Thanks Amazon for the pic :D
Have you read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin?  

It is basically the authors account of her quest for a happier life - she wasn't unhappy per say, but life was just passing by without really noticing it.  So she looked to ancient wisdom, current science and pop culture for guidelines to live a happy life.  The book is basically the journal of her experiences as she lives according to these happiness guidelines.  

It is an interesting book and has given me the motivation for my own happiness project.  In my head I have all these things I should be doing to be happier - but I never seem to consistently take them out of my head and live by them - so this is my quest to do so.  Actually these beliefs I hold about what would make me happier are doing just the opposite - they give me a reason to get mad at myself for not doing them... so really this is a sort of cleaning out the closet... see if there is anything in their I want to put into my life permanently, or just throw it out.      

Since sharing your goals with someone makes you much more likely to achieve them ... this will be my outlet.  Tomorrow I will post the specific goals... yay! I am excited!




This is Jack.  He is my nephew and I love him dearly.  We have started to bond over long walks through the woods and perfectly timed dog treats.  He's a sweetheart - he runs up to every creature we meet, trying to befriend them at once... unless of course he is on a leash and then something in his mind shifts toward crazy, and every other dog becomes a serious threat.  

Jack, my mom, and I have explored Deep Cove and Cypress Falls (both incredibly beautiful hiking areas, if you are looking for a trek in the woods) and now I have decided we are going to hike the Baden-Powell trail end to end. Ideally in one day...but I have a slight fear that this might be a bit unreasonable for me.   It is 41km and the internet claims it takes 10hours.  Given my tendency to think I can do more than I actually can, and ending up injured for my stupidity - I should do it over two days.  Should is the key word.  I also really like a challenge, so I might just give it a go.  I am one of those people who has to carry all the groceries in from the car in one go.... 

Jack and I also did a trail run today - back in Deep Cove.  Jack and I have tried running on leash and it doesn't go very well... somehow a run turns into full freedom to attack the leash and play tug of war... so I figured an off leash area was necessary.  Turns out it is still rather difficult to run off leash.  Jack likes to stay close to me, sometimes right underneath my feet... not a good place to be.  When he does get ahead of me, he slows to a walk causing me to run into him.  We crashed into each other at least 20 times, no joke.  We must have looked ridiculous! 

A beautiful (and tasty) cake made by Diana
My mom told me about her addiction with cake today... “what kind of cake?” I ask, thinking it must be one special piece of cake.  But no, it’s just the cake you find in Safeway... vanilla sponge with icing, lots of icing.  She will go into the vegetable section and try to avoid the neighbouring bakery department – why do they put them side by side? Well okay, i know why – people get their veggies, are proud of themselves for eating healthy, and in reward – they pick up some tasty treat.  Who hasn't done that?  I certainly have.  These grocery store people know how people work.  Just for the record, I am not saying you should never treat yourself - you definitely should, but when you really are going to sit down and enjoy the heck out of it... give that piece of cake your entire attention and enjoy it thoroughly... maybe not everyday though, but every once in awhile.

Anyway back to mom.  She comes in to Safeway– cake is already on her brain, but she avoids it, tries to pick out the perfect melon in peace.  Stops for a look at the cake... certainly nothing wrong with a just look, right?  She picks up every piece, examining the thickness of the icing, looks for the one with the most. “Once the icing wasn’t thick enough on any of the pieces, so I was able to walk away easily.”   But most of the time, there is an internal battle... usually she walks away empty handed, but her brain is full of thoughts, and after scanning the aisles, she is back to her slice – puts it in the basket.  Walks away.  Comes back again, puts the cake back... walks away... comes back.  Cake goes back into the cart. 

Cake makes it through check out but doesn’t make it much farther.  It is devoured in haste once inside the car.  The desire for cake is subdued, but now new thoughts take over the brain.  Guilt.  Severe guilt, at giving in, at letting cake rule her brain, at letting those empty calories into her body.  She says never again.  She knows that is not true.  

Trout Lake
When you wake up and it is a beautiful day, what do you feel like doing?   

For me, it is riding my bike.  I couldn't come up with any errands to give myself a destination, so I decided just to explore.  It's weird, I have lived in this area for about a year, and yet everywhere I went today felt like new territory.  I had been getting bored out here - thinking there was no character and lacked the greenery of the North Shore ... but after my ride today I realized that I haven't really given the area a chance.    

There is Trout Lake - a beautiful dog friendly park, and on sunny days like today - just packed with large groups of people having barbecues or playing sports.  There were numerous times I wanted to stop and watch a little league game but didn't... I have always wondered if it is weird to watch (and cheer for, of course) random kids Sunday games?  

CMHA bike riders
There is also a large park in the center of Burnaby - creatively named Central Park.  Something kind of cool about this part is that it was opened in 1986 (same year I was born - exciting time :D!) by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.  Who knew?  

Again there were families everywhere.  An grampa was out having a barbeque with his grandson.  It made me itch to go camping and roast marshmallows over the fire - I haven't done that in way, way too long.  

The park was also the finishing grounds for the 55km Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) ride to support mental wellness and recovery.  This is from their website:

"We ride to raise awareness and acceptance of those living with mental illness. We ride because recovery, when the right supports are in place, is possible. We ride because healthy choices, including exercise, builds resiliency and promotes positive mental health. We ride because cycling is fun and good for us and our environment and we ride for us, all of us."

Something to keep in mind for next year!  

Find more Bike Ride in Burnaby, Canada
I've been thinking a lot about writing and finally instead of thinking about it, decided it is time to do it.  I have spent hours and hours trying to choose a passion to write about - should it be fitness, psychology, spirituality, books, food, travel?  Should it be some sort of challenge I set for myself, and then tell you the details of my progress?  Should I slowly lower the amount of sleep I get to 4 hours a night, like my Biopsych prof?  Should I cycle enough kilometers to equal riding around the world? Should I read the encyclopedia from A-Z? 

These are all things I would like to do, and may do someday.... but I think for now I will just write a little bit about a lot of things and see what enfolds along the way...