Hello again

Hello there,

It’s been a while. A very long while. I have neglected and abandoned this nice little blog of mine for far too long.

Allow me to explain as simply as I can:

I moved to a new country.

I got married.

I traveled to several different countries.

I got utterly caught up in my life.

But now I am back, and will try to resume my nice news. I can’t promise that I will post daily, but I will try to post at least once a week. I would really like it if you, dear readers, would contribute too.

I have set up a Twitter feed (@thenicepaper) and an Instagram account (#thenicepaper) which can be found at the bottom of the blog page.

I am also going to post stories over on medium.com that will be different from the nice news that I post over here.

I look forward to resuming this little project of mine.

Have a nice day,

the nicepaper

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Video love

Hello there,

I was having a pretty lousy day at work today, and then sometime in the late afternoon I received an email that changed my mood entirely. It was a video message from my future sister-in-law featuring my niece and nephew saying hello to me, and inviting me to come over and play. It was so adorable and just made all of the unpleasant events of the day melt away instantly.

Have a nice day,

the nicepaper

Unexpected effort

Hello there,

Today I took my car for an oil change to a Volvo dealership, which I would ordinarily never go to since I do not own a Volvo. The reason I went though, is because they had run a deal on Groupon a couple of months ago, and I purchased it knowing that I would eventually need another oil change, so why not get it at a nice discount? Well, am I ever glad that I did! Not only did I get the service I needed for half the normal price, but I also got to engage in the whole Volvo dealership experience. They had a really nice waiting area, complete with the usual seats, tv, reading material and coffee machine. They also had a nice row of cubicles with ipads that could be used, totally free of charge. Awesome. When my car was ready to be given back to me, I was pleased to see that they had washed it for me, which is something that my own dealership forgets to do half of the time even though it’s supposed to be part of the service package. And, on top of everything else, when I got into my car, I discovered a cute little note resting on the dashboard above my steering wheel that read “Thanks for letting us serve you. Have a nice day.” or something to that effect, and there was a big happy face on the inside with a Werther’s candy attached to it. Sweet! I was especially delighted by the whole note thing, because I’ve experienced some very sub-par service from retailers before when redeeming a Groupon deal. Which I’ve always thought is so counterproductive to the whole reason a business would run such a deal in the first place. The whole idea is to invite someone into your establishment to try out your product or service at a discounted rate in hopes of them liking it enough to return in the future (at full price), non? So when I receive obviously lackluster service/product from a company that I normally wouldn’t have tried in the first place, of course there is no motivation to return. But it happens. A lot. So I was really super jazzed that this particular Volvo dealership gave me the same level of service that I expect their regular paying customers receive. I would totally take my car there again in the future.

Have a nice day,

the nicepaper

Server woes = freedom to go

Hello there,

Today our server at work was down. Again. And it won’t be back up until Monday (I hope). This meant that no one was able to do any work other than meeting with clients (if they had any scheduled). So, our E.D. nicely encouraged everyone to reschedule clients as much as possible, and just go home early and enjoy the weekend (our office is closed on Fridays in the summer). Unfortunately, I had a full day of clients booked, so I was only able to leave about 20 minutes earlier than usual, but still, it was nice.

Have a nice day,

the nicepaper

A healthy delivery

Hello there,

This morning I woke up, and upon checking my phone I noticed that there were a few email messages that I’d received over night. The first one that I took note of, and therefore opened, was from my friend in Spain, who I had not heard from in a few days, but who was expected to deliver her second child sometime last week. And she did! The email said that everything had gone well, and that although there were some minor complications that have kept her and her new little guy in the hospital for the past few days, overall everything had gone well. Yay! So often we take for granted how amazing and miraculous the whole experience of a birth is. In a single moment a new life enters this world, and all the lives around it instantly change because of it. I am so happy for my friend, her husband, and their first son, who is now a big brother!

Have a nice day,

the nicepaper

Surprise sustenance – again!

Hello there,

Today when I arrived at work, I headed to the kitchen to stash my lunch bag in the fridge, and was greeted by a co-worker who had been away on vacation for the past few weeks. So, we said our hello/how are you/how have you been kind of stuff, and then she said “Hey! I have a little something for you if you want it…” and proceed to haul this big cloth tote full of veggies onto the counter. She explained that some friends had given her fresh veggies from their garden, and apparently if was far too much for her and her partner to eat before it would spoil. So, she had thoughtfully brought the extras to work, to be offered and divided between myself and another girl I work with who I previously posted about as having a community garden. This woman totally thought of both of us (probably because me and community garden girl are the only vegetarians at our office, and therefore tend to prepare very fresh food based meals at work as opposed to the plethora of microwave meals that get nuked all around us); and she provided each of us with a humongous (and I do mean absurdly large) eggplant, and two green peppers!

Have a nice day,

the nicepaper

Fresh for fall

Hello there,

Today my favourite yoga supply shop (halfmoon) launched their revamped site,  unveiled the new fall fabrics, AND is having a 15% off sale! This is total sweetness, since I have been waiting for them to offer the bolsters in new fabric designs for a couple of months now. I can’t wait to complete my collection of necessary props for doing restorative yoga at home.

Please note: I will be unable to post this weekend as I will be otherwise preoccupied. The nicepaper will resume regular activity on Monday.

Have a nice day (and great weekend),

the nicepaper

Apartment elevator etiquette

Hello there,

Today when I came home from work, I was starving and scattered and feeling quite pressed for time. I had a huge list of things to do, which started with having to walk into the basement of the building, fetch a grocery cart from there, bring it back to the garage, load up the cart with the current contents of my car (groceries galore, and my work laptop bag), then push the cart back into the building so that I could bring all that stuff up to my place and start cooking dinner, doing laundry, changing the bed sheets, cleaning the bathroom, etc. Now, entering the building from the garage involves going through two sets of doors, down a little corridor, then around the corner to the elevator. So, when someone is struggling to drag a shopping cart through that whole series of checkpoints, it is pretty audible to anyone who happens to be in the basement or garage. Therefore, it is my opinion that common courtesy would dictate that if the person with the shopping cart is less than twenty metres behind you, it is a really nice thing to wait and hold one of the doors open for them, instead of just letting it close behind you, which then forces the person with the shopping cart to deal with the additional hassle of having to navigate through their set of keys to open the doors, and then wrestle the (always) full shopping cart with the (always) wonky wheel through the doors. Sadly, many people do not share the same opinion as me on this particular matter. People have let the door slam behind them when I have been less than five metres away. Forreals. So, imagine my delight today when I entered the building through the two doors, turned the corner from the little corridor, and found that someone was holding the elevator for me! This person had come to the elevator from the laundry room, and had heard me crashing through the first set of doors, and thankfully had the inclination to hold the elevator and wait for me to reach its threshold. I was *so* grateful! And as it turns out, the person that did that was actually my neighbour across the hall who I have never met! What a nice first encounter. I find that common courtesy and respectful interactions with strangers are such rarities, and that makes me sad. However this man who lives across the hall bestowed such a rare experience upon me today, and I hope that someone does something equally nice for him tomorrow.

Have a nice day,

the nicepaper

Surprise sustenance

Hello there,

So today when I was packing my lunch for work, I was pretty bummed about the fact that I did not have enough food in my fridge to make a proper meal. All I had were some leftover rosemary roasted carrots (hardly a side dish portion, I might add), and the nub end of a field cucumber. Nevertheless, I tossed it all in my lunch bag and went off to work, hoping that those two small items, in combination with my morning coffee and lots of water, would hold me over until dinner time. Then, within minutes of arriving at work, one of my lovely co-workers presented me with a gift – freshly picked tomatoes and basil from her community garden! Amazing! Fresh tomatoes straight off the non-commercial vine are one of my most favourite things to eat. And on a day when I was already so disappointed with my potential mid-day meal, this was a glorious gift indeed. The fact that she had thought about me while picking from her crop that morning made me feel so special and happy and grateful. What a nice thing that was that she did. The fact that she participates in a community garden is a pretty nice enough thing all on its own; but for her to share the (literal) fruits of her labour is just beautiful. She really made my day, and obviously my lunch, with that one kind offering of something that she had worked hard to cultivate. In addition, we both made the time to actually sit down and eat lunch together, sharing not only our matching tomato and basil salads, but also our time. The definition of sustenance involves elements of support, maintenance, and supplying the necessities of life, and through her good food and good conversation, that is exactly what my co-worker provided me with today.

Have a nice day,

the nicepaper

Mocking out of love

Hello there,

Throughout the course of my conversations today with my lovely fiance, he made several jokes about my new blog, such as “maybe you can report about this in the nicepaper”, and “that’s nicepaper news”. The back story to all of this is that today was a day full of random annoyances and negative encounters in my life. So, every time that I would relay an anecdote to my fiance, he would tease/challenge me into finding a way to make it “nicepaper worthy”. Now, to some that may sound like outright mocking, but that’s not the case at all! His quips were actually a demonstration of the fact that he has actively taken an interest in my new creative endeavour, and that he understands what I am trying to do with this whole thing. His gentle jokes were a way of acknowledging my efforts to focus on the positive as much as possible, and a way of showing me support in working towards that goal. Sometimes when partners share new interests, perspectives, or goals with each other, one person is closed to that exchange. Or one person just maintains a detached/neutral attitude towards it; something along the lines of “that’s nice, dear….have fun with that”, and doesn’t really go out of their way to be engaged in that area of their partner’s life. Not so with my magnificent man! He has made the effort to read my two lonely posts. I also know that he is the *only* person that has read them thus far. And I’m ok with that. It’s really nice to know that at least one person in the world cares about what I think. And that person is my fiance. What more could I ever ask for from a partner than to be listened to, and to have my thoughts, emotions, opinions, and individuality acknowledged and respected? The answer is: not much. His jokes were actually very encouraging, and really a clever and witty communication of love. He was letting me know that he’s interested in knowing about how I exist as an individual, and supporting my own personal growth. So my fiance mocking me out of love today was definitely very very nice, and it is certainly the most “nicepaper worthy” element of my day.

Have a nice day,

the nicepaper