Flexibility: the mental kind.

“I can be flexible,” … “I can. As long as everything is exactly the way I want it I’m totally flexible”  –  Lorelai Gilmore; Gilmore Girls

This quote sums up me. Type-A and perfectionistic me. Control-freak and obsessive me. Often joked about but rarely thought of as true issues… and let me tell you, they can be!

I’ve had a very long road towards mental health, mental wellness, and happiness. Until pretty recently my mind was a scary and dark place to be. Worst-case-scenarios were the only possibilities in my head. And when things didn’t go as I had anticipated/planned/wanted, I would implode and go into a full-blown panic. Fun, huh?

But I’ve learned… and worked… and learned… and worked. Long and meandering, but a totally worthwile journey. One of the biggest things I have worked on, and continue to work on, is mental flexibility.

To me, mental flexibility is: the process of adapting and coping to changing or unexpected situations. This means thinking about things in new ways or on focusing on what I can control and do to embrace the situation. Easier said than done!

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” – Gretchen Rubin

Mental flexibility and my tendency to perfectionism went go hand-in-hand for me. I love the quote by Gretchen Rubin because of how it resonates a simple truth: perfect isn’t always the perfect way!

Not to say we just let all things slide, but learning to embrace the quirks and unexpected can be a freeing experience (after the freakout phase, at least). I constantly remind myself to re-frame the situation at hand… focus on how spontaneity has lead to some of the biggest and best things in my life. Or, I focus on how it’s true how we can always laugh (or even learn from) failures on all scales.

Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it is not yet the end.” – Sonny; Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

That quote sums up another thing I think about. Everything works out. Sometimes things even work out better than you expected. You just have to trust that everything in life will resolve, and that you can control the fact that you will live it out.

The longest minute of your life still only had 60 seconds.

The last thing that I remind myself is that every minute has 60 seconds. And anyone can get through 60 seconds at a time. Breathe in, breathe out, repeat. That’s all you can or need to do sometimes!

Do you have any tricks for mental flexibility? Or do you have any sticking points that are hard to get your brain around? Share them!

Love, Jenn

 

Boo!

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Our spooky classroom door!! It even lights up and makes creepy noises! MAJOR props to our class rep Kaitlyne for thinking this up and bringing it to life!!

Hope everyone has a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN and enjoys lots of treats (and maybe some fun tricks too!!). Have fun and be safe!

minniemeLove, Jenn – aka Office Professional Minnie Mouse!

Thoughts on a cold (October) morning.

Hello! Hope that everyone is doing well. So far, it’s been a great week (yes, I know it’s only Tuesday but let’s be positive!) and I’m hoping the rest of the week flies by too!

So, I am a morning person, but who doesn’t struggle with cold mornings and the pain of leaving a cozy, warm bed? Here’s what went through my mind this morning:

  • 5.08: Good… I woke up before my alarm.
  • 5.09: But if I could fall asleep how much time would I have? No. No snooze in my life anymore!
    • 5.09, part II: Alright, time to check out what the world’s up to.
  • 5.11: (On social media) I don’t have FOMO (fear of missing out) but I do definitely need to start having a life through the work-week.
  • 5.20: Alright, time to get out of bed… but it’s cold… but I have to get up… but it’s cold (repeat 100x)
  • 5.25: It’s ACTUALLY snowing out, according to Environment Canada, I suppose flurries aren’t cause for a snow day??
  • 5.26: Alright, I’ll just get up to pee and turn on the bathroom heat.
  • 5.27: (Rushing back to bed) It’s.So.Cold.
  • 5.29: … F**** I forgot to turn on the heat!
  • 5:30: Alright, 5 more minutes of warm then I definitely get in the shower.
  • 5.36: Well, I missed 5 minute mark, so it might as well be 10…
  • 5.55: (Finally in the shower) It’s nice in here, can I just not leave today?
  • 6.15: Breakfast is good. Breakfast is warm.
  • 7.10: S***, where did the time go?
  • 7.15: Why is it so cold out here? I should really get an automatic car starter so I don’t have to get into a freezing car.
  • 7:25: Ahh the car’s getting warm…. and I’m at school.***

Happy Tuesday, and have a WONDERFUL day!! Love, Jenn

*** So I know it’s only going to be downhill from here temperature wise…. but I’m trying to have a sense of humor!)

 

 

The Friday Five: fall edition.

TGIF!! We made it to Friday, and here’s to the weekend! Here are 5 things I LOVE about FALL (aka the best season)!

Thankful & Grateful – even without Thanksgiving, I always find the fall is the time I’m reflecting on the people and things that I hold close and feel so thankful for. I am so lucky to be surrounded by incredible people, and am truly grateful for them. I have also been taking some time to remember the happy memories, and the huge scope of how my life has changed over the past few years.


Changing scenery – this time of year is beyond gorgeous in my corner of the world. The colours are phenomenal and the views are breathtaking. I love getting out for a drive to enjoy the new colours and landscapes… bonus points for having a hot tea and some great company with you!

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Gorgeous autumn colouring!


Fall baking – now that it’s not oppressively hot, having the oven on is once again a part of normal life. I love the fall flavors of pumpkin and spice, and love all the earthier  desserts that we can enjoy now that the cooler air is around!

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Tastes better than it looks – pumpkin cheesecake!


Fall produce – hands down the best time of year for eating your fruits + veggies. Squash, potatoes, apples, cranberries… it’s all so delicious! I especially love spending a beautiful fall day outside apple picking.

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Fresh cranberries!


Cooking – of course the amazing produce leads to some pretty terrific cooking options! Cooking and eating heartier (and comforting!) meals is so enjoyable, and it is definitely a welcome addition back to the menu rotation!

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Mmm comfort food – mashed potatoes for the win!

What are your favourite 5 things about Fall 2016? Let me know! Have a great weekend everyone! Love, Jenn

Remembering.

I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful person. A bubbly, bright, kind, and extremely happy individual. Someone who has inspired me in so many ways, and someone who has taught me more about life and love than I ever thought possible. This is my brother Keith:

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Today is a very special day for myself, and my family. Today is Keith’s Birthday.

Keith was, and still is, a huge part of my life. His lust for life and love of laughter would make everyone fall in love with him immediately. His passion for music was limitless, and his ability to remember tiny details was astounding. Not to mention he was pretty darn handsome and had the most gorgeous brown eyes I’ve ever seen.

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Although he’s not here with us now, he’ll always be with us in heart and in our memories. We miss him terribly, but know that he’d be so happy to see my family so full of life and happiness! Keith was always so excited about his Birthday, so we’re ready to celebrate for him and with him in spirit!

So… HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEITH!! Thank you for everything, and I love you more than ever.

Love, Jenn.

Love & Loathe: 2nd edition.

Welcome back to the 2nd installment of Love & Loathe! Here’s my current list:

  • LOVE: my family… given and chosen. I rave about these guys constantly (#sorrynotsorry) and feel that they deserve a shout-out again! You guys rock!
  • LOVE: the beautiful fall colours. Gorgeous. Period.
  • LOATHE: shorter (and shorter… and shorter) days. Dark in the mornings and dark in the evenings. Hard to get out of bed but always worth it!
  • LOVE: morning tea and reads. I am an early-bird, but love to savour the early moments alone. I love sipping away on a tea and reading something awesome. Awesome could be a novel, the news, or even some trashy celeb gossip. It helps start my day off right and puts some pleasure into the dark (and chilly) mornings!
  • LOATHE: winding balls from skeins. File this under a grandma problem… but having to ball the wool I’m using for my crochet projects is always a loathe-inducing process.
  • LOVE: transcription. Nerd alert: this is by far my favourite class and something I look forward to doing every day. I love the challenge of using my medical knowledge and critical thinking skills, and the practice typing makes it pretty darn fun all around (nerd rant over.)
  • LOATHE: geographical distance in a relationship. I love my guy, but I don’t love that we’re about an hour away from each other most of the time. Someday we hope to be able to spend our lives a little more cohesively, but until then we are beyond grateful for things like Facetime and texting!
  • LOVE: incredible instructors. I am truly lucky to have had some completely wonderful instructors in my time at college. Mentors and role-models on every level. They truly want us to succeed and to be challenged in our own ways. They provide not only encouragement, but have helped us through this (at times daunting) journey.

Anything you’ve been loving or loathing of late? Share! Let’s rock the end of the week! Love, Jenn

Goals: September and October.

At the beginning of September I went through the process of setting goals in the 3 main areas of my life (school, fitness, and life). I do this regularly (in real life) and can’t see me stopping any time soon. It’s time to review my list and see how I made out and what I may still want to work on:

School-related:

  1. Staying on top of the paper I’ve done exceptionally well with this goal! I no longer have school papers piling up in a jumbled mess… they’re hole-punched, put away and under control! Go me! DONE!
  2. Get as much done on Fridays as possible. I set this as a theoretical goal, and it turns out that it works better some weeks than others. I will say that having the mindset of trying to get things done sooner-than-later on the weekends does help with the Sunday rush! I’ll call this one accomplished for the effort and for testing it out. DONE.
  3. Actually study. We’ll call this one a win. Instead of blowing my review time I will actually read things over and review the points I’m fuzzy on. So far, so good for this one… DONE!

Fitness-related:

  1. Drink 64oz (around 1.8L) of water a day. I did really, really well with this early in the month but have been struggling more as the temperature has dropped. I’m going to carry this one over and keep working on it this month. STILL TRYING!
  2. Never spend a break sitting – DONE! Feels awesome, enough said.
  3. Move EVERY day – getting there. I’ve been more conscious of it and I am definitely getting into more of a routine in this area again. I’m going to keep focusing on it and I know I’ll be so grateful that I did. STILL TRYING!

Life-related:

  1. Blog consistently. Calling this one accomplished. I’m still fine-tuning my routine but I feel like I’ve done a good job of keeping at it! DONE!
  2. Focus on my attitude and thought pattern. This is definitely a win this month. I’m feeling better and finding it easier to keep things in perspective (not to say I didn’t have some bad moments or days). DONE! (and will keep going!)
  3. Cook and bake more. DONE! Proud and happy to say that this one has been a total success!

Up next are the goals I’ve set for October!

School-related:

  1. Start my end-of-term projects. I am hoping to get a good jump on all the things due at the end of the term during October and hopefully keep up with them as we learn. This should drastically cut down on the end-of-term crunch!
  2. Stay ahead (as much as possible). I have generally been ahead of the game this term, and it’s such a satisfying feeling. It is mostly due to using time wisely, but I hope to stay a little ahead as much as possible to build in a little time for a break here and there!
  3. Keep reviewing. I am nearing the end of school, and want to leave on a high note. This goes with the “actually study” goal from September… I’m trying to avoid apathy and disinterest!

Fitness-related:

  1. Move EVERY day. I am keeping this as a goal because I find that keeping it as part of my goals helps to keep this a priority. Being outside is gorgeous this time of year, can’t wait to enjoy the crisp air!
  2. Shift into bedtime by 9 pm. I’m usually very good about my sleep routine, but I’m finding that lately I’ve been getting in to bed really wound up and not ready to sleep. I am going to make an effort to get into bed a little earlier than usual and read to help my brain down-shift into night mode.
  3. Drink less caffeine (<3 teas/day). I LOVE tea, and I have noticed that as the mornings and evenings start to get a little cooler my tea (and therefore caffeine) intake have been on the rise. I’m going to make the conscious effort to sub in caffeine-free tea (I have an awesome caffeine-free chai) once I’ve hit my quota for the day. This should also help with the bedtime relaxation plan.

Life-related:

  1. Try 3 new recipes. I love to cook and bake, but more often than not I will fall-back to a favourite recipe instead of trying one that I’ve saved (from blogs, online, etc.). This month I’m hoping to try 3 new recipes and see how they turn out! I’ll hopefully report back with favourable reviews!
  2. Be present with people. I have noticed that since starting back to school my attention has sometimes been split while I’m spending time with people. I’m going to make a serious effort to be present for the time and enjoy it, I know that this will help me feel more relaxed overall and will heighten the feelings of gratefulness and happiness!
  3. Do a Fall-clean. I need to do a good review of my fall and winter clothing. I know that I need to re-organize and re-discover what I have for the season! I’d also like to do a thorough clean of my apartment… the dust bears rabbits have been lurking around the edges of late!

So those are my October goals. Do you have any that you’ve been working on, or have set for the month? I’d love to hear about them! Love, Jenn

Saturday Scenes: Apple Picking Edition.

Good Monday morning!! Hope that everyone had an awesome weekend, and that this week will be a great one!


This weekend was the first FALL weekend I’ve had this year! The leaves are getting gorgeous, the air has a snap to it, and fall comfort food is definitely starting! On Saturday, Adam and I hit the road to explore (as always) and to go pick some local apples! Here are some of the picture highlights from the day, hope you enjoy!

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How was your weekend? Anything fun on the planner fo this week? Love, Jenn

An A to Z of Me.

Hello, hello!

Following in the vein of my love of lists, I though maybe a good way to talk about myself a bit would be to write a list. Since I’m an organizational freak, alphabetical seemed the best choice! Here’s the A-Z of Me:

A – Type A. Majorly. I’m constantly working on my mental flexibility, but I am hard-wired a Type A for sure!

B – Ballet dancer. I was a serious ballet dancer for over a decade of my life. I miss it, but partially blame it for my funky toes!

C – Cousin. I come from a big, loud, close, and loving family. I and very close to some of my cousins, and am proud to have them as friends and family too.

D – Daughter. My parents are AMAZING. I am so very lucky to be their daughter, and always hope to make them proud!

E – Early bird. I was not always an early bird, but I definitely am now! I work best in the morning, and I definitely struggle to stay awake in the evening… but I’m always up and raring to before 7!

F – Frenzy. My camp name and forever part of me… and it describes me pretty darn well!

G – Goal-lover! As you may have seen, I’m definitely a goal-driven person. I tend to set goals pretty consistently, and they range from very short-term (like: wash the dishes tonight) to long-term (like where I would like to live 5 years from now).

H – Hiker. No surprise to those who know me, I love being out in the middle of nowhere having a great hike. I’m not a dare-devil, but I am definitely a hiking nut!

I – Introvert. I can be chatty (surprises no one who really know me) but am truly an introvert by nature. As much as I love the people in my life, I need to re-charge with alone time pretty frequently.

J – Joker. I inherited a pretty unique and sometimes dark sense of humor, and a true penchant for playing pranks. Watch out on April Fool’s, and when I look more than a little mischievous.

K – Knitting and crochet. I am in no way good at drawing, but knitting and crochet I can do! I love to make projects for the people I love, or for myself. Hats, scarves… anything practical for the Maritime climate!

L – Love of baking. I LOVE baking. Debatably, I like the process almost as much as the end result! I find it very relaxing, and an excellent way to pass some time. Thank goodness I have places to send some of my creations to avoid eating it all myself!

M – Music. I listen to music a lot. Like, pretty much every chance I get. My tastes have changed over the years, but I always end up back at classical. Don’t judge.

N – New challenges. I am getting much better at taking on new challenges. I’ve stopped focusing on how intimidating new things can be, and have started enjoying the challenges! I love using all my skills to master (or attempt to master!) something new. Nothing feels better than feeling like you’ve truly accomplished something you couldn’t have done before.

O – Old ballerina. I did ballet for over a decade. I still miss it, but love remembering how much of an endorphin-high I would have after a full Saturday spent in the studio. I don’t, however, love how permanently messed up my poor toes are though!

P – Psychology nut. I was majoring in psychology in university and LOVED it. I have a lot of personal background and a deep interest in the area, and love to learn anything I can about how we work.

Q – Quick reader. I plow through books like there’s no tomorrow. I can finish massive amounts in a short time, which certainly comes in handy with school required readings!

R – Really voracious Reader. I will read just about anything, and will read at warp-speed. Funny story: my parents once offered when I was a kid that they would get cable if I would read fewer books. This was only a potential option because I had already read the whole young-adult section at the local library.

S – Sister. I am (and will always be in my heart and soul) a sister to an incredible human being. He passed away a little over 5 years ago, but I will be forever grateful for being able to be a big sister to someone as special as Keith.

T – Typist. I can type an accurate, and sustained, speed over 90 words a minute. Comes in handy in my new line of study/work, but also is pretty awesome for everyday use too!

U – Undeniably honest. Sometimes verging on harsh (I’m working on having a little more of a filter). I do value honesty in life, and I feel like sometimes society has moved towards being false… which serves no one.

V – Very sarcastic. Or maybe you haven’t noticed? Sarcasm is not a substitute for wit (any Downton fans here?), but it is a pretty efficient way to express certain things!

W – Writer of cards. I send cards for EVERY occasion. Getting good mail ranks near the top of my things-that-make-me-happy list, so I try to pass along the joy to others!

X – eXtreme fan. I have an obsessive personality, which manifests itself in the form of being a REALLY hardcore fan of things. Harry Potter, Breaking Bad, Hunger Games, figure skating, and reading are definitely my top fangirling areas.

Y – Yearns for travel. I LOVE to travel and have an insanely long list of places I would like to go!

Z – Zealot for punctuality. Chalk this up to my Type A personality I guess? I am chronically early for e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Drives certain people crazy, but I HATE being or feeling like I’m late. On time is verging on late for me!

Which of these surprises you? Or which is glaringly obvious? Let me know something about you too!

Wishing you a great week… Love, Jenn

 

My weekend.

Good morning! I enjoyed an absolutely awesome weekend, hope you did too! Here are some sights from the past few days.


FRIDAY!

Exploring and savouring:

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Talk about a gorgeous day! This is near home right next to a ferry!

While enjoying the view, I got to enjoy inhale this:

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Jealous? It was as amazing as it looks!

And got my fortune for the weekend:

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#Positive


SATURDAY!

Road-trip day! Saw both sides of Grand Lake, got to meet new people, and show off my old stomping grounds:

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Found: people with a sense of humour and fun!

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So this is why I used “Frenzy” in my blog name… It was once a major part of my life/identity and was my May-September alias! This is still found at my old camp, and it was so nice to get to visit it again!

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Feels like home.

Although the leaves are slower, the fields are definitely getting their autumn-colours on:

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My partner’s Mom is a pickling and preserving expert! She has done TONNES of batches so far this fall, and is starting on her crab apple jelly. We helped prep the apples… so pretty!


Sunday was a laundry/houework/be an adult day… so nothing too fun to show, but it was a great day all the same!

Did you do anything fun this weekend? See anything quirky or gorgeous?

Have a great day! Love, Jenn