Monday, 31 December 2018

A video of 2018

Hi guys!
I'm just popping in for a sec to share my A-second-everyday video with you. Yes, I did it: I filmed one second every single day of 2018, and then I spent what felt three times as long today trying to find a good song for it. Turns out, there aren't many songs that are over 6 minutes long, and I couldn't figure out how to add more than one, and in the end I gave up. For now there is some very calm background music, and I might change it another day, but not today. 
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Sunday, 30 December 2018

My goals for 2019

It's my favourite time of the year: goal-setting time!
This year maybe more than ever, I've been doing a lot of reflecting, thinking, and reminiscing. When I'm in my little house in Princeton for work I have nothing but time, and it lends itself for some serious soul searching. 
I've been doing this work since I got here in August, and little by little, the pieces of myself that got spilled like a box of puzzle pieces sometime this year are falling back into place. Or more accurately, I'm putting them back together.
All of us fall apart sometimes. Nobody has their shit together all the time, and we won't always be on top of our game. Life isn't a straight line, and we'll all find ourselves on the shadowy side of life once in a while, wondering where the sun has gone.
The important part to remember is that the sun will always return. Just like spring follows winter, easier times will follow our hard ones.
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Friday, 28 December 2018

My word for 2019

I fell asleep last night with a smile on my face because of that special glow I saw outside the window - the one you get when everything is covered in snow, which makes the night brighter due to the light reflecting off all the beautiful, sparkling white. It finally snowed on Boxing Day, and the world looks enchanted!
But then I woke up with a grimace this morning because of cramping and a very unhappy and bloated tummy, due to the monthly "gift" we women are blessed cursed with. And if that isn't a perfect analogy for life, then I don't know what is. You win some, you lose some!
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Thursday, 20 December 2018

Achievements of 2018


I had completely forgotten about it, but last year I wrote a post titled Achievements of 2017, and it was so amazing to see it again a year later! I would have forgotten many of the items I listed on it had I not written them down, which is my whole purpose of blogging and writing: preserving memories. Since I enjoyed stumbling over that post so much, I thought I should write one for this year too! We should never forget to celebrate our achievements, however small they may be. 
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Wednesday, 19 December 2018

The meaning of life

If you know me then you know that I love thinking about life, why we are here, how to find joy every day, and how to live mindfully and with purpose. I don't make a conscious choice to think about that stuff - it's what naturally pops into my head whenever my thoughts wander. 
Someone else who's also into it are the guys at Holstee. You may be familiar with their manifesto - but if not, here is the video version of it:

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Saturday, 15 December 2018

A look back at 2018: who would have thought?

It's Saturday morning, I'm sitting here in my little beige room, hot vanilla coffee by my side, and that statement is baffling to me. Who would have thought I would ever live in a beige room? I hate neutral, sensible colours. No matter what you want to call them - eggshell, greige, vanilla, light brown - I would never use those colours in my own place. I like bright, vivid, in-your-face colours!
And yet here I am, living in a beige world for two weeks every month since September. Who would have thought?
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Sunday, 9 December 2018

39 Life Lessons that will make you feel better about yourself

I celebrated my 39th birthday a few days ago (thanks for all the birthday wishes, you guys are awesome!), and as per usual, it made me stop and reflect on my life so far. With the end of the year approaching the air is ripe with reflecting vibes, and I loved sitting down and thinking of everything I have learnt about life thus far. 
Here it is:
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Thursday, 6 December 2018

Ready for some fashion magic?

It's my birthday today, and contrary to most women I don't mind telling you my age: I'm 39. Yup, 39 years old and proud of it! I like to joke that the secret to feeling young is having a husband who's 25 years older - no matter how large my under-eye bags are, he will always look older than me 😏 
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Monday, 3 December 2018

Best (and worst) of November

Happy December! Before we start looking back to last month, I want to take a moment and acknowledge that the holiday season isn't fun for everybody. I know from own experience how hard December can be for people with depression, or if you've lost someone, or if there's a riff in your family, or for whatever other reason. 
Christmas is a tough one to avoid because it's so in your face, but if you struggle, here are a few suggestions for you:
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Saturday, 1 December 2018

A week in paradise

We ran to the beach, still in our jeans and heavy boots. The moon was almost full, the night was velvety warm, and the moment when I kicked off my shoes and dug my toes into the soft, white sand for the first time was utter bliss.
We were the only ones on the beach, and we stretched out on two loungers under a sea of stars. The night was bright with the almost-full moon and millions of twinkling stars, and we listened to the endless, gently rolling ocean in front of us.
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Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Three cheers to spontaneity!

My husband is far from perfect. 
He doesn't help nearly enough in the house for my liking, he is set in his ways, and he collects animals like other people stamps (which is awesome when it comes to dogs and cats, but not so much when it comes to chickens).
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Saturday, 17 November 2018

The ultimate Gilmore girls gift guide

It's no secret that I'm a huge Gilmore girls-fan. It's my number one feel-good show, and I watch it whenever I need a break from the world and want to escape reality for a while. The other day I was idly browsing through the internet (as one does), and I came across this mug
Smelling snow is Lorelai's thing (but I smell it too, sometimes, don't you?), and not only is the mug gorgeous and Christmas-sy and whimsical, it also inspired me to go on the hunt for more Gilmore girls-merchandise, and the internet did not disappoint. Who knew there are so many great Gilmore gifts out there? 
I spent a fun hour putting together some of my favourites for yourself or another GG-fan in your life:
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Thursday, 15 November 2018

Little joys

I walked Lily through town yesterday, admiring the Christmas decorations that are popping up everywhere now. Even though I'm not the biggest Christmas fan, I love the sparkly lights, Christmas trees, and all the decorations.
Suddenly, a deer appeared. In the middle of town. It slowly and majestically crossed the road - right at the crosswalk! It was followed by another deer, and another, and another - seven deer in total. Cars had to stop and wait for the deer to cross the road on the crosswalk, and people pointed and laughed. I laughed out loud too when I saw it - it was just too funny! When the last one had safely crossed the road the cars continued on their merry ways, but I watched the deer leisurely sauntering away until the last white tail had disappeared. 
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Tuesday, 13 November 2018

A day in the life of my depression

I drive up to the gate, put the car in park, and get out. 
Inadvertently, my gaze is drawn to that house. My heart starts beating faster, and I feel my palms getting wet. 
I quickly look away and busy myself opening the gate. "Stay calm," I mutter under my breath. 
"Breathe."I take a cleansing yogic breath that doesn't do a thing to calm me down, climb back into the car, drive through, stop, get out and close the gate.

The goats are greeting me as they always do, and my panic rises. Are they louder than usual? They're too loud, aren't they? People will hear! Omg, what am I gonna do? What if they will complain again?
I drive down the driveway in a panic. Rich is there, watering the horses, and I jump out of the car and race up to him, shouting, "I can't do this! We have to sell the goats! It's too much, I can't do this anymore!"
Without waiting for  reply I turn around, run into the house, collapse onto my bed and promptly burst into tears. 
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Monday, 5 November 2018

Start your own home yoga practice (+ a few of my fave videos)

Once in a while I get asked how the heck to get started with yoga. I hear ya: it's a vast and confusing world out there in yogaland, and all the beautiful bendy photos on Instagram can be seriously intimidating.
I have a few really easy tricks how you can get started "on your yoga journey" as we yogis like to call it, or how to bend and stretch a bit every day in normal-people-speak.
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Saturday, 3 November 2018

Darkness is coming ...


Haha, I came across this video and thought I'd share it:
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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Best (and worst) of October

It's the eve of NaNoWriMo, so I thought I'd better say hi (and bye?), just in case I disappear from the blog for the next 30 days. I don't think that will happen, but who knows? I've never written 50,000 words in a month before, because I'm a slooooow writer, so I don't know if I will have the energy to blog much. 
A few blog friends decided to join in, which makes me so happy! (Hi Sam and Tori ✌)

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Sunday, 28 October 2018

I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year!

Guys, I'm super-excited (and nervous!) to do NaNoWriMo this year for real. I say for real because I have attempted it twice before: once in May of 2014 (I had just heard about NanNoWriMo, a 50,000-words writing challenge that happens every November), and I thought I could do it by myself in a random month. Turns out, I can't. (I failed miserably and abandoned Lucy.)

The second time I tried to use the NanNoWriMo-deadline approach was to finish the first draft of a book of essays I worked on in 2015. That worked out better, but still wasn't the real thing.

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Friday, 26 October 2018

Giveaway!

Hi friends!
I want to let you know that I'm doing a giveaway of my book on my Facebook page to celebrate 500 followers!
It's open until Halloween 🎃

To participate, all you have to do is leave a comment on the Facebook page, and I will randomly choose 2 winners next Wednesday. 

Good luck, and thank you for all your support!!

Love, Miriam


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Wednesday, 24 October 2018

The joy of not knowing the future

Fall walks invite contemplation, don't you agree? The golden light, crisp air and all the beauty of nature are helping me to find a mental clarity that I've been missing all summer. 
I used to say that I can't meditate, but that's actually not true. I'm not a fan of sitting cross legged in a room with my eyes closed, trying to empty my mind. Closed rooms are not my natural habitat, they make me antsy after a while; being outside in nature is. It's where I do my best thinking, my best relaxing, and, as it turns out, my best meditating. 
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Monday, 22 October 2018

Feeling like a fall goddess

You know Elizabeth Taylor's famous saying "Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together"? What lipstick is to Liz that's a pretty dress for me.
When life is a bit boring or I'm sick of wearing scrubs and farm clothes, I put on a nice dress. Rich often accuses me of overdressing (our town is very casual), but you know what? Life's too short to wear boring clothes or worry about what other people think. 
I love dresses, wearing them makes me feel good, so I will continue to wear them, even if everybody else is in jeans and sweaters. 
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Thursday, 18 October 2018

A really happy day


There are days where the sun is shining from a perfect blue sky, you have a few kittens draped all over you, a couple dogs by your feet, and your husband smiles at you and says: "Today is a really good day."
Days like that need to be bottled up, to look back at when you're down and you need a reminder of how good life can be. 
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Tuesday, 16 October 2018

X-ray girl

The phone rings at 6:20am. 
"Hi, I'm so sorry to wake you, but we need you in the ER. We have a trauma that needs multiple x-rays."
"Okay, I'll be there as soon as I can," I mumble, squinting at the clock and trying to see what time it is. It's still pitch-black, and I'm bone-tired. This is the second time this weekend that the hospital wakes me up early in the morning, and I didn't get enough sleep last night. Damn you, Grey's Anatomy, for keeping me up past my bedtime.

Lily is wide awake in an instant, knowing the routine. Whenever I get called in I take her with me, and my corgi lives for car rides. She's excitedly running circles around me, not caring one bit about the ungodly hour. I slip the clothes on that I have waiting on a chair for an occasion just like this, stumble into the bathroom to splash some water in my face, and halfheartedly drag a brush through my hair, giving up with the job only half done and throwing it in a messy ponytail instead. I live a good 15 minutes away from the hospital, and time is of the essence. Nobody will care what my hair looks like, least of all me. I put my glasses on, grab my red coat, not noticing that it clashes violently with my pink scrub pants, and then I'm out the door, Lily hot on my heels. 
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Friday, 12 October 2018

90s child

Here's a fun fact about living in a rural setting: UPS, Purolator, DHL and all the other shipping companies don't deliver to our mail box. They drop it off at a coffee shop in town, and DHL leaves it in Kamloops, a city that's an hour away from us, and we have to arrange a drop-off day to have it delivered to the feed store in town. Usually they call us and let us know that there is a parcel waiting for me, and I drive in to pick it up. It's inconvenient but also quaint, and I find it quite funny. 
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Thursday, 11 October 2018

The 5 funniest TED talks

I love TED talks. I turn to them whenever I need a dose of inspiration and wisdom. But did you know that some of them are also laugh-out-loud funny? If you are in need of a good laugh, check out the following 5 TED talks: all of them are as informative as they are hilarious.
Enjoy!
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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Maurice and the mice

I know you've all been impatiently waiting for an update on Maurice and his gang, and who am I to deny you that?
Especially when it's good news all around!

Remember the cookies my house mate left me? Gone! All demolished by me, with just a little help from Richard.
Maurice the Raccoon turned into Maurice the Furnace, and I'm happy to report that he works excellent. 
Maurice has become my best friend on these chilly autumn days. 
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Sunday, 7 October 2018

Invasion of the critters

The other night I ate half (okay, three-quarters) of a bag of chips for dinner, watched three hours of The Mindy Project in bed, and spent half an hour freaking out about the tap-tapping noises coming from the attic. It sounded like an animal walking around, but not a mouse, something bigger - a pack rat? Or a raccoon? I called Rich. 
"I think I have a raccoon in my attic," I told him without preamble. "Something is walking around up there. Something big. It sounds like the corgi, but she's right next to me, staring up at the ceiling and barking."   
"Okay," he said patiently. "What do you want me to do about it?" 
"What?" I shouted. "I can't hear you over Lily's barking!"
"WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO ABOUT IT?" he repeated loudly.
"I want you to bring your gun and shoot him!" I cried, looking worriedly up at the ceiling. "What if he comes down here?"
 "He won't," he reassured me firmly. "Why don't you just leave him alone?"
"Well, if he can't come down, I guess he can stay," I agreed slowly. "It's kind of nice to have another house mate. I shall call him Maurice."
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Friday, 5 October 2018

Writing my way out of a rut (in the most random way possible)

I'm stuck creatively. I'm trying to write about happiness, but I can't put my jumbled thoughts into words because I haven't quite figured out what I'm trying to say. It's the most frustrating part of the writing process, but I'm told everybody feels like that from time to time. 
In an effort to find my way out of it I thought I'd try to write my way out. 
If this post will see the light of being published remains to be seen, but for now I'm typing out whatever crosses my mind:

1. I came back to my home-away-from-home yesterday to 2 surprises: homemade cookies from my housemate (yay!) - and mice in our house (boo). I'm currently working on removing both.
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Tuesday, 2 October 2018

When breathing becomes work

Last Saturday I went hiking with a couple of co-workers. It was a glorious day, and we happily set off on one of the many hills surrounding our town. The sun was shining, the leaves had fully changed colour, and within the first 5 minutes we watched a beaver busily swimming in a little pond, no doubt doing important beaver business. 
Because the trail was narrow we hiked single file, with me being in the middle. 
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Thursday, 27 September 2018

A community of misfits

I walk past garden gnomes who cheekily moon me. Across from them is a "Bat Box", a wooden box hung up for bats to sleep in with a happy bat painted on the front.
One house has a cornfield in its small front yard. It's only about 30 stalks in total, but it's a real tiny cornfield in the midst of a residential neighborhood.  
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Monday, 24 September 2018

Coming home to myself

I'm re-discovering the meaning of slowing down. This weekend was a truly slow one, with basically nothing happening, but it was deeply satisfying and relaxing. I'm finally coming home to myself. 
Rich didn't come to visit me this weekend because he had a few other things going on, and even though I missed him, I loved spending all this time just with Lily, myself, and my room mate. 
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Saturday, 22 September 2018

I'm done fitting in, and so should you

When we are young, all we want is to fit in. It's a basic human instinct to blend in instead of standing out, because it's safer. In the animal kingdom, sticking out can lead to being eaten - in the human world, it can lead to being made fun of, bullied, or ignored. 
I was no different. All my life, my goal was to fit in. I wanted to be like everybody else around me, because I always felt just a little different - and there is nothing worse for a kid than to feel like you don't belong. So I did what all shy kids do: I observed the behavior of the people I wanted to be friends with, and tried to imitate them. 
I wasn't very good at it. I'm a terrible actress and an even worse liar, and faking to like something that I didn't was so much work, I wondered if it was worth it. However, the next period of loneliness would always be waiting around the corner, and when I was lonely enough I was once again willing to do almost anything to have friends. 
What I didn't know then was that fitting in and belonging are not the same thing at all. In fact, they are completely different from each other. 
When you try to fit in, you adjust your behavior, your likes and dislikes, the way you dress and how you act according to your environment. In short: you try to be someone you are not. Belonging is the complete opposite. It means being 100% yourself and finding a place in the world that feels like home. It's finding people you can be yourself with. 
Fitting in is about how to fit in; belonging is about where you fit in. 
You can't force belonging. It has to happen organically. If you feel like you don't belong, here is what you can do: get to know yourself. We are surrounded by so much noise, so many opinions and outside influences that it can be hard to separate our own thoughts from the ones of others. It's easy to get confused about our own beliefs and values. Getting to know who we are takes time, self-reflection and some serious soul searching. But it's essential that we do that, because if we don't know who we are, how can we belong?
Get to know you. Fall in love with who you are. The happier you are with yourself, the more you will attract other people. We are all drawn to people who radiate contentment, peace and serenity. The best part? Once you find happiness in yourself, your desire to fit in will seize to exist. You simply won't have that need anymore.
I believe that being by yourself is much better and healthier than being with the wrong people. Nothing makes you feel lonelier than being with "friends" you don't belong to. 
Trying to fit in will keep you small - being proudly yourself and blazing your own trail will set you free!


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Friday, 21 September 2018

10 things I'm loving right now

Fall is in full swing around here, and I'm loving it! As much as I enjoy summer, this one was a bit of a weird one for me, and I'm really grateful for the fresh start a new season brings. Our temperature has cooled off significantly, and I'm all all about the coziness these days!
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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Keep at it

I got it all wrong. 
I thought that achieving the goal was the key to the happily ever after. 
I thought that after hustling and working hard and hustling some more, getting some rest and relaxation would be the sweetest feeling in the world. 
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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

She Shed tour!

I'm so excited to finally share a few photos of my beautiful She Shed with you guys! 
Almost a year ago I announced that I convinced Rich to build me my own little cabin. I envisioned it to be a mix between a tiny house, Canadian lake cabin, and whimsical fairy house. The end result is a collaboration between Rich's, the carpenters', and my vision, and it far surpasses all my expectations!
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Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Our Enneagram types

Have you guys ever done an Enneagram Test? I never have, until today, and I'm blown away by the results! They are really accurate, you guys. I don't know anything about the science or the background of the test, because I literally stumbled over it this morning while doing a good old-fashioned stalking of old Sister Style posts from A Beautiful Mess. 
I always loved their Sister Style series, and I get nostalgic when the seasons change, thus the walk down their memory lane. In one of their posts Elsie mentions her Enneagram type (she's a type 7), and since I had nothing better to do this morning, I decided to do an Enneagram test for me and Rich
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Friday, 31 August 2018

Best (and worst) of August

August was intense. I started my new job, lived in a hotel for a week, moved into what I thought would be my permanent part-time home, only to move out of it 8 days later (more about that below). We went from a blistering 40 degrees Celsius for the first half of the month to barely hitting 15 in the second half. There was a (thankfully small and easily contained) fire close to our house.
We decided to quit the guinea pig business and sold all of them. I started book #2 in earnest.
Rich had a cold for a week and lost his voice. I started boxing. It was a lot!

Here is my 1-second-a-day video:

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Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Feeling more alive


I sit outside, back against a tree, eyes closed, face lifted up towards the sun. I breathe in deeply the wonderful smell of warm pine needles, late summer, and the first hint of fall in the air. 
The smoke is gone. After weeks of obscured skies, hazy horizons, the sun tinged red, and the constant smell of fire in the air, it feels like a miracle to breathe fresh air again. 
Having this half hour of solace and peace is like a warm blanket wrapped around my shoulders on a cold day. I'm feeling smaller and more vulnerable than usual, and the sun is not only warming my skin, but also my soul.   

I'm smack in the middle of my 9(!) days away from home, having said goodbye to Rich and the dogs only hours earlier, and as I'm learning, this is the worst day of the week for me. After having braved the first half of my time away quite well, seeing him and the dogs for a way too short time before they leave again just reminds me of how much I miss them. It's true what they say: absence makes the heart grow fonder, and my heart is a big, mushy pile of fondness and longing.
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Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Thelma and Louise

It's been said to "never say never", and this saying has never been truer in my life than it is now.
I am a dog person. 100% team dog, no cats for me, no, siree, dogs all the way. Over the years people would occasionally ask why we don't have cats, and I was always quick to point out that "we don't like them".  Which I believed to be the truth.

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Saturday, 18 August 2018

The magic of the Internet

I was never a person with many friends. In fact, my (perceived) lack of friends was my number 1 worry for all of my childhood, teenage years, and early/middle (is that what you call your twenties and early thirties?) adulthood. I was never completely friend-less; but I always worried about 
a) the ones I had leaving me 
b) I should have more friends
c) not having the "right" (aka "cool") friends
d) being a bad friend, because I'm a terrible person
e) ending up alone. 
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Thursday, 16 August 2018

Say my name

A name is powerful. It's part of our identity, it makes us feel recognized, and knowing other people's names makes us feel more comfortable in their presence. If you've ever been in a trauma room with a dozen nurses, doctors, paramedics, respiratory therapists, x-ray techs, and a bunch of others and you try to coordinate who is doing what, you know that it's exceedingly difficult to do that when you don't know people's names. Trust me, I speak from experience.

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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

What is home?


I walk in, and all I notice is the institutionalized wall colour (you know the one), the fluorescent lights, and a sea of strange faces. Old me would have hidden behind her desk for as long as possible, talking little, always the new girl, even after a year of employment. 
But I'm determined to make the most of this experience, so I tell my introverted self to put her big girl panties on, take a deep breath, and venture out. 
I'm doing what I said in my interview I would: I'm approaching people and introduce myself. I'm wearing my name badge, because isn't it so much easier to remember a name when you've seen it written down? 
And without a fail, everybody smiles and welcomes me warmly. My heart lifts.
Once I'm back at my desk I write down all the new names with a brief description, so I will learn them quicker. 
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Friday, 10 August 2018

The town of deer

I wake up and pull the dogs close, showering them with kisses and hugging them a little bit too hard. 
I also hug Rich a little bit too hard, a few times too often, until he pushes me away gently and tells me, "dragging it out won't make it any easier. You have to go now." He is right, of course, but when I turn away for the final time I have to take several deep breaths to prevent myself from crying. I lift my blue suitcase into my trunk, give Lily a last kiss on the nose, and then I start the car. I slowly make my way up the driveway, watching the foals gallop around the field, tails high up in the air and loving life. I fill up the goats' water bucket, wave goodbye at them and then I'm really off. It's 5:45 in the morning.
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Tuesday, 7 August 2018

The best days of our lives haven't happened yet

I'm floating down the river, with blue sky and sunshine above me, my friends and family around me, and the eagles soaring quietly above us, much closer than they are on land. I'm feeling so content and at peace that I can't contain myself, and I shout out to anyone who's close enough to listen: "This is the happiest day of my life!" My sister yells back, "I feel the same way!", and the joy I feel about sharing this special moment with her is indescribable. 
Later that day we will ride in the back of our pick-up truck, warm wind blowing in our hair, holding on tight to the tubes so they don't fly away, shrieking with laughter and excited for that night's barbecue, bonfire, and birthday celebration in honour of my love.
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Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Best (and worst) of July

July felt like a long month - maybe because quite a few (little) things happened? Instead of my usual monthly round-up, I decided to write this post diary-style, with lots of photos.

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Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Why you need a mission statement for your life

Do you have a mission statement for your life?
I've always wanted one. When I started being active on social media (which was 11 years ago on Facebook - I didn't have MySpace like the cool kids, because I'm always several years behind the trends), one of the first hurdles I encountered was the "describe yourself" section. Who was I? If you've read my memoir, you will know that figuring out who the hell I am has been a problem I've struggled with for most of my life. I vaguely remember taking the coward's way out and stating some obvious facts (wife, sister, dog-lover), because I simply didn't know.

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Friday, 27 July 2018

New adventure ahead!

"I would like to offer you the job. Will you accept it?"
"Of course I will! I take it!"

And just like that, I have a new job!

Remember when I was annoyingly vague last week, talking about taking uncertain steps into the future?
That's what this was all about. I applied for a job 2 weeks ago, had my interview last week, and received the job offer yesterday. 
So far, so easy, right? Well - it comes with a twist.
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