I bought four mugs at a thrift store yesterday. I am hardly the ‘I must have it if I see it’ type of person, but these were just right. The colour and shape and the way they felt when I picked one up. A mere $4.99 later, they came home with me and four of the ones we had for a while will go to a thrift store. Maybe they’ll become someone’s favourite mug, who knows.
Category: Learning Page 1 of 31
My (now) occasional columns are originally published on the Armchair Mayor News, this one included.
I saw the tiniest hummingbird the other day, while on the morning hike. No bigger than a (small) dandelion flower, it was hovering around a Saskatoon bush. I got home and promptly put up the red hummingbird feeder in the backyard.
It’s been many months since I deactivated my Facebook account. I do not miss it, and as much as I would like to, I cannot delete it fully because there are people I care about who are for now communicating only via Facebook messenger.
The social media rundown
Be as it may, the bad noise is gone. By that I mean the tsunami of fake information and rants spreading like wildfire leading to nowhere but high anxiety, and the countless posts of what should be private information. Oh, and there is also the marketing, incessant and shameless, which I do not miss. That is to say, I do not intend to return. Ever.
This month I am also taking a break from Twitter. Again, the noise can be too much at times. It’s different noise and I like being connected to like-minded people and their worthwhile words and ideas, but breaks are good. They make room for thinking and most importantly, they clear some much-needed space for other pursuits. Or more of the ones we always say we need (more) time for.
You may be wondering about the other platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn. I am for now set on a weekly post on Instagram and a weekly review of a few informative accounts. Since I am also keeping updated on a few science and self-improvement podcasts, any extra time on the same would mean a higher risk of falling into virtual rabbit holes which there are many. As for LinkedIn, I use it as the name implies: to link/connect with other professionals and/or professional groups.
Yes, our relationship to social media is a complicated one.
One resolution and a few steppingstones
It’s that time again: the yearly opportunity to start on something new (or pick up that dropped self-improvement project) to improve quality of life. I am not much for a laundry list of resolutions because I know it’s easy to get amped up and then drop one too many, but I do like a fresh start towards one or two long-term goals, and I know consistency pays off. So my one resolution is to be consistent on whatever I embark on.
For example: I want to be able to take part in the next polar bear swim (January 1, 2022) so my steppingstone is a daily cold shower (starting at 15 seconds and working towards two minutes). Since I already have a morning routine of breathing and stretching, I can pin this one on. And don’t let the 15 seconds fool you. That’s where math fails: 15 seconds under cold water does not equal 15 seconds of warm water shower. Still, cold water exposure has many virtues, and I will expand on that in a later post.
My next one and the big news I hinted at a couple of posts back is that I will be starting on a new path after spending the last year and a half studying for it. I have become a certified nutritional consultant (CNC) and that means, among others, that a new website with science-based nutrition information will be launched soon and, most importantly, that I can embark on a journey that I long dreamed of: disease prevention through healthy nutrition.
A long-term goal if there ever was one. The steppingstones in this case: reading, writing, and keeping up-to-date with the latest research on nutrition topics I will highlight in regular blog posts.
My inspiration to work on building good habits comes from James Clear, author of Atomic Habits – An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones (Penguin Random House, 2018).
My inspiration source for minimizing social media presence is Cal Newport, author of many books on focus and productivity, including Digital Minimalism – Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World (Portfolio, 2019).
The inspiration for embracing the cold showers is provided by Wim Hof, also known as The Ice Man (and that says is all, though he does more than that).
A refreshing book I discovered this past year and enjoyed reading was Ultralearning – Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition and Accelerate Your Career (Illustrated, 2019) by Scott H. Young. Never stop learning!
On that note…
If you have books or people who inspire your journey towards a more balanced life (I know that may mean different things to different people), please feel free to share. Knowledge is delightful, more so when shared.
Here’s to a good year and here’s to being present, curious, and kind. Most of all, grateful.
I saw this cartoon the other day. A group of people were cautiously opening a door by pushing it with a long-handle broom. The door had 2022 written on it and the caption read ‘2022 – We’re all gonna walk in real slow…’.
It’s funny in that way that we have learned to laugh at since the first wave of the pandemic. We have now entered the fifth wave and I remember the initial predictions of the health officials about the light at the end of the tunnel becoming more visible as we were riding that first wave. The light, we have since found out, keeps going out and tunnel’s end keeps getting farther and then closer again.
I will start by saying I did not know there were anti-vaccine protests scheduled all over British Columbia for September 1. An update from a trusted news source revealed a reality that baffled me.
There were photos of an anti-vaccine protest taking place here in Kamloops, right in front of the hospital. There were more in other cities too, including Vancouver.
What better place than a hospital, the protesters thought. Never mind that for a long time now, the hospital has been the scene of some terrible battles with the COVID-19 virus (spoiler alert: it still is). Many people were intubated, some died, and many others recovered but not everyone is symptom-free. Some are what now we know to be long-haulers.
Originally published as a column in the Armchair Mayor News on June 15, 2021.
The forest has stories to tell you if you happen to visit every now and then. As of late, the stories are sad, but that makes listening that much more important.
We took our youngest on a daytrip to Wells Grey Park this past weekend. On our way out of town we drove in silence past the crosses for the 215 children whose unmarked graves have been recently discovered at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. There is deep sadness in each piece of clothing hanging by the side of the road, fluttering in the wind, and reminding us forever of all the lives that were violently taken away.
Originally published on Armchair Mayor News on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.
Most people in British Columbia have learned by now of the big commotion happening at the Fairy Creek Watershed on Vancouver Island near Port Renfrew.
Blockades have been erected to block the logging of old growth trees in one of the last remaining forested areas that is home to trees as old as 800-years. There’s more to them than their impressive size. They are strong allies in our fight against climate change, and they provide essential habitat to many species that have called these old growth forests home for thousands of years.
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