31 January 2011

Link Love: Goodnews.com

As someone who surfs the internet a lot, I see a lot of discount offers. There are tons of programs that offer to send you local deals. All you have to do is submit some personal information.

This is my favourite of these offerings. Goodnews.com donates a portion of their proceeds to a local charity.

First, they are partnering with Edmonton Food Bank, who will receive 5% of all sales generated from January 25 to February 27, 2011.

Send your friends to the website, because the discounts only happen if enough people apply for them.

09 January 2011

Unproductive or not?

Today, I gave up on plans to go cross-country skiing and spent most of the day in bed finishing The Hunger Games trilogy. It's something I've been putting off for a couple of months, and I always find a good reason to do something more "productive."

"I have to paint the bathroom."

"There's Christmas shopping to do."

"I need to clean out my closet."

It feels like I've been going non-stop for months. Even the Christmas holiday was an exercise in constant motion. I try to maintain work and life balance, but there's always something to do. I came back from a week off work feeling like I hadn't had any time off. And to make matters worse, I'm so distracted by all the things I should be doing that I have trouble focusing when I read a book. So finishing a book takes a while, and I seem to find reasons not to read.

But today? Edmonton received a great snow dump this weekend. The snow is fresh and almost 30 cm deep (that's over a foot for the non-metric) and the weather is -16 degrees Celsius. It's a little too deep and kind of cold for cross country skiing. Also, my once-a-week meds have 12-hour side effects that are pretty much like being hella-drunk: dizziness, balance issues & nausea. So naturally, I took them last night and forgot how I'd feel this morning.

That makes it a stay-home day. Now, the house could use a good post-Christmas scrubbing, and I'm still cleaning out my closets for the clothing drive I'm running at work. Since Ukrainian Christmas is over, I should probably take down the Christmas tree.

But I woke up to the bright post-snowfall sunlight streaming into my bedroom window. My hon was already up and playing Call of Duty downstairs. So instead of rushing to get the day going, I said screw it and stayed in bed all morning and most of the afternoon, and read until the daylight started to fade. Like most Sundays, I wasn't hungry in the morning. Let's face it: I eat plenty as a middle-income Canadian, so skipping one meal won't be the end of the world.

And when I was done? My side effects had passed. I came downstairs and made a really tasty meal of leek soup and pan-fried pork loin and finished it off with a homemade latte. I'd finished the book series I've been really excited to finish. And I felt more relaxed than I have in months. One day did more to relax me than a whole week away from work.

It would be easy to dismiss today as an unproductive day. Oxford Dictionary defines unproductive as "(of an activity or period) not achieving much; not very useful." I could have been doing a lot of things. Instead, I see today as productive by just giving me time to breath and accomplish one of those "less important" things on my to do list that's been nagging at me.

By bringing down my stress levels, today was definitely useful.