Stationary Drifting


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A-Z of me

I have my best of blogs for March all lined up to go but I’m waiting for confirmation from the people that I’m featuring on if I can post some of their photos. I’m still learning the ins and outs of blog etiquette and it feels right to ask. SO in the meantime, I borrowed this quiz thing from Ellen over at Black and White and Loved All Over as a quick and easy post for today. I’m a nerd and I love these types of things, I remember when they were going around facebook a long time ago but I feel like we used to email them around to each other in high school too.

So, here it goes:

A. Age: 30
B. Bed size: a very saggy, very old, second hand queen that I would love to replace SO badly! If money and apartment/bedroom size wasn’t a factor I would get a king size in a second. I love space when I sleep.
C. Chore that you hate: The laundry. Not so much the washing of clothes per se, but the packing up and trekking of them to the laundromat. I HATE hanging out in the laundromat for a few hours, fighting for machines and watching all my bills be turned into quarters and then fed into machines that give me 4mins of drying time for 25cents. Ugh.
D. Dogs: None these days. I would really like a boxer or a pit bull. Mars and I were joking about getting a bull dog and naming it Stickers. At this point we need a little more space and a little more stability before we can make that decision. But man, I would love a dog to bits.
E. Essential start to your day: What Mars calls ‘ipad time’, every morning when I wake up I spend a good 30-45mins laying in bed and reading what’s going on in the world on my ipad. Partially its because I’m a tech addict, but partially its because its a great quiet time moment when I can adjust to being awake and without having to talk to anyone or make decisions. I wake up slowly. After that its coffee.
F. Favorite color: tough call, I would have to say variations of dark red. Though I rarely ever wear it…I’ve been getting into yellows and oranges too, which I used to hate…
G. Gold or Silver: Gold (and silver, not picky)
H. Height: 5″6
I. Instruments you play: I played the flute for 6 years as a kid into high school. Taught myself a bit of guitar. I’m not very good at either.
J. Job title: Master’s student, Teaching Assistant, Professional Job Hunter
K. Kids: None yet, but like the dog I would love to have some when the time is right. Or at least when I’ve found a bit more stability.
L. Live: Montreal. I’ve been here almost 6 years, which is 1 year shy of the longest I’ve been anywhere. It feels nice, but very weird since I’m a still pretty nomadic at heart. I think I’m ready to leave Montreal now but not because I don’t still love it. Mostly because I need a job and a change of scenery.
M. Mother’s name: Lynn (her birthday is tomorrow!)
N. Nicknames: Kee & boobear (mars – amongst MANY others), squirt (dad), sweetheart (mom), K-(insert word) ex: K-money. I don’t have a lot of nicknames, my name is hard to shorten except to Keith, which I refuse to be called.
O. Overnight hospital stays: I think a couple as a baby, other than that none. I narrowly avoided a stay after one of my elbow surgeries. They let me go home for the night and sleep in my own bed as long as I promised to be back by first rounds in the morning. I was so grateful, not only because hospitals are not great places for staying but also because it was my birthday.
P. Pet peeves: people who do more talking than listening, leaving the sponge or dish cloth in the bottom of the sink, open cabinet doors, sleeping in unmade beds
Q. Quote: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968
R. Right or left handed: very very right handed
S. Siblings: such a complicated question for a blended family like mine. I guess the shorthand way to say this is 2 brothers and 2 step-brothers.
U. Underwear: not sure what the question is here. Yes I wear them, every day, usually of the boxer or ladies underwear variety. Never thongs, those things are evil.
V. Vegetable you hate: mushrooms. I can tolerate cooked ones but uncooked ones make me gag (I also hate raisins)
W. What makes you run late: everything/a deep love of being comfortable at home/Mars / the internet
X. X-Rays you’ve had: oh man, lots. Almost all on the 1 elbow I broke and had surgery on. At least, I don’t know, 7 on it? 1 on the other elbow that I fractured years ago. And maybe 1 on my foot? I can’t remember if they just told me I fractured it or if it was double checked with an xray…
Y. Yummy food that you make: anything sweet, I’m a good baker. I’m a master at soups of all kinds. I just won a rib competition so I guess my ribs are excellent, even if it was the first time I ever made them.
Z. Zoo animal: Lions, tigers and otters

In other news, happy April Fools. All of this is real info because I’m bad at and feel bad for doing April Fool’s jokes. I got caught a few times today over facebook. Good ones friends, good ones.

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On doing what you love

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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what makes me happy and what I want to do with my life. This is not to say that I don’t always think about things like this (ahem, my yearly birthday meltdown). This process has just been a lot more productive lately.

I turned 30 this year which made me sit back a bit and think about what my next steps are. That coupled with my near constant job hunting (boo economy), and my decision that academia really isn’t for me (don’t get me started on ranting about my thesis), has set me on a track of trying to figure out how to have the life that I want. Part of my conclusion has been to stop “going with the flow” so much and start making intentional decisions about what to do next. Life may work out in its own way, and will whether I make plans or not, but I want to be a more active participant in what that looks like.

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Another source of this inspiration is that I’ve been reading a lot of blogs from people who are working for themselves in creative ways and making a living while doing what they love. I want to wake up every day excited about what I do and not going through the motions to get a pay cheque. Going through the motions is no kind of life. Life is short, people always say, but it can also be really long if you spend it sitting at a desk for hours a day not doing things that inspire you.

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So to that end I’ve been starting to do some research into things that I only ever considered to be hobbies before and figuring out how I can do those things as my life’s work. I’ve been trying to allow myself to imagine what it would be like to get to do those things all day every day, instead of trying to fit them in at the end of work days. Part of that is putting more intention into this blog and how I can do what I love and share it (which I also love). I don’t want to spill too many of the beans before I know what they all are. Suffice to say that I’ll be experimenting around with this space a bit for the next while. It may be a little scattered and the look will change often. I’m new at this and I’m doing a lot of behind the scenes research too. Hopefully I’ll be able to launch something exciting sometime this spring


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.


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angers

Ugh, I’ve been a real pill the last little while. I’ve been trying to pin down why I’ve been in SUCH a bad mood and I’ve come up with a few things

1. Having to quit my job over the extreme conflict/mess it’s in, and the emotional hangover that’s given me

2. Having to quit my job and be back on the job hunt. Which is always such a depressing task

3. The exhaustion from working all the time

4. The lack of money back in my life and having to cancel my health coaching which I was so excited about

5. Its grey. Every day.

6. Lack of time to myself/alone time. Sometimes this apartment is too small.

There’s probably more but this could devolve pretty quickly into a pill of a post. Suffice to say that I’m not feeling like very much fun lately and mostly just want to hide in bed watching multiple episodes of Sons of Anarchy and wishing that I was in a biker gang or in southern cali. Either would do.

I don’t really have any good ideas of how to get over myself at the moment. But if I come up with any here’s hoping they involve getting my shit back together.


Small Things Project: Day 71 (oct 10)

Its 7am on Oct 11 and I’ve barely slept so I think its fine to submit this SMP post for yesterday.
I was happy yesterday for a grey, rainy, get things done at work day. I was happy for the amount of work I have these days, even if sometimes I don’t have enough time to do it all. From work to, a contract meeting, to a TA meeting, to office hours with students, and back to work less than a day is a lot. But its affording me the financial flexibility I’ve been needing so I’m happy. I’m not rolling in cash, but I’m a helluva lot more stable now, aka: less rice and beans!
I’m happy for good talks with M and my clean, warm apartment to come home to at night.


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Small Things Project: Day 65 (oct 2)

Oh MAN I’m tired. Mars is really really sick and I went to bed late, then he woke me up in the night, then I couldn’t get back to sleep, then I had to get up early and work late. Snoooooze. Its 10:30 but it feels like 3am. Working sucks for that.

The main thing that I’m happy for today I have to keep quiet about for the moment because I don’t know how it will turn out and I don’t want to put it out into the internet universe yet.

Instead I’ll say that I’m happy for my health coaching session I had with Sara Seinburg. It was her 1 year anniversary of her practice last month and she was giving away free sessions. I had one yesterday and it was really nice, and kind of emotional. I’m not sure why talking about myself honestly makes me feel teary but it does. Basically what Sara does is work through blocks identified by people from a physical health/nutrition perspective but also a mental health/nutrition perspective. I was really into in and really scared by it. I told her that I wanted to sign up with her but today I’m not so sure. I guess deciding to be accountable for making real change in my life is scary. I’m still not convinced I’m ready, AND I’m not convinced I have the money but I want to explore it. My goal for my 30ies is to be nicer to my body and to myself and this seems like a reasonable place to start. So I’m happy about that no matter what direction it goes.

I’m also honestly happy for my long term friendship with my buddy Mood. He met me downtown and kept me company at my work outreach social that I was too tired to be really social for. I like that guy a lot, I’m happy we’re friends. I know that that’s really cheese-y but its the truth. Hanging out with him makes me happy.

This video also makes me happy. I suggest watching it. 350 million + other people have.