Wednesday, September 30, 2009

sleepless nights

Everyone keeps asking me if I'm nervous about the wedding, which I suppose it to be expected. But I'm not. So why oh why do I keep waking up at ungodly hours in the morning? This morning and yesterday I was wide awake at 5am. Today I struggled to stay in bed and finally gave up at 5:45 am. No sense fighting it. I was awake.

I guess it's just all the little things that I keep rolling over in my mind that are waking me up and causing my sleeplessness. Which is sort of funny because really, Paul and I have got things under control and there isn't really all that much to do. Not really. So I'm not stressed adn should be sleeping through the night. I mean seriously, if I don't get a good night of sleep soon, it's not going to be a pretty sight!

Monday, September 28, 2009

them catholic priest, they just keep on surprising me...

Yesterday we visited the church we're getting married in, in less than 2 weeks. EEK!

Secret confession: I think the reason that I like this church so much is that it reminds me of the church I grew up in. It looks different, and it's Catholic, not Anglican, but it just smells the same. I walk in and am filled with memories of being a child in church. From sitting on the pews and being restless, to thinking the best part was getting to sing and shaking people's hands. Anyways, what I wanted to say was that while we were sitting there I was overwhelmed, good overwhelmed, by the fact that in less than 2 weeks I'll be standing at the entrance of this church, between my parents, walking into a space that feels familiar to me, in order to get married. And that, that fills me with happiness. I might be off my rocker, but I feel like when I walk into that church with my mom, she'll get it. She'll totally know why if I had to get married in a church, why this was the church that I wanted to be married in.

And then, going to place where the priest probably never intended... the sermon was about this idea of heaven and hell and how heaven is more of a state of being than a place. That our souls are contained in our bodies but that we can be in heaven now or after death. But if heaven isn't a place (which is what we generally understand heaven to be) but rather a state of being, where do souls going after death? Are they walking amongst us, or merging with god, or evolving to a higher plane/dimension/alternate universe? It made me think about James Redfield's Celestine Prophecy, which I read years ago. (Yes, I suspect this is NOT what the priest intended at all...)! If we believe in a soul and this priest is right in saying that heaven is a state of being, are the concepts of nirvana and enlightenment, or shamanism even, really that far fetched. Oh yes, I'm sure that my new age interpretation of scripture doesn't adhere to Catholic scripture, then again, if the Bible is meant to be a metaphorical lesson/allegory, then why are we always bogged down in semantics instead of focusing on all the amazing possibilities that are afforded by looking at the various other religions and how the ideas can overlap to create a very rich idea of spirituality? Seriously, I find that far more intriguing than any one path and it seems far more in keeping with an idea of god's message than anything else. I mean seriously, if I was god, I'd totally want people to work together across borders and cultures, in order to get a richer sense of the world that was created. Yeah.

On the same vein...

Recently I read that women are slightly more likely (7%) to associate with a religion than men. Sitting in the congregation, soaking in memories of what church used to mean to me, I realized that if we were going to raise a child in a Catholic church, I would want it to be in a congregation like this one. Although he doesn't talk much about it, I know that I am sort of leading P away from the fold because of my questions and my insistence on having a spiritual life that is meaningful instead of by rote, which makes me wonder what that might mean in relation to the idea that women associate more with religion, however more slightly, than men. Is there any connection? I mean, if language, culture, and religion are typical taught at home by mothers, does it follow that the church (or spiritual) path of the family is often more influenced by the mother? And does this even bear any relevance nowadays when fathers play such a significant and involved role in parenting.

Friday, September 25, 2009

vegetarian minestrone soup

I made soup for the first time in ages last night and it was yummy. I'm not much of a soup maker or eater to be honest. It's just one of those foods that I never really think about making, or eating for that matter. But the boy put me in charge of dinner last night and I was suddenly struck by a craving for minestrone soup.

While I was making it, Paul watching throw things into it hap-hazardly, asked: "Is there a recipe for this soup of yours or are you just making it up as you go along."

To which the answer was of course: "Just winging it!" I'm a big fan of just tossing things in as I go. My recipes rarely ever taste the exact same... and I like to call them Marya's shit mix. (I'm nothing if not classy!)

He walked away quietly, grabbing another slice of baguette, hoping for the best. I think he was thrilled when he finally sat down to eat said soup and proclaimed that he really liked it. Phew, he didn't go to bed hungry last night.

Without further ado: Marya's ShitMix Minestrone  (All measurements are approximative)

1 small onion
2 celery stalks
1 tbsp of garlic powder (our fresh garlic was icky)
4 tbsp of italian seasoning
2 tomatoes
1 red pepper
1/4 yellow pepper
1 very large carrot
1 handful of green beans (cut into 3s)
1 can of 6 bean mix (drained and rinsed in order to prevent gas)
2 cubes of vegan herb soup bouillon cubes
2 cups of tomato sauce (leftover marinara sauce from earlier this week but use what you've got!)
pepper to taste (about 1-2 tbsp)
a handful of noodles (added in the last 15 minutes)

First I sauteed the veggies, then added everything and let it cook for an hour on low. Add a couple of slices of baguette on the side and enjoy!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

updates

I haven't been posting that much lately and I'm not sure if that has more to do with being busy or just feeling wedding'd out (meaning I am so focused on wedding stuff now but I'm sick of talking about it) or just emotionally drained as we head into our final stretch of preparations. My vote goes with it being a combination of all 3!

But for the sake of sharing (cause we all know that I loooove to share)! Here the latest news in Marya-land:

This week has been a week of deliveries. I received the clutches I ordered from RedRubyRose on etsy, which are amazing. I'm soooo very pleased with them. And she wrapped them so beautifully that I actually felt like I was opening a present. It was exciting!

We picked up registry gifts (thanks j & s)! Yay, presents. Of course we don't expect gifts, but I won't deny that it's exciting to get them when they arrive.

On Sunday I went to a stitch and bitch brunch with grad school friends and was astounded by A's crazy crepe making skills and amused by V's enthusiastic love of food. In fact, it just made my day to watch her glee over chocolate and crepes. It made me realize that it's rare that girls express such enthusiasm over food, so it was refreshing to witness. (I'm sure she'd be thrilled to know that I just blogged about this!) Anyways, it was fun and relaxing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Holiday decoration trials


I'm working on various ideas for holiday ornaments this year and these first drafts of crocheted flowers in the glass bulb is just one amongst many.

One of the things that I find most frustrating and rewarding about crafting is the trial and error process of creating new objects. Sometimes it's very fun and rewarding to come up with new ideas and realize they only need minor modification to make them viable crafts that'd you share.

In the case of these flowers the modifications: different colour, use of a transparent string, no sparkles inside the bulb and a bit of starch/ironing before stuffing them inside the glass.

On the other hand, first version crafts can be so incredibly frustrating because you end up spending time and money over and over again before it's anywhere near being right. And if they never become right there's always the question of what the f* am I going to do with all these shitty objects!!?! I can only use so many aprons or skirts, particularly when many of them are things I wouldn't really wear. So I end up buying cheap materials for first versions but it's a catch 22 really because since I've used materials I don't really like or are bland, even if I like the object, I won't use it... but I don't want to waste good quality materials.

Never ending vicious cycle...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

7 lessons from wedding planning



The pre-wedding list of things wedding planning has taught me thus far:

1. Don’t expect your friends and family to be as into the “big day” as you are.
Inevitably, despite wanting to be there for you, their enthusiasm will wax and wane dependent on their level of interest. They may start off enthusiastic but fade away somewhere in the middle as boredom about hearing all the details/ideas sets in. That said, sometimes friends and family will surprise you in areas/ways/times you least expect. In the beginning everyone offers to help, some of them will follow through, some won’t. But no one will help if you don’t ask. The offers are only as good as your delegation skills are! When they offer, let them jump in and help even if you have a hard time letting go of the detail because you’ll be uber thankful for that help later! (Shout out to V: thanks for the cupcakes! You were right and you have no idea how much I appreciate you taking care of this and letting me sit back and be pampered in this way. Sooo glad that I’m not making 120 cupcakes!) With just over 3 weeks to go, I’m finding that my friends are starting to surface and regain their enthusiasm for the big day. It couldn’t have come at a better time! Until then, find a community of people who are there to support you and are going through the same process (for me this was OBT and for us the Catholic Marriage Prep course—brief though it was—was a nice experience (not for the lessons) but because all the couples were in the same place, often dealing with the same issues).

2. Be realistic about Do It Yourself (DIY) projects.
Sometimes these projects take more time than expected, more money than you want to spend, and better abilities than you might have. Sometimes they require that you practice a few times before you get it right, which means supplies, time and effort. Do you really have these things available? Is it really worth the effort and time to you? Are you a perfectionist and if so, will it always bother you that what you created doesn’t necessarily match the ideal vision you had of the item in your head or inspirational image? Pick your DIY battles wisely, start early, get as much done as possible before the final countdown, and then let go of the rest (let someone else do, pay someone, or just don’t include it). This is where it becomes important to stop reading too many wedding blogs/sites because you’ll keep getting ideas for your big day. At a certain point there is only so much you can do and want to do.

3. Sometimes less is more and sometimes it isn’t.
We looked at over 10 halls/venues and booked the very first one we saw. We ended up going with the first church that I found that appealed to us even though we went back and forth between 2 other churches and visited another one in our neighbourhood. It took time and caused anxiety and made the decision harder. Sometimes your time and effort is more valuable than making sure that you’ve seen every venue out there. Sometimes it’s not. We looked at countless photography websites before narrowing our list down. It was overwhelming and exhausting. After a while they all started to look the same. I fell in love with a photographer from across the country (and am still in love with her work). Was it worth it? Yes. Why? Because it was the very last photographer we found, of all places, on facebook, that we booked and I love his work. The price was right, the pictures he’s done are gorgeous, and he fits what we need and want better than all the others did. I’m thrilled that we held out, even if it was an exhausting process.

4. Don’t compare weddings.
There will always be a wedding that is prettier, more creative, more original, or more you than your own wedding is. There will be other dresses, rings, decorations, readings, and other things that someone else has that will fill you with longing, envy and make you second guess your own choices. Do the best you can and make the day as much your own as you can. Be inspired by others, but don’t let it fill you with angst or doubt. Inevitably there will be elements in those amazing weddings that you won’t like, or cost beyond your budget, or just don’t fit with your own needs. (Read the fine print on all those wedding blogs out there: you’d be amazed by just how many of those featured are done by wedding planners… hello, cha-ching… most of us don’t have the means to fund such elaborate events!)

5. Everyone will tell you it’s your day, and it is, up to a certain point!
Everyone, your family, your friends, your colleagues, will be full of words of wisdom and tell you it’s your special day and you should do what you want, what reflects you as a couple, and in their heart of hearts, they mean it, as long as it fits their image of what should be done. And that’s the key. When you cross the line of their vision/expectation you wander into no man’s land. Where that line is will depend on the person’s threshold of tolerance and expectation. For some it’ll be loose and malleable: jump over a broomstick, no problem, wear a red dress, awesome; diy your wedding bouquet, great idea; don’t invite the extended family, WTF! For others the line will be more rigid: get married outside, not ok; no flower girl, but what will people think… And so on and so forth. At this point you have 2 options: work from within the boundaries expected and strive to make the day yours in other ways OR put your foot down and never look back. But whichever path you choose, you both have to agree on it and then stick to it. We made the mistake of wavering between the 2 and it caused us a lot of misery. It also prompted a lot of heated debates between us as a couple.

6. Learn how to “fight” with your partner.
By this I mean learn how to fight constructively. Choose your battles, learn where your boundaries are, figure out when you need to fight it out or let it go, and most importantly find language to communicate to each other that you’re not in the space to have this conversation right now because you can’t think objectively. (Which also implies: learn how to accept that from your partner). Rebecca Mead, in her book One Perfect Day, talked about why we feel the need to make the wedding planning process so difficult and angst ridden as a society (in our quest to make the day unique) and for me, I think the biggest answer is to learn how to deal with conflict with your partner and to carve out your boundaries (between the 2 of you and between your families). We don’t have a lot of rites of passage anymore in our society, and most of those that remain have been heavily commercialized (yes, weddings, I’m talking about you) but regardless of your age, there is something about the planning process that, for me, is about really claiming your couple-dom and defining it within your family structures and as a cohesive unit, all of which you can do before getting engaged (or without ever getting married) but the planning process has really reinforced the process.

7. When all else fails, find a safe place to scream, yell, or cry.
Sometimes there are going to be moments during planning that your partner won’t be there for you (hopefully it’s not often, but there will be times). Sometimes there will be times when your partner can’t be there for you. Sometimes you need to let off hurt, anger, or frustration alone (either because you need alone time or because letting it out would actually hurt your partner). This has been one that I’ve had a hard time negotiating. I’m a complainer. I vent. And sometimes I’ve really trodden on my partner’s feelings/enthusiasm because what for me is just venting is actually hurtful to him because he hears it as being blame and lack of enthusiasm. And granted, sometimes it is. So I’m learning to yell out loud in the car ride home with the windows rolled up to let it out before I get home so that we can have a grounded conversation. Or I write in my journal. But I’ve really had to learn when to vent and when to shut my mouth and keep it to myself in order for him to feel like I’m still in this with him (which is a lesson I think was important for me to learn for our marriage (don’t worry, this lesson goes both ways—he’s had to learn to share his feelings or engage in mine) but he needs to know I’m in this with him. And I am. I might not like some of the shit that has come our way through the process but I am excited about marrying him and spending the rest of my life with him. I’m excited about walking down the aisle and seeing him at the end. I’m excited about dancing our first dance together. And I’m excited about sharing OUR day with our dearest family and friends. So after you’ve let it out, and told your partner you love him/her, you let it go and make the best of it all on your big day because your attitude on that day, will set the tone for the day (or so I’ve been told).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Birth control, abortion, and freedom of speech

Abortion: whether you’re for or against it is up to you. However, I strongly believe that regardless of your particular stance, legally individuals do not have the right to dictate to others they can or cannot do and this is what makes our society great. You may not agree with abortion but if you believe that you should have the right to renounce abortion as a viable choice then you should also believe that another has the right to promote abortion as a choice that every individual has the right to make.


I know there is an entire debate about the foetus’ right to life but for now, I’m going to save it for another day and another post. Whether you believe that abortion is right or wrong isn’t what concerns me most in the debate. What concerns me is whether or not you believe in freedom of speech and the rights of the individual because for me this is what the abortion debate boils down to at its core. I live in a society that is founded upon the idea of collectively agreeing to allow the person next to us, who we may not even like or agree with, to voice her/his opinion and to live according to their own moral conscience (within the confines of what we as a society agree to). Of course there are days when this collective agreement chaffs (hello, j-walking ticket for crossing on a green light with no traffic, yeah, I’m talking about you) but for the most part the rules are relatively benign and tolerable, and even for the greater good.

You may be a conservative supporter of the Harper government, which yes, makes me grind my teeth in frustration, but I respect your right to that choice. I may debate it with you or fail to ever fully understand it, hell I may even lose a bit of respect for you if we’re being honest, but I believe whole-heartedly that it is your right to hold that opinion and I would go to bat for you in order to support your right to express a view different than my own. (Yeah yeah, I’m a liberal leftie, big shocker there). You might love the Transformers movie, rap, not recycle, and think the arts are a waste of time: all of which I would argue with you about but ultimately accept. You might even believe in capital punishment and while I’m not entirely convinced of this path, I will respect your belief in the system and strive to understand the logic behind your belief. You might stand up on a podium and denounce everything I believe in and hold dear, and yet I would fight to defend your right to do so without fear of legal or personal consequences.

So why then is the same tolerance not given in regards to abortion? If you don’t believe in abortion then so be it. In fact, I’m not completely insensitive to some of the better arguments given in defence of the right to life movement. However, I become infuriated when someone actually believes they have the right, nay the moral superiority, to change the laws and impose their position on someone else, thereby forcing them to adhere to their belief system. If you believe in freedom of speech, religion, and lifestyle, then why is it ok to throw those things out the window when someone chooses a path that differs from your own?

News flash:

Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom to speak as long as you say what I want to hear.

So what has prompted this little tirade you ask?

This article from Pandagon which discusses a particular group’s efforts to ban birth control, morning after pills and abortions. Not only is having 12 children (which is a very likely consequence of not using birth control, given that most people have a hard enough time taking their pills and using condoms) ecological irresponsible, attempting to remove an individual’s right to select birth control in order to make an informed reproductive decision is morally reprehensive and a violation of the female’s and couple’s right to autonomy. As much as I want a child of my own one day, I do not believe that it is the only viable role out there for people.

People, I don’t get it! People from around the world struggle to come to Canada and the USA in order to have freedom of speech, religion, and lifestyle and yet some Canadians and Americans are actively attempting to destroy that freedom. So you don’t share my beliefs, they’re not harming you. You don’t have to teach them to your children. You don’t have to live your life according to my moral strictures. But what you do have to do, what you agree to every day as a Canadian or American, is that I have the right to speak my mind and live my life free of persecution. And that is what you should be teaching your children. A little tolerance goes really long way…

Dear Diary: a lifetime of angst recorded for posterity…

A recent visit to a blog that I enjoy reading made me start thinking about all the old journals I’ve written and kept over the years (added note of irony: I have the exact same diary that she features on her blog as one of my earliest journals!). As much as I’d like to claim that my journals are magnificent social commentaries and works of auto-biographical merit, they’re not. In fact, most of them are purely self-indulgent angst that I’d be embarrassed to share with the world. There will be no great posthumous biography complied from my diaries. I am no Samuel Pepys who recorded the minute historical details of his society, nor any other more modern (Elizabeth Gilbert or other), witty version that I would actually enjoy reading or sharing. No, my diaries belong to a more painful, self-confessional group of writers: http://salonofshame.com/ . (As a side note, I think this would be a fabulously entertaining night out if done right! Maybe Montreal needs its own version—if it doesn’t already have one?)

From boy angst, to rage against my parents, to venting and self-pity, my journals, although somewhat of entertaining stroll through memory lane, will never make it into book form.

So why then do I keep them? Do I secretly enjoy re-living my moments of angst or feeling like I’ve come so far from that time? Or is it a perverse sense of history that needs to be remembered to that drives me to keep these books? And if I’ve been blogging on and off since 2004, what is the point of keeping another record aside from the public blog record?

Maybe the fact is that there is something so mundane yet personal that goes into my journal writing that I don’t really want to part with. Inasmuch as the entries are trite, they serve as a reminder of the hard times I’ve survived, over-dramatized, or the evolution of my self that I want to remember because memory is so fallible in the end. Perhaps those entries about that jerk that I had a crush on in the 8th grade but always teased me isn’t really something I need to remember but my personal record of my travels through India (the highs and lows that I wouldn’t necessarily record publicly) and the adventures to Europe at 18, before I was internet savvy, are all things that I want to look back on at 80 and laugh over.

To be honest, the questions that I ask myself in diary land are very different than what I write on my blog. Despite the practice of self-disclosure in the great blogosphere, the division between public and private does need to be maintained and keeping the record of my past joys and woes, trivial though most of it may be, is something that I cherish. Beyond being able to go back and remember those moments that I’ve forgotten, my journals will never be more than dust collectors (and ones I probably wouldn’t want my children to read after my death—god forbid that they come across my entries detailing the acid trips or awkward moments of sexual exploration of my adolescence!)

So yes, when I die I would like my journals to be burnt with me! They aren’t something that I see as needing to share with my family in order for them to know me better. Some of my entries are either too painfully earnest or bitter for me to want them to read whereas some of just so mundane that I can’t imagine them ever wanting to read them. But perhaps, this particular reminder will prompt me to go back and spend a little time remember who I was then, which is small joy that keeping all these little incriminating books of personal self-pity and angst allows me from time to time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

girl's weekend: thalis, spas, and politics

When the boy goes out, the girl comes out to play...

I had such a lovely weekend. It was full of girl time and relaxation and was exactly what I needed as the wedding day approaches. Friday night Indian food and beer with a friend from grad school (thank you Heather for loving Indian food as much as I do and always being game for veggie thalis!). And Saturday was brunch and the spa with my old boss, Jen. We went to spa Finlandais and enjoyed the hot baths and I splurged on a facial. It was really nice. Rounded off the weekend with big conversations with Virginia, a friend from undergrad and Karen, whom I've known since college, while I baked cookies and apple crisp. Yup, it was a nice, relaxing weekend, sans Paul. And then Paul came home and we cuddled on the couch and watched a movie together...

I couldn't have asked for a nicer, calmer weekend.

Ironically last night I had my first wedding dream. In it, we forgot the wedding speeches and I mysteriously had a 4 year old daughter with sandy blonde pigtails and blue-green eyes. I didn't tell Paul about the kid part of the dream! I figure that if the worst wedding dream I have is forgetting the speeches, that's totally fine.

In other news, it looks like Canada is gearing up for yet ANOTHER election. While part of me rues the fact that millions of dollars are going to be wasted on an election when we're in a recession, another part of me hopes that this is finally the election that ousts Harper from the government. And even though the election hasn't been called, the fact that there are ads for Ignatieff already out pretty much assures me that it's on its way. Normally I vote according to my conscience and support the party that I believe the most in (really, I live in a Bloc stronghold so voting strategically is a mute point), but now I'm wondering about that option. Do I want to vote for Ignatieff? Anything has got to be better than Harper? Let the numbers speak? Will it make any difference? Or should I vote with my party allegiance and support a party financially even if it has no chance of getting into parliament? I really think that there is something seriously flawed with our electoral system if, even before I vote, I know that my vote is null and void. Sure I can vote to support a party locally but right now I don't care about local governance (the provincial election covers that for me) and I want my vote to be tallied in the total numbers for the figurehead of the nation. I know that the American system has it's own share of flaws but I would really like to see Canadian politics tally the votes by individuals for the political leader vs the local representation. Because then the election might have a bit more relevance for the individual voter in political strongholds.

A girl can dream, can't she?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ellen DeGeneres

OMG: I think I need to start watching Ellen DeGeneres. I've always admired her (hell, if I was into women I'd so be all Anne/Portia over that!)

A Comedy of Errors

I've been thinking about posting for a couple of days now and in the process I've realized that I feel like I have writer's block. But then again, maybe it's not actually writer's block but just the fact that I don't want to always be writing about wedding stuff and that life has suddenly started to feel extremely busy.

At work my days are full of diversity projects. I'm starting a new contest for students at the college that is meant to get them thinking about Montreal as a multicultural city and how that impacts their lives. I'm pretty excited to see what kind of response I'll get (the deadline is a long way away though). They can write, create a graphic novel, or take a picture. I hope they get creative. Being on the other end  (mean the judging side of many of these competitions) it's sort of sad to see how few students go off the beaten track and use the creative allowance given them, which is not to say that their stories aren't personal and so forth, but just that they all tend to follow the same format. I've purposely tried to prompt them to think more outside of the box while designing this contest, so I really hope that they take advantage of the fact and submit works that show how creative they can be.

In terms of wedding stuff, I think Paul and I have managed to finish our DIY projects (I just have to print and assemble the last one) which is great. Ceremony programs, ring books, assembling bonbonnieres, seating cranes, and Montreal booklets. All pretty much finished. Both of us have our outfits and hair appointments (someone convinced him to go see his hairdresser on the wedding day..... my boy is fashion conscious!).

We were actually joking the other day about his "beard" and the wedding: I've asked him to keep his goatee for the wedding but his mother is going to hate it.

She's going to be all like (add an Italian type accent for better effect, or if you know how, use a Slovenian accent): "what's wrong with you? Are you crazy with that thing on your face, you don't look clean!"
Paul: "but mom, Marya likes it and wants me to keep it"
Paul's mom: "ah you, you're both crazy"

Trust me, we were both laughing because it's soooo true. It doesn't matter that he'll go to the hairdresser and have it done for him along with his hair, she'll be expecting him to come home clean shaven and will be horrified when he comes home with facial hair. Maybe I should start thinking of the wedding day as a series of comic events meant to make our parents groan! Especially since my period came early this month which means that I'll have it during the wedding. Which also means I'll be pms-ing the week before the wedding!

Marya + period+ white dress = a comedy of errors!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

wedding countdown

As of today, we're officially one month from our wedding day!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's official

I have a full fledged case of the little known but widely experienced wedding brain.

What you ask, does that mean?

Well, since you asked, it means that I am juggling so many wedding details now that I can't keep track of anything anymore. Keeping track of arrival dates and departures, final crafts, contracts, seating charts, finding time for family and friend, and a kazillion other details has started to consume all of my waking moments, to the point that going to work is actually a mental relief!

Monday, September 7, 2009

how to focus and finish projects

I am the worst scatterbrain procrastinator ever! I admit it. I have my hand in so many cookie jars at any given time that I can't seem to ever finish what I've started. I mean, how do you focus your energy on any one thing when so many things grab your attention?

Are you a dreamer? An ideas person? Cause I am. If you're anything like me, you could make money on all the brilliant (IMHO) ideas/plans you've come up with, if only you could actually finish what you've started! I mean, I know I'm not going to be the next Bill Gates, nor do I want to, but I know that some of my ideas could actually turn into something if I had any staying power. Seriously, now I've crossed the 30 mark it's beginning to become beyond ridiculous.

 Some people just seem to know what they want to do in life. And to some extent, I do have things that I've always known that I wanted to do. But it's not just one thing. It's more like 5, or 10, or 20 depending on the day... Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to feel like you have a calling and even admit to having moments of jealousy towards people who seem to be able to really focus on one thing and make something of it. But then again, in some ways I also love that am a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. I mean, doing the same thing, over and over again does strike me as being a bit dull. Life is about living and learning and growing (ideally in the intellectual not width department, though it does seem to be part of the process!).

So here's the plan:

Once the wedding is over and we've returned I'm going to focus on 1 thing per area of my life for a certain period of time and try to make some of them habits.

For example from the end of October to January 2009:
  • Health: getting to the gym regularly. Meaning 3x a week, no exceptions.
  • Crafty business ideas: I have an idea for making Christmas tree ornaments that I want to try selling on etsy and I'm going to do it.
  • Personal crafts: learn to make pillows and placements (really well... hence the single minded focus)
  • Around the house: Make the bed every morning and clean one thing in the house per day (little things like washing the bathroom sink) cause I'm a terrible chaotic mess and my poor partner really deserves a more helpful house-mate.
  • Spiritual: Drag my sorry ass at least 2x a month to the Unitarian church.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Why are there crosses in graveyards?

Every morning I pass this graveyard on my way in to work and am struck by the very large wooden cross that is at it's entrance. I know that the cross is there to bless and sanctify, and watch over the dead, yadda, yadda, yadda.

But why?

I mean, if god created the earth, then shouldn't it follow that all of the earth is essentially good and sacred? Why do we feel the need to sanctify spaces? For example, why can't Catholics get married outside? The Catholic church says that it's not a sacred space but what could be more sacred?

And this cross also makes me wonder: Where the hell do all the dead non-Christians go? (pun intended). Seriously? Where am I supposed to go? I know that there are Jewish cemetaries in town but are there Islamic? Buddhist, or Atheist cemetaries? What if you're a Unitarian and don't want to be burried in a Christian cemetary? What if you're Hindu? Where do your ashes go after cremation?

Sometimes the car ride into work is very thought provoking...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Creating travel guide booklets for wedding guests

I'm currently working on a special project for my wedding guests: Personalized guide books for Montreal. Above is a guided walking tour of Parc Lafontaine and surrounding areas and below are Montreal brunch suggestions. The process is slow going. I had originally made one by hand for one couple, but realized that I would save more time if I did it on the computer. So here I am, trying to learn how to create a booklet in Publisher so that I can make the booklet once for all of my lovely out of town guests! Here's hoping that it'll work out!

Any Montrealers out there who have suggestions of things to do that I should add to the book, feel free to let me know!

If I can figure out how to upload the entire booklet online when I get it done, I'll be sure to do so.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

couch surfing

I'm currently contemplating and trying to convince the boy that this would be an interesting adventure:


















He seemed somewhat hesitant about the idea of couch surfing when I broached the subject, but once we started talking about the idea that we wouldn't have to actually stay with people, we could just meet up with them for coffee, he was a tad bit more open to the idea.

I'm not sure what would come of it, but I'm game to give it a go...

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