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It’s been a number of years since I’ve spent time in the DIY laundromat to do this household chore. Our Bosch has decided to do it’s own thing so I Google-mapped the nearest laundromat. It was just a short bus ride away, so I threw the sweaty mound clothes in the Ikea bag and off I went to the DIY.

If you’ve never had the privilege of participating in this life-lessons event, try it out some time. Maybe try it in your hometown, and then in some places you travel to.

Pourquoi, you ask?

I say, pourquoi not?

There are a number of things I thought about during this an hour and a half excursion:

There is comfort in washing clothes; in the smell of the laundry detergent that fills the air in every laundromat.

You learn to read and follow instructions. Hopefully it’s before you go buy the potentially unneeded detergent.

The signs that are so easy to follow that almost anyone could clean their clothes independently.

You will learn that the dryer “averagely takes about 30 minutes to dry” (I do love finding those intricate English misnomers).

You will use some time management skills and see how much you can actually do in that 30 minutes while the dryer is averagely drying your clothes.

The laudromat is a wonderful place to observe others, and reflect on life.

I value these mini-life lessons. They are in everything we do. We just tend to overlook them.

It’s Our Tradition, She Said

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One of my long time BFFs, Jill, and I have always talked books, recommended them to each other and shared them. The few years we were roomies, we had shelves overflowing with books. Shelves that were doubled with books. And that didn’t stop us from making frequent trips to the book store either. We always looked forward to our journeys to Chapters, to look through the book shelves, usually leaving with more books to add to our home library.

Even when we moved apart from each other, we still made our Chapters trips every once in a while. And a few years after that, after I moved to New York, we both kept up our own book store trips. My solitary trips to Barnes & Noble were never the same, but still filled me with some sense of ease and homeyness.

So as our years of book sharing evolved, Jill and I discovered an author we both loved. Somehow the book Barefoot was picked up and read during one of my trips to B & N, and when I shared the book with Jill she said she had read it too. From then we started reading Elin Hilderbrand‘s beach reads quite incessantly. We read them for the tangled stories of relationships and the descriptions of the beautiful setting on Nantucket. To say the least, now we both anticipate the release of her June summer books for one of our first summer reads. And the last couple of years, we also anticipate the release of the winter series for a cozy cold season read together.

Since the new book Here’s To Us came out a couple of weeks ago, we checked to make sure the other purchased it before starting to read. We were both in the midst of other books, so we both needed a few days before getting into the new book. Jill mentioned that reading it simultaneously was our tradition – and it’s definitely true! Something that’s “our thing”, that we stick to a couple of times a year, even when our lives are filled with other things. So now here we are, literally on opposite sides of the planet, still reading books together, over coffee or on the couch or wherever, because it’s our tradition.

I think maybe we can partially thank Elin for our tradition, but mostly we can thank ourselves for staying connected, even when our lives keep moving along and changing.

And one day, Jill and I will make a trip out to Nantucket together to explore all those places we’ve read about in the books!


Learnings From the Wild Child

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I finally read Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild.

For some reason I tend to resist reading a book that becomes a movie, but I’m glad I didn’t resist this one. In retrospect, I learned a lot from the book and I was reminded strongly about the power of setting your mind to something. Honestly, I hope anyone who reads the book comes away with this message.

Here are some of my leanings and reflections:

Do something that scares you. That means: do something you think you couldn’t do. Forget about others thinking you couldn’t do it. This is about you.

Prepare yourself for disappointment, but rise above it and move on.

Embrace meeting all types of people on your journey.

Trust yourself.

Open your eyes and ears, literally.

Be kind to others, wherever you are and no matter how you’re feeling.

Love nature, your emotions, experiences, people.

Savor every moment of the learning experience.

Be someone’s positive memory.

Accept who you are, but know that you can always become a better version of yourself.





tbt #15 – Old Boarding Passes Make Great Bookmarks

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You already know that I was reading Someone Knows My Name for about three years.

My bookmark was proof it’s been at least that long.

This boarding pass was from my first trip to Orlando in June 2010 with my buddy Alaa.

Eeeeek! 2010? Then it was longer than three years…


I can’t tell you if I started reading the book then, but it’s an indication of the all the journeys this book has been on with me.

Wow! 2010?

Time does go faster as you get older.

Must be all the fun!

Three Years Later

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Yes, it took me about three years to read a book.

Why? I don’t know.

Which book, you ask? Before I tell you, you have to know that it was a fantastic book. I don’t even think the word “book” does it justice. It’s a well-crafted piece of literature. A must-read.

The story well-written, expertly researched; the characters complex and deep; the ending what I wanted it to be.

I’m not going to tell you what it’s about, because you must read it, and you can look it up anyway. It’s literature that takes you to a monumental time when treating others horribly was the norm, and society was far worse than it is now. Although it is a work of fiction, it is based in research (as mentioned), and reflects history closely.

It’s called Someone Knows My Name (in the US) and The Book of Negroes (in Canada), written by Lawrence Hill, an amazing Canadian author. Read it.

Just don’t take as long as I did to read it. I’m sure you won’t!





Why Can’t I Read?

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I just can’t read for longer than 15  minutes. Why? Why? Why?

I have huge aspirations for reading all the time, but I can’t do it for long!

I even joined two groups on – a non-fiction reading group and a classics group to help inspire me! However, I’m still reading the same non-fiction book I began at the start of January, and have yet to start my classics choice Treasure Island (chosen by recommendation thanks to Monica).

I’m still reading And the Mountains Echoed, the new Khaled Hosseini book, three weeks later. I started to read the book with Jill so we could talk about it. Well, she’s done and I’m still halfway through… I like the book… The story is good, characters interesting. Why can’t I focus?

I can read for entire flights though, nearly completing entire books! Maybe I just need this…