Thursday, April 21, 2011

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 16

I took today as a vacation day.  That means that including today, I have 5 days off in a row!  Yippee!!!  I'm feeling very much the need to recharge a bit.  Today was spent doing some housework, some cooking, a little cross stitch and some knitting.  All in all, a very peaceful kind of day.  I like being at home.
One of Mr. Me's friends has a wife that I have never gotten along with.  I could come up with a number of reasons as to why, with me being able to find fault on both sides, but I think that the crux of it is that our life views are very different.  She simply must have a large group of people around her at all times and have plans made months in advance.  For me, that causes stress.  I like nothing more than hanging out at home and puttering around, either alone, with family or with friends.  For her, that would be an indicator of failure in her life.  For me, the peace of my home is a sign of success.
I should also say that I am happy today because I finally found my camera!  Now to get those batteries charged and upload some photos...

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 15

Yes, I am late yet again...  But I went knitting yesterday evening, and didn't make it out at lunchtime to blog either.  I spent my lunchtime running errands.  My key errand yesterday was picking up outrageous quantities of cat litter...  The catboys will only use one kind, and it is both difficult to find and expensive, so for the sake of being able to use a discount coupon worth $20, I bought 90 pounds of cat litter.  Given that the roads weren't great yesterday evening for the ride home, I was grateful to have the extra weight in the back of the car since I have already taken off my winter tires.

Yesterday it really was the knitting that brought me happiness, although having dinner with my niece beforehand and bringing her home for approximately 1.5 weeks to stay with us makes me happy, too.  You can't choose your family, but I would have chosen my older sister and her family anyways.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 14

Do you ever feel like you're stuck in a rut?  That would be me these days, which probably at least in part explains why I'm trying to figure out the things that actually bring me little bits of happiness and peace.  Many days, it is easier to find the things that have annoyed me or just niggled at me...

It has occurred to me that part of the reason I feel like I am in a rut is that I cannot count!  This could be a bad thing for a qualified accountant, no?  I did Day 8 twice!!!  We are now back on track.  Today really is Day 14.  If I was superstitious, I could try claiming that it was an effort to avoid Day 13, which was really yesterday, but that would be a lie.  I have no issues with numbers.  Days of the week?  Well that is another story, but considering that I have been finding Mondays and Tuesdays difficult, I may have to revisit my longstanding dislike of Thursday.  Maybe Thursday isn't so bad after all and was just misunderstood in my youth?

Today was an odd and solitary day at the office.  There were very few people around as the vast majority of the staff on the floor where my office is located were away at a meeting.  I live in an odd limbo kind of world anyways.  My office is physically located in one city, but I report to a different branch in a different city.  Back in the summer following "The Big Un-Invite" (I'll tell the story some other time), I was removed from all e-mail distribution lists that relate to the city where my office physically is...  That means that until I found another living and breathing person this morning, I had the odd feeling that maybe I wasn't supposed to be at work today.

While I am not sure that I am the most social person, I do find it disconcerting when no one is around to even say "Hi" to.  Tomorrow will be much that same at the office, but considering that it is the third Wednesday of the month, I am happy in anticipation of going knitting tomorrow night.  I haven't been able to go in months and I have really very much missed it.  We are a very eclectic bunch of ladies, but we always have so much fun.  Now - if only the weather forecast was better and I didn't have to be anxious about - wait for it - up to 15 cm (6 inches) of snow and ice pellets...  Hey - Winter, you have overstayed your welcome!

Monday, April 18, 2011

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 12

Quirky things make me happy!  Why?  Because they often tell an interesting and charming tale of someone else's creativity.  Today, I noticed that one of my nieces had posted something on her sister's Facebook wall.

How cool is that?  A Knitting Clock!  I really hope that they won't mind that I used their photo...  Check out the details here.

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 11

Sunday's blog post is brought you a day late because weekends are too short!  If any of the political parties would like to put a four day work week into their platform, it would pretty well guarantee them my vote.  I know it isn't going to happen, but just saying...
Like many people, I am a creature of habit.  One of my habits on a Sunday afternoon is to take a nap.  I missed my nap last weekend and discovered that I really missed it!  Yesterday was a very rainy and windy day which meant it was perfect for napping.  My Sunday afternoon naps make me happy, and they bring me peace.  It is just a little bit of pampering for myself.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 10

Saturday is one of the days when Knitting Pattern Central is updated with new patterns.  While it always makes me happy to see new knitting patterns, one of the things that I find particularly appealing about this site is the generosity that is inherent in what is shared.  Some wonderfully talented and creative people are prepared to grant us access to their wonderful work for free - work which they could easily sell.  Knowing that there are people out there who are driven by the joy of sharing their work makes me happy.  Although, I can also see the other side of the coin - we all need to make a living and put food on the table - seeing a bit of balance is nice, too.  And yes, I will admit it, sometimes having a positive experience with a free pattern makes me much more inclined to pay for a pattern from the same designer.

In Serach of Peace and Happiness - Day 9

Yes, once again I am a little late...  But even though yesterday was Friday, it took until the very end of the day for me to come up with something.
Last night when I got into bed, our newest family member came up to join me.  About a month ago, we became the owners of a second cat.  I'd post a picture, but my camera is still MIA and the firewalls on my work e-mail won't let me access the photo from the shelter...  His name is Caesar.  Why?  Because Younger Son chose him on March 15th - Beware the ides of March...  Yes, a BIG name for a little cat, but he is definitely up for the challenge.
We've had Tiger for about 4.5 years now, and we love him, but he is not a cuddly cat.  He doesn't purr or express any sort of affection for his slaves.  Caesar is kind of the anti-Tiger...  He purrs at the time and will cuddle up with his people just because he likes us!
Last night, lying in bed, with a cat under the covers next to me purring, I could imagine anywhere safer or more peaceful.

Friday, April 15, 2011

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 8

Yes, I am both a day late and a dollar short...  I have nothing for yesterday. 
My day started with a drive into the city for what I thought was a breakfast meeting happening yesterday.  I had missed it.  It was Wednesday.  Sigh...
That was followed by another hour and three quarters of driving back in the other direction.  I did have good company, since in an effort to be responsible with taxpayer dollars, we carpooled.  Unfortunately, my travelling companion has been having a rather tumultuous time these days, so it was a drive filled with laughter  like it would normally be.  I'm really hoping that everything settles down for her soon.
And then there was all the road kill...  Spring brings so many things out of the woods, and I don't know if they are still groggy from the cold, but too many creatures seem to end up dead on the side of the road at this time of year.
My day ended with the drive home, which was another hour and a quarter home.  I felt like I spent the whole day sitting down in a moving vehicle.  Blech...
I suppose that I should be happy that it stopped raining yesterday around midday and has stayed sunny every since.  I'll ignore that it is chilly.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 8

One of the interesting things about doing this 30 days of peace and happiness blogging is that I'm starting to make some connections about how I feel about things in relation to my environment.  Much like Monday and yesterday, today has been a kind of ho-hum day.  If I think about why, I'm suspicious that it may have something to do with our overcast April weather.  Perhaps I'm having to acknowledge that the sunshine, warmth and light makes me happy?  That could explain why I've been feeling pessimistic, I suppose.
The office that I work in normally doesn't really have any sort of lunch room.  Sure, we have a kitchenette with a microwave, a kettle, fridge and dishwasher, but it isn't really somewhere where you can really go and eat.  As a result, I often do the very unhealthy thing of eating at my desk.  When I blog at lunchtime, I leave the office to access WiFi. I only really "lunch out" a couple of times a month - at most.  Today I had lunch with a colleague who I don't normally lunch with.  We met to talk about knitting machines.  I have two (which I don't use) and she is thinking about getting one.  It was fun and interesting conversation.  We talked about other things, too, and at the end of it, I felt quite happy.  She is always someone whom I have liked and respected, but to have an out of the ordinary conversation with someone about a variety of things - some of which you had no idea you had in common - was a very fun and charming experience!  And to think that I would probably tell you that I don't like surprises!  Maybe I do?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 7

I think that I may have realized why I started this "search" last Wednesday, and not last Monday.  I'm realizing that Monday and Tuesday can be kind of steep, and maybe a little hard on the head and the body...  Since Mr. Me has business in Halifax this week, I have been driving to work.  Driving does not make me happy.  I much prefer travelling on my regular commuter bus.  Driving results in car maintenance.  It doesn't make me happy to pay for car maintenance either.  Today's maintenance included 2 new all season tires.  At least I'm safe?  Or more importantly, my kids are safe when they are in the car with me.
Tonight is the English language debate amongst our "national" leaders and possible contenders for the post of Prime Minister of Canada...  Believe it or not, I am planning on watching.  I'm not entirely sure what this election is about!  As far as I can tell, there aren't any really pressing issues.  However, it does make me happy to know that I live in a democracy, where it is my right to have a say in the governance of my country.  I may even do my taxes while I watch...  Bureaucratic multitasking - here I come!

Monday, April 11, 2011

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 6

Today is Monday.  Monday waited until the end to make me happy...  I was really having to think hard on the way home tonight to figure out what had made me happy.  Having to get up at 5:15am certainly didn't do it. 

Going to the dentist to have my brand new bite plate fitted didn't really make the "happy" list - although I do like going to the dentist and I understand that the bite plate may make me much happier than I could ever imagine in the end.  Considering the cost of the thing, I am definitely grateful to have decent dental coverage.

Even purchasing cheap milk was only a "meh" kind of thing today.  With two growing boys, dairy is a LARGE portion of my grocery bill.  I would much rather pay $6.17 for 4 litres than the usual $7.02 that I usually pay.  For any Americans, 4 litres is roughly a gallon, which is why my last stop before the border crossing is usually for 4 gallons of "half price" US milk.

The last thing that I did today was stop and pick up the mail.  Today the mail made me very happy, and will likely keep me laughing for a while.  I found the Xrisville Road Show hiding in my mail box!  Xrisville describes itself as "a humor magazine of no fixed boundaries".  Feel free to check them out on YouTube or at their "band camp" site.  In many ways, I believe that Xrisville is a peek into the psychedelic and probably mega cool brain of its creator, Christopher (Xris) Bland.  We went to high school and college together, but I didn't know him then, although I was certainly familiar with his humour and writing in college.  We only met through mutual friends later.  While it may not be everyone's cup of tea, it makes me smile.  Oh - and I got extra copies for sharing!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 5

Anyone who is a Mom, knows that the laundry is never done.  Just when you think that it is, someone decides to actually check under their bed and discovers a massive pile of stinky laundry that they swore wasn't there yesterday.  How 5 days worth of clothing magically appears, I don't know.  I consider laundry a necessary evil - with one exception.  I enjoy ironing!  Weird?  Maybe...  And while ironing doesn't make me happy, it does bring a sense of peace and accomplishment.  You start off with the pile (or three) of rumpled things and end up with stacks and hangers of smooth things.  Part of the trick is that ironing time is my thinking time.  Given the age of our house, there is no true laundry room, or family room, and because of this, iron in my bedroom.  There is no television, so I listen to the radio.  I know that public radio isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I've got to say, I LURVE ME some CBC Radio One on a Sunday!  Interesting topics to challenge my mind - and my family leaves the house looking presentable to boot!
Now - since my  home manicure is dry, I think that perhaps it is time to knit, or maybe cross stitch.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 4

Today in New Brunswick has been a beautiful spring day.  It was warm enough - and sunny enough - for me to hang my laundry on the line to dry and to have a beer outside with Mr. Me.  More specifically, a nice bottle of Alexander Keith's IPA...  Being able to do either of these activities makes me happy, but doing both on the same day?  Priceless!  After what seems like an eternity of winter, it is nice that is finally warm enough that the laundry won't freeze solid (nothing like standing up your jeans in the corner) and even though there is still snow on the ground, it is warn enough in the sun to sit outside in just a sweater and be comfortable. 
Having grown up in a suburban area, listening to the sounds of nature that spring brings to my dooryard while I consume the above mentioned beer brings me peace.  It makes me realize how very lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place, surrounded by nature and lots of space.
On a different, and much sadder note, the passing of Alex LeBlanc has made me appreciate my children - even when they are annoying - just a little bit more.  My boys didn't know him, but he lived just one village over and they did have many mutual friends.  I can't even imagine the grief that his family must be bearing.

Friday, April 8, 2011

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 3

The boys received their report cards this week. Today was parent-teacher interviews. The fact that my boys are bright and do well in school makes me happy, but I've got to say that I really don't like parent-teacher interviews for the most part and are detrimental to any feelings of peace that I might have! However, since I needed to be around "the village" this afternoon, it did mean a day working from home. While I wouldn't want to work from home every single day, doing it sometimes - especially on a sunny Friday - does make me happy. The nice warm sunshine is making the buds on the trees and bushes swell, so leaves and flowers cannot be far behind. Knowing that spring is very much here, despite the remaining snow on the ground, also makes me happy. I had the best of intentions of taking and posting pictures of my lilac bushes, which will soon smell lovely, only to discover that my camera has been borrowed and not returned... I have yet to find the culprit - or the camera - so that will have to wait. Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 2

One of the benefits of trying to find some small thing that makes me happy everyday, is that I am having to think about what makes me happy and why - and try not to take the small things for granted. Colour makes me happy! Now this shouldn't have been any great revelation, but I realized this morning that I am finding myself smiling everytime I walk by a window with a display spring clothing or other spring goods. I am loving how all of the gorgeous pinks, purples and greens make me feel. They make me feel bright and optimistic. Perhaps the winter blacks, greys and navies need to move to the back of the closet - unless I have a very serious business meeting - for a little while. I am going to have to either start carrying my camera with me, or get better with my web cam, if I am going to keep this up. I would have loved to have posted photos of the windows of some of the local stores made me smile this morning. With the colours in the shops, spring flowers cannot be far behind. Happy spring day!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In Search of Peace and Happiness - Day 1

This topic might well need a warning, so here goes: As I have been in the depths of the late winter or early spring doldrums, I have been finding myself seeing the cup as being half empty all of the time. What's worse, most of the time, it looks like someone else has consumed the missing half from my cup! I can tell by their smeared lip prints on my cup... In a little experiment with myself, I am going to try to find the bright side of things for the next 30 days, and post about the little things that DO make me happy in what seems to be an increasingly annoying world. So, here we go... Day 1 - Today I am happy for Fred-ezone wifi access at the public library. I can't get onto a wireless network from my office, so this has meant that I have had to leave my office to blog. Being at the library always makes me happy - although I seem to forget that when I'm not here - but the short walk in the sunshine to be able to come and blog has made me happy, too. What little - perhaps unexpected - thing has made you happy today? And yes, in true half empty fashion, you are allowed to find happiness in others' sometimes deserved misfortune - it's called karma... I'll take it wherever I can find it right now!