Tag Archives: advice

Friday Feeling – today’s word is “squall”

It’s Friday again! Does it really matter though? The days have all blended together and it doesn’t seem to matter what the day is. They all feel the same lately. That’s the effect isolation has had on us all.

We’re still in lockdown here. Most restaurants and bars are closed. I haven’t had a haircut in months. I finally cut my own hair out of frustration yesterday. Just an inch off the bottom. I’m afraid to cut it anymore than that for making a mess out of it. I just keep cutting and cutting because I think it looks crooked. So, I need to get into a salon the minute they open up again.

My niece is taking beauty culture classes or whatever they call it now so I really might have to visit my sister one of these nights. The kids are all growing up so fast. Her brother got accepted into business school and I’m just so darned proud of him. They’re amazing kids. Even if they are taller than me.

I just got off the phone with my therapist. Appointments have been via the phone or video conference because of the pandemic. We meet bi-weekly. And it feels amazing to have someone to talk to who isn’t family or a friend. It’s someone who doesn’t know my world and can give advice without judgment. I always feel better after our chats. I really like her too. Very easy to get along with.

For some people therapy is a four letter word. There are people who are ashamed to even admit they are in therapy. But one thing I realized in the last year with isolation and the pandemic, sometimes we need that extra support. Just having someone to talk to can help.

That’s why I’m stoked for my new service page where you can book consultations and coaching sessions with me. I told my therapist that I’m ready to retire from government work and move onto something else. I’m still looking for work I can do from home but jobs are limited these days. I’m still also waiting for medical appointments – it’s going to be about a year before I can get into see a neurologist for the migraines. I also want to chat about Parkinsons. It’s hereditary. And I just want to be on top of things for when I get older.

The search for a new place continues. Rent is so insane here. I’ve paid $1200 for years for 2 bedrooms since 2008. People are now charging that for what they think are “luxury” condos — for a ONE bedroom! It’ s freaking insane. I ranted about this on Facebook and a friend just sent me a link to a rental for like $1500 without utilities. I was like, um, thanks, but did you even read my post? I’ve seen condos as high as $2500 monthly. People call them luxury condos but they’re tiny.

And what’s with kitchens in new condos? They are so little. Some people still like to cook! I need a full sized kitchen above anything else.

That would mean more than 50% of my income goes to rent. I’m tired of being broke all the time. While I have some savings, it isn’t much. Luckily, I managed to pay off a good chunk of credit debt this year. So, that’s a bonus. I have stellar credit now. That’s an amazing feeling but took a long time to get there.

And so, this is where I am on this Friday afternoon. It snowed last night and it’s a dreary kind of day. It’s supposed to get really cold this weekend but I can’t complain. We’ve been spoiled with above average temperatures.

Except for that “squall” that we experienced two nights ago. No one even knew what a “Squall” was. I kind of like the term. “squall”. Want to know what a squall is? Check this video out. It was surreal. Lots of people lost power. Because things couldn’t get any weirder. People lost entire sheds and trampolines. Roofs were torn off houses.

It’s like a hurricane- but with snow.

On that note – I will wish you a happy Friday. What are you up to this weekend? It’s another big fun isolation weekend here. I think I will get back into baking and work on some recipe cards for you all.

Happy Friday!

Friday Promos

Still looking for that first review of my Etsy shop. Prices of art have been reduced. I’m also giving away artwork to customers who leave a review. You can also get a hand-signed piece of your choice from me. Don’t miss out! Only a week left.


Check out my new “services” page – it’s a work in progress as I come up with a list of services I can offer. If you’re looking for online companionship or coaching sessions, get in touch. We can work out something.

Never miss a post – subscribe now!

Conflict Resolution: Dealing with difficult people (repost)

Fitness Challenge: Mental health is just as important as your physical health

Disclaimer: this post is not aimed at anyone in particular – just some things I learned in training over the years. I decided to re-post this as I’m searching for courses that I can take over the summer.

In continuing with my Fitness Challenge – Mental Health and Fitness theme – I decided today, to focus on how to deal with difficult situations and people. Most of you know by now that I work in an office type of job. And I have been in this line of work for nearly twenty years. In the past few years, I’ve really focused on building on my coaching skills and taking as much professional development as possible. I look for courses that can help build on personal skills that I can apply in daily life and at work. I’ll be going through some of my notes from my courses and sharing them with you. I also really hope next year when things are more settled – to take more professional courses like this.

Every time that I am faced with a challenging person or difficult scenario, I am reminded of some advice that a boss gave me to a few years ago. The advice was LIFE changing and I often apply it in my personal world. I hear her voice inside my head every day. It’s something that I will never forget.

How does this apply to mental health and general health you might be asking yourself? There is a method to my madness.

Dealing with stressful people and situations at the office can take its toll on your mental health. Dealing with other people’s quirks and unrealistic expectations can stress you out. I speak from real life experience. A lot of it.

While I’ve learned that this approach doesn’t necessarily work in all situations – I can’t tell how you much it has helped me when dealing with difficult people at work or in general. It has helped reduced some stresses in life that you just don’t need.

You can’t change who people are – but you can change how you REACT to them.

Image result for pulled in all directions

How is an employee expected to meet expectations when the employer can’t make up their mind on what those expectations are? 

There was one particular afternoon  a few years back – I was having a really bad day at work. I sat down in my director’s office. And I broke the cardinal sin. The one rule that everyone tries to avoid breaking.

I cried.

And it wasn’t just “sniffle sniffle” – I ugly cried.

I had reached my breaking point and I knew that I couldn’t carry on anymore. Not at that pace. Not at that level. Not with three very different personalities demanding 100% of my attention. (I can talk about this now – I no longer work with these people).

My #1 boss, still one of my favorite people to this day, did exactly what I needed her to do. She listened to me. She listened to everything I had to say – she really, truly, listened to me. 

At the end of it, she stood up and gave me a hug.

“Look, I know you’re having a difficult time. But I’ve got your back,” she said.

“You can’t change who people are. You can’t change how she is. But you can change how you react to her.” 

Image result for aha gif

We chatted a bit more and she offered some more sage advice. It was probably one of the most rewarding discussions I had ever had. I sat back in my chair and looked pretty much like Chandler does above. I was stunned. If only I had been given this gift before.

Life could have been so much simpler.

Here are some tips she offered to me. So this is really, second hand advice you’re receiving today. But it’s pure gold.

  • When asked to do a simple task, “No problem” or “Right away”
  • When given vague instructions that require clarification rather than send multiple emails back and forth – just pick up the phone and call. Or ask if they can call you.
  • Just don’t email back and forth. Short, simple answers, yes or no. Or call her.

Still confused? Don’t worry. It took me awhile to get the hang of it. And trust me – when I did – well, dealing with the impossible suddenly became – enjoyable. Her opinion of me changed.

Remember – the only thing that I changed was the way I responded to her. By the end of that quarter – the exec was actually supportive of me. She would actually come to me in times of stress for assistance. My, how times had changed.

It took some trial and error to finally figure out how to respond to her. But once I got the hang of it – things fell into place naturally. I also learned that giving her options made her feel like she was a little in control. Even though she wasn’t in complete control, she felt like she was.

Image result for you can't change who people are but you can change how you react

Giving her that little bit of false control back – changed everything for us. I wish I had only known how to do this when early on. Now – I know better and I have adopted these simple principles into my daily life.

I can tell you that most of the stress in my life disappeared once I learned these tricks. Sure, there is still work stress and financial stress – but stress caused by people in my life? I’ve figured out how to deal with that. And I’m a happier person for it.

Personal life and dealing with difficult people

I’ve learned to handle messages and emails from abusive people as well in my personal life. We all have those people in life who think they are the most important thing. They expect you to drop everything you’re doing and focus only on them. And the one time you actually stand up for yourself – you’re suddenly an asshole or bitch.

I have someone in my life like this. And I’ve learned NOT to respond to her when she gets like this.

You can also choose NOT to respond. That’s right. You have every right to not to respond to someone who is rude or belligerent. We all deserve to be treated with respect. And if someone can’t extend you the same decency – you have every right to deny that person your time and attention.

What I’ve learned through my professional work has helped me so much in my own personal life in responding to negative people. Sometimes – there isn’t much you can do except to avoid them all together. 

End the conversation.

Don’t even bother with a response. I find that after waiting a few days that person will either forget what they said to you – or will have realized that they were in the wrong. This used to happen all the time with someone in my life. I actually can’t remember the last time we had a blow because I stopped responding to her when she became abusive.  I would just drop the conversation because I knew she was looking for a reaction.

Sometimes – people want you to respond. They know that what they say will get a reaction out of you. And they know what triggers those reactions. They know that they can push certain buttons to get you going. It’s a game to them. And they thrive off it.

Deny them the pleasure. Just choose not to react. Don’t give them that control or power over you. 

Don’t expect apologies

Don’t expect these people to apologize. They almost never do. They may know that they’re in the wrong with the way they treat you but they will never admit it. They will not admit that they are at fault. They will not own up to their behaviour. In some cases, they might even turn things around on you, so you are apologizing to them.

It’s their issue – not yours

Remember – that when dealing with difficult people, the issue is mostly theirs and not yours. People who are generally unhappy in life, are more likely to deflect what they are feeling onto others.  It may seem like no matter what you do – you never have the right answer. Or the work you produce is never good enough. Even if you are doing a great job. And you’re good at your job. Even if you’re following all the proper procedures and protocols. People like this will always find fault.

So, whether you are struggling in your professional career or personal career – it’s okay to look after you. Follow your company’s protocol. But know that you have every right to stand up for yourself. It’s always a little easier to stand up to people in your life – the ones who aren’t cutting your paycheck every month.

But in the end, the only one looking out for you – is YOU. Be your own advocate. Stand up for yourself. Use your voice and make sure you are heard.

Advice from my grandmother 2: glitter and pearls

Come my little one, and now, we fast to school will go,

To sing, read, write,

Then we will all be plucky and clever boys and girls.

Oh, how great they will be.

Karen Jensen, My Journey, author unknown

Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com

If you have a Mother humming, while she struggled,

Every day would seem glorified.

A brave Mother who carried her burden with a smile,

Gave bread to her sole and lovely food to her body.

If you follow in her footsteps,

Then thank your mother.

Svend Rehling

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Glitter and pearls, is mixed here on earth,

Leave the glitter, but thread to pearls on a string.

Karen Jensen, My Journey, author unkown