Put a Word on it: picking a word for 2018

I love the annual word of the year from the various dictionary-makers – for what it reveals about our Zeitgeist. Feminism, youthquake and complicit are 2017’s, from the Merriam Webster, Oxford, and Dictionary.com. But we don’t just have to backcast. We can forecast too. And call down the power of a word, to focus or…

Making Self-Care A Habit (or Eat Breakfast Every Day)

I had a setback. Nothing major. Nothing life-critical. Nothing identity-shaking. I showed up for a class and it had been cancelled. And my day’s plans were derailed. It just required a deep breath, a shrug of the shoulders and a quick pivot. But I nearly burst into tears. I felt kind of undone. I thought…

30 days of power posing

“You have 61 days left in the year,” said the email. “What will you keep space for?” Cue panic-breathing. And: delete. This week, I interviewed someone I’ve often wanted to talk more deeply with. I used an assignment as an excuse to sit down for four hours with a woman I admire, an extremely low-profile,…

Going hands-free

About 50 days before our baby was due, an acquaintance at a dinner party asked, “So, do you have your bag ready?” “What bag?” asked my partner, the whites of his eyes showing. He’s the logistics guy. He’s the list, plan and equipment guy. If there’s a bag to be packed, he’s the one making…

The Dirt on Food

“Fuck calories,” says Krista Scott-Dixon (@stumptuous). “Fuck vitamins. Fuck ‘willpower’. Put real cream in your coffee. And have an avocado too. Your relationship with food and eating is your relationship with life.” Her book, Fuck Calories and Other Dietary Heresies rethinks nutritionism manifesto-style – it’s a 41 page debunking of dieting BS, distilled down to…

Remembrance Day

99 years ago, on November 11, the “war to end all wars” ended. The poppies at our local stores have attracted my 4 year old’s attention. “What’s that?” “They’re poppies.” “What are they for?” Oh man. How do I explain this? “They’re to remember the wars. And all the kids who went to fight in…

Say yes to the dancing

My friend has a brain tumour. She mentioned it to me once, almost as an aside, when we were catching up over coffee, and as I mind-rifled through all the things I actually did know about her, trying to fit this new fact into the matrix – her work, her bullshit detector, the power and…

The Last Times: my slightly morbid twist on a gratitude practice

We cross into Oregon after 10 hours of driving – a welcome sign, seriously numb bums and the speed limit drop announce that we have officially left California, the desert, and it’s endless sun, behind. The iPhone plugged into the car stereo is playing a cached playlist from our favourite internet radio station. Dave managed…

Switching to Airplane Mode: what I got out of a 20 day digital detox

We’re in the Redwood Forest. “Did they name it after the song?” my four year old asks. We’d borrowed a remix of Woody Guthrie music from the library once and This Land is Your Land evidently made an impression. I come from a country where the indigenous people believe the world was sung into being….