Category Archives: family


Friendship is something that can be taken for granted.  For many people, they have always had friends surrounding them, and it is a blessing.  Old, long-lasting friendships are truly a treasured thing for they have endured the test of time; a friendship that has grown and changed just as the people have.  It can be rare to find these days.  People tend to move with work opportunities and for the hopes of a different life.  These decisions impact those friendships simply because distance is a difficult thing to endure.

New friendships are forged, and they become equally as important.  They are based in what is relevant in their lives at the time they were brought together.  The great thing about new friendships is that they all have the opportunity to turn into old friendships, given enough time.  Neither one is more valuable than the other.  They are all equally as important.

I am grateful for all the friendships in my life, both new and old.  I look forward to these newer friendships growing and ageing along with me, and I truly hope they do.  I do not ever wish to take any of my friendships for granted.  For me, they are blooms in my garden of life.  I want to cultivate them, removing the weeds, and feed the flowers.


it’s the little things

I had a gentle reminder last night that it is important to celebrate the little things in life.  Sitting here in my fourth decade of life, I think of things like birthdays as something that come and go.  Do I make a big deal out of my kids’ birthdays?  Yes, of course.  Would I consider doing the same for my own? Absolutely not.

Last night, we celebrated a dear friend’s birthday.  It was not a hallmark birthday, just a birthday.  He invited a few of his closest friends and families, and we went bowling.  The kids had a blast, and so did the adults!  Afterwards, we went back to his place for cake and wine, and played couple games.

Why do we (or perhaps just I) not consider celebrating our own birthdays?  Yes, there are many of them once we get to this stage of our lives, but why not celebrate them with youthful vigour? It certainly is one way to beat winter depression, and it created some fun and lasting memories along the way.

lose a minute, not a life

Lose a minute, not a life.  I read these words five days a week as I drive to work.  I see them because they are on a sign outside an elementary school that I pass by every day.  I’ve read them, and they have made an impact on me.

Lose a minute, not a life.  It seems so simple.  Slow down, be patient.  Pay attention.  Why is this so difficult for people to do sometimes?

I have a story that needs to be told.  It doesn’t have a tragic ending, although it could easily have been.  Earlier this week, I was driving home.  It had been a long day at work.  I had just given a blood donation after my workday ended, and was finally making my way home.  It was maybe a half past six in the evening on an early January Thursday.  Living here in Canada though, it was already dark as it typically is in the sleepy months of winter.  I was minutes away from my doorstep, and slowed to make my right handed turn into my neighbourhood as my turn signal clicked like a metronome.  I had a large diesel truck behind me, clearly impatient for me to turn move out of his way.  I had also noticed that there was a lady walking her beautiful dog across the street where I was turning, but slightly ahead.  She did everything right; she was crossing the street in the designated crosswalk zone.  She waited until it was safe, knowing I was turning.  What she didn’t realize is that this driver behind me wasn’t able to see her.  She couldn’t have known that he was going to be impatient and cut into the next lane to speed past me.  I watched in horror as I sat in my car, unable to help her, as she had to run to escape this accelerating metal battering ram.

Her life was spared by a literal inch.

LOSE A MINUTE, NOT A LIFE screamed inside me.  I was shaking, and can only imagine how she could have felt.  I regret the inability to be able to report the licence plate.  It happened too fast, it was too dark, and the plate was too dirty from winter roads.  I regret that I did not turn around and check on her.

I made my way home, traumatized by what I had witnessed.  I sat, head in my hands and cried.  Why can’t everyone just lose a minute, not a life?

new year, positive changes

With each new year, I, like many others, use this time to reaffirm the things I am doing in my life.  I use this time to evaluate what is working and what isn’t, and to decide if there is value in changing things.

I don’t necessarily like the term ‘resolution’ because to me that has a fairly negative connotation.  I don’t need to change everything.  But I do take this time of year to reflect on the past, and to help me see where I want my future to go.  I evaluate my financial standings and make my goals.  I evaluate these goals frequently through the year and celebrate when I achieve a personal victory.  I refigure things when something unforeseen comes up.  As I take down the Christmas tree, I reaffirm my commitment to minimalism, and give the house a good scrub to ring in the new year.  I use my vision board to help me map out my personal goals and desires.  Am I where I wanted to be?  Is there anything I need to adjust to get there?  How is that book coming along?  Have I made my goal in my photography progress?  Did I finish that course yet?  If the answer isn’t yes, then why didn’t they match up?  If they did, what are my next goals?

We sit here, on the last day of the year.  There is much joy to be celebrated from 2017.  There will also be much joy to come in 2018.  With some planning and positive reinforcements, it will be a great year to come.

spirit of the season

This weekend, my youngest son and I went out for a while, just the two of us.  There is a local centre that has a few boutiques that was having a family fun day.  We decided to go and check it out.  We wandered around and looked at the fun garden pieces they had for sale, and looked at the delicious organic candies and cookies.  I offered to buy him a cookie so we could sit and enjoy the moment, but he opted not to.  He asked instead if we could go and find a present that he could gift to his brother for Christmas.  We decided to go to Indigo, but before shopping for his brother, we opted to sit and have a drink at Starbucks.  He loves the vanilla bean Frappuccino, so I ordered him one of those, and I bought one of their specialty holiday hot drinks for myself.  We sat and talked about the holidays and the excitement.  We watched people as they came and went.  He sipped from his straw as his feet dangled and swung while he sat in his chair.  I watched my youngest son as he showed pure happiness by just having some one on one time with me, his mother.

Families often do things together, but it is so important to give children one on one time with their parent too.  My older son gets his one on one time as we share our common passion of photography, but there was something magical about this time with the younger one.  He is still so full of holiday excitement, seeing the magic of the season.  I love the shimmer in his eyes as he talks about our traditions.  And the most wonderful part is that none of it involves receiving gifts.  It is all the other stuff: the holiday treats, the music, the friends that we gather with, and the special dinner that we decide collectively on having.

This was one of those moments where my heart swells with pride and love.  My son is growing up with love and compassion in his heart.  As he grows, he is thinking of others more and more.  He is becoming more like his older brother every day.  They both make me very proud.

the best gift

Yesterday, I was out for breakfast with one of my newest, yet closest friends.  We have regular ‘dates’, but sometimes they get shifted around due to other schedules.  We are ok with it, and sometimes it allows us the opportunity to do something different and fun.  We missed our regular Friday night get-together because of a work Christmas party.  Instead, we opted for Saturday morning breakfast at a popular little restaurant in town.

We did our usual chatting, catching up on the last couple of weeks.  Then she stopped and noticed something about me.  She said how she can see me with short hair when we are older and showing more grey.  She commented on us still getting together when we are old friends.

Old friends.

The thought of having old friends has always been elusive to me.  I have been the type to move every twelve years or less, but knowing I will be here, in this location, for far longer it finally dawned on me: I can have old friends here.  I have never given myself permission to look that far ahead in relationships because none of them, except for my absolute best friend 2000km away, has ever lasted the distances.  Old friends.  Greying, aging, and still there for each other kind of old friends.

This innocent comment that I am sure she had no idea of its impact, was in fact, the best gift I could have been given.

your best gift is your time

We live in a world where everyone is busy; the faster the pace, the better.  But what would happen if we chose to slow down, even for a day?  What would happen if we said no to all those things that are supposedly so important that we can’t make time for ourselves or our loved ones?

With the spending season upon us, and Black Friday happening a mere two days ago, we are being bombarded with advertisements and flyers to buy this and spend our money on that.  But the things the stores are selling are far from the greatest gift you could give your child, spouse, or even your best friend.

My Black Friday evening, because I worked all day, was not spent shopping the so-called deals.  My Black Friday was spent enjoying the company of one of my very best friends in the world.  We gave each other the best give we could: our time and our attention.  It was a lovely three or four hour visit, sitting in the corner of a quaint tapas bar.  We enjoyed a couple glasses of red wine and a cheese board together as we took the time to catch up; to fill each other in on our lives.  There we were, sitting inside in the dim ambiance, with a tea light candle at one side of the table, and beautiful pieces of art on the walls next to us.  Outside, there was the bustle of the winter festival where we could see families passing by and enjoying the mild winter evening together.  We watched as children explored the fire truck parked just across the street, and the horse drawn wagons pass by with children happily waving at patrons as they glided by, courtesy of the team of horses and their driver.  We saw couples hand in hand as they walked past the window, smiling and clearly enjoying each other’s presence.

Time is more precious and more valuable than money.  In my world, if I want to show someone how much I care, I give them the gift of my time.  It is the most precious commodity I have.  Consider this, as we enter into the holiday season.  Consider re-thinking that expensive give in exchange for something that is far more precious and valuable.  Give the gift of your time.

minimalism and the holiday season

With November comes the prelude to the holiday season.  The buying season.  It makes me cringe thinking about it sometimes.  There is nothing that I need, except for a few renovations around my house.  My children have everything they need too.

The holiday season is that time of year where you feel that push…that obligation to buy things that really have no business coming into my home.  I do not need more kitschy knick knacks.  My kids don’t need more useless toys that they won’t play with.  And I certainly do not need to get deeper in debt for a holiday that seems more and more to be focused on spending money instead of time.

I am digging in my heels this year.  Yes, we have preplanned gifts from my parents, and that will still happen.  But, I have already forewarned my children that there is a strict budget in place for Christmas spending, and I will not go beyond it this year.

The great thing is, they are old enough to understand that the less we buy, the more money we can save for vacations and adventures.  This appeals to them; well more so to one of them, but the other can be fairly easily convinced…

As a minimalist (in the making), I feel that I need to cultivate the principal of spending more time together over spending more money on each other.  I hope this will become a trend with my loved ones.  Life is expensive enough without having to keep up with the Jones’, or even the exes for that matter.  I hope that one gift I can give to my children is the understanding that the holidays are meant for spending together, and not for overspending on the budget.

mental health

Taking time for mental health is something often forgotten. While many separate mental and physical health, they are closely linked in my opinion. When something is weighing heavily upon us and we have difficulty dealing with it yet still continue to go about our daily lives, we end up with mental trauma and anguish. 

Taking time to ensure we have good mental health is equally as important as making sure our bodies are healthy. If you suffer from anxiety, depression, suicidal ideations, or anything that is making your quality of life less than ideal, please visit a medical professional. Please do not wait until it goes too far. 

If you see a loved one suffering, do not avoid them. Engage them and offer your support. People need to know they are cared for.  You might be the one thing that shows them that life is still worth living. 

gilmore girls and me

When Gilmore Girls ran from 2000 to 2007, I didn’t pay much attention to the show.  At that particular point in my life, I couldn’t relate.  I was still married at that point and working overtime consistently.  Then had my sons, and I still could not relate because I had sons, not a daughter; I had a husband, although it often felt like I was parenting and running the household all alone.

I have watched the series a couple of times since my divorce.  I find that I can now relate to the characters much more now than I could when it first came out.  There are a few aspects of the show that I find appealing.

I have five reasons outlined here:

I like that Lorelai is a strong, independent single mother.  She stands up for herself and her daughter.  She does not back down when she feels that she is justified.  I like this tenacity, and it gives me strength when I don’t feel like I have the fight left in me any longer.

I appreciate that Lorelai can be alone comfortably, but that she is not bitter towards men, and still has the hope that somewhere out there, she will find the right one.  That goes without saying that the right one was before her the whole time, but she needed to figure that out for herself, and she did.  Sometimes we all need that opportunity to find things out in our own way instead of being told by someone else.

I admire that she has been successful in her own right.  She worked her way up to managing the Independence Inn, worked herself through college, then embarked upon an entrepreneurial venture with her best friend, Sookie.  This shows tenacity in character, one that I hope I can also demonstrate.  I know this is a make believe story, and that many do not work this way in real life, but sometimes we need to believe the story to give us the courage to carry forward.

I acknowledge that the story shows conflict between Lorelai and her parents.  This is realistic as we all have some sort of conflict to contend with.  It may not be to the extreme that this make-believe family endures, but it is symbolic nonetheless.

I adore the bonding between Lorelai and her daughter, Rory.  This is incredibly important to me as I hope that as my sons continue to grow and develop, that we will also have a bond as strong as the one portrayed between Lorelai and Rory.

When I need motivation to carry forward with the things that are weighing me down in my real life, I find that this show gives me courage to continue on.  I gain strength from the idea that I am not alone in the world of single parenting.  I recognize that I should not close the doors to potential romantic relationships, but at the same time, continue on as I would without the thought of needing a partner.  Every time I watch an episode, it provides me with a little something that I am in need of, and for that I am grateful.