Showing posts from June, 2018

Family Tree Surprises

For the last two years I have been a member of, having built an extensive family tree on both sides of my family.  Since then, I have also become a member on 23andMe, and through both of these sites I have used DNA kits to help narrow down both genetic risk factors and my DNA ancestry. There is always a risk in doing this, as these sites definitely warn you, that you will discover things that are unexpected and possibly unpleasant.  One can imagine the many secret love children taking these tests only to discover siblings and cousins they had not known.  Exciting for them, perhaps, but highly shocking to other families! For my own part, I have had a couple of interesting interactions via private messages on these sites.  Through 23andMe, a young woman reached out because our genetic testing had us linked as likely second cousins. Through a few short exchanges, we discovered that my aunt (my dad's sister) is her great-grandmother.  How cool!? It was a sta

Another Fitbit Anniversary

So, right about this time last year, I reflected on my three year Fitbitversary.  This weekend marked my fourth year as a Fitbit user.  Let me wow you with some stats (I love statistics!): In those four years I have walked/run/jogged: 18.8 MILLION steps! which equates to 7,957 miles climbed 5,323 floors Per this graph, you can see that in the first half of 2016, my stats took a nosedive.  This was during my first six months of graduate courses.  I gained between 15-20lbs during this time period. Thanks to Fitbit, I got my act together.  I lost 30lbs through a combined effort of calorie tracking and increased fitness and have kept both up to this day. August will mark 2 years since I started losing the weight, and the weight has stayed off. People make me laugh when they ask how I have kept the weight off and I tell them it was my Fitbit.  They nearly always get a Fitbit, but then get no results.  Fitbit is a tool, it is empowering.  It is my fiercest lecturer an

Father's Day

As many of you know, I lost my dad during Christmastime of 2016 after a long and difficult illness.  This will be my second Father's Day without him. What surprises me most is how very unsorry I feel for myself at this time.  Instead, I feel very blessed that I was so lucky to have such a wonderful dad and for so long.  For the first thirty-three years of my life, I had an unwavering champion, a source of unconditional love, and a perfect match for my temper and wits. No matter how prepared you are, you're never ready to lose a parent.  My siblings and I discovered this, and as lucky as we have felt to have had him for as long as we did, you cannot help but have that bereft, childish feeling at the loss of such a strong figure in your life, even as an adult. Most of you did not know my dad personally, but it's possible that you have seen him.  You may have seen him in my mom's tender, enthusiastic stories of their life together.  You may have seen him in my brothe

Luck...or Sacrifice?

As a student from elementary school up through to high school, I was mostly an A student (with a few fairly egregious exceptions).  As an undergraduate student, I had almost exclusively As, and as a graduate student, I have had all As.  I have a fairly exemplary record as an employee.  In many areas of my life, from my health quotient to my credit score, I am doing pretty well. Throughout my life I have had the opportunity to deal with numerous people who chalk all of this up to luck.  I have had friends and coworkers alike tell me that "these things just come more easily to you."  I do not think people realize when they say that how belittling and insulting it is. I worked with a woman not that long ago who used this as an excuse all the time for why I was getting my work done and she was not.  I was newer in my role, had less tools at my disposal, but at the end of the day I was succeeding and she was not. "This comes more easily to you," she would say.  She d

Countdown to Accomplishment

On July 8th, I will officially have finished all of the requirements for my Master's in Management degree.  Truthfully, I will be done all of the requirements long before that date, but that is the date when the course will close and it will be final and official. I feel like I have been in post-secondary forever.  Immediately after high school, I went to college for a little over one semester, and had to withdraw so I could move outside of the country. When I was twenty, I went back to college and for the next two years I worked on finishing my Associate's degree.  I was a Dean's List student all four semesters, and even though it wasn't where I had hoped to be at twenty-two, I was glad to have it done. Just before I turned twenty-nine in 2012, I registered to go back to school again, this time to finish my Bachelor's degree.  The company I work for offers tuition reimbursement, and so for the following four years, I worked full time and went to school part t

Sweet Reunions

I hate the word busy.  I avoid it as much as possible, but there is no denying that I have been busy lately.  I am in the final push toward finishing my degree, but what has really put me behind is my wonderful, much anticipated 35th birthday celebration week with my friends. As many of you know, I grew up in Canada and moved away when I was 18 years old.  Since then, I have only gone back one time, in 2011, and I was excited to use my 35th birthday as a way to reunite with some friends and celebrate.  I had three Canadian guests arrive to celebrate.  One is my best friend, who makes a nearly annual visit to me each year, but that doesn't make her visit any less special.  One was another friend from high school who has visited me twice before, but I have not seen her since my 2011 visit to my hometown.  And the third, a friend I have had since I was 12 years old, who I also last saw in 2011.  However, with her, what was special was seeing her reunite with my sister, as they