Sven recently told me I was mean. He also said that luckily he liked mean. At first, that didn’t make me feel better. Who wants to be called mean? No one!
But after some consideration, I guess I am a little mean. I have never used that word to describe myself before, nor has anyone else, but my sisters and I do have this running gag about who is the evilest of the 3 of us. I mean, obviously it isn’t me, but on some level I guess I could be seen as a bit mean.
We call each other evil because we like to give each other a hard time. We tease each other. I also give my kids a hard time sometimes. But it is all because I like them a lot. I guess I sometimes give people I like a hard time.
Sven has defined this as mean. It’s not my favourite word choice but I’ve come to terms with it. I feel that he often makes poor word choices when it comes to me. In fact, shortly before we broke up, he told me that he was dreading our date and then tried to take it back as he didn’t mean it. Once that word was out, I didn’t feel like it was something you could take back. I have since forgiven him for that incident but it was definitely an example of a poor choice of words.
Sven tried to explain mean to me. He said I was clear, direct and didn’t take any BS. All of which are true. However, I personally, would not have grouped them all together to define mean.
Oh well. I may not like the terminology but I’ve decided that I am ok with the whole thing. I guess partly because Sven said I was ‘Just the right amount of mean.’ Apparently that’s a compliment.
I have been such a slacker with the blog.
I have done some writing but it was on my novel and even that has not been as much as I would like. I don’t seem to have much time for the blog these days. But perhaps we should just blame that on Candy Crush and move on. “Hi, my name is Gwen and I’m addicted to Candy Crush.” It’s a sad, sad thing to say out loud. Eep!
Anyway, now that I have chastised myself, let’s talk about what I have been doing. I have still been doing the 365 days of gratefulness thing. It’s actually fairly easy to find things that I am grateful for every day. The tricky part is either remembering to take a picture or sometimes you can be grateful for stuff that can’t really be photographed.
For example, I’m still not in the practice of always being grateful for the thing while it is happening. I often do a little recap at some point during the day and if that thing is long past, it can’t always be photographed. Or sometimes you can be grateful for music or warm breezes or something that is difficult to capture by photo. So even though it is slightly trickier than I originally thought, it is still totally do-able and I am happy to report that I am doing it.
I hope that some of you are doing it too!
That’s it, that’s the whole blog post. Just a recap more than anything else. I will try to write more, I promise!
I’m starting a new project this year in addition to the blogging. It’s really an extension of things learned last year. Upon reviewing my blog, I realized that although I say what I am grateful for every evening, I don’t acknowledge what I am grateful for when it happens as much as I would like. Therefore, this project is going to help me with that.
I got the idea from 365grateful.com. The premise is to take one photo every day for a year of something that I’m grateful for. I have my phone with me all the time so taking a picture every day does not seem too taxing. I’m going to post the photos right here on my blog, also not very taxing. So in theory, I should have no problem completing this project.
I’ve only just begun and I’m already having a hard time choosing just one photo for the day. I think this is going to be a fun project that is good for the soul. You should do your own. You’ll like it :).
Here’s the first picture from Jan 1 (go check out the page):
Jan 1 – I’m grateful that I’m healthy enough to shovel all of this snow off of my deck. I’m grateful that I am strong and capable.
What a year 2013 has been for me.
I have always wanted to blog, and guess what? I did it. I blogged for a whole year, 198 blog posts in 2013. Wow!!
And during this blogging adventure I have learned some new things, changed the way I look at some things and really made progress towards living a happier life by myself. Recently, I participated in a Winter Solstice Ritual and because of that I’ve taken a quick review of 2013 (and by quick review, I mean I took 3 days to read every single one of my blog posts). From this review I have taken stock of some of the wisdom I’ve gleaned and will carry forward into 2014 with me.
The whole year was not one big ray of sunshine but I’m starting 2014 with some positive energy and personal strengths that will serve me well in the new year. So here is the Wisdom I’m Bringing into 2014 (and there is a lot of it, 52 weeks worth):
- You CAN choose your thoughts – once upon a time I didn’t think this was true and just let my thoughts get carried away on tangents that weren’t all that healthy. Now I know that by simply acknowledging the thoughts and redirecting them, you can change your thinking. It’s a powerful tool that I am happy to have discovered.
- Micro-movements or baby steps are the key to success – I have often felt overwhelmed by big tasks and then avoided them or told myself that I couldn’t do them. But this blog is proof that micro-movements can turn into big things. 198 blog posts weren’t written in one day and if I had thought I needed to write 198 blog posts on Jan 1, 2013 I may have given up before I started, but one post at a time brought me to post 199 which I’m writing today :). And SARK has helped me realize that you can break your steps down into tiny, little movements if they aren’t small enough the first time.
- Perspective can help you stay positive – not every day is a bowl full of cherries, but my life is pretty good in the big scheme of things. I have a nice place to live, a regular income, 2 great kids and I’m pretty healthy. Lots of folks don’t have any of those things.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends when you need someone to talk to – this one is pretty self-explanatory.
- Personal change takes time and effort – change is often not a quick option, it takes practice and effort and commitment.
- Take the time to review what you have accomplished – often we are quick to say that we haven’t done anything in our lives but if you really think about it you will find that that isn’t true at all. Sometimes we need reminders.
- Be generous – sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives that we forget to help others. It doesn’t take much effort to be nice or lend a helping hand or to donate to a worthy charity. Be generous with your words, thoughts and actions, it helps make the world a better place.
- It’s OK to look after yourself – for many years I put my kids first and ignored doing things for myself. This really isn’t good for you. It’s important to pursue your own happiness and joy. No one can live your life for you.
- Live in the Now – be present for your experiences. Spend less time regretting your past and worrying about your future. Focus on the beauty that is your life right now.
- Always take time for fun – plan fun activities. Plan silly and crazy activities. Plan outrageous activities. Plan adventures. Plan outings. Plan trips. Plan picnics, photo shoots, trips to the beach, walks in the woods, scavenger hunts. Then do them all!!
- Confidence, intelligence and a positive attitude is sexy – ‘nuf said.
- Unplug – take time to get outside and enjoy nature, your electronic devices will still be there when you get back.
- Finding your Passion may be surprising when you really get down to it – I expected my passion to be surrounded by excitement and fervour, it turned out that it was more of a thought that kept trying to get noticed but got pushed back down by “I can’t” and “later”.
- Make an effort to keep in touch with friends – they became your friend for a reason in the first place.
- Not all friendships are meant to last forever – some people are just passing through your life and teaching you lessons along the way.
- Make memories – spend time with friends and families, go on adventures together. The memories are worth more than material items.
- I’m ready for a real relationship – I haven’t found that person yet, but I’m no longer scared of making plans with someone or discussing the future. It seems more plausible now than a year ago.
- Some things may seem scary and hard but we can do them if we keep trying – perseverance, practice and dedication to a goal is important and when you are on the verge of giving up, try a new approach.
- People Will Treat You the Way that You Allow Yourself to be Treated – this one took a couple of lessons and I’m not 100% sure I have learned it yet. Hopefully it will sink in soon.
- Never use the words “We need to talk” – it only makes people jump to bad conclusions.
- I like walking – walking makes me thankful for my strong legs. I’m looking forward to more walks in the Spring.
- Eating healthier and moving more will make you healthier.
- I am enough – I’m smart, I have skills and talents, I’m lovable and I am enough.
- Even negative things can have positive aspects – like being unemployed.
- Over-thinking causes more issues than it solves – I’m an over-thinker, is there a support group for that? Living more in the present helps with this but it is a learning process.
- Secrets can hold us back – let them go, it will lessen their grip on you.
- Negative feelings don’t respond to reason – let them pour forth and release them to the universe, you don’t need to be their caretaker.
- Sometimes what you ask for shows up in a different form than expected – embrace it and be thankful.
- Your inner-wise self has answers – ask her questions, ask her for help and have her write you love notes.
- Expressing your words is a form of success – speak up, be heard, write, and be happy that you have written.
- I’m creative and imaginative – it often sneaks up on me and I don’t even notice.
- I should proof-read my blog posts more – ther seem to be severl typos.
- Always move forward – onto new and better chapters.
That is an impressive amount of wisdom for one year! I’ll have to come back and visit this post often to remember what I’ve learned.
Today, I screwed up. You know, one of those stupid mistakes that you kick yourself for afterwards?
Lemon (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)
I was at Costco at lunchtime, and rushing so I would be back to work in a timely manner. I unloaded my stuff into my trunk and as soon as I slammed the trunk shut I realized my mistake.
Of course you already know where my keys were. I’m not the first person to make that bone-headed mistake and I won’t be the last either.
I weighed my options. First I thought about calling a friend and asking them to drive me to my house, I decided against that one as I would ultimately be using at least an hour of their time in order for them to do me a big favour. The other options were grabbing a cab to my daughter’s school to get her house key and then to my house to get the spare car keys and then cabbing back to Costco OR calling the local locksmith. It turned out that both options would cost me around $60 so I opted for the locksmith.
During my wait time, the voices inside my head were quick to kick me when I was down and tell me how stupid I was. However, that was when I decided to make a choice not to let them have a free-for-all. I decided that what was done was done, I couldn’t change it, only wait for the fix that was coming shortly. I had gotten myself into a mess but had promptly rescued myself as well. It did take a few minutes for those voices to settle down but I WAS ABLE TO CHOOSE not to berate myself.
I tried to take an even bigger positive approach and see if I could figure out the top 10 things about locking your keys in your trunk… I could only come up with one, having a lot of free time all of a sudden. So even though I couldn’t turn lemons into 10 glasses of lemonade, what I did do was take the lemons and do something else entirely.
I took the lemons and traded them in for something more palatable, perhaps not delicious, juicy mango but something like a nice, crisp apple. Something that didn’t go to the extreme positive but didn’t leave me with a sour look on my face either.
I like it when I get to choose the thoughts in my head.
I’ve been slacking on my 52 Actions so this upcoming week I’m going to try extra hard to do this one. It’s an easy one but pretty important. Compliment 7 People in 7 Days.
I mean, who can’t compliment 7 people in 7 days?
In fact, it’s so easy that I dare you to join me. I dare you to compliment 7 people in 7 days. Even if just 2 of us do it then 14 people get compliments. If 3 of us do then 21 people get compliments. You see where I’m going.
So I triple-dog dare you to join me in complimenting 7 people in 7 days. You know you wanna. Just do it, you’ll be glad you did.
And to inspire you further, listen to Kid President, he’s pretty smart and says that you should do it too!
I was hanging out with my sister and Mom yesterday and something interesting happened. A car pulled into the yard (it’s kind of a big yard) and the people in the car just sat there looking around.
Well my sister automatically assumed that these people were disparaging the way things looked in the yard now compared to how they looked a few years ago. And my Mom kind of jumped on the bandwagon a bit by putting negative words into these people’s mouths. We had no way of knowing what these people were thinking nor did we have any idea who they were. Eventually they went on their way.
The interesting thing that happened was the thing that I said. I said “why would you assume that they are saying negative things? Maybe they are saying something nice.” My sister (who reads my blog) was pretty proud of me and the fact that I looked at things from a positive perspective. And I was pretty surprised at the fact that I didn’t just jump on the bandwagon but actually spoke up and said that there was no reason to assume they were thinking negative things, they could have just as easily been thinking something positive.
Sometimes being happier is about changing your perspective and your attitude. I really think that I have made progress in this part of my life.