Those good old days

It's a new year and everyone is full of promise and optimism. Promise of eating less, exercising more, working harder and travelling farther. Everyone is claiming that "this is the year" that things will be different. My eyes roll back into my head as I scroll through the self-obsessed Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts that are trying to be appear genuine and original. The is depressing to say the least. Let me be the first to say, I'm not innocent in this crime. Maybe it's because I haven't had any major updates of my own lately so the incessent one-up-manship taking place across my social platforms seems more intense than ever.

My thoughts on these matters were bolstered by a new song by Macklemore (of which I've been listening to repeatedly for days). Helped by a catchy hook, the "Good old days" questions whether we are spending too much time thinking about the past or worrying about the future instead of living in the now. Give it a listen here if you haven't heard it yet. My favourite lines are below. 

Never thought we’d get old, maybe we’re still young
May we always look back and think it was better than it was
Maybe these are the moments
Maybe I’ve been missing what it’s about
Been scared of the future, thinking about the past
While missing out on now
We’ve come so far, I guess I’m proud
And I ain’t worried about the wrinkles around my smile
I’ve got some scars, I’ve been around
I’ve thrown some pain, I’ve seen some things, but I’m here now
Those good old days
— GOOD OLD DAYS by Macklemore

So as my social feeds flood with minute by minute updates, proclamations of love to those sitting beside one another on the couch, and photos of the latest shopping venture, perhaps we should take a moment to simply live in the present. To stop posting about what we just did and refrain from whinging about what the future should hold and instead just, do. 

Only yesterday, a relative was online criticising people who are engaging in politics. Whether the argument was fair or not, instead of posting on Facebook about it, I'd challenge that relative to volunteer some time to educate voters, maybe hand out some flyers for a local candidate, or actually throw his hat into the political ring. Even if the argument he was making was fair (for the record, it was littered with problems), posting about it on Facebook wasn't going to make any material change in the issue. 

Some day, we'll look back on today. If we're living our best life, we'll think fondly of the good old days. But what if we look back and wish we would have done things differently? We're not getting any younger. Time is running out for all of us. I'm sure many of us already know what it's like to look back and regret things that we did or didn't do. I do. I look back on high school and wish I wouldn't have been so worried about what other people thought of me. I wish I wouldn't have worked so much during university and instead made a few more friends and went to a few more parties. I wish somebody would have told me then that those days would be my good old days. I may have missed some magic of those days but I won't repeat the same mistakes about how I'm living now. 

I will try to stop worrying so much about the future - what I'll do, who I'll spend it with, where I'll be, if I'll have children, and the health of my family and friends. I will stop worrying so much and simply enjoy these days, whatever they may bring. After all, they will be my good old days before I know it. 

Day 9: Five Pet Peeves

Only five?? Where do I begin? Probably not the best day to post this one as I'm pretty hungover thanks to a day out with the ladies to a Jack Johnson concert at a nearby winery. A long Monday at work didn't help matters. Anyway, it's Day 9 and I'm pretty far behind in this journey to 365, so here goes...


1. People who love to hear themselves talk

Whether it's at work or in a social setting, I really get annoyed when people drone on and on without realising that they haven't taken a breath of air for several minutes, let alone asked anyone else what they might think about the topic at hand. One of the worst conversations I've ever had in my life was a phone call that lasted for almost an hour with someone who should have cared deeply about me and my wellbeing. Instead, she did not once ask me how I was doing. Can't say I'll ever forget that day. 

2. People who don't know the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit. 

Bad grammar and spelling are right up there with people who chew with their mouths open. Don't text me to tell me that you like me alot. I'm never going to go out with you. And when I text back and awkwardly work "a lot" into a sentence just to show you the proper spelling, please take note that I am mocking you. 


3. That person who is always late

I don't like when I'm not in control of a situation (which is surely to be on someone else's pet peeve list) but the worst thing for this is that person who's always late. Once is a mistake. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is bad luck. But that person who is always, and without fail, late to meet you is simply inconsiderate. They think their time is more valuable than yours. It is just plain rude. And their excuses only make it worse. Own up to it and I may have a bit more respect for your inability to keep time. 

4. People who can't take responsibility for their own actions

"The world is against me." "The other person shouldn't have done that." "It's not my fault." I've heard them all. Problem is, they are downright false. There is no situation in this world that we can not change or affect. Yes, there are challenges and problems we may need to overcome but if we can't take responsibility for our own actions, what do we have left? Certainly not integrity. 

5. People (nearly everyone) who use social media in stupid ways. 

This is a three-parter so settle in. It drives me mental when couples confess their love to one another using social media. Yes, it's your 10 year anniversary - congrats - but do you really need to use Facebook to make sure your partner knows just how much you love them? WHY DON'T YOU PUT THE PHONE DOWN, MOVE A LITTLE CLOSER TO THEM ON THE COUCH AND TELL THEM HOW YOU FEEL USING YOUR ... I DUNNO....VOICE?!" And maybe I'm a bit callous - ok, a lot (notice the proper spelling of the word) - but do dead people have Facebook? Because the outpouring of messages to the recently deceased makes me wonder what wifi package God has had installed beyond the pearly gates. Don't even get me started on the parents who post the fact that they might have to parent alone for a night or two without their spouse, parents or Lord, help me, their nanny. What do you think our parents did? Need I remind you that it was you who decided to have said kids? Maybe you should stop posting to Facebook every 5 minutes and actually parent? As a kid who grew up with divorced parents, let me assure you that your kids will survive. They may have to entertain themselves for a few hours or the IPad may have to stay on a little longer while you drink your morning coffee. But trust me, you'll get through it. And when you do, please don't post about this miraculous achievement on Facebook. It's just too much.

Day 8: Your thoughts on mainstream music

1. the ideas, attitudes, or activities that are shared
by most people and regarded as normal or conventional.

I love it. The more mainstream the better. Screw originality. If it's on the Billboard Top 100 Chart, there's a good chance that I'll like it. Biebs? Bring it on. Pink? Yep. I love being able to sing along. Better yet, I love when there is a story that speaks to me. Maybe it's simply that I like pop and folk music and that they just happen to be pretty mainstream. But they are mainstream - liked by most people - for a reason. It's because they are good. With that, think it's time to put some mainstream music on and get to bed. 

Day 4: Something I feel strongly about

While driving home from work today, I heard on the radio that Sam Smith has put out an new album. In promoting it, he has told people that he's in a much better space now than when he wrote his first album which is full of tear filled (but oh so good) ballads. He said that he decided that he wanted to be happy and realised that he didn't need to be sad to write good songs. It stuck with me because sometimes I feel as though I'm only able to write when something is really bothering me or at least, has made a pretty significant impact on me. So tonight, I endeavour to be a little more light hearted. This is something I hope to do more by having a subject forced upon me by this 30 day challenge. Let's see....

So something I feel strongly about.... 

One can never be too sure about eating food past it's expiry date...

One can never be too sure about eating food past it's expiry date...

Expiry dates. Seriously. I have yogurt in the fridge with today's expiry date and I spent a good 5 minutes in the shower tonight thinking about whether I'm going to risk using it in the morning for breakfast. It's greek yogurt so it's sour to begin with! How will I know if it's gone off? Will I only know when I'm flying through the office an hour later to the washroom? I really can't be sure.

What's worse is when something doesn't have an expiry date! I have been trying to do meal prep at the beginning of each week but I tell ya, when I get to Thursday's portions, I start to worry. Tonight, I chopped up a cooked chicken breast and put it on a salad for tomorrow. It was cooked five days ago. But, it's cooked, right? And it was in an air tight container... Anyway, it's on the salad now and I'm going to risk my life tomorrow choking it back. I also have an awesome steak in the fridge with my name on it but couldn't cook it tonight. It's also been in the fridge for about 4 days it ok so long as I cook it? Essh! I sure hope so! 

I blame the time I worked for the Canadian Agriculture Minister and oversaw the communications of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency - that place can cause nightmares. "Can I really not eat raw hot dogs", I asked one day. The look of fright on their faces was enough. And Cheese Whiz? I love it on a toasted bagel and even recently asked my parents to send me a jar from Canada. I've chosen to block out the knowledge that it's apparently grey before the orange colour is added. Yum. I figure the key to safely eating raw hot dogs and Cheese Whiz is to make sure they aren't expired. Right? 

Day 3

Five ways to win your heart


1. Laugh with me. I love to laugh and make people laugh. Whether it be a bad pun, crass humour or simply being silly, I am happiest when making people smile. When I watch a comedy show, I laugh out loud. Why not, right? Life's too short. So make me laugh, laugh at my jokes and laugh with me.


2. Be passionate. Love what you love. Most of all, don't change what you love if I don't love it too. The most attractive feature is someone who is confident, knows what they want and are committed to achieving their goals. I will be passionate about my own life and never would want you to change that. Don't let me change that for you.

3.  Love my family as much as I love yours. My family has gone through a lot, separately and together. When I was growing up some of the more typical family traditions were replaced by arguments, alcohol and absence. Today, it's better but it's made me cherish all the family time that I can get. So when I get to know your family, it's likely that I will really enjoy spending time with them. I hope you will love spending time with my family as much as I will love spending time with yours. 

4. Be respectful. I'm old enough to know the difference between someone who respects me and someone who doesn't. Respect my feelings, respect my opinions and respect my time. You'll have no chance at winning my heart if you say rude things to me, treat me like your mate, or disregard my feelings. I've been there and don't want to be there again. I'd rather you break my heart by being honest than waste my time leading me on. 

5. Explore. Explore the world with me. Explore ideas, opinions, and thoughts with me. Don't be afraid to try something new and when I tell you that I'm afraid, push me to do it anyway. I'll be forever grateful. 

Day 2

It's day two and already racking my brain trying to think of something to write that is really inspiring, meaningful or impressive. I've got nothing. It's Tuesday. I'm exhausted. And most of all, I'm worried that I'm going to write something crappy. I struggle to do things when I feel that I don't have the right amount of time, the right idea, the right set up and so on. I wish I were someone who could just doodle or jot down ideas in a notebook. A handwritten page with inevitable mistakes or if ideas didn't flow perfectly on the first go round would drive me crazy. Even when my To Do lists get a bit messy and out of order, I rip the paper out and rewrite the list. I most often write on my computer because I can go back easily and revise as I go. The same writers block used to happen in university and I simply had to force myself to write bit by bit until the paper was done. So to help unstick the writers block and push me out of my comfort zone regardless of what might come of it, I'm going to embark on a challenge within a challenge. I'm going to follow the below list of writing prompts for the next 30 days. My posts won't be perfect and they might not be long. But I will write down something every day and try not to stress too much if I haven't considered the subject matter in it's entirety... 

30 day writing challenge .jpg