friends who have helped me on my life path. The important people who have taken the time to show me that I can accomplish many things. The people who have made sure I understand that I am capable  and  never put a ‘dis’ before the ability.

Growing up in my house meant that when I accomplished something, big or small, it was celebrated. But it also meant that if I was having a bad day or couldn’t quite figure something out, I was not allowed to sit around and feel sorry for myself. I had to keep going. This could be frustrating sometimes. Now that I am older I think I get it. I understand that by not letting me quit I was able to realize my abilities.

As an adult, I know that I am a capable woman who still wants to grow and learn. I feel grateful that I can learn and that I have people to support me in this. I wonder about the people who live in our world who might not be able to see their capabilities or maybe they don’t have anyone to support them. This makes me sad. We all need a support system. People who can show us things about ourselves. We have been given abilities and different gifts. Sometimes we just need a little help.

Be inspired,

Tanya

 

 

2017 & Looking Back

A Champagne Cheers!

Have you ever been involved in something and looked back and felt proud of yourself?

In 2016 , I celebrated my 10 year anniversary of being a advocate and motivational speaker. In this role I have has so many wonderful opportunities. Traveling to new places and making new friends have been the best part of my job.

Looking towards the next 10 years, I hope I can continue to encourage people to recognize their capabilities and gifts. I want to motivate people with all abilities to be themselves by creating happy and healthy lives. Through my passion the greatest gift I can inspire is hope. We always have hope!

Thank you to everyone who has supported me, encouraged me and shared your personal stories. I am so grateful that you have been apart of my life path.

Cheers to you and the future!

Be Inspired,

Tanya

 

 

Humour

Humour is very important. In my life and in our house, we use humour a lot. Especially when it come to my learning.

A number of years ago my mom asked me “why don’t you look people in their eyes”. I told her that “eyes look like olives and they are disgusting”. A few weeks later we we had a big family dinner. When I sat down everyone had their head down and would not look up. I thought this was odd. Finally I asked “What’s going on?”. All at once everyone looked up and had an animal nose on. I was told that I had to look each person in their eyes. By using humour, I now have a much easier time looking people in their olives, I mean eyes!

I enjoy many different styles of humour. Slapstick and dry humour are my favourite. I am not a big fan of pranks that could hurt or embarrass someone. That is awful. Laughing at myself or at the people I love can be a pretty good fun because from time to time we all get too serious.

Our world can be stressful. I ask all of you to please take time to laugh. It is the best medicine!

Be Inspired,

Tanya

Letting It Go

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When I watch a movie I try to find the lesson. Many Disney movies can teach us about life. The Lion King is full of lessons to learn.

A big one for me is getting stuck on the past. Sometimes I have a hard time letting things go. I have to remind myself the past is the past. I can learn from it but need to move on. There are days that I can move past these feelings all on my own, I am a problem solver.  Then there are times where I need help. Getting how I am feeling off my chest is a good thing. My feelings then become less overwhelming. Sometimes the people I trust have ideas about how I can move forward. This is a good thing.

This year I am going to continue to be aware of when I might be getting stuck on something that is behind me. I will work on turning it around just a little bit faster and if I can’t, thats ok too.

Be Inspired,

Tanya

The Next Happy

My friend Sydney and I had a wonderful discussion after I read the book “The Next Happy”. We wrote this blog together.

“Let go of the life you planned and find a new way forward”.

“The next happy is like the friend you call when your car is stuck in a ditch on a journey you never expected to take. From the moment you begin to open up, you begin to feel unstuck, and by the end you will find yourself moving forward in the right direction”.

I felt joy by reading this book. Learning is important to me. Sometimes I don’t understand all of the ideas and concepts that are in the books I read. This is ok because I have many people around me that are able to help me understand. I enjoy these discussions.

This book taught me that we can get stuck in life and sometimes we cannot get to the exact place we want to be. This can be frustrating and disappointing. Sometimes we have to have these feelings to grow. All we can do is our best.

I challenge all of you to get up everyday and be your best! Even if you have a hard day you will know in your heart you gave it your all!

Be inspired,

Tanya

3 Months Into 2016…

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I thought to myself on New Years Day that this is going to be am amazing year. Now here we are in March and I still feel this way. For the past three months I have been working hard at achieving my goals for 2016. One of my biggest goals is staying fit and healthy.

I am very lucky that I have people in my life who help me stay on track with my health. One of these special people is my trainer Janey. She can be one tough lady. She pushes me to work hard and get stronger.  It is not always serious business. We laugh a lot at the gym and talk about life. She reminds me that I am beautiful on the inside and out.

Our relationship started in 1998. I was heavy and didn’t like the way I looked. When I was really ready to do something about it my mum took action. I started working out with Janey and with her help and guidance I lost over 30 pounds. Here we are 17 years later, I have kept the weight off and I feel great about myself.

My trainer has become a very important part of my life. She has become a life coach and a wonderful friend. She is the one that showed me that life really does reward action. I am grateful everyday that she is a part of my life!

Do you have someone in you life who pushes you to be better?

Be Inspired,

Tanya

 

 

I’m Back – What a Summer!

Well, it has been a long time since I have shared with all of you. I have mentioned before that I am still getting the hang of this blogging thing. Thank you for sticking with me.

It has been a busy few months. Let me get you caught up on the exciting things happening in my life…

During the long weekend in May the Canadian Down Syndrome Society’s conference was held in Edmonton. My mom helped to plan the conference and get things organized here. When we arrived at the hotel to move in for the weekend my mum and Michelle could not find me in the car! Good thing I am small!

On the Thursday night I meet with my VATA friends and I helped prepare the SWAG bags that all people coming to the conference would receive. It was cool that we got to host families from all over Canada and even some of our favorite friends from the USA in our city.

Saturday was fun! I attended a session by Dr. McGuire and then I went to the film festival. I was able to see three great films that featured people born with Down syndrome. Later in the afternoon my sister and I led a Yoga class for the young adults. What an interesting experience. I got to see once again that while there are similarities between people born with Down syndrome we are all very unique too. That evening my friends and I got all dressed up and went to a Red Carpet event just for us. We walked the red carpet and had our pictures taken. We were all stars!

Sunday was Soul Sister Sunday! My sister Michelle and I presented our session called Soul Sisters. We had over 40 people come and listen to us. I gave people a lot to think about and made them laugh. Humour is the best medicine! Michelle did pretty well too. After our presentation we went for brunch with our good friends Gail and Blair from Los Angeles. Blair is like our brother. We call him “Knucklebean” or “Burger Boy”. I was sad to say good-bye to them but I knew we would be seeing each other in a few weeks in Phoenix. Sunday night we closed the conference with a big dinner and dance. There was lots of food, yummy dessert and dancing! It was a wonderful weekend!

Please stay tuned for my next blog so you can get caught up even more on my life.

Be Inspired,

Tanya

 

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