It was “iron” – it was firm, it was mineral…
No, no, no, that’s stupid.
It was… It was firm, it was adamant, it was resolved.
It was resolved.
~ Thomas Gates, National Treasure
Another year has passed, and I’m setting resolutions. A few years of snubbing this tradition as too old-fashioned made me realize that:
- I like having something to refer back to, rather than just relying on my memory;
- In my world, words that are written down have more presence and take on more importance than the ones that are not. This explains why my tongue-in-cheek resolution of 2009 (make more soup), actually happened, and;
- I lean towards the old-fashioned.
So here I am, a blank page before me. Where to start? I’m not particularly political, but I am fan of eloquence, and the late Jack Layton’s letter to the people has remained in my mind (and heart) much longer than I thought it would, so it’s my starting off point: “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
Talk less, listen more;
Smile, particularly when it’s been a trying day;
Cuddle pets and the people you love. We all need more cuddles.
More reading, less TV;
Bake cookies. Share.
Quality, not quantity;
Accept that we all have a dark side. Without dark, there is no light.
Find the delight in life.
Hug, and hug often.
Love people, even when they think they’re unloveable.
Seek out the things that draw us together.
Practice makes perfect: gratitude, hope and optimism daily.
Make more soup.
Captain Steven Hiller: What do you say we try that again?
David Levinson: Yes, yes. Yes. Without the “oops”. Thataway.
~ Independence Day (1996)
Dearest cats and kittens,
I had to walk away from this blog for a while, and for that I’m truly, truly sorry. I came into the ring raring to go, then got a one-two punch from life that side-tracked me for months, to the point that I had nary a brain cell to spare for this project.
Well, that just won’t do darlings, will it?
Despite the fact that I felt like I’d hauled off and done nothing again, this turned out to be a good reminder that life goes on whether we want it to or not, and that losing sight of your goals doesn’t mean they’re lost, just misplaced. Thankfully, I found mine while going through the pages of one of the many notebooks I’ve kept, and have spent most of my spare time in the last few weeks considering what I’d written, and whether or not it was still true for me. Some was, some wasn’t, and some needs tweaking. This blog? Still on that list. So here I am, trying it again – this time without the ‘oops’.
I used to be an advocate of the written word. I loved sending letters and cards and postcards as much as I loved receiving them in the mail, and given the opportunity, would do my best to talk up the joys of putting pen to paper and creating something that might, some day, end up in someone’s trove of treasures.
Then I got busy.
Not world-changing busy or life-altering busy, just mundane, run-of-the-mill, dear god we have to do laundry again and why is there no detergent left? busy.
My stash of stationary languished, my pots of ink got dusty. Some of my prized onion paper started curling at the edges.
It was starting to look dire.
And then I found it. A 2-inch stack of paper, tied in teal ribbon. Love letters. Cards. Post-its. All from my beloved.
Would I have kept them if they’d been emails? Probably not. His handwriting says as much as the words do, some words inked out carefully, some scrawled, others pressed so deeply into the paper I caught myself checking the next page to see if they’d etched through.
I took the time to read them, of course. Laughed a little. Cried a little. Shook my head at my teen-aged self so much I’m shocked I didn’t send myself straight to the chiropractor.
Then I gently and precisely stacked them back up, tied them back in their ribbon, tucked them away in the storage bin I’d found them in, and vowed to step away from the tech and towards the ink.
Lately the boy has had to travel for work, leaving me to my own devices.
For a girl who’s pretty self-contained, good at keeping herself entertained and has lots of solitary pursuits, I’m discovering I’m not quite as good at being on my own as I used to be.
I’ve been having random conversations with myself which clearly demonstrate I’ve got a ways to go yet in my trek towards healthy self-care.
Take for instance, the silliness that occurs when the thought of food arises. I’m hungry, but it seems like too much effort to make a proper meal for just one person. I’m hungry, but the idea of eating alone depresses me. I’m hungry, but…
You get the picture. Somewhere along the line I got it into my head that cooking for one isn’t worth the effort.
So I made myself a deal. Even if it was the most boring meal ever, I would make the effort to make it something special. That’s a ‘no’ to sitting on the couch and eating while watching TV (making it not only boring but mindless), and ‘yes’ to setting the table, putting on some music and enjoying what I’m having instead of just trying to get through it.
It’s working. I won’t say I’ve been doing it every day, but on the days that I do it, it’s been good. And yes, the extra washing up has been worth it.
Darling cats & kittens, here’s how I see things…
I woke up one day with a phrase echoing in my head: “If this is it, I want a new it!”
I was tired of settling. Tired of living with rules that I felt had been set out by a society that I didn’t always agree with, and often didn’t understand. Why shouldn’t I live life to the nth degree and get more joy/happiness/pleasure from it? Why not live life instead of just enduring it?
Life can be good.
Life should be good.
How different would life be if you got up each morning raring to go, instead of dreading the day ahead?
That’s what I want to find out.
Ah September! How I love you so. You’re the tail-end of summer, your weather has mood swings, and you make my geeky, school-loving heart nostalgic for brand-new notebooks, never-used pens and books with uncracked spines and crisp pages. The fact that so far you’ve delivered both thunder showers and sun-soaked days just makes me love your unpredictability even more, and maybe goes a way to excusing the fact that I’m posting my love for you at the end of your reign.
Also, am I the only person who considers September a better time to start a new year? I always get inspired at this time of year to list the things I want to spend time on, much more so than in January.
So what’s kept me away from the laptop?
I love that the show has inspired a catch phrase – Sherlock Chic – to describe the stylish outfits worn by Benedict Cumberbatch in the show, and caused interest to rise in long coats, touchable scarves,polished shoes, and other, more elegant touches in men’s clothing. I love a casual look that’s well put together, but oh! there’s something about a sharp-dressed man…
Which has led to the next item that’s kept me from the laptop; my sweetheart’s chocolate brown Alpaca Cashmere scarf, done on US 3.25 needles. It’s slow going, but the result so far is marvellous.
Also to blame is Mark Helprin’s A Winter’s Tale, a book I’ve fallen into on at least a yearly basis since I was a teenager, usually when I’d hit the point of needing a reminder of things bigger than myself. At 673 pages, this isn’t an afternoon’s or even a weekend’s read, and I’m not even going to attempt a review of the book, rather I’ll let people far more eloquent than I share a few words. All I can say is that my copy, purchased second-hand at the Vancouver Public Library when it still stood at the corner of Robson and Burrard, is a battered first edition, lacking it’s dust cover from years of moves and being carried in satchels and backpacks, and one of the few things I would truly grieve for were I to lose it.
So how’s your month been?
If you’ve landed here and expected to see more content, sorry. This blog is going to be taking a different direction in the next few months, and for now all the old posts will be unavailable.
After thinking about it for some time, I decided to take the plunge and move this blog. Wanna find me? I’m here.
I will be working on importing my archives, but right now new blogger and wordpress aren’t talking to each other, so I’ll be leaving this up, at least until March 1st.
So I’ve hit a wall.
I’ve got plenty going on in my life right now, a lot of it really good, but for some unknown reason I’m having a very difficult time writing about it, here or in my journal. It’s a common enough occurance in the life of a writer, but damn is it annoying when it happens.
The last time I went through this was at least 5 years ago, and it was hell. I’d sit down, journal in hand and pen at the ready, and I simply couldn’t start. The blank pages taunted me.
This time round I have both a blank page and a blank screen to face, and it’s not any better. Perhaps it’s because my focus is changing, but my writing habits haven’t yet. The moment my pen hovers over the paper a couple decades of habit come into play, and it’s a struggle to not fall back into those comfortable ways.
Well, you’ll just all get to come along for the ride then, won’t you?
First up was the much needed Paris Breakfast, home of Carol Gillot’s exquisitely done watercolours. I love the way she chooses a topic and runs with it, sharing not just her watercolours but her photos, often dropping in one or two tidbits of historical trivia that I would never otherwise learn. The best part (aside from the writing, the photos and the paintings)? No sugar rush.
Next was a visit to Sandra’s Ravenhill Cottage. I discovered her blog a few months ago, and a visit with her always leaves me pondering something new. A fellow fan of the defunct Victoria magazine, she’s constantly sourcing out interesting and sometimes little known books about a variety of vintage or domestic topics. Her past few posts have ranged from home decor tips and victorian doll houses to the joys of tea.
Melange is a Virginian blog that I simply don’t visit as often as I ought, and I’m reminded of this every time I finally do get there. Her life and past expereinces are far different from mine, and I think that’s exactly what brings me back – she writes about a Southern life I’ve only read about in books…
A more recent discovery is Under a Blue Moon. Written by Andrea out of Northen California, it’s an absolute trove of goodies. I always enjoy her posts, and love the fact that she shares her home and surroundings – it appeals to the voyeur in me. I love where I live, but every once in a while I have random daydreams about a bungalow built for two with a rose garden and room for dogs, and visiting her is the next best thing.
A trip of this type is never complete without dropping in to Christine’s Morning Coffee and Afternoon Tea site. I’ve mentioned it recently in relation to the US’s National Hot Tea Month, but that only nicked the tip of what she writes about. If you like yummy recipes (or just want to ooh and aah over the related food porn photos), hers is one of the best sites to go to. Visiting her reminds me of one of my more attainable goals, which is to get out of my comfort zone and try new flavours.