Oldest, Best Friend

Yesterday afternoon my wife and I attended the wedding of my oldest best friend. I have known him since kindergarten- which is four decades now. My wife has known him half as long, which is still a very long time these days. He is like a brother to me in many aspects.

Sharing in his special day made me feel, well, special. It was a tiny venue of around forty people. It was also quick and to the point. The ceremony happened shortly after 1pm and the reception was immediately after. Everything was completed by 5pm and people began to head home.

I’m genuinely happy for my friend. It seems as though he has finally found the love he was searching for. His new wife also seems to have found in my friend a love that she was yearning for as well. Together they are one of the most perfect couples I have ever seen.

I wish them many more years of happiness and love.

Congratulations William and Vanessa! With love always, Josef.

Sky Time

Every so often I am just in awe of the sky. Last year I shared a bunch of photos I had taken over the years- Read about it here: What Were The Skies Like.

Today I came home after a night shift and was again filled with wonderment of the sky. I’m also enraptured to have such a beautiful view available to enjoy; and share. The pleasure I get staring off is immeasurable. The view from our front balcony and the back balcony make for an almost 360° sight line of the sky.

On a day like today, I’ll just stand around soaking in the world. My concerns are gone for a brief moment until I get distracted by family members. But these little moments are the zen required to fulfill me and create inner peace.

How does the sky make you feel?

Peaceful Easy Feeling

Back to work after vacation doesn’t mean that enjoying summer is over. I’ve been coming home the last couple of evenings feeling grateful for what I have.

Having a positive outlook on life is important to having positive things happen for you. Luck is also a huge role in everything that happens. We are lucky to live in this part of the world. Clean water, good education, and plenty of opportunities for success.

Finding success can create happiness. At some point though you really need to step back and admire what you have accomplished.

Vibing with a peaceful easy feeling is what my summer is all about. Come on in. The water’s fine.

Twenty Years Of Marriage

Today marks our Twentieth Anniversary since the day we married. What a glorious adventure we have had so far. It makes me understand that happiness is what you make of it.

After twenty one years together and twenty years of being married- Here’s my advice on how to have a long and happy marriage.

  1. Have fun. Joke around. Don’t take everything seriously. But avoid mean spirited and hurtful humor.
  2. Listen to one another. Your partner may need to vent from time to time. It’s not always your place to offer advice, but rather offer an ear just to listen.
  3. Thirty second hugs. Holding on for thirty seconds can genuinely help pull stress and anxiety away. There has been many a time that a hug has helped in a situation.
  4. If you fight, and you will fight, avoid insults. Insulting one another or jabbing at each other’s insecurities is hurtful. It’s also unproductive in delving into the root of the issue and finding a resolution.
  5. Don’t go to bed angry. Talk it out. Apologize. Stay up late to work things out. Do that 30 second hug thing in the end.

There’s so much more to a healthy relationship. Obviously you need to first find a person you can connect with on many different levels. The most honest advice I ever heard about marriage actually holds true-

Find someone you are content to watch tv with. Just being able to sit with your partner and share down time is as important as sharing all of those epic adventures you want to have.

After twenty years of marriage, I am still in love with everything about my wife. We were a perfect match and we both knew it from the day we met at a night club all those years ago… but that’s a tale for another day.

Happy 20th Anniversary Lee-Anne! I love you.

Morning Home Paradise

I woke up early this morning to enjoy my regular cup of coffee. The AC was on and the house was comfortable. But outside, that’s where the beauty was waiting.

With our backyard having a western exposure, the shade from our house cast over the pool. With protected green-space and farm land behind us, the views go on for ages.

When we moved I thought we would lose the sounds of the birds. Instead, there is two to three more times the amount out. This morning is like a symphony being conducted by an owl. Peaceful and serene.

We have found a slice of paradise in our own backyard. With this heatwave, it’s a welcome bit of joy.

Night Sky Happy Feelings

After a hot day poolside, it was just as nice to just hang out as dusk fell.

We could see the skyline off in the distance. As the horizon faded from the orange to darkness above, I relish in the pleasure of knowing we will have this view for years to come.

My wife and I took a brief stroll around our cul-de-sac and discussed some future plans for our front yard. Having continuous dreams keeps us going. And in the end, it makes us happy.

That’s the goal life- happiness. And I do my best to achieve it everyday.

21

May 29,2000. Twenty one years ago my wife and I met. We have been together almost every day since then. Any time we have been apart, we have spoken on the phone. The time we have had apart is so minimal that I’d hazard a guess it’s been less than one month all added up.

We are moving into our dream home in twenty one days. I am nervous and excited at the same time. Change is good. Like all of the changes that have entered my life, the biggest ones have occurred with Lee-Anne by my side.

In all this time, my wife has- and will be- the constant that makes my life matter most. She has pushed me beyond my comfort levels and helped in creating who I am today. From parenting to career to travel to just living life- after meeting Lee-Anne my journey has been a whirlwind of excitement.

In July we will celebrate twenty years of marriage. In our new home, with an adult child and two teenagers to celebrate with us. I’m always amazed to look back at life and see the journey we have been on. Sometimes you miss the process as you are in the midst of it.

Twenty One. What a great number.

I Married A Great Mother

I have been lucky enough to have married my best friend. She has been nothing short of supportive and loving. Our kids have been even more lucky with having such a great mom to look after them all these years.

Mother’s Day 2012

In the past our kids have brought their mom breakfast in bed, made special artwork, and generally given as much love as possible for little kids to muster up. Now as they are all teenagers, I have tried to allow them to make their own decisions on what to do for their mother. Obviously a few reminders over the past couple weeks of today’s special person were dropped. Since I’ll be at work all day, I’ll have to wait and see how they did when I get home.

I’m hoping that they give her the love and attention she deserves today. I’m pretty sure the kids won’t muck this up, they love their mom a lot. I know that there are moments that my wife would like some time to herself. She will get some of that alone time starting next month when she can enjoy a quiet bath or a book by the fire. After almost nineteen years of being an on-the-go parent, she will deserve the relaxation.

Happy Mother’s Day Lee-Anne!

As I See It

I’m enjoying “me time” in my backyard this afternoon. A bit of a breeze, but I was doing some yard work to keep warm. I’m taking a small break to enjoy some music, the weather and share a couple of photos.

Here is what I am seeing right now as I sit in my wheelbarrow:

Here’s what the satellites and ufos can see:

I’m just a small piece of the vast universe. I’m going to enjoy my time here on this planet. Who knows what comes next. Today is just pure enjoyment. Pleasure to be alive, just floating around on this crazy planet.

Enjoying a moment is important when life is filled with challenges and hardships. Taking a moment to remember that it’s not all bad. Life is grand. I’m enjoying it.

Be Nice

Okay folks, we are on the verge of 2020 coming to an end. You got this! You’ve been holding on tight for this whirlwind of a ride and it’s almost over.

Even through all the insanity that this past year has brought, it doesn’t mean that it will sudden change on January 1st. But we can change. We can all become the good natured, warm hearted people that we should be.

Be nice to everyone.

That is sage advice. Why is it so difficult to achieve? I’m by no means perfect. But in the new year I am going to actively push myself to think more positively and compassionately about others and their situations. I’m going to be nicer to everyone.

That’s my main goal for 2021.

Make Happiness

I work hard at making myself happy. What makes me happy may not make others happy in the same way. I also can’t force my happiness onto others.

I put my happiness first, as long as it doesn’t steal away from or hurt others. That’s important- don’t try and take someone else’s happiness in order to fulfill your own.

I’m happy. Really.

I hope you’re happy.

Autumn Evening Paddle

I thought that at the end of August, we wouldn’t be out on our kayaks for the rest of the year. Turns out that the weather is cooperating these days and proving me wrong.

Late yesterday afternoon, my wife and I drove for about an hour to Aloutte Lake to set in the water. We arrived shortly before sunset and the lake was still alive with boats and people enjoying picnic dinners.

Even though the haze from smoke was still in the air- we were able to enjoy the autumn colours. The trees shared with us the oranges and browns that they were changing into. The sky even reflected the glass like quality that the lake had to offer up.

My wife and I headed back to shore shortly after dusk settled in. It was a short excursion, but the time I had with my wife both on the lake and driving, was some enjoyable quality time.

Sometimes my wife is right. Taking time away from the hustle and bustle- as short as those moments may be- is worth putting the effort into.

Father’s Day 2020

I’ve been a father for nearly 18 years now. In the grand scheme of things, I think I’ve done an okay job of raising three kids. Obviously I could not, and did not, do it on my own.

Without my wife; aka mother to our children; there really wouldn’t be a Father’s Day for me. She and I have worked together over the years to create a loving environment for our three beasts kids.

To be completely honest, I don’t know if I was ever going to be ready to be a dad without her pushing me. I’m glad to have taken on the challenge and the role. Our children are my pride and joy. I will always be there for them in whatever form they need me.

I was never close with my father. I’d like to think I have become the father I always wanted. The kind of father who goes on vacations, jokes with their kids, has family movie nights, even loses at video games to them. I have shown love and support through all of their endeavors, be it Cheerleading, Speed Skating, and the arts- no matter what they wanted to do, I was there.

Certainly there were times when they wanted to give up. But my wife and I pushed them and guided them through those hurdles. It’s not always fun and laughs when you have to be the bad guy either. In time, I’m sure they will understand why and when we needed to be strict with them.

For now, I’m just glad to be celebrated as their Father. I have a drawer full of handmade cards and gifts from over the years. I cherish those moments and memories.

I’ll always remember them as my kids, even as they enter adulthood.

My Wife’s Coworkers

I attended my first ever Baseball Game last night courtesy of my wife’s work. Meaning that this event was with my wife’s coworkers instead of mine like we usually do. This time I got to be my wife’s “Plus One” and meeting her coworkers IRL was a neat experience. I’ve heard so much about them and I’ve occasionally “seen” them while they do video conferencing. But to talk and mingle with them in person was neat. Kind of like an extended family that I’d never met but could relate to easily.

The energy within the large group was astounding. Laughs and photos were going on while food and beverages were being consumed. Lots of SHOP talk was happening. They all had a great time.

My wife’s coworkers really make her happy. She has developed some fantastic relationships with many of them. I’d say I’m jealous, but in reality I’m happy inside. I’m happy because my wife is happy- and she deserves this happiness the most..

2019- The Year Devoted to Our Son

It feels like this year is heavily devoted to our son Theory. We have already done two trips for speed skating competitions and have two more weeks out of town planned this summer for him to get some more practice.

He stole my tutu.

If you’ve been following along this week, you’ll also notice I was a parent chaperone at his Grade Seven camp. I was really happy that he wanted me to do this. It also made me feel good to find out his friends were excited that I was going as well. In fact, one kid asked that his father not volunteer to come because the boy wanted to be in our cabin.

My father never would’ve considered doing that. Let alone take time to ensure his kids experienced successes. My wife and I put a lot of effort into making sure our kids get the best education and experiences.

I have a fantastic relationship with my son. I can be both his parent and his friend. The fact that he happily hangs out with me while out in public is great. I hope to keep this up through his teenage years.

It’s the kind of relationship I wish I had with my father.

What We Think About, We Bring About

What we think about, we bring about.

I read this quote the other day and it got me thinking of how true it is.

If you plan on creating something, a painting for example, you can bring it to fruition. Get a canvas, some brushes, paints and an idea. It’s the idea part that creates. Without an idea there’d be no reality. These ideas, when brought forth, can materialize into a product. Essentially fabricating something from nothing.

But thoughts can do more than make a masterpiece for ourselves. If we think negative thoughts, negative results occur. If we think positive thoughts then good things happen. I guess you could say it’s like karma. Only difference is people tend to want to surround themselves with others if they sense happiness.

I pride myself in trying to be a positive thinker. I love being around other positive people. I’m not perfect though. Negativity seeps in from time to time. Moving passed it is the challenge. In all seriousness, I find getting over a negative thought is usually best done by listening to uplifting music.

Time to bring about what I think about. I’m going to work in my garden and create a lovely space to enjoy this summer.

What are you going to bring about? Let me know in the comments.

Don’t Forget to Smile

Sanity and happiness are a near impossible combination some days. Life enjoys throwing curveballs in your direction when you least want it to.

I can be a real people pleaser. Sometimes I find it difficult to keep everyone else happy without sacrificing my own sanity. Whether it’s at home with the kids, out with friends or at work- I can’t please everyone. That can be tough.

What about my happiness? That’s what I need to work on more. I don’t want to be miserable or grumpy. So all I can do is smile. Laugh it off. Just go with the flow. Hope for the best.

Smile. It’s free.

Likes

I enjoy writing in my blog. Some people enjoy reading it. I like getting “Likes” from complete strangers as well. It makes me feel good. Like as if what I am sharing is worthwhile.

Sometimes what I write is beneficial to other people. Perhaps they can draw on my experiences. Or perhaps they come to laugh at my stupidity (like the time I Broke my cellphone). I like to think that they read my blogs because I make people feel good.

So if you like my musings, like my blog. That’s it. I like it when you like me. I don’t earn any money from the likes. Just a little ego boost.

I like that.

Two Years of Daily Musings

January 18, 2016 I began this blog. I’ve written one post every single day. It’s my baby and I’m proud of myself. Last year I wrote about My One Year Blogaversary. I thought that was special. But today is doubly as good.

Another year of stories with more positive thoughts than negative ones written. More shares, likes and follows from old friends and new ones. A couple of days ago, I surpassed 100 followers on WordPress. (Yay!) The majority of whom are folks I’ve never met in person. None of them trying to trade “A like for a like” which is respectable. If someone new follows me, I will read a few of their stories. Many times I end up following them. I’ve enjoyed the conversation and feedback through these interactions with complete strangers as well.

Twenty years ago, a friend of mine once said “Constant observation of myself has made me what I am today.” That phrase stuck with me as I moved forward in life. I often forgot to look back. Over the past two years of reflection and memories, I have re-discovered who I am:

I’m just a guy Making It Up As I Go.

Being Awesome.

I am pretty awesome. I like it. My life is great, my family is great, my friends and coworkers are great. Everything in my life is pretty great. All because of me and my awesomeness.


That's right. I just awesomed all over the place. Every day I do it. Being awesome is a way of life: a mindset. Taking negativity out of my life as much as possible has broadened my perception on pretty much everything. I look for the good in people and situations. I guess I'm an optimist.

I love being awesome. I wrote about being Perfect once as well. I've also shared my many looks in Messed Around With Gender Roles. Awesome is my middle name. Josef Awesome Havelka. I enjoy surrounding myself with awesome people as well.

But right now, what would really be awesome? An awesome evening nap.

Goodnight awesome people!

Compliment and Complement

Define compliment & complement.

Compliment: a polite expression of praise or admiration.

Complement: a thing that completes or brings to perfection.

I like using both of these words.  Their use is pretty standard even if people mistakenly swap them.  In fact, I would use both of them to describe my wife’s connection with me.  

I learned not to tell my wife to smile more.


My wife is most definitely a compliment to me.  She is always there when I need to hear some flattery or admiration.  Her praise can bring me out of a funk quickly.  At times, just her smile or caress is the greatest compliment I could receive. She is my muse when it comes to writing as well.

And by definition- she is a complement to me in many ways.  She has improved my wellbeing over the years through her warmth and tenderness.  Whenever I think of my life, I know that she has to be a part of it.  We share many noteworthy moments together.  All of which would seem insignificant if it wasn’t for her around.  We have travelled together, laughed together, parented together, and just plain lounged around together. 


My wife is my companion on this journey of life.  She brings great harmony to my world.  Until my wife lets loose once in a while, most people think I’m the silly one and she’s the responsible one.  This will often surprise people. But not me.  She is a great woman who makes every day a joyous occasion.  

17 years ago. We still haven’t changed.


She is both a great complement and a compliment to me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Laugh and Sing

Yesterday and today my life has been filled with laughter.  Ya I know, the world is awful at the moment, but in my little universe all we can do is laugh to cope.  And laugh we did.

“Mmm beer.” -Homer Simpson


Last night my wife and I met some of my coworkers at the Trading Post Brewery for the Thursday “Cask Night”.  It has become a regular weekly habit of mine.  Last night we were really loud and raucous.  No, we weren’t drunk.  We were laughing and joking and just happy to be alive.  Sharing crazy stories, poking fun at each other, and just hitting a volume that announced to the brewery that we were there.

This morning, after I dropped the kids off at school, I repaired the dent in my car.  Remember a few days ago that I was complaining about it? (Read it here: It’ll Buff Out).  My wife took my car in to get a quote on getting the dent fixed yesterday. $300.  So I finally took a closer look at the dent this morning and “Fonzie Punched” beside it on the door.  It popped back out.  Winning!

I then enjoyed a few videos on the Internet that made me laugh.  After school pick up- my kids made me laugh.  During dinner we sang and danced to Queen.  Ever since I wrote about Queen– I was wanting to buy the Greatest Hits album.  So I did earlier today.  The kids loved it.  Parenting win!

So my life has little joys and laughs.  I’m glad to be able to share them with friends and family.  It brightens everyone’s life.  On to a quiet evening watching some Netflix.  Fridays are made to relax.

If You’re Happy and You Know It


Happiness is hard to come by.  Maybe it’s seeing an old friend.  Perhaps it’s coming home from a really good day at work.  Could be enjoying your favorite meal or hearing a song that sparks emotions.

Searching out happiness is an ongoing journey.  Sometimes it just happens and you had no idea it would.  Other times, what you think will make you happy really doesn’t.  I’m looking your way money and material items.

Remember to take the time to relish in the moments of bliss that come by.  Go out and have a laugh.  Enjoy the company of an old friend.  Happiness is contagious, share it often.  You’ll be glad you did.

One-on-One Time

My wife pointed out to me yesterday that I haven’t spent time with her lately.  She’s sort of right and that bothers me.  It just kind of happened.  The kids were doing a summer school arts program and I have been working nights.  When the weekends showed up, they were quickly filled with play dates and meeting up with friends.  My wife has also been busy getting ready for an Anime Convention this upcoming weekend.  As much as it sounds like excuses, we are now determined to have some one-on-one time AFTER this weekend’s convention.

Still my favorite decal on our car.


Our kids have received the majority of my time over the past few weeks.  I wanted to take the family out to the Drive-In last weekend, but my wife was still swamped with work so it ended up just the kids and I.  I’m sure she would rather have been with us lounging in the back of the Pathfinder eating popcorn cuddled under a blanket than having to work.  Running a home business isn’t Monday to Friday 9-5.  It’s evenings, weekends, and any “free time” that shows up.  It helped that I took the kids away a few times this week so that my wife could work.

Good advice.


Being friends, being a couple, being parents, being a family are all the different positions we fill on a regular basis.  One is not more important than the other.  They are all equally valued in our lives.  It’s a good thing that one of us acknowledges when we need more time together, just the two of us.  I don’t want it to suddenly end up being a couple of weeks, or a few months or even years that we don’t spend time together.  My wife is very important to me and I’d like to think I’m important to her.  

Remember to make the time for your significant other more often. You’d be surprised how much can change in a person’s life over the course of a few days, let alone weeks.

There’s an Airbnb apartment devoted to Netflix and Chill.


Next week we shall plan a date for ourselves.  Maybe a walk, perhaps out to a coffee shop, maybe dinner and a movie.  Heck, maybe we can even enjoy some  “Netflix and Chill” as they say.  Whatever it is, it will be fantastic because we will do it together as a couple.

Sometimes… When I Look in Your Eyes I Can See Your Soul

My wife and I met 16 years ago today.  We have been together for 5844 days.  We’ve had a great run together & it doesn’t look like it will end any time soon.  I can’t pinpoint the exact reasons we click, we just do.  I’ve written plenty of sappy blog posts already & I plan on writing a few more in the future.  Today I’m going to post a video & the lyrics from the song that we fell in love to.  It’s not a love song, but the imagery in the lyrics is beautiful and the video is simple.

Click to enjoy “Sometimes” by James

Sometimes I can see your soul.


There’s a storm outside, and the gap between crack and thunder

Crack and thunder, is closing in, is closing in

The rain floods gutters and makes a great sound on concrete

On a flat roof, there’s a boy leaning against the wall of rain

Aerial held high, calling, “Come on thunder, come on thunder”


Sometimes, when I look deep in your eyes

I swear I can see your soul

Sometimes, when I look deep in your eyes

I swear I can see your soul
It’s a monsoon and the rain lifts lids off cars

Spinning buses like toys, stripping them to chrome

Across the bay, the waves are turning into something else

Picking up fishing boats and spewing them on the shore

The boy is hit, lit up against the sky, like a sign, like a neon sign

And he crumples, drops into the gutter, cuts strange, legs twitching

The flood swells his clothes and delivers him on, delivers him on
Sometimes, when I look deep in your eyes

I swear I can see your soul

Sometimes, when I look deep in your eyes

I swear I can see your soul


There’s four new colors in the rainbow an old man’s taking Polaroids

But all he captures is endless rain, endless rain, endless rain

He says listen, takes my head and puts my ear to his

And I swear I can hear the sea


Sometimes, when I look in your eyes

I can see your soul, I can reach your soul

Sometimes, when I look in your eyes

I can see your soul, I can touch your soul

Sometimes, when I look in your eyes

I can see your soul, I can hear your soul
Sometimes, when I look deep in your eyes

I swear I can see your soul

Sometimes, when I look deep in your eyes

I swear I can see your soul
Sometimes, when I look deep in your eyes

I swear I can see your soul

Sometimes, when I look deep in your eyes

I swear I can see your soul

Sometimes, when I look deep in your eyes

I swear I can see your soul

This is the woman I fell in love with. circa 2000