Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood

In 2001 my life as I knew it changed. Within hours of the World Trade Center’s falling the Mister was on 24hr standby for deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan.  We had survived deployments in the past but this one was different, this one was not a peacekeeping or peacemaking mission.

This was Op Apollo, Canada’s first combat mission since the Korean War in 1950.

During the deployment there was a group of us that became close. We called ourselves the Ya Ya’s. Cheesy? Sure, but I knew they had my back and I had theirs. There was no whiny Army wife gossip, we were all in this together. I could count on these people for anything and everything, I hope they felt the same way about me.

Kids need a lift to a hockey rink across town? Sure, toss them in the van with mine. Running late and worried the kids are coming home to an empty house? No problem, I’ll pick them up at school. Need to fill your belly with food and your soul with laughter? Let’s meet up for a potluck, I’ll bring wine!

Lori and I had known each other for a few years as Hockey Mom’s, rarely getting together outside of the rink. We became family during that deployment, our kids became siblings to one another and she became the sister I had always wished for. We spoke on the phone several times a day and met every evening to go for a walk. Those walks turned into running. It was during one of those walk/runs that I asked her how she managed to keep her shit together when I felt like my entire world was falling in on itself.

Lori shared her secret with me that evening.

Lori had a rule. It was alright to feel sorry for yourself but the pity party could only last for 15 minutes. When the “woe is me” moment struck she would set a timer, feel sorry for herself for the allotted 15 minutes and when the timer went off she would “put on her Big Girl Panties and get over herself”.

I had forgotten the Lori Rule and it shows in the moaning post from the other day.

Yesterday I put on my “Big Girl Panties” along with my socks, shoes, pants and running bra and ran. It wasn’t fast, it wasn’t pretty and there may have been additional walk breaks but for the first time in months I didn’t feel shitty because my pace had dropped to 8:05/km. I didn’t look at my training calendar, I covered up the display on the treadmill that seems to mock me and I ran because I could, not because I had to. When I was done I had a dance party in the kitchen with the dogs while I made a bagel. I sang really loud and really bad. The dogs didn’t seem to mind but I’m not sure about the neighbours.

Pity Party for one is over, please see yourself out. Lori is one smart lady. 


There better be a damn good gift bag when this Pity Party if over!

How do you get over yourself?

Do you have your own Ya Ya’s? Where did you meet?

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Meet Anita

I am a wife to a retired Army Captain and present day shepherd, a mother to two Big's (20 & 19) and one Little (6) and new to running at the age of 42. I am hopelessly addicted to Starbucks Peppermint Mocha's. My family thinks I am crazy. The voices in my head say they may be right.

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