Found It

looking around cornere

I have spent the past two years searching for My Thing through this blog.  I think I may have found it.

In hindsight, it was pretty much staring me in the face the whole time.  Yup, I know.  I can be a bit thick sometimes.  So while I may never write the great Canadian novel, I think it’s safe to say that my creative outlet is putting pen to paper.  Or perhaps fingertips to iPad would be more appropriate.

There I said it.  I love to write.

Some of the most satisfying moments in the past months have been the ones just after hitting the publish button.  It’s an odd rush of “Yes, I’m done” and “Wow, I finished another one”.  It’s interesting to see how my writing style changed over the months.  My first couple of posts were pretty wordy and involved long descriptive paragraphs.  The later ones are a bit more choppy.  I’m not sure if it’s just how my thought process changed or if realized that it was just easier for people to read it that way.  Whatever the reason, I have enjoyed every minute.

But I’m not going to lie.  I have wished, more than a few times, that more people read my posts.  That’s when my most trusted adviser gently reminded me, that wasn’t why I was writing.  I was writing to explore my life and express myself.  (Ya, I know, sometimes I expressed myself a little too much)  But it felt good.  It felt right.  So I kept doing it.

Oddly enough, since having this epiphany about writing being my thing, I’ve been stuck with no ideas and nothing flowing in my head.  I started numerous post but never got past the first sentence.  Panic started to set in.  What was happening?

Some would call it writers block.  I call it damned annoying.

And worst of all, I just couldn’t figure out why.  It was infuriating and caused hours, perhaps days, of gut wrenching soul searching.  (Okay, a bit of an exaggeration). I tried to work through it by spending some time drinking wine in Whistler and heading out for numerous runs. Trying to nudge the process along.  I was willing to do whatever it took.  I’m dedicated that way.

But then I remembered that this was something else that I’ve learnt these past two years.

Everything comes when it’s supposed to.  And it did.

I realized that the time I have spent with friends and acquaintances in the past two years learning about them, and in turn me, has been enlightening and rewarding.  Not to mention a lot of fun.  I’ve seen what it means to be passionate about something.  Truly passionate. I’ve been given advice and I’ve give some out myself.  I’ve rekindled friendships that had faded and realized that people I hardly knew were wicked interesting.  Despite already being middle aged I’ve grown up.

But here’s the kicker.  Now that I’ve come to this momentous conclusion, I’m  feeling like I need a change. Don’t worry, I’m still interested in exploring the Best Things in Life.  I just think that it may look a little different.

I’m not exactly sure how…..but that’s the Best Thing in Life.  You don’t always know what’s around the corner.

 

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The Wallet

wallet

I bought this wallet over twenty years ago.  I had just started my first real job and on my way home from my first day I stopped at a mall downtown.  There was a little stationery/gift store there called Perks.  I can’t remember why I bought a wallet.  I think, maybe, I just felt really good about what was happening in my life and wanted to get myself a little present.

This wallet has been with me ever since.  We have been through a lot together.

It was with me on the day that I was eight months pregnant and my car was totaled on the Second Narrows Bridge.  It got left in the console when the ambulance came to take me to the hospital.  It was still there five days later when I went to look at what was left of my car at the wreckers.  A month later I had it with me when I checked into the hospital and gave birth to my son.

It was with me on the bus trip to Seattle when I met my current husband.  I used it at Nordstrom that day to buy a great pair of shoes and later at FX McCrorys for drinks.  I remember pulling it out to buy a beer at the basketball game that night and being told to put it away.  Was he trying to get me drunk?

It hasn’t always been with me.  I’ve lost it more times than I can count.  The most common culprit is leaving it in the shopping cart at the grocery store.  In earlier years it was usually a bar or restaurant.  I seem to remember leaving it sitting in a park bench once while in a post natal haze.  Or was it post divorce haze?

What’s in my wallet?  Surprisingly, thirty dollars.  I rarely cash cash anymore but today I do.  The requisite credit cards, debit cards,  health care cards and drivers license.  A Starbucks card that I don’t use anymore.  My library card number written on a slip of paper sinD&E in Whistlerce I lost my card and can’t be bothered to get a new one.

Stamps.  A picture I took of my husband and son in Whistler years ago.  A drawing my son did when he was seven.  Oh and a Pinkberry frequent buyer card. Everett Face 2

 

 

Lastly, a small piece of paper with this quote written on it.

“There are three Cs in life.  Choice, Chance and Change.  You must make a Choice to take a Chance or your life will never Change.”

The stitching on the ends of the wallet is a bit frayed but the leather is strangely unmarked and the insides are still in great shape.

I guess in a way I am a bit like this wallet.  Pretty well made.  Seen some good times and some bad.  Sometimes full and sometimes empty.  Perhaps a little dated.  Or should I say classic?  Yet still holding it all together.

Over the years I have thought about making a change.  But I always ended up staying with my tried and true friend.  I’m loyal that way.

The Best Thing in Life is a really good wallet.

I Don’t Care If You Like Me

Whistler 50

I used to walk into a room full of people and wonder if they liked me……now I look around and wonder if I like them.

Last weekend I spent three days with fifteen women.  It was a girls weekend in a local resort.  A few of us spent most of Friday relaxing in Whistler.  Shopping  and drinking beer at the pub. Or both.  A few more arrived in the early evening after work, more than ready to decompress after a long week.  A few more didn’t make it up until the next morning.

Mexican Corner

By Saturday evening sixteen of us were sitting around two tables at a great Mexican restaurant swapping stories about everything from work to kids to travel.  Collectively we had run 160 km (99.5 miles)that day.  Some of us were tired.  Some of us were exhilarated.  Some of us were just happy to be sitting up and awake.  The margaritas were flowing freely.

This was not the first time we had done something like this.  Over the past five years a core group of us, plus a few willing ( and not so willing) additions, have ventured out of our comfort zones to run (notice how I didn’t say compete) in a relay race each year.  Really it’s just an excuse to go away for the weekend without our spouses and kids.  It’s not really about the running any more.  Last year we spent 33 Hours in a Van.

Chick Peas

But here’s the thing.  It wasn’t that long ago that I would have fretted for days about doing this.  Not the running or being away from my family, but spending that much time in close quarters with women that, sometimes, I don’t really know very well.  I would have worried about whether or not I was interesting enough or whether I was accomplishing enough in my life.  I would worry that, perhaps , there would be somebody that would disagreed with my opinion and (heaven forbid) wouldn’t like me. I would worry that I wouldn’t “fit in”.

Now, to quote a wise running companion, I don’t give a rats ass.

Don’t get me wrong.   These women are incredible and I enjoy spending time with each of them for various different reasons.  But do I spend time worrying about whether they like me or not?  Nope.  And I hope that they feel the same way.  The more time you spend worrying about whether or not people like you, the less time you have to get to know them.

For example, I now accept that it’s okay to be away from the pack sometimes.  In fact I’ve found that it can be a saving grace.  It is not unacceptable for me to say “Hey! I’m just going to go for a walk and I’ll meet everybody back at the room”. Maybe you just need some space or maybe you want to hit up the bakery without letting anybody know that you are secretly craving a slice of coconut cake.

Not that I’ve ever done that.

I guess what I am trying to say (not very eloquently) is that it is one of The Best Thing in Life to be able to experience all that this type of weekend can bring by simply being yourself.

PS – that’s not me in the opening picture.

Nicky

When we do decided to go to Whistler last week my first thought was “Yipee, I get to go skiing”. My second thought was about how much I enjoy the village of Whistler. Hanging out in the stores, eating at the great restaurants and cafés and just generally people watching. Then I remembered that a friend of mine had just opened a new business in the village. Nicky and I had met a few times through a mutual friend but had never had time to really chat. This would be a great opportunity to get to know her better and find out about her new thing.

Walking into the Green Moustache Juice and Live Food Bar In Whistler is like walking into somebody’s warm and inviting kitchen. Of course it couldn’t be my kitchen. It’s way too healthy. Juicers are whirring and the kettle is boiling for a cup of organic tea. It’s the kind of place you could hang out in all day (if they let you) and enjoy a healthy salad with a smoothie on the side. They have only been open since December but if the steady stream of people coming in is any indication, business is good.

If you ever meet Nicky you will notice two things. She is a incredible ball of energy but at the same time incredibly chill. A true free spirit. The thing Nicky is most passionate about is nutrition. But not just the kind of nutrition that will keep you healthy day to day. The kind of nutrition that could save your life. She is a Certified Gerson Therapy Consultant. Gerson Therapy, I have discovered, involves consuming copious amounts of fresh, organic juices and supplements that are designed to activate the body’s ability to heal itself.

After working for the municipality of Whistler for 5 years Nicky realized that her job was literally making her sick. Each day she went to work feeling good only to experience sneezing and congestion as soon as she arrived. One day last May she couldn’t take it anymore and quit. “Now what?” She thought. She and Pierre, her husband, took the opportunity to pursue their dream of starting their own business. Over the next few months Nicky spent time looking at spaces and talking to other business owners. Using what she learnt; she wrote a business plan for the Green Moustache. The goal? To provide highly nutritious food that is also delicious. “You need to love what you put into your body” she says. She set out to create not only an amazing place to get fresh pressed juices and smoothies but a “hub for community wellness”. A place to share her vast knowledge of how food can make you feel good and heal you from the inside out.

Aside from the steep learning curve of opening their first restaurant, things have gone really well. Hiring god staff has been key for Nicky. She was told by local businesses that the hardest thing to do in Whistler was to keep good staff. It’s just the way it is in a resort town, they said. Nicky’s approach to this? “Hey, if they’re going to leave to pursue something else they love then they should go and do it”. There’s that chillness again. As a result she has a dedicated staff that by two weeks after opening had their roles nailed down. This has allowed Nicky to spend more time on her consulting. After all, her goal was not to spend every day working at the Green Moustache. Her true love is educating and helping people.

I could have sat there all day feeding off of Nicky’s enthusiasm for life, business and nutrition, but the ski hills were calling me and she had a client to meet with. We were both moving on to the best parts of our day. But in the hour that I spent with Nicky I learnt, not only an amazing amount about Nicky and her consulting, but some great advice about starting a business. “You have to completely love what you do and believe in it 100% and you have to know that you don’t need to know everything.” That is one of the best pieces of advice I have heard in a long time.

Going forward Nicky wants to continue her Gerson Consulting but now also wants to help other people start their own businesses. Passing on what she has learnt through this experience. She calls it the Green Mo Revolution and it is going to take off. Thanks for a great hour Nicky!

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I Love to Ski

One of the best things in life for me is skiing. There is just something about the freedom, speed and fresh air that, for me, is completely intoxicating. I think the culture of skiing is appealing too. There’s a certain camaraderie amongst skiers. And then of course there is après ski.

It’s a life I have tried to pass on to my kids and so far have been fairly successful. For me the ultimate ski day starts at first tracks and ends when they close the runs. It’s just the way I was brought up. Occasionally my husband needs to remind me that just because I love it, it doesn’t mean that my kids will love it with the same zeal that I do. And they may not want to ski all five days we are in Whistler. Whatever.

I was probably five, maybe six when my dad first took me skiing. Seymour Mountain; Goldie Rope Tow. It was cold and wet and I was miserable. My dad is not a patient man and after a few attempted runs we had both had enough. He took me back to the car and then went back to skiing by himself. Remember this was 1969 and this was still considered okay. So I sat in the car and pouted. After a while a ski patrol guy happened to pass by. I guess he felt bad for me and since the car was unlocked ( again, they did that back then) he asked if I wanted some hot chocolate. Um, yes. Eventually my parents came back to get me and well, I wasn’t there. I was a happy camper drinking hot chocolate with the nice. ski patrol. I’ve loved skiing ever since.

Somewhere in my elementary school years I actually became quite a good skier. Perhaps it was the hundreds of runs I did with my dad skiing a few feet behind me yelling “bend your knees, skis together, bend your knees, skis together”. That and the crack of dawn wake up calls for road trips to Mt Baker or Hemlock Meadows where we skied all day, only stopping for a picnic lunch at the back of the car. I can’t say that I always enjoyed that part of it, but it did improve my skiing.

So what do I want for my kids? I want them to enjoy life and all that it has to offer. Am I going to get them up out of their beds to go skiing with me? Hell yes. Will it be at the crack of dawn? Probably not. I’ll take the good parts of what my parents did and put my own spin on it.