1.19.18

What I’ve been up to: The day after we got home (Christmas), I went back to work at my new job, and then we immediately started doing inventory. So it’s been (SO) busy, but all in a good way. This weekend we go to visit our brand new baby niece!

What I’m reading this week:

Mapbreaking, at Medium, talks about the various ways we represent the physical landscape. I would have been a cartographer in a previous life so I devoured all of this but in particular, I love the genius behind the Polynesian Stick Maps.

The anger of women and how our collective categorization seems to fall into either sad or angry. “The sad woman often looks beautiful in her suffering: ennobled, transfigured, elegant. Angry women are messier. Their pain threatens to cause more collateral damage.”

The conundrum of happiness increasing as we age. “Gerontologists call this the paradox of old age: that as people’s minds and bodies decline, instead of feeling worse about their lives, they feel better. In memory tests, they recall positive images better than negative; under functional magnetic resonance imaging, their brains respond more mildly to stressful images than the brains of younger people.”

The Codex Quetzalecatzin has been published online. I geek out almost as hard about ancient manuscripts as I do about maps.

The Tribe that Would Not Die – an older article about the Duwamish that came up after I read through what felt like hundreds of articles about various indigenous communities trying to keep their culture in a quickly changing world.

Amazon Awakening – about Ayahuasca tourism, part of which lead to the deep rabbit holes of reading mentioned above.

Women are reclaiming the Adventure Story. Hooray! And then – 10 of the most Inspiring Female Adventurers. So inspired! And so Jealous!

How Yoga Won the West – and how much it has changed. “Yoga to the man who most famously delivered its message to America meant just one thing: “realizing God.” He abhorred channeling, séances and past-life hunts as diversionary. Worse, the great seer savored a good smoke, and on occasion chowed down on meat.”

Understanding the Patriarchy, at Darling. A good primer… and a reminder to rise up.

Regretful Mothers at MacLean. I don’t understand why this it is surprising news that some parents regret having children but the backlash about even having the conversation seems to indicate it hits close to home. I am fascinated by these new(ish) discussions – not only because it validates my choices not to have children but because population growth seems to be slowing up FAST and I can’t help but feel the two are related.

Seattle’s living wage experiment has been a success. Hooray! Now we just need to make it possible to live here.

A new way of telling women’s stories. Fairy tales have ruined us.

Where will 2018 take the #metoo movement? I’m curious too.

How to do everything better. Basically always on my task list.

Winter

Blackie Spit

“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.

Trout lake

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 make a point of doing it often.

My friend just posted this status on Facebook: “The sunset is amazing! The sky looks like it’s on fire. Standing in a crowded bus so cannot take a photo. Look now if you can.” That’s the spirit!

Whistler

We had a bit of snow on the weekend but it’s warmed up enough now that we are sure to expect 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 even 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 dog-parking) 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 sexy new suit but even that was ok. I like being outside.

Crab park

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 behind 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 have endless amounts of time on my hands but when I do, I fill it with reading and writing and playing outside.

Crab park

I’ve been reading a lot about the change cycle 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. It’s been an interesting journey (and I will write a post about that too) – almost interesting enough that I considered being a career coach myself but in the end I am back at digital communications and media. It’s the only thing that makes sense and I am enjoying digging in to it, but I am glad of the process that has led me to volunteer at the David Suzuki Foundation and the Museum of Vancouver, taking a Cabinet of Curiosities museum class at UBC and a whole whack of other classes online, going to Seattle for the IN-NW social media conference, putting on a whisky tasting and all the things I’ve learned along the way. And it’s been fun but I am anxious to get going.

Sea

Last month I attended an award’s 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. We are still moving to Seattle in the summer and I am focusing forward, 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 but it will all be worth it to dive with giant mantas, humpback whales and their calves, dolphins, eels, tuna and sharks (hammerheads, Galapagos, silky, white tip, silver tip and maybe even whale sharks)! Check this out: https://vimeo.com/64876316.

Trains

What I’m Reading and Listening to this month:

Shiny New Year / New Blog

bokeh

Well it’s 2013 and I have started another blog. I wasn’t entirely convinced I was going to see either of those happen because I was so incredibly burnt out last year, and well…I have a lot of blogs. But it’s a new year and even though I often stare dumbfounded at people who stop conversations at otherwise interesting parties to count down a completely arbitrary 10 seconds, there is something revitalizing about the start of a new year. I’m looking forward to getting a dog and getting back into shape, continuing to do lots of diving and riding and any new adventures that come our way.

And now I have a new place to record them all! It seems very odd, starting a personal blog in 2013. I had one once, way back in 2001, that I hand-coded it myself called cultofdegan.com. It was as complete  of an “all about me” site as you could ask for, with a list of what I was reading, my mood at the time of posting, all my vacation photos as well as a manual archive system and monthly rotating quote bar (also manual) – which could possibly explain the lack of regular posting. It was the time of GeoCities and MySpace and claiming your small section of the internet to put up whatever cat videos or unicorns or whatever you felt like because it was YOUR page! We didn’t care about privacy or spelling or the possibility that our “adventures” would be a part of the internet archive forever.

But here I am again and I admit, I do like having everything in one place. I’m not promising it’ll be regular or interesting but we’ll see how it goes.

mace

January always feels like a transitional month to me. Just a little too busy after the fatigue of the holidays while you’re also trying to go to the gym and eat well and trying to remember where you put your work files or what your days were like before starting them with Baileys. We made some cassoulet for the Gastown SocialBites event which is always a lot of fun making food for strangers (who are actually often our friends) and Maceo has been sick for the first time since we’ve had her so we’ve been back and forth to the vet a couple of times. Hopefully it’s not serious but we still don’t know what’s wrong with her.

Matt is off to Ontario and then Seattle this week so I’ll be hanging out with the cat, getting ready for my art class and the madness of being away from our company, the internet and stores while we’re on a dive trip in the Bahamas next month.