Category Archives: Life

Snapshot: 12-16-2014

Wearing: My pajamas and a hoodie, because it’s a bit cool in here.

Feeling: Pretty good. I still have some deadlines before Christmas, but they’re on the lighter side, so I feel like I have some breathing space.

Eating: Just had a bowl of savoury oatmeal, with salmon chunks in it. I prefer my oatmeal to be savoury rather than sweet – kind of like a Western version of congee!

Drinking: Homemade mango kefir and a cup of green tea.

Reading: I started Jackaby by William Ritter last week. It’s been good so far, although I haven’t read enough of it yet to be feeling that “can’t put this down” feeling. I have high hopes for it, though.

Listening: Still listening to 14 by Peter Clines. Just finished a really exciting scene last night – I think I was holding my breath through much of it.  I have about two and a half more hours of the book left.

I also downloaded the Eckhart Tolle bundle onto my iPhone, and have been listening to his talk on Manifestation. As always, the focus is on being and the practice of presence, and it’s always such a good reminder for me, especially around this time of the year. Lately, despite daily meditation (or attempts at it), my mind is usually going a mile a minute, and Eckhart always manages to slow me down to the speed of presence. I just wish I could get there easily when I’m not listening to him!

Writing: Other than blog posts and freelance articles, nothing. I may be able to get back into a regular fiction writing habit before Christmas, but this time of year can get crazy, I’ve decided to be okay if I don’t start until after the holidays.

I’m excited, though, because my writing buddy Memory is currently doing an alpha read (it’s more like pre-alpha, if that’s possible) of my children’s book WAVERLEY, both the new, finished version and my first, incomplete version. The feedback she’s given me so far has been really good, and I’m planning on revising WAVERLEY beginning in the new year.

Working: I have two freelance articles due tomorrow, and I’m also finishing up an index for a very interesting book. I like this, because I rarely index interesting books (most of my projects are university textbooks, with the occasional high school book thrown in). This one is on the cooperative business model and servant leadership, and I found the concepts rather breathtaking.

Creating: Another big zero here. I know this is something I need to make into a daily habit or it will never get done, so it’s probably not going to happen until after the holidays. Things I’m thinking about doing in the new year are more drawing and more sketchnoting. We shall see.

Photo of the week: I took this last night, of Dylan and Creeper:

Photo 2014-12-15, 7 29 30 PM

I’ve also been having a lot of fun this past week on Instagram with the #SeasonsReading challenge. I think I’ll be doing more Book-a-Day photo challenges in the new year – they really make me think more creatively about the pictures I’m taking.

Discovery: Now that I can comment on blogs from my phone, I’ve developed a new morning routine: blog reading! (I used to read the Toronto Star quickly followed by the New York Times (not as quickly), but I much prefer blog reading). So I’ve been coming across a ton of “Best of the Year” lists. They make me weep sometimes, though, as my TBR now feels even more out of control than ever.  Kristen’s list at We Be Reading has probably done the most amount of damage so far in this regard.

Looking forward to: The holidays! Doing the final bit of gift shopping! Actually having time to have fun wrapping this year (instead of doing it all in a crazed, two-hour, frantic blitz as I’ve done in previous years)! And some nice big blocks of time for reading (fingers crossed about this one).

The rest of today: Dylan and I are headed out to the library, where we each have a large stack of holds to pick up. Plus our library cards need to be renewed. And then work. But I kind of feel like I had the morning off, so it’s not too bad.

On Stage

Dylan had his first performance in the National Ballet’s Nutcracker on Sunday. We have tickets to one of his performances next weekend, but at the last minute Ward and I decided to get standing room seats because it was, after all, Dylan’s first performance!

And we were very glad we did. Last year, Dylan was in three operas – Peter Grimes, The Masked Ball and Don Quichotte – so it’s not his first time on the Four Seasons stage, but this was his first time dancing on that state. Dancing is what he loves to do, and we both had one of those “feelings swelling up within” moments when he first came on stage.

Also, there were the stairs. He has to run up and down some stairs in one of the scenes, and he only got to rehearse on the actual stairs once, last week. He didn’t run down them quickly enough during the rehearsals, so he was a bit late in his timing. He’s a kid who’s more on the cautious side, so has never been one to rush pelmel down stairs. So he’s been practicing – on the condo stairs, the subway stairs, basically anywhere we could find stairs.

And he did wonderfully! His timing was fine, and while there was one minor mishap – he has a chicken, attached to him, that’s “chasing” him and the chicken got caught at the top of the stairs at one point, but the boy behind him managed to loosen it – no-one in the audience was any the wiser that a glitch had occurred.

This video gives a backstage view of the production:

It seems a little chaotic, but Dylan says it’s not. In fact, he says it’s all very organized, same as the operas he performed in last year.

Meanwhile, #UncleJohn, the opera Ward is in right now, also started performances last week, with this week seeing the last of the performances. #UncleJohn is a modern interpretation of Don Giovanni, and everything is sung in English. (Ward doesn’t do any singing – he’s an extra, and plays a cop.)

Coincidentally, Ward will be auditioning tomorrow for an extra’s role in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Don Giovanni! If he gets the part, he’ll be in rehearsals through much of the holidays. Dylan has five more performances, so the next few weeks could be quite hectic for us, not counting the holidays!

As for me, I’m quite content to be in the audience occasionally. I have absolutely no hankering to be on stage – although I certainly wouldn’t mind writing something that gets produced on stage!

It’s Been One of Those Days

One of the things I’ve decided to do as a result of my 365 days of blogging self-challenge is to share more of my day-to-day here. I’ve never really done this here before, but I’ve been finding that blogging daily has given me a more intimate connection to my blog, if that makes sense, and within this new sort of relationship I’m having with my writing here, the occasional day-to-day type of post seems like a good fit.

Well, okay. What I’m really saying is that I may occasionally express some frustration here. Like right now, in this post.

Because it’s been one of those days.

It was supposed to be a GOOD day. I had a few more freelance blog posts to write for one client, my own daily blog post here, some reading lined up, and a couple of indexing deadlines to work on. A lighter version of my normal day. I was looking forward to it.

But then I woke up, and Ward tells me “that cat” ate my new favourite sweater.

“That cat” is Hobbes. We have two cats (the other one is Creeper), but whenever we say “that cat”, it always means Hobbes.

This is Hobbes, pretending to be a good cat (or rather, being made to pretend to be a good cat – my son is holding him, as it was the only way I could take his picture for this post):

Photo 2014-12-12, 9 22 31 PM

 

This is my sweater:

Photo 2014-12-12, 9 18 18 PM

I like it so much, I can’t bear to throw it out so I’m telling myself I’m still going to wear it around the house (we’ll see about that, I guess.)

So with that nice big welcome to my day, I sat down at my laptop and checked my email.

Only to find one of my editors had forwarded me an irate email from an author about an index I’d prepared for his book. The author was upset because I had indexed material he hadn’t wanted included in the index. He also appeared to have serious concerns about my skills because he’d found a term that “is nowhere in the text” and he’d like to know “how that could happen?” The entire tone of the email (and the previous emails in the thread which had also been forwarded to me) was quite off-putting.

Now, I don’t  often make mistakes in my work, but when I do, I’m the very first to own up to them. But in this case, there wasn’t anything to own up to. I hadn’t been instructed to leave out the things the author wanted left out. They were things I would normally include. And the term he said wasn’t in the text, which presumably made him concerned about the veracity of the rest of entries in the index? It was in the text. On the actual page referred to in the index (like it should be).

When things like this happen, I get reminded A LOT how I’d much rather be making things up for a living, as Neil Gaiman calls the novelist’s life. After all, I’m good at making stuff up. I like to think I’m even better at making stuff up than I am at indexing (but no, this doesn’t mean I make a practice of putting non-existent entries into the indexes I prepare).

After I revised the index to the new specifications and wrote out a long  and, I hope, professional email carefully addressing in great detail (it was either that or be snarky, and you can’t be snarky and professional at the same time) the author’s concerns, we headed out to the suburbs for my father-in-law’s birthday dinner at a restaurant out there.

And since it was still “one of those days”, we got caught in rush hour traffic. A trip that would normally take under an hour took an hour and a half. Which made us late. Which meant we had to wait for our order while everyone else was already eating.

But the good news? Eventually the cycle does get broken. “One of those days” has to eventually end, become a new day. Luckily for me I didn’t even have to go to sleep in order to wake up to a new day. The dinner was lovely and greatly revived my mood, and the drive home took half an hour less than the drive there.

Now I’m back home, and ready to make good use of a day that’s left “one of those days” behind. I’ve got kefir cheese dripping whey in the fridge, three blog posts to write for a client, an index to mark up, a book I’m in the middle of reading and another one I’m in the middle of listening to.

I’m still on track for my deadlines, so the work stuff can actually wait until tomorrow. And yes, a book beckons. And I can answer its call. Now that’s a GOOD night.

Some Shopping Zen

I discovered today that shopping can actually be a Zen experience.

I know. It surprised me too.

Dylan had a Nutcracker rehearsal at the Four Seasons, which is close to the Eaton Centre, the big mall in downtown Toronto. So I decided I’d go there after dropping him off. My daughter’s birthday is coming up and I had a good idea what I wanted to get her.

But first, I was starving. So I took myself to Santouka Ramen and had a lovely bowl of shoyu ramen. Usually there’s a line-up but (1) it was the first real snowy day of the year and (2) since I was by myself I just took one of the stools at the bar in front of the kitchen.

Photo 2014-12-11, 1 08 54 PMYummy Shoyu Ramen

Other than time spent working in front of a computer, I don’t actually get a lot of time to myself. And one of my favourite things to do when I do have a bit of time to myself is to dine out solo. It’s not that I’m fervently anti-social, it’s just that sometimes, it’s nice to sit down and have dinner with just yourself.

So I had a marvellous time, and, feeling properly nourished, I was ready to attack tackle the crowds at the mall. You’d think it being the middle of a weekday, there wouldn’t be any crowds, but the place was pretty full (I’d hate to see what it must be like on the weekends) – but not so packed that it made you feel like you wouldn’t get anything accomplished.

I went straight to the store where I wanted to get Hayley’s present. Well, not quite “straight to”, as I had to look it up first and then find my way there. But it was nice getting there. There were big wire reindeers wrapped in white lights and a generally happy kind of vibe in the air. People were smiling, probably glad to be inside getting some shopping done rather than outside in the wet snow.

It took me a while to decide on just the right birthday gift, but when I was done, I realized I still had two hours before I had to go pick up Dylan.

Two Whole Hours.

To Myself.

Yes.

And this is where the Zen kicked in. I kind of got lost in the zone after that. I wandered around looking at things, not feeling any need to buy and being really comfortable with Just Browsing. And then I passed the big Chapters book store. With a Starbucks inside.

Hello!

I spent most of my time at Chapters in the cookbook section, because reading cookbooks is something I love to do, and for some reason, reading cookbooks usually falls to the very bottom of my priority list. I found some interesting titles, which I jotted down in the Drafts app on my iPhone (which oh so conveniently appends whatever I write onto a list titled “Books” that’s stored in my Dropbox).

We have, more or less, placed a moratorium on buying more cookbooks until we weed through the ones we have, as our apartment is too small for us to squeeze any more shelves in and cookbooks by their nature tend to be much bigger than novels. But! There’s always the library, right?

Cookbooks That Caught My EyeCookbooks that caught my eye

I wandered happily upstairs to where the Starbucks was, but the line-up was long, so I wandered back downstairs, and took this picture for my Christmas wish list, which I then texted to Ward (technology makes things like letting people know what you want for Christmas SO easy).

Photo 2014-12-11, 2 56 02 PM

(Can you tell, my mind’s been on food all day?)

And after all of this lovely shoppingness, I still had time. The luxury of it! After close to two months of constant, consistent deadlines – which kind of worked like this: deadline, deadline, overlapping deadlines, deadline, overlapping deadlines, deadlines – it was so amazing to have all this time to myself.

It didn’t take me long to decide my next move. I headed over to the Timothy’s World Coffee at Atrium on the Bay, ordered an iced decaf Americano (because I was so hot after spending all that time wandering the shops while in my winter coat) and spent the rest of the time leisurely reading and commenting on blogs, adding to my TBR list and writing the beginning of this blog post.

So I spent the day shopping and I felt so present the entire time. I tell you, this was a first for me. And it was really, really lovely.

And hopefully I can get this magical shopping vibe going every time I go shopping from now on.

Snapshot: 12-09-2014

Time: 2:12 p.m.

Feeling: Sleep deprived. Worked on a deadline late last night, then had to spend some zoning out time so I could sleep. Which resulted in a really really late night.

Wearing: PJs and my bathrobe (I know, I know. It’s past noon. It’s one of the perks of freelancing. Plus I’ve been groggy all day. I’m changing as soon as I finish this, though.)

Eating: Having lunch late today. I’ll be making my Anything-Goes Parmesan Vegetable Soup. It’s great because it works with whatever I have in the fridge. Today, that will be zucchini, onion, celery and portobello mushrooms.

Drinking: Homemade blueberry kefir! Yes, my milk kefir grains are doing well! The blueberry kefir is nice, but the strawberry kefir I made yesterday was just amazing.

Reading: Nothing. Sigh. But once I put this current deadline to bed, I’ll be able to dive in.  I have a stack of library books which have now acquired the label Must Be Read Before They’re Due Back. Nothing like a reading deadline to get me going.

Listening: 14, by Peter Clines. This audiobook has been in my to-listen list for a long time. I don’t know why I haven’t gotten to it earlier, but I’m really glad I’m getting to it now.

14

Writing: I haven’t gotten back to my writing yet, either, but I will as soon as this deadline is done. Current WIP is Lakeview Legacy, a horror novel. I got about 39K during NaNoWriMo (nope, didn’t win this year – too many deadlines forced me to take a week off from writing … and that was that, unfortunately).

Working: Indexing a book on labour relations. Yes, it’s definitely not the most lively book in the world. It’s due tomorrow, and I’m hoping to get it done by tonight, since I’m supposed to be meeting a friend tomorrow for lunch.

Creating: NOTHING. Argh. I hate how deadlines take control of my life. I’m hoping to figure something out about this in the new year. In the meantime, no, I haven’t been creating a thing.

Discovery: Not all the ornaments on our Christmas tree are shatterproof. I know this because one of our cats, Hobbes, just fell off the top of the bookcase next to the tree, where he’d been perched trying to fish one of ornaments from near the top. He crashed into bottom of the tree, dislodging several ornaments in the process and breaking one of them.

The husband: The ornaments!

Me: Hobbes! Are you all right?

I soothed Hobbes (only thing hurting was his pride, I think) while the husband cleaned up.

Looking forward to: Getting this deadline done! I still have presents to buy and wrap. Those Christmas cards, though, are going to have to be Happy New Year Cards, I’m afraid. I’m pretty sure I’ve missed or am on the cusp of missing several mail-out-by- deadlines.

The rest of today: Finishing up this deadline. But first I have to take my son to hip hop.

Overheard, 12/05/2014

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Back when we lived in the suburbs, I never liked walking anywhere. The library was at the end of our street, about the equivalent of four city blocks away (but it being the suburbs, it was two long blocks). Do you think I ever walked there? Hah! Maybe ten times in the seventeen plus years we lived there. I always drove, usually on my way back from somewhere or on my way to somewhere.

But ever since we moved to the city, I’ve been walking everywhere, and I’ve been walking not so much because I’m thrifty and want to save on subway and streetcar tokens (although there is that, too) and not even so much because it’s sometimes the only exercise I get, but mainly because I really really like going for walks in the city.

It’s got something to do with the crowds of people, the different buildings, the life that’s all around me. I’m as fond of green space as anyone else, but still, there’s something about a busy city sidewalk that sings to me.

Not to mention the things I overhear. With my overactive imagination, it’s so much fun to take the thingsI hear while walking and spin some fun stuff with it.

Overheard #1

A man and a woman, walking in front of me. He’s wearing a beige suit, she’s in a spring-coloured dress, her hair in a ponytail. I’m a fast walker, and they’re meandering along, the way friends do when they’re busy chatting, so I overtake them and soon they’re behind me. And that’s when I hear this:

Man: They took out the chief executive who made the decision, too.

Woman: Really?

Man: Yes. Two shots to the head.

Seriously! I’m not making this up. I would really love to know what they were talking about.

Overheard #2

Two men are walking just ahead of me. Man #1 is tall, wearing a black leather jacket and jeans. Man #2 is short, wearing a blue shirt and khaki brown pants. From the back, they look young to me, early to mid-twenties. We’re in the financial district, so they look a little out of place among all the suits (and so do I, for that matter) – or dressed for Friday casual, although it’s not Friday. They’re walking at a nice fast clip, so they stay in front of me. These words drift back to me:

Man #1: Okay, so I guess we should talk about the whole divorce thing.

Man #2: Yeah.

Man #1: The money. You don’t think she will, but if you’re going to do it, you’ve got to watch the money. The money will get you every time.

Overheard #3

This happened about a month ago, but it was such a strange thing to say, and I’ve been wanting to mention it in a post. I was walking behind this woman who was walking and talking quite loudly on the phone.

Woman: So the party’s going on, and then he shows up and guess what? He forgot to bring the IUD.

And no, I didn’t hear wrong. At least, I don’t think so. She was talking quite loudly, and that’s what I heard her say.

I have such fun thinking up the different scenarios that might give some sense to the things I overhear!

The Fidget Fitness Experiment

image

I was reading the post The Monitored Man in the New York Times the other day, in which writer Albert Sun discussed the different activity trackers he’s been testing out, and I noticed this interesting tidbit:

But even the best tracker can’t recognize all of your movements. As I sit writing this, my wrists are motionless, but my leg is tapping to music. My activity trackers don’t seem to notice — fidgeting won’t be reflected in the calorie counts they show me. That’s too bad, because there’s an interesting body of research suggesting that a propensity to fidget is one reason lean people stay lean.

Intrigued, I clicked on the link about lean people staying lean, which talked about a study conducted by Dr. James Levine in which it was discovered lean people had a tendency to fidget and pace around, and this might be what keeps them lean. What really interested me? This fidgeting and pacing has the potential to burn about 350 calories per day, without trips to the gym!

I Googled around a bit, and discovered fidgeting and pacing are known as NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis: “the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, undertaking agricultural tasks and fidgeting.”

This was getting more and more interesting.

Until about five years ago, I was one of those people who could eat whatever they wanted and not gain an ounce. In fact, some of my most painful years in adolescence revolved around the whole issue of being too skinny and not being able to gain weight.

When I started gaining weight five years ago, I felt quite cheerful about it. For one thing, clothes shopping became much more pleasurable; clothes actually fit me, and I could stop frequenting the teenage-style stores I’d had to resort to before.

It was around that time I stopped fidgeting and pacing. I’d made a concerted effort to stop doing so, although I can’t remember why. I didn’t stop completely – when in the middle of a particularly stressful deadline, you could almost be guaranteed to find me sitting in front of the computer with my right leg jiggling frantically up and down. But most of the time, whenever I sat, I stayed still.

Since then, I’ve gained more weight than my body feels comfortable with. Even when I was really thin, I had some years when I didn’t exercise regularly, during which I felt unfit – I’ve always judged my personal fitness by how much huffing and puffing I do when I take the stairs. With the extra weight, I’ve been failing the huff and puff test consistently.

So I’ve been on the fitness bandwagon on and off the past few years. I try to exercise regularly, but I’m just not one of those people who enjoy exercising very much. When the weather is nice, I walk a lot, and there are about three months of the year when I actually enjoy running outside. The problem is, I don’t like running when it’s too hot. Or too cold. As Goldilocks says, it has to be just right. Unfortunately, living in Toronto, Canada, means there are many months when it’s snowy and icy and about two to three months when it’s heat wave weather. In other words, I’m sedentary a lot more than I want to be.

Apparently, the tendency to fidget and pace is something you’re born with. Since I had been a fidgeter and pacer up until about five years ago, I wondered if I could re-develop the habit and perhaps enhance my fitness levels. Engaging in more NEAT activities won’t take the place of a daily workout, I know, but it seems like something that fits snuggly in the “surely it can’t hurt” category.

So I’ve been trying to be more aware of those times when I’m sitting and sedentary, and reminding myself during those times, “now’s a good time to do some fidgeting.” When I’m sitting on the couch reading, I’ve been doing leg lifts. At the computer, I bounce my legs up and down (I’ve been doing this ever since I sat down to compose this post). I’m planning on trying out a standing desk using some file boxes, and if it turns out I can actually type comfortably on my laptop while standing, I’m going to make this standing desk IKEA hack.

Have fidgeting and pacing come back naturally to me? Before today, I would have given you a cautious, “yes, I think so.” But something today cinched it for me. My sister called me on the phone, and I talked to her for an hour and forty-five minutes (you’ve had those kinds of calls, right?). It wasn’t until a few hours later that I realized, I’d been pacing back and forth during the entire conversation.

It made me wish I had a Fitbit or some other activity tracker to give me credit for all those steps!

I found more ideas for incorporating NEAT exercises into your every day life here. I especially like the idea of doing strength-training exercises while you’re sitting – as a reader, I do a lot of sitting when I’m reading. Who knew that raising your heels while seated works out the muscles in the lower leg?!

I’m not sure whether my fidgeting fitness plan will have any particularly noticeable effects. But fidgeting is something I do naturally, so why not put it to good use, right?

My Two-Minute Super Bowl Sunday

Muted light gives the place a warm, intimate feeling common to the best pubs; its glow is a soft, all-encompassing glow, a welcoming gleam that blends everyone together. Happy, contented people fill the room; the noise is more than a din, less than a roar.

I perch on a tall bar stool, comfortably placed next to a wide ledge that’s just the right size for my wine glass and a couple of appetizers snagged from the trays offered by the passing wait staff. It’s hot in here, but not hot enough to feel oppressive.

It’s a scene, I imagine, that’s being played in bars and pubs across North America on this Super Bowl Sunday. With one exception: images flicker across the screen of the large television hanging on the wall, but no sound emerges; its volume has been turned off. A glance around the room reveals no-one is giving the television any attention.

And then, suddenly:

“Quiet, everyone!” The voice rises above the noise; it holds authority and more than an edge of excitement. The crowd gives a soft murmur, and the noise dies down.

Someone turns the volume on the television up, louder and louder.

It’s the Super Bowl.

All eyes in the room turn to the screen, and there is an expectant hush as the camera zooms in on the beautiful, smiling blonde woman.

Renée Fleming begins to sing the American national anthem. The room is soft with the silence, its collective breath held as Fleming’s voice soars effortlessly. When she hits and holds that second-to-final high note there are many, many cheers. And when it’s all over, the room erupts with even more cheers, with whistles, with “bravas”.

Someone mutes the television again. The din returns. The game has begun, and once more, the images flicker silently across the screen. No-one is watching.

That, my dear friends, was how I spent my Super Bowl Sunday this year. The afternoon had started with the opening performance of the Canadian Opera Company’s The Masked Ball (Un ballo in maschera), in which my ten-year-old son, Dylan, has a small role as a supernumerary. Afterward, we headed over to the after party held at Fionn MacCool’s, a pub across the street from the Four Seasons Centre, where the Canadian Opera Company performs.

Yesterday was the first time an opera singer has sung the national anthem at the Super Bowl. And I had the pleasure of experiencing that historic moment in the company of a crowd of professional opera singers. It was absolutely priceless, a moment I will always remember.

What about you? How was your Super Bowl Sunday? Did you watch the game or do something else?

A (Sort of) Bookish Blast From the Past

Earlier last week, my sister Dawn posted a couple of pictures to Facebook that were definitely a bookish blast from the past.

Well, sort of. Because, unfortunately, I have no memories of giving her this book:

tennyson1

Dawn also posted a picture of the post-it note I’d stuck inside:

tennyson2

The note did jog some memories. I still don’t remember actually buying this book for my sister, who would have been in her mid-teens at the time (the "at school" bit means I was in university). But I do remember strolling through a huge book sale at one time or other during my university years – in my mind’s eye, I can see these long tables stacked with books, in a large room somewhere. I think the book sale might have been held at University College at the University of Toronto, which is my alma mater, but my memories of the event are terribly vague so I’m not very certain about that.

What makes me laugh, though, is this, from my note: "It’s kind of tattered, but it’s really old."

I obviously was worried my teenaged little sister would unwrap her gift and go, "Ugh. Why did Belle get me a used book?" So I was already protesting in advance – Yes, it’s tattered, but Dawn, that’s just because it’s really really old!

What possessed me to buy an old book of Tennyson’s poems for my sports-loving little sister who wasn’t really hooked on reading, I don’t know. But it’s sweet that she still has the book – and that she kept my little note!

These days, though, Dawn is a reader, so maybe somehow that younger me saw this happening, and knew Tennyson’s poems would be something she’d treasure one day …

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

I have this funny feeling most of my posts this month will be about goals, intentions, resolutions – all those things you want to change in your life that suddenly start popping up with real frequency and intensity at the start of the new year.

I’m starting to see that, if I realize every single one of the numerous potential changes I’ve been playing around with, my entire life would be very very different. Different for the better, of course.

This hasn’t happened to me in past years, at least not with the same kind of intensity, but I do know why it’s happening now. It’s that old adage, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting. And never has this adage been so clear to me as it is right now, this moment – and frankly, in all the moments since 2014 started being a lot closer than “next year”.

This year I really have to get out of my comfort zone, mainly because it’s become more and more obvious that my comfort zone actually won’t be that comfortable for too much longer.

comfort zone

There are so many things on my want-to-do list that have nothing whatsoever to do with maintaining my current life as it is. (See how I’m still ambivalent? I can’t quite call it a “to-do” list, because that implies I actually intend to do these things.)

Partly, it’s because things in my current life are changing, especially in the work arena (well, okay, mostly in the work arena), and I have to adapt to these changes, and partly, it’s because the things I want to do have been things I’ve wanted to do for a very long while, but up until now, I couldn’t resist the safe feeling of the comfort zone.

It’s time to really shake things up. I feel daring right now, and all I have to do is keep feeling daring. It sounds so simple when I put it like that. “All I have to do is …”

A funny thing. I actually sat down to write a post about sticking to a blogging schedule, and it morphed into this.

(By the way, I really did step out of my comfort zone with this post. I created the Neale Donald Walsh picture quote  above, using PicMonkey. It wasn’t as hard as I’d been thinking it would be.)

What about you? Do any of your new year intentions or resolutions or goals take you out of your comfort zone?