6 Things In The Face Of Disappointment

Everyone has experienced disappointment in their life at one point or another. It’s a weird emotion, this awful mix of being sad and mad and tired. And it weighs on you. I know because I felt it recently.

As we all know from our own lives, there’s no quick fix to disappointment and all the distractions in the world can’t make that weight disappear. But here are 6 things I thought about and did that really helped me deal with my disappointing situation.

Sometimes Life Just Sucks GIF.

  1. Consider your role.
    It’s really easy to direct some of your negative feelings onto yourself. And if you’re like me, you don’t hold back. Maybe you think you deserve it or didn’t do enough to stop it/change it and therefore must accept it. And maybe that’s partly true. Either way, knowing your role in the situation and knowing your worth can help you come to terms with your disappointment and move through it. It can help you sort out how you feel and how to perhaps better direct those feelings.
  2. Count your blessings (or some similar non-denominational sentiment).
    No matter what it was that brought on the disappointment and as consuming as it is in that moment, you’re not left with nothing. Try to focus on nice things, valuable people, or positive outcomes specific to the situation. Not only will this take your mind off of the disappointment a little, but it’s good practice and a good reminder of what’s important in your life, even on a normal day.
    Happiness in darkness quote from Harry Potter gif.
  3. “Suspense is worse than disappointment.” 
    This quote by writer Robert Burns is true. Disappointment is an answer, though not an ideal one. But it allows you to begin to take action, to learn from what happened, and to grow. It’s a spark, and you can now choose what you do with the fire.
  4. Feel what you need to feel.
    Disappointment is a lot to feel, and you can’t push it down forever, so don’t try to. No one likes to cry, but sometimes you just need to do it and move on. Take some time to let it all out and get the pent up negative emotions out of your body. It’s not unproductive.
    It's Okay To Have Feelings GIF.
  5. Sleep it off.
    All the emotions tied to disappointment are easier to feel the next day. The initial surprise is gone and you’re not so caught up in it. You go to sleep and wake up and all of the sudden it’s yesterday’s issue because you’ve got a new day to focus on. The disappointment won’t be fully gone, but it won’t be as consuming.
  6. Disappointment means you care.
    What’s life without love? Or at least a mild positive inclination? Part of being human is to live our best lives, and our best lives come from passion and love and care. If you have none of that and you never attach yourself to anything or anyone, you may be able to avoid disappointment, but you’d also be missing out on so much. I think we’re never wrong for caring, even if there are low points that can come with it.

Sometimes you expect disappointment, and sometimes you can prepare for it. I like to think I’m a pretty realistic person and am good at managing expectations enough to protect myself from unnecessary pain, but I managed to get slapped sideways by disappointment and it sucked.

Life goes on and I know there’ll be much more disappointment to face. But this is a post that I wish I had and I wrote it so I have something to refer back to when I’m in a situation like that again.

Come Back Stronger GIF.

That’s all for now!

 

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How Did I Exist Without Data For So Long?

When I got a cell phone in high school over a decade ago, it was a slide phone (a Samsung Vice, to be exact). The plan I was on was pay-as-you-go, allowing me 2500 combined incoming and outgoing texts and nothing else for $10 every month. I stayed on that plan for 11 years, even when I moved to an iPhone and actually had the means to go on the internet. That $10 plan was eventually forced up to $15 but they gave me 10 minutes of talk time. A few years ago, they forced it up to $20 and gave me nothing more, and that was my villain origin story breaking point.

I've Had Enough Of That GIF.

Last November I finally made the switch to a different provider. I now pay $17 now for unlimited text, 100 minutes of outgoing calls, and 250MB of data*. I barely make calls, and most of my messages are free iMessages, but that data….life changer. How did I survive so long without it?

It’s not a lot of data, and in the few months I’ve had it, I haven’t used more than 75% of my allotment (even when the power went out for 24 hours), but it’s come in handy so many times. Most recently, pulling up Dairy Queen coupons on the app after deciding to spontaneously make an ice cream stop. To think I used to wait until I got to my destination, connect to the wifi (if there even was any), and then tried to find what I needed. Being able to quickly check things like that and search for things something online whenever is great. Curling scores from the highway? Yes! Looking up that actor’s name from the beach? Yes! This power is wild.

I'm Drunk on Power GIF.

I guess to answer my question of how I survived without it, the answer is public wifi and screenshots in advance. Most places have free wifi, so if you’re in a city, it’s not hard to connect to something on the street, be it a fast food place or a bank. There were a few times I got lost going downtown for a job interview or something, but I was never panicking because I’d just walk to the nearest McDonalds and be okay. I’d love to see more places have free, easy to connect to wifi, though. Of course, this only works in a city where there are fast food joints on every corner. Being out in the suburbs isn’t as easy if you’re lost and without data. And I know because that has happened to me too.

Anyway, I’m sure most of you reading this have data and aren’t as wowed by it as I am. That’s fine. This is about me. I always kind of wonder how people without smartphones got by in life, and I’m sure there were people who thought the same about me when they heard I was data-less. But now I’m not, and I am happy about that.

exciting about using a phone gif.

That’s all for now!

*if you’re reading this and thinking “damn, what kind of deal is that?” note that I am Canadian and there’s a media duopoly going on so prices for phone, TV, and internet are such a mess up here. Interestingly enough, the provider I switched to (Lucky Mobile) is owned by the company I was with previously (Bell).

 

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Things I Don’t Trust

I went downstairs for an afternoon snack recently to find my father installing a new light switch in the kitchen. Only it wasn’t a regular light switch. It was an Amazon light switch of some sort, so on top of being able to turn on the light, it had an Alexa built-in.

I don’t trust Alexa. And I didn’t think my father did either. Yet here we are. I think it’s very creepy. It’s not even about Amazon, it’s about the fact that there’s this device always listening. It’s in the kitchen, the hub of the house, and I don’t care that now we can listen to the radio from the light switch. This better not be a gateway drug for my father to turn our whole house into an automated ‘smart’ hellscape.

I Don't Trust Them gif.

Alexa and Amazon aren’t the only things I don’t trust.

I don’t trust Roombas either. Like Alexa, they’re handy, but I don’t like the fact that they know your floor plan. They know what furniture you have and where. They know your doorways and where you are. The newer versions of Roomba collect this data to better improve the robot’s movements and cleaning capabilities, and I don’t like it. Does the company just have files of house maps saved on some server somewhere? What could they do with that?

I don’t trust mobile banking. I do online banking, but only from my one laptop. I don’t want apps tracking me and my money from my phone. Additionally, I don’t trust Apple Pay or any form of digital credit card. Phones are lost and stolen so often, and though it’s never happened to me, I don’t want to take that risk. Not to mention that I don’t want Apple having that information in the first place. I don’t care that it’s easier to make purchases or e-transfers, I’d rather feel safer when it comes to my literal life savings.

Doesn't That Seem Suspicious GIF.

I don’t trust Instagram ads or products (mostly). I don’t know why, but Instagram in particular feels like such a scummy place in terms of shopping and ads, which is unfortunate because a lot of honest businesses and creators use it. I know there are good and honest products and stores on there, but so many that I see just have such bad vibes. I just feel like any product being promoted is some fast-fashion/poorly made literal scam. Luckily, I’m not one for online shopping, so I’m not too concerned about this personally affecting me.

Do I have trust issues? Maybe. But I don’t feel bad about it. Can you blame me for being a bit skeptical about some of the pervasive tech around us? We live in a screwed up world, and I’m trying my best to keep myself safe (Related: this post about online privacy).

Or maybe I’m just being overly paranoid. What are you distrusting of?

Hermione Suspicious GIF.
Me, constantly.

 

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Six Days In Canmore (A 2022 Guide Plus Pretty Pictures)

For the first time in many years, I took a vacation that was more than three days! And for the first time ever, I helped plan and research this trip, which was cool. So if you’re considering a trip to Canmore/Banff, here’s the itinerary plus tips from what my parents and I did, and we had such a good time (note it was late May/early June). If you’re not planning a trip and just want to read about my vacation and see pretty pics, you’re in the right place for that too!

A small pond surrounded by mountains.

Day 1 – Getting to Canmore

Day 1 was our travel day. We flew from Toronto to Calgary and got a rental car. Before leaving Calgary, we went grocery shopping for some light breakfast and lunch stuff we’d need for the week. Despite our accommodations being a VRBO in Canmore, it’s best to do grocery shopping in Calgary where food is much cheaper. It’s about an hour drive from Calgary to Canmore.

Day 2 – Lake Minnewanka and downtown Banff

This was our first day of adventure! We rented some bear spray and put on our hiking shoes. It’s about 20 mins from Canmore to Banff. We crossed the border into Banff National Park at about 11am. The parking pass we had to buy was technically good for like 36 hours. We ate lunch at a Tims in Banff and then drove 15 mins to Lake Minnewanka. It’s a pretty lake with mountains right across the water. We hiked up along a canyon trail for about 45 mins. Since it was our first day and our bodies were adjusting to physical activity, we didn’t go the full trail, so I can’t tell you what’s at the end.

A small river surrounded by trees.
A river leading into Lake Minnewanka
A lake with a mountain behind it.
Lake Minnewanka

After going back down the trail and taking pics by the water, we drove back to Banff and walked around the city center for a few hours, going into shops and taking in the sights. I bought a little dragon! Pro tip: there’s free parking on the top three floors of the public transit parking garage in the middle of the city.

A small ceramic green dragon.
His name is Canmore because that’s where we stayed.

We wanted to see the famous Banff Fairmont hotel, which is to the south, so we got back in the car. On the way, we saw signs for Bow River lookout, so we went and looked out. There’s a trail there too, but we didn’t walk it for more than 10 mins. Then we went to see the hotel. And then we drove back to Canmore.

Rapids of a river.
Bow River
a deer outside of a car window.
We’re not sure if these are deer or elk, but six of them were by the road just as we were leaving the Bow River lookout.

Day 3 – Lake Louise, Emerald Lake, and Johnston Canyon

Since our Banff pass was still good until 4pm, we went back out that way early the next day. We drove to the Lake Louise area first (about 45 mins from Canmore). In some brochure my dad had, there was a coupon for a discount on the Lake Louise gondola (aka ski lift), and since it was a clear morning, we paid for the ride where we got to see a wonderful view of all the mountains. It was expensive, but anything that involves getting those high-up views of the mountains will cost you.

Mountains.
The view from up a mountain. That shiny lake to the right of the middle is Lake Louise.

Then we drove down to Lake Louise. It wasn’t yet peak tourist season, so we were able to find a parking spot easily (there is a $12 fee), but we heard that if you’re going in the middle of summer, you better get there very early if you want a spot. Despite being late May, the lake was still mostly frozen, which was cool to see, but that meant that a lot of trails around the lake were closed or not recommended because of snow. We ended up walking on the trail by the lake’s edge, getting about halfway around the lake before snow stopped us. The walkway is flat and busy, so while the view is nice, my family agreed that it was our least favourite stop on the whole trip. This walk was about 2 hours (1 there, 1 back).

A mostly frozen lake.
Lake Lousie, frozen over

After lunching at Bill Peyto’s Cafe, we drove to Emerald Lake (~30 mins from Lake Louise). This lake is actually in Yoho National Park and is actually in British Columbia, but we didn’t see a place to buy a new parking pass, so we just went for free. Emerald Lake was fully thawed and really pretty. We walked about 20 mins around the left side of the lake, then turned back.

A green lake.
Emerald Lake

Lastly, though we were basically at our 4pm parking pass deadline, we decided to stop in at Johnston Canyon since it was on the way back to Banff. It’s about 20 mins outside of Banff, and no one checked our pass, so we were good. Johnston has three waterfalls to get to, as well as an attraction called the Ink Pots past those, but we only went to the first falls, called Lower Falls since we were tired from our full day of activity. It was still really cool to be up in the canyon and go through a little cave to see a waterfall! This took us about an hour total.

Walking into Johnston canyon.
Walking to lower falls of Johnston Canyon
A waterfall.
The Lower Falls of Johnston Canyon

Day 4 – Grotto Canyon and Troll Falls (Kananaskis Country)

The first Wednesday of every month is known as Wilderness Wednesday in Kananaskis Country, which is to the east of Canmore, and this means free parking! It just so happened that June 1st was a Wednesday, so we took advantage of this (otherwise, a family pass is like $21). The following two activities were my family’s favourites out of the whole trip!

Our first stop was Grotto Canyon (15 mins from Canmore). You have to walk through a bit of a clearing and past a processing plant to get to the canyon, but it’s worth it! We had two options once we got to the canyon: hike up on the trail along the top of it through trees, or go down into the actual canyon. This second option may not always be available if the water is rushing through the canyon, but aside from a very small stream, we had plenty of dry rocks to walk on. If you can, go with option two. It was so cool to be in the canyon. About halfway in, there was a waterfall that was still frozen. My dad and I climbed up about halfway. I tried to go up further but it was too slippery. Past the waterfall, there’s more canyon, but it was marked as an unmaintained area to enter at your own risk, so we didn’t go farther. Grotto Canyon took us about 1.5 hours total.

The view from being in the canyon.
Down in the canyon.
Two small people standing up on part of a frozen waterfall.
My dad and I up the frozen waterfall.

Next, we drove deeper into Kananaskis (20 mins in). We ate lunch on a bench and then went to Troll Falls (another 10 min drive). Troll Falls was very cool and was only about a 30 min hike one way. Its name comes from a Troll-like rock to the side of the waterfall. You aren’t supposed to climb up to the Troll, but Dad and I did. There were also signs for an Upper Falls, so up we went. It was steep, but beautiful, and if you take a recommended route (follow the signs) to Marmot falls as well (where you can walk behind the falls), you can see three total waterfalls on this hike. This whole excursion took us maybe 2 hours total but we all loved it.

A waterfall and some rocks.
Troll Falls. You can see the rock troll head to the left of the tree.
The troll.
The Troll of Troll Falls. For size reference, my head can fit in that nostril hole.
A waterfall.
Upper falls of Troll Falls

Day 5 – Staying in Canmore

Every Thursday in the summer, there’s a Canmore Mountain Market from 10-4 in the downtown area. There are little stalls of food, art, and more. So after three days of hiking and activity, we returned the bear spray and took it easy by going to the market. After that, we walked in and around the Canmore stores on the main street. We got lunch at a cute little place called Bella Crusta that’s known for its focaccia bread. We all got sandwiches and my dad said it was the best sandwich he’s ever had, so we highly recommend this place. We even got a disc of focaccia to take back to eat for dinner because it was so good.

We also saw these ducklings in the river downtown. There were no ducks at my house this year to show you, so enjoy these Canmore ducks instead.

A mother duck and some ducklings swiming.

Ducks swimming down a creek with mountains and trees in the background/
The ducks swimming away

Day 6 – Dinosaur Provincial Park

Okay, so technically this is not in Canmore, nor is it near it. But since we were to be flying out of Calgary on Saturday morning, we knew we needed to head back in that direction anyway. Dinosaur Park is two hours east of Calgary (making it a 3hr drive from Canmore), so it’s certainly a trip, but worth it. You drive through flat farm land and then all of the sudden you’re at the park with these huge canyons and badlands all around. It’s free to enter and park. We hiked the Badlands loop and the Trail Of The Dinosaur Hunters. There are two real fossil exhibits near the second trail, which was cool to see. There’s even a place called the Cretaceous Café, which had remarkably good prices considering it’s the only place to get food in a 30 km radius. We expected to be let down by DPP as we had just come from mountains and waterfalls, but we were all very impressed and had fun, so we do recommend going if you have a free day and don’t mind the drive.

Brown, bumpy landscape spanning as far as the horizon.
Badlands as far as the eye can see.

Then we drove back to Calgary and checked into our hotel by the airport.

Day 7 – Home

We flew back to Toronto and got home to find that my brother didn’t water my plants. 😦

What We Didn’t See

For a variety of reasons, there were things we wanted to see/do but did not:

  • Peyto Lake – we wanted to go here after Emerald Lake but were told it was still snowy and not the best place to hike. I’m not too mad, though, because we went to Johnston Canyon instead!
  • Moraine Lake and the Tea House – due to an avalanche, this whole area was closed off completely.
  • Three Sisters Disc Golf – I found this little place online that had free disc golf and thought it’d be the perfect afternoon activity for the day we stayed in Canmore, but I did not know you had to bring your own discs, and there’s no place to rent them.
  • Banff Hot Springs – we just didn’t have time. We packed bathing suits but never used them.
  • The Dinosaur Park museum – it’s a small museum with a $2 entry fee, but it was late in the afternoon and we knew we had a 2 hour drive back to Calgary, so we skipped it.
  • Jasper – this park was simply too far from Canmore and we didn’t want to do six hours of driving in one day.

Pro Tips

  • Go to the visitor/info centers! Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, and Kananaskis Country all have one. The workers were all super nice and had up-to-date info on trails so they can make hike recommendations and answer questions. You can pick up a map or refill your water here, so we found them great places to stop into.
  • Rent bear spray, don’t buy it. We rented it for three days and luckily didn’t have to use it. You can’t fly with it, so we were happy to not have to throw it out before we left as we just returned it. We rented from a place called Gear Up in Canmore.
  • As I mentioned, the Banff parking pass is good for over 24 hours, so get it early in the day and plan for two days of going into Banff to make the most of it.
  • Have a few bandaids in your bag. I slipped while climbing the frozen waterfall in Grotto Canyon and my mom tripped at Dinosaur Park, so having bandaids handy was great.
  • Going in late May/early June was perfect. The weather was perfect (not too hot or cold!), and nothing was too crowded. It’s still ‘off season’ for a lot of places so accommodations and passes are cheaper than they may be in July.
  • Assess your walking speeds. Some places had estimated hike times, and we found that they were pretty slow speeds. This allowed us to plan for more stuff because we knew we’d be through it faster than we thought.
  • If your phone is your go-to picture-taking tool, have a wrist strap or popsocket on it. There were so many times when I was taking a picture and gripping my popsocket so tightly because I was on the edge of a cliff or waterfall or something where it’d be unrecoverable if it dropped.
A rainbow.
A beautiful rainbow we saw in Canmore after dinner one night.

All in all, this was a great trip! It was so much fun, and that’s coming from me, someone who is not a big outdoorsy person. We got very lucky with the weather, and everything that we saw was so pretty! If you’re planning to go and have questions, ask away! Alberta’s mountains and blue lakes are so different than what I’m used to here in Ontario, so I’m really glad I got to see them.

That’s all for now!

 

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A Very Boring Situation (That I Got Paid For)

A friend from curling recently expressed a need for a dogsitter a while ago, and I, who constantly lives in fear of never being able to afford a basic life in this economy, jumped at the chance to make some money while looking after two beautiful dogs. The dog owners were going away for three days, so I packed my laptop, my Switch, my phone, and some clothes, and went over. The first full day of sitting was the Saturday.

The morning was fine. After being woken up at 6:30 to some borks I napped in the 10am sun. Then I wrote and published a blog post. At 1pm, I microwaved leftover pizza, and kept an eye on the clouds outside as a storm was coming. Less than five minutes after my last slice was out, the rain and winds began, and right away, the power cut. The storm was mild and didn’t last that long. The dogs didn’t even seem too fazed by the thunder. Across town, my parents experienced harsher winds.

John Oliver lost all power gif.

Like a normal person, I expected the power to be back on soon, especially after that pitiful storm. But it did not, and after an hour, I was bored. My Switch had 12% battery when I brought it (I intended to charge while I played), and without wifi and charge, my laptop was basically useless. Only my phone with a little bit of data was functional, but the battery could only hold on for so long.

I took another nap, and was very unhappy to find upon waking that the power was still not back and my data wasn’t working. Aaaand text messages to my parents weren’t going through either. All afternoon and evening we’d get delayed texts, low bars, and choppy calls. We later found out Bell (the phone service provider) was having an outage, probably related to the storm.

What else can go wrong? gif.

Needless to say, I was not living my best life. But I found a random book called Fairytale shoved in a drawer, and for the first time maybe in my entire life, I read a whole book in one day. When the sun set, I read by lantern light. It wasn’t even a great book, but it was all I had to pass the time. Well, that and some tug-of-war with various dog toys. 

Fairytale: A Novel by Danielle Steel.
If anyone has read this book, let me know because I have some thoughts lol

Without power, I couldn’t cook anything so I had snacks for dinner. It was fine. The change in the day’s routine made it so I wasn’t too hungry anyway. There was a plaza with a few restaurants nearby, and I had my boyfriend call to see if they were open. They were not. I couldn’t call myself on account of having a phone at 10% and a data plan that wasn’t working. My father ended up bringing me my powerbank around 9pm to save my dying phone.

The power didn’t come back on until 1:45pm the next day. That’s 24 hours and 15 minutes I spent living alone like a pioneer in someone else’s home. It was boring and inconvenient, but it was no one’s fault, and there are worse things that could happen (there are people in surrounding areas who still don’t have power back). My boyfriend popped some allergy pills and came over the next day with his fully charged Switch so I at least wasn’t bored out of mind two days in a row. And the dog owners decided to come home a day early, so I got to sleep in my own bed sooner than originally expected.

One really nice thing about this experience was that I had several people reach out and ask if I needed anything. Aside from being hella bored and eating a lot of junk food, I was truly totally fine, but it’s nice that people other than my parents cared and were willing to help.

Good Friends GIF.

I’m not someone to drink much, and I don’t care to drink alone, but the dog owners had left me some Smirnoff Ice, so that Saturday night, I cracked one open. I deserved it.

I’m supposed to dogsit again in a few weeks. I’ll be bringing a book and a fully charged Switch just in case. I think it’s good advice no matter where you go or what you do: always plan for something to do that doesn’t involve electricity because you never know when you’ll be in a very boring situation.

 

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