Daily Journey Journal #348: mother’s day

From May 10, 2015

You are the wisest person I know,

The most considerate and compassionate.

Your experiences span worlds,

Cross mountains, bridge valleys.

There is no problem to which

You have no solution,

No need which

You do not answer.

Your selflessness as touched

Countless lives,

Changing them for the better.

Your energy inspires,

Your passion encourages,

Your belief unites,

And your kindness brings joy.

You are my Mother

And for that, I know I am lucky.

Never will there be another

As wise, as kind, as inspiring,

As passionate and energetic,

As wonderful

As you.

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Daily Journey Journal #308: runner girl

From March 31, 2015

Run-ner Girl! Run-ner Girl!

In my head, I’m chanting the words over and over again, even though today is just the She’s A Runner Girl program coaches’ meeting. I am so excited for the program to start that even though I am completely and utterly exhausted, I am thrilled for yet another activity to be beginning in my life.

Runner Girl is near and dear to my heart. As a runner, running is something I love to encourage others in doing. I recognize that running may not be for everyone, in that not everyone enjoys it as much as I do, but I do believe that no matter who you are, running can make a difference in your life. And, this is what Runner Girl is all about. We aim to empower girls through running and help them to learn skills that will help them to become confident, determined women. Some people may question if this is possible, but I am here to tell you, it for sure is.

When I was just beginning junior high, my mum signed me up for cross country. That first practice kicked my butt, but I had made a deal with my mum that I would at least try it for one season and then I didn’t have to do it again if I didn’t want to.

Well, I went back the next year. And the next. And the next. The running never got easier, but I got faster and fell in love with it. I learned that if I set my heart and mind on a goal I made, that I could reach it with enough practice, patience and effort. Running taught me about determination. It showed me what I was capable of if I believed in myself and tried my best. Running taught me how to set challenging, yet achievable goals. It showed me how rewarding it was to do something simply for myself. Running helped me connect with others. It gave me something to be good at and in doing so, boosted my confidence. That confidence is what I needed to come out of my shell of shyness.

Running made a huge difference in my life, and it was one of the things that prompted my mum to start the Runner Girls program with one of her fellow running friends. Now, five years later, our program reaches out to seventy girls in our community. For six weeks, we play games, run together and talk about health, goals and self-efficacy. After six weeks we join the community in running a 5K and it is truly amazing to see the difference in our girls. The grins on their faces when they cross the finish line, having reached their goals, is simply priceless.

Daily Journey Journal #275: small gestures

From February 26, 2015

Today was one of those days where I was starting to feel a bit down about humanity in general. It seemed that everywhere I looked there was negativity and rudeness. A bumper-sticker on a truck I passed going to work ridiculed a celebrity for her weight while throwing gun politics in the reader’s face. Drivers cut each other off. Something I saw on Facebook critiqued women’s fashion sense, insinuating that women should only wear what men find attractive. Derogatory comments bounced around the real and virtual worlds. People seemed to be looking for ways to dig at one another…

It just felt that everything was a bit gloomy, a bit off. Then I went to get my haircut and everything changed. This sounds silly, I know, but bare with me.

It was a cold, snowy afternoon, the kind that chills you through and through. A is working out of the main part of town and takes the car to work, so I walked to get my haircut. When I arrived, the man who cuts my hair, Dar*, was sharing a joke with one of his customers. Their laughter filled the small shop and it brought a smile to my face.The brightness and warmth of the shop, the joyful conversation blocked out everything else.

The day and gloom melted off me as they finished their conversation. It reminded me of another cold winter day when I had come in and Dar helped an elderly woman to her car, just to make sure she didn’t fall in the parking lot. It reminded me that good people are everywhere and that Dar is one such person. He remembers his customers’ faces, knows their stories, cares about them beyond their monetary amount. He treats each person as a neighbor, as a friend. And today, his kindness went beyond simply getting a haircut.

He trimmed my hair per usual, with us chatting back and forth. As he was finished, he asked if I would be walking home. I said I would and he wondered how far I would be going, given that it was snowing and blowing, and that my hair would be damp. I told him that I lived across town and said it wouldn’t be too bad. I would just bundle up. He would have none of that though, especially when we realized that we live in the same neighborhood, on the same street, in fact. And so, when my appointment was finished, he closed up for the night and took me home, just because that is who he is.

Small gestures can change so much in a day. Today, Dar turned my whole perspective around and reminded me that good people are everywhere, you just have to open your eyes and heart to see them, and ignore the rest of the hub-bub.

*this is not his real name, for the sake of privacy

 

Daily Journey Journal #253: Spanish 1010

From February 4, 2015

Language is a beautiful thing. It opens doors to new places, new insights, new perspectives. Learning multiple languages is one of the most important things you can learn, at least in my opinion, because it opens up possibilities that you never knew existed and it makes you more aware of the world beyond your own.

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who practically absorbs language. It would be so amazing to be able to talk to people all over the world and to be confident doing so. Alas, I am not a super language sponge, but rather I tend to slog through it, letting bits of it cling to me and then collect the pieces into a shamble of knowledge. This manner of learning doesn’t lend itself to making me particularly confident when speaking a language besides English, but I am not daunted by it either. In fact, I find learning another language to be incredibly enjoyable, so much so that I am starting learning a second foreign language: Spanish.

This week marked the start of my first semester long Spanish course, and I am just loving it. The instructor is fantastically energetic and interesting, and having studied French for 10 years, I’m finding many similarities between the two languages. What I am loving most however, is the insight into many Spanish speaking countries, of which the instructor has visited almost all. He is consequently full of travel stories and I love hearing about all his (mis)adventures in South America. They open a new door of possibility for me to pond and I think I might just know where our next grand adventure might take us…

 

 

Daily Journey Journal #251: looking forward smiling

A busy life is a full life, a happy life. At least, that is true for me. Sure, busy can mean stress, but it also means I’m not sitting around twiddling my thumbs, which is the worse possible thing for me to have to do. I’m not good at down time and prefer to fill it with anything and everything. So, that’s what I’m doing and as of today I feel like I’m starting to hit my stride again. My days are filling with patterns, habits, challenges and activities that bring me great joy and have me looking forward to each coming day. As such, tonight I’d like to take a moment to note the things I am most looking forward to this week and express my gratitude for these opportunities.

1. Spanish class- I just started tonight and my instructor is fantastically energetic. This is going to be such a fun class!

2. Graphic design class- I have wanted to explore this area for quite some time and am thrilled to have the opportunity to do so.

3. Valentine’s Day Art and Music Event- This is the 4th year of the event and I am entering some of my photos from Korea for my very first public showing.

4. Talking about Korea- On Wednesday I get to meet with an new acquaintance to talk about teaching in Korea and share my love of it.

5. Dance class- Last week A and I made some major improvements in learning the Lindy Hop and I’m pretty psyched to dance some more.

6. Social Media Marketing Plan- My new position is a little flexible with what I need to work on, and as social media is my area of experience, I’m looking forward to starting a strong social media presence for our organization.

7. Starting a new book- Last month I joined a virtual book club and just finished the book. While it was inspiring and interesting, this week I’m looking forward to diving back into some fiction.

Happy Monday! I hope you have a fantastic week!