Sunday, 25 May 2014

I'm All For Patriotism....

On Saturday I went shopping at a mall in Toronto.  I was fairly shocked when I walked past the Gap and saw that the large poster advertisement in the front window of the store contained children holding American flags and wearing clothing that had stars and stripes on it.

I have nothing against America but we are in Canada.  I understand that this weekend is Memorial Day and is a time for American's to be patriotic.  But why would a company such as the Gap, think that American clothing would sell in Canada or that these posters would draw people into the store.  

So when I got home, I went on the Gap website.  Their Canadian site is  That address even has Canada in it!  And yet this is what I found on their home page:

shop dresses
Perhaps somebody who is doing the international marketing for this company should look into how to market to the countries that they sell to.  

Anyways, Happy Memorial Day weekend to my American friends.  I hope you weekend is fantastic and full of patriotism, but I'm sorry I do not want to buy your American clothing.


Saturday, 24 May 2014

2 Years Later

Is it weird to remember the day that your dog died two years later?  Poor little new dog Oliver had his birthday forgotten this year, and yet I remember the date that Opie died.  

The day Opie died was one of the worst days of my life.  I hadn't had to deal with death very much prior to that.  Basically just some great grandparents, and one grandfather.  His death was difficult for me, but he had been sick for so long that we knew that this was what was best.

But Opie we didn't really see coming.  He was only 10.  I had stopped at my parents to see him earlier that night because my sister had said he was having difficulty breathing.  But I just thought he would be fine.  I couldn't stay long because we were going out for my mother-in-law's birthday.  (Happy Birthday Carrie! Sorry for the depressing topic...)

Later that night, after my in-laws left my house, Ryan told me that Opie had died.  I just burst into tears, amazed at how instantaneous my grief was.  We went down to my parents and sat on the lawn with Opie for what felt like hours.  Who pets a dead dog?  We did.

I remember the pain so vividly.  I woke up multiple times that night in tears.  As soon as I thought about it I was crying, because I couldn't imagine life without that little guy following us around.  If there had been any night for a sleeping pill, that would have been it.  And for a girl who rarely takes sick days, the next day would have been a good one to take.  I was a disaster.

For weeks, or maybe months afterwards, I would catch myself thinking about him on my way home from work and start crying.  This is what happens when you have an hour commute, which is way too much time alone with your thoughts.

For those of you who have never lost a pet, you probably think that I'm crazy.  For those that have, you may understand.  Opie grew up with us.  He was our best friend and was always there when we needed him.  When we were sick or just sad and needed a friend, he was there, and dogs don't ask questions, they just cuddle with you.  When we were happy, Opie was zooming around us because he was happy too.  

And that is the problem with pets.  They are with us for such a short time but become so much a part of our lives.  I think that their deaths can be more painful for us then some human deaths because we really notice their absence.  When my Grandpa died, I was sad, and it would hit me that I would never see him again.  But I didn't notice his absence on a daily basis.  With Opie I did.  Every time I went to my parents house I noticed that he didn't greet me.  He wasn't begging at the table or cuddling up with us on the couch.  And the house felt empty. 

And yet my parents got another dog 2 weeks later.  Because despite the pain, we couldn't imagine life without the happiness that a pet brings us.  So we are going to do it all over again at some point.  But that's ok, because that's just what life and death is, and we wouldn't be so sad if we weren't so incredibly happy at some point.
The day he became part of our family

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Out of My Comfort Zone

Get out of that comfort zone! We all have a THRESHOLD, we must work above the threshold to receive glorious results! This means that we need to be a bit uncomfortable within reason. If your workout is comfy, you may not be challenging yourself enough.
"You may need to step outside of your comfort zone"  This is something that I have heard many times throughout my life and I grew to despise this saying.  Why would I want to step outside my comfort zone?  I was always somewhat ok with the person that I was.  I'm the quiet girl, who may have known the answers in class, but never volunteered them.  The girl who was told on every single report card from Kindergarten to Grade 12 that I needed to speak up more.  But why?  Being the quiet one never hurt me.  I was comfortable and the thought of stepping beyond that seemed ridiculous and unnecessary.

But recently I have heard this sentence two more times that kind of hit me harder than it did before.  The first was from my boss.  It wasn't negative at all, simply constructive feedback.  I recently received a promotion and am now a supervisor.  What I have realized so far is that supervisors may have very similar personalities to me, but they try to expand beyond that and push themselves to be better with people.  It doesn't work to be a supervisor and sit quietly in your cubicle, never talking to anybody.  

The other time was at an accounting event, being told along with 200 other accountants that we need to step outside of our comfort zone and network with complete strangers.  We need to connect with others in order to further ourselves in our careers.  We need to talk about ourselves and believe in ourselves so that others believe in us too.  

And so for the first time in my life, this matters.  When I was in grade school and university, it really didn't make a difference.  Sure the teachers told me that I should speak up more, but at the end of the day, my marks were based on my actual school work, which "toot toot" was always well done.  But now, my career depends on this.  It's not about grades anymore and just being able to prove that because I can do a task given to me that I can succeed.  To be successful I have to push myself into becoming a people person.  Otherwise I'm not a supervisor, I'm just exactly what I was before.

I don't expect myself to change.  I've been this way for 27 years.  And I don't want to change.  But it's more about growing and "stepping outside of that comfort zone" and becoming a stronger me who can break through the barriers that I have set for myself.  
Move - leave your comfort zone and venture out. Winnie the Pooh quote.  Good for dating - meeting people - life.


Monday, 12 May 2014

Tooting My Own Horn

I am terrible at bragging.  I'm just not one to talk much about my achievements.  I think it's mostly because I legitimately don't like all of the attention to be on me as it makes me uncomfortable.  But I was at this accounting conference this weekend and part of it was about building your brand, and talking about yourself and how we should be proud of our designations.  And I realized that maybe I do need to take a bit more pride in my achievements.  It doesn't mean I need to constantly remind others of what I've done or brag constantly, but I can be proud of myself once in awhile!
I shall prance around and toot my horn where I please!

I'm smart. I have a university degree and an accounting designation.  I worked hard for them. 

I have a good job which is actually a career, so much more than a job.  

I have a fantastic family.  (This is really nothing I've done, I just lucked into it.)

I'm nice.  I may not come across as overly friendly, but for the people who know me I think I'm a pretty nice person.

I am driven.  I have goals and I want to achieve them, and often in my life I have. 

I'm a hard worker.  (Well when it comes to things besides cleaning my house....but at least I can admit that.)

My house is lovely.  We created a home and I love that.

I'm talented.  I can skate, I can play the violin, I may not become famous for either of them but I practiced a lot when I was younger and that alone is a win.

That's enough tooting for today!  I still struggled with this post even after I decided to do it.  But we should be proud of ourselves and our good qualities and accomplishments.  So try it out, what do you want to toot your horn about?

You is kind, you is smart, you is important  the help


Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Be Present

By now, I feel like everybody has seen the Look Up video, but if not, here it is.

Our technology scares me.  It scares me for myself, for others and for my future children.

I am completely dependent on my phone.  I use it to busy myself when I am in uncomfortable social situations, trying to kill time, or just don't want to talk or look at anybody.  As somebody who is a socially awkward penguin to begin with, being provided with this vice is not a good thing. 

We multitask everything and are present in nothing.  How often do you have your phone out while watching TV, eating dinner with your family and working.  

I don't have kids yet, but the technology that we have today terrifies me for my children.  I never want to be the mother that misses her kids growing up because I was looking at my phone.  While they are playing at the park, I want to be watching them enjoy those moments of childhood, rather than looking at my phone.  I want them to play outside, play games, use their imagination, rather then looking at an iPad screen.  I want them to play car games rather than watching a DVD.  

We grew up in a time where everyone didn't have a handheld electronic device (well besides my Game Boy).  And still, we are dependent on our phones.  What is going to happen to our children who know a world that is no different?

Although one video doesn't change the world, it can change our outlook.  And I just hope that this video has done that.


Monday, 5 May 2014

My Problem with Frozen

I'm a bit behind with the whole Frozen thing.  Probably because we don't have kids and don't generally watch Disney movies on our weekends.  But I felt like I had to see it because everybody talks about it so much and our friends with kids had been telling us it was amazing.

And it was good.  I enjoyed it.  (I'm not sure Ryan could say the same, he doesn't understand why they have to sing...)  However, there is something that really confuses me about the movie.

From what I have heard, kids love Elsa.  I have heard of a few instances where kids in school actually sign their work as Elsa.  The Elsa dresses are selling for thousands of dollars on ebay because you can't get them in stores.  So I went into this movie knowing that there were 2 female characters and assuming that Elsa was the better one.  But really the movie was about Anna.
Elsa and Anna - Frozen wallpaper
So I'm kind of feeling like kids think that blondes are better than gingers.  Sure Elsa was pretty and had cool powers, but Anna was entertaining and fun and fell in love with a guy who had a reindeer.  Elsa just had an ice castle.  Big woop.

This right here is ginger discrimination, and I'm just not happy about it.  Blondes get everything handed to them, it's time for a ginger to come out on top....

Maybe I'm just reflecting on my experiences of growing up as a ginger with a blonde sister....I guess I can relate.  She may not be able to turn the world to ice, but man does that girl have some powers of persuasion over pretty much anybody she comes into contact with.  If only Ryan had a reindeer, then we would be even...