Wednesday 30 December 2009

Time Again For Resolutions.....

Remember that movie? I guess we're not living in space stations on the moon or any other exotic places in the solar system for that matter. A bit behind in our progression I'd say. Nonetheless, 2010 is now upon us.

I thought that since I've spent most of the week thinking about all that transpired in 2009, and what I'd like to accomplish in 2010, that I'd share my resolutions with you. I write resolutions every year, and even though I often don't accomplish everything on the list, something about writing them down keeps me focused enough to accomplish at least some things. So, I'd call that successful. Remember the other day when I said I'd try to set a resolution to blog every single day? Well, after the last week of planning things for my new calling as Primary President, and anticipating the other things that I'll be busy with in 2010, I don't think that's possible, however - I've kept the blog in mind whilst planning my resolutions. So, without further delay, here they are...

Becky's Resolutions 2010

I will practice Yoga for an hour – at least 3 days a week
I will do 30 minutes of some sort of Cardio exercise 6 Days a week
I will not eat Candy at all, except for Dark Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger at my discretion
I will eat a Healthy diet full of fruit and vegetables as usual

(these go in line with goals written earlier this month)

I will study at least 1 chapter of Scriptures every day
I will offer up sincere prayer every night and throughout the day (never could master morning prayers - always fell asleep)
I will attend the temple more often in 2010, aiming for March as the first trip. (travel is expensive)
I will give every bit of attention I can to my calling as Primary President, and give each child individualized attention according to their needs

I will set aside time (at least a couple of hours) every day except Sunday to study and work on my University Course
I will do everything I can to keep a first class Honours standing

I will write a Blog entry once a week (on Sunday)
I will go to all church activities and meet as many people as I can
I will look into the Capoeira class and other classes where I can meet new people.

So, there you have it - Resolutions 2010. I have to say - the health goals are particularly in the fore-front of my mind (as usual) - as people have been posting pictures of me on facebook that I am NOT happy with. I know that the camera adds like 10 pounds, but still - I'm feeling quite uncomfortable with those pictures. So, as soon as I'm back to the office, regular routine ensues.

I hope everyone is as excited as I am to start a new year... when I was young, I used to think that New Year's was a stupid holiday that was over-hyped. Now that I'm older, I get excited about starting fresh every year. I think it's a great holiday.

Tomorrow night, I'm going to the Hogmanay Ceilidh at the church - which should get me into exercise mode - as Ceilidh = workout.

Happy Hogmanay everyone!

Sunday 20 December 2009

More News...

I've known for about a month now, but today it was officially announced at church that I will be the new Primary President of the Dundee Bingham Ward. This means that I'll be in charge of the spiritual welfare of about 30? children between the ages of 2 and 12. So, yes - I'll be warping young minds. Just kidding. Anyway, when the Bishop called me in and asked me to do this, I was a little daunted to say the least, but after the last few weeks of thinking about it, I've gotten used to the idea, and I know it's what I'm supposed to do at this point in my life. I love kids. It's quite clear that kids and I get along. In fact, I love anything that needs nurturing. This is why I've been all desperate to have a dog lately. (lately = my entire life) So, I have needs, they have needs - all needs are met by this arrangement. Problem solved. Plus, I always enjoy a challenge and an opportunity to serve. I think it will be good. I always have Faith that God knows what he's doing, but sometimes I wonder. I guess time will tell...

I've decided that in the new year, one of my resolutions will be to write something on my blog every single day. I don't know if I'll really be able to keep it up, as life is going to be considerably busier in the New Year; but I'll certainly try.

New Year includes...

Work Full-time
School Part-time
Primary President Full-time
Commitment to Meena's Tuesday night Yoga class (she is so very persuasive)
Monday night possible commitment to Capoeira class? (not sure, have to look into it)
Regular Exercise at lunch/walk to work/Yoga 3 times a week at home

So, I think it's going to be a hoppin' time. Perhaps this is my year. Everything big always happens when you have absolutely no time for it.

Saturday 19 December 2009

News and General Christmassy Joy...

What a week!

Full of news, and exciting things, and just general Christmassy goodness.

1st thing I can report is...

For some time now, as many of you know, I've been thinking about my future, and having grown up in Calgary, Alberta, (where no one really needs a degree to get a good job, and where post-secondary education is ridiculously expensive) I never really pursued a degree. But, that doesn't mean I never saw the value in it. The truth is, for years and years, I never really knew what I wanted to do. I started a brief stint in Horticulture - which unfortunately because I was 19 at the time, and distracted by hormones/emotions/men - didn't work out. I like plants though, don't get me wrong. I also completed a Certificate at BVC for a "Health Care Clerk" career - which led me to my illustrious Hospital Unit Clerk career at the CHR. (love you folks and miss you terribly). However, I always knew that I wanted to do something more. The other factor of course is, through all of those years, I had to support myself, and paying for school would be my responsibility entirely. There's no way Mum and Dad could help me out with that.

Almost a year ago, I decided to apply at Abertay University for their Food, Nutrition, and Health programme - because I really like food, and nutrition (as you know) and I'd like to help other people in their quest to improve overall health. Anyway, I did that, and was accepted. (thanks Kathy for the great reference). I was due to start that - next September with no clear idea how I would be able to afford to live, pay off my loans back home, and go to school Full Time. Obviously I'm going to have to continue to work, so I was not sure how that would all work.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I was having a chat with Hilary (who is always full of excellent advice), and she mentioned that I should do something funded by the University which I currently work for, because there are loads of opportunities for staff members to improve their own personal development. I gave that some thought, and prayer. Then, I wrote an e-mail to the Personal and Professional Development department.

Long story short, it turns out that the PPD department will fund 50% of my education in working towards a degree if the School I work for fronts the other 50%. So, after an interview with my excellent Dean and School Secretary, they were very happy to authorize the 50%.

I will be working towards a BSc in Environmental Studies at the Open University. Which will allow me to continue to work Full-time, and do my studies in my own time. I know it's not nutrition, but it's another subject that interests me equally. Plus, food is related in a VERY big way to the environment. In fact, it's the subject that interests me the most - as you know if you've read my previous posts about local eating. I think, overall - it will be a really great experience for me. I hear no end of good things about the OU. So, that's news number one.

2nd thing to report is...

My best friend in Scotland is getting married!!!! Which for some reason makes me a ridiculous amount happier than usual "friends getting married" news. Perhaps it's because we're a bit in the same boat, and his finding the woman of his dreams gives me a bit of hope - that there's someone equally as exciting out there - somewhere for me. To be honest, it was quite a miraculous thing that they found each other. I'm so happy that it's worked out so well for them. It's funny, but most women my age who are still single get embittered when they hear news of people getting married, and they are yet again left on the shelf. Perhaps I'm still on the shelf, but I find such joy, (and I guess hope) whenever I hear news of people getting married. I guess that's a good sign. So, congratulations Steve and MBC!

3rd thing to report is...

Christmas is coming, and I'm just really excited about it. That's all. My tree is up (and has been since my Birthday - haha), there's snow on the ground, I've got good friends to spend time with, and lots of great parties to go to. I miss my family, but they know I love them, as I sent them a 2.5 kilo package full of chocolate. So, roll on Christmas - but not too quickly as I'm really enjoying it.

Everything just feels really great today.

Love you all! x

p.s. - It's snowing quite heavily just now - so I guess that means we'll have a lovely white Christmas in Dundee!

Saturday 12 December 2009

1 Year as a Dundonian...

Well, I've been here a year now... A year ago on Wednesday I got on a plane, Thursday I arrived in the UK, and a year ago yesterday I arrived in Dundee.

(on the plane that brought me here)

It's been an interesting year, I must say. When you think about it, it was quite a gamble moving to an entirely different continent with very little funds saved, and no job lined up - leaving a fairly comfortable job, life, family, friends.

I had Faith though, and the knowledge that if I did everything in my power to make things happen, that God would help me... and he did.

1 year later - I have a permanent job in a place that I enjoy working, a place to live that I love - with an excellent view, fully functional kitchen and plenty of space to myself, fantastic landlords, good friends that I can turn to if I need help with anything, plants, furniture, food in my fridge, a gym membership, the list of blessings goes on really. There's still a few vitally important things missing from my life, but overall - I have it pretty good really...

... and I think the gamble (or leap of Faith as it's more appropriately called) payed off. Things are looking up. There's always something new in my life to keep my interest fresh.

People here still ask me - every time they find out that I've moved here from Canada - "Why did you move here?" (people here think Dundee is the armpit of Scotland) I always answer the same - "I needed a change" or "I like Dundee - it's just the right sized city for me", etc... the truth is, I just felt drawn here, and now that I am here - it's home. For this moment in time for me - Dundee is my home city. Calgary hasn't felt like home for a fair number of years now. My immediate family is there, not to mention a very large portion of my friends - but the city itself is not my home - anymore.

So, I guess that would make the move - a success.

(here in my flat - this minute - happy)

Wednesday 2 December 2009

The Cold...

It's been well over a year since I last had a cold, so I suppose I'm due one. However, this one seems to be the cold-spawn of the devil. I hate being sick - I stayed home from work today and slept most of the morning, but have you noticed that when you have a cold, you only manage to sleep in short spurts? Perhaps it's the whole not being able to breath thing... On a positive note, I received a box from home today. (lucky I was in house) It was full of more of my books. Oh how I miss my books. There's now about 18 boxes left to mail. Can only really afford to send a few at a time, but that's ok - because it's kind of like receiving presents in the mail.

Speaking of receiving presents in the mail, I've started this campaign on FB to get my friends in Canada and the U.S. to mail me a box of Kraft Dinner. The other day I was sitting around, thinking of what simple, easy food I could cook for myself, and like anyone else who was raised on the stuff, I immediately thought of KD. They have Kraft "Cheesy Pasta" here, but it's total crap, and nowhere near worthy of even being compared to KD. The thing is, as an adult, I grew out of the desire to eat KD - because it is rather naff. But, once in a while, you know? The craving just overtakes you. Perhaps it's just comfort food. I really must be well established here in Scotland, because I remember that last year when I arrived, my friend - Steve was having similar cravings, and his parents sent him KD. I was all - why? It's so disgusting... Now - I get it. Comfort food from home.

So, if you want to make my Christmas wish come true, send me a box of KD (address on FB) and I promise that if you do, I'll mail you one authentic Galaxy bar (or whatever chocolate you choose) from right here in the UK. Fair deal? You can thank Jocelyne for that - her idea.

I do wish this cold would go away - though I have to say, I'm well stocked up with cold remedies. This is all down to my dear friend Hilary whom I work with. She really is very thoughtful. As soon as she heard I was sick, she marched me down to the chemists and bought me Lem Sip (Neo Citron), Cough Syrup, Strepsils, and a Hot Water Bottle. Bless her - she takes good care of me. I've started a fan club for her on FB - it's entitled "I Love Hilary" - she really is the best.

So - yeah that's about all I have to report today. December is here, my chocolate parcels are mailed home, Christmas is coming, and I've already got 2 invitations to dinner - which is brilliant. I'll be spending most of the holidays with my friends the Clancys though. Love the Clancys. "Christmas at the Clancys" - sounds like a movie.

Later peeps.