Make 2018 YOUR Year! #happynewyear2018

It’s almost the beginning of a spanking brand new year! Are you excited?

Like many of you, I’ve started making tiny changes to my blog, like updating headers (yeah, that’s me on the beach you see up there), taking down posts I no longer like, making changes to categories, tags…It will be an off/on ongoing work in progress but that’s okay – cleaning up my blog space is giving me ideas on how to streamline even more.

As the new year progresses, you will notice other changes to my blog, mainly the fact that I will be repurposing some previous posts by updating its’ content this January (and more often). For now, most new content will be limited to the One Minute Fiction on Mondays, a few #WriterWednesdays and, Song Lyric Sundays.

Why?

I’ll be busy with a few “secret”/personal projects during the first few months of 2018 so I need to take a step back and make those a priority. I apologize in advance if you end up reading a post that sounds vaguely familiar!

Because of those personal projects, I’ve been forced to get back onto Facebook (yes, I said “forced” because I’m not that keen/savvy on social media in general) so if you would like to connect with me on FB feel free to send me a “Friend Request” here. Of course, I will still respond to comments on the blog but not as quickly as I usually do. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram under the same handle: @simplymarquessa. I’m already connected with lots of you there too.

I hope that this new year brings you all that your little heart desires and that the next 365 days are filled with good health (most important), wealth, prosperity and abundant happiness!

I no longer make resolutions since they are usually a recipe for disappointment. But my arms are open to whatever this new year has to offer me and what I have to offer to it.

Right now, my objective is to remember “get started” and “to keep going”:

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into smaller manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

–Mark Twain

What about you? How will you make this year YOUR year?

Bisous,

M xoxo

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Baby It’s Cold Outside… #montreal

We’re going through a deep, deep freeze spell right now.

The -39 degrees Celcius weather (yes, that is a minus before the 38) we are having will continue until next week. I’ve been totally boring on my Instagram feed by posting snapshots like the one below to show just how crazy cold it is. The kind of cold where you have to keep a tap running in the house to make sure that the pipes don’t freeze.

This was Thursday’s “Real Feel”…

But as “Canucks”, we take it in stride and just keep moving. It got me thinking about how we behave when dealing with extreme cold events, at least for us Canadians.

Here are a few things hat come to mind:

  • You talk about the weather around the water cooler at work. At length. The weather really is a topic of conversation for us;
  • Your mother calls to ask you if you’re wearing the long johns she gave you at Christmas and you don’t have to lie (because you really are wearing them). You’ve also started wearing those ugly ass mittens and hat that clash with your style because they are warmer than your “prettier” pair;
  • You walk on the outer part of the sidewalk to avoid falling icicles from highrise buildings which can become daggers from the sky (I could tell you a story about that!);
  • When you say that you’re going to “plug in” your car overnight, you don’t need to explain what that means;
  • Your employer sends out an email reminding you to stay warm, “do the penguin walk” and tells you “how to fall” if it’s icy.

As you can guess, lots of us are staying in, working from home and limiting the outdoor activities. In fact, a number of outdoor New Year’s Eve events have already been cancelled!

Tell me, how cold does it get in your neck of the woods? And what do you do when you’re forced to stay indoors for extended periods of time?

Cheers!

M  xoxo

Blue Christmas #weekendcoffeeshare #christmas #life

The decorations used to be perfectly placed and the Christmas tree ready to light on Dec 1.

Maybe too early for you but I’ve always preferred to “slow decorate” and enjoy the “Christmas feeling” for an entire month, remembering those warm and fuzzy times as a kid when I could spend hours sitting at the foot of the family tree to watch the lights dance and figure out how those 1970s “bubble lights” worked (remember those?). And if it happened to be snowing outside our family’s living room bay window while I sat there reading Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” for the upteenth time, it was almost like Christmas heaven.

But this year, I seem to have lost that “Christmas” feeling.

I have yet to hang up one decoration or pull the Christmas tree out of the garage and I’m not sure that I will.

Instead of thinking about the relaxed holiday pace and the wonderful times to come with family and friends, my thoughts keep drifting to things I can’t control.  Worrying about things that haven’t happened, may not happen for a long time and who may not be around next Christmas.

So no, I’m not feeling the Christmas spirit. It’s more of a bah humbug mood that will hopefully disappear in the next few days.

What kind of Christmas mood are YOU in?

M  xoxo

#ThoughtfulTuesday: Being The Brave You Is Beautiful

I would love to be beautiful.

But not just any kind of beautiful.

The kind of “beautiful” that Tracee Ellis Ross spoke to in her recent Glamour Women of the Year 2017 speech .

The kind of “beautiful” that reflects being myself 150% of the time, not allowing others to dull my shine, resisting the pull to fit myself into other people’s molds and fully stepping into my own energy.

I’m a work in progress.

M  xoxo

Note: I can count the number of celebrities I follow on Instagram one hand with three fingers to spare but Tracee Ellis Ross is one of the few that I do follow. She strikes me as the kind of person I would love to sit down and have a coffee with.

©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved

#ThoughtfulTuesday: Appreciating Who You Have #family #gratitude

©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Nothing gives you perspective like spending a few days in an emergency room cubicle.

All is well now but that is where I spent a few days last week with a loved one since there were no “real” beds available. Needless to say, my #NaNoWriMo word count was the last thing on my mind and a hard chair in cubicle #4 was not a conducive environment for creative writing. However, it was an opportunity to soak in the sobering environment (while trying not to soak in any germs) and be reminded of an important lesson:

Be grateful for the loved ones around you and who have your best interest at heart.

Seeing the number of elderly patients in that emergency section completely alone, vulnerable and unaccompanied made me sad.

Very sad.

From the fragile man in his late 90s with a deep rattling cough, not knowing where he was and trying to fight off the nurses who tried to aspirate him to the old woman doubled over in a wheelchair, refusing to be touched by anyone because she was in agonizing pain from a fall…

It all made me wonder where “their people” were – I mean, their family or loved ones. No one present to advocate for them, no second set of ears to understand the doctor’s instructions, no one to keep an eye on their personal belongings while they were wheeled away for tests, no one to run around the corner to the tasty Portuguese dive restaurant because the hospital dinner looked like this…

©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Most sobering of all was overhearing a doctor trying to question an elderly woman in the presence of her unkept-looking middle-aged son.

Doctor: “Where did you get those bruises Mrs. X?”
Son: “She fell down.”
Doctor: “I’d like to hear it from her.”
Elderly woman: “Yes, I fell down.”
Doctor: “How did you fall Mrs. X?”
Elderly woman shrugs and looks at her son. “I don’t know. I just did.”
Doctor: “You were in here just a few months ago. Have you been having problems with your balance?”
Elderly woman: “I don’t know.”

I wasn’t convinced of her story and from the manner in which the doctor continued to grill her with questions, in my mind, he suspected elder abuse.

It’s heartbreaking to think that some seniors have no one to look out for them in this world. Some have no choice but to fend for themselves because they have no family around or who live far away. And it’s even sadder to think that when you do have “someone” close to you, they may not always be acting in your best interest.

It made me think hard about who will advocate for me when I’m older and vulnerable.

How often do you think about your future years?

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

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What Makes A Man Sexier

This is a continuation of Cute, Handsome or Sexy.

What is a “sexy” man?

Of course, we each have our own definition and it can be quite subjective.

But I’ll tell you what makes a “sexy” man even sexier IMHO.

He’s a man who:

  • can hold an intelligent conversation about current events or discuss the latest book he’s read (extra points if it is an actual physical book which means he’s a little old school);

  • is confident in his talents and abilities (not to be mistaken with arrogance);

  • has a sense of humor, maybe just a little geeky (like Bruno from “Lord of the Files“) and can laugh at himself or is a little self-effacing (but just not as geeky as this guy below);

  • makes use of “please”, “thank you” and knows what “manners” means;

  • remembers the small and subtle details about things and more importantly, small details about YOU;
  • walks the walk, talks the talk, says what he means, means what he says…

You get the picture.

I don’t know about you but for me, substance in a man is sexy and there has to be some real steak behind any sizzle he may have.

Sizzle. Steak. Substance. Sexy.

Oh…I’m not saying that I’d ignore a little stubble and a great smile, nor would I throw this guy out for getting crumbs in the bed…

Uh, definitely no.

What I am saying is that “sexy” is much more than just the superficial. Sexy is in the eye of the beholder.

What do you say? What do you find “sexy”?

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

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“Dollars In The Sand” #mindfulness #kindness

First Sand Dollar©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Early one morning I exchanged smiles with a young woman as our paths crossed on the beach.

When I bumped into her again the next day, she stopped me.

“Here, have this sand dollar I found,” she said, jogging in place just long enough to hand it to me, provide an explanation as to what a sand dollar was and how it came to be.

Then the woman disappeared down the beach and was gone.

A random act of 6:00am kindness from a stranger I never laid eyes on again.

The next morning, I found four more sand dollars without purposely seeking them out. They just appeared at my feet as I walked the beach because I now knew what they were.

Sometimes it takes a stranger to open up our eyes to the little things we never noticed before.

Dollar In The Sand©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Images and content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

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