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Dealing With Grief

It has been a while since I wrote so I wanted to pop in and share with you the reason for my hiatus.

A few weeks ago, I lost my dad. He passed away from heart complications. He was 68. His death shook me to my core. Not because it was unexpected but because I cannot comprehend life without him. Now that he is gone, I somehow seem lost.

The days after my dad died, many friends and family reached out to me, asking me if I was ok. How do you respond to this question? I know they are asking out of concern or maybe it is out of obligation, I am not sure. I still don’t know how to respond. I want to tell them I am ok but I am not. I want to tell them my heart is shattered into a million pieces. I want to tell them that there is nothing they can do or say to make it ok but I do the polite thing and tell them I will be ok.

I suppose, with time, I will be ok. With time, maybe I will be able to look at his photos and not break down. One day……. Maybe…….

If there is one thing I learnt from my dad, it is that everything happens for a reason. He was a kind and gentle man who never raised his voice. He was rational and patient and always believed that it is pointless worrying about things that are beyond our control. He lived a simple life and held on to his faith until the very end.

When a death occurs, it always reminds us that our time on this earth is limited. We are all born with an expiry date. It is not a best before date but it is an expiry date. When it is our time, we all return to back to where we came from. Regardless of what God you believe in (or not!), as we get older, we begin to contemplate on how we lived our life. Did all those trivial things we worried about matter now? Did we live a good life? Were we kind to others? Did we do things that actually mattered?

One thing I have learnt from this experience is that people grieve in different ways so it is important to give them the time and space to do so. Some may want to be around friends and family but some people, like me, do not want to be around anyone. I wanted to (and still do) be alone, with my cat. I wanted to cry and grieve by myself. I didn’t want to answer the phone nor did I want to talk about my dad. There is no one size fits all when it comes to grieving.  I appreciated all the people who didn’t get offended when I told them I didn’t want to talk to them over the phone. They just sent me messages on Facebook or via text.

For now, I will be focusing on living a more meaningful life. To honour my dad and his memory, I will try to live the best life possible. The best life for me and my husband and Kitty Mojito. I know my dad would have wanted that for us.

 

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Edmonton International Cat Festival 2018

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The Edmonton International Cat Festival is an event I look forward to every year! It’s THE place to be if you are a cat lover! 100% of the proceeds from this event goes towards helping local rescues! What a great cause!

This year’s event was held at the Robbins Health Learning Centre at Grant McEwan University in Edmonton on May 26th 2018. I was lucky enough to meet celebrities such as Nala (the most popular cat on Instagram with 3.6 million followers!) and her adorable sister Luna Rose as well as Travis DesLaurier (model, actor and he works out with his cat, Jacob!) who did meet and greets with fans as well as Q & A sessions.

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I would like to say that the event was well organized and had many activities such as yoga with cats, cat themed escape room, puzzles, face painting, a pop up cat café to keep everyone of all ages well entertained. There were also tons of vendors selling the most adorable cat themed items as well as several rescue groups with the cutest adoptable cats.

I spent all day at the YEG Cat Fest! I took transit there since driving downtown Edmonton on a Saturday is not ideal (if I could drive that is! LOL) and after checking in, I went to line up for the Nala and Luna meet and greet!

After the meet and greet, I got interviewed by the news station, CityNews Edmonton. (Click here to see the interview segment) Next, it was off to check out the vendors and activities!! Here are some of the vendor tables I looked at!

There were also many rescues with adoptable cats! Check out that awesome cat enclosure!

After spending a few hours here, I stepped out to grab some lunch at Wendy’s (which was right across the street!). There are so many lunch options around this venue but I wanted an inexpensive lunch so I can keep more of my dollars to buy cat stuff! LOL

Once lunch was done, I came back and sat in on some Q & A sessions with Nala’s moms, Shannon and Pookie as well as Q & A with Travis. I ran into Bing Clawsby of Cats of Instagram and managed to snag a photo of him looking so sharp in his purple necktie!

There were cat videos playing throughout the day. I sat in on a very informative session with an AMA travel agent who talked about places that cat lovers need to visit as well as travelling with your cat! Finally, I wanted to stay for the Mr and Mrs Purrfect photo contest where Kitty Mojito was one of the contestants!

All the contestants were cute beyond words!! Finally the winners are announced!

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AND DRUMROLL!!!!!

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YAY! Kitty was crowned Mrs. Purrfect 2018! So happy!! She received a certificate as well as a wonderful prize of a Vesper Cubo Tower sponsored by Homes Alive Pets!

I had so much fun at the Edmonton International Cat Festival. If you are a cat lover, you need to check this out next year. You can pre purchase tickets ahead of time (it’s a few dollars cheaper if you do!) or you can buy them at the door. Just follow them on Instagram @yegcatfest to keep up on the details for next year’s event!

A huge thanks to the founder and organizer, Linda Hoang and her team as well as volunteers, sponsors, vendors, celebrity guests and everyone else who had a hand in making this event a huge success.  A total of $21,000 was raised and donated between this year’s recipients, The Edmonton Humane Society, Little Cats Lost and Zoe’s Animal Rescue!

 

 

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Do You Have Any Plans For 2018?

A new beginning is so exciting! It is the perfect time to dust off those old goals that have been sitting on your brain for the past years and give it some new life!

As a serial planner, I love making new goals and giving it my best shot to accomplish them within the year. This year, I am doing things a bit different and focusing on one main aspect of my life. The goal for the year is to be a more effective financial planner.

For starters, I have gone back to work for the first few months of the year. This was not something that I was planning on doing as I wanted to focus on my business. However, life has a funny way for making you do things so I had to be responsible and take a full time job to be able to get my savings back on track. This does not mean I am not focusing on my business but it is making me think more strategically on how I want to use the time I have to devote towards it.

I am also taking on extra cat sitting clients which has been great. I love spending time with all cats and the fact that many people trust me with their homes and their beloved pets means so much to me.

So this year is going to be the year of taking a more responsible approach towards my finances, building up my cat sitting clientele and streamlining my business to be more effective!

It is going to be so awesome!

 

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Happy New Year 2018!

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Happy New Year everyone!!! I hope you all had a great New Years Eve ringing in the dawn of brand new beginnings with loved ones!

My hubby and I actually went out to a new year’s eve party! We usually stay in, order take out and watch movies but we were invited out by some great friends and it turned out to be a super fun night.

Looking back at 2017, I must say it was a pretty great year overall. I am not the type to dwell on things that didn’t got my way so I choose to look at the positive. Even though I lost a job in 2017, I gained the opportunity to work on my business, gather more cat sitting clients and spend more time doing things that I love. The lack of a steady paycheque was scary but with a supportive husband who was able to carry the weight of our living expenses, I was lucky enough to take that time to figure out what I wanted to do.

Kitty had a great year as well! She filmed a commercial for a brand new pet food company (waiting for the release soon!) and made many new friends and won several contests!

Overall, it was a great year which brought us good health, new opportunities and a lot of great friends!

For 2018, I am looking forward to working on my business. I will trying to streamline things a bit more as I will be returning to a full-time 3 month contract starting Jan 2. That will be keeping me busy for the first few months of the year. I will also be taking on more cat sitting clients as well as freelance writing assignments. The idea is to build a cash reserve so I can focus on the business once my contract is done.

It is also our 10 year wedding anniversary this year! We would love to be able to go on a small holiday to celebrate it! Considering we haven’t been on vacation since we got married in 2008, it would be a welcome getaway.

I am hopeful it will be a great new year filled with wonderful possibilities and opportunities to make our dreams come true!