Stinkin Cuteness 

 
I’m feeling the urge to nest right now.  Read lots of books.  Curl up and be lost in a world that is not my own.  Which makes for very boaring blogging.  

I mean I could do book reviews, I once did them, but not I just do them quickly on goodreads.  They are for me, more than anyone else.  If your interested in my boook reviews you can find them on Goodreads. 

So here are some cute pics of my dogs because if I can’t entertain you with words, you should at least have stinkin cuteness in your lives.  

I missed Wednesday. In my defence it was my birthday. 

So a list is in order because their easy:

  1. Wednesday, march 1st was my birthday. I turned 32. The older I get the quieter I like my birthdays.  Simple things like relaxing with a good book work really well for me. 
  2. Things that did not happen on Wednesday was hours of reading time.
  3. Things that did happen, was a giant snow storm we ended up driving about in. 
  4. The reason for the driving about and lack of book curling up was my friend Nancy. She was in from out of town visiting and my Day’s to see her and whole up where due. So Cowboy and I collected her. 
  5. Then we went pastry shopping because birthday deserts are a thing. Then we went to the mall. And we bought BOOKS!!  And boots. And pjs. The pjs where not for me. They where Nancy’s. pic above of the book haul. 
  6. then we went to Best Buy and TousRUs. More driving. More Nasty snow blowing at us. But I aquired season 4 of Sherlock. So WINNING!!!!
  7. Then more driving as we went to the Vespa kitchen for food stuffs. Yum.  It has that food truck in a standard location vibe and food. Delightful.
  8. Then home! Where we watched a k drama. We had started Boys Over Flowers this summer and had yet to finish it. 
  9. Yesterday we finished the k drama. 
  10. Tomorrow I drive to the halfway point to drop off Nancy. Then back home. It will be A LONG day. Like 10+ hours of driving. This is love. 

So that was my birthday. 

Below we have a pic of Rory and I on my birthday. Dog selfies are an important part of my identity. 


P.s.  Cowboy is best present giver ever. He got me an iPad Pro. I would have been stoked at a mini but this thing is sleek as all get out and tots sexy.  I immediately downloaded scrivener and set up the synch to my computer via Dropbox and holly does it make a world of difference reading your own writing on an iPad. Different the medium makes it ideal for editing. 

A writing update (GASP, this is not political)

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Just to start things off right, here are some pics of my dogs taken a day apart on the same couch.  Want to play spot the differences?

This was a long weekend here in Ontario, Canada, and I thought before it started I would get so much writing done.  However, I made the STUPID mistake of waiting for inspiration to hit in order to get the writing done.  I have been doing that a lot lately, and guess how much writing has actually gotten done?

0 multiplied by 0 is still 0.

It’s just I had such a wonderful writing time a few weekends ago.  I woke from a dream and needed to capture the plot, so spent a day working on it, and suddenly woosh, 10K words.  And then after that all I wanted to do was write, except I didn’t have the time to sink into that zen feeling of writing again, for a 10 hour day because I had a day job, and was stuff to do in the evening, and so sadly that motivation dripped away.

BUT I wanted it back.  I thought this weekend would bring it back.  It didn’t.  Because I didn’t show up to the page.  That was the lesson that I had been trying to teach myself in early January.  500 word per day weather you feel it or not, and eventually that writing faucet will be turned on all the time.  500 is an easy goal to show up for.  Heck somedays I can sneeze out 500 without even thinking about it.

Except I’m caught up in the plotting of the book.  I really want to have a sturdy roadmap built before I start writing the book.  So that too felt like another obstacle to hurdle.  Was plotting really writing.  It certainly didn’t feel like it.  It felt more like playing with tools, then it did being mad and crazy and creative.

There is this place I go to when I have a really great writing day.  It’s like time stops.  I am one with the writing, and writing it one with me.  It’s totally the force I swear.  But getting in that place takes time and effort.  Dogs are distracting and bark at things, and need to be let in and out, because that is what they need, and all I want to do is ignore every click of there claws, and sink into this feeling, and not come up for anything.  I want to go deep down into the caves of writing.  Into the fairyland of writing.  I want to live there forever.  Except I can’t.  I have to come back up to the real world for air, and that is what kills me.  That is what slaughters the writing buzz.

It’s like wanting to read before bed.  I really do want to do it and synch into that book, but you know, I also need sleep to be a functioning person, and maybe instead falling into that zen, I’ll just go to bed, because that way, I’ll at least be well rested.  I keep choosing things other than the thing I want to be doing, because the thing I want to be doing, takes a lot of time, to reach that perfectly zen state.

Anywho, I’m going to try and make 500 words each day this week. I’m going turn on the tap, and see if I can get a full stream going.  And yes, even though plotting feels more mechanical it still counts as writing.

Nevertheless She Persisted

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The context it was said, was meant to shut someone up, when they didn’t want to hear their opinion.  It was mean to punch down.  It was meant to silence.  It was meant to tell them they are not good enough.

This is a statement you hear a lot growing up as a girl.  Maybe not in those words, but in a thousand other ways. In a thousand other actions.

I remember being told I was equal.  That I had just as much right.

Yet when I wanted to join hockey I wasn’t allowed.  I had to take figure skating instead.

It’s in the ways you are told to sit there and be quit, your words aren’t valued, your opinion holds no value.  It’s in the way, the women magazines tell you you are only of value if you look a certain way.  It’s in the way that we are marketed to, that we only like pink and princesses and barbies.  It’s in the way that men are told to be strong and not show emotion, and that emotion is weakness because women show it.  It’s in the way I was told not to make decisions with emotions, that thinking with my heart, was the wrong way to go.  That I had to think more analytically.  The way you are marginalized for having feelings, or an opinion that differs from the person who thinks they have the power.  Oh she’s just a girl, she doesn’t know any better.

It was in the way that whatever I did, it was not good enough.  And all I kept thinking, was if I was a boy, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.  If I was a boy, I wouldn’t have had the same curfew.  I wouldn’t have had the same rules about the opposite gender in the house.

Even though I was told I could be and do anything, I could only be and do anything within the realm of what was acceptable as a girl.

Even now, as an adult, it’s about picking myself up, and putting myself back together again.  Sometimes I feel like Humpty Dumpty.  She sat on a wall, she had a great fall, and no one could put her back together again.  Except for her.  She persisted.  She looked at her shattered broken bits, and she said, time to forge something anew.  Time to evolved.  Time to be the Phoenix and rise up, and keep coming back, and proving my worth.

Nevertheless She Persisted.

Such words could not be truer.

Because that is the lesson we have learnt, every time we where punched down.

Nevertheless She Persisted.

Where I Stand on the Issues

This is your get out of jail free card.  If you are not here for the politics, I won’t be offended if you scan on by this post.  It’s cool. I understand.  Politics are everywhere, and some of you just need cute animal pictures.  I have provided some above (of my two stinky bassets), and hope that will sustain you. Heck I need cute animal pictures.

So if you make it to the end, and want to share some cute animal pics, that would be great.  Also if you want to share ideas on how to help – I want those too, but keep it respectful and on point, please and thank you.

Now if you are staying, this is a doozy of a post.  It’s longer than I thought it was going to be, because once I started, it turns out I had a lot of concerns ticking about in my head.  It feels good to get them out on to the page, where I can see them.  Where I can reflect on them.  Where I can ruminate on them.  Where others can help me navigate the waters in the areas I want to effect change.

As a follow up to last weeks rallying cry, I thought I should be a bit more transparent in where I stand on the issues. Not just a resist the regime, because they are the power, but because I don’t support their policies. I am Canadian, but the US is going through some shit right now.  They are my neighbours and I’m concerned for them.  Therefore, some of this is criticism on changes I would like to see for them, some is criticism on Canadian issues, some of it is both.

Okay, I think I have provided you all with sufficient warning, so if you are still here, it’s because you have chosen to be.

Here is the list:

  • LGBTQ+ are human rights.  Period.
  • I am Pro-Choice.
  • Those who are Pro-Life, I could only support your POV if you provided better support for the following: maternity leave, free child care, socialized medicine, a better education system (this is largely in response to the US, because a lot of this is taken care of in Canada).  Until you fix those things, your position is moot.  You are pro save a fetus, but not provide any real support once it’s a life out of the womb.  SHAME ON YOU.  If you want to march for pro-life, then you get to adopt every single child someone would choose an abortion over.  Oh you don’t have the financial responsibility for it, too bad, that’s your choice to save a fetus.  And those who don’t support abortion from a medical perspective, are just fucking ignorant.  Moms who have to abort for medical reasons WANTED those kids.  It is truly fucking heartbreaking for them, and you protesting on their behalf is about your ego, not their rights.
  • I have socialized health care.  Everyone should have it.  You shouldn’t have to make financial decisions about your health.  No one should have that additional stress on top of a shitty situation. I want better socialized health care, and can see areas we need still improve. But overall, I’m glad I have what I have.
  • Both Canada and the US where formed on immigration.  We stole the land we claim as ours.  If you are pro tighter immigration laws and closing of borders, you are a fucking hypocrite.  Unless of course you are aboriginal, in which case I see your point, but have some complex ideas and feelings about it.  So many of our great minds, came from allowing asylum to those who sought it here.  I can understand your concern for letting in a different standard of mores.  It can be scary hearing about other world cultural practices, because some of them are quite outdated.  But we are here to give people the opportunity to learn another way.  We have laws in place that protect us against criminal activity.
  • Aboriginal rights.  You deserve better.   You are placed on parcels of land, with no infrastructure to support growing an economy.  In short you are placed out of sight, out of mind.  Your resources are slim.  However, it saddens me when they show videos of places that you can clearly see no pride of ownership is taken.  That the walls are dirty, and bathrooms are broken.  Asking for a handout doesn’t resolve the social issues.  Setting up better housing, doesn’t mean it won’t eventually deteriorate again.  The problem is complex and multifaceted.  I hear you.  However, how do we help in a manner that will provide long term change and sustainability, not just band aid solutions?
  • Separation of Church and Government.  Your first amendment US, and yet when I read it, it sounds a lot like the government can’t regulate your beliefs. However, I wish for the opposite clause, that your beliefs should not regulate the government.  Separation of Church and State needs to be more clear.  If the government allows abortion, that is not them taking away your religious beliefs.  You can still choose to not have an abortion.  They are not forcing you to have one.  But if you lobby against abortion for others, you are taking choices away from others who need it.
  • Gun Control.  I didn’t understand gun control when it was coming down the pipes in Canada.  I think I was in grade school at the time. Mostly I didn’t understand it because in my community guns where for hunting and we all understood that, and we didn’t need them to protect ourselves.  So the gun control seamed rather silly on something that we where already pretty good at.  Now that I’m older, I’m glad someone had the foresight to get on that.  Seeing what is going on in the states, holly shit am I ever happy about gun laws here in Canada.
  • Science is fact.  Scientific discovery needs to be shared. Science is not subject to your feelings or religious POV.
  • Global Climate change is real.  Stop pretending it’s not because you don’t like how it’s going to change the economic landscape.  Learn to be forefront leaders in this area.  Be the change you wish to see in the world.  Find innovate technology and change your economic landscape based on this.  There is still room for growth, but that means that other older ways of doing things need to fall.  We need to shift our focus, like changing gears with a clutch, slowly release one, as we engage another.
  • Legalize Marihuana.  I’m on the fence about this last one, but from an economic standpoint it’s a revenue source we are missing out on.  We need to balance our budgets and find additional streams of revenue.  This is undocumented revenue source we could be taping into.  We would need to come up with ways to regulate it, the same way we have for alcohol consumption – re-drinking and driving.  However, overall, it’s a thing.  People do it.  Stop wasting resources on criminalizing it.  (I won’t be taking up this habit, as I have scene first hand the paranoia and lack of motivation this causes.  However, I won’t stand in your way either if that’s how you choose to live your life.) Also, this is totally on my Canadian list of TO DO’s.
  • Paternity leave in Canada (but also everywhere).  We have it pretty good here.  We can split it amongst mom and dad. However, if both want to take it at the same time, only one of them is paid for it. As I’m from Ontario, I’m just going to link you over here (http://www.unassumingbanker.com/2015/08/19/how-to-take-paternity-and-maternity-leave-at-the-same-time/) , as they say it better than I can.  What I want is for both parties to get paid, at the same time, without anyone of them having to go back to work early because they’ve tapped into the resources needed to maintain financial stability during this time.
  • Free childcare.  Other countries have it, or something similar.  You want to experience population growth, then you need to make it financially possible for those willing to have kids.  I would have four if I could.  I’m not going to because of budgetary constraints.  People are basing  family planning on budget limitations.  Other countries do this, so should we. (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/what-the-world-can-teach-canada-about-building-better-daycare/article15036667/?page=all)
  • Better Sex education.  As female having gone through our education system, it is filled with fear mongering and shame.  I propose a much more french insight. Basing this on the Michael Moore Documentary Where to Invade Next (though I don’t agree with his style, the insight on how these other countries are doing things, is a good starting point for how the rest of the world could be doing better).
  • A better financial system.  See Michael Moore’s Documentary: Where to Invade Next. (I watched with hubby, and while I don’t like Moore’s style, the information behind it was enlightening).
  • Free education – period.  Whether it’s university, or college.  No matter your age, no matter your income.  No application or hoops to jump through.  Taken care of up front.
  • Cleaner energy sources.  Renewable energy sources. In general, how do we be more green?
  • How do we improve the situation for those who are in poverty or are homeless?  What is the true crisis there and how do we better respond to it?  How do we decrease poverty and meet the needs of those who find themselves in this situation?  What type of resources are needed?  Mental health facilities?  Detox facilities? We have them, but how do we leverage them to greater effect?  Can these people be helped into a better future?  Some are so unwell they don’t have the fortitude to go through programs that could provide them help.  We are supporting basic human needs with shelters, and food, but can further improvements happen.  What is our responsibility to them?  It’s frustrating because largely we want them to also want to help themselves.  And there are those who do want to help themselves.  But there are those, who don’t have the motivation, and there is a feeling of why are we wasting resources.  What is the balance?
  • Job growth and creation for those who only have high school level education.  They should still be able to be part of the middle class. The middle class is shrinking.  We need to respond to this.
  • While we have seen improvements to minimum wage, we have also scene increasing costs to living.  We need to find a way to balance income with cost of living.

Okay, those are my areas of concern. They are complex.  I don’t know how to resolve them.  I realize we are slow moving ship, and that changing course of action will take some time.  I realize we need to prioritize, both on a time and a funding perspective.

I know I can’t personally tackle each of these issues.  I don’t have the time, resources, or mental fortitude for it.

What I am going to do will seam small.  It will seam so incredibly small, compared to my list.  However, it’s a start, and I’m willing to invest in small changes, as they build together for greater change.  I’m a knitter.  I believe in one stitch at a time adding up.

This year, I’m going to focus on being more green.

  • Shop at my eat local at least once a month.  This will help with local economic growth, and global issues in regards to climate change.  It’s small, but if we all did this, it could be a real change.
  • Plant some produce at home. I want a really big garden, but it’s sort of overwhelming to get started.  So I’m going to start small, and grow my garden each year.  I’m going with one stitch at a time here.
  • Get a rain barrel.  If I’m going to have a garden, I’m going to need to water it, and I should be willing to use the resources that I have to sustain this.

I want to do more, but I really need to ruminate on where my time and money can be best spent.    I want to pick a big cause, one that’s not just about me, but about others, to get involved in.  I just haven’t met that challenge yet.  I’m going to keep myself open to the possibilities, and really examine how best I can help.  However, if anyone suggests fundraising for a cause, I don’t feel like that’s the best response to the social issues outlined above. Unless you can provide me with one, that feeds measurable change on the issues above. Fundraising feels like such a  band aid solution some times.   Every one has a walk or a run, but where are the resources truly going?  It feels like every cause is shouting louder than the next, asking for more, and the real question is, where is the change?

This is what it means to be an adult and care for our coming generation.  It means we look at our issues, and how we can set up future generations for success.  This is not an easy list.  It is filled with complex questions, and multifaceted issues.  It requires many minds, and a lot of resources.  It requires us to work together and to listen.  It’s not an easy challenge.

Alright, thanks for listening/reading, I’ll get back to the regular on writing posts.  It’s just been a heavy time lately.  We are in a position of change, and I’m looking at where I fit into that, and my responsibilities.

The Resistance is NOW

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I used to think I wasn’t political, but it was because politics seamed so far removed from me.  They talked about issues that I didn’t yet have the years behind me to appreciate.  I took for granted the work that had come before me, things like socialized health care and education. The right for women to vote.  I took for granted that because I already had them I was never in fear of loosing them, and I was satisfied with what I had.  I didn’t take into consideration the effort it took for me to have those rights. And that if people hadn’t done the work before me, I wouldn’t be enjoying them.

I used to think politics was too complicated.  Too slow.  Too full of pandering.  No real action. Or rather insignificant action.  I hadn’t yet had to balance a budget in my life, and didn’t know how challenging money could be to effect the changes needed.  I didn’t know about the time it would take to get all of these different rallying forces to agree.  I didn’t know the complexities that needed to be considered in order to make our concerns a reality.

By virtue of my birth, I have the remarkably good fortune to be Canadian.  I am a white girl in Canada, born of the middle class.  I have a steady job, that is unionized.  I own a house, vehicles, and pets.  I have healthcare, and am college educated.  In short, I am pretty damned privileged.

Have I told you all how much I love books.  I read.  A lot.  More than the average, but not as many as some.  One of my key areas of interest is YA.  I went through a faze where I was addicted to Dystopia.

Here is the part where I start to get controversial.  So let me be clear, Trump is an idiot, and everything he has done so far, scares the shit out of me.  I see the ripple effect his actions have.  I see how it gives those who already have hate and vitriol in there hearts the feeling like they can lash out and are justified and those in charge are on their side.  That’s a fucking scary thing dudes.

BUT from an author perspective this is the rising.  This is what is needed in a Dystopian landscape to effect change.  You need the truly awful to get the forces to rally.

Because before this, most of you where like me.  Content to be happy with what we had.  Content to accept the status quo.  Content to let whatever power rose up, also fall, because they could only be there for a max of 8 years.  But 8 years, is a lot of time to really fuck shit up.  How long did the world wars last?  And where did those seeds get planted?

We have lived through history.  Some quote it as a way of saying this too shall pass.  They ask how truly bad it could be?  Here is the truth: fucking bad.  It can get really fucking scary.  It starts small, but it starts.  And we can complacently sit back and say well we can accept this, it isn’t truly that bad.  Or we can see it for the ripples it is.  If we accept this, then what do we accept next?  We can see the extrapolation of what is to come.

I am a writer, and that is what my brain is trained to do.  It takes a what if situation and it logically carries it out to the end.  I have read enough dystopians to see this through.  To see how the seeds are planted.  What is going on now, and where this can lead.

I hate that this is happening.  I truly do.  But maybe, just maybe, this is what is needed.  Maybe we all sat too complacently back.  Accepted  the status quo.

We needed a rallying point, and lo we have it.  It’s straight up out of fiction, but dudes this is real.  This is so real.

My twitter is full of politics.  It is full of stories that have me crying.  It is full of how the people are pushing back.  It is full of people standing up saying this is not right.  It is full.  It is not a safe place.  I’m not asking it to be.  It is a rallying cry.  A place for people to quickly come to action and exchange information and insight.

As much as I like a good happily ever after and all ends well in my stories, this one is going to be full of a lot more plot twists before he is out of office.  This one is going to be filled with a lot more downs, before we see the end.  It’s going to be hard, and it’s going to be tough.  It’s going to demand a lot out of you.  It’s going to require you to dig deep.  To stand up and shout.  I’m glad of those of you who are shouting.  For those of you who are rallying.

You are all stitches in my books.  You add up to make something greater, bigger, together.  Keep knitting one stitch at a time. Keep resisting the executives orders as they come.  Your outrage is not invalid.  It is needed.

In the mean time, I’m going to be looking at what I can do here.  I’m going to be considering what I need to do here, to ensure that this doesn’t happen here.  To ensure that the Canada I know, and love, and am proud of, remains the Canada the rest of the world sees and appreciates.

We, the people, will be the resistance.

A list of Eight

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I am so sorry poppets that I didn’t arrange for a post yesterday.

I’ve been trying to keep a Wednesday blogging schedule, and I have some material in a saved folder, but it needs reading through and editing, and sometimes when I’m inspired I need to get the idea out, but when I come back to it, I realize that’s all that was needed.  Not everything I think to write for you, is actually for you.  Some of it is for me, I just didn’t know it till I came back to it.  Some of it I bleed out here on the blog, and some of that blood shed is for me.  Sometimes though the world needs to know that you can bleed, because we all put on these masks like we are impervious to damage.  We are not.

Alas, I missed a blogging day.

So in no particular order here are some things I have been thinking of bloging about in longer format but have not yet wrapped my head around completely:

  • I had an epic day of writing on Sunday. 13500 words, on a problematic idea, that I’m trying to fix the problems in. A new idea born of a dream. I think my favourite thing about it is the MC. The best way to describe her, is that she wears a smile like a battle axe.
  • Slytherins are introverts and there cunning is a product of being introverted. Gryphindors are extraverts, and there heroism is actually a product of them needing to be showy.
  • How plotting a novel and asking the what if questions is like the roughest draft you have ever drafted a draft, and it contains all of the word vomit as you sort through the equation in a concrete manner.
  • Hamilton soundtrack – what is it about this that speaks to creative people. Why does it pull at my heart and I find myself writing to its rhythm, pulling from its emotion.
  • How this new presidency is like a YA novel. If I were writing a catalyst that caused the world to rise up and unite, this would be it. We have the counter point, that causes people to go from complacency and trusting the system, to becoming actively involved in its change. Sometimes you need to light a fire in order to change. Trust me this has been a year of learning for me and I’ve grown, but I did it at the hands of very challenging times. Had I had it easy, I wouldn’t have realized just how powerful and strong I am. Sometimes the people need this.
  • The day job adventures. I was not successful in the two jobs I had applied for, but have taken a temporary replacement roll, that I am loving. I wish it was permanent, but I take the opportunities where they come, and I am happy for it.
  • Starting a Vlog. I have been doing some research, watching other vlogs that inspire me. Doing market research. I bought some makeup, because I want my face to be pretty in the vlog, because that is important as a female vloger. It’s going to be a learning curve, but one that I find I am really looking forward to.

I really want to do a list of ten, however, this is what I have.  This is what has been ticking about my brain.  Now that I have done up the ideas point form, I kind of feel like I might not explore them in longer format.  If you have thoughts on any of the above, please feel free to discuss in the comments.  Your opinion might help solidify mine on these matters.

These are my people

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If this where the academy awards, then this is my acceptance speech….okay maybe it needs some editing, but alas, this a blog, and it can be what I need it to be.

It’s start up at work, and so things have been challenging.  Long hours, shorter breaks, and more stressful situations. Add to that, I had two follow up interviews this week.

Interview for me are emotionally draining.  Interviews are a lot like people wanting to test drive a car.  They want to know what they are going to get and the features that are being offered.  They are going to ask questions that might be hard to deal with to see how you react.  I’ve gotten a lot better at them, and have developed more grace in dealing with those harder topics.  But still at the end of it, I am left feeling like I have poured more water out of my cup, than has been poured into it.

What I have realized though is I have a great community of people around me.  My work family is a great, and they bring different strengths to the table. They are really good for offering me insight, and for debriefing. In fact one of my coworkers said to me that not getting a job can be a very humbling experience.

I still don’t know if I am successful yet in these follow up interviews, but carrying that bit of advise forward with me, will be a cornerstone. I have been turned down before, and I have learnt how to deal with it.  But looking at it through that lens, was a new perspective for me, and one I needed to help me heal from past wounds.

Further to having an amazing work family, I also have an amazing online community.  When I’m stressed or needing to find escape this is where I turn.  I watch vlog brother videos.  I read the  Yarn Harlot’s blog.  I watch writing videos by Jenna Moreci.  John and his friend currently are undergoing a project called 100 days, which is 100 days of fitness and lifestyle changes, and chronicling that in a video blog.  These are the little pieces that I look forward to experiencing when I open up my feedly.  These are the people I connect with.  I don’t know them personally, but their online presence, and their POV of the world has helped shape me.  It has brought clarity and meaning to my life.  What they say resonates with me.

When I’m looking at my life and I’m unsure of my trajectory, my online community is what guides me.  I look at where they are at, and what they are doing, and I think, how do I get there from here.  It’s good to know who I want to be, not just right now, but what I want future me to look like, and how I am working towards being that person.  That means that even if I do stumble upon disappointment now, or rather it is thrust upon me, I have something to focus on.  I have a goal worth picking myself up for, dusting off, and keep on moving towards.

And lastly, most importantly are my loved ones.  These are the people that ghost in behind you and hold you up.  They are the ones that through the thick and the thin of it, will pull you through and be there for you.  These are the people that are hard to define, but you know, are your foundation.

I have a Cowboy, who if I didn’t connect with on a daily basis, leaves me feeling unmoored.  He is my grounding post.  If you think this sounds unhealthy, it’s because I’m leaving out key details, like the fact that the works out of town, so connecting daily really is important to maintaining a functioning relationship.  When he’s home, connecting is much easier, as duh, he’s right there and I can say what I want when I want, so long as he’s in the room.  Otherwise I would have to get my but up off the couch and find him in the house for that.  Or wait to get home from work.  Or wait for him to get back from band practice, or work out or something.  See we have hobbies besides each other. But the main thing here, is that he is an integral part of my day, and making me feel supported and loved, even if it’s just making funny faces at each other over facetime.

I also have my basset hounds.  They provide a focal point outside of myself.  They need loving and food, and attention, and walks, and they provide me with someone else besides me that needs to be taken care of. In return, they bark and wag their tails at me when I get home, and snoogle with me, and make me feel well loved.  Dogs are grounding.  Apparently I’m a kite that might fly away if not properly grounded.  Or maybe an arch of electricity that will zap you if not properly grounded.  That later one seams more accurate.

I also have my sister, and my mom, who I turn too when I need to fill in on life, and outsource my advice to.  A set of eyes, that knows me through it all, and can be their to see the gaps that others don’t.  I have my dad who I share my big accomplishments with and who I talk house fixing projects with.  Sometimes I edit for content depending on the party I am sharing with, because I have to keep in mind audience and personality type, because yes we can be that type of family.  We all have an opinion, and sometimes I know they mean well, it’s just hard to manage when it’s coming from a different POV than mine.  Sometimes I’m surprised that our POVs match, because it didn’t always feel like it growing up.

I have good friends, to connect with over different hobbies and loves.  I have knitting friends, and writing friends, and colouring friends, and Korean drama friends, and makeup friends, and different TV show friends.  I have friends who I share common interest with, who offer solace and a place to nerd out with over things we love.  A place where I can be unapologetically enthusiastic about my loves.

These are the people that keep me centred.  Every person in my life helps shape me.  I’m not a solo ship. I know we like to think we are, but all around us, are our people.  Every single one of them makes us the bigger, better, brighter, bolder version of who we are.

Right now, on this precipice of super stressed out and uncertainty, what I really needed was to think about who my people are.  It is knowing, that whatever is around the corner, I’m going to be fine, because I have my people.

 

A night of Hygge

fireplace-cozy

The Danish do Hygge in the winter. Though it’s supposed to be pronounce Hoo-gah?  It’s the idea of cozying up in winter, and taking care of yourself.  Making time for friends, and activities that suite the season.  It’s a season of self care.  And it’s something I have been actively practicing every winter for a while now.  Finding those things that make winter comfortable, and finding things to appreciate the season with.

Last night was definitely a night of Hygge.

I came home from work, and was greeted by Cowboy throwing open the door and the dogs barking at me from the front step. I thought they were saddled up (had their harnesses on) for a walk.  They were not, and a part of me was relieved.  I have been working extended hours at work with shortened breaks, and my brain was kind of melted, and I was thinking about what I wanted to get done.  I was trying to put up the windshield wiper blades on both our vehicles because it was a snow storm, and I thought with Cowboy being sick, and him having to go out back to work the next day, and that being a long drive for him, I would do him this kindness.  Except I’m trying to do this while my dogs where being ridiculously stinking cute, and making sure they don’t wander off the porch to run away.

When I get inside finally, Cowboy had started super, and I could have cried with joy. Did I mention I was working long days?  Look, I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I would rather a clean kitchen and a good meal than a bouquet of flowers on a hard day.  I want to be taken care of.

Except then Cowboy wanted to take the dogs for a walk. In the snow storm.  This is where I needed to dig deep.  I had to go past the day I had, and think about Cowboy, and the dogs.  Cowboy was going back to work, he will be gone for two weeks straight.  He won’t get to do this for those two weeks.  Spending time with our dogs taking them on adventures is such an integral part of who we are as a couple.  I considered Rory’s health, as she has been having back problems, vs, how much they love going for a walk, especially in a snow storm.

The walk won. It was 45 minutes of gusting snow in my face trusting that my dogs new the way, because I could barely see the trail in front of me.  They snuffled out the way, faces dug into the snow, using their hound instincts to the max. It felt like I was one of the first Canadian explorers, challenging the wilderness.  It was quite the adventure, and needless to say all parties enjoyed themselves immensely, even me who had to dig deep.  It is truly strange and beautiful to be out in the middle of a snowstorm, especially this one where there was thunder and lighting.

Arriving at home there was the snow shake in the landing, the toweling off, the glasses fogging. I could tell Rory was feeling the walk, so I made sure I fed her and Rosco right away, and I got some anti-inflammatory and pain medication into her.  She really doesn’t like the medication, and tries to fight the drowsy side effects, but she really does need it some days.  We got her situated comfortably on a couch downstairs.  She curled up beside me as we were having super, because when her issue was really bad, I was the one playing nurse maid, and had her beside me, and for her, that’s just comfort.  Mommy will look after her.

Super was bacon and home fries, and beans, and scrambled eggs, and cucumber and cheese, oh my was it glorious. We watched the last of Mindy, and we watched a movie afterwards, and I coloured, and it was just the coziest evening.  It was the perfect evening for Cowboy and I and the dogs.  A good hike, some good food, some good tv.  If that was my life from now until eternity, I would call it pretty damned charmed.

And not once did I think last night about the 500 words I didn’t write. I know how super important it has been for me to ensure that I write every day. It’s important because I want this year to be my year, the year I polish a WIP, the year, I look for an agent, the year I take this dream to the next level.  But what I need is a manageable way of getting there.  500 words a day make showing up easy, make it not daunting, make it totally attainable.  I should be beating myself up over missing this goal.  And yet last night, the night before Cowboy left to go back to work for two weeks, it felt right to just spend that time with loved ones.  It felt right to enjoy their company, and just be.

Sometimes we push ourselves, and some days we recover. Yesterday was a day of recovery and nurture, and there is no way you can convince me to regret that at all.

Quarterly Goals – Jan to March

quarterly

Alright so now you all know my goals for the year, but I’m gonna channel some Jenna Moreci, and break them down a bit further.  I’m going to do Quarterly goals, and then break them down a bit further – kind of, but maybe not here, maybe more in a long epic to do list.  Shrugs.

This Quarter:

  • I want to build up videos for a Vlog (not sure about when I want to start posting yet – depends on the learning curve).
  • I will be able to run for 10 minutes.
  • I will have half a draft of Paris Above completed.

I know those are three HUGE things.

So let’s break it down a bit further.

Vlog:

I’ve watched a lot of you tubers over the years, so I have an idea of style, and content, and stage presence, scheduling of vlogs, and script writing.  I feel like I have a good handle on that, and how I want to proceed.   What scares the bejeebers out of me is video editing.  I see fancy jump cuts and I’m like, how?  and how many takes will I need?  And how will I get through the script, without reading from a page, oh wait I’m totally going to read from the page, because spoilers, my style of vlog, is story time kind of style, and having a big ol book, like to read from, that looks like a grimoire, would be hella cool.

I’m going to try and spend some time each weekend, once my hubby goes back to work, filming, and learning to edit.  I want to learn, before I start publishing immediately online.  So the first couple of months, are going to be about learning.  I want to hit publish on my first video by my birthday, which is at the beginning of March.

Running 10 Minutes:

Really we are going to start, by wearing that damned fit bit and remembering to get up and move, instead of sitting on my but.  And drinking more water.

Then I’m going to start making it to the gym 3 times a week.  That is half the battle right there.  After successfully getting the showing up badge, I’m going to start on my couch to 5K app again, for the umpteenth time.  Eventually I want to transition this to gym in the morning before work, but if I can just get in a regular habit, that would be amazing.

Paris Above:

During NaNoWriMo the goal is to write 50K in a month.  I know I can do this.  But I also know it’s not a very clean 50K.  It needs a lot of TLC and mending afterwards.

I want a cleaner draft than anything I’ve ever written before, which means going slow.  It means taking my time.  Originally i want to have the complete rough draft of Paris finished by the end of this quarter, but if I make it halfway there that would be awesome.  I’m going to try doing this by writing 2500 words a week.  That’s 500 words a day, except for Sunday’s, because I don’t work on Sundays (personal rule, and is good for the soul).   Or I can just do one big writing day, which also works well for me.

Overall:

This is going to require a lot more micromanaging to juggle all of the variables.  Certainly I could get it done if I wasn’t working.  But alas.

I know I am a monster with a todo list, so I can definitely break down the minute details as needed.  I’m going to leave it open though for now.

I’ve also started bullet journaling, and one page a day.  I want to have a personal log of the year, in a format that work for me.  I love to do lists, so bullet journaling really appeals to me, but I think in the long run, I might stick with Google Docs for my to do lists, as they tend to get long and epic, and I move things fluidly around as needed.  Thought he bullet journal is a great, don’t forget this overall thing, and P.S. you did all of this today, feel proud.

I will definitely check in with you at the end of this quarter to let you know how it’s going.  I’m also going to try and make sure I blog once a week here.  I’m going to experiment with scheduling rather than the instant gratification of post now.  That way I will have some consistency which is always nice to look forward to as a content consumer.