Day 16 – Just pick the trash up

I couldn’t blog last night.  After watching the Canucks game downtown at Karen’s house, we wandered back home amongst the rest of the sad and disappointed fans.  The energy was dull last night, that’s for sure. When we were walking over the bridge back to Kits, we saw everyone staring at a big cloud of smoke rising up from the city.  We didn’t think much of it but figured there was some not so good stuff going down. When I saw the tv screen later at home, my mouth dropped.  It hit me hard.  I was devastated, shocked, saddened and most of all embarrassed.  This is the city that I love most in the world, and look what a few select people were doing to it.  Ruining it.  Ruining its beautiful reputation.  I started to take it personal.  It affected me more than I thought it could.

I was too upset to write last night.  I still felt in a bit of a funk today.  Angry and embarrassed.  Things started to turn around when I got a facebook invite from a friend to help clean up the city which over 20,000 people were attending.  I saw some pictures of the true Vancouverites cleaning up last nights mess as well as writing messages on the temporary fixed windows.  Everyone was apparently feeling the way I was.  One line that struck me and brought a smile of hope to my face was this, “I love this city and will be there to help for sure! I won’t trash the people who trashed the place, instead I’ll just pick the trash up.

Ego-less.  Caring.  Loving.  Hope.  That’s what this statement is beaming with.  All it takes is one person of a group to be able to bring a whole team down – if we allow it to.  It could be that negative person in your work place, the selfish player on  your team, or the small percentage of hooligans looking for trouble in your city.  Either way, reacting forcefully and angrily isn’t necessarily going to make a difference.  This is what they want.  They want to bring people down with them.  They are happy living in their own misery.

The next time you come across this situation, try not to trash the person.  Instead, pick up where they are lacking.  Show extra support to the person who seems to be taking it the most personal.  Show extra kindness to everyone else around you. Keep doing what you love and enjoying what you’re doing without letting them get you down.  You’ll be surprised at how things might just shift.  No force required.   And remember, nothing is ever personal.  We choose the way we re-act.  No one forces us to act in a certain way.  We responsibly act the way we choose to act.

Turn the other cheek.  Keep doing good.  Keep doing what you do best.  Don’t take anything personal.  Don’t let one person wreck it for the whole.  Instead of trashing the person who is bringing you down, pick up where they are lacking.  Pick up their trash.  Give. Give.  Give.  Maybe even start focusing what you like about this person.  What you appreciate about them. Who knows, they might just start to turn around.  Or maybe your attitude might start to shift away from annoyment and anger.  If you let it go, you can let more of the good stuff in.

Smile with your heart.

Oh, and I’m sorry to say that I broke down and had a few beers last night – I couldn’t NOT have a cold brewsky at an event that seems to only happen every 17 years!  We made an exception :)  I’ll be back tomorrow night, since I missed yesterday.  Have a happy Friday!

Categories: Uncategorized


  1. Your words are always so spot on! This one in particular hit a soft spot in my heart. No matter how neutral or in that state of zen you try to get, there will always be certain situations and people who can crash your world in a snap. Oftentimes these people are those who are closest to you–like your family! This post is a good reminder to re-align your attitude towards others and even yourself. Simply staying with the positivity, no matter how challenging it is at times, would definitely reap only good and beautiful things in the long run :)

  2. We were swimming at Kits beach to “figuratively drown” our sorrows after watching the game and could see the smoke rising from the city. It shocked and saddened us. But the people cleaning up downtown made me realize that is the true spirit of this city.

  3. This is a great way to respond to this happening. Those rapscallions (aka hooligans but rapscallion is so fun to write), can’t bring the rest of Vancouver down. I was shocked, embarrassed, saddened to wake up and see all this yesterday morning; I wish I was there to help pick up the mess! I love Vancouver.

  4. Wow what a wonderful piece so thought provoking. You truly are a gifted writer. The words just seem to flow from you. I was saddened too by what i saw and then worried about my cousins who live in Van as well…one is still home in Ontario and the other is doing great:) Yah! I like how you look at the situation and how you brought yourself back to positive thinking all we can do is clean up nothing we can do to change what happened. It happened. At least there were so many people who helped clean up. It really does go to show what an amazing city Vancouver is and how you can all band together to lend a helping hand when your city needs it:) That truly is inspiring. In negative situations like these its true that we have to look at the positive and that’s what you have done and helped me to see as well:) So thank you:) I too wish i could have helped! But i’m on the other side of the country on the east coast. I seriously cannot wait to visit Vancouver again reading your blog has made me antsy to get out there for another trip. My fiance has never been and i know he too would love it. Soon i hope!

    • Thank you for the compliment!!! I love writing, so I’m glad you’re enjoying it!!! It’s been amazing seeing all of the people cleaning up our city. It’s almost bringing everyone closer together once again – that was a hard hit but at least something good is coming from it :) And YAYYY! to coming to vancouver!!! I’ll be adding a tab with my favourite things to do around here in the next few weeks – there’s SO MUCH TO DO!!!! :)

  5. Thanks for this post, Jenn.

    After the game, I saw the news about everything going down in Vancouver. And you know what was my very first thought? “I can’t wait to see what JT writes about this – she’ll find something uplifting and inspiring even in this situation.” And here you are, proving me right… gosh, I LOVE being right!

    Thanks for the love.
    Thanks to your fellow city-ites for the love.
    You’ll get ’em next year, Canucks!

    [In the meantime, my first love – the Dallas Mavericks – brought home our very first NBA Championship. Feel free to celebrate with us!]

  6. hahaha.. that’s funny you thought of what I would write. I have to admit I was totally pissed for a while there – hence I missed a day to calm myself down! But it’s been amazing seeing all of the support this city has brought together. It’s funny, it really has brought us all together once again. Maybe we needed it?! Who knows. Thanks for sharing! And congrats to the Mavericks!! I used to LOVE basketball :)

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