I’m leaving 2013 behind with a breath of relief. My grandmother passed over the holidays and while it wasn’t sudden by any means, it still hit me and my family pretty hard. She had been in a nursing home for seven years with Alzheimer’s and she went peacefully on the 23rd of December surrounded by all of the family. It’s been a very difficult time for all of us but we’re managing somehow.
I’m taking the opportunity of this brand new year to take a deep breath and just let it all go. Fresh starts always seem to happen on the first of January and then they fall apart somewhere around the middle months, so I have no plans to make many resolutions this year. However, with my grandmother passing barely ten days ago, there are a couple I would like to share:
01) Be the person YOU want yourself to be. So often I find myself getting caught up in what other people expect of me, what they want from me, and who they want me to be. Ads on television – be thinner, buy this to change your life, take these vitamins to be healthy. Relatives – why don’t you finish university, writing and photography will get you nowhere. Sometimes with all the suggestions from others it’s a bit hard to figure out what I want. This year, if I decide to change my lifestyle or my way of thinking, it will be on my own terms. If I strive towards a goal it will be because I want to, not because someone else wants me to.
02) Life is short. Cross some things off your bucket list and don’t waste time with people or things that make you unhappy. Procrastination is something that I am VERY familiar with and a good majority of the time I end up putting things off until the last minute. I wait too long to do the things that I want to do and then miss out. I waste time on people who only seek me out when they need me for something, and if I need them they are nowhere to be found. Friendship is give and take. I am done with wasting my time and energy on people who don’t care about me anymore. This year I’ll do all the things that I want to do and talk about doing, but have never actually gotten around to.
It’s day one of three-hundred and sixty-five and it’s time for me to let it all go.
Let your heart not be troubled.
I won’t run when bullets chase me.
I won’t rest where arms embrace me.
I will love when people hate me.
I won’t hush, no you can’t make me.
Send the dark, but it won’t break me.
You can try, but you can’t change me.
Take my life, they will replace me.
I won’t hush, no you can’t make me.
The Band Perry – Pioneer
Being awake at two a.m. is not something I make a habit of, but sometimes – when life is overwhelming and insomnia sets in – I find myself laying awake in bed pondering the meaning of life, or wondering about human existence. During those times all I can do is wait for the thoughts to run out and for my mind to shut off. Chances are sunlight will start leaking through my curtains before that happens and I’ll start thinking about how much caffeine I’ll need to make it through the day. Looking like a raccoon’s cousin should be a new type of fashion statement, at least on the days when I feel that I look like one.
My brain-to-mouth filter is pretty decent on a good day, especially in my line of work, but when I suffer from sleep deprivation it tends to verge on non-existent and the edge of hysteria will break through. Like a miniature tidal wave. My co-workers are very good at feeding me Starbucks during those days and covering for my verbal diarrhea. They are wonderful and I’m pretty sure that I amuse them immensely. I figure if I can make people laugh while I’m feeling loopy, then that’s a small point towards a slightly better world.
The insomnia only ever lasts a few days, but it can be brutal. No amount of warm milk, calming tea, or sleep aids can help me. Well, nothing short of a brick to my head anyway, and even that’s a bit questionable.
Real life happenings. or something like it.
I would like to apologize for my disappearing act; if you thought I was dead – I am not! So I guess that’s a good thing. I was just dealing with a lot of real life things. Like moving, and having an existential crisis. But everything is much better now than it was a few months ago and I’m not going to bore you with the details. I will however be updating much more often. So hooray!
I also started a video blog thing on YouTube, so if you want to keep up with me a little bit more you can find me over there sometimes. Also – once you watch the video – if you didn’t know I’m a Slytherin, I’m sorry for that as well. I promise I’m nice and mostly harmless.
(If you, too, go by your middle name please tell me, either here or over on YouTube, so we can swap stories. )
A coworker was arguing at me a few days ago about The Avengers being better than Cloud Atlas. (Please note that he has not seen Cloud Atlas, but just likes forcing his opinion on others. I am a neutral person so I’m usually the target of his arguments.) I loved both movies but, as I told him, I found it impossible to compare the greatness of both movies because they are very different from each other. They each affected me in completely different ways. The Avengers movie thrilled and excited me in a way that only a long-time continuity could; Cloud Atlas moved and inspired me in such a way that I had no idea what my feelings were doing.
I went to see Cloud Atlas opening night and then went again the next night. I can say with complete honesty that it blew my mind. I was simultaneously impassioned, motivated and inspired. There was also some despair and lighthearted happiness thrown in there somewhere. By the end of the film I had no clue what emotion I was actually feeling; they were all over the map and my brain decided that the best self defense against the onslaught of feelings was for me to sob uncontrollably. This was the first time I had ever been so emotionally invested in a movie.
Cloud Atlas is essentially six separate stories being told to you at once. In the beginning you have little idea as to how they’re related and then mid-way through the movie everything starts to interconnect beautifully; everything suddenly makes sense. Revelations are made and connections are discovered and you’re left reeling from the force of it. I’m limiting what I tell you because I’m hoping that everyone will go see it in theaters and I don’t want to spoil anyone who hasn’t seen it yet… or read it.
I discovered right before going to see Cloud Atlas in theaters that it was based on a book. Usually I’m a bit more aware of these things and I’m a firm believer of books being better than their movies. Since the movie effected me so much, I can only imagine what the book will do to me and I’ll be sure to keep you all posted. Needless to say I’ve bought the book and I’m hesitating to read it this close to the start of NaNoWriMo, but I don’t think I’ll be able to hold off much longer. I’m craving to see the movie a third time and the book is sitting conveniently beside me. I’ve never been good at resisting temptation.
I don’t know about the rest of the world, but Autumn has definitely arrived in Canada, and something about this time of year always seems to bring out the tea lover in me. I love tea year round but there’s something about the oncoming cold weather, the smell of wood smoke in the air, and the morning chill that makes me enjoy the warmth of a cup of tea a lot more than I normally would. I am truly passionate about few things and tea is one of those things.
My mother would call this obsessive compulsive tea drinking, although she shouldn’t talk since she has her own ‘Tim Horton’s coffee drinking issues’.
This is my brilliant, handmade Tea Basket. The basket was a gift from my best friend in support of my tea
addiction obsession habit and it is somehow big enough to hold all of my loose tea.
Lets take a look inside. None of you are allowed to judge my tea obsession, because tea is my comfort drink. This is also unashamed Davids Tea promotion.
Look at all the glorious loose tea, and before you ask – yes I drink ALL of them on a semi-regular basis. For the record: I drink, on average, five to seven cups of tea a day and some of those envelopes don’t have more than a few teaspoons worth of tea left in them, because sometimes a tea gets discontinued before I can stock up on it, so I save what’s left for special occasions or really bad days.
This is my Tea Shelf and YES those ARE rubber ducky tea infusers that make me irrationally happy every time I use them. Also – the wooden box is FULL of prepackaged tea and those boxes of Lipton tea are the only ones I could actually fit on the shelf. Some people think I have a problem. I think I am keen on keeping myself sane and happy through sheer force of will and lots of tea.
Here are some of my absolute favorite teas to drink during Autumn.
Pumpkin Chai is my ALL TIME FAVORITE Autumn tea and makes me feel like a fuzzy ball of warmth. How can you resist the delicious pumpkin taste and tiny adorable pumpkin sprinkles? This tea is seasonal and I have a feeling that if David’s Tea DID discontinue it, there would be a rebellion.
Mulberry Magic comes as a close second. There’s something about the macadamia nuts and the overall sweet taste of the mulberry leaves that I really like.
Buttered Rum also makes the list because of the coconut and the fact that if I’m having a super bad day I can have the good taste of rum without somehow becoming a raging alcoholic.
Everyone should try each of those tea’s at least once. I understand that there are a lot of people who are NOT tea drinkers, but I like to think that’s because they haven’t found the right tea yet. (If someone offers you a cup of King Cole tea – you should RUN AWAY.) Tea makes me happy and I want to share my happiness with everyone. I really should be a Tea Dealer; not to be confused with a drug dealer. Drugs are bad.