Category Archives: reflections

Clarity on a Cold Arctic Night…

Tonight after work I put on some layers…bundled up nice and toasty and stepped out into the dark night.  As I took a short cut across the tundra on a walking path…I heard the crunch of the snow under my feet, my breath was frosty (my glasses started to fog up!) and I started to feel the boogers in my nose as well freeze.  I looked up and saw a faint trail of Northern Lights dancing over my head. It was one of those perfect nights to be outside.

Its surprising how your senses come alive when you are walking. Perhaps this was due to the  -32C windchill with an actual temperature of -28C…but it was still an awesome night for a walk.  This week I’ve started walking 2 nights with a friend and her dog..we leave about the same time, and meet up and continue on our walk.  It’s amazing how much a 30-45min walk can give you perspective, it definitely clears your head.  Or maybe that’s just brain-freeze taking over my thinking!

Today I read an blog post by Kelle Hampton.  Ever since I stumbled upon her blog two years ago, I’ve been a faithful reader. Even though I know she publishes regularly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays…I have to check back just in case she’s posted on an ‘off-day’, so I might be a blog stalker–but who isn’t? Kelle’s blog Enjoying the Small Things shares bits of her life through her amazing photography and cleverly crafted words!  Two years ago her second daughter, Nella, was born with Downs Syndrome.  Just recently ABCnews.com did a story about Living with Down Syndrome and interviewed Kelle.  Her blog post from Wednesday February 1, 2012…although was talking about life and challenges of raising a daughter with Down Syndrome..it really struck a cord with me for different reasons. (Go ahead and click and read…I’ll be waiting!)

Kelle wrote, ” There is reason for everyone to be unhappy. There is reason for everyone to be happy. What’s your focus?”

As I walked to meet up with my friend tonight I started to think.  What is my focus? I must admit… at times I am a girl that looks at life as the glass that’s 1/2 empty.  I have struggled and continue to struggle with wanting what my friends have, thinking that the grass must be greener on the married-with-kids-side-of-life, and how it’s rather dull here on the single-girl-in-the-Arctic-side-of-the-fence. I realized that this line of thought is focusing on the reasons to be unhappy, and I need to change my focus.

My mum reminded me tonight that I’m the type of person that takes a long time to process things…trying to sort it out before I can take action. (this can be viewed or labelled as procrastination..I like to think about it as my creative processing!)  I that this ‘revelation’ is not a quick one that just popped into my head today..but something that’s been slowly percolating in the back of my brain for awhile, that’s how all my great ideas are formed.  And today it all was clear to me, and made sense… Focusing on things that make you happy. Might not be rocket science, but really does makes perfect sense…and can be applied to all areas of my life. I know tonight that walking in the cold on a beautiful Arctic night with a friend and her dog made me crazy happy…I’m going to have to repeat that!

Kelle eloquently summed up her blog and wrote, “My point? You cannot wait for Life to come to you. You have to go get it–pursue it in a wild, passionate chase that includes the foreboding depths of challenge and heartache just as much as the ecstacy of triumph and success. You have to want it bad enough to seek it not only when things are rough and the pursuit of it brings the hope of change, but when things are comfortable and easy, and the quest for more living–more purposeful awareness–might even make you scared. It is in that fear–that breathtaking exhileration of “What If?”–that you rise to the occassion.

You step out of your comfort zone and experience the thrill of taking risks and the possibility of believing that, sure, things might be good, but if you stretched a little further, they might be great. I want to know great. And I will work hard to find it.”

Self portraits are always fun..these were taken to show how frosty one can get from walking outside for 40mins in -32C!

Stepping out of this limbo that I’ve felt my life become…to embrace everyday moments, adventures that I am living…focusing on the positives, and things that I can control…looking at the glass 1/2 full.  Recognizing that the grass maybe non-exisit in this single-girl-in-the-Arctic’s-side-of-the-fence..but the snow that’s there, it so makes an awesome crunchy sound when you walk on it in the cold dark nights!

Welcome 2012…

As I mentioned on my birthday I have been working on a creating a list of 32 things to do when I’m 32. I decided to take this approach rather than make list of resolutions for 2012, because everyone does that!  I know some of these things are a mixture of dreams, goals and resolutions…or even a ‘bucket list’ of some sorts..but they are all things I do want to do, and why not make it happen this year. Knowing me I’ll probably blog and let you know when I complete some of these things.

In no particular order…

1.  Be able to run 5km without stopping

2.  Scrapbook my photos from Australia

3. Knit an afghan

4. Learn how to sew mittens

5. Continue to learn how to use Photoshop

6. Blog regularly (at least once a week)

7. Learn to make sushi

8. Travel somewhere internationally–have a few destinations in mind but who knows where I’ll end up

9.  Phone and Skype dates with friends and family regularly

10. Get the Tattoo I’ve been thinking about getting for a few years

11.  Use my treadmill 3 times a week

12. Re-read Jane Austin’s Books

13. Re-read Anne of Green Gable Series

14. Run a 5km Race

15. Send real letters via Canada Post

16. Laugh until my belly aches, and I forget what I was laughing about (then repeat)

17. See the Eiffel Tour in person, and eat a baguette with some cheese

18. Enter a photography contest

19. Go ice-fishing and catch an Arctic Char…or at least attempt to

20. Print out my 3 favourite travel photos, frame them and display

21.  Give yoga another chance, and go 2 times a week

22. Be a better listener

23. Finish last 2 credits of my Adult Education Certificate

24. Go on a vacation with my mum

25. Finish Scrapbook from my University Years

26. Learn how to Crochet

27. Continue to push my boundaries with my photography, further developing my style

28. Attend a NHL Hockey Game that my cousin is playing in

29. Have a zero balance on my credit cards

30. Eat breakfast every day

31. Achieve personal goals for weight loss-be happy at whatever stage I am in this process

32. Dance like no one is watching-on a regular basis!

Mind over Matter…

This is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile.  I’ve tried to write this post a few times… getting a few words down and then backspacing it all away.  Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to express what you want to express…making it sound the way you want it to sound!  Sometimes you just have to put your fingers to the keyboard and go with it!

I have this spare room… remember when I gave you a tour of my house? Remember how it has one of these in it…. (have no fear my rooms aren’t blue…just was playing around in the photo editing!) Even when one of the bloggers I read announced a 6month Fitness Challenge starting October 15th, 2011 to April 15th, 2012…I signed up, made some goals… and guess what 1 month into it… I had visited the treadmill a total of 3 times in a period of 5 days-the first week and hadn’t been near it since…

Living up in the north there is no gym in my community… so I knew if I wanted to be active, particularly in the cold, dark days of winter… I should get myself a treadmill.  So I did.  I researched found one, was very excited… set it up… used it for a week. And then got sucked into that veggin’ on the couch watching mindless tv after work, and then hitting snooze a dozen more times…not getting out of bed in time to visit my spare room and the treadmill before work.

Does the idea of living a healthy life…and being physically fit matter to me? Yes, it does. There was a time in my life about 6 years ago..where I went to a gym really regularly.  Like at least 3 if not 4 times a week.  Working out with a trainer two times a week…and doing cardio on my own at least 2 other times a week on my own.  Boy did I get results… I put my mind to it.. and I just DID it.  Heading to the gym after work… not coming home until 7:30 or so.. long days yes, but I came to love working out.  I think one of the biggest obstacles is that I remember what my body then did, and how it performed… and I’m pissed off every time I go to work out that I didn’t keep it up.  I feel so out of shape and it’s brutal.

It’s not rocket-science, I know what to do… I know the exercises… I have friends that are currently doing amazing things, and facing their own personal demons and are way further on this journey than I am.  I find them inspirational and I wish I could too be just like them…(my brain says that yes, I can be like them) but still I sit on the couch or hit that snooze button morning after morning.

Tonight, after a friend on FB announced that they were going to the gym… and they’d talk later. I replied, “Oh me too.” But I started to cook dinner, and then ate dinner… all the while thinking.  What is the matter with me? How come I can’t make myself do what I know will make me feel better…and get me back into that shape I remember.  I didn’t have many answers for myself.  After about an hour and half of time wasting… I went to my bedroom put on a pair of shorts, a tank top and my socks…and headed into my spare room. I turned on my TV-it happened to be on Much Music’s Top Hit Count Down… the #2 Hit was on: LMFAO’s “Your sexy and you know it…” Now there’s some motivation if a girl ever needed it! …soon after pop-up videos started.  There I was… walking away, sweating up a storm… and suddenly this thought came over me.  I think part of my hang up in this journey is my fear of failure…I fear that if I actually TRY to do something like get better in shape, and then don’t succeed whose to blame? ME… and I don’t want to fail…so I don’t really put much effort into it.  Yep, smart thoughts…really sabatoging… you know what I thought? I thought SCREW that… I put my finger on the increase speed button.. and started to run.  I lasted at a running pace for a whole pop-up video song.. Katy Perry’s song “E.T.”!  YES, I ran for that WHOLE song… at a 5.0 pace…I honestly didn’t think I could do something like that, but I surprised myself, my legs remembered and my breathing struggled at first but I got my groove…I just have to work on my endurance!

Afterwards, as I put my pace back to a fast walk… I smiled to myself and said, “I CAN and WILL do this…” I guess it’s a matter of MIND over MATTER.  I need to stop the sabotaging mind games…and just do it.  I’m not going to say it’s going to be easy…or I’m going to get this done quickly.  I have a feeling every day will be a battle but it’s one I’m going to continue to fight!  And you know at the end of my 45mins on the treadmill today… I had jogged for a total of 5 times for 3-4mins each time!  I call that success… today I won.

…now that this particular fear or “elephant in the room” has been named maybe the rest of this journey will get easier.  It’s not something I’m going to talk regularly on here about…but I’ve set some goals(both long term and short term).

Short Term Goals: For the next 3 weeks before my vacation I’m going to walk on my treadmill at least 3 times a week., I’m going to have breakfast every morning, and drink more water–and less pop.  I also have other ‘long term’ goals I have written down..but for now I’m going to focus on the smaller ones that can be fulfilled in the next 3 weeks.

Goodbye 2010, Welcome 2011…

>I have returned to my home here in Winnipeg… after having a great time over the past 16 days in Ontario, in a few different towns and cities…!  I’m the type of person that packs a HUGE amount into my short visits… this trip was no different!  I did manage to pack in a lot of visiting, laughing, eating…mixing it up with family and friends! Although I didn’t get a chance to see everyone I wanted to see– I’m so happy I did get to see the people I did see!! 

I’ve been thinking all of today about what a difference a year makes. December 31, 2009 at 11:35pm I arrived in Winnipeg–not knowing anyone, starting a new job in 4 days(something I had never done before!), having to find an apartment, arrange to get my furniture from Toronto out of storage, buy a car for the first time..probably way more things to do than I can list there… I did manage to settle into life pretty fast!  Slowly finding my feet in this strange city I had decided to make my home…driving around today I realized that I totally own this city now!! (I know where to go and how to get there… wow what a difference a year makes!)

New Year’s Eve 2010 was pretty awesome!! My camera and iPhone stayed at home…(so no photos) but all I can say is that it was an awesome time…and involved 3 different places… and Emily and I have decided that our habit of spending every-other- NYE  together needs to happen…I’m looking forward to 2012! 

I’m not one for making “New Years Resolutions” or anything… but I’m so excited for 2011… This year is going to bring a lot of fun and adventure… I have a lot of dreams, and hopes and wishes… and I need to start making them happen. 

So what do I want from 2011? 

Here’s a list of a few things I’ll be working on this year…

  • to be the best sister, daughter, aunt and cousin that I can be… (even from a distance..) family is the most important thing you have…
  • to take time to create and be crafty… (finish maybe one of the million projects I have on the go!)…
  • to laugh until my belly aches, and I forget what I was laughing about….
  • to listen to friends, as they share their excitement or heart break…
  • to pay attention to the details…
  • to skype my nephews more regularly…
  • to have at least one road trip to somewhere this year!
  • to continue to learn, and be the best professional I can be at my job…
  • to reach my goal by my next birthday… (break the two by 32… then I’ll get my tattoo!)…
  • to be able to run 5km..without stopping…
  • to figure out what I should do, or shouldn’t do with my photography…
  • to continue to make roots, and making wherever I am and have that become my home! 
  • to continue to blog…and make it more regular!

I’m excited for what’s going on in my friends lives… there are a lot of exciting things happening their lives in 2011… new babies, engagements, new houses, new jobs etc… I can’t wait to be there, and celebrate in all of these great times!!!!  One of my best friends had a baby on 1-1-11! I can’t wait to meet him in person…

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it… can’t wait for all the new exciting adventures that 2011 will bring…and I can’t wait to share them all with you!