It’s Not All Rainbows and Sunshine

As with most forms of social media, blog posts can be somewhat misleading for readers. Most people put out the highlights when they publish something on social media – fun experiences, delicious food, beautiful sights and moments. Having nothing but positive experiences being shoved down your throat can cause some people to have negative self-views. “Why is my life so crappy when everyone else seems to be thriving?” As much as I strive to be fully authentic in my social media, I do recognize that I rarely post anything overly negative on my Instagram or Facebook. Occasionally, I do talk about more negative aspects and thoughts here in my blog. So today, it’s a bit more real talk.

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What Makes You Happy?

During a recent visit to Starbucks, I saw a display in the store with a bunch of Post-It notes stuck to the wall. Upon approaching, I found the question posed in today’s blog title – What makes you happy? On the counter below the sign were stacks of Post-It notes and pens. Evidently, this particular store had had this up for a few days based on the number of notes stuck up on the wall.

I added my own items to the list (on that particular day, it was good tunes and a road trip as we were out and about for the day). Afterwards, I got to thinking… what does make me happy? Why not pose the question openly, like Starbucks did, and ask the world? Or at least ask you.

What makes me happy? Here’s a brief list of a few things at the top of my mind.

  • Isabelle & Roxie
  • My family & friends
  • Road trips
  • Disney World
  • Loud music
  • Good books
  • Good food (okay, most food to be perfectly honest!)
  • Silence
  • Being in nature (whether forest or beach)
  • Discovering new things
  • Bacon 🙂
  • Cooking (when I feel like it, not when I NEED to do it)
  • Visiting new places
  • Going to the movies
  • Having dinner out with my wife
  • DINK days

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list. There are so many things that make me happy. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day of our lives that we lose sight over the pleasures; over what truly makes us happy.

And you, my dear reader, what makes you happy? Feel free to share!

Alone with my Thoughts

I went for my daily 6AM walk this morning, as per the norm. The only difference today is that I was alone, as my wife is out of town for work. This meant I was fully alone with nothing but the sounds of the birds chirping, the wind blowing and my thoughts running through my head. Let’s take a short stroll through the random oddness that is Chris’ mind.

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Yesterday, my brother, Stephen, and his wife, Laura, said goodbye to the third member of their family. Tyson was a big, loveable beast of a dog. His presence was powerful – a loud, booming bark and large, heavy paws that he would put up on your shoulders as he came to say hi. But behind it were sweet, kind eyes. He was the definition of his bark being worse than his bite.

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This is a Sign

If you take a moment to be still and pay attention, you’ll find that there are signs and messages from the Universe that are sent to you regularly. Most of the time, we aren’t paying attention enough to notice them, stuck in our daily routines and caught in our never-ending mind loops. I try to be mindful of these messages, but there will be long periods of time when I don’t see them. Or rather, I don’t recognize them.

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The Weight of Weight Loss

Ever since I was young I have been, at least, a husky individual. Over the course of my lifetime, that descriptor has varied from husky to overweight to healthy(ish), and everything in between.

For a large part of my life, I was self-conscious about my weight. Not necessarily because of how I felt, since, though carrying excess baggage, I was healthy. In truth, I was self-conscious because of the same reason so many other people are – I worried about what others thought of the way I looked.

I was teased for my weight in school. Although I learned how to shrug off the stinging jabs from my schoolmates, the echoes remained. This in turn lead me to use self-deprecating humor as a defense mechanism; sometimes proactively so as to try to “take the power” from the others, but oftentimes no one was thinking or saying anything. Except for me. This pattern stuck around for the rest of my life.

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Dink Diaries – Happy Anniversary

As most of you who read my blog posts semi-regularly, my wife and I were celebrating our tenth anniversary this year. Ten years! We had decided on our anniversary plan about nine years ago – an epic two-week trip, along with my brother and his wife, to Disney World. The reasoning being that our anniversary coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Magic Kingdom. Eight years of putting money away week by week so that we would have a nice little nest egg to use for our trip. It was going to be amazeballs.

You can likely guess by the tone that the trip did not occur. Thanks to COVID-19, our plans were quashed. But we would not let this disappointment ruin our big anniversary. Given the travel constraints we faced, we instead opted to do a smaller-scale trip, but a fun one, nonetheless. Rather than head south to Florida, we headed north-west towards Quebec.

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