Hi Blog,

I can’t believe it was November 2016 when I started thinking about my happiness project. Was it really so long ago? I had all these grand ideas about how I was going to map out a clear route to take me directly to Destiny Happy. Leave it to me to overcomplicate happiness!

Here’s what really happened. In January I drank a smoothie every single day, gave up alcohol, worked out 3 – 4 times / week, woke up every morning at 6am, limited myself to 3 hours of tv each week, and ate my recommended servings of fruit and veg. My energy levels were through the roof!

In February I started targeting my mental health while still upping the ante for my January goals (more work outs, even less tv, you get the picture…). I added 20 minutes of self-help youtube videos to my daily schedule, 10 minutes of meditation in the morning, 5 minutes of practicing gratitude before bed, I deleted social media and spent an hour each day reading a self-help book.
When March came around I was exhausted, my back and SI joint were causing me pain from working out too hard and too fast, I was back on social media, and if I had to endure one more Brendan Burchard video about how to be the best version of yourself I was going to vomit.

I gave up on my happiness project, promising myself that I would return my focus on my project when I felt better. I poured myself a glass of wine, sat on the couch and started to dive deep back into my complacent and checked out self. The voice inside me quietly gave me the good ol’ ‘Told you so. It’s better this way, you’re safe staying where you are right now’.
And there I was back at square one. Anxiety and depression paralyzed me, and when it got too bad I quieted my discomfort with reality tv and a bottle of wine. I went right back to hating myself, and resenting everyone around me.

Fast forward to today. I’m cautiously hopeful that there is a simpler way to find happiness. I am looking deep inside to find what I need to start down the right path.
It starts with some important questions that I’ve only just begun to answer.

What is happiness?
What is preventing me from being happy?
What are my values?

This is me showing up again. The journey continues.

 

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What do you do to help stave off depression?
What music do you listen to?
Who do you talk to?
How long does it last? How long is too long?
How do you fight the exhaustion?
What keeps you going?
What do you do to move through the grey and back into colour?

naxos-gone-black-and-whitejpg

There’s a memory there

November 18, 2016

If you found the most beautiful and the most happy place in the world would you leave it there all perfect and shiny or would you replay it again and again until it dulls and fades out?

I’m somewhere. You’re somewhere. I’m nowhere. You’re nowhere. You’re somewhere. You’re somewhere. I could go there, but I don’t.

portugal

Wrap me up. Unfold me.

October 24, 2016

I am currently cooking supper and listening to an audio book that my friend Rhonda recommended to me today at lunch. It’s called ‘The Happiness Project’, by Gretchen Rubin. When Rhonda told me about it I was of course excited. My life right now is all about this exact same project and I’ve always wanted to start listening to Audio books so here goes nothing. I’m not even 5 minutes in and Gretchen seems to be my soul mate.

“I always thought I would outgrow my limitations…. I’d read Shakespeare, I’d spend more time laughing and having fun… I’d visit museums more often, I wouldn’t be scared to drive…. I had a sudden realization, I was in danger of wasting my life… I saw that the years were slipping by. What do I want in life anyway? Well I want to be happy… but I never thought of what that would be.” So I’m not alone in my fear to drive and someone else worries about wasting their life?

She talks about struggling with her own nature and not being grateful for the beautiful things  she has in life. She is worried someday she will look back at her life and see all the happiness she had, but did not feel. I’m constantly tormented by all of the things I have in life and not appreciating any of them.

Like her I want to change the lens I look through. And like her I want to figure out what happiness is and how to achieve.

So I’m trying to think of goals that would help me work towards my goal of happiness.

This is a bit of a disjointed list that I am going to keep working on.

Be grateful / appreciate the life I have
Be patient
Be kind
Cook
See friends
Volunteer
Actively self improve
Travel
Cherish old friends and family
Increase energy – exercise, get more sleep (no phone or computer, or tv after 9), eat well / Mental energy – house and office
Career
More Outdoors & exploring

 

I see stars for us

October 17, 2016

Maybe I’ll take violin lessons. And voice lessons.

I’ve always felt like there was something musical inside of me trying to break out. But I always get bored and give up. Not anymore.

I remember being a little girl in old Mr Cosh’s backyard which bordered on our backyard. I remember Mr Cosh as being a very nice and patient old guy. I think he looked older than he actually was because in later years I learned he was a raging alcoholic. But he was musical. He could play every instrument. I liked having talks with Mr Cosh when I was out exploring the neighborhood and one day he told me he would teach me to play whatever I wanted. We started with a little guitar which was fun and then one day he put his violin in my hands and he told me to just play. And I couldn’t believe he wasn’t instructing me – he just put it in my hands and told me to play whatever I thought was inside of my heart. And after I finished he told me and later told my parents that I had taken his breath away  the first time on the violin. I felt it too. I paid Mr Cosh back by making him a friendship bracelet.

And if you fast forward to when I was in a hostel with a bunch of friends Leah gave me her harmonica and she told just to do with it what felt right while Mike Buckley played my favorite Head and the Heart song called Down in the Valley. People told me I gave them the chills playing that harmonica and it was totally unexpected.

I’m proud of those moments.

And looking back as I listen to Down in the Valley I realize now that I think I knew the song so well that I was mimicking the violin parts with my harmonica.

And the violin always takes my breath away.

My mom had a mid-life crisis and took up drumming. Mid-life crisis, I’m coming for you!

Can you chase the fire away

October 15, 2016

In my journey to find more gratitude and feel more alive I’m reminding myself of some of the moments in life that have made me feel most alive and I’ll carry them with me through the dark:

At the gazebo with my family running around in the field with sparklers after Terri-Lynn’s first wedding. We had a picnic with leftover reception food. I was 14 maybe.

My first riding lesson when I walked into the barn and Tommy was in the cross-ties. The smell and sound of horses.

Sitting on the bridge with Robyn, Kathleen, Dhiogo, Fernando and I think a few others were there too.

Jubilee.

Singing on the swings with Kathleen at the park during some community event.

Cantering on Scotty.

Nights in the paddock with Spirit and Maximus. I owe my life to Spirit

Going over multiple jumps on Finnegan with my eyes closed, feet out of the stirrups and arms raised and spread out in the air. It felt like I was flying.

That time I had a connection with the giraffe at the Toronto zoo

Walking up the steps of my college for the first time I visited it with mom and dad beside the bangle lancers

Fireworks in Trenton

Singing ‘say it ain’t so’ at karaoke at the Oasis

The last night we were in Annie the musical and the after party.

Sledding at the ballpark

The thunderstorm and talking to Jared on skype.

The thunderstorm when I lived with Michelle, and us drinking tea on the porch.

Evolve.

The ovens.

First Sasquatch.

The redwoods.

Walking through the ocean in New Brunswick.

Waterside.

Amanda Marshall concert.

Our lady peace during the concert in Hali.

Singing and dancing on some empty stage at NSSSA.

Belting out head and the heart on the Amalfi Coast.

Playing the harmonica at the hostel we stayed at one new years.

Slam dunk your junk green day cover band.

Gramma’s house with Kathleen with the trampoline and book about carrots.

Me, Kathleen and Fernando going outside one early morning in the fog and there were the prettiest halflingers next door.

Falling in love.

Seeing Jeremy & Gerald at the drive-inn

Playing manhunt in my neighborhood

new bohemia

September 22, 2015

I’m not your expectations. I can’t fit into your corporate square. I’m too complicated. I’m two people. I’m what I was and what I am. I am so suffocated. I can’t spell. I can’t speak when I’m nervous. I’m too scared to let you down. I’m too brave to not try. I don’t want to care.

One more pay cheque. One more year. One more goal. One more day of pretending to be your square, but I don’t fit. I will never fit. One more breath. One more thought. When will they find out I’m just a fraud?

All the ted talks, dale carnegie and designations in the world won’t make me be enough. I’m not this.

If I could I would. Instead I put on lip stick and a blazer. I try to laugh it off. I try to wake up.

Rivers and Roads

February 28, 2015

It feels like I spent a month in my shared apartment in Calgary replaying Head and the Heart and Trampled by Turtles. It was my soundtrack to falling in love with you. And I swear I could feel my heart growing and expanding to make room for all of the love I have for you. It was terrifying and exciting and new. I’m lucky to experience something that not everyone in this world gets to experience.

I find myself grateful for all of the pain and heart ache I’ve ever felt in my lifetime, because it was preparing me for a real love with you. And this love of ours is so much more vibrant having something bleak and grey to compare it to. Someone told me before that our greatest days are made greater by our worst days.

I’m eternally grateful for you. Thank you for all of your patience, encouragement, respect, kindness, love and laughter.

It’s another new beginning for us. 99&100.

There’s this part of me that is locked away and I can’t stand it. There was this passageway that used to exist within me that took me to different worlds and to different stories. I’d see a blank page of paper and I’d need to find a pen so that I could frantically start putting words to the stories that lived inside of me. It wasn’t difficult to access them. They needed out. I experienced the stories as they spilled out of me. There is this one that has haunted me for years about red roses. I knew it was a special story. To me it was so dark and complex and beautiful. I can only remember pieces of it.

It’s like that song by Tenacious D called The Best Song in the World. This story was the best story in the world and now it’s gone! Gone with all of my creativity and inspiration. The door to those worlds is all locked up. Maybe it never even existed. MAYBE if I read my story about red roses now it would be the silliest thing I’d ever read in the world, but still I’m with Tenacious D on this one. Maybe I’ll find it again. My sister told me to just keep writing everyday and then it would come back to me. I can’t bring myself to write empty and meaningless poems and stories. I see blank pieces of paper and I can feel this dull ache. It’s mostly disappointment because I can’t fill those pages anymore. There is a hunger though. What a tease. Take me back to 12 years old digging through gramma’s cupboards for any piece of paper I could get my hands on.

Where does the creativity go?

Something keeps telling me that I need to just keep running. If I keep running it’s going to be the cure to everything. If I maintain this momentum it just has to start opening me up to everything that is good and everything that I miss. Right? Maybe?

I’m chasing after my creativity.

My life’s brightest memories are a patchwork of falling. My snowboarding instructor told me to fall onto my toe edge. This is totally nerdy, I know. But when I finally let myself fall (the first few times I was too scared) it changed everything for me. Kind of like a lot of things in my life. Every time I jump in or let myself fall it has been rewarding or at the very least a h@ll of a learning experience. So many people in my life have told me to try one thing that scares me every day. Maybe they’re onto something. Either way – it’s easy for me because I’m scared of everything!

I’m still on a roll blog. All of my life I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety. It’s not always obvious and it’s hardly ever devastating but it blankets my life in such a way that I know that I’m not living to my fullest potential. I’ve always had a hunch that being physically active and challenging myself was the key to unlocking the cure. If you have any runners or work out freaks on your social media feed than maybe you’ve scowled like I have at all of their stupid inspiring and happy posts (#choosehappy #runfordays // Insert selfie or random picture of lone running girl with a high pony tail and wristband down a windy road into the sunset). But – these people are high on endorphins! I get it. It’s happening! I want to run for days. I want to feel the pain, because I know it means I’m getting stronger. I want to be covered in sweat, it means I’m winning. Okay, well time to go post generic happy pictures with inspiring taglines on all of the social media! Just kidding. Or maybe I’m kidding…

Either way, whatever you’re looking for blog, I really hope you find it or that you’ve found it. And I hope I don’t lose what I’ve gained so far. Stay tuned!