Tag Archives: energy

Choose Happy

13 Jan

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Over the Christmas break I was having a very funny conversation with my parents about someone who is particularly difficult to deal with – historically and present day.  I said to my Dad ‘how can that person not recognize how off-putting and polarizing their behavior is?’  Dad said ‘I think a lot of it is genetic and it isn’t going to change in this instance.’  He said ‘just like intelligence, some people are smart and some people are negative.’  I’ve always been adverse to such ways, but with age I have become even more turned off by it.  As in, I literally find myself tuning out of conversations where the outlook is negative or critical of others.  As I get ready for my day I listen to podcasts.  I start off my day  listening to inspiring talks with inspiring people.  Today it was Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations and she was talking to Gretchen Rubin who wrote The Happiness Project.   It was 32 minutes of I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THAT content.  She stated that happiness is actually 50% genetic, so it seems that my Pa was correct!  It got me thinking about happiness and how it is such a prevalent topic.  How do you find it?  How do you stay happy?  Why are some people more happy than others even though they have less or have more challenges?  Why are some people never happy?

I’ve always been a naturally ‘happy’ person.  I generally see the positive side of things and I always remain optimistic.  I guess we can say that is 50% because of my genetics, but what about the other 50%?   Or let’s say 40% because no one is 100% happy or positive (and anyone who acts like every single thing is amazing is covering something up).   Believe me, there are times when I feel like giving the finger, I’ve done my fair share of gossiping (and complaining) and I’ve been in a relationship that definitely brought me down.  And I am now 37 and single – not what I envisioned when I was younger.  Some days the inner cynic in me comes out, but I genuinely try to kick those shitty thoughts to the curb.

To exemplify what I am talking about, I will give you a little window into my world.  When I wake up in the morning I send a few girlfriends (who need a little pump up) positive thoughts, videos or quotes for the day.  It is therapeutic for me too.  Millie (my dog) and I head out for the day – I never used to listen to music when I walk, but now I do.  As I trot along I often find myself singing out loud to the songs I am listening to.  The music puts a little more bounce in my step and it has been a great addition to my morning.   We walk to my brothers house where we scoop their Golden Retriever (who is always pumped to see us).  Along the way to the office we talk to many people who love dogs.  In particular, there is a guy who asks for money on Spring Garden Road and we walk by him most days.  The dogs LOVE him, and so most mornings we stop to chat with him.  The dogs lean into him, lick him and just give him a big dose of love.  Earlier this week he told me that he watches for us every morning and that seeing the dogs is the best part of his day.   (Heart warmer!!)   I am sure he is invisible to most people, but the dogs treat him like he is the best thing since sliced bread.  After that we make our way my way to the office to start the day.    This past Wednesday it was super icy.  Black ice everywhere along the way.   When I got to my office I changed from my sensible winter walking shoes to my ‘not so sensible for the winter booties’ (they are leopard so that should indicate their level of their uselessness in winter).  Shortly after arriving I had to pop out for a meeting which was only a block from my office.  Forgetting about the black ice I stepped off my office steps with great vigor (at the same time two guys were walking by).  My front foot hit the ice and slid forward while my back foot was still on the step.  I literally did a full Nadia Comeneci style splits.  I popped back up (in my dress) in record time to the boys saying “Oh wow, ahhhhh, are you okay?” to which I said “Oh yes, I am fine!’  I took one step forward and BAM I went down again.  This time a face plant type of fall.  I again popped right back up and one guy said to the other ‘Take her hand man’.  I said laughing ‘No, no, I got it.  I am going to walk gingerly now.  I didn’t even rip my tights and I gave you guys your story for the day!’  We all had a solid laugh and I made my way to my meeting.  My hands were burning from hitting the pavement and my legs were wet.  The meeting was with a mom who recently lost her 43 year old daughter to ovarian cancer over Christmas.  Talk about a way to snap back out of your own shit and be grateful for everything you have.

What I am getting at – the other 40% is within you.   It is how you choose to use your time, control your thoughts, perceptions and reactions to life.   I dated someone who made lots of money and he was one of the most negative creatures I’ve ever met.  Happiness doesn’t come from money.  I’ve met people who are married and they complain endlessly about their partner.  Happiness doesn’t come from having a partner (or how they behave).  I’ve met people who have great jobs, but they are miserable.  Happiness doesn’t come from your job.  I know people who are beautiful and thin, but they are insecure and self critical.  Happiness doesn’t come from being beautiful or skinny.  I’ve met people who have all of the nicest things (big house, cars, clothes, travel) their heart could desire, but they aren’t happy.  Happiness doesn’t come from things.

As my very wise brother told me once upon a time – life is mostly made up of choices.  Most of the parts of your life are choices you made:  the big house (that you might have to work your ass off to pay for), the job (that you are spending too much time at to pay for the house), the partner, the kids, the commitments and the list goes on. Now don’t get me wrong folks – there is nothing wrong with a nice house, a busy job, wanting to climb the ladder or having nice things.   I am talking about your attitude towards it.  How do you treat other people, do you complain, do you feel stressed, do you feel joy?   Life is going to throw curveballs at us – lots of shitty things happen that we can’t control.  If you’re already off balance when those things happen it is going to be a real challenge.  One of my dearest friends lost her Dad unexpectedly on Christmas Day.  The support she has received from others is amazing because she is awesome and always goes out of her way to help others.  You get out what you put in.

Everyone’s idea of what makes you happy is different.  I dare you to do a few things that make you feel happy – it will make your day better and anyone who you come in contact with too.  As one of my favorite quotes states: Awesome things will happen today if you choose not to be a miserable cow.

 

 

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What a difference a year makes…

6 Oct

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Last weekend I had the great fortune of going to Montreal with girlfriends to see Adele in concert.  I told my younger male cousin I was going to see her and he replied ‘Wow, that is really cool.  But what do you do just stand there and cry the whole time?’  I can see how he would think that seeing as 90% of her songs are about past relationships and breakups.

Last year at this time I went through a breakup (I didn’t write any songs about it) and although I feel 100% thankful to be outta that relationship, it certainly wasn’t a fun experience.  One year ago this weekend it was coming to a breaking point – I wasn’t feeling so ‘thankful’ last Thanksgiving.  It culminated on a trip to Ireland a week later when I had to hold myself back from pushing him off the Cliffs of Maher.  I won’t get into specifics, but I put on my big girl panties and forged forward.  Life can be tough, but so am I. What a difference a year makes.

I was 35 then and I am now 36.  I’ve never been one to be preoccupied with what I ‘should’ be doing at particular ages, but sometimes it does come to mind when your friends/siblings are celebrating anniversaries and having kids.  I’ve gone to more wedding showers, weddings, baby showers, baptisms and housewarmings than I can count.   But then I snap back to my reality and stop comparing myself to others.  So, I am not married and I don’t have kids.  I’ve always hated the term ‘baggage’ when referring to ones children, past relationships, etc.  It is quite funny at this age as it seems having ‘baggage’ is the norm and if you don’t there might be something wrong with you too.  Do you have children. No?  Have you been married? No.  Why not?  Jesus, ummm, because I haven’t met someone I want to get married to and have kids with?

When I think of it I don’t often hear people who are married claim that they are ‘so happy’.  Is it really the be-all-end-all?   With maturity I’ve realized that being ‘happy’ isn’t obtained through someone else and if anything being single allows you to really know yourself, stand on your own, develop interests, exercise, go out of your comfort zone, maintain tight friendships, volunteer and travel – which are all things that contribute to making you feel ‘happy’ and things I do on a daily basis.  Of course companionship, having a partner and getting some arse adds to that.

Dog-park John, I know you are reading this and I know you are hoping for some funny stuff.   Of course with being single comes dating and it always seems great stories follow me wherever I go.   The main difference with dating now is that online seems to be the main way people meet and with that comes the reality that people are dating multiple people at the same time.    God in the past it took a $100 investment to maybe find someone to go on a date with – new dress, wine, taxi, cover charge, drinks — only to have some greaser who was too drunk hit on you.   Now, in the comfort of your home in your pjs you can swipe through the local talent.  I am very selective, so I really haven’t had any of the horror stories I’ve heard from other women, but my very first date was far from ideal.  Since all of the men who come into my life acquire terms of reference; let’s call him ‘Chef Clooney’ because he was a chef and looked like a dramatic George Clooney in his pics.  Well he didn’t look like that in person.  We went for sushi and his phone rang in the middle of dinner.  He said he had to take it (but stayed at the table).  For the next 13 minutes he slaughtered his ex on the phone with whomever he was talking to.  Do you know how long 13 minutes feels when you are sitting at a table with someone who you are not attracted to listening to them talk about their ex having Chrons and how he made her special food and how since he pays her phone bills he knows who she talks to.  WTF???  I’ve never eaten a maki roll so fast or felt more suddenly tired.  There has been many dates since then from setups to online and every way in between.  Other than ‘Australian Peter’ no one has really turned my head until recently.  Let’s call this guy ‘The Actor’ (because he is one for his job and perhaps figuratively too). It took a bit for our schedules to collide, but when they did a real collision happened. Although I am an open creature I generally keep my cards pretty close, but this guy he laid it on real thick – you are hot, you are smart, you are funny, you are interesting, your eyes, your voice, your smell.  Flattered and feeling like a super model – he got under my skin with his sense of humor, cleverness, commonalities, comfort and cuteness.  Over the next bit we saw each other/talked a lot.  He came to a big event I organized for my work (which was kind of a big deal as the tickets were pricey and it was the same night as a big event for his industry).  He said I was very impressive.  And then.  Pouf!  He kind of vanished.   Leaves a girl wondering… oh it MUST be because he is newly separated, oh it MUST be because he is busy at work (and you know how men can’t handle more than one thing at a time), oh it MUST be because we’ve both been travelling.  Yesterday while at work my phone rang in the middle of the afternoon and there he was.  Just like a groundhog he came out of his hole.  In reality he is dating multiple people and juggling ladies just like a circus performer – and he is newly separated, busy with work and we’ve both been travelling.  A few years ago a 44 year old newly single guy would be relegated to being set up or dragging his married buddies to the bar to seek out some babes.  Now all you have to do is throw a couple pictures up and boom you have access to many other single people.  This is the reality of new age dating.  Temptation Island and ‘the next best thing’ is at your fingertips.  All the time.  It is like being on a real life episode of The Bachelor.  And for a newly seperated 44 year old guy I am sure that is quite a pump to the ego.

So here I am one year latet – I don’t live in my very nice house anymore and my eggs are one year older.  The only two (sort of) negative things I can think of.  I do have a sweet place of my own and in the last year I’ve  travelled lots, done great work, volunteered, learned new skills, spent terrific times with friends/family and met many fabulous men.  And who knows, maybe someday this Lochness Monster of a man I am looking for will saunter into my life.  If and when that happens it will be amazing, but in the meantime I am quite happy writing the story of my life as a single girl.

 

You won’t believe what happened…

28 Jul

Today a bird shit on me.  Almost a year ago to the day a bird shit on me.  I am not sure what I did to attract that action, but most of the time the stuff I attract is at least funny, almost always good and very seldom is it shitty.  It always amazes me when random things happen.  Of all the places for my feet to be, of all the moments in the day and all the places my eyes could have been looking…

Now that the weather is nice I’ve changed my morning routine around.   I used to take the dog over to a green space near my place, throw the ball for a half hour, return home, get ready and then walk up Citadel Hill on my way to the office.  Now, I get ready for work and leave in time to go for at least an hours walk before hitting my paid duties.  I’ve been walking the waterfront before climbing back up the hills of Halifax to eventually end up at my office.  As I was following this route something so incredibly funny happened the other day.  I don’t normally listen to music when I am walking as I like to be engaged in my surroundings and when I have headphones in I am not. Since it is early and there are really not many people around, I’ve been listening to music as I walk.  Well, sometimes I listen and I sometimes (often) sing along.  So as I was belting out the words to Meatloaf, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad when I came to an area where there are two large office towers.  Due to a set of stairs which come down from a pedway above you can only take one route – which is maybe about 10 feet wide.  As I came closer to this little area I could see a woman doing exercises with a tension band on the stairway posts.  As I got closer I realized it was my ex-boyfriends-ex-wife.  As I got even closer (and the stairs were not obscuring my view) I realized that my ex-boyfriends-ex-wife was being working worked out by his current and much younger than her girlfriend.  So, in this 10 foot wide area there was: an ex-girlfriend, ex-wife, current girlfriend, and just for drama sake, an ex-dog..  My best guess is that they have no idea who each other is.  The ex-wife knows who I am.  The current girlfriend knows who I am.  I know who they both are and Millie is clueless.  Take that for a multi generation smash up.  This was a real Hollywood like moment.  It gave me something to chuckle about the rest of the way to work.  Of all the places for my feet to be, of all the moments in the day and all the places my eyes could have been looking…

There is this man who I’ve ‘known of’ for quite sometime. I’ve never met him, but I know a lot about him.  I’ve seen his picture, seen him on TV and read things he writes.  I think if I ever met him we would like each other (I also think Oprah and I would love each other if we met).  Last week one of my best friends and I did a tandem work trip to Prince Edward Island (where this guy lives).   On the way there I told her about this man (he is a man not a guy).  Imagine, the next morning I was sitting in a coffee shop working when he walked in.  He was standing about 2 feet from me.  I fervently texted Kristen as I choked on my morning glory.  She said ‘Oh my god – go talk to him.  If anyone can do this you can.’  He sat down and started doing some work as I was sitting by myself concealing laughter. Again in this situation – he has no idea who I am but I know who he is.  It seemed too awkward and the conversation would have been overheard by at least 7 other espresso drinking coffee shop dwellers.  I did inspect him in real life.  He had on nice socks which says a lot.

I am a big believer in energy and attraction.  My family and friends can attest that they hear me saying on a regular basis – you won’t believe what happened! Sometimes you have no idea who is around you.  You have no idea what they are thinking about.  You have no idea how they are connected to people you know.  You have no idea how much they know about you.  Although I was glad to be wearing earphones the day I walked through the Exes and Ins Club on the waterfront… I normally would say take them off and engage in the world around you.  I bet you are missing out on a few great stories.