You Cannot Pour from an Empty Cup

Regularly taking the time to look after yourself is absolutely essential for your physical and mental health and well-being. This has been a hot topic of discussion online, however, this does not make it any less important; in fact, it only further demonstrates the critical role self-care now plays in our lives. Don’t ignore the importance of taking a moment out of your day to focus on yourself and prioritize your own health and happiness.

That is why I felt that it was important to re-share my Medium article on the blog. If you use the following link to read this article and you are already a Medium subscriber, I will earn a small commission. It might be only a few pennies but itโ€™s better than earning nothing at all. This article is behind a paywall on Medium but I want to make it available for everyone to read.

โ™ก Medium Article: You Cannot Pour from an Empty Cup

Photo by David Mao on Unsplash

Taking care of yourself with self-care ๐Ÿง˜๐ŸŒฑ

I recently saw this topic appear in my newsfeed and it made me contemplate the meaning, โ€œYou canโ€™t pour from an empty cup.โ€ This phrase can be used when considering your relationship with yourself and the importance of self-care. As much as I think the word โ€œself-careโ€ is grossly overused, I donโ€™t have a better word for what I am describing here.

(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ โ™ฅ Taking care of yourself is essential before you can pour your energy into anything else โ™ฅ

In order to be there for others, you need to make sure you first take care of yourself. Moreover, when we are not taking care of ourselves, it can be extremely difficult to show up at our best in all areas of our lives, whether it is for ourselves or for others. This is why the expression โ€œyou can’t pour from an empty cupโ€ also applies to you as an individual, and not just when discussing how it is important to show up for the people around us. Sometimes you need space to do your own things and focus on yourself, which doesn’t make you selfish.

The importance of self-care

One of the most effective ways to do this is by engaging in self-care on a regular basis. Self-care is defined as any activity that someone does deliberately in order to take care of their mental, emotional, physical health, and overall well-being.

Photo by Ivan Samkov: https://www.pexels.com/photo/

By taking the time to prioritize your well-being and spend time with yourself, you will have the energy and motivation that you need to be present in each of the different areas of your life. Thus, it is important to show up for yourself in every area of your life that is important to you. The following quote resonates with me:

โ€œSelf-care is not about self-indulgence, itโ€™s about self-preservation.โ€ โ€” Audrey Lorde

I will tell you one thing many people get wrong about self-care. Self-care should not involve self-indulgence, which entails lavish massages, expensive hair appointments, and other things that require spending a lot of money to temporarily make oneself feel better. On the other hand, self-care is about doing things naturally that will help you to feel good. Spending more time outdoors, exercising, etc. are great ways to look after yourself.

Remember, self-care can be done without having to break the bank. There are a number of ways to make self-care a priority and you don’t need to spend money in order for it to be effective. If you’re in need of some affordable self-care ideas, you might want to check out my hobby blog, www.sereneluna.net, for a few ideas. You can check out my list of affordable self-care ideas here:

โ™ก Related Blog Post: Affordable Self-Care Ideas

Take It or Leave It

It’s natural to want to be there for your loved ones and friends at all times of the day. However, it often leaves us feeling a lack of balance in our lives which can lead to neglecting our own needs and health. It’s important to take some time for yourself from time to time, so that you can be a better person for the people around you. Moreover, as we all come to rely more and more on ourselves in a world that encourages self-sufficiency, the importance of self-care becomes even more important. We need to have our cups full before we can start achieving the things that we want. Thus, self-care is a fundamental part of our lives.

If you found this article interesting, or even if it just changed your perspective on things, please let me know in the comments below โ†“ Your feedback really matters to me.

P.S. You can also connect with me on Twitter (@hellokitty8404) and I encourage you to subscribe to my website at http://www.sereneluna.net so that you can receive the latest updates from me.

Thanks for stopping by! โค๏ธ

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Friends No More

Disclaimer:ย Friends No More is based on my personal experience with unhealthy friendships that I have had in the past. This poem isn’t directed towards any one person in particular. It’s a reminder of the pain I went through when someone I cared deeply about betrayed me and lied to my face, ultimately leading to our friendship to come to an ugly end. This poem is 100% original, written by me, and it is bullshit-free. If you like this poem, feel free to check out my other poetry musingsย here.ย โœจ

Thanks for reading! โ™ก

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December Recap | Winter 2022

I know I said that I wasn’t going to make these diary-style blog posts but I am even less inclined to write anything if I am going to stick with the original plan. So out with the old plan and in with the new plan! And right on time for the New Year.

You can read my blog post about the 6 Most Annoying Types of Blogs, right here.

โ™ก Related Blog Post: The 6 Most Annoying Types of Blogs

Do I care if this makes me a hypocrite? Maybe. But honestly, who is keeping tabs on me and who cares?! ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

โ–‘Jโ–‘uโ–‘dโ–‘gโ–‘eโ–‘ โ–‘mโ–‘eโ–‘ โ–‘wโ–‘hโ–‘eโ–‘nโ–‘ โ–‘yโ–‘oโ–‘uโ–‘ โ–‘aโ–‘rโ–‘eโ–‘ โ–‘pโ–‘eโ–‘rโ–‘fโ–‘eโ–‘cโ–‘tโ–‘.โ–‘


(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ Serious Question: Are you familiar with the game, Never Have I ever?

1. Never have I ever written a monthly recap blog post.

I’ve never written a monthly recap before but I think now’s a good time to start. I want to write this post in order to encourage myself and hold myself accountable, but also so others can take something away from what I’m writing.

I am still a little confused about what I am doing with my Medium profile. Traffic has declined a lot but I am still gaining followers. I have currently reached 1,100 followers and it is crazy to me. Whoever is reading my articles, thank you for your support!

In case you haven’t been following me on #Twitter or #Medium, I forgive you. Seriously though, you haven’t been getting updates from me if that’s been the case.

2. Never have I ever had COVID-19 ๐Ÿ˜ท

December sure didn’t start out that well for me. I got sick the first week of the month and had to call in for 5 shifts. That’s a lot of work! I ended up getting laryngitis and bronchitis, which resulted in this awful cough that wouldn’t go away. I’m glad I’m finally feeling better, though, and haven’t had a coughing fit in three days now.

One would think that I had been diagnosed with the COVID-19 plague, but I still haven’t been diagnosed with COVUD-19! It annoys me when people incorrectly claim to have had COVID-19 and refuse to get tested by a medical professional. You don’t actually know IF you have it unless you take the test. Honestly, I don’t know how I haven’t gotten it yet but I have a theory that I may have caught it in the earlier days before we had to get tested. Who knows!

Now that I feel better, I will be returning to work this weekend and need to make some money to cover the expenses this month. It’s a relief that I live debt-free and don’t have to live paycheck-to-paycheck, but now I’m trying not to feel overwhelmed by the bills this month.

Other Life Updates

โœฟ My daughter got her ears pierced. My husband was hesitant about it, but he quickly got over it. I took my six-year old to get her ears pierced on December 26, 2022, which is what we call Boxing Day here in Canada. My daughter’s earrings are the color of her birthstone which happens to be October.

โœฟ My kids had a lot of appointments this month. With so much to do on a day-to-day basis it can be a struggle to keep track of it all. My calendar is pretty crappy and I am ready for a new one! Looking forward to some new stationary in January 2023.

โœฟ I had a massage last week, for the first time in years. The last time I had a massage was 2019 before the pandemic happened. Although the massage was quite painful, I felt so much better afterwards. This weekend, I am less achy than usual. I plan on going back for another massage in the new year.

โœฟ I started using the treadmill again. I was using it religiously during the summer, but then I stopped for some reason, and noticed that I have been maintaining my weight. This does not make me happy because I have 20 pounds to lose and most of it is belly fat. All I want to do is wear cute clothes and feel good about myself. And being skinny fat does not feel good. There is no denying that, and I do want to mention that “every size is beautiful” is an empty statement which does not change my reality. It’s not enough for me to tell myself that I look great when I don’t feel the same way about myself. The most important thing for me right now is getting in shape.

โœฟ We did not see family this Christmas, and nobody visited us either. My mom is afraid of flying in an airplane, my dad doesn’t like to fly by himself, and my parents fear COVID-19. There is no convincing them to visit us this year as they are worried about their safety. My husband didn’t want to use his vacation days to visit family in Ontario this year because they would all be gone anyways since most of his extended family weren’t going to be there. Our Christmas was very scattered and uncoordinated. We didn’t do much at all.

โœฟ My ASUS laptop is dying a slow, painful death. I need a new laptop and am at the point where I won’t even turn my laptop on. I have been having issues with my laptop for a while and know that I need a new one but am having a hard time choosing which brand. I currently have an ASUS and I am not interested in getting a MacBook. In case you missed my blog post about my experience with owning a MacBook, you can read about it here:

โ™ก Related Blog Post: RIP Old Friend ๐Ÿ’€โŒ

My ASUS laptop got me through nursing school.

(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ โ™ฅ FINAL THOUGHTS โ™ฅ

I have a feeling that this will probably be the last blog post for December. I don’t typically reply to blog posts on days that I am working, and I happen to be working this weekend.

I really appreciate it when readers take the time to read my posts, and I hope that you found them interesting. I know they were pretty straightforward and uneventful, which is why I want to hear from you. What was your December like? Are you enjoying the holidays so far? Feel free to join the conversation below โ†“ And if you donโ€™t hear from me, I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year! ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿฅ‚

Thanks for stopping by! โค๏ธ

A Tribute to Zoรซ

หšสšโ™กษžหš ๐•พ๐–Š๐–Š ๐–ž๐–”๐–š ๐–”๐–“ ๐–™๐–๐–Š ๐–”๐–™๐–๐–Š๐–— ๐–˜๐–Ž๐–‰๐–Š ๐–”๐–‹ ๐–™๐–๐–Š ๐–—๐–†๐–Ž๐–“๐–‡๐–”๐–œ ๐–‡๐–—๐–Ž๐–‰๐–Œ๐–Š, ๐–•๐–š๐–•๐–•๐–ž ๐–Œ๐–Ž๐–—๐–‘. 09.25.09 – 09.26.22 หšสšโ™กษžหš

โ™ก Photo taken Summer 2021

I am crying as I write this. My beautiful little pug girl crossed the rainbow bridge last Monday and I’m finding it hard to put into words how I’m feeling. She was not just a dog. She was a friend and a member of the family. My parents grew to like her so much that they kept her after I moved across the country.

Sadly, I didnโ€™t spend that much time living with my dog under the same roof. I went off to university the year after we got her and I lived on campus for the next four years. I would occasionally visit my parents on weekends. Fast forward to the year 2014 when I moved out of the house and moved across the country to a new province. Since then, I saw my dog very little – a couple times a year at most. Every time that I visited her, she had aged even more with grey hairs on her chin. But she was exactly the same, sweet and loving as I always knew.

Then I blinked, and it was her 13th birthday last month. By then her health had greatly deteriorated and I was lucky to spend one final summer with her last year, even though it was only a few days. By Spring 2022, she became completely deaf and was diagnosed with diabetes. Since April of that year, her diabetes had not been well managed since she was severely hyperglycemic and insulin resistant. She seemed old, but it was probably diabetes and not old age that made her decline faster than we had thought. It was just two weeks ago when she was not only deaf, but she was also blind, disoriented, and anxious. My last request to my parents was that they let her live until her 13th birthday, which they honored on September 25, 2022. On September 26th, 2022, she crossed the rainbow bridge. ๐ŸŒˆ

It’s a Beautiful Life

Zoรซ (spelled Zoey according to my dad) had a great life living with my parents and she often spent weekends with my dad on his sailboat. But I knew something was very wrong when she slipped off the dock and fell head-first into the water two days before her 13th birthday. My dad rescued her in time, but she was disoriented and scared. Prior to the incident, my parents tried a new trial medication to preserve her vision, but it was ineffective. When they told me she was having a hard time due to her old age, and that her time was coming to an end, I accepted it because I knew she had lived such a good and fulfilling life. But when the vet put her down last Monday, it was so difficult for me.

Last week, I was going through an intense period of grief and sadness after the sudden loss of my dog. While it is normal to feel this way and many people will identify with what I went through, I am still feeling very sad. However, the only thing that I can do is take things day by day. These are lyrics from a Korean song called Beautiful Day by Crush. It was playing on Spotify during my morning walk, which reminded me of Zoรซ.

Her Memory Lives On ๐Ÿพ

My parents want to plant a tree in their yard and I want to put a memorial rock by the red oak tree where Zoรซ’s spot will be. The painted rock that I have would be great for that. I’ve had this rock for a while now. I got it from one of my friends in the U.S. before the pandemic happened. The plan was for me to hide in Canada, but I couldn’t do it. The game “Hide or Keep” is a lot like Geocaching because it incorporates the thrill of hunting for hidden rocks in various outdoor areas.

I intended to hide this painted rock somewhere on campus, but before I could, the pandemic happened. Also, there was major construction going on, so I was unable to find the time. That being said, I have kept the rock with me all this time, but it’s time for me to pass it on. I think I will place the rock next to the red oak tree in my parents’ front yard. This will become Zoรซ’s spot.

โ™ก Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/green-tree-268533/

โ€œIf having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.โ€ โ€”James Herriot

P.S. This blog post was inspired by Jenny from Jenny in Neverland. To read her beautiful tribute to her dog, Rory, you can check out her heartwarming post here.

Thanks for stopping by! โค

Don’t Feed The Bears

(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ Question: Are you familiar with the saying, โ€œDonโ€™t feed the trolls?โ€

The saying is essentially telling you that the best way to deal with trolls or people who are deliberately trying to provoke or anger you is to ignore them rather than give them a mature response. This means that any time a troll pops up online making inflammatory remarks, you are supposed to ignore them because responding would derail the thread and give them the attention they want. Or so they say.

Image source: https://pixabay.com/

I use a similar saying, “Don’t feed the bears,” which is essentially the same thing as “Don’t feed [or provoke] the trolls.” Seemingly innocent people online can be trolls. Thus, if you let them live rent-free in your head, then you are letting them win. I recently wrote an article where I talked about the concept of letting someone live rent-free in your head you can read more about it here:

โ™ก Related article: Living Rent-Free


Beware of the Bears

I recently encountered a blogger who took to her personal blog to wish me bad karma. She also left some inflammatory remarks that she later deleted. I, of course, saved screenshots to my phone which I can share if needed but I am not going to do that. I am not going to be the one who ruins the chance for peace in this person’s life. I have never met her personally, but I know that she has left a deep and lasting impression on my heart that is unlikely to heal any time soon. I am probably being overly dramatic, but my feelings are valid and her words cut deep.

โ™ก Related blog post: Lingering Hope

Your Energy Is Sacred

Learning how to protect your energy, whether it is online or offline, is important for your mental health. Sometimes, the best way to help combat internet drama is to take a step back and find something that will distract you from it. Sometimes, this is as simple as taking a bath or going for a walk, but other times it may be necessary to find new activities that are calming. The last thing you want to do (as tempting as it is) is to interact with those who arenโ€™t respecting your energy.

“You can’t protect your energy, but you can protect your peace.”โ€” Unknown

Should You Have the Last Say?

I advise you to do your best to avoid interactions with negative or argumentative people either online or in the real world as much as possible. Doing so will help you maintain your sanity and keep your energy levels up without becoming too drained and frustrated. Trust me, I know that it is very tempting to try and seek revenge on the person who has wronged you and wants to make your life difficult, but believe me when I say that it isn’t worth your time or energy. Though we cannot go back and change the past, we can always protect our energy now by walking away from people who no longer serve us.

๐Ÿ‘‰ So you might be wondering what to do if you cannot let them go. Well, you could try blocking them.

It might sound harsh, but you could try blocking them on all of your social media accounts. Try to think of it as ripping off a band-aid โ€” it’s going to hurt for a little bit, but you’ll want to get it over and done with as soon as possible. Sometimes, blocking is simply not enough. If you have been as fortunate as I have (sarcasm), then you may have encountered a leader bear and her follower cubs. I bet you didnโ€™t see that coming! The best way to make the mother bear and her cub followers back off is to block them, as they will eventually lose interest and stop trying to contact you.

Hopefully, you realized by now that Mama bear is the troll and her cubs are the loyal followers who will always stand up for her, no matter what.

โ€œWeโ€™ll never turn on Mama bear, sheโ€™s our best friend!โ€

Image source: https://pixabay.com/

(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ โ™ฅ FINAL THOUGHTS โ™ฅ

With the rise of social media, people now have the ability to comment on anything they want. This means that people are able to express their thoughts and feelings publicly and openly. Comments can be hurtful, offensive, or just plain rude. There will always be people who you like more than other people and some of those feelings may not be mutual.

Whether itโ€™s because you are too good or maybe you just rub that person the wrong way, it doesnโ€™t matter. I am giving you the permission to do everything in your power to stop whoever is making your life miserable online. At the end of the day, you are responsible for what kind of space you want to create on the internet. You also have the ability to block anyone who is not respecting your boundaries, even if they refuse to listen to your request for them to stop. Remember, YOU are in control!

On WordPress, I have encountered a few trolls and rude bloggers, but my overall experience on this platform has been mostly positive. Have you ever had to block someone on WordPress? I am curious to know what your experiences were on this platform. Feel free to let me know by joining the conversation and leaving a comment below. I know I haven’t been great at replying lately but I plan on catching up with comments later this week. Thank you for continuing to read my blog posts.

Thanks for stopping by!

๐ŸŒžSunshine Blogger Award 10.0๐ŸŒž

I want to continue where I left off since uploading the ๐ŸŒžSunshine Blogger Award 9.0๐ŸŒž. Sure, there are several topics that I could be writing about right now, but I want to finish this before I move on to something else. You see, I tend to get hyperfocused and/or fixated on one thing which I feel inclined to finish before I am able to move on. I have always been like this and I donโ€™t really see it as a shortcoming or problem. I checked my drafts yesterday to see if there were any more outstanding Sunshine Blogger Awards (SBAs) but it appears that I am all caught up! That being said, I really wanted to wrap up and retire the SBAs on my blog for good so the ๐ŸŒžSunshine Blogger Award 10.0๐ŸŒž will be my last one in this series.

Btw, feel free to leave comments in the comment section below โ†“ BUT if you say something generic like, โ€œCongratulationsโ€ then Iโ€™m not going to reply to you. To clarify, this was an open nomination for anyone who wanted to participate, so I basically nominated myself LOL

The Sunshine Blogger Award is per recognition award for bloggers who inspire readers by promoting positivity and bringing joy. Since nobody nominated me for any recent Sunshine Blogger Awards, I did some digging on WP and found an open nomination from a blogger named Beverly who runs a blog called https://becomingtheoilandwine.com. Honestly, this is the first time that I have read her blog so I don’t really know what her blog is about yet. When I have more time, I plan to catch up on her blog posts.


๐ŸŒžSUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD RULES๐ŸŒž

The Sunshine Blogger Award has rules (surprise, surprise!). These rules ensure the success of this award, providing exposure to all the award winners. The rules are quite simple and straightforward.

RULES FOR AWARD:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions ๐Ÿ‘ˆ optional
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts ๐Ÿ‘ˆ optional
  • List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

QUESTIONS I WAS ASKED:

1. What is one of your funniest funnest time of the summer? I’m not sure if this is a typo, and even then, this question is confusing. Funnest time of the summer? ๐Ÿค” I think the person asking this question meant to say “most fun.” I deal with high functioning depression so I cannot recall the last time I had fun during the summer. If I had to choose something, it would be enjoying refreshing bubble tea on a hot, sunny day! ๐Ÿ˜Ž The husband would agree – this is his drink, not mine!

2. How do you like your ice cream? Plain or Toppings? I think D.W. can answer this question! ๐Ÿจ

D.W.: Does Muffy have an ice cream machine? If she does, Iโ€™m gonna have vanilla with vanilla sprinkles and hot vanilla sauce. Does she have a petting zoo? I wanna pet a whale. I think Iโ€™ll pet the whale first, and then I’ll have the vanilla with vanilla sprinkles and vanilla sauce. But if I pet the whale first, my hands might smell fishy, so first, I’ll have the vanilla with the vanilla sprinkles and vanilla sauce, and thenโ€ฆ Oh, wait. Whales are mammals, right? I wonder if my hands will smell mammaly.

3. What are your favorite gospel songs? I’ll recognize the songs when I hear them, but otherwise, I don’t know the names of the songs that I like. I don’t keep a playlist of gospel music.

4. Do you like ice skating or riding a bike? I used to be able to do both, but I haven’t ice skated or ridden a bike in over 15 years. I would like to go bike riding again since we live close to a 30-kilometer bike path, but we need nicer weather before I can turn that dream into a reality.

5. What is your favorite food to eat during summertime? How I dream of sunshine and summertime! I look forward to eating watermelon ๐Ÿ‰ and other yummy fruits that are in season during the summer months. Since it is wintertime, you’ll find me eating boring apples, bananas, and oranges. ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŠ

6. What is your favorite book to read? I gave up buying (and reading) books in 2020 to save money and I haven’t looked back ๐Ÿ˜ถ If I were to read a book, you would probably find me reading a self-help book or a recipe book from my bookshelf. One of my favorite books is, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life” by Mark Manson.  

7. What dream place would you enjoy visiting? Lately, I have been daydreaming of visiting the Maldives ever since I watched YouTubers vlog about this dreamy place! ๐Ÿ

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives from Pexels

8. Do you have any pets? If so, What kind? I have a Pug named Zoรซ and she lives in Ontario with my parents. My dad spells her name differently: Zoey. Since I live approx. 2,200 miles away, it is rare if I get to visit my dog. I miss my dog terribly. I blinked and she is now an old lady.

In Spring 2019, my husband and I adopted a rescue cat and I named him Timon, after the Lion King. He is a free-spirited cat who is untrainable, but I love him dearly ๐Ÿˆโ€โฌ›๐Ÿ’• In Spring 2021, my husband decided to get a bunch of fish so we have not one but three fish aquariums. Two fish aquariums are freshwater and the third fish aquarium is saltwater. I told him that cats and fish do not mix but he wouldn’t listen to me. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

9. What does Christ mean to you? This is a tricky question for me to answer because I consider myself to be a very spiritual person and only a little religious. What does “a little religious” mean, exactly? ๐Ÿค” It means that I lean towards Christianity and share the same morals and values as a Christian, but I do not actively read the Bible and I go to church because my husband makes me is Catholic. That being said, I find that going to church gives me a sense of calm and peace of mind, in similar ways as guided meditation. In the past, I was more agnostic but have started embracing religion a lot more since I became a mother. I am open to change, but I cannot see myself ever becoming a super religious person.

10. What encourages you to keep writing? I enjoy writing for an audience. Knowing that there are readers who give me the time of day and genuinely care about what I have to say means the world to me. Unlike other forms of social media, blogging gives me a voice. Also, I prefer to share my thoughts with like-minded people instead of keeping these thoughts to myself. I am an open book by nature, so this is a great platform for me to be my true, authentic self! ๐Ÿ’–

11. Where is your favorite place to go to for vacation? I cannot remember the last time we took a real vacation, except to visit our families in Ontario last summer. However, I hardly call this a vacation; it is more of an obligation. We took a plane there so I guess this still counts? โœˆ Ontario is my home province.

This is a photo of my childhood room. As a teenager and young adult, I had this limiting belief that I would be imprisoned between these four walls for most of my adult life. At the time, I was too scared to venture out on my own. Since moving out, my room has been repainted and my parents’ house is currently being renovated. I wish I could have told my younger self what I know now: The real prison is your mind and your limiting beliefs are keeping you stuck in life.

๐ŸŒžSUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD NOMINEES๐ŸŒž

Again, I have decided to leave it open to anyone who wants to join in on the fun and I am keeping the same questions as last time. Tag, you’re it!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What is the theme of your blog?
3. Is your blog a hobby blog or do you monetize your blog?
4. Are you a vegetarian?
5. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you?
6. Have you ever tried online dating?
7. Do you have a Nintendo Switch? If yes, what is your favorite game? ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ’๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ
8. Do you play Animal Crossing? If yes, what is your Islandโ€™s fruit? 
9. Do you believe in magic?
11. What is your favorite cereal?

Andโ€ฆ.GO!! I know you have very busy lives outside of the blogging world and I appreciate that you took the time to read this blog post! I look forward to reading your answers if you decide to participate in the Sunshine Blogger Award.

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๐ŸŒžSunshine Blogger Award 9.0๐ŸŒž

Whoever is reading this post, thank you for taking time out of your busy day to connect with me! I was hoping to wrap up the Sunshine Blogger Awards (SBA) for good with a ๐ŸŒžSunshine Blogger Award 10.0๐ŸŒž However, to my dismay, I am only on ๐ŸŒžSunshine Blogger Award 9.0๐ŸŒž which means that I still have room for a final Sunshine Blogger Award if anyone wants to nominate me LOL. You might be wondering why this blog post is so random. If you really want to know why I have the sudden desire to reply to a SBA-nomination from October 2019, it is because January has been a crappy month for me (still is) and I need some sunshine in my life. In case you missed my last post, here is a link to my similar yet different blog post titled ๐ŸŒžSunshine Blogger Award 8.0๐ŸŒž

The Sunshine Blogger Award is per recognition award for bloggers who inspire readers by promoting positivity and bringing joy. Thank you, Steve, for nominating me for the award on October 14, 2019. This date is not a typo – I left the nomination in my drafts for 2+ years, untouched. I am sure that most of you are familiar with Steve’s Country unless you have been living under a snow-covered rock. But don’t worry! Steve has you covered. He has plenty of snow-covered rocks to share with you! And let’s not forget the hot cups of coffee waiting for you when you pay him a visit. โ˜•


๐ŸŒžSUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD RULES๐ŸŒž

The Sunshine Blogger Award has rules (surprise, surprise!). These rules ensure the success of this award, providing exposure to all the award winners. The rules are quite simple and straightforward.

RULES FOR AWARD:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions ๐Ÿ‘ˆ optional
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts ๐Ÿ‘ˆ optional
  • List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

QUESTIONS I WAS ASKED:

1. What is your favorite fruit? Personally, I love them all so itโ€™s hard for me to narrow it down to just one. I can narrow it down to my top 3 favorite fruits: peaches ๐Ÿ‘ mangoes ๐Ÿฅญ and raspberries! ๐Ÿ˜ 

2. What is your favorite meat? I think my favorite meat is smoked brisket from Big T’s BBQ!

3. Do you like to make your own juice or buy it? We used to have a Ninja juicer but it took up too much cupboard space and it was a pain to clean. Eventually, I gave my husband permission to sell the juicer and I do not regret this decision. While we had the juicer, we were able to make fresh carrot, apple, and beet juice which tasted amazing. However, the amount of work it takes to make fresh juice is not worth it in my opinion. I don’t buy juice because it is too $$$ in Canada. While we were visiting Singapore in Summer 2018, we bought freshly made juice every day! FYI sugarcane juice is simply delicious!

4. Do you like to bake? Sometimes. I like eating it more than I like making it.

5. Do you like to cook? No. Cooking creates a huge mess so I prefer simple meals. Less mess, less stress! My husband enjoys cooking so he is the chef in our house.

6. Would you rather eat at home or a restaurant every day? If I had unlimited, disposable income and I did not care about my weight, then I would eat at a restaurant every day. It is fun to eat out, so why not? But is it the right thing to do? Probably not.

7. Do you like to travel? Traveling can be fun, but traveling can also be exhausting and pricey $$$. And given the pandemic that we are [still] dealing with, we travel a lot less than we used to B.C. (before COVID-19) ๐Ÿ˜ท I have never stayed at a resort or have been on a cruise, so maybe one day I will be able to check these things off of my bucket list. In the meantime, I would like to visit Hawaii or visit Singapore again with my family.

Singapore, Summer 2018

8. Do you enjoy walks in nature? Yes, I enjoy walks in nature. I find walks in nature very healing and therapeutic. There is something very special about reconnecting with Mother Earth. I recently discovered a concept called grounding, which I like to do during the summer months when it is warmer outside.

9. Do you enjoy camping? I haven’t been camping in years! The last time I went camping, I think I was 11 years old. It was a lot of fun, and I would not turn down an invitation to go camping. You bring the camping gear and I’ll bring the food, which will probably be takeout. As we have already established, I don’t really enjoy cooking.

10. Would you prefer to live by the sea or in the mountains? We currently live in the foothills of a mountain which sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? I cannot get a good view of the mountains from where I live though. Due to the pandemic, we cannot visit the mountains in Banff National Park which is 1.5 hours away.

11. Would you prefer to live in an apartment/flat, or in a house? I have lived in an apartment/flat and I have lived in a house. I currently live in a townhouse and it is 1000% better than living in an apartment. A townhouse is quiet whereas an apartment is loud and noisy. We bought our townhouse in May 2021 and it feels nice to finally own a house. There was a time when I had to put up with an insufferable human who lived in the apartment dwelling above me. Re: What is “normal,” anyway?

Rebecca enjoying the first snowfall on our new balcony!

๐ŸŒžSUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD NOMINEES๐ŸŒž

Usually, other bloggers ask me to nominate them for a Sunshine Blogger Award, so I decided to leave it open to anyone who wants to complete it! Please answer the following questions below โ†“

QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What is the theme of your blog?
3. Is your blog a hobby blog or do you monetize your blog?
4. Are you a vegetarian?
5. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you?
6. Have you ever tried online dating?
7. Do you have a Nintendo Switch? If yes, what is your favorite game?
8. Do you play Animal Crossing? If yes, what is your Island’s fruit? ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ’๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ
9. Do you believe in magic?
11. What is your favorite cereal?

Andโ€ฆ.GO!! I know you have very busy lives outside of the blogging world and I appreciate that you took the time to read this blog post! I look forward to reading your answers if you decide to participate in the Sunshine Blogger Award. 

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Lingering Hope

My goal for the New Year is to upload more content without setting a set-in-stone schedule. Lately, I have been bothered by the amount of negativity taking place in the WP community. That being said, I am not going to let one Torontonian blogger dim my sparkle! โœจ I recently caught on that she has been purposely shadow-banning me on her blog by removing me from her follower list and sending all of my comments to her spam folder. Seriously, who goes out of their way to remove followers?

This past week, I have been meditating and reflecting on a few things and I realize that drama, both offline and online, negatively impacts my mental health and well-being. This week, I started cutting back on the amount of time I spend on my phone, especially social media, even though the bulk of the drama is taking place in the WordPress community. I don’t think that she and her followers (some are my followers as well) know that I have read their comments. Be careful what you say, because not only do your words dig deep but they also say a lot about your character. Personally, I love how Ryan Biddulph from Twitter handles this kinda thing.

Lingering Hope

Disclaimer: This poem was originally posted as its own daughter page, so nobody stumbled upon it. Even though this poem is unrelated to my little rant *above* I still wanted to include the poem in this blog post, as a way to bring more content to you all. If you like this poem, feel free to check out my other poetry musings here โญ

Thanks for reading! โ™ก

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Broken-hearted Girl ๐Ÿ’”

Disclaimer: Broken-Hearted Girl is based on a true story after having a fallout with a high school friend in 2017. Let’s call her Emma* – her real name has been changed for privacy reasons. This poem is 100% original and bullshit-free. I am re-publishing all of my poems to reflect the direction that this blog is headed in. Thank you for understanding. If you like this poem, feel free to check out my other poetry musings here. โœจ

P.S. I also wrote a break-up letter called, Weeding Out Toxic Friends Part 2, which you can read here.

Thanks for reading! โ™ก

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1000 Followers: A New Milestone!

(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ โ™ฅ 1000 Followers! Thank you so much for following this blog! โ™ฅ

This was one of my long-term goals which I was hoping to reach by Spring 2021. I can happily say that I reached this goal on July 24, 2021 which is good considering that I seldom post new content on this blog. My only concern about keeping a free blog domain is that I may lose all of these stats if I were to switch to a paid domain. Knowing that I am not committed enough to post on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, I should probably stick to this free domain for now. I hope that you will continue to join me on my blogging journey when the inevitable happens, because one day I will have no choice but to upgrade and buy a domain.

Honestly, I did not expect to gain 1000 wonderful followers, and yet, here we are. I still believe that this blog has a lot of potential and I am already envisioning it reaching 2,000 followers. I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart, for spreading the love and helping to keep this blog alive! โค

The No. 1 Mistake that Bloggers Make

My No. 1 tip when it comes to gaining followers is to actively engage with the people who bring traffic to your blog. And by this, I mean responding to the comments that you receive, as well as visiting their blogs in return. Without engaging with your readers, you will have to outwork the algorithm by spamming the WP reader and annoying your followers. Please donโ€™t be that person. Without comments from your followers, your blog is practically dead space in the blogging sphere. And I think that is a waste of your precious time and energy. At the end of the day, followers help keep your blog alive, and your blog is nothing without loyal followers. I know this sounds harsh but it is the truth. Somebody needs to say it, so it might as well be me. I do not expect everyone to agree with me, nor do I want everyone to agree with me. All that I ask is that bloggers are kind to one another and understand that everyone is entitled to an opinion. Not everyone thinks the same way as you do, so I stress the importance of keeping an open mind. I also stress the importance of supporting other bloggers, because it is not all about you.

You should be allowed to leave a comment without worrying about being blocked for having a different opinion. You should be allowed to have intellectual conversations without questioning it. You should be allowed to give another blogger constructive criticism/advice without getting snarky, rude replies in exchange. I shouldnโ€™t have to worry about these things, but I feel like I am stepping on eggshells with some bloggers. Even though I still follow some of these bloggers after having some nasty encounters with them, I stopped engaging with them on their blogs. I stopped liking and commenting on their blog posts. And that is something that they should be worried about. They basically lost future business with me, and any entrepreneur would tell you not to make enemies with potential customers.

If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all!

โ€“Unknown

Another Mistake That Bloggers Make

My No. 2 tip is not to anger your faithful readers and followers by pushing them away. Remember, the spammy genuine comments is the main reason why your blog is alive and well. Like a healthy garden, you need to water it often and trim the weeds ๐ŸŒฑ Also, you need to be able to regulate your emotions so you don’t piss off the blogging community and ultimately drive your loyal followers away. Personally, I love having healthy debates with people who are able to keep things mutual and respectful. Not everyone is going to agree with everything I say, nor should they. I am happy that people feel comfortable commenting in the comments section below ๐Ÿ “, and that everyone feels welcome here. I am really grateful for the 1000 wonderful followers who chose to follow this blog! ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒป

โ€œBe who you are and say what you feel,

Because those who mind donโ€™t matter,

And those who matter donโ€™t mind.โ€

โ€“Dr. Seuss

Thanks for stopping by! โค

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Breaking Trust…..Again ๐Ÿ’”

Disclaimer: I wrote the rough draft over a week ago as I am still fumbling around with the stupid Block Editor. However, this event does not dismiss the emotional turmoil, exhaustion, and frustration I have regarding what happened last week. Things are still awful and I am as moody as ever, since I am having a hard time coming to terms with things. I am not sure where to go from here or how to remedy the situation. It is hard for me to give you enough context without sharing too much of my private life online.

Sept 7, 2020 @11:55 AM: I am scrolling, scrolling. I can feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I am trying so hard not to cry. No, this cannot be real. This cannot be happening again. We had a promise. A promise of trust so fragile that it shattered yet again. A promise so fleeting that I could feel it escaping through my fingers like sand. I find myself screaming and shaking like someone who is in the midst of a mental breakdown. Then it dawned on me: Maybe I can take the pain away with some painkillers. Tylenol is innocent enough, it wont hurt me… maybe then, my emotional pain will disappear and I won’t have to feel anything. I just want to feel nothing…. 

I wish that I didn’t have to write this depressing post. I wish that yesterday didn’t happen, but it did. I took a more than the recommended dose of Tylenol. My liver may not have been too happy with me but I am fine. I suggest that you try to suppress your pain with medication. It will not take away your emotional pain. To feel any kind of relief, I think I would need to black out which might be accomplished with alcohol. I abstain from alcohol and I don’t take prescription meds, so the strongest thing I have is Tylenol. Once I swallowed 2/3 of a bottle of Advil in one sitting, took a nap, and woke up with an unrelenting headache. I was fine. Nobody found out about it until a few months later, and by then, I was back to my old self, distracted by academia. 

Miku Hatsune, Source: https://weheartit.com/entry/253679447

I can relate if you are reading this post and desperately want to numb your emotional pain too. To an extent, I understand the challenges that people face with mental health challenges, and I get that life is not all sunshine and rainbows. You will probably be hurt several times in your lifetime, and those you are closest to will probably end up hurting you most. I am writing this blog post because it’s incredibly painful for me to process what happened yesterday, and I just want to be understood. If you want to read about a similar experience I had a few months ago, you can read that blog post here.

Reflecting on 2020 so far, 2020 has been a weird year for all of us. I have been working on getting my $hit together since the beginning of the year. Did the pandemic disrupt my plans? Yes and no. Sure, I did not get to travel this summer but that is not why I am upset. Like I said in my earlier post, it is hard to stay positive when I am dealing with $hit that is VERY triggering for me. My mental health is fragile and I need to do everything I can to protect my well-being. Reflecting on my previous post , we know that there needs to be mutual trust between 2 or more people, in order for any relationship or team to thrive. 

What is so difficult about being honest? Why do you refuse to change your ways when you know that your behaviour hurts me? I don’t care if being honest is more painful than covering up the truth with a bunch of lies. What hurts the most is having the nerve to lie to my face without blinking an eyelash. Even when I question your behaviour, you respond with a lie. You are emotionally unavailable and uninvested in what we were working so hard to build. A relationship is built on 3 things: communication, trust, and affection (may be intimate or non-intimate). 

Liar, Liar ๐Ÿ”ฅ

This is what I want to know: Have you ever told a lie, and did it end well for you? Because it did not end well for me. When someone tells a lie, they end up hurting the people around them. Even if they get away with their lie today, it will eventually catch up to them. Some of the best liars are known to be sociopaths and psychopaths because they are constantly forced to cover up their lies and believe their own BS. Also, they are known to have incredible memory recall. Imagine yourself telling a bunch lies and then having to remember those lies today, tomorrow, a month from now, and even years from now. The psychopath or sociopath might get away with it, but the rest of us will eventually caught. The person who hurt me certainly did get caught and I am still PO’d.

Do you believe that it is ever OK to lie to someone, or continue to lie to someone for whatever reason? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below โ†“ I really enjoy reading your comments! โค๏ธ

Thanks for stopping by!

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๐ŸŒžSunshine Blogger Award 8.0๐ŸŒž

On September 17, 2019, Stiina Marie nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. This would have been my 8th award and I was planning to complete it when I had the opportunity to do so. It usually takes me several months to complete these awards. Also, I am very picky about the types of awards I complete, mainly because these awards are so mainstream and repetitive these days. Seriously, everyone and their moms get these awards. People have even started naming awards after themselves, which is a bit self-conceited if you ask me #unpopular-opinion

Sadly, it looks like I am a little too late to the party. Instead of being greeted by a working link, I was greeted by this oh-so familiar message from WordPress, which felt a punch in the proverbial gut. If you are a blogger, you probably know what I am talking about:

Stiina Marie, I hope that you return to WP one day. It seems like the blogging community loses fellow bloggers on a regular basis, which is a real shame. Well, this concludes the Sunshine Blogger Award 8.0!

Thanks for stopping by! โค

Just kidding. It would mean a lot to me if you grabbed a coffee and took a moment to read this blog post! โ˜•๐Ÿ’•

screen-shot-2018-03-23-at-8-2116615623 (1)The Sunshine Blogger Award is per recognition award for bloggers who inspire readers by promoting positivity and bringing joy. Thank you, Michelle, for nominating me for the award on December 11, 2019. Michelle blogs about her personal life and offers practical advice that is not only relatable, but also covers topics like mental health and well-being. I highly recommend that you check out Michelle’s blog if these topics interest you. 


๐ŸŒžSunshine Blogger Award Rules๐ŸŒž

The Sunshine Blogger Award has rules (surprise, surprise!). These rules ensure the success of this award, providing exposure to all the award winners. The rules are quite simple and straightforward.

Rules for Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  • List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

Questions I was asked:

1. What is your favourite thing about blogging? Engaging with my readers, responding to comments, and following interesting bloggers! I get more enjoyment from interacting with people than I get from writing blog posts and humble-bragging about myself.

2. What do you like about winter? Nothing, unless you count Christmas. That being said Christmas typically lasts 2+ months which is WAY too long.

3. What do you hate about winter? I do not like the snow, slush, ice, snow, melted ice, slush, and more snow. Scraping off icy snow from my car each morning and praying that my car will start is the most anxiety-provoking thing ever. We can talk about winter after you try living in Canada ๐Ÿ

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Photo taken on a cloudy, cold day in Banff, Alberta BC (Before COVID-19)

4. Do you celebrate Christmas? Absolutely. I didn’t go home for Christmas 2017 and I didn’t decorate my house. My husband was out of town so I ended up watching TV re-runs on Christmas day, which was really depressing.

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A non-traditional Christmas tree | Christmas 2019

5. Have you ever written a blog post and later decided not to publish it? Can you describe the post and why you decided not to publish it? I currently have 34 unpublished posts and 98% of them are blank drafts. They’re mostly just titles for potential blog posts. If I recall, I wrote a rough draft about my Steeped Tea addiction, but never ended up writing the final copy. It wasn’t really an addiction since I was able to easily quit the following month. I love Steeped Tea but it’s not worth the price of $2.30 per drink. I’m a broke, frugal student and this habit was burning a hole through my wallet. I will happily accept gift cards though! ๐Ÿ’Œ

6. Which country would you like to visit and why? I previously answered this question in ๐ŸŒžThe Sunshine Blogger Award๐ŸŒž and to cut to the chase, I would love to visit Japan!

7. How do you overcome a struggle? Good question. When faced with adversity, most people would probably give up and quit. Most people like to play victim and use the “poor me” get-out-of jail card, which is a pet peeve of mine. You see, I don’t have victim mentality. I refuse to quit, and I learned to embrace challenges. Even at my lowest, when I was suicidal and diagnosed with major depression, I kept fighting. Did I mention that I live medication-free? It IS possible to function even if you have a mental illness. I just refuse to accept that my life is hopeless and that depression rules my life. In most cases, depression is situational.

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The Pug Life is hard too ๐Ÿพ

8. Can you share one positive thing about yourself? I have a good heart โค People have told me that my advice can be harsh and abrasive, but I have good intentions. A good friend is someone who is truthful and honest, even if the truth stings. I believe that it is better to have a friend like that than someone who always agrees with you. And if I am wrong, please tell me and we can have a mature conversation about it over coffee sometime.

9. What is one thing you want to do that you havenโ€™t done yet? I really want to graduate from nursing school! ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŽ“ I was supposed to graduate a year ago and I am ready to move on with my life.

10. What is your favorite song at the moment? I don’t have a favourite song. My favourite music genre is Chillstep. Also, Lo-Fi hip hop music is starting to grow on me but I don’t know if I would classify it as a favourite genre.

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I think I have 500+ subscribers now? I haven’t logged into this account in ages.

11. What is your favorite movie? I don’t have a favourite movie ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ


๐ŸŒžSUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD NOMINEES๐ŸŒž

I have received several requests from bloggers asking me to nominate them for a Sunshine Blogger Award, so I decided to leave it open to anyone who wants to complete it! Please answer the following questions below โ†“

Questions for You:

1. What year did you start blogging?
2. What is the theme of your blog?
3. What topics do you write about most often?
4. Do you write short stories? Do you write poetry?
5. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you?
6. Have you ever gone to a meetup, such as the meetups from meetup.com?
7. Have you ever sold something on Facebook marketplace? What did you sell?
8. Have you ever bought something from Facebook marketplace? What did you buy?
9. Is it better to be rich, boring person or a poor, adventurous person?
10. Can you share one positive thing about yourself?
11. What is one thing you want to do that you havenโ€™t done yet?

Andโ€ฆ.GO!! I know you have very busy lives outside of the blogging world and I appreciate that you took the time to read this blog post! I look forward to reading your answers if you decide to participate in the Sunshine Blogger Award. 

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