“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
— Albert Einstein
I am aware that this blog is turning into barely more than a bunch of “get grateful” posts, and to be honest that’s the part I enjoy writing the most. I have been mulling over this for a while, and last week started work on a new blog, one which will focus on well-being. Well-being has always been a primary interest for me, from my late teens studying psychology at university up to my recent studies in Classical Yoga. There is so much to say, and so much to investigate. I’m excited. But because of this, reading and reviewing has been on the back burner as there are just not enough non-work hours in the week to do everything I’d like.
Things I’m grateful for today:
- The diversity in nature astounds me. I love it. Returning from a hot trip to Vegas, temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius, mountains in the distance, I have landed in this flat, chilly world where the trees have lost their leaves and the squirrels are busy stocking up for the winter. My morning walk was a cool minus 1 degree Celsius. But the sky was blue, the sun was out, the atmosphere was quiet, and it struck me how much I love these different places.
- I am always grateful when I feel inspired. Beginning a new blog about a subject I’m passionate about has had me thinking of little else recently, such is the motivation to get the project going. This time I have my own domain name and everything, and it’s taking more effort to get going than a wordpress blog but I think it will be worth it.
- Every time I log on to look at Prairie Journals, I’m grateful for my consistent readers. Who’d have thought I could get so attached to people I’ve not met, and yet feel that I know so well?
- I’ve recommitted to vegetarianism recently, after a long stint of eating fish as well (and too frequent lapses with burgers at A&W). I feel healthy, motivated and proud that I am not contributing to practices that harm animals.
It is a short post today, as I’m itching to try out a new recipe for Southwestern Avocado and Black Bean Salad. Mmmm.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
This is “get grateful on sunday” on Tuesday due to my visit to Las Vegas. I was staying at the Bellagio on the weekend, where the internet is charged at $14.95 per 24 hours despite the excessive cost of staying there. I decided blog posts could wait until I moved to a cheaper hotel!
I love travelling, and see myself as a traveller before anything else. I love almost everything about it and structure my life so that nothing interferes with it (no children, no mortgage, low-paying job that has travel as a perk). So I have many things to be grateful for:
- As mentioned, I stayed at the Bellagio on the weekend. I am grateful for every circumstance that led to me entering that beautiful lobby. The attention to detail in this hotel leaves nothing to be desired, from the attentive staff to exquisite designs that engage your heart and make it want to stay forever.
- I love hotels, and I love hotel staff. I am interested in anyone at the bottom of the pecking order making a living in the travel industry. The things they must see, and the stories they will tell you, if you ask (and I do). I’m grateful for the smiles and well wishes from the cleaning staff as I pass them in the hall; the woman in the coffee shop who winks at me now because I wished her a good day; the valet who nearly tripped over his feet to open my car door before I got to it myself.
- Airports are one of my favourite places. For me, being at the airport is part of the travel experience, and I have been known to voluntarily arrive up to six hours early for my flight so that I can relax with a coffee and just soak up the surroundings. Airports, to me, represent freedom. I am grateful that I am one of the fortunate who can fly off to new worlds, no matter whether it’s an hour away or a whole day of flight, and I will never take this for granted.
- After my short stay at the Bellagio I went down-market to Circus Circus. What I love about this hotel is that it is full of young families and unfashionably dressed people from goodness-knows-where, who have probably saved hard and really looked forward to their big Las Vegas trip. I love being around these people because I know them and I am one of them. This is how my family travelled when I was young, when our big trip each year, excruciatingly saved-for my my parents, was to a historic town just two hours drive away. I feel that you can see the gratitude and wonder in the eyes of these people when you pass them, and you know they don’t take any of it for granted.
- There is only a two-hour time difference from Manitoba to Las Vegas, and yet it seemed to make me a little delirious. It was in this state that I picked up an expensive sugar bowl in a homewares store and watched it slide from my fingers to shatter on the floor. I quickly told the saleswoman I would pay for the breakage, but she refused, and said she was just glad I didn’t hurt myself. How often does that happen? In gratitude, I bought several expensive coffee cups from her store 🙂
- As I have previously mentioned, I was given a ticket for a Cirque Du Soleil show (Love) that is playing here in Vegas. I saw the show last night, and let me just say that if you know anyone who is lacking a little fun in their lives, you should rush them to the nearest Cirque show, pronto. What an absolute delight it was, and a celebration of the best things in life: music, dance, colour, fun fun fun.
I have two more days here in Vegas before heading back to Canada. I do love travelling, but I will be equally grateful for my own bed and my normal routine. It will give me a chance to try out my new coffee cups 🙂
Have a great week!
“Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do which must be done, whether you like it or not. Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance, self-control, diligence, strength of will, content, and a hundred other virtues which the idle never know.”
~ Charles Kingsley
I read the above quote at Simply Col‘s blog, and think about it each day when I’ve got something ahead of me that I would rather not do. I admire people who challenge themselves, and the quote is a good reminder that to have a life worth living you sometimes need to feel uncomfortable.
I’m grateful for so many things this week:
- While I’m in Las Vegas next week I plan to see a Cirque Du Soleil show. I was told yesterday that a ticket has been purchased and paid for already as a gift, so now I get to see it for free.
- I had my first not-related-to-work social visit this week in my new town. I was invited to hang out with some locals at their home; they were so lovely and welcoming, and I had a great time. I love having new friends!
- For work I need to drive a large SUV, which in my Corolla-driving life equates to driving a tank. I had to reverse said vehicle out of a tight parking spot for the first time. I will be forever grateful to the woman in the parking lot whose (friendly) hand signals helped me avoid a collision with the vehicles behind me as I backed out. Little gestures go a long way.
- How spectacular the weather has been this week! Yes, I always mention the weather, but at this time of year I have to. Beautiful blue skies, sunshine and light breezes. It’s as good as summer in my book.
- I’m excited about all the new blogs I’ve come across in the last few days. The Canadian Book Challenge ’round up’ has provided me with many new links to check out and I’ve found some that I’ll continue reading. I’ve also found a multitude of new Canadian books to read in the future. I just wish I was a faster reader!
- The generosity of people astounds me. I have been offered the loan of several books and DVDs this week, which are sitting in neat piles on my coffee table. Every loan means less money I need to spend, and I’m grateful for that.
- A friend from Australia, whose son will shortly be in Canada for a working holiday, is coming to visit me next year. She will be my first Aussie visitor and I can’t wait to show her around.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”
– Denis Waitley
I’ve had such a busy but fulfilling week. Lots to be grateful for, as always.
- At the forefront of my mind, as I look out the window at a beautiful blue sky and sunshine, is my gratitude for the improvement in Winnipeg’s weather over the past couple of days, from around 10-12 degrees last week to a forecast of around 22 degrees today. I am unabashedly expressing gratitude for this in the hope that more fine weather will come our way before winter sets in!
- I received not one but three parcels from Australia this week! Inside were warm and useful things such as beanies (or ‘touques’ as I’m now calling them!) and scarves, and much-loved essentials such as Vegemite and Australian paw paw lotion.
- There is a flyer in the foyer of my building announcing a condo barbecue to be held next weekend, weather permitting. As a new resident who hasn’t met any other of the other occupants, the lunch will be a great opportunity to introduce myself. I’m a bit nervous though, as I’m very shy when I don’t know people.
- A major opportunity has presented itself this week in terms of future career prospects, which is why I have barely had time to look at my blog, or anyone else’s. If I work hard and stay focused, I may be on my way to a very fulfilling work life.
- I’m tremendously grateful for an insight about my own behaviour this week. In recent years I have tried to implement changes in my own life through studying yoga and personal development, which has led to some real positive outcomes for me. But I’ve recently become aware that my expectations of myself and others are dragging me down: trying to do an hour of meditation, plus cardio exercise, plus yoga asanas each day, as well as having a money-saving regimen that leaves no room for nice things for myself, I was starting to look at each day as a bit, well, tiring. Since that realisation I’ve started cooking delicious dinners, eating Chinese take-out and just backing off a bit in terms of the exercise and meditation. There’s no point being super-healthy and wealthy if you’re not having any fun.
In the spirit of living a less regulated life, I’m only writing five gratitudes instead of ten and I’m going to enjoy the sun!
Have a great Sunday!
‘Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.’
– Gladys Brown Stern
This week, lots of little things to be grateful for:
- I got an unexpected day off work yesterday! There’s nothing as sweet as thinking that you’re off to work on a Saturday, and then being told that you don’t need to work after all. I spent the day instead browsing at Chapters and eating out with friends
- I had a revelation this week: ‘just be yourself’. I’m at what you’d call a crossroads in my life, being new here in Canada. No one knows me, and I could try to be anything. I think that finally, at 34, I’m just going to be who I am, like when I was a kid and I didn’t know there were other ways of being. Instead of always trying to find an angle that’s going to get me the most friends or the most people saying ‘Well, isn’t she nice,’ I’m just going to be me
- Pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks – yum! I generally think Starbucks is rubbish since I previously lived in a city that likes its coffee strong and Italian…pretty much solid. But I have a weakness for seasonal Starbucks offerings. Shhh
- all the good things happening in the lives of my friends at home right now: imminent babies, house sits beside beaches, potential PhD scholarships. It’s always good to hear about the good fortune of others
- my new warm clothes that are perfect for the slight chill of the fall days and nights. I arrived in Canada with only one light sweater, and we all knew that wasn’t going to get me very far
- I am soon to be the owner of a car, which will enable me to see more of my adopted province plus make my life a whole lot easier when the weather gets colder
- good writing: I am thoroughly hooked on Gil Adamson’s The Outlander! I could barely drag myself away from it to write this post
- the free supply of contact lenses I received last week. Always grateful to keep my money in my pocket, especially when it comes to essentials like that
- after spending half a day yesterday with a woman who is wheelchair-bound due to obesity and diabetes, I am grateful for my extremely good health, and the physical ability to do anything I want to do
- the knowledge that no matter how things seem, there are endless opportunities in the world for learning, for good times, for fulfilment. I’m grateful for both the opportunities and for the awareness of their existence
Have a great Sunday!
‘When you form the habit of searching for the positive in every circumstance, your life will move into its highest dimensions. This is one of the greatest of all the natural laws.’
– From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
This week, I have many things to be grateful for:
- a beautiful trip to Assiniboine Park yesterday. Beautiful blue skies, no wind, and the perfect temperature to view the incredible flowers at the English Garden (where the pictures were taken) as well as the wildlife at the Zoo
- my sister in Melbourne calls me on skype twice a week, and no matter how boring our conversations get I love catching up with her. Our last conversation was about her new kettle 🙂
- I have just been given a travel guide to Las Vegas and have an all-expenses-paid 10 day trip coming up in September
- the local library had four books actually on the shelves that I wanted for the Canadian Book Challenge
- I met and chatted with several gorgeous elementary-aged children this week. There is little on earth that I love more than talking to fantastic kids and soaking up their attitude to life (I worked as a 5th grade teacher for several years)
- my renewed commitment to my yoga practice is helping me live each day with a steady energy that helps me to live in the moment
- my boss has a cup of coffee waiting for me when I arrive at work each morning! How many people get to say that? Only a lucky few, I’d say
- hooray for the long weekend! An extra day of relaxation and fun
- this past wet week I have been grateful to have a clothes dryer – the first one I’ve ever had!
- I have all that I need
Here are ten things that I’m grateful for today:
- some people have actually looked at my blog! This is not something that I necessarily expected so early on, so thank you!
- for the existence of the blogging community, and the amount of information and different ideas emanating from this community, with such energy
- my life is just so calm at the moment. I wake up well-rested, go for a morning walk or do yoga, go to work and enjoy my day, come home and cook good food and then settle in to read and/or blog. Or watch Mad Men 🙂 This life may have sounded quite boring to the old me, but after a few very busy years it is just what the doctor ordered
- my workdays continue to be enjoyable and fulfilling. Some of the things I got paid to do this past week included buying candy for party bags, paddling in an outdoor pool on a hot day and a couple of visits to the local library (woo!)
- some semi-rude behaviour on my part was overlooked by the person on the receiving end. That situation could have turned out badly for both of us, and I’m grateful the other person had the grace to let it go
- I am being incorporated into the social activities of my new town. Today’s activity: 3-year-old birthday party. Let the candy-eating begin
- the kindness of random strangers. Being fairly new in the area (almost five weeks now!) and not having my usual social network around me, random conversations take on an importance that they wouldn’t usually have. It’s a good reminder to me that you never know what’s going on in a person’s life but you can always bring a bit of sunshine to it
- I’m not too afraid to try new things. I say ‘too afraid’ because I often feel some fear, but I do the things anyway
- I had an insight just this week into a situation that occurred three years ago and caused a lot of pain at the time, and for a very long time after. Sometimes it takes a LONG time to work out what the lesson was from a situation; apparently this took three whole years for me but now, I get it!
- I have lots of healthy (and not-so-healthy!) food to eat. I’m reading a novel where the main character is hungry and has no money, and there have been times in my life where I was in that situation (university anyone?). That’s the worst kind of worry, and I’m grateful I don’t have that worry now
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!