We All Need Something to Look Forward To

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)

Morning has broken

Good medicine

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.

What took your breath away this week?

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.

16 replies
  1. Kathryn
    Kathryn says:

    Good morning.

    You sound great Trudy.

    I may go to visit the Sufis in the Ozarks. Attended a sharing presence retreat with them this weekend and it was healing. We sat for vast amounts of time not speaking. All of us in our own abodes.

    Nothing took my breath away this week however I’m kayaking most of the day tomorrow and that will change.

    With metta (loving kindness)

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      How lovely to hear from you Kathryn. Your plan sounds great. And unique. Enjoy your kayaking day. Bound to have some beautiful moments out on the water. Thanks for your message. Enjoy. Best wishes, Trudy

  2. Janice
    Janice says:

    Thanks to your sharing of les petits bonheurs some years ago, I practice looking for what takes my breath away, or at least catches my attention, on a daily basis. There are so many opportunities if we have our senses open to receive them. The Schulz interview on loss is well worth listening to. Thanks for all you offer Trudy. much love, Janice

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thanks for your encouraging words dear Janice. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I look forward to now reading Schultz’s Lost and Found.
      Warmest wishes and see you later this month. Trudy

  3. Patti Morris
    Patti Morris says:

    My new mountain home is doing exactly what I had hoped … making me fall in love with winter again. Yesterday, I was outside at 5:30 shoveling while beautiful flakes continued to fall around me. Some may question the wisdom of shoveling while it was snowing, but for me, I couldn’t stop smiling. The crisp fresh air, the soft snow, the silhouette of the mountains all lifted me. The joy of the day was punctuated by a frosty run later.

    Thanks for asking this question, Trudy. It is something we should ask ourselves often. What took your breath away today?

    I am so glad that you and your beautiful granddaughter are soaking in Vancouver Island. Enjoy!

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Your beautiful post made me wake up once again to the joyful moments of winter. I can picture you out there. Reminds me of the Billy Collins poem “ Shovelling Snow with Buddha.”

      Thank you Patti!! This beautiful scene is dancing around in my mind as I watch the eagles soaring by. It is a wonder! This “full catastrophe” world, as Zorba sums it up.
      Hugs all around to you and the lovely readers of this blog. Trudy

  4. Jean
    Jean says:

    I would go back to u.k.and all the small villages.national hikrs and historic sites.what took my breath away……a primula showing her pretty greennery snove alberta dirty snow.🤗

  5. Helen Wirrell
    Helen Wirrell says:

    Hi Trudy,
    How wonderful to share this experience of beauty with your granddaughter.
    For me, I’d choose to go to Vancouver Island also – and either continue on to Cortes Island or just stay in a wonderful little resort close to Ladysmith.
    Enjoy your renewal of hope,

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      What a lovely surprise dear Helen. Thanks for stopping by. I love your plans. You can’t go wrong coming to Vancouver island and the Gulf islands. Hope you make it. Big germ free hugs, Trudy

  6. Pat Scanlan
    Pat Scanlan says:

    Good Morning Trudy. I would be standing on the very top of a high mountain in Norway. Before me is a vista of green trees, high mountains, below a small village welcomes the end of a long Fiord. A waterfall near by provides the music for the day; the air is crisp and cold, the sun is up there but not providing any warmth yet. Today a small boat will take me to the other end of the Fiord. I will experience the beauty of a country that fills me with wonder and joy. And wonder yesterday was watching a video of Emma’s mouse in Hyde Park zooming along under the snow eventually ending up at a hole where it probably lives. Enjoy Gabriola!!

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Oh my dear Pat. That sounds amazing! I’ve never been to Norway but it sounds wondrous and magical.
      The mouse part, on the other hand, I am happy to miss. Haha Thanks so much for this beautiful and poetic description of one of your favourite places. Warmly, Trudy

  7. Flora Malig
    Flora Malig says:

    Thanks Trudy for wonderful article! What took my breath away this week: I joined a photography group: Calgary Through My Lens and the first assignment was to convince myself that I like the blue ring on 96 Ave North (overlooking Deerfoot). Five from the group decided to meet last Saturday on the site and we took pictures. It became a group outing with a great weather to be outside for about two hours. It was nice to use again my DSLR camera after more than 7 years of not touching it and relive my love of photography. Through the use of an editing app, I was able to submit convincing photos that the blue ring was beautiful! Now, l look forward for more shots around Calgary.

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      What a great experience Flora. Wonderful example of getting absorbed into a task as well.it’s so interesting how with a shift of attention you can see beauty in something ordinary. And what fun to do this with others. Thanks so much for telling us about it. Inspiring! May you continue to take in new wonders through your lens.Best wishes, Trudy

  8. Purdy Mackenzie
    Purdy Mackenzie says:

    Oh Trudy, a simple thank you for your reminder to soak it all in. I was out at Mt. Shark this weekend and bringing up the tail end of our group with one other. At the top of a very big hill, I stopped and looked off at the snow capped mountains. I remarked to a fellow skier, I just had to stop to take in the beauty. Often, I’ll grab my phone for a pic – but not this time. I rested in the moment full of gratitude to be there. I can close my eyes at this moment and feel it. Have a wonderful remainder of your trip west. I am planning a trip to Vancouver Island in March to visit my sons. In the meanwhile, I’m living the beauty here – whatever the weather. Sending love, Purdy

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      What imagery dear Purdy. The mountains are awe inspiring. Today it is another sunny day on Van Island and looking out at the water and surrounding small islands always inspires hopefulness and gratefulness. Such beauty. Thanks so much for your note. Made my day even better. Warmly, Trudy


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