On Saturday, I took my mom on the annual Homes for the Holidays tour. This tour is so fun and I highly recommend it if you’re local! It’s a self guided tour where you get to visit five fully decorated homes. The homes are different every year and it’s a great afternoon outing and fun to look and different houses and layouts and also to get decorating ideas. I always feel inspired to decorate for Christmas after going on this tour. Full disclosure, it’s a large fundraiser for my work but I don’t have anything to do with planning it and buy my own ticket every year so thoughts are definitely my own It’s amazing but it can also give you major “stuff” envy. I saw so many beautiful pieces of furniture that I wanted and some amazing houses that I’m now pining over.
Also, as much as I love the holiday season I kind of hate how much it’s about material things, spending money and generally acquiring more stuff that we don’t necessarily want or need. I feel this insane, heavy pressure this time of year to SPEND MONEY and I kind of hate that feeling.
Anyways, I was laying in savasana in yoga yesterday reflecting and I started thinking about two things I saw on the internet recently that gave me some perspective. This post on Momastery and this post on Buzzfeed. So I am borrowing a page from Momastery’s book and putting on my perspectacles and writing my own post about all the things I have to be grateful for.
I have a home. It has electricity so all I have to do for light is flick a switch and for heat turn a dial. Being cold is not something I have to be concerned about. Not only that, but our home is very affordable so we are not house poor nor are we paying a crazy amount of money for rent.
I have a fridge, a freezer, a deepfreeze and cupboards FULL of food.
Not just any food. Healthy food. I never have to choose between paying a bill or eating. I can do both.
Actually, I have never in my life been truly hungry. Yes, I’ve been hungry or hangry (obviously) but I’ve never been hungry for more than a few hours and not had the means to feed myself. Not ever in my entire life. How lucky am I?
We both have jobs. Full-time, steady, great jobs. Do we have enough money to buy absolutely everything we could ever want? No. But we have enough money to pay all of our bills, put away money into savings and have disposable income to have fun with every month. We never have to choose what bill to pay, we can pay them all, every month.
I know how to read. Not only that but I can take any book I want out of the library or buy it at a bookstore. Any book I want.
I have running water. All I have to do is turn on a tap to get running water on all three floors of my home. I can have a shower, wash dishes or do laundry at a moments notice. I am never thirsty. I never have to worry about not being able to get clean.
I have two legs. And they both work really well. They carry me on long runs, through hard workouts and everywhere I need to go.
On that note, I am healthy. And I live in a country with accessible, affordable and great health care.
I have an amazing support system. Family, friends, coworkers. I have no less than 10 people I could text or call in an emergency. I am not alone or isolated.
I live in a safe city and neighbourhood. I don’t hesitate to walk my dog alone when it’s dark. I walk across the street to the convenience store by myself and don’t think twice about it. I feel safe and secure in my neighbourhood.
I have a million other things to be grateful for. I have a million other things happening for me that make my life really great. But here are a few of the most basic ones. The ones I probably take for granted the most. These might seem like basic rights or things to most people but they aren’t — these things are all privileges. And there are many, many people in our world, in our country and in our cities and communities living without the things I listed above.
For more perspective I highly recommend checking out these two online poverty simulations, which simulate a month living in poverty. They might help you adjust your perspectacles a little more.
- American Version: Spent
- Canadian Version (stats are based in Calgary but mostly applicable across the country): Make the Month
So stick your perspectacles on this beautiful Monday morning and tell me what you are grateful for.
I had no picture to go with this post so right as I started writing it I took a picture with my two goofy pets
Alarm goes off at 5:05. Roll out of bed and I’m actually feeling pretty good due to my 9pm bedtime the night before. Put on a pot of coffee and get to work on a freelance article. Finish first draft of said freelance article and change for the gym. Say goodbye to Eric and drive to the gym. Do my favourite weekly TRX class. I am the only person so get a private class! It was hard and I was dripping sweat. I run 1 mile on the treadmill afterwards. Shower and get ready for work at the gym. Go into work and answer a few emails before spending 45 minutes having coffee and scones with my coworkers for my bosses birthday. Back to work for a couple of hours – more emails and phone calls and some social media updates.
Go on our local midday show to promote a fundraising event we’re having this weekend. After the show I go to my grandma’s for lunch (I try to have lunch with my grandparents at least once a week). Have a great visit with them and then pop into the library to pick up two new books. Back to work for the afternoon. Lots more emails and phone calls. Pest control comes in to set up a bunch of mouse traps for our mouse problem. I finally get a handle on my email and start doing some data entry I’d been putting off. Stay an hour late to finish data entry, which is so much easier to get done in a quiet and empty office!
Arrive home from work and get changed. Take Chloe for a 40-minute walk while listening to the Slate Serial Spoiler podcasts (catching up on episode 9 today!) Eat some veggies and dip with baked chicken for dinner while catching up on blogs. Start writing this post. Do the dishes. Toast an english muffin to eat with peanut butter & honey. Read my book for about 30 minutes. Get ready for bed. Lights out by 9:45!
You know the drill – give me a few sentences to describe your Thursday!
I don’t even have any pictures for this week in the life post but here we go…
Wake up at 7am after a blissful sleep-in. After getting up to workout the last two mornings it feels good to sleep in. Do the dishes, make some oatmeal and get ready for work. Freak out a little when we realize Eric’s truck keys are nowhere to be found. Call my mom to come give me a ride to work so Eric can take my car. Get to work and make breakfast to eat at my desk. Start going through my emails and return a few emails / make a few phone calls update giant master spreadsheet for upcoming event. Realize I didn’t have any coffee yet and have a a headache around 10:30am. Go buy a coffee.
Attend a kick-off lunch event and do a 45ish minute presentation. Lots of questions and engagement. Immediately rush to lead a two hour tour following the event. After the tour it’s back to the office. I’m super tired today. More emails and phone calls and a couple of impromptu meetings with coworkers and volunteers who drop in. My coworker sees a mouse. Me and two other coworkers proceed to start screeching and freaking out. End up trapping the mouse in confined space and call pest control. Eric picks me up from work.
We accidentally dropped Eric’s keys at the movie theatre the night before! Thank god they found them. Ripped up there and picked them up. Came home, changed and did day #3 of the Holiday Shred. So intense. The cardio bursts are crazy and my arms are shaking at the end and I’ve burned 360 calories in 37 minutes. Make a green smoothie. Answer a couple of emails. Take Chloe for a 10-minute walk. My mom picks me up for yoga. We go to yoga – a super relaxing hatha to restorative class which starts with a few stronger poses like the warrior series and ends with laying around on bolsters. I am so sleepy after yoga. Mom drops me off, I write this blog post. Consider doing the dishes or working on a freelance article but decide an early morning will be much more productive than a late night especially when I’m so sleepy so I go to bed at 9:00pm.
Give me a sentence for your morning, afternoon and evening yesterday!