Stationary Drifting


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Oh Geez: Another Pre-Birthday Update & once again considering a return to blogging

I’m back….again

I experimented briefly with another blog space, which was basically just me nerding out about picking names and designs and writing nothing. In the end leaving Stationary Drifting just doesn’t make sense to me. I have it tattoo’d on me for christsake.

It seems like it’s time for my semi-yearly check in, and a lot has changed.

Superficially, my hair got shorter


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and I continued to confuse the world about my gender. I do what I want and define nothing okay? It’s easier for everyone that way.

I got a new job & took a mini vacation (Niagara Falls)


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Pictured: M & I represented as finger puppets won at an arcade & the less impressive falls but the less misty one so dry enough to take photos of.

I don’t think I want to rate the importance of changes in my life, but man has this one ever made a big difference. I think I had been underestimating just how important my work is to me, and just how much a shitty job can drag me down (& let’s not talk about the effects of a shitty paying job in an expensive city). I moved back into the field I’ve been working in for years (women & youth, violence prevention, capacity building), got a boost in title (I’m a manager now!), am working nationally again, and am working for a pretty big deal (in my world) organization. I gotta say I love it. It feels so good to go into work every day and feel pumped about it. Some days I find myself procrastinating on leaving work at the end of the day because I’m enjoying myself so much, which is ridiculous and obviously I have to stop doing that but it says a lot.

Honestly the last time I felt this way about a job was about 7 years ago, which means about 7 years of just getting by/surviving/keeping my head down or being unemployed. Not a good time. It has only been a month by my spirits have lifted significantly.

I quit school & feel SO much calmer about life


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Pictured: Lake Ontario from the train, Kawartha Area, College St Clouds, Lake Tasso

Although it was not a decision I came to lightly, I do not regret it for a second. I love being a grad school drop-out, and I love that I no longer feel so fucking terrible about myself and my inability to get it done. I had moved past the point of wanting to get or do a master’s a long time ago and was pushing through because of some sense of duty or fear. It took me a long time to finally decide and many tears were shed but I haven’t looked back. Not once.

M & I have been together 4 years


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Pictured: M @ Allen Gardens this spring, the 2 of us before a night out & first day of summer on the streetcar

See what I mean about not ranking these updates? Because obviously this is a giant one. 2 years married and 4 years together. We have hit a new stride, one that is a lot more honest and comfortable. I really think it has taken me this long to relax and believe that she is sticking around. I think its also taken this long to figure out how to communicate with each other. Which is not to say that its perfect all the time but jesus, its light-years better than 4 years ago. I feel incredibly happy and lucky to be in love with her. Our life together is quiet, happy and mutually supportive, which is the best ever basically.

My G’ma passed away & I have a lot of feelings


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Pictured: my G’ma in her late 20ies & tiny snap dragons living in a construction site

I feel all sorts of ways about this and I have put away processing this for a time that I feel stronger. My Grandma meant a lot to me and was also a very complicated woman. She was essentially my only grandparent (my mom’s mom not really being a big presence in my life and my grandfathers gone before I remember them). Her passing was both something to grieve and feel relief over. Dementia is a truly terrible thing and I don’t think anyone, particularly her, wanted to see how far it could get. Her endings gave me some inkling of the nature of the human spirit, and how love and humour can transcend seriously dark places. At the same time her decline was so painful and so humbling. She wasn’t perfect or easy, she has a past that continues to affect all the generations of her offspring but she was fierce, smart, loyal, independent and creative. She followed her dreams to a fault and has inspired the lot of us in doing the same.

We got a cat – She has a Salvador Dali mustache & about 9 names


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She is an absolute monster of a chatty, meow bag, who wakes me up way too early in the morning and is pretty damn finicky about her litterbox for a shelter cat. She a sweet little mustachioed biter and a much loved pain in the ass. I took a sick day back in April and while M & I were wandering around the neighbourhood in search of quiet places to peek at we walked by the SPCA at the end of our block. We had both been staunchly avoiding going in since we arrived in Toronto and I warned as we walked in that we would probably be walking out with an animal. Which is what we did. We were thinking a dog but after a short while in the really sad, really loud dog kennel part we walked up into the quiet haven of the cat kennels and decided that maybe this was better for us. M picked the cat out, and as soon as I saw her mustache I was in love. We did think about it, for an hour or so while we bought groceries, but our hearts were stolen and they still are. Running list of names (both official and none official) used include, in order: Soda, Little Butt, Smoo/Smooboo, Rooster, Now Now, Lola Spinx, Duckie, also Fluff Face and Cat/Chat (pronounced Shat).

I’m quitting smoking…again & got stitches from washing the dishes


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Pictured: My hand in January after an early morning dish washing accident, a full day’s work, only to go straight to the hospital afterwards to get 3 stitches. That said, the TeleHealth in Ontario is excellent. Also pictured is me feeling joyous, not knowing that another go at quitting is in my near future.

I’m writing this down even though its barely been 24hrs since I quit. I find that writing it down makes it more official. I was in the shower the other day, reflecting as I do, about my upcoming 32nd birthday and I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to be a smoker anymore. It has been officially 10 years, and I don’t even really enjoy it anymore though it does have its purposes. I think I’m ready.

I should probably be more accurate and say that WE are quitting smoking. My poor M is currently sadly in bed sleeping off some hard feelings. She is/was a far heavier smoker than me so this hits a lot harder. It helps that we are quitting together because I’ve tried to quit on my own while she smokes and it fucking sucks. It also makes my thirst and cravings for sweet things seem pretty pale in comparison to my suffering wife. I have really high hopes for her quitting, higher than my own I think. She is the toughest person I know and I think if she can make it through this we both will kick this forever. I’m trying not to fuss over her too much because obviously that’s annoying so I’m writing it here that I’m SO PROUD she made it 24hrs!!

I flirted with starting my own business & took no good, relevant photos about it


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Pictured: the cat doing what she does best & me in Cabbagetown looking smug

Back in the spring when I thought I was going to die if I had to work any longer at my old job I got a kick in the pants from M, my brother and sister-in-law to start selling my apothecary line. I was all set up to write a business plan, I had a mentor, a volunteer designer and everything when I got my new job and bailed on the whole plan. I don’t really know what I’m going to do with that plan now, I still want it, but I’m so happy at my new job that I don’t know anymore…Owning my own business is expensive and scarey and uncertain, and oh so attractive. I’m new at my job so who knows, maybe the decision will be easier later. We’ll see…

So what next? Now that summer is over…


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Pictured: Elora Beach, Ukrainian Church Graffiti @ Trinity-Bellwoods, Cabbagetown House Dreams & Lido Pimienta at the
In Honour Festival
(Aug)

I took a short read through my past posts before starting to write this and almost all my posts talked about looking for, searching, wondering about happiness. I think more than anything those posts, along with my silence on this blog, have really highlighted just how incredibly depressed I’ve been for the past xx years. Maybe it was Saturn Returns, some big life changes, closing out my 20ies and starting my 30ies, struggling to find my place in the world, and feeling pretty damn knocked around but its been a helluva slog through hard times this past while. I’m not making any promises that I’m in a better place but I am feeling lighter and more hopeful than I have in a long ass time and I’m hopeful that this means I am rounding a healthier corner.

My biggest preoccupation these days is figuring out what my hobbies are again. Years of beating myself up over school and being broke as shit has erased what I used to do to entertain myself. It’s fall so I’m going to start knitting again, I’m going to spend some serious time working on my apothecary stuff again, maybe I’ll blog more, I want to take a perfume making course, and learn how to make terrariums, this house needs some love because I’ve pretty much been ignoring that I live here, I need to make some friends god damn it. Friends would help a lot…

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even plant friends


been a minute

Its been a little while since I wrote here. Haven’t had a whole lot of time for much of anything and frankly the blog is the first thing to fall off. Always.

The move to Toronto has been good, difficult, lonely and worth it.

My new job is rewarding. Not perfect by any means, not the least of which is that its BARELY enough $$ to get by in this expensive ass city (be glad I wasn’t blogging during the apartment hunt, all I can say is “What the Fuck Toronto?” on that one). Its also a normal NGO with its dark underbelly of bad labour politics. I don’t know what it is about NGO’s that bring that out but this one is no different. That said my work is really interesting and is in a field that’s new to me so I’m learning a lot, which I appreciate. Plus I have benefits!! Whoooooo, new glasses and maybe a visit to the dentist is in my future. BIG PLANS.

I think after almost 4 months on the job I’m starting to settle in to what a 9-5 job does to my body. FYI, it makes me ridiculously tired. I’m trying to figure out how to curb my night owl lifestyle into a morning person job. I’m supposed to be at work at 8:30am. I go in for 9am. I prefer a short lunch break over being fucking exhausted all day.

Now that I’m into a big of a work groove I’ve picked up the pace on working on my thesis. It sucks a lot to leave work and go to a library to open my laptop and work some more but I keep trying to tell myself that it will feel amazing once I’m done. Between trying to talk myself out of quitting anyway.

Oh, I’m also working 2 facilitation contracts too. Not exactly sure how that’s supposed to fit in to my days but I’m trying to make it work.

Our new house is almost set up. One more trip to IKEA and we should have all the basics to live with. In retrospect deciding to get rid of everything in Montreal has turned out to be super expensive. No regrets because our brand new bed is wonderous and the house looks amazing with furniture that is not sagging, ripped or coming apart at the seams and all that but the credit card bill is a little scary…Hence the extra contracts I’ve been taking on.

Mars and I have been doing good. The move was hard on us for different reasons, me because I was leaving the only place I had ever really made home. Mars because she was leaving a place that she had just finally figured out. Its been a stressor on our relationship for sure, especially since I leave the house every day and leave Mars alone all week. I think we’ve started to hit our stride though and are definitely happier now.

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately and what it takes to be happy. Alright, I know its not just been lately but I’m still trying to figure out my happiness stride and what makes me happy. I don’t think I’ve found it yet. I’m not necessarily generally happy at the moment but I think I’m on the right path. Finish the thesis so I can finally go the direction I think I want to go in my career, and also have a social life without guilt. Get my experience at this job and then move on. I can see where the path is, I think its just over the next hill. Get Mars settled here so that we can focus on other things. I want to travel again. My wanderlust has been in a box for years because I haven’t been able to afford it and I know its making me sad.

I’m about to turn 31. Life isn’t over but it does feel a helluva lot more serious at times.

So yeah, that’s my update. No pictures but this play list is helping keep me upbeat on this rainy fall day.

{image from last.fm}

ps. Jolene is about the only song I ever mastered on the guitar AND could sing.

 


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. Don’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.


Small Things Project: Day 22 through 27

Day 22: (Feb 28)

Today I am happy for a reason to wake up early. Most days I feel like it doesn’t matter what time I get up to anyone but me. But today I had work to do in the morning before some school meetings. I feel a helluva lot better when I get up and out of bed at a reasonable time. I managed to make coffee, a delicious smoothie and bake bread on top of getting some work done. How’s that for productive? Eat that winter blues.

I’m also happy that I have a thesis related meeting today. I’ve been feeling bad about how little I’ve been getting done on it recently, what with my natural procrastination, TA’ing and the work contract I had. Its good to feel like I’m getting it back in motion.

I’m happy that its sunny out and the snow is melting again.

I’m excited to work on this photo project that Jared and I have, 52 Themes. I will be posting our new week’s worth of photos every Monday.

I’m excited that people are still reading the blog! I check the stats so much and it makes me really happy. Thanks anonymous people!

Day23: (feb 29)

Happy leap day!

I’m happy today that I’m continuing my trend of getting up early and that I managed to get so much done this morning. I’m pushing through the winter blues that make me want to stay in bed forever and forcing myself out of it in order to be productive. Painful tax related call, out of the way, possible fridge purchase on the horizon. I cannot wait to have a full sized fridge again. 8 months with a bar sized fridge isn’t fun, even if I pretend that trying to put groceries away is a game I call Fridge Tetris.

I’m happy that I have friends, like Marty that have such good perspectives on life and that they (she) are willing to have me sprawl out on their (her) couch dramatically in order to detail my latest conundrums. I’m really very lucky that I have friends that like me enough to put up with my “little black cloud” moods and try and help me figure out the mysteries of life.

I’m happy I’m on a project finishing spree and I really hope that it extends over to my thesis. Spring 2012 is going to be all about finishing what I started. I just decided that now.

Day 24: (march 3)

Oh man, I missed a couple of days. I guess that means I was out living life instead of writing. Which is a good thing.

Today, though, I’m spending a quiet night at home and I’m happy for that. For the internet, my knitting and a bed all to myself.

lace shawl for my mom

I’m also happy I got to spend some time with my friends’ tiny dogs, they are loud mouths but they are also cuddly and loving. I’m also glad that I was able to help them out, I feel like my friends give so much to me I like the chance to give back whenever I can.

I’m happy that M is taking a couple of days to go meet up with some friends in Toronto. He has given so much up to come to be here with me that I’m happy he got this opportunity. I know my friends are so important to me, I want to be able to support him in seeing his friends whenever possible. Even though he’s going to be gone for almost 3 days and I’m going to miss him so much.

I’m happy that I got to have a fun night out dancing last night. Its funny how I crave that less and less. Its also funny to see how my body reacts to it. Having a good night out makes my spirits so much higher but my body can’t handle it that often anymore. I’m so tired today the idea of going out again is not even an option.

Day 25: (march 5)

Phew I’ve been slack this week. And this time its not because I’ve been busy. Well, not out of the house busy, my hands have just been otherwise occupied since I’ve been knitting away at my mom’s lace shawl.

Today I’m happy that my boyfriend is coming home from TO finally. I’ve missed his cute face.

I’m happy that I had a productive day. Though I am tired and wish I didn’t have a meeting tonight on top of it all, I’m glad that I had a lot to do.

I’m looking forward to some promising job opportunities that will hopefully clear up this money drought of ours and give us a chance to make some real plans. I’m terrible at living in limbo, unable to make any kinds of decisions so here’s hoping that a job pulls through and will make it possible to make some dreams reality.

I’m excited about my new plants. The tulips are opening and they are red! And the tiny wishing tree,  or “Tree of Enchantment” as the tag says, is just waiting for wishes to be tied into its branches. Wishes that will hopefully turn into reality soon! I think I might get a money tree too. I need all the help I can get!

Day 26: (March 7)

Today I’m happy that it feels like spring finally, I went outside and got some kitcheny things to make cooking that much better! (including a small pot like the one that I said I wanted the other week. What? I got it at a good price!)

I’m excited that I feel motivation to do my research again. This is partially because I just applied for a job I think I have a chance at and am now freaking out a bit about how I’ll work full time and write. Whatever the reason though, I’m glad I’m feeling the burn a bit.

I’m happy that my new tulip plant is flowering and that its still (kinda) light out after 6pm. Spring is coming! I can’t waaaaait.

Day 27: (March 12)

The past week of small things was really up and down. I was not feeling committed to my blog apparently. Oh well, I refuse to beat myself up about a project that is really just for me so here is day 27, 5 days after day 26.

Today I am so so grateful for the spring weather. For making it through the shittiest time of the year, when its so grey and there are far too many layers of clothing to be worn. I’m happy that I can sit at my desk in a tshirt with the windows open and the sweet spring air coming in. I’m happy to be wearing canvas sneakers and my jean jacket. I love the looks on peoples’ faces as they shake off the months of grey slush and how we meet eyes on the street, everyone smiling at each other.

I’m happy for the cheque that came in the mail today, and how that signals the end of a very stressful contract. Also, how it provided M and I the chance to buy a couple of luxury items, new shoes, new jeans. I’m happy to be wearing a pair of unpatched pants. My first in almost a year. It feels good to have a moment of not counting pennies. Along the same lines, I’m happy for the work that has come into our lives and the potential for more. I’m really looking forward to the day that we can move from this very uncertain limbo and start to make real future plans. Plans that we can do more than dream about.

But mostly I’m just happy for spring.