There was a young boy in the early 1800s in England who got very little formal education. His father was imprisoned for having debts when the boy was 12 years old. The boy got a job in a shoe polish factory and lived in a tiny room while his mother and other siblings joined his father in jail which was the practice at the time. Continue reading
For those of us who grew up using a rotary phone with a long curly cord and no Google, the Yellow Pages was the go-to book to find friends, order pizza and look up the number for a plumber.
Did you know that in 1883 when a printer was putting together the regular phone book as usual, he ran out of white paper so he used yellow? And a few years later the Yellow Pages was born. Continue reading
On this day 48 years ago, the first man walked on the moon. Astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped outside his rocket ship onto the lunar surface as people around the globe sat and watched their televisions in awe.
How could a human travel so far and do something so impossible? Continue reading
I’m currently reading a book that has been a best seller since the 1930s and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to pick it up. It’s called How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. A book that has been selling for almost 100 years! Full of common sense nuggets.
One of the pieces of advice the author shares is that the best argument is no argument at all. Continue reading
Do you remember the Swatch Watch? I had one. Pink and blue and yellow and green. It was a fun way to express myself as a teenager.
Before Swatch came about, watches were all about telling time. Taglines talked about precision and brands you could count on. Then someone decided that your watch could be an accessory to your look, your outfit, the story you were trying to tell. Continue reading
People are so resilient. You go to a new job or house or club or school and it seems so strange. Then before you know it, it’s like you’ve been there forever. Continue reading
Author Regina Brett once said, “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.”
In life, it seems that often the highest highs are intertwined with the lowest lows. We share our successes with friends, neighbours and social media networks. But we often face our lows alone. We’re embarrassed. We don’t know where to start. We don’t want to be judged. Continue reading
American abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe once said, “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
Almost four years ago my now 14-year-old son qualified for the champ level of Irish Dance before his time. Although he worked hard and grew a lot, he didn’t place when competing locally or recall for a medal at a major international competition since then. Four long years. Continue reading
This past weekend we celebrated the 150th birthday of Canada. So many stories were shared by fellow Canadians and it got me thinking about mine.
In the late 60s, my parents, who hadn’t met yet, travelled to Canada from Ireland for work. Both planning to stay one year. My dad was looking for handyman or machinist jobs and my mom had been offered a job as a nurse at Humber Hospital in Toronto. She was given a key to her hospital-owned apartment, outfitted with pots, pans and the all-important kettle.
My parents met at an Irish house party and the rest is history.
My mom was a nurse for 40 years and my dad worked taking care of the lines at Labatt Brewery for 35 years. Although my brother Seamus, my parents and I travelled back to Ireland often to visit our relatives, we were always proud to be Canadian.
I am so thankful my parents settled and became citizens in a place that is one of the safest countries in the world, where you can become what you believe, where education is free, medical treatment is offered to all, any faith can be practiced, and democracy allows us to choose our leaders. May we continue to work on truth and reconciliation with our indigenous peoples and may we remember the beauty and the peace of our home and native land as we celebrate its 150th year. Oh Canada. You had me at hello. #Canada150
Happiness is what we all strive for. But we can’t look for it outside of ourselves. If we hitch our happiness wagon to someone else’s star, disappointment is imminent.
As self-improvement guru Dale Carnegie once said, “Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.”
The good news is that is something we have control over. Do we feel grateful for what we have? Passionate about what we’re doing? Hopeful about the future? If not, what action can we personally take to make those feelings a reality? As William Arthur Ward once said, “Happiness is an inside job.”
Author Eckhart Tolle talked about separating who you are from your thoughts about who you are. We all have stories in our head about what our childhood was like and what we are good at and what we deserve. They are not necessarily facts. They are descriptions that may or may not be accurate. We might say to ourselves, “She didn’t like me because she said this or didn’t say that.” In actuality, that person might have been having a daily struggle and you weren’t even on their radar. It had nothing to do with you. But our thoughts can create a forest fire out of one match. Burning up any hopes of happiness.
Instead of letting these loose thoughts run rampant in our mind, we can focus on what is right in front of us. Our loved ones. The birds in the trees. The sun on our face. Our favourite lunch. An interesting conversation.
This is the key to happiness. When we own our journey and don’t listen to the stories in our head that tell us all the reasons things are going wrong we can focus on all the things that are going right. And who wouldn’t be happy about that?