Buy. Sell. Rent. Repeat…

I owned a home two years ago.

I bought my house by myself and was quite proud of having done that in my early 30’s. However, I chose to return to renting when the complex I lived in got increasingly more sideways — partying and drug-using neighbours I had to share walls with, and a poorly run strata that was hoarding funds and not addressing legitimate problems.

My stress was through the roof. It was definitely time to go back to renting.

I needed to find good landlords who would handle any maintenance or people issues as they came up, and got pretty lucky: I found a pet-friendly unit for me and Gritticus in a nice neighborhood. I certainly can’t afford to ever buy in this area unless the Lotto magically comes through, so it was a treat to have this experience.

There will always be the naysayers of  renting with the “you’re throwing your money away by paying someone else’s mortgage.” This isn’t totally untrue. But those with mortgages aren’t always looking at their own financial circumstances as deeply as they should, nor consider all the reasons why one chooses to rent.

Adulting can be rough. But we can’t escape it.

We have to, as responsible adults, ask ourselves tricky questions. When it comes to housing, can you comfortably afford where you live, or are you living cheque to cheque? This goes for overpriced rent and a high mortgage, FYI. If you are in the homeowner group, can you cover emergency bills, like essential renovations? As a renter, should you give up your private laundry or place with a dishwasher, by setting your ego aside to save money? 

If you have little to no savings you could be denying and ignoring your physical and mental health for essential breaks just because of these bills and the lifestyle you think you require. What we TRULY require is for more than just utilities and such, guys!

You have to do things that make your soul sing.

For me, that’s taking a vacation away at least once a year, and regular date nights with my fella. For you, maybe it’s a treat of getting that pricier-than-I’d-usually-buy outfit, or a season pass at the ski hill.

Are you reflecting? I hope so. I have done a lot of that lately and in fact moved again since I started drafting this article a couple months ago. Not yet a homeowner for a second time, but it’s in the works. Maybe. But I’m saving and downsized yet again (the rest is in a storage unit. I’m not ready to go full nomad and get rid of everything), and it’s not awful. I have so many supportive loved ones that are helping make this happen.

And if I buy in 2019 as I’ve tentatively planned to do, you can come to my housewarming. Or warm my landlord’s place that I affordably pay rent to. Who knows what is in store at this point!

Because no shame, friends. Know your way. Don’t put on appearances for yourself or anyone else. You’ll be so much happier for it! 

What Does Your Tomorrow Look Like?

Life and death can be intense to consider. 

It’s a fairly typical Canadian afternoon in June –overcast with a sneaky hint of sunshine coming through the clouds. This is perfect weather for me to go out this morning and trim my pole beans, harvest some peas and shallots for making dinner later, and get my composting done.

Now I’m back inside doing laundry and drinking my third cup of coffee while catching up on friends’ social media (and looky-loo’ing those of strangers, because hashtags). I’m also considering my life and what I want in the next 45ish years, should I be blessed to get that many more.

My last post dealt with my health. Well, the questions continued and resulted in an eye-opening experience that set my brain in motion on the above topic; life and death. *Note: It’s also why I’ve been delayed in writing. I thank each of you who keep reading these and are patient with the gaps between posts. It means a lot to me! 


I rode in an ambulance two weeks ago when I slid to my kitchen floor.

I could hear the sirens coming; knowing it was for me both calmed me and sent me into a panic at how serious this was. The Paramedics strapped me on their gurney, locked my front door, got an IV started in my arm, and we were off to the hospital.

Thank you to the amazing healthcare team who saw to me. I wish I knew your names.

My blood pressure had crashed. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest while someone was intermittently kicking me in the shoulderblades and kidneys while wearing steel-toe boots.

When I apologized to the Paramedic for calling (yep. Sure did. God forbid I inconvenience anyone even while almost dying), she said I was waxy-grey and I was definitely a case of needing them; not like the hangnail patient which they had attended to prior. Seriously.

I wanted to shower before they got there because who wants to be picked up while wearing cat pyjamas and yesterday’s eye makeup? I had to give up that idea when I admitted to myself this was ‘kind of a big deal’ when my situation was quickly progressing and I was losing consciousness.

At least my pants were cute?!

Once assessed in hospital it was determined I had suffered an anaphylaxis episode. I now have an EpiPen with me 24/7 and am in the process of getting a MedicAlert bracelet. *Anyone know where I can find a pretty one? If I have to wear it all the time, it better to look good. 

This was one of the most terrifying things I’ve experienced and I am so glad I had enough sense left to grab my phone when I felt my legs start to weaken. My boyfriend got 2 short texts of “I need you” and “I’m having trouble breathing” before I called 911. I can’t even fathom the horror if he had come back from seeing his friends to find me in, well, a much different condition than when he left.

Many are not as lucky.

This is my PSA to always have your phone a) charged up, and b) nearby, especially if you live alone. You just never know.


I look at the simple tasks of gardening and house chores a little differently now. I’m not saying I’m doing cartwheels about mopping my floors later. I am, however, very glad I’m still here and able to do it between the simple pleasures of reading, looking at my flowers, and most especially the time I spend with people I enjoy, insuring they hear I love and miss them when we are together and apart. I now give hugs like I may not get the chance again.

Tell your people how much they are appreciated for being in your life. Stare up at the beautiful sky, breathe deeply, and stretch that gorgeous face into a giant smile. Life is so very, very good — even when it’s not. Because tomorrow is waiting for you. You get to start again, however you want.

Live with your whole heart because one day, it will stop. Make sure every beat counts.

Xx, Stace.

A Self Care Essential.

What a month it has been since I was last on this blog. Each morning I would wake and say “today I will get my post up!” Then nope. Something else kept bumping my writing down the priority ladder. I was a hypocrit to my previous articles:

I wasn’t making enough time for the great stuff to balance out the pleh.

Most was not within my control, however. I had some weird health issues all hit at once. Two blood panels were drawn over ten days. I did an oxygen screening over two nights, trying to sleep with a strap across my boobs and a cannula shoved up my nostrils. There was a weird lesion on my (ahem) left arse cheek that had to be removed and sent for testing.

Top it off with a gnarly cough and cold where I kept working all but one shift and lost my voice for the entire subsequent weekend.

What the deuce, immune system? Don’t fail me now! I had some big fish to fry in a dedicated timeframe, and these issues were getting in the way.

enough, glow lotus


Alas! I made it to the other side of it all and am very happy to share that I do not have skin or any internal cancers my amazing, thorough doctor was screening for. The blood tests showed that my thyroid and stomach are still cooperating quite well; the concern of possible celiac disease was able to be dismissed.

However, I do have anemia, gluten intolerance, and a cool little navy blue scar on my butt. 

*Random share: I scar easily. You should see the battle wounds on my arms and legs from my childhood cat and learning to shave as a tween. Meowch.

Kinda crazy times, but I managed not to panic (well, not publicly.) I had a few solid cry sessions because geez, this would be kinda overwhelming for most people. Kudos to shedding tears and to the item I reference in the title — my self care essential that keeps me from hiding under my bed and FINALLY got me enjoying my writing again:

MUSIC!

Piano heals my soul.

I listened to upbeat tunes when I needed to give myself a little celebration, and instrumental favorites when I permitted some sad to stay awhile (not too long, though. Remember the article about setting a timer?)

Thomas Newman has done the music for some of my favorite films. He has a good mix of both upbeat and soothing — I’m actually playing one soundtrack right now while typing this post! I’ve been a fan since he did the songs for Scent of a Woman. That whole storyline…oh god…*sob*…

Other faves are Victoria & Abdul (one of the best movies I watched this winter), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, (I plan to be like these people in a couple decades) and Finding Nemo which I’ve watched at least two dozen times. Everyone on planet earth is familiar with this part!:

  • Dory: Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do?
  • Marlin: No I don’t wanna know.
  • Dory: [singing] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.”
 Cliche? Yup. Overused? Very. But dammit if it doesn’t work to remind us it gets better. You just gotta keep swimming.
nemo, just keep swimming
Wait, what?!

The hypothetical fishes I am frying (sorry for this reference, Nemo and pals) mentioned earlier are still ongoing, but I am cautiously optimistic of their outcome. If it all goes as it should, I would love to share that with you in a future post.

Please send positive Glow mojo! Just remember to keep some of it for you too. Now go dance in your kitchen.

Xx, Stace.

Cash Grab: Get a Handle on Yours.

Money. Money. MONEY!

Now that I have your attention…

We earn it. Then spend it. Then save what’s left. And do it all over again, week after week. If we even have any left to save at the end.

That’s the tricky part; finding ways to put a little or a lot of cash aside. It’s even harder in these times of increasing cost of living (have you seen your latest hydro bill? How about the price of avocados, and fuel? Holy guacamole is RIGHT.)

I’m pretty sure most who come by my blog aren’t making a six+ figure income (unless you’re working a whole lotta overtime.) I did my share of overtime but as it wore on year after year with the last job, I found my quality of life wasn’t worth the darkness. Literally — many of us would arrive at work when the sun hadn’t fully risen and leave when it was the same outside, just in reverse. Bleh.

I needed to figure out how to make my income stretch farther.

Whether you’re working sixteen or sixty+ hours each week, anyone will benefit from real strategies to make whatever amount we earn work for us in a more efficient way. Here are four suggestions of what I do to save a few bucks!

1. Phone Apps. There are now 29 million people using mobile phones in this country (source: statista.com). Thazzawholelot.

That stat also means in between the social media, gaming, photos and tweets, there are great apps available to help you track your moola. I use Bills Manager — super easy and it tells me what bills are coming up:

And what percent I am spending with monthly reports:

*Photos courtesy of the App Store.

2. Make your weekly food plan. Spend an hour Sunday writing out your Monday-to-Friday meals and healthy snack plans. I recommend the European way of grocery shopping by going every two or three days and getting only what you need. I rarely shop with more than a basket I can carry which prevents a tonne of impulse purchases being thrown into your big push cart.

I can already hear some of you balking at such a CRAZY idea.

If you’re feeding a big family or have some members in the house that are always saying “MOM I’m starving! And there’s nothing here to eat!” (I’m looking at you, friends with teenage boys), this may not be as feasible to shop small. Even so, keeping to your written plan and listing your ingredients on paper — remember my article on lists? — will still help you ease off the unnecessary buys.glow lotus

*Handy Tip: If they aren’t hungry enough to eat the apple in the fridge, they AREN’T that hungry. Heh. 

Another easy pre-game of the same vein is to set up the coffee pot at night so it’s ready to turn on before you hit the shower. Or if yours has it, set the timer before bed. (Bless whoever invented that, helping us get up to the smell of fresh brew). Now you’re saving money AND time by not stopping for Tim’s or Starbucks on your way to work!

3. Don’t sacrifice your social life because you’re “too broke to hang out.” This comes back to the P word you hear me use often. Planning. Yeah. It really is that easy.

I get it; doing something spur of the moment is part of the fun. Trust me, I am the Queen of it! Often because I worry about saying no (future post on THAT.) Of course you can still do spontaneous things; personally, I think it’s one of life’s essentials. You just gotta cut back on the “Meet me at the pub in ten?” and increase the “Wanna meet up next Tuesday after work?” This way, you can set aside actual cash for exactly how much you are going to spend, rather than drinking away your share of the rent money just because you bumped into an old pal from high school 2 hours earlier.  I’ve heard that can, uh, happen. **I was 25. Cut me some slack.

4. Sell stuff. I am ALL about this one the last couple years, thanks to the likes of online auctions and buy/sell/freebies apps and websites. When I sold my house in Fall of 2016 I was moving into something half the size. That meant half the stuff that was filling up my townhouse had to go before I ended up in my new place. This was quick and pretty darn easy, which then turned into payments on my credit card and fun money in my purse.

Get Your Glow On with these saving tips today. You can do it! 

Xx, Stace.

If you will it, it‘ll happen.

Guys.

Remember the movie where he builds a ball field, and his wishes come true? He willed it and poof – a parable for us all to believe in. YOUR WILL MATTERS.

I’m not into faeries, religion, or magic, but I do believe our energy plays a huge part in our circumstances and outcomes. I apologize for being behind on my posts but my will has been BIZZAY.

I saw a job posting and told myself “I am getting this. I will write a resume that can’t be ignored. I’ll interview and show them not only who I really am but what I can offer their business. I will thrive and succeed here!”

You might be thinking I’m full of 💩. That’s okay. It’s a pretty ambitious stance to take. Stace of 10 years ago would have been way too chicken to roll confidently on. Who am I kidding…4 years ago I wasn’t considering I could be strong in most any capacity. I never would have applied.

Pretty sure you know where I’m going with this.

I got the interview. Which landed me the job. Ergo, no recent posts because I’ve been learning a lot with my new gig, on training shifts and reviewing notes at home.

I ALREADY LOVE IT.

Shouldn’t you wake up every morning stoked on where you work? If you consider calling in “sick” because you resent going…dudes. Reality check. Yeah, this is similar to what I’ve said in prior posts.

Now I’m not oblivious to the obvious that all jobs will have their obstacles and aggravation. But when those are more likely to occur than the good days on shift, it’s a problem. (Unless you’re, like, a defence lawyer for confessed murderers and get stoked on super crummy days. Y’all can keep that.)

My point tonight is I took the risk and quit the Safety Net in January. I worked (really bloody hard) on writing honest cover letters and resumes to jobs I knew I would enjoy. My full time job after quitting? Was spending full time hours on seeking my new career.

It’s a process. It took months. But it happened. Will it. Tell yourself what you want and deserve. Work hard for The Happy.

Maybe it’s not a job change you’re after – apply your will anywhere! Get after that goal outfit with thorough workouts. Ask that other customer out (you know the one – they smile at you every morning at your mutual coffee-stop.)

Get GLOWing; I believe in you! But more importantly you gotta believe in you, too.

Xx, Stace

But there’s so much to do!

Hi friends. Well, it’s the end of another week which means another post! I was thinking about what today’s topic could be, as it could possible relate to some of the previous posts — you know, about making changes, big or small. I was going through my home office notes for ideas and came across one of my journals where I had done some big thinkin’.

Before I took the giant step regarding my job, I found in this journal the lists made of pros and cons for resigning — an initial list, another two months after list #1, and two more spaced out over a year-long period. I did some serious ‘shop and compare’ing of what my priorities were before deciding what to do.

This reminded me that we ALL should be using lists. For all sorts of life stuff.

To the readers who are already saying “Not me. I can do it all! EVERYTHING, I TELL YOU!”

What now?!

I’m impressed you are capable of having such power over life. You also might be the individuals who don’t realize this makes you more like our bone-in-da-nose friend here, than to today’s Joe/Jane. Remember him? He thought he could battle a smilodon and win? We’ll come back to that.

The fact is, we live in a world that glorifies being busy. Some people take pleasure in chaos. Others tend to get a bit flummoxed when there is a lot on our plates. We feel like we either don’t know where to begin, or just can’t do it, period.

*Sidenote: I am also enjoying that you are looking up what a smilodon is.*

How’s that state of frenzy and panic working out? Mhmm. Thought so.

Did you write it all down, prioritizing each with “someone will not get fed tonight if I don’t accomplish this now” to “those cat videos I was scrolling through and that Facebook quiz to find out what kind of cheese I am can probably wait.”

No? Lemme guess what happened.

Your friend/supervisor/spouse/WHOEVER, gets ticked off because you are trying to check off your non-existent to-do list and their thing was apparently less important than you finding out you are dill havarti. 

You ran at your targets unprepared and hoped for the best. This system is guaranteed to become a hot mess you and they didn’t want or need.

Let’s go back to my caveman example.

I shall call him…Stone. (Because it works for the time period. And I listened to a lot of Pearl Jam in my youth.)

Stone needs to feed and clothe his cave family. He has been hauling rocks all day and lost track of time. (Did telling time exist yet? Anyhow. Let’s continue.) As the sun starts to set, he looks up and sees an animal in the distance. Immediately seizing his club, he madly runs across the barren landscape to kill and claim it. However, by the time he reaches the giant beast he is exhausted, and in the flash of time it takes for him to see its teeth and claws? He? Is now the prey. 

I like spontaneity as much as the next guy. But you know what I appreciate more? PLANNING. If Stone had thought ahead on how he was going to find the next week of meals, he might be enjoying them with his family instead of becoming prehistoric lunchmeat.

Planning, which leads to effective use of time, then lends to opportunities to cycle back to actually being able to do MORE of the spontaneous, wanted activities!

That is why some wonderful person created lists.

Pen and paper have been around almost as long as our cave buddy has, so y’all have no excuse not to get writing. Just jot-jot-jot down what’s happenin’ today, tomorrow, this week…heck, even think a year ahead like I did with my pro/cons lists. If it’s stuff you complete in a shorter period, scratch each out after. Maybe even crumple up the page when all is done.

Sweet, sweet, crinkly satisfaction.

Are you still with me? I hear you mumbling “thanks for wasting my time reading something so obvious.”

But here’s the thing. If it WERE obvious and EVERYONE was doing this, I wouldn’t be writing about it.

Set priorities. Multi-task. Maybe you can delegate if someone else around you knows how to do it and is available to help.

I’m a fan of using the Reminders app on my mobile in addition to the old-fashioned way: Set each with a date and time to pop up onscreen, or allot specific start and end times for some tasks, like writing. I can lose an entire afternoon to edits if I’m not paying attention. (Hey, lists aren’t foolproof — I forget stuff. But they’re still better than nothing at all!)

I’m pretty confident you’ll dig how much easier it makes things once you get into the habit. Making changes is a good thing! And the items on your lists don’t have to be just chores; add bits like “lunch date at 1!” or “swimsuit shopping for Mexico!”

It’s been proven a habit only takes two weeks to form one (making lists, yay!) or to lose one (popcorn for dinner 3x/week is apparently not recommended. Damn.) 

We can’t say we aren’t accountable for something when it’s right in front of us, in our own handwriting. I’m aware there are only so many hours in a day and unexpected things will happen, meaning we need to amend and move items to the next day or two. That’s cool. Progress not perfection, y’all.

Just be smart about what really CAN wait, and what shouldn’t have to. 

Xx, Stace.

Ten days of reflection.

What a week… what a world. When I see and hear about the tragedies that keep happening in the country next door, it makes me grateful to live where I do. But we are not without our own issues. No one government, city, or person is without faults.

Because we are inundated with the negative info online even when we try to avoid it, it’s important to try and change gears you come to my blog. Turn up the happy, if you will, (but not to the point where we are drowning in rainbows and unicorns.) Let’s start with a question:

If I asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name YOURSELF?

Yeah. Mind explose-o. You said your kids, your parents/friends/career/car… the list of external people and things goes on. But what good is all of that if you aren’t loving You? I’ll tell you what — you won’t be playing outside with the children, nor celebrating birthdays with the folks and pals, and definitely not zipping outta town on a road trip after a fab day on the job, if you are sick, fighting the sad, or feeling defeated. Trust me…I’ve been there so, so many times.

And then? You feel guilt and shame or whatever negative emotion bubbles up and overwhelms you for not being able to be there for those people. The cycle continues. Pleh. Don’t do that anymore.

I wanna help you to stop that. Today.

Commit to the following ten things for the next ten days. Grab that journal you got as a gift or bought on Boxing Day but have been saving for…something. This is the something! Manifest some self love for the next two weeks by jotting down these Q’s and your A’s. One a day or go nuts — do all of ’em in one shot if so inclined! 

Here we go, friends:

  1. Name one thing you love about a) your body and b) your personality.
  2. Give me three positive words you would use to describe yourself to a stranger.
  3. What is the most loving thing you have done for yourself in the last year? Perhaps you are due for a repeat.
  4. List five things that make you happy to be alive.
  5. Think of a song that never fails to make you want to bust a move. Now put it on and dance, right NOW. (Bonus points if you’re in a store or parking lot!) 
  6. Write down a moment of strength you are proud of yourself for.
  7. Who are your role models? What qualities do they have that you admire and could strive to attain?
  8. Write down a sentence you wish someone would say to you. Now ask someone you trust to say it sometime when you aren’t expecting it. Do the same thing for them. *I’m already grinning. 
  9. What is a compliment you receive yet struggle to accept? *Consider this: You’re actually kind of insulting the giver by telling them their statement is wrong, when you don’t just say “thank you!” How ’bout them apples, eh? 
  10. What’s your hidden talent but are perhaps shy about sharing? Maybe you play the guitar (or kazoo?) Your cooking skills would make Martha and Julia jealous? Can you tie cherry stems with just your tongue?! Or maybe you can eat blue cheese without gagging? (That last one is truly commendable. Oof.) Share you doing it online — a selfie or video — and add the hashtag #glowlotus so I can see!

Tell me how it went! And how the next time someone asked what one of your favourite things was, you knew the correct first answer.

Xx, Stace.

My goodness, you GLOW so bright. I believe in you, too.

 

A lil’ weekend inspiration.

Last weekend I met up with a friend I have not spent time with for far too long. I think we said it had been over a year? And we live in the same city. How does that happen? She is someone who has been an inspiration over the years and is always a treat to get together with.

Life can get a bit nuts. Schedules don’t always jive or plans made now need to be canceled. It happens, and I’m cool with that (unless you cancel every time. Then a girl can take a hint.) Now that she and I were finally visiting we had some serious catching up to do, which led to us chatting for almost three hours. It was such a good evening!

Especially when I discovered something new about her after 10 years of friendship.

She has granted me permission to share the story as I thought it might resonate with my readers too. I hope you enjoy learning about her experience as much as I did!


She moved to Canada from Europe at age 19, looking for new adventures and experiences. She had a thick accent and while she spoke English it was not her first language, so her job options weren’t overwhelming…yet.

She found work on an assembly line where she handled saplings — itty bitty trees that she had to quickly review for the quality standards and either keep it or move on. She and her colleagues were not allowed to make small talk while working: Head down, review, keep or toss, repeat.

Quality Control would come by and instead of giving any positive feedback for her speed and ability, they would pull the occasional sapling from her discard bin, saying it met the one millimetre requirement.

One millimetre. Because that’s an easy measurement to be exact on under pressure. Ah, Management. Try doing the job and then get back to us, eh? seedling-887713_960_720.jpg It was not fulfilling. Frustrated, she didn’t want to continue hating her daily bike ride to work to do the same thankless monotony. But what were her options?

One day on her way in to her shift, she saw someone else on the property who was spraying the trees. “What!? He gets a job with fresh air? And sunshine!Cool breezes with the mist from the hose?” She wanted a piece of that gig and she wanted it now.

The next time she spoke with her coworkers she asked about the job with the hose. She was told he was an Irrigationist. “Well how did he get that?” she inquired. The rest of them only shrugged. No one knew. They had never thought to ask.

Further irritated by her cirumstances, she took a detour from her usual route the next day — off to the building where management could be found. She propped her bike against the wall and went right in:

She:“Hi. I’d like to speak to the boss, please.” Secretary:“He’s not here right now. Can I help you?” She: “I want the other job. The irrigation. I hate the assembly line and I want that one.”

Confused, the secretary didn’t know what to tell her. Another fellow piped up and asked her if he could help. To him she repeated her desire to try the new job, simply saying “I really want to water the trees . It looks like so much fun.” Unfortunately, he too didn’t have an immediate answer but graciously took her name and she left.

The next day she was visited at her current position and told to gather her things. Shit. She thought. Had she somehow overstepped?

Nope. She was taken to her new job…watering the plants and learning the irrigation duties! As it would turn out, the fellow she gave her name to  was the OWNER. He respected her tenacity and recognized she was worth a shot.

She asked and they delivered.

Some of her colleagues were not as stoked on the situation. There was animosity — “why her and not me? I’ve been here way longer!”

Strange looks and questions about how she moved up so fast happened the next while. Some of her pseudo-friends from the sorting plant held resentment. Or maybe it was jealousy? Because they were not as brave as she to take the chance that she took. And that didn’t matter — she kept on working and loved watering the trees.


She’s not in the horticulture business anymore but taking those first step years ago, and continuing to climb and pursue what she wanted, led her to now being a very successful and thriving Community Service Manager. She has aspirations of being promoted to Director.

“Moral” of the story? She persisted and showed what she was capable of. She had no experience doing the job she was asking for, but she did have the determination to TRY.

That’s all we can ask of ourselves. Know your worth. Seize the opportunity, or create your own.

We may not always succeed… But what if we do?

I don’t know about you but I think the possibility is pretty exciting. I’d love to hear about your “She believed she could so she did” story too, whether you’ve done as she did or are dreaming of trying. Time to rise and glow, friends.

Time to Rise and Glow. 

 Xx, Stace. 

Should I stay or…

“Should I stay or should I go now?” Ah, music. For me that song never gets old. Anyhow! It relates to tonight’s shorter-than-usual post as my longer entry is with its subject, insuring facts and such. Stay tuned for that interview-inspired story.

In the interim I give you this:

A whole lotta yep to this one for some (most) of us these days. Are YOU fulfilled? Loving and living your best life?

Living to work, or working to live? Cash in your bajillion hours of banked vacation and overtime.

Continue to look inside you and what you need. Life is work, yes. I get it. We have responsibilities. Bills.

You also work to fully enjoy your days (weeks) off. Get booking that all-inclusive, that safari, the fam trip to Disneyland. Those are bills to pay too.

If you feel you “just can’t swing it”? I hereby give you allowance to call them Happiness Invoices. Ergo, debt y’all need to deal with.

You could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Sorry for the morbid note. But it’s true. Do you want your last thought to be “why did we wait to book that trip?” Of course not.

I look forward to hearing about your vacation. Because you’re looking into it. Like, now.

Xx, Stace.

Six tips for those low days.

I had to kill two hours in a coffee shop this morning.

My car underwent some repairs. Gypsy (that’s her name. Who doesn’t name their car?) just needed a bit of rewiring. This made me think of a topic for today — how I relate to my…car.

If you’ve been hanging out on my blog (thanks much if so!) then you know I recently left my job. Talk about rewiring my brain! There’s a fair bit of “So what now?”going on upstairs.

Today is an important one on the calendar. It’s Bell Let’s Talk day; all about awareness of mental health. Starting over has definitely caused an anxiety attack (or six) for me in the last year as I planned my possible resignation and career change.

I’ve also dealt with numerous personal losses, health scares and surgeries, trauma… which meant processing some pretty big emotions like anger and grief over the last twentyish years. Those incidents meant I had to be even more mindful of the slippery slope of depression I often fell into.

When that happens, I have to make a real concerted effort to pause, consider the triggers, and yeah…rewire my thoughts. I often try to hide my ‘stuff’ behind silly humour.

That doesn’t mean my glow doesn’t still get pretty dim, y’all.

I’ve learned a lot about dealing with my mental health diagnoses. Here are some tips that help me and I hope could help you too, if you’re working through a struggle.

1) Set a timer on your tears. Honestly, go to your alarm clock by the bed or use your phone. Five minutes or fifty, whatever ya need in that moment and then SOB your head off. Get out some big, ugly, snotty crying. But when it buzzes? That’s it! Time is up and move on to another strategy. Now didn’t that release feel great?!

2) Journal. I’ll always suggest writing down what stresses or saddens. Just don’t use one of your fave pretty books; get a spiral from the dollar store because after you’re done, you’re removing those pages and NOT reading it. Shred it up! Toss it! (Into your recycling. We’re not animals.) Or even better — set them aflame. Watching the negativity literally go up in smoke is ah-mazing.

3) See your doctor. Medications for your brain are not shameful! We don’t mock people who need meds for their thyroid or diabetes, right? Same-same. Not everyone has counseling services via the employer, so also ask your doc for a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist they trust. I have an incredible counselor I’ve seen off and on for the last 5 years. I would be lost without what she’s taught me.

4) Avoid alcohol. Adding a depressant to your depression? Tempting for sure, but not so great. My Grandma used to say “a cup of tea with lots of sugar makes everything a little easier.” I do this on the regular and find a hot mug in my hands very comforting.

5) Call someone. Don’t hermit, turning off all connections to the world. A day or two crying in bed is needed sometimes. I understand. I still do it. But on day three? Pick up your phone and tell them you need to talk — whether that be to your best pal, partner, or parent. If you’re worried they might judge you (they won’t if they truly love ya. Trust in this), then there are free Help lines you can ring up — a quick internet search will show what’s available to you based on your location.

6) Exercise! I can’t say enough about how jacking up those endorphins with a great workout helps the body AND mind. It might sound like an impossible task because you’re too tired, too puffy-eyed, too… whatever you’ll say to stay at home. But you never, ever regret a workout once it’s done! You can do it. Lace up dem sneakers.

What’s something you do to pick yourself up?

Let’s keep talking. I know I will always be a work in progress, and I talk about it freely now because it’s important. End the stigma. If you feel low or lonely, please try out one or all of these tips.

Most importantly, be patient and kind to yourself. ♥️ You’re worth it.

Xx, Stace.