Category Archives: choices

Self check-out counters – yay or nay

Our local grocery stores, most of them, are switching to self check-out counters. While they still have check-outs with cashiers, there are more of the self check-outs in the stores.

Of course, the giant conglomerate, Walmart, has more self check-outs than tellers. Which is to be expected. It’s a big chain all around the world, and there is the pressure for them to be the leaders in changes.

But recently, our local grocery stores have been renovating and adding the counters. At first, I was skeptical of them. I disliked the fact that I had to bag my own groceries (then realized that at most of the stores I shop at, I bag them myself anyway). And are they really faster than a cashier? I have debated back and forth about this.

Yesterday, I realized that in fact I LIKE them ! More than a cashier in fact. And I do not believe for a moment that so many people are losing their jobs because of them. I believe a few may have, but for the most part, I still see the same amount of cashiers and employees milling about the stores.

What changed my mind? Well, I had to make a quick stop in our local Food Basics store on my way to work. As I walked in, I noticed the “express lane – 10 items or less” had at least 8 people standing there. I went to get my items (I knew what I wanted to get and knew exactly where the items were). As I approached the cashiers, some 5 minutes later, the SAME PEOPLE were still standing in line with their items, and no one was using the self check-out lanes. There are 6 self check-out counters. Every one was available. So my thought was – well I could stand in line, and possibly be late for work, or I could zip on through the self check-out and be on my way with lots of time to get to work. Off I went. In a matter of 3 minutes, I had checked them out, bagged and was back in my car ready to go. I spent a total of 8 minutes in the store getting my stuff and paying and heading out. The same people were still standing in the express lane.

So my thinking is – if I only have a few items, YES I am going to use the self check-out. If I have a buggy full of groceries, then I will most likely use a cashier. But for those people making a stand and refusing to use them, who are you helping? You are all standing there, holding each other up, paying for your 10 items or less, and wasting valuable time – time is not forever. I choose to use mine carefully.

Okay, I know not everyone will agree with my thinking, and that’s okay. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, or to perhaps “see the light” that it makes sense (at least to me) to be quick picking up a few things. But maybe, if you think of it as – how much time do I really have in this world to waste it protesting over something that will not change, no matter how much you protest – is it really worth it?

Thoughts to ponder…

Staying positive in a negative world

I believe myself to be a very positive person. I try not to let people or things bring me down. Of course, there are some days that this is not possible, but for the most part, I tend to stay pretty positive things.

That’s not to say that I don’t have bad days. I’ve had a few of those lately, but when I’m feeling down, I look at the 10 habits of positive people, and re-set my mind.

1. Positive people expect their plans to work out

Sometimes our plans don’t work out like we want them to, but I try to make sure mine do. I usually have a Plan B ready just in case Plan A doesn’t work out, and that’s okay too. Having a back up is never a bad thing!

2. Positive people don’t dwell on failure

I used to dwell on my failures a lot – my parenting skills, my financial situation – but I have learned through reading and counselling that it’s not healthy to dwell on it. Learn from the mistakes and don’t make them again!

3. They are always busy doing something useful

Okay so maybe I don’t do this all the time. Surfing the internet doesn’t seem overly useful but then, it is my way of relaxing so perhaps it’s not that bad after all.

4. They don’t wait for change, they create it

Absolutely this is me! I have never been afraid of change, and actually thrive on it. When creating my changes, it makes me happy and even more positive.

5. Positive people learn to let go

This is the hardest one for me. I have learned to let a lot go, but there are still twangs of guilt that come up every now and then that bring me down, sometimes for days. But eventually I do let it go and I realize that other people’s opinions are just that – their opinions. It should not reflect on me. I am still learning this one.

6. They don’t wait for happiness, they create it

This is the same as change – you just need to do what makes you happy. Happiness won’t come to you, you need to make your happiness.

7. Positive people live in the present moment

Definitely do this all the time!! No sense living in the past, it’s done and can’t be fixed. The future is not here yet. Today is. Live for today.

8. They search for solutions

Again, I try to do this as much as I can. As long as I am trying to find that solution, I will be positive because I’m working on it. I am not sitting back and saying oh well it is what it is.

9. Positive people never consider themselves as victims of circumstances

I used to consider myself a victim. Sometimes the best thing to do is talk to someone – a friend, a therapist – it’s not a bad thing to do. And it will make things clearer for you. Taking charge of your life is the best way to become more positive.

10. Positive people take responsibility for their actions and for their life

Don’t play the blame game. It is your life. Take responsibility. Own it. Make it your life. Not someone else’s. Don’t imitate others, thinking that oh well they are happy so I should do that too. If it’s not something YOU really want, then it won’t ever make you happy.

So these are the things that I do, sometimes not every day. I have had a few days lately that I have not been my positive self, but I woke up this morning and thought – what is wrong with me? NOTHING! Nothing is wrong with me. I am allowed to have a bad day every now and then. It’s part of life. Nothing is perfect, but that doesn’t mean I stop being the positive person I am.

I wish you all a very happy and POSITIVE day!

As the rain falls…

April showers bring May flowers.  Most of us have heard this all our lives.  The flowers are starting to arrive, and the colours are becoming brighter.  No longer are we seeing the dullness that is early spring.  Bright colours are abounding!

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Beautiful spring colours!

 

However, for some of us, rain brings pain.  Arthritic pain, depression (which IS a pain!), and cabin fever.  We want to be outside at this time of year but when the rain falls, it’s difficult to get out and do the things we enjoy.  I know that I want to get outside walking more, and get that bike that I bought last year out and ride it before the humidity strikes and makes me want to stay inside!

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I sometimes feel like this crab when it rains!!

 

As I look out my window this evening, as the day begins to end, the grayness of the sky makes it look quite bleak.  But I know, when the sky becomes bright in the morning, a new day has started and, with that, a new mood for the new day begins!  Why don’t we all start our days with a smile and a promise to ourselves to be positive no matter the weather!

 

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A new day is just on the horizon!!

 

 

 

The materialistic life

How many of us are materialistic?  I would probably guess most of us in some way are materialistic – I have managed to fill up half a closet with clothes in the year I have been back in Canada.  I have gone from owning about 6 outfits to what I consider a full wardrobe – with numerous pairs of running shoes and even a pair of heels.  This is not who I was in the past few years!!

 

As I was driving yesterday, along the Niagara Parkway (which I HIGHLY recommend to all to see – it is by far one of the prettiest areas in Ontario to see!), I was looking at the big houses along the waterfront.  I mean BIG – some would call them mansions.  They easily are worth millions of dollars.  And in my mind all I could think of is WHY would you want such a big house??  Do they have maids to clean?  What are their property taxes for such a place?   And of course, what I was also thinking was, do they realize how many trips they could have taken and made memories of instead of spending so much on a house??

 

I will never buy a house or property – and even when I look at my closet, I think I have too many clothes and need to give some away.  I really am amazed at how much my attitude has changed since I moved to Europe back in 2014.   I don’t want to be a materialistic person anymore – I know I was in my past and I honestly don’t like that about me.  I used to care about what I wore – name brands, etc., – but now I am happy to go to thrift shops and buy something that looks comfy.

 

My goal is to clear out some stuff by the beginning of 2019 and donate what I don’t need.

 

I am not knocking people who like to buy things to make themselves feel good – I just know that this is not the lifestyle I want.

 

So how about everyone else?  Do you have things you know you don’t need?

I “have to” or I “get to”…

I read something very interesting today – it was a remark from someone on Facebook about how they changed their perspective simply by changing one word — “have” to “get”.  It seems so simple – but is it really?

Let’s consider this – I have to go to work today – sounds like something you would probably avoid if you had the chance.  Something daunting.  Unpleasant.

So let’s change the words.  I get to go to work today.  It sounds like it’s a great thing right?  It sounds like you are excited about doing it.  It’s something you are looking forward to doing.

And it was such a simple change — from a 4 letter word to a 3 letter word.  Have to Get.

I could think of my life in a negative way – I have to get up and run errands for my parents.  Sounds negative.  BUT if I change it to – I get to get up and run errands for my parents!  At least to me, it sounds like a pleasant thing to do.

Let’s take it a bit further — I have to blog tonight because it’s been so long since I have. (and yes I did actually think that this morning).  I changed it later today to – I get to blog tonight because I have a night off and can really think about it!  I got excited by simply saying it that way.

It’s amazing that by changing that one word, how much better my day turned out.  I changed the word with many things today (not just about blogging!) and it definitely turned my attitude around.

Try it – you may be surprised at how easy it is!

53 and counting…

For the past few years, I have spent my birthday away from Welland.  From 2012 to 2014, I was in Calgary.  In 2015, I turned 50 in Prague.  51 was Berlin and 52 was in China.  My 53rd birthday has me back in Ontario for the first time since 2011.  It’s been great being back here for my birthday – spent the day shopping and out for lunch yesterday in Fort Erie, and today was spent in Niagara Falls (breakfast and gambling – sad to say I didn’t win big but I also didn’t lose much either!).  It’s been a great day – and am grateful for all the birthday wishes from family and friends.

 

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An overrated day….

Happy Valentine’s Day – the day that the flower shops jack up their prices of flowers and for the restaurants to have “special dinner prices” for couples.

 

Perhaps I am slightly jaded, being a divorced woman who has been single for a long time now and really has no desire to be in another relationship (at least not for a while), but I really think this is one of the most overrated days of the year.

 

Cards, flowers, expensive gifts – why do couples wait for one particular day of the year to celebrate their love?  Shouldn’t they do this every day of the year?  Is love not special enough to celebrate all year-long?  Why not just pick a day each month to celebrate the love you have?

 

Once a month – go out for a special dinner.  Buy flowers for your mate (male or woman!).  Bring home chocolate (or something special that they like).  Surprise your mate with a romantic night – it does not need to wait for February 14!!

 

Make your love special and show them how much you care every single day!!