Sunday, August 19, 2007

Taking the long way...

Just saw the movie "Shut up and sing" about the Dixie Chicks. Loved it. I'm always impressed by indomitable spirit demonstrated through a challenging time. Also when people stick together and support each other. Plus I can't deny I wholeheartedly agree with their stance on George Bush and the war in Iraq.

I actually watched it last weekend just before starting my new job. The reason - it was something I had planned to do the night I resigned from my old job and then it didn't happen. It felt like a full-circle moment - the last piece of transition from there to here.

Yesterday, I bought the CD "Taking the long way" that was featured in the movie. I was completely enjoying playing it full volume as I drove around town in my new car - especially the kick-ass "Not ready to make nice." I'm now looking forward to the commute to TO tomorrow when I can listen to it again and get all fired up to start week 2!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Grace under fire

My sister-in-law Dawn, and my brother Bret, have endured a tremendously challenging summer. In the midst of dealing with her own health challenges, including surgery, Dawn received the news that her father was succumbing to cancer.

Thankfully, Dawn and her dad, Dave, were able to spend much time together over the past months and nothing was left unsaid before he passed away in mid-July.

Dawn is one of those people who is able and determined to say what needs to be said, ask questions that others won't ask and to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to share their feelings. She's an excellent communicator - with the combination of intelligence, empathy and even in the most trying circumstances, wit. It seems that her sense of humour, as well as her bond with her Dad, unwavering devotion to Ben and Matthew, and support from Bret, family and friends, have provided the strength and perspective to get through it all.

While it will take some time for Dawn to heal, she is doing remarkably well and is an inspiration.

Photo: Dave and Dawn, Father's Day weekend.


... is such a lonely word." Can't remember the rest of the words, but know it's Billy Joel. A haunting song that hails back many years. Not sure why it has come to mind except that now, in a much different time, I recognize that while that song resonated then, I now understand that to be fully honest is not such an easy task. To understand and honour one's own truth; to be fully open to others; to be true to what we know despite temptations to take the easy way. It's all quite a challenge as life becomes so much more complex.

Standing at this crossroads, I feel such a blend of the old and new. Past perceptions are converging with new versions of old relationships. New relationships are appearing or reappearing and confounding old paradigms. To have brought all of this together in one place, in the present has been an important journey. And yet, the uncertainty that lies ahead is both exciting and daunting.

Living in the moment, in the present, is a huge insight realized living in Vancouver. It's time for me to integrate all I have learned into what is now. And what is to come. Time to let go, move forward and embrace everything. In true, honest, unbridled openness to all that life offers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Exhausted and happy

Things went very well today - I was able to drive into TO rather than commute by the GO train and subway and that took at least an hour off the trip. Plus I drove my beautiful new Toyota Matrix which was fun. Music on, sunroof open. No chattering, no sleeping people, no crammed quarters. For now, this is the preferable way to go, til I move closer to the city in a month or two.

Work is great. I'm already getting immersed in several interesting projects and am meeting really talented and devoted colleagues. Still getting used to getting lost in the building and trying to figure out if I've met everyone yet (not even close!). It's definitely the beginning of a new adventure.

All that to say, I'm exhausted after 3 days back at it and must call it a night!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Day One

So, after 8 months of 'getting reacquainted' with Ontario, I've returned to work. Bit the bullet and am again wearing business attire (including footwear), arising at 6 am (yuck), and commuting downtown to the Toronto Public Library (!).

My first day was great - met lots of very nice people, had lunch with colleagues on a rooftop restaurant in the sun, and got the initial 'lay of the land' intro to our team, the organization and the inevitable politics that go along with any job (I've learned the hard way that it doesn't matter where you work, politics will be there...).

I'm really excited about the opportunity to join a community-oriented, socially responsible organization that provides amazing programs and resources to absolutely everyone. Children, youth, newcomers to Canada, seniors. Book clubs, literacy and ESL programs, universal access to info and knowledge and ideas, a tremendous collection, and extensive online services, for example.

Walking into the atrium today, I felt elated and somewhat in awe of this new opportunity. I'm excited and yet also feel it is meant to be. I couldn't have landed in a more perfect place and feel very grateful that I'm here.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Maggy Milestone

Last Saturday, Maggy turned 13 - that's 91 in human years! She's doing really well, despite being bathed and groomed today (NOT her favourite pastime). Since moving here, she absolutely loves all the attention and company although not so much that 2-year-old critter, Matthew, who is just too unpredictable and rambunctious.

That said, she can be unpredictable and rambunctious herself, as she 'escaped' through the backyard hedge a few weeks ago requiring me to give chase! I found myself running full steam despite wearing just my bathing suit and no shoes through the hedge, tall grass, pine needles and heading toward a creek. Thankfully she stopped before we both had to leap into the water (not sure I was up for that). We've since plugged the gaps with fencing and she's lost her off-leash privileges for now... even 91 year olds sometimes have to have time outs.

And funny enough I've heard that living with a dog is like living with a perpetual 2-year-old child. So, Maggy has more in common with Matthew than she thinks...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Good things gro ow ow in Ontario

Over the past while we've seen some 'retro' advertising as old television spots are reprised to appeal to those of us who remember them. For example: the 'two scoops of raisins' lumberjack, the 'gouda' ad with the young boy who forgets what cheese he was sent to buy, or the Chef Boyardee ad featuring kids running through the town square while church bells ring. Most of us remember these ads from childhood and now that we're feeding other generations, they appeal to our sense of nostalgia and harken back to what we remember as a simpler time... and apparently they work.

A similar approach is being used with a new version of the old jingle "Good things grow ow ow, in Ontario" that ran in the seventies and eighties. Today's ad features a farmer singing the song (not so well) over the loudspeaker in a grocery store. It's an ok ad, but again it's the fact that we remember the jingle that makes it so effective. And once you hear the song, of course, you can't get it out of your head for days! It's a campaign by the Ontario government to promote buying Ontario's fresh food products, wines and beers. It's timely as it reinforces the 'buy local' message that is now gaining in popularity.

And speaking of good things that grow, Bret, Jill, Claire, Aleah and I went blueberry picking last week. It was spectacular as the weather was great and the berries were perfect. It was my first time, and it turned out to be quite enjoyable. The best part is we now have enough personally picked and transported fresh blueberries in the freezer to last through til next year. You can't get much more local than that.