Sam and I sometimes play this game called "HIGHS & LOWS". We usually play it after an awesome day or weekend or even a fabulous trip. The game consists of listing off your "HIGHS" which are your favorite moments or things relating to such day, weekend or trip. It also consists of listing off your "LOWS" which are your least favorite moments or things relating to such day, weekend or trip. Since the Holiday season is truly upon us, I thought it only appropriate to tell you what my "HIGHS" and "LOWS" are relating to the season.
HIGHS Christmas trees Giving gifts Smell of pine Red and Green Christmas Carols Ice skating Santa and his elves Family gatherings Catching up with friends Stockings Cocktail Parties and Drop bys Christmas cards holly and mistletoe EVILLE The Rudolph and Frostie Movies-with the puppets The Grinch Candy Canes Gingerbread houses Christmas lights
LOWS Hang overs Over eating Being exhausted Over spending
In a short time, a week Saturday, it will be the tenth anniversary of the death of someone I loved, and still love, very much. With the coming of such anniversary, I wrote the following:
10 years ago my life changed forever. We all have those earth shattering or life altering moments that happen to us. They become our crosses to bare. They test our inner strength and our emotional stamina. They happen. To all of us. Mine happened 10 years ago.
There has been so much time and so much energy devoted to me trying to move on. I have been trying to explain this for years, the thing is, you never move on. You never get over such things. Ever. You learn to live on. You live on with the pain in your heart and in your soul. You gather life by the balls and move forward but never on. You hate, you lie, you scream, you take deep breaths but you never ever move on…you live on with that hole in your heart. You learn to deal. You live with the idea and hope that they are there. Always watching, always keeping an eye out, for what we might decide to do next. They never fully go away but they are always too far away for us to feel or touch or even realize. They are there when you need them the least and gone when you feel you need them the most but always there at the most important moments. Never forgetting that they are one full breath away…Thus, I breathe the air deep in my lungs…and that is when I realize just how far away they are but just how close they may be.
On this terribly sad anniversary, I will reminisce about those old days driving down country roads, singing some silly song, when we had everything in the world to lose, but we just didn't know it. Although, the hole in my heart does not grow any deeper, it will always remain my cross to bare.
It is that time of year where you start to reflect on the year behind you and start to ponder the year ahead. As you know, I spent much of my childhood summers, at Camp. It was truly one of the greatest things my parents ever did for me...but that is a story, for another post, another time. Anyway, on the last night of camp we had something called Final Council Fire. It was an evening of reflection, friendship, love and wishes. We dressed in our cleanest, sparkliest uniform. There were speeches of thanks filled with love. There were songs sung that filled the group with laughter and there were "friendship sticks". ahhh wonderful "friendship stick"s. Like the name, it was a regular old stick that you would find under a tree. The special part about these sticks was a tiny piece of paper that you wrapped around the top of the stick with a piece of string. On the paper you wrote a hope, a wish or a resolution. Everyone would give their stick to the "Little Chief" who would tie them together with twine and then place them on the fire. 2006 was what you might call a difficult year. I was faced with many negative obstacles and challenges. There were many times where it would have been so easy to throw up my hands and give up. And you know, there were a few select times that I gave in but did not give up-which only a few ppl witnessed. So as 2007 approached, I decided I would create a list of goals to work towards in the coming year. These in someway became like a friendship stick. They gave me hope and renewed my optimism. And even though I did not wrap them around a stick, the goals/resolutions made me feel the same way inside as the "friendship stick" did. I was saying goodbye and reflecting AND allowing myself to look forward. So as we get closer to the final month of 2007, I thought it appropriate to review my goals, my resolutions, my wishes and see how I faired...
NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS FOR 2007
•Cut down sugar in diet •Eat less candy •Cut out Diet Coke •Run a 10k •Snow board for an entire day with no pain •Get off the chair lift by myself without falling 5 times. •Spin once a week •Lose 5 pounds
•Don’t Gossip •Spend less •Laugh more •Follow thru •Take mental health days •Learn from my mistakes •Don’t take things personally •Don’t cry •Don’t assume anything •Have more friends and less acquaintances •Treat ppl like you would like to be treated •Handle stress better-stay clam and take deep breaths •Be aggressive •Stand up for myself •Blame Less and Problem solve more •Run a marathon before I am 30 •Be promoted to Producer
As I read the resolutions, I realize I have actually been resolved of many of them! I think by taking a moment to write them out may have triggered something in me and sub consciously I have been checking these things off! These goals have allowed me to stay focused and brought me back, to me. And as I reflect on this year, I begin to slowly think through what I might write on my "friendship stick" for 2008...
A shout out is in order to the COMMERCE COURT RUNNING ROOM! (runningroom.com) As mentioned in earlier posts I joined a running room clinic to help me train for the Half Marathon. I must tell you, it has been an absolutely amazing experience thus far! The manager, Kim is fantastic! She is enthusiastic, excited, friendly and she even provides everyone snacks on the run club days! And her staff are the same! It makes it that much easier to want to go and run. I have been pleasantly surprised by my experience thus far and I can hardly wait for the weeks ahead!
After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul, And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't mean security, And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises, And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child, And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans. After a while you lean that even sunshine burns if you get too much. So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone else to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure… That you really are strong, And that you really do have worth. -Veronica A. Shoffstall
A shout out is in order to my friends Ashleigh Dempster and Amanda Blakley, Co-Founders of The Society- In the beginning of November they launched a new arm of their successful cultural club in New York! Big congrats are def. in order! Around the same time they were featured in a killer article in The National Post (see image above or go to the National Post Website to be able to read the full article!) Congrats to two very fabulous ladies, doing some absolutely fabulous things!!
G-SUS CLOTHING IS HAVING A SAMPLE SALE and It Rocks! CHECK IT OUT! Deets: 543 Richmond Street West-Follow the Signage Wednesday, November 21st to Friday, November 23rd 10am-6pm CASH ONLY! 80% OFF RETAIL!
While at home sick a few weeks ago, I was flipping through the channels when I stopped on Martha Stewart's show and she was interviewing Cathie Black about her new book titled, "BASIC BLACK: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life)" It was interesting and Black made some dynamic points so I made a mental note to definitely pick up her book (or borrow it from Emily-the reading machine!). None the less, that mental note was lost in the shuffle. A week or so after that I was flipping through the November Issue of Cosmo and there was a two page spread about the book with some important points from the book. Thus, I thought I would share them with you...
10 Success Secrets Bosses Never Tell You but Should
1. Playing It Safe Can Backfire Most people see taking risks as opening themselves up to unnecessary, maybe even dangerous chances. But the truth is, avoiding risks won’t keep you safe, nor will it guarantee a smooth ride at work or in life.
In fact, the opposite is often true. It’s like the monkey parable: A monkey sees a nut in a hole and reaches in to grab it. Once he’s closed his fist around it, he can’t get his hand back out of the narrow opening. Now he’s stuck. He can’t free himself unless he lets go of the nut, but because he’s afraid to lose it, he won’t let go.
Trying to avoid risks is like clinging to that nut. You may think you’re playing it safe by holding on to what you have, but in reality, you’re just hindering your own progress.
2. Failing = Success The consequences of failure -- kust like the potential consequences of taking risks—are almost never as terrible as they seem. Just about anyone you can think of who’s a huge success has overcome failure to get where they are today — think of Michael Jordan, who was cut from his high school team, or J.K. Rowling, who was turned down by a number of publishers before one decided to take a chance on her manuscript about a young wizard named Harry Potter. 3. Heed the Two-Step Rule Anyone can go the extra mile. Try to make a habit of taking the next step or two beyond what you’ve been asked to do.
A couple years ago, an article in one of Hearst’s magazines, House Beautiful, misidentified the legendary Estée Lauder chairman, Leonard Lauder.
Argh! It was an innocent mistake but an incredibly stupid one, and once I was told about it, I knew we needed to fess up immediately. It was a Friday before a holiday weekend. I got on the phone to Leonard’s office and learned from his assistant that he and his wife, Evelyn, were traveling in France. Hearing my desperation, the assistant gave me the number of his hotel in Paris.
“Leonard, I’m sorry,” I said. “And most of all, I’m embarrassed.” Leonard laughed and told me all was forgiven. And as he later told an interviewer for a magazine article profiling me, he was pleased I’d gone to the trouble of tracking him down to apologize. 4. Give Up Control... Sometimes In any office environment, there are many factors you can’t control—the trickiest of which are often interpersonal. People get on each other’s nerves, step on each other’s toes, vie for each other’s jobs, and sometimes, at the other end of the spectrum, get inappropriately involved with each other. At one point much earlier in my career, I had a boss who was having an affair with a subordinate of his, an awkward situation that made all our lives more complicated. It would have been easy to get upset about the situation, but to what end? The only thing you can do is accept what you can’t change and work around it. That allows you to have a modicum of power over it.
5. Show Your Ignorance The act of asking is one of the most important elements of success. All too often, people fear that asking questions reveals ignorance, yet the opposite is true. The root of the word ignorance, after all, is ignore. The minute you ask about something, you’ve taken a step to-ward understanding it. On the other hand, if you just ignore the fact that you don’t know, believe me, you won’t get away with that for long. 6. If You Think You Know the Answer, Check Again There’s an old saying among journalists: “If your mother says she loves you, check it.” And in fact, you can be sure that the minute you take something for granted, it won’t be what you thought it was.
Take my name, for example. When I was in junior high, a skinny, awkward preteen with big dreams, I decided I wanted to be different. So one day, I changed the spelling of my name from Cathy to Cathie. Silly, I know…but what can I say?
I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve received letters addressed to Cathy Black or Kathy Black or Kathleen Black. It seems like a little deal, but it’s a big deal to me... and it’s the quickest way to lower my opinion of the letter writer. 7. Sometimes You Have to Boss Your Boss When I watched the movie The Devil Wears Prada, one scene that stuck in my head was when the assistant, Andy, stood behind her boss Miranda’s shoulder at a party, whispering the names of guests as they approached. Smooth as satin, Miranda greeted each person, coming off as an attentive and caring hostess rather than the frosty, bored snob she really was. There’s no quicker, easier way to earn your boss’s respect and gratitude than helping her look good. 8. Have a No-Surprises Policy Never surprise your boss. If you have bad news, tell it. If you have good news, share it. For one thing, no one likes to feel out of the loop. And for another, hiding a crisis from someone who needs to know virtually guarantees the problem will be compounded. Think of your boss as a small woodland animal—make no startling moves or strange gestures. Do the work to make things easy on him or her.
9. Be a Little Naughty Rule breaking is an underappreciated and underutilized skill. If you look at any list of highly successful people, it’s invariably populated with rule breakers—from college dropouts like Bill Gates to female trailblazers like eBay’s Meg Whitman to Internet wunderkinds like Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who refused to believe that a little startup couldn’t take on the biggest, richest companies in cyberspace. All these people trusted their ideas and themselves enough to know which rules they could break. You can do the same.
10. It’s Not PC, But Looks Count The way you present yourself makes a huge difference in how people perceive you, and not just in a superficial way. People make judgments about your abilities, self-confidence, and savvy based in part on what you choose to wear and how you choose to carry yourself.
When I was just out of college and looking for my first job, I wrangled an interview at Condé Nast, then one of the biggest magazine-publishing companies in New York. I dressed in a nice, conservative suit and felt pretty good about how I looked—right up to the moment I stepped into the elevator at the Condé Nast building.
I immediately felt the penetrating gazes of half a dozen fashionably dressed young women as they looked me up and down, several of them clutching their Louis Vuitton bags. Suddenly, I felt like a complete hayseed. I couldn’t help but be selfconscious— exactly the opposite of how you want to feel going into an interview—and all because I hadn’t given enough thought that morning to how I should dress. The experience taught me a lesson I never forgot.
You all know one of my faves is a non fat sugar free vanilla latte. I have actually nicknamed my fave hot morning beverage-Heaven in a cup. If you have had one then you understand and if you have never had one-then go my friend and consume! Consume two if the need arises! Because this bevvie is de-li-cious! I have tried this beverage at both Second Cup and Timothy's and they just are not as heavenly as the famous s-bucks original. BUT (I know you knew this was coming...) while cleansing my heavenly morning bevvy was off limits. Yes my friends, I had to find my heaven somewhere else. And you know what...I did, in several Starbuck bevvies. I probably cheated somewhat but... a couple of Saturdays I treated my cleansed bod to a Tazo Chai Soy Latte. Though not as delich, it was right up there. And on my last day of cleansing I was introduced to a Misto. I enjoyed a Green Tea with Soy Misto. This was quite delich and had me regretting I had not been aware of such bevvie sooner. The true reasoning behind this story is that there is really only ONE bevvie that can truly be described as Heaven in a Cup...However, I have now tasted two other bevvies that ALMOST deserve such a description! TG for S-Bucks... V.
Ok...So I have been a MAJOR slacker in regards to this blog. I think it has been 2 weeks already. I am not going to lie my life has not been all that exciting as of late. But this is what has gone down. I, my friends, am fully and completely cleansed! That is right...I made it! And you know what I feel abs AMAZING! It was a great experience. Health wise I feel amazing. Mind wise I feel rejuvenated. I actually contacted the naturopath, that we consulted, about how many times a year it is safe to do and she said you should do it every season change. So I have decided I will embark on the 21 day cleanse again in April 2008. I just cannot get over what an overall wonderful experience it has been! The first two days sucked and I missed bread, wine, cheese and my latte's but the funny thing is I have not have any of those things...Yet! Lol... I have also been running up a storm. I officially began training for the HALF MARATHON...The Chilly Half in Burlington. Race Day is Sunday, March 2nd, 2008. I have been following my schedule diligently and feeling great. I can hardly wait to start the long runs. I think training over Christmas will prove to be challenging but I am going to do my best to stay true to the sched. I have already started mapping out routes in e-ville and Rockwood. lol...who is the keener? Other then that life has been going along swimmingly. I have not been as social as I usually am but we actually had a pretty social weekend... Friday night we were invited over to Geoff's to hang with him and Julie, for some delicious-even cleanse friendly-fondue. What a perfect way to enjoy dinner but also each others company. Saturday evening Sam and I ventured to a vegan restaurant called LIVE Organic Food Bar. It was soooo yummy. Not going to lie-dessert was the best part of the dinner. We had ice cream that was actually good for you-no sugar or additives! I could have eaten it until sunrise. Sunday I woke up early for a run which proved to so wonderfully refreshing. Then around 11, I met up with Lexer and Tor for Brunch at Sadies's . We then cruised Queen West. We were not looking for anything in particular but were more interested in catching up and filled in with one and others busy lives. And that my friends is a quick peak into my life these days. I can hardly believe it is ALREADY November 20th and in no time Sam and I will be making a list and checking it twice while celebrating the holiday season. December is such a fun month...I hope to check in more often and maybe even have some pics to post! Until then... V.
There is one thing about me that I must share. I am tremendously loyal to my friends, family and colleagues. I love giving shout outs whenever possible. I believe people deserve credit where credit is due. I also believe you must celebrate the small things thus the big things will seem that much bigger and better (I thank my mentor for that realization and lesson).
Whenever I have the chance I will be pretty much bragging about how great and wonderful my friends, family and colleagues are... Just a little more about me you should know!
So it has been awhile.... I am 13 days into the cleanse and feeling great! Sam and I have gotten really creative with our diets and the foods we can eat! It has actually been kinda fun! Last night we went and saw the film AMERICAN GANGSTER...which I must say was abs. Amazing. A little bit violent but Denzel and Russel were phenomenal! I know what you are thinking...What is a movie without some popcorn and soda pop? Well we made it through without the soda pop but found some popcorn to fill the craving at a health food store that we could actually eat. It was really tasty and actually did not leave your lips with that salted to the max feeling. And we enjoyed the healthy treat with some equally healthy herbal tea. It was perfect! Tonight we have plans to go bowling...lol...should be fun! Craig has organized a few people to join us-they will most definitely enjoy some cocktails while we enjoy sobriety. It should be a lot of laughs. I have not been bowling in sometime!
This week was pretty uneventful. I ran up a storm and am soooo ready for the half marathon clinic which begins this Thursday...I can hardly wait!
As per my post Thursday...Sam kept telling me day 5 would be the absolute worst. Well my friends, day 5 has come and gone and nothing bad about it (sort of). I felt just as good as I did on day 3 and 4 (kind of)...
The only difficult thing about day 5 was that it was Friday. I never realized how much I actually live for Fridays. I mean Friday morning you wake up excited. (even more so if you were out the night before!) One more day of work-and to be honest how much work really gets done and sorted on a Friday??!! I mean I have had some solid Fridays where I have worked my butt-ski off right until 6pm but it is not an every Friday thing. The other thing about Friday is that-for me anyway-it is a day of treats. That is right. Because it is Friday I let myself get away with so much more then I usually would. 9/10 times I bring my lunch to work. It 1. saves me a ton of moula 2. I eat more healthy and 3. it is just plain good. But on Fridays I seem to have the attitude oh today is friday so I am going to buy myself lunch...and why do I possess such an attitude...well obviously because it is friday. I know it is strange. And I mean that is not the only thing...I allow myself copius amounts of candy, 2 lattes if I want, treats and snacks galore and pre the training for the half marathon, I would allow myself to opt out of working out and why you ask? Because, that is right, it is Friday! So yesterday being my first Friday of the cleanse, I really did not realize it would be so difficult. I racked my brain on how I might treat myself. I could have eaten out but really it would have been no different then if I just brought my lunch. Candy was obviously not an option. I racked my brain for some sort of treat-so I took a walk. yep that is right my treat was taking a walk at lunch with a colleague while she grabbed lunch. woo hoo! So there you have my thoughts on day 5...physically it was the same but because it fell on a Friday, and it being the first Friday of the cleanse, it was difficult and hard to swallow. TGI..S? Will Saturday actually be ANY better? V.
Desiderata is one of my all time favorites. I thought it was worth sharing. While going through my high school years I sometimes read this to myself before bed to remind myself how small and insignificant somethings are. It helped me keep perspective, hope and my sanity! Believe it or not..it still does! Truly words to live by...
Desiderata Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. ~Max Ehrmann, 1952
I am embarking on another adventure that also involves health and wellness. In two weeks time I will officially begin training for a half marathon and I can HARDLY wait. In the middle of October I actually signed up and started a 10K clinic at the Running Room. After running with my group a couple of times I realized that my fitness level was a lot higher then thought. I asked if I could bump up to the half clinic and they said of course. I have continued to join the 10k clinic on their runs but after next week I will begin with the half marathon clinic. The clinic lasts until the end of February and our goal race is the Chilly half Marathon in Burlington on the first weekend in March. The Running Room makes it easy to train with two open runs a week where you can choose what group to go out with plus the clinic run once a week. They also give you a schedule to train by, which is amazing. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am about this. My love for running has been renewed and I get excited about even the thought of my next run. I will leave you with an interesting thought on the runner:
"Runners may not be any more honest than the rest of the population, but I think they are. You can pretend to be smart or wealthy. You can rent a lifestyle for a week. For a few hours or a few days, you can deceive those around you, and for a while, yourself. But as a runner, you have to face the truth about yourself on a regular basis, and it makes you more honest. You can’t pretend to be faster than you are. You can’t pretend that you are better prepared than you are. You cannot pretend to be a runner, you actually have to run. In the end, being a runner is no more complicated than that. To be a runner, you simply have to run. It’s not enough to dream about being a runner. It’s not enough to plan on being a runner. Sooner or later, you have to run. And if you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run."
Last November Sam and Craig decided to use the month of November as a time to renew and refresh. By renew and refresh they meant cut out alcohol and pretty much all junk food. They both embarked on detoxes and cleanses. Thus the birth of the NO NO NOVEMBER!
I am 4 days into my No No November aka my 20 day cleanse. So far so good. The first 2 days I felt exhausted and quite drained but come day 3-I felt like my old self again...Thank Goodness! My diet is very restricted and I am on 2 cleansing kits. The first is a detox kit which stimulates the body's natural drainage processes to allow auto regulation and elimination of toxins. This is made up of 3 sets of drops that I take 3 times daily. This kit cleanses the gastrointestinal system and liver, the kidneys and gallbladder and the lymphatic system. The second kit is an advanced parasite cleansing system which is made up of droplets and pill capsules. I take these in the evening only. My restricted diet consists of the following: lots of fruits and veggies, not from concentrated OJ, fish and skinless/boneless chicken, whole grain rye bread, brown rice, brown rice pasta, whole grain rye bread, rice cakes, Japanese green tea, herbal teas, nuts (with the exception of peanuts), soy milk/almond milk and LOTS of water. Big no no's are the following: Refined sugars, fried food, red meat, shell fish, dairy, alcohol, wheat, yeast, caffeine, white pasta/white rice, no cooking with olive oil-only coconut oil and absolutely no peanuts. So far I have realized that I need protein. Yes that is right. Protein energizes me. I try and start my no no days with some sort of protein to get me going. I found these great all natural/vegan meal replacements powders that you add to water. Let me tell you they definitely do the trick! I have also really enjoying salads for lunch with either some tuna fish or chick peas. It is really teaching me to be creative with eating healthy-which is great. Sam keeps telling me that day 5 is the worst...tmo is day 5 so I will let you know how that goes. V.