The Canadian end of winter has been acting up. On our recent journey, we ended up booking a hotel in Montreal just to spend the night. The ordeal wasn’t planned, yet it turned out fun. We enjoyed what the bar and cuisine had to offer, along with my complementary Starbucks fix. Nothing better to paint a smile on my face upon wake up.
I’ve really been mindful of cultivating a positive attitude towards the weather, among other things. I can’t change nor shorten the Canadian winter. So I will simply accept it, work around it. I’ve been roasting veggies – mmm, the yummy smell spreading across my place as I’m writing this – and just enjoying the freezing air walks. Happiness radiates from within. It has very little to do with the temps. But finding your sparkle is the hardest.
I’ve been sick with the flu for four days now, plus outside the weather is gray and icy rainy, so it felt like a good idea to post out my last pics of Florida. These sunny shots give me the vitamin boost I need. They remind me that the sun will again be out in my life, too. When you’re sick, it forces you to build character. I hate having to cancel lessons. I take my work very seriously in the sense that I love what I do, I am truly grateful for each and every student – I take no one for granted – and I just feel my best when being an active part of this adventure called life. But when your head is turning and every joint and muscle you have aches, you cannot do what you were meant to do. So I’ve had to accept that and take each day as it comes.
I realize that the spring is a tough time for me stamina wise. That’s when viruses seem to get the best of me. Recently, I’ve really gotten into healthy eating. I’ve tried some new cooking experiments like roasting veggies in the oven or making things with beans. Eating a more plant-based way should load me up on vitamins. It does feel good to know that what you’re putting into your body is actually good for you. I find a lot of inspiration from Instagram pics. I just kind of get the gist of the dish, and then try to throw together something similar. I’ve even Instagrammed some of my creations. It feels fun to experiment with different types of images, although I think that fashion will always stay my number one.
Since I’ve had more time, well less energy to really do much, I’ve also done some soul-searching. I just feel that the more I get excited about a plan, the sweeter life will feel. I’ve wondered about the purpose of my life. What’s my goal? What do I work towards with enthusiasm? I think it is centered around encouraging, boosting and inspiring. Whether it be my job as an entrepreneur English teacher or as a writer of this blog, or even the one that gathers English-speakers together here in Quebec City, I long to bring positivity, new openings and new exciting ideas around me. There’s always something good. We just have to see it.
I really love coffee. Especially that of Starbucks. There’s something so smooth and a bit smoky to its taste. These pictures were shot at another coffee shop, actually physically the closest to my place, Second Cup. Their coffee is more acidic in my mouth, but their pastries are better. At Starbucks I go for a chocolate chip cookie, the few times I actually buy food, and at Second Cup I fall for their lemon poppy seed scone, even if I usually am not a huge scone lover.
I make it a point to visit my favorite cafes several times a week. My work schedule is very scattered throughout the day. I typically work both in the morning late into the evenings. In the time space between, I try to make the most of my free moments. That includes long walks in the city and its parks as well as lunch or afternoon coffee hangouts. I usually pack some healthy food with me along with a magazine. I read some articles and also write down creative things or just journal on the magazine pages. My glossies are full of handwritten notes, and I love it that way.
Time for myself is my way of centering. My work is very sociable. I am always with students. I take pride in being encouraging and focused. That needs counterbalancing. To be able to give as I wish, I need to upload. Those coffee shop lingerings provide me with a savory way to enjoy life when I can in a simple way.
The beach is my happy place. I love seeing the vast mass of water. There’s hope and dreams and opportunity in all that. I encourage you to find “your beach”. You may not have access to a veritable waterfront, but there are places everywhere where you can retreat for a moment. Connect with yourself, and a higher power, if that’s how you roll. Find that time – and you’ll feel more centered.
A good life is really made of simple things. This week mine has been about working, doing sports and connecting with my husband. Choosing to invest time in people that you value – and doing it generously – pays off. You’ll feel more supported. Someone’s got your back.
My goal for today is to live every passing moment with enthusiasm. I called my mom today. (She’s a faithful reader of this blog, so I know she’ll be reading this.) That conversation was a path of life lived together. It was nothing special yet it was very special. We were open and honest, just sharing life as we had experienced it. No need to sugarcoat or overdo. These kind of moments make the day worthwhile.
We can all invite meaningful moments into our days. By reaching out to others, the ones that our heart is leading us to, we go from a thought to actual action. Who is it that you’ve been meaning to call for a while now?
Before I headed out to Starbucks to savor writing this post, I watched Donald Trump take his first steps down the inauguration parade route in Washington DC. Prior to that, I had watched Barack Obama say good bye to his staff and supporters at Joint Base Andrew. My emotions are shuffled. I don’t quite understand how my country got where it is today.
Nevertheless, I’ve always been a huge believer in positivity. In general, I try to accept the facts as soon as possible, and then see how I can find my happy place within the defining factors I cannot change. Future remains to be seen. Within that, I feel that my place is to keep shining the light of multiculturalism and inclusion. I think that a great deal of our societal problems of today stem from the fact that a part of our society, be it in the USA or elsewhere, doesn’t find their true place in it.
If I on daily basis spread the message of respect to everyone I come across, be it the barista, cleaning lady or bus driver, if I reach out to them with a friendly smile, a few words to acknowledge them being a part of my day, that will help everyone feel like their input is valued and needed. I know that this takes energy. The day isn’t always opportune to breathing out positivity. Yet, if I challenge myself to this task, I am the first one to reap the good fruit. A smile blesses the smiler first and foremost.
Today I inaugurate a mandate of daily positivity. I swear in with a desire to be the voice of encouragement. I am in control of my life. My individual actions matter. They are my precious daily doings – nothing counts more than that. I hope you’re down with me…
I’m hyped since this year I’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving at a real dinner party. The Canadian Thanksgiving is way earlier so up here we rarely have American Thanksgiving festivities.
So far November has been mild. It’s actually a month that I enjoy. Life seems to be calming down to essentials. We do our daily work, go to our activities, meet those morning commute folks – all the real stuff that really matters. There’s beauty in being contented in simple ways of life. It’s empowering. If I can be deeply happy now, I can undoubtedly be happy when the weather and other things cooperate even more.
I find it pivotal to trust in my capacity to be OK come what may. If I have that deeply-rooted conviction, I have what it takes for me to feel strong. Life is like tango – you go up and down, twist and turn. Once you’ve been able to create that unshakable trust in your own self, nothing is too big. I’m not saying that I myself have the strength but I do have places and forces to go to for that. My trust is first and foremost in God. I believe in Him to help me. After that, I also believe in doing my absolute best.
So, I’ll be cheerfully celebrating Thanksgiving and looking forward to another year of happiness that flows from the inside and shines – and touches lives and hearts – on the outside.