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Simple Reminders for the Holiday Season

November 28, 2016

Simple Reminders for the Holidays

I love this time of year. I’ve always been the girl who unabashedly starts listening to Christmas music in November, sings while walking down the street by myself (even if strangers give me funny looks), watches the same movies over and over again, and feels like a kid on Christmas Eve and morning. I’ve filled three mugs with hot chocolate and taken my brother and sister on a tour of displays since they were kids. And I still marvel at how a single string of white lights can warm up a room.

Now in saying all of that, I will still admit that the holidays don’t feel quite the same as they used to. As a family, we’re trying to figure out what our new traditions are, and I imagine it’s going to be a little different each year now that we’re older, my parents aren’t together and we won’t all be in Victoria. The fact that we no longer exchange gifts actually helps, as it takes a lot of pressure off and makes the holidays so much more meaningful for us all. But it still takes a little more effort to feel the same spirit I used to.

So when Laura asked if I’d consider writing something about the upcoming holiday season, my first response was no. But the more I thought about it, I realized that most people feel some amount of stress this time of year. While you might not be able to relate to mine, specifically, I can appreciate the chaos and anxiety that gets stirred up by all the shopping, spending, parties and obligations. It’s not always as easy as some people make it look. If anything, we should help ease the stress from one another.

If that sounds like what you need, here are a few simple reminders for the holidays:

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The Impact of Kindness

November 23, 2016

The Impact of Kindness

This is a guest post by my friend and fellow road tripper Kara Perez.

There’s a line that’s been bouncing around in my head for the past few months. Tennessee Williams wrote it for his play A Streetcar Named Desire. The line reads: “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” I can’t seem to get it out of my mind.

The play is technically a tragedy, but that line is a triumph. The kindness of strangers is a whole world of kindness. And to have always depended on it means that the kindness has always been there. What a wonderful thought – that people have been kind since forever, and that the kindness is always available somehow.

2016 has been a tough year. Prince and David Bowie died, Americans lost their minds in the presidential election, and Brexit shocked the world. Yet I find that the kindness of strangers is alive and well. In fact, because 2016 has been so hard, I think kindness might be thriving in certain ways.

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What It Really Means to Do What You Love

October 24, 2016

What It Really Means to Do What You Love

This is a guest post by my friend Jennifer of the blog Simply + Fiercely.

When I was twenty-two, I decided that I was tired of my life and did something I’m almost scared to admit on a personal finance blog; I dropped out of university, bought a one-way ticket to London, and boarded a plane with nothing but a backpack, a work visa, and a meagre $500 in my pocket.

I landed at Heathrow after a long and difficult flight (I was sick on the plane) feeling completely lost, exhausted, and disoriented – but also happier than I’d ever felt in my life.

Despite the pitiful exchange rate, my limited funds (I realized I had enough to sustain me for exactly seven days – provided I stuck to a strict diet of peanut butter sandwiches) and the fact that I knew absolutely no one in London, I was beyond excited.

For the first time in my life, I was doing what I loved.

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