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Attribution: Stu pendousmat at English Wikipedia

In a year where several retail mainstays have closed their doors or sought bankruptcy protection, it is still difficult to fully process today’s news. A few hours back, it was announced that Sears Canada would be closing its remaining stores. The company had sought bankruptcy protection a few months back and shuttered 59 locations at that time. The plan was to come up with a solution that would keep the company solvent and those remaining stores in business.

Unfortunately, it looks like that will not be the case. The closure announcement is especially sad for the 12,000 employees who are remaining after the previous round of closures and layoffs. The retail landscape has changed dramatically in the past few years and it is clear we are not done yet. When a giant like Sears Canada can no longer make a go of it, you know things have really turned a corner.

You may have experienced this feeling a few years back when Eaton’s, another Canadian retail behemoth, met a similar fate and closed its doors. These major companies were such an ingrained factor of shopping in Canada, it is difficult to imagine that they are now both gone.

Shopping malls have also been suffering in the past few years. Several took a big hit a couple years back when Target Canada closed its doors, leaving several large retail spaces unoccupied. Sears is the anchor store at several Canadian malls, so this nightmare will be repeating itself all over again for the owners of these particular shopping malls.

In about 10 days time, the remaining Sears outlets will begin to liquidate their stock. This will continue on likely until the end of the year. So, on the plus side, if you are looking for a bargain on Christmas presents, you may not have to look too hard.

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Can you believe that it is almost Thanksgiving? If you live in southern Ontario, you would not think so from the incredibly hot and humid weather we are having at the end of September. But yes, the last long weekend of the year is almost upon us. It is a great time to rest and relax, but if you would like to spend that extra day in a more practical way, here are some suggestions:

Get some extra exercise

The weather is looking very promising for this Thanksgiving long weekend in southern Ontario, so why not do something outside? Go for a run, play catch, play some pick up road hockey, kick a ball around the soccer field in the park, etc. Look at it this way: you will be helping to work off the extra pounds you will put on from the turkey and pumpkin pie.

Read that novel you got for Christmas

Do not have any plans with friends and family? Why not spend the weekend in the most relaxing manner possible: read a good book. You probably have some books left over that you have not yet cracked the spine on. Here is your chance!

Visit your local friends

People automatically default to traveling on the holidays, but maybe that is not in the cards for you this year. Why not give your local friends a call instead? Sometimes we get so busy with life that we forget the friends we have nearby. They’re probably off, too, and may well be looking for something to do. Pick up the phone!

Spend quality time with your children

We are all so busy with life, everything seems to suffer, including the amount of time we spend with our families. Take the chance to do something really special with your children. Make a whole day of it.

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The summer of 2017 is now officially behind us. If you lived on the west coast of Canada, it was a scorcher with little in the way of pleasant weather. In a word? It was hot, hot, hot.

It was not really all that ideal on the East Coast either. The summer there was often unseasonably cold and you quickly learned to keep an umbrella with you at all times because a rain shower could break out at any moment.

So while the coming of Fall means that 2017 is approaching its end, there is still much to enjoy because Fall has its charms no matter where in Canada you call your home.

The beauty of Canadian autumn is known around the world. Those lush green leaves gradually give way to a rainbow of colours that is so beautiful, it seems a shame to rake them up from your lawn. If you like to go for long walks, the Mother Nature has plenty of lovely sites in store for you to go along with the exercise.

Fall is also a great time to be a kid. Who did not enjoy diving into large piles of leaves? You could also use an iron and wax paper to preserve your favourite leaves for years to come.

Perhaps the greatest gift that Fall has to offer is a more even weather forecast. No extremes of heat and cold, and no oppressive humidity to suck the life out of you while you go about your daily tasks. It is nice, moderate, room temperature level environments with the occasional nice cool breeze.

Outside of Thanksgiving and Halloween, Fall probably does not get as much love as it deserves. But it is a really wonderful time of year, no matter what your age.

Money

Being successful in life can often be the result of maintaining a successful balancing act. On the one hand, you do not want to be lying around doing nothing as laziness benefits no one other than house cats. On the other hand, overdoing it is bad for both mind and body no matter what your age and physical health.

So the best course of action is to find the right balance. And it is worth the time to figure that out because productivity is actually good for you.

It is a great way to learn new things

If you are in the habit of being productive, chances are you are more open to trying new things. This can open up a whole new world of learning possibilities for you, increasing your skills in both life and the workplace.

It keeps your brain healthy

Learning all of those new things helps to keep your brain active and that is good for its overall health. Many scientific studies show that one of the keys to staving off dementia is maintaining a schedule of activities that are stimulating and challenging. In other words, use it or lose it.

It can help your career

A lot of people are content to do the bare minimum in their jobs. That may be enough to keep them employed, but it certainly does little for their chances of advancement. Being productive or even increasing your department’s productivity will certainly get you noticed by the supervisor and that is very beneficial for your chances to get ahead at work.

You will enjoy your vacations even more

If you are busy and productive in life and on the job, there is a very good chance that you will enjoy your vacations even more because you will be up-to-date and have nothing to worry about while you are enjoying the fun and sun.

 

General

No matter what type of writing you do, the words do not always flow freely. Sometimes you find yourself staring at the keyboard not knowing where to even start on a project. Don’t worry, you’re not alone: this happens to all writers at one time or another. Because it is such a common occurrence, there are many strategies in place to try and beat writer’s block; here are a few:

Step Away for a While

Close the laptop, shut down the computer, put the typewriter in the closet, throw out your pencil. Sometimes you just need to take a vacation from writing, plain and simple. How long will be determined by you and you alone.

Change Your Schedule

If you write at a certain time of day, try changing things up. Writing at the crack of dawn? Try midday instead. Working at night and not getting anywhere? Switch to earlier in the day.

Change Your Instrument

Used to writing longhand on a yellow legal pad? It might be time to finally get that word processing program. Been using a computer for years? Maybe it’s time to go back to paper.

Such changes don’t have to be permanent. Just long enough for you to get back on track.

Try a New Space

Do you usually write in coffee shops? Try wordsmithing at home instead. Need to work at home but getting nowhere in your den? Move to another room and see how that works out.

Write About Something Else

This won’t work if you write for a living, but you can consider a change in subject. We all eventually reach a point where there is nothing left to be said about a given subject and we just need to move on to something else; you might be there. Consider a new avenue altogether.

 

General

Have you been to your library recently? In the days before the Internet, libraries were an absolutely indispensable source of information for both students and the general public alike. Nowadays, most of us walk around with a small computer in our pockets that can answer almost any question we have.

However, if you use the Internet even just once in a while, you know that not everything you read on there is true. In fact, the results of the last federal election in the United States may well have been swayed by the prevalence of so-called fake news. Accuracy is important, especially if you are doing a paper for school.

So, internet or not, the library remains the best place to get the most accurate information. Here are some other reasons why you should be a regular patron there:

Being a Part of the Community

The library is not just a place to sit and read books: it is a place to spend time with members of your community and also a way to make new friends who have common interests. A community with a vibrant library is one that offers its members a place that is a home away from home.

Free Sources of Learning and Entertainment

It is no secret that you can use a library for free, but did you know that many also offer free classes, movies, and other activities without any kind of charge?

Librarians are Problem Solvers

Cannot find something you are looking for? There is a very good chance that your friendly neighbourhood librarian will be able to get it for you. However, librarians are also great at identifying alternative forms of research that you may not already know about. This additional information could end up making a very positive difference in your work.

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