The Weight of Disorganization

Awhile back, I had great intentions of writing a blog post about the weight of disorganization. The irony of the fact that I still haven’t posted it hasn’t escaped me. It was a day when the accumulation of receipts, notes, meeting agendas, tickets to events, and whatever other random detritus had taken up residence on my desk had me overwhelmed, and my goal was to clear it all off, piece by piece, until I had a clean, clear surface to work with. But first, I decided to take a “before” picture to use in this blog post. And IT BROKE MY PHONE. You may think I’m kidding, but no sooner had it taken the picture than it crashed, first to the standard “oops, I’ve crashed” black screen with the white apple, and then to a...

Of Officers and Blogs and Books that Make Me Cry

A few random things for a Monday… I grew up with cops. My mum worked as a public servant for the RCMP for twenty-six years, so her co-worker friends included police officers and other people whose work lives, like hers, involved behind-the-scenes stuff that made police work possible. These were the people by whom I was surrounded, and all of them, every single one I knew, was in it for the right reasons. And now, we have our own friends who are cops, and they, too, go to work every day to try to make the world a little safer, a little better, sometimes at the expense of their own safety. And I know that when one of their number is killed in the line of duty, it’s like losing a family member, whether that person sits next to you at coffee or is a...

Perspective and Inspiration

I’ve been sick this week, with the sort of chesty, sinus-y, feverish bug that knocks you flat and makes simply breathing enough of a challenge that working is out of the question. By yesterday, five days into this thing, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, sick of being housebound and of not being able to write as much as a coherent email. Woe is me. *cue tiny violins* We all have those moments, I know when whatever is holding us back gets us down. But if we’re lucky, before those blues can burrow too deeply into our souls, the universe hands us a little perspective. It did that for me yesterday. First, I read my good friend Laura Bradbury’s excellent blog. It speaks for itself, so go read it. And then, if that wasn’t enough to make me...

Ballads and Love Songs

My current favourite playlist on my iPod is one I’ve labelled “mellow”. It’s a wide-ranging list in terms of styles and genres of music, but all the songs have in common that they are neither loud nor quick-tempoed. Many of them are love songs of one sort and another, though not all. It’s got pop and jazz and folk and standards and ballads by rockers and more. It’s pretty much the antithesis of my “workout” playlist. Because it is my favourite playlist, everything on it is getting a little too familiar and overplayed. I know there are lots of songs out there I’ve forgotten about and many, many more I’ve never heard. So I thought I’d ask about your favourite mellow music to see if I can discover...

Taking Time Out

Last week, a rare opportunity arose for me to get away by myself for a few days. It was perfect timing for a change of scene, so I grabbed it, leaving the city behind for the lovely Gulf Islands, leaving the pile of work on my desk behind with the intention of spending a few days focusing exclusively on writing. I didn’t expect to spend it offline. The place I stayed has wifi, and I assumed I’d be connected as usual. But on the first day, I realized that if I stayed online on email and social media, I may as well have stayed home, because I wouldn’t get the change of mindset I needed to go with the change of location. So I turned it off. Almost. I checked email once and I looked up a couple of research items when I was working. The social media...

Living Out Loud

I happen to be one of the lucky winners of the parent lottery. I’m not sure if I’ve ever talked here about my mum, but in case I haven’t, she’s the kind of person who makes this a conversation I’ve had more times than I can count, word-for-word: Me, to any number of friends: “My mum said to say hi.” The friend: “I love your mum.” Many of those same friends have rarely or never met my dad. Most of us think we lead pretty busy lives, but my dad truly is the poster child for busy people. This week, to celebrate his “retirement”, a tribute dinner was held in his honour. They didn’t bother to call it a retirement dinner, because everyone knows that would be ridiculous. In truth, while he has...

Weekend Wanders

How did it get to be Tuesday already? Here in BC, we’ve just come out of a much-needed, welcome long weekend, and I don’t really know how it disappeared so quickly. But of course it did, and now it’s time to leap into another busy week. But first, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve seen and places I’ve been in the last few days, IRL and online: The recent cold snap brought with it glorious sunshine here in the Lower Mainland. This meant that the treadmill at the gym suddenly had a most excellent view of the mountains and, one morning, a giant bald eagle circling the clear blue sky above the buildings. Not a bad place to work up a sweat, that’s for sure. At my local coffee shop on one of the coldest days last week, a...