Life

Julia NelsonThe post below was originally written on November 5th, 2013.

This morning, I searched my site for any unpublished posts, wondering if I had anything half-written lying around on here waiting to be completed. I didn't even remember writing this (admittedly my memory hasn't been amazing lately thanks to the brainfog), and only now vaguely recall deciding to sleep on this one before posting it, feeling a bit nervous, or like it wasn't my place to write it.

Julia was born the same year as me, 1980, and her husband James recently reminded us on Facebook that it would have been her 34th birthday last week. I guess it's fitting for me to find this now...

Hello and happy late spring!

I've been a bit quiet on here lately, but it's not because I've grown tired of writing online, or any of that nonsense... I still love having a way to "talk" to you and share, and with Facebook "pages" going down in flames, this feels like the right place to keep doing that. The reason it's been quiet is because Bruno and I were giving my site a spruce up! A new design that's more colourful and has an inviting vibe.

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I've been super duper laid out with a chronic illness flare for the last couple weeks, and as I've embarked on a Facebook fast, I guess I'm posting more here instead when I have things to say! 

For better or worse I usually use FB to kind of numb out and passively entertain myself when I'm not feeling well, so this has been a real challenge - I even let myself off the hook for a few of the worst days, cause frankly I wasn't actually losing any time to do more productive things. But I also use FB to stay in touch with friends, as do many people with chronic illnesses who can't get out and socialize in person as much as they'd like. Communicating online can be a huge way to avoid feeling completely socially isolated when you're sick a lot.

There has recently been a lot of discussion among the politically engaged residents of Grandview Woodlands about what an improved Commercial Drive would look like. The timing of this, during the extended time for sorting out the city's long term development plan for Grandview Woodlands, is critical as it could help set the tone for the next several decades of change for The Drive.

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This conversation was sparked by a new group that formed recently, the "Commercial Drive Action Group" (who now have a Facebook group called "Commercial Drive for Everyone", which the organizer initially presented to GWAC (Grandview Woodland Area Council) meeting attendees as a group interested in making The Drive more bike-friendly. My understanding is that now the mission is broadening to generally focusing on more people (vs. car) friendly movement around the area, slightly less specific to cycling. The timing of this, during the extended time for sorting out the city's long term development plan for Grandview Woodlands, is critical as it could help set the tone for the next several decades of change for The Drive

Hmmm, "The new school capitalists of Vancouver". Kinda has a nice ring to it, now THERE is a reality show I'd like to see!

Yeah, yeah, I know all good bloggers are supposed to have a niche. But folks, I've had several past lives already, and am a bit of a renaissance (wo)man, so I can't stand censoring my many interests!

I was excited when I heard about this new documentary that a group in Vancouver, Institute B, had released. I sat down to watch it this morning, and it's an inspiring glimpse into many of the major socially and environmentally conscious businesses that call Vancouver home. You'll see Mark Brand notorious restauranteur de Save On Meats, Joel Solomon from RenewalSuzanne Siemens and Madeleine Shaw from Lunapads, and so many other local business leaders from this city in the film. 

I came across this again today, it's as wonderful as the first time I saw it. Had to share it here for posterity... 

It's been turned into a book now too. Tanya Davis wrote and performed the original poem.

I'm reading an amazing book right now, recommended to me by my friend who passed away earlier in the year. I wish I could thank her for bringing this book into my life, but since I can't I'm going to make sure to share it with as many other people as I can. I've been sharing bits of it on my various online channels, but I wanted to write a bit about it here for anyone who's not able to see my other posts. Every one of you should read this book! 

It's called How to be an Adult by David Richo, and it is basically a guide to how to behave and think like an adult - responsible, assertive, self-actualized, healthy relationship boundaries, and all that good stuff. It's so clear and specific, and it's a short book but it's absolutely packed with insights.

Hello 2014.

I recently came across a guiding quote in this fantastic book I'm reading:

Trying without doing is wishing rather than choosing. You either have a plan in place or you are choosing not to act. "This being the case, how shall I proceed?" is a Zen saying that shows the automatic, assertive progression from circumstance to action.
- David Richo in "How to be an Adult"

Oh, the promise of new beginnings, new opportunities, new versions of ourselves... There are some ways of being I've been learning this past year that I am planning to continue with this coming year, so I thought I'd share them. These ways of being form my plan - or at least the base of it. The rest is all details for now.

Goodbye 2013. 

BB Day 27

You rivaled 2012 for how shitty I often felt, both physically and emotionally. But I also had some reprieves and glimmers of hope, showing me that change may be slow, but it's still possible. 

You were at once one of the hardest and most important years of my life. I'm tempted to say "good riddance", but that wouldn't be quite right...instead I'll say thank you.

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Earlier this week, I was inspired by Vivienne's "word of the year" post, and really challenged myself to come up with one of my own for this coming year. I've half-heartedly considered choosing a word of the year before, but I've never actually done it (and I certainly felt a level of resistance around it, not sure why). This time I felt ready, but I didn't really know where to start, so of course I googled it and found a helpful worksheet that helped me to hash things out.

I've been feeling very stuck these last couple years, like I've been trying to get somewhere, and can't seem to figure out where it is that I want to go or how to get there. I've been feeling this immense pressure to figure it out, to get healthy, to get going... but it's so counterproductive - pressure is the enemy of an anxious person with chronic illness! Round and round I've gone, wanting, yearning, but feeling held back by my body or my mind or my history or pretty much everything. It's not a nice feeling and as much as I've wanted to, it's been hard to shake. The reality is that I had expectations about where I'd be by now, and they haven't been met.

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