Why ‘Self-Care’ Is Important for Everyone

When some people think of the term ‘self-care’, their minds only go to spas, manicures, scented baths and retail therapy. To a lot of folks who haven’t taken a minute to think about it, he whole concept seems to have connotations of (a) frivolousness or stereotypical feminine activities and, relatedly (b) being something for women.

Now, that’s not just narrow-minded and sexist… it’s also just wrong. It can take all kinds of forms, and it’s crucial for everyone to take some time for themselves. And, ironically, just taking a minute to think about things is what it all comes down to…

dogs

Pictured: self-care experts.

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Making an Event out of Driving

With freezing rain blanketing Toronto today, it seemed like an appropriate time to share some thoughts I’d been having recently – in light of conversations with various people about distracted driving, self-driving cars, and the like.

It boils down to a philosophy of mine that’s strange for some, seemingly downright alien to others, but so important to my daily life: making each time I go out for a drive an event.

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The Responsibility to Pets

It’s Friend’s Day, so I thought it was great time to talk about our four-legged friends, and in particular, our responsibility to them.

Nothing makes me more scared than the thought of not being able to look after a pet when they need it most, for the simple reason that pets are family. And, frankly, people who don’t get that have no business owning one.

Blunt, but fair? This is why I think so…

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Learning Japanese…

Over the weekend, I took my first steps to learning some basic Japanese in preparation for our big trip.

We both bought memberships to JapanesePod101, and I’m really liking it so far – clear layout, big variety of topics to pick from, and good video/audio resources.

Less approachable is Japanese itself. Most people probably don’t even thing about it, but most languages don’t treat all sounds equally. Japanese is a mora-timed language instead of a stress-timed one; each part of a word gets the same emphasis, and takes the same amount of time to say.

I posted on Facebook; “oh, it’s not that bad, I just have to re-learn HOW TO TALK!”. Just try saying words with clear emphasis (com-PU-ter, po-TAY-to) quickly and smoothly without emphasizing any of the syllables. Learning that karaoke is pronounced kahrowkey instead of kah-RE-oh-key is maybe the biggest system shock for many beginners!

One saving grace? Japanese has the fewest unique sounds of any language, so you don’t have to do too many tongue contortions.

Oh, and Japanese has three alphabets. (“because of-****ing-course it does!” goes my Facebook live commentary). In truth, the two native alphabets (katakana and hiragana) are pretty intuitive – they look different, and are used from different things, but they’re both formed from the same vowels + a consonant. My friends say they’re actually more logical than the English alphabet! The other alphabet used in Japanese is Kanji – imported Chinese characters which symbolize entire words. There’s thousands of them.

I’m having fun learning basic spoken Japanese, but I’m probably not going to pick the the Kanji by the time we leave!

January as a New Start

With the New Year and everyone making ‘Resolutions,’ there was also the requisite posts and articles about how resolutions suck and don’t work, and a few click bait ones that say “you don’t need to change on the New Year, you need to always be changing.”

As someone who is always striving to improve, although I agree with the latter sentiment I think that it is still harmful to the concept to say starting with the new year is stupid.

And as someone who uses every January as a “Fresh Start” herself, I’m here to defend the concept, and the month, from these people constantly trying to ridicule and knock it down – as well as encourage those who may be frightened off to still take the opportunity that lies within.

Time to getter' done!! (image from riskology.co).

Time to getter’ done!! (image from riskology.co).

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