Posts tagged ‘gratitude’

January 10th, 2012

Saying Good-Bye to Punxsutawney Phil

Good-bye, Punxsutawney Phil

By Heather Von St. James, Guest Blogger

Throughout my life, I have been called an eternal optimist. I have always believed that the glass is half full, not half empty. I am blessed with the ability to see the best in any situation. But my optimism was sorely tested on November 21, 2005, when I heard the three words that no one ever wants to hear: You have cancer. I was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a life-threatening form of cancer, just three-and-a-half months after the birth of my precious baby girl. I was only 36 years old.

When you are diagnosed with cancer, you have two choices. You can curse God, ask “Why me?”, and spend your time immersed in bitterness and self-pity, or, you can choose to accept the diagnosis and get ready for the fight for your life. I chose the second option, and I have never looked back. I was determined to make the best of this situation, to fight as hard as I could, both for myself and for my child, and to use my positivity to help others along the way.

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November 4th, 2011

Goals and Gratitude – Day 13

Air Canada at YVR

November 4, 2011

Goal: Today, my focus is to maintain my schedule. I have a very tightly booked series of meetings, phone calls, places-to-be, etc., that includes getting LM to the seaplane terminal on time for her flight and me to YVR on time for mine (The reason for these flights? See Gratitude below). Today’s schedule is a house of cards, and with one false move the whole thing tumbles to ground.

Gratitude: First, let me apologize for missing yesterday’s post, and here’s my excuse – I plumb FORGOT! It was a Thursday. I don’t usually work outside the home on Thursdays, but yesterday I did. On top of that, I learned yesterday morning that my mom and I need to make an emergency trip to Alberta, TODAY, to visit my Uncle, who is badly injured and currently in the hospital, and the rest of my family who still reside there. In the commotion of trying to work, to book flights and a hotel and a car, to make arrangements for LM, to make sure my DH changed his plans, and to manage all of the usual things that happen in my world on Thursdays, blogging went out the window. I am very grateful that things are not worse – they easily could have been – and that I have the resources and support to make a last minute trip possible. I am grateful that I can be there with my mom. This will be very hard for her.

Update from Day 11:  The good news is that Wednesday was fantastic. LM: Suitably impressed, and what’s better, one of my students had a problem with her model, so LM volunteered to help the student out. Not only was she proud of me, I was ever-so proud of her!

October 27th, 2011

Goals and Gratitude – Day 5

October 27, 2011

Goal: I mentioned yesterday that I’m heading to a three-day, work-related conference. That’s Thursday, Friday and Saturday folks, which means two nights and three days away from LM. Confession: Even now (she’s 14) separation of this kind feels a little strange to me. I wonder, Will I ever get over my attachment issues? But the hyper-attached, over-protective-mom, side-of-me be damned, I have work to do when I’m there so work I shall. My goal is to network, network, network. Did I mention I plan to network? Networking is on my agenda. But because a goal should be measurable, I need some specifics. Therefore, my plan over the next three days is to establish 1o new, strategic, contacts. In the interest of  über-clarity on the matter, I’m not talkin’ the “Hi-how’s-the-chicken?” kind of contact that often develops when two strangers, who just happen to work in overlapping industries, are thrown together at a conference banquet dinner laid out in a re-configured meeting room located in a modest hotel lost somewhere in Suburbia. What I am aiming for are smart, useful interactions with connections that I can leverage. I will provide business cards as my proof, should it be required. By the way, I will also be maintaining my daily blog posts.

Gratitude: I am grateful for all of the family that has pulled together, or offered to pull together, to help with LM while I’m gone. Family rocks!

Update on Day 4 – I got through it, with very few battle scars, and I actually feel a little bit better. My Dad’s surgery was postponed, which is hard for him but might just mean that I can be there when the real time comes, so I’m okay with that. All in all, today was not as bad as I had anticipated (honestly, it never is). On a side note, the patience I was able to muster on Day 3 toward those annoying, ridiculous, mind-blowingly bad drivers that flock by the hoards to the Vancouver streets – and you know who you are – went straight OUT THE WINDOW!

October 26th, 2011

Goals and Gratitude – Day 4

Nectar of the Gods

October 26, 2011 – Day 4

Goal: Oy! Today is going to be one of those days. I am feeling blah. Under the weather, tired, overwhelmed. I simply have too much to do. I leave town tomorrow for a three day conference and I need to prepare and pack; I am working today and have a jam-packed schedule of staff meetings, telephone calls, and deliverables due; LM has after school activities that require me to assume my role as Chauffeur; and to top it all off, it is garbage day. Yuck. My goal is, quite simply, to just get through it, to put my head down, focus, and put one foot in front of the other until it is finished. And there is one other noteworthy event today: My father is having his second surgery of the year, and I can’t be there for him, nor for my mother while she waits. Thinking of you both.

Gratitude: Thank God for coffee. Sweet, hot, delicious coffee. I ♥ you. And related, to the powers-that-be at Starbucks, who had the presence of mind to place a Starbucks coffee shop right next door to the post-secondary school I am running, all I can say is “Kudos!” Job well done. I ♥ you, too.

Update from Day 3: Halloween, √; Paper work, almost there; Patience, I did pretty darn good.:)

October 25th, 2011

Goals and Gratitude – Day 3

The view from my desk

October 25, 2011 – Day 3

Goal: To finish what I started yesterday – PAPERWORK  - and to exercise more patience, especially when it comes to crazy, distracted, painfully slow DRIVERS!!! Truth be told, they can make me just a tad BERSERK. I’d also really like to finish shopping for LM’s Halloween costume, which means a lot of driving around to source out particular items, which means my patience for other drivers will be truly tested. Lord, give me strength!

Gratitude: Today, I appreciate the sunny, blue-skied, beautiful fall day that awaits just outside the window at my desk. It is filled with vibrancy and colour (colour to which the iPhone photo to the left does not do justice), and the fact that I have a job that allows me the freedom and the flexibility to have a career and still be a mom (a mom who, today, needs to dedicate a little time to Halloween).

And by the way, the answer to yesterday’s dilemma, as posted on The Know It All Mom on Facebook - late night or early morning catch-up session – was, drum roll please…neither! Hence, the first part of today’s goal. :)

October 24th, 2011

Goals and Gratitude – Day 2

My Apple

I am in rush folks, so I’m gonna make this quick!

Yesterday’s goals – check! I will update that post later with details, but mission accomplished!

Day 2, October 24, 2011

Goal: To finish the paperwork hanging over my head since August! (Or at least make a serious dent in it.)

Gratitude: I am grateful for the tree in my back yard, which we thought was dead when we moved into this house last October, but which isn’t dead at all. Not only is it alive, it turned out to be a very old, very pretty apple tree. After years of neglect it has produced only one apple, but it is one glorious apple that I can’t wait to pick.

October 23rd, 2011

Goals and Gratitude – Day 1

On October 20th, I tweeted on @theknowitallmom, “Today’s Goal: Drink more water. Simple, measurable, achievable.” And I did it. Earth-shattering? No. But still, it needed to be done.

On October 19th, I posted on my Facebook page my pending return to yoga, believing that if I put it out into the Universe I would be moved to do it, and on October 20th, I did it. Again, nothing too lofty, but it made a difference to me.

So in the interest of continuing this achievement-oriented, just-move-forward pattern of behaviour, I’ve decided to chronicle my daily triumphs and tribulations in a series of posts called Goals and Gratitude. My plan is to catalogue the tasks that I want to accomplish, ranging from the mundane (as above) to the sublime (at least to me, just wait and see!). Akin to this, I want to take some time to recognize those things already in my life for which I am most grateful. My commitment to you, Readers, and to myself, is to update it EVERYDAY for 30 days. At the end, I will write a summary of what I have accomplished and what it all means.

Day 1, October 23, 2011

Goal: Move my body, sweat a little, eat more protein. Hey wait: That’s two goals. Ambitious plans for the first day!

Gratitude: I am grateful for the sleepy-eyed, good morning hug from my Little Miss, still warm from her bed, and for the fact that at 14 she’s still happy to see me in the morning. And since I have stated two goals, another expression of gratitude is due: I am grateful for my Darling Husband, who left home at 5:00 AM on this Sunday morning for a conference in New Orleans, and who now, as I write this, just called to say that he is waiting stand-by in LAX, delayed by five hours and re-routed through Chicago, all because his first flight out of Vancouver was late and he missed his connection. He works so hard and sacrifices so much, all for this nice life that we live, and we miss him.

Tune in tomorrow for Day 2 of Goals and Gratitude, to see if, in the words of Britney Spears, “I did it”  again, and for my next aspiration and expression of thanks.