March 26, 2023 · 8:40 am
I recently had the good fortune of watching a 2019 episode of Oprah Winfrey’s “Super Soul Sunday” in which she interviewed philanthropist Melinda Gates.
This episode in particular was a bit of an “a-ha”, validating moment for me when Ms. Gates explained that instead of choosing a New Year’s resolution, Ms. Gates prefers to choose a word of the year to guide her actions.
This CNBC article explains:
The wow moment for me was that I had already been doing that for years!
When trying to slay the dragons of perfectionism, “don’t sweat the small stuff” and “let it go” figured prominently as my words/expressions of the year.
Regular readers might remember blog posts from 2017 and 2018 in which “inner peace” was my intention, to try to gain the upper hand over anxiety. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Inspiring, mental health
Tagged as delight, delightful, energy, happiness, happy, joy, kind, kindness, positive, resolution, serendipity, word of the year
January 8, 2023 · 9:14 am
I don’t know if it’s just me, but even after several decades on the planet, I can still get that giddy energy I did when I was a kid and sometimes find myself too excited to sleep.
When I was growing up, I remember being afflicted with that joyful sense of sleeplessness before my birthday, before Christmas, before summer holidays and before the first day of school (not for the school part itself, but to see my friends and favourite teachers again).
In the younger days of adulthood, I had those same moments but for different reasons. The start of a new job, an upcoming trip, a first date and the move to a new dwelling all brought with them a jolt of energy that could leave me looking a bit tired and puffy-eyed the next day.
A decade later, I noticed a shift to more experience-based reasons for being excited like once-in-a-lifetime concerts, Broadway shows, unique travel destinations, and celebratory meals with friends and family.
I get a chuckle out of how I’d even get too excited to sleep the night before the delivery of a new kitchen appliance. If that’s not an adult thing, I don’t know what is. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Health and Wellness, Humour, stories
Tagged as anticipation, blessings, energy, enthusiasm, gratitude, insomnia, joy, passion, positive, relaxation, rest, sleep, sleeplessness
December 18, 2022 · 8:03 am
Not too long ago, I was having a discussion with the cat, trying to nudge her along in her morning routine so that I could get back to the computer and my latest writing project.
The words out of my mouth made me pause for thought: “Please Ivy, Daddy needs to get back to work.”
I think that I said the word “work” out of habit more than anything else. But I started questioning whether it really was the most appropriate word to describe the fun I have pursuing my calling for writing and storytelling.
If you have read any of my blog posts over the last eight years, you know that this what I have been preparing for, to apply everything I’ve learned about writing through the years and being able to create for the pure enjoyment of it.
It was my #1 plan for my retirement years, and I am finally at the desk, downloading ideas from my brain, at a rate that sometimes surprises myself. With so many writing projects that have been buzzing around in my head for years, I feel like I am in a pretty crazy catch-up mode.
But is it “work”? To me, it doesn’t feel like it.
The various definitions online seem to follow a common core, but some are tainted with a negative slant or synonyms like “toil”, “exertion”, “drudgery” and “grind.” Continue reading →
Filed under Humour, stories, Writing
Tagged as bias, connotations, Definition, energy, meaningful, negative, positive, positivity, societal, society, synonymous, uplifting, work
April 25, 2021 · 9:37 am
This past week, as I was out for the once-per-week, masked, sanitized, and respectfully socially-distanced grocery store run, I had one of those moments that have become all too familiar.
As I turned my king-sized grocery cart around a corner, I was disappointed to see someone going in the wrong direction, completely contrary to the arrows on the ground. I asked myself, after 13 months of Covid-19, have we not gotten the choreography down yet?
But before the cranky old man within me had a chance to fully surface and irritate me for the rest of the grocery run, the grocery store’s speaker system launched into the first notes of Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up the Sun”.
As I started humming along (hey, if there’s only 25 people allowed in the store at one time, I can softly hum with a smile under my mask) my mood instantly changed and the non-compliant grocery shopper was already deleted from my consciousness.
When you review the lyrics, it’s not like “Soak Up the Sun” is one of the cheeriest songs ever written, but the chorus, the music and its associated music video convey to me a certain lightness and free-spiritedness that have often helped me let go of some of the little irritants in life.
Have you ever noticed how songs seem to have that power over us, to – please forgive the cliché – turn a frown upside down? And have you ever been in a situation where you are driving around, enjoying a string of one good song after another, and actually hoping for red lights to slow down your commute to enjoy the tunes?
Much like with “Soak Up the Sun”, it doesn’t always have to be about uplifting lyrics, sometimes it can be all about the music itself and a skillful arrangement that just strikes the right notes to raise ones spirits or even better, to energize. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Inspiring, Lists, music, pop culture
Tagged as energy, good mood, happy, joy, lift, mood, music, positive, spirits, trigger, tunes, uplifting
July 22, 2018 · 8:11 am
It surprises me when I think that this fall, the blog will be five years old. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was sweating bullets before hitting the “Enter” button, wondering if anyone would actually read it and if they did, would anyone like it and continue reading?
Thanks to you, dear readers, I am still at it. Your wonderful feedback has made it a delight to keep tapping into my passion and to keep working on written material for you, week after week.
Over the years, I have sometimes asked myself if I needed to change the blog’s direction: Should I challenge myself with more topical posts? Should my posts be more serious? Should I use my blog for stronger opinion pieces?
When I listen to my conscience, the answer is an easy no.
From a very young age, Erma Bombeck was my literary hero. I was inspired by her books that shared her insight and observations on suburban family life, with joy, love and a healthy dose of self-deprecating humour.
She connected with tens of thousands of readers through laughter and humanity. For me, that is admirable and serves a definite purpose.
Deep down, there is a little bit of Erma inside of me that inspires and informs the way I write, but my writing style and choice of topics are stamped with my own writer’s fingerprint: Continue reading →
Filed under Inspiring, Writing
Tagged as authentic, authenticity, blogger, blogging process, compassion, direction, energy, enthusiasm, Erma Bombeck, heart, inspiration, journalist, joy, kindness, life, mission, passion, positive, positivity, reason, serious, subjects, topical, topics, values, vision, writer
February 24, 2016 · 6:25 pm
On a recent drive to work, I marvelled at how traffic seemed unusually better. It was mid-week, there should have been more traffic, there was a light snow falling, the roads were a little greasy, there could have been accidents, but I was making it to work in record time. I was one exit away from my destination when I dared to say out loud “Wow, I made it in good time!”
BIG MISTAKE!… HUGE!
As soon as I turned the corner after that big overpass, there were line-ups galore. There was indeed an accident ahead, backing up traffic in all lanes. You would think I would have known better.
It just seems that I have a talent for making joyful upbeat comments like that and then for something to come along and prove me wrong… within seconds.
I think it’s a talent, my partner thinks otherwise. Funny enough, he knows exactly when I am about to say one of those, as I don’t even have to open my mouth and he will interject with a smile, “Don’t say it!”, pre-empting my overly positive observation. But he is absolutely right.
Similarly, have you ever noticed how a fresh litter box will usually get a cat’s bladder or bowels (or both) moving within minutes? Or how a clean kitchen floor becomes an instant food magnet? These are the types of situations I am referring to.
I am not suggesting that the litter box or kitchen should not be cleaned. Quite the contrary, keep those spotless, but don’t forget to laugh when your bright and sunny achievement is suddenly obscured by big dark clouds. It is just proof that life itself comes with sense of humour too.
I hear I am not alone. Do you recognize any of these sayings which usually lead to less than ideal results?
1-“It’s late February and I still haven’t caught a cold this season”.
2-“That wasn’t so hard” (before the task has been fully completed).
3-“I haven’t had a speeding/parking ticket in x years”.
4-“I haven’t had an accident in x years.
5-“Hey, it’s been weeks since (insert name of pet) has jumped on a counter”.
6-“That has never happened to me!”
7-“We made good time (before arriving).”
8-“Oh good, the line/queue is finally moving.” Continue reading →
Filed under Humour
Tagged as bad luck, comedy, Curse, humor, humour, Jinx, listicle, Lists, Murphy's Law, optimism, positive, positive thinking, schedule, superstition, weather
January 25, 2015 · 7:44 am
Once she finished her story, her head fell to her outstretched hands as she began to sob. Clearly she was struggling with all of her might under the back-breaking weight of the recent events and of this tumultuous time.
Instinctively, I was filled with words of encouragement:
“I am so sorry for what you have been through. That must have been like choosing between a rock and a hard place but I think you did the right thing by not putting all your eggs in the same basket. Drastic times call for drastic measures, even if it means going out on a limb but instead it goes down like a lead balloon.
Clearly he was forbidden fruit but you still thought it would be like taking candy from a baby. I know you thought you were like two peas in a pod, but he was a hard nut to crack and then you ended up with egg on your face when you thought you could have your cake and eat it too. I am sorry to say, too many cooks spoiled the broth.
Unfortunately, when you play with fire, you’re going to get burned and sometimes you have to eat crow.
Then, how you got out of the frying pan and into the fire with another rotten apple… that was quite the pickle! Continue reading →