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Update on Life

My last few posts have always started with me apologizing for my lack of posts. I always feel bad whenever time gets away from me or I procrastinate, because I actually do enjoy writing. To be honest, I have been putting off making a new post for a while now because I couldn’t think of anything to write about.

This time I will not make excuses. Besides, bogging is not something mandatory, but something I do for fun. That being said, I want to work on being more consistent with posting.

Part of the reason I put off blogging was because of my indecision on what kind of post to make. I have done all sorts of different things in the past. I have made posts on health & wellness and weekly themes, like Poetry Fridays, and others. Maybe it would help to get an idea of what kind of content you guys would like to read. I always have my favourite subjects (i.e. music, etc.), of course, but I want to have content that’s creative and interesting. So, what do you think? Let me know what kind of blogging you’d like to see me do!

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Anyways, if you’ve been wondering what’s been going on in my life over these past months, let me tell you. In one word: school. In more words, life’s been crazy as usual. However, it hasn’t always been bad crazy – there’s been some good in there too. For example, I’ve had the chance to make a few new friends this year, which is great. I love meeting new awesome people. After the few months in which I was walking around as through a thick fog – a time also known as winter – I began to make some changes in my life. I have wanted to be consistent in my devotions and prayer life for quite some time, but have struggled to get in and keep up that habit. Accountability is a great thing. It’s really helpful to have someone else to meet with, even if I then go and do my own thing. It motivates me to keep up with it and not give up, if I have someone who’s expecting me to meet them. I’ve found that starting my day in God’s presence positively affects the rest of the day and has made me more aware and engaged in daily life. I’m not sure if it’s been quite a month yet, but I’d say I’m off to a good start in making this a long-term habit!

That’s all for now folks! So, share your thoughts (in the comments) on what content I should do here. Here’s a song I discovered today: Everyday People by Morgan Harper Nichols.

New Year. New Me.

Hello friends, I realize I have not made a post in months now. One reason for that is: life has a habit of throwing curve balls at us. The moment it appears we’ll have some free time on our hands, our path is intercepted by yet another problem or task to complete.

Since it is the new year of 2017, I thought I would share with you some of my resolutions or “goals” going forward. I don’t know how effective New Years Resolutions are, and my purpose here is not to go into that debate. What I do know, however, is that I like to make lists and be able to have a visual representation of my goals. That way, I find it easier to keep track of and remember the things I need to do, instead of simply having these thoughts floating around in my brain. This year, to help me along, I’ve also added smaller steps I can take to reach each goal. I’ve heard that it’s more effective to write specific goals rather than vague, general ones. The more specific you write, the better you know how to follow through with your ‘mission’, and the more likely you’ll be successful!

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Strip back all of the things I want to do this year and it all comes down to the phrase “holistic health”. My goals are: to get rid of negativity & unhealthy baggage, stay motivated and organized in my work, practice prayer & devotions daily, lose 10 pounds and save money. I have a document on my computer where I’ve expanded on these points to show how I plan on carrying them out. There are a lot of things I want to accomplish, not only this year, but over the course of my whole life.

So much to do. So little time. 

So, I better start now! Some other things I want to do this year is to read the Hobbit as well as the Lord of the Rings seriesI have watched the movies, but never read the books. A tragedy, I know, but it is one I hope to amend soon! Likewise, I want to read the Harry Potter books. These are classics from my generation and it would be a such a shame to go on in life without reading them for myself!

What are some of your goals for this year? What do you do to ensure you follow through?

____ Is Where the Heart Is?

Have you ever thought about how amazing the human heart is? I’ve been thinking about it lately. There is so much room to love. Consider this: we love our pets, we love our family, our children, our friends – and the list goes on. It may not sound very exciting, but it hit me recently. I have enough room in my heart to love more than one person SO much. It’s actually pretty incredible.

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Where does love come from anyways? Well, I’m glad you asked. I know the love that I have in my heart does not come from me alone. God has poured his unconditional love into us and that overflows out of us. That is where my ability to love, so deeply, comes from. Because there times in life when it is hard to love others and there are people we come across who are difficult to love. I am not perfect, but God’s love is. In these times, when I have the ability to love – (when otherwise I wouldn’t) – I know it’s God working a miracle in my heart again.

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He first loved us. Having experienced such great love, how can I keep that to myself? I am compelled to share that love with others.

While writing this post, I thought about the saying “home is where the heart is”. If that is true, then I can be at home anywhere. I can go to school and find people I love. Or I can go to my house and find my family (whom I love). Anywhere I go I can find something beautiful. I am never truly alone. I am never without something to be grateful for or something to appreciate.

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Scatterbrained Thoughts

Mental illness, in general, is not something that is openly or widely discussed. It’s difficult because it is unlike other problems that you can physically see, like a broken bone. It’s also a shameful thing to admit to others because of the negativity and stigma associated with mental illness. For that reason and more, I want to spend some time today talking about this subject – specifically anxiety.

Anxiety is something that everyone experiences to some degree. However, not everyone experiences it to extent where it becomes a disorder. It’s all too easy to get stuck in your own mind, feeling alone. Anxiety can be overwhelming and extremely draining. Your mind races with all kinds of negative thoughts and self-talk.

I know what it’s like to live with anxiety. I have struggled with Generalized Anxiety Disorder for about three years now – (only officially diagnosed this year). One thing I think people can underestimate is the power of encouragement. It doesn’t even have to be anything huge. Little things, like a kind and uplifting word, can increase my mood and ease my mental stress. I am much better at giving out encouragement than I am at being supportive and kind to myself. This is where friends and family can be really helpful.

I have been struggling this year with self-criticism. I often blame myself for things that may not even be my fault. I jump to the conclusion “I must have done something wrong… or offensive…. or annoying”. And the list goes on. I continue to remind myself to not be so hard. I have really appreciated the friends that have stepped into my life and held me accountable and helped exactly when I needed it.

All this to say that it can be really hard to live with a mental illness. You often feel broken or even paralyzed to act. Just because someone appears to be happy, doesn’t mean they truly are. This next statement is true for me (and I’m sure for others as well): We do not want you to pull away from us because you are unsure of how to help or act around us. All we need is someone who will stay by our side and be a faithful friend. Be a listening ear when we need to vent, a shoulder to cry on, and someone to have fun and live life with.

All of this does not have to be a monumental task. After all – as the saying goes – “Many hands make light work.” You can often accomplish much more in a team than you can individually. So there are my thoughts on anxiety for the day. Let me know your experience on this subject!

Note: For anyone reading this, know you are loved and valued. You are never alone.

Have a good night friends!

Coffee Confessions

I do not always participate in Lent, however this year I decided to give up coffee. It’s better for anxiety to be caffeine free; caffeine increases you heart rate and makes panic attacks more likely. So, I decided that 40 days without coffee would be a good start for going caffeine free.

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So, I thought the first week was going to be the hardest because of caffeine withdrawl. However, that was not how things panned out. It was difficult to transition at the start. After that it got a little easier. Then, when it was two weeks away from Easter, I began to crave caffeine again. It was almost as if my body was saying: “you can almost have coffee again!” Fighting with your own body isn’t very fun…

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Almost immediately after the fight with myself, my personal life took a nose dive. Suddenly I had much more to worry about than not drinking coffee. So… that was a good thing, I guess? Not really, but hey, life hasn’t been all bad. This year has already had its good moments as well. Right now I’m having a rough time, but that happens in life. Life is not always a bed of roses, sometimes winter is long. I just have to keep holding on until spring comes and surround myself with the positive and supportive people in my life.

Anyways, this was not meant to be a depressing post… so here are some pictures of Boston Terrier puppies to give you good feelings.

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As you can tell, I love Boston Terriers. I’m a little biased because my family owns one. But I’m not crazy, they are sweet, loving and have great personalities! Cuddling with my Boston is one of my favourite ways to feel better when I’m down.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! What are your favourite ways to get out of a downward spiral?

Keep On

Midweek blessings to you all! I feel like my last post was a bit scatterbrained. Truth be told, it would probably match my life right now. It’s a little chaotic and messy. I have a lot of goals that I’m trying to pursue. Patience is definitely a lesson I continue to be taught daily.

Also, I have been sick for over a week now. One of the frustrating things with having asthma is that it’s common for your body to take longer to get over colds.

Pro-tips: 

1. Step by Step

Focus on one task at a time. It will help you be more calm and less stressed. If you think of the big picture – everything you need to accomplish – you can easily be overwhelmed by it all.

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2. Strength

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” -J.K. Rowling

I have heard this said many times, but it is true: There is strength in numbers. By yourself something may seem impossible; however, together we can accomplish much more than any one person could alone.

Another point worth mentioning is do not be afraid to get help if you need it. Whatever you may struggle with, whether it’s physical, mental or emotional. There are people are around you who care and want to help. If you are in a deep low, it can seem that no one understands or cares. However, all you have to do is reach out and there will be a hand there to hold you.

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3. Start

Speaking to the procrastinators who may be reading this (myself included), start now. If you’re waiting for the perfect time to start, that times is now. Everyday is a gift. We should use our time wisely, since we don’t know what the future holds.

Another thought that has crossed my mind is: why are so many things in life presented as a competition? It’s not a race. We are all going through this life together. Therefore, should we not be supportive of each other instead of pushing others down on our way to ‘success’?

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Life is less of a competition – instead of racing ahead to win, use teamwork to finish well together.

Have a great week! 🙂

 

Be-YOU-tiful

Winter mean can different things for every person. For some, it is their favourite season. They may go skating, sledding, and various other winter sports. However, not everyone shares in their enthusiasm for the onset this season. For a good portion of society winter means shovelling, icy roads, and freezing temperatures. I belong to this second category – since growing older, I have less things to excite me about the cold weather. And despite my great desire and pleading that spring would come soon, winter remains. So much negativity can bombard us from multiple places, it’s good to keep in mind the positive. Therefore, this post is for anyone who needs encouragement and/or may be struggling to make it to spring.

First thing’s first: focus your energy on the good. Try not to let negativity run your thoughts. Easier said than done, right? Well, just remember: this season of life may be hard, but find what’s worth giving your attention to and run towards that.

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Second, give yourself a break and don’t be so critical. Sometimes life is hard, and it’s okay to need time to heal. So, be aware of your body and what you need. Don’t be afraid to give yourself permission to pause.

Plan to do a few of your favourite things, so you have something to look forward to each week. Hang out with friends and go out for coffee (or lunch, etc.), watch a movie, or read a book. It’s really up to you.

Next, just be yourself. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect – or what society views as ‘perfect’. We also have such a tendency to idolize others. Truth is, it doesn’t matter who  if it’s a friend, teacher, or celebrity – stop trying to be like them.We cannot attain perfection. Plus, you were never made to be like them. You are beautiful and unique and were made to be exactly that. You are not a carbon copy, but a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

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“I’m the kind of girl who eats ice cream when it’s cold, and hot chocolate when it’s warm; who wears socks and sandals in the winter, and boots in the summer.” –  Annika (Me)

Some Beautiful Things:

  1. Music

 

2. Art

 

3. Quotes

“Rules for Self Discovery:
1. What we want most;
2. What we think about most;
3. How we use our money;
4. What we do with our leisure time;
5. The company we enjoy;
6. Who and what we admire;
7. What we laugh at.”
― A.W. Tozer

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
― C.S. Lewis

“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”
― Veronica RothDivergent