Gratitude makes the journey better and so does kindness

Category: Self-improvement Page 1 of 28

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: 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.

Weekly column (from two weeks ago): Killing is not the solution for managing wildlife

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on March 22, 2021.

Do you remember the first couple of months into the pandemic when social media was inundated with images of wild critters strolling through cities and other areas usually frequented by humans that were suddenly empty due to people staying home? Photoshop tricks notwithstanding, we were indeed witnessing a different level of interaction with mother nature and its wild children, albeit from a far.

Nature, it is safe to say, has since become the ultimate and absolute saviour of humanity as the COVID-19 crisis progressed to envelop us into a grip that has yet to lessen. We cannot travel the way we used to, but people took to nearby trails and when and where allowed, they went camping.

Weekly column: Celebrating women need not be controversial

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, March 8, 2021.

One of the good things about an overcast morning is that should you decide to take the dog to the beach, you’ll have the place to yourselves for the most part.

Though we’re in a pandemic and many of us miss hanging out with friends and family the way we used to, solitude is good for us when we need to get away from all the noise of everyday life: news on COVID-19, more news on COVID-19, and the never-ending hail of information we don’t need but get anyway through social media on any given day.

Weekly column: Teachers deserve to be listened to for the sake of us all

Originally published as a column on Monday, February 22, 2021 on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News.

You may have peeked at the news of the new variants appearing in some schools in the Lower Mainland. As I started writing, two more schools have been added to the exposure list for the U.K. variant, bringing the total number to five.

We are told there are ways to reduce the risk and generally improve our state of health. Eating healthy and getting daily exercise, washing hands and airing out properly so fresh air can reduce the number of disease-causing particles.

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