My own creation of my Best Nine of 2017 is one that I feel truly reflects this past year. While nothing particularly monumental or noteworthy happened this year, there were many memorable moments along the way. I love all my visits with my little nephew. He has such a happy, energetic and fun little personality and challenges me with all his WHY questions. I loved that I had many opportunities to learn something new. A definite highlight was the opportunity to celebrate Finland 100 through my Finnish Architecture and Design Course at U of T including a behind the scenes tour of Toronto City Hall. I learned a bit about Emergency Preparedness as a volunteer at Toronto Pearson’s annual exercise. My volunteer role allowed me the amazing opportunity to attend a Train the Trainer session for two Cleveland Clinic program. I also contributed to many different initiatives in my volunteer role which hopefully will help many patients and their families in the future. I loved that I got to meet Bobbi Brown as I love her beauty philosophy – Be Who You Are. I enjoyed exploring and photographing University of Toronto and other areas of our city I don’t often get to. A definite highlight for me was the experiencing the incredibly inspiring Invictus Games. I was totally in awe of the competitors and loved seeing our city come out to cheer on every single one of them. It was an amazing experience I will never forget. I was also pretty excited that I saw Prince Harry on two occasions after seeing Princess Diana on her first trip to Canada in 1983 and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in London in 2013. A full circle moment for me as they all are an inspiration to me on the importance of kindness, giving back and helping others. I am thankful for all these simple joys and many others I had throughout the year and grateful to everyone who follows along as I simply go about my everyday. Wishing you all a 2018 filled with many simple joys of your own. 💗
Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” – Princess Diana
It is hard to believe twenty years have passed since the news of Princess Diana’s death. I grew up with Princess Diana from the moment the press found out she was dating Prince Charles. I still remember waking in the wee hours of July 29, 1981 on summer holidays in Sudbury to watch the Royal Wedding and essentially fell in love with everything British and Royal. How incredibly lucky I would be that I was in Ottawa on a school trip when Charles and Diana would make their first trip to Canada in 1983. I waited on a hot and humid June day with a few public school friends and likely a teacher given our young age to just get a glimpse of Princess Diana from her car as it entered the Rideau Hall Gates. It was a dream come true. I followed Princess Diana in the newspapers, magazines and television. I loved her style and elegance but more importantly I was inspired about how she made it her mission to help others, advocate and shed light to causes that were not considered glamorous. Diana had this warmth which was evident in her interactions with others.
In June 1997, my university friend and a fellow Princess Diana fan and I planned a trip to London. The trip was originally planned for around the time of Princess Diana’s death but at some point we decided to moved it up to June. What a different trip it would have been from the one we experienced. I was up north in cottage country when I heard the news of Princess Diana with one fuzzy television channel and a radio. As the days passed, I would watch the coverage from London and once again woke in the wee hours of September 6, 1997 to say goodbye to the People’s Princess.
Since the world lost Princess Diana, I have been lucky to see her dresses twice in Toronto, travel to her resting place Althorp with my mother on her birthday in 2002 and then onto Paris to where she lost her life that fateful day. I hope to travel to London to see the Diana: Her Fashion Story at Kensington Palace before it closes in early 2018.
In a world that celebrates and worships all things celebrity, it is Princess Diana who continues to inspire me. Princess Diana embodied love, kindness, compassion and inclusion. I aim to embrace these values as I go about my own travels on this earth. I love seeing her boys William and Harry along with Catherine carry on her legacy and continue to champion causes that were important to her while also charting their own course of what is important to them. Diana would be so incredibly proud. As a life-long volunteer, they all inspire me to continue to contribute to my own community and helping others.
“I think the biggest disease the world suffers from in this day and age is the disease of people feeling unloved. I know that I can give love for a minute, for half an hour, for a day, for a month, but I can give. I am very happy to do that, I want to do that.” – Princess Diana
Diana – forever remembered and missed. 💗