Wildness is a necessity

I am loosing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.   

– JOHN MUIR

I took a screen shot of this quote from Instagram awhile ago. I do that. My camera roll is half full of these things. Sometimes words like this, stop me dead in my tracks and I don’t always know why. I tuck them away for future reference. Everything falls into place, eventually.

The quest for a piece of “wildness”, is not a journey I was consciously aware I was on. I didn’t know I was missing it in my life. I’ve always fancied myself a city girl. My parents have tried to show me the benefits of living further afield, where life is a bit less tamed by the constraints of civic rules and regulations. I’ve been curious, but never enough to commit. 

Recently, on a trip to Cortes Island, something in me shifted. Luckily something similar tugged at my husbands heartstrings. Timing is everything. We didn’t seriously speak of it until almost the end of our stay. We toured a piecce of waterfront land and all the pieces clicked into place. We both knew, this is it. Of course, this is not a movie, we don’t pan from that moment to a view of us happily sipping coffee, enjoying the view. Real life has many more hoops to jump through to get from “A” to “Z”. I’m not sure which letter we are on just now, but we are getting towards the end.

Eventually, we will join the cast of characters which have commited to steward a piece of wildness. The memories of those who have come before remains strong on Cortes. There are remnants of the past everywhere you look and it is a rich legacy. But you have to really look, in order to see. For many people from the city, a shell midden or an old orchard, the wild mint and oregano, these things blend into the rest. For me they are symbols of the industry those who came before had. The fortitude to carve out a life in a place so beautiful, it takes your breath away. But a place of wildness. Not for the faint of heart. 

Of course, we are not pioneers trying to clear the land with hand tools. We are not up against the hard deadline of the approaching winter. We don’t worry about the fruitfullness of the crop and the extremely hard work of preserving sustanence for the dormant season. We have the luxury of time, resources and distance. It could take us years to create permanent living quarters. We will only be able to enjoy weeks at a time, rather than months. We can purchase what we need from as far away as we like. This is a different era.

But our quest for wildness knows no time. It is more primal. It is something all humans crave. Even if you don’t realize it. There are riches to be discovered, which are priceless. That is what we have found.

  

Handmade business cards

Business Card Making Assembly Lin

Who hand makes a business card these days? Creative people. Artists. Someone with a lot of time on their hands. Turns out, I am not really any of those kind of people and yet I’ve just finished my first batch of handmade business cards.

I have to say, I really liked the process. I’ve been collecting ideas and thinking about this for a long time. But the deadline is looming. WDS 2015, (World Domination Summit), in Portland starts in just a few days. I’m not going to be caught short again this year.

In truth, I didn’t mention my blog until the closing party at about 9pm. The person I was chatting with replied, “Wow, that is a really good concept”. Of course I did not have a card to give her. Wow! Rookie mistake.

There have been so many moments since then, when I could have used a card. The URL is the name of the blog, but it requires memory, which I certainly don’t possess. Hardly can expect the attention span from anyone else.

Business cards are probably still in use just to save the brain cells required to remember yet another thing. If you have the card, it is so easy to make an association to meeting the person from whence it came. At least, I find them to be useful in this way. And I have a neat little box on my desk where the new cards go. After a year or so, the cards are sorted and filed away appropriately.

I love to see who has taken the card design to the next level. Unfortunately it is few and far between, where any kind of creativity comes into play. You would think people would be trying to stand out in this area of branding, just as they do in all other areas. Maybe I’m attending the wrong kind of events. And maybe I need to speak up at the right kind of events!

So I’ve made 30 cards. It seems like quite a few. Especially when I only might have given out one or two last year. I suppose if I make it a goal to give out 30, then I’ll be so far ahead. But, let’s face it, my efforts to date have been pretty pathetic. Self promotion is not my strong suit. However, my husband is with me this year and he is my #1 fan. So at least I can give him one. Maybe I’ll make a few more!

What I did was super easy. Picked a really nice card stock. Metallic finish, premium card stock, 65 lb. paper. Then I found some see through vellum in the 25 cents bin at my local art supply store. After I had created my funky design, I printed it on the vellum. (I designed the page myself in illustrator). Then I cut out both pages, the card stock was true size and the vellum was a little smaller. I used a good ruler and an OLFA knife. And glue.

The whole operation took me back to my college days. When I was design school, there was no auto-cad. We did everything by hand. The best I might have done then was hand draw the first one and then make multiple photo copies. But the cutting and pasting are the same. I love the way they turned out. Now to get a nice little case for them.

Interesting links about business cards:

Business Card Making Top Sheet

 

Business Card Making Progress

Business Card Making Finished

Oh I hope there are no spelling mistakes! At lunch time, when I was well into it, I double checked “flourish”. It started to look wrong to me!

 

Before & After

I’m nearing the end of my second round of “6-Weeks to a New Body”, and I thought it might be time to show some pictures. A few things to consider, as these pictures scroll up.

  • The photos of me are 10 years apart. I thought it might be nice to reach back in time when I still had little ones running around. The time gap is a nice round number.
  • I wanted to show real contrast, and to make myself feel really amazing.
  • I was clearly in a “costume” for the after photo’s. I do not run around getting photo’s taken with a wig on.
  • The costume theme was, “someone famous from the year you were born”. I was going for Goldie Hawn from the TV series Laugh In. (OK, maybe a stretch…)

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  • It is an odd sensation to create the “before & after” photo’s of yourself. When these kind of images are put up by magazines it is easy to dismiss them as fake. I’m telling you, this is the real deal.
  • I’m not done yet. I’ve made progress, clearly. But I want more. Not so much for the photo’s, but for the amazing feeling of being able to move my body around with so much less of me in the way!

This journey has not been easy. I could have accomplished the milestones more quickly with a higher level of dedication. It would have meant far more sacrifice. I’ve never been one to do things exactly as I’m told. So, I’m getting there, at my own pace. At a slow and steady rate of change, the efforts are manageable, the pain less severe. Maybe this way will be more sustainable over the long haul. At least, that is my story and I’m sticking to it.

CW Sitting B&A CW Standing B&A

9 hours catch up

But who is counting? Actually, it bears the question, who can count after flying through so many time zones? The experience is like that birthday party game for children, where you are spun around with your eyes closed, then stumble around disoriented for a time. Instead we kind of subject ourselves to a low grade version of this in the form of time and distance travel by air. We don’t usually stumble around afterwards, but our mind sure can!

 

Yesterday, I arrived back in Vancouver about 4pm, after about 20 hours of travel. That calculation took several minutes to compute, my brain still being somewhat compromised on a deep cognitive level. Honestly, there should be an app for that! But my point is how disorienting this time travel is. You are gaining back some time or loosing it, depending on the direction of travel. I find that difficult to reconcile.

I also find it difficult to concentrate. My mind, just now, wandered over to thoughts about the coconut milk in my coffee. So I stopped writing and cruised over to the web and ran through a few blogs with recipes for how to make it at home. Last night while grocery shopping, we realized there is some kind of shortage of our favourite coffee creamer. All of that distraction because I looked over at my coffee cup! Jeesh.

After all those hours of wandering through corridors, relaxing in lounges, sitting on planes, it was so welcome to be in the fresh air again. So I tried something new yesterday. Dug out my running shoes and went for a run, then did strength training. It was windy and chilly and sunny all at that same time. The strength training seemed to take away the puffiness that collects in my ankles, (or so it seemed). I figured I was good to go for the rest of the night, yeah! But slowly and surely as the minutes turned into hours, I was fast asleep by 8pm.

I think it is fair to say, there is no trick here. At least none that have worked for me, so far. You can spin your body around the world, but your mind will take more time to right itself!

Business Class on Air Canada

I have been fortunate enough to fly in business class on various occasions. It is not, however, a confirmed event. I get in, almost by chance. Sometimes, I work hard to stack the deck in my favor, sometimes not. My husband thinks I spend far too much time thinking and talking about it. But I like turning left!

Air Canada has a great program for upgrades. Although, we are entering year 2 of “service fees”. That means a cash component on top of the other requirements. But the difference in cost, to just buying a seat up front, is considerable.

The program is like most others out there. A loyalty based system which rewards you at intervals the more you fly. Sometimes the rewards are things like lounge passes, or lounge access. Sometimes the rewards are e-upgrades. Those are the keys to the castle of business class.

That is where I found myself on a recent flight from Toronto to Munich. But the process was very strange this time. Usually when the flight closes, the “J” class empty slots are filled with people on “the list”. To be high on the list you need premium status and you need to make the electronic request at the stroke of the earliest time you are allowed to. (For me, not the highest status and for this flight, did not request as soon as I could have).

When I approached the counter, the agent said “sorry”, not tonight. After boarding, I settled into my bulk head seat to be slightly harassed by a young mother with a very tiny infant who had the rest of her family sitting 10 rows back. She was determined to have me switch with one of her family or be sure to make my flight as unpleasant as possible, (that was what she said to me – “I’m going to be bothering you the whole flight”). I was texting with my husband about her, when luck came my way. A flight attendant gave me a boarding pass for 7 rows up in my very own pod. So we were both lucky.

I’ve taken a bunch of photos and I’m going to explain what it is like to spend some time in the pods.

First is a choice of juice, water or champagne while you look over the dinner menu. On this flight, there was also a card to fill out for your breakfast choices. As luck would have it, they handed out shiny Air Canada pens to complete the task. And even though I was the last one seated in the front, I got my first choice for dinner, salmon.

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The personal TV’s are quite large and need to be deployed for the safety announcements. All this while, I was snugly wrapped in my cotton comforter style blanket. Warm and cozy, ready for the journey ahead. Socks from my supply kit, already on.

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Some people are sitting up front to take full advantage of sleeping. As we took off, it was 3am at our destination. However, at my origin of Vancouver, it was just dinner time. So my routine is to eat the first meal, while watching a movie. Then get some sleep. Wake about an hour and a half out and eat breakfast. Then I’m on the new time zone. I’m not super sharp, but it works.

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This flight was fairly smooth. Can be rather bumpy going up over the top of the world from Vancouver. I had a nice sleep in my little cocoon. Might be my last time in these pod style seats. Mainly because Air Canada is over hauling the fleet and the new business class seats are a different style of lay flat design. And I also don’t usually decide that the service fee on my own account is worth it. Most times I log miles in the back.

But when I can treat myself to a much nicer seat, I feel a huge wave of gratitude. Not only do I have the privilege of traveling for my work, meeting people from all over the world, I can sometimes arrive feeling a little lighter.

Delayed

My BFF’S challenged me to write a post on this blog that was not based upon a situation which started out good. Could I take a not so happy experience and turn it around. So here it goes:

Part of the magic of living 2 days in one, is the second chance of it. I have not always seen it that way. Maybe I won’t in the future. But yesterday, (eventually) I did.

I don’t enjoy getting up at 3am, no matter which time zone I am in. When considering what time I went to bed, it was no surprise I felt tired. A little cognitively challenged. For a routine travel day, that is an acceptable state of mind. When there are no problems.

But this first part of my Saturday did not go so well. Suffice to say that due to a delay in Oslo and what felt like a 2 kilometer sprint through Frankfurt on the advise of the Lufthansa staff, I was in rough shape for only 10am. Even though I knew it was a long shot to make the flight connection, when the experts on the ground tell you to run, there seems a sense of hope.

It was not meant to be.

Who knows why the staff always seem to forget to announce the Canadian connection details in European cities. Maybe the word, “Vancouver” is too difficult to pronounce. It is extremely disappointing to be the only passengers to have such problems. Of course I know that is not 100% truth. I know. Just feels like it.

I should mention at this point that 2 Norwegians were a few steps ahead of us on the sprint and the re-booking. We would have a lovely chat later in the lounge. And they would be seated right beside us on the final flight of the day.

The re-booking which Lufthansa had already done, (but neglected to mention before the 2km run), was no slam dunk. The new flight(s) were oversold. At least the first leg. The seemingly helpful ladies in the Air Canada lounge kept telling us to stay in the lounge, even after the boarding had started. We would be called. This was a foreign concept and I could see us missing this flight as well, just sitting around. Finally at the gate, we were scolded in German for not turning up on time to claim seats.

Even though I was super grateful to be on the plane, I was fuming about how badly the day had been so far. As I was trying to settle into my middle seat I was seriously wondering how I could last the flight and the rest of the day in such a bad mood.

Then I turned on a movie. “Hector and the Search for Happiness.” I kind of suspected it would cheer me up and I had received a recommendation the night before. The movie did just the trick. Without giving anything away, the main character goes on a research trip and writes about what makes people happy. Starting in China. As you can imagine, he learns about people who have very little and extreme happiness and people who have so very much and no happiness. I really liked it, not just because it was the perfect thing to happen to me at that moment, but these topics are right up my alley on a regular day.

So my second Saturday started as I watched a movie and remembered to be grateful. The ice in my heart melted away as I watched the depiction of all the people in the world with far more real problems. How could I sit and fume? My anger tipped completely over. I even felt a little remorse for being so terse to the people who were just trying to help. (But not to the Lufthansa staff who would not let us board the flight to Vancouver which was standing at the gate with the doors still open, no not them).

Sometimes I feel pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I can’t really complain about a situation and get a sense of retribution. Which is a pretty egotistical way to think, anyhow. Plus, that wouldn’t make me feel better. What brings me comfort is to stop for a moment and be kind. Offer a helping hand to a fellow passenger. Give a smile. I control how I perceive life. As I practice being grateful, mindfulness, remaining calm as much as I can, it is far easier to pop out the other side in a pleasant mood.

As a footnote, the travel connections didn’t get much better. Landed safely in Calgary, but had to get our checked luggage, clear customs and security, for the third time that day. Of course that cannot be done in 40 minutes. Luckily we made it on the next flight only an hour later. By the time that flight was delayed to let a passenger off and the winds were so high, the whole thing took about twice as long as normal, we couldn’t muster up the energy to comment. By the time I got home, it was a 25 hour journey door to door.

Waved bye to the Norwegians who were off for an adventure downtown Vancouver and then a flight Sunday up to Terrace B.C. for heli skiing. I was praying to ULLR, the God of snow, for them.

Rookie mistake

After all the miles I have travelled, after the hours spent in airport line ups and most particularly the security clearance area, it is amazing to me what happened in Phoenix this week.

Maybe it was my mind still being on vacation while my body was making its way back. But I clearly lost my edge, somehow. I hope this is not a permanent change. Or maybe it is and I am going to be more relaxed all the time.

We all know the drill, at least anyone who has been on a plane in the last 7 or 8 years. Who honestly has to be told, yet again, no liquids!

First up was my daughter. Upon reflection, she might be the weak link in our travelling family. She insisted on being first, in some cases running ahead beyond where we could even see her. Who does that? Kind of strange really. Anyway, as she put her bag onto the scanning belt and it went through, the attendant called out for a physical check – “there are liquids in this one”.

I should also mention that we somehow ended up in TSA pre-check. I have not been in one of these lines before. So there were a bunch of new rules, most of which make the whole thing go faster. So the moment when you haul up your bag and take out all the offending items has been taken away. Zip, right through. In all honesty, I’m not sure this final check would have helped us.

Then we put through a bag of souvenirs purchased at the Los Cabos airport earlier that day. These were my purchases. As the bag went through and was pulled aside I knew exactly what offending item was in there. And my heart sank. Oh well, take your lumps. I stood on the other side waiting my turn.

My son was next, no problems. Which is where our attention had been when packing in Mexico. Was his switch blade looking comb in his carry on? No it was not.

Finally my husband. He was carrying another bag of souvenirs and other odd things. That bag too was set aside. Of 7 carry on pieces we had 3 to deal with. I couldn’t believe it.

My daughter had a bottle of soda. My husband had a bottle of water. When the examiner looked at the screen, he could not find my bag. I was not jumping up and down to open it up and show him the precious liquid inside. He proclaimed a mistake had been made and handed my bag to me, unopened. Amazing!

As a side note – I usually don’t buy so many souvenirs. This trip we picked up all sorts of things. In the photo below is a butter dish, since our new cat will devour butter left without a lid. And why not have such a pretty vessel from Mexico on our counter? But who would have thought that the item to cause the most problem was that lovely cup? Turns out it is not meant to hold hot liquids like coffee. As I found out this morning. It is amazing how far a full cup of coffee can go as it sprays off the edge of the kitchen counter. But the crack is a clean one at the base. So the cup is now going to hold a candle. Repurpose instead of throwing away. That is what someone in Mexico would likely do.

Mexico Vanilla_web

Treasures going home

It was an overcast day today. That was the forecast all week, so it was not a surprise. We did the last of the shopping, some packing, ate a late lunch and generally took it easy. We laid low. That was where our spirits were as well.

On one hand, it would be nice to be teleported home, today, in no time at all. Instead we spend all of tomorrow getting back. On the other hand, we would like to stay. My husband wondered what would happen if maybe he just stayed on and met us in March in Phoenix? For a brief second, I thought that sounded fantastic. Then the logistics kick in. We are still very tied to our life back home. But what would it take?

That is a good question. One that I am started to get pretty invested in answering. Obviously, this year of 2015, and really until June of 2016 we are committed to our children’s school schedule. But there are schools here in Mexico, there is a robust home schooling network from our district in British Columbia. The house can be rented. These things can be done.

Or do we have margarita mind? It is a common affliction. The image built up in our minds and the reality of living here are sometimes 2 very different things. For now, we are bringing home a few treasures to bring a touch of Mexico into our daily life. Some distance, research and perspective may change the look of things. Or maybe not…

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Flight no. 2015

My Dad sent an email version of this to me and I had to share it. I’ve taken so many flights over the past 20 years and never once had this message. But, I’ll think about this from now on.

The Boarding of Flight no. 2015 has been announced.

Your luggage should be safely stowed and only contain the best souvenirs from 2014. All unwanted items, including the bad and sad moments should be left in the trash.

The duration of the flight will be 12 months. So, tighten your seatbelt. The stop-overs will be:
*Health
*Love
*Joy
*Harmony
*Well-being
*Peace

The captain offers you the following menu which will be served during the flight:
*A Cocktail of Friendship
*A Supreme of Health
*A Gratin of Prosperity
*A Bowl of Excellent News
*A salad of Success
*A Cake of Happiness
*All accompanied by bursts of laughter

Wishing you an enjoyable trip on board of flight no. 2015.

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Word of 2015 BRAVE

It is just before 6pm on December 31st and I’ve about finished my goals for next year. My little family of 4 is nicely tucked away in a small town in the Southern Baja. I have purposely kept our reservations, commitments and “have-to’s” down to almost nothing. In fact, other than getting back down to SJD for the flight home, we got nothin’ on our list. That has cleared out the mental space I needed to finish my goals. I started back home, but “my life” did not allow me the mental space I needed.

For the past 3 years, I have been searching for a way to bring the peace and calm I feel on this vacation, back home with me. There is a sense of stillness and focus, which seems to slip through my fingers like sand as I get back in the car for the journey home. But this year, today, I may have a list of actions which will bring me back, centre my soul to this time and this place.

Here is a brief summary of my main ideas for the year. These will pop up in many forms, my goals are quite specific. I think it helps to understand the intent, the feelings associated with the goals. Otherwise they are words on paper. They can easily be overlooked, forgotten and trivialized.

*Margin. I read about this idea sometime in 2014. The idea is to create margin or space in your day. Room to breathe. Time to think. Creativity needs to bubble up.
*Mindfulness. Be where you are. I have rationalized this notion out of my life entirely, blaming my never ending “to-do” list. I’m looking at this as the opposite of multi-tasking. I’m going to plan enough time to do one thing at a time.
*Gratitude. Only by focusing on gratitude do I increase my feelings of happiness. Full stop. The minute I spiral into bad news, my mood goes down accordingly. If current events are consisting largely of bad news, then I am going to be like a stork (my husband corrected me this morning, an ostrich) with my head in the sand.
*Practice. When I threw out the other “P” word, (perfection) I didn’t replace it with anything. This year I will practice all the time. Everything I want in my life is attainable, if I give myself the opportunity to practice. This I am eagerly looking forward to.
*Creativity. When I look back at some of the happiest moments of my life, they involved a healthy measure of creative endeavor. Somewhere along the way, I have lost that part of myself. I realized that I miss her dearly. As it turns out, I’m going to need her in 2015. Much of the heavy lifting on my list of goals will require creative work. Some of it will be “artsy” and some of it will be more “problem solving”. The latter has remained in my life all along, but the former will unleash all kinds of goodness.

Now it is time to play away the last hours of 2014.

Happy New Year or Feliz Año Nuevo!

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2014 Annual Review

I am inspired by Chris Guillebeau. He shared a deeply personal annual review on his blog, The Art of Non-Conformity. Problem for me is a lack of process. I can see from Chris’s post that he creates a detailed set of goals and then conducts quarterly reviews. I would think it makes the Q4 review a little easier to manage! But have to start somewhere, so here we go.

Crafts

January

  • Rang in the New Year in Mexico. A nice family dinner at Corazon Cafe where a singer played guitar. Moved from sleepy La Paz to a big Cabo resort where the kids ran around the pool and played for 5 days.
  • Woke up one morning with a full dose of inspiration. Created a new architecture for my blog.

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  • Bought a “Los Cabos” journal for an e-course with Brene Brown. The content followed her book, “The Gifts of Imperfection”.
  • Practice is a Process
  • Wholehearted
  • Travelled to Oslo, Norway for the first work trip of the year. Left my family in Calgary, on the way home from Mexico and peeled off via London.
  • Got my hair cut quite short. It was time for a change and the end game was to let my natural color come through. But we made a tiny mistake by putting so much light hair dye in. First I looked grey already and second lots of my natural color is a much darker!

Short hair

  • A few days spent in Denver, Colorado on a work trip.

 

February

  • Back to Oslo, Norway early in the month.
  • On the way home, stopped in Calgary where my parents picked me up for the short trip to Fairmont, B.C. Skied at Kimberly and Panorama during a week of vacation.

Fairmont

 

March

  • Sent my daughter off on her own to Calgary by plane. She was thrilled.
  • On the way to the airport, near the end of the month, was hit by 2 cars near the entrance to the tunnel. My car ended up being written off. I had to catch a later flight to Calgary.
  • Spent a few days in Bassano, Alberta with my daughter. My Aunt hosted a kind of retreat, which was lovely.

Knitting_webB&W

April

  • Renovations on the new MBR were coming along nicely in early April.
  • Quick trip to Oslo, Norway.
  • Bought a new car.

New car

  • April 12th we had a warm enough day to wear shorts and sit in the sun!
  • Around my birthday, headed off to Munich, Germany. Another work trip where we ended up in Austria. The last of the “fancy dress” parties.

80s party

May

  • Tacked on an extra day to spend May 1st walking around Munich with a dear friend.
  • Early May, off to Newport, Rhode Island for a work trip. Entertained customers at The New York Yacht club and sailing on an old America’s Cup boat.

Sail Newport

  • May 27th, the garden was in full bloom. Didn’t get to plant anything this year. Enjoyed everything that was already there!
  • Fallow State

June

  • June 2, our first crab boil of the season.

Crab boil

  • Spent my anniversary working in Seattle, Washington.
  • My Son graduated grade 7. A big one for him as he would head to a private school in the Fall, leaving 8 years of friendships behind.
  • Tried my first Annie Sloan painting projects after taking the course at The Passionate Home in Langley.
  • The MALM Transformation
  • Inspired by Paint

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July

  • Ringing in my husband’s birthday and Canada Day, we spent a few days on the Sunshine Coast. Unfortunately the weather was less sunshine and more rain forest.
  • Personal Space
  • Attended the most amazing conference called “The World Domination Summit” in Portland Oregon.
  • Service, Community, Adventure

Theatre WDS_web

  • Drove to Bassano, Alberta and then back to Calgary. Spent a few days recovering from all that driving. Picked up my kids and drove back to Vancouver. Managed to avoid any hail damage in what was one of the worst seasons for the area.
  • Canned a few jars of beans as they were coming off the fields. Processed bushels of fruit for our freezer.
  • Food Preservation
  • Renovations of the MBR were almost complete. Bought some artwork at the White Rock Farmer’s Market and finished the last of the Annie Sloan paint projects.

August

  • On the way to Oslo, Norway stopped in Stockholm, Sweden for a long weekend with my girls. 2 dear friends who also work where I do. One based in Stockholm and one in Hong Kong.
  • Stockholm Helgen

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  • Home on my son’s birthday with great plans to be “present” for him. However, the travel was starting to catch up with me. Had the worst swelling in my legs. Felt – just – bad. Ended up sleeping for a long time.
  • Teenager in the House
  • Mid August, picked up my nephews from the airport and then shipped all 3 boys off to camp on Thetis Island.
  • Took a last week of summer vacation when my Sister and Parents arrived from Alberta. All the kids took a week of skim boarding camp at White Rock beach.

Skim boards

  • My sister and I, taught ourselves how to add beads into a knitting project. Made great progress early on, as usual!
  • The Good Beach Life

Beads knit

September

  • Private School
  • Early days, my daughter was not back in school. That was due to the Provincial teachers being on strike. We had an interesting experiment in home schooling, which my daughter did not enjoy.
  • Education Hacking

Daytimer_web

  • Mid September, off to Hong Kong for the better part of 2 weeks. This was a long trip and I suffered coming come with adjusting back to the schedule. For many nights, had to take sleeping pills. This was unusual and a little concerning.
  • Unpacking

HKG_web

October

  • Early October off to Alicante, Spain. Another long trip, about 10 days. While it was a fantastic location and I quite enjoyed much of it, had a very tough time with my mood. Even had an episode of what I could only call “panic” which was very strange. Made an appointment with my doctor.
Team SCA leaving Alicante October 11, 2014

Team SCA leaving Alicante October 11, 2014

  • Extreme Sports
  • Missed Canadian Thanksgiving which was a bummer. This is a non denominational holiday all about food!
  • My husband who was the VP of Marketing for a high tech company was laid off as they continued to downsize staff. This is no fun to go through, but he successfully negotiated a fair severance.
  • Dia de Muertos Shrines
  • Last day of October we adopted a cat. Not sure what we were thinking. But he is considered a “senior” as a 7 year old. At least we stopped short of a kitten, (we almost adopted 2 kittens), who would have tore our house apart.

Lynch

November

  • Creative Soul
  • Joined a knit-a-long where I created a very nice hat. My daughter, who looks amazing in hats, immediately laid claim to it. That works well, I look terrible in hats.
  • Hosted a work friend for dinner in White Rock and she gave me a lovely present!

Worry Dolls

  • Day trip to Calgary, mid month.
  • Picked up my Aunt and Uncle arriving from Calgary who were staying at our house for a week.

December

  • Spent a fantastic week in New Orleans, Louisiana on a vacation of a lifetime! Really felt like I was in another world.
  • True Rest & Relaxation

NOLA

  • One more trip to Calgary for work with a couple of days added on. Relaxed for the weekend at my parents house, attended a Christmas party at my sister’s house and a family Christmas dinner. Super nice.
  • A Christmas Eve flight to Mexico. Will spend the last days of the year, back where the year started.

Next year

  • A group of three represent woman from all over the world. We will do amazing things.

Dolls

  • A new beginning for my husband, built from the ashes of the past.

Crow

True Rest & Relaxation

It is the last morning of my first ever week long vacation as an adult. I’ve been on lots of vacations over the years, but this time was different. I had no responsibilities. None. Zero.

It is a curious thing to have the weight of your life lifted completely from your shoulders. With the removal of the never ending list of “things” I hold in my mind constantly, there was a true freedom.

When I woke up in the morning, my first thought was not guilt. There was not a queue of tasks stacking up in my inbox, the long list that sits in the forefront of my mind, the wishes I have for myself sitting way at the bottom of my daily action plan.

It has been with space and time away where I now realize how complicated my life has become, how intricately woven together all the little pieces are. It has taken quite some time to get this way, each layer supporting another. It will take some time to untangle much of the complexity.

I think this experience, this new understanding, is like seeing a child who has grown in your absence. When you are with them all the time, you don’t realize the change, it happens so slowly.

As I head home tonight, the challenge will be, how can I preserve some of the whimsy, the magic and the freedom of the last week? How can I elevate some of my deeply personal needs to the top of my life? For it is with great self care that a person can be better at everything else they do.IMG_0190.JPG

Sleep

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”   ~John Steinbeck

“The brain uses a quarter of the body’s entire energy supply, yet only accounts for about two percent of the body’s mass. So how does this unique organ receive and, perhaps more importantly, rid itself of vital nutrients? New research suggests it has to do with sleep.”   ~Jeff Iliff

After watching the TED talk, “One more reason to get a good night’s sleep“, and literally fighting to stay awake due to jet lag, my mind accomplished some amazing things. I woke early, (still), but my thoughts had attached to solutions which I could not see the day before.

I have this experience often, some of my best ideas are coming to me in a morning shower. But, to know why it is happening, and to really elevate the role of sleep to the higher purpose it must serve, is a comforting thought.

I have always believed a night of slumber was a cure-all, but something is always disrupting that. With best intentions, my bedtime slips out and my wake up time remains fixed. Every time I come home from Europe, I can easily go to bed early and rise early. I have these precious moments to myself, when my mind is really fresh. Yet, as the days pass, my jet lag fades along with my resolution to keep a new schedule.

Maybe this time will be different. I just love the quiet hum of the house. The first cup of coffee as I start my mind working on my priorities.

Unpacking

I’ve been home from Hong Kong for about 3 days now. But I lost Tuesday. I got younger by 4 hours that day. Time travel is tough.

I have some rules. Unpack immediately. Put everything away. Then it seems as if I was never gone. But a nine-day trip, with a 15 hour time change takes a bit more to recover from.

I was lulled into a false security by sleeping straight through the first night home. But it doesn’t count when you don’t know if you are coming or going. Last 2 nights have been a bust. I may have to take a sleeping pill to get over the hump tonight. As I toss and turn for hours, I keep pointing out to myself, “at least you are not on the plane”.

I’m just finishing the last of the laundry. Mostly everything is put away now. But I find moments where it seems like my body is still in Asia. My mind wanders there too.

For me, most places in Asia are a riot to your senses. Exotic tastes. Wild scents. Overwhelming crowds. Cities which really never sleep, no quiet. There is a strange harmony to a place like Hong Kong. Somehow it all “works”. It just can’t properly be described. It has to be experienced.