Archive for the ‘change’ Category

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A different way to start the New Year

January 7, 2013

Despite its calamitous start, I’d say that 2013 is off to a good start.

That first day is one that, as much as I’d like to forget, will likely become the memory that pushes me beyond the ho-hum to make this year a great one. 

You see, I’d been feeling tired and stressed before December had even started but I’d hardly noticed.  Then I was obliged to work extra hours every day while juggling a final week of school that was bordering on insane.  On top of all the usual seasonal chaos there was a municipal hearing, two performances of a school play, preparing for and hosting our biggest solstice celebration yet, and a fabric dyeing workshop.  How I survived it, I just don’t know.  And the funny thing is, I thought I was doing well because in the 10 days following, I kept from getting sick despite all the sugar and late nights.  That was, until, I woke up on January first.

Despite not a single glass of bubbly the night before, I woke up at 9 am with one nasty headache.  I had already determined that this was the day for cleaning out our main living spaces; clearing the cobwebs so to say.  Well, I did that, but my allergies didn’t like it and by the end of the day I was little more than a miserable pile of tears with a splitting headache. 

I loathe visiting that place so by the time I went to bed I had determined that I was going to eat better and sleep better for the rest of the holidays (in the hopes that I might start the new school year better than I had ended the last).  I figured it might be easy enough and then I went for labwork.  They revealed that there was more to my crash than just a few weeks of late nights and too much sugar.   It seems I’d gotten too cavalier about taking my vitamins, holding space for relaxation and getting exercise, and all the other things that keep me healthy. 

Seven days into this year I’m on a whole different pathway.  I’ve made a list of menu ideas for the month, Kevin and I have been snowshoeing twice and cross country skiing once, we’ve gotten things started with our architect, I’ve got a plan for my stories and circles for the new year, I’ve started attending contra dances again, I’ve been going to bed earlier and getting up before the sun, I’m taking my vitamins, I’m preparing meals in advance (so that I can better avoid blood sugar crashes) and, most importantly, I’m feeling better.

2013 – I know you’re going to be one heck of a challenging year but I’m ready for you!

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a brief history of me and bikes

July 4, 2011

My relationship with bikes started a long time ago. My childhood tricycle collection was the envy of all our neighbourhood friends long after we’d taken to bicycling. That may explain why my transition to 2 wheels came sort of late but it was done without training wheels.

In Junior High I finally got a “real” bike for my birthday (a black and pink Norco bush pilot ladies) and started making the 8.5 km uphill ride to school because it was so much more fun than riding the bus. There were also some pretty good dirt bike trails my guys friends and I used to ride on the other side of the tracks. By high school my Norco was too small but it took until university before I upgraded to my most used bike thus far – my Specialized Rockhopper A1 Comp FS.

It was the first bike I paid for myself and I bought it from the LBS where a high school friend worked. My parents couldn’t understand how I could part with $1500 for a bike or what the appeal of clipless pedals was but I’m so glad I followed M’s advice and bought the best bike I could afford. It has stood the test of time and has taken me beyond commuting to cycle camping, mountain bike racing, and more recently road riding with slick tires.


I should mention that I had a brief stint with another bike too – a Dahon folding bike that I mentioned here. It was good for it’s initial purpose (bike/bus commuting from the suburbs) but is utterly useless now that we live at the top of a hill.

Back in February I really started to get itchy about finding another bike. You see the Dahon had shown me how quickly and easily I could really move on pavement and my rockhopper just wasn’t up to the task. It was built for dirt after all. In addition to speed I was also looking for a more comfortable ride and an excuse to leave my knobbies on the rockhopper. Thus began my renewed search.

I scoped out bike shop after bike shop but I kept hearing the same thing… pick the bike you like and we’ll make it fit. That approach had been used to make the rockhopper suit me better as my body changed but with comfort in one place came annoying things like twitchy handling and aches and pains in new places. There was no way I was going to go that route again. I also knew that I wanted a mixte and the option to haul stuff. The choices are slim and not at all tailored to short in the arm/long in the leg me.

Just as I was about to give up my quest for yet another year I came across this: the Sweetpea JJ Fantastic. I was at my in-laws place and there was no getting me off their computer that night. I looked at the fully custom options and while the 3 year waiting list was a bit much I was seriously considering taking the leap. This woman understood just what I was looking for. Then I learned that the mixte Sweetpea A-Line was customizable and advertised the dual ability to haul stuff and haul ass. Plus my favourite cut of skirt had the same name. Could this be true?

Before I’d even spoken with Natalie, I’d found a Serotta bike fitter in the city and had my appointment. That was easily some of the best $250 I’ve ever spent. New bike or not, the tips and tricks my fitter gave me were the best cycle coaching I’d ever received. That, and after the appointment I was also equipped with new knowledge of what kind of bike geometry to look for. Sweet!

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Bikey, bikey

June 28, 2011

School is now over and my focus has shifted. This summer I’m all about cycling! Not that I won’t be doing prep or the usual hiking and climbing, but cycling is at the top of my list.

Back in my university days I loved to ride and even after breaking my wrist, it was hard to keep me off the trails. Back then, mountain biking was the only thing for me and I even raced for a season. It was such an adrenaline rush and so Much FUN!

As I got more serious about cycling I started thinking about getting a road bike so I could train more. I had such a hard time finding anything that would fit and then a whole bunch of other things changed. I moved around, was introduced to new sports and re-introduced to backpacking, climbing and hockey 5 nights per week. And I started breaking bones…

Mountain biking was still part of my regular routine (albeit at a lighter pace) until 6 years ago when my crunched up wrist stopped being able to handle my aggressive position on the mountain bike. It was a painful number of years before I could even handle a couple of km’s of riding. Thankfully those days are over and for the past 2 summers and this spring I’ve been steadily increasing my riding. I’ve also had some help to make my trusty old mountain bike fit better and equipped it with slicks.

It’s been so much fun to be able to get away from school stuff and ride with new friends nearly every week. Bring on summer!

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coming up for air

March 7, 2011

Finally… I can breathe again!

This, my first year of teaching has been nothing less than a roller coaster ride thus far. Wow, I never knew it was possible for so much drama or to work so hard and yet still feel like I can’t win.

Right now I’m in the midst of a change that includes me giving up many of the duties I had held since the fall. Before I started down this path I recognized that the life of a Waldorf class teacher wasn’t likely to mesh with my ideals of balance and sustainability. Somehow I thought it would be different for me but this year at least, that has not proven to be true.

After months of trying to make things work and struggling to get mentoring I found myself out of energy and short on nerves – far from an ideal situation for the children or for me.

After taking a week to recollect and recenter I returned to school today, donned an apron and began my new routine. Now instead of stressing about parent communication and lesson plans I get to sit back a bit, observe, and put more focus on handwork. It also means I get some time for myself and can look into getting involved with more community events – both for the school and the community at large.

Fresh air never smelled so good!

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getting my bearings

June 21, 2010

To be back in BC has been wonderful. So wonderful that I really don’t want to leave for my summer training or go back to Alberta for Folk Fest and a string of goodbyes. It’s true, I’ve enjoyed the past 2 weeks of being homeless.

Kevin and I started this piece of the journey with a few days of packing and followed it with a slow 2 days of driving with our truck fully loaded and the E carrying the more delicate and precious cargo. His folks joined us in packing and driving and when we got to our new stomping grounds we took a good couple of hours arranging our storage space. Everything fit and most everything we’ve needed since has been accessible.

moving!

We camped for a few days and then Kevin went back to AB to wrap up work while I joined my class for the last few days of their school year. It was so good to be able to meet everyone and the social calendar has meant that I’ve been able to work at getting to know people from the school and the broader community. It’s been so great that not being able to find a house or rental suite is hardly stressful right now. We knew this piece would be difficult but it’s still a surprise to me that it’s such a non-issue.

I am really happy to be where we are but in wanting to maintain some privacy I’m really reluctant to give too much of my location and my work away just yet. Suffice it to say that we’re where we need to be and we’re looking forward to getting to know our neighbours and all the local recreation hot spots.

As I spend the summer traveling and sinking myself into this new community I expect the opportunities to blog will dwindle… much like in my last semester of schools. I wish it weren’t so but if it means I’m spending less time on-line (as it has these past few weeks) then I think I’m good!

Have a great summer and happy solstice!

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change is coming

April 29, 2010

Change has been brewing for quite some time now and it’s made for quite the balancing act lately. Earlier this month I was adjusting to being back at school, trying to sell the house from a few provinces away, being without the computer and desperately waiting for word on the jobs I had applied for. Oh, and there was school too of course!

It’s hard to believe that in such a short time I’ve completed my last practicum, celebrated a great birthday (on more than one occasion now!) and gained a computer. Together, Kevin and I have sold our house and made a decision on where to go too! Quite the handful but all really good things.

There is so much to do in these last few weeks of school and as much as I would like to be here more often, I know my days of multiple posts a week are over… well at least until summer!

I’m so excited!

There are only 5 weeks left of school now and then begins the journey west to pack up and move further on west. I’m so excited to be joining the class I connected with and to be moving somewhere we both want to be… where the ocean touches the mountains which touch the sky.

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melancholy monday

January 4, 2010

I was some how able to keep myself upbeat during my last post but by last night I was a wreck. I’d had the day to reflect on things both past and future and to add to the mix I was thinking about my late friend Cory.

Today would have been his birthday had he not had leukemia or rejected the bone marrow transplant. I know I can’t turn back the clock but even though it was 9 years ago his memory is still fresh. Having had an earlier run in with cancer he lived each day as though he might not see the next but with such youthful and energetic enthusiasm. It was contagious at the time but as each year passes, I’m reminded of how much further I am from living life that way and it’s upsetting.

I know that my view of the world is changing – I wouldn’t be maturing if it wasn’t – but it seems like fear keeps taking a larger and larger hold on me. Fear of falling, of breaking, of not losing weight, of failing at work and relationships, of not getting what I want in this life, of letting other people down, of making them uncomfortable, the list goes on. This isn’t what I want but at the same time how do I change it? Thank goodness for true friends who listened to me yesterday and helped me shed the most raw stuff. If I learned anything, it’s that I need to talk about these thing because getting upset and then trying to bury them isn’t working.

My winter holidays didn’t go the way I had expected – not even close. A big part had to do with house guests that didn’t leave but another thread, with a much longer history, is how I deal with injuries.

I get hurt a lot and I’m convinced it’s because there are lessons I haven’t yet learned. I gave up hockey, downhill skiing, mountain bike racing and now even cross country skiing because it seems that if I fall, I break something. Fracture number eight, which happened four years ago was so painful and persistent that I let a doctor convince me it was too risky for most of that stuff. Ooh it made me upset at the time but this thumb thing I’m dealing with now is serving as a good reminder for why it’s hard to turn back to those sports. I get frustrated from losing my independence and having to start over at ground zero again with my training.

At the same time, my social life has always revolved around sport and I have yet to find a worthy substitute for that or the adrenalin rush. I think that’s part of why I have a hard time accepting ball room dancing and swimming laps with wall hangers as my new activities. And heck, even though I love handwork it sure is hard these days and that makes me wonder what will it be like in another decade or two.  Should I even consider teaching handwork down the road?

It’s been a few years and I still don’t know what the answers are but I need to find a new determinism for finding what meets my needs for socializing and adrenalin. And of course, if you’ve been here and have any suggestions I would love to know!