Since I write about exploring possibilities, being open to new ideas and trying new things I decided to try self-hosting. So I am now over at You Can Always Start Now. The new year started and I thought – what regrets do I not want to carry forward with me this year. Trying self-hosting was one – along with a few others.
I have been crossing items off my list and hope you can pop on over to see a few new things I am working on. I started a new series on Wednesdays and it is challenging me. I hope you will check it out and it gets you thinking and participating also. Hope to hear from you and that you are also challenging and exploring new things this year!
It is dark and raining out. I mind the dark short days at this time of year more than I mind the cold. As long as I have blue sky, regardless of the temperature, I feel I can deal with a change of seasons.
I am attending my first Snail Mail function at a coffee shop. It is convenient as on my bus route. It is not in the best area of town but is on a main street that runs through the city. I have been reading their Facebook page and commenting and liking for some months. See this post Handwritten letters anyone for further explanation.
The coffee shop, where the gathering is being held, is not a chain with glass tiles, leather chairs and chrome tables. It is a standalone coffee shop that is also a backpacking hostel. I enter and pull my hood down, it is dark with minimal light in the space. An older man sits by the door, the coffee bar is off to the right. There are mismatched chairs and tables that I walk by looking for someone who looks to be writing, drawing or making cards. I continue to walk to the back and see a stairway that I head up. I see bedrooms and a small kitchen and realize I have ventured into the backpacking space. It is dark and not overly inviting but still brings back happy memories for me dropping my backpack on a bed, meeting someone new, and finding out who and where are they from and where are they going. I head back downstairs realizing I am so not where I should be.
When I round the corner I see a young woman at a table by herself with paper in front of her. We introduce ourselves and yes she is the founder of the Snail Mail Society. She is making cards and points to a table against the wall with supplies ranging from paper, pens, markers and punches. As I grab some paper and a punch to make stars I look around. The lights are still dim but I see other people sitting and talking. I realize that no one here is on a laptop or phone. Everyone is actually talking to the person in front of them, not texting, searching the internet or on the phone. They are present and communicating face-to-face. Even those people alone are just looking around not distracted by social media/equipment.
As we roll into 2016 for me it is about starting a new chapter. A fresh year of exploring, learning and continuing to create the life I want. I have never been big on resolutions such as lose weight, eat better, exercise more, I feel these should not be resolutions for a new year but part of creating a life we want – to feel better, treat out bodies with respect and build a routine that works for us. As I enter a new year I want to reflect on what I accomplished last year, what needs more work and what I can let go.
Last year I saw myself learn (and put into practice!) stopping my downward spiral sooner. Realizing no matter what people said or did it was my choice to take that negativity or anger and stop it spiraling and replaying it over and over in my head. How did I want my day to play out? Not as someone angry and upset over something I really have no control over. STOP. BREATHE. This is an opportunity to put into practice letting go. People often say or do things without thinking or we take it the wrong way – whatever – don’t let some incident real or imaged ruin YOUR WHOLE DAY. If you can deal with it fine, if not, think is it worth ruining the rest of your day or weekend over? No. Continue reading
I thought I’d do a wrap up of some of my favorite blog posts for 2015. So here it goes.
Funky Junk – metal filled fireplace
Loved the rustic look and the metals.
Ali Edwards – Life in the week of…..
I participated in this in August and really enjoyed it. Snapping pictures of my week and keeping a running diary of what I was doing and who was around. It was neat to capture the week and put the album together.
Picture from my life in the week of
Dear Introvert – honest confessions from an introvert
I had to pick one post, but wanted to at least get you into the blog as I found it interesting (being an introvert) so have a look. If you are not an introvert you likely know someone who is, so good read to get into their head space.
A Wandafulthing – neat storage for wine glasses
My friend Wanda had lots of great posts in 2015 but this one stuck out as I WANT IT. i think it would be a conversation piece in your dining room and could be used for lots of different things.
Aunt Peaches – home tour
My home doesn’t have a lot of vibrant colors – that is just me – but when I saw Aunt Peaches home tour it made me smile. Hope it does the same for you.
Wonder Forest – solutions when things are not going your way
You Can Always Start Now – having a bad day
This post resonated with me as it was a learning experience – catching myself before things got too bad. Realizing I had a choice what road to go down and choosing the road that took me to the brighter side.
Hope you enjoyed checking out some of my favorite posts in 2015. If you have any favorites share in the comments as I would love to check them out! To 2016 and making it incredible.
It is hard to believe another year is over. This year I celebrated my first year anniversary blogging – it was challenging, exciting, pushed my boundaries and has me looking at the world with a slightly different focus. Which is a good thing.
I continue to work on my personal growth, some days better than others, and have made progress. I can now (majority of the time) stop myself sooner from spiraling down. I am working on “adding kindness” to everything I do and say and creating the life I want. This blog and you have made me more accountable – if I put it out there I own it and that has always meant something to me.
So moving into 2016 myself and my friend, who is the reason I have this blog, are challenging ourselves craft wise and hope you pick up the gauntlet with us. Wanda over at A Wandafulthing and I are picking an item each month and creating something new from it. We will post the item to use for the next month and will show our completed project on the third Monday of the month. That will also be when we challenge ourselves with another item.
So for January 18th the item is………an artist canvass. No rules just that the canvass has to be part of your project. So it is unlimited what you can do with it. On January 18th I will show you my result and Wanda will show her’s over at A Wandafulthing.
We would love for you to challenge yourself also – send us your picture and we will post and let’s see how creative 2016 will be!
Starting now!! Email on About page.
November just rushed by and December at times feels like it is on cruise control. It is happening with or without me. This being the case, I thought I would share some of the things that have been keeping me together this month and basically on (somewhat) top of things.
Here are my five tips to keeping it together for the month
- Everyone is talking about buying local, which is a good thing, so check out what people are offering right around you and I mean right around you. There are often schools, non-profits selling items from Christmas paper to pies. Where I work we have a staff craft sale. It ranges from knitted items, jewelry, soap to art work. This year I stumbled upon through our work Intranet this organization African AIDS Angels. I just emailed and ran up a flight of stairs and voila! Within five minutes had Christmas gifts purchased.
- Coffee break – take time for you. If you work outside the home you likely get a lunch break. Head to the nearest coffee shop and just sit with paper and pen and breathe. While you are breathing write out your lists from groceries, gifts to events. Sip, breathe, look around, listen to conversations and jot down the next item.
- What about considering organizations like World Vision, Oxfam and there are many others. Maybe ones you are already connected with or have a special place in your heart for. Do a family gift – how about a goat!!!
- Exercise. If you have an exercise routine don’t stop because you are busy and on the fly. All the more reason to stay focused on this one area. This is the one area where I do make time for as it is a release for me. I can always find at least 30 minutes to exercise and it makes me feel better, more focused and often I have pounded my frustrations out and now can take on the challenge again.
- Remember it is all about how you make people feel not the gifts or the money. People might not remember the gift you gave in a few years but they will remember how you made them feel and that you were there for them.
So take care of yourself so you can take care and be there for others. Look around you and see what is available that can make your life easier and help someone else or a worthy organization. I’ll end with my big shopping local experience – look at what I bought from my neighbour (how local is that) for my sister!!!
I find it hard to believe that November is over. Fall has raced by and I feel a bit behind the eight ball. I thought I’d share what I have been up to and what has kept me busy this month..
November is National Novel Writing Month. I have participated a few times and always enjoy it as I work better with a deadline. The non-profit has a great web-site with forums both world-wide and regional. Regional for me is my city. I can find out where write-in are happening, how people are doing and get and give support to my fellow NaNos. The goal is to write a 50,000 novel in a month.
National Novel Writing Month
This is me!!
I also participated in a Christmas Table Scape over at my friend http://www.awandafulthing.com
My table with china my sister and mother started me on when I was sixteen. Wallpaper up this summer with help from cousin (you know who you are!!).
This month I started an on-line screen and playwriting course that I purchased for a really good deal. I also came across the 101 in 1001 challenge (over at A Rose Colored Life) which intrigued me as it had to do with making a list – which I love. The challenge is to write down 101 things/events/challenges you want to do/see/explore in the next 1001 days. Which works out to almost three years. So out came paper and pen and hmm……why is this so hard? I started with reasonable items I could do in my own city, some travel, writing, blogging and decorating/items for home and WOW now I had 20 items. Since I have almost three years a few items I could do more then once, right? Back on the list. I have to admit it was a challenge and I tried not to put wild improbable goals down. Have a read of the link. I think it is an interesting challenge and I would love to hear what you think.
Besides that I received my first two Christmas cards in November. I now have mine on my desk and have one envelop addressed. I searched Pinterest and found a craft I want to try paperclip angel
That is about it for me for November, besides daily living and working full-time. Would love to hear how your November was, any ideas we should be checking out, web sites and crafts. It is a busy time of year so take a break and enjoy.
I took in two things this week that were connected. When I tell you what they were you might not think of a connection so there it goes. I attended a Quality Summit at work and watched Disney Cinderella 2015. Hmmm…. yes they are connected.
The Quality Summit was about health care. One presenter is passionate about family centered care. Involving families and patients in their health care on any level they feel comfortable with. Our health centre has a Family Advisor Council. Patients/families sit on various committees, help develop resources for families and advocate on behalf of them. This presenter told stories of patients and what had made a difference for them when in hospital (I cried). It came down to respect and kindness. All individuals involved from the admitting clerk, nurse, physician to the surgeon showing respect and kindness for the patient. The presenter said she is not asking us to do anything above and beyond our busy, hectic work just to add “and” to what we do. The take away was to add “and kindness” to everything we do.
There was a theme in Cinderella of “have courage and be kind”. That was it. That was all she was trying to do.
So you see how these two situations for me are connected! It felt like I was being told twice what I needed to work on. Such a simple thing to just add kindness to everything I do. There is no extra work, nothing to purchase or schedule in. Just to have courage and be kind. We can do this and feel more balanced and be one more step towards creating a more incredible life. I’m in.
I think we have all heard “what you often see or dislike in others is something you should be working on in yourself.” Well, this happened to me recently – along with countless other times in my life – but this time I caught myself right away.
I could feel myself filling up with angry – how or why can they do that! I had started my day feeling great – I had lots on my plate at work and home but felt things were coming together. I started to let one episode spiral my day down. Negative scenarios started playing out in my head and then WHAM I realized what was happening. That what had been done to me, I have done in the past and justified it. How could I be mad at someone over something I have also done? I was allowing something, frankly not that important, to ruin my day. It was a awake call for me – I don’t have to go down that road of negativity. It is my decision to have a bad or good day.
What can I take away from this situation or any situation? This one was letting go. Realizing no one is perfect and admitting and seeing my flaws – yes maybe through a mirror. If we are getting upset with other people’s behavior, maybe we should be taking a hard look at what we are doing. Is it behavior or opinions that we have expressed in the past. Is it something we should be working on in ourselves? Not just seeing it and criticizing it in others. If we start to look at situations around us and happening to us as learning opportunities think about what we can take away! Less stress, negativity and maybe a different way to look at the world. I’m in and starting now.
I am always looking for crafts to try. Often it ends up in the trash which is okay as I enjoy the process of creating. It is a time to sit still, think, create and be in the moment. I can across this easy way to make art – it is not original – and thought I’d share.
All you need is black paint or a Sharpie and artist canvas. I got my 7 x 9 inch canvas at the dollar store. I used a piece of paper to try the design first for an idea of placement on the canvas. The first picture is mine – Chinese symbol for dream.
It is easy and I think it looks sharp just the black and white. Plus it is a conversation piece if people want to know what it represents. You can find tons of Chinese symbols on the web. Here are a few I found that would be interesting to do. Enjoy!