Monday, January 25, 2010

The Olympics are Coming: Let's Just Try to Have a Good Time


Current Mood: This exhaustion doesn't seem to be lifting.

Current Song: The Scientist by Coldplay

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably realized that the Olympics are coming to beautiful British Columbia (specifically, Vancouver). I'm excited. Why shouldn't I be?

I know, I know. There is a lot wrong with the Olympics. For one, the major deficit my province is now running due to having to accommodate half the world. Our transit systems will be overloaded (we've spent a ton of money to upgrade everything, including the skytrain). There is that whole issue of poverty, social housing, the mismanagement of funds.

But then, do we know of any large event that didn't have issues? I think not.

It's part and parcel with planning a large event. And there was never a point in history where everyone was happy with everything. It's inherent in human nature to find something to complain about.

I read a really good piece about the Olympics in the Burnaby Now. Basically the writer said, they're coming. Let's just get over ourselves, get excited to cheer on our athletes and have some fun. It's getting down to crunch time (2 weeks?) until opening ceremonies. It doesn't feel very Olympicky at all.

Moreover, I have reason to be excited. My cousin is going to be a torchbearer this time around. I'm excited to put on my red and white and go and cheer him on and take pictures with him and my family. It's a once-in-a-lifetime event for many people who will probably not be able to go to another olympic event.

My sister is volunteering with our community. She'll be right in the hub of downtown pointing confused tourists to the olympic venues.

I want to attend the cultural events, I want to go and watch the Canadian Hockey Team play and cheer with fellow barfly Canadians when they score. I want to be excited. I am excited. I think you should be too.

So, they're coming in 2 weeks. That's all we have. It's time to turn Vancouver into a sea of red, as we welcome our fellow Canadians, and others from around the world and just have a good time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bridge Over River Panic


Current Mood: Trying to figure out how to do 8 hours' worth of work in 4.

Current Song: Bad Body Double by Imogen Heap

If you know me at all, you know I'm a worrier. I worry all the time. Sometimes I downright panic. You won't see it because I put on a great poker face, but I might be freaking out. These days I worry less about big things, and more about small things. In my mind, there are two kinds of worries: immediate worries (like your hair is on fire), and far-off worries (like how in the world you'll ever own real estate in British Columbia in 2018).

I have discovered that spending time worrying about the latter is counterproductive. I minimize this type of worry with one phrase: "I'll cross that bridge when I get to it."

The real estate market is not something I control, or can predict with my level of statistical knowledge. I worry about the things I can control though: Am I saving money for said purchase, and more importantly, have I made strides to put out the fire on my head?

I'm being tongue-in-cheek about this of course. My hair products are non-flammable, and my hair is just fine.

The world is full of worry, but you have to pick which ones are worth thinking about and which ones are not. It can be overwhelming to try and see your entire future in one fell swoop. If you're going to worry, you might as well worry about one thing at a time, starting with what you can take care of immediately.

Charlie Brown said it right when he said, "You know how I dread the whole year? Now I'm only going to dread one day at a time."

I'll probably always worry. I think it's a dominant gene in my family. But my mother's advice rings true with this one too, "Work smarter, not harder." So if I'm going to continue to worry...or for that matter, if you're going to continue to worry, be smart about what you worry about. No need to start putting carts before horses (unless the horse is going in the other direction).

As for the rest? We'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What The Simpsons Taught Me About Consistency


Current Mood: A bit tired, but not bad. Stiff neck not helping.

Current Song: 2-1 by Imogen Heap

Most of you who know me, know that I'm a big fan of The Simpsons. You will also know that I quote them on whim, pretty much on a daily basis. If you are equally a big fan, or in the very least live above ground, you will know that last Sunday they celebrated their 20th Anniversary. They now take the cake (or donut) for longest running scripted nighttime series, giving shows like Gunsmoke a run for their money.

I for one, was pretty happy about the fact. I started watching the misshapen characters when I was 10 years old and remember old lines like "Now let's all go out for frosty chocolate milkshakes!"

I'm not going to say that everything that the Simpsons has every produced was gold. That would be silly. There are some serious doozies in there that I don't really think was some of their best work.

What I did learn though, is that The Simpsons is consistent. And current. And smart. I think those factors are probably key to them staying around for so long. The fact that they are there, and loyal to their viewers every week for 20 years has made them a household name and have well become ingrained in current culture. Who doesn't know a "D'oh!" when they hear it?

I watched part of the documentary afterward and one of the people speaking (I forget whom) said that meeting someone who doesn't like the Simpsons is like meeting someone who doesn't like dogs. Who doesn't like dogs?!

The fact that the producers manage to create something new every week (even if stories can be a bit redundant) is something remarkable and goes a long way towards creating and sustaining a brand and remaining memorable.

So, if you want to stay memorable, be consistent, be there for people when they expect you to be, stay on top of your game, and contribute something new to your networks. Regularly.

And now, for those of you who missed it, the intro to the Simpsons 20th anniversary! Huzzah!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Independence and Giving it Up


Current Mood: Contemplative.

Current Song: Talking to the Walls by Finger Eleven

"I can do it myself." It's a phrase that we hear often in my house and that I use often in my relationships. It denotes that I'm perfectly capable of handling things my self. I don't whimper when I'm left alone. I can manage. It's pretty obvious I'm independent. If you know me, and my family, you know this is true for pretty much all of us.

I'm starting to find that in some cases being independent can be a bit detrimental.

In talking to some of my female friends over the last few days, I've noticed that a lot of us treat Independence and emotional unavailability congruently. To prove you're independent you have to shut out anything that might make you remotely vulnerable. This sucks a little when it comes to relationships because we make a huge show of shutting people out.

It's not right really, is it?

I think that there is something to be said about the strength of women who are able to be vulnerable, and to put that sword down for a little while. It lets us live in another moment where we're not always anticipating getting hurt or having to take immediate action all the time. Being strong is really tiring. Trust me. Sometimes you just want to take that armour off and deal with whatever at a later date.

And I think that's just fine.

As 21st Century, Gen Y women, who are always talking about being secure about their identities, we run the other way when we have to let people in. If we're so strong, why don't we trust the fact that we can take on whatever this vulnerability brings to us? Again, like so many things, it's about trusting yourself and your ability to handle uncertainty.

What do you think, boys and girls? Do we make independence synonymous with emotional unavailability? Is making yourself vulnerable necessarily giving up your independence?

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010: A Cup of Kindness Yet


Current Mood: Ready to start again (again).

Current Song: Party in the USA (because it's playing on the radio, so there).

First of all, Happy New Year to everyone! I hope that this year brings lots of joy, success and strength to all of my readers. Here's to a wonderful 2010 that will continue to bring prosperity and happiness to everyone :)

As promised, I'm chronicling our cleansing ceremony. I wasn't sure for a while if I was going to do it, but I decided that it seemed like the right time. No I didn't cry, but it was harder than I actually thought. So here are some pictures of what went down. Don't worry I'll explain.

At about 11:45, we lit a brand new white candle outside in the pouring rain (probably fitting since we're washing away the old. I figured the white candle would a good omen for purity.

Last year, my cousin had given me a 2009 Dalai Lama calender with bits of wisdom on it for the whole year. I carefully collected a few of these over the last month or so. I figured writing on the back of these pieces of paper would probably be a good way to go. Some of them were really sort of fitting for where we want to go.
Zoyah and I both wrote 5 things we wanted to let go of before the new year, and 4 things we wish for the new year. They weren't necessarily resolutions but more ways of being. We wrote these on said pieces of the calendar. This was actually much harder and much more emotional than either one of us thought. Putting things down on paper means that at some point they're true. It's difficult to face it. It's like someone telling you how you are. This took a while.

And so they burned.

And burned

The last one of them burned out just before midnight hit. Perfect timing. No fire hazards. Patio still intact.

Ashes to ashes. Here are the last vestiges of what was left. Cinders. Lucky us. It was all done with and then we went to sleep knowing that we're starting anew.
I might have to do one of these before the next decade is up (ack! I'll be almost 40!). It's actually quite liberating. I'm not one for resolutions and all of that business, but there's nothing like out with the old, in with the new.
That was my year. Now I'm ready for 2010 and am planning to hit the ground running. Well, that's it for me folks. I'll be off now to continue my day. Have a wonderful day everyone!