Each Day A New Opportunity

@sspellmancann taken on my walk today

Each day we have a new opportunity to look at our life from a new perspective. We are never sure what life will bring us as is evident from this pandemic and all that happens to people we love and know. No one gets through life without bumps along the way. No matter what challenges we may encounter , how we perceive them is up to us.

As I walk, I notice the world around me and have time to reflect on how I will deal with life. Today is my opportunity to devour all the goodness that life has to offer and so I will.

Love and Louisbourg

34 years ago today. I was fortunate to marry a man I respect in Louisbourg , Nova Scotia. He is the best human being I know. He has always encouraged me to be who I am and treats all those he meets with kindness. Our children have been the recipients of his unwavering love. He is the role model I wished for , for our children.

As Leo Buscaglia says , “too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or a small act of caring ,all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

The many moments of caring are the reason we have shared 34 years together.

The Simple Pleasures

There are many simple pleasures in life, living life at a slower pace is one. When in Cape Breton life seems to slow down even in the best of times.

I start walking a bit slower when I get off of the plane during my yearly venture to enjoy the summers in beautiful Cape Breton.

A few of my favourite simple pleasures are :

  1. Getting up early looking out at the water and enjoying my first cup of tea.
  2. Watching the boats go by.
  3. Seeing kids water skiing or being pulled on a tube while shouting with glee.
  4. Reading a good book or magazine while soaking in the sun.
  5. Swimming in the Mira and taking a walk along the shore of any beach in Nova Scotia.
  6. Spending an evening with our kids one in their 20’s the other in their 30’s.
  7. Enjoying a meal cooked by our adult children.
  8. Eating outside on a warm summer eve.
  9. Spending time with friends anytime, anyway.
  10. Appreciating all in life that I have to be grateful for.

I love being around our children who are now young adults. Yesterday I got to spend time with my daughter. We cooked together, played crazy eights, and Yahtzee thoroughly enjoying each other’s company. What simpler pleasure could there be than that?

Today Was One Of Those Days

Is there anything better than a beautiful summer day on a beach? Well the beach for me is peaceful especially in self isolation when it is 2 minutes away. How grateful am I to pack my beach bag and walk downstairs and enjoy the day. Today was one of those days that I will look back on in the dead of winter and be grateful that it was one of those days that I can visualize and remember that no matter what is happening in the world, at this moment all was and is glorious.

Live Each Day

Every now and then I can get off track and do not celebrate each day. I think most of us know how precious life is , but sometimes we take it for granted. I have experienced too many losses in my life not to be fully cognizant of the value of each day. Each day I am reminded of the people in my life that have struggles and life may be cut short for them due to medical concerns.

Today, I embraced life fully. I appreciated all the moments of this beautiful day. I did not think of the sorrows, but of the joys of living and I need to remind myself to do this as often as possible. There are some I know who look at life as if they are dying instead of truly living. I want to always truly live each day no matter what life places in front of me.

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.

Friendship Lifts Me Up

Processed with MOLDIV

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.

Processed with MOLDIV

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.