February 29, 2012

Raw, Day 8

I'm going to take a break from telling you about what I ate, what I wanted to eat, what my stats are for just another post.  Partly because I didn't really eat anything spectacular or different today (don't get me wrong, I ate wonderful and delicious food, but nothing you haven't read about before).  Also, partly because I wanted to chat about something more important.  Important not only in the raw veganist life, but also in anyone's life.  From reading various books about the raw lifestyle, I've learned that the life of a rawist involves three main categories.  Food, exercise and happiness.  These three all play a very important role in achieving the ideal life.  I've already talked about how important food plays a role in your life.  Recap: Food is fuel; without it, we run out of gas.  To have the best performance, we must eat premium food and fresh food is the gold standard.

Today I will be speaking about an emotion that is so lovely to feel, not only for others but for oneself.  That emotion, happiness.

Happiness/happy.  What does that mean?  Really?  What do those words really mean?  Little things can make you happy, big things the same.  But is the feeling you get the same?  How do you know when you're happy?  Happiness.  How can this be achieved?  Really, I'm asking you.  How do you make yourself happy?  Does someone, something, help with your happiness?  What makes you happy??

In life we strive for good health, great friends and true happiness.  No matter what or who puts the smile on your face, let them continue!  At the end of every day ask yourself, "what made me happy?"  See if there is a pattern.  If so, keep the items/people close. 

Below are some quotes from Blissful Bites
by Christy Morgan.  It's mainly a vegan cookbook but it has some raw recipes splashed in.  Some quotes are for the mind, some are for the body, all for the soul...each one with a connection to food, and of course, happiness.
  • Happiness is life served up with a scoop of acceptance, a topping of tolerance and sprinkles of hope, although chocolate sprinkles also work - Robert Vrault
  • Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well.  Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance.  Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress - Charles Pierre Moneslet
  • Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind, and spirit.  When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open - B.K.S. Lyengar
  • Blissful Living: Show Gratitude: When you sit down for lunch or dinner, show gratitude for the meal you are about to eat.  Show appreciation for the many people that took part in getting that food to your plate: the persona who planted the seeds, drove the produce to the store, and the person who stocked the shelf.  Even give thanks to those who crafted the chopsticks or silverware, and the plate you are eating on - Christy Morgan
  • If we made our goal to live a life of compassion and unconditional love, then the world will indeed become a garden where all kinds of flowers can bloom and grow - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • Live each season as it passes; breath the air, drink the drinks, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each - H.D. Thoreau
  • The only real stumbling block is fear of failure.  In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude - Julia Child
  • and remember, One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not fed well - Virginia Woolf

I wish you all the happiness in the world my friends!!!  You deserve it!

Until tomorrow, be well!
Universal symbol for happiness

February 28, 2012

Just Like The Barenaked Ladies Sing...

It's been one week...

Apparently I've make it through the hardest time during this transition from vegetarian to raw-veganist.  One week.  Many people begin the journey but are lost before this moment...and I understand why.  It is challenging to cut out cooked foods.  In the world today, it's hard to come by something that hasn't been grilled, toasted, nuked, etc etc.  So it's definitely odd to eat food that is raw or mostly raw all the time. 

Just as a reminder, there are some allowances I have given myself and I'm ok with being 90% raw 100% vegan.  To mark th
is occasion of having been raw-ish for a week,
and just because I was craving something sinfully sweet, I went to Goodness Me to see what types of treats they had.  There I found some glorious kale chips, various nut brittle, and cookies in different flavours.  These items ranged from $5-9 bucks...for let's face it, not a lot of food, but that's what you have to expect right?  The treats looked and sounded delightful, and believe you me, I wanted to purchase all of them!  But my eyes, and heart, fell in deep like with something else.  I don't usually crave this food, but this one just called out to me.  It was like looking at someone so attractive for the first time that you just can't take your eyes off of them.  You must know the feeling; if not for a person, then an item...or if you're like me, then food. 

This delightful creature came in a small red package (all things come in small packages).  It had a word that I always gravitate to, spicy  (all good things have spice).  Its ingredients included "love and gratitude".  For these reasons, I fell. 

The item, was a giddy yoyo raw chocolate cru, spicy, 75% cacoa.  The first bite melted in my mouth, bitter yet sweet at the same time.  Then, a kick at the end.  Mmmmmm.  It's said that you can benefit from eating chocolate that is above 75%, if that's the case, let me have more!

This line of chocolate comes in different flavours: ginger, mint, mocha, original, orange and of course spicy.  All are free of "dairy, gluten, soy, nuts, refined sugar and nasty funk".  This one includes "Love & Gratitude, heirloom Ecudorian Criollo Arriba nacional cocao paste, unrefined fully mineralized cane juice, cacao butter, cinnamon and cayenne".  They're $5 for a 45g bar.  In my opinion, they're worth every penny!

So, one week passed, only  5 weeks and 5 days to go.  But then again, who is counting?

Until tomorrow, be well!

February 27, 2012

Raw. Day 6

Salads.  They get a bad wrap.  If you order a salad in a restaurant, someone will automatically think you're on a diet.  If you bring it to work, someone may ask "what, are you a rabbit?".  Now don't even get me started with what guys go through if they order salads, I know!  My guy friends often always order these leafy bowls of delight when we go out to eat...wait, why do my guy friends order these when we go out to eat??  Salads.  So good, and so good for you.

Trying something new with
marinated mushrooms, pomelo
and mixed greens

What I ate:  So I guess it's no surprise that today I had salad...not for all my meals, just for dinner.

I did make one for lunch tomorrow and I'm actually excited to have it.  I'm excited because it is so different from the one I had this evening.  I think that if I were to eat the same type, then yes, I would get bored; but because you can change up the leaf, the veges/toppings, and the dressings, there really isn't a reason why I, or anyone for that matter would get bored so easily with greens. 

Easy peasy lettuce and citrus

What I drank: 
A lovely smoothie for breakfast at work and water throughout the day of course
What I wanted to eat/drink:
All my delicious treats I prepared for work
My thoughts: 
Salads are underrated
Energy level:
10 apples still
: Nothing has changed, as far as I can see...although I am hungrier more than I normally am, no complaints here, food is good!

Until tomorrow, be well!
Marinate mushrooms in balsamic vinegar, olive oil,
black pepper and chili flakes

February 26, 2012

Raw. Day 5

Sunday.  What a glorious day!  The sunshine is out.  My mood is high.  I am loving life! 

Today is the Oscars, and the beau and I have a tradition to watch it together.  I usually have a spread of goodies laid out in front of us as we predict the winners and criticize what people are wearing.  Today will be no different.  I have an idea of what I want to make, and things I have already prepared.  I also have some non-raw treats for him just in case he's not feeling it...God love him!

What I made:

Tropical Fruit Salsa

Fresh salsa
1 cup each of mangoes, papayas, kiwi, apples, pears, tomato (basically any sweet fruit)
1 tablespoon cilantro and mint
Squeeze lime juice
Optional: black pepper, salt (I don't use salt), chili flakes, raw nuts

Blend mango and lime juice
Add all other treats to the mango mix
Spoon over romaine lettuce leaves to make a green wrap, eat with tortillas or on its own

(this is very similar  Thai mango salad, without the fish sauce)

Fresh Salsa
Tomatoes, onions, peppers/chilis
Cilantro, mint
Squeeze lime juice
Optional: same as above

Chop. Blend. Enjoy!

Fruit salsa

Tonight's menu will also include smoothies and fruit platters galore!  Now it's time to find out who the gold man will go home with tonight.

Until tomorrow, be well!

Raw. Day 4

Saturday.  A full day without work.  The first full day where there was nothing to distract me from food really.  Usually at work  I grab what I have and eat it at my desk.  Quickly.  Here, while at home, I am able to actually know what I'm eating.  I have the time to figure out what I really want to eat.  I have time to appreciate the colour, the flavour, the texture of the foods that I intake.  A simple luxury I take for granted while at work. 

Today I had so many options in front of me.  What will I have for breakfast? Lunch? Snacks?  My choices were endless.  What I picked were easy, healthy, delicious!

Green Godess smoothie

What I ate: 
For breakfast and for my snacks I choose smoothies.  For lunch a salad.  For dinner...oh my, I went to Fresh on Spadina.  Sooo good!  Although their raw options were limited.  Other than the Italian raw bowul (zucchini noodles tossed with basil pesto garnished with kale chips, grape tomatoes, Fresh Protein Boost and sun-dried tomatoes) there were only some salads to pick from

Summer treat in the winter
What I drank: Smoothies, @ Fresh we got the Immune Elixer (carrot•beet•apple•gingervitamin C•echinacea) 
What I wanted to eat/drink:
Everything on the Fresh menu

Smoothie Receipes
Basic Green Smoothie (aka Green Godess)
Apple. Spinach. Other dark leafy greens. Celery. Water. Blend. 
(I added a pear with the apple at another time - delish)
Mango Smoothie
Mango. Milk (or coconut water). Blend.  Super simple. Super tastey!

My thoughts:
Hamilton needs a raw/vegan joint!  I know there's Affinity on John Street, which is one of my all time fave places to visit, but it's vegetarian/vegan, no raw really there.  One place in a large city to cater the vegetarians is definitely NOT enough.  Come on Hamilton step it up a bit!!
Energy level: 
10 apples/10 apples - Today I'm feeling good!
: Fabulously the same

Until tomorrow, be well!

February 24, 2012

Raw. Day 3

10 Steps for Maintaining Memory, Mobility, Independence, and Beauty

1)   Eat a plant based-diet composed of at least 75% raw food
2)   Walk five times a week for at least thirty minutes
3)   Exercise with weights, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, or qigong three times a week
4)   Accept yourself just as you are today
5)   Laugh more
6)   Don't dwell on the past
7)   Curb all negative thinking
8)   Give and receive love
9)   Be kind, considerate, and compassionate
10) Avoid boredom
Simple rules from Live Raw by Mimi Kirk.

We have to remember, it's not always about food.  It's about body and mind.  And since it's not always about food, today I won't write about any.

From this list, I know I have to work on some of these things...how about you?

Until tomorrow, be well!

February 23, 2012

Raw. Day 2

Last night's dinner was a bit boring, easy but boring, good but boring.  I got out of work late, at 8, and by the time I was ready to eat, I was to lazy to make anything grand so I had half an english muffin with fresh tomatoes and spices.  Not bad for a quick fix. 

When I woke up today I knew my days food intake would be similar to the one from yesterday.  Fruits, veges, nuts, bread.  I guess it's going to be the same for the next 44 days.  I feel bad for my coworkers since my fresh food takes up most of the fridge space..no complaints yet though.   At lunch I went to the grocery store and purchased some fresh herbs and vegetables since I'm dying to try this salsa recipe I found (I'll post it when I do make it).  It's too bad there are no open air markets or farmers markets around me, I would love to buy local and fresh produce num num num.

So here's the 411 for the day:
What I ate:  fruits, sandwich with pb, fruits..again, this list seems small but I'm a grazer, so I eat often and I eat plenty
What I drank:  OJ, water
What I wanted to eat/drink:  my co-worker was having a rice and vege dish in a curry sauce for lunch.  I didn't want to eat it, but the smell was so intoxicating that I sorta did...does that make sense? 
My thoughts:  Still excited!  I'm really pumped to have my fresh veges and herbs.  I was suppose to make something awesome this evening but after work I went to a goodbye party for one of my coworkers who, after today, are going onto bigger things.  We went to Jack Astors.  Have you seen their menu??  I had a side salad, minus the croutons, with oil and vinegar.  Yum!  Even out, there are so many delicious options!
Energy level: 9 apples/10 apples
still the same

Garden salad with beets.  Hold the croutons.

Until tomorrow, be well!

February 22, 2012

Raw. Day 1

I woke up feeling good...felling light on my feet.  I was excited for the day ahead!  I am excited for this challenge.  I know it's going to be tough, but as someone told me, if any one can do it, I can! (thanks for the vote of confidence friends!)

Each day throughout Lent I will be posting a few things...what I ate, what I wanted to eat, my thoughts, my energy levels, recipes that I like etc.  So here goes nothing...

Breakfast of champions

What I ate:  
Fruits and lots of it.  Nuts.  Ezekiel bread with some pb.  It sounds small but very filling!
What I drank:  water

What I wanted to eat/drink:  everything raw!  It's the first day and there are sooo many possibilities!
My thoughts:  
 I'm pumped!  Bring it!  I'm so excited to see what the next 44 days bring  
Energy level:  10 apples/10 apples

Ezekiel 4:9 bread with a teeny-tiny bit of pb
Stats:  I'm 5' 5.5" and I (I don't like disclosing this so I won't give you the precise number...I'm sure you understand, right ladies?) hover between 100-110 lbs.  I am certain that this is going to change...and let me reiterate, this is not a diet, this is not a lifestyle change, this is more than that!  I'm totally healthy (besides getting migraines) even with a very low BMI.  Don't be concerned, I'm not.  

On a side note, Food For Life is a company that makes sprouted breads.  Their whole philosophy is creating food that is healthy and natural, and food that would have been created and eaten during Biblical time.  On all products the verse, "Take also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in a vessel, and make bread of it" is listed...that verse is from Ezekiel 4:9.

Until tomorrow, be well!

February 21, 2012

Fat Tuesday

Well, it's Fat Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, Mardi Gras; whatever you call it, the day of gluttony is here.  Tomorrow is D Day.  Tomorrow starts 45 days of raw veganism and personal growth.  Tomorrow I will attempt to unite mind and body.

I was excited this morning, but as the day progresses I'm starting to dread this decision of mine.  Do I have enough fruit?  Do I have enough veges?  Do I have enough books/resources?  Did I clean my Magic Bullet?  (no to all of those questions btw).  It seems I'm not as ready as I thought...but too late to turn back.  What I lack in material and groceries, I more than make up for with will.  I made this promise, I will make this sacrifice.

So some rules, I figure by having these out there, you can be my eyes too!  As mentioned in my last post, I will be allowing myself cups of tea.  I will also allow myself to have soy milk, orange juice, certain alcohol, PB as well as veges and dips (eg hummas) from their cartons/jars.  I would love to juice, to sprout, to dehydrate and all, but those will have to do.  I travel for work, and I know I will have difficulty sticking to the raw lifestyle when I'm away, so during the days I'm gone, I will allow myself to be more 'laxed with the raw bit but still be strictly vegan.  Again I'm ok with being 90% raw and 100% vegan!

On top of the raw veganism, I will also go on a journey of self enhancement (I have things in mind, but those are for me to know).  These 45 days will be a time for self growth...and that's what I'm reallllly looking forward to!

Last night I was told I was stubborn.  Not a surprise.  Knowing that I KNOW I won't back down nor will I cheat (other than the aforementioned allowances).  So, as midnight looms, I'm going to indulge in some final treats and a large bowl of piping hot soup.

Until tomorrow, have a great "Fat" night!  And to those of you who are giving something up or doing something new, good luck to you during this Lenten period!

Until tomorrow, be well!

Oh, here are some things that I purchased as essentials to succeed a raw vegan lifestyle...
Staples:  all fruits and veges were always my friends before,
but they'll play a bigger part in my life now

I don't like to endorse things, but since I don't have a juicer or blender, I bought it to make quick and easy breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. 
I also figure I can transport it to different places if needed
Coconut water and coconut milk: main ingredients for various different
desserts and smoothies I plan to make (I have a big sweet tooth)
Books: One of the first better raw books I came across while researching.
Sarma really went into so much depth, and as raw restaurant owner,
she has soo many innovative recipes to choose from

February 18, 2012

What Am I Thinking?

I’m Catholic, and because I am, every year during Lent I usually do something new: give up certain things (foods, habits) or start doing something different.  It’s like a new years resolution, but one that I make sure to keep.  For years my Lenten promises ranged from trying to help out more, work out more, be more positive.  For years I’ve given up junk food, sugar, meat…Lent was the reason why I became vegetarian.  Lent was the reason I try to be vegan as often as I can.  Lent will be the reason why I will turn into a raw foodist!?!??!?… Nope, I don’t think this will be the case.  But this year, I am going to try to live a raw lifestyle, wait, a raw vegan lifestyle to be precise.  For those who aren’t really familiar with what that means, basically I will be eating food that has no animal by-products in it and that has not been cooked over 115 degrees fahrenheit.  Crazy, I know!  But I’m up for the challenge...if you don't know me, I'm the girl who really is up for anything!
45 days of this
Raw veganiam.  This is all new territory for me.  The decision to become a raw veganist wasn’t a light hearted one.  I did my research and know exactly what I’m getting myself into, I even bought myself a Magic Bullet today!  I’m ok with the vegan part of it, after two years of becoming vegan for lent, I'm an expert now.  But to be perfectly honest, I’m a bit worried about the raw part of it.  I like hot food.  I like hot drinks.  I like cooked everything.  Salads, fruits and veges, although all wonderful, aren’t something I’m ready to only consume for 40 plus days.  I probably won't be 100% completely raw, but I will definitely be 100% vegan.  With that said, I am going to cheat by allowing myself to have a cup of tea every day.  I know, I know, sooo wrong, but you gotta give this girl something!

So during Lent, starting on Tuesday, I will be blogging everyday...and trying to add some photos for those of you who are into food porn.  In this blog I'll be telling you my thoughts, feelings, energy levels, what I ate, what I wanted to eat…telling you everything.  If you’re into this lifestyle, please message me and let me know what you eat and where you shop etc.  I need all the tips I can get!  Lent starts on Wednesday and I’m looking forward to it ... I’m also looking forward to Fat Tuesday and Easter Sunday!  Wish me raw luck!!!

To learn more about this lifestyle, Wikipedia has you covered: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_veganism

February 17, 2012

And They Lived...

Today while at work and looking out of my window, I witnessed an elderly man pull up in his car, slowly get out and even slower walk to the passengers side. He was probably 85, give or take a year. Once he reached the door he opened it, held out his hand and helped out this elegant older woman, presumably his wife of many years. Then, they both walked, shuffled actually, side by side into the building. Their arms clasped around one another, talking, smiling.

I thought, wow! How wonderful to still be able to laugh and just be yourself while with your best friend after so many years. I thought of all the ups and down they must have gone through in their life with one another. I thought of how many milestones and heartaches they both experienced together. It made me smile. In the world today it’s hard to believe that Disney’s “Happily Ever After” is attainable. But, as this couple showed me, sometimes, just sometimes it does come true, and when you find it, like they did, then you should cherish it til the end. 

Attainable? Or false hope?
I don’t know if I’ll ever get to where they are. But I do know some things that they must have had to face to get where they are. Valentine’s day just passed so its fitting to write about l.o.v.e.. I’m not an expert (believe me) but again, I do know some things about the subject; after eight years in a meaningful, happy and loving relationship, I know I know a few things:

- Reality never holds up to fantasy. Sure it’s nice to pretend that one day your prince will come, that you will live in a caste…even with two ugly step sisters, that thought is still appealing. But we just never know what happens to Cinderella and Prince Charming after the gates close on their wedding day, do we? So be happy with what you’ve got. Your prince is right in front of you! Tall, dark, handsome. Sweet, loving, funny. He’s everything you ever wanted and more. And remember, you can hold him; already, something far more than what you could do with the cartoon Prince Charming.

- Pow! Kaboom! Yes there was once fireworks, but then you fall in love. The first time you met, there was a spark! A connection! At the beginning it was amazing, it was a honeymoon that seemed would never end. Then years pass and you get into a routine and you get comfortable. You go through ups and downs and worse, plateaus. But even with these ups and downs, you have to remind yourself that the ups are soooo wonderful! The downs, even if they seem bad at the time, they are not enough to do anything between you two, just make your relationship stronger. Yes, years change the intensity level, but in a good way. After years you become good friends, best friends. You become confidants, lovers. You become one. It's easy to see that sometimes the fireworks go, but they come back. What you have to remember is that no matter how low the fire gets, there is always heat between the two of you.

- This is a good one. You are never 100% happy with yourself. Are you? Think about it, there‘s something you don‘t like about your life and you want to change it. You want a new job, car, house. You think you can lose a couple pounds or get more ripped. You want to be more confident, less loud, more adventurous, less shy. Let‘s face it, if your name isn’t Giselle Bunchden then you’re not perfect. No one is 100% satisfied with themselves, so why do you expect to be 100% happy with others? Why do you expect to be with someone who is 100% for you when you can‘t be 100% for them? Everyone has their flaws, and those flaws are truly what make them special. You have flaws, sorry to break it to you, but they are the reasons why you are truly unique and they are the reasons why your partner fell in love with you.

- This is so simple, yet we lose grasp of it. Be thoughtful, kind, appreciative! You want these and so does your partner.

- Communicate!!! Can’t say that enough. Communicate. About everything. Plain and simple. Talk. Text. Share. Communicate! You don't have to tell every minute detail, but talking is key.

- Prioritize. You don’t want to be second fiddle, so don’t make them. If you’re in it, then be in it. 100%. 110%. Your partner isn’t stupid, they can tell when something’s up. Be in it!

- Sugar pie, have terms of endearments. This one name will connect the two of you in ways that's hard to believe. You can stick to the tried tested and true ones like, sweetie, hun, baby, darling, snookums. Or have silly ones like hunny nut cheerios, snorkle bum bum, doc. Whatever name you pick for one another is special and it connects you in a deeper level. Weird, but true.

- Get physical, but don‘t make me sick when you are. You don’t have to do it like rabbits or always show PDA to be connected with one another. I’m sure you know what I mean so I don’t have to carry on with this subject so I won't. But if they, as the song says, “lost that loving feeling” then it's time to call 9-1-1.

- Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

- Remember, you have something to offer and share!

- Opposites attract. Make the most of your differences! You are attracted to them for a reason. You are the yin to their yang, the cream to their coffee, the mac to their cheese, the .. well you get my point. You give more to your partner then you realize! You complete them in ways they need completing. You are perfect for one another.

- To reiterate the last point, I like who I am, so please don’t change me! They chose you for a reason. You chose them because they were unique and special. Don’t change them.

- Support their personality.

- At the end of the day, you are a team!!! At the end of the day if you don’t get excited to cuddle up with them, or talk to them on the phone, then there’s something wrong. If you still can’t wait to talk about your days with one another, even if it's just about what you had for lunch, then you know you’re doing something right with the right person.

- Have fun! I often hear people say, “I’m so bored with this relationship. We’re like an old married couple.” So knowing that you feel this way, go out and have dates (with one another, not someone else)! Spend time together! Remember that you did and still do have fun together. If you feel like you can’t go to another movie or try another restaurant, then mix things up! Take a class together, make new goals together and have fun achieving them together! Also, what’s wrong with being an old married couple? We should all be so lucky!

That's all I got for relationship tips...do you have any to share for me?

Perhaps I will be lucky enough to one day be the half of a cute old couple (currently I'm the half of a cute young couple).  I know in order to get to happily ever after, I have to go through a relationship...and the one I'm in ain't bad!  My Bebe Love, my Prince Charming, loves me knowing I'm not a princess and he loves me even with all my faults...and because of him, I'm already living a fairy tale!
After 8 years, he's still my Knight in shining armour
(literally, he's wearing a knight costume!)
Good luck and have fun being in love!

February 13, 2012


I feel it is my duty to say: Kids, say NO to drugs!
Recognize this notebook?  Recognize the tiny Asian girl with pursed lips?  For some of you, yes, you would know this. 

In 1992 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, O Division (Drug Prevention Team), had a Drug Awareness project and needed five little RCMP’s to grace the cover of their notebooks.
  I was one of them. 

This notebook was distributed across Canada to most elementary schools in hopes that students would say no to drugs.  The campaign had two versions of this notebook as well as posters.

I forgot about this until today, when my co-worker asked me why I was on her son’s notebook.
  What a blast from the past!

February 9, 2012

The Importance of a Signature, BA, MA, PhD, Etc

I’m the Marketing and Admissions Coordinator for a fantastic school in Ontario, and part of my job is to correspond with a number of people via email.  These individuals come from different types of businesses holding various employment positions.  Everyday I read their emails and everyday I feel the sequence of letters after their names are getting longer and more difficult to understand.  Varied letters meaning higher forms of education.  BA, MA, MBA, BSc, MSW, LLB, PhD, Pg D, RDH, DDS, M.S. (candidate) and the list goes on.  So many acronyms, so many credentials, so many letters that some people just don‘t understand/know/or care about.

When did the length after your signature mean so much?  And what does it really mean anyway?  The people with the longest signature are those individuals who have wonderful executive jobs with an amazing six or more figure income, right?  They’re the ones who had the time, the money and the patience to freely sacrifice in order to quench their thirst for knowledge, right?  Some people take it that way.  But then there are others who see the more educated ones as those who truly lost more than they gained in the quest for intelligence.  They lost time, money, friends, even sometimes family members...tired of waiting, tired to being second best. 

For some, education pays off.  For others, not so much.  You may have all the credentials to be a university professor or executive, but you may not be working in your chosen field, or working at all, due to the lack of jobs out there.

Education doesn’t make or break a person.  On the contrary.  Yes, as mentioned above, those who are educated usually have plenty of opportunities laid out for them.  But on the flip side, there are many individuals who do not have education and they are successful in every sense of the word.  Men: Bernard Shaw, Tarantino, Sydney Poitier (was an elementary school dropout!)  Women: Angelina Jolie, Anne Beiler (you may not know her name but you know her pretzels), Liz Claiborne.  Both lists go on and on.  Education, although important, should not define a person!  Letters after your name should not define a person!

Sometimes I find myself yearning for more academia.  Pursuing something more specialized, pursuing a subject that I’m passionate about.  I know in the long run, I will benefit from more letters after my name.  It can lead me to new employment, pay grade, opportunities.  These amazing thoughts are usually accompanied by thoughts that perhaps I’m only thinking about going back to school because I feel it’s a way for me to keep up with the Jones’.  Tying into that notion, I caught a clip of "Big Bang Theory" and a the subject of having Master's degree came up, specifically how everyone has one nowadays. 

I have a BA…BA Honours to be exact, I also have a Pg D (Post-Graduate Degree), but that’s not an MA, that’s not a PhD (a PhD…imagine me with one?  that would mean I’d finally be the doctor my parents always wanted.  Hey, they never specified the type of doctor they were going for).  I’m more than happy with the sequence of letters after my name; however, sometimes after reading those emails and seeing the acronyms following the name, it makes me wonder how long I can get my signature.  But then that thought quickly leaves my head as I press “send” and go back to the job I like and a job that I am good at with the two credentials behind my signature.


Abigail Santos, BA (hons), Pg D

If you’re interested in seeing other degree abbreviations, visit

February 5, 2012

Precious. Precarious.

A few weeks ago the closest person to me asked me a scary question, “where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?"  I heard it.  I sort of processed it.  I was surprised by it…for many reasons.  First of all, I was surprised because I was asked by this person.  Secondly, I was surprised because even with all the thoughts running through my head, there was no definite answer.  Hold on, of course I had AN answer, but not an answer (does that makes sense?).  What I said back was the clearest thing in my head at that moment and I said it without hesitation, “anywhere with you”.  Yup, that’s what I said.  Anywhere with you.  It’s true, so why not say it?  Anywhere with you is more than enough for me.  Scary answer to a scary question.  But I digress, this entry is not about how I love this person so much that I would go to Timbuktu just to be with them.  Nope, not at all.  This entry is about something much more.  

As much as that question scared the hell out of me because I really don’t know where I will be or want to be in 3-5 years, I heard something more scary a few days ago.  During my yearly check up with my doctor (one in which you should all be getting!) I had the tiniest of health scares, I mean tinnnnyy compared to what type of illnesses/diseases are out there these days.  But still, as tiny as it is, it opened my eyes.  I was told that, “if not treated this can lead to death”.                    
Hold on.                   

If not treated, this can lead to death.  
If not treated this can lead to death??? 

WHAT?  When did life get so complicated and precious at the same time?  Just like the other question a few weeks back; I heard it.  I sort of processed it.  I was surprised by it.  I mean, it’s one thing not to know where you will be in 3-5 years, but it’s another thing to know that you may not even have 3-5 years to begin with.  What will I do now?  What should I do now?  What will this do to my family?  Friends? That closest someone?  WTF??  I’m sure “ lead to death” is the worst possible scenario, and I’m banking on the fact that it is, but whoa!, if God wanted to open my eyes to something, He surely did! 

I don’t know why I’m writing this.  It’s close to 2am on a Saturday night…errr Sunday morning now, and let’s be honest, this is a little bit depressing in my books, but I think I’m writing this to get it off my mind, to get it off my heavy chest.  This is just a way to put it out there.  A way to try to get my head around things.  All I’ve been doing is thinking thinking thinking, and over thinking is not a good thing. 

So I sort of have a plan.  Sort of being the operative word.  I’m putting this out there, to the void; to you, whoever you are.  I never knew life could be so complicated and simple at the same time.  I never ever thought I would be put in the position of questioning my time here.  I never thought that at my late twenties, this would be the thing that changes all things.  This tiny scare could mean nothing in the end, and I’m hoping this is the case, but it’s big enough for me to know what I need to do.  So, here I go, about to do…