The real reason we should celebrate

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If this past weekend taught me anything, it is that you don’t have to see people everyday to be reassured that they will still spend a moment to think about you.  It was my birthday on Saturday and I was overwhelmed by the number of messages I received from people who I am unable to see on a regular basis or have never even met face to face.  There are still a few people in this world who may look down on social media and digital communication but the numerous birthday wishes I received through those forums meant just as much as the messages I received in person.

I took the time to read each birthday greeting and every word that each person sent meant so much to me.  It is almost effortless to ignore the constant reminders in our hand-held, digitized lives but I have realized during the many years that I, too, have been a slave to the cyber-enhanced face of reality that it takes an infinitesimal amount of time to reach out.  It is the same small fragment of time that it takes to ignore that electronic reminder and, if the recipient is anything like me, a simple string of words can have a profound effect.

At one point during the afternoon, I was overcome by gratitude.  I, admittedly, had been feeling the effects of the long winter and the very distant signs of Spring and was a bit down about the snowy, barren landscape that greeted me on the morning of my birthday.  But each notification, each acoustic announcement of an incoming message, turned that desolate panorama of my morning into a garden painted by Monet.

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Because of the wonderful blend of the real world and the cyber world, I got to celebrate my birthday with everyone.  I had a glass of wine with the family I work with who has become like my own family.  I was able to hear from friends near and far and I was able to have a great night with good food and lots of laughs with my brother, sister-in-law and my nephews.  What started as a day to celebrate the day I was born turned into a day of celebrating everyone who has joined me along the way.

Cooking for one doesn’t have to mean Kraft Dinner

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I am the only living creature in my home who consumes “people food”.  Callaway likes to protest as often as possible which results in some fibrous vegetables going into her mouth and subsequently my ruing that decision once the foul odor of processed cucumber and lettuce assaults my senses.

Living alone has its challenges but cooking for one is not even on the list.  I love to, not just cook but, create in the kitchen.  Just because I am only cooking for myself does not mean I take the easy route and buy horribly processed pre-packaged easy to serve meals.  I opt for the more labor intensive, home-cooked, real food.

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This meal took 30 minutes to prepare and was delicious.  Fresh beef, a portion of a bag of small potatoes and an onion created this tasty home-cooked meal fit for one.  It took one pan and two small pots, one for mashed potatoes one for fried, dusted onions.  The preparation was easy, the cooking process was simple and the taste was phenomenal.  The result was so much better than a store-bought meal.

Cooking for one doesn’t have to be intimidating but it does take some practice.   There are a plethora of options that are easy to prepare, that are healthy and that make great leftovers for lunch.  You can even make a full recipe and freeze it for future meals but I spoil myself most of the time and buy fresh ingredients each day.  I find I spend less money doing that than I do buying in bulk and freezing food that I may forget about and never eat.  And fresh is always the best.

What is your favorite meal when you are cooking for one?

 

 

Eternal optimism while staring at your balls

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There is a local golf course that is always the first one to open every season.  They even have a count down sign on the highway so driver’s passing by can share their enthusiasm for the start of golf season. It is a nice reminder, a beacon of hope that lurking under the mounds of snow lie tiny blades of grass waiting to be kissed by the warm, Spring sun.

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I drove by that sign today and the magic number on the sign is 25 days to golf.  I almost drove off the road I was laughing so hard.  As I collected myself, I began to scan my surroundings.  Mounds of snow still shroud anything that may slightly resemble a golf course and the temperature on my car thermometer was -12C.

Maybe the optimism of the course owner is misguided.  Perhaps he knows something the rest of us do not.  But I’m willing to bet that the sign proudly stating golf season will start in 25 days will say the same thing 25 days from now!

Say yes to a dress, say no effing way to those shorts….

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I was thinking I wanted to lose a few pounds, you know, shed the extra winter weight that inevitably comes from too many lethargic nights on the couch when it was -38C and the wind was whipping by my windows at 60 km/h.

It’s tough to get out of a comfortable routine, especially when you fully comprehend the new routine will require getting your arse off the couch and making it do some exercise.  I start each day with the best of intentions and then somehow the bad habits are happening before I even realize it.

Facebook has been a bit of a thorn in my side lately.  Were it not for posting my blog to it as frequently as possible, I would probably eradicate its evilness from my life.  But then I saw this in my Facebook news feed……

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….possibly the best motivational tool for weight loss I have seen yet.  While it is highly improbable, no, completely preposterous to imagine I would even attempt to dress like that, let alone go out in public, this glaring reminder of shrinking clothing versus expanding fat cells slapped me in the face.

Next time I feel the need to snack on that late night popcorn or make that relatively innocent cream sauce for my chicken this image will gallop to the front of my cerebral cortex and blind me with its perceptual awareness.  Salad anyone?

The map of a place maybe someday I’ll go

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The caution beacon flashes.  It warns me that the lane ahead may close, yet I feel compelled to keep driving in the direction I’m headed. The pavement is smooth and somewhat welcoming but I shift gears to slow my trajectory.  The road winds in a multitude of twists and turns and, even with the subtle warnings,  I can’t turn back.  The excitement of what potentially lies ahead is enticing.

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The spirits of ‘what could be’ sit on my shoulders and continue to whisper sweet somethings in my ear, urging me to go forward and see what lies beyond.  If only the road I am travelling were not so treacherous.  If only those hair-pin turns would straighten for just a moment so I could gauge what lays ahead but the exhilaration of the unknown is like a drug.  Perhaps it warps my sense of reality and, just perhaps, it wants me to be excited by the unknown.  It wants me to feel exhilarated by the element of danger.

I feel the pull to press down on the accelerator.  My engine revs and I shift gears to make the ride smoother.  My carriage rockets forward, almost on auto-pilot, seeking the true ride that it feels is its destiny.  I follow that road, taking the blind corners and skilfully maneuvering the obstacles that inevitably fall into my path.

This road may be fraught with uncertainty but I am obliged to see where this artery of excitement will take me.  The beat of its life echoes with mine and I am a casualty to the incessant drumming in my veins.  The caution signs no longer have meaning and I fall victim to the thrill of the ride.

I keep driving and as my trek continues the sun begins its journey to meet with the horizon and the cascade of hues is breathtaking.  The warm glow of the dying fire in the sky reaches my skin and I am awash in the embers of the end of the day.  The stars begin to mottle the night sky and the promise of another day lies in wait.  The vehicle I find myself in continues on its journey to see where this road will lead, hoping the beauty of the scenery is a portal of what is to come.

I will enjoy the journey I am following on the advice of my inner compass.  If the adventure ends, at least I can say I took the road that beckoned and truly enjoyed the scenery along the way.

Energy never dies, it just changes

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“As long as there is one person on Earth who remembers you, it isn’t over.” ~ Oscar Hammerstein, Carousel

~

I speak aloud to them and their faces later hover in my dreams,

those gone before me.

Perhaps it was their time.

Maybe they were taken before I was ready for them to be gone.

They leave a void on my plane of reality,

a chasm of memories that I jump into during random moments.

I bathe in the forgotten sound of their laughter,

I warm to the memory of their embrace.

But energy never dies.

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They yearn for me to engage them.

They delight in the moments that I recall our past together.

I keep their memory alive with every thought of them,

each recollection of their journey with me.

If I take that moment to remember,

to seek what I saw in them in the physical world,

I give those reflections a new vitality.

When I look into the darkness,

I see beyond the black veil of loss.

I see the light they brought to my life.

The case that once held those beautiful spirits may be gone,

but the mark they left on my soul never leaves me.

They remain in my heart for as long as I allow them.

Each time I look into the stars,

I know they are looking back at me.

Energy never dies.

~

(image credit: totalreikimastery.com)