What did you want to be when you grew up?

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you accomplish that dream?  Or are you still waiting to grow up ??  I know some of us feel we have yet to grow up – me included some days!!

 

When I was a young girl, I wanted to be a teacher.  In high school, I aspired to be a lawyer.  I think I would have been a good lawyer if I had pursued that, but after working for lawyers for 30 years, I no longer care to ever pursue that long ago dream!!

 

Some of us have big dreams and some of us just want to have a career and make enough money to buy a house, have a family and retire one day.

 

As I have approached my grown up years (I would say that would be about 60 the rate I am going haha), I think I finally have an idea of what I want to be.  While I do love teaching overseas, and I hope to pursue it again in a couple of years, there is a desire to pursue writing full time.  The venue for my writing is still something I am deciding, but I know that if I pursue this and research it like I did with the teaching, I will be successful.  It’s not just research and patience that brings success, it is also attitude.  I have a positive and strong attitude and I know I can do it.

 

So I ask the question again – what do you want to be when you grow up?  Are you happy with what you ended up doing in your life?

 

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Walking the beat of my own drum

I walk to the beat of my own drum.  I have been doing this for a few years, but I will admit, there have been many times that I have followed the crowd.

 

Following the crowd during school seems to be something most of us do.  But who are we following anyway?  The popular kids?  The sports kids?  Have you ever thought about that?

 

Was there someone in your life that you wanted to be like?  That you wanted to be?  I know for me that there were a few people I wanted to be like. Especially in high school.  I wanted to be confident and outgoing, like so many of my friends were.  But I was shy and just hung back, trying to gain the courage to speak up.  Things changed in college and later on in my life, after my divorce.  But if there was anything that I could have changed, it would be to be more confident in myself.  To be stronger and self-assured.

 

Do I regret the way things worked out in my life?  No.  I believe that everything that has happened in my life has happened when it needed to and when the time was right.

 

Do I follow the beat of my own drum now?  Absolutely!!  Would I follow the crowd now?  Unless that crowd was heading to South Africa or Australia or somewhere really cool – then maybe in that case.  But no – I would not follow the crowd now.

 

Follow the crowd or walk to the beat of your own drum.  You choose.  What will you do?

Indulgences

If you could indulge in anything without consequence, what would it be?

 

It’s an interesting question, one that has made me think of all the indulgences I have experienced over the years.  My ultimate indulgence has always been food.  Which is why I have a love hate relationship with my body and my weight!  Food wins every time though.  I am not at my ideal weight, however, I am happy with how I look, and if I want to indulge in cheesecake, then I will.

 

So my answer to this question is all Italian food!  I cannot narrow this down – it’s just too hard.  Lasagna, risotto, pasta of all sorts, arancini, polenta, biscotti, cheeses, desserts – the list is very long!  If I could indulge in Italian food every single day, without consequence (and in my eyes – that means without gaining weight!), then that would be the indulgence I would pick!

 

My trip to Italy in 2014 let me experience the authentic Italian cuisine and it did not disappoint.  I loved all of the scenery, the history, the churches, the beaches, Venice – but the food was absolutely out of this world.  Even with me suffering a horrible cold the entire two weeks I was there, the food was amazing.

 

Just thinking of the food makes me want to go right now and have a bowl of angel hair pasta, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and parmesan reggiano and roma tomatoes – mmmmm.

 

So what would you indulge in?  Would it be food, or something more sinful??

 

 

Writing incentives

Well, I didn’t expect that my blogging would take such a back seat when I returned to Canada, but it apparently has.  At least at the moment.

 

My work life is very busy – working part-time but at full-time hours – and now the Christmas season is here.  I have been busy baking and shopping and working – my down time is spent watching Christmas shows and spending time with my family.  But I really miss my blogging.

 

I have already made my New Year’s Resolutions – one is to be writing at least weekly blogs, another is to improve my writing skills by writing daily, and the other is to start to travel in Canada to see cities I have not seen in my life.  Ottawa is the first city on my list!

 

So to get my writing back up to speed, I ventured into a book store last week and invested in me!  I purchased three books – 500 Writing Prompts, The Book of Me and 52 Lists of Happiness.  I am excited about these books and the Book of Me has taken over my quiet time!  I have already finished about a third of it – it’s a book literally about me.  It asks me questions about my life and it’s a history of everything about me.  It has been eye-opening to see my responses.  It has me delving into memories I thought were long gone.  It feels good to be writing.  And now I need to start blogging again!

 

The 500 Writing Prompts is a book with different ideas of what to write about.  I really like the first one, so this is the one I will start with here.

 

Name the Top Ten Things on your bucket list.

  1.  To write a book.
  2.  To teach kids how to invest in their future.
  3.  To teach adults how they can travel without credit.
  4.  To inspire my children and grandchildren to follow in my footsteps and make their life an incredible adventure.
  5. To volunteer at a children’s village in Nicaragua as a teacher.
  6.  To put my feet in the Indian Ocean.
  7.  To visit my friends in the Czech Republic.
  8. To travel to Switzerland.  (this has been on my bucket list since my 30’s!)
  9.  To see the Northern Lights in Iceland.
  10.  To go on an African Safari.

I know I will accomplish all of this and  more!!!    What will you do?

 

 

Keeping a positive attitude

I was not always a positive person – I was depressed, full of worry over money, my kids  and just life in general.  I hated feeling that way, and was at a loss of what to do.  My kids fed off of my attitude and became the same way.  It took me moving away from Ontario to become the positive person I am now.  Between moving to Calgary and then moving to Prague, I realized that the environment I exposed myself to back then definitely affected my attitude.

 

Now that I have returned to live in Ontario after being away since 2011, I have become very aware of the negativity in my life.  I remain a positive person, but the people I am exposed to are incredibly negative people.

 

There comes a time in every woman’s life that the change happens – yes menopause.  I am going through it right now and hot flashes are NOT fun.  I don’t seem to be experiencing mood swings but there are people at work going through this right now.  In particular, one woman.  She is the most negative, miserable person I have ever met in my life who has the biggest mood swings I have ever seen.  And her mood has almost made me succumb back to my negative thinking.  One day last week, she had me in such a state, I was glad to have my break.  During my break, I sat down, closed my eyes and meditated.  I realized that it was not me in particular that she is angry at (well maybe it’s me a bit but I don’t know why and that’s not my problem).  After deep breathing and then listening to some music, I came back, put a smile on my face and have not let her bother me since.

 

I refuse to let anyone ever again affect me and my positive attitude.  The customers enjoy talking to me, my other fellow employees and I  have a lot of fun working together and I love this job.  It is not teaching – one day it will be my career again but right now is not that time.

 

I know I do not need to move away to find peace in my mind and enjoy my time back in my hometown.  As I have discovered, there is so much to do in  life and so much to see and enjoy, and I won’t let little things bring me down like I did years ago.

 

Battling “travel-sickness”

Being homesick is natural – you go off travelling, or get married and move away, or just move away from your hometown.  You eventually miss certain things of your home, the comfort of having family nearby, the comforts of familiar places to go to, whether its a shopping mall or favourite restaurant.  You get homesick.  It is normal.  But travelsickness?  Is that even a thing??

 

I believe it is.  I have heard this from fellow travellers who have experienced this.  They are away from home for a year or more, come back home and adjust to being back home, and then experience “travelsickness”.  That feeling of being on the road seeing new things, or living in another country and missing walking to the Castle in the evening (yes – I am talking about me!).

 

I am excited and happy to be back in Canada.  I truly am.  But I would be lying to say that I don’t miss being in Europe, or travelling through Chile, or teaching the kids in China.  I must state here that while I miss the kids in China a lot, I do not miss being in the country of China!

 

I miss Prague.  Especially now that the Christmas season is almost here – walking through the Christmas markets, the hot wine, the sounds and smells of Wenceslas Square, the serenity of Prague Castle at night, the busyness of Karluv Most, and the amazing friends I met there.  I miss Prague.  A lot.  I look back at my pictures and reminisce of my time there, and feel nostalgic.  Prague was my home for almost two years.  Living so close to Prague Castle was like a dream come true.  One day, I will go back and visit.  To inhale the aroma of the city.  To envelop myself within the city.  To see old friends and enjoy a beer in Letna Park, people watching, chatting and enjoying my time there once again.

 

I miss Chile.   The walks on the beach.  The warmth of the sun.  The amazingness of the Atacama desert.  The feeling of peace that I felt while I was there.  The feeling of joy that I experienced.  I discovered a lot of myself in Chile, and I treasure the time I got to spend there.  I have become an even more positive person from that trip through Chile.

 

So yes, I am happy to be back in Canada, but I miss my adventures of the past three years.  My adventures aren’t over – I am starting a new chapter in my life, which I know will be a positive one for me. But for now, I am going to accept the fact that I have travelsickness.  And it’s okay.

Be Kind to Each Other

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day – a day to remember those who fought for our freedom.  A day to remember the sacrifices they gave up so we can be free to do what we want now.  It is a time to reflect.  To be thankful.  To feel the love that is around us.

 

I spent the day today visiting my daughter – having lunch and wandering around Hamilton, Ontario.  Since I have started traveling, I have started watching people even more.  One thing that was interesting today was seeing so many sour faces walking around in Hamilton.  So much sadness in their faces.  I made a point today to compliment people that I saw, to leave a good tip at lunch to make my waitress know I appreciated her time with me, and to smile at people in the mall to hopefully give them a bright spot in their day.

 

Today has been such a special day – a wonderful day with my daughter, spending quality time together, and having a heartfelt talk tonight with my son.  I have missed my kids while I was traveling and am so grateful to be able to have the ability to talk to them every day if we want to now.  I want everyone around me to feel the love that I have inside, to know that life is such a precious commodity and that it is oh so short in the scheme of things.  If you want to do something, do it!  If you want to eat chocolate cake for breakfast – do it. If you want to do something crazy (and legal) – do it!

 

One of the most important things to do is to be kind to each other – to show each other that we are all worthy of being here.  The veterans that we remember tomorrow are the people we should be very grateful for making this world worthy to be living freely in.

 

I make an effort every day to be kind to every customer that comes in to the store I work in.  I smile and have a kind word to everyone.  I believe that because of everything I have seen in my life gives me a new way to look at people.  I want to be kind to everyone.

 

I am grateful for those who went to war for our freedom, and I thank them all for their service.  I choose to be kind to everyone I see, because of this gratefulness that I have in my heart.  So let’s be kind to one another and make this world a better place.