My Word for 2019. Or … ACTION – I Wanna Live!

ACTION, word of the year, my word for 2019, Happy New Year, Peady Powers ENGAGE, intention, intentions, will, do it, never mistake motion for action

Never mistake motion for action. ~ Ernest Hemingway

Full disclosure: I started this post on January 2nd (though it is currently January 4th) and because this is my blog I can change the date to January 2, so I did. Why? Well, the reason is twofold. a) See the aforementioned “MY blog” 🤓 and b) because I want to have a post for everyday this month and since I have been writing, starting something new, trying to learn a couple of new things, busy with back to school after a big break stuff, reading actual books, and if I may be frank, actually DOING things, I figured it was okay. Okay? Are we cool? Cool. Cool cool cool cool cool cool cool. 

In case you haven’t figured it out yet or didn’t see my official announcement on Instagram as I was ringing in the New Year (Are you not following me there? Why not?! I am pretty fun. Go follow me now. It’s okay. I’ll wait right here.) I have decided to choose another word for 2019. I chose two in 2018 and you know what? I never did make it back here to write about them, but I did take them to heart and I think they were helpful.

Last year’s words were “Focus & Flourish” (written just like that) and I would write them down in places I knew I would be glancing throughout the day. My awesome kitchen chalkboard frame thing? Oh yeah! It was totally written there. It stayed there for a good long time, too. I really needed the reminder.  It isn’t that anything magical happened, but in a way a lot of great things happened. They may have been tricky to see through a pretty big dose of ick, but if I am being objective (and I am) there were many fun, nice, practical, and people-centric things that happened last year, in real life, that were good.

So, in the interest of putting my new word to good use right off the bat, I give you my word for 2019. Ta daa!

ACTION, word of the year, DIY chalkboard photo frame, chalk, just do it, 2019, Happy New Year, New Year's resolutions, resolutions, intention, set an intention, good intentions, will

So …

Do you choose a word for the year? Something to help you focus on a goal or a more mindful way of living? I’d love to hear about it.

Feel free to share your word and your reasons for choosing it in the comments. (I love comments! AND! I love responding to them because I know what a rare treat they can be and I understand that commenters are choosing to spend their time here with me. I like being heard and I like letting others know they have been heard. It matters. You matter. Thank you for commenting.)

 

 

 

 

Fuller disclosure: It is now Saturday and I am about to hit publish. The post will still have a date  of January 2, 2019. C’est la vie! 

Credit where credit is due: Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Five Worthy Causes For Your Kind Consideration On Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday.

What’s Giving Tuesday?

Well think of it as the Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) of charity.

Giving Tuesday is like “opening day of the giving season.”

It is a day to think about others and to take advantage of a doubling of your dollars because many charitable organizations have a “matching” sponsor. This means that you literally double your donation in some cases.

Give $20 and your organization receives $40.

Donate $50 and voila $100 goes to your favourite fund.

How cool is that?

You can learn more about Giving Tuesday here (please do!) but I want to quickly share with you a handful of my favourite organizations, in case you want to make a donation before midnight!

Free The Children Free The Children is the brainchild of Craig and Marc Keilburger and you can read all about how they founded this amazing organization and the subsequent We, Me To We, and We Day awesomeness here.

David Suzuki Foundation – I have been a fan of David Suzuki for as long as I can remember. A few years back, he actually stepped down as the head of his own foundation to take attention away from his own struggles with a government that seemed determined to paint him as a radical. Oh! He’s radical alright! Radically awesome!

World Wildlife Foundation (Canada) – I hope you know about WWF Canada, for the love of our planet. This organization is famous for its symbolic wildlife adoptions (which make fabulous gifts for Things of all ages), Earth Hour, and many other initiatives. I wear my feelings for WWF Canada on my sleeve and I make no apologies for it. I wrote a guest blog way back when. I have written about it here on my blog and also here. We have one home. It’s the planet we live on. It’s time to show it the respect it deserves, isn’t it?

Because I Am A Girl – I am! You might be. Thing 2 is. My sister is. My mother, too. You either are one, have one or were made by one. Girls matter! Educating girls improves the lives of everyone. BIAAG Canada is taking this knowledge and sharing it around the world. You may have heard about their Pink Lemonade Stands and their using small actions to drive big change initiatives. How wonderful! We are big fans and my face goes all gigantic grin every time Thing 2 emerges from her room in the morning sporting her pink BIAAG T-shirt. “Girls’ rights are human rights.” Your darn right they are!

BIAAG, Thing 2,

Malala Fund – Oh Malala! What a wonderful human being! If ever there was a person with a higher purpose than she ever could have known, it is Malala Yousafzai. Malala is an education activist and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. She was in school when the call came that she had won. She told her teacher she would finish her studies for the day. Malala is walking the talk. I am a fan. Her book is beautiful, the children’s adaptation is great, and now there is even a movie!

So, whether you donate, share, learn or do some small act of kindness today you have taken part in Giving Tuesday and you have made a difference.

What you do matters.

I, for one, appreciate it.

Thank you!

BB In The Bucket

BB in the Bucket, Advent fun, play

Sometimes I just do stuff, you guys.

True story.

It happens.

I don’t always share the stuff I do.

My kids get most of me, you know?

Oh sure! I share a lot of stuff online – here, there, and everywhere – but I don’t share everything.

I think this is worth sharing for two reasons.

1) It’s easily adaptable and anyone can do it.

2) It’s my way of celebrating what I love, without dissing something I dislike.

Ready?

Okay!

Ta daa!

BB scroll, BB in the Bucket scroll,

BB in the Bucket, day 1, hiding in plain sight, scroll

BB-in-the-Bucket

Thing 2 finding BB, BB in the Bucket, Advent, Christmas Countdown

BB explains it well, Thing 2, reading, BB in the Bucket

BB in the Bucket

It’s December 4th and look who is here!

It’s BB! But wait. What’s this I hear?

She’s wearing a hat with a sparkly ball

There’s a sparkly scarf too, but that is not all!

BB’s so festive, she’s ready to play

So you’ll have to find her everyday.

There’s only one rule, you must not forget it

Don’t skip it or shun it or you might regret it!

When you spot BB you give her a HUG

You squeeze her and keep her as snug as a bug in a rug.

Yes, Christmastime is the Season of Hope

It’s certainly no time to pout and to mope.

Imagine, you finding such a cute thing

and having to wait and just look at the bling.

Yeesh! That would be awful and terribly bad.

I just can’t believe in something so sad.

So people can keep their elf on the shelf

I’d rather have BB, her wonderful self.

Wouldn't you?, BB, BB in the Bucket, Advent,

Wouldn’t you?

So, there you have it!

Rumour has it that BB will have a sparkly red hat with a white glittery pompom this year.

No one knows for sure though.

We’ll just have to wait and see because as I said these things just happen.

How do you celebrate Advent?

Do you have a special ritual?

Do your kids enjoy the countdown to Christmas?

How do you spend the days leading up to the Holidays?

*I cleared this with the Things before posting it here. It’s late in the game, now, but this is something you could do at any time of year just for fun. Make stuff up, guys! It’s rad!

NaBloPoMo Deficit (Or I Intend To Finish What I Started)

intention picasso quote doing vs. intention

I am missing 11** days of posts out of the 28 days that November has had, so far.

Am I flipping out? Nope.

Do I care? Yes. Of course. I always care.

Am I in knots like I would have been last year? No way! Life is way too short to be in knots over a fictitious deadline of questionable importance.

What am I planning to do with this knowledge?

That is a good question. I am not quite sure what to do.

Should I try and scrounge up the energy and words to post a decent thing for the missing days?

Should I just brush it off and move on?

Can I find a compromise that makes me feel decent about participating in NaBloPoMo again this year? I am honestly not sure.

It is always good to challenge oneself. Of that, I am sure.

I suppose I am just not sure exactly what my goal, beyond 30 posts in 30 days, is – or was.

Last year it was a challenge that I felt I couldn’t possibly complete and, yet, I did.

This year, I knew I could do it and I was pretty sure I would, but here I am on November 28th trying to figure out what to do.

Mostly, I have written elsewhere. Other things for other people.

That is a really cool turn of events that might never have happened if I didn’t start writing a little bit here.

Can.

Will.

Did.

They are interesting words, aren’t they?

I guess what I am saying is that when the intention is clear the accomplishment often seems clearly attainable. The opposite is also true. I think I may have proven that this time.

Maybe the trick is to set a clear intention, no matter the task, in order to reach one’s goals.

Why then, does this not work in all the things I intend to do?

What am I missing?

Are my intentions not good enough? Are they not focussed enough?

Is there something pertinent I am overlooking?

Am I paving a road to H-E- double hockey sticks?

For example, take my weight. No really. Take my weight, please. Ba doom tsh!

Why can’t I intend it away? Wouldn’t that be something!? I wish I could. I really do.

Alas, wishing won’t make it so.

sigh

I am tired of it and I intend to do something about it.

I won’t be coming back here to whine about it. I promise. It’s just that I think I believe that a written intention has more power than one I secretly wish inside my head.

Just like I am fairly certain one spoken out loud is more powerful than one written.

Although, I am sure it depends on the person and the intention.

For instance, last Friday we went to see The Vinyl Cafe Christmas Show at the Scotiabank Centre, here, in Halifax. As many of you know by now, Stuart McLean cancelled the remainder of the tour because he has been diagnosed with cancer and was strongly encouraged to begin treatment right away. What many of you may not know is that the show ended with a “Hey Jude” send off and after the “Na na na nanana naaa nanana naaa” part we didn’t sing the words “hey Jude”. No. Instead, we were all singing “Next year” in place of “hey Jude”. We didn’t know Stuart McLean was ill. We did know that he was in fine form, that we were thoroughly entertained, and that we absolutely wanted the Vinyl Cafe Christmas Show to come back to Halifax next year. We wanted Stuart McLean to come back next year.

The phrase “next year” in and of itself isn’t all that special. In fact, it might be seen as a mostly innocuous or even negative thing. Kind of like the elusive “someday” we often utter when making plans to travel to an exotic location or treat ourselves to a fancy something-or-other.

But I am telling you, last Friday night in the Scotiabank Place the phrase “next year” was most definitely an intention. I felt it then and there as I sang it.

It was confirmed on Saturday when I read the news.

So, here’s hoping there’s something to all this intention stuff because I have things I want to do and seeing Stuart McLean is most definitely on my list.

So, tell me, do you believe in intentions?

Do you have a word you focus on to help you get through your year?

Do you set an intention?

How do you make your intentions a reality?

**And you can bet your britches I just changed that to 10.

Source

 

Get Out The Vote!

Tomorrow is Election Day!

I am so excited!

I can’t wait to cast my ballot and then wait and see the results from riding after riding after riding come pouring in.

We always take our kids and talk about it a LOT leading up to the election. As you can imagine, my Things are pretty well versed at this point because it has been 77 days since the election was called. Tomorrow will be day 78 and every single day has involved a conversation about what Canada means to us. We can’t wait!

It matters.

It matters to me and it should matter to you.

I love this country and I have great hope for its future.

I know you have heard it a bazillion times over the past few months, but please, oh, please, oh, please go and exercise your right to vote tomorrow. The polls are open for 12 hours. That is a long time. Make sure you take the time to go and cast your ballot.

There are people in this world who would die for this right that we so often take for granted.

Think about that.

There are women who fought in this country for this right. It wasn’t all that long ago. It is shamefully recent history if you really think about it. Do not disrespect them by disregarding what they laid their lives on the line to accomplish.

They fought for you and me.

They gave us the right.

It is yours.

Exercise it.

Here’s a helpful video!

Once you vote and pat yourself on the back for taking part in the direction your own country takes, you will want to find out about the race and who is winning it. Who is doing well in your riding? Did your candidate win? Is your chosen party getting new seats in Ottawa? It’s all so exciting! You just want to know!

How will you know?

There are so many ways!

You will absolutely be hearing election coverage on radio and television both locally and Nationally. It will pretty much be unavoidable! Yay!

Here is another helpful tool from Elections Canada!

Since I am an avid Twitter user, I will definitely be following along on Twitter. You can follow Elections Canada here.

Essentially, the only way to not hear about the election on Monday October 19, 2015 would be to bury your head in the sand. And you don’t want to do that, now, do you? I mean, you’ll be in the dark and you will have sand in your ears. And that just sounds awful! * shudders *

Since we are all on Social Media why not go ahead and pledge to vote and show it? You can change your profile pictures! Check this out! Fun!

Okay! So we are ALL voting right?

Cool!

I knew I liked you guys!

Let’s do this!

So tell me, did you already vote? Will you vote tomorrow? Are you as excited as I am? Are you taking your kids with you? Will you be following along on social media and waiting to hear the exciting news at the end of the night?

I know I won’t be alone.

Twitter will be all, well – a twitter – with politics.

I hope to tweet you there!

AFTER you vote!

Source

We Will Be Invincible

a_stone-1

I choose to focus on the future and the potential of a world filled with people who are problem solvers.

In our family it is important for us to teach our children not to live in what we call the “Problem Domain”.

Yes. Life can be difficult.

Yes. The news of the world can bring you to your knees.

Yes. Sometimes you will feel scared.

Yes. Sometimes you will feel lonely.

Yes. Sometimes you will not know what you are supposed to do.

It is at precisely these times that you must dig deep, listen to your little voice, and figure out what you should do.

Know that you do have what it takes to get out of your particular situation.

Know that you are loved.

Know that you are trusted.

Know that you have people pulling for you.

Know that whatever the absolute worst thing in the world is (to you) right now, that it will not be forever.

When you bring a problem to someone, believe there is a solution.

Maybe have a few in mind, if and when you feel that is appropriate.

Move beyond that problem domain and realize that the more you begin to move your mind outside of the problem, the more you will actually begin to feel like maybe it isn’t so insurmountable, after all.

You are smart.

You are curious.

You are loved.

You are caring.

You are kind.

Whether or not you happen know it right now.

You are invincible.

Source.

First Friday

Today is the first Friday in March and I am declaring the Funky February Funk a thing of the past.

I referred to myself as a writer today.

Out loud.

In public.

Who am I?!?

It came out of my mouth before I could stop myself. So I guess I better get to writing because l am a terrible liar and I’ll be darned if I’ll be the one to make a liar of myself.

I need the habit back. Good, bad or silly. I want to write.

Not just here, either.

Here, there and everywhere!

I have taken some positive, albeit minuscule, steps towards this, but I need to up my game.

I need to figure out a way to cheer myself on the way I would cheer on my children, husband, friends, family – heck even strangers! (Sorry, mom at Costco looking at the Contigo travel cups, but I really do believe your 20 month old can handle the button pushing to get a sip. I do. Why? Because I travelled A LOT with Thing 1 when he was much younger than that and he could do it. Kids are awesome! Believe it.)

But I digress …

I’m going to do this!

If you are someone who would like something written, you should hire me.

I know I can do this.

Until the retirement nest egg starts rolling in, I’ll just keep writing.

I hope you will keep reading and – even if I never hear it – cheering me on.

I’d do the same for you.

In fact, I already do.

I Moved My Cheese

It may not look very different to you, but behind the scenes there have been a lot of changes taking place here at Tempered with Kindness.

So far 2015 is shaping up to be a year filled with changes.

Change is bad.

Wait. I’ve said too much.

I know change is good. I know. I do. Honestly, I do.

But.

Change is difficult. Can you give me that at least?

Challenging.

There. Is that better?

I declare 2015 the year* of challenges and changes.

I will be challenging myself, personally, to grow and learn and change for the better.

I will be challenging myself, professionally, to grow and learn and change for the better.

I have goals – both personal and professional – and I intend to reach them.

I will be sharing more about these things in the weeks and months to come and hopefully you will begin to notice and like the changes you see as they become more apparent.

I hope you will stick with me and maybe even share my little blog with friends who have no clue of its existence and maybe one day if I am really lucky I will be able to stop making my “tens of readers” joke and have a more substantial readership.

Granted, for a blogger with tens of readers, I happen to think I have the absolute best tens of readers a blogger could have.

No. Strike that.

I know I have the absolute best tens of readers.

Thank you for that. I appreciate it so much that you take time out of your day to pop into Tempered with Kindness to see what’s new in cake, see what the Things are up to, check out our latest Taco Tuesday adventure or see where I am in my personal journey to healthy and happy.

It really means a lot.

Somedays it means everything.

I have made some really great friends through my life online. If you know me – in real life – you know that I am very much a wysiwyg kind of person. I like that about me. I strive to keep my wysiwyg self as a blogger too.

My focus here at Tempered with Kindness is to shine a light on the positives in the everyday.

This doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge or experience the negatives in the everyday.

I do. Of course I do! I am human. Real flesh and bone.

News of the world can overwhelm me to the point of a heart gripping terror in the middle of the night. The things we do to each other as humans seem to have reached a pinnacle of awfulness and yet, I know, as bad as it has become, we are capable of so much worse.

I vow to never make it worse.

A person can only absorb so much.

I am sensitive and I’d like to stay that way.

So …

I make a choice.

In the coming weeks and months I hope to continue creating something special.

Something worthy of your time and energy.

Something positive and happy-making.

Something good.

Kindness is such a simple concept.

It’s time to make it mainstream.

So, are you with me?

I can’t make any promises, but I can guarantee you this, if you stick with me, you will have made at least one Pollyanna the happiest Pollyanna on the planet.

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.

You will never know how much it means to me, but if we ever meet out on the real world and I get a chance to give you a big squeezy hug, you might get an indication.

Now, I must go and talk myself into attending my first opportunity for growth, learning, and change of the new year. Tomorrow is Podcamp Halifax and though I have had my ticket since the day – nay, the minute – they were made available, I am feeling terribly, ummm … well …  chicken *buk buk* … about actually going.

Time to dig deep and drum up some of those “Peady Powers” to use on myself. I probably should do that more often, too.

Yeesh! So many ways to learn, grow and change.

How is 2015 going, so far, for you?

Have you committed to anything major that is making you feel a bit stressed out? Are you going to do it anyway?

*I swear to Jobs that “year” typo-ed “tear”. Mmm hmm. Oh yeah, I’m perfectly fine with change. Suuuure I am.

Mele Kalikimaka!

Tropical Tree

Today might be a three post kind of day because I have so many drafts, that I am starting to get anxious about it.

Anxiety at Christmas? You don’t say!

Hah!

Who doesn’t have a little extra anxiety during the holidays? I don’t think I know a single person, actually.

However, I have vowed to not be that stressed out Mummy. No way. It’s no fun to be told Christmas is nothing but stress. Or worse, to think it. Especially when you have little eyes and ears watching and listening to everything you do and say. It’s simply not true, anyway.

Christmas is a wonderful season of perpetual hope, and if there is one thing I have learned in my years on this planet* it’s that hope floats. It’s always there and you have to hone your hope holding skills throughout your life, because it’s short. Really, really short. Even when it seems long.

Christmas is what you make it. You can make it all about stuff and spending and stress. Sure! Go right ahead. Seriously, fill your boots, but don’t blame your getting caught up in the commercialism on Christmas. Nope. Christmas didn’t make you do that. Santa didn’t point to the most expensive, elaborate, electronics and say, “By the powers of Comet’s Candy Cane, I command you to buy that!”. Not a chance.

Christmas is simple.

Humans make it complicated.

You have to be human, but you don’t have to be pressured into a holiday that stresses you out.

Cool your jets.

Take a breath.

Remember the wonder.

Breathe in the aromas.

Think back to a time when you believed in the magic.

Embrace the simplicity of an old fashioned Christmas, whatever that means to you.

Know that you are not alone.

Everyone is stressin’ a bit.

No one has *everything* done.

Martha Stewart has a team!

We just have each other.

Smile and know that even when people around you seem to have everything under control, there’s always an element of mystery in how the heck things get done.

For instance, we here at Chez Peady have been having the soggiest December I can ever recall and we have also been fighting a wicked cold, so we are very admittedly behind our typical December schedule. All the things that have not yet been done, were put on the back burner while the things that had to be done got done. School concerts, finding the lost trumpet, trumpet practice, finding the right shoes, making sure everyone was where they needed to be on time, getting a bit of shopping done, making sure I talked to my mother as often as possible, getting to a few charity eventseven one in my Jammies – these all took precedent over making sure the ornaments were in the perfect place.

It’s life and it’s messy.

Look!

Christmas Mess

 

Am I freaking out? Nope. Why should I? Why should I waste a single drop of my precious energy freaking out when it will get done, with or without a grown-up tinsel tantrum?

It always has. I have yet to miss a Christmas. *wink*

So, my best advice to you, as Christmas is festively, twinkling up on us, is to take a deep breath and embrace the merriment.

 

Don’t forget to take care of your own needs, too. You matter! We need you to be at your best**, of course.

This morning I went to Zumba – just so you know I really am practicing what I preach – and I almost jumped for joy when I heard this pop up in the middle of class.

Yes, we did a Hula this morning to Mele Kalikimaka***. It was so fun! Could my Zumba instructor be any cooler?

 

So, tell me, what stage of preparedness are you in for the upcoming Holidays?

Are you about ready to be Dasher and flee the scene?

Are you happily a Prancer ready to take on the task and dance your way through your cookie exchange?

Are you feeling Grinch-like and wondering what the heck is the big deal anyway?

Has your inner Ebenezer reared his Scrooge-y grumpiness?

What is your best advice for having a yule that’s cool?

Leave a comment and share your best tips for avoiding tinsel tantrums.

 

 

*No, I have never lived on another planet. Though there was that time last winter when it felt like we lived on Hoth.

**But we even like you when you are at your worst.

***Mele Kalikimaka**** has been a month-long mind-worm. Go ahead and ask my chicas! Ukuleles at Christmastime? Oh YES!

****Then there’s this, which I saw on Saturday, but wasn’t blogged out until today, hence the edit! COME ON!! This is hulu-arious! (Day #8) Zucchini is the sweetest doggie!