Things I want out of life:

  1. To be happy.

That’s it, that’s all. Wherever that is, whatever that looks like, I want to be happy. I feel like I will have lead a successful, fulfilling life if I can look myself in the mirror and tell myself that I am truly happy.

Happiness is something that all too many people chase in the wrong places. It seems to be elusive, but I know it’s out there. My only hope is that I don’t chase it in the wrong direction. I’m not getting any younger, I don’t want to take any more wrong turns. I just want to be happy.

Here’s to progress, and to being open to the possibilities the world possesses and to hoping that some of them will come my direction.

Great moments in literature.

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…

Jack Kerouac

I’m very particular about the people that I let into my life, those I’m friends with and those who I associate with. Why? Because I’m a firm believer that people should add to your life, not take from it.

When you really stop to think about it, you know who’s adding to your life and who’s chained to your leg like a dead weight you’ve been carrying around for years. As you weave your way through this crazy world, always remember that you can be open, honest and transparent with the world while still realizing that not everyone deserves a seat at the table that is your life.

With glowing hearts.

Everywhere we go, gotta let the people know, we’re Canadian. That’s right, Canadian.

Happy Birthday Canada!

Following the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver/Whistler, NBC’s Brian Williams wrote a thank you note to Canada that touched the hearts of many when they read it. It was a simple note, that was so beautiful I’m using it as a reminder, on this Canada Day, of all that is great about this country I call home.

After tonight’s broadcast and after looting our hotel mini-bars, we’re going to try to brave the blizzard and fly east to home and hearth, and to do laundry well into next week. 

Before we leave this thoroughly polite country, the polite thing to do is leave behind a thank-you note.

Thank you, Canada:

For being such good hosts.

For your unfailing courtesy.

For your (mostly) beautiful weather.

For scheduling no more than 60 percent of your float plane departures at the exact moment when I was trying to say something on television.

For not seeming to mind the occasional (or constant) good-natured mimicry of your accents.

For your unique TV commercials — for companies like Tim Hortons — which made us laugh and cry.

For securing this massive event without choking security, and without publicly displaying a single automatic weapon.

For having the best garment design and logo-wear of the games — you’ve made wearing your name a cool thing to do.

For the sportsmanship we saw most of your athletes display.

For not honking your horns. I didn’t hear one car horn in 15 days — which also means none of my fellow New Yorkers rented cars while visiting.

For making us aware of how many of you have been watching NBC all these years.

For having the good taste to have an anchorman named Brian Williams on your CTV network, who turns out to be such a nice guy.

For the body scans at the airport which make pat-downs and cavity searches unnecessary.

For designing those really cool LED Olympic rings in the harbor, which turned to gold when your athletes won one.

For always saying nice things about the United States…when you know we’re listening.

For sharing Joannie Rochette with us.

For reminding some of us we used to be a more civil society.

Mostly, for welcoming the world with such ease and making lasting friends with all of us.

Brian Williams, NBC

Positive outcomes only.

In a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.

Today I have promised myself that I am going to talk myself up. I have promised myself that I am not going to allow my brain to think any negative thoughts about who I am or what I am capable of. Today I have promised myself that my insecurities are not going to win, nor going to have any place in my head.

One day at a time.

I am fucking amazing. I am. I don’t say that in a cocky way, I say that in a self-awareness way. I’m intelligent, I’m kind-hearted, I’m overly sentimental and I try my best to understand everyone that I meet. I work hard. I have a phenomenal memory, one that helps me and drives people crazy with the amount of things I can remember.

I look after people. I give with grace. I volunteer my time to help those in need and I do my very best to put a smile on the face of those that I love. I try to be good. I really do. And I try to improve with each day. Self-improvement is my ultimate goal.

I’m self taught in graphic design, self taught in HTML coding, self taught in analytics tracking. I work well as part of a team and on my own and I work hard. I work so fucking hard, all the time. I’m a leader by design, but am also aware enough to realize when I need to let someone else take the wheel. It’s all about timing!

I’m stubborn as all hell and will stop at nothing to get my way. Some might see that as a negative, but I choose to see that as a positive. Why? Because it means that I don’t quit. And I don’t quit. Ever.

I’ve accomplished great feats, bowed at the foot of greatness and will continue to strive for greatness within myself. I believe knowledge is power and that I want to always be learning. I’m creative, insightful and can carry an intelligible conversation with anyone that I meet.

I set high standards both for myself and for the people I love. Why? Because I believe that we can always be better and that we owe it to ourselves to be better.

I’m a constantly evolving working in progress who’s trying to be nicer to herself. I’m only human and I’m far from perfect, but I like who I am. And that, I think that’s what’s most important.

The importance of ‘YOLO’

As much as it annoys me when I hear people saying ‘YOLO’ for stupid shit, there’s also a tiny little voice in the back of my brain saying ‘they’re right, so listen to them’.

You only get a limited number of days, a limited amount of time. Don’t waste those days and that time on people who aren’t worthy of being in your orbit and jobs that aren’t challenging you, or making you happy, or fulfilling your life.

I had a really good conversation with my sister-in-law last night. It was one of those conversations that went well into the wee-hours of the morning where it seems as though everything under the sun gets discussed, so to speak. It was really nice. I don’t have a lot of people like that in my life who I can just talk to. Anyways, the point of this tidbit is that we got to talking about happiness.

What makes you happy? What doesn’t? What do you do because you have to and what do you do because you want to? And if there are things in your life that you’re doing that are making you miserable but you don’t have to be doing them, why are you?

My sister-in-law has a younger sister who got married at 20. Not only did she marry at an age which we consider to be young, but she married a man 28 years older than her. He was the first man she’d ever been with and she’d dated him since she was 17. (Yeah was and still is pretty gross. It’s a whole big family-drama story for another time) Now, having been married five years, she’s 25 years old wants kids and is with a man who’s ready to retire and live out his days lawn-bowling and spending winters in Arizona. She’s miserable. And she’s too damn afraid to leave him that my sister-in-law doubts it’ll ever happen.

She’s miserable. She’s 25 and she’s too afraid to do anything to escape the misery.

The thing is, she’s 25. She’s got soooooooo much life left to live. I wish I could knock some sense into her that she’s capable of leaving him and more than strong enough to do so. Why? Because YOLO.

Life is far too short to live it being miserable. I say that in funny situations and I say that in serious situations. Being 25 and married to a man who’s 53 who you don’t want to be with anymore, that doesn’t have to be your forever.

She owes it to herself to be happy.

You owe it to yourself to be happy.

I’m sure that we all have things in our lives that we can’t escape. That’s life. But honestly, when you can cut the ties with what’s weighing you down, do it. Whether it’s a 53 year old man you’ve grown to hate, a stupid job that’s making you miserable, friends that tear you down, or whatever it is that is weighing you down, you are strong enough to move past it.

You owe it to yourself to be happy.

You only live once. It’s far too short to waste your days with someone or something that doesn’t make you happy.

For what it’s worth, it’s never too late or too early to start over. Begin again, chase the life that will make you happy/happier/happiest. Eat that piece of cake, take that trip, buy that ________(insert expensive object here), be the most fulfilled version of yourself that you can.

At the end of the day, the best thing that you can give to your future self is the memories of a happy life, and the knowledge that you lived it to the fullest.

YOLO

‘Whatever makes you happy, my love.’

They’re simple words, so genuine and heartfelt. Spoken with truth to them they have the power to make you feel as though you’re the only person in the world who matters. Or, perhaps even, the only person in the world at all.

A few weeks back, I made a post titled Tips for coping with anxiety from a Psychiatrist.

One of the tips mentioned in that post, reads as follows:

Think of a memory, one happy memory, and keep that memory at the top of your mind, always. When you think of happy memories, it produces serotonin in your body that can help boost your mood. If you keep one happy memory at top of mind, always, you can use that memory when you’re feeling triggered. Forcing that happy memory on your brain when you’re feeling anxious/stressed can help trick your brain. It’s not going to take away the things in your life causing you stress, but it will help you cope with the stress better.

Because I have been implementing this step into my daily routine, and because my world needs a little more happiness in it each and every day, especially in the past week, I am making the effort to write down my happy memories that I choose to remember in times of stress. Here goes…

Knight likes to buy lottery tickets. I’m not sure if he did prior to meeting me, but, one of the things we talked about on our first date was what each of us would do with the winnings if we ever one the lottery. Ever since I’ve known him, he’s always purchased lottery tickets.

Whenever he goes to the store, he purchases two lottery tickets. One for him and one for me. He turns to me, smiles and tells me to pick wisely.

“What if I chose both?” I ask, specifically trying to be a pain in his ass.

“Then take both,” he laughs. He’s not kidding when he tells me to take both. I know that if I did, he’d let me keep them both.

I’ll give him a ticket back, naturally. I mean… I’m not totally selfish. (I am. But I can be fair, too) And then I continue the discussion explaining to him that if I win, I’m keeping all of the money to myself.

“Whatever makes you happy, my love.” There it is. There’s those words. Genuine. Heartfelt. Thoughtful. Truthful.

“You’re also aware that, if you win, you’re required to share half of your money with me, right?” Chuckling again, he says “I’d expect nothing less”.

It’s the small things, they means so much to me. The fact that when he speaks these words, I know he’s being truthful. The fact that I know he’d never ask a dime of me, if I ever did win the lottery with a ticket he purchased for me. The fact that I’m absolutely certain that if he did win the lottery, he’d want to split it me.

People talk a lot about hypothetical scenarios, and honestly, he and I do a lot as well. I think that our hypotheticals mean more to me though, because there is a layer of truth to them that I don’t get from anyone else I’ve ever known.

I’m not wealthy. I haven’t won… yet. But there’s always a chance. I guess that’s why he purchases them. While I know I like to joke, the truth is, I’d likely give him all of the money if I won on a ticket that he purchased for me.

Thinking back on these moments, it brings great happiness to my mind. It’s my trick to forcing serotonin in my brain when I need it most. It’s my light on the dark days and a means to make me smile, no matter what.

Grateful for the Warriors

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms with babies in arms, moms with babies in heaven, mom’s who are struggling to conceive, adopted moms, step moms, dads who are mom and moms at heart. We see you. We appreciate you.

*The above was written by my friend Amanda. I stole it because it adequately explains the sentiment in my heart on a day like today.

My mom’s pretty sick today. She’s been having a rough weekend all around. Her last day of treatments was Friday – we’re not really sure if her body is struggling because it was her last day, or if it was a stronger treatment or what, but she’s been in bed most of the weekend. That being said, she’s happy. And that’s what matters. She’s a warrior. The true warrior of 2019 and beyond.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you and I am so thankful for you. Here’s to many more years of Mother’s Day ahead.