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Appreciation

From Ho Hum To Woohoo

April 22, 2022

‘Rekindling Spirit – Moving Through Malaise’ is the title of a seminar I’ll be delivering next week to a group of financial folks as part of their upcoming professional development event.

Every time I work with this material, I’m reminded of the wide range of options we have for getting ourselves unstuck – shifting our experience from ‘ho hum’ to ‘woohoo’.

As part of the program, participants will be invited to reflect on their past – from childhood pursuits and skills sets to bold imaginings and deferred dreams.

The idea is to take a look backwards at things we used to enjoy and interests we may have discarded along the way – to see if there is something that might add a spark of joy and excitement to our lives today.

Along this vein, yesterday I helped my octogenarian Mom hang a newly framed cross-stitch that she recently completed. It was and is an epic piece of work.

Mom first started working on this piece of handwork in the 1980’s. As life grew busy in other areas,  (more…)

Making It Personal Pays Off

February 11, 2022

When it comes to appreciation, one size does not fit all, and a generic thank you falls short of the mark. This is a point that I often stress when I speak and write about how to boost the impact of appreciation and recognition.

Today, a prime example of this idea arrived in my mailbox.

For several years now, I’ve been a member of CARFAC – the association representing Canadian professional visual artists. Each year I pay my dues and in return I receive my membership card, a receipt and a letter pointing out the benefits of belonging to the association. Pretty standard and a tad ho hum.

This year, I found something extra tucked into the envelope. (more…)

Wishing You The Best Of The Season

December 30, 2021

As the calendar turns on our second year of the Covid 19 Pandemic, we know more and we’re protected some; but the virus and our understanding of it keep changing. If there was ever a time for resilience, this would be it!

With the introduction of vaccines throughout 2021, some of life’s normal activities returned. Even being able to do simple things like meeting for coffee or sharing a meal were greatly appreciated.

In our world, all but the most modest of travels were curtailed. What took on great significance for me were short visits with nearby family. I had missed them so.

In recent years, I’ve made it a practice to sum up our family’s year in photos. As you will see from the Katz Family Christmas Letter 2021 included here, we continued to find joy and pleasure in spite of the various restrictions of our times. We’re especially grateful for blessings of good health.

May this message find you well and looking forward with hope to life as it will unfold in 2022.

Warmest wishes to you all, Pat

Mining Life’s Experiences

December 10, 2021

The more attentive we are to the events of our lives, the richer the potential in mining for meaning. As I reflected on themes around my recent adventures in art, I found myself seeing more than a few of my life experiences with fresh eyes. Reflecting on some of your everyday experiences might prove rewarding for you as well.

If you’ve been following my recent posts on social media (Facebook and Instagram), you may have caught one or more of the ten brief videos vignettes in which I shared some of the experiences and inspirations that gave rise to the ‘Care For A Cuppa’ exhibition and the Café Series in general.

The series touched on all of these themes:  hospitality, contribution, community, relationship, connection, contemplation, beauty and creativity.

The entire series of vignettes has now been combined into this composite video along with a selection of the paintings from the show. If you are so inclined, I invite you to grab a cuppa your favorite beverage, press play, and reflect on your own life experiences connecting with self and others over a mug of coffee or a cup of tea.

If you haven’t yet seen the ‘Care For A Cuppa’ exhibition which has been featured through the fall at City Perks Coffeehouse in Saskatoon, this link will allow you to browse the individual works virtually and enjoy a virtual video tour of the show online at the Pauseworks Studio website.

 

Video Tour Of My Latest Art Exhibition

December 2, 2021

As promised in my previous blog post, I’m sharing here the video tour of my ‘Care For A Cuppa’ art exhibit showing at City Perks Coffeehouse here in Saskatoon (807 7th Ave N).

At the request of City Perks, the show has been extended another two weeks until December 15/2021. So if you are in the neighborhood and would like to see the works in person, there is still time to do that.

Hope you enjoy the images whether you see them virtually or in person.

 

PS – For a closer look at each of the images, see the online virtual gallery.

 

Take A Walk With Gratitude

October 24, 2021

Thanksgiving has come and gone and as I took my morning walk today, I remained thankful for all kinds of things. In particular, I noted how grateful I am to have my mind and my memories.

What prompted this line of thought was the news that beloved children’s author, Robert Munsch (I’ll Love You Forever, Mortimer, Thomas’ Snowsuit, The Paperbag Princess, and so many more modern classics) has been diagnosed with dementia.  This means that eventually his many memories and the stories he has created over the years will be gone to him.

This made me sad, and it made me appreciate my own memories even more. Many of my earliest recollections involve  (more…)

Are You Giving Yourself Time To Play?

September 8, 2021

I could not resist! Driving home recently from a late afternoon appointment, I cruised by the kiddies’ rides in Kinsmen Park and thought to myself, “Why not?”

It was a stellar September day – sunny, calm and warm as could be – a beautiful day for a ride.

I pulled into the parking lot, bought myself tickets and hopped on a horse. When the merry go round rolled to a stop, I took to the skies on the Ferris wheel.

I ride carousels everywhere we go on our travels, and I hadn’t been on this one yet – this year!!!  I’m glad I took that little detour and a timeout to play.

When I posted these photos and reflections on my experience to my Facebook page, I was struck by the dozens of responses I received. (more…)

How Are You Showing Up In The World?

June 4, 2021

David and I celebrated my birthday this week by going out for brunch. That used to be a fairly regular event in our lives, but not so recently. This was the first time we had eaten INSIDE a Saskatoon restaurant in over 15 months. Thank you Covid!

While we waited for our food to arrive, a fellow diner stopped by our table as his small party exited the restaurant. The young fellow (maybe 30ish) had been breakfasting across the way with his lady and their brand-new baby.

The fellow told us he’d noticed us through the windows, making our way along the river to the restaurant – walking hand in hand, chatting, and looking very happy.

He went on to say that seeing the two of us touched him. He hoped that he and his wife would be just as happy together as time went on; and he laughed when I told him we’d had almost 50 years of practice. How thoughtful he was to make an opportunity to share his thoughts with us. (more…)

PAUSE – 20.08 – Pandemic Delivers The Goods

August 5, 2020

Reflection: Well, we here we are about five months into the pandemic here in Canada. I can’t say this situation is or was something I welcomed. Did any of us?

I am fully aware that differences in our stage of life, family, career, and finances as well as our geographical location means that we are all experiencing this situation differently. A single mother working from home while juggling education and childcare is facing a totally different set of challenges than a retired pensioner living on their own. And of course there are many variations in between those two extremes.

So let me preface this by saying that from my corner of the world, as a self employed, empty nester, I have noted a few good things arising from the experience.

Since we are ‘at home’ for the entire summer, we signed on to take delivery of a weekly basket of fresh vegetables from Spring Creek Gardens. So far we’ve received baby potatoes, carrots, broccoli, swiss chard, kale, lettuce, radishes, beets, dill and more. It’s always a surprise to see what’s come into its own each week. And the resulting meals that hit our dinner table bring back childhood memories of fresh produce from the garden at the farm.

With the exception of the year we hosted our daughter’s wedding in our backyard, our garden has never looked better. I’ve cleaned out back corners and trimmed up shrubs that haven’t seen much attention for years. And I’ve done a much more regular job of fertilizing. The plants are happy about that. Biggest hydrangea blossoms ever!

Mornings are a delight. I’m up in good time with no place I have to go. There’s time to enjoy a morning walk, a bike ride along the river, or yoga in the garden. As warm summer days have finally arrived, I’m reading the paper, sipping my coffee, and doing my crossword puzzle outdoors while birds swap the morning news in the trees above.

I’m learning new things – how to navigate my way around delivering virtual presentations, for one. And since I’ve signed on for a couple of online language classes, my French is improving. Merci beaucoup pour ca!

We’re definitely spending less money. Other than grocery and greenhouse shopping, we haven’t spent much time hanging out in the stores or even shopping online for that matter. And our travel expenses, which are normally a big part of our budget, are nil. (more…)

PAUSE – 20.06 – It’s Less Than Ideal But It’s Something

June 3, 2020

Reflection: ‘ABC’ – All Be Closed. For many of us, that’s been the global theme song for spring 2020.

‘C’ (for Covid 19) also brought us Confined. Cancelled. Called off. Crossed out. Cut.

Everyday experiences that we’ve long taken for granted – meeting friends for coffee, enjoying a meal at a restaurant, sinking into our seats at a movie theatre – all gone! Conferences, concerts, graduations, weddings, festivals, sports, vacations – evaporated into thin air.

And as we learned from our early alphabet studies, ‘C’ is followed by ‘D’. Disappointment. Disillusion. Dejection. Despondence. Distress.

Coronavirus has turned our world upside down. And, all but the courageous providers of essential services, have sheltered in place as we do our best to stay well and minimize the risks.

In the midst of the quarantine, it seems that another ‘C’ – Creativity – is lifting us from the dust of shattered dreams. (more…)