One summer a long time ago (clears throat...10+years), I worked at a bar to make money to pay for university. I met three of my absolute best friends during that summer. We formed a bond that continues to grow even now all these years later. We backpacked around Europe together and continue to have many adventures now as we're older and our life stages have changed. Lucky for me (I corner them and send desperate email pleas) my friends agree to let me interview them about gratitude and other such things.
Kristine was blessed with an adventurous childhood, which she spent moving throughout Western Canada and Ontario with her close-knit family. She graduated from Journalism and Communications Media at Mohawk College and spent several years in the media industry working freelance for CTV News and several publications. She soon realized, a pursuit of her true self was calling. After several years working odd-jobs while pushing for her dream, Kristine was hired by the Toronto Police Service in 2014. She has since continued her vocational growth in the ever-changing position of a Police Constable. (I tried asking her all sorts on intel about conspiracy theories and stuff but she responsibly said "I can't talk about that stuff publicly Linds." Duh..I guess that makes sense. I'll just have to let my imagination run wild where the Toronto crime stories are concerned...
If you were to meet someone that you haven’t seen in ten years and they ask you how things are and what has changed - how would you answer?
Everything has changed and continuously is; that’s life and it’s fantastic. My path has been one truly carved out in my heart, but realized through the trial and error that is my human experience. As I continue to progress and search for truth and purpose in myself, the more clarity I am blessed with. Strange pieces of the past become a patchwork of my path to the now - and to my future. I feel completely blessed. I have realized everything I have honestly asked for, has been given to me. I feel empowered with purpose and driven to see what’s next to surface in my life.
Can you share a time or times when you have had to dig deep to find gratitude?
I think any time you experience great loss or watch a close family member or friend suffer, is where you are challenged to feel positive in many ways, including feeling gratitude. Specifically, for me, when my father went into hospital as a result of a heart attack - and following that had a secondary heart attack and passed away; this was a most difficult time of course for myself and my family.
I think while your living those moments, it can be hard to focus on soul searching and meaning, especially when it’s fresh, and your mind and heart are mourning. However, after some time has passed, the blessings begin to surface and you find the gratitude you were so desperately missing during that painful time.
I can say I am so blessed to have had such an amazing and loving father; he’d give you the shirt off his back. I am grateful I had two parents who weathered the hard times and always put their love for us first. I am blessed to have broken-off a relationship and ended up moving home in my thirties – which resulted in an enormous amount of quality time with my father I would have lost. And although his death was sudden, I am grateful he did not end up back in hospital again to his complete dissatisfaction. And of course, I am grateful to be alive today with the remaining, amazing members of my family – the word gratitude does not suffice in describing their true meaning to me.
What is your version of a gratitude attitude today?
My version? Waking each day with the intention of being present in the moment and mindful of blessings, no matter how seemingly insignificant. I will say with assertion, my job affords me heightened perspective; I see daily, the ways of life and challenges faced by so many. When I return home at the end of the day I am grateful for that insight, for the private moments, and for the confidence and trust complete strangers have afforded in their times of crisis, vulnerability and need; that is an enormous blessing.