The Humble Art of Showing Up

It happened again. Someone paid me a compliment. To my face. A friend was by my side in that exquisitely excruciating moment and she laughed and ordered me to “take it! I can literally see you cringing away,” she said. “It’s true. You deserve this.” I was grateful for her. Grateful for the kind words someone…

Gratitude: attitude or platitude?

Is gratitude the fix-all it’s made out to be? I was invited to start a gratitude practice — by someone I admire immensely, an unlikely pusher of positive psychology. I had resistance to the idea. To the very phrase, actually, and its ubiquity. Despite my squinty-eyed reaction, I agreed to participate in a daily gratitude…

Forget freely, remember collectively

I outsource memory. I don’t trust mine. So, when I see something that inspires me, I reach reflexively for my phone. Snap. Screenshot. Store. As I offloaded hundreds of images onto my desktop the other day, to de-bloat my phone, I saw how pointless this had been – all these things I’d wanted to sit…

Thanks for the Giving

In many ways, the pile of food was embarrassing. Not just because I’d clearly over-estimated what was required to host a not-enough-seats-or-plates-but-let’s-fill-the-house-with-friends-anyway Thanksgiving feast. Falling short as an elegant hostess is not something that bothers me. Where I didn’t want to fall short was in the actual offering, in the stuff to mound on top…

Letting Go: on the first day of kindergarten

You expected me to cry, I bet. Granted, I nearly lost it when I glanced over and saw my husband tearing up. But I didn’t. I held it together. It was time. Everything was signaling it – from the five year old’s dead-forward focus climbing up the bus steps and heading off to kindergarten, to…

Are you ready for the Analogue Travel Challenge?

In praise of the soul lap, the undocumented adventure. Stephen Hui has taken thousands of photos of pristine backcountry vistas. But these days, he’d rather leave his camera behind, especially if he’s hiking a trail he’s been on before. Even though his work, as author of the just-released and already-a-bestseller guidebook, 105 Hikes in and…

Where the girls ride

File under Things I Love About Pemberton… which really boils down to How This Town is Full of Amazing People…  This little homage to Bree Thorlakson and Pemberton Bike Club is out now in Craft MTB, a free zine dedicated to Northwest Mountain Bike Culture, from the good people at Freehub magazine. Photos by Kat…

The pleasure of not thinking

To the farmers, firefighters, day camp coaches, event workers, frontline service people, road re-pavers, emergency responders, investigative reporters, I need to apologize. I’m sorry. I see how hard you’re working to keep the wheels turning. I’m not pulling my weight. “No thinking in August” is my friend Mike’s mantra, and the moment I heard it,…

The bravest day of the year

This story ran in the Whistler Question on July 5 2016. The online archives are no longer available, so I’m happy to repost it here. Photos courtesy of Randy Lincks. Signal Hill has one of the highest ratios of aboriginal students in the province – 40% of the elementary age kids come from a First Nations…

Falling therapy

“Advanced Women’s Climbing”, an all-day clinic offered at the Arc’teryx Climbing Academy in Squamish July 21-22, seems innocuous enough when I sign up. I have taught enough women’s only ski clinics to know that an all-yin environment can instigate some great breakthroughs. What I hadn’t anticipated was that our guides, Arc’teryx endurance athlete and mountaineer…