Reflections

image-1
It’s finally here. 2014. I’ve been waiting for this year to start for what feels like forever. I’m so excited that 2014 is finally here I’ve been celebrating for the last 12 days and only now feel like I can properly reflect on the year past and year upcoming.

A couple months ago I was out for a drink with two friends and we began talking about what our best and worst years have ever been. Both my friends were able to list of their best and worst years without even giving it a second thought. I though, had to ponder this for a long time. There hasn’t been one year that has been twelve straight months of mediocrity or one that has been twelve straight months of pure elation. I began thinking about how I was going to rank 2013.

2013 had periods which were some of the saddest I have ever felt and made me take off my security blanket and face reality head on, (and not so sound cliché, but I am going to be hella cliché right now) but there is always that silver lining. Things happen for a reason. On the other hand I got to do some incredible things because I was pushed out of my comfort zone. All in all, while I learned a lot during 2013 I’m glad it is over.

This is my year though. I hesitate to talk too much about why I am so excited about this year in fear of hyping it up too much. I will say what I hope to gain from 2014:

  1. Brand new experience and an open mind to experience new things head on.
  2. To always have a reason to smile and something to always look forward to.
  3. To further improve my cooking skills. This is a resolution from 2013 that I am carrying over into 2014

So Auf Wiedersehen 2013 and Guten Tag 2014! (I also am going to have to practice my German this year)

Tea I was drinking while writing this post: Tazo Joy Tea

Song I was listening to while writing this post:

Mind Wandering Wednesday

Why don’t people ever get a bad case of the Wednesdays? That middle day in the week when you can almost see the weekend but can’t quite touch it. Sometimes you need a little pick me up, a revitalization of sorts. Mind Wandering Wednesday provides you with either a great distraction tool for a couple minutes and will try to pull you out of the mid-week slump.

Studying For Exams The Right Way

I was reading my school paper the other day and I came across this super appropriate article aptly titled “The best ways to PROCRASTINATE during final exams” which seems appropriate right now as most people I know are buried under paper writing and flash cards, and now for your reading pleasure here is that list:

  • Make extremely complicated and fancy meals because I mean, you can’t not eat
  • Visit Narnia
  • Find religion and lose it while listening to R.E.M.
  • Read every article in The Peak
  • Constantly double-check that you still have 10 fingers
  • Take up whittling
  • Just sleep now and then you can get up extra early to finish studying
  • Catch ‘em all
  • Marathon viewing of every single Ernest Goes To… movie
  • Step one: caffeinated. Step two: play “Eye of the Tiger” until sufficiently pumped. Step three: repeat steps one and tow as needed. Step four: it is now 2:00 am.
  • Create a flowchart detailing the narrative progression of LOST
  • Write list of ways to procrastinate

 

Mind Wandering Wednesday

Why don’t people ever get a bad case of the Wednesdays? That middle day in the week when you can almost see the weekend but can’t quite touch it. Sometimes you need a little pick me up, a revitalization of sorts. Mind Wandering Wednesday provides you with either a great distraction tool for a couple minutes and will try to pull you out of the mid-week slump.

Texts From Last Night

When you are sitting in a boring lecture and you need something to do to make those minutes tick by just a little bit quicker I highly suggest reading Texts From Last Night. If you have friends as ridiculous as I do you will read things that apply to your life and it is hilarious because all these posts are submitted by other people clearly similar to you. It is easy to read pages and pages and page. Before each post there is the area code of the city the post is submitted from and you can easily check out what ridiculous shenanigans others from your city are up to!

http://textsfromlastnight.com/

I Miss My Dog

IMG_1031

DSC_0236            IMG_1059 Image

This past week has been a particularly difficult one for my family and me. Our beloved dog Parker passed away at the age of 11. Parker’s death wasn’t unexpected but that didn’t help make it any less sad. You don’t really realize how much your dog is apart of your life until they are gone and notice the huge hole left behind.

Parker was one of the most gorgeous golden retrievers, and he definitely used his good looks to his advantage. As is the case with bad boys, Parker got away with pretty much everything based on his good looks. Parker became a part of the family when he was two, and he was potentially the worst behaved dog ever. Not too much changed in nine years but his overwhelming cuteness and intense love of people made up for it.

How do you adjust to life when your dog essentially ran your life for nine years? I guess we will find out.

Tea I was drinking while writing this post: Davids Tea – Dragon Pearl Jasmine

Song I was listening to while writing this post:

Mind Wandering Wednesday

Why don’t people ever get a bad case of the Wednesdays? That middle day in the week when you can almost see the weekend but can’t quite touch it. Sometimes you need a little pick me up, a revitalization of sorts. Mind Wandering Wednesday provides you with either a great distraction tool for a couple minutes and will try to pull you out of the mid-week slump.

StumbleUpon

This website is seriously the greatest thing ever invented for procrastinators. Whether you are a minimalist procrastinator or a hardcore one… this website will not become your best friend. I have to limit myself from exploring all the things this website has to offer because I know I will be sucked in for hours. When you sign up for StumbleUpon you are asked to highlight what you interests are and you can list as many as you want to. There are hundreds of different topics ranging from commerce, home/living, and sports. Once you have selected your interests you can start “Stumbling Your Interests”.

While you are stumbling you will come across news articles, blogs, videos, photographs, interactive websites… honestly just about anything. You can like or dislike particular pages you come across. Also, you are able to find other users, who might have similar interests as you, and follow them and see what they have liked etc.

I suggest not exploring this site to its full potential until all of your term papers and final exams are over.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/

You Only Live Once, So Make It Count

“What the heck is a YOLO?” A phrase uttered on more than one occasion by someone of a much older generation, and at one time I was asked if it was a brand of yogurt. For those who don’t keep up to date with the goings on of MTV starlets and blog posts on Buzzfeed, YOLO is an acronym standing for You Only Live Once. People of my generation use it as a guiding principle for the decisions they make. Should I jump out of this plane? I definitely should… YOLO! If you want to be spontaneous and reckless, just YOLO and don’t worry about it. Live life without regard for the next step, live in the moment and never look back.

This is problematic. Life shouldn’t be lived thinking that we only live once and therefor should act on impulse and deal with the consequences later. Instead, we need to realize that we only live once and should make the most of the time we have. Do we want to one day wake up and realize we are living in a society that we haven’t helped shape, or taken ownership in? Make decisions and make them on purpose.  We only get one future and don’t we want a say in how it is going to be? By not doing something as easy and fundamental as voting, the youth are saying that while we only live once, we don’t really care how that one time goes.

That uncomfortably large group of young people who don’t have a desire to take ownership of their future they do have some great role models. Why should they take ownership of their future if their leaders today can’t even take ownership for their actions, how can they lead if they’re not being lead. What is happening in the Senate and with Rob Ford is scandalous, but not an excuse. Just because those people cannot take ownership of their actions does not give everyone else a free pass. Don’t become indolent, but instead inspired. Be inspired by those in your own community making a difference.

It can be overwhelming thinking about all of the different problems that affect so many different parts of society.  It is easy to feel small and insignificant. By reusing my shopping bag what difference am I actually making? That feeling of being a small fish in a big pond is a big barrier of entry of sorts. It’s a barrier for taking charge of your future. Too many times I have heard people say, “I’m just one person, there’s nothing I can do” or “whatever happens, happens”.  When did it become socially acceptable to have no ownership in what happens in your future? In his book “Constructing Public Opinion” Justin Lewis touches on the idea of the uniformed citizen. To Lewis the uniformed citizen is an almost mythical figure; the uninformed citizen doesn’t really exist. He says that when someone has to make a choice about something they have no opinion about, the choice they make is rarely arbitrary. Even if someone says they have no opinion, at the end of the day if they had to choose something they would. So when it comes to not voting or not helping shape their future why is that the choice so many young people decide?

We’ve all read the news articles and seen the stats. The youth are less engaged and if you ask a twenty something why they didn’t vote in the last federal election (and over 60% of them didn’t vote), many times you hear sound bites like  “ I have no opinion and it didn’t matter,” “it doesn’t really effect me directly” but something made them decide that. Why was that their decision? The decisions that are made need to be purposeful and not arbitrary. The youth can no longer be uniformed citizens but instead informed and proactive citizens. Don’t forget… you only live once.

As much as I love a good acronym, I don’t think YOLO is an appropriate guiding principle for youth today. Instead, each person should develop his or her own declarations. Declarations that help guide the decisions you make and how you choose to live your life. Everyone might have different declarations and that is alright. We are all different people with different needs and different futures, but as long as we have a say in what that future will be there is still hope.

Tea I was drinking while writing this post: Lipton-Mandrin Orange Green Tea

Song I was listening to while writing this post:

Mind Wandering Wednesday

Why don’t people ever get a bad case of the Wednesdays? That middle day in the week when you can almost see the weekend but can’t quite touch it. Sometimes you need a little pick me up, a revitalization of sorts. Mind Wandering Wednesday provides you with either a great distraction tool for a couple minutes and will try to pull you out of the mid-week slump.

WIKIPEDIA

Wikipedia is the single greatest way to let your dynamic mind answer all those questions you have bouncing around there. If you need to know anything you can find it on Wikipedia, in a language easy enough for the average human being to understand. When I don’t understand a concept I hear in class, or read in an assigned reading I then go and look it up on Wikipedia. Then.. the worst happens. Those darn hyperlinks lead me on a crazy chase to read more random facts about other random topics.

I don’t limit myself to just regular Wikipedia, nowadays everything has a “wiki”. Personal favourites of mine include: Lostpedia, which if you are a huge LOST fan this wiki has answers to almost all the questions. There are discussion groups where you can talk to other fans and dish out possible answers to the many mysteries on the island; Harry Potter Wiki, which has awesome movie stills, and in-depth character bios, and honestly information about anything whether it is in the books or the movies.

It should be kept in mind that wiki’s are open source and anyone can post anything about everything. So things you read should be taken with a grain of salt. That being said.. Wiki Away!

http://www.wikipedia.org/
http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

A Time of Remembrance

I’m a crier. There. I admitted it. It doesn’t take much to get me going. It could be a movie, book, television show, or random clips on YouTube. I’m not exaggerating when I say I can cry at the drop of the hat.

Nothing tugs at my heartstrings quite like reunions between members of the armed forces and their loved ones. The pure emotion and joy in their faces is so intense and genuine. It is so easy to become emotional when watching these reunions because you can completely understand how the families of the veterans are feeling. I always end up thinking about how I would feel in that situation and the tears subsequently come pouring out.

Since it is Remembrance Day today take some time to watch the video below and think about the huge sacrifice our veterans and their families have made for us.

Tea I was drinking while writing this post: Davids Tea: Fantasy Island

Song I was listening to while writing this post: