Decisions

IMG_3885

I have taken a bit of a break from writing but I am ready to get back at it. I am deciding the best platform to resume my writing. Do I continue with the confusing blogging site I’m used to fighting through to publish, or do I take the leap and create my own web site? Do I just write with pen and paper or do I share my thoughts? Do I start fresh or continue where I left off being distracted while I procrastinate? I have been admiring a few blog sites and keep thinking I should take the leap and go on my own, create myself a space on line, write somewhere my thoughts can flow freely but where I am now is comfortable and familiar.

It is intimidating to know where to look for a domain if I take that leap. I don’t have the first idea how to begin to build a web site but I know people who do and I can learn. Just like I learned to blog, to learn to share my writing, to accept not everything I write is good, most important to learn I love to just write. Then there is the decision of branding. What do I want my site to represent? I have one shot to make a first impression and that comes with not only the site itself, but what should my domain name be? Should it reflect me, my writing, my personality, my dreams, the pressure I’m putting on myself to make such a simple decision?

Should I just stay the course I’m on now? I’m happy with it. No, I’m content. I enjoy where I am with my blogging but I think it could be better, more focused. Isn’t that the point of this blog? Unfocused, distracted, writing whatever I’m feeling. I’ve changed my theme many times to suit the mood I’m in or where I think I want my blog to head only to change it again when something new is released or I stumble on a beautiful blog that I try to replicate. No, I need my own, not copy someone else. I know what I like, I know what I don’t like. Simplicity is best for the theme to not distract from the words. It is the words that are important.

The black marks on the white page. The words can distract. The words should distract and focus at the same time. Now I will procrastinate.

Sigh.

t.g.2016

Advertisements

My soul sister city – I heart you.

imageThis isn’t something new; It is something I’ve known for a very long time. It is something I’ve known for so long I had the chance twice and ran away scared. I ran but always found a way to return year after year after year. I had family here. I found a friend who lived here, I found a reason to come back every September long weekend for 13 years. I found a different reason  to come back when the previous reason ran out of lives. I found a best friend who grew up here. I found a (not so) distant relative who spent a better part of his life here. I started running to make an excuse to return for a few years although it was a half marathon and I’d be in pain for days. I found a reason.

At what point are the reasons and excuses going to run out? I’m a “Western Canadian” girl and always will be but my heart feels best when I’m on the West Coast. I’m not going to sleep tonight*. Not because I can’t, but because I don’t want to. I want to take in the city as much as I can because I refuse to take it for granted. I refuse to not appreciate why I am here and what is outside my window. I am trying so hard to not have regrets but every time I’m here I hate to leave. It isn’t that feeling of never wanting to end a vacation. It is a feeling of not wanting to be a tourist but a resident with a career, a life, a home… I want people who do live here to understand what they have and what they aren’t missing.

It don’t want to cry, to waste energy wondering why not. I want to spend every moment breathing in the salty air, the West Coast vibe, to appreciate salty hair and a feeling of comfort and to understand the hustle and bustle of a city that is vibrant and full of energy. I won’t regret what could have been but enjoy what is and know it will be here when I need it.

Perhaps if I lived here I wouldn’t appreciate what I do now. It isn’t that far away and possibly only being here once a year makes me understand how amazing it is. There is a reason it is my home county and not some exotic location. I have to remember how close it is peeking at me just over the mountains and the feeling I get when I’m here. I need to put those feelings in a jar to open when I’m forgetting how amazing the feelings can be. It might be just a city and many people have told me it isn’t where you are, but who you are, however there are times when location is everything. I need to cherish what this moment is and close my eyes to take a mental snapshot so when I’m feeling blue I will remember what it feels like to be in Vancouver.

My heart is and always will be yours. XO

t.g.2015

*written about a month ago while in Vancouver after I completed my 3rd half marathon.

201? – A year to Review or Preview?

IMG_0747

I have been on a staycation for almost a week and today I finally seized the opportunity to get up early (thanks to a hungry dog who went back to sleep after his breakfast 😏) and not return back to my cozy bed. The house is quiet, the coffee hot and my computer warm with tales of expectations for the New Year and reflections for 2014. As I read posts and blogs, I wondered if I should reflect on my past year or focus on the future? Should I put into black and white what I felt I accomplished (or didn’t) in 2014 or move forward and set goals and expectations for 2015?

Most social media sites contain a “look back” at 2014. Facebook and Tumblr offer a “year in review”, WordPress emailed me “Your 2014 in blogging”, music apps have added the most played songs of the year and news sites have started reviewing the top stories of 2014. The end of December seems to be preoccupied with where we have been for the past 11+ months. What about where we want to be in 2015? Is it simply easier to sum up what has already happened rather than consider what direction we want to head in 2015 for fear it may not happen?

The past is a certainty that cannot be changed but the future is uncertain, unpredictable and scary. If we put our goals in writing or even say them out loud and they aren’t met we seem to be afraid to admit things just didn’t turn out the way we expected. Maybe we need to reflect first to understand how to shape our futures. Our past determines who we want to be in the future. We learn from our mistakes, grow more confident with achievements and successes and understand what does or doesn’t benefit growth in a positive direction. So maybe we cannot set goals for the future without reflecting on the past.

For today I am just going to enjoy my day and live in the moment. I hope you had a year to remember and enter into another  full of accomplishments, new experiences and even some moments where you shake your head and wonder why.

~t.g.2014

The 30 Day Yoga Challenge

53837bc8aa8454ba86658a8dab521ea2

I opened my email this morning to see the monthly newsletter from the yoga studio I frequent. The feature this month is a 30 day challenge. As per usual, I read through the email and thought to myself how I really should at least consider it, then promptly opened my Facebook page. The most recent story on my feed is the yoga studio post regarding the upcoming 30 day challenge. It is easy enough to just keep scrolling through my feed and see what my friends are up to so again, it was a very brief thought of how I should consider the challenge. Over to Twitter I clicked and sure enough, there it was again. Should I take this as the universe screaming at me to do more than just consider a 30 day yoga challenge? Or is it just me realizing I have been looking for something to help guide me back to listening to what my body needs.

I have been home sick for the better part of 2 weeks and what I need to remember is that I don’t get sick often, but when I do, I go down hard. I never seem to make it simple. This time around after a visit to the emergency room and several follow-up appointments with my doctor it was determined I have a virus. A stubborn, “let it run its course” virus. ((sigh.)) This was the wake up call I think I needed to tell me to smarten up and listen.

I joined a gym almost 2 years ago and train regularly, I have run two half marathons, two 10K races as well as practice yoga on a not-so-regular basis. I don’t eat as well as I should (although being sick has made me shift my eating habits as I’m sure this virus loves my choice in salty snacks 😉 ) but I do hydrate well. I follow too many fitness blogs, Instagram accounts and Twitter feeds and have enough Lululemon gear to start my own store. So why do I sit at my computer rather than run to the yoga studio to sign up for the 30 day challenge? Good question…

I think what I am searching for is a fitness routine for my soul. I don’t mean just brain games as I think I’m ok there as I have a demanding career and amazing family and friends. What I mean is I think it is time I looked after what I can’t see; nurture what I can feel. A healthy body is great, but until the mind and soul are healthy too, it seems all for nothing. Enter the 30 day Yoga challenge. If I can commit to 30 days (which is only 30 out of 720 hours)  then I can commit to me. Maybe this is just a result of being a bit sleep-deprived and still not feeling 100%, but either way, I have a few weeks to convince myself that this challenge is what I need to do.

I found a few grains of sand in my summer pail.

As I sat on my deck on one of the last great-weather days in 2014 I started to think back to the post I wrote in July about my hopes for the summer. I set out a list of things I wanted to accomplish so I didn’t waste a moment of what I knew to be an amazing Rocky Mountain season. I am grateful to report I’ve crossed off quite a few things but knew I would have some that were just too stubborn to clean out of the bottom of the pail. I haven’t given up on my list, but as the summer season inevitably turns into fall it may be time to start my snow pail list.

1. Enjoy coffee on my deck as often as possible. 
Mission accomplished! I even enjoyed coffee every morning for a week on the patio at a friends’ house while on vacation. Nothing beats the early morning rays of warmth and the excitement of the day to come.

2. Go on a picnic. (complete with blankets on the grass, sandwiches, fancy finger foods and maybe even a bottle of wine.)
This didn’t quite happen as I envisioned. Does having a beer in a travel mug and a bag of chips on the beach count?

3. Get Geeky at the Science Centre with my daughter.
I am really terrible at getting out and exploring my own city. I always take it for granted and procrastinate going places as I get distracted thinking about far away destinations or think I need to clean my house first, or hey, I better watch my PVR before hubby deletes something. I can go explore my own city anytime right? Or should that be phrased as follows; I should go explore my own city right now!

4. Walk Chili every day.
This didn’t quite happen every day but I am happy to say Chili has started to whine in the evenings after dinner so we walk often enough that he has come to expect his nightly outing.

IMG_3670

There’s nothing better than a slushie and a walk!

5. Try Stand Up Paddleboarding.
Not only did I try it, I fell in love with it. Now if only I lived in a community with a lake…

6. Practice yoga on the deck.
I let my ego get in the way of this one. While I do practice yoga at home (as well as at a studio) I didn’t muster up the courage to take it to the deck. We are on a corner lot, quite exposed to houses around us and although I know the likelihood of there being nosy neighbours is slim, I didn’t want to take the chance.
I did some yoga poses on a paddle board in the middle of Lake Osoyoos for all to see so maybe my ego wasn’t paying attention in that moment. Silly of me considering on my deck I would be in comfy yoga pants and a tank, rather than a skimpy bathing suit. Sigh.

7. Visit a local museum.
Sigh… see #3. Can I stretch the intentions of this one and say I visited an art gallery while getting local in Osoyoos BC?

8. Unplug for more than just a few hours.
This wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had thought. Not having wifi for 8 days while on vacation definitely helped! I love my technology but I didn’t miss it nearly as much as I anticipated. Even after a bit of a tantrum the first day A realized she wouldn’t have social media for a week, there was the realization that face-to-face with her friends was much more rewarding than posting and waiting for those “likes” to come flooding in.

9. Visit a friend I haven’t seen in a long time.
I think this one almost deserves a separate blog entry as I saw more than one friend I haven’t seen in forever. I don’t know how many people can say they have friends that are in their lives for a reason and although you may not see them for a very long period of time, once you do it is like you saw them yesterday. I am fortunate enough to have a few.

10. Attend a yoga class in a different city.
I often attend different classes with different teachers in my own city, but it is always fabulous to explore yoga in a completely different environment, especially when that yoga class is not only outdoors overlooking the Pacific ocean, but has 3,000 other yogis right there with me. I only regret not joining the street yoga party on Robson. Definite must-do next summer!

11. Enjoy lunch at an outdoor cafe and not worry about the time.
This one was accomplished more than once. I think this goes hand in hand with #8 as I use my phone for a watch. Having lunch with a great friend and being so absorbed in conversation that time isn’t even a consideration is amazing. It is time to “unplug” and enjoy being in a wonderful place with amazing friends.

12. Share some of my time by volunteering.
Although I constantly set this as a personal goal I am ashamed to say I don’t spend the time volunteering that I would like. Balancing being a dance mom, having a career and being a wife is tough. I do work for an incredible company who is at the forefront of the community so I do take the opportunities to volunteer with their support (this year our team painted the house, deck, fence and garage of a very deserving senior). A also loves to volunteer as well but isn’t able to do the things that are important to her because she is too young. In a year, we will be able to do things together to volunteer around the city and I can’t wait.

13. Hike in the mountains.
You would think this would be a no-brainer as I live at the foot of the Canadian Rocky Mountains but along with #3 and #7 I tend to take these majestic wonders for granted. I did hike this year in early September and it was amazing. I hiked for a few hours and the entire time I just kept thinking to myself how fortunate I was as this is my backyard and people from around the world come here, just to see this once in their lives. I can see views like this anytime I want.

IMG_3886

14. Run the Seawall in Vancouver (unlike last year when I just walked. This year I want to run.)
Well, this didn’t quite happen the way I’d hoped but I did run more of the seawall than last year. I won’t complain as just being able to complete a half marathon was an accomplishment in itself in my books.

15. Eat local and support our economy by shopping at the Farmers’ Market.
I was able to support local growers and ranchers in three different cities this summer. We enjoyed Silver Sage beef from the local market in Calgary, amazing candied salmon in Granville Island Market and fresh fruit in the Okanagan Valley. If visiting wineries counts then I supported the local grape growers as well.

16. Take advantage of the amazing weekend sunrises and run on the ridge rather than sleeping through them.
During the week when I’m not on vacation I’m up at 5am already so there is no way I’m about to get up any earlier to run. I did manage to get up a few mornings during vacation and on a few weekends to run by 6am and it was amazing. It is so calm, quiet and the air is crisp. I truly wish I could do it more often as it put me in the most amazing mood for the rest of the day.

17. Enjoy great company under our pergola on the warm summer evenings.
This is always an easy thing to do as wouldn’t you want to join me here? 😉

IMG_3578

18. On a rainy day have a picnic inside. (see #2)
Well if appetizers and a bottle of wine standing at the kitchen island is considered a picnic then mission accomplished.

19. Window shop in Mission and enjoy a latte at Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters while people watching.
This now seems to be a common theme with me as again, my city has so many amazing things to offer and I just never seem to make it a priority. My husband and I had dinner at a fabulous Italian restaurant in Mission and wandered a bit to discover Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters. This was in June so I decided it should be on my list as we just didn’t have enough time to truly explore this amazing district. I never got back even despite the fact I work a very short walking-distance away.

20. Visit a vineyard and taste a regional wine.
I am very happy to say we visited several vineyards in the Okanagan Valley BC. My birthday was spent going to six and continued to visit several more in the following days. We found it so much fun we even found a tasting room in a mall of all places in Spokane Washington. We now have several favourites and have branched out from our ‘go-to’ California wines. We discovered new varieties we hadn’t heard of and I found a new appreciation for Pino Noir. I knew I was a wine snob but now I have some education to back it up! I know what I like and now know why.

IMG_3841

21. Make real sun tea.
Well let’s just say this never happened.

22. Camp in my backyard.
I will be the first one to admit when given the choice of my comfy king size bed and sleeping in a tent on the ground, I will always crawl under the covers in my master bedroom. My hopes had been to “camp” with A in the backyard as she’s never had the experience, but my high-maintenance A-type personality always found a reason to not tackle this goal. I love the great outdoors, but I just prefer not to sleep there.

23. Who knows? After all, one never knows what summer may have in store.
It was an amazing summer full of new experiences and fabulous friends. We didn’t waste a moment and am happy to know although I may not have crossed everything off my list, I added a few things that I didn’t anticipate and sometimes that makes for the best memories.

~t.g.2014