Refuse to be Passive

Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

In Halifax

In Uncategorized on May 31, 2010 at 8:14 pm

My arrival into Halifax was a bumpy one, as the plane was buffeted by strong winds. My first view of Nova Scotia was of a gray and misty place, and the feel was chilling. It was not anything like the sunny weather I’d expected. But, if one thing is true about traveling, it’s that you’ll be miserable if you’re not adaptable and want everything to go exactly as you planned it.
One thing about Halifax is that the architecture is brilliant. It makes me feel like Edmonton is a truly ugly town. All the homes here have so much personality! And then there are some brilliant churches, graveyards, armouries, and citadels. It really is a beautiful city. It was especially beautiful once the wind died down in the evening and sun came out from behind the clouds. I’d tell you about the things I did today, but I want to be able to upload pictures for you to see at the same time, so for now you’ll have to wait.
One thing I will say though, is that I have some really fun rommates. There are three guys and two of us girls, and we all get along really well. It’s super laid back and none of us has to worry about having to room with awkward people.
Tomorrow I head out for a couple of days hiking. It’s supposed to rain most of the day, but as I have my hostel booked, I’m heading out anyway. If nothing else, it’ll be an experience.
Wish me luck!

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Elevator Etiquette

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I’m starting to dislike elevators. No, I’m not becoming claustrophobic, and it’s not even that silence that hangs in the air, whether there’s one or ten people in that little tiny box. No, what I dislike is the point at which you’re in the elevator, it begins to slows down, you hear a “ding”, and the doors slide open. You want to exit the elevator, but someone is already trying to get in. Don’t they understand that before you can fit more tiny people in a box, some want to leave? And that it’s much easier to get into an empty tiny box, rather than one that’s already full?

This happens to me at the library every time. Someone walks into me while I’m trying to get out of the elevator. In good Canadian fashion, they always apologize, back up, and let me and whomever else out of the elevator out, before re-rushing in. What is it with people and thinking that the elevator is only for them? Or do they worry about being crushed by the door if they don’t enter fast enough? I’m not quite sure, but next time you’re hovering by the elevator door, take a step back, so that disembarking passengers won’t feel like they’re being attacked.

Procrastination and Forgetfulness

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Procrastination can get you into trouble at times. Forgetfulness can get you into trouble at times. Procrastination and forgetfulness will get you into trouble every time. It’s too bad I have both in spades.

It seems like I put off things, and then remember at the last second that I haven’t done them yet. It’s getting pretty frustrating actually, and every once in a while I am so forgetful that I miss a deadline by three weeks. Yes, I’m thinking of a specific, recent incident, that I am still working on rectifying. Procrastination is such an evil thing. Sometimes it’s convenient, but can you imagine how much more we’d get done if we just did things as they came up. What a relief it would be to not have to dread a project for weeks, knowing that you got it done two days ago. Be it data entry or writing an essay, there’s something to be said for being a keener. Now if only I could figure out how to turn my brain from procrastination to keener mode.

Quelling Boredom

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I really have no reason to be bored. I have an entire list of things I could be doing rather than watching TV all evening. But strangely, I don’t really feel like doing any of these things. I don’t really want to work on my short story, or vaccum my living room, or even read the book I’ve been intending to finish for the past few weeks. I don’t want to go outside, as it’s a wee mite chilly, although the rain seems to have left and it’s about time. I like rain, don’t get me wrong, but I like it when it doesn’t interfere with my life. I couldn’t plant my garden this weekend because it was cold and wet. There’s supposed to be sun in the forcast for tomorrow, so there may be a ray of hope there. But my laziness really bothers me, just not enough to do anything about it. I swear that TV is addictive. If you start watching it, it becomes hard to stop. It’s amazing how the things in life that aren’t healthy for you can be addictive, while one dreads doing what is good. At least that’s me. I always say that one of these days I’ll make the change, but I never embrace it wholly, and a new, healthy lifestyle always just becomes a fad. So here is the million dollar question. How do you make a fad stick?

Slow Learner

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 9:33 am

Last night I went for a walk with my friend, while wet outside, the sky hadn’t opened up yet, and so we traipsed down the steps behind her house and into the valley. We discussed tons of things from family to faith. One thing she brought up was an outdoor church service she’s planning (with the help of others). She’d been e-mailing a friend, trying to nail down particulars and ensure that everything would run smoothly. Her worried tone must have come across the e-mail, because her friend responded and wrote, “Don’t worry. We’ve got lots of people who are eager to volunteer, and God will provide to get his work done.”
I listened to my friend tell me about this, and felt that the message was for me as well.
I’ve been worrying the past few weeks about finding another chaperon for a youth conference coming up next weekend. I’ve been fretting, and searching, and the one person I thought might actually do it I couldn’t get a hold of.
Then, last night, after my walk, I phoned the person I wanted to help chaperon, he was actually home, and had heard that I’d wanted him to help. He’d already decided that he would. Chalk one up to God. I’ve been worrying about something that He’d already taken care of and I just didn’t know about yet.
I am a slow learner, particularly when it comes to worrying. God provides for me time and time again. You’d think I’d get it through my thick skull that everything will work out if you’re working towards the glory of God. He always gives you what you need to do his will, whether your recognize it or not. Sometimes his will may not even be obvious to you and he goes about achieving goals differently than you would. In those times, I remember that I need to trust and not worry. Maybe that’s the sole reason he’s not taking the route I would have. Maybe there’s just something I need to learn.

Garbage, Recycling, and all that jazz

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2010 at 8:22 am

I was out for my jog this morning, and was enjoying the perfect weather, 17 degrees at 6 am and slightly overcast. But one thing that quickly put a damper on my time outdoors was the fact that it’s garbage day. Now, that in and of itself doesn’t bother me too much. We do need to get rid of our garbage at some point during the week. No, what really got to me was how much of it some households were putting out. You’d see one measley bag of recycling and five gigantic black bags of trash. What are these people buying that they can’t recycle any of it? And why don’t they buy things with less packaging, so they don’t have to create to much trash in the first place? We abuse the earth and it’s resources so much, and that really ticks me off. I would say that my recycling to garbage ratio is four to one. Most of what I use and buy can either be recycled or composted. And if it costs a buck more for the same product with less packaging, I’m willing to pay it. Yes, I even wash and reuse those plastic produce bags, although I’m hoping to get a mesh set soon, so I can just bypass those all together. But what ticks me off is when people buy things like Kirkland toiletpaper, which comes in gigantic packs of 36 rolls or something (they probably also come in smaller packs) and not only is there the outter packaing, but each roll is also individually plastic wrapped. Not cool! In fact, when I had roommates I tried to get them to stop buying it, but failed. They figured that since plastic was recyclable, there was nothing wrong with the extra packaging. Why don’t people understand that it’s better to not take it out of nature and process it in the first place. Less energy and less resources are used. Who cares if it’s recyclable? If you don’t need it, don’t make it, and we’ll all be better off. The same goes true for appliances and such. If the break down we tend to throw them out and just buy new ones, but getting them repaired not only helps the local economy, but also keeps extra stuff out of landfills. For example, my waffle maker just went on the fritz and before I chuck it, I’m going to see if I can’t bring it into a small appliance repaire shop and get it fixed. If they tell me it will be the same price as buying a new one, I’ll get them to fix it anyways, partially because I might just have the world’s coolest waffle maker, but also because it will become one less thing in the landfill. People, we only have so much space to store our garbage, and it’s rapidly being depleated. Take some responsiblity upon yourself to slow the build up of trash that destroys plant and animal habitats, as well as eventually destroying the world we live in. I don’t want to live in a trash heap, do you?

Farmer’s Markets and such

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 at 9:09 am

It’s been a few days since my last post, but I am still here! This weekend was divine. My parents were up for part of the weekend, and I spent Friday afternoon hanging out with my father, and then the evening with both my parents and Erika and Chuck. The next morning we met up at Erika’s house for a french toast brunch, and then headed to the downtown farmer’s market. The atmosphere was that of a small town fair. There were games for kids, people making balloon animals, various vendors selling roasted peanuts, homemade jellies, fresh fruit and vegetables. And the weather was perfect, not too cool, not too warm, clear and bright. I honestly think that this might have been one of the best farmer market experiences I’ve ever had. My father surprised me by buying me a bottle of Apricot syrup, which I can’t wait to try next time I make french toast, waffles, or pancakes. There was also a new wine bar, having an open house with wine tastings at the same time as the farmer’s market, so my brother-in-law and I ducked inside, each grabbed a drink, and headed up to the second level to get a birdseye view of what was happening down on the street. I couldn’t help but imagine how wonderful it would be to live on that street during the summer, to just wake up in the morning and head down to the farmer’s market to pick up a fresh loaf of bread and some chevre, and maybe duck into the coffee shop to pick up a cup of steaming black liquid. Divine. But then I think of the winter, and while the great local shops and such would still be around, I think downtown might be a bit dreary in the winter. Not many trees or green spaces (although nowhere is really green in Edmonton in the winter). But I think the area would be dirty. I’d wind up spending much time in doors I think, so I’d need to love the place I live and have turned it into a haven. Thankfully, that is something I am supremely confident that I can do. That being said, I also did a bit of driving around with my father over the weekend, looking at houses that we’d like to buy, which got me thinking about buying a house. They would be two completely different lifestyles– tiny apartment vs. house with yard. And the biggest question is, how long do I intend to stay in Edmonton? Well isn’t that the million dollar question.

Travel Blogs

In Life in General on May 13, 2010 at 9:09 am

Someone I know is traveling from Australia to England in six months, packing in everything on the way. I’ve been keeping up with his blog and must confess to a wee bit of envy, not only over his trip, but over his ability to write. He is truly talents and could probably make a living at it. Actually, he could definitely make a living at it.
Today, one of the featured WordPress blogs was also a travel blog and strangely, he was writing about a similar area to where my friend has just finished trekking through. And once again I find myself longing to be traveling. But traveling is costly, and I have debts to pay off from my schooling, and no particularly marketable skills that would allow me to pick up odd jobs as I trotted around the globe. And I’m also not rolling in the dough, as my job, which doesn’t pay poorly, isn’t exactly making me rich. I would have to drastically revamp my lifestyle for the next year in order to be able to travel for six months, a year, or two years. I’d have to cut my costs and pick up some marketable skills along the way. Any ideas? Bartending is the first thing that comes to mind, with a barista being the second. Any others?

Become How You Act

In Uncategorized on May 12, 2010 at 10:07 am

Last week, I heard someone say, “Act the way you want to be, and you will become how you act.” I’m sure it’s a quote from some famous person, and I should be giving credit where credit is due, but when you can’t find who said it on Google, you’re kinda outta luck.

That statement is so true though! You are what you do, and so, in becoming who you want to be–if you’re not already there– you need to act how you want to be. There’s something to think about. And then, of course, the question that pops into my head is, what do I want to become? Do I want to be a car-less flexetarian with a penchant for Farmer’s Markets? Do I want to be a baking guru, or do I want to live the healthiest life possible? For me, the two are mutually exclusive, as I have difficulties saying “no” to anything with sugar in it. Do I want to live on the prairies or try some time on the coast? Do I want to remain in my current job, or do I want to try my hand at something else? If it is something else, what is it, and what steps will I have to take to get there. Do I want a “big” life, or a simple, small one. On these questions I always get stuck. And believe me, I have thought about it. I just feel like I’m in limbo. So right now I’m working on one small one, one small one that is taking me years to embrace and follow through on–living the healthiest life possible. Sometimes I get it right, most of the time I get it wrong. But in the words of the quote that opened this post, “Act how you want to be and you will become how you act.”  So if I take action towards healthiness, and embrace it, I’ll probably get there, and then maybe this annoying pendulum swing I’ve been on for the last decade will finally go away.

Sick and Stupid

In Life in General, Uncategorized on May 11, 2010 at 12:12 pm

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

– Albert Einstein

I think that Albert Einstein would have found me to be insane. I often do things over and over again, not getting it through my thick skull, that something needs to be changed–often permanently. Today I put flavoured creamed in my coffee. Bad idea. Most of the time this winds up making me sick. Not all the time, but most of the time. If something harms you 80% of the time, you’d think you’d stop doing it, no? Apparently I’m not that bright. I know that milk itself is a bad idea in large portions, but I don’t understand why creamer in small portions makes me sick, especially as milk in that amount probably wouldn’t effect me. Or maybe it’s the combination of creamer and coffee that makes me ill. Not sure, but regardless, I should probably stop doing it. The pain is not worth it. It strikes me as odd that I can have a whole bowl of ice cream or yogurt, but creamer creates issues. Maybe it’s actually an additive in the creamer. Oh well.

Similarly, I’ve hidden the sugar in my house and have purged it of baking, as it seems to be detrimental to my desire to live a healthier lifestyle. For a long time I’ve just maintained that I have to learn to say “no”, but after dozens of failures on this front, I think it might just be better not to have it around.

As I sit here at my computer typing, I’m wearing gloves. They’re not hampering my progress as much as I’d expected. For some reason I’m always cold in this office and it’s slightly frustrating. So cold and sick. Not so nice. I think I need a nap. Maybe I’ll take the rest of the afternoon off, although I’ll feel guilty taking part of a sick day for something that I’m pretty sure is my own fault…and now I’m going to cancel me orthopedic appointment. Stupid me.