Everyone Needs a Thinking Spot

I am sitting in one of my favourite spots in the city. I always find myself lured downtown when I need to just escape and recollect my thoughts.

The free view from the top of The Forks parkade is my hiding spot. I can always count on coming up here to find some piece and quiet where I can just park and look out over the city and centre myself.

I have found my life being shaken by some major negative external forces. It is definitely a challenge that I will be able to overcome in time. Unfortunately, emotions have gotten in the way and I am caught up struggling to maintain a positive view on my situation.

I don’t want to post any major details, but I am thankful for all the wonderful people in my life that are there to help encourage me to grow and find the right answers to life’s obstacles which I am tackling. For now, I am going to just lay back in my car and listen to some music as I watch the sunset over downtown Winnipeg.

Where is your favourite place to go and think?

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Totally Deserved It

As you may or may not have noticed, I have decided to take the last few days off from writing. I suppose that isn’t entirely true, I’ve decided to take the last few days off from posting my writing.

I have been working on several different posts that have taken a bit more time and effort to write as compared to my usual quick blogs about random thoughts from my day. I have also been dealing with a few obstacles in my personal life that have distracted me from completing my goal of sharing my stories with you.

Needless to say, I am not at all disappointed in the fact that I took a short break from posting because I needed a few days to catch up with myself. I was able to enjoy some much needed alone time and do some activities that I just wanted to do without needing to depend on anyone else.

That being said, I am looking forward to sharing some of those stories over the next few days with you. I am also trying to bring some different and diverse posts back to my blog, which is taking a bit of time to get used to adding these activities to my world, but it is a fun adventure.

On that note, I have to sign off for now because I have to go to work. Have a super Saturday!

Struggling

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How are we already 11 days into the new year? Time seems to be speeding up and I have no idea where it is going, but I’m sure that it is probably the same black hole where all my socks keep ending up.

I have started many random blog posts over the past almost two weeks and have never felt that they are worthy of being posted. I know that I am my own worst critic, but I also don’t want to post work that I can’t be proud to have attached my name too.

I keep hitting a wall though as I start to type and am struggling to push past. It has been happening for a very long time now and I am tired of feeling like my writing ends up in a negative space that I don’t want to post.

I am forcing myself to finish this piece quickly as I have to get ready for work and my cup of coffee is now empty. I just wanted to say that I appreciate your patience as a reader for my lack of consistency in writing and posting. I know that I have to push this wall down and get myself into a more positive head space to enjoy sharing my stories with you.

Have an amazing weekend and until next time.

Why doesn’t it look like the picture?

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Last night, I came home from work to find that Mike had purchased more furniture.  This time it was a dresser to match the night stands he had purchased last week.  I have to admit, I am rather shocked because this is now the third piece of furniture from IKEA that he has decided to tackle on his own.

In our relationship, he tends to be the one that enjoys shopping, decorating, and leaving the purchases on the “Honey Do…” list.  I certainly enjoy working on these projects that he brings home because they have all the necessary parts and instructions in one convenient box for me to start, build, and finish without having to search for more than a few random tools that they didn’t include in the box.

However, over the summer we moved into a house that is 102 years old. As a result, my “Honey Do…” list has been feeling quite overwhelming.  From plastering, painting, demolishing, and landscaping, I have been struggling to get motivated to keep working on projects because there are so many left to complete.  The next major project is going to be finishing the basement and insulating the attic as it is getting quite cold here in Winnipeg.

When the new furniture made its way into our home, I assumed that it was also going to be added onto my list, but to my pleasant surprise it wasn’t.  I am thoroughly enjoying watching Mike sitting on the floor surrounded by random parts that are “poorly labeled” and “don’t look like the pictures at all.”

As I have been watching him, I began thinking about how life has a lot of poorly labeled parts and in the end looks nothing like the pictures of what I thought life was going to turn out like.  After a bit of a struggle to get all the pieces to fit together though, there always seems to be something beautiful that emerges out of all the blood, sweat, and tears that have been invested into it.  I have a lot of amazing people in my life that make up the pieces to my wonderful world and it is awesome.

 

How good is your hindsight?

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I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately trying to solve this puzzle called my life. All in all, I really have had phenomenal experiences and know that there are many more great experiences to come.

The most important thing I strive to do in my life is learn from my past. One of the biggest mistakes I have made in my past is making decisions too quickly and not fully contemplating the pros and cons of the choices laid out in front of me. This often results in unexpected consequences and frequently regret.

Over the past several weeks, I have been evaluating several options and successfully eliminated one of these options from my list. However, I am still struggling with three other choices. The hardest part is that all three have very different costs and benefits associated with them.

As I use my past experiences to help evaluate this decision I am finding myself petrified to make a final choice as I fear the regret that comes with making the wrong choice. It also is challenging because whatever I decide to pursue also affects other people than just myself.

I know I keep coming back here as I reflect on my journey. I have been struggling to sleep as my opportunity to make this decision is rapidly expiring. I would like this next chapter to be amazing, but I can’t find the piece I need to finish this chapter.

To This Day

I know that yesterday, I promised you that I would share my stories of the past two weeks of vacation, but I came across this video which I think is far too important to share. I have seen it in several different presentations, but this is by far the best. It brings tears to my eyes every time.

Please take the time to watch the whole thing because it is funny, heartbreaking, and inspirational all at the same time!

How do you define it?

IMG_1455Last week, I wrote about the process I went though in which I identified my values.  If you didn’t read the post, you can read it here.  I also suggest that you take this opportunity to identify your values using the techniques that I talk about in the post (but make sure you come back and finish reading this one too afterward).

Last weekend, my room mate decided to host a BBQ in which I had the opportunity to meet some of his friends.  One of these people included Christopher, a certified Master Coach Practitioner at Change My Life Coaching.  In the process of chatting, we got onto the topic of my values and goals.  He challenged me to define what each word that I listed as a value actually meant to me.

First, this challenge caught me a bit off guard as I guess I never really thought about the definition of my values more in-depth than accepting them the way that society has defined each of these words, or that the words invoked an emotion in me that I identified with.  After reflecting on it for a bit, I decided that this could be a neat challenge and an opportunity to really define these values for myself in order to clarify the way that I actually identified with them.

So I think that I am going to do this in two ways, first off I am going to use Merriam-Webster‘s definition of each word as clarification on what each item means in the context in which I listed it as a value.  The second point I am going to tie into each word is why I value or identify or strive to include this item in my life.

  1. Accomplishment
    • “The act of accomplishing” or bringing to completion
    • I value accomplishment because one of my weaknesses is procrastination. Each time I accomplish a task, project or goal, I view it as a way in which I have overcome this weakness.  I also like the positive feelings that come with seeing the final product of something in which I have contributed my efforts.
  2. Acknowledgment
    • “A declaration or avowal of one’s act or of a fact to give it legal validity”
    • This is a little harder for me to express unless I do so in two parts.  This first is the fact that I really enjoy the warm feelings that I get when an external source recognizes my talents, abilities, or accomplishments.  However, on the flip side, I also enjoy acknowledging other people’s talents, abilities, or accomplishments and celebrating these with them.
  3. Amusement
    • “Pleasurable Diversion”
    • Experiencing amusement is less valuable for me than redefining experiences in a way that they can be amusing.  It is very easy to point out the negative aspects of an experience, but if you can find and share the positive aspects of an experience, the same event can have two very different outcomes.
  4. Comfort
    • The definition of comfort isn’t quite the way in which I interpreted this value.  I think that I am going to define it as “Comfortable” which is “affording or enjoying contentment and security; free from stress or tension”
    • External forces have certainly influenced my value of comfort, but I believe that it is most certainly the driving force for my career decisions and my goal of being debt-free.
  5. Connection
    • “a relation of personal intimacy”
    • This ties very closely to my value of friendship.  I really love sharing moments and experiences with people that I value, and the memories that these experiences provide to us as a special bond that only we can share.
  6. Control
    • “to exercise restraining or directing influence over”
    • I struggle most when I find myself in situations in which I have lost all control and I appear to have no ability to alter the current course of events in order to change the results of the situation.
  7. Dependability
    • “capable of being depended on; reliable”
    • Trust ties very tightly to dependability to me.  I believe that if I can depend on someone, I also share a high level of trust and belief in that person.
  8. Friendship
    • “the quality or state of being friendly”
    • This is certainly one of my most important values.  I try to put my friends above everything else because they are one of the most important aspects of my life.  I value my friends as if they are a part of my family, and love meeting new people that also join this elite group of people in my universe.
  9. Honesty
    • “fairness and straightforwardness of conduct”
    • I believe we all struggle with honesty as it conflicts with our desire to avoid hurting people’s feelings.  However, more often than not, I find that this is an unfounded fear and by being honest, it results in me forming a stronger bond with the person with whom I have just shared my honest emotions with.
  10. Knowledge
    • “the fact or condition of having information or of being learned”
    • Learning from my past has made me into a better person, and I look forward to learning from my future to grow even further.
  11. Nonconformity
    • “refusal to conform to an established or conventional creed, rule, or practice”
    • While following the rules can be fun sometimes, I also think it is important to challenge why a rule is being imposed.  I also refuse to accept something as “the way it is” without verifying that it is true.  Finally, the only way to bring about change is to start with changing myself.
  12. Reputation
    • “overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general”
    • I want to live my life in a manner in which I will be remembered as a good person that brought something positive to a situation or experience and helped other people to become better after I leave the room, situation, experience or overall when my current existence ends.
  13. Sexuality
    • “expression of sexual receptivity or interest”
    • Society has done an amazing job of suppressing sexuality and teaching us that it is wrong to discuss, share, and enjoy.  As a result, we have been left with the lack of education and resources to fully understand our feelings, urges, sensations, and experiences which results in a multitude of sexual hangups, embarrassments about turn-on’s and turn-off’s, and a general feeling of being inadequate.
  14. Thoughtfulness
    • “anticipation of the needs and wants of others”
    • This is truly harder said than done.  Having a level of intimacy with another person in which you can anticipate a need or a want takes a lot of time and attention to connecting with them on a deeper level in which you can be in tune with their emotions before they happen.
  15. Traditionalism
    • “adherence to the doctrines or practices of a tradition”
    • I love small things that surround holidays, such as turkey for Thanksgiving; cards, decorations, and lights at Christmas; ect.  Even though I believe that times, values, and people change, I love keeping the little traditions that make celebrations special
  16. Trust
    • “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something”
    • I strive to be a person in which my friends can turn to for support, council, or assistance.  I also seek like minded people that are trustworthy to be close friends in which I can count on to be there for me when I need it.
  17. Wisdom
    • “ability to discern inner qualities and relationships”
    • I value wisdom in contrast to struggling with regret.  I believe that the universe puts each and everyone of us into a situation in which we have the opportunity to learn and grow as individuals, some good and some that hurt.  However, the true test is translating each lesson into wisdom that can be applied into situations that you will encounter in the future.

I’ll leave you with this final thought.  When I started writing this blog, I was extremely enthusiastic about the challenge of really ripping back the layers and expressing my true feelings about my values.  I was extremely caught off guard by the amount of emotion this invoked and the amount of energy it took to continue to press on and be honest with myself about who I am.  This exercise was mind-blowing in the way that it peeled back multiple layers of my personality in order to bring to completion.  This truly was an extremely rewarding experience.

I challenge you to take this time to extract your definitions of your values for yourself.