Monday, 30 April 2018

Best (and worst) of April

Omg guys, April was a BIG month for me. Honestly, I don't even know where to start, so how about we take a look at the 1-second-a-day video? Okay, let's do that:

Lots and lots of great stuff happened, and almost nothing bad! Let's break it down:

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Friday, 27 April 2018

What the old cowboy told me

"Making a bad decision is better than no decision at all" the old cowboy says, looking at me fiercely, as if daring me to disagree with him. There's no danger of that - he's a formidable guy, tall and lean and wrinkled, with the wisdom of the old and proud who have lived a very full life. 

Besides, I happen to agree with him. We are so afraid to choose poorly, to make a wrong turn somewhere, that it seems easier to wait and weigh all the options for a little bit longer. But the longer we wait to make a decision, the harder it gets, and here is the real kicker: it's impossible to know beforehand if a decision will turn out to be the right one. So in a way, all the agonizing, the sleepless nights, the list-making and the weighing of pros and cons are futile. Ironic, isn't it?

That's the thing about life: we try our hardest to plan, to make the future as safe and predictable as possible - but our apparent control over our life is really an illusion. We can't foresee what turns our lives are going to take. There are too many elements out of our hands: economy, weather, illness, other people, love and loss. 
We can try to be the best possible person for our partner, but do we have real control over whether they stay or leave? No.
We can work hard at our job, show up every day, never late, never calling in sick, but do we have real control over whether the company will stay in business? Or if there will be a downsizing? Or if new management takes over, changing everything? No. 
We can try to be as healthy as possible, eat our greens and exercise and don't smoke and drink in moderation, but does that guarantee us healthy, long lives? Sadly, no. 

There are no guarantees in life. 
And while that sounds scary and awful and may make you want to curl up in a ball and give up now, here is the other piece of advice the old cowboy imparts on me:

"Never give up," he continues, settling in more comfortably. "I have never given up in my life. Once, I hobbled along on crutches for 4 days, with no food or water, until someone finally picked me up. I was starving and dehydrated, but did I give up? No. Never."

Because here is the thing: while we may not have much control about what is going to happen to us, we have all the control in the world over how we are going to react to it
Also, here is the other great relief: once you realize that there isn't really a right or wrong decision to make, it takes an immense amount of pressure off, doesn't it?

Here's the third thing the old cowboy tells me: "When I get to the top of the mountain and see the valley spread out below, I always stop to look at it. Because it's so beautiful, isn't it? It's so beautiful." 

The old cowboy doffs his hat and leaves.

Here is what I've learned to be true:
Out of the biggest tragedy can grow the biggest joy.
What we think we can't survive will, in fact,  make us so strong that we can do things we never thought we would be capable of doing.
There is beauty everywhere, if we stop to see it.

The old cowboy, of course, is right.


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Sunday, 22 April 2018

50 life lessons

I love nothing more than the lessons life has to offer. Living with a 25-year older man has many advantages, but one of the most useful ones is life advice. He's made all the mistakes, and if he hasn't, his friends have. This doesn't necessarily mean that I won't make the same mistakes myself (after all, that seems to be the only way we humans learn), but at least I got a head start!
Here are 50 pieces of useful advice I've learnt thus far:


1. Believe in love.
2. When you find it, hold on to it and never let go.
3. Expect life to be hard sometimes. It will be.
4. Expect marriage to be hard sometimes. It will be.
5. Never give up. Brighter days will come! They  always do.
6. There will be pain in your life, because nobody gets away from that. But there will be so much more joy!
7. Never say no to a piece of cake or a glass of champagne.
8. Find a passion in life that makes you feel alive and do it often.
9. Stop dieting and start living. What counts in life are great experiences, laughter and friendship, not a random number on the scale.
10. Counting calories is a waste of your beautiful, creative mind.
11. Enjoy food. It's one of the greatest pleasures in life, and sharing a meal with others is one of the greatest joys. Don't ruin that for yourself by denying yourself certain foods.
12. Seriously guys, don't give up fresh, warm bread. It's one of the best reasons to be alive!
13. Never stop moving. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
14. When it comes to exercise: 10 minutes is better than zero minutes. This rule also applies to writing, house work, and personal hygiene. 
15. Don't worry about things that are out of your control, like the weather, other people, or whatever the latest trend is.
16. Don't give a shit about trends. Buy what you like!
17. Don't give a shit about fashion "rules". Wear what you like!
18. Don't believe the lie that aging is something to be ashamed of. Wear your battle scars (wrinkles, grey hair, stretch marks, etc.) with pride!
19. Other people's opinions about you have less to do with you and more with them. Feel free to ignore them.
20. You don't have to explain yourself to people. They are not entitled to know everything you do.
21. Stop buying stuff - it will weigh you down and stress you out.
22. Seriously: the more you have, the more you have to worry about.
23. When the sun shines, stop what you do, close your eyes, and turn your face towards its warmth. Repeat daily.
24. Listen to the birds sing.
25. Invite friends over even if your house isn't clean. If they're true friends, they won't care, and if they're not, who cares?


26. Spend more time with your loved ones, and less time working.
27. Work to live, not vice versa.
28. Do everything in moderation, including moderation (quote by Oscar Wilde).
29. If you need a day in bed, hiding away from the world, take it. You will feel better the next day.
30. Naps are the secret to a healthy happy well rested life!
31. There is no such thing as perfection.
32. Remember: 99% of what you see online is other people's highlight reel. Don't compare your everyday life to their highly edited, filtered, and censored moments.
33. Walk away from negative people. Life's too short for unnecessary drama. 
34. Don't try to "fit in". You will meet people you can be yourself with. Wait for them. They are worth it.
35. Stop trying so hard. Relax. Be yourself. You're amazing!
36. Forgive. Not for them, but for your own peace of mind.
37. Forgive your parents. They probably tried their best. Parenting is hard, and we all do the best we can.
38. Accept. There will be things in your life you wish you could change, but you can't. Accept it.
39. If you find the perfect black dress, buy it! Those are rarer to find than unicorns.
40. Ditto for jeans. The perfect pair of jeans is basically a myth, so if you find it, buy 5 pairs of them, become best friends with the store clerk, and have her email you every time they have a sale. If they do that, name your firstborn after them. She/he's worth it.
41. Don't focus on how you look in a swim suit. Jump into the water and focus on how amazing it feels against your skin!
42. Don't wait for your life to start 10 pounds from now. Live it now.
43. Don't ever deny yourself an experience because you think you don't look good enough. Do everything, right now!
44: Cooking a turkey dinner is a lot easier than it sounds. I promise! You got this.
45. If you're sad, cry. It will make you feel better.
46. If you're happy, dance! It will make you feel even more amazing!
47. Accept that you will never stop being scared. Face your fear, and do it anyway.
48. Write a list of everything you want in life. Then, work towards it. Trust me: writing that list will be the hardest part.
49. Get yourself a pet. Or better yet, many pets
50. Life is short. Go and live it NOW!



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Tuesday, 17 April 2018

My husband wants bright yellow

We're currently in the process of deciding what colour we want to paint our house, and for once in our lives, my husband wants to go brighter than me.
I love colour. I'm the one with dibs on going colour-crazy, with my husband having the role of trying to talk me down. 
Yet, here we find ourselves, roles reversed, with me being clueless about how this suddenly happened. 

Maybe it's because he was so sick, he thought he might die?
Maybe it's because he is so much farther over the hump, he's more aware of the preciousness of every day?
Maybe it's because he once saw a house that was so outrageously, in-your-face happy and unique and out there, he wanted to have a house just like it?

I'm concerned because yellow won't fit into the neighbourhood. 
It won't fit into 'the landscape'.
It won't be subdued. 
Nor discreet. 

It will be cheerful, obnoxiously so. 
It will practically shout: 'Live a little louder'!
It will remind my husband of the best house he ever saw.
It will make us both laugh.

Life is short.
Have a yellow house while you can.



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Sunday, 15 April 2018

UPDATE: I'm now shipping to the US and Europe as well!

Hi guys, happy Sunday!
I'm just popping in to let you know that I figured out a way to ship my book now only within Canada, but also to the US! It's 5 CAD more, which works out to be about 20 USD. For some reason, shipping from Canada is weirdly expensive, but I think that's a good solution!

I do ship to Europe as well, but it's 15 CAD more, so you might be better off to wait until it's available on Amazon

To get your signed copy, click here!

Thank you for your support, it means the world to me. This is such a new experience for me, and it's definitely faaaaaaar outside my comfort zone. But I'm not complaining, it's the wildest ride I've ever been on! 

Thank you!!!

xo Miriam


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Friday, 13 April 2018

Get your signed copy now!


My baby is here!!!
If you're following me on social media, you already know that my biggest dream has come true: my book arrived last week. It's not officially released until June 5, but I had my publisher send me 100 copies, and after staring at the big pile of books in my room all week, I've decided that now is the time to release them into the wild!

I will sell some signed books right here, starting today!

Click here to order!


Langley peeps, if you want to shop locally and support the Langley Hospital, you can buy a copy at the Langley Memorial Hospital gift shop! The books will be available there from April 23 onward!

Thank you all for all the congratulations and well-wishes over this past week. This is the most exciting and surreal time of my life, and I still have to pinch myself daily to make sure I'm not dreaming. 

Please let me know in the comments if something isn't working, as per usual I'm figuring it out as I go!

Lots of love to you all,

Miriam

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Sunday, 8 April 2018

When dreams come true

I hike up the hill, breathless and soaking wet. The rain is pounding down mercilessly, but it suits my current mood: I'm desperate. My tears mix with the rain, both rolling down my cheeks unchecked. I don't bother wiping my soaking-wet face, choosing instead to howl with the wind. 
"What am I supposed to do now?" I scream into the storm, startling my dog Roxy who is scampering along next to me, undisturbed by the rain and wind.

I fucked up, big time. And I got busted. Over the last several weeks, I've skipped school more often than I attended it, opting to hang out with the coolest kid from school instead. I'm fed up with it all. I'm 18, scared of the future, unable to figure out what I want to do after graduation, and I've had enough of being the good girl. I've been the good girl all my life, and where has it left me? Feeling afraid, insecure and completely clueless. So I checked out for a while, hanging out at the lake, the pub, or simply driving around with Frank, the other rebel. 
But one of my teachers ran to my parents and told them all about it, and they are majorly pissed. And even worse: disappointed. Is there anything worse for a people-pleaser than disappointing her parents? I don't think so.
So here I am, walking around in the rain, desperately searching for a solution to make it all good again. I thought I was a rebel, but I'm not cut out for it: all I want is for my parents to like me again. 
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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Saying yes to love is the bravest thing I have ever done


Hi friends! I just wanted to let you know that my friend Liz from Be Love Live celebrated 7 years of blogging on April 1! Happy Blogiversary Liz! 🎉🎈 

She decided to celebrate all month long (why not?), and asked me and a few other people if we'd like to guest post on her blog. Hells yes! 

I wrote about the history of my boyfriends, how I was told at 15 that love doesn't exist (by my mom!), and how a certain someone taught me that actually, love not only does exist, but that it can move mountains. 

You can read it right here: Saying yes to love is the bravest thing I have ever done.

Happy Wednesday! Only two more days until the weekend. I think we'll make it.

xoxo Miriam


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Monday, 2 April 2018

Best (and worst) of March

March was the first month since October that was really good. Yay! It contained many of the things that make life worth living: bonfires, rainbows, good friends, dog walks, yoga, and - strippers?
Yes, our daughter (!) took us to a strip bar (!!!) in the middle of the month, and it was hilarious. If you pay attention to the video, you will see her (the stripper, not our daughter) twirl around the pole at 0:09 in the video.

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