Right! So I promised that I would write a post on our Christmas and how we “do” this season, so I will do that now but I will also catch up on all this seasons happenings too…RAW & REAL – think bunions, corns and ingrown toenails (ok maybe not thats gross). Now just a forewarning – THIS IS NOT A POST FOR BELIEVERS IN THE BIG MR S! IF YOU BELIEVE – LEAVE NOW I SAY LEAVE NOW! BE WARNED THAT IF YOU READ FURTHER YOU MAY READ SOME DISTURBING TRUTHS ABOUT SANTA, TOOTHFAIRY, EASTER BUNNY ETC ETC. LAST TIME – STOP READING! Ok for the rest of you remember you have been warned so dont blame me – oh and please remember that DIFFERENT ISNT WRONG ITS JUST DIFFERENT.


The way we celebrate Christmas has been a source of dispute amongst some of our family and friends because we dont celebrate it in the way many would call “conventional” in todays society. Many who know us know that we have a belief in God, but by no means to we push it onto others and we really do believe that our true beliefs and understanding of God and all that He encompasses is greatly hindered by our human minds – which simply put just means that we are constantly learning and growing spiritually. So yes we celebrate Christmas but we focus on the Christ birth and quality time with family – but no we dont “do” the whole santa thing. And by that I mean that we have never, and will never support the belief of santa by our children. (insert gasps of societys horror of such atrocious things here!!!)

From before I had ever decided to have children I gave alot of thought to what I wanted to instil and pass on to my children, and that included what I wanted to teach them about the world around them. This included my decision to practise what I believed in as many areas as possible (no I dont proclaim to be a perfect parent – I know it —NOT lol).

My two beautiful girls at Christmas.

My two beautiful girls at Christmas.

The first thing I wanted to instil in my children is TRUTH.  TRUTH according to the Urban Dictionary ( is said to be “facts that p*ss people off” “What the world is afraid of. The things we hide from ourselves because it changes us, makes us uncomfortable, and awakens us that there are absolutes” and well if you want to read the others then you will have to click the link because they are a tad rude with a touch of potty humor – and I am more into sarcasm and irony. Whereas the Oxford Dictionary when talking about truth and its meaning (, refers to it as “being in accordance with fact or reality”.So in everything we aim to be truthful, honest and transparent with our children in all things. Of course we deliver information in an age appropriate way, but we decided to teach our girls by example the meaning of truth, not lying, and transparency. So to put it into action we decided against introducing santa, easter bunny, tooth fairy etc etc.

Now I know that this is an extremely controversial approach to parenting out their in the big wide world…but lets just think about this for a moment. We try to teach our children to tell the truth and never to lie, dont we? So I teach that by example. We also try to teach our children stranger danger, dont we? So I teach that also – yet many parents (not all) – push their kids into sitting on some strange mans lap that we really know nothing of. Not to mention that the famous songs tell the to “better watch out” (miss 12 reckons that sounds like a threat lol), and that “he knows when you are sleeping” (miss 12 also thinks that is creepy and used to freak her out if someone said it to her – even though we never made it scary for her we just never had santa in our home). This decision was made even easier and gave a much stronger reasoning power lately as a young child was indecently assaulted by a shopping centre santa ( Now for those reading this who say “oh but your child can be a target in many areas” I say this to you – our children do not do sleepovers just anywhere (the process of us trusting others with our kids takes years) and we do the stranger danger teaching regarding any person in their lives – family members, church, police etc etc. And they are more savvy, confident and switched on for it too.

So why do I expect I will get some very rough responses to this post? Well because when we talk about tolerance and understanding we sometimes forget that the whole santa thing is a belief of sorts too. Just like any culture or religion. And like I said before DIFFERENT ISNT WRONG ITS JUST DIFFERENTand I think it unfair that my children are force fed the whole santa biz with not a blink of an eye by others yet if someone force fed a religous belief on your children it would be an outrage. But as a family we take it in our stride and my children are taught to be quietly confident in their own beliefs whilst respecting that DIFFERENT ISNT WRONG ITS JUST DIFFERENT. So in the new year as their friends tell them what santa bought them, my children will smile, listen and respond with what their mamma and daddy bought them.

So for us this year Christmas day was a quiet event (really a story for another post, but next year we have decided that instead of material gifts we are giving ourselves all the gift of a Christmas cruise – something the children and terribly excited about as are mamma and daddy!!! I also know that I was meant to update alot in this post too but I really feel that this post is long enough for the holiday season!

Now I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas/Hunnukah surrounded by your loved ones and that you are already starting to think of how wonderful your 2013 will be. At some point I will address the goal setting for our next year, but in the meantime how did you spend your special days, what special moments did you have (santa or no santa welcomed), and what do you think you may look at acheiving for next year.

Get set to Be AWESOME!!!




Revisiting this post because I feel I need to remind myself of the significance of the words in the song. I didnt have a great christmas and am facing some tough stuff, so I need to set myself in a good place with a strong will for whatever comes my way. Will go into more detail when I am less volatile because those of us RED women understand the importance of minimising collateral damage.

Everybody Be AWESOME!!!





I know there is a bit of an echo out there on my page because my posts appear to be dwindling in numbers…I know I used to post quite a bit but of late my life is like travelling on the M1 in peak hour! Yes life in the fast lane just isnt fun all of the time…you get in the fast lane expecting so much – only to be disappointed by traffic, road ragers, and screaming kids in the backseat…not to mention the million missed calls.

No I am not talking about an actual fast lane – just that fast lane that is my life at the moment. I sit here at 4am on Christmas morning knowing my kids will be up soon because hubby is pumping up a kayak…oh what we do!!!

But I do promise that somewhere amongst my shoulder injury, christmas, fulltime work, limited training and study…I will catch you all up on everything. And yes I will write that elusive – santa – post. But for now just a Merry Christmas to all my followers and thankyou for your loyalty and interaction. Next year I hope to make it bigger and better with maybe even a few prizes…so share share share – and dont forget to go to my facebook page and follow there if that is easier too. Be safe and well!

Everybody Be AWESOME!!!

….and sparkly with tinsel!




Good evening fellow AWESOMERS!!!

We are nearing the end of 2012 and I am concerned that I have not paid enough attention to the state of my balls! I mean no one wants tired, old, shriveled up balls. Yes these things are confronting to face but truthfully if we dont pay attention to the state of our balls we could end up being less than what we could be and further from scoring the home run!

Grab Life By The Balls!

Nobody wants haggard old balls (Credit: Humor Blog)


If you remember when I first started blogging earlier this year I talked alot about my “balls” and how important it was to the art of achieving an infinite balance in life. and so now that we are nearing the end of an extraordinary year I thought it best to guage how my balls are hanging and how I am handling them in order to plan how they will hang, juggle and fly into 2013!

So it really has been a bit of an epic year for The Pluck Family…and I think mostly it has been guided with AWESOMENESS in mind, even if there has been some less that awesome stuff too…but I guess it is the less than awesome stuff that grows you up big and strong!!! I am feeling a little drained and tired tonight after a spectacular spill at work tonight leaving me with a possible torn shoulder/arm muscle, neck/back pain and a friction mark on my knee – serious YOU TUBE material let me say! – so I think I will look at each of my balls seperately to save what little “awake” cells I have in my brain at such an unheavenly hour.


At the beginning of this year I was still horribly unfit, unhealthy, and sick. Not to mention emotionally drained to the point of feeling like my life just was not worth continuing. I had cervical cancer, thyroid issues and was tired beyond belief. And this is after I had some improvement! Yeah crazy I know!

So now I look at how I have juggled this ball and I think I havent done too badly. As a nurse I work some horrid hours and sometimes they are long and just a tad arduous. When a nurse says I dont have time to stop and eat – she really means it! Next time you are needing someone to care for you imagine them saying “oh I am just having a break so I will be back in half an hour – your pain/pouring blood wound/uncontrollable vomiting, can wait til then” yeah that just isnt right and hence the reason why nurses dont have the best eating pattern. But in spite of all this I have managed to get my nutrition mostly sorted. I have managed to become fitter than I have been probably in my whole life thanks to some amazing people –

Marcus at Live it up Fitness

Alena and Jen at Goal Power Training in preparation for my first mini triathlon

and especially the beautiful Lisa Curry and her KISS program

…not forgetting of course my training buddies (especially the ones that understand that my training schedule doesnt always fit the norm due to shift work, study and kids) especially Melissa, Jimina, Christine and Ange…oh and Miss 12 who trains on Saturday mornings at a cruel hour!!!

This has meant that I am now doing up to 10km runs, Mini Triathlons, climbing mountains, learning how to swim effectively, longer distance bike rides etc etc. It also means that I have now gone from a size 24/26 to a healthier size 14! The kgs dont matter so much anymore because I realise that they are just a number and not conducive to trusting my body.


Well this ball is looking fabulous. At end of last year and the beginning of this year I thought about leaving nursing and all its dramas and insufficiencies for anything else! Now I work for an amazing company with phenomenal values, morals and dedication to superior service and that fits well with me. Despite a few hiccups I feel that I have been blessed with this job and I am now permanent and loving this journey and all I am learning as a nurse. I am having some wonderful educational opportunities and my next year is looking phenominal but that is subjects for another post (this one will be long enough). There are some interesting things unfolding for the future professionally and I am looking forward to that. But for now – my job fulfills me…as it should do for a job like this.


Well these balls have been the hardest to juggle but that is expected in any family. We have had heartache, tears, and stuff that just shouldnt happen in a family but does due to selfish attitudes or lack of insight. But we are dealing with those things as best we know how and as long as we stand by our values and stand strong as a family unit then that is all we can do. We cannot think about ourselves so much but our two young children and what they are being exposed to. It is a sad thing for us also not to see our grandchild…in fact I have only ever seen her and never been introduced but we hold her dear to our hearts and in our prayers daily anyways. I know she will grow up to be a remarkable young lady that will make her mark on the world.

It has been a stressful year for us with redundancy, family issues etc and I think in some ways it has taken its toll on us all. But mostly my husband because he hasnt got as strong a stand as I do and sometimes allows others to railroad him via emotional manipulation and I feel that has taken a toll on his health of late. I pray he is well and that we are just over reacting but his phenominal weight loss and other symptoms lead me to be concerned that it is something more sinister. So until we know more I hold him dear and try as much as possible to create exceptional moments of bliss for us as a family and try to drown out the blue noise that people try to infect our bubble with. I love him and cannot imagine my life without him. So any of my followers that have a faith please intercept on his behalf that he be well for a long time yet.

My kids however are doing well and I am especially proud of my miss 12 and the stand that she makes in her life. She no longer takes disrespect or any other toxic thing lying down…she will fight you and knock you down if you so much as think about infecting her own personal bubble with anything but good stuff! And that makes me proud. My little miss 5 is also doing very well and is on hardly any strong painkillers anymore…such an improvement from early in the year. Both have done very well on their end of year report cards so mamma and daddy are both proud as punch! And we have realised more this year who are the important people in our lives and the ones that actually want to be there – not ones that feel it is their right. We welcome positive and loving people in our lives and family should be no different. But again that is another post. As for where we will go from here that remains to be revealed to us and we are patient.

So the whole balancing act is going ok and really is a continuous cycle of trial and error. I do plan next year on focussing on specific areas in my blog posts to see if I can better articulate and reflect on the processes involved and how it is implemented but for now this is the wrap up. Soon I will post a goal wrap up and goal list for 2013!

Everybody Be AWESOME!!!



Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela (Photo credit: Festival Karsh Ottawa)

Just a revisit….

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening or good night – fellow AWESOMERS! Just thought I would put that in since I have followers now from all over this beautiful world – especially in the US…shout out hello to all of you.

So it is afternoon here and I am on my day 2 of 4 of afternoon shifts this afternoon (nurse speak) and decided I would try to fit in a bit of study before I head to work (because lets face it – full time shift work, family, kids, training and my extra role just doesnt fill my time enough so lets take up some study pffttt – yeah I know stoopid idea but hey – someones gotta trial stoopid stuff might as well be me. Im actually going for the guiness book of records for the person who can fit the most into a life – anyone want to race me for the title?). And I re-read the answer to one of the questions and thought I would share it here…


Google search under historic speeches and locate a famous motivational speech which inspires you. Analyse in 200 words why this speech interests you and why you find it motivating.


The speech I chose was the Dali Lama’s Peace Prize acceptance speech –

Dalai Lama’s Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

Your Majesty, Member of the Nobel Committee, Brothers and Sisters:

I am very happy to be here with you today to receive the Nobel Prize for peace. I feel honored, humbled, and deeply moved that you should give this important prize to a simple monk from Tibet. I am no one special. But I believe the prize is a recognition of the true value of altruism, love, compassion, and nonviolence which I try to practice, in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha and the sages of India and Tibet. I accept the prize with profound gratitude on behalf of all of the oppressed everywhere and for all those who struggle for freedom and work for world peace. I accept it as a tribute to the man who founded the modern tradition of nonviolent action for change- Mahatama Gandhi-whose life taught and inspired me. And, of course, I accept it on behalf of the six million Tibetan people, my brave countrymen and women inside Tibet, who have suffered and continue to suffer so much. They confront a calculated and systematic strategy aimed at the destruction of their national and cultural identities. The prize reaffirms our conviction that with truth, courage, and determination as our weapons, Tibet will be liberated.

No matter what part of the world we come from, we are all basically the same human beings. We all seek happiness and try to avoid suffering. We have basically the same human needs and concerns. All of us human beings want freedom and the right to determine our own destiny as individuals and as peoples. That is human nature. The great changes that are taking place in the world, from Eastern Europe to Africa, are a clear indication of this. …

… As a Buddhist monk, my concern extends to all members of the human family and, indeed, to all the sentient beings who suffer. I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction.

Yet true happiness comes from a sense of peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion, and elimination of ignorance, selfishness, and greed.

The problems we face today, violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger, and so on, are human created problems which can be resolved through human effort, understanding, and a development of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. We need to cultivate a universal responsibility for one another and the planet we share. Although I have found my own Buddhist religion helpful in generating love and compassion, even for those we consider our enemies, I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility with or without religion.

With the ever-growing impact of science in our lives, religion and spirituality have a greater role to play reminding us of our humanity. There is no contradiction between the two. Each gives us valuable insights into each other. Both science and the teaching of the Buddha tell us of the fundamental unity of all things. This understanding is crucial if we are to take positive and decisive action on the pressing global concern with the environment.

I believe all religions pursue the same goals, that of cultivating human goodness and bringing happiness to all human beings. Though the means may appear different, the ends are the same.

As we enter the final decade of this century, I am optimistic that the ancient values that have sustained mankind are today reaffirming themselves to prepare us for a kinder, happier twenty-first century.

I pray for all of us, oppressor and friend, that together we succeed in building a better world through human understanding and love, and that in doing so we may reduce the pain and suffering of all sentient beings.


Tenzin Gyatso

14th Dalai Lama of Tibet December 10, 1989, Oslo, Norway, Earth


In his speech the Dali Lama highlights that we are essentially all equal. No matter your race, religion, skin colour, economic standing, history, etc – we are all HUMAN and no less value than another. He discusses and outlines that we all search for the same things – we search for happiness, and to avoid suffering . I find this part of his speech motivating because it reminds us that at the core of it we are all humans and despite the “stuff” we get distracted by in our day to day lives, we all have commonalities of wanting happiness and freedom, but we all feel pain and suffering the same. A reminder that is quite necessary in the hustle and bustle of daily 1st world life.

He then highlights that ignorance, selfishness and greed is a great cause of much of the worlds suffering, and impresses the importance of cultivating a universal responsibility, elimination of ignorance, and a cultivation of altruism through human effort in addressing suffering of all kinds throughout the world.

So overall I find this speech very motivating for me because it reminds me of why I wanted to nurse in the first place – and that is to do my absolute best to reduce suffering of others and to be of service, and to do it through the brotherhood and sisterhood of the health system, and society as a whole.

I think sometimes it is important to revisit our motives behind our choices and paths in life to ensure that we are doing it for the right reasons. I have enjoyed revisiting this because it reminds me of why I do what I do and what I am shooting into the future for. It helps on those days when my “vocation” as a nurse is especially difficult physically or emotionally, and helps in those times when I have to advocate for what is ethical.

One person alone cannot do everything, but one person can be a catalyst, a “helper”, a contributor in everything. Together we can shape our world and ourselves.

Just a side note that I feel really needs to be addressed as a nurse (relating to some of the blogs/comments I have read elsewhere) – there are times when you will come across incompetent health care workers and feel like the health system is conspiring against you in your time of suffering and distress. Just remember that this is rarely the case and complaining about this does not change the outcome – be part of the solution not part of the problem. The time it takes for a “on the floor” nurse to deal with you complaining about wait lists, etc…is the time they could be caring for your loved one. Where are you putting your energy – if you want something changed go about acting in a positive way to help that change – you are not JUST one person – you ARE one person…big difference.

Everybody You ARE AWESOME!!!




You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great… You would be here now if you took one step when you first considered it… We all have the same 24hrs – how have you used yours… Same dress…now it falls off if I don’t hold on…the hard work is worth it. And I am also 1 yr no smoking too…yay me! See you don’t have to gain when you quit…me=living proof. X

I try for this method but alas not all that great lol…I think sometimes we get so excited when we find something amazing that we struggle to articulate it in a way that is non confrontational. Awesome post and food for thought!

youthful habits

Yoga is amazing. You should really get into it. 
I do it this way and you should too. 
This diet really worked for me. You should try it. 
Why do we pressure others into believing what we believe? Why can’t we simply be the example, and lead and teach that way, instead of forcing every opinion we have on others?

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