#Me, The Holidays and A Boy Called Christmas#

Hello Friends! I recently started another blog devoted entirely to my obsession with books. It is a love affair that has spanned decades, with each and every book leaving it’s imprint on my life and my perspective of the world. I posted my first official post today, I hope you check it out!

Thank you!
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The Book In My Purse

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Every year, after the holiday has come and gone, I like to take a moment to just sit by my Christmas tree and reflect on how the season played out. Overall it was a nice Christmas and New Year-with moments of warm cheer, generosity and spirit, but also moments of loneliness, worry and solitude.

The holidays tend to be advertised as “the most wonderful time of the year”, but just like everyday life, it is an emotional rollercoaster, with its beautiful highs and lows amidst the softly falling snow.

While pondering these thoughts by the tree, the following book came to mind. “A Boy Called Christmas” by Matt Haig was gifted to me by the lovely Harper Collins Canada this season and it was wonderful, it completely mirrored my own Christmas spirit. Whenever those polarizing emotions  took over me, this book read like a favourite Aunt; empathizing with me…

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# A Poet’s Piece#

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The brilliant Nayyirah Waheed brings it home again.

Straight to the heart.

 

 

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#A Poet’s Piece#

imagePoetry by Nayirah Waheed

I sent this piece to a friend today, a budding Poet who’s love for words rival my own, and her reaction was just lovely.

Here’s what she texted me…

“Honest to goodness gracious. These words are exactly what I need right now. Thank you sooooo much! xx”

That’s the beauty of the words of Nayyirah Waheed-there is always a verse to move your soul to peace. For me, she generates hope. And at the end of the day, hope is where my faith lies.

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#Depression-It’s Ok#

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Poet Nayyirah Waheed

 

I’ve always wanted to get into poetry, and just for that I have found it to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever undertaken. I’ve read a variety of poets but somehow I never felt a connection.

You know that feeling of sudden awareness when a word or phrase reflects perfectly your immediate state of being? And your eyes widen and your heart contracts almost painfully with the knowledge that someone out there gets you? That connection. I’ve had it with many authors but, scarcely, with poets. Until now.

Nayyirah Waheed gets me. Or I get her. Or it’s a mutual ‘I-get-you’, I don’t know. But when I first read this verse, my heart skipped a beat in recognition. I felt relief. I am not a freak, I am not crazy, I am not scary. I’m just sick-and that is ok.

I write a lot about Depression and Mental Illness and i worry sometimes that I am dragging my readers down. My blog is about expressing things I love, and I try to keep it upbeat and fun and positive and whimsical; but I also want to keep it authentic and true, and for me Mental Illness is real. I suffer from Chronic Depression and Esteem issues which have directed me to make bad choices for myself and have created the rut i find myself stuck in now. And so I write about it, with the hopes that people will find comfort, relief and inspiration to avoid my mistakes and be comfortable seeking help for themselves.

Sometimes I browse online for information and I only find the how-to’s and success stories of Depression, rarely the struggle-in-the-trenches ones, which makes me feel even more distant from achieving that success myself. So I figured If I share my own stories-the really dark, deep, painful, tearful, debilitating emotions I feel with each episode, maybe another patient out there will relate and feel less alone, less afraid and just…relieved. Relieved that someone else out there understands. Relieved that he/she doesn’t have to suffer alone in silence And relieved that one can talk about it openly and seek help.

I made my first appointment with a psychiatrist for August and I am nervous. How much should I reveal? What will she say? What if I just cry through the whole thing? What if I have to take medication? Nervous much? Yeah, I’m nervous. But I’m tired of trying to handle this alone. I need help. I am very relieved to just say that-I need help.

And as Nayyirah Waheed says, “It is okay to hold your hearts outside of your body…”. That’s how you Heal.

And so, I’m going to continue with that first step, my heart on my sleeve, and start to heal too.

 

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#In Honour of St.Patrick’s Day#

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Another St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, and unfortunately I missed the festivities again this year. Come to think of it, I have never celebrated a St. Patrick’s Day ever! Next year, I am going to consciously make an effort to celebrate this jolly holiday, wherever I am.

In the mean time, in honour of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d share one of my favourite Irish authors Patrick Taylor and his marvelous Irish Country Doctor series. Set in the 1950s, Patrick Taylor introduces us to two doctors and a host of colourful characters in the charming village of Ballybucklebo. It’s a delightful ode to all things Irish, and a perfect read for St. Patrick’s Day.

Check it out soon, the 11th book Irish Country Love Stories is on it’s way this fall.

Cheers!

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When Two Book Lovers Meet…

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It’s an amazing thing really, when two book lovers meet. Only good things ever come out of such an experience, and the energy from it radiates out far longer than one would imagine.

I was at the store the other day and I came across a young lady in the Teen section, browsing our selection. I asked if she needed help. She asked for some suggestions. And pretty soon we were declaring our love for books galore. We exchanged opinions and ideas about our favourite books, chattering excitedly about why we liked this one and why we hated that one. We pulled out our book lists we always carry around, she at 252, me at 327, and wrote in some must-haves to eachother’s collection. We laughed over the countless sleepless nights spent reading  just because we cannot bear to return to reality just yet;  that world between the pages refuses to let us leave. It was just a really great conversation and I left her with, hopefully, some great reads and a big smile on my face.

Little did I know, our conversation didn’t end there. I was called up to Front Cash later and when I approached the desk, my friend said that very same customer bought me her favourite book, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, as a thank you for such a great experience. I was so touched.  Never in my time at the store have I experienced such a kind and amazing gesture from a customer. I was happiness personified.I couldn’t contain it.It was absolutely wonderful.

Regardless of whether I end up enjoying the series or not, I will always keep this book as a lovely memory of that great meeting with a kindred spirit. Books really are amazing things. Not only do they introduced us to colourful worlds and vivid characters, they bring people together. That experience has carried me on cloud nine throughout the week and will probably keep me going throughout the year because, well let’s face it, only good things can happen when two book lovers meet.

 

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#Europe My Love#-Leeuwarden, Netherlands

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When I was a teenager I fell completely under the spell of romance author Betty Neels, a retired nurse who started writing romance novels in the 1960s. The main character was always a young nurse, well-built, not too pretty but with beautiful eyes who somehow got tangled into a sweet romance with a handsome Dutch physician in the Netherlands. I liked her books so much, I bought out my local library’s entire collection at their annual Summer Sale! I still have a drawer filled with her books.

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However, like most Harlequin Romance fans, I outgrew Betty Neels’ books, but her description of the Netherlands stills stays with me and has become a significant stop on my Europe Bucket List.

Photographer Bas Meelker photographed the winter canals of Ljouwert , Netherlands (Leeuwarden in English)  just beautifully. As soon as I saw this, I had to share it. It captures the Dutch city exactly as Betty Neels described it in her books.

One day. One day…

In the mean time, maybe I’ll pull out one of Betty’s old books and go back in time for awhile…

Enjoy!

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#The Book In My Purse#

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I love books. So much so that I keep a book in my purse at all times. I pull it out when there’s a long line at the bank,  if I’m waiting for my friend for lunch, I even pulled out my book in Starbucks while waiting for a blind date to show up. Books are literally and figuratively a part of me, they’re my dreamworld come to life.

While my entire being feels beaten down by the fact that my other passion, being a Family Physician, has yet to be fulfilled  ( I am a Canadian IMG waiting for a Family Medicine Residency), I have to admit that my heart loves being at the bookstore. For a few days a week I can escape my daily struggles of becoming a Family Physician and spend a few hours surrounded by thousands of books! In between customers, I browse the aisles, checking out what’s new, what’s old, what’s making a come-back, what needs a thorough re-read because the last time I read it, it sucked. I get to test out the new releases, I have dibs on the last copy available, and I love love love helping kids find the right book for them. I am thrilled when both parents and kids come back and tell me I was right on the money and to recommend more stuff to them. It’s fantastic really.

I think my passion for books started when I was 2 years old. My mother used to buy me those read-along Disney paperbacks, you know where the cassette goes ding and you turn the page? From that moment on, books were my world, not real life. Even today, books are my thing. I play out their stories according to my own imagination and emotions, like a movie running through my head, perfectly directed by the author for me.

Books are also fabulous teachers. I grew up very sheltered and protected and despite being in my 3os, I feel like I’m still 22-clueless about the real world and real life. Books teach me things. Other peoples’ experiences, opinions, thought processes, choice of words-they all teach me things. And when those lessons collide with a life experience of my own, an explosion of understanding and awareness sets off in me, and I can see and feel things in a different way.

In short, books are amazing and I hope to share my reviews of the current book in my purse right here with you. They are one of the most enjoyable ways to relax and learn,seriously. But the best thing I love about books is that, no matter what you read or how many hours you devote to it, you always come back to real life just a little bit different. You are not the same you before you opened that cover and read that story. That book generates a spark and changes you; and most times, its for the better.

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#Think About It#

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This is one of my favourite quotes from Maya Angelou, a poet that I am really into these days. i just finished reading one of her books entitled “Letters to My Daughter and the one thing that struck me is how deliberate she was. In every piece of her work, each word is significant, carefully chosen, alone or in combination, to create an impression. Her words paint pictures for me, not flashes or bursts of clarity, but slow and progressive thoughts, that become understood  and absorbed with time.

If you cannot read the above quote properly, let me write it out for you.

“Stand up straight and realize who You are. That You tower over your circumstances. You are a child of God. Stand up straight”

Any time I begin to feel down or ashamed about my circumstances,  I think about these words. Slowly, steadily, sort of like building a wall, they re-inforce me. Brick by brick, little by little, my foundations of self-confidance, self-respect and self-love return and I become stronger and happier and more mindful of the life around me.

And the best part about these words is that the feeling it creates in you, isn’t just a fleeting thing-it establishes roots. It stays with you and grows until eventually it changes you. You become strong and resilient, attuned and steadfast. And you realize that you are a person of significance, a person meant to last.

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“The Hedgehog, the Fox and His Seventy-Seven Brains”

Hello hello! I found this great post from the blog Biblioklept-a Serbian fable translated into English. Cute story and lovely illustration. Check it out!

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Biblioklept

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A Serbian fairy tale retold by Alena Benesova and translated into English by Ruth Shepherd. The marvelous illustration is by Karel Franta. From Animal Fairy Stories.

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