It’s Started

snow

I woke up this morning and saw a thin white layer covering the ground outside. My heart immediately sank. It had started; the snow had come. It was all downhill from here. Shorter days and longer nights. Dropping temperatures, until we once again become frozen tundra. I don’t embrace winter. I don’t ski, or skate (anymore); to be honest, I seldom even walk the dog in the winter. I hibernate and get depressed.

It also means that Christmas is coming. I love celebrating Christmas, but here’s another admission – I’m not so crazy about all that shopping beforehand. I absolutely hate shopping. I often wonder if I should try to start making gifts instead of buying, but I’d have to be organized enough to start in January.

Or I could seriously plan some online shopping. I could start my list in August/September, and start shopping online for deals. Then there would be enough time for delivery.

On second thought, I’m not crazy about online shopping. The only things I’ve ever ordered online that didn’t disappoint me were personal products and books. Clothes never fit me (and then I have to go through the trouble of returning) and other products don’t look like they did in photos.

I’m trying something new this year. I’m usually busy at work and find it difficult to get the shopping done on the way home from work or just on weekends, when the malls are at their worst. That definitely stresses me out and makes the entire experience unpleasant. This year I’ve taken lots of time off, so I can put the tree up and decorate it, shop for the gifts when the malls aren’t their busiest, and do it at a leisurely pace. I need to make it a positive, stress-free activity. Maybe that will improve the experience.

That and a pair of good shoes.

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What if…

Toastmasters changes lives. I heard this phrase quite a bit when I first joined Toastmasters, but I have to admit… I didn’t believe it. Oh sure, it was something worthwhile doing, sort of an educational/social/volunteering kind of thing, but changing lives?? A stretch… or so I thought.

Then I attended the Toastmasters District 60 Conference held a few weeks ago at the Sheraton Conference Centre on Hwy. 7 and Leslie. This was a last minute decision for me, as I tend to avoid large crowds, especially conference-wise. I worry that someone will try to talk to me and I’ll be forced to chit-chat and I’m not good at that. I’ll either babble on about myself, create a social faux-pas, or make a fool out of myself somehow. So, I attended the conference reluctantly, but that’s getting off-track. I listened to some of the most inspiring, insightful speeches, and heard people talking about what they have achieved in life as a result of what they learned in Toastmasters. By the end of the conference, I’d come to the realization that… wait for it!!! TOASTMASTERS CHANGES LIVES! Will it change mine? I don’t know or expect that, but what if?

And, as the current VP Public Relations, I would be remiss if I didn’t get this plug in…

Simcoe Shores Toastmasters, of Georgina Ontario, meets on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Wednesdays of each month at the Belhaven Hall, on Warden Avenue, just north of Old Homestead, from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. We welcome guests and you owe it to yourself to come and see what Toastmasters is all about. And ask yourself… What if?

Simcoe Shores Toastmasters website