Life

For a while now, I've been questioning whether or not Vancouver feels like home. Just a few weeks ago, I was ready to throw in the towel and give somewhere else a shot. 

wilting hydrangeas

Even if it meant leaving my amazing healthcare team, renting out our house, and (dog forbid) moving. I was just sick of being here! (This sentiment seems to come in waves and this was a particularly strong one.)

Black Friday. It's that time again. A time of gratitude, turkey (in the US), and crazy purchasing mania that makes me nauseous. But I'll save you the lecture I really want to give about externalities, sweatshops, and consumerism. My Black Friday mantra? Just say no.

Ever since the one time I went Boxing Day shopping as a teenager, I will admit I've had a strong aversion to big sales and blitzes. The hungry crowds are too much for me. But nowadays even though the internet would let me easily avoid the mayhem, thanks to the blessing in disguise of a home with little storage space and the budget consciousness bestowed upon me by my health collapse, I've been working on being more conscious and conscientious about what I spend money on.

I like to make most decisions based on these factors:

It was so timely that a friend posted this short talk by Brené Brown today, on not focusing on your critics. Just last night, while we were getting ready for bed, I said to Bruno, "If people think writing and talking about health problems and friendship changes and life challenges is so negative, why is it those topics exactly that I get such an intense response to?"

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I've had a few people confront me over the last few years about being "negative" online - I'm sure a lot more than that have had the same thought. And I guess I can understand why some people might find talking about challenges to be a negative thing. Trying to have your life appear perfect to the outside world is pervasive, both online and off. Perfect and pretty is nice and everything, but the truth is that connection doesn't happen over the fluff. Not real connection.

When we decided to try and extend our trip to Belgium, part of that included having time for a side trip so I could see a bit more of Europe. I agonized over where to go - flights are fairly cheap, and everything is so close together (and Bruno was fair game and let me have my pick)! In the end, I really wanted to go back to Berlin...

Berlin

I started weeding through my trip photos from September a few days ago because there are some really wonderful ones I wanted to share. I ended up splitting the side trip to Berlin into a separate post because there were just far too many!

Oostende

So, I was thinking this morning... life is weird. Stupid small things seem so important when they're not, we fuck up on the most critical stuff all the time, we hurt each other, and love each other, and it's all so fragile and gone in the blink of an eye. 

There are so many posts I should write, I could write, but sometimes something just gets under my skin and I have to get it out. Regardless of who it may offend, though it's not meant to...

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I keep seeing more and more communities, events, online projects, hashtags, etc. that are targeted towards women and branded with infinite varieties of "moms" or "mommies" or "mamas".

On one hand, I can understand that motherhood is a HUGE and identity changing shift in a woman's life. But I hope that the women who organize and participate in and promote these realize how in-your-face the exclusion of women without children it is.

This is one of the white roses in our back yard. I never would've bought rose bushes myself, but I've grown to really enjoy them, especially seeing some of them change colour over time!

white roses

Today is a very special day. It's the 3 year anniversary (or as I like to call it "first-date-iversary") of Bruno and my first date in Copenhagen. This first date almost didn't happen because in typical Ariane-style I got some kind of stomach bug the second day of the conference and missed the last two days, but Bruno dragged himself away from the party for the last night of the conference to come hang out with me for a bit at the apartment I was staying at (he was leaving town the next morning).

As some of you know, I read and loved Brené Brown's Daring Greatly. I only just recently remembered to go back and listen to the last couple of podcasts the did for the chapter-by-chapter read-along she did on her website. You can still get to all of the read-along posts here (there's an audio file attached to each post - I'm not sure if they're accessible on iTunes anymore). Even if you haven't read the book, but especially if you have, these little audio/podcasts are about 20 mins each, and really add a lot to the discussion around the content of the book.

I really loved and got a lot out of a part from the Ch. 7 audio, so I transcribed some parts to share them with you, and bolded the biggest takeaways.

There's this thing I keep seeing on the internet, all over Instagram and peoples' blogs, and OMG YOU NEED IT!!!!!!!

At least, that's what you keep saying. It sounds like there is a gaping hole in your life that will be filled if only you can just obtain this magical object! "Where is that rug from??? I need it!!!" "I need that scarf!" "OMG I need those salt and pepper shakers." "I need one of those triangle rings!!!" "I totally need to get a pair of those shoes, I loveeeeeee them!"

People. Just stop it.

I know things are pretty or cool or trendy, and you want to express that. So please, search the depths of your vocabulary for another way to express your compliments and desires. It's really not that hard. 

No, really. You do not NEED any of this stuff. 

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