Tag Archives: Happiness

Searched Far And Wide. Now It’s Real

Goldilocks wandered the home of the bears, plopping her bottom atop chairs too big and too small, stuffing her face with porridges too hot and too cold and playing mattress roulette like she was a valued customer at Sealy’s. Sure, she may have been dabbling in a high stakes game of breaking and entering in the lair of a family of bears and her particularity verged on fussiness, but her intention was to satisfy a basic desire of ours to just be comfortable.

Never thought I’d say it…but I get it. I get the need to wait; To hold off for that perfect fit.


I started this search over a year ago. A relentless, stubborn, tedious and exceedingly self-severe quest onto myself.

Too big. Too small. Too plain. Too extravagant.

I became real life Goldilocks. But I wasn’t in search of a mattress (although that’s on the list), nor was I taste-testing breakfast gruel. I had this corner of my apartment cleared, found a chair that wasn’t only comfortable but sexy in that way only good furniture can be and daydreamed openly about the better half I’d be setting it up with.

My desk was out there and I was going to find it.

Now, sitting back, with my feet propped beneath its luxuriously finished, glossy top I’m not only the proud owner of a new desk, I’m also finally feeling like a  writer. A real life, bona-fide writer. Well, at least I’m a step closer to that bombshell in my own mind.

As I explored and scrutinized stores throughout Toronto and endlessly browsed pictures online, it became clear that this single piece of furniture wasn’t just a single piece of furniture anymore. It was important. Somehow this new ambition of mine, this new endeavour that demanded the risk of jumping blind, wouldn’t be real until I was working towards it from behind this desk. Investing in it became a priority not just to fill a space in my home, but to make this whole thing an actuality.

I really won’t be a writer until I’m holding a copy of my own, physical book in my hands, but, damn…I’m almost there.

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Playing It Cool. Super Mantra-ing

There’s a time for everything. A time for quiet, for speaking out, for being stubborn and for giving in. Lately, it’s been my time to play it cool.

Busy. So busy. Play it cool.

Meetings, conferences, deadlines and rush. Play it cool.

Don’t neglect your friends. Drag yourself out of bed to have a drink with a heartbroken bud even though you need to be up in 5 hours. Play it cool.

Writing, writing, writing. Edit. Write some more. Play it cool. Wait, did I run yet today?? Play it cool.

Playing it cool is just surviving with an easy expression plastered to your face even if your shoulders are tense or even if there’s butterflies playing smash bros. in your stomach. Generally I’m laid back, but this is a new level of mantra-ing even for me. What is this mantra-ing I speak of? It’s the secret to success. Too far? I actually don’t think so.
A mantra may sound like I’m going all hippie/yogi on you guys here, but it’s actually so much more universal than that. It’s the secret to playing it cool. I discovered mine more by accident than in active search. Somewhere on the side of a hill that just wasn’t ending, my brain was trying to logic my body into keeping its stride. Logic just doesn’t have the upper hand when it comes to lung capacity though and my lungs were pretending they had no more space for the oxygen I was sucking up. ‘Liar,’ I accused. Another deep breathe. ‘Breath. Push.’ Those words, that’s all it took to set my pace again. It reined in all the logic-ing, all the complaints and refocused that frustration. A good run wasn’t going to end on a crappy note just because a few kilometres back I had thought ending at the top of this hill was a brilliant life decision.

‘Breath. Push.’

Each time my foot hit the concrete I would think the word ‘push.’ It was the metronome to my run, to my pace and stride, distracting the ache and playing off my naturally stubborn nature. At the top of the hill I stopped, resting my hands on my hips, huffing like the classiest of struggling civics and didn’t think another second about the magical words. (Because come on now, you aren’t thinking anything at the top of a hill while resembling a dying honda).

Days later the words would slip back into my mind amidst another physically trying, self-induced adventure. Then again a week later. Sometimes the words would change on me. I caught myself picking only one word to mentally yell at myself, or changing it all up completely. I was going farther. I was getting faster. I had discovered magic. Or, less Hogwarts-y, my mantra.

It wouldn’t be until I was suffering writers block and feeling the burn of being over-worked and generally just feeling grumpy that my magic words would sneak up on me without the pressure of a hill beneath my feet. ‘Well then. This is a thing then, huh,?’ I had thought. My collection of playing it cool worthy mantras has since grown and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

My ‘off-the-top-of-my-head’ mantra list:

1. (The classic)  Breath. Push.
2. I’m stronger than I think.
3. Don’t Whine.
4. You’ll be proud later.
5. Be better than yesterday.
6. Keeping writing.
7. Get your shit together.
8. You’ve got this.
9. Go with it.
10. It’s worth it.

These words, my mantras, have a power to them. They’re so simple. So classically unassuming. But heed my warning: they’re not to be solely relied upon. If you start whispering these lines to yourself, your world isn’t going to flip and you’re not going to turn superman on anyone or anything. Self control, confidence and an inclination towards stubbornness are highly encouraged. You ARE stronger than you think and a mantra is meant to be used as a tool. It’s helpful but not a problem solver. It won’t jot down words on the page for you or transport you to the top of the hill, but it can encourage, focus and keep you in the moment.

Once Upon A Time, I Was A Vegetarian

Hot dogs, mac and cheese, pb&j sandwiches and a total avoidance of the colour green on my plate. Those were my staples growing up. I was a picky kid to say the least. My parents would demand I not leave the dinner table until my veggies were gone. Luckily for me, I’ve never been short on stubborn flare and yes, I was THAT child; the one wrapping broccoli in paper towel and feeding the dog one pea at a time.

Fast forward almost a decade and I found a new cause for stubborn antics. It happened unceremoniously. On a trip home from my summer job before my first year of university. I sat at the dinner table with my family, a juicy steak fresh off the barbecue on the plate before me. Unenthusiastically, for no obvious reason, I cut a piece and put it in my mouth. Chewing slowly, something just clicked. I gently placed my knife back on the place mat and realized I wasn’t going to finish that steak.

For years I avoided meat. People would constantly ask me why, as though this choice were an insult to our evolution. I never understood the point in pressing for a reason…maybe it was the simplest conversation starter, or perhaps we just inherently seek cause or reason for choices – we seek validity through those around us. I stopped eating meat because I just did. I can list tons of reasons to back up why if I wanted. All I’d really have to do it point you in the direction of the shocking documentary, Earthlings, and it would all become a mute point. Sure, I disagreed with most farming techniques we use for our meat, and I feared what I was putting into my body due to my knowledge of the steroids and questionable diets my food had been raised on, and of course I love animals. I’d known all the facts before I put down that knife, but I hadn’t considered them in relation to my own eating habits. I became a vegetarian because I looked at the meat before me, and just didn’t want to eat it.

When I looked again years later, and I did want to, I did. There weren’t hoops to jump through or personal battles waged. I’m conscious about what I put into my body and like to consider most food choices I make to be, for the most part, smart. That said, I don’t turn my nose up to desserts all the time and I enjoy my cheat days to their fullest. One of the best lessons to learn in life is to enjoy yourself. To be true to who you are and follow the path that makes you happiest. You can let yourself explore all options and never feel criticized, judged or questioned. Never forget that you’re living for you.

Cheers to a year of keeping track.

Reference Realization

I’ve referenced, non-specifically, the correlation between commitment and happiness over the past few entries. In all honesty, I hadn’t intended for this year to boost my personal happiness but it’s such a brilliant concept that I’m gonna go with it full tilt.

Psychology experts have suggested that even those not born with a sunny disposition (hello), can bring more meaning and satisfaction to their lives which really is the true basis of happiness. This year of commitment started on a whim and it’s growing unexpectedly. It’s really all such a simple concept! Committing to being a greater friend, or daughter alleviates my stress and guilt as well as brings those around me joy. Their joy alone is enough to give me quite a happiness fix.

This new realization allows me to introduce the newest, firmest, and most relevant of my yearly commitments… Committing to happiness.

Cheers to a year of keeping track.