“The winters were cold and bitter now, like the brothers of kings.” – Anne Fleming
This has been the coldest winter in a while, certainly in my lifetime and in fact in the last 66 years. Our friends from anywhere else in Canada laugh at us but we have no winter coats, we have no snow tires, we leave the house without gloves or boots, and even though I once got the Hardiest Camper award in Girl Guides, I have been complaining a bit.
My grandfather used to send me letters occasionally, almost until he died at 97. He lived most of his life in remote parts of BC and for as long as I’ve been alive he lived alone in a log cabin on a huge acreage in Crawford Bay. So when he sat down to write a letter, they were like little paintings of a world he knew very well; “the deer have come down to graze on the driveway,” “the hummingbirds are active now”, “it should be snowing soon”…I think of his letters often when I look out our window onto the tree on Water Street and notice that the crows are nesting or that the leaves are budding. It seems amazing that we can take notice of such small details when we have all of this information and input flying at us, but I am glad we do and I am trying to make a point of doing it often.
We had a bit of snow on the weekend but it’s warmed up enough now that we are sure to have grey and rain the rest of the week – much more typical for a Vancouver winter, but it means that we have come inside. It turns out that as long as the sky is not dishwater grey and just as wet, I am happy to be outside. I decided to take a photo every day of 2014 in an attempt to have a visual record of what I’ve been up to and also to improve my photography skills, but looking back on two months’ worth, the vast majority of them are outside. I’ve been up to Whistler boarding a few times, diving pretty regularly (even cleaning out trash from lakes!), and hiking (or at least walking or going to the dog park) with Riley. My drysuit decided that the dead of winter was the best time to fall apart so there were a couple of really short dives before I got a new one.
But ok, I like being outside. This is old news. When I was a kid I was always playing outdoors – first in the driveway, then the yard, then the creek behind our house, and then the mountains and ocean beyond the city. And this year I’ve had lots of time to play outside. My career coaches / books / websites keep asking ‘what would you do if you didn’t have to work?’ and I have determined that I do absolutely have to work. I don’t like having endless amounts of time on my hands but when I do, I fill it up with reading and writing and playing outside.
In that vein, I’ve been reading a lot too – specifically about changing careers and finding your dream job, and I think I will write a separate post about that but after months and months of thinking about it, I feel like I am finally getting close.
Last month I attended an award dinner where my dad received a lifetime achievement award with his business partner. I am so proud! And so envious. He has worked hard all his life and loved every minute of it and is an absolute inspiration to me in my search. I am focusing forward on Seattle, checking out companies and careers as well as diving, hiking and networking groups. I’m really looking forward to the refresh but first I have a whisky tasting to put on and Riley’s first birthday to celebrate and then we are off to go diving in the Revillagigedo Islands (Socorro) off the coast of Mexico. This is a life dream of mine and has been in the works for quite a while and I am so excited to dive with giant mantas, humpback whales and their calves, dolphins, eels, tuna and sharks (hammerheads, Galapagos, silky, white tip, silvertip and maybe even whale sharks)! Check this out.
What I’m Reading and Listening to this month:
- Not the Olympics or the Oscars but keeping a keen eye on the news reports from Russia and Ukraine
- Don’t Date a Girl Who Travels
- Beautiful pastels of water by Zaria Foreman
- How Did Toast Become the Latest Artisanal Food Craze?
- Not really a read but makes me laugh every single time – Stingray photobomb!
- You should be amazed
- Life is a game. This is your strategy guide.
- The Short and Sweet Guide to Being Fucking Awesome
- The Badass Girl Motorcyclists of Morocco
- Uncovering Clues in Frida Kahlo’s Private Wardrobe
- The Right (and Wrong) Reasons to get an MA in Communications
- The New Age of Exploration
- Sorry, but you’re cat is actually a total jerk. It’s just science
- Modern Love
- How to Pick a Life Partner Part 1 and 2
- 10 Things You Should Do Every Day
- Emerson’s essay on Self-Reliance
- A Brief History of Jazz
- Finding Your Own North Star, Martha Beck
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal Newport