Day 3 of 25 Days of Gratitude

This morning I am grateful for amazing friends and for the gift of laughter. 

Last night I got together with an amazing group of friends. We went to a

High on adrenaline, and fresh off our escape!

lace called The Real Escape, and participated in an escape room called The Mavis House.  In a nutshell as a group we were locked in a house that was a scene of a grizzly murder and have to work as a team to solve various problems and get your way out, while at the same time solving the murder.  When the event was initially proposed I thought it was a strange concept to pay to be locked in a room and have to escape.  By the end of the evening we had so many laughs, it was a great time. It was a little terrifying, but at the same time challenging and hilarious.

12243012_1839368842956615_2872065125801559830_nFirst off, it’s about having fun. Whether you beat the room or the room beats you, what is most important is that you enjoy the challenge. In our case we beat the room, so the competitive side of me really enjoyed that. Especially because there is currently only a 22% success rate in escaping the room. But I did have to change my mindset going in… it was a good reminder for me to just live in the moment, and that it is not always about winning. Sometimes it is the experience that matters.  Living in the moment, and laughing a lot.

Studies also prove that we change physiologically when we laugh. We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure goes up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues.

People who believe in the benefits of laughter say it can be like a mild workout, and may offer some of the same advantages as a workout.

According to Steve Wilson, MA, CSP, a Psychologist and laugh therapist, “The effects of laughter and exercise are very similar”. “Combining laughter and movement, like waving your arms, is a great way to boost your heart rate.” says Wilson

One pioneer in laughter research, William Fry, claimed it took ten minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter.

Another researcher from Vanderbilt University, conducted a small study in which he measured the amount of calories expended in laughing. It turned out that 10-15 minutes of laughter burned 50 calories.

So last night not only did I have fun, but I burned calories too. Win, Win.

It also reminded me that I am grateful for amazing friends and for the gift of laughter. 

Day 2 – 25 Days of Gratitude

It is very true.. one positive thought everyday.

Today as I woke up at 5:30 am to let the dogs out for their morning ritual, I sat in the living room waiting for them to finish their business.  While sitting in the silence, I took a moment to reflect on how fortunate I am to have the warmth of a home and the comforts that I live with every day.

In Winnipeg there are an estimated 1,727 homeless individuals.  Our extreme temperatures in the winter, put an added strain on the many organizations that support our homeless population to keep them safe. In Manitoba, especially in the winter the truth of homelessness can be somewhat invisible, as these individuals seek refuge from the cold.

On Siloam Mission’s Website, they explain homelessness in 3 terms;

Absolute Homelessness
Homeless persons are defined as people “sleeping rough” or using public or private shelters. People sleeping rough, which means in the street, in public places are those forming the core population of the “homeless”. Those sleeping in shelters or other institutions are considered part of this population.

Concealed Homelessness
Another, not obvious side of the problem is “concealed homelessness.” Under this category fall all people living with family members or friends because they cannot afford shelter themselves. Without this privately offered housing opportunity, they would be living in the street or be sheltered by an institution. The extent of this phenomenon is extremely difficult to calculate.

At Risk of Homelessness
In addition to absolute and concealed homelessness, some people are at risk of losing their housing and can be categorized as people at “risk of homelessness.”

Please consider making a donation of food, cash, or clothing to any of the many organizations that help our homeless and those at risk of homelessness.

Agape Table lists the following as the top 10 items they require;

Top 10 List

Donations are always welcome! Everything helps of set costs! Thank you! No gift is too big or small everything is helpful!

  1. Hats, Mitts, and Scarves
  2. Coffee or Tea
  3. Creamer or Sugar
  4. Peanut Butter
  5. Juice
  6. Vegetables for soup (fresh or frozen)
  7. Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Soap (toiletries)
  8. Socks
  9. Underwear
  10. Feminine hygiene products

Last year R and I donated 8 Winter jackets and I can’t even remember how many scarves etc to Agape Table.  This year I will be going through my winter wear once again to make some more donations as well as volunteering.

If you are unable to make donations, you can always donate your time.

The following is a list of local organizations that provide supports to the homeless and those at risk.

Agape Table

Siloam Mission


Winnipeg Harvest

Indian and Metis Friendship Centre Food bank

Light House Mission

Main Street Project

Plus several churches, the United Way and Salvation Army

In Brandon

Samaritan House

2. Today I am grateful for the warmth of a home and the comforts I live with every day.

What are you grateful for?