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APeeling magazine tells real stories about real people with real solutions. Stories about success, business, and life.

APeeling
Living
Alone
Road to
Kindness
Online
Dating
Digital Magazine
Appeal to the marketplace
February 2021
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MarketAPeel
Shannon’s
Thoughts
 Things here at MarketAPeel
are changing. At the end of last
year I partnered with Beatriz Fritz
who is taking on the sales roll to
build relationships with potential cli-
ents. This is a huge weight lifted off
me as trying to do everything was
not working.
 For the last week I’ve been
creating processes, securing new
talent, and assessing technological
tools to help make everything run
smoothly.
 Going from a solo act to one
with a supporting cast is exciting.I
feel like I can breathe and am nal-
ly getting somewhere. Trying to do
everything and be everything was
exhausting.
 I am on solid ground. I can see
the light and I am coming into it.
Things have turned around for me
and those dark days seem like they
happened to someone else. When I
was in the darkness, I didn’t believe
people when they told me every-
thing would work out. I had a hard
time getting through the day, trying
to envision my future was difcult
as all I saw was loneliness and fail-
ure.
 Years later, I am still alone,
but I am not lonely. I have failed,
but I don’t feel like a failure. I see
a promising future, one I am very
excited about.
 APeeling is meant to be way
for me to help those who are lost in
the darkness of their lives nd solu-
tions to help them move forward
towards a better tomorrow.
 This issue is meant to help
those who are struggling nd their
footing to build an APeeling life,
career, or business.
.

The Apple Peels are
link buttons.


Stats show single occupant homes
have increased over the last four
decades as more adults choose to
live alone.
 The trend of single living
began in the 1960s as the baby
boomers wanted their indepen-
dence from parents, women
wanted careers of their own,
and divorce rates began to rise.
 According to Stats
Can,“Since the beginning of
the 20th century, the average
size of households in Canada
has decreased, from 5.0 per-
sons in 1901 to 2.4 persons
in 2016. Along with smaller
households, the proportion of
one-person households grew
rapidly, from 7% in 1951 to 28%
in 2016, the highest level on
Single Living in Covid
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Shannon Peel




Tammy Boljuncic helps peo-
ple protect their wealth using,
investment, insurance, tax, and
estate planning tools. She has a
passion for helping others suc-
ceed, which drives her get out
into the world and nd someone
to cheer for. She has a joy for
life, which radiates from her and
lls a room with positive energy.
Her life’s purpose is to support
others, help them keep their
family’s wealth safe, and nd
nancial security. Her generous
nature is at the core of her cli-
entcentric philosophy.
She goes out of her way
to make her clients feel com-
fortable and safe because she
has a mission to protect others,
Meet Tammy Boljuncic
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Shannon Peel
Communication is clearer
when we understand the per-
son we are talking to and what
they need from us to under-
stand our message. This is why
the Blind Spot Assessment is
such a good tool for you and
your team. The report tells you
what your strengths and poten-
tial blind spots are so you can
be more self-aware when com-
municating.
Did you know, by knowing
what your team member’s Blind
Spot Type is, you can under-
stand their needs when com-
municating with them?
Motivators and Analyzers
are complete opposites. If they
can gure out a way to commu-
by Likky Lavji
Motivator v analyzer
Click the Peel to continue reading
Team Alignment in 2021
We’ve created a system of in-
tegrated series of one-on-one,
small group and facilitated
team dialogues, and interses-
sion work for the virtual meet-
ing situation many organiza-
tions are faced with-in today’s
environment.
One-on-one discussions
with a coach enables explora-
tion of issues they do not feel
comfortable voicing in a group
environment. During the per-
sonal coaching sessions, in-
dividuals will develop skills to
share their ideas in future group
discussions and process their
reactions to behaviours of other
team members.
Facilitated group discus-
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Shakeel Bharmal
The Road to Kindness
 It is hard to get people to
see eye to eye on everything,
isn’t it? Debates will continue
for centuries to come and peo-
ple will continue to disagree.
 One thing we can all agree
upon though, is that 2020 has
been anything but kind. Al-
though many blossomed, many
also struggled. The rst quarter
kicked off with a global pan-
demic that disrupted the lives
of millions. 2021 was destined
to rescue us and be our knight
in shining armor. It was sup-
posed to be the hero to burst
onto the scene and save us
from the corona villain. But just
when we thought it was over, in
true movie fashion, 2020 reared
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Shannon Whittington

Online Dating Scam Red Flags
   You’ve heard the sto-
ries. You know there are people
on online dating sites who are
only there to get your mon-
ey, with no intention of meet-
ing you, dating you, or loving
you. I’ve talked with a few, and
played the game, to nd out
what tricks they had up their
sleeves.
 Most of the time they have
a sob story that their wife died
in some horrible accident, or
from cancer, leaving him a wid-
ower and single dad. It’s always
a story that will pull at your
heart strings.
 One guy told me his wife
and son died in a horrible car
accident on her way to church.
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Shannon Peel

 There is no denying that this
is a difcult time for anyone who
sought support from others outside
of the home, regardless of whom
they live with. Any forced change
can result in depression in anyone
who does not have the tools to
cope. Dealing with change in life
-
style is difcult even when one is
excited about the changes. When
a negative change is forced upon
you, the ground is fertile for hope
-
lessness and depression to take
root.
 This can happen at any time,
not just during a Pandemic shut
down. It can happen when some
-
one you love dies, you experience
divorce, your kids move out, you
get red or laid off, an investment
Battling Depression
Click the Peel to continue reading

 Stats show single occupant 
homes have increased over the 
last four decades as more adults
choose to live alone.
 The trend of single living
began in the 1960s as the baby
boomers valued their indepen-
dence from parents, women
wanted careers of their own,
and divorce rates began to rise.
 According to Stats 
Can,“Since the beginning of 
the 20th century, the average
size of households in Canada
has decreased, from 5.0 per-
sons in 1901 to 2.4 persons
in 2016. Along with smaller
households, the proportion of
one-person households grew
rapidly, from 7% in 1951 to
28% in 2016, the highest level
on record.” In the US, the trend
was very similar, “In 2020, ap-
proximately 36.2 million peo-
ple were living in single-per-
son households in the United
States.” (Statisca.com)
 The trend continued over 
the last thirty years with X-gen
and Millennial increasingly liv-
ing on their own. Some people
never married, while others di-
vorced and decided not to enter
into marriage again in favour of
living on their own. The biggest
growth in single homes is in the
45-64 age group. Part of this
cohort are divorced people who
live alone for a short time before
nding a new partner. Though 
people choose to live alone,
they still need connection and
community for their mental
health.
 To fulll their need for so-
cial interaction, they developed
Increase in
Single Living
By Shannon Peel






intricate lives outside of their
homes to socialize at work, go
out with friends, to the gym,
classes, or a meetup group.
They had the best of both
worlds; community connection,
and solitude.
Many businesses facilitate the
need for community by bringing
individuals together for activities.
Be it a yoga class, a painting night,
or a running group. These regular
scheduled get togethers helped
single people to socialize with oth
-
ers without having to invite them
over or plan dinner parties in their
homes.
Covid closed these places
and forced those who live alone to
spend more time by themselves.
However,
that didn’t stop sin-
gle people. They increased the
amount of time they spent on
social media and interacting on
regular zoom calls.
Being able to connect
with people from all over the
world with the click of a mouse
has helped many people cope
during lockdowns and social
distancing. Whether it was hav-
ing dinner with family members
hundreds of miles apart, or tex-
ting with a new Tinder match,
connection and community is
still possible, though different.
Online we can form pro-
fessional relationships, build
friendships, and even fall in
love with someone who lives
on the other side of the globe.
Anything is possible if we put in
the effort. However, virtual rela-
tionship building is fraught with
dangers and are less satisfying
than real world interactions.
Online scammers seek out
those people who are alone
and feeling lonely. They use the
power of words to form con-
nections that feel so real, they
can ask for money and receive
it without question. For more
about Online Dating Scams,
read the article in this issue.
Scammers are on all social me-
dia sites and it is important to
understand how they work.
We use social media to
nd the connections we crave
and it is human nature to com-
pare our lives to those we see
in our social media feeds. Too
much time scrolling through
Be Battle Ready
Types of
Depression
Your Soldier Your Army Your Training
Types of
Support
Types of
Therapies
our feeds can give anyone a
skewed impression of what oth-
ers lives are like and how our
own life falls short.
 Is it any wonder depression
lurks waiting to attack anyone
who spends too much time fo-
cusing on what others have and
what they lack, instead of what
they have? For more about
ghting the depression war,
click one of the peels above.
 Single life during Covid
can be lonely, quite, and dif-
cult. However, it can also give
you the time you need for
projects you always wanted to
complete. Whether it is learn-
ing a new language, develop-
ing a skill for work, getting new
certication to give you a bet-
ter chance at that promotion
you’ve had your eye on, or per-
haps connecting with people
you haven’t talk to since high
school. With zoom you can talk
face to face, no matter how far
away they live.
 Single people have the
time without the distraction
of a spouse or children, unlike
those who live with family and
must see to their demands
and needs. The grass may look
greener, but each side of the
fence has it’s own challenges.

 Being single during Covid,
makes socializing difcult, but
not impossible.

There are many reasons
people choose the single life.
They never found the right per-
son. Are focused on their ca-
reers or businesses. Some lost
the love of their life and cannot
see themselves with someone
else. Others tried marriage or
cohabitating for awhile and are
now learning how to live for
themselves instead of for others.
Living the single life is different
than living a married life or fam-
ily life, but no less fullling when
it is packed with activity, com-
munity, and satisfying work.

I’ve been able to focus
on launching a new product
to take my business in a differ-
ent direction. I’ve met people
through LinkedIn and continue
to meet with them once a week
on zoom to support and help
each other.
I listen to audible non
stop to keep me company. I stay
sane by keeping my mind busy
from morning to night.
 For the last ten years, a new
trend has been developing as
more young adults choose to live
at home with their parents instead
of striking out into the world on
their own. It will be interesting to
see if this trend and the experienc
-
es of Covid will change the trajec-
tory of single home occupancy in
the near future.
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join the discussion

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Why Do you think Gen Z and Millennials feel so
much lonelier than Boomers? No one asked X -
Gen if they were lonely - Why Not? Where do
you think they would t in the answers
?
Click the Peel to
Join the Conversation
Date of Survey is 2019.
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better or worse?
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About Cameron Chell
Cameron Chell is considered
a ‘serial entrepreneur’ with his
rst ventures beginning at age 14
and a trajectory in business that
spans more than 25 years. He is
the co-founder and CEO of the
Business Instincts Group (BIG) and
BUILD Impossible. He has launched
numerous successful tech start-ups
such as Dragany Innovations (CSE:
DFLY) (OTCQB: DFLYF), ColdBore
Technologies, Raptor Rig, Urthe-
cast, KODAKOne and Currency-
Works (TSXV and OTCQB: CWRK).
His entrepreneurial success is
based on principles of clear vision,
quantiable results and tireless pur-
suit of goals.
A sought-after speaker, Chell
has addressed audiences of thou-
sands in settings around the world.
His presentations include speeches
at the United Nations, Tony Rob-
bins, and TEDx Montreal Women.
His talks touch on themes ranging
from technology to homelessness
as he shares his life experiences of
overcoming hurdles and doing “the
impossible.”
Cameron Chell
Gets Schooled
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Imagine Sheldon from
“The Big Bang Theory” and To-
bias Funke from “Arrested De-
velopment” running a business
together. How do you think it
would go?
They probably wouldn’t
hear what either one said and
would get extremely frustrat-
ed with each other’s ideas and
work style. Sheldon would ex-
plain all the reasons why his
idea was the superior one and
Tobias would go do what he
wanted while getting the team
onboard with his crazy stunts.
Could these two types of
people ever communicate and
work well with each other? It
would take a herculean effort
on both sides of this match up,
however, it is possible.
The Motivator POV
The Motivator makes
friends easily and wants every-
one to succeed, they just don’t
always follow through on their
ideas. By taking a moment to
ask the analyzer for their in-
put, (just don’t zone out when
they give all the reasons their
idea will work,) the Motivator
will discover well thought out
ways to get stuff done. The an-
alyzer will keep the Motivator
accountable and on task to see
Keynote Speaker | Facilitator | Consultant
APeeling Columnist
The Motivator v the Analyzer
the project through to comple-
tion. Admit it, that would be
benecial.
The Motivator’s intuitive
nature will come in handy for
this mission impossible, if they
choose to accept it.
By understanding the Ana-
lyzer has a need to be right and
for the job to be done right,
the Motivator can easily make
this relationship work.
Acknowledge the Analyz-
er’s need to be right and use
their Motivator ability to con-
vince them to get onboard with
the rest of the team. A Motiva-
tor can help the Analyzer de-
ne more realistic expectations,
feel included in the group, and
feel appreciated for what they
bring to the table.
Motivators have the op-
timistic attitude to succeed,
however it will take patience as
the Analyzer is quite stubborn.
The Analyzer’s POV
The Analyzer will want
projects to be done the right
way and they have high expec-
tations of themselves to get
things right the rst time.
They expect everyone else
on the team to be perfect too
and tend to get bogged down
in the details, which cause de-
lays in getting the project off
the ground. By talking to the
Motivator, the Analyzer can
see the bigger picture and nd
ways to get started without
needing every little detail in
place. The Motivator will keep
the Analyzer moving forward
and excited about the project.
The Analyzer’s ability to
keep everyone accountable will
come in handy for this mission
impossible, if you choose to
accept it.
By understanding that the
Motivator needs to feel excit-
ed in order to be interested in
a project, the Analyzer can nd
information and ideas to keep
them engaged. When talking
to a Motivator, do an Anyalyz-
er needs to do their best to
skip over details and get to the
point by focusing on the end
result more than how the team
will get there.
Talk about the next steps,
the big picture, and the result
to keep the Motivator’s atten-
tion while making the next
steps clear to everyone.
Don’t overload Motivators
with tasks and details, they’ll
get lost and then they’re off on
another adventure.
If you want to talk about
the details of the project and
everything you know about the
topic, nd the controller or sta-
bilizer to talk to, they will be
interested in what you have to
say.
With the Motivator’s natu-
ral ability to motivate the team
to get started on a project and
the Analyzer’s natural ability to
see the project through to com-
pletion, these two can make for
a great team. They just need to
learn how to communicate.
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Discover your Leadership Style
and Which BlindSpots to
Look Out for.
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 Emily de Silva is a co-own-
er of Cultivated Talent, a re-
cruitment company for the
beauty, lifestyle, and fashion
industry.
 I recently met her in a
weekly business group
facilitated by Alaina Schwartz.
As I’ve gotten to know her and
the challenges she faces
helping clients nd the
right candidates for positions, I
came to understand the issues
companies have filling positions 
and diversifying their teams.
 Watch the video to learn
more about Cultivated Talent
and how they help clients.
 Click the Peel to learn
more about Cultivated Talent.




Click image to Play Video

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We’ve created a system
of integrated series of one-on-
one, small group and facilitated
team dialogues, and interses-
sion work for the virtual meet-
ing situation many organiza-
tions are faced with-in today’s
environment.
Personal Coaching Sessions
One-on-one discussions with a
coach enables exploration of
issues they do not feel com-
fortable voicing in a group en-
vironment. During the personal
coaching sessions, individuals
will develop skills to share their
ideas in future group discus-
sions and process their reac-
tions to behaviours of other
team members.
Facilitated Group Session
Facilitated group discus-
sion uncover important issues
and resolve them in a safe, can-
did and trusting environment.
The team will create an aligned
understanding and commit-
ment to key questions includ-
ing but not limited to:
Building Cohesive Teams
What is the team’s purpose?
How do we behave as a team?
Clarify tasks and processes
Identify goals and KPIs
What is the most important
thing we need to do next?
Assign roles within team
(Derived from Patrick Lencioni’s
The Advantage)
How to Align
Teams in 2021
By Shakeel Bharmal
 The facilitator will provide
short, thought provoking key-
notes, reection questions,
brief videos, and articles to pre-
pare for one-on-one and group
discussions and will also doc-
ument outcomes of dialogues
and share for reaction.
 The way this work is done
should serve to build trust and
clarity and set the tone for the
way decisions are made and
differences of opinion are re-
solved within the organization.
all team members”
 Every year, leaders need to
ensure their teams are aligned
to achieve the purpose of their
department and organization.
This year, one and two day all
day planning meetings are not
realistic in a virtual environ-
ment. The signicant virtual
work spawned during the pan-
demic has had some benets,
like reduced commute times,
increased productivity, in-
creased exibility and for some
better
work life balance.
 While collaborative tools
and video conferencing cer-
tainly helps in getting the work
done, it has been increasingly
difcult to build the alignment
required to ensure teams are
cohesive and have a shared
clarity, understanding of ac-
countability, and expected re-
sults for the team.
 Due to the pandemic, in-
dividual lives and work habits
have changed. Trying to simply
replicate past formats to facil-
itate team alignment will miss
the individual reection re-
quired for each member of the
team to re-dene the way they
engage and their role within
the team.
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Photo by Colleen Shorter
Meet the Realtor
Colleen Shorter
When Colleen Shorter
moved to the North Shore, she
felt like she was nally home. It
is where she belongs and she
never wants to leave. Whenever
she drives north over the Lions
-
gate bridge, she gets a warm
feeling and a huge smile on her
face because she is living in the
best place in the world. She en
-
joys living the healthy lifestyle
the North Shore offers.
The community has everything
she needs. It has the Park Royal
shopping centre, small business
boutique shopping, yoga class
-
es, doctors, pharmacies, the
park, the beach, and the moun
-
tains. You can swim, bike, walk,
ski, snowshoe, and never have
to drive. Whether she visits the
Capilano suspension bridge, the
dam, Grouse Mountain, the riv
-
er, and trails, she is happy to be
in the natural environment of her
community.
Discover why
she loves Living
in Vancouver’s
North Shore.
Look Inside
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Tammy Boljuncic helps
people protect their wealth us-
ing, investment, insurance, tax,
and estate planning tools. She
has a passion for helping oth-
ers succeed, which drives her
get out into the world and nd
someone to cheer for. She has
a joy for life, which radiates
from her and lls a room with
positive energy. Her life’s pur-
pose is to support others, help
them keep their family’s wealth
safe, and nd nancial security.
Her generous nature is at the
core of her clientcentric philoso-
phy.
She goes out of her way
to make her clients feel com-
fortable and safe because she
has a mission to protect others,
ensure they are protected when
vulnerable, and are not taken
advantage of by selsh peo-
ple. When you meet her, you
realize it isn’t an act, she really
lives to provide safety to others
because she has a deep seed-
ed need to feel safe and wants
everyone to experience the joy
of life when they are no longer
living in fear.
Tammy loves a good con-
tract and reads up on industry
products every day to ensure
she has the information her cli-
ents need to make an informed
decision. She strives to under-
stand the reasons her clients
want to save, protect their fam-
ilies, and their health so she
can introduce them to products
matching their needs and not
the ones that pay her the most.
In fact, she doesn’t know which
insurance companies or prod-
ucts pay higher or lower com-
missions because that is the
Meet Tammy Boljuncic
Insurance Advisor
By Shannon Peel
only piece of information she
skips over when diving into the
features and benets of each
insurance product and its con-
tracts. It truly bothers her when
she sees people who were sold
something they didn’t need,
didn’t want, and didn’t ask for
when they approached a nan-
cial professional.
 To protect her clients, it
is important to be a resource
and have the answers to help
them make the best decisions,
this takes constant study. She
is currently taking the CFP –
Certied Financial Professional
course to be able to provide her
clients with more in the way of
answers, products, and solu-
tions for their nancial plans
and goals. She takes every
opportunity to learn about the
industry and all it has to offer in
order to serve clients the best
options for their situation.
 If you don’t continue to
read and learn about all the op-
tions, you can’t help people with
the tough stuff, like tax plan-
ning. Taxes are complicated
and most people nd it boring
to read about tax law and how
to pay less in tax because it is


a complicated always changing
part of nancial planning. When
she talks to people who don’t
know how to lower their tax bill
and do not have a plan in place
to ensure their wealth is pro-
tected from tax, she becomes
a crusader to educate them,
advocate on their behalf, and
bring trustworthy professionals
to the table to efciently struc-
ture their nancial plan.
When she talks to people
who fear they won’t be able to
retire because they won’t have
enough money to live on, it
bothers her. She believes ev-
eryone should have the right to
retire and afford to take care of
themselves. Many people are
uncomfortable talking about
their nancial health, pension
plans, taxes, and estate plans.
Tammy approaches the topics
with an upbeat, excited energy
because she loves talking about
these topics. Don’t understand
your pension plan, no prob-
lem she’ll dive in and explain it
to you. Don’t know how much
you’ll really need in the bank to
be able to walk away from your
job? No problem, Tammy will
explore what lifestyle you want
and how much it will cost. She
loves these types of challenges
because at the heart of what
she is doing is helping people
nd security and joy in their fu-
ture, which is her purpose in
life.
There are many reasons
why Tammy loves the insurance
and investments industries,
when it comes to a personal
reason it is all about the num-
bers. She prefers insurance
products and segregated funds
because of the certainty they of-
fer her clients and the lower risk
when compared to other invest-
ment vehicles. Her approach is
to secure what you have rst
and then decide if you can af-
ford to take higher risks with
your family’s wealth.
She prefers working with cli-
ents who work hard, have
saved some money, built wealth
through real estate or business,
and need a way to protect their
family. People who want guar-
antees, who want to feel se-
cure, and know what they will
have in the end are her ideal
clients.
Photo by Marcy Peel
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It is hard to get people to
see eye to eye on everything,
isn’t it? Debates will continue
for centuries to come and peo-
ple will continue to disagree.
One thing we can all agree
upon though, is that 2020 has
been anything but kind. Al-
though many blossomed, many
also struggled. The rst quarter
kicked off with a global pan-
demic that disrupted the lives
of millions. 2021 was destined
to rescue us and be our knight
in shining armor. It was sup-
posed to be the hero to burst
onto the scene and save us
from the corona villain. But just
when we thought it was over, in
true movie fashion, 2020 reared
its ugly head again and lmed
one last scene.
The Road to
Kindness
by Shannon Whittington
P
riceless
The storming of the Capi-
tol made us think that perhaps
2021 was not our saving grace
after all. It tempted us to give
into cynicism and unrest. To
hop on the bandwagon of us
versus them. Maybe we are in
for yet another year of huge
disappointment and isolation.
Who knows? But we must not
lose hope.
Kindness is the antidote
to 2020, so why wait for divine
intervention?
This year will be only as
good as we make it. Our bright
future is ahead, and kindness is
the road that will lead us there.
Social media has made us
all addicted to society’s likes
and emojis. But the sele ap-
proach doesn’t work here.
When it comes to cultivating
kindness, you are only compet-
ing against yourself. Be kinder
today than you were yesterday,
and pledge to be even kind-
er tomorrow, even if there are
K
ind
Words Cost
Nothing
yet are
no “seles” to post. You don’t
need to capture what you did
for someone.
You know what you have
done, and more importantly the
person who beneted from your
kindness knows. Let that be the
sele you store in the album of
your heart.
Your kind act does not
have to be something monu-
mental or even life-changing. It
could be as simple as holding
the door open for someone or
saying thank you at the check-
out counter. Wearing a mask is
an act of kindness as well.
This issue has become sur-
prisingly controversial, but it
really doesn’t have to be. Face
coverings are here to not only
protect you but also to protect
others. Yes, it is inconvenient,
but wouldn’t you rather be
slightly inconvenienced than
live or even die from conta-
gion?
Many of us tend to put our
sense of compassion on a men-
tal shelf and dust it off in the
time of crisis, when we need to
make a bargain with our con-
sciousness. Do not promise to
be compassionate in exchange
for a better future; promise to
be compassionate as if the bet-
ter future has already arrived.
Sometimes when we see some-
one who is different from us, our
gut feeling tells us to stay away.
Perhaps we fear the unfamiliar.
Yet, intellectually speaking, we
know we are all the same. I chal-
lenge you to open your mind,
heart, and spirit and give every-
one the benet of the doubt.
We all have the same
needs, wants, and desires. In-
stead of shying away, why not
lean in? Perhaps they will drop
some wisdom that you can ap-
ply to your life, and maybe you
can share as well.
Dialogue often leads to
understanding which leads to
compassion and ultimately a
kinder, more peaceful world.
And who doesn’t want that?
Unlike Facebook, TikTok, and
Instagram, when it comes to
real-life, acts of kindness are al-
ways liked. Let us lead the way
and be a positive example to
others.
The much-talked-about
world peace is like a jigsaw
puzzle and an individual act of
kindness is an integral piece
of that peace. In the end, all
pieces fall into place to create
a beautiful journey of hope and
belonging. I’m ready to do my
part, are you?
Click Peel to learn
more about Shannon
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You’ve heard the stories.
You know there are people on
online dating sites who are only
there to get your money, with
no intention of meeting you,
dating you, or loving you. I’ve
talked with a few, and played
the game, to nd out what
tricks they had up their sleeves.
What are the Red Flags?
Most of the time they have
a sob story that their wife died
in some horrible accident, or
from cancer, leaving him a wid-
ower and single dad. It’s always
a story that will pull at your
heart strings.
One guy told me his wife
and son died in a horrible car
accident on her way to church.
He was a soldier in the US
army, stationed in Syria, and
his daughter was at boarding
school in Canada.
What made me suspicious?
He was not in my area. He
was in Syria, a war zone, and a
US soldier. I realize that the US
did send soldiers to train the
rebels, however, at the time
Spot the Scam
of this conversation, it was not
public knowledge.
He would Skype with me,
but the sound never worked
and we were still IMing, though
we could ‘see’ each other. He
had lots of time to talk to me,
too much time, he could spend
all day on the computer chat-
ting with me.
The photo he sent me of
his daughter was an obvious
stock photo and not a pic of his
teenaged daughter, whom he
hadn’t seen in 2 years. Accord-
ing to him, she lived at a Cana-
dian Boarding School all year
round.
I Googled to check and
boarding schools in Canada
cost over $50 K a year. I’m not
positive, but I found it hard to
believe that a US soldier made
enough to pay for a private
boarding school.
What I did to verify my
suspicions:
I read a bunch about Syr-
ia, the climate, the people,
the towns, the news, etc. Then
asked him general vague ques-
tions, like what did you do to-
day? Or what’s it like in Syria
now? Or How’s the weather?
He’d take a long time to
answer compared to other
parts of our conversation. Then
he’d send me a link to a news
story, a weather update. He
Googled the answer instead of
telling me about his own expe-
riences.
At one point, I asked him
what time it was and he gave
me the wrong time. I’d checked
to see what the time difference
was, so when he told me 10:00,
I knew that he couldn’t be in
Syria. He was in Russia.
The nail on his cofn was
when he told me that his ‘son’
needed a mother. Remember,
he had a teenage daughter and
his son had died in a car acci-
dent. That’s a detail any parent
would keep straight.
How to Identify a Scammer:
Scammers have gotten
more sophisticated over time.
They now have fake Facebook
proles with few friends, none
of whom are connected to each
other, and were just opened.
They have phone numbers reg-
istered to actual places in the
US. They have addresses of a
place near you. They have busi-
nesses with simple websites.
So, how can you know
if that great guy or gal, who
wants to get to know you on-
line, is real or a scammer? I
don’t have a foolproof formula,
all I can do is offer some points
to help you.
Keep a written record of the
details, ie, age, location, kids,
job.
Is the info given appropriate or
are they trying to prove their
story with evidence regular
people wouldn’t send without
being asked. Like receipts, let-
terhead invoices, or other odd
bits of information.
Keep all messages to compare
to new information coming in
Ask vague open ended ques-
tions to encourage more de-
tails. Do they give details of
their story or do they just want
to know about you?
Do they ask odd questions
like, where you went to high
school, the name of your rst
pet, where your parents met?
Beware of password type ques-
tions coming from someone.
Ask yourself, does the voice,
accent, etc, match the photo
and the story
Want to Share Your Story?
Research the information Goo-
gle has lots of information. If
there is nothing, don’t panic,
they may just be a private per-
son.
Do an image search using their
images by dropping the pho-
to in the Google search bar. I
found the photos being sent
were of actors and models, and
no, they were not the person
on the other end of the line.
If you nd a social media feed
using the photo you have been
sent, send them a message
through their prole. It may be
the one they created or it may
be one they stole photos from.
Keep a written record of the
times you chat & what time it
would be there. Are they too
available when they should be
working or sleeping? Consider-
ing the time difference, do they
make sense?
Ask yourself, does the infor-
mation provided make sense?
Do not give too many details
about your life, keep talking
about them. If they won’t talk
about themselves and reply to
your questions with questions,
nd someone else to chat with.
Does the conversation feel
scripted and inauthentic com-
pared to other conversations
you have. Do not give lan-
guage barriers as an excuse for
scripted answers.
Go with your gut and keep ask-
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ing yourself questions, without
asking them to explain why the
information isn’t making sense.
If you see a pattern of lies and
things that don’t make sense,
save yourself time and block
him.
I have talked with a few on-
line dating scammers to get a
good idea of how they sound,
what they promise, what they
say. They have a system, it’s like
they all took the same Online
Scammers course and work off
the same script.
When a Scammer asked me
for money:
Most times I talk to scam-
mers, I shut them down way
before they get to the request
for money, one time, I didn’t.
This scammer was good,
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at rst, then he started trigger-
ing red ags, so I decided to
test the waters and went all in.
I pretended to be in love, crazy
do anything for him love. Plan-
ning a future together, every-
thing.
It took a week for him to
ask me for money to get home
from Taiwan, $50 000 - he had
a shipment in customs and
needed the cash to bribe of-
cials to get it out. I told him, I
didn’t have that kind of money.
He asked for $25 000. I told
him, I didn’t have that kind of
money. He asked me to get a
loan. I told him, I wouldn’t. He
told me love is about helping
each other out. Ah yeah - NO!
Bottom Line:
No matter how wonderful
they sound, the minute they
ask you for money, it’s a scam.
Close your computer and run.
Run fast. Block him from ev-
erything and look for someone
who lives close to you.
If he says he can only
turn to you to ask for help, do
you really want to be dating a
person with so few real world
people who care about them?
If they are alone in this world,
chances are, there is a good
reason for it. - RUN! I’d never
ask someone online for money
- NEVER. Would you?
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Photo by Marcy Peel
There is no denying that this is a difcult time
for anyone who sought support from others outside
of the home, regardless of whom they live with. Any
forced change can result in depression in anyone who
does not have the tools to cope. Dealing with change
in lifestyle is difcult even when one is excited about
the changes. When a negative change is forced upon
you, the ground is fertile for hopelessness and de
-
pression to take root.
This can happen at any time, not just during
a Pandemic shut down. It can happen when some
-
one you love dies, you experience divorce, your kids
move out, you get red or laid off, an investment
tanks, your business goes belly up, you are in nan
-
cial trouble, and when the world pushes you behind
closed doors.
Battling
Depression
Clinical depression is the
type where medical intervention is
needed. The following are different
types of clinical depression:
Major Depression. People who
exhibit depression symptoms for
2 weeks are longer can be diag
-
nosed with major depression. The
symptoms to look out for are sud
-
den weight loss or gain,
Trouble getting to sleep or
staying asleep, feeling extremely
tired all day, feeling restless, agitat
-
ed, sluggish, feelings of worthless-
ness, trouble concentrating, trou-
ble making decisions, thoughts of
suicide. There are different levels
of major depression, mild, moder
-
ate, and severe. Where someone
ts in on this scale will determine
their treatment. Most need to talk
to a professional to help them ob
-
tain the tools to go into battle.
Some will need extra phar-
maceutical help to balance brain
chemistry or hormones. Medication
is not something to avoid or be
encouraged by non-medical loved
ones to forgo taking.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
(previously called chronic). People
who suffer from this type of major
depression have been battling it
for over two years. Those who have
this type need medication to bal
-
ance their chemical makeup.
Psychotic Depression. This is ma
-
jor depression with hallucinations
thrown in for *hits and giggles.
Those suffering from this type of
depression can see things that ar
-
en’t there, are delusional, or par-
anoid. This type of depression is
very serious and needs to be taken
seriously by loved ones who are in
a supportive role.
Different types
of Depression
Bi-Polar Disorder. Those who suf-
fer from bi-polar disorder, other-
wise known as manic depression,
have extreme mood swings, which
lead to self-destructive behaviours
on both sides of the pendulum.
When they are in a manic
phase, they feel invincible, have
big ideas, and a truckload of ener
-
gy. They don’t sleep when experi-
encing mania and they don’t have
normal reactions to situations. A
serious illness in a loved one won’t
phase them because they can x
anything. Then the fall comes and
suddenly they can’t do anything,
all their plans and efforts go up in
smoke as they hide from the world.
For people suffering from this ill
-
ness, the treatments are more
complex.
Non-Clinical depression af
-
fects more people and thankfully
is more temporary than it’s clinical
counterpart.
Situational Depression. Most peo
-
ple who experience depression at
some point in their lives have this
type of depression. It is triggered
by an event they have no con
-
You are NOT Alone!
Think
Differently
trol over and causes them a great
amount of grief. At times they have
lost their purpose, their reason for
living, and feel like they no longer
matter in this world. Once the situ
-
ation has resolved itself or enough
time has passed, the depression
eases and they can lead normal
lives again. Some people will need
a mild anti-depressant to help
them get through this time.
Seasonal Affection Disorder
(SAD). We all can suffer from sea
-
sonal depression if we move to the
north pole between October and
May without any Vitamin D sup
-
plements. Those who live in places
where the sun doesn’t shine for
months on end, like Vancouver in
the winter, seasonal depression can
settle in, especially if your body
lacks Vitamin D. With a special
bright light and some Vitamin D
pills, most people are able to get
out of their funk during the long
dark winter.
Postpartum Depression. This
occurs in mothers who struggle
after childbirth for a lot of different
reasons, hormones, anticlimactic
expectations, lack of support, life
changes, lack of condence, lack
of sleep, and a number of oth
-
er reasons. Mothers who are not
bonding with their babies, cry all
the time, or want to do nothing but
sleep need to see a doctor, even
if they don’t feel like it. They won’t
feel like it. They might need some
-
one to take control and get them
help by taking them to the doctor
and explaining what they are wit
-
nessing.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disor-
der (PMDD). This occurs in women 
monthly before their periods and
can be hard to diagnose because
there could also be PMS symptoms
masking this problem. If you nd
yourself getting sad, disinterested,
really tired, anxious before your
period every month, you may need
pharmaceutical help to manage
your hormones or brain chemistry.



You need an army to ght
with you against the enemy. No
one can win this war without sup
-
port and help. It is easier for some-
one to remain in the dark alone
instead of asking for help. Those
who speak up and ask for help are
brave and have the strength to get
better because they took the hard
-
est step – the rst one.
You need to ll your army’s
ranks with supporters who are
equipped to help you. It is import
-
ant you recruit more than one, as
it is unfair to expect one person to
take on the burden of helping you
get back on your feet.
As the General of this army
it is important for you to care for
your troops. Unless you are paying
for professional help, your support
system is not all about you. It is
important you nd ways to support
those friends and family members
who step up to help you. When
you help others you nd purpose
and meaning in your life, which will
help you to get better.
Therapist. You need to nd some
-
one who will hear you and listen
to what you are saying. Someone
who is trained to help depressed
people understand what is going
on in their heads and can ask the
right questions to unlock doors to
discover solutions. It is important
you nd the right person and un
-
derstand the type of therapy they
offer so you can understand what
to expect from it.
If you have major depression,
you need to nd a professional
therapist, not a life coach, not a
friend, not your mother.
Different types
of Supporters
Friends. People you can call and
will drop what they are doing to go
to a movie with you, go for a walk,
have some coffee, whatever activ
-
ity you enjoy doing. These people
are there for you and you are there
for them. It’s a two-way street. If it
isn’t a two-way street – you need
to evaluate your capacity to be a
good friend or your type of friends.
Pet. Pets can work wonders on
your soul by loving you and being
there when you need them for a
snuggle or a quiet listener.
Family. This area of people can
be a mineeld. If you have a tox
-
ic family then you need to look to
others for support. If you have sup
-
portive family, be grateful for them
and do whatever you can to be
supportive back.
Family members aren’t your
therapist, your savior, or your get
out of jail free card. They are the
people who love you no matter
what stupid thing you do or say.
Don’t expect them to carry your
burden or be someone they aren’t.
There are
those who
care and
want to
help you
Mentors, Teachers, Leaders.
Throughout our lives we come
across different people who men
-
tor us, teach us, and lead us. These
people can help you by sharing
their stories of how
they battle de-
pression and give you helpful advice.
Understand their role in your life,
they aren’t your BFF or your thera-
pist. These are people who have been
where you are and can teach you what
worked for them. Some of it will work
for you, some of it won’t. Be thankful
for their time and listen attentively to
their stories to nd weapons you can
use in your battles.
Avoid people who think they have
it all gured out and an “if I can do it
you can do it” philosophy, especially if
they believe in a one size ts all solu-
tion. They are unable to see people as
different from themselves and don’t
understand others need different solu-
tions.
If someone is quick to give you
advice and slow to listen to what you
are actually going through, don’t look
to them for help. They are incapable of
hearing you and don’t have the empa-
thy to truly understand you, your story
and where you are on your journey.
Make sure those whom you turn
to are equipped to help and you are
realistic in your expectations of them.
Most importantly, nd a therapist who
is trained in your type of depression.
Different types
of Treatments
Every soldier needs train-
ing to be effective in battle. For
those battling depression, train-
ing comes in the form of ther-
apy. There are three distinctive
camps Psycho, Behavioural,
and humanistic, all of which will
provide you with the weapons
you need to win this ght.
Psychodynamic Therapies
Psychodynamic Therapy – It
is the lie on the couch and talk
your problems away by diving
deep into your past to discov-
er why you are struggling in
the present. These one-hour
sessions with trained psycho-
logical professionals asking
you “How does that make you
feel,” go one for as long as the
person need help. Psychody-
namic Therapy believes chron-
ic problems are rooted in the
unconscious mind and need to
be understood for a catharsis
to occur. It helps the person
become self-aware of their un-
conscious patterns and how
they formed in order to rewire
or change the pattern. Psycho-
dynamic therapy is focused on
the individual and is patient led
free form sessions without a
predetermined subject to dis-
cuss.
Freudian Therapy – This is
the original therapy theory of
the unconscious (id) which is
moderated by the ego and
the superego, and controls the
id impulses through guilt and
shame. You must dig deep into
your childhood for an answer.
Ego Therapy – This type is de-
rived from the Freudian and
focuses on ego function as it
relates to world outside the
individual. It focuses on the in-
dividual’s capacity to form de-
fenses, adapt, and test reality.
Object Relations Therapy
This theory believes individuals
are formed by those around
them. The individual strug-
gles to maintain relationships
with other people while being
unique. The representation of
self is created in childhood and
played out in adult relation-
ships. We repeatedly engage in
the same type of relationships
to become free of them.
Self-Psychology therapy
Self
is the individual’s perception of
their experience and their self-es
-
teem. It focuses on the individ-
uals perceived relationship with
others based on differentiators
and boundaries. It believes that
those who choose self-destruc
-
tive behaviours have a weakness
at the core of their personalities.
By engaging in addictive be
-
haviours, they are trying to ll a
void in their self-esteem.
The right
professional
makes all the
difference
Where Psychotherapy
looks deep inside the individual
and can take an indeterminate
amount of time to root out the
cause and then create different
patterns in behaviour, cognitive
therapies focus on changing
the behaviour in the present.
The more modern, Cog-
nitive therapy focuses on what
is happening now and doesn’t
dive into your subconscious
mind or your childhood, it is
only concerned with what is go-
ing on right now.
“The alternative, “prob-
lem-based” therapies, such
as cognitive behavioral thera-
py, aim to reduce or eliminate
symptoms instead of exploring
the client’s deep-seated needs,
urges, and desires (McLeod,
2014). “As a result, the thera-
py sessions are scheduled for
a short period of time, follow a
set course like structure, occur
in both group and one on one
sessions.
Cognitive Therapies
Cognitive Behavioural Thera-
py courses – These 20 session
courses will help you under-
stand your behaviours and your
thought patterns to gain con-
trol over your mind and emo-
tions. It is a form of psycho-
therapy that focuses on how a
person’s thoughts, beliefs, and
attitudes affect their feelings
and behaviors. CBT focuses
on the thoughts and feelings
of the moment to change a
person’s mindset and thereby
affect their emotions at that
moment. It can give you the
weapons you need to combat
depression during the darkest
of times.
Dialectic Behavioural Thera-
py – Is a type of Cognitive Be-
havioural Therapy developed
in 1980 to treat borderline per-
sonality disorder. Dialectics is
based on the concept that ev-
erything is composed of oppo-
sites and change occurs when
there is a dialogue, an example
of this is my courtroom weap-
on, which attacks lies with truth.
This therapy helps you to live
in the moment, regulate emo-
tions, manage stress, and build
better relationships.
Mindfulness Therapy – This
8-week course marries mindful-
ness meditation and techniques
with interactive cognitive sub-
system theory which says our
mind has two modes to receive
and process data, a being
mode and a doing mode. It
helps to disconnect thoughts
from moods to liberate a per-
son from their negative thought
patterns and replace them with
positive thought patterns.
Systematic therapy – This ther-
apy is derived from the belief
we are all interconnected and
how we interact affects the in-
dividual. It is used in family and
couples therapy to understand
how the unit interacts, commu-
nicates, and behaves towards
each other to teach new com-
munication and behavioural
techniques. If your family is part
of the cause of your depres-
sion, consider this type of ther-
apy.
Supportive therapy – This
type of therapy is different
than most psychotherapies
which ask questions to help
the person nd the answers
for themselves. A supportive
therapist will inject their opin-
ions, advice, encouragement,
reassurance, and comfort when
needed. They still listen to the
person. However, they are ac-
tively helping the person by
telling them what they need
to do instead of allowing them
to gure it out for themselves.
This type of therapy is good for
people who are unable to care
for themselves or nd it hard to
think for themselves.
Cognitive therapies are
short term therapies using pos-
itive thinking and mindfulness
techniques in a course format.
These therapists are focused
on the present and changing
your thought patterns without
diving deep into the cause. It
provides a group of people the
tools (weapons) to win battles,
but they won’t help you win
the war. If you have clinical de-
pression, you still need to nd
someone willing to dive into
the cause and help you to un-
derstand how you got where
you are and how you can move
forward in the long run. A com-
bination of therapies and drugs
may be required to get you
battle ready.
Humanistic Therapies
Humanistic therapy believes
people can make choices to
develop to their maximum po-
tential. Unlike cognitive thera-
pies, Humanistic therapy focus-
es on the individual instead of a
group to dene the approach.
Cognitive therapies are a one
size ts all type therapy with set
course outline and worksheets.
Humanistic emphasizes posi-
tive behaviours and the abili-
ty of the individual to achieve
self-actualization through
self-exploration.
Client Centered Therapy – This
type of therapy let’s “clients”
tell their own stories at their own
pace in their own way. The ther
-
apist is there only to listen and
create a safe non-judgemental
environment for the individual to
explore the meaning for them
-
selves. It is believed that the
client knows more about them
-
selves than the therapist does so
they do not need the guidance
or wisdom of an expert.
Gestalt Therapy – This meth-
od helps clients to focus on
the now and understand what
is really happening rather than
what they perceive as occurring
based on their past experienc-
es. Clients do more than talk
about their past, they re-expe-
rience them through re-enact-
ment to understand what really
happened instead of what they
remember.
Existential Therapy – Therapists
help individuals nd meaning
and purpose in their lives to
end the fear of the unknown.
It believes you have free will to
determine your future and help
to make the choices with less
anxiety and more authenticity.
The rst weapon to take
into battle is the knowledge
that your mind and emotions
lie to you. That’s right, they lie.
You can’t trust them.
Crazy talk you say. Con-
sidering depression is sneaky
and attacks your emotions and
thoughts, like a demon whis-
pering in your ear, it can make
you do things you would not
do in saner happier moments.
I’m not saying depressed
people hear demons, unless
they have psychotic depres-
sion. What I’m saying is your
mind is feeding you lies by say-
ing, “You don’t matter.” “No
one cares about you.” “No
one would notice if you disap-
peared.” “You are worthless.”
“You can’t do anything right.”
… You get the point.
These lies can be backed
up with evidence from the out-
side world. Your brain says,
“No one wants you.” Then pro-
vides the evidence to back up
its claim, With evidence, it can
be easy to believe the lies so
you need the second weapon.
A journal. Write letters in
a journal about how you are
feeling and why. As you write
your thoughts will become less
jumbled and you will be able to
analyze them.
The third weapon, become
a lawyer. Your mind says, “No
one wants you.” And gives you
evidence to back up the lie.
What do you do?
You become a defense
lawyer. “What about…” You
Different types
of Tools
list the people who want you in
their lives to balance it against
the prosecution’s evidence.
You need to be honest and list
those you take for granted.
Then comes the cross and
the prosecution can be cruel.
“No one wants you because
you are always alone.”
Now it’s time to get real
and be brutally honest with
yourself. “I’m alone all the time
because I choose to be so I can
do the things I want to do with-
out interruption.” The key is to
be brutal with yourself during
cross to get to the truth.
When we are in self-pity
mode, we make “All” state-
ments and can’t see what is in
front of us because we aren’t
getting what we wanted.
For example, the prose-
cution says, “No one will ever
love you because you never
get asked out.” At this point
you have to be honest. Do you
really never get a date or do
the only ones asking not inter-
est you? Keep going back and
forth until you discover why you
are struggling to nd love.
Another weapon is distrac-
tion. You need to distract your
mind. Listen to audio books,
play upbeat music, work on a
project. Do something to occu-
py your mind.
Lists. As much as it pains
me to say this, gratitude and

Mood Kit

There is an app for That. 


CBT Apps are available as tools to help you manage your moods.

Mindshift

afrmation lists work. They re-
mind you of all the good things
in your life when you can’t re-
member one good thing.
Afrmations balance the
scales by offsetting the lies with
truths. I’m not talking about
positive thinking falsehoods or
faking it ‘til you make it state-
ments. I mean truths. When you
are mentally strong and in a
good place make a list of truths
to reference when you need to.
Take inventory. One of the
ways depression will get you
is to remind you about what
you’ve lost or what you don’t
have anymore. Take stock of
what you do have, what you
own, your skills, your talents,
your achievements. Don’t think
about what you want – focus on
what you have.
Find your purpose. With-
out a purpose, a reason for
living, you can get caught in
the undertow and get dragged
down to where thoughts of sui-
cide live. You need to nd your
purpose and then make plans
to fulll that purpose.
Dream of tomorrow. This is
different than taking inventory.
This works when you get stuck
in the past and your present
situation will not get you out of
it. Dream of tomorrow. Some-
thing you can obtain by taking
action. Try to stay away from
things where you need another
person to make it a reality, like
getting married or getting your
dream job.
Think about your dream
vacation and then plan it. Re-
search it, nd out how much
it would cost, what Air BnB or
hotel would you choose, every-
thing. Save pictures to a Pinter-
est board. Pick something you
can get excited about and you
can achieve on your own.
Other weapons are: Call-
ing a friend. Going for a walk.
Go for a drive. Drawing. Watch
a comedy. Listen to a stand-
up comedian’s podcast. Clean
the house. Have a shower. Find
zoom meetups. Take an online
course. Create a vision board.
Read a book.
The key is to do some-
thing. Anything. Just lying
there in bed won’t help you get
better. If you know what your
purpose is, act on it.
During the pandemic feel-
ings of isolation have increased,
domestic violence is up, and
people are disconnected. This
is an environment depression
thrives in.
Call Your Local 
Depression Helpline
It is important you work
with someone who is trained in
depression, who will listen to
you, ask questions, and strive
to understand where you are
coming from instead of some-
one who wants to tell you how
to live.
Avoid people who think
they have it all gured out and
an “if I can do it, you can do
it” philosophy. Many of those
who believe in a one size ts
all solution are unable to see
people as different from them-
selves and don’t understand
others need different solutions.
If someone is quick to give
you advice and slow to listen
to what you are actually going
through, move on. They are
incapable of hearing you and
don’t have the empathy to truly
understand you, your story, and
where you are on your journey.
Stay away from positive
thinking people who jump
down your throat when you
make a statement which they
deem negative and ing placat-
ing positive thinking statements
at you. These people only want
the happy positive you and are
not equipped to help the sad,
depressed you. Instead look to
those who have the skills and
training to truly help you.
Not everyone will be able
to help you. It is important you
don’t expect them to save you,
be there for you, or x you.
Only you can do that with guid-
ance from trained therapists
willing to ask questions and
listen to your story.
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Rose & Sunday Dinner
House cleaned, check. The
roast is in the oven, check. The
potatoes on the stove, check.
The cake is iced, the pudding’s
chilled, check. Buns. Oh no, I
forgot the buns.
“Alexis… Alexis…” My
voice gets louder as I scream
up the stairs. “ALEXIS!”
“Ya what do you want? I’m
busy.”
“Doing what?”
“None of your business.”
“It is my business. Forget
it. I need you to go and pick
up some dinner buns from the
store. Everyone will be here
soon.”
“Why does everyone have
to come every week?”
“Seriously? You’ve asked
that question every week since
you were fourteen and the an-
swer has always been the same.
Now get me the buns.”
“Yes M’am.” She salutes.
I hate it when she does that. I
don’t have time to discipline
her, I’ll just store it for later.
Now where was I? Buns, house,
roast, potatoes, buns, cake, and
pudding, drinks.
“Alexis… get ginger ale.”
I yell at her back as she leaves
the house.
“Moooom.” Isabella comes
bounding down the stairs. The
girl truly does bound like a rab-
bit or some kind of stair-bound-
ing kangaroo. Drives me nuts.
Turn it off
By Shannon Peel
The Novel #ThatsLife was written as a serial
series. Each Issue of APeeling will include a
chapter for you to enjoy.
“Yes, Isabella?”
“Isa, Mom it’s Isa.”
“I named you. It’s Isabella
and I’m not having this conver-
sation again. What?”
“Aiden is messing around
in my room.”
“Tell him to get out.”
“He won’t listen.”
No surprise there. That boy has
selective hearing.
“Tell him I have some
cookies here for him.”
“Cookies? Can I have
one?”
“And ruin your dinner and
your gure?” She glares at me.
I know that was an unfair
remark, still the girl would live
on junk food if I let her. It’s so
hard to get her to eat a healthy
meal. One day she told us she
was going to be a vegetarian.
More like a carbotarian. The
girl only ate bread and cheese,
mainly in the form of cheese
pizza. That didn’t last long be-
fore I sat her down with a good
healthy meal of meat, potatoes,
and vegetables. Wouldn’t let
her get up ‘til she ate it all. A
growing girl needs a healthy
meal.
“Isa said you had cook-
ies?”
“It’s Isabella, Aiden, and
yes, if you go help your father
with the lawn.”
Five Women
Navigating Life in
the 21st Century.
“Do I have to?”
“Yes you have to. Next
time, don’t bug your sister.
Now out you go. Your father
shouldn’t have to do it all on
his own anymore, you’re thir-
teen, plenty old enough to help
out. Hurry, everyone will be
here soon.”
“Is Davie coming?”
“Yes. I think so. He was at
his father’s last week, right? So
he’s here this week. Now off
you go or you won’t be playing
with Davie or getting any cook-
ies.”
With that he was out the
door to help Gus with the yard
work. Oh damn I should have
given the boy a beer to take
to his dad. Gus will be thirsty.
Beer? Oh no. I rush to the ga-
rage where there is another
fridge usually lled with beer
and wine. I forgot to check our
supplies.
“Hey honey, how’s the din-
ner coming?”
“Gus.”
He is pulling cases of beer
and bottles of wine out of the
car. He remembered.
“Let me help you.”
He bends down kisses me
on the cheek and then hands
me a couple bottles of wine. I
look up at him. My man. Tall.
Solid. My heart oods with joy
and I want to be in his arms.
That will have to wait. It’s Sun-
day and everyone will be here
soon. So much to do. Always so
much to do.
I love Sundays. Family
days. It is a lot of work having
everyone over here every week
to get caught up and recon-
nected and I love it. Since my
sisters moved my parents into
the city it’s the only way I get to
see them. Family is so import-
ant and the kids really need to
spend time with their grandpar-
ents before they are gone. Not
that it will be anytime soon,
mind you.
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