Tina Szymczak

I just found this unpublished on my posts page. I guess I got so busy I forgot to post it.

I’m trying something new lately where I get out of my comfort zone to do something that ultimately makes me happy no matter how much anxiety happens beforehand.

Today the boys and I (and Jeremy’s) friend drove 5 hours to pick a puppy. There were four to choose from and I had carefully chosen this breeder. (For anyone that wants to admonish me and cheer for rescue adoptions I agree but in this case after a year of unsuccessful trying I moved onto a very reputable breeder). Now back to happy puppy story. We expected to choose from 3 so the 4th was a nice surprise. I tried hard not to get my heart set on any one particular pup from the pictures because who knew which ones would get picked first. I also wasn’t picky on gender.

When we got there they had just had a sudden torrential downpour which left everyone scrambling to get the dogs out of high standing water. So it was very crowded and muddy in the kennels but eventually most settled down. Right away I saw a caramel coloured one obviously the runt of the litter. She was the first one I picked up. She snuggled right into my neck for a few seconds and then suddenly tried to leap off of my shoulder. The breeder explained that the runt had a big diva complex and she thinks she is bigger than everyone else and is out to prove something. As the boys got down and played with the puppies I struggled internally. I felt drawn to the tiny underdog with something to prove but recognizing that is pretty much what I deal with day in and day out at home and at work. Maybe some quiet, content, easy going in our home and my life would be better. I looked over and saw Corbin snuggling with an almost all black puppy.

The breeder spoke about although that puppy was the largest of the litter he was mild mannered and loving. Just what I was looking for. I really hadn’t wanted a black one, I don’t know why, I guess I had a preconceived notion of  the “Golden” part of goldendoodle. I held him and again he snuggled into me. Corbin tried to make a deal that if I got this black puppy he would stop playing video games forever so I said “Sure” knowing he would never follow through on that. Jeremy wasn’t too happy at first, he wanted the daring caramel coloured runt of the litter. But my mind was made up.

 

May I present:  Chavez Szymczak

Image may contain: one or more people and dog

I know it sounds like an unusual name. As most of you will know, we adopted our boys. We always joked with them that if WE had chosen their first names one of them for sure would have been Chavez because Chavez Szymczak (prnounced Shim-chak) is an awesome, interesting and original name. People think I am crazy but I don’t care. He’s my puppy and I will name him what I want. Can’t wait for him to come home in September 2018.

 

 

January 5, 2019

Trying New Things

I just found this unpublished on my posts page. I guess I got so busy I forgot to post it. I’m trying something new lately where I get out of my comfort zone to do something that ultimately makes me happy no matter how much anxiety happens beforehand. Today the boys and I (and Jeremy’s) friend drove 5 hours to pick a puppy. There were four to choose from and I had carefully chosen this breeder. (For anyone that wants to admonish me and cheer for rescue adoptions I agree but in this case after a year of unsuccessful trying I moved onto a very reputable breeder). Now back to happy puppy story. We expected to choose from 3 so […]
June 24, 2018

An Open Letter to Mental Health Services in My Community

On June 14 and 15, 2018 I took part in ASSIST put on by CMHA Windsor-Essex . It is a suicide prevention program and I will forever be thankful to my employer for supporting me in giving me the two days off to take part in such important training that everyone in every community should take. In the training were mental health workers, first responders, clergy, students and blue collar workers. It was an intense couple of days and really brought painful memories to the forefront but I was absolutely ready to take this next step in my efforts to bring about mental health awareness and improve services. During the first day of training I broke into a cold sweat […]
June 8, 2018

When You Don’t Know What to Say

 The past few days have been a struggle . . . first Kate Spade and now Anthony Bourdain . They both fell into despair so deep they saw no way out . . . and they completed suicide. The struggle for me is such a deeply personal one and their actions bring back my past actions and what could have been. Both of these very accomplished individuals had family and friends who loved them deeply and they each had a pre-teen daughter that now has to live without one of their parents. I have been struggling because I feel like I should be able to raise awareness as I always try to do but here is the thing – I don’t […]
May 13, 2018

Lessons From My Mother

Growing up I knew without a doubt that my mother loved me. I also knew that my mother was easily agitated, had high anxiety and suffered from debilitating migraines that could last days, even weeks. I learned early on how to take care of her, to try to keep stress to a minimum. I can’t say my brother and I always succeeded, we were children after all, but I think I did a fair amount of care giving at a very young age. It was difficult for my mother to go into social situations. She would worry obsessively in the days leading up to any event, even those she genuinely was excited to attend (such as a family gathering). Once […]
May 11, 2018

Finding What Matters

The last few years I have been on a path of self-reflection and discovery. Many hours in therapy, in silent contemplation, in writing, in conversing with family, friends and co-workers. One of the things I have grappled with is my health – over the years I truly let myself go and often cancelled doctor and dentist appointments over and over. Case in point: after focusing on overall mental and physical well being all week at work I decided it was time to finally make my 3 month follow up diabetes wellness appointment with my doctor. I keep cancelling it because I say I am busy but really it is because I don’t want to do the blood test because I […]
April 2, 2018

An Awareness Day

When I look at my son, when I watch him when he doesn’t know I am watching I see friendly kind thoughtful sensitive inquisitive smart outgoing creative talkative agile For all these reasons and so many more Take the time to get to know my son, who will always be my boy even though he is a man. Do yourself a favour and speak to him a while . . . it will change your life like it has mine. The fact that he has Autism, Bipolar Disorder or an Intellectual Disability does not define him. Diagnosis do not define him – these qualities listed here and many more – those help define him. Take the time to get to know my son for […]