Tuesday, May 28, 2013

round and round

I am sitting here, catching up on computer related tasks.  Everyone else is asleep, and the fish tank is humming along in the background.  My cat is curled up on my lap, and every now and then I need to shift positions and he is not all that happy that I have disturbed his sleep.  He is mostly a lovely cat.  Like all cats, he has his moments.  Especially in the last few years since he found his voice, which I would prefer he would lose again (ha). 

This has been a week of pulling back and trying to refocus.  The last two weeks have passed by in a typical blur - with a few truly lovely moments thrown in for good measure.  My 40th wasn't quite what I expected.  That being said, I spent a lovely day with my family at the aquarium, folks came for cake, and some friends at work spoiled me.  I received some lovely cards from loved ones, and roses from my man.  The stuff that matters.  Having a big party wasn't a huge priority this year.  I was talking to my sister from another mister and she remembered her 30th being like my 40th.  Young kids impact your ability and desire to want to party.   We almost had a few parties, but we bailed when we realized it was a great idea, but the execution of said parties just wasn't happening with the little free time that has been available.  Maybe a random party in the summer, or better yet, smaller gatherings with groups of friends. 

Work has been a completely different challenge these last six months. I have grown in ways I didn't see coming, and I am hoping that I am becoming a decent manager/supervisor along the way, but also learning how to manage myself better and uncover/deal with some of my own weaknesses as well. 

Tonight has been important to have some moments to catch up on a few book posts, to hang with the cat, to clear out some work emails (I know, not on work time but it will make my day so much better not having almost 100 emails in my in box when I come in).  This week has too many plans.   Physio appointment for B, track and field, book club, a concert on Thursday, birthday party Friday night if my energy holds out, parade/fire works on Saturday, and then I believe, on Sunday we may rest. No wait, laundry and planning for the week!  The weeks truly do roll over quickly.  I know someone without kids that is complaining how tired and overwhelmed they are - they aren't even living with their partner!  Just wait... but not worth totally popping their bubble.. enjoy the space you are in... the part that continues to surprise me is how much personal management and routines mean. 

Speaking of routines, it is amazing how hard it can be to start a new routine.  I want to start jogging, but it continues to be a concept, and an idea for me.  I guess the more I talk about, the more I am getting comfortable with the idea, the closer it gets to becoming a reality.  It is about making the space for it to happen.  I attempted to take the kids with me on my first walk/jog on Sunday.  That was also a learning experience.  Sometimes it is better to just take the 40 minutes for yourself and not always try to "kill two birds with one stone".  Between the complaining, and the bathroom needs, and then the I don't want to do this, to I don't want to go home... it wasn't exactly a first time out, and we did get out for some fresh air and exercise so we accomplished "something". 

First step- taking my lunch walk again tomorrow.  Getting back to routines, and mapping out new ones.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Back to yet another series...

Inferno felt like a summer movie - well paced, decent writing, and exciting.   Sometimes moving so fast it is borderline superficial at times, this book is definitely entertaining.  I think that this latest chapter in the Robert Langdon series will stick with me longer than The Lost Symbol, it was certainly a return to form in many ways.  There is an underlying formula to how Brown crafts his novels, but can you blame him?  It works.  Da Vinci code is one of the most wide read books in the modern world, and there are ideas embedded in all of his works that are great to get to a mainstream audience and get people talking.  Compare some of what is contained in Inferno to 50 shades, and really, Inferno wins hands down, IMHO.  I have the urge to go and dig out my copy of Dante's Inferno from my university days. It would be interesting to read it now.  Twenty years ago I didn't really grasp what Inferno was about, even though I loved  and searching out the etiology of words, places, and even choices of colour in literature.  

Obviously it was an enjoyable read.  There were parts of this book that weren't always cohesive, and there are a few twists (of course, being Brown).  Langdon is still the coolest professor since Indiana Jones, and his women are interesting, to say the least.  Inferno tromps through the pages of Dante's masterpiece, and casts light on the issue of overpopulation and introduces a new philosophy - transhumanism.  I will take away from this book the unsettling awareness of our population growth, memories of biology courses, and looking at some of the population graphs out there.  There are some truths in this work, such as that the mind will only explore the negative for so long before it will distract itself.  Food for thought, entertaining, solid read if this is up your alley.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

A "419" you say?

Was that really my 40th?  Talk about time blitzing by at lightning speed.  So much for dwelling on that experience!  I got a new book for my birthday (Inferno!!), so I really needed to finish this current book, 419 by Canadian writer Will Ferguson.  This is a far cry from How to be a Canadian... 

I really had no idea what this book was about - I did know that it won the 2012 Giller.  I also had no idea before getting in to this book what a "419" was.  Now I do.  For me, this was a provocative novel, and I really enjoyed the first half more than the second half.   It was eye opening in the sense that the story shifted between different main characters, physical locations (somewhere in Alberta and then Nigeria), and different chronological sequences.  For me, this was almost a great book.  The central idea was good, but Ferguson almost tried to do too much - in a way I would have been happier if the story unfolded through one person's perspective, or if it was actually longer since some of the story I really enjoyed, and other parts didn't really feel at that connected.  Some of the characters didn't feel fully realized, and I had unanswered questions throughout.  Definitely an interesting read, just not completely satisfying (if that makes any sense at all).

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Friends only in my head...

This was a great summer read.  This was a truly unique concept as this is the story of an autistic boy (undiagnosed) and his imaginary friend.  The story takes place over two weeks, and it is a really quick read.  It did get under my skin a bit and I was anxious to finish the book last night to see how things evolved.   There were parts I found a ... meh ... for lack of a better word, but overall this book does work. This is a book about imagination, and I loved reading about the lives of our imaginary friends, and how they exist, and then how they cease to be.  This is a bit of a magic book in the sense that it opens up your mind to remember a bit of your childhood, to think about why kids invent or have imaginary friends, and then even to consider the power of our imaginary friends.

I stumbled across the author's website, and he seems like quite the character himself.  It is a whole different element of reading and consuming books that their authors are so much more accessible now.  I remember reading the Black Stallion series when I was a kid, and I wrote to Walter Farley... only to find out after the fact that he was an older gentleman and likely no longer answering fan mail (back in the stone ages we didn't have wikipedia to look this kind of information up).  Now we can use social media and connect, or lurk through the net and see what has been posted.  It is a good and bad thing this whole idea of celebrity and what is "out there".

Well worth a read - likely it would have been fun to have discussed at our book club last month.  Maybe I can sneak in a few words or questions and see what the other folks thought of it.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Morning Shenanigans

I think the last days of my 30s are speeding up beyond my control.  Next week, that 40s milestone looms and I am thinking about it, and in many ways thinking about it because it does feel a bit anticlimatic.  It may have to do with the ages of our kids, and the fact that life is generally pretty busy, and it does seem like I am on a pretty good treadmill sometimes.  Who knows.  Will be an interesting experience to blog through.

This last weekend went by way way way too quickly.  It was good, just no time for the wicked to rest.  Out for a kids playdate and hang out with their cool folks on Friday, and then Saturday breezed by between painting, riding, usual trip to the states, a little bit of chillaxing at night with my honey, and then Sunday blitzed by between chores, a lovely high tea with my mom for Mother's Day (yes, a little early, makes life easier), trip to the park, and then this morning, chores before work, getting the boys ready for the day, making lunches, organizing items for my dad to take to the dump, and then the sprint out the door.  At least it is now summer traffic mode and it was an amazing drive in today.

Both bathrooms are now painted with fixtures hung.  They look so much better.  A lovely terra cotta in one, and then "dragon fire" orange in the other.  Pretty stunning colours.  One more bathroom to go and then likely no more painting until next year or whenever we crack and replace the floor in our living room.  It is terrifically ugly and gets stained by a look.  *SIGH*.

This week is going to be a blur, B has a playdate tonight, and we have track and field, physio, karate, and on Friday night we rest, or I fall over.  The next big project will be to get my front flower bed looking better.   I would  love to get a handle on it this week and get this off of my "honey do" list.  We shall see how long my energy lasts.  I figure once my projects are completed, I will start training to do a 10 JOG (not run) this fall.

Friday, May 3, 2013

30s, slowly going down the drain

Forty does not look like what I figured it would.  Hard to believe it was a decade ago already when I was staring down thirty in the face.  Thirty seems like a bigger deal - we went to Vegas, we had a cool backyard party, lots of cakes and people asking how I felt about turning the big 3-0.  Speed forward (literally) the next 10 years, and here we are.  Two kids, a new house, busy work, and not a lot of free time - and it has nothing to do with Ken and I being busy... it is our kids and work and commuting! 

I think I will push back a midlife crisis at least 5 years, I am just not all that fussed about turning 40.  It seems a bit surreal, and I am not fretting.  As I said, a decade ago 30 was the big deal, 31 was anticlimactic, and my thirties have been damn busy with marriage, kids, buying a house, switching jobs, redefining myself along the way.  Forty almost is a relief - I know myself better, kids aren't babies anymore, in a few years, less daycare costs (a small victory here).  I have been trying to figure out what I would like to achieve in the next year (not quite resolutions, but close).  I could call it my "turning 40 bucket list"... This next year I would love to try stand up paddle boarding, I would also love to attempt another 10 km run (aiming for this fall if I can get my ass off the couch and out of the house three days a week to train... doesn't sound too bad except the execution), achieve some house improvements (bathrooms painted, gardens updated), learn and IMAC and actually make some photobooks or print out some photos, and keep reading different books and continue knitting some projects.  The big ones are the paddle boarding and getting a little more fit.  I am trying to get out for daily walks, but I would really look look here a year from now and to have shed some of myself - say 20 pounds (at least, I want it to be a realistic goal since weight loss has always been hanging around my neck). 

I think it is going to be a busy month - between karate, track and field, play dates, wrapping up school year, birthday, long weekend (fingers crossed about a campfire at some point), and some good weather (small victory in itself) will be interesting to see where we are at in the beginning of June.  Enough already, time to prepare for the day.