Thursday, July 30, 2009
Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio
To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone...
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret,you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19.. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
2 - buy a home. done! and eek! and wow, i am an adult! and yay! and scary! but i think i will love my new nest and i cannot wait to be poor while i fill it with the things you need to live like a kitchen table, the internet, and other essential, pretty things.
3 - reduce my level of anxiety. i am winning this battle so much so that soon i will get to take less medication for it and return to my natural state with a few more tools in my toolbox on how to handle sticky and stressful situations.
4 - take better photos. i have been told that the best way to take better photos is to take MORE photos and as far as this goes, i am doing fantastically well. i have some favourite photos from san francisco and thailand and will surely collect more as the summer progresses.
my next step is to find a photography class in the fall to learn more about how a camera even works.
5 - become financially confident. with recent purchases, including a new nest, i am not so sure that i can have confidence in my financial decisions, but i think that is goes along with the enormity of this purchase in comparison to my past financial decisions so i am ok with that. and hello, a new nest! my very own nest!
6 - be happy where i am. although this city can get to me at times, it has been pretty hard not to be happy where i have been lately. things are good. really good.
7 - visit friends who live in other places. i continue to crap out on this goal, but in my defense i did travel around thailand with a fabulous friend and we are now much closer because of our 3 week intimacy of sharing the same room, nursing one another through tropical illness, and overnight train journeys that tested patience.
in addition to thailand, i am also going houseboating with a friend who i've known for years and our relationship has really matured and developed since i have moved home, which i think is equally fantastic. and i hope to have a few new friends at the end of this long weekend, and who doesn't love new friends?!
in a reverse of this goal, there is also a friend from england who seems quite serious about coming for a canadian visit this winter, which would be splendid.
8 - make the best dating decisions for me. (the goal formally known as sort out my relationship). at the moment, this is the goal that frightens me the most, but one that i have made considerable progress on. and by progress, i mean i have been on a lot of dates in the past few months and have met some pretty wonderful men. i am not one to divulge the secrets of my relationship to the world (aka, the internet), but let's just say i have made some good decisions. and we will see where those decisions now lead. and, yay.
Monday, July 27, 2009
- i promise that i have more posts about thailand in me. i will get to them as soon as i am ready to fight with blogger to post photos again
- my hair had a dye job today and i am a lot more blonde than i anticipated!
- another saturday afternoon spent on the banks of the lake at the cabin, ahhhhhh...
- i found a house i want to live in. and now for the stressful part, i will let you know how it goes
- after a month long hiatus, i went for a run. it was tough, but at least it was 6km
- i am going houseboating this weekend with a bunch of women i don't know. sometimes i make spontaneous decisions. most often they are the best decisions
- dating lots of men is fun, dating only one might be a titch more difficult
Friday, July 24, 2009
- i have sat on a total of 5 patios this week
- i have been on 3 dates, with 1 more to go tonight
- i finally got myself to Farm for the first time and got back to Alloy for a second time
- i had made an executive decision that instead of sitting in my dank office, i would take tuesday afternoon off and drink white wine with a colleague
- i have worn skirts, dresses, or shorts to work everyday this week
- i have not had to bring a coat in case it got chilly or i was afraid it would rain
- i looked at 2 places that could be my potential new home
- i have been out for lunch 4 days in a row
- i have eaten creme brule twice in as many days
Sunday, July 19, 2009
but first, the bruised and battered portion: i have managed to bruise both legs and both arms through either tubing and/or jumping out of and reboarding the boat after having some mid-lake pees while drinking cold beer in the hot, southern albertan sun. there was also a little sand in the bottom of the tube while i was in it and let’s just say it was a little abrasive on the cheeks!
laying in the sun, i worked my way through two issues of The Economist, began a new book that i am taking notes from i am enjoying it so much, and even managed to type up some work-related correspondence. i also got to chill out with my bros and parents and catch up with decades-long family friends.
funny isn’t it, that without the guilt of having to be doing something, i can get so much more done?! not having television, mobile phone coverage, or internet helps too.
anyone want to join me next weekend for another one?!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
so gross, but i have been sick with what seems to be some sort of manifestation of the piglet flu that i picked up, along with all my great buys, in thailand before returning home. it has been over a week since this cold started and it still does not seem to be improving one lick.
i think i am feeling better so i get up and do something, only to end up right back on the couch within a few hours.
my symptoms include: congestion (as always), aches, intermittent fever, lack of energy, chest tightness and inability to get a full, deep breath, and constantly plugged ears and muffled hearing.
sounds great, doesn't it?
i was banished from my office and told to work from home so as not to infect anyone and although i have toyed with going to the doctor, i was told by one such professional that there is nothing they can prescribe for the h1n1 flu, if that is what this is, apart from rest and isolation.
and this shouldn't have been a surprise as i was mildly concerned i would be quarantined when arriving in canada, hacking and sneezing, which earned me some skeptical and accusatory looks from the canadian customs agents.
so here i am, on a gorgeous afternoon, stuffy and snotty and hoping that i regain my health so that i can enjoy a hot, sunny albertan summer weekend at the cabin.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
the clothes are all designed by a team of three sisters based in chiang mai (which i am assuming is the inspiration for the name of their label) and they sell their wares on etsie, so that might be my next stop when i need a retail fix!
a shop i found that i wanted to share with the masses was one by the name of jaspal. i fell in love with their clean lines, natural fabrics, and updated cuts.
i would make it a regular stop on my rounds of the bangkok malls, if i lived there and this time 'round, i held myself back from buying up the whole store, but could not say no to this shirt and a dress that looked similar to this yellow one, but it was not yellow, had a different hem, and was a charcoal grey. you'll just have to use your imagination, i suppose.
or meet me for a coffee and i will sport it once this awful calgary weather improves enough to wear a summer dress!
Monday, July 13, 2009
i stayed in two different areas of the city and my first hotel, baiyoke boutique hotel, catered towards asian tourists and the second was cute with its mildly schizophrenic design styles meshed together to make it a 'boutique' hotel. my second abode was salil hotel and it was a lovely old building with creaks and cracks and a complimentary golf cart service from the main road (but the best part was that we had to go into the 7-11 at the end of the street, pay 1 baht, and call the hotel for our pick up on the corner, which was really only a 10 minute walk).
the staff at both hotels were accommodating, helpful, and always had a little something for you on your arrival, from flourescent coloured juice to elephant key chains!
if you don't love the grand palace's sharp guards dressed in white, wat pho's awe-inspiring reclining buddha, or wat phra kaew's itty bitty emerald buddha, the city has a plethora (and i mean plethora) of places to shop!
cheap electronics, designer knock off's, gorgeous malls full of trendy thai shops and japanese department stores, tiny boutiques full of one of a kind styles, floors upon floors of homeware, pirated music and dvds, tacky tourist tat, silk and gorgeous fabrics, flower markets, fresh fruits and vegetables, fried fish, shoes, shoes, more shoes, jewelry, and every other thing you could possibly find yourself needing (including an adorable 'cloth pouch' that i picked up for my sister!).
apart from the traffic jams, i enjoyed zipping around the streets in tuk tuks and finding little spots to eat or grab a coffee throughout the packed streets. i loved the little alleyways and the toll roads to blast you to the airport when you are afraid you will be late to check into your flight.
a special mention of the cream tea at the oriental hotel, which was absolutely divine and made me feel as though i was a colonial woman in a huge dress, holding a fan and seeing thailand as it once was. again, the service was impecable and the chocolate buffet was something i will be talking about for months!
most of all, and i think that this is what can easily make or break any destination, the people in bangkok were courteous, welcoming, helpful, and i never felt like someone was taking me for a ride or trying to rip me off (apart from that one wingnut who drew all over our map...). blending into the local scene was largely effortless and i think bangkok is a place i could live without constantly feeling like an outsider or being frustrating with the way things work.
and a little shout out to my favourite taxi driver who ended up offering us a free ride because he misunderstood where we wanted to be dropped and then saw us on the street later and came over to say hi and make sure we were not lost!
get your baht to bangkok and i am sure you will love the city as much as i did!
*does anyone else find it painfully difficult to upload photos to blogger?? i want to punch mr blogger in the nose after this most recent episode of blogger headaches. if you are remotely interested, i am posting all my photos on facebook in the coming days.*