things that changed my life

I'm not talking big things here, people.  Just some little things that made a huge impact on my contentment level:

- prescription sunglasses
I don't know why I was so late to the game!  I've had prescription glasses for many years - but I only need them when I want to see things more than a few feet away from me.  Okay, so that's most of the time... but somehow I kept buying regular lens sunglasses.  Until I was caught having to drive in blinding sunlight.  I borrowed my brother's prescription sunglasses and my mind was blown! Total game-changer for me.

- neck-support pillows
These are so wonderful, I don't think there are enough words to express how much better my sleep is now that my neck doesn't kink up.  They ain't pretty.  And they don't fit standard pillow cases.  But damn, are they comfy!  I have actually taken to making my own pillow cases for them because I hated how baggy standard cases were.  I do love an excuse to have to craft something...

- hot water on demand taps
I had no idea how much time I unhappily wasted (as opposed to very happy time-wasting endeavours like surfing the net) at work every day waiting for the kettle to boil - until they installed a hot water on demand tap.  Hot water whenever I want it!  No more filling the kettle only to have someone else steal my boiling water.  It's been 2 years, and I still chortle with glee every time I use the tap instead of the kettle.

- walking to commute
I am very fortunate to live near enough to my workplace to walk every day.  It's a 50 minute walk, each way, so it is definitely a time commitment.  And this is Vancouver - I do get rained on. A lot.  But the pay-offs?  Fabulous!  I start every work day with a walk.  Even if I do nothing else all day long, I still got a small work-out in.  I get to smell the flowers, meet my neighbours, soak up the fresh air.  I am a much nicer person now that I walk to work.  I think we're all happier about that.

- fun coloured gel pens
I love writing with colour.  It started with those crazy four colour pens back in the 70's.  But now, with gel pens and their wonderful glide across the page, I use them for everything.  My bullet-journal, my 'write it all down' notebook at work, my travel journals.  Hmmm, I write a lot of things down.  Perhaps journals should be on this list too.  And let's face it - my memory is going, I really do have to write things down these days.  It's nice to enjoy the act of writing with a gel pen in hand.  And then later admire my brilliant colour choices!

- pedicures
I thought I belonged very firmly in the 'don't touch my feet' category of people.  But a friend, who is not the stereotypical pedicure loving person, kept bugging me to try it.  Well.  I am so glad I caved!  I do in fact like having my feet touched - and cheese gratered, and massaged, and paraffin waxed.  And my toe-nails painted.  It sparks joy every time I look down at my polished toesies.  I knew eventually I would have to get into the pedicure - I won't be able to reach my toes forever - but this whole choosing to have someone be nice to my feet is way better than grudgingly having to accept it because I'm just too old to get down there on my own.  Ha!  Take that old age! 

- e-books
I love real books.  Nothing will ever replace them in my heart.  But, I'm embracing the e-book too.  It's just so handy to have a book, or twelve, on my phone.  I always have my phone with me, and now I always have books with me too.  It is especially great for travelling.  Half my suitcase was always taken up with books, and I had to make heartbreaking decisions about leaving read books behind so that I could make room in the suitcase.  No longer!  So long as I remember to charge my phone, I have all the books I could want.  Without any guilt down the road about having to down-size them off my groaning bookshelves.

As I embrace my middle-agedness, I am also uncomfortably aware of the privilege I have.  I am comfortable enough to be able to throw a bit of money at things to make them convenient.  I have time to enjoy things.  And so far, I have my health.  I am grateful.


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