On Monday, a sunny day with a strong wind, I left a meeting with my new life coach close to five. I felt at once an obligation to head home — an internal guilt trip — and a desire to feed my bicycle-addicted brain. I was downtown already and compromising:
“You can’t go ride the seawall right now. You have things to do.”
“Like what? There’s nothing important to be done when I get home at 5:30.”
“I don’t know, you just need to go home. … Okay, you may take the short scenic route.”
“It’s a little farther but worth it.”
It took me awhile to relax and give myself permission to feel like I was free for the evening, that I didn’t need to go home and work.
I cringe a little as I hear my desk chair’s sorry-excuse-for-casters grate against the hardwood floor, etching my every motion. I remind myself of wabi sabi now as I try to accept the subtle damage to my 1967 white oak parquet, refinished last summer to sand away the wear from a decade’s worth of someone else’s daily story. Looks pretty good for fourty-five years old.
But this story actually starts a year ago. I suppose it was in January 2012 that I started looking seriously at apartments. It was the beginning of a year that I would best describe as a rollercoaster.
Let me explain, in brief:
Conducted a nerve-wracking apartment search. Bought an apartment. Boyfriend and I celebrated our first year together as I got the keys. Renovated apartment. Moved (read: encouragingly shoved) out of parents’ house and into apartment. Lost best-job-ever of almost four years. Got new job. Boyfriend moved in. [Small unrelated personal event with its own silver lining.] Lost new job as we celebrated a year and a half, and six months as a homeowner. Decided to start freelancing in 2013. World didn’t end (yay!), not that I was worried.
Captivated by the forest at Helliwell on Hornby Island
Last year was full of journeys, both in terms of travel and emotions, and of firsts. Recovering from a rocky end to 2010, I found emotional balance as my body took its time to heal. I also began a new romantic relationship in the spring that has helped me better understand myself and discover what a loving partnership really ought to feel like (answer: fantastic). That discovery induced some much-needed catharsis and put my past into perspective. I travelled overseas for the first time in almost a decade — and boarded the plane unaccompanied for the first time ever — and made two trips within BC with my sweetheart.
I’ve been blogging every day for a month now — more posts than in all of 2009 and four times more than 2010 — and while I can definitely say I’ve lost sleep and neglected flossing once or twice, the 50-odd hours I’ve spent on this have been worthwhile and for a worthy cause. Improving our quality of life by ensuring a healthy environment and living sustainably within the limits of nature is very important to me, so raising money for the David Suzuki Foundation through this fair-trade-cocoa-powered pledge goes beyond just the fact that I love the organization I work for. I love what we do, and we do it for our fellow Canadians.
I’d like to thank all those who’ve so far sponsored my daily blog habit with your donations to the Foundation (in no particular order): Gaby, Tim, Eli, Siobhan, Solona, Jason, and my parents. Thank you!
I’d also like to thank Madeleine and Suzanne for your kind words and praise, and for sending your fans this way. Thanks to Ben for bringing me to the World Community Film Fest and posting good articles online. (You too, Faisal.) Thanks also to the words of encouragement from too many people to name. It keeps me focused.
I’m sounding like an Oscars acceptance speech, so I’ll stop and let you enjoy some photos from this weekend. Crocuses on Friday, snow on Sunday. Just when you thought spring was around the corner…
Snow on logged forest next to the Coquihalla in December
I’ve been meaning for some days to write a year-end blog post for 2010, but I’ve been too busy doing a New Year-inspired purge of things like old phone bills, unread newspapers, and other mainly paper-based ephemera. When I considered with a week left of holidays what things I’d been meaning to do at home for ages, I drew up a pretty long list. Of course, writing a blog post was on it, but when I settle into a rare purging and organising mindset, this nostalgic pack rat has to finish the job with swift, devoted action. So here it is, a bit late.
The David Suzuki Foundation is making green sexy this Valentine’s Day with a series of Valetine e-cards. The one above is my personal favourite, but there are two others to choose from. They’re a little cheeky and should make your significant other, if not your mother, laugh. Save some paper this year and spread a little cheer and love to people who may not normally get a Valentine card from you. Enjoy!
I had been meaning to clean my sneakers for awhile. Finally getting around to it today, I went to look for some shoe cleaning products in the laundry room cupboard. There were none. A thought then crossed my mind: why do I have to use a specially-formulated chemical product to clean my footwear? Why not, y’know, laundry detergent or something?
Why not… baking soda? It is, after all, white clothing’s best friend and the filthiest part of my sneakers was the bottom white strip. So I grabbed the box of baking soda (I really ought to work for Arm & Hammer or something) and a damp rag (an old washcloth). Meantime it was just my luck that the rubbery suede brush tool had hardened beyond recognition, so that in itself was useless.
Not what you expected to see with that headline, is it? These are the most naturally-gorgeous eggs I’ve ever seen. I brought them over to the family party for decorating yesterday, and I don’t think I even got the chance to show them off. We ran out of time for decorating but admired the eggs that were already there from over a decade of tradition.
White eggs never offer such a variety of tones, speckles or spots. It makes buying brown ones that much more gratifying. I’ve only ever decorated white eggs, although in later years I ended up with ones stamped with “BORN 3” in either pink or blue. Not exactly the blank canvas I had in mind. 😉
2. Attend an industry event with your coworkers, and cheer for them when they win free stuff.
3. Tell your friends at the event that the coworker of yours who won free stuff is your coworker.
4. Write down or give out a card with your name and position/company on it.
5. Acknowledge the meaning in your life when you say, “see you tomorrow” or “see you in the morning.”
6. Put your name and occupation in the signature of your emails.
7. Add your job title and company to your Facebook profile.
8. Tell other potential employers you’ve accepted another job.
9. Blog about the amazing week you’ve had with the talented people you now work with.
10. Answer “Interactive Designer” (or other position) when asked your job title, and grin proudly as you watch the financial advisor write it down on your new credit card application (par example). Then wonder if the bank or credit card company will even know what it means.
* This list is autobiographical though generalized. Please do not copy.