One Of Those Days

October 19, 2011

Poppies

Today is one of those days when I can close my eyes and remember so clearly. I remember each bleep in the quiet corridor of the hospital and the soft padding of the nurses shoes when they walked by your door. I remember holding your hand, absolutely certain you would unconsciously notice me opening your fingers to nestle my cheek in, planting butterfly kisses on your warm palm while softly inhaling you in. I remember how beautiful you looked even moments before dying, telling you my every move even though I made so few of them and how you must have taken my leaving your side (for that brief moment) as your cue to leave me. The  knots in my stomach were tighter than usual as I thought how incredibly ridiculous the joke was that the Universe  playing as I sat by the phone wondering what I would say, how I’d screw it up like so much else, dreading being the one to break the news. I recall how clear the sky was in the early morning hours and how crisp the air felt on my skin. I remember seeing Mom not long after the calls were made and how her warm embrace had never felt so comforting. I still miss you Dad although over the years the feelings have been tinged with sadness and anger at you for not trusting enough to be yourself. Eight years later there are questions where pure remembrance should be. Despite it all, I love you deeply (depth can be complicated) and I know I always will.

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.

In a Word – Or Six

June 8, 2011

Tulip Evolution

I love the six word memoir especially since my story keeps changing.

Here’s my mini-mem – for the time being:

I wonder… who am I anyway?

Always a good question to ask yourself. Or, is it?

Point of View

March 12, 2011

Gracefully labouring under the weight of it all.

There’s something about a challenge the has me quaking in my boots. I’m not one of those people who, as much as I long for it at times, does change very well. Lately, I’ve been wondering what this particular characteristic of mine is all about. Challenges are a basic part of life so, why aren’t the positive ones met with more of the butterflies of excitement instead of those fluttering bat wings of dread.

It’s a matter of perspective.

Now, although I think all challenges could lead to changing a situation for the better I’m not going to pretend I welcome all of them. I’m talking about the type of stumbling block that stops me in my tracks on the way to a desired goal. Whether it be learning a new language (yes, I am still taking French classes and it is not always easy) or finding a better way to make a living (I’ve been at the same job for over twenty years), when the going gets rough, I either want to give up or completely ignore (or try to ignore) that I wanted to improve my situation to begin with.  Most of the challenges I come up against are filled with positive change: a move forward, a step ahead, a possible way to sliding me closer to a goal I’ve been pining to attain.

I think what it all boils down to is a general lack of confidence. Fear of failure is an enormous weight to bare, especially when you have (or had) no idea you’ve been hoisting it around since you were old enough to strive for anything. I believe making a conscious effort is the key to change but as obvious as that sounds it is not always simple to see. We can fool ourselves into believing that it is better to stay in a discontented situation then changing our position in life because it can be scary not knowing what the view will be like from that new location. But I’m beginning to understand it’s better to tighten those boot laces around my quaking legs and start climbing.

A sign of what's to come.

Revolution

February 18, 2011

I wanted to post something today but I have one eye on the clock. I don’t even have a photo to share since it’s been a while since I went on a date with the Rebel (Canon T1i). Soon though… Soon.

Actually, I’ve been feeling a bit rebellious myself, lately, hoping to start a revolution against the those places inside of me that think it’s okay to avoid seizing the day. I think I’ll play this song by Tracy Chapman (don’t you just get the best vibes off this woman?) as my daily anthem and stir things up around here.

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.

Some Daze…

May 12, 2010

Some days, like today, I don’t know where to begin.

I’m not saying it’s a bad day, it’s just a bit of a jumble, where confusion reigns and I’m not sure what bit off the heaping plate I ought to dig into first.

May 6, 2010

Bread and Water

Those are not my smokes.

Getting more blurry as the evening rolls on. Good wine.

Recently, my sister and I got together with a friend of ours we hadn’t seen in eighteen years. Eighteen years… How did that happen? An added bonus, to the already amazingly satisfying reunion, occurred later in the evening, when another long lost pal suddenly breezed through the restaurant door (as secretly arranged by friend #1). I love that… when I reconnect with someone after a long while and it feels as though no time has passed at all. Sure things have changed. A couple of us need reading glasses now when perusing the wine list, a parent or two have passed away, hearts have been broken, mended and/or revived (you know… life moves on), but still, after all these years, I feel safe. At home. Welcome. The conversation picks up where it ended and it flows as naturally as taking a breath.

And that, regardless of how blessed I am to have been in this position on more than one occasion, is a very special thing.

Daily Specials

April 23, 2010

Settling back into my work routine has been a bit hectic. My last few days have been busy, not necessarily bad, but I guess I’m trying to jam in much of what filled my days, over the last little while, all into an hour or two before I need to head out the door. At times, I feel myself sinking. I keep bolstering my spirit with injections of reality because the truth is – I’m in a pretty good situation. It’s the little bits of dissatisfaction, I guess, (which I can’t necessarily blame on my job) that keep blurring the page, which in turn, makes all the good stuff seem out of focus. I wonder why I allow that to happen? Human nature, maybe? I need to watch that.

Focus, Kim. Focus.

Back Where I Started

April 20, 2010

After being off work for a little while (again) I’m on my way back in. I somehow fell under the illusion I would have accomplished more than I have, not that I wasn’t productive. So many other things got taken care of although some I had planned to get done are still waiting. You know how it is? You choose a particular period in time, the beginning of the year, maybe, or reaching a certain age to make something happen. That birthday, by the way, is hovering a bit too close for comfort but I have been known to work better under certain kinds of pressure.

For me, this was one of those days. And now here it is with nothing major shifted except the date I had hoped to accomplish what I had set out to complete. Thankfully, I’m not feeling too devasted, just a little stunned. The time seemed to pass by so quickly. I wonder why, at this stage of the game, that should surprise me?