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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 50 - Happy Heart Month!

1 Feb 2009


Welcome to February everyone!  Yay!!!  Woohoo!!!  Just means it's another month closer to spring and warmer weather.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation has an annual campaign during February, declaring it to be "Heart Month".  I'm not a volunteer or promoter of the organization, but, I just wanted you to know where I got the idea of "Heart Month".  And, as someone who has friends and family who has had heart disease and strokes, I thought it would not be a bad idea just to remind all of us to assess the way in which we are living our lives.  Are we taking the best care of ourselves and do we know how to take care of ourselves.  If there is a history of heart disease and/or stroke in your family, then I hope you will be even more diligent in seeking information on taking care of that heart of yours.  The Heart and Stroke Foundation offers a lot of material - everything from types of heart diseases, maintaining good health, treatment of various heart diseases and ailments, nutrition, exercise, etc.  I have found the materials very helpful.  And, if you have room in your pockets to give to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, why not think about a worthy cause which may have benefitted you, your family, friends and millions of Canadians.  I am certainly grateful.  Alright, that's the end of my plug.

The other reason to celebrate heart month in February is because of Valentine's Day (February 14th).  I've noticed a lot of "bah humbug" attitude amongst single people during this time of year and they just hate the existence of this commercialized day "for lovers".  It's a similar attitude as those who don't celebrate Christmas and have to endure Christmas celebrations and probably even more commercialized holiday.  I know how you feel.  When it comes to Valentine's Day, I can only say that, I have learned to be happy because it keeps my favourite chocolateurs like Leonidas, Laura Secord, Purdy's, Lindt, Russell Stover, in business and God forbid if they should financially collapse after being around for several generations.  There are times I feel that I would be in dire straits if those beloved chocolateurs did not exist to provide good quality chocolates!  If a company makes terrible candies, I think they should go out of business!  Anyway, instead of getting depressed on Valentine's Day, remember that it is not just a day for lovers, florists and candy companies.  Just as you would not think about heart health only in February, but, throughout the year, reaching out to your family, friends and strangers, with love, is a year-round thing.  Every month is Heart Month!  By the way, nothing would stop me from buying good chocolates for myself, my friends and mom.  Hey... for good health and good times...dial "DARK CHOCOLATE"!

My co-worker, Grace, who has become a good friend for over 14 years, has just retired.  I have learned a lot from her throughout the years through her mentorship and great example of faith, strength, and love.  Grace said, she felt as though she was taking for granted the act of going to work every morning.  She wondered if she would miss going to work in the morning.  Well, let me say to my dear friend that, you will miss us, and we will miss seeing you every morning, but, I guarantee that you will love retirement!  After being off for a year myself, I had dreams about work on a fairly regular basis, and when I woke up, I was really glad that I was not there!  I know Grace has wonderful plans ahead and she will not be idle, that's for sure.  I hope she continues to set great goals and accomplishes more than she ever dreamed of.  Many blessings to you, Grace!

Grace's retirement has made me wonder and daydream about my life if I retired.  I suppose "retirement" brings a connotation that one will become idle, but, that's not necessarily true.  Retirement does not mean sitting around all day, and, for many, it means that other dreams can be fulfilled.  As I've mentioned, I did take a year off and was able to pursue a number of activities.  If I retired, no doubt, I would write.  I would write a lot!  I would be creating more websites, write magazine articles, write songs.  I would try and promote up and coming musicians - which I'm sure would involve writing, as well.  Grace has become a daily journal writer, so, I am encouraged by her diligence and hopefully, I will pick my journal writing more regularly, as right now, I only write in it occasionally.

Those of you who are approaching retirement or have already retired, I hope you will follow your heart, follow your dreams.  You have sacrificed your life and time for your family all those years, I hope you will now enjoy your life and pursue those passions dear to your heart which may have fallen by the wayside.


On Friday, January 30th, I had the pleasure of going to the Horseshoe Tavern for the EP release of a band called Jets To Ground.  A friend told me about Jets, and I started communicating with Andrew Irving, lead singer of Jets to Ground, back two years ago.  Since then, it seems that the band has come a long way and grew a lot.  I've been getting updates about their shows and accomplishments and look forward to their album being released in the summer of this year.

I must confess that although a week before the show I really wanted to go, I became halfhearted about it as the week progressed.  I had all kinds of excuses in my head about not going to the show, but, it was Grace's retirement which made me think about what I wanted. 

My mind said, "You're too tired.  You've been sick and if you get really sick after going to the show in the dreadful cold and lack sleep, you might not go to work next week when there's a very busy week ahead.  The office needs you.  Your co-workers are not well too and what if the office is shorthanded?"  My heart said, "SHUT UP!"  So, I went to the show. 

Andrew said, he was really happy to see me there and I sensed that he was genuinely grateful for the all the support he has seen for the band and I am glad that I could play a part in their fantastic performance!  Lesson learned:  Sometimes, it's not about ME!  Don't worry, be HAPPY!

Larry told me about Lady GaGa a couple months ago and now, I'm hooked on her song, "Poker Face".  I wanted to download the song from iTunes but have not been successful.  I cannot believe the problem can exist for over a week, so, I hope it is not something wrong with my system.  I'd like to request that you all to say a prayer for iTunes.  My shopping credits are out of whack (or seemingly non-existent)  and I've emailed iTunes to try and sort it out.  I would hate for those generous gifts to be lost in iTunes land.  Anyway, prayers work for big and small, so, I would appreciate all the help I can get.  Thanks!  What can I say -- other than writing, the other important thing in my life is MUSIC! 

Thanks everyone for joining me in another episode of KaTsZoNe.  Instead of calling them "issues", I really should call each month's newsletter "episodes".  Hmm... let me know what you think.

Be well, be happy, eat chocolate! 

Katherine (KK)

Email me at katherine@katszone.com

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