Hope is not a simple minded concept.
Hope is an essential part of being human. As I have said here before, hope is being open to surprise and hope has no deadline.
I am writing this blog on Feb 1st, the start of the Lunar New Year and like all new year’s this one is about fresh starts and new opportunities. The Tiger year offers hope along with challenges – while the tiger can be hot-headed it is also a symbol of energy and courage.
As most of you know, per last week’s blog post, I am on Vancouver Island with my granddaughter. As we made our way from Ottawa- Vancouver- Victoria- Gabriola Island, each step was something a little different to look forward to.
A reader kindly brought this to my attention:
“I was listening to a therapist on the radio who works with young people, and she mentioned that she sees a change in the outlook of people experiencing burnout simply by asking the question of where they would go on holiday if they were given a plane ticket.
If that question can lift our spirits I can only imagine that actually going away can be so helpful. After reading your post, I actually booked myself a weekend up at an eco centre for the Family Day weekend, and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it.” (thank you Emma)
And yes, this sojourn has been good medicine. I am grateful to have this chance to be in a different place. A change of scenery, weather, people, and things to learn and to do. At this very minute I am on the second floor typing away on my laptop looking out into the trees and looking down into the Coast Salish Sea. My eyes look across the water to UBC and then look to the right and see the golden sun hi-lighting the reddish bark of the arbutus trees. I can lose myself in this beauty. My spirit, furthermore, is revived just being in this place.
And yet, friends who live on this beautiful coast also want a change. As they described their upcoming trip in March, their faces lit up with anticipation. And they added, we all need something to look forward to.
Many trips have been cancelled and postponed this past two years but no reason to abandon them. A Cornell study showed how planning a trip positively impacts our mental health, much like the psychologist mentioned in the previous quote. So we can go ahead and make a plan – one day we may get to go.
So here is a question for you?
Where would you go if someone gave you a plane ticket? We all know that Covid is a factor, but for fun let’s assume it’s all systems go by this summer. How about posting your choice in the comments or send me a note. It can just be a place with no explanation, or you can tell us more.
Please answer this question for yourself or put it in the comments. What took your breath away this week? And if you live in Ottawa the “cold” is not what I am referring to. ha ha
And if nothing took your breath away, be alert this next week for something wonderful that warms your heart, grabs your attention or brings a tear to your eye. Best not to be too fussy at first. There are so many wonders in the world that we simply fail to notice. We can start right where we are.
Once we start noticing we will always have something to look forward to from the moment we open our eyes in the morning. A practice pretty much guaranteed to improve all of our lives. (even though I can’t abide formulas I like that one. We all need exceptions to our rules)
1:) Gong hei fat choy which means ‘Wishing you happiness and prosperity,’ in Cantonese. I wish this for everyone and especially for my readers who celebrate this special time. We will get to celebrate this event with friends on Sunday night. Grateful.
2:) Here is a link to an inspiring morning ritual that helped one Canadian woman and eventually inspired many, around the world, to get through Covid. Thanks to Liz, one of our readers. Worth watching through to the end. CBC
3:) We have a treasure trove this week thanks to our readers. This time from Janice K. A CBC interview with Matt Galloway and Kathryn Schultz. Kathryn has a new book Lost and Found and I suspect you will want to read more after you listen here. You may know Kathryn as a writer with The New Yorker and a previous book I loved called “On Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margins of Error.”
4:) With heartfelt thanks for your kindness and encouragement. See you next week and all my best wishes, Trudy
PS I wrote my blog early as this Wednesday will be a beautifully packed day. I was going to wait to send it out but now that it is past midnight in Ottawa decided to go for it.