Category Archives: friendship

Whatever you are, be a good one

An extraverted protagonist. Sounds interesting right??  I recently did a personality test and my results show that I am an extraverted protagonist. A diplomat People’s Master.  It all sounds very confusing. It was something a close friend thought I would find interesting. And I did!!

It showed me results that definitely resonated with me. All but one section definitely is my personality.  And it also showed me some ways to strengthen my weaknesses. Things I will definitely start to do!
So why am I writing about this here? Really, who cares about someone else’s results of a personality test?  

I am not writing about this to share my results.  No. I am writing about how personality traits can make us stronger or weaker as we grow older and explore our self-worth.  

When I was younger, I was very shy. I did well in school but kept to myself a lot. As I went through many struggles in my adult life, my self-esteem grew stronger, I became more assertive and my personality changed. I became the person I am today – in my eyes, I am a strong, self-assured woman who can do anything she wants and be a success at whatever comes my way.

Traveling has changed me.  Seeing different cultures and dealing with situations I never would have had to in Canada have made me humble. 

We take for granted so many things in life. So many of us want material things (and I am not saying anything against that – it’s just not for me), but living in northern China has made me aware of so many struggles these people have on a daily basis that are beyond their control.  Living in the conditions they do have made them stronger than any other culture I have seen so far.

While my complaints of China are many, the strength and perseverance of these people is truly admirable. 

So like the title says, whatever you are be a good one. If you are a neighbour, be a good one. A mother, a daughter, a teacher, whatever it is you are – strive to be a good one. The people here in Changchun have shown me that, despite the conditions they live in, they take it in stride and they are the best they can be. Their personalities shine through. I will take away from this chapter in my life the strength I have seen of the Chinese people. And I am now, and forever will be, a better person because of it.

Live without regrets


Regrets, I’ve had a few… words from a great and memorable song.  My way ~ the way I choose to live my life.
Do you have regrets in your life? Is there something that you wish you could go back in your life and change?

I have regrets. Less than I used to but I still have regrets.  There are times that I think maybe I would go back in time and change things, but then would I be where I am today? Not likely.

I truly believe that everything in our life happens for a reason, and that we meet certain people who are only in our life for a short time but have the biggest impact on us.  Do I regret that this person is no longer in my life? No because I know the time we had together helped me grow into the woman I am today.

So don’t go through life with too many regrets. Be grateful for everything you have. Life is too short to have too many regrets.

And remember what Frank said ~ I did it my way!!

Work to live

Which are you? Someone who works to live, or lives to work? Have you ever given this any thought? Maybe you were thinking of re-evaluating your life and started to question this. It causes great debates between people.

Many discussions have taken place between my friends and I about this. Some of these discussions have turned into lively debates.  I believe both sides have valid points. I was one of those people who lived to work for a very long time. But then the world opened up to me, and I discovered a whole new way of thinking and a new way of life.

We all know that life is short. And there is so much more to life than work. Of course, in order to live, most of us need to work. But when work takes over and you are no longer enjoying life because of work, is it really worth it?  There has to be a healthy balance. I find it hard to believe those people who say that they love to work 15 hours a day. 
Take the time to stop and smell the roses. Enjoy life – work to make enough so you can enjoy your life, but don’t forget to live.

‚Äč39 years old, with 13 years experience!

Happy Birthday to me!!!
This is birthday number 3 for me traveling abroad, and my 52nd in this awesome world.  It really has been an amazing journey, these 52 years, and while I know deep down that I am NOT middle aged (because, really, who lives to be 104 ~ not many of us!), I do not feel my age at all. And I attribute this to doing what I want and loving what I do!  

I turned 50, a milestone birthday, in Prague, and while it was not exactly the day I had in mind, it was definitely memorable turning 50 in Europe! A weekend trip to Cesky Krumlov on my own was just what I needed after that monumental day.

At 51, I was on my way to Berlin for a short holiday to celebrate my birthday. I enjoyed celebrating on my own as it gave me a chance to reflect on my life, what I had endured and how it had turned out at the time. Celebrating one’s birthday may sound lonely but it really wasn’t. I was in an exciting European city, enjoying new sites and sounds and food.  This was when I made the decision to make a change. China and other Asian countries were on my list but obviously China won. And while China can be challenging, I don’t regret it at all!

So now here I am, turning another year older in another country and it really is exciting!  I have made many friends here who I know are going to be lifetime friends. I have discovered a side of me that I never would have found had I not jumped into this new life ~ that side being the incredible patience I have for teaching young children, and loving them all so much.

I don’t know where I will be next year to celebrate my 53rd birthday but no matter where I will be, you can be sure that I will make it the best day possible and that I will be grateful for being there!

Choosing a better life

My life has been anything but easy. I have experienced challenges with every turn in the road of this life. It has only been recently that I have chosen to embrace every challenge and conquer it.

Czech Republic was one of my biggest and most challenging roads to take. Leaving my family, my comfortable job and a steady pay cheque was the scariest thing I have ever done. With a strong desire to succeed and to show everyone, especially myself, that I could do this, I put my nose to the grindstone, worked hard, worked long hours teaching, and succeeded. With the willpower and determination I knew was needed, I gave it all my all and was rewarded with amazing students and great new friends.

While moving to China can be seen as a huge move, and it was, because of the experience I already had moving away from my family, the transition was much easier to cope with.

If you have a strong desire to see the world, if you are willing to sacrifice the comfort of the known, if you want to be challenged, then you can have this life too. You just need to reach out and grab it.

Friendships and the internet

We all have friends, near or far, that are dear to our heart.  We have new friends we meet when we travel and live abroad. We have old friends from another time in our life who we will keep in touch with on occasion. Then we have our best friends, who, no matter the distance, can make us feel like we are sitting together, having a coffee and exchanging our days even when we are an ocean away.
I have many friends all over the world ~ in China, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Australia, South Korea, Great Britain. And of course in North America, particularly Canada. I have met many of my friends from traveling and on the internet. But there is one friend who is my dearest friend and, thanks to the internet, we have become closer than I ever thought possible.
We were best friends in high school, inseparable. College came and we remained close until men entered our lives and we both moved to different areas of Ontario, and started our families. We kept in touch for a few years but, as it happens as we marry and move around, we drifted apart. 
Fast forward to my 40th birthday and my mother invited her to my party. We reconnected and kept in touch through social media but not as often as I had hoped.
Last summer, when I headed to Canada for a visit before coming to China, we spent an afternoon together. And something clicked. I think all the struggles we had during those years had kept us from being close. However, we matured and with that, came a brand new light in our friendship. 
Since then, we talk almost every day, sharing what is going on in our lives, counseling each other with hard decision making, offering comfort in a difficult time when needed. I value her friendship now more than ever. I look forward to hearing her voice messages, to hear what’s happening in her life and sharing my life with her.
Friendship doesn’t have to be face to face to be close. Thanks to social media, we are all just a click away. And I am so grateful for that day last summer that reconnected me with such a great friend.
We should value all the friendships we have. Life is too short not to!