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Moving On

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I’ll admit that my memory of my early childhood years is fuzzy. One of the things that I remember quite clearly is graduating from Kindergarten and saying a poem with 2 other people.

I want to learn to whistle,
I’ve always wanted to;
I fix my mouth to do it but,
The whistle won’t come through.

I think perhaps it’s stuck,
And so I try it once again;
Can people swallow whistles,
Where is my whistle then?

And then we tried to whistle which didn’t really work out so well. Looking back, that was an important moment at that time in my life. Milestones are a big deal, and sometimes I’m not sure we always notice when we hit them until we look back.

Today, I know I’m hitting a milestone. It’s my last day at Bow Valley Credit Union, and I’m remembering why I don’t like the word goodbye very much.  The last few years that I’ve been here, I’ve had a settled routine and had an entire set of experiences that I’m not sure I could’ve found anywhere else.  Now is the time to spread my wings and move on, and I get to do that knowing that there are more milestones ahead.  In a philosophical way, positive change helps the world spin around.

“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

I’d rather not say goodbye but see you later. You never know what’s just around the bend, but I hope that my journey and yours brings more happiness and smiles. Maybe one day our paths will cross again.charlie-brown-snoopy_goodbye

A Letter

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At the beginning of the year, I got a book recommendation from a friend and it opened my eyes in a new direction. It’s title? If You Find This Letter.

This book is a memoir by Hannah Brencher about her journey to find her purpose post-graduation, and how she found it through kindness and letters to strangers. Reading the news always makes me think to myself “yes, the world needs more love letters.”

Hannah graduated from college with a dream in her mind and a plan on how to achieve it. Like many of us, she realized that life doesn’t always go as planned, things are never as simple as they are in the movies, and even a path you’ve consciously chosen can feel wrong once you start to head down it.

Ultimately, I think most of us in life just want to figure out what makes us happy, how we can support ourselves by what makes us happy and what our purpose in life truly is. For Hannah, her purpose revealed itself through a path underscored by heartbreak, struggle, and loneliness.

She began to leave love letters she wrote for strangers. It started with noticing a woman on the subway in New York City who appeared to be having a hard time, experiencing emotions that mirrored Hannah’s. The woman stepped off the subway before Hannah could deliver her letter, but the idea stuck with her and she began to pen letters to strangers and leave them around the city.

Sounds crazy, right? Maybe it was. But for Hannah, these letters she began to write helped her learn what she valued at her core, how she is connected to the world and what gave her purpose. One day, she mentioned on her blog that she’d write anyone who needed one a love letter. These letters weren’t romantic, heart-filled or perfume-scented notes, but rather honest encouragements and reminders that the world is big, but one can still connect no matter the size of the ocean or the enormity of the sky.

How often can you say you’ve offered that to a friend, let alone a stranger? Sometimes we all need reminders to reach out and offer a hand.

Hannah posted her offer on her blog, and the rest was history. She found her purpose, launching the project, The World Needs More Love Letters, a space that connects people who write letters for those who need some words of kindness, encouragement, and love.

Here is my recommendation to you: read this book. If it resonates with you, lend it to a friend, or recommend it to someone else. If nothing else, take a moment to write a quick note to a loved one, whether it be an email, text, or even a post it, and tell them they are important to you, and remind them that you’re here and that you care. Then, make sure you try to spread kindness to someone else who might need it, even if you don’t know them.

A smile to a stranger can be a small gesture that can make a big impact. A nod of hello, holding the door for someone who is a few steps behind, the interactions don’t even have to include words. Notice one another. We are all here in the same space, trying to live our lives and find our purpose.

The 7 P’s for 2017

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The New Year is upon us, and 2017 has brought new diets, new exercise regimes, and new resolutions to the forefront once more.

I’m a proponent of change, and I don’t believe that we need to have a new calendar to jump in, but if you are looking to pick a date off the calendar, you have a fresh one with lots of time ahead in 2017.  One thing hasn’t changed for me since 2016: I love lists.  Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure that’s not something I want to change.

While I don’t have any big resolutions for 2017, I do have a general plan for the year and that includes my list of 7 words beginning with the letter P. The plan? It’s simply to be

  1. Purposeful
  2. Positive
  3. Productive
  4. Proactive
  5. Persistent
  6. Persuasive
  7. Peaceable

We’ll see how that goes. If it doesn’t work, no big deal, and onto something else (and I won’t wait until 2018 to make that change either).

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Now

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It’s the time of year for college football Bowl Games, World Junior Hockey (Go CANADA Go!), and all kinds of wonderful blessings – not all sports related either!

Sending you warmest thoughts and best wishes  for a wonderful Christmas season and a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Merry Christmas

 

I Don’t Have Time…

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clocksAt some point, we’ve all said it.   We say “I don’t have time” when we perceive that our life gets busy or when we don’t want to feel guilty about skipping something.   Often that “something” that we are skipping is really something we should be doing but we are assuaging our conscious into thinking that it’s all right. Sometimes it’s not a big deal, but other times it is.

“I don’t have time” often really means “it wasn’t important enough to me”.   It wasn’t fun, distracting, or urgent enough to make it to the top of the list. It’s an excuse, and often times not particularly a pretty one (I’m not talking about saying “I don’t have time” as a polite way to say “no” because that’s something entirely different).  I’m talking about blowing timelines out of the water because sticking to them becomes challenging or failing to achieve goals you set for yourself, and consoling yourself by saying that there just wasn’t enough time. I’m sure that when you set the timeline, you thought it was possible, so what changed?

It can sometimes feel like things happen to us, rather than by us. That we’re not in control of our time; that we’re just too busy.  Realistically, there is little in life we do without choosing, even if these decisions are not always deliberate choices.  Plan and you might find that you are far more in control than you thought.

We have 7 days a week which breaks down into 168 hours.  Taking out the hours that you spend at work (where time is also incredibly valuable) and the hours that you spend sleeping, it quickly becomes apparent that time is a precious commodity and unlike other commodities, it is limited.

I’m sure we can all agree that time is precious.  Shaking up your status quo can be a scary thing, but it can also be eye opening.  Your priorities are where and how you choose to spend those hours.  Be honest with yourself and make the most of your hours!  It’s amazing how much time you can find when you minimize the things that aren’t important to make room for the things that are.  See what you can cut out of your daily habits to free up those precious extra minutes in your day.

wheels

The Living Monument

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We must poppiesremember. If we do not, the sacrifice of those one hundred thousand Canadian lives will be meaningless. They died for us, for their homes and families and friends, for a collection of traditions they cherished and a future they believed in; they died for Canada. The meaning of their sacrifice rests with our collective national consciousness; our future is their monument (Robertson).

Remembrance Day is typically full of words like “bravery,” “sacrifice” and “selflessness.” We have images that are now so familiar to Canadians: the muddy devastation of Passchendaele, the pebbled beaches of Dieppe, the sandy beaches of Juno, and more recently of Kandahar. Even those images like those are merely narrow snapshots into these conflicts and the deep history surrounding them .

Tomorrow isn’t just another holiday or three day weekend. It’s a time to reflect on the gravity of armed conflict and those who fought it for us, both the living and the dead. We owe them that honour.