How to: Check Items off the Important Things in Life To-Do List

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.” ~ Audrey Hepburn 1) Ignore your inner “you should do your weekly cleaning to-do list” voice. 2) Don’t let unexpected guests, Skype … Continue reading

How Yoga, Writing, and Isagenix Saved Christmas…I mean, 2012

Slowing Down, Speeding Up, and Solid Nutrition saved this year (and will right up until December 24th, 2012 when I return home to Canada). Slowing Down – Yoga Bliss “Yoga has a sly, clever way of short circuiting the mental … Continue reading

How to: Shop from the Kids’ Section

The only high comparable to finding wicked fashions and deals in the kids’ section?? Finding someone else that understands and loves the kids’ section as I do!!! Boy, did Elyssa and I have a good time at Target and Big W on … Continue reading

The Challenge in Nothing

serenity, peace, calm, nature, vastness, landscape, Kakadu, Australia, travel

Ubirr, Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

Couldn’t you just be in a moment like this forever? Sun warming your face, cool breeze blowing, a solid anchor to rest on. An ever-changing land that goes on and on with more to look at than you could ever imagine, if you only allowed yourself the time to look, listen, experience. It’s rare to find a moment, indoors or out, to truly sit and look. Or not look. Think, or not think. No requirements on your time. To just be. No phone beeps, clock ticks, rush of everyday life. Just you; time; and permission to take it.

Can you remember the last time you stopped like this for more than 30 seconds? A minute? Were you thinking about where you’d be heading next; what you should be doing instead? Have you managed in the last, say, six months to sit down and NOT wonder about the past, present, or future? Not worry about how long you’d been doing nothing. Not think, “I’m sitting here, I might as well read a book, watch tv, text, think about my tomorrow’s to-do list?” I can think of maybe three times in the last six months I’ve TRULY done nothing. None of those times lasted more than a minute. It’s time to change that. I’m giving myself permission tonight to go to that magical place in my mind and drift away. I won’t look at a clock, read a book, or worry about anyone, anything.

Your turn.

Holy Books Batman!

I guess this is the reason I didn’t spend hours filling in my “Recommended Reading” pages!! A colleague recently shared a terrific, awesome, wonderful, fantastic, magnificent, FABULOUS website with me. Goodreads.com is a place where you can track and rate the … Continue reading

Continental Patriotism – is that a thing???

Courtesy: economics.org

This morning I put on the London 2012 Summer Olympics while I was cleaning and vacuuming. That in itself is strange. I have seen more of the summer Olympics this year than any other for two reasons – 1) I’m usually outside suntanning, swimming, beaching, etc, rather than inside at the television and 2) Canadians aren’t nearly as strong in the summer Olympic sports as they are in the winter. The next oddity made me actually stop taking the sheets off my bed and stand there in the middle of the bedroom thinking to myself, “Weird!!” I heard the name “Michael Phelps” from the commentators, got really excited, and hoped he’d win. Wait a minute….he’s American.

Not that I am anti-American – I don’t feel insulted, angry, or disgruntled when the Australians that I talk to ask if I am American. I do, of course, correct them and explain that I am Canadian. But, I don’t begrudge the error – I, still, would not correctly distinguish Aussie from Kiwi, and prior to earning this last six months’ experience probably wouldn’t even know the difference between Brit and Aussie. Heck, if I met a North American traveller I couldn’t tell you Canadian or American…unless they were from Newfoundland, Boston, or the deep south. And even then? Maybe not.

Courtesy: rodsbot.com

Back to the Olympics though…after my initial excitement at the prospect of an American winning this gold medal I thought back to my past Olympic medal thoughts. Previously, in any event, at any Olympics, I would prefer ANY country win medals than the USA. Not because I don’t like the US, but because they just get so many. As would be expected – they have a HUGE population from which to select talent. As for Canada vs. America medals hopes – so often it seems that Canada is the shy, meek, push-over, weak, polite, needs-a-pat-on-the-head, sniffling, snot-nosed, sickly little brother of the US. (Yes, I recognize the redundancy of those adjectives and included them all just the same). So, it sorta feels like a little bit of a “SEE, we CAN beat our big, strong, overbearing, powerful big brother at some things,” moment when Canada succeeds over America for a medal. It’s rare, so it’s relished.

Courtesy: anbsoft.com

As I’ve watched and listened to snippets of the games, I thought I’d be inclined to cheer for Canada and Australia, my adopted home for the year. So this morning’s momentary and silent cheer for the US really suprised me. Oh, what the familiarity of “home” can do for a person a million miles from it. So, while I’ve never cheered for the United States in the Olympics before, I think I will this year. Go NORTH AMERICA!

North America is  a pretty powerful, large, successful, rich (in ways more important than money), spacious, beautiful, and so on and on and on, continent. Maybe it’s time we stopped competing to be better than the other. America will always be “best” in some areas. Canada will always be “best” in others. Why not start learning from each other, complementing each others’ strengths and weaknesses, and make North America the best CONTINENT to live rather than one or the other being the best COUNTRY? (No, I didn’t research the internet polls to see if Canada is, in fact, the best country in which to live, that’s just my very unbiased opinion).

Courtesy: ctv.ca

Well, my intended three-liner post about a moment of US patriotism turned into a bit more. HA! Whoops! Have a terrific weekend everyone – wherever you live and for whomever you’re cheering in the London 2012 Summer Olympics!

Additional disclaimers: Yes, I do know that Mexico is also part of North America. I also know that Canada and the United States DO work together in many ways. This is not a political arguement in any way, just rambling thoughts. No insults or upsets are intended in the above writing – it’s all meant to be positive. No angry comments due to misunderstandings please! 😀

My Favourite Canadian Sound

I recently weekended at a “holiday house” in Goolwa and was asked by an Australian to, “Sell me Canada,” after we’d gone back and forth about nice and not-so-nice things about Canadian cities I’d lived in and visited. Finally he challenged, “Well, what’s your … Continue reading