Windsor Park community correspondent
Heather Innis is a community correspondent for Windsor Park. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recent articles of Heather Innis
Take a few moments to reflect on 20213 minute read Preview Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022
As challenging as 2021 has been for many of us, as I reflect on lastast year I have realized I actually have a lot to be thankful for and that I am proud of myself for making a few small (but definitely significant) changes that have helped me through these difficult times.
I would like to share a few of these here with you, not to be boastful but rather to encourage each of us to look back on the year and identify at least one or two successes, whether they were major goals, an outstanding task finally accomplished, or simply adding a new and healthy habit into your everyday life.
Here are few of mine:
• Developing a regular practice of gratitude and meditation — This was one of my first attempts at self-improvement this year and it quickly became an integral part of my daily routine. At minimum, I always try to meditate first thing in the morning when I wake up and then again just before I go to sleep. I also created a personal gratitude journal so I could write down everything I was thankful for, no matter how seemingly small or inconsequential. Making these activities a daily habit has significantly improved my overall mood and ability to handle day-to-day stressors.
Poetry to remind us to not be so serious3 minute read Preview Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021
I hope that everyone is having a peaceful and restful summer, I am so thankful that we are finally able to safely get together with family, friends and loved ones.
As we enjoy the last few weeks of summer, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a couple of unpublished poems I wrote several years ago. When I read them now, I’m reminded to not take myself too seriously and that it’s okay to be silly once in a while.
I hope they make you smile!
☐ ☐ ☐
Remember – we are all special and unique3 minute read Preview Wednesday, Mar. 3, 2021
It’s hard to be stuck indoors all the time, especially when we cannot meet with friends and loved ones and it’s too cold to go for long walks.
I would like to encourage everyone who feels like they’re stuck in a ‘pandemic pause’ to consider this time as an opportunity to really appreciate all of life’s blessings and to develop a thankful mindset. (I’ve recently started practicing daily gratitude and have found that it greatly improves my mood.)
If you find yourself feeling really stressed and anxious, you could try reaching out to talk to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, or perhaps try some guided meditation. There are also lots of online videos and apps for exercising at home that don’t require gym equipment.
When you take a moment to pause and reflect, I also encourage you to consider how much of our time we spend criticizing and judging others or worrying about what other people think of us.
Remember to be good to yourself, too2 minute read Preview Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020
As the global pandemic wears on, there’s been a lot of talk about self-care. Everywhere you look on the internet there’s advice for how to eat healthier or the best way to exercise at home.
But what I want to talk about is the kind of self-care that doesn’t require a great deal of planning or scheduling. It doesn’t involve excessive research into the best way to do this or that, and it certainly doesn’t require having the self-discipline to get up at 5:30 a.m. to exercise, meditate and then prepare a healthy meal plan for the rest of the day.
It’s just about being kind to yourself.
It’s one of the simplest forms of self-care, but also one that is often overlooked. It’s recognizing that sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning is a victory and worthy of celebration. It’s taking a moment to smile (or better yet, have a good laugh) at the absurdity of the moment when the first from-scratch meal you made in weeks accidentally becomes the cat’s dinner.
The real truth about pandemic parenting2 minute read Preview Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020
It seems like over the past several months that a lot of the parenting and ‘how-to’ articles have focused on coping — even thriving — during the current global pandemic.
Many of these writers seem to have all the answers for how to work effectively and efficiently from home, the “right way” to home school your children (as if there actually was a “right way”, which I highly doubt), and lots of suggestions for how to stay safe, sane and happy while being stuck within the confines of your home.
But not to worry. This isn’t one of those annoying how-to articles. It’s also not one of those “I-must-be-a-failure-as-a-parent-because-I-let-my-kids-eat-cookies-for-breakfast-one-morning-instead-of-homemade-yogurt-with-organic-berries-and-freshly-squeezed-orange-juice” stories. And it is most definitely not a “Top five strategies for effective home schooling” pieces which makes you wonder just exactly who these folks are that have all the time and energy to make a diorama of an endangered species habitat out of nothing but recycled pieces of plastic and cardboard.
Nope. I wish, just for once, someone would tell it like it really is — that we are not complete failures as human beings because we haven’t learned a new language or taken up a musical instrument while locked down in quarantine. That it is OK if you’ve let your housekeeping skills get a bit rusty or you just can’t bring yourself to finish off a home improvement project you ambitiously started in April. That so-called “staycations” aren’t nearly as much fun when you are forced to have one, instead of doing it by choice. And that it is more important for your child to remain healthy and happy — both physically and emotionally — than forcing them to memorize the multiplication tables. And that if your kids occasionally have cookies for breakfast it doesn’t mean you’re a failure as a parent.
Hearing aids make a big difference3 minute read Preview Monday, Feb. 24, 2020
For several years now, my co-workers have complained that I frequently ask them to repeat themselves.
Since I’m usually the first point of contact for people who come into the office, I’ve gotten in the habit of leaning forward so that I am closer to the speaker but lately I’ve had to get up and walk around my desk so as to talk face-to-face. At home, I am constantly accusing my husband of “mumbling” and reminding my daughter that I can’t hear what she’s saying if she’s speaking in a different room.
I decided it was finally time to swallow my pride and look into the possibility of hearing aids. According to the Canadian Hearing Services website, one in four Canadians identify as experiencing hearing loss (https://www.chs.ca/facts-and-figures). Although my hearing impairment is considered mild, it affects the mid-range frequencies (which includes voices, for example) which is why I’ve been experiencing particular difficulty carrying on conversations.
I’m currently trying out a set of hearing aids for a month. Other than the fact they make my ear itchy, I’ve been pleasantly surprised what a difference they make. I found out that I can easily carry on a conversation with my husband, even while sitting across from each other in a noisy restaurant. It turns out my husband wasn’t mumbling after all! I’ve discovered that my home office printer makes a humming sound I’ve never noticed before. I’ve also come to find that while I’ve always considered myself to have a rather loud voice, if I talk in what was previously my normal tone I realize now that I was, in fact. practically shouting. I can now hear what other people are saying to me without asking them to speak louder or repeat themselves and I can actually hear what my daughter is saying to me when she calls out from another room.
The wisdom of Bob Ross3 minute read Preview Monday, Feb. 3, 2020
Like many of us, I’m guilty of falling down the proverbial rabbit hole known as the internet from time to time.
On this occasion, I came across a YouTube video of regular folks (i.e., non-artists) enjoying what they called a “Bob Ross Paint Night”. I had heard of The Joy of Painting author and PBS television host before but had never given him much thought. But since I’ve recently started dabbling in watercolour painting for fun and relaxation, I thought I’d give his tutorials a try (even though he used oil paints as his medium of choice).
Since watching his tutorials, I’ve also come to recognize some of his much-loved catch phrases and would like to share with you some of my favourite Bob Ross quotes (and why I like them so much):
“There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.”