The Beauty of Autumn
Sometimes, daily life gets the better of all of us. The routine can sometimes become a grind, even with exercise and a healthy diet, you start to feel tired and uninspired, and you find your energy levels dropping with each passing day. Stress, finances, relationships, work and raising kids can all be contributing factors.
If you ever feel like this, a road trip could be the perfect solution. Wherever your own internal compass leads you, I think (or hope at least), we’ve all experienced the need to get away at some point in our lives.
Like life itself, a good road trip is never about the final destination, but the twists, turns and experiences in getting there. At its heart, a road trip is a journey of discovery, and it can be the perfect way to take a break and re-energize. For me, it has the same effect as meditation. A chance to breathe, relax and tone down a busy mind.
You don’t need to go far to experience the spirit of the road. A tank of gas can go further than you think and just remember, it’s not the destination that matters, so take your time, and if your plans change along the way, great, embrace it. The moment an idea jumps up and grabs you out of nowhere could be the best idea you’ve ever had.
You learn a lot about yourself when you are alone without anyone else for company. This is especially true when you are on the open road, and there is no one else for miles and miles. People often go travelling in order to “find themselves”, and at the end of your journey you will have almost certainly made some discoveries about yourself, some of which may be surprising.
Travelling with a companion or a few friends might just show you a different side to someone you thought you knew well. It’s a chance to open up about yourselves; share your fears, your current situations and feel a sense of joy that perhaps was missing in your life.
If you want to escape the everyday routine and enjoy something different, embarking on a short journey may force you out of your comfort zone. When you go exploring, you will get involved in adventures without even seeking them, and when you return, the challenge will have revived your senses.
Adventures are not just “for others”, or for those who are fitter or who have been training all their lives. Or for those who don’t have to balance work and family: adventure is for everyone.
I don’t know yet where my internal compass will lead me, but I try to keep an open mind, and look to the people who inspire me, and to things I wish I could do, but discarded as impossible.
I can’t think of a better season than autumn to enjoy its beauty, and hit the open road.
LORI MITCHELL, PUBLISHER, EDITOR
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How have you been feeling lately?
In our society, it’s very common for us to habitually push through fatigue. Just have an extra cup of coffee, eat something sugary to give us a temporary kick, rather than slowing down or resting. After all, getting things done is more important...at least that’s what some of us tend to think. Even though your body is tired and begging you to slow down, are you afraid of what will happen if you do? If you’re not even able to manage all your responsibilities going full speed - wouldn’t it be disastrous, and ultimately even more stressful, to take a significant break? We won’t die of embarrassment if we speak up. Ask for help. Would your friend who needs you to look after her kids find another friend to help? Would someone else pick up the groceries for you, or take your kids to their basketball game? In April, my Dad passed after a long battle with his health. Our family was accustomed to Dad’s trips to ICU and emergency. He was a fighter, and determined to stay with us. The last few days at the hospital were heart wrenching and incredibly difficult. The grieving process began – but life doesn’t stop with young children. Lunches had to be made, laundry done, meals prepared, practices and games attended, homework completed. In May, I set a schedule to reconnect with progress of this issue, but I was feeling very tired and lethargic. On the heels of producing the Healthy Living EXPO, I chalked it up to exhaustion.
I made the decision the following day to take a drive to the County for a walk with Bell, my girl. I felt guilty - as busy people often do anytime we respond to our body’s signals to slow down. Like most of us, I frequently feel more comfortable “doing” than “being”. After some time embracing the sights and silence at West Lake, I felt deep emotion and grief. I slowed down long enough to allow snapshots of the past few years to surface, something which clearly my mind and heart needed to process. We really shouldn’t be concerned about what we’ll miss out on by slowing down. Rather, we should worry about what might we miss out on by continually pushing, pushing, pushing. We need to stop long enough for our bodies, hearts and minds to tell us what they are longing to communicate. It’s usually far more important than any item on the eternal to-do list. What might your life and body long to tell you, if you’d only stop long enough to listen?
LORI MITCHELL, PUBLISHER, EDITOR
This issue is dedicated to the memory of Doug Mitchell: husband, father, grandfather, lover of all things Scottish, comedian at heart and one who never, ever stopped.
Originally Published: June 23, 2017
I’ve learned that there is no secret formula for success in anything.
Complete academic goals. Dream big, listen, learn, and believe that you can do anything you put your mind to (even if it’s not exactly what you had planned).
Some decide to make a life change mid-career. Maybe it’s to raise a family, or simply take a new direction in life. Imagine the risk - selling, moving, buying, and trying to fit into established circles, finding work, beginning on the first rung of the ladder, and starting all over again in a new endeavour. Roll up sleeves and dig in.
However, all work and no play is no way to live- let’s agree? We should enjoy every moment of spare time, be nice to each other, look forward- not backwards, and not stress about negative words that find their way back to us.
We should embrace our relationships, and be brave enough to let go of the ones that are toxic. We should eat well, indulge now and then, exercise and be good to our bodies. Enjoy silence when the moment presents itself, but do whatever makes us happy, healthy and fulfilled. We have one life; we should live it to the best of our individual abilities. Put to bed the regrets. Find peace.
Now that we are past deciding whether our new year’s resolutions worked or didn’t, we have spring to celebrate. It’s another chance at making positive changes to our lifestyle.
One “must attend” local event that is sure to help us celebrate spring and embrace change is the Healthy Living EXPO on May 6th, 2017.
After a two-year hiatus, the EXPO returns to the Bay of Quinte Region in a new venue, Centennial Secondary School, with hundreds of vendors. Some vendors will be offering various free health screenings, wellness coaching, fitness demonstrations, mindfulness strategies, eco living, naturopathy and alternative medicine, products and services - all geared toward helping us live a positive, healthy life.
New to the EXPO will be a “Foodie Market”, where local chefs, food experts and farmers will be serving mouth-watering dishes and samples.
For only a $2 admission (with 50% of proceeds going to the Three Oaks Foundation) on May 6th, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, attendees will be entered into hundreds of draws at the door, given a free welcome bag to fill with samples, swag and information, and meet and talk to local industry experts. All under one roof!
See you on Saturday, May 6th!
LORI MITCHELL, PUBLISHER, EDITOR
Originally Published: March 9, 2017