Have you ever had that moment when the stars align, the tarot cards deliver and the lotto has your number? Or more importantly, that one moment where something you have heard YOUR ENTIRE LIFE finally sinks in?
You physically can’t say the word “beans” aloud without smiling. Go ahead. Try it. I’ll wait.
See! Something in the way we utter the word causes the corners of our mouth to turn up in the corners and our cute little dimples to pop out. It’s not as teeth gritting as the word “cheese” can be for photos but has the same pleasing effect.
This is a random and fun word that my hubbers and I say in the house randomly to put a smile on our faces and the other person in the room. (Sadly, this was happening before COVID-19 so you can imagine how the two of us rolls. Or doesn’t.)
Perhaps it is the lovely connotation the word has for us with our favourite pastime of roasting coffee. Maybe it was the childhood song about them being a magical fruit. Or perhaps it is just the fine art of linguistics.
I think sometimes we just need a reason for a smile to light up our face and I wanted to pass on the magical word that does it for us.
I have always been aware of the power of words. One, I love to write. Two, I have been challenged by anxiety.
Words can create a picture of fear, scarcity, and loneliness — if I let them. My rumination mind can sink into a negative spiral with just one thought; shifting my mood and my esteem.
As I work on mindfulness and re-writing my mental patterns, I have seen first hand the power of words. I have the ability to control my thoughts, my emotions. I know that. But it doesn’t mean it is easy in all situations.
With negative news flooding my feeds and information sources, it is hard to change the narrative in my mind to support myself rather than pull me further down into the negative spiral. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the shame & blame game while I struggle to learn and adapt to new guidelines.
And then, I stumbled upon this image on my Instagram feed from Jack Canfield:
My negative spirals were a result of reacting — not creating.
Understanding our emotions, facing the difficult ones and rewriting the stories (about ourselves and others) to include understanding, compassion and love helps us to create our reality.
Think, talk and write about the world you WANT TO CREATE. A world you WANT TO SEE. Look for the moments of beauty or upon others with gratitude. When we saw what the world can do, we see how we can be part of the solution.
We would have traveled to Seattle to watch an MLB game, sample some hoppy brews and walked around one of our favourite cities.
Or perhaps we would have taken the ferry to Powell River to explore hiking trails and amazing eats in our extended backyard on the Sunshine Coast.
Our anniversary weekend is about breaking a bit of the routine, basking in the warmer temperatures of spring and getting away from the chore list at home.
But for the first time in seven years of marriage, we celebrated our anniversary at home.
It would be easy to delay the celebration. It would be easy to add it to the list of things we want to do once the national travel restrictions and personal self-isolation comes to an end.
But it would also get lost in post-COVID-19 world. It would get lost in what will be the new normalcy. It would be lost as something special just for the two of us.
My husband and I blocked off our day and set the “out of home office” responder for work emails; taking the day off from chores and to-do lists.
Our wedding in 2013 was a morning wedding with a pancake feed reception. To bring that beautiful moment back to life, I rose early to create a bistro table for two for our pancake breakfast.
We went for long walks through our hometown of Gibsons and hung out on the patio of Chateau Sachtjen, the name we gave to change up our own home.
The two of us ordered takeout pizza from a local restaurant and put it on plates to dress up our fancy dinner in. We topped it off with homemade vegan cupcakes with ganache (which we made into truffles with the leftovers!).
Celebrations don’t have to be big parties, involve travel or the purchase of lavish gifts. Sometimes the best way to make a day special is to spend time with one another, with the person close enough to you that you are self-isolating with them. Shake up the routine. Do something new.
Celebrate the birthdays and anniversaries as they happen.
During this self-isolation period, we have continued the Friday Treats tradition in our house.
Every Friday morning, I rise early to make donuts, monkey bread, mini-loaves or scones as a way of singling the end to another week. It’s a sweet start to our Friday and reminds us to slow down to the speed of life going into the weekend.
While our days, in general, have slowed down due to COVID-19 self-isolation and I am currently not doing farmers’ markets, the tradition continues. I think for a sense of normalcy but also it gives us something to look forward to each week.
So, here are a few of our favourite Friday treats: