Be kind to one another, please

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell each and every one of you to please be kind to one another. This is a tough time for the world over and the last thing we need to do is turn on each other.

Show compassion, empathy and care. Ask someone how their day was and genuinely listen for the answer. Call your mom and dad or grandma and grandpa just to tell them you love them. If you’re financially able, buy the next person in line their morning coffee. Kindness goes a long way in this world and we desperately need more of it. So give kindness. Spread love, not hate. And please, please, please do it from a safe social distance.

Remember: you cannot do all of the good that this world needs but this world needs all of the good that you’re able to do.

2020 Resolutions

2020 seems like a great year to have a great year. In an effort to leave room for growth, I have set what I believe to be very thoughtful, very attainable resolutions. This year:

I want to be more aware of time. The time I take, the time I give, the time I make, the time I live. I want to have more appreciation for the time I get, the moments I love and the people that make them so special. I want to acknowledge, and appreciate, time… for exactly what it is. We don’t get enough of it, so in 2020 I’m going to saviour it, every second of it.

I want to love and appreciate myself. For far too long I’ve been far too critical of who I am, diminishing what I accomplish and beating myself up for what I don’t. I may not be able to attain perfection, but I can appreciate the journey and celebrate what I do accomplish.

I want to proofread my posts before I hit publish. For the past year this blog has been my thoughts, in the moment, as they happen. And, while I’m not ashamed of anything that I’ve said on this blog, I think that I would be much happier with what I publish if I checked the spelling and grammar first. My posts will never be perfect, but they can be a lot better.

I want to put myself ‘out there’. I want to see if there are companies who’ll possibly sponsor this blog. I want to write articles for other people. I want to take part in more podcasts. Dare I say, maybe one day, show my face to the world. I want to freely, take this blog in any direction that an open door can lead and never say no to an opportunity.

I want to take better care of myself, my mental health and my well being. When I get stressed out, the last thing I think about is my own well being, and I really ought to start putting myself first once in a while. I don’t need to be selfish, I just need to take care of myself. No more crying myself to sleep. I’m going to confront my feelings, eat properly, exercise, and try to see the better sides of life. I’d love to cut my sugar intake by 40-50%. I’ll always love sweet foods, but that doesn’t mean I need to eat them just because they’re there. My body is a temple and I need to treat it better so that I can feel better.

I want to learn more about photography and how to take beautiful photos. I’ve spent so many years of my life trying to edit shitty photos to make them look better for various companies that now I’d really to learn how to take beautiful photos to start with. Colour, composition, focus, flash, shutter speed… I really want to study the art of what it takes to get the perfect photo. After all, if a picture’s worth a thousand words, I might as well make them valuable words.

I want to go somewhere that I’ve never been and experience something I’ve never done. I am the type who wants to dangle my toes of the edge of waterfalls, walk hand-in-hand with weird and wild creatures of the forest, learn embarrassing phrases in foreign languages to be the ‘token tourist’ who makes everyone smile and laugh because they can’t help but love her quirky can-do attitude. So let’s go please. Let’s find an adventure.

I want to teach my friends and family of the importance of sustainability and making eco-friendly choices. I may have made small strides in 2019, but more can be done. It’s been a difficult transition for a lot of people in my life and I really want them to make better/smarter choices with respect to the purchases they’re making and the actions they’re taking. I know it’s possible, and I think with more education everyone can be making smarter choices… even if it’s as simple as buying stainless steel straws and cloth shopping bags. Every decision counts. This is our world and we ought to protect it, look after it and love it.

I want to reach a point where I no longer need to worry about money, or how I will afford things. I’m not someone who needs fancy things, but what I do need is to know that the basics, the simple things in life, will be attainable to me. I don’t want to fear my credit card bill. I don’t want to put off doing things like buying new glasses any longer. My eyeballs need new glasses. Of course, I know, a job will help with this. And, fingers crossed, the stars will align for me from that perspective.

I want to spread kindness to whomever I meet, wherever I go. The world needs more kindness and people need to know they’re loved, worthy and appreciated. If I can accomplish even the smallest fraction of that, I’ll consider it a success.

I want to test out Vessi’s Waterproof shoes to find out if they’re actually as good as they’re hyped up to be. I want to test out a weighted blanket to find out if they really help with sleep, anxiety, restlessness and all other things they claim to help with. I want to test out some noise cancelling head phones to see if they really help me avoid the rest of the world when I need to focus. Also, I’d like to test out waking up exceptionally early to see if it would really make me as productive of a person as everyone claims waking up at 4:30 am makes them.

I don’t ever want to spend another New Year’s Eve alone.

This year is going to be about openness, honesty, generosity and goodness. I want everyone to remember that you cannot do all the good that the world needs, but, the world does need all the good that you can do.

#PizzaItForward

So, for the past few weeks I’ve been trying to convey a distinct message with a story that I wanted to share but always felt that I couldn’t quite find the right words. Something wonderful happened, yesterday, that has lead me to believe I need to share this story regardless of whether I get the messaging correct.

I’m not sure how many people heard of this story or not, I know it was big in a lot of circles, but I still think many people missed out on the goodess.

In late September the Fire Department in Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada was hosting a PTSD Seminar for Firefighters and decided to order pizza for dinner for everyone.

Local Fire Chief, Alex Pavcek, asked one of his team to call ‘Alimo’s Pizza’ in Slave Lake to order pizza for the crew, gave him his credit card to pay for it and told him to tell ‘Alimo’s Pizza’ they’d drive down and pick up the pizzas when they were ready.

Not knowing the phone number for ‘Alimo’s Pizza’ the firefighter placing the order went to google to find it. And with an easy mix-up, he used google to find the phone number for ‘Alamo’s Pizza’. He phoned and placed an order with ‘Alamo’s Pizza’ (in San Antionio, Texas) not realizing that he’d called Texas and not realizing that he’d misspelled the restaurant’s name by one letter.

An hour and a half later ‘Alamo’s Pizza’ in San Antonio called them to let them know their pizza’s would be ready for pickup in ten minutes. A different firefighter answered the phone and when he saw the number on call display, he realized something wasn’t right. They googled the area code and thought ‘Why was Alimo’s calling from a San Antonio number?’. Then they realized they’d made a huge mistake.

The Slave Lake Fire Department had called ‘Alamo’s Pizza’ in San Antonio, Texas rather than ‘Alimo’s Pizza’ in Slave Lake, Alberta. They’d paid for 18 pizzas and ‘Alamo’s Pizza’ in San Antonio had spent the past hour and a half making all of these pizza’s.

The Slave Lake Fire Chief, Alex Pavcek, called up Alamo’s Pizza in San Antonio to let them know about this hilarious, huge mistake that was made and that they wouldn’t be down to pick up these pizzas. The Alamo’s Pizza Manager in San Antonio, laughing over the mistake offered to refund their purchase but Pavcek wouldn’t have it. 18 pizzas was a large order and a lot of money for that restaurant and he didn’t want that food to go to waste.

So, instead, Pavcek suggested that Alamo’s take the pizza and deliver it to local fire departments in his area. The owner of Alamo’s obliged and the pizzas were dlievered to firefighters in local fire departments in San Antonio, Texas, telling them they were a gift from the firefighters in Slave Lake, Alberta and to ‘pizza it forward’ if they ever get the opportunity.

Photo of the San Antonio fire fighters eating their pizza! The photo courtesy of Alex Pavcek (from GlobalNews.ca

The act of kindness sparked an international campaign of paying it forward where Fire Departments, Police Depatments, Hospitals and other locations across Canada and the USA were being randomly delivered pizza for their first-responders and given the message #PizzaItForward.

It was a really heartwarming story to follow on Twitter and Instagram. If you search the hashtag you can still find photos and stories of police officers and nurses, doctors and firefighters being handed large quantities of pizza, ‘just because’.

I share this story because, for weeks now, I’ve been wanting to promote the notion that paying it forward is one of the best things that we can do for fellow human kind. ESPECIALLY, with the holidays coming up. American Thanksgiving is next month and Christmas and Hanukkah will be here before we know it. Random acts of kindness are wonderful things to do all year, but I find them especially important during the holidays! Holidays can be really difficult times for a lot of families, whether they can’t afford things or have lost loved ones or are just struggling with mental health issues. There are plenty of different things that can make holidays really hard.

I’ve been wanting to encourage every person who reads my blog to go out and ‘Pay It Forward’ to a stranger, to a friend, to a family member… just to someone who will appreciate it. Then, yesterday as I was counting ballots for the Election, an extremely thoughtful, kind individual (Katherine) who reads this blog did something extremely, extremely kind for me with a simple note that said ‘Pay It Forward’. It was so kind I actually started to cry when I saw it. I thought of how good it felt and how happy it made me, and I thought, yeah, I have to pass this on.

To the firefighters of Slave Lake, all of the people who took part in the #PizzaItForward campaign, and to Katherine, thank you. Thank you for your random acts of kindness, thank you for spreading so much good in the world.

I have plans to take Katherine’s kindness and pay it forward, though I doubt my abilities to make someone as happy as she made me, I’m definitely going to try. And, since I’m here and telling you these stories, I’d like to encourage anyone who reads this to do commit their own random act of kindness. To do something nice for someone you know, or someone you don’t, and tell them to pay it forward. Ahead of this holiday season, the world could definitely use a lot more kindness in it. And it might as well start with you and I… right here and now.

#PizzaItForward #PayItForward #KindnessAboveAll

On ‘being a good person’.

Of all the things he hasn’t accomplished in his presidency, Donald Trump has most definitely been successful in emboldening hatred, bigotry and misogyny around the world. In my mind, he is the prime and shining example of school-yard bullying at the highest powers of society and the fact that he’s so well known has, in some way, given a voice hatred spewers world-wide.

If you like Donald Trump and you think he’s a good president, that’s your opinion and you’re allowed to believe that. I don’t like him. I don’t like what he stands for. I don’t like what he represents, and most of all, I really don’t like that he’s made it acceptable in 2019 to be a horrible person and have it be socially acceptable.

I don’t want to go backwards. I don’t.

The world that my mom and dad grew up in, the world that my grandparents grew up in, it had a lot of problems. There were a lot of things going on that I thought we’d already passed and left behind us. I’m not saying we don’t have our own problems now, I’m just saying that we shouldn’t be revisiting the past.

Hate is not okay. Bullying is not okay. Bigotry is not okay. Misogyny is not okay. Sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, all not okay.

I know that it was naive of me to assume to, but I liked to think that all children in this world are raised with manners, and taught tolerance, acceptance and respect. Sadly, 2019 has been teaching me that that is really not the case.

The thing is, no one is born evil. No one is born to hate. That’s why I think it’s so important to teach people when they’re children. Trying to teach adults is a whole different ball game. That being said, it saddens me that so many people in this world are raised being taught to hate and bully.

I consider myself to be a good person. Or at least I try to be. I’m nice to everyone I meet, I use my manners – hold open doors, etc… I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, whether their opinions agree with mine or not. I just wish that everyone would try to do the same, to be the same.

What do you get out of bullying someone? Honestly. What do you get out of treating someone as though they’re less than you? Does it make one happy? I can’t imagine that it makes someone fulfilled. Donald Trump (sorry to use him as an example again, but really) doesn’t seem all that happy, or fulfilled. And, considering I question whether or not he actually has any money, he doesn’t seem like he has much of anything beyond a lot of hatred.

I just want to encourage everyone to be nice. Just be nice. Treat your friends well, treat strangers with kindness. Have hope for the people you don’t know and have understanding for the people you do know. Try to understand the human condition and that we all have good and we all suffer from time to time – some a lot worse than others. Just because we don’t know what someone is going through doesn’t mean that we cannot help.

Kindness is so important. Manners cost nothing. Be a good person. Please.

Of all the legacies you can leave in this world, please try to be a good person. That might be the most important of all.

Is this real life?

Wow. Someone, a real asshole, just wrote me a really nasty note for leaving a comment on their blog. I just read their post and wanted to say something sweet and encouraging about anxiety. I thought it was a nice thing to do? I didn’t expect to get attacked for it.

Seriously. WordPress is a public forum for people to post blogs. If you don’t want people reading, or responding to your journal then write it in a book and hide it under your pillow. Why post it to a public forum?

There’s no need to be an asshole here. Kindness only. I don’t have time for anything but kindness.

Day 48: A sign, an earring and a reminder to just breathe.

Gabe, the three legged chihuahua is giving me some hardcore side-eye right now. How dare I sit on this bed without allowing him to sit on my lap.

It’s been a little more than one month since I created a wordpress account and subsequently, this blog. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the sincere and genuine kindness that I would have come across just by making a blog ‘on-the-line’. (Shout out to anyone who has seen ‘The Intern’) I’ve come to find that the interwebs are filled with incredibly kind and genuine people with nothing but love to share and provide total strangers. It’s a nice feeling to know that there are so many of you out there. It gives me hope. Thank you to each and every one of you who has shown me kindness. Especially to those of you who left me suggestions on how to help with my anxiety.

In other news, on February 11th I placed an order for earrings on a boutique website. I’d been eyeing them up for a while, deciding whether or not I could justify spending the money on them, and finally decided to pull the trigger. I paid for express shipping in hopes that the ‘2-3 Business days’ promised under the express column meant there might be a slight chance that I could have them for Valentine’s Day. When I hadn’t received a shipping notification by February 14th I sent an email to the boutique to ask where my earrings were. Apparently, unbeknownst to anyone, there’s a 5-10 business day handling period prior to shipping. So paying for express shipping would be 2-3 to ship following the 5-10 handling period at the boutique. As a small business, I can understand a need for time to process orders. What I cannot understand is why you don’t tell your customers that. Had I known that there was a handling period, I would not have paid for express shipping. Perhaps it’s just my needing to rant, but as a small business, you should be willing to be transparent with your customers about things like that. It’s good business and it’s good for survival.

My anxiety has gone down considerable amounts since yesterday. I think that I was overly nervous for my cat-scan last night. Being confined to small spaces, especially a cat scan machine, wasn’t sitting well with me. It’s nerve-wracking thinking something could be wrong with me. I’m trying to practice patience, though. And also, to find solace in the fact that they are trying to figure out what’s wrong and not just leaving me be. Knight and I went to the gym today t blow off some steam and that helped considerably. I’m going to take some of the suggestions that were left in the comments of my last post and try to start working them into my days. The way I figure, it’s worth a shot.

Plans for tomorrow include sending off my resume to a few more leads. Also – there’s apparently a coffee shop in town that has a wall of old books you can sit and read while you’re in there. Perhaps I’ll take my laptop and spend a few hours outside of the house.

Reminder to self: just breathe.

It’s time to find a job. A job that furthers my career. Just waiting on someone to realize what a badass addition I would be to their office.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Sending love ❤