A vision of happiness

I haven’t been blogging very much lately, and I’m not sure why. I still love to write. When I do fun stuff (aerial yoga, anyone?) I think “I’ll totally blog about this!” And then, for some reason, I don’t. I’m not about to stress over this and try to analyse it. My blog is, as I’ve said before, my happy place.

So, although this seems a little late, I’ve put together my happy moments for November. In 2014, I am going to try to recap the great moments of every month, because looking back at what made me happy over the course of the month makes me happy all over again, and happy twice is better than happy once!

Christmas crafting with my best friend!

017

Finding homes for my teacups and teapots. I love the mix of tea and books!

tea and books

Displaying my love of tea for all to see! I stained these wooden letters with tea (of course!) and put them in my kitchen window.

073

My birthday is in November, therefore it is the best month of the year.

My birthday dress!

074

Messages from my students on the board in the classroom. I was not allowed to erase them (not that I wanted too!) so I taught using pieces of paper all day. It was worth it!

004

005

006

This was the snack table for my party. Yay, cupcakes! More food was added to this later.

078

I had a vision board party. We looked at many, many magazines, pulling out any and everything that caught our attention.

079

We made a mess, but it was fun!

080

The finished products were fantastic! They are all very different and represent what we want to happen in our lives.

091

Sadly, many magazines were harmed in the making of these vision boards. However, it was for a good cause and they were just going to be recycled anyways!

093

The day after my birthday, there was a huge snowstorm. It was the first snow of the year and it was fabulous! We got about 30cm (I think) and it was perfect snowman snow, the kind that sticks. Since we knew the kids at school would be too excited to sit down and work, we decided to have a special, one hour recess first thing in the morning. Everyone was happy, kids and teachers alike!

011

018

020

012

016

I’ve actually enjoyed going through all these moments that happened over a month ago. Maybe I am meant to do these monthly recaps long after they’ve happened!

 

I’m 31 years old, that ain’t the end, but it sure ain’t where I began

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 31. Sometimes, I forget how old I am.

21 year old me imagined a much simpler life for herself. She dreamed of traveling, but couldn’t really picture herself getting off a plane in a foreign country. Her thoughts were about what to wear on a night out with her friends and working hard to become a teacher. She knew nothing except for the life of a student. It never occured to her that she would become passionnate about yoga, kiss many frogs and discover that she truly and deeply loves her life. She hoped for it, but she didn’t have a clue about how wonderful it would be.

She naively didn’t imagine the rainy days either. Those days where she felt, as I do sometimes, like everything is easier for everyone else. The moments of self-doubt and sadness. She would learn to deal.

She thought she knew everything there was to know. She had no idea she would learn that not only does she not know everything, but that it’s better that way. Imagine knowing all there is to know and going through life not learning anything, not being amazed every day by new and exciting things the world has to offer.

21 year old me was really skinny. She struggled with a 30 pound weight gain the year she finally grew a butt and got some curves. She had to get used to weighing over 100 pounds. She would learn, over time, that it’s not important how much she weighs, and she would stop weighing herself. She would not have a scale at home and she would resist the temptation to get on the scale at the gym. She will thank her mom for never having a scale in the house while she was growing up, saving her from become obssessed with her weight.

That girl I used to be had so many friends, she thought she was on top of the world. She didn’t know then what it took to be a lifelong friend. She was young and so were her friends. They grew up, but not at the same time. They grew apart, or they grew closer. Some friendships slowly trickled to happy memories while others intertwined like the branches of two trees growing so close together, you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins.

She was a happy, positive person and I’m glad that part of her is still around. The shy, sometimes awkward girl, I don’t miss as much. I appreciate what she taught me, but there is no need for her anymore. She used to admire outgoing people who took advantage of life’s amazing opportunities, but she held back from going after what she wanted. I am still in awe of the fact that I became that person I admired. Most days anyways. I am still a work in progress.

My life is nothing like she imagined it to be. It’s better. Everyday is not rainbows and candy canes, but the difference between now and then is that I can appreciate the good so much more now that I can compare it to the greyer, rainier moments.

The title of this post is from a song by Jewel, my favourite singer. I remember first hearing it a few years ago and wondering if I would feel that way when I turned 31. Well, I do. It’s not the end, that’s for sure! But when I look back to who I used to be, it’s not the begining either.

Wildlife Adventure

A few weeks ago, my friend Adèle told me she had a something special planned for my birthday, which is next week. She told me to pick a day, but she wouldn’t tell me what we were going to do. I picked today. Last week, she told me that I needed a few things for our special day. This is the list she sent me:

– camera

– notepad

– running shoes

– skates

– bathing suit

If you’re thinking what the…? I know. So was I. I tried to think of what activity could require these items. Someone suggested maybe a scavenger hunt. I thought maybe some kind of rallye. Then I began to wonder if I really would need these items, or if it was just to throw me off track.

I showed up at my friend’s house today, not knowing what to expect. A few other friends were there too. My friend Lyli told me to close my eyes, and she would give me a clue. So I closed my eyes and held out my hands in which she placed… a bag of carrots! Wait, what? Then Adèle asked me where I could possibly use a bag of carrots. Was there any place I had been dreaming of going to for years that would require carrots?

This is the point where I jumped up and down squeeling “Parc Oméga!” Parc Oméga is a wildlife park where you can drive around and feed the animals. They only have Canadian animals and I had been trying to get my friends together all summer to go with me, but it never worked out. Also, I was right about the list being designed to throw me off, all I needed was my camera. And the carrots, of course.

Four of us headed out with lots of energy, music and carrots. The park is about an hour outside the city and when we got there, the first animals we saw were elk. They were very greedy and kept sticking their head in the car to get more carrots. My friend Claudine kept yelling “Roll up your window!” while I mostly just made very high-pitched sounds.

We also saw wild boar. I threw some pieces of carrots on the ground for them, but I didn’t really want them eating out of my hand.

We were told not to feed the males, because it’s mating season and they are quite aggressive, but this little guy did not seem very aggressive. He still had his Bambi spots! He got a carrot.

This guy, however, looked a little less innocent. He was chasing the females and stomping his feet and being all manly. He didn’t get any carrots.

How could you say no to this face?

We saw some Arctic foxes, but we couldn’t feed them. They looked like fluff balls, but somehow I doubt they would have let me pet them.

The caribou didn’t come anywhere near us. I think maybe it’s because we didn’t bring any lichen.

One of the rules is “Don’t get out of your car” except when you get to some of the walking areas. I find it quite strange that we were told not to feed the males from the safety of our car, but we could walk around with them. It looked like they were playing tag, but I’m guessing that wasn’t it.

I tried to feed this little guy, but he was skittish and wouldn’t come close enough.

I pretended to feed Adèle the carrot, so he would know what to do with it, and he was all “Dude, that’s my carrot.”

Even after all that, he still wouldn’t eat it, so I found another deer who wanted a snack. They chew with their mouth open. How rude.

We were freezing so we got back in the car and saw some bison. This one was scratching his butt, which, compared to the rest of him, is quite tiny.

These two were very impressive, and they knew it. I think they practice posing at night, telling each other how strong and beautiful they look.

This one was so adorable, he got the last of the carrots. We wanted to break the “don’t get out of the car” rule and pet him, but we restrained ourselves.

This one heard from his elk friends that we had carrots, and he wanted some. Sadly, we were all out.

We also saw wolves. Two of them were playing, when another one came and messed up their game. One of them left, then the others followed him and sat on his head. True story.

We saw coyotes, baby boar and a moose. We stayed until it was too dark to see anything else, then we came home. Such a perfect day! Much better than what I was imagining when I saw the list, which included skating in my swimsuit and taking pictures while running. This was much better! I am very lucky to have such great friends! xxx