Gratitude makes the journey better and so does kindness

Category: Life Stories Page 1 of 45

Life as it happens: Ends, Beginnings and the Quest for Pursuits That Matter

Time to be…

It’s been a while since I wrote here and it’s not for lack of interest or topics. On the contrary. However, I admit to shifting things around a bit as of late. As you may have noticed, I put the regular column writing on hold. It’s been almost a decade since I started showing up with a new column each week – rain or shine. I felt it was the right thing to do given the sorry state of our public discourse.

You may rightfully ask, ‘hasn’t always been that way though?’. Yes and no. I know we are all falling into the trap of assuming the times we live in are the worst and I know they are not, but personally I felt that way for a while so I figured a break would be just the thing.

And speaking of ill-construed public discourse, I left Facebook. Before it was down, that is, which happened yesterday for a few hours. It’s been a beautiful kind of quiet in my thoughts now knowing that I closed the door to a world where I would occasionally go for a visit but never felt comfortable enough to stay longer than I had to post things for a few businesses I write for. The pervasiveness of this platform into our everyday lives is a phenomenon to be mindful of, and one I do not want to be a part of.

The outlandishness of so many posts, the pushing of hatred and counter-common sense in so many areas of life, the ‘loud’ writing of intimate and beautiful things in life that should be whispered only to those that would know what to do with them, the overpriced illusions…there you go, a mere sample.

Plus, my forever complaint with this platform: the wrongs we cannot see, their impact on people and life in society, the noise of what you know to be wrong which you cannot fix in any way of course, and which keeps lingering until it becomes the hum that takes over the quiet you need to keep sane and joyful. None of that will be missed.  

Yes, there are many good people who bring valuable ideas and concepts to be discussed on Facebook, and that I will miss, but even these good happenings are festooned with the same ugly and tireless monsters hiding in countless closets. If these good things are the babbling brook you stop by in hope of breathing in beauty, the platform presents itself like flood waters bringing in everything you did not existed plus the kitchen sink. The algorithms make visiting just the brook impossible, hence my decision.  

My second pursuit is one I will communicate soon, and it has to do with purpose, health, and more writing. It will be interesting, I promise.

Meanwhile, you will still see posts on life as it happens, opinions on current events at times and the reoccurring invitation to gratefulness.

Also, the occasional informal book recommendation because I believe books are essential to life. Some I get from publishers to review, and countless others I discover as I follow through with my professional and personal interests. I am probably not the only one with ever-growing piles of book by my bed, or in various places around the living room. Well, why not? They have the power to take us to where our minds get a good scrub and a powerful incentive to think and change towards a more worthwhile rhythm in our step.

Books I delight in presently: Out on a Limb – What Black Bears Have Taught Me about Intelligence and Intuition by Benjamin Kilham, When by Daniel H. Pink, and The Secret Life of Your Microbiome by Susan L. Prescott, MD, PhD, and Alan C. Logan, ND. I will let you know my impressions on each once I am done.

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions.

The day after the anti-vaccine protests is a sobering one

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.

Weekly column: History needs to be written and learned the way it happened

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.

Weekly column: When hope, help and gratefulness count as stepping stones

Originally published as a column by Armchair Mayor News, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

On July 26, Jessie Simpson will turn 24. That’s also the day when his mom hopes to have him at home for a few days, so he can enjoy the place he has not been able to see but in memory, fragmented as it is, due to the horrendous attack Jessie suffered in 2016 on the night of his graduation party.

Presently he is in the hospital, fighting his way out of a kidney infection that has him in pain and nauseous. Just a few weeks ago, he had yet another seizure which his mom witnessed.

Weekly column: Legacy matters – Why our beautiful world deserves the best

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on May 3, 2021.

It had rained on Wednesday night and the woods were alive with bird songs in early morning when dog and I headed out for a hike in our beloved Peterson Creek Park.

The rain made the forest look alive, eager to turn greener yet. The creek rushed in loudly churning foamy dollops, and we breathed in the fresh after-rain air.

Far across the river, the grasslands were a sight to behold: fresh green hues mixed in with last year’s dry grasses, morning clouds hanging low and promising of more rain yet.

Weekly column: Spring is here – Let’s make it brighter yet with safety and kindness

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, April 12, 2021.

We’re finally moving into spring. It’s been a tug-of-war as of late, with snowy mornings and frosty windshields yet again, some strong and cold winds too, but the days are getting brilliantly sunny and long enough to be able to fit enough in one with time to spare.

The sun is coaxing out more people, and there seem to be many more cars on the road because there’s much to do around here. The latter calls for some extra reminders for safety.

Weekly column: It’s not all doom and gloom as long as we make better choices

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair mayor news on Monday, April 5, 2021.

I am not much for viral news but every now and then I wish some stories I come across get shared far and wide because of how significant they are. The one I came across on social media a couple of days ago was COVID-19 related and as much as I wanted to distance myself from it all during the long weekend, this one got my attention (along with the high numbers of new cases in our own province.)

A doctor from Ontario took to Twitter to share a story (with permission from the family) of a woman who died because of her husband contracting a COVID variant at work while not being adequately protected. Not by his own will, mind you. The disease unfolded quickly and deadly, said Dr. Michael Warner, medical director of clinical care at Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto.

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