Monthly Archives: January 2013

Day 96 vs 113- Happiness is … a magic carpet ride with friends

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In order to combat the staggering out-of-dateness of my blog, I shall be writing two happiness tasks per blog. My present day task along side the next task I should be writing about. Eventually I’ll be up-to-date 🙂

Tada2

Be Vicarious Day 96 – “Vicarious happiness is only slightly less impossible than vicarious breathing.” ~ me

What in life can truly be experienced vicariously? Probably nothing. However, if I had to choose, perhaps it would heartbreak & death. Traveling the world I’d rather do myself. Until I get around to it though, I will greedily fill my happiness bucket with hand me down travel tales.

I once had the totally sane idea to sell everything and backpack around the world, writing about our adventures and selling the articles to travel magazines, homeschooling the kids along the way, maybe finding a nice place to hide out for a few years. As that was at the beginning of the end of my marriage, I’m sure there is pseudo psychology galore to delve into there, but it turns out I’m not the only one with crazy travel ambitions.

A woman I know personally and would describe as having a fabulous, yet perfectly sane family, did recently backpack around Europe. They blogged their travels. They home schooled the kids. They lived my dream. And even more recently, I un-enviously sipped and savoured my way through her stories, broadened my view of the world through her eyes, and felt somehow more sophisticated just for knowing her.

And then we talked about relationships and work and the weather. We gossiped, we shared, we hugged, we commiserated and congratulated, we laughed and enjoyed, and we could have been any two women anywhere in the world.

What in life should never be attempted vicariously? Probably everything. Definitely not friendship. That’s one experience I’d travel the world for.

carbon footprint reality. And yet...

the sun is always shining above the clouds

Flying Day 113 –

“Happiness is a myth we seek,
If manifested surely irks;
Like river speeding to the plain,
On its arrival slows and murks.
For man is happy only in
His aspiration to the heights;
When he attains his goal, he cools
And longs for other distant flights.” ~
Kahlil Gibran
Cars must seem magical to babies. Climb in a machine at place A, fall asleep and when you climb out…tada… new place. Like peek-a-boo. Cover your face and baby is truly in awe of your disappearance. Remove the hands and… tada… magic. Planes are the grown up version of peek-a-boo for me. The new place you arrive at when you climb out of the magic metal machine was always in existence, but somehow it’s like it has just revealed itself from behind hands of invisibility, a perfect world with living people, water flowing in creeks, trees and wind and rain.
I woke up in my bed in my room in my rented house with snow for a view and four hours later I am stepping out into a green world where I truly wonder if my bed still exists. Later on I will climb into a bed far from my room and my rented house and my life. Planes are an escape hatch for life.
The list of things I love about airports:
  • the panic of overweight baggage
  • the adrenaline rush of patting yourself down for tickets and documentation every 5 minutes
  • the vicarious emotion from witnessing long hug holds between those about to step onto the Hogwarts platform and those being left behind
  • the insanity of chugging a bottle of water just to pass the security check point and then refill it from a fountain 5 feet away…
  • the realization that I have not paid for parking and need to exit the secured area in order to do so and then re-chug the water to pass through security again…
  • the prayer that the plane has a working bathroom because the secured waiting area in small airports does not
  • the sound of suppressed excitement between strangers pretending to preoccupy their time with books and music, seating themselves as far from each other as possible, glancing furtively to determine who they are about to be shoulder rubbing on the plane and wondering if they should have taken more Cold FX and if that baby is going to cry during the whole flight
  • the way the air changes between the airport and the plane

And then I am on the plane. My hands tremble with the thrill of unwrapping the hard candy that I will pop into my mouth only once the plane starts moving. My hands are still tingling as I unwrap the second candy just minutes later. This time I wait. I wait for the feeling of being gently melded to my seat, the ear pulsing push of the magical machine hurtling down the runway. I pop the candy, touch my fingers to my neck for the security of my St. Christopher, close my eyes, and as I feel the lift, that imperceptible shift of gravity – of reality – I inhale. For a moment it feels as though my expanding lungs are lifting my body and I am flying. For a moment, there is magic.

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So…it has come to this !

Friends who meet you at the airport in fancy cars with a hot travel mugs of tea are out of this world. Wonder if I’d get that same treatment from couchsurfing …

Rating:  Vicarious Day (9 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (getting together with old friends is always exciting)
  • Twitch – I’d be ok with experiencing twitches vicariously
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (getting together with friends that know the right things to say is better than exciting)

Rating:  Flying Day (9 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5 (ok positively trembling with glee, but one point docked for a 4 am start)
  • Twitch – even at 30, 000 feet
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (when the plane lands successfully, it can’t be anything but a 5 out of 5)

What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.

Tomorrow: Dance and Dance in the Rain.  Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.

Day 95 vs 112- Happiness is … co-ordinated packing

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In order to combat the staggering out-of-dateness of my blog, I shall be writing two happiness tasks per blog. My present day task along side the next task I should be writing about. Eventually I’ll be up-to-date 🙂

Tada2

Juggle Day 95 – ” I’m happy when I’m juggling, but I feel like I’ve gone from, like, 3 balls to 10 bowling balls. But, that’s a good problem. I don’t really have a complaint about that.” ~ Kirstie Alley

My son is learning to juggle in school. I’m not sure what section of the curriculum this falls under but I know I won’t be much help with homework… co-ordination being one of the things I did not line up for on skills day.

My first experience with baseball at the age of 7 set my dislike of team sports into motion as I just couldn’t handle letting everyone else down. Against my better judgement, I did give softball a go as an adult and managed to get a black eye, a fat lip and a bloody nose from catching a fly ball with my face.

I'm much better at individual sports :)

I’m much better at individual sports 🙂

In high school, team sports were non-optional. But as with migraines, I have learned to accept my handicap as a blessing.

Soccer is the sport that taught me to appreciate a full set of teeth (because I almost lost them trying to kick the ball with my lips).

Volleyball is the sport that taught me to appreciate nerd status after the many narrowly missed concussions from spiked weaponry.

Lacrosse just made me appreciate life on earth for one more day and rugby… well, I still have nightmares about those torpedo missiles so I suppose rugby made me appreciate a good night’s sleep.

Now juggling may be an individual sport but you can see how the idea of balls in the air would put me off.

Stubbornness is a skill I got in line for twice though. I have invested in some bean bags. Two of them. One for me and one for my son… the apple of my eye.

Less is More Day 112 – “5 Rules of happiness 1. Don’t Hate 2. Don’t Worry 3. Give More 4. Expect Less 5. Live Simply.” ~ unknown

The day before my 6am flight: not being a details kindof gal, this is the day I discovered that my passport has expired, but as I was traveling within country, I dealt with this discovery by skiing. After all, I have a beibered ski day to make up for in my blog and I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t deliver to the masses that read it (#3 Give More :))

I learned that goggles make me seasick. I learned that easiest way down a diamond run is on my back. I also learned that, like wine, I improve with age. Ok that’ a stretch but my co-ordination learning curve is improving somewhat. (#4 Expect Less)

Returning after a long day at the ski hill left me with little time for laundry, ticket printing and packing. (#2 Don’t Worry)

I ate some leftovers (#5 Live Simply), and set 3 alarms – even for a within country flight you need to be at the airport 60 minutes ahead of time which would mean I’d need to get up at 4 am (#1 Don’t Hate)

You also have to wear most of your clothing in order to avoid overweight baggage charges, so I put rule #6 into practice… Travel Lightly.

x country skiing - a simpler time

x country skiing – a simpler time

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So…it has come to this !

Once I master skiing and juggling, I’m going to do both at the same time.

Rating:  Juggle Day (5 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 2 out of 5 (flying balls scare me)
  • Twitch –without skipping a beat
  • Happy hour –  3 out of 5 (less is more when it comes to juggling as well)

Rating:  Less Is More Day (8 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 3 out of 5 (packing is bad enough; thinking about how to pack lightly is worse…excited about going though)
  • Twitch – not less – more
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (more for the skiing than the packing)

What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.

Tomorrow: Be Vicarious and Fly.  Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.

Day 94 vs 111- Happiness is … unmentionable flagrant frivolity

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In order to combat the staggering out-of-dateness of my blog, I shall be writing two happiness tasks per blog. My present day task along side the next task I should be writing about. Eventually I’ll be up-to-date 🙂

tada

Tada!

Buck the Trend Day 94 – “The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.” ~ Thucydides

I did it! I dove into the waters of uncertainty and rebellion and OMG insanity. I pushed through all thought of repercussion and trepidation and just went for it. I wore mismatched under garments… and the world did not end.

It wasn’t easy though. Choosing the ill-fated pair was like trying to pick which lobster to pull from it’s cozy tank at the restaurant and sentence to dinner death. You look at them knowing they have no idea what is coming and their innocence  breaks your heart. In the end I had to pull two matching sets from the drawer and then quickly dispose of one bottom and the opposite top. What remained was a yellow bra and one purple bottom. They didn’t even have a similar fabric style 😦

As I left the house I was sure people would look at me differently, that they would ‘know’, but either they were oblivious to the topsy turvy nature of the day or there was a secret world meeting the night before where it was agreed upon that no-one would comment on my dare devil act. There’s a rumour I am not the centre of everyone’s universe so my thoughts are that no-one knew or cared. Funny thing is I didn’t really care either once I got going.

Turns out I can do all the same things with mismatched unmentionables as I can with a perfect set. Don’t get me wrong, I had moments of panic when I thought of what was going on under my clothing, but I soothed the qualms by convincing myself that purple and yellow are actually a delightful colour combo.

I might make it a monthly event.

The bear and I had matching mis-matched apparel - so embarrasing

The bear and I had matching mis-matched apparel – so embarrassing

Do It Anyway Day 111 – “Where fear is, happiness is not.” ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

The best things in life are free – hugs, friendship, favours, manners – ahhhh bless, how sweet 🙂

The funnest things in life are not free – dining out, theartre, plane rides, corvettes, concerts, high tea at The Empress hotel, designer clothes, 3 ply toilet paper – I could go on but I have a blog to finish.

I tend toward the best things in life  because I am a loving person who values the deeper meaning of life – ahhhhh bless, how sweet 🙂 Well, that and I prefer food on my table to airplanes, but let’s face it – there’s only so much fun you can have at the grocery store even if you splurge with a kumquat.

So despite all sound economic reasoning, I bought a plane ticket and spent more on a 4 day jaunt than I normally do on groceries for a month… the madness of underwear mis-matching has a lasting effect.

Upcoming blogs will reveal the outcome of this flagrant frivolity (which is really fun to say out loud – I’ll wait while you try it). See? Some fun things are free, too. Ahhhh bless, how sweet 🙂

Fun with food and friends at the annual biscotti blitz

Fun with food and friends at the annual biscotti blitz

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So…it has come to this !

I still spent less than the some people spend on a single dining out experience.

In case anyone was wondering, I plan to match when I fly because if I get searched at the airport…

Rating:  Buck the Trend Day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 2 out of 5
  • Twitch – The world turned upside down but the twitch remained
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (it was fun because it was a one off)

Rating:  Do It Anyway Day (8 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 3 out of 5 (felt  little sick at the extravagance of it)
  • Twitch – nervous tic?
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (felt like a rebel!)

What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.

Tomorrow: Juggle and Less is More.  Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.

 

Day 93 vs 110- Happiness is … wing suit sky diving in the dark

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In order to combat the staggering out-of-dateness of my blog, I shall be writing two happiness tasks per blog. My present day task along side the next task I should be writing about. Eventually I’ll be up-to-date 🙂

tada

Tada!

Redo Day 93 – “If one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.” ~ Jane Austin

There are certain things in life that you really kindof want to get right the first time round… like your first quick draw gunfight… or wing suit sky diving through a cave hole in a mountain.

Other things you can try, try again… like happiness tasks. So I took advantage of the fact that singing in the car or chewing my food slowly does not require a wing suit and in between my regular day tasks I redid some of my favourite happiness tasks. 

Sometimes happiness comes in little doses. And sometimes that’s all you need to try, try again. 

Fastest gunslinger in the West

Wing suit sky diving through a cave

Blackout Day 110 – “Happiness did exist before the internet…” ~ unknown

cell phoneChristmas Day happened on the 26th this year in my world and it happened at my brother’s house. I brought the wine. I did not have to prep food, cook food, serve food or clean up food. I did not even open the wine. The catch? Surrender all electronic communication devices for the day and interact face to face with actual people.

Proving once again the ironic nature of the universe, my daughter and I received 3 text messages as we walked up the driveway toward the blackout zone. Fastest texting in the West before the front door could be opened and we willingly tossed our mobiles into the black hole basket (ok loving placed with great care on a velvet cushion).

After the initial gift opening frenzy and snacking subsided, we were stuck with each other. We played Rumoli, the boys played with toy trains, the girls played hide and seek with the little ones, and instead of texting, I walked downstairs to ask the children to help set the table.

What a great gift we gave each other this year 🙂

There was no such rule at the next party I went to :)

There was no such rule at the next party I went to 🙂

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So…it has come to this !

If you don’t find happiness the first time, you try again. Do you eventually find it, or do you settle and convince yourself that you really are happy?

Rating:  Redo Day (8 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 4 out of 5
  • Twitch – yes and yes and yes
  • Happy hour –  4 out of 5

Rating:  Blackout Day (7 out of 10)

  • Itchy feet – 3 out of 5 (Can’t say I was totally excited about this)
  • Twitch – even in the dark
  • Happy hour –  5 out of 5 (Survived way better than I’d imagined)

What the heck does all that mean, you ask? Read Itchy Feet Explained.

Tomorrow: Buck the Trend & Do It Anyway.  Use the calendar to view my happiness tasks for each day along with a brief description of the task and why I chose it.