• Design
  • Illustration
  • M Chen Wears
  • M on the side
  • dad
  • Contact
header

Archive

Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

Gratitude

October 12th, 2009

Today is Thanksgiving for us Canucks. I don’t remember the last time my family did turkey for the occasion — that’s ok… I actually prefer the hot pots, taiwanese fajitas and other great eats we enjoy! But I do like to take the extra time to give a nod to and appreciate all the stuff that I have to be grateful for.

Little things like the mind-blowing coffee at my favourite café (Wild Oat at Bank & Fourth, if you’re ever in the Glebe), how gorgeous Autumn is, the friendly cats on my street, and getting over my apple allergy.

And then the big things like my health, my family, living in Canada, feeling like I have the option to try just about anything (even if it flops), having unbelievably terrific friends, and finding a true partner in life.

A few humble thoughts I have about gratitude…

  • Making a point of celebrating. Recently, someone dear to me got good (and relieving) news from the doctor. I brought over the below cake. The news was all we needed to be happy, to be sure, but adding dessert never hurts:

  • The little things add up. I believe in ‘what goes around comes around’. I’ve definitely found that the more good energy I put out there, the more lucky I get.
  • Picking my battles. Something I’ve heard more and more over the years is that I’m “so laid back”. I used to be one pre-e-e-etty tightly-wound kid, though; I was über-judgmental, I would lament the gap in my teeth, I took way too much personally, and on and on… I tell ya, it was exhausting. Life is a lot simpler since I’ve focused on the good stuff and let go of most of the molehills.

Oh! One other thing I’m thankful for: all you folks who drop in and read my ramblings, especially when you leave comments. I had no idea that I’d be averaging over 4000 unique visitors a month by now, and it’s overwhelmingly flattering. Thank you for making this worthwhile!

Do you have any wise words to share?

Or anything you’re particularly thankful for?

blog, general rambling , , ,

Fortunate beginnings and Ben the dog

August 13th, 2009

Ben the dog, taken by John

Ten years ago, I was a fresh-faced Fine Art grad, and the world was my oyster. Reality set in when a friend helped me do an internet job search, and the single result from a search with the keyword “artist” was… “Wanted: Subway sandwich artist.” Uh oh.

Thus began some heavy duty pavement-pounding. I called every single ad firm in the yellow pages, and managed to finagle a whack of interviews. Every single one ended with “Nice work; go get some computer skills.” The last place I had an interview was a home-based business run by a dynamo named Cyndi; we hit it off and I was just about to tell her that I’d be back once I did a graphic design crash course… when she offered me a part-time position.

I worked there a few hours a week over the next couple of months, then eventually signed on full-time. Cyndi also happened to be a design instructor at the local college… so my first career-related position was basically hands-on schooling. It didn’t occur to me until years afterwards just how lucky I was that she took me on.

Going to work consisted of stuffing my brain with as much new information as possible (m-dashes, orphans and leading, oh my!), lots of laughing with co-workers, being entertained by Cyndi’s partner Mario (who does the best rendition of “Choppin’ Broccoli”)… and then there was Ben the dog.

Ben had been a neglected pup, so Cyndi and Mario took him in; they had to teach him what a ball was and how to play with it. They also taught him to ring a bell at the back door if he wanted to go out. He loved to lick people’s ears. He wagged his whole back half — not just his tail. Boy, could he drop a stink bomb! Honestly though, he was one of the absolute sweetest dogs I’ve ever met.

Last week, Ben got sick suddenly and had to be put down. I know his family are beside themselves with grief, and I’ve been surprised at how very sad I’ve been about this too. Since hearing the news, I’ve gotten nostalgic and done a lot of thinking back to this first job I had, how much it affected me, and how deeply thankful I am to have experienced it and met everyone there; what a bonus it is that we all still keep in touch.

I’ll miss you, Benny — I’m sending you big hugs, long walks and a limitless supply of ears to lick.

general rambling, good peeps , , , ,

© 2010 Emily Chen Design & Illustration. All Rights Reserved.