Happiness is…

…a brown dog that greets you at the door each day with just as much excitement as the first time you met.

…a brown dog that forces you to take a walk in nature no matter how bad your day has been.

 

image

Powder, my chocolate lab, resting for a moment during one of our walks.

 

Saturday morning ravine clean-up

I’ve been spending more time outdoors these past couple of weeks and I must say that the 30×30 challenge does a great job of jabbing me in the butt when I’ve spent too much time on the couch.

We live along a lovely ravine, but sadly there are parts littered with garbage. So, this past Saturday, Bruce and I pulled on some gloves and headed out to clean-up the South East Corner of the Etobicoke Creek just under the bridge on Burnhamthorpe Road. We spent about 90 minutes and pulled out close to two and a half bags of litter from the area. To say we did our part for nature would be ridiculous, because there was still garbage to be gathered from the area just beyond the one we had cleaned.

To be honest, I was disheartened by the end of the clean-up. I left feeling a little depressed that the people who dropped their litter will only be back to unthinkingly repopulate the recently cleaned area with their trash.

A fool’s errand?

Cleaning-up

Post clean-up

Making Moments Matter

Last year, I rode 50K for The Healing Cycle – in aid of funding for palliative care in Ontario. It was my first 50K bike ride ever and, in truth, I wasn’t quite sure what I’d signed up for. You see, I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was well into my 30s (go ahead, you can laugh 😀 ), and I am, to this day, not comfortable riding on the main streets of any city. So, 50K along the major roads of Caledon, Ontario, gave me the shivers, never mind the endurance challenge.

The Healing Cycle is a charity my organization – Investment Planning Counsel (IPC) – has supported for eight years running now. So, I decided to join the ride in 2015. Many times along the route that hot summer’s day last June, I wanted to just stop and pack it in. I didn’t. You see, I was riding with a fabulous team of fellow IPC-ers. And despite their ability to ride faster than me, they hung back to help me make it through. Each time my energy started to wane, or when I wanted to quit because that next hill looked resolutely impossible, they would urge me on. One of my team-mates dished out pieces of soft candy – something he said was packed with caffeine or some such thing that put the energy right back into my legs. So, with their support, I pushed on. And here’s the best part, I was lagging quite desperately in the last 10 kilometers or so but, as I turned the final corner, I found my team waiting for me so we could pull into the finish line together. They made my ride. 🙂

IMG_20150621_114018.jpg

My fabulous 50K Ride Team: Fellow IPC-ers -Varun Sood, Randy Wagowsky and Mona Troscolan.

So, I’ll be riding again this June. 50K. Once again along the streets of Caledon.

I’m lucky enough never to have had anyone in my family need palliative care here in Ontario (yet). This year, as I did last year, I ride in memory of my godchild -Marissa. Marissa was a beautiful child whose body endured more pain than I ever thought fair over her 15+ years. But she always wore a smile and she taught me more about love and patience than I could ever have known. Although Marissa never lived in Canada, I ride in her honour for the families of children like her who may (at some point) need the care and support of Ontario’s palliative healthcare services.

DSC04262 (1).jpg

Marissa and I on our last holiday trip together.

Life, after all, is about making the moments you have with the people you love matter.

I invite you to join me as a fellow rider for The Healing Cycle or to consider supporting my ride with a donation.

Read how The Healing Cycle was started and its impact in the community so far.

Click to donate on my personal fund-raising page.

Thank you for your support.

Love,

Evelyn

 

Happiness is…

…spending Saturday afternoon with your favourite person exploring a trendy Toronto neighbourhood.

image

Ok, I’m not an artist but I’ve always wished I could draw. So, I figured, I’d bring out the closet wannabe artist in me and start a series of my own doodle art through a corresponding series of “Happiness is…” posts (h/t to Charles Schulz for the original “Happiness Is” series). I think some daily self-reflection on the positive things about life is always a good thing.  I’ll consider this a stress reliever and an  opportunity to explore my creative side. Before you say it, no, I won’t be giving up my day job. 🙂

As it was a lovely Saturday, we took the car for a toddle through the city and found ourselves in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood. After enjoying a scrumptious lunch at Pizzeria Defina (the Pizza Expo was as delicious as our waiter professed it to be – a must try), we walked the streets and wandered into the various home deco stores there. I now want to redecorate!

I’d love to hear your ‘happiness is’ moments and/or what you do to beat the daily stresses in life.

Have a wonderful Sunday and a lovely Mother’s Day all!