A Moment of Weakness

I read a quote this morning it said “You ARE NOT what you see in the mirror.  You ARE what you feel in your heart.”  It reminded me of a guy I dated recently. 

On what would be our last date, he told me that in the beginning he had wanted to hide his car from me (he drove a BMW).  When I asked him why, he said because of how girls/women tend to associate these things in their mind – like safety, security etc.  In my head, I was laughing – who does he think I am??  A tire biter?!?!!  I don’t remember what I said, but he ended up asking for clarity around what I thought.  To which I replied, “The first thing I think of when I see a guy wearing fancy clothes and driving a fancy car is: douchebag!!”  Not to say to that all guys that drive expensive cars are douchebags – but come on!!!  Do you really think the first thing to come to a woman’s mind when they see a fancy car is security?  How about… NICE CAR!?!!!  If he were specifically speaking to financial security a weak argument could perhaps be made.  But just because you might be making payments on a fancy new car, doesn’t make you financially secure.  And if there are women out there who equate the two, they are definitely not the brightest crayons in the box!!!  But good for you, if these are the type of women you’re after.. I’m sure you’ll find one!  (Needless to say that was NOT what he was expecting to hear; could have something to do with why that was our last date – HA!).

So what is security?  To me, security has NOTHING to do with money!  I can make my own money and take care of myself.  To me, security in a partnership is knowing the person you are with has your back and is going to choose you in every given scenario.  And I’m not talking about choosing you over Friday night with the boys – that’s small potatoes.  I’m talking about the big things that matter.  Like what happens when… let’s say you’re married and there’s a fundamental difference between how you want to raise your children, and how his mother thinks you should raise your children?  How is he going to handle that scenario?  I’m not saying he has to agree with you and do what you want – but is he going to respect that it’s your (as in his and yours) decision and not his mothers?  Or, if he’s in conflict over something and it impacts you, is he going to talk to you about it, or gain everyone else’s perspective first?  To me security is knowing that the person respects me enough, and values me enough to think of how I might be impacted in a given scenario; and that when things get tough, we’re going to fight together as a team and work it out.  (Notice how I say fight together, not with one another).  That is what makes me feel safe.  It’s not just about walking me to my car at night, or making sure your front door is locked when we go to sleep.  Those things are important, noticeable and add to the feeling of safety and security – but they just touch the surface.

PLEASE tell me how driving a nice car, having a nice house, wearing nice clothes etc. is a signal to me that I am going to be safe and secure with you??  Is financial security important??  Yes!!  But do you really think it has to do with the amount of money that you make; or is it more likely how you value and spend your money that matters??

What’s funny and/or sad, is that he’s probably the nicest guy I’ve dated in a really long time – and I really liked him.  I was always very impressed by all the little things, and how often he did think of me.  I only wish he had been himself more often, and was not so concerned with what side of himself he was showing, or the image he was portraying. 

What is it that they say: confidence is key??  A great guy; I just wish he knew why!!

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Success v. Happiness

In 2007 after a series of events that would forever change my outlook on life and love, I came across this quote from Dale Carnegie that stuck with me.  I had no idea why.  It wasn’t until recently I understood the depth of what it meant.  He said “Success is getting what you want.  Happiness is wanting what you get.”

I was fortunate enough to be brought up by two loving parents, who taught us the value of a dollar; that life was a struggle, and that although it was a struggle for them, it was going to be much more difficult for us.  They sacrificed many “things” to give us the opportunities we had.  Now as they approach retirement, I couldn’t be happier to watch them start to enjoy for themselves the fruits of their labour.  They have always claimed to be happy to watch us, but I can’t help feeling like they are FINALLY getting the life they deserve.  I will never forget the lessons I’ve learned both directly and indirectly from watching them conquer the challenges life has thrown at them.  There were times I shook my head, but I believe they did the best they knew how with what life threw at them.  I only hope I can provide a supportive environment for my family (whatever that looks like), and handle life with as much class. 

There is one question that has constantly baffled me over the years; it relates to success and happiness.  I always wanted to be successful.  I was driven towards it, by it, and by the lifestyle or image that came with it; because OF COURSE, if you are successful you are going to be happy.  That’s a no brainer!!! 

What is the definition of success?  Webster’s says “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect or fame;” or “the correct or desire result of an attempt.”  I have to admit, if I’m going to pick one over the other, I’m definitely onboard with the latter.  Who on earth decided achieving wealth, respect or fame meant success??  Do we not need to look at those definitions??  Wealth: “a large amount of money and possessions.”  What’s a large amount of money??  Does it count if it’s locked up in uneasily liquefiable assets?  What about all the celebrities out there with tons of possessions, payments out the ying yang, and nothing in the bank?  Is that success???  Respect?  Respected by who??  Most of my friends respect me (I think) – does that automatically make me successful??  Fame?!?!!  Ted Bundy – he’s famous!!!  Does that make him successful?! 

If we go by Dale Carnegie’s definition, I would have to argue that overall, I could be considered successful, (if you want to put it down on paper – there’s a list that’s mostly checked off!!).  Like I’ve said before, there’s always room for more, but I have achieved most of what I had wanted. 

The major piece missing that I ALWAYS ASSUMED would come with it though, is happiness…  SURE, day to day, I’m a fairly positive person – unless you catch me in the workplace on a bad day.  I love to laugh, and I laugh a lot!!!  I have a decent outlook on life.  I recognize that I am much more fortunate than others  – I like many of you reading this – have running water and the ability to use a computer!! 

I guess it comes down to… maybe I never actually wanted everything I have.  Or, perhaps I wanted it for all the wrong reasons.  Every day that passes reinforces a saying I have come to learn; a piece of advice I always give; and a statement I think to myself now before making all decisions: 

“Be honest.  Stay true to yourself, and make decisions that are right for you.  That way you can never go wrong!”

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a Beautiful Life

For my 28th birthday my parents gave me this card. It’s been sitting on my mantle for the last few months and I read it again the other day.  It really rings true with where I sit today.

It reads as follows:

How to make A Beautiful Life – reflections for a daughter on her birthday.

Love yourself.
Make peace with who you are and where you are at this moment in time.
Listen to your heart.
If you can’t hear what it’s saying in this noisy world, make time for yourself.
Enjoy your own company.
Let your mind wander among the stars.
Try.
Take chances.
Make mistakes.
Life can be messy and confusing at times, but it’s also full of surprises.
The next rock in your path might be a stepping-stone.
Be Happy.
When you don’t have what you want, want what you have.
Make do.
That’s a well-kept secret of contentment.
There aren’t any shortcuts to tomorrow.
You have to make your own way.
To know where you’re going is only part of it.
You need to know where you’ve been too.
And if you ever get lost, don’t worry.
The people who love you will find you.
Count on it.
Life isn’t days and years.
It’s what you do with time and with all the goodness and grace that’s inside you.

Make a beautiful life… the kind of life you deserve.

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If life is a game, these are the rules…

By Cherie Carter-Scott PhD.  (A common book in the life coaching world).

Rule One – You will receive a body. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s yours for life, so accept it. What counts is what’s inside.

Rule Two – You will be presented with lessons. Life is a constant learning experience, which every day provides opportunities for you to learn more. These lessons specific to you, and learning them ‘is the key to discovering and fulfilling the meaning and relevance of your own life’.

Rule Three – There are no mistakes, only lessons. Your development towards wisdom is a process of experimentation, trial and error, so it’s inevitable things will not always go to plan or turn out how you’d want. Compassion is the remedy for harsh judgement – of ourselves and others. Forgiveness is not only divine – it’s also ‘the act of erasing an emotional debt’. Behaving ethically, with integrity, and with humour – especially the ability to laugh at yourself and your own mishaps – are central to the perspective that ‘mistakes’ are simply lessons we must learn.

Rule Four – The lesson is repeated until learned. Lessons repeat until learned. What manifest as problems and challenges, irritations and frustrations are more lessons – they will repeat until you see them as such and learn from them. Your own awareness and your ability to change are requisites of executing this rule. Also fundamental is the acceptance that you are not a victim of fate or circumstance – ‘causality’ must be acknowledged; that is to say: things happen to you because of how you are and what you do. To blame anyone or anything else for your misfortunes is an escape and a denial; you yourself are responsible for you, and what happens to you. Patience is required – change doesn’t happen overnight, so give change time to happen.

Rule Five – Learning does not end. While you are alive there are always lessons to be learned. Surrender to the ‘rhythm of life’, don’t struggle against it. Commit to the process of constant learning and change – be humble enough to always acknowledge your own weaknesses, and be flexible enough to adapt from what you may be accustomed to, because rigidity will deny you the freedom of new possibilities.

Rule Six – “There” is no better than “here”. The other side of the hill may be greener than your own, but being there is not the key to endless happiness. Be grateful for and enjoy what you have, and where you are on your journey. Appreciate the abundance of what’s good in your life, rather than measure and amass things that do not actually lead to happiness. Living in the present helps you attain peace.

Rule Seven – Others are only mirrors of you. You love or hate something about another person according to what love or hate about yourself. Be tolerant; accept others as they are, and strive for clarity of self-awareness; strive to truly understand and have an objective perception of your own self, your thoughts and feelings. Negative experiences are opportunities to heal the wounds that you carry. Support others, and by doing so you support yourself. Where you are unable to support others it is a sign that you are not adequately attending to your own needs.

Rule Eight – What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. Take responsibility for yourself. Learn to let go when you cannot change things. Don’t get angry about things – bitter memories clutter your mind. Courage resides in all of us – use it when you need to do what’s right for you. We all possess a strong natural power and adventurous spirit, which you should draw on to embrace what lies ahead.

Rule Nine – Your answers lie inside of you. Trust your instincts and your innermost feelings, whether you hear them as a little voice or a flash of inspiration. Listen to feelings as well as sounds. Look, listen, and trust. Draw on your natural inspiration.

Rule Ten – You will forget all this at birth. We are all born with all of these capabilities – our early experiences lead us into a physical world, away from our spiritual selves, so that we become doubtful, cynical and lacking belief and confidence. The ten Rules are not commandments, they are universal truths that apply to us all. When you lose your way, call upon them. Have faith in the strength of your spirit. Aspire to be wise – wisdom the ultimate path of your life, and it knows no limits other than those you impose on yourself.

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Stay Hungry. Stay foolish

So… This week the well respected Steve Jobs passed away…  As you know.. most of what I write about tends to be how I’m trying to get away from doing what other people want and/or expect and start doing the things that truly make me happy.  I never really followed news related to Steve Jobs.  I knew he was fired from Apple back in the day, and I only know because there was such a stink created over it as he was co-founder of the company. 

Anyway… In 2005, he gave a commencement speech to Standford University students.  I listened to it on youtube, and I’ve posted the transcript here.  It resonated with me, and is a good reminder of all I learned in 2010.  Goodness knows I constantly need to be reminded of the messages, especially those I’ve bolded for you.  It’s easy to lose sight of what you want when you greatly respect many that think differently than you…  So without further rambling, here it is:

“Thank you.  I’m honoured to be with you today for your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world.  Truth be told, I never graduated from college and this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation.

 Today I want to tell you three stories from my life.  That’s it.  No big deal.  Just three stories.  The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first six months but then stayed around as a drop-in for another eighteen months or so before I really quit.  So why did I drop out?  It started before I was born.  My biological mother was a young, unwed graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption.  She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife, except that when I popped out, they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl.  So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking, “We’ve got an unexpected baby boy. Do you want him?”  They said, “Of course.”  My biological mother found out later that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers.  She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would go to college.

This was the start in my life.  And seventeen years later, I did go to college, but I naïvely chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition.  After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it.  I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and no idea of how college was going to help me figure it out, and here I was, spending all the money my parents had saved their entire life.  So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK.  It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.  The minute I dropped out, I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me and begin dropping in on the ones that looked far more interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic.  I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms.  I returned Coke bottles for the five-cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple.  I loved it.  And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.  Let me give you one example.

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country.  Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer was beautifully hand-calligraphed.  Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this.  I learned about serif and sans-serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great.  It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life.  But ten years later when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me, and we designed it all into the Mac.  It was the first computer with beautiful typography.  If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts, and since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.  If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on that calligraphy class and personals computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do.

Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later.  Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward.  You can only connect them looking backwards, so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something–your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever–because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.

My second story is about love and loss.  I was lucky.  I found what I loved to do early in life.  Woz and I started Apple in my parents’ garage when I was twenty.  We worked hard and in ten years, Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4,000 employees.  We’d just released our finest creation, the Macintosh, a year earlier, and I’d just turned thirty, and then I got fired.  How can you get fired from a company you started?  Well, as Apple grew, we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so, things went well.  But then our visions of the future began to diverge, and eventually we had a falling out.  When we did, our board of directors sided with him, and so at thirty, I was out, and very publicly out.  What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.  I really didn’t know what to do for a few months.  I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down, that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me.  I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly.  I was a very public failure and I even thought about running away from the Valley.  But something slowly began to dawn on me.  I still loved what I did.  The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit.  I’d been rejected but I was still in love.  And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.  The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything.  It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods in my life.  During the next five years I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife.  Pixar went on to create the world’s first computer-animated feature film, “Toy Story,” and is now the most successful animation studio in the world.

In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT and I returned to Apple and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance, and Lorene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple.  It was awful-tasting medicine but I guess the patient needed it.  Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick.  Don’t lose faith.  I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers.  Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle.  As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it, and like any great relationship it just gets better and better as the years roll on.  So keep looking.  Don’t settle.

 My third story is about death.  When I was 17 I read a quote that went something like “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.”  It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”  And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.  Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important thing I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life, because almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.  Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.  You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago, I was diagnosed with cancer.  I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas.  I didn’t even know what a pancreas was.  The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months.  My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctors’ code for “prepare to die.”  It means to try and tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next ten years to tell them, in just a few months.  It means to make sure that everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family.  It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day.  Later that evening I had a biopsy where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor.  I was sedated but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope, the doctor started crying, because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery.  I had the surgery and, thankfully, I am fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades.  Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept.  No one wants to die, even people who want to go to Heaven don’t want to die to get there, and yet, death is the destination we all share.  No one has ever escaped it.  And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life.  It’s life’s change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new.  Right now, the new is you.  But someday, not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.  Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s quite true.  Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalogue, which was one of the bibles of my generation.  It was created by a fellow named Stuart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch.  This was in the late Sixties, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and Polaroid cameras.  It was sort of like Google in paperback form thirty-five years before Google came along.  I was idealistic, overflowing with neat tools and great notions.  Stuart and his team put out several issues of the The Whole Earth Catalogue, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue.  It was the mid-Seventies and I was your age.  On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous.  Beneath were the words, “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” And I have always wished that for myself, and now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.  Stay hungry, stay foolish.  Thank you all, very much.”

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Living in the moment…

I’ve read a lot in recent years about living in the moment and how important that is to happiness.  Being present and in the now…. Yet why does it seem so FRIGGIN’ difficult??  And WHAT does it even??  I mean, I’m here, right now, sitting in front of a computer screen pondering and reflecting on life… and there ladies and gentleman, I’ve learned is MY PROBLEM!!

Somewhere along the line, it was programmed into my brain that I always need to be thinking ahead – looking out for the future, the best interest of others; be the best that you can be… A role model for others… When you pass on… what are people going to say about you?  It even goes as far back as Santa Claus asking if you’ve been good this year.

It’s like a constant internal battle between living in the moment, enjoying every moment you have, and looking into the future and what that may or may not bring depending upon the choices that you make.  It’s enough to scare anyone stiff!!!  No wonder there are so many of us that get stuck and never break the status quo. 

Does it really matter when and if you get married?  And if you do, is it REALLY necessary to have kids?  Is choosing to be single really so bad other than society’s view that everyone grows up to have a family and carry on the family name?  I mean, when I think of why I want all the things that I want.. (yes, now that I’m mid-late twenties it is again starting to include having a family), I really can’t come up with a good reason for why I want it all. 

For instance, I want to make more money – who doesn’t?  But ask me my rationale on that one…  Well, I want to be able to provide for my non-existent family, and not just what my parents were able to provide me, but more.  It’s not because I don’t make enough money to support my lifestyle now.  A little more never hurts anyone, but realistically, I have it pretty good.  I also want to get a better pension for my retirement… Why is that??  OH so that when I retire I can travel and explore and do all the things I’ve wanted to do since graduating high school that I have yet to do…  Next question to follow… Why haven’t you just gone and done all those things?  Oh, well I had this idea that everyone grows up, graduate’s high school, gets married, invests in property, has a family etc.  So… when the path to having a family fell apart in my early twenties… I turned over a new leaf that said well.. family life may be down the tube, but property is a good investment for the future!!!  And in my early twenties, I did think I was making the right decisions… and they probably were good decisions at that time, but later I see they were generally for the wrong reasons…  Even today… Ask me for my reason for wanting a family…?  I think the best answer I can give is, I just do.

So where is the line between living in the now and embracing the life we do lead, and having the life we desire?  How do we, and should we bridge that gap?  Is it irresponsible to truly live each single day to its fullest and never wonder about the future?  Will living in the present actually help create the life we desire?  Will living in the present eradicate the desire for more??  Do we follow the ideal of never wanting more?  Will that make us truly happy?? 

Over the years I’m learning… wondering and thinking about what’s going to make me happy, only makes me UNhappy…

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Motivate or Self-medicate???

It’s no secret the weather causes all of us to sing the blues as we say goodbye to long days of sunshine and prepare for early darkness…  Anyone who knows me knows I’ve summed up how I feel about things pretty good right there!!  A complete lack of motivation for all things…  But this year, I’m stretching my ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ strategy and hoping it will cruise me through the fall and winter right back into spring!!

Okay… So I have a mild case of SAD… (Seasonal Affective Disorder)… it’s hereditary… I get it from my father… Only he’s not willing to admit it!  My best friend whom I once lived with used to call it hibernating… And he’d call me on it all the time!!  ARE YOU HIBERNATING AGAIN?!?!  I’m pretty good at faking being happy if you’re not in front of my face…  I can get away with saying I’m just tired or not feeling well and then hitting the sheets early.  We all know the best way to make the day end is to go to sleep!!  And for those that don’t know what SAD is and felt the need to google…  I don’t get uber depressed, or hate my life… I just tend to withdraw and stick close to home.  In years past, I have gone to the gym every night to bring back the spunk.  Last year, I was outside with my puppy… how can a puppy be depressing???

SO… what am I going to do to cope this year…??  Currently I’m trying to convince myself of all the things I like about winter… Ready???

  • Being curled up on my couch with a hot chocolate, beside the window watching the rain fall, covered in a blanket beside the fireplace… MMM!!! 
  • THE FIREPLACE… HOT CHOCOLATE!!!!  Mmmm.. warmth!!!
  • SNOW!!!!  (Although it rarely falls here, I LOVE THE SNOW!!!)
  • Skiing or snowboarding once the mountain opens!!  Yay roadtrips!!
  • MOVIES at home curled up under a blanket!!
  • HOCKEY SEASON!!!!  Go CANUCKS Go!
  • Puddle jumping!!!  (Yes, sometimes I can be a four year old!!!)
  • Watching my puppy explode through puddles, or snow (when it does land.. rare as that may be).
  • The occasional run in the rain.
  • Going to the gym.
  • I see my family a whole lot more!!!
  • Baking… mmmm… what can be bad about baked goods..?  Especially when you can pawn them off on people at your office – sneak peeks during prep time = no extra calories necessary!! OH YEAH!!!
  • COOKING!!!  My cooking skills can always improve…  I hate cooking.. who am I kidding?!
  • Planning vacations for next year.  EUROPE 2012!!!  Get excited!!
  • READING!!!  I actually like to read… Knowledge is power!!  I’ve never been a Harry Potter/Twilight/Insert fad novel reading here fan.. I stick to books where I can learn something… other than how fairytales DO NOT translate into real life.
  • CHRISTMAS!!!!
  • NEW YEARS!!!  Look at that almost half way there!!!

Wow.. I did pretty good!!  And I didn’t even have to include anyone else in my plan…  Although it is always more fun to have someone to cuddle up to.. (besides my dog… he’s getting heavy!!!).  See, there are all sorts of things to look forward to…  And if you are lucky enough to have someone special to cuddle up with, there is always storm watching, museums, restaurants, movies, plays, pubs, comedy clubs… you name it and it can happen…  Heck.. I even spent time on the beach in the rain with my dog last year, for the sake of being on the beach!!!  I suppose you just need to open your mind to the realm of possibilities and quit thinking life is over because your days of sunshine are limited..

I guess it’s time to say goodbye to summer, and embrace the fall season.  Until next time…

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