Stationary Drifting


2013: the post in which I state my resolutions

I think I was kind of trying to avoid writing a post on new years resolutions, etc. For no particular reason other than the fact that it seemed to be required of bloggers (am I a blogger now?), and a bit cliche for this time of the year. I guess I do like to have personal time capsules though, hence the existence of this blog in the first place. After reading a few bloggers talk about looking at their resolutions from last year and comment on them I got a hankering to be able to do that myself. So here’s my plan for this year, no particular order, mostly to look back at in approximately 353 days and see how it worked out.

1. Finish my thesis

This is a really big one. I know that my thesis has made an appearance in the complaining part of this blog many a time. Its been dragging on a long time and is getting to the point of being more of a myth in my life than a reality. I’m tired of feeling embarrassed and apologetic every time someone asks me about it. I really want to have it done and over with so I can prove to myself that I am capable of such tasks and and to be able to move on with my life. The thesis is holding me back from starting other things I care about learning because I can’t really imagine, or justify to others, starting anything new with this still sitting there. So to do this I’m going to have to 9-5 this shit. No more flexible time, no more excuses, just all work all the time until I’m done. It will feel so good to move on and I’m going to use the yearning for that feeling to drive me.

2. Find a good job

Finding a job has been a helluva chore. Its been over a year that I’ve been applying, going to interviews, feeling rejected, and starting again. My goal for this year is to make the changes that need to be made in order to find work, which will include really thinking about whether Montreal is the place for this to happen. I’ve been applying to work in other places but maybe I need to make the big move to change up the formula and hopefully find something that works. This requires a lot of thinking and planning since I don’t exactly have the income to up and move to a more expensive city (thinking Toronto), and obviously this decision also affects M so its got to work for him too. Whatever it is, something is not working in my application process and I need to evaluate that. This goal is related to the above goal in a lot of ways, not the least of which because both are making me feel stuck and also probably that getting my thesis done and graduating will help the job hunt. Its also related to moving my life and my new little family’s life and goals forward. So its back to the regular job hunt for me. To do this I’m going to get back to regularly searching for and applying to jobs. I’m going to make it my begin the morning routine, over coffee and breakfast (which I will also be getting better at), before working on my thesis.

3. Drink more water

In the past I’ve gone for more of a general “get healthy” goal. I’m not ditching that because let’s be honest, I’m way too young to not take care of myself. This year though I’m going to put down a more specific goal of making sure I drink a lot more water every day. Like the full recommended daily amount. Its not a hard goal but its a habit I want to form and it will take some conscious intention to get it started. I’m going to follow the Mayo Clinic’s advice because they seem legit and are usually not too extreme in their recommendations. They say that the average woman in a temperate climate should drink 9 liters a day so I’m going to aim for that. 9-10 big glasses or my water bottle a day should do the trick. I want to start each day with water before anything else and move from there. Luckily I drink a lot of water when sitting at a desk, mostly out of fidgety boredom, so this should work perfectly with my above plans.

4. Start a Cdn political analysis blog/podcast

This one is going to be on pause until the Thesis is done because frankly I’m not sure I can handle more writing, other than blogging, on top of that but I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. Hence the Department of Analysis blog I keep but don’t write on these days. I follow a lot of grassroots political blogs and podcasts and really enjoy the perspective. My complaint about this though is that all of them are American, and while I appreciate the updates on what’s going on there I want to publicize what’s going on here too. The idea is not to be a journalist so I won’t be going out to follow stories, that’s not my goal. What I want to do is be a pundit of sorts and do commentary on events, news and politics in Canada to try and up the conversations happening about the situation here. The US affects our politics but we have plenty of our own that needs to be discussed. I’m going to aim for a late spring launch on this. If I can get others involved then great but if not I’m still going to do it.

5. Start a small Apothecary

I’ve been into herbal and holistic healthcare for a long time now. I think my first foray into it was when I got Bell’s Palsy (8 years ago?) and doctors told me that they didn’t know anything to ease the symptoms or speed recovery but that some people had good results from acupuncture. Luckily at that time I was still covered under my dad’s awesome teacher’s insurance and I was able to get acupuncture 3x/week for months free. It worked, was relaxing and most importantly I had (what I’m told is) a remarkable recovery. I still seek out acupuncture when I need it these days, though I don’t have coverage for it so its a lot less often. From there I got myself a naturopath and started using herbal remedies to make myself healthier and my obsession has only grown. Nowadays I treat just about everything with herbs (unless I’m really sick) and have gotten into making toiletries. I know make my own deodorant, cream and lip balm and am learning to make more. I’ve been researching lots of recipes (and even classes) but for now I think I can start a small apothecary making non-internal products and selling them around town. So this winter is for learning, and when the thesis is done I will launch!

6. Make a budget and stick to it

Classic resolution and one that I make almost every year. Its a bit comical to try and make a budget for such a small amount of money but at the same time SO necessary. This budget is going to focus on watching what we spend and paying down debt so that when we eventually have good jobs and more income we know where our money goes and hopefully have a cleaner slate to work with, and better credit. Eventually we will want to do things like buy cars and maybe a somewhere to live. Or at least travel. Money sucks when you don’t have it. So a budget has been made for this year, mapping out the real expenses we have and prioritizing the important things, including a (very small) budget line for entertainment. Now we just have to make sure we stay on track.

7. Read more books

My degree has killed my ability to sit and read for fun. I feel guilty when I’m not reading academic stuff so I haven’t really. I got a mini kobo for xmas this year and some bookstore gift certificates and I had no idea what to buy! This is so weird for me, I used to be such a big reader. This is somewhat related to the next resolution.┬áDon’t get me wrong, I read, a lot. I have a solid 29 blogs and news agencies that I check at least once a day (thank you flipboard), not to mention the many articles, postings, rants and commentaries that also make up my daily reading. I love reading and I love learning, I acknowledge that I’ve turned more towards emerging and grassroots/popular learning in the form of new media academics and I like it. I get challenged a lot from it and it inspires a lot of discussion in my home. I miss reading for fun though, and reading fiction. Anyway, I finished reading Fun Home last week and am partway through Alison Bechdel’s new book, Are You My Mother?. Next up is Barbara Kingsolver’s, Flight Behavior on my new kobo. Then maybe something by Zadie Smith? I don’t know yet. The plan is to read at least 30 books for fun this year (idea from blackandwhiteandlovedallover). 30 is not much but it seems reasonable in the face of the stack of books I have to read to finish my damn degree.

8. Use less screens

This is another reason why I haven’t been reading enough. I have a million screens that I can look at in all places. My computer, tablet, smart phone, and (now) ereader makes is virtually (pun intended) impossible to avoid looking at a screen. I can sit in front of the computer all day, or peruse the www on my tablet in bed or while traveling (I even use it for knitting patterns!), the phone works for small spaces like the metro or bus or if I don’t have the tablet with me. The ereader for when my eyes feel like falling out of my head from starting at screens too long. So, with the health of my eyes in mind I’m going to make sure I spend a significant amount of time not looking at screens a day. Whether that’s reading (ereader doesn’t count, its nice on the eyes), knitting, hanging out with friends, cooking or whatever I’m going to make an effort.

9. Go somewhere new

Phew, this post is getting really long. Its taken me almost 2 weeks to write!

This is a fun one, a lot of these goals feel kinda heavy….I’m a wanderlust at heart. I’ve been in Montreal for 5 and a half years and its closing in on the longest I’ve lived anywhere, including places I lived as a child (Calgary was 7 years). My parents move(d) a lot, I’ve moved a LOT. There was the period of time between 19-24 I moved cities, if not countries, every 4 months. I like being nomadic, I get excited by new places. I have come to enjoy the benefits of being somewhere a while, which mostly have to do with knowing people for a long time, but I still need new places in my life to keep things fresh. So my goal for this year is to go to at least one new place. It doesn’t have to be far, it just has to be somewhere I’ve never been before.

10. “Renovate” the apartment

I’ve been living in this little apartment for almost 2 years, and now officially over 1 year with M. When I originally set up and painted the place it worked really well for me. We made a few changes to fit M in when they moved here but other than moving one or two pieces of furniture and clearing out a closet and a few drawers for them to use there haven’t really been any changes made to the place. Its in desperate need of an update and a shuffling to make ‘my’ place ‘ours’. My goal for this year is to declutter, paint, recover and buy with M to make our house ours. We’re exploring ways to cover the terrible linoleum in the kitchen & bathroom. Suggestions welcome. Changing a rental apartment is an interesting dance between wanting a good space and not investing a lot into a place we’ll move out of and leave behind.

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Small Things Project: day 64 (Sept 25)

Today I am happy that my thesis advisor is so cool. I really just enjoy her company and passion and she always makes me feel like I’m capable of doing this, which is not an easy task at this point. One time she made me tear up because she went on a rant about how smart I am at a time that I was feeling really dumb. I really respect her and I’m trying not to feel too much pressure to live up to her expectations of me.

I’m also happy that my stress at work was significantly eased by a really good, realistic meeting today. Things still seem possible but the timeline has been somewhat adjusted to reflect reality, which makes me feel a helluva lot better about how this whole thing is going to roll out.

I’m happy for rad, intergenerational organizing groups too. I almost skipped out on a meeting I had tonight with a bunch of other prisoner justice groups here in Montreal but I sucked it up and went. I’m really happy I did because I learned A LOT, met a lot of cool people, and left feeling like Montreal has a much more solid PJ community than I ever imagined. I also signed up to get clearance at one of the local federal prisons so that myself and another person in my collective could go in and do some transformative justice workshops for another group that works with folks on the inside. I’m super pumped about that.

So I’m tired but I feel busy, which is good. Like I said a we a days ago, I need to do more with this life and I feel like I’m starting to start that not-exactly-simple goal.

I’m also really excited for my upcoming birthday, I have a package from my dad and Nancy waiting for me at the post office and I can’t wait to pick it up! I’ve been debating whether I want to wait until my actual birthday to open it and be an adult for once in my life, ooooorrrrr not. We’ll see how I feel once its in my grubby lil’ hands tomorrow…..

I have some posts lined up that just need some finishing touches before I post them but I’m too tired and its too late because I got home so late so they will have to wait until tomorrow. One is a picture of a hilarious outfit I’ve been rocking that I love, another is a photo/weekend round up on queer pop, i have to update on my simple goals and goal #3 this week, and I think there’s a couple brewing on crafting and my views on my gender presentation so hopefully I have some time to put those in queue this week. I’ve been really loving blogging these days (probably partially because its getting cooler and I’m better at projects in the non-summer), so to conclude, I’m happy about that too.


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Embracing my inner woo

I like to think of myself as a pragmatic person. I don’t follow any kind of religion, in fact I feel sometimes feel (shamefully) disdainful of (organized) religion. When I was out in SF a while back I remember being more than a little put off by the level of woo that was going around. Intrigued, but put off. I think it was the ways in which it encompassed some peoples lives to the point of disconnection from reality that got to me mostly. Anyway, back to my point, being spiritual is not something that I assign as a descriptor of myself. AND YET, I caught myself the other day taking a break from research Alchemy to go through my deck of protection cards for solace. I’m going to let that settle for a second and let you talk in those words and this picture….

///alchemy research + portable fortitude deck + the necklace I wear pretty much every day + a birthday list to myself that includes another crystal, a tattoo and the collective tarot///

I don’t remember why I was researching alchemy. I think it just popped in my head, or I came across a random side bar reference and was all, ‘I wonder what that’s about’. I remember loving the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and being pumped about Alchemy as a topic from then on. After some research I decided that I’m not really that into Alchemy as it stands, but I do still love the symbols and their meaning. I think I just love symbolic meaning.

I mean, obviously I like symbolic meaning. Look at every single one of the tattoos I have, the name of this blog, my own cryptic writing style (about important things). One day I should go into what each of my tattoos mean to me but for now I would like to direct your attention to the necklace I wear pretty much every day, which also has tons of symbolic meaning. The ring is my grandmother‘s wedding ring. She gave it to me just before dementia really took her brain away from us all. There is a really good story attached to that ring, and maybe one day I’ll write the second half of my ode to her (first part linked above), be in the end this ring is really important to me. The amethyst was my birthday present to myself last year (from sparklefarm) and, besides being pretty, it is meant to provide me with power, protection and healing. Things that meant a lot me last year as I was healing from my broken elbow and surgeries. I mean, those things are still important to me, just in different ways now. The other pendant is stone with threads of opal (meaning healing, love, money & luck) in it that my mom and step-dad brought back from Australia. I went to Australia for my first trip on my own, my first real time on my own. Also, it provides the balance that Libra me (yes, horoscopes too) needs in having both parents represented on the chain.

Last is the portable fortitude cards by Corina Dross. She is a Philly based artist and all of West Philly is covered in representations of these cards. So they mean a lot in the sense of them being from where my husband is from and where we hung out. Also, if you can’t read it, the showing card says “Protection from the Impending Flood”. All the cards have protection messages and when I’m feeling stuck or uncertain I pull a few cards and think about their meaning in my life, which I was doing that night, the day before my first day at work. It did make me feel better.

So yeah. Not woo.

/// creepy shot I took with flash ~ kinda woo ///

Okay, maybe just a little….