Tag Archives: Happiness

This Week Rocked a Bit. Here’s Why.

19 May

• Summer hours have started at work for me. Each Friday before a long weekend like the one coming up this weekend (Victoria Day in Canada), my company is closed. I’ve been looking forward to this first extra long weekend for months, and it has been nothing short of uplifting getting through these last few days knowing that it’s a short work week.

• The BF has spent an intense month finishing up his final semester at school. He’s taken time off from his full-time job so that he could complete his term papers and study for his final exams. On Tuesday, he got a call from work letting him know that though he was scheduled to go back to work today, they wouldn’t need him for the rest of the week. This means that we  are able to leave for our road trip to Prince Edward County tomorrow morning, a full day and a half earlier than planned. This is also going to be our very first true long weekend together in two and a half years. His current job has him working Saturdays, so we haven’t even enjoyed a full weekend with each other in that length of time either.

• The BF wrote his final college exam yesterday, and is much closer to being a licensed optician. Amidst all the chaos of the last couple of weeks, this company to which he had submitted his résumé two and a half years ago called him for a job interview. And then, just hours after he wrote his exam yesterday, that company called to offer him the position. Timing could not have been more strange. While he is still on this road to completing the program and requirements to fulfill a new career path, he now has an amazing opportunity to work for a company that will utilize all his skill sets and education in both the IT and Optical fields.

• And the big fat cherry on top of my all good news week? Today, I received an email from Pawsh Magazine letting me know that Jelly is being featured as its Pet of the Week! How fun is that? We’re trying to not let it get to her head too much that she has become a bit of a celebrity.


An Introduction

18 Feb

This is Jelly.

We pick her up tonight from the breeder’s and she’s coming home with us tonight.

She is really sweet and we are looking forward to taking care of her for life.


(sorry about the quality of the photo. it was a quick snap, in a dark room on my iPhone)


6 Oct

Image from vi.sualize.us

I’ve been alluding to some changes in my life that I’ve been wanting to make in the last few months. One of the more major aspects of my life to which I’d been referring is work. While on the most part I’m happy with what I’m doing – like everyone else, there are good days and there are bad days – I’ve felt for a long time that I needed a change. For me, it’s an ongoing search for more balance between life and work. In the industry that I work, and the role that I fill, it’s nearly impossible for me to confine myself within that 9 to 5 window. I take work home with me, whether it’s physically or mentally – I am not able to just “switch off” when I leave my desk. My mind is constantly racing with all work-related problems to solve, and thinking of solutions to offer. I’m really good at what I do. I strive for excellence in my work, and I’m really hard on myself when I deliver something that I consider to be less than that.

In a more conventional setting, what I do would be split between two different people. There are two roles that occupy my single body at my work. And yes, while I am able to manage this and do my job(s) well, it is taxing as I’m required to switch gears so quickly many times in the course of a day. I find myself in a position where I am constantly reacting, when I would much rather be in a position where I could give more careful thought to what I am doing.

Not to say that this isn’t a privileged position, because it is – I’ve learned a great deal just by doing and being, and that’s taken me to a point in my career now where I can choose between two paths. I’m happy to say that I’ve made that choice, and my new journey down that more focused career path starts at the end of this month. It was a little heartbreaking to resign from my job – I actually cried while telling my boss about my decision this past Monday, that I’ve accepted an offer from another company for a truly terrific opportunity. I mean, who does that? Cries when handing over a resignation letter to her male boss? I’m such a weenie! So, it’s worth saying that my resignation doesn’t come from a place of complete unhappiness or dissatisfaction. I’ve been here for a few years, and have made some good friends out of colleagues and as much as I have become ingrained within the culture and community of my company, that culture and community is as equally a huge part of me too. Saying goodbye to all this will be a lot harder than I imagined.

The whole process unfolded rather quickly. I got a tiny nudge from a friend with whom I used to work to start thinking about my career and how it was affecting my lifestyle. A couple of days later, I sent my résumé out to two postings that I came across, interviewed at both companies, and received an offer of employment from one. This was all in the span of two weeks. I’d been contemplating an active search for a new job for a while, but was holding myself back because of timing – there’s that big overseas trip that I’m taking at the end of the year and I worried that any potential employer would see that as irresponsible and maybe question my commitment to them. I was also worried that the job search process was going to be a long and drawn out one, and that there were only a limited amount of lies I could create to explain why I had to be away from work for interviews. Plus, I had just gained another week’s vacation at my company, which I was completely psyched about, and will not even have had an opportunity to take advantage of because my tenure there ends in just two and a half weeks.

Though now I realize that the timing is actually quite perfect for this transition. I’d applied for this job on a bit of a whim, and that whim became a major decision I had to make that would impact my life in a really positive way.

Ruff Times Ahead?

16 Jun

Image from: weheartit.com

When we visited The BF’s cousins in New Jersey a few years ago, we also met their Shih Tzu. He was the cutest dog I’d ever encountered, with tons of energy and a huge, unconditional affection for his owners and he was just so eager to please everyone. Whenever anyone would enter the apartment, no matter who it was, he would immediately stop what he was doing and run exactly 2 laps around the perimeter of the living room. Every time. Once completed the laps, he would come to your feet and properly greet you by eagerly pawing at your legs. Who wouldn’t love to be greeted so enthusiastically every time you came home?

We’ve been toying with the idea of getting a dog of our own for a few years now. Even though we have our own house now, things have gotten a little bit harder. The BF no longer works from home, and we are both gone at work for extended hours 4 days a week. We know that it would be unfair to the puppy to leave him at home for that long. It goes without saying that a dog is a living being that depends wholly on his owner to feed him, clean him, provide the necessities to survive, as well as the attention and affection needed to keep him happy and comfortable and well taken care of.

I see it with one of my co-workers and how her life is affected by being a single mom to 2 puppies. She’s up at the crack of dawn every day no matter how she feels or how late she might’ve gone to bed the night before to take her dogs out. She spends hundreds of dollars each week on a dog walking service. Even if we are swamped, she has to drop what she is doing every day to leave no later than 5:30 so that she can dash home to let them out on those days that her dog walker hasn’t visited. Fortunately, when she is planning on going on vacation or even away for a weekend, she has a lot of support and options for the care of her puppies. The most unfortunate thing is that her older one has been suffering from a lot of health problems since he was a puppy. He was very ill for a few days with a virus last year, and after a number of tests, the doctors were unable to determine what was wrong with him and consequently, didn’t know how to make him better. He eventually got better on his own at home, and has been quite healthy since. He’s also had 2 surgeries on his hind knees. He’s just a couple of years old, and she has already spent tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills for him. Luckily, she had the foresight to purchase pet insurance, which has covered the majority of these bills. I see how hard it is on her, being by herself and with 2 puppies, and she says it all the time. However, no matter how tough she says it is when it gets really trying, more often than not she talks about how awesome they each are and how she wouldn’t give them up for anything.

When you choose to become a dog owner you introduce a different set of priorities into your life and they become your most important ones. Spontaneity becomes a thing of the past. Your expenses increase. Your time can’t be considered your own. Many things to consider before we really get serious about dog ownership. It’s an enormous responsibility and a forever commitment. We’ve had lots of talks about what it would be like to have a puppy in our life and what support we could draw on to make sure the puppy is properly taken care of. Without question, our life would change drastically, though despite the adjustments we’d have to make, it would be really fun to have a dog in our life. We would have the privilege of its loyal companionship and seeing its happy face greeting us every time we walk through the door. Camping and our other outdoor activities will have an extra layer of enjoyment with a dog accompanying us. And, we’ll have a good reason to finally get out and explore our neighborhood and the nearby parks with our new friend.

I think that we will be starting to visit breeders next month and taking more steps towards the big plunge!

Some Random Bits

26 May

The last few days have been GLORIOUS! I suppose that this early summer in Ontario is making up for the lack of one last year. The heat is getting intense, and the sun has been brilliant. It’s exactly as I like it. Things are also getting sorted at work, or in the least, my insane project cluster has been unclustering. We spent a gorgeous weekend in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Pictures will be posted soon – at my very first opportunity – and I’ll be sure to be sipping from a glass of white from our own Niagara wine country at the same time. I also had some happy news delivered to me with some home made Korean Kalbi last night at my dragon boat practice. Life is looking good.


30 Apr
Image from: weheartit.com

We’ve become so accustomed to instant communication that we’ve come to expect immediate responses from others. It has blanketed everything we do with this sense of extreme urgency. It’s come to the point that if you do not respond to something within a reasonable amount of time, you are deemed unresponsive, lazy or dismissive.

The climate at my work has become tainted by this. If I’m not able to answer a phone call or chat message for any reason, I get chased. If I cannot answer an email quickly enough, I feel as if I’m not doing my job well. I’m sure this affects my actual productivity at work, because I’m expected to respond so quickly, that I will interrupt whatever task I should be concentrating on whenever a new email appears in my inbox so that I can address it immediately.

Recently, it was recommended by someone I work with that I get myself a Blackberry so that I could be better connected. So that I could have one more line connecting me to work. As if my mobile phone isn’t quite enough.

I will NOT buy MYSELF a Blackberry so that I can be more accessible for work. Because really? How dire can any of these emergencies by? We don’t save lives. These situations never involve blood, or guts. We work on Mac computers and make things look nice and pretty so that people will want to spend their hard-earned money to buy these things. It’s not life and it certainly isn’t death.

Technology is awesome, yeah. But all these devices and doodads that give us this amazing ability to communicate with each other when we don’t even have to be in the same room, or even have to use our voices to have good old-fashioned conversation and dialogue are causing us to lose sense of what a commodity our time really is. We’re in such a rush. Always needing to be connected in case we miss something. Responding. Reaching out for the sake of reaching out, or simply because we can and because that person is accessible, not necessarily for a meaningful connection. Our technology, which is evolving daily, is supposed to offer us convenience but it’s robbing us of our own time and not allowing us to appreciate it. It has made it almost necessary for us all to be connected to the world and engaged with it at all times. It’s made it hard for us to actually turn off and connect with the world the way that we used to. Remember how we used to be in those times?

Why I Am a Witch with a Capital “B”

12 Apr

I just recently started following Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project blog. There’s been a lot of coverage about this project and her book in the media, and I’ve also been tracking the progress of a couple of bloggers who have embarked on this project and have been chronicling their progress along the way. Rubin’s post today really struck a chord in me, so much that it stayed with me for almost the whole day. She wrote about the link between irritability/anger and the desire for control. She begins her post by writing:

One of my more disagreeable faults is my irritability. I lose my temper easily; I “speak in a mean voice” as my daughters describe it; I become impatient and act annoyed; I feel anxious about something, so I snap at my family; I feel criticized, so I lash out.

My initial thought when I read that was “Oh my God, that’s me!” As much as I try to deny it, I know that I am needlessly irritable and I lash out unnecessarily and flagrantly at The BF. I am an anxious person and I will often speak with that same harsh edge that Rubin describes, when it really is uncalled for in otherwise normal situations and conversations. And then when this happens, I am questioned as to why I am speaking in that mean tone and because I feel like I am being attacked or challenged, it usually erupts into a bigger deal and I deny that my tone was antagonistic at all. The truth of it is, I feel guilty and just as surprised that I have been so harsh at all.

There have been many discussions between me and my boyfriend about my need for control. About my need to have everything done my way, on my time line. Oh, and when I say “discussions,” I actually mean fights. He’s said on many occasions that I am the one who decides what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and when it needs to be done. When things don’t happen the way I have “asked” for them to, I get angry and short with him. And when I can’t do things myself as correctly as I had envisioned, I become angry with myself. Worse is when I feel like I have no control of a situation, especially when I am at work, and this is when I become frantic because there are so many elements that need to be checked and balanced. If I’m going to be away from work for any period of time and I have to relinquish my projects to someone else in my absence, I fret secretly the entire time about whether or not I am going to come back to some kind of disaster.

I guess The BF has more insight than I am willing to give him credit for, according to Rubin’s post. I can admit it here on my blog for all of you to see, but I am actually reluctant to voice this revelation – or should we call it confirmation – to him. Is this why I am always so irritable and unpleasant to be around? My compulsion to be in control. My answer would be a loud, resounding “yes,” because sometimes I thoroughly annoy myself with this.

Like Rubin, I suppose I need to work on my mindfulness. In those moments that I am able to admit and recognize that I am being edgy, then I need to try to make a special effort to try to calm myself down. But most of all, I need to train my mind to know that there are many things that simply are out of my control. I need to learn to accept this. The last thing I want to be is that unpleasant person that no one wants to be around because she creates unpleasant situations, especially to The BF who has chosen to be here with me.

Signs of Spring

2 Apr

Photo by: _tomanthony via flickr Creative Commons

It’s April 2nd, the first day of a long weekend, and it’s gorgeous out.

I’ve opened our windows to let the fresh air into our house for the first time this year. To me, one of the best things about spring is letting that sunny breeze inside.

We took our bikes north and spent the afternoon riding and climbing the country roads. It wasn’t exactly the longest distance we’ve ever ridden, but the climbs were tough and it was the first ride of the season. I’m going to tell you a secret – we are getting ourselves ready and trained for a little try-a-tri this summer. There, I said it. I think that means it’s a real goal now.

We had some good eats at a pub out in the country. Rewarded ourselves after our ride with some lamb burgers, some pints of dark ale, and a wee bit of apple crumble at the end of it all.

And now, he’s outside scrubbing down the BBQ and getting it ready for a good and full season of grilling, which for us, starts tomorrow.

In this part of the world, we’re getting an early start to spring this year, and I hope that everyone took advantage of this beauty day too. We deserve it.

Nothing Else Like This

16 Mar

Image Credit: weheartit.com

You can’t help it. When the sun makes its first appearance known by bringing with it the warmer temperatures, everything feels like happiness. It’s hard to not be in a good mood. We start to really believe that the winter is behind us. You leave work and there’s still more day left. A stranger on the sidewalk feels good and smiles at you and you smile back because you feel good too. The changing light makes the world seem almost brand new to you. We say hello to spring. Welcome. What took you so long?

My Weekend in a Few Pictures and More Words

8 Mar

I think I kind of love this time of year, especially after the weekend we just had. The days are getting noticeably longer, the sun was shining all weekend, and the warming temperature made us feel a little bit closer to the Spring. Though there’s still small patches of snow on my front lawn, I’m pretty encouraged knowing that they will soon melt and our world of grey and brown muck will be revived with lively greens and tiny buds of life waiting to bloom.

We had a really productive yet mellow Sunday, and I’m pretty sure that I owe the relaxedness of it all to the prospect of Spring. We started our day pretty early by having breakfast with Ai and Steph, after which we did a little running around to do some of our typical Sunday errands.

It was a beauty day. I love what the sunshine does to our front entrance on days like this.

We got home and I had to start making our food for the week. I turned on  Julie and Julia on my laptop and started to cook up a bit of a storm. Among the stuff that I made was this improvised thrown-together kind of thing. I had bought a head of broccoli and some sweet potatoes, and because I had intended on roasting both in the oven, I thought that I would save myself a little bit of time and combined the two on a baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil, red pepper flakes, Herbamare and garlic cloves.

A little bit of a strange combination, but completely edible and pretty tasty. I love the colours!

A few weeks ago, Leesh suggested that I  join Fab Brunette’s Fabulous Book Swap and because it sounded like a completely cool and neat thing to do, I signed up. I’m so glad that I did because I got my book in the mail today! My book swap partner ended up being Für Elisse, a blogger whom I’ve checked out more than a few times on Leesh’s Blog Roll. I had sent an email to Elisse yesterday introducing myself as her book swap partner, and also to explain myself in advance of her getting the package that I had sent because I was totally embarrassed about the way that I had sent her the book I had chosen for her. I was completely impersonal and anonymous by wrapping the book in a FedEx pak, and inserting that into a plain cardboard envelope. So, I felt that I had to explain to her that I am brand new to the world of blogging and she was my first ever swap buddy. I promise I will be better next time I participate in something like this! Now I’m so glad that I emailed Elisse, because she ended up being totally awesome and sweet and now I have a new friend through this blogging thing.

This was the pretty package I got from Elisse.

I see now that little touches like this make all the difference when you are getting a package in the mail. Elisse even included a lovely little note that explained what the book meant to her and why she chose it for me.

I now get to add Still Alice by Lisa Genova to my library and am looking forward to reading it and to really sinking my teeth into this book. I have eyed it a few times at the bookstore, but never picked it up. With Elisse’s endorsement, I’m sure that I’ll love it and can’t wait for a chance to sit down with it. Thanks Elisse! I hope you like what I’ve sent to you too.

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