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Showing posts from February, 2012

"Pop Culture and Inspiration"

Last night I curled up in my favourite chair, wrapped the cozy afghan that Grandma Pringle had lovingly made for me years before, now worn and soft from all the comfort it has long provided me, and settled in for an hour of one of my favourite shows, Glee. Which sing out loud pop songs were in store for me? What zingers would Sue Sylvester be hurling Mr. Shue's way? Oh, I could hardly wait for an hour of fun. Oops! Apparently, Glee hadn't gotten my memo.

Instead of a lighthearted hour filled with pop music, it was an hour of inspiration of another kind. Wait. An hour of inspiration, you are thinking? It was about teen suicide. Yes, it was. But inspiration is wherever you choose to see it. I was inspired that the writers and producers of what appears on the surface to be a silly, fluffy show about teenagers, don't seem to shy away from the hot topics of our times - teen pregnancy, homosexuality, and now teen suicide. Silly at times, yes. Fluffy? Rarely.

During my own 20+ y…

"Rainy Vancouver Days and Simplicity"

"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

I am on vacation. That's right - two whole weeks to myself in which I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.  Sheer bliss. I can book a spur of the moment trip to London. I can hop in my car and drive across Canada. I can redecorate my apartment, complete with freshly painted walls in bright, new colours. Oh, the possibilities!

So how am I actually spending it? Well, the first three days have been celebrated with doses of extra-strength Tylenol cold medication, naps, comfy jammies, and extended bouts of coughing. Glamorous and exciting, non?

I am not surprised that I am sick. The last month or so has been very busy for me - I transitioned into a new job and in the process trained my replacement. I have attended two career fairs for work and given a presentation to a community partner. In addition to this, I celebrated a milestone - it's been six months since I return…

"Love and Be Loved"

"Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if at all possible." ~ David Nicholls, British writer

When I was a child I used to adore Valentine's Day. I loved decorating the little box that would sit at the front of my desk at school. I can still remember lovingly and painstakingly punching out the old-fashioned Valentine's cards and selecting the perfect one for each of my classmates - Laura should get this one and Nicole should get that one. It was so fun to walk around the classroom and drop a Valentine into each box and so exciting to dump my own box upside down and read the ones that I received. Back then Valentine's Day was simple and sweet - it was about celebrating love and friendship.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, a day both loved and dreaded. I used to fall into the latter category when I was in my twenties and without a boyfriend. It seemed to me that everyone was…

"Let's Talk!"

I am a daughter, a sister, a friend. I am an aunt, a cousin and a niece. I am a colleague and a neighbour. I suffer from depression. I am not so different from so many other Canadians who have also waged war against this awful illness.

Wednesday, February 8th is Bell Canada's Let's Talk Day. Bell, along with spokesperson and Olympian Clara Hughes, is dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues in Canada and breaking down the walls of silence. For far too long now depression and anxiety have been topics rarely raised during conversation. When they are discussed, it's usually in whispered tones. Well, I refuse to accept the shame attached. I simply refuse.

After a 20+ year struggle with depression and anxiety to varying degrees, I am a survivor. I didn't give in no matter how tempting. And believe me, it was tempting at times. But I was lucky because I have always had people around me who I could talk to, people who I could share my darkest moments with. Not …

"Sticks and Stones (and sand)"

Has someone ever hurt your feelings? Maybe they said something that made you so angry that you wanted to yell or you felt so sad that you wanted to cry. But instead of saying something, you held it inside. You think to yourself, well, I could tell them how I feel but that might upset them, they might be mad at me - they might feel hurt. Maybe they matter more.

What about work? Have you ever had a job where you just felt like you were going through the motions and not really contributing anything? Did you dread Monday morning - and Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Thursday?  Have you ever worked for a company that you just didn't believe in? Maybe the product wasn't quite right or the way that it was sold didn't feel good to you?

I had an interesting conversation with someone at work today whom I greatly respect and admire, both professionally and personally. While the conversation started out about work and a specific task, we ended up speaking about personal integrity. I was r…