Thursday 24 December 2020

Merry snow day, Christmas, and happy lower expectations!

It started snowing in the morning. At first, it looked like it would just be a dusting; enough to cover the worst of the brown, bland landscape, but not enough to interfere with normal life. 
But it kept snowing. 
And snowing. 
And snowing. 


Saturday 12 December 2020

A very special necklace

I've collaborated with oNecklace twice before, so when they approached me a couple of months ago and asked if I'd like to work with them again for Christmas, I didn't hesitate.
I knew that I wanted a circle necklace, and then I found one that was really special: a necklace with a signature engraved.

Saturday 5 December 2020

The rules do not exist

A couple of weeks ago I read something that stuck with me. It was an article titled "Run the dishwasher twice", and it's written by a woman who is battling depression. She was at a very low point, and when asked by her therapist what in particular she was struggling with, she eventually admitted that it was doing the dishes. "It's stupid, I know, but the more I look at them the more I CAN'T do them because I'll have to scrub them before I put them in the dishwasher, because the dishwasher sucks, and I just can't stand and scrub the dishes."

Thursday 19 November 2020

Eww, David


I had no idea. I tried watching it once many months ago, and gave up halfway through the first episode, shaking my head at all the hype and thinking that people were just weird (a thought I have frequently). 

But then, after reading over and over again, from people whose opinion I value, that this show is special and amazing, I gave it another try. And boy, am I ever glad I did! (Second chances are important!)

Sunday 15 November 2020

When the sadness hits

I look around me: at the house I decorated so enthusiastically, and that I love so deeply. It's warm and welcoming, and just the right amount of quirky and lived-in that it embraces you like a big hug. The furniture is comfortable, the lighting is soft yet bright, and the flooring is forgiving to dirty shoes, muddy paws, spilled wine and dropped food. 
I have the dogs I always wanted on the bed, the cat I never knew I would love so much purring by my side. Bob the bird who just joined us is singing his little heart out from his perch on top of the wardrobe.
I mopped the floors today, cooked a hearty meal, and ironed 6 of Richard's shirts while watching a Christmas movie.
I'm living the life of my dreams. 

Sunday 8 November 2020

What we should remember about 2020

(And no, it's not toilet paper.)

2020 is a year that none of us will ever forget. Things we didn't even know existed 12 months ago are now part of our everyday lives: social distancing, arrows in supermarkets, Plexiglas EVERYWHERE, red dots on the floors marking 6 feet distances. Discarded masks litter the sidewalks and parking lots, bunched up gloves are overflowing the trash cans, and we don't even bat an eye when we see line-ups in front of stores, banks, or government buildings. "Must have reached their limit," we think to ourselves, sigh, and line up to wait our turn (or, in my case, leave and come back another time. I hate waiting).

Friday 30 October 2020

How to be happy when you're a chronic worrier

I'm a chronic worrier. No matter how smooth or stress-free my life might be, I always have at least ten different things I worry about. 
Here are a few examples (this is an incomplete list) of what's in my head right now:

Tuesday 27 October 2020

A message to all younger women

I was very confused and lost when I was in my late teens and early twenties. 
And late twenties. 
And very early thirties. 
I'd naively believed that I would magically become grown-up overnight as soon as I turned a certain age. 
At first, I blamed the lack of growing up on the age. If 18 wasn't it, then surely 19 was. 
Or 21. 
Maybe 25?
Surely, 30???

Saturday 17 October 2020

Why I always come back to yoga

I first fell in love with yoga during a Hawaiian vacation in the spring of 2015. For the first two years, I practiced almost every day, falling in love with the practice, my body, and my mind. I especially loved practicing on our front lawn, which I could do almost year-round due to the mild winters we had in the Lower Mainland. 

Tuesday 6 October 2020

A magic sunset

The cat, dogs, Rich and I saw the most incredible sunset last night. I took a video with the hyper-lapse function on my phone of it (I recorded for 19 minutes, which is condensed to 19 seconds), and it looks so cool that I wanted to share it on here as well.   
What did we even do before cellphones??

Monday 5 October 2020

Life with horses

I was 20 years old when I galloped on a horse for the first time. My friend had taken me to her barn where we borrowed a horse for me, and we went for a nice, leisurely ride through the German forest. At the end of it, a large meadow separated us from the barn. She turned to me and asked: "Do you want to run home? The horses know the way. All you have to do is to hang on tight." Before I could think of a bunch of excuses not to do it, she kicked her horse softly in the side and took off, with mine following close behind. 


Monday 28 September 2020

About gaining the quarantine 15

It has finally happened! For the first time in my life, I'm part of a current phenomenon, and not about 5 years behind, which is usually my style. No, this time I'm right in the front with so many of us who have all experienced yet another delightful experience of 2020: weight gain. As with everything else, some people have taken offence to naming it something amusing like "Quarantine 15" or "gaining the Covid 19", but I like it. I appreciate puns and jokes, and I love people who find humour in everything. It makes life so much more fun.


Thursday 24 September 2020

Trying to recapture my balance

I'm sitting in my freshly cleaned, cozy cabin. The fire is going, Taylor Swift is softly crooning in the background, the big dogs are lying next to me and I'm finally, finally, on day 3 of my mini-staycation, starting to relax. 

This morning was the first morning in I don't know how long where I didn't wake up at 6 am. My internal clock is tuned to that annoyingly early time since that's when I usually have to get up for work. 
I slept soundly until 8, then made coffee and read in bed for an hour. After that I fed the horses, played with the dogs, and then roasted a chicken for lunch. We butchered a bunch of our chickens this week, cleaned and froze them, and today we had our first taste. It's a lot of work, but worth it - it was delicious!

Monday 7 September 2020

I can't see you now?

I found out that I needed glasses when I was 10 years old. It was done in the typical no-nonsense, insensitive German way I do not like.

We had an eye test at school, the first one I'd ever been exposed to, and I, a shy, tongue-tied child, was struggling to say correctly all the letters I was supposed to be seeing.

"Try harder, girl," the lady who was conducting the eye-test told me impatiently. Her tone of voice did nothing to help me see any better. I had been close to tears before, but now the dam burst. I cried hard.

At that age, I wanted nothing more than to please my superiors, and so far I had been fairly successful. I did all my homework, got good grades, and practiced my piano lessons until exhaustion.

But this time, I couldn't prepare for a test. It came to me out of nowhere, I was bombing it, and there was nothing I could do. My eyesight was failing, and I was mortified.

Was that the moment I decided to move to Canada one day?

Maybe not. But it certainly came up again in my list of pros and cons 12 years later when I was faced with the decision whether to move to Canada or not.

(Let's be real: there never was any question. But that incident certainly helped in the pro-department.)


Saturday 5 September 2020

The summer of 2020

With labour day signalling the end of summer, I sat down yesterday and made a little video of the summer of 2020. Like most people, we didn't go anywhere and didn't see too many people outside our bubble, but we had a great summer!
Living on a farm to us is the best thing in the world. Our animals are our family. 

Sunday 30 August 2020

You are my moon and my stars

This month marks 18 years since Rich and I met each other. 18 years! It's crazy. 
I always get sentimental this time of year, because that August in 2002 changed my entire life. 
So when oNecklace contacted me for another collaboration I knew right away that I wanted to find a piece of jewelry that would celebrate our relationship. 

Friday 28 August 2020

Big Bear and Little Bear

Today is our youngest - and biggest - baby's first birthday. 
Happy Birthday, Petey! 🎉🎉

As with many of our dogs, he wasn't exactly planned, at least not on my part. But I did get an inkling that a new member to our family was on his way when I received this picture last September:
Petey is in Rich's arms at 4 weeks old


Monday 24 August 2020

Some summer pics!

Today is the third day in a row that feels (I don't even want to say it out loud, so I'll just whisper it: fall-ish), so I finished watching Little Fires Everywhere on Amazon (just as good as the book, I highly recommend!), and now I've been sorting through my photos. Summer came late this year, it basically only arrived 2 months ago, but every hot day has been precious. It's not over yet, but we've definitely entered the stage of late summer: the nights are getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and the light has changed. The stark yellow and blue of high summer have given way to a softer, warmer, golden glow. Many mornings are now overcast, the ground wet with dew, and I've started putting on a sweater with my morning coffee.

It doesn't matter - I love the changing of the seasons, even though it's bittersweet when the majority of summer has passed.     
But it also leads to reflection, and today I'm gonna share a few photos with you of our summer so far!

Sunday 9 August 2020

Being in my 40s - first impressions

I'm now in my 8th month of being in my 40s. I didn't expect it, but there has been such a tremendous shift between my 30s and now being 40, that I need to write about it. 

Before I go into what my 40s have been like for me thus far (both much better, but also worse than I anticipated), let's recap my 30s. 

Monday 3 August 2020

Read this if you think you're missing out

I haven't been to the beach this summer. 
I haven't been on a boat.
I haven't been tubing/water skiing/jet skiing. (TBH I haven't done the latter two ever, and it becomes more evident with every year that I probably never will.)
I haven't had ice cream in a cone. 
I haven't taken a single road trip pic for the 'gram, because we haven't been on a road trip.
We haven't been on any "adventures".
I haven't written an entire album. (But I'm very glad Taylor Swift did; I'm not dissing you girl, I'm in awe and very happy you did!)

Saturday 18 July 2020

Creative seasons

Life, just as nature, has different seasons. The insistence of modern life that we should be productive all the time and grow, create and make money 365 days of the year is not in alignment with how our internal rhythm works.
Nature, the greatest teacher there is, knows that nothing can grow every day of the year. After the explosion of new life, colours, and energy in the spring, the maturing during summer, the ripening and bounty of fall, everything goes to sleep in winter to rest and restore. 

Thursday 9 July 2020

Farm and forest get married


Wednesday 1 July 2020

In good company

I have a few things to tell you! I'm quite excited, since this year seems to be destined to be of epic proportions in terms of what the world is up to, and incredibly small when it comes to our personal lives. If you feel like that, rest assured: we all do. But personally, I find it to be a very nice break. 

What's not to like about unashamedly lazing about in your hammock/couch/bed after work and knowing that you are a responsible member of society since you're doing your bit to slow the spread of Covid-19? It's awesome


Thursday 18 June 2020

The power of letting go is yours - if you want it

Today is a VERY big day. Dixie (our rambunctious, sharp-clawed, cat-chasing puppy) has mastered the trick of jumping into my outstretched arms onto my lap, little-kid-style. It hurts (only a little), but what's a little bit of pain in the face of so much all-encompassing, INTENSE love, right? *laughs hysterically while clutching her bleeding arm and wiping the dog saliva off her face*

Today is also the day where Rich is meeting these strange ominous nice (?) German fellas who've invited him to their weekly meeting at a local pub. I'm sure it was just an oversight and not on purpose that they didn't extend their invitation to me as well - mistakes happen, right?
He hasn't come home yet, but he's only an hour overdue, so I'm sure everything is just fine...

Monday 8 June 2020

Simple joys in a heavy world

I want to write something light and cheerful about our animals and spring and about how life is delightful. But I feel guilty. Isn't it wrong? Doesn't that diminish the struggle of the black movement? Shouldn't I be more of an activist and demand change? Shouldn't I stop being frivolous?

Instagram is slowly returning back to "normal", meaning that the accounts that didn't post personal content last week in an effort to amplify black voices are posting their own photos again. Predictably, there are people complaining and giving them a hard time. How can they do that when there is still police brutality going on? When there is still injustice and wrongful deaths and so much more work that needs to be done?

Thursday 4 June 2020

What's my blog's identity?

The generations after us will groan when the year 2020 comes up in their history lesson. There is so much that's happening this year, there will be entire textbooks devoted just to this year alone.
Nobody would have believed that there could be anything surpassing Covid-19 in terms of importance, yet 2020 has done it again: we are in the midst of a revolution. 

The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week has sparked an outrage all across the globe that may finally bring about the long overdue changes in systemic racism. As a white woman I know little about it, and just like many of you I'm in the process of listening and learning more about racism, the danger of staying neutral and that it's better to speak up and say something stupid than say nothing at all. In fact, as a person with white privilege I'm bound to make mistakes and be insensitive, no matter how well intentioned. We simply cannot put ourselves into the shoes of someone who is being discriminated against in thousand big and little ways simply because they are not white.

But it's better to make mistakes and learn from them than not wanting to push ourselves at all. We will never become better people by staying in our little comfortable bubbles. That applies to life in general! Growing is painful, but without growth we don't become the best versions of ourselves.  

Some sources I find very helpful are Rachel CargleBritanny Packnett Cunningham, and the Black Lives Matter website. I also check the Occupy Democrats page on Facebook daily, which is focused on reporting on all the atrocities Trump performs daily - needless to say, they are busy! 
But that's all I'm gonna say about this for now, because I'm still in the learning stage. 

Sunday 24 May 2020

Midnight in Canada

I stepped outside and the mild night air hugged me like a long-lost friend. The balmy breeze was rustling the trees and gently caressing my face. The air was filled with fragrance: lilac, honeysuckle, viburnum. I stood still for a moment, closed my eyes and took in a deep breath. I had a sudden flashback to our last Mexico vacation in 2018 - it smelled and felt just like it had in that magical place. 

Wednesday 20 May 2020

At peace

As soon as I come home I kick off my shoes and my clothes. I put on a flowy dress or cut-off shorts and a light top - no bra, no shoes. The nail polish on my toes is chipped and my legs are bruised, need shaving and have lumps and bumps - but I feel at home in my body.
I open the front door wide to let all the dogs in. While they're nudging my side for ear scratches and lick my hands and play around me I water the plants. I make more nectar for the hummingbirds. I feed my sourdough starter, delighting in its bubbling process of coming to life in front of my eyes.

Wednesday 13 May 2020

An act of kindness

About 3 weeks ago I wrote a post about Covid-19, as one does in 2020. I described the things I really like, like the solidarity, no unexpected visitors (best side-effect of sheltering at home ever), and being a hero by staying home and watching Netflix. 
We all know the downsides, so I won't go into them again, but as an aside I mentioned that wearing a mask for 8 hours straight hurts your ears (which it does, in a surprisingly intense way). 
You know what happened after I made that one small, almost throwaway comment?

One of my readers contacted me and offered to send me some mask extenders she makes herself. Before 2020 these guys didn't even exist as far as I know, but now they are all the rage.
And for good reason: mask extenders are lifesavers. Or, to be more exact (and less dramatic), they are ear-savers. I don't know who came up with that idea, but they deserve to have it patented and to get filthy rich. Like all great ideas, this one is extremely simple, but also extremely effective. It makes all the difference between a shitty shift and a shift that may still be difficult, but the rubbed-off skin behind your ears won't be the reason for it. 


Thursday 7 May 2020

The Great Exhaustion

It's day 847 of 2020, and I thought it would be nice to take a walk down memory lane. It's been a whirlwind of a year, hasn't it? So let's take a moment to look back and enjoy!

Remember when we almost entered WWIII? Me, neither. It's easy to forget in light of everything else that's happened (we'll get to it in due time, no peeking!), but it was only in January where we almost had war break out between the US and Iran. But then Megxit happened, which was the much-needed distraction we all needed to stop worrying about boring old politics and take a front seat to a much sexier drama: Harry and Megs splitting from the Royals!

Sunday 3 May 2020

I wanna be like Ruth Langmore

I've finished watching Ozark yesterday, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Or to be more precise: I can't stop thinking about the tough, fast-talking, smart and taking-no-prisoners Ruth Langmore. 

Wednesday 29 April 2020

7 years of blogging

I had my 7-year blogiversary on March 17, but since it was around that time that the plague broke out and upended all of ours lives, I haven't found the mental space until tonight to finally acknowledge this milestone.

Saturday 25 April 2020

Is shit getting real?

"What are you up to today?" he asked me at breakfast.
"Oh, you know, the usual: do some laundry, go for a hike with Lily, bake a cake, do some writing ...
lookforatherapist." I said the last bit fast without looking at him. Instead I fiercely focused on my clenching and unclenching fists. My right leg was moving rapidly, betraying my nervousness.

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Isn't life just kick-you-in-the-crotch, spit-on-your-neck fantastic

There are moments - days, even - where I can see good things about our current situation. Our poor, battered planet is getting a much-needed break. Clear skies, cleaner water, deer and penguins in the streets of big cities, and even jellyfish in the canals of Venice? How awesome is that?!

Friday 10 April 2020

Getting off the treadmill

I've hiked up the mountain trail by our house every day for the last 4 days, and let me tell you - I feel reborn. Since my breathing problems started 2 years ago I gradually cut back on any activity that would aggravate it (which is mostly strenuous exercise like uphill hiking), with the result that I hadn't been up that beloved trail in over a year. I thought about it often, but was too afraid to attempt it, worried that it would be too hard.


Wednesday 8 April 2020

April is a doozy

Last night I was woken up by a weird noise. It sounded like banging, and when I opened my eyes I could see a strange flashing coming from the living room. "What is he doing now," I mumbled to myself, referring to my husband who had fallen asleep on the couch in front of the TV and had apparently lost his mind. "Is he pounding meat?" I wondered in my sleep-addled state, but was too tired to investigate. I was about to turn over and go back to sleep when Richard yelled: "The computer cable is shooting sparks!"


Thursday 26 March 2020

Take more photos (especially now)

Do you know what's getting me through these days?
Photos and videos. 
I look at old photos, old blog posts, and most of all, old videos, and not only do they make me laugh, and cringe, and feel beyond blessed, they also give me hope for the future.  

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Don't panic (day 17*)

*This is the 3rd installment of my covidiaries, a daily diary during this unprecedented crazy time.

Don't panic, I tell myself as I come to work and hear that the nurse I worked with yesterday is off sick today. She didn't feel great yesterday ("it's just the flue" she said - but how does she know?), and she got worse. Did I stay away 6 feet from her at all times? I worry, mentally retracing my steps. I *think* so. And she wore a mask. But there was one moment when I stepped next to her to reach for something on the desk - I was closer then 6 feet then. But she didn't cough. And I had my side/back turned towards her ...

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Covid-19 diary, day 16*

* I declared March 9 as my personal first day of living and working with the virus. Before that I paid only mild attention to it.

I cried twice yesterday. First during my walk with Lily in the morning, because I couldn't stop imagining the worst. A wide variety of what if-scenarios played on a loop in my mind, one more gruesome than the next. I spare you the details; I have a feeling you have your own variation of those thoughts to deal with.

Sunday 22 March 2020

Diary of a healthcare worker during Covid-19

It's eerily quiet in the hospitals. The hallways are deserted, the emergency waiting rooms are empty, our booking list has dwindled down to almost nothing. Talking to my friends at other hospitals I hear that it's like that everywhere; empty corridors, no wait times for the lab, more and more procedures being cancelled. 
We are used to hustle and bustle, to every chair being occupied, to chattering and laughing and complaints about the long wait. We are used to running around and being busy.
The silence is unnerving. 
Because we know what it is - it's the calm before the storm. And nobody knows just how bad the storm is about to get. 


Tuesday 10 March 2020

My body is changing

This morning I woke up early. It's happening more and more these days, partly due to my work schedule, partly due to my changing body clock.
I read a little bit in bed, hoping to fall asleep again, but when I realized that I was wide awake, I got up, made myself coffee and geared up to tackle a task that I have been postponing for a long time.

After the first few fortifying sips of deliciously hot coffee, I took a deep breath, stepped in front of my closet, and threw the doors open.

It was time. 
Time to say goodbye to the old me.

I was about to get rid of all the clothes and accessories that didn't fit me any more - literally and figuratively.
And it was harder than I thought it would be.

For the last 10+ years I have been happy as can be in my body. I didn't diet, I didn't restrict, I ate what I felt like and moved my body because it felt good. I adopted an intuitive eating lifestyle before it became a household name, and I felt really good about my body. Without trying I stayed the same size, and I smugly thought that I had it figured out. As long as I was happy and active(ish), I would be fine! It worked like a charm (for a while).

In my early 20s I was pudgy. I was stress-eating due to being deeply unhappy, and when I found love and subsequently lost weight, I was very eager to keep it off. For years I would watch what I ate, knew of "good" and "bad" foods like society had taught me, and I always had my weight at the back of my mind. I thought about it every day, often subconsciously, but it was the driving force behind almost every decision I made. I bought skim milk instead of 2%; I assured myself that I would make up for the endless hours of sitting in the car on one of our beloved road trips by getting up early to go for a vigorous walk; I even put the fact that I would be on my feet a lot as an x-ray technologist on my list of deciding factors that made me choose that career.

I didn't have an eating disorder; I was simply acting according to the values that I had been taught as a woman.
Me trying the "model stare" after watching my beloved America's Next Topmodel; I think I'm 33.

And it was fine. It was incredibly annoying, of course, having to prepare for a friend's wedding/family reunion/vacation/whatever else special was happening for weeks in advance - but that's what everybody did, right? If you wanted to fit in and look the part, you simply had to watch what you ate, work out, and always hope to drop 5 pounds.

But then I turned 30, and something magical happened.  
My skin cleared up. My anxieties eased up. And suddenly, wonderfully, I felt good in my body. I had stumbled upon my personal secret to feeling great: I finally had a career I enjoyed; I discovered passions I never knew I had; I embraced our lifestyle; and, as always, I had my supportive man by my side. (Notice how the way to finding body peace has nothing to do with anything diet- or fitness-related? That's not a coincidence.) 
My 30s were good. They were golden

Finally, for the first time in about 15 years, I focused on something that wasn't related to my body, weight, or my appearance.
It was incredible.
I never felt more liberated in my life.

I kept it up for years, and nothing changed. My body, my attitude, and my priorities all stayed the same.

But now things are different.
I haven't changed anything. I still eat the same. I enjoy my job even more now than I ever have before - because now I'm a gypsy x-ray tech, travelling between 3 places regularly and helping out in 3 more occasionally. I didn't even know it, but if I could pick a perfect work scenario, this would be it. Driving to different small towns in BC and to one big hospital just to keep my skills sharp; meeting new nurses, doctors, and patients all the time, changing up my drive to work and adapting to new scenarios. I love it.

So it's not my habits that have changed. My environment has changed for the better. And yet, my body is changing in ways I can't fathom.
These days, catching a glimpse of myself when I open the camera on my phone and it's in selfie mode is startling. Who is this stranger staring back at me?
When I see photos I didn't take of myself I have the same reaction: who is this? Quickly followed by disbelief and horror. 

I simply don't recognize myself. My body, who had become such a precious friend and ally over the last 10 years, suddenly feels alien. It's like going through puberty all over again, except in reverse: body parts I knew intimately change shape. Skin formerly firm (and finally blemish-free after a decade of acting up) is softening in ways that are unfamiliar. 

My metabolism is noticeably slowing down. 
My hips have spread out. My bum has gotten larger. Changes that would have happened after childbirth are happening now, despite me never having born children.
But I have born the challenges of motherhood just the same: I have worried about them countless times. I have cried for them, agonized for them, cheered for them and loved them all along. I deserve my wide hips and sticky-out bum. It's unfamiliar, but it's a change that deserves respect. 

The face that looks at me in the mirror is not the one I looked at before: it's more tired, more knowing, more reserved. 
The once-eager and trusting girl had to learn a few harsh life lessons. Every one of those lessons left a mark in her face. The bags under my eyes are dark and deep some days. There are permanent lines edged from the corners of my mouth to my nose. I have lines on my forehead. Everything is more droopy than it was just a few months ago.

But there are also laugh lines spreading out like a laughing mouth around my eyes. They are deep and not what we are supposed to have in these days of Botox and face fillers, but I love those lines. 
They tell me the stories of my biggest triumphs: falling in love with my soulmate; falling in love with my stepdaughters; finding and excelling at a career I adore; finding and pursuing my passion; assembling a pack of dogs around me that are my family; reconnecting with my old family; and countless big and small moments in between that made me happy. A few of my lines are dedicated to TV shows like Friends, MASH, or Frasier that have made me laugh for many years.

A few are dedicated to special friends who have the gift of making one laugh. 
One or two are dedicated to myself, when I make myself laugh. (These may be the most important ones; you have to be enough for yourself: support, friend, humour - everything.)
Aside from the slowing metabolism, middle-age spread and increasing number of silver streaks, the most predominant change in my body is that everything opens. Just like tulips who have only a few precious days of full bloom before they open up wide and fold into nothing, my body has been opening up, gotten softer. The touch of cellulite that has been content to stay at the back of my thighs for years has suddenly come into full bloom: it has blossomed down to my knees and all around to the front of my legs, rendering them into objects that are utterly unfamiliar to me.

They tell the story of how I didn't move last year when I was burnt out and hiding from the world in a small town in the middle of nowhere, eating candy and watching Netflix; they also tell the story of me quickly gaining weight in my late teens, and then losing it again in my early twenties. They tell the stories of many nights I sat with friends and my sister, drinking too much wine but solving all the world's problems.

Society tells me that I should fight this change with everything I've got. Diet, exercise, a whole lot of heartache and maybe a few surgical tweaks. Can't let myself go, right? Have to stop the march of time at any cost. Look at Jennifer Aniston or J.Lo (both of whom I admire wholeheartedly) - don't you want to be like them? Well, try harder then! Cut out sugar, cut our carbs, get up at 5am to work out, fight for your right to look hot even if you're middle-aged. And we (magazines, social media, movies and TV) will tell you what looking hot looks like: being slim, and free of any mark that life leaves on your body: lines, wrinkles, lumps, bumps and scars.

That's bullshit.    

I may still be getting to grips with my changing, as-yet-unfamiliar body. But one thing I know for sure: my days of fighting myself are over
I won't fight the natural changes in me. I won't declare a war on my body who has seen me through so much and has been so good to me for 40 years.
I will never count calories again.
I will never try to "reverse the clock".
No matter how hard people try, life leaves traces on us that Botox and surgery can't erase.
We have seen thing.
We have done things.
We have survived things our younger selves never thought we would be capable of.

Why would I want to erase that?
We, unlike Hollywood actresses, are lucky enough that the signs of our battle wounds won't affect our careers.
I plan to wear mine with pride (as soon as I've gotten used to them).

Having reached the half-point of my life, I know more than ever that I only have a limited time left to experience everything I want to experience: write more stories, love my people as much as I can, help my patients, see some more of the world.

Why should it matter what I look like?
It doesn't.

Once you stop worrying about what society tells you to worry about, you are free to do whatever the hell you want to do.
Don't waste your freedom on worrying about your body.
The whole world is available to you.


Thursday 27 February 2020

Be whoever the hell YOU want to be

A video by Paul McLean is going viral because it demonstrates in a haunting and spellbinding way how impossible the demands on women are:


Sunday 16 February 2020

Laying low

When I was a kid I loved comic books. Mickey Mouse and Asterix and Obelix were my favourites. At my parents' store we had the regular comic books that were the size of a magazine, but we also had extra-thick comic books with hundreds of pages, and I read every single one of them. I loved the big ones the best. 
There was one story that I loved so much, I still think about it regularly, even 30 years later.


Wednesday 29 January 2020

The Neverending Month

This is the longest January in the history of Januarys, and none of them is short. How can it still be January? It has lasted 1000 days already. I have aged a year. My husband is 100 now. Our grandson is in college.
My hair is greasy every morning even though it usually doesn't get greasy for 3 days, proving that each day is at least 3 times longer than it should be.
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