Schedules and Life

I find it funny that most people would use their week off to restart all their good habits (reading, exercising, eating right) and yet, I seem to do it once my schedule restarts with my 4 nights.

I’m on a 28 day rotation with my job. In there, we get 7 days off in a row (before you get too jealous, I also work six out of seven days at one point in my schedule). Normally on my week off, I do a bit of overtime work and a lot of hanging out at home. The last two months were off balanced between the holidays and then being burnt out from the holidays. So I just finished my week off (I’m completed night number one of four) but it’s now that I’m packing a full lunch full of fruits and vegetables. It’s now that I want to go work out. It’s now that I want to work on the online writing course that I’m taking. None of these desires came during my week off. Well, it was actually three days off. But those three days, I barely wanted to drive around the city to get my errands done.

Maybe having that much concentrated time off in a row is where I start to get lazy.

My job does not let me have weekly routines. I cannot say that I am always going to do my groceries on a Saturday or all my cooking on a Monday because twice a month, I will work a 12 hour shift on those days. This has its fair share of social implications (I cannot join a rec league unless I want to use vacation time for the beginning or end of my shift). It’s funny because it’s not like I am the kind of person to join those types of things but now that I can’t, I’m almost bothered.

Here’s to kick starting my healthy life style again and going for a run!

Happy Saturday!

 


I apologize for this post seeming disorganized. My goal right now is to write and publish more often and then hopefully with time, I’ll be more diligent about focus and editing.

Advertisements

2016 Year in Review

So it’s pretty safe to say that 2016 was a difficult year for celebrities with many deaths (Leonard Cohen, Carrie Fisher, George Michael, Prince, David Bowie and many others). It’s also been an interesting year for American politics and the election of Donald Trump becoming the President January 2017.

About a year ago, one of my friend’s sent me a text about how his 2015 was pretty spectacular… he went on a trip to Europe with some friends and his girlfriend, he took control of his life and went back to school and he was in a pretty stable relationship. I wonder what he thinks of 2016. Him and his girlfriend broke up, he graduated school but took a job in a different industry and has been working two jobs since.

As for me, 2016 was a pretty great year. I started full time in February which gave me the opportunities to do lots of travelling. Iceland in March, New Orleans in May, British Columbia in September and Thailand in October. I started looking at the real estate market for houses to buy (although lost quite a few bidding wars).

Starting in 2017, I’m taking an online fiction writing course. I’m hoping that this provides me with a bit more structure to my writing and something more to do on my days off. I’m also hoping in 2017 to do more “events” like concerts, plays, axe-throwing or anything else without as much of a regard to the price.

This is just a short post because I’d like to get it completed before too much of 2017 goes by… haha.

What are some of your resolutions or hopes for the new year??

Shopping

People talk about brand names and the price of a pair of shoes. They care about whether they is a Michael Kors in a specific outlet mall. About how much they saved on their Kate Spade purse.

And yet in the last year, I’ve been trying to buy from local places, places that give back or places that are aware of their environmental impact. My favourite places are the ones that combine all three but that’s a rare find. Right now, in my opinion, there is a huge overspending and overbuying problem. People buy so many clothes only to throw others out rather than try to find another owner or another use for the clothing. People buy new dishwashers and microwaves and throw away the old ones rather than trying to find someone who could use something that maybe doesn’t work the best.

I just never really understood the status of a brand. That’s kind of funny considering I studied sociology and brands and meanings behind symbols is such a huge part of my studies but when it comes to clothes, it’s never something that I’ve given a lot of thought.

In the last year, I’ve gained secure, good paying employment. And because I’ve been so lucky to find that, I am mindful that everyone else should be able to find that. This is one of the reasons that I have a Pinterest board called “Smart Shopping” and follow so many people on Instagram – I am trying to find places that manufacture their products ethically – both financially and in terms of work conditions. Environmental impact is also something that is important to me – we only have this one Earth and we’ve already done a lot of damage so we need to start finding trends that will stop the destruction and hopefully reverse some of the damage.

Now obviously, buying items that are ethically made cost a bit more money. Quite a bit in some cases. But this also helps to reduce the mindless spending that a lot of people do. I am not trying to be a saint – I have more than my fair share of clothing and of random things. But I would rather pay a little extra for something that is going to last for a lot longer than some of the crap that places produce.

With trying to save money and save the environment, I have done a lot of consignment shopping in the last two years. I realize that I am in a position that is able to do this since I don’t need to buy work clothes as I have a uniform for work. Back when I needed to buy work clothes, I probably wouldn’t have been overly optimistic about finding something I could wear to the office that was second hand. Nonetheless, for my life right now, getting secondhand jeans and sweaters works really well for me. Both of the places that I go are really particular about what clothes they are willing to accept so I’ve never had an issue with the quality of my clothes.

Black Friday just passed and I guess today is Cyber Monday. People mindlessly spending their hard earned money on things that will most likely collect dust. Don’t get me wrong – I get the point of waiting for a good sale for something that you really want but I just wish that people would buy more things that they needed rather than just having things for the sake of having things. I don’t understand the purpose of having a brand name purse. I barely know most of the brand names that people talk about – I never go near the stores because I can’t imagine putting that much money into an item of clothing only to make another person richer.

That’s just my thoughts about shopping. What are yours?

Day 4 – Picture Inspiration

Displaying

 

Even though the top left picture speaks to me the most, I’m going to try to write something for the bottom left picture.

There is always these books, songs and movies that are about jumping into life. They try to encourage people to be the person who is jumping into the water without a care in the world. They try to tell you how life is going to go by quickly and how you don’t want to miss out on all the adventures.

Nicole always agreed with them but that didn’t always change her behaviour. She was more likely to be the person who was watching stunned from the sidelines. She was envious of people who had that kind of energy and that lack of fear.She read the stories about people who were in fatal car accidents or people who were diagnosed with cancer or Alzheimer’s early in life and how they would think back on their life with the “what if” and the regrets.

Nicole didn’t exactly work like that though. She never thought that she would regret not being in the spotlight because that’s not who she was. And if she was trying to be that person who was jumping in the middle, all of her friends would know that she was out of place. That she was trying to be something that she’s not.

Sometimes she would travel on her own. And for those few days with those few people, she could pretend to be someone else. She could pretend to be the spontaneous fun-loving girl who didn’t make plans of what she was going to be doing on her travels. And for those 72 hours, it was the most fun. But after that, she would go back home to her friends and be the person that she knew she was supposed to be.

Everyone has their own personality and their own way of living life to the fullest. What some people would think is a dream vacation others might feel like it was a waste of time. Nicole was someone who liked to have the balance of free and structured time. Nicole had a few friends who would take up the spotlight and she was more than willing to let them do that. There can only be one star in a play but there still needs to be a number of supporting roles. And everyone’s play is a little bit different – a star in one play can be the villain in another.

Living in the moment doesn’t exactly mean living in the center of attention. It means finding quality in each experience. And maybe not spending every night in bed by 10 p.m..

Nicole found meaning in making a lot of her own decorations for her home. She was usually the person that would give a hand-made gift for birthdays or holidays but you only knew it was handmade because it was from her, the quality was not a give away at all. She liked to reuse things. She liked to put a lot of thought into her gifts… find a new purpose for something that others would throw away.


I think the reason that the top left picture speaks to me most is because I typically enjoy spending time on my own. I would not go so far as to describe myself as an introvert but with the nature of my job, sometimes I just like to try to be alone on a day off. I also usually struggle with getting large groups of people together which might be why I wasn’t automatically drawn to the picture that I used for the inspiration of this little story. Obviously not very strong but just trying to get some writing in today.

Hope

She was what most would call an optimist. She showed up most places with a bubbly nature and a smile across her face. She tried to see the best in every situation. Even when it wasn’t a favourable outcome, she found an unexpected good that came from the surprise or disappointment. It wasn’t always blind optimism and sometimes she was jaded but nonetheless, she wanted to think the best of people. She wanted to give people a chance.

She won an award in high school for being positive in light of difficult situations. The teacher that nominated her for was probably too aware of what was actually going on in her life. She went everyday to school with her head held high even though her father suddenly passed away, her sister was fighting with their mom and her mom was barely eating a meal. She maintained this motivation into university and into the workforce. She just wanted it all to be worth it one day. What it would look like to be “worth it” is still a work in progress but she learned the lesson early that life is what you make it and she didn’t see the point in not enjoying life. Even though a dark cloud seemed to follow her from time to time (particularly at work when the desk would blow up when she came too close haha).

Sometimes she would get sad. It was mostly on days that she was alone for too many hours (it was the one thing that reminded her how she really was an extrovert). She could spend a whole day off alone with a book, get lost inside of it, only to be sad when it was over. It made her feel like she was reading what others did with their lives and not fully living her own. She truly noticed how she was defined by her job.

Hope made her feel like her life was filled with possibilities and maybe that was her eternal downfall. To choose something meant denying something else. She was nervous about making the right decision – something about the Type “A” personality within her. She tried to calm herself that even if the best decision wasn’t made, there would be something good that would come from the situation.

She always had a back up plan. That was where you could tell that she wasn’t a blind optimist – she was aware of some of the risks associated in her life and felt better when she had something ready to counteract any negative experience. That was her best way of making sure she wasn’t going to feel a negative impact because she had another ace up her sleeve.

 

I think I’m losing my mind now, it’s in my head

Darling I hope that you’ll be here when I need you the most

So don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me down

Don’t let me down

 

 


 

This was day three of the daily inspiration challenge. I know it’s been about three weeks but between my 12 hour shifts and trying to travel plan (I have 2 trips in the next 2 months so I’m trying to work all of the overtime, plan my trip and maintain my life haha).

Ultimately, this was a bit of a third person autobiography haha. I was trying to write about myself in a more objective manner. I like to think that I’m a positive and hopeful person but there are breaking points to hope. For me, I think it’s the limitless possibilities. I don’t like making decisions because it inevitably means I’ve decided against something else. Nonetheless, I remain hopeful that the end situation will be good. If it’s not good, then it means it isn’t over yet.

And the lyrics fit in with the word (I realized this after I started writing my post) and it’s a song with which I have recently become quite obsessed.

Write a List

So I’m currently working on Day 2 of the #everydayinspiration emails. (Yes, I’m currently getting emails for Day 13 but it’s been a busy few days). The inspiration today is to write a list.

Most who know me or are around me might notice my habit of continually making lists. I am quite a big fan of to-do lists. I find that they keep me focused. However, I’m going to try to spin this into a different direction. I’ve read some pinterest posts about “bullet journalling” and one of them included a recommendation to write a “done” list rather than a “to do” list. The rationale of looking at what’s already done, focusing on the positive by looking at the glass half full rather than stressing yourself out with what is left to do.

You’ll notice that today is August 31. A lot of people are saying that the summer is over and the news is talking about going back to school. Granted, I am no longer a student and do not have kids so school isn’t really something that’s on my brain. Nonetheless, I am noticing how summer is coming to a close. It’s hard to enjoy summer when some of your friends aren’t there to enjoy the weather.

Well, today I am writing a “done” list of my summer this far.

  1. Traveled to New Orleans
    • Beginning of summer trip to kick it all off!
    • It was a cool few days to explore a new city, have some new types of food and drink and have great laughs with a good friend.
  2. Visited Tobermory
    • This was my real only “getaway” this summer.
    • I went swimming in Georgian Bay (which was cold but oh so cool)
    • Went hiking all along Flowerpot Island
    • A little getaway for my best friend and I 🙂
  3. Went to Wonderland with my sister
    • This is a fun yearly tradition. It’s so expensive but it’s so much fun (minus waiting a whole hour for a burger…)
  4. Read quite a few books
    • I spent many days off this summer reading in my backyard – I got some interesting burns and some interesting tan lines and was able to fill my mind with new sorts of knowledge.
    • Notable books this summer:
      • Beautiful You – Chuck Palahniuk
      • Harry Potter & The Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling et al.
      • The Stranger – Harlen Coben
      • The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
      • Spinster – Kate Bolick
  5. Did lots of hiking
    • I’ve become minorly obsessed with Smokey Hollow – it’s so close and so amazing.
    • Today, I went to Elora Gorge with a friend – a bit further away and I’m glad we got to see some of the sights but not somewhere I would rush back
    • Tiffany Falls in Ancaster – a cute little hike when I didn’t feel like going home
  6. Started watching HIMYM (How I Met Your Mother)
    • Yes, I’m a little behind the times but I just finished Season 3 and am quite enjoying so far!
  7. Booked some trips
    • A trip to Thailand was booked for October!!!
    • And a trip to British Columbia was booked for September to go visit a friend
  8. Donated to a good cause
    • My sister won a trip to go help build houses (the location has now been changed to India). I’m proud that I was able to donate a sizable amount to help her achieve this goal.
  9. Went to open houses and private house showings
    • I am slowly dipping my toe into the real estate market. Granted, the market is beyond insane so far this summer but just trying to get a feel of what I like and what I don’t like
    • I have a great realtor who is beyond patient with me and I’m very thankful
    • It’s overwhelming to look at the numbers and try to think of what my life is going to be like when I do finally find a place that I love
  10. Made some new friends
    • I’m a lot more comfortable with the people I work with – I’m starting to see them as my second family. There are people I confide for advice on different topics and am more open about my life
    • I’m making an effort to keep in touch with people so I can see them on my random days off. Trying to achieve a balance of work/life balance.

So summer 2016, not too shabby, not too shabby. I am glad for my experiences and am excited to try to bring this excitement into the fall and winter.

Happy summer and happy list-ing!

I write because…

I write because it’s a way to organize my thoughts. As people can possibly tell from reading my blog (or maybe it’s just my own criticisms of my own writing) but my writing seems to come out a little disorganized. I try my best to edit before I hit publish but even as I reread my own posts, I can see better ways to organize my thoughts. Nonetheless, writing gives me an opportunity to blurt out all of my thoughts at once. When I get really into it, I can figure out what’s going on in my subconscious mind. For some reason, this can be very difficult for me and so I find writing a very important part of my life.

I write in the hopes that one day I will be able to provide a thought-provoking blog post or short story or novel that will one day inspire another person. Even just one person. I think I would like to get into fiction writing (but instead I forever blog about my own personal life – my own flaw that I need to work on). It would just be so cool to me to have my own original idea and my own world that I’ve created on my own. And yet at the same time, I think that everyone’s reality is a little bit different just based on their own perspective.

Side note: do we see the disorganization in the above paragraph? Do I want to edit it? yes. But it would be counter productive as proof of why I need to edit and why I like to write.

I’ve always been a strong writer. I wrote a lot of short stories back when I was in elementary school. When I was in high school, I wrote poetry, songs and even plays. And then in university, I just went to academic writing. University seemed to kill my love for reading and writing because it turned it into something so professional and disciplined. It’s something that I eventually learned to love (another little tidbit about me – if someone would pay me my current salary to do my Masters of Arts and PhD, I would totally go for it – that’s how truly nerdy I am) but writing in the creative fashion is still something that I’m trying to get back. It’s a slow process. I have combined my love of academic reading and fiction reading and alternate reading these types of books. Doing this #everydayinspiration challenge with Word Press is my way of trying to get into writing again. I can admit right now – I will not be writing a post everyday. I am saving the emails and going to do them in order and likely be writing once or twice per week. That’s a lot better than writing a post every few weeks.

Maybe if I do more blogging (which to me is more like journal-ling but again, it’s a start), then it will lead to me do some fiction writing. Ideally some short stories. I just need to find some inspiration for characters and what message I want to send out to the universe.

I write because it makes me feel like a more well rounded person. I don’t know if that’s a great answer but it’s the answer that I’ve got tonight for my lovely readers.