Friday Favourites: Life Lessons & Nintendo Games

Death to the Stock Photo Laptop Desk Grey Wall background wood desk and plants

It’s been a good week and a hard week. I am grateful for every act of kindness, support, and empathy that I see in the world right now; we can always use more of that.

On Tuesday I shared with you my thoughts on grief as my family is dealing with the process of losing a loved one to cancer. While this is a painful experience, I am grateful for the lessons it is teaching me, especially the one that “just as progress isn’t always linear, neither is grief.” If this lesson and my words can help even one other person out there going through a hard time, that will make me happy.

Even though it was a tough week, there were still plenty of amazing things to be read online.

Here are the best things I read this week:

  • Grace Quantock’s guest post on Second Firsts, “I Have Found Ways,” speaks beautifully about starting a new life, and thriving, after illness enters the picture.

“Because there is somewhere between desperately ill and miraculously cured [ . ] ” – Grace Quantock

“As a Type A person I could so easily keep on plodding on and doing more [and] more stuff in the day because I love what I do and I have ideas coming at me all the time, but it just doesn’t work like that for me long term.” – Jo (

  • I’ll probably share Leo Babauta’s work so often that you should just go subscribe to his posts. Two fantastic ones this week are “Turn Toward the Problem” (on facing our discomfort instead of running away) and “How to Be Prepared for Anything” which actually uses mindfulness tips (and you all know how much I love mindfulness).

And finally, I’ll leave you with this interesting video on human psychology which will make you laugh if you were born in the ’80′s (or earlier.) A.K.A. “Why Did We Blow on Nintendo Games?

‘Til next time,

Rei Signature

*Photo by Death to the Stock Photo




Accepting the Changing Currents of Grief

Grief Ocean Quote Vicki Harrison

It is interesting how sure we can be about something one moment, and then feel so lost the next.

This is the ebb and flow of life. Ever changing.

There have been many shifting situations in my life these past few months, and especially these past few weeks.

Some you know about. Some I have yet to share.

I debated on divulging this situation for a long time, unsure of what would be appropriate.

Even more uncertain because of the changing currents in mood that come with mental and chronic illness.

I will be okay. I am not okay. I will make it through.

I have been sure for a long while that I would weather everything with barely a glimmer of change necessary in my work.

Today I was reminded that my mind can be unpredictable, and just as progress isn’t always linear, neither is grief.


Like so many others, my family has been touched by cancer.

We are dealing with a process that is so common and yet one from which we are so removed.

I have lost loved ones in the past, but none have felt so immediate and complete as this.

There is a sense that nothing will ever quite be the same.

And yet I know these tides will change.

And life will move on.

We will not forget, though memories may dim.

We will heal, even if there are scars.

We will continue to love, feel joy, falter, and cry.


I am giving myself the gift of patience.

An offering of stillness.

Accepting the changing currents of grief as they come and go.

To not let new beginnings be marred by endings.

Even as this means letting go of ideals.

I will allow myself softness.

And a slowed pace.

Time to grieve.

And space to mend.


I wrote this very different sort of posting at 5:30am, after a night without sleep. When we have the tendency to push through, to add more to our to-do list instead of paring down, the greatest gift we can give ourselves is the acceptance of imperfection. As my family and I continue through this process, dealing with the decline in health of a loved one, and the unavoidable future, I am striving to maintain what I have set forth in this blogging venture. At the same time, I will allow myself compassion and the permission to fall short. I will keep you posted.

All I ask is your patience.

With love always and forever,

Rei Signature

*Base photo by “Death to the Stock Photo” edited in Pixlr.



Friday Favourites: Instagram Challenges and Get Well Gifts


Calgary tower fourth 4th street buildings and street signs urban blue skies streetlight street light green

It’s been astoundingly warm these past couple of weeks in Calgary, and while it makes some things difficult, I’m very grateful for the heat and sun. I still think I’m not fully recovered from the long winter we had, even now that it’s the middle of July.

I’ve been thinking a lot this week on all of the amazing things there are to do in this city, and how little of them I ever actually get around to. Part of it’s a time and energy thing, and another is simply what I discussed on Tuesday, about procrastinating on enjoyable things out of fear that they won’t be perfect (“Does Perfectionism Keep You From Doing Things You Enjoy?“).

Are you on Instagram? For the past couple of weeks I’ve been participating in Gala Darling’s #RadicalSelfLoveJuly Instagram challenge. A photo a day all themed around self love. It’s been a blast and has been a great motivator for taking more photos every day, as well as interacting with more of you lovely people around a topic I feel is very important.  Interested? It’s not too late to join in! The above and below photos are both from this challenge: My city, and one of my favourite quotes.

I know that being afraid and moving forward don't have to be mutually exclusive quote by Paul Jarvis from his book Everything I Know

And now for the links you’ve all been waiting for; here are the best things I’ve read online this week:

  • She also wrote “Awesome Get Well Gift Ideas for Sick Friends” which I think is perfect not only for those who are expected to recover, but also for your chronically ill loved ones. Even if they’re not going to “get better,” your chronically ill friends could use a boost through rough times.
  • I’ve been wearing a lot of headbands while my hair has been growing out. Maple and Oak Designs (local for you Calgary folk) sells amazing handmade fashion accessories from recycled vintage fabric, and even wrote up a great article on “How to tie a rockabilly headband” for those of us who didn’t know how!
  • Are you unsure of what your passion is? “Know Your Passion: 5 Identifiers of What Makes You Really Tick” might help you figure it out. I do think #4 is a little harder for those of us with mental health concerns, especially anxiety issues, but even if you are dissuaded, you’ll probably still be secretly longing to do whatever it is you stopped doing.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and that things ease for those of you going through difficult times.

Much love always,

Rei Signature