No Disclaimers

October 10, 2011

Daily reminders of how awesome life is.

Two days off in a row. The temperature that’s tricking me into believing it’s summer. The food on my plate, clothes on my back, roof over my head. My beating heart pounding out the rhythm of my life and deep breaths scented with flowers. My dreams, especially those I dare turn into reality. Insights and the constant desire to make sense of it all. The parts of myself I understand and those pieces unconcerned with who else gets me. My job, my wardrobe and the things in my life I know are much better than my complaints suggest. Family, friends and my constant reminders of being blessed. My safety. My health. My able body. The love I give gladly and receive with open arms. Baking, cooking, shooting an interesting photograph, singing the perfect note, reading a great book, watching a spellbinding movie. Music. Art galleries and public libraries. Nature trails in the city. Freshly laundered clothes and the first sleep on clean sheets. The love of my life. Recognizing beauty. Calm moments and enjoying my own company. Creative inspiration. Knitting and a desire to learn how to sew. Time I’m able to spend doing what I want to. My garden, my office and the effort I’m able to put into making them just right. Self-expression. Learning from others. Each and every one of my sense and the ability to feel.  All of my travels and those to come. For all this and more I am truly grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving.

6) Gimme Five

February 20, 2011

List 6 – Five films I’ve seen recently.

I Am Love – Very good as I mentioned before. Tilda Swinton rules, always has since I saw her in Female Perversions. And I my desire to go to Italy keeps getting stronger. Wouldn’t mind learning the language either but one trauma at a time.

The Son’s Room – Also take place in Italy. Another good flick.

Eat, Pray, Love. I didn’t mind the movie much to my surprise. I definitely preferred the book which I read about three years ago (loved it). I’m actually re-reading it… in French. Mange, Prie, Aime. This is more an exercise in accumulating vocabulaire and patience more than anything – but it is sinking in. I’ve been able to figure out quite a bit although I am only on page 23. But back to the flick. As much as I thought Julia Roberts would be miscast for the part she was fine. Not mind blowing – but fine. In the same sense, the film was fine. This is not a heavy hitting flick, nothing to knock your socks off. But it’s an okay rental (or borrow from the bibleotheque) and if you take it for what it is (one of those Hollywood remakes of a best seller) you probably won’t be too disappointed.

Precious What can I say? This IS a heavy hitter. Not an easy film to watch but do not be discouraged. Actually, this is the message. Life is not easy. Do not be discouraged. Instead of the cup of tea one might watch a movie like Eat, Pray, Love with, you definitely want a glass of wine, or maybe just a glass of water while watching this. That and a big BIG box of tissue. I could have cried all night after watching this movie. The performances were good all around. That red scarf reeled me in as soon as the movie started.

Le premiere jour du reste de ta vie. This French flim centres on the life of la famille  Duval and their relationship with each other over the span of about twenty years. Also stars Canadian, Marc-André Grondin who starred in C.R.A.Z.Y. one of my favourite films.

Taken last winter at The Beaches, in Toronto.

Yes, it’s that time of year again and the February blahs have got me clamped in its clutch. I’ve been feeling listless and wiped out, with a mild fog of the blah-ues hovering over my frizzy haired horizon.  Lately, my mornings are met with a strong urge to draw the duvet up past my forehead instead of inspiring me to spring out of bed with my arms stretched wide to greet the new day. I want to wake up like that – wide armed and ready! I do not want to be one of those people who complains about winter since that would require me whining for up to six months each year.

I’m determined to pull a few tricks out of my (ahem)… hat in order to wave these brrr induced blahs away.

List 5 – 20 Ways To Brrreak The Winter Blahs:

  1. Bake something. Nothing like filling the house with the scent of cinnamon and butter attached to all that warmth wafting out of the oven to lift the spirits. It’s also pretty swell to have created something delicious by your own hand.
  2. Get a big pot of soup simmering on the stove top. Similar to 1. this is also a great way to add a bit of delicious humidity to the dry, static air while adding a bit of much-needed nourishment to your over-winterized, vitamin depleted bod.
  3. Start knitting. Or, (if you’re like me) pick up that project you abandoned once it got to hot out to consider having a pile of yarn on your lap. The extra yarnage helps you stay warm, too. Bonus!
  4. Pull on a big, fluffed up, cozy sweater and pick up a book you won’t be able to put down.
  5. Head out to a foggy windowed café to people watch while sipping on your favourite brew.
  6. Pay close attention to the sound of snow crunching under your boots. I happen to really like that sound. I suppose it reminds me of trudging to school (yes, we walked in those days) in the deep, deep freeze of Winnipeg winters. Talk about brrr…
  7. Curl up on the couch swathed in a warm blanket, hot mug of soup in hand (see number 2) and a movie (or three) popped into the dvd player. I recently drew the curtains (mid weekday!) and watched I Am Love starring  the amazing Tilda Swinton (love her). Yes, it was my day off and, yes, I had a million (or so) other things I should have been doing but we all need to take time to refuel. Especially when it’s chilly out there.
  8. It’s the best time to tuck into that giant pill of New Yorker magazine you can’t keep up with. Winterize this activity by staying in bed with the covers pulled up as high as possible while still being able to read.
  9. Get some fresh air! Go to the art gallery. If it’s sunny out and the temp hasn’t dropped below -10 (feeling colder with the windchill) by all means go to that part of town where the galleries are clustered making it ideal to hop. Hopping is a great way to stay warm. Otherwise go to one of the bigger gals or museums in town and spend of few hours getting lost in art. I can feel the snow melting already.
  10. Go skating!
  11. Marvel at the wonders of winter. Snowflakes, snow drifts, icicles, frozen rivers (with the sound of water trickling underneath). Connect your senses to the elements. Mmmm…
  12. Start a craft project. I just might pull my sewing machine out of its case and whip up a pair of simple curtains. I’ll be honest with you, though, this type for project can swing it either way. Depending on how the the final product turns out this one might actually make me feel worse. But there’s nothing like a good, risky challenge to get the heart pumping.
  13. Get active! As much as I’ve avoided it lately (just feeling too tired/blah… ) I know exercising can be a cure all to my lethargic tendencies. I always feel better after I’ve hit something (other than the wall) like the pool, the trail, the yoga mat. Work it!!!
  14. Grab the camera. For me, going on a walk with my camera often (actually, almost always) perks me up. I’m pretty sure this has to do with losing myself in the moment. Just bundle up!
  15. It’s a great time to break up the routine. This is very important. Instead of going from home, to work, to home, to work (with a few chore-related detours tossed in for bad measure) break the chain by leaving a bit earlier than you’re used to (whether it’s to work or on the way home) and spend sometime outside. Better yet, grab your coat at lunchtime and go for a walk. I know this might sound daunting when the Weather Network has been forecasting temps that “feels like” -24 C (or colder) with the windchill, but just dress a bit warmer and open those lungs for some cool (or cold), fresh air.
  16. Hook up with someone who makes you laugh.
  17. Chase a sunbeam and bask in it for as long as possible. Beam me up sunny!
  18. Enroll in a class. Nothing like using the tool of knowledge, or exercise (or whatever suits your fancy) to knock that cabin fever out of your system.
  19. Meditate or incorporate some breathing exercises into you daily regime. Preferable in that sunbeam you chased down in numero 17.
  20. Be good to yourself. Not to be confused with feeling sorry for yourself. Sometimes when my system is low-down every little thing in my life that’s not working (or I imagine is not working) can get caught in the web. At times like this it is CRUCIAL to show yourself some kindness. Instead of saying “boo-hoo poor me” (no self-pity here please) wrap your arms around yourself (symbolically, otherwise you might put your back out) and pat yourself on the shoulder. Murmur kind words in your ear along the lines of, “You’re going to be okay I’m right here for you.”, “Let it all out honey and tell me what’s wrong.”, or, “I will always love you. You’re perfect. Let’s dance.” Sink into it and feel what you need to feel; cry, scream, laugh maniacally, smack up that pillow on you unmade bed. Do what you need to do in order to connect with how you’re feeling (without pulling an innocent bystander down with you) and then splash some water on your face, brush yourself off and greet a new day.

I swear I feel better already.

4) A Call For Common Sense

January 30, 2011

After all these years without one, I recently started using a cellphone. I’m not exactly sure why (peer pressure maybe?) since I haven’t even bothered to dole out my number to more than a few people. The amount of money spent on these things is astounding. And, it seems as if over night (I know it took longer than that but it does seem as if it happened quite quickly), we went from these independent beings to people shackled down by our joined-at-the-hip phones. Is this a sign of improvement? I don’t think so. I’m not saying that there aren’t a lot of benefits to having a cellphone, or, even that the majority of us are abusing their use. But I do believe a few unspoken guidelines about cellphone conduct could to make this instant and constantly accessible world we’re living in a safer and more respectful place.

And so, in light of a recent happening on the TTC, where a bus driver was caught (by a rider’s iPhone camera no less) sending text messages while driving (uh hello… )  I thought this might be a good time for me to post a few general points on etiquette and cellphone use which, sadly these days, seem to be taking a backseat to safety and courtesy.

List 4 – Think twice about using your mobile device if you are:

  • operating a vehicle. Any vehicle. Not just large, passenger carrying vessels funded, in part, by the very public they are carry. Talking on the phone and/or texting while driving is DANGEROUS should be completely forbidden.
  • in public whist having and extremely personal conversation at an ear splitting volume. I have been shocked, on more than one occasion, by the conversations I’ve been forced to listen to. Trust me, nobody wants to hear your business, or, even cares for that matter, so hush up.
  • in mid-transaction in a store, at the bank or buying tickets for, say, the theatre. If your phone rings and you are in this kind of situation I can 100% guarantee you it will be okay to wait the 30 seconds – 5 minutes it will take to complete the business at hand. Simply (now here’s an idea) return the call once you have stepped away from the clerk’s ear shot. Please do not assume, just because you are dealing with someone being paid to do their job (pretty much anyone who works dealing with the public) that their salary includes listening to people yacking on the phone.
  • interrupting a transaction while there is a LINE behind you. A line means there are people waiting. Don’t forget, momentarily turning off your ringer is a reasonable option when stepping up to do business with someone.
  • sitting in a movie or live theatre. There is absolutely no reason for your phone to ring or for you to be talking while the movie or performance is on (the same rule applies to talking to the person beside you too). If it is necessary for you to be “on call” (your kids are with a sitter, someone close to you is ill, or the multitude of other reasons you might need to stay on cellphone alert) turn off your ringer, set your phone to vibrate and sit close to an aisle. If your phone starts to shimmy you can slip out of the auditorium to take (or, immediately return) the call.
  • having dinner with someone and the call is not pressing.
  • in mid-conversation and it is not an emergency.
  • you are on a crowded bus or streetcar (thankfully here in Toronto cellphones don’t work on the subway) or sitting next to someone (who is reading or not) and it is not an emergency. (While your at it, turn down your music. Sheesh.)
  • in a park, and in ear shot of someone attempting to wash the city off for a few moments by connecting with nature. Note: if you are in a park assume this is what that person a few feet away from you is doing.
  • in an art gallery.
  • in a class (private or otherwise) show some consideration to your teacher and classmates.
  • trying to make a basic decision. You can make a few choices on your own. I would imagine that about 80% of the decisions we make in a day, maybe more, can be accomplished without involving another person. Have faith in yourself. A bit of independence goes a long way.
  • in public but not sure how to chat on the phone without shouting. What’s that all about?
  • in a crowded waiting room. If you must talk on the phone, step outside. If you are unable to do step outside, of course, speak at a reasonable volume.

Like in so many different areas in life a little bit of common sense can go a very (very) long way.

 

 

3) I love it when…

January 23, 2011

I can not tell you how many times I catch myself beginning a sentence with the words, “I hate it when… “ and I really hate it when that happens. Today’s post is the flip side to that phrase. For example, I love it when I find a good clip of a song I like on YouTube. Listen (and read) on…

List 3 – I love it when…

  • I think I’ve lost something like, say, my $111 monthly Metropass, mid-month, then discover it two days later when a kind stranger on the bus tells me I’ve dropped something after it falls out of the book I’m reading. Yay!
  • I make perfect connections on the TTC and get to my destination in record time.
  • something tumbles out of my hand like, say, a recently filled pepper mill, and crashes to the floor – but the top stays on.
  • something tumbles out of my hand, or, off the shelf, or, rolls off the counter (or… or… or…) and I catch it.
  • something tumbles out of my hand onto the floor – lid up. (I’ve been dropping a lot of stuff lately).
  • my house is clean.
  • someone I don’t know leaves a comment here or one of my Flickr photos. I love when anyone leaves a comment (go on… leave one) but it is nice to hear from a stranger.
  • I have the time to bake and the house smells like cinnamon and apples (or what have you) and it’s cold outside but oh so cozy in.
  • my shower has the perfect temperature and water pressure.
  • I feel positive, invincible and motivated.
  • I’m inspired by my family and friends – or strangers for that matter. I love feeling inspired.
  • I’m the one to inspire. Not sure how often this happens but I must have at one time or another.
  • I don’t feel guilty about lounging around with (depending on the time of day) a tea, or, glass of wine and nibbles – reading, watching a movie, day-dreaming…
  • I have a good book to read/film to watch/gallery to go to.
  • I watch a movie in French or overhear a conversation en français and I understand what they’re saying.
  • I cross something off my to-do list.
  • I complete a task I’ve been seriously avoiding.
  • I’m in “the zone” when I’m writing.
  • I’m reading a book I cannot put down.
  • one of my ideas not only gets realized but actually unfolds just as I had imagined it – or better.
  • I’ve gone to the pool. Feels so good on numerous levels making me wonder why I haven’t been in such a long time. People, I am telling you… The only habits you should ever break are the bad ones. I wonder why those are the ones that are so easy to pick up again. Weird.
  • I go for a walk on the trail. Nine and a half times out of ten this is a sure-fire mood lifter.
  • I’ve finished going the laundry.
  • I’m snuggling between freshly laundered sheet (beside B of course). Flannels in the winter, crisp cotton in the summer.
  • I take a good photo.
  • I read something I wrote awhile ago and do not get the urge to purge.
  • the sunshine streams through my window.
  • when I write a good and effortless blog post. These two do not always correspond.
  • I travel.
  • my flowering plants are blossoming. My orchids are on the brink of blooming – yay!
  • nature drops my jaw. The numerous shades of sky blue, for instance, or the way the breeze sounds (when there is not a windchill attached to it) as it rustles though the leaves.
  • I’m listening to and connecting with good music. You know what I mean? You’ve heard that song a million times before but, for whatever reason, at that moment its shooting goosebumps up your spine. Or it’s that kind of song that always shoots goosebumps up your spine. Mmmm…
  • I’m lost in the moment. When I’m working on something, listening to something, watching something, reading… (you get the point) and time seems to have evapourated or you feel like you are swathed in the most extraordinary, life-sustaining bubble.
  • simple things make me smile. A good coffee. Good food. Good company. Etc…
  • I find new people, places, things to love.
  • I realize I have a multitude of ways to end that sentence.

Before I go, I think I’ll share another Chocolate Genius song since he’s on my mind at the moment.  My Mom comes from the fabulous album, Black Music.  I stumbled on this song one day about (wow) ten years ago when I was flipping through channels on t.v. I stopped when I heard Marc Anthony Thompson’s voice. I’d never heard of CG before but was transfixed this song and immediately bought the album. I can’t seem to locate the video I saw that day, but no worries. The heartfelt performance of it here is just as spellbinding. By they way, there’s a short interview with him, here, at NPR Music, a site I never knew about until now. Nothing like accidentally stumbling on a good fine.

I love it when that happens.

2) Fifteen More Days

January 16, 2011

List 2 – Things I swear will be completed by the end of January:

  • Set up my cellphone.
  • Paint my office.
  • Put photographs in the frames I bought two (yes, TWO) summers ago. I just completed that one. Yay!
  • Get a desk.
  • Join a few more groups in Flickr.
  • Make some changes on this here blog of mine.
  • Buy a copy of Larousse Mini Dictionaire de Français. (This is not as easy to find as you might think. Why is it so difficult to find a french-french dictionary in this bilingual country of mine?)
  • Go to Designer Fabric Outlet or some other fabulous place to find interesting fabric for curtains. Making them will come later, I swear. (just being realistic here)
  • Finish two panels of the blanket I’m knitting.
  • Go back to the pool (Sadly, I realize this is on almost every list I write.)
  • Start draft three of my writing project. (I swear… )
  • Organize the binder filled with old bills and household essentials. (ugh)
  • Speak more French/ Parlent plus de français.
  • Be done (I said DONE) de-cluttering my office. So close…
  • Shoot one roll of the expired 35 mm film I have socked away.
  • Post two more lists.
  • Wash the kitchen floor.
  • See at least two midday movies on my own.
  • Finish reading The Discomfort Zone by Jonathan Franzen. I’m enjoying it.
  • Lis le deuxieme chapitre de Ces Enfants de Ma Vie par Gabrielle Roy. (Not sure if I wrote that correctly. Feel free to correct me.) It’s an effort for me to read in French but a good effort.
  • De-clutter my computer.
  • Decide what I want to be when I grow up. Hm… I may need more time with that one. But, then again, how much effin’ time do you need? Decided already!

Seems like a lot for two weeks but I’ll do my best.

1) Name That Tune

January 4, 2011

Seen at The Evergreen Brickworks

Is that light I see at the end of the tunnel?

Well… My office is once again in a topsy-turvy state and I suppose my mind is feeling the same way. Lots of stuff brinking (new word) as of late. Yes, I’m singing the same old song and it is high time to change my tune. Three major things are going on at this particular moment that just might (hopefully – pleasepleaseplease) nudge me into a forward moving gear. I think they call it drive. Parking brake off, please.

Those three things are: I’m off from work for a little while, it’s the beginning of a new year and I’m rapidly approaching my  scary age. 1 + 1 + 1= get your shit together girl.

The last time I was in a similar situation (i.e. had some extra time on my hands) I attempted to tackle the same task of getting my office/ life in order but here I’m sitting-  and it ain’t pretty. By the end of this week, I vow I’ll be able to breath easier. Inhale. Exhale. Whew…

In the meantime, here is my first list of the year. I hope to post one list a week since I fell a few short in 2010. Why do I get myself into these situations?

List 1 – Name that tune. Nothing new here but these tracks are really making the task of sifting through my life’s clutter, a whole lot easier to swallow. At least I’m not singing that same old song.

Hey Ya! – OutKast. Man I wish I could move like André 3000

Heaven On Their Minds – Carl Anderson from the Jesus Christ Superstar Soundtrack. As far as I’m concerned Judas was the real superstar in that musical.

Honey – Moby

Find My Baby – Moby (Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the video clip to this song but you can click on the title to hear it.)

Nulla in Mundo Pax Sincera – Vivadi off the Shine Soundtrack sung beautifully by Jane Edwards

Gloria – Same as above although I’m not sure who is singing.

Tell Me Something Good – Rufus. Check out the shoes Chaka Khan is wear. Woah!

Strawberry Letter 23 – The Brothers Johnson. My afro in on the ’70s could definitely give these bros a run for their money.

Seven Nation Army – White Stripes (and speaking of Beck… )

Devil’s Haircut – Beck

Your Ex-Lover is Dead – Stars (Beautiful song, beautiful video.)

That Ain’t Right – from the Ain’t Misbehavin’ Soundtrack

The Viper Song – same as above

Do Something – Macy Gray (How appropriate. Strange video though. Wha… ?)

39) Banquets and Bouquets

December 31, 2010

The year started out in a flurry of petals...

One thing I’m finally starting to get after forty some-odd (some very odd, yes) years is that I need a little structure in my life. Unfortunately, structure has been a touch slippery in my life and hard to grasp a hold of. Whoops, there it goes again. I feel as if I’ve been drifting all these years refusing to seriously select a destination (i.e. goal) for fear of making a mistake. I keep forgetting what Lilias Folan once said on her show in the seventies, “there are no mistakes just miss takes”. Instead, I’ve worried that if a make a wrong choice and start cultivating the land on my life’s horizon, land with soil watered by my sweat, nerves and possible tears, I might get anchored in the mud or worse, sink. Then what would become of me? Problem is, in avoiding to choose that (whatever that is) goal to follow, I’ve wound up in the very place I feared I would fall. Stuck.

This coming year I will be (eek!) forty-five and I still have no real clue of what I’m after (how did this happen? read the first paragraph.) True, I’ve set my sights on a few endeavours (writing project, French lessons… ) but my navigation system is way off. At times I feel like there is an electrical pull inside of me constantly yanking me away from my semi-goals, forcing me to do things the way I’ve always done them and it can be exhausting. Also, some of those things simply do not work.

Einstein once said – Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

How true.

2010 has been a pretty good year and as always I am thankful for my health, my family and friends. I am so incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by some mighty beings. I feel grateful for my job, the roof over  my head, my table and everything on it. And, most definitely I’m thankful for Bill.

My hope for tomorrow, 2011, though, is that I turn it up a notch or two. I want to keep on doing what I’ve set out to do – but better, stronger and with more effort involved. If my life were a recipe (and it is in a way) I hope to season it with fresh herbs and flavourful spices. I want to stir it up, dip my finger in to test its consistency and then remove or add whatever might be required. I don’t want to get stuck on what’s been written. I want to add pepper to taste (my taste) and adjust accordingly. I do not want to simmer or stew or mull it all over until its over-cooked. Or, take it off the stove before it’s ready. No… No more half-baked meals for me, please. I want to harvest the wisdom I’ve gathered all these years and create the best dish possible. Me. On my forty-fifth birthday this summer I’m going to celebrate my accomplishments – whatever they are. In the meantime, I hope to fill my days with life’s beautiful, overflowing bounties.

I fell a few short of 52 lists this year but let’s see what the new year brings.

List 39 – In 2011 I hope to…

  • keep looking up and around
  • take more photographs
  • write
  • drop the P word from my vocabulary (procrastination. Buh-bye!)
  • try new things and go new places
  • travel
  • laugh as much as possible
  • shed the tears that need to be shed (let me go!)
  • eat, drink and me merry. Healthily. (with a few indulgences thrown in for good measure.)
  • spend time with my family and friends
  • spend time with myself
  • grow… grow… grow…
  • keep blogging (actually you might be seeing some changes over here.)
  • rest and feel more energized (lose the bags under my eyes!)
  • get rid of the excessive clutter
  • tackle as much of my list as possible
  • keep listing

There is so much I want to do this coming year I could go on forever.

... and ends with a flower, too.

May your New Year be filled with banquets and bouquets!

38) Boxing Day Wish List

December 26, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I may be a couple of days late in posting my Christmas wish list but my timing is perfect for  taking advantage of the ubiquitous Boxing Day sales. So, without further adieu…

List 38 – Kim’s Christmas Boxing Day wish list in no particular order:

  • The book Stroll by, Shawn Micallef.
  • A good pair of walking shoes and/or boots.
  • Cross country skis.
  • Season six of Rescue Me.
  • An iPad.
  • Unlimited world travel. If you’re going to dream, dream big.
  • Photoshop and/or Aperture. And an operating system to support them.
  • A new laptop. Yes, okay… so my computer is in fine condition. A bit older then some and it could use more space and a few upgrades but asking for things you want but don’t necessarily need are what wish lists are all about, no?
  • A hand blender. I broke mind recently when it toppled out of the dish rack. I’m surprised how much I miss it.
  • Flat screen television to replace the monster we have now that gives off a good image but takes up half the living room.
  • Yoga Classes.
  • Swimming lessons.
  • A week at a spa in the country somewhere.
  • Someone to organize my office.
  • Someone to organize my home.
  • Someone to organize my life. I could really use a mentor. You’re never to old, right?
  • A few hot (and by hot I mean cool, not stolen) lenses for my Canon Rebel T1i.
  • A new desk and shelves for my office.
  • A toaster oven to replace the nasty one we have now that works really well but is a major eye sore.
  • Overhead lights for my kitchen and living room.
  • French lessons and accompanying lodging in FRANCE.
  • A new wardrobe.
  • A year’s worth of manicures (by someone who knows how to deal with troubled cuticles. I haven’t met that person here in Toronto so if you have a handle on someone you’d better let me know.
  • Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream. Mmmm…
  • New Fly shoes or boots (some of the Yellow and Cherry/ Morganne lines really work for me). Hopefully, I’ll take care of that one today.

37) Sink or Swim

December 11, 2010

I just might have to grab onto this buoy

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Yes… Once my nerves start to rattle and my head becomes all fahlalalalahlaladdled it’s safe to say Christmas is on the way. For me, the busy is all about work. My job entails selling a product that could be considered a good gift idea by some and so my workload increases by a percentage in the high double digits. Of course, I’m happy for the business for without it I wouldn’t get paid. But, do I feel wiped out at the end of the day? Oh yes I do. Now remember, on the calmest of days (on the job or otherwise), the rest of my life can set the switch to high in fraz mode, so with the added pressures of non-stop shoppers things can get a bit… blurry. At this time of year, if I’ve learned anything from the past, I know I need to keep things as simple as possible. After my last french class on Monday (I think we’re having a test. Merde!!!) the plan is to turn things way down to low. When I was a youngster, one of the best stuffers wedged into the toe my stocking was one of those sugary sweet and shiny books of Lifesavers (remember those? Butterrum was my fave) these days however my life savers come in many different forms so when it feels as if I’m going under, I be sure to grab ahold of one my rescue remedies.

List 37 – Holiday Buoys

  • Books – nothings like plunging into a good read with a morning coffee, on a lunch break, or on the way home on the subway to pull one out of the deep-end.
  • Movies – I love watching movies of all types but for the next week or two nothing heavy please. I don’t need any help in sinking. A well made piece of fluff is exactly what the doctor ordered.
  • Deep breathing – several times a day. The trick is to avoid hyperventilating.
  • Clean house – The less cluttered my house is the better I feel. I better start tossing a few items in the closet.
  • Eating well  – I cannot stress enough (or maybe I can) the importance of eating properly during a busy spell. I have every intention of preparing some lunch ideas for the week ahead because, if you’re anything like me, there is nothing worse than wasting precious break time perusing the food courts for some salty, oily and often over priced (if it’s made well) bit of take-with.
  • Abstaining from alcohol – I will try my best.
  • Releasing all illusions I can do it all – Somehow I will need to study for my test on Monday (I should actually be doing that now) but after that – c’est tout! I will blog here and there and do this and that (maybe) but I will not beat myself up if I can’t tackle that giant to do list I’ve been avoiding since Y2K. It’s waited this long.
  • Be patient – with myself and others. Some days I have less than zero patience and the constant eye rolling gives me a headache.
  • Chant – This too will pass.
  • Daydream – Mmmmmm…
  • Avoid any shop or café blaring Christmas songs – Sorry, but they really get on my nerves.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Go for a walk with my camera.
  • Breathe – I can’t say it enough.
  • Stay in the moment – Deal with what is in right front of me. When I see a long line stretched out in front of me it can get a bit creepy.
  • Be kind – Silently chant this mantra I read in a the book A Path With Heart, by Jack Kornfield (over and over again dammit) that says,  May I be filled with loving kindness. May I be well. May I be peaceful and at ease. May I be happy. Sounds good to me!
  • Go swimming – which would help me, I know, if it didn’t entail waking up a 6:15. So until the end of the year I am going cross that one off the list unless I happen to wake up early enough to go. I always enjoy it when I’m in the water – and not sinking.
  • Get a good night’s sleep – It’s amazing how tired I can get after a mind frazzling day but then when it comes time to hit the sack my eyes refuse to close. I’m hoping this year will be different (oh please, oh please).
  • Always show up to work on time and DO NOT rush – I am often jamming as much as I can into a limited time span which usually has me running. There is absolutely no need to start that one last task when I really out to be putting my coat on.