Thoughtful Thursday: Some humour (humor) to calm our more anxious thoughts

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that laughter really is the best medicine – along with kindness.









Happy Thursday, everyone! 🙂


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A thumbs-up to the World Cup from a soccer-illiterate internationalist

You’re right, this is a very unusual topic for me. We’ve never really followed soccer, except to watch our kids play when they were small. It’s not really on our radar screen. And for many years, when we’d make an effort to watch something big like the World Cup, past camera technology couldn’t really provide the up-close details of what the players were really doing, so it just seemed like an endless effort of running up and down a remarkably large field (way bigger than an American football field) to score a very small number of goals. More modern technology has put that misunderstanding to rest, in spades. Man, do those athletes do extraordinary things with their bodies and that ball … continually.  Incredible.

Even for those who’ve known forever that soccer/football is unbelievably exciting to watch, the serious concerns of the lack of human rights in the host country Qatar for women and the LGBTQ+ community has turned many away from this year’s World Cup, as a protest against those violations. (OK, and the concern over just how many abused migrant workers actually died during the construction of the facilities.) Just pretend the World Cup isn’t on.

But … this is the first year since 1986 that Canada has made it to the World Cup finals (and the first time since 1958 that Wales has made the World Cup finals). Canada’s matches had to be watched; that was a given.

The bottom line is that we watched the Canada matches and it didn’t take long to be hooked to keep watching. You’re reminded of what an honour it is for every single one of the 32 countries whose teams made it to the World Cup finals, including Canada. Canada’s team didn’t win any of their matches, but they played beyond the expectations of many, including outside the country, and were a thrill to watch.  They did themselves and all Canadians proud; they’ll be ready for their entry in 2026.

The optimistic side of me always looks for situations in which people from different countries and/or cultures have reason to get together and share what they have in common instead of what divides them. We need more of this, not less. Sports is one such way (and so is immigration, folks!).  In North America, people watch baseball, basketball, and hockey (and I hear that some people watch the NA version of football 😉 ).  There are players from many countries playing on those sports teams in North America, but they’re not representing their own country, they’re representing their team.  There’s good international representation in professional tennis, and relatively good international representation in golf.  But surely no other sport can hold a candle to the international flavour of soccer, which is played with passion in virtually every country of the world. The Beautiful Game.

Even though the World Cup play is now down to the Round of 16, and soon the quarterfinals will start, being one of the 32 countries whose team made it to the World Cup finals is huge, it’s a moment of great pride.  And it’s impossible not to feel that spirit coming from every team and their fans. Continue reading

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Thoughtful Thursday: Join the confused philosopher deep in thought

I’ve come across several columns/posts offering something called “ponderisms” recently, questions to make you think and chuckle, well. mostly chuckle. They remind me of questions the Confused Philosopher used to ponder on the late, lamented Royal Canadian Air Farce comedy show, done so well by the irrepressible Don Ferguson. Does anyone else remember these skits?

TT-Confused philosopher

I thought I’d share some of the ponderisms circulating on the web, but do it in confused philosopher style. If these don’t give your Thursday something to think about, it’s hard to imagine what would! 🙂

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Figuring out how to lead our lives is rarely easy; I guess it isn’t meant to be

There is no doubt that at different phases of life we feel different pressures. As a full-fledged senior, I’m happy to report that most of the pressures of being a kid, being a teenager, being a young adult seeking success in forging a career and close relationships, and being in those middle years, where you have your own work stresses, family stresses, and often parent responsibilities as well (hint, hint) … they all dissipate. It’s like a miracle; you no longer care what other people think (well, at least not obsessively), you no longer worry that you aren’t as good as the next person – you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone. It’s remarkably freeing.

There is no easy way to alleviate the different pressures we put on ourselves at different phases of life. Perhaps it’s meant to be. Living through each phase is what makes us the people we become. And our personal goal should be to become the best we can be, even though we rarely know what that means in advance.


These thoughts came to mind when I read a highly thought-provoking blog post by fellow blogger Barry Hopewell this past week, called Letting Go. This is how Barry starts his topic; I highly recommend reading it in full as he explores ways in which we can lead quality lives in the moment. Continue reading

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Advent calendars and reverse advent calendars

Anyone who knows me well might be wondering why I’d be writing about advent calendars. Words like Advent, or thoughts about Advent, aren’t part of my usual routine. But when I came across a poster of a reverse advent calendar the other day, I took notice. I was impressed.

I admit to having to look this up (aka google it), but Advent is the 4 week period leading up to Christmas. Advent calendars were first used by German Lutherans in the 19th century as a method for keeping track of the number of days until Christmas. Families would light a candle for each day of Advent.  This I can understand. People started making more elaborate calendars, with a little door one could open each day, where the family would find images and/or religious phrases anticipating the arrival of Christmas. This makes sense as well.

Neither Advent or advent calendars have ever been part of my life, but it’s pretty well impossible to miss the advent calendars for sale in nearly every store, from the grocery store to Canadian Tire. And, boy, have they changed from their original intent.

You can buy advent calendars that give you a new piece of chocolate behind every little door on the calendar, one piece of chocolate for every day until Christmas. There’s a whole wall of them – Lindt Chocolate Advent Calendars – to tempt shoppers at my grocery store while we stand on line waiting for the self-checkout. Continue reading

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Women in Leadership Roles, tell me we’re making real progress … please

That may seem like a strange plea for me to make, especially on the same day that Nancy Pelosi delivers a gracious speech to Congress in announcing that she is stepping down after 20 years in her Democratic leadership role. Talk about an example of how women take on important leadership roles. Certainly compared to 30, 40, and even 20 years ago, seeing women in leadership roles is not uncommon. Very true, but when I came across the “family” pictures of the COP27 delegates in Egypt the other day, I was startled to see just how few women were in the world “family” of political and environmental leaders. Continue reading

Posted in Entrepreneurship & Business, Good for you, good for business, Leadership, Women | Tagged , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Male-Female Communication 101

Let’s face it, there are times in all of our lives when we wonder just where our opposite-sex partner (or perhaps any partner) is coming from during a discussion … or not coming from, as the case may be. It’s part of their charm, right? Well, their mystery, anyway! A fictional scenario that fellow blogger DM at I Also Live on a Farm shared on his blog post yesterday says it all. It’s simply too good not to pass along. Let’s see if you can relate to it!


Roger and Elaine

Let’s say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine.  He asks her out to a movie.  She accepts.  They have a pretty good time.  A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves.  They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither of them is seeing anyone else.  And then, one evening when they are driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine, and without really thinking, she says it aloud:

“Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other exactly six months?” 

And then there is silence in the car.  To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence.  She thinks to herself; Ge’ez, I wonder if it bothers him that I said that.  Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t want, or isn’t sure of. Continue reading

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How do we find purpose in our lives, even when we’re considered “medium-old”?

Recently an item appeared in my email from a national retirees association, definitively labelling my age group as “medium-old”. I ask you?! According to this retirees’ newsletter, the senior years are broken down into “young-old” age (65-74) and “medium-old” age (75-84).  The author left out what comes next; perhaps he or she figured that the next group, presumably “old-old” age (85+), no longer reads newsletters!  I have to admit to not liking these labels very much; I prefer the softer – and remarkably accurate – go-go, go-slow, and no-go categories. And without specific age limits attached. But however you label it, there’s no doubt that this phase of life starts out for most of us as exploring new or renewed interests with few if any limitations, then slowly but surely those limitations start creeping in.  And, of course, that’s why it’s so important to follow any retirement dreams you have well before the limitations part kicks in.

Once the newsletter clarified our old-age categories, it passed along some wise observations from John Helliwell. John Helliwell is professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia and editor of the UN’s World Happiness Report, which each year assesses the “happiness” of every country according to a comprehensive list of metrics, and then produces a full report along with the annual World Happiness Index. I love reading this report, which always makes for interesting reading. The World Happiness Index draws its inspiration from the Gross National Happiness measure developed in the small Himalayan country of Bhutan, whose former king determined that quality of life and social progress is just as important as economic progress. How can you not embrace that concept? ❤

20 happiest countries in recent World Happiness Report WHIndex

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