Friday, August 20, 2010 0
In our fast paced lives we’re all rushing around trying to have it all. When I consider what “having it all” means to me, I initially think of all the things I want to have and do... a big house, nice new car, 3 kids in private school, nice clothes, jewellery, etc. It may seem greedy, but I work hard and have a good job… don’t I deserve those things? Upon closer reflection however, I realize that in the grand scheme of things most of these things that I feel like I need in order to “have it all”… are really not that important to me. They will likely make me happy in the short-term, but there are better uses for my hard earned income that will probably make me much happier in the long-term. It’s not just me, my whole generation has received this message of “having more” and we feel entitled to all the luxuries that we see in magazines and on TV. The new middle class is trying so hard to live in that mansion that we’re sending ourselves to the poor house. The way that we feel about money is so different than before... our baby-boomer parents always seemed to have lots of money, while their parents lived through the World Wars and the Great Depression and were very careful with their money. Have we progressed too far to the other end of the spectrum in our attitudes towards spending? Consider items that would have previously been considered to be luxuries… microwave, cell phone, computer, air-conditioning… how many of these are on your list of “needs” now? Do you really need them? Would it compromise your family’s safety and well-being not to have them? Now consider things that you actually need, but might see as lower priority right now… emergency fund (many experts recommend that you have 3-6 months worth of expenses in savings), retirement savings, health insurance, life insurance. Consider… if your microwave broke… could you survive without it? If you broke both your legs… what would you do? I think it’s astonishing how many children have cell phones… I wonder how many of them also have college funds. Which do you think serves them best in the long run? It may seem obvious when stated this way, but these small truths seem to be lost in the struggle of keeping up with the Jones. No one is going to lend you the money to live when you retire, if you don’t save, how will you pay for it? In this age of more, more, more, I can’t help but wonder… does having it all now, mean that we will end up with nothing?
Wednesday, September 9, 2009 0
When was the last time that you received a real letter in the mail? Perhaps members of the youngest generation will never experience this archaic phenomenon. I still feel a special excitement when I see a neat stack of letters or cards addressed to me. I love to open the envelope and reveal the words that were handwritten just for me by a friend or family member. However, I find all too often that the birthday cards are merely signed with the person’s name and that letters are all too often just bills. Has the art of the written word died with the invention of email and social networking sites? I am appalled by the over use of acronyms and non-words like “u r” and “4 u” is it so hard to type the word “you”? And why does regular mail have such a bad rap? Is faster really better? Or is it just faster? Is it the cost of 50 cent stamps that has us deterred from mailing letters? Yet we’re willing to shell out around $50 per month to internet providers… that’s a hundred letters worth of stamps! So I argue that the thrill from receiving handwritten letters, notes or cards is far superior to the smile that comes when you see that familiar notice that “you’ve got mail.” So send a letter to someone you love, or like, or even someone you don’t like. Let’s give the postal workers something to strike about. I feel a resurgence of the romantic times when letter writing was the “thing” to do. Yet, I can’t help but wonder… was it because letter writing was the only thing to do?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 0
Today I consider the magic of pets and they way that they contribute to the overall beauty and joy in your life. I want to share some beautiful mini schnauzer pictures (click for credits) and some ponderings...
Is it their attitude of curiosity towards all things or their genuine zest for life that makes them so enchanting? Although the work required having a dog can be tiring at times, so it is with any great friendship. The benefit of course far outweighs the cost. I often wonder if it is their love for us that we reflect back to them, and yet, whether the reflection is diminished somehow in its amount of light. Do we love our dogs as much when they pee on the carpet, chomp on the garbage or gnaw on our favourite shoes? I offer "yes" but with a pause. And so it is that dogs can teach us an enormous amount about how to live our lives and treat our friends... play often, forgive freely, love everyone and enjoy every belly rub that comes along. And we teach them, sit, down, stay, heel. It hardly seems like and equal friendship. I read something that really stuck with me about this fact, and it was something like this: "Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in the entire world is more grateful for your kindness than mine. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. After all, you have your friends, your job, and your entertainment. All I have is you." I can’t help but wonder… are dogs called “man’s best-friend” because they are better friends for us than we are to each other, and to them?
Friday, July 24, 2009 0
I’ve recently had an experience with a “friend” that has startled my concept of friendship. We’ve all had some tough times in our lives, I know I have, and I can relate to how difficult ordinary things may seem under these circumstances. My question is regarding why your “friends” may think that it is okay to make you the target of their misery when you have no involvement or even knowledge of the situation. Not only was my experience one of a friend lashing out at me for reasons which at the time were completely unknown to me, it happened it a work setting, which resulted in some extraordinarily unprofessional behaviour and a great stress and frustration for me at work. The later explanation of this behaviour managed to shine some light as to the motivations of the inappropriateness, but the apology was too weak to erase the lasting scars. It also implied that some sort of apology on my end was required. Although I gladly apologize and sympathize with the issues at hand, my words were not heard and my former friend has not spoken to me since. While I realize that this in fact illuminates the fact that we were never really friends, and merely acquaintances, I can’t help but wonder… how can you know which “friends” are your friends?
Monday, June 1, 2009 0
As a soon to be married woman, I have a unique insight into this transition from single woman to wife. This weekend I will recite my vows and marry my best friend. Not to get too sappy, but to be honest, I can’t wait! As this week flies by I ponder my last few days as a single gal and realize that this week, I will do many things for the “last” time. Since my sentimental side takes over in situations like this, I wonder if other girls in my same position also think about the period in their life that is ending before the new one begins. Or do they run, arms outstretched, towards their future without so much as a backwards glance? This is a week of reflection for me, the significance of Saturday is not lost on me, I’m not in any sort of princess fantasy delusion. The prospect of us being together for the rest of my life makes me feel happy. Happy in a content, satisfied, safe, and wonderful way that makes me feel like my future happiness is almost guaranteed. He’s not a stranger to me, I know his flaws, and he knows mine. We just work together; we compliment each other in a way where we just fit. I can’t help but wonder… should a be more happy or nostalgic that this is my last week as a single girl?
Friday, April 10, 2009 0
Lately I've been feeling like a lot of what we do is hippocritical. This weekend with Easter here already it has really got me thinking. From work we get only Friday off and not Monday (unless we work for a bank or school). What about Easter Monday? Why do we celebrate the day that Jesus died, shouldn't we be celebrating the day he rose from the dead?
Thursday, April 9, 2009 0
The bridal shower is an honoured tradition that most people (including myself) know very little about. This US custom is said to have evolved from the practice of giving a dowry. When a family could not afford a dowry, or when the parents of a bride did not approve of the match and refused to provide her with a dowry, friends of the bride would gather bearing gifts that would compose a makeshift dowry and allow her to marry the man of her choice. This beautiful tradition of celebrating love has devolved into a shameless grab for more gifts and money. I was recently introduced to the concept of a “Presentation Shower.” Since Google revealed little insight into the meaning of this concept I was forced to do my own research. Here are the two possible meanings: 1. Money Shower (in disguise) where everyone brings money and a large gift is then “presented” to the bride at the shower 2. Unwrapped gifts are expected and displayed on a table to avoid the lengthy gift opening portion of the shower Neither one of these options is appealing to me as a bride. I much prefer gifts over money and opening gifts is half the fun of receiving them. Since according to my research gift-giving is almost the entire purpose of having a bridal shower, there is no use in arguing this point. The money shower, however, is an ugly interpretation of the original intention and is widely viewed as both tacky and greedy. Is there really any polite way to ask for money? I think not. I can’t help but wonder… can we still call them “gifts” if they are required to be given?