Inspiration Board

Currently Loving Board

I have heard on more than one occasion that my blog posts are rather long so I am going to try to keep it short today.  I thought I would share one of my New Years projects with you.

In my kitchen I have a large blackboard that I like to doodle on, write inspirational quotes I come across or just jot down things I need to remember to do. After my New Year Day theme was erased I replaced it with a ‘Currently Loving’ list.

I use colourful chalk and jot down lists of things I am enjoying.  The list includes anything from food, music and activities to just plain old day dreaming.  This playful activity is a pleasant reminder that there are far more enjoyable and joyful things in my life than there are worries.

If I find myself not able to add to the board one day I know it is time to go get out my ‘worry list’ and discard the thoughts that are causing me to fail to see the joy and goodness in my life.

So what would you put on your ‘Currently Loving List” today?

 

With Christmas Day and a few quiet days after the company has gone home behind us, we are now gearing up (or perhaps down) for New Year’s Eve. I have never much liked New Year’s Eve, or rather the celebrations that go with the evening. I have always found that by the time New Year’s Eve comes along I cannot bear the thought of getting dressed up in clothes, that feel tighter than they had a week previous and mingling amongst another spread of festive food and drink. Instead I long to pass a quiet evening away in front of a fire trying to pretend that the end of a season I look forward to is not passing away.  This year as I prepare to host friends and family on New Year’s Day I am wondering why it is I don’t like to join in on the festivities on December 31st.

Perhaps it is because I have always set the holiday season up as a battleground in my mind.  When I say battle I am referring to the war raging inside of my head as I struggle with deciding what holiday food and treats to indulge in and which I should abstain from, in order to not gain weight, (or in other words, change my appearance) It has taken me a long time to realize that the holiday season need not be thought of as the enemy.  This year I found that I was able to indulge without the usual guilt and shame which usually results after eating some of my Mom’s delicious baking or indulging in several nights of cocktails and wine.  I am not positive what changed this year but I bet it has something to do with a change in perspective that comes with age or perhaps maturity. In a Wayne Dyer book I was reading recently, I think perhaps I found part of the answer to this change in attitude.

The chapter was adressing an issue about who we think we are.  The author posed a question to the reader; ‘who are you?’  For many of us, including me, our first response is a physical description of ourselves.  In my case big, tall and blonde would be in the first sentence of my description, no doubt. After that I would probably include statements about my work, my various roles in  my family, my hobbies, etc. but most of my description of myself would in fact be about the physical me.  But does that really answer the question?  Dyer asks the reader to consider all the physical bodies that we have occupied up to this moment.

Initially we were all in bodies  usually somewhere between 5-10lbs.  Who were we then?  Very soon after we began to occupy a toddler body which did not include the original cells that we had in our baby body.  From there we moved through a child’s body, a pre-adolescent body, adolescent, teen, young adult, adult, parent and perhaps grandparent’s body.  The body that I now occupy is still able to do many of the things these other bodies did but I am not those bodies.

The point is, that if I choose to focus so much on my body and what it used to be last year, 5, 10 or even more years ago, who do I think I am?  It seems obvious that if I obsess and try to hang onto the body that I had when I was thinner, younger or fitter then I must  believe that I am simply my body.  But I know that is not true, the “I” that I am, is the  ‘presence’  that exists in me no matter what body I am occupying.  I am still the same I, that I was when I was young only in in a body that is different than the previous ones I occupied.  What I am realizing is that “I” am still me no matter what shape or age body I happen to be dwelling in at the moment so why would I spend another moment being so self-conscious of my physical appearance?

If I choose to reject or hate the body I am in and place too much emphasis on the physical me is that just my way of avoiding acknowledging the real ‘I’? Phew, this is complicated stuff but I think I am beginning to understand how unimportant my physical appearance really is.  Sure it is a way for people to recognize me easily and for me to be able to identify with the process of growing and aging but short of that it really is ‘just a vehicle for my soul.’ So, somedays I ride around in an SUV and some days I am a luxury sedan and others I am a pick up truck, but whatever the  vehicle, it is still the real ‘me’ riding around inside.

So, back to the ill feelings I have about New Year’s Eve.  Perhaps, I can stop focussing on the food and drink being the enemy because it changes my body and how I feel about it, and take a new look at this.  I am going to think of the   holiday season  more like a long road trip, and that by New Year’s Eve I am ready to get out of the car and just enjoy not moving for an evening. I am going to allow myself time to reflect on the piece of  journey that has been completed while looking forward to what is to come.

What you get by…

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. ”
” Thoreau

     Well, I did it.  If you hadn’t noticed by yesterday’s post I am completely new to blogging  It is something that I have been interested in for a while and finally decided that it was time to dive in.  In today’s post I will introduce myself a little more thoroughly and fill you in on what has led me to blogging.

     As I mentioned yesterday, I am now living in Comox.  I loved the Okanagan but left a job teaching Middle School there for the time being.  I am fortunate enough to be able to go back to the job next year but for now I am in Comox, BC. Family circumstances caused me to make this move and I was optimistic about finding On Call teaching here.  My optimism is fading somewhat and after my initial panic I am acting on the advice and sage wisdom of caring friends and prominent authors and intellects.  The advice can be summed up by the following sentences.  “You either have time or money but not usually both, so while you have time use it to do what you have always wanted to do.  When you are old you will not be wishing for more money but you will want more time so don’t squander it worrying about a temporary lack of employment.”

     So, here I am.  As, stated in my About Me page, I am a teacher among many other roles.  I love the craft of teaching but I also love learning.  One of the things I am known for in my circle of family and friends is being able to create and produce amazing food from good fresh ingredients.  I can whip up a great meal out of anything and since I am somewhat addicted to cookbooks I have no problem finding inspiration.  In this blog I would like to share some of my favourite recipes and cookbooks with you as well as stories that make each meal or recipe special.  

     One of the main reasons I wanted to start this blog was self-centered I will admit.  I have been keen to begin documenting what a year in my life looks like for some time now.  It has become apparent to me that I am a creature of habit as much as I am someone who loves change and creating.  I started noticing that my kids were recognizing rhythms that tied to the seasons.  So, for instance sometime in late February or early March one of them would say, “oh look Mom, the rhubarb is starting to come up. I can’t wait for the first rhubarb pie of the season.”  Or they would watch me light the first fire in early October and say, “oh I can’t wait to cozy up on the couch and have one of our indoor picnics.”  At about the same time I was speaking with a friend whose parents are German born Canadians.  They came to Canada with nothing and through hard work and self-sufficiency created a beautiful life for themselves and their family.  We started talking about everything they do and thought that it might be a good idea to take a year off work and just follow them each day for a year to document and learn about all the things they do that allow them to live a rich and beautiful life on sometimes very limited income.  We never did do that but  as my grown children began calling me and asking about how to make some of their favourite meals, or a loaf of bread or pesto I began rethinking this idea.  What if I could record what I do for my children?  Originally I thought I would write a cookbook for them but it  become apparent that there are so many stories involved in what I do each day that a cookbook would not be a suitable medium.  I wanted to be able to tell them my stories and so a journal seemed more appropriate. As I got more adept at researching while doing my Master Degree I realized that I really liked blogs.  The beauty of the blog is that it is so interactive and has the potential to become a much larger community and body of knowledge than I could ever compile. So, yesterday I decided to take the time I have this year and begin the documentation of a year of living well, closely connected to the earth and the rhythms of each season, beginning with Fall.  

     I look forward to telling my stories, sharing recipes, books, weaving, knitting, felting projects and any other information I find interesting.  I anticipate much sharing, learning and discussion and can’t wait to hear your comments.  Please be patient as I and weave and bob my way through blogsphere and improve the appearance of my site.