Tag Archive | family

An Attitude of Gratitude

This post has been a long time in coming and maybe it’s just a little timelier now with Thanksgiving around the corner.

I have been going through a lot in my personal life – very emotional and painful things; things that make it hard to see beyond myself, things that make it hard to get out of bed in the morning, things that make it hard to love myself, and things that just make it hard to be happy in a city where I’m practically by myself. It’s been quite a roller-coaster. However I’m practicing having faith in my life – not God related faith (I’m not religiously inclined…that kind of stuff just goes over my head), but just faith in a process; faith that by “cleaning out my closet” I’m moving towards being the person I always wanted to be. So I’m on a road of growth – I’m learning to embrace things about myself, I’m learning to love myself and cut myself a damn break. I am perfectly imperfect, and sure I’ve done some dumb things – WHO HASN’T?! So everything I’m going through is stuff I NEED to go through right now because it’s part of the process and I’m getting closer to my ideal ‘me.’ But that realization still doesn’t make it easier or less painful to go through.

Now, I can choose to continue to dwell on all this – the painful things that make me want to quit and run home, the things I want and haven’t got, the things that haven’t gone how I expected, the poor choices I’ve made, and all those other circumstances. I can (and have) let myself give in to that. I’ve cried about it, ached with it, and let myself go through major emotional upheavals…and I’m not saying I’m totally over all that but I’ve certainly worn that emotion quite enough! I’m endeavoring to not give into the pity party anymore and simply choose to focus on more beautiful things – like all the ways I’m blessed, and all the things I should be thankful for – AKA having an attitude of gratitude.

I have an amazing family (I’m mostly referring to my immediate family here).  It makes my heart swell with love and gratitude to think of how supporting they are of me and I know, without hesitation, that no matter what goes on in my life they will always be there for me. I’ve been able to develop a relationship with my parents where they’re helping me analyze some things in my life and I know I can call them no matter what I’m feeling and just talk it out. My sister and I have recreated a great friendship and have had a blast this summer going around to music festivals and just hanging out. We still squabble – we’re sisters after all, but we’re making that effort to chat and hangout; after all we know everything about each other. It’s also been great to have my brother around more, he’s always upbeat, supportive and is a great listener – he gives you his full attention, which can sometimes be hard to do with family. He goes out of his way for his friends and knows how to have a great time.

I have some beautiful friends (old and new) – and I’m not just referring to physical beauty here. I have always been someone who values the quality of a relationship over having a large quantity of ‘friends.’ When I moved to Vancouver I did lose quite a few people I thought I was closer with…but ultimately the people who have stuck with me through that transition are the friends who are really worth my time – and they know who they are. I don’t always get to see them as often as I’d like…but when I do it’s like we picked up right where we left off. I’m also currently in the process of making some new local friends in Vancouver and so far they’re all lovely people. It can be hard to get chatting with someone in a new city, but when you do and you make a connection it’s so simple to say “Hey, I’m looking for new friends in the city and I’ve enjoyed chatting with you, want to grab a coffee some time?” You’d be surprised how many people are open to that.

As far as jobs go – mine is pretty sweet. I work with a kick ass crew of people who all WANT to be doing what we’re doing and that attitude in the work place is absolute gold. Sure we all have days where we’d simply rather not (especially during the beautiful summer we had) but on the whole we all have a passion for what we’re doing in the Tourism & Online industries. Think! Social Media is a FUN company to work for and it’s embodied in the work we do and the people who work there. I mean…just look at the main image on the website. Not many people can say this about their work but I ENJOY going into the office – plus you never really know what’s going to happen, be it Friday afternoon beer bowling, opening a wine bottle – sans corkscrew, patio lunches, or drawing on walls (don’t worry…they’re whiteboard walls).

There’s much more I’m thankful for, but I’m going to wrap it up with saying how wonderful it is to live in a city as beautiful as Vancouver, BC. Sure it gets called “Raincouver” and there are hilarious sites that take the piss out of it sometimes, but it’s green and beautiful…and sorry but you can’t have that without a little rain (…or a lot). There’s also a large population of young, fit people in Vancouver, and I love that it’s a city that “comes outdoors to play” on beautiful days; how could you not when there are so many beautiful parks and an amazing seawall? There’s always something to do, no matter what you like, rain or shine.

There are many things I’m thankful for in my life so when I’m down I just take some time to thing on these things and it helps to lift my mood and take my eyes off myself. EVERYONE has something they can be thankful for, so next time you’re sweating the small stuff write down what you’re thankful for and post it on your fridge. Having an “attitude of gratitude” helps your day do an about-face. Just try not to sweat the small stuff…and it’s ALL small stuff.

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Christmas Time

Look at that! First you don’t hear from me in two weeks and now back to back!

Christmas…that simple word has so many things packed into it.

A lot of people immediately think of presents…and I’ll admit it’s on the top ten things that cross my mind…but it’s not the first.

I think of family, loved ones and friends, good food and laughter. I think of decorations, and the smell of pine trees. I think of the cold, and the way it makes it so nice to come into a warm home. I love the smell of home cooked meals and mulled apple cider (I’m going to come back to this in a moment). I love the little thrill I get when I see the Christmas tree all lit up in the living room and the decorations in the house. Christmas is about love…not gifts.

Back to the bit about the mulled cider…for me, having Mulled Apple Cider is key to making me feel Christmas-y. Normally my family will go buy a big jug of organic apple juice and then we add mulling spices to it over a heating element. The smell of cloves and cinnamon fill the house and it’s wonderful as we listen to Christmas music or decorate the tree (which we will be doing this coming Thursday). In essence, that is Christmas to me. I could care less about the gifts, though they are nice. It’s more important to be surrounded by my family, loved ones and friends.

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you are surrounded by love and stuffed with wholesome, home cooked food.