Week one is done, onto the next!
I love the start of a new year because it feels like a fresh start, and you know what? it never gets old. Ever since I could remember, I kept a journal with me and wrote about things that hurt me, things that made me appreciate life, goals, accomplishments and new years resolutions. I always wrote new years resolutions with three main goals: happiness, health and creativity and although that part hasn’t changed, I’d like to add kindness to that list this year. Every year I write those three things down and every year I get better at maintaining it, I value the importance of setting goals. This year, I have many goals, but I’d like to start by being more positive and holding myself accountable to one positive deed each week. Truthfully, doing something empowering once a week doesn’t seem like a lot but if I can commit to one good deed per week, it’ll eventually grow into a daily habit.
If I had a way to sum up the amount of times I complained each day last year, I think I would be shocked at how often a sigh, or sass came out of my mouth, I don’t want to be like that anymore and nor should you. Realistically, no one can avoid the emotions they feel, but there are ways to handle them, and improve on the ways we act on them. I made a list of things I wanted to improve on to attain happiness, I guess you could call it a goal list but on it I included things that I wanted to do for others, the environment, health, mental health, and my relationships with people. After staring at this list for hours trying to decide how I could hold myself accountable, I decided to add enough goals to fill the year and came up with the idea of adding it to The Empowerment Post. By adding this to my blog I would not only be forced to stay committed, but it could show you the many ways we can have an impact on the world we live in by just trying a little.
This series is called: “52+”
This year I’m going to try to do at least one positive ‘thing’ each week, whether that be for someone else, for myself, for animals, or the environment—I think it’s time for a change. It may not seem significant but when is the last time you did something kind? For yourself, or for others? Have you made a positive impact in society? If you can’t remember than perhaps you could benefit from this series more than you think. I’m going to post an article every week to ensure that I’m taking the time to enjoy life and all it has to offer, but that I am also giving back in any way that I can. This is strictly a reflection series based on things that I want to do to guarantee that I’m living my best life, through the act of giving, learning, and improving myself. This is not a series created for bragging rights, but rather it is a public diary to showcase my progress, and failures. I’ve wanted to do this little project for some time now, but I’ve held off on it because of the fear of it coming off as egotistical. I do not want this to turn into anything other than a challenge for others to try and live the next 52 weeks in a similar way.
With the first week being done, comes the first entry to this year long journal that I am extremely excited to share with you. Now, what did I do that was worth sharing in week one? Well…I decided to take on sign language.
The other day a man walked into my work and didn’t say a word—all he did was pass me a little card that read: “Smile. Hello I am deaf. Please forgive me for bothering you. I am selling this card to see my way through. Will you kindly buy one? Pay any price you wish.” And on the back, was a very basic outline of the alphabet using hand drawings. I handed over my change and decided to keep this little card in my wallet. Shortly after the man left, I thought about whether it was legitimate, and it made me feel terrible that I would even question it, but I did. Unfortunately, we live in a world filled with dishonesty, but I did not know this man or his intentions, so I stopped myself from making any more assumptions. I decided to focus on the fact that he took the time to travel in -20 degree weather to collect some change that I would’ve spent on something silly anyway. His presence lingered with me though, I’ve always wanted to learn sign language and now I had this little card to get me started. I already know a couple of languages but what’s one more? I don’t know a lot of people who use ASL, but I have met a lot of hearing impaired people who I have trouble getting to know, and cannot truly connect with because I don’t sign. Did you know that Canadians who identify themselves as culturally deaf comprise more than 350,000 people across Canada? This little fact made me think about how useful knowing ASL truly is, and how it could benefit my life, my work, and my relationship with the deaf community.
Sign language is useful in many ways other than communicating with Deaf people, it also builds strong motor skills, better spelling, and is a great form of communication with young children still learning to speak. The value of sign language is strong and can be an asset to your resume and work—especially within the customer service field. Sign language is beautiful, and unique and I’m very excited to start learning the basics, but I’d like to be fluent in it, so I have decided to start small, and then join one of the courses offered at the CHS.
The Canadian Hearing Society is a great resource, and offers courses to anyone over the age of 16 years, you can choose from beginner, intermediate, to advanced courses that are all priced at $195 per student for registration at any level. The internet is also a great tool to use when trying to learn ASL on a budget, there is YouTube, downloadable worksheets, and DVDs that can be purchased on Amazon.
After reviewing some of these options, I’ve decided to take the self-taught route for now as I’m surprisingly very busy this year. This route requires a lot of commitment and motivation on my part, but anything worth learning is difficult and I’m up for the challenge. If you are interested in learning more about how I’m going to learn ASL, please follow my journey on the blog as I will be adding a video portion to it shortly.
If you would like to be a part of 52+ please do not hesitate to contact me with the exciting things you are challenging yourself with for this new year. Whether it is to empower your mind, body, and health, be more kind to others, have an impact on the environment or even something as little as a good deed of the day. I'd be happy to share, and encourage you to live your best life, whilst having a positive impact on the world and people around you.