Tag Archives: awareness

What the 2010s Meant To Me

New Year's festivitiesIn recent weeks, not only have we been bombarded with retrospectives from the last year, but as with any year ending with a “9”, we’ve seen our lives flashing before our eyes with scenes from the last decade as well.

One evening, as I was stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic (again!), just for fun, I asked myself what were my own favourite moments of the last decade.

It was a fun activity that completely took me out of the drudgery of traffic. My spirits were lifted as I rattled off a list of great memories. When I got home, I took out the iPad and started noting them, one-by-one. In the days that followed, more ideas kept coming to mind and the list continued to grow.

Just like everybody else, I experienced personal and professional highs and lows. But it was because these experiences that I will remember this decade fondly as the one where I experienced the greatest and most significant personal growth.

Despite what I thought was a pretty good tool kit for handling stress, this past decade offered a pressure cooker of situations that tested my tool kit to its limits when anxiety took over. With the help of a psychotherapist, I was able to establish better boundaries which not only contributed to enhancing that tool kit, but also helped to prevent some situations from festering into anxiety in the first place. Continue reading

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New Year’s Resolution 2018: Inner Peace (Again!)

When I look back on last year’s blog post “Resolution: Inner Peace”, I remember how tired I was with the status quo at that time. For someone who is usually seen as positive, upbeat and generally calm, cool and collected, something just wasn’t right. Even in life’s quietest moments, I found my core jumping into “fight or flight” mode and didn’t know why. Little stressors were sparking up stronger reactions within me and anxiety was starting to take over.

I also found myself having a hard time letting go of chapters that were seemingly concluded. This wasn’t me! As this prolonged over time, I found my energy was heading downhill.

Despite having a huge tool kit of stress management techniques that I had accumulated over the years, I just couldn’t keep these stressors in check and to get past them. Negative emotions were festering and growing. I couldn’t get the upper hand on the situation and I didn’t know why.

I felt like I was headed the wrong way down a one-way street and getting farther away from the more serene self that I aspire to be. My 2017 resolution for seeking out inner peace was probably the best declaration I ever made. I was prepared for change.

Three anxiety attacks into 2017, I had hit my limit. It was time to seek help. My referral to a psychotherapist was the catalyst that helped me begin to break the cycle of anxiety.

But it wasn’t easy. I would say this was one of the toughest projects I had ever undertaken, having to recall and relive many of the stressors throughout my lifetime to find out what they had in common. Continue reading

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Ivy’s Mysterious Past

When it comes to Ivy the cat, I have to say, I am incredibly lucky. She is a happy cat, relaxed, content, healthy as can be and a delight to have around. She is clearly an extrovert as she loves to be around people and she appears pretty calm around other animals.

After 7 months, she has no doubt of who her adoptive daddy is. I am always here to ensure her needs are met, including a lot of time for play and for chilling together. When I head out the door, she is sad to see me go, even if it is just to put her poop bag in the garbage outside, and she always greets me with open paws when I get home from work.

But every once in a while, she will do a little something out of character that has me asking, “Where did that come from?” Aside from meowing like an ambulance from time to time, she really is perfect in every way which makes a rare quirk easy to disregard, but still makes me very curious as to why.

When she ran into that little feline parasite thing about 4 months ago, I called the Ottawa Humane Society to check into her immunization and treatment history to confirm what else she may require to be completely up to date. At the same time, I had a chance to ask a bit more about her back story from her life as a stray and how long she had been living life “on the streets”.

I teared up to think about little Miss Ivy (currently Queen of this household) living a life of rooting through people’s garbage, looking for shelter, living outside through a winter that seemingly never ended, with no place to call home or a human to call her own to offer her affection whenever she wanted. Who knows how she was able to survive.

I get images of her standing on the street corner, posing by a cardboard recycling bin, with a cigarette in her right paw, seductively meowing to crusty old tomcats, “You wanna date?” just to find warmth and shelter, even if just for a few minutes. How was she able to sustain her catnip habit? Did she have to turn to a life of “pet”-ty crime? It must have been a very dark and lonely life. Continue reading

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