Dear 2017,

My word this year is ‘Push’.  You will hear this single word when you try to slow me down.  I will push back if you try to trip me up.  I will push to stand up if you try to knock down.  I will push a little harder if I feel I am out of fight.

I.  Will.  Push.

I’ve worked hard the last two years.  2015 was my doorway.  2016 brought me beauty.  I have put so many things in place.  2017 will be when I will push to cross off the big items from my list.  It will be the year I push the boundaries.  It will be the year I push myself to overcome challenges.  It will be my year to push.


A New Adventure

Last year I started a new adventure, which ended up rewriting my entire life.  Sixteen months later and my life barely resembles what it used.  The only mainstay are my girls, and my closest friends who stuck with me through the growing pains.

Part of my adventure was to actually do something with my writing.  I opened up a new site that will feature my novels once they are written.  But in the process, I actually wrote a children’s book as well.  It has been sent to the publisher, edited and translated into French.  The goal is to have it done this summer.

Lucky for me, the publisher allowed me to use my good friend to do the drawings, which I know will mean it takes longer as he is a busy guy, but it also means that it is a complete labour of love for my two lovely ladies who inspired the story and keep me going.  Being that it is a labour of love, I’ve decided to release the children’s books under my own name and not my pen name.

Below are a few rough sketches.  I can’t wait to see the finished copies.  He is so talented, yet so humble.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I actually finished this book last month, but it has stuck with me and inspired me till this day, that I feel I need to honour it with its own review.

I fell upon this book through the Todoist blog and borrowed it from my local library that night.

At first, I’m not going to lie, I thought it was fluff and a silly self-help book.  Gretchen is a full-time writer, has more time, resources, and it would seem money, to throw at her project than I would, but it is still none the less inspiring.  I will not be going full-scale like she did, but I did write my own 10 Commandments list, and feel this book lead to my epiphany to do what I want, and write.   The lesson she learned on earning gold stars is something I myself am working on and can see in others more now.  I will reread again to gain another dose of inspiration and happiness injection and recommend this book to those who feel like they’ve lost something, but can’t quite put their finger on it.

Amanda’s 10 Commandments


Still feeling inspired by my epiphany last week, I’ve decided its time to analize other aspects of my life, and see what parts make me a bit blue.  I don’t expect anything to be perfect, but everything could use a bit of a tweak now and then.  I’ve decided to call them Commandments to hopefully solidify my resolute to follow them. During my poll of friends, one of them stated that there was no difference between goals and resolutions.  Resolutions is a word reserved for New Years Eve, that people don’t keep either. Its interesting how January, the coldest part of the year in my parts, always seems bright shiney and full of potential, but by February, it’s lost its lustre and failure lurks in the shadows.  
The idea of personal commandments came from The Happiness Project book by Gretchen Rubin.

On to the Commandments…  
1. Be Amanda, and only Amanda
2. Find gratitude in unbefitting situations.  
3. It is easy to be heavy, hard to be light.
4. Be in the moment.
5. Talk to strangers
6. No more than 5 alcoholic drinks in one session, even when you are with the red-head.  Yes, jager shots count as a drink.
7. When you feel you have reached your limit, and are about to seriously loose your shit, sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” till you can carry on.
8. Get ‘ready for bed’ and go to bed on time.
9. Feed creativity and beware of things that attempt to snuff if out.
10. Make sure it matters.
11. Think big things. Do big things.

My hope is that I will edit and change this list as the year moves on and I learn more about myself and situations I find myself in. I haven’t learned all there is to learn yet and I would expect my list of Commandments to grow amd change as I do.
Anyone else out there with Commandments or life ‘rules’ they live by?