One, Two Skip A Few

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Today is one of those days that makes all other chaos freeze. One of my best friends flew in for a visit, I haven’t seen her for 3 years BUT that time and distance has not detracted from out friendship. And over the course of the past 4 days we’ve had so much to laugh about and we have built some magnificent memories including a few firsts, such as canoeing  (My friend had never before canoed)

I’ve honeslty never been one to have an overwhelming amount of “friends” I’ve often stuck to myself BUT over time I’ve had the honor of meeting some incredible people that I sincerely felt I could call my “friend”.

I think it’s fair to say that I’ve had many acquaintances throughout my life BUT the quantity of those relationships were never AND are not even remotely close to the quality of the few friendships that I have developed. My father always told me “it’s better to be alone than in bad company”,  I hold that advice with high regard. It’s fair to say that when I’ve let that rule of thumb slip I suffered the consequences.

Be open to friendship; although I thrive on my own I have never passed up the opportunity to invest in a worthwhile human being BECAUSE I think there is a rarity that surrounds meeting someone who you truly get to feel “at home with.”

I had the honor over this busy weekend to make a new friend. Although it’s early on I am confident that our friendship is going to grow and build into something wonderful. “We clicked” a silly little cliche that holds it’s own.

Here’s to a new week, filled with new opportunities and new beginnings.

Never doubt your worth, never lower your standard to appeal to someone that had no intentions of lifting you up but instead only pulls you down. Keep good company & Keep growing! 

– Steph

Tick Tock

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Goodness Gracious! My apologies for the inconsistent posts lately. This past weekend I was away camping and boy oh boy! Was it ever fun!!

I haven’t been camping in years, and this past weekend I had to scratch my head and ask myself why not?!

We had a family reunion and it was incredibly fun & interesting to see all of my cousins. Especially since we are all adults now and not little kids running around…. although there we still our moments ran when we ran around. It was also so interesting to see an abundance of children running around on our behalf since most of my cousins and sisters have kids of their own now.

Sometimes it just really hits home how fast time flys. I feel like this past year has gone by in the blink of an eye. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing but it’s definitely made me question how I choose to spend my time and who I choose to spend it with.

You never get time back. It’s the most precious commodity we have in this life. It’s currency never expires and it’s value never decreases. It’s precious and it’s important that we give it to others wisely and spend it on ourselves wisely.

After my family reunion finished we packed our tents and my youngest sister, her husband and I drove to another city to attend a heritage day festival. This festival was filled with pavilions of different countries showcasing history, dancing, music, and FOOD! It was so much fun, and worth the drive to create those memories with one another.

This week looks like it’s going to be busy, and I’m excited to see what unfolds and what I create throughout it. I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend or if it was just a regular weekend… I hope you still enjoyed it.

At the beginning of this week I encourage you to take a look at where you are investing your time. Ask yourself if it’s worthwhile? Are you getting a return on your investment? Does it profit and enrich your own life? Does it offer as much as it takes?

It’s a fresh week; learn and let go from last week, move on with intention this week, make new memories, live, laugh and love.

– Steph

Find A Little Freedom

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Read this quote… alright, read it again… and now read it one more time for good measure.

Now relax, sit back and allow yourself to savor every single word. I really want you to think about what you’ve just read; what this quote actually means. To me it means freedom and it means liberation!

I think and over think to a point where I can literally make myself sick. And more often than not I’m worrying about things I have absolutely no control over (can I get an AMEN! if you know what I’m talking about) So what has been my antidote to fight these turmetulous thoughts? Learning. Learning has seriously been my saving grace in life, and undoubtedly it can be one in yours as well.

Applying ourselves to different scenarios, exposing ourselves to different situations; this is living. This is what life’s about. This is exercise that our minds yearn for, not worrying incessantly.

Yesterday I was determined to be productive; challenging both my mental  and dexterous skill set. So what did I end up doing? I went to a pick n’ pull car yard! I am by no means a mechanic however, I did some research and I knew which parts I wanted to fix up my little beast of a car. (Beast in the sense that it’s a little car that keeps running even though it shouldn’t be.. it’s a 2003 Toyota Echo)

Generally speaking the parts were mostly cosmetic… visors and knobs however there was a side mirror I wanted to change and a hefty piece which involved me taking apart my passage door… the door stopped opening from the inside… due to some hardware mechanical problems involving latches and jazz…. sorry for that poor description.

Anywho, I was up for the challange, and wanted to feel good about passangers being able to escape from my car incase we ever got stuck on a railroad track with a train accelerating towards us… yes a wee bit dramatic BUT you never know!

So I went to the car junk yard, I hunted down old echo and I jumped in getting my hands dirty AND I loved every single minute of it! I honestly felt like I had stepped onto the set of “I ROBOT” or a random “end of the world” type movie where there are scavengers digging around haha… it was so awesome!

After I collected my treasures I went home and got to work. The cosmetic pieces and side mirror were a walk in the park to install (a man at the junk yard helped me get off the mirror, so I knew how to put it on) the side door took some time, patience and detective work.

The self satisfaction I felt from trying something new and learning something new – was priceless. There was no fear, worry or regret as a result of this learning experience. And the focus I had on the task at hand helped keep my useless worrisome thoughts at bay.

I love learning and I never really thought about why. But when I read this quote it really hit home. In a world plagued with worry, fear, and regret… learning remains untouched & untainted. It acts as a refuge that offers our minds rest and growth.

To live a life of learning, is truly living life. Happy adventures everyone. Try something new, remind yourself how truly capable you really are. And embrace the freedom learning truly offers.

** side note: the impressed look on my family’s faces and exclamation “you did this on your own??!” when I showed them my car all fixed up (door locking and opening)… was a pretty sweet bonus!

– Steph

– Steph

Flaws & All

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Sometimes I have goals and visions that I set out to do… the expectation is simple I will conquer the goal each and every day, every single time. Nothing can get in my way! …. wrong…. life does and as a result I FAIL miserably.

For instance I go to the gym no less than 4 times a week. BUT I was going 6 times a week for the past few months. I’ve definitely been swinging in my lows as of recent weeks… BUT still… the gym was something I had consistency with. THEN we can move onto the topic of eating … heck! When I start on my downward spiral it’s as if my stomach has no end for sweets… healthy-smealthy… it’s honestly such a challange. Emotional eating is a reality. I either eat eat eat OR don’t eat eat eat and I rarely just eat… with no extremes attached especially when im in my lows. Something my doctors and I constantly talk about… so with that said… should I scrap the gym altogether because I’m not meeting the quota and I haven’t been eating the way I know I should be?? Mmmmmmm no.

Failures are ineveitable I’m human; riding my bike daily has become a hit and miss…although I’m still pounding on my boxing bag… but holy cow! It’s hard keeping an unyielding routine… life sometimes gets in the way. Whether with health, travel, weather, appointments, family, and other hiccups that come up.

Falling off the bandwagon happens – we are human. BUT what’s more important than falling off is picking ourselves back up AND not ridiculing ourselves to the point where our negative self talk paralyzes our ability or desire to try again.

“If you’re tired of starting over – stop quitting”… I’ve seen this quote on few occasions and I have mixed feelings about it. “We only fail when we fail to try.” I like this quote better.

Sometimes by circumstance we fall off the bandwagon. Sometimes getting out of bed is a huge triumph all on its own. And getting to the gym can wait a day or two. That’s the reality. Going to work and keeping a smile on your face can be exhausting (story of my life this past week) so when the idea of hitting the gym arises, sometimes it takes everything I have to go BUT sometimes it’s just not enough so I stay home (and does anyone die from me taking a day off??? No). If anyone is going to do collateral damage from that choice, it will be myself – beating myself up.

Life’s plan is never going to be 100% error free.

I used to rip myself apart when I failed to meet any expectations or goals I set for myself… do you think that helped me? No. Just like it doesn’t help you. Have compassion on yourself… don’t be a push over BUT have compassion and recognize you are human. We fall BUT we can pick ourselves up. So leave yourself a bit of cushion room as opposed to sharp spikes.

We are what we do repeatedly. Strive for consistency… that’s what I do everyday, if I falter I DON’T throw everything I’ve worked for out the window!

Back to that quote… “if you’re tired of starting over – stop quitting” SCRAP that mentality! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO START FROM THE VERY BEGINNING JUST BECAUSE YOU FAIL (FALL)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That’s like saying because you trip on a rock while climbing a mountain you have to go back to the start and begin all over again. Does that even make sense???! NO! Pick yourself up from where you fell and CONTINUE onward.

Build a habit of relentless commitment to try & try again. When you know there is no cap on how many times you can try you allow yourself room to breathe and to be human. You allow yourself the greatest chance to be successful. People who have found success, have found mistakes and errors a hundred times prior BUT the key is they did not let the failures deter them from their objective.

I fail…  but I don’t fail when it comes to trying or putting in effort. Anything worth having is worth working for. Work requires effort. Effort requires time. Time requires dedication. And dedication requires learning. And learning requires failure. Success requires failure.

I may not ride my bike everyday. That does not mean I fail at life. Perhaps it means I need to reevaluate that goal. Rather than every day … maybe I should try for an hr a week and go from there.

Something I get caught up in is running before I can walk. Don’t set unrealistic  expectations that will shake the ground you walk on. Build a foundation that you can challange and grow gradually with. Don’t add so many things to your plate that you set yourself up to fail. Tackle one or two goals at a time…. instead of 20… doesn’t that already sound a little less overwhelming.

Make goals. Achieve goals. Fail at goals but continue in spite of the failures. Live. Learn. Succeed.

That is my objective. And I hope you can find power and resiliency in your ability to be human.

– Steph

Live a Life of Learning

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I absolutely adore this quote! Knowledge is POWER muahahaha… just kidding no evil laugh. But on a real note, attaining knowledge is a wonderful gift each of us is entitled to (that’s right, every single one of us) Learning new things or relearning and bettering ourselves based on things we already know …. doesn’t that just excite the living day lights out of you???!!

I’ve always had a passion for learning. Call me a nerd, but I can’t pass up researching something I don’t know when it’s brought to my attention … for instance a friend of mine injured his hand/wrist. Beyond saying “that’s too bad” I asked what exactly his injury consisted of… hairline fracture, ligaments and two of his 2 carpals… I didn’t know where the carpals where located – so I Googled it and I can now tell you where they are…. although I don’t recall their exact names…. (I think I’d like to refresh and restudy the human anatomy…I once knew the medical terms but without application I forgot them)

In all honestly I l used to read the dictionary when I was in elementary/Jr. High … true story. I have a love of words and the proper application of them (although I am by no means perfect – but I try) I have a dictionary app on my phone and when I’m waiting … I’ll randomly read definitions (I don’t play games on my phone like my sisters do unless they are word/factual games … or brain power apps like “elevate” I highly recommend it… anywho that’s just my nerdy preference)

Trying to apply your knowledge is what makes you wise. Merely knowing is not enough. Sharing … that’s a form of application. Literally “doing it” is a form of application. And how great is the feeling when you do both learn and apply. Even if you fail! Failing is the perfect opportunity to learn even more!… like one of my previous posts “I never lose, I either win or I learn.

We are never too old to learn, self doubt and procrastination are our only enemy. I was inspired to write this post because I finally bit the bullet and committed to some formal learning I’ve been wanting to pursue…. drum roll please….. I registered to take a certification course for interior design! I’ve always had a passion and I’ve done my own readings on this topic, but I’m taking it to the next level. Ecstatic is an understatement for how I feel right now.

Additionally, I purchased a HUMUNGO package for learning Spanish. I’ve been meaning to do so for awhile… but I  was seemingly bit by the procrastination bug... no worries I squashed it (just like you can do) And now I am getting ready to refresh and apply what I know and embrace the imformation that I don’t. I always told myself I’d be fluent spekaing by the age of 25…. I’ve got 1 year and around 4 months left SO I better get crackin’.

What we can learn in this lifetime is infinite if we put the effort in. Learning to write in beautiful artistic fonts is achievable for people with chicken scratch writing (like myself) with patience and practice. A new talent can be developed by learning and practice and a willingness to fail BUT try again.

Don’t miss out on the beauty of learning, one step that’s all it takes to begin on an incredible adventure. Fuel your brain, fuel your passions, and you’ll fuel your soul.

– Steph

Something Small & Something Simple

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How many times have you heard the phrase “it’s the small and simple things that matter most”?

I’ve heard it numerous times, and when it comes down to it- it’s true.

Yesterday, when I arrived at work one of the girls had sweets for everyone with individualized compliments attached. When I received her kind and simple gesture – it was incredibly heart warming.

Something literally so small, had a huge impact on how I felt. And that my dear friends is the power of “small and simple.”

Whenever I receive something tangible or intangible, it’s the genuine thought behind the gift that matters most NOT the fiscal value. Part of my mother’s birthday gift this year was a poem I wrote. As I was writing this particular poem I cried like a baby, I was swept away with emotions of love that words do not adequately express. When my mother read her poem, I witnessed tears fill up her eyes as her heart was filled with love – and that moment was priceless. (And of course I cried some more)

When it comes to relationships regarding friends/family or your significant other, I completely believe it’s the small things that matter most. The simple gestures that indicate you care, that you pay attention, or that their happiness means something to you. These simple gestures are the glue to keeping that love and relationship alive.

Now, moving quickly onto the topic of health. Small and simple things = success. The building blocks to sustain a healthy (and ideally happy) life are achieved by simple things. My doctor is always kind enough to reiterate them to me –  adequate sleep, eating consistently (and ideally healthy foods),  exercise, taking appropriate medication as prescribed, positive affirmations of self love and worth and getting outside to get some fresh air and sunshine. These are simple things (and perhaps obvious) that have a SIGNIFICANT impact on your day to day life.

Take a moment and just think of what you could do for someone else. It could be as simple as giving someone a smile, a hug, a delicious McFlurry  (I adore McFlurrys) or maybe 5 mins of your undivided attention so you can hear how they are doing. Maybe it’s watching a football game even though you don’t like football, or buying a single rose…. there are infinite small and simple gestures that we can do for those around us… heck even if they are strangers. I guarantee that you will not only touch their hearts, but yours as well. It’s a win-win on the journey to happily ever after.

Here’s a quick analogy because I like using anaologies….when your building a brick house it doesnt automatically appear like BOOM – I snapper my fingers it’s all done. You build the house brick by brick … one small & simple brick added onto another until you have sturdy, safe and beautiful house.

Placing one brick on the ground can’t build a house. Just like giving only one thoughtful gesture per decade can’t build or sustain beautiful meaningful relationship. Allow love to fill your heart and start strengthening your relationships one small and simple gesture at a time.

– Steph

Are You Knocking on the Same Door?

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This quote is pretty much amazing!

Going through life I think it’s safe to say that we all get excited when new doors of opportunity are opened for us, the notion of something better coming our way is fantastic, right?

But! How in the world will we ever get to those doors if we do the same-old-same-old? Complacency & Comfort these are the two words that lead us to the same door we just walked thru.

Let’s use another analogy…. You are taking a drive and you come to a fork in the road, you can either turn left or right in attempt to get to your magnificent destination with a magnificent door. You decide to take a left, sadly this left ends up being a big loop that brings you right back to your original road, so once again you are faced with that fork in the road. What road do you pick?

Holy cow!!! You pick the left again!! What??! Wait??! Why??!  Why would you pick the left again when you know it swings back around to where you originally started??

Your answer  “Ohhh silly Stephanie, I turned left again because I know that road already; I  know what to expect, I know where all the bumps and potholes are in the road now and I don’t know what to expect when I turn right.” Does that answer sound logical to you?

Taking the right, that would be a path you’ve never been on, it might be a little bumpier than the one you’ve already driven on BUT out of the two options it will be the path that leads you two the magnificent destination you initially set out to find. How can I be so sure? Because the left road, the one you’ve driven on and chose to drive on again and again gets you no where. It’s a fact I know & you know, yet you choose to drive it over and over again thinking maybe just maybe it’s going to lead you to that magnificent destination this time.

We can’t get somewhere new, we can’t experience something new, we can’t grow into someone new IF we keep driving down the same road and keep opening the same door.

What is that quote about insanity…. trying the same thing over and over again with the expectation of a different outcome, now I’m not saying your insane BUT if the shoe fits … haha I am totally kidding I’m seriously not calling anyone insane. What I am saying is be aware of the doors your walking towards and going through, if it’s the same one over and over again then you need to brace yourself for an adventure to go towards the new door full of glorious new opportunities!

Ask yourself and take your pick.

-Steph