The “Feel Good” Contest

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What Makes You Happy... Whatever Your Want...

What Makes You Happy... Whatever Your Want...

It’s time for a contest!

We are all flawed in some way. When I think of all the things I still can’t do, I cringe with embarrassment. I’m scared of driving, it still takes me a minute to tell my right from my left (note that the former could be related to the latter!) and for a French, my cooking skills are quite lame. Body’s net perfect either: butt’s too big, thighs are too thick, lips could be fuller, small toenail looks weird, I can’t see out of my left eye and somehow, my legs never seem to get tan as much as my arms.

Life can be frustrating too: I’m still looking for the perfect job that will allow me to create, write, take pictures and travel the world. I’m struggling right now because there is not enough work at school: I’m getting less and less hours and my pay check is getting smaller and smaller every week. Meanwhile, I’m attending classes at university and it takes all my energy… but I still don’t know if my French degrees will be recognized — I’m hoping I’m not doing that for nothing.

You can’t always get what you want…

Yet, when I look back at the last few years, I’m pretty proud of what I did and what I achieved. I traveled 27 countries. I moved to Canada and handled the immigration process successfully. At 26 years old, I became the citizen of a country I chose to live in. I speak two languages fluently, and another two pretty well. I discovered that I loved photography and I’m having a blast capturing the world through my lens. I’m starting to understand how the world works, and I’m sure there will be opportunities around the corner.

I could go on and on about the things I’ d like to change, improve, about what I’m not happy with. But I’m going to be positive and focus on what I accomplished so far, keeping my fingers cross and hoping for more chances.

We all accomplished something to be proud of, something we never thought we could do. I want to hear from you!

What is your biggest achievement so far?

To participate, blog about your biggest achievement. Don’t be shy to brag: after all, this is the “feel good” contest! Link back to this post and don’t forget to let me know about it by leaving a comment.

On July 28th, I’ll randomly pick  three lucky winners by attributing to each entry a number, and using a random number generator.

Each winner will receive a 10 x 8 print of one of my travel photography shot: Finland, China, Panama, Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil… you choose! I’ll take care of everything, from printing to shipping. All the pictures are currently on display in The Shop.

Have fun guys!

1. RennyBA’s achievements

2. Barbara’s achievement
3. Los Zieglers’ 10 biggest achievements


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. You are doing great! I think it’s so good to look at the good things we’ve done, but also keep a critical eye on ourselves so that we can improve or keep things up 🙂

    I can’t see very well out of my left eye as well! very bad astigmatism, had to wear a patch when I was little (hated that).

    Otherwise, let’s see, I try and have a positive outlook and accomplish as much as I can with each day. I am proud of that!

  2. I’m always very impressed with frequent travelers, and I think it’s wonderful that you’ve traveled to 27! Here’s hoping you find your a dream job that lets you do just that. 😀

  3. Woooooooooooooooooooo…not I have to think about my biggest achievement.

    I’m still thinking about Canadian food…

  4. Some good things have happened to me in life. I graduated from college in 1964, spent two years of service in Korea with the Army, Came back home, married a very nice girl from my home town, taught public school, worked out a Masters degree at night school while working full time as a computer programmer for an airline, had 4 kids, was Scoutmaster for a boy scout troop, was active in my church, was sent to a number of computer conferences both in th USA and abroad to speak about leading edge work I was doing for my company, and a few other activities in my spare time. For rest and relaxation I drank like a fish.

    I kept this up for 25 years with varying degrees of success until in 1989 my only daughter was a senior in high school and had an automobile accident that ended her life. This cracked the foundation of our world and within 2 years my marriage was disintegrating, and my drinking was out of control. We did counseling and from that I faced up to my alcohol problem and got sober in AA. It was too late for the marriage but turned me in a new direction. I have been clean and sober since October 7, 1991. That is thing number 1 that feel very good about.

    I worked another 6 years before I had the opportunity to take early retirement. That helped my financial situation and I began to do contract teaching at the Community College and some consulting when I began to have some health problems that turned out to be stage 3 colon cancer. I was quickly scheduled for a colon resection followed by a 6 month regimen of chemo and radiation therapy which was somewhat debilitating. This was challenging especially now that I was single, but with the help of some excellent home health nurses and the one day at a time attitude I gained from AA I managed to survive.

    I recovered slowly but steadily from that and was able to do some teaching but found my real calling as the daytime Santa at the largest mall in Tulsa. For 6 hour a day, 6 days a week, over the 6 weeks prior to Christmas I fluffed up my beard, put on my red suit and ascended Santa’s chair to inquit into the gift preferences of roughly 15,000 young people per season. I did that for 6 seasons and I have to admit that I felt really good about that. It was fun, and I want you to know that I was a darn good Santa.

    Unfortunately I had another round with cancer, this time it cost me a wedge out of my lung and another course of Chemo-therapy, this one costing me my hair and most of my beard. As a naturally bearded Santa, this was a problem. Fortunately I was able to contact a gentleman in Burbank who designed hair pieces for the motion picture industry. He was sympathetic to my situation because his wife had lost her hair from Chemo-therapy and encouraged him to help me out. I flew out to Burbank and met this kind gentleman who fitted me out with a beard and matching hair piece made out of snow white Yak hair. After a little adjusting and trimming this got me through in fine style. My barber of 30 years had never had the opportunity to trim a beard made of Yak hair, but he rose to the occasion. I was a little weak from the treatment but was able to do my season and enjoyed it very much. Besides, by this time I had met my dear saint Susan who would soon become my wife, and life was beginning to pick up for me. We were married the day after Christmas in 2002.

    After a couple more years we came to round 3. In 2005 I became very ill and over my protests Susan took me to the emergency room. It turned out that I had ulcerative colitus and was very infected. It took the first 2 weeks to get the infection down to where it was safe to do the surgery, then we had a 7 hour marathon in the operating room by the surgeon who did my first colon resection. This was a more extensive operation as it involved a colectomy and an illiostomy. After saving my life for the second time in another 3 weeks I was well enough to go home. I want to tell you that my ex-wife is a Registered Nurse and although we have gone our separate ways, we are still apt to be there for each other if things get serious. She came over and sat with Susan through the whole 7 hours of surgery, telling her not to worry about me, that I was “hard to kill”, as if had there been an easy way to kill me she probably would have done it a long time ago.

    It was not the sort of thing I would care to go through again, but then I only had one colon to give which makes things a little simpler. I should never have to worry about colon cancer again since I don’t have one of those anymore. Recovery was slow and I have never gotten my legs back where they should. This means I walk with a cane and for long walks I have a wheelchair. No big deal.

    So this brings me to the end of my story. What is there in my life that I feel really good about? Well there are several.

    1. After drinking hard until I was age 50, I have been continuously sober for almost 18 years. I have to say that makes a lot of things easier. I feel good about that

    2. After screwing up my first marriage and then staying single for 10 years, I am married again to a woman whose love and kindness I do not deserve but accept with humble gratitude. I feel very good about that.

    3. After wrestling with cancer for 11 years, I am in full remission and able to enjoy my life, and I do. I see every day of my life as a gift, a bonus. I made my peace with the Lord several surgeries ago, and this is all gravy time from here on out. I feel really good about that.

    Sorry to ramble on so long. Some stories just won’t get told in 25 words or less. Thanks for reading this. If it is too long, just delete it.

  5. A belated congratulations (and a warm welcome) to my fellow Canadian!
    As for my greatest achievement? Being of another (older) generation I’d have to say it’s raising my three boys to become wonderful young men.
    And – every little success I’ve had with my writing!

  6. Zhu,

    27! This is a wonderful post. Will try to participate if I do not travel again.;)

    Like you, also I feeling like quitting my present job to find that “perfect job that will allow me to create, write, take pictures and travel the world.”:)

  7. Salut Zhu,

    Je vais y réfléchir puis tu verras ça sur mon blog.
    Tu as raison de en parler de tes accomplissements comme ça; tu le mérites !
    Ooops; my head must be all French today. Just one of the joys of being bulingual :)BTW; your Ilove/hate meme about food is up today on my blog. What is the Frenchie going to say to all this? Donknow?? heehe Bizzzzzes.

  8. What a challenge! First I was thinking: I can’t do this as I already brag to much about myself as well as Norway and the Nordic countries; our Culture, Traditions and Habits!

    But then I was thinking: This is a great opportunity to tell the world what makes me ‘Fell Good’! So just click here to see my contribution 🙂

  9. 27 countries !! Wow !! But more than that I am happy that you could and are doing what you wanted to do. This post of yours emanates positive energy.

    Keep up the good work.

  10. @Seb – Thank you! I try to be positive too, but being European, I complain as well. Funny thing we have the eye thing in common… I think you told me before, I completely forgot about it!

    @Linguist-in-Waiting – No pressure, but I’m sure you accomplished a lot and I can’t wait to read about it!

    @Agnes – Thank you 🙂

    @Lizz – *keepin’ my fingers crossed* 🙂

    @Bluefish – Sorry! 😆 No pressure, just do whatever you feel like it.

    @Tulsa Gentleman – Wow, what a busy life! It reminds me of John Irving’s book, where you see the characters growing up, making mistakes, finding love, finding themselves and eventually suddenly everything make sense.

    I love your honesty. As I’m reading about your ups and downs I can’t help thinking you are a great person. Sure, you were given second chances sometimes, but you also deserved them. You meet the right people because you deserved it as well.

    Thank you for sharing with me – with us. You seem to have a wonderful woman by your side, whom you love very much.

    @Beth – I can see that raising kids isn’t easy and you must be proud of your boys! Writing success… that I admire too!

    @Celine – If I find such a job, I pass on the info to you! 😉

    @barbara – Oui, oui, réfléchis et prend ton temps! I can see your achievement: moving to France and speaking the language better than I do!

    @RennyBA – So many challenges… sorry! 😆 I’m going to read your post right now. Thanks for playing along!

    @Gabriel – Thank you Gabriel!

    @Cuckoo – I’m trying to stay positive, because it’s so easy to be pessimistic 🙂

  11. Salut Zhu,

    I just want to let you know that my post for the contest is IN today !
    Thanks so much for entering me.

    You stay positive and let all your good energy take you through any doubts and bad feelings. You are at what is called a “threashold” in your life. The Canadian door is now open. To you to go in and find your opputunties.

    Believe in yourself- you have already come SO far….

    Bises 🙂

  12. Thanks. I’ll wait to hear from you on that.;)

    Zhu, I dropped in to inform that I won’t be able to participate in this contest as I’m travelling again. Will be back to catch up with the rest of your posts. Ciao now!

  13. @barbara – Thank you so much for your entry! And what an achievement…! Tu es vraiment bilingue, et ça c’est rare.

    @Celine – Well, the good side is, we will get to see more wonderful pictures 😉

    @Guillermo – Dos votos? Lo siento, no hablo espanol bien 😆

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