Happy Easter Sunday! Spring has finally arrived (fingers crossed for no more random snow) and it is blue skies, sunshine and maybe even +14 degrees today. I bought five bouquets of tulips this past week and made easter egg garlands around my apartment. Usually the days I feel the loneliest are holidays when I am used to traditions with my family who now feel so far away, but I was really looking forward to Easter. I took some time off work to make it a four-day weekend for myself and I think after such a long, cold winter spring feels extra special.

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I feel like in some ways on this blog I haven’t really shut up about how the past year has been surprising and challenging. I have struggled with homesickness, found it frustrating to settle into work, been slow at making friends, and simply felt lost. But the past few weeks have felt better. I decided that I cannot complain about things if I am not actively trying to make life better for myself.

So I have worked at turning my apartment more into a home, spoke up at work about what I want, put thought into friend dates, and prioritized quiet time to reflect through out the week. And the truth is, I have had several moments when I stopped and realized “this is what I have waited and worked for”. There were so many weekends in the last two or three years where I had a mountain of textbooks piled around me in my room and hours of work to do and I daydreamed about what non-university life would be like. So now that I’m done, it turns out it can be exactly like my daydreams if I make it so.

And that is what this proverb reminds me of (plus it just looks pretty for Easter) – if you work on yourself and what is important to you, that is true and lasting happiness. It’s not the quick fixes, but the hard days and difficult questions that you force yourself to face because the results are so worth it… a continual feast!

I hope all of you bring a happy heart to your Easter feasts tonight! And p.s. I actually made Sunday morning pancakes today…

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The things I am learning in the last three weeks…

  • It is hard to be at your most vulnerable when you are not completely settled within your environment.
  • People will surprise you. They can be loving, thoughtful and kind in the times you need it most, but you have to be willing to show up and embrace it.
  • Maybe there is no place that can give you peace or strength, maybe you have to work for that.
  • When you make the big life decisions think them through and then let go, so when life calls them into question it will be easier to ignore the doubt.
  • Do not avoid the ones you love, “unconditional” means they are there to pick you up, dust you off, and give you a hug.
  • Eventually the happy and the humour will distract you if just for a little while.
  • Actively practice self-love.

I really love this weekly post and so even though it’s 7:30 pm, let’s please just pretend it’s early in the morning and pancakes are being served.

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I was cleaning up this weekend and found a pile of cards people gave me when I graduated/ moved away. This one was from my younger sister and made me pause because it seemed to capture the advice Amber and Colleen gave me in last week’s blog comments. Thanks ladies!

This weekend I watched Pretty Woman for the very first time (ridiculous I know!) Gosh I love Julia Roberts. I baked and cooked and cleaned. I enjoyed a mug of  hot chocolate and burned my delicious smelling bellini candle. I decorated with daffodils and spent time in the sunshine. I cheered Tessa and Scott on and giggled at how cute the Dufour-Lapointe sisters are. I indulged in sushi takeout and Skyped with my friend in Britain. This weekend was quiet and satisfying.

Maybe this weekend was a tiny now that makes up part of my journey to feeling settled in Winnipeg. I am definitely starting to realize that just because I may want something more from life and I have some big dreams for myself, it doesn’t mean that every day has to be a sprint to the finish line. It never was before and I always did alright. I think it’s positive that I’m aware I may be just repeating motions and not actively working towards my goals, but I have to accept there is a day-to-day part of life I will never escape. And that’s okay because those tiny thousand nows could add up to a pretty wonderful life.

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Did you have a tiny now moment this weekend that made you smile?

I actually had pancakes for dinner tonight so that is my excuse for posting this later in the day than usual. (They were delicious by the way!)

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I have had a pretty excellent past few weeks. Making new friends, exploring new places, and laughing every single day at work. I am reveling in the decision I made to move here and appreciating all that my life in Winnipeg has to offer. I think this is a conscious choice I make every day to settle down here, some days it can be harder than others.

When I am meeting new people, I can’t be wishing I was sitting at a coffee shop in Kamloops talking to my best friends. When I am hanging out with my family, I can’t wish I was at home with my parents and sisters, playing with my nephew. When I am collaborating with my team at work, I can’t wish I was walking into our United Way office in Kamloops and catching up with all the girls. If I live my life in Winnipeg constantly comparing it to what I had before, I will never let myself be happy here.

It is not a matter of just going through the motions and letting time slip by, I need to actively live my life here everyday.

Do you find yourself thinking the grass is greener somewhere else?  Or do you remember to be present in all that you do?

 

And here goes my second installment of “Sunday morning pancakes!” I foolishly thought I might actually make pancakes this weekend, but the unpacking is fairly overwhelming and after doing my first big grocery shop yesterday, I’m not really interested in spending more money just to purchase baking supplies.

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I have wanted to move into my own place since forever. The thought of setting up my own little home and finally achieving some kind of “grown-up” status has been tempting. So when I finally brought in the last box on Friday night and closed the door and had it all to myself – I was surprised at how alone I felt. The last two months have been a whirlwind for me. I went from my good life in Kamloops to a new place, new job, and new home. I have been very upbeat and excited about it all, so I knew at some point the change would hit me. I finally realized it is just me doing this by myself.

But I thought about this quote above. The last five years I have wanted to get my degree, quickly find a grad job, move out and just live (without the hassle of homework holding me back)! And I made that happen. So now that I am starting from scratch again and it feels a little lonely, I just have to believe in myself and my ability to make new friends here and create a life for myself. With a little hard work and some self-belief, I can get there. Here we go again…