Life … Look For The Small Things

The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention

J Burroughs

As each day passes I continue to look for the little things in life because really the little things are the big things.

The way you treat a friend.

The smile that you give someone.

The kindness that you show.

How you interact in the world.

The moments you make matter.

The way you listen.

The time you take.

The way you count your blessings.

The ways you find to live, love and laugh.

Love Leadership and Lacrosse

 I love lacrosse! Thanks to my past team mates Jane Walsh and Elaine McMullin Descoteaux for inviting me to do a keynote for female  national box lacrosse championship players in 2017. It was an opportunity for me to give back and share my love of the sport. Lacrosse always has been my most favourite sport of the many that I have played.

I started playing lacrosse around 47 years ago (yes, females played lacrosse back then) in Shannon Park Wallis Heights with coaches Cliff Friesen and Donald Koharski. I have so many great memories of those days, We were lucky enough to play lacrosse in Ontario ,the CNE and in Vancouver, We went on to win the NS championships in 1973, so many fun memories.

Today I am a registered Psychologist, I was an educator for the past 40 years and I retired as a School Counsellor in a self- directed High School in Calgary three years ago this June.

None of that would have been possible without lacrosse. In 1976 I was awarded a lacrosse Scholarship from Canada Fitness and Amateur Sport . It paid for most of my University Education. I am so, so grateful for that today!

Lacrosse shaped my future. 

I stopped playing lacrosse a year ago, but would play drop in if it were still on today. I  joined again as an adult in 2008 and loved every moment. I am 61 years old and I played for the Calgary Women’s Master Lacrosse league until I was 60. I can’t run …. but boy can I shoot Tracy Klusky past captain of the Calgary Roughnecks once told me I had golden hands! I’m also really good at being a cherry picker …

Here is a video I put together a while back about the love of the game.

I hope all young lacrosse players think about these 5 things

  1. Find your purpose
  2. Play for the love of the sport , play for a lifetime
  3. Be Passionate
  4. Persevere
  5. Pay it Forward

Find your purpose and be the leader you can be. You can be a leader on and off the floor. I would like to encourage young women worldwide to play this great sport!!!! Not only young women, but moms too. Yes, and dad’s too.

If there isn’t a team where you live START ONE . If there isn’t a scholarship to be found CREATE ONE or find someone who can. We live in a world where social media CAN be used for good SO DO IT be a good digital citizen and connect with others who want the best for young women in sports.

Did you know that 44% of girls between the ages of 3-17 don’t participate in sports? 84% of adult women don’t participate in sports at all. WE CAN CHANGE that stat TODAY. For those of you playing, you are the lucky ones because you get to play the greatest game on earth. So get out there PROMOTE this great game. YOU CAN BE A LEADER. According to Anita Franklin of the IOC “When a young woman athlete triumphs, she has become a role model for her family, her community and even her country” I KNOW YOU CAN TOO!

PLAY FOR THE LOVE OF THE SPORT and do it lifelong IF I CAN … YOU CAN TOO! Play fair , play respectfully and play hard.

BE PASSIONATE and always be kind. Life will give you back tenfold what you have given out.  Passionate people according to research are happier and experience greater well being. My passions have afforded me great friendships, lifelong friendships that I treasure to this day. We have had so much fun together because of sport.

PERSEVERE when you persevere in sports and in life you get back up and keep going. Life throws us all challenges. We are all going to make mistakes and that’s OK  that is the way we learn. Lacrosse taught me to never give up!

PAY IT FORWARD you will learn many lessons through lacrosse. You can pay it forward by helping others. Maybe you will coach or volunteer in some capacity or maybe you will find small ways to give back, but make sure you just do it!

ONE PERSON CAN INDEED MAKE A PROFOUND DIFFERENCE that person could be YOU.

OUR NATIONAL SUMMER SPORT IS THE BEST.

I hope you as young women who play lacrosse go out there and make a difference not just in lacrosse, but in life and remember all the things that lacrosse has given you.! Sports helped me become a better human being and i hope some of you who read this will find that sports does that for you too be it lacrosse or any other sport, many of which I have loved and played like lacrosse, ringette, hockey, basketball, volleyball, baseball, and my latest love pickleball.

I hope you just play … it’s great for your overall well being. and it’s just plain fun!

Living Each Day

It isn’t always easy living each day to the fullest especially when life throws you some unexpected troubles or sorrows.  However, when life becomes uncertain, it can be the best time to breathe deeply and take life one minute, one hour or one day at a time.

Self talk comes in handy when I am feeling uneasy. I focus, take a deep breath and say to myself, I can get through this next ten minutes if I just remain calm and remind myself that I am strong . If I focus on just getting through the day it helps. Just for Today I can … makes life more manageable for me.

Just for Today I will look for the moments to be grateful knowing that living each day with gratitude helps me to be the kind of person that I wish to be. I am grateful I got on an airplane today , even though I was nervous about doing so. I focused on my breathing and other things so that time would fly by and it did. I arrived safely at my destination knowing that I would be in my little piece of heaven Out on The Mira.

What are your best tips for living each day fully?

Those People Who Make You Laugh

I am not a very funny person. Occasionally I can say something very funny, but it does not come naturally to me. Maybe that is why I love being around funny people . Our daughter is very funny. She has always made me laugh right from the very early days. I think I laughed every day the first two years she was born . I delighted in all the funny things she did. Today she is a great story teller and often has funny stories about her mother and it makes me laugh so hard that I can barely speak (even though she embellishes them a bit).

“I think one of my favourite feelings is laughing with someone & realizing half way through how much you enjoy them and their existence.”
~Unknown Author

I have been fortunate to be surrounded by many who I could put in this category. Those people that make you laugh, they are the best.

Music Makes A Difference

Whether it is singing in the shower or singing in a virtual choir the joy I feel singing means the world to me. In the past couple of months I have been very fortunate to participate in two virtual choirs and I loved the experience. Let me tell you it is not as easy as it looks. It challenges me in a different way , but it was worth it to be part of these experiences. We Are The World Nova Scotia has special significance as it was finished during a tragic time for a place and people that I love.

Enjoy…

Second Chants Lean On Me can be watched here. I hope you get a chance to sing and experience how music can make a difference in your life. If you’d like to learn more bout Youth Singers and Second Chants check it out here.

Exploring The Outdoors

I moved to Alberta 40 years ago in August with 500 dollars and 5 boxes. I knew no one who lived where I was about to go to start my teaching career,

I love this province and have happily chosen to make this my home. For the past while I have been exploring parks and places that I have never been to and today my friend Shivaun and I ventured out to Saskatoon Farm to start our day and what a glorious day it was.

There is so much to see as you wonder along in this beautiful space. Start your day with a homestyle breakfast and then explore and shop if you must.

After we spent the morning here we made our way out to beautiful Elbow Falls.

I have had many a picnic here when the kids were small. It will always be a special place that I love to go and sit by the water.

Then it was off to Bragg Creek for a little lunch and shopping. There weren’t many people in any of the shops, so I thoroughly loved browsing and eating outdoors on a patio. Today was amazing. I felt, yes I truly felt “normal” for the first time since Covid19. Being outdoors rejuvenates me and lifts my spirits. There are so many places to explore, but that will have to wait for the fall once I return to Alberta. My next venture Nova Scotia.

After I self isolate for 14 days I plan on exploring the Cape Breton outdoors. I look forward to exploring as many places to walk and stroll along beaches as I can. It’s good for the wellbeing and a lot of fun too.

So get out and explore the outdoors. Thanks to this period in time I am spending so much more time outdoors than in the past and for that I am grateful. Especially when I get to spend quality time with friends. Go ahead and enjoy the outdoors wherever you are.

Friendship Lifts Me Up

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If you know me you know how much friendship means to me. I am so fortunate to have walked along with so many friends during this time albeit from a distance. No matter, I have been able to connect and feel during those moments that everything was normal (well sort of) . I don’t know where i would be in life with out my friends. They bring me such great joy Friendships make everything in life look better. Even from a distance i have been able to maintain friendships. Thanks to zoom, facetime, email and phone calls. I miss those friends that I cannot physically be with but I would never want to lose those friendships as they make me a better person.

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One of my best friends lives away and I miss her every day, but when I see her it makes it even more special . I treasure those moments and I will even treasure them more from now on. I said to one of my friends who I saw just before the pandemic if I knew then what I know now ( that would be the last time we would see each other most likely for a long, long time) I would have stayed longer, hugged longer and just be present longer.

Friendships are so vital to my well being and I need to nurture them whether I can physically see the person or not. It’s been a bit tougher to do during the pandemic as I used to get together weekly with a group of friends I treasure, not so much now. As I move about through this pandemic I need to find ways to reconnect knowing that my life is enhanced when I do.

Friendship lifts me up, I hope it does for you too.

Awe

There are so many things that bring me awe. I am in awe of what some people are able to do. I am in awe of how people take life and live it so extraordinarily. I am in awe of people who have challenges that they overcome daily. I am in awe of parents who had to sacrifice much during this time. I am in awe of people who because of the colour of their skin have had to live life differently than those of us who live a privileged life. I am in awe of educators who have had to challenge themselves in ways they did not think possible. I am in awe of all the healthcare workers who are still forging forward to assist others especially during this challenging time. I am in awe of my friends and the people they are.

Each day I am in awe of the magnificent world in which we live even if right now things are not the way I wish they would be. I am grateful for each day that I get to discover or learn something new. I am in awe of you today Paul Signoreli and the way you use words beautifully to express yourself. Thanks for the inspiration for todays post. Awe.

What Makes Walking So Special?

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Each day I walk I am grateful for the ability to do so. So many cannot or are unable to. I have the privilege of being able to walk and so I do as much and as often as I can. When I am out and about it allows me a space in my day to enjoy the outdoors , reflect on life as well as connect from a distance with friends. So many have wanted to join me on this journey this year and while I absolutely enjoy my walks alone, I also love walking along and talking to friends. Such a great way to catch up and get exercise too.

I never take my life for granted knowing that each day is precious. Walking daily adds special moments that I look forward to each and every day. I get to explore my city and am going on paths that I have not taken in my forty years of living in this beautiful city. What makes walking so special ? It clears my mind and nourishes me physically, mentally and spiritually. I hope it can do that for you too.