Thanksgiving Monday Musings

Thanksgiving turkeyThis is the post that wasn’t…until late this morning, that is. I had another post all ready, but then something magical happened. I decided I would write a bit of a mishmash of thoughts and musings on this fine Thanksgiving long weekend in Canada.

My day started with a run along a beautiful wooded trail, around a little lake. My running buddy and I (we both trained for our first 5K race in September) now run together at least two or three times a week. Our last run was 7K, and we were pretty darn proud of ourselves!

The water on the lake was smooth as glass this morning. The sun was shining. I had a smile on my face. But my thighs felt like lead weights. What would I focus on?

It’s easy to focus on pain or difficulty when you’re going through it. And often, it’s not the obstacles in your path but the pebbles in your shoes that will give you the most challenge and aggravation. How do you not think of a pink elephant?…or the pebbles in your shoes?

You remove your focus from what you “don’t” want or “don’t” like. You remove your focus from the pain. How? By consciously looking at, thinking about, or sensing the positive and the constructive: the journey, the results, the surroundings, the moment.

When I got home, I knew my adult boys would be sleeping in, so I’d have a chance to make my “famous” Finnish pancakes and Canadian bacon. (See Shonali and Brian? – I worked bacon into this post, just like you asked me to:) bacon

This is truly a labour of love, because it takes a  l – o – n – g  time to make. As the butter sizzled in the pan for each dollop of batter, and as the bacon crinkled to crispy perfection, I was reminded how important it is to take pleasure in things that can, at times, seem like a chore. By slowing down, moving fluidly and seeing perfection in the imperfect, our activities and actions can become a dance: languid, smooth and almost effortless. It’s when we rush through things mindlessly, shoulders hunched to our earlobes, mind distracted and thinking about everything BUT the task at hand that we create a chore-charged life. Me? I’m going for the dance.

With boys tucked into stacks of pancakes, maple syrup and bacon, I wandered out to our yard to take photos: one of my favourite activities. But I also made sure that all my senses were engaged. The sound of dry leaves dropping from their branches sounded like crisp, crackling raindrops…if raindrops were ever crisp:) The smell of wet leaves and grass mingled with the peppermint and lemon balm leaves I pressed between my fingers. I touched a milkweed pod gossamer seed and sent it into flight, making a wish. I slowed down. I watched a monarch butterfly sunbathe on the dewy grass, waiting for the sun to permit its wings to fully open and allow flight.monarch

Do you slow down? Do you truly take in your surroundings? Do you really see? It’s important not only to the quality of our daily lives, but to business as well. A wise person once said to me, when you think about “success”, what do you see…what do you hear? Create sensory space and awareness today. Take flight by allowing your wings to warm up first.

People sometimes tell me I’m “lucky”: lucky that I take pleasure in the little things…lucky that I can take time to do the things that give me pleasure, and bring benefit and smiles to those around me.

It has nothing to do with luck. It has everything to do with priorities.

I’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why someone is “too busy” to stop and smell the roses. An over-used phrase perhaps: but an under-used activity definitely.

It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada, and I’m thankful for my family; for you, my dear friends and for the myriad of experiences that make life a beautiful bouquet of roses.

Wishing you bliss, blessings…and bacon!



  • Anonymous

    Happy Thanksgiving @KDillabough:twitter Your post is beautiful and encourages us to drink in the beauty all around us every day that we often overlook.  I think that having a passion for photography lends itself to tuning into the senses just a bit more…at least it has for me.  It is funny that you took pictures of Monarch butterflies today…I just got back from a walk on the beach and photographed…you guessed it…Monarch butterflies on some wildflowers.  I have a feeling that the awareness of how important it is to slow down and to manage priorities and to “smell the roses” comes with age.  I know it has for me.  As I pass the midline of my life, I am embracing life’s gifts much more and am really consciously slowing down so I don’t miss one precious moment.  
    Thank you Kaarina and thank you for your friendship here in the online world and may your day with your family be filled with joy and great memories.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Thanks so much @socialmediadds:disqus /Claudia:)

      I absolutely love monarch butterflies. There’s an amazing book entitled “Four Wings and a Prayer, Caught in the Mystery of the Monarch Butterfly” by Sue Halpern that traces the migration of the monarch and “the quest to unlock the secrets surrounding one of nature’s most beautiful and fragile creations.”

      Be sure to post your photos:)

      I’m grateful for your friendship, your support and your very kind words. Cheers! Kaarina

  • John Falchetto

    I just had a huge wave of home sickness hit me after reading your post Kaarina.
    I can just smell the bacon and the turkey.
    Have a great Thanksgiving with your family :)

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      John, that makes my heart hurt to cause you homesickness:( But I’m happy if you can perhaps share in the warm memories of bacon and turkey and Thanksgiving…sending cyber drumsticks your way:) Cheers! Kaarina

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      John, that makes my heart hurt to cause you homesickness:( But I’m happy if you can perhaps share in the warm memories of bacon and turkey and Thanksgiving…sending cyber drumsticks your way:) Cheers! Kaarina

  • Shonali Burke

    Yay Bacon! What a lovely post, Kaarina. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    There is something about this weather that makes me want to slow down. Is it the crispness in the air? The leaves changing color that is such a visible reminder of the cycles of life? I don’t know. But I love it. And having been through all the health stuff I have recently, I need to remind myself to keep slowing down, especially since my body is now starting to “ramp up” again. But it is so important to just… stop. At least sometimes.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Just…stop…sometimes:) Good counsel for us all to heed @Shonali:disqus .

      I’m so glad that you are on the mend, and that you’re taking things slow and easy, one step at a time. We can actually “slow down to speed up”…take breaks…take moments…live in each moment, revel in it and move on to the next. It’s only when we cease to “be” in each moment that life becomes a bizzytizzyblur…and who wants that? Cheers! Kaarina

  • Anonymous

    Bacon is like the coolest thing ever………..just sayin’………….

    It’s funny but my wife chastised me for not ‘practicing what I preach’. My GP at Kim’s talked about taking the time to enjoy the little things and she said I don’t do enough of that.  I try to be in the moment when the moment is occurring, but I also have to be willing to help create the moment as well. Sometimes it does seem like you are always chasin’ and that’s not good.

    The thing is, I am having fun on this journey and I don’t feel harried or like I’m missing anything but I do need to just slow it down a notch and appreciate the ‘good’ happening around me. 

    Sounds like a perfect day all around for you and I’m glad it inspired a post.

    Thanks for stopping by my place today and don’t worry about the clingons, I’m sure they are delicious…………:)

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Between you @bdorman264:disqus and Ken Mueller, I cannot stop laughing! Clingons with you, and Ken posted on my FB page photo of the bacon “most people cook the bacon. interesting how you serve it up right out of the plastic bag.” Hysterical!

      Create more moments, my friend. I know we both love our journeys. And thanks for adding an additional pinch of inspiration for me with your post today. It’s da bomb. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Life, for instance

    Hi Kaarina,
    Didn’t we luck out with the weather too this Thanksgiving! My daughter and I were sitting out on the patio enjoying the sun this afternoon (turkey was yesterday when everyone was home). It’s great to remember all the things for which we are grateful! :-)

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      The weather is superb, the food bountiful and family…well, what can I say about family other than they are my heart and soul.  Grateful for this wonderful life. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Alicia Jay

    Hey Kaarina!

    I know I said it before on Twitter, buy Happy Thanksgiving my friend! So glad you had the chance to slow down and enjoy it. I remind myself to do that often what with running a full-time online business, a part-time offline business, raising my son and taking care of the house. I tend to speed through things sometimes and think of all the other things that need to get done while I’m doing those things. The times I’ve decided to really slow down are the times I spend with my son. When it’s just me and him I try to take in every moment, every baby babble, the scent of him, the feel of his pudgy little fingers holding mine. I don’t want to speed past his childhood. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Great mantra: “I don’t want to speed past his childhood.” They grow up so fast (as evidenced by the photo I just posted on my FB wall of my two sons, aged 20 and 26…eegads!)

      I think one of the most self-destructive things is actually the mental gymnastics we perform when our mind is on things other than that which is at hand. Slowing down is one thing, and good and healthy in and of itself. But recognizing when our thoughts are spinning on things other than “this moment”…that’s where I actually think much of our illness, stress and discontent stems from.

      Thanks again for the Thanksgiving wishes: it couldn’t have been a finer weekend. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Erica Allison

    Hmmmm….bacon! One of my favorite things; especially when I make it with waffles for my kids on Saturday mornings.  Yum. I love your Thanksgiving musings, Kaarina! Thanks for sharing them with us and for reminding us all to stop and take it all in. I really did do that on Saturday with our little day trip to Grandfather Mtn (the highest peak in the Eastern US, by the way).  The colors, the smells, the laughter from my kids…I took it all in and enjoyed each moment.  I used to live there and going for the day reminded me of all the beauty that surrounded me at that time, often taken for granted, but for the most part…greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your friendship, Kaarina. Enjoy your evening, my friend. 

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Thanks @47d58be98d1441a276245024c9457dbf:disqus :) The photos from your family trip to Grandfather Mtn. demonstrate clearly what  life is all about: smiles, fun, family.

      I’m grateful for your friendship and support. I’m enjoying my evening with my son: eldest went home today (boohoo), youngest heads home tomorrow:( Ah well, I take great comfort and pride in the fact that they are two fine young men, making their own way in the world, but always making time and room for family. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Craig McBreen

    Finnish pancakes and Canadian bacon. Can’t beat that! Well, I’ve never had Finnish pancakes, but I assume, like all things you pour maple syrup on, they’re good.

    It’s 5:45 pm right now, and I’m really, really getting hungry reading this … “As the butter sizzled in the pan for each dollop of batter, and as the bacon crinkled to crispy perfection,” Breakfast for dinner sounds really good right about now. Crispy bacon sounds good whenever.

    I’ve been doing quite a bit lately. Not only that, there are some family health issues to deal with … more important that any of this work stuff of course. But I have been working on enjoying those moments much more lately when they come. Instead of complaining about the gray here, I’m loving it right now. Do you believe me? … Good, because it’s true.

    I had a post that included changing your perspective, but this is much, much better. You’ve taken us into your world and written about these moments so well … and you’ve included pancakes and BACON :) I’ll take mine with a scotch, after all it is going to be dinner for me, not breakfast.  😉

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Single malt scotch, pancakes and Canadian bacon for dinner…sounds like a great plan Craig!

      Sorry to hear about your family health issues: I hope that things will progress positively. Family comes first.

      And yes, I believe you:) You have such an engaging writing style, your enjoyment shines through. And if you ever need any help on those speaking gigs, just let me know: I know you’ll rock the house. Cheers! Kaarina P.S. Have a dram for me:)

      • Craig McBreen

        Sounds like a party! :)

        Thanks, and yes, family does come first. Working on the gratitude thing every day, and trying to appreciate all I have now. You do a good job of reminding us all to appreciate these things.

        Thanks, Ma’am! It is fun, really. I’ll let you know how the speaking goes, and do appreciate your help … starting with baby steps.

        • Kaarina Dillabough

          Baby steps are good. Parties too! Remember my Yoda’ism…Do or do not: there is no try:)

          • Craig McBreen

            Yoda is smart like that …. not sure if Bill’s trademarked that yet :)

          • Kaarina Dillabough

            Shhh…we don’t want him capturing all the good sayings. Just sayin’….:)))))))

  • Adam Toporek

    You’re very right Kaarina; it really does have little to do with luck. It is about choices and priorities.  I enjoyed this — a great reminder (and much needed in my case) for more rose smelling.  :)

    Hope you had a great holiday in .CA!

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Adam, we had a wonderful weekend with family. The weather was superb, and the relaxation and fun couldn’t be beat. Keep smelling those roses:) Cheers! Kaarina

  • Kim Davies

    Hi, Kaarina.

    I woke up today and it’s a Tuesday. For the first time in more than 2 weeks, I feel natural air on my skin and my youngest daughter next to me. Her warmth beside me is more than enough to make me smile because it told me that finally, I am waking up to a morning in my home, in my own bed where the smells are of baby shampoo, my favorite fabric conditioner and the trees from the backyard instead of the sterile and antiseptic smells of a hospital room. And, I was suffused with an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I haven’t felt for weeks.

    So, I decided to change course. Instead of feeling sorry for myself because I am sick and pregnant and might face complications all throughout until my delivery. Instead of focusing on my problems, I will focus on that patch of sunshine that’s breaking through my clouds and telling me that while I am still alive, my baby is still well and my kids and the rest of my family are all healthy, there are still so many reasons to be thankful for everyday.

    While I still have to go through that “help” thing you advised me about, at least, I can say that things are looking up for me. Because changing course starts with me and no one else, no matter where I turn to for help. And, I am very pleased to share that with you, my soul-sister friend.

    Thank you. There are no other words that could express what I feel right now for the gift of YOU in my life. 

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Kim, you’ve touched me to the very core with this. I am SO very happy you’re home now, and overjoyed with your shift in course. I know you are going through a very difficult time, and when we’re going through the challenges, it’s easy to focus on the negative because it’s right there, staring you in the face.

      But to shift that focus…to see the things to be thankful for, to revel in the good, is not only inspirational to you, but will light up the air around you and touch all those you’re in contact with.

      When we are the best we can be, despite circumstances, it cannot help but positively affect those around us. And when we spread that positive energy, our world brightens. It’s like the never-ending story:)

      Changing course does indeed “start with me”. The only person who can decide and take action is “me”. But you’re not alone. You have friends and family to support you. Know that I’m here for you, and supporting you in this change of course. Keep smiling and hold fast to that overwhelming sense of gratitude. Sending cyber hugs and bushels of smiles your way:) Kaarina

    • Al Smith

      Thanks for sharing Kim.  So proud of you.  This is what it’s all about.  The power of choice.  And Change.  Very difficult sometimes (especially with your situation) but what an awesome example you are.  Gratitude is so powerful.  We must continue to practice it.  Always.  By sharing this you have helped other people.  One for sure. Thanks again.  Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.


      • Kaarina Dillabough

        Double ditto what Al said:)

    • Alicia Jay

      What a beautiful comment, Kim. I knew something was going on with you from visiting Bill’s site. I just want to send you my thoughts and prayers along with the hope of a little peace.

  • Al Smith

    I just love the way you write.  it is so REAL.  Thanks for sharing this wonderful time with family, fun and great food.  Makes me hungry. ha !  Like Craig, I have lots of family issues going on now, so to read this gets me back where I need to be focused.  On Gratitude.  So many things to be grateful for. And Kaarina, you are one for sure.  Really wish i could have been there and met your family.  Know yall had fun.  Thanks again for all your great writing, kind words and support.  You are a special person.


    • Craig McBreen

      Agreed Al! Focusing on how lucky I am and what I have that is great. You and Kaarina keep reminding me and others of this, so thanks!

      • Kaarina Dillabough

        And I will keep on reminding:)

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      I’ll change the wording of a Forrest Gump: special is as special does. You are special. Thanks, my friend, for taking the time to drop by and comment when you’re so busy.

      We had a wonderful family weekend, and I treasure every moment we’re together. Thanks for your friendship and support:) Cheers! Kaarina

  • Elena Patrice

    My, my Kaarina
    you brought me right into your home and allowed me to share your special day
    … ahhh … thank you, it was wonderful! :)

    Lucky? I don’t
    know. I think more like blessed – yes you are! Blessed because you do know your
    priorities; you capture the bigness and smallness of life in everything you do
    and share it with others; blessed because you have a loving family.

    This post my friend
    warms my heart! Beautiful, beautiful … just like you!!

    Warmth &


    • Kaarina Dillabough

      What an absolutely lovely comment: you leave me speechless. Warmth and happiness, love and light to you, my friend:) Cheers! Kaarina

  • Pingback: Taking Black Friday by the Horns()

  • Pingback: Happy Thanksgiving! What’s on Your Menu?()

  • Pingback: My 3 Year Blogging Anniversary, the Beatles 50th and What I’ve Learned | Kaarina Dillabough()