What was Beautiful:
The Hideaway hotel in Palm Springs – a retro-fabulous boutique modernist hotel with a record player in every room and photo-shoot worth details. But also the desert flora (bougainvillaea everywhere!), delicious modernist architectural details and our ride up Coachella valley on the motorcycle.
What I’ve been up to:
Sunning myself in Palm Springs, breaking out the bombshell dress (also in Palm Springs), getting ready for motorcycle and gardening seasons back in Seattle.
What made me Laugh:
My sister. She’s the best.
What I’m reading:
What to do when you don’t care.
Algebra is why Americans are Jerks.
7 Famous Pilgrimages
Stunning Morocco pics
The Ways You Know it Isn’t Love
What was Beautiful:
Tulips coming up in my garden, raindrops on budding trees.
What I’ve been up to:
Making windchimes and light-catchers for the garden, cultivating moss, making kombucha and today heading out to Palm Springs to get some sunshine and joy.
What made me Laugh:
What I’m reading:
Earliest known footprints in North America found on an island in BC
Plant-based diets are the best
What our emotions mean
Digital Age Anxiety
Using Light to Boost Creativity
The Danger in Fake Spirituality and Bypassing
Lots of Tara Mohr and Anna Holden; the Magical Unicorn Handbook (for sensitive people), 5 Ways Sensitivity Makes Us Stronger and So You’re Highly Sensitive, What does that Mean?
This video on how l language shapes our actions. “In English, we have different tenses to talk about the past, present, and future. You say, I ate yesterday, I eat today, or I will eat tomorrow. In a language like Chinese, you use the same tense when talking about the past, present, or future, so the same sentence in Chinese translates to I eat yesterday, I eat today, or I eat tomorrow. Chen found that countries with “futureless” languages saved 25% more than countries with “futured” languages. You can watch the video to see all the stats that back it up, but let’s think about what this means and why this can be a game changer.”
Cost of living surging in US cities, not surprisingly including Seattle.
On Nat Geo’s apology of how it has portrayed race and a discussion about how we should do it.
How to Identify a Toxic Job and How to Positively Reshape Your Core Belief System
You Deserve Someone Who’s Sure About You and the Ways You Know It Isn’t Love.
Mastering Intuitive Thinking
Most Psychology Research is BS
Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ~Roger Caras
When we started this process of closing up our company and moving to Seattle, there were so many setbacks and so much starting and stopping that I said to Matt we either needed to get me a dog or I was going to take off and go travelling for a while. In many ways, I think I should have done that – made my way slowly down the spine of the Andes or across India because now that we have a dog (and jobs, and soon a house) those kinds of trips have become even harder to fathom. But we did get a dog and there aren’t many days that go by where I don’t think that she is the absolute best thing ever.
She is never very far away from me, both in terms of love and an innate need to protect me; she is always happy to see me whether I’ve been away for a weekend or just to take out the trash, she curls up on my feet when we’re at home, and we have been on so many adventures together. It’s gotten to the point where her joy is so infectious that I want to get up early and spend my Saturdays taking her hiking, or camping, or swimming, or just for ice cream, because I have so much fun by proxy.
So when we were deciding where we should go for a weekend away, I suggested we go to the Oregon Coast so that Riley could run around on the beach. Because the beaches in Oregon are massive and they are all dog friendly.
We armed ourselves with audiobooks and crossword puzzles for the drive to Rockaway, and Riley entertained herself by sticking her head out the window and letting her jowls flap around like laundry on a line and soon enough we were pulling into one of the hundreds of bare-bones seaside motels that road-trippers, parents, motorcyclists, and dog-owners adore.
The rest of the day was spent running up and down the beach, inspecting the bottle-blue jellies strewn across the coastline, finding all the best sticks and drinking Sofia Coppola minis until the sun set and our dog was drunk on adventure. So much fun! I can’t wait to go back.
Around this time of year, people around here say ‘April showers bring May flowers’. In Germany, they say ‘April does what it wants’. But in my house, there is scarcely time to notice the weather because April is busy! It’s my sister’s birthday and then my birthday and then my dad’s birthday and then my grandmother’s – and somewhere in there is usually Easter – and then when we’re through all that it’s our wedding anniversary. This year we upped the busyness by throwing in a trip to Salmon Arm to see Matt’s parents too. Today I had a nap.
In keeping with the ‘showers’ part of the proverb, it has been pretty spectacularly grey and wet in Vancouver. I took a break from riding my bike while it was wet because while there are many activities that I don’t mind doing in the rain, riding my bike is not one of them. Yuckity yuck.
I’m also glad to have had some days of non-rain too. In between all the grey, it is suddenly summer. The flowers are out (tulips and cherry blossoms everywhere!) and all the patios are open and then that passes and we go back to the grey. Ah, springtime in Vancouver. April always does what it wants.
I’m still doing trash clean-up dives pretty regularly with my group (Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans) and along with about 3000 lbs of garbage to date, we’re also raising awareness. Earlier this year the Coquitlam paper came to check us out and this month we were interviewed by a news crew and for Greenpeace’s Mobilisation Lab blog. That feels pretty good, although it doesn’t quite compare to diving in Socorro.
Another bit of awesomeness that happened in April is that I had a career coaching session with Penelope Trunk. I’ve been following her blog for ages and then took a couple of her classes including “How to Get Your Dream Job”, but my problem is not getting the job. I am pretty confident that I can sort out the resume / networking / interviewing pieces even in a new country and industry, as long as I know what direction I’m going in. It’s a blessing and a curse, being interested in everything and capable enough to consider it for a career so I got stuck several times with my last coach. With Penelope, we distilled the things that were important to me and determined that corporate education / HR development training is a good direction. It is big and challenging enough to last me until retirement, provides the possibility of working for myself again (after I learn the ins and outs), and scratches my two itches of being creative and wanting to help people. So I’m looking forward to learning more about that. I’ve been doing lots of research on Seattle and training and education and re-writing my resume on a near-weekly basis.
It’s pretty perfect timing because now that we’ve done all the travelling we had planned for this year, it’s time for the next adventure – our move to Seattle, slated for July 1st. We’ve dusted off our visa application from last year and re-engaged the immigration people so now I’m looking for a place to live and a place to work and people to connect with and diving / hiking / climbing / motorcycling groups to join…and of course planning our going away party.
What I’m reading and listening to:
It was my birthday earlier this week and while I don’t really begrudge the start of grey hairs, wrinkles and extra pounds, I do resent the contributing factors. 2012 was a hard year. I’m tired. Every year on my birthday I set a theme for the year and try to pick goals from my life list that match it. This year won’t have any epic travels or key milestones checked off but if all goes well we’ll have a new country, a new city, a new home, new jobs for both of us, a new dog and some new friends. That’s enough.
It’s going to be busy; we’re getting a dog and moving to Seattle. Friends are getting married, I’ll be travelling to Port Hardy and California for diving, my art project is progressing, I will probably start grad school in the fall, and already have some exciting ideas about What’s Next.
Time Defeated by Hope and Beauty is a painting by Simon Vouet that caught my eye in the Prado last year. Living an unfulfilled life has always been my greatest fear and now that my grandmother is deteriorating so quickly in her care home, it’s become a regular reminder to approach everything wholeheartedly and live life to the fullest. This month alone has been full of some incredible adventures.
Keeping busy is not the way to defeat time, however – it’s time flattened by my usual means of filling it full to the brim with exciting things so that sometimes it feels as though I’m living 6 lives instead of 1. I’ve just finished Brené Brown‘s book, “Daring Greatly” and a thing that resonated with me is that, “hope is a function of struggle.” People who have experienced adversity are more likely to have high levels of hopefulness and so it’s not just for style that Vouet’s Hope is brandishing a weapon in his painting. It also speaks to the process – of letting go, of being grateful for what you have, of learning to be joyful. The hope I feel like I have always had in spades and the beauty is something I’m always working on; to live my life with my whole heart, to be open and connect with people, to be grateful for all the moments and not just the exciting ones.
Along with all of the busyness, I’ve been gifted a lot of time. Unexpected, unstructured time of the sort that spins me right into a panic but my theme for this year is to take that and turn it into something beautiful for what it is, not for the number of things I can fit in it. Bear with me, I’m not good at this, and if I see a cheap enough flight to Africa I’m not saying I won’t get on it, but I’m trying. It’s a process. While I was shopping for cards the other day I saw one that resonated in amongst all the self-deprecating ageist ones. It said, “Some people call them decades. I prefer to call them my life’s work.”