Friday, January 29, 2010

sit. stay.

I've always felt that commitment is not for the faint of heart.

On my morning walk with Daws (my dog, in case you haven't been following), I stopped into my local coffee shop. In doing so, I had to tie up the old girl to the fence outside. Now, depending on her mood, she sometimes waits patiently - other times not so much. When I came out she was waiting and watching me. I was holding my steamy, giant coffee in one hand, so I had to untie her leash with my lone right hand. I looked at her and told her to stay put while she was free of her leash. She sat there looking pretty all the while working on her jedi-mind trick - staring over her left shoulder at the crusty, dry pizza crust left on the curb. I realized in that moment that the younger-version of Dawson would have never, ever stayed still for me, waiting so well behaved. Especially while being taunted by her favourite thing in the whole wide world: food.

Some people think it's a bit morbid that I spend more time lately thinking about the limited time we have left together. She's definitely on the downward slope in life (but she still can keep up on a run like she is a pup). But, in that cold, crisp moment this morning it was then that I realized what Dawson has taught me about commitment.

Patience and mutual respect.

Because the two of us have shared these feeling with and between each other for twelve long years, I can honestly say she's a better dog now than she ever was before. I mean this dog was nothing short of insane and disobedient for 50% of her life. But in many moments lately, like the time together this morning, I realized it took a dog to prove to me that it ain't such a bad thing to sit and stay.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I was born in a small town.

Ever have one of those days where you're going about your usual routine and you stop and kind of realize where you're at in life? I mean, not so much literally, but more like wondering how you arrived to this particular place in your life. To me, those moments are like little grateful awakenings - having the ability to be very present and alive.

The Wentworth Park Gazebo, Sydney NS

It happened to me on Saturday morning. I was driving to a hair appointment, coffee in hand and it was a beautiful sunshiny January day. And for some reason it hit me. "I live in Toronto". "I've lived in Toronto for 7.5 years". These moments may appear pretty meaningless and cheesy to you, but for me they make me take notice of life. Then, I enjoy it more. Living in a city the size of Toronto makes me realize how far I've come from a life that doesn't seem so long ago. Growing up in a town of 20,000 people and living in a city of 2.5 million makes you appreciate what great qualities both have to offer and how it's best left that the two never merge. I like them even more for their own unique packages.

This was further reinforced for me this past weekend when I read my friend Gustavo's blog. It was about his recent trip home to Brazil for Christmas and of his awareness of a life left behind. It's true, absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder...even if the absence comes in the form of subconciseness of your everyday surroundings.

Gabarus, Nova Scotia

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

time keeps on slippin' into the future

Work has been nothing short of insane lately. I don't know when it happened but all of a sudden I find my days zipping by. Meetings start and 8:30am and end at 5pm - no lunch, no breathing room. My agency days weren't even like this!

On my way in to work this morning...or wait, was it yesterday morning?...I was listening to CBC and they were talking about it being the one year anniversary of Barack Obama's inauguration. I felt sick. For real? Has it been a full year and if so, how is that possible? As much as I try to live in the moment, I'm not sure what else I can do to make it slow down. Other than bottle it - I already write about it, enjoy it, live it and have it tattoo'd on my arm for christsake.

Maybe the person driving in front of me tonight said it best with their bumper sticker: Wag More. Bark Less.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

act your age, not your shoe size

Anyone ever tell you that when you were a kid? "Act your age, not your shoe size!" And, have you ever heard someone say, "I wish he'd act more like his age?" Well I've heard it, been told it and I ask you this - what the hell does it mean?

Last week, when my friend Todd told me that I'm right on the cusp of not being able to wear my arm warmers (you heard me) or shop at H&M anymore all I could think was, you bastard.

Listen, I get it. There's an entirely massive group of people out there that have no self perception or concept of time. Some people are stuck in a generation, living in a memorable moment. The mullet is living proof.

To be honest, I was pretty happy when the '80s came back in a big way over the last two years - even if I couldn't pull it off anymore. But all that said, do we really have to 'act' our age? And if I do, I'm not sure what that entails. Book clubs? Nights at home watching sitcoms? Reading more? Well, I'm doing it. But that being the case, it looks like I'm acting 75, not 35. So I'm still not acting my gawd-damn age. (So, to you my sweet arm warmers, I love you...even when I know I could just wear a sweater instead)

I guess my age-heros in life are the ones that defy every age-norm. It simply comes down to confidence, loving life in your skin, comprehension of a moment in time and oh, self-awareness (that's the hardest part).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

oops, we did it again

thanks to the new holiday uni-bomber, we've gone from hiding our tweezers and facial cream to now going to full body x-rays. Boy, is everyone up in cahoots over this or what? The amusing part to me is people are worried about violation of their personal security? Pah-lease, that's the least of our worries - do you people know about the world wide web? Your personal security has already been bent over and taken for a ride.

If you ask me, what's really devastating is the news that airport security is going to be "trained" to look for "odd, suspicious or unusual behaviour". Are you kidding me? In the run of the day I probably run into more than handful of people than exhibit this behaviour. And I'd like to think they don't have a plan to take us or the entire United States of America down in a single swoop (sweet jesus, at least I hope they don't).

Without a doubt, this is going to go from ugly to down-right nasty. These security agents, in my opinion, are everyday folk with training. Hells, we all get training in our respective careers (if we're lucky). But let's face it, learning a new admin process or software program is a helluva lot different than determining whether a person is considered likely to commit a particular type of crime or an illegal act based on "predictable" manner.

So what I'm having a difficult time dealing with is distinguishing the difference between judging someone and profiling them?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

bells will ring; the sun will shine

It was 9 months ago that I wrote this little blog entry. Like I said back then, a shit load of stuff can, would and did happen. Now it's just T-minus 4 weeks and counting until Jennie and Dave's Wedding in MEXICO!!!

I've actually never been to a beach wedding before. Odd, considering that a) I almost took the plunge myself many, many moons ago down in this exact location and b) the destination wedding has, let's face it, become quite the popular gig. So, with one solid month to go...the idea of being in the sun in the sand with 50-60 friends and loved ones celebrating J&D makes me want to lose my mind with happiness. Not to mention, my BFF is the wedding photographer, so I get to booze it up with him and his amazing wife for a whole week in the sun and sand.

Jennie and Dave, like I said to you almost a year ago...don't wish these 4 weeks away, have fun and enjoy the build-up. It's the second best part, after the big event of course. So have many giddy moments until I see your ass in Mexico on Feb 6! xo

Sunday, January 3, 2010

the writing is on the wall

Well, here we are...the year two thousand and ten. Crrrrrazy. Especially when I used to think the song "Party like it's 1999" by Prince was a futurist, Jetsons-like, imaginary place in time. It seemed as though 1999 was light years away.

For the last number of years, I have never started off the year with a single resolution. Instead, I set goals. I pick 5 goals in the areas of Love, Friendships, Education, Finance and Fitness. I set difficult, but achievable goals for each area and I re-evaluate them mid-year. This is something I look forward to each January. Because it's good to look back on the previous year and see how you've improved as a person. You then have something to show for how you got yourself to the next level.

This year, I feel like I need to completely re-assess these five areas and this time set all of them with a theme. The theme being "time". And the reason? Well I hate to sound superstitious, cheesy, fateful or that I'm practicing the Secret but there are a few too many signs pointing to the importance of time. Obviously, my tattoo and this blog were the beginning of this journey in 2009, but once I decided to consciously live each day and week in the moment many great things happened to me in the areas of love, friendship, fitness, finance and education.

1) For Christmas, my mom got me this book. Seeing a book with the subtitle "turning back your biological clock" at the age of 35 kinda takes your breath away, but I'm pretty excited to hammer through it. After reading the first chapter, I'm going to re-look at my goals with the lens of turning back the clock in the area of Health and Fitness.

2) Ten years ago, I rang in Y2K with many friends and one "special friend". That night ten years ago was nothing short of a gong show, many people were there - it was our version of sex, drugs and rock'n roll. My "special friend" and I parted ways later that year after sharing many life-changing experiences. As a parting gift he left me with a coffee table quote book...and highlighted a specific quote for both of us, "there is always time to start over again" and here we are exactly 10 years later starting over again. I have to say (speaking from experience) in pioneering this quote, starting over again can be even better than starting, period.

The essence of that quote will be applied this year in the areas of Love, Education and Finance.

3) I don't have Much Music or MTV, so I hardly see music videos anymore. Come to think of it, I really miss the days of visually great stories via music videos.

I ended up having a small quiet moment over the holidays, and as I was flipping through channels I came across the Top 100 Videos of the Decade. And I happened to catch Gwen Stefani's video "What you waiting for?" Her lyrics represent everything I've been trying to express this past year, right here in this tiny space. Taking chances and that life is too short. For many reasons, it's worth taking 7 minutes out of your day to watch this - for the art direction, the imagination, the irony and the all-around hotness.

Listen, I'm not trying to be a preacherman here, I'm just saying that while the TV, emails, radio and the www are yelling at you to set a new years resolution, remind yourself that living life is about being in the moment, unselfishly. You don't have to start today or even this month. Do it when you're ready, but ask yourself honestly, what are you waiting for?