Get out and vote local

All candidates meeting
My neighbour and councillor incumbent Bruno Albano speaking at our all candidates meeting in Verona

This past week, pop star Taylor Swift urged Americans on her Instagram account and the American Music Awards to get out and vote.

A testament to her power and influence, nearly 65,000 Americans ages 18 to 29 registered to vote within 24 hours, and those numbers are continuing to grow in the US every day.

I’ve never understood why anyone in the United States or Canada wouldn’t exercise their right to vote. It is the single most important freedom and right we have.

Here in Canada, we will go to the polls once again this month to elect municipal officials. I recently attended the all candidates meeting for my district, and one of the incumbents said while municipal elections have traditionally seen some of the lowest voter turnouts, it is actually the most important vote because it is your opportunity to influence and shape what happens in your own community.

I was extremely impressed with the three men running for mayor, and the five men running for the two councillor positions in my area. Every single incumbent was well versed on the issues, passionate about the beautiful area we live in, and had a vision for how to attract young families, business and look after our growing senior population. It’s reassuring to know that after all the votes are tallied, no matter what happens here in South Frontenac, we will be well represented.

I was also extremely impressed with the dedication and commitment of all the candidates to serve. At least four or five of the people running had full-time jobs, young families and served on committees, volunteer organizations and more. Dave and I know three for four of the guys personally, and they are all stand up people. I applaud all of them and their families for running for council. My only wish was to see more women and diversity represented.

This week’s #HappyAct is to get out and vote locally. Most municipalities have online voting so there’s no excuse not to vote!

On a lighter note: If you read last week’s post, A Country Mile, you’ll appreciate this. I’ve seen many of our local candidates this week out and about. Mayor candidate Mark Schjerning waved to me three different mornings this week on my commute into Kingston—he was standing at the side of the road in Sydenham and Harrowsmith waving to cars. My neighbour Bruno Albano, who is running for councillor was putting up signs on highway 38 yesterday. We honked our horn in support, making him jump. Only in the country!

More posts on voting

If I were Prime Minister for the Day

How well do you bounce?

George Patton quoteHere’s a riddle for you. What do Taylor Swift and Wipeout have in common? They are teachers of resiliency.

My kids love Wipeout, that show where people jump from huge balls in a wacky obstacle course. Inevitably, they get knocked down, and the audience waits to see how quickly they can get back up and complete the course.

We all get knocked down in life. It’s how you bounce back, or in the words of TSwift, Shake It Off that is a real test of character. If you can develop resiliency, you’ll have far greater chance of being happy.

Here are 7 things I’ve found has helped build resilience.

  1. Always look for a silver lining. No matter how bad things are, see if you can see a positive —what did you learn about yourself or the other person if someone else is involved, or maybe just be proud of how you handled the situation.
  2. Believe all things happen for a reason. This has been a personal mantra of mine for years. It leads to acceptance faster, and then you can move on.
  3. Share the load. The first thing Dave and I do when we have a bad day is unload on each other. It’s one of the things I love most about him—that no matter what happens, I can come home and share my feelings and he will always listen and support me.
  4. Be self-aware. Take time to deconstruct what happened and why it affected you the way it did. Don’t dwell on the past, but be self-aware to learn and grow. Read my earlier post on developing emotional intelligence.
  5. Refocus on what’s important. Once you’ve deconstructed the event, focus on the future and what’s next. Set goals. Decide where you go from here and take decisive action.
  6. Recharge your batteries. When we’ve been knocked down, it takes a toll, both physically and emotionally. Take time to recharge your batteries. Go for a walk, zone out, do something that will help you get your inner strength and resolve back.
  7. Laugh in the face of adversity. This one’s easier said than done, but sometimes forcing yourself to laugh or trying to find humour in the situation can help.

This week’s #HappyAct is to think about how resilient you are. When you get knocked down, how fast do you bounce back? Try some of these tips to help build your resiliency. Leave a comment–how do you stay strong so you can bounce back?

Create a happy play list

Last week was the #InternationalDayofHappiness. It was fun watching people share the happy on Twitter that day. Many radio stations including the CBC and one of our local stations here in Kingston got on the happy bandwagon, asking listeners what songs they listened to for a pick me up. Mashable compiled its list with the help of Ed Sheeran and John Legend.

Here are 11 songs that would be on our family’s happy play list.

  • Bang Bang by Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Jesse J
  • Downstream by Supertramp
  • Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
  • The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) by Simon and Garfunkel
  • Walkin’ on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves
  • Happy by Pharrell Williams
  • Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars
  • Carry On by Fun
  • Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles
  • Wave over Wave by Great Big Sea (or any Great Big Sea song)
  • It’s Friday by Alan Doyle and Dean Brody

What song would make your play list? This week’s #HappyAct is to create your own happy play list. Feel free to use some of ours.