MAKING THE MOST OF A MONTH

I have exactly a month off between when I left AOL and when I start my new job. I didn’t plan to take a month but it ended up happening this way and now I’m super thankful for it. I think it’s important to take time to decompress and recalibrate before anything ends or begins, and so I want to make the MOST of my month because I know the rest of my year is going to get CRAY.  Also in light of everything that’s happened in the past 5 months of this year, I’m just looking forward to being able to take a breath.

Here are my plans on how I plan to spend the next 30 days:

Spend time with my friends + family

Friday was my last day and immediately I caught a super early flight on Sat morning to go to Newfoundland. I’ve been going to St. John’s almost every year for the past 5 years as I have family there and it never disappoints.

Interesting side note: I use to live in Newfoundland when I was a wee tot! My parents were sponsored to Canada by my aunt and uncle who live there and so we lived with them for about a year or so before we eventually moved to Hamilton, which is where my other aunt and uncle live. In this respect – I consider myself part Newfie, which to some makes total sense when they learn this! (whatever that means)

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Anyways, some people go up north to the cottage to unwind. I take a flight and head to the East Coast because the air smells amazing there, the views are breathtaking, and I literally spend all my time there just eating and napping.  I’m currently on a plane heading BACK to Toronto as I write this, and I just finished having an awesome late lunch with the family – see picture below. My aunt and uncle own a Chinese restaurant and they made this lunch specifically for me because they know I love lobster – or as Newfies refer to them as the “bottom feeders of the Ocean” #NOMNOMNOM

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I’ll be back in the city until the end of the week before I plan to spend several days in Hamilton to chill with family and friends there.  I’m also planning to bring Frankly with me and I can’t wait to show her around the city I grew up in! We plan to go see Dundurn Castle, take a walk up Locke Street and have her spend some quality time with her grandparents 🙂  Also – because my life is ruled by food, I also plan to explore some of these restaurants I read about in a Huffpo article awhile back that featured the best eats of the Hammer!

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/08/08/best-hamilton-restaurants_n_5658349.html

At the end of this month, I’m also flying out to Kelowna with Dan as his younger sister is getting married. I’m major laser excited by this because Kelowna = (GOOD) WINE! This wedding will also kick off the first wedding of the year for us, which so far including ours will hit (as far as I’m aware) FIVE by the end of the year! I’m excited to spend time with Dan’s family, EAT (of course!), drink delicious wine and just generally soak up the magic that the West coast inevitably offers.

READ

Our rooftop patio opened up for the season on our condo and it’s quite heavenly up there. So I plan to spend time in the afternoon up there with Frankly reading up a storm because leisure reading is a luxury that I typically didn’t have time for.  And if I bring some champs up there and a board of fromage, well then SO BE IT.

Things I plan to read include:

The Royal We – because hello, glorified Kate Middleton fanfiction? #YESPLEASE

Inside How Google Works (for no apparent reason)

COOK

I love to cook. And during this time off, I plan to put more emphasis on my diet and nutrition. I don’t want to sacrifice the things I love to eat but I do think it’s important for me to take a step back and review my diet and try to make a better effort to be healthier. I don’t know what my new diet will look like exactly but I went on a 30 day cleanse a few years ago and I recall that it transformed my skin and digestion so I think when you see results like that, it’s tough to argue not to do it again… it just takes willpower, discipline and more thought in planning. Things I plan to cut out completely or just consciously heavily reduce my intake of include:

  • refined sugars, including pastries and desserts (not including Uncle Tetsu haha)
  • Chips – this bums me out the most. I can give up ice cream, cake, cookies etc but CHIPS? I think this will be the hardest part
  • Gluten – specifically pasta.  This won’t be too hard because Dan and I actually replaced all our pasta with brown rice pasta years ago. Plus hello – Asian.  Rice. Enough said.

BIKING AND EXPLORING THE CITY

I’m scared of riding my bike around the city but I need to get over this fear because there’s tons of areas around the city I want to get to and I would preferably not want to rely on TTC to get there. This includes visiting Trinity Bellwoods park, BangBang Ice Cream on Ossington, The Junction, Kensington Market, etc.  First order of business for this endeavor in my opinion is investing in a pair of denim cut off shorts so I can RIDE IN STYLE. It’s ride or die out there and I aint risking death on my bicycle unless I’m wearing some sweet sweet denim cut offs!

PLANNING MY WEDDING

This one is less fun. I don’t want to spend too much time writing about this but essentially I have a ton of tiny details I need to confirm, iron out or start working on and I have a month to get this almost all done! AHHHHHH

USURPING THE #1 TITLE FROM DAN

When I was working I had to leave Frankly for 8-10hours/day usually and I want to take advantage of my time off to spend as much quality time with her. This nugget is my best friend and I want to take the time to consciously and purposefully slow down so I can relish in the time I have with her.  I also hope this quality time I plan to spend with her will pull some of her attention away from Dan and dethrone his “favourite” status in the household 🙂

YOGA & MEDITATION

This goes hand in hand with improving my diet. I also want to spend time working on my yoga and meditation practice.   I’m committing this month off to actively slowing down and I think one of the most powerful tools to do this is yoga and meditation.  I’ve been practicing both on and off for the past few years but disappointingly I admit nothing consistently or in a deeply committed fashion. I hope to transform this and lay down the foundation for some good habits by ingraining my daily life with yoga and meditation so that I am equipped to be able to handle the rest of this crazy year with some sort of anchor to help calm me.

BEING BY MYSELF AND FEELING COMFORTABLE WITH IT

This is something that I’m trying to actively work on and is really important to me as I approach 30 for some reason. I want to pursue things that make me uncomfortable and there’s nothing that makes me more uncomfortable than doing activities by myself. For some reason it makes me feel super vulnerable and unsettled, so I want to try to tackle this feeling.  This includes some activities I’ve already listed above such as biking and exploring the city but also includes going to the movies and eating in a restaurant by myself!

I also booked an early flight to San Fran next month to spend a weekend by myself enjoying and exploring the city before I have to start training for a week in Mountain View.  There’s nothing that gives me more anxiety than travelling on my own and since I’ll be in a city by myself, I think this is the ultimate in becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable! Highlights for this trip include staying at the Airbnb I rented (first time trying Airbnb!) and meeting up with cousins I have there. I also plan to eat, shop, eat, shop and explore the city – IN THAT ORDER.

While on the plane back from Nfld I read this quote in the Fast Company magazine I picked up and it really struck me.  “What inspires creativity is exposing yourself to what might make you feel uncomfortable or different.” – John Maeda, former President of Rhode Island School of Design

So that’s it – so far those are my plans for the month. I’ll keep updating this blog with how well it goes!

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