Let’s Celebrate

It’s about time I did a Happily Now post. There has certainly been no shortage of reasons to be happy. In particular I want to talk about Friday, October 4th. This day in general will forever be one of my absolute favourite days as it is my husbands birthday!

This birthday was particularly special as it was the first birthday we got to spend together for him. The previous year distance separated us. However, this year not only were we close in proximity which was amazing BUT it was a milestone year for him.

Clearly, I couldn’t let this day pass by without doing my part to make it as memorable as possible, and to be honest planning his birthday was BEYOND fun! I started a month and a half before the big day and it was well worth it!

You gotta love Pinterest, this is the site where I found the idea that sparked and ignited my own interpretation of a gift… or rather gifts.

Allow me to share the end result with you in case you are looking for birthday gift ideas for someone special in your life. May I say, for the record that giving brings unimaginable joy and I am not referring to expensive gifts, rather, thoughtful gifts. The type of joy I felt on his birthday was priceless. Throughout his entire day I felt full to the brim with love and joy as I watched his sincere excitement throughout the day.

So the gifts…. I am not sure if you’ve ever come across the idea of 12 gifts for 12 hours. Each hour for 12 hours from when they wake up to the evening when they are ready to go to bed essentially. What makes it more special is that you open the gift on the minute that they are turning in age. For example my husband turned 35, so we opened his gifts at 9:35 am, 10:35 am 11:35 am and so forth for a solid 12 hrs. This is the idea the pinterest gave me and I ran with it and added my own touch.

My own touch:

For each gift I wrote a clue as to what might be wrapped. Something unique and fun. For example, one of his gifts was a car flag to hang from the rear view mirror, this particular flag is special because it is the flag of his home country Zimbabwe. Generally a Nicaraguan flag has hung in our car, because that country represents a part of my heritage and the car we drive was mine prior to marriage. Thus the flag remained the same when the car became ours jointly. So my clue was as follows “Time to change things up…. REPRESENT!”, not a clue that one can guess the answer to right away BUT as soon as he opened the gift it made sense and we had a good laugh over it.

Another gift was a touque for his favourite soccer/football club; Liverpool. The clue attached to this gift was, “I never met such a committed man”. My husband will literally wake up at 4 am to watch a game. Commitment my friends – that is some serious commitment.

Essentially, the clues went a long with each gift. The gifts varied in prices from a package of $2.50 shotbloks, to a deck of cards with 52 reasons why I love him, a photo album filled with pictures from our past year together, a bag of his favourite chips (that I introduced him to when we started dating) up to a nice pair of Nike trainers. The fiscal value of the gift does not matter, what matters is the thought behind the gift and ideally being as creative as possible.

He opened his birthday card at 9:35ish with his first gift to kick off the day. I made us a glorious batch of pancakes to enjoy. Let’s just say we are definently pancake people. Waffles are lovely, BUT pancakes are life.

We both took the day off, which helped with the fact that I had wanted to record him opening his gifts. He had no idea there would be a gift for each hour, so the fact he had the day off was perfect.

I gratefully recorded each hour when he opened his gifts and at the end of the day made a movie compilation. I love making movie compilations so that we have it to look back on and share with family who couldn’t be with us. I’ve always wanted a reason to use my video camera and I can definitely say that since my husband entered my life it has been used LOTS. Side note: That was another gift for him – a movie compilation from the beginning of our relationship.

For his cake I baked him a cheesecake. A Reese’s Pieces peanutbutter and chocolate cheesecake with an Oreo cookie crust. It was my first time baking a cheesecake BUT I think it was a major success. My husband loves cheesecake, peanutbutter and reese’s pieces chocolate. Thus the cake was inspired and brought to life for those reasons.

It was a memorable day in my books, and I’m pretty confident my husband felt loved at the end of it all which is all that matters. 1 gift or 12 gifts I know he would have been happy, I just l wanted to make it EXTRA special, which is fitting because I’m sure if you follow my blog you can tell I’m a little EXTRA as is.

Definitely a win in my books; I would highly reccomend this gift idea for your loved ones birthday if you are looking to shake things up. And if you can, I would favour doing the clues as well, a little extra work BUT it is so fun to listen to the guesses and see the reactions as the open the gifts.

Not my usual day to post, but I wanted to share this part of my life because my husband and marriage bring me happiness. There was a time where I thought being in a healthy, happy relationship wasnt attainable. It was a fairy tale – fictional. But my friends, my relationship is real and it is the happiest story I’ve ever encountered. I’ll probably right another post about my first year of marriage because the big 1 year anniversary is on the 13th of this month! Crazy!

I think I’ll try to still keep to a Friday post this week if I can manage, Friday will be the day of my 28th birthday – so we shall see if I can find the time.

If not, it has been a blast being 27!

– Steph

Hello My Love – A Poem

For my Happy Now post I am going to talk about something that brings me joy, which is poetry. I generally write it or am inspired to write it about or for people I love.

Back in the day, during my “dark ages”, I tended to write about the pain I was in whether it be regarding my mental health or the particular relationship I was in. It’s like looking back on a different person when I read that poetry today.

I’ve always enjoyed poetry, it was in grade 5 that I discovered I wasn’t too shabby at it and went on to compile many poems (some make me cringe but I appreciate the creative side I was exploring at that early age)

Typically I don’t share my poetry aside from my immediate family, and husband. However, this year I have been really trying to do new things and take advantage of my stability – living a life now that a few years ago I felt would never come to pass. Stepping out with more confidence shall we say.

So, what does that all have to do with poetry?

Well, my dear readers I entered a contest a few weeks ago. This particular contest caters to entrants who live with a mental health challenge. That’s not to say that’s what you had to write about BUT that was the first thing that came to my mind. So that is exactly what I wrote about.

It was nerve wracking putting myself out for rejection, but you grow when you put yourself in situations that are out of your norm. So I entered.

I received the results back and I did not win or place. However, I do feel like I won. I did something I would have never dreamed of doing before and I grew because of it.

Rejection is a part of life. My family is kind and told me that I should have won. That’s one definite way to know they love me.

So today my dear friends I decided that I will be sharing the poem I entered in the contest.

I hope you enjoy it, and I’ll try to breathe a little more knowing it’s available for everyone in the world to see. But perhaps it will allow me to start sharing beyond my family.

I may not be the world’s greatest poet, but writing poetry enriches my soul and opens another door of self expression for which I am grateful.

I hope you enjoy!

The poem is called –

Hello My Love

Hello my love, she says to herself as she stares into the mirror.

Take courage as you face your day,

Remember there is nothing to fear.

The demons may come,

The demons may go,

But you must stay the course –

You just need to remind yourself that you are strong and use your inner voice.

The lows will come accordingly,

But so will the momentous highs,

You’ll find yourself in bottomless pits then upward into boundless skies.

You are all to familiar knowing that your bitter pain has a relentless companion-

It’s name is hypomania or mania depending on what happens.

These companions are always walking hand in hand,

A contradicting relationship that is at times hard to understand,

And as they walk together all you can do is follow cautiously behind,

Trying to avoid a scene that you will not be able to hide.

You need to face each one with conscientious restraint.

Never letting either consume you –

Constantly resisting to take the bait.

The bait of passion and chaos,

Giving in to emotions unbridled.

While everyone around you is unbeknownst to this battle, because of your charming smile.

That smile that exclaims composure and concealment as you try to find your pace.

A pace where you can breathe as you dip low then high in this mental race.

What does it mean to be free?

As you face each day with the pursuit to be stable.

You are strong,

You are enough and you are able –

Able to battle the battle, that others cannot comprehend.

Each day there is a new beginning yet each day there is no end.

– Steph

Happily Now – A New Chapter

Welcome to a new chapter of my blog and life called “Happily Now”. I am hoping that this section of my blog can yield some inspiration and insight as to my life and lifestyle with my diagnosis of bipolar 2.

This blog is about my journey to my “Happily Ever After“, and that being said I want to share with you the Happily Now moments in my life. Yes, I know that my blog has already illustrated my life with bipolar BUT at the same time it hasn’t. I share my perspectives of life under the category of “Bipolar Bliss”, which is where I express my highs and lows and concepts that I find fascinating (mostly regarding self improvement), yet what does my life look like beyond that? How does my diagnosis impact my confidence, my life pursuits, hobbies and interests?? What does the application of my blog posts look like with the stability I’ve essentially achieved over the course of my diagnosis and lifespan of this blog thus far.

I want to be a little more open with what my life looks like with bipolar 2. I want to show anyone living with this diagnosis or without, that you can have a happy life now. That we can have a dynamic life despite our health diagnosis. I am not just surviving anymore which was the case for so many years, I am thriving and I want to share this part of my journey with you so that you can feel confident in pursuing your own Happily Ever After, enjoying the Happily Now moments as they come along. “Recovery” in respects to a mental illness is a constant choice and I made the decision when I was diagnosed that I would do everything in my power to achieve it. It has not been an easy path BUT ohhh has it been worth it.