Sunday scheming

Is it just me or is there something empowering about curling up on a Sunday evening with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda & a bottle of nail polish (and/or wine)?

I’ve loved S&TC since long before I ever should have – prompting my mother to hate that I liked it – prompting me to like it more…. vicious cycle.

And while I no longer have HBO or COSMO tv to rely on for a non-stop circuit of reruns, I do have illegal downloads via the internet for nights dedicated to goal setting where a little inspiration from NYC’s finest (fictional) women could come in handy.

I learned a funny thing about advice recently: it is a lot easier to give advice than it is to take it. A few weeks ago I was talking through a big decision with a coworker when I gave her one of my favourite tips: write it down. It wasn’t until I heard the words leaving my mouth that I realized it was the very advice I needed, too.

I happen to think lists are magical and have the power to solve the majority of our daily problems, but beyond this supernatural ability I also know that I’m a visual learner. I had been spending weeks trying to figure out what comes next in my own life, juggling a thousand ideas at a time – but unlike every other aspect of my life – neglecting to write them down.

I’ve since created three diagrams on the inside of my bedroom wardrobe that plot different life paths and plans. In some ways this visual plotting has slowed me down as each of three concepts manifest into many more choices, but it has also highlighted the common threads between the big picture ideas. Not surprisingly, having even the faintest clue of what the next step might look like has given me a whole lot more inspiration in my goal setting.

Carrie Bradshaw’s walk-in closet gave me an extra boost, too.

2014 reads [part 7 & 8]

aka: The 10 days of my life that I obsessively dedicated to Margaret Atwood

I’ve always said that I wear my heart on my sleeve, but it’s more so a matter of wearing my entire life on my sleeve. If I do something cool, everyone hears. If I learn something interesting, everyone else learns it too. If I’m upset, you know. If I’m stoked, you’ll see. If I’m obsessed with reading Margaret Atwood, I’ll tell you about it every time I see you and then shove my copy in your hands once I’m done with it.

I love Canadian Lit, but never ended up picking up an Atwood novel until about a year and a half ago. She came to speak at the UBC Chan Centre through TED Talks two Decembers ago and a friend asked if I was interested in attending. Why not, I figured. It was free for students and I had no other plans that night. Three hours later, following a hilarious monologue on pop culture’s zombie/vampire fascination, I walked home a huge fan of the lippy silver-haired icon and Atwood quickly jumped to the top of my Christmas wish list.

Considering I wrote my English admissions paper on how The Giver‘s dystopic future introduced me to the intensely conflicting emotions of not being able to put a book down but simultaneously not wanting to finish it (thank you, Lois Lowry), Oryx and Crake was just my kind of story. Over a year later, when I finally borrowed The Year of the Flood from a co-worker and downloaded MaddAddam on my Kobo, that same obsessive attachment rushed back. I avoided making social plans to dedicate extra evenings and weekend hours to reading, and I took religious lunch breaks to sneak away from the Pleebs… I mean office. (Sorry, bad joke. I’m not as funny as Margaret Atwood.)

I finished both novels in less than two weeks, which also reminded me how bittersweet it is to turn the last page of a great book –then again, I get sad every morning when I finish my last sip of coffee, so maybe I’m a bit too committed to the temporary. Luckily when I went home the next weekend I found Alias Grace tucked away on my bedroom bookshelf.

PS: I had to ask my co-worker to bring The Year of the Flood back for my photo-tracking purposes. I’ve come to realize that between Kobo use and book borrowing, my year of reading isn’t going to physically manifest into a 12+ book collection along my bedroom bookshelf quite like I was hoping for. After much deliberation I’ve decided that I will continue to read, even if my instagram video at the end of the year isn’t quite as cool as I was anticipating…

Sock Tan Shock

One day last week when I took off my Birkenstocks I noticed big dark patches outlining their shape on the tops of my feet. Having just cycled home from the beach I figured it was a sand/dirt/dust combo (gross!) so I started trying to rub it away.. only to learn that it was a tan.

Tanned feet have always seemed like a pipe dream to me. Like owning a private jet, or having a vacation home in the South of France – fancy creature comforts for other human beings to enjoy that just aren’t quite in the cards for me.

In fact my feet have had such limited exposure to sunlight in the last decade, that they have claimed a permanent shade of death. (Spending 9 months of the year wearing golf shoes in sunny locales will make sure of that.)

As nice as it’s been to wear cute sandals humiliation-free this year, the realization that I’ve completely dodged a sock tan turned out to be more so a sad reminder that I’ve hardly played any golf this year than the luxury I imagined. I guess this is what being careful what you wish for is all about.

There must be a downside to private jets too.

sweet, sweet summer

About a month ago a friend messaged me asking how my summer was going. Reading her text caused momentary panic as it dawned on me that OMG IT’S ACTUALLY SUMMER.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve noticed the beautiful blue skies and warm sunshine we’ve been treated to for weeks now as I spend my lunch hours reading in the park by my office and my evenings enjoying my bike ride home (or to the beach), but I felt like I had missed the memo that our amazing spring had officially transitioned into another gorgeous West Coast summer.

For me the biggest difference about this summer is – somewhat ironically – that it’s really no different at all. It’s the first time in seventeen years that summer wasn’t the exclamatory punctuation at the end of another school year, the first year since middle school that that it wasn’t funded by a (quote/unquote) summer job, and the first time maybe ever that it didn’t serve as a transitional period to the next significant change (new school year, new city, new independence, new responsibility, new lifestyle). Instead, May folded into June rather uneventfully, and I found myself in the midst of summer by surprise.

I answered my friend’s text exactly as I felt in that moment: ‘haven’t had much of a summer yet’ - and the idea of capitalizing on the remainder of the season immediately became a priority. But as soon as I started trying to cram a bit of summer into everything I did, I realized just how much I had already taken advantage of the season.

As much as my summer-inspired itch for change & new beginnings is consuming me with thoughts of what’s next (school? travel? work? …) it’s pretty difficult to sit in Hadden Park, watching fireworks among the thousands of others proud to call this city home, and not feel like I have the very best life in the very best place.

Or maybe that’s my grown-up slurpee talking… White wine has always made me a little extra sappy.

On that note I’m off to the Okanagan for the weekend to indulge in winery tours and golf and family time – the only things missing from my Vancouver summer.