Don’t worry, it’s all good things.

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Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

I used to read. A lot. I love getting a new book and diving into the characters and their lives. I still own every single Babysitter’s Club book because classics never go out of style. I had books (nice old ones, not the Babysitter’s Club) as decor at my wedding. I have a quote from Oscar Wilde on my wrist. I have many quotes from Hunter S. Thompson on my walls.

Except, I barely read.

Not really. Not truly. Yeah, I’ll pack books for vacation, and happily read for hours during rainy days at the lake, but I don’t read often. Or, rather, I don’t read for a long time. My mind has gotten used to fast-paced everything and in-your-face instant gratification. …

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Photo by Michelle Ziling Ou on Unsplash

Every good and romantic experience happens in Paris when it’s raining. Of course, the sunny days are good, too; but, there’s just something about Paris in the rain. Somehow, it’s just breathtakingly beautiful. The day I visited a bakery, tired but excited to learn how to make croissants and baguettes, was no different. The rain was falling down in gentle droplets, making the atmosphere feel soft and sentimental rather than ominous and annoying were this any other city.

We arrived at Le Petit Mitron to meet up with the guide and the cheeky bakery owner (who is lactose and gluten intolerant!). Greetings were had, introductions made and into the bakery we went. We (the 9 of us tourists including the tour guide) jammed ourselves into the tiny kitchen and down a tight set of stairs to where the baguettes were being prepared. Scenes from Beauty and the Beast ran through my mind — Marie! The Baguettes! — and I instantly felt at ease in the tiny basement. The large oven was cozy, and judging from the warmth on this chilly morning, suffocating on hot summer days. …

A happy little run that had me stressing

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Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

I’ve never been much of a runner, even when I was in insanely good shape. I hated it. It was boring, nothing really happened, you did the same thing for a long stretch of time. No thanks. When I was visiting Germany, my friend wanted to head out for her nightly run. Thinking that I had ate too many fries and delicious treats (and thinking I was extremely fat even though I was far from it), I decided to join her.

It all started off as well as it could. We ran down the block and into a little forest, following a trail. We stopped to take in the view of a small meadow, and I felt like I could maybe get into running. If running meant only running in a forest and taking a huge amount of breaks, then yeah, it would be alright. My friend, being someone who enjoys running and does it often, was going on a long journey. I didn’t feel like I could run that far and that long, so bid her adieu, taking mental notes of where we broke off and thinking I would find my way back. …

Make your office a more environmentally-friendly place

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Photo by Alesia Kazantceva on Unsplash

The office is a hard place to bring environmentally-friendly practices into. You go through paper like nobody’s business, you’re already (most likely) commuting by car, and the amount of waste thrown away during the day by EACH office worker is staggering. But, with a few tweaks, your office can be running a little greener:

Environmentally-Friendly Supplies
Office supplies have come a long way from the boring old paper clip (shit guys, I have GOLD paper clips. They’re bougie as fuck). Now, you can get paper clips from recycled metal, FSC paper, pencils made from recycled newspaper, or ones that have seeds in them!
Change out your regular office supplies (once you’re through with them) for more eco-friendly options. Re-use scrap paper for draft copies, instead of killing a tree just so you can edit a print copy. I would say don’t print it out to edit, but I know the struggle. Editing online is more annoying and time-consuming than inking up 30+ pages with notes and revisions.
On the major plus side, by re-using scraps for draft copies, you’re saving your company money on buying paper. …

You’ve been sucked in by marketing

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Photo by qi bin on Unsplash

When all of those first free meal box cards kept showing up in my packages, I thought that they sounded pretty neat. A box of food delivered right to your door with a nice little recipe attached. How cute. Then, I looked into them and realized just how flippin’ expensive — and stupid — they are.

As someone who knows how to cook, and knows her way around a grocery store, I couldn’t fathom the idea of paying $40+ for a box of food just for one meal. Why wouldn’t I just order some yummy take-out for that kind of cash and not have to cook? …

Mother Nature f’d with our plans, laughing at our itinerary.

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Years ago, my friend and in embarked on our rite-of-passage trip in University: we set off to Europe for a month. While we didn’t have backpacks loaded with a guidebook and only a few pairs of pants (backpacks so are not my thing), we stayed in off-the-beaten-path accommodations like quaint B&Bs, an apartment before apartment rentals were cool, silly hotels, friend’s couches, and of course, a couple of hostels.

We were excited and bright-eyed like two young 20-somethings were meant to be. We had travelled before, mainly on school trips, myself a little more versed in the travel world than my friend. I had never gone for a month of travel, and I was excited to just go out there and see what the world had to offer. That feeling of excitement, of finding yourself and the world in front of you…I don’t know if I could ever beat that feeling, I don’t think I could ever re-create it. It’s something that goes hand-in-hand with being young and naive. New experiences may make me feel giddy today, but there isn’t that sense of wonder, that feeling of absolute freedom you have when you’re young and travelling for the first time. …

This article puts our spoiled lives into perspective. It’s been nearly a year since the pandemic hit us, and what a year it’s been. So much has happened, proving that most of us were spoiled, whiney, brats. Let’s take the fact that people dying is horrible, people losing jobs is horrible, mental health issues are horrible, and our health-care systems are horrible, right out of the system. We know this is horrible, so let’s put it over to the side. It’s not what we’re talking about today.

Most of us have been spoiled over the years, doing whatever we pleased, with nary a thought to consequences. Now that we’ve had to sit back, hunker down, and live a little differently, we can’t handle it. We’ve been handed treats too many times without having to work for it, and now we’re throwing tantrums because we can’t get that instant gratification. People are going to go buck-wild when we can, and we’ve been cooped up for so long that we’ve definitely earned it, but complaining about how hard our lives are when we still have jobs, still can put food on our tables, still can talk to friends? …

That splashy travel life just isn’t for me.

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Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

I used to think that I wanted to be a True Traveller, a person who constantly travelled all over the world, living the nomad lifestyle, collecting memories and tokens instead of money. They’re tan, their hair messy and their clothes rumpled from being pulled out of a backpack, but their eyes and smiles are bright from the jungles they’ve been in, both wooded and concrete. I yearned to be that person one day, hungrily reading travel books, magazines, articles, hoping to be gone on so many trips my passport would be full before expiry. But, I realize now that that type of lifestyle isn’t for me. It never was, even if it became a small part of my life during University. …

and, it’s dragging me down.

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Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

I have this weird obsession with trying to perfectly happy all.the.damn.time. I’m sure that a lot of you have the exact same feeling. It’s drilled into us with all of the motivational quotes out there, of how happy we would be if we lived a more simple life, a minimalist wardrobe and house. We’re told that if we lived in a 300–500 sq. ft. home on wheels we’d find happiness every single day because we won’t be living with junk and have lower bills. We’re told that once we find our passion, we won’t work a day in our life.

I say bullshit to all of that. …

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photo by author

So, you’ve always wanted a citrus tree, but you live in a climate that isn’t a friend to such fruit trees. No worries, you can still have your lemons! Last summer I finally splurged and bought myself a lemon tree. I was so excited to take that bad boy home and happily plunked it down on my deck. It took to the space immediately and actually grew a little bit! Then, the days got colder and it was time to bring it in. …


Michelle Lee-Ann

A lover of all things Karl Lagerfeld, Golden Girls enthusiast, and finds happiness in books from Hemingway to Harlequin.

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