Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Top 10 Reasons It Is Cool To Have No Boobs

Ok so summer has arrived in Oslo...finally!! We are like a month or two behind everyone else it seems. The shops are filled with light and airy summer clothing and bikinis are everywhere. Everyone is peeling off the layers and exposing their casper white skin to the big bright ball in the sky. You cant help but feel happy when the weather is nice.

I remember this time last year shortly after my first operation when I was also getting used to my new body and the fact that summer would be slightly different for me. It is even more different this year and I am feeling self conscious to say the least. And I cant help but feel alittle crap when i browse through the shops and realise that about 70% of the cute outfits just wont work on the new me. And in terms of bathing suits? Well that is an entirely different story peeps. I have to go to a special shop that serves only us BC ladies and the styles seem to be chanelling the 70 to 80 age range. So in light of feeling alittle sorry for myself, i wanted to write a list of the good things about having no boobs. Why not focus on the positive and have alittle fun too.

The 10 Reasons it is cool to have no boobs

10. Running. Now if I did run and I wish I did - I would really be at a benefit having no chesticles. No nipple shaffing, no hefty sports bra to strap the girls down, and less wind resistance (not sure if science is behind me on the last one but it makes sense to me). Oslo Marathon here I come!

9. Bras and complicated clothing. So you know the drill ladies - you have found the coolest dress or top but the exact thing that makes it cool and different also poses a serious problem in finding the right bra to fit the complex straps. Well I just dont have this problem do i? I can rock any top and dont need worry about finding the perfect bra and we know what murder it is finding a good strapless one!

8. Gross ogling men. I can safely say that i have been in a situation when I was talking to a man and he continually looked downwards to "assess" my assets. I actually have been shocked at the lack of shame they have (and i know most men have the social decency to know that this is not cool). Face is up here dude! Well I am assured that I will only have men focusing on what is coming out of mouth and not what is sitting under my shirt. :)

7. Gender disguise. So this one is slightly far fetched (ok all the way in fantasy land) but I like it. In light of the Game of Thrones phenomenon and one of the young characters pretending she was a boy to survive, I think it could be quite useful especially if I had a huge army after me - to easily hide out as a boy if I needed to. I have the short cropped do´and no boobs for a start - so just rub some dirt on my face, throw on some pants and shirt and bam - boy time. Now I dont think i will need to utilise this benefit anytime soon in Norway but still worth mentioning.

6. The Gap. I have often found myself putting on a shirt with buttons and discovered the shirt fit everywhere but across the chest. There is nothing worse then buttons being stretched to their wits end and little gaps forming between each one. I have sadly witnessed this phenomenon of "the gap" far too many times while working in London. Well I just dont have this problem. Every shirt I own now fits like a glove and the gap is a thing of the past.

5. Kate Moss. We all remember the CkOne adverts in the 90s and the whole waif look right? Well Kate was the queen of that time and is still pretty much the most famous supermodel around. Now I dont entirely agree with some of the things she does but let´s face she is an icon and pretty damn hot. Well she has no breasts really so she kinda counts as being part of the Flat team. So if she can rock her mosquito bites in fabulous couture then I can rock my scars in retail. And scars are pretty bad ass.

4. Golf. I used to play golf but I havent done it in awhile. I did like it and often found that my chest area often got in the way of attaining a perfect swing. And I think if you look at the best female golfers in the world - none of them are "major" in the boob department. So perhaps I should dust off the clubs and see how far I can go.

3. Random injuries. I have been the recipient of many footballs, tennis balls, waterpolo balls and sharp elbows to the boob area over the years. And you know it hurts. Well I just dont have to worry about that. We got smooth sailing on these parts.

2. Gravity. We all now as we get older, gravity becomes a nemesis of our bodies. Things wrinkle and begin to drift downwards. Boobs are no exception to this natural event especially after having nourished your little babies. Well again I simply dont need to worry about anything hanging down by my toes and I wont have to carry my boobs around when I am old and grey. For now I have nothing but when I eventually do get some new ones I will be a perky as Miley Cyrus used to be before she started wearing shirts as dresses.

I am alive. This is clearly the biggest reason it is cool for me to not have boobs. Unfortunately mine were ticking time bombs with one already detonated so they had to go. Being alive is so much better then the alternative so I can feel good about my ground zero sitch. Boobs dont make the woman. I do.

Have a great day everyone!


Friday, May 11, 2012

My Mother´s Day Gift

In celebration of Mother´s Day across the pond, I wanted to do something for my own mother. (this is an early entry as I will be out of range all weekend in nature!).

My definition of a mother:

A mother is someone who always seems to be on hand with a pack of ice and a cartoon bandaid when you scrap your knee. And with a kiss you are healed.

A mother is someone who you sometimes hate but realise later that whatever she did to make you angry was out of love.

A mother is someone whose hug is warmer then the thickest or wooliest blanket.

A mother is someone whose needs always come second to yours. Something she does happily and with no regrets.

A mother is someone who you want to call up when things arent going your way.

A mother is someone who picks up the pieces when your world truly falls apart.

A mother is someone who no matter how much time passes, how much taller or bigger then her you get - still makes you feel like the little person you were - eternally protected by her love.

I learned all of these things from you and I feel proud of the mother I have grown to become. Some of it was me, some of it was you and in the process, my daughter has been so blessed to have a mother like me and a nana like you. Her world is so full of love and she knows nothing else. I dont want any of that change...ever.

I love you. Happy Mothers Day Beatron.

Your little Kati

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Had Cancer but Will Work

"Concealing an illness is like keeping a beach ball under water." Karen Duffy

So today´s topic pertains to my re-entry into the working world which has not been without its share of challenges. Now I have written previously about how alot of things have came fairly easily to me in my life (I am not trying to sound arrogant here people but I was one of the lucky ones). I got my dream job out of university, I progressed steadily then when I ran across the pond to London, one month to the day I arrived, I had a job. And all of these jobs were well paid and pretty challenging. I did have some help getting my foot in the door but isnt the job market all about who you know? I should know as I worked in the business of finding people their next job for many years. I am not naive, I know how it works. You need to stand out, you need a flawless CV and you need people who will serve as your advocates. It isnt so much about sending off a CV into the black hole of the internet (or god forbid a fax!) but now with the economy the way it is, you need to do more. I am realising exactly how much more you need to do to get noticed. Fluency in Norwegian would be a good start!

I have not expected this process to be easy but it is so frustrating when I see an amazing job and then find out that because my Norwegian isnt perfect, I am not even considered. Of course I fully recognise that I am indeed living in Norway and the primary language is Norwegian! However I have worked very diligently at learning the language in order to understand my daughter (an essential skill I think!) and to land a good job. I remember a year or so ago when after months of searching, I finally was offered a job. I also remember how that same morning I sent an email telling them I was keen to take it, I also heard that I had cancer. The cancer kinda cancelled the whole new job thingo out and here we are again - 14 months on in the same place. But now I have another year of limbo stuck onto my CV and explaining "this gap" can be tough. How do I handle discussing my elusive absence? Do I get creative and say I was off building schools in Africa? Or that I was marooned on an island writing my first novel? The first year is easy as I was off having a baby as so many women do. But then do I deliberately remain vague about what followed after? Do I just say I was ill but better now? Or do I just tell them the whole truth? I do want to be totally open but think at the first juncture it might be a case of TMI. Case in point - I got an email from a headhunter last week telling me she had seen my profile on Linkedin and had the perfect role for me. I of course was very excited and asked her to call me. She did call and I deliberately spoke over the phone in Norwegian (which is way harder then face to face!) in order to show I was dedicated to learning the language. Well the call was brief to say the least. Her first and only question was "What have you been doing the last 2 years?" Hmmm...what shall I say? I blurted out that I had first taken a year of maternity leave and then I told her I had been sick but was 100% healthy now. The phone call ended 10 seconds later. I was so angry after it. I was so angry that I felt like I wanted to email her boss and tell him how i was treated by one of his consultants and offer up some "constructive criticism." But I didnt and just swallowed my bitter pill. Being treated like that was one of the things I had been so afraid after being branded by the Big C. I didnt want to be viewed as weaker or as a liability. I wanted to be recognised for my achievements, for my strong personality and for all the things that lay across the pages of my CV.

After a few days of stewing, I picked myself back up and jumped back into the job pool. Thankfully I have some great lifeguards keeping an eye on me and offering up boatloads of advice and help for which I am eternally grateful. I have a better perspective on things now. I dont want that woman to define what I am and what I am worth. Only I can do that. And if that was her way of working then I am lucky I didnt end up having her represent me. I firmly believe that the right job, the right company and the right opportunity will come along. I just need to learn to be alittle more patient (insert image of Axl Rose here!). Someone will see and value all that i have been through (scars and all!) and actually see it as a huge asset to the employee I can become. So in the meantime I will allow my body to rest, keep doing what I am doing and be hopeful that it will all work in the end.



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Power of Smell

"The sense of smell can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back pictures as sharp as photographs of scenes that had left the conscious mind." Anonymous

I know I just wrote an entry just yesterday but I was prompted to write again today. As with many entries, I got my inspiration for this one on my walk to my daughter´s daycare. There we were just walking along the sidewalk with the sun shining onto our faces and then I smelt something familiar. In an instant, through this simple inhalation, I was transported back to another time, another place. I was back in Vancouver and running along the trails in the Endowment lands as I had done many years ago inhaling the same familiar scent of spring flowers. It was intoxicatingly sweet and smelt like sunshine and warmth all rolled into one. Then I was suddenly with my father again and we were catching up over coffee as we used to do so often and again there was that familiar scent hanging in the air. Those same flowers were thriving around us and filling the air with their sweet nosegay. For a moment I felt like he was here again - all through the power of a simple breath.

That is the incredible intermingling power of smell and memory. They say it is one of the strongest senses we have and I often feel its pull. Maybe it is my sense of romanticism, or maybe it is just that I am simply an emotional creature but I often catch myself getting lost in a beautiful memory invoked by a certain smell. Some of my all time favorites:

The smell of my daughter´s skin during the first few months of her life. There really is nothing better on this earth is there? The pure sweetness of new life.

The smell of Coppertone suntan lotion. Just a whiff of it and I am back with my father who favored it as his moisturiser of choice. When I would reach up to hug him, I would smell that sunkissed scent and I instantly felt safe.

The smell of my husband´s lips. It isn´t always there, but when it is, I am back to our first kiss many years ago. My heart flutters for a few moments with the memory of new young love with all its promise and excitement.

Chlorine. Given the fact I spent half my life in the stuff, it is very nostalgic for me and evokes so many memories. When I inhale those familiar fumes, I am back to a time when things were simple. I would get up every morning at 5am and head to the pool. On especially cold days, the smell would be even stronger when you walked into the building. That smell reminds me of victories, of losses, the comfort of routine, of pushing through new limits, laughter amongst friends and the innocence and joy of youth.

Campfires. Now for those who know me you all know that camping is not my thing. However this wasn´t always the case. I spent many summers at camp outside montreal, canoe tripping and hiking all around. I also had many wonderful end of summer weeks at Camp Nominingue. When I am walking around town and inhale that smoky scent, I am a 12 year old girl again. Swimming the lake as many times as I can, singing songs around the fire, struggling through a canoe portage or simply watching the sun go down ever so slowly behind the mountains forming a beautiful crystal sheen across the lake. These are just some of the memories I live through again.

What are your favorite scent memories? Let your nose guide you to the places and people you have loved along the way.


Monday, May 7, 2012

The Challenges of Aging Gracefully

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair. Douglas MacArthur.
It has been awhile since I wrote a blog entry and I guess that means that I am out living my life. Not at all a bad thing but being busy is not what it used to be folks! I find myself absolutely shattered every night and every joint in my body feels about as if it were 85 years old. I am realizing each day that I still have limitations and I can’t just jump back into things the way I used to. A difficult reality to swallow when you are a young woman like me. My idea for this blog entry was inspired by my first swim in well over a year yesterday. Being a serious swimmer for a good 14 years, swimming was my life and I of course wanted my daughter to be exposed to it as well. If anything just to be comfortable and confident in the water – no crazy parent/stage mom activity here. So I planned for the three of us to hit the pool yesterday and it was a hit. My daugh
ter, despite a constant shivering lip and purple hue to her body, was relentless and wanted to keep swimming. It warmed my heart seeing her love being in the water and growing more confident by the minute. These are the moments I bank in my mind and cherish. I also had brought along the old goggles and jumped into the lane swimming area to give it a whirl. Off I went and it was nice but not without its difficulties. My body was different, my muscles weak, and my joints tight. I lasted 5 laps before the burning in my lungs and the heaviness in my arms forced me to retire. How did I feel? To be honest a bit sad. For someone who used to swim hundreds of laps a day it was a weak effort. I was forced to face the reality of what had happened to my body and how much it had lost in the process. It is amazing how much one can lose in a year and it made me feel old. Now I know I can work at all of this and slowly build my body and mind back up again was but when you are young, you never imagine having to do this and I know I will never get back to what I was. Before I got sick I took my body and health for granted. I didn’t always wear sunscreen, I binge drank (a lot), I even smoked. I always thought my body would bounce back and never show any signs of wear. That is the beauty of youth. It is true that we think we are immortal at times when we are innocent and not faced with some of the colder, darker realities of life. My husband and I often look at photos of ourselves taken a few years ago and can see the difference. Maybe others would disagree and think there was little change or even that we look better now. But to me I see it. The lens doesn’t lie. Little differences, subtle changes – the look of innocence is what I see. It is definitely in the eyes –there isn’t a heaviness in them and I just think I look lighter. The girl I see in the photo is hopeful for the future, not afraid of what she could lose and just wants to take a big bite out of life. I am not saying that I am still not her but I am altered by my experiences. This alteration has definitely brought about some great changes but also some more difficult ones. Fear and worry inevitably make one feel old. So that is just a little bit of what is on my mind this week. I hope I can learn to accept my body`s new limitations, be more patient with myself and also see the signs of aging that are more apparent to me as proof of my growth as a person and a deepening of my character. And a few extra wrinkles and gray hears thrown in for good measure! A quick update on Captain AC: She is doing brilliantly post-surgery and totally rocked that operation out of the park! I think she is amazed at how manageable it all is which a wonderful surprise is. She is one tough lady – my mother. Thank you for supporting her and sending all your love and well wishes. And I included a Before the Big C pic of me as I thought it was fitting given the subject matter. Oh I miss my long hair sometimes. OBB