94. Get a Tailor-made Suit

For those who know me, they know that I am not one who dresses up very often. The last time I wore a suit was about 4 years ago, and the last time I purchased a suit was even longer ago. This past weekend I attended a beautiful wedding in Ottawa, and knew I had to wear a suit to such a fancy affair. So, a few weeks ago, I went and got measured up, and had a suit (two suits actually) tailored to my size and fit. Last night, I had the opportunity to finally wear one of these suits.

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I think I pulled it off quite well, and it helped that I had a beautiful lady standing next to me to make it look even better. Look good, feel good.

78. Try Stand Up Paddle Boarding

This past weekend, I got an opportunity to try something I have been looking forward to for a while now. The first time I saw someone on a Stand Up Paddle board (SUP for short), I thought that is something that I’d really like to do, and the added benefit of a workout was just a bonus.

For over a year I struggled with a shoulder injury, and couldn’t really paddle without aggravating my shoulder any further. Then last year I was recovering from my shoulder surgery and wasn’t cleared to attempt something like this.

So, this summer I made it a point to get out and achieve this goal. Fortunately enough for me, I just so happened to be invited to a cottage in Tasso Lake that owned a SUP board, and I was overly excited to get out on one for the first time.

The weather was perfect, and the water was beautiful (maybe a little cold to some). At first I found myself to be a little wobbly on the board, but after finding the right spot to find my balance, I was off. I must have spent over 2 hours exploring the lake and enjoying the weather (possibly a little too much, as I was pretty sun burned that night), all while getting a pretty good workout.

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I Can’t wait to try this again next summer, and go out more often. It was a great experience and I am thankful for the opportunity to eventually get out on the water and try SUP boarding.

Get 100,000 Page Views

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Huzzah! Finally reached 100,000 page views! Pretty cool to see, and I am humbled by it all. A big thank you to everyone who keeps coming back, has only visited a few times, or just randomly stumbled upon my small project at some point.

The last few months have been a little slow, but I promise there is more to come and I will return to more regular posts. There are a few goals in the works as well, and I will be crossing those off at some point this summer…so stay tuned.
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Time to celebrate this accomplishment with a little dance!dance

My Happiness

After completing my 30 Days of Happiness project, I have come to the realization that I am the creator of my own happiness. My happiness is a product of my circumstances, and what I choose to make of my situation; my happiness does not depend on other people.

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“The purpose of our life is to be happy.” – Dalai Lama

So, here is what made me happy over the last 30 days… Continue reading

44. Pay A Strangers Bill

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This is one of those goals I set that I was never really comfortable with in publishing when I originally came up with my list. I don’t believe that random acts of kindness are things that should be publicized, because you are taking away from the act itself, and putting more of the act on yourself instead.

There are websites that promote random acts of kindness, but people will only submit their acts for the recognition, when the act should really be an anonymous gesture of kindness to your fellow human. It is not about promoting yourself as being a good human being.

Anyway, today while at work I found $50, and because there was no way of finding out who lost this money in such a public space, I decided that the best way to disperse my new findings was to not take joy in it myself, but instead to pay that good fortune forward. I decided to buy lunch for 3 individuals and drinks for another random 2 on my way home from work.

I didn’t deserve to keep this money for myself, so the best way to spend my new-found fortune was to share it with others, in hope that they would recognize my kindness and some day pay it forward themselves. I didn’t want anything from this money, except the hope that others would take some small joy in a random act of kindness.

I am still not comfortable in writing about this, and it wasn’t a large sum of money, but I hope that if anyone takes anything from this, they too will recognize the joy and happiness in sharing the wealth and paying it forward. Today (day 12 of my 30 days of Happiness) was a good day, and it was because I was able to some small happiness to others for even a brief moment.

89. Bake Someone a Birthday Cake

This was one of those items a saw as being relatively easy, but since I had never baked anything before, saw it as also being a challenge. Many birthdays have passed since I first wrote down all 100 of my goals, but I never took advantage of the opportunity to test my baking skills.

Since my Mom’s birthday is this week, and I am back home visiting, I figured this is the perfect opportunity. The added bonus is that, even if the birthday cake didn’t turn out, she would never let me know.
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This is completely new to me, and I really had no idea how to bake a cake. In the past I would just go to the store and pick up a cake instead of attempting this. I have eaten many cakes in my life, but never even considered baking one myself.

I am not going to be posting any recipes anytime soon, or trying out for any baking reality shows. But it was a good learning opportunity and got me out of my comfort zone.

In the end, I am glad I tried something new, and I think for a first try it turned out alright (For the record: I am better at icing a cake than taking the cake out of the pan). Who knows, maybe I will try it again down the road and see what I can improve on. There is always next year.IMG_20140122_160824Happy Birthday Mom!

 

32. Donate A Significant Amount of Money to Charity

“Giving is the highest expression of potency. In the very act of giving, I experience my strength, my wealth, my power. This experience of heightened vitality and potency fills me with joy. I experience myself as overflowing, spending, alive, hence as joyous. Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness.”Erich Fromm

My best childhood friend Rob is running this weekend in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. As part of his efforts, he is raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society to help fight back against cancer. The reason he chose to raise money for this charity is because his dad Bob battled throat cancer and beat it. I have known Rob and his family for most of my life and witnessed what it was like for them to go through the cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. They rallied together and were there as Bob fought back and beat cancer. I know how much this charity means to him, and was more than willing to help him with his fundraising goal.

I am really proud that he is running, but even prouder that he was able to surpass his fundraising goal and more than double it. I wasn’t the only one to donate to his cause, and don’t feel like I need the recognition for it, nor do I feel the need to disclose the amount of money I donated, except to say that, for me, it was a significant amount. With the support of many of his friends and family, Rob has done a tremendous act and I will be there along the route to cheer him on, and at the finish line to congratulate him upon completion of the race.

Good luck Rob, I am proud of you.

90. Reconnect With an Old Teacher

teacherWhen I started this list, and came down to 90. Reconnect with an old teacher, I had one in mind who I wanted to reconnect with. I wasn’t sure how I would accomplish this, since I had fallen out of touch with this former professor of mine, but I had kept it in mind.

One day while at work, I was having conversation with a colleague about what I had taken in school. I told him I went back a few years ago to pursue a degree in International Development Studies and we had a discussion and what that entailed. When he listened to me describe the course he said his niece was taking something similar here in Toronto. So, curiosity got the best of me and I searched out the program on the University of Toronto website.

To my surprise and astonishment, my old professor was now teaching in the program. Ironic? Coincidence? Maybe. But the way I came across him, and the events leading up to it, was one of those things where it just seemed like it was supposed to happen.

I got in touch with him and he told me I had crossed his mind recently, which was very coincidental in itself. We have conversed and I hope to stay in touch with him in the future. He is extremely passionate about what he does and that made a huge impact on me when I decide to go back to school. His inspiration drove me to try to be the best student I could be, and because of his help and guidance I was able to achieve certain goals I had set out for myself when I went back (Get on the Dean’s list, Graduate with distinction).

He may not have known it at the time, but he was an inspiration to me. Thank you Ryan Isakson, you made a difference in my life.

 

7. Get a Tattoo

IMG_20130627_181735So I finally got around to crossing this item off my list. I have always wanted a tattoo, but was always afraid of the permanency of it and if I would be making the right choice. I didn’t want to rush into something and regret it a year or two later. I wanted to show something that had meaning but also allowed me to express my personality and who I am. This particular tattoo has been on my mind for some time now, and holds a special meaning to me in more ways than one.

The quote comes from the book Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut and is one of my all-time favorite books (as I have written about on here a couple of times, here and here). In it, the line is repeated 106 times following an instance of death or mortality. The line is used as a Memento Mori, a symbolic reminder of the inevitability death. Vonnegut tries to show how we are fatalistic, that there is an inevitability of things through pre-determination, and that we just brush things off as it was meant to happen, so be it…or So it goes.

The meaning I take from it is that things will happen to us, bad or good, it is inevitable, but we can’t sit a think about it too much, we need to let it happen and move on. Shit happens, and it may be awful, but I accept those things and I have to move on. Recognize, acknowledge, learn, and move on.

I may get passed over for a job promotion. So it goes. The girl I like doesn’t like me back. So it goes. I did something embarrassing in front of a bunch of people. So it goes. I won $20 in the lottery. So it goes.

Life is full of highs and lows, and it’s an ever-changing roller coaster ride. We need to get past each peak and valley and experience all life has to offer. Things will happen, good and bad, it is an inevitability of life. We need to learn how to accept it, become stronger because of it, decide how we’re going to do better the next time, and move on. So it goes.

Not only did I accomplish a goal by getting this tattoo done, I also conquered a fear of long-term commitment and permanency!

I also came across this picture and thought it was pretty interesting…

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Get 50,000 Page Views

dance gifI am always humbled to see how many people come through and visit my small project. It is unbelievable that something I started as a way to keep myself motivated has attracted as many people as it has. Thank you to each and every person who has stopped by, looked around, liked a post, or made a comment, it really means a lot to me!

Next goal – 100,000 page views!