Bucket List Goals for Adventurers of a New Decade

The list is out. I have a beautiful hard-cover book on my desk to prove it. The Lonely Planet has announced the “Best in Travel 2020” – the results of an annual search to anoint the best places to visit in the year ahead. The list was whittled down, via fierce debate, from a longlist…

Unearthed

Sometimes when I tell myself to breathe, it triggers panic – as if by drawing attention to this innate, unconscious, automatic action, breathing in and out suddenly becomes improbably difficult. Meditation, swimming laps, yoga… all these experiences often contain a few extremely panicked moments when I gasp, unable to catch a breath that has suddenly…

Finding the right outlet

A month ago, I drove through Pemberton and one of the most beautiful 14 year old kids I know, was standing in the middle of the roundabout, shaking a sign and punching his fist in the air. The Climate Strikes had come to Pemberton. Nice work, gang, I thought. Good for you. I honked my horn in…

Riding Back in Time

As we rode away from the trailhead, the guide turned back to throw a cheerful bit of advice over her shoulder. “You might as well turn your phones to Airplane Mode now. Save the batteries for the camera.” Searching for a signal would drain them dead, since there’s none to be found once you ride…

Imperfect, but adapting to it

It’s an ugly truth. When I first encountered climber Craig DeMartino, I felt a little bit sorry for him. He was inspiring, for sure. Remarkable in his resilience, absolutely. But, with his right leg amputated below the knee, I saw the absence more than his remarkable presence. DeMartino was a professional climber and one of…

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…

The Downside of Deceleration

Most of my life, I’ve been in a hurry to get to the end of the task, the top of the heap, the other side. Then, somewhere approaching the midway point of life, I clued into the fact that racing to get to the end was not smart, and I should start thinking about ways…

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…