Merry Christmas!

I am writing this as I sit downstairs on the couch (my bed for the night) in my awesome flannel PJs that my best friend got me (Thank you Tina). Surrounded by blow up beds which my cousins will be sleeping on. My aunt, uncle and cousins are upstairs playing Yuker (an awesome card game). I’ve got the gusto channel on in the background and it’s making me hungry. (I’m not actually hungry though, as usual, I had more than one plate at Christmas.)

I wanted to write a “Merry Christmas” blog. And hopefully I will (it’s taken me about 10 minutes already just to write this because the food channel is distracting me).

It’ll be short though, the food and the drinks have me ready for bed.

I mostly just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I hope that you have all enjoyed the past 2 days. It’s been rainy and hot, which isn’t really the white Christmas we often hope for, but there is still some snow on the ground, and I must say I have enjoyed walking my dogs in the past two days without having to wear a tuque.

I also hope that you have been able to spend it with friends and family, be they great in number or small.

I must admit, this has been a bit of a hard Christmas for me. There have been many laughs and smiles, but there have also been some moments where I just needed to be alone and be sad. In those moments, I was sad but mad at myself at the same time. Mad and guilty because I felt like I should be happy. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, a time to be merry. And I know that I am lucky to have such a wonderful family to celebrate with, and therefore I felt that I had no reason to be sad.

But I realize now, that I needn’t be so hard on myself. I am extremely thankful for all that I have. But it’s ok to be sad sometimes too, especially when you need to be sad. It sucked to be sad at Christmas of course, but it wasn’t all of Christmas, just certain moments. I think I am realizing for the first time how it is good for the soul to experience all emotions. I’ve always been so happy. And so as much as it sucks to feel sad, it almost feels good in a sense to let it take over you, and to let it penetrate you. To feel it completely and to recognize it for what it is. Only once you do this, can you grow stronger.

I do not mean for this to be a sad blog, on the contrary, I hope it is an inspiring blog. Life is meant to be lived fully. And you cannot live life fully without embracing everything and every feeling life has to offer. It is easy to hide, and easy to stay away from that which scares us. We let our fears dictate our lives too often. Instead, we need to simply take the jump, hop on the rollercoaster and enjoy every part of the ride. Embrace all moments, good and bad, and be thankful for the opportunity to do so.

So that is my Christmas rant.

To end, I think I’d like to quote the book I am currently reading (Tuesdays with Morrie). It goes as follows:

“If you don’t have the support and love and care and concern that you get from a family, you don’t have much at all.”

My family and friends have been nothing but supportive, caring, loving and concerned for me throughout my whole life, and especially in these past few months.

And so I feel like I do have it all, and I am so thankful that I can say that. So I would like to thank you all.

And I wish everyone the best for the New Year.

Dream big and chase your dreams, no matter how impossible they seem.

merry xmas pic

Making Time for What Makes you Smile

Okay!

Here I am. Back in action. I’ve been meaning to blog for ages now it seems.

Since leaving the farm I’ve been pretty busy. However, I feel like that is no excuse for me to have stopped blogging.

I began blogging to keep my friends and family informed and up to date on my whereabouts, experiences and thoughts. However, I realize I would like to keep blogging because it is important to me. Blogging allows me to improve my communication skills, organize my ideas and share them with not only my friends and family, but possibly the world. And so although I have been busy, I still need to make time for myself, and make time for blogging, because it makes me happy.

What am I going to blog about today? I’m not really sure. Like I said, I have been meaning to blog for ages. I have tons of thoughts and ideas that I would like to share.

I am very much enjoying the snow right now, and am looking forward to cooking and baking lots of Christmas goodies. Including homemade dinner rolls and cranberry sauce. Lots of healthy desserts with little or no sugar, such as peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, brownies, fudge, gingerbread cookies and anything else I can think of. I think I will make them first and see how they turn out before I share the recipes with you though. So that is to come. Please hold me accountable.

I think what my blog may be about today, is remembering to make time for yourself and doing what makes you happy.

When I left the farm, my plan was to come back to Montreal to live a “normal” life for a bit. Not because I necessarily wanted to live a “normal” life but more so because I felt it wouldn’t hurt while I attempted to save up money.

My main goal was (and still is) to save money so that I can eventually buy a little piece of land (here or elsewhere) on which I can live. I would love to be able to make money on my own through my own business, but at the moment, I am still in the process of discovering what that business will be (gardening, nutrition, fitness, etc). And so I knew that in the meantime I would have to find a job. And as much as I would like to save up money sooner rather than later, I also know it is important to enjoy the moment. Therefore I was willing to make less in order to continue working in a positive and meaningful environment that I could be proud of.

Thus my job at Ecollegey came about. And am I ever happy to be working there! It’s a great little store, filled with healthy and delicious food that I can bring home with me at the end of my shift. I also work with a great group of people who I am learning from everyday. Plus I am always on my feet, travelling up and down the stairs from the storage basement to the store, and there is always something to do (I absolutely despise working jobs that leave you twiddling your fingers and having to look for work to keep busy).

As it is a small business there’s always a lot to be done, all the time. I feel like I could just sleep there sometimes. It’s hard to leave because there is always something else to do. Never mind, that when I do things, I tend to give all of myself, and I give 100%. So I’ve been working 40+ hr weeks, and thinking and dreaming of work even when I’m at home, whether I want to be or not.

Consequently, as you can maybe guess, I began to burn out. You all know I’m a pretty happy person, so when I went through 2 consecutive weeks of being low, tired and irritable I finally put the brakes on and went ” Hey! What is going on with me?!”. I’m not used to feeling low, or bummed and I don’t like it at all. And so I wanted to figure out what was wrong. I knew I was working a lot, but I’ve always had a lot of energy, and so I didn’t understand why I was feeling so run down, mentally and physically.

My number one problem, and I’ve known this for awhile, was that I was no longer working out. Yes I had worked hard on a farm all summer, and yes my job at Ecollegey is very active, but I hadn’t been doing any cardio or intensive interval training on a regular basis for many many months. Originally, I did not want to sign up to a gym, because I believe that you can get just as good of a workout at home without having to put out any money. However, working out alone does test your determination. I thought I’d be able to work out on my own at home, but living on the 3rd floor, I feel limited in what I can do as I do not want to be stomping on my neighbour’s heads. Furthermore, having always played team sports, I simply work out better in a group than I do on my own; I push myself a lot more when surrounded by other people. So although I did not want to have to pay for a gym membership originally, I have decided that it is worth the money if it is going to make me happy.

I went to my first class 2 weeks ago, and within the first 10 minutes I was telling myself “this is what you have been missing! this is what you need!”. I felt better mentally, and when you feel good mentally you automatically feel better physically. And so I will be joining Energie Cardio in the New Year where I can attend to as many free classes as I want, and also use the gym for weight training and cardio. In the meantime, I have been assisting classes at FitClub24, where you pay 8$ to get not only an awesome workout, but also a pre-workout tea and a post work-out protein shake (both of which are delicious). I would continue going there because it is a great environment, it’s got a real family-feel to it, but it’s not close to my work or my home, and it would cost me a fortune to be working out 3-5 times a week.

And my number two problem, I have come to realize, is that I have been way too invested at work. Originally, I had just wanted something that would pay the bills, a job that I didn’t have to bring home with me. But with the store being a small business, and I being someone who gives a lot of themselves, it was practically impossible for me to not become fully invested. But this meant that I was mentally tired at the end of the day, not so much because I was giving a lot of myself, but because I am so hard on myself and beat myself up for every little mistake (and I really am learning by making mistakes at this job). Plus I’m working a lot of hours, and it’s hard to pry myself away from work. Therefore, I haven’t been taking the time to do what I wanted to do, which is research gardening, nutrition and fitness in my free time. These three things I hope to learn a lot on so that I can eventually help people start their own gardens, or create meal plans for people, or prepare healthy meals for people, or help people work out. These are the things I want to do with my future but I haven’t been taking the time to work towards these goals.

When I made this realization I immediately felt better. I’ve been go-go-go since I got back to Montreal and I’ve sort of had my head in the sand. Now that I’ve reminded myself of my future goals and have decided (again) to take the time to reach them, I feel much calmer. Which is a wonderful feeling.

As much as I am mad at myself for losing sight of what I really want, and not taking the time to be happy, I am also quite happy that I didn’t spend too much time astray. As I get older, I think I am getting better and better at listening to my gut and not putting up with what I don’t like. I’m also getting better at realizing and knowing what I like and what I don’t like. And when you don’t like something, you need to move on. Never settle, keep searching. Some of us find what we are looking for, and some of us don’t. But the joy is in the journey, not the destination.

So I hope this blog has reminded everyone how important it is to make time for the things that make you happy.

I hope you never give up what makes you smile, and never give up on your dreams.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas! (in case I don’t blog until after the holidays)

Feliz Navidad!

happy