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a good laugh

Earlier this week, I was thinking about the need for a good laugh.

Which led me to think about what activities I needed to add to my week and who I needed to spend time with this week to make sure that would ‘good laugh’ would happen.

And I’m excited as sometimes all it takes is being aware of what you want to have happen and then saying “yes” to the opportunities that are presented to you.

Now a few days later, even before my end date goal, I’m happy to report that in the past couple of days I have had: a moment where I laughed till I cried; a moment or 2 where the people I was with were being silly and laughing so hard, I couldn’t help but laugh, and a few shared moments of laughter when I chuckled at myself.

At the start of this week, I wasn’t sure where the laughter would come from.  But it’s there, you just need to look for it, seek it out, and seize the moments.  It’s been a good week.



how do you remember

A couple of months ago, I had lunch with a friend and we talked about the fact that grief is both a personal and universal experience.  We all grieve (in this case I’m specifically referring to grieving the death of a person); and yet even when people are grieving the death of the same person, that experience is entirely personal and unique.  No two people remember that person the same way or experience the loss in the same way.

And so the question of how we remember the people who are no longer here becomes challenging.  When you realize that your experience is different from others who are also grieving, one can be hesitant to talk about the moments or ways that you find yourself remembering or thinking about that person.  We can hesitate to share or talk about this with others maybe partly because we don’t want to be the person who makes them sad (on a day when they may be less sad) and maybe also partly because we know our memory is special to us and perhaps not so meaningful to someone else.

And yet I wonder if we might all feel a bit less alone in our grief, if all of us were to talk more about the people who are no longer here and when/how we remember them.  Because while our experiences and memories are personal, grief is universal, and in sharing we can be reminded that we are not alone, even if the stories are different.

Here are a couple of my memory stories.  Some I have shared with others who also cared about the person.  Some of them I still need to share.

I have a muffin recipe that was hand-written over 20 years ago by a friend’s mother who has since died.  I think of her every time I make those muffins and how I came to have the recipe.  One of the last times I made the muffins, I took a picture of the part of the recipe card where her mother has written “Good luck” and her name, and texted it to my friend.  She appreciated it.  

This morning I remade the bed in my spare room.  I thought of the friend who helped me sew the duvet cover.  Memories of the time spent in sewing with her made me smile.  I think of her often, I know others do too.  But I still need to find ways to tell others about these times.

When I see that sap from a tree has dripped on someone’s car, I think of the friend who was once very frustrated when this happened to his car while parked at another friend’s cottage.  In this situation, I often chuckle.  When I share this with others who knew him, they chuckle too. 

How do you remember?  When do you think of the people who aren’t here?  Who else might appreciate hearing about your moments?  Despite how it may sometimes feel, in grief you are never entirely alone.  Grief is personal.  Grief is universal.



becoming less comfortable in the world

I recently saw a video where older adults were speaking about their experiences with aging.  One man commented that he was “less comfortable in the world than he used to be”.  That comment has stuck with me.

We are shaped by the world/culture/society we live in.  But that world/culture/society (whatever you want to call it) and all it encompasses keeps changing.  In most cases, we change and adapt in response to those changes.  If those changes consciously or unconsciously make us slightly uncomfortable, as we adapt, we once again find a spot of comfortableness.  And yet, perhaps there comes a point when things around us keep changing and we no longer adapt as fully or as well.  As the changes continue, perhaps gradually and then suddenly we are no longer as comfortable in the world where we find ourselves in.

The most obvious example of where this might apply is with respect to technology.  But I think it applies to many more aspects of our world/culture/society as well.  Think about all the things that have changes in the past 80-100 years – it’s not just technology – it’s changes in social roles, changes in types of occupations, changes in media, changes, changes, changes.  It’s not surprising then if at some point, a person begins to feel they don’t quite fit anymore and are not so comfortable.

This comment and idea stuck with me.  And it had me wondering at what point in our lives we start to have this feeling.  I’m guessing it is different for different situations/examples. I’m also guessing it’s different for each person. Do you sometimes feel this way?  Do you think it’s something we can change?  Do you think it’s something we should be trying to change?  Maybe it’s a part of growing older in a society that focuses on youth?  I don’t have any answers, but it’s really got me thinking.  And thinking is good.

Tempo Giusto

“The whole struggle in life is to some extent a struggle about how slowly or how quickly to do each thing.” Sten Nadolny, The Discovery of Slowness (1996)


I recently read a book that looked a various ways and places that people are slowing down.  The book is a bit old, in that is was published in 2004, and I must confess that it has sat on my “to read” pile for a few years.  I think I had even started reading before at one point.

Balance and slowing down and being vs doing are ideas I have written about (and think about) a lot.  And so of course there were many ideas in this book I underlined.  But the quote above and the definition below, are the only 2 I’m specifically passing along.

Tempo giusto (Italian pronunciation: [ˈtɛmpo ˈd͡ʒusto]) is a musical term that means “in exact time”, often directing a return to strict time following a period of rubato. or to play in “strict time” or “suitable time”.

The big aha for me from reading this book, is it’s not necessarily about slowing down everything.  But figuring out the ‘right’ or ‘appropriate’ speed for things in our lives.  It’s figuring out which things to do quickly and which things to do more slowly.   And being kind to each other when we our personal ‘tempo giusto’ for various things is different from someone else’s.

Be open to finding the ‘tempo guito’ in your life.

P.S. – I didn’t write this blog when I first had the idea in December.  It just seemed like the wrong timing.  I hope you are better able to read and reflect on this idea in the slow pace of January vs the often busy pace of December.

a meaningful object

As part of a class I taking, I have been encouraged to bring “an object that is particularly meaningful to me”.

I can’t think of what to take.

I find this a bit ironic, since I have so many objects (i.e., I have lots of stuff) and love so many objects (e.g., note books, nativity scenes, books, scarves, letters received when we still sent mail, the list goes on).

But as it turns out, while I love many objects, there aren’t any I feel worthy of taking to class.  As I look around my home, there isn’t a specific object that I feel I would need to save if my house were on fire.

I would like to think this means altruistic things about me, like that I value people and memories more than things.  But then again, it’s about not wanting to care too much about any one thing as to avoid the potential pain that comes were that item to get lost, broken, or worn out (not such an altruistic, but rather more shallow idea).  Then again maybe it’s a bit of both.

So what object would you take to class? What object is particularity meaningful to you?  Why?  What do the objects in our lives say about us?

Aside, if you read my blog and know me personally, feel free to share you ideas for an object you think is meaningful to me.  Class is Wednesday. 🙂

events vs moments

For the past few days I’ve been pondering the difference between the day to day moments in life vs. the events in our lives.   By life events, I mean things like the parties, the vacations, the concerts, and other things that get planned in advance.  In contrast, the day to day moments are small things in our lives, like sitting in the warm sunshine, enjoying coffee on the deck, eating food from my garden, sharing a funny text with a friend.

On a daily basis, I find joy in the day to day moments.  However, when I think back on years past, it’s the events I remember and that bring a smile to my face.

My dilemma is that when I spend too much time planning and engaging in events, I sometimes miss noticing and finding joy in the day to day moments.  But when I minimize events and hence am more able to find joy in the moments, I don’t have much to remember about the past month or year.

This post doesn’t come with a question or challenge for you, nor does it come with any answers or insights from me.  It’s just an observation.  Me sharing something I’ve been thinking about.  And maybe now I’ve got you thinking about it too.

Complex problems

“It’s not wise to ask for easy solutions for complex problems.”

Most of us tend to like easy answers and quick solutions.

Most of the problems that remain in our lives and in our world are complex.

And hence the reminder from the quote above.  It’s not wise or realistic to ask for or expect an easy solution to a complex problem.

But that’s not a good reason to not keep trying solutions and looking for answers.

Which complex problem in your life or in the world needs you to contribute to a challenging answer and/or complicated solution?